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IT_EUROPE TRAVEL

The 16 World Cities with the Most Expensive Commute Costs

With the present day trend leaning in the direction of working from home, you honestly have to reflect on the professional pros and cons of that prospect — in particular if you live in one of these crazy high-priced cities for commuting.

Several benefits to working from home come to mind: a domestic workplace, quiet space, field, retaining the family at bay, and saving money operating for your pajamas and bunny slippers.

Within the category of saving cash, transportation falls second to housing when living in a bigger metropolis, so that you can save a few greenbacks by way of  not having to shuttle to the workplace. Plus, it is less disturbing, better for the environment, and in case you use public transportation, you won’t have to buy and own a vehicle.

According to journey site Expatistan, these are the sixteen most high-priced cities for public transportation commutes.

16. San Francisco, United States: $86.10
15. Berlin, Germany: $87.20
14. Frankfurt, Germany: $88.50
13. Stockholm, Sweden: $90.70
12. Wellington, New Zealand: $101.20
11. Chicago, United States; $102.10
10. Toronto, Canada: $102.70
9. Melbourne, Australia: $105.50
8. Zurich, Switzerland: $108.40
7. Sydney, Australia: $108.40
6. Amsterdam, Netherlands: $108.60
5. Tokyo, Japan: $110.70
4. New York City, United States: $117.70
3. Auckland, New Zealand: $122.90
2. Dublin, Ireland: $131.60
1. London, United Kingdom: $174

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IT_EUROPE TRAVEL

5 Places to Visit in Italy When You Can

Rome
Of course, this the #1 place to visit in Italy, especially for couples. However, there’s much more to see. From the Colosseum to Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel, you’ll get fully engulfed in the culture and history. When you’re done with exploring, you can sit down and eat a Michelin-starred restaurant.

Venice
If you’re looking to take scenic route, Venice is a place like none other. Take a water taxi to different parts of the city. Also, there are smaller streets if you don’t want that tourist vibe. If you get bored, check out the Grand Canal and Piazza San Marco.

Amalfi Coast
Here’s the perfect place if you enjoy a combination of traveling and relaxing. Take advantage of the hotels and restaurants in this amazing coastline.

Florence
For those that are a bit more religious, you’ll enjoy the Piazza del Duomo, where the impeccable church is located. Having an evening out with your significant other overlooking the Arno River.

Cinque Terre
Are you more of the life-by-sea kind of person? Cinque Terre is right on the northern Ligurian coast, which offers relaxing boat tours. Also, you can work up a nice sweat with a leisurely hike.

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IT_EUROPE TRAVEL

Top 10 Holiday Destinations for Snow Lovers

Whilst winter is hibernation season for most, there are those amongst us who come alive in the snow. Donned in the right seasonal gear, winter is the time to explore the great outdoors and discover new hobbies and talents. If you are wondering where you should explore this winter, look no further. Below are 10 of some of the best holiday destinations for snow lovers in the USA.

10. Waterville Valley, New Hampshire
Located just outside of Boston, Waterville Valley is the place to be for those looking for a snow vacation whilst being close to the city. You have the option of renting out trailside cabins or opting for the more luxurious snow resorts in the area. If you are from New Hampshire, you can even just come for a day trip. Whichever way you choose to visit, you are in for a picturesque treat, and plenty of activities to satisfy the whole family.

9. Sisters, Oregon
Close to Portland and Eugene, Sisters is a dream vacation spot for those who need to unplug for the day and just enjoy the wintery outdoors. This is a very family friendly destination, with guided snowmobile tours, cross-country skiing, and the option to just enjoy the slopes. For out of town guests, there are also beautiful resorts in the area that offer breathtaking views and additional activities for all ages.

8. Snowshoe, West Virginia
Located in the snow state, Snowshoe is one of the most popular vacation destinations for snow lover across the country. There are plenty of lodging options in the area and they are all surrounded by the natural beauty that is Snowshoe. There are also plenty of activities to do outside of skiing and snowboarding, making this a popular family-friendly destination for those wanting to do a bit of everything.

7. Hidden Valley, Pennsylvania
If you are looking for a skiing adventure, Hidden Valley is the place you need to be. Hidden Valley Resort is a popular spot for vacationers, boasting 26 slopes and trails, as well as terrain parks. And for those who are not skiers, there is also snow tubing with designated lanes to keep everyone safe. This is a family-friendly snow vacation with plenty of kid-friendly options in the area as well.

6. Jackson Hole, Wyoming
Extreme skiers and thrill seekers, this is the place for you. With is gargantuan mountain peaks and steep slopes, Jackson Hole is the dream destination for those who are experienced and looking for something to challenge their inner daredevil. There are plenty of slopes to choose from, and none will disappoint. This is not an ideal destination for young children, but seasoned skiers will thoroughly enjoy Jackson Hole and all it has to offer.

5. Stowe, Vermont
This little town in the Green Mountains attracts an international crowd during the snow season. Stowe is world renowned for its snowfall and its popular ski resort. There is also an annual Stowe Winter Carnival held in mid-January each year – a must-attend for snow lovers. This is a family-friendly destination, and there is plenty to explore in Stowe besides the snow activities.

4. Boyne Falls, Michigan
Maybe skiing isn’t really your thing but you still love winter getaways. If so, Boyne Falls is simply calling your name. This winter wonderland is decked with over 60 slopes that are best for tubing, zip-lining, casual boarding, skiing and hiking. This is the vacation for everyone in the family, and the bonus is that this turns into the state’s largest water park once the weather warms up.

3. Midway, Utah
Midway was host to the 2002 Winter Olympics cross-country and biathlon events – what more needs to be said? You are guaranteed to experience world-class trails and hiking paths in Midway. The town itself has a certain charm that you will not find elsewhere, and there are plenty of activities and places to warm up with delicious eats.

2. Galena, Illinois
Looking for historic architecture and small-town charm? Galena is the winter destination that you have been looking for. Whether you are looking to rent a mansion and live like a king, or unplug in a secluded cabin, there is something here for everyone. You will be surrounded by dreamy snow covered backdrops. There are also plenty of family-friendly resorts for those looking to hit the slopes.

1. Wenatchee, Washington
Family friendly. Check. Affordable. Check. Breathtaking views. CHECK. What more could you possibly want from a winter snow vacation? Wenatchee is a well-loved destination for those looking to take their family on a winter vacation that won’t break the bank. There are plenty of well-priced lodging options including family resorts. There is also a multitude of activities – both on and off the slopes – so you are guaranteed that everyone will find something to love. This is also a great vacation for novice skiers who are looking to get more experience on friendlier slopes.

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_HOTELS IT_MORE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA Top_Travel TRAVEL

Top 10 Summer Travel Spots

After the school year is over, you’re definitely looking forward to a great summer. Weddings on the horizon or other cool events make it a fun and romantic season. Take a look at some nice, dream destinations.

10. Kaua’i, Hawaii

Ahhh. One of the top honeymoon destinations, period. Not only will see you see, humpback whales when the temps are just right in June, but think of all the local pools and amazing beaches before it gets taken over  by everyone and their mommas.

9. Stockholm, Sweden

Here’s a cool destination known to draw in a lot of single women. Take in the coffee shops and restaurants along Old Town and Gamla Stan. Since it’s a modern spot, you can use metro stations to easily to get from one destination to the next. It’s a perfect area for a woman get pampered as they tour the city.

8. Havana, Cuba

Not only will you hear the sounds of Desi Arnaz, but get a nice dose of the Caribbean. La Fábrica is a cool art bar to check out. Sip a nice mojito as you enjoy your nights in the plush Pullman Cayo Coco hotel.

7. Bangkok, Thailand

Even with monsoon, the city stays pack with over 45 million people visiting. Despite the crazy weather, there’s a lot of adventure, from spas to nightlife. Speaking of which, stop at Rabbit Hole for a white-truffle gin martini before hitting the town.

6. Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Mother Nature has a way of bringing adventurers and family together, especially in one of the USA’s national parks. The Rocky Mountains have a beautiful scenery filled with trees, flowers, and some great native wildlife. Take time to enjoy the Estes Park where you can go to year-round festivals for some great fun.

5. Guatemala

Guatemala has a unique energy with the international feel spilling into different parts of the city. Also, it’s a cool tourism destination and people enjoy the authentic Mayan villages across Lake Atitlán.

4. Bordeaux, France

Bordeaux is one of the top notch places, period. If you’re a wine connoisseur, make sure to head to the wine museum, La Cité du Vin, in June for incredible exhibits on winemaking. Next, stop at the La Grande Maison for some delicious French food before you begin your next adventure.

3. Boston, Massachusetts

Need something to do during the summer? Take a look at one of America’s greatest walking cities. Whether you wander through Faneuil Hall, Newbury Street, or Cambridge bookstores, you take in the Bostonian culture and feel the vibe of this historic town in all its American glory.

2. Venice, Italy

There’s something about majestic light and nice breezes while taking in the beautiful scenery. Venice is just a place for art, food, and excitement. After a busy day, relax with a swim at the pool in the JW Marriott Resort & Spa.

1. Beijing, China

In June, enjoy the relaxing weather and the light tourism. Have a chance to visit The Great Wall and Tiananmen Square without he hustle and bustle of a crazy city. Enjoy this combination of past and future with the ancient sites to five-star suites.

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_HOTELS IT_MORE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA IT_SA TRAVEL World_Travel

Top 10 Underground International Caves

While we see a lot on the ground level, there are so many things underground that have a certain undeniable beauty. Some may be stalagmites, antique tree trunks, or even hidden war rooms. Take a look some of the top ten locations.

10. Reed Flute Cave, China
Here you’ll get a look at around 800 feet long  halls of stalagmites and stalactites, and wall pieces that stem from the Tang Dynasty. Take pictures of the formations, such as Dragon Pagoda and Sky Scraping Twins.

9. Poço Encantado, Brazil
It’s called the “enchanted well” for a reason. It has a body of water that’s so clear you can see 200 feet under to look at rock formations and ancient tree trunks. Between April and September, the sun is in the perfect spot to reflect off the water.

8. Magma Chamber of Thrihnukagigur Volcano, Iceland
Even though this volcano has been dormant for 4,000 years, it’s a perfect spot for geological enthusiasts. Use a cable car to take you on tour to see all of the epic mineral colors.

7. Turda Salt Mines, Romania
While you can play a game of golf or basketball, save your energy for the amazing Transylvanian cave that is 368 feet under the earth’s surface. Relax your mind and body at  the halotherapy spa when you’re done exploring.

6. Puerto Princesa Underground River, Philippines
This a five-mile long river that’s a UNESCO World Heritage location. With eight nearby parks that have diverse plant and wildlife, you can have a great time taking a tour around the area.

5. Waitomo Glowworm Caves, New Zealand
Now, here’s a site for sore eyes! This a beautiful cave in New Zealand that features different colored glowworms. Get a look at nature working in a unique way.

4. San Clemente Basilica and Santa Maria della Concezione dei Cappuccini, Rome

Here’s a 12th-century Basilica with a rich history. If you like the undead, horror kind of vibe, you’ll enjoy the temple that was home to a male fertility cult, who worshiped Mithras, the sun god. Also,  take a look at the remains of the 4,000 monks around a crypt.

3. Cabinet War Rooms, London

Here’s a war area that the British used and Winston Churchill headed in World War II.  These days you can get a look at the artifacts, maps with pins denoting front line changes and Churchwell’s chair. Perfect place for a history nerd.

2. Mayakovskaya Metro Station, Moscow
This is another cool World War II spot, which features one of the busiest subway systems in the world. Checkout the scenery from the red marble columns, archways, and mosaics. You have six doors to go into The Tchaikovsky Concert Hall.

1. Cu Chi Tunnels, Vietnam
While this is a bit touchy, you can get some serious appreciation from viewing the 75-mile tribute to men who overcame major trials and tribulations of the war. Reenact tunnel crawls and even eat some of the traditional meals that captured soldiers had to endure.

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA IT_SA Top_Travel TRAVEL

Top 10 Most Romantic International Cities

When you think about traveling with someone you love for romance, the usual international spots like Paris and Italy automatically come to mind. Well, they made our list, but you have other options as well for picking beautiful spots to steal a kiss, hold hands, star gaze, or stroll along a sandy beach with the waves lapping at your feet. If you love an exciting nightlife, we’ve got you covered for that as well. We’ve sought out the most romantic cities outside of the United States for you to consider for your sensual, passionate needs.

10. Lucerne, Switzerland
Burrowed between the snowcapped Alps and Lake Lucerne, the city is a delightful Swiss retreat with old-fashioned embellishments. Consider Chapel Bridge, which was built in 1333 and is often adorned with blooming flowers. Visit charming old city squares and the first Baroque church in Switzerland. And Villa Honegg, just outside the city center will bring you to the most romantic site for relaxing. It’s an old 1905 mansion-turned-hotel and offers an outdoor heated pool with a fabulous view of the mountains and lake.

9. Aix-en-Provence, France
Once you see the beauty in this city, you will no longer wonder what inspired Cezanne, who was born here, to stroke his magnificent masterpieces. The Morning Market and the Farinoman Fou are great sidewalk cafes for a cup of coffee or tea and a flaky, buttery croissant. Lovely Lavender fields forever, hot springs that were used by the Romans, and vineyards will call you away from the city. Stroll past the moss-covered fountains that pop up on every turn and if you’re looking for something sweet for your sweet, try a calisson, candied almonds with fruit, covered with icing. Hint: leave a smidge of icing on your lips for a sweet kiss.

8. Salzburg, Austria
We can’t think of Austria without also thinking of The Sound of Music and the beautifully delicate edelweiss flowers. For thousands of years prior the city was filled with opera, musicals, and concerts. Schloss Mirabell is home to the Marble Hall, 17th-century Palace, the baroque Mirabell Gardens including the Pegasus Fountain and the Rose and Dwarf Gardens. This is also where the lovely and romantic gazebo scene from the referenced movie was filmed. Another stunning castle, Festung Hohensalzburg is the place to see in the evening when the city light looms beneath you. And the best part of your romantic journey may be the cable car that delivers you to the Untersberg for a crazy awesome view of the city and the Salzach River.

7. Seville, Spain
Seville offers us several outdoor eateries, and we hear that the most decadent meals end with Jamon Iberico, a pitcher of sangria, and chocolate dip for your warmed churros, we can see you now feeding each other that yummy chocolate! But let’s start the day with the fragrant orange trees under the shade of the weepy purple jacarandas on authentic cobblestone streets filled with boutique shops. Second, only to the Vatican, climb the Cathedral of St. Mary Tower for incredible panoramic views and grab a scoop of the best gelaterias you’ll ever eat and walk the Plaza de España. If you’d looking for a place to stay, we suggest you consider the El Alcazar palace, complete with Moorish-inspired architecture and knock out gardens. If you stroll the charming side streets in the area, you will most certainly run into a flamenco performance.

6. Monte Carlo, Monaco
The bold glamor and extravagance of the French Riviera, coastal views and some of the best cuisine you ever will eat, help you along on your quest for romance. Spend a day at the spa, get a couple’s massage, take a helicopter ride to see the city from a bird’s eye and check in to the Hotel Hermitage for an evening’s rest. Rent a sexy, convertible to see the Grand Corniche, visit the racetrack or the Casino de Monte Carlo to go home a little richer than when you left.

5. Siena, Italy
In Siena, you get Tuscany minus the throws of tourists. It’s a medieval city that existed before the Renaissance and is home to the Duomo, a home that displays incredible artworks from over 40 Italian artists. The impressive listing includes Michelangelo, Bernini, and Donatello. At the center of the city, you will find a UNESCO site for some excellent people watching at the Plaza del Campo. Abundant wineries await outside the city limits with wines made from Sangiovese grapes so, grab a taste and relax to a gorgeous sunset.

4. Barcelona, Spain
Check into Hotel Neri, stroll along the La Boqueria or Santa Caterina for fresh foods, climb the Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia and dine seaside and watch the sunset around the Mediterranean. Retire to your 18th-century hotel and wake up to breakfast on the roof. Parc Guell also offers beautiful views, and another grand hotel option is a suite at El Palauet. If Cupid hasn’t already hit your heart, he will be awaiting your arrival in this beautiful city.

3. Victoria, British Columbia
The city is hidden on the inner tip of Vancouver Island and offers Neo-Baroque architecture. If you don’t stay at the Fairmont Empress Hotel, look in at least to see the stunning Edwardian décor and their famous Butchart Gardens. Visit the Parliament Buildings, and just a short 30-minute drive will deliver you to Cowichan Valley, which is filled with vineyards, art galleries, and hiking trails. Go ahead, get cozy!

2. Bruges, Belgium
It’s only an hour by train from Brussels and all the charm you would expect from a 13th-century village. Gothic architecture, canals, windmills, quaint homes and cobblestone streets and you will feel like Cinderella with her handsome prince. Bruges has excellent samples of Flemish artworks, Belgian waffles topped with powdered sugar, and 50 different chocolate shops.

1. Paris, France
We mentioned Paris earlier, so of course, it tops our list. In the “city of lights,” you can visit the Louvre, picnic by the Eiffel Tower, and bike through Le Marais. Hop the metro to Montmartre and visit the Sacre Coeur, the Latin Quarters and the Tuileries Garden and you’ll be living in a dream. And we can highly recommend a nighttime visit to the lawn in front of the Eiffel Tower with a bottle of wine for some serious star gazing, lovers.

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Food_Travel IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_MORE IT_NA IT_OCEANIA TRAVEL

Top 10 Best Places for Street Eats in the World

If you’re a foodie like I am, you’re going to want to make your travel arrangements to these exciting locations. You may want to consider taking some vacation time; these hot spots may be hard to reach during a traditional lunch hour.

10. Singapore

One of the safest street food cities in the world. They have strictly enforced regulations and centralized hawker areas. Plus, stalls are required to show cleanliness grades (“A” through “D”), so you know exactly which vendor to choose. Order: Hainanese chicken rice; bak chor mee (pork noodles); sup tulang (bone marrow soup); min chiang ku.

Maxwell Food Center, very near Chinatown, is one of Singapore’s most popular hawker centers. The longest lines will be for Hainanese chicken rice and congee.

Hong Lim Food Centre, also very close is great for spicy, delicious laksa and seafood-based noodle dishes.

At Lagoon Food Village, by the beach, you will see an entire row of satay stalls.

9. Sydney

Sydney’s diverse food scene has you covered for most any craving. Variety aside, the city’s street stalls and food trucks are some the world’s cleanest. Like Singapore, the city enforces food safety guidelines and performs regular cleanliness inspections.

For ramen or pho, during the month of October, Hyde Park’s Night Noodle Markets are worth the trek.

Other times of the year, you’ll find the best Asian street food at Cabramatta or Marrickville, in Sydney’s Western suburb.

Order the fat boy burger and truffle fries at Mister Gee Burger truck.
Gnocchi with lamb ragu is good at Urban Pasta food truck.
Banh mi at Marrickville Pork Roll.

Because Sydney’s food trucks are scattered and on the move, across the city, we recommend downloading the Sydney Food Truck application, to know exactly where everyone is located on the day of your visit.

8. Istanbul

These city streets are crawling with street vendors and shops where you can grab a quick sandwich, hot dog, or cold beer. While the food is usually safe, err on the side of caution and stick with cooked foods, rather than raw meat or seafood. Lahmacun is a Turkish-style pizza covered in ground meat, onions, and spices, grilled corn on the cob is called m?s?r; kokoreç or lamb intestines wrapped around skewered sweetbreads and grilled over charcoal; and the flaky pastry, börek usually has either a vegetable or cheese filling.

7. Bangkok

Street food is so inherent in Bangkok you can eat well in the city and never set foot inside a restaurant, and that covers three meals a day. There are an estimated 12,000 vendors in the Thai capital; however, they are not all licensed. We suggest you hang with the stalls that display a sticker of a smiling plate, which is the health official’s seal of approval. Som tum Gai Yang or green papaya salad with chicken; grilled pork skewers served with sticky rice; boat noodles; moo dad died (deep-fried pork jerky) are all great choices.

Yaowarat, Bangkok’s Chinatown, and the Soi 38 night market off Sukhumvit Road are packed full of delicious street food options.

For the best boat noodles visit the boat noodle alley at Victory Monument.

6. Marrakesh

Street food in Marrakesh is some of the most exciting and flavorsome in the world, with all its spices, colors, textures, and influences. Food safety is not a primary concern at the Djemaa el-Fna, Marrakesh’s iconic central square because there are frequent inspections, and leftover food is disposed of nightly. We still think it’s a good idea to go for tagines, sandwiches, and cooked foods when possible, especially if you are outside the Medina.

Each night, Djemaa el-Fna turns into the city’s greatest outdoor dining hall, overflowing with sizzling grilled meats, fragrant tagines, and fluffy, spicy couscous. Tagine; ghouls; bastille (Moroccan pigeon pie); ma’qooda (deep-fried potato balls); chebakia (sesame cookies) are all yummy options.

5. Mumbai

About 250,000 hawkers, cover the streets of Mumbai and all of them are rich in culinary exploration. Most of Mumbai’s street food is hearty, filling and vegetarian-friendly. But beware: food safety is a concern in Mumbai because only around 17,000 hawkers are legally licensed. Stay with cooked food and avoid dairy.

A wallah will be on every street corner, but the best vada pav is at Shivaji on Rajwadkar Street, Colaba. They make vada pav fresh daily. Vada pav is a fried potato patty on bread.

The best pav bhaji or spicy vegetable curry served with a butter-soaked bun will be at the stalls in front of Juhu Beach.

Pick up a tasty bhelpuri, which is a crunchy puffed rice and vegetable salad at any chaat-wallah on Chowpatty Beach.

4. Palermo

It goes without saying that pizza and pasta are awesome. But don’t discount the curbside cooking. Chickpea fritters and liver sandwiches are daily fares. Most everything is deep fried, so food safety isn’t a huge concern, although your waistline maybe something else when you return home.

Food stalls are everywhere, and a spleen sandwich which tastes better than it sounds is a must order and be sure to ask for a lemon wedge. Try one at Pani ca Meusa di Porta Carbone on Via Cala.

Fish are caught daily and grilled in front of you at Borgo Vecchio.

3. Rio De Janeiro

The natives at this location, called Cariocans take eating to a new level by starting their day with an acai bowl, for lunch a beef and cheese flatbread esfiha to be followed by a food truck burger of stuffed bean patties or acaraje for dinner. While there are food regulations, we are unclear on enforcement, so uncooked foods are best left alone except for acai bowls.

Santa Teresa’s boho neighborhood is a great place for authentic acaraje, but for everything else, hit the beach! Try the Acai bowls, tapioca crepes filled with bananas and Nutella, cheese puffs or pastries stuffed with veggies, shrimp or beef.

2. New York City

There is nothing you can’t find on the streets of New York friends! The Health Department is strict about regulating and monitoring the sanitation of mobile food vendors, and offenders are heavily fined. So, eat what you want and enjoy!
Brooklyn’s Smorgasbord Festival – don’t miss it during the summer
Any other time of year, Prince Street in Soho is the place to be for all day food trucks.
King o Falafel: order the lamb shawarma.
Milk Truck: grilled cheese.
Dirty Water Dog: chipotle pork burrito.

1. Cartegena

African and Spanish influences run amuck here, and while you will find and taste some of the tastiest and innovative dishes, there are no existing regulations for food safety so proceed with caution, please. We suggest a street food tour so you can bypass the testing and head straight for the very best foods.

Plaza de la Trinidad is a good start, and you will want to order Arepas, mazorca desgranada, which is a corn, meat and cheese combo topped with crunchy potatoes. Guava and cheese filled pastry or bocadillo con queso and bollos, which are boiled yucca buns.

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IT_AFRICA IT_ASIA IT_EUROPE IT_NA IT_SA TRAVEL

Top 10 Wine Destinations

Pack your bags and prepare your senses – you are going on a wine vacation! Before it reaches your glass, the world’s best wine starts its life in gorgeous vineyards across the globe. It is only right that you go directly to the source as you explore vineyards, pair your wines with delicious foods, and enjoy the scenery that accompanies. To get you started, here are 10 of some of the worlds best wine destinations to appease your inner sommelier and connoisseur.

10. Napa Valley, USA
Welcome to US wine country. Just an hour north of San Francisco, Napa Valley has produced some of the best wines in the USA and world over. Over 50 types of grapes are grown in this scenic sanctuary, so there are plenty of unique blends to explore. You can make it a day trip or a full Napa vacation, visiting the various wine estates, some of which even offer accommodation and various activities centered around wine and food.

9. Adelaide, Australia
Australia’s wine capital and the home of some of the best shiraz the world has to offer, Adelaide is a must-visit for wine enthusiasts who are visiting down under. Between Barossa and McLaren Vale, you are able to explore the Shiraz variations in the region. Whilst you are are in the area, you can indulge in some of the unique wine-related activities such as wine tasting on a hot air balloon. You can also take the time to tour some of the local restaurants that offer wine pairing and sampling selections.

8. Cape Town, South Africa
Chardonnay with a view. That is exactly what you can expect when you visit the Constantia Valley, just half an hour out of Cape Town. You will be greeted by the stunning Table Mountains, as you explore the various world-renowned estates across the valley. Most of these estates also have award-winning chefs that prepare both local and international cuisine that pairs well with the wine on offer. Whilst you are in Cape Town, you can also take advantage of the plethora of activities available on offer.

7. La Rioja, Spain
With over 500 wineries and centuries of grape-growing history, La Rioja is your Spanish wine destination. Here you will find winemakers using traditional, high-quality winemaking techniques that make every glass an experience. You will also find wineries using new technologies and exploring with different blends to bring variation in every bottle. For the full experience, be sure to book a night at the renowned wine hotel; Marqués de Riscal. Here you will be treated to some of the best reds, and delicious foods to create a wholesome wine experience.

6. Sonoma, USA
Located right next to Napa Valley, Sonoma is often overlooked among wine destinations in the world. Do not be fooled, this area is rich in high-quality wineries and lush landscapes that will surely take your breath away. You are also invited to enjoy the top-tier cuisine served in California’s best restaurants. You will find that there are also plenty of lodging options in the Sonoma region allowing you to spend time enjoying all Sonoma has to offer.

5. Loire Valley, France
This is the perfect destination for romance, peace, and variety. Loire Valley is one of the most picturesque regions of France that boasts luxury hotels, with peaceful surroundings that make for the most relaxing getaway. In the valley, you are going to be treated to a variety of wines, from smoky cabernets to sweet blends; paired with food prepared by world-class chefs. You will not be disappointed by this magical wine getaway.

4. Bordeaux, France
Known for its scrumptious reds, Bordeaux is a bucket list destination for wine lovers world over. 80% of the wine produced in the area is red, and red blends that are simply a magical dance on the taste buds. The city is riddled with Michelin star restaurants that offer local wines on the menu – be sure to visit at least one on your wine getaway. There are also plenty of activities to partake in the region for when you need to take a break from the delicious wine.

3. Central Otago, New Zealand
If this location sounds familiar, you have probably glimpsed the landscape in Lord of the Rings. There is more to the green valleys and snow-capped peaks – the region boasts a booming wine industry. Central Otago offers a plethora of sweet and aromatic wines that are simply to die for. You can sit back and enjoy the breathtaking scenery, sipping on some of the worlds finest liquids.

2. Santorini, Greece
Wine, good views, and the freshest foods- what more do you need in this world? For those who are looking for the ultimate summer wine holiday, Santorini is the destination that is calling your name. Here you can enjoy popular Mediterranean wines that are made from unique tasting grapes that you will not find elsewhere. The wines are paired with an abundance of freshly delicious Greek cuisine, making for a heavenly experience. There is also plenty to see and do in Santorini, including touring wineries, lounging by the water, or exploring the exquisite architecture in the city. This is a wine holiday that your whole family can enjoy.

1. Porto, Portugal
If the name doesn’t give it away, Porto is the home of…..you guessed it, Port Wine. For the lovers of sweet wine, Porto is the ultimate wine destination for you. Here you will enjoy various port blends, as well as their renowned Vinho. Wine tasting is accompanied well paired local cuisine and an abundance of culture. You can also make a stop at the Port Wine Museum where you can learn anything and everything there is to learn about your favorite wine.

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IT_EUROPE TRAVELVOLA

Top 10 Free Things to do in London

As one of the most visited cities in the world, London is a city that is a unique blend of historical and modernity. It is a big city that manages to encapsulate old-world small town charm. Given its popularity, it is also one of the more expensive cities in the world. Luckily, not all activities in London are expensive, in fact, there are hundreds of free activities to do. Here are 10 of some of the top free activities to enjoy in London – it is possible to enjoy this glorious city on a budget.

10. Buckingham Palace

Is it even a London trip if you don’t visit the Buckingham Palace? Whilst actually entering the palace costs money, you are welcome to visit the outside and enjoy the changing of guard ceremony at absolutely no cost. The ceremony is a well-choreographed pageantry, whereby new sentries relieve the guards protecting the palace and, of course, the ruling monarch of the United Kingdom.

9. Trafalgar Square

Located in central London, Trafalgar Square is a public square that was named to commemorate the battle of Trafalgar in the Napoleonic wars. The square is a central meeting place and a point of reference for most of London. You can also take the opportunity to take great photos with the stone lions – an iconic part of Trafalgar Square.

8. St Paul’s Cathedral

Constructed in the 17th century, St Paul’s Cathedral is an English baroque style Anglican church that is perched on London’s highest point. The cathedral is absolutely gorgeous and the interior is even more majestic. It does cost money to enter the cathedral as a tourist, but you are welcome to attend the hourly prayer and worship services as part of the congregation.

7. London School of Economics

If you are looking to take a break from the touristy social activities, stop by at LSE and attend a free public lecture. Here you will be able to learn from and interact with some of the greatest minds in social science. It is recommended that you check out the website for information on lectures that are being offered, and lecture times.

6. The Old Bailey

If you are looking for some court action, the Criminal Court of Justice of England and Wales is definitely the place for you – known as the Old Bailey because of its Old Bailey Street location. Here, the court deals with all major criminal cases and trials are open to public viewing. Understandably, there is high-level security, and age restrictions to enter the court, but it is a worthwhile experience – and free entertainment.

5. Angel Comedy Club

If you are a London native then you probably already know about Angel Comedy Club. The club does have certain nights where attendance is free. The club has performances by award-winning comedians who will have you laughing all night. Shows start at 8 pm and the free shows fill up very quickly so early arrival is recommended. You can check the website to see a schedule of the free shows.

4. The Scoop

Located on the south side of the River Thames, the Scoop is an outdoor amphitheater that is devoted to live entertainment. Events vary from theatre, movies, to dance performances. The events are completely free and require no prior booking. Seating is limited so early arrival is strongly recommended. There are events and exhibits on most days, and the event schedule is available on their website.

3. St Martin’s in the Fields

If you are looking for something to do at lunchtime, St Martin’s may be something to check out. This Anglican church is on the northeast end of Trafalgar Square and has been a concert location for two and a half centuries. You are welcome to enjoy the free lunchtime concerts that invite world-class musicians from all genres and styles. This is a treat for music lovers and those wanting world class entertainment.

2. Victoria and Albert Museum

For those who love everything royal, the V&A museum is a must-go cultural activity for you. Here you will find thousands of years worth of art, and history, as well as collections of royal portraits. There are plenty of sculptures, fashion and tapestries to marvel at this treasure trove. The building itself is also a piece of Victorian architectural magnificence.

1. The Science Museum

For those who are looking for family-friendly activities, the Science Museum is a perfect choice. Open from 10 to 6 pm every day, there are plenty of activities for children and adults alike. You can spend a whole day at the museum, exploring the popular attractions such as the space toilet, seven-toed cat, and the pregnant man. There are also plenty of other programmed activities and the full schedule can be found on the website.

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Top 10 Instagram Worthy Destinations

One of the best parts of travelling is being able to take pictures to share with the rest of the world, as well as some for your own memory box. Whilst every vacation is picture worthy, there are some destinations that make for breathtaking snaps. Here are 10 of some of the most picturesque destinations to add to your Bucket list.

10. Bora Bora, French Polynesia
It has graced the covers of travel magazines for years, and looks as pretty as a picture in real life. Bora Bora is located in an old volcano-turned-paradise. The volcano subsided and allowed the formation of a reef ecosystem with the clearest blue water and limited waves. Bora Bora is a calm sanctuary with absolutely no bad angles.

9. Northern Lights, Iceland
You might need a few tries to catch this natural wonder but when you do, you will see heaven. Nothing can compare to the colours illuminated across the Icelandic skies, which photograph beautifully. If you happen to miss the lights, rest assured that the rest of Iceland is truly a sight you’ll want to capture and remember forever.

8. Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
Serving as the inspiration for Sleeping Beauty’s castle, Neuschwanstein is real life Disney magic. The castle is completed by the mountainous backdrop, making it look like it came right out of a movie. Visit in the winter to get some of the best images, aided by the snowfall that creates a fairytale aesthetic.

7. Railay, Thailand
Only accessible by boat, this peninsula is so perfect you almost don’t want to touch it. The water is so clear that you can see the fish swimming beneath you. The water is complemented by and cave systems, that not only make for a fun vacation, but gorgeous unfiltered pictures.

6. Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe and Zambia
One of the seven natural wonders of the world – and what a majestic one this is. Victoria Falls is the largest waterfall in the world, dropping off a 350 foot cliff. This is the dream backdrop for those water lovers, and will make you realise just how big the world truly is. The pictures at Victoria Falls are almost guaranteed to feature a rainbow – no flash needed.

5. Rainbow Mountains of Zhangye Danxia, China
If science and art met, and had a love child, the Rainbow Mountains would be it. These mountains are brightly colored as a result of the weathering and erosion of trace minerals within the sandstone. You’ll have to see them to believe that it is not photoshopped. A natural work of art.

4. Torres Del Paine Patagonia, Chile
This destination looks like the background of the cover of The Sound of Music……except more. Torres Del Paine is a national park that requires hiking to get to see the full park, but the work is definitely worth it. The park is home to glaciers, rivers, lakes, mountains, and lush greenery that make for the most serene and picturesque back drop. There is also various wildlife in the park and a unique experience for those who love hiking and nature.

3. Taj Mahal, India
A jewel that makes a diamond look like an ordinary rock. The Taj Mahal is a popular place for worship and tourism, and rightly so. This white marble mausoleum stands boldly among other Indian architecture and simply takes your breath away. Some of the most popular pictures of the Taj Mahal are taken at sundown, when the orange speckles of the sun reflect against the marble, creating an ethereal tone.

2. Venice, Italy
Venice is a romantic city, built on over a hundred small islands that are separated by a network or canals. This is a unique city that begs you to capture it forever. Whilst cruising along the canals, visitors have a clear view of the beautiful city and the homes that have been on the water for centuries. Photographs taken at sunset beautifully showcase the sun dancing on the water, and light reflecting from the windows of the buildings. No description, or even picture does Venice justice.

1. Antarctica
Yes. This is a holiday destination that people go to. Despite being one of the harshest environments on the planet – an icy desert – Antarctica is a continent of beauty. The serene, untouched ice mountains provide the most calm yet bold backdrop to a beautiful narrative. The continent is also filled with vast wildlife. This is a once in a lifetime experience.