14 Most Beautiful National Parks in Europe

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14 Most Beautiful National Parks in Europe

Category : Europe , Visit Europe

When visiting Europe, the incredible cities are often a highlight. However, only sticking to urban areas means that you’ll miss out on the amazing scenery found throughout the continent. From England’s Lake District to the Gran Paradiso National Park in the Italian Alps, national parks are the perfect way to experience and appreciate the unique landscapes found throughout Europe. As you plan your next European getaway, be sure to make a stop or two at one of the most beautiful national parks in Europe.

14. Jotunheimen National Park

Jotunheimen National Park

 

Jotunheimen National Park in Norway is also known as the Land of the Giants, which refers to the park’s many mountains. The park is home to more than 250 mountain peaks, some of which are among the tallest in all of Europe. In between the many snow-capped peaks are bright blue lakes filled with melted snow, creating picture-perfect scenery. Jotunheimen National Park is also packed with wildlife like reindeer, elk and lynx, and the trout-filled lakes are ideal for fishing.

13. Lake District National Park

Lake District National Park

 

One of the most beautiful and peaceful destinations in England is the Lake District National Park. As the name suggests, the park is home to countless lakes, but equally as appealing are the many mountains, called fells, that dot the landscape. Visitors come to enjoy long walks among the fells and to soak up the views, and there is no shortage of accommodation located within the park itself.

12. Caldera de Taburiente National Park

Caldera de Taburiente National Park

 

When people think of the Canary Island, and the isle of La Palma in particular, it is beaches and resorts that often come to mind. However, the Spanish island is home to the amazing Caldera de Taburiente National Park. The heart of the park is what looks like a giant crater, but what is now known as a mountainous arch. While in the Caldera de Taburiente National Park, you can hike along the edge of the mountain, soaking in breathtaking views of green valleys and even the blue waters of the ocean in the distance.

11. Bialowieza National Park

Bialowieza National Park

 

On the border between Poland and Belarus is the Bialowieza National Park, a large park that is also the last remaining temperate primeval forest in Europe. If you have always wanted to spot European Bison in their natural habitat, this is the world’s best place to do so. Bialowieza National Park is also a great destination for hiking and cycling though shaded paths and trails. Be sure to stop by the Museum of Nature and Forest of the Białowieża National Park while you’re there in order to learn a bit more about the wildlife and development of the park.

10. Oulanka National Park

Oulanka National Park

 

In Northern Finland, you’ll find the sprawling greenery and beauty of the Oulanka National Park. The park protects the land of the Sami people, who lived, hunted and fished in the area until the 17th century. Today, a visit to the Oulanka National Park means the chance to hike along the Karhunkierros, which is the most popular trekking route in all of Finland. Other pastimes in the park include picking berries, mountain biking, canoeing on the many rivers and staying overnight at the wooden cabins that dot the park.

9. Saxon Switzerland National Park

Saxon Switzerland National Park

 

Despite the slightly misleading name, the Saxon Switzerland National Park is actually located completely within German borders near the city of Dresden. Bizarre stone formations and spectacular views are only a few of the wonderful characteristics of this national park in Europe that is ideal for climbing and hiking. Even without climbing experience, you’ll be able to visit iconic sights like the spectacular Bastei Bridge and the lofty Königstein Fortress that rises 245 meters (800 feet) above the Elbe River.

8. Gran Paradiso National Park

Gran Paradiso National Park

 

In the middle of the Graian Alps of Northern Italy is the Gran Paradiso National Park. Originally, the park was created to protect the ibex from poachers, since the area was supposed to be the private hunting ground of a king. Part of the park is forested, and there are also multiple glaciers within its boundaries. Hiking is popular throughout the park, particularly up the summit of the Gran Paradiso Mountain, and there are also stunning views of nearby Alpine peaks like Mont Blanc and the Matterhorn.

7. Durmitor National Park

Durmitor National Park

 

In Žabljak, Montenegro, is the Durmitor National Park. Surrounded by river canyons, Durmitor is home to enormous peaks that rise up at sharp angles and create a surreal landscape of contrasts. Visiting Durmitor National Park is popular among those who wish to summit the mountains, admire the glacial lakes, ski or even snowboard.

6. Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

Loch Lomond and the Trossachs

 

In the heart of Scotland is the Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park. This national park is home to a number of stunning mountains like Ben More, Be Lomond and Stob Binnein. The West Highland Way is a trekking path through Lock Lomond that brings hikers to several spectacular vantage points and offers the chance to be in seclusion in the middle of lush green landscape. There are a handful of small villages in the park where you can stop for a pint of ale or a pub lunch before making your way to the next stop on the trails.

5. Ordesa National Park

Ordesa National Park

 

The Pyrenees Mountain Range straddles the border between France and Spain, and that is exactly where you’ll find the Ordesa National Park. The park boasts a lush green valley in the heart of mountain peaks, making for a truly unforgettable view and amazing hiking trails under the shade of the towering Pyrenees. Just some of the wildlife spotted in the Ordesa National Park include hawks, owls, mountain goats and marmots.

4. Vatnajokull National Park

Vatnajokull National Park

 

The magnificent Vatnajökull National Park is found in Iceland, and at its center is the Vatnajökull glacier. The entire park is bursting with contrasts, including snowy mountain peaks, deep blue rivers and even some currently active geothermal areas. Highlights of the park are the glacier lagoon of Jökulsárlón, which is complete with icebergs, as well as the waterfalls called Svartifoss and Dettifosis. The most popular way to explore the Vatnajökull National Park is by hiking, and there are countless campgrounds for those who want to stay overnight within the park.

3. Triglav National Park

Triglav National Park

 

Slovenia’s solitary national park is Triglav National Park, and it surrounds Mount Triglav, the highest peak in the nation. Triglav National Park is in the Julian Alps, which means that it boasts both towering mountains and lush valleys. Water plays a defining role in the park, both for geographical reasons and tourism ones. The Soča and Sava Rivers flow from the park to the Adriatic and Black Seas, and the lakes within the park are a major attraction for Slovenian residents as well as visitors from around the world.

2. Hohe Tauern National Park

Hohe Tauern National Park

 

The Hohe Tauern National Park surrounds a mountain range by the same name in the Central Eastern Alps in Austria. The Hohe Tauern National Park is the largest nature reserve in the Alps, and it is home to tundras, forests and glaciers and waterfalls. Hiking through the park, or hiking to summit major peaks like Großglockner and Großvenediger, is certainly popular. However, equally appealing is just driving through the park and cutting through the mountains via extraordinary tunnels or along the scenic Grossglockner High Alpine Road.

1. Plitvice Lakes National Park

#1 of National Parks In Europe

 

In the middle of Croatia is the beautiful Plitvice Lakes National Park, a forest reserve that is best known for its series of 16 remarkable terraced lakes. Each of the lakes are connected by waterfalls, and they stretch all the way to an equally stunning limestone canyon. Paved walkways as well as more challenging trails wind around these lakes and sometimes right across them, creating spectacular views. It is also possible to enter some of the caves and view the lakes from a unique perspective through the rock itself.


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Rediscover Love Traveling!

Tags :

Category : Romantic Getaways

Looking for a romantic getaway? You are not the only one. Urban life and our constant pursuit of happiness has us stuck in a monotonous life where we push love and romance to the background. Time to break the routine and rediscover your love, and you shouldn’t wait for Valentine’s Day for that. Here are 5 European destinations begging to host your romantic escapades.

It takes two to visit these romantic getaways

Paris, France

France and romance go together like a kiss and Pont des Arts in Paris. Many have placed love locks on this pedestrian bridge, and so should you. Paris is perfect for romantic getaways and its attractions cater to all tastes. Stroll the Saint-Martin canal or the flowery alleys of the Père Lachaise Cemetery. Have a lunch in a typical French bistro or a dinning cruise on the Seine River. The artsy ones should visit the artists of Montmartre after a visit to the Musée de la Vie Romantique. (Museum of the Romantic Life)

Romantic getaway in Paris

Venice, Italy

For love birds worldwide, Venice needs no introduction. Could it be the idyllic gondola rides or the ephemeral nature of a city that could soon end up submerged? Venice deserve to be the place where you found love. Treat your significant other to an escapade you will both never forget. Visit the Doge’s Palace, climb the San Marko Campanile and share a preferred view of the Bridge of Sighs. Don’t forget to lay back in a waterside wine bar to savor the moment with the special someone. It takes two to enjoy Venice; be sure it is with your better half.

Could Venice be the ultimate European romantic getaway?

Prague, Czech Republic

For a Disney-like romantic getaway, take your prince or princes to Prague. The “Paris of the East” has a marvelous architectural cityscape that seems borrowed from fairy tale. Its tall châteaux, long picturesque bridge and a quaint riverside are awe-inspiring.

Visit the Mucha museum and its sensual exhibitions. Later on, dine while cruising the Vlatava River in century-old boats. And end your day, taking a starry-eyed stroll, hands in hands for a night in wine and revelry.

Prague: an European romantic getaway destination under the radar

Istanbul, Turkey

If you read this blog often, you should know by now that we have a little crush on Istanbul. Who wouldn’t? Istanbul is ideal for romantic getaways, with its landscape from a bygone era. Istanbul sits on two continents (Europe and Asia) and seems to have inherited of the best of both worlds.

The Saint Sophia Church, Topkapi palace, and Blue Mosque are humbling architectural marvels you must see. The beauty of the cityscape is best at sunset when the light filters around the rooftops and the minarets. For the most heartbreaking views of the city, visit the Maiden’s tower at the confluence of the Bosporus and the Marmara Sea.

For a quick escape from the city itself, you must spend a day roaming the Prince Islands.

Sunset over Istanbul cityscape

Santorini, Greece

Santorini is a picture-perfect destination on the Aegean Sea that you just can’t visit with a camera. It’s the absolute romantic getaway, with its walking trails, vineyards, and colorful beaches. The Mediterranean climate adds to the charm of this destination, you will have a hard time leaving. Steal a kiss from your lover with Oia’s gorgeous sunsets as backdrop. Sunbathe at the Black Sea, or swim at the gorgeous Red Beach. You must spend time wine-tasting or mud bathing in the hot springs near the volcano.

Santorini, picture perfect love island

Here are 5 romantic getaways perfect where you are bound to (re)discover love. Where you take your better-half is all up to you, but you should start planning your trip right now; you deserve it! Plan your escapade on a budget with Us, we have the best itinerary planning tool along with great accommodation offers.


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How to Save Money for Your Vacation

There are two main components to travel: One, planning the trip and two, saving money for your adventure. Here, we can definitely help you plan your vacation with Us. Saving your money, we can help with as well! In fact, we will help you hack your way to saving–by making more money than your income provides!

Check out our tips below:

 

1. Sell your clothes (old and new)

how-to-sell-your-clothes

There are great apps that can help get your threads and accessories in front of lots of eyes. Apps like Vinted and Poshmark let you upload pictures, a description, and even set a price for your clothes, accessories, and/or shoes.

You can also set up a store on Etsy or eBay and sell on there or head to a local second-hand store that buys clothes.

 

2. Get a travel credit card

travel-credit-card

*Gasp* You’re saying you want me to spend money to save money? Short answer: Yes.

Spend like you normally would and use your credit card for everything. Of course, pay it off right away once you use it. Do your research and find the right credit card for you – once you do, you could end up getting a flight completely free! Some credit cards will even give you a major point boost when you open a new card and put enough money on it within the first couple months.

 

3. Share what you love and make money!

travefy-affiliate-program

Okay, hear me out on this one…Do you enjoy using Travefy? Did you know that you can join our awesome Affiliate Program for free and maybe throw out a tweet or two to your friends and family and potentially earn commission?!

We created our Affiliate Program with the traveler in mind – when you get someone to create a Travefy account and they create a trip, invite friends, maybe book a hotel through Travefy, and use the expense tool, you will earn commission from them? It’s seriously that easy.

 

4. Make better food and drink choices

meal-prep-at-home

This is a dead given, and you’re probably rolling your eyes because you may have been lectured on this before. But think about it. Buying a $4 coffee every work day is around $100/month – that’s $1200 a year! That’s a flight from the U.S. to Europe. Opt for the free coffee at work or if they don’t have it, invest in your own Keurig and keep it at work (this will also probably make you a very popular person at work).

For food, make it ahead of time and meal prep for the week. Even if meal prepping isn’t your thing, buy frozen entrees when they’re on sale and stock up. Of course, PB&J is always a good idea, too. 😉

 

5. Ditch your ride

girl-in-bus-610x407

This might be hard for some, but if traveling is worth it (which it is) then you’ll have to make the sacrifice. In fact, you might find you prefer riding the bus or your bike to school/work and find it more relaxing than being stuck in rush hour for an hour.

You’ll save tons of moolah by not buying gas, paying insurance, and taking it in for the dreadful oil changes that quickly turn into more investments. It’s like the salesman says, “I raise you one oil change for a new air filter, tire rotation, and new spark plugs.”

 

6. Find your craft and sell it

craft-beads

Really good at jewelry making, concocting candles, or creating new design prints? Follow your hobbies and make a business out of it! Sites like Etsy thrive off sales like this. What’s really great is the fact that instead of going out on the weekends, you can stay in, save money, and in return make things and sell it online!

 

7. Pick up a job or freelance

freelance-gigs

Snag a weekend job bartending or scout Craigslists for odd jobs. There are also loads of sites to help find freelance gigs like UpworkPeopleperhourSimplyHired.

 

8. Work abroad

work-abroad

If you’re planning on traveling for a long time and not exactly sure when you’re coming back – consider working internationally while you travel. You can stay in one location for a while and grab a job there and earn money. Bonus: You’ll probably make tons of great new friends and get the local’s perspective on the best places to go and eat.

Check out sites like Explorers Connect or Teach Anywhere for ideas and employment opportunities.

 

9. Give up the gym

runner

This isn’t your opportunity to become a couch potato, unfortunately (although, I won’t judge your Netflix binges). Instead, ditch the membership and workout at home, run outside, grab a friend and play tennis, etc. There are tons of ways to get your heart rate up without spending loads on a monthly gym membership. Check out YouTube for workouts, they have everything–quick workouts, long, muscle-focused, and different types of cardio like HIIT or endurance workouts.

If you’re like me and feel more motivated when working out with a group of people, check out local Groupon and LivingSocial deals for gyms in your area.

 

10. Work remotely

remote-working

The final and most interesting concept: Keeping your day job in check and seeing the world…at the same time! It’s possible. A ton of workplaces are embracing productivity changes in how humans function and work, and maybe, your boss will allow you to work remotely. Of course, time changes might be a factor, but there’s always a hack for everything and it never hurts to ask! This will give you the opportunity to keep making money even though you’re jetsetting the world.


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Must-Visit Europe Bargain Destinations

Category : Europe , Visit Europe

Europe is well-known for having wildly popular travel destinations on the top of every traveler’s bucket list. The Old Continent attracts visitors for its iconic landmarks, and must-see attractions, just as much as the general lively atmosphere.

While Europe vacation hotspots are reputed to be expensive, recent changes in the Dollar-Euro parity — mainly in favor of the American currency — make them much more affordable.

You really should take advantage of this drop now before prices go back up. In average, traveling to Europe this year will be as much as %11 cheaper than in 2016. Here we put together the top 5 Europe bargain destinations that you can afford for $2,000.

 

Istanbul

1. Istanbul – Turkey

Istanbul is growing into a top-class European tourism hotspot. In fact, it was the most visited travel destination in Europe according to a MasterCard research. There are many things to do in the Turkish capital.

Exploring the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia, revel in the bars and restaurants of the lively Taksim Square, and relaxing in the many hamams. While Istanbul is a haven for history and culture buffs, lovers must contemplate the cityscape from the top of the Galata Tower and the Bosphorus harbor from the middle of the Galata Bridge.

Istanbul is also the ultimate bargain destination in Europe 2017. This summer an average week-long trip to Istanbul will cost you around $1,900, with $1,200 spent on the airfare. That %25 drop compared to last year represents about $600 put back into your pockets.


Bucharest Streets - Romania

2. Bucharest – Romania

Nightly hotel fares average $67 in Bucharest: by $11, the cheapest in Europe. That makes the Romanian capital a great bargain destination and vacation spot for history and culture buffs.

The National Art Museum, the Romanian Athenaeum, and the Parliament Palace are architectural marvels full of artsy local artifacts and pieces. Nature lovers must visit the Herastrau Park and the Cismigiu Garden while the party crowd will find the — mostly inexpensive — pleasures of the Lipscani District to be the right place to save their saved dollars.

Expect to still pay $1,500 in average for airfare for a one-week travel expenditure of $1,894.


Krakow - Poland

3. Krakow – Poland

Poland has been a top vacation destination in Europe for over half-a-century, for the very least. That could explain why the cost of a week-long trip has remain sensibly the same (around $2,000).

Krakow attracts European as well as Internationals. Some come to witness the vestiges of Auschwitz-Birkenau and the scars left by the Second World War. But Krakow is, above all, a top shopping destination blessed with a vibrant nightlife.

Rynek Glowny is said to be the oldest Medieval market square in Europe and the center of your trip. Spend time sightseeing, shopping and experiencing the food and the local atmosphere around the square.


Top Europe bargain destination - Budapest

4. Budapest – Hungary

Why visit Budapest? What about the $71 per night? That is the average lodging; the second cheapest among these top 5 bargain destinations. At that price, you won’t be staying at the Grand Budapest Hotel but you will be able to afford some time to explore the local thermal baths. These spas and pools are heated by natural thermal springs and truly quintessential to any trip to Budapest.

But there is more to Budapest, starting with the Medieval architectures around Castle Hill — especially the Fisherman’s Bastion. Learn everything about this European capital’s troubling past in the House of Terror to the Heroes’ Square.

Those into arts should visit the Hungarian National Gallery, the Museum of Fine Arts, and the century-old Hungarian State Opera House.


Charles Bridge: Prague

5. Prague – Czech Republic

Prague is a popular stag night spot for English and French. It is also uprising bachelor party destination for Wall Street workers as well. That is because Prague boasts one of the wildest party scenes in Europe with world-class venues without the hefty price that usually come with them.

But Prague is also full of impressive architectural marvels including the famous Astronomical Clock, the gigantic Prague Castle, and the ever-popular Charles Bridge.

You will understand that a week in Prague will cost you a little more than $2.000. Regardless, it comes as a surprise to see this bustling European capital to feature in the top 5 bargain destination of Europe.


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Discover London’s Exuberant Nightlife

Category : England , London

London’s vibrant nightlife and super cool club scene can cater for all tastes and moods and offers you starting options to hang out if you want to party from dusk till dawn. Whether you are looking for a sedate laid back spot to enjoy a drink, wildest drinking dens, and clubs, or steamy saunas to full-on fetish nights, London can serve you best of everything.

For those keen for music can head to Camden Town to enjoy live gigs. On either side of the Camden road, you will find out small seedy pubs and bars, which are interspersed with some really good venues, offering complete bohemian feel.

If you are interested in experiencing archetypal ‘old London pub,’ West London is a good bet and here you can find a great number of pleasant old places. Similarly, to get the perfect antidote from crazily wild London night head to the north leafy Hampstead and Highgate. These places are ideal for a quiet drink.

Soho, the titan of the London night boasts of gorgeously-lit strip clubs and sex shops along with achingly attractive cocktail bars, clubs, hip cellar bars and age-old London institutions.

Here is the list of some best known new, exciting and experimental places to experience London’s exuberant nightlife.

Cargo

cargo-london

Nestled under railway arches, this chic venue showcases an amazingly diverse range of music to a warm and friendly crowd. Cargo offers delicious global street food, which you cannot afford to miss if you visit this place. Entry to this cool venue is absolutely free before 10pm on Fridays.

Egg London

A highly chic and attractive venue, Egg London is spread across a sprawling three intimate floors and is reminiscent of an Ibiza club. Apart from the beautiful interior, what makes this place stand out is its outdoor courtyard. It is the best place to hang out with friends during late hours. Enjoy your exotic drink under the night sky and chill out in the most vibrant ambiance.

Corsica Studios

An award-winning arts and entertainment venue, Corsica is the right place to hit to experience brilliant new, exciting and experimental sounds. You can expect a lively and friendly crowd most of which include students. It offers a great choice in music and bar.

Electric Brixton

Started in 2011, Electric Brixton is one of South London’s best dance venues. The venue is famous for hosting regular drum ‘n’ bass, electronica and dance nights. You can expect some stylish and popular big name DJs and live acts. The highlight of this place is its great sound system and light shows.

The Borderline

If you love live music, visit this venue which is popular for showcasing the best blues, rock and alternative bands in the hip neighborhood of London- Soho. Nestled on the Manette Street, Borderline is the venue for live music for over 20 years taking pride in its long bar, small stage, and exposed brick walls. Visit this venue to soak op in the sweet tone of a folk or hit the dancefloor at an indie club night.

Across the length and breadth of the London, the city’s nightlife continues to hum as never before. The immensely popular bars, clubs, and pubs push the envelope for brilliant musical innovation and serious late-hour hedonism.


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Eat like a Local in Rome

Category : Italy , Visit Europe

From your morning coffee all the way to gelato for dessert, you’ll have to try these amazing places just like the Romans. Check out this list so you can learn where the hot spots are to eat like a local in Rome!

Morning Coffee: Caffè Sant’Eustachio 

This place is perfect for any type of coffee lover. Whether you want a café normale (espresso) or a refreshing granita, this is the best place to go. Located around the corner from the Pantheon, this café has been in business for more than 70 years. It’s run by brothers Raimondo and Roberto Ricci, who hand pick the organic coffee beans.

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Lunch: La Taverna dei Fori Imperiali

Regulars here will tell you to always ask about the day’s specials for delicacies like homemade pasta with white-truffle ragu. If you’re not into the daily specials, they also serve reasonably priced, classic dishes such as gnocchi. This neighborhood favorite is conveniently located near the Forum and Colosseum, so head here for lunch after you’re done sightseeing!

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Pasta: Roma Sparita

This restaurant overlooks one of Trastevere’s pretty piazzas, and is always packed with Romans. Most tourists have not discovered it yet, making its name very appropriate. Its name “Roma Sparita” used to be a nickname for all of Trastevere meaning “disappeared” or “undiscovered” Rome. Roma Sparita serves delicious fritti, meat & fish, and pizza. However, it’s most famous for its traditional Roman dish of cacio e pepe, which is pasta with pecorino romano sheep cheese and black pepper.

Screen Shot 2014-04-28 at 7.32.16 PM

Pizza: Formula Uno

Of course, you can get delicious pizza at basically any pizzeria in Rome. However, you must go to San Lorenzo’s Formula Uno to eat top-notch pizza without other tourists crowding the restaurant. At Formula Uno, the crust is thin and crispy and the prices are excellent!

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Cucina Roma: Il Pommidoro

Located in San Lorenzo, Il Pommidoro has been run by the same family since it opened in 1926! They serve real Roman food, such as pasta carbonara for just €8. You won’t find such hearty local dishes anywhere else. Il Pommidoro is the place to go if you’re looking to try authentic cucina Roma.

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Gelato: Ciampini

Located halfway between Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps, Ciampini has tons of gelato flavors, from the classic ones to the exotic ones. Try rich dark chocolate, chestnut, and even peach-and-pinenut!

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10 Tips About Traveling to Europe

Category : Europe , Visit Europe

A Checklist Before You Go

Before starting the trip to Europe for experiencing the mouth-watering Wiener schnitzel from Austria and Ragu alla Bolognese from Italy and, the piazzas in Rome and, breathtaking Venice and Barcelona, an important traveling checklist is essential. Here come the ten important tips for an efficacious checklist:

1. Selecting the destinations:

This is an important task in order to ensure a stress-free trip to Europe. The traveler can select the destinations he wants to visit in relation to the factors such as weather, climatic conditions, budget, and security. The trip can then be planned and sorted accordingly.

2. Booking the airfare, local transportations, and accommodations:

This is another most important as well as expensive part of the trip, therefore it must be considered foremost. Booking beforehand also permits the flexibility with the dates and targeted deals. When the traveler has decided the places to be visited, then he has to book for the trip and make the earliest possible arrangements for the hotel in association to the budget. It requires a bit of research but it’s worth it. In addition to it, research should be conducted for the modes of transport in Europe for example bikes in Amsterdam, ferry in Greece and European rail. The rail options, routes, and prices can be examined for traveling within the country.

3. Medical Checkups:

Before visiting any country, the individual should go through the proper vaccinations and essential prescriptions. The medical insurance can also be taken.

4. Checking out the documents:

It is imperative to check the expiration date of the valid passport and the requirements of the country. Moreover, the travel to European countries requires the valid visas which can be applied from the embassy of the country the individual is visiting.

5. Ensuring the security:

The traveler should try to register through the embassy of his own country in order to ensure his security. Furthermore, he must carry the copies of passport and all the other documents with him as well as on current email account to prove his citizenship, in case the passport gets lost or stolen.

6. Considering travel insurances:

There are many types of travel insurances which include flight cancellation, medical insurance, and flight cancellation insurance. After booking the airfare, hotels, and transportation, consider the time to buy insurance. There are various travel providers that sell insurance with the tour package. Before purchasing any type of insurance policy, the individual has to make sure that they read the terms and fine print in the policy. If one already has a medical insurance, then he should check out for its coverage.

7. Paying in local currency:

The individual should try to have local cash as places like trains do not accept credit cards. Moreover, look up the monetary conversion rate of the country before traveling. Many of the European countries such as Luxembourg and Belgium use Euros.

8. Contacting the credit card and cell phone companies:

It must be made sure that whether the credit card will particularly work in that country or not. Many European banks have almost completely shifted to the chip and PIN technology which is more secure. The individual is required to call the credit card companies and inform them of his travel because, in the case of adverse consequences, the card might get blocked.  He has to find out the fee that will be charged overseas on the usage of credit card.  The cell phone plan should also be checked upon.

9. Downloading appropriate apps:

The apps such as Google Maps and guidebooks can provide enough information about the place the person is visiting. On the other hand, the communication problem is reduced through Google Translate app. It offers a lot of facilities and 90 different languages. A research must also be conducted on the events in the country.

10. Luggage and packing:

The traveler has to look out for the flight details about the weight of luggage to avoid any incremental fee. The type of clothing must be in accordance with the weather of the particular country.  The person should try to pack light as it will make his travel experience easier. The countries have different voltage supplies i.e. 220-240 volts/50 Hertz standard and plug sizes, therefore it is important to carry a compatible charger adaptor with a power strip.

All the above factors need to be considered to have a carefree and safe trip to Europe. In addition to that, the checklist is required to be double checked before leaving out for flight.


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Best Museums in Tuscany

Category : Europe , Tuscany

Beginning in the 13th century, Florence bloomed. Its superb wool and silk textiles gained renown far beyond Europe. Florentine banks flourished—their gold florin became international currency. And rich dynasties like the Pittis and Medicis commissioned great works of Florentine art. The Renaissance had its early glimmers with Cimabue (1240-1302) and his pupil Giotto—who painted natural landscapes, voluptuous figure studies, and faces of complex humanity. A hundred years later Masaccio and Brunelleschi were fascinated by the study of space and light, while Fra Angelico concentrated on “volumetric modeling of forms with light and shadow” (so says the Metropolitan Museum of Art).

Later that century, Botticelli gave birth to an ethereal and luminous sensuality. On his heels were Rafael, Da Vinci, and Michelangelo. Later still, Florentine sculptors led by Donatello (1385-1466) veered away from the easy medieval forms to ones of vast human variety. Their countless masterpieces are now in Florentine museums. A visit to any of them will enlighten and delight.

Museo del Duomo, Palazzo Pubblico, & Pinacoteca

Start with these three museums in Siena; all three contain early works that predate Florence’s Renaissance. Among them are Duccio’s magnificent Maesta; the immense narrative of Lorenzetti’s Good Government Bad Government; and Martini’s Madonna col Bimbo, painted in 1305, which displayed a then-uncommon tenderness and vulnerability.

Uffizzi Gallery

This Florentine museum is one of the world’s very best—but don’t make your first visit here an endurance test. Just make sure to see the true showstoppers: Botticelli’s Birth of Venus and dream-like Primavera, Da Vinci’s Annunciation, Michelangelo’s Doni Tondo,Raphael’s Madonna of the Goldfinch, and Tintoretto’s provocative Leda and the Swan. End with Caravaggio’s Adolescent Bacchus. Then celebrate life with a glass of wine.

Galleria dell’Accademia

Michelangelo’s Slaves, which seem to be trying to erupt form the coarse marble encasing them, are themselves worth a visit here. But of course, his Palestrina Pietà and his iconic  but uneasy David (sculpted when the artist was just 25) are not to be missed. Two superb Botticelli paintings are also here: Madonna of the Sea, and the very sensitive Madonna with the Young Saint John and Angels.

Museo dell’Opera del Duomo

Michelangelo’s Pietà, which he carved at the age of 80, is the showstopper here; a more somber highlight is Donatello’s heartrending Mary Magdalene, carved from wood. It is countered by the delightfully boisterous, plump and funny Choir Boys, by Della Robbia. Don’t miss the silver altar from the Baptistery, a dazzling tour de force of gold and silver smithing.

Pitti Palace

Start with the Galleria Palatina. If you can still remember your name after it, move on; you’ll find Titian’s sultry The Concert and sensuous Mary Magdalene, Raphael’s riveting Woman With Veil, Ruben’s world-weary Four Philosophers, and tempestuous Consequences of War. There’s also Fra Bartolomeo’s heartbreaking Lamentation, and Caravaggio’s more-human-than-human Sleeping Cupid. And a few hundred more.


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Visit these real life Game of Thrones locations

Category : Europe , Visit Europe

Calling all Game of Thrones fans! The new season of Game of Thrones is fast approaching, bringing with it magic, adventure and the fear that your favourite character could be next to meet their grisly fate.

Whether you’re new to the show or not, the world of Westeros is undeniably beautiful (when there aren’t dragons around to make a nuisance), and now you can explore it with our list of Game of Thrones filming locations!

From King’s Landing to the frozen landscape beyond The Wall, find out where your favourite Game of Thrones moments were filmed, and get planning your own holiday to real life Westeros.

 

SPAIN

As Game of Thrones expands its world, giving us a glimpse of different regions in the show, we’ve been treated to some diverse and beautiful landscapes. Crowning this list has to be the memorable city of Braavos and Oldtown, both of which are filmed in Girona, Catalonia.

Girona’s medieval cathedrals and narrow alleyways create a real sense of atmosphere, making it the perfect choice for a city break, where you’ll be able to recreate all your favourite scenes from the show.

Spain is also the setting for various other scenes in Game of Thrones, including Bardenas Reales aka the Dothraki Sea and Alcazaba, where many scenes in Dorne are set.

 

CROATIA

Much of Game of Thrones is filmed in Croatia, which comes as no surprise. Its ancient towns, surrounding greenery and cobalt seas provide versatility, not to mention unbeatable beauty.

The city of Dubrovnik is the perfect setting for King’s Landing, owed to its fortress walls and shimmering waters. There have been plenty of other scenes filmed nearby too, including the explosive Blackwater Bay battle which left Tyrion with a bit of a sore nose.

Scattered off mainland Croatia, Lokrum Island is the setting for the fictional Qarth, where Daenerys Targaryen steadily rose to power.

 

NORTHERN IRELAND

Game of Thrones isn’t the first show to make use of Northern Ireland’s natural beauty, and certainly won’t be the last. Many of the show’s forest scenes are filmed here, not to mention parts of Winterfell itself!

There are even Game of Thrones location tours that’ll take you to some of the show’s most memorable scenes, including the spooky cave where Melisandre gave birth to a terrifying shadow assassin.

 

MOROCCO

Hot, beautiful and fragrant, Morocco is the ideal setting for many of Daenerys’ scenes in the show.

A three hours’ drive from Marrakesh, Essaouira is the base for the fictional Astapor, its terracotta surroundings and yearlong blue skies undeniably memorable. However, you can expect much less drama in Essaouira than its fictional counterpart; celebrities such as Jimi Hendrix were known to love Essaouira for its laidback atmosphere.

 

ICELAND

When the producers were looking for a place to depict the wilderness beyond The Wall, we’re guessing Icelandwas always the number one choice. Cold, desolate, but eerily beautiful, Iceland evokes as much awe as it does mystery.

Home to the White Walkers and wildlings, Vatnajokull National Park perfectly lends itself to the northern wilderness, whilst the incredible Grjótagjá cave was the setting for Jon and Ygritte’s love nest.

Have you visited any of these Game of Thrones locations?


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10 Secret places in Europe to get married

Category : Honeymoon , Weddings

When it comes to tying the knot, location is important. From gathering your loved ones in one place to achieving the perfect backdrop for your wedding photo album, selecting the spot for saying your vows is your chance to shape the happiest day of your life. Your local church or 5* hotel is all very well, but with reports of a 30% increase in overseas weddings last year*, perhaps it’s time to widen the search a little?

We’ve searched every nook and cranny to bring you some of Europe’s most breathtakingly, unique and romantic, secret wedding locations – just say ‘I do’!

1. Aman Sveti Stefan
Budva, Montenegro



A sundrenched private island sweeping out into the Adriatic Sea, Sveti Stefan island is a wedding location worthy of any romantic Hollywood movie. Due to its status as an up-and-coming holiday hotspot, the coastal resort of Budva is still relatively undiscovered and completely unspoilt. Book your little slice of Slavic paradise through the A man Sveti Stefan hotel’s website and sail away into marital bliss in the most idyllic of settings.

Book Aman Sveti Stefan

2. Oxararfoss Waterfall
Thingvellir National Park , Iceland



If you’re outdoorsy and  dream of saying your vows surrounded by the majesty of nature, then how about naturally enchanting Iceland. Only a 35 minute drive outside of Reykjavik, the sublime Oxararfoss Waterfall will provide the perfect setting for your big day, complete with a cosy chapel in which to seat your guests. Create the magical ceremony of your dreams in one of Iceland’s most breathtaking settings – just remember your woolly socks!

Book your Reykjavik hotel

3. Victoria Baths Gala Pool
Manchester, England


For a timeless wedding ceremony full of old-school glamour, Manchester’s Victoria Baths Gala Pool offers just the right combination of vintage romance and quirky charm to make your big day extra special. A beautifully preserved Edwardian swimming pool, this unusual venue oozes culture and history and is a delightfully original place to take the plunge. The Gala Pool can be hired through the Victoria Baths website.
Book your Manchester hotels

4. Castillo de Santa Catalina
Malaga, Spain



Tie the knot in your own medieval fortress on Spain’s sun-kissed south coast. Castillo de Santa Catalina is a historic hotel, with oodles of faded grandeur and gorgeous grounds, overlooking the rolling waves of the Alboran Sea. Take your pick from endless extravagant halls, or bring the ceremony outside amongst the castle’s picturesque, seafront gardens. And when you’ve danced ‘til dawn, you and your guests can rest your weary heads in some of the magnificent hotel rooms on offer!

Book the Castillo de Santa Catalina

5. Lake Bled Church
Bled, Slovenia



Have you been yearning for a real fairy tale wedding? Slovenia’s enchanting Lake Bled could easily have been lifted straight off the pages of any Hans Christian Andersen story. Surrounded by glistening waters and snow-capped mountains, you’ll find Bled’s beautiful island church, complete with a ‘wishing bell’ to send you on your way. Saying ‘I do’ here is as simple as b ooking a service on the island – let your own magical fairy tale begin!

Book your Bled hotel

6. Cave Bar, Hotel More



Ensure your big day is effortlessly cool with a ceremony in Dubrovnik’s incredible underground cave bar. Hidden within sunken chambers underneath the Adriatic Sea, and complete with glass floor over the ocean, this is a subterranean wonderland with countless beautiful backdrops for a wedding with personality. The cave bar can be hired through Hotel More.

Book Hotel More

7. Dingli Cliffs’ Chapel
Dingli, Malta



The rocky coastal region of Dingli is home to one of the most breathtaking wedding venues in the country – St Mary Magdalene Chapel. Perched on the edge of a sheer cliff and staring out to sea, this tiny structure dates back to 1777. Recently restored and available to hire through the local council, this is a locale with plenty of stunning vistas and quaint, cosy charm, sure to make your wedding day truly unforgettable.

Find a Malta hotel

8. Cochem Castle
Cochem, Germany



For a truly legendary wedding, and get hitched inside Germany’s dreamlike Cochem Castle. Nestled on the meandering River Mosel, this Romanesque beauty is overflowing with romance and is available to hire for your own magical day. Choose from banquet halls, towering turrets and sweeping archways – this enchantingly grand setting looks even more alluring in the snow (if only you could reserve some of that!)

Book your Cochem hotel

9. Benagil Cave
Algarve, Portugal



If walking down a traditional aisle isn’t exactly your thing, why not leave footprints in the sand and tie the knot in the spectacular coastal surroundings of the Algarve’s Benagil Sea Cave? With its sweeping curves providing a domed interior, this is a secluded and dreamily romantic wedding location like no other – grab a registrar, charter a fishing boat and make your vows in nature’s very own chapel.

Book your Algarve hotel

10. Ulster Museum and Botanic Gardens
Belfast, Northern Ireland



Why not start married life surrounded by hundreds of years of history? Belfast’s Ulster Museum is a quirky wedding venue, with the added benefit of being situated amongst the blooming beauty of the city’s Botanic Gardens. The impressive palm house provides the perfect background for post-wedding photos – where better to let love blossom than at the end of a sweeping gravel pathway embellished with decorative palm trees?

Book your Belfast hotel