The French are not the most renowned for their mastery of the language of Shakespeare, Beckham and Harry Potter and a new international ranking confirms their place near the wrong end of the rankings. The English Proficiency Index (EPI) from global language training company Education First (EF) ranked Sweden top out of 88 countries which don't have English as a national language, based on test results taken by natives in each country. Down in 35th place came France, placed in the "moderate competency" group of countries and behind all other countries in western Europe. In fact in Europe as a whole only Belarus, Russia, Ukraine, Georgia, Albania, Turkey and Azerbaijan were ranked lower than the French. When it comes to the level of English in big cities around the world Paris was ranked 25th, behind the likes of Shanghai, Buenos Aires, Seoul and Sofia. Within France, Paris was the city where the natives demonstrated the best level of English, just ahead of Lille and … [Read more...] about French ranked worst in western Europe for level of English
Western europe facts
On a budget? Places like Paris and London are renowned for being pricey, but that doesn’t mean you have to rule out the entire continent. We polled travel pros to pick the top European cities for cost-conscious vacationers. From Brussels to Belgrade, these destinations deliver a memorable experience without breaking the bank. Ready, set, travel. 12 PHOTOS 12 dazzling (and inexpensive) European spots See Gallery 12 dazzling (and inexpensive) European spots KRAKÓW, POLAND “Kraków is known for its architectural splendor and fascinating—at times painful—past,” explains Alexis Tiacoh, PR specialist at Expedia. Think: museums housed in medieval castles, opulent Renaissance palaces and the Ghetto Heroes Monument, commemorating the uprising of 1943. The historic central district is conveniently walkable with bargains galore. The city also has an exciting contemporary art scene and lively nightlife, and Kazimierz, the former Jewish … [Read more...] about The 12 least expensive (but most dazzling) cities in Europe
France, Spain, Italy, and the United Kingdom may be among the world’s most frequented vacation hubs — with France taking the global crown with a staggering 86.9 million international tourist arrivals annually — but these already popular places can only stand to grow so much year over year. This leaves such lesser known destinations as the Republic of Moldova to jump further faster. According to new data from the U.N. World Tourism Organization, in 2017, for instance, French tourism grew by 5.1 percent; its landlocked competitor-nestled between Ukraine and Romania-saw a visitation spike of 19.6 percent when it welcomed 145,000 visitors last year. “When you’re talking about these fast-growing destinations in Europe, there’s often a lack of name recognition, compared to more popular countries,” says Warren Chang, chief operating officer for bespoke travel outfitter Cox & Kings’ Americas division. “But so many of these places have … [Read more...] about 10 fastest-growing travel destinations in Europe (and what passes for Europe)
Nikki Ekstein, Bloomberg Published 10:30 am CDT, Monday, September 24, 2018 The skyline in Reykjavik, Iceland, on April 7, 2016. The skyline in Reykjavik, Iceland, on April 7, 2016. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Arnaldur Halldorsson. A visitor uses her smartphone to take a photograph at the Sultanahmet mosque in Istanbul on Aug. 3, 2017. A visitor uses her smartphone to take a photograph at the Sultanahmet mosque in Istanbul on Aug. 3, 2017. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Kostas Tsironis. Vendors wait for customers at a patterned rug and carpet store at the Vernissage open-air market in Yerevan, Armenia, on Nov. 19, 2016. Vendors wait for customers at a patterned rug and carpet store at the Vernissage open-air market in Yerevan, Armenia, on Nov. 19, 2016. Photo: Bloomberg Photo By Andrey … [Read more...] about These are the fastest-growing destinations in Europe
In early June I took my rescued dog Rosa on holiday for the first time, well not in this country anyway! After initially being a little apprehensive about how everything was going to work out (will I get all the documents needed in time, could she potentially overheat on the ferry crossing, will we run out of gravy bones, the list goes on..), but after a bit of preparation the 10-day driving trip to France worked out amazingly. In fact it went even better than that, the famously laid-back lifestyle in France worked its magic on my otherwise slightly over excitable dog, the sun shone, the vineyards glistened, the dog friendly hotels were extremely welcoming to both of us and we both found it hard to prise ourselves away from the truly beautiful country. Although when researching for the trip I found that although here in the UK we’re most definitely a nation of dog lovers (with a quarter of British households now owning dogs), only 5% of these households take advantage of the … [Read more...] about How to travel to Europe with a dog – a complete guide!