The troubled history of Algiers is manifested in its cityscape, architecture and culture. The capital (and the largest city) of Algeria holds impressive monuments and curious surprises for visitors. French and Islamic influences exist next to each other and make it a place as diverse as its people. Visit richly coloured mosques, discover sights and ruins of days gone by, and taste the spicy and delicious food of northern Africa.
Long considered to be the jewel of the orient, Cairo is an international city overflowing with an interesting mixture of different cultures. It is a city steeped in the early civilizations of the ancient pharaohs, blended with the history of Christian and Islamic cultures. It is all brought together by the modern sights and luxuries of a sophisticated and cosmopolitan city.
Like so many of the towns and cities of Egypt, Hurghada as well as Luxor and Marsa Alam are living history museums. These three cities are positioned as three corners of a triangle in the Eastern Desert. Hurghada, a former fishing harbour, stretches some 15 miles or so along the waterfront and is one of the foremost areas for water sports. Marsa Alam is also found by the Red Sea coast, and tourism is just starting to make an impact. The city of Luxor, with its jaw-droppingly beautiful monuments built by the hands of ancient craftsmen, lies 150 miles or so inland on the banks of the mighty River Nile.
Cape Verde’s unique geographic location, troubled history of slavery and invasion, and fascinating mix of transatlantic cultures has given rise to a place unlike any other on the globe, a place as joyful as it is full of longing, a fact perhaps best reflected in Cape Verdean music and the hauntingly beautiful ‘morna’. The sometimes harsh, drought-prone conditions of this mid-Atlantic scattering of islands have seen the flourishing of a fascinating Creole culture and the most stable democracy in Africa, which is currently enjoying its moment as a sought-after, yet still under-discovered, vacation destination.
Hectic, bustling, chaotic, Dhaka is an enormous city of endless possibilities with energy to spare. Though it can seem a bit overwhelming at first, visitors who take take the time to explore all it has to offer will find the experience most rewarding. Delicious food, bustling markets, serene parks and gardens, lazy river cruises and death-defying rickshaw rides, fascinating museums and captivating history, temples and mosques to ease the soul, and tantalising musical and dance performances; all this and more awaits the adventurous traveler who dares to venture into this unique city.
Sharjah, the not-so-obvious UAE destination for many, unjustly remains in the shadows of its glistening immediate neighbor of Dubai. In the meantime, few are aware Sharjah was named Capital of Islamic Culture (2014) and Cultural Capital of the Arab World by UNESCO sixteen years prior - and for good reason. Sharjah's Heritage Area is home to multiple historic sites and museums, and the Emirate itself boasts recent, modern additions to its art and entertainment scenes enough to compensate for the strict "no-alcohol" regulations.
With its awesome glass skyscrapers that reflect the bustle of daily life, magnificent buildings such as the Emirates Palace, its lively souqs, excellent international restaurants and long stretches of white beaches lapped by the crystal clear waters of the Gulf, Abu Dhabi is a city of outstanding contrasts. The throbbing heart of the city lies 250 metres off-shore on an island linked to the mainland by the Al Maqtaa Bridge and Mussafah Bridge. Home to the respected Abu Dhabi Cultural Foundation and the Al Hosn Palace museum, along with numerous venues for the arts, the wealthy city is the cultural as well as the commercial hub of the emirate of Abu Dhabi.
From a humble village to a cosmopolitan city Dubai has transformed from a humble fishing village to one of the most cosmopolitan and innovative cities in the world today. Tracing its origins back to 3,000 BC, Dubai's inhabitants made their livelihood from fishing, pearl diving, boat building and sea trading, before the discovery of oil in the late 1960s. In 1971, Dubai joined its neighbours to form the United Arab Emirates, safeguarding the area's prosperity.
Linz – a cultural metropolis, and an oasis of green. Linz an der Donau is an innovative, contemporary city. It is a place where nature, culture and business come together to form a harmonious whole. The 2009 European Capital of Culture sports the slogan “Linz, verändert” (“Linz, changes”), and lives up to the slogan in full. Linz, a successful location for business, has emerged as an outstanding destination for culture, offering dynamism and a high quality of life. The capital city of Upper Austria is a showcase for theatre and music, but equally for contemporary art, history and science.
A well preserved, colonnaded medieaval old town with its world renowned Golden Roof. Right next to this there's a brightly coloured, sparkling imperial palace, the Hofburg - baroque and monumental. A stone’s throw away is the Hofkirche, a court church containing larger-than-life bronze statues, the Schwarze Mander, standing guard around the (empty) tomb of Emperor Maximilian I., a truly breath-taking sight and unique in Europe. High above this superb architecture towers the Nordkette, a magnificent mountain range between 2300 and 2500 m.
Salzburg offers art, culture, historical and modern sights, thrilling events, living tradition, pleasure, relaxation and great food – and nearly all within walking distance. These are all part of the multitude of options open to holidaymakers in Salzburg that guarantee an unforgettable city break at this world cultural heritage site. The city of Salzburg is a stage for over 4000 cultural events every year and is home to around 20 baroque period churches. Salzburg was added to the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site list in 1997.
Graz – Austria’s culinary and cultural capital. A practical tip from the start: If you want to explore Graz, wear comfortable shoes and loose clothing. Why? Even if Graz is actually small – the second-largest city in Austria with a quarter of a million resident by no means a “big city” – you should be prepared for the fact that time also flies in the many short lanes. Comfortable footwear goes easy on busy feet here. In the historic old town with its roads, streets, squares and courtyards there’s lots to explore and even more to be enjoyed, for Graz is also the culinary capital which you should not only see but taste as well.
For over a century, guaranteed snow, hospitality, tradition and sophisticated tranquillity have been attracting winter sports enthusiasts from all over the world to Lech Zürs am Arlberg. It is one of the select group of twelve villages known as the "Best of the Alps". It is not only ambitious sportspeople who appreciate this heavenly winter landscape. The winter season 2016/2017 also has plenty to offer walkers, gourmets and culture lovers. Ski Arlberg provides an unparalleled skiing experience with a total of 87 cable cars and lifts, 305 kilometres of ski runs and 200 kilometres of high Alpine deep powder snow runs.
Tirana is a mixture of Western Europe and the old Russia, interspersed with influences of the Middle East. The city has overcome its recent troubled past and has stood up like a jewel in Eastern Europe. The modern Tirana is full of restaurants, nightlife and hotels and has rediscovered itself and become an energetic, vibrant and cosmopolitan city that it is worth exploring.