Zagreb Capital of Croatia

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zagreb

In and around Zagreb

Zagreb makes for a wonderful city-break destination regardless of what time of the year it is you’re visiting. As Croatia’s capital, and with a thriving population of 800,000, there is always something to do, something to see, and enough people – some 700,000 people visit Zagreb each year – to ensure that the city is always accompanied by the bustling thrum of life in a historic yet modern city.

Things to do in Zagreb for the Budget Conscious

What makes Zagreb such an attractive destination is it doesn’t require vast amounts of cash to be enjoyed; unlike Paris, London, or other historic capital cities, the relatively young tourism life of Zagreb means that prices around the city are cheaper than elsewhere. As such, it’s a great destination for travelers who want to experience a great city without spending the earth. Here are some of our favorite things to do in Zagreb on a budget and advice on sticking with your financial capabilities.

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How to Save Money

Every traveler has different methods of saving money on the road; some avoid expensive restaurants, some walk or bicycle around the city instead of using taxis, and some forgo the purchase of souvenirs so they can avoid at another glass of wine at the bar. Whatever you’re willing to give up is your decision. However, there are a number of steps you can take before you arrive to help keep costs down.
Number one is to book your flights well in advance and, if possible, stay flexible as to when you fly; flights leaving early in the morning/late at night and during the week can be much cheaper than daytime flights on – or either side of – a weekend. Also ensure that you exchange your local currency into Croatian Kuna before you head to the airport as charges at the airport or from a bank in Croatia will be much more expensive than elsewhere. Finally, make sure you have sufficient travel insurance to protect you against unexpected injury or accident – if something goes wrong, you don’t want to be out of pocket, after all.

Museum of Contemporary Art

Don’t worry if you’re not in Zagreb on a Wednesday, when admission to the Museum of Contemporary Art is free – when there is a charge it is only 30HRK for adults and 15HRK for concessions (that’s around $5/2.50). The largest contemporary art museum in Croatia, the museum’s life began in 1954 and today houses over 12,000 objects by world-renowned Croatian artists.

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Museum of Broken Relationships

The charge of 25HRK is a small price to pay for entry into one of Europe’s unique museums. Winner of the Kenneth Hudson Award for most innovative museum in Europe in 2011, the Museum of Broken Relationships is dedicated to chronicling various facets of one of the most traumatic experiences of modern life: the break-up. Take a stroll through this museum if either suffering from heart-ache or, if you’re loved up, to take a peek into other people’s misery.

Shop at the Flea Market

While the inclusion of shopping means that this activity isn’t completely free, you can still buy a gift and save money by doing your shopping at one of the flea markets that dot the city. Head to Britanski trg on Saturday and Sunday mornings for a great atmosphere and enough cultural oddities to ensure you’ll never leave empty handed (but, crucially, with most of the money in your wallet intact!). Alternatively, head just outside the city center to Hrelic/Jakusevac for the biggest flea market in the city, where you can pick up just about anything you can think of.

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Take in a Free Event

Zagreb is teeming with free cultural performances throughout the year. In the summer months you’ll find music concerts (in all genres), public dances, and, in Upper Town, acting troupes recounting the history of the city in full period costumes.

Climb a Mountain

The mountain of Medvednica lies just outside the city, and offers a great opportunity to get into Croatia’s natural beauty and hike. It’ll take between 1.5 and 2.5 hours, depending on speed, and can be quite strenuous, but it’s worth it for the unforgettable views it affords of the city. Make sure you take appropriate footwear and plenty of water with you, especially in the summer, and be prepared for whole excursion to take an entire afternoon of more.

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Run on sun-tours in autumn holidays

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Run op strandvakantie 2

Run on sun-tours in autumn holidays

Run op strandvakantie 1

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Luxurious W Hotel Amsterdam has first rooftop pool of the city.

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In the former post office on the Spuistraat has the luxurious W Hotel Amsterdam opened its doors.

W hotel Amsterdam 1

Besides high rooms, restaurants and lobby is the pool on the roof of the hotel something that jumps properly in the eye. With the Royal Palace on the Dam Square and opposite neighbor is the first ‘rooftop’ pool in the city. 22 meters long, and heated in the winter. Next to the pool on the sixth floor is the lobby, which features glass walls, ceilings and a 360 degree view over the city.

Rooftop+Amsterdams hotel

While spending a night at the hotel soon will cost 400 euros, the pool is also open for Amsterdam residents. “The pool is part of our W Lounge,” says a spokeswoman for the hotel. “We sincerely hope that it can be a hotspot where Amsterdammers come. Anyone who buy a drink in our lounge is free to enter the water. “

The grand opening of the W Hotel Amsterdam is on 22 October.

Source: Het Parool

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Hilton London Metropole

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Stay in the heart of London

Hilton London Metropole 1

Hilton London Metropole has a modern leisure club and executive lounge. The hotel is a 15-minute walk from Oxford Street, and just 600 metres from Paddington Station.

Hilton London Metropole 2

he rooms at Hilton London Metropole have LCD TVs with on demand movies and wireless internet access. All rooms feature a private bathroom with toiletries, tea/coffee facilities and air conditioning.

Hilton London Metropole 3

The stylish Fiamma Restaurant offers an international menu and Sports Bar. Guests can also enjoy cocktails, a full food menu, and ice cold beverages.

Hilton London Metropole 3a

The LivingWell Health Club features an indoor swimming pool, sauna, steam room and sports shop. There is also a fully equipped gym, and an on-site hair and beauty salon with treatment rooms.

Hilton London Metropole 4

Hilton London Metropole is a 2-minute walk from Edgware Road Underground Station. Madame Tussauds is a 15-minute stroll away, and leafy Hyde Park is just half a kilometer away.

Hilton London Metropole 5

Westminster is a great choice for travellers interested in shopping, theatre and monuments.

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A three-day London Break

London, Westminster Bridge near the Houses of Parliament
Westminster Bridge near the Houses of Parliament is the ideal spot to start a quickie tourist visit to London you can get your bearings from this bridge over the Thames River.

There’s plenty to see and d in London. Here’s a list of what you can realistically cover in a three-day break.

London is one of the most-visited cities in Europe, attracting 17.4 million visitors from abroad last year and boasting enough attractions for a three-week stay. Yet many people come for just three days.

There is more than enough to see and do. But it takes some discipline to tick the boxes in only three days. The following is a blueprint for a three-day visit.

Tower Bridge, London

DAY ONE

The tourism hotspot and ideal starting point to explore the city is a bridge. The whole world meets up at the 250-metre-long Westminster Bridge.

Here you’ll probably see a Chinese travel group led by a woman signalling with her black umbrella, or Indian newly-weds having their picture taken a few metres away by a photographer, with the Houses of Parliament in the background. A Scotsman in a kilt might be playing the German folk song, “Muss i denn,” on bagpipes.

The giant ferris wheel London Eye is one of the newer tourist attractions. A ride on it is more meditative experience than adrenaline kick. The cabins move so slowly you hardly notice they are turning at all.

One time around takes 40 minutes. While taking the ride, you’ll get a good view of the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, and then suddenly you’ll be at eye level with the face of the clock on the tower of Big Ben at Westminster Palace. That’s the point when the smartphones are pulled out and people start taking selfies with the huge tower in the background.

The London Eye ferris wheel

DAY TWO

This should be a day for the classics. One of these is the Horse Guards, the soldiers sitting atop horses and guarding the entrance to Buckingham Palace. Except for the changing of the guards at 11am – an hour earlier on Sundays – there is not a whole lot going on there.

The uniformed soldiers with their white gloves, shiny breastplates and equally gleaming helmets are not there for a chat. Selfies in front of the Horse Guards are highly popular.

Those in a hurry will hustle directly from the Horse Guards on over to Buckingham Palace. But such haste can be tiring. Much better is to take a break the way many Londoners do. The lawns of St. James Park are there for relaxation with deckchairs to rent. And as long as it is not raining, there is a lot going on there every day.

After a break, stroll to Great Russell Street and to the mother of all museums, the British Museum, where to this day entrance is free of charge. The first crowd of people will be found in front of a display case on the ground floor admiring the Rosetta Stone, which scholars used to decipher the Egyptian hieroglyphs.

Today, the Rosetta Stone is just one of thousands of items of world-class renown at the British Museum. To try to see everything would be madness, or better stated, impossible. Just the special exhibitions are interesting enough.

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DAY THREE

This should be a day for contrasts. Oxford Circus is the ideal spot for shopping junkies to get off the bus. This is where Regent Street and Oxford Street, London’s two most important shopping streets, intersect.

It is said that nowhere else in Europe is so much money spent as on Oxford Street. That may be. And nowhere else is there so much traffic. There is an enormous choice of department stores, franchises and fashion shops and labels to choose from – everything from discount places like Topshop to the largest single store of Marks & Spencers to the classic department store Selfridges, which also features the largest men’s shoes department in the world.

After so much shopping, those needing to clear their minds are best advised to head outside the city a bit into some greenery. A good destination is Kew Gardens, the royal botanical garden. It’s very British: female visitors like to show up in flowery dresses and a large hat.

The gardeners get around on small black bicycles because the grounds are so huge. Some 120 hectares are home to around 40,000 plant species. There are beds and beds of sumptuous roses, and greenhouses with plants from around the world. The palm house built in 1848 is the place for tropical plants including lush mango and fig trees.

One of the oddities of Kew Gardens is the constant roar of the low-flying planes on their way to land at an Heathrow Airport some 5 kilometres away. This is disturbing on at least two levels. First, because plane noise is so out of place in such a lovely setting. And second, because it is a painful reminder to the tourist that the time for the return flight home is getting nearer.

Source: The Nation

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