Archiv für April 2013

Having Dinner in Florence

There are many inexpensive places where you can eat, if you know where to look. If you want to avoid paying a lot, you should know that many places charge a higher charge for outdoor table service. Therefore locals eat inside, often at a place which is a kind of a cross between a restaurant and a bar or sandwich shop.
Trattoria Dante is the best place if you are looking for an enjoyable and tasty meal. It is always crowded, therefore be sure you book a table in advance. The striped macaroni and gnocchi are the two best personal favourites and take tiramisu as a dessert.
ZaZa is an American-friendly pizzeria which has a perfect outdoor patio for those warm Florence nights. The menu here has a wide selection of entrees.
Trattoria 13 Gobbi is a smaller restaurant which offers you an intimate and cosy setting to enjoy a meal especially if you are looking for true Florentine steak.
Acqua al Due is a place which understands the hardest part about eating out in Florence which is deciding what to order. You read the menu and you slowly begin to feel the pressure of choosing just one dish as the waiter comes to take your order. They offer you the ultimate solution – the assagio which is a taste of heaven. It is a series of small mouth-watering dishes of which the menu is changed from night to night. It is available for each course.
Florence is well-known for its gelato. The best one is Gelateria Santa Trinita which you can find in Piazza Frescobaldi. It serves all the classics but it is their original flavours that will completely change your life. Those ones which is a must to try: buontalenti al mascarpone.

Explore Florence

Florence is one of the most beautiful historical towns in the world. It is filled with museums, palaces and churches. Florence is a treasure trove with so many things to see that a few days will not be enough. The town is well serviced by the railway network as many main European cities are directly connected to Florence via Eurocity and Euronight trains. There is also an airport which is small but well connected to the main historical centre of Florence which can be reached by taxi with a 15 minutes ride.
Florence is a perfect place for tourists as it offers such a variety of touristic experiences. When visiting this town, you will be influenced by a series of variables like time, personal taste and budget. You can enjoy classic tours that include the most touristic itineraries and the most visited attractions. Your other choice is non-conventional tours that will bring you to the hidden spots of Florence, places that only few people know about.
The best time to visit Florence is spring. At this time, it is relatively warm, but it is not as hot as usually in the summer. Moreover, you can more enjoy the town as it is less busy than during the rest of the warmer months. Summer is very hot and quite humid. Do not forget to bring a hat and visit regularly the stores or cafes to drink plenty of water when you get hot while doing your sightseeing. Summer is also the busiest season, so expect crowds, long queues, higher hotel rates and a lot of tourists. In case you want to visit Florence in summer, choose August as the locals go to the sea, so much of the city is empty. However, have in mind that some restaurants and shops will close for the month. Autumn is the best time for food and wine. There is nothing better than a glass of Chianti to warm you up at night. If you like holidays in winter, Florence offers you a fair amount of rain, but it is not so much cold.

Sights in Stockholm

Stockholm has already 750 year long history and rich cultural life. This city offers a wide selection of museums and attractions. Most of these attractions can be reached on foot, so you can easily experience many things in a really short time.
One of the most famous silhouettes of the city, is the City hall which is one of the country´s leading examples of national romanticism in architecture at the same time. It was built in 1923 with using eight million bricks. The 106 meter tall tower has the three crowns that is the Swedish national coat or arms. The City hall is open to the public only through guided tours which are held daily at certain hours and you can enjoy them in Swedish or English language. During the same time you can also climb up inside the tower and enjoy the fantastic view over the city.
The Royal Palace is one of the largest palaces in Europe. It is the official residence of His Majesty. It has more than 600 rooms. The Palace is open to the public and offers fine museums. The most of the palace was built in 18th century. You can visit the reception rooms; see the Queen´s silver throne and Halls of the Orders of Chivalry. It also contains the Armoury with royal costume and armour as well as coronation carriages and magnificent coaches from Royal Stable.
The Vasa Museum is the only preserved 17th century ship in the world, so it is a unique art treasure at the same time. More than 95 percent of the ship is original. The whole ship is 69 meters long decorated with hundreds of carved sculptures. It sank in 1628 in the middle of Stockholm during its maiden voyage.
Gamla Stan is one of the largest and best preserved medieval city centres in Europe. It was founded in 1252. All of Gamla stan is like a living pedestrian- friendly museum which is full of sights, restaurants, attractions, cafés, bars and places where you can go shopping. The narrow cobbled winding streets are full of buildings in so many different shades of gold and give this place a really unique character. During the snowy winter days you feel it like being in a story book when you are here.

What Stockholm has to offer

Stockholm is one of the Swedish cultural, media, political and economic centres. The strategic position on 14 islands has always been important. The weather is mostly cold although the summer temperatures can be around 20-25°C. Besides being the Sweden´s capital, Stockholm is a home for many cultural institutions. There are two UNESCO World Heritage sites: The Royal Palace Drottningholm and the Skogskyrkogarden.
Stockholm can be easily reached by air. The biggest airport is the Stockholm-Arlanda airport. This airport has been accredited as the world´s most climate-friendly airport. However, the closest airport to the capital is the Stockholm-Bromma Airport. This one serves mostly the domestic flights. All the airports can be easily reached by airport busses or trains. Have in mind that the buses are cheaper while the trains are faster.
The capital of Sweden can be also reached by boat. You can be sure that sailing past many of the Stockholm archipelago´s islands is an unforgettable experience. There are a lot of harbours where your boat can be anchored when arriving.
Travelling by local ferries is then a fantastic way to experience the city which was built on islands. Ferries are used by the locals as well as tourists who want to take better look around.
Beside water around, Stockholm is a really green city. There are 26 city parks from which the most popular ones are: Hagaparken with forest, lakes and ponds, Ralambshovsparken with lakeside grass beach and fields, Vita Bergen with hilly picnic park and the huge Toyal National City Park, which is the world´s first national city park, that is known as the Ecopark where you can spot heron, roe deer and foxes, right in the city.
There are a lot of winter actions which can be done in winter here. The most popular spread is skating that is done on the frozen Norrviken Lake and the great lake Malaren which surrounds the cities’ islands. Much more impressive is to skate on the archipelago waters. Furthermore Nordic or cross country skiing is also a major activity done in parks and forests as well as frozen waters.

Explore Eastern Europe

Eastern Europe is full of things to see and do – including visiting museums, churches and castles, taking nature walks or going on historical tours. Every country and city in Eastern Europe has sights that every visitor should see. Some are well-known and hard to miss. Others are off the beaten path.
Romance and history is what is there for you when you visit one of Eastern Europe´s castles or palaces. A lot of royal residences have now been renovated and turned into museums full of riches, art masterpieces and curiosities. In addition, most of them are hotels now which welcome visitors all over the year.
There are over 60 castle and palace hotels which are unique in locales or amenities and where you can enjoy stay surrounded by history, charm and old-world luxury. The most famous are: Paszkowka Palace Hotel, Reszel Castle Hotel, Dwor Oliwski Hotel Inn.
Hungarian Castle hotels – you can spend your vacation on vintner´s estate far from the noise and bustle of the city. You can enjoy outdoors by taking tours, go horse riding or going for a walk in a garden. The most famous are: Kastely Hotel Szirak or Hungary Castel Hotel Sasvar.
Similar kind of accommodation can be found in any of the countries in Eastern Europe. However, going for holiday is not only about accommodation. It is also about eating out. This can be one of the best experiences, mainly if you look for restaurants that serve traditional Eastern Europe cuisine.
Shopping is also important for some people because shopping for antiques or just picking up some souvenirs can be a really good way how to fill in your afternoon. On the other hand, if you do your shopping in markets, be mindful of your wallet or bag. Pickpockets are prevalent and practiced, so always make sure the strap of your bag or walk with your bag in front of your body.
Wherever you go in Eastern Europe, be sure you will have a holiday of your life-time which you will recommend to your friends.