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Brussels

PicassoMuseum_620x400The great thing about traveling to Europe is that you can experience some of the world’s greatest art for an entirely reasonable price. With an abundance of free and low-cost museums, the world’s masterpieces are yours to savor. But which do you see first? Upon arrival in Europe’s capitals, most travelers head straight to the big, famous collections at the Louvre, the Prado, or the Rijksmuseum, just to name a few. But if you venture further afield, you can take a deeper dive into the world’s great artists and their work in single-artist museums. Here are some of our favorites, all of which can be visited for less than $20 USD.

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Those planning to visit London or Paris in the near future can extend their vacation plans to the other iconic destination or Brussels with a new autumn sale from RailEurope Inc. Travelers purchasing a Eurostar standard premier ticket will save 20 percent on their purchase, bringing tickets from London to just $131 and prices from Paris to just $139! Additionally, travelers will also receive a complimentary $20 gift card from Amazon.com. In standard premier class travelers will enjoy spacious reclining seats, extended legroom, complimentary newspapers, a light meal, and refreshments, all while traveling at 186 miles per hour. Tickets must be purchased by November 16, 2011 and travel is valid for six months after the purchase date.

THE VALUE: Save 20% on standard premier class and get a $20 Amazon gift card.

THE CATCH: The sale is only valid between London, Paris, and Brussels.

THE DETAILS: To book your ticket, visit www.raileurope.com.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find low fares on flights to Europe.  Check out our Travel Guides for London, Paris, and Brussels, for more trip planning advice.

Florence HotelWhen booking hotels in popular European cities, it’s easy to spend far too many euros. While some destinations (oh how we love thee, Florence!) are famous for their cheap pensions in centuries-old buildings and former monasteries, many cities are quite expensive (Zurich anyone?). It can be really difficult to find a cheapo night’s sleep.

But never fear, there are a few practical steps that budget travelers can take to lower their costs. Here are four things you can do now to find a hotel deal even in Europe’s priciest cities: Read more

Make the most of the waning days of summer or beautiful early fall with this European air sale from American Airlines. Book by June 27 and travel August 14 through October 27 to get this deal. Depart from your choice of cities across the United States, including New York, Boston, Raleigh, Indianapolis, Orlando, Chicago, Houston and Albuquerque, and fly to a number of great European destinations including London, Brussels, Helsinki, Madrid, and more. Finish summer with a bang by spending it in Paris, or fly to Frankfurt and take a train to Munich for Oktoberfest — this sale is flexible on dates and locations.

THE VALUE: The same routes cost over $1,000 in summer on other airlines, so this deal saves over $400 on round-trip tickets.

THE CATCH: Travel must be completed by November 24, and taxes and fees of up to $190 are not included.

THE DETAILS: Click here to book online with American Airlines.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Find the best place to stay in Europe with our Travel Search tool, or check out what to do when you get there with our European Travel Guides.

The early bird may get the worm, but the last-minute traveler gets the cheap air tickets to Europe with this sale from Aer Lingus. Travel June 16-30 or July 2-August 22 (depending on the route) from New York, Boston and Chicago to select cities in the Netherlands, Germany, France, Spain, and Italy for as low as $348 (each-way).  Nine great cities are included in the sale — even Paris, Barcelona, and Amsterdam.

THE VALUE: The same routes cost over $1,000 in summer on other airlines, so this deal saves over $400 on round-trip tickets.

THE CATCH: Tickets must be booked seven days in advance of travel, and taxes and fees are not included.

THE DETAILS: Click here to book online with Aer Lingus.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Find the best place to stay in Europe with our Travel Search tool, or check out what to do when you get there with our European Travel Guides.

View of Bruges, Belgium at NightIf you are headed for Paris this summer, consider adding on three days to discover the romance and charm of two easily accessed cities in neighboring Belgium: bustling Brussels and breathtaking Bruges (shown at left). As I learned during a recent visit, both cities are ideal for couples who love historic architecture and enjoy savoring everything from beer to waffles to mussels to frites to chocolate (especially chocolate!). Here are details on how to enjoy a quick add-on visit from Paris, or even Amsterdam, via high-speed train.

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A little more than one year after its maiden voyage, the Solar Impulse has successfully crossed international borders, reports Reuters.

The exclusively solar-powered plane flew its first international route from Western Switzerland to Brussels on Friday, marking another milestone in the search for pollution-free air travel. The aircraft, which uses 12,000 solar panels to generate power, has taken off five times since its inaugural flight in April 2010, including one 26-hour journey in July.

The project, which began in 2003, is easily one of the most ambitious of its kind. This year, the team plans to release a plane capable of flying across the Atlantic; as early as 2013, a solar-powered machine could make a trip around the world.

Even so, don’t expect sunbeam-powered planes to taxi at your local airport anytime soon: Traveling at 44 miles per hour, the Solar Impluse’s flight from Western Switzerland to Brussels took more than half a day; a fossil fuel-fed jet speeds up to 440 miles per hour and soars from Geneva to Brussels in less than one hour.

Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find the lowest rates on flights, hotels, packages, and more travel deals.

aerlingus_edit.jpgAer Lingus has brought the sky-high fares to Europe back down to earth with fall and winter one-way prices starting as low as $199! Travelers can hop the pond from New York City, Boston, and Chicago, to quintessential European destinations like Dublin, London, Barcelona, Rome, Paris, and many more! Tickets must be purchased by August 12 and travel dates are valid as early as September 5 and as late as December 16, 2010, depending on departure and arrival cities.

Sample One-Way Fares (Excluding Taxes):

•    New York City–Dublin: $199
•    New York City–London: $209
•    New York City–Barcelona: $229
•    Boston–Frankfurt: $269
•    Chicago–London: $269
•    Boston–Paris: $269
•    Chicago–Brussels: $279
•    And more!

THE VALUE: After taxes and fees, these one-way prices are still between $150?$250 less than current summer rates.

THE CATCH: Taxes and fees can add between $100?$200 to the price of a round-trip ticket.

THE DETAILS: To book your flight, visit www.aerlingus.com.

WE’VE GOT MORE: Use our Travel Search price comparison tool to find more low fares to Europe.

Check out our European Hotel Deals page to find the perfect accommodations during your visit.

Know before you go with our extensive European Travel Guide.

ParisFor those of you who begrudgingly missed out on a hop across the pond in ’08, chin up – the new year is looking refreshingly encouraging for travelers in search of an Old World fix. A perfect mix of stabilized jet fuel prices and a European economy hungry for tourism dollars has cropped up a tempting batch of airfare sales, with rates now starting from as little as $110 each way. What’s more, the dollar will actually get you somewhere once you touch down, as it’s finally back up to respectable levels against the euro and pound.
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