Happy New Year! Top 20 Cities for Tourists for 2015…….Pick YOURS!

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Every year, MasterCard puts together it’s Global Destination Cities Index, which tracks airline ticket purchases, souvenir purchases, and other travel spending data to figure out which cities are the most popular destinations for tourists in 2015. Can’t decide where your next vacation will be? Take a look at all the destinations listed below…….One just may be YOURS!

20. LIMA, PERU

19. TOKYO, JAPAN

18. RIYADH, SAUDI ARABIA

17. VIENNA, AUSTRIAferris wheel vienna

Vienna dropped one spot from last year, with just over 6 million tourists visiting. Still, it’s growing in visitor spending, beating out both Milan and Berlin. There’s much more to Austria’s capital than the classical music and art that made it famous—it’s one of the most eco-friendly cities in Europe.

16. SHANGHAI, CHINA

15. TAIPEI, TAIWAN

14. ROME, ITALYcolosseum

The Eternal City had an uptick in both the number of tourists and the amount of money spent per person, and it remains beloved by Conde Nast Traveler readers, who voted it their seventh-favorite city in the world.

13. MILAN, ITALY

Milan is home to Italy’s Fashion Week , but the fashion-conscious city slipped slightly this year, coming in at no. 13 overall and sixth in Europe. The reason for its slight decline? Although it had almost the same number of tourists in 2013 and 2014, the average amount spent per person went down.

12. AMSTERDAM, THE NETHERLANDS

11. BARCELONA, SPAIN

Barcelona came in at no. 9 on Traveler ‘s readers’ choice list of the top 25 cities in 2014 . The beachfront city beloved by art lovers is a perennial hit with travelers, with 7.37 million people passing through this year.

10. SEOUL, SOUTH KOREA

9. HONG KONG

8. KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

7. ISTANBUL, TURKEY

Istanbul is at the crossroads of Europe and Asia, and its ranking on the list this year reflects its central location. Fifty-five percent of tourists in Istanbul come from outside Europe; the city is also becoming popular as an extended layover spot—it was the fastest growing international air hub in 2014.

6. NEW YORK, NY

5. DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES

4. SINGAPORE

3. PARIS, FRANCEeiffel tower

The city often called the most romantic place in the world is a perennial tourist favorite, with proposals in front of the Eiffel Tower a daily occurrence. The list of famous attractions—Notre Dame Cathedral, the Arc de Triomphe, the Louvre —seems endless, and the world-class cuisine attracts foodies of every stripe. The 15.6 million annual visitors can’t get enough. Unlike London, whose biggest group of tourists is from within the EU, Paris’s visitors are the opposite: 53 percent come from outside of Europe, especially the United States and Japan.

2.BANGKOK, THAILAND

1.LONDON, ENGLANDMinolta DSClondon

Despite its high price—the pound is strong, making it one of the most expensive places to live and to visit—London continued its dominance in the tourism industry. Some 18.7 million tourists came through the British capital in 2014, putting it more than two million people ahead of its closest competitor. It also comes in at no. 1 in terms of total visitor spending, with tourists spending a grand total of $19.27 billion in 2014. That is a lot of cups of tea.

If some of these cities strike your fancy, Call or email our office today to have one of our specialized agents put together a trip of a lifetime!

 

Call 800-621-2259 Email: info@tourcrafters.com

FONTANA DI TREVI

The culinary tradition of Bilbao is reflected in its ‘pintxos’

I read an article written by Iñaki Makazaga for the Spanish newspaper “ El Pais”   and I found it so interesting I want to share all the information with you! First of all because I love food, especially good food, second because I fell in love with Bilbao and its “Pintxos” during my first trip to the Basque Country. Pintxos taverns, regardless of their appearance, enclose in a single bite the best of Basque cuisine! These below are the best pintxos places in Bilbao suggested by chef Josean Alija, head of Nerua restaurant (one star in the Michelin guide), located inside the Guggenheim Museum.

Our Guide

First of all remember the right way to enjoy pintxos . Do it like the Basques do : stroll from one bar to another drinking wine with your pintxos . (this is called “potear”)

The Old Town – Casco Viejo

In the Seven Streets,   you will discover the real heart of Bilbao . “The pintxos encourage to drink and drinking helps to eat more pintxos”. If for inhabitants of Bilbao it is a way to share time with friends , for a visitor “el poteo” can be an informal lunch .

The Rotterdam (Calle del Perro, 6) provides casseroles (the sukalkis with the four Basque sauces -red, green, black and pilpil) reasonably priced and good wines .

Xukela (Calle del Perro , 2) is one of the first establishments who bet on the pintxos, and the first, according Josean Alija, to make them evolve in a new product .

The Gatz (Calle de Santa Maria 10) offers classic pintxos as well as innovative ones.

La Bodega Joserra (Artekale, 35) is another classic in the area for their pintxos , atmosphere and location.

La Bodeguilla Basaras , calle de la Pelota 2, “is the oldest in Bilbao,” with his omelet, anchovies and more.

And if you want enjoy a night out Josean Alija suggests to try Umore Ona ( calle de la Esperanza) and Katu Zaharra (Barrenkale) where you can also listen to good rock and live concerts .

Plaza Nueva

At the bar Plaza have a taste of “gilda” a combination of the best products of the countryside .

The Gure Toki and Zuga, both in the Plaza Nueva, are two good taverns for young people . On weekends, Zuga prepares 40 different type of pintxos . Prices for each pintxo between 1.80 and 2.50 euros a piece.

Ensanche

 La Viña del Ensanche (Diputacion, 10) always busy with a nice terrace and a nice menu, has become an icon for gourmets.

The Mugi (Pozas, 55) is “a classic ” known  to wine lovers  for its choice of wines and finger food”.  Also the Cork offers excellent world wines at a reasonable price.

Come to Spain, not just to visit the monuments, although well worth the trip, but to experience her culture and beauty, through the cuisine. Catalan and Basque chefs have gained acknowledgement worldwide, earning innumerable awards and several Michelin stars. Here’s your chance to experience it!!

Join our Gastronomical Tours in Spain which includes a 3 night stay in Barcelona, 2night stay in Bilbao & 2 night stay in Madrid from $1579

 

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