For North American tourists, European destinations are very attractive. The continent is only an 8-hour flight away from the east coast, and hundreds of scheduled flights depart to London, Paris, Frankfurt am Main, Rome, and many other major cities. Connecting flights will take you practically every city in Europe.
Most tourist destination are expensive, especially accommodation, but you can find reasonably-prices accommodation if you plan ahead. The IT is an excellent planning tool.
You can look for hotels off the beaten-path, pensions (scaled down Band B’s), b and b’s, even youth hostels. Don’t forget to look for university accommodations if you are travelling during the summer months.
Amsterdam is colourful, bustling city, criss-crossed with hundreds of canals, and is full of incredibly rich museums displaying works of Dutch masters like Rembrandt, van Gogh, and many others.
A 48-hour Amsterdam City Card represents an excellent value, and includes a cruise through the canals, public transportation, museums admissions, and discounts on shopping, and dining. For more information log on to www.amsterdam.com
Athens is now much less expensive than it was a few years ago. Although Greece now uses the Euro accommodation prices dropped significantly as did restaurant offerings.
Tourists interested in archaeology and history will revel in the Acropolis and Agora close by.
You can buy a pass that will allow you to visit several major attractions in the city.
Visiting Athens in the spring is recommended to avoid the infernal heat, humidity, and smog during summer months.
For more information log on to
Dublin, once an expensive city when Ireland was called the Celtic Tiger, is now affordable to millions of middleincome tourists.
There are many direct flights from major Canadian and American cities. Air Lingus, the national airline of Irelands, flies daily to Dublin.
Accommodation prices have dropped due to an oversupply of hotels.
The city is charming with hundreds of pubs, cafes, or should I say, tea houses, and small enough to discover on foot.
Admission to the National Botanical Gardens, and all federal museums is free.
New Dublin Tours offers informative tours on pay-what-you-can basis.
Oporto (or as the English call is Port) is a lovely city, some 300 kms north of Lisbon, and is worth a visit, not only to see this lovely city on the Douro River, but also the valley that stretches east of town.
Oporto’s UNESCO-designated historic core with its narrow cobbled streets, and many churches is easy to navigate on foot.
In the past, accommodation was very expensive, but the world wide financial slump of 2008 forced most hotels to lower their prices.
Food is relatively inexpensive, especially if you happen to like bread, cheese, vegetables, fish and wine.
Don’t forget to visit Port wine lodges on the Villa Nova de Gaia just on the other side of the river, and enjoy a glass or two of port wine.
Krakow is called Poland’s most beautiful city; it miraculously survived the World War II in tact. Krakow is an impressive 1000- year old city for the historian, and brims with hundreds of heritage buildings.
Accommodation is reasonable, as is food. You can explore most of the city on foot.
Dubrovnik, Croatia, with a population of 43,000 enjoys the title of Jewel of the Adriatic Sea. In the Middle Ages the town got rich by maritime trade along with Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, and Venice.
It attracts millions of Germans and other Europeans to its sights and beaches.
The setting of Dubrovnik is beautiful, the Medieval layout, narrow cobbled streets evoke the impression of bygone times.
Prices for accommodation, food and beverage are relatively low, but as of July 13 may start to soar, as Croatia joined the European Union.