Sky Garden—Los jardines más elevados de Londres

Hoy te presentamos el mejor mirador gratuito de Londres con vistas 360º de toda la ciudad.

Sky Garden—Los jardines más elevados de Londres

Por Joseph Anthony Salazar, AIT English Language School

¿Qué es Sky Garden?

En pocas palabras, Sky Garden es un invernadero que se encuentra en la azotea de uno de los rascacielos más elevados de Londres. Los londinenses cariñosamente lo llaman el Walkie Talkie, debido al parecido del rascacielos a este dispositivo electrónico. Toda la azotea del edificio es acristalada, y además de contener un precioso jardín, el invernadero también acoge varios bares y un restaurante. Lo más impactante de Sky Garden, sin embargo, son las vistas. Desde lo más alto de este impresionante rascacielos el espectador tiene las mejores perspectivas de 360º de la ciudad, superando incluso a las de la mismísima London Eye—la noria más famosa del mundo.

¿Cuánto cuesta ver el Sky Garden?

Skygarden-los-jardines-más-elevados-de-Londres

Esto es lo mejor de todo—no cuesta nada. Es absolutamente gratis. Eso sí, previamente debes sacar una entrada para subir a la azotea. La entrada se consigue accediend

o a la página oficial del rascacielos. Una vez que tengas la entrada, tendrás derecho a una visita de 90 minutos de duración—suficiente tiempo para tomar un refresco y contemplar las maravillosas vistas.

¿Cómo llegar a Sky Garden?

Sky Garden se encuentra en el edificio 20 Fenchurch Street, en La City—en el centro financiero de la City La Londres. Hay varias maneras de llegar al edificio:

  • Metro: paradas Monument, Tower Hill, Tower Gate, Aldgate, Bank y Mansion House de las líneas Circle y District.
  • Tren: paradas London Fenchurch Street, Cannon Street, y London Bridge.
  • Autobús: la línea 40 es la más práctica y cercana.

Para hacer una reserva

Página web oficial: https://skygarden.london/

Es necesario reservar con antelación a través de esta página web, pinchando la pestaña Book a Free Visit. Las entradas salen cada lunes, y normalmente sólo salen entradas para las siguientes tres semanas. Una vez que hayas elegido día y hora, recibirás una confirmación de reserva a tu email que debes imprimir y presentar en la entrada. Al entrar deberás pasar por un arco de seguridad, y después montar en un ascensor hasta la planta 35, donde se encuentra el Sky Garden.

¿Se puede comer bien y barato en Londres? ¡Claro que sí!

Londres no es únicamente una ciudad de palacios, museos y monumentos. También es una ciudad en la que se puede comer bien, y no tiene por qué costarte un ojo de la cara.

Por Joseph Anthony Salazar, AIT English Language School

Si has tenido la oportunidad de visitar la ciudad de Londres, seguramente habrás comprobado que no es exactamente una ciudad barata. En lo que se refiere al precio de las viviendas, alquileres y hoteles, Londres se encuentra entre las ciudades más caras del mundo. Y hasta hace poco, también la comida en Londres era cara y mala.

En años recientes, sin embargo, han empezado a surgir lugares en los que el visitante a Londres puede comer muy bien… y hacerlo sin tener que pagar una fortuna. Muchos de estos lugares son antiguos mercados, almacenes y tabernas que se han convertido en zonas para sentarse y disfrutar de comida procedente de todos los rincones del mundo. Los precios oscilan entre los 7€ y 10€ por persona. He aquí algunas ideas en el centro de Londres.

BOROUGH MARKET

Tal vez sea el mercado de comida más famoso de Londres. Ofrece una variedad de comida fresca, tapas y platos preparados procedentes de todo el mundo. Los mejores días son los miércoles, jueves y viernes.

Parada de metro: London Bridge

Web: www.boroughmarket.org.uk

MALTBY ST MARKET (ROPEWALL)

Se trata de un pequeño y vibrante mercado repleto de puestos de comida, terrazas y cafeterías.

Parada de metro: Maltby St

Maltby Street Market

SOUTHBANK CENTRE FOOD MARKET

Este mercado se encuentra en la parte inferior del Royal Festival Hall, muy cerca de la famosa noria “London Eye”. En él se puede probar una gran variedad de tapas, quesos, alimentos y repostería de todo el mundo. Es el lugar perfecto para detenerse y reponer fuerzas sin gastar mucho dinero.

Parada de metro: Waterloo o Charing Cross

Web: www.southbankcentre.co.uk

Southbank Centre Food Market

JD WETHERSPOON

Con decenas de tabernas repartidas por toda la ciudad, JD Wetherspoon ofrece lugares para sentarse y disfrutar de una selección de platos combinados, postres y cervezas de todo el mundo, en un ambiente acogedor y típicamente británico. Una típica cena para dos personas puede costar entre 15€ y 20€. Para aprovechar bien el tiempo, puedes descargarte la App oficial, elegir tu taberna, hacer tu pedido y pagarlo en línea. Los camareros traerán lo que has pedido directamente a tu mesa.

Web: www.wetherspoon.co.uk

JD Wetherspoon

La Garriga or L’Ametlla to London with a Difference

By Joseph Salazar

Viajar a Londres desde La Garriga o L’Ametlla es más fácil de lo que piensas

If you live in La Garriga or L’Ametlla, travelling to London isn’t difficult. In fact, these days it can almost be as easy as travelling to any city in Catalonia. There is no shortage of flights to the English capital—on average, every two hours one passenger airplane takes off from El Prat to London.
TrainHowever, if you want to try something refreshingly different, why not take the train. The romance of rail travel is hard to describe. A train journey has a contemplative appeal that no other form of transport can offer. You can stare out of a window, read or simply contemplate the good things in life. A relatively new high-speed service connects Barcelona Sants to Gare de Lyon in Paris. And another bullet train links Paris Gare du Nord to London’s St. Pancras Station. Travel time is about 8 hours in total. So, it is possible to have breakfast in Barcelona, lunch in Paris and dinner in London—all in one day!

TrainA Rail Europe ticket to London from Barcelona allows you to break your trip in Paris, not just for a few hours but for several days if you wish, at no extra cost, before you continue your journey to London—and all for less than €200 return. So why not take a trip with a difference. Enjoy the best of three worlds, and do it in style.

                                                                                        

The Haunting Beauty of the Lake District

by Joseph Salazar, teacher at AIT Language School

En el post de esta semana os llevamos de viaje a un parque nacional de Inglaterra … ¿Te animas a visitarlo en tus próximas vacaciones?

 

The Laklake districte District is a region in the north west of England that is renowned for its outstanding beauty. It is England’s largest national park and receives around 15 million visitors each year. It is also home to England’s tallest mountains. Its natural beauty captivated the hearts of famed writers and poets, such as William Wordsworth and Beatrix Potter. The Lake District became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2017.

lake districtBut it’s not just the scenery and tranquillity that attracts visitors. The Lake District also hosts a number of music festivals that draws young and old alike. The region is riddled with fine hotels and B+Bs, offering hospitality that will make you want to return again and again.

So, if you want to practice your English and at the same time enjoy one of the most stunning locations in England, why not visit the Lake District. You can fly from Barcelona to Manchester Airport, and either rent a car or take a train direct from the airport to Windermere, at the heart of the Lake District. Journey time is about two hours.

For more information, check the following Web site: https://www.lonelyplanet.com/england/cumbria-and-the-lakes/lake-district/travel-tips-and-articles/a-beginners-guide-to-the-lake-district/40625c8c-8a11-5710-a052-1479d2762f11 

Christmas Markets – Los mejores mercadillos de UK

Aunque la Navidad sea una época para pasarla en casa con la familia, también vale la pena salir a pasear un poco (a pesar del frío). Visitar las ciudades británicas en esta época nos permite conocer los Christmas Markets, los mejores mercadillos de UK, mercados callejeros con motivos navideños.

Hoy hablaremos de algunos de los mejores mercadillos de Navidad en Gran Bretaña… ¡Coge el abrigo que nos vamos de paseo!

Mercadillos navideños en Londres

Noviembre – Enero 

christmas market london

Aquellos que visiten Londres pueden escoger entre varios mercadillos: desde el mercadillo tradicional y de inspiración nórdica de Southbank Centre Winter Market al extravagante y festivo Hyde Park Winter Wonderland, con su noria gigante, pista de patinaje, circo i bar de hielo a lo largo del mercadillo. La ciudad de Winterville se despliega en el barrio de Clapham con un mercado cubierto y atracciones, cómo el área de restauración Street Feast, la Big Wheel, el Crazy Golf y una Roller Disco.


Mercadillos en Edimburgo

19 de noviembre – 7 de enero

christmas market edimburg

 

Edimburgo tiene una gran cantidad de mercados festivos y ferias que tienen lugar en Año Nuevo. Los visitantes pueden escoger entre el mercadillo de Navidad de East Princess Street Gardens (con su noria gigante y sus atracciones como la Star Flyer) y el mercadillo de George Street, con la Gruta de Santa y una nueva Ice Adventure.


Mercadillo navideño de Birmingham

16 de noviembre – 24 de diciembre

christmas market birmingham

El Frankfurt Christmas Market de Birmingham es el mercado alemán más grande que se celebra fuera de Alemania y Austria. Los visitantes pueden empaparse de la atmósfera de pueblo en Victoria Square mientras disfrutan de una variedad de platos alemanes, desde vino caliente y cervezas hasta carnes y pasteles.

La feria de artesanía de Navidad de al lado se extiende hasta Chamberlain Square, con distintos tipos de objetos hechos a mano por artistas locales.


Christmas Markets en Manchester 

10 de noviembre – 21 de diciembre

christmas market manchester

Manchester alberga varios mercados en toda la ciudad, desde un mercado europeo en Albert Square, un mercado de estilo alemán en St Ann’s Square y puestos de temática francesa en King Street. Encontrarás boutiques y excelentes locales de comida en Exchange Square, y artesanías en Brazennose Street con una selección mundial de joyas, artículos de cuero y comidas especiales. Hay atracciones de feria en Cathedral Gardens y más puestos en New Cathedral Street y Market Street.


Mercado de Navidad en Glasgow

9 de noviembre – 22 de diciembre

christmas market glasgow

El Mercado de Navidad de Glasgow se sitúa en St Enoch Square, con una variedad internacional de productos en oferta. Los visitantes pueden degustar cervezas bávaras y vino caliente, asados ​​de cerdo y crepes franceses. En el mercado navideño adicional en George Square (del 25 de noviembre al 29 de diciembre) se pueden encontrar productos artesanales, entretenimiento en vivo y atracciones de feria.


Fuente: Telegraph.co.uk
Traducción e imágenes: AprendeInglesToday Language School

Travelling in March!

Let’s travel! 24 great destinations with great weather in March

The month of March is one of the better ones on the calendar for budget travelers since it’s well before the summer season in the Northern Hemisphere and the winter crowds in the tropical areas are starting to thin out at the same time. Through much of Latin America and Asia you can find perfect weather with off-peak hotel prices and reasonable crowds.

By Roger Wade (Price of Travel)

For those starting in North America or Europe you’ll find that most of these places will require a fairly long flight to reach, but that’s the price you pay for warm weather this time of year, and those staying for at least two weeks can easily justify the airfare by the cheap prices they pay once they have arrived.

Looking for tropical beaches? Check our cheapest Caribbean islands list for the best-value destinations, including at least a few that are surprisingly cheap even in high season.

The Americas

With the United States and Canada either being frozen or expensive (south Florida) this time of year, you’ll want to head to Latin America or the Caribbean for the best bargains with sunny and warm weather.

The CaribbeanNegril Jamaica

If you are looking for cultural destinations then there are many better choices below, but if you are mainly looking to relax on a beach in the warm weather then the Caribbean is your best bet in March. Obviously many of its islands are quite expensive, while others continue to be great bargains. The Dominican Republic and Jamaica are quite cheap in general, with a few resort areas being surprisingly inexpensive.

Believe it or not, the cheapest option for most people is going to be a all-inclusive resort. Rates at most of them are very competitive so they often only cost a bit more than resorts where everything is sold separately. Specifically on the Dominican Republic and in Mexico near Cancun, you can get an all-inclusive room for two starting not much over US$100 per night in March. Nicer places start closer to US$200 per night for two people, which is still quite cheap when it includes all meals and alcohol.

Cancun, Mexico

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 71F/22C
  • March avg precip: 2.1″/5.3cm

March is still part of the high season in Cancun and all over the Caribbean, but it’s still very good value and prices are lower than during the Christmas weeks. With Easter on March 27 in 2016, it will make the week leading up to that busier than usual so if you want to join that crowd you should book sooner than normal. Aside from that, you can still find pretty good deals to Cancun as well as nearby Playa del Carmen and Cozumel even a few weeks out.

One of the best things about Cancun holidays is that the airport is the busiest in the entire region so it has more direct flights in from key hubs in North America and Europe than any other destination nearby. This keeps flights cheaper than to most islands, and easier to find as well. There are also some good all-inclusive resorts in the Cancun area, though they don’t offer quite the great value that those in Punta Cana (below) do.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$32 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$82 per night for two people

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic

  • March avg high: 85F/29C
  • March avg low: 72F/22C
  • March avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

PuntaCanaDRAgain, March is part of the high season in Punta Cana and the last week of the month might be busier than usual because it’s Easter, but still Punta Cana is the best-value destination in the Caribbean for larger resorts and especially for all-inclusive resorts. The rates drop down in summer but then it’s also hotter with some chance of rainfall, so March really is an ideal month to take advantage of the perfect dry weather and reasonable prices.

The resort hotels along the stretch of Punta Cana beaches tend to be large, with many having well over 500 rooms to go along with multiple pools and extensive recreational facilities. Many resorts here are also very family oriented so they could be ideal for a holiday with the kids or even the extended family. Flights into the Punta Cana airport are also among the cheaper fares into the Caribbean, with many direct flights from large hubs, so this is a good choice for many types of travelers.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$45 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$75 per night for two people

Montego Bay, Jamaica

  • March avg high: 85F/29C
  • March avg low: 72F/22C
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

Montego Bay is along the northern coast of Jamaica, which is a long way from the arguably sketchy areas of the country. The large and busy airport here has direct flights MontegoBayin from many destinations in North America and Europe, so fares tend to be reasonable, even for a trip of just a long weekend. The Montego Bay area has hundreds of hotels in all price ranges, from modest places a few blocks off the beach up to luxury resorts that you’ll never want to leave.

If Montego Bay itself doesn’t sound perfect then you might instead consider Negril or Ocho Rios, both of which are about 90 minutes from the same airport and each has a different feel. All combined there are about 500 hotels to choose from, including many all-inclusives, so it can be worth checking each of the 3 areas (that are all served by the same airport) and picking the deal that suits you best.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$90 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$244 per night for two people

Ambergris Caye, Belize

  • March avg high: 79F/26C
  • March avg low: 74F/23C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

March is definitely part of high season in Belize, so it’s a good thing that even during this period it’s fairly cheap by most standards. The weather is perfect day and night San Pedro Belizewith almost no chance of rain. San Pedro on Ambergris Caye is the most expensive part of the island so backpackers and budget travelers are advised to head to Caye Caulker, very nearby, instead, for lower prices and a similar vibe.

Belize is definitely one of the cheapest Caribbean destinations, and the offshore islands actually do have quite a Caribbean feel in spite of being surrounded by Latin America. There are wonderful resorts here for those willing to spend more, but even the cheaper hotels are decent, and very good bargains even in high season.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$108 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$292 per night for two people

San Jose, Costa Rica

  • March avg high: 79F/26C
  • March avg low: 59F/15CSan Jose
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

While the capital city of Costa Rica isn’t terribly special on its own, San Jose is where most people will be landing first and the weather there is actually a bit cooler than most beach towns due to the elevation. All of Costa Rica is still on high season in March, but it’s still quite cheap by most standards so it deserves consideration for sure.

The beaches (especially on the Pacific side) are great for surfing and the whole country is brimming with canopy tours and adventure activities, so it’s very big with the Spring Break crowd as well as before and after. Still, it’s hard to find this ideal weather and more to like in such a cheap country so close to the US in March. The most polished resorts are in the Tamarindo area along the northern Pacific coast, so if you are mainly coming to relax on a beach or near a pool, that is probably the place to start your search.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$70 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$85 per night for two people

Mexico City, Mexico

  • March avg high: 78F/26C
  • March avg low: 49F/9C
  • March avg precip: 0.4″/1.0cm

Due to its elevation, Mexico City is fairly cool during winter, but by March the days have warmed up enough that it will feel great when arriving from a cold climate. This city is routinely underrated as a cultural destination by those who might fear the worst, and the city center is very safe by almost any standard.

The food, the nightlife, and the shopping are other great reasons to visit Mexico City at any time of year. Perhaps best of all, it’s all very cheap compared to most of Latin America so you can afford to splurge a bit while still keeping costs down.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$74 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$89 per night for two people

Lima, Peru

  • March avg high: 80F/27C
  • March avg low: 69F/21C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

As a very popular summer destination for South Americans, Lima can be quite crowded from December through February, but by March the crowds are thinning out and hotel prices are falling a bit, in spite of the continuing perfect weather. This is another historic colonial city that also has very good nightlife and excellent food at very good prices.

Most people who visit Lima from far away will do it as part of a tour of South America, and in that context it’s a great stop for at least a few days. By the way, the rainy season in Cusco goes on in March, so the trails can sometimes be cut off, although many people go anyway.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$54 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$116 per night for two people

Cartagena, Colombia

  • March avg high: 86F/30C
  • March avg low: 77F/25C
  • March avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

Cartagena is an excellent choice for a late-winter vacation as the weather is still pretty much perfect and yet hotel prices are starting to ease off of their high-season levels. There are great deals on beach hotels in this city from 2-star all the way up to 5-stars, and airfare prices are often cheaper than you’d expect as well.

Another key feature about this city is that it’s a cultural destination in addition to being a great beach spot so you can explore the historic city center and include some culture on an otherwise hedonistic getaway.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$53 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$87 per night for two people

Santiago, Chile

  • March avg high: 80F/27C
  • March avg low: 51F/11C
  • March avg precip: 0.1″/0.3cm

Santiago is far enough south that it’s starting to cool off just a bit by March, which is a good thing because it’s even more pleasant. This is another city that is popular with South Americans during their summer so hotel prices start coming down and crowds start thinning out by March, making it an ideal time to come. There’s almost zero threat of rain, and evenings are pleasantly cool.

Another feature of Santiago is that it’s the gateway to several different other destinations within Chile so many people come and stay for just a few days before heading on to a mountain resort or the colonial city of Valparaiso.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$110 per night for two people

Buenos Aires, Argentina

  • March avg high: 84F/27C
  • March avg low: 63F/17C
  • March avg precip: 5.3″/13.3cm

Though March is actually the wettest month in Buenos Aires, visitors are unlikely to notice because rainfall is fairly consistent through the year. Again, the temBuenos Airesperatures in March are pretty much ideal and many South American tourists have gone back home by now so hotel prices are a bit lower.

Buenos Aires is starting to look a bit expensive by South American standards, but it’s really more apt to compare it to Europe since that’s how it looks and feels, which still makes it a wonderful bargain. Food and drinks are notoriously good and cheap so you will feel like you are splurging even while keeping your budget low.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$58 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people

Bariloche, Argentina

  • March avg high: 66F/19C
  • March avg low: 39F/4C
  • March avg precip: 1.0″/2.5cm

If you are flying in from a long distance to visit Buenos Aires then you’ll probably also want to include a side trip to Bariloche. This is a mountain resort that is popular all year round since the water activities morph into ice and snow activities in the winter (June through August). March is actually a shoulder-season month here, so room rates will be even lower than they are in summer and winter.Bariloche

Bariloche is also unusual in that it was once a German community and there are still many chocolate shops around town as a reminder. The value here is excellent and it will provide a nice contrast from your other stops in South America.

You might also consider including Mendoza on your trip, which is the main wine region of Argentina, and also good value.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$72 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$80 per night for two people

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

  • March avg high: 90F/32C
  • March avg low: 73F/23C
  • March avg precip: 5.1″/12.8cm

With Carnival having taken place in mid to late February in 2012, March is a perfect time to hit Rio de Janeiro because the crowds have thinned out and the weather is a little more bearable as well. There will be some rain, but Rio is in the Tropics so it tends to come and go quickly, usually in the late afternoon.Rio de Janeiro

Rio de Janeiro has crept up in price in recent years so it’s not the bargain it once was. Budget travelers can still do well here if they stay inland from the beaches or even in the city center area, but those who want to participate in the good life in Copacabana and Ipanema most days will be paying more for it.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$75 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$83 per night for two people

Europe

From November through March there are literally no European cities that could qualify as having “great weather,” except for the Canary Islands, mentioned just below. So during the winter Europe is all about cultural tourism, and lower hotel prices make it especially appealing for those who like to stretch their travel budgets and avoid crowds at the same time.

If you are thinking about a city break instead you should check out our recommended cheap London hotels, our recommended cheap Paris hotels, and our recommended cheap Amsterdam hotelsrecommended cheap Rome hotelsrecommended cheap Prague hotels, and recommended cheap Berlin hotels.

 

Not all warm weather, but where to go in Europe in March

Tenerife, Canary Islands, Spain

  • March avg high: 71F/22C
  • March avg low: 60F/16C
  • March avg precip: 1.1″/2.8cm

Tenerife is the most popular part of the Canary Islands (off the coast of Africa) for English-speaking tourists, but there are other options with similar weather and prices. It’s not as warm in March as most other places on this list, though at least it’s fast and cheap to reach by plane from Europe, which isn’t true of the others.

Compared to Europe this island is a relative bargain, which helps make it popular pretty much all year round. Needless to say, prices can range quite a bit from one part of the island to another so it’s good to stay somewhere central if possible so you have the most options for food and drink.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$74 per night for two people

Africa

March is a good month for the northern and southern parts of Africa, which are where most of the popular destinations are anyway.

Cairo, Egypt

  • March avg high: 75F/24C
  • March avg low: 52F/11C
  • March avg precip: 0.2″/0.5cm

March is part of the sweet period in Cairo where it’s nicely warm but still not overwhelmingly hot. With so many things to see in the outdoors in Cairo you are much better off avoiding the summer heat. Even as part of the high season for hotels, Cairo is incredibly cheap by most standards so you can find a great bargain any time of year.

When Egypt is struggling to attract tourists you might find that you can get a fantastic deal at a 3- or 4-star hotel, since they tend to lower prices when demand is weak while the cheaper places generally hold steady. Food tends to be very cheap in Cairo as well, as long as you avoid the restaurants in those fancy hotels.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$39 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people

Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt

  • March average high: 77°F/25°C
  • March average low: 61°F/16°C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

March tends to be an in-between month in most of the world for weather, but in Sharm el-Sheikh it’s pretty much the annual sweet spot. Days are warm enough to enjoy sitting on the beach, but they are still not too hot and the evenings are pleasant as well.SharmelSheikh

Many people add a trip to Sharm el-Sheikh to a visit to Cairo, but more people are just skipping the chaos of Cairo and coming here instead. This is an area that is known for amazing value beach resorts along with diving and other activities. You won’t find a better beach hotel deal anywhere.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$15 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$33 per night for two people

Marrakech, Morocco

  • March avg high: 72F/22C
  • March avg low: 49F/9C
  • March avg precip: 1.5″/3.8cm

It may still be a bit chilly in Marrekech during March so it’s not really ideal for those who are absolutely fed up with snow and freezing temperatures, but at least it’ll be pleasant here. Fez tends to be a bit cooler year round and a bit cheaper as well, though March may be a bit too early for that city if you need warm weather.

There are amazing numbers of hotels in Marrakech and it’s good to be aware that the bottom price level will usually be for something that is very shabby by European standards so many will want to pay a bit more for something nicer. Still, things tend to be cheap in all of Morocco so it’s a good overall destination.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$52 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$59 per night for two people

Cape Town, South Africa

  • March avg high: 78F/26C
  • March avg low: 58F/14C
  • March avg precip: 0.8″/2.0cm

March is yet another very dry month in Cape Town, and temperatures tend to be pretty much perfect all day and all night as well, even for the beach. The high season hotel prices have eased off a bit so this is a perfect time to enjoy the best possible weather without having to pay the highest prices for it.

Cape Town is relatively cheap once you get there, so the main problem for most people is that it’s quite expensive to fly in. Since most people coming from longer distances tend to combine Cape Town with a safari or other activities then the airfare can still be worthwhile for a longer visit, even if it’s too expensive to just pop down for a few days.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$113 per night for two people

Asia

March is a good month to visit many parts of Asia, although some cities like Bangkok, Saigon, and Siem Reap are already too hot during the day for most people.

Boracay Island, Philippines

  • March average high: 86°F/30°C
  • March average low: 76°F/24°C
  • March avg precip: 1.8″/4.5cm

You may not have heard of Boracay Island in the Philippines yet, and there are plenty of people who’d rather keep in that way. This small resort island feels like Phuket might have 30 years ago, where pretty much the only way to get around is to saunter along the sand path along White Beach. This place feels modern and there are a few chain restaurants, but generally this island feels far more relaxed and old school than the famous beach resorts in Asia.BoracayIsland

One thing that Boracay Island lacks is super-cheap hotels, but many people prefer to NOT have the backpacker crowd mixed in. Still, hotel value is excellent, especially considering that pretty much every hotel on the island is within a 2-minute walk of the sand, or it’s up in the hills with gorgeous views. Those looking for a new place to relax in March should consider Boracay, at least until it really catches on in a few years.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$55 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$69 per night for two people

Pokhara, Nepal

  • March avg high: 72F/22C
  • March avg low: 50F/10C
  • March avg precip: 1.2″/3.0cm

It’s still a bit cool in Pokhara, especially toward the beginning of March, but at least it’s very dry, and that is a big key here. This is the trekking capital of the world so you’d rather have cooler days as long as they are clear and dry.

Hotels in Pokhara are incredibly cheap by most standards, and they’ve built so many new ones that prices are likely to stay low for years to come. Food and drinks are also very good deals here so it’s a great place to chill out for a while. The trekking tours can be expensive, however, so if you want to go on multi-day trips with guides you are going to spend a decent chunk of money compared to just staying in town.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$16 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$63 per night for two people

Chiang Mai, Thailand

  • March avg high: 95F/35C
  • March avg low: 65F/18C
  • March avg precip: 0.5″/1.3cm

It’s good to consider that April is the hottest month of the year in most of Southeast Asia so March is already pretty scorching. Fortunately, Chiang Mai is one of the cooler cities in the region, especially in the evenings, so it’s still quite nice and bearable this month. Hotels are still in high season, but the prices here are fantastic even then so there is no point in trying to save money by going when it’s hellishly hot instead.

Chiang Mai is one of the world’s great budget destinations, especially with its hotels but also with its food, drinks, and shopping. It’s very popular for those spending a month or more in the region because it’s much less hectic than Bangkok or other big cities while being cheaper as well.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$26 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$43 per night for two people

Goa, India

  • March avg high: 90F/32C
  • March avg low: 74F/23C
  • March avg precip: 0.0″/0.0cm

The difficult part of Goa is that it’s quite remote for most people so it’s not the sort of place you can go for a long weekend. For that reason this Indian state tends to be very popular for longer trips of a couple weeks or more. The weather is really ideal in Goa during March, though it probably means you’ll want a place with air conditioning rather than just a fan.

Some cities, such as Anjuna and Vagator, are better for the budget crowd and the nightlife crowd, while other beaches further south specialize more in package hotels in the mid range. You can get by on very little in this area if you need to, but paying more will often get you much better quality that’s worth it.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$31 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$61 per night for two people

Luang Prabang, Laos

  • March avg high: 92F/33C
  • March avg low: 64F/18C
  • March avg precip: 1.3″/3.3cm

Similar in some ways to Chiang Mai mentioned above, Luang Prabang at least has cooler evenings through this period of the year so it’s still quite nice to visit in March. The key is to do your sightseeing as early as possible and then relax for most of the afternoon.

March is still part of the high season for hotels in Luang Prabang, and accommodation here isn’t as cheap as it is in many other tourist cities in the region, but it’s still quite cheap by most other standards. Affordable food and drink are also easy to find if you look around a bit, so don’t just go into the first place you see if you are trying to save money here.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$38 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$51 per night for two people

Phuket, Thailand

  • March avg high: 92F/33C
  • March avg low: 76F/24C
  • March avg precip: 1.9″/4.8cm

It’s getting quite hot in March in Phuket, but since it’s almost exclusively a beach destination it is still worthy of consideration. In fact, all of the islands in Thailand can be quite nice to visit in March, with Phuket being the most expensive of them. The crowds are thinning out after February so hotel prices are coming down a bit as well.

Phuket is quite a large island with many different beaches on its edges, most of which are quite expensive and lined with posh resorts, so if you are on a low budget you are going to have to choose a beach carefully or even stay in Phuket Town, which is inland. Still, food and drink prices are quite low and it’s a fun place if you find the right area for your style.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$40 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$64 per night for two people

 Hong Kong

  • March avg high: 71F/22C
  • March avg low: 62F/17C
  • March avg precip: 2.8″/7.0cm

Hong Kong is still fairly cool in March, but at least it’s mostly dry, so it’s a good time to visit before the summer rainy season can be problematic. This is mostly an indoor city anyway and the evenings are very mild so this is an ideal month to come and enjoy the restaurants, nightlife and shopping in this unique city.Hong Kong

Hotels in Hong Kong have fairly steady prices throughout the year, and the hostels are generally terrible, so finding a cheap hotel isn’t too easy. Still, compared to most of the rest of the world Hong Kong is fairly cheap and it’s a fascinating place to visit, at least once in your life.

  • 3-star hotels from: US$68 per night for two people
  • 4-star hotels from: US$84 per night for two people

Middle East

March is cool and even a bit rainy in most of the Middle East. An exception is Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which both have perfect sunny weather. However, they don’t make this list because they aren’t really cheap enough for the cut.

       

 

Locura en Notting Hill… ¡es el Carnaval!

Dos participantes de la edición del Notting Hill Carnival de 2015 / The Guardian

En verano el color y la música se apoderan de Notting Hill

Aunque el Carnaval sea una fiesta más propia de países de tradición católica, los habitantes del barrio londinense de Notting Hill también lo celebran ¡y a lo grande!

El carnaval de Notting Hill se lleva celebrando a finales del mes de agosto desde hace más de cincuenta años. Esta tradición fue importada por inmigrantes de origen caribeño, especialmente de Trinidad y Tobago, y hoy en día es la fiesta callejera más grande de Europa.

¿Queréis saber más? Entonces leed este breve artículo del periódico The Guardian que, además, recoge imágenes increíbles de la edición de 2015.

Notting Hill carnival 2015: a visual tour

Guardian photojournalist David Levene donned his rain mac and got down and dirty on the streets of west London to bring us a late summer tour of Europe’s biggest street party.

London’s Notting Hill carnival has taken place on Sunday and Monday of the August bank holiday since 1965. It was originally led by members of the local West Indian community, especially those from Trinidad and Tobago. With its distinctive Caribbean feel, by the mid 1970s the carnival was attracting upwards of 150,000 people. In recent years it has pulled in 50,000 performers, 38 sound systems and 2.5 million people over the weekend, making it the second largest street carnival in the world after Rio de Janeiro

 

The traditional Trinidad carnival elements of mas, calypso/soca and steelpan are blended with Jamaican-style static sound systems, and hundreds of food and craft stalls

 

J’ouvert

J’ouvert – the word comes from the french jour ouvert, meaning daybreak – originated in Trinidad and signals the start of the carnival. The early morning parade on Sunday is a messy affair …

… during which paint, mud and oil is smeared over the bodies of participants, known as jab jabs – French patois for diable (devil). Experienced revellers came well prepared in boiler suits

My cameras and lenses took a lot of abuse amid flying paint and powder – they will definitely need to go for a professional deep clean!

David Levene, photographer

 

A day out with the kids

Sunday is a family day involving a children’s parade. Although generally quieter than Monday, the atmosphere gradually builds throughout the day

Some last-minute adjustments to outfits are made as this troupe gets ready for the parade

Waiting for the parade, foghorns at the ready…

 

Soca

Dee J D Francis belts out soca aboard one of the floats along the route. A combination of soul and calypso, soca originated from underground culture in Trinidad and Tobago in the late 1970s and has developed to incorporate other musical genres including funk, soul, and zouk

 

Street food

Jerk chicken, curried goat, and saltfish are the traditional carnival food stall fare, along with sweetcorn, plantain, and lashings of barbecue smoke

Not forgetting the rice and peas … and tins of Red Stripe available on the go

Sounds on the streets

Roots reggae sound system Solution now sits on the legendary corner spot at the junction of Ledbury and Talbot Roads, formerly occupied by Jah Observer. Elsewhere it’s good times in the rain and hands in the air

 

 

A good vantage point is the key to the day – is that a window spot on the terraces or just a comfortable chair?

 

Party people

Costume is a serious business at the carnival

 

 

Fuente

https://www.theguardian.com/culture/ng-interactive/2015/sep/01/notting-hill-carnival-2015-a-visual-tour

Para saber más

Página web oficial del festival: http://www.thelondonnottinghillcarnival.com/

Información sobre la edición de este año: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/event/9023471-notting-hill-carnival

 

 

Travel sustainably and save the planet!

Cuando viajamos, no sólo hay muchos destinos a donde ir, sino que también hay muchas maneras de llegar hasta ellos. Algunas tienen un gran impacto sobre el medio ambiente sin que nosotros lo sepamos y viajar en avión es una de ellas.

Hoy queremos compartir un breve artículo (en inglés, ¡por supuesto!) de la fundación David Suzuki. La DSF es una organización ecologista canadiense dedicada a la protección del medio ambiente. ¿Su objetivo?

‘Work towards balancing human needs with the Earth’s ability to sustain all life’

En este artículo, la DSF nos da algunos consejos para viajar en avión de manera sostenible. Happy Reading!

Travel sustainably

Although aviation is a relatively small industry, it has a disproportionately large impact on the climate system. It presently accounts for four to nine per cent of the total climate change impact of human activity.

Compared to other modes of transport, such as driving or taking the train, travelling by air has a greater climate impact per passenger kilometre, even over longer distances. It’s also the mode of freight transport that produces the most emissions.

What can I do?

Because the climate impacts of air transportation are at present not adequately regulated under national or international laws, the onus is on individuals and businesses to limit their flying unless absolutely necessary. This needn’t be as drastic as it sounds:

  • Consider taking a vacation closer to home — or even being a tourist in your own town. You’ll save money and avoid the stress of airport security, travelling to and from the airport, and sitting in those tiny seats. Most of us live in places that tourists from elsewhere visit, so take a holiday in your hometown or region and find out what it has to offer.
  • Use other modes of transport where possible. Trains and buses, for example, are much more energy efficient than airplanes, and for regional trips can even be faster when airports are factored in. Even cars can be more efficient than planes — especially with more than one passenger.
  • Use video-conferences for meetings. The David Suzuki Foundation is doing it, and so are companies like Swiss Re andIKEA who use video-conferencing to reduce business air travel. Companies benefit from decreased costs at the same time that they’re helping the planet. Employees avoid the stress of travelling and time away from home and family.
  • Use webcams to keep in touch with family and friends who live far away.
  • Contact your political representatives, tell them you’re concerned about the contribution of aviation to global climate change, and ask them to take action to regulate and limit greenhouse gas emissions from this sector.

If you do have to fly:

  • Try to minimize the number of flights you take by combining trips. For example, book more than one meeting in your destination city, so you don’t need to fly there several times.
  • Fly the most direct route possible, since take-offs and landings use the most fuel.
  • Fly during the daytime, because studies have shown that flights taken at night have a greater impact on the climate.
  • Fly economy, because more people per plane means fewer emissions per person.
  • Pack light, because lighter planes mean less fuel is burned.
  • Purchase carbon offsets to account for the emissions from your flight. See our carbon neutral webpage for more information. If the airline or travel agent you are using doesn’t currently offer its customers the option of offsetting their flights, ask them to consider it.

What is the David Suzuki Foundation doing?

In 2010, the David Suzuki Foundation installed videoconferencing equipment in all of its offices. We also rely on teleconferencing for many of our meetings, and look for ways to minimize travel to conferences, training sessions and other functions where possible. For flights that cannot be avoided, we purchase high quality carbon offsets.

 

Fuente: http://davidsuzuki.org/what-you-can-do/reduce-your-carbon-footprint/travel-sustainably/

Lovely cities, lovely winter!

TEN EUROPEAN CITIES TO VISIT DURING THE WINTER

Source: http://theabroadguide.com/top-european-cities-to-visit-winter/

From sleigh rides through the Swiss countryside and skiing the breathtaking Alps to lounging in outdoor thermal pools and raging at ice festivals, Europe has some of the best and most unique places to spend the winter. Whether you have just a weekend or a whole week to blow, there are an unlimited amount of places to explore. To help you narrow it down, we’ve compiled a list of the top ten cities to visit in the winter.

 

  1. Abisko, Sweden

If you’re a serious winter lover, Abisko is one of the best places you can go. Almost as far north as you can get on a train in Europe, this Swedish town is one of the world’s best places to catch the Northern Lights. Before you travel there, be forewarned that the sun doesn’t rise for weeks in December and January, but that means it will always feel like Saturday night! Besides gazing at the aurora borealis, visitors can ski, hike, ice skate, go dog sledding, and explore the national parks. Don’t forget to check out the famous Icehotel in nearby Kiruna, which was the world’s first hotel made of ice.

  1. Copenhagen, Denmark

As the home of Hans Christian Andersen, Copenhagen is one of the most fairytale-like cities in Europe, especially in winter. The Danish concept of “hygge” (or “coziness”) is at its peak in winter, when locals spend their afternoons and evenings relaxing, drinking hot chocolate, and enjoying their beautiful surroundings. Top sights in Copenhagen include Tivoli Amusement Park, Christiansborg Slot, and Rosenborg Castle, which are all even more charming covered in snow. Don’t miss out on Copenhagen’s winter culture month, Wondercool, which occurs in February and includes concerts in unusual venues, art shows, and culinary events.

  1. Transylvania, Romania

It doesn’t feel right to visit Dracula’s home on a warm, sunny day, so take a visit to Transylvania when it’s cold and snowy! In addition to Dracula, Transylvania is also home to many medieval towns filled with castles, cathedrals, and rich histories that are just begging to be explored. After you’ve frolicked to your heart’s content, don’t forget to hit up one of the area’s many ski resorts and national parks for some real winter activities.

  1. Venice, Italy

One of the top European tourist attractions in winter is the Carnival of Venice. Beautiful, haunting, and extremely weird, Venice’s February-March celebration is not to be missed. Costumed events can be very pricey, but you can get the full effect of the festival by enjoying the free events with a mask purchased on the street. Carnival aside, traveling to Venice in winter allows visitors to experience the city at a slower pace and really soak up the culture. The city’s canals, beautiful architecture, and old-fashioned atmosphere become magical in winter. A stop in Venice is a definite European highlight.

  1. Prague, Czech Republic

With its snow-capped spires, cobblestone streets, and the romantic hue of its gas-lit street lamps, Prague is right out of a fairytale. It is relatively tourist-free in the winter, which is surprising because the city’s natural beauty comes to life under a blanket of snow. Stroll through the Prague Castle at your own pace or hit up a local cafe to escape the cold, especially Choco Cafe, which has more than a dozen types of hot chocolate. If you’re in the Czech Republic long enough, be sure to take a day trip to Cesky Krumlov, which is known as the “Pearl of Bohemia”.

  1. Granada, Spain

If you’re looking to take a break from the bitter cold, Granada is a great solution. However, don’t go Spain under the impression that it will be a beach vacation. Even southern Spain is too cold for the beach in the winter, which is why a city like Granada is such an ideal option because there is more to do than just stroll along the sand. No other region has as much variety as Granada — you can ski the Sierra Nevadas, head to the coast, or simply just roam the city. Spain is much cheaper and less crowded in the winter months, so visitors can truly enjoy the city’s sights without waiting in line or breaking the bank.

  1. Innsbruck, Austria

Innsbruck is known as the ski and snowboard capital of the world. As the two-time host of the Winter Olympics and covered in internationally recognized alpine resorts, Innsbruck does not disappoint. In addition to tearing up the slopes, visitors can tour the famous Olympic ski jump and other facilities. Innsbruck was also a seat of power for centuries and history buffs will love visiting the royal Habsburg home and soaking up the city’s beautiful architecture. Furthermore, Innsbruck is the home of Swarovski Crystals, and no visit to this city is complete without a tour of their bizarre but beautiful headquarters.

  1. Reykjavik, Iceland

Even though Iceland is a trek from most popular study abroad spots and it is among Europe’s coldest areas, there are many reasons why its capital is a must-see place. The annual Winter Lights Festival in February is one of the best European celebrations of winter and its abundance of winter sports, museums, and restaurants make it quite a happening place. What makes Reykjavik even more special are the city’s many outdoor geothermal swimming pools, which are some of just a few in Europe. There is nothing quite like relaxing in their naturally warm waters while the snow falls around you. Every pool is unique, so visitors should try as many as possible.

  1. Edinburgh, Scotland

The winding streets, stunning castles, and beautiful Princes Street Gardens transformed into a winter wonderland make Edinburgh a city to definitely visit in winter. There is nothing more charming than ice skating in the center of one of Europe’s oldest cities and wandering through the Edinburgh castle as the snow slowly falls, if you’re lucky to see it. Be sure to check out the highlands as well, which are exquisite in winter. Arthur’s Seat, on the edge of the city, is the perfect place to take a snowy stroll while soaking up unparalleled views.

  1. Bled, Slovenia

Bled’s incredible natural beauty combined with its peaceful surroundings make it one of the most superb alpine areas in Europe. Renowned for its healing climate, thermal lake water, and “tucked away” ambiance, this small city is perfect for anyone looking to have a relaxing winter escape. However, don’t shy away from Bled if you’re looking for a bit more adventure – its terrain is ideal for anyone interested in outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, or ice skating. In between relaxing and skiing, don’t forget to check out Bled Castle, a medieval fortress believed to be the oldest castle in Slovenia.

Whether you’re into shredding the slopes or strolling the quaint cobblestone streets, Europe has plenty to offer in the winter. Don’t get bogged down by the cold weather or cabin fever – just pop some cold-weather travel gear on and try something you otherwise couldn’t do in your own city.

 

An unforgettable New Year’s Eve!

La Garriga, l’Ametlla del Vallès… ¿Ya sabéis dónde pasaréis la noche de fin de año? ¡Echad un vistazo a este artículo y descubrid los mejores lugares para pasar esta noche tan especial!

The 10 Benew-year-eve-riverboats-archst Places To Spend New Year’s Eve in Europe

By A. Reyner (Escape Here)

New Year’s Eve is a time most of us look forward to putting the old year behind us and starting with a fresh slate in the new year. Many people believe that how we ring in the new year also has bearing on what the year will bring us. For travelers, what could be better than celebrating with friends new and old in a far-flung locale, experiencing local traditions and creating new ones? These 10 European cities know how to ring in the new year; get your year started on the right foot by visiting one of these parties.

10. LONDON

london

More than 250,000 people will crowd along the banks of the Thames to ring in the new year. Big Ben performs countdown services and the stroke of midnight marks the beginning a spectacular 10-minute display of lights and fireworks. The London Eye, the Shard and Parliament are among the iconic buildings lit up to welcome the new year. Looking to stay out of the cold and rain? Head to the soiree at the London Sky Bar, where you’ll find food and a live DJ, plus fabulous views of the revelry in the streets below. Free public transport all night will help get you to one of many after-parties around the city. Visit the Winter Wonderland at Hyde Park and, on New Year’s Day, take in the annual parade, which features a procession of the Queen’s horses, among others

9. DUBROVNIK

dubrovnik

Croatia may not be a top destination for New Year’s revelers, but the city of Dubrovnik gets extra points for managing to host an almost intimate party, despite the number of people who come out to celebrate. Less claustrophobic than parties in Zagreb and Split, the festivities in Dubrovnik center on Stradun, the city’s main street, where you’re likely to bump elbows with locals on their way to bars and restaurants filled to bursting with celebrating crowds. The city also hosts a number of Croatian performers, offering up a rich program of music and entertainment for the evening. Start with a cozy meal with friends or family, or, if you’re traveling with your honey, consider splurging on a meal at one of the city’s upscale establishments. Join the crowds in Stradun for the stroke of midnight, then keep the party going by stopping off at a local bar.

8. STOCKHOLM

stockholm

The Swedes celebrate Christmas in a relatively subdued style, which means they’re all the more ready to let loose and party on New Year’s Eve. Revelry is the order of the day in the nation’s capital, with parties becoming raucous and celebrations pouring into the streets. Fill up on a seafood at a restaurant before moving your party to Skansen, which has been the center of Stockholm’s celebrations since 1895. At the stroke of midnight, a well-known Swede will read the poem “Ring Out, Wild Bells,” as streamers fill the air. Party trumpets and fireworks erupt all around the city. After midnight, participate in some club-hopping and keep the party going late into the night; bars and clubs are often open until 3 or 4 in the morning, giving you plenty of time to celebrate the new year.

7. PARIS

paris

It should be little wonder that one of Europe’s most iconic cities makes the list as one of the best places to spend New Year’s. The Eiffel Tower is lit up to mark the occasion and crowds of revelers swarm the Champs-Elysees, which provides fantastic views of the tower. The area turns into a massive street party, with both champagne bottles and fireworks popping everywhere. If you’re looking for something a little different, try Montmarte for excellent views of fireworks without the crowd. If you want something romantic, book a dinner cruise along the Seine and listen to a live orchestra as you sail through the City of Lights. Restaurants and nightclubs also hold soirees so you have no shortage of options for how to ring in the new year. On New Year’s Day, the Grande Parade de Paris caps off the celebrations.

 6. VIENNA

vienna

Vienna, once the center of empire and a beautiful city beloved by intellectuals and artists, is perhaps the best place in Europe to experience an “Old World” New Year’s celebration. The city’s most famous party is the Grand Ball held at the Hofburg Palace, but there are plenty of other opportunities for revelry in the Austrian capital. The city’s famous Christmas markets transform into fairs and the New Year’s Eve Trail will lead you through the Old City. The party begins at 2 in the afternoon and continues long after the clock has struck midnight. Mulled wine is the drink of choice for this crowd. A spectacular fireworks display highlights the Wiener Prater fair at midnight. On New Year’s Day, join the crowd gathered outside City Hall to watch the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert on a giant screen.

 5. AMSTERDAM

amsterdam

Amsterdam is known as something of a party city for North Americans, and on New Year’s Eve, the city shows that it deserves that reputation, with impromptu street parties filling the spaces between large, organized revelry in public places like Rembrandtplein, Nieumarkt, Museumplein and Dam Square. Outdoor concerts are complemented by indoor parties at bars. Fireworks go on sale the day before the celebrations, so you can be sure to see plenty of displays. Grab a perch on one of the city’s many bridges and watch the colors explode across the nighttime sky, mirrored in the water below. Grab a glass of champagne and some fried treats (like oliebollen, viamse frites and bitterballen) from the street vendors, then head to the club to keep the party going.

4. REYKJAVIK

reykjavik

Reykjavik receives only 4 hours of sun on New Year’s Eve, which means the locals are more than ready to celebrate with a festival of light. They start with community bonfires, meant to burn away the troubles of the old year. There are no official fireworks displays organized by the city; rather, there are numerous displays put on by private citizens. Fireworks will often start about half-an-hour before midnight, lighting up every corner of the city as almost 200,000 people get involved. Head to Perlan or Landakotskirkja church for the best views of the city. Plenty of small, private parties keep things hopping, and bars and clubs remain open well after midnight. Since Icelanders tend to go out late anyway, you’ll often find revelers up until the wee hours of the morning, dancing the night away.

 3. ISTANBUL

istanbul

Istanbul has been on the rise as a must-see destination for travelers, and what better time than New Year’s? While visiting this vibrant European capital is an experience and a half at any time of year, Istanbul one-ups itself on New Year’s Eve. Start your evening with a traditional Turkish meze dinner in a restaurant in Bebek or Istiklal Caddesi, where celebrations are a little tamer. Afterwards, join the jubilant crowd in the streets of Taksim or another part of the city, where revelers will organize impromptu street parties. If the crowded streets aren’t your scene, you can always book a river cruise along the Bosphorus and watch the celebrations from afar as you sail through the city. The best part is that you’ll have one of the best views for the stunning fireworks at the stroke of midnight.

2. PRAGUE

prague

Prague is known as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities and one of the most beautiful in the world. The “city of a hundred spires” comes alive on New Year’s Eve, which is also known as Silvestr. The streets will be packed with a rag-tag crowd of revelers, and bars, clubs and restaurants will be filled with party-goers. Much of the fun takes place at Wenceslas Square and Old Town Square. Fireworks are set off all around town (and perhaps with a bit of dangerous abandon), with one of the best displays occurring at Letna Gardens, which can be watched from nearby bridges and embankments. Champagne bottles are smashed during the celebrations, which means you might want to bring a helmet to this party, but who could resist ringing in the new year in the heart of Europe?

1. BERLIN

berlin

Germany’s capital has something of a reputation as a party city throughout the year, so it makes sense that the city has a go-big-or-go-home attitude toward New Year’s festivities. The highlight is undoubtedly “Party Mile,” a 2-km stretch between Brandenburg Gate and the Victory Column, lined with bars, food stalls, music stages, party tents and laser light shows. The fireworks begin promptly at midnight, as do the toasts to the new year. Many people then hit the dancefloors of the city’s clubs, partying until well after sun-up. The Berliner Silversterlauf, the infamous New Year’s Eve “pancake run,” is another tradition in the city. Some people run the free 4-km race on New Year’s Day. Berlin expects to welcome approximately a million revelers to help ring in 2016—maybe you’ll be one of them.

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