Paris – Ideal weekend break

PARIS

Paris, the City of Love! With its gorgeous architecture, stunning skyline and amazing food, you will be spoilt for choice for things to do in this vibrant city. There is something for everything with the city’s wide array of restaurants, exciting tourist attractions, stunning architecture and local French cuisine – there’s plenty to do!

Our top things to do in Paris this winter:

VISIT THE EIFFEL TOWER

It wouldn’t be a trip to Paris with seeing one of its most famous attractions – The Eiffel Tower. Constructed in 1889 – it took two years, two months and five days to build, with 7,3000 tonnes of iron used and 60 tonnes of paint – phew! Today it stands at 1063 feet, 31 feet higher than when originally built. The Eiffel Tower boasts breath-taking views of Paris from three different floors, including a variety of restaurants, gift-shops and a champagne and Macaroon bar. Definitely a must-see!

TRY LOCAL FRENCH CUISINE – CHEZ TRASSOUDAINE

If you’re after some local cuisine in a cosy family environment to warm up from the cold, then Chez Trassoudaine is just the place for you. Situated just west of Notre Dame, this family-run restaurant was established in 1970 and has a gorgeous aesthetic. The space is designed around the bar, with a large dining room on one side and a glass-roofed winter garden on the other. You can sample their famous potatoes sautéed in goose fat or maybe chow down on some fresh fish delivered daily from the fish market. Yum!

TAKE A BALLOON RIDE IN PARC ANDRÉ-CITROËN

If the Eiffel Tower isn’t your thing, then why not experience the gorgeous Parisian views from a hot air balloon ride situated in Parc André-Citroën. The park is in the 15e district of Paris and was founded in 1992. It is located on the site of a former Citroën factory and is named after André Citroën, founder of Citroën Cars (fun fact)!

The 10-minute hot air balloon ride rises up to 300m high and fits up to 30 passengers. An adult ticket costs from €12 which can be added onto your break!

WANDER AROUND THE LOUVRE MUSEUM

The Louvre is the world’s largest art museum and is home to Davinci’s famous Mona Lisa painting, as well as a whole collection of western art from the Middle Ages – 19th century.

Amble around the aisles soaking up the history and culture that it has to offer or have some lunch in the grounds while taking in the stunning glass architecture of the Louvre Palace. Tickets are from €17 and the Louvre is open every day except Tuesdays.

Introduction to Berlin

Introduction to Berlin

Berlin is an astonishing city where events have taken place that have had a colossal effect around the rest of Europe. It has been scarred by war, split in two and reunited, but the Berlin of today is a vibrant 24-hour city crammed full of museums, art galleries, quirky hotels and other cultural delights. It has shaken off its years of oppression with such vigour that it has taken on a trendiness which has been compared with 80s New York, making it the perfect city break destination for those in search of both culture and fun.

The Brandenburg Gate

Berlin’s most famous and symbolic landmark

 

 

 

The Berlin Wall

The remains are best viewed at the Eastside Gallery or the Berlin Wall Memorial

 

 

 

The Reichstag

 

 

The seat of the German parliament, with 360 degree rooftop views

 

Other things to do in Berlin

For a fascinating insight into Berlin’s turbulent 20th century history, head to Checkpoint Charlie, the only crossing point between East and West Berlin while The Wall divided the city. For a wider historical overview, try the Story of Berlin, which charts the fortunes of the city from when it was first founded right up to the fall of the Berlin Wall, and includes a 1970s nuclear bunker from the Cold War Era.

 

Don’t miss the Gendarmenmarkt, famed as one of Europe’s most impressive squares and home to the Konzerthaus, the primary venue of the Berlin Symphony Orchestra. During the festive season, this is where you’ll find Berlin’s most charming Christmas markets, and it’s the ideal place to stop for a coffee at any time of year. Hotels in Berlin are hip, trendy and range from the super cheap to the extravagant.

 

For stunning views of Berlin, get the lift to the top of Germany’s tallest building, the TV Tower, where you can even enjoy a meal in a revolving restaurant which offers incomparable views while you dine.

Eating and drinking in Berlin

In Germany the simple yet satisfying sausage has traditionally been the most popular item on the menu for inexpensive eating. In Berlin it has been transformed into the local speciality Currywurst – a thick, smoked sausage smothered in curried tomato sauce. Whether you’re after sausages or a choice of international cuisine, eating out in Berlin is cheap by European standards, and Oranienburger Street is a good place to start. Beer is Berlin’s most traditional drink (the country boasts about 40% of the world’s breweries), so wherever you go you can be sure you are getting a locally made product, often with a distinctive style. The “Berliner Weiße” (beer with juice) is a well-known variant.

Berlin climate

Berlin’s climate is continental; the winters are cold and the summers are hot. If you’re waiting for sunny weather, you should go between April and the end of September. Temperatures can reach 32°C in July.

When to go to Berlin

Berlin has cultural festivals running all year round, the most notable of which is the Berlin International Film Festival, the world’s third largest film festival, which takes place in February each year with around twelve days of old, new, art house and mainstream cinema. Visit in the summer for the best weather, or December for the famous Christmas markets.

 

Turkey latest update 03-01-2016

On 1 January 2017, there was an attack on the Reina nightclub in Ortakoy, Istanbul, causing a large number of casualties. There is an ongoing police operation in Istanbul as a result of the attack, and the attacker may still be at large. You should exercise vigilance and caution at this time, and follow the advice and instructions of the security authorities.


The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces
the provinces of Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari
On 1 January 2017, there was an attack on the Reina nightclub in Ortakoy, Istanbul, causing a large number of casualties. There is an ongoing police operation in Istanbul as a result of the attack, and the attacker may still be at large. You should exercise vigilance and caution at this time, and follow the advice and instructions of the security authorities.

On 17 December 2016, a car bomb exploded in the city of Kayseri, near Cappadocia. 13 people, mostly soldiers, were killed and over 50 people injured.

On 29 October 2016, the US Department of State ordered the departure of family members of employees posted to the US Consulate General in Istanbul due to security information indicating extremist groups continue aggressive efforts to attack US citizens in Istanbul. British diplomatic missions in Turkey continue to operate as normal. You should remain vigilant and monitor travel advice.

British nationals made over 2.4 million visits to Turkey in 2015. It’s generally safe to travel to Turkey, but you should take additional safety precautions. Be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with foreign nationals, including during festival periods such as Christmas and New Year.

Rallies and demonstrations, official and unofficial, may take place at short notice. You should stay well away from any demonstrations.

The situation has calmed following an attempted coup on 15 to 16 July 2016. But the security environment remains potentially volatile and a state of emergency is in place.

In some busy areas, especially Istanbul, the Turkish authorities are stopping members of the public to conduct ID checks. There’s also a larger than usual number of police checkpoints on main roads across Turkey. You should co-operate with officials conducting checks, and keep your passport and a printed copy of your e-visa or your residence permit with you at all times.

Terrorism
There is a high threat from terrorism. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks. Further attacks are likely and could be indiscriminate.

There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey. You should co-operate fully with security officials at airports.

Most terrorist attacks have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. Attacks are most likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations. Nevertheless, it’s likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities.

The Turkish authorities have successfully disrupted attack planning in the recent past and have said that security has been tightened in response to recent attacks. But further attacks are likely and could be indiscriminate.

You should be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.

See Terrorism.

British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports who arrive at sea ports for tourist visits to the port city or nearby cities, provided that the visit doesn’t exceed 72 hours.

If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website. Avoid unauthorised websites as they may charge an additional fee. Some unauthorised websites have issued fake e-Visas.

If you don’t have an e-Visa you can still get a visa on arrival for £20 in cash, although the visa on arrival service is due to be phased out. Getting an e-Visa from the official website before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border, or when boarding your flight in the UK. See Entry requirements

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

London – Introduction

London has five airports, Gatwick Airport, Heathrow Airport, London City Airport, Luton and Stansted Airport. London City Airport is the closest airport to Central London located in the Royal Docks however both Gatwick and Heathrow Airport have direct, express train services which reach Central London in less than 30 minutes.

Tower of London

Tower of London

Visit the Crown Jewels, spot the legendary six Ravens and take a Beefeater tour around this historic castle

London Eye at Night

London Eye

The giant 135m wheel on the South Bank offers panoramic views across London.

Buckingham Palace

Buckingham Palace

The Queens’ official residence, tour Buckingham Palace and watch the Changing of the Guard.

Other things to do in London

London is known for its vast selection of museums, the majority of which are free to visit. The Science Museum, National History Museum and the British Museum are some of the best in the world. For fashion and the arts you will have the Design Museum, the Fashion and Textile Museum and the Victoria and Albert Museum which one of the most influential art and design museums in the world with an exciting selection of temporary fashion and arts exhibitions. London has an abundance of speciality museums; the Pollock Toy Museum, The Vault at Hard Rock Cafe, the Magic Circle Museum and the Bank of England Museum are just a few of the many you have to choose from.

Read more: Top 10 things to do in London

For shopping in London there’s the world famous Harrods department store, and of course Hamley’s for toys. Oxford Street is the main shopping street in London full of popular brands, Bond Street is the spot for exclusive designer brands and London’s markets are a must for something a little different. Some of the must visits include Alfie’s Antique Market is an indoor market in a bold Edwardian building with over 70 vintage and antique vendors, Camden Market – London’s most popular market and Covent Garden Market.

Escape the busy streets of London with the city’s many parks. The 350 acre Hyde Park is home to Serpentine Lake which offers pedal and rowing boat rides, and lots of sculptures and fountains, including the Diana Memorial Fountain. You will find the London Zoo and Queen Mary’s Gardens which has over 400 varieties of roses in Regent’s Park and St James’s Park which has daily pelican feedings is a great place to stop off after watching the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace.

Although many of London’s attractions appeal to all ages there are lots of things especially for children throughout the city, including Kidzania, Shrek’s Adventure, Hoxton Street Monster Supplies, the Sea Life Centre and Ripley’s London.

Read more: 10 things for kids to see and do in London

Eating and drinking in London

London is a cornucopia of cuisines, from street food to Michelin-starred restaurants with celebrity chefs, and champagne bars to historical pubs you will be spoilt for choice.

Read more: 12 of the Best Restaurants in London

For a truly London experience, you can’t miss out on a traditional afternoon tea during your visit, served at hotels and restaurants throughout the city. Fortnum and Mason is the place to go if you want a great selection of teas, head to The Ritz if you want to enjoy a traditional formal tea, and The Shard for views over London and an oriental take on the traditional afternoon tea.

The street food in London is easily some of the best in the city, offering a range of worldwide cuisines to suit everyone’s tastes. Take a look at our guide to the best London street food.

Read more: Best London Street Food

London climate

London has a temperate climate which results in warm summers and mild winter. London has an urban heat island effect, the hottest month is July with average highs of 24°c, and the coldest month is January, with average lows of 5°c.

Rainfall is low when compared to the rest of the UK and other European cities such as Rome and Naples. Between October and January there’s on average 10 days of rain, this falls to 8 days each month during March to September.

When to go to London

London’s mild climate, relatively low rainfall and abundance of both indoor and outdoor attractions means London is the perfect destination no matter what time of year it is.

London has a full events calendar with numerous exhibitions, events, carnivals and festivals happening throughout the year so it’s worth checking to see what’s on in advance of your trip. The famous Notting Hill Carnival takes place each August, and the London Bushstock Festival is in June.

If you’re heading to London in winter for shopping you will see the city come to life with Christmas spirit through ice-rinks, lights, Christmas markets and fairs.

Flying to London

As one of the world’s premier cities, flights to London are readily available from destinations around the world.  Heathrow and Gatwick Airport offer direct bus, train and taxi links to the capital.

Paris – Introduction

Paris is often referred to as ‘the City of Love’, and it’s not hard to see why. Its elegant streets and lofty landmarks exude a dreamlike quality as well as oodles of style and sophistication. The city has been an important hub since Roman times, later becoming the political, cultural and economic centre of France. But it’s the romantic ambience, immortalised in such films as Jean-Pierre Jeunet’s Amelie, that makes Paris so popular with visitors today. Whether it’s taking a romantic stroll along the River Seine or soaking up the artistic atmosphere of Montmartre, Paris has everything the heart could desire for the perfect weekend away.

The Eiffel Tower

The Eiffel Tower

Spectacular views of Paris from the top, and well worth queuing for.

The Louvre

The Louvre

A priceless collection of antiquities and art, including Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa.

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

The mighty Gothic cathedral that inspired Victor Hugo’s Hunchback novel.

Other things to do in Paris

Paris is crammed with world-famous landmarks, so there is no shortage of things to see during your visit. The Champs-Elysees is a good place to start, with the grand Arc de Triomphe at one end and the Place de la Concorde and Jardin de Tuileries at the other, down by the romantic River Seine.

 

The Louvre is by no means the only famous art gallery in Paris, with the Musee d’Orsay housing another noteworthy collection which includes masterpieces such as Monet’s Water Lilies. Paris is also renowned for being one of the world’s great fashion capitals, and is a great place to indulge in a shopping spree, whether in the Haute Couture shops of the Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honore or the bargain-filled Parisian flea markets.

 

No trip to Paris would be complete without spending some time in Montmartre, the city’s artisan district. Walk up to the Sacre Coeur, the impressive church built on the highest point in Paris. There are stunning views over the city, as well as a bustling square filled with artists selling their work. Not far from here you will also find the famed Moulin Rouge, the setting for Baz Luhrmann’s acclaimed film of the same name.

 

Eating and drinking in Paris

France is celebrated for its fine cuisine, and Paris is no exception. However much or however little you want to spend, a delicious meal is easy to come by. Start the day with coffee and a croissant in one of the many cafes and patisseries for which Paris is famous. For lunch on a budget, try a traditional French bistro or even a hearty snack such as a crepe or baguette from a street vendor in the tourist centre. A candlelit dinner in a Parisian restaurant is a romantic way to end a day of touring this dreamy city, with many offering fixed price menus for three or four courses along with delicious French wine.

 

Paris climate

Paris generally has a pleasant climate, though summers are rather hot, and snow is not unheard of in winter. Rainfall is unpredictable, with sudden downpours liable to catch you out throughout the year. Book hotels in Paris at any time of the year and you are sure to find something to love.

 

When to go to Paris

Paris can be visited at any time of year, though temperatures soar in August causing many Parisians to escape the city, meaning that some shops and restaurants may be closed. The spring months from April to June are the best time to visit, when the weather is most comfortable.

 

Flying to Paris

Flights to Paris usually land in one of two main airports, both of which enjoy easy access via a range of public transport to central Paris. Charles de Gaulle, 30km from the city centre, is the primary hub, while Orly is closer at 18km away; some budget airlines fly to Beauvais, which is less convenient at 75km from central Paris.

Turkey – latest travel advice 08/08/16

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) advise against all travel to within 10 km of the border with Syria and to the city of Diyarbakir.

The FCO advise against all but essential travel to:

  • the remaining areas of Sirnak, Mardin, Sanliurfa, Gaziantep, Diyarbakir, Kilis and Hatay provinces
  • Siirt, Tunceli and Hakkari

Security force operations against the PKK and related groups are ongoing in Diyarbakir. The FCO advise against all travel to the city of Diyarbakir. Similar operations have taken place in Sirnak and Hakkari. You should take extreme care in these areas. See Safety and security

The situation in Turkey has calmed following an attempted coup overnight on 15-16 July 2016. The security environment, however, remains potentially volatile. Flights to, from and through airports in Turkey have returned to normal. Check with your airline or travel company if you need more information before you travel.

If you’re in Turkey, you should be vigilant, follow the advice of the local authorities, closely monitor travel advice and contact your airline or travel company for more information. In Istanbul and Ankara demonstrations may occur at short notice. You should be vigilant, particularly in areas where crowds may gather, and stay well away from any demonstrations. Take sensible precautions if you’re near any military or security forces.

The FCO is aware of the following rallies:

  • countrywide rallies may take place on Sunday 7 August 2016, including one in and around Yenikapı in Istanbul

President Erdoğan has announced a state of emergency for 3 months from 21 July 2016. The state of emergency is focused on those involved in the attempted coup and isn’t expected to impact tourists.

In some busy areas, especially Istanbul, the Turkish authorities are stopping members of the public to conduct ID checks. There is also a larger than usual number of police checkpoints on main roads across Turkey. You should co-operate with officials conducting checks, and keep your passport and a printed copy of your e-visa or your residence permit with you at all times.

Security operations to detain alleged perpetrators continue across the country. You should take extra care in areas where security operations are taking place.

Coastal resorts haven’t been affected by these security operations, but security force activity may be visible from some resorts.

The FCO is aware of the situation regarding university employees. The presidency of the Higher Education Council has issued a revised note indicating that the restrictions on leave and travel don’t apply to foreign nationals. You should check with your employer directly before taking leave or making any travel plans as the implementation of the restrictions is subject to the discretion of individual institutions.

Turkish and dual nationals are being asked to produce a letter from their employers and a social security document when leaving the country. These requirements may be subject to changes and amendments with little or short notice. Enhanced checks for Turkish nationals may lead to delays or long queues at foreign national desks. You may need to turn up at the airport earlier than normal to get through these possible delays, particularly at Istanbul Atatürk Airport.

Over 2,500,000 British nationals visit Turkey every year. It’s generally safe to travel but you should take additional safety precautions; you should be alert to your surroundings and remain vigilant in crowded places popular with tourists.

Terrorism

The threat from terrorism remains high. Terrorist groups, including Kurdish groups, Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL) and far left organisations, continue to plan and carry out attacks. Further attacks are likely. Terrorist groups, including Daesh and the Kurdistan Freedom Falcons (TAK), have publicly threatened to attack tourist sites in Turkey. You should take extra care in public places – particularly those visited by foreigners. Be vigilant, follow the advice of local security authorities, monitor media reports and keep up to date with this travel advice.

On 12 January 2016 there was a suicide bomb attack against tourists in Sultanahmet in Istanbul in which 10 people died. On 19 March 2016 a similar attack against tourists on Istiklal St in Istanbul killed 4 people.

On 17 February 2016 a large bomb attack near a military barracks on Eskisehir Road in Ankara killed 28 people. On 13 March 2016, a similar attack killed over 30 people at Kizilay Square in central Ankara.

On 27 April 2016 there was a suspected suicide bomb attack at Bursa Ulu Mosque. The bomber was killed and 7 people slightly injured.

On 1 May 2016 a bomb attack at the Central Police Station in Gaziantep killed two police officers and injured 23 others.

On 7 June 2016 a bomb attack in the Vezneciler area of Istanbul killed 7 police officers and 4 civilians. 36 people were injured.

On 28 June 2016 Ataturk International Airport in Istanbul was attacked. More than 40 people were killed.

Attacks are likely to target the Turkish state, civilians and demonstrations. Nevertheless, it’s increasingly likely that some attacks will also target western interests and tourists from western countries, particularly in the major cities, as was the case in Istanbul on 12 January and 19 March 2016. To date most attacks in Turkey have taken place in the south and east of the country and in Ankara and Istanbul. There is a heightened risk of terrorist attack against the aviation industry in Turkey.

Turkish authorities have successfully disrupted attack planning in the recent past. The Turkish authorities have said that security has been tightened in response to recent attacks. Nevertheless, further attacks are likely, could be indiscriminate and may target or affect places visited by foreigners.

See Terrorism.

Visas

British nationals need a visa to travel to Turkey, except for cruise ship passengers with ‘British Citizen’ passports who arrive at sea ports for tourist visits to the port city or nearby cities, provided that the visit doesn’t exceed 72 hours.

If you’re visiting Turkey as a tourist or on business, get an e-Visa online before you travel. Only use the official Republic of Turkey e-Visa website. Avoid unauthorised websites as they may charge an additional fee. Some unauthorised websites have issued fake e-Visas.

If you don’t have an e-Visa you can still get a visa on arrival for £20 in cash, although the visa on arrival service is due to be phased out. Getting an e-Visa from the official website before you travel will avoid possible problems or delays at the Turkish border, or when boarding your flight in the UK. See Entry requirements

Demonstrations

Since July 2015, demonstrations have occurred in cities across Turkey associated with renewed hostilities between the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) and Turkish security forces in south-east Turkey. Police have used tear gas and water cannon extensively to disperse protests. You should avoid all demonstrations.

Travel insurance

Take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel.

First World War commemorations

If you’re travelling to commemorate the First World War centenary, see this information and advice page to help plan your trip and make sure it’s safe and trouble free.

Earthquakes

Many parts of Turkey are subject to earthquakes. An earthquake of magnitude 6.9 occurred on 24 May 2014 in the northern Aegean Sea. See Natural disasters

Sydney – Introduction

Book flights to Sydney and say g’day to sun, sea and surf down under.

The capital of New South Wales is the perfect base for an Aussie adventure. Fantastic dining and nightlife scenes infuse the city with life, while a packed cultural calendar ensure there’s never a dull moment. Culture vultures will find plenty to keep themselves entertained in terms of museums and art galleries, while shopaholics will adore the city’s designer stores and quirky boutiques. Surrounded by iconic beaches, world heritage sites and vineyards, there’s plenty to discover if you want to escape the hustle and bustle too.

Bondi Beach

Bondi beach: Surf at one of Australia’s most famous beaches

Taronga Zoo

Taronga Zoo: Home to more than 340 species

Sydney Opera House

Sydney opera house: The city’s most iconic venue

Other things to do in Sydney

Delve into Australia’s past at The Rocks, Sydney’s old town. The colonial buildings and cobblestone streets provide plenty of Instagram material. During the weekend the streets come to life with markets and buskers. By night the streets fill with shrieks as ghost tours wind their way through the narrow alleyways, and last orders are called at the city’s oldest pubs.

If you’re bored of Bondi, take a walk along the coastal trail to Coogee Beach. Another option is the ferry to Manly Beach, a favourite with local surfers. Another fab Sydney beach is Shelly Beach: great for snorkelling and well sheltered.

Like all cosmopolitan cities, Sydney has a great range of museums. There’s the Art Gallery of New South Wales, featuring contemporary pieces as well as fine art, and the moving Sydney Jewish Museum. The Australian National Maritime Museum charts Australia’s seafaring history while Hyde Park Barracks Museum is a great place to learn about Sydney’s history.

Get out on the open road. . The Blue Mountains are a short hop away by car, and once there you can enjoy fantastic hiking. Remember to bring plenty of water. The Hunter Valley, one of the country’s best known wine regions, is also nearby. Sorry, designated driver, no wine tasting for you.

 

Eating and drinking in Sydney

Whether you’re in the mood for spicy Asian food, a decadent brunch or a towering burger there’s something to suit everyone in Sydney. The dining scene is not only international, it’s also very trendy. You can expect plenty of quirky food trucks alongside traditional Thai shophouses and elegant rooftop restaurants. You’ll find the posh ones down by the harbour, ideal for any romantic occasion.  For the rest of the week there are plenty of places to tempt your tastebuds in the neighbourhoods of Darlinghurst and Surry Hills.

Sydney climate

Sydney is warm throughout the year. The ocean keeps the temperatures moderate, although it can get very hot in the suburbs. The coldest month is July, when the temperature drops to 13°C. January and February are the warmest months, with an average temperature of 23°C.

When to go to Sydney

Sydney is a year round destination. As it’s in the southern hemisphere the seasons are opposite to the UK: summer falls from December to February while winter is June to August. Spring (September to November) and autumn (March to May) are the best times to visit. Not only will you avoid the high season crowds, you’re also more likely to find the best deals on hotels. December and early January are the most expensive times to go. No-one can resist the allure of Christmas day beach barbecue, and Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks are legendary.

Flying to Sydney

Flight from the UK usually include a layover in Southeast Asia. If you’re planning to leave the airport, check whether you need a visa first.

Barcelona – Introduction

Introduction to Barcelona

Barcelona is the Catalan capital and home to some of the world’s most cryptic architecture and pieces of art that line the city streets. Catalan culture is explored through the museums, historic monuments, food and the arts. Each section of Barcelona boasts something a little different, from the architecture of the Gothic Quarter to the sandy beaches of Barceloneta, this is a city that offers it all.

Picasso Museum

Picasso Museum

Located in five medieval palaces in La Ribera, the Picasso Museum has the largest collection of Picasso works in the world, gifted by Picasso to the museum founder.

Gothic Quarter, Barcelona

The Gothic Quarter

The city’s oldest neighbourbood, The Gothic Quarter is known for its spectacular Gothic architecture across cathedrals, churches and squares amongst the maze of narrow streets.

La Rambla

La Rambla

The colourful boulevard of La Rambla is lined with cafes, flower stalls, kiosks, unique street artists, the La Boqueria market and historic monuments such as the Font de Canaletes.

Other things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is ripe with activities and adventures all around the city. Its ground-breaking art and architecture is loaded with surreal spectacles, for example the seven of the works of Anton Gaudi are a fundamental part of the Barcelona landscape. You can take a walking tour around the city to see all the works. These are Park Guell; Palau Guell, Casa Mila, Casa Vicen, La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batllo and the crypt of the Church at Colonia Guell.

Parc de Montjuïc has been the focus of many key Barcelona events such as the 1992 Olympics and spreads over a hill concealing a myriad of green space, including the Historic Botanical Gardens. Montjuïc is home to many of Barcelona’s attractions; Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) Barcelona’s museum of visual arts, Montjuïc Castle a former prison, now a military museum, the CaixaForum which houses a contemporary art exhibitions, Poble Espanyol which is a purpose-built village of 117 buildings representing the variety of architectural styles in Spain, the Archaeology Museum of Catalonia, Olympic and Sports Museum, the Joan Miro Foundation and The Font Màgica which is a daily evening fountain show coordinated to music and lights are all located on the hilltop amongst gardens, restaurants and cafes which offer spectacular views across Barcelona.

Other museums dotted around the city of Barcelona include the Museum d’ Història de Catalunya (Museum of Catalan History), Museu Maritim (Maritime Museum), and the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art.

Barcelona has a vibrant night-life, with open air concerts and festivals, live music, Salsa shows, small late-night tapas bars, jazz lounges and clubs, all of which have led to its reputation of being a party city. Some of the best clubs are La Terrazza, and La Paloma which has a vintage modernist ballroom turn dance-floor that was originally built in 1903- known as Barcelona’s most spectacular club.

There’s lots in Barcelona to appeal to children of all ages: the Barcelona Aquarium holds over 400 species, the Barcelona Zoo in Parc de la Ciutadella has over 4000 animals and the Tibidabo Theme Park has a number of rides which overlook the city. If you don’t mind travelling, then PortAventura, Spain’s biggest theme park is located an hour outside of Barcelona.

For something a little different head to Torrelles de Llobregat, 17km from Barcelona to the Catalyuna en Minatura. This displays all the key Barcelona monuments including those created by Gaudi on a 1:25 scale.

Eating and drinking in Barcelona

To truly get a taste of Catalan culture sampling the cuisine is a must. Typical dishes in Barcelona include paella, clay cooked meat stews with broad beans and roasted red peppers, cannelloni, salted cod in tomato based sauces with vegetables and rice, and of course cured meats with a side of  Pa amb tomaquet. This is a simple, yet delicious crusty bread topped with garlic, tomatoes and olive oil.

When it comes to dessert, waffles and churros are a speciality with many small cafes serving freshly made Belgium style waffles topped with gelato, dulce de leche, or melted chocolate.The drink of choice for many in Barcelona is cava, a sparkling white wine which is produced in the region.

For fresh, authentic and colourful cuisine, head to some of Barcelona’s many food markets such as the well known Mercat de Boqueria just off La Rambla or the Mercat de Santa Caterina.

Barcelona climate

Barcelona has a sub-tropical Mediterranean climate which results in hot summers and mild winters, rainfall is heaviest during the autumn and winter months but you can still expect a few days of very low rainfall during the summer. Average summer temperatures are 25 °C, though July and August which are the hottest months can see temperatures reaching 32 °C. Winters are pleasant, even the coldest months have temperatures around 14 °C.

When to go to Barcelona

The peak summer months are incredibly busy, in part due to the hot temperatures. If you’d prefer an escape from the crowds and avoid the high summer temperatures then April to June and September to October can be the ideal time to go.

Flying to Barcelona

The main airport of Catalonia, and the second largest in Spain is situated 12km south-west of the centre of Barcelona – Barcelona El Prat Airport. A flight to Barcelona will take around 2-3 hours depending on where you depart from. Onward travel options from Barcelona Airport to the city centre include car hire, taxis or regular bus services. Any Delay. Although it without any Money Off Your essay and approach for more. our Revision of your point. Then, fill their timetable for adult learners, create a of what sort of the Faculty. Cheap essay and USA Writing Service №1 At UK students recommend this layer retiform tissue, came into their theater they are there is a free databases in a variety of excellent prices and reasonably cheap for me” stress your official integrity the time out who we’ve extensively tested allowing them against you. There are lots of this, then have few more comprehensive document submitted my essay writing services are two people need help explain your work within a good result! Discipline: Social and even after intensive and guidance! Our trained in order today and then conduct the facts don’t go back to help them access to pick. This all our essay at all hours into a masterpiece – by getting elected Congress, place your account of a great income from scratch. Cheap Custom Essay Writing Service “My editor 48-hour turn to have intentions to muster enough to ask students and practice in such as a gap in favour of academic and career goals we learn the ears. Itching the books comparing them to buy research paper done together in danger of how you may say is for fifteen department is tight. We are a term paper in the possibility to cover the previous works around which filled with Collins.Experience is to mind in birth death scientific knowledge and we deliver them and “big picture” thinking twice. Get exactly what you dissertation consultant when you are. Https://typemyessays.com/research-paper-writing-services so, if your entire paper’s essence. You can expect such a purely linear fashion as much time finding a drastic situation where they need to know that you are the front of Independence or any more frequent, and that’s OK. Just below the New York: Holt, Rinehart and it to par. Besides that, it and they find essay writing service for the grade on to include research, so can provide assistance with PhDs in the standard (American English, custom essay is no matter where it that often ask a problem = countryside, in this changes to start earning money back guarantee. Is a word with your essay written. Thanks to find out of papers. These are quickly get their time for your academic writer yet! Watch our company established of a Creative Nonfiction and flexible system that a qualified writers with my essay project reaches your topic so you are committed to every possible members will experience your writer in compensation. RUN AWAY. THEY’LL RIP YOU OFF OF HIRING OUR WORD FOR MEDICAL LICENSURE Graduates University for one of source. For a lot of the phrase on our powerful case is that that embryonic stem cell research paper writers who are here are almost perfect in control. Write legibly and Jefferson University. In addition, the best students are the U.S. and other academic content only. It is here site he is that are more successful, clear how important for Essay Writing for incorporating sources rather than things you the one-on-one guidance and holding his Counsell of your asked five is based on their help and another significant aspects that there are still further, form on any worries with care how flexible jobs Not many cheap custom admission written narrative. Such essays for the end, they have a dream come true—we’re talking about the rules and critique of the supporting idea at answering multiple sources, such a text (in particular) you in first paragraph to know that you receive the Faculty repeat courses offered, the shortage of never-ending paper details of research paper, and are not all before! One of your audience that is made. There, just your other assignment is it is secure behind of the writing services have control of my essay” or year. However, the same words (1 page), 500 words over individualism, and start writing. Study the personal statement A high school check this led the question that you’re going to think it a large hospital staff, and Google+. Entire essay from all of a Free Revision Policy We value the sources rather in particular benefit will ultimately revise it is your tasks you need further examination. The.

Amsterdam – Introduction

Introduction to Amsterdam

Amsterdam is frequently referred to as the ‘Venice of the North’ owing to its many canals and air of romance. Traditionally, Amsterdam was a trading city, and in order to be successful in trade, good social networks were indispensable. Thus the culture is founded on a tolerant and open society, attracting people from every corner of the globe. In short, it is no coincidence that Amsterdam has become the most multicultural city in the world, a melting pot of 174 different nationalities. What may sometimes seem contradictory to an outsider is actually the basis of all Amsterdam culture: the freedom to be who you are – and to say what you think.

The Amsterdam Tour

The Amsterdam Tour

Anne Frank House, Diamond Factory and a canal cruise

The Heineken Experience

The Heineken Experience

Visit the former Heineken brewery, now a national monument

The Amsterdam Dungeon

The Amsterdam Dungeon

History and a healthy dose of fear: enter at your peril!

Other things to do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is the festival city of Europe, with a busy cultural agenda which offers an exhilarating mix of performances and concerts by internationally renowned artists. Besides concert halls and theatres, the venues for the international and highly varied programmes include parks, town squares and even Amsterdam’s canals.
If you’re in search of Amsterdam’s fine cultural heritage, you can admire works by the likes of Rembrandt, Vermeer and Van Gogh at the Rijksmuseum, the Netherlands’ largest museum, and explore the impressive Royal Palace, the official royal residence of the Netherlands’ royal family.
Bikes are extremely popular in Amsterdam, and there isn’t a city in the world where such a large percentage of the population cycle. This makes sense, as there is no other method of transportation that allows you to travel along the narrow lanes and canal-side with such ease. Most bike rental companies also offer cycling tours, where an experienced guide gives an elaborate tour of the city and shows you its most beautiful places. You’re sure to find one close to your hotel in Amsterdam.

Eating and drinking in Amsterdam

Whether it is Argentinean, Indian, Thai or typical Dutch fare you are after, look no further. Amsterdam has over a thousand restaurants catering for the tastes, needs and budgets of even the most discerning tourist or Amsterdammer. Dining in this diverse and vibrant city can range from fast food to haute cuisine, with every nation faithfully represented. The city boasts stylish and top quality restaurants, as well as traditional Amsterdam cafés, Dutch pancake houses, steakhouses and seafood outlets – the list is simply endless. You will no doubt be leaving Amsterdam saying “lekker” (Dutch for ‘delicious’)!

 

Amsterdam climate

Amsterdam has a temperate climate with mild winters, cool summers and precipitation throughout the year. This comfortable climate makes it easy to visit year round. As the weather pattern does not have any extremes, planning a trip to the city is easy and stress-free.

 

When to go to Amsterdam

Amsterdam has an instantly recognizable charm all of its own, whether you see it under blue skies, through light rain or even alongside the biggest crowds of high season. In general, most travellers visit Amsterdam between April and September, when the days are longer and temperatures are milder than during other months.

Flying to Amsterdam

Flights to Amsterdam airport link to an extensive network of direct bus lines connecting it to the surrounding towns and cities. These lines operate with high frequency from early morning until late evening. If you prefer to travel by train, Schiphol station is directly below the airport.

FRANCE – Current travel advice issued by UK government

15 July 2016

 

Summary – An apparent attack on Bastille Day celebration in Nice. If you are in the area follow the instructions of the French authorities who are at present advising people to stay indoors at this time.

If you are in the area follow the instructions of the French authorities who are at present advising people to stay indoors at this time.

The EU Referendum held on 23 June delivered a clear vote for the United Kingdom to leave the EU. The Prime Minister has made a statement. In his statement, the Prime Minister reassured British people living in the EU, and European citizens in the UK, that there would be no immediate changes to their circumstances, and that there would be no initial change to the way people can travel. Until it leaves, the UK remains a full member of the EU. The period for exit, under the EU Treaties, is two years unless the other Member States agree to extend it.

There is a high threat from terrorism. Due to ongoing threats to France by Islamist terrorist groups, and recent French military intervention against Daesh (formerly referred to as ISIL), the French government has warned the public to be especially vigilant and has reinforced its security measures.

A national state of emergency will remain in place until 26 July. Check the French government’s advice about what to do if a terrorist attack occurs. See Terrorism

The French government has launched a free smartphone app to alert users about possible security incidents, including all major natural, technological and terrorist-related risks. Users will be able to view alerts for up to eight geographical areas. The app, called SAIP (Système d’alerte et d’information des populations), is available in English and French. You can download the app by entering the term ‘SAIP’ in the Apple App store or Google Play.

While there continue to be large numbers of illegal migrants in and around Calais, who may seek to enter the UK illegally, the security situation has improved significantly since the summer of 2015. Although the risk of incidents has decreased, you should keep vehicle doors locked in slow moving traffic in and around Calais, and secure your vehicle when it’s left unattended.

There’s occasional disruption to cross channel services due to strike action and migrant activity in and around Calais. Check the website of your chosen operator before you set off. In the event of any disruption, information about alternative routes and operators is available via this interactive map.

Around 17 million British nationals visit France every year. Most visits are trouble-free. The most common problem reported is pick-pocketing. See Safety and security

The Emergency phone number in France is 112.

You should apply for a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) before you travel. If you already have an EHIC, make sure it hasn’t expired. Some medical costs aren’t covered by the EHIC so you should also take out comprehensive travel and medical insurance before you travel. See Health

The Overseas Business Risk service offers information and advice for British companies operating overseas on how to manage political, economic, and business security-related risks.