A Day with Frederick the Great and Sans Souci in Potsdam

The park and gardens of Sans Souci

When it comes to popular north German destinations, Berlin certainly hogs its share of the attention. Yet to visit Berlin alone would mean ignoring the multitude of equally fascinating locations near and around. One of the more impressive is much closer than you’d think, a conveniently short U-Bahn ride from the capital itself. Welcome to Potsdam. Potsdam, like Berlin, is a city steeped in ... Read Full Article

Visit These Less-known Towns in Belgium

The Citadel of Dinant overlooks the Collegiate Church and the Meuse River

Sometimes called Europe’s best-kept secret, Belgium is slowly starting to climb the ladder of popular western European destinations. Although less-visited than its neighbors (the Netherlands, France and Germany), it does have an overwhelmingly extensive menu of historic sites and attractive sights – a menu of which, once you’ve tasted one dish, you’ll be a craving much more. Talking about ... Read Full Article

5 Belgian Towns That Are Well-Worth Visiting

Dominating the town square, Aalst’s belfry is a UNESCO World Heritage Site

Belgium is dotted with beautiful historic towns, many of them dating back all the way to the Middle Ages and even beyond. Although cities like Brussels , Bruges  and Antwerp are certainly destinations that should not be skipped, visiting some smaller and less-known Belgian towns is absolutely worth your time as well. Let’s take a look at five of those towns, all chock-full with historic ... Read Full Article

Discovering Berlin’s Bohemian Rixdorf

Welcome Sign to Richardplatz in Rixdorf

 It’s one of those crisp, grim Berlin days, the kind that makes you feel like you’ve walked into a refrigerator as soon as you leave the front door. I’ve decided to take a walk down Sonnenallee (sun alley) in the Neukolln neighbourhood, a busy strip lined with Turkish doner restaurants, Arabic groceries and Internet cafes. One of the last things you’d expect to run into at this point is an ... Read Full Article

A Fast Guide to Berlin’s Rapidly Transforming Neighborhoods

Landwherkenal, Kreuzberg

Of all Europe’s capitals, Berlin is one of the most geographically unique in that it doesn’t have much of a city ‘centre’. In its day, cutting the city down the line, the Berlin Wall created two separate hubs, depriving the reunified modern capital of an organic ‘downtown’. While a ‘centre’ has developed since the reunification years (in the form of the ‘Mitte’ district) it is arguably within the ... Read Full Article

Chocoholics Unite in Cologne, Germany!

You are spoilt for choices at the Cologne Chocolate Museum

Lovely pastel colored buildings and quaint cobblestone streets greet you as you pull into the charming city of Cologne, Germany on an AmaWaterways cruise of the beautiful Rhine River. Although Cologne may look like it dates from medieval times, much of the city was destroyed during WWII and restoration began in the late 1940’s. The famous twin-spired Cologne Cathedral, which took six ... Read Full Article

Luxury Hotel Barge Cruising on France’s Beautiful Burgundy Canal

Cruising on La Belle Epoque

I pedal leisurely along the towpath beside the Burgundy Canal, past neat rows of old oaks, maples, and poplars that form a tall, shady green cathedral along the flanks of the shallow canal. My bicycle’s tires crunch on the white limestone. Coming to a lock I stand on a small stone bridge that crosses over the canal. I’m waiting for La Belle Époque — the luxury hotel Barge that will be my home for ... Read Full Article

The Crazy Days! ‘Carnival’ All Over Europe

Carnival in Venice

The ritual of ‘Carnival’ has been a prominent institution of cultural life since well beyond the days of antiquity—Ancient Greeks and Romans honoured deities Dionysus and Bacchus with wine feasts and orgies; Germanic Tribes chased wild winter spirits during the smoky nights of the ‘Rauchnachte’; Christians continued on with festivities of their own, with countless offshoots of festive tradition ... Read Full Article

Spa Hopping and Beer Tasting in Germany’s Black Forest

Klaus-Peter shows us his office overlooking bairesbronn

The Romans had a terrible time marching through the dark masses of spruce, pine, and fir in the aptly named Black Forest. They said it was impenetrable and inhabited by wild beasts and barbarians. And sensibly they—like their fierce predecessors the Celts—seldom ventured far into its depths. But today, I’m pleased to report that although 81% of the Black Forest area is still covered with ... Read Full Article

Seligenstadt: SW Germany’s Undiscovered Gem

the small square turret on the second floor corner is decorated with two crests and elaborate acorn and leaf friezes. two faces and torsos are carved into its corners

Now and then, travel writers in Europe stumble across a unique place that has somehow remained undiscovered by the teeming tourist masses. So it was with my random visit to the small, perfectly preserved medieval town of Seligenstadt. Lying only 25 kilometers southeast of Frankfurt am Main, this intriguing town—with a population of only 20,000—packs more sights into a small area than you might ... Read Full Article