Category Archives: Travel Europe

Amsterdam’s Top Budget Hotels and Hostels

Amsterdam is a popular destination for a long weekend break and the city also has plenty of budget hotels and hostels available for you to avoid spending a fortune on your accommodation. There are plenty of options in different locations, such as the red light district or being in the quieter uptown area. Here is a guide to some of the best budget hotels and hostels in the city.

Amsterdam’s Top Budget Hotels and HostelsAmsterdam’s Top Budget Hotels and Hostels (image from telegraph.co.uk)

Flying Pig Uptown Hostel

Located just off from the Vondelpark and the museum district, the brother hostel of the Flying Pig Downtown is slightly less hectic. Recently refurbished in 2010, the Flying Pig Uptown Hostel still gives you the party atmosphere but also gives you the opportunity to relax and detox in the nearby Vondelpark.

The bar is always full at the hostel, as is the kitchen with groups of guests making friends over the stoves. September is a particularly good time to fly out to Amsterdam, in terms of cost, and flight comparison sites now often have dedicated pages for Amsterdam like http://www.cheapflights.co.uk/flights/amsterdam/.Thehostel also has a strictly under 35’s guest policy meaning it’s even more of an excellent and vibrant place to end your summer on the cheap!

Backstage Hotel

This hotels name gives away the fact that the owners are big on their music and the decor inside only highlights this fact. Various musical instruments such as guitars line the walls along with other memorabilia such as t shirts and pictures. The theme is largely inspired by the location as the hotel is situated close by to the music venues of Melkweg and Paradiso, the theatre district and numerous blues bars.

The hotel also has a room where guests can indulge in some four player guitar hero gaming, while the mirrors in the rooms and bathrooms have light bulbs around them to give you that dressing room vibe.

Chic&Basic

If you are looking for budget hotels and hostels around central station then you will probably end up finding somewhere that is unclean and uncomfortable. A short five minute walk from the station however, and you will find Chic&Basic which is both clean and, as the name suggests, basic.

Although there is an Ikea feel to the furnishings in the rooms, the hotel is a solid, value for money option with great bonuses such as being clean, a great location and free internet terminals.

Stayokay Hostel

If you haven’t been to Amsterdam before or you are heading back again, then you will eventually find yourself heading over to the Vondelpark for some relaxing, picnicking, drinking, cycling or skating. The Stayokay Hostel was once a school house but is now a hostel that is practically inside the hipster’s park with many of the rooms looking over the grass.

As budget accommodation goes, the rooms here are modern and refined with plenty of uniformed staff ready and willing to look after the many guests the hostel can house. Even though it is a popular choice and sees many people come and go through its doors, the hostel is extremely clean making it a great option.

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Unusual Attractions in Paris

The capital of France, Paris, is well known around the world for being a city of romance and passion. Most of the people visiting the city have an idea of some of the attractions that they want to see, for example the Louvre and the Eiffel Tower. While these are great sights to visit while on holiday to Paris, the city offers some unusual attractions that are off the beaten path and are not generally considered common tourist attractions.

If you are looking for something slightly different on your trip, here is a list of some of the great and different attractions Paris has to offer.

Paris Catacombs
Located under the streets of Paris, the Catacombs are one of the more popular attractions on the list attracting thousands of visitors a year. Steeped in history, the catacombs were built during the 18th century when the population of the city began to rise dramatically and the cemeteries were beginning to get full. Descending the steps into this macabre attraction allows visitors to see the bones of about seven million Parisians that are arranged in displays along the tunnels and crypts.

Paris Sewers Museum
Another attraction that is found underneath the city, the Paris Sewer Museum may not sound too appealing but is actually a great day out. The focus of the museum is the sewers and tells the history and development of the sewer system as it changed throughout time to deal with the growing number of people living in the Paris.

Paris Sewers MuseumParis Sewers Museum (image from museumchick.com)

The main features of the museum highlight the different techniques used in sewer management in the past and proposed techniques for the future, while you will also walk along some of the sewer canals. Make sure you do not eat before you head into the sewers as the smell can be quite overwhelming.

Notre Dame Archaeological Crypt
Everyone who is visiting Paris is well aware of the Notre Dame Cathedral with its stunning architecture, but a lesser known part of the cathedral is the Archaeological Crypts. Located beneath the cathedral, the crypts were created to protect old ruins that were found during excavations during the 60’s.

Getting to the crypt, you will need to descend a set of staircases close to the police headquarters and once you get inside, you will be presented with artefacts that date from ancient times all the way to the modern day. Check out Auto Europe for the best deals on car rentals in France.

Musee Dupuytren
The Musee Dupuytren exhibits some chilling waxworks showing oozing bodies and the result of various illnesses right down to the last detail. This collection was made during the 1800’s and subsequently almost lost due to a lack of funds but fortunately most of the collection was saved. These days you can wander past jars of brains and look at various wax models afflicted with different diseases such as tumors.

The museum is only open on weekdays except university holidays so be sure to check ahead before you set off otherwise you may arrive to the disappointment of it being closed.

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Rome’s Best Gelatos

Rome, a city for lovers of all ages, is also a city which beckons you and leaves you with memories for a lifetime. There is so much to see and do here, that no matter how old you are, you will love to just wander through the interesting streets, the monuments which stand as testimony to an amazing history, and the people who love to laugh and be joyous at all times. However, if you are young at heart, Rome is the right place to be.

Rome is renowned for its great food; after all, Italians have made pizza one of the most loved food choices in the world. There is a great restaurant in every street corner; there are cafes which are meeting points for friend and family. Above all, there are the fabulous and utterly yummy gelaterie which serve you Gelatos made with fresh fruits and flavors. But, do remember that Rome is full of places that serve gelatos, and you really and truly cannot go back without tasting a couple of them.

You may have seen the recent story in the news about a family of four being charged £54 for four ice-creams, it’s not uncommon to see these sky high prices so you have to be a little cautions when choosing where to sample the best Gelatos in Rome. In order to make life easier for you, here is a selection of some of the best gelato places around. The choices are always personal, but then food is always about personal preferences.

Gelateria I Caruso

Opened only a short while ago, this place specializes in true artisanal gelatos – made with natural ingredients in front of you. Their panna – or whipped cream is freshly made and even if you are on a diet, indulge yourself today. Try their renowned fondante – a creamy dark chocolate – a flavor to die for!

San Crispino

Close to Trevi Fountain, the gelatos here are soft and creamy. They take their work very seriously and they serve their gelatos without any other concoctions. They will not serve them in cones, since they feel that the cones take away from the true flavors. The lines are long, but the wait is worth it.

Ciampini

Ciampini offers you the added advantage of a great view, along with some excellent gelato. Located on the lovely Piazza San Lorenzo, for a small extra charge, you can sit outside and watch the world go by while having your castagna, a chestnut flavoured gelato with lovely bits of chestnut in it.

Il Gelato Di Claudio Torce

If you are looking for innovative flavors go to this gelaterie run by Claudio Torce, who most Romans believe is the master gelato maker. Go ahead; try out the various flavors, ranging from ricotta with coconut and chocolate chips, to chilli-flavoured chocolate. There are over 100 flavours; step out of your familiar world and try some new ones here.

Choose gelateries which have signs displayed from GamberoRosso – Italy’s most famous food guide – or the ones which are frequented by local residents. After all, they are the most discerning customers.

There are so many cheap flights to Rome available and you can find some really good accommodation options too; why not take advantage of this them and spend the money you have saved on some of the world’s finest foods.

Author Bio: David Bell is a freelance writer and blogs about travel, interior design, online marketing, telecoms and small business solutions. Follow him on Twitter @DavidBellWriter

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Heathrow Terminal 5

London, England in the United Kingdom is one of the world’s most visited cities – immersed in history and antiquities that are ready to blow one’s mind away. You travel this royal, historic city and you can walk the same streets like kings, queens, princes and princesses, dukes and duchess that you have only once studied in history class back in the days, read about on papers and seen on TV. Heathrow terminal 5 is the biggest terminal and is home to British Airways. The terminal offers direct flights to multiple destinations including the also popular vacation destinations like New York, Milan, Madrin, Dubai, Dublin, New Delhi and Tokyo. Being new in a country with such a huge airport and not sure which way to go around you would probably need an airport terminal assistance and in London’s case there’s Heathrow Terminal 5 parking. Heathrow Parking’s goal is to provide parking details at Heathrow airport – London and the UK’s primary airport hub.

Heathrow Terminal 5Heathrow Terminal 5

There’s nothing like traveling with ease. It would be so much fun and easier if you have everything in place ahead of time even the smallest detail of your itinerary. Luckily there’s thousands of travel information out there that you can look up to for free that will help one simplify their travel planning process. And again for London travelers, Heathrow Parking doesn’t only takes care your airport parking needs but also provide hotel park assistance. You can check out their fly packages at Heathrow Airport by checking out their website: http://www.heathrowparking.com/.

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World’s Happiest Countries

Being happy, for me and as of this very moment, is simply to travel to places I never been to. And since I am feeling blue today, I tried looking for the World’s Happiest Countries where I can spend some time with family and friends — experiencing all the things that could make us happy. Here’s what I found from Travel.Yahoo.com earlier today, The World’s Happiest Countries.

1. Norway
2. Denmark
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. New Zealand
6. Canada
7. Finland
8. The Netherlands
9. Switzerland
10. Ireland

Some of the things I want to do on these countries above that could make me happy are to shop, to eat, to relax, road trips, having with me and my travel-mates the ultrasone headphones at musicians friend which is very good for road-tripping, and of course, to party all night. Isn’t that great experience? It is!

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