VENICE on a budget: when to go, where to stay, what to eat, and much more

Venice on a budget? Is that even possible?
Agreed, visiting Venice can be pretty pricey.
After all, you find yourself at one of the world’s most unique places – and it comes with a price tag.

Italy Venice Canale Grande
Every visitor to Venice will know this sight: The Chiesa di San Simeon Piccolo across from the main train station Venezia Santa Lucia, photographed from the Ponte degli Scalzi.

However, if you follow my simple hacks, visiting Venice on a budget is easy and still very enjoyable.

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LJUBLJANA mon amour

Ljubljana mon amour: In fact, already the city’s name sounds like a tender song…and derives from ljubljena – beloved.

 Ljubljana Dragon Bridge
Like in every decent fairy tale, you have to make it past the dragon to get to the beautiful princess. Ljubljana is no exception.

Albeit the city is not hidden anymore, it has kept its sleeping beauty charm and is still a sparkling gem.

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VIENNA – visited by streetcar

To visit Austria’s capital, for the most part, you don’t need to join an expensive city tour. In fact, almost all of magnificent Vienna can be visited by streetcar.

View from the Museum Leopold in Vienna
Isn’t that a beautiful picture?
God and some very talented architects made it: It’s the view from a window at the Museum Leopold at the Museum’s Quarter.

So hop on, let’s explore a city full of history, stories, and myths.

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Three Days In Prague – For First-Timers & Repeat Visitors

I might be the perfect person to guide you through Prague, granting three days of awe. Why so? Because I’m an unusual kind of local.

Statue John the Baptist on the Charles Bridge in Prague
John the Baptist showing the way to the Malá Strana quarter.

Locals know the best spots. They can communicate with other locals in the native language and, thusly, they might learn things visitors don’t.

On the other hand, locals tend to be oblivious to the beauty of their surroundings. Ignore iconic places. Bored by beauty.

So not being a real local actually works in my favor. I’m still amazed. And for some reason that I’ll explain below even deeply touched.

See? I’ve told you I might be your perfect guide!

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Art Weekend in Milan

An art weekend in Milan? How so?

After all, of all Italian cities, Milan probably deems the least Italian. No jolly groups sipping Aperol Spritz while playing boccia. Instead, executives rushing from their stately apartment houses to offices in glittering business centers. Hardly a narrow cobblestone alley. Rather big cars on broad avenues. Few statues around. No renaissance. No baroque.

Piazza del Duomo - with the iconic cathedral.
Piazza del Duomo – with the iconic cathedral.

Nevertheless, if you are prepared for what to expect, Milan will not disappoint you. Therefore, let me guide you to the city’s most important art venues – and beyond.

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ATHENS for First-Timers – Beyond the Acropolis

Yes, I’ve travelled the seven seas – at least metaphorically – yet never made it to Greece. This is ironic since basically all of Greece is located on the seaside. With 13,676 kilometers of coastline – that’s roughly the little something of 8,498 miles – and 3054 islands and islets, Poseidon definitely is boss.

Not the only amazing facts. Next to Golgota and the Capitol, the Acropolis is one of the hills on which Europe was founded. So there is no excuse that I haven’t visited the cradle of our civilization before.

Cat at the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
Although Greece is basically sea-girt, besides lots of water, there are many rocks. As well as cats.

So as we got nearer to Christmas and the holy days became holidays, the question of where I would spend them was quickly answered. Athens – for the first time.

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BOOMTOWN BREMERHAVEN. A complete guide.

Last week, I’ve guided you through Bremen, Germany’s smallest Federal State that actually consists of two cities. Besides Bremen there is Bremerhaven, an exclave with an exciting present – and past.

Seute Deern
The Seute Deern (which in Low German means Sweet Girl) was the world’s last cargo sailing ship made entirely of wood.
In March 2020, one of Bremerhaven’s most iconic landmarks had to be scrapped. However, they are planning on building a copy.

After a changeful history, today the city is almost secretly evolving into a Boomtown.

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BREMEN – BIG and small. A complete city guide.

(Updated Mai 2020)

Bremen, located in the northwest, is definitely not Germany’s most famous city. However, visitors who find their way here will certainly be surprised. And even rewarded since the historic old town – partly a UNESCO world heritage site – deems like the capital of a fairyland. And you’ll run into some fabulous creatures and fairy tale figures, indeed.

The Roland in front of the City Hall of Bremen
Mr. Roland in front of the town hall: As long as he stands tall, Bremen remains free and independent.

But there is far more to discover in this Free Hanseatic City.

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TALLINN – a small city with a great spirit

Estonia’s capital Tallinn cannot be described with a handful of corny attributes and some stock catchphrases.

Tallinn - Estonia: St. Michaels Church
Besides many lovely and alluring things, there is also a bit of creepy to see in Tallinn – which makes the city even more intriguing.

Overall, by the standard categories, this city is far too diverse, its past too changeful, its faith too inconsistent, its present too dynamic, and its future definitely too promising. In conclusion, a hub between the poles of history and creativity.

Estonia is the northernmost of the three Baltic States. Hence, culturally and language-wise, there are close relations with Finland, historically there are multiple cultural ties to Germany through the German Baltic states.

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RIGA – a guide to Latvia’s entrancing capital

So here comes an updated guide to Riga, Latvia’s entrancing capital.

At this moment, the Baltic states are in some sort of touristy limbo: Certainly not an insider tip anymore, Latvia is still far from being overrun by large tourist groups.

Music Group at the Ethnographic Open-Air Museum of Riga, to Latvia's entrancing capital. A Guide.
After having been ethnically oppressed for the longest time, the Latvians happily and proudly rediscover their cultural heritage.

Although Riga is a modern and forward-looking metropolis, Latvia’s capital preserves proudly its cultural identity, traditions, and a melancholic charm.

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