Read more about the article Regensburg – Germany
Regensburg - Germany

Regensburg – Germany

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Free Imperial City

After precisely a year since the first and only time I’ve flown to Nuremberg, I managed to grab an even better deal this time to the same place, however this time with a different plan: reaching the UNESCO listed city of Regensburg on Saturday, and nearby Ingolstadt on Sunday. Nuremberg it is therefore and without hesitation, the perfect base to reach these cities and the many others nearby as we did the year before, with Bamberg the highlight of that trip. It’s the major airport and transport hub in the region, and it will not, possibly, be the last time I get here in order to continue enjoying the many other sights and idyllic villages nearby.

Regensburg was by far a long time in the wish list of places to go. In this occasion with a double good reason; basically enjoy the beautiful and historic old town, and getting onto another World Heritage Site listed place. Countless this year so far. To the people who know me, you know the deal, for these who recently follow me, I am a heavy collector of UNESCO sites, and at the same time my lifetime dream would be visiting every country in the world (properly visiting not just ticking “I’ve been there”), it is a lifetime dream to be in as many WHS as possible.

The city, although small, has a lot of sights and things to see and do. Miraculously it is one of the few cities in the country that survived almost untouched during the World War II, and as such, it’s one of the most complete, largest and best preserved medieval town in Germany and also one of the most visited attractions in the country. As the UNESCO refers to, it’s the largest medieval old town north of the Alps and so well preserved, dubbing it “Italy’s most northern city”.


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Read more about the article Bamberg – Germany
Bamberg - Germany

Bamberg – Germany

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The City on Seven Hills

As originally planned for this weekend to Nuremberg, we would not leave this place without the mandatory visit to nearby jewel city of Bamberg. At just 63 kilometres north, a short 40 minutes commuter train ride from Nuremberg, this was the perfect place to spend the entire Sunday before heading back for the late evening flight back to London. Way more than enough time to completely enjoy the city and sparing some time for great lunch and dinner, coffee and cake and some gingerbread cookies. Both Nuremberg and Bamberg are great cities and compliment each other. While an entire weekend at one of them could be too much, visiting both is the most logical way, not to mention that if you count with an extra day to spare, then do not hesitate in including the other World Heritage city of Regensburg.

The city has by nickname the “Franconian Rome” because it is built on 7 hills, like Rome is. Each of the hill crowned by a church, being the most important Cathedral Hill. Although Bamberg is small, it is home to an enormous historic patrimony and an almost intact medieval core and appearance. This has lead it for being included in the UNESCO list as a World Heritage Site. A “little” over 1000 years of history since its foundation in 973, and an incredible rich history with an ever increasing eager to built better and grander through the centuries, where now most of its sights are still there to enjoy and admire.

As opposed to majority of other cities where you can follow a well defined route when doing your sightseeing tour, here in Bamberg this is a bit more complicated to do. There are too many places you could go, and every of them is full of history and sights therefore the best and only option is to make a route of loops and zig-zags, back and forth’s. Don’t just concentrate in the key sights because the city is way much more than that with absolutely every street worth the walk.

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Read more about the article Bratislava – Slovakia
Bratislava - Slovakia

Bratislava – Slovakia

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Beauty on the Danube

Another of the jewel cities in Central Europe, yet the smallest capital city from the neighbouring countries such as Prague, Vienna and Budapest. Even Salzburg feels bigger although it is smaller by population. This makes Bratislava perfect for a short visit like a weekend cultural trip, that’s well more than enough but it is also one of the cities I don’t mind returning, hence this is for now, the second time.

Without minding the size, the old city is truly worth the trip itself. Recently revamped and gentrified with most of the houses around the historic old town restored and beautifully painted and many sculptures embellishing the streets, some of them as original as I have not seen before elsewhere as you can see down below in the photo album. Really charming Central European city with an enormous potential. And comparing the 6 years in between both visits, I felt very lucky to have come in 2009 when there were still not that many tourists and everything was somehow, more unique and traditional.

Finding your way along the city is as easy as walking the main street in the old town and some parallel ones, and the one leading to the top of the castle. There is not really much more out there from the historic centre, therefore great for visiting everything without the need of any public transportation to get anywhere.

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Read more about the article Belgrade – Serbia
Belgrade - Serbia

Belgrade – Serbia

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The White City

Loosing the track on how many new countries I have visited so far during this year alone, this time I land in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia, in company of two of my travel friends. Thankfully we managed to find such great air fares, although this had to involve travelling there on Friday very early morning and returning Sunday on the very first flight of the morning. Unfortunately, we could not enjoy an extra full day as it could have been Sunday, but at least, we used it to recover and sleep.

Saying this, 2 days are more than enough for this city. I could not imagine another one unless going somewhere else, so yes, it’s a perfect city size for a cultural weekend trip. Very compact, cute old town and great for walking everywhere; however evolving and expanding with plenty of new construction going one and countless projects to restore the older parts becoming the next tourist destination in the Balkans.

To our surprise, the city has much more to offer than we originally though. Searching for pictures and information over the internet did not give us any greater overall idea and image of what Belgrade really is. This was a great sign as we thought we would become sort of stranded without knowing what else to do after few hours. (more…)

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Read more about the article Budapest – Hungary
Budapest - Hungary

Budapest – Hungary

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The Heart of Europe, Pearl of the Danube

It always feels great to return to a city you love so much before. This was about the right time to enjoy once again the stunning Budapest. And for sure it will not be the last and won’t pass many  years either to step back in its pavements. It keeps impressing me as for the first time for its elegance and great planning of urbanism with so much to see and do everywhere and the amazing food.

It is really unbelievable the fate the city had for the past centuries. Destroyed many times, being the most recent the great destruction suffered during WWII, it has always recovered from the rubble, and thanks goodness it kept, retained, and rebuilt after the war most of the incredible Austro-Hungarian impressive constructions. Only Vienna (as the capital of the Empire than once was) can rival with such elegance and opulence, but Budapest does not come short. Both cities have always competed with each other in having the best and grandest of them.

This is therefore not a city you can visit in a short weekend time. It will need at least 3 full long days or otherwise you won’t be able to enjoy the countless sights and attractions. It is also a city that requires public transport in order to get to the different areas of the city as it’s quite a large city with very spread tourist sites. A 4 days city break would be ideal in this case.

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