BE THERE LET EUROPE INSPIRE YOU

HilariusJourney.wordpress.com – FLY to 39 destination across the continent and find something new around every corner :

AMSTERDAM  

Seventeenth-century buildings. Joint-smoking alien sculptures. Few cities meld history with modern urban flair like Amsterdam.

Admire Art

You can’t walk a kilometre without bumping into a masterpiece in the city. The Van Gogh Museum hangs the world’s largest collection by tortured native son Vincent. A few blocks away, Vermeers, Rembrandts and other Golden Age treasures fill the glorious Rijksmuseum. The Museum het Rembrandthuis offers more of Rembrandt via his etching-packed studio, while the Stedelijk Museum counts Matisses and Mondrians among its modern stock. And when the urge strikes for something blockbuster, the Hermitage Amsterdam delivers: the outpost of Russia’s State Hermitage Museum picks from its three-million-piece home trove to mount mega exhibits.

Bike & Boat

Two wheeling is a way of life here. It’s how Amsterdammers commute to work, go to the shop and meet a date for dinner. With all the bike rental shops around, it’s easy to gear up and take a spin. If locals aren’t on a bike, they may well be in a boat. With its canals and massive harbour, this city reclaimed from the sea offers countless opportunities to drift. Hop in a canal boat (preferably an open-air one) or one of the free ferries behind Centraal Station for a wind-in-your-hair ride.

Feel Gezellig

Amsterdam is famously gezellig, a Dutch quality that translates roughly as convivial or cosy. It’s more easily experienced than defined. There’s a sense of time stopping, an intimacy of the here and now that leaves all your troubles behind, at least until tomorrow. You can get that warm, fuzzy feeling in many situations, but the easiest place is a traditional brown café. Named for their wood panelling and walls stained by smoke over the centuries, brown cafés practically have gezelligheid (cosiness) on tap, alongside good beer. You can also feel gezellig at any restaurant after dinner, when you’re welcome to linger and chat after your meal while the candles burn low.

Wander into the Past

Amsterdam is ripe for rambling, its compact core laced by atmospheric lanes and quarters. You never know what you’ll find: a hidden garden, a shop selling velvet ribbon, a jenever (Dutch gin) distillery, an old monastery-turned-classical-music-venue. Wherever you end up, it’s probably by a canal. And a café. And a gabled building that looks like a Golden Age painting.

Why I Love Amsterdam

I love walking around Prinsengracht in the morning. Houseboats bob, bike bells cling cling, flower sellers lay out their wares. The old merchants houses tilt at impossible angles, and it’s easy to imagine an era when boats unloaded spices out the front.

I love how cappuccinos appear and disappear in 350-year-old bars like Café Pieper, and how beers do the same in candlelit timewarps like Café de Dokter. It’s all good fuel for ferrying across the IJ to see bands under twinkling lights at the Tolhuistuin come nightfall.

 GENEVA 

Geneva is a municipality and the capital of the Canton of Geneva in Switzerland. Geneva, with its about 192,000 inhabitants, according to Zurich’s second largest city in Switzerland. With 46.8 percent is one of Geneva residents (in addition to Kreuzlingen) among the cities with a high proportion of foreigners. The city lies on the southwestern edge of the French-speaking Switzerland (Romandie) at the outlet of the Rhone from the Lake of Geneva.The city of Geneva is the headquarters of many international organizations including UN , CERN , ICRC , WHO , ILO , ISO , ITU , WIPO , WMO , WOSM , WTO and UNHCR. In addition to Zurich, Geneva is the second largest financial center, followed by Switzerland, from Lugano. For years, Geneva, Zurich next most expensive one of the cities with the cost of living and with the highest quality of life listed worldwide. Since 2012 Geneva is the third most expensive city in the world, behind Zurich and Tokyo.

Geneva was until 1870 the most populous city in Switzerland. This place has become the city of Zurich accepted. On 29 February 2012 was one of the city of Geneva 192’118 inhabitants. The agglomeration of Geneva is determined every ten years at the census in 2007 included new and 471’314 inhabitants respectively, across the country with 780,000 inhabitants France. Foreigners make up 46.8 percent (29 February 2012). This explains, in particular by the number of international organizations in the city. The extended metropolitan area, the Geneva-Lausanne metropolitan area has 1.2 million inhabitants

MADRID 

Being the capital of Spain and its largest city, Madrid is also a popular tourist destination. Variety of monuments from different epochs, rich history, and unique culture attract tourists from around the world. Madrid’s official symbol is a bear eating fruits from a strawberry tree. The statue reflects the scale of the city growth, and also serves as a reminder of the times when wild bears roamed where Madrid’s landmarks are located now.Madrid built on a plateau at an altitude of 650 meters. In 852 its steep location inspired the emir Muhammad I to build Alcazar, a Muslim fortress of great importance. Over the course of numerous wars, the citadel changed its owners several times. In 1083 Alfonso VI conquered Alcazar, and the city became a stronghold of the Christians in their struggle against the Moors.Five centuries later the city of Madrid was proclaimed the capital of State and Empire. It caused a high level of migration: the population of Madrid has increased threefold (up to 60 thousand people) during few years, which promoted active growth of construction industry, especially in residential areas. Although the Kingdom of Spain lost most of its power during 17th century, the city of Madrid continued enjoying its “golden” age for many more years. Lope de Vega, Cervantes, Calderon, Diego Velázquez, and Francisco de Zurbaran lived and worked in Madrid. A lot of efforts were put to developing arts and science: El Prado Museum, Royal Botanic Gardens, and Royal Academies were established here; and Royal glass, tapestry, and porcelain factories gave a significant boost to the industry development. As a result, by the end of 18th century Madrid’s population was 170 thousand people.Today’s population of Spain’s capital is over three and a half million people. The city of Madrid is located right in the middle of the country. Puerta del Sol, the central city square, features Zero Kilometer sign, which is the beginning of the radial network of all main Spanish roads.

Located 300 kilometers away from the sea, the city of Madrid doesn’t have its own beaches. However, comparing to other European capitol cities, Madrid has a leading number of parks. The splendid beauty of Madrid’s nature and cultural landmarks are available for you on our virtual panoramas. Enjoy!.

PRAGUE

Prague is the equal of Paris in terms of beauty. Its history goes back a millennium. And the beer? The best in Europe.

Urban Explorations

Prague’s maze of cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards is a paradise for the aimless wanderer, always beckoning you to explore a little further. Just a few blocks away from the Old Town Square you can stumble across ancient chapels, unexpected gardens, cute cafes and old-fashioned bars with hardly a tourist in sight. One of the great joys of the city is its potential for exploration – neighbourhoods such as Vinohrady and Bubeneč can reward the urban adventurer with countless memorable cameos, from the setting sun glinting off church domes, to the strains of Dvořák wafting from an open window.

Where Beer is God

The best beer in the world just got better. Since the invention of Pilsner Urquell in 1842, the Czechs have been famous for producing some of the world’s finest brews. But the internationally famous brand names – Urquell, Staropramen and Budvar – have been equalled, and even surpassed, by a bunch of regional Czech beers and microbreweries that are catering to a renewed interest in traditional brewing. Never before have Prague’s pubs offered such a wide range of ales – names you’ll now have to get your head around include Kout na Šumavě, Svijanský Rytíř and Velkopopovický Kozel.

Art All Around

Prague’s art galleries may not have the allure of the Louvre, but Bohemian art offers much to admire, from the glowing Gothic altarpieces in the Convent of St Agnes, to the luscious art nouveau of Alfons Mucha, and the magnificent collection of 20th-century surrealists, cubists and constructivists in the Veletržní Palác. The weird and witty sculpture of David Černý punctuates Prague’s public spaces, and the city itself offers a smorgasbord of stunning architecture, from the soaring verticals of Gothic and the exuberance of baroque to the sensual elegance of art nouveau and the chiselled cheekbones of cubist facades.

How can you not love a city that has a pub with vinyl cushions on the wall above the gents’ urinal, so you can rest your head while you ‘go’? Where you can order a beer without speaking, simply by placing a beer mat on the table? And where that beer is probably the best in the world? But it’s not just exquisite ale and a wonderfully relaxed drinking culture that keep bringing me back to Prague. There’s also wit and weirdness in equal measure: a public fountain where two figures pee in a puddle, spelling out literary quotations; a 1950s nuclear bunker hidden beneath a city centre hotel; and a cubist lamppost. Quirky doesn’t even begin to describe it.

European Hotspot

The 1989 Velvet Revolution that freed the Czechs from communism bequeathed to Europe a gem of a city to stand beside stalwarts such as Rome, Amsterdam and London. Not surprisingly, visitors from around the world have come in droves, and on a hot summer’s day it can feel like you’re sharing Charles Bridge with half of humanity. But even the crowds can’t take away from the spectacle of a 14th-century stone bridge, a hilltop castle and a lovely, lazy river – the Vltava – that inspired one of the most hauntingly beautiful pieces of 19th-century classical music, Smetana’s Moldau symphonyis centries of spires

ATHENS 

 Once known for smog, traffic and tacky architecture, Athens is a city reformed thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer Olympics. Spotless parks and streets, an ultra-modern subway, new freeways, an accessible airport and all signs in perfect English make the city easily negotiable. Meriting more than a stopover en route to the islands, sophisticated Athens sites include many pillars of Western history, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as treasures in the National Archaeological Museum

As a tourist destination, Athens is a city full of cool attractions. From archaeological sites, museums, shops, traditional restaurants and trendy bars to white sand beaches with clear waters. Athens has something for everyone. If you are staying in Athens for a couple of days, it’s worth making a day trip and discover a different part of Greece. Here is a list of the most popular day trips from Athens:Delphi is one of the most important archaeological sites in Greece and home to the famous oracle. Delphi was declared as a World Heritage Center from UNESCO. On your day excursion to Delphi, you will have the chance to visit the Temple of Apollo, the ancient theatre and the archaeological museum among other places of interest. On your way to Delphi, you can also stop to the nearby village of Arachova, a very popular winter resort.

Sounio is located only 69 km away from Athens making it the perfect half day or full day trip from Athens. At Sounio you will have the chance to visit the temple of Poseidon that dates back from 44 BC and admire the incredible view of the Aegean sea. During the summer months, you can swim in the crystal clear waters of a nearby beach and have some fresh seafood in a seafront taverna. Don’t forget to admire one of the most magnificent sunsets.

On this day cruise, you will visit 3 Saronic islands in one day. Starting from the picturesque island of Hydra, then going to the green island of Poros and lastly the island of Aegina where you can visit the temple of Aphaea and taste the world’s famous pistachios. Lunch is served on board, and live entertainment with Greek music and traditional dances is also included. With this day cruise, you will have the chance to taste three different Greek islands on a day.

On this day trip to Peloponnese, you will visit some of the most important archaeological sites of Greece, Mycenae, and Epidaurus. Mycenae was the city of mythical Agamemnon, the hero of the Trojan war. There you will have the chance to visit the archaeological site and the beautiful museum. Nearby is the archaeological site of Asklipieion at Epidaurus which was declared as a World Heritage Center from UNESCO and was one of the most important healing places at ancient times. Apart from the area of Asklipieion, you will visit the ancient theatre of Epidaurus and the museum. Lastly, you can visit one of Greece’s most picturesque towns Nafplio. In Nafplio you can visit the Palamidi castle or wander through the cobbled alleys and admire the architecture.

GLASSGOW     Glasgow is a lively and cosmopolitan city, making a name as a vibrant centre of 21st century design, set against a background of exceptional Victorian architecture. The city’s evolution is ongoing, as state-of-the-art glass towers sprout up to house a growing financial services industry. The real Glasgow can be found in the pubs, where lively discussions about everything from the weather to solving the world’s problems are had over a pint or two. Visitors are welcome, so do join in. And take note: no trip to Scotland is complete without sampling “the water of life” – a wee dram of Scotch whisky.

Everyone is talking about Glasgow -and for once this is a good thing. For years the city was down at heel, an ex-industrial wasteland known more for its social problems than for its tourist attractions. But in 2014 Glasgow is the place to be, sitting pretty at the top of every ‘places to visit this year’ list and a non-negotiable fixture in many a travel itinerary thanks to the summer’s Commonwealth Games. Running from 23 July until 3 August, the Games will bring with them thousands of domestic and international visitors, not to mention the rash of new sports venues, hotels and restaurants already built. The city has been preparing itself to take centre stage for some time. In fact, ever since 1990, when Glasgow was named European City of Culture (now European Capital of Culture), this much-maligned Scottish hub has been on the up.

It happened quietly at first: a regeneration of the inner city, a clean up of the Clyde, a stealthy increase in the number of businesses. Then museums opened, residents returned to the city centre, and the Glasgow’s Miles Better campaign highlighted the famed friendliness of the people. By the time the city was awarded the Commonwealth Games in November 2007 it came as no surprise. And today, Glasgow is ready. There are museums and galleries with world-leading collections, independent boutiques selling one-off fashions, and jaw-dropping buildings designed by everyone from Charles Rennie Mackintosh to Zaha Hadid. Walk streets lined with grand Victorian buildings, drink freshly brewed coffee in sweeping squares and romp through rolling parkland just minutes from the city centre.

By night, take a table at one of the city’s contemporary restaurants and indulge in Scotland’s larder – fresh oysters, thick steaks, juicy scallops – before taking the city’s pulse with a visit to one of its stellar live music venues. Then, of course, there are the Commonwealth Games themselves. Over 12 days, 17 different sports will be contested at 14 different venues. From rugby at the Ibrox Stadium to track and field at Hampden Park, gymnastics at the SSE Hydro and cycling at the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome, the city will be alive with sport, not to mention the cultural programme that runs alongside it. But Glasgow’s best secret remains just how close it is to the Highlands. For a change of scenery, you can take a 30-minute drive out of the city to Loch Lomond, and get your boots muddy on the West Highland Way or take in the rolling views from Inchcailloch island.

ART ATTACK: Start by following the footsteps (or rather brushstrokes) of one of Glasgow’s most famous sons, architect and designer Charles Rennie Mackintosh. There is no better way to admire his art nouveau work than by taking a tour of the Glasgow School of Art on Renfrew Street (right): three tours daily; £9.75;lgsa.ac.uk[ Admire what is arguably the world’s first Modernist building (completed 1899), before taking the short walk to the Willow Tea Rooms. This traditional Scottish tearoom was designet by Mackintosh in 1905; he chose everything from the windows to the waitresses’ outfits. Drink in his elegant style along with a loose-leaf tea. Next, stroll east Merchant City, where the elegant sandstone buildings nod to the city’s successful industrial past.

This area was once home to tobacco lords and cotton kings; today it is the haunt of Glasgow’s new wave of exporters – the designers, artists and musicians who work in Glasgow’s creative industries. Explore the art galleries and boutiques around George Square before ducking into the Gallery of Modern Art (or GoMA) on Royal Exchange Square. Housed in a neoclassical building this free museum features works by Hockney, Warhol and Scottish artists John Bellany and Ken Currie. Just outside, check to see if the Duke of Wellington statue has its usual traffic cone hat, an unofficial addition that is said to represent the city’s light-hearted attitude to authority. End your first day with a wee dram (or two) in one of Merchant City’s many excellent bars.

WESTWARD HO! Blow the cobwebs away this morning with a walk in Kelvingrove Park, an 85-acre green space straddling the River Kelvin in the city’s West End. This side of the city has emerged as the go-to destination for everything from art and culture to food and fashion, so plan to spend the day in this area. Allow at least two hours to explore the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum (free). There’s more Mackintosh here: the Mackintosh and the Glasgow Style gallery is dedicated to his graphic and decorative work. There’s an astonishingly wide selection of other exhibits (more than 8,000), ranging from Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross to the RL Scott bequest, once one of the finest private collections of European arms and armour in the world.

From here walk south into up-and-coming Finnieston. This was once the destination of choice for dockworkers seeking unsavoury entertainments but today has been revitalised by the brand new SSE Hydro arena (above) and an influx of designers and foodies attracted by the low rents and the community feel. Spend your time strolling along The Strip, poking your head into boutiques and bars and selecting whatever takes your fancy, whether that be cocktails in a windowside booth at Kelvingrove Cafe or a fish-and-chip supper at Old Salty’s. Quality here is high – and there’s not a deep-fried Mars bar in sight.

Although Glasgow is Scotland’s largest urban area, it is also home to more than 90 parks and gardens. In fact, the city is said to have more green spaces per capita than any other in Europe. Get out and explore some of these today, starting at Pollok Park (above), 5km south of the city centre. At 360 acres, this park is the city’s biggest, so opt for a horse and cart ride to take in its vast scale. Stop off at the Category B-listed walled garden to see plants relocated from the Himalaya, and don’t miss a visit to the fold of Highland cattle – the most accessible herd in Scotland. Slightly further afield (a 30-minute drive) is Loch Lomond, the largest inland stretch of water in Britain.

You could spend several days exploring it, but one day is enough for the highlights. One of these is Inchcailloch, the largest island in the Loch Lomond National Nature Reserve and reached by waterbus service from the small village of Balmaha, on the loch’s eastern shore. This is a lovely place for a walk: the West Highland Way runs through here and from the village you can make the challenging climb up Conic Hill, with the path up and over its summit (part of the Highland Boundary Fault) offering views south over the rolling Lowlands and north into the Highlands. Recuperate with hearty traditional meal and a pint of local ale at Balmaha’s Oak Tree Inn.                                  

MALTA

Malta is best known in traveller as a sun and sea destination. There is certainly no shortage of either. Malta gets more than 300 sunny days a year and is surrounded by clear blue waters, some of the cleanest in the Mediterranean, and is much enjoyed by visiting swimmers, snorkellers and divers.

Its USP, however, has to be its 7,000 year history. Malta has a greater density of historic sights than any other country. Starting with its unique prehistoric temples, some of the oldest stone buildings in the world, it also has Roman catacombs, medieval towns, and the extraordinary architectural and artistic legacy of the Knights of St John (the Knights of Malta).

The British left behind red letter boxes and phone booths, as well as the language, in spite of which Malta (independent since 1964) remains thoroughly Maltese. The country has thankfully shaken off the British culinary legacy and is home to some excellent restaurants specialising in Mediterranean food. So whilst I love to swim and snorkel here in summer, I am equally fond of a sightseeing visit at any time of year.Any time. Summer is delightful for the almost guaranteed bright blue skies and perfect Mediterranean Sea. This is the ideal time for sunbathing, swimming, diving and boat trips, as well as for local festivals and parish festas.

Spring and autumn are ideal for sightseeing and exploring, when the weather is often beautiful and the temperature comfortable.

Winter brings greater risk of bad weather (although even in January the average daytime high is 15C), but is a good time for the budget-conscious, as flights are cheaper and accommodation often dramatically so..

ROME is a journey into the past

A heady mix of haunting ruins, awe-inspiring art and vibrant street life, Italy’s hot-blooded capital is one of the world’s most romantic and inspiring cities.

BARCELONA   

Set on the Mediterranean Coast, Barcelona-El Prat Airport (BCN) is just 15 minutes south of the city, and Barcelona rental cars are available in the arrivals terminal. Get behind the wheel and the Catalonia coast is your oyster. Your car also makes it simple to get to the ferry terminal and voyage to the islands of Palma or Ibiza. Even if you’re not a futbol (soccer) fan, you should visit Camp Nou, home to one of the world’s most famous teams, FC Barcelona. The frenetic energy at a Barca home match is unparalleled, and if you’re lucky you can celebrate a “W” with the team’s most fervent fans. Leave your cheap car rental in Barcelona parked for a day and explore monuments to art and culture, like the Sagrada Familia and the Gothic Quarter, on foot.Your Spanish getaway may seem like a dream, but if you pinch yourself you’ll realize you’re standing beneath stunning architecture in one of the best beach cities in the world. Soak it up, wise wanderer. When you book one of our car rentals in Barcelona, your getaway is off to a start as sweet as sangria.

HAMBURG 

Beautiful view of Hamburg city center with town hall and Alster river, Germany

Germany’s gateway to the world—that is what Hamburg is better known for, and it gained its title for all the valid reasons. It is in Hamburg where the country’s largest port is found making it the second busiest port of the country. It is one among the many important harbors in Europe and is one of the most significant media hubs of Germany. Adding to its relevance is its network of attractions, making Hamburg the best place to visit.For people visiting from far away, traveling by air is definitely the best option. Hamburg has the fifth largest international airport in the country, so getting -in via plane is never a hassle. For tourists from nearby locations, traveling through train, bus, car and boat are the available options. This city has a very efficient road and transport systems, so getting around and exploring all corners of Hamburg is pretty much easy. For tourist spots close to each other, exploring by walking or by biking is a very good choice.Hamburg is a sizeable city, but touring all its interesting spots is easy as everything seems to be confided within close ranges. The bulk of its attractions sit between Alster Lakes of the north to the Elbe River of the south. There are a number of small beaches found in the north side of the Elbe River and all sorts of water-related activities can be carried out in the area. The inner and outer Alster Lakes have the most stunning vistas where the opportunity for enjoying the waterfront is unlimited. Because Hamburg has majestic bodies of water, boating becomes the most-favorite way of exploring its extensive waterways.The City Center, on the other hand, has the most number of commercial establishments such as shops and restaurants alongside galleries and museums that are all worth seeing. For a different kind of adventure, explore Sankt Pauli, a famous landmark in Hamburg known for being one of the famous red light districts in the world.Assortment of attractions that interests the adults can all be found within the bounds of Sankt Pauli, but despite its reputation, it is very safe to visit this place. Take note that Hamburg’s oldest street market, the Fish Market, continues to draw huge crowd up to this day, and no tourist leave Hamburg without heading there. The latest must-see when it comes to shopping is the Europa Passage. meanwhile, the west of town hall towards Gaensemarkt has the line-up of the most-pricey shops comprising of luxurious and world-class brands.If you are planning a trip to Germany, highly consider spending the holiday in Hamburg. It has world-renowned attractions worthy of the trip, not to mention that its people are welcoming, its surrounds are stunning, the local cuisine is worth tasting and its accommodations are tourist-friendly. All the features tourists ask for are housed in Hamburg, making the visit definitely worth it.

MANCHESTER   

Manchester was once a powerhouse of the British Empire and one of the world’s great industrial cities. The looms in its mills clacked, coal-loaded barges crowded its canals, steam engines spat and hooted. Start a visit at the palatial Royal Exchange and you’ll get a good impression of the panache and power of the Victorian city. Pink, cathedral-like pillars froth with gilt like exotic palm trees and hold up a vast glass dome. The chamber beneath was once the world’s largest commercial room, where cottons and textiles were traded. In the early 20th century, 80 per cent of the world’s finished cotton goods were traded though Manchester.High on the Royal Exchange’s wall you can see the figures on its trading board that show its last day of trading on December 31, 1968. It’s an epitaph to Manchester’s slow slide from commercial fame and fortune. The empire was gone, and throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Britain’s industrial base mostly vanished too. Manchester became a necropolis of empty buildings. The only thing left for the city, it seemed, was its famous soccer team and a reputation for music: bands such as Joy Division, New Order, The Smiths, Stone Roses and Oasis all emerged in this northern English city.                

ST.PETERSBURG

is a city of museums and galleries, famed around the world for its world-class collection at the Hermitage, but also for the stellar Russian Museum and the new, yet already widely renowned Erarta Museum of Contemporary Art. Elsewhere, St Petersburg’s smaller institutions focus on everything from the Arctic to zoology, via bread, toys, trams, trains, religion and vodka.

BIRMINGHAM                  

A center of commerce during the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham is now the second largest city in England. Promotional materials often mention that Birmingham has more canals than Venice or Amsterdam (in terms of overall length). Because it is such a large city, the canals do not play a central part in the lives of most locals. While much of Birmingham is filled with modern buildings, one of the best ways to get a taste of the city’s Victorian heyday is to cruise the canal networks, which were used to transport goods during the Industrial Revolution’s manufacturing boom. Pleasant parks and walking paths have been built beside some of the canals, while others loop past areas that have changed little in the past 100 years.

ISTANBUL    

Located on the Bosphorus Straight, Istanbul merges East and West. You can find most of the top tourist sites, including mosques, museums, and bazaars, on the west side. The luxury hotels of Istanbul, as well as less expensive accommodation, are here as well. On the east side, you are near more bohemian diversions, such as the bars and nightlife enjoyed by students, as well as cheap hotels in Istanbul.Out and About in IstanbulThe historic sites alone can keep you busy for days. Arguably the city’s most iconic site, Hagia Sophia, was once a church and mosque and is now a museum. Other must-sees are the Blue Mosque with its six minarets, Topkapi Palace, once the residence of Ottoman sultans, and the Grand Bazaar, with over 5,000 shops where you can bargain for leather, gold, carpets, spices, and ceramics. For a taste of modern Turkish life, head to the harbor for a cruise on a ferry or yacht. If you stay at one of the hotels near Beyazit Square, also called Freedom Square, you are near Istanbul University, where the country’s brightest minds prepare for the future.

Eating and Drinking

The casual eateries, known as meyhane, typically offer small plates of vegetables and seafood and, in some cases, more substantial dishes of kebabs. Go with a group so you can enjoy raki, the local alcohol. Look for a meyhane that hosts fasil, or Turkish song and dance, but expect to join in whether you know the language or not. If you’re on a budget, head for Bar Street, or Kadife Sokak, on the Asian side. Here, you’ll come across many establishments that serve up good drink, along with live indie bands and DJ-spun international music.Whichever side you choose for your vacation stay, Travelocity can help you find the best opulent Istanbul hotels or a less expensive, clean and basic hotel in Istanbul.

MILAN                        

One of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan offers endless opportunities for chic shopping. Hit the artsy neighborhood of Brera for leather goods and Via Monte Napoleone for exclusive, expensive boutiques. The enchanting mosaics and glass vaults of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II make shoppers feel like they’re wandering inside a painting. Take break from your spree to gape at the iconic Duomo, then grab tickets to a performance at La Scala. Post-opera, the Navigli district pulses with late-night activity.spectacular architecture is Milan Cathedral. It is located in Milan, Italy. Milan Cathedral is known to be the fifth largest Cathedral of the world. The completion of the Cathedral took six centuries.This second largest cathedral of Italy was built under the rule of several emperors starting
from Archbishop Antonio da Saluzzo and ending on Napoleon Bonaparte. The Italian name of the Milan Cathedral is Duomo di Milano. The cathedral was designed by 185 architects from 1386 to 1965.The architecture style of Milan Cathedral is Italian Gothic. It has a total length and width of 158.5 meters (520 ft) and 92 meters (302 ft). The total capacity of this spacious Cathedral is about 40,000 peopOn reaching Milan, make your way towards Milan Cathedral. You will enjoy the outlook, architecture and amazing built. The tickets can be purchased from several spots. Don’t go for the one i
n the front as it has the longest queue. There is also a restaurant and a café that serves some great Italian delicacies.le. The material used in the construction of the Milan Cathedral is Brick with Candoglia marble.

STOCKHOLM

Often called the “Venice of the North”, Stockholm lies on a number of islands and peninsulas at the outflow of Lake Mälar into the Baltic, which here forms a deep inlet. The charm of its setting lies in the intermingling of land and water – the skerries fringing the coast, the crags rearing up from the sea, the intricate pattern of waterways encompassing the city. The Swedish capital has no less then three distinct UNESCO World Heritage sites: Birka, Drottningholm, and the Woodland Cemetery. In addition, world-class museums, theaters, galleries, and the Nobel Institute await. Getting around couldn’t be easier. The excellent underground railway system, the Tunnelbana (T-bana), will take visitors almost anywhere in the city. A highly efficient and regular bus network fills in any gaps between destinations. Alternatively, take the time to walk instead as Stockholm is a terrific city to absorb on foot. Visitors will also notice the efficient network of bicycle lanes. Locals proudly call the city a levande stad, or living city, as a large part of the eclectic cosmopolitan population still live in the downtown areas.

1 Gamla Stan (Old Town):Dating from the 1200’s and crammed with must-see sights, attractions, cafés, authentic restaurants and boutique shops, the area of Gamla Stan (Old Town) is a living-breathing museum in its own right. For many this is the first stop on their journey of exploration. Certainly there’s no better way to instantly absorb the feel of Stockholm and get to grips with the city’s culture. Plenty of souvenirs and gifts are available in the Old Town, and visitors will find themselves transported back to medieval times as they meander through a bewildering labyrinth of tiny winding streets. Mysterious vaults and ancient frescoes lurk behind picturesque facades. If visiting in winter, be sure to take in the marvellous Julmarknad (Christmas Market), an experience akin to being in a fairy tale. Stockholm Cathedral, the Nobel Museum and the Royal Palace are all located here and should be high up on any sightseeing itinerary. If visiting the Royal Palace be sure to catch the changing of the guard.

2 The Royal Palace (Sverige’s Kungahus):A visit here could be a day out in itself. Located by the water’s edge on the periphery of Gamla Stan, this is the official residence of the King of Sweden. Interestingly, the Queen’s residence lies elsewhere, on the beautiful island and UNESCO World Heritage Site Drottningholm (Queen’s island). A rich taste of the once mighty Swedish Empire, the palace is one of the largest in Europe boasting in excess of 600 rooms and no less than five museums. Dating from the 18th century and baroque in style, the real gems await inside. Here you can see Queen Kristina’s silver throne, visit the Museum of Antiquities, the Armoury, the Tre Kronor (Three Crowns) Museum, and Treasury. As mentioned previously, visitors can witness the daily changing of the guard. |Hours: Open Daily 10am-5pm|Admission: Adults SEK150, Under 18’s SEK75 | Location: Gamla Stan | Official site: http://www.kungahuset.se

3 Vasa Museum:The incredible Vasa battleship was intended to be the pride of the Swedish Imperial fleet, yet in a forerunner of the Titanic disaster centuries later, sank on its maiden voyage in 1628. An amazing salvage operation took place in 1961, and now visitors can marvel at this glorious time capsule, 95 percent of which is entirely original. The three masts on the roof of the museum are not just a tourist draw; they were reconstructed to the exact height and specifications of the original masts. This is the most visited4 Djurgården:A tranquil oasis in the heart of the city, Djurgården draws tourists and locals alike, particularly during the summer months of long lazy days and short nights. It’s a perfect place for a stroll and picnic as well as being home to several of Stockholm’s top museums and attractions. Scattered about are pleasant cafés, restaurants, snack-bars, and hotels. Visitors can hire bicycles to make their way through the forest trails or, if feeling adventurous, take to the waterways in a canoe. The newly-opened Abba the Museum is located here as is the open-air museum Skansen and Gröna Lund amusement park. A fun way to arrive is by ferry from Gamla Stan or Slussen (both on the T-Bana). Alternatively, jump on a tram from Norrmalmstorg, take the bus, or stroll from the city center (15 minutes). Drop by the Djurgården visitor center for all the information you’ll need.Official site: http://www.visitdjurgarden.se 5 Skansen Open-Air Museum :The oldest open-air museum in the world, Skansen, on the island of Djurgården, is a wonderful attraction for families, particularly those with young children. Not only will visitors be treated to an authentic taste of Sweden as it once was, but also the wonderful Stockholm Zoo. More than 150 different buildings and houses were collected from all around the country and reassembled here. There are distinct town districts including, among many others, manor houses, a bakery, the beautiful Seglora timber church, and a pottery. At the zoo are moose, bears, lynxes, wolves, and seals as well as the delightful children’s zoo. For traditional Swedish Smörgåsbord pay a visit to the Solliden Restaurant.Hours: Open daily;Admission: Adults SEK100-150, under 15s SEK60, infants free (prices & opening times vary with season);Address: Djurgårdsslätten 49-51, 11521 Stockholm;Official site: http://www.skansen.se/sv

 6.  Editor’s Pick Fotografiska Museet:Fotografiska is Stockholm’s museum of contemporary photography and hosts an eclectic mix of exhibitions throughout the year. There’s a restaurant, book, and souvenir store and from the top floor, one of the most enviable views over the city. In recent years, the museum has seen a huge increase in visitor numbers and is now acknowledged as one of the world’s premier photography venues. The Bistro on the top floor is acclaimed as one of the city’s coolest restaurants (weekend brunch is particularly popular with locals) and the gallery hosts cutting-edge live and club music throughout the year. |Hours: Open daily Sunday-Wednesday 9am-9pm, Thursday-Saturday 9am-11pm | Admission: Adults SEK110 | Address: Stadsgårdshamnen 22, 11645is one of Stockholm’s most iconic buildings and stars in countless images and postcards of the city. Dating from 1923, the hall opened on that most Swedish of dates Midsummer’s Eve. Housed within are assembly rooms, offices, works of art, and the machinery of civil democracy. The prestigious annual Nobel Banquets are held here. Recipients dine first in Blå hallen (The Blue Hall) and then move on to the formal ball in Gyllene salen (The Golden Hall), which has no less than 18 million mosaics adorning its walls. A particular treat is the chance to view the city from the famous tower. | Hours: Open daily – guided tours only | Admission: Adults SEK70-100, Under 17s SEK20-40, Under 12s free (seasonal prices) | Address: Ragnar Östbergs Plan 1, 11220 Stockholm

8 Boat sightseeing:The sea flows through the arteries of Stockholm, and during the summer months, the city is quite literally awash with boats of all shapes and sizes. Many city-dwellers own summer houses on the islands of the skärgården (archipelago) and spend, if not the entire summer there, then most weekends. It all makes for a Friday evening commute like no other. Bearing all this in mind, to experience Stockholm from the water is surely a must-do for any visitor. Take a trip under the bridges of Stockholm or while away an hour or two on the Royal Canal Tour. There are also hop-on, hop-off options with a valid ticket lasting 24 hours.|Hours: Limited winter service|Official site: http://www.stromma.se/stockholm/

9 Moderna Museet:Visitors can dip their toes into one of Europe’s foremost collections of art from the 20th century to today, featuring works by artists including Picasso, Dali, Derkert, and Matisse. The museum exhibits everything from modern classics to contemporary art. On picturesque Skeppsholmen island, the building of Moderna Museet was designed by Rafael Moneo, a Spanish architect. The museum offers a world-class program of temporary exhibitions, a children’s workshop, a shop, a library, and a pleasant restaurant with beautiful views of Djurgården and Strandvägen. Guided tours are available.|Hours: Closed Mondays|Admission: Adults SEK120, Under 18s free|Address: Exercisplan 2, 11142 Stockholm|Official site: http://www.modernamuseet.se/stockholm/en/

10 Royal National City Park:The right-to-roam (allemansrätten) is an indelible part of the Swedish psyche. The Royal National City Park is a six-mile-long green space surrounding and snaking into Stockholm. This, the world’s first national urban park, is where tourists and locals flock to unwind. The forest harbors moose, foxes, deer, and many winged beauties, including rare birds. Visitors will find plenty of things to see and do, from museums, castles, theaters, and hotels, to sports facilities, and historic homes. Nature lovers will be in heaven exploring wilderness areas with centuries-old oak trees, lakes, streams, bays, marshes, and canals, secluded swimming spots, and rocky hilltops. It truly is hard to believe you’re in the middle of a thriving capital city.|Official site: http://www.nationalstadsparken.se |11 Sky View – The Globe:Situated on Stockholm’s southern fringe, SkyView takes you to the top of the world’s largest spherical building, the Ericsson Globe, one of Stockholm’s modern landmarks. From 130 meters above sea level, you’ll be treated to an unforgettable view over the entire city. Tours aboard the gondolas take about 30 minutes and depart every ten minutes. After the trip, sightseers can visit the restaurant and souvenir shop. |Hours: Open Daily |Admission: Adult SEK 145, Children (5-12 yrs) SEK 100, Seniors 65+ SEK 100, Children 0-4 yrs free |Address: Globentorget 2, 12177 Stockholm|Official site: http://www.globearenas.se

12 Östermalm 

If it’s Stockholm designer chic you’re after, then look no further. Östermalm is the most exclusive district in the city. Exclusive international labels rub shoulders with high-class Scandinavian design. On Biblioteksgatan, there’s an abundance of flagship shops and designer boutiques, while the neighborhood around Stureplan offers plenty of posh shops – some with sky-high price tags. Lovers of art and interior design will enjoy Svenskt Tenn and Malmstenbutiken, at the beginning of Strandvägen near Nybroviken. Many of Sweden’s top antique dealers lie around the Kommendörsgatan neighborhood. Be sure to drop by Östermalmshallen for the absolute best in Swedish fresh food and produce.

Tips and Tours: How to Make the Most of Your Visit to Stockholm

Sightseeing Tours: A convenient and flexible way to see the city’s attractions is the City Sightseeing Stockholm Hop-On Hop-Off Tour. Accompanied by an audio commentary, this double-decker bus tour visits 14 different attractions, and you can hop on and off at any of the stops. If you prefer to explore Stockholm by both bus and boat, the Stockholm in One Day Sightseeing Tour is an excellent option. This 2.5-hour tour begins with a 75-minute audio-guided coach tour, visiting attractions such as the Royal Palace and Vasa Museum. It ends with a one-hour scenic boat ride around the royal park of Djurgården and the city’s picturesque archipelago.

Stockholm by Night: For an edgier look at the city, consider The Original Stockholm Ghost Walk and Historical Tour, a two-hour tour of the city by lantern light, where you’ll hear spooky stories about spirits, vampires, myths, and mysteries as you stroll Gamla Stan’s medieval streets.

Day Trip: If Sweden’s Viking and medieval history excites you, the Viking History Half-Day Tour is a must-do. Along the way, you’ll see runic stones at Täby; discover ancient inscriptions at Granby; and stroll the medieval streets of Sweden’s oldest town, Sigtuna.

Save Money: Although Stockholm, like most of Scandinavia, can be expensive, good value can be found if you know where to look. One way to save a few kronor is to eat a main meal during the day and opt for something lighter in the evening. The Dagens rätt or Dagens lunch (daily special) is a great way to experience authentic Swedish fare at a fraction of the cost you’d pay in the evenings.

Sweet Treats: Swedes love coffee and cake, and they’ve even come up with a verb for it – Fika. To “fika” is to drink coffee, eat something small (and usually sweet), and chat. Be sure to indulge as the cakes and pastries are delicious.

Where to Stay in Stockholm for Sightseeing

Luxury Hotels: Presiding over the waterfront, opposite the Royal Palace and Old Town, the aptly-named Grand Hotel has hosted celebrities and Nobel Prize winners in its elegant suites and Michelin starred restaurants. Those who prefer contemporary Scandinavian style will enjoy the Nobis Hotel on Norrmalmstorg, a public square in the heart of the city. Within walking distance of Gamla Stan and only two minutes from the train station, the Sheraton Stockholm Hotel is a reliable chain option in a fantastic location.

Mid-Range Hotels: A five-minute walk from Gamla Stan, in the trendy Södermalm area, the Hilton Stockholm Slussen offers beautiful views of the city, as does the the modern Radisson Blu Waterfront Hotel, which shimmers in the heart of the city, less than three kilometers from the Royal Palace and Old Town. Travelers seeking a more historic ambiance should consider Sven Vintappare Hotel in the heart of Gamla Stan, which is steeped in 17th-century charm.

Budget Hotels: Perhaps the most unique budget hotel options close to the historic sites are on the water – literally. The Rygerfjord Hotel and Hostel, Red Boat Hotel and Hostel, and Loginn Hotel are boat hotels with cozy cabin rooms within walking distance of the Old Town. For those who prefer a hotel on dry land, First Hotel Fridhemsplan offers a variety of room configurations, including family rooms, a five-minute train ride from the city center.

BOLOGNA    

Bologna, for all its size and importance as the capital of its province and of Emilia-Romagna, is an easy city to visit, and many visitors find it one of Italy’s most appealing. Those who enjoy good food certainly do; it has the reputation as Italy’s gastronomic capital. Among Bologna’s main industries are the manufacture of pasta and sausages, so be sure to try some while you’re here. Along with visiting Bologna’s tourist attractions, spend time absorbing the city’s unique character: stroll beneath its long arcades, peek inside its elegant old shops, notice its architectural quirks and interesting brickwork, pause in one of the numerous cafés, and soak up some of the exuberance of its many students.

Piazza Maggiore and Piazza del Nettuno :It may seem as though everyone in Bologna were meeting friends at the same time in these two adjoining squares in the heart of the city. Conversation and laughter blend with the sound of water splashing in the magnificent Neptune Fountain that gives Piazza del Nettuno its name. Created by Giambologna in the 16th century, it is one of the finest fountains of its period. Nearly every major attraction in the city is within a few minutes’ walk, and the most important streets – among them the busy shopping street, Via dell’Indipendenza, and Via Galleria with its many old aristocratic mansions. Elegantly arcaded Via dell’Archiginnasio runs alongside the great Basilica of San Petronius; its still unfinished facade dominates one side of Piazza Maggiore. On the north side is the former Palazzo del Podestà (Governors Palace) with a tower, Torre dell’Arengo, dating from 1259. Under its vaulted dome, people whispering on one side can be heard by those on the opposite corner.

San Petronio (Basilica of St. Petronius) : When construction of the massive church that dominates one side of Piazza Maggiore began in 1390, it was designed to be even bigger than St. Peter’s in Rome, but never quite made it. In fact, it was never finished, and the facade remains incomplete. In the tiny museum at the back of the church, you can see the designs that were submitted for the facade, including those by the great architect Andrea Palladio. The interior, which was finished, is often referred to as the epitome of Gothic architecture in Italy, and each of the side chapels seems like a small church. Look for the strange line cutting across the floor of the nave; it is a meridian line.

KIEV                                                      

Kiev, Ukraine: My Kind of Town : A native of Kiev, Anna Shevchenko finds the Ukrainian capital is the ideal city for banishing the January blues.Why Kiev?

It’s the best place to banish January blues, as the celebrations stretch well into the month, finishing with the Old (Julian calendar) New Year’s Day on January 13.

What do you miss most when you are away?

My family – I was born in Kiev. I also miss the golden domes of Orthodox churches, gleaming against the blue skies.

What’s the first thing you do when you return?

Go to the Bessarabka market (top right) to taste, drink and smell the city.

Where’s the best place to stay?

The Hyatt, 5 A. Tarasova Street (0038 44 581 1234; http://www.kiev.regency.hyatt.com; doubles from £267). Pricey, but if you ask for a room on the top floor, overlooking the Saint Sophia cathedral, you will be rewarded with the view of the Old City. The Premier Palace, 29 T. Shevchenka Blvd (244 1201; http://www.premier-palace.com; from £176), though refurbished in a nouveau-riche style, is convenient if you want to be close to Kreschatik, the main street, and to good food, as both the Bessarabka market and some of the best restaurants are just a short walk away.

Alternatively, for £65 a night, you can experience the Soviet era at the Ukraina Hotel, Institutska 4 (279 0347 or 278 6675), with a babushka on the floor guarding your keys, militiaman checking your documents and waitresses ignoring you at breakfast.

MOSCOW     Moscow is unlike any other city on Earth. It is the wealthy economic center for one sixth of the world’s land mass and has over 120 ethnic groups and nationalities. A diverse and vibrant city with a strange combination of traditional Russian architecture and newer Soviet tastelessness, Moscow is an adventure waiting to happen!
But what makes it so popular among tourists is the concentration of Moscow attractions. When you travel to Moscow you definitely want to see the red-bricked walls of the Kremlin, to take a picture in front of St. Basil’s Cathedral, and probably visit the world-famous Bolshoi Theater. All of these places are located within a very small area around Red Square, so seeing them on a walking sightseeing tour of Moscow is convenient and allows you to avoid the infamous Moscow traffic jams.
The peak of Moscow travel season is May through September. However, you may prefer to savor Moscow tourism delicacies during the low travel season. The snowy winter months offer just as many entertainment options as one can find during summer. You can celebrate New Year’s Eve or see Russia’s biggest ice rink on Red Square, taste blinis or visit one of the numerous winter markets. Any popular St. Petersburg – Moscow tour hides a handful of memorable experiences the whole year round!
The concentration of Moscow’s main sights is one of the facts that make this city a world class tourist destination. The majority of its attractions is centered in one small area, and the Kremlin is the hub of this concentration. These sights extend into the realm of fantasy. The colorful domes of the Cathedral of St. Vasily the Blessed, the neo-gothic consumer wonderland that is the GUM, or state department store, and the timepiece of Russia’s New Year’s celebrations, the Spassky clock tower, all tower over the beautiful Red Square.
The neighboring Kitay-Gorod, or “Basket-Town” (likely a reference to the construction method of the city walls surround it), remains a significant concentration of traditional Russian structures serving as a commercial center. The Bolshoi Theater, the Lubyanka, and the hotels that tower above the Manege Square all are situated within the Boulevard Ring, an urban open-space doubling as a heavily-trafficked roadway created after the Great Fire of 1812, the one that left Napoleon’s Army starving deep within wintry Russia. The proximity of these sites to each other makes it easy to visit many of the must-see places in only a few days.
As Europe’s largest metropolis, and the 5th largest city in the world, Moscow comes with its share of traffic blunders. It seems that all of the world’s most expensive black cars are here, and that most of the city’s car owners do not understand the difference between sidewalks and parking lots. Sometimes, traffic jams make the streets themselves seem rather like parking lots as well. Still, while the traffic situation leaves much to be desired, the Moscow subway is superb. The advanced Metro system carries up to 3 million passengers a day and its trains run every few minutes. With stations that could rival art museums, the Metro is one of Moscow’s great must-see sights. Travel in Moscow Metro at least once to see that there is nothing like it in the world.
Although the best time to visit Moscow is from May to September, the city in winter still enchants with its towers and lights. Its great celebrations on the day of the October Revolution (held on November 7, a discrepancy resulting from the difference between the traditional Russian Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar in use around the world today), and New Years Day make it the place to be. Of course, the best way to plan your trip is through one of our package tours to Moscow.Although the best time to visit Moscow is from May to September, the city in winter still enchants with its towers and lights. Its great celebrations on the day of the October Revolution (held on November 7, a discrepancy resulting from the difference between the traditional Russian Julian calendar and the Gregorian calendar in use around the world today), and New Years Day make it the place to be.
If you are planning a trip to Moscow contact our experienced travel experts.

VENICE

History, facts and travel tips about Venice

Few cities can claim such a priceless art and history heritage as Venice. This unique city with its magical, spectacular scenery is not just beautiful; it is a real miracle of creative genius: a city built on mud, sand and the slime of a difficult, inhospitable landscape.

Venice is the symbol of wise government and freedom. The lagoon was its only defense, there were no palace guards except the Arsenal workers and no parade ground except the sea.  During centuries of feudalism and barbarism,  Venice symbolised democracy and civilization.

What surprises about Venice, now as in the past, is its impressive building structure – a city built entirely on water. For centuries the Venetians, slowly and stubbornly insisted on recovering even the smallest bit of land from the water.

From the very start, building the city was a real engineering miracle due not only to the skill and intelligence of its builders but also to the nature of the place itself.

BRUSSLES    Why Brussels?

I first visited Brussels in 1977 and I’ve lived here since 2008. It’s not all Eurocrats. There are chic restaurants and hot waffle stands, Baroque guildhalls and Tintin murals.

What do you miss most when you are away?

The food and drink. I never realised what a gourmet’s paradise Belgium is – and that doesn’t just apply to expensive restaurants. We eat at a snack bar at our local swimming pool and you can have a superb glass of red wine with your meal.

What’s the first thing you do when you return?

Cycle around the park in Tervuren. After a long journey it’s great to get some fresh air.

Where’s the best place to stay?

I recommend the Hôtel Galia, 15-16 place du Jeu de Balle (0032 2 502 4243; http://www.hotelgalia.com; doubles from £64). It’s in the old town, by the flea market. The Grand Place is about 15 minutes away by foot.

Where would meet friends for a drink?

At the newly opened Bootjeshuis (306 7464; http://www.bootjeshuis.be), which means boathouse, in Tervuren (take the 44 tram from Montgomery station). It has a beautiful view over the lake. In summer you can sit outside.

Where are your favourite places for lunch?

My absolute favourite is Le Cercle Des Voyageurs, rue des Grands Carmes 18 (514 3949; http://www.lecercledesvoyageurs.com), close to the Grand Place. You’d hardly spot it from outside – there’s a board on the pavement but often the doors are closed. Go inside for the wonderfully civilised club-like atmosphere, with armchairs, board games and a library of travel books.

And for dinner?

Cook and Book, place du Temps Libre 1, 1200 Woluwé-Saint-Lambert (761 2600; http://www.cookandbook.be). It’s near Roodebeek métro station and is a bookshop and restaurant combined – the ultimate for gourmet book lovers. There’s an English section, though my favourite bit is the comic books.

Where would you send a first-time visitor?

It’s practically a tradition to stand in front of the Manneken Pis and say: “He’s a lot smaller than I expected.” I’d also send people to see the Grand Place – it’s a knockout, especially the 15th-century town hall with its ornate carvings. As a contrast, I’d suggest visiting the Atomium, the futuristic relic of the 1958 Brussels World Fair.

What would you tell them to avoid?

I didn’t enjoy the Belgian Comic Strip Centre as much as I expected to. Children might struggle, too, as many of the comic strips are in French or Flemish. I’d suggest instead buying a guide to all the outdoor comic strip murals in Brussels and doing a walking tour.

Public transport or taxi?

The Brussels public transport system (métro, trams and buses) is excellent. A métro card valid for 10 trips costs about €10.50 (£9).

Handbag or moneybelt?

As with any city, you have to keep an eye on your belongings, but I carry a handbag. If you drive in the city, avoid leaving a handbag on the passenger seat – I’ve never had my bag snatched, but it happens.

What should I take home?

Your family and friends will be furious if you don’t bring back some of Belgium’s famed pralines. I’d also take a look in one of the comic book stores such as Multi BD (122-124 boulevard Anspach), offering everything from the Smurfs to Sherlock Holmes. These aren’t just cartoons; they’re art.                       

LARNACA  

The bright lights of Ayia Napa are one of the main reasons people book holidays to the Larnaca region of Cyprus. But you’ve also got Blue Flag beaches and picturesque countryside to look forward to.

Party reputation

Cyprus’ east coast has a reputation for being something of an insomniac. Over the years, the lively town of Ayia Napa has really earned its nightlife stripes, thanks to a neon strip full of bars and nightclubs. But all-night partying is just one chapter in the Larnaca region’s story. This part of Cyprus has plenty for couples and families, as well.

Popular resorts

Family favourite, Nissi Beach, is about a mile up the road from Ayia Napa. This town has a golden beach, a massive waterpark, and a leafy waterfront promenade, where you can sample every style of cuisine within earshot of the waves. The town of Protaras, about 15 minutes’ drive from Nissi Beach, tends to spark a love-at-first-sight reaction for couples. This place is defined by vine-wrapped tavernas and some of the prettiest coastal spots in the region.

Sweeping countryside

Away from the big resorts, Larnaca is an unexplored region of rocky plains and sprawling fields scattered with windmills and wild flowers. It’s a haven for walkers, and for those who fancy filling up a picnic basket and heading for the lemon trees.                                         

MUNICH          

No matter where you’re traveling, it’s always a good idea to research your destination. One city worthy of your investigation is the Bavarian Capital of Munich, Germany. After you learn about Munich, you may want to start planning your next vacation!

Where is Munich Germany?

Munich is located on the River Isar in Southern Germany, just north of the Alps. It is the third largest city in Germany and is home to the world’s largest beer celebration, Oktoberfest. It’s mix of cultures and traditions create a lively atmosphere that keeps visitors coming back, and locals not going anywhere. It is often ranked highly in polls that determine the how livable cities are.

Attractions & Things to do in Munich

The most iconic image of Munich comes in the form of the scenic Marienplatz. Located in the city center, this open square is bordered by the Old and New Town Hall. The most famous building in the area is the Frauenkirche. It is impressive, but some would some say the most impressive thing in Munich is not the architecture of buildings that have stood for centuries, but the food and drink.

Munich is home to the famous Haufbrauhaus, that has been brewing beer since 1589. One of the reasons for it’s success is the Bavarian Beer Purity Law, which states that only all natural ingredients could be used to make the nectar of the gods. This has paid off for the city. Each year over five million people make the pilgrimage to Munich to sample the delicious beer, which must be brewed within city limits in order to get an official label as “Oktoberfest Bier”.

There are numerous parks and gardens that are there for your delight. You can grab some local cheese and bread from one of the many farmers markets in Munich, and head to places like the Englischer Garten, one of the world’s largest urban public parks! The parks at Nymphenburg and Schleissheim Palace are also quite remarkable and worthy of your attention.So what are you waiting for? Book your next trip to Munich today with Auto Europe! In addition to car rentals in Munich, Auto Europe also provides travelers with the best rates on Munich luxury car rentals, airfare to Germany, and hotel accommodations throughout Europe. Give us a call or click today, 24/7 at 1-888-223-5555, to speak to one of our friendly and knowledgeable reservation specialists to get all your travel necessities in order for a price you just can’t beat anywhere else!

Top 10 Reasons to Visit Munich:Beer,Marienplatz,Frauenkirche,Alt Rathaus,FC Bayern,Englischer Garten,BMW HQ and Museum,National Theater,Maximilianeum,Nymphenburg Palace.             

VIENNACapital of the Republic of Austria and one of Europe’s most visited cities, Vienna (Wien) owes much of its charm and rich history to its splendid location on the banks of the beautiful Danube River. For centuries the gateway between West and East Europe, it was the natural nucleus of the once sprawling Habsburg Empire, and to this day remains Austria’s most important commercial and cultural hub. Vienna continues to attract visitors with its many great historic sights, as well as for its busy program of events and entertainment. With an unmistakably cosmopolitan atmosphere, it retains a distinctive charm and flair, an effect accentuated by its fine old architecture, its famous horse-cabs (Fiaker), as well as its splendid street-side cafés with their Viennese coffees and treats.The Hofburg:For more than six centuries the seat of the Habsburgs – and the official residence of every Austrian ruler since 1275 – the Hofburg is perhaps the most historically significant of Vienna’s palaces. The official seat of the Austrian President, this sprawling complex consists of numerous buildings reflecting various periods, including architectural flourishes from the Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque, and Rococo movements. The complex covers 59 acres with 18 groups of buildings, including 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms. Its main attractions are the Imperial Apartments, the Sisi Museum, and the Silver Collection, while other notable sites within the complex include the Imperial Chapel (Burgkapelle), the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the Austrian National Library, and the Hofburg Treasury with its large collection of Imperial regalia and relics of the Holy Roman Empire. The Spanish Riding School:The Spanish Riding SchoolDating back to the time of Emperor Maximilian II, the superb Spanish Riding School was established after the ruler had the famous Lipizzaner horses introduced to his courtesans in 1562. Today, it’s one of Vienna’s leading attractions, thrilling audiences with fabulous displays of equestrian skills in the Baroque Winter Riding School in the grounds of the Hofburg Palace, where it has been located since 1735. Tickets to performances sell quickly, so be sure to book as far in advance as possible.Address: Michaelerplatz 1, 1010 Wien |Official site: http://www.srs.at/en/ St. Stephen’s Cathedral:Vienna’s most important Gothic edifice and the cathedral church of the archbishopric since 1722, St. Stephen’s Cathedral (Stephansdom) is a must-see. The original 12th-century Romanesque church was replaced by a Late Romanesque one in the 13th century, the remains of which are the massive gate and the Heathen Towers (Heidentürme). Next came reconstruction in the Gothic style in the 14th century, along with the addition of the Choir and the Chapels of St. Eligius, St Tirna, and St. Catherine, while the famous 137-meter high South Tower (Steffl) belongs to the 15th-century. Improvements and further construction followed from the 17th to 19th centuries, and the whole structure was rebuilt after WWII. Highlights include climbing the 343 steps to the Steffl’s Watch Room for the spectacular views, and the North Tower, home to the massive Pummerin Bell (a fast lift takes visitors to a viewing platform). Other features of note are the 14th-century catacombs and the Cathedral Treasure, containing many of the cathedral’s most important artifacts. Schönbrunn Palace and Gardens: The spectacular 18th-century Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) is worth visiting not only for its magnificent architecture, but also for its beautiful park-like setting. One of Vienna’s top attractions, this Baroque palace contains more than 1,441 rooms and apartments, including those once used by Empress Maria Theresa. Tour highlights include a chance to see the Imperial Apartments, including Emperor Franz Joseph’s Walnut Room and his Bedroom, which still has the small soldier’s bed in which he died. Of Empress Maria Theresa’s rooms, highlights include her richly furnished and decorated garden apartments, along with her Breakfast Room with its floral artwork created by her daughters. Schönbrunn Park and Gardens is another must see here. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site, its sumptuous Baroque gardens and numerous attractive outbuildings are well worth exploring, in particular the Palm House from 1883. If traveling with kids, visit the Children’s Museum for a chance to see them dressed up as a prince or princess. The Belvedere Palace :Among Vienna’s most popular attractions, Belvedere Palace is really two splendid Baroque buildings: the Lower (Unteres) Belvedere and the Upper (Oberes) Belvedere. Highlights of the Upper Palace include the Ground Floor Hall with its statues and the Ceremonial Staircase with its rich stucco relief and frescoes. Also worth seeing is the Marble Hall, a stunning two-story hall with numerous period sculptures, paintings, and ceiling frescoes. The Lower Palace also boasts a Marble Hall, this one noted for its oval plaster medallions and rich ceiling fresco, as well as a Marble Gallery built to house a collection of historic statues. Other notable buildings include the Winter Palace, a Baroque building that once housed the Court Treasury, the Orangery, the Palace Stables (home to the Medieval Treasury) and the Belvedere Gardens and Fountains linking the two palaces. Also worth seeing are its extensive art collections, including a rich array of sculptures and panel paintings from the 12th to the 16th centuries. The Vienna State Opera House : One of the world’s largest and most splendid theaters, the Vienna State Opera House (Wiener Staatsoper) has hosted many of the world’s most prominent composers, conductors, soloists, and dancers. Operatic and ballet performances are staged at least 300 times a year, fuelled by an obsession with music that goes as far back as 1625 when the first Viennese Court Opera was performed. The current massive Opera House was built in 1869 and is notable for its French Early Renaissance style, while interior highlights include a grand staircase leading to the first floor, the Schwind Foyer (named after its paintings of famous opera scenes), and the exquisite Tea Room with its valuable tapestries. Capable of accommodating an audience of 2,211 along with 110 musicians, the Opera House is also home to the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra. The Austrian Parliament Building : Home of Austria’s National and Federal Parliament since 1918, the Parliament Building impresses with its vast dimensions. Completed in 1883 for use by the Imperial and Provincial delegations, it boasts many Greek influences, from its Corinthian columns to its rich decoration (of particular note are the exterior carvings depicting the granting of the Constitution by Franz Joseph I to the 17 peoples of Austria, along with numerous marble statues and reliefs). Another highlight is the splendid Pallas Athene Fountain with its four-meter-high statue adorned with a gilded helmet and lance, along with figures symbolizing the Rivers Danube, Inn, Elbe, and Moldau. English language guided tours are available from the Visitor Center where you can also enjoy displays and multimedia presentations about the history of the building and Parliament itself.Address: Dr.-Karl-Renner-Ring 3, 1017 Wien |Official site: http://www.parlament.gv.at/ENGL/.Karlskirche:Dedicated to St. Charles Borromeo, a saint invoked during times of plague, Karlskirche was built in 1737 and remains Vienna’s most important Baroque religious building. This vast building is crowned by a magnificent 72-meter dome and is famous for its twin 33-meter Triumphal Pillars, based on Trajan’s Column in Rome, with their spiraling bands depicting scenes from the life of St. Charles. Interior highlights include the fabulous frescoes of St. Cecilia. Also worth visiting is the Gardekirche, built in 1763 in the city’s southern outer district as the church of the Imperial Hospital and later serving Polish congregations (of particular interest is the painting above the High Altar).Address: 1 Karlsplatz, 1040. The National Theater : Vienna’s superb National Theater (Burgtheater) has long been famous for its productions of German-language plays and performances. Many famous names have acted on its four stages since its founding by Emperor Joseph II in 1776 as the Court Theater. After a devastating fire in 1945, the theater eventually reopened in 1955 and has since grown in stature as the country’s most important theater. In addition to its size and the caliber of its performances, the building’s exterior is impressive on account of its numerous decorative figures, scenes, and busts. Equally as impressive is its interior consisting of rich decoration in the French Baroque style, and a staircase with frescoes by Gustav and Ernst Klimt. (Behind the scenes guided tours are available in English.)Address: Dr Karl-Lueger-Ring 2, 1010 Vienna | Official site: ww.burgtheater.at/Content.Node2/home/eninfo/English_Information.at.php ; Vienna City Hall : Vienna’s City Hall (Rathaus) is an impressive Neo-Gothic building that serves as the city’s administrative center. Remarkable for its size – it occupies nearly 14,000 square meters of the former Parade Ground – this attractive building was completed in 1883 and is notable for the famous Rathausmann on top of its 98-meter high tower, a banner-carrying iron figure presented to the city as a gift from its master locksmith. The arcaded courtyard in the center of the building is the largest of seven courtyards and is used for popular summer concerts. Highlights of a tour of the building include the Schmidt Halle, the large entrance into which carriages would once drive to deposit their passengers, and the two Grand Staircases leading to the Assembly Hall. Other sights included in the tour are the Heraldic Rooms, the City Senate Chamber (notable for its coffered ceiling decorated with gold-leaf and its huge Art Nouveau candelabra), and the Mayor’s reception room.Address: Friedrich-Schmidt-Platz 1, 1010 Wien | Official site: htps://www.wien.gv.at/english/cityhall/.;  Maria-Theresien-Platz and Memorial : The monument to Empress Maria Theresa is one of the most impressive in all Vienna and dominates the square named after her. Flanked by the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) and the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the statue was commissioned by Franz Joseph I and was unveiled in 1887. This massive monument depicts the Empress on her throne while surrounded by major personages of her day, including a number of generals on horseback. The high reliefs depict illustrious figures from the fields of politics, economics, and the arts, including Haydyn, Gluck, and the child prodigy, Mozart. (If visiting at Christmas, be sure to check out the city’s famous festive market held here.)Address: Burgring 7, 1010 Wien ;  Vienna Zoo (Tiergarte : The monument to Empress Maria Theresa is one of the most impressive in all Vienna and dominates the square named after her. Flanked by the Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum) and the Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum), the statue was commissioned by Franz Joseph I and was unveiled in 1887. This massive monument depicts the Empress on her throne while surrounded by major personages of her day, including a number of generals on horseback. The high reliefs depict illustrious figures from the fields of politics, economics, and the arts, including Haydyn, Gluck, and the child prodigy, Mozart. (If visiting at Christmas, be sure to check out the city’s famous festive market held here.)Address: Burgring 7, 1010 Wien ; Prater Park and the Giant Ferris Wheel:Visiting the Prater, a large natural park between the Danube and the Danube Canal, is a little like stepping into another world. Covering an area of 3,200 acres, this vast park – once a royal hunting ground – has long been one of Vienna’s most popular recreation areas. There’s something here for everyone, from thrills and spills in the Wurstel area with its old-fashioned theme park rides to dining and dancing (there’s even a dinosaur park for the kids). A highlight is taking a ride on the famous Giant Wheel, a Viennese landmark that has provided fine views over the city since 1896 (if you can afford it, go for the super luxurious cabin, suitable for parties of up to 12). Other park highlights include the Prater Ziehrer Monument, a larger-than-life statue of composer CM Ziehrer built in 1960; the Prater Museum with its displays documenting the park’s history; a Planetarium; and the Liliputbahn miniature steam railroad traversing a four-kilometer line near the main avenue. Elsewhere in this vast park there’s room enough for horseback riding, swimming in the stadium pool, football, cycling, tennis, and bowls. Also worth visiting is nearby Danube Park (Donaupark), a 250-acre open space that’s home to a fun miniature railroad, an artificial lake (Lake Iris), and a theater.|Address: 1020 Vienna |Official site: http://www.prater.at/GeneralInformation |  Hundertwasserhaus :Famous as Vienna’s “nature and human-friendly” house, the decidedly odd (yet fascinating) Hundertwasserhaus is well worth a visit. Designed by painter Friedensreich Hundertwasser, this brightly colored landmark on the corner of Löwengasse and Kegelstrasse was completed in 1985 and its main occupants – perhaps unsurprisingly – are artists, intellectuals, and creative types (much like the architect himself). Although the brightly colored building can only be enjoyed from the outside, you can explore the nearby Kunsthaus Wien, a complex of apartments containing a terrace café where you can rest while soaking up the ambience (afterwards, pop over to the similarly styled shopping arcade).♥ The Imperial Crypt and the Capuchin Churc :Dedicated to Our Lady of the Angels, Vienna’s Capuchin Church is best known for its spectacular Imperial Vault (Kapuzinergruft), home to the Habsburg family vault containing the remains of 145 members of the family (almost all Austrian Emperors since 1633 are buried here). The nine vaults are arranged in chronological order, making it easy to trace the evolution of taste, at least in burials. A highlight includes the Founder’s Vault, final resting place of Emperor Matthias who died in 1619, and Empress Anna, who died in 1618. Also of interest is the Maria Theresa Vault, a domed chamber dominated by a double sarcophagus in the Rococo style and built for the Empress, who died in 1780. The sarcophagus takes the form of a bed of state, at the head of which is the Imperial couple with an angel and a crown of stars, while along the sides are numerous reliefs depicting scenes from Maria Theresa’s life.|Address: Tegetthoffstraße 2, 1010 Wien |.♠ Collegial and Parish Church of St. Peter : Modeled on St. Peter’s in Rome, the Collegial and Parish Church of St. Peter (Peterskirche) is built on a site originally occupied by a Roman church and later by one founded by Charlemagne in 792 AD. The present edifice was built in the 18th century and boasts a massive dome with a superb fresco and many artistic treasures. Other highlights include the Barbara Chapel with its magnificent portal, and in which Franz Karl Remp’s Decollation of St. Barbara is found, and the choir with its High Altar and painting of the Immaculate Conception. Also of note is the nearby Plague Pillar, a 21-meter-tall Baroque pillar built to commemorate the end of the devastating plague of 1679 that cost at least 75,000 Viennese their lives. Also of interest is the nearby Abbey of the Scots (Schottenstift), built in the 12th century and extensively renovated and enlarged since. Its school included Johann Strauss and Austria’s last emperor, Charles I, among its pupils, while its fine collection of artwork includes pieces from the 16th to 19th centuries.|Address: Petersplatz, 1010 Wien-Innere Stadt. ♣The Franciscan Church: St. Jerome :The early 17th-century Roman Catholic Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche), also known as the Church of St. Jerome, is unique in Vienna for having a Renaissance façade, while its delightful interior is decorated in Baroque style. Highlights include the High Altar from 1707 and a painting of the Madonna and Child from 1550. Other paintings are the Martyrdom of St. Capristan and one of the church’s patron saint. Also of interest is the carved Baroque organ from 1643, the oldest organ in Vienna, notable for its folding doors with their fine carved and painted saints. The church’s most famous artifact, however, is a carved image known as the Madonna with the Axe, known for having been carried by Austrian soldiers during their campaign against the Turks in Hungary, and credited for their victory.|Address: Franziskanerplatz 4 |.♦ The Famous Demel: Vienna’s Ultimate Café :Founded in 1786 , the famous Demel is not only the oldest café and bakery in Vienna, it’s perhaps the most memorable food experience you’ll have in this wonderful city. Officially known as Hofzuckerbäckerei Demel – shortened to Demel by those in the know – this exquisite café serves dishes and cakes carefully prepared by hand to traditional centuries-old recipes, some of them once used to satisfy the cravings of Emperor Franz Joseph who secretly had Demel cakes and pralines served during his tête-à-têtes with his lover (apparently his unhappy wife Sisi was addicted to their legendary violet sorbet). A highlight of a visit is the Demelinerinnen, the modestly dressed waitresses wearing black dresses with lace collars who still address customers with the formal, “Haben schon gewählt ?” (“Has Madam/Sir already made her/his choice?”). The other highlight, of course, is drooling over the mouthwatering displays of cakes and pastries, including special creations resembling characters or creatures from history and mythology, each a work of art.|Address: Kohlmarkt 14, A-1010 Vienna|Official site: http://www.demel.at/en/index_en_flash.htm |19 Kärtner Strasse and the Donner Fountain:Looking to do a little window shopping after all that museum and gallery hopping? Then head to Vienna’s most elegant street, Kärtner Strasse. Linking Stephansplatz to the Staatsoper on the Ring and ending at Karlsplatz, this (mostly) pedestrian-friendly area is fun to wander thanks to its lime trees, pavement cafés, fashionable shops, elegant boutiques, and busy shopping arcades. Although most of the buildings you see today are 18th-century, the Maltese Church still has a few features dating from the 13th-century when the street was started (take a peek inside for its coats of arms of the Knights of Malta). Other notable buildings are Palais Esterházy, built in 1698 and now home to an upscale restaurant, while nearby buildings house high-end clothing stores. Also of note is the exquisite Donner Fountain, built in 1739 by Georg Raphael Donner to reflect the “caring and wise” city government (it was, of course, commissioned by those who ran Vienna at the time).|Where to Stay in Vienna for Sightseeing.The Ringstrasse circles Vienna’s old city center, replacing the walls that once enclosed it. Most of the major attractions are inside or along this ring, with major museums surrounding the buildings of the former Habsburg Palace, the Hofburg. As you might expect, most hotels in this compact center are in the luxury range. Budget hotels are found farther outside the ring or in the attractive neighborhood around Schönbrunn Palace and the zoo. Here are some highly-rated hotels in Vienna:

Luxury Hotels: Best known for the famous chocolate cake served in its sumptuous café, Hotel Sacher Wien is a Vienna landmark and tourist attraction itself, located adjacent to the opera. Just outside the ring and close to the Hofburg, Hotel Sans Souci Wien has a large pool and spa. In a beautifully restored historic building near the Burgtheater and an easy walk to both the Hofburg and cathedral, Park Hyatt Vienna has large rooms and a pool.

Mid-Range Hotels: On Mariahilferstrasse, just behind the Hofburg, Small Luxury Hotel Das Tyrol offers guests private use of the sauna. Locations don’t get more central than Hotel Am Stephansplatz, overlooking the cathedral and on Vienna’s smartest shopping street. Best Western Premier Kaiserhof Wien, a short distance outside the ring near Karlskirche, has old-world charm, a sauna, and steam room.

Budget Hotels: The spacious, modern rooms at Star Inn Hotel Wien Schönbrunn offer few frills, but the location is on a direct U-Bahn line to the center and within walking distance of Schönbrunn Palace and the zoo. Directly across from Schönbrunn’s park, Austria Trend Parkhotel Schönbrunn Vienna was once a guest house for the palace. Both of these hotels have plenty of restaurants within walking distance. On a quiet street outside the ring near Belvedere Palace, family-run Hotel Pension Bosch is five minutes from a direct tram to the center.

Recommended Day Trip Tours from Vienna

Danube Valley: An easy way to see a little of the countryside and experience life outside the big city is on a Melk Abbey and Danube Valley Day Trip from Vienna. This tour takes you through the forests, fields, and historic abbeys of the Wachau Valley. From spring until fall, the tour includes a 1.5-hour boat trip along the Danube to Melk, with a chance to explore the town’s famous abbey. Included in this eight-hour tour is hotel pickup and drop-off, entry to the abbey, a guide, and all transportation.

Bratislava: For a little cultural diversion try a day trip to Slovakia’s capital city, just an hour away. The Bratislava Day Trip is a 7.5-hour tour, including transportation, a guided walking tour of the city’s most famous sites, and free time to wander through the city.

Salzburg: The Salzburg Day Trip from Vienna is a 13-hour tour that hits all the highlights, with a scenic drive through the Alps; a stop at Lake Mondsee; a walking tour of Salzburg’s Old Town; and a chance to see Mirabell Palace, where portions of The Sound of Music were filmed. The tour is led by a professional guide who can point out the highlights and history, especially as it relates to Mozart and other composers.

Budapest: The Budapest Day Trip from Vienna offers an easy way to add on a beautiful Eastern European city to your itinerary. This 13-hour tour passes through beautiful Hungarian countryside and includes a coach tour of Budapest, stopping at the city’s major attractions.

BUDAPEST       

Budapest—a city of thermal baths, cafés, striking turn-of-the-century architecture, and most of all, a city of the Danube, “whose gentle waves,” according to the great Hungarian poet Attila József, “embrace past, present, and future.” Straddling the wide river, which separates hilly Buda from level Pest, the Hungarian capital offers one of the most striking metropolitan panoramas in Europe. Budapest is a city of music, from the classics of Bartók and Kodály to the contemporary fusion of folk, klezmer, jazz, and Gypsy sounds. Long hidden behind the Iron Curtain, Budapest is rightfully regaining its reputation as one of the most vibrant capitals of central Europe

                  

LISBON  

Lisbon is an illuminated city. The almost constant presence of sunshine and the River Tagus transforms the Portuguese capital into a mirror of a thousand colours – highlighting the city’s unique architecture and beauty.

There are so many things to see and do in Lisbon that visitors have access to a wide array of different experiences.

As we walk through Lisbon – whose history spans back thousands of years – we find streets filled with heritage monuments, and characteristic neighbourhoods where the city first developed and can still be experienced at its most genuine level.

Visit Lisbon of the River Tagus, whose riverfront is dedicated to leisure activities and links the monumental zone of Belém with the modern area of the Parque das Nações.

Have fun in Lisbon, where nightlife continues till dawn.

Practise sport in Lisbon – with excellent golf courses and beaches close at hand.

Experience calmer moments in Lisbon in the city’s parks, gardens, belvederes, cafés and esplanades.

Or simply enjoy the pure pleasure of being in Lisbon, through its gastronomy, luxury hotels, spas and shopping centres.

Walk in Lisbon

The good weather and long days are an irresistible invitation to discover and experience the city with a relaxed and leisurely walk of its seven hills, taking breaks at the various sightseeing spots along the way. The viewpoints of Graça, Senhora do Monte, Santa Luzia, São Jorge Castle or São Pedro de Alcantara are just some of the scenic spots of Lisboa, where you can admire the most beautiful panoramic views of the Portuguese capital.

Walk in the streets Copyright Rachel in Wonderland

Lisbon by tram

If you would like to get to know Lisboa’s hidden secrets, without the slog of climbing its seven hills on foot, then take a ride on the no. 28 tram. This is the ideal way of discovering some of Lisboa’s most interesting historical sites. Starting from Martim Moniz, the no.28 heads in the direction of the Graça neighbourhood, past São Vincente de Fora Church which is worth a visit due to its imposing tiled facade.

City views

In Lisboa, the fresh air, beauty of the landscape, temperate climate and local friendliness come together in harmony. Scattered all over town, there are many esplanades where one can talk, study, make out or simply do nothing. Come and discover these peaceful meeting points Lisboa has been built on seven hills, and on each one of them there are places to discover.

Lisbon Miradouro Allesandro Grussu ©Allesandro Grussu

Castelo De Sao Jorge

Built in the mid-11th century, this fortification still retains eleven towers displaying various architectural features characteristic of military fortifications from the Moorish period. The steps leading up the sides of the curtain walls provide access to the ramparts and towers enabling visitors to explore the entire perimeter.

Market and Fairs

There is no better way to learn first hand a city’s lifestyle than a trip to the market. Here you can discover in the most spontaneous way the past and present habits, tastes and fashions of Lisboa’s locals.

Visit one of several fairs set up in the city’s public squares and gardens and enjoy a more authentic shopping experience.                                         

NEWCASTLE          

Against its dramatic backdrop of Victorian elegance and industrial grit, this fiercely independent city harbours a spirited mix of heritage and urban sophistication, with excellent art galleries and a magnificent concert hall, along with boutique hotels, some exceptional restaurants and, of course, interesting bars: Newcastle is renowned throughout Britain for its thumping nightlife, bolstered by an energetic, 42,000-strong student population. The city retains deep-rooted traditions, embodied by the no-nonsense, likeable locals.

Allow at least a few days to explore the Victorian city centre and quayside areas along the Tyne and across the river in Gateshead, as well as the rejuvenated Ouseburn Valley to the east, shabby-chic Jesmond to the north, and, on the coast, the surf beaches of Tynemouth.

LIFE SCIENCE CENTRE (Top choice museum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne): Part of a sober-minded institute devoted to the study of genetic science, this centre lets you discover the secrets of life through a fascinating series of hands-on exhibits. The highlight is the Motion Ride, a simulator that lets you ‘experience’ bungee jumping and the like (the 4D film changes every year). There are lots of thought-provoking arcade-style games, and if the information sometimes gets lost on the way, never mind, kids will love it. Book ahead at busy times.Victoria Tunnel:Walking Newcastle’s streets, you’d never know this extraordinary tunnel runs for 2.5 miles beneath your feet. Built between 1839 and 1842 as a coal-wagon thoroughfare, it was used as an air-raid shelter during WWII. Volunteer-led, two-hour tours take you through an atmospheric 700m-long level section of the tunnel. Book ahead as numbers are limited to 12 participants, and wear good shoes and a washable jacket for the limewashed walls. Tours finish at Ouse St, near the Quayside.Tours depart from the Ouseburn Trust office behind the Ship Inn.

BALTIC – Centre for Contemporary Art: Once a huge mustard-coloured grain store, BALTIC is now a huge mustard-coloured art gallery rivalling London’s Tate Modern. There are no permanent exhibitions; instead, rotating shows feature the work and installations of some of contemporary art’s biggest show-stoppers. The complex has artists in residence, a performance space, a cinema, a bar, a spectacular rooftop restaurant (bookings essential) and a ground-floor restaurant with riverside tables. A 4th-floor outdoor platform and 5th-floor viewing box offer fabulous panoramas of the Tyne.

Discovery Museum: Tyneside’s rich history is explored at this unmissable museum. Exhibitions spread across three floors of the former Co-operative Wholesale Society building around the mightily impressive 30m-long Turbinia, the fastest ship in the world in 1897 and the first to be powered by steam turbine. Other highlights are a section on shipbuilding on the Tyne, with a scale model of the river in 1929, and the ‘Story of Newcastle’, spanning the city’s history from Pons Aelius (Roman Newcastle) to Cheryl Cole.

Great North Museum:The contents of Newcastle University’s museums and the prestigious Hancock Museum’s natural-history exhibits come together in the latter’s neoclassical building. The result is a fascinating jumble of dinosaurs, Roman altar stones, Egyptian mummies, Samurai warriors and impressive taxidermy. Standout exhibits include a life-size Tyrannosaurus rex recreation and an interactive model of Hadrian’s Wall showing every milecastle and fortress. There’s also lots of hands-on stuff for kids and a planetarium with screenings throughout the day.

Segedunum (Roman site in Newcastle-upon-Tyne):The last strong post of Hadrian’s Wall was the fort of Segedunum, 5 miles east of Newcastle at the ‘wall’s end’, now the Newcastle suburb of Wallsend. Beneath the 35m-high tower, which you can climb for terrific views, is an absorbing site that includes a reconstructed Roman bathhouse (with steaming pools and frescos) and a museum offering a fascinating insight into life during Roman times.

Segedeunum is a three-minute walk from the Wallsend Metro station (from Newcastle £3.20, 20 minutes).

Newcastle Castle(Castle in Newcastle-upon-Tyne):The stronghold that put both the ‘new’ and ‘castle’ into Newcastle has been largely swallowed up by the train station, leaving only a few remaining fragments including the square Norman keep and the Black Gate, both fresh from a £1.67-million restoration. Exhibits inside the two buildings cover the history of the city, its castle and its residents from Roman times onwards. The 360-degree city views from the keep’s rooftop are the best in town.

Seven Stories – The Centre for Children’s Books(Museum in Newcastle-upon-Tyne):A marvellous conversion of a handsome Victorian mill has resulted in Seven Stories, a very hands-on museum dedicated to the wondrous world of children’s literature. Across the seven floors you’ll find original manuscripts and artwork from the 1930s onwards, and a constantly changing program of kid-oriented exhibitions, activities and events designed to encourage the AA Milnes of the new millennium.

           

WARSAW

Why Warsaw?Visitors don’t tend to adore the Polish capital – but they almost universally admire it. Warsaw is one gutsy city, which has bounced back remarkably from almost total destruction in the Second World War and decades of neglect under communist rule.

It’s also a city that doesn’t quite fit the images people have of it. Yes, there’s plenty of concrete and it does get cold in winter, but Warsaw is surprisingly leafy – bleak is a word you never reach for while visiting.

European Union membership, an upturn in financial fortunes and hosting the Euro 2012 football tournament seem to have imbued Warsaw with a confidence to go with its long-standing gritty determination. Head out at night, and there’s a sleeves-rolled-up embrace of having a good time.

The go-getting energy is very hard not to respect and enjoy.

A comfortable bed

For palatial-style glamour – something Warsaw doesn’t really specialise in – the Hotel Bristol (www.hotelbristolwarsaw.pl, 0048 225 511 000) is the best bet, with enormous suites and no expense spared on the marble-drenched bathrooms. Rooms cost from 549 złoty (Dh603).

For something a whole lot more fun, the Castle Inn (www.castleinn.pl, 0048 224 250 100) offers theatrically designed decor and fittings in individual artist-designed rooms, with the added bonus of an Old Town location. Doubles cost from 250 złoty (Dh275).

For luxurious charm, the Rialto (www.rialto.pl, 0048 22 584 8700) goes all out on the art-deco front, and it works deliciously well. The management have scoured auctions across Europe to find original 1920s furniture. Doubles cost from 503 złoty (Dh552).

Find your feet

A stroll down the major street Nowy Swiat leads towards the delightfully pretty Old Town, but it’s worth taking the time to duck through a few archways. Many lead to courtyards and maze-like alleys full of buzzy cafes.

Once in the Old Town, there’s a certain pristine factor to its good looks that gives the backstory away. It was destroyed in the Second World War, then painstakingly rebuilt afterwards. Photos on displays in the squares show just how big a rubble pile it once was.

The Royal Castle (www.zamek-krolewski.pl, 0048 223 555 170) is the best example of this restoration. Reduced to little more than a single wall, it’s now back to its full glory. A remarkable percentage of the furnishings, paintings, tapestries and interiors were saved by staff who smuggled them out of Warsaw.

Pass through the handsome architectural pick-and-mix of the Old Town Square to the photogenic Barbican, a remnant of the medieval fortification network that once surrounded the city.

Meet the locals

Łazienki Park, to the south-east of the city centre, is an idyllic hangout in summer and snowily atmospheric in winter.

Book a table

U Fukiera (www.ufukiera.pl, 0048 228 311 013) perhaps relies on its atmospherics too much, but the traditionally heavy Polish food – big on game, dumplings and mushrooms – is served in a dreamworld of vaulted ceilings, tapestries and a blooming courtyard. Mains cost about 50 złoty (Dh55).

Restaurant Michel Moran (www.restaurantbistrodeparis.com, 0048 228 260 107) is a long-standing special-occasion favourite, and offers arguably the finest French food in the country. Dishes include the 110-złoty (Dh121) tournedos Rossini and 119-złoty (Dh131) French pigeon with royale mushrooms.

Shopper’s paradise

The area between Nowy Swiat and the Palace of Culture and Science, a hilariously ugly communist landmark, is where most of the boutiques and mini-malls are congregated.

The Old Town, meanwhile, has a few knowingly old-world shops flogging souvenirs of variable quality. Of these, the Lapidarium (15 Nowomiejska) is the most delightfully shambolic. It’s a thoroughly disorganised jumble of lockets, Plasticine models, bizarre amulets and pretty much everything else you can imagine sifting through in the hunt for something special.

What to avoid

The taxi drivers outside the main station have, to put it mildly, a strong aversion to putting on their meter. If you can, walk a few blocks and find one who’s prepared to play fair.

Don’t miss

The Warsaw Rising Museum (www.1944.pl, 0048 225 397 905) stays with you a long time after you leave. Telling the tragic story of Warsaw during the Second World War, it covers the horrors of Nazi rule, the courage of the local people in their attempts to overthrow it and the destruction of the city. The story would be gripping regardless, but the displays are consistently inventive and well-considered.

Getting there

Emirates (www.emirates.com; 600 555 555) flies direct from Dubai to Warsaw. Return flights cost from Dh3,385.

ZURICH

As a «metropolis of experiences» by the water, with a magnificent view of the snowcapped Alps on the horizon, Zurich offers a unique mixture of attractions – over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, international fashion labels and Zurich designs, and the most flamboyant and lively nightlife in Switzerland. Recreational activities range from a visit to the riverside and lakeside bathing areas in the very heart of the city, to a spectacular hike on the Uetliberg mountain.As a «metropolis of experiences» by the water, with a magnificent view of the snowcapped Alps on the horizon, Zurich offers a unique mixture of attractions – over 50 museums and more than 100 art galleries, international fashion labels and Zurich designs, and the most flamboyant and lively nightlife in Switzerland. Recreational activities range from a visit to the riverside and lakeside bathing areas in the very heart of the city, to a spectacular hike on the Uetliberg mountain.

Summer:Trend-setting Zurich is a shopper’s paradise and a metropolis of the arts, home to legendary nightlife. Nature is on the doorstep – and Zurich’s overall quality of life is frequently voted the best in the world.

Kunsthaus – Switzerland’s most important art gallery contains a collection from all the important periods of European art – from the Middle Ages through to the present.

Rietberg Museum – the museum houses non-European art, particularly from India, China and Africa.

Bahnhofstrasse – the mile-long street of banks featuring exclusive fashion boutiques, department stores and street cafes invites passers-by to linger.

Zurich Zoo – featuring a 11,000-square-metre ecosystem hall containing several hundred plant and animal species from the Madagascan Masoala Rainforest.

Altstadt – with its art galleries, antique and book shops: an insider’s tip amongst art aficionados. In the evening, the old town is transformed into an entertainment quarter for an eclectic swathe of the general public.

Top Events : Sechseläuten – every year Zurich’s guilds and the population celebrate their traditional spring festival with great fervour (April).

Festival Tropical Caliente – hot rhythms like salsa and samba and a diverse mixture of top acts and trendsetters in Latin music drive the hips of partygoers to sway and writhe (June).

Streetparade – one of the world’s biggest techno events draws fans from throughout Switzerland and its neighbouring countries to the city on the Limmat (August).

Zurich Festival – a festival offering a unique combination of operas, concerts, drama, dance and open-air theatre takes place annually in the summer setting of Zurich (June/July).

News: Zürich Marathon

Verschneite Berggipfel, blauer See, Brücken und Kirchentürme – das ist die Kulisse des Zürich Marathon. Am 9. April 2017 strömen die LäuferInnen wieder durch die Zürcher Innenstadt und entlang dem Zürichsee.

Mehr Informationen

The news presented here is provided and updated by regional/local tourist offices, which is why Switzerland Tourism is unable to guarantee the correctness of the contents.

COPENHAGEN  

Copenhagen—København in Danish—has no glittering skylines and hardly any of the high-stress bustle common to most capitals. Throngs of bicycles glide along in ample bike lanes. The early-morning air in the pedestrian streets of the city’s core is redolent of freshly baked bread and soap-scrubbed storefronts. If there’s such a thing as a cozy city, this is it.The town was a fishing colony until 1157, when Valdemar the Great gave it to Bishop Absalon, who built a castle on what is now the parliament, Christiansborg. It grew as a center on the Baltic trade route and became known as købmændenes havn (merchants’ harbor) and eventually København. In the 15th century it became the royal residence and the capital of Norway and Sweden. From 1596 to 1648, Christian IV, a Renaissance king obsessed with fine architecture, began a building boom that crowned the city with towers and castles, many of which still stand. They’re almost all that remain of the city’s 800-year history; much of Copenhagen was destroyed by two major fires in the 18th century and by British bombing during the Napoleonic Wars.Despite a tumultuous history, Copenhagen survives as the liveliest Scandinavian capital. With its backdrop of copper towers and crooked rooftops, the venerable city is soothed by one of the highest standards of living in the world and spangled by the lights and gardens of Tivoli.            

LONDON GATWICK              

London Gatwick Airport is one of the United Kingdom’s biggest airports for both domestic and international flights.The IATA code for the Airport is LGW and the airport has been up and running since 1933 when the British Airline Authority gave permission to establish commercial flights to and from Gatwick.Due to its location near London centre and its fast and smooth communication grid, Gatwick is the preferred airport for many charter and leisure flight companies.London Gatwick Airport in numbers:

Distance from the airport to the centre of London: about 45 Km.Air companies operating at Gatwick Airport: 100Passengers in 2007: 3.700.000For more information about the Airport please visit : http://www.gatwickairport.com.Here is a list of some of the airlines that fly to/from Gatwick airport:British Airways | easyJet | Norwegian |Pegasus Airlines| Aer Arann | Monarch Airlines | Thomas Cook AirlinesTransfers: Terravision operates a shuttle service from Gatwick Airport to London Victoria          

NICE        

Nice is one of the Capital of the Alpes Maritimes department in France. And hands down France is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and thus this capital isn’t any less worthy of praise. Nice, France, is the second largest city on the Mediterranean coast. It is given the nickname of Nice La Belle which translates to Nice the beautiful.Nice, France has an architectural site which holds the evidence for the use of fire in the olden times. Because of its natural beauty and allure it is one of the most visited cities in France and has the second largest hotel capacity to accommodate the whooping 4 million tourists that it gets each year. And because of that Nice also has the third busiest airport in all of France.All sorts of transportation is available in Nice, France. Air, Rail, Tram, port and obviously the most scenic one being the road. The beach is truly a site to behold because the effervescent shades of blue that captures the attention and hearts of the millions of tourists that visit the city every year and certainly find more than what they’re looking for.

Things to do in Nice, France

Nice is one of the Capital of the Alpes Maritimes department in France. And hands down France is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and thus this capital isn’t any less worthy of praise. Nice, France, is the second largest city on the Mediterranean coast. It is given the nickname of Nice La Belle which translates to Nice the beautiful.

Nice, France has an architectural site which holds the evidence for the use of fire in the olden times. Because of its natural beauty and allure it is one of the most visited cities in France and has the second largest hotel capacity to accommodate the whooping 4 million tourists that it gets each year. And because of that Nice also has the third busiest airport in all of France.

All sorts of transportation is available in Nice, France. Air, Rail, Tram, port and obviously the most scenic one being the road. The beach is truly a site to behold because the effervescent shades of blue that captures the attention and hearts of the millions of tourists that visit the city every year and certainly find more than what they’re looking for.

Many English people come during the winters to enjoy the breath taking panoramic view of the beach in Nice, France. There is a popular street upon which there are no cars and people just walk on the road which is parallel to the beach and lined with restaurants presenting a very wide range of cuisine. So it’s the perfect combination of scenery and food which is unique to Nice, France.

The main square of Nice, France, is somewhat like a separation between the old and new Nice. There are many other architectural sites such as the Place Garibaldi which takes after a hero from the Italian Unification and then there is the Ruska Palace and the Cathedral all of which are known for their amazing architecture. Needless to say that Nice, France, is indeed not only famous for its scenic beauty but also the buildings which add the final touches to the rather perfect painting.                             

DUBLIN   

Shoppers on Grafton Street. Dublin, Ireland

As far as cities go, Dublin would rank behind Boston, MA with a relatively small population of about 572,000. There are about 100,000 more Bostonians and over 7 million more New Yorkers in each of their respective cities. However, the capital of Ireland is certainly no disappointment. With an eclectic mix of street art, great shops, and hundreds of wonderful Irish pubs, Dublin is well worth the visit. But, it would be nearly impossible to see it all if you’re just visiting for a few days. So, here’s a guide to some of my favorite places in Dublin.

Tourist Attractions:

  1. St. Stephan’s Green

A beautiful park located in Dublin 2, this park is perfect for a leisurely stroll on a nice day. With a large pond, lots of seagulls and various statues all interconnected with quaint walkways, the green is a great escape from the bustling city.

  1. Grafton Street

A shopper’s galore. Grafton Street is characterized by it’s pedestrian only walkway and a wide variety of shops. Perfect for buying touristy gifts or discovering trendy new European styles, Grafton Street has a wonderful atmosphere. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy the authentic Irish music usually being played by street performers!

  1. Book of Kells/Trinity College Library

Trinity College is one of the top schools in Ireland and the grandiose stone architecture is sure to impress. If you’re willing to spend 9 euros on seeing the famous Book of Kells, the Long Room in the Library is a truly unique sight. However, if you’re on a tighter timeline while in Dublin, your time is probably better spent elsewhere.

  1. Guinness Factory

It would be an injustice to come to Ireland and not enjoy a pint of Guinness. The factory is a great attraction and even teaches you how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness. The view from the SkyBar also gives a wonderful new perspective of the city.

  1. Jameson Factory

If you love whisky then this factory tour is 100 percent worth it! With a wide variety of tasting options, the Jameson Factory, like the Guinness Factory, gives you an up close and personal look at one of Ireland’s most famous drinks.

Food:

  1. The Sweet Republic

If you’re looking for a heart attack in milkshake form, this is the place for you. The massive milkshakes served here are usually topped off with cookies, donuts and lots of whipped cream. This bright and colorful dessert shop will satisfy even the largest sweet tooth.

  1. Queen of Tarts

This famous shop is great for breakfast, lunch or dessert. Although the wait can be a bit long, the food is totally worth it. Be sure to try one of their famous apple crumb tarts!

  1. Murphy’s

If you’re craving ice cream straight from the beautiful dairy farms of Dingle, then you should definitely pay Murphy’s a visit. Their unique flavors and homemade cones are well worth it.

  1. The Porterhouse Pub

This pub has a variety of food including pizza, wings and burgers. If you’re looking to experience traditional Irish pub food, the Porterhouse is a great spot for lunch and a pint while you explore Dublin.

Night Life:

  1. The Temple Bar Area

Although the prices are outrageously high, the experience is completely worth it. This area is full of beautiful street art and tons of traditional Irish pubs. Even if you just have time to walk through this area in the day, the Temple Bar is a must see Dublin sight.

  1. Brazen Head Pub

With live music every night, this is the oldest and most charming pub in all of Ireland. The pub is decked out with Irish flags and it is a wonderful way to meet some new Irish friends.

  1. Harcourt Street

The Dublin Club scene is truly one of a kind. Dicey’s, Dtwo, Copper and The Palace are all very popular destinations especially for young people. However, beware of the very forward Irish men who have no qualms pulling you in for an Irish kiss. These night clubs are definitely worth the experience.

  1. Bleeding Horse

When my friends and I went to this club we immediately befriended a group of Irish girls who thoroughly enjoyed showing off their “authentic” Boston accents. The Irish are a very friendly group and absolutely love to get to know new people. This pub has a great atmosphere and a lot of comfortable seating for larger groups.

  1. Whelan’s

Any fans of P.S. I Love You should definitely pay this iconic bar a visit. Don’t pass up the opportunity to hear “Galway Girl” played live in this cute pub. You’ll feel just like Hillary Swank.

All in all, Dublin is a spectacular city to visit while in Ireland. Never be afraid to strike up a conversation in any one of the pubs you’re visiting to ask the Irish about places they recommend. They are always so happy to tell you about the city they love as much as we all love visiting!

 LONDON HEATROW  While the airport’s website lists New York, Dubai, Dublin, Hong Kong, and Frankfurt as its five most popular destinations, the largest destination for most flyers is Spain at 27 million passengers per year. The US only nets about half that at 13 million passengers. Within the UK, the Heathrow to Edinburgh routes carries 1 million passengers a year.                     

OSLO

Oslo is a well-known capital city of Norway, in the Scandinavian region. Oslo is also a historic place as it was established over 1000 years ago by Norway’s king Harald Hardrade. Oslo has been the base for Norway kingdom since the beginning of the 14th century to the current period. Oslo City is popular for its massive area of geographical cover making it one of the top largest cities worldwide, and its huge virgin forest cover within its territory. There is a lake near the city centre known as the Oslo fjord that connects to the North Sea. The nearby archipelago of islands is also part of Oslo’s territory, and is a major attraction to visit while touring the city.There are four ways of reaching Oslo City. The flight option is served by either of three airports within and in the neighborhood of Oslo City. These airports are Oslo Airport, Sandefjord Airport, and Moss Airport. Its tickets can be booked online to arrive at any of these airports. Since these airports are located away from the city centre of Oslo, travelers have to use train transport, buses, or taxi that stage near the airports.Oslo Central Station at the eastern side of the city and the Lysaker Station at the western edge of the city are the stops for those who travel by train from domestic cities and cities in the international sector like Gothenburg, Stockholm, and Copenhagen. If you have a private car nearby then you can use the major highways that lead to Oslo City. International highways from outside Norway are E6 from Malmo, E18 from Saint Petersburg, E16 from Bergen, E134 from Haugesund, and E18 from Swebus Express, Eurolines, and GoByBus offer international rides between Oslo City and places outside Norway. The major domestic bus operator is the Nor-Way Bussekspress buses that connect Oslo to most of the cities in Norway. If you are in Denmark and Germany, there are ferries that can be used to arrive at the seaports of Oslo. These ferries are Color Line from Germany and DFDS and Stena Line from Denmark. Oslo’s population of hotels is low, thus it is difficult to secure a room during globally recognized holidays. This is likewise to the hostels, though they are cheapest options. There are also camping options; Bogstad Camping, Langoyene Island camping and Ekeberg Camping.When dining in Oslo, you can either choose the cheap lifestyle of dining or the luxurious setup. The cheapest restaurants are Asian restaurants and snack bars, so the local cuisine is a blend of the traditional Norway dishes and some imported European and American dishes. Restaurants, bars, and nightclubs are in plenty within the city center. Oslo has only scattered monumental buildings.Tours inside the Royal Palace are available during the summer. Tickets are required in order to take advantage of the tour, and they can be purchased from any post office. Other tourist sites to visit are the stunning architectural Opera House and the artistic Munch Museum.

DUSSELDORF   

is liveabke and lovevable the city dazzles with its outstanding infrastructure and modern architecture,cultivates its traditions, and creates a cosmopolitan buzz with its cultural programme.Above all, Düsseldorf is the city of fashion, shopping, culture and lifestyle. The great international designers present themselves on Königsallee (Kö), one of the most luxurious shoppers’ paradises in Europe. Exclusive boutiques and large fashion houses stand side by side with elegant street cafés. Individual districts such as Flingern or Unterbilk equally offer an innovative and unique range of small boutiques and designer stores, several of which are found only in Düsseldorf.Only a few steps away from “the Kö” is the historical Altstadt, the Old Town. It is best known for its more than 260 pubs and restaurants and its top-brewed ‘Altbier’. In its narrow lanes with their easy atmosphere, countless small fashion stores and avant-garde shops have established themselves.Most of the museums are in the Altstadt or on its fringes. Numerous art galleries, artists’ studios and antique shops are located in the Altstadt. The Rheinuferpromenade bordering the Altstadt along the Rhine is one of Düsseldorf’s most popular meeting places. People enjoy the sunshine in one of the many bistros and restaurants or board a boat for a trip on the Rhine.cultivates its traditions, and creates a cosmopolitan buzz with its cultural programme.

Above all, Düsseldorf is the city of fashion, shopping, culture and lifestyle. The great international designers present themselves on Königsallee (Kö), one of the most luxurious shoppers’ paradises in Europe. Exclusive boutiques and large fashion houses stand side by side with elegant street cafés. Individual districts such as Flingern or Unterbilk equally offer an innovative and unique range of small boutiques and designer stores, several of which are found only in Düsseldorf.

Only a few steps away from “the Kö” is the historical Altstadt, the Old Town. It is best known for its more than 260 pubs and restaurants and its top-brewed ‘Altbier’. In its narrow lanes with their easy atmosphere, countless small fashion stores and avant-garde shops have established themselves.

Most of the museums are in the Altstadt or on its fringes. Numerous art galleries, artists’ studios and antique shops are located in the Altstadt. The Rheinuferpromenade bordering the Altstadt along the Rhine is one of Düsseldorf’s most popular meeting places. People enjoy the sunshine in one of the many bistros and restaurants or board a boat for a trip on the Rhine.

LYON

Paris is unique, incomparable – but one thing it is not is French. Paris is, to her gilded fingertips, Parisienne and anyone exploring her and hoping to find France will, alas, be disappointed. For the true France and true French art de vivre, you have to head south, through the rich fields and vineyards of the Rhône and Loire, and finally come to rest in Lyon.

I think Lyon, more than any other city in France, embodies that illusive French “art of living” – the joyful synthesis of all that makes life worthwhile: food, wine, culture, friends and family – and it’s an art that the Lyonnais are very happy to share with even the most casual visitor.

Yet beyond France, Lyon’s reputation is largely limited to its industry and gastronomy. The former fuels the city’s enviable lifestyle and accounts for its dubious honour of being France’s largest conurbation. But the truth is that the relaxed city centre – the heart of Lyonnais art de vivre – is a lovely walkable enclave.                                                    

PARIS

Notre Dame, Paris

Book the best sightseeing, day tours, night tours, wine tours, gourmet food tour, Museum tours and a wide range of other most interesting tours in Paris that are original, different, fun and out-of-the-ordinary includes romantic tours, photo tours, petanque tour and many more. A selection of the very best tours in Paris. All types of sightseeing tours to Paris famous landmarks including the Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame and Montmartre. Being the capital of France, Paris is one of the best places in the world to discover wines. The heart of Paris can be easily be visited by taking bike tours. Safe, fun and they are the perfect introduction to Paris.

FRANKFURT

German city. The gothic Saint Bartholomeus Cathedral is a perseverant structure, having been destroyed and rebuilt twice since its 14th century construction. Catch a screening at the German Film Museum, stroll the exhibit halls of one of Frankfurt’s many galleries, or climb to the top of the Main Tower for sweeping 360-degree views of the city.

Hello Tommorrow : emirates.com/sg, Free Wi-Fi available on select aircraft * 30 kg baggage allowance * On demand entertainment : For more details, visit emirates.com/sg or contact your travel agent.

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