Top Tips for Building Your Luxury Dream Home in Spain

While buying an already built home is a more straightforward option, building your own home has many advantages, mainly that you can design every aspect of the home from scratch leading to a finished project that has every room exactly as you want it.

It is also a popular choice for those who prefer to be away from the hustle and bustle of summer resort life. The basics of building your own home are you buy a parcela, which is Spanish for a plot of land, and hire an architect who will create plans to your specifications. Another option is to go with a standard design supplied by a builder.

However, it must be said the taking the route of building a home on the Costa Blanca is not a path for the timid. Spanish red tape and the often-bizarre business dealings can make building a home from scratch a nightmare. But having said that, there are many outstanding builders on the Costa Blanca who will build a uniquely designed house on your plot or will provide a plot and build a property selected from a choice of standard designs. Here, real estate and construction company Valuvillas, based in Javea on the North Costa Blanca offers an insight as to what to look into if you are considering designing your own perfect villa in Spain.

Infrastructure

When you are looking at a specific area, it is important to look into plans for infrastructure for the area, with both national and regional government departments. In certain parts of the Costa Blanca, roads and railways need upgrading, and there may be projects to do so underway. This could lead to a quiet rural plot ending up next to a main road or even an autopista.

When buying a plot, it is important to take the same precautions as if you were buying a property. Make sure it is approved for a building permit (if it is classed as a finca urbana it will most likely be approved for construction, but always check with the town hall first).

Make sure the plot is large enough for the type of property you want to build, as some areas require that there be a certain number of metres between the property wall and the perimeter of the plot. The minimum size plot for building varies from area to area, so again check with the townhall to make sure the plot size is correct relating to the property size you have in mind.

Spanish building regulations

It is normal to assume you can build a similar type of property as that on a neighbouring plot. However, this is not always the case as your plot may be subject to different regulations, or the regulations could have changed since your neighbour’s home was built. Also, consider that some plots are just not suitable for building on; it could be that they are too steep, or they would need ridiculously expensive foundations or retaining walls.

It is wise to talk with an architect before buying anything. A professional can inform you if the plot you are considering is fit for construction, and estimate the costs related to foundations and retaining walls.

Furthermore, it is also prudent to pay for a land survey which although is fairly expensive (expect to pay anywhere from €1800-€4200) but a survey will verify the boundaries and rights to water usage. It will also confirm that there are not any limitations with regards to electricity lines, water pipes, or public right of way that could affect your building plans.

Access

If they only access to a property is a non-tarred dirt track, be very aware that on the Costa Blanca rainfall can be torrential – particularly in winter. In just a few hours, tracks can change from accessible pathways into treacherous mud banks, with huge cracks or could even be washed away entirely, meaning the only way to get to your house is by foot or on two wheels.

Legalities

Before you sign anything concerning buying a plot, particularly if you are looking at rural areas, it really is advisable to hire a professional such as a lawyer who will carefully look into the regulations and conditions that may affect the land.

Do not believe everything the landowner or even an estate agent tells you, because they will be keen to sell the plot and declare that getting planning permission is straightforward when in fact the opposite is true.

Being the new owner of a plot of land that you cannot build on is no fun, and a very expensive mistake, so ask your lawyer to get written confirmation from the town hall that corresponds to your land stating the land can be built on and is approved for road access.

Guaranteeing a building licence in Spain

Before you buy a plot of land you intend to build on, you need to make sure that the purchase contract depends on being granted the necessary licencia de obras (building license). You can check with the local property registry and confirm for yourself that planning permission has been granted. Do not leave this task with the builder, because if the planning information is incorrect in any way, it could lead to you being responsible for improving the nearby infrastructure, or the property could even be demolished. Also, be aware that planning permission can take some time to be granted.

You will find building firms on the Costa Blanca offering packages that include a plot and the cost of constructing a property. This may not turn out to be such a good deal as it originally looks, so shop around and find out how much it would cost to buy a plot separately and then hire a builder. If you do opt for a package construction deal, make sure you get separate contracts for the building and for the purchase of the land, and before signing the building contract obtain the title deeds. If building on an existing urbanisation, make sure the urbanization is approved as there are still some on the cost of Blanca that are illegal.

Costs

The cost of a plot depends largely on the area and also if it is level. You can expect to pay between €50 and €400 m². As a rule of the thumb, the cost of the land usually equates around 50% of the cost of building the home, but having said this is still possible to buy a plot and build a better and larger property at a lower cost than that of a second-hand resale property. And remember when you design your own home you can make sure the materials and the labour you are top-quality.

As a ballpark figure, expect to pay around €700-€1500 per square meter depending on the quality of the materials and the area you choose. It is always a good idea to add around 10 to 15% to your original estimated costs, as frequently building your own home turns out to be more expensive than initially expected.

Extras

If you would ideally like a swimming pool or garage, it is a good idea to build it at the same time as the house if possible, because if built separately the applicable IVA is 16% compared to 7% when built together.

Finding a Costa Blanca architect & builder

When looking for professionals to help you obtain your dream home it is advisable to get suggestions from local people whose opinion you can trust. Note, that estate agents or other professionals are not always to be relied upon, as they may earn a commission. You can obtain useful information from expats who have lived long-term in an area that you particularly like.

Many Spanish architects on the Costa Blanca speak English and you will find architects from other EU countries such as Holland and Germany working in resort areas. Architects’ payments are typically assessed as a percentage of the total cost of the build, normally between 5 and 10 per cent, which unfortunately does not inspire them to reduce costs. In Spain, however, there are no longer compulsory minimum fees for architects, so it is worth trying to reach a deal.

A good architect will know of dependable builders, but also do your own enquiries, considering the reputation and financial status of the builder. Be careful of an architect who comes with his ‘own’ builder (or vice versa, a constructor with his own architect), as it is up to the architect to make sure the constructor carries out the job according to plan, so you don’t want them to be too friendly.

Before hiring anyone, always check out other houses the builder has worked on, if possible, ask the owners if they had any issues. Building standards in Spain differ significantly and you should not presume the lowest offer you get is the best value. Your best protection when constructing a property is the character of the builder and his financial resources.

It is important a builder provides a ‘termination’ guarantee which is supported by a bank or insurance company to protect you if he goes bust before completing the work, This must be stipulated in the contract.

If you want a home built precisely to your requirements, you must expect to supervise every step or employ a professional to do it for you, otherwise it has highly likely your directions won’t be exactly followed.

Around 70 per cent of an architect’s fees are due when building commences, and the balance payable upon completion when all applicable certificates have been issued by the town hall.

Contracts

Before signing any contracts, you need to get several written quotes from a number of building companies. Make sure the contract includes insulation against heat and cold and also protection against dampness. The contract should include a comprehensive description of the quality of materials to be used referring to your architect’s plans, the precise location of where the building will be developed within the plot, and the building and payment schedules which should be done in stages. It ideally should also include a penalty in the event of late completion, a retention of 5 to 10% of building costs to guarantee against faults, and details of how any disagreements will be resolved. However, it could be difficult for the builder to accept a late completion penalty clause as construction work is very rarely finished on time.

As the owner, you will be liable for a tax on the construction installation and work, which is imposed on any work which requires a municipal license. This ranges from 2 to 4% of the total cost and you will probably be asked to pay it when the local authorities deliver the building permit.

Before you accept an estimate have it checked by a building consultant to make sure it is a fair quote. The quote should include 7% IVA. Make sure if the estimate is simply an estimate or a fixed price because costs can rise considerably during building work. It is especially important you get a lawyer to check the contract, as typically building contracts are prejudiced to favour the builder with very few rights for the client.

Guarantees

Under Spanish law, a builder is required to guarantee the property against structural problems for 10 years, known is Spanish as the Seguro Decenal. This increases to 15 years if the constructor failed to conform to any specific clauses in the contract. The architect will also be responsible for up to 10 years for flaws due to inadequate supervision, incorrect instructions, or issues due to weak foundations such as subsidence.

Be aware that if you do encounter any problems, you will require a lot of patience and persistence before they will be resolved. When the building is completed, make sure it is checked by a structural surveyor for any faults and that a report is made which determines who is responsible.

GETTING TO KNOW ATHENS

More or less most of us feel very confident when it comes to suggesting a place to a tourist or if it is just us or our family who are about to have lunch out or go for a drink with friends. I am sure that this is the case with most of you when we have to do with your place or hometown. But how about a whole different city or even country? Are you that familiar? So, in the lines to follow we will meet Athens, the Greek capital. We are going to talk about its restaurants and its cafes-bars.

THE BEST DINERS AROUND

To begin with, here are some of the top Athenian eateries. The first one which is recommended for its marvelous breakfast is Tudor Hall. It is famous all-around Greece for its location on the rooftop of King George hotel. The coffee, tea and the sweets offered there are of the highest possible quality so you have to give it a shot. Of course, most of the wine list is pretty pricey but you can just have your breakfast, enjoy the view to the Acropolis and leave the place more than satisfied.

Moving on with lunch, it is for sure that there are plenty of options and you will definitely find yourselves spoilt for choice. A rather stimulating choice could be Jaipur Palace. It is adjacent to the center of the city of Athens in a region called Neos Cosmos. It is open from 1pm through midnight so you will get a table at an hour of your selection. That diner serves Asian, Indian and vegetarian dishes so you had better be ready for a “trip” to new flavors and traditions. Its unique decoration and the vintage pans and plates which are used help you to immerse into it. The freshness and the uniqueness of the ingredients is amazing. A must-try!

Last but not least, one of the best restaurants in Athens, Greece. It is called Dinner in the Sky and if you have never had the fantastic chance to be there, I feel sorry for you. It offers an evening and a night choice of dinner depending on your preference. The first one takes place at 7.30pm and the other one at 9.30pm. The meal per person costs 135€ but the fantastic view, the friendliness of the staff and the stunning dishes will leave you speechless wondering where this had been all these years. Well, it is set quite high and you get even higher. That is, once everybody is tightened on their seats a mechanism moves all of you high above the ground so as to feel like flying while dining. There is nothing like this in Greece and only Athens offers you that option!

HOW ABOUT A COCKTAIL?

If you love beverages or alcoholic drinks, there are no worries. Let’s start immediately with an ideal place for your needs and taste. It is called Aethrion and it is located in Hilton Hotel. It is well known for its magnificent wine list as well as its cocktails. Make no mistake though-it is one of the most expensive in the city, but you get what you pay for, right?

Couleur locale is another exciting choice whose menu includes all kinds of wine and cocktails. The Acropolis is so close and in front of your eyes that you feel, you will touch it if you stretch a bit. You see it is located in Monastiraki so it cannot get closer than that.

If you are more old-school though, you will appreciate The Lazy Bulldog Pub. It is more like an English pub rather than a Greek café which is not bad at all. In fact, most of the meals served are pretty fatty but delicious, well prepared and carefully presented. Its dishes start from 5€ each so you will not have getting something suiting…your wallet and flavors.

London on a budget: 4 tips to help you along

It’s a wildly popular destination but unfortunately, London also happens to be one of the more expensive getaways out there. This doesn’t just apply to tourists either (in actual fact, it’s no longer one of the most expensive cities for travel).

As well as tourists, residents are also feeling the pinch. We constantly hear about the high rents and house prices but rather than stating the obvious, today’s post is all about unearthing some tips which can help you save money in your day-to-day life in the capital.

Granted, there might only be four suggestions, but take these on-board and see if you can apply any further methods on top to help you along your way.

Entertainment CAN be free

There is a common misconception in London that everything must cost money. As it turns out, this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case. Sure, you can venture to the West End and visit the many theatres. Unfortunately, unless you happen to grab a late ticket, this will cost you.

However, there are alternatives. Some people will just head to see street performers, but an even better option is to tap into the museums. The vast majority in the UK are free yet contain some of the world’s most prized and important assets. In fact, if you can get there one evening, you’ll find that there are regularly exhibitions held which are also open to the public free of charge.

Be shrewd with your public transport choices

One of the biggest mistakes that a lot of people living in London make is taking too much advantage of the fantastic transport links. We all know how impressive these travel systems are and they are undisputedly some of the best in the world.

However, it’s not always necessary. Sometimes, it’s almost as quick to walk between stations, while before jumping in a taxi you should really ask yourself if you fancy being charged through the nose for sitting in traffic.

Chances are, you don’t, and this is a monumental way to save money.

Take advantage of the markets

It might be very tourist-focused from one respect, but from another London still retains its local roots. There are countless local markets and this presents your chance to shine. Granted, you won’t be able to venture into an Oxford Street store and barter with the shop assistant, but on a market store (almost) anything goes. This is where you don’t always have to pay full price and you can come away with some bargains.

Make the most from being in the travel hub

Let’s end with something of a bonus suggestion. London has a ridiculous number of airports, and this presents some fantastic opportunities. You have the pick of the tickets when it comes to European travel and as long as you’re not too picky, you can jump on a plane for the same price as jumping on a National Express for a couple of hours. Make sure you make the most of this as if you are to ever move away from the capital, this bonus tends to evaporate.

What to expect when you venture outside London

For some tourists, it’s non-negotiable. Their trip must be devoted to London and there are absolutely no arguments.

For others, it’s about getting outside the Big Smoke. It’s about traveling like a local (yes, that cliché we have become so used to hearing over the years) and finding out what makes the UK tick. While you might see glimpses of this in the capital, when you are trying to juggle Madame Tussauds one day and Big Ben the next, the whole trip tends to be a Trip Advisor bucket list activity.

As such, escaping London can be quite exciting. There are also some things that you should prepare yourself for, which we will now mull over through the course of this post.

Transport isn’t as reliable (or cheap)

One of the great advantages of London is its immense transport system. Few would disagree that it is one of the best of its kind in the world.

Unfortunately, there is no other location in the country which competes with this. This starts to become blatantly obvious as you attempt to leave the capital, with trains not as frequent – and sometimes costly. To combat these issues, check the timetables frequently, but also book in advance. This latter point is crucial and if you can book your trains weeks ahead of your trip, you can save huge sums of money in a heartbeat.

Everything else is considerably cheaper

On the plus side, you’ll find that your costs dwindle significantly as soon as you venture beyond the famous M25.

Whether you find attractions in Basingstoke, or at the opposite end of the country, hotel prices compared to London are an absolute snip.

Then, there are the general day-to-day costs. While you may still find some attractions which are premium priced, on the whole your days will be far less expensive. Taxis will be cheaper, and restaurants will be as well – you’ll notice that your pocket is much fuller than it ever has been after a UK getaway.

Not everywhere is “tourist friendly”

A degree of caution must be exercised with the term “tourist friendly”. After all, we’re by no means suggesting that some areas are unfriendly, but they just might not be able to provide the support that alternatives are able to.

For example, for foreign tourists at least, they might not be able to speak the language. Or, they might not have people who understand the culture that some visitors bring. It’s at this point visitors must accept these changes and appreciate that whilst rewarding, turning outside of London can sometimes bring its difficulties.

Other areas operate on different schedules

It’s not quite the city that never sleeps, but it certainly has later opening hours than most destinations in the UK. In some areas, it’s not uncommon for the stores to close at 5pm, and some restaurants to follow on shortly after. Naturally, this is completely different to London and other parts of Europe, where dining and shopping times typically venture deep into the night.

UK tourism: How to plan your escape out of London

It grabs the plaudits for all sorts of reasons and few would dispute that London is one of the best destinations in the world when it comes to tourism.

However, if you are planning a UK trip, it’s perhaps time to broaden your horizons somewhat. Sure, London has some amazing attractions, but the UK as a whole has a truly wonderful tourism industry that is largely untapped by visitors from abroad.

Bearing this in mind, today’s post will take a look at some of the best ways you can plan your escape out of London – and really take advantage of all of the other tourism benefits that the UK offers.

Choose your alternative city wisely

In some ways, a trip to a small, local city in the UK is what dreams are made of. After all, this presents an opportunity that some people just could never find; you can experience what true, local life in the country means, rather than always relying on the hustle and bustle of tourism in London.

However, there are some caveats. If you go too small, you could be met with some local difficulties. Some of these destinations won’t be used to tourists, so you may have issues with language and even finding enough things to do.

For this reason we would urge you to consider something in-between. It might be Newcastle, Brighton, Edinburgh or another major city – but making sure it is “big enough” will do wonders for the quality of your trip.

Get your transport in order in plenty of time

When you have decided on your destination of choice, it’s time to think about how to get there.

Now, in truth, you could rock up on the day and comfortably navigate there. Unfortunately, turning up on the day tends to be one of the more expensive ways to do things in the UK. The country almost prides itself on its “booking in advance” philosophy – meaning that those who plan early are rewarded with significantly cheaper rates.

The train well and truly falls into this category, and for the best rates you should be looking to book weeks and weeks in advance. After all, this is a method of transport which is constantly hitting the headlines for its increasing costs, so booking in advance really can make the difference when it comes to getting out of London.

Be aware of the cultural differences

We’ve briefly spoken about culture previously in this article, but now we are referring to the cultural differences in relation to schedules.

Again, if a city isn’t really used to tourists, they won’t change to accommodate them. Their stores will close at 6pm (or earlier) and you can forget about dining out after 10pm! This is something that a lot of tourists getting out of London fall foul of. They don’t acclimatize to “normal UK hours” and this ultimately means that they don’t get the best impression from the rest of the country.

Top 4 Underrated Tourist Destinations in Europe

When most people think about going on a vacation in Europe, the first thing that springs to mind is a trip to England or France. However, Europe has far more to offer than its most popular traveling destinations.

The countries of the “Old Continent” are all rich with history and art and provide a diverse mixture of different cultures. While some of the biggest metropolises have long established themselves as prime tourist destinations, such as Paris or Rome, many other cities are offering a different, but equally enticing experience.

If you are planning to take a trip through Europe and are willing to walk the path less trodden, below are some of the most beautiful underrated European cities waiting to be discovered.

Bucharest

Although the capital city of Romania has acquired the reputation of somewhat of a bachelor’s party mecca in the past several years, thanks to the nightlife and stag activities it offers, it still remains under the radar of most conventional tourists.

Bucharest is teeming with history and an interesting mix of Moorish, French and Soviet architecture. There are organized tours of the Old Town, as well as the largest Parliament building in Europe, but you can also explore the city on your own, either by public transportation or Uber.

Thanks to its location, the city is also a great starting point if you want to explore the rest of the country. There are several tourist attractions in its immediate vicinity, most notably the castle of Vlad the Impaler, the historical figure who was the inspiration for Brem Stoker’s Count Dracula.

Belgrade

The capital of Serbia was built on the confluence of two rivers: Danube and Sava, and the cities’ riverboat clubs offer some of the best nightlife in the region. Although many people visit Belgrade with only this aspect of the city in mind, there are also many other reasons to mark it as one of your destinations.

The most famous tourist attraction in the city is the Belgrade Fortress overlooking the two rivers. Most of it is open to the public and is a beautiful place to spend an afternoon walking among the fortress walls and through the connected park. There are also organized tours of the fortress if you are looking to find out more about its turbulent history spanning over sixteen centuries.

To truly experience Belgrade, however, you would need to take a walk through the streets of its old town, and enjoy the architecture from some of the many cafés or restaurants.

Bruges

This small city in Belgium with a population of less than 200,000 is one of the best-preserved medieval towns in Europe. Nicknamed the Venice of Belgium, because of its many canals, and scattered with churches and museums, Bruge truly has the feel of a place right out of a fairy tale.

 If you are a medieval history enthusiast, it is definitely the next European town you should visit. Instead of busy nightlife, this Belgian gem offers a more peaceful experience with less crowded streets and comfortable inns and pubs.

Apart from medieval architecture and museums, Bruge also boasts a considerable number of chocolate shops. If you have a sweet tooth, you will be happy to indulge in some of the finest chocolate you have ever tasted.

Naples

In contrast to busy Italian cities, such as Rome or Milan, this often overlooked town has a much more authentic Italian feel to it. With winding cobblestone streets, traditional Italian food and scattered piazzas, Naples is a perfect representative of the traditional Italian spirit.

However, this doesn’t mean you should visit Naples solely for an authentic experience, as it has its own share of attractions. Numerous churches and cathedrals, as well as three castles and a royal palace, make spending a few afternoons sight-seeing well worth.

In addition, it is a great lodging place if you want to visit the ancient ruins of Pompeii, which are only a short drive away, or the island of Capri, which can be reached by boat. Like with many other Italian cities, you should, by all means, give their pizzerias a try.

Conclusion

The list of underrated European cities could go on virtually forever. With so many different countries and cultures, there is limitless potential for exploring the continent. Whether you are looking for a weekend out in a foreign country, or a lesson in history, there are many cities and places across Europe you probably haven’t even heard of, that can provide you with an unforgettable experience.

Hopefully, next time you find yourself wondering where to spend your vacation, you will do some research and opt for a less famous destination. Not only will such a decision to save you some money, but it would also lead to a unique adventure you can talk about when you return home.

Savour the natural beauty of the UK with Regatta

The natural beauty in the UK ranges from stunning dramatic castles to breath-taking sceneries. A vacation in the UK is undeniably  the best way to reward yourself.

Regatta is dedicated to helping you make your trips in the UK a memorable experience worth cherishing, and one that is a cheaper alternative to a European break. Check out some of the spots they’ve highlighted on their interactive map as an alternate destination or take a look at the places listed here.

The following is a list of five marvelous tourist attraction spots in the UK

Windsor – This historic town is a short train ride west of London. Its lovely Thames-side setting and the many medieval half-timbered buildings along its quaint old cobblestone laneways attract tourists from all over the world. It houses the spectacular Windsor Castle, the world’s largest inhabited castle; Windsor also houses Legoland Windsor, a fun family resort set on 150 acres of parkland close to the town centre and Royal Ascot, the UK’s most famous horse-racing venue.

Medieval York- One of northern England’s most popular tourist destinations, the medieval city of York, harbours one of the country’s most magnificent cathedrals. The country’s largest medieval church, York Minster, also the ancient City Walls, which stretch almost five kilometres around the old medieval city centre and offer excellent views over The Shambles, a narrow 14th-century roadway, famous for being the inspiration for Harry Potter’s Diagon Alley thanks to its fine old timber-framed buildings, many of which hang over the street below.

Liverpool and Manchester- When visiting Manchester, one must visit Castlefield, popular for its well-preserved Victorian houses, canals, and Roman ruins. Manchester Cathedral and the historic Town Hall, Museum of Science and Industry, Manchester Art Gallery and Chinatown are other attractions.

Liverpool, an hour’s journey by train, offers cultural excitement because of its association with the Beatles. Music fans are drawn here for the numerous walking tours and bus tours of Beatles sites, such as The Beatles Story in the renovated Albert Docks area; the famous Cavern Club, where the band made its debut in 1961; as well as the former homes of John Lennon and Paul McCartney. Besides this, there are many historic buildings, lovely gardens, parks and museums and world-class art galleries.

Canterbury – Only an hour’s train ride from central London, Canterbury has attracted pilgrims for more than 1,500 years, ever since St. Augustine first started converting pagan Anglo Saxons to Christianity here in AD 597. Its famous attraction is Canterbury Cathedral (a UNESCO World Heritage Site), home of the Archbishop of Canterbury, and the Canterbury Roman Museum, built around the remains of an original Roman townhouse and its unique mosaic are the signatures of the city.

Cardiff – Cardiff offers a full spread of all the fun experience imaginable. The Cardiff Castle located in the middle of the city and built on the ruins of an ancient Roman fort; the old Victorian shopping arcades; the Cardiff Bay now home to numerous fine restaurants, theatres, galleries and shopping arcades on the lovely Mermaid Quay make up some of the brilliant activities you can enjoy in this friendly capital.

Your Guide to Navigating London’s Attractions

London is a vibrant multicultural metropolis. There is a contrast between the historic sights and the vibrant cultural scene. This makes it a thrilling experience to visit London. It also offers an amazing shopping experience. It also includes unlimited sights and vibrant culture for every traveler.

If you have never been to London and you’re contemplating whether a day tour within the city is worth it, here are some famous tourist spots that may help you decide:

  • Covent Garden: Covent Garden is considered to be one of the most famous areas in the city due to its theaters. Neal Street is a haven for shoe lovers with its range of shoe shops.
  • SoHo: It is a lively and thrilling area of the city that houses an impressive array of cafes. It also houses blues and jazz bars, and the core of the gay scene in London.
  • Kensington and Chelsea: This community is home to a few of the posh shops and affluent citizens in London. It also houses Notting Hill, which has become a famous neighborhood.
  • Camden: This is famous for being the area where hippies and punks tread the streets together. It is home to a lively mix of music venues, markets, tattoo parlors, restaurants, and boutiques.
  • London City: This is about one square mile in area. It is close to the largest skyscrapers and business districts in London.
  • Westminster: This includes sights like the Houses of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, and Buckingham Palace. People can visit the British Government through the House of Commons Strangers’ Gallery.
  • Shoreditch: This is best known as London’s trendy East End design center. It offers great vintage shopping, street art, nightlife, and awesome food.

What to do in London

Visit the Wilton Music Hall

It is a magnificent building considered to be one of the world’s oldest. This music hall features a broad range of events like theater and classical music. It also includes comedy and cabaret, all in a unique atmosphere.

Visit the British Library and museums

London’s cultural icons are highlighted in many free museums. The British Museum holds world-renowned exhibits. The Tate Modern displays the finest of British and International Modern Art. The British Library has some reading rooms that have large collections of books. There’s always something new to be found. This is because of the frequent modification of exhibitions.

East London street art

Banksy is the most popular street art export in Britain. There are also several street art pieces across East London. These include Christiaan Nagel’s signature mushroom sculptures. You can also schedule your travel in time for the London Art Fair if you love art.

Shopping

Shoreditch has a fair proportion of coffee shops and eccentric fashion designers. This is to compliment the shopping scene. It is because it has developed a reputation as the birthplace of London’s retro boutiques. Oxford Street draws most visitors searching for souvenirs. Harrod’s is a world-class shopping sight. Thus, you should visit it when you are in London.

Visit the Thames River

Thames is an important part of the history of the city. Its Clipper boats take visitors through the Tower Bridge. They can also go to the historic sites and to the Canary Wharf’s iconic commercial district.

Warner Brothers Studio tour

For fans of the Harry Potter series, it is a must to visit this site. This tour takes guests from Dumbledore’s office to the Diagon Alley shops. It also takes them to a few popular locations shown in the Harry Potter movie.

Market tour

Borough Market has a lot of great food options and is the most renowned market. Some fantastic markets include the Portobello Market in Notting Hill. There is also the Old Spitalfields Market in East London. Here you will find everything like clothing, antiques, and food.

London is undeniably one of the majestic places to see. If you’re visiting anytime soon, make sure you have the right tools so you won’t have problems in navigating and to be able to make the most out of your travels.

Top 3 Travel Tours in Europe for Students

As a student, you need to take advantage of your college years to travel. Traveling not only allows you to make beautiful memories, but you also get more confident when you succeed in exploring a new environment.

Many students don’t travel with the excuse that they have such a busy lifestyle. Not many college students understand that their responsibilities will double once they graduate. Whereas the university provides you with the structure to work around, as a working citizen, you’ll need to figure out life on your own. Use every traveling opportunity the university provides because traveling will not be as affordable as it is when you’re a college student.

Don’t choose your homework over traveling when you can easily turn to paperwritten.com for online help. This, however, does not mean you should completely ignore your academic responsibilities. You’re in school to study after all. Students should find a balance between their academic and personal life. Spending too much time on one or the other results in failure, or worse, mental instability.

Here are the top 3 European travel tours for students.

1. Europe Escape

If you’ve always wanted to visit the Eiffel Tower, this is your chance to do so. The Europe Escape Tour allows you to escape your daily routine for a while. Being that the Eiffel Tower is among the greatest thrills in Europe, this is a worthy adventure.

Did you know Eiffel Tower is one of the most visited spots in the world? Europe Escape gives you the opportunity to be one among millions who’ve been to this breath-taking location. Even though it’s one of the expensive spots in Paris, the Europe Escape package offers competitive prices; you cannot turn down.

What’s more, you also get to see the Arc de Triomphe, which offers arguably one of the best views ever. Have I mentioned getting to experience the world from the top of the Swiss Alps? Other pleasures you get to enjoy include;

  • Visit the Vatican which is one of the few city-states in the world
  • Enjoy Bavaria’s local beer and their famous Burgundy wine
  • Enjoy Dutch cheese as well as Belgian chocolate

As you experience life on the road, you need not worry about accommodation or transport. The package is inclusive of everything you need for the trip. Now pack those bags and get ready for a wild ride.

2. Europe’s Highlights with London

Next, we have Europe’s Highlights with London, which is a European tour that takes you to more than six destinations. At the top of the list, we have Amsterdam, which is a globally recognized holiday destination.

Amsterdam is home to huge museums, contemporary architecture, art galleries, and well-known historical sites.

This Europe tour will cross over with you to Innsbruck Area–Venice Area, in Italy, where you can enjoy breeze boat ride at St. Mark’s Square.

Other destinations you should expect include;

  • Austria
  • Germany
  • Rome
  • Montecatini
  • Paris

3. Europe Taster

This comprises a 7-day tour visit to the most popular tourist locations in Europe. The best part is you get to go around with a bus so you can enjoy nature. Of course, traveling by air is quite convenient, but many people still appreciate taking the bus.

The good news is, the 10-90 year range allows you to carry your entire family with you. This is a suitable tour for people who want to travel with friends or family. Even if you choose to travel solo, you‘re bound to make friends on the way. Here are the destinations you get to visit;

  • England
  • Belgium
  • Switzerland
  • France
  • Netherlands

Conclusion

There you have it! Three European Tours that are suitable for students.

Top 7 Reasons to Visit Dalmatia in Croatia

If you are thinking about your holiday destination, we recommend you Dalmatia region in Croatia. The name Dalmatia exists ever since the first century and its named by the Delmats (Dalmatians), a tribe of the Illyrians. Today it is one of the most popular destination in the world where you will spend your dream vacations. Beautiful nature, rich culture, vivid lifestyle, Adriatic Sea and coast, Mediterranean climate, islands and historical cities will charge your batteries for the whole year. Let’s talk about Dalmatia!

Weather

If you don’t like the cold, come to Dalmatia and feel the benefits of the Mediterranean climate. Dalmatian winters are mild, and summers are hot and dry – the best combination for excellent vacation. You have probably heard that the island of Hvar is the sunniest island in the Adriatic Sea, with more than 2,700 hours of sunshine a year. In Dalmatia, many people swim during the winter, so do not hesitate to do the same. Only Bura, the cold and dry northwest wind, can stop you. Thanks to the great Dalmatian climate, you can have an active holiday fulfilled with Sun throughout whole year.

Dalmatian Coast, Sea and Islands

One of the reasons why a lot of tourists come to Croatia is the Dalmatian coast which is becoming more popular from year to year. That long coast is backed by mountains with a lot of islands. You can choose between secluded places or some trendy hotspot such as the Hvar or Novalja. The connectivity between the land and islands is excellent so you can visit it all in short time. Islands are a lovely destination for a fabulous and unforgettable vacation. You will make the best decision if you reserve accommodation in a villa with a private pool and make many side trips. There are Southern, Central and Northern Dalmatia, and every part of it is exciting and have a rich history. You will find everything that you need for a perfect holiday – beautiful nature, viewpoints, promenades, great restaurants, long and secluded beaches, and more.

Dalmatian Cuisine

One of the most essential things and questions for Dalmatians is what to eat! Maybe the secret of their beauty is superb and healthy food. Dalmatian cuisine includes the best of the Mediterranean way of cooking. Start with seafood and meat. Try fish meals like a baked octopus, different kind of grilled sea fish, fish stew (brudet), black risotto etc. You should also enjoy in lamb, pasticada with gnocchi, Dalmatian ham, cheese, olive oil, soparnik… If you relish sweets, you should choose a local dessert like fritule, krostule, rozata etc. If you order dry white wine such as Posip or a red one like Dingac, you will certainly not go wrong. Bon appetite!

Old Cities

The Dalmatian coast is home to many old, historic cities. As you maybe know, Croatia has 10 UNESCO World Heritage Sites, eight of them are cultural sites, and two are natural. From Zadar to Dubrovnik you can visit many, smaller and bigger, charming old towns that have its own unique flair. You’ll see cathedrals and churches, spacious squares, massive walls, and a romantic promenades. Some reflect the Roman Empire and some Venetian Republic; some have a multitude of modern cafes and bars, some are quiet and romantic. The old city centres of Split and Dubrovnik, which are protected by UNESCO, are ones of the most visited in the Dalmatia. Ston is a small town with the longest stone wall in Europe (5,5 km).

Cultural Events and Nightlife

Dalmatian people like to party a lot. This region has become one of the favourite places for those who are in search of the best party destination in Europe. You can enjoy unforgettable parties and festivals such as Ultra Music Festival. There is a lot of clubs where you can chill and drink your cocktail.

In Dalmatia, you will find many traditional events during summer, like fishermen’s evenings, holiday celebrations, traditional festivals, theatre festivals, film screenings and street entertainment.

Peljesac Peninsula

Peljesac is the second largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. It is the perfect place to indulge in food, red wine, gorgeous lovely sandy and pebble beaches and ancient history. This peninsula is in the south corner of Croatia. It offers some unforgettable experiences and adventures like olive oil tastings, wineries tours, food (oysters from Ston), history, countryside, beaches, biking, diving…

Dalmatian Hinterland (Zagora)

Dalmatian hinterland or Zagora is located not far away from the coast. There you can enjoy in traditions dating back hundreds of years (e.g. in Sinj), adrenaline tourism, natural beauties (like Blue Lake and Red Lake in Imotski), unique indigenous wines and gourmet delights. It’s, also, a perfect place to escape from the daily hustle and bustle. If you need peace and quiet – a place to give your body and soul chance to recover, come to Zagora.

No matter what you are looking for, you can find a perfect place for you in Dalmatia and forget all your worries.