Staying together: European capital city breaks

September 20, 2013 at 2:20 AM

Last week we launched our new series here on the HomeAway blog, ‘Staying together’, where we look at holidays spent with your nearest and dearest. We began with Becky Goddard-Hill looking at cottage holidays right here in the UK. Whilst autumn might be a bit rainy, it’s still a good time to holiday close to home.

This week however, Rebecca Winke whisks us across the continent, showing us the best Europe’s capital cities have to offer for family breaks. From tips on keeping the children entertained and activities that the whole family will enjoy, to where to go when you need a bit of chill out time, Rebecca will guide you through the best of Europe in the autumn with some hands on practical advice.

Bicycles parked on a bridge in Amsterdam

Bicycles parked on a bridge in Amsterdam

Though Europe’s cities are often bustling and frenetic, I’ve found that they can also be a fantastic family friendly destination for anything from short breaks to longer stays. Offering both the high-brow history and culture that we parents crave and tons of kid-pleasing sights and activities, Europe’s most cosmopolitan capitals are a perfect backdrop for a memorable vacation for travellers of all ages. Here are a couple of tips to help you plan a visit that will satisfy everyone in your family:

Shop ‘til you drop on the streets of Europe

August 30, 2013 at 7:23 AM
The streets of Europe are a shopper’s paradise (Photo: Dimitry B.)

The streets of Europe are a shopper’s paradise (Photo: Dimitry B.)

Warning: If you are a recovering shopaholic, you should stop reading now. Reading this article may lead to a relapse.

From the bric-a-brac of Camden market to the ostentatious Haute Couture of Paris, the streets of Europe are a shopper’s paradise. Whether you’re attracted by the glitz and glamour of fashion houses like Armani, Versace and Dolce & Gabbana, or whether you enjoy wandering through the delightful chaos of street markets, Europe has it all. For all the shameless shopaholics, bargain hunters and discerning buyers out there, here is a list of some of Europe’s fabulous shopping streets.

10 amazing spring getaways for families

January 7, 2013 at 4:32 AM

Now that Christmas and New Year is over, your tree has gone to the great tree paradise in the sky and you have returned all your unwanted pressies, you can focus your attention on the really important stuff, namely, where will your next holiday be! With kids, everyone knows that holidays are not what they once were; gone are the relaxing idylls and a genuine chance to catch up on your sleep, welcome to a world where holidays are more exhausting than “real” life! Having said that, its still nice to get away from it all, and your children will also benefit enormously from a change of scenery, not to mention the new experiences and valuable time spent with their family.

Art exhibitions you can’t miss this autumn in Europe

September 18, 2012 at 3:23 AM

Exploring Europe in the autumn is a wonderful experience, not least because of all the opportunities available to art enthusiasts. In the autumn, exhibits typically switch and new artworks are brought in to the major art museums of London, Paris and Prague, among others. If you are planning a trip to Europe in the fall of 2012, be sure to include some of these incredible art exhibitions in the best art museums and galleries on the continent. Here are the top art exhibitions to choose from in Europe this autumn.

Painting by Henry Wallis

Henry Wallis – Chatterton (1856). Tate Britain.

Pre-Raphaelites: Victorian Avant-Garde

Tate Britain, London

The Tate Britain is one of the most impressive art museums in the city of London. From September 2012, the Tate Britain will boast a collection of Pre-Raphaelite pieces. This genre was the first modern art in the United Kingdom, and it was a sudden departure from the traditional art of the 19th century. The works are avant-garde creations, and the Tate exhibition will include some of the most popular pieces by Dante Gabriel Rossetti, John Everett Millais, Ford Madox Brown and Edward Burne-Jones. The exhibition will consist of more than 150 different pieces in various mediums ranging from paintings to sculptures.

Gauguin and the Voyage to the Exotic

Thyssen Museum, Madrid

The Thyssen Museum is one of the top art collections in Spain. Starting on the 9th of October 2012, the museum will display an exhibition called Gauguin and the Voyage to the Exotic. Paul Gauguin was a French post-impressionist painter who traveled extensively. Some of his best works were done in French Polynesia, and many of these will be displayed at the Thyssen. This exhibition, curated by Paloma Alarcó, will seek to show how Gauguin’s exotic work influenced later painters throughout Europe.

Van Cleef and Arpels: The Art of Fine Jewelry

Musée des Arts Décoratifs, Paris

Van Cleef and Arpels is known around the world as a top jewelry producer, but the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, France, seeks to place these glittering pieces in a new light. Starting on the 20th of September, the museum will display more than 400 pieces of jewelry including pieces made famous in the 1930s, pieces that reflect the popularity of Egypt during the early 20th century and pieces that were worn by British monarchy over the past 100 years.

Russians & Germans: 1000 Years of Art, History and Culture

Neues Museum, Berlin

In the culture-rich city of Berlin, Germany, the Neues Museum is considered to be a top destination. Beginning on the sixth of October, the museum will display a large exhibition that seeks to show the relationship between Russia and Germany through one thousand years of art and historical artifacts. Admire the similarities between jewelry, mechanical tools, formal court attire and even artwork done in the same year but more than one thousand miles apart. History and arts fans will appreciate this enlightening exhibit in the Neues Museum.

Late Raphael

Louvre, Paris

The Louvre Museum of Art is perhaps the world’s best known museum. Located in the vibrant city of Paris, it boasts a collection of more than 100,000 works. Starting on October 11th, the Louvre will host an exhibition of late Raphael pieces. These works were completed in Rome during the end of Raphael’s life and showcase the finesse and finer technique he acquired at the tail end of the Italian Renaissance. Art enthusiasts will appreciate seeing the progression of his work and admiring the changes that were made after decades of painting.

Young Van Dyck

Museo Nacional Del Prado, Madrid

Anthony Van Dyck was a Flemish painter whose most famous works were done during his career as a court painter in England. However, some of his more interesting pieces were actually done as a teenager while he worked as an apprentice for the master painter Rubens. The Museo Nacional Del Prado, located in Madrid, will host an exhibition showcasing some of Van Dyck’s most impressive early works. The exhibit begins in the middle of November and will be an exciting opportunity for art students to explore these rarely before seen paintings by Van Dyck.