Explore Prague's beauty

Explore Prague's beauty

The historic Charles Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Prague. 

Prague is a city that simply oozes charm and charisma, from its breathtaking architecture to its delicious food and abundance of cultural and historical landmarks. 

It's no wonder that the city is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

When you first set foot in Prague, you'll be struck by the beauty of its architecture. The city is home to some of the most incredible buildings in the world, including the famous Charles Bridge and the St. Vitus Cathedral. The city's Old Town is also a must-see, with its winding streets, colorful buildings, and charming squares that will leave you feeling like you've stepped back in time.

But Prague isn't just a feast for the eyes, it's also a city rich in cultural heritage. Prague is home to countless museums and art galleries, including the National Museum and the Mucha Museum. The city is also known for its theatre and music scene, with many world-class performances taking place throughout the year.

The city is also home to a number of Jewish heritage sites, including the Old Jewish Cemetery, which is the oldest of its kind in Europe, and the Jewish Museum in Prague, which tells the story of the city's Jewish community over the centuries.

You can't visit Prague without trying a trdelnik.

For foodies, Prague is a culinary paradise. Visitors can indulge in traditional Czech dishes such as goulash and dumplings, or sample some of the city's many international restaurants. Make sure to try a trdelnik, a delicious rolled dough that is wrapped around a stick, then grilled and topped with a sugar and walnut mix. The city also has a thriving craft beer scene, with many local breweries and pubs to explore.

Beyond all of these cultural and historical highlights, Prague is also a city that is easy to navigate and offers a great quality of life. The city is extremely bike-friendly and its public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro trains, is an excellent way to get around. A multi-day pass, available at metro stations, vending machines or the Prague City Transport (DPP) app, allows for unlimited travel. In my opinion walking could be the best option, especially in the very walkable city centre. 

Prague left a lasting impression on me and I can't recommend it highly enough. I think you'll feel the same way after visiting.


Wenceslas Square (shown above): This central boulevard is one of the main tourist areas of the city, known for its shops, restaurants, and nightlife.

Charles Bridge: This historic bridge spanning the Vltava River is one of the most iconic landmarks in Prague, offering beautiful views of the city and the river.

Old Town Square: This picturesque square is the heart of the city and home to some of the city's most famous buildings, including the Gothic Church of Our Lady before Týn and the Baroque Church of St. Nicholas.

St. Vitus Cathedral: This magnificent Gothic cathedral is located within the walls of Prague Castle and is the largest church in the country.

Day trips: If you're looking to take a day trip from Prague, consider visiting the nearby towns of Cesky Krumlov and Karlstejn Castle. Both are easily accessible by train and offer a unique and beautiful experience.


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Seven Magic Mountains is ... well, magical

Seven Magic Mountains is ... well, magical

Have you been to Seven Magic Mountains? It really is magical — there's no other way to describe this striking art installation in the Nevada desert. 

Here are 5 things to know if you're thinking about a visit: 

ARTIST: The installation was created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone and opened to the public in 2016. 

HOURS: The sculpture is free to visit and open 24/7. At the golden hour, the light is incredible. 

THE STACKS: The seven limestone boulder stacks are each 35 feet tall and painted in vibrant hues of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. Each boulder stack weighs between 80-100 tons. The boulders are drilled and anchored into the ground using steel rods and epoxy.

GETTING HERE: The installation is located 10 miles (16 km) south of Las Vegas. Follow I-15 S to Sloan Rd (exit 25). Turn left (east) to Las Vegas Boulevard. Drive approximately seven miles south on Las Vegas Blvd. and the artwork will appear on your left (east). There is ample parking.

DATES: Seven Magic Mountains is a temporary installation and was originally slated to be on view until December 2021. However, that timeline has now been extended though 2026.


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Las Vegas: 10 great things to do off the Strip

Las Vegas: 10 great things to do off the Strip

Is there any other city in the world that has slot machines right at the airport? 

Yet, if you came to Las Vegas and only saw the hotels and casinos, you'd be missing so much. Here are 10 great ideas that don't involve the gigantic resorts.

Visit Seven Magic Mountains, the striking desert art installation created by Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone. It opened to the public in 2016 and you'll find it about 15 minutes outside of Las Vegas.

Drive out to the Hoover Dam, a massive concrete dam located on the Colorado River just outside of Las Vegas. The Dam tour is fascinating. 

Or you could take a Grand Canyon helicopter tour that flies over the Hoover Dam. (MAIN PHOTO) It's pricey but I would put this under the "once-in-a-lifetime" category and it's so worth it. Our tour included a champagne brunch right on the floor of the Grand Canyon and it's something I'll never forget.

Explore the Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area, a stunning desert landscape with hiking trails and rock-climbing opportunities. Red Rock is much closer to the city than Valley of Fire.

The Neon Museum has a stunning collection of historic neon signs from Las Vegas' past.

The Mob Museum tells the story of organized crime in America, with a focus on Las Vegas.

The Valley of Fire State Park is worth the drive.

Take a scenic drive to the Valley of Fire State Park, known for its unique red sandstone formations. It's about an hour out of the city.

Lake Mead, a large man-made lake located just outside of Las Vegas, is worth a look for its boating, fishing and other water activities.

Visit the Las Vegas Natural History Museum, which features exhibits on the natural history of the region, including dinosaurs and other prehistoric creatures.

Browse the Las Vegas Arts District, an area of the city with a thriving arts scene that includes galleries, studios and street art.


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7 things to know before visiting Las Vegas

7 things to know before visiting Las Vegas

Isn't the Las Vegas Strip fabulous from the air? 

Las Vegas attracts millions of visitors each year ... Here’s what I wish I’d known before going. 

HOTELS: Las Vegas is not only a popular convention and trade show city, it's also a huge sports destination now. When I was there in the first week of December to attend an NFL game, occupancy was at 98% and hotel rates were through the roof. If you're planning to visit during a convention or an NFL or NHL game, it's a good idea to book your hotel well in advance — or even pick different dates. There are a number of sites that list Vegas conventions but vegasmeansbusiness.com is a good place to start.

THE STRIP: The Strip is longer than you think! The "Vegas Strip" refers to a stretch of Las Vegas Boulevard that's known for its concentration of resort hotels and casinos. With Mandalay Bay at its south end and the Stratosphere at its north end, the Strip is about 4.2 miles (6.8 km) long. The good thing is that with so many hotels here, you'll never not have a bathroom when you need one! 

CAR RENTAL: Some hotels have a car rental agency right on the premises so you can rent a car easily for just one day if you want to do some sightseeing out of town. This will save you renting a vehicle at the airport, paying for all of the days you're visiting AND paying the hefty parking rates at the hotel when you'll probably only need the vehicle for a small part of your trip. You’ll need to ride-share or taxi from the airport to your hotel but you’ll still come out ahead.

RIDE-SHARING: With the congestion and surge pricing often in effect, Lyft and Uber rates can be prohibitive. After the Las Vegas Raiders game I attended, the price to ride-share 2.4 miles (4 km) from Allegiant Stadium to our hotel, Paris Las Vegas, would have been US $40 not including the tip. (Needless to say, we walked.)

MONORAIL: If you've opted to not have a vehicle, the Las Vegas Monorail is a convenient and affordable way to get around on the Strip. The monorail runs from the MGM Grand to the Sahara, with stops at hotels and casinos along the way. It does not go to the Harry Reid International Airport. Monorail schedule and ticket prices are at www.lvmonorail.com.

THE SHOWS: Many of the hotels and casinos on the Las Vegas Strip have free shows and attractions that are worth checking out. For example, the Bellagio has a free fountain show that runs every 30 minutes, and the Mirage has a free volcano show. The paid shows are pricey, so read all the reviews because some are downright disappointing IMO. Unpopular opinion, perhaps: I've seen a number of Cirque shows in Vegas and I've found they're never as bendy or thrilling as the ones that come to your town; I think the stages in Vegas just can't accommodate the really cool acrobatics. 

WEATHER: Finally, I think many people know that Las Vegas is located in the middle of the desert so the weather can be very hot and dry especially in summer. But here's something you may not know: Las Vegas can be unexpectedly cool in winter, especially after the sun goes down. I was very glad I had my puffy down jacket when I was there in early December but really wished I'd brought warmer shoes. 


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Las Vegas: A shopper's paradise

Las Vegas: A shopper's paradise

Do you shop while you're on vacation? 

I usually don't but Las Vegas is a shopper’s paradise, and I actually ended up buying some of my Christmas gifts here when I visited in December. Mark these Top 8 Las Vegas shopping spots for your next trip here.

1. The Shops at Crystals are too rich for my blood — but they're definitely worth a look if only to see how the 1% live. The Shops comprise 56 luxury brands from Alexander McQueen to Zegna, and includes the largest Louis Vuitton store in North America.

2. Las Vegas North Premium Outlets features more than 150 stores offering designer and brand name merchandise at discounted prices. Popular stores include Tommy Hilfiger and Calvin Klein. 

3. The Las Vegas South Premium Outlets is lower-end, and features more than 145 stores with discounted prices on brand name merchandise. Popular stores include Nike, Under Armour and the North Face.

4. The Miracle Mile Shops at Planet Hollywood include a variety of shops and restaurants with great deals on clothing, shoes and accessories. I liked that this mall is enclosed, and also that I could afford to shop here! 

5. The LINQ Promenade has a mix of shops, restaurants and entertainment options. It's known for its unique stores from Havaianas to Harley Davidson. There is also a Museum of Selfies here.

6. The Grand Bazaar Shops near Bally's comprise a unique shopping experience with a mix of international and local boutiques, street performers and live music.

7. The Grand Canal Shoppes at The Venetian include a mix of high-end boutiques and designer stores such as Jimmy Choo and Michael Kors.

8. The Forum Shops at Caesars Palace are a luxury shopping experience with more than 160 stores including brands such as Louboutin and Gucci.


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Top 7 European landmarks — in Las Vegas

Top 7 European landmarks — in Las Vegas

From the Eiffel Tower at Paris to the canals of Venice at the Venetian, it’s easy to feel like you’re on the other side of the pond. 

Here are the Top 7 sights in Las Vegas that made me feel a bit like I was in Europe, only without the cobblestones. 

1. Paris Las Vegas features replicas of many famous landmarks in Paris, including the Eiffel Tower and the Arc de Triomphe.

2. The Bellagio Hotel’s choreographed fountain show is one of the most popular free attractions in Las Vegas. You can watch the show from the sidewalk or from one of the restaurants that looks out on the 8.5-acre lake, which is loosely based on northern Italy’s Lake Como near the village of Bellagio, Lombardy.

The High Roller observation wheel at Linq is modelled after the London Eye.

3. The Linq features an observation wheel based on the famous London Eye. The wheel offers views of the Las Vegas Strip and the surrounding desert.

4. The Park MGM’s crowning glory is Eataly, a higher-end Italian food hall that features a variety of Italian-themed restaurants, bars and food counters.

Head to the Venetian for all things Italy, including gondola rides.

5. The Venetian features replicas of many famous landmarks from Venice, including the Rialto Bridge and the Doge’s Palace. You can also take a gondola ride through the hotel’s indoor canals.

6. The Wynn’s Lake of Dreams features a nightly show that includes fountains, music and lights inspired by European-style gardens.

7. The Colosseum at Caesars Palace is based on the ancient Colosseum in Rome, and is used for live entertainment shows such as concerts and boxing matches.


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