Five European cities I want to visit in 2012Monday, February 27, 2012
It’s been 3 years since I left my past life in Europe and lately it’s been calling out to me. I miss the simple pleasure of having coffee at an outdoor café while the outside world passed me by. I miss walking the cobblestone steps and gazing out to the courtyard of fantastically built churches that seem ancient and absolute. This year is probably the best time to come back. I have selected five European cities well worth making the time to visit in 2012.
There’s never a dull moment in this Scottish capital. Every year starts and ends in style with the world-famous Hogmanay celebrations. Another highlight of the cultural calendar takes places in August when the Fringe Festival attracts visitors from all parts of the world. When it comes to accommodations, there are and affordable hotels in Edinburgh to fit every budget. Ibis hotel Edinburgh is one such place that provides comfort and service for a price that might surprise you for a central location. I would love to visit the Edinburgh Castle and witness the daily gun salute at 1pm as well as the National Museum of Scotland.
|Photo Credit: Anirudh Koul|
The eyes of the world will be on London later this year when the city hosts the 2012 Olympics and Paralympics. Countless venues across London will stage a variety of events, from archery to wrestling - and I wish to be part of it all. It doesn’t matter if I purchase tickets or just witness the festivities along one of the designated fan parks. Either way, I’ll be able to watch all the action unfold on giant screens. Another event I’m keeping an eye on this year is the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee celebrations. London has an array of attractions to head to and luckily for smart travellers like myself, many are free to enter like the Tate Modern all year round.
|Photo Credit: Moyan_Brenn (I'm Back)|
When you think of Spain, you immediately set your heart on going to Barcelona. But after meeting a lovely lady from Spain after a recent trip to Florida, I’ve realized Madrid is well worth a visit. The city centre is made up of a labyrinth of streets lined with shops, restaurants and bars and because I’m always in search of a little culture. I’m looking forward to visiting the Museo del Prado to see works of Picasso. The Royal Palace of Madrid is another attraction I look forward to checking ou. And I wouldn’t miss an interesting tour of the Santiago Bernabeu, home to Real Madrid, one of the most successful sporting teams.
|Photo Credit: Boris Mitendorfer Photography|
Mari-where? Did you know that Maribor along with Guimarães in Portugal is the 2012 European capital of culture? The Slovenian city is bracing itself for a whirlwind next 12 months as it prepares to welcome an influx of tourists keen to learn more about this often overlooked part of Europe. There’s stunning architecture to marvel at in the form of a Franciscan Church and the picturesque Rotovski trg square in the old town.
|Photo Credit: Cassio Rogério|
Back when I was living in Germany, there was an essential German experience I missed: Oktoberfest! And you know what they say, if you come to Germany and never get to experience this tradition in Munich, it’s like you’ve never been there at all. Oktoberfest is something I should experience at least once in my lifetime along with a trip to the Hofbrauhaus, which is thought to be the world’s largest pub. I’ve been told that the beer served here is unlike anything I’ll ever taste anywhere else. While the food lovers in me is saying I should make a pilgrimage to Viktualienmarkt, the daily food market serving up all manner of tasty treats. I’m missing curry wurst already!