Must-know tips to ensure a hassle-free visit to the UK – A first-timer’s guide

The Buckingham Palace, the Royal Family, James Bond, inviting country pubs, rolling green mountains and real ales are the few things that instantly come to our mind when we think of the UK. Travelers flock to the United Kingdom in millions making it the world’s eighth biggest destination. Hence, if you’re planning a trip to the ‘Old Blighty’ for leisure or for business, we’ve compiled a list of tips to help you on your way.

Check your passport and visa demands

Although nationals from various English-speaking nations don’t have any such visa requirements for traveling to the UK but you should still check your specific conditions before traveling. Depending on the country you originate from, you may use the tool of the UK government website to check your requirements for a UK tourist visa without which you’ll be denied entry to the country.

Things to See and Do in England

  • Visit the Buckingham Palace

Home to England’s Queen, Buckingham Palace is one of the most fascinating sights. The altering of guard’s duty occurs at 11:30 a.m. and if you wish to enter the palace, the admission fee is 37 GBP. However, there are discounts for students, seniors, groups and families.

  • Check out the town Brighton

Brighton is a small little town that is ideal for a short weekend trip. Brighton has abundance of boutiques, shops and well-lit cafes. The streets being narrow, it creates an intimate and cozy atmosphere for the pedestrians who walk around the lanes. The city is a famous destination for locals who reach there to relax on the beach, enjoy the sun tan and wander around the amusement rides.

  • Go to the Chatsworth House

This spectacular home, located in Derbyshire, was built in 1549 for the Duchess and Duke of Devonshire. Among the several splendid castles and houses all over the United Kingdom, the Chatsworth House is definitely the most astonishing one.

  • Be a guest at the Oxford University

There are multiple colleges within Oxford and each of them are equally worth praising. Though you may have to pay a few dollars to tour through the college campus but visiting the one that filmed Harry Potter will be a special experience, especially if you’re a Harry Potter fan. Oxford is one of the world’s oldest universities.

UK is expensive – Suggested budget ideas

There’s no doubt about the fact that England is expensive. Even when you’re on a shoestring budget, you’d still need around 50 GBP per day. With this amount, you could stay at hostel dorms, cook your meals on your own, use public transport, prefer buses over trains and reap benefit of the free sites of the nation.

However, on a luxury budget of around 318 GBP per day, you could stay at luxury hotels, shop around, have fancy meals, take private tours and not have to worry about train prices and do anything that you wish to do. So, if you’re someone who wants a luxurious holiday, you can have that in the UK.

The most important piece of suggestion to offer to someone traveling to the UK is to get proper travel insurance. Travel insurance safeguards you against injury, illness, cancellations and theft and takes care in case things go wrong.

Author Bio:

Susan Noel is an experienced content writer. She is associated with many renowned travel blogs as a guest author where she shares her valuable travel tips with the audience.

8 of the Best Beaches in the UK for a Weekend Break

It’s easy to dismiss the UK shores in favour of the turquoise waters of Europe or Asia, but if you look closer to home, you’ll find countless gorgeous bays to while away your time. We’ve compiled a list of some of the best beaches in the UK, perfect for a sunny weekend away. And with transport links across the UK making them so easy to reach, there’s no excuse not to get booking.

Blackpool Sands, Devon

A far cry from the bright lights and ballroom dancing of the Lancashire town, Blackpool Sands is actually a beautiful stretch of beach in South Devon. Country meets coast as you drive through an expanse of pine trees to reach the shingle bay, which boasts the clearest blue waters for dipping your toes. There are sand pits, a bathing raft and water sports equipment to hire, so it’s easy to spend hours here.

Good to Know: You’ll have to leave the dog at home if you’re visiting.

Durdle Door, Dorset

On the Jurassic Coast sits Durdle Door – a limestone arch between St Oswald’s Bay and Man O’War Cove. Both are beautiful beaches that never get crowded thanks to the several hundred cliff steps you’ll need to descend to reach them. But worry not – every step is worth it for these sheltered, peaceful bays with crystal-clear waters.

Good to Know: Families might want to head to Lulworth Cove instead as it’s more accessible and has facilities nearby.

Sennen Cove, Cornwall

Keep your eyes peeled for dolphins at Cornwall’s stunning Sennen Cove, which is just around the corner from Land’s End. Head down the hill from the old fishing village of Sennen and you’ll find golden sands lapped by rolling blue waves. Make sure you bring your board if surfing’s your thing – conditions are often perfect.

Good to Know: There’s a small harbour with a lifeboat station and art galleries – great if it’s a bit cloudy.

Walberswick, Suffolk

You’ve probably heard of Southwold, but Walberswick is its wilder, quieter neighbour on the Suffolk coast. To the south of the River Blyth’s mouth, it’s a short stroll from the village and its amenities, making it a very easy choice for a weekend away. The long sand and shingle beach is surrounded by dramatic heathland and backed by grassy dunes. It’s a popular crabbing spot and even held The British Open Crabbing Championship – until the village couldn’t cope with the influx of visitors.

Good to Know: If you fancy popping to Southwold, take the five-minute row-boat ferry across the river.

Whitstable, Kent

Whitstable’s trendy pebble bay is backed by quirky beach huts and countless oyster bars (heading to Whitstable and not eating Oysters is akin to arriving in Italy and saying no to pizza). Weatherboard cottages and fishing boats add to the British seaside charm and you’ll never be short of pubs, cafes and shops should the sun be hiding.

Good to Know: Looking for lunch? Head to Elliott’s at No.1 Harbour Street, or book into Michelin-starred pub The Sportsman.

South Bay, Scarborough

The large, sandy beach at South Bay is popular with families thanks to its great facilities and child-friendly amenities. This picturesque spot is home to plenty of attractions to keep you busy, including amusements, cafes, restaurants and seaside stalls. At the south end of the beach is the historic Spa, which hosts live entertainment.

Good to Know: Don’t miss out on a trip to Scarborough Castle, which separates South Bay from North Bay.

Seilebost Beach, Isle of Harris, Scotland

It’s easy to see why Seilebost beach, to the south of Luskentyre Bay, was once voted one of the top 10 beaches in the world. Be sure to bring your camera as the stretch of sand and pristine, turquoise waters with sweeping views make for spectacular photos. Access isn’t the easiest, but you’ll be rewarded with stunning serenity.

Good to Know: There is the possibility of quicksand in the area, so avoid walking in the wet sand at low tide.

Three Cliffs Bay, Swansea, Wales

Three Cliffs Bay may sit on one of Britain’s most striking shorelines, but it still manages to be quiet all year round. This is mainly down to the challenging walk across the dunes to reach it. Past the rugged limestone cliffs sits the dramatic stretch of sandy coast popular with horse riders. The crumbling remains of Pennard Castle that overlook the bay give the area a wonderfully remote, forgotten atmosphere.

Good to Know: Don’t be fooled by the bay’s beauty – it can be dangerous, with strong tides and currents at all times.

Should I Buy A Retirement or Holiday Home In Costa Blanca?

Did you know that Spain is home to the highest number of British citizens living abroad in mainland Europe – with approximately 300,000 registered in the country. Retiring overseas, for British citizens, can seem like a dream come true – and Spain is perhaps the perfect retiree or even holiday home getaway destination.

Spain, as a retirement or holiday home location, is popular for a range of reasons. First and foremost, this popularity surrounds British retirees enjoying Spain’s major coastal resorts – like Costa Blanca or the Costa Del Sol. The climate, the ecology and wider cultural experience provides retirees with a cost-effective, accessible, and value-led retirement experience.

Why Costa Blanca?

The Costa Blanca – which in Spanish means “White Coast” – is a 120 mile stretch of Mediterranean coastline in the heart of the Alicante provide in Spain. There are numerous towns and villages from Pilar de la Horadada to Javea. There are over four million people who call the Costa Blanca home – a melting pot of cultures and different nationalities. The region is serviced by great transport links with major hubs – like international airports and major train stations. The area also boasts the moniker of “the market garden of Europe,” thanks to its gastronomic creativity which is a credit to the bountiful fish stocks, lush farmland and a superb variety of fruits and vegetables all of which make experiencing the wider array of hospitality services that much more tasty.

Buying Property in The Costa Blanca – What You Need to Know?

You will need to find a real estate agent, like Valuvillas, who can help you find properties in places like Javea or other beautiful Costa Blanca towns and villages. Once you have found your dream property, you will need to work with a Spanish real estate agent and a legal professional to undertake discussions on the terms and conditions relating to the seller agreement for the property. This process is about taking the verbal terms agreed by both parties and cementing them into a contract – which is known as a Contrato de Reserva, a reservation contract, which will be signed by the buyer and the seller at which time you will need to pay a Senal de Reserva, a reservation deposit, which is usually around €4-5,000.

This is followed by the exchange of what is known as Private Purchase Contracts or Contrato Privado de Compraventa. These are private purchasing contracts that provide the biding agreement terms between the buyer and seller – this sets out the date by which the completion occurs and the wider terms and conditions of the sale experience going forward. This is followed by legal searches which are required before ‘completion’. They should have obtained what is called a Nota Simple, a certificate, from the Property Registry in Spain. Once verified, this is when a customary percentage of the purchase price is paid – whether it is a cash purchase or off-plan acquisition. This leads to the formal ‘completion’ of the purchase – a contract is signed, called a Escritura de Compraventa, or sales contract, by both parties, which must be done in the presence of a Notario (a public notary). The notary will forward the registration of the property’s title deeds to warrant the change of ownership.

How Javea-Property Can Help

At Javea-Property, we can help navigate you through this process – we can help you understand nationality eligibility, taxes, and other issues. Furthermore, with friendly staff who have expertise of the Javea and wider area who can help you find your dream home in Spain – whether for retirement or holiday memories. Call us or visit our website today to find out more?

Brexit Effects on Buying a Spanish Property

Before, purchasing a property in Spain was a straightforward seamless process for UK citizens. However, since the Brexit referendum, things have changed. It’s therefore essential that buyers assess the impact of this referendum before buying as the process can be more complicated.

Brexit and International Property

The Association of International Property Association (AIPP) predicts a huge impact on the international property sector following Brexit. It is why they want certainty that British owner’s rights of a foreign property will be considered and included during Brexit negotiations. Without this, purchasing a house in Spain will be a painful investment. That said let’s look at how Brexit will affect buying of properties for UK nationals.

Will Brexit Hinder One from Buying a Second House in Spain?

Although in the short term, changes in currency due to Brexit have made it hard for buyers to afford to buy a house in popular locations. As a result, purchasing second-holiday homes seems difficult compared to buying retirement homes. Studies found that currency volatility impact sales negatively.

Before the global financial crisis in 2008, the exchange rate of pound-euro was profitable. A UK pound at times could be as high as 1.56 euros. However, as of May 1st, 2020, it trades at 1.15 euros. There have been significant fluctuations for exchange rates of GBP-EUR after Brexit, but now, the Covid-19 pandemic is worsening things.

Many individuals thinking of buying a property in Spain might be put off with the low currency exchange rates. But, non-EU nationals like Americans and Scandinavians can continue buying property as they have always done without any problems even during low exchange rates.

Brexit Influence on the Overall International Real Estate Cost

Since there are some limitations of movement, it can cause some restrictions or visa requirements. But, because British citizens with property on Spain contribute to this country’s economy, they will not be denied entry visas to visit their houses.

Will More UK Citizens Emigrate Due to Brexit?

Well, recent research says that there has been an increase in online searches on the number of UK nationals who want to migrate to countries like Canada, Australia, and New Zealand following Brexit. While often the reasons for migrating are personal, the fact that Britain is out of the EU will encourage some people to move to different countries. However, this will be mostly an incentive for those who had been thinking about moving anyway.

Brexit Impact on Passports, Visas, Currency, and Migration

Brexit will likely cause many and significant political changes considering that the UK opted for a system of immigration points like that in Australia. There will be limited movements between UK and EU from January 2021. Additionally, while it is still not clear on how Britain’s immigration point system will work, it’ll likely result in an exit from the single market.

Note that, the UK and EU had a scheme that gave British nationals the freedom to live, start businesses or study in any European country they have migrated to. However, Brexit does not include freedom of movement which means things could also change for British citizens in terms of social security benefits, accessing health care, and working rights. As a result, it also reduces the number of Brits who want to work or buy a property abroad.

How Will Brexit Impact International Property Owners

Well, it’s not exactly clear how this referendum will affect those who own international properties. However, it would be impractical to limit cash flow from British expats. Think about it. Over 1.2 million British expats are living in France, Spain, and Ireland. And more than 1 million UK residents own a property in the EU and visit regularly for holidays. Therefore, it wouldn’t be wise to limit these over 2.2 million people from spending their cash in EU countries.

Brexit Influence on Exchange Rates

We’ve already said that the low exchange rates have already negatively affected some perceptions about buying a property abroad or migrating to these countries. But, according to a recent survey, there has been an increased demand for currency exchange services since Brexit. This demand is mostly from British businesses who want to balance market shifts and protect their investments by controlling their currency risk.

Final Thoughts

Well, as we have earlier said Brexit will have a huge impact on buying or living abroad for UK nationals. It is therefore wise that you weigh out the effects before making any decision. Also, experts urge buyers to work with a real estate agent, an attorney, and financial experts when buying a Spanish property.

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.

5 Oldest European Universities Worth Visiting as a Tourist

There is no better time for traveling and discovering something new as student years. Yet, choosing the next point of destination, you’ll most likely be thinking about something with waves. Or you’ll opt for some place with beautiful mountain views, or deserts, or forests.

In this article, you won’t find just another common tourist suggestion. Let’s decide on something less obvious. What about the oldest European universities?

No, there is no encouraging to apply for a program or move somewhere else for a semester. The thing in question is an exceptional kind of tourism – visiting the oldest universities in Europe as a tourist, not a learner. You will be surprised to know that these places of wisdom are no less interesting than Eiffel Tower or Coliseum!

Considering the current situation in the world – with all the travel bans and restrictions – it might take some time before you will be able to embark on the next journey. But once it’s possible, don’t let anything stop you! If you don’t want to let this pandemic ruin your vacations, you can always charter a private jet. Check out this list of the best ones, of 2020.

Today, you can delegate any task to the professionals and free up some time. If what’s stopping you will appear to be an academic assignment, know that it can be easily dealt with by https://essaypro.com experts. And less important tasks can be – wait for it! – simply postponed.

Now, it’s high time to discuss five oldest European universities and choose where you should go for such unusual tourism first!

(source: https://unsplash.com/photos/3ZCzCTA5_qo)

UNIBO (University of Bologna)

Each list of the oldest universities in Europe should begin with this Italian one. Founded in the 11th century, UNIBO has almost a thousand years of history.

This institution is actually the first one in the West to be called a “university” in today’s meaning of this word. Once you get there, you will most likely want to visit some place of the large network of University Museums.

There will also be a possibility to feel like a real scholar in the town that is mainly known for its’ true education!

University of Paris

Going to Paris on its own is a dream come true for many. Cozy streets, croissants, endless exhibitions, and the taste of French cuisine are pretty tempting for any traveler.

The University of Paris encompasses the whole range of institutions. In 2019, many Parisian educational entities were merged. So it is no surprise that the following phrase is used on the official website to describe the UP – “a huge potential of development at the heart of Paris.”

Most likely you won’t be able to visit all the facilities, as there are nearly twenty sites all over the French capital and the suburbs. Allocate some time to visit the central ones – and you won’t regret it!

Here’s a little tip for you – always eat in university cafes as it is up to four times cheaper than going to the local restaurants!

University of Salamanca

Two years ago, the University of Salamanca celebrated its 800th anniversary. As you can imagine, the institution has a lot to boast. Among its alumni, there were many celebrities of their time – from theologians to poets, writers, and presidents of different countries.

Plan the trip to the wonderful university town of Salamanca, where you can get almost anywhere on foot. Better pick not the hottest season to fully enjoy the beauty of this Spanish treasure.

University of Coimbra

If you visit Spanish sites and still have some time, energy, and resources, care to go to neighboring Portugal.

There are also quite a few universities with a rich history. These sites will definitely offer something to the liking of even a seasoned traveler.

Start with the University of Coimbra. There are not so many institutions around the globe that can proudly call themselves World Heritage university, and UC is one of them.

The buildings and campuses simply strike with their beauty. Portuguese went a long mile while rearranging the university, so today, even one of the royal courtyards serves as the uni site!

Immerse in the culture of a small southern town, and know that the seaside is just an hour-long car ride away!

Jagiellonian University (the University of Krakow)

To move a bit away from the South, this list will end on an eastern note. Krakow, the cultural center of Poland, is home to one of the oldest universities in Europe.

Not easy to pronounce correctly – if, of course, you are not Polish – Jagiellonian university name takes root in one of the dynasties of local rulers.

The reasons to visit this place are numerous – from one of the oldest libraries that has 6 billion items stored to the Polish culture of the tastiest ice-cream you might ever try!

Also, walking the streets of not so busy Krakow city will bring about the true essence of Poland. And here is another reason – don’t you want to be in the place where many people who’ve changed the world studied?

Among the alumni, there are such names as:

  • Karol Wojtyła (better known as one of the beloved Popes, John Paul II);
  • Krzysztof Zanussi, the director, known all over the world;
  • Nicolaus Copernicus – the polymath, who’s changed places between Earth and Sun as the center of the universe!

 

(source: https://unsplash.com/photos/dzMPlvLjq-w)

Wrapping Up

Student years tend to be the best time in many people’s lives. In part, it is due to a lack of responsibilities and the possibility to travel a lot.

So, don’t miss out on the opportunity to visit all the wonderful places mentioned in the list above. This way, you will see the sites where knowledge, wisdom, and history have been – literally – in the air for centuries!

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.

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.