HERITAGE/ Surprises in the City

The Eiffel Tower, Berlin Wall or Helsinki’s beaches – all of these are the main tourism attractions most travelers are well aware of. If you think you have seen it all, read about some less known landmarks of Paris, Berlin, Helsinki and Birmingham and get ready for some surprises.


Doing Paris Differently

Daniel A. Tanner

With 27 million foreign visitors annually, Paris and its surrounding area represent the most popular tourist destination in the world. Even people who have never been to the "City of Light" are familiar with key cultural and natural landmarks by sight as well as names of famous districts through generations of movies, songs and artistic works. What could I discover to add an element of surprise to a four-day visit? To make the most of limited time, I enlisted the services of My Genie in Paris...

Explore Offbeat and Unexpected Berlin

Nils Kraus

Anyone standing on the Berlin’s Teufelsberg could hardly guess that this mountain is made of rubble and that it is a place charged with history. During the Nazi period the shell of the Military Technology Faculty building was here. It was blown up after the war and 25 million cubic metres of Berlin rubble was piled up here. And this is how the Teufelsberg became the highest point in Berlin at 114.7 metres. In the 50s, the Americans began to use the hill as a listening point. Today, visitors c...

Helsinki: The Old Town Bay Area

Joe McClain

Arabianranta and Vanhankaupunginlahti (”Old Town Bay”) are the places where Helsinki was originally founded in 1550 when King Gustavus Vasa of Sweden wanted to compete with the Hanseatic trading city of Tallinn. At that time the King ordered the burghers of Rauma, Ulvila, Porvoo and Tammisaari to move to Helsinki. In spite of it the growth of population and medieval trading traditions were slow to change. In 1640 the settlement moved to the district of Kruununhaka. The name Arabia is found in...

Birmingham – Of Canals, Balti and Jewellery

Daniel A. Tanner

England's ‘Second City’, often referred to as ‘Brum’- Birmingham in the U.K., is the most populous British city outside London with an abundance of things to see and do – historic attractions, green spaces, music venues, theatres, art galleries, restaurants and a buzzing nightlife. Green Birmingham It evolved from a market town as early as 1166 when Peter de Birmingham rightfully earned the charter to establish a market from King Henry II. There are quite a few interesting and quirky facts a...