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Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul, this year's #3 Travelers' Choice Destination... more
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Istanbul
Europe and Asia meet in Istanbul, this year's #3 Travelers' Choice Destination in the World, 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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The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague, #5 in the World in this... more
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Prague
The bohemian allure and fairytale features of Prague, #5 in the World in this year's Travelers' Choice Destination Awards, make it a perfect destination for beach-weary vacationers who want to immerse themselves in culture. Spend a full day exploring Prazsky hrad (Prague Castle), then refuel 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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The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market…in London, a perennial... more
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London
The crown jewels, Buckingham Palace, Camden Market…in London, a perennial Travelers' Choice Award winner, history collides with art, fashion, food, and good British ale. A perfect day is different for everyone: culture aficionados shouldn't miss the Tate Modern and the Royal Opera House. If you love fashion, Oxford Street has shopping galore. For foodies, cream tea at Harrod’s or crispy fish from a proper chippy offers classic London flavor. Music and book buffs will love seeing Abbey Road and the Sherlock Holmes Museum (at 221B Baker Street, of course).
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The Travelers' Choice #7 Destination in the World for 2015, Rome wasn't built in... more
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Rome
The Travelers' Choice #7 Destination in the World for 2015, Rome wasn't built in a day--and you'll need much more than a day to take in this timeless city. The city is a real-life collage of piazzas, open-air markets, and astonishing historic sites. Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain, contemplate the Colosseum and the Pantheon, and sample a perfect espresso or gelato before spending an afternoon shopping at the Campo de’Fiori or Via Veneto. Enjoy some of the most memorable meals of your life here, too, from fresh pasta to succulent fried artichokes or a tender oxtail stew.
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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. Get to know this romantic, rewarding Travelers' Choice Destination: 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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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, a Travelers' Choice Destination, 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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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 in this Travelers' Choice Destination by floating from tapas bar to tapas bar.
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A town literally carved into the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the... more
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Goreme
A town literally carved into the volcanic rock, Goreme is the gateway to the Goreme National Park, a vast UNESCO World Heritage Site that houses spectacular 10th- and 11th-century cave churches. The park itself is known for its chimney rock formations and is very popular with backpackers. This Travelers' Choice Destination is also a great area to sample Turkish cuisine and wine.
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The second largest city in Russia and a Travelers' Choice Destination for 2015,... more
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St. Petersburg
The second largest city in Russia and a Travelers' Choice Destination for 2015, 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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Thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens has become a city... more
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Athens
Thanks to fortunes brought by the 2004 Summer Olympics, Athens has become a city reformed. Spotless parks and streets, an ultra-modern subway, new freeways, an accessible airport and clear signage make the city easily negotiable. Meriting more than a stopover en route to the islands, sophisticated sites in this Travelers' Choice Destination 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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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. This Travelers' Choice Destination, called 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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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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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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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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This city, full of colorful homes, canals and bridges, is one of Europe's most... more
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Amsterdam
This city, full of colorful homes, canals and bridges, is one of Europe's most picturesque capitals. Must-sees on any visitor's itinerary include the Anne Frank House, the Van Gogh Museum and the world's only floating flower market. Rent a bike and join thousands of locals navigating Amsterdam's labyrinthine streets, or just take in the sights on foot. For an unusual and memorable alternative to hotels, consider staying in a houseboat.
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Land of Mermaids. Land of Orange and Lemon Groves. Land of Colors. This small... more
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Sorrento
Land of Mermaids. Land of Orange and Lemon Groves. Land of Colors. This small city in Campania has earned a plethora of alluring names. Famed for its sea cliffs, the town's steep slopes look out over azure waters to Ischia, Capri and the Bay of Naples. The birthplace of Limoncello liqueur offers some good diving, great sea fishing, boat cruises and appetizing restaurants. Excellent hiking trails cross the peninsula. Rent a car or take a taxi if the steep streets look too intimidating.
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Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago, was declared a city in the... more
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Funchal
Funchal, the capital of the Madeira archipelago, was declared a city in the 1500s, and became an important point between the old and new worlds. The laid-back city owes much of its historical prominence to "white gold," Madeiran sugar. Today Funchal is known for its appealing temperatures, wine and crafts. Top spots to visit include the open Worker's Market, Blandy's Wine Lodge and the Sacred Art Museum. Friendly locals, walkable streets and cheap taxis make the city easy to get around.
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Nestled in the northern part of the Canary Islands’ Fuerteventura, charming La... more
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La Oliva
Nestled in the northern part of the Canary Islands’ Fuerteventura, charming La Oliva features beautiful Spanish architecture, dramatic views, and eclectic nightlife. And the beaches? Oh, the beaches. Picnic on a pearly stretch of sand, take a dip or snorkel in the serene waters, or hop on a surfboard to enjoy the area’s most popular sport. Don’t worry if you’ve yet to get your proverbial feet wet—there are lots of area surf schools that will have you hanging ten in no time.
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Reykjavik bears the distinction of being the world’s northernmost capital, and... more
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Reykjavik
Reykjavik bears the distinction of being the world’s northernmost capital, and for many Icelandic visitors it also serves as a gateway to the rugged adventure options beyond. Recharge after outdoor pursuits in one of the many geothermal springs or luxurious indoor spas. We appreciate Reykjavik’s open-minded and energetic culture that includes a hip and internationally recognized music and arts scene, great food and notoriously "enthusiastic" nightlife.
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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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Forget fashionable footwear, only your most comfortable shoes will cut it in... more
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Killarney
Forget fashionable footwear, only your most comfortable shoes will cut it in Killarney. It's a walking town, and every trail is a history lesson. Journey on foot through Ireland's first national park, 26,000 acres of woodlands, sandstone mountains and low-lying lakes. When your feet wear out, take in Killarney National Park via boat from Ross Castle. And because there are more hotel beds in Killarney than in any other Irish town or city (besides Dublin), you'll always have a place to rest your head (and feet).
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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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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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