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Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul, where breathtaking ancient architecture... more
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Istanbul
Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul, where breathtaking ancient architecture coexists with modern restaurants and nightlife. The city's mosques, bazaars, and hammams (Turkish baths) could keep you happily occupied for your entire trip. Start with the awe-inspiring Sultan Ahmet Camii (Blue Mosque), visible from many points of the city. Stroll the Galata Bridge and stop by the Miniaturk Park to see its tiny artifacts. The Grand Bazaar has thousands of shops to browse, while the Egyptian Bazaar is a fragrant trove of spices and fruits.
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Rome can’t be toured in a day, either. The city feels like the exhibit halls of... more
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Rome
Rome can’t be toured in a day, either. The city feels like the exhibit halls of a giant outdoor museum, a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and mind-boggling historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, drop your jaw at the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and fuel up on cappuccino for an afternoon of shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Dig into a plate of fresh pasta, some succulent fried artichokes, or a tender oxtail stew for one of the best meals of your life.
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The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market… In London, history collides... more
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London
The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market… In London, history collides with art, fashion, food, and good British ale. A perfect day is different for everyone: culture hounds should hit the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House. Clotheshorses will drool over Oxford Street shops. For foodies, cream tea at Harrod’s or crispy fish from a proper chippy offers classic London flavor. Music and book buffs will freak out over Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum (at 221B Baker Street, natch).
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The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague make it a perfect... more
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Prague
The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. You could devote an entire day to exploring Prazsky hrad (Prague Castle), then refueling over a hearty dinner at a classic Czech tavern. Spend some time wandering the Old Town Square before heading over to gape at The Old Town Hall and Astronomical Clock. Prague’s best bars are found in cellars, where historic pubs set the scene for a night of traditional tippling.
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Lingering over pain au chocolat in a sidewalk café, relaxing after a day of... more
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Paris
Lingering over pain au chocolat in a sidewalk café, relaxing after a day of strolling along the Seine and marveling at icons like the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe… the perfect Paris experience combines leisure and liveliness with enough time to savor both an exquisite meal and exhibits at the Louvre. Awaken your spirit at Notre Dame, bargain hunt at the Marché aux Puces de Montreuil or for goodies at the Marché Biologique Raspail, then cap it all off with a risqué show at the Moulin Rouge.
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Berlin is an edgy city, from its fashion to its architecture to its charged... more
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Berlin
Berlin is an edgy city, from its fashion to its architecture to its charged political history. The Berlin Wall is a sobering reminder of the hyper-charged postwar atmosphere, and yet the graffiti art that now covers its remnants has become symbolic of social progress. Check out the Weltzeituhr (world time) Clock, topped by a model of the solar system, then turn back time by dining at the historic Zur Letzten Instanz, a 16th century restaurant that was frequented by Napoleon and Beethoven.
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Florence is an art historian’s dream. The Galleria dell'Accademia bursts with... more
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Florence
Florence is an art historian’s dream. The Galleria dell'Accademia bursts with works by Michelangelo, who is entombed within the frescoed walls of the Basilica di Santa Croce. Budding photographers can snap pics of the Ponte Vecchio bridge, and serious shoppers can spend a blissful afternoon wandering the shops of Piazza Santo Spirito. Tuscan cuisine pays homage to the region’s bounty. Swipe a hunk of crusty bread across a pool of local olive oil and you’ll be instantly transported to your happiest place.
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Barcelona feels a bit surreal – appropriate, since Salvador Dali spent time here... more
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Barcelona
Barcelona feels a bit surreal – appropriate, since Salvador Dali spent time here and Spanish Catalan architect Antoni Gaudí designed several of the city’s buildings. Stepping into Gaudí’s Church of the Sacred Family is a bit like falling through the looking glass - a journey that you can continue with a visit to Park Güell. Sip sangria at a sidewalk café in Las Ramblas while watching flamboyant street performers, then create your own moveable feast by floating from tapas bar to tapas bar.
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The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural... more
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St. Petersburg
The second largest city in Russia, St. Petersburg is the country’s cultural heart. View splendid architectural gems like the Winter Palace and the Kazan Cathedral, and give yourself plenty of time to browse the world-renowned art collection of the Hermitage. Sprawling across the Neva River delta, St. Petersburg offers enough art, nightlife, fine dining and cultural destinations for many repeat visits.
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Over 15 million gallons of water bubble daily into Budapest's 118 springs and... more
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Budapest
Over 15 million gallons of water bubble daily into Budapest's 118 springs and boreholes. The city of spas offers an astounding array of baths, from the sparkling Gellert Baths to the vast 1913 neo-baroque Szechenyi Spa to Rudas Spa, a dramatic 16th-century Turkish pool with original Ottoman architecture. The "Queen of the Danube" is also steeped in history, culture and natural beauty. Get your camera ready for the Roman ruins of the Aquincum Museum, Heroes' Square and Statue Park, and the 300-foot dome of St. Stephen's Basilica.
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The museums of Lisbon celebrate the rich history and culture of this Portuguese... more
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Lisbon
The museums of Lisbon celebrate the rich history and culture of this Portuguese capital city. The Maritime Museum is perfect for kids (and grown-ups!) who adore all things nautical, while the Casa-Museu Dr. Anastácio Gonçalves is a hidden gem of colorful artwork. To fully appreciate the city’s dramatic stone architecture you can take a guided walking tour, or customize your own tour, making sure to visit the Padrao dos Descobrimentos, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, and the UNESCO World Heritage site the Torre de Belem.
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With its gondolas, canals, amazing restaurants, and unforgettable romantic... more
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Venice
With its gondolas, canals, amazing restaurants, and unforgettable romantic ambiance, Venice is definitely a city for one's bucket list. Waterfront palazzos, palaces, and churches make drifting down the Grand Canal feel like cruising through a painting. To really experience Venice you must go to the opera or to a classical music performance, nibble fresh pasta and pastries, and linger in the exhibit halls of an art gallery. Label lovers will drool over the high-end shopping in Piazza San Marco.
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So many of Madrid’s buildings look like castles, you’ll think you’ve stumbled... more
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Madrid
So many of Madrid’s buildings look like castles, you’ll think you’ve stumbled into a fairytale. Even City Hall is astounding, with its white pinnacles and neo-Gothic features. A self-guided architecture tour can begin by the great bear statue in the central Puerta del Sol. Wander by the fanciful Royal Palace before absorbing the natural beauty of Retiro Park, then visit one of the city’s many museums. You could happily cap off each day by nibbling on forkfuls of paella while sipping Spanish rioja.
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Amsterdam is truly a biker’s city, although pedaling along the labyrinthine... more
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Amsterdam
Amsterdam is truly a biker’s city, although pedaling along the labyrinthine streets can get a little chaotic. Stick to walking and you won’t be disappointed. The gentle canals make a perfect backdrop for exploring the Jordaan and Rembrandtplein square. Pop into the Red Light District if you must - if only so you can say you’ve been there. The Anne Frank House is one of the most moving experiences a traveler can have, and the Van Gogh Museum boasts a sensational collection of works.
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Krakow is one of the most culturally and politically significant cities in... more
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Krakow
Krakow is one of the most culturally and politically significant cities in Poland. It was the central site of the Nazi General Government during WWII, and there’s still a residual feeling of solemnity here that’s especially apparent during visits to the Plaszow Concentration Camp and the Oskar Schindler Factory. Both the Historic City Centre and the Jewish District are brimming with cafés, shops, and pubs, and the 10-acre Main Market Square is a medieval feast for the senses.
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In Vienna, the coffee house isn’t just a hangout: it’s an institution. Lingering... more
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Vienna
In Vienna, the coffee house isn’t just a hangout: it’s an institution. Lingering over a newspaper with a pastry and a strong espresso drink is, according to UNESCO, officially a Viennese cultural pastime. Walk off your slice of Sachertorte with a self-guided tour of the city’s stunning traditional, Secessionist, and modern architecture, such as the Imperial Palace, the State Opera House, the Kirche am Steinhof, or the Kunsthistorisches Museum, an exercise in ornate geometry.
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One of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan offers endless opportunities for chic... more
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Milan
One of the world’s fashion capitals, Milan offers endless opportunities for chic shopping. Hit the artsy neighborhood of Brera for leather goods and Via Monte Napoleone for exclusive, expensive boutiques. The enchanting mosaics and glass vaults of Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II make shoppers feel like they’re wandering inside a painting. Take break from your spree to gape at the iconic Duomo, then grab tickets to a performance at La Scala. Post-opera, the Navigli district pulses with late-night activity.
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Once known for smog, traffic and tacky architecture, Athens is a city reformed... more
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Athens
Once known for smog, traffic and tacky architecture, Athens is a city reformed thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer Olympics. Spotless parks and streets, an ultra-modern subway, new freeways, an accessible airport and all signs in perfect English make the city easily negotiable. Meriting more than a stopover en route to the islands, sophisticated Athens sites include many pillars of Western history, from the Acropolis to the Temple of Olympian Zeus, as well as treasures in the National Archaeological Museum.
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When most people think of Zermatt, they think of one thing: The Matterhorn. This... more
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Zermatt
When most people think of Zermatt, they think of one thing: The Matterhorn. This ultimate Swiss icon looms over Zermatt, first drawing visitors here in the 1860s. The village of Zermatt itself is lovely and car-free, with old-fashioned brown chalets and winding alleys. (Don’t worry, you don’t have to walk everywhere—there are electric vehicles and horse-drawn cabs.) Skiing in the region often lasts through early summer, but when the weather’s warmer, it’s a great time to hike.
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The Cappadocia region's most upscale and contemporary tourist city, Urgup has a... more
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Urgup
The Cappadocia region's most upscale and contemporary tourist city, Urgup has a number of lovely hotels, many built in and around centuries-old cave dwellings. The city and its surrounding area are known for their mysterious fairy chimneys, early Christian rock churches and fine vineyards. A mix of ancient and modern, Urgup is a center for traditional handmade carpets, but also has a lively nightlife. Hot air ballooning is very popular, and a fantastic way to see the area's beauty from above.
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You've probably heard that Guinness tastes better in Dublin (fresh from the... more
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Dublin
You've probably heard that Guinness tastes better in Dublin (fresh from the factory), but what you may not know is that Dublin is a perfect destination for the whole family. No, we're not suggesting you let the kiddies drink a pint. Instead, take them to the Dublin Zoo, to feed the ducks in Stephen's Green or on a picnic in Phoenix Park. Scholars enjoy walking in the literary footsteps of such writers as Yeats and Joyce, while discerning shoppers have their pick of designer boutiques.
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The political, scientific, historical, architectural and business center of... more
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Moscow
The political, scientific, historical, architectural and business center of Russia, Moscow displays the country's contrasts at their most extreme. The ancient and modern are juxtaposed side by side in this city of 10 million. Catch a metro from one of the ornate stations to see Red Square, the Kremlin, the nine domes of St. Basil's Cathedral, Lenin's Mausoleum, the KGB Museum and other symbols of Moscow's great and terrible past, then lighten up and shop Boulevard Ring or people watch in Pushkin Square.
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Ancient ruins, mud baths and loggerhead sea turtle breeding grounds are just... more
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Dalyan
Ancient ruins, mud baths and loggerhead sea turtle breeding grounds are just some of the magical features of Dalyan. Beach sports, bike rides and river tours will satisfy your inner adventurer. Don’t miss the ornate Lycian tombs, carved into the cliffs along the Dalyan Çayı River circa 400 B.C.
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Steeped in Celtic and medieval history, Edinburgh is a cultural tapestry that’s... more
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Edinburgh
Steeped in Celtic and medieval history, Edinburgh is a cultural tapestry that’s largely visually defined by hills, cathedrals, and the bold stone turrets of Edinburgh Castle. The city is also festival-happy - it's the site of several annual celebrations of art, music, theater, and comedy. Cheer on your favorite team at a football or rugby match, then relax over a pint in a local pub. A Scotch Whisky tour is a must, as is pinching your nose and digging bravely into a steaming plate of haggis.
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The biggest beach resort on the Adriatic Sea, Rimini is a favored Italian... more
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Rimini
The biggest beach resort on the Adriatic Sea, Rimini is a favored Italian seaside holiday destination for Italians themselves. The city offers an impressive nine miles of beaches, though many of these have private access for the scores of hotels facing the shore. The old town, about a 15-minute walk inland, has many interesting sights, including the Arch of Augustus from 27 BC, and Tiberius Bridge from the early 1st century. Rimini also boasts many great restaurants and an energetic nightlife.
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