So You Only Have 48 Hours in Amsterdam

Amsterdam CanalsOftentimes there is one thing that we lack when we are traveling – time. If you need to make the most of the time you have and still want to experience some of the best that Amsterdam has to offer, we will help you pack as much as you can within only 48 hours. This should be enough to allow you to experience everything from modern Dutch life to the wonders of the 17th-century Low Countries.

Day 1 – morning – moving from the Dam Square to the Anne Frank Huis

Once you get to Amsterdam in the morning, the first half of the day is spent on the Central Canal Belt in Amsterdam. This functions as a semi-circle around the Central Station. Once you start at ‘Centraal Station’, you head south until you reach the Damrak. This is the most noticeably tourist-centered street in all of Amsterdam and the range of souvenirs that you find here run from hilariously kitsch to tasteful.

At the end of the Dam Square, you will end up with the National Monument to the east and the Royal Palace (Koninklijk Paleis) to your west. You should take a moment and appreciate the Empire-period decorative arts that are spread across the 17 different rooms in the palace.

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The Top Reasons to Visit Italy

The Colosseum in Rome, ItalyMerely mentioning the idea of going to Italy will evoke different images for people who love to travel. The reason behind it is that there is so much to see and do in Italy; it is a country not merely limited to a single characteristic. From majestic ruins to romantic river cruises; from a gastronomic array of mouth-watering delights to high fashion, there is literally something for anyone who visits Italy, regardless of what your interests might be. While it may be difficult, today we try to narrow down the top 10 reasons to want to visit Italy.

The bustling markets

The markets in Italy are beyond comparison anywhere else in the world. The Italian markets are a hub of activity and considered a public meeting place. You can get some of the best food you could have ever imagined here, the fruit stalls are stacked high with the most fresh and most colorful fruits and vegetables that you have seen. If you are lucky, you will be able to see the fresh seafood that still smells as though it barely came out of the ocean a few hours ago. Even if you are not looking to buy anything at that time, it is a delight to stroll through the market and just watch people go about their day.

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The Best Italian Piazzas

St.Peters square Rome,Italy.Piazza San PietroThey have become synonymous with the Italian lifestyle, being out amongst the people, watching the people walk by, and just lingering for hours. We are talking about the famous Italian piazzas. You will typically see them surrounded by buildings, but these piazzas are open public squares. In Italy, these piazzas are truly the center of public life.

While the direct translation of ‘piazza’ means ‘public square’ in English, the shape of a traditional ‘piazza’ does not have to adhere to a specific shape in order to be considered a piazza. One of the joys of being in Italy is enjoying a wonderful coffee at one of these famous piazzas and just watching the people as they go about their daily life.

Marostica piazza degli scacchi Marostica

This century old town is located in the northern part of Italy and it is about 10 minutes from Bassano del Grappa. It is also about a half hour’s drive from Vicenza. The piazza is famous for its ‘human chess board’ where the board is large enough to where actual players (and real horses) will play the specific roles on the board. Keep in mind that reservations for spectators of the chess spectacle are preferred because it continuously draws in a crowd.

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Finding The Best Fast Food In Paris

ParisDespite the fact that Paris has a reputation for being a culinary delight, the fast food in Paris can be hit-and-miss at times. Especially if you are near areas that see a great deal of tourism, you run the risk of eating a sandwich that might have been made and stored with questionable hygiene practices or find a stale, gummy crepe that tastes nothing like you would expect. Fortunately, we can help you avoid many of these mistakes and help you find the best option for you.

Bakery fare – sandwiches, quiches etc.

Even though Paris has a reputation for being a great city for bakeries, remember that not all sandwiches are created equal in the City of Light. You can get a delicious sandwich, quiche, or croissant for less than 3 dollars at some of the high-quality Paris bakeries. You are better off going into an actual patisserie or boulangerie (bakery) and getting something there than you are by visiting a supermarket or buying it from a stand on the street.

Avoid the street vendor sandwiches

Keep in mind that the traditional street vendors that you see throughout Paris are not actual bakers. These vendors usually buy their sandwiches at a supermarket beforehand and will then sell them to you at inflated prices. If you are opting for hygiene-sensitive fillings (think tuna and/or mayonnaise), you are better off buying from real bakeries

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When Should You Visit Spain?

Spain Flag Map ShapeThis is one of the questions that we receive often – when should you visit Spain, and when is the best time to stay away from Spain? The answer rather depends on your own personal preferences. However, we can provide you with some general information on when you should try to visit Spain and what the pros and cons of the different times are.

Some people prefer to be soaking up the sun for hours on end, while others cannot imagine a fate worse than a crowded beach in the sweltering heat.

Visiting Spain in the summer

Ah yes, cruising alongside Spain’s many beaches or walking across some of the most gorgeous cities that you have ever seen. Summer in Spain can be a great visit, for a number of reasons actually. These are the benefits of visiting Spain during the summer:

  • You are almost guaranteed to have warm weather. You should not expect temperatures to go below 25ºC (77ºF) for much of the summer in Spain.
  • Some of the tours in Spain are only open during the summer. The summertime is when most of the tourists come, which is why it is understandable that you would see many of the tours operate at full force during that time.

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The Craziest Spanish Festivals Ever

BarcelonaThere is no denying that Spain has become almost synonymous with enjoying oneself and amazing festivals. There are a number of crazy Spanish festivals that call this part of the Iberian Peninsula home. Not only are these often a celebration of customs and history, but they are also the reason that a massive number of people visit each year. These are some of our favorite options in a long list of Spanish festivals.

Wine Battle of Haro

Haro is located in Spain’s La Rioja region and it is unlikely that this town would be on the map as much as it is if it were not for this festival. The Rioja wine that comes from this region is some of the most celebrated and famous wine in all the country. In order to celebrate another harvest, there are not only wine drinking competitions, but there is the Batalla de Vino (the wine battle) that draws in people from near and far.

Everyone in the town gathers at 9:00 in the morning, starting their day with procession and mass. Once the final mass is concluded, there is not a dry seat in the town. This is not because of the emotional mass or sermon, but because of the wine being thrown around in a wild celebration.

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The Best Shopping in Brussels

BrusselsGiven that Brussels has a great number of shops and stores available, it can be hard to narrow down all your options and come up with the ‘best one’ to visit. This is especially true if you are pressed for time as far as your Brussels shopping experience is concerned. That is why we will only take a moment, evaluate the best options throughout the city, and make sure that you know exactly where you should be shopping.

Beer Mania

If you are a beer connoisseur or know a beer connoisseur who is traveling to Brussels, you will likely end up in this store here. There are more than 400 different Belgian beers for sale, consistently receiving high praise from the people who stop by and appreciate the massive selection. It is also possible to try many of the in-stock brews before you buy.

The husband and wife owners are more than happy to tell you what sort of glass that you should serve a particular beer in. This is especially helpful because there are more than 100 different shapes and sizes of beer glass available – all of them officially sanctioned!

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Delectable Reasons To Visit Brussels

Belgian FritesWhen traveling to the Belgian capital, chances are that you already know that Brussels offers a great number of culinary delights. Even though you can opt for the world-famous golden arches or have any other type of fast-food meal, chances are that you want to experience the food that makes Brussels famous, the type of food that makes tourists’ and locals’ mouth water. These are some of the more famous culinary delights that you will have to try for yourself if you make it to Brussels.

Only real chocolate connoisseurs need apply

You probably already know that Belgium has some of the finest chocolate throughout Europe, even the world. If you stand in the heart of Brussels, just take a moment and appreciate how many chocolate shops are nearby.

Belgians really know how to make good chocolate, and you will not have to resort to grabbing a map to be able to find these chocolate shops for yourself. You only need to pay attention to the colorful window displays, the bright lights, and in some places, the overflowing chocolate fountains. In some stores, you are going to have a chance to taste test everything beforehand, thus making your choice even easier.

Those tourists on a budget that want to experience the delights of the Belgian chocolate without breaking the bank – just go ahead and buy some at the nearby supermarket. These have a great selection and some excellent options. Brands to try in the supermarket include Cote d’Or, Godiva, and Neuhaus.

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The Best Shopping In Porto

Porto, PortugalPorto offers some of the best shopping throughout all of Portugal. Some of the best things to pick up while in Porto include local delicacies (expected) and high fashion (which is unexpected for most tourists). With a wide range of styles, from alternative and sophisticated to the traditional, these are some of our favorite shopping experiences that Porto has to offer.

Centro Comercial Bombarda

The ‘Miguel Bombarda’ street is renowned throughout Porto as the ‘alternative’ shopping street. This unusual shopping center has a number of restaurants, shops, and art galleries. You will find a wide range of alternative stores that sell second-hand products, handicrafts, accessories, and clothes. If you like vintage clothing and have a more sophisticated style, make sure that you swing by the sophisticated sunglasses shop and the eccentric hairdresser who can be found here.

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