The Best Time to Visit Budapest – St. Stephen’s Day

The Best Time to Visit Budapest – St. Stephen’s Day

The best time to visit Budapest is hands down St. Stephen’s Day, August 20th.

If you are planning a trip to Budapest and have some flexibility on when you go, I would urge you to consider spending your time celebrating Hungary’s National Holiday.

Looking for the highlights of Budapest for your trip? Check out my post The Best of Budapest.

best time Budapest

What is St. Stephen’s Day in Budapest?

St. Stephen’s Day is to celebrate the foundation of the Hungarian State, and is held on August 20th every year.

About a thousand years ago in the year 1038, St. Stephan was declared the first Christian King of Hungary. St. Stephan turned Hungary into a Christian state after a century of Paganism, therefore he is considered the state-founder of the country,

St Stephen's Day Budapest

Why is this the best day to visit Budapest?

There’s no better time to visit a capital city than it’s country’s own National Holiday.

St. Stephen’s day is the best day of the year to visit Budapest because it provides the perfect opportunity to immerse yourself in Hungary’s culture. St. Stephen’s Day will introduce you to Hungary’s music, art, history, and most importantly – food, all in one day!

best time Budapest

How to keep up with the festivities.

The festivities largely are the same year after year, but the times may vary. The best resource for updated times are locations is here.

Várkert Bazaar in Buda – Music & The Street of Hungarian Flavors

This is one of my most favorite parts of St.Stephen’s Day! Food stalls full of authentic traditional Hungarian dishes like specialty stews or chimney cake line the Danube along the Buda side.

best time Budapest

Of course, you are in Budapest, so there is music and plenty of beer to drink in addition to the ample food choices. I had a fantastic strawberry cider that I still think about to this day!

Listening to Hungarian music makes everything more fun.

best time Budapest

Take advantage of the free museums

On St. Stephen’s Day, all the museums are free! However, beware – the lines are LONG. I would recommend choosing 1 museum that you’d like to go to on this day.

Here are some of my favorite museums that I would recommend visiting.

Hungarian National Parliament

This stunning Neo-Gothic style building is undoubtedly the most famous landmark of Budapest.

With it being the most famous building in Budapest, getting here early on St. Stephen’s day for a free tour is a must! Expect to wait a few hours if you are not there bright and early in the morning.

best time Budapest

The Hungarian National Gallery

The Hungarian National Gallery is a fantastic art museum to view. The gallery is located in the Buda Castle.

best time Budapest

When I went, they actually had a traveling Frida Kahlo exhibit that was quite expensive to view, so that was my “freebie” museum choice for St. Stephen’s day.

House of Terror

The House of Terror is a very emotional museum, and I would only recommend if you are interested in history.

This museum contains exhibits about the fascist and communist regimes that occurred in Budapest during the 20th century. The exact building was the site of countless murders and abuse and acts as a memorial to the victims.

Festival of folk arts

The Festival of Folk Arts takes place in Budapest’s castle district. It typically takes place over the course of a few days leading up to St. Stephen’s day.

Local artists from all around Budapest showcase their skills and crafts at this folk festival. It’s a great way to get an authentic sense of Budapest’s artistic roots.

Honestly doesn’t it look like an awesome time!? Someone get me one of those outfits!

Fireworks at the Parliament

End the night with stunning fireworks along the Danube in front of the parliament. Fireworks typically begin around 9pm (21:00.)

I hope you can see why St. Stephen’s Day is the best time of the year to visit Budapest.

You won’t find any other time of the year to experience Hungary’s culture all in one day!

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The Best Time to Visit Budapest – St. Stephen’s Day

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The Dancing Plague of 1518 – Choreomania

The Dancing Plague of 1518 – Choreomania

The Dancing Plague or “Choreomania” is argued to be either a social phenomenon or epidemic that occurred in Europe over the course of the 7th – 17th centuries. Hundreds lost their lives and/or had become seriously injured due to uncontrollable dancing. I didn’t…

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The Best Time to Visit Budapest – St. Stephen’s Day

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The best time to visit Budapest is hands down St. Stephen’s Day, August 20th. If you are planning a trip to Budapest and have some flexibility on when you go, I would urge you to consider spending your time celebrating Hungary’s National Holiday. Looking for the…

25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

Preparing to study abroad can be stressful. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of 25 items that I thought were really essential for my experience studying abroad. Studying abroad was undoubtedly the highlight of my college career. There were many things I learned…

25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

Preparing to study abroad can be stressful. Luckily for you, I’ve compiled a list of 25 items that I thought were really essential for my experience studying abroad.

study abroad

Studying abroad was undoubtedly the highlight of my college career. There were many things I learned and loved about my experience living in a foreign country.

Something I greatly underestimated was how much work the process itself was. If you are about to study abroad or thinking about it, check out my post Things To Consider Before You Study Abroad.

These items won’t be all you need before your great adventure abroad, but they are some of the more unusual or easily forgettable essentials that I wanted to remind you to bring!

Hopefully, these 25 Things You Need Before You Study Abroad will help make your educational journey abroad a smoother transition.

Here are 25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

1. A Universal Travel Adapter

This travel adapter is my favorite to travel with because it works in the UK, Europe, Asia, Australia, and the US! If you can only buy one thing for your trip abroad, I would consider this the most essential for your study abroad adventure.

Actually, I always travel with 2! If you use something that blows it out, like a hairdryer or curling iron, then it can be a pain to have to wait in the mail for 1-2 weeks to get a replacement. So I highly recommend always traveling with a backup.

I also love this adapter because it has 4 USB ports rather than the traditional 2. This can be very handy, especially if you plan on traveling around in hostels during your time abroad.

2. A Quality Backpack

Since you are going to study abroad, you are probably going to want to travel around a bit! Luggage fees on airlines can cost you a pretty penny if you aren’t careful. I spent 6 months backpacking Europe and didn’t spend a dime on luggage fees.

Before I left for my backpacking trip, I knew I needed something that was completely functional and was the highest quality. I spent about a year before I left doing oodles of research on the best backpacks in the world. The conclusion came to be Osprey.

study abroad

The backpack I specifically have is an Osprey Porter 46. It fit on every airline and was totally functional to live out of for months. The weight distribution on this bag is incredible and it never feels like your carrying as much as you are.

It’s important to find the best backpack for you. If you’re a 5’3 female like I am, this bag will be perfect for you. However, if you are tall and/or are a man, you may find a bag you can carry more with. Osprey has tons of options.

3. Feminine Hygiene Products

So this one is for the women. Feminine hygiene products are something you wouldn’t think to stock up on, but the products vary by country. Your study abroad country may supply products that have the same function, but they may look or feel different. Luckily, I read this beforehand on a blog post and brought 6 months worth with me

I’m sure whichever country you are going to has something that will work, but just consider researching it before you leave.

4. A Journal

You will certainly want to document your exciting and new experience abroad! I know a journal can be a bit old school, but you will be so happy once you’re older to look back on this experience.

study abroad things to get

5. A Good Camera

Obviously you can use your camera on your phone to capture your moments abroad. However, if you are wanting to step up your photography, this is the camera I brought along on my travels when I was just starting out.

There, of course, are more advanced cameras you can buy, but I used this camera for 4 years and I still think it’s great. The only downside is it’s a little bulky for traveling, but I made it work! Here are a couple of photos of my travels I’ve captured with it. (Photos were edited in lightroom as well).

6. A Laptop

If you are a student, you may already have this. I’m sure that studying abroad is possible without a laptop, but it just may make things a little more difficult for you with everything online these days.

The laptop that I’ve had forever is a Microsoft Surface Book. The best thing about it is, it’s SO light. Perfect for traveling. My friend who traveled with a mac book always complained about how heavy it was. So if you are shopping around, try to pick a light laptop if you plan on traveling a lot.

7. Quart Sized Zip Lock Bags

All liquids are required to fit in 1 single quart-sized bag for your flight. It’s a good idea to stock up on these baggies if you intend on traveling a lot while you are studying abroad. Maybe bring 10-15 baggies, and try to reuse on your travels as much as possible.

8. Travel Bottles for Liquids

Liquids overall are just such a pain to travel with. These bottles make things a little easier, especially if your favorite liquid products don’t come in travel sizes.

9. Credit Card

This can be a very underestimated necessity while traveling. Credit cards are almost a must for travelers. They offer SO many benefits that will make your life so much easier.

When you use a debit card for a purchase in a foreign country, or you use it to withdraw from an ATM, you are charged a fee every time you swipe that card.

A credit card that you want to look for is one that does not charge you any foreign transaction fees. Without a credit card to save you those foreign transaction fees, they can really add up if you are traveling for a long period of time.

Other benefits some credit cards can offer is travel insurance, car rental insurance, and points towards free flights. Of course, these all depend on the credit card company of choice. I have a Capital One Venture One and love it!

study abroad

10. Headphones/earbuds

Need I say more? Public transportation is a headache in itself, the least you can do is invest in a good pair oh headphones to cancel out the noise.

11. Water Bottle

You know what they say, hydrate or diedrate!! A quality water bottle is essential for any type of traveling. It is very important to stay hydrated, especially as you explore the new city that you’re studying in!

study abroad

12. Extra Phone Chargers

I would recommend traveling with 2 phone chargers. The same kind of deal with the travel adapter, a phone charger is not something you want to be without. You could leave it somewhere or it can stop working, and you may be somewhere where replacing it is not immediate.

My phone charger quit working while I was waiting for a train in Paris. It was very stressful scrambling around searching for one in fear of missing my train!

study abroad things to get

13. Swimsuit

This may seem rather random but you never know when you’re going to take a dip!

Swimsuits are small and easy to stuff in your bag, it may be worth having one just in case. Even if you are studying somewhere cold and not tropical, you could find a super cheap flight to Lisbon or Morocco and definitely want to go for a swim!

14. Tennis shoes and/or Hiking Shoes

One time I ended up in a situation where I was in the mountains of Norway with nothing but a couple of pairs of sandals. Amazon was not accessible and I ended up dropping over $200 at the only hiking store in town. Not exactly a backpacker’s budget!

Hiking is one of the most spectacular and underrated things you can do during your time abroad. I would research your destination, and consider if hiking is something you want to do on your adventure. If so, I would definitely bring a good pair of hiking shoes.

I knew before I tackled this hike that investing in some quality hiking shoes was a must. One little slip and well… you can clearly see what would have happened.

15. Unlocked Cell Phone OR Sim Card + International Phone Plan

Be sure to research your specific cell phone and how it will work in the country you’re going abroad to.

I have an Iphone and I made sure to get it unlocked and also sign up for a phone company that I knew would have good international rates. I actually switched my phone plan from AT&T to T-mobile specifically for T-mobile’s international rates, which were considerably cheaper.

If you aren’t careful, your phone plan can costs you thousands of dollars in extra international fees.

16. Travel Insurance

If you are going abroad through a program with your school, they *should have insurance included within your fees. However, if you plan on traveling before or after your term, your school insurance likely will not cover it! Travel insurance is extremely important for your finances and your health.

Some people don’t use it at all, but if you have my luck, you’ll go to the hospital like 6 times during your trip and be so thankful you had it. Better to be safe than sorry!

17. Luggage Tags and Labels.

Basically everything I own has my name, phone number, and e-mail address written all over it. If I’m being honest, I lose things quite often. So, it’s important that I cover my bases in case things get lost or misplaced.

Luggage tags and labels will come especially handy if your bags get lost at the airport. Unfortunately, this happens pretty often!

I would also recommend using labels on anything remotely expensive or valuable to you – your camera, journal, cell phone, etc.

Don’t forget to include your last name so people can find you on Facebook, your country code before your phone number, and your e-mail in case they can’t contact you via phone number.

Washi tape is a great way to label things. Scotch brand definitely makes the best quality that sticks.

study abroad things to get

study abroad things to get

18. A Small Variety of Clothing Options

This is probably rather obvious, but you want to include varied options of clothes. Clothing is one of those things that you can really get anywhere you’re studying abroad. So don’t stress if you aren’t packing absolutely every clothing item you think you may need.

You will definitely want to pack accordingly to the weather that will be most prominent during the time in your study abroad destination. Then, maybe include some tropical or winter wear if you plan on traveling to other countries with different climates.

study abroad things to get

19. Towels & Sheets

My dorm at the college I studied abroad at was pretty bare. It didn’t have pots, pans, plates, towels, bed-sheets…. nothing!

However, there were options that you can buy from the school to have these things provided for you upon arrival. Some packages can be rather expensive, but it may be worth it to lighten your packing.

You can also mix and match your packages if that is an option. I opted to bring my own towels but purchased bed sheets from my university. My flatmates and I all chipped in for kitchen items on our own and just bought them in town when we arrived.

20. Extras of EVERYTHING! Medicine, Contacts, Retainers, Glasses, etc.

So, I’m a Capricorn, which means I try to be totally prepared for everything. My friend who traveled with me is not and had to deal with getting some of these things abroad, which took a lot of time, money, and stress.

It’s not that you can’t access these things in most countries, but it can just be a bit more difficult. You’ll need to stock up on contacts, birth control, any special type of medication, and anything else that is particular for you and more tricky to get abroad.

If you have to wear a retainer at night, consider getting a backup just in case you lose yours. It’s a good idea to have a second pair of glasses as well.

21. A Light Foldable Jacket

Even if you are going somewhere warm, a light jacket can be a lifesaver. Public transportation always freezes me out. I had a tiny foldable jacket that really came in handy when I didn’t need my big winter coat and just wanted something light.

22. Small Umbrella

I got some serious backlash when traveling for carrying a small umbrella. Backpackers told me it was a waste of space! I did not regret it one bit. I tried to tough it out with just a small rain jacket, and it did not go well. What can I say, I’m an umbrella snob.

study abroad things to get

23. Microfiber Towel

So, I know I already mentioned towels and sheets, however, a microfiber towel is really essential if you plan on doing any sort of traveling around during your time abroad.

Microfiber towels are not cozy and fluffy like the shower towels were are use to at home. But, they are very small and fold-able, also they dry out quickly and don’t get that moldy smell like a normal towel would if you tried packing it.

Rainleaf is my absolute favorite brand. The towels run VERY small though, so just do yourself a favor and get an XXL. It can also double up as a great beach towel.

24. Sunglasses

You’ll definitely want some sunnies for the long flight ahead!

25. A Planner

I’m a big fan of planners to keep track of my studies and my travels! I’m obsessed with the Happy Planner’s mini travel sized planners.

To make the decision to study abroad is such an exciting adventure one can experience – make sure to enjoy every bit of it!

Don’t spend too much time stressing if you don’t pack absolutely everything on this list. If you forget something, Amazon Prime is your bestie!

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25 Things You Need to Get Before You Study Abroad

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The Dancing Plague of 1518 – Choreomania

The Dancing Plague of 1518 – Choreomania

The Dancing Plague or “Choreomania” is argued to be either a social phenomenon or epidemic that occurred in Europe over the course of the 7th – 17th centuries. Hundreds lost their lives and/or had become seriously injured due to uncontrollable dancing.

Dancing Plague 1518

I didn’t believe it at first when I came across this incredibly strange piece of history. How could someone possibly lose their life to uncontrollable dancing? To this day, the true cause of choreomania is still unknown. However, there are theories of what led to this mass deadly dancing.

What is Choreomania?

In Greek, choreomania translates to dance mania (chroros – mania). Choreomania is also known as The Dancing Plague, St. John’s Dance, and St. Vitus’s Dance. These names refer to various isolated outbreaks across Europe spanning the 7th – 17th centuries, where large groups of people danced aggressively for long periods of time – leading to extreme exhaustion, injuries, and death.

The dancing plague

The Earliest Outbreaks

The earliest choreomania outbreak is thought to have occurred sometime in the 7th century.

One incident in 1278 involved over 200 people dancing on a bridge in Belgium until it collapsed. Many died, but those who survived made their way to a chapel nearby dedicated to St. Vitus until their health was restored.

The first major outbreak was recorded on June 24, 1374 in Aachen, Germany. This pivotal incident sparked a series of outbreaks all across Europe. Written accounts describe the dancers under a “trance.” Other notes comment on animalistic behaviors of people breaking their ribs by jumping in the streets, having sex in public, and collapsing or dying due to exhaustion.

Dancers would gather and dance for weeks or months at a time.

Amidst our people here is come, the madness of the dance. In every town there now are some, who fall upon a trance. It drives them ever night and day, they scarcely stop for breath. Till some have dropped along the way, and some are met by death.

The Straussburgh Chronicle of Kleinkawel 1625
the dacning plague

The Dancing Plague of 1518

The outbreak of 1518 was one of the most detailed occurrences of choreomania in history.

In July of 1518, a woman by the name of Frau Troffea began dancing in the streets of Strasbourg. She is reported to have been dancing uncontrollably with a blank expression. Troffea danced for weeks on end, with crowds of people gradually joining her. Eventually, up to 400 people joined her at a time.

The city of Strasbourg actually ordered a stage and a band, in hopes to somehow reverse the dancing by playing slower music that comes to a gradual stop. Unfortunately, the efforts only made matters worse – in fact, the band even joined in with the dancing madness.

People would dance until they fell to the ground with their mouths foaming, only to resume dancing once they gained consciousness. Hundreds died, largely to heart attacks, strokes, and exhaustion.

The Sickness

It is believed by some, that choreomania was oftentimes involuntary and even appeared more so like body convulsions rather than joyful dancing. Most accounts for the outbreaks also note that it seemed contagious. Once people witnessed the dancing, they wanted to join in.

Theories of the Dancing Plague

There are many theories and suspicions as to what the cause was of the dancing madness. Some theories suggest that it has religious ties, such as being a curse from St. Vitus. Other religious theories suggest religious expression, devil possession, or cult rituals.

One of the most popular theories for the cause of the dancing plague is ergot poisoning. Ergot is a type of mold that grows on rye and is extremely unsafe to consume. Side effects of ergot poisoning are hallucinations, vomiting, confusion, spasms, muscle pain, and convulsions.

Other popular theories include contaminated water, venomous spiders, or mass hysteria.

Treatments

There were few attempts to stop the madness, but some treatments included quarantining, praying, and playing slow music. None of the treatments showed any significant progress in stopping the plague.

The Aftermath

Choreomania had a massive economical impact on cities with large outbreaks. Crops were neglected, resulting in famine across communities. Diseases also spread rapidly due to the large gatherings of dancing.

Conclusion

The exact statistics are unclear as to how many people choreomania effected. However, it is estimated that tens of thousands were diagnosed, and hundreds lost their lives.

The dancing plague came to an end in the 17th century, and hasn’t been heard of since.

I’d love to know your thoughts on this strange piece of history!

Have you heard of The Dancing Plague?

What theory do you believe most that led to this madness?

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The Perfect 4th of July Charcuterie Board

The Perfect 4th of July Charcuterie Board

With your favorite summer holiday just around the corner, a 4th of July Charcuterie Board is perfect to bring to a holiday potluck, barbecue, or picnic.

There is nothing that reminds me more of summer, than the combination of delicious barbecue and chalky firework smoke filling the air!

When I was younger, we always had a neighborhood block party on the 4th. It was something we looked forward to every year. Food, friends, and beer were always plentiful – what more could you ask for?

This 4th of July themed charcuterie board is the perfect festive blend of sweet and salty. My board is small to medium-sized, so feel free to adjust the portions to serve your guests accordingly.

4th of July themed charcuterie board

Everything you need for your 4th of July Charcuterie board.

Charcuterie boards are great because they look like you’ve spent a lot of time on something when you’ve really just thrown it together. They are literally impossible to screw up!

Don’t have a charcuterie board? No worries. You can purchase the one in these photos here for around $20. If you don’t want to buy one, then any sort of flat platter will work.

If you are planning a picnic for your fourth of July celebrations, picnic sets are so fun and convenient! Here are a couple similar to mine in the photos below – 2 person picnic basket or 4 people picnic basket.

Putting together your charcuterie board – The Ingredients

4th of July charcuterie board

Crackers

Any type of crackers will do! Wheat thins, Ritz, or an assortment.

Cream Cheese Shortcakes

These are my favorite part of the board! You will need dessert shells, 6oz of softened cream cheese, 1/3 cup of salted butter, 2 cups of powdered sugar, 1/2 tablespoon of vanilla extract.

Mix everything but the shells together in a large bowl. Fill the shells with a generous spoon full of frosting. Top with blueberries and raspberries.

The frosting is roughly enough for 15 shortcakes. Cut the recipe in half for less or double it for more.

Alternatively, if you are not a fan of a cream cheese mixture, I think whip cream would be tasty too!

These printable American flags are perfect to decorate the shortcakes. Just print them out and tape them to toothpicks (these are not the flags pictured in the photo. I think the ones linked look better than mine!) Or you can purchase some already made here .

4th of july charcuterie

Cheese, nuts, & meat.

Pick whatever cheese you’d like for your tray. I love a tomato garlic cheddar, or Parmesan

A meat assortment of prosciutto and black pepper salami is what I typically use for my board.

A little bowl of mixed nuts is a great salty snack to add to the middle of your tray.

White Chocolate Pretzels

These white chocolate pretzels are the perfect patriotic sweet treat for your charcuterie board.

4th of july charcuterie

Fruit

You can put any kind of red and blue colored fruit on your 4th of July board. I chose strawberries and blueberries. Watermelon, raspberries, cherries, or grapes would work well too!

Wine time

The most important part of any holiday… just kidding! However, wine can certainly make any gathering a little more fun. I am obsessed with these mini bottles of prosecco, plus they are easy to dress up with some festive ribbon.

4th of july charcuterie
4th of july charcuterie

I hate going through posts and forming a grocery list, so I made one for you.

Printable Grocery List

And that’s all! It’s a pretty simple process to make a 4th of July charcuterie board perfect for your holiday gatherings.

Let me know in the comments if there is something else that you would add!

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How to Actually Buy a 1 Euro House In Italy

How to Actually Buy a 1 Euro House In Italy

We’ve all seen the news articles,

“Buy a house in Italy for 1 euro!”

Sometimes it can be difficult when you see those news articles to find actual information about buying a 1 euro home in Italy.

Alas, I am here to help.

1 euro house Italy

Firstly, let’s clear some things up here.

That 1 euro home is going to take A LOT of work before it’s your dream home.

The houses selling in Italy for this cheap are nearly in total ruins. The Italian government runs this incentive, frankly, so they don’t have to deal with the costs of renovating the houses. Also, it boosts tourism in towns that could really benefit from it.

Those sneaky Italians!

photo credit @p.happy92 via Instagram

How to formally inquire about a 1 euro home

For whichever city you saw the 1 euro homes advertised (there are several), try googling that city’s government website.

Cinquefrondi is just one of the many Italian town’s advertising this incentive, and you can find their government website here.

Depending on what country you’re from, the official government website for that small Italian town may require some digging. Try to search through the first three pages of Google.

Different towns will have their own ways of communication. For example, Cinquefrondi has a special email for inquiries. They have many requests coming through, so just be patient and they will get back to you after you’ve reached out to them.

photo credit @p.happy92 via Instagram

What you need to know before buying

These requirements are specifically for purchasing a home in the town of CINQUEFRONDI. Again, different towns may have different requirements, so it is important you find their government site!

You do not need to be Italian.

You must declare that you have not committed mafia crimes.

You have to fill out a short application.

In addition to the 1 euro payment, you will have to pay legal document fees.

Restructuring and renovations must begin within 3 months of purchase, and be finished in 3 years.

You must purchase an insurance policy of about 100 euros (the maximum coverage is 20,000 euros).

photo credit @p.happy92 via Instagram

The conditions of the 1 euro homes

As I previously stated, most of these 1 euro homes are currently not habitable and need to be completely restructured and renovated. On the Cinquefrondi’s government website, they have a section featuring homes for sale. Here are scans of a couple of houses from their site.

What to consider

I myself, have definitely considered buying one of these 1 euro homes.

It is estimated that you could renovate these homes for a relatively low cost ranging €5,000 – €20,000.

However, it is important to consider how much time and work this will cost you.

Will you have to travel back and forth to oversee construction? Will you have to pay for accommodation while you are reconstructing your home?

In the end, it is obviously a lot more than €1 that you are giving up.

This CNN Travel article followed a couple who actually bought a 1 euro home and completed renovations. Read about their experience here.

If you have some money saved up, and owning a home in Italy has been a dream of yours – then I say go for it! Putting your home up on Airbnb while it’s not being used is a great way to earn back some of the money that you’ve put into it.

Would you buy a house in Italy for 1 euro?

I’d love to know your thoughts.. would you or would you not buy?

Many thanks to Don Giuseppe Sgambetterra (Instagram @p.happy92) for allowing me to use his photos of beautiful Cinquefrondi!

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25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film

Just the other day, I was clearing out old photos from my laptop.

Through this process, I discovered I had an entire folder labeled “WES ANDERSON.” What’s this? It turns out, I had compiled dozens of photos over the years of places that looked like they belong in a Wes Anderson film.

I once had (and still do) great hopes of adventuring to some of these oh-so-symmetrical places.

If I’m being honest, I am a total Wes Anderson fanatic.

Once upon a time, I thought the Grand Budapest Hotel was an actual hotel until I literally went all the way to Budapest only to be horrifically disappointed.

I know, I know. I can feel your cringe staring at me through the screen.

Letting all those years of collecting photos that I forgot about, must not go to waste. So, grab your pastel-colored turtle neck and a bottle of bubbly, because we are about to embark on a rabbit hole of nonsense.

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film

Naturally, as somebody who has handmade their own Lobby Boy (woman) costume, finding a whole folder dedicated to places that look like they belong in a Wes Anderson film, isn’t all that surprising.

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film

What keeps my faithful love fueling for sir Wes Anderson? Why I’m glad you asked.

Not only have I put in my fair share of hours watching his films, but I also follow these incredible Instagram accounts – @accidentallywesanderson and @wesandersonplanet.

If you love traveling and Wes Anderson, then these are the perfect Insta accounts for you.

Alright let’s get to it –

Here are 25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film

1. Edificio España | Madrid, Spain

The Edificio España opened in 1953 and is the 8th tallest skyscraper in Madrid. The historic building has 25 floors and incorporates a 20th-century Spanish architecture in the neo-baroque style.

The building is a hotel but has a mix of offices, shops, and apartments. Designed by architect Julian Otamendi, it was “the symbol of prosperity” during Francisco Franco Bahamonde’s ruling.

Address: Plaza de España 1, Madrid, Spain

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film
photo by @poealan via @accidentallywesanderson

2. Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine | Kiev, Ukraine

The Vernadsky National Library of Ukraine is one of the largest libraries in the world. It serves as the main library and science information center for all of Ukraine. The building has 27 floors, and contains about 15 million items.

Address: Holosiivskyi prospekt, 3, Kyiv, Ukraine, 03039

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film
photo by @myshuulee via @accidentallywesanderson

3. Wheelers Oyster Bar | Whistable, England

Wheelers Oyster Bar prides itself on being “the oldest restaurant in town!”

This quaint, family-owned Oyster Bar has been passed through the owner’s family for generations. The restaurant is famed for its delicious seafood, and even has an award-winning cookbook, “The Oyster Seekers”.

Address: 8 High St, Whitstable CT5 1BQ, United Kingdom

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film
photo by @tonia.fest

4. Royal Oxford Hotel | Oxford, United Kingdom

Built in the 1930’s, the Royal Oxford Hotel screams Wes Anderson with it’s bright mustard yellow paint and symmetrical details.

Address: Park End St, Oxford OX1 1HR, United Kingdom

Fairytale City of England
photo by @pursesandplanes

5. Pfunds Molkerei | Dresden, Germany

“The World’s Most Beautiful Milk Shop.” In the 19th century, a farmer traveled from Reinholdshain with his wife and six cows to Dresden in order to supply the city with healthy milk. Through this journey, Pfund dairy was established and is still serving fresh milk to this day.

The interior of this humble beginnings milk shop is elaborately decorated with hand-painted Villeroy & Boch ceramic tiles, all accented in blue and gold.

Pfunds Molkerei is actually a real filming location that was used in Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel for the interior of Mendl’s Confectionery.

Photos are not allowed in Pfunds, unless you are press and have been granted special permission.

Address: Bautzner Str. 79, 01099 Dresden, Germany

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film
photo via interior.gamersta

6. Húsavík Lighthouse | Husavik, Iceland

The Húsavík Lighthouse was built in 1956. It is located on the Húsavík cape and stands at 49 meters, or 160 feet, above sea level.

With its bright yellow structure and desolate background, this lighthouse definitely belongs in a Wes Anderson film.

Address: Vitaslóð 1, 640, Húsavík, Iceland

25 Real-life Places That Belong in a Wes Anderson Film
photo by @Matthjsvmierlo via nylon

7. American Radiator Building | Manhattan, New York City

Built in1924 by architects Raymond Hood and Andre Foulihoux, the American Radiator Building is a 23-story landmark building located in Midtown, Manhattan.

The structure is actually based on the famous Tribune Tower in Chicago, but with a Gothic Art Deco twist. The color of the building is rumored to symbolize coal, and when it lights up at night it is said to look like a giant ball of glowing coal.

Although black isn’t technically a color Wes Anderson would embrace, I think the style of the building is undeniably something that would pop-up in one of his films.

Address: 40 West 40th Street Manhattan, New York City

photo via designyourtrust

8. Stylenanda Pink Hotel | Seoul, South Korea

Despite the misleading title, the Stylenanda Pink Hotel is actually a 6-level store, designed as a hotel.

The popular pink store is located in Seoul and is filled with wondrous rooms of makeup, clothing, accessories, and “Instagrammable” set-ups such as fake pools or an art-deco hotel lobby.

Address: 37-8 Myeongdong 8-gil, Chungmuro 2(i)-ga, Jung-gu, Seoul, South Korea

9. Bloom & Bean | Liverpool, United Kingdom

Bloom and Bean is a quaint coffee shop in Liverpool decorated from the inside out with chic pale pink and forest green. This little shop looks like the ultimate Wes Anderson cafe experience!

Address: 6a Victoria St, Liverpool L2 6QE, United Kingdom

10. Miami Beach | Florida, USA

The iconic south beach lifeguard towers have become staple landmarks of Miami Beach.

The classic art deco towers started popping up in the 1990s shortly after hurricane Andrew hit. The towers were part of the effort to revive the area from the devastation. Many more have been constructed since the first few from Architect William Lane.

The towers symbolize the rebirth of the city.

Address: Various towers along the coastline of Miami Beach from the tip at South Pointe Park up to 87th Street.

photo by @mijookim_studio

11. TWA at JFK Airport | New York, USA

The Trans World Flight Center was constructed for Trans World Airlines by Finnish-American architect, Eero Saarinen.

The design of the terminal represents a flight wing and incorporates a concoction of architectural styles such as Neo-futuristic, Googie, and Fantastic. The terminal was originally built in 1962 but has since been renovated, and is now owned by the TWA Hotel.

The luxurious red carpet and narrow symmetry match Wes Anderson’s style perfectly.

Address: Terminal 5, John F. Kennedy International Airport, Queens, New York 11430; United States

photo by @mikeraz212

12. Muzeum Narodowe | Warsaw, Poland

Muzeum Narodowe, or the National Museum of Warsaw was constructed in 1862, and was unfornately damaged and raided by Nazis in WWII. It has since recovered and is one of the largest museums in Poland.

Address: al. Jerozolimskie 3, 00-495 Warszawa, Poland

photo by @tantejohannes via @accidentallywesanderson

13. Moritzburg Castle | Saxony, Germany

Moritzburg Castle is a Baroque-style palace built in 1546 in the state of Saxony, near Dresden.

The castle features 4 round towers and was built on a symmetrical artificial island. Originally, the palace was a hunting lodge for Moritz of Saxony, the then Duke of Saxony.

Address: Schloßallee, 01468 Moritzburg, Germany

photo by marie_ohh_marie via @accidentallywesanderson

14. Eastern Columbia Building|Los Angeles, California

The Eastern Columbia Building was built in 1930 by Claud Beelman. It is known as the “benchmark of deco buildings in Los Angeles.” and the “Art Deco Jewel of the West.”

The building was originally built as the flagship building for Eastern-Columbia Department Store until they went out of business in 1957. It is now more commonly known as “Eastern Columbia Lofts.”

Johnny Depp owns 5 penthouses and it was also used for the filming of iCarly.

It’s prominent glossy turquoise, gold trim, and symmetrical features make this statement building perfect for a Wes Anderson film.

Address: 849 S Broadway, Los Angeles, CA 90014

photo by @elizabethdaniels01 via @accidentallywesanderson

15. Hawa Mahal | Jaipur, India

The Hawa Mahal is a pink and red sandstone palace in Jaipur, India. The five-story pyramidal shaped palace was built in 1799 by Maharaja Sawai Pratap Singh.

The famous honeycomb latticework was originally built to allow royal ladies to observe the daily life of the city from above without being seen since they could not go out in public without face coverings.

Address: Hawa Mahal Rd, Badi Choupad, J.D.A. Market, Pink City, Jaipur, Rajasthan 302002, India

photo by @wesleympeterson

16. The Ultimate Picture Palace | Oxford, United Kingdom

The Ultimate Picture Palace opened in 1911 and is the only surviving independent cinema in Oxford. The historic theater has gone through a series of owners and renovations over the years.

In 1996 it’s neoclassical facade was restored and it officially opened under the name as The Ultimate Picture Palace.

The theater is known historically in England for being “a rare surviving example of a simple early cinema.”

Address: Jeune Street, Oxford OX4 1BN

Fairytale City of England
photo by @pursesandplanes

17. Sands Club | Treasure Cay Abaco Island | Bahamas

The Sands Club is a chic farm-to-table beachfront dining experience in Treasure Cay. It’s iconic long dock with pale pink accents make it a Wes Anderson wannabe classic.

Wes Anderson Film
photo by maryschlacter via @accidentallywesanderson

18. The Bathrooms in the British Library | London, United Kingdom

The British Library is the national library of the UK, and has the largest number of cataloged items in the world. These mustard colored walls and sink symmetry are the perfect stylized film aesthetic!

Address: 96 Euston Rd, London NW1 2DB, United Kingdom

Wes Anderson Film
photo by @pursesandplanes

19. Budapest, Hungary

Budapest is decorated throughout with Baroque and Art Nouveau style buildings. While these are the most obvious architectural styles, you can also see eclectic, gothic, and soviet influences throughout the city.

Several monuments in Budapest are famous for their unique architectural styles such as the Parliament Building, St. Stephen’s Basilica, and The Fisherman’s Bastion.

If you are planning a trip to Budapest, check out my guide – The Best of Budapest!

photo by @zsolt_hlinka

20. The National Gallery of Ireland | Dublin, Ireland

The National Gallery of Ireland was established in 1864 and opened when it had just twelve paintings. The gallery is nearly as beautiful as the artwork it contains, as it’s stunning symmetrical layout features pastel colors and minimalist design.

Wes Anderson Film
photo by @pursesandplanes

21. Grand Hotel Europa | Innsbruck, Austria

The King of Bavaria called it “the finest hotel in Innsbruck.” The Grand Hotel Europa was established in 1869, making it the most historic hotel in Innsbruck. Golden colored walls and ornate chandeliers decorate the interior of this glamorous hotel.

Address: Südtiroler Pl. 2, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Wes Anderson Film
photo by @joemanderton via @wesandersonplanet

22. Havana, Cuba

Havana is a melting pot of several different architectural styles. When you walk around the city, you will see just how different all of the buildings are – but I that’s what makes Havana so unique!

Havana’s bright-colored buildings largely come from Spanish Colonial influences. Other known styles in Havana are Baroque, Neoclassical, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco.

To see more Cuban architecture, check out my post The Colorful Country of Cuba

Wes Anderson Film
photo by @pursesandplanes

23. Gellért Thermal Baths | Budapest, Hungary

Gellért Hotel was one of the main inspirations behind the design of Wes Anderson’s The Grand Budapest Hotel.

When the hotel opened it’s doors in 1918, it’s iconic Art-nouveau architecture and panoramic mirror entrance quickly made it known as one of the most luxurious hotels in Hungary. The hotel’s ancient thermal baths have been used since the middle ages.

Address: Budapest, Kelenhegyi út 4, 1118 Hungary

24. Estádio do Pacaembu | São Paulo, Brazil

The Estádio do Pacaembu is an Art Deco stadium located in the Pacaembu neighborhood of São Paulo. The stadium was established in 1940 and named after the national celebrity Paulo Machado de Carvalho.

Address: Praça Charles Miller – Pacaembu, São Paulo – SP, 01234-010, Brazil

Wes Anderson Film

25. James Smith & Sons | London, United Kingdom

James Smith & Sons is a historic umbrella store founded in 1930. It’s classic Victorian style storefront makes it a classic dreamy Wes Anderson feel.

Wes Anderson Film

Anderson undoubtedly is inspired by European Baroque, Art Deco, and Art Nouveau architectural styles. Although he and his designers do incorporate a lot of these styles, I don’t think they restrict themselves. Neo Classicalism, Gothic, and other influences can also be seen in his work.

For something to belong in a Wes Anderson it can’t just be a cool looking building. It has to have a story. The beauty of architecture is that it oftentimes reflects the struggle and/or prosperity of a city. What if walls could talk? They would have so much to say.

And there you have it! 25 Real-life Places That Belong In a Wes Anderson Film.

The style that Wes Anderson carries into his films is unlike no other. It’s worldly, historic, and it’s all in the details.

I would love to know, have you been to any of these places? And are you as obsessed with Wes Anderson films as much as I am!?

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