travel inspiration


Libraries are and have always been part of our civilization, representing each different country’s culture and architecture. Some of them are known for their great book collections, some for their captivating design while others have an enticing story behind their impressive façades. Guess you can’t judge a book by its cover! Most are… overwhelming and beautiful libraries.

From the thousands of libraries that nowadays can be found all over the world, these beautiful libraries will certainly catch your attention! Definitely a must on your travel bucket list when you’re visiting these countries!

National Library of Brazil – Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Facade of the National Library of Brazil
Photo source: Shutterstock.com/ Hugo Martins Oliveira

The National Library of Brazil is the largest library in Latin America and the 7th largest in the world, housing among other things nine million items and 21,742 photographs dating from the nineteenth century. It’s located in Rio de Janeiro, named as one of the 10 most beautiful cities in the world.

Built in 1810 but inaugurated a century later, the beautiful library features a mix of neoclassical and art nouveau elements and is decorated with remarkable artworks such as pictures, panels, and sculptures.

The library, which is nowadays named by UNESCO as one of the major national libraries in the world, owes its existence to an earthquake that struck Lisbon in 1755. Due to the damages the Portuguese Royal Library suffered, they decided to move its contents to Brazil where some years later Prince Regent announced the construction of the National Library of Brazil. 

Admont Abbey Library – Admont, Austria

Room inside of Admont Abbey Library
Photo source: Shutterstock.com/ Nat S. Retsu

Constructed in 1776 on the banks of Enns River, the imposing library of Admont Abbey has adorned southeast Austria for over 4 centuries. The spectacular library’s main hall was designed in Baroque-style by Joseph Hueber, a legendary architect advocate of the ideals of the Enlightenment.

The seven ceiling frescoes painted by Bartolomeo Altomonte display the different phases of human knowledge. Spanning 70 meters long, 14 meters wide and 13 meters high and home to 70,000 volumes, Admont Abbey Library is considered the world’s largest monastery library and is certainly one of the most impressive and beautiful libraries around.

By the way: To catch the aesthetics of the interior design these beautiful libraries are home to, you should know these rules for interior photography. Make sure that you shoot from waist level and you have a tripod with you (in case you want to use a longer exposure time and make the other visitors disappear). And (please) don’t use the flashlight.

Bibliotheca Alexandrina – Alexandra, Egypt

Bird's eye view of the Bibliotheca Alexandrina library
Photo Source: Shutterstock.com/ Ahmed el-kabbani

Since Bibliotheca Alexandrina was inaugurated in 2002, around 1.5 million visitors head to the 11-story building every year to explore its hoards of books and exhibitions rooms.

Six specialized libraries contain in total eight million books, The Planetarium Science Center, permanent contemporary Egyptian art exhibitions and four art galleries are some of the collections housed inside the library’s gray Aswan granite walls.

This impressive and beautiful library was designed by the Norwegian architect, Snøhetta, and was based on the style and the spirit of the original Library of Alexandria.     

Macquarie University Library – Sydney, Australia

One of the most beautiful libraries, Macquarie University Library
Photo Source: Shutterstock.com/ aiyoshi597

Inspired by the eucalyptus forest that embellishes the campus and built in a way that fits the peaceful surrounding landscape, the Macquarie University Library in Sydney boasts a unique modern design. Surrounded by a glass façade, the library is flooded with natural light while the green expanse of roof covering the western half of level 2 and the roof of level 5 can also be used as a great outdoor studying space.

Sustainability was an important factor during the building’s construction, so the architect adopted environmentally-friendly tactics including, among others, the recycling of 80% of the waste. Aside from its stylish design though, the Macquarie University Library is well-known for featuring the first automated book storage and retrieval system in Australia. That means that robotic cranes find requested items and deliver them to the front desk for collection!

For all travel lovers: Who doesn’t want to be inspired? Here are the 12 best and most exciting places on earth you should visit before you die! Listed among amazing places like the Salar de Uyuni and the Glowworm caves in New Zealand … is the Great Barrier Reef in Australia. Just in case you want to connect your library tour with a short snorkeling adventure.

Seattle Central Library – Seattle, Washington, USA

The futuristic facade of the Seattle Central Library in sunset
Photo Source: Shutterstock.com/ lembi

With its futuristic design, the 11-floor Central Library in Seattle is certainly one of the most stylish libraries worldwide. Glass and metal are the main materials used for the construction of the building in order to fulfill OMA and LMN Architects’ vision for “a continuous layer of transparency”.

Aside from its vast collection of 1.45 million books and other items, the geometric-style building houses music practice rooms, quiet areas as well as 400 computers and private Skype rooms. No wonder that in 2004, when it opened its doors for the first time, the library attracted 8,000 visitors a day and it still is one of the most popular libraries worldwide. 

UNAM Central Library – Mexico City, Mexico

The UNAM central library facade, one of the most beautiful libraries
Photo Source: Shutterstock.com/ BondRocketImages

What makes UNAM Central Library stand out among the thousands of libraries worldwide is its magnificent facade. A colorful stone mural depicting events from Mexico’s history covers every part and side of the 10-floor building’s exterior wall. The man behind this impressive artwork is Juan O’Gorman, a Mexican architect and painter who traveled across Mexico to find each one of the colorful stones used for composing this majestic mosaic.

The Central Library, located on the campus of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, was completed in 1952 and nowadays holds 400,000 books. 

We have some good news for all travelers in Mexico or who are planning to go there: Mexico not only owns one of the most beautiful libraries worldwide, but also one of the most impressive beaches! Named the hidden beach, the Playa de Amor is situated in a large cave.

Vancouver Public Library – Vancouver, Canada

The spectaculare shape of the Vancouver Public Library
Photo Source: Shutterstock.com/ SherSS

It doesn’t take much imagination to see the resemblance of Vancouver’s Public Library Central Branch to the internationally famous Colosseum in Rome. The 9-story building is surrounded by a red-brownish elliptical wall which, as well as its similarity to the Italian amphitheater, also makes up an important part of the library, featuring study areas.

This striking building is located at Vancouver’s city center capturing attention from passer-by, while a piazza-like area surrounds the library, bringing even more of Italy into the heart of Vancouver. 

Sandro Penna Municipal Library (Mediatheque Sandro Penna) – Perugia, Italy

Old books of a library on a shelf

With a round pink glassy structure which glows at night surrounding its second floor, Sandro Penna Municipal Library certainly stands out for its modern and bizarre design. This Italian library is the brainchild of Studio Italo Rota architects who brought their vision into life in 2004.

Aside from a great collection of books, the 3-level building is home to pieces of vinyl and records, newspapers and multimedia documents

George Peabody Library, Johns Hopkins University – Baltimore, Maryland, USA

The overwhelming interior of the George Peabody Library
Photo Source: Shutterstock.com/ Jon Bilous

Elegant, classy and breathtaking are three words that accurately describe the George Peabody Library at the John Hopkins University. Known nowadays as Baltimore’s “Cathedral of Books”, the 19th-century library was designed by architect Edmund G. Lind who designed a 61-foot breathtaking building adorned with cast-iron balconies. The stack rooms hold in total 300,000 volumes that cover a wide range of topics dating from the Renaissance to the 19th century.

Definitely one of the most beautiful libraries in the world!

Take just one look in the app store or Google Play and you’ll be completely overwhelmed by the sheer amount of translation apps available to you out there… So we wouldn’t blame you for asking why anyone would actually take the time to discuss and even learn important words or phrases in English – right from the source. But sharing a bit of lingo can take you far. Right now, it’s all about a crazy travel buzzword and funny idioms which you’ll pick up throughout your travels which will help you stand out from the crowd and make new friends. (International friends = international places to stay, yay!)

Because, honestly, staring at your phone waiting for Google Translate to do its (granted, pretty awesome) thing is probably not working for you. Maybe it’s the lack of eye contact disconcerting all those nearly-friends. Or existential fear of the modern age – who knows.

We’ve noticed several travel buzzwords which keep popping up lately to help break the ice when you find yourself in an international setting with nothing but the English language in common. So sit back and have a whale of a time wink wink, learning fun new phrases that’ll leave you clued in. Trust us, it’s a piece of cake…

You might not be a native-level English speaker, but as long as you know a couple of useful phrases like ‘My name is’, ‘I come from’, “I don’t understand” and “Can I have…?”, we’re guessing your English is better than you let on. Google Translate is certainly a good place to start to widen that vocabulary, but we happen to know a better one… You guessed it, just keep reading.

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And with these awesome new travel buzzwords you are able to send the coolest postcards ever to friends and family! With MyPostcard it’s pretty easy: Just pick your own photos from your smartphone and create your holiday greetings with your own text. Et voila, just in 5 minutes you can send your postcards!

Our quick overview about the Must-have travel buzzwords

  • Hang out
  • To blow out of here
  • Have a whale of a time
  • Piece of cake
  • Zapped
  • Throw a party
  • Watching grass grow
  • Have the blues
  • Drive someone up the wall
  • Bleisure travel or traveler
  • Staycation or holistay
  • Flocation
  • Jetiquette
  • Spafari
  • Painmoon
  • Microgapping

Words and phrases for daily use

Travel buzzword listing - phrases for the daily use

We researched the freshest and latest travel buzzwords for you so you are prepared for your next holiday. Moreover, we wrote down some general words and phrases so you are prepared for EVERY situation. Have fun with all these phrases!

Travel buzzword #1
Hang out

“Hang out” is really one of those English phrases that is always popping up. It refers to spending some time with your friends or someone you just met without doing anything particular – just chatting, chilling or playing video games together. It could be at a social gathering at someone’s home or outside. Or it could be completely unplanned.
An example:
Mike: What are you up to today, Bob?
Bob: I’m going to hang out at Wendy’s house.

Travel buzzword #2
To blow out of here

“Let’s blow out of here” means to leave a place as soon as possible. This phrase is usually used when you are at a party, event or at someone’s place and it’s boring. A similar expression is “blow the joint”. Basically, it jazzes up the expression, let’s get out of here, but you’ll sound cooler 😉
An example:
Wendy: What do you think of the party?
Bob: I’m not enjoying it…. I’m ready to blow out of here.

Travel buzzword #3
Have a whale of a time

“Have a whale of a time” is used to describe having a really great time and are enjoying yourself A LOT. We’re not sure why this is…. Maybe Whales are just proper party animals? But we digress. One thing’s for sure: if you’re having a whale of a time you probably don’t want to blow out of the place.
An example:
Bob: How was hanging out with Rachel?
Tim: Great! We had a whale of a time!

Travel buzzword #4
Piece of cake

It’s more than likely that you’ll be hearing: “Oh! That’s a piece of cake” only to discover that there is, in fact, not a piece of cake to be seen. That’s because the meaning of this phrase has nothing to do with the sweet delicacy everyone loves.

That’s disappointing of course, but on the plus side, if someone tells you something is ‘a piece of cake’, you can be sure that it will be very easy.
An example:
Harry: I’ve got this activity for you to do tomorrow morning at work. Don’t worry though, it’ll be a piece of cake!

Travel buzzword #5

“I am zapped” means I am exhausted. So if someone invites you for a night out but you’re too tired to join you can just say: “I am zapped. What about tomorrow?” For an exciting alternative, consider using the British word, “knackered” or “dead tired”.
An example:
Rachel: I’ve spent the last 20 hours traveling from New York to Paris – I am
completely zapped!

Travel buzzword #6
Throw a party

“To throw a party” is another way to say have a party, social gathering. Fingers crossed you’ll be doing lots of this!
An example:
Tom: Hey, fancy throwing a party tomorrow morning.
Wendy: Definitely! We’ll have a whale of a time!

Travel buzzword #7
Watching grass grow

“Watching grass grow” is a way to say that something is boring. Reaaaally boring. You can use it to describe a movie, an event or a situation. A neat alternative is: “watching paint dry” – so basically a situation where you’d rather be watching paint dry. Literally.

Travel buzzword #8
Have the blues

To “Have the blues” means to feel sad or depressed, a good equivalent to ‘feeling under the weather’. Many people also use the expression “Blue Monday” which means to be downbeat on a Monday – mostly because it’s the first day of the week and you have to return to work. So understandably not the best day of the week!
An example:
Rachel: Sarah didn’t look very happy just now, has she got the blues?
Max: I think she’s just suffering from a case of Blue Monday!

Having the blues? Not a problem! Just plan your next trip and have a last-minute break. With these 10 helpful and easy tips for a last-minute citytrip you’ll have a break really soon!

Travel buzzword #9
Drive someone up the wall

If you hear someone telling that you ’re driving him up the wall, things don’t look good. This is because “Drive someone up the wall” means to annoy or irritate someone immensely. Well, at least now you know what that means. We just hope it’s because you’re trying out all your new vocabulary skills on them!
An example:
Clare: Are we there yet?
Bob: Clare, you’re driving me up the wall! Can you stop asking that!

Travel buzzwords for your holistay

Travel buzzword listing - phrases for your vacation

Even as you’re trying to catch up with all these English words and phrases that will help you in your journeys, the travel industry keeps coming up with new terms. Really, what’s up with all these travel buzzwords that have recently been added to your travel vocabulary? Let’s take a look at some of them so you won’t be caught unprepared on your next trip or “holistay.”

(Even though, between us even if you stick to all the traditional travel words everyone is familiar with, it’s also absolutely fine.)

You planned your trip or you are already in holidays? Perfect, what else do you need except these cool buzzwords? Check out these 9 Travel Apps to be perfectly prepared!

Travel buzzword #10
Bleisure travel or traveler

Bleisure is a term that was first introduced casually in 2009 but lately we see it very often in travel articles. Bleisure derives from the words “business” and “leisure” and it refers to trips that combine business with leisure time. Who doesn’t love a vacation paid for by work?

Travel buzzword #11
Staycation or holistay

If you aren’t spending your holidays in another country or city but instead stay at home with your family or friends then you’re on “staycation” or “holistay”. Exploring nearby areas and landmarks is also considered a staycation activity. Who said there’s nothing to explore in your home town anyway?

Travel buzzword #12

Similar to staycation, flocation is a recently-appeared travel term – only this word is used to describe holidays on water. Not bad, huh? This could mean taking a cruise or simply staying at a “floatel”. Yes, that really does exist! And in case you’re wondering what a floatel is, let us enlighten you. A floatel is a hotel on the water. Well, I don’t about you, but the term floating hotel worked perfectly fine for us.

Are you looking for your perfect summer vacation spot? Have a look in our ranking with the TOP 10 summer destinations! The best about them? In the most of them you can have perfect Flocation!

Travel buzzword #13

“Jetiquette” is a term used to describe the proper behaviour of passengers on an airplane. So, instead of saying ‘that guy in the seat next to me was very rude or annoying, just comment on his jetiquette instead for extra points.

Travel buzzword #14

Ok, that’s an easy one. “Spafari” derives from the words spa and safari. It’s the latest trend in luxury travel and it basically means to go on a safari while staying in high-end facilities with wellness centres, pools and lavish suites. We wouldn’t say no.

Travel buzzword #15

Hopefully, you won’t be going on a “painmoon” anytime soon but just in case you are, it’s good (or not) to know the word that is nowadays used in the travel industry for this type of vacation. Painmoon is an emotionally healing holiday people take after they just went through a difficult situation. So essentially a twist on the loved-up honeymoon which follows a wedding.

Travel buzzword #16

“Microgapping” is taking a short break and heading to nature for a few days. The term became particularly known after Visit England launched a £2.5m ‘Join the World – #MyMicrogap’ campaign in order to encourage British young people to explore the country’s sites. We don’t know about you, but we loved mini breaks even before they were named microgaps.