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1071 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Beloved by locals and popular with tourists, the Vondelpark is a 120-acre oasis of green in buzzing Amsterdam, southeast of the Leidseplein. Opened in 1865 as the Nieuwe Park, it was later renamed after 17th-century Dutch playwright Joost van den...
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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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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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2961 Kinderdijk, Netherlands
"God made the world but the Dutch created the Netherlands" goes an old saying, popular in Holland. For proof, visit Kinderdijk—19 spinning windmills in a stunning natural landscape that would be underwater were it not for Dutch ingenuity. Built in...
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Papentorenvest 1A, 2011 AV Haarlem, Netherlands
Just a 15 minute train ride from Amsterdam is the picturesque town of Haarlem, complete with canals and De Adriaan windmill. You can go in (for a fee) but the best viewpoint is across the canal (and free!). As a bonus, Haarlem is a fairly compact...
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Pla de la Seu, s/n, 08002 Barcelona, Spain
One of the best places to wander in Barcelona is the city's charming Gothic Quarter, right off the famous La Rambla. A highlight is the area's beautiful Gothic cathedral, one of the few interesting buildings in the city that was not designed by...
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Rabla de las Flores, s/n, 08001 Barcelona, Spain
Amble down La Rambla, stopping to admire fresh flowers, original artwork, and Barcelona souvenirs at your leisure. Watch living statues come to life when you drop a euro in their cups—most will pose with passersby, for a price, of course....
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Plaça Atlàntic, 2, 17210 Palafrugell, Girona, Spain
I realize that this is a highlight that may not even need words, since the image is so very convincing. If you find yourself exploring the Costa Brava ('Rugged Coast') of Spain, be sure not to miss the beach town of Calella and have lunch at the...
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17255 Fornells, Girona, Spain
The dramatic geography of 'Costa Brava' favors the natural occurrence of many fantastic beaches, some of them more suited for swimming than others. Having arrived to Fornells for a short stopover, I asked locals how to find the closest beach....
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08870 Sitges, Barcelona, Spain
Don't forget to stray from the secluded and upscale beach of Sitges to wander its cobblestone streets for small moments of joy like looking up at these vibrant flowers dangling overhead, ready to drop, in one-of-a-kind Spanish ceramic pots.
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Carrer de la Marina, 253, 08013 Barcelona, Spain
The art nouveau buildings of Antoni Gaudí, the 19th-century architect whose works are some of Barcelona’s most iconic sights, can be seen throughout Catalonia, but Barcelona has the best examples of his genius at work. Former...
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Carrer Montcada, 15-23, 08003 Barcelona, Spain
Make a mandatory stop at the Picasso Museum in Barcelona’s El Born neighborhood. The museum houses more than 4,000 of the prolific artist’s works, many of which were made in Barcelona itself. As you view the large collection of...
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Rue au Beurre 46, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Brussels’ Grand Place is home to many festivals of all different themes: flowers, beer, international cultures, music, and seasonal holidays. But one festival, the Ommegang, full of colour and pageantry, has been taking place here since 1549. The...
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1000 Brussels, Belgium
Are you ever short of time when you visit a new city or destination? Do you always feel exhausted walking for miles seeing the sights and sounds? Are you rushed by your tour group? Well, every year we take a trip and we rent bikes. Each route is...
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Square de l'Atomium, 1020 Bruxelles, Belgium
I wasn't sure what to think when I first saw a picture of the Atomium in a Belgium guidebook, but it turned out to be one of the coolest kitschy tourist attractions I've ever visited. The Atomium was built for the World's Fair hosted by Brussels...
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Rue au Beurre 31, 1000 Bruxelles, Belgium
Maison Dandoy has been baking delicious treats in Brussels since 1829 and you'll find their famous shops scattered around Brussels. Step inside, and you'll be greeted by the sights and smells of crunchy biscuits (cookies) looking much as they have...
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Last week we spent 5 days in Copenhagen, Denmark. October is, for me, the best time to visit. It's colder and there are more chances for rain but the number of tourists is drastically lower. I did not feel suffocated by them at all. Nyhavn harbor...
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Sortedam Dossering 9, st, th, 2200 København, Denmark
This group of more than 30 cafés across Denmark are open early, so they’re great for breakfast. The tea, coffee, and sandwiches are all very nice, but what really sets Lagkagehuset apart is the quality of the cakes. It would take an iron will to...
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Amalienborg Slotsplads 5, 1257 København K, Denmark
When you think of a royal palace, you usually think of one set building. In Copenhagen's case there are actually four distinct buildings which surround a large central square. Why four? Apparently, because it was originally inhabited by four noble...
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Vandkunsten 5, 1467 København, Denmark
This tiny street is one of the oldest in Copenhagen and is, in my opinion, also the city's most charmingly beautiful little lane. Lined by historic houses painted in distinctly Scandinavian hues, Magaestrade is charming no matter what time of year...
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Piazza del Duomo, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The cathedral, usually called the Duomo, is Florence’s most recognizable building. You are able to catch glimpses of its magnificent red-tiled cupola from just about anywhere in the city center. Construction on the church...
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6 Lungarno Corsini, 50123 Florence FI, Italy
Escaping the crowds around Florence Cathedral one afternoon, I decided to wander along the Arno River and was rewarded with stunning views from the water's reflection. The picture highlights not only the clear, nearly symmetrical reflection cast...
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68r, Via dei Servi, 66, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
Even with all the noted thinkers, artists, politicians, and powerful families who’ve called Florence home, Leonardo da Vinci is arguably the city’s most famous son. This homage focuses less on his artwork and more on Da Vinci’s forward-thinking...
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Piazza S. Croce, 16, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
The Franciscan Basilica di Santa Croce, with its striped green-and-white marble facade, dates from about 1294. Inside are the tombs of many celebrated early Florentines, including Dante, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Among the many art treasures...
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Via delle Porte Sante, 34, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
Most people who visit Florence know that walking to Piazzale Michelangelo is a must. However, fewer people know that walking a little higher to the old church of San Miniato al Monte is an even better experience. Amble down the Arno River to Viale...
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Via Lambertesca, 18/r, 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
You can’t visit Florence without indulging in ice cream once at the very least, but it’s not so easy to find the real deal. Carapina, gelateria of choice for cognoscenti (but often overlooked by tourists), is located a stone’s throw from the Ponte...
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Piazzale Michelangelo, 50125 Firenze FI, Italy
One of the best views of Florence can be savored from the Piazzale Michelangelo, a short walk across the Arno River from downtown Florence. For a fun afternoon head to the square and enjoy an enchanting panorama of the city, followed by a relaxing...
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Florence is famous for many reasons: the Duomo, the David, the whole Renaissance thing.... Sure, these are great—but the pizza. Oh man, the pizza! I'm talking about a thin, doughy crust, fresh ingredients, and a flavor you can barely handle. I'm...
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Vico di Campopisano, 15R, 16128 Genova GE, Italy
An oasis from the bustle of the highly trafficked alleys of ancient Genoa, Campopisano rests near the ocean's edge of town. Towering 15th-century homes (originally built as outposts to watch for potential invaders approaching by sea) shade a small...
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Piazza di Soziglia, 74 r, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
Inspired by the beautiful French chocolate salons, Romanengo Pietro fu Stefano fashioned their old-town shop just as the French - with gorgeous old woods, glass display cases, and gold-gilded platters. Pop into this store, unchanged since its...
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16034 Portofino, Metropolitan City of Genoa, Italy
Getting to Portofino from Genoa is quite easy. Take the train from Genoa's Brignole Station to Santa Margherita Ligure, and then catch the 82 bus to Portofino (a 12-minute trip around the bay). While I'm not a huge bus person, this is one of the...
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Vico del Campanile delle Vigne, 5, 16123 Genova GE, Italy
One of the most highly decorated churches in Genoa, Santa Maria della Vigne is hauntingly beautiful. Originating in the 10th century (when monks tended wine-producing grapevines in the courtyard, hence the name), the Basilica was not completed...
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Vico Cicala, 3, 16124 Genova GE, Italy
While you can never go wrong with a tried and true cone of pistacchio e nocciola (pistachio and hazelnut) gelato, opt instead for one (or two or six) of the small 'bicchierini' here at Gelateria Excelsa for a few bites of different delicious...
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19018 Vernazza, SP, Italy
The five villages that make up Cinque Terre on the Italian Ligurian coast are some of the most picturesque in the world -- and totally worth the hike! Grab your shoes and take a water bottle in the heat of the summer -- and make sure to visit the...
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Parco nazionale delle Cinque Terre, 19016 Monterosso al Mare SP, Italy
Climbing the Sentiero Azzurro (or the Blue Path, given the gorgeous ocean views you get from almost every bend) you traipse by countless terraced vineyards producing the Vermentino and Sciacchetrà that this region is so famous for. And keep your...
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Largo Oliveirinha 1, 1249-970 Lisboa, Portugal
Sit at one of the many vista points in Lisbon or have a drink in a rooftop bar with a terrace, and enjoy the sunset over the dark red rooftops.
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Campo de Santa Clara, 1100-471 Lisboa, Portugal
In the 20th century, the Church of Santa Engrácia was converted into the national pantheon, in which important Portuguese personalities are buried. The first stone of the present building was placed in 1682; it was the first baroque-style building...
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R. do Comércio 32-38, 1100-150 Lisboa, Portugal
After downtown Lisbon was destroyed by an earthquake in 1755, it was rebuilt as a project of Marquês de Pombal. The earthquake had been the worst in Europe, leading to the first neoclassic urban planning and the first large-scale earthquake-proof...
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R. Barbosa do Bocage 5, 2710-567 Sintra, Portugal
Just 45 minutes from Lisbon lies the mystical, castle-filled hilltop town of Sintra, also a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its rich history. One such castle is the Palace of Quinta da Regaleira. Gothic in style, from its outer structure to its...
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R. São Tomé, 1100-563 Lisboa, Portugal
Santa Luzia offers you a panoramic view over Alfama, where you can make out the Alfama labyrinth. From here, you can see Santa Engrácia Dome (also known as National Pantheon), Santo Estevão Church, and the two white towers from São Miguel Church....
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2520 Peniche, Portugal
Hire a boat out of Peniche, Portugal, when available, and travel six miles offshore to the pristine Berlenga Islands. Then hike, kayak, snorkel, and swim the day away. Pack a picnic lunch and feast on the beach. The perfect day in paradise.
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Calçada do Forte nº 40 e 46, 1100-256 Lisboa, Portugal
TIME2GIVE is a designer shop of souvenirs in the Alfama neighborhood. You can easily find nice souvenirs with several themes like sardines, Galo de Barcelos, Tram N 28—all in different forms like magnets, tiles, bags, mugs, and postcards. To get...
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Paseo del Prado, s/n, 28014 Madrid, Spain
Madrid's Prado Museum, home to Goya, Velazquez, Murillo, El Greco, and numerous other greats, has so much to see that just one visit isn't enough! If you have a few days in Madrid, drop into the museum in the afternoons (after 5pm) when there is...
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Calle de Bailén, 10, 28013 Madrid, Spain
After paying your patriotic fee of 10 Euro to enter the Royal Palace, you will notice the Almudena Cathedral beyond the courtyards gates. While I was too late in the day to be graced with the inner divinities of this structure I did in fact, get...
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Calle de Alcalá, 42, 28014 Madrid, Spain
When in Madrid, I highly recommend to visit Circulo de Bellas Artes. The views from the rooftop of the Fine Arts Circle is breath taking. Buy a ticket at the reception, speed up to the roof and stand by the feet of Goddess Minerva. Highly...
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28028 Madrid, Spain
A trip to Las Ventas is a must in Madrid. Tickets are available for those who wish to attend un corrido and tours are available for others who don't care for the bullfight. If you decide to watch this Spanish tradition in action, buy a seat and...
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The Milan Cathedral, or Duomo, occupies a site that’s been holy since the time of the Romans, but it wasn’t until the early 19th century when the finishing touches were finally placed on this massive building. The Duomo is the fifth largest...
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Piazza Navona, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
Even with Segway tours rolling through and street performers loudly competing for audiences, the 15th-century Piazza Navona somehow retains a shred of grace and elegance in modern Rome. Calm Renaissance palazzi face the piazza’s centerpiece,...
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00120, Vatican City
When I walked into the World's largest Church, I had two feelings : I felt lucky and exhilarated. But when I started walking under the epitome of Renaissance art, I had a feeling that has no defination or boundaries.The Biblical narration of...
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Piazza della Rotonda, 00186 Roma RM, Italy
This 1st-century wonder will take your breath away. Not only is it one of the city's most ancient sites, it's been in continuous use for centuries. Originally built as a private temple, today it is a Catholic church and the resting place of...
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00184 Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
No matter how many postcards you've seen of Rome's iconic Colosseum, you just don't get it until you pass beneath its crumbling arches. Built by Emperor Vespasian in 72 C.E., the huge amphitheater held 50,000 spectators and marked its...
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Piazza degli Zingari, 4, 00184 Roma RM, Italy
A 10-minute walk from the Forum, Gelateria Fatamorgana sells Maria Spagnuolo’s edible works of art. Each flavor is made from all natural ingredients, without chemical additives or artificial flavors, and many are lactose free. Spagnuolo’s...
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Piazzale Napoleone I, 00197 Roma RM, Italy
Encompassing early 200 acres of rolling parkland, Villa Borghese is Rome's verdant heart and everyone's favorite place for an afternoon walk. The vast gardens are criss-crossed with picturesque paths, where visitors can meander past ancient...
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Piazza di Trevi, 00187 Roma RM, Italy
Fontana di Trevi is, as it should be, one of the most visited landmarks in Rome. Seeing it is worth the blind stumble through narrow stone streets and alleyways. But do so at night (and in the rain, if possible) to be rewarded with...
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Rome, Metropolitan City of Rome, Italy
If there is one person responsible for the relatively recent improvement of Rome’s gelato culture, it is Claudio Torcè. He has trained some of Rome’s premier gelatai (Maria Spagnuolo of Fatamorgana and the Gori siblings, to name a few) and prides...
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Via Federico Ozanam, 30-32, 00152 Roma RM, Italy
Monteverde's vibrant pizzeria and trattoria is an enclave of local flavor—from its excellent menu of fritti (fried starters), sfizi (delicious antipasti), and pizzas to its busy clientele. Owner Giancarlo Casa is a pizza perfectionist, and...
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17320 Tossa de Mar, Girona, Spain
Tossa de Mar, along the Costa Brava, is just under two hours away from Barcelona by bus, but it feels worlds away. Even on an overcast evening, the quaint little town still manages to shine. Hotel Cap d'Or, on the edge of the main strip, is a...
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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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Münsterbrücke, 8001 Zürich, Switzerland
I love the bicycle, and cycling is an activity I try to do in every single place that I visit. There is nothing like exploring a city on a bike, although in some places this can be a challenge. Zurich, Switzerland, has made it incredibly easy to...