Cool cities not to miss in Europe this summer

Barcelona is among the top Cool cities not to miss in Europe

It’s already May, which means high season in Europe is just around the corner. With ideal weather, summer is the perfect time to experience the best cities this continent has to offer.

Just don’t forget your sunglasses when you are packing your bags – the sun is just as strong over there as it is at home.

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With that out of the way, let’s get into the cool European cities you should make room for in your travel plans this summer.

1) London

A classic entry and exit point for many Euro trips, London has plenty to offer the inquisitive traveler. Start with the British Museum, one of the world’s top cultural treasures.

Containing everything from Egyptian antiquities to Renaissance art, this institution tells the story of human civilization in a comprehensive manner, with 8,000,000 pieces giving its collection more depth than any other museum on Earth. Best of all, admission is free, so you have no excuse to miss this amazing attraction.

Other points of interest worth your time include Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, the Borough Market, as well as any fish and chips stand with a local following.

2) Barcelona

With a wealth of amazing architecture, a fantastic food and nightlife scene, and glamorous beaches in and around the city, Barcelona is another no-brainer destination.

Spend a day exploring Park Guell and Sagrada Familia, which are Antoni Gaudi’s greatest creations, and an evening hopping from one tapas bar to the next in the Gothic Quarter.

Spend fair weather days at the beach, but remember the rays there can be murder on the eyes, especially when the light reflects off the water.

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3) Budapest

Traveling Europe on a budget? Make room in your itinerary for Budapest, which boasts a slate of intriguing attractions to go along with its reasonable prices.

The average pint will cost you less than $3 USD at the pubs here, which is less than half of what you would pay in London or Paris.

There are amazing buildings to discover, such as Buda Castle and St. Stephen’s Basilica. And when former activities have worn you out, thermal baths like Széchenyi and Lukács will refresh your spirit.

Traveling After Retirement

Most of us are too busy making a living, and we can’t simply quit our jobs to go out there on a worldwide travelling adventure. But there does come a point in life where traveling becomes a viable option, and this generally happens once we retire. Sure our pension will not be quite the same as our wages, but we suddenly find ourselves with a lot more time on our hands. This can be the perfect opportunity to go and visit those places we’ve always wanted to go to, so let’s make the most of our retirement and get those travelling boots ready!

Going across borders

First things first. We need to make sure our passport is still valid. This might seem like something obvious but living in countries like the UK where identity checks aren’t mandatory, it is easy to let that passport go out of date as we don’t really need it in our daily lives. So the number one thing to do is to make sure that we have the necessary credentials to go out and explore the planet. Countries like the USA can actually be visited by UK passport holders under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) as long as long as the duration of your stay isn’t longer than 90 days. Europe is also pretty easy to travel through as long as you have your passport, though this might change in the future because of Brexit; but so far you’re still good to go.

Travel light, but equipped

No one wants to carry around huge suitcases, but unfortunately you do need to make sure you have all your necessities with you. It is not just the right clothes, but also any medicine that you might need when you’re out there. From sun cream to mosquito repellent; going through any medication that you need or use on a daily basis. And speaking of medication, you do need to make sure that the country you’re travelling to will accept the medication that you take, and that it is not illegal. For example, traveling to the USA might require you taking a copy of your prescription with you, so make sure you’re aware of the laws when travelling with medication.

Travelling alone or with company?

A lot of couples will go out and travel once they retire, and that makes a lot of sense. After all traveling alone can be a bit lonely, and it is best to have someone with us that we care for. If you are single in your later years, you might want to consider mature dating by meeting people online. There are plenty of dating sites so the first thing is to choose the one which is right for you. If you’re a British native, some people consider to be the best mature dating site in the UK; but of course that is entirely subjective. Maybe you will want to look at other mature dating sites to make up your own mind. Ultimately those sort of dating sites are like communities, where similar people go to meet each other. Just make sure to take your time, you don’t want to rush; instead look around and make up your own mind about which site is best to use.

Travelling safely

Tourists tend to stick out from miles away when they visit other countries, and because of that they can often be targeted by scammers or other less-well intentioned people. Basically, you don’t really want people to see that you have too much money on you; something that unfortunately is sometimes unavoidable when travelling, as you do need to carry some currency on you. Using a money belt is a common thing to do, and as long as you also have some money in your pockets then you don’t have to be seen reaching out to that belt by the wrong people. Furthermore, try not to walk around with that expensive camera around your neck, it’s a dead giveaway. Remember to use the safe in your hotel room, and even the lockers in airports. Also, read about the countries you are going to visit before you go there, you will learn a few tips and tricks about how to and how not to approach people. You can avoid making yourself look like an obvious target, and your travels will be much safer that way.

Experience Canada’s best craft brewery destinations on your summer holiday

Canada's best craft brewery destinations will do much to quench your thirst

One of the best developments in food and drink in recent years has been the explosion of craft breweries in cities across North America. Initially, this trend swept across the USA, but it has now taken hold in Canada as well, with most cities developing their own homemade brews.

While most major centres in Canada have a few places worth discovering, the destinations listed below have become known for their burgeoning craft beer scenes.

1) Victoria, BC

Those serious about the history of craft brewing will want to spend time in Victoria. In 1984, Spinnakers opened its doors, making it the first brewpub to open in Canada. It pioneered a scene which has since launched eleven additional establishments.

Canoe Brewpub is a great place to start your exploration of Victoria’s scene, as the beer it brews adheres to German purity laws. What’s more, the food on their menu is diverse, with plenty of veggie-friendly fare to go along with the fare one usually finds at a respectable pub.

Swans is another great choice, as it produces beer that leaves out sugary syrups, which makes for a bitter mouthfeel some craft aficionados may like.

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2) Vancouver, BC

Not to be outdone by their rival across the Georgia Strait, Vancouver has developed a craft beer scene of its own, adding yet another dimension to this popular destination.

Making use of disused industrial space and vacant commercial space in edgier neighbourhoods, these establishments have transformed large tracts of Vancouver into happening places for those who love fine food and drink.

Ever since the BC government allowed microbreweries to attach lounges to their operations in 2013, development of these mirth-filled businesses has exploded, with 27 establishments being open within city limits by the end of 2016.

Fill up a growler at Brassneck, enjoy a charcuterie board with your beer at Strathcona Beer Company, and feel like you have discovered a secret inside the non-descript warehouse that holds Strange Fellows Brewing – these are just a few of the amazing places you’ll find on a craft beer crawl in Vancouver.

3) Fredericton, NB

Over on the other coast, the cities of the Maritimes have been catching up to the West Coast in a big way lately.

The unassuming provincial capital of New Brunswick is a classic example of this trend, as Fredericton’s collegiate, art-appreciating populace has made it fertile ground for an explosion of craft brewing concepts.

At first glance, it might seem like a city of 60,000 (which feels more like a town) wouldn’t be able to support ten breweries that turn out beer, cider, and mead, but the growth that has taken place recently has shown no signs of slowing.

Make time to visit the brand new Picaroon’s Roundhouse, a brick and concrete tasting room found at the northern end of Fredericton’s pedestrian bridge. Find yourself downtown? Get in a pint at Greystone, a painfully hip joint which has become the hottest new patio in town.