There’s no shortage of things to see and do across Europe, so we scoured the continent’s hottest travel destinations to bring you the latest and greatest travel experiences.
There’s no debating that Paris is well served by five-star hotels that make your eyes water with sky-high levels of elegance and luxury – think Peninsula Paris, Plaza Athénée, George V et al – but now the French capital has a budget offering worthy of its style and grace.
Generator Paris is the latest property from the purveyors of chic hostels (or poshtels) across Europe.
Situated in a formerly derelict office building in the up-and-coming 10th arrondissement, Generator Paris has lashings of the brand’s signature funky, eclectic design-style throughout, with a dash of Parisian flair thrown in for good measure.
Accommodation options include private double and twin rooms from $68 and the requisite dorm rooms, while downstairs there’s a lounge to hang out in, dining options and a 24-hour reception desk.
Check out the recently reopened Musée Picasso in the stunning Hotel Sale in Le Marais.
After an extensive US$66 million, five-year renovation (it was supposed to take two years) the museum now has 5000 works by the prolific artist on display, the biggest collection of Picasso’s works in the world.
The Andulusian city of Málaga, birthplace of one Pablo Picasso, is getting an injection of serious art cred this year with not one, not two, but three new museums opening their doors: The Pompidou Centre’s first museum outside of France – El Centro Pompidou de Malaga – will be housed in The Cube, a $9-million modern glass building in the revitilised marina area that will host a permanent modern art collection and arts events; the Saint Petersburg State Russian Museum will showcase at from the 15th to the 20th centuries; and the Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology will be the last to join the party later in the year.
Book a room at the relatively new Hotel Soho Málaga, a chic little boutique hotel in the city’s street art festoon Soho neighbourhood, known as the Barrio de las Artes.
The concept of a world exposition in the era of the internet might seem strange, but what began at The Crystal Palace in London in 1851 as The Great Exhibition of the Works of Industry of All Nations, has managed to morph and change with the times in order to remain relevant.
With the noble theme of Feeding the Planet, Energy for Life, it’s Milan’s turn to host 145 countries, 13 NGOs, three top-shelf international organisations (the United Nations, European Union and Caribbean Community), five corporations, as well as the 20 million visitors who are expected to flock to the 1.1 million square-metres of exhibition space from 1 May to 31 October 2015.
According to the official website, the exposition will be a platform for the “exchange of ideas and shared solutions on the theme of food, stimulating each country’s creativity and promoting innovation for a sustainable future”.
Sounds like a brilliant reason for a world exposition to us.
Take a side trip to Florence where the food scene has been revamped with a new first floor on the 140-year-old caste iron and glass Mercato Centrale Firenze that now houses food stands, a cooking school, café and wine tastings.
Check out the seriously great website mercatocentrale.it
According to the travel search engine kayak.com.au Vienna is one of the top five European cities Australians are looking to visit during the northern hemisphere summer.
Given the fact that it is the 150th anniversary of the Ringstrasse, a triumph of architecture and urban planning that is the heart and soul of the city, with a long list of events taking place throughout the year in commemoration, it’s really no surprise.
Book a room at the ultra-funky new Magdas Hotel, with its 78 rooms filled with upcycled furniture and pops of colour everywhere.
The building itself has even been upcycled from a former retirement home.
There’s a bar and salon downstairs, a library and lots of artworks on the walls created in collaboration with students of its neighbour, the Academy of Fine Arts Vienna.
The Czech Republic city of Pilsen (or Pizen to be precise) might have you reaching for an atlas to find out where the heck it actually is, but we can safely report that it is the fourth largest city in the country, and an important administrative, industrial, cultural and commercial centre in the Western Bohemia region.
It is also picture-postcard gorgeous.
During the year the city will host an extensive series of events – film festivals, theatre productions, exhibitions, music, lectures and events, including the 7th Summer Olympic Games for Children and Youth, when 3000 athletes aged 10 to 17 will arrive in the city.
Head to Prague if you are around on 17 November for the brilliantly named Day of the Struggle for Liberty and Democracy holiday.
Zermatt is in the spotlight this year as it’s the 150th anniversary of the first ascent of the Matterhorn, so there’s a lot of going on there this year including the reopening of the Hörnlihütte, the mountain hut built in 1880 by the Swiss Alpine Club and located at the Matterhorn base camp, which has undergone extensive renovations.
Learning from the past is a cathartic process, one that is at the heart of the Munich Documentation Centre for the History of National Socialism, a new museum and learning centre built on the site of the former Nazi headquarters.
The white cube building will address the city’s National Socialist past and its devastating ramifications.
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