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Top 10 destinations by continent

William Hague on Role of British consular services

British consular services - British Embassy 2015Yesterday the Foreign Secretary William Hague talked about the role of British consular services, and plans for the future in a speech at the Foreign Office. You can view the speech here –

http://www.fco.gov.uk/en/news/latest-news/?view=Speech&id=749982782

In the speech, the Foreign Secretary mentions the great support that the travel industry gives the Foreign Office; as partners of the Know Before You Go campaign we wanted to pass on this thanks as we could not have such a successful campaign without you!

Designer Breaks in Europe: Top 5 Destinations

Designer Breaks in Europe

Europe has long been known for its amazing design on many levels. From fashion to architecture, most people look towards Europe for the latest trends and new techniques. If you are traveling abroad, then visiting these centers of design can be very enlightening, especially if you love designing or aspire to become a professional designer.

Here are the five best places to visit, regardless of what your passion is.

Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona, Passeig de Gracias

Barcelona – Image by ♀Μøỳαл_Bгεлл♂

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How to Find Good Food in Venice, Italy

How to Find Good Food in Venice,. Osso Buco

Osso Buco- image David Y. Yun

You can eat some really bad Italian meals in Venice.

Sounds crazy, right? But it’s not that surprising if you look at the numbers. There are about 60,000 people that live in the historic part of Venice (the island shaped like a fish) and more than 60,000 tourists visit each day. So your chances are not good if you want real Italian food.

Venice is not just a destination, it’s also a popular stopping point for cruise ships passing Italy. So it’s filled with day-trippers. Although there is a semi-slow season in the winter, there is no true low season in the city. Even during my visit in January, the tourist routes were still busy with crowds of every nationality taking photos and thumbing through guidebooks and maps.

And since there is so much to see all over Venice (it’s not called the “living museum” for nothing), there are numerous streets lined with restaurants for tourists.

It’s possible to eat really good food in Venice, but it’s not that easy to stumble upon it.

Tips for eating good food in Venice, Italy:

  • If the restaurant menu is translated into 4,5 or 6 languages and hung on the front door, then avoid it. (This is harder than it sounds in Venice).
  • If the restaurant has photos of the dishes in front of the restaurant, then avoid it.
  • If the restaurant offers a “menu turistico”, then try to avoid it.
  • If the restaurant employs someone outside to try to lure you in, then try to avoid it.
  • Venice is pretty small (it takes about an hour to walk across the whole fish, even with all the little bridges), so it doesn’t take long to walk in any direction off the beaten track. If you move away from the crowds around San Marco (St. Mark’s) or the Rialto, you’ll do better.
  • Venetian cuisine is regional and there is great seafood: cuttlefish, baccalà (dried salted cod), spider crabs and every kind of fresh fish. Take advantage of it.
  • Bigoli (egg pasta), risotto, polenta, gnocchi, tiramisu, sopressa, game meats, eastern spices and radicchio are all important parts of traditional Venetian cuisine.
  • Try to find cichèti, the snacks unique to bàcari (or osterie), the small bars of Venice. Maybe follow a local to one and see what they order. Try not to look like a stalker.
  • It costs more to eat outside than it does to eat inside.
  • It costs more to eat sitting down at a table than it does to stand up at the bar.
  • It is common to charge a cover charge (for eating!) at restaurants. It will be noted on the menu as il coperto.
  • Do research and ask locals on good places to eat near or where you are planning to be.
  • If you are starving and still many bridges and canals away from your destination, then take advantage of a typical Venetian sandwich. It’s standard snack fare, and is two pieces of white sandwich bread (with the crusts cut off) with fillings like tuna, ham and sliced eggs, cheese and vegetables. It costs anywhere from 1-3 Euros for a triangle (half of a sandwich).
  • Try a restaurant in Campo Santa Margherita or Cannareggio, the sestiere where 70% of Venetians actually live. You can see and taste how real Venetians live, eat and shop.
  • A little Italian goes a long way. You will get better service if you make an effort to speak Italian.
Good Food in Venice

Venice restaurant – image Naomi Imatome

Naomi Imatome-Yun the author of the “How to Find Good Food in Venice” is a food, lifestyle and travel writer and editor. Her work appears on About.com, USAToday.com, Dining Out and other places. She is currently on an around-the-world trip with her family.

Guide to Olympic Venues in London

There are many different Olympic venues during the 2012 Games, and knowing where to be is important if you want to see the right games. This guide will help you find the right venue for the most popular games so you know exactly where to go. Click here to read more »

Things to Visit near the 2012 Olympic Park

Olympic Park London

Olympic Park

If you plan to visit Olympic Park during the 2012 London Olympics, now is the perfect time to start thinking about things to do while there – other than enjoying all things Olympic. The Olympic Park is located in Stratford, East London, is the main hub for the London 2012 Games (July 27th through August 12th) and the Paralympic Games (August 29th through September 9th).

The park itself will be well-served by public walking trails, bike trails and public transportation, making it extremely convenient to enjoy many attractions and local delights found in this historic area of London.

Click here to read more »

Best Places to Stay in London for the Olympics

For two weeks this summer, London will be the focus of the world while hosting the Olympic Games. It won’t be easy trying to find to stay in the city. Forget the big name hotels that have a long history in the city. Seriously, you won’t find a room. They’ve been sold out for months.

Those with tickets to the London’s first Olympic hosting gig since 1948 have been snapping up the most sought-after hotel rooms in the city. Add to that the power of block-booking and you can see why you’ll be lucky to find a lobby with a cot. Fortunately, there are still plenty of places to stay in London for the Olympics. Click here to read more »

Staying Online and In Touch

Staying Online by using laptop on ferry

Staying Online While Travelling – Image by Cavan Images

Imagine this scenario (a pleasurable one, I promise). You are packing away to a paradise resort for a whole month. While enjoying beautiful sunsets, the warm sand and the sound of the sea, you start to wish you could share the experience with your loved ones. Well, thanks to today’s modern technology you can let everyone know about each and every moment of your trip,be it friends, family… or fuming colleagues in stuffy offices. Click here to read more »