Tag Archives: Europe

Around the coast: Lisbon

Lisbon is one of those few cities in the world that is blessed with everything from architecture, art, culture, great food and a beautiful coast, that although now is one of the most populated sub-urban zones in Portugal it most definitely still retains the best chilled and relaxed beach holiday atmosphere.

Here are a few suggestions on what to look out for and what to do whether you’re planning a road trip along the ‘linha’ as it is referred to by the locals, or looking for the best beach to chill on your next holiday in Lisbon.

Estoril Casino

The Estoril Casino is one of the better gambling palaces in the Lisbon area

 

The heart of the entertainment in Estoril, the casino, also the biggest in Europe offers more than just gaming tables and slot machines. The restaurants are of exceptional quality whilst the complex boasts of an art-gallery with regular exhibitions, a theatre with a full-on calendar and also a club in case you want to kick back on a few cocktails and a dance.

Cabo de Roca

This is one for your ‘been there, done that’ bucket list as it is the westernmost point of mainland Europe. Cabo de Roca is a spectacular cliff top location marked by a lighthouse. Make sure you dress appropriately as temperatures and winds are rather unpredictable here and it can get really cold really quickly in comparison to the city.

Cascais

Cascais is a remarkable place with quite a few idyllic spots to indulge in. Make your way towards the Citadela de Cascais, a fortified city that now houses several upmarket boutiques, a hotel and a few restaurants too.

Golf

Golf I hear you say? Yes golf. The Lisbon coast is chock-full of golf courses, in fact there are 8 in total, so if you’re planning your next golf trip with your friends, well then the Lisbon coast should be on your priority list. Check out the courses of Penha Longa or Oitavos in the Quinta da Marinha.

Sintra

 

To visit Lisbon and not go to Sintra would be a big mistake. Portuguese Kings chose this place as their preferred summer retreat location and for good reason. No spoilers, you’ll see why when you get to this lovely hill town set on the northern slopes of the Serra.

Monserrate

 

Make sure you don’t overlook the Monserrate gardens. A mix of exotic, natural and artificial elements are the order of the day here, and you can easily grasp the Moorish, Indian and Gothic influences in both the architecture of the palace within and also in the pastiche of diverse elements the garden itself is made of.

Top Tourist Attractions In Lithuania

The top tourist attractions in Lithuania amaze you at every turn!

The top tourist attractions in Lithuania are some of Europe’s best kept secrets. Despite having only won its independence from the Soviets in 1993, Lithuania is back on its feet. It is now a member of the European Union and a partner of NATO. That said however, Lithuania doesn’t get as much tourists even though it has a colorful history. After you succeed in finding affordable flights to this fascinating nation, check out the best of what Lithuania has to offer so that you will know what to see when you arrive here. It’s important to remember that whilst Lithuanian isn’t a language that you are likely to be familiar with, all of the tours and guides here have excellent Lithuanian translation services so that you can fully understand what you are seeing.

1. Hill of Crosses

The small hill is located 6 miles from Siauliai and comprises of two mounds with thousands of crosses. The crosses range from cheap to expensive and are made of wood or metal. They were placed there by locals either as memorials or devotions to accompany prayers and this tradition is believed to originate from the 14th century. The Hill of Crosses is especially eerie when the wind blows and causes the crosses and hanging rosaries to rattle.

2. Grutas Park

It is a privately-owned Soviet sculpture park spanning for 2 sq km. It was built to resemble a Siberian concentration park. When it opened in 2001, you can only imagine the controversies it attracted. But the owner stands by the historical significance of Grutas Park even though it reminds them of their painful past. Grutas Park, no matter how controversial, is one of the top tourist attractions in Lithuania.

3. Sand Dunes

The sand dunes at the Curonian Split National Park have folkloric origins but it was really years of deforestation that allowed sand from the coast to wander to the area. It only took three centuries to form these sand dunes, swallowing more than a dozen villages along the way. But replanting is ongoing at the national park and 20 percent of it is now covered by forests. Meanwhile, the sand dunes are still moving but already shrinking. While it’s still there, make sure that you pay the Sahara of Lithuania a visit.

4. Zokniai Military Airfield

This airfield was once the largest military base outside of the USSR. The last USSR troops left in 1993 when Lithuania gained its independence. Today, the air base is used by NATO forces to patrol the Baltic skies. Guided tours of the airfield are available but you will have to book in advance.

5. Nemunas Delta Regional Park

It is the site of the Ventés Ragas Ornithological Station where you can learn more about the Nemunas bird and wait for it from the observation deck. But you can also see other species of birds within the Nemunas Delta Regional Park including 270 of the 350 kinds found in Lithuania. Any birdwatcher knows that this is one of the top tourist attractions in Lithuania.

Top Things To Know About Visiting Vienna

Schönnbrunn Palace ranks as one of the best places to see when visiting Vienna

The top things to know about visiting Vienna are so tightly knit that you can explore all of them in less than a week, just like the destinations in the land. How long it actually takes you depend on your pace. That said, you will have more time and money to explore the rest of Austria or perhaps, Europe.

Vienna is in Austria which shares a northern border with Germany. The attractions in Vienna bring in more tourists every year. From an old picturesque city, Vienna is quickly transitioning to become a major tourist hub. It is mainly a destination for sightseeing though the city is also known for its active nightlife and cuisine.

One of the top things to know about visiting Vienna is that they have rich history and beautiful architecture. Schönnbrunn Palace is one. The imperial palace and surrounding garden reflects the tastes and aspirations of the Habsburg monarchy. After all, it had been their summer residence for several centuries. It features Rococo-style architecture and more than 1,400 rooms.

The palace is fronted by wide open space consisting of French-styled, English-styled, and botanical gardens. Sculptures of deities and virtues line the Great Parterre, the garden between the palace and Sun Fountain. Schönnbrunn Palace also has a zoo which happens to be the world’s oldest. The zoo has a blend of modern architecture and the design of an 18th century menagarie from Versailles. Known as Tiergarten Schönnbrunn, the zoo is one of reasons why tourists go back in Vienna.

Another historical spot is the Albertina Museum. The main attraction of the museum is a print room; one of the largest and most important in this world. About 65,000 drawings, a million old master prints, modern graphics, photos, and architectural art are displayed at Albertina’s print room. More recently, the museum expanded its collection to Impressionist art and creations from the early 20th century. You might want to check out their temporary exhibits as well.

Another is the Hofburg Palace. The Habsburg monarchy also lived here but only during winter. It was their preferred residence at this time of the year. The Hofburg Palace also became home to other influential people in later years. Today, it is one of the attractions in Vienna. Centuries after its construction, the Hofburg Palace was expanded to include a chapel, museums, library, riding school, horse stable, residential homes, and the Hofburg Congress Center. Several architects have worked on the building and expansion of Hofburg Palace.

Another sure count among the top things to know about visiting Vienna is that they have astonishing amusement park, the Wiener Riesenrad. It is a giant Ferris wheel located at the entryway of the Prater amusement park. It was one of the world’s earliest-built Ferris wheels. Wiener Riesenrad was erected in 1897 and originally had 30 gondolas. After extensive damage during the World War II, only 15 gondolas were replaced.