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Zuidplein and or Winkelcentrum Zuidplein is a large and fully covered shopping mall in the heart of Rotterdam South. The largest part of the shopping mall was designed by architect Hermanus Dirk Bakker and improved in the period 1962 till 1972, most recently added in between the period of 1993 and 1995 is the east wing which includes an additional 11 thousand square meter of shopping pleasure. Zuidplein is one of the biggest malls in South Holland.

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Leiden is a city and municipality in the province of South Holland, the Netherlands. It’s surrounded by nearby cities as Valkenburg en Leiderdorp and located on the Old Rhine, in between Den Haag and Amsterdam. It’s a rather small city with a population of just under 120 thousand people.

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Klagenfurt is the sixth largest city in Austria. It is the capital city of the federal state of Carinthia close to the southern borders with Slovenia and Italy. The city is surrounded by several hills with forests and mountains. Close to the city is Lake Worthersee and the Glan River. Klagenfurt has almost 90 thousand inhabitants.

Throughout the 16th and 17th century Italian architects developed the city center of Klagenfurt. This has given the center an almost southern atmosphere. Tourists can take an organized historic city walk during summer time. There were built over 50 romantic courtyards. Most of them were renovated and are open to public. Klagenfurt is nevertheless a living town. There are shopping arcades, cafes, shops and restaurants. The city is the native town of writer Robert Musil and his birth house is turned into a literature museum.

Lake Worthersee and Strandbank Beach offer good swimming and water sports. It is recommended to get to the Beach by bike. Every year the Beach volleyball Grand Slam Tournament is held here at the lake with the world’s top beach volleyball players. Other attractions are landmark the Lindworm, small zoo Reptilienzoo Happ, the park Minimundus with miniature models of famous buildings and the park Europapark.

Travelers to Klagenfurt need a valid passport. A visa is only necessary for stays of more than 90 days. The best time to visit the city is during the Summer months.


Gjirokaster is one of the biggest cities in the south of Albania. It is situated in a valley between the Gjere mountains and the Drino River. Gjirokaster is built on mountainous terrain, so it has many stairs in the small streets. This has given the city the nickname City of Stairs. The city has a population of around 40 thousand people with an ethnic Greek community of about 4000 and communities of Vlachs and Roma.

Gjirokaster has a history of war and occupation, just as other cities in Albania. It was part of the Ottoman Empire, it was occupied by the Greek and in 1939 the city and whole southern region was captured by the Italians. The Greek took control again in 1940, but in 1943 the Germans came. Eventually the city returned to Albanian control in 1944. It was under control of the communistic regime until 1991. The city has an interesting intercultural mix of Albanian, Byzantine and Ottoman heritage and tradition.

Gjirokaster is actually just a museum city. Visit the Etnographic Museum and take a look at some old bazaars and Ottoman houses. Most houses are made of white and black stone. Walk up to the 11th century Gjirokaster Castle or Citadel on top of the hill. This castle and museum city overlooks the city and its surroundings. Gjirokaster has beautiful nature with the surrounding mountains.

Travelers to Gjirokaster need a valid passport. A visa is not required for short visits up to 90 days. You do need a return ticket in order to enter the country. The warmest time to visit the city is in June or July.


Saranda or Sarandë is a small city in the south of Albania on the Albanian Riviera. It is located on a horseshoe bay between mountains and the Ionean Sea. The city is also located opposite the Greek island Corfu. Saranda is named after an early Christian monastery and it has a population of 32 thousand people. The city has a Mediterranean climate with almost 300 sunny days per year.

Saranda was occupied by the Greek, Italians and Nazi Germans. It was occupied by the Italians in 1939, by the Greek in 1940 and by the Germans in 1941. The city center has communist architecture, but there are many shops and bars since the fall of communism. This gives the city a very nice Mediterranean feel. Tourists can relax at the Saranda Bay, the Butrint Lagoon and Pulbardha Beach.

Most attractions are outside the city center of Saranda. The impressive ruins of Butrint are definitely worth a visit, as well as the hypnotic Blue Eye Spring and lovely beaches at Ksamili village. Tourists can take the coastal road to Vlore or other Albanian cities. Just above the city there is the old castle of Lekures where you can get a panoramic view of the bay below, below, the inland mountains, the Lagoon and Corfu.

Travelers to Saranda need a valid passport. A visa is not necessary for short visits up to 90 days. You do need a return ticket to enter the country. As said Saranda has 300 sunny days a year.


Salzburg is the fourth largest city in Austria and is located on the banks of the Salzach River. It touches the northern boundaries of the Alps. The city has rolling plains in the north and mountains in the south. The closest alpine peak is the Untersberg. The city has a population of 210 thousand people.

Salzburg is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the composer. His birth house is turned into a public museum. Salzburg is also the setting for parts of the musical and film the Sound of Music. Film fan might recognizes the water gardens of Hellbrunn Castle and some sections of the gardens of the 17th century palace Schloss Mirabell. Salzburg has many beautiful attractions of kitsch and class.

The center of the city, the Altstadt or “Old Town”, is known for its world famous baroque architecture. The center is listed as a UNECO World Heritage Site. It is a pretty compact city, so you can easily walk from one point to another. Walking through the city you will come across baroque towers, churches and mansions. There is also the massive fortress Festung Hohensalzburg and many museums.

Travelers to Salzburg need a valid passport. A visa is only necessary for stays of more than 90 days. In the surroundings of the city you can visit the ice caves or salt mines, the Silent Night Chapel in small city Oberndof or the mountains of the Alps.


Innsbruck is the provincial capital of Tyrol in Austria. It is located in the Inn Valley between high mountains of the Alps and the Inn River. The name of the city is German. ”Bruck” means bridge, so the city is named “the bridge over the Inn’. Innsbruck is an alpin ski village and it attracts many American winter visitors. The city has a population of over 100 thousand people.

Innsbruck is a popular winter destination and one of the finest ski resorts in the world. The city hosted two modern Winter Olympics in 1964 and 1976. The high mountains are the Nordkette in the north, the Patscherkofel and the Serles in the south. These are 7,657 feet, 7,369 feet and 8,917 feet high. The Nordpark offers several ski routes, as well as the Patscherkofelbahn in the south. Winter sports fans can use the Innsbruck-Card for one free ascent & descent. In the summer tourists can go hiking or mountain bike.

Although many tourists come to Innsbruck for skiing and other winter sports, the city has more to offer. It has a rich historical environment. Innsbruck knew two “golden” ages, one in 1500 and the second in the mid-1700′s. You will come across historic churches, palaces and buildings, monuments, museums and galleries. The focal point is the renowned Gold Roof. Visit the Ambras castle with its good art collection, the Gothic church Hofkirche, the palatial estate Hofburg Innsbruck, the Goldenes Dachl and many other beautiful buildings.

Travelers to Innsbruck require a valid passport. American citizens and other nationalities can stay in the country without a visa for no more than 3 months. Winters are cold and snowy. In summers hot and dry days are quite common, as well as days with cool and rainy spell, but nights can be cool. The people of the city are unpretentious and friendly. If you had enough of sports and sight seeing, you can relax at the riverside lounge bars, brewpubs and beer gardens.

Banja Luka

Banja Luka is the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina and the capital of the Republika Srpska entity. It is located in the northwestern part of the country. The city lies on the Vrbas River. Banja Luka is now a regional center of business, education, arts and culture. The population is estimated to be between 250 and 300 thousand people. The city is mostly know for its urban green areas; avenues, alleys and parks.

Although Banja Luka has suffered from an earthquake in 1969 and mosques being blown up in 1993, the city has some historic sights to visit, such as the Cathedral of Saint Bonaventure, the Governor’s Palace, the Ferhat-Pasha Monastry and the fortress Kastel. The fortress was built by Ancient Romans and is also used by Ottomans.

Banja Luka has a rich nightlife. It also has numerous cultural events. Most visited and popular are Banja Luka Theater Festival, Fashion Week and Summer Festival. In the summer you can enjoy live bands playing in outdoors venues. The region is filled with pools, thermal springs and spas. The Vrbas river is perfect for different water sports, including rafting and kayaking. You can also go fishing, rock climbing and hiking along the canyon of the Vrbas River.

Travelers to Banja Luka need a valid passport and return ticket. American citizens don’t need a visa to visit the city. The warmest time to visit Banja Luka is in July. The city has a continental climate with warm summers and harsh winters.


Travnik is a small city in central Bosnia and Herzegovina. It is located at the edge of the Vlasic mountains into a narrow wooded valley of the Lašva River. The city has a population of approximately 27 thousand people.  The city was the birth play of Nobel literature prize winning author Ivo Andric, who wrote about his city in The Travnik Chronicles.

Travnik is a picturesque city that has suffered from the war. This is still visible in the center, as well as signs of other historic times. The city was part of different occupations. Since 1995 Travnik is part of the Federal Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina and the administrative center of central Bosnia. The old town of the city dates back to the early 15th century. There are structures dating to the Ottoman era that are in near perfect conditions. Take a look at numerous mosques, oriental homes, fountains and two clock towers.

Walking from one part of Travnik to another will take only 30 minutes. Walking is the best way to see all the historic sights. Highlights include the source Plava Voda, the oldest part Stari Grad, the traditional architecture of Osoje and The Ivo Andric House. You can also walk up to the old fortress of Travnik which has very impressive traditional homes. Adventurous people can enjoy hiking mountain sports on the Mountain Vlasic, 6560 feet.

Travelers to Travnik need a passport that is valid for longer than their stay and a return ticket. American citizens don’t require a visa. Travnik can be visited all year round. It has a continental climate with temperatures from 33 Fahrenheit in winter up to 64.8 Fahrenheit in summer. It snows every year.


Burgas, or Bourgas, is the second largest city in Bulgaria. It is located on the Bulgarian Black Sea Coast near the Burgas Bay, so it is referred to as a seaside resort. However the city also is an industrial center and main port. The city is surrounded by three lakes, Vaya (the Burgas) lake, Atanaskovsko lake and Mandrensko lake. Burgas has a population of almost 300 thousand people.

From Burgas it is easy to explore the southern coast of Bulgaria and its beach resorts and more historic towns, such as Nesebar and Sozopol. The city itself also offers enough things to do and see. It has luxury holiday resorts as well as campsites on beaches for nature lovers. Burgas has an uncrowded beach and bossy sea side park, the Maritime Park. The city has a nightlife with bars, clubs and theaters.

The city was founded by Greek colonists who named the town Pyrgos. The old town shows some of its history as well as the Archaeological Museum. Other museums are the Ethnographic Museum, the Burgas Regional Historical Museum and the Museum of Nature and Science. If you like art, the city has one of the oldest art galleries in the country in the form of the Burgas Art Gallery, located in a former Jewish Synagogue.

Travelers to Burgas need a valid passport. A visa isn’t necessary for a stay up to 90 days. The best time to travel is in the summer, when the city is most lively. There are more activities to do, surfing and kite-surfing for instance. Be aware of pick pocketing, beggars who follow you around, scam-taxi drivers and drunk people during summer months.