“Prague won’t let you go, the little mother has claws,” so said Franz Kafka, the capital’s most famous son.
And while Franz Kafka obviously had a deeper connection with the city, once you’ve been to Prague, it doesn’t quite let you go. One moment you’re walking to work, running through your never-ending to-do list in your mind, when a sight of an old rusty street lamp brings you back to Prague’s narrow and dimly-lit cobbled streets, the smell of roasted duck intermingling with the sweet aroma of cinnamon, strains of classical music and that unmistakable sound of clinking beer mugs spilling out onto the streets.
There’s much to love about Prague. While it is certainly a grand example of an old medieval city, with centuries’ worth of Gothic, Romantic, and Baroque architectures splendidly preserved and standing proudly after world wars, fires, and natural calamities failed to bring them down, there’s also always something new going on in the city. It could be a new row of restaurants, a new edgy café in an up-and-coming neighborhood, or a new quirky art installation.
All these led to the Prague of today: a city that goes from medieval to modern, conventional to quirky, historic to hipster, and sacred to scandalous in a few blocks.
So it goes that your experiences in Prague can depend heavily on which neighborhood you choose to spend your days and nights. Whether you’re up for a crash course in European history and arts, a romantic holiday peppered with food and shopping trips, or you’re here for the beer, there’s a lovely Prague district that won’t let you go. Continue reading “Where to stay in Prague – a complete guide to the city’s best neighborhoods and hotels”
Fancy a holiday where you’ll be able to hop from one gorgeous beach to the next, visit all kinds of quirky museums, and see stunning natural landscapes? South Korea’s “island of the gods” – Jeju Island – is the perfect destination for you.
Jeju definitely has a lot to offer. But what most first-time visitors are surprised to find out is that Jeju is huge. Even with a rental car, you can’t go around the whole island in one day. The island’s many attractions are far apart, and this is why you need to make sure you know exactly where to stay in Jeju, depending on what you’re in the mood to see and do. Continue reading “Where to stay in Jeju – a guide to South Korea’s gorgeous holiday island”
Driving from Vienna to Salzburg is a quick and easy way to visit two of Austria’s magnificent cities. Salzburg is approximately 300 km to the west of Vienna, and you can easily reach it via the A1 motorway (West Autobahn) in 3 hours.
But while Vienna and Salzburg both have much to offer, a scenic road trip across Austria’s countryside will give you a more delightful overview of the country. Rolling hills, majestic mountain ranges, sparkling lakes, and storybook towns await in this amazing road trip itinerary from Vienna to Salzburg!
Continue reading “Driving from Vienna to Salzburg – a scenic road trip through Austria’s countryside”
Busan is a city with many faces.
At first glance, Busan is a city where you go for a break. Especially if you’re coming from Seoul, Busan’s seaside city vibe is a welcome break from the unrelenting energy of the capital. You can smell the sea even kilometers away from the seashore, which of course, brings with it promises of a lazy, relaxing, and rejuvenating holiday. Continue reading “Where to stay in Busan – a guide to the city’s neighborhoods and best accommodations”
Turquoise seas shimmering under the morning sun, stretches of fine white sand, and sunsets bursting with deep reds and oranges. If you’re like most tourists, these images are probably what drew you to visit the Philippines.
Believe me when I say that I understand the look of confusion (or is it panic?) on your face now that you’ve landed in Manila. Continue reading “3 days in Manila – a taste of the capital’s culture, color, and chaos”
My train stops on the border town of Mikulov in South Moravia, and as I step out onto the platform, I am treated to the distinctive beauty of a Czech castle town: red terracotta roofs, twisted cobblestone streets, and an imposing 13th-century castle set against the backdrop of rolling hills and the outline of a distant mountain range.
But the normally sleepy town is abuzz this beautiful September weekend. It’s the annual Palavske vinobrani, a weekend-long wine festival that transforms the usually sleepy town into a big wild street party. And even first-time festival-goers like me know: where wine flows, merriment follows. Continue reading “South Moravia – revelry and relaxation in the Czech Republic’s wine region”
From its medieval castle to its meandering cobbled alleys, Cesky Krumlov is the stuff of fairytales. Until now, it remains one of my favorite destinations in the world – and definitely worth more than a day trip from Prague.
You can easily spend two to three days in Cesky Krumlov. The first day will most likely be spent staring at the beautiful town square from the castle tower, pinching yourself in disbelief at just how amazingly gorgeous the old town is. Visiting the town’s top sights will take a day or two, while the enchanting Blansky forest surrounding the old town is worth a couple of days of short, relatively easy hikes.
If you’re still thinking if an overnight trip to Cesky Krumlov is worth it, you should definitely go for it. On my first visit, I originally planned to stay just for 3 days. I ended up extending my stay – and still I wished I stayed longer.
So skip the day trip and go for at least an overnight trip. Once you get there, you’ll know what I mean. In the meantime, here’s where to stay in Cesky Krumlov. Book early – Cesky Krumlov’s not quite Prague yet in terms of tourist density, but it’s getting pretty close now that this romantic medieval town’s “secret” is out.
Continue reading “Where to stay in Cesky Krumlov – the best hotels for a magical stay”
Have you ever had one of those crazy fantasies where you are the king or queen of a medieval kingdom? That the land is at peace, your subjects adore you and there isn’t a brewing coup or an impending invasion? And more importantly: that the person with whom you are betrothed is actually your secret childhood love and not some stranger you had to strategically marry?
Pardon the flight of ideas – it’s easy to get lost in a web of absurd medieval fantasies when you’re looking down on the old town of Cesky Krumlov from the castle tower. Continue reading “Cesky Krumlov travel guide – a trip to the Czech Republic’s magnificent fairy-tale town”
Planning a trip to Seoul? Chances are, you have about 5 tabs open on your browser right now and probably pulling your hair out with all of the choices and information out there. Believe me – I’ve been there. There is no shortage of guides and blogs on Seoul and you have the city itself to blame.
If you think online information on Seoul is overwhelming, you should go to, well… Seoul! From the moment you land on Incheon and venture into the heart of the city, you’ll be bombarded by all sorts of curiosities and novelties and choices, choices, choices!
If you’re on a diet, forget about it. You’ll be eating your way around the city in no time. Not really planning to shop? Friendly (albeit unfashionable) tip: wear blinders. Thinking of taking it slow and having a relaxing trip? Wear your most comfortable shoes anyway, as you’ll be drawn from one street to the next and before you know it, you’re in the middle of an art village on top of a hill and you just want to keep on going.
Seoul’s vibrancy and life is just so infectious and there’s just so much you can do that the trip-planning stage can be so overwhelming. So here’s my part in helping you plan your little holiday and making it less of an information overload: I made a fun and quick quiz (5 minutes tops!) that will help you decide where to stay in Seoul!
Continue reading “Where to stay in Seoul – a guide to the city’s neighborhoods and best accommodations”