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jun 12 2014

5 Outdoor Wonders Just Beyond Berlin

Saxon Switzerland in Germany

Don't miss the Saxon Switzerland rock formation, one of Germany's natural hidden gems.

(Courtesy Ofer Valencio Akerman)

This article was written by Ofer Valencio Akerman, a turnaround expert and lifetime entrepreneur. He is the founder of hivino.travel, a travel site dedicated to helping people discover amazing places in Germany.

Not sure where to spend your next weekend adventure? Take a breather from the hustle and bustle of Berlin, and broaden your horizons at one of the national parks just a stone's throw from the city. Discovered by HiVino, these five spots offer all manner of flora, fauna, and fun-filled activities with nary a U-Bahn station in sight.

jun 14 2013

Do You Need Travel Insurance?

The Danube has overflowed its banks due to heavy spring rains, causing the cancellation of some cruises out of Budapest, Hungary.

(Courtesy cspaid/myBudgetTravel)

As heavy spring rains caused major European rivers like the Elbe and the Danube to overflow their banks, serious flooding has hit parts of Germany, Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Hungary. With more than 20 deaths and extensive damage to structures, the floods also caused the cancellation of several river cruises, including cruises from Budapest, Hungary, and those that call on the popular German port Passau.

nov 21 2012

Airbnb Wants to Show You Around the World’s Top Cities

Downtown London

Explore different areas of London with Airbnb's new Neighborhoods feature.

(Courtesy xiquinhosilva/Flickr)

One of my favorite things to do when visiting a city is exploring its different neighborhoods—it's fascinating that you can feel worlds away in a matter of a few short blocks. Venturing out can be tough, however, when you have limited time but varied interests, and when you're unfamiliar with the layout of a city. Many travelers use guidebooks; some rely on recommendations. Personally, if I'm comfortable enough with the transportation system in question, I like to see where a few random left or right turns will take me. Popular vacation rental website Airbnb has combined all three methods with their new "Neighborhoods" feature, which launched this week.

dec 14 2011

3 Affordable New Ways to See Europe's Quaintest Cities

Genevieve Shaw Brown (Courtesy Jakob Montrasio/Flickr)

Remember your brave, virgin trip to Europe? When you wore a backpack and lived on cheese, hot baguettes, and red wine? You were such a natural at loose-and-easy travel. You instinctively knew that the best budget travel tip of all is to take advantage of the Continent's affordable train and coach bus options, hopscotching around instead of staying put.

oct 05 2011

A Few Appetizing Food Museums

Food and travel are two great concepts that go together. But have you ever checked out a museum that specializes in cuisine? Here are a few worth a taste.

The Frietmuseum in Bruges, Belgium, is only a few years old and is devoted to the history of the fried potato (friet in Dutch and frites in French). The tour of galleries ends with a visit to a kitchen where you can see friet cooked—and judge yourself by sampling some. €6 (or $8), frietmuseum.be.

nov 10 2010

Controversy: Hitler exhibit now open in Berlin

Women working on small busts of Hitler, 1937 (Courtesy Suddeutsche Zeitung Photo/Scheri)
The Third Reich, Berlin, 1935, by Georg Netzband (Courtesy Indra Desnica/German Historical Museum)

Last month, the German Historical Museum in Berlin opened an exhibit titled "Hitler and the Germans: Nation and Crime." The show focuses on the relationship between the Fuhrer, an undistinguished young man who even spent time in a homeless shelter, and the ordinary people of Germany who accepted him as their leader. The artifacts on display represent the everyday and even the mundane in the 1930s and early '40s, including a lantern with a Nazi symbol, playing cards with Hitler's image, and an advertisement for cigarettes featuring a Nazi soldier. But the exhibit has drawn big crowds (10,000 on opening weekend)—and some controversy.

jun 23 2009

4 cool audio tours for cities worldwide

Actress Shu Qi narrates Soundwalk's Hong Kong tour (Stephan Crasneanscki/courtesy Soundwalk)

How four innovators are making the audio tour cool. (Really!)

Soundwalk

Founder Stephan Crasneanscki revolutionized audio tours eight years ago by focusing on under-the-radar neighborhoods and recruiting pop-culture narrators. The company's latest endeavor: partnering with Louis Vuitton to create guided walks through Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong in which Chinese actresses weave local folktales into their narratives. soundwalk.com, hourlong tours from $10.

apr 10 2009

Germany: The centuries-old Oberammergau Passion Play reboots in 2010

One of the buildings in Oberammergau, Germany (Courtesy DanieVDM/Flickr)

Mark your calendars now for summer 2010, when the Oberammergau Passion Play will be performed for the first time since 2000.

The five-hour play, which begins with Jesus entering Jerusalem and follows the story through his death and resurrection, involves more than 2,000 actors and singers, many of them locals from this Bavarian town about 60 miles southwest of Munich. Performed for 102 days every 10 years, the show attracts viewers from around the world—nearly 500,000 of them each time.

feb 13 2009

Living vicariously: Oscar-inspired travel deals

Vicky Cristina Barcelona (Courtesy Victor Bello/The Weinstein Company, 2008)

Round these parts, we love movies, especially travel-inspiring ones, and I know where I'll be Feb. 22: watching the Oscars. It's overblown, self-congratulatory, but just so fun—the dresses! The speeches! The awkward reaction shots from the losers!

nov 20 2008

Seeing NYC, Berlin, and Paris by bus

The Cloisters (Courtesy jdiakon/myBudgetTravel)

Seth Kugel at the New York Times has pulled together a handy tour that covers Manhattan from top (the Cloisters) to bottom (Bowling Green). The trip, which takes 3-1/2 hours, relies mainly on using the city's public buses, with a bit of subway and some walking added to the mix.

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