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Book Europe Like a Local: 3 Super Sites for Reservations

By Budget Travel
October 3, 2012
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For the best search results (and deals), swap your favorite U.S.-based booking site for a European counterpart.

For Hotel Rooms

lastminute.com

While sites like Kayak and Hotwire do cover Europe, lastminute.com taps into a broader range of properties across nine European countries—with room rates up to half off. The site also features discounted day trips, spa packages, event tickets, and more.

For Dining Out

toptable.com

Making a dinner reservation in another language (and another time zone) can be tricky. Not so with Toptable: The site books seats in thousands of restaurants across 15 European countries, and you can sort by cuisine, price, ratings, and special offers.

For Rental Cars

europcar.com

As the largest rental-car consolidator on the Continent—with stations at 229 European airports alone—Europcar can afford to let vehicles go for as little as $32 per day. Bonus: Its no-fee membership program, called Privilege, earns drivers up to 30% off the leisure rate.


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Fresh-Air Fun in Europe: 3 New Outdoor Sights

Lately, European destinations have found novel ways to make the great outdoors more accessible for their citizens—and, by extension, for visitors. Here are three recent examples of outdoorsy ingenuity. Great Western Greenway, Ireland It’s called the Emerald Isle, so why not tour it in the greenest way possible? The first 11 miles of Ireland’s longest off-road cycling and walking trail opened last year, linking the coastal towns of Newport and Mulranny; a 15-mile extension added in June runs past Rockfleet Castle, the 16th-century home of pirate queen Grace O’Malley. Bike rentals are available through Newport Bicycle. newport-bicycle.com, $17 a day. Tempelhof Park, Berlin, Germany When Tempelhof Airport closed in 2008, Berlin was left with 950 weedy acres, a 3-million-square-foot terminal, and a jumbo-jet-size question: What to do with all this space? The city chose the most surreal option: Leave it as is, and call it a park. Catch this postapocalyptic expanse of abandoned runways and planes while it’s still untouched—a beautification plan begins in 2013. visitberlin.de/spot/tempelhofer-park. Madrid Rio Project, Spain Sure, Madrid has the Prado and the King, but it’s always been a bit jealous of one piece of Barcelona real estate: the Mediterranean. At last, the capital has found a way to go coastal. Opened in April, the Madrid Rio Project is a 6.2-mile green belt along the Manzanares River, formerly cut off from the city by a highway. It’s now home to sleek footbridges, bike paths—and the city’s first beaches. esmadrid.com/madridrio. MORE FROM BUDGET TRAVEL: In Through the Outdoors How a Camp-Shy Family Came to Love the Great Outdoors 10 Best Affordable Beachfront Hotels

Inspiration

Your take: The most important historic places of the new millennium

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Has your trip ever been saved by a stranger?

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Inspiration

5 last-minute leaf-peeping deals

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