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10 Tips to Help you Plan Your Dream USA Trip

While planning your dream #trip to #USA, you might miss out on things that need to be done to make the trip seamless. The smaller details are the key to ensuring your trip is memorable. If you wish to enjoy your trip then make it stress-free.

10 Tips to Help you Plan Your Dream USA Trip

Here are some tips that will help you when you are planning the trip to USA of a lifetime!

1. Research on the places to visit in USA

As disheartening as it sounds, it is not possible to see everything in just one trip. That is why it is important to spend some time looking at places that you want to visit. Find out details about the places you have considered and what other activities they offer.

Also read: How To Travel The World On A Budget

2. Get the US visa in advance

Indians need a visa when travelling to visit the USA. There is no option of visa on arrival and it is advisable to get the visa approved in advance. This is one of the reasons you should know where you will be going when you enter the USA. Since you will be going on a vacation, you will need to apply for a tourist visa. A US tourist visa from India requires a few documents, a bit of paperwork, and some patience. Here are the documents you will need:

  • Original Passport (should be valid for 6 months after arrival in the USA)
  • Old passports
  • Digital and hard copy of the photograph as per the specifications
  • Interview Appointment letter
  • DS160 US Visa Application confirmation page stamped at the Visa Application Center
  • Payment receipt of the fee paid

Apart from the above, you may need the below-mentioned documents to process the visa.

  • Your travel itinerary
  • Bank Statements and other proof of funds
  • Tax and PAN details along with the previous year tax-related documents
  • Business Card (if applicable)

Also read: Fun Travelling Hacks To Make Your Journey Memorable

3. Book your tickets to USA in advance

Flight tickets from India to the USA as well within the country itself can cost a lot and take up a major chunk of your vacation budget. That is why it is beneficial to book the tickets in advance. The return ticket is also important to get the visa approved.

4. Buy travel insurance in advance

Travel insurance is highly recommended irrespective of whether the country you are travelling to deems it mandatory or not. International travel insurance is extremely important and useful in case of unfortunate incidents. Travel insurance provides coverage against baggage loss, flight delays, medical emergencies, loss of passports, personal accidents, and so much more.

Remember to buy travel insurance in advance as the coverage should start from the day you are scheduled to take a flight from India.

5. Plan your budget in advance

There are times when you make the bookings and forget to account for the smaller things like cost of travelling within the city, cost of entry tickets, activities, cost of souvenirs, meals, and other essentials you may have to buy depending on the duration of your trip. It is easier to allocate a budget for all the things you might end up spending on to avoid overspending on one particular thing.

6. Plan mode of transportation when in the USA

Once you have landed there, you can consider hiring a car and going on a road trip. If you plan on staying in a particular city and seeing the sights of that city, then taking the subway is a good option. If you are looking to go from a state to another, then you should book the flight tickets in advance for that too.

Also read: How to Plan the First Tour Of Dubai

7. Plan the USA itinerary wisely

Consider the destinations that require the least travel time and have the best to offer and plan accordingly. Plan your itinerary in a way that you are not wasting time back and forth while travelling. If you are interested in the cultural depth of the places, then plan your itinerary around all the culturally rich destinations. If you're a foodie, then mark all the famous culinary destinations and plan your trip around that!

8. Know the best time to visit USA

The seasons to target should be autumn and spring. Autumn is from September to October and spring is from April to July. These months see milder temperatures. If you are a fan of outdoor activities, then visiting during winter is pointless. However, if you wish to see the magic of Christmas, then, of course, you could visit in December.

Also read: Best Places to Travel for Adventure

9. Exchange currencies in advance

It is advisable to get some currency exchanged before taking off from India. While there are ATMs at every corner, there is a hefty fine for withdrawal. Carrying around a lot of cash may seem unsafe but you can end up paying up to 250 rupees per transaction.

10. Pack efficiently with essentials

Travel from India to the US is long and although you will be at airports or on the flight, there are some things you should carry with you. Here is a list of things that can help you in an emergency – mobile charger, portable charger, wet wipes, sanitiser, tissues, an extra mask, lotion, powder, perfume, cash, forex cards, all the important documents, and a scarf or a jacket.

Three things can come in handy even if your baggage is misplaced and you have to wait for a while to get it back.

These are just some tips to make your vacation smoother. The best part of a vacation is the memories you carry back home.

10 Best Places to Visit in Slovenia

If you are planning to travel to Europe any time soon, we would like to share with you the wonders of Slovenia. Although it is a small country in the heart of Europe, Slovenia offers an array of breathtaking sites. The magical forests, enchanting villages, and emerald lakes will make you fall in love with this hidden European gem.

This beautiful, mountainous country provides everything a visitor might wish for and much more. And to prove that Slovenia is worth a visit, here is a list of the best places to see in Slovenia. The urban parts of the country also have a lot of green places. Therefore it is not a surprise that the country's capital received a title, the greenest capital of Europe. There are many places worth visiting in Slovenia.

Best Places to See in Slovenia

We recommend you start packing your bags now. By the time you have finished reading this article, you will be itching to visit this country.

1. Ljubljana

The best way to start a trip to any country is to visit its capital. You will have a better understanding of its culture and its development. And trust us on this one, Ljubljana has a unique charm that makes it worth your visit. Ljubljana is one of the best places to see in Slovenia. Despite being smaller than other European cities, it has the potential to elevate the cultural level.

For example, only in this city will you encounter more dragon statues on the streets than in other cities. Or baroque and Roman architecture, accompanied by medieval castles. And while you are here, you can also visit great art museums, an impressive zoo, the philharmonic, and the national theatre.

When the sun sets behind the hills surrounding Ljubljana and the lights of the streetlights dimly illuminate the city, you will cross the Dragon Bridge over the Ljubljanica River in search of the secret of the attractiveness of the old city, among its cobbled streets, under the imposing castle that rises over the city.

When you turn each corner it will seem that you have traveled in time to medieval times, and maybe you feel the magic that surrounds this wonderful city with the name of a woman, and that houses legends and mysteries in every corner. Located in the center of Slovenia, Ljubljana is one of the most beautiful small cities in Europe.

It is pure romanticism, and despite (or thanks to) being less well known, it has not yet been devoured by mass tourism and retains a wonderful essence. Stroll along the two banks of the river, crossing its historic bridges, from the mythical Dragon Bridge to the Zoisova Bridge. Its warm terraces are always full of people enjoying a beer while playing background music, either from an urban musician or from Some DJ from a bar.

Get lost in its streets, climb up to Tivoli Park, walk down the Castle Hill or sit in a square to watch life go by. Metelkova is a kind of Christiania in Copenhagen, but without having its charm or size. It was an old military barracks in the former Yugoslavia, now converted into an area where alternative artists create art in the form of graffiti, music or any other artistic expression.

In addition to that, Ljubljana offers so much more too! It has the best in architecture, some very interesting wine options, and brilliant weather during spring too! One of the typical products in Ljubljana are the Cevapcici, which are rolls of minced meat with many spices, and you will find them by many restaurants in the city. Do not fail to try Slovenia's wide range of craft beers, called Slovenian Pivo.

Slovene cuisine is very diverse, influenced by German, Italian, Hungarian and Balkan cuisine, since parts of the country were, during centuries, also parts of or in the neighborhood of all those countries and regions. And during those centuries lots of dishes (mostly of Austrian/German and Italian origin) gradually became consistent part of Slovenian cuisine, with some local and authentic modifications or inventions.

In addition, you can have a taste of the local food at one of the open markets or relax in the Tivoli park while having a drink. But still there are some unique Slovenian dishes. So yes, cross this city of your bucket list already! So, make sure to visit the dainty city of Ljubljana. You won't regret it.

2. Maribor

Maribor, Slovenia's second-largest city after Ljubljana, was first mentioned as a city in 1254. It is located near the Austrian border and is well-known for its wine-growing industry. As a matter of fact, here you can find the oldest grapevine in the world. It is 400 years old, and it has been growing on a house facade.

Today, you can visit the house and sample some of the region's best wines, as well as participate in the Old Wine Festival. During the celebration, visitors can pick grapes from the vine and celebrate St. Martin's Day. So the best time to visit this wonderful Slovenian city is during September. During the rest of the year, you can visit the medieval Old Town and see Maribor square, Slomskov square, and Castle square.

These are pedestrian-only streets where you can admire the rich culture and historical architecture that give Maribor its charm.

3. Kranjska Gora

If you want to make your journey memorable in Slovenia, you must visit Krajnska Gore. Here you will find the best Slovenian winter resort town in the Julian Alps. Snow lovers come here during winter for the frequent snowfalls and the skiing, snowboarding, and tracking opportunities.

During the summer, admire the lovely Lake Jasna and Lake Bohinj or rent a bike and explore the surrounding area. No matter in which season you choose to visit this beautiful mountain city, you will undoubtedly have something to see or do. Kranjska Gora truly is one of the best places to see in Slovenia.

4. Ptuj

Found on the banks of the Drava River, this city is a display of historic architecture. It is said to be one of Slovenia's earliest cities, going back to the Stone Age. Some of the main attractions in Ptuj are the Orpheus monument, dating from Roman times, and the 13th-century Dominican Monastery.

In addition to the impressive architecture, Ptuj is also famous for its Kurentovanje carnival. It is a centuries-old tradition in which participants wear traditional sheepskin masks and costumes. That is what makes this ethno festival one of the most interesting in the world. So make sure not to miss it if you are planning to go to Ptuj in February.

5. Piran

In southwestern Slovenia, on the coast of the Adriatic sea, lies the town of Piran. The coast of the Adriatic Sea of Slovenia is not well known, but if you have time you can not miss the chance to visit one of the most beautiful seaside towns in Europe: Piran, as well as its neighbors Koper, Izola or Portoroz.

This reminiscent city of the Venetian Empire is vibrating with history and culture. It is full of Gothic architecture, narrow streets, and medieval walls. It's ideal for history lovers who want to learn about history while walking down the street.

For instance, they can see the oldest building in the city, called the Venetian House, or the beautiful church of St. George up on a hill. From there you can have a clear view of the city and also the Adriatic sea. It might just be enough to make you think of contacting international movers to organize your relocation to this wonderful country.

This way, you can start enjoying Prian and the whole of Slovenia while the moving professionals do what they do best. The beautiful city of Piran will amaze you with its beautiful architecture and breathtaking views.

6. Soca Valley

The Soca Valley is one of the best places to see in Slovenia if you prefer the outdoors and a little excitement. The valley, which spans from the western side of Triglav Park to the Italian border, is home to a beautiful river. In fact, the blue-green Soca River is regarded as one of the most beautiful rivers in Europe.

It's no surprise, given the rocky gorges, stunning waterfalls, and diverse flora and fauna. Visitors can explore them all by hiking, kayaking, rafting, paddling and canyoning in Soca. Furthermore, for the truly adventurous, there is even the option of paragliding over the beautiful sites. Also, hiking, mountain biking, and horse riding on the mountain trails have become very popular in the Soca Valley.

7. Postojna Cave

One of the best places to see in Slovenia is the Postojna Cave. Here you can admire how a river can create a natural wonder. These caves are a natural wonder and a must-see when visiting Slovenia. This cave is well known for its extensive cave system and a stalagmite named “Brilliant” that became the cave’s symbol.

In the caves, you can admire 20km of galleries and hallways created by the waters of the Pivka River. The chambers are almost 50m high and can be visited using the underground railway that takes you deep into the bowels of the cave. The Concert Hall, known for its acoustics, and the Spaghetti Hall, named after the layout of the tunnels, are just two of the chambers.

Also, the Murano glass chandeliers are a great addition to the cave’s beauty. You just have to see it to believe how beautiful it all is.

8. Lake Bled

A lot of you would have been mesmerized looking at a picture of Lake Bled sometime or the other! It's a dreamy and picturesque landscape like no other, after all! Lake Bled is an hour or so by train or bus, and it is one of the typical excursions from Ljubljana. And Lake Bled is just a 46 minute drive from the capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana!

If you are in Slovenia, you just can’t miss out on visiting lake Bled and its beautiful Church on the island. Surrounded by the Julian Alps and in the heart of Triglav National Park lies Lake Bled, a scenic and popular tourist attraction. This glacial lake is emerald green and features a small island in the center, home to a lovely 17th-century church.

Tourists can visit the church by taking a rowboat or going kayaking or canoeing. In addition, you can explore the lake's shoreline on foot and visit the castle on the hill. From the Bled castle, you can admire the beautiful view of the lake and take pictures of the magical surrounding area. And if you arrive in Bled during winter, you should visit the Straza Ski Slope.

Sledding on this slope makes the place worth mentioning among the other top ski destinations in Europe as well as one of the best places to see in Slovenia.

9. Predjama Castle

This Renaissance castle, built on a 400-foot hill, is one of Slovenia's crown jewels. The castle is about 700 years old and was formerly the home of a nobleman named Erazem Lueger. The legend says that he turned out to be a local Robin Hood who stole from the rich to give to the poor.

And, when visiting the castle, you will learn about his story and take a tour into the secret tunnels. During sieges, these tunnels were very helpful for bringing much-needed supplies to the castle. In addition to visiting the castle, you can attend the medieval festival. It is held every July and allows visitors to experience how knights jousted in late medieval times.

10. Lipica

The small city located at the border with Italy is known for the famous Lipica Stud Farm. There the Lipizzaner horses were bred since the 16th century and held by the royal families. Today you can visit this establishment and admire the world-renowned breed of horses. You can go on guided tours of the barns and learn about the history of the Lipizzaner horses.

And, you can even go trail riding or carriage rides and enroll in the Classical Riding School. Just make sure to include Lipica on your list of the best places to see in Slovenia if you love horses. It is the perfect place to admire these gentle and elegant animals.

10 Best Camping Spots near Canberra

Are you planning your next camping adventure in Australia? Nothing could beat the natural beauty and bush camping of Canberra. After all, it is the bush capital for a reason. Canberra is one of the most preferred and popular travel destinations. And when it comes to heading out from the city, you need not spend all day driving.

10 Best Camping Spots near Canberra

From thrilling reserves to iconic waterfall destinations, there is a wide range of camping sites near Canberra. We have listed some of the incredible camping spots for you below.

1. Namadgi National Park

In the heart of Australia's Bush Capital, this destination offers great recreational activities like fishing, horse riding, hiking, mountain biking and great camping. An amazing creekside camping spot, Orroral Campground is a family favourite. It boasts of traditional tent sites, excellent amenities and allows children under 15 to stay for free.

Also, if you visit this camping spot near Canberra, do not forget to explore Granite Tors and Orroral Valley Tracking Destination at any cost.

2. Cotter Campground, Casuarina Sands

Grab your essentials and drive to the Cotter Campground for a quick weekend getaway with your friends and family. Just 20 mins drive from Canberra, the Cotter campground is located on the serene banks of the Cotter River. You need not worry much; there is a no-booking policy, and it is a highly-serviced campground. It offers hot showers, dishwashing facilities, flushing toilets, wood, gas and electric BBQs, and potable water.

You can go fishing, canoeing or swimming at the campground for some refreshment.

3. Micalong Creek Reserve, Wee Jasper

Just across the NSW border and 90 mins drive from Canberra, Micalong Creek Reserve is a gorgeous camping spot near Canberra you will never want to leave. Overhanging willow trees, swimming holes, idyllic landscapes, and a tiny island accessible by a bridge with a creek beneath makes it a popular camping destination. You are even allowed to take along your furry friend with you.

Activities at the campsite include swimming, canoeing, fishing, and amenities include cold showers, picnic spots, and toilets.

4. Jervis Bay National Park

Superb natural beauty, native wildlife, two national parks, pristine white-sand beaches, and scenic views make the Jervis Bay National Park one of the most preferred camping spots near Canberra. Whether you wish to have all the amenities at your disposal or camp in a wild spot, a camping spot suitable to your needs is available in the region.

5. Nil Desperandum

'Nil Desperandum' means “Don't worry”. And truly, all your worries will definitely vanish once you arrive at this breathtaking, classic, 4WD & AWD accessible camping spot near Canberra in Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve. This rural property is a starting point for bushwalks. It offers you basic rooms with camping cots, wood-fire stove and pit dunny outdoors.

The camping site is perfect for bird watching, barbecuing, stargazing and exploring the bushwalking trails.

6. Brindabella National Park

Do you want a relaxing camping trip amidst nature? Amidst an open eucalypt forest, there's a great tiny camping spot near Canberra within Brindabella National Park, Coree Campground, that makes for a great relaxing weekend trip you desire. You get to witness the local wildlife at the campground. Amenities include picnic tables, barbecues, and toilets.

7. Woods Reserve

Situated on Gibraltar Creek banks in the south of Canberra, Woods Reserve is one of the best destinations for camping and picnic. Upstream from Woods Reserve, do check out the Gibraltar Falls. The campground features some picnic space, gas BBQ and amenities block.

To look out over the creek and falls, take a short gravel trail. You can even go cycling, fishing, exploring walking trails and do so much more at the Woods Reserve.

8. Long Gully Campground, Morton National Park

Morton National Park near Canberra is flooded with valleys and waterfalls. The rugged camping experience is what makes it worth visiting a camping spot near Canberra. Long Gully Campground within the park is a magical location that offers such amazing sunrise and sunset views that you would die for experiencing.

9. Blue Waterhole Campground, Kosciuszko National Park

A three-hour drive from Canberra, Blue Waterhole Campground within Kosciuszko National Park would surely surprise you with its breathtaking views of limestone cliffs. You can take a short walk from the campsite for a refreshing dip in the pools with crystal blue hues. The hues come from their high mineral content. When planning a trip to this camping spot near Canberra, make sure you bring everything you need.

10. Eaglehawk Holiday Park

If you wish for a relaxing, stress-free, convenient, comfortable camping trip, Eaglehawk Holiday Park is the right choice. Just a few minutes drive from Canberra, this camping spot offers diverse accommodation options, including villas, cottages and cabins. It offers a wide range of amenities like picnic areas, pools, showers, ironing boards, and so much more that would make your trip even more enjoyable.

Conclusion

Now that you have got a long list of camping spots near Canberra in hand, choose the one that delights your inner camper, pack your camping gears, hitch your caravan, and head out to camp in one of these amazing camping spots with your favourite people.

About Author: Danny Smith is CEO and Founder of Xtend Outdoors Australia which manufactures and sell caravan annexes, awnings and accessories. He just love caravan holidays and frequently blog about caravanning trips, parks and tips.

20 Best Foods to Eat When in Brazil

Brazil is one of the most famous travel destinations in the world. This is thanks to the country's rich history, tropical beaches, iconic carnival festivals, and natural sights. Plus, it is surrounded by the Amazon rainforest. But more than that, you should not miss having a culinary experience when in Brazil. Whether you are a foodie or not, Brazilian cuisine allows you to step out of your comfort zone and expand your palate.

20 Best Foods to Eat When in Brazil

That's because it reflects what every region in the city has to offer. It also demonstrates the influence of other cultures. That said, we have listed the best foods you must try when in Brazil:

1. Brigadeiro

For chocolate lovers, you might want to start with Brazilian desserts so you can go with something familiar first. Well, one Brazilian dessert that you should try would be a brigadeiro. A brigadeiro is a chocolate confectionery. It comes in the form of a bite-sized truffle made primarily from condensed milk, chocolate, and butter.

A brigadeiro is usually covered in chocolate sprinkles to top it all off. It can also come in a white chocolate version, with others hiding a whole delicious strawberry inside. Traditionally, this confectionery is served during birthdays, after the birthday cake is gone. However, it’s also done after celebrations like a wedding or reunions.

2. Churrasco

Every country probably has its version of barbecued meat. But when you are in Brazil, your experience is incomplete without trying Brazilian barbecued meat. Given that Brazil is one of the more prominent barbecue icons in South America, there’s even more reason as to why you should get barbecue here.

Premium cuts of meat only flavored by coarse salt to make the barbecued meat the star of the show is what you’d expect from a Brazilian barbecue. Aside from that, you can expect to see some sausages and even chicken heart roasting alongside the barbecued meat.

Traditional Churrasco (Brazilian Barbecue) - probably what people elsewhere on the planet mostly associate with Brazilian cuisine - originates from the southernmost state of Brazil, Rio Grande do Sul. Meat is usually seasoned only with rock salt and then cooked on iron skewers directly over fire.

One would say all barbecue taste the same, but clearly they haven't tasted Brazilian BBQ. It's nothing like the meat you eat every day. Also in this state, one of the most popular dishes besides churrasco is arroz de carreteiro. It is basically a dish made of rice, cooked meat or charque (dried, salted meat) and some herbs (usually parsley).

3. Feijoada

Rio de Janeiro is also famous for Feijoada, one of the national dishes of Brazil. It is basically a black bean and meat stew, served with white rice, kale, pork rinds, fried manioc and some orange slices.

Hearty stews are beloved dishes everywhere, and for Brazil, they are no different. What the country considers their national dish is a stew made from black beans and various cuts of pork and beef (although it is primarily pork). This hearty stew that we’re talking about is the Feijoada.

The most common companion for Feijoada is a sprinkling of Farofa on top, also known as toasted cassava flour. Many will describe the addition of Farofa to many Brazilian dishes as a must. It creates a bacon-like crunchy texture on top of whatever meal you sprinkle it with. Altogether, you will usually have Feijoada with a side of rice while sprinkling Farofa on top of it.

Feijão Tropeiro is also a traditional dish from Minas Gerais, made with beans, bacon, sausage, collard greens, eggs and cassava flour.

4. Pão de Queijo

A breakfast in Brazil is never complete without Pão de Queijo, which means Cheese Bread, which is pretty much all you have to know about it. It tastes great and makes your breakfast complete and delicious. Queijo coalho is a firm but very lightweight cheese produced in Northeastern Brazil, with an almost "squeaky" texture when bitten into. It is usually grilled and commonly eaten with molasses.

Pão de Queijo is a famous Brazilian dish that you can find in many international airports worldwide. Aside from that, there are even some groceries outside of Brazil that offer frozen versions of these. You heat these versions whenever you’re craving them. Well, by now, if you’re wondering what it is, then it’s merely a Brazilian cheese bread.

When eating a Pão de Queijo, it’s often served and eaten while drinking a hot cup of chocolate. It's more of a snack instead of a meal, but it’s great for a light breakfast or as a partner with whatever soup you may have.

Cheese and milk is part of most meals, including Minas’ most famous snack, the Pão de queijo, translated as cheese bread, made with cassava starch and Minas cheese, usually consumed along a tiny cup of sweetened coffee.

Beiju (also known as tapioca), for instance, is a grainy crepe-like flatbread that was originally created by the indigenous people of Brazil. It’s made with cassava starch that’s first moistened, passed through a sieve as a coarse flour, and then sprinkled on a hot pan. The heat makes the starch bind together. Beiju can be buttered for breakfast or filled with sweet or savory ingredients as a snack.

5. Maniçoba

We've previously mentioned Feijoada before. Maniçoba is under the same family as it is a stew made from dried meat, salted pork, and even bacon or sausages. Feijoada's difference is that it uses cassava leaves instead of beans boiling for around four days after people finely ground it.

Maniçoba is not necessarily an everyday dish as it is usually served during a specific religious festival in Brazil, the Círio de Nazaré. Just like Feijoada, though, this dish is served with rice and Farofa.

Maniçoba is a dish of indigenous origin, made with leaves of the Manioc plant that have been finely ground and boiled for a week for at least four days. To these boiled leaves (called maniva in Portuguese), salted pork, dried meat, and smoked ingredients, such as bacon and sausage, are added. The dish is served with rice and farofa.

6. Moqueca

Moqueca is a delicious fish stew made from various ingredients that differ from where you are getting it, as is usual with food. That said, one version of a Moqueca that you can expect would be one made from fresh white fish, bell peppers, cilantro, garlic, onions, tomatoes, coconut milk, and various other spices.

This fish stew is often made to serve alongside rice, or you can eat it with bread as well. The state of Espírito Santo has one typical dish known nationwide, the moqueca capixaba. This fish and seafood stew is slowly cooked in a terracotta casserole with tomatoes, onion, coriander and urucum (annatto), then served with pirão, which is a puree made with the same ingredients, but using mainly the fish leftovers.

Moqueca Baiana is like a stew prepared slowly in an earthenware dish. It is prepared with fish, peppers of various colors, tomato, coriander, pepper, palm oil and coconut milk. Moqueca can be made with prawns or a mix of boneless fish species, like small shark, swordfish etc. This dish starts with the smell of the milk of coconut combined with seafood and spices.

The Sopa Leão Veloso is a seafood soup named after Leão Veloso, a Brazilian diplomat who developed a taste for bouillabaisse during his service in France. Upon returning to Brazil, he tweaked the recipe for the famous French classic, most likely due to unavailability of some ingredients. This rich and spicy soup is typically made with whole grouper and various shellfish.

Freshwater fish from Pantanal, like pintado no urucum (Spotted sorubim in annato) and piranha are also cooked in stews or even deep fried and served with manioc recipes.

Also in the state of Pará, but in the rest of the North as well, pirarucu, one of the largest freshwater fishes of the planet, is widely consumed in many different ways. Other local fish, such as filhote, are also a local tradition. A plate of filhote frito (fried battered filhote) is usually consumed with an açai bowl and manioc flour.

In the state of Amazonas and the other states of the North (Amapá, Roraima, Acre, Rondônia and Tocantins), a huge assortment of freshwater fish from the Amazon river like tucunaré, pirarucu, filhote and biju-pirá are consumed all over. The colossal Brazilian freshwater fish known as tambaqui (black pacu)- and especially its ribs, which are the size and shape of pork baby back ribs - are a local specialty.

7. Canjica

If you feel the wind starting to have a bite to it, then you might want to whip out a Canjica, which is a Brazilian White Corn and Coconut Porridge. This warm dessert is perfect during the winter. It is made from white corn, coconut, milk, coconut milk, condensed milk, and a sprinkling of cinnamon. This creamy and warm dessert is most commonly served in Brazil during the Festas Juninas or the June Festival.

8. Vatapá

Bahia cuisine is known around the country as some of Brazil’s best cuisine and many of its dishes are also popular elsewhere in the country. Azeite de dendê, red palm oil, is an essential ingredient in many iconic Bahian dishes. It has a distinct flavor and texture and can be hard to digest if you’re not accustomed.

Pimenta malagueta, malagueta pepper, is a chili popular in Brazil as well as some Caribbean and African countries. If you’re missing the spice in many traditional Brazilian dishes, head to Bahia and this chili will fire you up.

If you didn’t know by now, Brazilians love stew, which is why Vatapá is a famous thick stew in the country. This meal is made from shrimp, coconut milk, a paste of various herbs, bread, palm oil, and nuts. Again, you usually serve this with rice, and you can replace the shrimp with other things, like tuna, chicken, or plain veggies.

The Vatapá is the typical dish of the Bahian cuisine. It is made with bread crumbs or flour, ginger, pimenta malagueta, peanut butter (peanut), dendê oil, coconut milk and onion. It is usually eaten along with acarajé.

Bobó de camarão, is a chowder-like Brazilian dish of shrimp in a purée of manioc (or cassava) meal with coconut milk and other ingredients, flavoured with dendê oil.

In the coastal areas the consumption of fish and seafood is popular and many Bahian foods are also consumed. Some of the highlights are crab meat, used in dishes like casquinha de siri, a mash made of manioc flour and the swimming crab. Lobsters, of the spiny lobster variety, are also very popular all over the Northeastern coast. Caranguejo-uçá (swamp ghost crab) are also consumed all over the North (as well as the Northeast).

9. Cachaça

Of course, this list of Brazilian foods is not complete without some local alcoholic beverages. This is where Cachaça comes in. Cachaça is fermented sugarcane juice, a popular distilled alcohol in the country. It is often mixed in caipirinhas. Unaged varieties are usually cheaper and have a clear white or clear color. Aged Cachaça, on the other hand, is more gold or yellowish.

10. Bolo de rolo

Bolo de rolo (rollcake) is a typical Brazilian dessert from Pernambuco state. The cake batter is made with flour, eggs, butter and sugar. This dough is wrapped with a layer of goiabada, giving the appearance of a swiss roll. However, layers of dough and goiabada are much thinner than the ones used in the swiss roll, and the taste is completely different.

Cuca de uva, a legacy of German immigrants, is a flat cake made with eggs, wheat flour, butter, grapes and covered with a sweet crumb topping or just sugar. It is very similar to Streuselkuchen, a traditional cake from German cuisine.

11. Baião de dois

Baião de dois is a mixture of two quintessential ingredients of the Brazilian diet - rice and beans, cooked together and enhanced with a few or several delicious ingredients, such as bacon, cheese, sausage, scrambled eggs and fresh coriander.

12. Carne-de-sol

Carne-de-sol (sun-dried meat) or jabá is a dish from the Sertão of Northeastern Brazil. It consists of heavily salted beef, which is exposed to the sun for one or two days to cure and then used for various dishes and/or grilled.

Escondidinho de Carne Seca can be served as a full entrée or as an appetizer – sometimes prepared in individual small casseroles, which makes for a really cute presentation. Carne-seca is the equivalent of a very high quality jerky beef. In this dish, the carne-seca is “hidden” in between the two layers of a velvety manioc purée.

Paçoca de carne seca is a popular dish that is also a culinary legacy of the indigenous traditions. Nowadays this dish is nearly identical to the original: a mixture of carne de sol or carne-seca and manioc flour placed in the mortar, then crushed with the pestle.

Filé Oswaldo Aranha is a traditional carioca dish consisting of a beefsteak that's topped with large amounts of fried garlic and served with white rice, crunchy potato chips, and farofa on the side.

Picanha is often called rump cover or culette in the United States. Most Americans aren't very familiar with this meat. As a note, if you ever visit Brazil, make sure to include a night out eating Picanha as one of your adventures.

Fried and stuffed with chicken slices, cheese or meat, you make your choice! Palmito is also what you can stuff it with, making the taste even more satisfying. Pastel, half-circle or rectangle-shaped thin crust pies with assorted fillings, fried in vegetable oil is a popular snack in all Brazilian states.

You could be walking around the streets then spot some friendly old man walking his cart while yelling out catchy and rhyming phrases about this snack. Different countries around the world have developed their version of Pastel. Most countries make it smaller in size, some of them stuff it with only one kind of ingredient, and some have even invented new ways of making something similar. But to get the true taste of it, make sure it is Brazilian!

13. Barreado

The cuisine from Paraná also has meat as the main dish, but there are variations. The most famous example is barreado, which is basically a dish made of meat cooked in a crock, served with manioc flour and, sometimes, bananas.

14. Galinhada

Although there are differences between dishes made in Mato Grosso and Mato Grosso do Sul, their cuisine is very similar. Both use a lot of chicken and local vegetables, making dishes like galinhada, a rice preparation that includes both.

15. Virado

Virado à Paulista, is a very popular dish, which consists of a platter of beans cooked in sautéed onion, garlic, fat, and salt; dried, toasted manioc flour; a pork chop; fried sausage; breaded and fried plantain; eggs, preferably with the soft yolk; kale, cut into strips and braised in fat; rice; and torresmo, a crisply cooked pork rind.

16. Bolinhos de bacalhau

Portuguese influence in Rio is huge and has brought some portuguese cuisine to this part of the country. Bolinhos de bacalhau (Codfish balls) are about as classic an example of both as they come in Brazil. They are traditionally made from salted cod.

17. Akara

The cuisine of Salvador, the capital of Bahia, shares the history of the people and ingredients that came to settle in the city. Local ingredients, a mix of global flavors, and a strong culinary tradition make Bahian cuisine particularly memorable. Salvador’s seaside location also makes it the perfect place to sample delicacies from the ocean.

Acarajé, a dumpling deep-fried in azeite de dendê made of cowpea, onion, peppers, various spices and shrimp, is one of the symbols of the very distinctive Bahia cuisine.

18. Cocada

Cocadas are one of the most traditional desserts in Bahia, but also throughout the whole Northeast. It is made with a mixture of coconut grated with milk, cinnamon, vanilla and condensed milk. There are various colors, the typical white, the browns ones, which have cooked coconut before, and there are even some with dulce de leche.

19. Tacacá

Tacacá, is a soup common to Northern Brazil, particularly the states of Acre, Amazonas, Rondônia and Pará, and is well loved and widely consumed. It is made with local herb jambu, and tucupi (a broth made with wild manioc), as well as dried shrimps and small yellow peppers.

20. Pato no tucupi

Pato no tucupi (duck in tucupi sauce) consists of a boiled duck cooked with jambu in tucupi sauce.

The ubiquitous Molho vinagrete, or molho à campanha is made of tomato, chopped onion and green bell peppers, olive oil, vinegar, either parsley (in the Southeast and South) or coriander (in the North and Northeast), and salt. It is technically a salad, even though it is more often consumed as a sauce.

Final Thoughts

One of the excellent ways to get to know a country is by enjoying its local cuisine. In the case of Brazil, their local food is colorful and vibrant! It also showcases what every region in the country has to offer.

Brazilian cuisine is also a hotpot of other cultures and countries. That's because their local food has Portuguese, European, African, and South American influences. Combine that with the products harvested from native farms, mountains, and coastlines, and you have diverse and exciting food.

That said, make sure to have a taste of the food listed above whenever you are in Brazil.

14 BEST Places to Visit in Birmingham

Traveling around Europe is a dream come true for many. However, not everyone gets to experience it. The lucky ones usually visit some grandiose capital cities and don't like to stray away from them. Nevertheless, visiting the places that aren't an obvious choice on everyone's wish list is a great way to experience the culture and people you otherwise wouldn't have a chance to meet.

Birmingham, is one of the best places to visit in UK where there are many great things to do. Birmingham is located in the West Midlands, about 180 kilometres northwest of London. One of the best things about traveling around Europe is experiencing the different bits and pieces each culture has to offer. These are some fantastic places to see if you're looking for things to do in Birmingham.

First thing's first, no matter if you're a history buff or if museums were never really your thing, visiting different cultural and art institutions is always a good idea in a new city.

14 BEST Places to Visit in Birmingham

In that spirit, let's take a look at the top things to do in Birmingham that'll make your trip to UK all the more special.

1. Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery

Visit the Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery situated in the city center in a beautiful Victorian building. Art Museum has the largest collection of pre-Raphaelite paintings and drawings in the world, some of them with more than 400,000 years of history.

2. National SEA LIFE Centre

There's a reason why the National SEA LIFE Centre Birmingham is one of the most visited places in this city. Be sure to check it out. National Sea Life Center Birmingham is one of the best aquariums you can see in Britain. Inside the aquarium is the Sensorama Cine 4D, a spectacular film about all marine species.

3. Birmingham Science Museum

Birmingham Science Museum is an excellent choice for anyone interested in fun ways to learn about the world surrounding us.

4. St. Philip's Cathedral

St. Philip's Cathedral offers amazing concerts that you shouldn't miss.

5. Barber Institute of Fine Arts

Barber Institute of Fine Arts is a great place for anyone into Renaissance and all the greats that came from it.

6. Victoria Square

Located in Victoria Square, Town hall looks entirely like a Greek or Roman temple. Beside it is the Symphony Hall, the most important theatre in Birmingham. It is one of the best concert halls that you can find in the United Kingdom. They are two of the most emblematic buildings of the city.

Do not forget about Jewelery Quarter, the neighborhood of jewelers, or Saint Paul Square.

7. Aston Hall

Aston Hall is a Jacobean-style mansion that can be found in Aston Park, on the outskirts of the city. It is one of the most visited tourist spots in Birmingham.

8. Worcester and Birmingham Canal

Taking a Boat Trip through the Canal is one of the best things to do in Birmingham. If you wish to experience the city in its entirety in a shorter period of time, you should check out what the boat trip through the Canal has to offer. You'll get to take a look at the buildings that have been there over the last two centuries and experience a more posh side of the city.

And if you wish to stay longer in the city and get to see every nook and cranny it hides, you may need storage for your items. For example, if you still haven't found the accommodation to settle in but wish to experience these attractions anyway, know that sharing storage with friends during your travels is a great option. Before you find a more permanent place, this solution might be the best for your valuables and other belongings.

9. Bullring & Grand Central

There are many options for shopping here. The cheapest can be found in the Bullring Markets and the weekend markets of Digbeth and Custard Factory. You will also see clothes and food stores, almost all of them exotic. If you're in the mood for a shopping spree, the Bullring Shopping Centre is probably one of the best destinations for that.

It's one of the biggest malls in the UK, which makes it home to some great chain stores and some smaller hidden gems. In addition, they offer great restaurants and coffee shops where you can take a minute to cool down and regain your strength to carry on.

10. National Trust - Birmingham Back to Backs

There are many outstanding characteristics of the unique architecture in Birmingham. One of the most amazing things to do in Birmingham is visiting the Birmingham Back to Backs. You can find these buildings all over the city, and they're all equally charming and special. You will realize there will be a lot of exploring to do, and you will spend most of the time outside.

If you are not sure about leaving your belongings in your accommodation, you may be tempted to carry your valuables with you. But Birmingham is a big city, and this is ill-advised. Because of that, professionals at PortaBox Storage remind us of numerous advantages of renting storage while traveling.

Pay a visit to The Electric Cinema. Even though it might be unconventional, a movie night in a city you're visiting for the first time can be an extraordinary experience. The century-old Electric Cinema is a great option for this adventure since it has numerous showings of some great movies, both older and newer.

11. Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park

Another great family activity could be visiting the Birmingham Wildlife Conservation Park and seeing all the cute animals it has to offer. However, family or no family, you should make this place your stop even if you're all on your own. You won't regret it. The wildlife here is incredible, and there's a great chance that you'll get to see some animals you haven't seen before.

12. Birmingham Botanical Gardens

If you're in the mood for a fairytale, however, you cannot miss the wonders that Botanical Gardens have to offer. You'll truly feel as if you're going through the scenery from Alice in Wonderland gliding through this place. Great green gardens stretch all over the area, along with one-of-a-kind glasshouses. Every one of these glasshouses has a unique theme and atmosphere that you'll get to experience.

13. Cadbury World

Don't worry if you're traveling with family and are not in the mood for grown-up activities. There are still plenty of great opportunities to let loose and enjoy the childish side of this city. Cadbury World is one of the best spots for chocolate lovers in the whole country. Of course, if you still want to implement some learning alongside all the amazing and tasty chocolate, you can.

You can either join in on an already existing tour of the place or explore on your own. If you decide on the first option, you'll get to learn about how chocolate came to be as well as the great history of Cadbury. Cadbury World is one of the most visited places in the city. It is in the area of Bournville, and inside you will know everything related to this famous chocolate and its products.

Out of all the things to do in Birmingham, something that no one forgets to do is try all the amazing food the city has to offer. Depending on whether you're into trying all the traditional meals such as pudding and savory ducks or if you want to stick to what you know, there are great options. Make sure not to focus only on the trendy and sought-after places. Finding some smaller less-known spots will feel a lot more special.

The balti is a dish of curry cooked and served in a flat-bottomed metal pot. It was created here in Birmingham, and the best place to try it is in Balti Triangle. The word balti alludes to the metal pot, and in this area there are more than 50 restaurants specializing in this typical dish.

You can eat both in restaurants and pubs, for example the classic English fish and chips, the English breakfast with eggs, bacon, sausages, toast and a well-loaded coffee, sandwiches of all kinds, pudding, roast beef and, how no, afternoon tea with pasta, traditional desserts and beers.

Chinatown is a great spot. Many don't expect great diversity when traveling to Europe. However, Birmingham will prove you wrong time and time again. If you wish to experience another side of the city and not only its traditional roots, Chinatown is the way to go. You'll not only find great restaurants and shops here, but you'll also run into some cultural gems that you wouldn't even know existed.

14. Brindley Place

Birmingham has a lively nightlife with theaters, jazz clubs, restaurants, Victorian pubs, clubs. In the center you can find the best areas to go out, especially Broad Street, although lately people prefer Brindleyplace, an urbanized area next to the city's canal.

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