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Category: Cities & Culture

10 Alternative Places in London And What They Offer

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums? Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do…

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums?

Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do all the touristy things. But to really get a feel for the place, you need to find places where the locals love to frequent. Sometimes we all need a bit of quietness and don’t want to be surrounded by big crowds with selfie sticks.

When you start frequenting the more alternative places in London (or in any other city that you visit) is when the real fun begins. This is the reason why I compiled my list of the more alternative places in London!

Freud’s Museum

Freud Museum

Photo: Freud Museum by Matt Brown on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

You can tell a lot about a person by their apartment. When you step into the Freud Museum,  you step into his home. Therefore you get a chance to peek into the private space of world’s most famous psychoanalyst.

After fleeing from the Nazis, Sigmund Freud and his family made Hempstead their new home. In this house, he has produced some of the most noteworthy works in the field of psychology. Everything in his Hempstead home remained the way he left it. The interior was decorated due to the help of Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter.

You can see the waiting room, his study, and the famous couch! The museum offers an all-around insight into his cultural environment much as the trajectory of the development of psychoanalysis.

2. Barbican Conservatory

Photo: Barbican Conservatory by Sascha Pohflepp on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London. The building is also one of the finest examples of brutalist architecture, therefore, an interesting choice for a conservatory. One of the things that makes it special, is that this little green oasis is hidden in the midst of London. It houses over 2,000 species of tropical plants, trees and various exotic fish. If you want to be surrounded by tranquillity and escape the crowds of London – this is the perfect hideout.

It has amazing exhibitions and workshops throughout the year, so keep an eye out for interesting events.  The only downside of this place is that it’s only open on Sundays!

3. the Indian YMCA

Lamb curry

Photo: Lamb curry by pelican on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

By all accounts, the Indian YMCA is an institution. They’ve existed around 60 years and during all those years they’ve created an impeccable reputation and they uphold it to present day.  So what do you get at the Indian YMCA? The best and most affordable Indian food in all of London.

Notoriously known for their curries (they offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian options). Everything is cooked home-style and spiced accordingly. A number of different dishes, all with rich aromas and low prices. Consequently, you will definitely find yourself coming back during your stay in London.

4. Trinity Buoy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf

Photo: Trinity Buoy Wharf by k_tjaaa on Flickr (under CC)

First of all, Trinity Buoy Wharf was just another engineering establishment (iron buoys). Since the late ’90s, it transformed into another center for the arts and creative hubs. What makes Trinity Buoy Wharf a fascinating place?

It is the origin of Container city and home to London’s only lighthouse!

Container City is a new model of eco-friendly building design! Recycled shipping containers are used as living and working quarters. The Container City now counts over 70 containers. In addition to being good for the environment seems like it’s even more beneficial for your wallet!

London’s only lighthouse is interesting due to its unusual purpose. Jem Finer developed a musical composition that has been played since the 31st of December 1999. The composition will continue with no repeat until the year of 2999. You might think that listening to a 20 minute and 20 seconds piece would get tiring (and you’d be right!) but this piece is using an algorithm. The algorithm gives a large number of variations therefore making the composition to go in improvised directions.

If you want to find out more about the Trinity Buoy Wharf click here.

5. Jack The Ripper Tour

East end alley

Photo: East end alley by Jennifer Woodard Maderazo on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. It is taking you on the route of the notorious Jack the Ripper, a murderer that terrorized the streets of East End London. The 125-year-old murder mystery to this day baffles world-class crime investigators and historians. This tour transports you onto the streets of 19th century East End.

Explore the gruesome details of East End’s dark cobbled streets and dimly lit passageways. The whole route is constructed as an investigation, as a result, making you feel as if you fell into a Victorian detective novel.

6. Speakeasy Bars

Aviation

Photo: Aviation by Adrian Scottow on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

I am obsessed with speakeasy bars. The better hidden, the better. If they have a password which is hard to come by I am particularly amused. The charm of speakeasy bars stems from a multitude of reasons. First of all, all that playing around with hidden locations, entrances cleverly disguised as phone booths brings out our inner child. Secondly, it feels as if you’re a part of some secret club as if you’re in on a secret. It makes every night out that much special.

When coming to a new city – I always try to find out what’s their take on a speakeasy bar. London doesn’t disappoint!

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is hidden under the Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane. The Breakfast Club looks like a typical New York breakfast place. If you’re in for more than a breakfast ask the waitress to see the Mayor. You will be led to the entrance. The entrance is hidden in a fridge! The underground bar serves brunch and delicious cocktails.

Other very popular speakeasies are Evans & Peel Detective Agency, the Experimental Cocktail Club & the Nightjar.

7. Magic Circle Museum at the Centre for Magic Arts

17/365: i could be your magician

Photo by Jin on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

A secretive group of illusionists who made London a centre of magic (yes, way before the-Boy-Who-Lived) swore to keep their magic a secret. While we aren’t privy to their illusion tricks we are allowed to take a peek. As a result, the Magic Circle Museum is opened! The impressive collection has a number of interesting illusionist’s tools. Some of them are the same guns used in bullet illusions or pieces from Houdini’s act. Make sure to see some of their magic acts!

8. Chislehurst Caves

A church service in Chislehurst Caves during World War 2, recreated with wax figures

Photo: A church service in Chislehurst Caves by Ben Sutherland on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Chislehurst Caves are chalk caves that were mined by hand for over 8000 years. They were mined for flint and lime, and later on served as an ammunition depot during First World War. The 8000 years old history is divided into Druid, Roman and Saxon times. But nowadays they opened up new passageways which guide you through time to present day! It is especially interesting to visit during Halloween due to their special events!

If you want to find out more about Chislehurst Caves click here.

9. British Library’s Treasures Gallery

DIG13762-027

The Sir John Ritblat Treasures aka the British Library’s Treasures Gallery is one of the most popular museums among the Londoners. It covers 2000 years of history! What makes it so interesting is the rather eclectic collection. You can find anything from Da Vinci’s or Jane Austen’s notebooks, Magna Carta to the Beatles’ lyrics.

Time Out magazine described the British Library’s Treasures Gallery as “The Holy grail for history buffs.”

10.  The Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

And I saved best for last! The permanent exhibition of Henry Wellcome’s amazing objects features the history of science and medicine in a rather interesting and fun way. In addition to the permanent collection, there are a lot of great temporary exhibitions as well. They cover a vast array of universal topics, such as sex, sleep and death.

The Wellcome’s collection of weird objects won’t let your excitement fade away. Therefore you will find random objects such as Napoleon’s toothbrush, a DNA sequencing robot, an ancient mummy, Darwin’s walking stick and much more.

If you want to find out more info about the Wellcome Collection click here.

Now that you know where to go and mingle with the locals, book your ticket with British Airways for your next adventure! Also, don’t forget to check out these 5 places to visit in UK besides London.

What is your favourite quirky spot in London? Share in the comments!

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5 Places To Visit In UK Besides London

This is a guest post by Craig of My Gay Globe. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter. Those heading to the United Kingdom often head to the cosmopolitan…

This is a guest post by Craig of My Gay Globe. You can also follow his adventures on Twitter.


Those heading to the United Kingdom often head to the cosmopolitan capital. London is a magnificent city but there are numerous fantastic destinations to explore beyond Europe’s largest urban area. Here are five incredible places to visit in UK besides London;

Manchester

Manchester Canal Scene at Night

Photo: Manchester Canal Scene at Night by Smabs Sputzer on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

This northern powerhouse is often cited as the UK’s second city. Famed for its rich industrial heritage, today Manchester is thriving with world-class music venues, an array of bars and restaurants and a burgeoning tourist scene in its own right. Culture is high on the agenda here.

The impressive Whitworth Gallery set amidst verdant gardens and The People’s History Museum, charting the history and important figures of Manchester, are just two of the many to visit. The Northern Quarter is the city’s premier entertainment region with excellent pubs and restaurants to match.

Cornwall

Causeway at low tide.

Photo: Causeway at low tide by Simon Harrod on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

Nestled in the rugged south western corner of England is the stunning region of Cornwall.  The mystical home of King Arthur is rather isolated from the rest of the UK and thus remains delightfully unspoiled. There are countless coves and beaches and areas of natural beauty to be explored. A few of Cornwall’s must-see localities include Porthcurno, Wheal Coates and Penzance.

Travel to the very edge of the country at Land’s End or head to Bodmin Moor to make the most of the enigmatic expanse of this impressive area of natural beauty. Cornwall is also ideally suited to those who enjoy outdoor pursuits. Rock climbing and surfing opportunities are ubiquitous and there are plenty of hiking trails for those who want to remain on terra firma.

Brighton

Brighton P310 170717 -045

Photo: Brighton by Peter Rowley on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

Located just 50 miles south of London is the charming but lively seaside town of Brighton. Known for its lefty politics and LGBT community, Brighton is home to one of the country’s most vibrant bar and restaurants scenes. The North and South Laine are a cavernous collection of shops and cafes located in a range of small streets and alleys which give Brighton its kitsch and cool vibe.

The beach, of course, attacks big crowds in the summer. However, the ample beach space means a 15-minute walk from the central area near the iconic pier and you’ll be able to find your own spot of serenity.

Cambridge

The Cam river

Photo: The Cam River by Francisco Anzola on Flickr (under CC 2.0 licence)

This stunning university town is famed for its classical architecture, historic market square and quaint cafes, shops and bars. Cambridge is best explored by bike and the city boasts an extensive cycle network – if you prefer, the city centre is very walkable, though you might need to use the excellent transport networks to reach some of the peripheries of the city.

The university is the principal attraction here and is actually a collection of independent colleges. Some of the more interesting and opulent are Queens’ College, King’s College and Trinity College.

Museum and cultural attractions are not in short supply here and The Fitzwilliam Museum and The Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences are two of the best.

The River Cam is the lifeblood of Cambridge and a hub of activity in the summer months. Either take to the water for a spot of punting and rowing or enjoy the grassy banks with some prosecco and sandwiches and enjoy the delights of this sleepy but seductive university city.

Edinburgh

Old Royal High

Photo: Old Royal High by Magnus Hagdorn on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Scotland’s traditionally Celtic capital is one of the UK’s finest cities and has plenty to offer those who choose to visit north of the border. Most of the activity is based around Edinburgh’s historic centre. The city’s Medieval heartland is famed for the magnificent Edinburgh Castle, the Palace of Holyrood and the home of the Scottish Parliament.

Many of the best sites are located on the famous Royal Mile around which much of the ancient city was constructed. Adjacent to the Old Town is the New Town – where you’ll be privy to the city’s newest and hippest bars and restaurants as well as plenty of shops selling everything from clothes to books.

Once you’ve had your fill of the pubs and museums, Edinburgh is ideally situated for exploring further afield and seeing more of Scotland. You can reach Glasgow in under an hour and there are plenty of smaller, authentic Scottish towns which make for the perfect half-day trip.

Convinced? Check out Momondo for cheap flights to the UK and EuroTribe’s guide on finding cheap accommodation.

Featured photo: by Joe Reed on Unsplash

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7 Fantastic Day Trips From Rome

Why would anyone want to take day trips from Rome? Rome is a beautiful city with many hidden layers. But no matter how exciting Rome is, one can’t deny that…

Why would anyone want to take day trips from Rome? Rome is a beautiful city with many hidden layers.

But no matter how exciting Rome is, one can’t deny that its charming chaos, can also get very tiring.

Italy is more than Rome, and in order not to miss out, I compiled a list of day trips from Rome.

So book your train ticket and treat yourself with a fancy retreat or perhaps with a stay in luxury homes of Italy.

Here are 7 day trips from Rome;

1. Naples

Naples stands for phenomenal food, architectural gems and is home to some of the most stunning art!

The city boasts of having one of the best archaeological museums in the world. The majority of the sculptures, mosaics and frescoes from the ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum are safely regarded at this museum. The city itself is an archaeological find – or what lies underneath that is.

Naples is built on a soft, volcanic stone. From the ancient times, residents have dug chambers and passages beneath the city. You can find remnants of every era, from the aqueducts of the ancient Greeks to pagan burial chambers.

Before you leave your one day trip adventure, stop by the Capodimonte museum. I am a big fan of Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Titian.

Feeling hungry? Remember you’re in Naples, opting out for anything other than pizza to eat is equal to blasphemy. Pizza was invented in Napoli.

2. Pompeii

Pompeii

Photo: Pompeii (CC 2.0) by Paul Kelley

So you decided to continue your route from Naples instead of heading back to Rome? Finally an adventurer! Pompeii is only half an hour away from Naples!

Pompeii was a lively city that was destroyed by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the AD 79. As a result of the tragic incident, the whole city was kept within a natural capsule made out of ash and sediment. While many other Roman cities fell into ruin – Pompeii to this day is the most preserved and one of world’s greatest records of ancient Roman history.

Pompeii has a lot to offer and I wouldn’t suggest just breezing through the city. If you’re short on time and want to do Naples and another city in one day – then instead of focusing on Pompeii – I’d suggest you focus on Herculaneum.

3. Pisa

When you get to Pisa, like everyone else you’re going to visit the La Torre Pendente, the tower of Pisa. They laid the foundation of the leaning tower as early as the 12th century. It is one of the most photographed buildings in the world.

Nice thing about Pisa is that you can see the main tourist sites within an hour. Which leaves you to enjoy the beautiful town, breathe in the Tuscan air and do some light shopping.

Also don’t forget to check out the Cathedral and the Baptistery.

4. Tivoli

Doors in Tivoli, Italy

Photo: Doors in Tivoli by Klaus Berdiin Jensen

The town of Tivoli is located 30 kilometers from Rome. The nobles during the Roman era preferred Tivoli as their favorite resort.

Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli is one of the Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Emperor Hadrian wanted to reproduce some of the places and buildings he had seen on some his many travels. The influence of Greece and Egypt is especially strong. He was a big admirer of Greek sculptures. Thankfully for us, he accomplished in having them reproduced, as many of the Greek originals have disappeared over time.

UNESCO described the Hadrian’s Villa as combining “the best elements of the architectural heritage of Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the form of an ‘ideal city’.”

Landscape architects turn to Villa d’Este for guidance. The Italianate gardens of Villa d’Estate have been a source of inspiration for gardens round the world. As I mentioned, the estate is quite sizeable and it will take a while to go through. If you enjoy nature like I do, then you’ll enjoy your time there. There is so much to see, the water play, grottos, terraces with fantastic panoramas and beautiful series of gardens.

5. Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is the closest location to Rome, only half an hour away. It’s a beautiful, ancient town with forum, charming bars and restaurants.

6. Florence

Florence, Italy

Photo: Florence (CC 2.o) by Alejandro

You’re in the epicenter of art. Many artists from all over the world flock to Florence, to gaze upon the works of their idols in Galleria degli Uffizi. One of the richest and most famous art galleries is housed in what was originally built as the Medici Whitehall. They have an impressive collection (and rumor has it even more impressive works stay hidden in their vaults) but some of my favorites are Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus.

Also make sure to visit Duomo and Battistero. The cathedral is known for the amazing frescoes inside and also, it’s the biggest masonry dome in the world.

7. Sorrento

You can’t miss out on Sorrento! Even though it does not have the most famous attractions, the city itself is well worth the visit. The beaches, sea breeze and a slow pace of living – will be everything you need to rest from the bustle of Rome.

When you look at the architecture of the town you may notice discontinuity and a mixture of various influences. The variety is largely owed to the fact that during its arduous history Sorrento has been ruled by many. There were Greeks, Romans, French, Spanish, Byzantines and Turks!

Italy is one of those countries where even the tiniest villages are packed with history and beauty. If you’re lucky enough to be already well acquainted with Rome – then take as many day trips from Rome  and go explore! Italy awaits you!

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Top 10 Free Attractions in Copenhagen

The Danish capital is truly a colorful place to visit, especially if you love cozy port cities and their picturesque views of the sea. Unfortunately, while it is quite beautiful,…

The Danish capital is truly a colorful place to visit, especially if you love cozy port cities and their picturesque views of the sea. Unfortunately, while it is quite beautiful, it’s eye-wateringly expensive to do anything around there. As such, free attractions in Copenhagen are your best bet when it comes to absorbing the culture without breaking the bank.

Good thing Cez and Agness of eTramping offered to present us some of the cooler insider picks for Copenhagen. Here they are with no particular order:

#1 Hop on a Free Bike Ride

Copenhagen is quite a large city (at over 80 sq km or 34 sq mi). If you hope to see as many free attractions in Copenhagen, you’ll need some form of transportation. Don’t feel like forking over 80kr (€10) for a City Pass? Simply deposit 20kr in one of the few thousand bikes spread throughout the city and you’ll get your money back when you take it back to a locking device!

#2 Langelinie Park

Danes enjoy taking relaxing walks through this hidden treasure of Copenhagen, and so should you! Make sure you visit the country in spring when the cherry trees start to blossom for a truly dream-like waltz through the park. From the Langelinie it’s only a 10 minute hike till the next landmark.

#3 The Little Mermaid

Inspired by the tragic tale written by Hans Christian Andersen, this statue is one of the most famous free attractions in Copenhagen. The lonely mermaid is perched on one of the shore rocks and stares at the sea as if she wants to return to her home. There is a sad history of vandalism of the statute (even getting bombed in 2003), so better enjoy it while you still can!

free attractions in copenhagen

#4 The Botanical Garden

Open all week long, it is quite fortunate that there is no admission fee to see the lush, 10 hectare gardens at the center of the city. With over 13,000 plant species and 27 glasshouses, you can pretty much dedicate an entire afternoon for a visit. There are also selected areas where you can enjoy a quiet picnic inside.

#5 Bispebjerg Cemetery

This took a dark turn, didn’t it? But don’t worry, this place is actually not as spooky as it may sound. In fact, just as in the case of the Langelinie Park, people come here from all over the place to enjoy the Japanese cherry trees in bloom (especially Instagrammers).

To dispel the somber atmosphere even more, each grave benefits from its own small garden, tended by the city workers. Other avenues of trees are perfect places for quiet contemplation, and the nearby Grundtvig’s Church is also an epic sight to behold in its own right.

#6 Islands Brygge

Care for a swim? Summer is a great time to enjoy a (free!) dip at the Islands Brygge harbor bath, have a barbecue with the locals, or just enjoy the sun in the green areas. Two of the five available pools are aimed at children, so families have an even better incentive to come here. Of course, since it’s free, you should expect for it to be a bit crowded at times.

Sight from Islands Brygge

Photo: Sight from Islands Brygge (CC by-sa 2.0) by Marek Kubica

#7 Kongens Have (The King’s Garden)

It’s a shame that Rosenborg Castle is not part of the free attractions in Copenhagen, but at least the verdant King’s Garden surrounding it is! Over 2 million people visit the gardens on a yearly basis, and for good reason too. Magnificent flowerbeds all over, winding bushy pathways, plenty of space to sunbathe, as well as a dedicated adventure playground for kids make it a fantastic opportunity for the capital’s visitors. A statue of H. C. Andersen also watches over the expanse, so make sure you don’t miss it.

#8 Christiania

The self-proclaimed “autonomous” region of Copenhagen, and sometimes called Freetown (not because things are free here, but because its inhabitants wanted to make their own rules). The place used to be a military base up until the 70s when a group of squatters proclaimed the neighborhood as autonomous.

Christiania was most famous for its “Green Light District” and Pusher Street where cannabis used to be sold openly. Of course, it is still an illegal activity in Denmark, and the police shut that down in 2016. Far from us to promote illegal activities, the neighborhood is still a nice place to visit simply for all the buildings covered in colorful and quirky graffiti. Beyond the multitude of cafés and restaurants in the area also lies a beautiful lake surrounded by trees where you can relax.

free attractions in copenhagen

Of note is that until Pusher Street closed down, photography was banned in the area. You can still see signs up saying as such. But nowadays it is allowed – just make sure you don’t capture other people in the frame. Or, if the area is too crowded to do so, ask politely if they don’t mind appearing in your pics.

#9 Christiansborg Palace Tower

The palace itself charges a steep admission fee, but luckily the tower numbers among the free attractions in Copenhagen you can enjoy. It is 106 meters high, so from atop the tower you can get a sweeping view of the city in all its splendor.

The only downside is the limited space at the top, and the fact that plenty of people take advantage of free entry. As such there may be a long queue before you can actually climb. At least there’s a lift at the entrance, so you won’t lose your breath on the stairs. Maybe just at the top after you get a glimpse of the magnificent views, though!

free attractions in copenhagen

#10 Sønder Boulevard

The last of the free attractions in Copenhagen for today is Sønder Boulevard. It was heavily renovated 10 years ago and turned into a beautiful green space and recreational area, complete with playgrounds for the kids, and shopping + café opportunities for the older “kids.” ☺ It’s a perfect area in Vesterbro to visit on the free bike you picked up at the beginning.

You can also check this comprehensive guide on how to have fun while traveling without blowing your budget.

Have you ever visited Denmark? If so, share the best and free attractions in Copenhagen with us in the comments!

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7 Cool Museums in the Balkans

Museums are almost always an integral part of everyone’s itinerary when visiting a new destination. Yet, they are not among top associations when you think of the Balkans – it…

Museums are almost always an integral part of everyone’s itinerary when visiting a new destination. Yet, they are not among top associations when you think of the Balkans – it is nightlife, food, lovely beaches and nature. However, Balkan cities have some real hidden gems and fantastic niche museums that are well worth the visit.

From broken relationships to aviation, nuclear bunkers and science or the communist retro past, these 7 cool museums in the Balkans are waiting for you to discover them! Next time you’re in the Balkans look beyond the main attractions and go visit one of these museums.

Museum of Broken Relationships – Zagreb

Museum of Broken Relationships Zagreb

What started as a traveling exhibition ended up being one of Europe’s most innovative museums. The exhibition consists of objects sent by contributors from around the world which are accompanied with a personal story. These objects can be anything from a fluffy toy or music CD to something more extreme such an axe. Stories, on the other hand, hide much more powerful message – they are packed with satire, hatred and hurt.

This is a museum you’ll remember for a lifetime which is not so surprising as it is such an emotional roller coaster. What you may find interesting though is that this museum was founded by two people whose relationship has ended.

If you’ve just suffered from a breakup and want to do something more creative than punching a pillow, sharing your story to the world might be just what you need.

Museum of Aviation – Belgrade

Kamov Ka-25PL at Belgrade Aviation Museum

Photo: Belgrade Aviation Museum by G B_NZ 

If you happen to fly into Nikola Tesla Airport, the main airport serving Serbia’s capital, don’t miss the chance to visit the Museum of Aviation which is right next to it.

You’ll easily recognize its geodesic glass building which houses more than 200 aircraft previously operated by the Yugoslav and Serbian Air Forces. The most important displays include the USAF F-117 Nighthawk and F-16 Fighting Falcon which were shot down during the NATO bombing of Yugoslavia in 1999.

There is also an outdoor exhibition with more than 10 large airplanes.

You can also go to the museum by catching the bus #72 from Zeleni Venac station.

Noesis – Science Centre and Technology Museum – Thessaloniki

cool museums in the balkans

Planetarium (Photo: Noesis Museum)

If you’re a science freak you don’t want to miss Noesis – Science Centre and Technology Museum in Greece’s second largest city. Go watch an astronomy show at the Planetarium, a 3D movie in the Cosmotheater or do a ride show at the Motion Simulator.

After the Science Centre go to the Museum which consists of three main exhibitions. One is dedicated to classic cars, the other to technological innovations and works of Ancient Greeks and the last one is Technopark – an interactive area where you can learn more about the world of physics.

It’s a fantastic experience for people of all ages!

Tito’s Atomic Shelter – Konjic

cool museums in the balkans

Photo: Almin Zrno (www.bijenale.ba)

Also known as the Ark, this former nuclear bunker was built to protect President Tito and his close inner circle in case an atomic conflict happened. The bunker is located near the town of Konjic in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the public only heard about it after the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s.

It was one of the largest underground complexes in the former Yugoslavia. To get an idea of how big it is, it had Tito’s residence which consists of 5 rooms, over 100 rooms in general, two conference centers, two kitchens and even a fully operational hospital.

You are allowed to sit in Tito’s chair and take photos by his portraits. The bunker also has an art installation from various European artists.

Retro Museum – Varna

If you’re a fan of history you’re gonna love Retro Museum in Varna which opened its doors in 2015. This relatively new museum will take you back in the period between 1944-1989 during which socialism flourished in Bulgaria and other countries. The highlight of the museum is the rich collection of 50 cars which includes some legendary names such as Trabant, Volga, Wartburg, and Moskvich.

Walking along the red carpet you’ll pass by figures of Lenin, Stalin, Karl Marx and other leaders of the socialist movement. The museum also has a nice collection of household items, cigarettes, food, cosmetics and other brand products people used under the Communist regime.

If you happen to visit the Bulgarian coast for holidays and stay in Sunny Beach or Golden Coast, considering stopping in Varna and visit this interesting museum.

Museum of Yugoslav History and House of Flowers, Belgrade

cool museums in the balkans

No visit to Belgrade could be complete without visiting the Museum of Yugoslav History and the House of Flowers – the resting place of Josip Broz Tito and his ex-wife Jovanka Broz. Every year on May 25th Yugonostalgics from Serbia and the former states flock here to commemorate his birthday.

The museum has more than 200,000 artifacts showing the history of Yugoslavia and its nations. Museums are mainly centered around Tito, the gifts he received from youth, workers and foreign politicians. The Museum 25th May is also part of this large complex and is included in your ticket. At the moment it is hosting a fantastic exhibition dedicated to Yugoslav workers in Germany and Austria on temporary work.

Plan at least half a day for a visit to this complex. You won’t be disappointed.

BUNK’ART,  Tirana

Bunk Art 2

Photo: Bunk Art

Albania is one of the countries that suffered the most from the Communist regime. It is home to thousands and thousands of bunkers that you’ll spot pretty much everywhere – on mountains, beaches, cities. In fact, just after leaving the Warsaw Pact the country built 700,000 of them.

Since they were extremely hard to destroy locals found the way to make them a bit more aesthetically pleasing by being artistic and decorating them in different colors.

BUNK’ART is a place where you can learn more about Albanian history during the Communist regime and the lives of its citizens. There’s also another bunker called BUNK’ART 2 which reveals the secrets of Enver Hoxha’s secret police.

Did you like this list? Which cool museums in the Balkans do you recommend?

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11 Fantastic Activities You Can Do In Edinburgh

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities offering a plenty of activities to do on a regular basis. The Old and New Town of Edinburgh are listed on the…

Edinburgh is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities offering a plenty of activities to do on a regular basis. The Old and New Town of Edinburgh are listed on the UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites and the city also has excellent entertainment options.

Here are 11 fantastic activities you can do in Edinburgh;

Visit the Queen’s official Scottish residence, the Palace of Holyroodhouse

The Palace of Holyrood House is famous for being the 16th-century home of Mary, Queen of Scots and also where the Queen spends her ‘Holyrood Week’ at the end of June/beginning of July each year. Regardless of your opinions of the Royal’s, it’s still a splendid piece of history to experience.

Holyroodhouse and the Abbey ruins, Edinburgh, Scotland

Go for some retail therapy at the one and only Princes Street

With huge flagship stores and a beautiful view of Edinburgh Castle, Princes Street is definitely one of the most fabulous shopping spots in the whole world. It also has a great choice of bars and restaurants.

Princes Street, Edinburgh

Take a climb up Arthur’s Seat

The highest point of Edinburgh’s Holyrood Park is Arthur’s Seat, an ancient, now extinct volcano which sits at precisely 251m above sea level. On a good day, you can get amazing views across Edinburgh and beyond. It’s also much recommended to watch the sunrise from here as it’s absolutely breathtaking.

Grab a beer at the infamous Hanging Bat

With an ever-changing range of beers brought to Edinburgh from the world’s finest and sought-after breweries worldwide, a trip to The Hanging Bat is not to be missed out. You could even have the chance to brew your own beer!

Take a spin around Knockhill Racecourse

More of a thrill-seeker? Then Knockhill Racecource is one of the best driving experience days Scotland has to offer! A must visit for all motor sports fans with events running from February until December.

Appreciate Edinburgh’s spectacular skyline for free

You can head up to the National Museum of Scotland‘s rooftop to take in the panoramic, scenic views of Edinburgh’s skyline. Bonus if it’s a clear day because you can see for miles.

National Museum of Scotland

Visit the fascinating Camera Obscura

Are optical illusions appealing or just plain annoying? Regardless of whether they’re your thing or not, there’s something for everyone at Camera Obscura. The attraction is one of the oldest experience days Scotland has to encounter and also has amazing rooftop views with free telescopes.

Take a stroll around Princes Street Gardens

Princes Street Gardens divides Edinburgh’s old town from its new town giving it historical significance as well as cultural significance. As well as being a relaxing spot, the gardens also host a big wheel, a carousel bar and a Christmas market seasons pending.

Explore art, comedy and culture at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

The multi-cultural festival showcases 50,266 performances of 3,269 shows across 294 venues! The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the largest arts festival in the world and runs from the 4th until the 28th of August showcasing the best of theatre, arts, comedy and more.

edinburgh festival

Visit the Archivists’ Garden

Visit this beautiful place and see 57 different types of plants, all connected to Scotland’s collective memory. Often missed by tourists this place is just a few minutes away from the busy Princes Street. The admission to the garden is free. If you want to spend a quiet day, away from the bustle of the city life you can also visit the Royal Botanic Garden.

Go to Summerhall

Summerhall is the cultural heart of Edinburgh. Here you’ll find a plenty of things to see and do – art exhibitions, gigs, films, workshops, concerts etc. The Summerhall shop has many interesting items created by the artists in residence.

Flights

You can find a cheap flight to Edinburgh on Momondo.

Accommodation



Booking.com

 

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