Thursday, December 4, 2014

3 Bulgarian ski resorts are ready for the new ski season


The top 3 Bulgarian ski resorts Borovets, Pamporovo and Bansko will start the new ski season officially on December 13, 2014. The resorts will have special promositions for first skiers , who will visit them. During the day of opening, most of the lifts will be used free of charge.
Borovets - night skiing slopes

Pamporovo will offer a day ski pass for only 20 euro till Christmas and after that the price will be about 27. On December 13, Pamporovo will provide entertainment for visitors - DJ party, winter fest with hot drinks and sponsors competitions, games with shootings and raffle prizes.

Borovets provides during the opening day half price of the lift passes and free night skiing, free skiing and snowboarding lessons for beginners, free children's park "Borokids" and children's animation. This winter resort is secured with more snowmaking machines and slopes with artificial snow, twice as powerful slope preparation equipment and more illuminated night slopes for skiing. Freestyle lovers will be able to enjoy two fun parks - "Promopark Borosport"  in front of "Rila" hotel  and "snow park Borosport" at the top of the "Popangelov" track .

Three-time world champion, two-time World Cup winner and Olympic champion from Salt Lake City 2002 - Stephan Eberharter will be the special guest at the opening of the ski season in Bansko on 13 December. Gondola lift pass in both directions cost 14 euro and the price of day ski pass is 15 euro for adults 14 euro for students and pupils and 11 euro for children. The prices are only for the beggining of the season. 
If you are interested for ski passes prices for the whole 2015-2015 season, keep follow likestravels.com

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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

How to Kill Time at Munich International Airport

It doesn’t matter if you like or don’t like to travel by plane, one amongst the worst stuff you will do is come back unprepared, principally for things like long layovers. You’ll be downright miserable if you are unprepared and cannot discern something to try and do. You can, though, simply learn the way to linger at one of the busiest International airports in Europe - Munich by merely knowing what to bring, wherever to buy, or wherever to search out the most effective food for your tastes.
I landed at Terminal 2 and was lucky that there was no Lufthansa strike at that time, so I hoped to get my next flight on time (It turned out that the connection flight delay was only 1 hour at all  ).
Munich airport freeshops
Munich airport freeshops

Shopping and Dining

It is well known that there are plenty of shopping and dining opportunities for the people who have to stay long enough to the airport. The best way to find what you need is to take an airport map or to play with some of the modern info gates that are installed at Munich airport.  Thanks to these fancy devices you will know where you are, what is around you and in the meanwhile you will kill some extra minutes.
Munich airport info gate
Munich airport info gate

Free coffee and newspapers

If you don’t have much time between your connections to sit in a café, you can take advantage of one of the many so called “Service stations” - self-services coffee machines, which are placed between gates. You can choose between at least 10 different type of coffee drinks and there is tea, also. All that is FREE and is a compliment by Lufthansa! There are stands with FREE newspapers and magazines, also . I notice that, such service stations are missing at the level, where H gates are, so if you have a chance to go to G gates level, you will definitely find them.
Munich airport service stations, free coffee and newspapers
Munich airport service stations

What else to do at Munich airport ?

You could spend some time, taking care about your shoes.  I found a place, where for €7 – €12, your shoes will be well cleaned and shined. After that, walking with your “new” shoes, you will probably come across two fabulous cars exhibited near to one of the free shops. This is the place, where most of the people stop and start making pictures with those German premium cars. One of them is the plug-in hybrid BMW i8 (we are at Bavaria at all ) and the other one is Audi R8 - V10. I’m sure, you will enjoy those two vehicles and in the meanwhile, you will waste another at least 10 minutes. Of course, may be next time, there will be other models and brands at the airport.
Visit Cosmetic Institute if you need manicures or cosmetic facial and body treatments. If you need a barber - Brants Barber & Shop offers haircut, shave and manicure for gentlemen only.
Munich airport shoe corner
Munich airport shoe corner

Munich airport bmw i8
Munich airport bmw i8

Munich airport audi R8
Munich airport audi R8

What to do, if you are with your kids ?

Children don’t care about their shoes and shiny cars. So, if you don’t want to go into some of the shops, buying them some useless toys, Munich airport will surprise you with original playgrounds and kid corners, some of them created probably by Lufthansa. You could enjoy your free coffee, while you kid is safely playing around.
Munich airport kids corner

If you are going to fly to Istanbul, check for some useful tips for Istanbul Ataturk Airport.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

5 Must Visit Places In Bahrain

Bahrain will still continue to woo most visitors who set foot on this lonely planet, the country is made up some lovely places to visit, every traveller will find it a spoils for choice when looking for places to visit, the country being in a desert location has some unique attractions which appeals to travellers, the capital city of the country is one such destination to visit with many attractions to exploit. Manama is one place which every visitor need to take a keen interest in visiting, there are many attractions almost numbering forty which can be visited in the city.
Airlie Beach - Bahrain
Airlie Beach - Bahrain

Manama 

Manama in Bahrain is the main city with various attractions worth visiting, it's the centre of administration for the country with virtually all information, tourism information services can be found at the main office in the city. Bahrain National Museum is another to visit while in the country, the museum has a collection of all the historical fact of the country, here you will be able to find all historical records in one place worth exploiting. Bahrain World Trade Centre is a building worth visiting to explore its magnificent, it's one of the tallest building with twin towers, the trade centre is also a hub for trade ties with other countries, there are many stores in its ground floor to shop at, and eateries are strategically placed too. Qalat Al Bahrain is a site worth visiting for historical purposes, the fort is just within the city it was built way back in 15th century by the Portuguese, and it’s a world heritage site registered for important historical significance in the region.
Bahrain Fort
Bahrain Fort

Al Muharraq 

Al Muharraq is the second largest city of the country, the city is just about six kilometres from the main city of Manama, and the city has a number of unique attractions and places to visit being right at the beaches. Arad Fort is a very spectacular landmark to visit while in this city, the port was built by the earliest Portuguese civilization in the region, the, the Fort is still kept intact with its several porches offering attractions. Muharraq Souq is the main shopping Centre in the city; it's at a very strategic location in the city with several stores to buy a number of commodities. Asry Beach is right at the foot of the city, the beach has white sands with tents where visitors go for the Sea viewing, sand bathing, windsurfing and other fun activities.

Riffa 

Riffa is another location within thirty minutes' drive from the Manama city, the city is in an isolated site where there is a golf course for professionals and enthusiasts, there are nice beach hotels to eat and sleep at like Al Bander hotel & resort. The Royal Golf Club is the main golf course at Riffa with panoramic views of the plains, many other attractions can be sampled here, and it’s a golf club of international repute with 18hole level, several cafes and restaurant to enjoy.  Dilmun burial Mounds is just nearby here, the Tumulus are so many with several mounds around which are high, the site is a real historical site worth visiting.

Zallaq 

Zallaq town is another worth visiting place while in Bahrain, it's located within the western coast of the country right at a beach place, the village is known for its Al Jazaer Beach with lovely beach life to explore. AI Areen Park and reserve is located near the beaches of Zallaq, here many wildlife can be viewed of several species, and the Park also has many plants and vegetation to exploit. Hotel Sophitel Zallaq is right within the beaches of Zallaq, the hotel offers very fresh sea foods worth indulging into, accommodation and panoramic views of the Sea. Thalassa Sea and Spa is another resort located in the village offering spa services, the spa resort besides nice accommodation to its guests, also provide beauty treatments and spa massages.

Isa Town 

Is a middle class type town found within the Northern sides of the country, the town is fully fitted with many attractions and modern life of the middle class of the country. Hotels like Riviera Palace can be found here with moderate costs and excellent facilities, The Palace Boutique hotel with all exclusive facilities offering superior services to its guests. Isa town Community centre established in 1988 to serve members of the community with social services, training facilities, many other facilities available.
There are many places to visit in Bahrain; the choices are broad ranging from many historical Forts to monumental landscapes like the Museum Oil Wells, the Mosques and more, apply for your Bahrain visa to be ready to go.
Al Fateh Mosque
Al Fateh Mosque


Thursday, August 28, 2014

6 Alluring Travel Destinations in Australia

For all the adventurous travellers who are inspired by the insatiable thirst for seeing and experiencing new places, Australia is the perfect destination. The Land Down Under has become an increasingly popular destination for tourists over the recent years, and its warm weather and perpetually entertaining terrain have been attracting travellers from all over the world. Of all the wonders that Australia has to offer, the six most prominent destinations are mentioned below. These destinations have been at the top of Australia's action and earned themselves a spot as some of the most widely loved and revered destinations in Australia.

The Sydney Harbour Location - Sydney

 The Sydney Harbour is arguably the most popular tourist destination in Australia. Located in Australia's biggest city, it’s the biggest and most prolific harbour in the world. Its magnitude and magnificence are breath-taking. Top Attractions - Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney Harbour Opera.

The Great Barrier Reef Location - Coral Sea, off the coast of Queensland 

 Comprising of over 2900 reefs and 900 odd islands, the Great Barrier Reef is the world's largest coral reef system, and one of the most widely recognized and admired natural wonders of the world. Bright blue seas and sun-kissed gold beaches studded with the intermittent magnificence of the brilliant colours of the reef life make up the charm of the Great Barrier Reef. Top Attractions - Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, Lady Elliott Island.
 The beautiful 12 apostles in Australia Located off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park, by the Great Ocean Road in Victoria

Melbourne Location - Victoria 

 Also known as the 'cultural capital' of Australia, Melbourne is the birthplace of Australian performing arts and cricket. Home to the world famous Melbourne cricket stadium and Victorian Arts Centre, Melbourne is also host to several festivals all year round such as Moomba and the Melbourne International Arts Festival. Top Attractions -The Royal Exhibition Building, South Melbourne Town Hall, Melbourne Stadium.

St. Paul’s Cathedral Tasmania Location - South of the Bass Strait 

 Composed almost entirely by World Heritage sites, Natural Parks and reserves, Tasmania is known worldwide for its unspoiled and unadulterated natural beauty. Tasmania is also the perfect location to witness and experience Australia's wildlife. Top Attractions: Carrick, Marion Bay, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race. Top Attractions - Carrick, Marion Bay, Sydney to Hobart Yacht Race.

The Barossa Valley Location - Adelaide

 The Barossa valley is Australia's most prominent wine producing region. Decorated with vineyards and orchards of Australia's finest fruit, Barossa valley is also famous for its bakeries and cheese. Top Attractions - Be Consumed Gourmet festival.
Uluru also known as Ayers Rock One of the Australia's most iconic symbols

Gold Coast Location - Southern Queensland 

 Home to the most popular surf breaks in Australia, the white sand and brilliant blue seas of the Gold Coast beaches are a popular favourite among Australian tourists today. Perfect year round weather facilitates the hosting of various festivals in the Gold Coast such as the Winter Sun festival and the Gold Coast Marathon. Top Attractions - Dream world, Sea World, Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, Wet'NWild Water World.

Kakadu Naional Park Location - Southeast of Darwin 

Famous for its alligator rivers, kakadu National park is the humble abode of over a thousand different species of birds and animals, as well as Australia's famous Grevillia flowers. For those hoping to catch a glimpse of Australia's Kangaroos, Kakadu is the perfect place for a visit. From beaches to reserves, Australia has all the wonders to offer those tourists looking to embark on a magical journey. Australian Visas are handed out with great ease to travellers who are keen on discovering Australia's wonders, so don't waste time, and hop on to a plane to the famous Land down under!
Koala  is an arboreal herbivorous marsupial native to Australia is found in coastal areas of the mainland's eastern and southern regions, inhabiting Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia

Thursday, June 5, 2014

2014 World cup host cities – Cuiaba, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1727, Cuiaba is the capital city of the Brazilian state Mato Grosso. The city has a population of about 600 000 people and has been nicknamed ‘Green City', as it is surrounded by breathtaking natural sites. Cuiaba serves as an access way to Brazil's three main and characteristic ecosystems: the savannas of the Cerrado, the wetlands of the Pantanal and the Amazon.
Cuiaba - Brazil
Cuiaba - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.

Location

Cuiaba is located in the most central part of the continent - the geographic centre of South America. The distance to the Atlantic and Pacific oceans is 2 000 km / 1242 mi , so it’s in the middle between two oceans.

Climate

Cuiaba has a tropical wet and dry climate. The coldest month is July with average low temperatures of 16.6 °C (61.9 °F), but the maximum can reach 37 °C (99 °F) and the minimum 6 °C (43 °F). From August to December, the temperatures can reach even 40 – 43 °C (104 – 109 °F).

How to get there


  • by air

Marechal Rondon International Airport (Aeroporto Internacional de Cuiabá - Marechal Rondon), is located 8 km / 5 mi away from Cuiaba City center.
Bus lines from and to airport:
Line 7 – Route Marechal Rondon Airport - Pantanal Arena, fare is R$ 2,85 / USD 1,3
Taxi will cost you about R$ 45 / USD 20 to downtown.

How to Get Around

Public transport in Cuiaba is served by buses and there is light rail, which connects the city with Várzea Grande and the airport, also.
Taxi fares in Cuiaba:
Rate 1: R$ 2,82 / USD 1,25 -  Working days from 6 am to 8 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 12 pm;
Rate 2: R$ 3,95 / USD 1,75 -  Working days from 8 pm to 6 am, Saturdays from 12 pm, Sundays and holidays.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The venue for 2014 world cup is Pantanal Arena.  With its capacity is of 41 000 people, the stadium Pantanal Arena will be the stage of 4 matches:
Group Matches
Match 4
13.06.14 – Chile - Australia
Match 16
17.06.14 – Russia – South Korea
Match 28
21.06.14 – Nigeria – Bosnia and Herzegovina
Match 37
24.06.14 – Japan - Colombia

Pantanal Arena is located about 3 km/1.86 mi east of Cuiaba downtown. The following bus lines will be available during the World cup:

    • Regular buses: line 7 and 8
    • Special buses (only for match days): 
    • airport—Pantanal Arena route
    • hotel areas – Pantanal Arena
    • oute parking lots (UNIC/UNIRODON and UNIVAG-VAG) - Pantanal Arena
    • Central region – Pantanal Arena
    • bus terminal - Pantanal Arena
    • airport – city centre

Where to Stay

If you want to stay closer to Pantanal Arena stadium, there are no hotels available at the stadium arena, but you could book one in the center.
Anyway, the only options available approximately close to the stadium are:

Where to Eat

Local cuisine is known for its typical dishes, like pintado , matrinchã and Pacu. You will find alligator meat in some restaurants and a typical for the region fruit - pequi. Most of the restaurants and bars are concentrated around  Praça Popular .Don’t miss Peixaria Popular – offers seafood and Mistura Cuiabana – buffet .

What to see

Historic Centre of Cuiaba attracts with its old buildings and fish market. You will find enough museums to visit, like: Museum of Rio Cuiabá and Municipal Aquarius; Museum of the History of Mato Grosso, Museum Hill of the Box Of water and Museum of Rio Cuiabá.
If you want to see free wild animals, such as alligators, pumas and monkeys – Pantanal, the world’s largest wetland is the right place for you.  Another breathtaking place is The Chapada dos Guimarães National Park, which is inscribed in the World Heritage List

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

2014 World cup host cities – Belo Horizonte, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1897, Belo Horizonte (beautiful horizon) is the capital city of the Brazilian state Minas Gerais. More than 2,4 million people living in Belo Horizonte making it sixth most populous city in Brazil.  Greater Belo Horizonte is the name of the metropolitan area and its home of more than 5 100 000 people. Belo Horizonte is Brazilian first planned city and is the main business tourist destination in the country.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil  .

Belo Horizonte - Brazil
Belo Horizonte - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Location

Built on several hills and surrounded by mountains, Belo Horizonte is located 430 km / 267 mi, north of Rio de Janeiro.

Climate

Belo Horizonte has a tropical savannah climate and average temperatures between 9 °C and 35 °C (48 °F and 95 °F). The coldest month is July and the hottest one is January. The summer is rainy and winter is dry.

How to get there


  • by air

There are two airports in Belo Horizonte :
Tancredo Neves International Airport – Confins  (Aeroporto Internacional Tancredo Neves) is located 40 km / 25 mi away from the city center.
Bus lines from and to airport:

    • Line 5250/5270 – Confins International Airport - Bus Station of Belo Horizonte, fare is R$ 8,70 / USD 3,8;
    • Line 5251 – Pampulha Airport - Confins International Airport, fare is R$ 8,70 / USD 3,8;
    • Line 5252/5271 –  Confins International Airport - Bus Station of Belo Horizonte, fare is R$ 7 / USD 3, but it takes 15 minutes more to travel;
    • Executive line -  Confins International Airport – Alvares Cabral Terminal (Belo Horizonte), fare is R$ 19,25 / USD 8,5.

Taxi companies that serve the airport: Coopertramo,  Cootramo, Cooperfins and Minas Táxi. It will cost you about R$ 85 / USD 37 to downtown.
Pampulha airport (Aeroporto Carlos Drummond de Andrade) – it is used for domestic flights and is just 9 km / 5 mi away from the city center. A taxi from the airport to downtown will cost you about R$ 35 / USD 15.

  • by bus 

You could get to Bello Horizonte by bus from most of the Brazilian cities.  “Rodoviária” or the bus station is at the center at the northern end of Afonso Pena avenue.

How to Get Around

Public transport in Belo Horizonte is served by buses and metro (subway). Buses are color coded as follows: blue, red, orange, green and yellow.
There is only one metro line and the single ticket costs R$ 1,8 / USD 0,8.
Taxi fares in Belo Horizonte:

    • Rate 1: R$ 2,40 / USD 1 -  Working days from 6 am to 10 pm and Saturdays from 6 am to 2 pm;
    • Rate 2: R$ 2,88 / USD 1,3 -  Working days from 10 pm to 6 am, Saturdays from 2 pm, Sundays and holidays.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

Belo Horizonte was one of the host cities of the 1950 World Cup, so it will be the second time host in 2014. Mineirão stadium will be the stage of 6 matches:
Group Matches
Match 5
14.06.14 – Colombia - Greece
Match 15
17.06.14 – Belgium - Algeria
Match 27
21.06.14 – Argentina - Iran
Match 40
24.06.14 – Costa Rica - England
Round of Sixteen
Match 49
28.06.14 – 1A v 2B
Semi-finals
Match 61
08.07.14 – W57 v W58

Mineirão stadium is located about 9 km/5.5 mi from Belo Horizonte center. You could use bus lines 64 (from the Avenida Augusto de Lima in downtown) and 2004 (from the Avenida João Pinheiro)  to get to the stadium.

Where to Stay

You can book a room in one of the many hotels online, preferably in downtown. If you want to stay closer to Mineirão stadium, there are only few hotels available:

Where to Eat

Belo Horizonte offers good restaurants that serve international cuisine, traditional bars on street corners, pubs and cafés. Local cuisine is famous for its traditional dishes, like tutu de feijão , pão de queijo, feijão tropeiro, chicken-and-okra and drink of cachaça.
Don’t miss Bar do Careca, Stonehenge Rock Bar, No Fundo do Baú or Soho.

What to see

There is a lot to see in Belo Horizonte - from its green areas to the careful city-planning; nature wonders of the Serra do Curral;  Liberdade Square Circuit – a rich complex with cultural venues; Central  city market;  Pampulha Complex – you will see some of the Brazil modern architecture; Alta Vila Tower; Museu de Ciencias Naturais and Praça da Liberdade – fantastic  palm tree-lined square.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Brasilia, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1960, Brasilia is the federal capital of Brazil. More than 2,5 million people living in Brasilia  making it fourth most populous city in Brazil. The modernist architecture  of the city is listed as UNESCO world heritage site.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.
Brazilia - Brasil
Brazilia - Brasil, Foto: Embratur

Location

Brasilia is located in the Central Highlands of Brazil, which is in the Central-West part of the country.
The city is divided by wide avenues into north and south part. These two parts are divided in numbered superblocks and sectors. There are sectors for specified activities as:

    • Hotel sectors (Setor Hoteleiro) 
    • Embassies sector (Setor de Embaixadas)
    • Commercial sectors (Setor Comercial) 
    • Residential sectors (Superquadras) 
    • Local commerce sectors (Comércio Local).  

Climate

Brasilia has a tropical savannah climate and temperatures, which varies depending on the season. During the dry season From April to September, the temperatures are between 17 °C / 63 °F and 28 °C / 82 °F. During the rest of the time, about 22 °C / 72 °F.

Travel tips that you’ll find useful when you visit this place:

How to get there


  • by air

Presidente Juscelino Kubitschek International Airport,  is located 11 km / 7 mi away from the city center.
Airport is served by bus transportation and of course it is more convenient to take a taxi.
It will cost you about R$ 30-40 (USD 15-20) to get to the Centre by taxi and R$ 8 (USD USD 3.5) to travel by bus.

Bus lines from and to airport:

    • Line 11 – Q. 716 North / Esplanade – Airport
    • Line  31 – Q. 716 North / W3 North South – Airport
    • Line 102 – Plano Piloto Bus Station / Airport – you can use line 102 to Rodoviária bus terminal and  to use line 131 to get to the Metro or the Rodoferroviaria Train Station.
    • Line 113 - executive line: Airport, Esplanade, Plano Piloto Bus Station, Hoteliers sectors North and South, Airport.
  • by bus 

If you decide to get to Brasilia by bus, it’s good to know that the main bus terminal, called Rodoviaria is located at the western end of the Eixo Monumental and you could get to downtown by bus line 131.

How to Get Around

Public transport in Brasilia is served by buses and metro (subway). To travel by bus, you have to pay R$ 2 (USD 0.9) when you get on the bus by the front door.  There are two subway lines – Orange and Green and 24 metro stations in the city. Single ticket costs R$ 3 / USD 1.30 and R$ 2 / USD 0.9 on holidays. Metro is not very useful for tourists, as it does not visit most of the attractions, so buses are better option to access to the city centre.
It is good to know that taxis in Brasilia are relatively expensive and to take a taxi you should take it by Taxi stands or to call to some of the companies that provide such services.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The venue for 2014 world cup is National Mané Garrincha Stadium (Estadio Nacional de Brasilia). The capacity of the National Stadium is 71 000 people.
The stadium will be the stage of 7 matches – highest possible number for 2014 FIFA World Cup.
Group Matches
Match 9
15.06.14 – Switzerland - Ecuador
Match 21
19.06.14 – Colombia - Côte d'Ivoire
Match 33
23.06.14 – Cameroon - Brazil
Match 46
26.06.14 – Portugal - Ghana
Round of Sixteen
Match 53
30.06.14 – 1E v 2F
Quarter-final
Match 60
05.07.14 – W55 v W56
Play-off for third place
Match 63
12.07.14 – L61 v L62

National Mané Garrincha Stadium is located about 2 km/1.24 mi from Central metro station and 4.5 km / 2.79 mi from Rodoviária bus terminal, between the TV Tower and the JK Memorial. There is bus connection with the stadium, the bus terminal and city centre.

Where to Stay

You can book a room in one of the many hotels online. If you want to stay closer to National Mané Garrincha Stadium, there are a few affordable hotels, east of the stadium.

Where to Eat

There is no typical, local cuisine in Brasilia, but you will find a variety of restaurants offering International one. If you like Brazilian, Mexican, French food or Sushi - CLS 405 Street is your place. On CLS 210 Street you will find some of the most famous restaurants, bars and diners in Brasilia. If you prefer buffet lunch, like in the rest parts of the country, Brasilia offers Self-service (por quilo) restaurants, which are usually cheaper option than other type of restaurants.

What to see

As I already mentioned, Brasilia is known with its modern architecture. Most of the architectural sites are on the eastern part of the Monumental Axis.
Esplanada dos Ministérios – an avenue with the ministry buildings on each side;
Praça dos Três Poderes (The Three Powers Square) – here are the seats of the Congress, the Presidential Palace (Palácio do Planalto) and the Supreme Court.
Don’t miss also: Palace of Justice, Itamaraty Palace, Palácio da Alvorada and the TV tower.
The Paranoá Lake and Chapada dos Veadeiros National Park are places for people who love the nature.
Cultural attractions:  Brasilia National Museum, Monetary Museum and Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil.
If you’d like to make a bus tour, you can do it every day from the TV Tower at 10h and 17h.


Friday, May 23, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Curitiba, Brazil

About:

Curitiba is the capital of the Brazilian state Paraná, which is located in the southern part of Brazil. The city was founded in 1693 and 1,8 million people live there nowadays.  The population is formed mainly by European emigrants from Russia, Germany, Ukraine, Poland and Italy.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.
Curitiba - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Location

Curitiba is situated in south part of Brazil at about  105 km (65 mi) west of the Atlantic Ocean and sits on a plateau at 932 m (3000 ft.) above sea level. The city occupies an area of 432 sq. km. (166 sq. mi.).

Climate

Curitiba has a subtropical climate, but because of the altitude of almost 1000 meters above the sea level, an average minimum temperature during the winter (June-September) is 7 °C (45 °F) and sometimes falling even below 0 °C (32 °F). In the summer (December-March) temperatures could reach of maximum through 30°C / 90°F.

How to get there


  • by air

Afonso Pena International Airport is located about 17 km (10.6 miles) from Curitiba city center and close to Sao José dos Pinhais.
There is minibus line (Aeroporto Executivo) connecting the airport to the city center, which costs R$ 10,00 / USD 4,5. The Direct Line 208 (Ligeirinho Aeroporto) is another option of transportation to downtown.
Taxi services:
Associação Rádio Táxi Alternativa - +55 41 3257-5757
Associação Rádio Táxi LTDA -  +55 41 3262-6262
Associação Teletaxi - +55 41 3224-2424
Taxi service from airport to Curitiba downtown will cost you about R$ 60 / USD  27.

  • by bus

The main bus terminal is part of the larger Train and Bus station -  Estaçao Rodoferroviária. There are buses from Curitiba to most of the Brazilian cities, Argentina, Chile and Paraguay.

 How to Get Around

Public transportation system in Curitiba consists mainly of buses (metro system is under construction) and it is the recommended transportation option for tourists. Single ticket costs between R$ 1,50 and R$ 2,70  (USD 0,67 / USD 1,2).

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

Baixada Arena will be the venue of four group stage World Cup 2014 matches. Located just 3,5 km /2 mi from Curitiba city center, the stadium has capacity of 42 000 seats.
To get to the stadium, you can take bus number 203 or to walk (which will take you half an hour from Praça Tiradentes).
Group stage
16.06.14 – Iran - Nigeria
20.06.14 – Honduras - Ecuador
23.06.14 – Australia - Spain
26.06.14 – Algeria  – Russia

Where to Stay

If you are looking for cheap hotels, the best option to find something is around Curitiba’s city Centre. If you prefer to stay near the stadium, there are a lot of good hotels at walking distance of the Arena da Baixada:

Where to Eat

Like in most Brazilian cities, you will find fixed price restaurants or Por Quilo in Curitiba, too. The very typical dish you must try is – barreado (beef stew that simmers slowly for more than 24 hours in a clay pot). Restaurants offering local cuisine can be found at the Batel area, while Santa Felicidade area abounds with Italian restaurants .
The favorite drink in Curitiba, like in the rest of Brazil is ‘caipirinha’ (cachaca, liquor that is distilled from sugar cane mixed with lime and sugar).

What to do and what to see

While in Curitiba you may visit Botanical Garden with its Flower Museum, Oscar Niemeyer Museum (One of the biggest and most modern museums in Brazil), Barigüi Park (1.4 million sq.m. park), Ópera de Arame (one of the symbols of Curitiba), Metropolitan Cathedral at Tiradentes plaza , Japan square and historic part, (Largo da Ordem / Praça Coronel Enéas, Praça Garibaldi – São Francisco).

Thursday, May 22, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Fortaleza, Brazil

About:

With population of about 2,5 million people Fortaleza is the capital city of the Brazilian state Ceará. Located in Northeastern part of Brazil, Fortaleza is the fifth largest city in the country.  Discovered in 1500 and founded as a village in 1726, Fortaleza is one of the popular tourist destinations with its 34 km/ 21 mi of wonderful beaches.
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.
Fortaleza - Brazil
Fortaleza - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Location

Fortaleza is situated in the north-east part of Brazil, on the Atlantic Ocean coast and occupies an area of 313 sq. km. (121 sq. mi.).

Climate

Fortaleza has a tropical climate and average temperatures of 23º C / 73 °F - 31º C / 88 °F. The rainy season is from February to May and the dry one, between July and December.

How to get there

  • by air
Pinto Martins International Airport is located just 8 km /5 mi from the city center.
The taxi to the center will cost you about R$ 30 (USD 13.5). Another transport option to get to downtown is to catch buses:
404 – Airport-Benfica-Rodoviária
066 – Paramgaba-Papicu-Airport
027 – Siqueira-Papicu-Airport
Fare is R$ 2.20 /  USD 1.
  • by bus
The main bus terminal is close to the airport and it takes about 25 minutes to get to downtown and about 15 minutes by bus 404 to the airport. There are buses to the most parts of the country (via connections).

How to Get Around

Tourists in Fortaleza usually go to the most attractive part - Beira Mar, which is basically the sea side. If you prefer do discover the city by bus, you will have no problems to do it, because there is good public transport network. The ticket price for buses is R$ 2 / USD 1.
Taxis in Fortaleza have stickers on the rear windows, displaying the fare, so avoid those which don’t have such information displayed.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

Castelão Arena (Estadio Castelao) was completely refurbished for the World cup and now it has almost 59 000 seats. Located just 7 km /4 mi from the airport, the stadium is easily accessible.
To get to the stadium, you can take bus number 666.
Group stage
Match 7
14.06.14 – Uruguay - Costa Rica
Match 17
17.06.14 – Brazil - Mexico
Match 29
21.06.14 – Germany - Ghana
Match 38
24.06.14 – Greece – Côte d'Ivoire
Round of sixteen
Match 51
29.06.14 – 1B – 2A
Quarter-Finals
Match 57
04.07.14 – W49 – W50

Where to Stay

Most of the accommodation options in Fortaleza are located east of the centre in the Dragão do Mar. Tourists prefer to stay along Iracema beach, Mereiles and along Avenida Beira Mar up to the Mereiles area.
There are however some hotels near to the Arena Castelão:

Where to Eat

Fortaleza cuisine offers  Ceará is Baião-de-dois , churrasco , feijoada , tapioca and some other typical dishes for the Northeast of Brazil and of course seafood. Most of the restaurants in the city are located around Varjota - along Rua Fredrico Borges and its side streets.
Some good restaurants and bars:
Voinilo  – a fish restaurant;
Coco Bambu – Brazilian cuisine;
La France – rich selection of dishes and good wines;
Parque Recreio – open air restaurant, which offers barbeque;
Forró do Pirata – for dance lovers;
Santa Clara Café – café.

 What to do and what to see

The city has several urban beaches, which attracts lot of tourists:  Praia do Futuro, Praia de Iracema, Meireles, Aquiraz, Caponga, Beberibe. There are a lot of opportunities for water sports (scuba diving, Surfing, Kite, and Wind Surfing) and sand buggy rides.
You may also visit Dragão do Mar Cultural Centre, Museu de Arte e Cultura Popular, city Cathedral, Museu do Automóvel (car museum), Fortaleza Central Market  and to see the sunset from Ponte Metalica or Praia Iracema. In addition there are a lot of festivals during the whole year in Fortaleza.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Manaus, Brazil

About:

Manaus is the capital of the biggest Brazilian state Amazonas. Founded in 1693, the city has population of about 2 million people. Amazonas is one of the foremost far-famed places on the earth as a result of its within the middle of the world’s biggest woodland. The state is larger than France and Spain put together.
 Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.
Manuas - Brazil
Manuas - Brazil, Foto: Portal da Copa

Location

Manaus is situated in the north part of Brazil, where the Negro meets the Amazon river (also known as Solimões) in the middle of the Amazon rainforest. Manaus occupies an area of 11 sq. km. (4 sq. mi.), while the Amazonas state is 1.5 million sq. km. (579 238 sq. mi.).

Climate

Manaus has an equatorial climate and average temperatures of 28º C / 82 °F and air humidity of over 80 %. The rainy season is from December to May and the dry one, between June and November.

How to get there

Access to Manaus is mainly by boat or airplane, because the city is located in the heart of the Amazon rainforest.

  • by air

Eduardo Gomes International Airport is the main entry point to Manaus and is located 14 km / 9 mi north of downtown.
To get Amazonia Arena, you could use bus lines 59 Com. São Pedro/C. Sales/T3; 306 Airport/T1/City Centre and 3 T3/Redenção/Ponta Negra. Ticket price is R$ 2.75 (USD 1.2). Taxi price to Amazonia Arena is fixed to R$ 65.00 (USD 30) .

  • by boat

If you have 5 days to spend, you can take a boat from Belém (on the Atlantic Ocean) and reach Manaus on the Amazon River.

How to Get Around

You could use Manaus public transport, but have in mind that from 5 to 7 pm at and 7 to 8 a.m., buses are filled with commuters and it’s not a bad idea to avoid travelling at that times.
Taxis have two rates:
1.Working days, from 6 am to 10 pm: R$ 2.40 / USD 1
and
2.Working days, from 10 pm to 6 am and  Sundays and holidays: R$ 3.20 / USD 1.5

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

Amazonia Arena (Arena da Amazônia) will host 2014 World cup football matches. The stadium has 45 000 seats and is just 7 km / 4.3 mi away from the airport.
Group stage
Match 8
14.06.14 – England - Italy
Match 18
18.06.14 – Cameroon - Croatia
Match 30
22.06.14 – USA - Portugal
Match 41
25.06.14 – Honduras - Switzerland

Where to Stay

There are plenty of hotels in city center (centro), but for those of you who prefer to stay near Amazonia Arena, there are a few options on a walking distance.

Where to Eat

Manaus cuisine offers delicious river fishes, which you definitely must try. Tambaqui is the favorite fish of Amazonian people and pirarucu is the biggest one. Other local meals are: tacacá – local soup; tapioquinha - a glutinous pancake made from manioc starch. The typical local drink is sugar cane juice.
Some good restaurants:

  • Cafeteria do Largo – Brazilian cuisine;
  • Tambaqui de Banda – a fish restaurant;
  • Casa da Sopa - a soup buffet.

What to do and what to see

The Amazon rain forest attracts thousands of tourists, who are curious to see wildlife on land and in the rivers. One of the top attractions is the place of the confluence of the Rio Negro River’s black waters and the Solimoes River brown waters, flowing side by side without mixing.  So if you decide to see those wonders of the nature, it’s good to know that there are boats tours in Manaus. You may also try some of the river beaches like Ponta Negra Beach and Praia da Lua Beach or to visit The National Park of Jaú.
Beside the amazing Amazonian nature, there are other places of interest in Manaus like Amazonas Opera house (Teatro Amazonas) and Rio Negro Palace.

Monday, May 12, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Natal, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1599, Natal is the capital city of the Brazilian state Rio Grande do Norte. With its population of more than 800,000 people, the city is one of the major tourist destinations in Brazil. Natal with its amazing beaches, is becoming more and more popular among Brazilian and international tourists. It is a fact that Natal is one of the Brazilian cities nearest Europe and North America.
Natal, Brazil
Natal, Brazil
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil 

Location

Natal is situated, where Potengi River disgorges its waters into the Atlantic Ocean. The city is divided into four areas – South (tourist area), North (industrial area), East (Natal’s historical center and major sights) and West and occupies an area of 179 sq km (65 sq mi).
Climate
Natal is known as the Sun City, because of tropical climate and annual average temperatures of 28º C / 82 °F. People who live here, enjoy 300 sunny days a year.

How to get there

  • by air
The easiest way to get to Natal is via Augusto Severo International Airport (Aeroporto Internacional Augusto Severo) . Located 20 km / 12 mi from downtown, it will take you about 15 minutes to travel from airport to the city.

How to Get Around

The major transport mode option is taxi. There are buses however, but usually very crowded.  Another very exiting transport option you may use to discover, mainly city beaches is to hire a buggy. Its price is about USD 140 – 150, but it’s worth.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The new Dunas Arena (Arena das Dunas) replaced the old Machadão stadium. With its capacity of 42 000, the stadium will host the following 2014 World cup football matches:

Group stage
Match 2
13.06.14 – Mexico - Cameroon
Match 14
16.06.14 – Ghana - USA
Match 22
19.06.14 – Japan - Greece
Match 39
24.06.14 – Italy - Uruguay

Dunas Arena is located about 5 km/ 3 mi south from Natal old town and is connected by public transport buses 24, 33, 33a, 35, 42, 43 and 66.

Where to Stay

Dunas stadium is located in a residential area, so the most accommodation options are available along the seashore.  There are, however some good hotels around:


Where to Eat

Natal cuisine makes use of several local ingredients, which create some different (local) tastes and flavors. You will find variety of sea food restaurants. Here are some typical dishes you could try:
  • Feijoada - stew of black beans, beef, and pork
  • Acaraje - deep-fried ball of black-eyed peas
  • Carne del Sol: sun-dried beef meat
  • Churrasco – typical Brazilian barbeque

What to drink:

Cachaca - the national spirit of Brazil;
Caipirinha – traditional exotic cocktail

Some good restaurants:

  • Abade – one of the best restaurants in the city;
  • Camarões  - seafood;
  • Casa de Taipa – Brazilian food;
  • Tranquilo for buffet lovers

What to do and what to see

Don’t forget that Natal is well known for its natural beautiful white sand beaches. The most famous are : Ponta Negra; Praia do Forte ; Via Costeira.
Other popular places, you may wish visit:

  • Natal's Historic Center - declared a national heritage site in 2010;
  • Forte dos Reis Magos – a fortress built in 1,598;
  • The largest aquarium in Northeast part of Brazil;
  • Dunas Park - Second biggest urban park in Brazil;

Monday, April 28, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Porto Alegre, Brazil

About:

Founded in 1769 by Manuel Sepúlveda, Porto Alegre is the capital of the Brazilian state Rio Grande do Sul. Population is about 1, 5 million people (4,5 million – metropolitan area) and the majority is formed by European emigrants, which came In the late 19th century. The city is also one of the richest in Brazil. Most of the people who live in Rio Grande do Sul consider themselves as gauchos rather than Brazilians..
Porto Alegre
Porto Alegre
 Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.


Location

Porto Alegre is situated on the eastern bank of the Rio Guaiba, where 5 rivers converge and infuse in the lake, forming a delta. Rio Guiba is connected to the Lagoa dos Patos, which is a fresh water lagoon. It is not a problem even for big ships, coming from the Atlantic Ocean to dock at the port.

Climate

Porto Alegre has a humid subtropical climate. It is very muggy in the summer, because of high levels of humidity and temperatures, which may reach 36-40 °C (97-104 °F). Winter is mild and the temperatures are between 4 °C (39 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F), but during the coldest season days, the temperature may fall even below 0 °C / 32 °F.

How to get there

  • by air
Salgado Filho (POA) International Airport   is just 7 km/4.3 mi away from downtown.

Bus lines to and from airport:
B09 – AEROPORTO/IGUATEMI Consórcio:Conorte.
B091 – AEROPORTO/IGUATEMI/ANCHIETA Consórcio:Conorte
If you prefer to travel by taxi, the company that serves airport is – COOTAERO and prices are fixed.
  • by bus
The bus station is located downtown and there are connections to some Brazilian, Argentine, Chilean, and Uruguayan and Paraguayan cities.
  • by boat
There is a ferry operated by CatSul , which connects Porto Alegre to Guaiba.


How to Get Around

You can get around Porto Alegre mainly by bus. There are two type of bus lines – Transversal (“T”) and Circular (“C”) ones.  The only problem is that it is difficult to find the bus stops with signs for lines and destinations, so the best way to manage is to ask the locals. Fares varies from R$ 1,40 / US$ 0,63 to R$ 2,80 / US$ 1,27 for adults. Another possibility is to use so called “Lotação “, which is similar to bus transportation , but  served by vans. It will cost you R$4.25 / US$ 1,92.
The taxi is one of the best options to get around Porto Alegre, because it's faster, safer and it is an easier transport option.
For people who like to get around walking it is advisable to do that only during the day and preferably – downtown.

World cup 2014 Stadium location

Located on the banks of the River Guaiba (3 km./ 1,86 mi from the historic city center), the Estadio Beira-Rio will be the venue for 2014 world cup).
With its capacity is of 50 000 people the stadium will host five matches:
Match 10
15.06.14 – France - Honduras
Match 20
18.06.14 – Australia - Netherlands
Match 32
22.06.14 – South Korea - Algeria
Match 43
25.06.14 – Nigeria - Argentina
Round of Sixteen
Match 54
30.06.14 – 1G - 2H

Except by taxi, you can get to the stadium by bus lines: 110, 111, 149, 1491, 165, 171, 173, 179, 184, 187, 188, R1, R3 and R5.

Where to Stay

There are some hotels located at short distance of Estádio Beira-Rio:


 You will find many more options a little further away in Porto Alegre’s city centre.

Where to Eat

Porto Alegre is famous with its churrasco ( grilled meat ). Here, like in most Brazilian cities, you will find buffet lunch, where you pay fixed price and eat as much as you want. “Tudo Pelo Social” offers Brazilian cuisine, in Bar Gamrinos you will find Portuguese one, Sabor Natural is typical buffet and self service, Galpao Criolo offers Argentine cuisine.
A must try:
erva mate - traditional beverage

What to see

The best option to see most of the tourist attractions at Porto Alegre is to take “Linha Turismo”.  This is a tourist bus, which route is 28 km/17 mi long, and it’s the best opportunity to see the main attractions of the city. The ticket price is R$ 5-7  (US$ 2-3). Don’t miss to visit Monumento aos Açorianos , Santuário Mãe de Deus or some of the city parks. It’s also a good idea to see the fantastic sunset over Guaíba river.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

2014 World cup host cities - Recife, Brazil

About:

Founded by Dutch colonizers between 1535 and 1537, Recife is the capital city of Pernambuco. With its population of more than 1,5 million people, the city is one of the largest in the northeastern part of Brazil. Metro area is fifth largest with 3,744,000 inhabitants and is host of one of the major Brazilian ports. Recife is also known as the capital of the North-east and Brazilian Venice. It is one of the most exciting cities, after Salvador with its historic center. 
Before start to travel to Brazil check my post - 6 things to know, before you travel to Brazil.

Recife, Brazil
Recife, Brazil

Location

Recife is situated on the northeastern coast of Brazil, where Capibaribe River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The city is divided into four major areas – Centre (Centro), North Zone (Zona Norte), South Zone (Zona Sul) and West Zone (Zona Oeste) and occupies an area of 218 sq km (84 sq mi). 

Climate

Recife has a tropical climate and temperatures in the dry season (September to March) varies between 21 °C / 70 °F and 38 °C / 100 °F and 15 °C / 59 °F and 37 °C / 99 °F in the rainy season (April-August).

How to get there

  • by air
To get to Recife by air, you will land at International Recife Airport / Guararapes – Gilberto Freyre, which is 11 km/6.9 mi away from the city center. There is a metro station at the airport, so the city can be reached very easily by metro line South (Lihna Sul). If you prefer to take a taxi, just call +55 81 3322 5050 (Common) or  +55 81 3322 4153 (Special).
  • by bus 
The main long-distance bus terminal is Terminal Integrado de Passageiros. It is served by metro and it takes 15 minutes to get to downtown.
  • by sea 
With its reconstructed passenger terminal, Recife port accepts cruise ships from all over the world. 

How to Get Around

It is very easy for foreign travelers to get around Recife by its Metro system, which is second largest in Brazil and is connected with airport and main bus terminal.  However, buses are the most useful form of public transportation. 
Using a taxi is also a good option to get around, but I recommend you to look for air-conditioned ones.

World cup 2014 Stadium location 

The Pernambuco Arena was built in 2013 and is the venue for 2014 world cup. The capacity of the stadium is 46 000 people and will host four matches:
Group stage
Match 6
14.06.14 – Ivory Coast v Japan
Match 24
20.06.14 – Italy v Costa Rica
Match 34
23.06.14 – Croatia v Mexico
Match 45
26.06.14 – USA v Germany
Round of Sixteen
Match 52
29.06.14 – 1D v 2C
Pernambuco Arena is located about 18 km/ 11 mi west from Recife center in a suburb of Recife - São Lourenço da Mata. The easiest way to get there is by metro - you have to get off on Cosme Damian Road station or TIP station and after that to catch a bus, which goes straight to the stadium. 

Where to Stay

Most accommodation options are in the city along the coast, so I will recommend you to look for a hotel , which is close to a metro station. There are however some hotels which a closer to the stadium:


Where to Eat

Gastronomy lovers will appreciate Recife, because they will discover a lot of high-quality restaurants. There is some Portugal, Dutch and African influence on the local culinary.  Except the restaurants, there are a lot of options to eat fresh food, sitting on the beach. The best choice there is seafood.
Some of the restaurants that I could recommend:
  • Chica Pitanga – per-kilo buffet;
  • Quina do Futuro - Japanese cuisine;
  • Buraco da Otília – traditional cuisine;
  • Mingus – a stylish restaurant with a relaxing jazz music.

A must try:
Caldinho - a type of soup

What to do and what to see

Don’t miss to visit Recife beaches, with its white sand, clear waters and coral reefs. A very popular one is the Boa Viagem beach.
Other popular places, which worth seeing are: Sinagoga Kahal Zur Israel; Mercado de São José; the cathedral Pátio de São Pedro; the Malakoff Tower; Recife Antigo (Old Recife) buildings.
You could try Catamaran Rides in the Capibaribe River, Scuba-diving or Panorama flight, also.