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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Film, Art, Theatre, Music & Dance’

Books ‘the most valued travel item’

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Travellers consider a good book the most essential item to take on holiday, according to a survey by flight search engine Skyscanner.

A poll on the company’s website found that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of people consider books a crucial part of a holiday, followed by an mp3 player (22 per cent).

Perfume or deodorant and a laptop or personal digital assistant also appear important to travellers, gaining 14 per cent and ten per cent of the vote respectively.

Rob Innes, head of marketing at Skyscanner, said: "The humble paperback is the ultimate travel accessory. It’s a low cost, no-tech form of entertainment that you can take anywhere – from the beach to the bar. You don’t need to worry about books getting lost, stolen or damaged, or that your battery will die mid-flight.

"Books can also be exchanged with fellow travellers, giving you some entertainment currency. iPods and laptops are great for music and films but their high value means they can be more of a burden when travelling."

The flight search engine recently revealed the destinations that customers have been showing an interest in ahead of the Easter holidays, with London taking the top spot.

Rome also appeared in the top ten, along with Barcelona, Paris and Dublin.

Rome – Visit some of the ancient landmarks such as the Colosseum or tour the opulent Vatican.ADNFCR-1652-ID-19100029-ADNFCR

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Discover the Beauty and Culture of San Francisco

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The San Francisco Bay Area has long been esteemed as one of the most picturesque and culturally-diverse regions of the US.  With its gorgeous natural scenery, vibrant art and music events, ongoing festivals, and diverse social scene, San Francisco has a something for everyone!

1. Cable Car Tour of San Francisco (+ Bay Cruise!)

You can’t come all the way to San Francisco without hopping on a motorized Cable Car Tour.  This fabulous little ride takes you just about everywhere—to the Fisherman’s Wharf, Union Square, Golden Gate Bridge, Palace of Fine Arts, North Beach, and more!

The tour ends with a refreshing, one-hour cruise through the San Francisco Bay.

2. Photography Tour of San Francisco

Discover your artistic side–and the beauty of San Francisco–on this guided photography tour.  Suitable for novices and experienced photographers alike, the tour is led by a local artist that possesses in-depth knowledge of San Francisco’s most picturesque parts! continue reading

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Best Places to Celebrate St Patrick’s Day- Boston, Dublin and London

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Beannachtai na Feile Padraig! Happy St Patrick’s Day!

Like millions of people all over the world, you too can be Irish for the day on March 17 – St Patrick’s Day. Sport a huge green hat, paint a shamrock on your face, dress up as a leprechaun, and down a few pints of Guinness. It’s all part of the fun wherever folks claim Irish ancestry.

So where are the best places for St Patrick’s Day celebrations? There are plenty to choose from, but three of the best are Boston, Dublin and London. continue reading

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There is more than the Louvre – other 20 Paris museums

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Paris is a world capital of culture and history so it’s normal to find a wealth of museums there. But if you think Paris museum, you’ll immediately think Louvre. True. What an amazing place: unmissable. But for once, let’s spread the word about everything else. If you have time for a second museum, you’re facing a very tough choice.

We have shortlisted here 20 other Paris museums that we believe are worth checking out (there are actually more than 100 museums in Paris). Many Paris museums are named after their founder or after the street where they are located, so you can’t just guess from the name…

Note: the Paris Sightseeing Pass grants free access to many Paris museums, and it grants “skip the line” privilege.

ART AND HISTORY MUSEUMS

Orangerie museum – Located in the Louvre gardens, this Paris museum exposes masterpieces from Renoir, Cezanne, Picasso, Monet and Matisse.  A modern display area was opened in 2006 to illuminate the paintings with natural light (yet indoor).

Musée d’Orsay – Mostly focused on 19th century, this Paris museum hosts impressionist painting and photography. The building itself (a former train station) is an immense glass hall worth the visit.

Centre Pompidou – probably the 2nd most recognizable building in Paris after the Eiffel tower, this museum of modern and contemporary arts is an artwork in itself. Boasts the largest modern art collection in Europe, with (as we write) 62229 works from Kandinsky, Giacometti, Man Ray, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso and 5528 other artists.

Picasso museum – Dedicated to the Spanish master, this Paris museum displays a large collection of paintings, sculptures and other forms of creativity from all periods of Picasso’s life.

Musée Rodin- This Paris museum is entirely focused on the life and work of Auguste Rodin, a French sculptor mostly known abroad for “The Thinker” and “The Kiss” statues. The museum has one of the most romantic gardens where the sculptures are displayed.

Palais de Tokyo- Nothing to do with Japan a part the name, this is a creative art lab for contemporary artists finding new ways of expression while mixing gendres and techniques. Always different artists on display, as well as special events and an uber-cool bar and restaurant.

Carnavalet museum – This Paris museum displays furniture from the Renaissance and other key periods of Paris’s history. Not to miss: the keys of the Bastille fortress symbol of the French Revolution of 1789.

Cité de la Musique – Extensive display of anything that has ever been built to produce music and sound, this is an interactive exhibition often enriched by concerts, musical shows for children and live workshops.

SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY MUSEUMS

Arts et Métiers museum- Literally, “the museum of arts and works” is an amazing collection of scientific and industrial discoveries. From early airplanes and cars, to the very own tools used by the first chemist (Lavoisier and all), to the first personal computer and memories, the first Baudot telegraph, Bell’s telephone, watches, photography, raw materials… all hosted in a magnificent monastery from the 11th century. This Paris museum is dubbed “the Louvre of science”.

Muséum d’Histoire Naturelle – This place is so well known in Paris that it’s just nicknamed “The Museum”. Its roots date back to 350 years ago when monks started collecting and studying plants and animals of all species. Today, thousands of stuffed specimen are assembled in a majestic display telling the story of animal evolution. Unknown to most tourists, the world’s oldest animal park – or zoo – is still in operation here, ask for the “Ménagerie”.

Palais de la Decouverte – More than a museum this is an interactive exhibition center focused on scientific education. New themes and topics are continuously addressed through conferences and real scientific experiences being run on site.

WORLD CULTURE MUSEUMS

Musée du Quai Branly – The name doesn’t mean anything else than its address, but this is the latest addition to the “big” Paris museums. Opened in 2006, it is dedicated to ancestral arts from Oceania, Africa, Asia and Americas. Next door to the Eiffel Tower.

Institut du Monde Arabe -Also known as “IMA”, this organization is dedicated to Arabian cultures and has been setup in cooperation between France and 22 Arabian countries. Around a museum spanning history from pre-islamic to arabian-muslim civilizations, there are temporary exhibition, movies, language centers, and an immense library.

Musée Guimet – The museum of Asian arts, displays artworks from south-east Asia, China, Korea, Japan and India.

SPECIAL INTEREST MUSEUMS

Opera Museum- Not well known, located within the Opera Garnier, this Paris museum displays sceneries, costumes, booklets and jewelry used in opera performances, same dating back to 300 years ago.

Cinematheque- This movie library is home to 40000 movies and a nice collections of memorabilia costumes and sceneries. But the highlight is the building itself – a Gehry new-classical-cubist building reworked to fit 4 movie theaters.

Immigration museum – Quite an unusual idea, this museum is a place made to remember the life of immigrants across centuries. It is a showcase of hope, dream, courage, creativity and sorrow.

Galerie des Gobelins – Formerly the manufacturer of France’s royal tapestries, it has now turned into a museum displaying antique tapestries and furnitures. A must if you’re into tapestries.

Musée du fumeur- The smokers’s museum… a surprising Paris museum where you can find, unsurprisingly, cigarettes, cigars, pipes and other smoking gadgets.

Musée Galliera -The fashion museum, displaying haute couture and accessories from the most famous French fashion designers. The themes and collections change very often to prevent fabrics deterioration.

As mentioned, there are so many other museums in Paris. Which ones do you suggest as worth mentioning in our future post for the next 20 museums?

Daniele

[This post has been syndicated from the isango! Travel Blog]

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Fantastic film fun in Amsterdam at the Imagine festival

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This year’s Amsterdam Fantastic Film Festival looks set to be one of the biggest and best in the event’s 25 year history.

From April 15th to 26th Imagine will incorporate the finest in European and world cinema across a range of genres.

The event began as a relatively low-key, weekend-long happening but year on year it grew in profile. Now it is a highlight of the Dutch cultural calendar and is attracting heightening interest from around the world as the overall profile of European cinema is boosted by a series of hit films from directors and studios.

Alongside screenings and premieres there will be a series of question-and-answer sessions, interviews, workshops and other events to round out the experience – ideal for the seasoned cinema buff and the novice alike.

Visitors on Amsterdam tours would be wise to book their tickets soon as demand is likely to be high – along with most of the audience – for this fascinating look into the world of European film-making.

Why not buy the Canal Bus Day Pass in advance?ADNFCR-1652-ID-19012088-ADNFCR

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Romantic Valentine’s Day Adventures: Vienna

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OK folks, this is it. I’ve guided you through Romantic Valentine’s Day Excursion itineraries in Paris and Florence.  Still haven’t found the perfect trip idea?

Perhaps you’ve already been to these cities, or perhaps you are looking for a destination that is less of a Valentine’s Day cliché.

I thus present to you, in my final post of this series, the charming, music-filled city of VIENNA.

Smaller and more manageable than Paris, yet with a cosmopolitan edge that sets it apart from Florence, Vienna is the perfect weekend destination for the young, culture-loving couple! continue reading

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Great Contemporary Art Exhibition in London.

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Last week, I stumbled across the most amazing London art exhibition, which I cannot shut up about. Seriously, I’ve already told ½ of my office and all of my friends about it. So, whilst you are out looking for Halloween costumes this week, you must stop by JR’s London art exhibition, entitled ‘28 Millimetres: Women’, near Tottenham Court Road tube station.

Lazarides contemporary art gallery london

The installation is divided into three parts, all of which are worth seeing. I started out in the Charing Cross Road wing of the Lazarides London contemporary art gallery, which is plastered, floor to ceiling, with portraits of the people that JR encountered during his journey through Morro da Providencia, a small, hillside community in Rio De Janeiro.

continue reading

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Cult film honoured in European car rally

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One of the most-loved films in British cinematic history is to be honoured once again this year with an ingenious charity event.

Channelling the appeal of the cult classic, The Italian Job is a Mini Cooper rally starting at Imola in Italy on October 24th with its final destination in Brighton on November 1st.

On the way, participants are to pick up loads of great local wine, which will then be auctioned off in the UK with the proceeds going to a number of children”s charities.

Conceived by car fanatic and film buff Freddie St George in 1990, what was initially intended as a one-off event has been going the best part of two decades and has so far raised in excess of £2 million for good causes.

The event attracts teams from all over the world, with the only criteria for entry being that they have to compete in a Mini Cooper or another classic car from the film.

So far it”s unclear whether anyone rich enough to own an example of the vintage Lamborghini from the opening credit sequence in the Alps has yet taken part.

The Italian Job starred Michael Caine and Noel Coward and was released in 1969. It was later remade in 2003 and featured the acting talent of Mark Wahlberg.

Active and Adventure – Air Activities – Enjoy an exhilarating helicopter ride over New York or a serene hot air balloon ride over the Australian outback.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18839217-ADNFCR

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Chicago musical tickets: Get ‘em while they’re (red) hot!

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I was thrilled last weekend when my friend snagged some discount Chicago tickets—I have wanted to experience ‘London’s sexiest musical’ for ages.

chicago cambridge theatre

Contrary to the widely held sentiment among theatregoers that long-running West End musicals can become overpriced tourists traps, I was highly impressed: I definitely got my money’s worth. I know that musical backwards and forwards—the songs, the scenes, and even the first two minutes of the opening dance number (sad, I know)—and I was on the edge of my seat for the entire show. continue reading

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Film-loving holidaymakers find locations at their fingertips

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Holidaymakers with a passion for cinema and travel can now plan trips around destinations featured in their favourite famous films.

A new website – Famouslocations.com – lists millions of filming spots for a huge range of titles, from early Hollywood classics to modern day blockbusters.

This means holidaymakers can find out if there are any connection to their favourites movies in addition to the activities and tours they”ve booked for their trip.

As modern shoots don”t always use the setting of the movie when filming, there might be a few surprises hidden among all the information.

After the success of the US television series Sex and The City, visitors were able to go on tours of locations around Manhattan used in the show – a tour which is no doubt more popular since the movie version became a huge hit on both sides of the Atlantic following its release earlier this summer.

Culture and Sightseeing – City Tours – Whichever city you are in these tours will help to ensure you do not miss a thing.ADNFCR-1652-ID-18816752-ADNFCR

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