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I’ve been to a lot of places so far on my travels, but I have always felt as though Europe has a lot more to offer. One place in particular that always catches my eye when I’m researching new destinations is Vienna. It isn’t the kind of place that would usually jump out at you, and as it’s Austria, you instantly get this idea of picturesque mountainous backdrops, quaint houses and snow, but that’s not at all what you’ll find here. Although pretty, it is packed with museums, palaces and even has its own amusement park, so if you’re trying to figure out your next travelling destination, here are just a few reasons why I can’t wait to visit Vienna.
- It’s great for culture
I love learning about new cultures, and Vienna is the ideal place to get a taste of Austrian tradition. There are so many museums and galleries that you’ll find it difficult to stay away from them, and they all have something different to offer. If you’re an art lover for example, you’ll definitely want to check out the fine arts museum, Kunsthistorisches Museum.
This beautiful building is the largest art museum in the country, and was opened around 1891 as a place to house the Habsburgs’ formidable art collection. Since then it has grown hugely, but the interior itself is something to marvel at, being lavishly decorated with marble, gold leaf and intricate baroque carvings.
- It has the world’s oldest zoo
You’ll probably be visiting the famous former Imperial residence of Schönbrunn Palace whilst you’re in Vienna, but make sure you take a stroll through its vast grounds after you’re taken a look inside the main building. Tucked away, there’s a real treat in store for nature lovers, as the world’s oldest zoo is built in the gardens here.
Although Tiergarten Schönbrunn was originally founded as an imperial menagerie in 1752, today it is of great significance to the zoological community, acting as a specialist establishment for species conservation and general nature conservation, as well as a place of learning for the public. With an aquarium, its own rainforest and one of the few zoos worldwide to have a giant panda family living here, visiting here would be a truly memorable experience.
- It’s the birthplace of opera
Well, in fact, opera sprang up from many places across Europe, but Vienna is certainly one of the first to take it seriously. The city has been responsible for some of the greatest musical minds that the world has ever known, including Ludwig van Beethoven and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Vienna is incredibly proud of its musical heritage, so why not walk in their footsteps, see the places that inspired them, and indulge in some opera, a classical concert or a ballet at the Vienna State Opera House? You can pick up tickets easily from www.viennaoperatickets.com, so don’t miss out!
When are you visiting Vienna? Don’t forget to leave me a comment!
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When we’re travelling, it can be easy to pack on the pounds and return home more out of shape and less limber than when we left. Long plane rides and lots of time spent sitting down, combined with the inevitably large amounts of food we’ll often eat will generally lead to most people feeling bloated and not themselves when they return.
Here are some ways to make sure you get enough movement while travelling:
It seems obvious, but walking is one of the best ways to check out a new city. Sign up for a walking tour as soon as you arrive (these are free in many countries around the world and you’ll just need to ensure you tip the guide), and you’ll get a good lay of the land and learn some information about key parts of the city (usually from a local).
If you’re going to be out and about, avoid taxis and stick to walking and public transport. Not only will this give you more of a chance to keep moving, but you’ll get to see every day life, explore different neighbourhoods, and discover new shops and restaurants on your way.
Stretch it out
This is often underestimated, so much so that UK brand Furniture@Work recently launched a social media campaign highlighting how to use yoga to stay flexible- even when stuck in an office chair at work or on a plane. There are a number of different stretches which can help improve your neck and back flexibility, improve your posture, and keep you feeling relaxed, even when travel gets a little stressful.
Yoga has been practiced for 5000 years, and is an excellent way to keep your muscles toned and your body flexible while at work, home or travelling.
There are many ways to ensure that you’re moving while you’re on holiday, and you’ll find that if you’re having fun it won’t even feel like you’re being all that active. Seaside vacation? Go scuba diving or snorkeling and swim some laps in the sea. Or plan an active vacation and go white water rafting, hiking, horseback riding, or anything else that gets you moving and allows you to see some of the amazing sights in your new destination.
Sometimes it can be easy to go a whole day and suddenly realise that you’ve barely had any movement at all. For this reason, plan your vacation around ensuring that you get at least a little movement each day. If you know you’ll be spending a long time sitting down on a flight, head to the gym that morning (also a good way to make yourself a little more tired if you’re hoping to sleep on the plane), commit to wandering around an art gallery or take an early-morning run through your new neighbourhood.
As you can see, there are many ways to make sure you get enough movement while travelling, it just takes a little proactivity.
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A spa weekend is the perfect way to get some well-earned relaxation time, and will ensure that you can unwind, refresh, and treat yourself after working hard.
If you’ve decided that you need to (and really, who doesn’t?), we have some top tips to ensure that your relaxation goes off without a hitch:
Decide what you want
Before booking your spa weekend, it’s important to take some time to think about your ideal outcome. If you just want to get away from the kids and enjoy complete silence, you may even want to just go by yourself, instead of bringing a chatty coworker or friend. If you’ve had a nagging ache in your back or have been feeling rundown, you may want to consider detoxing or heading to a spa that has physiotherapists on the team.
You don’t need to pack a big suitcase for a spa break, and the number of things you’ll need will greatly depend on the activity levels at the spa. If you plan to be lying by the pool with a cocktail in your hand between massages and facials, taking your bathing suit, comfortable clothes, and a good book is ideal, however if you’re going to be doing yoga or hiking, you’ll need gym clothes, hiking shoes, and a few more clothes to change throughout the day.
Lose the Toxins
Depending on the spa, you may be encouraged to do a detox. It’s a good idea to look this up before you arrive, so you’ll know not to arrive after having a few drinks the night before. In fact, some of the more serious and healthy spas may encourage you to start with a pre-detox while you’re at home, so you can get out some of the nasties like caffeine and alcohol so you’re not in withdrawal (from the coffee) and feeling headachy and tired at the spa.
Not in the mood to cut down on any of those toxins? Be sure to pick a spa that doesn’t encourage this or you’ll be miserable while everyone else is bragging about their glowing skin and drinking green tea.
If you’re going to the spa by yourself (and this can be a great idea if you know you need some serious relaxing and unwinding time), you’ll have a lot of time on your hands. Often in our day-to-day lives, we don’t spend enough time simply thinking about how we feel with our situation in life, and you should be prepared for some emotions and thoughts (both negative and positive) to come up. Don’t be surprised if you find yourself reevaluating your life, so take a diary or journal with you so you can jot down some of these realisations at the time.
A spa weekend is supposed to be fun, so remember that if you’re not comfortable with any aspect you can choose to do something else. Focus on treating yourself and relaxing and you’ll be sure to have a great time.
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