This article was written by Gilad Berenstein, Founder & CEO of Utrip.com, a personalized travel-planning platform. He’s recently gone on an amazing Utrip adventure with his family to Spain and Portugal.
I recently set off on an adventure to explore Portugal and southern Spain. When I arrived at London’s Heathrow I was greeted by an all-too-familiar sight: dozens of canceled flights due to (if you’ve been to Europe you’ve probably guessed it) a strike in France. When I finally arrived in Lisbon—four hours late—I found that no taxi was willing to take me into Lisbon’s old center of Alfama where my family had rented an apartment for our stay. Tired and confused, I took the metro into the heart of the city.
This is a guest post by Jordan Susselman, a California native who has been living in Barcelona for almost 15 years. He runs Hi. This is Barcelona, a small high-end touring company offering private, tailor-made tours and other activities and experiences in and around Barcelona, and Spain.
Barcelona was recently voted TripAdvisor’s 5th best travel destination in the world, after Paris, New York, London and Rome. But just thirty to forty years ago, Barcelona was nowhere near as popular as those other historic megacities, which have been top destinations for over a century.
Besides being one of the world’s most popular cities, Barcelona’s reputation is that of a pioneer, especially in fields of creative expression. From architecture and design to cuisine and fashion, Barcelona has positioned itself as an international trendsetter.
When I was living in southern France, I noticed how fanatic the French are about merry-go-rounds (or carrousels in French). Then I realized it’s not just the French. Carousels are deeply ingrained in European culture; you’re guaranteed to bump into at least a couple of them in most if not all major European cities. Out of curiosity, I decided to do a little investigation and found some interesting websites. Who’d guess that I could so easily find organizations and publications like the National Carousel Association and The Carousel News & Trader? Continue reading →
The French Riviera conjures romantic notions. For some, it may be the image of a couple sailing out into the sunset atop the rippling blue water that reflects the colors of the sun in each wake. Others might imagine this same scene, except with Victoria and David Beckham as the couple. A star-studded summer vacation awaits at places along the French Riviera like St. Tropez – be it enjoying the clear sky or the many celebrities that can be seen.
Big cities like Rome are always fun for the taste buds and to travel to. Last week we shared a Rome dining guide featuring 5 wonderful local gems that are little known and that tourists haven’t found yet. After receiving many tremendous responses, we decided to share 5 more of our favorite restaurants in Rome.
Our second and last full day in Lisbon started with less of a sense of urgency. We’d planned for about the same amount of sightseeing as the day before, and now knew that we had ample time to see everything while taking our time to soak everything in. Another plus: the sun was out! After a more or less dreary first day in terms of weather, it was amazing to see how a little sunlight could transform a city almost completely. Of course, I should be used to this, as a perpetually frustrated Seattleite who has a profound appreciation for cloudless days. Continue reading →
Almost exactly two years ago, I traveled to Vienna with my study abroad group for a three-day educational trip. We were based in Prague, and our program focused on the political climate of Central and Eastern Europe from the end of WWI to the present. I don’t remember what drew me to this particular program, because I knew nothing of the region before I found myself physically there, but that only served to create a trip that was full of pleasant surprises and more learning than I’d ever done inside a classroom.
We asked travel bloggers, travel agents, and just plain ol’ travelers for tips on how to make the most of a summer vacation in Italy. Here’s what they said.
On heading off the beaten path:
“Spend a few days traveling along one of Italy’s many Strada di Vini (Wine Roads). These are usually well-marked routes that you can find out about online, or from one of the local tourist offices. You travel off the beaten tourist track, through beautiful vineyards and small towns. They are perfect routes to enjoy on a cycling tour, as they wind through some magnificent countryside. There are several to enjoy just outside of Venice and Verona, as well as Florence.”
Since I was nine years old, I have been traveling to India to visit family. I vividly remember the moment I first stepped off the 14-hour plane ride to Bangalore and was welcomed with a blast of humidity unlike anything I had felt before. My impression of India as a nine-year-old took a turn for the worst before I even left the airport when I had to use the bathroom. Continue reading →
Rome is one of the world’s hottest travel destinations, and it’s easy to see why. Incredible history, unmatched cultural offerings, and a vibrant urban scene collide in the Italian capital. All of that can make a traveler hungry, of course, but it’s sometimes hard to find authentic dining experiences among all the tourist noise. Utrip.com has selected a list of undiscovered gems that locals love and that astute travelers are starting to notice.