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Posted in: Paris Planning

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Paris Market
Save money at the markets and beyond with a few simple French phrases. Photo: Context Travel
So you’re feeling like you’ve mastered the “bonjours” and “mercis”? Maybe it’s time to kick it up a notch. Sometimes in Paris, hand signals don’t always work when you are shopping or dining in a café. We know the feeling when you want to say, “No, stop, please, I didn’t want the €65 box of » Read more

Posted in: Amsterdam Hotel

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Waiting for a tram that wasn't coming on Sunday in Amsterdam. Photos by Tom Meyers
Waiting for a tram that wasn't coming on Sunday in Amsterdam. Photos by Tom Meyers
My train pulled into Amsterdam on Sunday during a marathon. Well, I didn’t realize the Amsterdam Marathon was happening at first. I just realized that something was up with the trams. I had studied up on the city’s tram system in advance, and knew that to get from Centraal Station to my hotel, the cute-and-simple » Read more

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Pub
Princess Louise pub in High Holborn. Photo: Kurt
A stop-off (or several!) in a traditional London pub is a must-do for most visitors in the city. If English people seem uptight on the tube, the pub is where we kick back and relax, catch up with our friends and put the world to rights. Needless to say, a visit to the pub comes » Read more

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A 24-hour tube service is something London has most certainly been missing. While taking the night bus is a cultural experience of sorts, it’s by no means the most direct route home, often involving hours spent hanging around bus stops in the freezing cold. On arrival of said bus, expect to pile in with a » Read more

Posted in: Lisbon

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Rossio Train Station Lisbon
Rossio Train Station is home to a great hostel. Photo: Damian E
From custard tarts and cherry liquor to old-world neighborhoods and historic architecture, the list of Lisbon’s charms is lengthy. Definitely near the top of that list are the many well-priced accommodations, which are a Cheapo’s dream come true. There are loads of brilliant and inexpensive options whether you are looking for an arty boutique or » Read more

Posted in: Barcelona

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Tango La Rambla
Tango dancers on La Rambla. Photo: Carlos Lorenzo
La Rambla cuts through Barcelona’s old town, separating the neighborhood El Raval from the historic Gothic Quarter. It’s a place of contrasts, bustling with beauty and history, but also with pickpockets and tourist traps. Generally, I tell visitors to stay clear of La Rambla as much as they can, because of the touristy environment and mediocre restaurants that » Read more

Posted in: Paris Sights

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Mona Lisa
A typical day in front of the Mona Lisa. Photo: Leandro N
Good news for fans of European vacations and French museums. Some of the biggest attractions in and around Paris have just announced that they will be extending their opening hours to seven days a week for a two-year trial. Starting in 2015 and running through 2017, The Louvre, the Palace of Versailles and Musée d’Orsay will » Read more

Posted in: Portugal

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Porto roofs
A view over Porto rooftops. Photo: Frances Ambler
Travelers often neglect it in favor of Lisbon but Porto—Portugal’s second city—more than justifies its place on an itinerary. While it’s still very much an industrial, working city, it’s got more than enough riverside views, rambling streets and Portuguese charm to be worthy of a postcard home. It’s also a great city for those travelling » Read more

Posted in: London Hotel

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Meininger Hotel
Even simple perks like an elevator make a London stay special. Photo: Meininger Hotel
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the choice when looking for somewhere to stay in London. Price and location are important considerations, but what about those little perks that really help to make a stay? Here are five London stays that offer valuable extras, along with the cleanliness and value for money that makes them » Read more

Posted in: Hamburg

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Hamburg
Hamburg at night. Photo: Marius Bede
In recent articles in the blog, we’ve culled the best of Hamburg’s budget nightlife and recommended the coolest and cheapest beds the city has to offer. Now we’re pulling it all together with a handy list of seven ways to save a few more euros on your Hamburg travel adventure. 1. Book your train and » Read more

Posted in: London Sights

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Checking out the scene at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Photo: Magnus D
Checking out the scene at the Columbia Road Flower Market. Photo: Magnus D
Summer may have drawn to a close (sob!), but despite the return of early nightfall and grey skies in London, there’s a sure fire way of injecting a bit of color into your weekend—a visit to the Columbia Road Flower Market! Stocking up on flowers In what has to be the city’s most vibrant market, » Read more

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Paris Lunch
Lunch time in Paris can be affordable and delicious! Photo: Pier-Luc Bergeron
Now that the busy summer season has come and gone, the city is starting to settle back into its everyday rhythm. This means you’ll find the people of Paris scattered across lovely terraces around lunch time, stopping by for déjeuner à prix fixe. These meals, often a daily special or a traditional French dish, will be » Read more

Posted in: Turkey

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An inside look at a Turkish hamam. Photo: Nina S.
An inside look at a Turkish hamam. Photo: Nina S.
During a recent holiday in Turkey, I indulged in the ultimate pampering: a visit to a hamam. I had heard talk amongst my Turkish friends of their habitual visits to what can be compared to a spa or bath house. They always seemed so relaxed following a trip to the hamam, and after traveling around » Read more

Posted in: Venice Hotels

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Albergo Doni
You don't need to spend a fortune to get a canal view in Venice. Photos by Tom Meyers
Who doesn’t dream of a canal view from their hotel room when visiting Venice? Ever since I started regularly visiting the city to review its hotels in 2001, I’ve always hoped that I would be able to fling my windows open in the morning to the sights and sounds of a passing gondola. It hasn’t » Read more

Posted in: Practical Info

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How light can you pack? We have some tips on keeping it small. Photo: Jens Schott Knudsen
How light can you pack? We have some tips on keeping it small. Photo: Jens Schott Knudsen
Packing advice can get awfully proscriptive very quickly, and these tips are no exception. Bear with me. Before you start throwing everything you own into a bag, take a moment to think about strategy. With a few easy steps, you too can be hitting the road in Europe like a budget travel pro. I’ve been » Read more

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