Europe

Belgium | Ingeious Travel

Posted in Europe, Culinary, River Cruising, on 18 September 2020, by , 0 Comments

The land of beer, waffles and chocolate has so much to offer, and we’re not just talking about the food! While small in size, I se packs a punch when it comes to its culture-rich cities, from the capital of Brussels to riverside Dinant. Brush up on your Dutch, German and French and dive into beautiful, bewitching Belgium.

Belgium | Ingenious Travel

Brussels

No trip to Belgium is complete without a stay in the country’s capital, Brussels! Home to the European Union headquarters, Brussels is an important political hub as well as a cultural one, with grand plazas, ornate buildings, richly-decorated palaces and museums filled with treasures. Grab a piping hot waffle from a street stall, stroll the Grand-Palace square and marvel at the architectural wonders of this bustling city.

Belgium | Ingenious Travel

Bruges

Bruges steals the hearts of all who visit. The capital of West Flanders, the city is most famous for its string of romantic canals, cobbled streets and medieval architecture. You may have to fight off a few tourists in the summer months for the perfect Instagram photo, but touring this fairy tale city will most certainly be worth it.

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Corfu Greece | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, on 14 August 2020, by , 0 Comments

Love to lounge by the beach but also interested in history and archaeological finds? You are in for plenty of fun in the Greek island of Corfu. Its beaches are without question exquisite, but for those looking for diversity there are also other interesting attractions waiting to be explored within Corfu vicinity.

Corfu Town or Kerkyra for the locals is not just a place to crash and sleep but it is also an attraction in itself. It is rich in history and impressive architecture, which make it one of the must-see destinations on the island.

Must-see landmarks in the area include the 16th century stone building of San Giacomo Theater that channels Renaissance architecture in Italy, the ancient Fort opposite the charming Liston Esplanade and St. Spiridons Church and the mummified saint inside. Chilling out is best done in the attractive public square of Spianada where locals and visitors alike congregate to have a good time. But if you are going out at night, Liston is where fun and excitement starts.

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Posted in Europe, River Cruising, on 24 July 2020, by , 0 Comments

Budapest, the capital of Hungary, is certainly one of the most delightful cities to visit in Europe. It boasts of impressive architecture, cool green spaces, vibrant cultural scenes and rich historical heritage – all of these earned the city a much-deserved nickname of “Pearl of the Danube”. Budapest is also strategically located at the center of Europe’s similarly popular destinations such as Austria, Croatia and the Ukraine, among others.  Also, it offers tourists great value for money, without sacrificing on the quality of sights and overall travel experience.

Getting Around Budapest

You can simply hop on a plane from dozens of major cities in Europe, Asia, North Africa and Middle East to get to Budapest. Direct flights are not hard to come by because there are several airlines servicing the area. The country’s major airport is located about 10 miles from the city center and taking a taxi to get to your destination remains the most efficient, albeit most expensive, transportation option.

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Ha'Penny Bridge | Dublin| Ireland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Ireland, Europe, on 6 March 2020, by , 0 Comments

Think you’ll find leprechauns in Ireland? Think again. Despite what the world may think, Ireland doesn’t have any little green men, nor does it have a pot of gold at the end of every rainbow. Whether it’s your first or tenth time to Ireland, avoid these common misconceptions!

1. The Irish drink all the time

Contrary to popular belief, the Irish are not drunk all the time. It’s true: you can’t visit Ireland without throwing back a few pints at a pub, but there’s no evidence to show that the Irish drink any more than their UK or European counterparts. In fact, Ireland comes in at seventh for how much beer they drink per capita, behind countries like Czech Republic, Austria and Germany.

2. They created the term “luck of the Irish”

This well-known term isn’t actually Irish. The term was actually invented during the gold rush of the late 19th century in the United States, where many Irish immigrants went to become miners. Many of the most successful miners happened to be Irish, therefore leading to the phrase.

Leprechaun | Ireland | Ingenious Travel

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Muckross House and Gardens | Ireland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Groups, Ireland, on 21 February 2020, by , 0 Comments

We’ve received over a dozen requests for Ireland over the last few weeks, along with a number of general questions. Here are the answers to the top 13 commonly asked questions we’ve received.

How is the weather?

Get the rundown on Ireland’s climate and seasons here.

How populated is Ireland?

Ireland’s population as of 2016 is estimated to be about 4.7 million – about the same number of people who live in the state of Louisiana.

When should I travel?

Whenever you can! The busy season is June-August, when Ireland is crowded with tourists. Those who can travel in the “shoulder months” of April/May and September/October will be rewarded with less hustle and bustle and pleasent weather. But anytime of yeat there are wonderful places to visit and things to do and see in the Emerald Isle.

Is Northern Ireland a part of Ireland?

No. In 1922, after violent uprisings, the Irish Free State was created within the British Empire. In 1948, most of Ireland became an independent country, while six mainly Protestant counties in the northeast remained a British territory.

Should I drive?

You’ll certainly have the most freedom with your own car. However, keep in mind the driver’s seat is on the opposite side. If you plan on staying in Dublin, we do not recommend driving as the city is quite small and very walkable. If you’re not keen on driving, traveling by rail will allow you to take in the lush green landscapes from the train window as you speed between chaarming cities and unmissable natural attractions. Operated by Irish Rail, most trains operate to and from Dublin with frequent rail service to most parts of Ireland.

What is the tipping policy?

Tipping is generally 10-15% in restaurants and some hotels, but check your bill as the gratuity (service charge) may already be added. People generally do not tip in pubs, but for higher end bars with waiter service, leave about €1. Taxi drivers or hackney cab drivers, who make the trip for a prearranged sum, don’t expect tips.

What kind of money is used there?

The euro (EUR) is the currency of Ireland, like much of Europe. However, if you’re traveling to Northern Ireland, the currency is the pound sterling (£).

Do I need an adapter?

Yes. Irish electricity is roughly twice the voltage in North America, so you will need to bring suitable transformers and/or adapters.

Is there Internet access?

More and more hotels, cafes, and retailers in Ireland are signing on as Wi-Fi hot spots, meaning you won’t have to stay in your hotel room just to get free Wi-Fi. When in doubt, just ask!

Will my cell phone work?

The short answer is “probably.” Ireland uses the world-standard GSM network, which is used by both AT&T and T-Mobile. When using a cell phone abroad, it’s advisable to turn off your data services function to avoid exorbitant, unexpected fees. If you plan on making calls, consider purchasing an International Plan or using a SIM card to avoid racking up roaming charges once you’ve arrived. You can also use for apps like WhatsApp, Skype and Google Hangout to make calls online (You will need WiFi).

Do I need my passport?

Yes

What if I need medical help?

If you become ill while visiting Ireland, you can visit any one of the walk-in clinics in most major cities. For emergencies, dial 999 or 112, the European standard. And we highly recommend a travel insurance policy that includes medical coverage.

Is Ireland safe?

Rest in comfort while staying in Ireland. Anytime you’re abroad, you should be a little weary of those who may wish you ill, but Ireland has a very low crime rate and has been ranked safer than many of the states. Of course, with any city comes the risk of theft, but keeping your wits about you will keep your wallet on you!

Interested in traveling to Ireland but not wanting to go it alone? Join us as we visit the Emerald Isle this September. See the full itinerary here or contact Maria for more information.

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Europe | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, on 10 January 2020, by , 0 Comments

Most people are familiar with the standard or “popular” European destinations such as places like London, Paris, Rome, or Barcelona. This post doesn’t include them. We started looking at the European destinations we are being asked for more often, are trending to become more popular, and are standing out from all of the secondary cities.

Bilbao| Ingenious Travel

 

  1. Bilbao, Spain
  • The Guggenheim Museum
  • Capital of Basque country
  • Azkuna Zentora – the cultural center
  • Over 40 Michelin starred restaurants
  • Ideal for: Culture Mavens

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Vienna Beethoven | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Theme Vacations, Europe, Groups, Music, River Cruising, on 6 December 2019, by , 0 Comments

Did you know that Beethoven’s 250th birthday is in 2020? The classical artist spent most of his life in Vienna, and as a result, the capital of Austria has many plans underway to celebrate him. While his birthday is actually in December, and the largest of celebrations will happen then, you can enjoy concerts and festivals in his honor all year long. One of the best ways to celebrate Beethoven’s 250th birthday in Vienna is with a river cruise. 

A River Cruise in 2020 is a Classical Music Lovers Dream

Some of the river cruise lines that sail the Danube and Rhine rivers have created itineraries to commemorate and enjoy the music of Ludwig van Beethoven. One such cruise is the Amadeus cruise line which will host a special Rhine River cruise October 27 through November 3, 2020. Their itinerary features private concerts at stunning landmarks, as well as an exclusive concert onboard the ship.

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Oktoberfest | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Food, Groups, Theme Vacations, Unique Getaways, Weekend Getaway, on 7 June 2019, by , 0 Comments

Imagine a two to three week festival dedicated to beer and traveling funfair. Not only does it exist, Oktoberfest happens every year in Munich, Bavaria, Germany! In fact, this annual festival has been held since the year 1810, and even though several celebrations exist worldwide, the one in Germany was the first, and is still the biggest.

When to Visit Oktoberfest

The best time to visit Oktoberfest is generally in September. Yep, this beer fueled event actually kicks off before October officially arrives. The weekdays of the event are the quietest, and understandably so the weekends are the busiest. For full details of the best days to visit, click here.

Costs

While the grounds of the official Oktoberfest are free to enter, everything inside has a fee. From samples of beer to amusement park rides, luggage storage to special events – Oktoberfest can get expensive fast if you’re not keeping track of your budget. One liter of beer at Oktoberfest was nearly 12 Euro (roughly $13.50 USD) in 2018. Keep your eye out for specials. Also, consider going during the quieter times when vendors offer discounts to keep the beer tap flowing.

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Seljalandsfoss waterfall Iceland | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Europe, Travel, on 24 May 2019, by , 0 Comments

Iceland has become an increasingly popular destination for luxury travelers. It is the perfect trip for seasoned travelers, solo travelers, or adventurous families looking for a unique experience. Iceland is considered to be one of the safest countries on earth, so it is a popular destination for solo female travelers.

An Icelandic vacation can be filled with outdoor adventure or laid back and focused on its vibrant art and restaurant scenes. Regardless of what brings you to Iceland, it’s guaranteed to be a vacation you will never forget.

Most visitors are attracted to Iceland’s unique and varied landscape – this ice-capped, unspoiled, land is almost indescribable. Iceland’s dramatic vistas take center stage in many movies and tv shows. Its spectacular black volcanic fields, rocky beaches, majestic mountains, impressive glaciers, and vast areas of pristine snow have been the setting for productions such as Interstellar, Thor: The Dark World, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Game of Thrones.

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River Cruising | Ingenious Travel

Posted in Africa, Asia, Europe, River Cruising, on 4 May 2019, by , 0 Comments

Over the last couple of years, river cruising has become one of the fastest growing travel trends around. It a vacation option I recommend to many of my well-traveled clients looking for a different type of experience for their next vacation.

If you’ve been curious about river cruising, here are a few things you ought to know…

Where do they go?

While Europe may be the most popular river cruise destination, it is definitely not the only choice.  Some of the other places you’ll find river cruises are along the Volga river in Russia, Amazon river in Peru and Brazil, the Nile river in Egypt, the Yangtze River in China, and the Mekong River in Vietnam and Cambodia.

In Europe, some of the most popular itineraries include the Danube, Rhine, Rhone, Saone, and Seine. I typically recommend European itinerary for most first-time river cruisers unless there is another location that you have been dreaming of for quite some time.

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