What’s hot: March 2020

By | Category: Travel tips & opinions

Just About Travel tells you what’s hot (and what’s not) in the travel world right now

Get a caffeine fix in California
Rise and grind, caffeine-lovers and take yourself to California’s Tri-Valley region. The  triangle-shaped region of the eastern San Francisco Bay Area has launched a Caffeine Trail that revolves around 20 artisanal cafes, coffee houses and tea rooms. Before setting off, visitors are given a passport which gets stamped at each stop. Visittrivalley.com

Under the sea
Visitors to the Great Barrier Reef can now sleep under the sea at Reefsuites, Australia’s first underwater hotel. The AU $10 million property which consists of just two suites suspended beneath a floating pontoon  is accessed via boat from Airlie Beach and Hamilton Island. Expect to see 1,500 species of fish, as well as sharks and rays from floor-to-ceiling windows.

Have a ball in Vienna
To celebrate Beethoven’s upcoming 250th birthday, Vienna is staging a year-long series of concerts, operas and exhibitions in honour of the legendary composer who, despite being born in Germany made his name in Austria’s capital – spending around 35 years in the city from 1792 until his death in 1827.

Oh Vienna! Credit: Kaye Holland

Art attack in London
Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino – known simply as Raphael to most – may have died at just 37 but his talent lives on. London’s National Gallery exhibition Raphael (3 Oct-24 Jan 2021) is set to mark 500 years since the artist’s death with an exhibition that will examine not just his celebrated paintings and drawings but also his not so widely known work in architecture, archaeology, poetry, and design for sculpture, tapestry, prints, and the applied arts. The aim is to do something no previous Raphael exhibition has ever done – explore every aspect of his multimedia activity.

Making for Munich
The Bavarian capital is one of the 12 UEFA EURO 2020 host cities and arguably one of the liveliest places to develop football fever as the city’s famous beer halls and gardens are great places to watch the big match action. There will also be a ‘football’ village in Olympiapark which will host live match screenings, family games and events.
Not a fan of football? Go for the palaces and castles, contemporary art and art Nouveau architecture and comfort food: think Bavarian pretzels and wurst (sausages that are white in colour).

London’s National Gallery

Get wet
A new Legoland water park is set to open its doors in Europe  this summer. The new water park will be opening at the Gardaland theme park in Italy: expect  thrilling roller coasters, slides, rides, Peppa Pig Land, a fairytale-themed hotel and a creative area where children can discover the fun of building with DUPLO and LEGO bricks.
Paolo Lazzarin, General Manager of LEGO Italia said: “This is great news. We are really proud and I’m certain that the Park will fill the young and adult builders who passionately follow the brick with joy.”

Sojouring to Seville for Holy Week
Wondering where to go over the Easter break? Seek out Seville where the ceremonial parades of Holy Week (the city’s main fiesta) have to be experienced at least once in your life. The week long processions sees believers, dressed in traditional clothing, carry carved, wooden figures of Christ and candles to the cathedral. Visitors will also be able to tuck into the classic Easter treat of torrijas (bread dipped in egg and milk before being fried). See you in Seville?

Seville’s Plaza de España, © leoks / Shutterstock 

Heading to the Hungarian Parliament
The Hungarian parliament has been named one of the “alternative” must-visit landmarks around the world in a survey of 1,000 UK globetrotters by Travelzoo.
Also on the list are Germany’s Burg Eltz, an Instagram-worthy medieval castle that inspired several Disney movies, and Kyoto’s Kiyomizu-dera Temple which was built to honour the goddess Kannon.
James Clarke, general manager of Travelzoo UK, said: “We’re all familiar with those must visit places – the Eiffel Tower, the Leaning Tower of Pisa and so on.“They are all truly amazing landmarks but there are a growing number of travellers who want to see sights that aren’t quite so well-known.

Set sail on Celebrity Apex
The US$1bn cruise ship Celebrity Edge hit the headlines when it launched in late 2018 owing to its Magic Carpet bar that hung off the side of the ship, martini-stem hot tubs and  sought-after suites.
Fast forward to March 2020 and cruisers will be able to get another piece of the Edge action: Celebrity Apex, the second in the Edge series, will be christened in Southampton on March 30 with new dining, bars, redesigned spaces and entertainment options.

Madrid is expensive for solo travellers

Solo travel

We’ve always suspected solo travellers get a raw deal on their holidays. Now we have the numbers to prove it. vouchercloud research has revealed that solo travellers pay an extra £40 per night for their single hotel rooms, compared to when they’re paying for half of a double. Things are a little better on Airbnb, with the average solo room £32 per night more expensive vs half a double. 
The city to rip off singles the most is Madrid, whose single rooms are 106.11% more expensive than half the average double. The fairest priced city for solo travellers is Sarajevo, capital of Bosnia & Herzegovina. Here, single hotel rooms are an average of 66.13% more expensive than one half of a double

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