Milan city – out of the fashion week

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Last november I visited global capital of fashion and design, Milan. Beautiful metropolis is capital of Italy’s northern region, Lombardy. Yes, we often associate it mainly with Milan Fashion Week and I heard from few people that there is not much to see in Milan, but I definitely wouldn’t agree with that! Like city of arts, commerce, industry, design, education, entertainment, fashion, media, tourism it has a lot to offer. I stayed there for few days and didn’t have a chance to explore everything, but I will have more opportunity in the future. πŸ™‚ This was my first time in Milan, so I visited the most famous places in the city that are mostly recommended.

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When I arrived, my first thought of the city was that it did not look like other Italian places I visited. The mixture of historical, modern and contemporary buildings made me think that this is a place of magnificent architectural achievements. And first example of that is world famous:
1) Duomo cathedral
This cathedral left the biggest impression on me of all cathedral I saw. It’s is also the biggest cathedral in Italy (the larger one is in the State of Vatican City). Dedicated to St Mary of Nativity, it took about six centuries to finish it. Built in the Gothic style, today this extraordinary construction attracts tourists all over the world. Big square in front of the church is always filled with people who take pictures. πŸ™‚ So if you want to avoid it, you should come early in the morning. Also you can visit the interior of the church or the roof where you can enjoy the panorama of the city.

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Next place worth visiting and also unique architectural piece is shopping mall:
2) Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II
It is located near Duomo cathedral. Built in 19th century, it was named after Vittorio Emanuele II (first king of Kingdom of Italy). With beautiful mosaics on the floor and glass domes on the roof I think this is the most elegant shopping mall. Here you can find nice restaurants, cafes, one of only two seven – star hotels in the world, luxury shops as Prada, Gucci, Luis Vuitton etc. If you’re are not on a budget for shopping here it’s pleasure to walk around and enjoy in this beautiful place. πŸ˜‰

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When I’m in Italy I can’t resist to try some good ice cream. πŸ™‚ This time I found amazing gelateria near this place. It’s the best ice cream I’ve tried so far. The name of gelateria is ‘Cioccolati Italiani’. If you are chocolate lover, try ‘chocolate temptation’. It totally worth 4,5 euro as you get two flavours of ice cream, white cream and nutela. So delicious!

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Next recommendation in sightseeing Milan is great:
3) Sforza Castle or Castello Sforcesco
Square plan castle with 200 meters long sides, four towers and thick red – brick walls looks very impressive. Built in 15th century was residence of powerful Sforza dynasty. Castle is decorated by many famous artist including Leonardo Da Vinci! Entrance is free, you can walk around and enjoy in sightseeing. Also there are several museums and tickets cost about 5 euro. For me it’s very interesting place for taking pics, especially big fountain in front of the castle.

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Walking through the largest public park in Milan, Parco Sempio we decided to visit:
4) Civic Aquarium of Milan
It’s located on the edge of this park and it’s the third oldest aquarium in Europe! If you are a fan of underwater world you will like this place. You can see and learn a lot about different species of aquatic animals. I wasn’t impressed with this place, because I visited similar place in Budapest which for me was much more interesting. You can find more about it here

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In this park we visited one more interesting place, city’s gate, Porta Sempione. It’s also known as Arco Della Pace or Arch of Piece. It represents triumphal arch of Napoleon’s victories.

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The last but not less important place on this list is beautiful:
5) Naviglio Grande
It is one of five canals. Today they are mostly used as irrigation system. This charming district has become a place for enjoying for both locals and tourists. On both sides of the canal you can see a lot of shops, restaurants, galleries, bars filled with people who enjoy their aperitifs.

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All these places are free. You can visit it in just one day, if you’re ambitious. πŸ™‚ But my advice is to take a time and enjoy in every location you decided to visit.
Exploring neighborhood near my hotel, founded one small but cute Sardinian restaurant, ‘Barilla’. They make delicious pizzas. So if you are near this place – my recommendation. πŸ™‚

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Photos taken around Milan:

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One more tip for visiting this city:
I was accommodated in a hotel very far from the center. Milan has a very well organized city transport so I mainly used the metro and streetcar to reach a certain location. In this way you get to know the other parts of the city but feel the way of life of its people better too. πŸ˜‰

Hope you enjoyed reading this. πŸ™‚

Did you visited Milan? What is your favourite place in the city?

Budapest moments

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This was my second visit to Budapest. First time was few years ago. On my first visit I was trilled with this city, but it was winter and I was very cold several times during the sightseeing. So, I decided that my next visit to this gorgeous city will be in spring. πŸ™‚ Budapest has a lot of beautiful places to visit and this time I visited some places that I missed on my first visit. I will write you about some places which I think are worth to visit if you’re coming here for the first time.

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I was accommodated at the Aquincum hotel. It’s nice five star hotel nestled between Danube river and Buda Hills. I can tell that I was pretty satisfied with this hotel. Rooms are nice, you have everything you need, except sleepers! Restaurant is great, choice of food is really big and everything is tasty. I have to mention that they have big and delicious selection of desserts. But my favourite part of this hotel and what left best impression on me was Aphrodite Spa. They have one regular pool (26 degrees), two thermal (one of 33 degrees and second of 38 degrees) and jacuzzi (38 degrees). Two saunas and rooms for massages. They also have a fitness center, but I didn’t try it, because all free time I wanted to use relaxing in these pools.

When you decide to start with sightseeing I would recommend first to visit Castle Hill. There are a lot of attractions to see there and you could spend all day on this place. I spent few hours and saw most famous places as Buda Castle, Beautiful Mathias Church from 11th century and for me the most gorgeous place on this Hill-Fisherman’sΒ  Bastion. White towers (there are seven), a lot of stars and walking paths make this place like a fair tale. From these towers you can see beautiful panoramic view of Pest. Also, place where you can seat, enjoy for a while and snap great photos with this view is cafΓ© in one of these towers. Near this location there are few museums which you can visit. For me very interesting was Marzipan Museum. There you can buy a big selection of marzipan in different shapes and flavors. If you like this sweet this is the place where you must stop by.

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It was nice weather, so before we went to the city, a little bit more of walking a cobblestone, touring a buildings and at end of sightseeing Castle Hill we went for lunch in one cute restaurant ‘Red Devil’. Generally prices are higher then you can find in restaurants with the same food quality in the city, but you have to consider that location on the fortress is great.

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The other part of the day you can use by visiting city center.
St. Stephen Basilica is first stop. This is the biggest church in Budapest. It’s Roman Catholic basilica named in honor of the first king of Hungary, Stephen. A big square in front of this church is always full off tourists. It also place for different events. On my first visit of Budapest I enjoyed here for New Years eve, but I visited this place again and this time took a lot of photos. To mention near this square are many shops, so you can take time for a quick shopping. πŸ˜‰

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Parliament of Budapest is the largest building in Hungary. It’s the seat of the National Assembly of Hungary. Lies on the bank of the Danube. This extraordinary construction was built in Neo-Gothic style 100 years ago. I was thrilled with this building, especially at night when is illuminated. It’ s magnificent sight.

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Chain Bridge is near the Parliament. It is one of the bridges connecting two parts of the city, Buda and Pest. It looks so powerful and it’s more than 200 meter long with two statue of lions on the beginning. It’s interesting that these statue lions doesn’t have a tongue and there is a famous story about that mistake – when the architect of this bridge saw this he killed himself! For me this bridge looks even better at night as natural extension of the Caste Hill.

 

 

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Next thing you can do is enjoyable cruising on the Danube. This way you can enjoy the view of the Pest’s Danube panorama with dominant Parliament building. It’s not too expensive and it includes a lunch (have to mansion a wide choice of food and drinks) and two hours of cruising. I had a really nice time and I’ll definitely recommend this.

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On my first visit I had a lot of fun on this place so I decide to put it in this post as one of places you should visit when you’re in Budapest. It’ s ‘Tropicarium’, the biggest saltwater aquarium in Central Europe and it’s located within the Campona Shopping Center. There you can see hundreds of animals: exotic birds, monkeys, alligators, a lot of aquariums, sharks and many more. For me the most interesting was walking true rain forest near birds and monkeys and watching sharks true glass observation tunnel.

 

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Hungary is country with delicious food! Everything what I tried was super delicious. When you’re here you have to stop counting calories and enjoy! πŸ™‚
I would like to mention two restaurants because they left very nice impression on me. The name of the first is raft ‘Spoon’. Beautiful interior of the restaurant and garden with the sight of Chain Bridge make this place enjoyable. And the second one is a small but cute restaurant located in the city center. It has interesting name- Hung(a)ry! I tried here a chicken paprikash. It’s traditional Hungarian dish and was delicious. Also, don’t forget to try their tradition dessert- Somloi Galuska. I tried this desserts on few places and wasn’t thrilled but in this restaurant is great.

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Citadella fortress is must see Budapest attraction. It’s located upon the top of the Gellert Hill and it’s the highest point of downtown Budapest, so it offers a spectacular view on the city, both parts Buda and Pest, Buda Hills, bridges over Danube…The symbol of the fortress is statue with palm leaf facing the city (Liberty Statue).The Gellert Hill and its environs are also part of the UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. You can come here by bus, car or foot. This time I was by car, but if you decide to walk maybe it can be a little bit exhausting, but worth it, at the end you will be treat with amazing panoramic view!

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Last location in Budapest for this time was-Great Synagogue! It’s the largest synagogue in Europe. It’s also known as Dohany Street synagogue, named after the street. You can buy ticket at the entrance and they costs around 15 euro. With this ticket you can see a lot of it: amazing synagogue from the inside, Jewish Heroes Temple (memory on Jewish victims of the WWII), Raul Wallenberg Memorial Park, located in the backyard of the synagogue. In this park you can see interesting monument in shape of weeping willow. On each leaf is increased the name of deceased Jew during the Holocaust. Jewish museum is in the same building as synagogue. This is also worth to see, you can learn a lot about Jewish history, tradition and religion.

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I enjoyed touring these locations, but I want to visit some more that I left for my next visit as: Margaret Island, which I think is perfect place for summer period, Budapest zoo and Central Market Hall.
I hope that you like this post and that will be useful if you’re planning to visit Budapest. If you already went there I would be glad to hear your experiences and some nice advice for places that I’m planning to visit next time. πŸ˜‰

European trips: Guide for Novi Sad

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Six years ago I came to this city to university. Before that I visited Novi Sad once, but only for few hours. So coming here to university was my first real introduction to the city.

I’m a girl with bad feeling for orientation and first thing that I liked about the city was it’s simplicity. It’s easy to remember the main parts of the city and you can’t lose. Pretty soon I got used to the way of living in this city and now I’m planing my future here. So, I decided to write a story about it and what made me to stay in it. Hope that will motivate you to visit it some day.

Novi Sad is second biggest city in Serbia, after Belgrade of course (the capital). It’s also capital of Vojvodina, northern Autonomy Province of Serbia. Beautiful and mighty Danube river, Petrovaradin fortress, boulevards make this place gorgeous but at the same time simple. Also, I can say that Novi Sad is multinational and multicultural place where diversity is not a problem. Nice people, a lot of beautiful places to visit, delicious food, famous festivals are some of reasons for visiting this city. I’ll write more about it and make your stay easier.

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How to come in Novi Sad?

Novi Sad doesn’t have airport, but the closest one is in Belgrade (Nikola Tesla) and it’s only an hour from Novi Sad. Other ways of coming here are by bus, train or boat. Danube river connects western European countries to the Black sea.

Where to stay?

Hotels, hostels, apartments or some kind of private accommodation… There’s a wide choice and it only depends on the price you’re willing to pay. The cheapest way is to find some private accommodation as you can rent some room, apartment or house. Hotel prices are also acceptable, but of course, price depend on location and service. I’ll write you some famous hotels with best locations. For me the fanciest hotel in the city is hotel ‘Leopold’. It’s located on the fortress and offers a spectacular view on the city. It’s five star hotel and one of the most expensive hotels in the city also, but if you imagine mornings and breakfasts with this view… I think it’s worth it. So, if you’re not worried too much about money my recommendation is this hotel.

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Other hotels located in city center are Hotel Centar, Hotel Vojvodina, Hotel Veliki, Hotel Putnik. These are also good choices. You’ re located in center, you can take walk, shop or have cafe whenever you want, everything is near hotel.

Some advice if you’re located a little further you can go by bus or taxi. Β Novi Sad has great bus service. You buy ticket from the bus driver. Ticket costs about half euro and it’s Β for one ride, no matter how far you go. Taxis are not too expensive. You can always text your desired pick up address at +38169 5555 021 which will send the nearest car from any of the registered taxi companies. It is safest option, as there are also unregistered taxis, especially at main bus/train station that would cost you more than double.

What to visit?

1) City center

City center is the oldest part of the city. Freedom Square (Trg Slobode) with bronze statue of Svetozar Miletic at it’s center is place where are usually organized bigger events, concerts, different kinds of public meetings. On the west side of the square is City Hall and on the far side is beautiful cathedral from 19th century, St. Mary. Square is surrounded with buildings from 19th century also. Their architecture is influenced by the Austrian-Hungarian style.

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wp-image-1219135113.Street Zmaj Jovina is one of the oldest streets in the city. It spreads from Freedom Square to Bishop’s Palace. This street is always full of people, especially in spring and summer, when the weather is nice. There are many cafes, restaurants, shops. People like to sit in the garden of these cafes and enjoy their coffee.

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At the end of this street begins Danube street. In this street is city library and more shops. To mention, in this street also you can find confection with best ice-cream in town- Stari Grad. It’s so delicious and can be compared with Italian ‘gelato’.

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Danube street continues with Danube park. Beautiful open area with small lake is the perfect place in summer period. Fresh air and lower temperature are great on hot summer days.

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One of the most important places for visiting in center is big Orthodox Church, St.George and it’s located near Bishop’s Palace.

2) Danube River
Along the Danube river is beautiful promenade and one of the oldest beaches on the complete Danube flow -Strand (German name for beach). Season begins in may and ends in September. Tickets to enter the Strand cost half Euro. In hot summer days, it’s always full of people. Fine sand, stands with delicious food, cafes are what make this place enjoyable. Also in this period of year are often organized daily and nightly beach parties. Some people swim in the Danube, but I’ve never so far. Honesty, I don’t like it and I think It’s too dirty for that. But if you decide to find refreshment in the river, showering immediately after that is necessary.

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3) Petrovaradin fortress
For me this is the most gorgeous place in the city. This is one of the biggest fortresses in Europe. It was built in 19th century and represent cultural and historic monument. I love this place a lot! A walk to the fortress and enjoying in the spectacular view on the city is true pleasure. Fortress rises above the Danube river and it’s built with a lot of hidden passages in several levels which reminds on the labyrinth. Once in while are organized tours of these passages. After a tour you get a small medal of valor. I’ didn’t go yet, but when I decide to go, I’ll write you my experience from this touring. πŸ˜‰
On the fortress are few restaurants. My favorite is ‘Terasa’. They have a nice menu, my recommendations are salad meals, but other courses from menu are fine too. blogns21
If you are looking for a souvenir, the best choice is a painting from some of the galleries-ateliers on the fortress. Paintings in this galleries are from the local artists and you can meet them there. They also have a very good selection of paintings with motives of this city. From this fortress you can see town Petrovaradin, part of the agglomeration of city. It’s also known as the “Gibraltar of the Danube”.

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Where to eat?

I’m a bit of gourmet and like to try new things when it comes to food. I’ve been to most restaurants in the city, so I’ll write you my recommendations. πŸ˜‰
My favourite restaurant is definitely ‘Scarpetta’. I have been here so many times, that I feel like home. Menu is delicious and mostly Italian. My favourite things are fried olives and date palms from snacks, pasta of main meal and from dessert-cheesecake with chestnut (It’s best cheesecake I’ve ever eat)! Their wines are good quality too.
Second restaurant which I recommend is ‘Aqua doria’. Located next to the river, just below the fortress. Nice atmosphere in the garden and traditional Serbian food is maybe the best choice if you’re here for the first time. When I’m in the mood for fish menu that is always my first choice.

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In the city center restaurants also with nice food are Lanterna, Atina, Panceta.
Places with fast food you can find in Maksima Gorkog street. In this street is also for me best pizza in town and name of pizzeria is ‘Dottore per la pizza’.

Nightlife and events

People in Serbia like to make good parties, drink and have a lot of fun. Friday and Saturday are the days when city is the most live at night. Places popular for nightlife are clubs: Djava, Muzej, Giardino (but this is mostly in the winter ), some pubs in center: Irish pub, Absolut, Martha’s pub, Trcika… There is also street in center, Laze Teleckog, where younger people likes to go out. In summer are more popular parties in open place. Nice club, Giardino, has beautiful garden for this period. It’s located on the roof of one building in the center so it has a gorgeous view on the city too. Also here are often organized theme parties. In summer period are interesting fewΒ  rafts on ‘Ribarac’ (nice small peninsula near the Strand).
Reason that people from other counties come to Novi Sad in Summer period is the most famous festival in Serbia, but one of the most famous music festivals in Europe too – Exit! This festival last four days and it’s usually in July.Β  This year is from 7-10 July. The world famous singers and DJ’s come to perform here. It’s located on the fortress and there are many stages with different kind of music. This year will perform: The Prodigy, David Guetta, Ellie Goulding, Hurts, Wiz Khalifa, Lost Frequencies, Nina Kraviz, Sister Bliss and many more. Ticket for all four days cost around 100 Euro.
There are also more events in the coming period, but one of my favourite events is wine fair. It’s usually in June and it’s located on Freedom Square. I’m a wine lover so I visit this fair every year. It’s great opportunity to try wines from different part of our but neighboring countries too.

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If you decide to visit Novi Sad great fun at least is guaranteed. πŸ˜‰
Cheers!

 

 

 

Hope that you like this post. If you want to know more about this city feel free to ask.