Galleria-Borghese-Rome Gowithoh

The Vatican Museum and other important Rome museums

One of the top things to do in Rome (Italy) is visiting the most important Rome Museums. You may find that there are not many museums of Rome in your to-do list, as beautiful and chaotic Rome has tons of important attractions worth visiting. In fact, the streets of the capital of Italy could easily be considered a museum themselves, as they are full of impressive remains of the Roman Empire, the cradle of civilisation as we know it today. Rome is a living testimony of the past, and we just need to take a walk around its centre to discover why!

However, that doesn’t mean that the only Rome points of interest worth visiting are in the outside. There are many museums where you will be able to learn even more about the city and to admire astounding art pieces. If you’re wondering what to do in Rome besides visiting all the famous Rome attractions, don’t miss the following lines: We’ll be giving you tons of interesting details about some of the best things to do in Rome: Visiting its museums!

Museums in Rome - Gowithoh

Places to visit in Rome: The Vatican Museum

If there is one single museum that surely sneaked its way up your Top 10 things to do in Rome list, that has to be the Vatican Museum. Although it is technically in the Vatican City, these are considered by far the best museums in Rome. This magnificent museum complex contains over 70,000 art pieces, but not all of them are on display – just 20,000, which are still a lot. The Vatican art collection has been built century after century by all the Popes that have lead the church during this time, which explains why it is one of the largest museums in the entire planet. In its 54 rooms, you will be able to see works by Raphael, Caravaggio, Perugino and Leonardo da Vinci, among many others, and, of course, you will also be able to admire the legendary Sistine Chapel, with its ceiling painted by Michelangelo.

You can visit the Vatican Museum every day from 9 in the morning to 6 in the evening (although they only let you in until 4 in the afternoon); except for Sundays, where you can access it last until 12.30 at noon (until closing time at 2 in the afternoon). Keep in mind that there is always a lot of people, so it’s a good idea to consider buying skip the line Vatican tickets. With the skip the line Vatican Museum tickets you will be able to forget about the long queues!

Vatican museum Rome - Gowithoh

 

Rome attractions: Other important museums

The Vatican Museums may be the most famous and visited museum of Rome, but it is not the only one. There are other art museums in Rome that are well worth a bit of your time and that will be delightful for all the family! Take good note of the following options:

Galleria Borghese

Galleria-Borghese-Rome GowithohHere you will be able to visit part of the art collection that started Cardinal Scipione Borghese, who was patron of Bernini and a collector of Caravaggio, among other artists. You will also be able to see works by Raphael, Bassano and Titian. Besides, even if it’s considered a separate attraction, it is right in the Villa Borghese gardens, where you can spend a wonderful day with the whole family, as you can relax in nature and visit the many monuments located there, such as the replica of London’s Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre. If you’re travelling with your children, you can take them to the Bioparco and the Zoological Museum as well.

Etruscan Museum Rome

Etruscan Museum Rome - GowithohIn this wonderful museum, you will be able to learn a lot about the Etruscan civilisation and thus keep digging on Rome’s past – which has a lot to do with our own. You will be able to see impressive relics such as the terracotta funerary monument of the Etruscan and the Sarcofago degli Sposi, known in English as Bride and Groom, as well as many tablets, vases and other objects about this fascinating civilisation.

Modern Art Museum Rome

In Rome, you will also find the National Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, where you will be able to see paintings and sculptures from the 19th and 20th century, by artists as renowned as Duchamp, Degas, Monet, Kandinsky or Cézanne.

If you would like to visit other museums and avoid queues, we recommend skip the line tickets.

Museum of Contemporary Art of Rome

Known as MACRO, this museum is in two separated places, a former brewery and a former slaughterhouse – the repurposing of spaces being a statement when building a contemporary art museum. Its permanent collection includes pieces from Italian artists from the 1960s on, so it is a mandatory visit for those interested in art expressions from our current days.

Three days in Paris – the legendary Parisian icons – day 3

08:30 – breakfast

Head over to Claus in the 1st arrondissement for breakfast. It’s all about gourmet health here, with rich mueslis and vitamin-fuelled fresh juices. A ‘Claus Special’ breakfast includes the Claus-Made muesli, a soft-boiled egg with a selection of fresh breads, served with fresh juice and herbal tea, or coffee for those who can’t do without a caffeine kick-start in the mornings.

10:00 – Marais

From Claus, take the Metro to the centre of the Marais district in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements. This is the oldest neighbourhood in Paris and therefore home to a number of buildings of historic importance. Make sure you have a look down the narrow rue de Montmorency and stop at number 51 – this is where the alchemist Nicolas Flamel used to live and is also the oldest house in Paris.

Galerie Perrotin by achimhThese days, Marais is a fashionable neighbourhood for artists and trendsetters and gives visitors a real insight into local culture and communities. Take a 2-hour walking tour run by Paris Walks to find out more stories and histories of the area. After the tour, pop into one of the small art galleries such as Galerie Perrotin, which has even held exhibitions by hip hop artists in the past. Fashion lovers will adore the vintage wares of Noir Kennedy on Rue du Roe de Sicile or Aux Comptoirs du Chineurs (‘the bargain hunter’s shop’) on Rue Saint-Paul, while K. Jacques on Rue Pavée is well-loved for its trendy summer sandals. If you want to do some craft shopping too, have a look in some of the many artisan boutiques or head over to Marché des Enfants Rouges, which is the oldest covered market in Paris.

13:30 – lunch

Make sure you take advantage of one of the Marais district’s eclectic lunch options before you leave: Restaurant Derrière, for example, on Rue des Gravilliers, is one of the trendiest spots around. Accessed through an unmarked door to a courtyard (part of the thrill of the dining experience is actually finding the place), eating in Derrière is a bit like dining in a stranger’s home. The ‘living room’ has comfortable chairs, a CD collection and general clutter of someone’s home (although most people don’t have a table-tennis table in their living room) while the ‘bedroom’ has seating in the form of a bed mattress, while mirrored ceilings look down on you. The menu doesn’t disappoint either, with classic French dishes including Salad Niçoise and slow-cooked bourguignons.

15:00 – Sacré-Coeur

Sacré-Coeur by AbeeeerNext, take the cable car (or walk if you’re feeling energetic) up the hill to the Basilique du Sacré-Coeur de Montmartre – the Roman Catholic church and basilica to mark the Sacred Heart of Jesus. It was constructed about 100 years ago and the towering site seems taller still, given the fact this is also the highest point of the city. The grassy knoll at its base is the perfect spot to sit in the sun and enjoy the views. Since you’re in the City of Love, take a look at the ‘I love you wall’, a public art project with a selection of more than 300 messages people have written about love.

17:30 – cabaret

You can’t escape the fact Paris has a big reputation for its entertainment industry, with a focus on sultry shows matched by impeccable cuisine at the Parisian cabarets. Le Lido is the biggest cabaret and offers backstage tours to give you a glimpse of the life of the performers behind the scenes. The decadent dressing rooms and walk-in costume wardrobes make you think about the stories the walls could tell from years of show business…if only they could speak.

Moulin Rouge by Jeffrey WehsA cabaret tour is the perfect entrée into attending a cabaret in your final, blow-the-budget night in Paris. As well as Le Lido, there is Le Crazy Horse (which is said to be a little more risqué) and of course, the Moulin Rouge. If you stay at Le Lido after the tour, dinner is served from 7pm and the show kicks off at around 9pm; the whole thing costs 160€. If you want come to the show only it costs 80€. It’s certainly the way to end your Paris foray in style…until next time anyway.

Tram by zoonabar

Transport around Milan

Milan has a diverse range of options for public transport and you’ll usually find a solution for where you want to go. Recently, a car levy to enter the city centre has been introduced and a lot of the revenue raised from this system has been allocated to improving the network, including eco- friendly buses and a bike sharing programme.

ATM is the Milanese transport company and they also have an English website. You can download a free train network map and a city map with all transport options except for the bicycles. They also have a journey planner and information about the smartphone apps available.

Milan underground by JohnSebThere are five transport options:

-       Underground

-       Tram

-       Bus

-       Train

-       Bike

On the Underground and platforms there are always city maps and some bus/tram stands have maps or at least details of the lines and stops on that particular line. Often there are displays advising how many minutes until the next train/bus/tram.

Tickets

You can buy tickets at the Underground station either from the machines or from the cashier, at newsagents or from parking meters.

Ticket options:

Standard “urban” ticket: 1.50€

This ticket is valid for 90 minutes although if you exit from the Underground gates you cannot take another Underground train. You can, though, if you continue your journey on a tram or bus.

Some stops are considered “extra” urban and the ticket will cost more. This is the case for visiting the “Rho Fiera” exhibition centre where most of the major expos and trade exhibitions are held. This ticket will cost you 2.55€ one way or 5€ for a return.

Daily ticket: 4.50€

Valid for a whole 24 hours after validating.

2-day ticket: 8.25€

Valid for an entire 48 hours.

You just have to validate your ticket once although you will need to repeatedly use your ticket to enter and often exit the Underground or train. On the trams and buses this isn’t required.

Of course, there are many other ticket options designed to suit your requirements and all information is available online.

There is also a travel card which you can top up. It’s called “RIcaricaMi” and you can purchase it for 2.50€, including one standard ticket. Then you can use the machines or the newsagents to top it up with the tickets or pass you’d like.

The Underground

For efficiency, usually you can’t beat the Underground, particularly for travelling around the most central parts of the city centre.

The peak hours can be a little crowded, with the most difficult times being from 07.30 to 09.30 and in the evenings around 7pm. However, the frequency of trains during these times means that if one train is too crowded, another will only be a few minutes away.

On the downside, the Underground tends to slow its service after 9pm and only runs to just after midnight. It’s then replaced by a night bus service. Night bus stops will have a line number with an ‘N’ in front of it.

You can also download the night service map (only in Italian).

Tram

Trams in Milan by LHOONTrams represent a lovely insight into the past and Milan, like many European cities, still runs some very old ones. They may seem slow and noisy but they’re gloriously stylish inside.

Having said that, not all lines run these trams and many lines run modern or semi-modern trams. There are some excellent lines which run right through the city centre and can be a sightseeing experience on their own. Lines 1 and 4 are highly recommended.

Bus

The buses are generally used to reach the outlying suburbs or to circle the city. The circle buses follow the ring roads around Milan.

Tours & activities in Milan – book online



All Tours & Activities in Milan

SuburbanTrain

Technically the suburban train service, or ‘passante’, is part of the region’s train network which transports passengers out of the city and to the surrounding towns and cities. However, there are a number of different stops in the city that can be useful, depending on where you need to go. It is recommended as the best way to get to the “Rho Fiera” exhibition centre as it is less crowded and faster than the Underground.

Bike sharing

Another nice way to get around this relatively flat city is by bike. Cycle paths are limited but more are appearing every day.

To have a daily or weekly pass you will need to register on the website and pay by credit card.

Milan bike by Italy Chronicles PhotosAlternatively, you can call the ATM toll-free number on 800 80 81 81 or go to an ATM Point at the following Underground stations:
Duomo (M1-M3)
Cadorna (M1-M2)
Loreto (M1-M2)
Romolo (M2)
Centrale FS (M2-M3)
Garibaldi FS (M2)

A daily pass will cost you 2.50€ or weekly 6€. The service is designed to get you around the city, rather than hiring a bicycle for the whole day. Usually, you pick up a bike from one station and then leave it at another station when you have reached your destination.

The first 30 minutes are free and then it’s 0.50€ for every 30 minutes until a maximum of two hours. After the 2-hour limit it costs 2€ per hour. When you leave the bike at a station, your 30 minutes is reset (it’s not accumulative).

Taxi

Taxi rank Milan by jamiejohndaviesTaxis aren’t exactly cheap in Milan and there is really only one option, apart from a few private services. All taxis are registered with the local council and then adhere to a taxi consortium. Don’t worry, the meter will always be turned on.

Taxi Blu

Tel: 02 4040 or download their booking “app” called “TaxiMilano”.

Yellow Taxi

Tel: 02 6969 or download their booking “app” called “IT Taxi”.

Food in Milan

As you might imagine, food is also fashion in this Italian fashion capital. The restaurants can sometimes feel all style and no substance, but there is something for everyone in this city, including warm, traditional Milanese cuisine.

Milanese food

The first thing to know about Milan is that it’s surrounded by rice fields. Risotto is big here and is the topic of much discussion. There’s no one way to cook it that everyone agrees on – some like it with more liquid, some less, some with more salt…see what you think and your fellow Italians will be delighted to pitch in to the debate.

Risotto alla Milanese by naotakemThe classic risotto is the ‘Risotto alla Milanese’, which is rice cooked with saffron. It’s often nicely paired with Osso Buco, a slowly roasted veal shank. Another big thing to eat is the Cotoletta, a schnitzel-style veal, crumbed and fried in butter.

The Naviglio Grande area is a great place to start to try typical Milanese cuisine with many cosy restaurants. In summer, you can enjoy sitting by the canal, although ask your waiter for some mosquito spray. L’Altro Luca e Andrea, at numbe 24 on the ‘Alzaia Naviglio Grande’ canal, serves many of these delicious Milanese classics. Alternatively, take a short walk away from the canal and you’ll find Damm-atrà, (at 1 Via Elia Lombardini) – a friendly trattoria which has all the standard Milanese fare plus some interesting traditional entrees, including fried bread, potato skins and fried nerves.

If you fancy trying the Cotoletta alla Milanese (the famous breaded veal cutlet), head for La Cotoletteria on Corso Garibaldi 11.

If you want to upscale your dining experience, Cracco, with two Michelin-stars, is highly recommended for its modern and creative take on Milanese cuisine. You’ll find it at 4 Via Victor Hugo.

Aperitivo /happy hour

While in many parts of Europe it’s quite common to have an aperitif before dinner to stimulate the appetite, Milan offers not only the drink but a mountain of food that could actually replace your dinner if you so wish.

Focaccia by npinto_97In many bars, from around 7 to 9 or 10pm, you can go for a drink and then help yourself to the buffet as many times as you’d like. The food tends to be easy food – pizza squares, focaccia, olives, pasta or rice – food that tends to complement your often strong cocktail (“free pour” rules here).

The area surrounding Piazza Vetra, just off the Via Torino shopping strip, is a nice spot to try out this very Milanese custom. There are some excellent buffets and good-quality cocktails. The Navigli Canal area is also full of great places to discover.

For something a bit more glam, try Globe, which is located on the top of the Coin department store, at Piazza 5 Giornate.

Take an Italian food tasting tour

Fashion-influenced restaurants

Unsurprisingly, the fashion industry has worked to make its mark on the restaurant business here and you will come across some amazingly elegant places. Try Dolce and Gabbana Gold, on Piazza Risorgimento, all decked out in gold and with a Sicilian-influenced menu. Nobu Armani is good if you fancy some delicious sushi at Via Pisoni 1. Alternatively, try Trussardi next to the Opera della Scala. Along with the fashion you can find Trussardi Cafè offering glam hamburgers and panini or Trussardi Ristorante upstairs for beautiful and interesting Italian cuisine.

Non-Milanese Italian food

You could eat for years and still not have tried all of the amazing dishes Italy has to offer. If you fancy sampling some cooking from beyond Milan, start with Trattoria Pugliese Acquasala, 71 Ripa di Porta Ticinese, which offers up typical dishes from the region of Puglia. Roman cooking reigns supreme at Pane & Ojo, 10 Via Ludovico Muratori, while L’antica Foccaceria di San Francesco, which has three different locations in Milan, is the place to head for all your Sicilian favourites such as cannoli and arancini.

International cuisine

Although Milan doesn’t have the diversity of London, if a craving for something non-Italian hits you, there are some decent options.

Sushi by titou.netA newcomer to the Chinese-fusion scene in Milan is Ba (10 Via Carlo Ravizza), with a Cantonese-inspired menu in a beautiful restaurant. Another popular place is Mandarin 2, at 22A via Garofalo/ Via Donatello.

Japanese is big here and there are many good restaurants to choose from. Try Hana at Corso Vercelli, 37 or the classic sushi bar at Poporoya Sushi Bar, 17 Via Eustachi.

For a special night, the lovely Vietnamamour, 7 Via Alessandro Pestalozza, never fails to offer top-quality Vietnamese cuisine in a beautiful setting. Ask to be seated in the outside garden in the summer.

The area around Porta Venezia is filled with African dining options, in particular Eritrean. Try Adulis Restaurant at 24 via Melzo. A good place for Indian is Just India at 34 Via Benedetto Marcello.

Gelato Giusto by br1dotcomGelato!

No trip to Italy is complete without some gelato and you’ll find some fantastic options in Milan. Shockolat, at 9 Via Giovanni Boccaccio, is a winner, while you might also like the limited but interesting flavours of Gelato Giusto, at 17 via San Gregorio. For a classic, family-run gelateria, you can’t beat Il Rigoletto, 9 Via San Siro.

From touchdown to downtown – getting from Seville Airport to the city centre

Don’t waste your time wandering around trying to figure out how to get away from Seville’s charming little airport and out into the Andalusian sunshine. Let us help you arrive prepared with all of the information you need to get to the centre of Seville from the airport, and back again when it’s time to go home.

potter Seville SVQ by Sergio LoraAbout the airport

Seville’s San Pablo Airport (SVQ) is about 10km to the north east of the city and is located between Seville and Rinconada. At present there is one terminal which makes this an easy airport to navigate. It’s equipped with a full-service restaurant featuring Spanish food in the departures area outside security, and a café and snack bar past security. There’s an ATM and a chemist’s on the first floor of the terminal and duty-free shopping is available in the boarding area.

Getting to and from Seville Airport

However you choose to travel (by taxi, bus or rental car), prior knowledge of schedules and modes of transport available will help ensure things go smoothly.

Private Seville airport transfers – online booking

Taxi

Taxis are the quickest way to get the city centre from the airport and vice versa. The trip should take around 15 to 20 minutes depending on the traffic and your final destination and cost between 20-25 euros. The taxi rank is just outside the terminal on the opposite kerb.

Taxis that service the Seville airport:
Radiotaxi Giralda: 954 675 555
Radiotaxi:954 580 000
Teletaxi: 954 622 222

Bus

HIMG_1172.JPG by ssylvisop on the bus to the city centre from 05:20 to 01:15 daily. You buy your ticket on board and the trip takes approximately 30 minutes. The last stop is Plaza de Armas Station. You can also catch the bus back to the airport from 04:30 to 00:30. The stop closest to the city centre is Avenida Carlos V., and from there the city tram is a few minutes’ walk away. The bus stop is just outside the terminal building.

These are the stops:

  • Airport
  • Kansas City
  • Estación de Santa Justa (train station)
  • Lluis de Morales
  • S. Bernando
  • Avenida Carlos V. or Jardines del Prado de San Sebastián (this is one of the most central stops)
  • Paseo Colón
  • Estación de Plaza de Armas (Bus Station) near the bullfighting ring

12.41 AM  Valdosta Airport  Rental Cars Available by Old Shoe WomanRental cars

Avis, Europcar, Hertz, National Atesa, and Sixt all lease cars in Seville Airport. From the airport it’s a short trip in your rental car to the city centre.

Directions

To the airport

From Seville, take Avenida de Kansas City towards Ctra. De Carmona. Stay to the left at the fork in the road, follow signs for E-5/A-4/Aeropuerto and merge onto E-5/A-4. Take exit 533 to the airport.

Get detailed instructions from Google Maps to Seville Airport.

From the airport

Take exit 533. Turn slightly to the left and take the ramp on the left. Keep left at the fork in the road and merge onto A-4. Take exit 5367 towards Sevilla Centro Cuidad.

Get detailed instructions from Google Maps from Seville Airport.

Wien food by kadluba

Food in Vienna

Wiener Schnitzel- Lowenbrau by u m a m iThe Viennese take pride in their cuisine, which as they like to point out, is the only one in the world named after a city. While much of it is also quintessentially Austrian, some dishes remain distinct. Like the city itself, the food is at the crossroads of central and eastern Europe. Once the seat of an entire empire, many of Vienna’s classic dishes originate from neighbouring lands.

Traditional Viennese cuisine is in general quite heavy and based on meat. The most common dish is of course the Wiener Schnitzel, which is breaded and deep fried veal. Served with a wedge of lemon and a side of parsley potatoes, this is the national dish of Austria. Many families also enjoy it as a Sunday midday meal. Other traditional meat-based dishes include:

  • Gulash – a thick stew of meat and vegetables, seasoned with paprika
  • Schweinsbraten – roasted pork
  • Tafelspitz – boiled beef served in broth

Sides tend to be quite carbohydrate-heavy. If not potatoes, other popular items include:

  • Knödel – large, round, potato or bread-based dumplings
  • Spätzle – small, doughy egg noodles
  • Schinkenfleckerl – a ham and cheese pasta bake
  • Krautfleckerl – a cabbage and cheese pasta bake

Typical Viennese traditions

Sachertorte by _chris_stWith a rich baking tradition, Viennese cuisine is all about a slice of extravagant cake when it comes to dessert. The most famous of all in Vienna is the Sachertorte. This beloved chocolate sponge cake has a thin layer of apricot jam in the middle and is topped by a dark chocolate icing. Its origins were the topic of a legendary legal battle waged between Hotel Sacher and Demel bakery, two iconic Viennese establishments. Try a slice at each and see if you can figure out which tastes more ‘original’. Other traditional desserts include Palatschinken, which are sweet crepes with various fillings, or Strudel, a layered pastry filled most often with apples or sweetened quark cheese.

For the ultimate experience in traditional dining, skip the gourmet restaurants and head straight for a Wiener Beisl. These no-frills beer houses serve up hearty classic dishes and are the scenes of lively evenings among locals out for a bite to eat.

One of the more remarkable characteristics of food in Vienna is the refreshing extent to which dishes in the city rely upon local and seasonal ingredients. Interestingly, restaurants do this without labelling themselves as such, which is truly a reflection of the Austrian food philosophy on the whole. A local or seasonal ‘food movement’ cannot be found here because it has been this way since the start. With four distinct seasons, food items vary greatly and are celebrated with unique traditions and even festivals when they become available again with the advent of a new season. The return of pumpkins, chanterelle mushrooms, chestnuts, wild garlic, asparagus, berries, and apricots are especially looked forward to.

Culinary experiences in Vienna – online booking

Drinks and café culture

Vienna Refreshments by RBradburnIn terms of drinks in Vienna, beer, wine, and coffee are the essentials. Starting with the first of the day, coffee plays an integral role in the psyche of the city. The traditional café culture is truly something every visitor must experience. One can sit for hours on end in a Viennese café reading from a wide selection of international newspapers, sipping caffeinated concoctions, and eating pastries and cake. This element of local life is so loved in fact, that UNESCO officially classified it in 2011 as belonging to the ‘intangible cultural heritage’ of the city. The Viennese guard it seriously indeed. Check out Demel, Café Sacher, or Café Central. Between beer and wine, locals prefer the latter. The city’s extensive vineyards make it hard not to, with delicious and affordable wine produced right within the city limits. In autumn, the Viennese go crazy for Sturm, a seasonal drink of wine in its early stages.

Sturm by oksidorAnother quintessential dining experience is that of the Heurigen. These are unique wine taverns in and around Vienna’s vineyards loved for their rustic décor, traditional food, local wine, and outdoor dining gardens, often under a trellis of grape vines. Located mostly in the north of the city, they can be spotted from the outside by an iconic hanging green wreath or branch that indicates they are open for business.

Seeking international options?

Finally, if Viennese cuisine isn’t to your liking, you definitely have other possibilities. The city is full of extensive international options that cater to global palates. A trip to the Naschmarkt alone results in a myriad of restaurant choices from around the world. A new scene on the rise is also challenging the concept and limits of traditional dishes, as restaurants have begun to reinterpret classic cuisine. Places like Österreicher im Mak or Skopik & Lohn have received rave reviews for the new spin they put on Viennese dishes when incorporating daring spices and fusion flair.

One thing is for certain—you will not go hungry in Vienna. Mahlzeit!

Bus by fairbrandi

Transport around Florence

Florence is one of the best destinations in Europe for travellers seeking heaps of culture, great food and pleasant temperatures. Millions pass through this small city every year and getting around has never been easier, with options including public buses, trams, taxis, cars and of course affordable bike rental. You can get from one end of the city to another in no time at all, allowing you to take part in copious amounts of gelato eating and sightseeing in Michelangelo’s playground.

Buses

Public transport is widely used in Florence by locals and foreigners alike. The main line is run by ATAF (the buses are either orange or the newer models are a deep purple and white colour). A single ticket is valid for 90 minutes and there are a variety of options you can choose from. Purchase your tickets from authorised sales points (tobacconists, bars, newsagents: anyone with ‘ATAF’ stickers on their shop windows). You can also buy tickets and maps from the ATAF booth in Piazza Stazione (on the left as you exit the station). Call the ProntoAtaf hotline toll-free within Italy (800 424500) or obtain more information online at www.ataf.net.

Mini bus by Rob MarsonTravelling by bus in Florence can be a frustrating experience. Diverted routes are common, meaning that your journey can often take longer than it should. Rush hour sees most buses packed to the gunnels, and bus services don’t run overnight. Nor are there any specific night buses, but they will occasionally run until late at night if there’s a special city-sponsored event on.

On the plus side, there are plenty buses around, with air conditioning in the summer, and wheelchair accessibility. More and more bus stops now have real-time displays of arrival times, and you can now buy your tickets via SMS on your mobile. Just send a text saying ‘ATAF’ to 4880105 before getting on the bus. The cost of the ticket is 1.20€ plus the cost of the text message, which will vary according to the operator.

When it comes to tickets, if you’re going to be a regular users of the buses, opt for the ‘Carta Agile’. This is a discounted bulk ticket which allows 10 trips for 10€ or 20 trips for 20€. Instead of stamping the card at the machine, you will swipe it in front to start your trip.

Outside of Florence the bus lines are CAP, FlorentiaBus, Lazzi and Sita (now called BusItalia).

Trams

tram by xlibberFlorence only has one electric tram line, the T1, which runs from its own station on Via Alamanni (close to the Santa Maria Novella train station) to the suburbs of Scandicci. Calling in at 14 different stops along the way, an end-to-end journey takes around 25 minutes, operating from 05:30 to midnight every day.

The tram is a frequent, reliable service, and is definitely the easiest way to reach Scandicci. Within the city centre, it stops off at Cascine, Florence’s largest park. You can expect to pay the same for the tram as you would on the bus. The T1 doesn’t operate at night, however – the last tram leaves at midnight.

Taxis

Florence is an unusual city in that it’s not customary to flag down a taxi in the street. Instead, you will need to either find a taxi rank or book ahead (taxis do tend to arrive quickly after you’ve called). There are two major taxi companies in the city – Taxi Radio (tel 055 4499/4390) and Taxi Socota (tel 055 4242 or 055 4798).

Rates tend to be quite confusing, and the best thing to do is confirm the price with the driver as soon as you get into the cab. Bear in mind that there’s a baggage supplement too (currently 1€ per suitcase).

Renting a bike

Navigating Florence by bike is a great way to get to know the city up close, as well as save money on parking and get a little exercise at the same time. There several bike rental options scattered across the city.

Bike by delicategeniusSponsored by the municipality of Florence, the ‘Mille e una Bici’ service was set up to promote the use of bikes by the city’s population. You can pick up a rental bike at various locations, including the central railway station, Campo di Marte and Rifredi railway stations and Piazza Ghiberti. To hire a bike for a whole costs a reasonable 10€.

Private bike hire companies are also to be found, of course. Try Alinari Rental, offering bicycles, mopeds and motorcycles, or ‘Florence by Bike’, renting out both bicycles and scooters.

Take the tourist bus

As in many cities, an ideal way to cover lots of ground with minimal hassle is to jump on the city sightseeing bus. These open top buses take you round the city’s most important monuments, and provide you with multi-lingual audio guides so you can hear a little history along the way. Hop on and hop off as many times as you like, depending on which sights take your fancy.

City Sightseeing Firenze is the operator of the Florence City Sightseeing tours, and clients of GowithOh automatically receive a discount to the service.

Activities & tours in Florence to book online


All Tours & Activities in Florence

Parking in Florence

While public transport is usually a much better option for getting around Florence, there are several parking zones dotted around the historical city centre. Be careful not to drive into town during the ZTL hours (every day apart from Sunday until 19:30). The official website with all the parking information is http://www.firenzeparcheggi.it/.

If you drive along the Arno River, you can park anywhere you see a ‘blue line’/pay parking area – just park and find a machine nearby to buy the ticket. Remember to display it on your windshield.

Shopping in Berlin: the essentials in the German capital

Although Berlin has never been considered as one of the fashion capitals in Europe, the German capital keeps treasures in its larger streets for shopping. The design, marking an alternative clothing style is an innovation that characterises this city makes it an unusual place to shop. Would you like to find out what are the main places for shopping Berlin?

shopping en BerlinIt’s important to note that in Berlin there are many areas where you can go shopping, as there are no specific shopping complexes. The city remains divided because of its recent history: less than 30 years ago was divided in two and therefore the main parts of interest are divided into East and West.

Therefore, when you access Berlin from the highway, it is easy to be confused with the signs for the first exit towards the center where you can go shopping in Berlin. The road is divided in two opposite directions, all towards the centre: one refers to the Mitte district and the other one to the Charlottenburg district.

Whether in Mitte or Charlottenburg, we suggest that you get lost in its streets and go shopping when on a trip to the German capital. Berlin Shopping is an experience worth living so you can mix with the city inhabitants.

The main shopping areas in Berlin

Alexanderplatz

alexanderplatzThe most important commercial district in Berlin Mitte is Alexanderplatz. The square itself is one of the worst examples of overbuilding in Germany, but has always been a meeting place for young Berliners.

After the unification of the city, shops and clothes shops began to appear. Also, there is the Galeria Kaufhof and several large shopping centres such as the Alexa.

Hackescher Market

Hackescher MarktThe second commercial center of the city Hackescher Markt which was created recently, can be found nor far from Alexanderplatz. In the area, in addition to the many cafes there are also many stores, chains or premium brands, particularly regarding the young fashion and luxury fashion.

Fridrichstasse

Quartier 206The last shopping street in the east is the famous Fridrichstrasse. It is known as the 5th Avenue of Berlin for its many shops, houses, offices and cafes. It is the most representative commercial area of the city, as this avenue that has the charm of the imperial history and nineteenth century Berlin.

The most important fashion brands in Germany are located In Fridrichstrasse. Also, you can access the Lafayette Galleries which were designed by Jean Nouvel, and the opulent architecture in black and white marble from the nearby Department store Quartier 206.

Kurfürstendamm

The “Ku’damm” avenue is the ultimate shopping destination in Berlin and is considered one of the most important in Germany. The boulevard is 3.5 km long and stretches from Breitscheidplatz with the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Charlottenburg until Rathenauplatz in Grunewald, where the West Berlin districts begin.

Ku'dammAround Breitscheidplatz, there are many boutiques and shops. In the side streets like Fasanenstrasse, you can visit the most luxurious shopping areas of the city, where there are business and cafes in the historic buildings.

Among the Memorial Church and Adenauerplatz there are many fashion name brands, Lagerfeld for Valentino, Yves Saint Laurent. Furthermore, in Tauentzienstraße, directly in Wittenbergplatz, are the famous department stores Kaufhaus des Westens, known as KaDeWe with seven floors and where you can purchase luxury items.

Schloßstraße

SchloßstraßeThe last major commercial area is located in Berlin’s Steglitz district, south of Berlin. The shopping street is the Schloßstraße (The Steglitz Mix) and is a little tourist place, so we recommend you go if you want to mingle with real Berliners during your day of Berlin shopping.

Here you can also see the famous Titania Palast building, where the first edition of the Berlinale took place.

Even today Berlin has many treasures to be discovered by tourists. Among them are the areas that are excellent for shopping in Berlin. In addition to adding items to dress up your wardrobe it will also be a great opportunity to mingle with Berliners. Not only that, but you can dive deeper into the old downtown areas that once divided Berlin.

Do you already know which of these areas you’ll start your shopping in Berlin? We would like you to share your experiences and tips with other travelers!

currywurst by Accidental Hedonist

Food in Berlin

Berlin has long been a melting pot of culture, brought to boil through its convenient location right in the middle of Europe. That ‘melting pot’ has never been more evident than through Berlin’s beautiful affair with gastronomy – a mixture of styles and influences from across the world. Don’t worry, though, as despite what the analogy implies, Berlin’s proverbial pot has all but melted and the varieties of food to experience in the city has never been greater.

Not your typical German menu

Currywurst by mucksterLike much of German cuisine, Berlin’s traditional fare has a tendency to be filling rather than fussy. Two strong examples of this are Würzfleisch – roasted and spiced meat covered in gravy and cheese and served with bread – and Eisbein, a roasted pig knuckle served with sauerkraut. However, due to Berlin’s incredibly multi-cultural make-up the city has adopted the foods of dozens of nations, and what is traditional in Berlin is now not so clear cut.

Many might argue that the Döner kebab, a snack of Turkish origin, is now as Berliner as the Brandenburg Gate. In fact, it has been reported that it was here in Berlin where the modern-style Döner kebab was first invented. Another peculiar dish specific to Berlin is the Currywurst. Consisting of boiled, then fried pork sausage, drizzled in ketchup and dusted with curry powder, we appreciate the end result doesn’t sound overly satisfying. However, it will surprise you, as this snack has fans all over the world and has become an institution in itself within Berlin. (It even has its own museum in the city!)

Berlin also proudly holds the title of having the most Michelin-starred restaurants in all of Germany. With a grand total of 13 restaurants currently holding this prestige title, when it comes to food, the city outshines its more opulent cousins Munich and Hamburg. The creative ambience that has ushered in so many artists of all kinds over the years is evidently rubbing off on Berlin’s food scene, making the city a true culinary powerhouse.

With so many restaurants to choose from, here are some of our favourites.

6 restaurants worth visiting in the city

The Bird – A lively New York style steakhouse

The Bird is a bar that presents a serious dichotomy. The food couldn’t be less Berlin – as an American-style diner – but the atmosphere, curiously, couldn’t be more Berlin. The amazing steaks and burgers (arguably the best in Berlin) and the Bird’s fair prices attract a clientele from all corners of the city’s society, with the multilingual staff and the cosy ambience keeping them there.Döner Kebab by add1sun

Hasir – where the Döner was first invented

This Kreuzberg institution is worthy of a visit for one thing alone – it is where the Döner kebab as we know it today was first invented. The fresh ingredients and authentic flavours have meant this place has remained a favourite for kebab lovers in Berlin for the last 40 years.

Curry 66 – the spiciest Currywurst in all of Berlin!

This renowned Friedrichshain restaurant is a hotspot in more ways than one. Serving arguably the spiciest Currywurst in town, this diner is always full of fans of the famous dish, if not for the exceptionally charismatic workers who will make you feel at home. The food here really is delicious, although we recommend you start at the bottom of the scale when it comes to the sauces…

Sauvage – something out of the ordinary

Sauvage is a restaurant with a difference, serving only food that aligns perfectly with the diet of Paleolithic man (the first restaurant in the world to do so). Don’t worry, though, as the food isn’t served in the same fashion that cavemen may have enjoyed, but in an exclusive setting where the creative menu and calming ambience work together perfectly to create a dining experience like no other.

pork knuckle by numeniaZum Schusterjungen – traditional Berlin

This typical Berliner restaurant has been serving up traditional food in Prenzlauer Berg for over 90 years. The typical alt-Berliner (old Berlin) style food they serve is as hearty and satisfying as you would expect. A great rustic Berliner atmosphere makes this a quint-essential Berliner Küche and a must on any visit.

Mani – for a little bit of luxury

This restaurant, situated inside the hotel of the same name in Berlin Mitte, offers diners affordable luxury. With an exquisite set-up you can eat fare from all over the globe, exquisitely prepared and fabulously presented. What’s more the amazing food is sold at reasonable prices that won’t leave your wallet empty.

We hope this guide has given you the basics as to what to expect from Berlin’s dynamic food scene. Most importantly, though, be bold with your choices, and don’t be afraid to try something new. After all, that is what Berlin’s all about.

Tram by joefutrelle

Transport around Amsterdam

Given the huge range of transport options to choose from, travelling through Amsterdam is a breeze. Bicycles are the most popular way of getting around (locals say there are more bikes than people in Amsterdam), but trams, buses and the metro system are options too. On the 9292 website you can plan your journey down to the finest detail, whether you want to take the bus, tram, metro, train or even the ferry. Make sure you download their mobile app or visit their mobile website and you’ll be navigating Amsterdam’s streets in no time.

Tram

Tram by Generaal GibsonThe tram system in Amsterdam is one of the largest in Europe. GVB (Gemeentevervoersbedrijf) is the official tram operator, running 16 tram lines traversing the city. Trams run daily from 06:00 to 00:30 (see map of all tram stops across the city). The ‘I Amsterdam’ card gives you unlimited use of GVB transport, which includes trams, buses and the metro, as well as several discounts and free access to attractions across the city. The card costs 42€ a day, 52€ for two days and for three days you’ll pay 62€. You can buy the card at several places, including the tourist information office at Stationsplein 10 and at Ticketshop at Leidseplein. 

Another possible payment option is a PT Smart Card (in Dutch known as an ‘OV Chipkaart’). You can use this electronic card with a built-in chip for Amsterdam trams, buses, metro and trains, which makes getting around the city pretty convenient. Before getting on board, you check in by holding your card up to the screen at the gate, and the same goes before you get off. GVB provides PT Smart Cards for tourists, ranging from one to seven days. A card for one day costs 7.50€ and rates for more days start from 12€ for two days to 32€ for seven days. You don’t need to top up this PT Smart Card with credit, because the fares include unlimited travel within the relevant time period.

If you’d rather explore the city on foot, and don’t plan to use public transport very much, you can buy an anonymous PT Smart Card for 7.50€ at supermarkets and ‘Bruna’ (book shops), which is valid for four to five years. Before you can use this card, top it up with credit at several service points across the city. You should bear in mind that you always have to check in and check out before you board and get off the vehicle. Otherwise, you would have to pay the full boarding rate, which is pretty pricey. If you want more information about the PT Smart Card, take a look at the OV-Chipkaart website.

If you intend to use the tram just once or twice during your stay, you can also buy a single-use disposable ticket direct from the tram driver.

Bus

Bus stop by yozzaGVB operates 55 bus lines in Amsterdam, with buses running from 06:00 till 00:30 every day. Night buses run from 00:30 until 07:00. You’ll see Amsterdam’s main bus station when you walk out of Central Station (a train station) heading towards the city centre. Bus timetables are on display at every bus stop in the city.

Metro

Because Amsterdam’s a relatively small city, only four metro lines operate across it. Even though the metro is a fast and convenient way of travelling, in Amsterdam it’s more useful when you want to travel to the outlying districts rather than around the city centre. The metro runs from 06:00 till 12:30 and has a total of 52 metro stops.

Bicycle

Riding a bike is often thought of as a typical Dutch activity, and in Amsterdam the stereotype is certainly very much in evidence. If you fancy seeing the city on two wheels, you’ll find plenty of bike rental places all over the city. Rates vary per company, but an average bike rental costs 10€ per day, depending on the type of model you want to hire.

Taxi

In October 2012 new taxi standards were put in place by the municipality of Amsterdam, meaning that taxi drivers must be registered members of an Approved Taxi Organisation. You’ll be able to spot these legit taxis by their black colour, roof light with a unique number and blue license plate.

A taxi ride consists of three parts: a connection fee, the price per kilometre and a price for the duration of the trip. The maximum connection fee is 2.83€, the maximum rate per kilometre is 2.08€ and you pay 0.34€ per minute for the maximum time rate. You can either hail a cab in the street or find one at one of the 60 official taxi sites in the city (marked with blue signs saying ‘P-taxi’).

Ferry

ferry by David SpenderThe ferry takes you on a boat trip over Lake IJ for free and transports you to various locations, like the IJplein (square near the IJ). The lake separates the heart of Amsterdam from Amsterdam-North and you can find the ferries right behind the Central Station. If you’re worried about getting seasick, you’ll be pleased to know the trip takes just five minutes. The ferries run every day, every quarter hour. You can plan your ferry ride at the official website of GVB.