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Tourist

January is really a month for the winter blues. Christmas is a hazy memory, you can't quite shake that cold that's been bothering you, and summer seems like an eternity away.

Why not escape for a weekend to see some of Europe's most incredible sights, and stay in the best Airbnb's you can find. Treat yo'self, gowan.

Luckily for you, we've curated a list of some of the continent's best apartment finds.

We've already booked our flights straight out of Dublin airport, ASAP….

leaving steve martin GIF

1. Zagreb, Croatia

This new stylish apartment is in the perfect location in the centre of the beautiful Zagreb, on Križanićeva street.

For a quiet and safe space which is still central, this is one of the best areas to stay in. Close to the main city square, central bus and train station, everything is easily within walking distance.

A modern, contemporary apartment with a monochromatic décor theme, yet still so comfortable, this apartment is perfect. It can host three guests, and has two beds and a bath. 

New stylish central apartment
Price: €37 per night

2. Prague, Czech Republic

Prague is an incredible city to visit, the Old Town is stunning and has a huge amount of history, and most of the town is within walking distance.

It also is home to some of the best pub crawls in the world, just sayin'. This gorgeous boutique apartment has us DROOLING.

The spacious design, the window panels allowing light to stream in, we just need to stay here ASAP.

The boutique apartment is located in the Bohemian Zizkov district, packed with unreal cafés, bars, restaurants and bars with some amazing views of Prague.

3. Paris, France

We have found a sunny, cosy studio apartment LITERALLY just down the road from the Eiffel Tower. What more would you need?

The charming apartment is ideal for an escape to the Parisian life; it's both residential and family-oriented.

There are windows throughout the apartment to let in the French sun, and the location is absolutely perfect; the seventh district of Les Invalides

Just picture yourself having a coffee and croissant downstairs, looking out the window at the Parisian aesthetic. We can.

4. Berlin, Germany

A 'superhost' owns this GORGEOUS Berlin apartment, which can house four guests and his also an absolute bargain of an offer for what you're getting.

The apartment is a short walking distance away from some of Berlin's top spots, with restaurants, shops and bars surrounding the area.

The subway station is only a seven minute walk away, and the location is both safe and central. You'll be prancing around Alexanderplatz in no time…

Design apartment
Price: €34 per night

5. Barcelona, Spain

This spacious loft is on Airbnb Plus, and for a good reason.

The stunning studio apartment has an actual JETTED TUB. Be still my beating travel heart. The location is extremely central; with the city's main sights within walking distance.

The New York-style space has exposed brick walls, high ceilings of rustic Catalan wood and bold modern art.

Catch some rays on the balcony and make use of the space's incredible amenities.

Spacious loft
€70 per night

6. Rome, Italy

This 'superhost' certified apartment in the centre of one of Europe's most renowned cities is GOALS.

The apartment can house up to four guests, and is located on the first floor of a beautiful palatial residence just minutes from the Piazza Della Repubblica.

The studio home is freshly renovated, filled with light and more luxurious than our future. We LOVE.

7. Edinburgh, United Kingdom

This stunning Georgian apartment in Edinburgh's New Town is one of the best Airbnb's on the market.

The loft is a ground floor flat in the famous area, with absolutely every part of the city within walking distance. The apartment is spacious, has fantastic amenities such as a bath, and even an indoor fireplace for those cold January months.

The beautiful home as Wi-Fi, free parking down the road and houses two guests easily, with comfort being the essential promise. 

New Town apartment 
€54 per night

8. Vienna, Austria

This sunny apartment is extremely sought after, for it's dedication to space and light.

It can house four guests, and they can each experience the unique, warm decor of the apartment while being close to the most famous parts of Vienna.

The metro station at Ober-St. Veit is only a seven minute walk away, with the home featuring a spacious living room with a kitchen, one bedroom and a bathroom.

The terrace can be used in summer to soak in that European sun that we Irish can never seem to get.

Sunny apartment in Vienna
Price: €69 per night

9. Krakow, Poland

Poland is a great country to escape to, especially because of how affordable it is.

This chic loft apartment in central Krakow is only €18 PER NIGHT, we cannot believe how great it is.

Beautiful, modern studio for one or two people has air conditioning for the hot summer months, and is located on Bonerowska Street in Krakow city centre. 

The space is less than five minutes walking distance away from Krakow's main historical sights including main square, Wawel Castle, the Jewish Quarter and more.

Loft apartment
Price: €18 per night

10. Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The hosts don't call it the 'stairway to heaven' for no reason. Amsterdam is one of Europe's most interesting cities, with a huge amount to do and some immensely picturesque locations to visit.

Little loft apartments near the canals and boats are such a dream come true, and this luxury apartment with warm, modern décor is perfect for a weekend away with someone special.

The private trendy studio is built in the attic of an authentic 1880 Amsterdam house, and is located in the cool neighbourhood near the food hall and outdoor markets. I wouldn't book this if stairs aren't suitable for you, however, it's a steep climb up.

Stairway to Heaven
Price: €80

You all deserve a holiday, and January is the perfect time to escape the winter blues and catch the travel bug.

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There has never been a more popular time to go city hopping, with weekend breaks as cheap as chips, thanks to the many low cost airlines.

And while gushing over the merits of Italy, Slovenia, Poland, or Belgium is inevitable – we shouldn't forget the gems on our own doorsteps either.

Nor should you wait for out-of-town visitors to give you the nudge you need.

However, if you still need some convincing as to why this is such a great idea, here are six reasons you NEED to explore your city today:

1. You’ll learn something new

No one knows EVERYTHING there is to know about where they live, so you’ll at least learn something new.

2. You will meet new people

You can never have too many friends, or know too many people. Sometimes chatting to a perfect stranger in a pub can be so enlightening.

3. It can be refreshing

Strolling around your town when you have the time to take in the sights can be so relaxing, not to mention eye-opening.

With the hustle and bustle of the daily commute, we sometimes forget the beauty that surrounds us.

4. Culture

There are so many fascinating places to visit throughout Ireland, such as the National History Museum in Dublin, the Ballincollig gunpowder mills in Cork, Lismore Castle in Waterford, the Battle of Aughrim visitor centre in Galway, and the Carromore Megalithic cemetery in Sligo, so you will be spoiled for choice. You will also benefit by expanding your knowledge on your country’s heritage.

5. You will be inspired

We all draw inspiration from different things. Exploring your city could inspire you to write, travel more, or learn more about the history of your country, and its people.

6. Get an alternative view

No doubt there is at least one viewing point in your city or town. After you have explored the streets, it can be so nice to see the panoramic view during the day or at night. Looking at the city lights at night is beautiful, and magical.

Go forth, explore, and stay curious!

Photos from around Ireland, Credit to Discover Ireland.

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One year in Ireland; a year since I left behind Paris to – FINALLY!  – live with my lovely Irish boyfriend (and now fiancé).

I didn't need much persuading: long-distance relationships might have their charms, but after five years, the twice-a-month Ryanair commute was getting tiresome.

And with 12 months of habitation in this country now under my belt, I have grown to love it a lot more than I thought I ever would.

Here's why…

1) People are very friendly

A few weeks after I arrived, I was working around Grand Canal Dock and I forgot to fill up my Leap card – the insane price of the bus and public transport in general is also something I had a hard time adjusting to. When the bus driver told me the card didn't have enough money on it, a lovely young lady offered to pay for me. No questions asked, she didn’t want anything from me, she was just being kind. Not a chance that would EVER happen in Paris.

2) The alcohol issue

Irish people are famous for their drinking, but I do think there is a real alcohol problem in this country. Don’t get me wrong, we do love our wine and spirits in France, but we don’t have this culture to drink purely and solely to get drunk. Most people are able to have one or two glasses – rather than five… or ten. Also, WHAT is it with off-licences times? Do the authorities really think that people will curb their drinking if they can’t buy booze before 10.30am or after 10pm?  

 

A photo posted by Elodie Noël (@elodienoel) on

3) Food

Living in a foreign country, you miss your friends and family, of course, but mostly you miss the food. Especially when the food is French. Not that you can't find nice stuff in Ireland, you most definitely can, but it’s just the taste of home you miss. Among the French community, the French week in Lidl is probably the most exciting event of the year. On our Facebook groups, we also share tips on where to find the best raclette or croissants in town. Food is for French people what alcohol is for the Irish.

4) The renting situation

Insane, properly insane. I never thought it would be that hard to find a decent affordable place in Dublin. It is much worse than Paris, both in terms of price, quality… and stress involved. And if it is hard for Irish people imagine what it is like for foreign people, who have no proof of address or bank account or job when they arrive.

5) The immersion

I just can’t get over it. Ireland is a fully developed country, yet for some reason, there is still no hot water in the tap unless you turn on the fecking immersion 30 minutes before you plan to use it. How come every country in the world (or almost) has figured it out and Ireland still hasn’t?!

6) Christmas time

At home, you are not allowed even mention the word Christmas until December, let alone put up decorations or bring out reindeer jumpers. In Ireland, Christmas is like a marathon and you never seem to see the finish line. Between the shopping, the eating, the songs, the million Christmas parties and the alcohol, you end up looking forward to the January detox by December 12.

7) The 'summer'

What summer? Sorry, but I didn’t see anything that looked like summer over the past 12 months. I remember a couple of pretty sunny weeks in May (I think), but that was it. All these summer clothes I got in May were worn once, at best. This year, I have decided to invest in boots and a coat – which I can then just wear constantly. Perfect!

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