Friday, January 25, 2013

Alternative Brussels: Everybody’s got a thing

Nilo is a drummer, guitar player, singer and translator - basically the person you could trast when it comes to cultural and alternative part of his city.

What is the most bizarre place in Brussels?

There are so many bizarre places in this city. Some people take pride in the fact that Brussels is the capital of surrealism. We have statues of a peeing boy, a peeing girl and a peeing dog, and people come and take pictures of them. Our equivalent of the Eiffel Tower is the Atomium, nine balls of steel rising up to 100 metres in height! (But it’s pretty cool.) Recently, it was declared Europe’s most bizarre monument by CNN!

alternative brussels

What is the best night food after party in Brussels?

You are in the country that invented French fries, so those are always a good choice. Nice and greasy, perfect to soak up the alcohol. Have them with mayonnaise or andalouse or any other of the many sauces available. Tabora, Fritland and Manneken Frites in the centre are all open late.

If it’s really late, you might just head to a bakery and get some croissants and pains au chocolat for breakfast.

What is your favourite place (outside tourist's track) in Brussels ?

Brussels has a ton of green spaces, which are great to relax and clear your head a bit. Most people head to the Royal Park in the centre or the Cinquantenaire park, but those are flat and square and dull. Go to Parc Duden in Forest for some big hills and big trees, or to Les Jardins du Fleuriste for a perfectly manicured design park. Bois du Laarbeek is a nice little forest in the northwest with cute bunnies and Forêt de Soignes is a huge forest in the southeast, one of the last remaining natural forests in Belgium. I’ve never seen any bunnies there though (but apparently there are deer).

What to do to increase your adrenaline in Brussels?

Ride a bike! Throw yourself in traffic and race down one of our many hills. Your heart will start pumping for sure. But beware, traffic is dense and car drivers don’t really watch out for cyclists. Slippery cobblestones and tram tracks make for extra obstacles. You can find Villo! rental bikes all over town, but they’re a bit heavy. If you can find a nice light bike, you’ll go faster and it’s more fun.

Some abandoned places in Brussels?

The Cité Administrative/Rijksadministratief Centrum used to be a big complex of government buildings smack dab in the middle of the city. They were built in the 50ies but already abandoned at the beginning of this century. Now they’re empty and derelict, awaiting renovation. There used to be nice esplanade with a view over downtown but now it’s completely overgrown. It’s a bit eerie but also quite beautiful, in a way.

alternative brussels
RAC (Rijksadministratief Centrum) Brussel
Bauhaus symbol in windows
by the Polish artist: Maurycy Gomulicki

Where do the hipsters go in Brussels?

Thankfully, we don’t have as many hipsters as, say, Antwerp. The ones we have though tend to hang out around the rue Dansaert area (mostly Flemish hipsters) and around Flagey (almost exclusively French-speaking hipsters).

What is the strangest-looking bar/club you like in Brussels?

Recyclart is strange in that it’s housed in an old train station. During the day you can still catch the odd train there, but now it’s mostly known as an arts centre/music venue. The old ticket booths have been turned into the bar during concerts. It all looks rather underground-like, although it’s publicly funded. But they have some cool gigs and parties every now and then.

Le Goupil-le-Fol is a bar in an old brothel. It’s spread out over two floors, in different rooms with carpets and old couches and old junk from the flea market on the wall. It’s quite cosy, a nice place to hang out with a group of good friends – although you’ll also find some couples necking in the couches. Their selection of drinks is very limited and not cheap but they have some absolutely delicious fruit wines.

What is the coolest alternative street in Brussels?

I don’t think we have such a thing as an “alternative street”. Of course, some areas are cooler than others, but in general, the hip and the mundane, the bourgeois and the bums blend in pretty well with each other. It’s typical for Brussels too that in just a few hundred metres, you can go from a “ghetto” to some really posh part of town.

Where would you take your guest to show him/her something distinctive in Brussels?

On a Sunday morning, if it’s not raining, we could perhaps go to the Midi Market for some Moroccan pancakes with fresh mint tea. Then we could head up to the residential neighbourhoods of Saint-Gilles and Ixelles and go look at some nice Art Nouveau architecture.

After that, if my guest is into beer, we could relax in a specialised beer bar such as Moeder Lambic or Poechenellenkelder and sample some nice brews.

alternative brussels
Midi Market

Do you know some places where you can see the city view from the roof of a building?

The rooftop of Parking 58 in the centre is a long-time favourite. There’s been talk for a while now that it will be torn down, so maybe soon we won’t be able to go anymore. In the Army museum in Cinquantenaire Park, you can go to the top of the arcades overlooking the park (free entry). If you have money, go to the top of the Atomium!

Alternative brussles
Parking 58

What don't you like about Brussels?

There are way too many cars in Brussels. The city authorities are lagging behind a couple of decades when it comes to city planning and mobility. The congestion is terrible and the air quality is dreadful. Most drivers are real pricks too.

Which district would you avoid living in? Why?

There are some outer-lying districts full of ugly concrete buildings from the fifties and sixties, such as Evere and Ganshoren. Living there just seems extremely dull, and you’re far from everything.

At the same time there are some really gritty, run-down areas just outside the centre, such as Kuregem, Molenbeek … There’s very little green space, everything is really dense and dirty, the quality of life isn’t great there and sometimes it’s not very safe either.

What super distinctive thing should one try in Brussels?

When you’ve tried the beer, the fries, the waffles and the chocolate, head to an old café called Cirio, right by the Bourse. It’s a bit posh but has a really pretty old interior. Ask for a “half and half”, a mixture of white wine and sparkling wine/champagne, apparently it was invented there. It’s yummy.

What is your favourite place for a party? Why?

I don’t really like big, posh, expensive places with bouncers and dress codes and stuff. I mostly like informal, sometimes improvised parties. With lots of tropical grooves. Could be at a friend’s house, or in places such as the now defunct Nepomuk or the soon to be defunct Compilothèque.
alternative brussels

Or wherever DJ Funky Bompa is spinning, usually there will be a great vibe then. If you want to know about big, posh, expensive places with bouncers and dress codes and all that, ask my brother, he knows about that kind of stuff.

What to do outside the city?

Catch tram 44 from Montgomery – it will take you through a beautiful forest to the town of Tervuren, which has a huge park and the Museum of Central Africa, which is pretty interesting but will be closed soon for renovation. Otherwise, trains will you get anywhere in Belgium real quick.

Gent is probably the nicest city to visit outside Brussels. Even London, Paris or Amsterdam are never more than a couple of hours away!

Nilo is a translator/musician living in Brussels. He plays drums in a Belgian soukous band called Jean-Mikili and sings and plays guitar and occasionally hits a drum in an indiefolk band called Uncle Berry. He is also part of the dance/film/music collective La Ignorancia. You can find his blog at, fallow him on Twitter.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Alternative Boston: " ...a fetish shop, homeless people, rich kids from harvard, smart people from MIT..."

Mike is the reason why I love Impractical Guide project so much.

What is the most bizarre place in Boston?

The MIT Stata Center building by Frank Gehry is impressive and unlike anything else in the area, I guess. 

What is the best night food after party in Boston?

South Street Diner - Very few 24hr food venues exist in Boston. This is one of them.

Little Steve's is open till 3am and is near a lot of bars and college students.

What is your favourite place (outside tourist's track) in Boston?

Davis Square in Somerville is extremely quaint. Aside from starbucks, all the coffee/bars/restaurants in the area are independent and unique. It's a tight-knit little community so close to the heart of the city.
alternatibe boston
Davis Square in Somerville

Visit particularly for Honk Fest - a massive annual party full of wayward marching bands and other percussion groups. It's awesome and good for all ages and all types of people.
I recently discovered that the new North Point Park and playground is a beautiful mostly unused park. Hit it up in the summer, it's lovely.
alternative Boston
North Point Park

What to do to increase your adrenaline in Boston?

Go watch the highway traffic of the Mass Pike (I-90) drive under you from the intersection of Mass Ave and Boylston, near Hynes station. 

Some abandoned places in Boston...?

I've seen a lot of stuff like old mills and factories be converted to condos and high-tech loft offices even in the last 5 years. You'll have to look hard. Real estate is too valuable here for much in the way of abandoned property without going outside into the suburbs or industrial areas (car required).

Where do hipsters go in Boston?

The Model Cafe in Allston / Brighton or anywhere nearby. Also, anywhere in Central Square (Cambridge).
alternative boston
The Model Cafe in Allston / Brighton

What is the strangest-looking bar/club you like in Boston?

River Gods in Central Square features seasonal pagan-like decorations.

alternative boston
River Gods, Boston

What is the coolest alternative street in Boston?

The stretch of Mass Ave from Harvard Square to MIT which is the heart of Central Square is the most diverse place in the area, but technically belongs to Cambridge and not Boston. Check-Cashing stores are next to fancy sushi places. A large bro-sports bar (Tavern AKA "TITS") next to a dive blues & poetry slam bar (Cantab). Two all-vegan restaurants, a school for Marxism, dance studios, indie coffee shops (and Starbucks), greasy sub places next to Ethiopian food, record shops, a fetish shop, homeless people, rich kids from harvard, smart people from MIT, euro football fans at Phoenix Landing (which also hosts dubstep nights), rockers and punks hanging out at the Middle East, Latino/as queuing up outside Naga, two Salsa clubs, a Greek American club that sometimes is used for raves, yuppies getting cocktails at Cuchi Cuchi or valet parking at Craigie on Main, Berlin quality techno at Middlesex Lounge, ice cream next to Indian food... I think I might have missed a few places but this stretch of road is the best thing around.

Runner up: Harvard Ave in Allston (technically Boston), more gritty but also diverse and active.

Where would you take your guest to show him/her something distinctive about Boston?

Copley Square is interesting in that the old Trinity Church, made of local brown stones, abuts the John Hancock building, a glass skyscraper. This makes for a good photo of juxtaposition of old/new which is everywhere in Boston. Across the street inside the public library boasts a beautiful reading room, Bates Hall.

alternative boston
Bates Hall, Public Library in Boston

Do you know some places where you can see the city view form the roof of the building in Boston?

A good spot to see the skyline is the Marriott in Copley Square. Take the elevator to the top (37 floors) and walk out to either end of the hallways for a free view that is only rivaled by the next highest spot you can go in the city, the Prudential tower. 

Another good view is from the BU Bridge  or the Harvard Bridge (Mass Ave across the river).

Interesting facts about each: The BU bridge is the only place you can be where a plane can fly over you while a car goes by you while a train goes under you while a boat goes under a train.
The Mass Ave bridge (Harvard Bridge) is measured in a unit length of Smoots.

Where can i find some substances in Boston?

This is the biggest college town in the world. There are something like 150-200k students. Start talking to the faces in bars and parties in the student ghetto neighborhoods and you'll probably find something eventually.  Also, possession of small amounts of Marijuana is de-criminalized in Massachusetts and you can usually smell people doing some on the hill near Park Street in the Boston Common. I guess you could go talk to them, particularly during "Freedom Fest" Hempfest 

What you don't like about Boston?

Boston is a place full of young people from everywhere in the world, but many of those young people don't stick around for more a few months, or maybe a few years after college, even with plenty of good jobs around. It's difficult to make long-standing friends when it feels like everyone you meet is probably leaving eventually, because they usually are.
Also, for a smaller city, the cost of living here is extremely high, only worse in NY and SF. Housing is in short supply and most people are stuck with roommates in older apartments.

Which district would you avoid living in? Why?

The high crime neighborhoods are generally Mattapan, Roxbury, Dorchester, and Chelsea (different city nearby). 
Also, avoid Quincy Market/Fanuiel Hall.

What superdistinctive one should try in Boston?

If this is a question about food, New England clam chowder (it's creamy) is of the most distinction. If you want to pronounce it like a local accent, it's CHOW-DAH.

alternative boston
clam chowder 

What to do outside the city?

Drive north for hiking/camping/skiing in the White mountains (2+ hours away). Go visit historical New England coastal towns like Portsmouth NH and Portland, ME. Go on a whale-watch tour on the ocean. Go see the massive mansions in Newport, RI.

Mike A said: "You can just say this was written by Mike A from Boston".  ;D


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Alternative Madrid in flamenco rhythm

Laura is a flamenco dancer, she invites you to her favorites places in Madrid and her shows.

The best place to see the city view in Madrid...?

There is a beautiful view from the 7th of the Shopping Center Corte Ingles in Callao, no many people knows it.

What is the coolest alternative street in Madrid?

For me the most beautiful street in Madrid is Segovia Street, during the day or at night, it's not a street crowded by tourist, it's full of restaurants and bars, there is a couple of parks around and it cross under a roman bridge which is beautiful.

alternative madrid
Segovia Street, Madrid

What is the most bizarre place in Madrid?

There so many bizarre places in Madrid that is impossible to chose one!

What is the best night food after party in Madrid?

There's a lot of options, a lot of places are open until really late at night or open very early in the morning, for example you can eat in an Argentinian restaurant until 3.30am, the name is La Recoba is in Antón Martín metro station. The atmosphere is very romantic.

alternative madrid
La Recoba

What is your favourite place (outside tourist's track) in Madrid?

Artebar, calle San Bruno, 3. La Latina. It's a very cosy bar and there is always some friends around. They organize many activities and concerts, especially flamenco, probably the cheapest flamenco shows in the city. No many tourists go there, this place is not advertised in the tourist guides. Is in the bohemian neighbourhood of Madrid.

alternative Madrid, flamenco
Flamenco in ArteBar

What you don't like about Madrid?

Like any big city some times is very stressful, I hate the metro on the dot.

Laura lives in Madrid, she is a passionate about flamenco. You can see her show every Thursday at 9:00 pm in ArteBar (San Bruno St, 3) next to La Latina Metro station or contact her on facebook.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Alternative Dublin: "The People with their tracksuits tucked into their socks."

Where: Dublin, Co. Hrabstwo Dublin, Irlandia
Dublin by Fragal, city to get drunk ;]

What is the most bizarre place in Dublin?

Probably Dicey Riley's on a Tuesday night. It's 2 euro drinks (which is extremely cheap for Ireland) but it's full of foreigners, especially Brazilians and Spanish. It's right in the centre of Dublin, but not an Irish person in sight.

What is the best night food after party?

A chicken fillet role in Londis on Dame Street. A bargain at 2 euro and you always get in interesting drunken conversations in the queue.

What is your favourite place (outside tourist's track)?

St Michan's Church near Smithfield. It has an underground crypt, which few have heard of. It's really interesting and eerie and the tour guide is quite strange, which accentuates it.

alternative dublin
St. Michan's Church

What to do to increase your adrenaline in Dublin?

Rock climbing at the indoor wall at the back of Trinity college. Need a climbing license though.

Some abandoned places in Dublin...?

There's about 2,000 abandoned, unfinished housing estates around Ireland. You can find plenty in Dublin's suburbs. The most famous abandoned building is the unfinished Anglo-Irish building on Dublin's north quays. Anglo-Irish bank was the bank that largely ruined the Irish economy. The unfinished building is a symbol of the downfall of Ireland

Where do hipsters go in Dublin?

Not too sure. Probably find some in and around Central Bank and Temple Bar on a Saturday. 
hipsters in dublin
Temple Bar

What is the strangest-looking bar/club you like in Dublin?

Not so strange but very traditional is the Dawson Lounge. It claims to be the smallest pub in Dublin and it's pretty damn small. No music, underground and really cosy.

What is the coolest alternative street in Dublin?

Thomas Street in the Liberties. A crazy mix of Irish knackers (an Irish word for scumbag), auld Dublin wans (old people from Dublin), immigrants and art students mixed in with musical venues, art houses and food stalls.

alternative dublin
Thomas Street in the Liberties

Where would you take your guest to show him/her something distinctive about Dublin?

Croke Park to see a Gaelic football or hurling match, which are sports only Irish people play. They are extremely popular and well-attended. Croke Park fits 82,000 people

Do you know some places where you can see the city view form the roof of the building?

Up the top of the car park at Stephen's Green shopping centre. It's free, unlike, say, the Gravity Bar at the Guinness factory.

Where can i find some substances?

Stand ouside a methodone clinic and be friendly with people coming out. It shouldn't take long.

What you don't like about Dublin?

Lack of an open main square, like Spanish cities have. The weather, which hinders outdoor events. The people with their tracksuits tucked into their socks.

Which district would you avoid living in? Why?

Summerhill on the Northside. Not the safest area to be walking around in late at night.

What superdistinctive one should try in Dublin?

A truly Irish pub with no TV, or music playing. Neary's near Grafton Street, Dawson's Lounge (mentioned above) or Peter's Pub, also near Grafton Street.

What is your favourite place for party? why?

Dublin is full of crazy house parties, which are always the best. It also has a tonne of places with free and excellant live music as well. Sweeney's and the Mezz are the two best ones I can think of.

aternative berlin

What to do outside the city?

Lots. Visit the castle in Malahide, horseride in Kildare, visit age-old monuments in Meath, visit the mountains, waterfalls and cliffs in Wicklow or the cliffs in Howth.

Fergal is 25 year-old freelance journalist from Co. Meath, Ireland but living now in Dublin city.  Check out his blog: Everything Is Kaputt 

Friday, November 23, 2012

Alternative Buenos Aires: "Take bus 46"

What is the strangest-looking bar/club you like in Buenos Aires?

I really enjoy drinking a beer in my fave Irish pub, The Kilkenny, but doesn´t look very strange. I could mention a small bar-pizzeria "La universal", very old but very famous in Floresta area.

What is the coolest alternative street in Buenos Aires?

Alternative, could be Rodriguez Peña, where you can find different "tribes" and there's this famous gallery "Bond street" where you can find tattoo studios, clothes, etc.

alternative Buenos Aires
Rodriguez Peña

What is the best night food after party in Buenos Aires?

The best night food, that depends if you feel like having breakfast... The typical breakfast, coffee with milk and "medialunas" (croissants). But sometimes we used to order coffee-milk and 2 pizza slices and 1 fainá slice (made of chickpea).

What is your favourite place (outside tourist's track) in Buenos Aires

My favorite place: I should say any seat in any theater. Cause I'm going to many different film festivals in the city... but I will mention a restaurant, "El boliche de Dario". But if you mean to go out, I really enjoy a pizzeria called "La rey", on Corrientes avenue, and then pubs, specially Irish pubs downtown.

What to do to increase your adrenaline in Buenos Aires?

Adrenaline: You can take a walk, if you find the right person, through a local slam, or try to take a train ´tween 5 and 6 pm when is almost impossible to get in while you´re aware of the fucking pickpockets. More? Try to ride a bike on the main avenues where there's no bike lines...I do it usually for work or moving through the city. A must: Go to a football match with me to show you all the passion, joy, drama, nervous, stressed, during a football match.
And at last, and depending what music you like, going to a show in B.A. is something amazing. The crowd is extremely passionate.

Some abandoned places in Buenos Aires?

Definitely the old park in my neighborhood, it´s almost closed, with old roller coasters,etc. The golden years where during the 70´s 80´s, with the dictatorship but it broke ´cause of tons of demands and corruption of the mayor at that time. It has the highest tower in the city, I guess, but they used to advertise like "the highest tower in southamerica".  The name is "Parque de la ciudad", but until the 80's the first name was "Interama". 

abandoned buenos aires
"Parque de la ciudad"

You can also find old places abandoned in Barracas area, and close to my house is "El elefante blanco", an old building from the 50´s during Peron's presidency which is in front of one of the biggest slams in the city, "ciudad oculta" (hidden city). There's a movie, maybe you can find it online "The white elephant", with famous actor Ricardo Darin.

Where would you take your guest to show him/her something distinctive about Buenos Aires?

Something distinctive, depends on my guest's time, but besides the usual places, I could give him a tour in neighborhoods not very touristic, like the ones I mentioned before, just by taking a bus to see the white elephant building, or show him a place for cars verification, that was used to kidnapped, torture and killed people during the 70's dictatorship.

alternative buenos aires
Buenos Aires’ poorest neighbourhoods - White Elephant

Where do hipsters go in Buenos Aires?

Hipsters, I´m really not very into that, but for having fun different discos,(in Palermo, las cañitas areas), pubs in Plaza Serrano or San telmo area. The good thing about B.A. is that you can find activities (cultural or not) for all taste and on every day of the week.

Do you know some places where you can see the city view form the roof of the building in Buenos Aires?

I know some places because I have some friends so I can go and have a look, but I can mention my apt. seventh floor, where you have a nice view from the city south side.

Where can i find some substances in Bienos Aires?

For that you will need a phone and a sim card to contact the people but in most of the areas you're able to find some substances. It's a matter of knowing the right people so you can make contact.

What you don't like about Buenos Aires?

I don't like people freaking out all the time, very intolerant sometimes. I don't like the city during the peak time, luckily I work very far from downtown of from main areas where traffic jams are usual and people are on their klaxons every second. And I don't like the dirt you can see sometimes is too much.

Which district would you avoid living in? Why?

Avoid? Barracas, or La Boca which are areas I don't like, specially Barracas, it has some nice places but another places are really fucked up. And also Palermo, just because it's an expensive area, very touristic, very crowded.

What super-distinctive one should try in Buenos Aires?

Just to see a something different, outside the touristic way, take bus 46 which goes through 2 different slams.
Another one, go for a football match, from the beginning to the end, that's the main attraction here. It's all about football folklore. That's exciting.

What is your favourite place for party? Why?

You got me with this one, probably because I go for party from time to time, I personally enjoy going to an Irish pub, drink some beers while some band plays some old classics. Of course with if there's a bday party that's different.

What to do outside the city?

Outside the city you have different options, you can go to Tigre, which is really beautiful and take a boat and go for a trip during the day, spend some days in a camping site there, visit Lujan, which is famous for the annual walking to the cathedral. You can find online or go to small farms-where you can spend the day in a BBQ, ride horses, and enjoy the typical gaucho tradition and pagan dances. All of this, just by going 100 maybe 150 km from the city. If you want to go further, you can visit Rosario city, only 4 hours by bus.

Sebastian lives in Buenos Aires. Instead of writing some information about himself, he's sent me a photo of his barrio with the park mentioned above.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Alternative Venice: Surreal site of a city

Where: Venice, Italy

Anna, currently based in Dublin describes her city Venice, Italy as "a very special, surreal, definitely weird city." She answered ImG questions:

What is the most bizarre place in Venice?

The walking path behind the Arsenale (Venise's great shipyard) is a pretty bizarre spot, especially at night. Only few people know. It is at the edge of the city, you get to walk on a metal path suspended on the laguna behind one of the most historical part of Venice.

What is the best night food after party in Venice?

Go and grab something at the “Notturno” known as well as “Mago G.” (“The G-magician”). It is a food place located just next the famous Rialto bridge. You can get all sort of “tramezzini”, tasty sandwiches of all kinds and flavours as well as delicious croissants and pastry.

What is your favourite place (outside tourist's track) in Venice?

The Zattere in the sunset. Zattere is the name of the south river of Venice. The best spots are those outside the university building. From there you can see the Island of the Giudecca, the lights of Porto Marghera and sit in an open-air bar drinking a spritz (local orange aperitif) looking up at the pink sky.

What to do to increase your adrenaline in Venice?

Walk throughout the streets of Venice (or dance in San Marco square) with the acqua alta (high tight).

Some abandoned places in Venice?

Venice is pretty small, there are a few abandoned houses here and there, but you find people almost everywhere apart in some little squares in the district of Castello, the most authentic part of Venice, you will randomly bomp into them quite easily! 

Alternative venice

Where do hipsters go in Venice?

To Campo S. Margherita, a square, a meeting point and a cool place for drinking and hanging out all day long.

alternative venice
Campo S. Margherita

What is the strangest-looking bar/club you like in Venice?

The Bacaro Jazz bar: there are bras hanging from all over the ceiling.

alternative venice
The Bacaro Jazz bar

What is the coolest alternative street in Venice?

It is not really a street, Campo S. Giacomo dell'Orio is a square where alternative people meet. You can find concerts, alternative events, food stands and occasionally people dancing tango.

alternative venice
Campo S. Giacomo dell'Orio 

Where would you take your guest to show him/her something distinctive about Venice?

The “Ghetto”, Venice Jewish quarter with his beautiful peaceful square.
The Church of the Salute, at Punta della Dogana.

alternative venice
The Jewish Ghetto in Venice

Do you know some places where you can see the city view form the roof of the building in Venice?

From the “altane” (wooden terraces) of a friend's place or from the bell tower of the church in S.Giorgio Maggiore, an island next to la Giudecca. You get the view on S Marco's square an d Venice.

Where can i find some substances in Venice?

A bit everywhere, especially “in campo” (S. Margherita square).

What you don't like about Venice?

People walking slowly. Venice does not have cars, everyone walk, if you do it too slowly you create traffic jam. You will notice venetians walk fast. The are many bridges but if you are walking with your shopping bags, you feel there should be more, especially on Canal Grande.

Which district would you avoid living in? Why?

Santa Croce district. You find it crossing the Scalzi bridge in front of the train station, there is not really much to do there.

What super-distinctive one should try in Venice?

Take the Gondolino, a gondola with which you can cross the Canal Grande. It is the only Gondola that venetians still take. Have aperitif (pre dinner drink and appetizers) at Re Mer, a bar in Strada Nuova, the street that goes from the train station to Rialto (the bar is on the right side of this street). Re Mer faces the canal grande and has a view on Rialto, go for a Spritz (drink) and eat “chicchetti”, Venician tapas.

What is your favourite place for party? Why?

For a drink, a cocktail and some gossips/chats go to Erberia, the bars around Rialto.
For a beach party with friends go to Alberoni beach on the Lido, you can have a midnight swim in the sea and come back on a early morning boat to Venice.
Go to the Magazzini del Sale, an old store house turned into a cool place where you can find arts exhibitions or party nights with alternative dj set. You can get relatively cheep drinks, a lot of fun and a touch of the alternative side of Venice, especially during Carnevale in February.
Check if there are parties on the Island of S. Servolo especially in September during the Short film festival.

What to do outside the city?

Go to the colorful Burano, an island near Venice. The houses are all of different colors, a fab spot for taking pictures and relaxing in the sun.  

Anna is 24 years old world traveller, currently stay in Dublin teaching Italian.