Top 5 Things To Do In Paris

Paris, the city of lovers, one of the most historic cities in the world, and one with nearly limitless entertainment. If you really want to see everything in the city you will need more than one trip. However, if you want to get the five best experiences out of the way follow along with our list.

1. Visit The Eiffel Tower

The number one must see attraction that everyone knows about, the Eiffel Tower is a must see location. While most people love to go during the day, the best view, and the shortest lines, are actually during the evening. This destination doesn’t take very much time to visit, but is one of the most romantic places in the world. Be sure to snap the classic picture in front of the tower, everyone you talk to will ask to see it when you get back.

2. Go To The Louvre

Home to some of the most amazing pieces of art in the world, this amazing museum is a must see for anyone and everyone. The museum itself is also a piece of art, created in a style that has never been fully replicated since. While you won’t be drawn into a mystery DaVinci code style, you will see all of the artworks mentioned in books, movies, history books, and more. Make sure to ask if they have guided or audio tours available in your language.

3. Try Real French Food

Everyone has heard of crepes, croissants, French wine, and other parts of French cuisine, but few have ever tasted them done correctly. Paris has some of the best food chefs in the world and even the corner bakeries are known for their culinary skills. Be sure to ask for the best wine or coffee pairings for each dish to really get the best flavors during your visit.

4. Moulin Rouge Show

One of the top things to do in Paris is to see a Moulin Rouge show. More than just a 90’s song, the Moulin Rouge is a real place and offers some of the most amazing shows in the world. With over 100 years of history, the amazing show includes both cabaret and amazing food. The show features amazing costumes, quick and fascinating dance sets, skilled artists, and more laughter than you would have ever thought possible. Packages offering champagne, cruises along the Seine River, and more are available.

5. Visit The Catacombs

Located underneath the city proper, the Catacombs of Paris are an underground network of tunnels that hold the remains, memories, and life history of more than six million people who lived in Paris during their lifetimes. While these tunnels extend under most of the city, only certain parts are open to the public. Guided tours are offered each day and multiple languages are supported, making it possible to enjoy yourself without struggling to remember your 10th grade French class. Take comfortable shoes and plan to be gone for about 3 hours if you go on one of these tours.

Continue Reading

St Tropez Yacht Rentals Let You Tour the Entire French Riviera

The French Riviera is one of the most beautiful stretch of beaches in Europe and one of the most sought after vacation destinations on the planet. And for good reason. Located at a point where the French Alps meet the Mediterranean Sea, it is a virtual nirvana with mild to hot weather throughout the year. The French Riviera coast is dotted with beautiful and rustic small cities that have legendary names and stories and each promises a delightful vacation experience.

Appreciating the beauty of the French Riviera requires that you take a tour of the gorgeous small cities and towns that make up this treasured stretch of land. To view it all, you can stay at any of the many high class resorts in its most famous cities like Monte Carlo, Nice or Cannes and drive from one city to the next. Or you can stay in St. Tropez and take one of the St. Tropez Yacht Rentals and see the entire French Riviera by sea. Whichever you choose, it promises to be scenic and unforgettable.

When you stay and travel around the French Riviera you have your choice of where to go with each destination more beautiful than the last. Here are some options for you to consider:

 From the Italian border to Nice

Some claim that this is the most beautiful part of the French Riviera, because it is where the Alps meet the Mediterranean and in fact almost reach the edge of the water. There are small towns like Menton here that are picturesque and charming.

The most famous place in this part of the French Riviera is world famous city-state Monte Carlo, which is known for its luxurious beach front resorts, first class shops containing the best selection of designer clothing, fine jewelry and other designer goods, and its high end casinos frequented by the world’s elite.

Other cities in this area include Saint Jean Cap Ferrat, which is frequented by top actors, princes and businessmen from all over Europe who have their summer homes here. If you head inland just a bit up a few twisting mountain roads and breathtaking views, you will find rustic village Eze.

Nice

Nice is the largest city on the French Riviera. It features areas filled with historic architecture and a beautiful long seafront filled with cafes and bistros. For art lovers there are museums dedicated to Matisse and Chagall museum, and beautiful flower gardens throughout the city. It also has some of the most elegant hotels in the world and a vibrant nightlife.

Cagnes sur Mer and Antibes

These two French Riviera cities are some of the most famous for their museums for seminal painters Renoir and Picasso, for their rocky beaches and their popularity with the French who vacation here in mass. Both cities are small but lovely and have all day entertainment options.

Cannes

Cannes is the French Riviera’s second city. It is most famous of course for its annual film festival and the Hollywood star power it attracts to the city. It also hosts one of the largest music fairs in the world called MIDEM which happens every January. So if you plan to book a trip here make sure there are accommodations available. In addition to its popularity as an entertainment haven, the city has some of the best restaurants in France and some of its loveliest beaches.

The Esterel Coast

If you want a small and quieter holiday on the French Riviera, consider The Esterel Coast. It contains hills and forests that almost reach the water’s edge and small resorts. This area is perfect for lovers.

The Western Riviera

There are small towns in this part of the French Riviera including Sainte Maxime and Le Laavandou that have inviting harbors, and town centers with lots of shopping and small markets selling local food and hand made goods. However, the biggest attraction in this part of the coast is the French Riviera’s most famous resort city, St. Tropez.

St. Tropez started as a small Mediterranean seaport, is now the hottest destination in Europe for the elite and other jet-setters, and offering an idyllic holiday environment with plenty of luxury shops, five star hotels, pristine beaches, trendy cafés and restaurants. St Tropez is the ultimate destination for being a beach bum, and spending your nights entertained at the hottest clubs.

From St. Tropez you can rent a yacht and tour the entire French Riviera. When you do, you will find many cities and towns to visit and be able to plan your next place to stay on the world’s most beautiful stretch of beaches.

Continue Reading

Top European city-break alternatives

Where are you planning on going for your city break this year? Paris? Berlin? Madrid? There are plenty of popular destinations that should spring to mind, but why not go somewhere a little different? There are so many incredible cities in Europe, all with beauty spots, historical monuments and places of cultural significance of their own. Here are our top alternatives to the same old destinations…

  • Vienna

Austria’s capital has so much to offer intrepid explorers. Thanks to the decadence and splendour of the former Imperial rule, there are more grand palaces and magnificent structures to behold in this city than you’ll probably ever see in one place again. The most notable are the Belvedere, the Hofburg and the Schönbrunn, but Vienna is also famous for its huge contribution to music. Why not take in an aria or ballet in the spectacular surroundings of the Vienna State Opera house (click here for information on tickets), before heading to Donauinse in the centre of the city for their free festival?

  • Krakow

One of Poland’s most picturesque cities, Krakow is a stunning place to visit with a rich history and plenty of quirky local customs for you to discover. From medieval Wawel castle that looks as though it’s straight out of a fairy tale, to the magnificent St Mary’s Basilica which forms the main feature in the central square of the city, this city is a photographer’s dream. History buffs will love the Wawel Cathedral which is over 900 years old, while adventurers might prefer a hike up into the Tatra Mountains where they can learn how to ski.

  • Lisbon

Heading over to Portugal for hotter temperatures, Lisbon is often bypassed by sun-worshippers in favour of the Algarve. For culture-vultures though, you couldn’t wish for anything more, as Portugal’s capital is packed with things to visit. Jerónimos Monastery is an absolute must-see experience, as this World Heritage site is a perfect example of Gothic architecture, but many might prefer to see the medieval Belém Tower or Moorish São Jorge Castle. Amidst all the sightseeing though, you can always stop for a coffee at one of the many cafes and restaurants in the pretty Rossio Square.

  • Seville

You may have heard this city referenced in the famous opera ‘The Barber of Seville’, but we’d bet you’ve never thought of visiting. With cities such as Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia on offer in Spain, Seville is often left out of the action, but it has so much to offer. For those who’d like a relaxing break, take a stroll around the calm, manicured gardens of Maria Luisa Park, where there will be plenty of fountains, monuments and plazas around for you to find the perfect picnic spot. Afterwards, you can head into the main town and see Seville Cathedral, the famous wooden artistic structure of the Metropol Parasol, and Seville’s Museum of Fine Arts.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article – have you been to any of our alternative destinations? Let us know what you thought in the comments section.

Continue Reading

Wealthy locals support the economy of prime central London

The economy of prime central London is run by its wealthy residents
Photo by CC user Arriva436 on Wikimedia Commons

It is a widespread misunderstanding that the residents of prime central London do not contribute anything of value to the local economy. However, premier estate agents, Wetherell, have released a new report which shows that residents do in fact represent a significant support division in the prime central London economy and local neighbourhoods support the leisure, employment, and shopping sectors considerably.

There are currently 2,000 millionaires calling Mayfair home, of which 20 are billionaires, and 200 earn a nine-figure salary. Supporting data in the report provided by Westminster City Council, Dataloft, and EGI reveals that these wealthy residents contribute a generous £2.5 billion to the UK and local economy each year. Findings illustrate that the most supported areas in the local economy by people of the prime neighbourhood are luxury shopping, consultants, and employment. The annual spending review exposes spending of £2,700,000 on Interior Design and Artwork, £644,000 on Clothing, and £325,000 on Staff, at super prime households worth over £15 million, in Mayfair.

NUMBER ONE ADDRESS IN PRIME CENTRAL LONDON

Mayfair has always graced prime central London’s premium addresses and global destination wishlists with its presence. Despite this consistency, the exclusive neighbourhood has appealed to a changing profile of people over the years, with residents of the area getting younger each year. 43 percent of households in Mayfair are currently home to prosperous young couples and singles, with a high level of education. The property market in the district offers a rising number of flats designed specifically for this residential profile, making Mayfair younger by the day.

In addition to younger residents, Mayfair also attracts a broad range of people from around the world, with over 42 nationalities calling the neighbourhood home and over 60 percent of current residents having been born overseas. This ever-changing mix of people attracted to Mayfair is likely to continue changing as time goes on due to the shift in global economy and fortunes cropping up in other locations. Currently, 540 billionaires reside in the US, while 251 are in China and 120 in Germany, according to the Forbes Rich List. There are fewer Russian-speaking billionaires of late, and the Middle East has seen a fall as oil prices decline.

THE EXPANDING PROPERTY MARKET

Mayfair is set to undergo a major transformation this year, with further developments spanning the next five years. W1K has historically been the most expensive address in Mayfair, but with a long list of luxury developments in the pipeline, prices will begin to spread, and sales prices will increase, expanding the most expensive postcode across W1S and W1J.

The current property account in Mayfair consists of 4,348 homes, of which wealthy tenants privately rent 2,173 with an average weekly rental amount of £1,387, homeowners maintain 1,305, and the final 870 are social houses. Of the 1,305 owned properties, five percent are estimated to be worth under £1 million, while 45 are worth over £10 million. The remaining 50 percent are valued between £2 million and £10 million.

If the current property values were not enough evidence of Mayfair’s affluence and exclusivity, the average cost of a flat or house entering the current market is over £1 million and £4.8 million respectively. Despite the Global Financial Crisis, the prime central London property market remained stable, with current house prices higher than before the crisis began in 2007. Mayfair property prices have been growing at a slightly lower rate than the 45 percent last year, at 42 percent, but higher than the latest decade average of 30 percent.

The most recent decade has seen house prices in Mayfair grow by 188 percent, which is a substantial difference to the growth in wider prime central London. The Mayfair property market even outperformed the equity markets, making it the perfect place for investment.

Moving forward, the luxurious district will continue to allure affluent residents, with the ability to provide new properties offering everything that the modern dweller desires. With the demand for luxury living growing and Mayfair in a position to provide advanced technology and exclusive design in its properties, these new homes can reach new price levels, with the most premium developments driving a 100 percent price tag over the current average house price in Mayfair. With that in tow, Mayfair will continue to grow and remain healthy with the local economy supported by its residents.

Continue Reading

10 Underrated Travel Destinations to Visit

Huangshan is one of the world's Underrated Travel Destinations
Photo by CC user davelau on Flickr

When I hear somebody doesn’t like traveling, I just refuse to understand it. Some people do it because they long for adventures, or because of their business, or because they want to meet a Russian lady for marriage. Doesn’t matter. What I know for sure, certain gateways are famous while others remain unnoticed by most travelers. Let’s have a look at the top 10 unconventional places to see!

1. Huangshan, China

If you are a hiking- camping-addict or just in love with nature, this place is definitely worth the attention of travelers. A picturesque mountain range is found 300 km away from Shanghai, one of the most populous and lively cities of China so you can kill two birds with one stone.

2. Rumbur Valley, Pakistan

It is the smallest of three valleys populated by Kalash people, one of the ethnic minorities of Pakistan. You should prepare for challenges as this area offers almost no tourist amenities but you will be able to immerse in a unique local culture and marvel at wild landscapes instead.

3. Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, USA

The Sierra Nevada is a stunningly beautiful mountain range famous for its diverse wildlife. So we’ve got two great recreational areas. I genuinely don’t know any person who wouldn’t be excited about seeing giant sequoias; moreover, there are a great many other tree and animal species.

4. Ulan Bator, Mongolia

The capital city of Mongolia is surely not the world’s most romantic gateway nor is it the center of civilization. But is you want to explore the unknown parts of East Asia, why not take such a trip? This area is rich in ancient relics and architectural monuments and, of course, natural attractions.

5. Scottish Highlands

Braveheart (1995) isn’t historically accurate yet it makes you fall in love with the Highlands. Well, the region is too big to outline anything right now. There are rocks, there are old towns, there are lakes and a plenty of other great things. Choose what you want and move out!

6. Pyongyang, North Korea

North Korea seems to be a less popular destination than the neighboring countries. Its capital city has impressively long and eventful history and rapidly develops nowadays. Traditional buildings meet high-rises, new attractions appear, and more and more small restaurants open.

7. Zanzibar Island, Tanzania

Also called the Spice Island, this is the pearl of East Africa. Everything that other beach resorts have can be found here: snow-white sand, palm trees, turquoise ocean water, and lots of the sunlight. In addition, the island offers all possible kinds of amusements even if your budget is pretty low.

8. Reykjavik, Iceland

Iceland is splendid and Reykjavik provides access to major local attractions. It is also the northernmost capital in the world (if we speak about sovereign states). Whether you are attracted to studying cultures, spa resorts, nightlife, or hanging out in the wild, your expectations will be met.

9. Florence, Italy

I have to confess that it’s my favorite Italian city so I judge it to be unfair that tourists often choose more mainstream routes. Florence doesn’t offer any crazy activities – everything is soaked with sophistication here. If you want to take some Renaissance air, this is where I strongly recommend you going.

10. Kiso Valley, Japan

Japan has gone through westernization but there are still areas where its old aura preserved. The Kiso Valley is one of those: visitors just can’t stay indifferent to its lovely towns, hiking trails, sceneries, and excellent food.

Continue Reading

Things to do in Berlin with locals

There are many Things to do in Berlin with locals ... photo by CC user Belappetit on wikimedia commons

Heading to Germany’s most culturally adept city, but have no idea what to do beyond the typical tourist attractions? In this article, we will go over the many things to do in Berlin with locals that will have you appreciating this city in a way that the casual traveler simply cannot comprehend.

Check out an authentic market hall

Although there are only two market halls left in all of Berlin (down from the original 13), Markthalle 9 has benefited largely because of the recent move towards local food production. Open since 1891, It is now home to a farmers market, craft sales, and plenty of hot food stalls.

Be sure to keep your eyes open for sales of local craft beers, as the these ales, pilsners, and lagers represent the leading edge of German beer making in the present day.

Explore neighborhoods with a local

Berlin is a very eclectic city when it comes to its neighborhoods, and the best way to discover their hidden secrets is to hire a local guide. Websites like Withlocals.com give you a chance to hire knowledgeable and professional guides that will help you uncover parts of this metropolis that you would never think to explore on your own.

From food tours that help you discover the best Wienerschnitzel in the city, to a flea market crawl that will have you finding some of the most eccentric but interesting knick-knacks that you have ever seen in your life, signing up for a tour with a local is one of the best decisions you’ll make while traveling.

Spend a beautiful day outside at Tempelhof Park

When the Tempelhof airport was closed to make way for a bigger and more modern airport facility for the city of Berlin, the airfield left a big gaping hole in Berlin’s cityscape.

After careful deliberation, it was decided that this giant parcel of land would be converted into a park, part of which would be set aside for wildlife, but also with a part that would allow for recreational use by city residents.

To that end, avid kiteboarders use the old runways to reach untold speeds on windy days, while others use the grassy infield as a perfect place to have a picnic lunch on a beautiful day in the city.

Pay your respects at the Berlin Wall Memorial

If there’s one thing that you should do here that is not off the beaten track, it should be to head to the Berlin Wall Memorial and pay your respects to those that lost their lives in an attempt to reach the freedom that West Germany represented during the days of division in this city.

While most of the wall was dismantled in the days following its fall in 1989, this section was left intact for the purposes of remembering the social and human cost of the construction of this barrier. Guides will relay their personal stories of suffering and hardship that was caused due to this wall’s construction, which divided families for decades.

Continue Reading

Exploring Belfast with the family

Checking out the zoo is a must when Exploring Belfast with the family

There’s a whole lot for families to do and see around Belfast, whether your kids need to be kept busy or enjoy relaxing and playing a couple games of Eurocup Game. When we traveled to Belfast recently, there was one attraction that really caught our eye – the Belfast Zoo.

Built all the way back in 1934, the zoo houses thousands of animals from around the world in beautiful, safe natural scenery, giving them an environment in which they can really relax. The zoo’s found a fair distance from the city itself (definitely better for the animals), but we didn’t have much of a problem getting there. We’d stayed at the Travelodge Belfast hotel, surprisingly cheap for something right in the city centre, and hopped on a Metro 1 bus from right outside straight to the zoo.

The buses don’t stop right outside the zoo – there’s about a 500 metre walk uphill (make sure you’re aware of this if you’ve got a pram) before you reach the zoo. Entrance to the zoo isn’t too pricey, with a family ticket coming at £23.20 at the moment. Once we actually got inside, we knew we’d made the right choice.

Across around 50 acres of nature, there’s more than a thousand animals, from natural inhabitants to a whole set of different visitors. We started off with a look around a few different types of monkey, from lemurs to gorillas and chimps (the kids recognised the ring-tailed lemurs from the Madagascar series).

Just walking around we saw everything from anteaters and kangaroos to capybaras (actually one of my favourite animals – they just look like they’re having a good time) and tapirs. The zoo’s taken animals from around the world and made sure that they’re all as comfy as possible, keeping them safe and happy.

As you might expect, a few of the animal enclosures get pretty crowded, with lions, elephants and tigers getting pretty packed around lunchtime. All in all, the Belfast Zoo really made for a great time, keeping the kids enthralled with some beautiful and rare animals.

The zoo’s actually part of a larger area, Cave Hill, which includes the famous Belfast Castle as well as a few more sights. With huge mountains and some really impressive natural sights, the park definitely looked impressive, but it’s really not the kind of thing the kids would enjoy. Maybe some other time.

Heading back towards our city centre Belfast hotel in the afternoon, we decided to stop off around something a bit more modern than the Belfast Zoo. Built a few years back, the W5 centre is a huge activity area designed for kids, with a whole lot of active attractions around. A bit more expensive than the Zoo, the W5 was definitely worth it – there’s hundreds of interactive things from a huge climbing frame to sciencey activities, music and way more.

Continue Reading

5 Destinations that Should Be On Your Radar for 2016

Prague Destination

Looking for the hottest destinations for the new year? Here are 5 destinations that should be on your radar for 2016. So make sure your passport is up to date and choose one of these travel destinations!

Cuba
cuba destination

With United States and Cuban relations beginning to normalize (indeed the U.S. embassy in Havana has reopened) there is no better time to visit this Caribbean jewel than now. How often can you fly to a McDonald’s free country just miles of the Florida coast. Cuba’s unique culture includes much more than antique cars and beautiful beaches (though those are not to be missed.) Once you get down there don’t forgot to spend days admiring Havana’s architecture or the island’s jungles.

Myanmar
Formally known as Burma, this country was also off limits to tourists until recently. This beautiful southeast asian nation is located on the northern coast of the Indian Sea and borders the l0ng time tourist hub of  Thailand. From its countless historic temples and ancient cities to spectacular views, Myanmar is not to be missed. Though this country has spectacular beaches, they may take some getting to as the infrastructure still needs some works. Myanmar’s remoteness is also its biggest asset as it will allow for an amazing crowd-less opportunities, hard to find in neighboring nations.

Argentina
This giant South American country gives travelers extreme variety; the chance to explore tropic jungles in the north, the over the top Andes,the rolling cattle plains , the long bikini crowded Atlantic beaches, and the ultimate penguin photo ops of Patagonia; for tips on landscape photography, be sure to read David Gibbeson’s blog (https://davidgibbeson.com/). Remember Buenos Aires, famous for its cultural sophistication and loud architecture. Don’t forgot you dancing shoes!

Vietnam
Recently tourists have been coming to Vietnam in increasing numbers. Many are coming for the deep and fascinating history others for the wild jungles. There is also no shortage of breathtaking beaches. Yet another reason not to miss Vietnam is its food. The Vietnamese food scene is blossoming both internationally and locally so no better time to get your food in the door and start exploring the fascinating cuisine of this culture.

Czech Republic
Prague Destination

There is no better time to visit the Czech Republic than now. This notoriously affordable European nation is even more so due to a strong dollar. Czech is a travel destination that should be on your list because it is one of the few countries you can enjoy traditional European cities and villages while staying on a budget. Prague’s remarkable cathedrals and bridges are worth the trip alone, not to mention the beer!

So I hope one of these 5 destinations that should be on your radar for 2016 striked your interest for the new year. Countries are always changing so what is an idyllic beach today could be a crowded tourists hub by next year. So get out there as soon as you can and don’t forgot the camera!

Continue Reading