Winter Warmers

We all know how chilly it can get during the winter in Eastern Europe; anyone who has visited these parts also knows how the locals like to tell tales and stories over strong liquor. We count down the top 5 winter warmers to try this year.


Riga Black Balzam – As thick as tar and 45%abv this drink is a cross between Jagermeister and cough medicine, which is handy as the local Latvians swear by this drink as a cure for the common cold…if you have enough we are sure it could cure most ailments.

 

 


Unicums – Brewed from over 40 herbs (apparently) this liquor from Hungary is sure to warm the cockles of your heart, even if the image of a drowning man on the label is a bit odd.

 

 

 


Zubrowka – This list would not be complete without a good old traditional Polish wódka and where better to start than the Bison Grass wódka. A single blade of Bison grass is placed in every bottle and although this has been copied many times over there is only one original Zubrowka.

 

 


Vana – This Estonian liquor is available in varying levels of potency, from 16%abv up to 50%abv. Of course when in Tallinn there is only option and that the 50%abv, not as old as others on the list it is perhaps a bit more palatable with a sweeter taste.

 

 


Rakija – A favourite amongst the Balkans this liquor made from distilled fruit, Serbian Rakija is renowned as the best around, due to the excellent fruit farming in this area…again the not so legal form of Rakija can pack a punch at 60%abv

 

The binge drinking generation is starting to grow up.

The media might have to re-look at the image they paint of groups of drunken men flying out on low cost airlines to places like Riga, Tallinn and Budapest for the weekend.
Instead of stag parties and sports tours spending their entire foreign sojourn sat in pubs and strip clubs the tide has turned with these groups now demanding something more meaningful and indeed, memorable from their trip.
If you visit Latvia you can experience the thrill of the bobsleigh (even during the summer), in Prague shoot an AK-47, in Budapest de-tox in a spa and wellness complex and in Tallinn play ice cricket.
The new generation of young men are interested in all kinds of adventures and experiences ranging from the bizarre, through activities such as Ice Fishing in Vilnius, to the high-class such as attending world-class opera at Riga’s National Opera House.

Every week Travel Out There delivers a whole host of interesting, strange and wonderful activities to foreign tourists in Europe. After all we are your number one experience agency! These people do not spend all their time sat in pubs and it is time the popular press realized this.

Romantic Cities

It may not be the typical time of year to think about a romantic break with your better half but think about it…the changing seasons present one of the best opportunities to see a city in transition. Forget the Summer rush and hoards of tourists flocking to see the guidebook sights, Autumn and early Winter take a city back to its best. The streets are quieter and yet seem to be more colourful, if you have chosen to visit a city like Riga then you will be in for a surprise. The parks become awash with the colours of fallen leaves and a deep breath fills the lungs with crisp Autumn air, the temperature is cool but not yet cold, the days are shorter but not too short and the city is quieter but not silent…never silent.

So why is this time of year perfect for a Romantic get-away..? Well, first of all Hotels have just reverted back to their “Winter” rates, meaning that you have the chance to make your budget stretch a bit further, now you can think about staying in a 4 or 5* hotel or maybe  even a boutique hotel that would otherwise be out of the average price range. The budget airlines release some great offers and even launch new destinations in a bid to stimulate spending in the “Quieter Autumn Period”.

In a recent list of Romantic Cities created by TripAdvisor, Prague, Berlin and Budapest all featured in the top 10…these destinations maybe better known for Bachelor parties and sightseeing rather than a romantic break but don’t be put off because all three present different options.

Prague Since the late eighties and the opening up of Eastern Europe, Prague quickly became one of the trendy (and original, at first) places to visit and rapidly evolved to offer all kind of tourist amenities. It is a lively Destination with plenty of beautiful things to see starting with its grand castle and the famously romantic Charles bridge.

 

 

Berlin Like adventure? Love to live off the beaten track? Cancel your romantic weekend to Paris or Venice and head for Berlin. The capital Destination of Germany has tremendously changed over the last 15 years to become one of the most vibrant and exciting destinations of Europe.

 

 

Budapest Destination that developed on the banks of the Danube river, Destination of churches, great architecture, thermal baths and artists, Budapest is experiencing a fantastic revival since the early nineties, which made it become one of the most-wanted alternate destinations for a romantic gateway.

 

 

Most people think of the obvious choices for a romantic break, Paris, Rome and Barcelona spring to mind but why fill your photo albums with the same pose at the same sights as all your friends…? At Travel Out There we encourage people to really visit a City, get beneath the surface and see what others miss, just because your on a Romantic break it doesn’t mean that you cant try something, or somewhere different.

So next time your thinking about treating your other half to a romantic weekend away, think a little different and consider options that may surprise you in more ways than you imagined…