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In Europe/ Travel

Izmir, Turkey | Exploring the Ancient World

Izmir is a city that serves as a gateway to the ancient world. It’s home to Ephesus, an ancient Greek city with ruins dating back to the 10th Century BCE. One of the most notable ruins is the Temple of Artemis, which is considered one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. Ephesus is a place of pilgrimage for Christians, as it is believed that John the Baptist hid the Virgin Mary here after the crucifixion of Jesus.

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In Europe

Munich, Germany | A Two-Day Travel Guide

things to do in munich
Photo by ian kelsall on Unsplash

Munich stands as a testament to the resilience and richness of German culture, effortlessly bridging the gap between ancient traditions and futuristic innovation. The list of things to do in Munich could absorb a traveler for months on end. This Bavarian capital tells a tale of destruction and rebirth, proudly displaying landmarks that have withstood the test of time alongside modern marvels of architecture and technology. The city’s historical significance is undeniable, with landmarks such as the Frauenkirche and Nymphenburg Palace offering glimpses into a regal past, while the sprawling English Garden invites locals and visitors alike to bask in Munich’s natural beauty. Yet, it’s the city’s commitment to preserving its heritage, as seen in the meticulous restoration of the Altstadt (Old Town), that truly captivates the imagination.

Munich’s unique appeal lies not just in its historical sites but in its vibrant cultural scene and the warmth of its people. The annual Oktoberfest is a phenomenon that draws visitors from across the globe, eager to partake in the revelry and sample the famed Bavarian hospitality. However, Munich’s charm extends beyond this famed festival. The city’s art galleries, such as the Pinakothek museums, boast collections that span centuries, offering a feast for the senses to art aficionados. Moreover, Munich serves as a culinary crossroads, where traditional Bavarian dishes share the table with innovative cuisine, reflecting the city’s diverse and welcoming spirit. In essence, there’s a unique blend of things to do in Munich, offering solemn history, artistic richness, and a lively social atmosphere, making it an indispensable stop for any traveler seeking to immerse themselves in the heart of German culture.

Want to extend your trip? Check out this list of things to do in Berlin and other unique places to visit in Germany.

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In Europe

Vienna, Austria | A Two-Day Travel Guide

things to do in vienna
Photo by daniel plan on Unsplash

Vienna is one of those cities I knew nothing about before I moved to Europe but presumed it should be at the top of my travel wish list. I first visited taking the night train from Düsseldorf. Then, I moved to Berlin and ended up visiting Vienna frequently for work on top of another tourist visit with the in-laws. Suddenly Vienna became one of the cities I visited most in the world.

Let me tell you, there are worse things that can happen than having to visit Vienna on the regular.

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In Europe

Quedlinburg, Germany | A Two-Day Travel Guide

Germany does plenty of things well. At the top of that list just might be medieval villages.

I mean, let’s be real. This is why most folks from overseas travel to Germany. A stop in Berlin or Munich is a nice bonus. But what people really want is to traipse around medieval cobblestones in quaint villages older than the countries they came from.

So let’s give the people what they want. Let’s go to Quedlinburg.

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In Europe

Berlin, Germany | A Local’s Travel Guide

things to do in berlin

Berlin can be a polarizing place. Some love it. It’s the place they’ve been looking for their entire lives. The sense of freedom that you can be whoever you want to be is palpable. Others hate it. They describe it as a sprawling mess of concrete, devoid of sunlight and teeming with grumps.

If you’ve never been, then it’s hard to say where you’ll fall on the spectrum. Either way, you need to visit Berlin. And eventually, you’ll decide for yourself.

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In Europe


Schmalkalden, Germany View

You have a taste for history, cities, and the great outdoors, so you’ve made the wise decision to visit Germany. There are plenty of resources out there to help you plan for your trip to Germany, but all the focus seems to be on the big cities of Berlin, Munich, Hamburg, and Frankfurt. To be fair, they are all fantastic cities and you should visit them.

That said, there’s more to this country than these cities. Luckily, this is a big chunk of land, so there is no shortage of things to do in Germany, and although the country in and of itself is not necessarily off the beaten path, getting away from the cacophony of clicking cameras can still be done. So, when compiling this off-the-beaten-path travel guide for Germany, I used a few self-imposed barometers.

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In Europe/ Outdoors

I Hiked Bannau Brycheiniog (and Got a Taste of Wales)

Berlin to Bannau Brycheiniog National Park in Wales. 1,400 kilometers or 870 miles by train and bus to a new country––Wales––for a little trail running and hiking and to learn a bit more about Welsh culture and heritage. I also met up with Jodie Bond, a writer and the head of communications for the park, to find out why they dropped the English from the park names, what it has to do with climate change.

Catch it all in the video above.