Memo September 2016

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A memo sent to correspondents, friends and acquaintances of the Budapest Observatory (BO) in September 2016

This memo went to 4377 addresses.

Turkey has left

BO has missed an important and sad piece of news. Turkey has left the Creative Europe Programme. The guidelines to the next call states bluntly on page 10: “Please note that Turkey has decided to leave the Creative Europe Programme as of the 1st of January 2017. Turkish organisations are therefore not eligible under this call.” Checking the lists of eligible countries reveals that it happened before 16 September but besides this piece BO could find no official announcement on the net.

The beginning of an end of an era?

Ukraine has arrived

This is the first call where Ukrainian cultural organisations can apply for Creative Europe funds, either as project leaders, or more realistically, as partners. Here is some useful advice tailored to interested Ukrainian operators.

Tourism and culture

BO wanted to know the position of culture among the attractions to visitors to nineteen capital cities in east-central Europe. In the past few days we checked Tripadvisor website that collects (sorts and moderates) the greatest number of tourist reviews.

Looking back on their stay, tourists remarked on cultural experiences in the greatest number in the city of Tallinn: on nine museums and exhibitions among the top 30 attractions. In Prague, the most powerful magnet in the region, a variety of other temptations were listed before two performing art venues and the National Gallery. The small c-s stand for art institutions like the two in Prague: here it is the edifice that attracts visitors rather than what is inside.   

 

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30

 

Tallinn

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C

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C

C

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C

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C

C

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C

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C

C

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Riga

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c

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C

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C

C

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C

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C

C

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Sofia

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C

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C

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C

C

C

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C

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C

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Kiev

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C

C

C

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C

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C

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c

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C

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7

Warsaw

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C

C

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C

C

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C

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Bratislava

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C

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c

C

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C

c

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C

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Pristina

C

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c

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C

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C

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C

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Minsk

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C

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c

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c

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C

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C

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Budapest

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C

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C

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C

c

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C

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Sarajevo

C

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C

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C

C

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Bucharest

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C

C

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C

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C

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Zagreb

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C

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C

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c

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C

4

Skopje

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C

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C

C

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C

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Tirana

C

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C

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C

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Vilnius

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C

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C

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C

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Belgrade

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C

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C

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C

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Prague

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c

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C

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Ljubljana

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C

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Podgorica

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Narrowing the focus on the top 10 we get a slightly different order. Let us see, however, the attractions that culture has to compete with. The vast majority is general “sights”: landmark buildings, monuments, streets, parks and the like. Religious sites (churches, mosques etc.) represent a specific cluster, marked with R in the table on the right. As seen, they are in greater number among the top 10 – interestingly though the top 30 contains altogether more cultural than religious attractions in the nineteen cities. The last column under + tells the number of additional occurrences in the top 30.

In three of the 19 cities a cultural attraction remained on the mind of visitors more than anything else. In Tirana Bunk’Art impresses tourists above all. In Pristina it is a museum of ethnography. And in Sarajevo hundreds voted for an exceptionally haunting experience, the memorial exhibition to the Srebrenica massacre in 1995.

In Warsaw four museums made it to the top 10 attractions, and no church. In Sofia, visitors found temples most interesting to comment on, and only one museum; Kiev offers a similar picture.

The large table above shows that in Tallinn six more museums complement the three among the top 10: this is the city where museum collections make travellers produce retrospect comments on the Tripadvisor website in the greatest frequency.

 

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Pristina

C

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c

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3

 

Kiev

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R

R

R

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R

R

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2

Tirana

C

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C

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Sofia

R

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R

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R

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R

R

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R

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Sarajevo

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Podgorica

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R

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Warsaw

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C

C

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C

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Minsk

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R

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Tallinn

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C

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C

C

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Bucharest

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Vilnius

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Vilnius

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Bucharest

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Budapest

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R

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Minsk

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C

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Tirana

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R

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R

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Riga

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c

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C

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Bratislava

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R

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Sofia

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C

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Pristina

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R

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R

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Zagreb

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C

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C

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Prague

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R

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Skopje

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C

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Ljubljana

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R

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Kiev

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Tallinn

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R

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Bratislava

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Sarajevo

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R

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Budapest

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Belgrade

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R

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Belgrade

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Zagreb

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R

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Prague

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Skopje

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Ljubljana

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Riga

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Podgorica

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Warsaw

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The letters A in the next table stand for a variety of activities: various tours (heritage, food, segway, bike etc.), escape rooms, jazz bars and so on. With altogether nine choices, Sarajevo offers its visitors the most active sojourn of all.

Podgorica enchants tourists with natural attractions: rivers and lakes in the neighbourhood.

 

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Zagreb

A

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Skopje

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Bucharest

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A

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A

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Podgorica

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N

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N

N

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N

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Prague

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A

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A

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A

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Sofia

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Sarajevo

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A

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A

A

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Tirana

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N

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Belgrade

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A

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Belgrade

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N

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Ljubljana

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A

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A

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Budapest

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N

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Podgorica

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A

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Pristina

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Budapest

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A

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Minsk

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Skopje

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A

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Zagreb

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Sofia

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Tallinn

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Tirana

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Kiev

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Kiev

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Riga

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Warsaw

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Warsaw

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Vilnius

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Bratislava

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Pristina

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Bucharest

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Tallinn

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Sarajevo

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Bratislava

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Vilnius

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Riga

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Prague

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Minsk

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0

 

Ljubljana

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0

 

Ex-post tourist comments are a valuable feedback to the cities. The real information is of course carried by the content of the remarks and the rating but numbers matter, too: tens of thousand comments by certain entries, but several dozen even at the least frequented places.

For illustration, see the list of Bucharest at the bottom. Curious about other countries? Other cities? Other sources? Next time...

Library session

The fourth cell in the Pristina row in the table of cultural attractions is the National Library. It hosted a conference in September, one of the final steps in a two-year complex assistance and cooperation programme. The commitment, readiness and mental outfit of most of the local participants suggested some optimism in our troubled time.

BO liked the building, designed by a Croatian architect (portrayed in the picture) in a brutalist style, popular among tourists as well. Not everybody is impressed though.

 

 

 

 

Top 30 attractions in Bucharest by Tripadvisor

End of September, 2016 
 

1

   Stavropoleos Church

2

   Herastrau Park

3

   City Tours

4

   Bukarest Party ON

5

   Village Museum

6

   National Museum of Natural History

7

   Parliament Palace

8

   Cismigiu Park

9

   Historical&Heritage Tours

10

   Old Town

11

   Cotroceni Palace

12

   Lipscani District

13

   Patriarchal Cathedral

14

   National Museum of Art

15

   Room escape games

16

   Victoriei Street

17

   Hanul lui Manuc

18

   Literary Art&Music Tours

19

   CEC Palace

20

   Biserica Stanful Anton

21

   Carol Park (Liberty Park)

22

   Revolution Square

23

   Food tours

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   Ioanid Park

25

   Museum of Art Collections

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   Unirii Square

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   Spring Palace

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   Cercul Militar

29

   Tinereturui Park

30

   Private Tours