Posts Tagged ‘architecture’

Gaudi: In Case You Needed A Reason to Visit Barcelona

Friday, October 19th, 2012

Gaudi’s symbolic salamader in Parc Güell

Maybe you’ve heard of Antoni Gaudi, and you may or may not be familiar with his creative brilliance, but we’d like to help you get (re)acquainted. A native of Spain, Gaudi studied architecture in the late 1800s, and legend has it that his peers and professors weren’t sure whether he was a fool or a genius. Well, thankfully for us, Mr. Gaudi let his work speak for him, and he was clearly determined to tell the world that he was no fool.

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His style of artistry has been coined as Catalan Modernism, and there really are no words that accurately express its beauty. You’ll have to check it out for yourself! These days, Antoni Gaudi’s works are regarded as individualistic and extremely distinct – his inspirations derived from his passion for architecture, the natural world, his faith and love for Catalonia.

La Sagrada Familia Cathedral, Gaudi’s unfinished masterpiece

We’ve got a few options if you’re looking for a guided experience through the goodness. The Artistic Barcelona Tour explores Gaudi, Modernism, and Gothic structures throughout the city, so you’ll get a taste of each style. You’ll start by walking along Paseo de Gracia, to see Gaudi’s famous apartment buildings, which include Casa Batllo and La Pedrera. It also includes a visit to Gaudi’s bizarre Parc Guell, which has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Careful, you may get willingly lost in the whimsical design of this bizarre but compelling public park.

Those interested in something more focussed on Gaudi’s contribution to the Catalan culture might like the Gaudi Walk & Wine Tasting. Did I mention it includes wine tasting? That’s right, you’ll take a leisurely stroll through the streets of Barcelona, soaking in the beauty and absorbing new knowledge of each location, and to conclude, you’ll be invited to savor the aromas and enjoy the full embrace of the flavor of the region’s star wines while basking in the hospitality of a traditional Catalan restaurant. The groups are always small and intimate, so you might even make a few new friends along the way! (Cheers)

We’ve got other activities that include some of Gaudi’s architecture, so feel free to check here for other options. Hopefully you’ll be as artistically stimulated as we are by his works.

Happy travels!

Awesome Activities in Dubai

Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Dubai, one of seven emirates of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), has evolved from a humble fishing village into a metropolitan icon in merely three decades. Dubai is the second largest emirate, after Abu Dhabi, with a population of approximately 1.5 million people. The city has attracted the attention of the world with its incredible architecture and development as an international banking and business hub. The motto of the city is “Open Doors, Open Minds,” and likewise strives to be a welcoming international city as warm as its sands.

Take High Tea at the Burj Al Arab

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Dubai – the fastest growing city in the world – will always charm you with its impressive skyline and the most luxurious hotels ever built. The Modern Dubai Tour offers visitors a diverse experience from the unforgettable charm of traditional souks to inspiring modern skyscrapers. Visit the world’s tallest building, the Burj Khalifa, and experience “At The Top.” Begin your vertical ascent to the observation deck in a high-speed elevator, traveling at 10 meters per second. As the doors open, floor-to-ceiling glass walls provide a breath-taking unobstructed 360-degree view of the city, desert and ocean. For an ultimate indulgence, consider adding High Tea at the Burj Al Arab Hotel!

Sunrise Hot Air Balloon Adventure

There is no better way to view the amazing desert landscape and the awesome desert dawn than from the vantage point of a gently floating hot air balloon. Enjoy a unique perspective of Dubai that will forever remain etched in your memory. Glide gently over giant sand dunes, wandering camels, an oasis and rugged mountains, while you marvel at breathtaking views of the sunrise and its magical effect on the desert vistas. Whether you are a visitor or local of Dubai, you’ll gain new appreciation of the desert and its unique landscape. They say a picture paints a thousands words, and with the picturesque views from above, this hot air balloon tour may leave you surprisingly lacking words to describe the experience.

Ski Dubai Indoor Ski Resort

Ever gone snow skiing in the middle of the desert? The Ski Dubai Admission Tourwill give you that chance. Ski Dubai is the first indoor ski resort in the Middle East and offers an amazing snow setting to enjoy skiing, snowboarding and tobogganing…or just playing games in the snow. Young or old, there is something for everyone – from the beginner to the snow sport enthusiast. You don’t have to worry about ski clothing or equipment either – Ski Dubai has thought of it all, and offers guests the use of winter clothing, as well as ski and snowboarding equipment!

Book tours and tickets online at Dubai Sightseeing and save or call us toll free for assistance with reservations, group tour bookings, and private charter services. We look forward to assisting you with your upcoming travels.

Architectural History Walking Tour in Asheville

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012
Forward to the Past! Explore the art, history and architecture of Asheville.

Forward to the Past! Explore the art, history and architecture of Asheville.

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Asheville was dubbed the “Paris of the South” in the early 1900′s for establishing itself as an artisan city with unique style and architectural flare. The history of migration to the mountains of Western North Carolina has brought with it a spectrum of influences in the development of Asheville. Architectural styles range from the earliest settlements of the Native American villages & hunters to the Colonial farmers & loggers to the later desperadoes & Art Deco designers.

Our Downtown Architectural History Walking Tour in Asheville offers your more than just a tour - a new perspective. Enjoy stories and anecdotes relating to architecture, history, art and several of Asheville’s unique neighborhoods. Tours are custom designed to highlight your group’s specific interests. Hear stories about desperados and deco architects. Learn how downtown developed and reinvented itself to be the city of arts and entertainment it is today.

Several tour itineraries take visitors inside places of interest such as Pack Place, the First Baptist Church, St. Lawrence Basilica, the Grove Arcade, Smith Mc Dowell house, the Grovewood, and more. Discover the charms of mountain life and unique architecture that can only be found in Asheville.

Mural in "Chicken Alley" - Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

Mural in Chicken Alley – Downtown Asheville, North Carolina

Barcelona, The City of Counts

Thursday, April 19th, 2012
Parc de la Ciutadella Fountain. Photo via

Parc de la Ciutadella Fountain. Photo via

Known as the Ciutat Comtal (The City of Counts), Barcelona is a gorgeous, diverse landscape loaded with history, legends, and stunning art lore. Barcelona is the capital of Catalonia and the second largest city in Spain after Madrid.

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If you’re new to the city, I would start out with the Barcelona Cycle & Tapas Tour. There is no better city on the Mediterranean to explore by cycle. In a short time you get an overview of some of the iconic sites and of hidden places. The cycling is along flat ground and your efforts are well rewarded with some delicious tapas! Your English speaking guide will give you a good introduction to the story of Barcelona, stopping every couple of hundred meters to share stories, myths and slices of the city’s history, as well as exciting local suggestions for other things to do in Barcelona. An ultimate Barcelona travel adventure you will not forget.

There are many popular sightseeing hot spots, from the Roman ruins and the medieval city to the Catalan modernist neighborhoods with their characteristic buildings arranged in square blocks with cut-away corners, and their tree-lined streets and broad avenues. The city’s outstanding artists include Picasso, Dalí and Gaudí. Our Artistic Barcelona Tour – Gaudi, Modernism & Gothic Architecture – will show you many of the famous, iconic masterpieces of Barcelona.

Barcelona Sightseeing will introduce you to the best of the city in style. Book tour tickets online and save or call us toll free at 888-782-4156 for assistance with reservations, group tour bookings, and private charters.

Santa Maria del Mar. Photo via

Santa Maria del Mar. Photo via

Park Güell Entrance. Photo via

Park Güell Entrance. Photo via

Super Segway Tours Around the World

Thursday, March 8th, 2012
The Batmo-Seg? Photo by

Batman + Segway = Maximum Intimidation. Photo by

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Throughout the world, segways are used by everyone from police patrol officers to celebrities to travel enthusiasts (and maybe even Super Heroes without web-slinging abilities). Everyone can feel good about choosing zero-emissions segways over gas-powered vehicles. Segways are designed to meet the highest safety standards and adhere to all state and local laws. Thousands of people each year are enjoying taking Segway Tours all over the world. Join the craze and glide into the future of Simply Moving!

Enjoy the Hills & Thrills Tour while cruising on a Segway in San Francisco. This advanced tour was developed with returning riders in mind. Put your Segway daring to the test as you mount Russian Hill for views of Lombard Street known as the most “crooked Street” in the world. You will also see the steepest drive-able street in the western hemisphere (31.5% grade from the top of Filbert street). Atop Russian Hill the view of the Golden Gate Bridge is stunning!

On our Honolulu History & Culture Segway Tour, you will journey through scenic Waikiki, visiting historic sites including the famous Ilikai Hotel, the Ala Wai Canal and the picturesque Ala Moana Beach Park. Explore the only palace on American soil, Circle Iolani, and view the centuries-old banyan trees on the Palace grounds. You’ll also see the Iolani Barracks, the King Kamehameha Statue at the historic Honolulu Court Hale, along with Honolulu Hale, and City Hall.

For centuries the Dutch have been famous for their architecture, and there’s no better place than Amsterdam to explore architectural styles. On our Dutch Architecture Segway Tour in Amsterdam you will learn more about buildings like the Royal Palace, Stopera, Western Church, Rijksmuseum and many more. This tour is perfect for anyone with an interest in architecture from medieval, renaissance, and modern periods.

If you have not had a chance to take a tour on one of these amazing inventions, you are missing out on a fantastic exprerience. Riding a segway around various cities has quickly become one of the most popular tourist attractions. Reserve your segway tour online at and save or call us toll-free at 800-208-4421 for assistance with reservations, group bookings, and private charter services.

No One is Too Cool for Chicago Architecture

Wednesday, November 30th, 2011

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Two Prudential Building by obi1kenobi1

Two Prudential Building by obi1kenobi1

When people talk about Atlanta, people mention a music artist or heaven forbid, call us ‘Hotlanta’. When people think about New York City, they may think about films, entertainment news, world city.  When people think about Chicago, I think… well The Bean, but more specifically Chicago’s architecture.

Chicago is a large part of American architecture and the city is a beautiful tour of how its architecture has transformed the early 19th century and help create the skylines that we know today. Chicago proudly holds the first modern skyscrapers built with steel frames and large areas of plate glass.

The architect Louis Sullivan realized that these skyscrapers were a new form of architecture, and soon designed buildings that accentuated height. Sullivan’s new style of architecture became known as ‘Chicago School’.

If you’re ever in Chicago, I know it’s so uncool to look up and marvel at the buildings and look like a total tourist, but look up! It’s amazing to see these gigantic forms of art! They coexist with the humdrum monotony of life and people forget that it is a piece of American history and art!

Here are some of my favorite buildings that I hope you get to see when you visit:

The Reliance Building | 1 West Washington Street
Two Prudential Plaza | 180 North Stetson Avenue
CNA Center | 333 South Wabash Avenue
Chicago Building | 7 West Madison Street

We have a number of Chicago tours available, but if you’re looking for architecture tours, look here.

What’s your favorite skyline or favorite building? Please comment below!

- Kris


Masquerades & Festivals in Venice

Wednesday, August 24th, 2011

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“The surface of Venice is constantly metamorphosing [and] painting Venice is almost like being a restorer, peeling off the layers to find the picture after picture underneath.” ~ Arbit Blatas

Venezia, also known as La Serenissima – The Most Serene, is the city that ironically floods twice a day with the rising water level and grand architecture of the sinking buildings, and was the heart of art and commerce during the Renaissance. Venice is home to many year-round festivals & masquerades.

Cheers to the new year with the Regata delle Befana – The Witches Race. Imagine a race in a boat with ONE oar with competitors dressed up as witches on the misty waters of the Grand Canal. Now that is a sport I would watch.

The famous Venice Carnival begins about two weeks before Ash Wednesday and ends on Shrove Tuesday (Fat Tuesday / Martedì Grasso). Experience the colorful masquerade balls & costume parties that took place in 18th century, beginning as a celebration of expression and wearing masks to hide the identity between social classes. Venice will explode with color, music, art, performance, dancing, and acrobatics. International costume & fashion designers will also present awards for the best masks of the Venetian Carnival.

“Venice is like eating an entire box of chocolate liqueurs at one go.”
~ Truman Capote

The Venice Biennale is a major contemporary art festival held every two years, on odd-numbered years. It begins in June and ends in November. Art, architecture, music, dance, theatre, and cinema all have exquisite exhibitions. The 54th Venice Biennale began on June 4th and will continue through November 27th, 2011. From the mediocre to the eccentric, the festival is an incomparable feast for the senses and art in all of its monstrosity and glory. In fact, there is so much to do that you may have a sensory overload.

The Venice Film Festival (Mostra Internazionale d’Arte Cinematografica) is also a part of Venice Biennale, and is the oldest film festival in the world. This annual event occurs in late August or early September on the island of the Lido, with screenings held in the historic Palazzo del Cinema. The coveted Golden Lion is awarded to the best film of the festival, and the Volpi Cup awarded to the best actor and actress. The 68th festival is scheduled to take place from August 31st to September 10th, 2011. Luci, Camera, Azione – Lights, Camera, Action!

If you are new to Venice, unmask the true beauty of this mysterious, charming city on our Hidden Venice Walking Tour. Leave the hordes of tourists behind, and discover the Venice of your dreams. And your trip is not complete without a romantic Gondola Serenade Tour – this tour also offers a dinner option of a delicious 4-course meal with drinks included at a local resturant. Venice Tours will make your trip to this famous lagoon a truly magical experience.

I stood in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand:
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter’s wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles
O’er the far times, when many a subject land
Look’d to the winged Lion’s marble piles,
Where Venice sate in state, thron’d on her hundred isles.

I loved her from my boyhood; she to me
Was as a fairy city of the heart,
Rising like water-columns from the sea,
Of joy the sojourn, and of wealth the mart;
And Otway, Radcliffe, Schiller, Shakespeare’s art,
Had stamp’d her image in me, and even so,
Although I found her thus, we did not part;
Perchance even dearer in her day of woe,
Than when she was a boast, a marvel, and a show….

~ Lord Byron

Firenze… che bella città!

Tuesday, August 9th, 2011

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Florence (Firenze in Italian) is the capital cityof the Italian region of Tuscany, and iswell known as la bella cittá, meaning “the beautiful city.” Florence is the city to fall in love, explore the incredible art and architecture of the city, and live life to the fullest. And gelato should be involved in there somewhere too.

If you are new the the city, I would recommend the Evening Introduction walking tour to learn the layout of the city and see many popular landmarks with an expert local guide. Begin the walk in the late afternoon, when the city tends to be a bit calmer, with the potential for a gorgeous sunset during your explorations. Your guide will talk about everything from art to architecture, food to festivals, and everything in between. This Florence tour also provides the opportunity to go over any logistical questions (using the public transport system, buying stamps, etc.) and pick your Florence guide’s brain for local favorites for dining, drinking, shopping, and special events.

Next, grab a friend and hop on vintage Italian Vespa scooters for our Ice Cream & Wine Tasting Tour in Tuscany! Explore the gorgeous landscape without the restrictive itinerary of a bus or car. Your experienced guide will take you along the rolling hills and valleys of picturesque Tuscany. Enjoy tasting more than 140 different types of wine, sample tasty pork and cheese products, as well as Chianti, Grappa, Vin Santo, Olive Oil, and homemade ice cream. Delizioso!

If you’re interested in learning how some of the world’s greatest artwork was created, then it’s back to the drawing board for our Fresco Tutorial Tour in Florence Italy. This interactive workshop provides both an informative lesson in the history of fresco and a hands-on experience with the materials and techniques of fresco creation. This is a Florence travel experience not to be missed! Whatever your interests are during your visit, Florence Tours is the perfect place to make your vacation dreams a reality. Ciao for now! ;)

Relaxation & Education Along the Chicago River

Wednesday, August 25th, 2010

Whether you’re exploring solo or with a group of 20 or more, you’re bound to have a blast and learn more about the world-famous architecture of the Windy City on the  Chicago Architectural Cruise.Every year thousands of architecture lovers journey to the birthplace of the Skyscraper to enjoy this relaxing and fascinating cruise. Learn about the architects and architecture, and hear the history of this fascinating city. Welcome aboard for an enthralling river tour, widely considered as one of the best hour-long tours anywhere in the city.

Chicago Architectural Cruises

Chicago Architectural Cruises

The Architectural Cruise is led by a professional in the architecture field who will provide detailed descriptions of over 40 buildings in Chicago. The cruise map & guide are yours to keep as souvenirs. Join this inspiring river cruise through the city that defies even the laws of gravity!

See Why Chicago is the President’s Pick for 2016 Olympics

Monday, September 28th, 2009

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In three days, President Obama makes his trip out to Copenhagen, Denmark to make a pitch for Chicago to be the home of the 2016 Olympic Games.  Besides being the President’s adopted home town, Chicago has plenty to offer to travelers in general inside and outside the scope of the Olympics.  See a list of some of the main activities and attractions in Chicago below:

-Shedd Aquarium

-Sears Tower

-Adler Planetarium & Museum

-Wrigley Field

These are, of course, only a few of the attractions that make Chicago an ideal destination for travelers.  There are many tours that showcase the ins and outs of Chicago’s history, architecture, and key attractions.

See if the President is right and go check out all that Chicago has to offer.  Visit for more on how to make your trip to Chicago your most enjoyable getaway of the year!

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