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3 days in Vienna Itinerary: Travel and Sightseeing guide

3 days in Vienna Itinerary: Travel and Sightseeing guide

Visiting Vienna for 3 days is a fantastic option to explore the exciting city and all the amazing sights. In that amount of time you can visit all the best parts of the city including the main sights and top attractions. For sure, you will love this old new city, the vibrant life and the delicious Austrian food. There is so much to see and to do and definitely, this 3-day itinerary will give you a great overview of the must-see sights and the travel highlights.

In this article we are going to share our 3 days itinerary for an unforgettable trip to Vienna and additionally at the end of this post we have a special hotel recommendation for you.

Here is our suggestion for a 3-day itinerary in Vienna:

 

Vienna itinerary, DAY 1

Start your Vienna trip with exploring the beautiful Belvedere Palace and the magnificent baroque gardens. At first walk from the Upper Belvedere down to the Lower Belvedere and enjoy the outstanding beautiful scenery. We really loved the flower gardens and the reflecting pool in front of the palace. Even though the Belvedere is one of Vienna’s most impressive palaces, at morning time you will have all the area nearly to yourself. In case you are a fan of art you definitely should consider a visit of the Belvedere museums too: A permanent exhibition at the Upper Belvedere displays among others the world-famous Klimt´s Kiss.

At early lunch time we recommend a visit to Vienna’s most popular market, the Naschmarkt which is just a short walk from Karlsplatz. Make a stop at the St. Charles Church, an eye-catching religious building with a magnificent blue cupula. Not just in summer, but also in winter the Karlsplatz is really worth a visit at this time a traditional Christmas market is taking place in front of the church.

Without a doubt the Naschmarkt is one of the coolest places to have lunch in Vienna and a popular meeting point for young and old. In generally, the market has around 120 market stands and restaurants, selling exotic products and delicacies from all over the world.

The Ringstrasse is a 5,3 km long road that circles Vienna’s city centre. On that street, you are going to pass some of the most remarkable and breath-taking buildings of the town. The most noteworthy sights are the Parliament (at the moment under construction), the City Hall, the Imperial Palace (Hofburg) and the Burgtheater.

If you have some time left we recommend a visit inside the glorious Burgtheater. You can visit this theatre without seeing a performance by taking a guided tour (daily 15:00). There you will learn a lot about the fascinating history of the Burgtheater and you will get a look behind the scenes. On top you are going to see the breath-taking beautiful grand staircase and the famous ceiling paintings by Gustav Klimt.

A lovely option is to tour the Ringstrasse on the tourist Ring Tram or you can also catch the public city tram (Nr.1 & Nr. 2)

For the evening we round of our first day of sight-seeing with a visit to Vienna’s amusement park the Prater. Why not dine out at the Schweizerhaus restaurant for tasting its famous Schweizerhaus Stelze or a traditional Wiener Schnitzel?!

For entering the Wiener Prater you won`t have to pay any entrance fee, you just have to pay for the attractions you would like to ride. Even if you are not that kind of adrenal junkie you will love exploring the nostalgic Prater with its unique atmosphere. Recommended is a ride with the Giant Ferries Wheel which is Vienna’s landmark.

Vienna itinerary, DAY 2

A trip to Vienna won’t be complete without visiting one of the numerous museums. Actually, we loved visiting the Museum of Natural History. The huge museum exhibits over 30 million objects and we had been fascinating by the dimension. Also, the Art History museum located at the opposite is well worth seeing.

Absolutely interesting is the MuseumsQuartier, spreading over 90,000m2 encompassing 60 cultural institutions.

If you are around also take the chance to look inside the Palace of Justice! Step inside and you will find yourself in one of the most impressive locations you will find in Vienna. The grand staircase dominates the huge hall and the imposing interior will take your breath away! Most of the people don`t know that the building is open for the public and the entrance is for free.

Furthermore from the roof-top Cafè you will have an amazing view.

After spending the morning inside a museum, you should hit off to see the world-famous Lipizzaner horses. Best you cross the picturesque square Michaelaplatz to buy tickets for the Spanish riding school. Just take a rest at the baroque square and watch the traditional Vienna Fiaker passing by.

Visiting the white Lipizzaner show was just lovely. It was so interesting to watch the horsemanship accompanied by classical music. Good to know: This noble horse and the traditional stallions can be seen for free, just peep in at Reitschulgasse 2.

Another must do in Vienna is a visiting an original Viennese coffee house. You are going to find plenty of them inside Vienna’s Old town. All along, the Viennese coffee house is a typical institution of Vienna that plays an important role in Viennese culture. Have a break, enjoy a delicious “Melange” coffee and soak in this elegant and very specific atmosphere.

Later, we recommend to have a look inside the Austrian National Library, the State Hall. The imposing baroque hall impressed us a lot! More than 200.000 tomes are exhibited and four picturesque Venetian baroque globes grace the ancient library.

Most surprising for us was the visit inside the Imperial Crypt also named the Capuchin Cryp.That place contains the bodies of the Habsburg rulers: 149 Habsburgs, including 12 emperors as well as 19 empresses and queens, have their final resting inside the crypt. Popular examples are Franz Joseph I., Empress Elisabeth and Crown Prince Rudolf and visitors can observe their magnificent free-standing tombs.

Don`t leave the town without window shopping at the Graben, Viennas most exclusive shopping street! Even if you don`t likes shopping, walking down the Graben street towards the St. Stephen´s Cathedral. With its beautiful architecture like the Peterskirche the short walk is really pleasureable.

 

Our tip: The cathedral is one of the main attractions of Vienna and the inside as well as the outside are worth a visit. But also recommendable is the view from the top of the St. Stephen´s Cathedral.

You are going to have the best view of Vienna at the northern tower (Pummerin).

As few of the main sights are located along the Ringstrasse, for example, the Opera house and the Burggarten. Take a break at the wonderful Palmenhouse at Burggarten and enjoy the picturesque scenery. As soon as the sun goes down head of to see the Opera house:  At night the Opera is stunningly lit and looks drop-dead gorgeous!

Vienna itinerary, DAY 3

After breakfast, set off to Schönbrunn Palace! Because it’s Austria’s most visited tourist attraction you should be there early. That’s why at morning time you will find a calm and peaceful location. Take a stroll along the magnificent Schönbrunn Gardens and inhale the grand imperial atmosphere. Also you shouldn’t miss to walk up to the Gloriette and get rewarded with one of Vienna’s most breathtaking views. Take some time to explore the Schönbrunn Palace. We had been surprised about all the picturesque smaller gardens, fountains and statues.

There’s even a Palmenhaus and the world’s oldest zoo, the Schönbrunn Zoo to explore. The entire area is part of the imperial summer residence and is even listed as an UNESCO world heritage site.

The palaces itself is enormous, with a total of 1,441 rooms. Certain parts of the castle and exhibitions can be visited.

If you are interested in outstanding architecture you should definitely go and see the popular Hundertwasserhouse. This architectural masterpiece was designed by Friedensreich Hundertwasser and constructed between 1983 – 1985. You have to know that The Hundertwasserhouse can only be viewed from outside but the exterior façade draws attention to itself and gives a fantastic foto motif.

Our tip: Hundertwasser also transferred the incinerator at Spittelau in something extraordinary!

 

Hotel Altstadt Vienna – Hotel Recommondation

For our latest city trip to Vienna we had been guests at the hotel Altstadt Vienna. It’s located in Vienna’s hippest and fashionable 7.th district “Neubau” in Spittelberg also named as Boboville. In fact the hotel is a venerable traditional Viennese patrician house that offers around 60 hotel rooms. All of the rooms are held in a unique design, each of them is different and so inspiring. Different designers and architects created the interior of this unique boutique hotel and we really loved our stay in the beautiful Lilli Hollein Suite.

Everything felt so much like home and even better. There are so many nice touches like free afternoon tea and sweets-buffet, outstanding breakfast, free homemade ice-tea for hotel guests to the helpfulness of the staff and free newspapers and magazines galore.

Also unique was having the excellent breakfast inside the lovely salon area: An incredible delicious  buffet with different kind of  cheeses, hearty breads and rolls with all kinds of spreads, healthy cereal, smoked salmon, smoothies, Viennese coffee, high quality tea and even prosecco – in the background classical music – a great way to start the day!

For bookings or more informations ->  Click here 
For bookings or more informations ->  Click here 

On top the hotel is conveniently located just a short walk from the subway and tram. Museumsquartier, Natural History Museum & Art History Museum, Rathaus and Burgtheater are all in walking distance and great restaurants and bars are just around the hotels corner.

 
And that’s it for our guide to spending 3 days in Vienna – if you would like to read more about Vienna, check out -> 16 Top Things To Do In Vienna


 


Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Transparency: For this stay we were invited by Hotel Altstadt Vienna. As usual, our opinion remains unaffected.


Thailand Island Hopping: from Krabi to Koh Lipe

Thailand Island Hopping: from Krabi to Koh Lipe

 

Hauntingly beautiful islands, crystal clear turquoise waters and world class white powder sandy beaches: Thailand is an amazing travel destination and travelers and backpacker from all of the world flock to see the world’s best beaches. There are more than 300 islands waiting for you to be explored and so it makes sense to visit some of the most beautiful ones by island hopping. This article is all about an epic itinerary from Krabi to Koh Lipe and about visiting some of the best islands of South Thailand.

You want to do Thailand Island Hopping but you are not sure where to go? Looking for a Route in South Thailand? Here is our Thailand route for Island Hopping starting from Krabi to Koh Lipe:

Krabi Island Hopping: Krabi to Koh Lipe (Map)

Thailand Island Hopping Itinerary – Krabi to Koh Lipe

 

Traveling around in South Thailand is really uncomplicated, the accommodations and transport are still cheap and everything is easy to organize. You can manage to have a daily budget with no more than 20 Euros! Hence it’s much better to plan by yourself and not book one of the Thailand Island hopping tours in advanced. At the end of the Thailand Island hopping blog post you will find useful tips and information about the prices, transport and accommodations!

Krabi

We had been to Bangkok for a couple of days and although this city is really cool, it was time to explore the best beaches of Thailand. For our first stop we chose Krabi, one of the most beautiful provinces in Thailand. Krabi, the town itself doesn’t have any beaches, but you should stay there a night to visit the beautiful Tiger Cave Temple with its “Wonderland” forest! We met a nice monk who walked us around – the forest was so calm and peaceful – an amazing experience!

Railay Beach – Krabi

The first stop on our Island Hopping Tour through South Thailand was Railay Beach. Although Krabi is not an island and Railay Beach is attached to the mainland of Krabi province, it’s not connected by road. Tourists have to take a long-tail boat from Krabi to reach Railay Beach (100 baht p.p). With its limestone cliffs and the turquoise clear water, Railay is a real tropical paradise, not just for sunlovers but also for climbers. And if you walk around the peninsula. you will definitely see some monkeys too!
There are 3 different beaches to explore with some nice resorts in all price classes.

Koh Lanta

After 2 nights we headed off to Koh Lanta (Minibus 400 baht p.p). We really loved Koh Lanta! It is actually a place I could imagine staying longer. It’s for sure not the most beautiful island in Thailand BUT Koh Lanta has a great vibe! Just hire a scooter and explore the island! You will find plenty of relaxing beaches to stay and enjoy some fresh coconut. If you fancy going for a snorkeling trip, you should book an excursion to Koh Rok – on this island you will have the chance to see some huge lizards.

Phuket

Phuket is the largest island in Thailand and there are plenty of cool things to see. Really impressive is the huge Buddha as it is one of the most famous landmarks in all of Phuket. Also you are going to find plenty sandy beaches like Nai Harn Beach or Karon Beach. A great way to explore the island is by motorbike.

Even there, there is a view of nice things to see, Phuket is quite busy with a vibrant nightlife but not too amazing, so we left the next day to Koh Phi Phi.

Koh Phi Phi & Koh Phi Phi Leh

From Phuket we took the ferry to Koh Phi Phi  (800 baht p.p). We stayed at a beautiful Long Beach – there are a few nice and affordable resorts. Koh Phi Phi with its clear blue waters, white sandy beaches and fantastic party vibe is one of Thailand’s most popular backpacker islands for a reason. Hike up to the Koh Phi Phi Viewpoint (ap.30 min from Ton Sai Village) – the view from the top is breathtaking!

We highly recommend visiting surrounding beaches, like the Monkey Beach, and islands with a traditional long-tail boat. For sure you have to visit the Koh Phi Phi Leh Island – it’s a must see! There is the famous Maya Bay from the movie “the Beach”.

 

Koh Ngai

Koh Ngai is an island where you just want to get lost. The white sandy beach is just beautiful and the island is so relaxing – there are just a handful of resorts on it – no streets, no tuk tuks, no shops – nothing to do, just relax and enjoy! We stayed in a fantastic budget tent village – the locals were amazing there and went on a fishing trip with us! This dreamy island was definitely one of our top highlights while traveling from Krabi to Koh Lipe!

If you want to read more about the drop-dead gorgeous island Koh Ngai, check out “Koh Ngai – The Paradise Island Travel Guide

Koh Mook & the Emerald Caves

When you walk around Koh Ngai or Koh Mook you can visit The Emerald Caves, which were believed to once be home to pirate treasures! Entering the caves was quite an adventure – the caves are completely dark and we swam 80 m until we came out to the secret beach. Koh Mook is a tiny island but also offers some nice beaches, a gorgeous getaway is the dreamy  Sivalai Beach Resort.

Koh Bulon Lae

Wow – what an island! Koh Bulon is a postcard island – with its white sand, palm trees, and turquoise water – the most beautiful beaches ever, I think it’s still a secret escape! It’s such a paradise for beach lovers- the water is so clear, you can see fish swarms swimming around you. And on the land there are even lizard’s strolling around! Koh Bulon quickly became our favorite island in South Thailand and we highly recommend staying on this awesome island. If you want to read more about the heavenly beautiful island Koh Bulon, check out the article “Koh Bulon Lae travel guide: Thailand`s island paradise”

Koh Lipe

Last but not our least: Honestly – we had big expectations for Koh Lipe, and this island didn’t disappoint us. From there you can do some great snorkeling trips to visit some wonderful coral reefs. We saw a wide range of colorful fish, some clown fish and huge morays. Koh Lipe was our last stop of our Thailand Island hopping trip – from there we continued our journey to Malaysia – Langkawi. But it’s also possible to return from Koh Lipe to Krabi by boat.


Krabi/Thailand Island Hopping – Insider Tips 

  • Where to sleep: You will find a wide range of beach resorts and bungalows in each price class, in low season you will get much cheaper rates. If you want to be on the safe side you can book in advance.
  • What to eat: There are a variety of restaurants on each island. Eating out in Thailand is cheap – 1,5-4,00 Euro for local food – we loved to eat Phat Thai, Green Curry and fresh seafood.
  • Rent a scooter: Renting a scooter is always a good choice to explore the islands. Inspect the motorbike properly before taking it and don`t forget the wheels.
  • Thai Boxing: If you are interested in Thai boxing, there is a cool place for watching at Koh Phi Phi: The Reggae Bar. They have live Muay Thai fighting with professional fighters as well as tourist who fight for some drinks.
  • Bargain: Prices of hotel rooms, transport tickets, excursion tickets often can be negotiable.
  • Beware: Take care of your luggage, always have your valuables with you.
  • Luggage: We recommend to take a backpack instead of a trolley. It’s much easier to travel around.
  • Party: If you like to party you should visit Phuket. But also Loh Dalum Bay at Koh Phi Phi is well known for its nightlife.
  • Krabi: Avoid Ao Nang – you will find the most beautiful beach at Railay!
  • Transport: There are lots of agencies selling bus tickets, ferry tickets, excursions and hotel rooms. Some of them can be a bit pushing, so before you book compare the prices and try to negotiate! Here you can book tickets in advanced.

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Read more about Thailand:


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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


 

Czech Republic Road Trip Itinerary

Czech Republic road trip itinerary

 

The Czech Republic is a fantastic travel country, spoiled with culture, great architecture and amazing nature jewels. With around 2000 Castles, it is the most castle dense region in the world. The local food is more than delicious! You will feel like you’re in paradise if you are not a vegetarian. And do not miss the opportunity to try some of the world’s best beers! Our 12-day road trip through Czech Republic was an amazing experience and gave us the chance to see some of the best sights.

We had been to Praha years ago, but this summer we decided to exp0lore some other parts of the Czech Republic. The Czech Republic road trip took us around 12 days, we visited some of the best places and in this blog post we will share our Czech Republic itinerary with you and give you a useful overview if you are planning a trip there.

At the end of this Czech Republic road trip itinerary you will find useful insider tips for visiting the Czech Republic!

Let´s explore the Czech Republic! Here is our Itinerary for a road trip

 

Cesky Krumlov

Day 1-2: Cesky Krumlov is one of the most beautiful small towns in Europe. Though most people just visit it for a day trip, we spent 3 days in this beautiful village and we didn`t get bored. The Historic Center is a UNESCO World Heritage Center, with beautiful bright colored buildings, which give you great photo motives.  From the Cesky Krumlov Castle you will have a brilliant view to the town below and also the view from the tower of the Castle is breath-taking. If you like art, you should absolutely visit the Egon Schiele Art Centrum. The best goulash and beer we had in the Eggenberg Brewery – the stuff is a bit grumpy there but the food is delicious. Stay the night in the Hotel Myln, located just next to the river – you will love the view!

Hluboka Castle

Day 3: Visiting Hluboka Castle is like visiting a fairy tale and it’s known as one of the most beautiful castles in Czech Republic. The locals call it the Czech Neuschwanstein Castle! You should be there in the early morning to avoid the crowds. Actually, visiting the Hluboka Castle was a highlight at the Czech Republic road trip!

Heading to the Marianske Lazne, we came around to the Temelin nuclear power station – that was quite scary for us. In Austria we do not have any of them – and this one is one of the oldest and most unsecure in Europe. It looks giant with its 155 m high cooling towers.

 

Marianske Lazne – Marienbad

Day 3-5: The Marianske Lazne town offers lovely parks and elegant, historical buildings. You shouldn’t miss the “singing fountain” next to the beautiful yellow baroque Colonnades. The different composition of the town’s numerous springs makes it the perfect place to treat a wide variety of ailments.

We loved our stay in the Danubius Hotels – the renovated old hotel was a hotspot of the aristocracy, so bathing in Roman style baths with its original red pillars from 1896 was a great experience! If you want to see the Roman baths you have to book a room in one of the Danubius Hotels in Marianske Lazne. They are all connected with a tunnel and you can use all the amenities.

Karlovy Vary – Karslbad

Day 5-6: The main reason people are visiting this picturesque spa village is because of the healing hot drinking water. You will see plenty of people strolling around with a little cup with water in their hand. The water is for free, you can buy one of the pretty drinking cups and try it!
It’s beautiful to wander around the promenade, take some pics and eat some sweet typical Karlovy Vary wafers. For a special city view: There is a great photo spot next to villa Lützow.

Bohemian Switzerland National Park

Day 7: With incredible sandstone rocks like the Pravcicka brana, the Bohemian Switzerland is a must see in the Czech Republic. The main starting point for hiking is Hrensko – but don’t stay there for the night – it’s too crowded there. Our recommendation: Go with the car inside the park and stay in Mezna. It’s a quiet and an idyllic place, in the early morning you can even see deer. Mezna is perfectly next to the hiking round trail – so it’s a fantastic starting point too. Be aware that the Pravcicka brana opens at 10:00, it was not fun standing in front of closed doors because we had been too early. We would recommend to go there in the late afternoon, to avoid the crowds and to have the best light for taking pics.

The roundtrip takes around 5 hours where you will pass the Edmunds Gorge with a boat. If you fancy to see more, you can extend your hike and visit the Wild Gorge.

We had some time left, so we did a half day excursion to Germany to visit the famous Bastei Bridge.

Bohemian Paradise – Cesky Raj

Day  8-9: Hiking in Cesky Ray was just amazing. Dramatic rock formations located in deep shady forests– doped with the fairy tale castle Hrubá Skála. This castle was also our starting point for the hiking trail – there is a great roundtrip that takes about 3 hours when you’re walking. At best, you take a map in front of the castle! The Mariánská vyhlídka viewpoint features a fantastic view to Hruba Skala. You will find it on the yellow path. Another great viewpoint is the Vyhlídka na Kapelu –from where you can see a group of rocks called “Kapela”.

Prague

Day 10-12: It was our second time in Prague and again it was a fantastic stay. Honestly, Prague is one of our favorite cities in Europe –a mix of culture, vibrant lifestyle and good food. Don`t miss the Prague Castle, the Charles Bridge and the Old Town Square with its Astronomical Clock. Tons of tourists pass the popular Charles Bridge every day – but just a few are going up to the Charles Bridge Tower. From there you will have an outstanding city view.

If you have some time left, you could also visit the Karlstejn Castle, 30 km from Prague. It’s a special looking Gothic Castle and with its blue roofs –  it looks like out of a Disney Movie.


Czech Republic Insider Tips

  • Where to eat: The best goulash you will get in the Eggenberg Brewery in Cesky Krumlov
  • What to drink: Beer that’s for sure – Czech Republic is famous for its beer production
  • Where to stay: Myln Hotel in Cesky Krumlov, The Danubios Hotel in Marianske Lazne, The Vienna House in Karlsbad
  • Souvenirs: Take some typical Czech Wafels from Mariankse Lazne or Karlovy Vary back home – in Prague you pay the triple price more for them
  • Bohemian Switzerland: It’s just next to Germany, so it would be possible to visit Leipzig and the Bastei Brigde.
  • Opening hours: The opening hours tend to be later than usual sometimes, so check them out before. Like the Pravcicka Brana have opening timings from 10:00-18:00.
  • Bohemian Paradise: The area is huge and there a lots of hiking trails – if you want to see the rock formations you have to go the Hubra Skala. In front of the castle you can buy a map.
  • Prague: The best view you will get from the Charles Bridge towers!

Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.






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Top things to do in Istria – travel highlights

One week in Istria/Croatia – top things to do in Istria

We love Istria! Each year we try to visit this amazing peninsula in Croatia.  It’s not too far from our hometown, just a 5-hour drive, so we are lucky to have this jewel just around the corner. Istria is easy to navigate, you can rent a car or take your own car like we did – anyway you need a car to visit all the great places.  We recommend Croatia in June – the weather is wonderful at this time – not too hot for visiting all the lovely places but warm enough to do some sunbathing and swimming at some of the most beautiful beaches.

We stayed in an apartment in Banjole, not far away from Pula – with a gorgeous view to the sea and it was a great starting point for all our excursions.

Let’s explore the best sights! Here is our list of the best things to do in Istria:

 

Top things to do in Istria

Istrian Riviera

Porec

Walking around the sea front of the peninsula Porec is pretty nice. There is the cute old town on one side and the deep blue Mediterranean Sea on the other side.  Perfect to wander around, have some delicious coffee and inhale the relaxed atmosphere.

Pula

Did you know that Pula has one of the most complete Roman Amphitheater in the world? And the best thing is, it’s not touristy at all there. You will easily get a parking spot in Pula, even in front of the arena. Pula is a student city – so there are plenty of young people around and the vibe is amazing. You will find lots of budget restaurants and bars, and additionally you get spoiled with the ancient roman culture, like a Forum, the Arch of Sergii and the Temple of August.

Although Pula is the largest city in Istria, the nature is not far away. Like the Kamenjak National Park, which is just 15 minutes from the city center by car.

Rovinj

Rovinj is one of the top highlights of Croatia. It has a really picturesque old town, with colorful houses and a photogenic seafront. It is for sure one of the most beautiful coastal towns in Istria and not without reason has it become a great tourist destination. Since it’s quite busy there, we recommend to go to Rovinj for a half day trip. The most stunning views you find at the top of the hill where the Cathedral of St.Euphernia is located and the view from the harbor is also breathtaking, especially when it becomes evening. We loved Rovinj because it’s perfect for wandering around. You will find cute shops, tasty restaurants and funky coffee shops in each tiny street.

Cap Kamenjak NP – Premantura

The Kamenjak National Park with its gorgeous nature is our number one place for Istria and we highly recommend a visit. You could just stay a week in this area with bathing on a different beach every day. The park is accessible by car, so for us it was perfect to explore all the nature jewels. We also found some great cliffs for cliff jumping!

Numerous bays and some of the best beaches of Croatia are waiting for you to explore.

The countryside of Istria

Istria is famous for its coast but there are lots of cute villages in the interior to visit. There are beautiful small hill towns like Motovun, with just 500 residents. It’s beautifully located at the top of a hill and it’s a really pretty photo motive too. Bale is also worth a visit – the lonely planet calls it “one of Istria’s best-kept secrets” – and we liked it too!  If you are a fan of adrenalin you should visit Pazin – there is a spectacular zip-line which crosses an impressive canyon. Additionally there is a beautiful secret waterfall, located a bit outside of Pazin. In Labin you will find a typical Croatian old town – wonderful to take some nice shots and just a few minutes away from Rabac – which has a nice beach and various hotels to stay at.

Bale

Bale is also worth a visit – the lonely planet calls it “one of Istria’s best-kept secrets” – and we liked it too!

Limski Fjord – Lim FJord

Located north of Rovinj the Lim Fjord is one of the most beautiful nature spots of the Istrian peninsula. From the observation platform you will have a fantastic view!

Motovun

There are beautiful small hill towns like Motovun, with just 500 residents. It’s beautifully located at the top of a hill and it’s a really pretty photo motive too.

Labin & Rabac

In Labin you will find a typical Croatian old town – wonderful to take some nice shots and just a few minutes away from Rabac – which has a nice beach and various hotels to stay at.

Zarecki Krov Waterfall & Pazin

If you are a fan of adrenalin you should visit Pazin – there is a spectacular zip-line which crosses an impressive canyon. The village is cute and there is also nice castle to visit.

Just near Pazin,  there is a hidden nature juwel – the Zarecki Krov Waterfall.


PlacesOfJuma – Insider Tips Istria

  • Where to eat: Pizzaria Nepton in Pula, serves some good pizza and their meat plates are delicious
  • Best sunset: Visit Rovinj for sunset – there are a few seafront bars with great sunset view
  • Where to stay: Apartment with view
  • Markets: visit the local fish market in Pula
  • Parking in Pula is easy, best you take one in front of the Colosseum
  • Fun: visit the Safari bar inside the Premantura Parc!
  • Car rental: for moderate prices check out skyscanner.com/carhire
  • Flights:  you will find some great deals @skyscanner.com



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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Salzburg Sightseeing Guide – 2 days travel itinerary

Salzburg Sightseeing Guide – 2 days travel itinerary

 

Why do you have to visit Salzburg in Austria?

Salzburg is definitely one of the most beautiful and fascinating cities in Austria!

This city has been listed as a World Heritage site since 1977 and without a doubt, the historic center of Salzburg is home to some of the most gorgeous architecture and views you’ll find anywhere in Europe. The city of Salzburg is mostly famous because it’s the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and it was the setting for the popular film “The Sound of Music”.

Honestly, no trip to Austria is complete without checking out Salzburg! Here is a 2 days itinerary for a Salzburg city trip:

 

Sightseeing guide – what to do in Salzburg?

There are lots of great things to do in Salzburg, enough to spend 2 or more days in this awesome city. Impressive palaces and churches, beautiful parks, interesting museums, breath-taking viewpoints, great restaurants and music is everywhere – this city has it all.  Here is a selection of attractions you shouldn`t miss when you visit Salzburg in Austria for sightseeing:

 

Getreidegasse

The Getreidegasse is Salzburg most famous shopping street and the bustling heart of the city. The beautiful old-fashioned iron guild signs above the pedestrian’s heads are especially eye-catching. Stop at Getreidegasse No. 9: It’s the place where Mozart was born 1756. Mozart Birthplace is nowadays a museum and can be visited.

Mozart House (Mozart Birthplace)

Visiting the Mozart Birthplaces surely is the absolute highlight for all Mozart fans around the world. The museum is spread out over three floors and gives a great convey of Mozart’s past.

Kapuzinerberg

The Kapuzinerberg with its 640 meters offers some of the top views of Salzburg. The steep climp is a bit exhausting but at the end the viewpoints of Salzburg will reward you. Best you take the beautiful Imbergstiege stairway from Steingasse or another possibility is to start the walk from the Franziskustor gate in Linzergasse

Salzburger Dom and the DomQuartier

The Salzburger Dom (Salzburg Catherdral) is the absolute jaw-tropper of Salzburg’s historic townscape.  Without a doubt, the cathedral is Salzburg’s most important sacred building in the old town and the inside, as well as the outside, is worth a visit!

Enclosed by the Catherdral is the Domquartier. Through buying a ticket you can visit 5 museums including the terrace above the cathedral arches – views of Salzburg’s Baroque city center.

The highlight of the museum tour is the breathtaking view from inside, down towards the huge cathedral.

Mozartplatz & Residence Square

The Residence Square with its unique fountain is located in the heart of Salzburg´s old town. Unfortunately this place was under construction while we were there. Just around the corner you are going to find the Mozartplatz with the impressive bronze Mozart statue.

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Hohensalzburg Fortress

The Hohensalzburg Fortress is Salzburg landmark and a visit of this 900-year-old cliff-top fortress is a must do and one of the top tourist attractions in Salzburg! Located on top of the Mönchsberg, you can reach the fortress by a 20-minute walk or via the funicular railway starting from Festungsgasse (near Stieglkeller). The far-reaching views from the top are really amazing and visiting the castle museums is interesting too. Furthermore Hohensalzburg Fortress is a popular venue for classical concerts in Salzburg.

If you are not getting enough stunning hilltop views and sightseeing, you should definitely continue your walk to the Museum of Modern Art located 30 minutes from the fortress.

Mönchsberg – Museum of Modern Art

Like the Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Museum of Modern Art in Salzburg is situated at the Mönchsberg. Up here, take in the far-reaching views across Salzburg old town’s roof-tops and the castle – Probably the most impressive photo motif of Salzburg. You can access the restaurant/cafe M32 as well as the viewpoint without paying an entrance fee.

You can either take the lift from Salzburg’s old town straight to the entrance, take one of the walkways up the hill or the walkway from the Hohensalzburg Fortress.

Don`t miss this place – both, location and expositions are fantastic.

Salzburg’s Cemeteries

Salzburg has a few beautiful and old cemeteries. The St. Peters cemetery has a unique setting just next to the cliffs of the Mönchsberg. To see the St.Peters church and cemetery from above you should visit the catacombs, which are hewn out of the Mönchsberg.

Also worth a visit is the St. Sebastian Cemetery. This historic cemetery is a jewel of Salzburg.

Haus der Natur

Roaming through the museum, visitors have the chance to discover the most fascinating aspects of Mother Nature. The exhibitions are interactive and there is so much fun connected with science for adults and children. With more than 7000 m² you should take enough time to visit the Haus der Natur.  Explore the underwater worlds in the aquarium, the outer space hall, colossal dinosaurs, take a journey into the human body and the interactive  science center.

Mirabell Palace and Mirabell Gardens

The Mirabell Gardens are wonderful to visit in spring and summertime when the colorful flowers are blooming. Additionally, it’s one of the famous shooting locations from the movie “The Sound of Music”.

Built in 1606 the Mirabelle Palace is one of the most romantic locations in Salzburg. Maybe that’s why the Marble Hall does not only host concerts but is also used as a wedding location!

Around Salzach River

If you have some time left, you should definitely take a walk along the Salzach River. Cross the lovely small bridges like the Mozart Bridge or the Markatsteg.

For photographers: From the Müllnersteg you can take some of the best night shots of Salzburg.

Alter Markt and Cafe Tomaselli

The Alter Markt in Salzburg is the old market of the town. The square is really picturesque and if you pass it, stop by the traditional coffeehouse Café Tomaselli which has been run for 150 years. Or visit the Café-Konditorei Fürst to try the “Original Salzburg Mozartkugels”.

Stieglkeller

If you are up to visit a brewery topped with a marvelous view, then you have to go to Stieglkeller for a beer. The location is really cool, located below the Fortress of Hohensalzburg, you are going to have one of the best views of Salzburg.

Hellbrunn Palace, Trick Fountain and Salzburg Zoo

Hellbrunn is a place like no other and for sure a top highlight of a Salzburg city trip. The Hellbrunn Palace with its yellow colors is amazingly beautiful. Unmissable is a visit of the nearby Trick fountains – mysterious grottos, water-powered figures and hidden water jets waiting to surprise you!

Read more about Hellbrunn -> Hellbrunn – Trick Fountains, Palace and the Salzburg Zoo

The Salzburg Zoo is one of the most beautiful zoos in Austria. Located in a really unique and beautiful landscape, the zoo hosts a wide range of interesting animals. The zoo entrance is just a short walk from the Hellbrunn Palace!

Visiting Hellbrunn is definitely one of the best things to do in Salzburg.

Leopoldskron Palace

The Leopoldskron Palace is situated just a short walk from the historic center of Salzburg. It’s picturesque located next to an idyllic small lake. The Palace was built 1736 and today it’s one of the most exclusive hotels of Salzburg.

Hotels in Salzburg – Where to stay?

Berglandhotel

Salzburg offers a wide range of hotels. We stayed at the beautiful and stylish Berglandhotel situated in walking distance to Salzburg Old Town. The staff was amazing, providing us some of the best travel tips of Salzburg, best places for local food etc. For the prices or booking you can check here.

Parking is also available!

Selected accommodations in Salzburg:

  • Mönchsbergapartment: The apartment inside the Altstadt is a great choice for travelers interested in culture, history and atmosphere.
  • Hotel & Villa Auersperg: The small and elegant boutique Hotel & Villa Auersperg enjoys a quiet location in the heart of Salzburg and features a charming garden terrace, a spa area with a roof terrace
  • Hotel Stein: The lifestyle and design hotel offers guests a panoramic rooftop terrace with panoramic views of the city and its surroundings.


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Salzburg Card (Salzburg Pass)

Getting yourself the Salzburg Card is a great way if you are planning to discover the attractions of Salzburg. Free admission to tourist attractions, museums and public transport makes it easy and convenient to explore the city.

How to go to Salzburg?

Salzburg can be easily reached by car as well as public transport:

  • From Munich to Salzburg 1:30 hour by car or train
  • From Vienna to Salzburg 2:30 hour by car or train
  • From Graz to Salzburg 3 hours by car and 4 hours by train
  • From Hallstatt to Salzburg 1 hour by car and 2:30 hours by train

As you can see, we really loved our  city trip to Salzburg and we spent some wonderful days exploring the historic center. Two days in Salzburg is the perfect amount of time to hit the towns best places and tourist attractions. We were most impressed by the breath-taking views and the fact that for the small size you can easily spend 2 full days of sightseeing.


Read more about Austria:


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Marrakech in 3 days: Itinerary and Tips for Marrakech

Marrakech in 3 days: Itinerary and Tips for Marrakech

Marrakech, also known as Morocco’s red city, is the fourth biggest city of the country and one of the top cities to visit in Morocco. No matter if you are going there for a city trip or as a part of a Morocco road trip – the vibrant old town of Marrakech (Medina) will enchant you, that’s for sure. Enjoy the unique flair of the famous Djemaa el Fna square and watch the snake charmers’, acrobats’ and drummers’ show. Drink delicious mint tea inside the oriental Medina and explore Marrakech`s Old Town which is fully packed with history and culture. Don`t mind getting lost, there is a surprise around each corner. 3 Days in Marrakech is the perfect amount of time to explore all the best sights and places of this magical destination. In this itinerary you are going to read more about the most amazing things to see and the best sights that shouldn`t be missed. On top, we are going to provide you with some useful tips and hotel recommendations for your next city trip to Marrakech. Follow the itinerary to get the most out of your stay!

So let`s explore Marrakech! Here is our itinerary for 3 days in Marrakech.

 

Day 1 in Marrakech

The Medina – Old town Marrakech

The ancient walled old town named Medina is a narrow labyrinthine of alleys and oriental souks. Beneath each corner there is something interesting to see – so don`t mind getting lost. The medina is really mysterious, a bit noisy, with lots of hustle and bustle and so wonderful colorful and exotic. Full with history and culture, strolling around in is like stepping back in time and also many of the top sights of Marrakech are located inside the Medina. Getting lost inside the medina is the best start to explore the city.

El Badi Palace

Our first stop was the El-Badi Palast, an ancient ruined palace built at the end of the sixteenth century. We walked through the vast courtyard with its huge pools and the sunken gardens, where orange trees were blooming. Our Tip: When you climb up the ruined ramparts of the palace, you will get the most wonderful view of the medina on the one side and on the other side of the palace with the Atlas Mountain in the background.

Place des Ferblantiers

On your Way to El-Badi Palace and Bahia Palace you are likely to cross this place. There are some great shops selling traditional Moroccan hand crafts, souvenirs and aromatic spices. There is not too much hassle and we were amazed by all the beautiful Moroccan lamps!

Bahia Palace

Not getting enough of exploring Marrakesh best sights, we went to the famous Bahia-Palace. The palace means „The Beautiful“ – and it’s truly an architectural beauty! For sure you will love the stunning mosaics and fascinating history about the palace of a former Grand Vizier. The Bahia Palace should not be missed – it’s a main attraction of Marrakesh.

Djemaa el Fna & the Snake Charmers

Visiting the Djemaa el Fna was quite an adventure! At daytime it’s the home of the Snake Charmers, Water Sellers, Story Tellers, and Henna Makers – at night the food stalls open and you will smell the delicious Moroccan cuisine.
It’s best to watch the goings-on at the sunset from one of the terrace cafes while enjoying a mint tea.

 

An amazing viewpoint you will find at the Le Grand Balcon Cafe Glacier!

Day 2 in Marrakech

Jardin Majorelle – Majorelle Garden

The next day we left the medina to visit the Jardin Majorelle, but even though we arrived earlier, there were lots of people who were waiting to see the gardens. No wonder, it’s the most visited site in Morocco.
The Garden is just beautiful, a little oasis in the middle of the chaotic city. 300 different exotic plants, pretty fountains, cobalt blue colored bridges and buildings- this lovely place offers some fantastic photo motifs! Visiting the Majorelle Garden was our highlight of all the 3 days in Marrakesh!

Souks of Marrakech

The souks of Marrakesh are also located inside of the medina. We wandered around for a while just watching the ongoing spectacle, even if you are not up to buying something, it’s a great experience: The mixture of the smell of spices with the fume of the motorbikes, the butcher selling his meat next to the pottery stall, the shouts of the shop holders – donkey wagons on the buzzling tiny streets.

Our Tip: Try to bargain and never take the first price. You can bargain up to 1/3 of the first price!

Koutoubia Mosque

Nearby the Souks and just next to Djemaa el Fna, you will find the Koutoubia Mosque- Marrakesh largest Mosque. This eye-catching building, the minaret is built about 70 meters from the ground, is surrounded by a beautiful huge garden area. The mosque is closed for Non-Muslims, but can be visited with guided tours.

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Day 3 in Marrakech

 

Medersa Ben Youssef & Dar Bellarj

The last day of our stay in Marrakech, we got up early again to make the most of the day. First, we visited the Medersa Ben Youssef, a historic Islamic school. This magnificent building with its stuccowork and wood carving is a must see in Marrakesh. Take your time to explore this masterpiece! We stayed there quite a long time to enjoy the incredible architecture and the stuccowork. Our tip for photographers: for good shots, it’s better to come early in the morning.

Menara Gardens

After some refreshing orange juice, we went to see the Menara Gardens. It’s a lovely place to see. We rounded the big pool and watched the locals enjoying their day. Some children jumped into the water, some guys played guitar and families were having picnicks. It was really relaxing and different from the hectic city life in the old town of Marrakesh. Entrance to the gardens is free but it’s located a bit outside so you have to go by taxi.

New Town

Actually, the new city of Marrakech is really cool and modern and a contrast to the old city. It’s very new and modern with plenty of shops like H&M, Zara, Starbuck and McDonalds there. Our Tip: Get some delicious ice-cream from the famous 16 Cafe – it’s known to serve the best desserts in town!


 

What to eat/drink in Marrakech

We loved to eat Moroccan food, the tajines are delicious. Tajine is a traditional meal, named after the special pot in which it is cooked. Try the kefta tajine (meatballs in an egg and tomato sauce) and the lemon tajine (chicken, olives and citrus fruits). And what to drink: Mint tea! Green tea, blended with fresh mint and plenty of sugar. And freshly squeezed orange juice – it’s best in Morocco!

Where to stay in Marrakech

Riad Dar Fangui was actually a good choice for starting our Morocco trip. It’s located in the center, with a nice rooftop terrace, charming rooms and a budget price. After checking in, our host served us some delicious traditional mint tea – we immediately felt welcome. The terrace had a fantastic view to the roofs and the nearby Moulay El yazid Mosque, so we stayed there for a while just to relax.

NOTE: Fresh mint tea is the welcome drink in Morocco –and it’s a part of the Moroccan hospitality.

The Riad Irene is a real oasis in this chaotic city – it was so calm and peaceful. Incredibly, there’s a big banana tree growing from just inside this place! The rooms are just beautiful with lot of details and the rooftop terrace was really cozy. Pascal and Irene, the hosts, were just amazing, providing useful information and insider tips of Marrakesh to their guests. Every morning we were spoiled with a fantastic breakfast – with freshly squeezed orange juice, yoghurt, cake and delicious milk coffee.

 


PlacesOfJuma – Insider Tips Marrakesh

  • Where to stay in Marrakesh: Choose one of the typical Moroccan style riads – there is a wide range of different types in all price classes.
  • Negotiate prices: Try to bargain – never take the first price. You can bargain up to 1/3 of the first price! You should bargain in souks and with the taxi prices
  • Avoid Ramadan: most restaurants and lots of shops will be closed at daytime.
  • Best travel time Morocco: Spring and autumn are the most popular times to visit. The weather is the most pleasant at this time.
  • Best views of Marrekesh: Visit one of the rooftop cafes at the Djemaa el Fna!
  • Photography: Marrakech is a great place for photography – but at the Djemaa el Fna you have to pay for taking pics with the snake charmers or other artists.
  • European food: If you fancy eating some European food you should visit the New City of Marrakesh. There you can find pizza, ice-cream, burger and lots of different stores.
  • Shopping in Marrakesh: There are huge souks inside of the Medina, where you can buy spices and morocccan souvenir. The big shopping malls are located in the New City.
  • Parking Marrakech: There are no parking possibilities inside the Medina, so we picked up our rental car the next day and started with our Morocco round trip. (Read more > Morocco roadtrip)
  • ATP-Tournament Grand Prix Hassan II takes place each year in March – for more information you can visit the ATP-Homepage.

Read more about Morocco:

 


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Top Things To Do in Lake Bled – must see sights & views

Top Things To Do in Lake Bled – must see sights & views

 

The stunningly beautiful Lake Bled is one of the most beautiful and iconic sights of Slovenia. We loved our stay at this magical place: This outstanding natural scenery, the little Bled Island with its lovely church, the colorful boats and the breath-taking views. Because the place is so special, landscape photographers from all over the world flock to Lake Bled.

In this travel blog post we will show you the top things to do in Lake Bled. Certainly, we are going to tell you where are the best places to see around the lake – inclusive insider travel tips, top activities and a special hotel recommendation.

Best things to do in Lake Bled

 

Bled Castle

The Bled Castle is located on a cliff, 130 meters above the Lake Bled. Walk up the castle hill and get rewarded by one of the most beautiful views of the lake and the tiny Bled Island. We really loved that place, best you take a coffee and enjoy the scenery from the castle terrace. Hiking up to the picturesque castle end enjoying the marvelous views are for sure one of the best things to do while spending your holidays in Bled!

Entrance fee: Euro 9,- p.p.

Bled Castle view

Walking around Lake Bled

The best thing to do in Lake Bled: Relax and enjoy the splendid views. There is a 6 km long trail around the lake, with lots of nice places to take a break and watch the colorful traditional Pletna boats driving towards the picturesque island.

Rent a Boat at Lake Bled 

If you fancy a boat tour we recommend to rent an own rowboat at Pension Pletna boat rental (15,- per hour) . Rowing the Lake Bled can be really romantic 🙂 and it is one of the best things to do in Bled.

Around the lake are plenty of different viewpoints. Enjoy a delicious original Bled cream cake with a view at the Café Belvedere and get one of the best views off Lake Bled.

Best viewpoints and views of Lake Bled

Here is a selection of the best views of Lake Bled:

Unfortunately, because of the heavy rain we couldn`t hike the Ostricia and Mala Osojnica viewpoints. But now we have a reason to go back soon 🙂

 

Swimming in Lake Bled

The Castle Bathing area is the only designated outdoor bathing area by lake Bled. The location is just amazing: Situated just next to the magnificent castle rock.  Another area for swimming is the Velika Zaka Bathing area, which is also a populare place for bathing and swimming in Lake Bled.

 

Where to stay in Lake Bled?

Grand Hotel Toplice

For a special Bled experience we recommend to stay at the Grand Hotel Toplice. We loved our stay in this wonderful prestige hotel . The Grand Hotel Toplice is old and glory, lots of celebrities had been guests to that place. From our room, we had the most enchanting view to the Lake Blad and the Bled Castle – it was so lovely sitting at the balcony and watch the world go by.

 Grand Hotel Toplice –  Hotel view

The Grand Hotel Toplice has a beautiful spa area and a wonderful pool & sauna – because of the bad weather we had – it was more than awesome to spend some time there for relaxing.

In general the building is older, rustic and charming and comes with lots of elegance. We are happy with our choice of staying at the Grand Hotel Toplice .

Best thing to do near Lake Bled

Vintgar Gorge

If you are staying more days in Bled you shouldn’t miss to visit the Vintgar Gorge, which is just about 4 km north-west of Bled. Nevertheless, the rapid river beneath, the vertical cliff walls and the waterfalls, the gorge with its only 1,6 km is easy to walk. At the furthest end of the gorge is the spectacular Sum Waterfall, the largest river waterfall in Slovenia, which has a 13 meter trop. In summer time this tourist attraction can be quite busy, try to be there in the morning. Visiting the gorge is a lovely refreshment in summertime and also on rainy days the gorge is worth a visit.

Visiting the Vintgar Gorge is one of the best things to do near Lake Bled!

Entrance fee: Euro 5,-

Pericnik waterfall

If you love visiting waterfalls – The Pericnik waterfall in the Triglav National Park is a must! It’s amazing to feel this immense power when you walk underneath the falls.  With its 52 m it’s the highest waterfall in Slovenia and surely one of the most photogenic! From the parking it’s just a short walk up to the Pericnik waterfall – it takes just around 10 minute walk.

Lake Bled is one of the best holiday destinations in Slovenia which we highly recommend to anyone who is visiting this awesome travel country. Now you have the perfect overview about the best things to do in Lake Bled and you are ready to go. Enjoy your journey to Bled!

 


Staying for longer in Slovenia? Read more:

 
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Rome in 4 Days: Itinerary for visiting the Eternal City

Rome in 4 Days: Itinerary for visiting the Eternal City

There is a reason why Rome is one of the most famous and traveled cities in Europe. Visitors love the mixture of old culture with the fantastic Italian cuisine: It feels like walking through an outdoor museum and with every step you take, you can follow a path of culture and history. Above all, you are going to get spoiled with fantastic photo motives, world famous sights and all this is topped with the delicious Italian cuisine. There are so many things to see and to do in Rome and that’s why it can be a bit confusing how to plan a trip. This itinerary is designed to give you some ideas for what to do in Rome and about the best places to visit on a 4 days visit.

Honestly, no trip to Italy is complete without checking out Rome. So, let’s explore the Eternal City! Here is a 4 days itinerary for visiting Rome: 

 

 The Eternal City in 4 Days: an Itinerary

Day 1 in Rome:

Vatican City – Vatican Museum

Visiting the Vatican was really amazing and for us one of the most popular Roman attractions. Plan your visit very early in the morning and start your sightseeing day with the St. Peters Basilica! The Basilica opens at 7.00, be there at this time to enjoy the beautiful calm Basilica and save the time to queue for other great stuff to explore. From the top of the Basilica you will get rewarded with the most stunning view of Rome!

Take enough time for the Vatican City –you could spend hours there and still not have seen everything. Certainly, the ultimate must see are the St. Peters Basilica, the Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museum.

Vatican Museum

Skip the line Vatican:

I case you are planning on visiting the Vatican Museum and you want to avoid a super-long queue, we recommend you book the tickets in advance. There had been a lot of tourists inside – therefore it was not that impressive for us – I believe that we missed a lot due to the crowd. So be there in the morning and skip the line of the Vatican Museum with pre-booking the ticket online! You are going to find the link at the end of this article.

Castel Sant’Angelo

This castle was once the tallest building of Rome and its named after the famous river bridge statue of Michael the Archangel. However, as a short pitstop or also a visit inside the museum with audio guide inside – the Castel Sant Angelo is really worth a visit. It should be added that up from the terrace you will have a panoramic view of the whole city.

The Pantheon & Piazza Navona

The Pantheon is such a magnificent structure! This giant architecture will blow your mind, so don’t miss it! Interesting is that the building is a former Roman temple but was transformed into a church in the 7th century. It’s one of the best-preserved buildings in Rome and an absolute must-see.

Piazza Navona

Just around the corner you will find the Piazza Navona with the spectacular Sant’Agnese in Agone church. The square is amazingly beautiful with many lovely restaurants and cafes around.

Trevi Fountain – Fontana di Trevi

The Trevi Fountain is the largest baroque fountain of Rome and definitely one of the most famous fountains in the world. That’s why, the Trevi Fountain is, after the Colosseum, the most photographed monument in town and tourist flock to see that impressive attraction.
No itinerary of Rome is complete without throwing some money inside the fountain. According to the legend, coins have to be thrown using the right hand over the left shoulder. Only then you will be guaranteed a return trip to Rome.

Day 2 in Rome:

The Colosseum

As the Colosseum is the landmark of Rome, it’s the most visited place in this city and definitely one of the top things to do in Rome. Still today the roman Colosseum is an iconic symbol for not just Rome but even for Italy.

 Colosseum tickets – how to skip the line:

If you plan a visit inside, you should book your tickets in advance, so you don’t have to wait in a queue and you can easily skip the line of the Colosseum.  Advisable is to buy a combi ticket that includes the world-famous Colosseum, the Forum Romanum and the Palatin.

Forum Romanum & The Palatin

The Forum Romanum is really impressive! Don`t miss seeing the beautiful remains of the ancient Rome. If you don`t have enough time or /and you want to save money, you can walk up to the Via Monte Tarpeo, where you will find a fantastic photo spot for the forum Romanum (for free).
The Palatin is just a few minutes’ walk from the grand arena and stands 40 meters above the Roman forum. Also, from the Palatin Hill, you will have a great viewpoint to the colosseum.
The archaeological site is included in the Colosseum Combi Ticket.

Piazza Venezia (Terrazza delle Quadrighe) & Piazza del Campidoglio

The Piazza Venezia is a great starting point to explore the ancient Forums, the Museo Sacrario delle Bandiere and also the Colosseum is not far away. The unique architecture of the white grand building is a must-see and from the Terrazza delle Quadrighe you will get a wonderful view. Highly recommended!

Another highlight of Rome is the Piazza del Campidiglio, a Roman Square located between Forum Romanum and Piazza Venezia. Climb up the stairs and admire this geometric lined square designed no less than Michaelangelo.

Day 3 in Rome:

Circus Maximus and Bocca della Verità

There is not much left of the Circus Maximus, the ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium. Never mind, it’s really nice to walk along and imagine the massive events and huge chariot races which have taken place in that area.
The Mouth of Truth is just near the famous Circus Maximus. The legend has been that if you put your hand in the mouth and tell a lie, your hand will be chopped off.

Trastevere

Trastevere is a lovely neighborhood beyond the Tiber River and one of the most cutest districts to explore. There are beautiful streets for strolling around and nice coffee places to take some breaks- All in all, a pleasant place to spend an afternoon. If you walk up to the hill, you will have an amazing city view. Trastevere is one of the best places to stay in Rome, if you want to read more about it check out ….

Villa Borghese Park & Spanish Steps

When we go on city trips, we love to wander around a lot. Especially the Villa Borghese Park is a fantastic place to relax after long hours of sightseeing. Also, the Galleria Borghese is a wonderful attraction in Rome and different collections of paintings and sculptures are exhibited there. Near the park there is the lovely Trinità dei Monti church which is located at the top, leading to the famous Spanish Steps. From the very top steps you definitely will marble at the picturesque Roman Scenery. Obviously, the 135 steps can be a bit challenging but as it is one of Rome’s top attraction it’s worth it.

Day 4 in Rome:

Via Appia 

To escape the city stress, we highly suggest a visit to the ancient Via Appia. Via Appia is one of the earliest roads of the ancient Rome and was a connection to the smaller regions of greater Rome. Along that road, different sights, such as Mausoleums, Catacombs, temples and other remains of the Ancient Rome can be explored. To explore the 18 km of history, you have to take some time and so the entire fourth day in Rome is reserved for that excursion. It’s a real pleasure driving with a bike along this ancient path and inhaling the great historic atmosphere there. Regular bikes or even electrical bikes can be rented at many of the cafes and restaurant.
Because the Via Appia Antica is located at the southern End of Rome you have to take the public bus. The best option to go there is the bus Nr. 118 – From Colosseum to Via Appia.

San Lorenzo

Rome has some great neighborhoods, so where to stay in Rome? Our Airbnb apartment was located in the vibrant student district called San Lorenzo. We had the advantage to live like Romans, away from the touristic zones. In San Lorenzo you will find plenty of excellent restaurants with moderate prices, not comparable to the restaurants in the city center. The neighborhood is safe. We even had our car on a public parking for one week. The nightlife of San Lorenzo is vibrant, so if you decide to stay there too, make sure you book a calm accommodation. Here are some hotels which could may be interesting for you.
Check out “Where to stay in Rome” to read more about the best neighborhoods and districts to stay in Rome.

Rome is an awesome city and as you can see there plenty of things to see and to do. All in all, 4 days in Rome is the perfect amount of time to explore the Eternal City and to make the most of you trip.

 



 Insider Tipps: 4 days in Rome

 

  • Skip the line at Vatican and Colosseum: Book the tickets for the Vatikan and Colosseum  in advance, to save time (around 2-3 hours) and nerves
  • Best views Rome: On the top of the Palatin, you will have a great view to the Colosseum; from the Via Monte Terpeo you got the most fantastic view to the Forum Romanum. From the Terrazza delle Quadrighe (Piazza Venezzia) you will get a wonderful view to the Trajan’s Market and to the old city.
  • How to get to Via Appia: Take the bus Nr.118 to via Appia. To explore the 18 km road, you should rent a bicycle.
  • Sightseeing Rome: Visit the Fontana di Trevi very early in the morning, to avoid the tourist mass.
  • Where to eat in Rome: Visit one of the excellent and budget restaurants in San Lorenzo – we highly suggest the Restaurante I Fratelli. They have the best pizza in town!
  • What to drink: Of course coffee – what a wonderful city for coffee addicts! If you take your espresso or cappuccino standing at the bar, you mostly pay around 1 Euro!
  • The ATP 1000 Tennis Tournament, where the best tennis players take part of, takes place in Rome each year during May. A fantastic and spectacular location. A must see for tennis fans! You should book your tickets for the Center Court in advanced!


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Hallstatt & Dachstein Salzkammergut travel guide

Hallstatt & Dachstein Salzkammergut travel guide

Things to do in Hallstatt

Last summer we had been to the Dachstein Salzkammergut Region, which is probably one of the top tourists hot spots in Upper Austria. In this travel blog post we will show you the best tourist attractions around Hallstatt and tell you how you should spend a few days in this fantastic area!

Best things to do in  Hallstatt and Dachstein Salzkammergut:
  • Visiting the famous village Hallstatt with its beautiful Hallstätter Lake
  • Enjoy the most incredible sunrise at the Löckermoos mountain moor lake
  • Take a ride with the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car and visit the stunning Five Fingers viewing platform
  • Relax at the amazing beautiful Gosau Lake

Hallstatt & Lake Hallstatt

This beautiful place is the most photographed mountain-side village in Austria. It’s nestled in pure nature between the Hallstätter Lake and the huge Dachstein Mountains which gives a unique panorama. Additionally Hallstatt has been named a UNESCO world heritage site! This village with its 750 inhabitants and over 700.000 visitors each year is no insider tip anymore BUT it’s a must see if you are traveling to Austria! The best thing to do is just getting lost in the village, to see all the lovely colorful houses just next to the waterfront. In summertime it is really busy there, so we went for our photography tour very early in the morning – around 6 am. The most beautiful view  can be found on the north of the village – just follow the shore of the lake.

Also interesting is the bone house with an incredible collections of painted skulls. Just next to the bone house is the St.Michael church from where you will also have a nice viewpoint.
If you are interested in the history of this cute village you should take a historical Tour – we had a fantastic guide who showed us some of the secret places and best views around. Our guide was Alexandra Weichselbaumer, to book tours you can check the tourist information.

Market Square Hallstatt

One of the best views in Hallstatt

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World Heritage View Skywalk

You will have a fantastic birdˋs-eye view from the World Heritage View Skywalk. Standing 350 meters above this cute village was a great experience! If you are with kids, visiting the Hallstätter salt mines are a great choice.

Löckermoos moor lake – sunrise hike

Visiting the Löckermoos moor lake for the sunrise was an unforgettable nature adventure and an absolutely insider tip for the Hallstätter Lake region! We took a guided tour up to the mountain. The trail was easy, just a short hike in the dark and simple to manage. We were guided through the moor and arrived just before sunrise when we reached the lake. It was a full moon night and we could watch the moon in the glittering moor lake. When the sun came up, the Gosau Mountain was colored with the most fantastic pink and orange colors. What magical moments!

After this wonderful sunrise, we had a traditional Austrian breakfast in a cozy mountain hut. Our recommendations: We did the sunrise morning hike to the Löckermoos moor with the guide Helmut. For more information about hiking tours you can contact the tourist information in  Gosau.

Dachstein Krippenstein (5 Fingers) & Dachstein Ice Caves

The best option to visit the Krippenstein is by the Dachstein Krippenstein cable car. From the top, you can do some hiking and you will get an impressive panorama view to the Dachstein Mountains. With a short walk of 20 minutes, you will reach the spectacular 5 Fingers viewing platform. It was quite cool standing there and looking down the 500 meter trop! Additionally you will have the most beautiful Hallstätter Lake view.

 5 Fingers viewing platform

After the hike we went inside the Dachstein Ice Caves. With an experienced cave guide we walked a 50 minute tours to see the magical ice landscapes. Be aware that the ice caves are cold -2°C, so bring robust shoes and warm clothing with you.

At the end of the Dachstein Ice Caves tour you will be rewarded with a nice view to the famous Hallstätter Lake! If you still haven`t enough of exploring caves, just visit the Mammoth Caves nearby.

Gosausee (Lake Gosau)

We really loved the Gosausee and absolutely recommend a visit if you are in Dachstein Salzkammergut region! It’s located at the foot of the Dachstein Mountain and it is an outstanding natural beauty. The green colors of the Gosausee are unbeatable! We took some time to relax at the lake, to admire the nature’s beauty and enjoyed our afternoon. If you are up to doing some hiking, you can walk around the lake, or take the cable car up to the mountain. In Winter, Gosau is a fantastic region for skiing and winter sports.

Where to stay in Hallstatt?

Hideaway – Adults only: Hotel with a panoramic view of the Lake Hallstatt and the surrounding mountains

Pension Sarstein: Pension Sarstein is located directly on the shore of Lake Hallstatt and has a private beach area.

Apartment Luise: The rustic and carefully decorated Apartment Luise offers a wonderful view of the Hallstätter Lake.

Heritage Hotel: The Heritage Hotel Hallstatt is located in the car-free historic center of the UNESCO World heritage town.

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A day trip from Salzburg to Hallstatt

If you are in Salzburg, should definitely visit this beautiful town! Hallstatt can be easily visited by day trip from Salzburg:

By bus/train: You can take the bus 150 from Salzburg to Bad Ischl and then change to the train to Hallstatt (2 hours).

By train: Another possibility is to take the train to Hallstatt and change at Attnang-Puchheim (2:30 hours).

By car: If you rent a car from Salzburg, it will take only 1 hour from Salzburg to Hallstatt.


Read more about Austria:

 Insider Tips Hallstatt & Dachstein Salzkammergut – Upper Austria

  • What to eat: Don`t miss to try typical austrian food like Wienerschnitzel, Käsespätzle and Kaiserschmarrn.
  • Where to stay:  Stay in a town nearby the Hallstätter Lake, we slept in Bad Goisern what was a great choice.
  • Winter time: Notice that the caves at the Krippenstein Mountains and the Five Fingers and the Salt Mine are closed in winter time. Check out  the opening hours! In the winter, Hallstatt is much more quiet and relaxed, but some shops and restaurants are closed. In winter the Dachstein Salzkammergut is popular ski region – we recommend to visit the ski region of Dachstein West
  • Dirndl to go: If you fancy to wear a traditional Austrian dress, you can rent a dirndl!

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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


Ait-Ben-Haddou & High Atlas Mountain Road

Ait-Ben-Haddou & High Atlas Mountain Road – a trip from Marrakech

If somebody would ask me: What should I see in Morocco? I would definitely answer:

Travel to Ait-Ben-Haddou!

Ait-Ben-Haddou is an ancient mud brick city which is an UNESCO World Heritage site. Because of its unique architecture this village has been a setting for many popular films such as Game of Thrones, Gladiator and Lawrence of Arabia. The village was build 1000 years ago and before, it used to be an important point along the caravan route. Now it’s one of the most attractive points along the tourist route.

Ait Ben Haddou sunset view, hotel view
Ait Ben Haddou at sunset

How to get to Ait-Ben-Haddou?

The best way to get to there is renting a car with navigations system from Marrakech. Actually the High Atlas mountain road is an adventure for itself. If you love taking pics make sure you are planning enough time driving this panoramic mountain street. Take the Tizi n Tichka pass road located in the High Atlas Mountain to Ouarzazate. Around 20 km before Ouarzazate you have to take the road towards Ait-Ben-Haddou.

 

Our drive over the Tizi n Tichka Pass

After picking up our rental car around 10 am in the morning we left Marrakech towards Ouarzazate. The landscapes began to change quite soon and we had been surprised by all the green! Slowly the road began to rise and we passed the first mountain villages. Take a stop at the cafe at Tiz Imguer! From there you will have a grandiose view of the red rocks and the valley. If you are lucky you will see lots of squirrels running around.

The road is winding up the mountain and there are plenty amazing photo motives and viewpoints just next to the road. On top you will see the High Atlas Mountains with its stunning white summits. If you are up to buy some minerals, you are definitely on the right place – the atlas road is popular for its stone sellers. Going higher the mountain the landscape was changing dramatically and the road zigzags its way up to 2260 meter.

After the Tizi n Tichka Pass, Driving down the mountain, the landscape then changes again. With arid peaks, rocky stone formations and some old stony villages you know you are coming in pre-Sahara direction. The scenery is becoming much dryer and suddenly we spotted the first camels just next to the street.

Ait-Ben-Haddou

The best view to Ait-Ben-Haddou

The panorama of this village is just amazing and the colors are changing dramatically when the evening comes. Also with the morning light, Ait-Ben-Haddou is a wonderful photo motive. It felt like being in a completely different world watching this spectacle. The best view you will have from one of the few rooftop terraces of the nearby hotels.

How long should I stay in Ait-Ben-Haddou

We recommend at least an overnight stay! It’s so beautiful to see the Ksar in different lightening and when the day guests are leaving you will have this area for yourself.
There are plenty of Kasbahs to stay – although it must be cool sleeping inside the village the view of the village is even more amazing. Having breakfast with a morning scenery like that is unbeatable.

 

 

What to do in Ait-Ben-Haddou?

It’s amazing starting the day very early in the morning, taking a nice hot cup of mint tea and enjoying the incredible sunrise. Take a walk along the river and enjoy the nature. After start to explore the village from inside – there are a few houses which are open for visits too! You will also find some souvenir shops and cute cafes on the way to the top of this village.

Once you reach the top, you will be rewarded with incredible views of the region which is in fact the best part of the tour. You will see the whole valley along the village, the village view, the rocky desert. I just can imagine how would have been a Berber life 1000 years ago.

List of popular movies made in Ait-Ben-Haddou

This village is also a popular movie set for international films:

  • Gladiator
  •  Game of Thrones
  • Asterix and Obelix
  • Aladin
  •  Prince of Persia
  • The Mummy
  • The Hills Have Eyes II
  • Babel
  • Alexander
  • Laurence from Arabia

 


PlacesOfJuma – Insider Tips Ait-Ben-Haddou trip

 

Driving to Ait-Ben-Haddou: Make sure you have a navigation system & a route map in your car – it’s absolutely necessary for driving around in Morocco. Don`t be afraid of driving by yourself – there are lots of gas stations and you will always find friendly people helping you.

 

Booking Tours from Marrakech: If you don`t like to drive by yourself then we would recommend to book tours with at least one night stay. The drive to Ait-Ben Haddou is long, it takes about 4 hours one way and then you won´t have enough time to see all the beautiful places and you can`t watch the sunset

 



Read more about traveling in Morocco

 



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Disclosure: Some of the links below are affiliate links. Meaning that if you click on certain links, and then subsequently purchase a product, I will receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.


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