Guide to Catching Europe’s Most Scenic Views on A Train Journey

europe train challenge

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Europe’s Most Scenic Views on A Train Journey – Europe has some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery!

It has inspired fairy tales and epic poems.

It has provoked paintings and plays.

The scenic views of Europe are not only absolutely stunning, but they have brought about some of the world’s most beautiful works of art!

Taking in all of the majestic landscapes in Europe may seem like a daunting task.

Racing from Croatia to the beaches of Spain, to the vineyards in Italy and the Black Forest of Germany, there’s just SO MUCH to see!

Europes Most Scenic Views Train Journey
Europes Most Scenic Views Train Journey

Europe Train Journey

What better way to take it all in than from the luxury of a train holiday through Europe!

Europe Holiday Plans!

See the Alps, bask in the sun of the South of France, travel all through Europe into Asia, all from the comfort of your train car!

In order to get as much in as possible, you’ll need an extensive guide, an elaborate schedule, and a detailed list of accommodations.

But don’t stress!

Find a holiday that is pre-booked, pre-organized, and put together just for you!

With your holiday arranged for you, there’s no reason to worry about all the little details!

You can simply sit back, relax, and take in the sights.

Here are some of the best train journeys you can take through Europe in order to see some of these amazing scenic views!

Grand Tour of Switzerland

Taking in the spectacular views of Europe wouldn’t be complete without seeing the majesty that is the Swiss Alps!

Enjoy the fine foods of Switzerland, the brilliant culture, the wonderful people, and of course, the most awe-inspiring natural views!

Your grand tour of the many unbelievably gorgeous Swiss landscapes will take you on an eleven-day adventure!

Travel from London to Interlaken, where you can explore the Bernese Oberland!

matterhorn Swiss Alps
Matterhorn Swiss Alps

You can even take a railway up to the top of the peaks with the Jungfrau railway lines!

After Interlaken, you’ll make your way through to Montreux with the Golden Pass!

The Swiss Riviera awaits you and you’ll spend a day or two in the Lake Geneva area before heading off to Zermatt and the picturesque Swiss Alps!

In Zermatt you can even board the Gornergrat Mountain railway to ride up close and personal to the MATTERHORN!

Once your time in Zermatt is complete, you’ll travel through the mountains to St. Moritz on the Glacier Express!

The practically perfect scenes as you ride alongside the Rhône will make the trip that much more splendid!

From St. Moritz you’ll travel to Lugano past Lake Como, then on to Ticino!

Enjoy the Italian border before you head off to Lucerne!

Lucerne is your final stop on this spectacular journey before heading back to London.

The grand tour of Switzerland will take your breath away with its beauty!

  • Upgrade your journey to include hotels, train seat assignments, restaurants, or even extending your stay in certain cities.
  • Prices vary depending upon seasonal travels, personal upgrades, and preferences.
  • Standard class Swiss Pass for travel on Glacier Express, Golden Pass, and Bernina Express
  • Travel Documentation includes tickets for the railways, hotel vouchers, restaurant recommendations, and other necessary documents.

Provence in Detail

One of the most memorable places you will see in your tour of European scenic views will be the exquisite sights of Provence, France!

Take in the beauty of the rolling Lavender Fields, the olive groves, and even the rocky outcrops in this amazing French countryside!

When it comes to traveling in style, booking a tour with Tailor Made Rail will give you everything you need for a memorable holiday!

You’ll have accommodations included with top of the line hotels in every city on your Provence Tour!

valensole France
Valensole France

Your holiday will take you from Avignon, to Aix-en-Provence, all the while enjoying a voyage tailored to your needs!

Start your journey in Avignon!

Here you’ll spend a three full days taking in the city tours, enjoying daily excursions to hilltop villages like Gordes, and even seeing historical landmarks like the Pont du Gard!

You can even include a wine tasting tour to local vineyards!

On the fifth day of your tour you’ll travel to Aix-En-Provence, where you’ll stay at the luxurious Grand Hotel Roi René!

Learn about the history of this city that has been around since 123 BC!

Stop in and see the studio of Paul Cezanne, one of France’s most celebrated artists!

You can even take a day trip to Camargue, where you can relish the beauty of Western Europe’s largest river basin in person!

Home to flamingos, wild bulls, and indigenous white horses!

Once you see the splendor in Provence, going home on the eighth day will seem so tragic!

  • Upgrade your holiday at anytime for extended stays in Provence. Also available are upgrades to hotels and train seats.
  • Seasonal travel and personal requests will impact prices.
  • Hotel de l’Horloge in Avignon and the Grand Hotel Roi-René are both four star hotels!
  • Travel Documentation includes tickets for the railways, hotel vouchers, restaurant recommendations, and other necessary documents.
  • You can extend your holiday to include a seven day trip through the French Riviera: Nice and Cannes!

Black Forest to Saxony: A Continental Railway Journey

Travel to the birthplace of so many famous fairytales as you make your way to the unimaginably inspiring Black Forest!

Here you’ll find yourself immersed in a rich culture of stories, history, and Cuckoos, all while taking in the beautiful sights Germany has to offer!

From London into Brussels, then from Brussels into the stunning Freiburg, you’ll start your epic holiday in a sunny, medieval Old Town!

The Gothic architecture will then transition to the heavily wooded slopes of the Black Forest.

Germany black forest
Germany Black Forest

Make sure to really take in the local histories, stories, and amazing craftsmanship and artistry of this strikingly exquisite region!

Days four and five you will find yourself in the city of Heidelberg on the Neckar River.

The Heidelberg Castle on top of Mt Königstuhl will give you all of the fairytale feelings and you can learn some incredible and interesting things!

Wrap yourself up in the fairytale experience as you tour through some of the most impressive scenic areas in all of Germany!

On day six you will go from the remarkable fairytale landscape of Southern Germany into the busy city of Frankfurt.

You can get out and see the beautiful city on your own, or sign up for guided tours.

Then for two days you’ll make your way to the city of Göttingen!

Leaving Göttingen, you will find yourself watching the handsome landscape of the Rhine whirl past as you make your way back to London!

What an amazing holiday spent absorbing the fantastic and alluring beauty of the Black Forest!

  • Extend your holiday to include a train journey all the way across Germany to Berlin!
  • Upgrades are available to hotel, train seats, and any other addition like an extension in each city.
  • Documentation includes city maps, hotel vouchers, comprehensive directions, rail tickets, and other necessary documents
  • Reach out for local tours of the Black Forest area and in the major city stops.

Croatian Coastline

If fairy tales and mountains and sprawling hillsides aren’t your cup of tea, then maybe you’ll enjoy some of the world’s most spectacular beaches!

Traveling down the sunny coastline of Croatia along the Adriatic Sea will let you take in the sun-filled sights of the Mediterranean!

Day one will find you traveling from London to Turin!

Travel across France and then the Italian border into Turin.

Then day two you will travel all the way from Turin’s Porta Nuova station to Ljubljana through Venice (where you’ll get to stop for lunch)!

croatia harbor port haven
Croatia harbor Port Haven

You’ll almost feel overwhelmed with the opulence and beauty of these train rides!

Once you find your way to Zagreb, you’ll finally set your sights on the richness and luxuriousness of the Croatian coast!

In Zagreb you can take in a few hours of cultures and traditions, before you make your way to the Dalmatia region and the city of Split.

Here you will bask in the sun and sea breezes!

After a few days in Split, with its medieval influences and Roman era passages, you can travel to the island of Hvar!

You can even include a full boating day on the Adriatic into your travels, or an extension down the coast to Dubrovnik!

Enjoy the sunshine and welcoming culture of Hvar Island for a few days!

You can see the beaches, soak up the sun, go hiking on the hills of the coastline, enjoy watersports, and even hire a car to take you on a private tour of the island!

Your eleven-day train journey will end with a trip from Hvar Island back to Zagreb, then onto Munich via the Alps, and finally home to London!

  • Stay in four-star hotels in Turin, Ljubljana, Split, Hvar Island, Zagreb, AND Munich!
  • Upgrade your holiday at any time to include five-star hotels, first-class train tickets, extra nights in each city, or a few nights more in Dubrovnik.
  • Prices will include accommodations, but are also based on seasonal travel and your own personal requests.
hohenschwangau alps alpsee bavaria
Hohenschwangau Alps Alpsee Bavaria

Europe’s Beaches and Forests and Mountains and Hillsides

European landscapes are so diverse and so inspiring!

Whether you’re traveling down the coastline of the sunny Adriatic Sea in Croatia, or your shaded by the snow covered Alps in Switzerland, there is a holiday that will take you away to some of the world’s most beautiful scenic views!

What better way to really enjoy the splendor around you than from the comfort of a train holiday!

Europe Train Challenge Hacks

9 Reasons To Fall In Love With Morocco

5 Beautiful Areas To Visit In Morocco

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Fall in love with Morocco – Located at the intersection of Africa and Europe is the world’s most amazing country for tourism.

Warm waters of the Mediterranean and Atlantic Ocean, sky-high green mountains, unique civilization, and friendly environment of Morocco make it an unbeatable destination for tourists.

Surf camp Morocco presents to you some major reasons to fell in love with this region:

5 Beautiful Areas To Visit In Morocco
5 Beautiful Areas To Visit In Morocco

Fall in love with Morocco

Captivating culture and civilization

Despite being an African country and Morocco shows a rich culture which is a mixture of Arab, Middle East, and European civilization.

There is a distinct dominance of Muslim civilization with wonderful mosques and architecture.

People here are open-minded and welcoming.

Morocco has openly welcomed modernization without parting from their divine culture.

Vast Deserts and Camel Trekking

If dehydration, heat, and sunstroke are the first things which come to your mind after hearing the word desert, you need to visit the deserts of Morocco for the brand new perspective about deserts.

The vast deserts of Morocco are peaceful and captivating with plenty of water and food facilities.

Riding a camel through the colorful desert or blazing through sand piles on sand rails makes your experience memorable.

The climate here is moderate with ample rains and storms making it a tourist’s heaven.

Best surfing experience in Morocco

Warm waters with breath-taking scenes are the reasons Morocco is the best winter surf destination worldwide.

The waters here are safe and provide challenging waves for all sorts of surfers from beginners to professionals.

There are multiple professional camps like Original surf Morocco which provide exceptional services from learning to challenging experiences.

Besides surfing, you can go boating in the most peaceful waters around the world.

You can explore the beauty of Mediterranean waters or enjoy the peaceful sunset in your private boat or an escort service.

Sky-High Mountains

Morocco contains a network of mountains with Sky-high Atlas mountains in the south, green Rif Mountains in the north and the beautiful Sierra Nevada mountains in the north-west.

From hiking to camping you can enjoy the purest form of nature.

The weather is suitable for tourism with ample rain making it even lovelier.

Not known for its wildlife, but you can find some strange creatures in the mountains of Morocco.

Don’t be afraid, all these creatures are friendly and make your experience unforgettable.

Morocco contains the highest mountains of North Africa like Mt. Toubkal which attracts hikers from all around the world.

Hikers love the challenges Mt. Toubkal presents but the joy of reaching the top with amazing weather makes it worth the effort.

A farm high in these mountains with breathtaking scenes from the window and an early morning walk in the natural habitat is the attraction tourist came looking for in Morocco.

Versatile National Parks

The best places for adventure for tourists in Morocco are the versatile national parks.

There is a chain of national parks all around the beautiful country.

These national parks fully depict the versatile ecosystem of Morocco which attracts tourists from all parts of the world.

Some famous national parks include; Toubkal National Park, Ifrane National Park, Dakhla National Park, and Souss-Massa National Park.

The breath-taking landscapes and magical creatures like; mongoose, porcupines, lizards, and viper snakes leave the tourists to spellbound.

Morocco
Morocco

Thrilling Beaches

The massive shoreline of Morocco extending over 2000km contains numerous thrilling beaches including; Legzira, La Source, Moulay Bouzerktoune, and Rmilate Beach.

These are the most peaceful and stunning beaches all around the world with appealing opportunities like; horse riding, sea-food, fresh-water swimming, and water sports.

Surf Camp Morocco provides the most amazing service to the surfers from all parts of the world and ensures the facility of challenging and peaceful waves.

The view of the beach is even more stunning in the sunset with sun meeting the water in the periphery and a cool peaceful breeze blowing over the water towards you.

Delicious Cafes and Street Food

An important part of tourism includes native food.

Luckily Morocco with its rich variety of cultures and food never ceases to surprise the tourists with a delicious and unique reservoir of native dishes.

For the conservative tourists, all sorts of continental taste exist in Morocco and for audacious tourists, Morocco’s native dishes like harira, turkey, tagine, bissara, and couscous leave an everlasting flavor.

From lavish cafés like Henna Art café, café Le Studio, and Earth café too street food you will find a unique taste distinct to Morocco.

When it comes to international food no place in the world can compete with the diversity and expertise of Marrakech.

From spicy Asian foods to delicious Italian or native Morocco food, you can find all the best foods at one place in Marrakech food market.

Glorious Architectural Heritage

The glorious architectural heritage of Morocco goes back to 110 BC and shows the impact of Muslim civilization as well as western modernization.

There are several stunning architectures depicting multiple realms of Muslims, French, and Portuguese throughout the country.

Morocco had been a central hub of multiple realms which annex to the versatile civilization and glorious heritage of this beautiful country.

Places like Bab Agnaou, Bou Inania Madrasa, and Ben Youssef Madrasa attract the tourists from all parts of the world because of their wonderful architecture of the 12th century.

The marvel of the Roman era, Volubilis not only has archaeological importance it also amazes the tourists with the advancement and intelligence of ancient civilizations. Ideas to Surprise Your Husband

Climate and Tourism

Morocco is located at the crossroads between the Mediterranean and the Atlantic Ocean which explains the mild climate.

With winters like spring and relatively long and lavishing summer period makes it favorable for tourism.

Tourists coming for surfing can enjoy bright sunshine with a perpetual cool breeze blowing from the sea to the coast.

The climate is also perfect for hikers and adds versatility to the rich ecosystem of Morocco.

For the desert adventure, you should wait for spring or autumn which are relatively cold and rainy seasons.

From versatile culture to lavishing beaches, from soaring mountains to a diverse ecosystem, from delicious native food to exciting surf camps, Morocco has plenty to offer to every tourist.

Exploring Barcelona by Car – Barcelona Day Trips

Exploring Barcelona by Car

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Exploring Barcelona by Car – For several years now, I’ve been hearing about what a wonderful place Barcelona is to visit.

I’d only been to Madrid before, and it was a dazzling experience.

Still, when I kept hearing about Barcelona, I decided that a trip there was essential.

I had heard not only about the delights of the city but also the many sites in the surrounding region that were not to be missed.

That’s when I had the idea of exploring Barcelona by car.

Exploring Barcelona by Car
Exploring Barcelona by Car

Exploring Barcelona by Car

Driving around Barcelona can be challenging, but if you are prepared for it, it’s a lot of fun.

Renting a car is inexpensive and easy, and as long as you are committed to defensive driving and have some patience, there’s really no reason not to try it.

I rented my car from the Barcelona Airport Rental Cars.

It’s true that you may not need a car for seeing much of the Catalonian capital.

Parking can be hard to come by, especially in certain quarters of Barcelona.

A determined driver can always find a spot to leave their car.

Just be willing to do a bit of walking in case you have to park farther away than you’d like.

When I asked myself, “Should I drive in Barcelona?” I wasn’t sure what the answer would be.

Then, I started looking more closely at all of the things there are to see and do in the area.

Suddenly, numerous Barcelona day trips became priorities on my itinerary.

Barcelona Spain Why You Must Visit VIDEO
Barcelona Spain Why You Must Visit VIDEO

Explore Barcelona by Car

With just a day trip, I was able to venture out to the Costa Brava and the Costa Daurada to the north and south of the city.

Ancient, intact villages and stunning stretches of coastline were my rewards.

I even had the time to visit the Pyrenees Mountains and the famous ancient monastery Montserrat.

I’m getting ahead of myself.

Before I could explore Barcelona by car, I needed to know more about the city and its history.

This is something I do before all of my trips to new places.

I find that reading about the destination before I get there just makes the journey much more rewarding.

Barcelona is a wonderful four-season destination thanks to its relatively mild climate.

True, it can be pretty hot and humid in the summer, but fall, winter and spring are all fairly comfortable times to get out to do some exploring.

Summer can work too, especially if you’re inclined toward lying on the beach and checking out the air-conditioned museums.

Barcelona Spain City Guide
Barcelona Spain City Guide

There are three million inhabitants in Barcelona, but that number swells when the tourists are in town.

With approximately eight million visitors every year, you’re bound to run into other tourists.

I don’t mind that, but I also like to visit places that the locals frequent.

It gives me a much more genuine experience of Barcelona.

Barcelona’s history is long and complex, dating back to the first century BCE when it was established by Romans.

Since then, the city has seen plenty of booms and declines.

Evidence of the historical booms are clear in the Gothic Quarter, and the 20th century was a time of tremendous renewal throughout the city.

Eixample

One of the most distinctive neighborhoods in the city is Eixample, where you can see amazing examples of buildings in the Catalan art nouveau style.

The restoration of democracy in 1978 brought back the Catalan language.

Eventually, the city would host the 1992 Summer Olympics and undergo even more modernization.

Within the city, there are many well-known sites.

The Barri Gotic, or Gothic Quarter, is filled with fascinating sights like the ruins of the temple to Augustus that was built by the Romans.

This is also the place where you’ll find a cathedral and the Museu d’Història de Barcelona as well as the Call Jueu, the ancient Jewish Quarter.

Barcelona Museums

The Museu Picasso is another can’t-miss attraction.

Barcelona is where Picasso lived during key moments of his development as an artist.

He was an apprentice here, and he was strongly influenced by the city.

The idea for the museum was first put forth by Picasso himself through his secretary Jaume Sabartes.

In 1963, the museum opened with Sabartes’ personal collection of Picasso works forming the majority of the collection.

It has expanded considerably now, and the museum is considered to possess one of the best collections of Picasso’s work.

Montjuïc

If you’re interested in the Olympics, funiculars and castles, then Montjuïc is a destination you shouldn’t miss.

Just getting there is half the fun.

You’ll travel by cable car and funicular to get to the top of the mountain.

Here, I toured Montjuic Castle and the Joan Miro Foundation where I fell in love with this Catalan artist’s work.

I also caught glimpses of the village and swimming facilities that were built for the 1992 Summer Olympics.

Many of my favorite memories are of Barcelona’s La Rambla.

Weekend In Barcelona
Weekend In Barcelona

Barcelona’s La Rambla

I started my journey at the Mercat de la Boqueria in the early morning.

The delicious smells of the fresh food and produce were unforgettable, and the breakfast I enjoyed was remarkable.

It also was fun to see the top chefs in the city bargaining for the raw ingredients that would make up the eclectic menus for the day at their restaurants.

From there, I strolled toward the Gran Teatre Opera House.

It was impossible not to be affected by the color, charm and bustle of the heart of the city.

Street performers are found all along the boulevard, and exploring the many shops and restaurants is an essential part of the experience.

The first of the Barcelona day trips that I took was to Tossa de Mar.

Tossa de Mar

This Costa Brava resort village is really second-to-none.

Costa Brava, which translates to Rugged Coast, arguably features some of the most beautiful scenery in all of the Mediterranean.

As I was driving, I had to stop frequently to take pictures or just enjoy the awe-inspiring views.

I fell in love at first sight with Tossa de Mar.

It’s tiny, but it is so completely and beautifully preserved that a trip there is like stepping back in time.

It was actually a little hard to believe that this is still a working, living village and not an incredibly well-done living history museum.

I wandered in and out of shops, took pictures and enjoyed a hearty lunch of Catalan delicacies.

After that, I drove down to the small, crescent-shaped beach for even more gorgeous views.

I had the time, so I took a short boat trip to see more of the spectacular coastline.

Pyrenees Mountains

On another day, I took a drive to the Pyrenees Mountains.

They really are a breathtaking sight, and the journey there is a big part of the fun.

I got an early morning start so that I would have plenty of time to explore.

Three gorgeous villages can be visited along the way.

First, I encountered Vich, then Ripoll and then Camprodon.

Each one is a bit smaller and more contained than the last but no less charming.

If you have the time, I recommend finding a little time for each.

Hiking and skiing are two of the most popular activities in this part of the Pyrenees.

I wasn’t prepared for skiing, but I am always up for a hike.

With my hiking boots, I was ready for even the most rugged of trails.

It was a memorable day, one that I still look back on as one of the best on my Barcelona vacation, and it was all possible because I rented a car.

Things To Do In Barcelona
Things To Do In Barcelona

Barcelona Day Trips

Other Barcelona day trips included visits to villages like Calella de Palafrugell, the fishing village Cadaques and Figueres.

That village is notable because it is the birthplace of Salvador Dali.

A wonderful museum there commemorates his life and work in a distinctive way.

Visit the Old Quarter and cathedral too to get a feeling for the more ancient past of this village.

To the northwest of Barcelona is the historic monastery known as Montserrat.

With a name that translates to “Saw-toothed mountain,” you can be certain of seeing some rugged and spectacular scenery.

That was a day that was filled with awe-inspiring sights.

Driving Barcelona

If you’ve never been to Barcelona and are wondering, “Should I drive in Barcelona?” the answer is an unqualified yes.

The day trips in the area are outstanding, and you may find it helpful to drive within the city too.

Exploring Barcelona by car is an authentic experience that lets you live life like the locals.

While it’s true that driving around Barcelona may be stressful from time-to-time, the ease and affordability of renting a car and having it at your disposal simply can’t be beat.

I can’t imagine going there again without renting a car to enjoy all of those glorious day trips.

Two Week Itinerary for The Cotswold Way Walking Trip

Cotswold Way

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Cotswold Way – There’s nothing quite like the English countryside.

From quaint villages, to dramatic cliff sides, to breathtaking rolling hills, England’s picturesque scenery is unshakably beautiful.

Taking a walking trip down the Cotswold Way is one of the best ways to see some of the lasting splendor that England has to offer!

A walking tour is a great way to slow down, and really take in all of your surroundings while on holiday.

Humbled by the exquisiteness of the world around you, these self-guided tours can change your perspective on your busy life!

A two-week itinerary is an extraordinary way to take your holiday time at a leisurely pace, while still seeing some of the most beautiful sights.

You’ll travel through exquisite farmlands, to rocky hillsides, through welcoming villages, and on into the historical town of Bath.

Find the excitement that is waiting for you on your walking trip on Cotswold Way!
Cotswold Way

Walking trip on Cotswold Way

Be Prepared!

Some holidays are easier to prepare for than others.

When it comes to getting ready for your walking tour of England, there are a few key factors that you should consider.

Your physical health, what travel gear you should pack, and your schedule.

Health

It is highly recommended that you be physically prepared before you begin your journey along Cotswold Way.

The entire route is 102 miles (163 km) long!

Make sure to get a few days of long walks in before you try to make the journey on your holiday.

Perhaps taking a daily walk for a few weeks beforehand.

This will help get you physically ready to go!

Packing

Packing for your long itinerary will not be difficult.

Wear clothing that is as comfortable as possible, and pack layers.

Work your way up from an undershirt and underwear, then onto t-shirts and shorts, include outer layers like a pull-over, a jacket, or long pants.

Your packing list should also include a good pair of hiking boots.

Make sure that they are properly worn in, you don’t want to ruin your holiday with blisters!

Schedule

Your schedule is pre-planned and completely taken care of before you even arrive.

You can book extra days, or change your accommodations to fit your needs!

You can take your time and truly enjoy your holiday!

Cotswold Way Path Itinerary and Route

The route is planned for you by walking enthusiasts who have been booking walking tours since 1997!

The Cotswold Way path is quite long, with a difficulty level of easy to moderate.

Your holiday will be spent on one of England’s most beautiful National Trails!

The scenery includes adorable English villages, stunning churches, and picturesque points to stop and see for miles!

You will also get to immerse yourself in history.

From Medieval Wool Towns, antiquated abbeys, Neolithic Burial Barrows, and the ageless, gorgeous homes in Bath!

Not to mention the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bath, where you’ll see the archaeological remains of Roman baths and the remnants of the temple of the Goddess Sulis Minerva.
Roman baths in England

Make your way from Chipping Campden all the way to Bath on this magnificent walking tour of Cotswold Way!

Here is a look at what the daily itinerary will look like as you journey through English countryside!

Cotswold Way Path Itinerary Part One (Days 1-2)

The first few days you will spend in Chipping Campden, then travel on to Stanton.

The National Trail begins at the Town Hall in Chipping Campden!

This gorgeous little town starts your journey in the most spectacular way.

After spending your first day and night in a charming accommodation, you’ll start on day two by setting out on the trail to Stanton.

This is about 10 miles (16 km) and will take you up over Dover’s Hill, looking over the Vale of Evesham, then on to Broadway Tower.

Broadway Tower is the second highest point of your walking tour, measuring around 1,025 ft (312 m)!

You’ll make your way down to the village at Broadway and then go back up to Shenberrow Hill.

After climbing up Shenberrow Hill, you’ll descend into the village of Stanton!

Cotswold Way Path Itinerary Part Two (Days 3 – 6)

Once you leave the charming Stanton, you’ll walk through meadows to the Church Stanway.

You’ll travel up to Stumps Cross, then follow an ancient road before you come to an Iron Age Hill Fort at Beckbury Camp.

The trail winds on to Winchcombe at the edge of Cleeve Common.

Cleeve Common is the highest point of your walking tour at 1,083 ft (330 m)!

You’ll take your path through the western edge of the cliffs and on towards Dowdeswell reservoir.

From here you will follow the trail to Seven Springs, Leckhampton Hill, Crickley Hill, and through the woods to Cooper’s Hill and some amazing scenery!

Through the woods, you’ll see Prinknash Abbey, and then Painswick Beacon!

You’ll then travel down into the old market town of Painswick!

What a great way to see part of Europe, with just you, your feet, and your sense of adventure!

Cotswold Way Path Itinerary Part Three (Days 7 – 9)

Once you leave the charming Painswick you are over halfway!

Don’t forget, if you’d like to spend an extra night here, or an extra night there, you can always schedule it into your trip!

They are happy to accommodate.

The open countryside will greet you as you journey on to Scottsquar Hill.

Through the spectacular woods to Haresfield Beacon, on to the towns of Stroud and Stonehouse, and then you can cross over the Stroudwater Canal!

You’ll enter the beautiful King’s Stanley.

Here you can spend the night, or an extra night if you’d like, then make your way along the stony path up to Pen Hill.

The trail goes through a Beech woodland into Nympsfield Long Barrow, where you can see Coaley Peak from Frocester Hill.

Dip back into the woods to find the path winding up and down and in and out until you meet the charming town of Dursley.

Travel a bit more through the valley to Nibley Knoll, then on to Tyndale Monument, then finally down from the hills to Wotton-Under-Edge!

Cotswold Way Path Itinerary Part Four (Days 10 – 13)

After spending a wonderful morning in Wotton-under-Edge, you’ll travel along through the beautiful countryside into Little Sodbury.

Cross past the Dodington House, then guide your way into the village of Tormarton.

Cross farmlands into Dyrham Park, then up to the sweet Pennsylvania.
Newton Park UK Bath

Climb your way slowly up to Lansdown Hill, then follow the cliff side to Prospect Stile.

You can see all of Bath from this stunning hillside!

Make your way down to Bath to enjoy one of the most splendidly historical city!

See the Roman baths, enjoy the beautiful architecture, and relax after your long walking tour along Cotswold Way!

Change of Pace

Cotswold Way is one of the most gorgeous National Walking Trails in England!

Your entire holiday will be spent in the outdoor air, getting great exercise, and seeing the stunning English countryside!

Finding your way through Cotswold Way will change the pace of your life!

For two whole weeks you will be set free of the busy day to day of your normal world, and be present!

Slow down, make your own pace, and enjoy your walking holiday!

(Images 1, 2, 3)

New to Sailing? Why A Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean Is a Great Family Holiday

New to Sailing Why A Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean Is a Great Family Holiday

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New to Sailing? Why A Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean Is a Great Family Holiday – Family always comes first.

One of the best ways to bring your family together is by going on holiday!

Shared experiences, amazing memories, and you can see the world together.

One of the best vacations you can take as a family is by sailing around the Mediterranean!

Whether you’re taking in the sites of Spain, or enjoying the island beaches of Greece, the awe-inspiring Mediterranean will change your life!

Take your family along on one of the most beautiful holidays in the world by chartering a yacht, and setting sail!

New to Sailing Why A Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean Is a Great Family Holiday
New to Sailing Why A Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean Is a Great Family Holiday

New to Sailing? When Can You Go

The spectacular coastal views, the warm sea breeze, and the briskness of the water are all waiting for you!

The best time of year to set sail is generally in the warmth of the spring, or the end of the summer in the Mediterranean region.

Traveling in the spring around late April through June will allow you to avoid the crowds and overly hot weather.

Unless you really enjoy super-hot summer days, in which case pack your bags in June, July, or August.

July and August are typically very busy to rent a boat.

September and October will still give you some superb weather as well, way before the crisp winter air even comes close to your cheeks.

Why A Yacht Charter in the Mediterranean Is a Great Family Holiday

Types of Yacht Charter

There are a few different types of charters you can use on your fabulous family holiday.

Whether you’re a keen sailor, or you’ve never set foot on a sail boat in your life, there’s a charter that will fit your needs.

Mediterranean Bareboat Charters

Bareboat charter is for those individuals who can qualify to sail the boat completely on their own.

This will require a Day Skipper Practical Certificate or an International Certificate of Competency.

If you have the qualifications, then you’re ready to set off with your family on a Bareboat charter.

Mediterranean Skippered Charter

A skippered charter is where your family will take off with the help of an experienced crew.

You and your loved ones can relax and enjoy the exquisiteness of the Mediterranean.

Your sailboat chauffeur will sail you wherever you’d like to go!

If you hire a skippered charter, then make sure to understand what you’re responsible for… like providing him or her food!

Your exciting vacation will be perfect.

If you’re interested in learning more about the different types of crews, or lack thereof, click here for extensive information on yacht charters click here.
Mediterranean sailboat sailing boat

Boats and Preparation

Chartering a boat is simple.

First, you’ll need to know how many of you are setting sail, whether or not you’ll need a crew, and your budget.

You can use a minimalist approach, or take to the sea in the lavishness of a first class yacht.

When planning your trip, make sure you pack all the necessities for your trip!

Don’t forget any of your important travel gear, food, or whatever amenities you’ll want on the boat.

No matter what your needs, there’s a boat ready for you.

From small boats for a family of three, to a large four cabin boat for your family and friends, there’s going to be something for everyone.

Setting Sail

The best part of your preparations will be deciding upon your itinerary.

There are so many locations to choose from!

You and your family can stay on the European side of the sea.

Exploring all there is to explore for the European countries that touch the Mediterranean.

Or you can choose to go to Turkey and adventure where the Mediterranean graces Asia.

No matter where you choose to go, you’ll go as a family, and that’s the best part of all.

Sailing Greece

Rich in history and an extremely welcoming culture, Greece has some of the Mediterranean’s best destinations.

Some of the greatest coastal stops are just a short distance from an international airport.

Making your travel days that much easier!
Sailing Greece's Church Santorini Greece island
The Northern and Sothern Ionian Islands, the Saronic islands, Sporades islands, Dodecanese islands, and the Cyclades islands are all at your fingertips!

Each area offers amazing food, picturesque towns and villages, and enticing nightlife.

These amazing Greek sites rest on pristinely clear waters.

They are known for warm, flawless days, and the spectacular views will leave you speechless!
Croatia Yatch Charter

Croatia Yatch Charter

Croatia has so much to offer your family as they sail through the Mediterranean.

The many ports along the Croatian coast provide tourists with a glimpse of the marvelous culture.

There are so many options for your entire family.

Choose between quiet bays, historical marketplaces, big city amenities, and isolated islands.

Croatia is known for their expertly hidden bays, clear coves, and beyond beautiful beaches and cliffs.

Explore the Dalmatian islands, spend a day or two in Kornati, or enjoy the magnificent Dubrovnik.

No matter where you’re headed on the Croatian coast, there’s bound to be an adventure for everyone.

Sailing Turkey 

Make your way from Europe to Asia in what feels like no time at all.

Turkey has the most diverse and inviting culture perhaps in the entire world.

Explore what this glorious country has to offer along some of the most beautiful coastlines you will ever see in your life!
ephesus Sailing Turkey 
Shopping centers, brilliantly blue waters, mouth-watering foods, and so much more await you in Turkey!

Start your journey in Bodrum, Gocek, Fethiye, or Marmaris, and make your way along the Turkish coast.

You can see ancient ruins, take part in historical tours, or simply enjoy the cool breeze while you drink Turkish tea.

Turkey is a country known for hospitality and absolutely amazing scenic views.

Your whole family will love haggling in the bazaars, enjoying a lamb kebab, and experiencing the warmth of the Turkish people.

Italy Sailing Holiday

Welcome to the sailing holiday of your dreams.

The charm of Italy will stay with you for as long as you live!

From the rustic Tuscany, to the historic streets of Pompeii, Italy’s Mediterranean coastal sites could keep you entertained for weeks!
Italy Sailing Holiday Cinque Terre Italy Manarola Liguria
Pisa, Naples, Sicily, Sardinia, all just a day’s sail away!

From the warm waters of the sea, to the delicious food, to some of the world’s most amazing wines, Italy is a magical place for everyone.

Take your yacht into port to enjoy an authentic Neapolitan pizza, with a Tuscan wine, then sail off to the Aeolian Islands for a perfect sunset.

The Italians have such a welcoming culture; you’ll find yourself at home before you know it!

Sail Spain’s Balearic Islands

The Balearic Islands will make for a fantastic destination for your family on your perfect sailing holiday.

The islands consist of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera.

Each island will give you a wholly unique experience and some of the best food and drink on the Mediterranean!
Sailing Es Vedra Spain Ibiza Island
Ibiza is one of the world’s most popular party destinations.

Only the best DJ’s, the best nightlife, and the best food.

Palma, on Mallorca, has unprecedented shopping.

While the western part of the island hosts quaint towns and quiet bays.

You’ll not want for anything while traveling through Menorca and Formentera.

Stunning red beaches, prehistoric sites, cave and rock jumping, all wait for you at the Balearic Islands!

Mediterranean Adventures

Your family will love traveling from coast to coast, and country to country while they take in the extraordinary views of the Mediterranean.

You can Bareboat charter a yacht, charter a skippered yacht, and travel over the sea in style!

The memories you’ll make on the Mediterranean will last your family for years and years to come!

Fantastic Places in Lanzarote You Must See

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Among the Canary Islands, Lanzarote is an exciting choice.

With a moderate climate, tourists enjoy this sunny island year round.

If your travel schedule is flexible, visiting Lanzarote in spring or autumn will be less crowded.

Whenever you holiday in Lanzarote, you will be able to enjoy diverse island adventures.

It’s a geological wonderland.

Lanzarote
Lanzarote

How to get to Lanzarote

As if you need another reason to want to visit Spain, there’s Lanzarote. You can fly to the Lanzarote Airport (ACE) from several locations.

From the United States, it’s common to reach Lanzarote via England. Both London Luton Airport (LTN) and the Manchester Airport (MAN) have flights into Lanzarote. If you are visiting Spain, you can take a flight — about two and a half hours — from Madrid.

It’s approximately 5 km to the southwest of the port town of Arrecife, the capital. Some hotels offer private airport transfers.

Check to see if your hotel offers this service.

If it doesn’t you can pre-book your shuttle bus or taxi and save yourself time with a company such as HolidayTaxis.

Another way to get to Lanzarote is on a cruise ship. Some European cruises make a stop in Lanzarote and the Canary Islands.

Lanzarote landscape

Some of the most intriguing aspects of Lanzarote are its geography and topography.

The island is a UNESCO biosphere reserve with an extraordinary landscape that has a otherworldly appearance thanks to more than 300 volcanic cones.

These are punctuated by furrowed black lava fields, that are somewhat surreal, and pastoral valleys filled with palms.

Its nickname is the “Volcanic Island” and “Island of the 1,000 Volcanoes.”

Thanks to a government-led island-wide initiative, there are lots of marked trails to walk to see the best of the geographical sights, including Timanfaya National Park and the lava caves of Cueva de los Verdes.

Lanzarote beaches

The beaches of Lanzarote are another interesting feature of the island’s landscape.

Among them are black volcanic sand beaches as well as swathes of golden sand.

There are also miles of rocky shore, so it’s important to consider what you want to do.

There’s a beach for every type of holidaymaker.

Papagavo

A sheltered and beautiful place, often called the most beautiful beach in Lanzarote, Papagayo is a crescent of fine, white sand sheltered by cliffs in a nature reserve. It’s ideal for a day of sunbathing.

Famura

Lovers of water sports will enjoy Famura. Backed by pink cliffs, it is popular with surfers, wind surfers, kite boarders, and hang gliders.

Playa Quemada

If you have young children in your holiday party, Playa Quemada, with its safe swimming, won’t disappoint. It’s sheltered from the wind and abuts a quaint fishing village.

Playa Blanca

The resorts on the island are all built around beaches, including some Blue Flag beaches like Playa Blanca.

There are places to snorkel and dive as well as enjoy banana boat rides, jet skis, sailing, and pedalos.

Blue Flag beaches are certified by the Foundation for Environmental Education. 

Others in Lanzarote include Matagorda, Del Reducto and Los Pocillos.

Things to see and do on Lanzarote

Cesar Manrique House Museum & Volcano House

Cesar Manrique was an architect and artist who left an amazing impact on the island.

Essentially, he shaped modern day Lanzarote, managing to achieve a pleasing balance between ecology and development.

Today his former studio is a museum dedicated to his life and works.

Jardin de Cactus

Especially beautiful in August and September when many plants are in bloom, the Cactus Garden in Guatiza is home to 1,000 cacti.

One of the attractions created by Manrique, the cacti from all over the world are planted in grey volcanic ash in an amphitheatre-shaped quarry, overlooked by a restored windmill.

Timanfaya National Park

In addition to driving your own car, there are many ways to explore this national park.

These options require a fee but are a great way to experience and learn more about this area.

Walking tour

There is are guided walking tours — which also includes driving in a 4-wheel drive vehicle.

In this tour you will get to see the world’s largest volcanic bomb, a rock blown from the volcano.

You will learn about and see three volcanoes: La Rilla, Montana Colorada, and Volcan del Cuervo.

Bus tour

You can choose the bus tour which is ideal for families and those who may be able to walk distances.

You’ll see geothermal demonstrations and a volcanic barbecue.

Island tour

This is a full-day tour in which you will explore Lanzarote.

The tour includes time at the Timanfaya National Park.

You will see the northern and southern parts of the island, including Green Lake.

Tour guides will also take you to the area of the Islet of Hilario.

Southern Lanzarote day trip 

Whether you book the half day or full day, you will experience a lot on this tour, both in the national park and doing things surrounding the area.

In the park, your guide will direct you to the volcanoes.

Along the way, you’ll appreciate the sculptures formed naturally by molten lava.

You’ll be able to see demonstrations of geothermic wonders.

Other activities include time in La Geria winemaking region and an optional camel ride.

Rancho Texas Lanzarote Park

Another interesting Lanzarote holiday activity is the zoo.

Kids and adults will delight in seeing the reptiles, mammals, and birds.

Rancho Texas Animal Park has bird and sea lion shows, a dolphinarium, cowboy lasso displays, a Gold Mine, pony rides, canoe rides, a splash zone with pools for everyone in the family, and themed Western nights.

Bodegas El Grifo

The volcanic land is excellent for growing grapes.

Bodegas El Grifo has been producing wine since 1775 and offers winery tours and tastings. It’s the oldest winery in the area.

Make time to stop at the Wine Bar.

The staff is multi-lingual, speaking Spanish, German, English, French, and Italian.

The Museo del Vino — wine museum — is also something to explore.

Arrecife

A small city, but there’s plenty to see and do for a day or more in Arrecife.

It’s quite charming to take a stroll along the front at El Charco de San Gines.

It’s known as the ‘Venice of the Atlantic’ – an old part of Arrecife Marina, a lagoon lined by fishermen’s cottages, bars and restaurants.

There’s the Castillo de San Jose which used to guard the harbour from pirates and now houses the island’s Museum of Contemporary Art.

The Old Town is typically Spanish, especially the 7th-century San Ginés Church, which has a bell tower and a Mudéjar-style ceiling.

Visiting Lanzarote

Islands make for easy, relaxing vacations. With its unique position, you will find much to do on Lanzarote.

The geological features will astound you as you soak up the sunny days and amazing views.

Europe Travel Guide – Best European Destinations

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Europe Travel Guide – If you are planning a trip to Europe, but you are not sure whether to take the bus or train, then you should read this article before leaving home.

What to Know For Exchanging Money Before Vacation of International Trip

What’s The Best Way To See Europe?

Planning to go on holiday is a great way to rejuvenate yourself.

What’s more, travelling at cost effective rates adds to the excitement of the trip.

Europe has many must-see destinations that are full of history and culture.

Best Way To See Europe

These places are easily reachable by buses or trains.

Now is the best time to start planning that adventurous trip to your favorite European countries. England Travel Guide

See Europe By Bus

If you wish to make the most of your journey and see the sights on the way, there are many tour buses that are air conditioned and fully equipped with washrooms.

Catching a bus to see a European city such as London or Rome saves the hassle of getting around by taxis and you will save money too, plus you can really enjoy the scenery while making the most of your time.

Most buses accommodate up to 44 people, and the front row seats have extra leg room.

See Europe By Train

If you are not too keen on standing in long queues to buy your bus ticket, there are many tour operators that offer river cruises and rail packages through Europe.

All European residents are eligible for InterRail Passes that offer flexible access to many of Europe’s national rail services.

You can buy an InterRail Pass in two varieties: InterRail Global or One Country Pass.

Your One Country Pass is valid for up to 26 countries in Europe.

There is no need to make any reservations, as you just hop on the train with your Pass.

However, it is important to check the train timetables, just in case it is subject to compulsory booking.

If a seat reservation is required, the price will not be included in your InterRail Pass, although this depends on the country you are visiting, the type of train, and date of travel.

Europe’s Most Scenic Views on A Train Journey

Europe is famous for having high quality train systems.

Travelling by train is a popular way to explore this fantastic continent at a slower pace.

Train fares are by no means cheap, yet you will feel very comfortable on your trip, plus you can bask in the beautiful scenery as you go through Austria and Bulgaria.

The train system is almost stress-free, that is why most young travelers choose this mode of transport.

So if you want to meet new people on the way, taking a trip on the train might be the best way to travel.

See Europe By Plane

Aside from tour buses and InterRail, another convenient way to travel to Europe is by air.

There are many companies that offer low cost airfares to popular holiday destinations.

You should also check Airfares Flights, they are an independent guide to flights with thousands of flight prices and schedules worldwide.

If you do not have the time to hop from one bus to another, and you just want to reach your destination quickly, flying is the easiest way to get from London to Prague, or Madrid to Athens.

The services that are offered by the airline are by no means luxurious, but if you are not too keen on taking long trips by train or bus, flying is your best option.

Nowadays, most people want to reach their destination quickly and inexpensively.

Sometimes it works out cheaper to travel by air rather than by train.

Many European airlines offer promotional flights at off-peak seasons.

So instead of taking a night train to your favorite city, you should fly in order to reach your destination quickly.

What’s The Best Way To See Europe? 

Travel Guide Portugal for First Timers

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Best Apps to Keep You Occupied on Holiday

Europe Travel Guide

Backpacking is one of the most exciting ways to explore Europe.

It’s fun, it’s cheaper and it allows you to discover Europe from a whole different perspective.

Great backpacks for Europe

But needless to say it is a very different way of traveling from the traditional vacation.

Backpacking Europe Budget Tips

It needs a bit more planning, and there are a few good tools that are good to know about before you head out on your trip.

We will go through each of these topics more thoroughly, but here is a quick check list of things to know about when backpacking Europe.

Backpacking Europe Budget Tips

Europe is quite an expensive place to travel in, and while backpacking Europe is by far the cheapest option to explore the continent, it can still turn out pretty expensive.

Food, accommodation and transport are the big money suckers, but there are ways to get it all on a budget. Tips on Winter Scandinavia Travel

Backpacking Europe Accommodation

If you are a solo traveler, hostels are the cheapest option when backpacking in Europe.

As a rule, the more beds in a dorm room, the cheaper.

When you look for a cheap hostel, also check what is included in the price.

Sometimes a hostel might look the cheapest, but they might charge for things that other hostels offer for free, like bed linen, washing machine, towel and breakfast.

If you are a family, you might want to look into renting an apartment.

Then you pay for the whole apartment, not per bed, and if the place can fill a family of four it might actually be cheaper than a hostel.

If you want completely free accommodation, the budget of budgets, then couch surfing is the way to go.

Just remember that they expect you to hang out with them and be social, people don’t give a place out without expecting something in return.

And there is always camping.

Backpacking Europe Food

The cost of food is something you simply can’t get away from when backpacking Europe, but by cooking your own food you can get away with 1/3 of the costs from eating at cheap fast food joints.

Again, hostels usually have kitchens, and so do apartments, which will save you a lot of money.

However, when you’re out and about you don’t really want to go back to the hostel for dinner and then head out again, and since you’re on a trip after all you might want to splurge a little and try the local food.

Fast food places are obviously the cheapest places to get food, but that does not mean they don’t have local food.

In Europe, every country has their own “cheap food” which is still traditional and typical for their country.

So just because you want to eat cheap, it doesn’t mean you can’t eat local food.

The number one rule is to stay out of the touristy streets when looking for a place to eat.

The further away from the main tourist route, the cheaper it usually is.

How To Travel Around Europe

When backpacking Europe the most popular choice of transport is to go by train.

Backpacking Europe Train

Eurail offers passes in different varieties that will provide free train rides or hefty discounts on train journeys all over Europe.

But before you get your pass, do some research to see if it is worth it for you.

The passes are not extremely cheap, but if you will be traveling a lot, it might save you a lot of money.

It also depends on where you go.

If you plan on traveling through northern Europe (except Sweden) it is definitely worth it.

Southern Europe is more doubtful as almost all trains need a booking fee.

Backpacking Europe Bus

Eurolines is another option which offers similar passes to EuRail but with bus.

It is definitely something to look into since it’s a cheap option and it sometimes makes it possible to travel to places trains can’t.

Backpacking Europe Fly

If you want to fly there are several budget airlines that fly all across Europe.

Ryanair and Wizzair are two great ones, the latter one connecting eastern Europe to each other as well as to the west.

What To Pack Backpacking Europe

If you plan on doing a lot of flying while backpacking Europe, you will save quite a bit of money but bringing carry-on luggage, as many of the budget airlines charge extra fees for checking in your luggage, and in eastern Europe some bus operators also charge extra for larger bags.

Check out our travel packing list for some tips and advice what to bring when you travel with carry-on luggage.

Split Excursions Every Traveler Will Love

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Amazing Castles In Europe You Need To Visit

Europe has an abundance of incredible castles that are so well kept you feel like you’ve instantly stepped back a few hundred years in time.

Here are five castles in Europe, they all stand out in their own way, are all very different from each other and are unique for different reasons…Peak District.

Amazing Castles In Europe

The Most Beautiful Castle – Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany

Choosing the most beautiful castle in Europe is probably the toughest one as we all have different tastes, and our judgement are all based on so many different things.

While traveling by train in the gorgeous Graubunden area of Switzerland, I saw many beautiful castles perched on top of mountains, but the one that best describes a beautiful castle for me is Neuschwanstein in Germany.

The Neuschwanstein Castle is breathtaking with the beautiful snowy mountain peaks in the background, two lakes and the many spires in different sizes.

Not surprisingly, the Walt Disney castle is said to be inspired by this one, which might be why it to me represents everything a castle should be.

The Prison Castle – Burg Hohenwerfen, Austria

What is today nicknamed the “adventure castle”, wasn’t always such a happy place.

This castle has mainly been used as a prison throughout its long history dating back to 1078, and many historical rulers were held captive here throughout the years.

Many prisoners spent their last days alive in the dungeons of this castle, but today they hold concerts, tours and different kinds of shows in the castle. The most famous shows are the “bird of prey” show and the falconry show.

The Largest Castle – Prague Castle, Czech Republic

Ok, this one is really hard to define, as many castles call themselves the largest based on different terms and measurements, but I won’t get all nerdy about how it’s measured, instead I will just refer to Guinness Book Of Records.

So, according to Guinness, the largest castle in the world is Prague Castle, in the Czech Republic.

It dates back to the 9th century and is situated with a beautiful view over the city.

The castle district also houses the beautiful St. Georges Basilica and St Vithus Cathedral, with the most beautiful stained glass windows I’ve seen.

The Most Expensive Castle – Bran Castle, Romania

Many castles in Europe are cultural icons and have a long history, which make them  priceless.

Putting a price tag on some of the castles in Europe like the Windsor castle in England would be unthinkable, nobody would simply be able to afford it.

However, this is not the case with Bran Castle in Romania.

Archduke Dominic von Habsburg, grandson of King Ferdinand of Romania (and also a New York architect), put the castle up for sale in 2007.

The Bran Castle has been the home of many royalties in Romanian history, most importantly, the home of Vlad Dracula III, nicknamed the ”blood thirsty prince” and Vlad The Impaler, the figure of whom the famous vampire Dracula was based.

They expected to sell it for $135 million, which would have made it the most expensive castle in the world.

However, nobody bought it, so the castle was instead turned into a museum, which personally I think is a much better idea.

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European Destinations For A Summer Break

Summer holidays don’t always have to be about lounging on a beach and working on your tan.

There are plenty of options for action-packed city breaks in Europe, where you’ll still be able to enjoy warm weather.

European Destinations For A Summer Break

Here are my three suggestions for getaways on the continent that offer a little more than just sun, sea and sand:

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is one of those destinations that really does have a bit of everything. Its location on the Mediterranean coast means it boasts a vibrant waterfront and some urban beaches (like La Nova Mar Bella) – perfect if you do want to spend a day in Barcelona soaking up the sunshine.

Of course, as one of Spain’s major metropolises, it is bursting with cultural attractions, including museums, art galleries and amazing architecture.

You can’t really miss the Sagrada Familia Cathedral, one of Antoni Gaudi’s most famous creations, while the Museum of the History of Catalonia is an excellent place to visit if you’re short on time and want to get a feel of the artistic and cultural background of the city.

If you’re more of a night owl, you’ll have plenty to keep you occupied once the sun sets.

Barcelona is renowned for its bustling nightlife and is home to a vast array of nightclubs offering everything from techno and dance music to indie and rock tunes.

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik may not be the first destination that springs to mind when you think of a short city break, but it’s certainly worthy of your consideration, especially if you enjoy adding a touch of culture and history to your holiday.

The city’s old center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and you shouldn’t leave before you’ve taken a walk along the centuries-old city walls.

There are buildings in all manner of architectural styles in the old district, including churches of Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque design.

Although Dubrovnik has its own beach, it’s well worth taking a day trip to one of the unspoiled islands just off the coast.

The Elafite archipelago is one popular spot for an excursion, while nature lovers will enjoy discovering the untouched beauty of the isles in the Mljet National Park.

Foodies, meanwhile, will relish the chance to sample some of the local delicacies – such as smoked ham, grilled sardines and zelena menestra, a smoked meat and cabbage stew.

These dishes, and many more, will be available from the small taverns that dot Dubrovnik’s streets, where you can wash down your meal with one of the locally-produced wines.

Venice, Italy

Renowned as one of the most romantic destinations in Europe, Venice is a great choice whether you’re jetting off with your partner or a group of friends.

This sophisticated Italian city has plenty to offer, from the outlying islands which make a fantastic day out to its many museums packed with artistic and cultural treasures.

Perhaps one of the most popular activities on a city break here is to enjoy a gondola ride on the canals, allowing you to sightseeing with minimum effort.

Make sure you spend a bit of time on dry land to explore the beautiful Piazza San Marco, or to browse the hundreds of artworks in the Gallerie dell’Accademia.

Venice, like much of Italy, is well known for its high-quality cuisine and, as the city is located by the ocean, seafood is a staple of the diet here.

Tuck into some freshly caught fish, accompanied by local favorite polenta, and treat yourself to one of the delicious desserts – such as a slice of Nicolotta cake (a type of bread pudding).

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Best Places in Europe in the Summer

Not all European cities are ideal destinations in the summer, some are overcrowded, thick with smog and geared towards over charging tourists for everything.

However there are a few European cities which make ideal summer destinations.

Best Places in Europe

Riga, Latvia

Riga has it all, huge beautiful parks, a perfectly preserved Old Town, the sea, canals, large shopping centers and beer gardens. But perhaps the best thing about Riga is that it has not yet been overrun with tourists.

The prices are reasonable and you have a great combination of modern amenities, a complex history, historic buildings and Riga has a dynamic nightlife. A great summer destination whatever your travel style.

Although summer is the high season for traveling Europe, you can still find good Europe travel deals to Riga and its neighboring countries, as they’re cheaper than the most popular cities.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona is known for its many pedestrian routes and you can spend lots of time outside enjoying the weather as you make your way from site to site.

There is a hop-on-hop-off bus which goes past all the sites and you can see the outrageous architecture of Gaudi.

Barcelona has the advantage of being both a major metropolis and a beach city, there are 7 beaches, plenty of large malls if the weather gets too hot and you can take boat excursions up and down the coast.

Budapest, Hungary

Enjoy the thermal baths and pools as well as the Danube River which cuts through the city offering boat excursions.

The Palatinus Beach on Margaret Island has 11 pools including a wave pool and thermal pools and the Alfred Hajos Swimming Center and Gellert Gyogyfurdo are just two of the many swimming opportunities in the city.

The city has all the history and beautiful buildings as London and Paris but without the crowds.

It is a great city to cycle in and the many outdoor cafes and mix of East and West make it fascinating to Western travelers.

Biarritz, France

Biarritz is one of the most beautiful coastal cities in France, and its great mixture of people gives the city a relaxed, fun atmosphere.

Glamorous party groups and girls in stilettos rub shoulders with hardcore surfers in flip flops, and everyone enjoys the beaches, the nightlife and the food and wine Biarritz is so famous for.

After all, who says surfers can’t be fussy with their wine, or that glitzy girls can’t enjoy some good waves?

During summer, Biarritz becomes an international city with people arriving from all over the world.

Traveling to France from Canada is easier than ever before, so many of the French speaking people you hear on the streets may just be Quebecans!

Salzburg, Austria

The city of the Sound of Music offers an exquisite castle, large open squares with market stalls, street musicians, delicious food and interesting stores.

The city has some quality museums and beautiful churches.

You can visit Mozart’s house, enjoy the many outdoor cafes and the city is conveniently located so that you can make day excursions to places like Munich, Germany and Neuschwanstein Castle.

If you’re getting too hot then take to the nearby mountains…”the hills are alive with the sound of music.”

Amsterdam, Holland

This special city has a number of interesting summer festivals like the Roots Festival, Robeco Summer Concerts and the August Open-Air Film Festival.

Although it is a fun city all year round, the summer brings the people onto the streets, along the canals and into the parks.

The city is perfect for renting a bicycle and exploring the smaller neighborhoods and the nightlife will not let you down.

Amsterdam is also conveniently located for easy access to other countries for day trips.

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Fun Ways to Get Around European Cities

Fun Ways to Get Around European Cities – There are many ways to travel around European cities that can add to your overall travel experience.

Finding an optimal travel method is very much dependent on the city that you are visiting.

London, for example, has a subway system known as the “London Underground” that is both convenient and historic as it was the first subway system introduced.

Venice offers travel by both water taxi and gondola which adds a unique charm to the city.

Europe Travel Guide - Fun Ways to Get Around European Cities
Fun Ways to Get Around European Cities

Be sure to research any unique offerings in each European city that you visit to explore the charms of that city.

Spain

Is a vast country with countless of places to visit and things to see, and on a holiday to Spain chances are that you will want to see more than just one place.

Traveling By Train In Spain
Traveling By Train In Spain

This can be done in several ways. Either you can rent your own car, go by bus, fly between the destinations or travel by train. In this article, we’ll talk about train travel in Spain, and what you need to know.

Traveling By Train In Spain: The Rail Network

Spain has an excellent rail network linking all the major towns and cities, with several daily connections and modern trains.

While many local trains are slow and take long routes with many stops, there are also the famous AVE trains which can travel up to 300km/h, transporting you from Madrid to Barcelona in only 3 hours!

These AVE high-speed trains are wonderful to travel with, making travel in Spain comfortable, quick and efficient.

There are several rail networks where these high-speed trains go:

  • Madrid–Barcelona (via Guadalajara, Calatayud, Zaragoza, Lleida and Tarragona)
  • Madrid–Seville (via Ciudad Real, Puertollano, and Córdoba)
  • Madrid–Valladolid (via Segovia)
  • Madrid–Huesca (via Guadalajara, Calatayud, and Zaragoza)
  • Madrid–Málaga (via Ciudad Real, Puertollano, Córdoba, and Antequera)
  • Barcelona–Seville (via Zaragoza, Córdoba and Madrid)
  • Barcelona–Málaga (via Zaragoza, Córdoba and Madrid)
While most routes are faster by train, some routes, such as Seville – Cadiz and Madrid – Granada are both faster and cheaper by bus, so make sure to compare your options.

The Tickets

Train travel in Spain is cheaper than the rest of Europe, but some routes are still not THAT cheap.

It’s often cheaper to take the bus, but buses also don’t provide the same comfort and often take much longer.

If you plan on traveling on an EuRail or InterRail pass, you might want to reconsider.

While these tickets are great for many countries in northern Europe, they’re far from ideal in Spain.

Almost every train that you’re likely to need require a seat reservation, and those are both difficult to come by and cost a significant sum of money.

So before purchasing your ticket, make sure you look up how much extra you will have to pay for your seat reservations, and if in the end the price of the InterRail and EuRail ticket is worth it, chances are that you’ll get away with it cheaper by just purchasing a normal ticket.

Booking

Booking your tickets can be a bit confusing, as there are different services running different trains.

On Renfe, the main train company, it often says that there are only two routes per day to a destination, like Barcelona to Sitges, when in reality there are more, only they’re run by different trains.

The website doesn’t have an English language option, so your web browser has to do the work, which isn’t always very efficient.

It is however the cheapest option, and you can book already 60 days in advance.

If you prefer to book it at the train station, prepare to wait for at least half an hour to an hour.

(photo credit: 1)

Walking to explore European cities

Walking is a great way to explore many European cities.

As many European cities were built prior to the introduction of automobiles, there are many town squares and passages that are not accessible to cars.

Walking to explore European cities
Walking to explore European cities

Walking through these towns allows you the opportunity to explore the nooks and crannies of many of these town centers stopping at cafes, artisan shops, and courtyards on your way.

Cycling

Walking around is not always practical given the distance between locations you are attempting to visit.

Cycling seems to be the best way to explore many new cities whether you’re a local or a visitor.

A bike gives people the freedom and flexibility to chart their own paths through the city along with other cyclists and experience the ‘real’ city.

Fun Ways to Get Around European Cities
Fun Ways to Get Around European Cities

Unsurprisingly, seeing tourist on bikes is nothing new anymore. Government sponsored bike schemes make their bikes available to both locals and visitors guaranteeing a cheap trip through the city.

Momondo collected all the important information, starting from how to sign up for the schemes to recommended bike routes, and incorporated it in this handy visual guide on public bike schemes in European cities.

Public Bikes by City
Public Bikes by City

Hiring a Guide

It is sometimes difficult to find your way when travelling to a new city with signs posted in a language you may not be familiar with.

Having a local tour guide bring you to a variety of different sites and explain to you the history of the area can provide you with insight regarding the city you are visiting.

Once you sign up with a tour guide they often provide their own transportation, whether bus or other means to help you during your travels.

Photo Credit (1, 2, 3)

Glamorous Places To Visit In Europe

Glamorous Places To Visit In Europe

St Moritz

St Moritz is famous for being one of the first luxury ski resorts in the world, and is still today the place for the rich and famous to be seen.

Located in a fairy tale landscape with mountain peaks and green valleys, people come here to enjoy the best that Switzerland has to offer: beautiful nature, fresh air, five star restaurants and hotels, and a range of outdoor activities.

St Moritz boasts everything from 350 km of piste skiing in winter and watching the horse races on the frozen lake, to incredible mountain biking and hiking experiences during summer.

There is a bubbly “champagne” vibe in St Moritz, and while the surrounding nature implies that you’ve escaped into the middle of nowhere, the glamorous boutiques are never far away.

Saint-Tropez

If hiking and sport activities don’t appeal to you, Saint-Tropez might have exactly what you want.

Perhaps the most famous of the glamorous resorts along the French Riviera, Saint-Tropez has more than just impressive yachts and “celebrity-spotting” to offer.

In spring, autumn and mild winter, the streets of this picturesque town are no longer as crowded, giving you the opportunity to really enjoy the town, and realize why so many artists were lured to this place over the centuries.

Walking along the waterfront, enjoying the beaches, art galleries and quayside cafes are great ways to make the most out of this glamorous resort.

Monaco

Being the smallest independent state in the world, Monaco sure makes a lot of noise.

It has become a luxury resort for tourists, and many of the richest people in Europe make it their home, as it is known to be one of the best “tax havens” in the world.

Many of these rich people set up luxury resorts and hotels, so if you want to your hotel to be an experience rather than a place to crash, you’ll be sure to find lots to choose from in Monaco.

But while the hotels and restaurants will suck the money from your wallet at an accelerating speed, there are plenty of free things to do in Monaco as well, such as visiting Monaco-Ville.

It is very picturesque medieval village made up of pedestrian streets and old beautiful buildings.

There are also free galleries and museums, like the Marlborough Fine Arts Gallery.

(photo credit: 1)

Great Mountain Bike Locations In Europe

Mountain biking is a big sport in Europe, and there are plenty of trails and routes to choose from, so going mountain biking on your holiday is a great way to see the country.

You get the best of both worlds: spending a lot of time in the most beautiful surroundings, while getting your adrenaline kick at the same time!

It’s really difficult to say which mountain bike routes are the best in Europe, but below we have listed some truly great ones to give you some ideas and inspiration for your next trip to explore Europe.

Great Mountain Bike Locations In Europe

Lake Garda – Italy

Possibly one of the most beautiful locations for mountain biking in Europe, Lake Garda makes for an unforgettable mountain bike experience.

With over 1000 kilometers of way marked trails for all abilities from beginners to pros, it lives up to its reputation for having some of the best mountain biking in Europe.

There are routes for all likes; some go past small villages, rural fields and olive groves to ruins, forests, cliffs and waterfalls.

Calderdale, Yorkshire – UK

UK has a lot of really good mountain biking, but Calderdale has to be among the best routes in the country.

It’s the best technical riding area in England with plenty of routes, including the ”Mary Towneley Loop” which is 47 miles long with some serious challenge in beautiful nature.

People spend years exploring the relatively small area finding new bits and places, but spending a week in one of the cottages in Yorkshire is often enough. Yorkshire-cottages.info

When you’re in the area or are staying in the holiday cottages Yorkshire dales, I should also mention that it’s worth checking out the Yorkshire dales national park, where it’s also possible to mountain bike or cycle.

Karavanke Alps – Slovenia

What puts Slovenia on our list is not only that it offers some incredible mountain biking, but that the place is rather ”undiscovered” and therefor it almost never gets crowded on the trails and you often have the whole place to yourself.

The trails here were cut by mules, huntsmen and miners over a long time, but have only recently been discovered by mountain bikers.

Morzine – France

The small French town Morzine sees itself as the heart of Alpine mountain biking, and with over 23 lifts and hundreds of kilometers of trails for both free ride and cross country bikers, this is a place that has it all.

While many people go to Morzine for their winter holidays, this place is just as good during the summer months for a bit of mountain biking and adventure sport.

Beautiful Sites in Europe

Europe is one of the most breath taking places to visit due to its natural beauty and vast range of luxury holiday destinations.

There are so many amazing countries to visit each filled with beautiful sites and their unique cultural identity.

When you visit Europe, there are some places that you cannot miss out on, and most are available to see on an escorted tour for added value.

The following list represents the best of the best when you are planning your trip across Europe.

Paris, France

Paris Beautiful Sites in Europe

Paris is classic European elegance at its finest, you can wander the cobblestone streets near the Seine or admire works of art in small Parisian galleries.

One thing that you cannot miss is the Eiffel Tower standing in all of its beauty above the French capital.

You can climb the tower to see the breath taking skyline of Paris or admire it from afar in all its glory.

Perhaps the best time to see it is at night when hundreds of lights twinkle against the night skyline illuminating the Eiffel Tower for all to see.

Paris is incredible itself, but no trip can be complete without gazing on this beautiful site.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona Beautiful Sites in Europe

Barcelona is one city where urban life meets beach culture.

You will feel alive as you take tapas and sangria in the late hours of the evening only to salsa dance till morning comes up.

Barcelona is not just for experiencing Spanish culture, but it is full of amazing architecture from the famed artist Gaudi.

You can visit many of his monuments across the city from the vast Park Guell to the immense Casa Barllo.

However, neither of these two things have anything on La Sagrada Familia.

This cathedral was started by Gaudi and to this day it is still not finished.

However, it is still one of the most impressive and modern churches in all of Europe.

The Biblical images etched into the stone of the church are incredible.

You can even climb to the towers of the church and over-look all of Barcelona.

Rome, Italy

Rome Beautiful Sites in Europe

Rome is the seat of ancient civilization.

You will see some of the most incredible ruins of the Western world in Rome.

From the Colosseum to the Baths of Caracalla, you need to visit Rome with plenty of energy to see everything!

There are monuments, arches, columns and ancient roads galore to explore and visit in Rome.

There is so much to see that you will need several days to space everything out.

If your idea of the incredible is seeing remnants of ancient architecture, then Rome is for you!

As you can see, Europe is full of amazing places both modern and ancient that need to be discovered.

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Best City Tours In Europe

In recent years, guided city tours have become more and more popular throughout Europe – tours like the ”Hop-On-Hop-Off” buses are now in pretty much every capital city across west and central Europe.

I think the reason why this sightseeing bus has become so popular is because they don’t just drive around the city talking about all the monuments and places they drive past, but they actually let you get off and explore the place, and then jump on the next bus an hour or so later.

People don’t want to see the city from the window anymore, they want to reach all the places of interest and be able to choose where to get off.

Another reason is of course that many of the city buses give you a pretty good deal, especially with discount coupons.

Other types of tours like walking city tours and free city tours are increasing even more in popularity.

Best City Tours In Europe

Berlin Free Walking Tour

Walking is most often one of the best ways to explore a city and see more of it, but often visiting all these different monuments is boring if you have no idea what you’re looking at, which is why guided tours are so popular.

These days it is even easier for people to do it, because it doesn’t have to cost a fortune anymore – in fact, it’s free.

Berlin’s free guided vacation tours are one of the best and most praised in Europe, I don’t know anyone who has not been pleased with the tours.

The tour guides are young students who have a passion for the city, its history and people, and who know how to tell a story and be entertaining.

The good thing about these free city tours is that anyone can afford it.

The students are paid by tip, and you pay what you think the tour was worth and by how much you can afford – don’t worry, the guide usually doesn’t even look at how much you give, so don’t feel pressured or bad if you can’t afford paying much.

Stockholm Boat Tour

Stockholm is surrounded by water everywhere, which isn’t very surprising since the city is made up of several islands.

The best way to see this beautiful city and its surroundings is by a boat tour.

The boat tours take you around to different places, from the island where the Old Town is based to the island where the famous Vasa ship can be found, and do make a stop over at Skansen which is on the same island, the first open air museum in Scandinavia which gives the visitor a great insight into Swedish culture and history.

Some city boat tours even take you all the way out to the islands where the locals have their summer houses and where you can go swimming.

With some of the boat tour tickets you also get free entrance to the amusement park Gröna Lund.

Amsterdam Bike Tour

One of the best ways of exploring Amsterdam is by bike, but while the city is easy to get around in on a bicycle, it’s sometimes difficult to find your way on the map among all the canals and bridges.

Take a bike tour where the guide shows you the best parts of the city, from the most famous streets and and buildings to the local treasures unknown to tourists.

Some bike tours even take you to the outskirts of the city where you’ll find some beautiful parks and countryside with windmills and tulips.

To save even more, you can check out hotels.com voucher codes for a cheaper hotel, because as we all know that is usually the part that costs the most.

(photo credit: 1)

What are the Different European Regions?

Europe is the second smallest continent based on land area but it is also one of the most powerful based on economic strength and political influence.

It has been the home of two powerful empires: the Greek and Roman civilizations.

Today, the largest and most powerful cities in Europe include: Paris, France, London, United Kingdom, Rome, Italy, Berlin, Germany, Madrid and Barcelona Spain, Moscow and St. Petersburg, Russia, and Istanbul, Turkey.

These cities are not just large based on their land area, they are also highly populated.

Most tourists visit these cities especially during the peak seasons.

How Many Countries In Europe?

Europe’s population is above 700 million but it is slowly declining.

That is the reason why some countries are welcoming more immigrants.

Due to the rush of immigrants and Europe’s rich history, this continent’s culture is very diverse.

Its inhabitants speak around 255 different languages.

This continent is comprised of several peninsulas and some islands.

It has many coastal areas and is surrounded by different bodies of water which are the Atlantic Ocean to the west, Arctic Ocean to the north, and the Mediterranean, Black, and Caspian Seas to the south.

The main land Europe is also bordered by Asia and some parts of Africa.

Read through this article to know what are the different European regions based on different categories.

Transcontinental Countries

There are a number of Transcontinental countries which are in two continents at the same time.

Georgia, Turkey, Russia, Azerbaijan and Kazakhstan are considered to be located in both Asia and Europe, so depending on who you ask you will get a different answer to whether they are a European country or not.

If you include the transcontinental countries the number of countries in Europe would be 50 internationally recognized sovereign states with territory located in common definitions Europe and/or membership in international European organizations, of which 44 have their capital city within Europe.

All except the Vatican City are members of the United Nations (UN), and all except Belarus, Kazakhstan and Vatican City are members of the Council of Europe.

Micro-states

There are also a number of micro-states in Europe.

Due to their size they are most often closely linked with another larger state.

The Vatican city is a perfect example of this, located in Rome, the capital city of Italy it is very closely linked with Italy.

The Vatican City, Andorra, Monaco, Lietchenstein and San Marino are usually considered to be the micro-states of Europe.

There are a total of 50 countries and 6 dependent states in Europe which could be divided into different regions based on culture, politics, economics, religion, and geographical characteristics.

Culturally, Europe can be divided based on the tribal ancestors of the citizens of each country.

For example, we can clearly see the distinct cultural characteristics of the Scandinavian Nations or the heritage of countries which found their roots from different Germanic tribes.

Politically, Europe is classified into European Union and non-European Union Countries.

The European Union is considered as one of the strongest politico-economic organisations of the world.

It is comprised of 28 European countries which support each other in making political and economic decisions.

There are also economic and political influences in Europe that can be divided into four spheres or blocs.

These are the German Sphere of Influence, The Nordic Regional Bloc, Visegrad-plus and the Mediterranean Europe.

The German Sphere of Influence is comprised of economies which depend on German trade for economic benefits.

They do not see Germany as a threat, but rather as an aid in their economic pursuits.

The Nordic Regional bloc is composed of non-euro-zone countries which do not see Germany as a competitor or as a partner.

These countries do not favor Russia’s resurgence.

Meanwhile, the Vise grad-plus bloc is a mix of countries from different spheres.

They only support each other for security purposes.

Lastly, the Mediterranean countries help each other in protecting their Middle Eastern and African borders.

Most illegal immigrants come to this country via routes in Turkey and the seas.

This year, some of these countries have received many war escapees from Libya.

Most of them traveled by the sea and drowned but some still reached the European shores.

Based on religions, Europe can be divided into four groups:

Catholic, Orthodox, Protestant, and Muslim Countries.

The headquarters of the Catholic Church is located at the Vatican City so many countries that are near it are Catholic majority.

The Catholic majority countries are Andorra, Austria, Belgium, Croatia, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Monaco, Poland, Portugal, San Marion, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain. On the other hand, Orthodox countries include Belarus, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Georgia, Greece, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Romania, Russia, Serbia, and Ukraine while Protestant countries include Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Latvia, Norway, and Sweden.

Lastly, Muslim European countries include Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Turkey.

The other European countries that are not mentioned in the lists above do not have specific religious orientations.

According to the United Nations Statistics Division Geoscheme, Europe can be geographically divided into four regions.

These are Western, Eastern, Northern, and Southern Europe.

This scheme has been used by the United Nations (UN) as an internal tool only for its statistics division, so it is not used by all divisions of UN.

Some of these regions overlap, but it is still a useful guide in categorizing each division.

Western Europe

According to the UN statistical scheme this region includes nine countries:

Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Monaco, Netherlands, and Switzerland.

Some of these countries can also be found in other geographical divisions.

During the cold war, Western Europe has been politically characterized by the influence of the United States of America in this region.

Some of the historical events that occurred in Western Europe are the Renaissance period and the Reformation.

The topography of this region is characterized by western uplands which are mainly composed of hard, ancient rocks that were formed by glaciation.

This is a process of lands being transformed by ice or glaciers.

These countries mostly have lakes, marshlands, and fjords.

One of the famous lakes found in this region are the blue lagoons of Iceland.

Eastern Europe

This region includes ten countries:

Bulgaria, Belarus, Czech Republic, Moldova, Poland, Hungary, Romania, Slovakia, Russia, and Ukraine. Again, some of the countries on this list can also be found in other divisions.

Most of the people in this region speak Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, and Serbian.

During the cold war, Eastern Europe has been politically characterized by the influence of Soviet Union and the prevalence of communism.

Based on religious dominance, Western Europe is primarily Orthodox.

The topography of this region is characterized by the Caucasus Mountain, Ural Mountains, and Ural River.

This region is quite close to Asia so some of the countries here have also been influenced by Asian culture, mostly Chinese.

Northern Europe

This region is comprised of the Scandinavian Peninsula, the Jutland Peninsula, The Baltic States, the British Isles, the Low Countries, Iceland, and the islands that lay near the mainland northern Europe which includes Greenland and the Faroe Islands.

The Scandinavian Peninsula is the largest peninsula in Europe.

Geographically, the Scandinavian Peninsula covers Sweden, Norway, and a large art of northern Finland.

It is surrounded by different bodies of water including Baltic Sea to the east, North Sea and Norwegian Sea to the west, and Barents Sea to the North.

Culturally, Scandinavia is the cultural region of Sweden, Denmark, and Norway.

Most of the languages in this region have been derived from Old Norse.

These languages, also known as North Germanic languages, are Norwegian, Danish, Icelandic, and Faroese.

The Jutland or Cimbrian Peninsula covers the mainland part of Denmark and some parts of northern Germany.

The name of the peninsula has been derived from the Germanic tribe called Jutes, which formerly invaded Denmark.

This peninsula is characterized by wide plains, open lands, and peat bogs.

The Baltic States are Estonia, Lithuania and Latvia.

These are the states that mostly border the Baltic Sea.

On the other hand, the British Isles include two states: the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland.

The confederate nations of UK include England, Scotland and Wales.

It also has dependent territorial islands such as the Isle of Man, the Bailiwick of Jersey, and the Bailiwick of Guernsey in the Channel Islands.

Lastly, the Benelux or Low Countries include Belgium, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.

Generally, the weather in this region is temperate and subarctic.

This region is characterized by wide tundras, temperate coniferous forests, boreal forests, high mountains, broad leaf forests, and highlands.

With the exception of the British Isles, northern Europe is known for its extremely cold climate and harsh winters.

Southern Europe

This region is comprised of the Iberian Peninsula, Italian Peninsula, the Balkan Peninsula, and the island country of Cyprus.

The Iberian Peninsula countries include Andorra, Gibraltar, Portugal, and Spain. Meanwhile, the Italian Peninsula is the home of Italy, Vatican City, Monaco, Malta, and San Marino.

Lastly, the countries in the Balkan Peninsula are Albania, Bulgaria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro, Romania, Serbia, and Slovenia.

Southern Europe’s topography is characterized by small plains, dry hills, blue Mediterranean seas, pine forests, and olive trees.

The climate here is subtropical meaning the countries here have warmer summers than other parts of Europe.

These countries also rarely see snowy winters.

The people living in this region generally use the Romance language family which includes Italian, Portuguese, Spanish, and Catalan.

Some people in this region also speak Greek or Hellenic language, South Slavic language, and Basque language.

Europe’s southern region is predominantly Christian, with most countries being a Catholic majority.

Christianity has been widely spread in southern Europe during the Roman civilization.

Specifying the exact midpoint of Europe is quite difficult.

That is why some of the countries in these regional divisions overlap.

Nonetheless, these regional separations can give you a good idea of how to distinguish the different European countries based on their geographical locations, topography, climate, political affiliation, economic strengths, languages, and culture.

How Many Countries In Europe?

Ask this question to 15 different people and you will get 15 different answers, while most continents in the world are very well defined,

Europe is almost more like a concept.

Exactly how many countries are in Europe is hard to define, since some countries are on two continents at the same time – Istanbul, a city in Turkey, is actually situated both in Asia and in Europe.

(photo credit: 1)

England Travel Guide – What You Need to Know About UK

England Travel Guide - What You Need to Know

Updated:

England Travel Guide – The UK, or the United Kingdom, offers a multitude of things to see and do – the area may be incredibly small, but the arts, entertainment, and historical sites make up for it’s size.

From history to adventure and dining and relaxation, the UK offers something for everyone! 

Beautiful Cities In The UK

England Travel Guide

Stonehenge – One of the Fun Places to Visit in the UK

Built around 3100 BC, Stonehenge is one of the world’s most famous sites.

It is located in Wiltshire, England which offers a vast countryside full of beauty and wonder.

Stonehenge consists of prehistoric rocks and boulders which are scattered in a circular fashion.

There has been no proven theory of how or why Stonehenge exists.

Many people believe the rocks were placed in the area by aliens and UFOs while others believe they monument was built as a prehistoric joke.

The reason doesn’t matter because a visit to Stonehenge will have people amazed!

Windsor Castle

If you’re a fan of history, beauty, and architecture, the Windsor Castle is a must see place in the UK.

Located approximately 30 miles west of London, visitors can easily arrive from train or bus to the castle for tours.

Windsor Castle was built by William the Conqueror in 1066 and is known as being the longest inhabited royal castle.

Windsor Castle is not only an educational experience but a unique one.

The architectural design of the castle is known to overwhelm many due to it’s detailed beauty.

Bath UK

The area of Bath is located in Wiltshire, England.

The area consists of ancient Roman baths that date back to approximately 2000 years.

Residents during these ancient times believed the water to have healing and anti aging qualities to it.

Many of the world’s richest people would travel to experience the baths for themselves.

Today, any tourist can experience the historical baths or visit the hundreds of spas located in the area.

Bath is a great place to visit and have fun in the UK summer holidays: it’s a beautiful city that not only offers pools and spas, but also amazing shopping and dining establishments.

Buckingham Palace

The United Kingdom is nothing without it’s Royal Family so it’s imperative to include Buckingham Palace on the list of places to visit.

Located in the southern part of the United Kingdom, the palace is an official resident of the Queen.

It is also a main attraction and seen by millions of people each year while the royal family is not there.

Every visitor to the United Kingdom should get a glimpse of the gorgeous beauty that boasts phenomenal history.

Trafalgar Square

Trafalgar Square is another important area of the United Kingdom that is a must see for travelers.

Located in the center of London, Trafalgar Square is open to the public.

Some of the best times to go is in the summer bank holiday as there will be plenty of events on the square, especially for children.

Many pieces of famous contemporary art and sculptures from hundreds of years ago.

There is a great deal of history due to it being created to commemorate the 1801 Battle of Trafalgar.

England Travel Guide to the Best Beach Towns in the UK

There are only so many French riviera towns and Greek island villages you can visit until you’re longing for a beach town that offers something completely different.

For that, the UK is perfect.

Not the typical sunny beach holiday destination, the UK has some picturesque and wonderful beach towns that offer a unique and typically British experience.

Walberswick, Suffolk, England

Not far from Southwold (another quaint beach town) is this picturesque beachfront hamlet just past the River Blyth.

To cross the river from the Southwold side to Walberswick you can take the row boat ferry or the bridge.

The small community is nestled in the idyllic Suffolk countryside.

There is a harbor trail you can follow and several beautiful beaches almost overshadowed by forests.

The town has ancient ruins and the 15th century St. Andrew’s Church as well as cozy pubs serving local dishes.

From the 13th century until World War I Walberwick was a major trading port but now half the houses in the town are holiday homes and the tourist industry is the heart of this great beach town.

The town has marshlands and heath which attracts flocks of birds and the town is surrounded by protected wetlands.

Walberswick is also a popular spot for celebrity holiday homes.

In August the town hosts the British Open Crabbing Championships where the prize goes to the one who catches the largest crab within 90 minutes!

Camusdarach, Inverness-shire, Scotland

Travelers come to this beach near to Morar and Glenancross in the Highlands for the wide windswept beach of white sand facing the Isle of Egg.

The beach was the location for the filming of Local Hero.

The austere landscape and stunning sunsets makes this a quiet peaceful beach town perfect for long walks on the beach and getting back to nature.

Woolacombe, Devon, England

This is a beach town for those who really want to spend their time on the sand and in the sea, unlike other towns on this list where the focus is more on the town itself, Woolacombe is all about the beach!

It is known as a good surfer’s beach and you can get lessons here.

The Blue Flag beach runs for 2 miles and in the summer can get crowded with people enjoying both the family atmosphere and the perfect surroundings.

If you prefer a more secluded stretch of sand then walk along the coast to discover some of the hidden coves.

You can take boat excursions out on the open sea to see dolphins, seals and maybe even sharks.

Above the water on the cliff tops is a path following the edge of the cliffs and in and around the town are marked cycle routes.

In July Woolacombe hosts the Woolacombe International Sandcastle Competition.

Margate, Kent, England

This is one of England’s typical seaside towns like Brighton, Blackpool and Ramsgate.

The town has been a magnet for tourists for the last 250 years and was once a thriving port city.

Today many historic buildings remind us of the town’s illustrious past and the Victorian pier gives the seafront a certain elegance.

One of the town’s attractions is the Shell Grotto, a Grade I listed building of unknown origin.

Inside the rooms and tunnels the walls are covered with over 190m² of shells.

Also in the town you can see a 16th century timber framed Tudor house.

Margate has a Blue Flag beach where you can swim and take surf lessons.

You can discover the place where the Vikings landed by following the Viking Coastal Trail past historic buildings and magnificent Kent countryside.

For those seeking culture there is the Turner Contemporary Art Gallery and the Margate Museum.

The Theatre Royal is the 2nd oldest theater in the UK. The Tom Thumb Theatre is the 2nd smallest theater in the country.

Tenby, Pembrokeshire, Wales

This is a fortified Norman town with picture perfect Georgian buildings colored in a rainbow of pastels.

Many of the small narrow lanes are pedestrian-only and perfect for exploring the unique stores and tearooms.

Facing the sea are rolling dunes which break onto the Blue Flag beaches considered some of the best in the country.

Tenby is at the entrance to the Pembrokeshire Coast National Park so you can connect up with the Pembrokeshire Coastal Path which can be followed from Tenby to Pembroke. Take a boat trip to Caldey Island.

On the island you can visit the Cistercian Abbey, see a large seal community or sun yourself on Priory Beach.

England Travel Guide to the Most Popular Beaches in the UK

With the glistening, white beaches of France, Spain or Italy within easy traveling distance, there are not many people who cherish the idea of holidaying along the British coast.

Gloomy skies and grayish waters is the picture that most of us conjure up, however, during summer, this idea couldn’t be further from the truth.

Popular Beaches in the UK

Coastal wildlife is abundant and beautiful, as is the variety of plants and geological makeup.

Many of our beaches offer a variety of water sports and activities for any thrill seekers too restless to relax beside the water.

I’m going to list a few of my favorite beaches and hopefully convince you that British beaches should not be put out of sight and out of mind this summer.

Tynemouth Longsands

One of the finest beaches in the UK has to be Tynemouth Longsands in North Tyneside.

A jewel in the crown of the North East and home to surfers, fishermen and a steady stream of sandy-footed beach lovers.

In the North of England it doesn’t actually matter if the sun is out or not, the beaches are so beautiful and atmospheric that they are a year-round attraction for families, dog-walkers and runners.

Longsands is a glorious stretch of golden sand and is nestled just below Tynemouth town-center.

The seaside settlement is an up-market Victorian town with tall, terraced houses and cobbled streets.

The town center is nostalgic and cheery and a relatively easy town in which to book accommodation.

It is home to an array of high-end bars, restaurants and appealing little boutiques full of one-offs and surprises.

The perfect setting in which to relax after a brusque walk along the beach.

Rhossili Bay

Rhossili Bay in Wales, often tops the ‘Best Beach in UK’ polls and rightly so.

It is huge and encircled with luscious green grass.

The perfect contrast to the nearby sea which is always a perfect, crisp blue.

The water is clean and inviting – perfect for a splash about – and always lively with surfers and swimmers!

Rhossili village is traditional and unspoiled, despite having a lot of visitors from ramblers, hikers and surfers, and has held onto its quaint charm.

There are plenty of bed and breakfasts or camping spots so it makes an ideal location for a weekend break.

Hengistbury Head

Hengistbury Head at Bournemouth is a superb choice for families; the pebble beach meanders gently around a pale-blue sea.

The area is dotted with traditional multi-colored beach-huts which really add to its charm.

The beach is surrounded by an unspoiled environment and has stunning views across the Dorset coastline.

Highcliffe Castle is a nearby rambling option (to break up your day at the beach) with its cliff-top grounds, ancient architecture and breath-taking view of the sea!

Cornwall

Cornwall, of course, has an expanse of beautiful beaches, which will leave most visitors utterly spoiled for choice.

Penzance, the seaside town, has some of the best.

The drawback – as the most westerly town in Cornwall – it’s quite a trek (for most) to get there.

On the plus side, it has a noticeably warmer climate and has a gorgeous Georgian high street speckled with quirky shops, art galleries and lovely places to eat and drink.

The area is dotted with great beaches, including Longrock Beach, which is perfect for families, and is close to the town of Penzance so isn’t a long walk from the action.

Make sure you head to one of the restaurants in the town serving fish caught that day – a real treat!

Don’t write-off Britain as a destination for a coastal holiday.

Check it out this summer and you’ll, without question,  be glad you did…

How to Enjoy the Southern Coast of England

Framed on one side by towering white chalk cliffs and the other by rolling pastureland, the South Coast of England is literally packed with things to see and do.

Whether it’s exploring a national park on bike, learning how to windsurf or dive, marveling at Regency and Victorian architecture, or learning about the unusual customs of past inhabitants.

Dungeness

The immediate area surrounding a nuclear power station might not sound like the ideal tourist destination, but the eerie other worldliness of Dungeness is definitely worth a visit.

The desolation is offset by the ramshackle self-built cottages seemingly randomly dotted about the place.

These were erected by people in the aftermath of WWI when housing was at a premium.

As one of the largest shingle expanses in the world, Dungeness is of vital ecological importance, playing host to over 600 plants and designated as a National Nature Reserve, a Special Protection Area and a Special Area of Conservation.

Brighton

No visit to the South Coast is complete without a trip to Brighton – the region’s most notorious city – re-live Regency England with a stroll down the promenade and a wander round the opulent Brighton Pavilion.

Sample the city’s wild nightlife and vibrant cultural scene.

When the bustle gets too much, the newly designated South Downs National Park is less than half an hour away.

Lewes

With its hilltop castle, winding streets and independent spirit, the historic market town of Lewes is a wonderful place to explore.

In the 16th century, seventeen Protestant martyrs were burned at the stake in front of what is now the Town Hall.

To enjoy Lewes at its explosive best however, wait until early November to visit, when the town begins its bonfire night celebrations.

The event sees various ‘bonfire societies’ dressing up and parading through the streets letting off firecrackers and carrying flaming torches.

The proceedings are anarchic to say the least and justifiably famous.

Easy access

The South Coast is ideal for language students hoping to see as much of England in as short a time as possible.

For those studying at an English school London provides easy access to towns and cities along the entire coast.

For example, for those enrolled in Portuguese classes London to Brighton takes less than an hour.

Traditional Local Foods To Try In Britain

Traditional Local Foods to Try in Britain

Britain has some incredible holiday destinations, and many choose to rent a little cottage for a few days on the British countryside  to truly soak up the British culture and traditions.

But sadly many people forget to seek out the typical British cuisine, since there is such a variety of exotic foods in Britain.

In London, especially, will you be able to find Chinese and Indian restaurants much easier than a traditional restaurant serving British cuisine.

But by making that extra effort, we can promise you won’t be disappointed.

Here are three cheap eats that will give you a true taste of Britain, and will be easy to find…

Eel, Pie and Mash

if you ever find yourself in London – which you likely will on a holiday to Britain, you might want to try something which is very much a London-invention.

Eel, pie and mash is a traditional London working class food, dating back over 300 years.

In the 18th century eels were cheap, in fact they were just swimming about in the Thames, but strangely enough the dish didn’t become popular until later on when there were no longer any eels in the polluted river.

Today you get other variations with fillings like minced beef and onion.

Fish and Chips

Fish and chips are fillets of deep fried fish served with French fries.

The chips are plain and doused with salt and vinegar, which are great when on the move, and barely have time for a full course meal.

They serve the fish in tartar sauce, a white sauce made of egg yolk based mayonnaise, finely chopped prickles.

You will find this dish in pubs as well as fish and chip shops all over the country, but have a look online for some recommended places in the city you’re in because quality varies highly!

Scones with Cream And Tea

Visiting a proper tea house on a visit to Britain should almost be customary.

The afternoon tea is more than just a snack in Britain, it’s an important and respected tradition, and the tea houses like to keep it traditional.

Order a pot of tea to share, and a couple of scones with cream and jam (often there will be a range of different kinds of scones, our favorite are the date scones!).

Visiting a tea house is a fun experience that you will want to do more than once.

England Travel Guide to Visiting London

London is a city that basically has it all, but for many it’s often hard to know where to begin, it has great shopping, beautiful architecture, awesome nightlife, parks, markets and lots of things to look at!

There are many free child friendly things to do in London as well.

A weekend in London will be packed with stuff to do – here is my guide to a great weekend trip to London:

Getting Around London

Many of the places of interest are concentrated in one area so you can walk between them, however, the public transport in London is quite good and by using the subway you save a lot of time.

A day pass is a good idea to get, it costs 6£ and is valid from 9.30 am and lasts all the day until 4.30 am the next morning.

You can use the pass both on subways as well as buses.

Royal Garden London
Royal Garden London

Parks and Speakers Chair London

London is full of beautiful parks to hang out in on a nice day or stroll along the green alleys, so take some time to slow down the pace in the parks between shopping.

St James park and Hyde park are two big parks located right in town which are both very nice.

In Hyde park they have something called ”speakers chair” every Sunday, where  people stand on a stage and talk about whatever they want in a microphone for whoever wants to listen.

If you have the guts, you’re welcome to get up there yourself!

St James park is a beautiful park to check out after or before a visit to the Buckingham palace.

Changing of the Guard London

The changing of the guard at Buckingham Palace at 11.30 every morning is a big tourist attraction.

Don’t hold any high expectations on the actual ”show”, especially not in bad weather (which isn’t too rare here), but it’s worth a look just to experience the crazy crowds.

London Eye

The London eye actually gives a great view over London, and it’s especially beautiful at night.

But even the area itself is worth a tour, there is a pretty cool area full of Graffiti art right nearby.

The best view of Big Ben is from the Westminister bridge going between the London eye and Big Ben, and who doesn’t want that iconic photo shot?

Shopping in London

Oxford street is the place for shopping.

There is something for everyone here, and for most budgets.

But for an actual experience, head to Harrods.

Perhaps buy something really small as a souvenir from this place, or just window shop around this historic, exclusive shopping complex.

Camden market
Camden Market

Markets in London

London has HEAPS of markets: small, big, famous and unknown.

Camden Market is one of the more popular ones, and it’s a fun place to buy things from local unknown designers.

Be sure to check out Covent Garden. It also has a market, and after some shopping you’re likely to see some awesome street performers on the square.

This is the square where famous street performers do their acts.

London Nightlife

For a beer at a cozy pub with good atmosphere and intimacy, The Cittie of York on High Holbourn is a good choice.

The pub has a very traditional design, and you sit in little wooden booths.

For the cheapest beer in town, Ye Olde Cheesire Pub on Fleet street is the place to go.

The pub is the oldest in London, and they brew their own beer out of town.

For a real club experience, Cafe  1001 is a cafe and DJ bar on a side street in Brick Lane which we got a tip about from a local guy.

Many tourists don’t know about the place, but it’s a huge hits among the people living in London.

Where and What to Eat in London

It’s almost more “typical” to eat international food than the traditional British food in London.

Cuisine from all corners of the world can be found here, so make the most of it!

Restaurants that are located a bit out of the central areas are of course a lot cheaper.

The smaller streets around Kings Cross have some good deals, but chances are that you will be in the center for lunch.

There are a lot of  “all you can eat” buffets spread around the city center in London, especially Chinese cuisine, but also a lot of Indian restaurants.

For good Mexican food, Chilango is a great Mexican eatery located at five different places across the city.

We ate at the one in Chancery Lane 6, and the burritos and nachos were awesome.

Clink 78 hostel
Clink 78 hostel

Where to Sleep in London

We recommend Clink 78 hostel, a hostel right next to Kings Cross.

It’s located in a nice area with a village feel to it, with small streets and cozy cafes and pubs.

The staff at the hostel are very helpful and informative, and more than happy to share their local tips and favorite spots around the city.

Ask them anything and they will know, if not they will check it up for you.

You get a big breakfast buffet included in the stay, and they also have a pub downstairs which is very popular with the guests.

If you want to cook your own food there is a big kitchen there as well.

A pretty cool detail about the hostel is that it’s actually a restored 200 year old Courthouse with a few authentic prison cells. and a courtroom used as an internet room.

Get out: Take the scenic train to Wales, and experience the Welsh culture only a few hours away.

And since London is, well, London, cheap flights leave the airport every minute!

Best Nightclubs In London
Best Nightclubs In London; photo credit: GordonsPictures

Best Nightclubs In London

Far from the stuffy establishment brush that this town is often painted with, this grand city on the Thames by contrast offers a world of gritty and exciting capers to be had!

London’s nightlife is a playground waiting to happen for all and sundry, so if you’re up for one heck of a wild time away, sort your flights to London and get among it!

Clubs, and more clubs

There’ no shortage of clubs in London –  many of which be found in the most unlikely of places, such as former theaters, warehouses and railway arches.

In fact, many of the most famous clubs here started their life out as illegal party venues, over timing growing into some of the world’s most popular (and now legal, obviously) party spots.

There’s a massive music scene in London, needless to say, and the real draw card for party goers is the all-nighters for which London clubs are most renowned.

Locals and tourists alike pack the dance floors early in the evening, partying all night at spots both glaring and secluded.

Fabric

London’s posh club Fabric is located on the former site of a Victorian meat cellar.

This diverse nightclub on Charterhouse Street sets itself apart from many of the others by putting on music rather than the traditional DJs that typify the club scene.

Their eclectic line-ups of talent include new artists as well as established musicians.

The floor fills up early, with the night kicking off talent early evening.

It’s not until late, though, that the real action starts, with the best acts usually coming on around 3:00am!

KoKo

If you’re keen to take in a bit of London’s rich history while partying, you could do worse than to make a stop at KoKo.

This club, located in an old theatre in Camden Town and originally built in 1900, is famous for hosting live bands.

Guests from decades past have included the Sex Pistols, The Eurythmics and Madonna. Need we say more?

The deep red decor and old-theater feel of KoKo add to the throwback ambiance that makes this club great for those feeling slightly nostalgic or wishing to experience a retro setting while being privy to some of the best live music of today.

Pacha

If you’re up for a glamorous adventure while out hitting the pavement, you can’t go past Pacha.

Located behind the industrial Victoria Station, this club oozes glitz and sophistication.

The club’s 1920s building features a stunning stained glass ceiling, and opulence is reflected in its numerous elegant chandeliers – attendees here are expected to match their surroundings by dressing in vogue fashion…so, this is no place for dowdy duds!

Proud Camden

Back in Camden Town, this hard-to-find gem of London’s nightlife is packed to the rafters by locals.

After sundown, this art gallery transforms into club that attracts a crowd of thirsty bohemians!

This 200-year-old building located in Camden Stables Market has been meticulously restored, and you can often see band on the cutting edge of London’s music scene.

Egg

If you’re into partying into the wee hours of Sunday morning, Egg is where it’s at.

Egg, in King’s Cross, is a club that was prepared in anticipation of the smoking ban years in advance, with a gorgeous garden and terrace that will happily host you until the sun comes up.

Indoors, the three-story building features different atmospheres on each floor, with the ground floor giving a much more industrial vibe than its counterpoint – a posh loft bar that might feel more at home to those sporting a velvet jacked!

This dance-music Mecca is at its wildest on Sunday mornings when North Londoners welcome the sunrise over an after-party breakfast.

London is renowned for being one of the best cultural hot spots that sometimes borderlines dingy, but in that very cool, understated manner.

Pick one of the best flights available and get on board for a low-down tour of one of the most fun places to party on the planet.

Go on!

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Free Child Friendly Things to Do in London

London is one of Europe’s most popular cities to visit, and there are many reasons for this; the city offers a variety that few other cities in the world can compete with – best of all, many of the great things to do in London are free!

Personal Finance Tips for Traveling Abroad

To give you an idea for some free things to do in London on your next visit, check out our top picks…and this excellent London Guide Book

Child Friendly Things To Do in London
Child Friendly Things To Do in London

Go to the Museums

In most cities, museums charge hefty entry fees – in London however, all of the major museums are completely free!

The Museum of London is an all-time favorite, and the famous art gallery Tate Modern is also a must with some amazing contemporary art.

Buckingham Palace Changing of the Guard

No trip to London is complete without Buckingham Palace – and when you visit, make sure you do so during the changing of the guards!

Every day at 11.30 am this military tradition begins, a spectacle with music and a great chance to see the interesting outfits the guards wear.

London Street Performers

Walking down the street is an event in itself in London, especially on the square at the Covent Garden Market.

There, street performers entertain huge crowds every afternoon, and many of the performers are well seasoned professionals that are well worth seeing.

Although it’s free to look, if they’re really good a small tip doesn’t hurt.

Hang out in the Parks

London has plenty of green oasis to relax in and rest your feet for a few hours. St. James’s park offers stunning views over Buckingham Palace, Hyde Park and Kensington Gardens are huge green oasis in the middle of the city, and Queen Mary’s Rose Gardens in Regent’s Park is a favorite among many.

A free event in Hyde Park is the well renown “Speaker’s Corner”, a sort of “event” which has been held every Sunday since the right of free assembly was recognized in 1872.

In the Speaker’s Corner people from all walks of life gather to listen to speeches about anything and everything… and to heckle.

The speeches can range from political to sausages to alien invasions, you really have to go there to know what it’s like

With so many free things to do you might want to splurge on some nice and comfortable accommodation.

Some great apartments in the city that are well worth checking out, and keep in mind that a kitchen will also help saving a lot of money rather than eating out every day.

We hope you found these tips useful for your next trip to London…

Child-Friendly Places to Visit While in London
Child-friendly places to visit in London

Child Friendly Places to Visit While in London

The Cartoon Museum

Who says a museum has to be full of paintings of weird people and abstracts we all think we could paint better?

The Cartoon Museum is a serious collection of cartoons, seriously, that date back to the 18th century.

The kids will enjoy seeing them and won’t even realize that they’re getting a history lesson as they learn about how cartoons have developed and become a part of our everyday culture.

There are also many fun events you and the kids can participate in.

Queen’s Ice and Bowl

Kids love ice skating and bowling, though it’s advisable not to do both at the same time. That does sound fun, though, doesn’t it?

Let the kids work off some of that energy for a day of ice skating and bowling all in one place.

There’s also an arcade, cafe, and bar.

Thames River Cruise

One of the best ways to see London is from the river as you cruise past many of the most famous sights like the Tower of London and Canary Wharf.

The kids will think it’s cool floating past Westminster Abbey and Big Ben from atop the open upper deck.

You can take the cruise even when the weather is less than perfect, as the boats offer a lower saloon with a panoramic view.

You and the kids will be wowed by the experience.

The London Bridge Experience

Your kids will think you’re the coolest parent ever when you take them on this tour which has won it’s second Screamie award for “Best Year Round Scare Attraction.”

It might be too intense for kids under ten years old, so be sure your kids aren’t easily traumatized by creepy special effects and people in spooky costumes that you will meet along the way.

The tour starts within the arches of the London Bridge and is a two-part experience.

The second part of the attraction, the London Tombs, will have you face-to-face with the un-dead in a spine-tingling adventure not for the faint of heart.

For kids under eleven, the Guardian Angel Tours offer a guide to accompany them through the Tombs and protect them from anything that may be too frightening.

Gamerbase Piccadilly Circus

You might have to drag the kids out of this place after they get involved in an intense, multi-player game they can play online or with anyone else in the centre.

This state-of-the-art facility has several X-Box 360 and PS3 consoles and PCs that allow for online gaming that include many of the most popular games available such as World of Warcraft and Call of Duty.

Your kids will probably enjoy challenging you to a grueling game where they can annihilate you in public, so be prepared to be humiliated. It’s all in fun, right?

Whether your kids are very young or in that awkward, brooding teenage stage, they’re going to have a hard time complaining when you take them to these fun spots in London.

They might even have to grudgingly admit that their parents are pretty cool as far as parents go, at least for a while.

Get Active with London’s Summer of Sport

Get Active with London’s Summer of Sport

Swim the Serpentine, row the Thames, and touch down at Finsbury Park…

With hopes of British sporting glory cruelly dashed at Wimbledon this week, Team GB will be hoping to make up for it as London’s Olympic summer of sport gets underway.

In true British spirit, it’s not the winning that counts, it’s the taking part, and the nation’s capital is packed with fun sporting activities the whole family can break a sweat to this summer.

Serpentine Swimming Club, W2

If you’re willing to get up early, and we mean early, the Serpentine Swimming Club offers up the briskest way to start your day.

The Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park is open to the club’s open air swimmers before 9.30am each morning, 365 days a year.

Take a dip in the bracing depths and get up to speed for the weekly Saturday morning races.

Water temperatures can get up to a tropical 20˚ in summer, but take a sharp dive come the autumn, and this hardcore swimming group turn their noses up at wet suits, even for their famous Christmas Day race.

If you’re not the competitive type, or you just don’t fancy hauling yourself out of bed for a shockingly cold 6am bath, try the Serpentine Lido or Hampstead Heath ponds, where you’re free to swim outdoors with the ducks all summer between 10am and 6pm, May to September.

Thames Rowing Club, SW15

Cruising the Thames on a tourist-packed tour boat is for chumps.

Put your oar in and see the city’s iconic river in a whole new light with the Thames Rowing Club.

Established in 1860, this historic club offers up competitive rowing to men and women, beginners and professionals alike.

They pride themselves on their past record of transforming beginner rowers into national team winners, with their women’s rowing teams becoming regular Henley champions.

Their clubhouse at Putney, dating back to 1876, is a treasure trove of British rowing memorabilia, and if you don’t want to race competitively, there are Veterans and Casuals groups designed for those who want to take it easy on the river.

Frame, EC2A & W10

A dance school with a difference, Frame has set out to make dance fun, affordable and open to everyone.

Forget the torturous world of the Black Swan, the emphasis here is on getting your body moving in a way that you enjoy.

With two dance and fitness studios, one in Shoreditch, the other at Queen’s Park, classes are designed so you can drop in any time you want to try something new.

Alongside the limb-lengthening yoga, Pilates and ballet, there’s hardcore boot camps, and Saturday workshops designed to target specific areas, lifting bums, slimming hips and working off those bingo wings.

Boost your confidence on the dance floor with their range of quirky dance classes, where you can work up a sweat with 80’s aerobics Jane Fonda-style and master the moves from your favorite music videos in your lunch break.

London Blitz, N4

Formed in 1995, London’s championship-winning American football club welcomes players of all ages, from 7 and up.

With a senior team competing in the BAFA Community League Premiership, and four junior teams too, now’s your chance to score your very own touchdown in Europe’s answer to the Superbowl.

Head to London Blitz team HQ in Finsbury Park to join the training and workshops, and you could be going for gold in the Eurobowl tournament next year.

Accessible London – A Perfect Holiday for People with Disabilities

London has more accessible attractions to visit than any other city in Europe, travelling for a good cause is much more convenient.

Paris may offer grand 18th-century houses containing vast museums crammed with artwork masterpieces, and Rome may offer the ancient ruins of the Forum and Coliseum, but if it’s a hassle-free break with plenty of wheel-chair accessible sites you’re looking for, it’s London that can provide the perfect city break.

London offers tourists with reduced mobility so much to do that you could easily plan a week’s break in London and still be left with plenty to return for.

Accessible London Choose your accommodation

London is a big city with a great variety of neighborhoods.

A little bit of research will help ensure you select a suitable hotel for your needs.

There are an ever increasing number of hotels that are especially adapted for people with a range disabilities.

Take your time and choose to stay close to the tourist attractions you wish to see.

Make sure there are some easily accessible fine restaurants nearby.

Choose your London attractions

There’s so much on offer it’s important to be realistic in your planning.

Trying to cram the British Museum, Tate Modern, St Paul’s Cathedral, Trafalgar Square and the National Portrait Gallery into one day will not help you make the most of them.

The British Museum, for instance, could easily merit a whole day, or even two half-days.

The collection is vast, and it contains iconic objects from all over the world, such as the Rosetta Stone, which was instrumental in helping Egyptologists understand ancient hieroglyphs.

The British Museum building itself is stunning, and what’s more, it’s all easily accessible, with elevators between floors.

Vary your London sightseeing

Some districts are perfect for exploring at leisure, without the need to use public transport…and they are free child friendly things to do in London as well.

Westminster is one of these, with attractions such as Big Ben, Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey and the Cabinet War Rooms all close by one another.

One leisurely way to see London is to take a boat tour on the river Thames.

The sights of London float past you as you drift down the river enjoying a warming drink or something stronger.

For something a little more exciting, the London Eye offers views of London from a big wheel located on the Thames.

For the ultimate rush, however, you can avail yourself of one of the many pleasure flights that are available.

Helicopter flights over London let you see the big picture and offer an experience you’ll remember for a long time.

Reach for the stars

If you enjoyed cruising through the sky over London, why not mingle with the stars in London’s West End?

You should always check theater accessibility before booking, as many of the buildings are old and offer limited access.

No stay in London is truly complete without seeing a musical or a play.

Check out the listings and contact numbers for theaters and enjoy the show.

Enjoying London

With just a little planning, your visit to London can include so many different experiences, and this year you may even catch an outdoor Olympic event in the streets of the city.

We hope you find this guide to London useful, and if you have any further tips leave them in the comments below!

Be Savvy About When You Fly in UK

Fly in UK – Our airports are getting busier and busier and so are our roads.

This can make your journey to the airport a bit like running the gauntlet when you are trying to make your way to your flights for your holiday or business trip.

If you have flown from one of the many UK city airports before then you will no doubt have felt the agony of being stuck in a traffic jam whilst you are trying to get to the airport to meet your plane.

The Highway VS Railway

The hit and miss nature of the M25 and the current congestion on the roads means that your journey to the airport can be very stressful and can leave you thinking about whether or not it would be wiser to get the train.

If you do get the train then you will also have to contend with potential delays on the train lines, as well as having to stick to the train timetables.

If you are flying as a family then individual train tickets can also all add up.

Travel Off-Peak Hour

One possible solution would be to still drive but to book a flight time that was not in line with the major travel times and rush hour traffic on the roads infrastructure.

This would of course mean that you would have to travel either late at night or very early in the morning, but it might be worth it if it means that you are almost guaranteed a clear run to the airport.

If you do drive at an unsociable hour then you will be pleased to know that the airport car parks that surround most of the UK airports are open 24 hours a day and if you need to make your way to the airport straight away then they will usually offer you a free shuttle bus that will take you straight to the airport terminal.

Stay in an Airport Hotel

Another way that you could avoid traffic chaos would be to travel at off-peak times on the roads and stay overnight at an airport hotel, as this will mean that you will be able to take your time driving and not have to worry about getting stuck in traffic as you will have plenty of time to get to your flight.

You will wake up the next morning refreshed and very close to the airport and you will then be able to drive to the airport car park and then get the shuttle bus to your check-in desk.

You will be able to find Airport Parking at all of the UK airports and a quick search on line will bring up Heathrow Parking, Gatwick Parking and Liverpool Airport Parking.

Cumbria UK for a Proper British Holiday

There is so much more to England than just London. The city is fun with many events, happenings, museums and shops.

But if you want to experience the true spirit of England, I suggest you go elsewhere.

To Cumbria, for example, this northern rural county is one of England’s most popular tourist destination, and for a good reason.

From mountains to the coast, forest to the towns, there are so many things to explore:

The Lake District

With its mountainous landscape with fells, lakes and abundance of flowers, there is no doubt that most of the 15.8 million visitors are drawn to Cumbria for its natural beauty.

One of the most popular places to visit is the Lake District and Lake District National park, which is one of England’s most outstanding areas of natural beauty.

The scenic hills and lakes makes it a perfect place for hiking, and there are many famous hikes like the ”coast to coast” walk and Pennine Way.

While there are many long walks lasting for days, most people prefer to base themselves somewhere and go for day walks in the Lake District.

One of the best towns to base yourself in Lake District is Grasmere and Keswick.

Keswick

While the Lake District often is the main reason people visit Cumbria, many of the little towns pride on long history and quaint architecture, and definitely deserve a visit as well.

Keswick is the northern hub of Lake District National Park, and a favorite base for the more serious walkers and climbers.

Many artists and photographers also like to base themselves here because of the beautiful lake and mountain scenery.

The great thing about this area is that you don’t have to take exhaustively long walks to see some natural beauty that Lake District is so famous for.

Many walks can be done starting from the town, some just a ten minute stroll away, and unlike many other hiking areas in the UK you don’t need your own car, there are many buses to use.

The streets of Keswick are very quaint, and the Saturday market with a history dating back several hundred years, is also worth a visit.

After a long day of walking and exploring the area, reside in one of the Keswick cottages and rest your feet before heading out to the local pub for some traditional pub grub.

Grasmere

Grasmere is Cumbria’s most popular village, with most of its buildings dating back to 19th or early 20th century, but the farms around the village are much older than that.

There is also a church, St Oswald’s church, which dates back as far as th 13th century, built in traditional Lakeland style with rendering on the walls.

The church is the most popular tourist attraction, and people also like to visit the graveyard where Wordsworth, the most famous writer and poet in the Lakelands rests.

Grasmere is also a popular place for its many Grasmere cottages, B&B’s and hotels which makes this town a good place to base yourself in when exploring the Lakelands.

How To Spend Your Holiday In Northumberland

Northumberland is one of the top destinations in the UK and offers a lot of things to see and do for tourists.

Holiday In Northumberland

Below are some great things to do in Northumberland:

Explore the Coast, Nature & the Castles

Northumberland offers a wide range of attractions and activities, but taking a walk along one of the beaches is essential.

There are many very nice beaches close to the towns where people enjoy spending some time on.

As Northumberland is the driest county in the country there are often opportunities to relax by the beaches, go swimming, windsurfing, and even go horse back riding on 27 miles of shoreline!

There is plenty of wildlife and you can take boat trips to sea hundreds of grey seals basking on the rocks.

Northumbria coast and country is also famous for its bird watching, and is sometimes referred to as ”a birder’s paradise”.

There are also quite a few castles in the area, all with their own charm and perfect picnic destinations.

A beautiful castle ruin is Lindsfarne Priority on Holy Island, which are full of history from the Viking invasions and the monks who lived on the island, and you can stroll around the Monastic buildings where they used to live.

Just remember that the crossing to the island floods at high tide, so check the tide times before you go so you don’t get stuck over there!

One of the most famous castles however, is Alnwick Castle.

It’s one of the largest inhabited castles in England, and has dominated the town since medieval times.

It’s been featured in the Harry Potter movie, but the main reason why people visit is the Alnwick garden, which is somewhat of a floral wonderland.

To visit this place you don’t need to pack a picnic as the tree house restaurant (which is actually in the tree house) offers some really good food.

The garden is one of the best in the country offering a lot of things to see and do. You can visit the ”poisonous garden”, paddle in the rills, visit the serpent garden, a labyrinth etc.

Finally, to finish the holiday with some history, a visit to Northumberland wouldn’t be complete without checking out Hadrian’s Wall.

It was built by the Romans to protect their colony in England from the Scottish tribes.

The wall is 87 miles long, and today you can see the remains of some forts and ruins of bath houses and temples, and there are some great museums in the area, like Vindolanda.

Having the Proper British Experience

To really make the most out of your holiday and experience English culture to the fullest would be to stay in one of the traditional Northumberland cottages and always make time for some afternoon tea and traditional Brittish cuisine.

Pinnacles in Seahouses offers some of the best traditional fish and chips in the county, so that would be a perfect place to start!

The best place for your afternoon tea is at Earl Grey Tearoom at Howick Gardens, a traditional tea room which makes you feel like you’ve stepped back in time!

Fun Ways to Enjoy Wales

Wales is a country rich in natural beauty and history, with a culture different from the rest of UK and proud inhabitants.

There are many reasons to visit Wales, but to give you an idea of what the country has to offer, here are a few popular and fun things to do on a visit to Wales.

Fun Ways To Enjoy Wales

Walking

What attracts tourists to Wales is the beautiful nature, and for those who have been there that’s often the first thing that comes to mind when they think of Wales.

To protect this beautiful environment, certain parts of Wales have been designated ”National Parks” or ”Areas Of Outstanding Natural Beauty”.

These places are excellent for walking and a great way to appreciate the unspoiled beauty of Wales.

Walking is a big thing in Wales, and they even have several Walking festivals in different parts of the country every year.

With 800 km of National trails, there are many walks to choose from, and to make it easier for you there are heaps of luggage transfer companies and tour operators offering guided tours.

You can walk for miles in rural landscape, arrive by lunch time at a traditional Welsh pub and later in the evening relax by the fireplace in one of the holiday cottages in Wales and rest your feet after a long days walking.

Quirky Towns

There are many fun towns in Wales to visit for different reasons.

One very small town, has made a big name of itself: Lanwrtyd Wells – it’s the smallest town in UK, but is famous for other things than merely the size of it.

Some people visit this little place to participate in one of the most unusual events in the world:

Bog snorkeling… It’s a sport where competitors complete two lengths of a 60-yard water-filled trench cut through a peat bog.

The competitors must wear snorkel and flippers and complete the course without using conventional swim strokes!

Another quirky town is the ”book town”, Hay on Wye, famous for its abundance of book stores and second hand book shops.

Take a Food Trail & Try All the Tasty Welsh Food

The Welsh cuisine is known for its meat and cheese, and to get the best of the Welsh food there are many so called ”food trails” you can seek out.

Some of the highlights on a food trail includes visiting Derimon Smokery.

Try the smoked cheddar cheese and their Welsh Oak Smoked Anglesey Wild Seabass Fillets – they’re delicious.

Close by you can find a great place for dessert; Popty’r Bryn. There you can try the traditional Bara Brith (a type of fruit cake).

It is of course possible to sample the Welsh cuisine in the comfort of your ”own” home, so if you stay in cottages in Wales you will be able to try cooking some Welsh food in the kitchen, or you can take the easy way out and buy some ”take away” food from the local restaurant and some Snowdonia Ale or local wine.

Peak District Film Location Guide

Peak District has been attracting tourists for centuries for its captivating natural beauty and royal buildings.

It’s one of the most diverse landscapes that England has to offer, from the Dark peak with its moorland to the White Peak with its limestone hills.

It’s not surprising that the Peak District National park is Britain’s first created National Park.

Many people escape the cities to the Peak District cottages to relax, soak up the surrounding nature and fresh air, and exploring the area.

A fun twist to your itinerary is to follow a movie-location map and visit places where famous movies have been filmed, and trust us, there are many of them.

The beautiful nature and stunning royal buildings have made the Peak District a very popular place for costume films.

Peak District Film Location Guide

Here are the top movies filmed in the Peak District and locations to check out.

Pride and Prejudice

The film locations to Pride and Prejudice are actually very accurate to the original novel, set mainly in the Peak District in the counties of Derbyshire and Lincolnshire.

Chatsworth in Derbyshire was used as Darcy’s family home, and where Elisabeth unexpectedly met Darcy.

Stanage Edge is a very beautiful spot where Elisabeth stands on the peak with an incredible view from the grit stone formation.

The spot is very famous for rock climbing. 

Lyme Park is one of the most famous places to visit for people on Peak District holidays, which was the location where a very wet Darcy emerged from the lake.

Harry Potter

The Malfoy Manor in ”Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows” was the beautiful Hardwick Hall, and they are very proud of it.

So much so, that if you visit Hardwick Hall today you will find a ”Chamber of Magic” where kids can try out Wizard wands and wizard capes, pretending to be part of the movie Harry Potter and his world.

Various Movies – Haddon Hall

Haddon Hall is perhaps the most popular film locations of them all.

Both Pride and Prejudice, Jane Eyre, The Other Boleyn Girl and Elizabeth have used the place as a filming location – and rightly so.

It is very well preserved, with a great collection of English, French and Flemish tapestries, and a kitchen which has basically remained unchanged for centuries.

You get a good insight into what life was like here, both for the workers as well as the duke and his family.

Birmingham Music Scene Cultural Olympiad

Musical extravaganzas to look forward to in Birmingham as part of the Cultural Olympiad

Birmingham Music Scene Cultural Olympiad
Birmingham Music Scene Cultural Olympiad

From the Brum Beat scene of the 60s giving us The Spencer Davis Group, The Move and The Moody Blues, through the thriving 80s reggae scene of Steel Pulse and UB40, the birth of heavy metal thanks to Black Sabbath and Judas Priest, and The Streets, Broadcast and Felt for good measure, Birmingham is a city with vibrant musical roots.

The UK’s second largest city celebrates those roots this summer with a range of exciting musical events taking place as part of the UK’s Cultural Olympiad.

The London Festival got underway this month as a culmination and celebration of the Cultural Olympiad, designed to showcase the cultural talents of the host and visiting nations, and Birmingham plays a major part.

Offering up some of the most spectacular musical offerings in the festival program, including one hugely ambitious world premiere, here are some of the highlights taking place in and around the city over the coming months.

The unabashed highlight of the festival takes place from 22nd August at the Argyle Works on Great Barr Street.

Here the Birmingham Opera Company will stage Karlheinz Stockhausen’s monumental opera, Mittwoch aus Licht – complete with helicopters.

The notoriously challenging five-hour epic has six parts, which have never before been staged together.

In the first ever realization of Stockhausen’s ultimate musical vision, the result promises to be truly spectacular.

Featuring two full choirs, octophonic sound, leading musicians, Radio 1 DJ Nihal, flying solo instrumentalists and requiring two separate performance halls, the opera culminates in a string quartet performing in separate helicopters, with the whirring blades intended to become part of the music.

The London 2012 Festival promised to be a once-in-a-lifetime festival, packed with once-in-a-lifetime performances, and if this isn’t one of them, I’ll eat my hat.

Another aim of the festival is to celebrate the arts and culture of all 204 Olympic and Paralympic nations.

With 25,000 artists from all 204 countries performing over the course of seven weeks, Birmingham welcomes New York bhangra group Red Baraat to the UK for the first time.

This brassy nine-piece fuse together jazz, funk, Latin and go-go, with a heavy dose of North Indian bhangra.

Fresh from wowing the crowds stateside at the TED Conference in California, NY’s Lincoln Center, the Chicago World Music Festival and the prestigious Montreal Jazz Festival to boot, a good time is guaranteed.

Hot-foot it down to Birmingham Town Hall for this free gig on 7th September.

From 7th to 9th September, head for Birmingham Town Hall to sample even more of the talented world music artists flocking to our shores for the festival.

Mandala is set to be an uplifting event, blending South Asian dance, music and large-scale 3D projections.

Live contemporary and classical dance takes place outside the town hall, with vibrant 3D projections onto the hall and Nottingham Council House.

With live music from Talvin Singh, featuring the music of the legendary Anoushka Shankar and Zakir Hussain, alongside performances by Devika Rao and Aakash Odedra, there are three nights of non-stop dancing in the streets to look forward to.

Spend the Day in Liverpool UK

Who has been to Liverpool, knows that there is no other place like it.

Liverpool is famous for its Middle Age’s architecture, clean and narrow streets, countless pubs, one of the best football clubs and the first and perhaps most famous rock band of all time – “The Beatles”.

There is plenty of things to keep you busy for several days, but if you only have one day you better make the most of it.

Here is a quick guide to where to go and what to do when you have one day to spend in Liverpool.

Albert Dock

One of the biggest attractions of the city is “Albert Dock”, a UNESCO World heritage spot that was triumphantly opened by Prince Albert more than 150 years ago.

One of the most important ship factories in the past has gathered the most racy attractions of the city.

The area has wonderful and interesting museums such as Tate Modern Art gallery and Merseyside Maritime Museum that will surely leave a lasting impression on any visitor.

Just a few minutes from the avenue you will find famous Royal Liver Buildings with a legendary Liver bird, which is a main symbol of the city.

Don’t forget to visit Albert Dock’s pubs – O’Neils is a great pub that we would recommend, but there are plenty of other options as well.

The Beatles Tour

Surely, a trip to Liverpool cannot be complete without exploring the rock & roll spirit and history of Liverpool.

The best way to get to visit all the places in a short time is to join a sightseeing tour around the most famous Beatles spots in the city.

On the tour you will visit Cavern district with The Cavern Club and the most popular pub in the city: The Grapes, famous for having hosted The Beatles for their first gig.

Walking the streets you will find that many of them were the inspiration for The Beatles songs, such as Penny Lane and Strawberry Fields.

The tour will take you to the childhood homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney, which are now properties of a national trust, and will give you a glimpse into Lennon and McCartney’s humble beginnings.

But while they’ve had a huge impact on the city, they are not the only ones who made their footprint in Liverpool.

There are numerous places dedicated to Queen and Freddy Mercury, including a 15ft tall statue in the city center.

The Anfield Stadium

Anfield Stadium Day In Liverpool UK

Apart from famous musicians, Liverpool is also famous for its football team, Liverpool FC, which is considered to be one of the best in Europe.

Liverpool FC is a 5 times champion of the UEFA Champion League and 18 times winners of the Championship of England.

Even if you have only a day in this fabulous city and there is no game, you can always visit the glorifying Liverpool stadium – Anfield.

Visiting Anfield will give you a wonderful opportunity to see the stadium from the inside and come to the holy of holies – Liverpool’s changing rooms.

This is more than enough to keep you busy for a day, and if you ever choose to come back there is much more to explore!

Tour De France: Why You Should Visit Yorkshire in July

In July, Yorkshire is set to host the ‘Grand Depart’, the opening stages of the lauded Tour De France, the world’s largest annual sporting event.

The route will start in Leeds, and will take riders twice through the Yorkshire Dales, passing through Harrogate, York, Huddersfield and Sheffield as it goes.

The tour is one of the biggest events in the sporting calendar, drawing in a worldwide television audience of 3.5 billion people.

The race is broadcast in 188 countries and receives 4700 hours of television coverage.

In a typical year, the route will be lined with 12 million spectators.

On the 5th July the opening stage of the Tour will make its way into Harrogate & District through the market town of Masham after an exhilarating route through the Yorkshire Dales.

The riders will start to jockey for prime position as they pass through Ripon, arranging their lead-out riders along the A61 as they approach the finish line.

By Ripley the main sprint teams will be jostling for the front of the peloton, with the lead-out riders doing their best to give their sprinter the greatest chance of success before racing into Harrogate.

The race finish will be unique with a short climb to the Flamme Rouge, after which the riders will hurtle down Ripon Rd, past the Royal Hall and Royal Baths, before climbing once again before a dramatic make-or-break sprint finish by the Stray, after which the first Yellow Jersey will be awarded.

There is every chance that first jersey will be placed on the shoulders of Mark Cavendish, former World Champion, who’s mother is from Harrogate and has said of the Harrogate finish “If I had to choose one stage of the 21 in the Tour, that’s got to be it”.

On Sunday the 6th July the Tour will leave York and make its way through Knaresborough, then down the historic High Street in Starbeck before cutting through High Harrogate and then leaving the district with a dramatic climb on the A59 through Blubberhouses to Kex Gill.

Knaresborough and Harrogate will see the first breakaways as the riders begin the fight for the King of the Mountains title.

Each town will offer great viewing opportunities for spectators, as well as a warm Yorkshire welcome to visitors from around the world. 

But the race itself will be just one part of a carnival of events across the district to celebrate this amazing event.

Over the coming months Masham, Ripon, Harrogate and Knaresborough will release the details of their Grand Depart events; so keep checking back to Visit Harrogate’s Tour de France page for more details of this once in a life time spectacle.

Whether travelling from other parts of the UK, or flying in via our nearby aiport, Harrogate and its surrounding Market Towns will give you the best Tour de France experience you could have!

The Tour De France will plunge Yorkshire onto the world stage for the opening of the world’s foremost bike race.

If you can’t wait to cheer the riders along, then get right into the heart of the action and join the greatest county in England in celebrating the greatest of events.

July Is the Perfect Time to Visit Yorkshire

With ‘Le Tour’ fever gripping Yorkshire, there couldn’t be a better time to visit.

Here is a sample of what’s on offer.

Tour De France Yorkshire

In Leeds

On the 4th of July, the Dare 2b Festival of  Cycling will launch at Harewood House in Yorkshire, the official starting location of this year’s Tour De France.

Spanning two days, it will offer a variety of events to amuse the whole family, including specially organized led-rides.

By coordinating with Yorkshire Police, the festival’s sponsors have planned routes to take participants to the premier spots.

On arriving at their viewing points in and around the Yorkshire Dales, cyclists can kick back and unwind at roadside hubs, congregating to watch the race as it goes by.

Get yourself kitted out by sponsors Dare 2b and get in on the action.

In York

York plans to celebrate this epic event in style. The Tour De France in York is envisioned as the biggest celebration Yorkshire has ever seen, offering huge screens to view the race, themed campsites, street performers, live music, great food, a supreme shopping experience and the largest free urban festival in England.

In Harrogate

Harrogate and District is in the unique position of seeing the peloton twice over the Grand Depart weekend.

The location will offer great viewing opportunities on both days, and a warm Yorkshire welcome is guaranteed.

The race itself will be just one facet of a carnival of events to celebrate ‘Le Tour’.

The city’s offerings promise to be a once in a lifetime spectacle.

In Sheffield

Sheffield has organised a series of hospitality packages, offering visitors preferential viewing of the finish line.

Included in the program are a warm greeting by a Tour hostess, a welcome drink, Yorkshire buffet lunches with wine, beer and soft drinks, a behind the scenes tour of the technical zone and a Tour De France gift.

In July the eyes of the world will be on the Harrogate & District for the Yorkshire Grand Depart, the opening stages of the Tour de France.  Harrogate & District is in the unique position of seeing the peloton on both days over the Grand Depart Weekend!

In July the eyes of the world will be on the Harrogate & District for the Yorkshire Grand Depart, the opening stages of the Tour de France.

Harrogate & District is in the unique position of seeing the peloton on both days over the Grand Depart Weekend!

Explore our Tour de France pages for all there is to know…

Leeds Weekend Shopping Guide

Yorkshire’s top destination for pubbing, clubbing, dining and shopping, Leeds has cast off its industrial cocoon and emerged a shiny, new cultural haven.

You’ll find cool music venues, arts spaces, delis and eateries all over, especially in the hip and student Headingley, but we’re here to get serious about shopping.

Leeds Weekend Shopping Guide

Leeds ain’t been dubbed the Knightsbridge of the North for nothing.

This city is home to more designer boutiques than even a seasoned WAG could handle.

The first city outside of London to be deemed worthy of a Harvey Nichols store, since the uber-department store moved in, the arcades of the city’s gorgeous Victorian Quarter have been transformed into a home away from home for the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry.

With five indoor shopping centers and 4.3 million square feet of retail space packed into five miles of shopping streets, you might want to swap those heels for flats as we take you on this shop-til-you-drop tour of the city.

Victoria Quarter

If you’re serious about shopping, and aren’t afraid to flash that credit card, the Victoria Quarter is the destination for you.

With a mix of designer fashion, beauty and lifestyle stores contained within the jaw dropping architecture of the quarter’s ornate arcades, you’ll find over seventy stores in all.

Alongside the aforementioned Harvey Nic’s, Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry, there’s Karen Millen, Jo Malone, Reiss, Whistles, Diesel, Space NK, Paul Smith, Kurt Geiger, Kiehls, Louis Vuitton, French Connection and more.

The Corn Exchange

Leeds’ self-proclaimed Home of Boutique Shopping, The Corn Exchange is a unique Grade I listed building, and it’s fitting that the shops that it houses are unique too.

Home to endless delicious cafes, as well as exhibition space and music events, it’s also one of the only corn exchanges in the country that still operates as intended – as a center for trade.

This is the place to head for independent boutiques like Lou Lou Puchalka the milliner, silver jeweler Outrage, and vintage/reworked/handmade clothier Mad Elizabeth.

Kirkgate Market

The largest covered market in Europe, and home to over 800 regular traders, Kirkgate Market is a real Leeds institution.

Dating back to 1822, the Edwardian building which houses the market is worth a visit in itself.

A great place for a bit of bargain hunting, you’ll find clothing, arts and crafts, DIY goods, fishmongers, bakers, butchers, world foods, florists – anything and everything you could ask for from a local market and more.

The Bowery

Head into Headingley and you’ll find an area buzzing with bars, vintage stores and charity shops, with a cool vibe thanks to the high student population.

The Bowery on Otley Road is a retail, education and arts space that serves up delicious coffees and treats in its coffee bar, regular creative workshops on everything from digital photography to made to measure blinds, and a fabulous independent shop.

Designed to showcase the work of emerging artists and designers, many of whom have taken part in and taught workshops here, you’ll find art work, ceramics, jewelry, cards, textiles and more – the perfect place to pick up unique gifts that you won’t find anywhere else.

How to Spend Your Holidays in Devon

How to spend your holidays in Devon – Devon has long been regarded as one of the top holiday destinations in Britain – here are just a few of the many wonderful attractions that this beautiful coastal county has to offer.

Oh we do like to be beside the seaside!

There’s no doubt that many people flock to Devon in the spring and summer months for the sun, sea and sand, and with the stunning Atlantic ocean on one side and the calmer and more sheltered waters of the English channel, there’s no doubting Devon has its fair share of all ingredients listed!

The North coast of Devon really does have everything.

Head to any area of the north coast and you will see wet suit clad surfers heading to the shores.

Ready to catch the superb waves generated by thousands of miles of swell from across the Atlantic.

The strength of the waves over hundreds of thousands of years means that the sand in this part of the world is fine to the point of being almost perfect.

Thankfully, despite the full force of the Atlantic hitting many beaches, there are plenty of sheltered coves on the north coast if you don’t fancy ‘Hanging ten’!

Hele Bay in particular is a lovely family beach. Located just to the east of Ilfracombe, it has been awarded the blue flag for its outstanding waters.

Swimming is considered safe here, and there are plenty of rock pools to get stuck into at low tide.

Head Inland

Devon is known as a coastal county, and most people make the assumption that holidaying here should be all about the sea.

The great thing about Devon is that there is so much more to it than the water that surrounds it.

Head inland and you will come across the mighty Dartmoor National Park.

Spanning an incredible 368 square miles, Dartmoor is one of the largest National parks in the country.

For anyone who embraces the great outdoors, it is a place that has to be seen to be believed.

The tors – large hills with rocky outcrops – punctuate the horizon in every direction.

It truly is a unique place to be.

Whether you love to get your teeth into a proper hike over miles and miles of rugged terrain, or you just want to take in nature at its best, Dartmoor will be right up your street.

Beautiful Buildings

Devon is full of wonderful  places to visit, and there is some truly stunning architecture within the county.

A trip top Exeter is well worth it from any part of Devon, if only to see the incredibly beautiful Exeter Cathedral – a stunning and now unusual example of decorated Gothic architecture.

It’s well known for its two Norman Towers, and its collection of historical documents, including the Exon Doomsday book.

Devilishly Devonish foods!

Whilst Devon is very well catered for in many culinary ways, we have to talk about the wonderful Devonshire cream teas, which are of course famous all over the world.

The Fingle Bridge Inn in Drewsteignton is reputed to offer the best cream tea in the whole of the county, but we don’t think the venue is that critical.

Find yourself a nice pub in any of the hundreds of rural pubs in Devon, and you are likely to find a great cream tea.

Once you’re looking across the rugged beauty of this magnificent county, it would be hard not to enjoy a simple scone, some tasty Strawberry Jam and some locally churned clotted cream!

Where to stay & how to stay

When it comes to finding accommodation, Devon comes up trumps.

There are hundreds of options available to you – there are some amazing campsites in Woolacombe, and the entire North Devon coast is littered with lovely campsites that will suit everyone, regardless of interests or budgets.

Devon is so hard to beat in so many different ways.

With beautiful coastlines, incredible rural sights, great food, warm weather and a welcome as friendly as you’ll encounter anywhere, it’s hard to think of a reason why you wouldn’t visit while travelling for a good cause!

Cotswold Way Walking Trip
Plan your visit: Important Visitor Information

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Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando – Which Is Better?

Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando

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Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando – There are many things to take into consideration when choosing a Disney vacation.

Undoubtedly, the largest decision to make is which Disney resort park you will choose as your travel destination.

Visiting a Disney theme park or resort is a dream of many children and even some grown-ups all around the world.

For most people, it is a once in a lifetime experience, but for others, it is a regular family recreational activity.

Choosing a Disney resort can be quite a challenge since every resort has its own features.

Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando

Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando

Two of the most well-known Disney resorts are Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando – Which Is Better?

In this Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando comparative review, we seek to discover which of these two Disney resorts is better.

Disneyland Paris Features

Wondering what the most visited theme park in Europe is?

It’s Disneyland Paris.

Each year, the resort complex entertains more than 14 million visitors.

It is comprised of 2 theme parks, 6 associated hotels, 7 resort hotels, an entertainment district, a golf course, a railway system, and a new town called Val d’Europe.

The land area of this resort covers around 4,800 acres.

Disneyland Park

This is the first park in the complex which opened with the resort on April 12, 1992.

It is the second Disney park built outside America.

Attractions Around Disneyland

This theme park has 45 different attractions.

Each as its own height and safety requirements.

Three of its most famous rides and attractions are It’s a Small World, Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast, and the Pirates of the Caribbean.

It’s a Small World caters to young children.

It takes the kids and their parents on a boat ride that follows the river’s flow around the attraction.

As visitors enjoy the ride, they would meet multicultural dolls who sing the song “It’s a Small World”.

On the other hand, there’s also Buzz Lightyear Laser Blast. In this attraction, the visitor sits in a star cruiser and shoots laser beams at targets.

Lastly, the Pirates of the Caribbean ride caters to older children and teens.

Even adult Pirate fans like this ride.

The unique attraction that sets this resort apart from the other Disney parks is the Le Chateau de la Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty’s Castle).

This attraction has been recognized by critics as one of the most beautiful Disney castles ever built.

Disneyland Entertainment

This park features 4 different shows and parades with the Walt Disney casts.

For kids who love action and adventure, the Jedi Training Academy is a fun place to learn and to be entertained.

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Disneyland Dining

There are 29 restaurants inside this park.

Each has its own specialty.

If you are looking for American food on the go, you can eat at Au Chalet de la Marionette.

They offer burgers, cheeseburgers, and chicken.

Other fast food shops include the Cable Car Bake shop, Café Hyperion, and Casey’s Corner.

If you like pasta, pizza and other Italian food, you can dine in Buzz Lightyear’s Pizza Planet Restaurant.

If you are looking for a more formal and unique dining experience, you can dine in the Blue Lagoon Restaurant, which offers exotic food and seafood.

You can also try Auberge de Cendrillon, which offers authentic French cuisine.

Walt Disney Studios Park

This is the second theme park in the resort.

This is quite smaller and has fewer attractions and ride.

Walt Disney Studios Park Attractions

This park has 14 attractions.

If you are looking for a thrilling ride, you should try the RC Racer.

If you have little children, you can try the Ratatouille: The Adventure.

Walt Disney Studios Park Entertainment

This park has 7 different entertainment sections.

For parents with very young kids, you can watch the Disney Junior Live on Stage.

For older audience, you can watch Stitch Live!

And Meet Spider-man.

You can also watch the parades and other stage shows.

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Walt Disney Studios Park Dining

This park only has five restaurants which are mostly food on the go.

Walt Disney Studios Park Hotels

There are several hotels inside this resort.

However, these hotels are very expensive.

During the peak season, the hotel rates here can increase up to $1,200 a night.

If you do not want to spend that much on accommodations, you can book at hotels outside the resort.

Some hotels near the resort provide travel services from the hotel to the resort.

Walt Disney Studios Park Shops

There are a total of 43 shops in the two parks.

You can buy toys, costumes, and souvenirs in these shops.

You can also find gift items there.

Walt Disney Studios Park Disney Village

If you want a wider range of shopping options, you can go to this place.

It has 10 shops which offer apparel, accessories, costumes, art, and other collectibles.

Walt Disney Studios Park Ticket Prices

You can either buy a one-park ticket or two-park ticket.

If you want to enjoy the Disney Magic to the fullest, it is better for you to buy the two-park tickets.

Also, it is better to buy a ticket that is valid for two days or more.

Two-park tickets that are valid for two days are worth £115.00 for adults and £104.00 for children.

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Best Data Plan WiFi Hotspot Devices for Travel

Disney World Orlando Features

Walt Disney World Resort, also known as Disney World Orlando, is an entertainment complex in Florida and is the flagship of the worldwide Disney parks and resorts.

This huge complex covers 27,258 acres.

The resort is home to 4 theme parks, 2 water parks, 4 golf courses, 2 themed miniature golf courses, 27 themed resort hotels, 9 non-Disney hotels, one camping resort, and one shopping district.

Major Disney World attractions

Magic Kingdom Park

This park is divided into 6 magical places, which are the Adventureland, Frontierland, Fantasyland, Liberty Square, Tommorowland, and the Main Street U.S.A. area.

This park has 41 attractions and rides which includes the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin and the Cinderella Castle.

This park also has 31 restaurants and different entertainment facilities.

Epcot

This park is home to 34 attractions which include galleries and interactive play areas.

It also has more than 70 restaurants which offer different cuisines.

This place is best for older children and tweens.

Disney’s Hollywood Studios

This theme park only has 10 attractions which mainly focus on different Disney films.

These attractions include set adventures and 3D movie experience which are perfect for both teens and adults.

This park is also home to 27 restaurants.

Disney’s Animal Kingdom Theme Park

If you and your kids are animal lovers, you would definitely enjoy this park.

It has 28 attractions which allow you to watch and mingle with animals.

It even has dinosaur and fossil attractions.

This park also offers different food options with its 22 restaurants.

Disney’s Typhoon Lagoon Water Park

If you are ready for a water adventure, you should come to this park.

It has 11 water attractions which include rides and pools.

This park also has 6 restaurants which all offers American food.

Disney Blizzard Beach Water Park

If you want to enjoy the beautiful Florida beach with your friends, this park would add a thrill to your beach hangout.

It is home to 11 attractions which includes water rides and interactive activities.

Downtown Disney Area

Here you can buy souvenirs, gift items, apparels, and accessories especially in the marketplace.

After you shop, you can choose to dine in any of its 41 restaurants.

Your kids can also play at the Marketplace carousel.

Best Apps to Keep You Occupied on Holiday

Disney World options

To maximize your Disney World adventure, you can choose to buy a park-hopper ticket which would allow you to visit all of the four theme parks in this resort.

If you buy in advance and get a one-day park-hopper ticket, you would only pay $64.

If you want to add water park adventures, you would pay $90 for a ticket.

Planning a long trip?

Walt Disney World in Orlando may be a better option, simply because there are far more rides and attractions, as well as more accommodation options, from nice hotels inside the park to big villas just a few minutes drive away.

Each location has its pros and cons, but depending on your travel needs, one may be a better option than the other.

There are also many villas you can choose to stay in if you want a quieter place away from the resort during your trip.

Location and Climate

Proximity to your home may be a large factor as far as travel costs go, but there are other things to consider when thinking about location. Each park differs in climate and weather.

One of the pros to Walt Disney World’s Orlando location is that it has warm weather all year round, although summer days can get to be quite hot.

Disneyland Paris’s weather is milder, but can get quite cold in the winter.

Certain rides at Disneyland Paris may be closed if it is snowing.

Size One of the most major differences between Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World is their size.

The Orlando location is spread across over 20,000 acres of land, while the Paris location is only about one tenth of the size.

Walt Disney World has 23 resort hotels, two water parks, and four theme parks, while Disneyland Paris has only seven hotels and two theme parks.

Rides and Entertainment at Disneyland

Although there are significantly fewer rides and attractions at Disneyland Paris, the parks do share some of the same popular attractions, including Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, Buzz Lightyear’s Space Ranger Spin, Haunted Mansion, It’s a Small World, Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster, Peter Pan’s Flight, Pirates of the Caribbean, Star Tours, and Space Mountain.

Skyroam Solis
SkyRoam

Cost of Disneyland

One of the cons of Disneyland Paris is that generally it will be much more costly as far as park tickets, food and dining, and hotels go.

Most dining options and souvenirs are much cheaper in Florida.

There are many more hotels surrounding the Orlando location, so it may be easier to shop around for a better hotel price if you are traveling to Walt Disney World.

When deciding between Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World, the length of your trip, your budget, and entertainment preferences will be the most important deciding factors that will have an impact on your choice.

Verdict of Disneyland Paris vs Walt Disney World Orlando

Disneyland Paris has been made out of Disney’s desire to build a resort outside U.S.A. that is similar to the original Disney resort in Orlando, Florida.

So in comparing Disneyland Paris and Walt Disney World Orlando, we are actually comparing a new one from the original.

When it comes to theme park attractions and rides, Disney World Orlando offers more options.

On the other hand, Disney Paris offers unique attractions and a chance to mingle with people of different cultures.

In conclusion, we can say that in the Disneyland Paris versus Walt Disney World Orlando battle, the original, Disney World Orlando wins.

With its numerous theme park attractions, restaurants and other amenities, Disney World Orlando is still the best Disney Resort in the World.

That is the reason why it is Disney Corporation’s flagship.

However, if you want to learn about new culture and see unique attractions, you should go to Disneyland Paris.

So, what are you waiting for?

Visit Disneyland Paris or Disney World Orlando with your family and let the magic happen right before your very eyes.

Both Disney resorts have their pros and cons.

One park may be better suited for some than it is for others.

Regardless of which location you choose, it’s certain that you’ll have a magical Disney vacation.

Traveling to France

If you are traveling to France, you want to be sure to see everything while you have the chance.

Our Traveling to France sector will make it easy for you to plan your holiday.

With popular cities and lesser-known areas, you won’t miss a thing.

Our articles feature superb eateries, wineries, historic sites, and much more.

In this featured section all about France, you will find useful information about must-see cities, major attractions, beach towns, historic sites, cultural attractions and events, and fabulous French food and wine.

You may even decide to learn French! Use these traveling to France tips and enjoy planning a carefree vacation.

What to see in France

You are planning your big trip to France and need to be certain you will have a good idea of major attractions to see while you are there.

We encourage you to build in time to revisit something you enjoyed or to linger at an outdoor cafe.

Get a feel for the area before you go with articles in our Traveling to France section.

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Great Things to Do in Paris with the Kids

5 Great Things to Do in Paris with the Kids

City breaks to Paris aren’t just for the grown-ups, although French food and shopping in Paris is.

There are actually dozens of great attractions for the kids to enjoy in Paris that will make it a strong contender for your summer holiday.

Here are just five ways to keep the kids busy in Paris after arriving on (hopefully) cheap flights.

Disneyland Paris

It goes without saying that perhaps the ultimate place to take your kids in Paris, is to Disneyland.

Comprising of two parks, Disneyland and Walt Disney Studios, inside the resort is where children of all ages can meet their favorite cartoon stars.

See the fabulous themed parades and enjoy the many fantastic rides like Big Thunder Mountain and Space Mountain Mission 2.

It’s an unforgettable experience that even adults can’t help but enjoy!

Cité des Enfants

If your kids are of the curious disposition, they’ll adore a visit to the Cité des Enfants, a children’s museum that’s as educational as it is downright entertaining.

From a TV studio to a water park, there’s something to delight all of the senses in this colorful, cleverly designed museum.

It’s so fun-filled, you may have a problem persuading the kids to leave.

Jardin d’Acclimatation

Dating back to the 19th century, this adorably quaint children’s park has been brought up to date yet still retains much of its old-time charm.

Not that your kids will care, as they’ll be too busy losing hours on the jungle boat ride, exploring the zoo and dodging the jets in the sprinkler park.

Make sure you take the narrow-gauge train from the entrance too for a meandering journey around the Bois de Boulonge.

Le Jardin des Plantes

If you’re blessed with good weather on your trip to Paris, take the little ones for a stroll through Le Jardin des Plantes, a lush and flower-filled botanical garden along the banks of the River Seine that also boasts a zoo within its grounds.

On the other hand if it’s raining, head here anyway to wander around the parks’ natural history museum and see the many hundreds of dinosaur bones that fill the museum’s great hall – a day out the children won’t forget anytime soon.

Tuilleries Garden

You might not be able to convince the kids to take a trip to the Louvre, but nearby is the Tuilleries Garden which may be more of a hit with your little adventurers.

In the middle of the garden is a large fountain where you can hire a sailboat for a trip around the park with a difference, plus if you visit during the summer the annual carnival will have been set up in the grounds, complete with giant Ferris wheel.

(photo credit: 1,  1)

Best Cities to Visit in Europe

Updated:

Best cities to visit in Europe – European travel offers a rich heritage, beautiful sceneries, and iconic infrastructures. Long been a favorite summer destination spot, Europe lures tourists.

Before embarking on a European tour, you need to research well on the places that you want to visit.

Use our Traveling to Europe resource, and plan out your itinerary.

We make it easy, whether you will be able to stay a week, two weeks or longer.

We will help narrow down the countries and cities on your must-see list and inspire you to come up with ideas if you’re not sure where to visit.

With so many unique countries and diverse cities, we offer great tips for traveling to Europe.

Your European holiday is sure to be one to remember with our user-friendly European travel site.

Traveling to Europe in Summer

Summer is a great time to travel to Europe.

However, you need to be ready for the high temperature and the huge tourist crowds.

Summer is a peak season for tourists, so the travel and accommodation fees can be more expensive.

Planning and preparing your travel documents and baggage ahead of time can help you save money, time, and effort.

Traveling to Europe

Do you want to learn more about Europe and where to go for your next holiday?

Traveling to Europe for your vacation may sound overwhelming but our site will help you navigate all the best places to go, how to get there, and what to be sure to see.

Preparations Before Your Trip

When you are too excited for your vacation, you may forget to prepare and bring some necessary travel documents and materials.

This can cause delays and unnecessary problems in your trip.

Here is the list of things that you should do before engaging on your European tour:

Have a Valid Passport

Before travelling to foreign countries, you must make sure that you have a valid passport.

If you do not have a passport yet or your passport has just expired, you need to get a new passport at least 4 months before your trip.

This would ensure you that you will get your new passport in time.

Check Visa Requirements

Each country has its own Visa requirements.

Check for the tourist visa requirements and travel advisories of the country that you want to visit at least 4 months before your trip.

Purchase Plane Tickets

Purchasing your plane ticket ahead of time can help you save money.

Plane ticket prices usually increase a week before the flight date so you should not opt for last minute fares.

There are three ways to get plane tickets.

You can choose to book a flight from a travel agent, purchase tickets online via travel websites, or buy them directly from airlines.

It is recommended that you purchase your ticket around 3-4 months before your flight.

Book Accommodations

The quality and safety of the place where in you choose to stay can greatly have an effect on the outcome of your trip.

Booking accommodations early can help you weigh your options and make the right choice.

There are many available accommodations in Europe which may range from five-star hotels in Paris to cozy Danish inns, from overnight stays in old Ireland castles to night camps in the Alps, and from skyscraper condominiums in London to houseboats in Holland.

You must carefully research the available accommodations in the country that you are visiting.

There are many hotel reviews online that can give you insights if the place provides good service and is located in a safe environment.

To save money, you must choose accommodations that are near the airport or your travel destinations.

There are some hotels that offer travel service from the airport and straight to the hotel.

Also, you need to decide if you would choose accommodations with complimentary food deals.

Do a Research on the Country that You Want to Visit

Researching about a country is now easy due to the available online resources.

You can research about the culture, language, food, mode of transportation, currencies, and best tourist destinations in the country or countries that you want to visit.

Language

Knowing basic foreign language phrases can help you have a better trip.

You should at least know how to say common greetings, ask for directions, introduce yourself, and seek help.

Why Learning French Can Be Beneficial For Visiting France

Exploring France – Learning French – Hacks to Enjoy France More

France is a beautiful country, and the country is filled with exciting opportunities to explore.

From historical sites to beautiful art, there is no limit to what France has to offer.

If you are planning a trip to this country filled with magic, beauty, and the language of love, then you have to keep two things in mind:

You should make a list of all the beautiful places and attractions you want to see there so that you do not miss out on anything important.

You should be aware of at least the basics of the French language because the French people love their language and prefer to speak in their language only.

Learning French

Learning French Helps with Interaction

Considering the language is spoken widely in France, and the French people resent speaking any other language, it is a good idea to know a little French before visiting.

This will ensure better communication which is extremely important especially in a foreign land.

Without this basic interaction, you will have a difficult time asking people where to go or which direction to take to reach a particular place.

Also, it is a simple fact that without basic human interaction no matter where you are, getting by becomes a little difficult.

All Sign Boards Are In French

In France, you will find that everything you see around you will be written in French.

Even the maps for tourists available there will be completely filled up with French.

Hence, if you do not know the language or are not even slightly aware of it, you will have a tough time getting around and finding places.

Urgency

Sometimes, you are in dire need of something and are in a hurry to get it.

If you are in France, with little or no knowledge of the language, and are in such a situation, then you will have no option but to try and comprehend what the French people are saying to you in response to your question.

With urgent situations, you are bound to get irritated and annoyed and the French people will get even more annoyed with you.

Learning French Can Truly Help You Make The Most Of Your Trip

If you are well versed with the language, or even know a few important phrases here and there, you can truly benefit from your visit to France.

For starters, the language can help you vastly in a place which is mostly only French speaking through and though.

Unless you have prior knowledge of the various cities, monuments, and the French traditions and rituals, you will have a tough time and will have to put in a lot of hard work and effort just to get from point A to point B.

Before making a decision to visit and explore the beautiful and ever radiant France, learn the language.

It will help you not only get by, but enjoy a great deal more.

The language will help you get a richer French experience and facilitate you in your day to day activities.

Food

Food menus in restaurants may be written in foreign languages so you need to know at least the famous food and cuisines of the country.

If you are game for an adventure, you can also try the exotic food in the region.

Mode of Transportation

It is quite expensive to rent a car or ride taxis all the time.

In order to go from one travel destination to another, you may take a bus, train, or even a boat ride.

You can also rent bicycles if your destinations are near each other.

Currencies

It is better to pay in local currencies.

Although many European countries use Euros, other countries have their own currencies so make sure that you would use the correct one.

Most of the time, you can only use your credit card as payment on big establishments.

This is why you should change your money to local currency as soon as you arrive in the country.

Famous Tourist Destinations

Each country boasts iconic tourist destinations, but if you want to avoid the crowd, there are also some beautiful yet not famous tourist spots that you can visit.

If you would conduct a thorough research, you may be able to find unique destinations.

Prepare Your Travel Bag

Preparing your bag early can help you make sure that you would bring the necessary items and avoid excess baggage.

Before packing your bag, you must check the allowed package weight with the airline.

You must also make a checklist of the things that you should bring.

Listed below are some of the things that you need to include in your bag:

Clothes

Do not bring too much clothes. Just pack clothes that are light and easy to wear.

Also, make sure that the clothes you bring are fit for the weather.

It is better to roll your clothes instead of folding them.

This can help you save space.

Travel Shoes

Instead of bringing fancy shoes or high heels, you should bring comfy travel shoes that you can wear all day.

This should be light but durable.

Hygiene Kit

Instead of bringing large bottles of shampoo, toothpaste or other hygienic products, you should bring sachets or small pouches to save space.

Medical Kit

If you are taking any prescription drugs, make sure that you bring them along with the doctor’s prescription.

You can also bring small bandages and other emergency over-the-counter-medicine.

Do’s and Don’ts of Traveling to Europe

As a tourist, it is important to know the things that you should do and the things that you should avoid doing in the country that you are visiting.

Listed below are some of the general do’s and don’ts that you need to remember if you plan to visit any country in Europe:

Traveling to Europe Hacks

Speak courteously and try to use as much local language as possible.

Learning a few basic phrases won’t hurt.

It can actually help you easily locate your destinations and gain new friends.

Bring your prescription drugs especially if you need to drink it several times a day.

Engage in conversations with locals and try to make new friends along the way.

This would enhance your travel experience especially if you are touring alone.

Bring emergency money in case of theft, lost of baggage, or other unexpected expenses.

Use local currencies. As stated earlier, some stores do not accept credit cards or foreign money.

You can get a currency converter application in your mobile phone to compare the prices when you buy products in local currencies.

Travel light and carry only the things that are needed for the day.

While touring, just bring a small bag with your wallet, camera, umbrella and other necessary items.

Come on time.

you would attend parties, meetings and planned tours on museums and other iconic locations, make sure that you come at least 5 minutes earlier than the appointed time.

Follow the basic street rules of the country.

would not to spend your vacation in the police station.

Don’ts’ When Traveling to Europe

Speak too loud especially in public places or transportation services.

Europeans do not talk to each other loudly in public.

Talk about religion, politics, sexuality, and other controversial topics to avoid arguments.

Spend money like there is no tomorrow.

You should spend your money wisely for it to be enough for your whole trip.

Rely too much on credit cards.

Using credit cards too often would make it more difficult for you to control and monitor your expenses.

Arrive late.

Europeans are mostly strict in their schedules so you should never come late.

For example, if a train is set to leave exactly at 10 am, it would not wait for you even if you arrive at 10:01 am.

Throw trash or cigarette on the street. You may pay a huge fine for littering.

Carry huge or heavy items.

You would get tired easily if your bag is too heavy.

Be carry or be involved in any illegal drug possession or smuggling.

Travelling to European countries can be both a rewarding and challenging experience.

However, if you follow the tips and guidelines in this simple intro to traveling in Europe, you can have a safe and hassle-free holiday.

Best cities to visit in Europe – Traveling around the Baltic’s I found a new part of Europe that fascinated me, I was amazed how I could be brought up in a neighboring country like Sweden, and yet never give these countries a thought, and I know I wasn’t the only one – in fact I knew nobody who had actually been there.

Best Cities to Visit in Europe - Budapest
Best Cities to Visit in Europe – Budapest

For some reason these little gems of Latvia and Lithuania are forgotten not only by most of the world but even its own neighbors, despite the impact the Swedish people once had in these countries.

In the Baltic countries I found both a new culture and a new cuisine that I didn’t know existed.

Riga Taste Of The Baltic
Riga Taste Of The Baltic

Best Cities to Visit in Europe

Riga Latvia Taste Of The Baltic

Riga was the city in which we found the best examples of traditional Baltic cuisine.

Riga is the Capital City of Latvia, and has many fun activities to offer.

Lido, a network of 8 restaurants in the city, was a great place to sample traditional food for a cheap price.

The food was stable and hearty, but unlike German food there were some surprising spices and flavors to the cuisine.

The Baltic food is no-nonsense kind of food – they put little effort on the presentation, but it tastes damn good and it fills you up, which is what a meal should do.

I was hesitant to try the food at first, but once I got over myself and tried that purple, slushy, cold soup I trusted that the people knew what they were doing and went with it – they even made cabbage and buckwheat actually taste good..!

Baltic food
Baltic food

I found some new favorite foods there, and the home made Kvass drink which we found people selling on every street corner is a drink I will really miss.

The infamous Kvass which we loved so much was once banned for many years but was back on the streets again in 1998 and is today the most preferred drink in the country.

If you ever visit, don’t miss out on trying this so called “bread drink” made from fermented black bread!

When it comes to food, Riga topped all the other Baltic countries in quality, it was cheap, there was an abundance, and it was really good.

But when it comes to attractions and beauty, I have to be honest and say that Riga wasn’t as fortunate as its neighboring capitals Vilnius or Tallinn.

A lot of tourists come to Riga on a cruise ship and the city is great at marketing itself – advertising cheap holidays online and promoting Riga as “a mixture of both Tallinn and Vilnius”.

Riga Latvia Taste Of The Baltic
Riga Latvia Taste Of The Baltic

This is partly true – but to really get the best experience from this area, you must visit all 3 cities and go to Tallinn for the beauty and its friendly people, go to Riga for the great food and visit Vilnius for the interesting attractions.

Riga Latvia Capital City in the Baltics

If you ever visit Riga, don’t miss out on trying this so called “bread drink” made from fermented black bread called Kvass!

When it comes to food, Riga topped all the other Baltic countries in quality – it was cheap, there was an abundance, and it was really good.

But when it comes to attractions and beauty, I have to be honest and say that Riga wasn’t as fortunate as its neighboring capitals Vilnius or Tallinn.

To read more about our time in Riga, make sure you check out:

We’re in Riga, the capital city of Latvia.

Riga has so many different cultures, from Russian, German, to Swedish, so I think it’ll be a really interesting day.

We’re at the Freedom Monument, which is a memorial to all the Latvian people who died during the Latvian War of Independence.

It’s a really majestic monument, and I love the detailed statues there as well.

Today, it’s a really important symbol of freedom for Latvian people.

Behind me is the another love lock bridge.

We’ve seen quite a few of these around Europe, and while Nathan doesn’t really see the point, I think they’re really romantic.

This is, by far, my favorite one, and if I would’ve know this was here, I would definitely have brought a little lock and written our names on it.

We’ve had a great morning checking out Riga.

Now we’ve bought some traditional Latvian food.

What do we have? We’ve bought some pancakes.

We’ve bought some potato pancakes and pancakes with cheese.

Well, that’s the cheese one obviously.

Very cheesy.

It’s very good.

Very fatty.

After lunch, we’re going to check out the rest of the Old Town.

That’s so nice.

We’re standing by the Swedish Gate which was built by the Swedish in 1698 when they occupied the city.

I think it’s a really cool structure, and they’ve got these red flowers above the gate, and I personally think it’s in memory of the executioner who lived above the gate and hung a red rose out the window on the days he was going to kill somebody.

Kind of creepy, but kind of cool as well. Behind me is the House of the Black Heads.

It’s pretty hard to miss, and it’s also one of Riga’s most photographed buildings, and I can see why; it’s absolutely beautiful.

It used to belong to German bachelors who used to host lavish parties here for the rich and famous. Kvass.

Sofia just bought me some of this stuff, it’s called kvass, and she’s forcing me to drink it.

It’s made from yeast.

Drinking – Pretty cool, the girl poured it out of like a beer barrel.

It’s non-alcoholic, smells interesting.

Ah, it’s actually pretty good.

I expected it to be pretty disgusting.

It tastes pretty nice.

It’s really good actually.

Mm, strange…We’ve had a great day walking around Riga.

It’s been really fun to see the different styles of architecture.

You can really tell the Germans used to live here, the Russians and also the Swedish.

So we’re going to finish the day with some Latvian Ice cream.

We hope you enjoyed our Riga video, next stop Vilnius, Lithuania!

Chill Out & Relax In Budva Montenegro

Budva, our destination in Montenegro, has many nicknames: Balkan’s St Tropez and Montenigrin Miami to name a few of them.

It was different from most of the other places we had been during the Europe Train Challenge, both in nature and in experiences.

With Budva’s chill vibe and scorching heat, we soon found ourselves falling into the rhythm of the town, and it became ok that we didn’t do very much.

The heat lay like a veil over the city during the day – everyone was at the beach or in the shade resting.

We’re not the ”sunbathing and swimming” holiday-making types, so hanging out at the beaches and in the sun all day long is not really our (especially Nathan’s) idea of fun.

Budva Montenegro
Budva Montenegro

But if there is one thing these holiday makers are experts at, it’s knowing how to chill out and do nothing.

In places like this more than anywhere else – people forget about time and keeping track of must see and do attractions.

You’re here to enjoy, to spoil yourself and let yourself do as much or as little of anything you like.

So we walked and talked and sat and did nothing for a few days – just enjoying the ocean breeze and church bells which rang every half hour.

Budva Montenegro Church
Budva Montenegro Church

The Old Town of Budva was one of the cutest we’ve seen, and if we would have had more time we probably would have traveled around the the other old towns and beaches as well, but you know how it is with time at places like this – it just slips between your fingers, and before you know it – it’s gone.

We weren’t the only backpackers influenced by the slow pace.

Travelers here came to stay for a few days but ended up staying for weeks, only to leave when they started feeling bad for having stayed at the same spot for too long.

This is where we met one of the funniest and craziest people ever: Julia.

Old Town of Budva Montenegro
Old Town of Budva Montenegro

Shortly after having met she sat down in the window and did an improv ”Tango singing performance” for us, and five minutes after that she had already scribbled down numbers of ex-boyfriends and artist friends we could get in touch with at our next destination in Belgrade.

For some reason the travelers here were more social with each other than anywhere else we’d been.

Maybe it was just random, or maybe it was the relaxed atmosphere, that Budva vibe which helped these travelers loosen up a bit.

Whatever it was, I really enjoyed myself in Budva, and if it wasn’t for the Europe Train Challenge, it’s very likely that I would have ended up staying there much longer than we had intended.

Budva Montenegro

Budva Montenegro has many nicknames: Balkan’s St Tropez and Montenigrin Miami are a few of them.

Budva was different from most other places we had been during the Europe Train Challenge, both in nature and in experiences.

The Old Town of Budva was one of the cutest we’ve seen, and we really wish we could have spent a few more days exploring the neighboring towns and beaches.

We hope you enjoy our Budva video, Next stop Serbia and Sarajevo Bosnia!

Bosnia & Montenegro: Europe Train Challenge

This week we traveled further into the Balkans, and have noticed a difference with quite a few things compared to Western Europe.

Countries This Week: Bosnia, Montenegro.

We started the week by taking a night train from Zagreb to Sarajevo.

The girl at the ticket office busted into a full laugh when we asked for a bed compartment, as though that was the silliest thing she had heard … so we got a seat for 10hrs.

After a long night train without much sleep we arrived in Sarajevo early the next morning.

Sarajevo was from the beginning to end a place with mixed experiences.

Bosnia & Montenegro: Europe Train Challenge
Bosnia & Montenegro: Europe Train Challenge

It was a beautiful, but rough and severely damaged city.

The old town was very cute and picturesque, but almost like an ”epic” bubble outside the rest of the city.

When you walked through the city it was hard to believe that the war had ended 15 years ago, it seemed much more recent than that.

Sarajevo Bosnia
Sarajevo Bosnia

There were bullet holes in every building, rundown houses everywhere and even some that had collapsed by bombs but not been removed since.

Everywhere you walked, the streets were full of holes and marks from mortar shell explosions (something they today call ”Sarajevo roses”).

It seemed to us as though the people are trying to move on, but everywhere around them are scars and leftovers which make it difficult for them to leave the past behind and move forward.

The city and its people were rough on the outside, but their toughness and straight-forward manner was quite charming when you got used to it, and the mountainous nature in the Bosnian country-side was simply breath-taking!!!

why is no-one talking about it?!

Budva Montenegro
Budva Montenegro

Montenegro, our second country this week – was a whole different experience.

We went to Budva, a town with many nicknames: The Theater City, Balkan’s St Tropez, Montenigrin Miami etc.

It’s one of the touristic pearls of Montenegro – beautiful nature, sunny, and relaxing.

Many tourists stay in Budva for a bit longer to participate in a few of the different adventure tours like rafting, hiking and paragliding.

The old town, where we stayed, was really cute, with so much history – and the fact that it had 17 beaches close by – wasn’t too bad either.

The nightlife was lively and it lived up to most parts of a typical beach and party destination, with some cool culture and history on the side and the old town hadn’t been ruined or exploited at all, but was really well preserved.

After relaxing here for an extra day we headed off on an overnight train to Belgrade in Serbia, where our 6th week of the challenge begins!

Sarajevo Bosnia – A City Stuck In The Past?

Our visit to Sarajevo was a very unique experience, and while we had these sobering impressions, we also had some really nice experiences there.

remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war
remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war

Bosnia is a beautiful country – full of amazing untouched nature, wild scenery,  with some amazing rivers and cute villages.

It’s a part of Europe like no other, and we saw things there we haven’t seen anywhere else in Europe.

We hope you enjoy our Sarajevo video, and stay tuned for at least 1 new video every week – Next stop Montenegro!

Sarajevo Bosnia
Sarajevo Bosnia

Like I mentioned in our Europe Train Challenge: Week 5 Update – Sarajevo was a city which from beginning to end, was a place we had many mixed experiences with.

The old town was so cute and cozy that nobody would be able to resist it – from morning to evening you heard the constant tapping from pots, carafes and plates being decorated by hand in the Turkish quarter.

The fragrance of freshly made Turkish coffee making its way through the winding streets, and everywhere around you people were more busy relaxing in a corner cafe than actually working.

The people here are quite different – walking along the streets you see many facial expressions which are hard to define:

was it anger?

resentment?

hopelessness?

Some people here looked really tough, the type of people you wouldn’t want to mess with – and if you looked around yourself, past the small cute Old Town, you got a feeling that these cold stone faces had their story deeply stuck in the surroundings.

remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war
remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war

The remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war 15 years ago were still everywhere

collapsed bombed houses, bullet holes by almost every window and holes from mortar shell’s explosions deeply embedded into the foot path.

It felt as though the people were still living in their past, but who could blame them?

It must be hard for the people to move on when they are totally surrounded by their past, constantly being reminded of what happened.

Was this the reason to why everyone was smoking non-stop 24/7?

I’m not exaggerating when I’m saying this – the amount of people smoking really was insane:

public transport, train stations, tourism offices, clothing shops, restaurants – you couldn’t get away from it – once we were told off by a lady for opening a window on the bus, as we gasped for some fresh air. remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war

Remnants and signs from the Yugoslav war

I heard more dry coughs and broken voices from chain smoking than I’ve ever heard before, maybe it is a result from all the pain and stress the people have gone through.

Perhaps we felt the pain even stronger since we were there when Ratko Mladic, also nicknamed “the Butcher of Bosnia” – a Serbian leader during the war who was responsible for a massacre of 8000 Muslim men and boys – finally was caught.

Our visit to Sarajevo was a very unique experience, and while we had these sobering impressions, we also had some really nice experiences there.

Bosnia is a beautiful country – full of amazing untouched nature, wild scenery,  with some amazing rivers and cute villages.

Bosnia
Bosnia

It’s a part of Europe like no other, and we saw things there we haven’t seen anywhere else in Europe:

Old men and women hitchhiking their way to town from their houses in the middle of nowhere, shepherds walking their sheep to the next green field in the forest and cows hanging out freely on the road side.

All in all we had a great time in Bosnia, and we found that although many people looked tough on the outside, deep down if you gave them some time they where warm and hospitable on the inside.

Sighisoara Romania – Europe Train Adventure VIDEO

The next morning we were off on yet another train to Sighisoara.

Sighisoara
Sighisoara

Within 37 hours we had traveled on trains for 30 of them – but it was so worth the extra time it took getting to Sighisoara!

Sighisoara, being one of the best preserved medieval towns in Europe, was SO quaint.

The houses looked like they were cartooned, with uneven sides and roofs, many painted in the brightest of colors, and old hunching ladies with scarves over their hair walking down the steep cobbled streets.

Sighisoara Romania
Sighisoara Romania

After spending 30 hours on trains within 36 hours to get from Turkey to Romania – we headed towards a small town called Sighisoara, which is known as the birthplace of Dracula.

The scenery in Transylvania is very special, and waking up to look outside the window and seeing the thick misty clouds slowly move over the hills and thick forests, mountains and small villages – you realize that if vampires really did exist, this would be the perfect place for them to reside…

To read more about our time in Sighisoara, make sure you check out:

We hope you enjoyed our Sighisoara video.

It’s about 10 pm, we’re about to jump on this train, take the overnight train from Istanbul, Turkey to Bucharest, Romania.

It’s a 20, 24 plus hour train ride.

We arrive in Bucharest tomorrow around 7, 8 pm, so, should be interesting.

We’ll see how it goes.

It’s crazy, I am sweating so bad.

The air con is broken.

We’ve been sitting here for over 20 hours.

I’m absolutely exhausted.

We have a small little window, poking our head out the top just to get a bit of fresh air.

The conductor, I have no idea where he is, we have no idea where we are.

It’s meant to be there a few hours.

I don’t think so, it was running pretty late.

It’s about 4 pm now.

We’re running out of food, so I hope we get there soon.

It’s crazy.

We made it.

We’re in Romania.

A crazy last few days from Istanbul here.

The train travel was a pretty interesting experience.

Yeah I think we traveled about 30 hours on train out of like 37, but we’re here in Sighisoara.

It’s a village famous for being one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe, and also for being the birthplace of Dracula.

So we’re going to start the morning by walking along the streets and making our way to the Citadel.

It’s so cute here.

Yeah it’s gorgeous.

It’s amazing.

Looking around this place, you realize just how old everything is.

It’s so well kept and it’s so pretty.

It’s listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site, and people still actually live here.

That’s pretty cool.

We’ve just walked through into the Citadel, and in the entrance is a 60 meter clock tower which welcomes you.

It’s a really detailed, artistic-looking clock tower.

It stands in the city as a symbol for justice.

The Citadel was located on top of a hill which overlooks the New Town and gives you a great view over the city and the mountains.

I’m standing by the Covered Staircase.

It’s a really old staircase dating back to 1642, and it’s covered the whole way up.

There are 175 steps, so it’s really high, but there used to be 300 steps, so I can’t complain.

One hundred thirty-five—it’s really dark in here.

Really dark—one hundred thirty-eight, thirty nine, forty.

Seventy-five.

One hundred and seventy-five steps.

We made it!

Whoo!

That’s a good workout.

This is the birthplace of Vlad Dracula.

I’m sure you’ve heard of the novel Dracula.

That wasn’t a true story, but it was based on the prince who lived here.

He was a bloodthirsty prince who had over a hundred thousand people killed.

Dracula also means “son of the devil.”

When we arrived yesterday in Romania, you could really get that feeling, that eerie, gothic feeling.

Yeah, mysterious, the mist was coming over the mountains and you could actually picture Dracula living here.

We found this really cute café selling only cakes.

That’s so nice.

Yeah so we chose this traditional Romanian apple cake.

Sighisoara is the perfect place to come for a day, especially if you’re based in Brașov, which is the most popular place to visit in Romania.

Unfortunately, we haven’t got much time here since we’re catching the overnight train to Budapest tonight.

Another train ride.

Sighisoara, Romania – Exploring Draculas Home Town

After the longest and most painfully boring train ride I have ever taken, with the electricity broken the entire 30+ hour journey and trapped in a small sauna-like bed cabin grasping for air through the small window that wouldn’t open up properly, we finally arrive at the train station in Bucharest.

The train from Istanbul to Bucharest turned out to be longer than it was supposed to, in fact, it turned out to be the longest and most uncomfortable train ride we’ve taken so far …

We were the only people taking the train the whole way to Bucharest, and after some time we realized why…

The supposedly 20 hour long train ride turned out to be 25 hours, stopping in the most random places, back tracking half the time and taking the longest way to reach the final destination.

25 hours is long but it would have been OK if the power in the train carriage and cabin wasn’t broken.

But yes, the power was OFF, meaning it was pitch dark at night, and since there was no fan or air con working and the windows could barely open up, it was like a sauna in the day.

Having no power makes you realize how reliant you are on it, and with dead laptops you sit there rolling your thumbs while the hours feel longer and longer.

Sighisoara, Romania
Sighisoara, Romania

We are the only ones left to get off at the final station in Bucharest – hungry and exhausted we pass out at the closest hostel.

We thought we had made the biggest mistake ever to have planned another train journey already the next morning – but we stuck to our plan, and soon later we were so grateful that we did.

The train ride from Bucharest to Sighisoara, Romania

Which was our final destination in Romania, turned out to be one of the most beautiful routes I have ever traveled.

The landscape was breathtaking with alpine mountains, unexplored valleys, lonesome forts and castles and animals grazing on the green
fields.

Many of the villages we passed looked like they had not changed for hundreds of years, with a charming medieval architecture and rural
locations.

Sighisoara has made a name for itself for being one of the best preserved medieval villages in Europe.

It was truly a quaint place and it made us really want to go back to Romania to explore more of the country side and villages.

The first interaction we had was with a woman handing out flyers at the station – she was advertising ”Gypsy tours”, which included a tour to a ”real Gypsy village”.

I think it’s strange and wrong to make a tourist attraction out of what in this case was poor people living in misery, many of them spending their days begging in Sighisoara’s streets and at the train station, but apparently this tour was very popular.

However, the reason most people go to Sighisoara wis not ”Gypsy tours”, but to visit the old part of town and cemeteries.

This is the town where Dracula was supposedly born.

Sighisoara, Romania - Exploring Draculas Home Town
Sighisoara, Romania – Exploring Draculas Home Town

Dracula was named and inspired by the notorious blood thirsty prince Vlad III Dracula, who was born in Sighisoara and lived in Transylvania during the 15th century.

Known as Vlad the impaler, he killed up to 100,000 people – mainly by using his favorite method of impaling them on a sharp pole.

It really was like stepping back into the past, and walking around the little town you could imagine exactly what life must have been like in the mideval century.

The scenery in Transylvania is very special, and waking up to look outside the window and seeing the thick misty clouds slowly move over the hills and thick forests, mountains and small villages – you realize that if vampires really did exist, this would be the perfect place for them to reside…

Luxembourg Impressions From The Well Designed Toy Village

We only had one and a half days in Luxembourg, which according to Laurent, our guide – was the average length of a stay there.

Our time in Luxembourg can be summed up with one word = RUSHED!

We arrived at 12pm, met our city guide at 3pm, went to bed at 10pm and caught the train to Paris 8am the next morning … and somehow managed to film this video episode at the same time…

There really was so much to see in Luxembourg, and we left really wishing we had at least 2 more days to see everything.

Luxembourg is a small city, so it’s not a big surprise that people don’t give it more time, but I’m sure that those who have been there for a day, leave wishing they would have had another few days to explore.

When I researched Luxembourg city, someone wrote in an article that if you’re not looking for a job, there is no point in visiting Luxembourg.

This was yet more proof that you shouldn’t always believe what you read online.

Luxembourg is a beautiful city, and the country is full of fairy tale castles.

Our time in Luxembourg can be summed up with one word = RUSHED!

We arrived at 12pm, met our city guide at 3pm, went to bed at 10pm and caught the train to Paris 8am the next morning … and somehow managed to film this video episode at the same time…

There really was so much to see there, and we left really wishing we had at least 2 more days to see everything.

We hope you enjoy our Luxembourg video, and stay tuned for at least 1 new video every week – Next stop Paris!

Being there for one day still left a big impression on me, and here are my thoughts:

Luxembourg Train
Luxembourg Train

Everything is So Well-Designed

Pretty much every building established in the 20th century is designed by some world famous architect – there are also many little houses built in 17th century, but the newer ones stand out in all their glamour.

Like Laurent said, if the banks can afford hiring I. M. Pei (the guy who designed the Louvren glass pyramid) to design their bank building, then go ahead.

Even the supermarket was designed by some world class designer!

Luxembourg Toy Railway Village
Luxembourg Toy Railway Village

You’re Living In Luxembourg Toy Railway Village

Look around yourself, and you’ll feel as though you have shrunken into a little toy figure, living in a miniature village in a kid’s toy railway set.

The bright green fluffy trees, the little river running along the frumpy little cottages in a valley, and high stone bridges where trains come passing every five minutes.

It’s almost unreal in some places!

The Tiny City Feels Huge

Luxembourg only has 90,000 inhabitants, but every day the city nearly doubles in size when people come in to work from out of town.

Many people who work in Luxembourg come in every morning from France, Belgium and other nearby countries, so during rush hour the streets are crammed with people and cars.

Luxembourg was a city of contrast: you could get the impression of a big city or small town depending on WHEN you were outside and WHERE you went.

The old town is quiet, small and quaint, while in the new area you saw high rise buildings, European institutions and men in suits.

Luxembourg History
Luxembourg History

The Country Has A Longer History Than You Think

The country has a history dating back almost 1000 years, and although the remaining from the fortress give the city a romantic look today, it was far from romantic for the people who lived there when the fortress was in use.

Luxembourg used to be surrounded by three big stone walls to protect themselves from attack, this made it extremely difficult to get inside the city, but also very difficult to leave.

History is everywhere in Luxembourg, and the people want to keep it that way.

It’s nice to see how they have kept the beautiful old houses and historic buildings, and then have put the modern designed skyscrapers a good distance away from the old town.

What Is The Best Way To Visit Europe
What Is The Best Way To Visit Europe

What Is The Best Way To Visit Europe

Poll on our site asking how our readers would travel if they had ONLY 2 months to travel Europe.

The alternatives were:

a) I would try to see as many countries I could within 2 months

b) I would travel to fewer countries but stay in each longer

c) I would visit one country and really get to know it

d) I wouldn’t go to Europe in the first place

We put the last alternative more as a joke, but surprisingly we got a vote even on that one. who was it?! :p

Well, I guess we all want different things in life… Myself I don’t see any reason not visiting Europe at least once in your lifetime if you’re interested in and have a passion for traveling.

The one that got the most votes was b) traveling to fewer countries but stay in each place longer – and to be honest with you, I think I would have to agree with you guys.

I’m a time optimist, but 2 months isn’t a very long time, and I’d prefer getting to know the places I go to on at least some depth before I leave, rather than just seeing the highlights before moving on.

When you actually take some time to explore a country, it starts to show you a different side you first didn’t see.

Plus, after having scraped the surface I want to see what’s really underneath… the *real culture!

However I do understand those who want to see it all in 2 months, that’s part of the beauty of Europe.

Everything is so close that you can literally visit three countries in one day without any rush.

Having all these countries with their very own specific culture and language right by your doorstep is SO exciting, and it’s hard to stay away from wanting to see what’s behind the next corner.

I am from Europe, so I guess I have the opportunity to travel one country at a time without worrying about Visa’s or anything like that, but I have also traveled a lot in Europe the fast way.

It’s awesome but a completely different experience, and I also kind of like leaving a country with the feeling that you want to come back again soon for more.

Me and Nathan have both traveled to many countries in Europe, but only a few together and haven’t done a Europe round trip yet.

After a quick trip through a few countries in Europe last summer, we got a taste of the different countries and what they had to offer, and which ones we would like to come back to for a second round and explore in depth – maybe even a bike around every country in Europe trip 😉

The way you decide to travel is very individual, and whatever way you choose to travel is right for you, but I do find it interesting to see how most people like to travel, and now I’m interested in why you like to travel the way you do?

Both for you who voted as well as you who didn’t, I’d love to find out how you like to travel and why, share it with us in the comments below!

Luxury Hotels in Europe – How Much Will It Cost Me?

You reach a certain point in your life when you say I’ve had enough of roughing it as a backpacker and instead want to enjoy some of the finer things in life.

It’s my 30th birthday at the the end of November, so for this guest post I have chosen 5 hotels in Europe that I would love to go and visit for for a night.

I have worked out what it would it would cost to stay in each of them and including travel expenses.

So let’s see if my budget will fit. PS – prices were correct at time of writing this article – they may have changed since so I would take them with a pinch of salt

Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy

Voted as the best European hotel in the 2010 Conde Nast Traveller Readers’ Awards, Hotel Splendido in Portofino, Italy attracts a loyal clientele of the internationally rich and famous.

Pictures of the star-studded cast of those that make up the hotel’s celebrity guestbook adorn the walls of this sixty-four roomed hotel.

Perched on the hillside above the picturesque natural harbor of Portofino, the hotel commands a grand view over the bay.

From the hotel, a winding pathway leads down to the village and the hotel’s sister hotel, Splendido Mare.

This intimate retreat has sixteen rooms and suites and shares facilities with the larger hotel up the hill.

Genoa is the nearest airport for visiting this luxurious hotel on a dramatically scenic part of the Italian Rivieria.

Budget Damage – £583 per night

Hotel Arlberg in Lech, Austria

Moving from Mediterranean glamour to traditional Alpine charm, the Hotel Arlberg in the quaint Austrian village of Lech, is a quintessentially Alpine retreat offering some of Austria’s best skiing.

In the center of the village, the family-run hotel offers traditional alpine comfort and is renowned for a superlative level of service.

The hotel boasts all the comfort of a modern luxury hotel, with a wood-beamed bar, a choice of two restaurants, and the acclaimed ‘Senses Spa’.

The spa facility includes an outdoor whirlpool, two saunas, steam room, solarium, relaxation lounge and suites offering a range of massage and beauty treatments.

The two gastronomic restaurants are ‘La Fenice’; the hotel’s signature fine dining Italian restaurant, and ‘Die Stube’; offering Austrian specialties in a traditional setting.

For skiing, the hotel is perfectly situated by the slopes for a choice of lifts, and is also popular in summer when the picture-postcard village of is Lech is surrounded by a panorama of Alpine meadows.

Damage – £215 per night

Four Seasons Provence, France

In the countryside of southern France, Four Seasons Provence, Terre Blanche is a resort of self-contained suites and villas surrounded by rolling valleys and mountains.

The style and architecture of the resort takes its inspiration from the local landscape, built from natural wood and stone, and decorated with a palette inspired by the bright sunshine and flowers of the region.

The secluded individual accommodation each has separate living rooms, bedrooms and terraces looking out over the tranquil countryside.

The resort has a large pool, tennis courts, a range of fitness facilities including a large spa extending over two levels; the nearby Terre Blanche golf club has two excellent golf courses.

In the surrounding area are mountains, pretty Provencal villages, vineyards, and the spectacular Gorges du Verdon.

Just inland from the Côte d’Azur, the resort is less than an hour from Nice airport.

Damage – £329 per night

Chewton Glen – Hotel, Health & Country Club, UK

Swapping countryside and ‘rivierias’ from the French to the English, Chewton Glen – Hotel, Health & Country Club, is situated in green and rolling Hampshire countryside not far from the beaches of the South coast and the New Forest National Park.

Just two hours from central London, Chewton Glen is a historic country house dating back to the early 18th century, with decor of antique furniture and fabrics to retain the traditional style in a sophisticated manner.

Traditional English activities such as croquet, shooting and archery are on offer to guests, as are traditional breakfasts such as a gourmet incarnation of ‘the full English’, and Kedgeree or Kippers.

Fine dining for other times of the day are served in the Marryat Restaurant.

The resort spa offers something for everyone, including exclusive beauty and body treatments, fitness, pool, and sauna and steam room facilities and the estate grounds have a golf course, tennis courts, and an outdoor swimming pool.

Damage – £303 per night

The Augustine Hotel in Prague

Similarly, The Augustine Hotel in Prague gives new purpose to an ancient building.

This new hotel is located in the heart of the city, close to Prague Castle, and has been created from a complex of seven buildings including an ancient monastery.

The hotel is carefully designed to preserve the features of the old buildings, including cloistered terraces, vaults and stone arches, and incorporates courtyards and elegant garden squares.

The hotel has 101 elegantly-designed bedrooms including 16 suites with views over the courtyards, monastery or castle.

All rooms feature decor inspired by early 20th century Czech cubism, with designer chairs and chaise-lounges.

For relaxation, the hotel’s spa has four treatment rooms, and a special hammam for heat treatments.

Damage – £234 per night

OK – so the grand total for my 5 nights is £1,664 but of course I need to factor in travel costs as well. Doing a *very rough* calculation I have worked this out as 1468 km (912 miles) for the whole trip.

Obviously my preferred mode of transport must reflect the caliber of my hotel selection therefore I’ll travel by helicopter 😉

I’m not up 100% familiar with the cost of hiring a helicopter however from my research it seems £15 per mile is a realistic cost.

Taking this into account my travel costs come in at £13,680 – oh what a birthday! 🙂

The Outcome

Ok so the outcome of this is that the total cost for this luxury trip will cost me £15,344 or £3068.80 per night – I think I’m worth it.

Unusual Hotels Around The World

Party Cities In The UK

The British people are known for being crazy party-people, heading to the pub after work and staying up til the early hours of the morning.

While many of them like to travel to Greece and Tenerife Spain during the summer to party, many also choose to go somewhere closer, and spend the summer holidays partying in a town nearby.

A lot of students also take the nightlife into consideration when choosing a place to live for a few years.

Whatever your reason is to find good party cities in Britain, you will find plenty of options, below are some of the best cities for party people in the UK: Beautiful Cities In The UK

Party Cities In The UK

Brighton

Brighton, a charming city in the south of England with bars, restaurants and nightclubs lining up along the sea front together with beach side resorts.

It’s warmer than most of England which makes it possible to enjoy the beautiful long beach during the summers.

It’s also known as having some of the best nightlife in the country, and what most people rave about is the live music scene.

There are a large number of events throughout the year as well, which makes it a vibrant, variable place to be in.

One of the most popular events is the Brighton Festival, the second largest festival in the UK.

Manchester

Manchester is a city in northern England which has gone from once having a bad reputation from its industrial days, to being one of the most thriving metropolitan cities in the UK.

The city manages to balance the modern and metropolitan together with local charm very well; mixing trendy bars and cozy boutiques in the Bohemian quarter, with the Gay Village and the big urban shopping district.

The nightlife is great, offering everything from fancy high-profile clubs to quirky places like ”The Temple Of Convenience” which is an underground public toilet converted into a club – apartments Manchester are surprisingly easy to come by, and even if you’re just planning to stay for a couple of days or a few weeks, you can rent apartments for short term basis.

London

A visit to England wouldn’t be complete without spending some time in London. It’s more expensive than the rest of England, but it has literally everything you could ever ask for; big, small, local, crazy, cozy, world famous, underground… you name it, but the nightlife in London is for every taste and likes.

The hotels in London are generally pretty bad, in fact many have been rated the worst in the world, so we would recommend staying in apartments London instead.

You often get more value for your money, the standard is higher and it’s more convenient.

It’s also a city with events and happenings all throughout the year.

There is no day or night in the city which doesn’t have something special going on, and it’s the place where all big artists come to play.

Beautiful Cities in the UK

There are more fascinating cities to the UK than just London – and many more beautiful as well.

Here are our top list of the most beautiful cities in the UK we recommend you visit:

Edinburgh

Edinburgh Beautiful Cities In The UK

Edinburgh is often referred to not only as one of the most beautiful cities in the UK, but the whole of Europe.

With its beautiful streets in the Old Town and the Edinburgh Castle this city leaves the visitor with a memorable experience.

The city is one of the best preserved medieval cities and with its narrow closes (alleyways) and Gothic architecture, it’s easy to imagine what life must have been like a few hundred years ago.

Both the new and Old Town have been granted Unesco Heritage Site, which tells you something about the beauty in Edinburgh – it’s everywhere.

Hotels in Edinburgh are cheap and there are many to choose from, but if you want to stay in the most cultural and beautiful part we recommend aiming for the Auld Reekie (Old Town).

Bath

Bath UK

Designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, the city has some of the most beautiful architectural buildings and sites in the country.

Its name reveals the most popular feature of the town, its baths…

The city was established as a spa resort already in AD43 by the Romans who built them around natural hot springs (the only ones existing in the whole of UK).

Today you can use the same mineral-rich waters that the Romans used and soak in one of the hot baths in the city.

The town itself is strikingly beautiful with neoclassical buildings and Roman remains, and is a perfect place to go for a weekend trip.

Cardiff

Cardiff Wales

Cardiff is the capital of Wales and has to be one of the greenest cities in UK. Nature is not only within a close distance to the city, surrounded by some of the distinct beautiful Welsh nature, but it’s everywhere in the city as well.

Cardiff has more green spaces per person than any other city in the UK, and is nicknamed ”City of Parks”.

But while the parks offer some great things to do and a nice place to hang out, UK’s most beautiful National Park, Breacons Beacons, is very close.

Wales has a lot to offer the visitor, and since hotels in Cardiff are quite easy to come by, it’s a good place to base yourself in while traveling around Europe. Fun ways to enjoy in Wales.

York

York Castle

York is an ancient cathedral city with some of the best preserved historical buildings and structures in Europe, and with the narrow streets and a 13th century wall it’s easy to see why it is known as one of UK’s most beautiful cities.

With a long history dating back to the Roman times, once captured by the Vikings, tehre is a lot of fascinating history to explore here, like the Jorvik Viking Center.

However, the best thing to do to really enjoy the beauty of the city is to walk around the city walks to the many viewpoints and discover the Snickleways (medeival alleys) with its many tea rooms and shops (most of which used to be butchers’ shops, and the hooks from which caresses were hung are still there in many of the places).

It’s also worth mentioning that the city has more to it than beautiful medieval churches and houses, it’s nicknamed the festival city due to its many festivals throughout the year – although that has nothing to do with beauty, it’s definitely a bonus!

Spending A Day In Helsinki Finland

Surprisingly few travelers who visit Europe and travel around ever make it all the way to Helsinki Finland – this means that the few people who do are rewarded with less annoying crowds and a warm welcome by the locals.

Spending A Day In Helsinki Finland

But while Finland seems difficult getting to, it is actually pretty easy – overnight ferries leave daily from Stockholm, and from Tallinn Helsinki is just a couple of hours away by ferry.

Finland is also considered to be a very safe country, but if you have planned to travel through several European countries it might be wise getting annual travel insurance to be safe no matter where you travel.

If you’re visiting Helsinki for the first time, a guided tour may be the best way to start.

In fact, people usually include a guided tour on any Europe travel plan because it is the fastest and easiest way to see all the important sites very quickly.

After a tour around the city, you can then go back and discover more about the parts that appealed to you, or simply wander around exploring the back streets and corner cafes.

It’s always nice to feel that you have seen the main sights, and get some time to just take in the city and atmosphere as a whole.

Helsinki boasts many historical buildings

Presidential Palace and Parliament building are just two places that are well worth seeing. Finlandia Hall and the Opera House are also nice buildings to check out.

Finlandia Hall is the main concert and congress venue and it was built by Alvar Aalto.

Alvar Aalto had a very important role to Helsinki’s architecture, and has designed many of the modernistic buildings that impress visitors to this day. Another wonderful building that must be viewed is the Church in a Rock (or Temppeliaukio Church).

This was actually hewn out of solid rock and is one of the foremost attractions in Helsinki.

Although a little controversial in its design, visitors and locals alike have now come to love the building.

Try to visit when there is a concert planned here to listen to astounding acoustics!

To experience what life in Finland used to be like, a visit to Seurasaari Island is a must.

Eighty seven buildings form an open air museum where guides, dressed in traditional 18th and 19th century costumes show visitors around.

See spinning, embroidery and troll making activities and buy some old fashioned treats before leaving the place.

You don’t need to take a guided tour around here though, simply enjoying the island and the fresh breeze from the water with an ice cream in hand is a great way to make the most of this beautiful place.

The island is also a popular place to go for picnic, so go to the market hall or the open market on the square and buy some local delicacies like local berries and Finnish pastries, before taking the short ferry ride to the island.

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