Browsing Category: Europe

The Ultimate Guide for Where to Stay in Barcelona for Every Budget

Where to stay in Barcelona

Where stay in Barcelona! A complete guide to the best neighborhoods, things to do, and accommodation options no matter what your budget is.

For my first trip to Barcelona, I stayed in a hotel on the Ramblas in the El Gotico neighborhood. For my latest trip to Barcelona, I rented a beachside apartment in Barceloneta, where my balcony view was the Mediterranean Sea just 500 feet away.

Both neighborhoods were absolutely amazing with each one providing its own distinct vibe, charm, and atmosphere.

You have many great choices for where to stay in Barcelona. To help you find the best spots, here are five top neighborhoods which are well-positioned for adventuring the city by foot.

These Barcelona neighborhoods are close to incredible restaurants, upscale and artisanal shopping, tapas bars, and most attractions. Although they share the same city, each neighborhood boasts its own signature atmosphere, charm, and local vibe.

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The Most Common Stereotypes About the Balkans

travel misconceptions - the balkans

The Balkans is a region in Europe that has quite a few stereotypes attached to it. Learn about the most common ones from a local.

One of my goals on The Atlas Heart is to break down stereotypes or judgments about places and ideas. Perhaps it could be that destination that everyone warns you not to visit because of how dangerous it is, or maybe you yourself had preconceived notions that were proven wrong once you arrived to where you were going.

My aim is to present a variety of different opinions and experiences through the eyes of other travelers. It’s important to hear travel stories from all different perspectives in life, I call it seeing the world through a kaleidoscope lens.

Without further ado, I’m happy to introduce the next guest poster on this blog – Allison from Eternal Arrival and Sofia Adventures, who is discussing the Balkans and the common misconceptions people might have about this area of the world.

Take it away Allison!

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Where to Stay in Dublin: Best Hotels, Neighborhoods & Travel Tips

Where to Stay in Dublin

Where to stay in Dublin! A guide to the best neighborhoods, things to do, and the best accommodation options no matter what your budget is.

It's hard not to be stunned by Dublin. Craggy cliffs, wildflowers, and rolling green hills perfectly set the backdrop for Ireland's gorgeous capital. Dublin's rich history and majestic landscapes make the city a must-visit if you're planning a trip to Europe. There's a reason why Dublin is considered the best place to live in Ireland by many.

As for where to stay in Dublin, the city has plenty of accommodation options suited for any travel style, whether that is traveling solo, with friends, or with family. From staying local in the suburbs, to central B&Bs and grand hotels, there's a little something for everyone in this Irish city.

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The Best Time to Visit Greece (And Where to Go By Season)

The Acropolis - weather in Athens Greece

The best time to visit Greece depends on what type of trip you're looking for. In this post, I break down the best time to visit based on weather, price, and things to do!

Whether you're more interested in sightseeing, beaches, island hopping, or local experiences, there's an optimal season for you.

You might think that the best time to visit Greece is anytime of the year. And that's true, to an extent. But that's probably because you think of Greece as an ‘endless summer’ destination.

It makes sense.

The country is known to have some of the best beaches in the world, and most of photos you’ll find in travel guides and on Instagram show off blue skies and glistening aquamarine waters around the islands.

Greece is blessed to have beautiful weather, long summers, and a temperate climate year around, but there are still plenty of rainy days in spring and cooler weather in the winter that brings snow to a few select areas around the country. 

The weather might not be quite as diverse as the 6,000 islands and islets you’ll find in Greece, and you usually won't find distinct changes in the seasons like you do in other parts of the world, but you should still be prepared for different weather depending on the season and area you’re traveling to.

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The Best Christmas Vacation Ideas for 2019

christmas vacation ideas around the world

The best Christmas vacation ideas around the world! From the US to South America and Europe, these are my top picks for holiday travel destinations to explore.

If you dislike Christmas, you may want to pass on this post because it’s all kinds of gooey hot chocolate goodness and holiday fun. I’m here to tell you about the best Christmas vacation ideas around the world. No matter what type of holiday trip you’re looking for, I’ve got you covered!

I’ve always been a fan of Christmas and winter in general. There’s something about curling up with a good book by the fire, the Mariah Carey Christmas album blasting, and the twinkling lights of a Christmas tree.

The holidays may be too obnoxious and materialistic for some, but I really appreciate the family time and Christmas cookies that come about this time of the year.

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Complete Portugal Travel Guide: 20 Things That Surprised Me

Portugal travel guide: 20 Things that Surprised Me | The Atlas Heart

A complete Portugal travel guide so you know exactly what you’re getting yourself into. Here are 20 things that surprised me about Portugal!

It’s baffling to me how much of an underrated destination Portugal still is. I only heard countless good things from other travelers before I finally saw it myself, but it still has far less visitors per year than nearby countries, such as Spain, France, and Italy. 

Perhaps that’s where its charm lies, however – it’s not overrun by tourism. Although, it’s now starting to get there, with tourists taking over in the summer and swarming to spots like the Algarve, Lisbon, and Porto in recent years. 

Because Portugal isn’t at the top of everyone’s list when they visit Europe, I had a narrow view of what to expect from a few select perspectives, all of which said pretty much the same thing: Portugal is the best country in Europe, you’ll never want to leave, etc. 

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Iceland Itinerary: The Perfect 7 Day Road Trip

iceland itinerary - one week in May

Thinking of traveling to Iceland soon? Read through this detailed one week Iceland itinerary to figure out where to go and what to see during your upcoming trip!

So, you’re planning a trip to Iceland and trying to figure out your exact Iceland itinerary? Congrats! I’m already jealous of you because Iceland is a crazy beautiful country and the first (or second, or third) time you see it is magical.

After noticing Iceland pop onto the radar circa 2012, with the creation of WOW Air and their layover deal, it has been a country that has peaked my interest.

Northern Lights, puffins, and raw shark meat? What’s not to love! Okay, maybe not the potent raw shark meat, but everything else sounded great.

Except for the fact that it’s one of the most expensive countries in the world. Womp womp.

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7 of the Most Peaceful Places around London

Kew Gardens, London | 7 of the Most Peaceful Places around London

My picks for the most peaceful places around London, to find a slice of solitude without ever having to leave the city.

London is a city of many talents. Its draw is its mind-boggling variety – the endless options for restaurants, attractions, bars, and events at any time of the day, week, or year. It’s the epicenter of the UK, and a consistent contender for the most popular city in Europe (a regular battle with Paris for that title most years).

However, the constant hustle and bustle can be as exhausting as it is invigorating. The beeping horns, loud sirens, the pollution, mad drivers that are always in a rush to be somewhere.

It’s hard to find stillness in a city of 8.1 million. And stillness is simply not the vibe of London. Its intoxicating atmosphere is one of constant movement, everyone seems to have a part to play as the Londoner who has places to be and no time to waste.

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5 Cool Things to do in Budapest (From a Local)

things to do in Budapest

5 of the coolest things to do in Budapest from a local’s perspective.

The Atlas Heart is a place to find the best local experiences in cool cities around the world, and to throw out misconceptions we might have about other cultures. With this in mind, I sometimes seek out other perspectives on this blog to help with a more layered view of the world. 

Today, Katie Matthews from ‘Where to Stay in Budapest’ shares her picks for the best local experiences to have in Budapest, Hungary – a city she has been living in for the past 15 months. 

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2017, A Year to Myself

2017, A Year to Myself | The Atlas Heart

I never expected 2017 to be a year to myself, but then again, I guess you never really know what life will bring you with each new year.

I should know better by now.

Even though I didn’t expect it to be a year to myself, I can say with full clarity now that I’m so very glad that it was. This was the year that I found my independence again, understood fully what I deserve in my life, and embraced my alone time.

I’m someone who is already pretty good at being alone. I’m an introvert, most of my pastimes are solo ones – reading, playing my guitar, listening to music, cooking. And my work is very much a solo pursuit, from writing to doing digital marketing for clients.

I’m used to being alone, but 2017 was a year where I really just had myself to pull me back up from my bootstraps, to lean on, to make sense of stressful, happy, and sad situations.

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