Urban Towns on the Rise
The general consensus for summer holidays seems to be the same old destinations we’ve visited for decades. However, in recent times for us arty youngsters it’s more Budapest or Bruges than your typical 18 to 30s party destination. With exposure to art, culture and political movements, where we go on holiday reflects on what we’re learning or reading. What we pick up from our lecturers or the exhibitions we’re visiting opens up our checklist of places to see, making our holiday choices a lot more cultured and diverse.
A few months ago, The House of Blah Blah housed an exhibition by the 26:86 Collective named ’30 Years On – Chernobyl Exposed’. For the presentation, the art collective visited the site of the world’s biggest nuclear disaster on the year of its 30th anniversary and documented the visit with film, photos and interviews. This work was displayed in December with a great response which created a new found buzz for Chernobyl, Ukraine and its tourism opportunities.
Coming up at the end of August is the largest international festival held in Ukraine. From the 30th August to the 1st September, ‘Chernobyling’ will be in full swing. The radioactive festival of UrbEx, Geocache and Art/ Photograph is held in Slavutych city and is said to attract up to 5000 punters worldwide. With a variety of bands and DJs combined with art installations, street photography and talks, the festival sounds like one to add to the to-do list!
‘Chernobyl is not only the place of tragedy that changed the world, it is a piece of history, a memorial to heroism and a lesson for mankind and… it helped bring communism to an end. In order to make it complete, a place where people are willing to help each other again, a place of unity and true camaraderie, we need to make it live again!’
The festival has also launched a Kickstarter to help fund the event, so if you can support this great movement, head to https://chernobyling.com/en/ for more information.
Festival Accommodation Choice of:
- Camping (bring your own tent): $9.86 person/night
- Camping (rent a tent): $29.86 person/night
- Airbnb local apartments: $39.86 person/night
Flying & Transport Choice of:
- Approximate cost of flights from UK to Kiev, Ukraine = £300
- Transfers CHERNOBYLwel.com Minibuses from airport to Slavutych (2 – 2.5 hours): £31
- Skybus from airport to Kiev Main Train Station, train from Kiev to Slavutych (must book in advance online) – for the adventurous (3 hours) Tickets Prices: from 29.86 (usd) – 449.86 (usd) EXMPLE: Full Package – Save 25%! all as previous + 2 nights in the UrbEx tents
- + Day in Chernobyl • + half-board dining
- + return shuttle bus from Kiev
- + Paintball/Airsoft game, Chernobyling Football Championship and Soviet old-timer ride. Where to Buy: www.chernobyling.com
Poland is on the rise amongst tourists, (especially stag dos). However, it has so much to offer other than cheap booze the standard tourist hot spots. This year, dodge Krakow and Warsaw and head to a town with just as history and culture but a lot less of the hustle and bustle. Wrocław may seem tricky to pronounce but don’t let that stop you discovering this passionate Polish city with a radical history.
Historical buildings such as the Song of the Goat Theatre to post-punk commune Centrum Reanimacji Kultury are must-sees while the contemporary side of the city, such as art and party space Neon Side Gallery, are a worthy distraction, don’t let that stop you exploring the city’s history. The beautiful old town is full of bridges and parks and don’t forget to explore the village-like Cathedral Island, peppered with gothic architecture.
(image credit, Vogue.com)
France has so much to offer, for a chic city break we head to Paris, for a beach paradise Cannes, for a rural humble stay it’s Brittany, am I right? As impressive as these places are, they are pouring with tourists and hiked up taxi rides. For an experience just as special, head to the alternative city of Marseille. Since Eurostar launched direct trains from London, this chic city in southern France is just 6.5 hours away. In the oldest area, Quartier du Panier, you’ll find indie/ quirky cafes, shops and contemporary galleries along the river.
As well as beautiful historical sites, such as the huge neo-Byzantine church Nôtre-Dame de la Garde, you’ll find a younger, edgier Marseille by exploring places like art and social space Friche La Belle de Mai, which has a rooftop bar and open-air cinema throughout the summer. A city on the up and one to explore before the crowd catches wind for sure!
(image credit, Thomson)
For the folk of the North East, Amsterdam is one of the most accessible European cities with a 50-minute flight or the option of taking the ferry, the journey is a quick and inexpensive one. Whether you have Amsterdam ticked off the list or not, Rotterdam and all it has to offer is a brilliant alternative for a short break.
With a new wave of restaurants and bars, uniquely designed food halls, beautiful museums and impressive bridges and a charming harbour, in recent years Rotterdam has indeed become the ‘cooler’ of the Dutch cities.
(image credit, Wikipedia)
The picturesque city of Dubrovnik is known as Croatia’s most photographed city, and there’s no shock there! The beautiful city is the main shooting location for King’s Landing in Game of Thrones with its terracotta rooftops, stone walls and the panoramic views of the crystal Adriatic Sea. Historically, Dubrovnik offers the coolest exhibitions, modern and contemporary art galleries, museums which can be combined with a cable car ride to the top of Mount Srdj and also an ancient monastery.
Although Dubrovnik is a highly popular destination in the Mediterranean since its restoration work in the early 2000s, it’s a great alternative to a typical beach destination and the beautifully serene town of Cavtat is only a stone’s throw away.
(image credit, Thomson)
Want an Irish escape without the Guinness-fuelled stag do’s? Galway is the answer. The charming harbour city on the west coast which boasts everything the Irish capital has yet with decidedly more Gaelic flair (without having to wade through the swarm of tourists).
This quaint city’s Latin Quarter is a bubbling hub of captivating city streets with traditional brightly-painted pubs and bars peppered with fiddle players performing an Irish jig (and a nod to Ed Sheeran). Alternatively, head to the seaside and enjoy the famous fresh oysters or visit the historical 18th Century square or the medieval town walls.
(image credit, Ireland.com)