Why Travel To Nerja Spain

Nerja

No tour of Europe is complete without an interlude in Spain. Whether you are touring Europe for the summer or are simply there for a week, Spain is one country you should include on your itinerary. Watch the running bulls of Pamplona. Party the night away on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza. Gape in wonder at the old masters gracing the walls of centuries-old museums in Barcelona and Madrid. Study the impressive architecture of Valencia and Seville. Or, commune with sun, sea, and sky in the little town of Nerja.

The vibrant little coastal town, Nerja, lies at the foot of the Sierre Almijara, Andalusia. Here, mountains plunge straight into the crystal clear sea and coastlines jut proudly against an backdrop of sea and sky.

What is there to see in Nerja?

If there is one thing Nerja overflows with, its beauty. It has the best climate in the whole Costa del Sol, and as you walk through the town, you will encounter sights that will take your breath away. It has miles and miles of verdant countryside and strips upon strips of pristine beaches. The town has remained miraculously untouched by highrises and skyscrapers, and there are very few holiday lodging options available save for villas. The villas in Nerja, Spain may not be able to hold a candle to the opulence of European hotels and resorts, but they are scenic and historic. The town itself retains much of the flavor and spirit of its traditional village atmosphere. In fact, tucked behind the mountains of Nerja is a beautifully preserved, white-washed village of Frigiliana, which shows very little traces of the passing of centuries.

At the heart of Nerja is a magnificent promenade along the edge of a towering cliff. Called the Balcony of Europe, the promenade offers a sweeping view of the Mediterranean and the small coves and beaches that lie below. On it had once stood a great Moorish castle.

Staying at Villas in Nerja, Spain

The best way to experience the quaint charms of this picturesque little town is to get your own villa. Whether bought or rented, villas in Nerja, Spain will give travelers like yourself an authentic taste of all things genuinely Spanish. The villas in Nerja, Spain are representative of the village’s charming architecture and would, thus, give you a sampling of traditional village life at its simplest and most historic.

There is a wide selection of villas in Nerja, Spain for those who need a home, whether temporary or permanent. Many of these come with panoramic views of the sea. A one-bedroom apartment can accommodate two people and go for $350 to $500 a month. A spacious four-room villa may command $335 a week during off peak seasons and $737 during peak seasons.

In the end, though, it doesn’t matter which booking option you choose. What matters is that you sojourn in Spain. Spain is a must for the adventure seeker, the wine sipper, the history aficionado, and the art connoisseur.

Travel Tips to European Countries: Ireland

About The Country

The summers are warm and the winters are moderate with some snow. May and June are the sunniest months. Weather changes quite frequently from cloudy to sunny and vice versa. If planning the visit during the summer, lightweight woolen or cotton clothes are recommended and jacket for spring and autumn. Always carry raincoat for that untimely showers. Incase of emergency call 999 or 112.

Culture

Most of the locals prefer speaking English here. Handshaking is customary. Irish are social people and are good at having a lively chat even with strangers. People live in great harmony and make great friends. Foreigners are welcomed with warmth and are made to feel at home. Guests are never sent back empty stomach as food is always served at any time of the day, to the guest. Most of the locals come from an agricultural background. Dinner is considered to be a meal of importance as it is the time when the whole family gets together and eat. One can dress casually when out on the streets except women are expected to dress formally at social gatherings and at fine restaurants. Smoking is banned in public places.

Shopping

Many towns organize flee markets at least once a week, which is worth checking out for cheap goods. Belfast is the shopping capital of Ireland; most of the stores open up early and close early too. On Thursdays, shops remain open till 8 in the night.  Value Added Tax of almost 17% is charged, which can be reclaimed later. So if the visitors buy anything from the stores remember to check if the store operates the Retail Export Scheme, which would require the passport and filling of the Tax Free Shopping Form by the sales person. If the restaurant bill doesn’t includes any tax, leave behind a 10% tip to appreciate their service. Giving a tip to the porters and hair dressers is customary here.

Electricity

The voltage in Northern Ireland is 240V, 50AC.

Getting There

The national airline that operates here is Aer Lingus, which provides service from most of the major cities of the world. Airlines like Delta Air Lines and many other have been introduced and to promote them, promotional air fares are being offered. Checking out such offers will prove to be money savers. There are many flights from UK to Ireland. The Dublin airport is located at 10 km away from the city. Services like taxis, air coach, buses transport passengers to their destination. Airport has duty free shops, bank, currency exchange, car hire, tourism information, and restaurants for a comfortable journey. Shannon Airport is situated to the north of Limerick City and is 24 km and 25 minutes away from it. Buses, coaches and taxis are available for transportation. Other services that are provided are duty free shops, currency exchange, bank, tourism information and restaurants. While planning to travel, check out other airports like Cork Airport and Knock Information Airport for more options. A departure tax of €10 is to be paid by people over 12 years of age at the Knock International Airport.

To take ferries check out the Baltimore, Galway, Dublin, Wexford and Kinsale ports. Most of the ferries offer high-speed services. Time to time special offers are being announced which can be availed to save money. Check out the websites as some of them offer online booking facility.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars or 250g of tobacco
2. 1l of spirits and distilled beverages (more than 22 per cent) or 2l of other alcoholic beverages with an alcoholic strength not exceeding 22 per cent, including sparkling or fortified wine, plus 2l of table wine
3. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette

The carrier should be above 17 years of age. Sharp objects, explosives, firearms, food or agricultural items and hay or straw should be brought along as they are strictly prohibited.

Southampton Tourist Guide & Travel Information

Southampton Tourist Guide

Southampton City is located on the South coast of England, 80 miles South West of London. Historically Southampton has been an important port and this still applies today. The city has a population of about 250,000 and is the closest city to the New Forest.

The M3 and M27 Motorways are the main road links between London and Southampton. The drive takes about one hour and forty minutes putting the city within easy reach of London’s major international airports. A regular train service is operated by Southwest Trains between Southampton Central and London Waterloo train stations.

Southampton Airport hosts flights to many local destinations as well as to over 47 European destinations. There are no longer any international ferry services operating out of Southampton docks, but the port is home to a growing number of luxury cruise ships, including the QE2. The city has a good network of bus services with access to all the local amenities.

The history of the city can be tracked back to the Romans who established the first permanent settlement and port. The settlement known as Clausentum was the main trading port for Winchester and Salisbury, both large Roman towns. The town was moved to its current location by the Anglo-Saxons some time later. Southampton became an important trading port with wool being a major cargo in the 13th century.

After the city was sacked by the French in 1338 the Southampton City walls were built, part of which still stand today. In 1623 the Pilgrim Fathers set sail from Southampton, aboard the Mayflower on route to Plymouth in present day Massachusetts. Famously the RMS Titanic also set sail from Southampton on her ill fated first voyage. Many of her crew came from Southampton and a total of 549 city residents perished when the ship sank.

With the advent of air travel, traffic through the ports declined. However this trend is now changing with more luxury cruise ships setting sail from Southampton.

With such a rich history there is an abundance of things to see and do in and around the city. There are a number of historic buildings. These include the City Wall built in 1338, St Michaels Church built in 1070, God’s House Tower built 1417 and the 12th century Red Lion Pub where the Southampton plotters were tried and sentenced to death.

Southampton is located on the door step of the New Forest. This is a large national park of about 570 km2. The New Forest was created by William the Conqueror in 1079 as a Royal Hunting Ground. The Forest today offers the visitor miles of peaceful walks through ancient woodland and heath land. Alternatively the forest can be explored on bicycle or horse back. There is an abundance of wildlife and the forest is home to the famous New Forest ponies. There are a number of villages in the New Forest each with their own secrets to uncover.

The city has a number of museums. The Museum of Archeology, which is housed in God’s House Tower, has a collection of artifacts which tell the story of Southampton from the Stone Age to the present day.  The Solent Sky Museum has a large display of aircraft and aims to educate the visitor on the rich history of aviation in the Solent area. Located a short drive to the north of the city is the Intech Science Center, an Interactive science and technology centre for the whole family.

The West Quay Shopping Centre is one of the largest shopping centers in the UK and hosts a number of major shopping brands. The city has a vibrant night life with a number of night clubs, restaurants and pubs.

In a recent survey by British Gas Southampton was ranked as one of the lowest carbon emitting cities in the UK and is the only City to operate a geothermal power station.

Make Southampton one of the cities you visit – it has a long and vibrant history, an abundance of activities and is a gate way to exploring the South Coast.

Sligo Tourist Information & Travel Guide

Sligo

County Sligo is situated on the Atlantic coast in the north west of Ireland, it is renowned for its unspoilt scenic landscapes with approximately 110 miles of coastline.

Sligo Town, capital of the Northwest region, is situated on the Garavogue River between Lough Gill and the Atlantic coast. It is a major growth centre and the largest town in the North West with a population of over 20,000 people, swelling to a daytime population of 42,000.  Sligo is a thriving tourist, commercial, administrative and educational regional centre. Its name literally translates as ‘the place of shells’ – this allegedly derives from the fact that the inhabitants of yore had  a staple diet of shellfish and remains of those shells are to be found buried in the grounds thereabout.

Sligo is serviced by a number of national primary routes including the N17 to Galway (85 miles) and N4 to Dublin (135 miles).

Sligo has a diverse landscape from majestic mountains such as Benbulben, Knocknarea and the Ox Mountains  to sandy beaches internationally renowned for their fantastic surf, to lush woodland and glistening lakes.  It’s most famous landmark is the flat topped Benbulben Mountain which dominates the skyline across the north of  Sligo, watching over the traveller as they make their way north along the coastline through the famous seaside town of Mullaghmore, exiting Sligo into the hills of Donegal.

Sligo, land of heart’s desire, as written by the poet WB Yeats, who yearned for the serenity and peace of Lough Gill and its Isle of Innisfree and the enchanting Slish Wood close to Dooney where the fiddler of yore entertained the merry  Sligo is host to the internationally acclaimed Yeats Summer and Winter schools.  The Regional Arts Centre in Sligo houses a collection of his brother, Jack B Yeats paintings.

Steeped in history from Europe’s oldest Stone Age cemeteries at Carrowmore to Queen Maeve’s grave at the top of Knocknarea mountain, Sligo town is now a lively cosmopolitan town with continental style bistros along the Garavogue River which flows through the town.

Easy accessibility via airport, road and rail make Sligo an attractive location for industry, from cutting edge IT to Pharmaceutecal Companies.  The high cabilbre of graduate from the local Institute of Technology and excellent training institutions playing no small part in Sligo’s success as the commercial capital of the North West.

Sligo plays host to a number of cultural events throughout the year including Sligo Arts Festival, County Fleadh, International Choral Festival, Guitar Festival and numerous contemporary musical festivals throughout the year.

Keeping alive Sligo’s literary tradition are the Hawks Well Theatre, The Blue Raincoat Theatre, the Model Arts and Niland Gallery and the Yeats Theatre.

Many of the local pubs specialise in live music from Trad Sessions to Jazz, Rock and Open Mic sessions.

For the sporting enthusiast there is a wide array of activity to choose from.  Sligo Sports Complex offers various pitches, indoor basketball courts, badminton, tennis, indoor soccer, a gymnasium and weights room, and a superb swimming pool. To experience the great outdoors there are walking, hiking, horseriding mountaineering and cycling clubs.  Sligo has a number of championship golf courses along with numerous gaelic football, soccer and rugby clubs.

Taking advantage of its vast coastline and inland waterways one can waterski, surf, sail, scuba-dive, take part in sea and fresh water fishing, canoe or take up Olympic style rowing.

For those not wanting to get their feet wet you might want to take to the skies.  Sligo Airport is home to one of Ireland’s most active flying clubs with courses running throughout the year there is also an opportunity to take up skydiving and get a birds eye view of the breathtaking scenery that is Sligo.

Travel tips to European Countries: Iceland

About the county

Officially known as the Republic of Iceland, is located in northwestern Europe. It comprises of the island of Iceland and its outlying small islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Greenland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, and the Faroe Islands. Iceland’s glassy glaciers, hot thermal springs, spectacular geysers, active volcanoes, lava fields, stunning waterfalls and snow-capped mountains, indeed makes it the original ‘land of fire and ice’.

Iceland is a very large island with a unique landscape which is rugged and colorful with black lava, red sulfur, hot blue geysers, rivers, waterfalls, bays, fjords and green valley. The capital of Iceland is Reykjavík which is also the largest city of Iceland. Nearly half of Iceland’s population lives around Reykjavík. The popular tourist attractions are centered also centered on this city. The most famous attraction is Gullfoss double-tiered waterfall which is set off with an outstanding rainbow and hot springs of Geysir.

People might wonder what one can do in Iceland. If you hear the list you will be amazed that there are so many things to do and see here. From watching whales to chic fine dining, hiking, seeing Europe’s largest glacier Vatnajokull, fishing in rivers, horse riding, rafting, exploring the landscape on a snow scooter, shopping designing wear, Summer Solstice Festival, visit island of Grimsey to cross the Arctic Circle, visit medieval farm at Stong and what not, the list is endless.

Population & Languages

The population of Iceland is only 299,388 and the official language being spoken is Icelandish. English, Nordic languages, German are also widely spoken.

Electricity

The voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plugs used are Round pin attachment plug and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in northwestern Europe. It comprises of the island of Iceland and its outlying small islands in the northern Atlantic Ocean between Greenland, Norway, Scotland, Ireland, and the Faroe Islands. It is strategically located between Greenland and Europe

Climate

The climate of Iceland can be termed as temperate with damp and cool summers and mild and windy winters. The highest temperature recorded was 30.5°C (86.9°F) on 22 June 1939 at Teigarhorn. The lowest temperature ever recorded was -38°C (-36.4°F) on 22 January 1918 at Grímsstaðir and Möðrudalur.

Local Customs

Like any other country Iceland has its own customs too and normal courtesies should be followed. Handshaking is customary. Visitors are invited to homes when on a business trip and normal courtesies should be observed. The people pay careful attention to their appearance and, as for most Western countries, casual wear is widely acceptable. Service charges are included in the bills most of the time and tips are not expected.

Attractions
Reykjavik Attractions – Hallgrimskirkja Church, National Museum of Iceland, Botanical Gardens and the Einar Jónsson Museum

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Iceland is Icelandair which operates to many internationsl destinations such as Amsterdam, Baltimore, Boston, Copenhagen, Frankfurt, Glasgow, Halifax, London, Minneapolis, Orlando, Oslo, Paris, Stockholm and Washington, plus other destinations in the summertime only. Other international airlines operating from Iceland include Air Greenland (website: www.airgreenland.gl) and Iceland Express (website: www.icelandexpress.com).

Other, predominantly Scandinavian, carriers also operate services. Some airlines like Condor and Corsai, operate flights during the summertime. Flights also operate to the Faroe Islands and Greenland during the summer months. Major airport is Keflavik International Airport (KEF) located at 31 miles south of Reykjavik.

Duty Free Items
1. 200 cigarettes or 250g of other tobacco products
2. 1 liter spirits and 1 liter wine, or 1 liter spirits and 6 liter beer; or 1 liter wine and 6 liter beer; or 2.25 liter wine
3. Food items up to 3kg not exceeding kr13,000
4.   Permits from Post & Telecom Authorities are required for cordless phones,   remote controls or radio transmitters. It is not required for a GSM mobile phone

Prohibited Items

Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, pornography, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

Sicily Travel Guide For Backpackers

Sicily travel guide

Sicily has made an indelible mark on the European traveling scene. Is it because of the Volcano that is still burning, or is it because of the rich cultural heritage that the city carries? The European experience has been adorned by the Italian influence. The Greek domination has left such marks on the settlements around Rome and rest of Italy including Greece and Sicily that it has become next to impossible to miss it. The roman leftovers are grand enough to attract the historians as well as the tourists.

Sicily is one of the most sought after destinations in Italy. The tourism advantage that Sicily can give is just an added feature. The reason for this is that it is essentially a culturally charged city. The city has in itself treasured the exploits of the second Great War as well as the ancient historical facts that a significant part of world history. The city holds a distinct aura as differentiable as its language, which is a mixture of many nearby languages. The Mediterranean influence on the place can be felt by the cuisine that is served in its lavishly decorated restaurants.

Sicily holds a unique history that is flanked by the exploits and rule of many dynasties. The geographical location of the place gives a very wrong picture of it being part of the Italian rule. Though it is now a part of Italy but its origin and history is different from that of Italy. The main land of Sicily is separated from the Italian land and thus it finds many indigenous people living in it. How ever it has been a favorite of almost all the empires. The Carthage, the Greeks and the Normans fought over the land too much and it saw the changing the hands. Rome was finally the victor and they ruled it for a long time. Then in the late 19th century Italy took over the control. However the impact of mafia on the island is too much and large part of the land is still under its influence. The city also has the honor of perpetrating the mafia concept.

The Greek and the roman influence on the city can be seen by the architecture that is seen around the city. The enormous size of the cathedrals and platforms dazzles the mind of the visitors. The Sicilian backdrop has been used by many film makers and performers. The sheer grandeur of the roman and Greek constructions makes it one of the most sought after destination in southern Europe.

Mount Etna is one of the volcanoes that is still active apart from being the tallest in Europe. The rich thick forest cover around the Etna region is an added attraction to the tourists. Apart from the seldom traffic problems and delays in flights and trains, the city offers a vista of traveling experiences.

The city is easy to approach, as it is a part of most of eastern and southern European tours. The individual visit can also be a good idea. From romanticism of the mafia to the raw power of nature Sicily has it all.

Scotland Travel Guide For Backpackers

Scotland travel guide

The charisma and aura of the European country Scotland is unknown to none. It is the land, which was a surface to numerous significant historical battles, is the mother of cherished sport ‘golf’ and is globally appreciated for its Balmoral Castle (a vacation spot for Queen Elizabeth and her family) and Scotch whisky. Scotland is blessed with a rich history, culture and scenic splendor. It is one amongst the most admired places on the globe today. Geographically, Scotland is bifurcated into three regions- Southern Uplands, Central Lowlands and Highlands. These regions adjoin different places and comprise of different landforms for instance by way of river valleys the Southern Uplands act as a link between the country’s central plain and England border.

The Scotland Activities

•    Since time memorial golf is an immensely crucial activity in Scotland. Infact the golf sport originated from this very European country. The Highlands region of Scotland nestles some of the prominent golf courses in the world. There are around 540 golf courses in Scotland. These are variously scattered in Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, Historic Heartland and Central areas of Scotland.

•    Cycling and bike riding is another cherished pastime in Scotland. The enthusiasm for cycling is such that many tourists hire bikes to explore this divinely beautiful place. The Glencoe, Galloway region and the Isle of Skye are perfect spectacular riding places.

•    The exclusive Scotland attractions are the Heavy and Light Athletics. Heavy Athletics includes games that demand muscle. These games are stone, weight and hammer throwing, sheaf tossing and so forth. Dancing, sprinting, running and jumping are the light athletics sports that basically require an impregnable stamina.

City Look
The capital city of Scotland, Edinburgh is a perfect blend of contemporary and archaic Scotland. The traditional Scotland is reflected from the ancient Edinburgh castles and buildings. While the marvelously constructed hotels, restaurants and thrilling nightlife are the emblems of present-day Scotland. Edinburgh is swarming with people every year for more than one reason. The foremost attractions are the museums of this place. The Royal Museum that houses the first cloned sheep named Dolly, the National Gallery of Scotland along with quite a few national museums are paradigmatic cases in point. Next there are the famous Edinburgh castle, the Royal Mile Street that conjoins this castle and the Palace of Holyroodhouse, the garden of medicinal plants i.e. the Royal Botanical Gardens and the Princes Street, worldwide famous for shopping.

If you want to experience the mind-boggling Scottish Opera and Scottish Ballet, the city of Glasgow is a place ideal for that. Apart from being a home for some of the most noteworthy Scot museums such as St. Mungo Museum Religious Life, the largely acclaimed Museum of Transport and the Scotland Street School Museum; Glasgow is endowed with ample of other lures to woo its visitors. For instance there are primitive constructions like The Pollock House, the Country Black, the Glasgow Cathedral and the Bothwel Castle. These places hold immense significance not just as tokens of an abundant history but also in incurring tourist wealth. Not to forget are Glasgow’s eminent pedestrian shopping streets- Sauchiehall Street, Buchanan Street etc.

Some nitty-gritties

The best feature of Scotland is an easy access to it. Americans can throng this place without any passport. April to September are the ideal months to visit Scotland. So make sure that you get your reservations done beforehand. Scotland does not accept Euro currency. The visitors must get it exchanged prior to their visit.

Russia Travel Visa Guidelines

Russia Travel Visa

If you think getting a visa to travel to Russia is difficult, you should try getting one to travel around the country. Living in Russia, I needed just such a Russia travel visa.

Russia Travel Visa

Unlike many countries, foreigners in Russia must declare on their travel visa where they will travel in the country. If they want to add a location, they have to get a new, temporary visa for the location. Basically, it is red tape and bureaucracy out the ying yang.

While living in Siberia, I was invited to speak at a human rights conference in the town of Tinda. I wasn’t entirely sure where this was, but new I needed a temporary visa to get from my city to it. My host, Oleg Vladimirovich, told me getting one would be no problem. I should’ve known I was in trouble when our first stop was the liquor store.

Four vodka bottles in hand, we hit our first stop at the home of a retired customs official who was married to someone’s half brothers third sister and so on. We reminisced and drank shots for a half hour or so. Feeling no pain, the customs official called a friend and off we went to meet him while leaving the open vodka bottle behind.

At the new gentlemen’s home, we cracked our second bottle of vodka. Reminiscing was undertaken, which left me out of the process since I had never met the chap before. Eventually, another phone call was made and we were off to make a new friend.

As you can probably guess, this process was repeated two more times. At our final meeting, I was so “warm on the inside, cold on the outside” as Russians say when demurely sipping vodka that I was reminiscing with a man and wife who I had never met before in my life!

Eventually, we obtained the necessary visa or something that wouldn’t get me arrested. Oleg joked it was a “semi-visa”. It might work or might not. Seeing double, I headed home to pack my stuff for the train.

Travel tips to European Countries: Hungary

About the county

Also known as the Republic of Hungary or Hungarian Republic, Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe and bordering Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. Budapest is the largest city and also the Capital of Hungary. One of the key reasons why Hungary is popular is its hospitality to tourists. Also one can find an ideal mix of history and modern day in Hungary. While Hungarians proudly stick to their old Magyar Tradition they also keep them abreast with current fashions across the world. Most visitors flock to see Budapest, a truly world class city situated on River Danube which enchants everyone with love and music. The city is a blend of culture and outstanding beauty making it the right place for tourists. The city has been a paradise for writers, musicians and artists who were greatly influenced by this graceful city. If you travel west in Hungary Lake Balaton is popular with tourists. Local cuisines include halászlé (fish soup) with pasta and goulash (gulyás) soup.

Population & Languages

The population of Hungary is Roughly 10 million and the official language being spoken is Hungarian.

Electricity

The voltage is 230 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plugs used are Round pin attachment plug and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

Hungary is a landlocked country located in Central Europe and bordering Austria, Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, Croatia, and Slovenia. River Danube and River Tisza divide the country into three large regions. The country is strategically located astride main land routes between Western Europe and Balkan Peninsula as well as between Ukraine and Mediterranean basin

Climate

The climate of Hungary can be termed as Temperate with hot summers and cold winters. The average annual temperature of Hungary is around 9.6 °C. The maximum temperature in summer can be 43 °C and as low as -30 °C. The summer average is 26 to 36 °C and winter average is 0 to -16 °C.

Local Customs

Like any other country Hungary has its own customs too. It is customary to handshake. It is customary to make the toast and return. It is customary for guests to offer gifts to the host of a meal. Smoking is prohibited in most public areas.  But travelers can smoke in long distance trains. Casual dress is acceptable in most places and formal for special occasions. Tipping up to 10 to 15 percent is customary for all services including restaurants, bars, clubs, taxis etc.

Attractions

Budapest
* Castle Royal Palace
* Fisherman’s Bastion
* Matthias Church
* Gellért Hill
* Chain Bridge
* The Great Synagogue and Jewish Museum
* Parliament Buildings
* Statue Park

Eger
* Eger Castle
* Szépasszony Valley (Valley of the Pretty Woman)

Lake Balaton
* Hévíz
* Keszthely

The Danube Bend
* Esztergom
* Szentendre
* Visegrad

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Hungary is Malv which operates flights from more than forty cities across the world. Other international airlines operating from Hungary include Aeroflot, Air France, British Airways, easyJet, KLM, Lufthansa, Sky Europe, Swiss, United Airlines and Wizz Air. Ferihegy Budapest International Airport (BUD) is the biggest airport which is like ten miles southeast of Budapest.

By River – There is a daily hydrofoil service run by MAHART connecting Vienna, Bratislava and Budapest in the months of April to October.

By Rail – The country is part of the extensive network of trains connecting the European cities. Hungary is connected to 16 European cities and there are 47 international trains daily to Budapest by direct rail link.

Duty Free Items
1. 800 cigarettes or 400 cigarillos or 200 cigars or1kg smoking tobacco for EU countries.
2. 200 cigarettes, or 100 cigarillos, or 50 cigars, or 250g of smoking tobacco for Non-EU countries.
3. 10 liter of spirits with more than 22% and ethyl alcohol, or 20 liter of beverages less than 22% alcohol content, or 90 liter of wine or 60 liter of sparkling wine, or 110 liter of beer for EU countries.
4. 1 liter of spirits and 2 liter of wine for Non-EU countries.
5. 50g perfume or 250 ml eau de toilette
6. Gifts , Food, fruits, medications and flowers for personal use of value up to €175

Prohibited Items

Un-canned goods, meat or dairy products, Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

A Traveler’s Guide To Rome For Backpackers

Guide To Rome

Rome is one of the most beautiful areas in the world. The very cradle of human civilization, its many landmarks are a joy for the eyes to behold. The Eternal City remains unrivaled when it comes to the sheer aesthetic supremacy of its antique structures and its impressive, widely-venerated history. It doesnt come as a surprise then that Rome has claimed the #2 spot on the top travel destinations in the world.

1. Rome

With a climate mild and rainy in winter rather than full of snow, many find Rome the perfect place to vacation during any time of year. You do not need a Visa if youre only staying for 90 days or less. Experts recommend visiting Rome in the off-peak months between October and March to avoid the summer rush. If you can, try to book a hotel near or within the centro storico or historic district.

2. Take The Tour

Be sure to make a list of locations you intend to visit within Rome beforehand to save you time and money. Private tours are a great way to get around and at the same time soak up the local culture. Another great way to economize is by taking the TramBus system, that goes around the city and provides a fascinating tour of Romes neighborhoods.

3. Don’t Miss These Locations

The Coliseum is probably, next to the Vatican, the best structure to visit in the city. You can tour the premises on your own or join those conducted every hour by guides dressed as Gladiators. Operating hours vary throughout the year, so you will want to call in advance if at all possible.

4. The Roman Forum

Check out the civic center of Ancient Rome where political, religious, and economic activities took place. Many of its columns remain standing among the ruins even after 2000 years, displaying the intricacies of Roman architecture. Admission is free, opens at 9 am and closes an hour before sunset. If you want, you can spend a little more to get a personalized guided tour complete with audio pedestals where you can learn more.

5. The Vatican

One of the most popular spots to visit in Rome is, of course, the Vatican. In addition to its religious importance, the Vatican has a fine collection of sculptures, paintings, books, and many other artifacts that chronicle the Catholic Churchs history. You can view St. Peters Basilica, marvel at Michelangelos Pieta, its detailed masonry, or the papal catacombs. Move on to the Vatican Museum where even more magnificent antiquities are housed, not the least of that are Egyptian mummies from B.C. era.

6. The Sistine Chapel

If pressed for time, skip everything else and proceed to the Sistine Chapel. Michelangelo, primarily, was known as an excellent sculptor so when Pope Julius II commissioned him to paint the Bible on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, he thought it was a ploy by his rivals who thought Michelangelo, not being a full-on painter, would yield mediocrity and eMBArrass himself. Of course, we all know it didnt quite turn out that way. In fact, the Sistine Chapel is probably the most recognized piece of work from the Renaissance period.

Romanian Travel Guide For Backpackers

Romanian travel guide

A place that has seen political turmoil to the hardest extent but has stood the test of time. A place where mysteries unfold around every corner. Where the nature has bestowed its greatest gifts. Welcome to Romania.  Until the modern history was being written Romania was mainly under the influence of the wars. Then it was gripped in the hands of the communist regimen. Despite the wraths of wraths of time the country has stood erect and today it is one of the culturally advanced and educationally pioneering countries of the world.

The historical importance of the country is established by the presence of the numerous castles all over the place. The main attraction of the tourists to this country is its magnificent castle. Build in the ancient times, they still sing the lore of the European grandeur and Romanian past. The atmosphere in them is filled with mysticism and it’s a once in a life experience that every tourists takes back. The Peles, Corvin are two of most famous castles of Romania. Conducted tours take the tourists around the castles giving them information about the historical facts.

As most European nations Romania too has a rich arts and cultural history. The architecture of the country makes it stand out form the lot. The historical curves on the famous buildings give then a unique royalty. Bucharest, the capital city, is also the cultural capital of the country. The village life of Romania is depicted in a museum dedicated to it. The Village museums answer all questions in the minds of the tourists about he rural backdrop of the country. The painted monasteries of Bucovina stand there since the 1500s and are an embodiment of the great architectural history of Romania.

It’s not hard to find great people from this European nation but one prince that has made this country a legend is of Transylvania. The Dracula is a legendry character, which has had a lasting impression on the people of all ages and backgrounds. The castle of the Dracula stands in all its magnificence in Transylvania. Myths apart it has now become one of the most urbanized areas of the country. However the mysterious sensation still keep the tourists dumbfound.

Bucharest, the capital is situated in the Wallachia region in the southern part of Romania. It has got all the political activity. It has gained world repute in the field of education. An international college for medicine is situated in Bucharest, which attracts students from all over the world. The French influence on the city is evident by the architecture on many buildings of the city. It has been christened as ‘little Paris’ due to this very reason. How ever the beauty of the planning of the city has left it look very green and silent. It’s a soothing experience to be in any Romanian city and Bucharest tops the list. One thing seldom found in Europe is found in Bucharest in abundance – legalized gambling. The city offers some of the best casino rooms and coupled with the fact that it is legal makes it a favorite among the tourists. The typical cuisine of Romania is rich with beacon and meat. The desserts also have their distinctive taste.

The country having undergone harsh times in the political oppression could not explore all possibilities of tourism. Now it is coming out with ecotourism programs to attract tourists. Way to go!

Responses To Expect When Traveling In Germany

Traveling In Germany

Learning the German language has many advantages especially if you’re a foreigner taking a walk down German streets. There’s one fact that you need to realize too. Although learning the language could give you numerous praises and benefits, you have to be careful in using it as well.

Our nationalities differ from one country to the next. If there’s anything you’re accustomed to doing in you’re own country, think twice before you attempt in doing it in another nation. If you visit Germany or get into a conversation with a German speaking person, an important point you need to remember is the way how you carry a conversation.

Don’t ever forget that the German language has a distinction between formal and informal conversation. If you’re unsure how to respond to the German speaking person you’re talking to, better stick to the rules of the language. Another thing is that you may find easy to learn and remember the basics of the language (greetings, common phrases) but in any way, do not get confused with the response you’re going to get. You’re not in your own country anymore so expect changes from the people around.

Shopping in Germany can be exciting; what with your skill to talk to the sales person in German. But don’t get offended if German staff just doesn’t warm up to you; it’s not being rude or anything so just move on with your German adventures.

Also, remember that Germans appreciate it more if you can talk to them in their own language. Putting all your efforts and hard work in learning the language wouldn’t be as rewarding as when you start to put it to test with a native German speaker.

But if you think you can’t handle it any longer and you feel the need to express what you want to say in pure English, you can always turn to someone and say “Sprechen Sie Englisch?” (SHPREKH-en zee ENG-lish), which means “Do you speak English?” and you’ll surely get the response you need.

Travel Tips to European Countries: Holland

About the Country

The summers are cool here but the winters are severe with some chances of snowfall. Rainfall can be expected in any month of the year. Dutch is the official language here. English, French and German are the other languages that are spoken, out of which English is widely spoken. Incase of emergency call 112.

Culture

Handshake is the commonly practiced form of greeting. Although tipping is not mandatory, but it’s better to pay rounds figure in restaurants and taxis. A humble gift should be taken to the host’s house always when invited for a meal. Informal clothes are worn on a daily basis, but people are expected to turn up in formals at social functions and smart restaurants.

Shopping

Pottery of Delft, Makkum and Workum is a must buy. Silverware from Schoonhoven, crystals from Leerdam and diamonds from Amsterdam are highly recommended.

Site Seeing

Apenheul Primate Park is a place to visit which is a home to more than thirty species of mammals. It remains closed during the winter. De Hoge Veluwe is the oldest and largest park of Holland. Bicycles can be used to explore the 5,500 hectares of the park. Paleis Het Loo is a magnificent Palace surrounded by gardens and remains open year round except on public holidays.

Electricity

230 V and 50 Hz

Travel

The national airline that operates in Holland is KLM-Royal Dutch Airlines. It connects to almost all the major cities of Europe, North America and Asia. Amsterdam Airport is the hub for many international and local flights. It is located at 15 km away from the city and it takes 20 minutes to reach there by train. The Airline, KLM, provides bus service every 15-30 minutes which takes passengers to some of the famous hotels of the city. Public buses can be availed too, to reach destination. Trains connect to Amsterdam’s Central Station and Zuid Station. Taxis take tourists to almost any location. The Airport features duty free shops, banks, showers, business center, baby rooms, and car hire.

Rotterdam airport and Eindhoven airport are 8km away from the city. Trains and buses operate every 15 minutes to transport passengers to their hotels. Facilities such as duty free shops, eateries, car rental, and internet can be availed at these airports. No departure tax is implemented on passengers at any of these airports.

The main sea ports are Hook of Holland, Vlissingen and Rotteradm. Stena Line, P&O ferries and DFDS seaways provide ferry service to get to Holland.

If traveling by railway, Eurostar provides the best service and connects to all the major cities of Europe. It provides high grade services. Good offers are provided on regular basis and to utilize them they should be monitored from time to time. Unused tickets are easily refunded. The Inter-Rail pass can be bought to avail the unlimited second class train travel within 29 European countries.

Top class road network connects Holland to majority of cities in Europe. They are well maintained and signs are posted every where for safe driving. 120kph is the speed limit while driving on highways. Many car dealing agents exist if opting for car-rental. Some of them are Avis, Europcar and Budget.

Cycling is also a major means of transportation in Holland and is part and parcel of daily life. Tourists can hire cycles from the airport or other service providers with some money-deposit.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco
2. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette
3. 1liter of liquor or 2liter of sparkling wine or liquor wines and 2liter of non-sparkling wine
4. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extract
5. 500g of coffee or 200g of coffee extract

Planning To Travel To Greece?

greece

If you are planning a visit to Greece, don’t miss the Hellenic Festival in Athens located in the second century Odeon of Herodes Atticus.  Planning a sea voyage to Greece’s many islands can be a memorable experience.  Greece offers mountain climbing, sailing, windsurfing, scuba diving, river rafting, kayaking, and hiking in it’s beautiful natural settings.

Visiting Piraeus

Piraeus is known as the premier port on the Aegean Sea and is a busy hub for travelers and locals.  While in Piraeus, visit the Marina Zea and catch a ride to the Saronic Gulf to view the large yachts, restaurants, shops and taverns along the shoreline.  The Hellenic Maritime Museum exhibits modern and ancient ships and is a great place for those interested in naval history.  Piraeus also offers an archeological museum featuring bronzed statues of Apollo, Athena, and Artemis.  Kastella Hill offers a spectacular view of the sea and the surrounding traditional Greek houses perched on the scenery.  The Hill is home to shops, restaurants, clubs and coffee houses. Take in a soccer game of the Olympiako’s, the resident, champions of Greek Soccer.

Amazing Athens

The Acropolis is the most famous site in all of Athens and lies in the center of the city. It contains a cluster of ancient ruins and is very popular among tourists. National Archaeological Museum is a museum featuring the art and artifacts of the Minoan’s an ancient tribe of people who once dominated the Aegean Sea.  The Jewish Museum, Parthenon, and the National Gardens are all tourist hot spots in Athens. Kolonaki is a modern Athenian street filled with chic boutiques, coffee houses and restaurants.

Staying in Athens is recommended at the Hotel Athens, the Grande Bretagne Hotel, the Art Hotel, the Athens Hilton, the King George Palace, the Life Gallery Athens Hotel, the Periscope Hotel, and the Eridanus Hotel.  These hotels are highly recommended by fellow tourists visiting Greece.

Colossal Crete

The Palace of Knossos is home to labyrinthine ruins that have been reported to be the home to the monstrous Minotaur, a half-man, half-bull creature that devoured young virgins in ancient times.  Be sure to visit the Venetian Walls and Tomb of Nikos Kazantzakis, the historic village of Iraklion and the beautiful sixteenth century fortress known as The Venetian Fortezza. Some popular lodgings in Crete are: The Anastasia Hotel, King Minos Palace Hotel, the Megaron Hotel, Mike Hotel and Apartments, the Galaxy Iraklio Hotel, the Santa Marina  Plaza, and the Camari Garden Apartments. Greece is filled with ancient history, beautiful scenery and friendly hospitality.  Including Greece in your travel itinerary will ensure a pleasurable, memorable trip for the entire family. Greece is a land that must be experienced to be truly appreciated.

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One Day London Travel Museum Guide

London Travel Museum Guide

A single day maneuvering through London’s museums will prove to be very enlightening and educational. With perhaps the world’s highest concentration of museums per square mile, the choices are as varied as the tastes of the visitors. An itinerary of one day, depending on energy levels, can prove to be absolutely packed to the brim with not a moment to spare. This one-day guide will provide the most interesting options for a packed itinerary, and for those who want a calmer day, pick and choose what sounds best for your energy and speed levels. As everyone knows, London can be expensive; as not everyone knows, some of London’s best museums, like the British Museum, are free of charge. Thus, an itinerary is provided for those who want to spend the minimum of money seeing the maximum of London’s culture. On the other hand, some of the best museums, like the Tower of London, are quite pricey. The London Pass can be an economical solution, giving free entry to countless London attractions for a set fee. Tourist-oriented museums, like Madame Tussauds wax museum, are a category in themselves, perfect for the day when the visitor seeks entertaining education rather than analytical thought in a museum visit. So, let this article be your guide through the best that London’s museums have to offer for minimal or free admission fees, through the benefits of the London Pass, and through the attraction museums that provide fun and fast-lane learning.

The museums in London whose permanent collections are free of admission are not too few in number, and will fill up your one day of London travel. To start, the British Museum is one of the world’s best-known museums, showcasing one of the widest collections of world cultural history. Some highlights are the Rosetta stone; the first known image of Christ; Lindow Man, whose well-preserved 2000-year-old body was found in a bog; and the Reading Room, where Lenin, among others, studied and wrote plans for his Revolution that would affect the whole world. After this contact with world heritage, promenade over to the National Gallery on Trafalgar Square, where you can see art by Europe’s best painters and sculptors. Nearby is the National Portrait Gallery, concentrating its collection on England’s most famous citizens throughout the centuries. For a change of taste, follow up with the Tate, London’s best modern art museum, with paintings, photo exhibitions and installations. If you have time at the end of the day, conclude with the Museum of London, informing its visitors about London’s history and culture. If you’re interested in London, this museum is for you; and, presumably, you are interested in London if you’ve traveled all the way to get here!

When you think of the distance you’ve traveled to get to London, you may think it worth spending a few pounds while you are here. The one-day London Pass costs 27 pounds (it can be bought in combination with an Underground Travelcard for 32 pounds), gives you free access to countless museums, castles, and other places of interest, saving you a good sum of money at the end of the day. In this sample itinerary, you would save 30 pounds: start off at Kensington Palace, former home of Princess Diana, and enjoy the museum as well as the grounds and gardens. Next, St. Paul’s Cathedral is a stunning architectural achievement, offering stunning views of London from its cupola. Shakespeare’s renovated Globe Theatre will have the bard charm you “encore” with his wit as you learn more about him and his theater. In the afternoon, climb up Tower Bridge and learn about the history and construction of this world famous bridge. Conclude the afternoon with a tour of the Tower of London, which will glitter your eyes with the Crown Jewels, and turn your stomach with the tortures and mystery surrounding the prisoners of this VIP prison, which definitely lacked in VIP treatment. Finally, wind the evening down with a discounted West End show, to give you a full and well-spent day discovering London’s culture.

For those seeking to discover London’s culture in a more interactive setting, attraction museums are ideal. The London Dungeon mixes history with a haunted house theme, with museum employees and wax figures unexpectedly frightening the visitors. In the north of London are the London Planetarium and the neighboring Madame Tussaud’s wax museum, which not only houses the world’s largest and most up to date collection of wax figures, but also the most life-like – you will likely take a double take to make sure Prince William isn’t really standing in front of you. For those who want to stand at the location where “time begins”, the nearby town of Greenwich, home of the Prime Meridian, will impress you. There you can visit the Royal Observatory, enjoy the beautiful park at the base of the Observatory’s hill, the National Maritime Museum, the famous Cutty Sark ship, and get a feel for an English village, so close to the metropolis of London.

Whether you choose to partake of the free collections of London’s museums, the countless options that the London Pass provides, or the attraction museums both in and near to London, you will be happy with the result. London’s museums are very well organized and are full of surprising facts about the city that jump out at you from paintings, photos, sculptures, documents, architecture, and wax figures! Any visitor is bound to be surprised and impressed by the London they see guided by its museums.

Travel tips to European Countries: Greece

About the county

Being one of the earliest civilizations known to human kind Greece is a country with rich history, heritage and culture. It is the place where Byzantine Empire once ruled and also great Ottoman Empire. It is also considered to be as the birth place of Democracy. Athens is the capital city of Greece. The Olympic games originated in Greece. Not only that, it was the world center for western philosophy, political science, astronomy, mathematics, major scientific studies and what not. It is also known as a Mediterranean country as it has Mediterranean Sea in the south. It is a popular destination for world tourists in that region known for its beautiful beaches, reach history and charming villages. The Greek islands are one of the most wonderful places to be explored by Cruise or Yacht. The trip of Greece will definitely be one of the most memorable to remember in one’s life.

Population & Languages

The population of Greece is around 11 million and the official language being spoken is Greek. The other popular languages are English and French.

Electricity

The voltage is 220 V and the frequency is 50 Hz. The types of plug used are round pin with attachment, round pin with ground, Round pin plug and receptacle with male grounding pin and “Schuko” plug and receptacle with side grounding contacts.

Geographic Location

It is located in Southern Europe bordering the Aegean Sea, Ionian Sea and the Mediterranean Sea between Albania and Turkey. It is situated in the southern side of Balkan Peninsula. It is also bordered by Bulgaria and Macedonia in the southeast.

Climate

It has three distinct climates namely Alpine, Mediterranean and temperate climate with mild and wet winters and also hot and dry summers due to Mediterranean affect. Alpine system is seen in mountainous regions. The temperate climate is seen near border along Macedonia. Athens has both temperate and Mediterranean weather.

Local Customs

The Greece is a place with strong historic and cultural background. There are different traditions and customs in different parts of the Greece. The throwing back of a hand is considered to be a negative gesture here in Greece. Casual dress can be worn most of the times. Smoking is prohibited in public transport services and public buildings. Tipping 12 to 1 percent is customary in restaurants, hotels and taxis.

Attractions
* The Olympic Games in Athens (the spot of the historic 2004 Olympic Games)
* Mardi Grass Celebrations in February
* The Parthenon in Athens
* Skiing in Arahova Mountains between October and March
* Easter Celebrations
* Thessaloniki’s White Tower and country’s rich Byzantine culture
* The south of Corinth
* The beaches in Lesvos
* The wine vineyards in the countryside
* The islands near the Aegean Sea
* The wildlife preserve in Alonissos (Sporades Marine Park)
* The famous, Moni Panagia Chozoviotissa, a Byzantine monastery in Amorgos

Travel

By Air – The national airline of Greece is Olympic Airlines. Many popular airlines like British Airways and Delta Airlines operate daily flight from Athens. The biggest airport is newly constructed Athens International Airport which is located like 17 miles northeast of the city. The other international airports of Greece are Heraklion (Crete), Thessaloniki (Macedonia) and Corfu (Kerkira).

By Sea – The popular Greek ports include Corfu, Heraklion, Igoumenitsa, Patras, Piraeus (Athens), Rhodes, Thessaloniki and Volos. Shipping vessels and ferryboat lines link these ports with Italy, Croatia, Cyprus, Russia and Turkey. Some of the popular cruises operating in Greece are Celebrity Cruises, Costa Cruises, Crystal Cruises, Festival Cruises, Holland America Line, Princess Cruises, Silversea and Swan Hellenic.

By Rail – If one is coming from UK, the best way is to take Eurostar train to Brussels or Paris and from there take connecting train to Greece.

Duty Free Items
1. Up to 200 cigarettes or 250 gm tobacco
2. 100 cigarillos or 50 cigars
3. 1 liter spirit over 22% or 2 liter wine
4. Perfumes – 50 gm or 250 ml
5. Gifts up to €175

Prohibited Items

Narcotics, firearms, ammunition, weapons, most meat and dairy products, eggs, plants, endangered species, fireworks and alcoholic beverages that contain more than sixty per cent alcohol.

Now Is The Time To Travel To Russia

Travel to Russia

For a country that encompasses an area of over 10.5 million square miles, it is no coincidence most people know very little about Russia, aside, of course, from textbook blurbs of Tsarist rule, Mongolian raids, bloody revolutions and snowy, desolate Steppes. The mere expanse of the Russian border makes the country a more versatile destination than any other place in the world. Visit the arctic zone and navigate through sub-tropical regions without ever leaving the country! A closer look and a few tips can subdue your fear and pique your interest to travel to Russia.

Western Russia: Travel to Russia’s Heart and Soul
Western Russia includes Moscow, St. Petersburg, Volgograd (formerly Stalingrad) and the Black and Caspian Seas, making this region the commercial and political core of the nation. Initially the capital of Russia, St. Petersburg was built by Peter the Great and is filled with both haunting and enchanting remnants of a time past. St. Petersburg is certainly the most European and best preserved city, adorned with stately architecture and regal cathedrals that echo of a romantic and prestigious era. In the early 20th century, the capital moved away from the European border to Moscow where the Kremlin, Red Square and Lenin’s Mausoleum (where you can view his embalmed body!) stand as testaments to Russia’s rocky history. In the Southwest, Volgograd is traditionally accepted as the origin of the Russian Empire and was fortified in the 1500s to protect tsarist Russia’s southern border from Cossack and Viking pillages. With these bases covered, leave the crowds behind and head east into a land with a history all its own.

Travel Russia from Europe to Asia
There is nothing quite like seeing six thousand miles of land in a single trip. The epic journey aboard the Trans-Siberian Railway is for those who consider the journey to be just as magical as the destination. The longest continuous rail line on the planet takes you from metropolitan Moscow through vast steppes and the Siberian taiga, the largest remaining forest in the world, to finally arrive in the commercial bustle of Russia’s main Pacific port city, Vladivostok. Three alternate routes and several extensions into European and Asian nations have also been constructed and provide more options to travel Russia’s breadth.

Many travel restrictions have been lifted since the 1990s and it is now possible to arrange overnight stays in many of the fascinating towns and breathtaking landscapes along the way. Make sure to spend a moment in the Siberian town of Ulan Ude, Russia’s main Buddhist center, and visit the Tibetan Buddhist monastery that has been restored since the oppressive rule of Stalin. The Baikal Lake region is also a very popular stop and a perfect place to be immersed in the natural beauty of Russia’s heartland. Baikal Lake is the oldest in the world, estimated at 25-30 million years old. The lake region is home to over 2,500 animal species including a unique Siberian species of freshwater seal and thousands of migratory birds.

Accessibility is the new attitude toward foreign tourism in Russia. A society that has long been closed-off, particularly to westerners, is now ready to embrace curious visitors with open arms. There has never been a better time to travel Russia!

Moscow Apartment Rentals Give Business Travelers An Edge

Moscow Apartment Rentals

After years of post-Soviet Union floundering, Russia is reemerging on the world stage as a political, social, and economic powerhouse. According to Time Magazine, which named Russian President Vladimir Putin its 2007 Person of the Year, “Russia’s economy has grown an average of 7% a year for the past five years. The country has paid off a foreign debt that once neared $200 billion…worker’s salaries have more than doubled since 2003.”

The Bear is Back

The Bear is back…big time. And this means that Western businessmen and businesswomen are flocking to Russia to make investments, make deals, and make money. Moscow is, of course, at the heart of the action. But although business has never been better, it’s sometimes hard for business travelers to navigate the city’s landscape, culture, and language. That’s why many are eschewing hotels and are instead opting for a fully serviced apartment rental in Moscow.

Short Term Rentals

If wisely chosen, a short term rental offers several distinct advantages over hotel accommodations. Business class Moscow rentals come fully equipped with the amenities that Westerners have come to expect while traveling. For example, high quality hotel linens, toiletries, and toilet paper are provided, as well as Western-style beverages and snacks. A fully equipped kitchen means that business travelers can prepare familiar foods and don’t have to spend an inordinate amount of time in restaurants. The best Moscow rentals also come fully equipped with a washing machine and ironing board, so that travelers can pack sparingly.

But while amenities are nice, the ability to communicate both locally and with the home office is crucial for most business travelers. To that end, a business class short term rental often includes a free high-speed Wi-Fi Internet connection, a computer printer, scanner, and copier, and telephone service with free local calling. For entertainment, free satellite or Internet television with English language channels is provided.

Finding the Right Source for Moscow Rentals

When looking for a short term rental in Moscow, the key is to find a service that is owned and managed by Westerners. Not only do they speak English, but they also understand what the Western traveler wants and needs. It’s also important not to skimp on quality. Rather than going with a budget service, instead opt for one that excels in providing businesspeople with accommodations in upscale locations that include everything necessary for living and working in comfort. In addition, ensure that the service you choose has staff members that speak English and that can ensure that your stay in Moscow is stress-free. Finally, through its website, the company you choose should be able to provide you with a variety of information, including maps, transportation advice, and guidelines for navigating Moscow’s visa requirements.

Working in a relaxing, homelike atmosphere in a foreign land helps keep businesspeople focused and free from distractions. That’s why business travelers who choose the best Moscow apartment rentals often gain a distinct competitive edge.

Milan Travelling For Backpackers

Milan travelling

Milan is a city with diversities it offers a delightful experience for tourists with varied taste. Everything from modern art to contemporary architecture is the pride of city. In 569 A.D. Lombard’s conquered Milan and by the end of eighth century the bishops managed to compel an alliance with emperors. During the earlier half of year 1000, the most powerful political figure in northern Italy was the Archbishop of Milan. By the year 1117, Milan managed to become a municipality and was at liberty from the clutches of Archbishop. Next it developed into a “Seigneury” from 1200, and gained increased importance as a major city in world. The city has been rising since then until lately by 1861 it claimed itself a place as the Kingdom of Italy.

Milan is well known for stupendous art and culture heritage. The most famous National Museum of Science and technology, “Leonardo da Vinci” in Milan is among world’s best scientific and technical museums. A water stretch, Navigli in Milan allows navigation from Ticino to center of Milan. Navigli Grande and Navigli Pavese join Milan to Pavia and form one of the most charismatic spots in Milan. There are numerous roadside shops and clubs on the banks of these rivers.

The place Brera in Milan gives almost the look and feel of Paris. It constitutes most fashionable spot of the city. The area is full of open-air shops that exhibit loads of apparels, all of which seem to be a sculpture on its own. The area includes Via Brera, Via Pontaccio, Corso Garibaldi and Corso Como, these places are also known as “luxury Bohemian”.

A perfect place to pass free time in the laps of nature is a large fascinating park having meadows, little bridges and lakes located behind Castello Sforzesco. Another place of interest is the Milan Lounge “Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. Walking around the arms of this lounge provides a view of restaurants, boutiques, bookshops and old-coffee stops.

Milan’s platter has witnessed a lot of changes. It offers every kind of taste ranging from Chinese cooking to Indian, African, Japanese and Middle Eastern cooking styles. Recently there has been increased demand for Milan’s original traditional food. A trip to Milan is almost incomplete without trying typical native food of the place. A classical Negroni is one of the many aperitifs that can be served with some snacks. Some of all time favorite conventional dishes of the place are Risotto alla Milanese, Cassouella and a specific Milan cutlet that has a very pleasing flavor.

Milan is an ultimate for fashion freaks and a paradise for shoppers. The popular Fashion Quadrilatero form the magnificent shopping area. The place contains top showrooms and boutiques in world crammed with articles boosting of best designs. All eminent brands and labels on earth constituting of Chanel, Armani, Prada, D & G, Valentino, Cartier and many more have their magnificent outlets at this place. The streets Via Sant’Andrea, Via Della Spiga, Via Montenapoleone, Via Manzoni along with others boosts of having warehouses clustered in that area. Milan offers a never say enough attitude for every flavor of life and is a remains a hot favorite among tourists around the globe.

Travel Tips to European Countries: Germany

About the country

The Federal republic of Germany is the most influential country of Europe. It has witnessed the most controversial facts of history like Nazism, Holy Roman Empire and the building and demolition of the Berlin wall. With many magnificent castles it has wealth of art and culture. German is the widely spoken language in German, but outsiders can find many English speaking locals especially in the common tourist destinations.

Weather

The weather here is very unpredictable as there is a possibility of rain almost all months, so carry clothes accordingly. April and May are the months of spring which brings in full bloom of fruits and flowers. Months from May to September have very fine weather with sunny skies and offers the best time for traveling and site-seeing. People who have a passion for sports like swimming, hiking, and cycling can have the best time here during these months. Winter sports can be enjoyed at the resorts in the months from November to early March. The temperatures are below freezing and the days are too short (comprise of only six to eight months) in winter.

Local Customs

Locals greet each other by handshaking and saying Guten Tag. To say goodbye, people use Auf Wiedersehen. Guests are expected to bring uncovered and odd number of flowers, especially roses, when visiting someone’s home. The guests are welcomed with either food or refreshments. At the table, hosts say ‘Guten Appetit’ to which the guests should reply with ‘Ebenfalls’. Smoking should be better avoided in public areas. Locals dress informally but certain occasions like opera, theatre, certain restaurants and social functions call for formal wear.

Electricity

220 V, 50 Hz

Moving Around

The best way to get around is to buy the Welcome cards or the city passes which allows the customer to access unlimited bus facility in many cities of Germany. It also gives special offer on certain tourist attractions. For flexibility one can rent-a-car or go for chauffer driven cars. Along with the rent, VAT of 16% is payable. Car insurance should be available before hand in case of any accident. The speed limit within the cities is mostly 50kph and 100kph on the highways.
Nine stars

The nine stars of Southwest Germany comprise of Baden-Baden, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Karlsruhe, Heilbronn, Mannheim, Pforzheim Stuttgart, and Ulm. They are considered to be some of the beautiful cities of Europe. Each of the cities play a vital role in the culture of Germany. Baden-Baden has few of the finest resorts and also has Europe’s second largest opera and concert hall. Freiburg is known as the historic city center and is famous for cobblestone mosiacs, open streams and ancient alleys. Heidelberg has world famous castles and Germany’s oldest university. Karlsruhe has the famous museum Center for Art and Media. Look out for various amusements along the Nectar river of Heilbronn. Pforzheim is the capital for watches and jewelry. Stuttgart is famous for theatres and opera.  Ulm is the birth place of Albert Einstein and is also house to the world’s tallest hurch spire.

Travel

The national airline that serves Germany is Lufthansa. Bwelin-Tegel airport is situated at 8 km away from the city and it takes about 20 minutes to reach there. There is a provision of duty free shops, banks, post office, eateries, conference hall, and car hire and tourism information for the passengers.

Another busy airport is the Frankfurt airport which is located at 13km away from the city. Buses take about 20 minutes to get there. Taxis are available at any time. The Intercity railway network at the airport also provides international services to Hungary, Switzerland and Austria. The facilities provided here are duty free shops, left luggage, restaurants, banks, conference halls, post office, car hire and tourism information. No departure tax is levied on the passengers.

Those wishing to travel by sea can avail the ferry connections to Finland, Lithuania, The Netherlands, Latvia, and Norway.

Eurostar provides railway service to and from Belgium, France and the UK. Booking can be made by telephone. The Inter-Rail offers unlimited second class train travel within 29 European countries. The Eurailpass offers unlimited first class train travel within 17 European countries.
EuroCity and InterCity trains have a restaurant on board, providing food and drinks. InterCity Express target the business class and provides services such as fully equipped office, conference compartments, etc. Tourist over 17 years of age can carry alcohol and tobacco with them within permissible limits.

Travel To London And Discover Ten Breathtaking Places

London And Discover Ten Breathtaking Places

If you are planning on spending a vacation in London, make sure you take full advantage of this gorgeous city with all that it has to offer. The city of London is full of an exciting array of places to go and things to do and see, for people of all cultures and ages. Being one of the biggest cultural capitals in the world, this city offers sightseeing opportunities and tourist attractions like nowhere else. Travel to London involves experiencing the city in all its splendor and fantastic sightseeing. Here are ten of the best sightseeing places in the city of London:

1. The British Museum: Founded in the year 1753, the British Museum had a collection of over 71,000 unique items that had all been contributed by Sir Hans Sloane. In the 1800’s, this museum gained in popularity and began to flourish, which in turn increased its inventory of items to more than seven million. The museum’s charter declares that it should be open free of charge to all those curious people who are interested in learning more. So, come spend a day wandering through the eternal, labyrinthine corridors, exploring and discovering some of the greatest works of mankind’s cultural accomplishments and some take in some of the greatest relics of the Egyptian and Greek empires.

2. The London Eye: Drawing nearly four million visitors each year, the London Eye has become one of the most popular sightseeing attractions in the world today. This gigantic wheel stands almost 135 meters over the entire city of London and is presently considered to be one of the tallest observation wheels in the world. This wondrous creation of modern engineering permits tourists to view all of London with an entirely new perspective, allowing them to see parts of the city that are generally not visible from the ground. Visiting the London Eye has been described as an ‘enchanting and inspiring experience’ and no vacation to London is complete without visiting this monument.

3. Saint Paul’s Cathedral: Saint Paul’s Cathedral offers a captivating picture of the British Empire of the yesteryears and is a historical accomplishment of the reconstruction that took place after the great London fire of 1666. Famous for hosting royal birthdays, weddings, celebrations and even funerals of some of the greatest leaders in Britain, the Cathedral attracts millions and millions of tourists every year.

4. The National Gallery: Situated in the very center of Trafalgar Square, the National Gallery is home to some of the finest works of art in the world. Some of these pieces date back to the 13th century. Construction of the gallery commenced in the year 1832 and ever since it has collected many great pieces of art, which include works by Monet, Van Gogh, Da Vinci, Renoir and many more. A visitor can probably spend days trying to view all of the contents inside the gallery.

5. The London Zoo: The London Zoo, which is in Regents Park is one of the most popular zoo’s in the world and houses as many as 12,000 different species of animals. Considered to be a must see, visitors travel from all parts of the world to see the animal shows that are held daily.

6. Tate Modern: One of London’s most contemporary galleries, the Tate Modern consists of great collections and diverse exhibitions of modern art. Appealing to both, children as well as adults, connoisseurs as well as novices, the Tate Modern houses grand collections of artists like Matisse, Andy Warhol and Bacon.

7. The Tower of London: Constructed with white stone that was imported from France, the Tower of London or the ‘Bloody Tower’ has been known to imprison, protect and even execute the wrongdoers in the past.

8. The Natural History Museum: An enigmatic gothic building that is home to some of the largest collections of dinosaurs in the world, the Natural History Museum consists of exhibitions that dominate the huge halls and tower.

9. The Madame Tussaud’s Experience: A museum that is filled with life-like waxworks and animated displays that demonstrate the dark side of British history.

10. Westminster Abbey: It is a medieval work of monumental significance and the burial ground for some of the most famous kings, statesmen, musicians, scientists and poets since the 11th century. The Westminster Abbey offers some of the most intriguing literary works and artistic talent in the way of paintings, murals and tombs.

Travel To Switzerland

Switzerland

Switzerland, formally known as The Confederation Helvetica, is a landlocked mountainous haven in the heart of Europe. Partially due to the isolating geography, the Swiss people have maintained a strong commitment to tradition, independence and the preservation of their long-established way of life. Hence, it is very important for the traveler to note that Switzerland is not a member of the European Union and uses the Swiss Franc as their form of currency.

An incredible benefit of Switzerland’s independence is a clean, speedy and reliable train system and public transportation network, including the new Rail 2000 program that offers regular half-hourly service between all major cities.

The thought of Switzerland strikes up images of enchanting castles, milk chocolate, fine cheese speckled with holes, sturdy watches and the Matterhorn. Don’t be fooled by this simplicity or the precision and just-so design of Swiss towns and get ready to discover a society far more rich, worldly and dynamic than you had ever imagined when you travel Switzerland! As homogenous as the nation might appear, Switzerland is divided into very diverse regions with four national languages: German, French, Italian and Romansch (a Latin derivative). English is also spoken widely. The fusion of these cultures adds a zest of flavor that complements the serenely picturesque landscape.

Four Seasons to Travel to Switzerland
Unlike many other European destinations, it is wonderful to travel to Switzerland any time of year! Switzerland is centrally located on the European continent and consequently enjoys moderate and consistent weather for each season. Skiing is by far the best excuse to travel Switzerland in the winter, but make sure not to miss the splendor of cities like Geneva covered in a blanket of snow. Geneva, the second-largest city, is close to the Swiss Alps and the French border and also boasts an international history of its own. The municipality has been central to European affairs for centuries, most notably including the Geneva Convention. Interlaken should be a part of a summer and winter itinerary as well. The pristine setting among some of the tallest and fiercest alpine peaks makes Interlaken a sanctuary for skiers and hikers alike. The town is small and limited on lodging so make reservations early.

In addition to the most popular destinations, such as Zurich and the Alps, the Swiss traveler is encouraged to leave the beaten path behind to discover the true beauty of the country and meet the resilient and warm people who define a nation that is over 700 years old. Remember that traditional does not translate into old-fashioned or archaic in Switzerland. The Swiss society stands out among European nations as an extraordinarily progressive and cutting-edge standard of modernity.

Maramures – A Travel Guide To Romania ‘s Region Of Wooden Churches

Maramures

There are many regions in this world that are worth a visit, and very often we Europeans tend to travel overseas to see something exotic, or visit people who still lead a life that perhaps our grandfathers knew. Rarely it occurs to us that it is not always necessary to travel far to be able to experience “time travel”.

Maramures in northern Romania is one such little known corner of Europe. Amid beautiful rolling hills and lush river valleys live people who for the most part still follow the traditional agrarian way of life. Their life might seem hard and simple and it is a millenarian fight against the weather, to grow the crops, to raise the animals, to work from dawn until sunset without the many mechanized and electronic comforts we think are essential. But, that life can be rewarding in all its simplicity, as each day shows the results of work, and family and friends guarantee that there are often reasons for celebration. The seasonal festivities, like Christmas and Easter or local festivals and weddings, have retained their real value of breaking the everyday routine, and feasting lasts several days and is done with gusto.

Why is the region considered unique and those who have been there want to return? The answer is a mixture of three things: amazing landscapes, genuine people and the simple civilization of wood, with the famous wooden churches whose towers can be seen from far. The nature, people, houses and churches are spiritually connected and have maintained this link to the present.

But most of all is the uniqueness of the architecture is the inclusion of eight wooden churches in UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage List. These churches are the church of the Presentation of the Virgin at the Temple in Barsana, the church of Saint Nicholas in Budesti, the church of Saint Parasceva in Desesti, the church of the Birth of the Holy Virgin in Ieud Deal, the church of the Holy Archangels in Plopis, the church of Saint Parasceva in Poienile Izei, the church of the Holy Archangels in Rogoz, and the church of the Holy Archangels in Surdesti.

Our guidebook: Maramures – A Travel Guide to Romania ‘s Region of Wooden Churches is an excellent full-color book on a wide variety of cultural heritage subjects from mural paintings and archaeology to architecture and local traditions. It also gives practical information and tips on travel to and in Romania, what to see, where to stay, what to buy and to eat, to get the most of Maramures.

Why a guidebook and not another type of book? Because we consider that a cultural guidebook addresses those who, while enjoying a memorable holiday, can also help such a special region develop and maintain its specificity and character. To assure the preservation regions like Maramures, it is necessary that they do not fall into total oblivion. It is necessary that the young people can remain, find work and live there with their families, while being at the same time aware of the importance of their inheritance. Cultural tourism can be a mutual investment that can bear fruit for everyone. The visitor’s joy and the host’s joy are both real experiences.

We hope that you will enjoy your travel to Maramures!

Learning Survival French Before Traveling To France

Learning Survival French

Will you be traveling to France in the near future? Are you ready to meet the locals? If you think you are not yet equipped the best way you should be before going on a leisure or business trip to France, at least bring French survival phrases with you. It won’t be much but it will help you get through to the calm but fun personalities of the local French.

You may not know it yet, but traveling to France requires you more than just what you need to say during your stay. Most French locals do know how to speak English but there is really no point in making them especially if you are the tourist. They may speak English but only during moments they feel comfortable. Arm yourself with anything that could possibly come up during your trip by learning few phrases that are used mostly by tourists who doesn’t speak French very well.

Phrases like Excuse moi, parlez-vous anglais? (Excuse me, do your speak English?), Merci Beucoup (Thank you very much), Sil vous plait (Please) are few of the phrases that will allow you to reach out to French locals. Most of the local people knows how to speak English so asking nicely should be your primary approach.

As a tourist and knowing that you don’t know anything about the streets and bars, look comfortable but also dress elegant enough because it is how you should appear in a city like Paris. Hang out on bars and enjoy the food as you eat. If a local French person comes up to you and engages you in a conversation, don’t be nervous. As a matter of fact, the more you become friendly with them regardless your inability to speak French, you will still get a warm and friendly smile.

There are so many things that you need to learn and get to know first before traveling to France. It isn’t very important to learn all of the French words as it will not be useful at all times. Pack your things and only with the important French words that you will be using during your trip. Also, research more about the locale’s way of living to learn how you can react better to emergency circumstances.

Travel Tips to European Countries: France

About the city

The crowd is attracted to sparkling ski slopes of the Alps, sunlit vineyards and sun-baked beaches of this beautiful country. France is a country which draws more tourists than any other country. It is easy to see why this is the case given France’s great reputation for fine wines, good food, high fashion and relaxed lifestyle. But while France is undoubtedly a place to eat and drink till your heart is content, there’s much more to this fascinating country than only cutting-edge cuisines. Spring is the best time to be here, and those interested in winter sports can drop at the Alps and Pyrenees with some polar gear. The summers are very hot and winters are moderate. An all-weather coat and pair of comfortable shoes are a must. Women, especially, should carry cocktail dresses as some of the restaurants ask for it. When visiting any religious site, refrain from wearing sleeveless shirt and shorts, as they are disliked at such places.

Culture

English is widely spoken here, although French is the official language. Handshaking is
customary greeting and women should be kissed on both cheeks and should be addressed
as Monsieur or Madame. French people are popularly known for their like for stylish sportswear
and of course perfumes. Nudism is allowed on some beaches only. Social functions, fine
restaurants, and clubs call for more formal dressing. When at a formal dinner, wait till the host
gestures to start the dinner. Smoking is banned in public places.

Site Seeing

Paris, the city of love, is a massive city with many attractions in reachable distance thanks to the
highly efficient public transport system. It boasts of more than 80 museums and 200 arts
galleries. A trip to Disney land and the magnificent Eiffel tower will make the trip worthwhile.
The attractive tourists spots are the Arc de triomphe which spans over the tomb of an
unknown soldier, the forbidding gothic architecture of the Notre Dame cathedral, the picturesque
Sacre Coeur, to Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, the Moulin Rouge and boat tours along the
Seine. Get the Carte Musees-Monuments pass, which gives access to 70 monuments and
museums.

Shopping

Although service tax is included in the bill, a humble tip won’t cost much. An extra dollar can be given as tip to the waiter. A tip of $2 can be left for the bus drivers.
Electricity

220-volt, 50-cycle AC current.
Getting There

The national airline that operates here is Air France. Many low-cost airlines, too, provide services from UK. Paris-Charles de Gaulle also known as Roissy-Charles de Gaulle is the major airport of France, which is 23km away from the city. Coaches, taxis, limousines services are provided at the airport. The railway facility provided by the airport, claims to reach all the terminals within eight minutes. These trains run 24 hours. The other airports that offer flight services are Paris-Orly, Marseille, Bordeaux, Nice, Lyon and Toulouse.

Ferry and cruise trips can be made from ports such as Atlantic, North Sea, Mediterranean, and Havre.

Duty Free Items

1. 200 cigarettes or 50 cigars or 100 cigarillos or 250g of tobacco
2. 1liter of spirits over 22 per cent or 2liter of alcoholic beverage up to 22 per cent
3. 2liter of wine
4. 50g of perfume and 250ml of eau de toilette
5. 500g of coffee or 200g of coffee extract
6. 100g of tea or 40g of tea extract

Food and agricultural products should be avoided.