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2014

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Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN, UK
The National Gallery in London holds art works of the masters such as Leonardo da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and Rembrandt. Most importantly, entry is free!
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Masoala Hall, in the Zurich Zoo, is a glass house reproducing a piece of Madagascar jungle. The 30C temperature and 80% humidity make you feel like you are truly in a tropical country. More than 60 animal species and about 170 species of trees and...
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Josefstrasse 18, 8005 Zürich, Switzerland
Housed in a quaint pink building set in an inner courtyard behind Josefstrasse, Lilli Tulipan is a riot to the senses. Charmingly cluttered, it’s packed with all sorts of toys, knickknacks and oddities, from reindeer wall sconces to a Kim Jong Il...
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Rämistrasse 101, 8092 Zürich, Switzerland
Paris has the Sacré-Coeur, on top of Montmartre, for catch-your-breath views of the city. Zurich’s answer: the terrace at ETH Zurich. Also known as the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich and where Einstein was an alum, it lords high...
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Neumarkt 5, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The Niederdorf may be overrun with tourists, but it’s mostly locals who make their way down a quiet side street to this restaurant, which boasts excellent local wines, dishes driven by seasonal ingredients, and what might be the city’s loveliest...
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The tree-lined Utoquai and Arboretum at Enge offer excellent views of Lake Zurich and the snow-capped Alps, but the iconic spot for lake-gazing is at the Bürkliterrasse, with its statue of Zeus and Ganymede and straight-shot view of the Alps. ...
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Grossmünsterplatz, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
According to legend, Zurich’s most iconic landmark was commissioned by Charlemagne. While Fraumünster, across the Limmat, draws onlookers with its stained-glass windows by Chagall, Grossmünster recently acquired destination-worthy...
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Rindermarkt, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
There's no better place to get lost in Zurich than in the cobblestoned Niederdorf. Its real gems are its quaint side streets, like the Rindermarkt, home to the city’s last gas-powered street lamps and the Oepfelchammer, the city’s oldest preserved...
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Talstrasse 71, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Zurich’s original botanical garden, dating back to 1837, has been replaced by the larger Botanical Garden of the University of Zurich with its sheer size and breadth of plants on the edges of the city, but locals still love the former for its...
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Marktpl. 9, 4001 Basel, Switzerland
The Town Hall in Basel is over 500 years old, prominently located at the town center. Its red walls and murals covering almost its entire building made the building a 'must' stop when in Basel.
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Heidelberg, Germany
On a sunny spring afternoon, the slope below the ruins of the castle in Heidelberg, where 'sheep may safely graze'...almost absurdly picturesque. One of my most vivid childhood memories is of visiting this castle with an 'uncle and auntie'--close...
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Hauptstraße 159, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
I know Heidelberg is on every tour route, and always teeming with tourists, but I never miss a chance to visit when I'm visiting family in Germany. I love the Altstadt, with its romantic nooks & crannies. I love the bridge on the Neckar, & walking...
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Philosophenweg, 69239 Neckarsteinach, Germany
On an accidental trip to Heidelberg, we found ourselves wandering around on our first morning in town. Walking along the bank of the Neckar opposite the old town, we spotted this steeply ascending path and decided we might as well give it a try...
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27 Rue des Tonneliers, 67000 Strasbourg, France
I am a die-hard cheese fanatic, so when I heard Strasbourg, France had an entire restaurant dedicated to my favourite dairy product, I had to visit. La Cloche a Fromage, refers to the glass dome the French place over their cheese boards, and this...
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50679 Cologne, Germany
My wife and I just returned from our annual trip to Europe to visit Christmas Markets. Our first stop was Cologne, Germany. In researching Cologne several months ago I read about the Hohenzollern Railway Bridge, which crosses the Rhine into...
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Domkloster 4, 50667 Köln, Germany
August 6th, 2004 As a non-religious person, I am still a big fan of church architecture. Its hard to get more iconic than the Cologne Cathedral. If you visit and arrive from the train station, you are dumped out directly beside it. Climb the...
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Fort VI, 50935 Köln, Germany
In the 20s, the City of Cologne created “Inneren und Äußeren Grüngürtel“, the inner and outer green belt, on the premises of former fortresses. A short trek from Militärring (Military Ring), find walking trails & cycle paths, @Decksteiner Weiher...
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Am Schokoladenmuseum 1A, 50678 Köln, Germany
Chocoholics rejoice! Cologne is home to the particularly popular & rather unusual Museum of Chocolate. Who would not be excited about visiting a chocolate factory, especially one that allows you to drink from a warm chocolate spring? Since its...
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Prinsengracht 112, 1015 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Just down the street from the Anne Frank House is the Amsterdam Cheese Museum. It feels more like a shop, shelves filled to the ceiling with a huge variety of Dutch cheeses, including the world-famous gouda and edam varieties. If you are strolling...
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Brouwersgracht 60, 1013 GX Amsterdam, Netherlands
De Belhamel restaurant is located near the Central train station in a very quiet residential neighborhood. It would be hard to find a prettier location for a leisurely lunch or romantic dinner - the restaurant sits at the junction of the...
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8 Southwark St, London SE1 1TL, UK
Over the past two centuries, the covered market at Borough, not far from London Bridge, has become one of the country’s most famous foodie spots. From Wednesday to Saturday each week hundreds of traders gather to sell homemade breads,...
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London's Chinatown, wedged between Shaftesbury Avenue and Leicester Square, is the go-to destination for locals wanting to grab some great food before a show, or after a big night out. There are endless good restaurants along these backstreets,...
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Herengracht 386, 1016 CJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
During Holland's Golden Age, when spice trade with Asia and North Africa was booming, wealthy merchants built mansions along the expanding canal ring that became Amsterdam. Today the fashionable homes have been reincarnated as upscale offices,...
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Hazenstraat, 1016 SR Amsterdam, Netherlands
It's a single street after Amsterdam's Negen Straats (Nine Streets), but Hazenstraat, the Tiende Straatje (Tenth Street), rates a ten in serious shoppers' books. Lined with boutiques, cafés and galleries, this cobbled strip in the Bohemian-chic...
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Gabriël Metsustraat 8, 1071 EA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It has been a decade since the major museums on the Museumplein—a grassy square connecting Amsterdam’s main art centers—have all been open at the same time. Here’s what to check out at the Van Gogh Museum. Sunflowers, The...
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Oudezijds Voorburgwal 187K, 1012 EW Amsterdam, Netherlands
Did you know that Brad Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon once kicked butt in Amsterdam's Dampkring coffeeshop in the Hollywood blockbuster Ocean's Twelve? Or that Amsterdam has a Jewish quarter with a museum that tells the story of the Jewish...
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Westerstraat 30, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
While walking the streets of Amsterdam I stumbled on this great local cafe that has "Boca's" (aka small tapas like sandwiches). There were lots of options from sweet to savory to choose + a great beer and wine selection. It is a perfect place for...
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Warmoesstraat 43, 1012 HV Amsterdam, Netherlands
You can make a satisfying meal of tapas plates at Restaurant La Paella, a small bistro near Amsterdam's Red Light District known for traditional Spanish delicacies like Patatas Bravas, Spanish Croquettes, Albóndigas and Chorizo Español. But the...
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Warmoesstraat 129, 1012 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
Cocktail bar-restaurants typically excel at one or the other, rarely both tipple and nibble. Four month old Tales & Spirits, located in the beating heart of Amsterdam, manages to succeed on both fronts. The cocktails are both creative in name...
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Herengracht 90, 1015 BS Amsterdam, Netherlands
The Arendsnest is a pub specializing in Dutch beer. There are many, as it turns out—the Belgians get all the glory, but the Dutch are also fine brewers. They also serve a really great variety of cheese, a reminder that nothing goes with cheese as...
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Prinsengracht 191, 1015 DS Amsterdam, Netherlands
Whether you call them 'pancakes', 'crepes', or 'pizzas', the delicious creations at the Pancake Bakery are sure to satisfy any hungry traveler. Directly down the street from the Anne Frank House, this restaurant is a small and consistently...
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Pijlsteeg 31, 1012 HH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Wynand Fockink founded his namesake distillery on this narrow alleyway off Dam Square in 1724 (and the building is even older, dating to 1679); some 70 varieties of jenever (Dutch gin), fruit brandy, and liqueur are still produced here today. In...
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Wolvenstraat 9, 1016 EM Amsterdam, Netherlands
"9 Streets" (De 9 Straatjes) is a charming, picturesque shopping area in the heart of Amsterdam's canal district. Located between Leidsestraat and Raadhuisstraat, this area is named after the nine side streets connecting the main 17th-century...
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Amsterdam, Netherlands
Stroopwafels are ridiculously delicious and addictive. This Dutch treat consists of two thin, firm waffles sandwiching a layer of lush caramel. Apparently, the average Dutch person eats 20 stroopwafels each year. Somehow, I must have easily eaten...
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Singel, 1012 XG Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1862, fresh flowers and plants have arrived by barge from the Dutch countryside to Amsterdam. While this assemblage of flora still shows up daily, it comes by van, not boat, to the Bloemenmarkt, the world's only floating flower market. Here,...
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Binnen Oranjestraat 14, 1013 JA Amsterdam, Netherlands
It was a late Saturday afternoon in Amsterdam. The sun was almost piercing and locals were joyous, thronging cafés and shedding layers. After all, they had suffered weeks of spring's damp and gray homecoming. Knowing the extents to which I will go...
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Nieuwe Spiegelstraat, 1017 Amsterdam, Netherlands
My favorite street in Amsterdam is the Nieuwe Spiegelstraat. It’s the heart of the Amsterdam art district. It’s virtually door-to-door art and antique dealers. The street ends at the entrance to the magnificent Rijksmuseum.
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Oosterdokskade 143, 1011 DL Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is not a secret to locals, but off-the-beaten path (but still not too out of the way) is a place with a surprisingly tasty dinner for under ten euros. It's the library cafeteria. But seriously: That bowl of Thai noodle soup with...
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Albert Cuypstraat 53, 1072 CM Amsterdam, Netherlands
On our way to the Concertgebouw, we couldn't resist entering this tempting bakery. Inside? The moistest lemon cake I've ever tasted, along with unique muffins, cakes, and other sweet delights. Savory breads and sandwiches are available as well,...
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Warmoesstraat 51, 1012 HW Amsterdam, Netherlands
If a juicy burger named after a local drag queen doesn't whet your appetite, one of Getto's stiff cocktails should have you dining like a diva at this local favorite. Since 1996, it's been an "attitude-free" zone for gays, lesbians and anyone else...
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Leidsekruisstraat 28, 1017 RJ Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam isn't exactly known for its stellar food, so finding delicious Dutch food on a busy tourist street at an affordable price on my latest trip was a big surprise. A few friends and I wanted to try Dutch food on our last night in Amsterdam,...
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Keizersgracht 92, 1015 CV Amsterdam, Netherlands
Bakkerij Lekker Brood En Zo is located in a really cozy area in Keizergracht, one of my super favorite street in Amsterdam. The bakery sell a lot of authentic Dutch pastries, like the famous appelflappen or amandelflappen (the dutch just love...
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Eerste Anjeliersdwarsstraat 4, 1015 NR Amsterdam, Netherlands
If you tire or eating Dutch food in Amsterdam, why not head for the best Mexican food in the city (possibly even in all of Europe). Los Pilones is run by two brothers from Mexico and their food is the real deal. The menu is short but features...
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Begijnhof 29, 1012 WT Amsterdam, Netherlands
Escape the bustle of the city by ducking into the quiet courtyard garden of Begijnhof. Located just a few minutes on foot from the Koningsplein and the Singel canal, this tranquil oasis dates back at least as far as the 14th century. Look among...
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Warmoesstraat 21, 1012 HT Amsterdam, Netherlands
This is not your everyday burger joint. From the outside, Burger Bar looks like a typical fast food dive, with a neon sign above a door leading into a narrow, brightly lit interior. Outside tables are likely to be packed with Amsterdammers and...
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Noordermarkt 42B, 1015 NA Amsterdam, Netherlands
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Reguliersdwarsstraat 38, 1017 BM Amsterdam, Netherlands
Since 1982, Rose's Cantina has been drawing locals for Latin American flavors on a street known for its plethora of dining options. On a busy night, don't expect intimacy or romance, as the Reguliersdwarsstraat establishment is big, boisterous and...
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Lauriergracht 71, 1016 RH Amsterdam, Netherlands
Did you know that the mini-mosaic at Hazenstraat and Lauriergracht is one of 26 installed in 2000 by French urban artist Invader? Or that eccentric author Harry Mulish, considered one of the "Great Three" of Dutch postwar writers along with...
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Mühlebach, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
Locals are fanatic about the lake. They boast the water is clean enough to drink; boating is a favorite pastime, whether it’s on a sailboat, paddleboat, yacht or public boat from the ZSG network (included in the cost of a daily tram card); and...
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Oberseestrasse 36, 8640 Rapperswil-Jona, Switzerland
After crossing the Limmat, our short walk through Zurich brought us to Linderhof Hill. It's a rather nice little park with a elevated spot that gave a wonderful view of the city.
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Münsterhof 2, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This small, elegant church near Paradeplatz has been around since 853, but it wasn’t until 1970 when it received its crowning touch: five glorious stained glass windows created by Marc Chagall when he was in his 80s. Also not to be missed: Augusto...
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Bahnhofstrasse 21, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
There are 14 outposts of the famed chocolate shop in and around town, but the one to go to is its flagship, which occupies a prime corner perch on Paradeplatz. There are gorgeous displays of Sprungli’s signature sweet, the Luxemburgerli,...
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Schipfe, Schipfe, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Strolling down the Limmatquai is an obvious choice for most visitors to Zurich. But just across the Limmat, on its left bank, lies an even more charming path lined with cobblestones and a covered passageway with arches that overlook the river....
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Theaterstrasse 10, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
There’s no better way to take in all Lake Zurich has to offer than by meandering this grand tree-lined walkway along its eastern shores. There’s swimming at the historic Seebad Utoquai, pedal boat rentals, and popular outdoor restaurants like the...
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Theaterstrasse 22, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Locals all agree this is the home of Zurich’s—perhaps Europe’s—best sausage. What they’re divided on is which is better, the St. Galler bratwurst or the Servelat—both superbly juicy, flavorful, and with excellent snap—and divine with a crusty...
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Unterführung Passage Sihlquai / Europaallee Hauptbahnhof, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This modish spot steps from Bellevue is a hit for its enticing cakes and excellent coffee, but its savory menu shouldn’t be missed; there are simple, superb salads and great flammekuchen. Consider yourself warned though: service can be...
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Paradepl., 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
This square on the left bank of the Limmat serves as the very crux of the city, a must-visit for understanding the Zurich way of life in all its elegance and efficiency. It’s home to the headquarters of its largest banks (Credit Suisse takes up...
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Mythenquai 9, 8002 Zürich, Switzerland
The most centrally-located mixed badi boasts a prime spot on Lake Zurich, though not too much swimming actually goes on here—it’s more about sunbathing, people-watching, and the occasional dip. There’s also a sauna, massage treatments and outdoor...
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Rennweg, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
In the Middle Ages, it was gently sloping Rennweg that served as the city’s main shopping street and its widest. (Bahnhofstrasse? Back then the now tony street—one of the world’s most exclusive—was a moat known not charmingly as Fröschengraben “...
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Münsterhof 8, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Zurich’s original 14 guilds were established in Medieval times to represent different crafts- and tradesmen, and their grand, stately buildings that still dot the city are a testament to their one-time power. Fortunately, most are well-preserved...
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Falkenstrasse 1, 8008 Zürich, Switzerland
Arguably the city’s most beautiful building, this stunning Neo-Baroque gem on the shores of Lake Zurich attracts world-class stars including Renée Fleming and Jonas Kauffman; and with just over a thousand seats, less than half of La Scala in Milan...
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Limmatquai 144, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
The terrace at ETH Zurich—where Einstein was an alum—lords high above the city for catch-your-breath views beyond to the lake and the Alps. A number of trams will take you to the terrace, but the most fun way to get there is on the fire-engine red...
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Storchengasse 9, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
Teuscher might be an international name with shops in 19 cities as far-flung as Shanghai and Singapore, but it’s still very much a homegrown brand. All of its chocolates are made in Zurich before being shipped out to its global stores, and its...
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Vorder Brüglingen 5, 4052 Basel, Switzerland
The botanical gardens at Brüglingen are a year-round treat, home to a variety of plants from around the world. The park is also an occasional venue for various concerts and events, such as classical music on Sundays, June through August. A ramble...
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Nothing in life is perfect, but Strasbourg’s historic district, La Petite France, comes pretty close. Located at the west end of the Grand Île (the first entire city center to be named a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its...
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1 Place du Général Eisenhower, 67000 Strasbourg, France
Is Strasbourg really in France? A decade ago I lived here for a semester abroad, and although it's only 2 hours east of Paris, Strasbourg seems so different, so special. It must be the proximity of Germany that separates, or rather mixes with the...
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Heidelberg, Germany
If you're new in Heidelberg, do yourself a favor and walk along the far side of the Neckar first. From there, you'll be able to get the best views of the old city and Heidelbergschloß looming over it all. Plus, you get to cross the lovely...
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Marktpl., 69115 Heidelberg, Germany
The main focus point in the Market Place in the Old Town of Heidelberg was the Church of the Holy Spirit. This Market Place was a great place to enjoy the evening and socialize with locals and fellow travelers.
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Schlosshof 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany
Heidelberg Castle is amazing. Besides being the setting of The Student Prince, it also boasts the world's biggest wine cask -- and one of the world's best views. There's nothing wrong with the pastry in Heidelberg, either.
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Oberstraße 37, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
This is the tour for people who don't like tours. A stunning and inexpensive way to see this beautiful part of German wine country, this self-guided 'tour' starts in the picturesque town of Rüdesheim am Rhein with a ride over the vineyards in an...
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Rheinuferstraße 7, 65385 Rüdesheim am Rhein, Germany
Living, or even just traveling, for awhile in Germany can result in quickly tiring of traditional German cuisine and the same schnitzel offerings at every restaurant. The 'Schweinesteak Melba' at Restaurant Zum Anker in Assmannshausen blows all...
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Cologne, Germany
Along the Rhine River when the sun comes out, so do the locals and tourists. And when they walk along the river, they come across this colorful collection of buildings which are now restaurants.