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Avoid Tourist Crowds and Lines in Europe with these Simple Tips

Avoid Tourist Crowds and Lines in Europe with these Simple Tips

If you have ever been to a major tourist attraction – whether in a big city or at a rural site, it does not really make a difference – then you will know that standing on your feet, in the sun, waiting in a long line can be an absolute kill joy. It can zap the life right out of you when all you will want to do is take a nap after a long, well-deserved foot massage. And, if that sounds melodramatic, then perhaps you have never been in this situation before, because it seems to be a universal experience.

standing in line

The good news is that there are definitely tricks of the trade to avoid these scenarios to begin with, if you know what you are doing of course. Let’s take a quick look at some ways to avoid the long lines. Be warned, in some cases, there is simply no getting around the fact that there will be lines, but you can still lessen the load in pretty much every case.

Know the seasons, and go when the tide is low

Just like how the tide rises and falls like a sin curve with the day and night cycle, so too does the current of tourists at different times of the year. Typically, family trips peak in the summer, when schools get off. In Europe, August is usually the time when the breadwinners of the family take their allotted time off to tour other parts of Europe and the world. Holiday seasons such as Halloween and Easter time are obviously other periods when things get busy.

Thus, to avoid the busiest times, go when others are not. This applies to days of the week, as well. Weekends will be busier at the British Museum than say, on a Tuesday morning. Going later in the day to see the Leaning Tower of Pisa will probably mean fewer people as well.

Plan in Advance

If you make reservations at certain sites, your benefit of foresight will allow you to skip some freakishly long lines that can seem downright endless. Some notorious cases in Europe of snake-like lines include Rome’s Vatican Museum, Florence’s famous galleries (the Accademiaand the Uffizi), the Picasso Museum in Barcelona, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris. These are just to name a few, of course, but bypassing these lines is as simple as doing a bit of homework and getting advance reservations. Make sure to smile at the poor souls in line as you bypass, because they just might be grumpy to see you getting through so easily. And saving time and energy this way means you will be good to go, fully taking advantage of those Rome Opera Tickets you managed to nab.

Look for Shortcuts

No, this does not mean cutting a line, or doing anything illegal. However, there usually are unorthodox ways around things and strategies that reward you for not just following the herd. Side doors, guided tours, a different ticket vendor with shorter lines, or special combo passes that will let you bypass waits. The Louvre, for example, has a secondary, underground entrance, while Venice’s St. Mark’s Basilica has a bag check pass (as long as you have something to check) that lets you skip to the front of the line.

The top attractions in Europe are notorious for long lines and extended waits so be sure to know the best time to visit, plan in advance and look for shortcuts and you’ll be on your way to getting more time for enjoyment and less time standing around.

Spending time in Greece

Spending time in Greece

Although the country is going through a crisis, it is still a place you will enjoy spending time.

Spending time in Greece will not be a costly affair, but you should make it a point to plan ahead of time and follow a fixed routine so that you enjoy your time in Greece.

If you are looking for some ideas, here is a list for you!

Santorini Architecture

If you want to cherish your wedding beginnings, you should think about Santorini Architecture because it has a stunning picturesque view where you will notice deep-blue water, spectacular sunsets, multicolored cliffs, blue-domed churches and white-washed homes.

If you choose the west coast, you will find upmarket celebrity settlements. This means that you will have to shell out slightly more to be on the west coast. So, if you have a low budget, you should choose the east coast.

Meteora

Not many know that the Eastern Orthodox monks have found the perfect asylum in Meteora. Here, you will see rock pillars that are scattered but are not accessible. However, the sculpted landscape will help you find peace.

So, if you are looking for an ideal place for spiritual contemplation, you should consider visiting Meteora.

Little Venice

Whenever we hear the word ‘Venice’, you will notice that pure, love-related feelings flow in our mind. Little Venice is no different. With a vibrant atmosphere, you will feel like spending a romantic day with your partner in this location.

At the same time, this place has found popularity because it is a great party destination for celebrities and fashionistas. So, if you want to get crazy and let your hair down in Greece, this place should be on your list.

Beaches of Crete

Beaches of Crete are not just like any beach in this world. They are different and you will feel the difference when you remove your shoes and slippers and walk in white sand and feel the cold breeze take you to another world where you can enjoy the soothing environment and look around at the vast stretches of rocky and sandy gold coastlines to coves with glistening colored pebbles.

It is an ideal spot to be with the kids. Make sand castle buildings with your kids or click some selfies with a clear background to make it a perfect vacation for self and your family.

Benaki Museum

For lovers of art, Benaki Museum is a great spot. This is not a people-packed museum, but it gives a holistic portrayal of Greece where you will witness the country’s artistic and cultural transformation. So, if you are interested in it, you should mark it and visit Benaki Museum.

Mount Olympus

If you are looking for adventure in Greece and have some experience, Mount Olympus should be an ideal spot for you.

Remember, if you want to climb Mount Olympus, you should have the necessary gear and accessories. Buy them from Target.com at a discount. Also, look for coupons for Target.com for an additional discount at Chameleon John.

Have you visited Greece in the past? If yes, which spot was the most interesting in your case?

A Grecian Tour: The Ionian Islands

A Grecian Tour: The Ionian Islands

Some say the Ionian Islands provide the best sailing routes of the entire Mediterranean. With light winds, beautiful scenery and protected waters, the islands make for one of the best yacht charters for beginners. There are many sites and routes that are unspoiled by tourists and are considered some of the most tranquil areas for a Greek holiday.

Begin your yacht journey from Corfu. From Corfu visit Plataria, just 51 kilometres away. Here you can fish your day away and in the evening eat your weight in prawns and watch the sun set over Corfu. You can’t possibly get anything better than that.

Kefalonia sea

Get adventurous in Sivota with mountain biking, waterskiing, wakeboarding and other water sports. The water is warm and gentle but with perfect breezes off the coast, which make this island ideal for water activities. With clear waters and sheltered bays, snorkelling and scuba diving are particularly popular in Sivota. Venture off the beaten path and discover coves, wondrous green hills and secluded beaches.

The stunning islands of Paxos and Antipaxos are just 16 kilometres from Corfu. Paxos is considered the smallest island of the Ionians; its small island charm means no hotel resorts or cheesy bars but rather strings of olive trees, fishing villages, beachfronts and boutique villas. When you’re on land, you can always find a grocery shop to stock up on provisions.

Assos, Kefalonia

The west coast of Paxos consists of limestone and caves but the east is everything but. There are 30 beaches that are reachable by car or on foot, and others only by boat. You can try your hand at some water sports, but other than that, there’s not too much excitement happening on Paxos, which is all part of the appeal.

For an extended trip, head down to Lefkas, Meganissi, Ithaca and Kefalonia, the southern Ionian Islands. Fortunately, the winds in the south Ionian are light and easy for those beginning to sail.

In Lefkas, as you walk around the town you can enjoy the smell of fresh, Mediterranean flowers, olive oil and other cuisines. Take some time to delight in the architecture, clear waters and the locals.

The beaches in Ithaca aren’t perhaps Ionian’s absolute finest, but this is made up for with an abundance of hiking trails.

Myrtos Beach, Kefalonia

Kefalonia is the largest of the Ionian Islands and it’s a popular tourist place surrounded by small villages, monasteries, breathtaking landscape and, of course, beaches. One of the most visited spots is Melissani Cave. Enter through an underground path and tour the cave by boat. Thanks to the size of the islands, there are plenty of activities to take part, but alternatively you can simply anchor down and take in the overall splendour.

There are many destinations when planning a yacht charter holiday, but nothing is quite as beautiful as the Ionian Sea. The Ionian Islands are full of charm, azure waters, stunning cliffs, greenery and sites you can’t miss. Sail your way through these islands and get lost in the Greek culture, cuisine and the Mediterranean Sea.

Cruising through the Christmas markets in Europe

Cruising through the Christmas markets in Europe

There are many river cruises across Europe to choose from but one of the most original ones are just about to start, mainly the Christmas markets river cruises. Christmas markets originated in Germany and Austria and that’s where the cruises or trips usually start. Here are the top three Christmas markets in Europe, which are visited by scores of tourists each year both by road and river.

Nuremberg-Christmas-Market-

Nuremberg, Germany

Christkindlesmarkt is a Christmas market that is held annually in Nuremberg. It takes place during Advent in the Hauptmarkt, the central square in Nuremberg’s old town, and in adjoining squares and streets. With about two million visitors a year this Christmas event is one of the largest markets in German and one of the most famous in the world. Every year the Christmas market begins on Friday preceding the first Sunday in Advent and ends on December 24th, unless that day is a Sunday.

Nuremberg+Christmas+Market

Vienna, Austria

At the traditional Vienna Magic of Advent, the Rathauusplatz becomes a shining fairy tale land. The 150 or so sales stands offer Christmas gifts, Christmas tree decorations, sweets and warming drinks. The trees of the surrounding City Hall park are festively decorated and radiate in a sea of lights. There are lots of offers here for children in particular.

Other highlights in Vienna over the Christmas period include the festive illuminations of the historic Shoenbrunn Palace (a former home of Austrian Emperors) which provides a stunning backdrop to the Schoenbrunn Christmas Village which also has many market stalls as well as festive concerts to get you in the holiday mood. Possibly the most authentic Christmas Market of Vienna is the Spittelberg market in the historic quarter; specialities include local handicrafts. The markets typically begin from 17th November until Christmas Eve, and are open from 9am until 9pm, giving you plenty of time to explore.

Vienna-Christmas-markets

Vienna christmas market

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest Christmas markets are a great place to find quality folk trinkets, decorations and gifts. You can find there everything from gloves, woollen hats, candles, jewellery and decorative iron products. After browsing the stalls, refuel with local cuisine and Hungarian specialities such as sweet pastries, Kurtoskalacs, roast chestnuts, and warm mulled wine. Head to the front of Gerbeaudcafe to soak up the festive atmosphere, here you’ll find street entertainers and performers, dancers, brass bands, choirs and string orchestras all popular each winter.

The highlight of the Budapest Christmas market is the musical Advent calendar, where you can look into the Gerbeaud House windows to find contemporary works of art which at 5pm are opened and accompanied with beautiful lights, impressive fanfares and beautiful chimes. In the nearby square, a giant Christmas tree and advent wreath can also be found: the perfect photo opportunity. There’s plenty to do for young market goers too; children can enjoy puppet shows, play houses, Father Christmas games and other child friendly entertainment.

Budapest_ChristmasMarket_BIG

Mulled-Wine-at-the-Budapest-Christmas-market

Spice Up Your Holiday Break With A River Cruise Vacation

Spice Up Your Holiday Break With A River Cruise Vacation

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Uncovering the perfect places to stay in Malta: A traveller’s guide

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