French Foodie Experiences Which Will Satisfy More Than Just Your Tastebuds

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For many of us, food takes centre stage when we travel. Food is, after all, one of the fastest we can get to the heart of a place. Local cuisine can tell us everything, from the history of our destination to its underlying values. Variations between local delicacies can also show you a great deal about the politics in each area. In short; anyone who goes anywhere should spend a fair amount of time making the most of the food.

Of course, some countries offer better eating opportunities than others. France, for example, is a food lover’s haven. With winning bistros like Le Baratin on offer, that should come as no surprise. Far from just serving up those iconic snail dishes, French eateries offer a whole load of culinary delights. So much so that many people visit here for the food alone.

If French cuisine gets you excited, you’ll be pleased to hear that the foodie fun needn’t stop with eating. There are also some spectacular food and drink experiences which could take your culinary trip to a new level. Keep reading to find out what they are.

Very French vineyards

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It wouldn’t be a trip to France without a few vineyards, would it? There’s something quintessentially French about sprawling vineyards and wine tasting. And, lucky for you, there are plenty of experiences which could see you getting stuck right in. Options like the iconic Bordeaux Wine Tours offer the chance to get right to the heart of the best vineyards. Even better, you can take this is as far as you like. Most options offer a one-day tour of the grounds, complete with tasting sessions. Others, like the Silver Travel Bordeaux experience, could see you spending a whole three days on wine. It all depends on what tickles those taste buds.

All the olives

While we’re on the subject of French traditions, olives are also worth your attention. In the South of France especially, these are in abundance, and any grow in vineyards similar to wine. Again, there are plenty of tours for the largest olive orchards going. Any one of these could see you viewing a side of France you never knew. Or, you could get right into the heart of the trade by staying somewhere like A Compte Hotel. Here, you can stay in the aptly named ‘olive loft,’ where you have the chance to look out onto an olive grove every morning. Can it get any more idyllic than that?

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A full-blown food tour

If these specialist subjects don’t appeal, you could always go for a full-blown food tour. Options like the Gourmet Marais tour offer three-hour experiences which could see you tasting the best cuisine from Le Marais. Or, you may prefer the Montmartre food and wine tour. Lasting for up to 210 minutes, this trip will see you landing at up to ten gastronomy stops. All with a knowledgeable guide. What better way could there be to get stuck into the best of French eating?

Travel Destinations With Public Transport To Die For

While the notion of public transport isn’t the sexiest, it is one of the most helpful, especially when you’re trying to find your way around a new destination. Quality public transport can often mean the difference between getting the most out of your holiday and failing to do so.

According to the World Economic Forum, a kind of inter-government agency that likes to keep score of how well various countries are doing, some places are a heck of a lot better than others when it comes to getting around on the public dime. No, the USA isn’t among them. Let’s take a look at the top travel destinations with public transportation options to die for.

Austria

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Austria, that little landlocked country in the heart of Europe, isn’t the first place you’d think of for having great public transportation. But the country needs it, due to the fact that a lot of its land area is right in the heart of the Alps, one of the most inhospitable places on Earth.

Public transport in Austria isn’t the traditional network of buses and trains (although you can still find these in the country), it’s a series of cable cars and gondolas which open up the mountains that set the country apart. Each year millions of tourists flock to destinations like Mayrhofen, and they rely on being able to take the cable car to enjoy their stay.

Netherlands

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The Netherlands is, in many ways, the complete antithesis of Austria – incredibly flat, and not at all landlocked. According to the World Economic Forum, it ranks an impressive third in the world for its public transport. But do people use a lot of bus accident lawyers here? That’s the interesting thing about the Netherlands: its public transportation is based around its industrial canal system and great ports along the coast. You can get to practically all the major cities by boat, both by public barge, ferry, and private boat.

Singapore

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Over the last four decades, Singapore has experienced something of an economic “miracle.” The Asian city-state was once just as poor as surrounding Malaysia, but thanks to some smart investment projects, it’s managed to supercharge its wealth in an unprecedented way, becoming richer on a per-capita basis than most Western countries.

How did it do it? Scholars have asked the question, and many say that it has to do with the country’s efforts to provide incredible public transport. Like many Asian city-states, Singapore’s wealth is built around its port – which, of course, is one of the best in the world. The city is also crisscrossed by rail and bus networks to rival those of New York and London.

Hong Kong

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The World Economic Forum says that Hong Kong has the best public transport infrastructure in the world, meaning that people who go there on vacation will have the easiest time getting around. Incidentally, Hong Kong is ranked 11th in the world for tourism, making the island dependency a double-whammy for people who love to travel. Will you visit this vertical city?

Mamma Mia! Fall In Love With Italy

Have you been thinking about taking a European mini break sometime soon? Or maybe you want to spend longer in this part of the world so that you have enough time to explore its wonders?

There are lots of impressive regions and countries to visit in Europe, but there is a reason why Italy is the most-visited one there is – it’s a simply stunning country with a fascinating history and culture. Not only that, though, but it has some truly delicious cuisine and local specialities. Whether you want to enjoy a short city break or spend a couple of weeks lounging by a pool or on the beach, Italy is most certainly the place for you!

Once you’ve made up your mind about an Italian vacation, you need to then whittle down its many areas and cities to decide where you want to go. Unfortunately, there are so many amazing options, you might be a little spoiled for choice! Here are some of Italy’s best destinations; hopefully, this quick roundup can help you decide.

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Rome

Rome

There’s no wonder many tourists head straight for Rome, the country’s gorgeous capital city. There are hundreds of historical sights and attractions dotted around the city, including the Roman Forum, St. Peter’s Basilica, and the Trevi Fountain. To make sure you see as many as possible, you might want to book a couple of the various Rome tours that take tourists to the main points of interest. When you aren’t doing the sights, you should spend some time wandering around the historic streets of Rome and take in some of the stunning Renaissance architecture.

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Milan

Milan

If you love fashion and shopping, then you should spend a few nights in Milan. It’s Italy’s home of fashion, and you will find a lot of trendy independent boutiques as well as big designer brands, such as Gucci and Prada. For the ultimate shopping experience, be sure to visit the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, which is one of the most famous shopping malls in the world. Of course, you don’t have to stick to shopping during your Milan trip. You can also visit the Sforza Castle and the grand Teatro alla Scala theater

Venice

One of the most visited cities in the world, Venice is a favorite of travelers and tourists alike. You will be able to enjoy a lazy day relaxing on a gondola as you sail along one of the city’s many canals. In fact, those canals have been created from the lagoon that the city was originally built upon. Over a hundred islands make up Venice, and it is well worth doing a spot of island hopping to explore as much as possible. Be sure to check out the St. Mark Basilica as it makes a great location for some vacation photos. Doge’s Palace is a gothic-style museum that overlooks the water and is a great way to spend a few hours.

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Naples

Naples

If “eating a lot of pizza” is near the top of your Italian to-do list, then you absolutely have to go to the city of Naples. This is the home of the traditional Neapolitan pizza, which is arguably the best kind of pizza you can get in the whole of Italy. Once you’ve had your fill, you could visit the impressive Royal Palace of Naples. It’s also worth taking a day trip out of the city to Mount Vesuvius. Lots of organized tours take tourists to the dormant volcano to hike up to the top. Naples is also quite close to the ancient city of Pompeii. The city was devastated after Mount Vesuvius erupted but it, and most of its inhabitants, have been preserved for hundreds of years under layers of ash.

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Lake Como

The Italian Lake District

If you take a trip up to the north of the country, you will come across the Italian Lake District. This is where you will find the famous Lake Como, which is known for its gorgeous crystal-clear waters and mountain views. There will be plenty of hiking opportunities around the lake, and many tourists also choose to take a boat ride out onto the water. While you are in this region, be sure to visit the well-maintained public gardens that line most of the lake. Lake Garda is another popular stop-off for tourists, as this is where you will find fantastic mountain biking opportunities and plenty of water sport activities as well.

Sicily

Sicily is easy to spot on a map as it is the large island that looks like it is being “kicked” by Italy. It’s the biggest Mediterranean island, so you can imagine just how much to see and do there is! You’ll be able to walk to the Valle dei Templi, which is one of the island’s most notable archeological sites. The island is also home to Mount Etna, another volcano that you will be able to hike up to. If you would rather spend your time in Italy relaxing, you will be happy to know that Sicily has some beautiful beaches. To team history and relaxation, you should visit Licata so that you can wander around the historic port when you are bored of sunbathing.

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Tuscany

Tuscany

Tuscany is known for its rural areas, but don’t worry if you would rather sample some city living. The capital of this region is Florence, and there’s plenty of culture and fun to be had there! When you are ready to see the gorgeous Tuscan countryside, you should take a trip to Cortona. This small town is situated right on the side of a hill and benefits from some truly inspiring views. You might also want to visit La Verne, which was the quiet retreat of St. Francis. You can pay homage to the saint or simply visit the busy Franciscan monastery that is still present on the site.

As you can see, there are some really fantastic places to visit while you are in Italy. In fact, there are so many, you might want to organize a road trip around the country to fit in as much as possible!

Paris: So Much More Than The City Of Love

Renowned as being the city of love, Paris is famed as being the world’s most romantic city, but there is so much more to Paris than a city steeped in romance. The city’s boulevards which are lined with historical monuments, its beautiful boutiques, and classic bistros, and its traditional museums combined with its more modern tech start-ups, design stores, quirky wine bars and cocktail lounges, and multimedia galleries are what makes this city such an incredible place to visit and explore.

There four things that make Paris well, Paris, and these are the iconic architecture, the glorious food, the stylish boutiques, and of course, the creative treasures. Paris is, without a doubt, one of the world’s most incredible cities, and not just for loved-up couples but also for solo travelers and family groups. It’s one of Europe’s most enthralling destinations because of the amount that it has on offer to see and do – there is nowhere quite like Paris.

Paris is the city that inspired countless renowned authors to pen some of their most imaginative works, from Victor Hugo to Ernest Hemmingway. It is also the place where most of the significant art movements of the past 50 years have been born. To top it off, Paris is where classical music, jazz, and theatre have thrived.

If you’re planning a trip to Paris sometime soon, a word of advice – plan like crazy. Why? Because you could, quite literally, spend weeks exploring Paris. When you’re heading off to somewhere like Paris that has numerous attractions to offer, planning your time really pays off. Paris is so much more than the city of light and love, so here’s how to make the most of any trip to this incredible place.

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Put at least one museum on your radar

When it comes to choosing a museum to visit on your trip, The Louvre is an obvious choice. It’s an incredible place complete with three wings packed full of history dating back to Greek times. Of course, being such a popular place, The Louvre almost always has huge queues, which can mean waiting in line for hours to get in, that’s why it can be beneficial to plan your visit in advance and book queue jump tickets from sites like The Paris Guy.

Not keen on seeing The Louvre, alternatively you could visit the Musee d’Orsay which houses some of the city’s most incredible Impressionist painting. There’s also the Musee Picasso and the Musee Rodin, both of which are smaller but no less impressive.

Stroll along the river Seine

Fancy spending some time outdoors? Then a stroll along the river Seine could be a great option to consider as it’s one of the most enjoyable ways to spend time outside in this incredible city. A great place to start is at the Jardins du Trocadero – you can see some incredible views of the Eiffel Tower from here.

If you choose to cross the river, there’s the Berges de Seine, a pedestrianised area which is often filled with bouquinistes – aka second-hand book stalls. You can walk down this route towards the Cathedrale Notre-Dameon, which is another impressive sight.

Don’t forget Montmartre

Montmartre is a must-see location when in Paris. It might be a highly popular hilltop sight, but the crowds don’t tend to impact how beautifully charming this place is. It’s a fact that no visit to Paris, regardless of how long or short, would be complete without exploring Montmartre. While there, you have to climb the steps to the Scare-Coeur – it’s incredible views are a must see.

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Be quintessentially Parisian and have a picnic

If the sun is shining, there’s nothing more Parisian than having a picnic. Pack a hamper full of gourmet treats – or better yet, buy a readymade picnic from one of the many delicatessens that span this city – and head to the Jardin du Luxembourg. The best street to head to for picnic supplies is Rue Montorgueil, a shopping street lined with cheese stores, bakeries, and patisseries serving all many of incredible cakes.

See the Marais

The Marais are made up of a network of ancient streets that have a distinctly different feel to the rest of Paris. Originally the Jewish area of the city, this area is now known for its beautiful boutiques and an incredible array of independent galleries. In the Haut Marais area, you will find a selection of modern cocktail bars; there’s also the Marche des Enfants Rouges here. While in the south of this area, you will find the Place des Vosges – a beautiful sight that you don’t want to miss.

Head east

The east quarter of Paris has changed significantly over the past few years and was once the rather run-down district just east of Canal St-Martin. But today, whether you are looking for a fantastic coffee shop, a quirky bistro or a night out, the east side of Paris is a must-visit location.

You can explore the Bassin de la Villette, go for a walk through Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, or have a picnic there on sunnier days. The east area of Paris has plenty on offer, whether you plan on visiting in the daytime or at night.

Explore the modern art scene

Paris might be famous for its classical artworks but what about the modern art scene? Paris actually has a pretty incredible of modern art as well as more classic artworks, so if you’re a fan of this type of art, you want to make sure that you explore the modern art scene while in this amazing city.

The best places to visit to see a wide range of modern art are the Musee d’Art Moderne which is located in the Pompidou Centre. Here you can see works by the likes of Pollock, Picasso, and Matisse. For more challenging exhibitions, the Palais de Tokyo is a great place to visit – the artwork here is extremely unique and insightful.

Discover little-known gems

What’s fantastic about Paris is that it has many little-known gems packed into it. These are the kinds of things that unless you’ve lived in Paris or know someone who has, you wouldn’t know. That’s why, when you’re in Paris, if you can make friends with some of the locals, you will find it far easier to find all of Paris best-kept secrets.

Whether you’re a huge fan of ancient history, are mad about installation art, or have a real passion for cooking, you are guaranteed to find a little gem somewhere in Paris. There’s so much more to Paris than you will find in the travel books, which is why exploring and seeing where the locals recommend is so essential to making the most of your time there.

 

Be a smart traveller

To save money, be financially savvy and sightsee on a Sunday. Did you know that on Sundays in Paris entry to most big museums is free, or is free every first Sunday of the month? Of course, this will mean rather large queues, but if queueing for free entry allows you to see more of Paris then it is definitely worthwhile doing so.

Paris is one of those cities that can be easily explored in a manner of ways. Travelling on foot is one option, as is travelling by bicycle. However, for longer journeys, public transport can be a useful way to get around. The best way to get around is via the metro or by bus, depending on which mode of transportation you prefer.

Did you know that on Sundays and Mondays many restaurants in Paris are closed? That’s why it’s so important that you take the time to carefully plan your meals and determine where you will eat when so that you aren’t left without anywhere to have dinner.

When it comes to your accommodation, there are various options to consider, from fancy five-star hotels to more budget-friendly options.

For the epitome of luxury, Hotel Plaza Athenee is one of the grandest hotels in Paris, complete with lavish features, Eiffel Tower views, and a Michelin star restaurant.

For a more decadent stay, Le Bristol is the hotel of choice for many celebrities because it’s wonderfully glamorous.

For a beautiful location, the Le Meurice, located next to the Jardin des Tuileries is one of the most beautiful 5-star hotels in the city, with the staff going above and beyond to cater to your every need.

For a more budget-friendly option, camping can be a great choice. Did you know that you can camp in the centre of the city? At Bois de Boulogne there is a campsite with room for around 500 tents, in addition to space for campervans and caravans. You can easily walk into the city from here, and staying here won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Paris is one of the world’s most famous cities. While it’s known as being the city of love, Paris is so much more than a location for a romantic break away. It’s a city with real depth to it – there is so much on offer to see and do here.

Travelling across Europe

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Europe is huge, so to travel across it would take you a very long time. So, we’re not suggesting that you attempt to tackle it all, but we do think that you should go for some of the best bits. Europe is truly stunning, and there are some incredible destinations that you could visit along your travels. But, we’re bet you’re wondering how we think you would be able to afford all of this? Well, it’s simple. Pack a bag, take a tent with you, and cut out all of the rubbish of hotels and jumping from flight to flight. Once you’re in Europe, getting on a plane and stopping in fancy hotels isn’t what you have to do. There’s so much freedom to pretty much go wherever you want, however you want. If you love the idea of camping, then see if we can get you to travel across Europe!

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Where To Go

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Europe is the perfect mix of city breaks, beach locations, mountainous wonders…and anything else in between. If you’re looking for something that’s super varied, then you’ve pick the right part of the world to travel. If you were looking to explore some incredible mountains, mixed in with beautiful culture and people, then Switzerland is the place to go. It’s arguably one of the most beautiful countries in the world, and it’s landscape revolves around white top mountains, and picturesque villages. If you were looking for something a bit more beachy, then Spain is the place for you. All of the coast of Spain is filled with tourist hotspots, beautiful beach locations, and a pretty cheap time. In both of these locations you will be able to find campsites where you can set up shop, and it’ll be pretty easy for you to get around and explore as well!

What To Pack

It all depends on how long you’re going for. If you’re going for a few weeks, then you’re going to have to pack plenty of pants and socks, and enough clothes for around 10 days. Then, you’ll need to sort your camping equipment, and you’ll definitely need to make sure you get absolutely everything. From a floor topper, to the tent itself, it’s all going to have to come with you. You can see more here if you’re looking to find out what is needed for a camping trip. As long as you have the essentials, you can keep picking things up in every country that you go to. Make sure you also take things like suncream, a pack up phone, and a portable charger with you!

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The Logistics

You can either get around by train, bus, or plane. If you’re taking flights, make sure you find out whether it would be cheaper to get the Euro train, or a cross country train. If you are getting flights, always shop around to make sure you’re getting the best deal!

Venice

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Venetian lagoon

Dreamy vibes, magical views and spectacular architecture, Venice is a poetic location.

Venice is the capital city of the veneto region in Italy’s north. The city is built on more than 118 islands, in a lagoon located in the Adriatic sea. This enclosed bay lies between the mouths of the Po and Piave rivers.  These islands are separated by canal’s and are linked via bridges. Venice looks like a city out of a fairytale. It is no wonder that the lagoon and part of the city is listed as a world heritage site.

From the romantic canals, the renaissance,  gothic palaces and dreamy vibes Venice is a very unique and breathtaking place to visit.

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An island city

We had just spent a week exploring the charming Rome and found a cheap domestic flight to Venice. This was my second visit to this magical city (I came here once before, as a teenager on a school tour). The second time around was just as charming. We stayed at a hotel in the San Marco neighborhood. The central and the most popular district on the Venice island.

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Highlights and must sees

  • Saint Mark’s Basilica: A beautiful church, with a mixture of eastern and western architecture. It sits on the very popular pizza San Marco.
  • Torre dell’ Orologio – The gorgeous clock tower that was built between 1496 and 1506! Which also sits on the popular piazza San Marco.
  • Doge’s palace: With stunning gothic architecture, this place was once the political and judicial hub of Venice.
  • Grand canal: This 2 mile long canal is considered to be the main ‘street’ of venice.
  • Rialto bridge: Described as the heart of Venice, this beautiful bridge was once the only way to cross the grand canal!
  • Campanile di San Marco: The tallest structure in venice. Note this is the reconstructed version, as the original collapsed in 1902.
  • Bridge of Sighs: An iconic bridge connecting the Prigioni to Doge’s palace.
  • Basilica di Santa Maria: Another beautiful church, with stunning architecture.
  • Murano Island: Take a trip to the Murano island to view an impressive glass-blowing demonstration!
  • Rialto Market: This one is for the foodies! A market rich in culture and food.

 

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Get lost

My favorite thing to do in any location that I visit is to get lost, by just wandering around and taking in all the sights. I find this the best way to absorb the place! And venice, is one of my favorites cities to get lost in, wandering the beautiful streets and viewing the canals is so beautiful. For a couple of days on our trip, the city was covered in dense fog, this added an extra charm to the city!

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Two day trip from Venice

While we were in Venice, we took the opportunity to explore a small village located in a mountain region located 70 km northwest of Venice. You can read about our adventures to Seren del Grappa  here.

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Wanderlust

With it’s charming atmosphere, gothic architecture and dreamy canals Venice is one of the most beautiful cities that I have explored. It is definitely wanderlust material.

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Seren del Grappa

Panoramic mountain views

Seren del Grappa is a gorgeous Italian village located in the province of Belluno, in the Italian region of Veneto. The small village is located near the sacred mountain, the Monte Grappa. Three battles were fought here during world war one.

A visit to this pretty village, will provide you with an authentic local Italian experience. The locals are very friendly and helpful. The homemade food is amazingly delicious – I had the best Italian meal of my life here. Seren del Grappa is a great place to explore  history and the natural reserves by hiking the many trails, either by foot or by bike. The views are just gorgeous.

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Two days in Seren del Grappa

My boyfriends grandfather  was born and grew up in Seren del Grappa. We were visiting Venice, which is located 70 km away and his mother asked if we could visit this small village. So we decided to go. We took a train from Venice to Feltre a hill town located 7.4 km from Seren Del Grappa. The train journey was really nice and quite picturesque, with the ice, snow and mountain views. From the Feltre train station we took a local bus into the small village of Seren Del Grappa.

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So now we had arrived, with no plan! His mother had given us the name of the bed and breakfast that her cousin owned. So we walked around the village until we found it. We walked in, and started to talk to the man and women at the desk. Luckily there was a man who could speak both Italian and English who was able to translate between the two parties. Next thing, they were greeting us with big hugs and kisses, as his grandfather was a well know and respected man. The family put us up for night, and made us the biggest and most delicious authentic meal. The warm welcome and generosity was a true indication of the people in this village.

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We spent our time in Seren Del Grappa, connecting with the family and friends and then exploring the gorgeous mountains. The mountains are just so pretty here! The hiking trails are very enjoyable. Other points of interest include the thirteenth century church of San Siro and scenes from the world war one battles that occurred at Monte Grappa.

The trip to Seren del Grappa, was really enriching as it provided an insight into the small village life of Italy. I have visited some of the big cities in Italy which are gorgeous, but this was a nice change, and we didn’t run into any other tourist! A very memorable trip.

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Rome

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Roma

Vibrant in art and culture, and showcasing a creative imagery into the past, Rome is an intriguing and breathtaking city to explore.

Rome is located in the central Italian peninsula on the Tiber river, 24km inland from the Tyrrhenian sea. Rome is the capital city of Italy, and also the capital of the Lazio region. Rome is also the most populated comune in Italy. With twenty eight centuries of history, and as one of the oldest continuously occupied sites in Europe, Rome showcases a rich history in amongst the now cosmopolitan and happening city. Rome is truly, a magnificent city to explore and to absorb the dreamy atmosphere.

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The city of love

This was my second visit to this charming city, and I would come back again! As we were based in Dundee   Scotland, we found cheap flights from Edinburgh (around $20 USD)! Only a three hour flight. So took the opportunity to travel to Italy and explore.

We found a cheap(ish) backpackers hostel to stay in, which was located in the city center. An ideal location so we could just walk around and explore. We were here for six days and five nights before flying to Venice.

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The eternal city

Walking through Rome provides a glimpse into ancient times. I was truly in awe walking around and visiting the ancient ruins. Rome is a very special place where you can feel and view history. Here is a list of the best ancient landmarks to visit when in Rome!

  • Pantheon: An ancient pagan temple, that has since been converted into a church. This is one of Rome’s best preserved monuments.
  • Janiculum walk: A beautiful walk through the hills, and when you reach the top an impressive view overlooking the Roman skyline.
  • Circus Maximus: An open field with ruins. This was once, one of the largest sporting arenas in the world!
  • Roman forum: A true glimpse into ancient rome. With ancient ruins linked to the former emperors. These ruins illustrate 900 years of history!
  • Piazza Navona: A breathtaking piazza containing three gorgeous fountains.

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Roman Colosseum

In addition to the ancient landmarks highlighted above, a trip to Rome would not be complete without a visit to the impressive Colosseum! A well preserved piece of history, and a major tourist attraction in Rome.

The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian amphitheater, is a huge stone amphitheater built between AD 70-72 by the Vespasian emperor. The Colosseum was used for four centuries! As the site of gladiator combats between men and other animals. The largest amphitheater in the Roman world, the colosseum could seat more than 50,000 spectators! The preservation of this ancient site began in the 19th century. kinsideold

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Highlights and must sees

In addition to the ancient sites must sees, here are recommendations of other points of interest that we enjoyed.

  • Trevi fountain: A well know landmark. A gorgeous 18th century sculpted fountain.
  • Spanish steps: 135 steps which are located between the Piazza di Spagna (at the bottom) and the Pizza Trinita dei Monti at the top.
  • Capitoline museums: A complex of art and archeological museums.
  • Pincian hill: Wander around the pretty gardens.
  • Visit the Vatican city:  The headquarters of the Holy Roman church and one of the world’s smallest sovereign states. The Vatican city became independent from Rome in 1929. Inside you can visit St.Peters Basilica, the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.
  • Get lost. Just rome around Rome and explore your surroundings.
  • Indulge in Italian food, coffee and wine!

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Rome

Rome is a very special city. Rich in history and culture. A beautiful city to explore and a great highlight of a trip to Europe.

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Oktoberfest

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Volksfeast

This sixteen day festival is the world’s largest Volksfeast – a beer festival and traveling fun fair. The festival is located in the city of  Munich, in the state of Bavaria, Germany.

History of oktoberfest

The origins of this festival goes back to 1810! When the then, Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony- Hildurghausen. The people of Munich were invited to celebrate the festivities in the fields in front the city gates. The festival occurred the next year and has continued on ever since! This year will mark the 185th year of the festival, very impressive. Today, oktoberfest is the largest festival in the world, bringing in an average of six million visitors each year, from all over the world.

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Celebrating Oktoberfest

I had always wanted to visit the famous oktoberfest, and we were able to go..by accident! We had found cheap flights to Munich and just brought them without realizing that the festival would be occurring at this time! Our cheap tickets to Munich allowed us to enjoy the vibrant and spectacular festival. We were based in the city center of Munich and attended the festival on most of the days of our trip, in amongst exploring the sights and beauty of Munich.

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Munich

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The capital of Bavaria

A modern cosmopolitan city with a touch of traditions, and home to the most famous beer festival!

The pretty city, Munich is the third largest city in Germany and is the capital city of Bavaria. Bavaria is the largest (land) state and is located in the southeastern section of Germany. Often described as a fairytale city, with the numerous castles, views of the Alps and strong traditions still present. Munich is located on the banks of the river Isar, north of the gorgeous Bavarian alps.

 The city is absolutely stunning, rich in history with ties to royal Bavarian heritage. Munich showcases stunning architecture, beautiful galleries and museums, fine dinning and breathtaking views of the alps. Munich is a cosmopolitan city, however the traditions are still very present  and with a touch of medieval vibes. A great place to explore history (both good and bad), and to absorb German culture.

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Seven days in Munich

Our first visit to Germany, was to visit this beautiful city! Again, we found really cheap flights. From London to Munich the cost of the flight was around $15 usd), so perfect. We brought the tickets and then went to search for a cheap hostel to stay in……we did not realize that we were arriving when the world’s largest Volksfeast would be  happening. We could not find any accommodation! All that was left was a bed in a dorm room going for thousands of dollars, ah no thanks. We had nearly given up on looking for accommodation and had decided to just camp, however I stumbled across a local website where people rented out their apartment (this was not airbnb). So we were able to book a great one bedroom apartment located in the city center, we couldn’t believe our luck. This worked out perfectly, we could cook in the apartment (saving money on eating out), we were able to walk  nearly everywhere in the city and now we could even enjoy the Volksfest, you can read about our time at Oktoberfest here. 

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Highlights and must sees

  • Nymphenburg Palace: We spent a good portion of the day visiting this beautiful regal 18th century palace. Wandering around the well kept gardens is so dreamy.
  • Englishcher garden: A large and lush garden, with its own beer garden!
  • Marienplatz: Described as the heart of the city. This square is very popular and has a range of restaurants, shops and street performances.
  • Viktualiemarkt: A vibrant farmers market and is the cities oldest market.
  • St. Peter’s church: A stunning church and Munich’s oldest place of worship.
  • Residenzmuseum:  This hall is one of the most important palace museums in Europe.
  • Hofbrauhaus Muchen: This well known beer hall was founded in the 16th century!
  • Linderhof Palace: Stunning palace and is the smallest of the palaces built by king Ludwig the second second of Bavaria.

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Dachau concentration camp

One of the first concentration camps to open in Nazi Germany. It is now a memorial site, a place to reflect on the past and to mourn the victims.

Located 10 miles north of Munich, we took the train for a day trip to visit the Dachau concentration camp. Walking through the site was very confronting, eerie and heartbreaking. However it is important to step out of our comfort zones to acknowledge what happened, we cannot ignore the ugly past. If visiting Munich, I do recommend a visit to this memorial site to pay  respect to the victims.

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Munchen

Rich in history, Bavarian culture, stunning architecture, beautiful green scenery, fairy tale palaces and alp views, Munich has something for everyone. Our trip was very enjoyable and insightful. We learnt a lot about the location and experienced some great German culture. I would return, and I would also love to explore more of the state of Bavaria and the surrounding countries.

 

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Me in munich