The Czech Republic is many things – it’s history, architecture, art…and it’s beer. The country is the birthplace of the pilsner and Prague has long had a reputation as the beer capital of the world. Beer, which often costs less than a bottle of water, is for sale in every nook and cranny of the historic and architecturally diverse city. Beer is even an option as part of value meals at Burger King (no joke). And, for those who love beer so much they want to bathe in it, there are Beer Spas and beer soaps that offer just that. From cavernous halls to street kiosks – and at every café, bar and restaurant in between – it takes little effort to find beer in Prague. However, we weren’t just looking for any beer – we were in search of craft beer in Prague.
Grand architecture. Hillside vineyards. Royal residences. A curving river and sprawling parks. The beauty of Dresden, Germany can be seen in every direction. Tourists often rush through the city on a quick visit – perhaps as a stop between Berlin and Prague – eager to see the condensed Old Town core, but then miss the gorgeous landscapes and charming neighboring towns. In our 3-Day Dresden, Germany Itinerary, we explore the heart of the city center and then venture beyond the city limits to nearby castles, vineyards and other sights to the north, east and west.
Berlin. Just the mention of the name conjures images of division and unity, war and peace, angst and optimism. While visiting the city, the horrific history is palpable, yet the mood is brightened by the vibrant and expressive side of Berlin. The sprawling center is teeming with sights: museums, memorials and parks. We understand how overwhelming planning a trip to Berlin can be – so we’re helping by sharing a condensed version of our Berlin Sightseeing Guide: A 3-Day Berlin Itinerary. It is ideal for first-timers to Berlin who want to see as much of the city as possible – even on limited time. The condensed version includes all the sights of our 3-Day Berlin Itinerary – and we’ve even provided a link to more information for each sight and a link to Google Maps for each day of sightseeing.
Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula dangles off the northwest corner of the country into the Adriatic Sea. Like much of Croatia, the coastline in Istria is the big attraction. Seaside towns steeped in history line the western shore, each exuding unique character. However, the interior of the Istrian Peninsula is equally picturesque and has a storied past of its own. Medieval hilltop towns and regional delicacies are as much a reason to visit Istria as the translucent waters of the sea. Although we opted to base ourselves on the coast during our stay, we planned a one-day tour of Istria that included both the coast and the interior so that we could experience the must-see highlights of Croatia’s Istrian Peninsula.
The historic city of Kotor, Montenegro is tucked into the southern end of the Bay of Kotor under towering, majestic mountain peaks. Walking through the gates of the thick defensive walls that extend to the hill-topping fortress feels a bit like walking back in time. The originations of the seaside city can be traced to Ancient Roman times, but throughout the centuries, the city was conquered by various rulers. Today, visitors to the city will find many things to do in Kotor, Montenegro – and we’ve compiled a list of our top six to help tourists experience the best of the city and region.
Fresh air. Clear water. Green forests. Towering mountains. Wide pastures. Deep gorges. Flourishing nature. Lake Bohinj is uncomplicated and raw; she’s the girl next door that doesn’t have to dress up or put on make up in order to attract attention. Lake Bohinj is a postcard-picture scene, naturally designed in hues of unbelievable blues and shades of intense green. Cradled in the Julian Alps, the glacial lake is watched over by the mountain peaks that rise around it and is protected within the boundaries of Triglav National Park.
My desire to visit Vietnam was ignited the first time I glimpsed a photograph of Halong Bay. It countered the image of Vietnam I had conjured in my head; the one where chaotic streets are overcrowded with motorbikes and stifled with pollution. The picture of Halong Bay showed a different scene entirely – one of tree-covered karst mountains rising from an azure sea. I was intent on traveling to Vietnam just to see Halong Bay with my own eyes. I didn’t know it then, but my expectations would be surpassed when we actually experienced the UNESCO World Heritage site on a 2-night Halong Bay cruise.
In a dimly lit room, the wooden floor creaks and a fire crackles in the corner fireplace as a business-mannered bartender fills dimpled glass mugs with tepid cask ale. This is the scene in a typical London pub – and could accurately describe any one of the thousands of pubs in the city (yes, thousands). Classic pubs are a staple in London; a throwback to a bygone era that remains oddly fashionable in the present-day metropolis. (Read about our Classic Pub Crawl along the River Thames.) However, there is an alternative beer scene brewing in London: small craft breweries are opening throughout the city for microbrew consumption. Differentiating themselves from characteristic London pubs, the small batch breweries are often informal and industrial. Determined to get a good taste of the burgeoning scene, we joined hipsters and beer lovers for a self-guided London Craft Beer Crawl on the Bermondsey Beer Mile.
London is one of the most visited cities in the world – and it’s easy to understand why. The city is both historic and modern, it is home to royalty and celebrities and it’s packed with iconic sights, museums, palaces and parks. Unfortunately, the high price of sightseeing in London can quickly add up – with some entrance fees costing upwards of $30 USD per person. Budget travelers might fear a visit to London will break the bank, but we haven’t found that to be the case. In our 3-Day London Itinerary on a Budget, we focus on seeing the sights in London via self-guided walking tours and taking advantage of the many free attractions the city has on offer.
The autumn sun was already setting over the lake as we made our way down the narrow, one-lane cobblestone street to our apartment; the soft light cast a warm glow over the town. The paper-wrapped, grilled fish that I carried in my hand was growing lukewarm, but I wasn’t all that fussed. Slightly buzzed from the potent combination of Turkish coffee and homemade rakia, I was feeling rather bemused by the random events of the day. It was not how we had anticipated spending our last day at Lake Ohrid, Macedonia – but it turned out to be exponentially better than we could have ever planned.