After exploring beautiful Vienna we decided to take the one-hour train to Bratislava. We took the train in the morning and arrived in Bratislava perfectly in time for brunch. Though the area around the Bratislava train station doesn’t look that pretty, the city’s old town looks absolutely gorgeous. The architecture reminded me on the one in Prague and the old town of Bratislava could really be the little sister of Prague’s old town – if that makes any sense at all :)
Bratislava’s sightseeing bus
Bratislava’s old town is quite small and you explore pretty much everything by foot. But after seeing this adorable little red sightseeing bus, there was no way not jump in. The streets in the old town are sometimes very narrow so a proper tourist bus wouldn’t be able to fit through. And taking this alternative sightseeing bus is just so much fun. The major sights and the history of Bratislava are explained to you during your ride. And best of all, you are super close to all the sights and are going at a very slow speed – perfect to explore all the details.
Map of Bratislava’s old town
If you just have one day in Bratislava and have to take back the train to Vienna at night, spend the whole day in the old town. Arrive in time for lunch and then explore Bratislava’s old town with its beautiful architecture and narrow streets during the afternoon. Leave some extra time for coffee breaks and find a cosy restaurant for dinner before heading back to Vienna.
When I visited Bratislava’s old town I passed by a lovely little SPA (can’t remember the name anymore though) and had a massage which was amazing. So instead of coffee break number 3, just go for a SPA treatment :)
Canterbury is a historic city in Kent, most famous for its UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Canterbury Cathedral. The city is around 1.5 hours away from London makes a lovely day trip if you wish to explore more of England. Canterbury is home to many historical sites including a city wall that was created during Roman times and rebuilt in the 14th century.
Most of the tourists visit the city because of the Canterbury Cathedral which is the Mother Church of the Anglican Communion and seat of the Archbishop of Canterbury. The cathedral was founded in 597 and entirely rebuilt from 1070 to 1077 due a fire in 1067 that had destroyed the cathedral. Over the following 900 years there have been various additions and alterations to the cathedral but parts of the Quire and some windows and their stained glass date back to the 12th century. A staircase and parts of the North Wall remain from the cathedral as it was in 1077.
Canterbury became one of Europe’s most important pilgrimage centres after the murder of its most famous Archbishop, Thomas Becket, in 1170. It is said that the Archbishop was murdered by four knights in response to Henry II reclamation “Who will rid me of this turbulent priest?”. The murder took place in the Martyrdom. Shortly after the murder of Archbishop Thomas Becket miracles were said to take place making the city a pilgrimage site in the Middle Ages.
Apart from the famous Canterbury Cathedral there are lots of things to do and visit in Canterbury including the Buttermarket, the Westgate Towers, the city walls, St. Augustine Abbey, Lady Wootton’s Green, the Christ Church Gate (photo below), and of course the cosy little restaurants and pubs that you see everywhere in the historic centre of Canterbury.
If you are looking for some alternative things to do in London, visit the Highgate Cemetery in North London. The cemetery is said to have some of the finest funerary architecture in the country and is a must-see of lovers of the history of London. The Highgate Cemetery opened in 1839 and was the authorities’ response to London’s growing population. Before being buried in official cemeteries, graveyards and burial grounds were scattered throughout the city wherever was space. Often this meant that bodies were buried between taverns, shops and houses.
In early 1800 London’s population had grown to around one million which caused an ever increasing lack of burial space. By 1830 health reasons caused the authorities to find a solution and to create space for the dead. Subsequently a number of private cemeteries were opened in the countryside around London. Overlooking London, the location of the Highgate Cemetery and its distinct architecture attracted investments of wealthy individuals. The first person buried in Highgate Cemetery was Elizabeth Jackson, a 36 year old spinster of Golden Square in Soho on 26 May 1839.
In 1854 the eastern part of the cemetery was opened. There are now more than 170,000 people buried in 53,000 graves. The most notable person buried in the Highgate Cemetery is probably Karl Marx. Both, the West and the East Cemetery can be visited.
The East Cemetery can be visited daily for an admission fee of £4 for adults. The East Cemetery is home to Karl Marx’s grave which you cannot miss due to its large size.
Admission to the Highgate West Cemetery is by guided tour only. Don’t leave Highgate Cemetery without having visited the West Cemetery which is home to the most impressive architecture of the Highgate Cemetery. The tour lasts around 70min and is £12 for adults. Tours run several times per day. Check out Highgate Cemetery’s homepage for more information. I love this part of the cemetery as it has some really spooky atmosphere. Too bad you can only visit by guided tour. Would be the ideal location for telling scary ghost stories :)
Some Architectural Beauty in North London..
On the way to Highgate Cemetery you will come across this beautiful building just on the corner of Chester Road and Swain’s Lane. Beautiful North London :)