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Natural history museum: a museum exhibiting a vast range of specimens from various segments of natural history.
Covent garden: is a district in London on the eastern fringes of the West End, between St. Martin’s Lane and Drury Lane. It is associated with the former fruit and vegetable market in the central square, now a popular shopping and tourist site, and the Royal Opera House, which is also known as “Covent Garden”.
Camden market: The Camden markets are a number of adjoining large retail markets in Camden Town near the Hampstead Road Lock of the Regent’s Canal (popularly referred to as Camden Lock), often collectively named “Camden Market” or “Camden Lock”. Among products sold on the stalls are crafts, clothing, bric-a-brac, and fast food. It is the fourth-most popular visitor attraction in London, attracting approximately 100,000 people each weekend.
Portobello street: Portobello Road is a street in the Notting Hill district of the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea in west London. It runs almost the length of Notting Hill from south to north, roughly parallel with Ladbroke Grove. On Saturdays it is home to Portobello Road Market, one of London’s notable street markets, known for its second-hand clothes and antiques. Every August since 1996 the Portobello Film Festival has been held in locations around Portobello Road.
Learn: The Musical Instruments Museum (don’t skip the rooftop)
Special finds: The Belgian Comic Strip Centre chronicles the history of Belgian comics. Housed in a former department store in Brussels’ business district, it exhibits examples of comic strips in French, Dutch and English.
Food: Cefé Belga
Neighbourhood: Sainte Catherine & Antoine Dansaert quarter: the trendy, friendly, locals’ area in the heart of Brussels
Special Find: Begijnhof is an enclosed former convent dating from the early 14th century. It’s a surreal oasis of peace, with tiny houses and postage-stamp gardens around a well-kept courtyard.
Neighbourhood: Noordermarkt The most trendy of the Amsterdam markets. The clients come here from distant cities in the Netherlands, guided by the increasingly difficult task of buying healthy food. The Farmers Market became a real social phenomena and recently a book (in Dutch) has been published about it.
ST. GOAR: RHINE VALLEY, GERMANY:
Historical: Rheinfels is a castle ruin located above the left (West) bank of the Rhein in Sankt Goar, Germany. It was started in 1245 by Count Diether V of Katzenelnbogen. After expansions, it was the largest fortress in the Middle Rhein Valley between Koblenz and Mainz. It is the largest castle overlooking the Rhine, and historically covered five times its current area. There is also a museum within some of the better preserved structures.
Outdoors: The Rheinsteig is a hiking trail following a mainly elevated path along the east bank of the Rhine River in Germany.
Cruising: Nothing compares to a river. How else but on a river can you journey into the very heart of the world’s greatest cities and most charming towns, discovering the true nature of the land and its people?
LUCERNE – SWISS ALPS
Landmark: The Kapellbrücke is a covered wooden footbridge spanning diagonally across the Reuss River in the city of Lucerne in central Switzerland.
Museum: Lucerne’s blockbuster cultural attraction is the Sammlung Rosengart , occupying a graceful neoclassical pile. It showcases the outstanding stash of Angela Rosengart, a Swiss art dealer and close friend of Picasso.
Food: Wirtshaus Galliker – Run by the same family over four generations since 1856. You will enjoy some Lucerne soul food like Rosti and schogalipaschtetli. Do not forget to book ahead for dinner.
Park: Hohe-Matte – Lucerne’s very own ‘central park’
Church: Frauenkirche is a church in the Bavarian city of Munich that serves as the cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich and Freising and seat of its Archbishop. It is a landmark and is considered a symbol of the Bavarian capital city.
Sights: Marienplatz – a central square in the city centre &
Museum: The Munich Residenz Museum – is the former royal palace of the Bavarian monarchs of the House of Wittelsbach.
Eating: Fraunhofer: With its screechy parquet floors, stuccoed ceilings, wood panelling and virtually no trace that the last century even happened, this wonderfully characterful brewpub is one of the city centre’s best places to explore the region with a fork. The menu is a checklist of southern German favourites, but also features at least a dozen vegetarian dishes as well as Starnberg fish. The tiny theatre at the back stages great shows and was among the venues that pioneered a modern style of Volksmusik (folk music) back in the 70s and 80s.
Museum: Palazzo Ducale – the official residence of the doges from the 9th century and the sear of the Republic’s government, Palazzo Ducale also housed Venice’s prisons. The doges’ apartments on the 1st floor are suitably lavish, but it’s the vast Sala del Maggiore Consiglio on the 2nd floor that will really take your breath away.
Bridge: Ponte dei Sospiri – One of Venice’s most celebrated sights, the Bridge of Sighs connects Palazzo Ducale to the 16th-century Priggione Nove (New Prisions). It’s named after the sighs that condemned prisoners – including the legendary lothario Giacomo Casanova emitted en route to the cells.
Gallery: Collezione Peggy Guggenheim: The American heiress Peggy Guggenheim was one of the great art collectors of the 20th century. Her spellbinding collection, displayed here in her former home, runs the ganut of modern art with works and many more.
Piazza del Duomo & Around: Photographs don’t do justice to the exterior oof Florence’s Gothic Duomo.
Museo di San Marco: Housed in a Dominican Monastery, this spiritually uplifting museum is a showcase of the work of Fra Angelico, who decorated the cells with depply devotional frescos to guide the mediation of his fellow friars. His most famous work, Annunciation, is at the top of the stairs that lead to the cells.
‘Ino: Artisan ingredients are sourced locally and utilised creatively at this stylish address near the Uffizi. Create your own combination or pick a house special and scoff on the spot with a glass of wine.
Vieux Nice: Ditch the map and get lost in this mellow-hued rabbit warren of 18th century passages, alleyways, historic churches and hidden squares. Cours Saleya, running parallel to the seafront, remains a joyous, thriving market square with one of Frances most vibrant food and flower markets.
Musee Matisse [Free]: About 2km north in the leafy quarter of Cimiez, this museum houses a fascinating assortment of works by Matisse. Its permanent collection is displayed in a red-ochre 17th century Genoese villa overlooking an olive-tree-studded park.
Le Bistrot d’Antoine: This brasserie is full every night (booking essential), yet the bistro chic cuisine never wavers, the staff are cool and the atmosphere is reliably jovial. The prices are incredibly good value.
Les Distilleries Ideales: Whether you’re after an espresso on your way to the cours Saleya market or an aperitif (complete with cheese and charcuterie platters 5.20 euro) before trying out one of Nice’s amazing restaurants, Les Distilleries is one of the most atmospheric bars in town.
Mercat de la Boqueria: One of the great sound, smell and color sensations in Europe is Barcelona’s most central produce market, the Mercat de la Boqueria. It spills over with all the rich and varied color of plentiful fruit and vegetable stands, seemingly limitless varieties of sea critters, sausages, cheese, meat and sweets. Note also its Modernista-influenced design.
Museu Picasso: The setting alone, in five contiguous medieval stone mansions, makes the Museu Picasso unique (and worth the probably queues). The pretty courtyards, galleries and staircases preserved in the first first three of these buildings are as delightful as the collection inside.
La Sagrada Familia: If you have time for only one sightseeing outing, this should be it. Lt inspires awe by its sheer verticality and in the manner of the medieval cathedrals it emulates, it’s still under construction after more than 100 years. When completed, the highest tower will be more than half as high again as those that stand today.
Pla: On of Gotic’s long-standing favorites, Pla is a stylish, romantically lit medieval den (with a huge stone arch) where the cooks churn out such temptations as oxtail braised in red wine, seared tuna with roasted aubergine and Thai style monkfish with prawns. It has a tasting menu for 36 euro Sunday to Thursday.
Cathedrale St Andre: This Unesco World Heritage site is almost overshadowed by the gargoyled, 50m-high Gothic belfry, Tour Pey-Berland. Erected between 1440 and 1566, its spire was topped off in 1863 with the statue of Notre Dame de l’Aquitaine. Scaling in the rower’s 231 narrow steps rewards you with a spectacular panorama of Bordeaux city.
Le Cheverus Cafe: This neighbourhood bistro is friendly, cosy and chaotically busy (be prepared to wait for a table at lunchtime). The food dares to veer slightly away from the bistro standards of steak and chips; lunch menus, which include
Saturday Morning Oysters: A classic Bordeaux experience is a Saturday morning spent slurping oysters and white wine from one of the seafood stands to be found at Marche des Capucins (six oysters & a glass of wine is 6 euros 1am – noon).
Tips: If you’re visiting more than two or three museums and monuments, buy a Paris Museum Pass (www.parismuseumpass.fr 2/4/6/ days 39/54/69 euro). Valid for entry to some 38 venues including the Louvre, Centre Pompidou, Musee d’Orsay, Musee Rodin and Chateau de Versailles. Pass-holders also get to bypass looong ticket queues at major attractions. Buy it online, at participating museums, tourist desks at airports, Fnac outlets and major metro stations.
Frenchie: This bijou bistro with wooden tables and old stone walls is always packed and for good reason: excellent-value dishes are modern, market driven (the menu changes daily with a choice of two dishes by course) and prepared with just the right dose of u npretentious creative flair by French chef Gregory Marchand. Reserve for one of two sittings.
Le Notre Patisseries: Delectable pastries and chocolate: 10 – odd outlets around town.
Marche Bastille: 7 am – 2:30 pm Thu&Sun: Paris’ best outdoor food market.
Information originally from Lonely Planet: Western Europe.