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4-Night Tale of Two Cities Tour

Price: From $1,098 Per Person.
4 Nights

On this 4-night Ireland tour, you’ll visit both of Ireland's vibrant capital cities - Dublin in the Republic of Ireland, and Belfast in Northern Ireland. You'll stay in both of the iconic 5-star Fitzwilliam Hotels, regarded as some of the highest quality accommodations in Ireland. You will have ample time to take in the many sights and attractions of the two amazing cities. Start with a visit to the Guinness Storehouse where you'll discover the rich history of Guinness, probably the world’s most renowned Irish brand. Discover how the iconic stout is brewed; and taste a pint of it yourself in the 7th floor Gravity Bar. In the evening, you'll be taken back in time by a renowned Irish storyteller. Learn of how the Irish lived in times past while enjoying a traditional candlelit dinner in Dublin's oldest pub, The Brazen Head (est. 1198). Travel to Belfast where you'll visit the Titanic Experience to explore the shipyard, walk the decks, travel to the depths of the ocean and uncover the true legend of the Titanic in the city where it originally built. If food and history are your thing, this is the perfect tour for you!


ACCOMMODATION
  • 4-nights of 5-Star Hotel Accommodation in Dublin & Belfast

TRANSPORTATION

  • Train Journey from Dublin to Belfast

DINING INCLUSIONS

  • 4 Scrumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts
  • Traditional Candlelit Dinner & Storytelling in Dublin's oldest pub, The Brazen Head

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Stay in the Heart of Ireland's Two Capital Cities - Dublin & Belfast!
  • Learn the History of the Famous 'Black Stuff' at The Guinness Storehouse
  • Admission to the Titanic Experience Belfast

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Trinity College & The Book of Kells
  • Kilmainham Gaol & St Patrick's Cathedral
  • Grafton Street & St. Stephen's Green
  • Belfast City Hall & Belfast Castle
  • Titanic Experience Belfast

Dublin, County Dublin

Accommodation

Fitzwilliam Hotel - Dublin, County Dublin

5 Star
Room Type: Signature Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check in time is after 2:00pm on your arrival day.  Check-out time is before 12.00 noon. The Fitzwilliam Hotel offers secure parking for hotel residents for €25 euros per day.


Included Experiences

Guinness Storehouse Tour

Dublin, County Dublin

Come and explore Ireland’s top visitor attraction, providing an unforgettable welcome and a magical journey deep into the heart of the world famous Guinness brand and company. The Guinness Storehouse is located in the heart of the Guinness Brewery at St James’s Gate, Dublin. Housed in an old fermentation plant, now the seven-story visitor experience tells the story of Ireland’s iconic drink and brings to life the heritage of Guinness from early days to growth as a global brand, known all around the world. The experience starts standing at the bottom of the world’s largest pint glass, which rises through the building.  It’s a dramatic story that begins over 250 years ago and ends in The Gravity Bar where visitors will receive a complimentary pint of Guinness while relaxing and enjoying spectacular views over Dublin. 
No need to pre-book - use your included admission voucher to visit anytime today!


Overnight Location

Dublin, County Dublin

On the Map: Dublin, Ireland's Capital City is located on the east coast of the country, and is well served by infrastructure linking it to all parts of the Emerald Isle.

Dublin is a lively cosmopolitan city brimming with culture. You could spend your time strolling the streets soaking up the atmosphere, relaxing in its cafes and bars or you could check out its myriad historical, literary and cultural delights. The 8th century illuminated manuscript, the Book of Kells, must be viewed. It is on display at the impressive Trinity College, Ireland's first university (founded 1592) in the heart of Dublin. For the rest of your time, it is up to you how much you want to pack in. Phoenix Park (twice the size of New York City's Central Park), Georgian Dublin around Stephen's Green, Dublin Castle, the National Botanical Gardens, National Museum, Kilmainham Gaol and the Hugh Lane Municipal Art Gallery are all highly recommended stops on your tour. Then there's the Guinness Storehouse and Jameson Distillery.  A visit to Dublin's Temple Bar to experience the lively Dublin pub culture is a must, though many of Dublin's best bars can be found outside this area in the streets and laneways around Grafton Street, the shopper's street of choice. Purchasing a 'hop-on, hop-off' Dublin Bus Tour ticket is a great way to get around and see all the major sites at a very reasonable cost.


Must-See Sites

Grafton Street, County Dublin

On The Map: Grafton Street runs from Saint Stephen's Green in the south to College Green in the north

Grafton Street is without doubt Ireland's premier shopping street - in terms of retail rent, it's the fifth most expensive in the world! With beautiful historic buildings housing iconic Irish businesses such as Brown Thomas, Weir & Sons and Bewley’s Grafton Street Café, Grafton Street offers an experience that cannot be found elsewhere in the country. Since the 1980s, the street has been mostly pedestrianized, with the exception of a short stretch that runs between Nassau Street and College Green and contains the 18th century Trinity College Provost's House, home to the head of the college. If shopping's not your thing, Grafton Street is still worth checking out. It's a bustling, atmospheric spot, and high quality street performers including musicians, poets and mime-artists commonly perform to the shopping crowds.


Trinity College, County Dublin

On The Map: Trinity College is located in the heart of Dublin City. Just south of the River Liffey, the campus grounds are bordered by Grafton, College, Pearse, Nassau & Leinster Streets.

Time spent in Dublin would not be complete without a visit to Trinity College. Founded in 1592 by Queen Elizabeth 1st, it is one of the oldest universities in the British Isles, and the very oldest in Ireland. Standing on a self contained site in the very heart of Dublin, the College itself covers some 35 acres of cobbled squares and green spaces surrounded by buildings which represent the accumulated architectural riches of nearly three centuries. Although Trinity offers much of interest to the visitor, the crown jewel is without doubt the Book of Kells. The Book is an 'illuminated manuscript', globally celebrated for its lavish decoration. The manuscript contains the four Gospels in Latin based on a Vulgate text, written on vellum (prepared calfskin), in a bold and expert version of the script known as 'insular majuscule'. Written in the 9th century, it has been on display in the Old Library at Trinity College Dublin from the mid-19th century, and attracts over 500,000 visitors a year.


Temple Bar, County Dublin

On The Map: Temple Bar lies in the heart of Dublin City. Located on the south bank of the River Liffey, and just west of Trinity College and Grafton Street.

The lively and vibrant Temple Bar District - Dublin's Cultural Quarter, is well worth a visit. Best known for being Dublin’s major nightlife center, Temple Bar comes alive after dark, with many pubs, restaurants and nightclubs to choose from. For those visiting during the day, the area boasts a timeless charm, with narrow cobbled streets and a plethora of cultural organizations, such as the Irish Film Centre & Project Arts Centre. There are also a variety of small galleries and stores - perfect for a day of shopping. While Temple Bar after dark might not be for everyone, the area is the perfect spot to spend a sunny afternoon. 


St Stephen's Green, County Dublin

On The Map: St Stephen's Green is located in the heart of Dublin City, at the southern end of bustling Grafton Street - the city's premier shopping street. The famous Stephen's Green Shopping Centre is adjacent to the northwestern corner of the Green itself.

Stephen's Green is Ireland's best known Victorian public park. Originally enclosed by a wall in 1664, access to the 22 acre Green was restricted to local residents until 1880. The Green has been maintained in the original Victorian layout with extensive perimeter tree and shrub planting, as well as spectacular spring and summer Victorian bedding. The herbaceous border also provides colour from early spring to late autumn. Sanctuary from inclement weather can be obtained in the Victorian lakeside shelter or in the Victorian Swiss shelters in the center of the park. Over 3.5 km of pathways are accessible for all users. The waterfall and Pulham rock work on the western side of the green are worth of a visit, likewise the ornamental lake which provides a home for waterfowl and a garden for the visually impaired. A number of sculptures are located throughout the green. A children's playground is a popular attraction of the park. Lunchtime concerts are performed during the summer months.


Dublin, County Dublin

Accommodation

Fitzwilliam Hotel - Dublin, County Dublin

5 Star
Room Type: Signature Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check in time is after 2:00pm on your arrival day.  Check-out time is before 12.00 noon. The Fitzwilliam Hotel offers secure parking for hotel residents for €25 euros per day.


Included Experiences

Food, Folklore & Fairies

Dublin, County Dublin

Discover how Irish people lived in times past while enjoying a traditional candlelit dinner in Dublin's oldest pub, The Brazen Head (est. 1198). The evening unfolds in an intimate setting above the pub. As you relax between courses, be taken back in time by renowned storytellers, to the fascinating world of Ireland long ago, when the culture was one of the mind, spirit and imagination. Discover how Irish people lived off the land and why the humble potato so influenced our history. Explore their beliefs and superstitions surrounding the otherworld of the fairies. Listen to the magical tales they told as they gathered around the fire at night, and enjoy live traditional Irish music and ballads while having dinner.


Must-See Sites

Kilmainham Gaol, County Dublin

On The Map: Kilmainham Gaol is located in the west of Dublin City on the Inchicore Road, and just south of Phoenix Park.

One of the largest unoccupied gaols in Europe, Kilmainham has played an integral role in some of the most heroic and tragic events in Ireland's emergence as a modern nation. The Gaol offers the visitor a dramatic and realistic insight into what is was like to have been confined in one of these forbidding bastions of punishment between the opening of Kilmainham in 1796 and its closure in 1924. Leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were all detained here, and names such as Robert Emmet, Charles Stewart Parnell & Eamonn DeValera are synonymous with Kilmainham. Attractions include a major exhibition detailing the political and penal history of the prison and its restoration. Access to the Gaol is by guided tour only, which includes an audio-visual show. Tours may be arranged for visitors with special needs by prior arrangement


Saint Patrick's Cathedral, County Dublin

On The Map: Saint Patrick's Cathedral is located in the heart of Dublin City, just south of the River Liffey, and west of such landmarks as Trinity College and Grafton Street. The Cathedral is located at the junction of Patrick Street and Upper Kevin Street.

Built in honour of Ireland’s patron saint, Saint Patrick’s Cathedral has contributed much to Irish life since its founding in 1191. The Cathedral stands adjacent to the famous well, at which St Patrick himself reportedly baptized converts on his visit to Dublin. The writer and satirist Jonathan Swift was Dean of Saint Patrick's from 1713 to 1747, and is buried within the church. In a romantic twist, Esther Johnson (Stella) is buried next to Swift. Although never married, Swift had a life-long, intense and mysterious relationship with Stella, and she was an inspiration for much of his work. Handel's Messiah received its first performance there in 1742, sung by the combined choir of Saint Patrick's and Christ Church. Music has played an integral part in the life of Saint Patrick's since its foundation and it is the only cathedral in these islands to sing two services every day. Living Stones, the cathedral's permanent exhibition, celebrates Saint Patrick's place in the life of the city, its history and its role at the dawn of the third millennium. It emphasises that the cathedral is not a museum, but a building embracing the past to herald the future.


Dublin Museums, County Dublin

Dublin has long been recognized as a center of art & culture. The city is literally awash with interesting museums and galleries of all types and sizes.
It's impossible to make note of them all, but three of the best are:
The Chester Beatty Library: Alfred Chester Beatty, a New Yorker donated a fantastic collection of books to the city of Dublin. Highlights include papyrus scripts, valuable copies of the Koran, Buddhist & Far Eastern literature, as well as early mediaeval manuscripts.
National Museum of Ireland - Archaeology: Enter this museum and be transported back in time to almost 7000BC! Gold and other treasures recount a varied Irish history through Christian and pre-Christian times. A range of exhibitions also present artifacts from many other cultures and regions.
National Gallery: Here you can admire European works of art from the late Middle Ages to the end of the 19th century. As well as Irish artists, the Gallery also boasts works by Angelico, Goya, Gainsborough & Reynolds, to name but a few.


Belfast, County Antrim

Accommodation

Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast - Belfast, County Antrim

5 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3.00pm and 6.00pm. Please call the hotel in advance if you expect to arrive earlier or later. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon. If calling from within Northern Ireland please dial: 028 9044 2080. If calling from the Republic of Ireland dial: 044 28 9044 2080.


Included Experiences

Take the Train from Dublin to Belfast

Dublin, County Dublin

Today you'll enjoy a pleasant train journey from Dublin City north to Belfast, with the rolling Irish countryside providing a perfect picturesque backdrop. Train fare is included in your tour price, and we are happy to assist with making a reservation at the appropriate time on your behalf.

Your train departs from Dublin Connolly railway station and after a leisurely 2h 15min ride will arrive at Belfast Central Station.


Overnight Location

Belfast, County Antrim

On The Map: Belfast, the capital of Northern Ireland, is located in the northeastern corner of the country in County Antrim. Belfast is well served by a network of good roads, including the M1 motorway from Dublin City.

Approximately one third of the population of Northern Ireland - about half a million people - live in Belfast. It's setting is very attractive, nestling in a semicircle of hills, where the River Langan enters Belfast Lough. The city got it's name from Beile Feirst  "the mouth of the sandy ford" - and was founded in 1177 when the Anglo-Normans built a castle here. It began to really expand in the 17th century with the development of the local linen and shipbuilding industries (the Titanic was built here).  Sights to see in Belfast City, the Belfast City Hall, built of Portland stone in Classical Renaissance style, dominates the city center.  The Linen Hall Library, founded in 1788 is an absolute delight, a cultural centre with exhibitions, a Theater & Performing Arts Archive and a Genealogy and Heraldry collection. Away from the city center you have the Ulster Museum in the Botanic Gardens, near Queens University which has miles of galleries and exhibitions. This lively and friendly city, with historic buildings standing side-by-side with modern creations is a delight not to be missed.


Must-See Sites

Belfast City Hall, County Antrim

On The Map: City Hall is located on Donegall Square, in the very heart of Belfast.

Featuring towers at each of the four corners, with a lantern-crowned 173 ft copper dome in the centre, City Hall dominates Belfast's skyline. Plans for the City Hall began in 1888 when Belfast was awarded city status by Queen Victoria. This was in recognition of Belfast's rapid expansion and thriving linen, rope-making, shipbuilding and engineering industries. Construction began in 1898, and was completed in 1906 at a cost of £369,000. The exterior is built mainly from Portland stone and is in the Baroque Revival style. The interior has a number of notable features including The Porte-Cochère and Grand Entrance, The Grand Staircase, The Reception Room and The Great Hall. The gardens surrounding the City Hall are a popular summer lunch spot, and various statues adorn the grounds. These include a granite column dedicated to the American Expeditionary Force, many of whom were based in Belfast prior to D-Day in 1944. Interesting and informattive public tours of City Hall are available Monday thru Saturday. Led by experienced guides, tours last one hour and are free!


Black Cab Tours, County Antrim

Black Cab Tours is a Belfast-based taxi tour company, offering informative driving tours of the City of Belfast. The company operates a specially selected fleet of licensed 6 and 7 seater London-styled black taxis. The company's team of trained drivers offer clients the most informative, fun and unbiased tour possible, as well as incorporating your individual likes and interests whenever possible. Famous Belfast landmarks often visited on the tour include Political Murals & The Peace Line, Crumlin Road Jail & Courthouse, Belfast City Hall, Albert Memorial Clock, Crown Liquor Saloon and the Harland & Wolfe shipyard where the doomed Titanic was built.


Belfast, County Antrim

Accommodation

Fitzwilliam Hotel Belfast - Belfast, County Antrim

5 Star
Room Type: Double/Twin

Check in policies:

Check-in time is between 3.00pm and 6.00pm. Please call the hotel in advance if you expect to arrive earlier or later. Check-out time is before 12.00 noon. If calling from within Northern Ireland please dial: 028 9044 2080. If calling from the Republic of Ireland dial: 044 28 9044 2080.


Included Experiences

Titanic Experience Belfast

Belfast, County Antrim

Visit the birthplace of the Titanic and experience the story. Titanic Belfast extends over nine galleries, with multiple dimensions to the exhibition, drawing together special effects, dark rides, full-scale reconstructions and innovative interactive features to explore the Titanic story in a fresh and insightful way; from her conception in Belfast in the early 1900s, through her construction and launch, to her infamous maiden voyage and catastrophic demise. The journey goes beyond the aftermath of the sinking, to the discovery of the wreck and continues into the present day with a live undersea exploration centre. No need to pre-book - use your included admission voucher anytime today!


Must-See Sites

Belfast Botanic Gardens, County Antrim

First established in 1828, the Belfast Botanic Gardens became a public park in 1895. Situated near Queens University Belfast, the Botanic Gardens is an important part of Belfast’s Victorian heritage and a popular meeting place for residents, students and tourists. Designed by Charles Lanyon, The Garden's Palm House is one of the earliest examples of a curvilinear cast iron glasshouse. Its construction was initiated by the Belfast Botanical and Horticultural Society in the 1830s, and the two wings were completed in 1840. Over the years, the Palm House has acquired a reputation for excellent plant collections. The cool wing houses year-round displays of color and scent, using plants such as geranium, fuchsia, begonia in bespoke displays. The Tropical Ravine, or Fernery, completed in 1889, is a fine example of horticultural Victoriana. The plants grow in a sunken glen overlooked by a balcony. The stove wing and dome area contain a range of temperate and tropical plants with particular emphasis on species of economic value.


Belfast Castle and Cave Hill, County Antrim

On The Map: Belfast Castle is located just 4 miles north of the city centre on the slopes of Cave Hill. It is well signposted from the nearby Antrim Road.

Belfast Castle Estate is adjacent to one of the highest spots in Belfast, Cave Hill - at 400 feet above sea level, the castle offers stunning views over Belfast Lough and the city. Built in the 19th century, Belfast Castle is a Scottish Baronial style castle featuring unrivaled views of the city of Belfast. While the area played host to two castles before the one that stands today, the current Belfast Castle was finished in 1870. After serving the Shaftesbury family, the castle and its surrounding estate was presented to the city of Belfast in 1934. Between 1945 and 1970s, the castle was a popular venue for weddings, dances and afternoon teas. After a period of refurbishment between 1978 and 1988, the castle reopened and continued to host weddings, business meetings, and events. Head to the castle to explore its grounds and enjoy a meal at the Cellar Restaurant. 

Cave Hill Visitor Centre is located on the second floor of Belfast Castle. This intriguing museum is open Monday to Saturday, 9am to 10pm, and Sundays from 9am to 5.30pm, and admission is free!

The Cellar Restaurant within the castle is open every day from 11am-5pm serving snacks, light refreshments, and lunch.


Depart From

Depart from Belfast Airport, County Antrim

Return to Belfast Airport 2 hours prior to your flight's scheduled departure. This will allow ample time to check in for your flight home.


 

Ireland Vacation Pricing Low Season Mid Season High Season
From $1,098From $1,148$1,298

Your Price Includes:


ACCOMMODATION
  • 4-nights of 5-Star Hotel Accommodation in Dublin & Belfast

TRANSPORTATION

  • Train Journey from Dublin to Belfast

DINING INCLUSIONS

  • 4 Scrumptuous Full Irish Breakfasts
  • Traditional Candlelit Dinner & Storytelling in Dublin's oldest pub, The Brazen Head

UNIQUE EXPERIENCES

  • Stay in the Heart of Ireland's Two Capital Cities - Dublin & Belfast!
  • Learn the History of the Famous 'Black Stuff' at The Guinness Storehouse
  • Admission to the Titanic Experience Belfast

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • Trinity College & The Book of Kells
  • Kilmainham Gaol & St Patrick's Cathedral
  • Grafton Street & St. Stephen's Green
  • Belfast City Hall & Belfast Castle
  • Titanic Experience Belfast

Prices Based On:

  • Prices are Per Person based on 2 people traveling together and sharing a room.
  • Single Supplement Price Available for Solo Travelers
  • All Taxes & Fees Included.

“Last Minute Trip”

Jul 17, 2019 by Dylan. Your Hometown: Nashville

I had a last-minute work trip that I added a vacation too. Authentic Vacations were quick and found me exactly what I needed. They worked within my budget and it was seamless when I got to Ireland!

“Summer vacation with wife and 14 yr old daughter”

Jul 17, 2019 by C.J. Driggers. Your Hometown: GILBERT, SC

We had an awesome trip to the wonderful island of Ireland. Everything went smooth for us and our agent Lonna set us up with great accommodations. It seemed each hotel/b&b got better as the trip went along! We went for 8 days with 2 in Dublin, 1 in Kinittey, 2 in Killarney, 1 in Dingle, 1 in Doolin, and 1 in Trim before departing for home. My wife and daughter liked Dingle the best, while I thought Killarney offered the best of all worlds. I will say as an American, driving over there is an adventure. Major roadways are not a problem, but I've been on golf cart paths wider than some of the rural 2-lane roads found in the countryside. The only piece of advice I could offer is that when in Dublin, take the hop-on/off tour bus 1st thing around the entire city. Then get off the bus and explore the parts of the city that seem interesting to you. If you stay at the Ashling Hotel, walk across the bridge in front of the hotel and go around the corner of the train station to your right to get on the convertible bus. Knowing this would have saved us several hours as we wasted half a day trying to figure this out on our own.

Jul 17, 2019 by Nancy Foldesi. Your Hometown: Simi Valley

This was our second trip with Authentic Ireland and we loved it even more than our first trip. Aran Islands was a great spot. Rugged and beautiful! Our driver for the 3-day portion was great. Very helpful with great ideas. Our stay in Sheen Falls was magical. The cottage and villa were stocked with everything we needed to make a fantastic breakfast!! Also wine and candy 😎 Michelle was so helpful and gave me wonderful advice. She booked our perfect meal at The Lime Tree!! Perfect family vacation!!

“Ireland Trip 2019”

Jul 17, 2019 by Meghan Fahey. Your Hometown: Vermont

We booked a 10 day stay in Ireland. My boyfriend and I made our first international trip together. We had a great time! I had been to Ireland before, but the itinerary AV made was outstanding. The pace was great for a cross-country road trip and Michael was excellent at listening to our expectations and our wishlist. The Mystical Rose and Mena House were our very favorite B&Bs! Ring of Kerry was spectacular! We never had a bad meal! IT was outstanding to have all the planning stream-lined in one document. We just got back July 1st, and are already talking about Scotland! I had never been to Galway-what an addition to the trip. We saw everything we planned and had enough time to try other experiences. Ireland is getting more touristy by the second, so I would highly recommend planning and booking in advance for as much as possible. There were 2 B&Bs that we were not overwhelmingly enthused by, but they got the job done. We could not have had better weather-only one day of rain! The Blarney Castle was fantastic and driving ourselves was not even that bad. All in all, a great experience!

“40th Anniversary Trip”

Jul 10, 2019 by Kenneth Elder. Your Hometown: Katy, TX

My wife and I spent 16 days traveling all over Scotland. We had an amazing trip! We had read many of Con's blogs and planned many of our activities based on his blog.

Con and his team set up the hotel/B&B stops for us along the way and my wife and I drove the rental car over 1500 miles touring the countryside, castles, distilleries, and sites around Scotland, as we pleased.

Most of the accommodations were very nice, but, like most anywhere you travel in Europe, many of the showers in the bathrooms are more like a phone booth. Very cramped.

Except for being a little warmer than we anticipated, the weather was perfect. Out of 16 days, we had two days of rain.

Driving on the wrong side of the road, from the wrong side of the car, on some of the narrow, single lanes, winding coastal roads, with your wife navigating and yelling at you to slow down, was an adventure all by itself. I wish we had taken a "GoPro" camera to put on the dash to record some of the roads we drove on! Make sure you have an international phone plan or a GPS! Google Maps worked great for us.

As someone else mentioned in their review, the "Spirit of Scotland" dinner show was underwhelming, as was the food, but it was already included in our package. Probably could have spent those 2-3 hours doing something more interesting.

Con was very helpful in helping arrange our trip and gave some very useful tips and insight.

One suggestion I would make to Authentic Vacations for those who are renting a vehicle and driving in Scotland is that they provide some explanation of road signs and some details about highway speed limits. Such as, unless posted differently, the speed limit on Scotland highways is 60 MPH.

AND, in Scotland, the speed limit is in MPH, not Kilometers. Speed cameras are used extensively in Scotland, so mind your speed.

Thanks, Con and Authentic Vacations. We had a wonderful vacation!

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At Authentic Vacations, each of our self-drive and chauffeur tours are tailor made to your specific requirements. We work with all budgets and group sizes to deliver a personalized experience that remains true to the authentic brand. When you book with Authentic Vacations, you can always expect a package rich with cultural experiences, secret spots and insider knowledge, unique and boutique accommodations and more.

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