Posted in: Netherlands

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Rotterdam
Rotterdam brilliantly mixes the old and the new across the city. Photo: Coanri
In terms of architecture and scale, Rotterdam feels almost surgically sewn together. This impression reflects the city’s experience of the twentieth century. Heavily bombed during the Second World War, Rotterdam is an architecturally new city, with boxy hypermodern buildings and expansive, well-designed public spaces. It is also a real port city, raw and enriched by » Read more

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Gatwick
Flying above Gatwick Airport. Photo: Phillip Capper
Arriving at one of London’s five major airports often feels like it’s just the beginning of your journey. You still need to navigate your way through the city’s 1,572 square kilometers, while attempting not to waste time and money. But the time it takes to get from the airport to your hotel can increase massively » Read more

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Red Light District
The Red Light District in Amsterdam. Photo: Jordi Alfonso
Amsterdam is often stereotyped in a sinful cliché of sex, drugs and rock ‘n’ roll. Family members always ask me, “So, you’re living in Amsterdam? How’s the pot (chuckle, chuckle)!?” Hardy, har, har. While the city undoubtedly has a “party” vibe around town, things have changed since the 1970s and ’80s. And most locals lead » Read more

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Falafel
Enjoy famous falafel, crepes and classic French fare in Paris. Photo: Tom Flemming
Paris has a reputation for being romantic, fashionable, and as most are quick to add, expensive. While the food is almost always quite good, a nice dinner in the City of Lights can run up quite a tab. We highly recommend treating yourself to a classic French meal at least once during your stay, but » Read more

Posted in: New York Hotels

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sohotel nyc
The SoHotel is centered in the pulsing heart of downtown New York. Photo: SoHotel
It’s no secret that hotel rooms in New York are expensive, but there are deals to be had if you know where to look. And these deals are not limited to far-flung locations or flea-bag motels. In fact, even in the city’s most popular areas, you can find nice accommodations that won’t break the bank—and » Read more

Posted in: United Kingdom

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Birmingham
The Chamberlain Clock in Birmingham. Photo: brianca37
Birmingham, the UK’s second-biggest city in terms of population, is no London copy. The West Midlands city is full of classic Victorian buildings and bold contemporary architecture alike. Historically an important center of manufacturing and modern industry, Birmingham has more recently seen an extended refurbishment of canals and industrial areas and the creation of a » Read more

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

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