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Boston City Guide

Boston is Massachusetts’ capital and largest city. Founded in 1630, it’s one of the oldest cities in the U.S. The key role it played in the American Revolution is highlighted on the Freedom Trail, a 2.5-mile walking route of historic sites that tells the story of the nation’s founding. One stop, former meeting house Faneuil Hall, is a popular marketplace.Boston

The area’s many colleges and universities make Boston an international center of higher education and medicine, and the city is considered to be a world leader in innovation for a variety of reasons. Boston’s economic base also includes finance, professional and business services, and government activities.

Just about every town in this state has some building or other landmark that played an important part in the nation’s history—186 overall.

The Boston finantial district skyline

The Boston financial district skyline

Boston is ranked as one of the most economically powerful cities in the world. It commands a 363 billion dollar local economy, the sixth largest in the USA and twelfth largest globally.

Massachusetts is a New England state known for its significant Colonial history. In Boston, its capital, the Freedom Trail is a walking route of sites related to the American Revolution. The city is home to the Museum of Fine Arts and other world-class institutions. Its Red Sox baseball team plays at Fenway Park, and the Public Garden is known for its swan boats.

The Mass Wine and Cheese Trail has more than 29 wineries and 18 cheese sellers, across the state. And because the Bay State is so fertile, the wine comes from all different fruits like apples, cranberries, peaches, blueberries, and of course grapes.Moving to Boston

Moving to Boston

The city has one of the highest costs of living in the United States, though it remains high on world livability rankings. The per capita income in Massachusetts is $33,966 and the median household income is $64,509. It sounds surprising at first but property taxes in Western Massachusetts are slightly higher than the US average and—other than the heart of Boston – the Eastern Massachusetts taxes are slightly below average.

Planes, trains, busses and taxis are readily available in Boston and throughout most of Massachusetts.

No matter if you are moving from another country or cross country within USA, having a reliable moving company is paramount for a successful relocation. Also check out these tips on selecting a mover. Research parking restrictions before moving to find out where you are allowed to unload vehicles. Contact your city or town for information on obtaining a moving permit, or talk to your landlord or property owner.

The Registry of Motor Vehicles provides online services, and is kind enough to let you check out the current wait at nearby branches. If you have a valid license from Canada or the US, converting your license merely requires paying a fee. Otherwise, getting a driver’s license requires the traditional written test and driving test.

The CoCo Key Water Park Boston North Shore is full of water slides, lazy rivers and a splash pad. It’s also the largest indoor water park in New England, located in Danvers.

Moving with a pet? Contact your town or city for information on local protocols, such as pet licensing. Dog licenses are required by state law.

Boston in 3 minutes

Miami City Guide

Miami, at Florida’s southeastern tip, is a vibrant city whose Cuban influence is reflected in the cafes and cigar shops that line Calle Ocho in Little Havana. Miami Beach, on barrier islands across the turquoise waters of Biscayne Bay, is home to glamorous South Beach, famed for its colorful art deco buildings, white sand, surfside hotels and trendsetting nightclubs.Miami

The Miami metropolitan area anchors a region commonly referred to by local inhabitants as South Florida; it is the metropolitan area comprising Miami, Florida, and nearby communities.

The U.S. Office of Management and Budget designates the area as the Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL Metropolitan Statistical Area. With about 6 million inhabitants as of 2014, the Miami metropolitan area is the most populous in Florida and second largest in the Southeastern United States behind Greater Washington and the eighth-most populous in the United States. This area is also known as the “Gold Coast”.

Miami at Night

The Downtown area has the fastest-growing neighborhoods in the city.

Metrorail, colloquially called the Metro, is the heavy rail rapid transit system of Miami and Miami-Dade County, Florida. Metrorail is operated by Miami-Dade Transit (MDT), a departmental agency of Miami-Dade County. Opened in 1984, it is Florida’s only rapid transit metro system, and is currently composed of two lines of 23 stations on 24.4 miles (39.3 km) of standard gauge track.

Miami from the bridge

Miami from the bridge

Moving to Miami

Unlike other cities there’s none of the snobby attitude over who is “a real Miamian.” No one’s actually from here, and if you’ve been here long enough to get at least half of this list we’ll consider you one of our own. The clubs and bars are open later than pretty much anywhere else, and even if you don’t stay out til 5 AM, it’s nice to know you won’t be hassled home until you’re good and ready.

Florida is known for being a state where you can keep your home no matter what legal troubles occurred in another state.

When moving to a coastal region, you may have more flexibility as the breezes coming in from the water can cut through the oppressive heat and offer some relief.

Moving to Miami requires careful planning. Lots of people decide to relocate here to spend their retirement. If you want to calculate your budget required for moving, check our this moving cost guide. Another option is to use an app to coordinate your relocation efforts. Try MoveAdvisor’s smartphone app to keep your household items organized at all times.

While it’s not one of the 10 most expensive states, Florida has a higher cost of living than the average for the country. According to the US Census Bureau, Florida’s average 2007 rent of $925 per month was over 15 percent higher than the country’s average. However, in 2010, the average home price of $175,700 was slightly less than the country’s average.

A real estate agent can act as a neighborhood guide, as well as facilitate buying or renting your new home. If it’s beach living that you long for consider Miami Beach, Surfside, Bal Harbour, or Sunny Isles Beach. If it’s the excitement of the city then Brickell and Downtown Miami might be for you. Charming residential neighborhoods include Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. And for a suburban lifestyle Doral and Homestead can’t be beat.

Miami-Dade County lists government employment opportunities at miamidade.gov.

Miami from the sky

Miami from the sky

Miami in less than 2 minutes

New York City Guide

Home to the Empire State Building, Times Square, Statue of Liberty and other iconic sites, New York City is a fast-paced, globally influential center of art, culture, fashion and finance. The city’s 5 boroughs sit where the Hudson River meets the Atlantic Ocean, with the island borough of Manhattan at the “Big Apple’s” core.New York City

Manhattan’s skyline, with its many skyscrapers, is universally recognized, and the city has been home to several of the tallest buildings in the world. As of 2011, New York City had 5,937 high-rise buildings, of which 550 completed structures were at least 330 feet high, both second in the world after Hong Kong, with over 50 completed skyscrapers taller than 656 feet (200 m). These include the Woolworth Building (1913), an early gothic revival skyscraper built with massively scaled gothic detailing.

Throughout the boroughs, there are hundreds of distinct neighborhoods, many with a definable history and character to call their own. If the boroughs were each independent cities, four of the boroughs (Brooklyn, Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx) would be among the ten most populous cities in the United States.

The Statue of Liberty

The Statue of Liberty

The City has a complex park system, with various lands operated by the National Park Service, the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, and the New York City Dept. of Parks and Recreation.

 

Moving to New York City

Along with London and Berlin, New York is one of the preferred destinations to settle.

Ѕоmе mоvіng соmраnіеѕ wоuld оffеr уоu а flаt rаtе fее fоr уоur mоvе fоr ѕоmе рорulаr dеѕtіnаtіоnѕ. Fоr ехаmрlе уоur Воѕtоn tо NYС mоvіng rаtеѕ саn ѕtаrt frоm аbоut $1200. Тhе рrісе іnсludеѕ lоаdіng, trаnѕроrtіng аnd dеlіvеrу оf аll bеlоngіngѕ. Тhе аvеrаgе соѕt оf local mоvеrѕ fоr 2 mеn аnd а truсk іѕ bеtwееn $90 аnd $120 реr hоur.

Іf уоu dесіdе tо hіrе mоvеrѕ fоr lаbоr оnlу (wіthоut а mоvіng truсk), thе рrоfеѕѕіоnаlѕ wіll сhаrgе аbоut $60 tо $80 реr hоur оf lаbоr. Take precautions to protect yourself from rogue movers and check out the US Department of Transportation tips when moving.

times square

The famous Times Square in New York City

New York City in minutes

Devon Guide

Devon is a county in southwest England. It encompasses sandy beaches, fossil cliffs, medieval towns and moorland national parks. The English Riviera is a series of picturesque, south-coast harbour villages including Torquay, Paignton and Brixham.

Lynmouth, Devon

Lynmouth, Devon

The South West Coast Path follows the coastline, taking in the towering cliffs of the northern Exmoor Coast and rock formations on the fossil-rich southern Jurassic Coast.

Taddiport from Castle Hill, Torrington, Devon

Taddiport from Castle Hill, Torrington, Devon

As well as agriculture, much of the economy of Devon is linked with tourism. The comparatively mild climate, coastline and landscape give rise to Devon as a destination for recreation and leisure in England, with visitors particularly attracted to the Dartmoor and Exmoor national parks; its coasts, including the resort towns along the south coast known collectively as the English Riviera, the Jurassic Coast, and North Devon’s UNESCO Biosphere Reserve; and the countryside including the Cornwall and West Devon Mining Landscape.

Germany Travel Guide

Germany is a Western European country with a terrain of vast forests, rivers and mountain ranges, and 2 millennia of history.

Germany

Berlin, its capital, is home to thriving art and nightlife scenes, iconic Brandenburg Gate and many sites relating to WWII. Munich is known for its Oktoberfest and cavernous beer halls, including 16th-century Hofbräuhaus.

Berlin

Berlin, Germany’s capital and cultural center, dates to the 13th century. Today it’s known for its art scene, nightlife and modern architecture, such as Mies van der Rohe’s landmark Neue Nationalgalerie. Reminders of the city’s turbulent 20th-century history include its Holocaust Memorial and the Berlin Wall’s graffitied remains. Its 18th-century Brandenburg Gate has become an iconic symbol of reunification.

berlin

Frankfurt am Main

Frankfurt, a central German city on the Main River, is a major financial hub. It’s the birthplace of writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, whose home is now the Goethe-Haus museum – which, like much of the city, was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt afterward. The reconstructed Altstadt (Old Town) is home to lively Römerberg Plaza, which hosts an annual Christmas market. Frankfurt, with its skyscrapers, houses the European Central Bank.

Frakfurt am Main Skyline

Frakfurt am Main Skyline

Moving to Germany

There is quite an influx from foreigners to move into Germany. German society works as well as the machines it produces, but beware of disrupting the hive. Life may be regulated down to your morning walk (mind the pedestrian traffic lights!).

The climate in Germany is temperate, comparable to most of North America and much of Asia. So the clothes most expats have ought to do when they get here. Pack as many of them as you can. If you want to take advantage of the marvelous ski resorts that will be handy to you pack some clothing and equipment accordingly.

Apartment search companies in Germany are very expensive. It’s rare to see “for rent” signs in windows in Germany. And apartments usually come completely unfurnished (no kitchen cabinets, no stove, no closets, sometimes no floor). So budget plenty of time and money to deal with this. German communities also have poor, good, better, and best neighborhoods. Do you you know which ones are which in your new location? A good real estate agent/broker can help with this, but few German real estate agents (Makler) are as service oriented as those abroad. Although you can find RE/MAX, Century 21 and other global agencies in Germany, they don’t necessarily operate the same way that similar firms in other places around the globe.

Walking is a German custom, and it is the best way to enjoy your new home. Walk around the building you live in, walk around your neighborhood, choose a street to walk down as far as you can and back. Explore, explore, explore!

Depending on where in Germany are you moving to, you may want to read reviews on moving companies in your region. Make sure you find a trustworthy mover to transport your stuff there.

Will you even need a car in Germany? If you’re moving to a large city like Berlin, Frankfurt, Hamburg, or Munich, it is easy to get around on public transport, and Germany’s excellent rail and airline network can take you farther afield. Even medium-sized towns have good public transportation.

Whether or not you have cable or satellite, every German household has to pay a radio-TV-internet fee known as the Rundfunkbeitrag.

Germany in 3 minutes

Japan Travel Guide

Japan is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean with high-rise-filled cities, imperial palaces, mountainous national parks and thousands of shrines and temples. Tokyo, the crowded capital, is known for its neon skyscrapers and pop culture. In contrast, Kyoto offers Buddhist temples, Shinto shrines, gardens and cherry blossoms. Sushi, the national dish, is served everywhere from casual pubs to gourmet restaurants.

Tokyo

Every New Year, the Emporer of of Japan addresses the people at The Imperial Palace, Tokyo.

Japan

tokyo2

Helsinki City Guide

Helsinki, capital of Finland, is on a peninsular on the south coast of the country. The city’s best-known building is the Tuomiokirkko (Lutheran Cathedral) on Senaatintori (Senate Square). The 1952 Olympics were held in the city’s Olympic stadium; there is now a youth hostel in the stadium tower.

Helsinki

The city has a number of parks and a waterfront. The monument to the composer Sibelius is to the north of the city centre.

Its central artery, Mannerheimintie, is flanked by institutions including the National Museum, tracing Finnish history from the Stone Age to the present, imposing Parliament House and Kiasma contemporary art museum. On busy Senate Square, the neoclassical Helsinki Cathedral stands in contrast with Uspenski Cathedral and its cupolas.

Uspenski Cathedral

Uspenski Cathedral, Helsinki

Moving to Helsinki

The capital of Finland, Helsinki’s popularity as an expat destination is rapidly growing thanks to its healthy economy, dynamic cultural scene and high standards of healthcare and education. Set on the shore of the Gulf of Finland, it’s located about 50 miles (80km) north of Tallinn, Estonia, 250 miles (400km) northeast of Stockholm, Sweden, and 190 miles (300km) west of Saint Petersburg, Russia, three cities with which it has close historical connections.

Helsinki Paasitorni

Paasitorni in Hakaniemi, Helsinki, Finland

Living in Helsinki is not cheap and if you are looking to rent a private flat, have about €1000 ready for outlay as you need to give 2 months rent as a deposit plus the 1st month’s rent.

You should keep in mind that the language of the Finnish working environment is Finnish. Work places in which the working language is English is  a small minority. In order to be employed in Finland, you must learn the Finnish language.

Read more information in the Finnish immigration service website.

Helsinki in 3 minutes

Hong Kong City Guide

Hong Kong is a city, and former British colony, in southeastern China. Vibrant and densely populated, it’s a major port and global financial center famed for its tower-studded skyline.

Hong Kong Guide

It’s also known for its lively food scene – from Cantonese dim sum to extravagant high tea – and its shopping, with options spanning chaotic Temple Street Night Market to the city’s innumerable bespoke tailors. Hong Kong consists of three regions: Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, and the New Territories.

Hong Kong by Night

Hong Kong by Night

Hong Kong enjoys a high degree of autonomy, as its political and judicial systems operate independently from those of mainland China. Hong Kong’s legal system is completely independent from the legal system of mainland China. In contrast to mainland China’s civil law system, Hong Kong continues to follow the English Common Law tradition established under British rule.

As one of the world’s leading international financial centres, Hong Kong has a major capitalist service economy characterized by low taxation and free trade. The currency, Hong Kong dollar, is the eighth most traded currency in the world.

Hong Kong Transport

Hong Kong’s transportation network is highly developed. Over 90% of daily travels (11 million) are on public transport, the highest such percentage in the world.

The main forms of transportation on Hong Kong are:

  • Subway – the MTR has 4 lines that run through most of Hong Kong and Kowloon. MTR has a zone based fare system (like that of Washington DC’s Metro) so you pay according to how far you are going. Fares tend to run about HK$5-HK$20, none of which are more than $5 US. Best choice for those who don’t know their way around, as all stops are clearly marked.
  • Bus -there are several different bus companies in Hong Kong and several types of buses. On Hong Kong island there’s Citybus (which runs a fleet of mostly airconditioned doubledecker buses) and probably a few smaller operators. In Kowloon there’s Kowloon City Bus (much like Citybus) and several light bus operators. Fares for the bus are also zone based, and tend to be fairly cheap-Usually less than $2 US. Express buses are always more expensive than non-express. Choice of destinations can be slightly bewildering so if you need help, ask someone on the bus. For a hair-raising ride, ride a double decker bus through the mountains on Hong Kong Island…all the fun of a roller coaster at a bargain price.
  • Tram – there’s a double decker electric tram (trolley car) that serves almost all of Hong Kong island. While slow and unairconditioned, it’s very cheap HK$2 for adults, and a great way to see almost all of Hong Kong island while sitting down and rolling along 2 stories above the street. Avoid during rush hour as there will be nowhere to sit.
  • Ferries – Will take you across the harbor between Hong Kong and Kowloon. Between Hong Kong and Kowloon are the Star Ferry (which is HK$2.20 on the upper deck, and $1.20 on the commuter’s deck), and a few Hoverferry services which are faster, and cost about HK$4. Ferry services to the islands and Macau can be found in Kowloon and Hong Kong. In Hong Kong go to Sheung Wan (Shun Tak Center-for the jetfoils to Macau) and the ferry piers to outlying islands. Here you can get a ferry to almost anywhere for about HK$10 on weekdays, HK$14 on weekends. Helpful hint – don’t go on weekends as both the ferries and the islands will be crowded.
  • Electric train – The KCR railroad goes from Kowloon to Mainland China and the New Territories. It works a lot like MTR and fares are similar although a bit higher since you are traveling much further in general. To get to the KCR, take the MTR to Kowloon Tong where the MTR intersects with the KCR line.
  • Lightrail – there is a lightrail service between New Cities, and various parts of the New Territories.
Taxis in Hong Kong

Taxis in Hong Kong

  • Taxi – if you absolutely don’t know your way around, or are carrying around a lot of luggage, you may find yourself needing a taxi. Taxis are widely available and relatively cheap compared to most of the rest of the world. They are metered and flagfall starts at HK$15. Be warned though, most taxi drivers speak almost no English so have your destination written in Chinese by a concierge or a friend or you might be taken somewhere other than where you had in mind.
  • Water Taxi – these can be found in areas with Harbors. Most are intended to ferry people living in sampans to shore. Some will take you out to the floating restaurants in Aberdeen, on harbor tours, and some even go to small outlying islands. These in general are only recommended for people who speak Cantonese as it is relatively unlikely you will be able to communicate to the operator where exactly you want to go if you can’t.

This is just an introductory guide to public transportation in Hong Kong. To find more info you can go to the MTR, KCR, KMB (Kowloon Motor Bus), CMB (China Motor Bus) and Star Ferry websites which will give you fares and precise route maps.

Hong Kong in 4 minutes

Goa India Guide

Goa is a state on the west coast of India with coastlines stretching along the Arabian Sea.

A Portugese colony until 1961, Goa is particularly know for its beautiful beaches ranging from popular stretches at Baga and Palolem to laid-back fishing villages such as Agonda and relaxed lifestyle.

Goa

Zuari River in Goa, India

The gorgeous ivory-colored cove of Agonda is known as “the silent beach,” so of course it’s a top spot for relaxing getaways!

Panaji is the state’s capital, while Vasco da Gama is the largest city. The historic city of Margao still exhibits the cultural influence of the Portuguese, who first landed in the early 16th century as merchants and conquered it soon thereafter. Goa is a former Portuguese province; the Portuguese overseas territory of Portuguese India existed for about 450 years until it was annexed by India in 1961.

GoaAgonda Beach basically has one long road parallel to the beach line, most rooms and bungalows for rent are located either between them or on the opposite side of the road. In the center of the beach, there is Agonda Church and even a local school/college (funny enough called Agonda University) to the right of it. Many local children go from/to there in the morning. Another road goes up from the church, crosses the river shortly after and goes through the village to the junction with a main road from Chaudi and Palolem, which are both to the right. To the left, this bigger road crosses the village until the beach road joins it near the river mouth and northern end of the beach, then continues on in the direction of Cabo da Rama.

Check out these great destinations to visit: Miami, London, New York.

Let us know if we have missed something.

Amsterdam City Guide

Amsterdam is the Netherlands’ capital, known for its artistic heritage, elaborate canal system and narrow houses with gabled facades, legacies of the city’s 17th-century Golden Age. Its Museum District houses works by Rembrandt and Vermeer at the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and modern art at the Stedelijk.

Amsterdam

Cycling is key to the city’s character, and there are 400km of cycle paths. In the centre of city is Dam square. East of the Centraal railway station is the East Dock (great views from the roof of NEMO science museum). A canal boat trip is a popular way of seeing the city.

Nemo Amsterdam

Science Center Nemo is a science center in Amsterdam, Netherlands

As the commercial capital of the Netherlands and one of the top financial centres in Europe, Amsterdam is considered an alpha world city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) study group. The city is also the cultural capital of the Netherlands. Many large Dutch institutions have their headquarters there, and seven of the world’s 500 largest companies, including Philips and ING, are based in the city.

Moving to Amsterdam

In 2012, Amsterdam was ranked the second best city in which to live by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and 12th globally on quality of living for environment and infrastructure by Mercer. The city was previously ranked 3rd in innovation by 2thinknow in the Innovation Cities Index 2009.

Bringing your pet to Amsterdam needn’t be a problem but it is a process that can take between 6 to 12 months of preparation so it’s essential you begin as early as possible.

Familiarise yourself with the employment market in the city before you move. Moving to Amsterdam with the intention of starting a company? Be sure that you have the necessary residence and work permits.

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is a relatively compact city. When looking for a place to call home, research the different neighbourhoods of Amsterdam to look for characteristics that fit your requirements and begin checking out the variety of options for house and apartment rentals advertised online.

Budgeting your moving costs is fairly easy. Check out this guide on how to calculate moving expenses.

Check out these other preferred destinations to visit: Miami, London, New York

Amsterdam in 3 minutes