Winter Wonderlands of Europe: Christmas Markets

The countdown to Christmas is winding down. The children are anticipating opening all their shiny, packaged gifts early in the morn’. The smell of goodies is wafting from all the bakeries and kitchens you pass. Twinkle lights line the street and store fronts. Cheer fills the air.

It’s lovely.

But if you want to feel the full extent of all the holiday festivities, you should visit Europe’s most popular Christmas Markets. They’re magical – the Winter Wonderlands of Europe. Luckily, many of the Christmas Markets can be found in European cities in which Loving Apartments offers affordable accommodation to make you comfortable during the holiday season.

Market at Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtniskirche

Photo Credit: Eirik Newth@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Eirik Newth@Flickr.

The Christmas Market at Kaiser Wilhem Gedächtniskirche is one of the most celebrated Christmas Markets in Berlin, which is something to boast about because Berlin hosts around 60 Christmas markets each holiday season. This market is chockfull of holiday decorations, ornaments, wreaths, toys, jewellry and oodles of gift options. But you’ll probably be most enticed by the wonderful scents of all the Christmas treats – hot cocoa, roasted almonds, mulled wine, fruit glazed sausages and so much more. Millions of lights surround the Breitscheidplatz, and in the middle of the square stands a majestic Christmas tree at 20 metres high. You’ll leave the market with your Christmas shopping completed, your stomach satisfied and your heart warm.

Fira de Santa Llucia

Photo Credit: Barcelona cat@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Barcelona cat@Flickr.

The Fira de Santa Llucia makes its home in front of Barcelona‘s cathedral and dates back to the 18th century. This Christmas market has become the most classic market in Spain to pick up all your festive decorations and gifts. The market is especially famous for its many stalls of mistletoe, Christmas trees and caga tiós. Caga tiós is a special tradition of Catalan Christmases and can be translated as “poo logs.” The log has a painted smiling face, and children take care of the log by covering it by a blanket or feeding it every day from December 8 to Christmas. That way, on Christmas Eve, the Caga tió will be sure to plop out lots of Christmas goodies.

Christmas Markets in Old Town Square and Wencelas Square

Photo Credit: Boris Tylevich@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Boris Tylevich@Flickr.

Prague has been declared to be a “winter wonderland” setting, uniting both the locals and tourists in festivity in its Christmas markets. The most popular markets can be found in the Old Town Square and Wencelas Square. The markets have become mostly famed for their beautiful choir music that rings out as you peruse all the toys, winter wear and homemade goods. You can enjoy your Czech beer as you salivate over the spit-roasted pigs, barbecued sausages and all the pastries. A tree from the Krkonose Moutains is spotlighted in the middle of the Old Town Square in a flurry of lights and ribbons. You can find a hearty Christmas tree in the middle of Wencelas Square as well.

Vörösmarty Square Christmas Market

 

Budapest Christmas Market

Photo Credit: TopBudapestOrg@Flickr. 

Every year Budapest hosts a holiday market in Vörösmarty Square, in the heart of the city. What better place to celebrate this joyful season? There is a special program at the market almost every day whether it be a concert, play, folk dancing or a puppet show. You’ll also find a wide array of artisan products and traditional Hungarian Christmas foods. You’ll be lured into the market by stuffed cabbage in roasted goose thigh, pork knuckle and grilled sausage and meat. Not only is the market a lighthearted Christmas hub, but also a cultural hub for Budapest.

 

Campo Santa Stefano

Photo Credit: mararie@Flickr.

Photo Credit: mararie@Flickr.

The Christmas Market in Campo Santa Stefano in Venice is unique because it only sells local Venetian products – masks, nativities, wooden toys, handmade stationary, winter greens, lace, linen, glassware and too much more to list. These artisan items will make the perfect gift for your loved ones to unwrap on Christmas day. The square of the market fills up with little wooden cottage fronts, creating a quaint ambiance for your shopping and celebrating. You’ll want to go to the market at night to see it ablaze with fairy lights and to catch one of the late night concerts that this Venetian Christmas Market is known for.

 

 

Stop to Smell the Roses: Fabulous Flower Markets

There’s nothing quite like a Sunday morning. No hurries. No obligations. Just a day to enjoy yourself before the busy week rolls around again. You’ve got the entire day in front of you. Take a moment to do some reading and brew yourself some coffee. Then why not take a stroll to the flower market to amble through the vendors and pick up some color for your day.

A Sunday morning like this is within your reach with Loving Apartments. Loving Apartments offers comfortable accommodation for you to take a holiday in many locations throughout Europe. Fortunately, some of those locations are home to vibrant flower markets.

Columbia Road Market in London

The Columbia Road Flower Market in London is open on Sundays from 8 am until around 3 pm. During these hours, the street overflows with blooms, greenery and sweet aromas. However, the aromas are not only from the flowers, but also from the fresh pastries and coffee from the bakeries and cafés that surround the burst of floral. Antique shops, art galleries and vintage clothing stores are also snuggled in along the market, adding a sense of quirkiness to the road.

Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen

Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen

Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam

The Bloemenmarkt in Amsterdam can boast that it is the only floating flower market in the world. The floating market is found on Singel between Muntplein and Koningsplein in Amsterdam’s southern canal belt. The flower shops are housed in a row of floating barges – an ode to the days in which flowers were delivered to Amsterdam from the countryside by boats. Tulips are the specialty of the market, which should come as no surprise. However, the market has so much more than just tulips. They have almost every fresh flower imaginable and also houseplants, seeds and all the gardening necessities.

Photo Credit: Massimo Catarinella @ Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: Massimo Catarinella @ Wikipedia.

 

Marché aux Fleurs in Paris

Open daily, the Marché aux Fleurs may be the most fragrant and picturesque market that you’ll find within Paris. It’s an oasis of petals and foliage on the I’île de la Cité along the banks of the River Seine. If you want to experience the market at its finest, you should visit on a Sunday when the bird market is open along with the flower market. Visitors to the bird market can buy birds of all kinds from roosters and chickens to canaries, finches, parrots and other rare species. All the accessories for the birds are offered as well. Bird song is the perfect background to your perusing.

Photo Credit: Jim Linwood @ Wikipedia.

Photo Credit: Jim Linwood @ Wikipedia.

 

Mercat de la Concepció in Barcelona

The Mercat de la Concepció in Barcelona features a 24 hour flower market on the facade on Valencia Street. The market satisfies your needs for flora all day and all night, whether it be for a last minute romantic gift or for a late night hospital visit.  You know that you are nearing the flower area of the market when the enticing scent of the blooms begins to edge out the scents of the food stalls located in other areas of the market.

Photo Credit: Oh-Barcelona.com @ Flickr.

Photo Credit: Oh-Barcelona.com @ Flickr.

 

Campo dei Fiori in Rome

Campo dei Fiori, which translates to “field of flowers,” is the oldest open air market in the center of Rome. The piazza offers a large collection of fresh flowers for you to browse every day along with local produce and artisan creations as well such as pottery, paintings and textiles. It serves as a colourful haven from the modern and fast-paced supermarkets.

Photo Credit: OliverN5@Flickr.

Photo Credit: OliverN5@Flickr.

 

Hens in Elegance

Ladies, weddings are stressful. There is so much to keep track of – the dress, flowers, invitations, seating charts, caterers and so much more. These few things probably only make a small dent in the “head spinning” to-do list. So when it’s time for your much anticipated hen party, you’ve certainly earned a day of pampering and a night out in the city with your girls. You deserve to have just as much fun, if not more, than the groom. What better place to do this than Paris, the iconic city of love?

Photo Credit: Frankensteinnn@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Frankensteinnn@Flickr.

Start the first evening of your Parisian weekend off right by paying a visit to Oberkampf with its chic nightlife scene and trendy clubs such as Café Charbon and Pop In. If you are feeling a bit mischievous, make your way to the Pigalle district, the home of cheeky shops, famous cabarets and burlesque shows and of course, the infamous Moulin Rouge.

Girls, what’s the best way to recover from all the fun you had the night before? That’s right. Shopping. Stroll along Champs-Elysées or Rue du Faubourg Saint-Honoré with windows full of glamour and garments featuring designers like Chanel, Gucci, Valentino and Dior. If shopping doesn’t take your fancy, spend the day immersing yourself in Parisian culture with a visit to the Eiffel tower, the Louvre, countless other art galleries or the many lovely gardens and parks that Paris has to offer. No need to feel rushed, take all the time you wish while enjoying brunch or a glass of wine at a quaint café. You’ll need plenty of rest in order to let your hair down for one last night with the ladies before your big wedding day.

Photo Credit: mroach@Flickr.

Photo Credit: mroach@Flickr.

So far, the hen party is missing one very important component – comfortable accommodation. Loving Apartments can take care of that pesky problem with multiple accommodation options that are conveniently located near shopping, cultural and nightlife districts – pleasing both your older female relatives and your best friends as well. The apartments’ proximity to such locations gives you the option of using your preferred method of traveling around Paris whether that be walking, using the metro or hailing a taxi. Not only does Loving Apartments give you convenience through their locations, but also through the method of making reservations with their  Big Group Booking Tool. This unique tool allows guests to specify how many people that need to be accommodated, how many nights they plan on staying and their preferred sleeping accommodations. The Big Group Booking Tool then assesses your needs and instantly calculates the cost. No worries about having a group too large, apartments are offered in the same building so that everyone in your party can stay under one roof while enjoying their own space and privacy.

Loving Apartments invites you to put aside your wedding anxiety and enjoy a Parisian hen party with your family and all your best girlfriends. Relax, pack your bags, and enjoy Paris.

Click here for the Big Group Booking Tool: http://lovingapartments.com/France/Paris/Groups

5 Activities that are Unique to London

Sure, there are loads of sights to see in London. But what can you do that doesn’t just require you to look and not touch? The key to having fun in London is to actually experience it. So get out from behind that camera shutter and engage in some hands-on activities that are unique to London, because there is no where else in the world where you can experience them.

1. Hop Aboard a Boat Tour on the Thames

There are several river cruises available to Londoners and visitors alike through sightseeing tours such as City Cruises or London RIB Voyages. Float past the Houses of Parliament, the Globe Theater, the Tower of London and the Royal Palace of Greenwich. You’ll be able to see all the iconic sights from a new perspective while enjoying the commentary and the peaceful water ride. If you’re interested in a more thrilling ride, there are speedboat tours available that will zip you right down the river, leaving all other boats in your wake.

Photo Credit: string_bass_dave@Flickr.

Photo Credit: string_bass_dave@Flickr.

2. Go for a Spin on the London Eye

Buy a ticket to ride in a London Eye capsule and see remarkable London views from above. The Eye was originally built as a part of the 2000 millennium celebrations, and it has been one of London’s top hits since then. You’ll reach the height of 135 metres at the top of the Eye. A full rotation takes approximately 30 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time to relish the stunning view.

Photo Credit: .Martin.@Flickr.

Photo Credit: .Martin.@Flickr.

3. Embark on a “Jack the Ripper” Walking Tour

Jack the Ripper walking tours are offered every night. You begin the journey by Tower Hill and wander down the streets and alleyways that Jack the Ripper stalked. Prepare yourself for a dramatic guided tour that will give you the chilling history of the Ripper and his victims. Previously, the identity of Jack the Ripper was a mystery, but now DNA evidence has shed light on the Ripper’s identity as a 23 year-old Polish immigrant. It will be interesting to see how this new information will change these nightly tours.

Photo Credit: Ben124.@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Ben124.@Flickr.

4. Afternoon Tea at the Savoy

There’s nothing more British than having afternoon tea, and why not do it in style at the Thames Foyer at The Savoy? You can enjoy a cup of tea, homemade scones and savory cakes and pastries underneath a glass dome as a pianist serenades the room. It all makes for a magical afternoon in which you feel like you’ve just walked into a Downton Abbey episode. Don’t forget to bring your manners and dress smartly.

Photo Credit: Mister-E@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Mister-E@Flickr.

 

5. Hitch a Ride on London’s Ghost Bus

The London Ghost Bus Tour gives you the chance to see the haunted side of London. You’ll jump aboard a classic 1960’s bus and hear about the the murders, torture and execution that took place on London’s streets by the House of Parliament, Westminster Abbey, St. Paul’s Cathedral and the Tower of London. You’ll be spooked, but also amused by the comedy horror theatre performance given by the guide. After the tour, you’ll never be able to look at the London through the same eyes again.

Photo Credit: lukaszzelezny@Flickr.

Photo Credit: lukaszzelezny@Flickr.

The Top 5 Cultural Sites in Amsterdam

Traveling takes a lot of  research and planning – places of interest, restaurant, hotels and accommodation. I’m in the midst of planning a weekend in Amsterdam next month, and I’ve managed to wrangle up the top 5 cultural sites in Amsterdam that would be perfect to check out with friends and family.

1. The Rijksmuseum

The Rijkmuseum, the Netherland’s national museum,  is perhaps one of Amsterdam’s most iconic sites. The museum dates back over 200 years. It has been moved and renovated throughout the two centuries, but it has never lost its integrity and popularity in the museum world. The museum displays over 8,000 objects of art and history and owns a total collection of approximately 1 million items. The museum tells the story of Dutch heritage by showcasing paintings, drawings, sculptures and antiques. Some of these masterpieces include Rembrandt’s “Night Watch” and other famous pieces by Vermeer, van Dyck and Jan Steen.

Photo Credit: john.d.long@Flickr.

Photo Credit: john.d.long@Flickr.

2. The Royal Concertgebouw

The Royal Concertgebouw is the most prestigious music hall in the Netherlands, known for its outstanding acoustics. The Concertgebouw hosts  music concerts throughout the year ranging from classical music, to pop events, to jazz ensembles. The hall attracts over 800,000 spectators per year, making it the second most popular music hall in the world. It is also home to the much admired Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra which was declared as the official Royal Orchestra in the 1980’s. The orchestra performs 120 times a year, so check out their concert schedule during your visit.

Photo Credit: FaceMePLS@Flickr.

Photo Credit: FaceMePLS@Flickr.

3. The Anne Frank House

The Anne Frank House is the historic home that the young Jewish diarist hid from the Nazis  in during World War II. Anne did not survive  the war, but her diary did. Her story has attracted over 1 million visitors to see where the young girl lived during those years. The original copy of her diary is on display, and you will have the opportunity to walk throughout the home and see the rooms in which the two families hid for two years. The experience will be touching and  an unforgettable visit.

Photo Credit: Terrazz@Flickr.

Photo Credit: Terrazz@Flickr.

4. The Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum displays 200 painting and 550 sketches of the Dutch painter Van Gogh, featuring his work throughout his entire career. The modern museum holds the largest Van Gogh collection in the world, including his personal letters. Works from his contemporaries such as Claude Monet and Émile Bernard are exhibited as well, showcasing artwork through the Impressionist and Post-Impressionist eras.

Photo Credit: rinuseverseal@Flickr.

Photo Credit: rinuseverseal@Flickr.

5. The Jordaan

The Jordaan is a quaint and popular district of Amsterdam surrounded by canals. Originally established for the poor, it has evolved into a cultural haven for artists, business professionals, students and tourists. This Amsterdam district offers not only a charming environment, but also breathtaking churches like the Western Tower and church and the Northern Church,fascinating museums such as the Houseboat Museum and the Pianola Museum, local shops, charming cafes and restaurants.  This is a perfect area to take a relaxing stroll.

Photo Credit: stevecamden@Flickr.

Photo Credit: stevecamden@Flickr.

 

 

Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

An Unexpected Wonder: The Camden Markets

As an American student from Iowa studying abroad in London, the city life is alluring to me, and I find myself trying to explore a new area of this sprawling city each day. On a Monday morning, a friend and I decided to wander down to the Camden Market. Little did we know at the time, it is more appropriately referred to as the Camden Markets because it is a collection of several markets with their own personality and vibrancy. Established in the 1970’s, the market area has been growing for almost 45 years. It has evolved into a hub of colorful stalls, shops, food stands and restaurants. It has been one of London’s most popular markets where punks, goths, hippies, artists, fashionistas, students and tourists coexist. All areas of the market are open daily from roughly 10 am to 6 pm, but most restaurants, bars, theaters and clubs keep their lights on until at least 11 pm.

Here’s a crash-course on each area of the Camden Markets:

Main Street:

My friend and I made our way down Camden High Street which eventually continues on into Chalk Farm Road, and we thought that we had begun to conquer the entirety of Camden Market. I chuckle at my ignorance. Honestly, we were already thoroughly impressed by the selection offered in the Main Street area with shops and restaurants spilling onto the sidewalks and street. Clothing racks, shoe boxes and sunglass holders surrounded us, and souvenir stands beckoned us to buy a trinket to bring home to Mum and Dad from our adventure across the pond.  After browsing the main drag, we stumbled upon Inverness Street Market. Let our shopping exploits continue.

Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen

Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen

Inverness Street Market:

Inverness Street probably has the longest standing history with the Camden Town area as the best spot to buy fresh fruit and vegetables since the beginning of the 1900’s. However, with the development of the other market areas, souvenir, clothing and footwear stalls have joined and taken over the ranks.  Don’t lose hope though. A few quality produce stands remained tucked in along the shops, still supplying faithful locals and wandering visitors such as myself.

Camden Buck Street Market:

The market continued on into Buck Street satisfying our wide-eyed amazement. Buck Street is a maze of narrow alley ways containing over 200 stalls. Some of the vendors offer their self-designed clothing or jewelry, but this area of the market is the best to find your fun and funky apparel like clever slogan t-shirts and pink neon shades.  

Camden Lock Market and Village:

 Ahhhh, what I consider to be the prized area of the Camden Markets. The Camden Lock Market situated near the Railroad Bridge has been labeled the “creative heart” of the market and even London itself. The Lock Market is the original arts and crafts area that offers any sort of art and trade you can image – music, films, books, poetry, home furnishings, painting, carvings and textiles. What makes it even more special is that customers can meet the artist of their new-found treasures. The Lock Market is also said to be home to a “Global Food Kitchen” full of affordable, international food stands. It was in the midst of the stands that my friend and I discovered the Dutch Pancake vendor, which we absolutely gushed over. As a native of a small Dutch town in Iowa, we were ecstatic to find some food that reminded us of home sweet home. I guarantee that almost everyone who visits will happen upon food that gives them the warm fuzzy comfort of home.  

Camden Market Photo

Photo Credit: Dana Wolthuizen

The Lock Village, right next to the Lock Market, has recently received a face-lift in the last several years. It now has an open layout with approximately 500 independent vendors selling novelty items, catering to visitors looking for an uncommon shopping experience. You’re likely to find peddlers like drum specialists and glass engravers here.

Camden Stable Market:

The last leg of our Camden Market tour. The Stable Market gives a bohemian feel full of retro furniture shops, antiques, alternative club wear and vintage clothing. This area may seem like a chaotic jumble, but it all seems to fit snugly together like a puzzle in which all 700 shops have their rightful place. You can find almost anything here.

Some of the vendors are housed in the old catacombs with bronze sculptures around every corner. They serve as an ode to when the area was used as an industrial stable in which horses used to pull barges along the canal. Also, you can’t leave the Stable Market without sampling some of the famous pan-Asian cuisine.

 

Unfortunately, my friend and I only allotted a few hours for ourselves to visit the Camden Markets – a mistake that we certainly won’t make again. I’m already looking at my calendar for an open weekend to return. Luckily, next time I’ll be a bit more prepared for all the market’s wonders, and I hope this little guide to Camden Markets helps you in your adventure as well.

 

Dana Wolthuizen is studying English and non-profit business at Central College with a passion for travel writing.

Sitges, a charming town along the Spanish seaside, is known for its marvelous coastal views, fabulous beaches and its trendy gay scene. However, Sitges’ reputation gets a little spicier during its famous Bear Week. The scenery becomes a bit more hairy, huge and perhaps more cuddly as well.

Each year Sitges hosts their annual Bear Week which attracts over 5,000 visitors, making it one of the largest and most popular Bear Weeks in Europe.  The town is over taken with Bears, their biggest fans and anyone who wants to join in all the cheeky fun. Simply take a stroll outside, Bear Dinner Table Photoand you’re bound to run into a party on the beach or a Bear route featuring all of Sitges’ favorite Bear bars such as XXL, El Horno, Bears Bar and Ruby’s Bear Cave.

Not only will you stumble upon impromptu festivities throughout the week, but there are also planned events each night. The events range from a welcome party at the BSC Disco, to a MAD BEAR night at Bear Village, a formal dress White Night by the sea and catered dinners. The week’s grand finale is the Mr. Bear Sitges competition on the final day of the festival. There is something for everyone, whether you are a party bear, a dancing bear, a classy bear or a bear admirer.

Unfortunately, Bear Week has come and gone for 2014 from September 3rd to September 13th. But have no fear! The Bears will be stampeding Sitges again next year for Bear Week 2015 from September 4th to September 13th. However, accommodation in Sitges during this exciting week is snatched up quickly, so it’s smart to think ahead and book your accommodation months in advance.

Consider using Loving Apartments during all the Bear fun. Loving Apartments offers over a hundred different apartments in Sitges that would provide you with all the bare necessities. No need to grin and bear a boring hotel room when you can enjoy a self-catering apartment with a full kitchen, the option for each guest to have their own room in which to hibernate after a fun night out and comfortable furnishings. Depending upon your choice of  apartments, you may only be minutes away from bars along the Bear route, the famous gay beaches like Balmins Beach or fine local restaurants. If you happen to have a large sleuth of bears traveling to Sitges, use our Big Group Booking Tool which will allow you to specify how many guests you will have accompanying you, how many nights you plan to stay and what sleeping arrangements you would prefer. According to those requests, the tool will  immediately show you what apartments are available and calculate the price.

You are not going to want to miss one of the hippest and hairiest gay scenes in Europe, so let Loving Aparments provide you with the ultimate bear cave for Sitges annual Bear Week in September 2015.

 

A Bear Here, a Bear There, a Bear Everywhere: Sitges’ Annual Bear Week

London Fashion Weekend

10421542_10152398164916915_4293083880176179199_n10539123_10152398164971915_5795393482765099123_nLondon Fashion Week (LFW) is a trade event for fashion industry professionals who must register or be invited in order to attend. In the span of five days over 170 UK and international emerging and established, ready-to wear and accessory designers will take part in the Designer Showrooms at LFW. They will showcase their work across 58 catwalk shows and 24 presentations.   Held twice each year, in February and September., from 1984, and organised by the British Fashion Council, it is considered to be one of the “Big Four Fashion weeks, along with New York, Paris, and Milan Fashion Week. Since its inception, Mercedes Benz and hairdresser Toni & Guy have joined as major contributors to LFW, being part of what has become a London cultural phenomenon.  London Fashion Week has truly become a part of British culture, London Mayor Boris Johnson has noted “I am delighted to support British fashion, which continues to be at the forefront of innovation. London is developing a reputation as one of the tech capitals of the world, but it is an already a global leader for fashion.”

The most notable and iconic venue of the week is Somerset House. Somerset House will host buyers that will spend an estimate 40 to 100 million pounds on designer collections. Celebrities such as Rihanna, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham are frequent fixtures upon the front row that live streams 190 countries worldwide. Over 5,000 members of the press, buyers, fashion editors and celebrities flock to venues around London so see the latest creations by British designers.

Coming immediately after LFW, London Fashion Weekend, uses the same exhibition and catwalk venues. essentially being a designer shopping event, where members of the public can shop from designers of LFWcalibre, from the high profile to the emerging. Tickets prices range between £20 to £130. The Bronze ticket (£21.60) allows access to industry talks and a limited edition designer tote bag. However, if you’d prefer a more immersive experience the ‘Luxe’ ticket (£137.80) includes a welcome reception with canapés, catwalk front row seats, access to private lounges and host of other amenities.

More information can be found here: http://vlfw.seetickets.com/Content/vlfw

On visiting London Fashion Weekend you will be surrounded by attendees dressed in their best designer clothing posing for online bloggers and various members of the press, showcasing their personal street-style.

The British Fashion Council has noted that during the February shows, there were over 300,000 mentions of #LFW on twitter and nearly 100,000 images tagged #LFW on Instagram.

5 things you must bring with you to maintain your fabulosity while at  London Fashion Week:10455058_10152398165066915_1591144198211885102_n

  1. Flats or Sneakers: Be it a Christian Louboutin Spiked Stilettos or Ted Baker Leather Oxford Shoe, both men and women will need to give their ankles a rest. Remember beauty is pain, unless you have converse in your bag.
  2. Travel Sized Perfume: As the day progresses and wander from shoe to shoe, it’s always nice to smell your best. My favorite cologne at the moment is Prada’s Luna Rossa Extreme Eau de Toilette.
  3. Mints: You’ll have many conversations about the stunning collections with fellow fashion admirer. Therefore, fresh and minty breath is essential.
  4. Sunglasses: From the lights on the runways to the beaming flashes of the cameras around you, having frames are beneficial; Ray Bans are always a favourite.
  5. Camera: You can use your cell phone, or a fancy SLR – but you are going to want to photograph your experience

Head to the nearest mainline rail stations at Charing Cross and Waterloo. The nearest London Underground station is Temple, on the District and Circle lines.

Loving Apartments currently offers 26 places close to the LFW venues located in Soho, Holborn, and Bloomsbury. click here for more http://lovingapartments.com/United-Kingdom/London/List

Johnnathan Redmond is an Advertising Undergraduate @ University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a keen interest in Fashion and exploring London Culture.

STAG-gering Weekends

Stag parties. The last hurrah before the big commitment of saying “I do.” It’s meant to be a party of a lifetime with a night full of pints of Czech beer, dancing, gentlemen clubs and camaraderie. However, stag parties come with a lot of planning, and the details can get a little hectic. Along with the pubs and night clubs, you are also going to want a place to relax after your night out. Luckily, Prague checks all of those stag party necessities off the list.

Photo Credit: theogeo @ Flickr.

Photo Credit: theogeo @ Flickr.

Loving Apartments offers accommodation in the heart of Prague, allowing its guests to be in the middle of the nightlife hub. Many of the apartments are within a short walking distance of some of the top rated night clubs, pubs and breweries throughout the city, including but not limited to popular venues such as Kulovy Bresk, Roxy Club and Lucerna Music Bar. Prague’s pub and club scene is never ending and caters to young men in their 20’s to older gentlemen, satisfying a wide variety of tastes in alcohol, music and dancing. Loving Apartment’s close proximity to such locations makes it convenient to get home safely at the end of the night. The last thing you want to worry about at your stag party is finding your way back to bed.

However, if you are looking to escape your mischief at the end of the night and leave behind the bustle of night life for a short while, Loving Apartments can also offer apartments outside this flurry of activity. The accommodation will lend more relaxation to guests who would prefer peace after an exciting night out.

Don’t fret over finding lodging to fit all of your friends, we provide apartments in Prague that can comfortably hold up to eight guests. Just in case that head count still doesn’t cut it, Loving Apartments has many apartments in the same building. This allows more space for each of your guests while still having the luxury of being right next door in case you need to top off your party with some nightcaps. Loving Apartments makes pricing and reserving for large groups easy with the Big Group Booking Tool. This tool allows you to specify how many guests you have, how many nights you need and what you would like for sleeping arrangements. The Big Group Booking Tool will then show you what apartments are available, how many there are in each building and the price of reservations with just one click of the mouse.

Photo Credit: christopher.woo@Flickr.

Photo Credit: christopher.woo@Flickr.

A monumental occasion of a marriage deserves a monumental celebration, surely one that spans the weekend! Consider spreading the fun out over a couple of days because the stag party is most certainly going to heat up once it gets started. Staying the weekend will allow you and your guests to recover during the day and gear up for round two the next evening.

So before the single life is behind you, raise your glasses and enjoy a weekend in Prague with Loving Apartments and the guys. Cheers.

 

Click here for the Big Group Book Tool: http://lovingapartments.com/Czech-Republic/Prague/Groups

A Round Up Of Our Favorite Nightclubs In Our Most Popular Destinations

MENORCA

1. Cova d’en Xoroi Nightclub, Menorca:

If you are looking for a way to close out the summer months with a bang, then this nightclub, set high above sea level in the resort of Cala’n Porter on the south coast of Menorca, is the place to do it. It is considered one of the most impressive clubs throughout the Balearic Islands with its outside terraces that lead to natural caves with intimate seating areas and a dance floor. No matter which night you decide to attend, you are sure to enjoy one of the greatest nights of your life as you’re led by one of the regular DJs. If you’re looking for an evening you’ll never forget, check the events calendar on the website www.covadenxoroi.com, and attend one of the live music performances or a special themed night with an international DJ.

Photto Credit: dgbury @ Flickr.

Photto Credit: dgbury @ Flickr.

The club opens at 11:00 p.m. and closes at 6:00 a.m. (make sure to check the website as times change according to season and weather). The cover charge is 20 Euros which includes an alcoholic drink, and they enforce a smart casual dress code. If you want more information, or want to make a reservation, you can visit the website listed above, email them at cova@covadenxoroi.com, or call at +34971377236. Make sure this is a summer season you won’t soon forget and head to Menorca before the warm days are gone.

2. Space Menorca Nightclub, Menorca:

The summer months are a time for the young to travel, let loose, and really party hard. A new club on the island, Space Menorca, has introduced a new concept of sophisticated nightlife, with the most powerful sound systems, advanced LED technology, and the latest video mapping software. If this new club is trying to unveil a new way to party, then it certainly has the space to do so. It is divided into three areas: an open entrance hall with bar, for you to meet up with your friends before getting lost in the fray; a main club room with dance music, for you to get your groove on; and a large outdoor “chill-out” terrace upstairs with lounge seating and two bars, for you to take a break from dancing and chatting with your friends. There are also VIP zones in the club and upstairs which can be booked beforehand. There are constantly theme nights like Retrospective Sundays, Super Girl Wednesdays, and a different party night every Saturday. Go to the website www.spacemenorca.com to pick the perfect night for you and your friends.

Photo Credit: Abeeeer @ Flickr.

Photo Credit: Abeeeer @ Flickr.

The club is open every night from 12:00 a.m. to 6:00 a.m. and costs 25 Euros to enter, but discount coupons can be found all over the surrounding area (bars, restaurants, hotels, etc.). For more information you can visit the website listed above, email them at info@spacemenorca.com, or call them at 627 802 047. If you and your friends are looking to party in a whole new way, then travel to Menorca and check out this cutting-edge club.

MAJORCA

1. Pacha Nightclub, Majorca:

If you and your friends want to go out, but have different tastes in party music, then the Pacha Nightclub in Majorca is the place for you. It is set on Paseo Maritim in Plama, and spread over three floors. It has the usual terraces with wonderful views, a restaurant, and VIP rooms like most clubs. What makes it special is the three separate rooms which each feature a different kind of music with one playing mostly house music for those who like to dance, one playing funk for those who like to “get down” and funky, and another featuring chill-out music for those who need to relax and have a few drinks. The club also features a variety of party nights and exclusive music events. See the website http://www.pachamallorca.es or the dates of these events, and to view the days of regular theme nights like “Pacha Classics” on Mondays. If you wish to make reservations or just want more information, you can also visit the website listed above for contact information. The Pacha Nightclub offers a wide variety, but the summer season is about to pass, so don’t miss their prime events, and head to Majorca for the closing of the season.

Photo Credit: Traveling_Shan @ Flickr.

Photo Credit: Traveling_Shan @ Flickr.

ZERMATT

1. The Schneewittchen, Zermatt:

With the winter months just around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for your winter travel. For those of you who aren’t tired out after a day on the slopes, one of the best party clubs in the Alps, is very close by. It is located in the Papper la Pub, which is also a nice place for a drink, and opens at 11:00 p.m. running until 3:30 a.m. Since opening in 2003, it has been the meeting point for locals, season workers, VIPs, ski teachers, ski bummies, and international party people. It is a great place to meet people in the area and make friends with fellow visiting skiers. There is a wide variety of events held here. The most famous of the nights to attend are the Rock ‘n Roll Sundays which feature bands from all over the world. On top of this, the club shows popular DJs and party labels, and has some of the craziest party themes. You can check out the website www.papperlapub.ch/das_schnee.html to see what theme will best suit you, when guest DJs will appear, and the dates of special live performances. Whether you need to fill the time between slope sessions, or are just a party hound, the Schnee or the “snow” is, ironically, one of the hottest spots in the area.

VERBIER

1. Pub Mont Fort, Verbier:

For those skiers who like a cheap drink after they get off the slopes, then a wild party once they have rested up will find the Pub Mont Fort to be a paradise in the snow. This beautiful historic building in the heart of the Swiss Alps is host to many wild nights w/ after skiing parties, live music, half- priced happy hour and much more. On top of this, they have weekly drink promotions, sports on the big-screen, and great food. There are two large bars on both levels, and more importantly, customers can try their luck at the legendary shots bar, where the “shot master” creates a new shot almost every night. As the season approaches, go to the website www.pubmontfort.com to see the upcoming weekly promotions and parties. This place is for a variety of skiers with their delicious and fresh menu, wide variety of drinks, many types of live music, and a never-ending list of party ideas. Come out to Verbier and experience the combination of amazing skiing followed by a night of drinking and fun.

Photo Credit: PGCreativeLtd @ Flickr.

Photo Credit: PGCreativeLtd @ Flickr.

2. The Farm Club, Verbier:

For those skiers and partiers who love the spotlight, there is a nightclub which claims to have the highest profile in the resort. The Farm Club carries a great history, still having the two original owners, and has a great reputation that has yet to be challenge by others in the area. It has seen the likes of David Bowie and Diana Ross, both of whom used to dance the night away with slope workers and ski bums. To preserve this history, the booths, benches, and even support beams have been renovated and replaced. When you dance in this club, you are literally dancing in the same place as European royals and countless celebrities. The clubs chic, sexy interior is home to many events and parties, and should be on the list of any partier headed to the area for the ski season.

The hours for this season have not yet been posted, but last year the club opened at 11:00 p.m. and had no definite closing time. As the season gets closer, check the website www.hotelnevai.com/farm-club for current hours and upcoming events. This club is known as the place to see and be seen, so if you wish to get on the map, or share a drink with a famous celebrity while you talk about the slopes, this is the club to go to.