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Switzerland is one of the best places in Europe to visit traditional Christmas markets. The city of Zurich alone has several good markets in November and December. Zurich city centre gets its Christmas lights in the end of November when the famous shopping street Bahnhofstrasse is decorated for the holidays. From the traditional Christmas Market in Zurich’s old city to the annual Christkindlimarkt, here are the best places to go Christmas shopping in Zurich.

christmas shopping in zurich

Bahnhofstrasse Christmas Shopping

Zurich’s most famous and possibly most luxurious shopping street, Bahnhofstrasse, is decorated for the holiday season in the end of November. read full article

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Stockholm Archipelago is a mosaic of numerous skerries, islets and islands scattered in the Baltic Sea. However, only 1,000 are populated.

Sailing in Sweden archipelagoPhoto: Getty Images

These serene landmasses are accessible by boats (classic white archipelago boats) or cars. Some islands are tiny while others are huge. Most of the islands are not affected by tides. The archipelago, the home of fishermen and farmers, has inspired many Swedish writers and artists. read full article

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So you’ve checked Florence’s major sites off the list: David, the Uffizi gallery, Piazza della Signoria and the Ponte Vecchio to name a few. Now what?

florence: 24 hoursPhoto: Getty Images, Corbis

Florence’s historic, cultural and artistic treasures are undeniably many of the world’s best. But that’s not the only thing the city has to offer. And 24 hours are all you need to discover how to live it up like a true Florentine! read full article

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I remember trying to convince my ex boyfriend to stay in a castle in Gloucester. Apparently it wasn’t a real holiday because it wasn’t abroad (he then balked at the prices of castles abroad and that was the end of that). But I like the idea of going on holiday in the UK. There’s loads of the country that I haven’t seen, and I really want to. There are some really unique hotels around UK, and here are the top three that I’m itching to try.

uk: unique hotels

The Old Railway Station

Rail travel is something I’ve romanticised for years. It’s Brief Encounter’s fault. And the Orient Express. read full article

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Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!

Thanksgiving Turkey Recipe

For those who are wondering why Thanksgiving is such an important celebration in the United States, here are some Thanksgiving facts: read full article

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Helsinki is a small city but has a vibrant nightlife. Most pubs, bars, clubs in Helsinki stay open until 2 to 4 am, and there are late night clubs, concerts, events and gigs almost every night of the week.

nightlife in helsinki

The age limit to enter Helsinki’s bars and clubs can be anywhere between 18 and 24. On weekends many clubs have a minimum age of at least 20. Ordinary bars and pubs generally keep the age limit at 18. read full article

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Spending the run up to Christmas in the UKs capital is festive tradition at its best. London of course has some of the best Christmas shopping in the world; although if you are looking for something a little different to celebrate the build up of this magical time of year, here is a selection of yuletide activities the city has to offer for 2010.

London: things to do at christmas

5k Santa Run/Christmas Pudding Race

If you feel like something a little bit different, even a bit of winter exercise to help you keep those unwanted holiday lbs at bay, head to Greenwich Park on Sunday 5th December where they are holding their annual 5K Santa race. read full article

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The Krakow Industrial Heritage Route, a unique urban tourist trail, winds through the historic Polish city Krakow. Over fifteen architectural, historic and industrial landmarks build in 19th – 20th century are restored along the route and draw tourists, especially those interested in building art, cultural heritage, engineering, technology and vehicles including motorcycles. Read on to know more about various beautiful landmarks.

Krakow Industrial Heritage Route

Juliusz Słowacki Theatre (Municipal Theatre) at Sw. Ducha Square was the first structure in the city to have electric light. The theatre, opened in 1893 for public, was taken over by the German troupe during the World War II. It had its own electricity generation plant that now features a small stage. Currently, there are four stages in the theatre that epitomizes Eclectic architecture. Allegorical figures of comedy, drama and poetry adorn its front elevation. read full article

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Vienna, the capital of Austria, is a paradise for all shopping addicts. Not only are there numerous brand shops in the city center, there are also many shopping malls. Some of them have a central location, but many of them are in Vienna’s surrounding. Explore the best options before you decide to go for your shopping trip. Don’t forget, all shopping malls in Austria are closed on Sundays.

vienna: shopping malls

Shopping City Süd

Shopping City Süd is 1 km long mall with more than 330 shops that offer not only clothes and shoes but also home equipment and electronic devices. read full article

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In all honesty I would not choose Madrid as a top destination for 2nd hand clothes shopping. Not saying that there is nothing on offer, it just takes a little more time and effort than in other cities with a more active vintage scene.

vintage shops in madrid

Although saying that, its all part of the fun of second hand shopping, sweating through endless racks of clothes to finally find that one piece that suits you down to a tee, and that you know no-one else will have! This trend though, along with cupcakes, is on the rise in Madrid and little vintage boutiques are popping up and drawing attention. read full article

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The Big Apple has a long standing indie music scene which spawned punk rock icons such as the Ramones, the New York Dolls, Talking Heads, Blondie and Sonic Youth just to name but a few.

new york, alternative music venues

From cheap booze and tiny stages in the East Village to low-lit Harlem jazz joints, the alternative music scene continues to flourish in New York and you can shake your thing at any number of trendy venues in the city that never sleeps.

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What do we all think of when we picture Milan? It’s fashion? It’s business? Maybe the cathedral if we’re that way inclined? It’s the city that knows its reputation and, in many ways, doesn’t care very much. But there’s some hidden gems scattered around and they’re a real mixture for the traveller who wants to see that little bit more and come home with a new impression of somewhere.

secret places in milan to discover

Navigli

This area could very easily become completely unnoticed with your average day-tripper to Milan, which is a real shame because it’s possibly the most vibrant and friendly area of the whole city. read full article

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Prague at night alone is worth a visit. The nocturnal habitats frequented are often one of a kind.

nightlife prague

The epitome of Prague’s uniqueness is Cross Club, buried away in Holesovice. This local underground hang out formerly catering to the dreadlocked-coiffed demographic for its popular Drum’n’Bass nights now opened a café on top. A Czech artist eclectically decorates the whole lot. The metal setting of the basement makes it look like a scene straight from The Matrix. During weeknights it’s manageable, but if you can’t take the crowd on weekends, split for Mecca, an electro club known to host up-and-coming international DJs. The best night to go is on a Wednesday. read full article

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Zurich, Switzerland has an incredible amount of nightclubs for a night out dancing. Thanks to the city’s relaxed licensing laws, clubs stay open until the early hours of the morning. If you’re into Latin rythms, many clubs in Zurich have regular salsa and Latin nights. Dress up when going out dancing in Zurich, especially when visiting the top-end clubs, and expect to pay top prices for drinks.

nightclubs in zurich

Kaufleuten (Pelikanstrasse 18, Kreis 1) is one of Zurich’s most famous clubs: trendy and upscale and popular with celebrities and celeb-spotters. read full article

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Madrid, today, is a cultural melting pot- think about it. It’s the capital of a country that sits on the border between Europe and Northern Africa, and acts as the European link to Latin America.

when to visit madrid

Coupled with the post Franco creative explosion, the Movida Madrileña, Madrid has really ‘opened its eyes’. Concerts, art exhibitions, independent theatre or cinema festivals take place all over the city. It’s true that some can be hard to find, but with pre-planning, there is always something special to do. There might not be an April Fair, like that of Seville, or the Pamplona bull runs, music festivals stick to the coast and even religious festivals seem diluted in the capital, and so I would advise a visit any time in spring or early autumn. read full article

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