Make the most of a winter break by sipping cocktails in Salzburg by night and skiing in a different nearby resort every day with advice from the latest pithy Frommer’s Day by Day Guide written by Nick Dalton who promises to help travellers plan a trip in the smartest and most efficient way.
Dozens of ski areas are less than an hour outside Salzburg and a daily snow shuttle can connect skiers to resorts such as Obertauern which was made famous when the Beatles capered around on skis for their movie Help! Frommer’s Salzburg Day by Day is the first travel guide to explore Salzburg’s nearby ski areas. The book gives useful tips on the best slopes for families such as Gastein and warns of possible overcrowding in Kitzbühel.
To make the most of a city-stay the guide is also usefully split into themed sections with clear maps and top tips of what to see in a short time. There are practical listings of best locations for Christmas markets, or how to spend a break immersed in Mozart, from visiting his birthplace to finding concerts.
Fans of the Sound of Music are presented with an entirely different picture of the city with recommendations for visiting iconic scenes from the films such as the Mönchsberg Terrace, now the terrace of the Museum de Modern, where the Von Trapp children sang Do-Re-Mi with panoramic views of the city. Frommer’s tip for die-hard Sound of Music fans is to hire a car to visit them all because the iconic scene locations are so far apart that most organised city tours don’t take them all in.
Frommer’s Salzburg Day by Day Guide by Nick Dalton, RRP £8.99, available nationwide in all good book shops
Last week Frankfurt’s former city walls celebrated an historic birthday. Two hundred years ago, the City of Frankfurt enacted the so-called Wallservitut, an easement with which they moved to protect the parklands along the course of the former mediaeval city fortifications from destruction. This edict also helped to lay the foundation for further natural development within the city. Today, Frankfurt is one of Germany’s “greenest” urban centres, featuring over 50 parks and gardens within its city districts.
Today, the Anlagenring, a section of the former city walls now landscaped, forms a five-kilometre-long semicircle around the city centre. Visitors taking a walk along this green ring will come across fountains, ponds, ancient trees, modern sculptures, monuments and memorials, many of which serve as reminders of Frankfurt’s colourful history. The demolition of the former city walls had helped to bring about the establishment of English-style landscape gardens, which were continuously expanded over time. The former course of the star-shaped city fortifications is still recognisable upon closer examination of a city map.
Starting at the massive euro symbol situated in front of the European Central Bank, Frankfurt’s green ring takes visitors past the Beethoven Memorial and Heinrich Heine Memorial to one of the city’s most beautiful locations: Opera Square and Alte Oper, Frankfurt’s grand old opera house and one of the city’s premier landmarks. A few hundred metres further on, one comes across the Nebbiensche Gartenhaus. This oasis of green, built in classicistic style in 1810, was one of the first glasshouses to be erected along the green pathway. Today, it is available for special-event hire. From here, it is not far to the Eschenheimer Tor, the only remaining city gate of the former mediaeval walls. Continuing on, one arrives at the Odeon, a popular dance club. Originally, this classicistic-styled structure was built by order of the Bethmanns, a famous Frankfurt banking family. For many years, it served as the home of the Museum of Sculptures. Taking a few steps away from the beaten track, walkers will arrive at the nearby Bethmann Park and its Chinese Garden, which was designed according to the principles of Feng Shui. Having returned to the green lane, one comes across Frankfurt’s most beautiful “outhouse”. Nowadays, these monument-listed former public toilets with their chapel-like dimensions are home to a cocktail bar named Lala Mamoona. The gabled roof and half-timbered framework provide an excellent background for the lounge music and relaxed atmosphere of this popular location.
The end of the green ring is now only 750 metres away. The former municipal library, rebuilt in 2005 and now the home of the Frankfurt House of Literature, today presents itself as a beautiful café with an attached beer garden, inviting visitors to a refreshing respite. Those fit enough are urged to continue on down Frankfurt’s unique and very natural riverside promenade, which runs along both sides of the River Main. From here, beautiful views of the city’s skyline and surrounding area are guaranteed; in fact, they are best enjoyed from one of the riverside establishments while drinking a glass of Frankfurt apple wine.
Frankfurt’s Anlagenring, the first such landscaped parklands to partially encircle a city centre in Germany, raised many eyebrows throughout Europe at the time of its creation. This green ring was instrumental in commencing the establishment of a series of parks and gardens that helped to transform Frankfurt am Main into a truly green city – a fact that often escapes attention due to the many other highlights found in the Main metropolis.
With such an impressive skyline, it is hard to believe that the business and banking city of Frankfurt is also home to several nature reserves, such as Enkheim Moor in the city’s northeast, Schwanheim Forest in the southwest and Fechenheim Forest to the east.
Two hundred years after the creation of the the green ring, Frankfurt’s “GreenBelt” has established itself as the city’s premier place of rest and recreation. Fully completed in 1991, it now encircles the city at a length of some 80 kilometres and consists of hiking and cycling paths as well as countless other recreational opportunities. During summer, the GreenBelt’s many public gardens attract visitors with their impressive variety of flora – be it Mediterranean, like at the Gardens of Niece at the banks of the River Main, baroque-style as at the Bolongaro Gardens, or spacious as the English landscaped parks of old, such as Grüneburgpark and Ostpark.
One location that’s particularly attractive all year round is the Palmengarten. Founded in 1868 with the kind donations of Frankfurt’s citizenry, these magnificent botanical gardens are home to some 3,000-odd species and varieties of plant. Here, visitors have the unique opportunity of experiencing plant life representing the most diverse climate zones.
Frankfurt is also home to Germany’s largest city forest, a 5,000-hectare wood that extends from the airport to the city districts of Oberrad, Sachsenhausen and Niederrad. Recently, during Whitsuntide, Frankfurt locals once again headed to the city forest to celebrate their national holiday, the Wäldchestag, or “Forest Day”. This festival is unique to Frankfurt and has been taking place since 1792.
To celebrate the launch of the easyHotel Berlin Hackescher Markt on 8th March 2010 the brand is offering tourists rooms for just €10 a night. The introductory offer is running between the 8th and 31st March only, so make sure you don’t miss out, get online and book now!
The brand new 125 bedroom easyHotel Berlin Hackescher Markt is located right in the sizzling centre of Berlin, within walking distance of all the main tourist attractions including Hackescher Markt, Alexanderplatz and the Museums Island. When you get hungry there’s a huge choice of cafes and restaurants between Rosenthaler Platz, Hackescher Markt and Oranienburger Strasse serving throughout the day and night. Then follow the locals and meet up in the bars and clubs at fashionable Prenzlauer Berg.
Why walk when you can hover? Regensburg visitors can now explore the city’s historical treasures and modern shopping streets using a Segway. The two-wheeled and computer-balanced electronic vehicles are used for guided city tours, taking visitors to the hidden corners and beautiful sights of the Bavarian city on the Danube such as the gothic cathedral, courtyards and private chapels of the medieval houses or princely palace of the Thurn & Taxis dynasty. English-language tours take place on weekends and public holidays (EUR 59 per person).
Regensburg is not only steeped in its medieval history but also a buzzing and modern city with a vibrant student community, contemporary restaurants, bars and stylish hotels to go with. Just opened, the Hotel Central Regensburg features 70 light and spacious rooms in a newly constructed building. The hotel is centrally situated, close to the Old Town, between the park of the Thurn und Taxis palace and the central train station.
Another new accommodation option in Regensburg is a boutique hotel in the best sense of the word – The Hotel L’Ostello is in the heart of the Old Town and features six individually furnished rooms in a listed building. Each room is dedicated to a historic Regensburg personality.
It’s less than one week until the second Spirit of Burgas and festival organisers are gearing up to welcome thousands of party people for sun, sea, music and lots of fun! With Bulgaria being named as the cheapest place for an overseas holiday in the annual survey published by the Post Office, you don’t have to worry about the cost of things when you get there.
Taking place between the 14th and 16th of August and located on the picture-perfect white sands of the city’s central beach, Spirit of Burgas was named one of the Top 20 European Music Festivals for 2009 in The Times and was previously nominated Best European Festival at the Virtual Festival Awards. Acts confirmed so far include: Faith No More, Fun Lovin’ Criminals, Crystal Method, Dreadzone, Clawfinger, Gravity Co, LTJ Bukem feat. MC Conrad, Sub Focus, Speedy J, Alexander Kowalski, and nights from many respected labels and promoters including HMSU, Metropolis, Renesanz, Remote Area, Rush Hour, and Welcome To The Future plus some other very special guests to be announced soon.
Launched in 2008, Spirit of Burgas is set to be even bigger and better than ever, with over 100 acts across seven stages, showcasing a diverse range of artists and performances across all genres of music. What better location to experience it than Burgas city beach, with stunning views of the Black Sea coastline, stretching over 20km. It’s no wonder that MTV chose to film at the festival last year, making a special program featuring live performances and exclusive behind the scenes coverage which was broadcast across the MTV European Network in 16 countries.