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The Historical city of Prague

Prague is a magical holiday destination reminding travellers of the renaissance period. A wonderful mixture of cobbled streets, bridges framed with beautiful wrought iron fences, cathedrals with gold-tipped towers and majestic buildings looking down on flowered plazas are just a few things that entice thousands of tourists to visit this city.

Climate

Prague has a temperate oceanic climate characterised by cold winters with low rainfall, and hot summers with plenty of sunshine. Summer time can sometimes bring violent storms.

Things to do and see

Several operators organise city tours, giving tourists the opportunity to discover the history and culture of this city. While in Prague, holidaymakers can attend festivals such as Prague Spring and Prague Folklore Days, or opt for a river cruise that offers surprising combinations of delicious dinners and great shows.

Travellers have many options in Prague, including sightseeing flights, water sports and relaxing spa treatments at Lakshmi Tantric Massage Temple. Prague also has a variety of restaurants serving traditional dishes centred on chicken and pork, along with delicious desserts and drinks.

Lodging

Travellers can find a variety of lodging options, most of them being located within walking distance of the city centre. Since Prague is one of the most visited capital cities in Europe, accommodation prices can double during summer and winter holiday season. Besides regular accommodation alternatives, including holiday apartments, villas, hostels and hotels, Prague also has a splendid ‘botel’ (boat hotel) renowned for its gorgeous city views.

Transportation

In general, a flight from London to Prague takes up to two hours. Public transportation is very reliable, taking tourists anywhere they want to go inside and outside the city.

PraguePicture: Moyan_Brenn

Bern travel guide

The historic city centre of Bern has some of the best preserved medieval buildings in Europe, its medieval clock tower, historic sandstone buildings and picturesque surroundings make Bern a fantastic place to visit.

Surrounded on three sides by the Aare River, Bern was founded by Duke Berchtold V in 1191. Local myth states that the duke named the city after the first animal he saw when he was on a nearby hunt; this just so happened to be a bear and the city has had a strange fascination with the animal ever since. The coat of arms for Bern actually has a bear on it!

The Swiss capital is full of excellent restaurants, bars and clubs, as well as plenty of shopping opportunities. The city’s boutiques range from exclusive designer stores to traditional markets most of which are housed in the city’s medieval arcades. The majority of these arcades date back to the 15th century when the city was rebuild after a devastating fire in 1405.

Another interesting characteristic and charm of Bern old city is its fountains. Built in the 16th century as a source of public water, there are over 100 fountains in the city. As the population of Bern grew so did the fountains, with many of them decorated with stories and myths of the city’s past.

Bern is a great base for those who want to travel to the Alps or if you would prefer to stay near the city there is a range of activities for everyone including a trip to the bear park, riding the trams, visiting a museum or go on a pub crawl in a few of Bern’s famous watering holes.

Picture: Martin Abegglen

Things to see in Prague

Prague has become a popular tourist attraction over the past decade and offers a range of attractions and sightseeing opportunities for its visitors. As with many other major European cities, Prague has a great transport system which includes both an underground metro system and a tram system which can be used to navigate the city.

The best way of seeing the city is to purchase a Prague Card, which entitles the user free entry to over 50 of Prague’s top tourist attractions and has many other advantages including discounts on walking tours, airport transfers and museums.

Here are our top attractions to see in Prague:

Prague Castle

Prague Castle is the largest ancient castle in the world and occupies approximately 70,000 square meters. The castle provides spectacular views of Prague and surrounding areas and the site also contains the St. Vitus Cathedral as well as several museums and palaces. You can also watch the changing of the guard which takes place every hour on the hour.

Charles Bridge

Charles Bridge is the most famous bridge in Prague and connects Prague Castle (located in Lesser Town) with the city’s Old Town. Built in 1357, Charles Bridge was the only means of crossing the river Vltava until the mid-1800’s and is 621 meters long and nearly 10 meters wide.
There are over 30 statues along the length of Charles Bridge depicting various saints and patron saints including St. Luthgard and St. John of Nepomuk.

Old Town

Prague’s Old Town is the city’s historic centre and is home to numerous historic buildings and monuments. One of the most famous and most popular is the Astronomical Clock which is the oldest astronomical clock still working in the world.

Infant of Prague

The Infant of Prague aka the Holy Infant of Prague is one of the most famous religious images in the world; the original statue can be found in the Church of Our Lady Victorious situated in Lesser Town.

Picture: Moyan_Brenn

Discover Istanbul

Istanbul is a splendid holiday destination where visitors can experience the union of the east and the west.  This beautiful city of minarets is situated on both sides of the Bosphorus strait that exists between the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara.  As the cultural and physical bridge between Europe and Asia, Istanbul has an amazing landscape with various attractions for tourists to explore.

Attractions

Istanbul offers visitors a plethora of rich architectural structures.  Tourists are introduced to many artistic styles by visiting the famous Turkish baths, the grand mosques, the beautiful fortresses, amazing towers and castles, and fascinating palaces and churches.

Among the famous sightseeing destinations of this historic city are the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul Modern Art Museum, Maiden’s Tower, Basilica Cistern, Topkapi Palace, Dolmabahce Palace, Galata Tower, the Blue Mosque, Istanbul Archaeological Museum and Hagia Sophia Cathedral.  Istanbul’s Roman ruins and Ottoman treasures are other famous attractions to visit while holidaying in the city.

Tourists can appreciate a host of unique pursuits during their stay in Istanbul.  Leisurely walks and city tours are among the most popular activities enjoyed by visitors exploring the Turkish city.  They are also sure to enjoy the unique experience of a Turkish bath, while a trip to the Grand Bazar offers a huge choice of irresistible souvenirs.  No trip to the city of Istanbul can be complete without relishing a sumptuous meal consisting of the local delicacies.

Visitor information

Istanbul is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Turkey.  Istanbul Atatürk airport is the main international airport serving Istanbul and connecting the city to the major towns and cities of the world.  There are two railway stations that connect Istanbul to European and Asian cities.

Istanbul experiences a steamy hot summer and a cold snowy winter, so the best time to take a holiday there is during the months of April to May and September to October.

Picture: Moyan Brenn

Enjoy Copenhagen

Copenhagen is a wonderful destination to enjoy a holiday surrounded by a mix of modern and medieval architecture.  The largest city of Denmark, Copenhagen offers visitors a glimpse into its rich and impressive culture.  Tourists can explore the wonderfully designed churches, beautiful ancient buildings, and other attractions of the city.  A unique feature of the city is the absence of skyscrapers.

Attractions

Copenhagen offers a peaceful sojourn in a green environment.  The city and its nearby areas are surrounded by three beautiful beaches.  Tourists visiting Copenhagen can enjoy beautiful parks, museums, concert halls, opera houses, theatres, and ballets.  The city has a lively and exciting nightlife. Copenhagen also has two of the world’s oldest amusement parks, which are a major attraction for tourists.

Among the many sightseeing options that the city offers are attractions such as the Tivoli Gardens, Amalienborg Palace, the Round Tower, Copenhagen Zoo, the National Museum of Denmark, Rosenborg Castle, and the Church of Our Lady.  The city also has several attractions for children, such as the Experimentarium.

Visitor information

Copenhagen is situated on the eastern coast of Zealand.  The easiest way to reach the city is to take a flight to Copenhagen’s Kastrup airport.  The city’s railway network is extensive and trains leave at regular intervals to various destinations.

Copenhagen has a humid continental climate.  The summers are long and warm in the city, and the average maximum temperature is about 21°C.  The winters are cold and the average minimum temperature falls to -3°C.

The best time to visit Copenhagen is from May to September.

Picture: JamesZ_Flickr

Holidaying in Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro is the second largest city of Brazil, famous for its beaches, the statue of Christ Redeemer overlooking the city and Rio Carnival.  From historical and cultural tours to hiking trails and more adventurous rock climbs and rafting excursions, the city has many facets that make it an attractive destination for tourists.

Popular tourist attractions

Christ the Redeemer statue, named one of the New Seven Wonders of the World, is located at the peak of the Corcovado Mountain in the Tijuca Forest National Park.  A widespread image in popular culture, the statue is an icon for Rio de Janeiro and Brazil.

The famed Rio Carnival, which takes place annually before the advent of Lent, attracts locals and foreigners alike en masse.  Samba schools parade in the Sambadrome, an exhibition space, along to their own theme and song for the year.  Tourists are allowed to participate at a cost.

Copacabana, a neighbourhood in Rio, is known mostly for its 4km stretch of beach, covering the area between Posto Dois and Posto Seis.  The beach is a popular attraction during its annual New Year’s Eve celebrations, with hotels, restaurants, bars and nightclubs found along its promenade. 

Rio experiences a tropical savannah climate with average annual temperature ranges from a minimum of 21 °C to a maximum of 27 °C.

Getting to and around Rio de Janeiro

Tourist can fly direct to Rio and land at Galeão-Antônio Carlos Jobim International Airport; the airport is about 20km away from the city.  Travelling around the city can be done via taxi, car, bus or subway.

Picture: Alcindo Correa Filho

Paris – the city of romance

It is fair to say that almost everyone, wherever they live in the world, has heard of Paris.

Paris is the third most visited city in the world. With around 42 million tourists per year it is bettered, in terms of numbers, by only New York and Orlando.

The city is also the ‘capital of romance’, a notion inspired; for example, by films featuring such big screen legends as Elizabeth Taylor in “The Last Time I Saw Paris” and Meg Ryan in “French Kiss”.

City of sight-seeing par excellence

Like many major cities, Paris would not be as impressive without its unique geographical location on a river and incredible architecture; the former, the River Seine, providing the backdrop for much of the latter. Counted among these architectural masterpieces are Notre Dame Cathedral, with its famous fictional hunchback connection; the character made famous in the novel by Victor Hugo and the subsequent film; the Place de la Concorde; the Grand Palais des Champs Elysees and the nearby Eiffel Tower.

Paris is famous for its wide avenues, numerous green spaces and its sense of vastness and depth; the city itself occupying an area of around 35 square miles.

A city for shopaholics

Paris is synonymous with high fashion and good food, so quality shops and restaurants and the famous Parisian cafes abound in the avenues and squares, particularly along and off the famous L’Avenue des Champs Elysees. In Paris it is possible to take guided tours of the well-known shopping areas by bus or for the hardy shopper, on foot.

Paris night life

No Paris guide would be complete without at least a brief mention of its diverse theatre and night time entertainment venues. Arguably the most famous and longest established of these is Les Folies Bergère, in the rue Richer, which opened in its original incarnation in 1869 and is famous for its high-kicking chorus line.

Travel by air

Cheap flights are available from almost anywhere, just check the internet for the best bargains.

Picture: Trodel

Prague is beautiful

If ever a city is a must-see, it is Prague.  Even the most oblivious of tourists would enjoy a break walking around such a stunning city.  With no knowledge of the history or culture of the city, you could spend days on end entranced by the architecture.  Once you understand a little bit more about the history, however, the city become irresistible.  There are plenty of cheap Prague hotels on offer, so this really could be a holiday which does not break the bank.

As well as walking through the city, you can relax at a cafe on the bank of the Vltava River. This experience is made even more enjoyable with the realisation that the unique Czech beer is extremely cheap!  Many of the attractions are also free, such as the John Lennon Wall.  Few cities celebrate graffiti in much the same way as Prague.  Whilst the original paintings of Lennon himself have been covered up by years of original artwork, this is an attraction which is constantly changing, and you can even add to it yourself!  The Jewish Quarter makes for a more sombre visit, with an overcrowded cemetery and plenty of synagogues, but it makes up an intriguing part of Prague’s history and is very accessible.

Prague Castle, however, is really the city’s main attraction.  Home to the Czech crown jewels and the offices of the Holy Roman Emperor Charles IV, it looks like something out of a fairytale and, being the largest castle in the world, is surely worth a visit.  King Charles IV also had a bridge named after him, which used to be the only way of travelling from the castle to the town.  Credited with making Prague flourish as a city during his reign, his is a fascinating history that you can learn about on one of Prague’s many guided tours.

Picture: Moyan_Brenn

Amsterdam travel guide

Amsterdam developed from a tiny fishing village along the River Amstel, from which it got its name. From a flourishing commercial centre in the 12th century, the town grew into the thriving metropolis it is today. A melting pot of diverse cultures, Amsterdam exudes a warmth that is sure to make visitors fall in love with it.

You will certainly find the distinctively Dutch features in Amsterdam intriguing. Biking is a very obvious part of the capital’s way of life and this passion for cycling is reflected nationwide, with more than 15,000 km of designated cycle lanes and largely flat terrain offering a real alternative to travelling by car.   Additionally, bicycles in Amsterdam outnumber the population of the city and the cars put together.

As a leading producer of flowers in the world, Amsterdam is associated with the tulip flower, which curiously, is not native to the country but was imported to the Netherlands from Turkey.  

Much of Amsterdam was reclaimed from the sea, which explains the completely flat nature of the land. The country’s highest point stands at only 323 metres above sea level. Amsterdam stands at about four metres below sea level. A massive 25 percent of the city’s surface is made up of navigable waterways. With 65 miles of ancient canals, Amsterdam is still the most watery city in the world.

Besides walking and cycling, boat cruises around Amsterdam are ideal for sightseeing.

Art and history enthusiasts will love the city for its many museums and art galleries. More than half of the country’s 70 main museums are in Amsterdam, the most famous ones being the Van Gogh and the Anne Frank Museums.

Going on Holiday to the ancient city of Athens

Athens is an ancient city steeped in history and culture. From the rise and fall of the Ancient Greek Empire, to the Mediterranean climate and delicious cuisine, there are dozens of reasons why Athens is one of the best places to take a holiday.

Thousands of years of history

Greece is home to some of the world’s most treasured historical sites. No trip to Athens would be complete with a visit to the Acropolis. The Acropolis is home to a whole host of irresistible tourist attractions. You can marvel at the ancient Parthenon and walk among the ruins of the Agora. In these places you can experience what life was like during the time of the great philosophers and thinkers of Athens.

A trip to the Benaki museums is also warranted, as it contains some of the greatest treasures in the world. The Benaki museum has artefacts dating all the way back to the Palaeolithic era, as well as Frankish, Turkish, and of course ancient Greek artefacts from throughout the ages.

If you fancy a bit more modern fun, then consider going to one of Athens’ night clubs. Here, some of the most famous electro house music DJs burn music long into the night, while party goers dance the night away.

The most agreeable climate in the world

Athens is located near the coast of the Aegean Sea. Since Greece is a peninsula, it is surrounded on three sides by water. This quality, coupled with its close proximity to the equator, makes Greece and Athens one of the most temperate places on Earth. It is never cold, always dry, and never too hot. Even if you do get a little sweaty, you can always jump into the clear blue water of the ocean to cool off.