Archive for Europe

Five unforgettable nights out in Vienna

Austria’s beautiful capital has an amazing culture, historic architecture and some truly wonderful cuisine. Being a little off the mainstream tourist trail, it feels a good deal more authentic than the likes of Paris or Rome, wonderful spots though they are.

Once you have spent the day exploring the city, you are left with the question of how to while away the evening. Vienna has a great nightlife, and as you will see from our top five things to do, if night clubs are your thing, that is definitely an option worth exploring. But we have come up with some slightly more left field options, too. See what you think.

 

Five unforgettable nights out in Vienna

 

1) Go to the opera

Let’s be honest, Vienna is probably most famous for the number of classical musicians who called it home, most notably Mozart, Beethoven and Schubert. If you are ever going to give the opera a try, this is definitely the city to do it. The State Opera House in the centre of the city is a sight to behold in its own right, and tickets sell quickly. The best plan to avoid disappointment and get the best price is to buy online before you go from a site such as viennaoperatickets.com.

 

2) Hang out at the Café Drechler

Vienna has a strong café culture, and this little spot is one of its best known. Standing right on the Naschmarkt, it is impossible to miss. The venue is an eatery by day, serving local fare, and was redesigned by Terence Conran in 2007. On Thursday and Friday nights, it has a DJ and is favoured by Vienna’s young movers and shakers.

 

3) Dinner on the wheel

Visiting Vienna with a special someone? Treat him or her to a slap up meal and the best view in town on the big wheel and you will be certain to impress. A dinner for two cabin is yours for an hour and a half, and you will be treated to a three course meal, two bottles of wine, a champagne aperitif and after dinner coffees. OK, at €345 per couple it is not cheap, but for a special night out, it is hard to beat.

 

4) Sink a few at Titanic

We promised you some old school suggestions too, and you can’t get much more so than Titanic. Probably Vienna’s most famous nightclub, it was founded in the 1980s and has a strong, loyal following from those who like to party hard till the sun rises. The music is eclectic, with a leaning towards electric and techno. They also have a restaurant that serves a wide range of fare.

 

5) Explore canal culture

The Donau Kanal has become the hangout of choice for those looking for excitement and adventure, at least in the summer months. There is always something happening, including a number of free festivals and music events. A perfect spot to sit back, watch the world go by and just go with the flow.

 

I am also sure that Vienna would be a perfect St. Valentine’s city.

The Croatian Coastline – A paradise of 1.000 islands

The Croatian Coastline is awesome. There is no doubt about that. Anyone, who has ever been there will totally agree on that for sure. Why? Because it has an imcomparable beauty to it, which you won’t find at any other place. At least not exactly like that. The coastline of Croatia is full of wonderful bays, beaches and islands you need to visit. I have been at the Croatian coastline for about 2 weeks once and it left me speachless sometimes.

You can not imagine the water colour, if you have not seen it yourself. Usually you would only expect a water colour like that in paradisaic places on other continents like Asia, Australia or South America. But Croatia definitely is an exception in this case. I could not imagine any other place within Europe, that has such a beautiful coastline like Croatia has.

The water colour is light blue and crystal clear. Really beautiful to look at. Besides that you have such a nice view onto the islands. Croatia has more than 1.000 of it. For such a small country in comparison, this is quite a lot. And they look really beautiful. In the back of every beach and along the whole coastline you find georgous mountain ranges from where you have a fantastic view onto the coastline as well. We had an apartment up the hills in Omis (a small town in Dalmatia), which had such an awesome view. If you are ever in that area, I recommend you to get an accommodation up the mountains/ hills. You will love it.

 

 

What’s also really nice about the coastline of Croatia are the numerous beautiful bays you can visit on a road trip. I recommend you to get a leased car anyway. It’s the best way to get around. All the bays you will see are just perfect. Most of them are quite hidden, very small and pretty quiet. Sometimes it is even hard to reach them, because you have to drive down some very weird roads. But it’s always definitely worth the journey. Trust me.

You will also be amazed how clean every beach in Croatia is. I don’t know why, but it’s very good. You won’t see any rubbish. At least we didn’t. At some beaches and bays you also find some kind of blown up air castles/ air playgrounds in the water where kids can play on. Really cool. Even I went on one, one time. It’s good fun, even though it’s not meant to be for adults. But as you might know, all men are just little kids jailed in big bodies 😉

 

 

 

The last thing that really fascinated me as well was, how many beaches Croatia has. It’s unreal. It seems like every 100m you find a beach. Of course that’s not the truth, but it definitely seems like it. And I loved that. So whenever you are doing a road trip or you just explore the coastline, you always have the opportunity to go for a quick swim. So nice!

In general I can only highly recommend to visit this coastline, because it is just fascinating and really, really pretty. Maybe you will really not find anything better within Europe…

 

 

*This article was written by Christian “Volle” Vollmert, a german dude, who loves travelling and exciting adventures from bottom of his heart. He wants to inspire other people to get out of their comfort zone and travel the world. Plus he really wants to show how much personal development as a human being comes along with it!

Iceland’s Three Greatest Natural Highlights

In terms of natural beauty, it is very hard to top Iceland. This spectacular Nordic island nation is unlike anywhere else on the planet and boasts a dramatic landscape of lava fields, volcanoes, geysers, hot springs and much more. It is also one of the best places in the world to spot the elusive Northern Lights.

Iceland is somewhere that everybody should visit at some point in their lives and especially nature lovers. The best way to see the highlights will be to book with advent holiday organisers, like Exodus. Here are the three must-visit natural highlights on the island:

 

Blue Lagoon

Listed as one of the 25 wonders of the world, Blue Lagoon is a geo-thermal spa encircled by ice and snow. It is one of Iceland’s most visited attractions and it is easy to see why. It is a natural attraction that has man-made features built in, such as a swim-up bar and walkways around the site. Swimming in the gorgeous warm waters whilst being surrounded by ice and snow is a surreal yet luxurious experience and the rich mineral content is great for your skin.

 

 

Great Geysir

Located to the south-west of the island, The Great Geysir is a magnificent geyser that has been active for over 10,000 years. It is the most famous geyser in the world – this is also part of Iceland’s famed “Golden Circle Tour”, which is highly recommended. Eruptions here can shoot boiling water some 70 metres high into the air and this is a truly breathtaking sight to behold. These eruptions can be infrequent, but the nearby Strokkur geyser erupts every few minutes and can reach around 30 metres high, so be sure to check this one out as well.

 

Gollfoss Waterfall

This epic waterfall is located in south Iceland on the impressive Hvítá river (it is also part of the “Golden Circle” tour). It is fed by Langjökull – the second biggest glacier in Iceland and the water drops a full 32 metres across 2 stages down into a dramatic canyon with walls 70 metres high. In addition to the constant wall of mist that this creates, visitors are often treated to a rainbow on sunny days. The views that this creates are out of this world and the type of vistas you only see on postcards.

Iceland boasts some of the world’s rarest and most dramatic natural scenery. This can be found throughout the island, plus it also has a handful of inviting towns and welcoming locals to add to its charm. What have I visited in Iceland?

The trip that made me fall in love with traveling

exploring Barcelona

I remember my days back at the University when one of the very few safe things I could count on were the little money I had and my parents back home. I was intelligent enough to save something and make wonders with a little. The story that follows was one of them.

I was studying at the University in Czech republic, some 500 km from my home town in Slovakia and the summer of 2007 I decided to go to Spain. To Barcelona, the city I had visited once already but hated it. Why I chose the same place if I didn’t like it remains a mystery to me.

Everyone, both my family and friends were telling me I was crazy to go to Barcelona alone for 3 weeks and without having any accommodation booked.

It was my first trip like that and to be honest I still don’t know if it was my stubbornness, the strong will of standing on my feet or just showing them that I could do it and they were wrong.

The reason now does not matter. What matters though is the fact that going to Barcelona against my parents’ decision was the trip that made me fall in love with traveling. I had only around 1,000 euros with me and no plans for the following 3 weeks.

 

exploring Barcelona

exploring Barcelona

 

I found a hostel a 2-minute walk from La Rambla, the main tourist street. If I remember right, it was the first time I ever stayed at a hostel and let me tell you, it was so much fun! Everyone knew me there already, I started giving tips to other tourists about the best things to do in Barcelona and spent nights talking to my new friend – the receptionist from Argentina. It was there when I also fell in love with the Argentinian accent.

 

Quickly, I changed my opinion about Barcelona. It turned from initial disgust to my favorite city. I fell in love with La Boqueria market, exotic fruit and healthy juices I had never seen before, different beaches close to the city centre, great shopping, good discounts and streets full of life. The famous architecture of Gaudi and the amazing views from the surrounding hills added up the glamour to my visit. I even took some tours with locals in Barcelona.

 

the views of Barcelona

the views of Barcelona

 

This trip taught me a lot. I learned to count on something new – myself – even though being very young in the opinion of many. It taught me to enjoy my own company. It taught me that everyone and also everything deserves a second chance because if I chose any other destination, I would probably still hate Barcelona somewhere deep in my heart with no real reason. It also taught me that healthy food is usually more expensive than junk food but on the other hand it gives me more energy.

This trip taught me that strangers can become my best friends (I am still in touch with the Argentine receptionist) and that just a smile in the morning can make up for a beautiful day. But most of all the trip taught me that save some money is always useful and traveling opens not only my eyes but also my heart.

Since this trip, I revisit Barcelona every year at least once … Was it me who gave Barcelona the second chance or it was Barcelona that gave a second chance to me? I would be missing out way too much if I’d never gone back …

5 Reasons why Ireland is a must visit destination

When you tell someone that you plan to visit Ireland, you soon become inundated with suggestions of where to go and places to visit. Research online is filled with lists of top ten or top 20 places to visit in Ireland, from the Hills of Tara in County Meath to the rain soaked Aran Islands. However there is more to Ireland than beautiful countryside and its friendly people. We have compiled a short list of 5 most see places when in Ireland, perfect if you are visiting for a long weekend.

Like anywhere do your research online and plan your holiday well in advance, sites such as Expedia have a great selection of accommodation types to choose from. Ireland also has an extensive rail and transport network so getting around this beautiful country should be as smooth as possible.

 

The Cliffs of Moher

First stop on our list is in the west of Ireland to the most famous and breath taking part of Ireland’s craggy west coastline the Cliffs of Moher. With 3 main viewing points you will truly be in awe of this natural attraction, look out for the Aran Islands of the coast (a location in the recent star wars film) and the many wildlife that use the cliff face as a safe haven.

 

cliff

 

The Ring of Kerry

With spectacular views, a visit to the ring of Kerry is not to be missed when in Ireland. Located to the south to the country’s most southerly tip it is recognised as one of Ireland’s most scenic trails the ring of Kerry stretches for 120 miles. Taking you on a journey through some of Ireland’s jaw dropping landscape, with green dense meadows, ice cold lakes and heather clad mountain tops coupled with Ireland’s rugged coastline, the ring of Kerry covers a leg of the increasingly popular Wild Atlantic Way. Here, the idealized view of Ireland as a land of rural greenery and natural beauty springs to reality.

 

wild

 

The Giants Causeway

The Giants Causeway one of the most amazing sites you will ever see. Located in Northern Ireland near the town of Bushmills in County Antrim it is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the North of Ireland. This natural wonder is made of interlocking basalt columns formed from volcanic activity millions of years ago. Alternatively if you enjoy myth and legend, the story of Finn McCool a beloved Irish giant is said to have built the causeway in a fight with a Scottish Giant. I know what story I want to believe, but I will let you decide when you visit. Make time for a visit at the nearby Carrick-a-Rede Rope Bridge, which will really test your nerve of heights.

 

giants

 

Guinness

Widely reported as Irelands most popular tourist attraction it is then compulsory that when in Irelands capital Dublin for the first time to visit the Guinness storehouse. The Guinness Storehouse is the home of Ireland’s most famous export “the black stuff” Guinness, even if you are not a fan the storehouse tells an interesting story bringing alive a real segment of Irish History. A tour of the storehouse is spread across 7 floors as you walk through the whole process from grain to glass. At the end of the Tour you are rewarded with a pint of Guinness with 360° panoramic views over Dublin. If you can’t make it as far as Dublin do take the chance to sample Ireland’s most popular export wherever you are.

 

guine

 

Temple Bar

Finish of your time in Dublin in the cities hub of Temple Bar. Here there will be Guinness and Irish “crac” (banter) aplenty. You will also get the opportunity to meet the locals with traditional music on offer and stories of old Ireland to be told you will be entertained until the small hours.

 

temple

 

This list is designed to give you something to see in each corner of Ireland, it is not inclusive of everything that is beautiful and welcoming of this unique country. 

Check out more benefits of traveling to Ireland in my other post. And if you are into culture and history at all, have a look at the best museums in Ireland, too.

Have you visited Ireland before? Do you think we have left anything out that should be in the top 5 places to visit? Let me know in the comments below!