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Lots of American travelers make their way to Germany, and, in fact, it’s recently edged out France as our third most visited European destination, after the U.K. and Italy. The most popular German destinations include Berlin and Munich, but two delightful smaller cities to see Regensburg and Bamberg, both located in the Franconia region, not far from Munich. Both offer a rich taste of rural Bavaria. While many Danube river cruises stop at these towns, they’re also easily accessible from Munich by car or train.
On vacation, we tend to keep different schedules. That’s why, at 1 a.m., with all the regular restaurants closed and the bar having stopped serving food, you may decide you’re ready for dinner number two. Offering unique insight into local culture, late-night eats can enhance your travel experience as much as they can satisfy your craving. For a few bucks, you can fill up on local dishes like tacos, oyster omelets, and crepes, and get a candid glimpse into a city’s after-hours culture. Every country has a specialty; here are the best bites served past midnight in cities all over the world. Read more
Ah, airport layovers. Few of us will ever actually look forward to them, but there are some airports where top-notch facilities make waiting for a connection much easier. Here’s a list… Read more
When it comes to European travel, Hamburg often plays second fiddle to its cooler neighbor to the east, Berlin. But Germany’s second city is no second-tier destination – and this year, it’s pulling out the stops to prove it.
With the 50th anniversary of the British Invasion approaching, and the two remaining members of the Beatles having just made a rare joint appearance at the Grammys, Beatlemania is simmering once again. Besides New York, where they played their first U.S. show on February 7, 1964, Hamburg is also inextricably linked to the history of the band: between 1960 and 1962. They played many of their first concerts there.
This year, though, Hamburg will be honoring a different musician, Carl Philip Emanuel Bach, and the 300th anniversary of his birth, with a concert at St. Michael’s Church on March 8. But that doesn’t mean that Germany’s second-largest city is looking only to the past. Here are some exciting new developments to look forward to this year… Read more
Get ready for another one of those anniversaries that might make you feel really old. November 9, 2014 will mark the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. Once you’ve overcome this shock, start researching cheap tickets on low-cost carrier Air Berlin because a series of special events and exhibitions are about to take place throughout the city.
As well as being Europe’s fastest growing tourism city, Berlin is a great overall budget destination where tourist activities tend to cost less than in other European cities. A hop-on-hop-off sightseeing bus ticket will cost you $23 in Berlin, for example, compared to $40 in Barcelona. If you are planning to travel around the city and visit a lot of museums, you might also consider the Berlin Welcome Card, which covers transportation, museum entry, and discount vouchers. The card starts at $25 for 48-hours.
As the count down to the New Year approaches, so does the party-planning pressure. Most major cities throw vast, crowded spectacles for the occasion, but if you’re not so keen on ringing in the New Year elbow-to-elbow with thousands of strangers, consider planning something a little offbeat this year… Read more
East-bound Europeans will be happy about the launch of El Al’s new low-cost carrier, UP. Based out of Tel Aviv, the offshoot airline will directly compete with Europe’s budget airlines like EasyJet, which offers service to Israel for as low as 68 EUR (about $93) each way. That’s more expensive than the fares offered on UP, which will start at just $69 each way.
Beyond price, frequency of service is a key part of UP’s strategy: a total of 50 flights per week will shuttle between Tel Aviv and Berlin, Kiev, Prague, Budapest, and Larnaca, some of Europe’s most popular hubs.
And here’s our favorite part: A new low-cost carrier in Europe can mean cheaper flight options for U.S. travelers heading to the region. Opting for a layover in Europe, and a switch to a budget carrier once you get there, can really save. And the difference in price can far outweigh the inconvenience of connecting in another airport. As El Al’s new low-cost carrier augments service to Tel Aviv, we’re wondering: could UP offer a new solution for U.S. travelers trying to get to Israel more affordably? Read more
Time to warm up the brass bands, stretch your beer gut, and dust off your best lederhosen or dirndl, for it is time, once again for Oktoberfest. We could tell you about the beer, the chicken dance, the pork knuckles, and the oom-pah bands, but instead we’d like to focus on what to do in Munich after you’ve drunk yourself silly. Read more
Unlike the baby Prince George of Cambridge, most of us are not born into royalty. That’s not to say we can’t fake it, though. With many former European royal residences being turned into hotels, we can at least sleep like a future king.
Here are just a few you can choose from. Read more
Ask anyone the first thing that comes to their mind when they think of Germany, and beer is sure to come up in conversation. We know all about Oktoberfest, and we know all about Munich, and light versus dark (or at least, enough to get by). But mention the local Altbier from Dusseldorf, and prepare for blank stares.
The copper-hued ale, whose name means “old beer,” uses a pre-lager brewing method with warm top-fermenting yeast, and is entirely unique to Dusseldorf.
About a half dozen Altbier breweries make their home throughout the Altstadt (which literally means “old town”) in Dusseldorf, and while there are plenty of things to do there – with over 300 bars and restaurants within half a square kilometer – you should definitely make sure you give all the different versions of Altbier a try. Just as a brewery would offer its unique take on a lager or a pale ale, each brewery produces its own version of the ale, and all are worth a sip (or three). Read more
Is the summer heat getting to you yet? There’s relief to be found at one of these public pools in Europe. Whether it’s panoramic views of the Mediterranean, or a 295-foot-high bungee jump you’re after, these 10 municipal water parks are guaranteed to add a little excitement to your summer getaway.
1. Lava Pools, Madeira, Portugal
Naturally-occurring volcanic rock has formed a series of tiny, stunningly beautiful pools on the northwestern coast of Madeira in Portugal. These ocean-filled ‘lava pools’ are the main attraction in the village of Porto Moniz, located about an hour north of Madeira’s capital, Funchal. Despite the wild geography, the area around the pools contains tourist-friendly amenities like changing rooms, lockers, showers, a restaurant, and a team of lifeguards. Entrance fee: $2.60. Read more
A visit to the museum needn’t be a serious, subdued affair – despite whatever you were told on the field trips of your school days. Many museums are catching on to the trend of keeping doors open after hours so that guests can combine a love of art and culture with good food, drinks, music and dancing. Here are a few of the best.
Warm Up at MOMA PS1, Long Island City, New York
This experimental summertime dance party is one of New York’s hottest tickets and runs on Saturdays from late afternoon through the evening. The museum’s courtyard is taken over by an installation created by the winner of their Young Architects Program while a stellar lineup of international DJs plays to the crowd. You can also expect food, drink and al fresco dancing come rain or shine. Read more
As the saying goes, ‘getting there is half the fun.’ But there’s nothing fun about getting a ticket (or, worse, arrested) for a law you didn’t know existed while traveling in a foreign country. Take our advice and make sure you never…
…Travel with an un-stamped ticket in Italy
Italian cuisine is known for its simplicity, but the same unfortunately cannot be said for the country’s rules around bus, train and metro tickets. Unlike in the US, where it suffices to simply purchase a ticket, in Italy passengers are required to validate their ticket before (or at the moment of) boarding. The act of stamping the ticket takes just a second, but without doing so, you could be on the receiving end of a grouchy carabinieri‘s ticket book. Read more
What comes to mind when you think of Munich? It’s probably something along the lines of concrete, lederhosen, and beer. At least that’s what I thought, when The Bachelorette announced she’d be stopping in Munich for this week’s episode. Surely, Des and her bevy of men will be scouting out some of the most romantic spots in the German city. Upon a second look, I found some sites where I’d stop if I were heading there with 10 guys who were all vying for my affection. Read more
It’s very rare that I get to experience the same destination twice. Even more rare is it that I get to experience a city twice from two completely different perspectives. If you’re traveling to Berlin, whether you’re looking to pinch pennies or indulge, here are some ways to make it unforgettable. Read more
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