Posts in urban destination
The Dohany Great Synagogue in Budapest, Hungary. Simply Marvelous!

I am really happy that sometimes my full-time job sends me to awesome places. A while ago I took part in a conference for teachers run by Centropa. It took place in Budapest where I had never been before. Together with my fellow colleague sharing the trip, we went a day early to wander through the fascinating streets of Hungary’s capital. I was in awe of the architectural beauty of the city. But the best came from the guided tour of the Jewish district. The main point of this tour was a visit to the Dohany Great Synagogue – the biggest synagogue in Europe and second biggest in the world.

Now, I’ve seen many synagogues in my life. I’ve been to old and new ones, prayed in some tiny shuls and huge American temples. But this one… this one is something else! Its uniqueness lies not only in its size but some unprecedented architectural choices. You can learn a lot about the local Jewish community by observing its praying houses – you can see their wealth (or lack thereof), affiliation, praying styles or influences of the local culture.

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Gothic Quarter in Barcelona: Walk through History and Beauty

The one unique thing that links all humans throughout the ages is the need to surround ourselves with beauty. We might perceive it differently, use different materials and colors… but the drive to see the beauty and to create it, seems to be integrated with our humanity.

That’s the reason why I love to go and see new places created by humans – even though I generally prefer to be surrounded by Nature. I especially love to just wander around old towns, narrow streets with houses tired with old age.

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Sagrada Familia: No, It's NOT Overrated & Yes, You MUST See It!

There is a very strong trend to go and visit places off the beaten path. Discover the unknown, find the hidden gems and tourists-free spots.

Barcelona's Sagrada Familia definitely ain't it.

It's crowded, very popular and famous. But you know what? Most of the times there is a reason why such a place is that popular, crowded and "a must".

Sagrada Familia is worth the crowds, popularity, and lack of "unknown gem" patch. And I am saying it as an introvert who prefers hiking by herself somewhere far from any humans!   

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POLIN Museum in Warsaw: Visit the Best Museum in Europe.

Are you ready to get your mind blown?

Go to the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Surprised? 

This is not your old school museum with dusty artifacts and long, boring descriptions of events no one cares about reading. This is one of the most beautiful museums in the world. And it is not just my opinion!

By the long list of awards it has received over the past few years it is pretty obvious a lot of important people think so, too. In 2016 POLIN Museum won the title of the European Museum of the Year Award (EMYA 2016). In the Jury's statement we can read:

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Mont-Royal: the Green Jewel in the Heart of Montréal 

How could you visit Montréal and not visit its name sake - the Mont-Royal? :)

But there are many more reasons why it is worth your time and effort to go up the hill. Learn more about this intriguing place and reserve a few hours on your Montreal itinerary!

What is Mont Royal?

Well, obviously, it's a mountain. Or, rather, a taller hill. It is only about 200m high above the sea, but because of the striking contrast with the rest of the city, it seems much higher.

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Montreal Street Art: wander through unforgettable open-air art gallery

During my week-long stay in Montreal this summer, I was lucky to stay in Plateau Mont Royal district. Each day I passed by art galleries.

Walls, sidewalks or garbage containers were covered in colorful images. Montreal street art is everywhere and it’s beautiful. No random amateurish graffiti but stunning works of art.

I hope my little gallery below will inspire you to visit this beautiful open-air art gallery.  

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The Montréal Botanical Garden: a Gorgeous Must-See on Your Canadian Trip!

When we visit a city for the first time we often focus on the cultural and historical must-see spots. We visit old churches, wander through historic streets and admire ancient ruins.

If we have a bit more time to spare we start to look around for more attractions and little less obvious attractions. Before I went to Montréal I didn’t even know there was a botanical garden in the city.

I am so happy that my friend suggested this place – Montréal Botanical Garden (Jardin Botanique de Montréal) is beautiful, huge and worth every minute of your precious time.

The Botanical Garden, together with the Insectarium, Biodôme, and the Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, is part of the Montréal Space for Life. 65 hectares await your exploration – wear comfortable shoes and don’t forget about snacks or even a full picnic basket!

Just a short ride by metro from the downtown you can enjoy the natural beauty and fresh air. This might not be a typical „must-see” but a must-see it is! Jardin Botanique de Montréal is a real jewel on the city’s map.

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A Woman Afoot... in Canada and Iceland

The School Year Is Over! Time for Well-Deserved Vacations!

It will be a bit quiet around here for a while. Starting tomorrow (the 24th of June) I am off to my month+ summer adventure.

I plan on visiting Quebec, CA to spend some quality time with friends (some of whom I haven't seen for almost ten years!) and to see a little bit of this lovely state. I hope to have some two weeks for hiking solo in one of the Natural Parks in Quebec.

On my way back I stop in Iceland for a week of hiking. This opportunity is thanks to WOW Air - the cheapest flights from Europe to Canada at the moment are from Reykjavik. If I was to stop in Reykjavik anyway, I could as well take a week-long stop there, right? 

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Why you should put Málaga on your Spanish itinerary

Málaga is one of those Spanish cities that rarely hit number one on anyone’s bucket list. It’s nice, many people visit it, but there are other cities that get much better press.

And I admit – before I went there I didn’t know much about this town and if I was to make the itinerary,I might have missed it completely.

If I was asked about Andalusia, I would rather think of Córdoba or Granada, and not Málaga. But this time I went on a trip organized by someone else – and had to go with it.

I am glad it went this way, as Málaga is a very charming place with a lot of historic and architectural interest.

I hope the few modest photos will be enough to convince you to put Málaga on your Spanish trip itinerary!

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A Walk Through Alluring History and Symbolism at the Okopowa Jewish Cemetery in Warsaw

Cemeteries aren’t a typical tourist destination which is a mistake.

You can learn a lot about the place from the final rest of its people. Necropolises show first of all beliefs of the community and relations with a religion (or lack thereof).

But they also teach about the community’s wealth or poverty, artistic styles and fashions, famous people and events.

Warsaw’s Jewish Cemetery at the Okopowa Street is one of the biggest Jewish necropolises in the world. Its place is unique – right next to it is a Catholic Powązki Cemetery (est. 1790) where a lot of famous Poles are laid to rest.

Then there are also the Evangelical-Reformed, Russian-Orthodox, and Tatar (Muslim) cemeteries.

All of them create a clear sign of how diverse Poland, and in particular Warsaw, used to be. If you have the time - visit them all, you will not regret it.

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