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  • 10 of Europe’s best hostels near city railway stations

    Posted 2019-06-24 05:30:05 by: bossgate

    Don’t go the extra mile for a bed in Europe’s great cities. From Rome to Vienna, Berlin to Barcelona, here are 10 great hostels just a short hop from the trainAll five Clink hostels can be found near train stations: two in King’s Cross in London, and two more opening soon in Dublin and Lisbon, each a few minutes’ walk from the main stations. The fifth hostel is ClinkNoord is opposite Centraal Station on the other side of the Amstel river. A free, 24-hour ferry runs every seven minutes during the day and every 15 minutes at night. It takes five minutes to cross, then it is a 300-metre walk to the hostel, which is a converted 1920s laboratory. There are private en suite rooms (single, twin, doubles and quads), plus mixed and women-only dorms (sleeping four or 10). The cafe serves homemade banana bread and all-night panini; the bar has a happy hour from 5pm-7pm, food until 11pm and regular live music. Daily events include city walking and cycling tours, yoga and meditation sessions, and tasting sessions of Dutch beers. • Dorm beds from £13, doubles from £65, clinkhostels.com Continue ...

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  • Take me to the Boom Boom Room! Inside the risqué hotel for 24-hour party people

    Posted 2019-06-23 14:00:46 by: bossgate

    America’s raciest hotel chain has turned a boring British office block into an Austin Powers-style crash pad complete with retro reception, leftie library – and rooftop baths. Groovy baby!When the clerks of Camden’s highways department were issuing parking fines from their gloomy office in the 1970s, little can they have imagined that jet-setting hipsters would one day be supping cocktails in the public library below them before taking an al fresco dip up on the roof. Maligned for years as the concrete “egg box” of Euston Road, the old council headquarters have been reborn as the glamorous Standard Hotel, the first outpost of the risque boutique chain outside the US.“People thought we were crazy to suggest open-air bathtubs in London,” says Shawn Hausman, the Los Angeles-based designer behind the Standard’s flamboyant interiors, who started out creating film sets for Saturday Night Fever. “But I think it’s always nice to have a bath outside, even in the rain.” Continue ...

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  • Turning tables: Ibiza gives kids’ clubs a different spin

    Posted 2019-06-23 12:00:42 by: bossgate

    Hotels in the Balearics are looking to make holidays more fun for children with a new wave of entertainment, including DJ lessons and sushi workshopsHotel kids’ clubs have traditionally been a site of crayons and anxiety, a place for parents to guiltily deposit their children in order to desperately try and pour an entire holiday into two short hours. No more. As the tourist industry begins to recognise the growing family travel market (with 44% of millennial travellers in the US now taking their children on holiday), hotels and resorts are rethinking the role of kids’ clubs.A typical family hotel might have a brightly coloured basement, manned by a smiling woman armed with pens. For a fee, guests can leave their children here for an afternoon to watch a film or play board games. The new breed of kids’ clubs, however, offers not just respite for parents, but a jolly education for the children about their destination. About the culture beyond their hotel pool. Continue ...

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  • Five great Interrail itineraries across Europe

    Posted 2019-06-23 06:00:50 by: bossgate

    Interrailing is an easy way to see the continent. We plot itineraries that cover the Med, the Alps and an affordable version of the Orient ExpressSuggested duration 15 days Stops Lausanne, Annecy, Chamonix, Zermatt, Lucerne, St Anton, Zell am See, Innsbruck, BernShortcut Head straight to Zermatt to make it an 11-day tripBest Interrail pass 15 days within two months (£337 youth/£439 adult/£395 senior/under 12s free) or the tighter 10 days within two months (£274/£357/£321/free). Plus train reservations Continue ...

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  • 'It was more than a holiday': how Interrailing changed my life

    Posted 2019-06-22 12:00:14 by: bossgate

    As two teens share their excitement and plans for an upcoming adventure, an experienced traveller recalls how Interrailing helped define her life and careerIf you had told me that simply hopping on a train to backpack around Europe at the age of 17 would set me on a path which would define my future life and career, I’d have laughed in my Maggi noodles. But, in the 30 years since my mum waved me and two friends off from Oxenholme station, I’ve completed an MA in south-east Asian history, lived and travelled for seven years in Asia and Australia, worked for some of the world’s leading travel companies and now have my own travel PR business. Interrailing was, for me – and for anyone who embarks on a similar rite of passage – about way more than a “holiday”; it was about discovering people and places away from parental gaze; exploring beyond safe harbours; growing up; making friends – and mistakes; being independent and so, so much more. Continue ...

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  • Interrail trips: readers’ travel tips and tales

    Posted 2019-06-22 10:00:11 by: bossgate

    Playing Cupid, money-saving advice, sleeping easy and world-beating views. Our tipsters have made all sorts of connections by trainItaly’s length makes it a great country to use an Interrail card. You can travel overnight to save on hotel bills and make the most of your time in cities – leave Milan at midnight, wake up in Naples at 7am! Some Italian regional trains are great fun, too. They go everywhere and you will have farmers, housewives and students for company, more than willing to share wine, lunch and lives. Once, on a train from Bologna to Florence, six of us in a shared compartment sorted out a woman’s relationship dilemma: whether to move in with her boyfriend in Florence or do a love commute from Bologna every other day.Nicoletta Continue ...

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  • Back on track: my return to Interrailing 30 years on

    Posted 2019-06-22 06:00:19 by: bossgate

    Dixe Wills repeats his teenage Interrail odyssey, at a more leisurely pace this time, pausing to reflect on the unique opportunity the 31-country pass offersAh, the Interrail experience. How many of us have cherished memories of zipping inexpensively across Europe – delving into new and thrillingly esoteric cultures, befriending the locals, mangling their language beyond all comprehension, and enjoying all manner of mind-broadening episodes that simply wouldn’t have happened in Blighty? Anyone who has known me for more than 15 minutes will have heard my story of the older gentleman in a Copenhagen cemetery who collapsed into uncontrollable fits of laughter when I asked him if he could direct me to the grave of Søren Kierkegaard (pretentious, moi?). “You’ve come looking for Kierkegaard,” he managed to splutter, “at the wrong kierkegaard.” Continue ...

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  • Interrailing: a guide to prices, passes and planning

    Posted 2019-06-22 06:00:13 by: bossgate

    While spontaneity and adventure underpin the appeal of the Interrail pass, planning is also essential. We break down the many optionsThe Interrail pass was introduced in 1972 to provide an opportunity for passengers up to 21 years of age to discover more of Europe; it covered 21 countries, including now long-gone Yugoslavia and East and West Germany. In the 47 years since it has become a traveller’s “rite of passage”, particularly among students. The element of spontaneity and adventure is part of what makes Interrailing so appealing – being able to jump on a night train and wake up on the other side of Europe, without a care in the world. And these days, Interrail passes are available for all ages. Continue ...

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  • Five eco-friendly festival camping essentials

    Posted 2019-06-21 05:30:33 by: bossgate

    From waterproof paperboard tents to biodegradable wipes, here’s how to go green this festival seasonIt is estimated that 250,000 tents are abandoned at music festivals across the UK every year, amounting to 900 tonnes of plastic waste going into landfill. The Association of Independent Festivals (AIF) launched the Take Your Tent Home – Say No To Single Use campaign earlier this year, which followed the Drastic on Plastic initiative in 2018. As with other campaigns, such as Eco Action’s Love Your Tent and its #justtakeithome message, the aim is to reduce waste and remind festivalgoers that a tent is for life, not just for a weekend. Continue ...

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  • Ten cities ask EU for help to fight Airbnb expansion

    Posted 2019-06-20 12:51:58 by: bossgate

    Cities say short-term holiday lettings market is contributing to soaring long-term rents Ten European cities have demanded more help from the EU in their battle against Airbnb and other holiday rental websites, which they argue are locking locals out of housing and changing the face of neighbourhoods.In a joint letter, Amsterdam, Barcelona, ​​Berlin, Bordeaux, Brussels, Krakow, Munich, Paris, Valencia and Vienna said the “explosive growth” of global short-stay lettings platforms must be on the agenda of the next set of European commissioners. Continue ...

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