THE Cul­ture WEEK­END

OUR FAVOURITE EURO­PEAN CITIES ARE NOW EVEN MORE AC­CES­SI­BLE

Australian T3 - - TRAVEL & GADGET GUIDE -

Cul­ture vul­tures are flock­ing to Poland, and the cap­i­tal, War­saw, now holds even more ap­peal, be­cause March saw the open­ing of the five-star Raf­fles Europe­jski. Raf­fles’ new­est prop­erty opened in the cob­bled his­toric district, next to the Pres­i­den­tial Palace. Nearby at­trac­tions in­clude the His­tor­i­cal Mu­seum of War­saw and the Adam Mick­iewicz Mu­seum of Lit­er­a­ture, a trib­ute to Poland’s great­est writer.

For an ad­di­tional cul­ture fix, head over the bor­der to the Ger­man city of Ham­burg, of­fi­cially known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Ham­burg (try say­ing that with a mouth­ful of bratwurst). Its name re­flects its his­tor­i­cal im­por­tance to the Hanseatic League, founded in the 14th cen­tury by north Ger­man towns and mer­chant com­mu­ni­ties abroad to pro­tect their trad­ing in­ter­ests. Learn more about Ger­many’s big­gest port with a visit to the Mu­seum of Ham­burg His­tory, be­fore get­ting a dif­fer­ent per­spec­tive on its trans­for­ma­tion with a visit to HafenCity, a trendy new har­bour side area that is home to the Elbphil­har­monie Ham­burg con­cert hall, one of the largest and most acous­ti­cally ad­vanced mu­sic venues in the world.

And then there’s Turin, which be­came even more ac­ces­si­ble in Novem­ber when British Air­ways launched its twice-weekly flights from Heathrow. The city is most fa­mous for the Turin Shroud, although the relic rarely goes on show. Must-sees in­clude the San­tu­ario della Con­so­lata – a gold-cov­ered ex­plo­sion of baroque ex­trav­a­gance – and the Mole An­tonel­liana. When the lat­ter was orig­i­nally built as a syn­a­gogue in the 1880s, it was the world’s tallest build­ing, and it’s still one of the tallest brick struc­tures in Europe. To­day, it houses a mu­seum of cinema. The best bit? If en­ergy lev­els dip, it’s now even eas­ier to re­fuel. Un­til the end of 2018 you’ll be able to pick up a lim­ited edi­tion Torino Cof­fee Card. Cre­ated to cel­e­brate the city’s long­stand­ing re­la­tion­ship with cof­fee, it en­ti­tles the owner to five cof­fees at a num­ber of Turin’s his­tor­i­cal cafés.

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