A tale of two cities – Detroit

EVERY city likes to market its best side to the world, directing tourists to only the most picturesque and safest parts of the city.

In Detroit, Michigan, that is a little more difficult.

A once great and wealthy city, lauded by filmmakers as the “American Dream” in action, celebrated by musicians and writers and synonymous with the automotive industry.

But, the heyday of the American automobile industry has long passed and the city is in crisis.

It is as intriguing as it is heartbreaking.

But is there hope?

Booked.net visits this once mighty city.

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Lighting Berlin – the Festival of Lights

IN just nine days the German capital, Berlin, will see the light, so to speak.

It is a revelation that promises to be spectacular, but it is not the first time…

The annual Festival of Lights is entering its eighth year and transforms the city into a sparkling oasis as more than 50 of Berlin’s iconic landmarks are bathed in lights and projections.

In the past eight years, those landmarks have included the Brandenburg Gate, radio tower and Berlin Cathedral, for this years’ festival, which runs from October 10 to 21, Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church and the Europa-Center will be added to the list of attractions.

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Choosing a hotel online

REGARDLESS of the destination, your choice of hotel can make…or break…your vacation or business trip.

In fact, whether or not your stay is comfortable can impact your entire travel experience.

So how to avoid disappointment?

Finding the best hotel for you can be a challenge, so here are Booked.net‘s hints and tips to finding the best hotel online to suit your needs and your budget.

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“Capture the Seasons” – highlights

THE entries keep on coming for our blogger promotion “Capture the Seasons” and they include some stunning images from across the world.

So again, we want to share some of the best submitted so far.

It was a tough choice – but here is another selection of pics that the team at Booked.net thinks capture the essense of the four seasons, their color and contrasts.

Inspired? Want to take part? Search your photos and for more details click on this link.

Be imaginative – the only limit is your creativity.

Thanks to all of those bloggers who have taken part so far.

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Europe’s great cities on the cheap – London

TO walk the streets of London is like being dropped in the center of a movie set, so recognisable are the city’s landmarks.

Despite two millenia of history, in this city the old and the new sit alongside each other in perfect harmony.

One of the world’s truly great cities, from London has it all from its illustrious and colorful history to art and culture, iconic architecture, royalty and an ethnic diversity in part built from its past as the hub of an empire and in part from its present – where its sheer scale draws people like moths to a flame.

From the Tower of London, the London Eye, Westminster Abbey, Piccadilly Circus, the Palace of Westminster and Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, St Paul’s Cathedral, Tower Bridge and Trafalgar Square, the list of sites for the average visitor to check off on their list is both exhaustive and exhausting.

In the final of our series Booked.net gives you some tips on how to take in the wealth of London without spending a fortune.

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Europe’s great cities on the cheap – Vienna

THIS city’s musical pedigree leads to its quite obvious title as The City of Music.

And what a pedigree it is. Vienna, Austria’s list of musical prodogies include Strauss, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler and Beethoven among others.

But that cultural legacy extends beyond musicians with psycho-analyst Siegmund Freud and painter Gustav Klimpt as among the city’s famous sons.

Boasting one of the most carefully preserved streetscapes in the world, this city is a living-breathing museum and it is this uniformity of architecture that sets the UNESCO recognised former seat of the Austro-Hungarian Empire apart from other great European cities such as Paris, Rome and London.

So how to take in one of the world’s architectural and cultural gems without burning a hole in your bank balance.

In Booked.net‘s third in this series, we offer you some hints and tips.

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Europe’s great cities on the cheap – Paris

IT is known as the “city of love” and as romantic as the atmosphere is, it is the city itself that most people fall head-over-heels in love with.

It has one of the most recognisible skylines in the world, largely because of the beautiful lattice iron Eiffel Tower that dominates it – a potent symbol of both France and it’s home Paris.

But the real love affair with Paris is when you look beyond those oh-so-familiar landmarks and explore its network of backstreets and claim Paris as your own.

But how to enjoy this holiday romance at prices that won’t leave you heartbroken?

In the second in our series on Europe’s great cities on the cheap Booked.net offers some answers.

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Europe’s great cities on the cheap – Rome

EUROPEAN cities can be considered to be the cradle of Western civilisation and contain historical and cultural riches, but sometimes those riches mean visiting those cities can cost a fortune.

Or does it? Believe it or not it is possible to take in all Europe’s most popular (read expensive) cities on a budget.

In this series, Booked.net gives you hint, tips and our picks of how to experience the great cities of Europe without blowing your budget.

So we start with the world’s first large scale city – Rome.

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5 cities to see in the New Year before you die

New Year in Sydney.

NEW year, new opportunities, new plans…and (whether you actually keep them or not) new resolutions.

The methods of celebrating may vary across the globe , but for the most part and for most people, New Year is the largest party of the year.

The following five cities should be added to any traveler’s “bucket list” as destinations to see in the New Year at least once.

From basking in the summer sun with Australians and South Americans to winter in the United State’s greatest city or the French and Japanese capitals these cities traverse five continents and two seasons.

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Discover Le Mont Saint Michel

ABOUT 400 kilometers (and an easy day-trip) from Paris is a stunning island commune known as  Mont Saint-Michel.

Located in Normandy, it is one kilometer off the north-western coast, at the Couesnon River mouth near Avranches and is home to a population of less than 50.

The island was home to strategic fortifications since antiquity, and since 709 AD has been the seat of the monastery from which it gets its’ name.

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