Europe – Places to Meet Pure Bred Aristocracy and Royalty

Want to meet a Duke or a true Prince and Princess? One of the easiest and most convenient places to meet pure royalty is at one of the prestigious hotel casinos. They hang out at many of the following five casinos and, once you are in, you can interact with them, play against them and if you are good enough, even beat them. Wouldn’t you like to boast that you defeated a King? These five hotel casinos give you that chance.

But do not expect an all you can eat buffet or players with baseball caps and cool shades. Come dressed elegantly and only then will you be let in to share a baccarat game with pure-bred European aristocracy.

The European casinos listed here are the largest and the most luxurious casinos in Europe. Their appointed clientele is less the seasonal tourist gambler and more the upper crust. So, if you are looking for a stylish way to spend your latest lottery winning, you can shoot the dice in one of the casinos listed below while your traveling partners lie around the French Riviera beaches or go on wild shopping trips in the streets of London or Moscow.

1) Casino de Monte Carlo, Monaco:

Monte Carlo has been the favorite gaming destination of Europe’s rich and famous for almost 150 years with the first casino that was founded by Prince Charles III of Monaco in 1863. Casino de Monte Carlo is a complex of five posh casinos located by the seashore and decorated in French rococo style with marbled columns, golden ornaments and crystal chandeliers. The overall environment would make you feel like an extra in a French history movie.

2) Casino Metropol, Moscow:

The Russian Federation has the biggest number of casinos and slot machines in Eastern Europe. The best casinos for tourists are obviously the ones located in hotels. Casino Metropol is part of the five star Hotel Metropol, which is not only one of the most elegant casino hotels in the area but it is also conveniently located in the center of Moscow within a walking distance from the Red Square and the Kremlin. The lowest minimum table requirement is 25 dollars and a night at the presidential suite will cost you 2,000 dollars.

3) Baden Baden Casino, Baden Baden, Germany:

The veteran European casino was founded in 1809 and although it has changed several ownerships since then, its reputation as one of the finest casinos in Europe in general and in Germany in particular has not change. Nowadays, the Baden Baden Casino is one of the city’s landmarks along with the famous thermal baths. If you ignore the table games and the slot machines, walking through the 32,289 square foot casino looks as similar to a visit in an European art museum with permanent exhibits of oil paintings and sculptures.

4) The Clermont Club, London, England:

If you are visiting the UK, you cannot just pop into a casino but have to apply for a membership at least a day ahead. If you plan to follow this procedure, the Clermont Club in Berkeley Square is one of the most reputable gaming clubs around. Set in a 17th century building, the Clermont Club was designed to resemble the Great Hall at Holkham. In addition to its friendly and convenient gaming room, the Clermont Club includes a bar and a clubroom where members and their guests can lounge over a banquet of a vintage bottle of champagne. Note that playing at online casinos is legal in the UK, so you can just pop into any internet cafe for online games.

5) Casino Barriere de Deauville, Deauville, France:

The elegant seaside casino resort had inspired Ian Fleming in depicting the Casino of Royale les Eaux in his first James Bond novel Casino Royale. First founded in the 1860s by the Duc de Morny, the extravagant palace is one of the most beautiful casinos in the world. In addition to its gaming facilities, Casino Barriere hosts variety of exclusive entertainment shows as well as cultural and artistic events.

Europe Travel Ideas for a Memorable Vacation

Globe trotters from across the world prefer visiting multiple places within a short time; that way they get to see and learn more within budget and a short span of time. Ideally, they prefer to see and experience places that are well-known across the world. However, in a hurry to visit these places, often they miss out on the off-beat destinations that could be of great interest and beauty. Therefore, one of the best Europe travel ideas could be day trips in Europe. Currently, vacation rental deals in Europe majorly focus on these trips, given their popularity among frequent travellers. Some of the most popular day trip destinations include:

Jungfraujoch from Zurich: Ethereal would be an understatement for this destination, as the train journey through the Alpine beauty could unravel the marvel that nature has in store for us. Once you reach the destination, there is not dearth of things that could be done. While snow sports like skiing, ice man making and snow throwing are the most commonplace options, you could visit the Ice palace or the Sphinx Observation Terrace facing Europe’s longest glacier-the Aletsch.

Naples and Pompeii from Rome: A historical tour, no doubt, but something that could take you on a roller coaster ride to the ancient city of Pompeii and Herculaneum, the cities that were shattered by the flare-up of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. This entire day trip takes you on a journey along the Highway of the Sun, ruins of the Abbey of Monte Cassino, which were destroyed during World War II, not to forget the beautiful medieval villages that dot the route.

Some of the other best places to see in this day trip include the Royal Palace, San Carlo Opera House, Basilica of San Francesco di Paola, Gallery of Umberto, and the Castel Nuovo. The valley of Mount Vesuvius, however, is the centre of attraction as you get a guided tour to the buried villages of Ercolano or Herculaneum, Torre del Greco and Torre Annunziata and experience the last moments of the people before the villages were completely buried by ash. The daily life and the utensils, clothes used by the locals is clearly visible in the carefully preserved objects here.

Versailles from Paris: A trip to the castles and palaces of Versailles brings you the unforgettable joy of experiencing the royalty of the city. The Palace of Versailles has lots to share with you, right from Louis XIV’s suit of rooms, the Grand Hall of Mirrors and the residing apartments of Dauphin and Dauphine. Some of the other points of attraction include the Queen’s Bedroom, the Gallery of Battles, the palace gardens and the Queen’s Hamlet. The Grand Trianon, a mini palace recluse where the king liked to spend his time outside Versailles.

So, book your holiday packages Europe right away and get the best deals and prices for the same.

Europe Travel Packages – For a Hassle Free Tour Experience

One of the best continents in the world, Europe is a classic example of old world charm intermingling with modernity. The diversified cultural heritage and rich history is what attracts the most of the tourist, who throng over to this beautiful continent every year. Since the continent is vast and consists of many countries, it is very much necessary to have a proper tour itinerary. Europe tour package provides the best possible plan, where in one can get the best of the tour and that too at comparatively low cost. The package takes care of each and every aspect pertaining to the tour.

With Europe tour package, you can have the best of the facilities and visit all your dream destinations, without facing too many hassles. The package provides complete solution to all your traveling needs. It covers all the necessary aspects such as transportation, room reservation, food, shopping, sight seeing etc, that generally come up while on a tour. In fact, the entire package is designed by professional tour agents in a very informative manner. The itinerary is designed to include maximum locations, which until now you have seen only on television or read it in papers.

As per your requirement, these tour packages also offer cruises, independent tour packages, customized vacations and even escorted services. Further, there are also discounts and other attractive bonuses. Moreover, these tour packages appeal to you, as you are not at all required to worry about reserving rooms or hiring a taxi or guide as such. Be it Paris, London, Berlin, one thing is certain that you will certainly get the best of the tour.

Nowadays, one can easily collect information regarding the tour packages over the internet. Online application is easy and simple to follow. But, before straightaway selecting any tour package, it would be optimal to go through the terms and conditions. By doing so, one can easily select a package that suits the particular need and requirement.

Europe is an odyssey of visual paradise and with the help of Europe tour package, the experience turns out to be unique and is also worth the money spent.

Travel Costs by Country

The following is a guide to what you can expect to spend per day, on a frugal budget, in various and popular destinations around the world. This cost is really a bare minimum and would ideally cover staying in cheaper hostels or hotels, food (eating locally bought produce, avoiding tourist restaurants where possible) and transport. There are a bunch of sites on the net with various strategies for travelling even cheaper than this list; though this type of journey takes travel out of the backpacking category into something more grubby. Living of $10.00 a day can be done but is not for everybody.

The costs listed are for low or shoulder seasons; if you plan to be in any of these places around Christmas or during a major event (Carnival in Rio for example) expect these prices to double or even triple.

Asia

Cheap – India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos $17-25
Average – Thailand, Philippines, Malaysia, China $35-45
Expensive- Hong Kong, South Korea, Eastern China, Singapore $45-60 (potentially in the hundreds for Hong Kong)
Very expensive – Japan $60-100 (with rail pass)

New Zealand

Average – (good value while the Aussie dollar is high) – $35 – 60

The Americas

Central America

Cheap – Mexico, Guatemala, Nicaragua, Honduras $30-40
Average – Belize (most expensive in Central America), Costa Rica $30-60

South America

Cheap Bolivia (best value), Ecuador $15-35
Average – Peru, Argentina $25-45
Just a bit more expensive Brazil (Rio can be expensive), Chile $40-60

North America

Hard to narrow down, major capitals can be ruthlessly expensive $60-100

Europe

Western Europe on a shoe string $70-100, Eastern Europe $40-60

Africa

East Africa (without major tours/safaris) – $35-50 plus allow $150-250 per day for safaris
West Africa – from super cheap to super expensive (Lulunda in Angola is in the top five most expensive cities on Earth). Ghana is the best value ($15-30), with CFA (ex-French) countries $50-70 staying in very poor accommodation
Southern Africa – the cheap – Malawi, Zimbabwe) $30-50, Southern Africa – not quite so cheap
South Africa, Namibia (great value) $40-60 (excluding tours and safaris)

Middle East

Israel $70 (good value) Iran $40 (better value), The Gulf States $70-100 (there is a general lack of budget accommodation in the Gulf

Beautiful Barcelona – Easy Travel Guide

Beautiful city of Barcelona, capital of Catalonia (a Spain’s province), is situated on on the shore of the Mediterranean sea and bordered at either end by 2 river deltas. Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain after its capital city Madrid. Barcelona has a population of 1.5 million, over 4 million including suburbs. The varied, eventful history of the city dates back 4,000 years to the first settlements by ancient farmers. Later it became a Roman colony, the Visigoth’s capital city, then it came under Moorish rule. It went through sieges, destructions and occupations, finally to become an autonomous democracy 1975. The city has always played an important role in political and cultural life of Spain and it is well reflected in the variety and quality of historical buildings, museums, many other tourist attractions. Today Barcelona is one of the most diverse european cities with unique culture and rich traditions. You can find here a formidable balance of the traditional things and the avant-garde. A cosmopolitan metropolis, Barcelona affords visitors a warm and sincere welcome, being aknowledged worldwide as one of the best tourist-friendly cities in Europe.Barcelona’s organisation of the 1992 Olympics provided regeneration of this dynamic city, gave a fresh start to its infrastructure development.

WHAT TO SEE AND WHERE:

POINTS OF INTEREST – La Rambla is a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard packed with buskers, living statues, mimes and itinerant salespeople selling everything from lottery tickets to jewellery. Pavement cafes and stands selling craftwork, street performers surrounded by curious onlookers, a noisy bird market, Palau de la Virreina, a grand 18th-century rococo mansion, the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the famous 19th-century opera house- these are all colourful parts of La Rambla’s mosaic. La Rambla ends at the lofty Monument a Colom (Monument to Columbus) and the harbour.

Barri Gotic – also known as Gothic Quarter, it is the old part of the city. Picasso lived and worked in Barri Gotic from 1895 to 1904 and Joan Miro was born and lived here during his youth. Gothic Quarter is situated on the right hand side of the La Rambla, it contains a concentration of medieval tall Gothic buildings (14-15th century) on narrow cobbled streets and now is home to much of the city’s nightlife.

La Sagrada Familia – La Sagrada Familia is one of the most famous and magnificent among Barcelona’s landmarks. The life’s work of Barcelona’s famous architect, Antoni Gaudi, the magnificent spires of the unfinished cathedral imprint themselves boldly against the sky with swelling outlines inspired by the holy mountain Montserrat. Above each facade there are four towers, 12 in total, which are dedicated to the Apostles. The tower in the center, the tallest of all at 170 m., is dedicated to Jesus Christ. Around these there are the towers of the four Evangelists, and the tower over the apse is dedicated to the Virgin. They are encrusted with a tangle of sculptures that seem to breathe life into the stone. Gaudi died in 1926 before his masterwork was completed, and since then, controversy has continually dogged the building program. Nevertheless, the southwestern (Passion) facade, is almost done, and the nave, begun in 1978, is progressing.

La Pedrera – Casa Mila (Mila House) is an apartment building, the last example of Gaudi’s civil architecture.It is one of his finest and most ambitious creations, extraordinarily innovative in its functional, constructive, and ornamental aspects. Visitors can tour the building and go up to the roof, where they can see spectacular views of Barcelona. One floor below the roof is a modest museum dedicated to Gaudi’s work.
Montjuic – the largest open space in the city, its main attractions are the Olympic installations, the Spanish Village and the hilltop fortress. Montjuic, the hill overlooking the city centre from the southwest, is home to some fine art galleries, leisure attractions, soothing parks and the main group of 1992 Olympic sites. Montjuic is covered in ornamental gardens with water features and is the most popular destination in Barcelona on Sundays.

Tibidabo – is the highest hill in the wooded range that forms the backdrop to Barcelona. It has amazing views of the whole of Barcelona, a stunning cathedral, and a family fun park Parc d’Atraccions with old-style rides offering breathtaking views. A glass lift at the park goes 115m (383 ft) up to a visitors’ observation area at Torre de Collserola telecommunications tower.

Modernisme – spectacular modernista architectural creations dotted around the city by famous Antoni Gaudi and his contemporaries.

Camp Nou – home of F.C. Barcelona, one of Europe’s leading soccer teams, with capacity of almost 100,000 spectators.

The Seu Cathedral – Built in medieval times on the site of a Roman temple, La Seu is one of the great Gothic buildings in Spain.

Parc de la Ciutadella – Barcelona’s favourite park and a Sunday afternoon rendezvous for families, friends and ducks

The Sardana – traditional Catalan dance, performed outside the cathedral and at national festivals, with everyone encouraged to join in.

MUSEUMS – The Barbier-Mueller Museum of Pre-Columbian Art -the only museum in Europe devoted exclusively to Pre-Columbian cultures. Housed in a gothic palace, its collection is one of the finest of its kind and gives visitors an insight into the rich world of the earliest cultures on the American continent. This tiny museum contains one hundred pieces, including wood and stone sculptures, ceramics, tapestries, jade, often found in international exhibitions and prestige publications. The exhibits represented the Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Chavin, Mochica and Inca civilisations.

Palau de la Musica Catalana – one of the world’s most extraordinary music halls, it is a Barcelona landmark. From its polychrome ceramic ticket windows on the Carrer de Sant Pere Mes Alt side to its overhead busts of Palestrina, Bach, Beethoven, and Wagner, the Palau is the flagship of Barcelona’s Moderniste architecture.

Museu Picasso – is Barcelona’s most visited museum. 3,500 exhibits make up the permanent collection. Picasso spent several years (1901-06) in Barcelona, and this collection, is particularly strong on his early work. Displays include childhood sketches, pictures from the beautiful Rose and Blue periods, and the famous 1950s Cubist variations on Velazquez’s Las Meninas (Ladies-in-Waiting).

Gaudi Casa-Museu – Gaudi lived in this pink, Alice-in-Wonderland house from 1906 to 1926, which now houses a museum of Gaudi-designed furniture, decorations, drawings, and portraits and busts of the architect.
Fundacio Miro – it was a gift from the famous artist Joan Miro to his native city. The museum opened in 1975, and now it is one of Barcelona’s most exciting showcases of contemporary art.

BEACHES – One of Barcelona’s greatest draws is undeniably its beautiful beaches. Beside world-famous Costa Brava and Costa Dorada which are within 1-hr drive time from Barcelona, there are also several nice beaches over 4 km long within the city boundaries, we will list just several of them here: Nova Icaria- Closest to the Olympic marina, always crowded, this wide swathe of rough golden sand is great for food goers. There are three perfect beach bars and two very popular restaurants on the promenade (Mango and Chiringuito de Moncho) and countless bars and restaurants are just a short stroll away. Bogatell- This beach is twice the length of adjoining Nova Icaria and fringed by a stretch of stone walkway perfect for jogging, roller blading and cycling. Three large informal restaurants on the promenade. Mar Bella (Metro Ciutadella Vila Olimpica, plus 20-minute walk)- Barcelona’s only naturist beach close to a peaceful park – good for a picnic or siesta under the trees. Barceloneta- wide and long, a traditional and popular stretch with locals, crowded, noisy and very jolly.

WHEN TO GO, WEATHER: The best times to visit Barcelona are late spring and early autumn, when the weather is still comfortably warm, around 21-25°C. Summers are usually hot and humid, with temperatures averaging +30 (+ 86 Fahrenheit). Especially avoid the “dead” month of August, when many shops, bars and restaurants close for the month as many local inhabitants head out of the city. Winters are cool with average daytime temperatures around +12 C (+59 Fahrenheit), occasionally rainy.

GETTING THERE AND AROUND: By a direct flight to Barcelona, or through Madrid or via another large European city from almost any major airports in the world. The highest fares are from May to September, the lowest in March-April, October-November and December to February (excluding Christmas and New Year when prices are hiked up). Note also that flying on weekends may increase your ticket cost. If traveling to Barcelona from within Europe you can also chose train, bus or car, though these take much longer than a plane and often work out no cheaper. Many Mediterranean cruises include Barcelona as a port of call.

ACCOMODATIONS: We can offer you a range of choices. You can choose vacation rentals in Barcelona starting from $ 125 USD for a double room in a 4-star apartment hotel. Or you can opt for hotels from $ 65 USD for a double room in a 3-star hotel. Accomodation prices do not change much throughout the year due to the steady all-season flow of visitors to this extremely popular tourist city and surrounding resorts.

DINING: Besides restaurants you can eat at bars where you would have a succession of tapas (small snacks- three or four chunks of fish, meat or vegetables, or salad, which traditionally used to be served up free with a drink) or raciones (larger ones). The bar option can be a lot more interesting, allowing you to do the rounds and sample local specialities. Generally, the average cost for a meal consisting of two dishes and dessert would come to about 25 Euros. Travellers on an extremely limited budget can do well for themselves by using the excellent markets, bakeries and delis and filling up on sandwiches and snacks. Decent restaurants and cafes are easily found all over the city, though you’ll probably do most of your eating where you do most of your sightseeing, in the old town, particularly around La Rambla and in the Barri Gotic. Look for the best and most authentic seafood restaurants in Barceloneta, a seaside neighbourhood. Gothic Quarter neighbourhood is home to some of the oldest and most traditional restaurants in the city. Gracia is a very popular area among young people during the weekend, it leads the way in terms of exotic restaurants (Lebanese, Egyptian, Thai etc.).

TRANSPORT: Barcelona has excellent transport system comprising the metro (subway), buses, trains and a network of funiculars and cable cars. You can find a link to transport maps at the end of our guide. On all the city’s public transport you can buy a single ticket every time you ride, but even over only a couple of days it’s cheaper to buy a targeta – a discount ticket strip. The T-10 targeta is valid for ten separate journeys on the metro, buses and trains. These tickets can be used by more than one person at a time. The metro is the quickest way of getting around Barcelona. For black-and-yellow taxis there is a minimum charge of $ 2 euro. You’ll obviously have a great deal more freedom if you rent a car . Major roads throughout the city are generally good, and traffic is generally well behaved, though Spain does have one of the highest incidences of traffic accidents in Europe. It also has some of the lowest fuel prices on the continent.

SHOPPING: Barcelona, one of the most stylish cities in Europe offers great shopping, from designer clothes and accessories to household items. You will find the city to be quite cheap for a lot of items, especially if you coincide with the annual sales ( rebaixes in Spanish) lasting from mid-January until the end of February, and throughout July and August. The best shopping areas in Barcelona are the old streets off the upper part of the Ramblas. Souvenirs include ceramics, which are widely sold in the streets around the cathedral; leather goods; city’s delicatessens, particularly cooked Catalan meats and sausages; a porron (the long-spouted glass drinking jar); CDs and tapes of Catalan rock and pop, sardana music, Spanish rock or flamenco. If you’re looking for original gift ideas, some of the best hunting can be found in the shops of any of the city’s museums, where you’ll find reasonably priced and unique examples of Catalan disseny (graphic), and other original items ranging from postcards to replica works of art.

We wish you a nice and safe trip!