10 Haunted Hotels You Can Stay In


Halloween is approaching and a lot of events will take place around the world to celebrate the festivity. If you want a more exciting and spooky experience, totally different from what you have tried before; why not going to a haunted hotel?

Too afraid? Instead, why not read some of the tales surrounding these unconventional accommodations below.

1. The Stanley Hotel (Estes Park, Colorado)

This is probably one of the best-known hotels on the list. We can all remember it because the famous movie “The Shining” (By Stanley Kubrick), was filmed here. This Hotel, situated very close to the Rocky Mountains, has experienced lots of alleged paranormal activities. What’s more, some of the guests reported strange hallucinations and visions during their stay.

The hotel offers night tours around the facilities and is a unique way to know more about the stories around the unexplained voices and the mysterious piano music heard at night.

2. The Langham (London)

The Langham is one of the most luxurious and oldest hotels in London. This Hotel is a frequent place of celebrities, royal members and, believe it or not, GHOSTS. Among the ghosts apparently seen there are distinguished ancient military members, a German prince committed suicide in one of its rooms and Napoleon III itself (who lived there during his last days in exile).

Room 333 of the hotel is supposed to experience many hauntings.  And, of course, is available to book for those who have enough courage to sleep accompanied by wandering spirits.

3. The Hollywood Roosevelt (Los Angeles, USA)

In this hotel (location for the first Oscars event in Hollywood), fans of Marilyn Monroe and Montgomery Clift would think that the celebrities are still alive. Some of the stories say that the spirits of the stars are trapped inside and that it’s possible to hear the sound of Clift’s trombone or to see Monroe’s silhouette in the mirror of her former suite.

Aside from the famous celebrities, the Hollywood Roosevelt is also home to a young girl spirit who is always looking for her mother and other spirits that have been known to lock people out of their rooms and make strange noises to scare the guests.

4. Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel (Canada)

The Banff Springs Hotel is one of the most luxurious hotels in Canada, with more than 125 years of history and a picturesque location near the Rocky Mountains. With all those years of hosting experience, you can imagine the stories this hotel can hide behind its walls.

The most well-known tale is about the secret room 873, which apparently was covered over, so nobody could use it again. But why was it covered? The reason was a mother and a young girl were murdered there and haunted the room. Guests who’ve stayed in room 873 report hearing screams in the middle of the night and strange paintings over the walls.

5. Dragsholm Slot (Denmark)

Probably one of the most haunted hotels in Europe, this former 800-years-old castle was transformed into a luxury hotel that apparently is home to more than 100 ghosts. The castle served as a prison from 1536 to 1664 and it is said that spectres roam around the corridors of the castle in search of the cells they used to live, if you believe the stories.

There are three hauntings that Dragsholm Castle is most popular for: The Grey Lady, the Earl of Bothwell (a Scottish royal and ex-prisoner) and the white lady. These friendly ghosts have never been known to cause any serious disturbances, so for those thinking to get a taste of Denmark’s landscapes Dragsholm is the place for you.

6. Hotel del Coronado (Coronado)

Built in 1888, the Hotel del Coronado, situated just off the coast of San Diego, was known for stunning sea views and for being one of the biggest resorts at its time. It was in 1892 when everything changed.

On Thanksgiving in 1892, a 24-year-old woman checked into one of the rooms of this deluxe hotel, and after 5 days waiting for her lover to meet there, she took her own life. From that moment a lot of unusual and mysterious goings on have alleged to have occurred. From strange sounds, self-working TVs and a figure in a black dress guarding the room where she died.

7. The Shelbourne Hotel (Dublin)

This Irish hotel has been investigated in numerous cases due to poltergeist activity; especially in one of its luxury rooms. The Shelbourne is the preferred hotel for celebrities in the USA, and recently the actress Lily Collins (daughter of Phil Collins) went through a spooky and paranormal experience at room number 255.

It is believed that the spirit of a seven-year-old girl, Mary Masters, remains at this hotel room. Some staff members were forced to sleep in to see if the rumours were true and, unfortunately and most interestingly, the staff endorsed this creepy tale.

 8. Ettington Park Hotel (England)

Do you remember the film The Haunting? If you thought you saw these walls before it is because this Hotel was used for exterior shots during filming in 1963.

Apart from all fictional aspects and producers looking to gain publicity; some statements have been made about strange guests roaming the halls dressing antique clothing, as well as floating objects traversing different points of the hotel corridors. Despite the stories about ghostly presences, it hasn’t stopped visitors from coming back, quite the contrary.

9. Cecil Hotel (Los Angeles, California)

This hotel is known as Los Angeles’ most haunted place owing to many horrifying reasons. At least 16 suicides, paranormal activities and murders have reportedly happened in this building and it has been home for some serial killers such as Richard Ramirez in 1985 and Jack Unterweger in 1991.

In 2011 the hotel was rebranded with the name “Stay on Main” to try to cover the past dark and bizarre stories, but despite the new name, spooky events continued to happen. In 2013 the body of a 21-years-old Canadian tourist was found floating in the water tanks of the hotel. It remains to be active after all those cases, so you can book a room… if you are brave enough.

10. Ballygally Castle Hotel (Northern Ireland)

The stories tell that three ghosts are living in this ancient castle. The most active one is called Lady Isabella, the wife of the castle builder, who used to lock her in the tallest tower of Ballygally Castle.

One day, in deep desperation she decided to jump out of the tower to escape, but instead, she died. The prison room of Isabella has been preserved in its original outfit and it is told that she’s making presence through sudden temperature changes and odd smells.

 

After reading these strange and spooky stories of some of the most popular haunted hotels in the world, which would you be brave enough to stay in? Any we missed?


Madlug and My Baggage Announce Partnership in Bid to Make a Difference to Children in Care


Today, one-for-one luggage company, Madlug announced a year-long business partnership with Belfast-based shipping company, My Baggage.

My Baggage will supply supplemented shipping for Madlug’s donated bags delivered to local councils across the UK. The partnership hopes to aid Madlug’s vision to make a difference to children living in the UK care system. Madlug’s innovative buy-one-give-one approach has raised awareness of value and worth of children in care by donating high-quality bags with every purchase. Since 2016, they have worked alongside health trust around the country to ensure bags are received by children moving within the care system.

This all being in an effort to prohibit children from carrying their possessions around in a bin-bag. Dave Linton, Founder and Managing Director of Madlug says, “We are just thrilled with our partnership with My Baggage. Their support has enabled us to ensure our bags are in safe hands when being shipped to children and young people in care across the UK.” Paul Stewart, Managing Director for My Baggage says, “It is great to be working with such a fantastic enterprise that is truly making a difference to children in care. It was a natural fit for My Baggage to work with Madlug in providing them shipping services for their giving bags across the UK and Ireland.”

Madlug has donated over 10,000 bags to children in care across the UK since they launched in 2016. With every bag purchased, Madlug will give a bag to a vulnerable child, which will help them on their way with dignity.

To find out more information about Madlug please visit: www.madlug.com


Why Choosing These Erasmus Destinations


Erasmus is not only choosing a city to live for a semester or a year. The city you choose is going to be your new home and a new place to build relationships, enjoy the culture and have fun. Because of that, we have assembled in this blog the best cities to go on Erasmus depending on 6 different categories.

 

1. Best Nightlife

When you think of Erasmus, the word party comes immediately to your mind. Of course, you have to study but, after that, nothing can stop you.

Seville is well known for its great terraces, bars, and vibrant nightlife. If you want to have a good time with your friends and dance all night, that’s not a problem, most of the nightclubs like Antique Teatro or Obbio close at 6 am. Are you staying for the whole year? You can’t lose the opportunity to enjoy the “Feria de Abril de Sevilla”; a complete week of traditional festivity plenty of tapas, manzanillas and rebujitos.

The same happens with Madrid, most venues open around 1 am and get busy around 3 am. This city is considered the sanctuary of big parties, and two of the most famous nightclubs are Kapital (has many floors, each featuring a different style of music) and Fabrik (hosted famous DJs like David Guetta and every week has different theme parties).

Fabrik nightclub (Madrid)

A lot of Erasmus students choose Budapest due to its incredible nightlife. The ruin bars are the preferred night experience for students and that’s because of the peculiarity of the concept. These clubs were built in the ruins of abandoned buildings, stores or houses and are a combination between flea market furniture and quality music. Some of the best ruin bars are Szimpla Kert, Instant or Fogasház.

Ruin Bar (Budapest)

 

2. Best location

The main purpose of doing an Erasmus is to discover the culture and the city where you would be living. There are also travel lovers whose intention is to visit the more countries the possible. For the lasts, these three cities are a good option to travel around Europe.

Strategically situated for lots of budget travels during an Erasmus experience, Vilnius It’s a good point from where to start visiting the north of Europe. Latvia, Estonia, Russia, Belarus, Poland, Sweden and Finland are all nearby countries. The only problem with Vilnius is its cold winters. However, if snow doesn’t scare you; what are you waiting for to begin your adventure?

St. Michael and St. Constantine Church (Vilnius)

Prague is in a perfect location in the heart of Europe. This makes it very cheap and easy to visit other destinations, such as Poland, Hungary, Slovakia, Austria, Germany or Slovenia. Only a two-hour bus ride! Its privileged central position makes also very affordable traveling by plane to anywhere else.

The Belgian city of Leuven is the best city to learn languages and to travel around the Paris-Amsterdam-Cologne triangle. Leuven is situated almost in the centre of Europe, which makes doing a tour by car and discover Germany, France, Luxembourg or Switzerland very simple.

Leuven (Belgium)

3. Best Universities

For the diligent students, we have listed three cities with the best relation between quality universities and good student life level.

Coimbra is a student city and home to the oldest university in Portugal. The University of Coimbra was built on the grounds of a former palace and has approximately 21,000 students every year, of whom 10% are international. This will guarantee you a pleasant and charming international student atmosphere for sure.

Coimbra University

In the north of Italy, we discover Bologna, one of the favourite destinations for Erasmus students thanks to its Mediterranean climate and a relaxing student vibe. As well, the oldest university in Europe can be found here (founded in 1088). The University of Bologna is part of what gives this old Italian student town its beautiful charm.

University of Bologna

Groningen is probably the most expensive city on the list but also one of the most affordable within The Netherlands. This town contains the largest university in Holland, with 9 faculties and more than 175 courses available to choose from! If you are curious (and not too lazy) you’ll have the opportunity to improve your knowledge in different broad range disciplines.

 

4. Best weather

This category is made for those who hate cold winters and love to get bathed under the sunlight. The next 3 cities have the best average temperature in Europe for the whole year. Get rid of your umbrella and enjoy the vitamin C!

Barcelona is very popular among Erasmus students because it’s one of those cities that has the perfect recipe: large beaches, perfect weather and great food. Barcelona experiences an average maximum temperature of 20.3 ºC over the course of a year and almost 70 days of 365 are clear sky days. (The same as in the UK…)

Barcelona Beach

The Canary Islands are part of Spain but are geographically situated in the African continent, what means incredible weather during all seasons. The temperature here is one of the healthiest for human beings: average daily annual temperature in Las Palmas is 21.1ºC. In conclusion: a lot of sun, clean air and little wind. Why not trying it?

View of Las Teresitas Beach, Tenerife, Spain

Lisbon has always attracted students from all parts, and that is due to its marvellous people and for being one of the most comfortable cities to live in Europe. Also, the capital, is well recognized for having fantastic beaches and good weather. As a curious fact, January, the coldest month, has an average maximum temperature of 10ºC.

 

5. Cheapest

There are Erasmus destinations very suitable for student budgets. We know that the Erasmus grant is not enough sometimes (especially when you have to buy big amounts of alcohol for your 24/7 parties), for that reason, a good way to save money is going to cheaper cities.

The city of the Alhambra, Granada, has a very low cost of living. A tapa and a beer can cost, literally, 2.5€ and a single bedroom in the suburbs less than 300€ monthly (bills included). Keep in mind that Granada is not a big city so, sometimes is worth to rent a flat in the outskirts and have a nice 15-minutes’ walk to downtown.

Typical tapa in Granada

Another ideal city is Porto. The accommodation here is very cheap and accessible too. Of course, the farther from the centre the cheapest; sometimes it can be tricky to find a good shared flat in the downtown. In general, rent can’t be much more than 400€ a month. The living cost here, as in the rest of Portugal is very reasonable: 600€ should be enough to get by and go to nightclubs.

One more time, Prague. The living cost here is also lower than in cities neighbouring. There are several accommodation options like Uni residences that can range between 100€-300€. The most popular are called the Kolej Hostivars and Strahov. The good point about it is that you can save money on your rent and invest in new trips and experiences

Prague (Czech Republic)

 

6. Different experience

Our last category is dedicated to those who want to escape from the typical Erasmus destination. These places might not attract you at first sight but, its picturesque way of life will absolutely enchant you.

Belgrade is an incredibly rich mosaic of different cultures, influences, and styles with a mysterious and exotic atmosphere. Some interesting historical facts: in the main centre of the city you can find an actual cave made by Romans, there’s an ancient city underneath the city itself and the urban has had 15 different names during its existence. What’s more, Belgrade has more than 170 river clubs, which are the mark of the city’s nightlife.

Oulu is the capital of northern Finland and has about 250,000 inhabitants. The city is not particularly cheap but there are good opportunities for studying, working and research, especially in the hi-tech sector. Oulu is practically and broadly unknown, but offers a different experience to travellers who don’t mind cold and snowy winters.

Oulu (Norway)

Regensburg is located in the region of Bavaria (Germany) and its advantage is that isn’t as big as places like Berlin, Munich or Cologne, which gives you the chance to get lost easily in new places. This German city wasn’t damaged during the World War, which means that old buildings are still intact. The perfect place for architecture lovers.

Regensburg (Germany)

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5 Places You Simply Must Visit in Europe


If you are thinking about doing something interesting this summer and you love traveling, these are 5 essential cities to visit if you want to discover the beauty of Europe.

Budapest, Hungary

Hungarian Parliament Building from Pixabay

In this city, there are a lot of different activities that you could do. It offers a huge combination of different monuments, gastronomy, leisure activities as thermal waters and culture.

If you want to have a spectacular view of the city, you should go to the Citadel. You can also upgrade your experience going for a walk through the park surrounding this monument, and enjoying the fresh air and nature. The parliament is the most emblematic building because of his incredible architecture and location near the river.

The city is divided into two zones by the Danube river: Buda and Pest. A good option is to choose a free tour and explore the differences between these curious neighborhoods plenty of history.

Budapest is considered one of the safest and most beautiful cities in the world, so don’t lose the opportunity to get there.

Braga, Portugal

Bom Jesus do Monte from Pixabay

The city of Braga is near Porto, only 1 hour by train, and offers an amazing and friendly atmosphere with lots of parks and green fields to visit.

Founded by Celts and taken after by the Romans, it is host to the oldest Portuguese archdiocese and was the capital of the province of Gallaecia. Inside Braga, there is a castle tower and a beautiful Gothic Cathedral that should be visited. Whether you are a believer or not, you might go to Sameiro Sanctuary, it is a stunning religious monument built with a lot of creativity and passion.

Braga also offers a big amount of high-quality events throughout, where is included the biggest White Night in Europa, with many street concerts.

Florence, Italy

Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore from Pixabay

A charming and little incomparable city, where the birth of the greatest masterpieces have taken place. Florence is a museum itself.

One of the best places to go if you are an addict to art, sculptures and paintings. There are museums like La Galleria dell’Accademia, where you can see the magnificent statue of David, or Le Gallerie degli Uffizi, where you can find the famous painting: Birth of Venus.

Not only does this city bring you the opportunity to enrich your cultural knowledge but it also offers a great variety of tasty Mediterranean food. We recommend you going to a very special place called All’Antico Vinaio or to a fantastic restaurant called Zà Zà. 

Krakow, Poland

St. Mary’s Basilica from Pixabay

Krakow is Poland’s second-largest city and embraces thousands of tourists every year. Its beauty and its enjoyable people make this city a wonderful place to visit.

The city boasts hundreds of historical buildings, from medieval churches to modern architecture edifices. Two of the most popular ancient monuments are Wawel Royal Castle and St. Mary’s Church (situated in the city center).

There are also almost 36 museums around Cracow. Most interesting museums can be The Czartoryskis Museum or Schindler’s Factory. Good restaurants are concentrated in the Old Town historic center and most restaurants have country’s culinary traditions menus.

Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Canal of Amsterdam from Pixabay

Amsterdam is considered one of the greatest small cities in the world. It is also one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in Europe.

This city has an incredible amount of bridges and canals that create a relaxing and peaceful atmosphere. Everything is thought for the bikes and every one has its own. Going by bike is also the best way to visit the city if you want an authentic local experience.

It has all the advantages of a big city: extraordinary nightlife, international restaurants and rich culture. Besides, it also has some peculiarities that you might not find in another European city like the coffeeshops and the red light district. Because of that, we consider this city unique.


Top 5 Things That you Will Enjoy Visiting In Granada


Here we have 5 fantastic things to do if you are going to visit this spectacular city. The city has gorgeous views, a great culture and tasty food that you can enjoy with your friends or, why not, you and yourself.

1.The Alhambra
Alhambra (in Arabic: Red Castle) is one of the most wonderful places in Andalucía to
visit. It is an absolute contrast to go from the crowded center of the city to this ancient
castle on the hill in less than 20 minutes and see how many different cultures are mixed
at the same time. The Alhambra is considered a World Heritage Site and millions of
tourists are impressed by this monument every year.

2. Generalife Gardens
If you go to the Alhambra, you should visit its gardens. Arabic people loved water and it
was essential for them. Because of that, the gardens are full of plenty of fountains and
canals which give to this place a fantastic and peaceful atmosphere. Are you stressed?
Go for a walk to the Generalife Gardens and you will feel completely relaxed.

3. Tapas and Albayzín
Do you like to drink and to eat? And what about eating and drinking for only 5 euros? In
Granada there are a large variety of bars that offer beverages and free tapas. But what
is a tapa? A tapa is a traditional dish that always accompanies your drink. Get ready to
discover all the traditional dishes! After that you can also go to the most famous
neighbourhood in the city: the Albayzín. From the central square, called San Nicolás, you
can find a very interesting perspective of the Alhambra.

4. Sierra Nevada
If you like skiing, Granada is the place made for you. Having the highest peak in the
peninsula, the Sierra Nevada offers more than 110km of piste to enjoy skiing with your
friends and family. In high season there are visitors from all over Europe. If you are bored
and you would prefer to be in a warmer place near the coast, that’s not a problem! You
can go from the mountain to the beach in less than one hour by car. On some occasions,
if you are lucky and it is not very cloudy, you can see the sea from the heights of the ski
resort.

5. Music and nightlife
Not all the important things are related to palaces and monuments, music and art have
always been very present in the culture of the city. Granada is a city of students, the city
that receives more Erasmus students than any other city in the EU. There is no time to
have a boring day, everyday is different and fun. No matter which music genre you
prefer, there are clubs for everything you need: rock, jazz, reggae, techno, flamenco,
salsa and much more.

Whatever you like, Granada is a city you should visit if you are planning to go to Spain
on holidays. Don’t miss the opportunity to immerse yourself in this wonderful
experience and meet the people, the culture and the beauty of the town. You won’t be
disappointed!