5 Things To Know For Every Trip

You have decided your next destination and booked everything. Now you are ready to go. Actually, not yet. You need to take care of a few things before you travel.

1.Learn a few local words

Words like entschuldigung (sorry in German), euxaristo (thank you in Greek), Buon Giorno (goodmorning in Italian), or hola (hi in Spanish) will always be appreciated by the locals. Especially in some German cities in Bavaria, you will not find many people who speak English, so it’s good to know a few basics.

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2.Currency

Always check the currency before you visit a new country. Find out if you will benefit from exchanging money in your country or in the one you visit. Also, check with your banks (if you have many), to see in which one a transaction like that will benefit you most. Remember that currency rates change quite often, so be sure to get the best deal.

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3.Walk or bike to explore

The best thing you can do is stay close to the city centre of the city you visit. That will minimise your transportation costs and in the process, you will get to see some amazing places, you definitely wouldn’t if you used the metro.

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4.Order local specialities

When visiting a restaurant, try the local food. First, you will try this culture’s food and second you will pay way less money. Besides, if you visit a new country and you keep on only eating from well known fast food chains or you always order chicken, then you miss the point of experiencing in whole a city’s identity.

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5.Leave the tourist zone

Of course, at first you will visit all the known sights, but after that, try to get away from the tourist zone. It will be less crowded, less expensive and with beautiful cultural sights and buildings as well.

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5 Best Christmas Markets in Berlin

During the holiday season, Berlin lights up everywhere and takes your breath away. There are Christmas markets all over town, some bigger than others. Being a first timer in Berlin at Christmas, of course, I had to visit all of them and see for myself if they are worth it.

5. Christmas Market in Alexanderplatz

Location: U Alexanderplatz

When:  27 November – 26 December 2017

Opening Times: 10:00 – 22:00  (Alexanderplatz)

Entrance: Free

What to do: Buy carved figures, drink Glühwein,buy glass or wooden ornaments and toys

There is nothing better than going to the heart of the city and spend some time in this Christmas Market. Definitely one of the busiest markets in Berlin. What makes it special is that it is in the center of Berlin, giving you many choices regarding sights, food, shopping. Get on the second or third floor of Saturn for a view of the whole market. On Christmas Eve, the market will be open from 10:00 – 16:00.

4. Winter Dream Christmas Market at Alexa

Location: U Alexanderplatz

When:  27 November – 23 December 2017

Opening Times: Mon-Fri 14:00 – 22:00 / Sat-Sun 12:00 – 22:00

Entrance: Free

What to do: Get on the rides, buy lottery tickets, drink Glühwein, eat a lot

The Alexa market has a fun fair, filled with a lot of attractions to enjoy. It is for sure a great place to spend your day, especially for a family day out.  You get in the holiday spirit and have fun at the same time.

3. Winterworld at Postdamer Platz

Location: S Postdamer Platz Bahnhof

When: 03 November – 31 December 2017

Opening Times: 10:00 – 22:00

Entrance: Free

What to do: Go skating, buy textile products, buy all kinds of crafts and sweets

Truly a beautiful market on a very busy street of Berlin. Even though the market might seem small at first, it is not. If you start walking, you will find out that is way bigger, going all the way to Arkaden mall and Sony Center. Everything is decorated, even the trees on the street. The malls are beautifully decorated. On Christmas Eve, the market will be open from 10:00 until 14.00.

 

2. Weihnachtszauber at Gendarmenmarkt

Location:  Am Gendarmenmarkt 2, 10117 Berlin Mitte

When: 27 November – 31 December 2017

Opening Times: 11:00 – 22:00

Entrance:  1€  / free for children under 12

What to do: Try high-class dishes, see performances from renowned artists, find all the unique merchandisers, find the origami master

By far the most popular Christmas market in Berlin. It is surrounded by grand and amazing landmarks and it gives its visitors a feeling of warmth and elegance. There are so many unique merchandisers around the market, that specialize in a variety of crafts, such as an ivory carver, an embroiderer and a milliner among others, who provide high-quality goods. There is also an origami master, who you must definitely visit since his work is amazing.

Looking for something to eat? What better than a Michelin-star chef? What about more than one Michelin-star chefs? They prepare gourmet dishes for everyone and I recommend you try at least a dish from them.

 

1. 33rd Christmas Market at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church

Location: Breitscheidplatz, 10789 Berlin Charlottenburg

When: 27 November – 07 January 2017

Opening Times:  Sun-Thu 11:00 – 21:00
Fri & Sat 11:00 – 22:00
Closed on Tue, 19 December 2017

Entrance:  Free

What to do: Buy Christmas ornaments, buy winter clothes, eat caramelized nuts and homemade eggnog

Located between Kurfürstendamm and the Zoologischer Garten, this market is simply beautiful and so inviting. There are carousels for all children to have fun and all sorts of sausages for grownups. Walking outside the market, you will see some amazing decorations all around.

Special Opening Hours: 

24th December (Christmas Eve): 11:00 – 14:00
25th & 26th December: 13.00 – 21.00
31st December (New Year’s Eve): 11:00 – 01:00
1st January (New Year): 13:00 – 21:00

 

 

10 Best Greek Islands for your summer vacation (updated)

The summer has not come to an end. Many go on summer vacations in August and early September. In Greece, even in mid-September, the weather is quite hot and many choose this month for a crowded-free vacation. For those of you that will book your summer holidays in the next few days, continue reading.

Greece is the most popular summer destination in Europe with almost 6000 islands for you to visit. There is a little something for everyone. If you want an intense nightlife you go to Ios, Mykonos or Zakynthos. If you want to go somewhere quiet with your family, you go to Chios, Santorini or Corfu.

Each island is unique in beauty. The crystal clear blue waters, the sandy beaches, the delicious food and the gorgeous blue and white island houses will take your breath away.

1. Santorini

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Sunrise, wine, volcano, fava

What to do: Sunset in Oia, Wineries, Red Beach

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2. Crete

Location: Crete

Famous for: Traditional dialect, Raki, Mantinades, History

What to do: Elafonissi beach, Balos Beach & Lagoon, Knossos Archaeological Site, Gramvousa Fortress.

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3. Zante – Zakynthos

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Intense nightlife, raisins, olives, honey, herbs

What to do: Navagio beach, Porto Limnionas beach, Xygia Sulphur Beach

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4. Kefalonia

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Wines, Olives, Turtles

What to do: Assos, Myrtos Beach, Venetian Lighthouse of Fiscardo

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5. Paros

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Architecture, Golden sand, exotic beaches

What to do: Parikia Town, Kolymbithres Beach, Lageri beach

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6. Chios

Location: Aegean Sea

Famous for: Mastic, Mastello, Architecture

What to do: Pyrgi, Mavra Volia, Vrontados, Daskalopetra

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7. Milos

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Rocks, Volcano origin, Caves

What to do: Sarakiniko Beach, Kleftiko Beach

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8. Lefkada

Location: Ionian Sea

Famous for: Crystal clear beaches, Historic sites, Landscape beauty, Savoro

What to do: Egremni Beach, Kathisma Beach, Nydri Waterfalls

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9. Folegandros

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Wine, Matsata, Souroto, Kalassouna, Karpouzenia

What to do: Livadaki Beach, Latinaki Beach, Agios Nikolaos Beach

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10. Ios

Location: Cyclades

Famous for: Crazy nightlife, Chora, Traditional Food

What to do: Mylopotas Beach, Manganari Beach, La Tomba di Omero

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by Greek Sun Sailing Yachts charter

5 European destinations for your Easter holidays

1.Budapest

If you want to relax during your Easter holidays, then visit Budapest. Besides the beautiful buildings all around the city, you can visit the Széchenyi or Gellért Thermal Baths. The city is known for its thermal baths and during the night you can even party in some of them.

Where to go: Parliament, Széchenyi Baths, Chain Bridge, Danube Cruise

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2. Berlin

The weather is getting warmer in Berlin, and it is ideal for someone to explore this beautiful city by foot without freezing. You can explore the parks, walk around town and of course go shopping. At night, you can visit the local bars or restaurants, as well as the clubs. Berlin is famous for its unique and all-style clubs. But before visiting, check the entry requirements.

Where to go: Reichstag, Museum Island, Berliner Dom, Berlin Wall

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3. London

Similar to Berlin, London is such a big city with so many things to see, that is better to visit during warmer months. It is probably the best time to visit, since the pound has dropped and everything is a bit more affordable. Prepare your tour plan carefully, so you do not end up going in circles, as I did.

Where to go: Warner Bros Studio Tour, Piccadilly Circus, London Eye, Big Ben, Kensington Gardens

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4. Prague

A gorgeous historical city for a weekend. The incredible architecture, along with the castles and palaces, will give you a fairytale vibe. The Old Town is not particularly big, so in order to fully enjoy it, you should explore it by foot.

Where to go: Charle’s Bridge, Old Town, Astronomical Clock, Kostel Panny Marie Pred Tynem

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5. Amsterdam

I can give you so many reasons to visit Amsterdam, but you are probably already convinced. Besides the great weather all year long, Amsterdam will amaze you with its unique culture and artistic vibe.

Where to go: Red Light District, the Canals, the Van Gogh Museum, the Royal Palace

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The Best German Christmas Market

I had been living in Nuremberg for almost 2 years. To be honest, Nuremberg is a cute small city with not many things to do, but it is beautiful. Especially for winter holidays, including Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

The whole city is beautifully decorated from mid-November, with lights and Christmas trees all over. But Nuremberg is probably the most famous city in Germany for its extraordinary Christmas Market, called Christkindlesmarkt.

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Christkindlesmarkt begins on November 25th until December 24th, and it is open from 10 in the morning until 9 at night. People visit it from all cities of Germany. But what makes it so special and what can you do if you visit it?

 

1. Try the Nuremberg sausages

Yes!! Nuremberg sausages, called Bratwurst are the tastiest and most famous sausages in Germany. It is served with a small bun and 3 sausages inside. Be sure to put curry sauce inside and dried onions.

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2. Glühwein to keep you warm

The favourite hot wine for the cold nights of winter. Its special taste comes by adding cinnamon, cloves and lemon peel among others. Every time you buy one, you are charged 2 euros extra for the cup, which each year has a different design and colour (arranged by all the sellers together). If you wish to keep the cup, you get no refund. Only if you take it back, you will get your 2 euros back.

What is really interesting, is that Glühwein is also available for children in the form of hot and sweetened fruit juice.

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3. Meet the Nuremberg Christmas child

She is like Santa, but a girl. And blonde. And with wings. She represents the Christmas angel that brings the presents.

When it comes to Santa, parents tell their kids he will not bring them presents if they have been naughty. In the case of the Christkind, parents tell them that if they are curious and try to spot the angel, then they will get no presents. She does not come down the chimney. She rings a small bell, the moment she has left (well, the parents do).

Every Tuesday to Friday at exactly 3 pm, the Christkind visits Christkindlesmarkt to take pictures with children and listen to their wishes for presents. christkind-kinder-48

4. Shopping… A lof of shopping

Come on. Who doesn’t like shopping? Well, in Nuremberg’s Christkindlesmarkt, you might overspend. You can buy all sorts of toys for kids, such as wooden dolls and puzzles and all sorts of miniatures.  The best souvenir you can buy is a wooden nutcracker. They are very popular and made with great detail and love. One might cost about 100 euros, but it makes for a great souvenir or

The best souvenir you can buy is a wooden nutcracker. They are very popular and made with great detail and love. One might cost about 100 euros, but it makes for a great souvenir or Xmas present.

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Visiting the market is the best opportunity to buy ornaments for your Christmas tree. The choices are so many. Colours, shapes, designs, sayings. There are made out of glass, wood and any other material you want.

5. Interested in other cultures?

If you want to try something new, then all you have to do is go to the Market of Sister Cities, located on a square North of the Christmas market. Artists, merchants and craftsmen from Nuremberg’s sister cities, have a booth selling a variety of products. The earnings go to charities of each country. The countries included are USA, Turkey, China, Greece, Italy, Montenegro, Romania, Sri-Lanka, Nicaragua, Poland, France, Czech Republic and Scotland.  

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Why visit? Because it’s beautiful, full of lights and life, good food, with crazy and interesting items to purchase and it is fun. So much fun. Plus you get to go sightseeing in Nuremberg.