Groomed and unkempt, ancient and modern, central and provincial – choose the cities that will fit into your ideal vacation itinerary.
Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic
Real medieval Czech Republic and an incredible castle.
The perfect place to clear your head. A small town at the foot of a huge castle, which offers stunning views. But do not expect Versailles interiors here – the building is still medieval, with a rather ascetic decoration. Walk along the quiet streets, get inspired by modern art in the EGON SCHIELE art centre, take part in theatrical excursions to the old photo studio of the city, and fill yourself with Czech beer, but remember that even the coolest should not cost more than 45 crowns per 0.5 litres. By the way, you can try an excellent pilsner straight from the barrel at a local brewery.
Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina
The very heart of the Balkans.
Sarajevo is a multicultural city. Only here you can leave the Catholic church and see the synagogue, go a little further and run into the mosque. A block of houses in the best traditions of Austria-Hungary gives way to an oriental bazaar in the spirit of Istanbul, abandoned Olympic facilities give way to ruins that have not yet been brought to life after the Balkan wars.
At night, Sarajevo hangs out as if every day is Friday, and at five it is already undermined by the heart-rending cries of the muezzin. You must go to fall under the charm of the bright, crazy, and stupid Balkan world, which manages to organically fit into the framework of a Muslim country. The city of Visoko is located 20 kilometres from Sarajevo – the hills near it began to dig a few years ago and found pyramids much older than the Egyptian ones.
Centre of historical Bukovina.
If you have never travelled further than Lviv, then it’s time to catch up. When you get to the centre of Chernivtsi, you will be surprised: they say, dudes, is this Ukraine? Years under Austria-Hungary and proximity to Romania have done their job – Chernivtsi looks like Vienna, only spread over the mountains, not rich and much more cheerful.
Be sure to drive to the university, which is located in the former residence of the Bukovinian metropolitans and looks more representative than Oxford, eat bagels with sesame on Turkish Square and have a good rest on one of the open terraces of the pedestrian street.
The capital of flamenco and a paradise for tapas fans.
The Alhambra of Granada is the most visited attraction in Spain, and in combination – the former residence of the Arab monarchs. Get a free walking tour Granada here for the best emotions. To recharge the energy of this magical place, find the Gate of the Earth in the nearby forest, on which in the Middle Ages they hung out hands cut off from thieves. Get lost in the tangled Arabian streets, dance flamenco in the evenings, and get a free snack with any alcohol in the bars. And if in the morning you want something high, take a volume of Garcia Lorca and read it on a cosy bench near his house.
Port by the ocean.
The warmest ocean awaits you in the main European golf centre, where rich Englishmen and Erasmus students stubbornly flock. Adopt the Portuguese way of life: already on Friday, not a single sane local will go to work, because you can take a beer and go to the ocean.
Go to the beach on foot to pass through the parties of pink flamingos and other outlandish birds, which you will surely remember from the Soviet atlases “World and Man”. A massive fortress, parking of boats on the main square and zealous drinking buddies – this is how the few who were able to return home from this realm of relaxation describe the city.
The cleanest sea.
We bet you have never seen such a clear sea as the Adriatic in Split, the second-largest city in Croatia. The locals are sure that after a week, Fjaka comes to people here, a take-it-easy-baby attitude to life, which is usually achieved by long meditations. In Split, it is literally in the air. Be sure to visit the Palace of Emperor Diocletian, because this is the coolest complex from the time of the Roman Empire that has come down to our days. Don’t forget to take a good bath, drink fragrant Balkan coffee and find all 12 sphinxes that the Romans brought from Egypt to decorate the city.