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Czech Republic Travel Guide

Czech Republic, Travel Guides - Ross French - August 16, 2017

Czech Republic Travel Guide

Located in the heart of Europe, the historic jewel of Czech Republic is a small yet attractive tourist destination. With its majestic castles, medieval towns, spa resorts and beautiful natural parks, this country has a lot of things in store for you. Take a stroll through the lush green wineries, or get lost while walking through the ancient ruins. Most of the travelers stop at the country’s capital Prague. But if you allow yourself of getting out of the city, you’ll find yourself in a beautiful country full of rugged and scenic landscapes. You’ll be sure to enjoy the rest of the country as much as Prague, if not more.

You can plan the perfect vacation in and around the Czech Republic with this Czech Republic Travel Guide. This extensive guide will inform you about all the must visit destinations in the Czech Republic after Prague, accommodation and food costs, estimated budget, must do activities and much more. You can be sure to have a wonderful time among the wonderful lively people, the historic landmarks and the pristine landscapes of this beautiful yet overlooked country.

Essential Information:

Languages spoken: Czech, Slovak, English (mostly spoken by the younger population)
Currency: Czech koruna (CZK)
Best time to go: Late spring and early fall
Main concern for travelers: Really small percentage of the population speaks English

Destinations:

Prague
Brno
Olomouc
Cesky Krumlov
Karlovy Vary
Franstiskovy Lazne
Plzen

When to Visit:

Peak season in the Czech Republic starts from May and continues until the end of September. The places remain busy during the December holidays too. July and August see the most number of tourists. Prices also increase about 20% during these months. The weather of Czech Republic can be quite unpredictable. However, during late spring and early fall, the chances of a pleasant weather is much higher. So from the second half of May to end of June and the month of September will be the best bet for you, if you want to have a nice time in this beautiful country. February and March are quite a good time to visit if you’re looking for the best deals and fewer tourists.

Money and Costs:

Accommodation:

Accommodation costs will greatly vary depending on where you are staying. Being the most popular city, accommodation costs in Prague tend to be quite a bit higher than the rest of the country. A simple dorm bed can cost you about CZK 400 in Prague. Whereas you can find the same type of accommodation in other areas of the Czech Republic for as low as CZK 175. A budget double bedroom will cost about CZK 500 – CZK 900. Most of these dorm beds and rooms include free WiFi. A double room at a midrange hotel in Prague will range from CZK 1100 – CZK 2500. Breakfast is included with the price. And for the most luxurious experience, a double room at a high-end hotel will cost about CZK 6000/night. The prices will be much lower outside of Prague.

Food:

Czech people are not very famous for their cuisine. But the food this country has to offer will surely make you very happy. The food of this place is not extravagant or extraordinary, but the dishes are delicious none the less. If you are looking for a cheap meal, then you can have food from the various inexpensive self-service restaurants for CZK 100 – CZK 150. For an even cheaper option, you can go for the numerous kebab shops present here. A proper three-course meal at a casual restaurant will cost about CZK 250 – CZK 350. And if you want the best of the best food experience, then a seven-course tasting menu at a high-end restaurant will cost about CZK 3000. A mid-range bottle of local wine will cost about CZK 100 from a liquor shop. A Bottle of local beer will cost about CZK 15.

Transportation:

The local transportation system in the Czech Republic is quite nice. Prague has an underground subway system. The subway has three lines connecting the major areas across the city. A one-way ticket for the subway costs CZK 24, which provides you a travel time of 30 minutes. For an unlimited 24 hours pass, you have to spend CZK 110. The fare for taxis starts from CZK 40, with a rate of CZK 25 per km. Most of the Czech cities also have a tram system from the communist era. Transportation between the Czech cities is really easy too, thanks to the train system. You won’t find modern train booths or amenities, but you can travel from one city to another for as low as CZK 300. There are a lot of cheap inter-city buses too. Orange Ways is a bus service which provides quite a number of online deals for inter-city travel.

Activities:

Travelling around the Czech Republic is mostly about indulging yourself in the rich culture and history of this country. So most of the times, the activities you’ll take part in will cost nothing. There are also quite a number of free hiking trails. Entrance to most of the tourist attractions will cost between CZK 100 – CZK 300. Entrance to some upscale shows or major venues can cost as much as CZK 600. If you want some more intensive activities liking rafting, it will cost you about CZK 2000. You have to spend over CZK 5000 for a private guided tour through Prague city with your personal chauffeur.

Approximate budget per day:

• Up to CZK 1200/day for backpackers with meals from inexpensive restaurants and entrance to most attractions.

• CZK 1500 – CZK 3000/day including three-course meals at mid-range restaurants and entrance to top-end shows.

• Over CZK 4500/day including seven-course dinner at high-end restaurants, with a guided tour of Prague and various other activities.

Budget Tips for Backpackers:

1. Eat local food and drink local wine and beers at local bars.

2. Buy sausages and cheese from local shops to fix yourself a quick meal.

3. Do not have fast food in the Czech Republic, as food at fast food joints like McDonalds’ end to be costlier than the local street food snacks.

4. Spend less time in Prague and explore the other, cheaper regions.

5. There are a lot of free hiking trails throughout the country. Go for a free walking tour to spend some time among nature.

6. There are many free walking tours available throughout the country.

7. Book your train or bus tickets in advance to get much better deals.

8. If you’re a student, then do not forget to bring your student id card. You will be able to avail student discounts at many museums and major attractions.

Must See Attractions and Must Do Activities in Czech Republic:

Explore Prague:

The obvious must visit destination in any Czech Republic travel guide will be its capital city Prague. This is the most popular city in this country. Go for one of the most beautiful river cruises of Europe through the Vltava River. Visit the UNESCO listed world heritage site of the Old Town, witness the largest citadel of the world in Mala Strana, and see the Astronomical Clock. The city is popular for its local food, beer, eccentric nightlife and its medieval roads! You’ll surely lose yourself in the beauty of this historic yet modern city. Also, remember to visit Vrsovice while you’re here – it’s the most popular hangout spot in Prague.

Visit Cesky Krumlov:

Situated in South Bohemia region, Cesky Krumlov is considered to be the most picturesque city of this beautiful country. Listed as a UNESCO world heritage site, this beautiful city is bisected by the Vltava River. Considered even more magnificent than Prague, this historic city will amuse you with its medieval architecture and red roofed houses. Wander through the beautiful castle, enjoy the panoramic views of the old town and the Vltava River and stroll around the lonely streets to spend some leisurely time.

Indulge in the luxury of Karlovy Vary:

This beautiful spa town located in the West Bohemia has been an important tourist location since the nineteenth century. The hot mineral springs of this location made this beautiful town into a really popular spa location. Spend a few days relaxing in this serene spa town. Go on a walk through the forest, enjoy the fine baroque and Gothic architecture and immerse yourself in the lively cultural scene of the town. You can also go for a day trip to the nearby castle overlooking the River Ohre while you’re here.

Explore Hluboka Castle:

Situated in the town of Hluboka nad Vltavou, Hluboka Castle is considered to be one of the most beautiful castles of Czech Republic. The grand design of this historic castle makes it one of the must see attraction in any Czech Republic travel guide. This 13th century Moravian chateau was rebuilt into a Baroque castle in the beginning of 18th century. Explore the beautiful architecture and enjoy the gorgeous views of the town down below while you are here.

Visit the Karlstejn Castle:

The Karlstejn castle is one of the most important castles in the history of Czech Republic. The castle is also conveniently located near Prague. You can easily take a day-trip to this beautiful fairytale-like castle. You’ll surely be awed by its 14th century architecture and grandeur.

Take a tour through the Punkva Caves:

The Punkva cave system is located north of the city of Brno. The Punkva River flows through this huge cave system. You can take a boat tour through this beautiful cave system, where the huge structures of Stalagmites have created a dream like setting. A part of this cave system is also the famous Macocha Gorge, a 138.7 meter deep sinkhole. It is the deepest sinkhole of its kind. The sheer scale of this huge sinkhole will surely take your breath away.

Visit Telc – the Renaissance town of Czech Republic:

With its winding streets, cobblestoned roads and beautiful architecture, the picturesque town of Telc is a perfect example of a European Renaissance town. This UNESCO world heritage site got rebuilt after a fire in 1530. You can enjoy a quaint walk through the town square while enjoying the pristine beauty of this town.

Drink some beer in Plzen:

Visiting Plzen (Pilsen), the birthplace of Pilsner should be a must in every Czech Republic travel guide. This small city houses the original Pilsner Urquell Brewery. Situated about an hour away from Prague, a trip to this city is as convenient as it is necessary. Visit the 150+ years old brewery and have a pint or ten of the world famous beer while you are here. Also, do not forget to visit one of the many beer spas located in this city. Here you can relax while literally soaking your whole body in a pool of beer.

Visit the Nuclear Bunker Museum:

While you are in Prague, make sure you visit this unique museum. The bunker is located 5 stories under Prague city. You can see a huge collection of unique Cold War items in this museum.

Go for a thrilling tour in Sedlec Ossuary:

Although not for the faint hearted, a trip to the Sedlec Ossuary is a must while you enjoy your vacation in the Czech Republic. This small Roman Catholic chapel is famous for the century-old bones of over 50,000 people that had been found here. The bones are crafted into garlands, chandeliers, and sculptures. They make for quite a creepy display during your otherwise pristine Czech vacation.

Explore the quaint city of Olomouc:

This small university town located at the east of Czech Republic lies beautiful with its fountains, parks, sculptures, and churches. However what makes this town truly a must visit in our Czech Republic travel guide is the Holy Trinity Column and Olomouc Astronomical Clock. Both of these sites are listed by UNESCO. Many villages of the surrounding strongly agricultural Hana region hold harvest festivals during September, which makes a trip to this city really attractive.

Visit the Terezin Memorial:

Learn about the darker side of Czech history by visiting Terezin. It was a former Nazi concentration camp, situated north of Prague. Visit the Ghetto museum, barracks, execution ground and the mass graves. Pay your respect to the lives lost during the Holocaust, a dark chapter of our human history which should never be forgotten.

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CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE

Canada, Travel Guides - Ross French - August 15, 2017

CANADA TRAVEL GUIDE

Being the second largest country in the world, Canada attracts thousands of tourists every year with its diverse landscape and rich history. The culture and the people of this great country is as diverse as its landscapes. From tundras to forests to deserts to huge mountains to rocky beaches, Canada is a country where each and every traveler is in for a treat. It is such a huge country that at least a few months should be spent exploring the beauty and culture this country has in store to offer. This extensive Canada travel guide talks everything Canada – from accommodation costs to food to daily budget to must do activities – so that you can plan the perfect trip to this Great White Northern country.

Essential Information:

Languages spoken: English (85.6%) French (30.1%)
Currency: Canadian dollar ($/C$)
Best time to go: Autumn (September – October)
Main concern for travelers: Frequent snow storms and avalanches in the mountainous regions in winter.

Destinations:

• Toronto
• Vancouver
• Quebec city
• Montreal
• Whitehorse
• Ottawa
• Nova Scotia
• Calgary

When to Visit:

Although Canada is such a huge country, the weather condition remains more or less the same throughout the country. The peak season in Canada is during the summer months. During June to August, the far Northern regions of Canada thaws for some period. The warm weather and sunshine attracts travelers from all over the world. However, this is exactly why the prices of accommodations remains really high during this period. From December to march, the Northern ski resort towns remain equally busy and expensive.
The best time to visit Canada is actually during the autumn months. The weather during September and October remains really pleasant. Temperature all around the country starts to fall, but remains comfortable. Crowds during these months becomes thin, and the prices drop nearly 20-30%. In addition to some awesome bargains, you’ll also be able to enjoy the foliage in full bloom in these months. The winter months are marked as low season for everywhere in Canada except the ski resort towns, as temperatures drop too low. However, if you want to travel really cheap, you can find the best bargains during the months of November and April.

Money and Costs:

Accommodation:

The cost of accommodation in Canada does vary a lot from city to city. Normally you’ll be able to find a dorm bed at C$27 – C$30. If you want a little more privacy, then you can get a private room in a hostel within C$60 – C$70. In larger cities however, the prices tend to be quite higher than this. Especially in Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa, accommodation prices can be really high. A double room in a budget hotel will cost anywhere between C$75 – C$180. A luxurious double room in high end hotels will cost upwards of C$200 (above C$250 in larger cities).

Airbnb is quite popular in Canada, especially in the larger cities. You can find lots of options for a shared room at about C$30. For entire houses or apartments, you’ll have to spend over C$80/night on an average. There are plenty of options for camping as well across the country. Camping at a basic pitch will cost about C$10 – C$30 per night. However availability of camping pitch can be an issue. So make sure to book your pitch well in advance, especially if you’re travelling during the peak season.

Food:

Cost of food in Canada is almost as diverse as the country itself. The food in restaurants is generally on the higher side. A regular meal at a budget restaurant can cost about C$15 to C$30. Meals at mid-range restaurant will cost over C$30. And if you want a taste of the most delectable offerings of Canada, then a three course meal at a high end restaurant will cost well over C$50 without drinks. However, you can also have a decent meal for fairly cheap if you want to. Meals from various street food stalls, self-service meals at markets or supermarkets or fast food items will cost about C$8 –C$12 per meal.

A pint of imported beer at restaurants will cost about C$6.50 whereas half liter local draught beer will cost about C$6. You can buy the same pint of imported beer from a store for C$3.01, and half liter bottle of domestic beer for C$2.59. A bottle of mid-range local wine will cost about C$15 off the shelf.

Transportation:

Canada is a huge country, and it is known for long drive tours. The country is best explored by car. You can rent a car to drive between its provinces for about C$35 – C$65 per day. This is also a great option if you are staying for a long time in the country. However, if you want to travel by train, then the VIA Rail service is there for you. They connect most of the major cities and the journeys are known to be really scenic. Tickets start from C$33 and can go up to C$397 for a ride in their economy class. For a more luxurious train ride though, fares can go well over C$1500. You can also opt for air travel. However with only two major airlines, the plane tickets cost quite high in Canada.

Most travelling within a city, the public transport service in Canada is really nice especially in bigger cities. A one-way ticket for the metro service costs about C$3. There are also a lot of buses to travel within and between cities. Megabus is be the cheapest option to travel between cities. You can travel between Ontario and Quebec for as low as C$1 if you book your ticket in advance. Red Arrow, Greyhound and Coach Canada are some other options if you want to avail bus service in Canada.

Activities:

Canada, with its rich history, culture and its varied landscape, has a lot of attractions and activities to offer. Entrance fees for most of the activities cost between C$5 – C$20. There are a lot of outdoor activities like kayaking, snowboarding, rafting etc. Costs of these activities range from C$20 – C$100. Guided tours also cost about the same. A skiing day pass starts from C$50 – C$80 per person.

Approximate budget per day:

• Up to C$100/day for backpackers with meals from markets and some sightseeing.

• C$150 – C$250/day including meals at decent restaurants and entrance to most attractions and few activities.

• Over C$€300/day including meals at high end restaurants, skiing day pass and guided tours.

Budget Tips for Backpackers:

1. Buy bottles of wine and beers from local shops. The prices will be much lesser than buying from a bar.

2. Eating from cheap sandwich shops will save you a lot of money.

3. Always eat from cafes instead of restaurants.

4. Buying groceries and cooking you own food will be much cheaper.

5. If you’re travelling during summer, then keep an eye out for free outdoor summer festivals.

6. If you’re renting a car, then make sure you buy gas from native reserves. You’ll find the cheapest rates here as the taxes are much lower.

7. Use coupon sites like Groupon or Living Social to get deals in local restaurants or attractions.

8. Look for rideshares on Facebook, Couchsurfing, Craigslist etc. for travelling between major cities.

9. Couchsurfing is a great option to avoid the huge accommodation costs of Italy.

Must See Attractions and Must Do Activities in Canada:

Visit the Niagara Falls:

The most obvious inclusion in any Canada travel guide is a trip to the Niagara Falls. Situated between the province of Ontario and New York is this world famous site. It’s the collective name of three large waterfalls located in this area. One cannot fathom the grandeur of these falls without experiencing them in person. The captivating beauty and the misty landscape will surely blow you away. You can go for a helicopter tour over the iconic Horseshoe Falls, or an adrenalin filled jet boat ride through Niagara Gorge. The Niagara region also has a lot of other activities in store for you to enjoy – ranging from live music, theatre, museums, cruises etc.

Explore Vancouver:

Located in British Columbia, this west coast city of Canada is beautiful with its coast mountains on the shores of the Pacific Ocean. The easygoing, cosmopolitan vibes of this beautiful city is win over you with all its beauty. You can enjoy the metropolitan beauty of the busy streets, and within ten minutes go hiking in the mountains. You’ll love the blend of nature and city life Vancouver has in store for you. The friendly people, the delicious Asian food, the beautiful weather, everything about this city makes it a must visit place in our Canada travel guide.

Take a trip to Vancouver Island:

From Vancouver, take a trip to the Vancouver Island to enjoy some leisurely days. Enjoy the delicious sea food, go hiking, shop and busk under the sun at the beach. You can also spot some whales here. This is a perfect place to enjoy some relaxing days while you’re in Canada.

Visit Montreal:

Montreal, the second largest city of Canada has an extremely French flavor to it. It’s a modern yet romantic city which will surely win your heart. Wander through the cobbled roads of Old Montreal. Visit the quirky stores, cafes and the colorful houses of Le Plateau. This city also hosts the world’s largest jazz festival in June and July.

Take a tour into history in Quebec City:

The Old Quebec is the only remaining walled city of North America. A trip to this UNESCO listed city will take you back into history. The 17th century houses, the age old architecture and the café culture make this city unique in its own way. Witness the luxury of Chateau Frontenac, visit the star shaped citadel indulge yourself in the local arts and crafts while you stroll through this historic city.

Drive through Cabot Trail:

Enjoy the beautiful region of Nova Scotia while you drive through Cabot Trail. This beautiful trail has become the most popular recreational activity of Nova Scotia. Its winding roads, the cliff-top panoramic views, the picturesque beaches the artists’ workshops beside the road will surely make your Canadian road trip a memorable one.

See the Northern Lights:

One of nature’s most beautiful phenomena, the Aurora Borealis is frequently witnessed from the Northern regions of Canada. Experiencing these ethereal lights can truly be a once in a lifetime experience. That is why couldn’t help but include it as a must do activity in our Canada travel guide. Take a tour from Yellowknife city across a frozen lake, or hole up in Labrador city for a chance of witnessing this natural magnetic wonder.

Whale watching off the Bay of Fundy:

This 270 km long Atlantic bay is to home the largest tidal range of the world. The bay stretches from the province of Nova Scotia to New Brunswick. You can go whale watching, watch the incredible changes of the inter-tidal zones or go for a rafting trip while you’re here.

Food tour in Quebec City:

The UNESCO listed World Heritage Site of Old Quebec also has some of the tastiest French-Canadian cuisine for you to try. In your trip to Canada, going on a food tour through the cobbled streets of Quebec City is a must. Discover the hidden local gems in Old Quebec and St-Jean-Baptiste, and indulge in a plethora of regional delicacies.

Go Skiing:

During winter, the mountains of Canada becomes perfect for snowboarding and skiing. If you have a taste for skiing and snowboarding, then these will be a must during your winter vacation in Canada.

Visit Banff National Park:

Banff National Park is the oldest national park of Canada. With its 6,641 square kilometers of beautiful mountain scenery, 26 square kilometer hot springs reserve and the supremely beautiful Lake Louise, this park is a must visit attraction for all the travelers.

See the polar bears and beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba:

The small town of Churchill is most famous for the large number of polar bears that move inland from the shores during autumn. You can safely view the majestic polar bears from the specially modified buses known as “tundra buggies”. Also in July and August, thousands of beluga whales migrate to the Churchill River estuary located in this region. They are one of the major summer attraction of this region. Polar bears are also present during this time.

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ITALY TRAVEL GUIDE

Italy, Travel Guides - Ross French - August 14, 2017

ITALY TRAVEL GUIDE

With its delectable food, scenic countryside and irresistible wines, Italy is the kind of destination where travelers return to over and over again. The awe inspiring art, the mesmerizing architecture and the historic ruins make Italy one of the most enticing countries of Europe. Our Italy travel guide is designed to help you plan the perfect trip to Italy. Your vacation in Italy will take you to some of the world’s most iconic sights – the Colosseum of Rome, the Leaning Tower of Pisa, the decaying canals of Venice and many more. Beyond the history-filled sights, you’ll enjoy the rich culture of Italy, its lively cities and the world famous cuisine it has in store for you. However, Italy is best enjoyed at a slower pace. So remember to relax and come back again and again to truly enjoy the beauty and the laid back attitude of this beautiful country.

Essential Information:

Languages spoken: Italian, English (34%), French (16%), Spanish (11%), German (5%)
Currency: Euro (€)
Best time to go: April to late June, Mid-September to October
Main concern for travelers: Nothing really, however beware of high crime rate while in Naples

Destinations:

Rome:

Rome, the capital of Italy, needs no introduction. This historic city was the heart and soul of the Roman Empire. It’s an obvious inclusion in any Italy travel guide. You’ll find a lot of Roman historic monuments and buildings like the ever so famous Colosseum, Pantheon, Forum and many more. Explore the Vatican and get awed by the grandeur of the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy romantic walks through the floodlit-fountain squares, and indulge in the charm of this beautiful city.

Venice:

Venice, one of the most romantic and popular cities in the world, will welcome you with its network of canals and winding streets. This beautiful Italian city is full of fun, and a really great place to get lost in. Although a trip to Venice can be quite expensive, still a huge number of travelers from all over the world visit this pristine city every year. And if you are on a tight budget, our extensive Venice travel guide includes a number of tips and tricks to tick Venice off your bucket list without breaking the bank.

Cinque Terre:

The Cinque Terre region sits on the West coast of Italy. It beautiful region consists of five picturesque hillside towns, which one must cover while on a trip to Italy. Your time in this area will be full of serenity. Walk down the lonely roads, explore the nature trails and roam around the vineyards to get a true feel of the beauty of Italy. The great hikes, the excellent seafood and the awesome local wine a must in our Italy travel guide.

Florence:

The city of the lily, Florence, is the birthplace of Renaissance. This city changed the way we look at the world, and thus, it is a necessary recommendation in every Italy travel guides. Travelers from all over the world have been flocking over to Florence for centuries, to experience and get inspired from the phenomenal artworks and discoveries this city gave birth to. Visit this beautiful city in Italy’s Tuscany region for its museums and artworks. Along with the Uffizi Gallery, Michelangelo’s David and Brunelleschi’s dome-topped Duomo, you’ll also find the best gelato in Italy right here in Florence.

Pisa:

Another beautiful city from Tuscany is Pisa. The city is famous for the awe striking Leaning Tower. However, there’s much more to this beautiful city than just this world famous monument. You can enjoy a lot of outdoor activities, eat delicious food, enjoy the delectable local wine produced fresh in the Tuscany region and see the historic churches situated in the city.

Naples:

Despite the high crime rate and muggings, Naples is a city which should be highly recommended in every Italy travel guide. The historic city of Naples sits quite close to few of Italy’s must visit spots like Pompeii, Capri and Sorrento, which makes this city a perfect lay over point to start exploring the region. The city has some beautiful museums, galleries, cathedrals and underground ruins for you to explore. Naples is also the birthplace of pizza, so be prepared to sample some delicious authentic pizzas while you’re here.

Milan:

Considered one of the fashion and design capitals of the world, the city of Milan is one glamorous destination for your vacation in Italy. Although the city is supposedly favored for work and not pleasure, you won’t fully experience Italy if you haven’t been to Milan. Visit this glamorous city to bedazzle yourself with the style of this city, go for some serious shopping, roam around the flea markets and truly immerse yourself in the energy this lively city possesses.

When to Visit:

Late May to July and the Christmas holidays are the peak season in Italy. Hotel prices and airfare skyrockets during this time. Visiting Italy during the peak season ensures you to enjoy beautiful sunny weather. But you’ll also face lot of crowds and steep prices everywhere in go in Italy. That’s why in our Italy travel guide, we’ll suggest you to visit Italy during the spring and fall months. During April to May and Mid-September to October, the sun shines bright and the temperature is not too hot. But the rent of hotels and apartments in these months are quite low too. During winter prices of hotels and food can go down nearly 30% compared to peak season, except during the Christmas holidays. During July and August, you can visit Northern Italy. But visiting the islands at South Italy is not advisable, due to extremely hot and humid weather.

Money and Costs:

Accommodation:

Staying in Italy is not that cheap. An average dorm bed will cost you about €20 – €35/night. If you want a private room to yourself in a hostel, prepare to pay about €60 – €130. One good thing is most the hostel rooms in Italy will include free WiFi. If you want a nicer room, then a room at a standard Hotel will cost anywhere between €110 – €200. A luxurious room at a 4 or 5 star property starts from €250. Airbnb will give you much better deals in Italy. You can find a private room around €30. Or you can also go for an entire apartment which generally starts from about €40/night.

Food:

Italy is famous for its cuisine. You’ll be spoilt with choices in terms of food while you spend your days in Italy. The good thing of having so many choices is, no matter how much budget you have, you can be sure to have delicious food for every meal. A simple meal of pasta or pizza will cost about €6- €12. A nice meal at an inexpensive restaurant will cost €15. A three course meal at a meal range restaurant will cost about €50 for two people. Do remember, at most restaurants there’s “coperto” (sit down fee) of €3. This is for the service and the bread at table. Dinner at a top tier restaurant with wine will cost over €150. Half liter draught beer will cost about €4.50. A bottle of mid-range local wine will cost upward of €5.

Transportation:

For local transports, a one way ticket will cost €1.50 for buses and subways. The best way to travel across Italy is through their huge network of trains. The faster trains cost between €35 – €65 per trip, whereas the slower trains cost about €6 – €25. There are a couple of cheap airline operators operating in Italy. Buses but between the cities of Italy as well. Buses cost nearly half the ticket prices of trains and take almost double the time. You can also use Uber in six cities in Italy, namely Florence, Genoa, Milan, Padua, Rome and Turin.

Activities:

Most museums in Italy charge about €4 – €15 for entrance. For other historic places and attractions, expect to pay about €10 – €25. If you want to take a guide to know more about the history, that will cost extra. Booking multiple guided tours from the same company can entitle you to some discounts. If you want to do a lot of sightseeing, do opt for a city card. They will give you discounts to many of the museums, tours and attractions. If you want to go to a wine tour through a vineyard, be willing to spend about €60 – €75.

Approximate budget per day:

• Up to €100/day for backpackers with meals consisting of pasta or pizza and some sightseeing.

• €150 – €250/day including meals at decent restaurants and entrance to most sites and museums.

• Over €300/day including meals at high end restaurants, sightseeing, wine tours and private cooking classes.

Budget Tips for Backpackers:

1. Buy bottles of wine and beers from local shops. The prices will be much lesser than buying from a bar.

2. Eating Paninis and pizzas instead of a whole meal will save you a lot of money.

3. Ask for tap water when you are having a meal at a restaurant.

4. Get a city card to enjoy discounts on entry fees to the top museums and attractions.

5. Take the slower trains to save a lot in travelling costs.

6. Use rideshare services like BlaBlaCar or Uber pool in the cities.

7. Couchsurfing is a great option to avoid the huge accommodation costs of Italy.

Must See Attractions and Must Do Activities in Italy:

Explore Rome:

It’s the most obvious must do activity in any Italy travel guide. Rome, with its ancient history and wonderful architectures, deserves a lot of exploration. From Colosseum to Pantheon, from the Forum to the Vatican City, Rome is filled with historic sights and monuments worth visiting. Do visit the Vatican Museums while you’re here. The Trastevere student neighborhood is a great place for backpackers offering cheap food and great bars.

Enjoy the canals in Venice:

One cannot come to Italy and not visit the most romantic city of this beautiful country. Have a leisurely gondola ride through the canals of Venice, walk down the winding streets and enjoy a romantic candle light dinner with your loved one. For couples of any age, Venice is a must visit in our Italy travel guide.

Visit Pompeii:

Experience the tragic history of Pompeii while you are in this ancient city. The city got destroyed in 79 A.D. due to an explosion of a nearby volcano, the now infamous Mount Vesuvius. The destroyed city was preserved under tons of ashes and magma, until it was finally rediscovered in 1748 A.D. Walk through the streets of the city as it stood on that day. You can also visit the lesser known Herculaneum, another city which got destroyed the same day.

The leaning tower of Pisa:

Taking a photo in front of the leaning tower of Pisa is a must to activity in each and every Italy travel guide. Although the city is known to be touristy, still a trip to Italy cannot be complete without a photo n front of this iconic monument.

Visit Florence:

Not visiting the birthplace of renaissance while on a vacation in Italy should be considered a crime. Explore the grandiose museums, the awe-striking artworks, the ancient buildings and the beautiful streets. On top of all the art and architecture, the food and gelato of this beautiful city is to die for.

See the trulli of Alberobello:

This small town of Southern Italy has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site because of the ancient structure of the houses of this city. These houses are called trulli. The roofs are made from limestone conical structures by following a pre-historic technique called corbelling. The trulli has a really unique shape and architecture, which makes them a must see attraction in our Italy travel guide.

Eat a pizza in Naples:

Naples, being the birthplace of pizza, serves the most authentic piece of pizza you can ever have in your life. You must have a slice you pizza in Naples if you really want to have a truly authentic Italian vacation.

Experience the cuisine of Sicily:

The island of Sicily has a completely unique cuisine of its own. If you are a food lover, then a meal in Sicily should be a must in your Italy travel guide. With its coastal beaches, beautiful seafood, mouthwatering desserts and full bodied wine, Sicily will give you a gastronomical experience in Italy which you wouldn’t want to miss.

Go on a wine tour:

Along with its food, Italy is equally famous for its beautiful wines. From Chianti to Sicily, from Lazio to Piedmont – there are over 20 wine regions spread across Northern to Southern Italy. That is why an Italy travel guide cannot be complete without suggesting a wine tour while you’re in this country. Have your pick and take a tour through the beautiful vineyards. You’ll also get to enjoy various wines produced in the winery.

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GREECE TRAVEL GUIDE: PLAN THE PERFECT TRIP TO GREECE

Greece, Travel Guides - Ross French - August 7, 2017

GREECE TRAVEL GUIDE

With its beautiful islands, mountainous interiors, endless coastlines and ancient ruins, Greece continues to amuse its visitors with its rich history and breathtaking landscapes. Despite the economic turmoil it faced, Greece is still one of the prime travel destinations all around the world. However, planning a trip in Greece is not the simplest thing to do. It isn’t as cheap as it’s used to be, and the extensive use of Greek language makes navigating its streets a difficult job. Our Greece travel guide is designed to help you get rid of those problems, and plan the perfect Greek vacation to indulge in the rich culture, delicious food and breathtaking landscape this country has in store for you. Continue Reading

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