Cities Less Traveled: 5 Unknown London Attractions Along the Thames

London City

London is a large city full of famous attractions. However, the less traveled neighborhoods and sights often surprise even the most seasoned London travelers. Their beauty is only seen by those who venture into the unknown corners of the UK capital. Travelers find those attractions on or around the River Thames. Day trips often start with cruises and water tours or energetic strolls along the river banks, and they end tastefully with a bite or drink in a carefully hidden local restaurant or bar. Here are five of the most interesting attractions and dining possibilities along the Thames.

1. The Thames Barrier

Vacationers who like to see water engineering and water protection structures can have a look at the Thames Barrier. The construction work of this impressive water barrier ended in the year 1982. It has been build to protect Greater London against floods. The structure consists of 10 gates. London closes these gates during heavy storms or dangerously high tides. The southern bank of the barrier lies in New Charlton and the northern bank stands in the Silvertown district. Also try to spot the steel sculpture of The Diver when visiting the River Thames at low tide.

2. Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum

Vacationers find other forms of protection at Firepower – The Royal Artillery Museum. This Woolwich-based museum is the oldest in its kind. It showcases collections of modern and historic artillery. Visitors also hear wartime stories of the men and women who used the weapons during their time in the Royal Regiment of Artillery.

3. Lower Marsh

Vacationers who are into shopping and theaters will enjoy a hotel stay in the Piccadilly district and the nearby historic Lower Marsh Street, where they can shop at the Lower Marsh Market. This market has been present since the 19th century. Because of the street’s historic character, visitors will also see vernacular and Victorian architecture. A stop at Lower Marsh in Waterloo is not complete without a visit to the iconic Old Vic theater. It is one of the most famous and beloved theaters among actors and spectators.

4. The Upper Deck Bar at the HMS Belfast

Enter the maritime-themed Upper Deck Bar above the HMS Belfast entrance for a late afternoon snack or drink. This is a good spot to end your day of exploring. It will reward you with an excellent view of the lowering sun that caresses the Tower Bridge and the river with its orange beams. Travelers find the Upper Deck Bar at Queen Walk, Tooley Street.

5. Hidden Attractions Near the River 

No matter if they want to visit famous sights or unexplored attractions, the River Thames will guide travelers along. See everything from the famous Tower Bridge in the central touristic area, to historic markets and museums in surrounding neighborhoods, and eventually the Thames Barrier that protects all these beautiful sights from the incoming North Sea water. Travelers can visit the official Transport for London website for information about various river services.

Hipmunk City Love: How to Enjoy Milan Like a Local

 

rsz_church-622015_640

Milan is a city that fulfills many travel wishes. It is a hotspot for fashion lovers and history fanatics. And traditional Milanese food is probably the cherry on the pie after a long day of sightseeing and shopping. The city houses a large variety of famous, must see tourists spots. However, when it comes to Milan’s hidden sightseeing treasures, there is no better guide then a Milanese local. They can give you a lot of inside information about restaurants, shops, and undiscovered sighsteeing spots.

Restaurants in Milan

Italy is a true gem when it comes to culinary delights. Order traditional, high quality Milanese food and a cocktail at Taglio or taste the finest Italian street food at Mangiardi di Strada. Do you prefer to travel around while eating? Then you should definitely try the special ATMosfera restaurant tram. This traditional tram will drive you around the city while you are enjoying a delicious Italian meal.

Relaxing and Connecting with Locals

Milan is famous for its fashion and its designers. In the eyes of many Milanese, a fashionable outfit should always be combined with an impeccable look. A beautiful hair style is just one of those things that makes you stand out from the crowd. Head over to Les Garçons de la rue for an affordable but stylish Italian hairstyle makeover. The friendly hairdressers will make you feel at home and they can tell a lot about their beloved city.

Milan’s Hidden Galleries and Workshops

A lot of Milanese fashion galleries gained much fame, but the city also houses various smaller galleries who might be just as interesting to discover. Travelers interested in small atelier’s, should pay a visit to Isola. This residential neighborhood is a good place to look for Milan hotels when you are a creative traveler. It is an undiscovered artist stronghold full of small artistic laboratories. When visiting Isola, make sure to look around carefully because the most beautiful and interesting gems are carefully tucked away.

A Rewarding Shopping Experience

Bring some extra bags if you plan a visit to Milan. Vacationers who love to shop, will have wonderful experience in Milan. Creative travelers like to visit the Libreria del mondo offeso. This is an artistic place where travelers can buy and read books, listen to jazz and drink coffee. Are you hungry after a few hours of shopping? Visit the Corso Buenos Aires Shopping strip and buy some salami, cheese and wine in a traditional delicatessen shop. The Giardini Publici park, within walking distance of the strip, is a perfect destination to end your Milan shopping experience with a nice picnic.

Learn to Love Milan Like a Local 

Learn what the locals in Milan like to do in their free time and enhance your travel experience. Follow them during a guided shopping tour, eat with them in one of Milan’s local restaurants or learn to know the city during a friendly conversation with your Italian hairdresser.
 
 
This is a sponsored post for Hipmunk.com

Hipmunk City Love: A Guide to the New Orleans French Quarter

New Orleans French Quarter

The French Quarter, also known as Vieux Carré, is a well-known neighborhood in New Orleans. It is one of the oldest districts in the city. Its history dates back to the 18th century colonial years of the Spanish and the French. This history is especially visible in the architecture. The French Quarter is also a district full of bars, restaurants, hotels and shops. This vibrant neighborhood will keep vacationers entertained for days. Despite its touristic character, it is also a residential area that houses a large variety of African and European immigrants.

A Day at the River

New Orleans is a valuable port. Trade has always been important in this city, due to its convenient spot near the Mississippi River. Vacationers will also enjoy this iconic and mighty river. Kids like to watch the ships go by, and food lovers have a great time at the riverbank restaurants. Seafood, especially, is a delight in these restaurants. The Mississippi river is within walking distance of the French Quarter.

A Night Out in Bourbon Street

Known worldwide among party lovers, Bourbon Street is the place to go for an electric night out in the town. Music bursts out of every corner in this melting pot of bars, clubs and restaurants. Due to a tolerant public drinking law, visitors are often seen hopping from one bar to another, while drinking their cocktail and singing or dancing. Music is a strong signature of Bourbon Street. Various musicians roam the streets to feed the lively atmosphere. Make sure not to drink too much because Bourbon Street is one place you want to remember.

Colonial Architecture 

When it comes to architecture, the French Quarter is mainly known for its creatively designed ironwork balconies, lush green courtyards, and its graceful fountains. Spanish and French influences are visible in many of the historical buildings. Jackson Square is the most iconic landmark in the neighborhood. This square is a delight for history lovers. Here they can find the St. Louis Cathedral and the Cabildo, a colonial government building. The Pontalba buildings also flank the square. These are the oldest apartments in the country.

Sleeping in the French Quarter

Visitors have a lot of choices when it comes to hotels. One of those choices is the stylish Prince Conti Hotel. Here, guests will stay in romantic, antique furnished rooms with a charming 19th century touch. The hotel is a comfortable getaway in the center of the French Quarter. Various French Quarter attractions are conveniently within walking distance.

An Electrifying Adventure in the New Orleans French Quarter

A city-trip to New Orleans is a dynamic adventure. Neighborhoods like the French Quarter will take visitors back to colonial times during daytime strolls, and will make them forget the time when they watch the sunset over the mighty Mississippi river. And at last there will be the nights. The nights they end up singing and dancing their way through Bourbon Street, enchanted by all the jazz, soul, gospel, and pop sounds that were born in this multicultural hot spot.

5 Barcelona Neighborhoods You Weren’t Planning on Traveling to but Should

 

Barcelona

Photo by Asier García via Trover.com

No matter where you go in Barcelona, architectural and artistic beauty is never far away in this vibrant city. There are a lot of famous cultural and historical sights, but Barcelona’s unknown treasures also deserve some attention.

Those who leave the city center to explore Barcelona’s lesser known sights will often end up strolling through narrow alleys, which lead them through the city like veins in a body. Eventually, they will end up at a large artery like La Rambla, which will bring them back to the buzzing, beating heart of central Barcelona. Travelers might also like this complete Barcelona travel guide.

1. Gràcia

Gràcia is relatively unknown among tourists. Those travelers who do stroll through this neighborhood’s narrow streets will be pleasantly surprised by its strong community minded identity. Gràcia is the artistic playground of musicians, bohemians, and designers. The neighborhood houses various gorgeous designer boutiques, small workshops, and exclusive galleries. A real treat for vacationers who like to travel off the beaten path.

2. Dreta de l’Eixample

Travel to Barcelona’s upmarket Dreta de l’Eixample neighborhood if you are looking for a more spacious environment, luxurious Barcelona hotels, and high-end restaurants. Although more touristic, this area also has a lot of side streets that cater mostly to the locals. Dreta de l’Eixample is also an excellent spot if you want to marvel at some of Antoni Gaudí’s most famous creations.

3. El Born and La Ribera

As with other neighborhoods in Barcelona, El Born becomes particularly interesting if you leave the main road to explore its back alleys. Once more, you will be happily surprised by the large variety of hip boutiques, galleries, and shops. Visit La Ribera to travel back in time to the medieval era. Stroll through dark, cobblestone alleys and marvel at the interesting fact that this ancient quarter secretly hides some of the city’s best galleries, boutiques, food shops and tapas restaurants.

4. El Raval

El Raval is a bit of a rough area. It does not suit every traveler’s view of an ideal sightseeing spot, and it is better to avoid this area at night. However, it definitely has its charm. Adventurous travelers will enjoy the daytime, weekend markets and the strong, alternative vibe that characterizes the interesting identity of this grungy neighborhood.

5. El Poblenou and El Poble-sec

El Poblenou is a rarely visited, middle-class neighborhood. It is a good spot to have a peak at the everyday life of the city’s locals. El Poble-sec is a neighborhood for the working class. This less traveled area is especially interesting because of its excellent tapas bars.

Explore Barcelona’s Unbeaten Paths 

Barcelona is relatively small for a capital city, but it houses a lot of interesting districts. Vacationers don’t have to travel far to avoid the main tourist streams. They can hop off the main road, dive into a small alley and suddenly find themselves in a whole new world. A quiet world, full of uncommon shopping and sightseeing opportunities. Dreta de l’Eixample is a good area for travelers who are in need of some space after all the narrow alleys.

Hipmunk City Love: Best Of Berlin Spa Hotels

 

Berlin Spa Hotels

The capital city of Germany is a lovely destination because of its conveniently low prices, which are surprisingly cheap compared to other European capital cities. It is also a wonderful place for sightseeing. The city houses a lot of monuments, museums and buildings that show visitors reminders of more turbulent times in its history. It also houses a large variety of luxurious Spa hotels that suit travelers who wish to pamper themselves during their hotel stay. Here are ten of the best spa hotels in Berlin.

10. Das Stue

Das Stue is a 5-star, central located hotel with a full-service spa. Guests can take a facial, body treatment, and a massage. Possible outside activities near the hotel include a visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum and a walk to Brandenburg Gate.

9. Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm

Sofitel Berlin Kurfürstendamm stands in the centre of Berlin. Possible spa activities at this hotel include a relaxing body treatment, a revitalizing facial treatment or a professional massage. Guests can also use the steam room and the sauna.

8. Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome

Health, spa and fitness lovers have a good time at the Rocco Forte Hotel De Rome. A sauna, swimming pool, sauna and a spa treatment are some of the revitalizing amenities that they can use during their stay.

7. Radisson Blue Hotel, Berlin

The beautifully designed 5-star Radisson Blue Hotel, Berlin caters to the needs of any spa lover. revitalizing treatments charge you up for your next Berlin city adventure. When recharged, take a trip to Alexanderplatz or the Pergamon Museum.

6. Meliá Berlin

Guests of Meliá Berlin can end their sightseeing trip with a comfortable health treatment in the available spa facility. This hotel also has a gym and a sauna.

5. Hotel Q

Luxurious hotel amenities like a health club, sauna, and a full-service spa will make you want to stay or come back at Hotel Q in Charlottenburg.

4. Hotel Palace Berlin

Hotel Palace Berlin is an excellent choice for guests who want a spa treatment. Offered amenities like Ayurvedia treatments, body scrubs and massages will fulfill their wishes.

3. Louisa’s Place

Spa services in Louisa’s Place include body wraps, aromatherapy treatments, massages and manicures or pedicures. Vacationers can also relax in the sauna.

2. Soho House Berlin

This Soho House Berlin spa hotel is special because it has a Turkish bath/hamman. Other treatment and relaxation options include manicures, pedicures, massages, a sauna, and a steam room.

1. Waldorf Astoria Berlin

The Waldorf Astoria Berlin is the crème dela crème when it comes to Spa hotels. It offers one of the largest selections of relaxing hotel spa treatments. There are a total of six treatment rooms where you can undergo services like hydrotherapy, thalassotherapy, aromatherapy, and an Ayurvedia treatment.

A Wonderful City With a Variety of Luxurious Spa Hotels

Berlin’s history was turbulent. However, it showed resilience and transformed itself into a wonderful city. A city that might be the perfect destination for a sightseeing tour combined with a comfortable spa hotel.
 
 
This is a sponsored post for Hipmunk.com