Weekend in ESSEN: From Coal Mine to Treasure Box

A weekend in the German city of Essen: If as a travel blogger I have a mission, it’s to show the world that there is far more to enjoy in Germany than the infamous Oktoberfest. Thus, some time ago, I’ve introduced five of Germany’s most beautiful and exciting islands in my series Island Hopping in Germany. Now, in this post, I’m starting another series, focusing on the Ruhr, a former industrial mining area at the confluence of the rivers Rhine and Ruhr where the city of Essen transformed a Coal Mine into a Unesco World Heritage Site. Yet, there is much more to explore.

The iconic winding tower, the most important feature of the Unesco World Heritage Site Zeche Zollverein, with the city of Essen in the backdrop.
The iconic winding tower, the most important feature of the Unesco World Heritage Site Zeche Zollverein, with the city of Essen in the backdrop.
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Guide to HAMBURG, the “Gateway to the World”

Let me guide you through Hamburg, Germany’s second-largest city and self-proclaimed gateway to the world.

Sailors at the Port of Hamburg
For ages, sailors from all over the world anchored at the Port of Hamburg.

You’ll be enchanted by alluring views that make you yearn for undiscovered shores. Germans call it Fernweh – loosely translated to aching for distance.

I’m sure Hamburg’s maritime charm and traditional openness to the entire world will amaze you.

This Comprehensive Guide to Hamburg will take you to the city’s most beautiful corners.

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50 Most Beautiful Palaces in Venice

On its barely 415 square kilometers, there are about 200 magnificent palaces at the Centro Storico of Venice. In this post, I’m navigating you to the 50 most beautiful ones.

Canale Grande in Venice lined with Palaces
The mighty Canale Grande is lined with nothing but mesmerizing palazzi.
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MURANO – BURANO – TORCELLO: A Self-Guided Island Tour

There is a lot to see in Venice’s Centro Storico, the historic center, yet, there are those smaller gems. In this guide, I show you how to visit Murano, Burano, and Torcello, comfortably on a self-guided tour. It’s actually pretty easy and inexpensive to visit these three islands on a day trip from Venice.

Getting to Murano by Vaporetto
Travelling between the islands in the Venetian Lagoon is very easy. Therefore, you can happily visit Murano, Burano, and Torcello on a self-guided tour.
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TORCELLO – a church, a bridge, and 15 residents

If you are going on a day trip to Burano, the colorful gem in the Venetian lagoon, you should definitely spare an hour or two to cross the 150 meters to the island of Torcello. Here, a church, a bridge, and 15 permanent residents are awaiting you.

Chiesa di Santa Fosca on the island of Torcello where you can visit a church and a bridge
Chiesa di Santa Fosca on the island of Torcello.

While the islands Murano and Burano are beautiful yet still not that very different from the main island, the so-called Centro Storico, Torcello is a whole different world with very few landmarks surrounded by meadows and fields.

Enjoy the silence.

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A Day in BURANO: United Colors of Venice

I know, I know: There is so much to explore in Venice’s Centro Storico, the historic center, that adding yet another beautiful place seems crazy. But believe me: If you set sail to spend a day on the island of Burano, you won’t regret it – since it will add some very unique colors to your visit to Venice.

Renata Green on a Day Trip to Burano from Venice
Life in bold colors.
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A Day on MURANO: It’s a Crystalline World

Visiting Venice, you absolutely have to venture out on a day trip to discover the Crystalline World of Murano, located in the dreamy Venetian lagoon.

The Vetreria Ducale, adorned by a sign of Guerrieri pottery, and to the left the Ferro & Lazzarini glass factory. Murano Crystalline World
Some of the best places to shop for glass on Murano island: The Vetreria Ducale, adorned by a sign of Guerrieri pottery, and to the left the Ferro & Lazzarini glass factory.

Most visitors to Venice stay and explore only the Centro Storico, the historic center. However, there is a total of 120 islands in the lagoon of which only 11 are permanently inhabited. Of those islands, Murano is the third largest one – after the Centro Storico, obviously, as well as the Lido di Venezia. As a matter of fact, Murano consists of seven small islands divided by eight channels and connected by bridges.

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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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