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HotelPronto Blog

Welcome to the new blog from HotelPronto. We will be updating our blog with useful travel tips and fascinating insights into top destinations around the world.

Visit our dedicated blog website by clicking here

Exploring Barcelona on foot

Barcelona is one of Europe’s great cities. With something to appeal to fans of literature, architecture, sport, food and of course shopping, it’s pretty hard not to enjoy this lively Mediterranean port city. By far the best way to get to know Barcelona is on foot and depending on your interests you can take a number of themed walking tours that allow you to get under the city’s glitzy exterior. Here are just a few suggestions…

Gaudi’s Barcelona

Everyone who comes to Barcelona will want to visit Gaudi’s famous unfinished masterpiece and the no.1 landmark of the city, the Sagrada Familia Cathedral. If you’re a fan of his style of architecture there are other examples of his eccentric genius at work in the centre of Barcelona. The fairytale exterior of Casa Batilo and the strangely curved Casa Mila stand out on the busy streets of the city centre. Why not take a walk around the city with a knowledgeable local guide who will share with you tales of Gaudi’s life in Barcelona and the stories behind his famous creations? Several tour companies (including Context and Rubber Bean Tours) offer Gaudi-themed walks.

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Top 5 days out in Paris

Paris has so many world-famous monuments and museums that if you’re only there for a short break it’s hard to think about leaving the city. But the attractions out of Paris are just as impressive as those on offer in town. Here are five of the most popular day trips you can take from Paris.

Versailles

This royal palace, built by King Louis XIV in the 17th century and expanded in the following years to the magnificent building you can see today, is near the top of most people’s list of things to see in Paris. It’s hardly surprising as the opulence on display within the palace is truly breathtaking. Don’t miss the chance to wander through the extensive grounds too. You can even hire bikes and bring a picnic to Versailles, finding a secluded spot to enjoy a perfect French lunch.

Beware however that you’ll find what appears to be half of Paris queuing up for tickets at the entrance to Versailles. If you turn up without a ticket you’ll almost certainly face a very long wait before you get inside. It’s a good idea to arrive very early or towards the end of the day to avoid the worst of the crowds.

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New York beyond Manhattan

If you go on a short break to New York, the chances are you will spend most if not all of your time in Manhattan. After all, it is where all of the most famous sights of New York are found. You’re bound to want to see the Empire State Building, Times Square and Central Park. But Manhattan is only one of five boroughs that make up New York City and while the other four may not grab the headlines, there are plenty of reasons why it’s worth planning a trip to the Outer Boroughs, as Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island and the Bronx are known.

Brooklyn

You’ll probably be familiar with the Brooklyn Bridge from Spiderman and countless other movie scenes (it’s even been blown up in a few). It is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks and a walk across the bridge is a good way to walk off a slice of pizza or a piece of New York Cheesecake. Apart from anything else it’s worth getting onto the other side to get a fabulous view of that famous Manhattan skyline.

For a fun day out in Brooklyn, head out on the subway to Coney Island, New York’s popular beach. On a sunny day the beach gets very crowded with local families. The funfair is in a sorry state and the rides are mostly closed down although there have been recent moves to bring it back to life. For a truly revolting sight you should come here on July 4th when the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest takes place. Stand well back as things tend to get very messy!

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Inside London - Uncovering the hidden gems...

Wander around Leicester Square on a weekend and it’s easy to believe that London is a city inhabited only by tourists. Yet London is home to more than 8 million people and residents may tire of the popular tourist hang-outs such as Piccadilly Circus or Oxford Street and look for something a bit different to uncover in England’s illustrious capital. Even if you’re just visiting for the weekend, these hidden gems are well worth seeking out…

Top Museum - Dennis Severs’ House

18 Folgate St, London, Greater London E1 6BX

Nearest tube station – Shoreditch High Street

From the outside of this unassuming terraced house behind Spitalfields Market there are no hints as to the surprises you’ll experience as soon as you enter. Once inside you are directed to the basement to begin your visit. Over the next 30-45 minutes as you wander from room to room, you are invited to see, hear and smell the world inhabited by the previous residents of 19 Folgate Street. Some exhibits are mysterious; others will make you hungry; others still will leave you feeling strangely uneasy. Few visitors will argue however that Severs’ intention to create something unlike a typical museum has been achieved. Opening times are limited so check before visiting. http://www.dennissevershouse.co.uk/

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