Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tourist Heaven in the Heart of Europe

Berlin, besides being the capital city, is the heart of modern Germany; with a stoic beat that echoes through grand public buildings, glorious museums and theaters, urbane restaurants, bustling pubs and raucous nightclubs. It's a city that thrives on change and that has made a virtue out of reinventing itself. Berlin has one of the most diverse and vibrant nightlife scenes in Europe. After the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 many buildings in Mitte, the former city center of East Berlin were renovated. Hotels in Berlin can be found cheap if you know the right places to look.

Vienna is the capital and largest city of Austria, and the Historic City Centre was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It will be one of the eight host cities in the 2008 European Football Championships. The traditional Vienna is but one of the many façades of this city. Vienna is also a dynamic, young city, famous for its (electronic) music scene with independent labels, cult-status underground record stores, and a vibrant club scene. Hotels in Vienna can also be found cheap if you know where to look.

By now you must be aware that this blog post is a tale of two cities - Berlin and Vienna, that combined together make a tourist heaven in the heart of Europe. If possible, you should adjust your European holiday calendar such that you get to travel both the cities. In Germany, Lufthansa has direct flights to Vienna from Berlin (Tegel) and v.v. As the carrier frequently offers special web only deals (as well as a 'happy hour' page where visitors can bid for flights) you are advised to check online for Lufthansa's latest prices. There are now also a number of low-cost flights from Austria to Germany, with Air Berlin operating services to Vienna from Dortmund, Hamburg and Duesseldorf and Germanwings also flying to the Austrian capital from Cologne-Bonn (CGN). In addition, Sky Europe offers a good value service from Stuttgart to Vienna (via Bratislava). Basically, you fly direct to Bratislava and then, from there, ride a SkyShuttle bus to Vienna for an extra €10 (the journey is just 50km).

Accommodation is widely available at most time in both the cities except during peak tourists easons when the hotels raise their prices. Hotels in Berlin and hotels in Vienna can burn a hole in your pocket (as mentioned earlier,) if you dont do your homework. Others it is assured that you will have the time of your life!