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How to Celebrate White Nights in St. Petersburg

White Nights Festival

White night celebrations wouldn’t be so tremendous without the official festival that takes place in St Petersburg every year. The White Nights Festival runs from May through July, or the beginning of August. During that time tourist and visitors to the city can enjoy a number of night-time cultural events, including:

* Music festival – “Stars of the White Nights”

* Scarlet Sails celebration, also called the “Alye Parusa” festivities, in St. Petersburg, The event is famous for spectacular fireworks, a wonderful show, and end-of-school year celebrations;

* Star performances at the Palace Square, including international singers and music bands.

White Nights Marathon

On July 09, 2017, the 28th International Marathon will take place in St. Petersburg. Thousands of marathoners from around the world will gather on Palace Square to conquer a distance of 42 km, 195 meters – running though the central streets and embankments of our city. Amateur enthusiasts will have a chance to try themselves in a mass run of 10 km. The annual event is held to celebrate the famed period of “White Nights.” Among the participants will be runners from Germany, France, Great Britain, Canada, the USA, Greece, Brazil, Japan, Morocco, Kenya and dozens of other countries. The route of the marathon crosses the historic center of St. Petersburg, among world famous monuments and storied architecture, and along the picturesque embankments of Neva, Fontanka, Krestovsky island, and Nevsky Avenue.

Annual International Jazz Festival

The Jazz Festival is a favorite happening for many visitors as well as residents of the city. Every year this sensational, unforgettable event takes place in the midst of the White Nights. The Jazz Philharmonic Hall will host numerous international artists from the 15th of June thru the 1st of July. If you want to experience wide variety – this is the perfect way to diversify your party schedule.  We suggest that you visit St Petersburg during the White Nights, and you’ll see the city at its joyful best.


Bulgaria Travel: Best Suggestions

Eastern Europe has numerous destinations for various travelers from all over the world. One of the most exciting countries is definitely Bulgaria.

Why should you visit Bulgaria? Located in the southeast part of the Balkans, Bulgaria has unusual and very specific scenery with tiny authentic villages, ancient monasteries, and medieval cities. Bulgaria is a place where you can enjoy stunning UNESCO sites and explore local traditions and culture.

In the northern part of the country is the Danube Plain. The terrain is full of contrasts from high mountains to lowland plains. Here the legendary Danube River traces the border of Romania. Heading south, the landscape is divergent with high mountains and elevated plateaus that eventually lead you east to the Black Sea coast, a very popular holiday destination.

Bulgaria has East European landscapes but Western service with high standards of quality and great traditions.

The most popular destinations in Bulgaria are:

  • Ploshtad Sveta Nedelya
  • Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral
  • The Largo, Party House and Council of Ministers
  • Archeological Museum
  • National Gallery of Foreign Art
  • Aleksandar Nevski Cathedral
  • Mount Vitosha
  • Rotunda of St George
  • Zlatni Mostove
  • Cherni Vrah
  • Church of Sveta Sofia
  • Zlatni Mostove
  • Banya Bashi Mosque

Bulgaria is a country with a long fascinating history, amiable locals, exceptional nature and brilliant nightlife that could be one of those destinations you would return to over and over again. As you travel across the country, you’ll see Roman ruins, stunning Black Sea beaches, incredible forests, and medieval cities. Bulgaria is very much “under the radar” and does not get the full attention it deserves, but it is absolutely worth a visit to feel the special vibe of this place.


Culinary Traditions of Poland

Slavic and western European culinary traditions created ethnic Polish cuisine. Noting the Influence on similar dishes, culinary experts have easily discerned the presence of some traditional elements of Russian, German, Ukrainian, Turkish, Italian, Lithuanian, and Belarusian cuisines in Polish food. The main differences in Polish food are speciific for various types of dishes. National cooks have a special ability to prepare a tasty dish using a minimum of additional seasonings. Poles are a hospitable people and this quality is a definite confirmation of Slavic roots.

Traditional courses

The table feast of the Polish nation has certain traditions. A prime dish is soup called borsch. The list of traditional main courses:

Baranina – Roasted lamb.

Gołąbki – Cabbage served with spiced meat and rice or with mushrooms

Gulasz – Stew of meat, noodles and potato, served with paprika and other spices

Karkówka – Tender loin, usually roasted

Ziemniaki Gotowane -Boiled potatoes sprinkled with parsley

Sałatka Wiosenna – Polish spring salad

Pieczarki Marynowane – Marinated mushrooms

Makowiec – Sweet cake, with raisins and walnuts.

Racuchy – Small pancakes often stuffed with apples and served with powdered sugar.

Prince Polo – Polish chocolate bar.

Kopytka – Potato dumplings.

Pyzy – potato dumplings served with cottage cheese

Zrazy – twisted shape thin slices of chopped beef

The Polish people also have a great affinity to fish dishes. Fish dishes in Poland are usually served with eel, sturgeon, carp, sea red fish, perch. There are plenty of different cooking methods– stewing, frying, poaching – the steam cooking which is supplemented with filling ingredients. Fish dishes are usually served with garnish. The chefs in restaurants of Poland offer traditional fish dishes with French fries and traditional varenikis.

Healthy drinks (0% alcohol) of natural production – currant juice (kranny, black), rye kvass, kissel – enjoy wide popularity among people of Poland. There is a special category of typical drinks that include alcohol – vodka: previously passed grass infusion the main food of a bison, filtered by gold particles. A wide range of local beer prepared according to traditional recipes. Collection of wines with honey, fruit liqueurs, liqueurs.

The Importance of Travel Agencies in Organizing your Trips

In the current era of high technologies and high-speed internet, people tend to use the global network with ever increasing frequency. We’ve gotten used to doing almost everything online – shopping, watching films, working, communicating and even doing business. Arranging holidays is no exception. Thanks to technological developments, any tourist can book a hotel room and flight, apply for a visa, and purchase travel insurance online. All he needs is an Internet connection and the ability to pay online.

All that seems easier and cheaper than working with a travel agency; however, there is another side to this question. Making all arrangements by yourself, you run the risk of being cheated. Especially when you plan an inexpensive trip and book dubious hotels, flights, etc. A travel agency provides safety; it guarantees the service that you’re paying for, so, you know that you will not lose money. Travel agents also save you time, and they search for the best variants of trips for you.

You will certainly get 24/7 emergency help service as well as constant guidance, and you will not be left alone if anything happens. You’ll have no worries about all the steps of the trip, all the documents needed and all the services provided. Most importantly, you have almost no chance of being tricked, which could definitely happen if you do everything by yourself.

16 Habits of Well-Traveled People

From lost luggage to getting lost in translation, travelers know that things can go wrong during a trip. We’ve compiled a list of tips and tricks from  travel advisors – your personal lifeline if things go wrong while traveling – and other travel experts to make your trip as smooth as possible from start to finish.

woman in airport
(Photo: Getty Images)
  1. “Take a photo of your passport and store it on your phone, then email it to yourself. Even if you lose your phone, you’ll still be able to access the photo on a public computer.” – Marika Cain, managing editor, Virtuoso Life
  2. “Research tipping standards before you arrive and bring local currency. Never assume that someone expects a tip. Also, upload your iPad with favorite movies and TV shows for long flights.” – Albert Herrera, SVP, Global Product Partnerships, Virtuoso
  3. “Call your credit card companies prior to departure and let them know where and when you’ll be traveling. Having a hold placed on your card in, say, Nairobi: not fun.” – Joel Centano, senior editor, Virtuoso Traveler
  4. “Travel insurance: Yes, I’ve become my dad, but for international trips, just buy it. Better to be safe than sorry.” – Joel Centano, senior editor, Virtuoso Traveler
  5. “Get TSA Pre-check or Global Entry to breeze through security lines at domestic airports and upon entry back into the United States. The fee per person is well worth it and certain credit cards will refund the fee if charged to them.” – Vikram Seshandri, Virtuoso travel advisor
  6. “I always carry a survival kit – a Tumi airline amenity bag with toothbrush and paste, facial cleansing wipes, mascara, earplugs, eye shade, band aids, aspirin, and a comb. If I check my bag, I always carry on at least two changes of clothes. I will never again get stuck wearing the same clothes for five days in India while the airline tries to locate my luggage.” – Laura Sport, managing director, Virtuoso
  7. “Pack an empty tote in your suitcase – one that can fit easily under the airplane seat in front of you. I always leave a new destination with more items than when I arrived. Having an extra bag to pack them in and carry on the plane as my personal item has been a game changer.” – Amy Cassell, assistant editor, Virtuoso Life
  8. “Program airline phone numbers in your cell phone so you can jump on the phone to rebook if your flight gets cancelled.” – Laura Sport, managing director, Virtuoso (Note: Your travel advisor can also readily assist in this situation.)
  9. “Never pack shoes that you haven’t worn for at least one entire day.  It doesn’t matter how cute those new sandals are.” – Laura Sport, managing director, Virtuoso
  10. “Mark your bags with something easily recognizable.” – Maria Fernanda Garcia, Virtuoso travel advisor
  11. “Check an airline seating chart website so you can have an idea of what your airplane looks like.” – Maria Fernanda Garcia, Virtuoso travel advisor
  12. “Engage your guide and they will engage you back.” – Josh Friedman, Virtuoso travel advisor
  13. “Try speaking a little of the local language.” – Josh Friedman, Virtuoso travel advisor (Note: Try Duolingo, a free app that offers courses in languages from Spanish to Vietnamese right on your phone or computer.)
  14. “Practice patience. Travel is amazing, but can often test travelers when there are things such as weather delays or mechanical issues outside of their control. Stay informed, bring a good book, and go with the flow.” – Cindy Turner, Virtuoso travel advisor
  15. “Ask around town: If you wander into a cool store, ask the employees there where you should eat and what you should see in town. Chances are if they’re selling shoes you like, they’re also going to recommend sights and restaurants that are up your alley.” – Marika Cain, managing editor, Virtuoso Life
  16. “I always think ahead to when I return from the trip. At the Green Table in Chelsea Market in New York, they sell these gourmet, individually frozen chicken pies that you have to ask for. I make sure to have a couple of them in the freezer, plus some things I don’t normally eat, like frozen pizza. If you arrive late from your trip and your kitchen is empty, it’s so nice to be able to quickly throw something in the oven.” – Annie Fitzsimmons, digital editor, Virtuoso



Sustainable-farming breakthroughs and a renewed fine-dining scene have helped caviar shed its image as an inaccessible oil-tycoon pantry staple. Witness its popularity in creative kitchens across the U.S. – sometimes with Tater Tots.


New-school Gold Coast steak house Maple & Ash specializes in fine beef, but diners can also find Siberian sturgeon, kaluga, and American osetra caviars on the menu. Despite the price (from $120 to $220 per ounce), chef Danny Grant keeps the service fun and playful: The roaming maître d’ might even stop by your table and pile a “bump” of caviar on the back of your hand. 8 W. Maple Street.


Satin-glazed porcelain trays make the caviar service at Top Chef winner Nicholas Elmi’s dimly lit canteen, ITV, look like the most prestigious TV dinner ever. Platter compartments hold silver-dollar blini, glassine potato chips, and a cheeky “seven-layer dip” of avocado, crème fraîche, capers, and cured egg yolk. Diners’ choice of paddlefish, hackleback, or Siberian sturgeon eggs, among other rotating caviar options, glitter in an iced bowl alongside. 1615 E. Passyunk Avenue.

San Francisco

At her cozy Champagne bar, The Riddler, owner Jen Pelka presents three price tiers of roe-and-bubbles pairings in vintage Russian silver servers. “I’d love it if people put on a pair of heels and walked in wearing a fur on a Tuesday night,” she says. In addition to the high-end “Queen Reserve” royal white sturgeon and Ruinart Blanc de Blancs, there’s also a lighthearted low: Great Lakes whitefish and the “Champagne of Beers,” Miller High Life. Regardless of patrons’ spending, Pelka serves Lay’s potato chips gratis on the side. 528 Laguna Street.

The Riddler.

New Orleans

When sourcing roe for Seaworthy, Daniel Causgrove looks locally. “Caviar is no longer dependent specifically on overfished species from the Caspian Sea,” says the chef, who serves fine Carolina hackleback (“pleasant beach grass and herb finish”) as well as affordable Louisiana bowfin. “It’s not too expensive,” he says of the latter, “so you can really have  fun loading on the blinis.” 630 Carondelet Street.


To many in the South, “Carolina caviar” means some version of a corn-and-black-eyed-pea salad served with crackers at summer picnics. That’s also the name of the North Carolina company producing private-label tins of paddlefish roe for McCrady’s Tavern, Sean Brock’s culinary love letter to the Gilded Age. Brock layers the roe parfait-style over puréed egg yolk, crème fraîche, chopped shallots, and chives, and, in a delicious touch of down-home genius, serves it with crispy Tater Tots. 2 Unity Alley.