A trip to the Emerald Isle of Ireland is not complete without a visit to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Belfast is only a short two hour bus ride from Dublin and has transformed over the last few decades, making it one of the most enriching and educational cities. Whether you are a history buff, film fanatic (Game of Thrones is filmed here), or art lover, you will find it here. Here are the top places to explore in Belfast on a weekend trip.
Watch the Belfast travel vlog:
Where to Stay: Ten Square Hotel
First stop is to check into our hotel, Ten Square Hotel, which is conveniently located next to the city's center point - the historic City Hall. The hotel has one of most comfortable beds, free wifi, and includes continental breakfast. If you are looking for a skyline view, the hotel's terrace overlooks the city center.
1. Peace Walls
For an educational and artistic way to enjoy the city, check out the Peace Walls, which are murals that showcase the city's past and future. The murals are found along Shankill and Falls roads. The older murals tend to contain political messages while the more recent murals opt for messages of humor and peace. You can tour the Peace walls by foot, Black Cab Tour, or the hop on hop off bus.
2. Titanic Museum
A visit to the Titanic Museum is a must see for visitors to learn the history of Belfast. The city's economy was based on ship building. Most notably, the Titanic was built here and was the largest ship afloat at the time. The museum tells the story of the ill-fated voyage with highly interactive exhibits, including a theme-park-style ride through a shipyard.
3. Game of Thrones!
Outside of the Titanic Museum is the filming studio for Game of Thrones which is in the unmistakable yellow and silver building. Many of the sights featured int he HBO series are filmed in Northern Ireland. There are tours of the filming locations which draw top photographers to the area as well as fans of the show.
4. Belfast Free Walking Tour
If you are a budget traveler, you will find plenty to do in Belfast. Belfast is filled with free activities, including one of the most educational activities - the Belfast Free Walking Tour. The small group tours are casual and informal, led by local historians who show you the important sights to Belfast's history and tell stories about each location. The tour showed the history from a local's perspective. Our tour guide, Gavin grew up in Belfast and watched the city transform to what it is today. It truly brought the city's history to life.
5. St George's Market
This lively market is the perfect place to sample the foodie delights of Northern Ireland. The building was built in the late 1800s and is filled with delicious food, crafts, antiques, and occasionally even live music. Outside of the St. George's Market, Belfast has historic pubs, Michelin star restaurants to satisfy foodie travelers.
Aside from my hometown of Los Angeles, Belfast is one of the top cities for street art. The city is filled with art on the facades of many buildings - all you have to do is walk around the city center to find them. Start at the MAC Belfast, which is a main hub for beautiful murals.
Belfast is one of the most historic, educational, and artistic cities that we have visited in Europe. What is your favorite thing to see in Belfast? Comment below!
This weekend, we visited the Palm Spring's Modernism Week, which celebrates the city's artistic and architectural treasures. Each February, the city of Palm Springs showcase the modernist movement with over 350 events, including bike tours, bus tours, and museum exhibits. With so many events to choose from, we count down the top 5 sights to see while you are in town.
Palm Springs Modernism Week Travel vlog:
Here are the highlights from Modernism Week:
1. Modernist Architecture - Door Tour
When I heard that there was a " Door Tour " I wasn't sure what to expect. We started at the Saguaro Hotel, a colorful hotel that organized a self-guided bike tour of the city's most colorful modernist houses. They gave us a map of the houses with the most colorful doors. It was like being on a treasure hunt to find each one. The colors were painted with vibrant Dunn Edwards paint, from bright yellow, magenta, to lime green, which made for instagrammable photo opportunities.
2. Saguaro Hotel -
After the bike tour, we checked into the Saguaro Hotel where we were treated to a complementary margarita at the Jefe Bar for completing the Door Tour. The hotel is one of the most instagrammable locations in Palm Springs, known for it's brightly colored exterior, fun pool, boutique style, and modern architecture.
3. Wexler Glass House -
We also toured Donald Wexler's (modernist architect) first custom house called the Glass House. The house was done in stunning modernist style which took advantage of the beautiful view of the hills and pool.
4. Downtown Palm Springs -
This past year, the downtown Palm Springs area underwent a revitalization effort and many new shops, restaurants and hotels were added along the boulevard.
5. Palm Springs Art Museum -
Palm Springs Art Museum is one of the best was to learn about the modernist movement and view the exhibits from this time period.
We hope you get a chance to visit Palm Springs Modernism Week. It is a fun and unique way to experience the city and celebrate modernism.
If you’re planning on a trip to Las Vegas, a large portion of your travels will most likely revolve around the famous neon lights and flashy casinos on the strip. People the world over come from far and wide to put their best foot forward to attract the favor of lady luck. There is more to do in Vegas than just gambling though, so whenever you get tired of gambling the days away, check out these top 10 attractions in Vegas.
Go See a Show
Theater fans rejoice! From acrobatic acts and musicals to singers and magic shows, there is always something new to watch. Perhaps a ticket to Cirque du Soleil, the best known show in the world for its sheer magnitude and acrobatic feats, should be your first stop.
The Hoover Dam
If you’re a bit more interested in something along the lines of a day trip, the hoover dam isn’t a sight to miss. Spanning the expanse of the Colorado River and the Black Canyon, this absolutely breathtaking landmark is situated a mere thirty miles south of Las Vegas proper.
Red Rock Canyon
FÈS is the religious and cultural center of Morocco, and a photographer's paradise. In this vlog, we go inside the medina and tour the city life, view the architecture, and explore the artisan crafts that made Fes famous around the world.
Behind the scenes vlog of Fes:
Here are the top places to photograph:
1. Borj Nord
The best view of the Medina of Fes is from atop a hill where you will find a 16th Century fort.
2. Fes el Bali
This is the oldest walled part of Fes Morocco founded between 789 and 808 AD. It has Spanish design as opposed to Berber influence and it is a recognized UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Medina is home to over 2,000 mosques, 80,000 people, and the oldest university. It is filled with food shops, crafts, and artisans that make for boundless photography opportunities. The medina is a car-free city and the main method of transportation is by donkey.
3. University of Al-Karaouine
The oldest university in the world established in 859 AD. We see the stunning traditional Moroccan architecture including the marble floor, tile walls, fountain, open ceiling and cedar wood work.
4. Fes carpets
One of the most famous artisan works in Fes is the carpets, which are hand woven by women. Some have traditional Berber designs while others are woven with the Fes blue color. The carpets are reversible, with the wool side for winter and the other side for summer. Expect to spend a few hundred to upwards of a few thousand for one carpet.
5. Nejjarine Museum
We visit the museum of wood arts and crafts, a beautiful historic building with a rooftop view of Fes.
6. Tannery of Fes
We tour of the tanneries in Fes, a huge outdoor leather making processing center where artisans color and tan the leather to create handbags, jackets, shoes, and more. It is best viewed from above, so we climbed to the top of a leather shop and watched from the fifth floor. The area is quite smelly, so the guides provide you with mint to smell as you photograph the area.
What are your favorite places to photograph in Fes? Comment below!
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