Barcelona 12 MINS READ

The Best Things to do in Barcelona with Kids

The Best Things to do in Barcelona with Kids

Barcelona 12 MINS READ

Barcelona, one of the few European metropolises that have beaches within walking distance from the very center with historic sights and plenty of old-age culture and arts scene to be around, is a great destination if you are planning your European family holiday with kids.

This child-friendly country has its perks for the whole family — the history geeks can visit these legendary Barcelona attractions to step off the beaten tourist track, or follow the legendary icons touring Barcelona’s streets as it was in the age of Picasso and Hemingway. Sun worshippers seeking relaxation can get straight to 2.7 miles of Barcelona city beaches including Barceloneta, Mar Bella, Nova Icaria, and Bogatell, naming the most popular. Culture enthusiasts can explore the Iberian traditions, but popular Game of Thrones fans can tour the country discovering popular shooting scenes. There is a sound reason why Barcelona is topping our list as one of the best family destination spots for holiday in Europe.

Staying with kids in Barcelona is a completely different experience from going on family holidays to Florida, offering more diverse kid-friendly experiences. While you can go sunbathing to the beach, go on a day trip to a national park, or visit science and zoo parks around the city, the Spanish approach to family activities is slightly different, as Spanish tend not to separate kids from grown-ups. Traveling to Barcelona with kids will result in unforgettable memories — you will remember the vanilla aroma of churros, your kids running around the chocolate museum, and the sun kissing your skin during a family bike tour in Barcelona.

Essential Tips for a Family Vacation with Kids in Barcelona

  • many pop-up stores and market food stalls do not accept credit cards, so better carry around some cash with you at all times
  • kids are welcome everywhere at all hours, as babysitters are very rare — you can often see toddlers in restaurants at 10pm
  • you can choose either staying in Barcelona hotels or vacation rentals or a government-run paradors — upscale accommodations in historic buildings, such as monasteries and castles
  • as children’s menus are rare, tapas can make a meal for kids — it is totally fine to bring in kids into tapas bars
  • note that children under 4 years old can travel free by rail with reservation; kids of 4 to 12 years old pay 60 percent of adult fare
  • many restaurants lack high chairs, so get the stroller next to the table

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Best Things to Do and See in Barcelona with Kids

Parc de la Ciutadella

Tripping Barcelona with family does not mean you have to let go of some of the most notorious Barcelona spots — interesting and children friendly Barcelona must-sees include Parc de la Ciutadella. Created in the 19th century, the park was the city’s only green space. The grounds include the city’s zoo, a small lake, museums, and the Parliament of Catalonia.

As in all of Barcelona’s gardens and city parks, kids can play and run, but there are plenty of things to do in Barcelona with kids in Parc de la Ciutadella. It is the cultural oasis of the Barcelona city center. A useful tip: get a football ball in the store and take it with you, and soon your kids will get into the game with locals. Barcelona kids pop giant bubbles here created by the clowns, and there is a small play area for children to climb and swing. In the nearby lake, you can take a boat or simply watch the geese drifting around.

See the Castell

Catalan tradition that goes back at least 200 years is a must-see for anyone visiting Barcelona. The Castellers of Barcelona set up free shows on the street — just follow their news channels and get to see the mind-blowing human tower built traditionally at festivals in Catalonia, where several teams (colles castelleres) attempt to build and dismantle the tower’s structure. In 2010, castells were declared as UNESCO Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity, and you do not even have to buy tickets to see this wonder!

The assembly is complete when all castellers have climbed in their places, and the enxaneta climbs at the top, raising one open hand and after climbing down at the other side of the castle. The motto of the Castellers is “Força, equilibri, valor i seny” (Strength, balance, courage, and common sense), valuable teaching to any child.

Visit La Boqueria Market

The most famous market in Barcelona worldwide, La Boqueria Market, is located just in the middle of Barcelona, La Rambla, originating in the 1200s, with the first documents confirming the presence of meat stalls on Pla de la Boqueria. This public market in downtown La Rambla, also named Mercat de Sant Josep de la Boqueria, has both prepared or fresh food vendors, as well as casual places to eat. Note that while Barcelona families and locals generally usually find La Rambla quite touristy and prefer shopping at quieter markets, many of Barcelona’s best restaurants shop for produce here — so take your chances to get your hands on some of the freshest produce on your own if you are staying in Barcelona hotel or vacation home with a kitchen.

The streets around the Gothic Quarter of Barcelona are mostly cobblestone, so if you are in Barcelona with kids of a very young age, taking a stroller with you will not be smooth, yet not too bad, either. Any time from 11 am to 2 pm or 5 pm to 10 pm is a good time to go; otherwise, most shops even in La Rambla close between 2 pm to 5 pm for a siesta.

Also, when visiting the market with family in Barcelona, kids will love the place as it is a candy galore. Gummies, truffles, and all kinds of dried fruit are available on every corner and food stall, as well as popsicles of all colors for kids and adults to indulge. You can also join one of the best food tours around Barcelona, or explore the market on a free virtual self-guided food tour of Barcelona here.

Go to La Sagrada Familia

While during your visit to Barcelona with kids you may not think of Gaudi’s modernist Art Noveau architecture (read more about European Art Noveau mecca in Riga, Latvia) and church buildings, most notably La Sagrada Familia, one of the most beautiful sacred buildings in the world, as interest worthy to kids, there is so many kid-friendly things to do. Kids will love exploring the 18 towers, spotting trees and turtles in the interior and learning about how computers helped to speed up the construction, and drive up the elevator to see the magnificent views of the city. You can also get some chills on your spine looking at one of the facades with a collection of faces sculpted from the death masks of builders of Sagrada Familia (kind of scary!)

Thrilling, you may say? After all, it was originally a school for children called Sagrada Familia Schools building, so we encourage you to take your kids with you when visiting this splendid basilica. A tip before you go: you can get skip the line tickets online without paying the extra fee here, or visit the La Sagrada Familia on a virtual tour.

Tibidabo Amusement Park

Located on Tibidabo in the Collserola Ridge in Barcelona and opened by the beginning of the 20th century, this amusement park is one of the best and oldest functioning theme parks in the world. Topping the list as the third oldest in Europe and the very oldest in Spain, it can surely compete with the Disneyland theme park in Madrid for the best family-friendly adventure.

You may doubt the century-old attractions, but kids love the single-car carousel of 1928 as they did almost a hundred years ago. Giving an impression of flight (just imagine the views of the city!), the Avió airplane ride carousel in Tibidabo Amusement Park replicates the first aircraft that flew from Barcelona to Madrid. To give you a tip before you go — watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona by Woody Allen (and make a mental note of The Bar Marsella that you can also add to your Barcelona bucket list.)

Hop-Off Bus

Although risking your family holiday in Barcelona with kids to become overly mainstream and touristic, the hop-on-hop-off city sightseeing tour can make navigating your way through Barcelona’s many sights much easier. It is especially fun for little ones to see city streets from the top of the hop-off bus, which would otherwise be impossible if you buy tickets to get around Barcelona via public transport, such as metro, tram or bus. Before you buy tickets for the city sightseeing bus, consult the Barcelona bus and metro ticket prices on the official Barcelona Metropolitan Transports website.

Beware, though, that Barcelona is an extremely walkable city with wide boulevards, and many of the tourist attractions in the Old Barcelona are not attainable by the hop-off bus. Thus, if your kids are old enough not to get tired too soon, it is recommended to enjoy this Catalonian capital on foot.

Regarding things to do in Barcelona with kids that are the age of teenagers, your whole family in Barcelona can rent bikes. In recent years, Barcelona has emerged not only as one of the best family-friendly but also a bike-friendly city with an incredible increase in bike facilities and is a safe environment for bikers to enjoy the fresh air and sun alike. So take your kids and go on a family bike ride!

Park Guell

If you wonder what to do in Barcelona with kids, Park Guell is an engaging experience for the whole family. Usually topping the list of things to do in Barcelona with kids (or without), it is a great place to visit. Originally designed as a park to house Barcelona’s elite, it failed as a housing development, as upscale Barcelona residents did not want to move out of central Barcelona. With a free entrance for 6-year-old kids and younger, Park Guell is beautiful and super kid-friendly. Kids love the colorful mosaics, so another tip: to get close to them, be an early bird, and come right when it opens at 8:30am. But as it became widely popular as a park, it is better to make sure you get in at all. You can buy tickets for the whole family in advance on the official Park Guell website, print it off (or download it on your phone), and get on a free shuttle bus that leaves from Alfonso X Station.

Chocolate Museum

A family holiday would not be complete without paying a visit to one of the best food museums in Barcelona both kids and adults love. The museum designed for this 2000-year-old treat is extremely child friendly and engaging. Thanks to an interactive approach, it is a great place to understand how chocolate is made, and little ones can take part in a whole range of activities. Toddlers are offered to paint with chocolate, older children are exploring the museum with the cocoa Spark, a tour guide/elf from Madagascar who takes them into the magical world of chocolate, while the whole family can make lollipops of white, milk, or dark chocolate. The chocolate museum also offers food tours, such as chocolate tasting.

Gothic Quarter

For ones who love to take a view of the city from up close, and seek to explore the Spanish culture scene (read tips for Spanish culture here), the Gothic Quarter holds more value than just your average center of the city with great restaurants, beautiful architecture, and shopping options.

The main sights in the Gothic Quarter are the cathedral and Placa Reial. Although La Seu Cathedral, a beautiful example of gothic architecture, is one of the best things to see in Barcelona for ones exploring the architecture and history, the Placa Reial square with many open-air cafes selling ice cream in the day (or you can get gelato at the nearby Dino’s) and welcoming tourists until late at night. On summer nights, many concerts are held there, so expect to listen to melancholic Spanish guitar and stimulating Catalan Rumba.

Families do not have to leave one member at home, thanks to the fact that the Spanish are generally comfortable with young kids joining parents in restaurants at late hours.

Montjuïc Park with Cable Cars

Barcelona city is known for its hills, but, hey, not only you will be fitter after a week in Barcelona — you can also enjoy some great views of the city while visiting Barcelona with family. Even though it is not a resident-preferred way of getting around the city (and up the hills), the cable car is always a great option for those who arrive in Barcelona for a family holiday.

Kids will love the cable car ride — during these seven minutes, you can view Barcelona’s great monuments as Sagrada Familia and the Torre Agbar from above.

Pro tip: if you wish to go for an especially romantic cable car rise, sunrise and sunset golden hours are just perfect. The cable car operates 365 days a year from 6.30 am until just after midnight, so make sure your ride is well-timed.

Montjuic Park is a must-visit if your family with children stay in Barcelona for more than 3 days. Translating as “Jewish Mountain” thanks to a medieval Jewish cemetery that once stood there, the Montjuic Castle with park, botanical garden, and several museums can be now found here.

Street Performers and Human Statues

You and children can skip the line to theaters and concerts and enjoy the street culture in Spain, as there is so much to it! Street dancers, musicians, and human statues can be spotted frequently, and children love it! o need to buy tickets — just walk the streets and soak up the free-spirited vibes. One mythological demoness on one corner, a levitating Satan on another one, and the Grim Reaper on the next street — the iconic boulevard of Las Ramblas is amazing for absorbing as much open-air culture and street art as one possibly can.

And thanks to so many families with children, couples, and solo tourists visiting Barcelona, and locals valuing both performance and decorative arts, you can also spot the huge circular street mosaic on Las Ramblas, created by the famous Spanish artist Joan Miró in 1967.

Panoramic Views

A family holiday with kids in Barcelona is far from perfect if one does not go to see the city from atop. We already wrote about great views of Barcelona from elevators at La Sagrada Familia, from the cable cars and hop-off busses taking you around the city, but little ones will enjoy running around 360º view f the mountains, the sea, and the city surrounding the tower of Barceló Raval Hotel in La Rambla. You can also take your family to Las Arenas Commercial Center, or take some time out of the buzzing city getting away from the crowds to hike to the Bunkers del Caramel.

Barcelona Beaches

It is always a question of where to stay in Barcelona during a family holiday- near the beach or in the very center of the city.

One of the best family options for those families with toddlers might be renting an apartment in the city center, but Barcelona is can get expensive very fast, so if you are comfortable with carrying or strolling with kids around when the small ones get tired, renting a larger place outside the very Barcelona city center might be a good option, as Spain’s transport infrastructure is well-suited for daily routing form nearby cities to Barcelona.

Wherever you decide to stay, the most popular Barcelona city family-friendly beaches are Barceloneta (free beach the closest to the city), Sant Sebastia, and, although requiring a longer half-hour drive by train, Ocata Beach, where you and kids can feel much like in a private beach away from crowds.

Barcelona Kid Family Walking Tour

If you’re not content with the free self-guided walking tour of Barcelona, some of the best things to do is to take one of the tours offered by tour guides in Barcelona for kids. To make sure that walking tour content is truly family-friendly, it’s better to contact the walking tour guides before. 

However, thanks to more and more people traveling to Barcelona with children, family tours become increasingly popular. If you want to travel on a budget, however, we advise you to plan your family holiday with walking tours around Barcelona yourself, downloading all the necessary information (interactive Barcelona tourist map and metro map here) on the official Barcelona tourism website.

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Destination Deep-Dive 16 MINS READ

A Complete Guide To The UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Portugal

A Complete Guide To The UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Portugal

Destination Deep-Dive 16 MINS READ

Believe it or not, Portugal is more than a welcoming retreat for foodies and wine lovers. With a rich history that started around 400,000 years ago, the country is adorned with monuments and landmarks, and it’s home to 17 alluring UNESCO World Heritage Sites, from North to South.

Between one pastel de nata and another, why not take some time to visit the wide collection of landmarks that immortalize the history of the country? Portugal happens to be one of the top destinations in Europe for a culture-filled trip, so you’ll have plenty to see during your vacation.

We probably left you itching to uncover Portugal’s scenic — and utterly Instagrammable — landmarks. So, say no more. To help you plan, here’s the complete list of the 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portugal. All of them are worth visiting and guaranteed to take you on a journey throughout the centuries. Spoiler alert: the Alto Douro Wine Region is included!

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Portugal

Aerial view of the Douro wine region, in Portugal

The UNESCO World Heritage currently lists 1,092 sites in 167 countries around the world. In Portugal, there are 17 World Heritage Sites in total and, of those 16 are cultural sites, and 1 is a natural site (the Alto Douro Wine Region).

The newest additions to the UNESCO sites in Portugal are The Royal Convent, in Mafra, the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus, in Braga, and the Machado de Castro National Museum, in Coimbra, which became World Heritage Sites in 2019. This was considered a reason for “great joy for all Portuguese”, said Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, president of Portugal, as reported by Portugal News.

UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Portugal: The Complete List

Central Zone of the Town of Angra do Heroísmo, Azores Archipelago (1983)

Angra do Heroismo is a city located on Terceira Island — one of the 9 Azores islands— and, thanks to its significant maritime function, it was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983. Occupying a strategic positioning in the Atlantic Ocean, Angra was an obligatory port of call from the 15th century until the 19th century, aside from being the most important city in the archipelago. The city also happened to be the capital of Portugal during the Liberal Wars (1828 to 1834), and the seat of the Bishop of the Azores.

The historic center of Angra is definitely one of the most fascinating parts of the city, as it was able to maintain its authentic Renaissance urban design, and its 15th and 16th-century road network, even after the 1980 earthquake. Angra also boasts a showcase of Baroque-style religious buildings, including the cathedral of Santíssimo Salvador da Sé, the churches of the Misericórdia and Espírito Santo, and the convents of the Franciscans and the Jesuits.

Other must-see constructions in the historic center of Angra do Heroísmo are the 400-year-old San Sebastião and San João Baptista fortifications, which are unique examples of military architecture.

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Convent of Christ, Tomar (1983)

Aerial drone view of Convent of Christ in Tomar at sunrise, Portugal

Located in the city of Tomar, in Portugal’s central region, the Convent of Christ is part of one of the largest Portuguese monument complexes, whose buildings and rural domains spread within roughly 45 acres. The convent is encompassed by the Castle of Tomar, which was founded by the Templar Knights in 1160, alongside with the Tomar village, on a site that was formerly used for Roman worship.

We recommend visiting the convent at length in order to uncover its unique details. Built over the span of five centuries, and sitting at the top of a hill, the Convent of Christ displays a range of architectural styles, from Byzantine-Romanic and Italian Renaissance, to Gothic and Manueline. The centerpiece — and one of the most fascinating sections of the convent— is the 12th-century Charola (Rotunda), which was the Knight´s private oratorium within the fortress. During your visit, also make sure to explore the Chapter House, whose ornamented windows are one of the finest samples of the Manueline style.

While the Convent of Christ is the main feature of Tomar, also take some time to wander around this quaint little city. Placed on the banks of Nabão River, Tomar is home to a medieval urban area with cobblestoned streets, aside from well-preserved constructions that immortalize Portugal’s history.

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Monastery of Batalha, Batalha (1983)

The monastery of Batalha with gothic towers, in Portugal

Welcome to one of the finest samples of Gothic architecture in Europe. Monastery of Santa Maria da Vitória, or Monastery of Batalha, was built in fulfillment of a vow by King João to celebrate the victory of the Portuguese over the Castilians at the battle of Aljubarrota, in 1385.

Located in the city of Batalha, in central Portugal, the Monastery of Batalha is a sight to be seen by architecture and art lovers. This Dominican monastery designed by the English architect Master Huguet boasts a profusion of sculptures, which represent the 12 apostles, numerous Saints, prophets, angels, and biblical figures.

The monastery was built between 1388 and 1433 and finally completed during the reign of King Duarte I. Its interior, which is 80 meters long and 32.5 meters high, is dotted with rose stained-glass windows, and it’s home to a Royal Cloister. This, by the way, happens to be one of the most important features of the monument, as it harbors the medieval tomb of Dom João I and his wife, Queen Philippa of Lancaster.

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Monastery of the Hieronymites and Tower of Belém, Lisbon (1983)

Aerial photo of the Belém Tower, in Lisbon, at sunset.

The Jerónimos Monastery (Monastery of the Hieronymites) and the Tower of Belém are two historical gems placed in the very city of Lisbon. Commissioned by King D. Manuel I and gifted to the monks of Saint Hieronymus so they would pray for the king, the monastery is linked to the Age of Discoveries, as it was also built to perpetuate the memory of Prince Henry the Navigator. The monastery preserves a breathtaking and ornamented structure, typical of Manueline art, and it’s home to a two-story cloister built in the 16th-century.

Within a walking distance from the monastery and overlooking the Tagus River sits the Tower of Belém, one of the most prominent examples of Portuguese power during the Age of Discoveries. Erected between 1514 and 1520, this Manueline-style tower was designed by architect and sculptor Francisco de Arruda, and was strategically positioned to defend the city against attackers.

A quick tip: the perfect way to end your tour is by going to Pasteis de Belém, a traditional bakery cafe that has been making the famous Belém custard tarts since 1837.

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Historic Center of Évora (1986)

The Roman Temple of Évora, also referred to as the Templo de Diana.

In the heart of the south-central Alentejo lies Évora. The city boasts a rich history that dates back to the Roman domination when it was an important town praised for its abundance of wheat and silver. In fact, until the present day, there are remnants of the Roman occupation in Évora, including the Temple of Diana, which is believed to have been built around the first century A.D.

Over the centuries, Évora was also ruled by the Moors, the Visigoths, and played an important position in the Portuguese reign during the Middle Ages, serving as the home of King João III.

The city center is compact and easy to explore on foot. You can start on Praça do Giraldo, an ancient market during the Moorish period and now the city’s main square, and head to the Roman Temple of Diana. Then, visit the Évora Museum, and the Sé de Évora, which is the biggest cathedral in Portugal. If you have time, go to the Chaple of Bones, located next to the entrance of the Church of St.Francis. The chapel, which is one of the best-known monuments in Évora, was built by Franciscan monks in the late 16th century, and it’s entirely conveyed by bones and skulls.

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Monastery of Alcobaça (1989)

Aerial view of Alcobaça Monastery, in Portugal

The Monastery of Alcobaça was founded in the 12th-century by King Afonso I as a gift to a Cistercian monk, Bernard of Clairvaux (Saint Bernard), after Portugal’s conquest of Santarém from the Moors, in 1152. Set in a rich and fertile land, the monastery was actually built only 25 years later, in 1178, and its layout was designed to evoke the abbey of Claraval, the Cisternian’s Order’s mother church in France.

Within the monastery, sits a stunning church that is considered the largest Gothic religious structure in Portugal. Its interior, which is more than 20 meters high, is crossed by an imponent central nave, and it features a transept that houses the twin tombs of King Pedro and Inês de Castro. The Monastery of Alcobaça also plays host to 13th and 14th centuries Chapter House, a Refectory, Monk’s Rooms and Dormitory, and the Cloister of Silence, commissioned by King Dinis in 1382, and the largest medieval cloister in Portugal.

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Cultural Landscape of Sintra (1995)

National Palace of Pena in Sintra,  Portugal.

Sintra might be a famous day-trip destination for those who visit Lisbon, but this quaint little village has enough sights to keep travelers busy for an entire week.

With immense natural beauty, this picturesque village is covered in both Mediterranean and northern European flora and encompasses the Sintra-Cascais Nature Park and the 10-kilometers long Sintra Mountains, which has been linked to prehistoric astral cults. This lush vegetation perfectly frames Sintra’s cultural sites, including the National Palace of Pena, the city’s most prominent feature. Placed at the top of a hill, in the Sintra Mountains, this colorful palace is believed to have been built on the site of the Moorish alcazar of Sintra, and it displays the largest collection of Hispanic-Moorish tiles in Europe.

In the 15th-century, Sintra became a famed summer retreat for the affluent people in Portugal, and later on, during the 19th-century, Sintra became the first center of European Romantic architecture. Dating from this period are the Pena Palace, the Monserrate Palace, and Quinta da Regaleira, among others.

When exploring this picturesque cultural landscape of Sintra, don’t forget to stop by Casa Piriquita. Founded more than 150 years ago, the bake is particularly famous for protruding the famous “travesseiros de Sintra” (en: Sintra’s Pillows), a dessert made of puff pastry with a filling of almond cream.

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Historic Centre of Oporto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar (1996)

Aerial view of the Luís I Bridge, the Douro River, and the centre of Oporto.

Overlooking the Douro River, the Historic Centre of Oporto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, along with the postcard-worthy Luiz I Bridge and the Monastery of Serra do Pilar. Porto is certainly one of the most charming destinations in Portugal, and its city center is one of the oldest in Europe, with a 2,000-year history.

The city features a slew of well preserved architectural gems, which you can perfectly uncover while exploring the city on foot. During your errands, you’ll certainly come across stunning buildings erected over the past centuries. Make sure to visit the Romanesque-style Porto Cathedral —the city’s oldest surviving structure —, the Monument Church Of St Francis, the most important Gothic monument in Porto, and the Baroque-style Clérigos Tower.

Aside from historic religious buildings, the city also features three bridges, the most prominent being the Luiz I Bridge that spans the Douro River and connects Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. When it was completed, in 18886, the bridge had the longest span of any metal bridge in the world.

To experience the best Porto has to offer, cross the Luiz I Bridge —just make sure to quickly stop on the bridge and check out the best view of the city — and go to Vila Nova de Gaia. Filled with world-class wine cellars, the city is also home to the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, the architectural landmark of Gaia. The former monastery was built between 1538 and 1670 and includes a church featuring carved gold leaf altars with Solomonic columns. Bonus? The monastery also has a viewpoint that offers one of the best panoramic views of the Douro and the center of Porto.

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Prehistoric Rock Art Sites in the Côa Valley and Siega Verde (1998,2010)

The Côa River at Vila Nova de Foz Côa, Portugal.

Located in northeastern Portugal, near the border with Spain, the Côa Valley Archaeological Park (PAVC) comprises, along with the Siega Verde Archaeological Park, in Spain, hundreds of prehistorical panels. Both the Côa Valley Park and the Siega Verde are placed on the banks of the rivers Agueda and Côa, which are tributaries of the Douro River, and display rock engravings that date from the Upper Paleolithic to the final Magdalenian/ Epipalaeolithic (22.000 – 8.000 BCE).

Managing a total area of 2 hundred square kilometers, the Côa Valley Park is an immense open air art gallery adorned not only with engravings from the Neolithic and the Chalcolithic but also from the Iron Age, as well as from the 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th centuries.

There are three centers that can be visited in the Côa Park: Canada do Inferno, close to Vila Nova de Foz Côa, which are the first group of engravings to be discovered; Ribeira de Piscos, at Muxagata, and Penascosa, close to the village of Castelo Melhor.

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Laurissilva of Madeira (1999)

View of the island of Madeira Island's eternal spring, laurel forests and levades.

The Laurisilva of Madeira is a green sanctuary located within the Madeira Natural Park. Covering 20% of the Island of Madeira, this is the largest surviving laurel forest in the world, and it houses a unique ensemble of native plants and animals, including endemic species that are only found within the forest.

Found in areas with high humidity and relatively stable, mild temperatures, the laurel forest is a type of subtropical forest that covered much of Southern Europe 15-40 million years ago. Due to the different glaciations in Europe, the “laurissilva” disappeared in a great part of Europe and, now, this lush forest is confined to the Azores, Canary Islands, and Madeira Island.

The Laurisilva of Madeira can be explored throughout a few trekking accessible areas and is a place of importance in Portugal thanks to its biological diversity. Aside from maintaining the hydrological balance on the island, and producing abundant sources of water used by the local people, the forest is home to about 760 plants. Of those, 149, including the Madeira Orchid, are edemic, which means that they grow only on the island.

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Historic Centre of Guimarães (2001)

Our Lady of Consolcation Chruch, Guimarães, Portugal

Placed in the district of Braga, Guimarães is a great day trip from Porto and the perfect pit-stop for those who are taking a road trip from the North to the South of Portugal. Founded in the 4th-century, Guimarães is often referred to as the”birthplace of Portugal” or “the cradle city”, as it was the feudal territory of the Portuguese Dukes who declared the independence of Portugal in the 12th century. The city was also the first capital of Portugal, and the Battle of São Mamede, which was the most important event for the foundation of Portugal, was fought near Guimarães.

Guimarães was elected European Capital of Culture in 2012, as it plays host to a sizzling cultural scene, with a profusion of buildings dating from the 10th, 13th, 14th,15th, and 19th centuries. Its compact historic center can be explored in one day, and worth-visiting monuments include the hilltop Guimarães Castle, which is believed to be the birthplace of Afonso Henriques, Portugal’s first king, and the Baroque-style Our Lady of Consolation Church.

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Alto Douro Wine Region (2001)

Portugal has many things to be proud of. It has 1,794 km of coastline dotted with idyllic beaches, amazing weather all year round, photogenic houses covered in ornamented tiles, and heartwarming food, just to name a few. But one of the country’s most praised staples is definitely the Port Wine. In fact, Portugal is home to the oldest viticultural legal region in the world, the Alto Douro Wine Region, which has been designated a World Heritage site in 2001.

Placed in the North of Portugal, the Alto Douro Wine Region has an ancient tradition of viticulture, and wine has been produced in the region for some 2,000 years. Since the 18th-century, the main product of the Douro Valley is the world-famous Port Wine, a fortified, rich, and smooth-on-the-palate wine that retains the natural sweetness of the grape.

The highly valuable cultural landscape of Alto Douro comprises terraced vineyards, wine-producing farm complexes, villages, slopes covered in schist walls, and deep valleys carved by the Douro River, which flows from central Spain to the city of Porto, in Portugal.

One of the best ways of exploring the great scenic beauty of the Alto Douro Wine Region is by taking the Port Wine Route. If you have time, opt for tracking the hillsides of Douro River’s course by car. Along the way, just make sure you stop at the local vineyards and wine cellars, where you’ll be able to learn about centuries-old wine tradition while sipping on some of the best wines in the world.

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The Landscape Of The Pico Island Vineyard Culture, Azores (2004)

Pico Island Vineyard, in Azores.

The Douro might be the most famous wine-growing area in Portugal, but the country harbors several other premium viniculture regions. The Pico Island Vineyard Culture, in the Azores archipelago, is one of them. There’s just one difference: in Pico Island, the vineyards are planted in black lava grounds.

Pico Island is the second-largest island of the Azores, and home to Mount Pico, a stratovolcano that is the highest mountain of Portugal, at 7,713 ft above sea level. Not by chance, the island is covered by extensive lava fields, which form the Landscape of the Pico Island Vineyard Culture, listed as a World Heritage by UNESCO in 2004. Spanning within 987 hectares of Pico Island, the picturesque Vineyard Culture is divided into small plots (called “Currais”), which are surrounded by stone walls, and separated from the other farms by larger walls, the “jeiros”.

Currently, in Pico Island, three noble indigenous varieties are grown: Arinto dos Açores, Verdelho, and Terrantez do Pico. These are white grape varieties are known for resulting in full-bodied and well-structured wines, with a complex aroma of spices.

One of the best places to go for a wine tasting on the Island is at the Cooperativa Vitivinícola da Ilha do Pico (CVIP), which offers a tour where you’ll have the opportunity not only to learn the history of the vineyards but also taste 6 nectars produced on the island Mountain.

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Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications (2012)

Built from the 17th to the 19th century, the Garrison Border Town of Elvas and its Fortifications is the largest bulwarked dry-ditch system in the world. This a World Heritage Site located in the region of Alentejo, near the Portuguese-Spanish border, and has seven components: the Historic Centre of Elvas, the Amoreira Aqueduct, the Fort of Santa Luzia, the Fort of Graça, and the Fortlets of São Mamede, São Pedro, and São Domingos. One of the most fascinating is definitely the Fort of Graça, which sits on the top of a rugged hill and it’s surrounded by a star-shaped defense system.

The fortifications, carefully designed by the Dutch Jesuit Cosmanded and adapted to the irregular topography of Elvas, are the second World Heritage Site in Alentejo. A great idea is to go on a road trip in the region and explore the fascinating cities in south-central and southern Portugal. After Elvas, head over to Évora and then to Reguengos de Monsaraz, which was elected European wine capital in 2015.

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University of Coimbra – Alta and Sofia (2013)

The courtyard of the University of Coimbra, Portugal

The riverfront city of Coimbra also deserves a place on top of the bucket list for those who are going to Portugal. Built on the banks of the Mondego River, Coimbra is the country’s former capital, and it’s particularly famous for housing the historic the University of Coimbra, the oldest in Portugal, listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site in 2013.

Founded in Lisbon by Dom Dinis, in 1290, the University of Coimbra was permanently transferred to Coimbra in 1537. The university was established in the Royal Palace of Alcáçova, on the hill above the town (Alta), overlooking the Mondego River. Over the centuries, it developed into a series of colleges, but it managed to preserve its stunning features, including the Baroque-style Joanina Library, which houses more than 53 thousand books from the 16th to the 18th centuries.

Fun fact: some say that the black cloak worn by the students of the Coimbra University inspired J.K. Rowling when creating the iconic dress code of Hogwarts.

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Royal Building of Mafra – Palace, Basilica, Convent, Cerco Garden and Hunting Park (2019)

After a full immersion in Lisbon, we recommend a day trip to Mafra, which is located only 40 minutes from the capital. The city is mostly known for the Royal Building of Mafra, which encompasses a Palace, a Basilica, a Convent, a Garden, and a Hunting Park (Tapada Nacional de Mafra). Designed by the German architect Johann Friedrich Ludwig, the Royal Building of Mafra was ordered by King John V in 1711, and it became not only a Baroque masterpiece but also a symbol of the king’s power.

One of the most notable features of the complex is the National Palace of Mafra, which was the summer residence of the royal family, and built thanks to the Brazilian gild that poured into the country. Covering an area of almost four hectares, the palace is the most important Baroque building in Portugal, and it’s home to 1.200 rooms, more than 4.700 doors and windows, 156 stairways, and 29 inner yards and courtyards. The largest and most prestigious room and the building is the National Library of Mafra, with wooden Rococo bookshelves that hold some 36,000 books dating from the 14th to the 19th centuries.

To gild the lily, pay a visit to the Basilica, which houses a set of six organs, altarpieces by the Italian artist Alessandro Giusti, and the most significant collection of baroque sculpture outside Italy.

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Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga (2019)

Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary located in Braga, Portugal

A sculptured stairway with 573 steps leads to the top of a hill, where the Bom Jesus do Monte Church sits. Developed over more than 600 years, the staircase and the church form the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte, in Braga, which is surrounded by a densely wooded verdant area.

The stairway is adorned with symbolic fountains, statues, and Borque-style decorative elements, which represent the Stations of the Cross, the Five Senses, the Virtues, Moses receiving the Commandments and, at the top, the biblical figures that contributed to the Condemnation of Jesus.

Whether you choose to take the stairs or reach the top by funicular, make sure you take in the view from the bottom of the Stairway, where you’ll have a jaw-dropping view of the granite fountains placed on the various landings. Once you get to the top, you’ll be rewarded with another breathtaking view: the scenic landscape of the city of Braga, in the north of Portugal.

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Croatia 7 MINS READ

The Best Things To Do In Sinj, Croatia

The Best Things To Do In Sinj, Croatia

Croatia 7 MINS READ

Family-friendly beaches on the Adriatic Coast and medieval cities dotted with Game of Thrones filming locations might be the first options for those who visit Croatia. But the country also has a showcase of offbeat places that appeal to the most inquisitive travelers. Sinj, for instance, is a small Croatian town with a rich cultural heritage. The city might not be the first option when it comes to a trip to Croatia, but it’s surely a worth visiting destination.

Located in the heart of the Dalmatian hinterland, within a 40-minute driving distance north from Split, Sinj is an agricultural center that lies between four scenic mountains: Svilaja, Dinara, Kamešnica, and Visoka. Sinj has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and aside from boasting a range of monuments, and historic buildings, Sinj plays host to the iconic Sinjska Alka, a traditional knight tournament that happens during the summer, and was inscribed on the UNESCO List of Intangible Heritage, in 2010.

There is no doubt whether travelers should visit Sinj or not — it’s a definite yes. The city is especially great for a day trip to Croatia, and there are a lot of tourist attractions and amazing activities in Sinj for a culture-filled trip. And if you get the chance to be in Sinj during the Sinjska Alka tournament, make sure to marvel at the majestic horses galloping the city street while passionate riders dressed in traditional costumes aim their lances at a hanging metal ring.

But, before you go, have a look at our travel guide to find out what are the top tourist attractions in Sinj, one of the most fascinating cities in Croatia!

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Planning A Trip To Sinj, Croatia

Sinj: A Small Town With A Rich History

The chapel above the town of Sinj, in Croatia

As you may guess by name (or, several of them), the history of Sinj spans over many time periods, and the city landscape provides tourists with diverse cultural experiences that reflect the rich heritage of the Sinj.

Sinj has been inhabited since the Stone Age, as the valley of Cetina river, cast between the mountains, and favored the region with a mix of continental and sub-Medditarean climates, which allowed for the locals to settle and flourish.

The Illyrian tribe, the first inhabitants of Sinj, had left a large footprint in the Croatian culture. For example, the famous peka food preparation style, cooking under the bell jar, it’s a heritage as ancient as 2250-1600 BC.

In the late Medieval period, Sinj outgrew the ancient fortress, which surrounded the city. In the 17th century, during the times of the Ottoman Empire, Sinj grew around the monastery and the church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj (Gospa Sinjska), which you can still visit today on the main square.

By the end of the century, Sinj was taken over by Venetians, and 100 years after Sinj town was annexed to Austria, where it remained for another century. In the 20th century, Sinj was under the rule of Yugoslavia, until independence, in the late 20th century.

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The Best Time To Visit Sinj, Croatia

Aerial view of Sinj surounded by the Dalmatian hinterland, in Croatia.

Sinj has a sub-Mediterranean climate, with hot and dry summer days, and very cold winters. So, for the ideal climate, visit the city between March and July. This is when the weather is warm and pleasant, which allows travelers to indulge in a range of outdoor activities and uncover the top attractions in Sinj. August is the hottest month, which can be overwhelming for some travelers. But bear in mind that the Sinjska Alka tournament happens during this month, so if you want to watch it, you’ll have to endure the warmer weather.

How To Get To Sinj, Croatia

Aerial view of Sinj in Dalmatia hinterland southern Croatia

Getting to Sink depends on the location you’re at. Arriving there from Split is quite quick and easy, and you can either take the bus, taxi or even go on a road trip and drive to the final destination. If you’re in Dubrovnik, which located by the Adriatic Sea, you can go by bus (the trip takes a bit more than 6 hours), or take the ferry to Split and then go to Sinj,

Top Activities in Sinj, Croatia

Watching The Sinjska Alka, in Sinj

Alkar on his decorated horse galloping, hitting the metal ring  with his spear during Sinjska Alka, tournament, in Sinj

This is, undoubtedly, one of the top activities in Sinj. The Sinjska Alka is an equestrian competition held in Sinj every first Sunday in August, since 1715. The tournament was established to celebrate the Croatian-Venetian victory over 60,000 Ottoman soldiers on August 1715.

Witnessed every year by thousands of spectators, the Alka gathers between 11 to 17 Alkar (the knights) that ride their horses at full speed towards the Alka, a ring that consists of two concentric iron circles joined by three bars. The goal? To target the inside circle of the ring with a 3-meter long pointy spare while riding the horse. The knights are awarded points according to which sector of the ring they are able to pierce: the central circle, which is the smallest one, is worth three points, the upper field two points, and the two lower fields one point each.

Sinjska Alka is spread over three days, and the grand celebration is held on Sunday, which is the last day of the event. The day starts with a beautiful traditional procession, which passes through thousands of spectators, including travelers, and the proud families of the knights.

Curious fact: only men born in Sink or one of the surrounding villages can compete in the tournament. They wear elaborate ornamented costumes that are identical to the ones worn by the knights in the 18th-century.

Exploring The Old Town of Sinj

Aerial view of small picturesque town of Sinj in Croatia.

Most of the top attractions in Sinj are located in the Old Town. So, if you dedicate some time to truly wander the streets and explore the historic city center, you’ll be able to uncover most of Sinj’s landmarks. With remnants of the old fortress that protected the city, “The Town”, as locals say, used to harbor people and the soldiers during the Turkish invasions.

While strolling around the center of Sinj, you’ll be able to spot the church of the Miraculous Lady of Sinj, which sits in the city’s main square. Considered one of the top tourist attractions in Sink, the church was built from 1699 to 1712, and it endured wars and earthquakes over the years, preserving its original appearance.

In the city center of Sinj, make sure to also go to the piazza fountain, which is locally known as “funtana” and was erected in 1852 by mayor Antonio Buglian.

Also in the very town center of Sinj, opposite the Church of the Miraculous Madonna of Sinj, there’s the Kamičak Fort, a star-shaped fort built in 1712 on top of a hill of the same name. The fort displays a layout that dates back to 1890 when the walls were built and the pine trees planted on the site.

After discovering the top attractions in Sinj, a great idea is to plan a day trip to a nearby destination. Check below what are the top cities that are located within a driving distance from Sinj for the perfect Croatian getaway.

Best Daytrips From Sinj

Orlova Staza, For Adventure Travelers

Are you ready to experience a bit of action during your vacation? After enjoying the top activities in Sinj, head over to Orlova Staza for the Eagle’ s trail near Sinj. The 44 km route is not quite flat, with an elevation of 969 meters. It is not boring, though – the mix of cross trail and road cycling will keep you awake. Starting with asphalt, continuing with picturesque gravel roads, and ending with oak forest, the route is demanding but provides travelers with excellent views of places such as Lake Peruča. You can also cycle until you reach the spring of the river Cetina.

The Klis Fortress, For Game of Thrones Fans

The Klis Fortress, located near Split, in Croatia.

Traveling with your kids and not sure if they’ll enjoy long hours on a bike? Then you can take them to a Game of Thrones filming location instead. And, surprisingly enough, we’re not talking about Dubrovnik, but actually the Klis Fortress. Located between Split and Sinj, this medieval fortress was built at an altitude of 360 meters to ensure the control of invasions. This magnificent fortress is featured in Game of Thrones season 4 when Daenerys Targaryen and her army go to Meereen to free the slaves.

You can get there from Sinj by taking a taxi (24 km) or renting a car. Alternatively, if you come from Split, take the bus No.22 from the National Theatre (buy the ticket in the kiosk). The trip is totally worth it, as it’s one of the best family-friendly tourist attractions around Sinj.

Krka National Park, For Nature Lovers

The Krka National Park, in Croatia

The best way of ending a tour around the top attractions in Sinj is by having an authentic travel experience in nature. So, if being immersed in natural beauty sounds appealing to you, make sure to include a visit to the Krka National Park in your itinerary. Located within one hour drive from Sinj, in southern Croatia, the park covers an area of over 142 square km and includes two-thirds of the Krka River. The main highlight of this pristine paradise is the Skradinski Buk, an area 400 m in length and 100 m in width which encompasses 17 waterfalls that range in height by over 45 meters. The National Park also harbors rich wildlife, with over 800 species of plants, over 200 bird species, and some 18 different species of bats.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

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A Guide To The Game Of Thrones Locations In Dubrovnik

A Guide To The Game Of Thrones Locations In Dubrovnik

Croatia 8 MINS READ

While the stunning lowlands, rugged coastline, and green hills of Northern Ireland were the main locations for filming the eight seasons of Game Of Thrones, other European destinations, including Spain, Malta, Scotland and Bulgaria provided the perfect medieval settings for the show’s fictional cities in Westeros. King’s Landing, capital of the Seven Kingdoms, was recreated in Dubrovnik, a charming city located in southern Croatia, right in front of the Adriatic Sea.

Known for its postcard-worthy Old Town dotted with well-preserved ancient constructions, Dubrovnik played host to more than 10 Game Of Thrones filming locations. So, when exploring the city, the show’s fans will immediately be transported to the fictional realm of King’s Landing, the stronghold of the Lannister family where the coveted Iron Thrones sits.

To help you make the most out of your Game of Thrones deep-dive in Dubrovnik, we’ve rounded up 10 filming locations that are worth visiting in the city. After checking Dubrovnik off your bucket list, you can also explore the Game Of Thrones filming locations in Spain.

And in case you’re still watching the show: this post might contain spoilers!

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

About Dubrovnik, Croatia

Overlooking the city of Dubrovnik, Croatia, with views of the Adriatic Sea, Fort Lovrijenac and the Old Town.

“If you want to see heaven on earth, come to Dubrovnik.” These were the words of Bernard Shaw, a prominent Irish playwright Bernard Shaw, after visiting Dubrovnik, in 1929. Located within a six-hour drive from Zagreb, the city is one of the most desired Mediterranean destinations, especially during the summer. With a rich historical background that dates back to the 7th century, Dubrovnik is filled with ancient buildings, including the Arboretum Trsteno, the oldest arboretum in the world, built around 1492. The city also boasts a showcase of Renaissance-style buildings that survived the earthquake of 1667, as well as Gothic, and Romanesque-style architectural gems.

Dubrovnik is also applauded for its Old Town, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1979. Placed in the heart of the city, the Old Town is a late-medieval area, home to a variety of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings — from churches to palaces —, and quaint narrow cobbled streets. The Old Town is encircled by Dubrovnik’s iconic stone walls, which run almost 2 km around the city, and were built from the 11th to the 17th century to protect the city.

Fun fact: adorned with historic jewels and offering sweeping views of the turquoise sea, Dubrovnik was nicknamed “Pearl of The Adriatic”.

What Is The Best Time To Visit Dubrovnik?

A yellow, blue, and pink sunset in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Dubrovnik has a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers and mild winters. In July and August, temperatures can reach 30°C, which is perfect for those who want to soak up the sun and uncover the city’s turquoise-water beaches. During this time of year, however, Dubrovnik gets crowded, as it’s high season. So, in case you want to visit the city during the off-peak season, we recommend September and October, which is when the summer is transitioning into mild autumn, offering pleasant temperatures, and less crowded attractions (even though there’s still a reasonable amount of tourists in the city).

Game Of Thrones Locations in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Fort Lovrijenac | The Red Keep

Fort Lovrijenac in Dubrovnik, Croatia
The Game of Thrones (film still)

Also known as St. Lawrence Fortress and “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar”, Fort Lovrijenac is a fortress placed on the western side of the Old Town, on top of a 37 meters-high cliff above sea level. Overlooking the turquoise waters of the Adriatic, Fort Lovrijenac has a triangular shape and three terraces.

Fort Lovrijenac was the location for the filming of Game Of Thrones in Dubrovnik. In the show, Fort Lovrijenac doubles as the Red Keep in King’s Landing, and one of the most well-known scenes shot in the fortress is the one where a tournament is held in honor of King Joffrey (season 2).

Curious fact: Fort Lovrijenac is also being a theater, where plays like Midsummer Nights Dream and Hamlet are presented.

Minčeta Tower | The House Of The Undying

View of the Minčeta Tower, in Dubrovnik, Croatia.
The Game of Thrones (film still)

In case you want to visit one of the Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, and enjoying the most sweeping views of the city, head over to the Minčeta Tower. Locally known as Tvrđava Minčeta, the tower is placed at the highest point of Dubrovnik’s defense system, and consists of a large round fortress with an enormous base. Originally built in 1319 as a four-sided fort, Minčeta Tower was named after the Menčetić family, who owned the ground where the tower was built upon.

Part of the Minčeta Tower can be seen in the last episode of Season 2 of Game Of Thrones. The base was used as the exterior of the House of Undying, an ancient stone ruin located in the fictional town of Qarth. In the episode, Daenerys Targaryen goes to the House of the Undying with Jorah Mormont and Kovarro to retrieve her stolen dragons.

The Rector’s Palace | Game of Thrones’ Qarth

Rector's Palace interiors in Dubrovnik, Croatia

Aside from King’s Landing, Dubrovnik was the filming location of Qart, which is another fictional city in Game Of Thrones. Located on the southern coast of Essos, Qart is ancient port city also referred to as the Queen of Cities.

One of the most prominent Dubrovnik buildings that is featured in Game Of Thrones is the Rector’s Palace, the residence of the Spice King, in Qarth. In season 2, Daenerys Targaryen visits the building to ask the king for ships where she could take her army across the Narrow sea.

Build in the 13th-century and rebuilt twice later, the Rectors Palace perfectly combines elements of the Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque style. Nowadays home to the Museum of Dubrovnik, which displays artifacts from Dubrovnik’s history, the Rector’s Palace features a Baroque staircase leading to a mezzanine gallery, a monument designed by Piero Paolo Giacometti, and an atrium space that hosts classical music concerts. If either you’re a Game of Thrones fan or not, the Rector’s Palace is totally worth the visit.

Lokrum Island | Party in Qarth

Old Town of Dubrovnik and Lokrum Island, in Croatia.

Do you know what the Minčeta Tower, Rector’s Palace and Lokrum Island all have in common? These three Game Of Thrones filming locations played host to scenes that take place in the fictional city of Qart.

Placed in the Adriatic Sea, 600 meters from Dubrovnik, Lokrum Island is a 72 hectares forested sanctuary inhabited by abundant flora and fauna, including families of peacocks that we brought to the island in the 19th century.

Thanks to immense natural beauty — Lokrum Island is a Nature Reserve and a Special Forest Vegetation Reserve—, the island appears in a few across Game Of Thrones that are set in Qarth, such as the party where Daenerys meets the city’s elite, in season 2.

St. Dominic Street | Cersei’s Walk Of Shame

St. Dominic Street in Dubrovnik.

Framed by the Dominican Monastery, St. Dominic Street was the setting for several Game Of Thrones scenes. This narrow street connects the Ploče Gate with Stradun, and because of the show, it became one of the most photographed spots in Dubrovnik.

Curious to know which scenes were shot in St. Dominic Street? We can name a few, but the most iconic is Cersei’s “Walk Of Shame”, in which she walks naked through the street, as a sign of penance, accompanied by Septa Unella that repeatedly screams out “Shame!”.

Jesuit Stairs | Walk Of Shame Stairs

The Jesuit Staircase leading up to the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius Loyola and the old Collegium Ragusinum in Dubrovnik

The Jesuit Stairs are not only one of the most famous Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, but also representative samples of the Baroque architecture in Dubrovnik. Designed by Pietro Passalacqua, a Roman architect, the stairs leads up to the Boškovićeva Poljana, or Bošković Square, which is home to the Jesuit church of St. Ignatius.

On Game Of Thrones season 5, the staircase is also part of Queen Cersei’s walk of shame. After being imprisoned by the Faith of the Seven, the queen confessed adultery, incest, and regicide, and was forced to walk completely naked as a sign of penitence.

Ploče Gate | The Red Keep Gate

The Ploče Gate, in Dubrovnik.

Ploče Gate is the final stop of Cersei’s walk of shame, and it’s used as the entrance to the Red Keep after the queen completes her penance in season 5, episode 10. Build in the 14th-century, the outer Ploče Gate is connected to a stone bridge, while the inner Ploče Gate features really small doors built in Romanesque style.

Bokar Fortress | King’s Landing

The Bokar Fortress viewed from  Fort Lovrijenac, Dubrovnik.

Built in the 15th-century to protect Pile Gate, the main entrance to the Old Town, the Bokar Fortress is placed at the top of a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. The fortress, which is a semicircular two-story building, was designed by the architect Michelozzo di Bartolomeo Michelozzi, one of the great Renaissance pioneers.

The Bokar Fortress is one of the filming locations of Game Of Thrones, and it’s featured in seasons 2 and 3. One of the most prominent scenes shot in the fortress is the one where Tyrion Lannister and Lord Varys look at the sea while planning the defense of King’s Landing against Stannis Baratheon.

Gradac Park | The Purple Wedding

The Dubrovnik coast seen from the Gradac Park.

Placed within a walking distance from the Old Town, above Danče beach, and overlooking the Lovrijenac Fortress, Gradac Park dates back to the 19th century, when it was established as a retreat for people to enjoy some time around nature.

Gradac Park is also where the Purple Wedding (Game Of Thrones season 4, episode 2) was filmed. One of the most iconic moments of the episode is when, after the wedding ceremony, King Joffrey is poisoned and dies, and Tyrion Lannister, Joffrey’s uncle, is arrested for murder.

Ethnographic Museum Rupe | Littlefinger’s Brothel

Outer view of the Ethnographic Museum Rupe, in Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Orininaly a four-storey building, the Etnographic Museum Rupe was erected in 1590, but after the 1667 earthquake, it had to be rebuilt and it turned into the three-storey building that it is to this present day. The museum houses around 6.500 objects that are a heritage of the Dubrovnik region, and the Croatian people.

One of the best-known Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, the Ethnographic Museum doubles in the show as the exterior of Littlefinger’s brothel, where Tyrion Lannister meets Oberyn Martell in season 4.

Tips For A Game Of Thrones Tour in Dubrovnik, Croatia

View of Dubrovnik's Old Town with historic buldings, and the Adriatic Sea on the back.
  • A great idea is to opt for a guided walking tour through the Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik. There are several options of guided walking tours, and they’re an amazing option for travelers who don’t want to worry about creating an itinerary in advance. In Dubrovnik, there are Game Of Thrones walking tours that take guests to Lokrum Island, and to the Trsteno Arboretum, placed about 24 km from Dubrovnik;
  • Another pro tip is to purchase a Dubrovnik Card in advance, so you can save on sightseeing. There are three different cards: 1 day, 3 days, and 7 days, and each of them allows entrances to different historical monuments. With the cards, you can have access to prominent Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik, such as the Ethnographic Museum, Ploče Gate, and Rectors Palace;
  • Go early. Especially during the high season, the city gets crowded with tourists, which causes huge lines for the attractions. If you get up a little earlier, you might be able to enjoy seeing Game Of Thrones filming locations in Dubrovnik a bit more.

Where To Stay In Dubrovnik, Croatia

Aerial view of the Grand Villa Argentina and Villa Sheherezade, in Dubrovnik.

While you may love staying in the wild Croatian mountains, we suggest booking your Dubrovnik stay as close to the city center as possible. That way, you’ll be able to immerse yourself in the architecture of the city, which is one of the oldest towns in Croatia and the Eastern Mediterranean.

Find Hotels in Dubrovnik, Croatia | Find Homes in Dubrovnik, Croatia

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11 Best Road Trips You Need to Take During The Summer

11 Best Road Trips You Need to Take During The Summer

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There has never been a more perfect time to go on a road trip. For many around the world, the best way to ensure a safe, and hassle-free vacation is to either opt for a staycation within nearby areas or go on a long trip to rediscover the beauty in their own countries.

So, whenever you’re craving a city break, going on a road trip and heading somewhere new is a great idea, especially during the summer when the weather is warm and pleasant. Aside from skipping the heavy costs that come with traveling internationally, road trips can also be fit into your weekend and short breaks. Plus, road trips are pet-friendly and allow you to spend more quality time with your loved ones.

Ready to turn your next 4-wheel ride into an adventure? Then have a look at the 11 best road trips you need to take during the summer. You’ll find yourself escape to natural environments and enjoying the great outdoors like never before.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The Best Road Trips For The Summertime:

We have created the perfect guide to the best road trips you need to take this summer. That way when you settle in for an epic excursion, you’ll know exactly where to head. And the options are endless. For the ultimate North-American road trip, you can pick Route 66 or the Pacific Highway. For a vacation surrounded by gorgeous forested mountains, choose Nha Trang to Quy Nhon, in Vietnam. Looking for a postcard-worthy scenario to enjoy your summer vacation? Then the scenic Amalfi Coast, in Italy, is the right bet for you.

Take a look at the list and pick your favorite summer road trip destination.

Route 66 – United States

The route 66 during an orange sunset.

If you have ever taken a drive in the United States, you most likely heard of the U.S. Highway, Route 66. This highway first gained popularity in the mid-1920s as the country’s first all-weather highway linking Chicago to Los Angeles. In total, Route 66 spans over 2,400 miles and offers so much to explore along the way. This route became very famous as it goes straight through the heart of America crossing over eight states and three time zones. These states include Illinois, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, and finally California.

This road trip route will take you through historic and natural landmarks in the southern half of the country including the Grand Canyon, the Ozarks, Mojave Desert, The Painted Desert, and more. You can even pop in and visit the Route 66 Hall of Fame, to learn more about the history of this national treasure. One thing is for sure, if you are embarking on a USA road trip this summer, you better take a drive down Route 66. You’ll be mesmerized by scenic landscapes filled with mountains, mind-blowing National Parks, forests, and other natural wonders in the United States.

Mongol Rally – Mongolia

The green hills of Mongolia at dusk.

Buckle in, bring a good book, and get set because the Mongol Rally road trip extends over 10,00 miles. That’s right! This epic adventure takes you all the way from the UK to Mongolia. While there is no official route, the goal of this road trip is to make it from any European destination to Mongolia in one piece and sometime between mid-August to mid-September. It can also take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple of months depending on your route and can cross over 18 countries. So if you are looking for a wild ride through the world’s most intense terrains, and the opportunity to see Europe and Asia unlike ever before, then this is the perfect road trip for you. One adventurer, Bassam Tarazi, put it best when he said “When you travel across half the world, you learn some things.”

Amalfi Coast – Italy

The Amalfi Coast dotted with pink-hued houses at dusk.

A UNESCO Heritage site, due to its scenic beauty and rare natural landscape, one must visit the Amalfi Coast in Italy at least once in their lifetime. The actual town of Amalfi and its neighbors are located in the southern province of Salerno. While the towns are typically only accessible by bus and ferry, this is the perfect destination for summer road trips from cities like Naples, Rome, Florence, and Milan.

Often compared to a painting, the Amalfi Coast cities welcome thousands and thousands of visitors every spring and summer to back on its beaches and take in the panoramic views from the top of the hills. If you’re looking to fall in love with a destination this summer, then you definitely will with the Amalfi Coast.

A great idea for an Amalfi Coast summer road trip is to plan a 7-day itinerary and drive along the southern tip of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. During your trip, you can make pit stops in cities such as Salerno, a port city southeast of Naples; Ravello, and the jaw-dropping Positano, a cliffside village dotted with pastel-hued houses.

Costa Verde – Brazil

The blue-green ocean surrounded by rocks and a forested hill on Trindade Beach, Brasil.

The journey from Rio de Janeiro to São Paulo is one for the books. While you have to pass through some busy traffic in the city first, the drive along the Costa Verde is absolutely breathtaking. The full route is 350 miles (560 kilometers), and there are multiple stops you will want to make along the way. One of the best stops in the historic city of Paraty, which was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Framed by mountains and filled with 17th- and 18th-century buildings, Paraty is the perfect destination for a weekend on the beach.

During your summer road trip in Costa Verde, you can also plan to take a boat tour to one of the 365 islands off the coast and hiking the Serra do Mar, a 1,500 km mountain range. We also recommend taking a surf lesson, go paddleboarding, and enjoy the sunshine off the Atlantic Coast. This is one of the best ways to see the best Brazil has to offer.

Great Ocean Road – Australia

The turquoise ocean surrounded by cliffs on the Great Ocean Road, in Australia.

If Australia is in your travel plans this year or you’re an Aussie and want to explore your own country, then take a drive down Great Ocean Road. The expansive stretch of coast will take you along some of Australia’s most beautiful landscapes. Including the 12 Apostles, Great Otway National Park, London Arch, and more. The entire drive is about 250 miles (400 kilometers), about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne’s city center. It extends all the way to the southernmost point of the continent. Extend your getaway and stay at one of southern Australia’s vacation rentals or hotels to indulge in a one-of-a-kind outdoor getaway.

Panorama Route – South Africa

A small lagoon surrounded by rocks at the Panorama Route, in South Africa.

South Africa’s scenic road trip, Panorama Route, is not just a beautiful drive but a historic adventure through the world’s third-largest canyon, Blyde River Canyon. The entire route takes you through the Mpumalanga province and takes about two to three days to complete. Visitors will love adventuring through waterfalls, forests, and South Africa’s many natural landmarks including Echo Caves and God’s Window. You can also visit national parks and reserves including Kruger National Park and Mount Sheba Nature Reserve. Take a safari drive through the game reserve. You may even spot some of the big five along the way. This will be a trip unlike ever before.

Ring Road – Iceland

The Ring Road leading to a range of snowy mountains, in Iceland.

Iceland’s Ring Road will take you around the entire island. If you ever dreamt about exploring Iceland’s breathtaking waterfalls and geysers, then this is the best way to see it all. The full drive will take about 12 to 13 hours. However, due to the conditions and roads usually takes about a week to complete. There are a few routes you can take, and route one is about 800 miles long. Your trip will most likely start in Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. Start off day 1 of your adventure by indulging in a day of luxury at the Blue Lagoon. Your excursions will also take you whale-watching, glacier walking, hiking, and so much more. Discover it all on your once in a lifetime road trip around Iceland.

Cabot Trail – Nova Scotia

The Cabot Trail Road surrounded by green forests, at Nova Scotia.

While this list of road trip includes many that last anywhere from a few days to over a month, Cabot Trail in Nova Scotia is one of the shorter road trips on this list. However, that does not mean it does not have just as much to offer road trippers. The drive takes up to five hours and is 185 miles (298 kilometers). The route will take you around Cape Breton Island allowing you to enjoy the gorgeous views. The trail is named after John Cabot, an explorer who found his way to the islands in 1497. The rugged coastline will present you with a relaxing journey of views right over the highlands. Canada has many road trips you will want to embark on, and this one makes the top of the list.

Patagonia – Chile

While this time of year is actually the winter in Chile, June-September is still an excellent time to take a road trip to Patagonia. One of the most jaw-dropping sights in the world is a view of the Torres del Paine national park. Seeing the glaciers and frozen lakes up close offers such a remarkable feeling. You have to see it for yourself. There are also many advantages to road tripping in Patagonia this time of year. Including ice-skating on the lake, watching for arctic wildlife, and hiking. While many people choose to take this drive on their own, it is always a good idea to consult with a tour company or guided road trip. Extra planning comes in handy to make sure conditions are optimal before embarking on your journey. Find incredible accommodations on the way.

Nha Trang to Quy Nhon – Vietnam

The blue ocean framed by cliffs in Nha Trang to Quy Nhon, Vietnam.

This road trip is filled with sweeping views of the Vietnamese countryside, which is dotted with fishing villages, and incredible lush verdant landscapes. If you are a fan of motorbikes and bicycles, you’ll enjoy taking this road trip. On your route, you’ll also have a great time if visiting sites such as the Ba Ho Falls and Da Dia Reef. The journey up highway one takes a total of four hours and is 131 miles (212 kilometers). Not only is Vietnam very peaceful and beautiful, but it is also an incredibly budget-friendly destination for your vacation. Extend your trip by staying at one of the charming hotels along the South China Sea.

Pacific Coast Highway – United States

The Big Sur, on the Pacific Coast Highway, in California.

This is definitely one of the most epic road trips of all time. The Pacific Coast Highway is one of the most famous highways in the United States, and it’s part of the State Route 1, that runs along most of the Pacific coastline of California. Many travelers begin their road trip in Los Angeles, but a great idea for a summer trip is to start driving from Seattle. You can then drive along the coast, and explore cities such as Portland, in Oregon, until you reach Eureka, which is the first stop in California. In Eureka, make sure you go to the Sequoia Park Forest & Garden before making your move to San Francisco. You can then head south and stop in Santa Barbara for a romantic weekend in California, and finally in San Diego.

This authentic North-American road trip will take you to uncover gorgeous ocean views — especially in San Diego — gorgeous Instagrammable places in Los Angeles and San Francisco, and plenty of amazing wineries in Santa Barbara.

Are you ready to embark on one of these incredible road trips? Let us know which you plan to take this summer, and we will help you find the perfect accommodation. Check out our blog for more summer adventures.

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Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World

Discover the New Seven Wonders of the World

Destination Deep-Dive 7 MINS READ

Across the globe, people travel far and wide to visit The New Seven Wonders of the World. But, do you know the history of these sites and how they came to be so important to the global community?

For centuries the world has celebrated amazing sculptures and architecture. So much so that seven of these landmarks have the global status of being a “Wonder of the World”. Although there are now several categories with this title, the original list of ancient wonders dates back to a piece of work written in 225 B.C. by Philo of Byzantine called On Seven Wonders. These landmarks are revered because they show the true capability humans have for incredible imagination and creativity. After all, each of these architectural phenomenons is manmade.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

The New Seven Wonders

pyramids in egypt

The only ancient wonder that still exists today is the Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt. In order to choose the new seven wonders of the world, a foundation was created in 1999 to vote and choose them. After over 100 million votes, the new sites were revealed in 2007. They are Petra, in Jordan, The Colosseum, in Italy, The Great Wall of China, in China, The Christ the Redeemer, in Brazil, The Chichén Itzá, in Mexico, The Machu Picchu, in Peru, and the Taj Mahal, in India.

Although these sites are currently closed to the public, travelers can still admire and explore them through virtual tours. Learn about each of the new seven wonders of the world and plan for your future visit.

Petra, Jordan

new seven wonders of the world petra

Petra, Jordan is one of the most remarkable landmarks on the planet. This ancient Jordan city dates back from the 1st century B.C., and it used to be the Arabic capital of the Nabateans Empire. Back then, the state became very wealthy due to its position in the trading routes between Arabia, India, Africa, and the West. Its moniker is the Rose City and it became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1985.

Home to 800 tombs, known as the “Royal Tombs”, including one estimated to be over 2,000 years old, Petra is an exhibiting travel destination for history-enthusiasts. As one of the oldest cities in the world, the site was inhabited by the Edomites (from 18th to 2nd century BC), the Nabateans (2nd century to 106 BC), and the Romans (106 to 395 BC).

The beautiful sandstone walls of Petra became famous after they were featured in the 1989 film, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. According to the Petra Development and Tourism Region Authority (PDTRA), Petra welcomed over one million visitors in 2019.

Christ the Redeemer, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

new seven wonders of the world christ the redeemer

The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue looks over Rio de Janeiro from the summit of Mount Corcovado, a privileged location in Rio. Considered Rio de Janeiro’s most famous landmark, the statue sits in the National Park of Tijuca, towering 2,310 feet above the city. The statue is 98 feet tall and its arms span 92 feet wide from fingertip to fingertip.

The construction of this gigantic statue took place in April 1922, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and it was completed in 1931, and its design was crafted by many different designers and engineers, such as the Polish-French sculptor Paul Landowski and the engineers Heitor da Silva Costa and Albert Caquot.

And in case you’re wondering how did Christ Redeemer was placed at the top of Mount Corcovado, here’s the answer: because of its massive size, the statue was put together on top of the mountain, and the necessary materials were transported on a small cog-wheel train.

Visited by nearly 2 million people each year, it is the largest Art Deco-style sculpture in the entire world. Christ the Redeemer, in Rio de Janeiro, celebrates and honours the 100th year anniversary of the Brazilian Republic. It is still one of the most visited sites in not only Brazil but the world, and there is even a replica of the statue in Lisbon, Portugal. A great tip is to try to visit it during a day with clear skies, so you can enjoy the best views of the city.

In March 2020, the statue was illuminated with flags of all the countries heavily affected by COVID-19. An act that showed an outpour of support for the global community.

Chichén Itzá, Mexico

new seven wonders of the world chichen itza

Over 2 million tourists visit Chichén Itzá, the second most popular archaeological site in Mexico, a year.  This UNESCO World Heritage Site is an ancient city, which consists of Mayan ruins located on the northern half of Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula. It’s a great day trip if you’re traveling to Cancun or Playa del Carmen, for instance, and when taking a tour to Chichén Itzá, you can walk among the giant pyramids.

The El Castillo, also known as the Kukulkan Pyramid, which is located in the very center of the site, is one of the only buildings to maintain its original structure. Historians say Chichén Itzá was built from 600 A.D. until 1221 during the Mayan empire. Due to its location and size, it stood as one of the most important places in Mayan culture. In December 2019, a new daily visit record was broken, with over 18,000 visitors in just one day. It is a must-visit when planning a trip to Mexico. Curious fact: the term Chichén Itzá means ‘the mouth at the well of Itza’, and it’s believed that Itza means ‘water magicians’.

The Great Wall of China, China

new seven wonders of the world great wall of china

A visit to the Great Wall of China is usually on top of the bucket list of people who want to uncover the new seven wonders. But why? Well, first of all, because it’s one of the most famous structures in the world, acknowledged it as the largest man-made structure on Earth. Built in the early 7th century B.C. the Wall took over 2,500 years to be completed, and its construction spanned over more than 10 Chinese dynasties, which is a very long time.

It’s impossible to precise the wall’s location, since it winds up and down the country in a dragon-like shape, extending over 13,170 miles (21,196 kilometers) and winding through h 404 towns in 15 provincial regions across northern and central China. Made out of a range of materials, like stone, brick, rammed earth, and wood, the walls were used for border control and for defence against nomadic invaders. Due to both human and natural causes, almost 1/3 of the wall is missing today. Thus, the Chinese government has commissioned many restoration projects to renovate the wall and its missing parts.

The Chinese don’t refer to this wonder as “the Great Wall.” They call it Chángchéng, which means Long Wall. Visited by over 10 million people a year, this wonder of the world became a UNESCO Heritage site in 1987.

The Colosseum, Rome, Italy

new seven wonders of the world colosseum

Located in the heart of Rome, Italy, The Colosseum stands proud as a symbol of power for the country. The construction of the Colosseum started in 70 A.D, however, it did not officially begin until 72 A.D., being finished only in 80 A.D. Built in the heart of Ancient Rome, the Colosseum was ordered by Emperor Vespasian who wanted to build the largest amphitheater in the world. In fact, it is still the largest in the world. With an oval shape, the structure is 189m long, 156m wide and 50m high, and it’s made from stone and concrete. During its time, the Colosseum could seat as many as 50,000 to 70,000 spectators, and it was used to host gladiator contests, and the vast majority of combatants were men slaves, condemned criminals, or prisoners of wars. The Colosseum also hosted mock sea battles and animal hunts, and some of the animals even included big cats and crocodiles.

By the 20th-century, two-thirds of the Colosseum was destroyed by neglect, vandalism and natural disasters, including the arena’s marble seats. A careful restoration program began in the 1990s, and this historical landmark is still one of Italy’s most famous tourist attractions in the world, being visited by over 7 million people a year.

The Taj Mahal, India

The Taj Mahal is so much more than just a white marble mausoleum located in Agra, India. Listed as one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, the monument was built by Emperor Shah Jahan from 1632 to 1648 for his beloved wife, Mumtaz Mahal, who died on June 17, 1631.
Representing the emperor’s everlasting love for his wife, the building stands as a beacon of light and strength for India and the global community.

Made of white marble from Makrana, in Rajasthan, the Taj Mahal combines a range of architectural styles, such as Islamic, Persian, and Indian styles. For the construction, other noble materials were used, such as turquoise from Tibet, jade and crystal from China, sapphire from Sri Lanka and Arabia, and lapis lazuli from Afghanistan.

Over 2.5 million visitors go to Agra, India, to visit the Taj Mahal every year. As are the other wonders, the Taj Mahal is also a UNESCO Heritage site since 1983. While photos of the building show its beauty, they cannot truly capture the delicacy and attention to detail. It is truly a place one must see in person in order to know its magnificence.

Machu Picchu, Peru

machu picchu view

Last, but not least is Machu Picchu as one of the 7 New Wonders of the World. This site is one of the most breathtaking global landmarks and the true pride of Peru. Machu Picchu belongs to the Incan empire from the mid-15th-century. However, it wasn’t rediscovered until 1911 by archeologist Hiram Bingham.  He was searching for another ancient city when he found the green terraces and remains of the structure.

Many historians commonly use the term “ruins” when referring to this wonder, however, that is an incorrect description according to It is best to describe this city as a sanctuary as it was a spiritual and sacred place for the Incans. Machu Picchu became a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1983.

Have you ever visited one of the new seven wonders of the world? Let us know! Check out our blog to learn about more places you can virtually visit today.

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The Top 13 Spanish Cities to Visit in 2021

The Top 13 Spanish Cities to Visit in 2021

Destination Deep-Dive 13 MINS READ

Wondering what the best cities to visit in Spain for 2021 are? With the new year quickly approaching, there is one thing we have on our wish list that lives there all year round: A trip to Spain. With incredible summer deals, fall escapes, winter getaways, and spring festivals to explore, Spain is a country you can visit any time of the year. Whether you’re in the market for an amazing dining experience full of tapas or want to explore cultural activities like flamenco dancing, you can never go wrong with visiting Spain. Looking for the best place to start planning your vacation to the Iberian Peninsula?

Start with this list of the top Spanish Cities to visit in 2021. This guide takes you on the getaway of your dreams from north to south. From hidden gems like Bilbao and Cadiz to world-famous cities like Barcelona and Madrid, we’ve got you covered on the best places to visit, and some of the best-known things to do there. Whatever type of vacation you’re looking for, from romantic city escapes, amazing outdoor excursions, or relaxing beachside vacations, Spain will have something for you.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

Why Visit Spain

View of Madri's buildings.

Spain is a soulful and diverse country. And is exactly the reason why it’s a top destination for many travelers in Europe. Most cities in Spain, such as Barcelona, Madri, and Seville, have pleasant sunny weather all year round, aside from housing a showcase of cultural attractions, amazing tapas restaurants, and Instagrammable spots.

Many don’t know about this, but Spain is one of the countries with the most Unesco World Heritage Sites in the world – a total of 48 sites. The beautiful Old City of Salamanca, for instance, was granted UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Another advantage is that Spain is home to destinations that appeal to all types of travellers. Culture and architecture enthusiasts can go to Barcelona or Bilbao, for instance. If you love the beach, try planning a trip to places like the Balearic Islands, which is filled with beautiful beaches. In case you want to visit a cosmopolitan dynamic place, head over to Madrid, which is Spain’s largest city and one of the liveliest cities in the country. Fancy the cold weather? Make your move to the Sierra Nevada or to the beautiful Basque Country, which are the best places to visit for some crisp windy climate.

Of one thing we’re sure: Spain has some of the best cities in the world, and there’s plenty to see in do in the country. You just have to do some research and find outr what are the best cities in Spain for you.

The Top cities to visit in Spain


bilbao spanish cities

The beautiful city of Bilbao is not one to miss next time when you visit Spain! Located in the North of Spain in the Basque Country, Bilbao offers a unique insight into Spain’s more modern sides. Bilbao offers a rich, historical, medieval atmosphere combined with modern skyscrapers and a reflection of the country’s industrial history. One of the greatest cities in Spain for architecture and art enthusiasts, Bilbao houses one of Europe’s most famous art institutions, The Guggenheim Museum. Make sure you take a stroll along the Nervion River after a delicious breakfast of churros and cafe. Definitely one of the hidden gems, we consider Bilbao one of the top places to visit in Spain in 2021.

And in case you’re looking even a less touristic city to visit in Spain, you can stretch your trip to Bilbao and go to other cities in the Basque Country. This beautiful mountainous is an autonomous community located in northern Spain, along the Atlantic coast. An amazing city to visit in the region is Getaria, a green paradise, filled with verdant slopes and hills covered in verdant forests. From the region, you can even take the Northern Camino de Santiago.

San Sebastián

spanish city san sebastian

If you enjoy lying on sandy beaches with beautiful views, then San Sebastián is the perfect Spanish city holiday. The beautiful city is tucked right into the Bay of Biscay and it is very well known for its lavish resort hotels and vacation offerings. The northern coast of the city is green all year long with a rainy winter season and a warm, sunny summer. Visitors will love indulging in the upscale shopping, gourmet restaurants offering “pinchos”, and exploring up to Monte Igueldo to get the panoramic views of the whole city and La Concha Beach. If a more laid back vacation is what you are searching for, yet something that offers all of the whimsy of the city meets beach life, San Sebastián is definitely one of the great places for you to visit in Spain.


Hands-down the number one of the best places to visit when traveling in Spain is Barcelona. The Catalonian city is famous for its nightlife, sandy beaches, city, and incredible views. You can’t go wrong packing a picnic and hiking up to The Carmel Bunkers to enjoy manchego cheese and vino with an unforgettable view of the coast of Spain. But before you go exploring, you will want to plan a bit as there is so much to do, see, and eat in this cultural hub. A great thing about Barcelona? How well-connected and easy to get around it is.

Visitors will adore strolling through the Gothic Quarter over the cobbled streets. Elaborate plazas filled with restaurants offer everything from tortilla española (omelets) to paella (Spanish rice with seafood) to tinto de verano (wine with lemon soda). Discover the great live music scene and contemporary street art. You can even plan ahead by taking a virtual tour of several cities in Spain before your visit. 

Before travelling to Barcelona, Spain, make a list of the best places to visit in the city. Make sure to include to the list visits to places like the La Sagrada Familia, Parc Güell, the Gothic Cathedral of Barcelona, and Playa de La Barceloneta beach. Barcelona is definitely one of the places to visit in all of Spain in 2021, and we highly recommend it to anyone planning a trip to the country.


The historic city center of Valencia, Spain.

Spain third-largest city and most famous destination for eating paella, the iconic seafood dish, is the coastal city of Valencia. Located south of Barcelona on the Mediterranean Sea, this beach town is a summer hot spot to visit in Spain. After spending a day at the beach and eating freshly-made paella, you can try Valencia’s horchata almond drink. However, one of Valencia’s biggest events happens every March leading up to Easter Weekend. It is called Las Fallas. Parades of large hand-built structures and people dressed up in costumes fill the streets, culminating in the burning of many of these magnificent creations. This event commemorates Saint Joseph. When looking for cultural events to attend during your trip, be sure to plan to see this one. You also cannot miss visiting the City of Arts and Sciences, strolling through the Turia Gardens, and checking out the Cathedral. For a cultural experience, the city is definitely among the best places to visit in Spain.


The city of Salamanca, Spain.

Salamanca is one of Spain’s best cities, especially for student travelers. Popular for how close it is to Madrid and for its gorgeous Spanish outdoors, Salamanca wows everyone who visits. Especially those who are fans of cheap beer and fun nightlife. It also happens to be one of Spain’s safest cities which is another reason it boasts visits by the youth. From visiting Casa Lis, Salamanca’s Art Nouveau and Art Deco Museum, or house of Shells, tourists love the art experiences offered in this city. After all, Salamanca was the center of great minds in historic Spain. This city is definitely on the list of the best places to visit in Spain, especially for younger travelers.


Puerta del Sol square filled with people.

The capital city of Spain is Madrid. Although there is a big debate about whether to visit Barcelona or Madrid, both are quite different, so it is very hard to choose. That’s why the only choice is to visit both and the other Spanish cities on this list! Madrid will give you a more contemporary vibe and will be easier on the budget for a longer trip.

Aside from being the capital city, Madrid is the largest city in Spain and it will allow you to explore Spanish history and life in the city. It is also the best city for connecting you to the rest of Spain as it is in the middle of the country. There is a magnificent selection of affordable hotels and rentals in Madrid that will make you never want to leave. From visiting the lively Puerta del Sol, uncovering the history of Plaza Mayor, and taking long walks through Retiro Park, to going to the Royal Palace, Madrid has so much lust and charm you will fall madly in love with. We know we do! 


spanish cities toledo

Madrid’s neighbor, Toledo is one of the best cities in Spain, a truly off the beaten path city that you must visit during your trip. Located just a short ride by bus or train south from the capital, Toledo offers nature and town life for those looking for an escape. Set in central Spain on a hill above the plains of Castilla-la Mancha, it is well known for the old city architecture and mannerism.

A UNESCO World Heritage site since 1986, Toledo is known as the “City of the Three Cultures”, because it showcases a mixture of the three main cultures that have passed through Spain: Jewish, Muslim and Catholic. So in case you’re seeking some well-deserved culture-fix, you can take an architecture tour of the city. Visit the 13th-century Primate Cathedral of Saint Mary of Toledo, also known as Toledo Cathedral, go to the Mosque of Christ of the Light, built in the 10th-century and visit the surroundings of the Alcázar.

Also, don’t forget to enjoy a glass of wine and wander through the winding streets on the hilltop. You’ll love looking at everything from the Moorish Bisagra Gate to Mudejar Sol Gate. The city has so much to offer especially no crowds. If you are looking to experience classic Spain for a better price and in a quieter setting, then Toledo is for you. We know we can’t wait to visit again soon.


From Moorish architecture and serene patios to tapas and drinks that will fill you up with joy, Granada is a must-visit in Spain. Some of our favorite things to do when visiting this historic mountain town include: Hiking up to St. Nicholas Church to enjoy a glass of wine or chilled beer while watching the sunset over the spectacular Alhambra.

While walking around through Granada, make sure to pay enough atention to your surroundings, because the city carries a lot of history. That way, you’ll easily spot buildings dating back to the Moors and Romans. For some history class, take a free walking tour on Albaicin, which is the historical Moorish quarter of the city and the oldest neighborhood of Granada. Home to narrow Moorish streets and medieval constructions, this area was declared a World Heritage Site in 1984, along with the Alhambra.

And in the wintertime, people come from far and wide to enjoy the mountain fun to be had in the nearby Sierra Nevada Mountains. In the spring, visitors will see the trees and bushes bloom with vibrant color that goes hand in hand with the magical feel this city gives off. Pro tip: when you order a drink at any restaurant in Granada, they also come with a small tapa so be sure to find the best bars in town. 


spanish cities cordoba

Tucked in Andalusia only about 30 minutes by train from Spain’s southern capital, is Cordoba. This beautiful town is famous for its mix of Roman and Islamic architecture spanning from the early 1st century BC. La Mezquita Mosque is one of the town’s main attractions and welcomes millions of visitors a year. Especially during spring when people gather in the city to see the famous patios filled with colorful flowers of all shapes, sizes, and colors. From Roman bridge to Palacio de Viana, the architecture of the city is definitely worth a visit, and if you enjoy wandering through Spanish cities and their romantic narrow streets, then Cordoba should be added to your bucket list.

Once the largest cities in the world with a population three times its current, Córdoba was the capital of the Caliphate of Córdoba, which for several hundred years controlled most of the Iberian peninsula. This was mainly because, after Córdoba was captured and destroyed by the Muslims, ʿAbd al-Raḥmān I a member of the Umayyad family took the leadership of the Spanish Muslims and made Córdoba his capital in 756. Córdoba grew enormously and became the most cultured city in Europe. The Umayyad family filled the city with palaces and mosques, which can still be seen to te present days.

Curious fact: did you know that Cordoba’s old town is a Unesco World Heritage Site? Yes. And a very beautiful one. So when visiting the city, wander around its central neighbourhoods, such as the Judería quarter, which are filled with history.

Are you a Game of Thrones fan? You can visit Cordoba’s GOT Spain filming locations during a road trip through Spain.


The city center of Seville viewed from the top of the Metropol Parasol.

Seville is the heart of Southern Spain, both physically and emotionally. If you are fond of flamenco, olives, and oranges, and floral scents, and incredible views from its many rooftops and buildings, Seville is the perfect place for you. Orange blossom perfumes are sold on every corner, along with painted tiles and traditional feria dresses.

Aside from being a beautiful city, Seville boasts a rich cultural heritage. Capital of southern Spain’s Andalusia region, the city used to be the capital of Muslim Spain and, thanks to the ʿAbbādid and the subsequent Almoravid and Almohad dynasties, it became an important cultural and commercial centre in Europe. In the 12th-century, Seville flourished, and one of the most sumptuous constructions from these golden days is the Alcázar Palace. Historically known as al-Qasr al-Muriq, the Royal Alcázars of Seville became even more famous with Game of Thrones, as it was the setting for the city of Dorne.

During your trip to Seville, do not forget to walk around the Maestranza bullfighting ring and take long walks along the Guadalquivir River. You can also go to a Flamenco concert, as the city is commonly linked to this dramatic, soulful and beautfil Spanish art.

Also, if you are already planning your Easter holiday, then we highly recommend you add Seville to your itinerary. The Easter processions are one of the most beautiful in the whole Spain and they attract millions of tourists. In fact, it’s believed that the Seville celebration has existed since at least the 16th Century, and from From Palm Sunday to Easter Sunday, the streets of Seville host these processions.

Seville is definitely among some of the best places to visit in Spain for its classic Spanish culture and atmosphere that you won’t soon forget.


View of the historic white and orange buildings by the blue ocean in Cadiz, Spain.

Spain’s southernmost city, Cadiz is truly paradise. Lovers of seafood and beach vibes will be very fond of everything Cadiz and its beach towns have to offer. It is also one of many European’s favorite vacation destinations, and usually brings in thousands of visitors every year. The Costa del Sol offers painted white towns running along the shore. This allows visitors to experience many of Spain’s beautiful spots all summer long. We suggest starting with Cadiz capital and taking a road trip along the coast. On a clear summer day, you can even see Morocco from the hilltops. Of all the other Spanish cities to visit, Cadiz is an absolute must.

Palma de Mallorca

Palma de Mallorca is the capital of the Balearic Islands, and one of the most amazing vacation cities in Spain. Located in the western Mediterranean, the city is well known for its gothic buildings and paradisiac beaches. If it’s your first time in Palma de Mallorca, take some proper time to uncover the city center, which is home to the cobbled medieval streets, old townhouses, art and, of course, the famous Cathedral de Santa Maria of Palma, also known as the La Seu Cathedral. After visiting the old town, which is walkable and compact, go to the 19th century Mayor Plaza, which is still in the city center. During the summer, soak up the sun in the Palma City Beach and stroll by the blue ocean on the Paseo Marítimo, a seafront promenade in Palma.


Located on southern Spain’s Costa del Sol, Malaga is a summer paradise occupied by resorts and welcoming sandy beaches. To get started, visit Malaga’s old town, which carries a rich cultural heritage since the city has a fascinating history marked by Romans, Visigoths, and Moors. And speaking of culture, also include visits to the city’s hilltop citadels, which are the Alcazaba and the ruined Gibralfaro, with remnants of the Moorish rule. You can also go to the oldest monument in Malaga, the Roman amphitheatre, dating back to the first century. If you’re in the mood for some art, a visit to the home where Picasso was born, in Plaza de la Merced, is highly recommended. And, of course, take a tour on some of Malaga’s finest beaches, such as Playa de La Malagueta and Playa de La Caleta, which are close to the heart of the city.

Which Spanish Cities are you adding to your travel itinerary? For more Spain inspiration check out our Game of Thrones Spain travel guide, and the best travel destinations to celebrate New Year!

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Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ

A Guide to The Art Nouveau Architecture In Riga

A Guide to The Art Nouveau Architecture In Riga

Activities & Adventure 6 MINS READ

Being culturally aware during a trip is an eye-opening experience and, fortunately, Europe offers a wide range of culture-filled destinations for travelers to experience. Birthplace of some of the most brilliant artists and architects of all time, the Old Continent is home to more than 40 stunning castles, and it harbors 18 of the 25 most beautiful buildings in the world.

A must-go destination for art-enthusiasts, Europe was also the birthplace of a visually intriguing art-movement called Art Nouveau. Known for its sinuous lines and curves, this nature-inspired movement spread all over Europe during the 19th-century

While touristy European cities, including Prague, Budapest, and Barcelona display a showcase of preserved Art Nouveau Style buildings, the top destination for a true Art Nouveau immersion is Riga, the capital of Latvia. Shaped by a rich architectural heritage, the city has over 700 Art Nouveau buildings, more than any other city in the world.

Today, we’re taking you to discover the most intriguing samples of Art Nouveau architecture in Riga. From art museums to picturesque streets, this guide will help you experience architecture like never before. Have a look!

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

What is the Art Nouveau Style

Light pink façade of an ornamented Art Nouveau Building.

Art Nouveau is an artistic style characterized by the use of distinct sinuous lines, nature-shaped motifs, and organic forms and patterns. The movement flourished throughout Europe and the United States between the late 19th-century and the early 20th-century, being employed mostly in architecture, art, jewelry, illustration, and glass design.

Regarded as a universal art style, Art Nouveau was explored by many renowned artists in Europe, such as Gustav Klimt and Antoni Gaudí. Because of that, this style has different names depending on the country. In Germany, it’s known as Jugendstil; in Italy, Stile Liberty in Italian, in Catalunya, Modernisme Català, and in Sweden it’s regarded as National Romantic style.

Art Nouveau Architecture in Europe

There are several destinations where you can experience Art Nouveau architecture at its finest in Europe. In case you’re planning to visit Eastern Europe, two great spots for some Art Nouveau immersion are Prague and Budapest. But if going to Southern Europe is on the top of your bucket list, you can find some stunning Art Nouveau architecture samples in Turin, Italy; Barcelona, Spain, and Aveiro, Portugal.

Now, if going to an offbeat European destination is the ultimate travel experience you’re seeking, Riga, in Latvia, is the place to be.

Traveling To Riga, Latvia

Historical buildings in Riva's Old Town during the sunset.

Riga lies in the center of three Baltic States (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and is the capital of Latvia. Apart from Art Noveau Riga architecture, the city is famous for its wooden buildings and medieval pedestrian-only Old Town, which happens to be a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Riga is the most lively in the summer months when the weather is warm, and the city is bustling with open-air concerts, free music festivals, and outdoor cinemas.

However, Latvia offers much more than typical city entertainment. The country is surrounded by Estonia, Russia, Belorussia, and Lithuania, and sports 500 km of coastline. To enjoy the wild abandoned beaches of the country, you can hop on the train to Jurmala or visit the Kemeri National Park for its bog lakes, mineral waters, and therapeutic mud SPAs nearby.

When in Latvia, visiting the bordering countries is also a great option, and you can add trips to St. Petersburg and Tallinn to your itinerary.

The History of Art Nouveau in Riga

Detail of a blue and white Art Nouveau buildin located at Elizabetes Street, in Riva.

To understand why Art Noveau gained the hype in Riga back in the day, we will drop some facts. During the late 19th-century, Riga experienced rapid economic development. It grew by 88% between 1897 and 1913 and, during WWII, Riva was the third-largest city in the Baltic region. Between 1910 and 1913, almost 500 new buildings were built in Riga annually. Most of them were in Art Noveau style and were placed outside of the Old Town of Riga. The architects in charge of designing the Art Nouveau buildings in Riga ranged from Baltic Germans, Jewish, and newly taught ethnic Latvians.

Today, the Art Nouveau Riga buildings represent one-third of all the buildings in the center of the city. This is exactly why Riga, Latvia, is often regarded as the Art Noveau Mecca, as it has the highest concentration of this architecture-style in the world.

Art Nouveau Tour In Riga, Latvia

While wandering around the streets of Riga looking for stunning Art Nouveau buildings, there are some places you don’t wanna miss. A good tip is to start off your trip by strolling through the Old Town, just to get acquainted with the city. Then, you can make your move to some of the places listed below. We guarantee you won’t regret it.

Alberta Street

If there is one street you absolutely have to visit in Riga, is Alberta Street. Named after Bishop Albert who founded Riga more than 800 years ago, the street is a trademark thanks to its Eclectic Art Nouveau buildings. Most of them where designed by Mikhail Eisenstein, and some by Konstantīns Pēkšēns and Eižens Laube, a teacher, and his pupil. The buildings are decorated with sculptures, ornamented balconies, columns, and other Art Nouveau elements.

Riga Art Nouveau Centre

Located on Alberta Street, the Riga Art Nouveau Centre is the only museum in the Baltics that entirely showcases the history of the Art Nouveau movement. The Riga Art Nouveau Centre is placed within a building that belonged Konstantīns Pēkšēns, one of the most famous Latvian Art Nouveau architects.

Walking through the 20th-century building will take you on a journey back in time. During your tour, you’ll not only learn about Art Nouveau but also about how the former owners hosted their guests, how people behaved, and more.

Make sure you look up to the ceiling when entering the building, You’ll see an ornamented spiral staircase, which is a fine example of the Art Nouveau style.

The Riga Artt Nouveau Centre is open every day (except for Mondays) from 10 am to 6 pm. The entrance fee is 9 euros for the full exposition. 

Art Noveau Route in the Riga City Center

If you got excited after discovering the examples of Art Nouveau in Alberta Street, you can surely go beyond and uncover more architectural gems in Riga. The Alberta Street harbors some of the finest samples of the Eclectic Art Nouveau Style in Riga, but there are three other styles you can uncover in the city: the Perpendicular Art Nouveau, National Romantic Art Nouveau, and the Neo-Classical Art Nouveau. 

For exploring the Perpendicular Art Nouveau category, which is commonly referred to to as “department store style” or Warenhausstil (in German) , head over to Krišjāņa Valdemāra iela (Krišjānis Valdemārs Street) number 37, which is home to a multi-storey building designed by Eižens Laube.

A good Neo-Classical example is the former Commercial Bank of Riga, which sits in the very center of the Old Riga, right opposite the Doms Cathedral.

To discover the National Romantic style, or the Nordic Art Noveau, in Riga, stay in the Alberta Street and head over the building number 11, also designed by Eižens Laube.

Take a Free Art Noveau Tour in Riga

If you want to travel on a budget, then a good idea is going on free Riga Art Noveau guided tour. Tours will take you through Alberta Street and Elizabetes Street, as well as to explore some less popular Art Noveau examples. Tours take around 2 hours, and start daily at 3 pm (until the end of September) at the stairs of the National Opera House of Latvia. 

Drink a Coffee Surrounded by the Art Noveau Style in Riga

Tired after seeing too many curvy lines and floral decorations? Have a cup of coffee and slice of cake at this boutique Art Noveau cafe Sienna just across Alberta Street. 

Are you ready for your cultural travel?

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Destination Deep-Dive 13 MINS READ

The 30 Most Instagrammable Places to Visit During the Summer

The 30 Most Instagrammable Places to Visit During the Summer

Destination Deep-Dive 13 MINS READ

Do you travel around the world looking for the best spot to take the perfect photo? If this is something up your alley, then you will love checking out this list of the 30 most Instagrammable places to visit during the summer. From London’s Tower Bridge to Malaysia’s steps to Batu Caves to the Duomo di Milano, there are so many places to fall head over heels for. Many of these monuments, cities, islands, and landmarks are also UNESCO Heritage Sites. Pack your camera, tripod, and video gear because these Instagram-worthy destinations cannot be beaten. Scroll down the list to plan your trip to the world’s most jaw-dropping photo spots. You will want to add each one to your bucket list after seeing them all.

Note: Make sure to double-check COVID 19 precautions, protocols, and operating hours before you visit any of these sites.

halong bay vietnam

Halong Bay, Vietnam

If you have ever wanted to visit Southeast Asia you most likely came across pictures and stories about Halong Bay. There are over 1,600 islands in the bay scattered through the emerald waters. The islands are actually limestone karst landforms, which were worn down by 500 million years of tropical downpours and look like arches and pillars shooting out of the water. The bay is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and one of the best Instagrammable spots in Vietnam. For some Insta worthy pictures, a great tip is to take a junk boat tour to explore the bay’s islands, caves, and floating villages.

the duomo in milan

Duomo di Milano, Italy

The Duomo di Milano is a national treasure in Italy, and one of the most beautiful buildings in the world. Aside from being a highly Instagrammable spot, the Duomo is Milan’s main cathedral and welcomes millions of worshipers and tourists annually. The cathedral, which has over 90 gargoyles and about 3,400 statues, took almost six centuries to be built. It is also the largest cathedral in Italy, the second-largest in Europe, and fourth-largest in the world.

golden gate bridge in san francisco

Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, California, USA

If you go to San Francisco, you must take a drive across the Golden Gate Bridge. Connecting San Francisco City to Marin County, the Golden Gate it’s one of the longest and tallest suspension bridges in the world and is one of California’s most well-known attractions. The American Society of Engineers considers the bridge to be one of the Modern Wonders of the World. Tip for taking the best photo of the Golden Gate bridge: head over to Baker Beach, during sunset. Also, make sure to check the weather forecast to avoid cloudy or foggy days. Mornings are better when shooting the bridge from the east.

view of oia in santorini

Oia City, Santorini, Greece

The beautiful city of Oia on Santorini Island is one of the most jaw-dropping Instagrammable places in the world. People travel far and wide to get a picture of the white-washed houses and bright blue rooves, which are definitely Instagram worthy. During your trip to Santorini, don’t forget to take a boat ride around the island and soak up the sunshine and friendliness of the Greeks. This ride will not only provide you with amazing photo spots, but also a great relaxation time under the Greek sun.

rainbow mountain peru

Rainbow Mountain, Peru

Rainbow Mountain is not only one of the 30 most Instagrammable places in the world, but also one of Peru’s most picturesque natural landmarks. While it may seem that the mountain was painted by hands, the colors are actually a result of minerals in the ground. The Rainbow Mountain, which is over 5,000 meters above sea level, is enjoyed by thousands of visitors daily and it’s becoming the main attraction to see after or before Machu Picchu. Listed as one of the“Top 100 Places To Visit Before You Die” by National Geographic, the mountain is made of 14 different minerals, which have a wide range of colors, such as turquoise, lavender, and gold. The Rainbow Mountain is also known as Vinicunca in the local Peruvian Quechua language, which translates to “colored mountain”.

tower bridge in london

Tower Bridge, London, England

Often mistaken as London Bridge, this famous monument in England’s capital is the Tower Bridge. The bridge is located between the Tower of London, Borough Market, and Westminister Abbey, a is a must-visit place for the perfect London photo shot. Also, going to Tower Bridge will put you in the middle of London’s most famous photo-spots, like the City Hall, the Tower of London and The Shard. Cross over to get an incredible view of the Thames River.

salt lake in bolivia

Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia

Located in the middle of the Bolivian Andes, in southwest Bolivia, Salar de Uyuni is every photographer’s paradise. The Salar is the world’s largest salt flat and its bright-white salt surface spans over 3,900 square miles (10,000 square kilometers). Its unique formation is a result of transformations between several prehistoric lakes. On the surface, there are few meters of salt creating its flatness. The rainy season, which is from December to April, is the best time to visit the salary to witness the mirror effect and, of course, take amazing photos. This mirroring phenomenon happens because the nearby lakes overflow and a thin layer of water transform the flats into a reflection of the sky. Thanks to its endless horizon, Salar de Uyuni’s allows travelers to take creative pictures by playing with depths and perspective, and it soon became one of the most Instagrammable places in the world. Curious fact: in 2017 it was one of the film locations for Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

havana cuba view

Havana, Cuba

People fly to Cuba from the farthest parts of the globe to see the colorful streets of Old Havana. Havana was founded by the Spanish in the 16th century and was a very important location for the Spaniards during the conquest. Over one million international tourists visit Havana a year to not only experience the city’s lively culture but also to see its eclectic charm. Havana harbors richly-decorated mansions, colorful houses with Moorish-style roofs, and Art Deco constructions, such as the Fausto Theatre on Paseo del Prado. And, like many of the Instagrammable places on this list, Havana was also the location for many films, such as Dirty Dancing: Havana Nights, and Buena Vista Social Club: Adios. Travelers can rent one of the colorful vintage cars and take a ride while snapping pics of the old town.

palm island view in dubai

Palm Islands, Dubai, United Arab Emirates

Have you ever seen anything like this? Consisting of three artificial islands, the Palm Islands is a very popular tourist attraction to see in Dubai, especially up from the sky. The creation of the artificial islands began in 2001, and it required 5.5 million cubic meters of rock brought from 16 different quarries in Dubai, 700 tons of limestone, and 94 million cubic meters of sand from deep sea beds placed 6 miles from the coast of Dubai. Often regarded as the ‘eighth wonder of the world’ the Palm Islands are the largest human-made islands in the world and created to drive more attention to Dubai. Also known as Palm Jumeirah, the islands are home to thousands of waterfront apartments, residential villas, some 60 luxury hotels, spas, and dive sites. If you go to Dubai, we recommend taking your bravery up to new heights and going skydiving above the islands.

the rainbow stairs in batu caves

Batu Caves, Malaysia

Who wouldn’t want to get a picture in front of the rainbow steps leading up to Batu Cave? Located in Kuala Lumpur the 272 steps lead to the caves which also serve as a temple. The golden statue is the Hindu deity Lord Murugan, who stands to protect the temple and stairway. It is truly a bucket list spot to visit.

the blue lagoon in malta

Blue Lagoon, Malta

Known for its crystal blue waters and incredible views, the Blue Lagoon is Malta’s most famous and popular attraction. Visitors can rent a boat for the day or take a ferry to spend hours exploring the bay and Comino Island, which lies between Malta and Gozo Islands. If you like to swim, there is no better place to do explore the coves and caves of the island.

Sintra portugal view

Sintra, Portugal

Sintra’s castle lives above the clouds. Located in the region of Lisbon, Sintra is very famous for its many UNESCO World Heritage sites and its castles and palaces. This cultural landscape is a hot spot not just in Portugal, but all of Europe. Everyone who visits calls this romantic village a fairytale, and once you go you’ll see why.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Most-Instagrammable-Places-in-Japan-1030x578.png

Bamboo Forest, Kyoto, Japan

Have you ever been to Kyoto’s incredible Bamboo Forest? Get lost in a sea of greenery and bamboo stalks that extend hundreds of feet into the sky. While the whole walk can be done in one hour, visitors often spend hours in the forest admiring the natural park. Be sure to add it to your Japanese bucket list. You also have to try the delicious teas in the nearby tea houses.

cappadocia turkey hot air balloons

Cappadocia, Turkey

If you have ever dreamt of taking a hot air balloon ride, there is no better place to experience it than in Cappadocia, Turkey. People folk there to get beautiful colorful photos on top of the “fairy chimney” mounds and beautiful balloon backdrop. Turkey has so many unique places to explore so be sure to add Cappadocia to the list.

bondi beach view

Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

Bondi Beach is easily one of the most instagrammable places to visit in Australia. Visitors can surf, whale watch, and enjoy views of the gorgeous blue waters from the pool that appears as if it is in the ocean. Explore and discover Sydney’s other picture-perfect locations when visiting the pristine Bondi Beach.

the pyramids in egypt

Egyptian Pyramids, Giza, Egypt

The Egyptian Pyramids in Giza are the last remaining original wonder of the world. The first mention of the pyramids dates as far back as the Early Dynastic Period. History says the actual pyramids are from the 3rd dynasty. They are truly a world wonder demonstrating the sheer strength and capability of humans from such an early point in time. The pyramids were originally built as tombs for the pharaohs and are now visiting by millions of tourists a year.

blue city in morocco

Blue City, Chefchaouen, Morocco

One of Morocco’s most visited locations is the gorgeous blue city of Chefchaouen. It is located in the northwest part of Morocco and is near Tangier, one of Morocco’s more connected cities to Europe. When the Jewish people were trying to escape the Spaniards in 1492, they flocked to Chefchaouen. It was then that they began painting the walls blue and it remains a tradition ever since. Tourists love exploring the blue town in search of the perfect nook to snap their shot with no one around.

northern lights in iceland

Northern Lights, Iceland

Millions of people visit Iceland, Norway, Canada, Sweden, and more every year to have the opportunity to see the Northern Lights. But Iceland offers something truly spectacular and from winter to spring you can stay up all night to take in the spectacular green, blue, purple, and yellow colors. It is truly a once in a lifetime experience.

Skyline Queenstown, New Zealand

Enjoy a panoramic view of Queenstown from the Skyline Complex. Visitors can take a short gondola ride up to the structure to dine with a view of the city, mountains, and  Lake Wakatipu. While you can choose to hike or take the gondola up, to go down you have to try the luge. A visit to this incredibly Instagrammable location pairs well with adventure.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Most-Instagrammable-Places-Horseshoe-Bend-1030x538.png

Horseshoe Bend, Arizona

Located in Page, Arizona, horseshoe bend is one of the most famous parts of the Colorado River and Grand Canyon. Sit above the clips to get the best photo of the river as it winds around the bend. You can arrive to have the photo opt by climbing a 1.5-mile hike. The view is breathtaking, especially at sunset.

parc guell in barcelona

Parc Güell, Barcelona, Spain

Visitors come to Barcelona every year to admire the incredible colorful artwork by Antoní Gaudi. Parc Güell is one of Spain’s most favorite parks and tourist attractions. The park has been open since 1926 and is also a UNESCO World Heritage site. Located on Carmel Hill, there is no better place to get a breathtaking view of the entire city stretching out to the beach. One could simply spend hours exploring the park and all of its architectural designs.

gates of heaven in bali

Gates of Heaven, Bali, Indonesia

Although the entire island of Bali is filled with instagrammable places, the Gates of Heaven is a must-visit for that once in a lifetime photo. The “gates” are part of the Pura Penataran Agung Lempuyang in Karangasem. While many people often criticize influencers and tourists for visiting this spot for the photo, one can’t help but admire its beauty and incredible natural backdrop. Our tip? Be extremely respectful and learn a thing or two about how to contribute to the preservation of Bali’s holiest locations.

the blue mosque in istanbul

Istanbul, Turkey

From the opposing and breathtaking mosques to the culture and colorful streets, Istanbul is a place unlike any other. It serves as both a cultural and historic center for Turkey. Originally named Byzantium and Constantinople, it is the largest city in Europe and the seventh-largest city in the world. If you are looking to learn about the ancient Europan history and its connection to Asia, while getting your picture-perfect moment, then Istanbul is the perfect place for you.

singapore tree garden

Supertree Grove, Singapore

You cannot visit Singapore without taking a picture of the Supertree Grove. This man-made forest is unique for its tree-like towers and verdant greenery. The trees are between 80 to 160 ft tall and belong to the Gardens by the Bay nature park. The park welcomes over 50 million guests a year and serves as a symbol for enriching the quality of life in Singapore. If you are looking for one of the most instagrammable places to visit, this is definitely a fantastic option.

amsterdam canals

Amsterdam Canals, Amsterdam, the Netherlands

Take a walk down the charming streets of Amsterdam on your next trip to the Netherlands. The entire city is a collection of Instagrammable places, such as channels, canals, and small elongated houses. Many of the houses have the appearance that they are leaning. This was done on purpose to avoid a collision. Bike culture is very popular in Amsterdam. So hop on a bicycle and snap a few epic photos of the colorful city along the way.

New York, New York

View of the New York City skyline from the Hudson River.

In New York City, at almost every corner you’ll find an Insta worthy place. And, especially during the summer, New York boasts an irresistible and lively atmosphere, which makes travelers want to capture every single moment. The warm weather provides New York with special sunlight, which makes it even easier to appreciate the beauty of the city. In case you’re looking for the most Instagrammable places to take amazing pictures in New York City, a great tip is to start with the basics. You can head over to the verdant Central Park, or photograph the city’s iconic skyline, which is dotted with high-rise constructions, such as the Empire State Building.

But, if you’re looking for off the beaten track Instagrammable places in New York City, make your move to cool photo spots such as Williamsburg, a hype neighbouhood filled with industrial buildings, vintage shops, hippie-chic cafes and elegant speakeasies.

Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro

Aerial view of the Baia de Guanabara, in Rio de Janeiro, during the sunset.

When it comes to Instagrammable places to visit during summer, Rio de Janeiro is undoubtedly one of the best. This beautiful Brazilian city is a quaint paradise, dotted with forested mountains, beaches, and rich architectural heritage. Some of the most Instagrammable spots in Rio de Janeiro include the Arpoador Rock, the colorful Escadaria Selaron, the Plage Cafe located in Parque Lage, and the Sugarloaf Mountain, which rises 396 meters above the Gulf of Guanabara. When in Rio, also make sure to visit the picture-worthy Christ Redeemer, a giant statue listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Cartagena, Colombia

A street lined with colorful houses in Cartagena, Colombia.

Cartagena is a true profusion of colors. Placed on Colombia’s Caribbean coast, this historic city founded in the 16th-century displays a showcase of scenic historic buildings, cobblestone streets, colorful colonial houses, and bougainvillea-laced balconies. Not by chance, Cartagena is one of the most Instagrammable places in the world, so you might wanna take advantage of the summer season, which is when the city is the most beautiful. Some worthy places for taking Instagram photos are the walled Old Town of Cartagena, filled with cultural sights, and the lively Getsemani Neighbourhood, known for its colorful houses and street art murals.

Los Angeles, California

Orange sunset at Venice Beach, in Los Angeles.

Los Angeles may not be the first destination that comes to mind when you think of the most Instagrammable places in the world. But, interestingly, it is. In fact, Los Angeles is home to some of the most Instagram worthy spots in California. In case you want to photograph iconic places in Los Angeles, make sure to include the Hollywood Sign, the Beverly Hills Hotel, and the Hollywood Walk of Fame in your itinerary. Los Angeles also plays host to cool artsy Instagrammable places, like The Broad, a contemporary art museum in Downtown Los Angeles, and the Urban Light, a large-scale artwork placed outside of LACMA.

When traveling around Los Angeles during the summer, you can also head over to other amazing photo spots, like the Santa Monica Pier, which is framed by the Pacific Ocean, and the quirky Venice Beach.

Prague, Czech Republic

View of the Vltava River, in Prague, crossed by 4 bridges and surrounded by orange and yellow trees.

Prague is one of the most Instagrammable places in the world at any time of the year. During the late fall and winter, the city boasts a glittering Christmas decoration, with magical open-air markets being held in some of the city’s most iconic areas, such as the Old Town Square and the Wenceslas Square. During spring, Prague gets dotted with cherry blossoms, and in the summertime, the sun illuminates Prague’s ancient buildings, which become even more beautiful and picture-perfect.

So, if traveling to Prague in summer is on the books for you, you might wanna know where to go to take the most amazing photos of the city. The number one photo spot is the Prague Castle, a UNESCO World Heritage site founded in around 880, and the largest ancient castle complex in the world. Europe, by the way, is home to thousands of magnificent castles, and you might want to include some of them on your list of the most Instagrammable places to visit.

In Prague, make sure you also make your move to other photo spots, such as the Charles Bridge, spanning the River Vltava, and the quirky Dancing House placed right on the Vltava riverfront.

Now that you know the most Instragrammable places to visit, start planning a trip to capture them all. CuddlyNest has everything from hotels to homes, and everything in between to provide you with the perfect place to stay.

Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels

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Croatia 7 MINS READ

Fun Facts About Croatia: 50 Things You May Not Know

Fun Facts About Croatia: 50 Things You May Not Know

Croatia 7 MINS READ

One of Europe’s most beautiful coastal countries, Croatia has many things to offer visitors. But what do we really know about Croatia? We know it has incredible food, dreamy landscapes, and some of the friendliest people. We know it is one of the most famous film locations and is very well-known for its picturesque red-roof houses and crystal blue waters.

But there is still so much to learn before packing your bags and heading off to the Dalmatian Coast. That’s why we are sharing with you the most interesting fun facts about Croatia, that you cannot find anywhere else. Whether you have or have not visited this Balkan country, there is so much to discover, that you’ll want to visit again and again.

What is Croatia known for?

fun facts about croatia with a view

Croatia has one of the most fascinating histories, cultures, and environments of all the European countries. With incredible outdoor attractions and historic monuments, it’s important to learn all the interesting and fun Croatia facts, and more to plan the perfect getaway. Let’s dive in, starting with the history of this Balkan country.

Quick Croatia Facts

Official LanguageCroatian
Country Code+385
Currencykuna (HRK)
Time ZoneUTC +1
FlagThe Tricolour (Trobojnica)
Population4.076 million (as of 2019 report)
LocationSouthern Europe
Area56,594 km2
Neighbouring countriesSlovenia, Hungary, Serbia, Montenegro,
and Bosnia and Hezergovina
AnthemLijepa naša domovino (“Our Beautiful Homeland”)

Croatia’s History

View of the historic buildings in the coastal city of Rovijn, in Croatia.

Fact 1:  The country of Croatia was inhabited as early as the Paleolithic Age. The Croats then arrived in the 6th century.

Fact 2: On June 7, 879, Croatia was internationally recognized as an independent state. 46 years later, Tomislav became the first king in 925. Croatia thus became a kingdom and maintained its sovereignty for two centuries.

Fact 3: After years under different rules including the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, Croatia finally gained its full independence on June 25, 1991.

Fact 4: Zagreb is the capital and largest city in Croatia. It became the capital of the Balkan country in April 1941. and is 247 square miles (641 square kilometers). It is home to a fifth of the country’s population.

Fact 5: Croatia is also home to an original Egyptian sphinx. In 297, twelve sphinxes were brought to Split, Croatia. Currently, only a black granite one remains and is standing at the Peristyle.

Fact 6. The Pula Arena in Pula, Croatia is the only remaining Roman amphitheater in the world to maintain its four side towers. It is one of the remaining three pieces of Roman architecture to keep its architectural integrity.

Did you know any of these fun facts about Croatia?

Croatian Geography & Cities

croatia cathedral in zagreb

Fact 7. Croatia borders five countries. Hungary to the north, Bosnia, and Herzegovina, as well as Serbia to the east, Montenegro to the south, and Slovenia to the west. The Adriatic Sea borders the majority of Croatia’s southwest region. While it does not directly border with Italy, the two countries share a maritime border.

Fact 8. Croatia may be one of Europe’s smaller country’s but it is actually the 127th largest country in the world.

Fact 9. There are nearly as many Croatians living outside of the country as there are living there. The current population is a little over 4 million people. 

Fact 10. Croatia has more than 1,200 islands, islets, and crags off the coast of the mainland. However, only 48 are inhabited. Hvar and Korcula receive the most visitors of all the islands.

Fact 11. The largest island in Croatia is Krk, with a surface area of 405.78 square meters. 

Fact 12. Croatia has a heart-shaped island, Galešnjak, which is also known as the Island of Love or Lover’s Island.

Fact 13. The city of Dubrovnik, in Croatia, had one of the first medieval sewer systems in Europe.

Fact 14. The world’s smallest town is in Croatia. The town of “Hum” is so small its population is only between 17 to 23 people.

Fact 15. Vinkovci in eastern Croatia is one of the oldest towns in Europe. It has been continuously inhabited for more than 8,000 years!

Fact 16. Zlatni rat beach changes in shape and color depending on the wind. This beach is in Bol, on the island of Brac. Its nickname is the Golden Horn.

Fact 17. Dubrovnik was the main film location for King’s Landing in the popular HBO show Game of Thrones. The city of Split was also used as one of the film locations.

Fact 18. Croatia’s capital, Zagreb, used to be known by the name Agram.

Fact 19. Every first weekend in August since 1715, the Croatian town of Sinj hosts a knight tournament named Sinjska Alka. During the chivalric tournament, knights ride horses along the main street, aiming lances at an iron ring.

Fact 20. The 108 meters high Zagreb Cathedral on Kaptol is the largest building in Croatia.

Croatia’s Culture

dalmatian dog and child in croatia

Fact 21.  Croatia is the home of the popular dog breed Dalmatians. The breed dates back to the 17th century. The coast is named after the breed.

Fact 22. The Croatian military first wore knotted neckties in the 1600s, thus many historians believe the necktie was invented in Croatia.

Fact 23. Croatia is very well known for its delicious cuisine, including specialties like Peka and Pag Cheese.

Fact 24. There are names of two Croatian’s on the map of the Moon. Scientists J.R. Boskovik and A.Mohorovicic.

Fact 25. Nikola Tesla was born in the northern Adriatic region of Lika.

Fact 26. The world’s first torpedo was constructed by Rijeka native, Ivan Lupis.

Fact 27. Croatian innovator, Slavoljub Penkala, invented the very first mechanical pencil. The name pen comes from his surname.

Fact 28. While the popular film Mamma Mia 2  takes place in the Greek Isles, it was actually filmed on the Croatian Island, Vis.

Fact 29. The main exports of Croatia consist of textiles, transport equipment, foodstuffs, chemicals, and fuels.

Fact 30. On the Island of Susak, in Kvarner, women are known for wearing the shortest folk costumes in Europe.

Fact 31. The Croatian currency, the Kuna, is named after the pine-marten, a cat-sized mammal that’s part of the weasel family. This is because, in the past, pine marten’s fur was used for trading.

Fact 32. Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night was set in Dalmatia, a historical region located on the east shore of the Adriatic Sea, in Croatia.

Fact 33. The Croatian alphabet is also a form of the Latin script, but it has 30 letters in total. Their alphabet does not contain the letters q, w, x and y, but it has the following additional letters č, ć, dž, đ, lj, nj, š and ž.

Fact 34. The longest Croatian word is “prijestolonasljednikovičičinima”, which means “heirs to the throne”.

Fact 35. Croatia has the highest number of UNESCO Intangible Goods of any European Country. In addition to our Croatia interesting facts, there are also 10 sites in Croatia listed on the UNESCO World Heritage site list. The list includes the Historical Complex of Split with the Palace of Diocletian, Dubrovnik city, and Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Fact 36. The Irish author James Joyce worked and lived in Istria, a peninsula located at the Adriatic Sea and shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.

Fact 37. Lord Byron, British Romantic poet, was said to have called Dubrovnik, in Croatia,” the pearl of the Adriatic”.

Fact 38. The traditional Zagreb Advent was voted the best Christmas Market in Europe for 3 years in a row.

Croatia’s Food

Fact 39. The medieval Croatian town of Motovun, in Istria, is known as the ‘land of truffles’.

Fact 40. One of the largest truffles in the world weighing 1.31 kg was found in Istria by Giancarlo Zigante and his dog, Diana. The truffle was listed by the Guinness World Records.

Fact 41. In Croatia, there are nearly 300 wine regions with a strict classification system for quality check. 

Fact 42. The peninsula of Istria, in Croatia, is a big producer of award-winning olive oils. The region is often referred to as the ‘new Tuscany’.

Fact 43. In 2016 the village of Jaškovo, in Croatia, has entered the Guinness World Records for being home to the world’s longest strudel, which was 1,479 metres long.

Croatia’s Great Outdoors

Plitvice Lake National Park Croatia

Fact 44. Croatia’s highest mountain is the Dinara peak which over 6,000 feet (1,831 meters).

Fact 45. Croatia is one of the most verdant and green countries in the world. 10% of the country is home to 11 Nature Parks, 8 national parks, and 2 nature reserves. One of it’s most famous national parks is Plitvice Lakes National Park.

Fact 46. Croatia enjoys 2.715 hours of sunshine a year. That’s more than Sydney, Australia. The Hvar Island, located off the Dalmatian Coast, receives the most with almost 2,800 hours of sunshine. 

Fact 47. According to Alfred Hitchcock, the city of Zadar has “the most beautiful sunset in the world, more beautiful than the one in Key West in Florida, applauded at every evening.”

Fact 48. Aside from having the most beautiful sunset in the world, the Croatian city of Zadar is home to a Sea Organ. Designed by Nikola Basic, this experimental sound object captures the movement of the waves and transforms it into music.

Fact 49. The national flower of Croatia is the iris.

Fact 50. Croatia has the richest collection of remains of Neanderthal people in the world.

Extra fun fact: Croatia has some of the best vacation rentals and hotels found on CuddlyNest. Plan your dream vacation in Croatia!

Now that you know the most interesting and best facts about Croatia, it is time to plan your getaway. Let us know what destinations you can’t wait to visit first, and we will help you find the perfect place to stay in Croatia.

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Europe 3 MINS READ

No Need to Fly: Two European Trips Easier by Train (Tips for Better Train Travel in Europe)

No Need to Fly: Two European Trips Easier by Train (Tips for Better Train Travel in Europe)

Europe 3 MINS READ

No need to fly: three European trips easier by trainTrain travel in Europe is no easy task to understand on your own. Did you just land in Berlin and need to get to a hotel soon? While flying allows us to travel to both popular and not so popular destinations in Europe, Asia and everywhere else in the world, there is no excuse not to explore the countryside.

From Matching in the United Kingdom, to the French countryside and Balkan nature parks and SPA centers, there are many destinations in the countryside that planes do not connectto. We listed some of the most beautiful European countryside castles, inspired by The Guardian’s “European Trips Easier by Train” article.

Opening new routes, or taking an advantage of train prices in the last days before Brexit with newly launched Interrail four-day pass (€ 185), can be an advantageous feauture of train travel.  Going through the mountainous Europe – Alps, Pyrenees and Tatras – Europe offers one of the best opportunities for anyone traveling by train. . We looked at Burgundy, the Austrian Alps, and the Dutch Coast among other amazing destinations only reachable by European trail tracks. No flights here, keeping it green in 2020!

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Train Travel in Europe, France: A Taste of Burgundy

Taste and smell the famous Burgundy wine region. Along with amazing wine and views to the green yards,  the main winemaking villages can also be reached by stopping at Gevrey-Chambertin, Meursault and other Burgundian wine regions. For more wine travel in Europe, go to this article on Hungarian wine history and travel tips.

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Train Travel in Europe, Austria: The Alps

The Austrian Alps can not only be the place to live through The Sound of Music scenes, but it can also be easily visited on your way from Brussels to Vienna on the newly opened railway. From the nearest Vienna airport, hop onto the Vienna – Brussels line and take bus 172. After a  27-mile journey over the Seeberg Saddle, you’ll arrive in Bruck-an-der-Mur where the Unesco-listed Semmering Railway can take you back to Vienna by night.

Away from Airports and Still in Reach

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Eltz Castle, Moselle Valley, Italy

Trains from Koblenz in Germany where Moselle flows into the Rhine, can connect you to Trier in Italy. Sit back and enjoy the view with some perfectly roasted espresso.

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Falkenstein Castle, Savoy, Jura route

Since the Handbook for Travellers in Switzerland and the Alps of Savoy was written by John Murray in 1846, the Savoy was one of the main European destinations on the Jura route to visit for nobleman taking their European journey. Drop by Waldenburg, or

Heinfels Castle in Rhine Valley, Italy

Taking a train from Koblenz towards Cologne along the Rhine valley will allow you to relax. Visit the Rheinfels Castle on your way!

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Black Forest, Germany

The Black Forest and Eifel in Germany? May sound like a mix of France and Germany, but the southwestern North Rhine-Westphalia has it all. Visit the Cochem Castle in the meantime!

Ready to go on a train? Make sure you have a place to stay first.

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train routes in europe

Destination Deep-Dive 4 MINS READ

Winter Wonderland: Magical European Destinations to Visit in 2020

Winter Wonderland: Magical European Destinations to Visit in 2020

Destination Deep-Dive 4 MINS READ

European destinations during Christmas and New Year’s attract many visitors from all around the world. But where to go to experience the offbeat winter itinerary?

Some of the best spots to celebrate the winter solstice is where there is the least light, the lowest temperature, and the most snow. If you are in the US, you may go up to Canada or Maine, Minnesota or Wyoming, but if you happen to travel around Europe in winter, there are some must-visits for tapping into the winter wonderland. So hold tight, because we are going on a sleigh ride all around Europe.

European Destinations: The French Alps

French are famous for their fashion mecca Paris, their patisserie and champagne. But did you know that the French Alps is one of the best spots to dive into winter activities?  Val d’Isère near Tignes might be just your next place to go if you have a soft spot for large ski resorts and prefer many ski tracks of different experience levels. From black to red, to a large network of blue tracks, the remote valley captures what’s beautiful about French Alps, namely the diversity and extensive choice for everyone, both snowboarders and skiers. If you are just starting out, yet want some glitz and sparkle, then Courchevel is the place to be. Multi-million properties and high-class are the specials for this luxurious ski resort, and why not? Winter is always fun, and more so if you have a dollar to spare.


If you seek to catch the glimpse of nature and truly white winter, then Finland is one of the best European destinations to experience just that. They even have Santa Claus living just behind the polar circle! And if you go high enough to the very Northern areas of Finland, you will surely see all the colors of Northern Lights.

Being home to various winter sports and crazy activities, Finland will not leave you wondering what is the essence of winter vibes. And if you are crazy enough to go full in, you will see how people master wintertime. From saunas to winter swimming to the ski jumping and nordic combined discipline, there is a wide range of activities you can do. And – did we mention raindeers? If you want to catch a vibe before going, a recommended movie is “Sami Blood” showing the harsh lives of reindeer-breeding Sámi peoples. The movie is set in neighboring Sweden in 1930s, and it may also be wise to visit Sweden if you are traveling from afar. Fun fact? Finland used to be ruled by Swedes for centuries and still has two national languages. If you go more to the west, you will definitely encounter Swedish more, and if you are a  Dane or Estonian, you may very well get by using your mother tongue – Danish and Swedish are very similar, just as Estonian and Finnish.


If going outside of the European Union is not a dealbreaker, then Norway should also be on your travel list. It is wild (and expensive), yet going to mountains and seeing the views of mountain lakes and fjords will definitely be worth it. You may also ski downhill or do cross-country skiing. If you are more up for a laid-back atmosphere, you may want to go for dogsledding. Just get ready for a cold breeze and adrenaline! Ice fishing and ice skating are also popular wintertime activities, and you may do them anywhere you wish. For ice fishing, you do not need to obtain a license either, but better go prepared and in a company, especially if you are a first-timer. How often do you get a chance to slide over ice clearly seeing every single water green right under you?


Of course, Iceland. No wonder, huh? Not that much of an ice cube anymore, yet full of breathtaking landscapes and views. You can cross-country ski, get into the sauna or even do mountain climbing here. Or, alternatively, you can ‘cuddly’ up with a cup of hot chocolate in an igloo or far-away farmhouses to relax from the busy city streets and finally enjoy freedom from all the responsibilities. If you are a photographer, there is no limit of your wandering photo walks, as the landscape colors change with every hour of the day. From rosy to green to burning yellow, nature presents itself at its best here. Be prepared for extreme weather though, just like in any other Northern country.

If you want to go from fairy tale to reality without losing the adventure and beauty, then you must visit Northern Europe whilst it is winter. From truly laid-back wintertime activities, like shopping in Christmas markets and dog sledging, to sports such as skiing and snowboarding for more active travelers, winter shall not be a threat but an opportunity to see the countries in their real light. Nature is breathtaking, but so are people, welcoming at houses with glogg and egg liqueur, or hot tea after a cold, crisp winter day outdoors.

Now that you know the most interesting and things to do in Europe in winter, it is time to plan your getaway. Let us know what bucket list items you can’t wait to tick off, and we will help you find the perfect place to stay.

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Browse. Book. Stay.

CuddlyNest provides all accommodations to all travelers at the best price. Find unlimited travel inspiration on our blog and social media channels