Tax-Free Shopping in Europe

TAX FREE FOR TOURISTS When you are shopping across Europe, the VAT (which stands for value-added tax) might be as high as 25 percent. This is not unlike a sales tax, except it is not added at the cash register but rather built into the price that you pay. If you live outside of the European Union and you are just in Europe for vacation, chances are that you are eligible to claim a VAT refund.

Ways that you can apply for a refund 

 

  • Use the store’s refund affiliate – If you want the easiest and most efficient way of getting your refund, this would be it. Look in the store window and seek out “Premier Tax Free” or “Tax Free Shopping” signs. These stores will give you a tax-free shopping check. Once you are getting ready to leave the European Union, you present this check to customs. You can then get an immediate refund at the border kiosk or refund service’s airport desk. There may even be a number of different ways that you can have this refund processed.

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The Best Museums In Prague

PragueA museum visit might not be the first thing that you think about when visiting Prague. That does not mean that you should forgo the museums altogether, especially because there is a great deal to explore in the field of art and culture throughout this beautiful city.

Before you get excited, one thing that you do want to keep in mind is that most museums listed here are closed on Mondays, and are open every other day of the week from 10 AM until 6 PM. The National Museum, that you will see listed here, is free on the first Monday of the month and is open on Mondays.

Mucha Museum

Alfonse Mucha is known as one of the 20th century’s most celebrated Art Nouveau artists and this museum features a number of his works. Mucha became especially famous for his posters advertising theatre productions. He also designed banknotes, stamps, calendars, postcards, menus, magazine covers, and decorative panels. Each period of Mucha’s career is covered at the museum.

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Best Things To Do In Auckland And Surroundings

Rangitoto IslandThere is no shortage of things to see and do around Auckland, not strange considering that it is the largest city in New Zealand. The city itself offers a number of different activities, these activities range from the relaxing to the extreme, with adventure activities and cruises located close to the city center. Regardless of what you are looking to do, Auckland has something to do for everyone, for all ages and personality types

Visit Cornwall Park

This landscaped park is located on the volcanic cone of Auckland’s One Tree Hill. It offers a relaxing escape from the rush and hectic lifestyle of the city. Cornwall Park is massive, it is filled with lingering examples of Maori architecture, livestock grazing in various spots, oak trees, and walking tracks. It is also very clear and provides some much-needed fresh air. When the flowers of its various trees are in full bloom, it makes for an amazing place to visit.

There is also a fine restaurant located in the park that allows guests to enjoy something to eat and drink alongside the beautiful surroundings. Even on the most crowded of days, you will find ample amounts of space for a picnic or be able to use the gas grills to cook up some sausages and steaks.

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San Gimignano Offers Rich History…and Plenty of Good Wine

469666351Chances are you’ve seen lots of photographs of the Tuscan countryside during your lifetime, especially if you’re a fan of Italy or have been researching possible vacation destinations there. After all, Tuscany has become THE place to go in Italy over the last 20 years or so, and it’s easy to see – by admiring these photos – just how beautiful it is there. There’s a good chance that at least some of the photos you’ve viewed include the wonderful skyline of San Gimignano, the beautiful medieval “Town of Fine Towers”, which boasts more than a dozen well-preserved tower houses as well as enough additional historic sites to assist the town in earning its UNESCO World Heritage status.

This walled medieval hill town is located in the province of Siena and has long been a favorite stopping off place for visitors touring Tuscany. Happily, it appeals not only to history and architecture lovers but also to those who are fond of good wine, as the town is well known for its white wine, produced from grapes that grow on the sandstone hillsides around the town. (more…)

Summers are Twice as Fun with Visits to Europe’s Best Amusement Parks

186333393In the U.S., summer often means a trip to the family’s favorite theme park, whether it’s the world’s most popular vacation destination – Walt Disney World – or a small hometown amusement park that’s been entertaining your family for years. Things aren’t so different in Europe. When the pleasant weather of the spring and summer appears, it’s time for theme park enthusiasts to point their cars towards their favorite park for a day or two of fun.

Visitors to various European countries might consider including some of these parks on their next itinerary. Most are just lovely, some are extra exciting, and you’ll probably find that spending time at any of the spots listed below will create lasting memories for you and your companions, whether you’re traveling with children or with other adults who simply love to play. (more…)

Check Out a Few of Europe’s Top Golf Courses on your Next Vacation

477422581If you’re an avid golfer but you live in a cold climate, chances are you really miss the opportunity to play the game during the winter months. Maybe you steal away occasionally to a warmer climate for a few rounds, but there’s a good chance you’re chomping at the proverbial bit, just waiting to get back on the links and hone your golfing skills.

One of the nicest things about being a golfer is that the game is popular the world over. That means you can often squeeze in a few rounds while traveling, especially in Europe, where there are tons of golf aficionados. As a matter of fact, Europe boasts some of the highest-rated golf courses in the world and there are many that we’re certain you’ll want to try on your next visit to the Old Country. Here’s a list of a few of our favorites.

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Cannes has More to Offer than Just a Film Festival

179296046No doubt you’ve heard of the Cannes Film Festival. Each May, celebrities arrive in droves to this French Riviera destination to screen top films in a huge variety of categories. Some you’ve already heard about. Others may never make it past Cannes. It’s a wonderful event that places a huge spotlight on the charming destination. But potential visitors should know that Cannes is much more than just an annual film festival. As a matter of fact, those who don’t particularly relish crowds will enjoy the town much more when the crowds have gone home and there’s more room to stretch out on the golden sand beaches.

But don’t misunderstand. No matter than you visit, Cannes is all about opulence, and even if you’re not there when the film makers and their stars are in town, you’ll still be treated to plenty of celebrity sightings. That said, however, you don’t need to be a famous individual to enjoy your time there, but you will have to drop some serious bucks if you truly want to immerse yourself in the culture and lavishness of Cannes. (more…)

Traveling Solo? Consider these Safe and Friendly European Countries

452532465In the “olden” days, only the bravest traveled alone, making their way from North America to the countries of Europe. Family members back at home worried for the wayfarer’s health and safety, certain that some great catastrophe would befall their very independent relative. These days, however, it’s certainly not unusual for individuals of just about any age to embark on overseas travel by themselves, including women, all of whom can be perfectly safe overseas as long as they heed appropriate warnings.

There are a lot of advantages to travel by oneself. First of all, you can design your itinerary to be as self-indulgent as you’d like and no one will complain. On your agenda should be all the things YOU like and all the things you’ve always wanted to do. You’re not on anyone else’s time schedule. In addition, solo travelers often take more time to stop and smell the roses and to meet the locals as well.  They often connect with the culture more than those traveling with one or more companions, simply because they have more time and a larger desire to truly immerse themselves.

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Helsinki’s Top 10 Attractions Highlight a Visit to Finland

459458831Chances are that if you’re buried in snow, you’re not thinking about a trip to Scandinavia. But when the tables have turned and you’re trapped by the scorching heat of the summer, there’s no doubt that you and your traveling companions may be thinking about heading to a spot where you can escape the humidity so common in many parts of the United States. In other words, when summer hits, Scandinavia will sound like heaven!

In considering a trip to Northern Europe, most travelers take a close look at the capitals of each Scandinavian country. Stockholm is always quite popular and Oslo is a great place to visit, but have you ever considered Finland’s wonderful waterfront capital city? Helsinki is glorious, especially in the sparkling endless light of summer, and there’s plenty for visitors to see and do. Here’s a list of our favorite Helsinki attractions.

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Enjoy City Life in Sprawling Auckland, New Zealand

176796713(1)As big cities go, Auckland is right up there with the best of them. If you seek cosmopolitan excitement on your Down Under excursion, you’ll find that Auckland offers just about everything you’ll need for a true urban vacation, from great hotels and restaurants to top-notch shopping, club-hopping, and sightseeing. Add to that the fact that you can reach non-urban destinations, like beautiful beaches and forests, in just minutes and you’ve got the perfect base for your New Zealand vacation.

Auckland is home to some million-and-a-half Kiwis and boasts the largest Polynesian population of any city on the planet. But don’t let the crowds scare you away. The city really does exude that laid-back feeling you’d expect to find in a spot with so many friendly Polynesian peoples, and it’s long been ranked as one of the most livable cities in the world and a great place to raise children. It boasts a temperate climate and though the summers can be humid, the average January, February, and March temps top out at only about 75 degrees, making it a great place to visit while the U.S. is buried in snow. (more…)

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