Sunday, February 8, 2015

Top Bitcoin Vacation Destinations

If you are considering traveling on bitcoin this year, there are now many colorful destinations to choose from.   Crypto Next has put together a list of the best places to go on a bitcoin vacation.  Happy travels!

1. Bali

This Indonesian paradise island requires little introduction as a dream vacation destination, but did you know that it is possible to buy everything from souvenirs to hotels and airline tickets in Bali with bitcoin?  The tropical island even offers some discounts for those who opt to pay with the digital currency.  Here are some of our favorites:

The first thing you'll need is accommodation, and the Bitcoin Tour travel agency offers discounts of up to 75% on hotel reservations made in bitcoin.  Hotels that accept  bitcoin range from the luxury 5* Viceroy Bali, to the budget W-House Citrus Tree B&B, or for an authentic Bali experience, you can head to the Dragon Pyramid homestay.

Bitcoin travelers will not go hungry in Bali with restaurants such as the Clear Cafe and Onion Collective accepting the cryptocurrency, and businesses such as Mela's Groceries that will deliver fresh food to your door.

You won't have to compromise on activities either during you Bali bitcoin vacation, with surf school Bali Green Surf now accepting bitcoin.  If your idea of a break is something more relaxing, you might prefer the Pure Immersions yoga retreat, or enjoy the Lembah Spa.  Or for something totally original, who not try your hand at Sependa Bali cycling recycling!

At the end of your trip, you might want to buy some souvenirs, and there is a large selection of shops that will accept bitcoin for great gifts.  Buy handmade bags at Dena Shop, authentic dream catchers at Sagavin Shop, or splash out on some of Tabra International's silver jewelry.

2. Netherlands

Best known for their cultural capital, Amsterdam, the Netherlands are fast becoming a bitcoin hotspot, and leading the Dutch bitcoin revolution is the City of Arnhem. The Arnhem Bitcoincity initiative was launched by three friends in May of 2014 as a one night pub crawl, but now 50 merchants across the city accept bitcoin, including 26 bars and restaurants and 17 shops. 

Travel to Arnhem and you will be able to find almost everything in bitcoin, including 26 bars and restaurants, 13 shops, a supermarket, a post office, flower shop and even a massage therapist.  Start your visit at Roses' Lounge, a "dinner dance lounge" that boasts music events, restaurant and even a city beach!  For a quick bite, pop into Omnom noodle shop, raw food eatery Rawsome Food or Indian restaurant, Kohinoor.  For a more formal affair, head to Cafe Verheyden for a traditional sit-down dinner.

If you fancy a spot of bitcoin shopping, there are 17 shops to choose from that accept payment in bitcoin, selling fare that ranges from health food to adventure sports gear.   In fact, so many establishments accept bitcoin that you barely have to pack; if you run out of clothes, buy your eco friendly T-shirts at Okimono.  Forgot you headsets?  No problem, get them and other electronics in bitcoin.  Ready to move on?  Get you travel guides and maps in Arnhem.

But if the big city lights call whilst in Holland, you can always enjoy your bitcoin at the Bitcoin Boulevard in the Hague or the Amsterdam Bitcoin City project.

3. Jersey

The Island of Jersey lies between the coasts of England and France and is vying for the spot of "Bitcoin Isle".  Although its focus is mainly on delivering business services to bitcoin companies, it's rich cultural history, wildlife and shopping opportunities also make it a popular holiday destination.   Now that local businesses are beginning to accept bitcoin, we have a great excuse to make an "essential business trip" to the charming Channel Islands.

The Forum Bar at Jersey's Capital, St Helier, is a traditional free house (or bar to the rest of us) and now accepts bitcoin.  Another popular watering hole, although offering a different kind of tipple, is Tiffin Tea House, with its luxury champagne bar and restaurant.   For some bitcoin shopping, head to Tib Street and enjoy a whole new wardrobe, Jersey style.

4. Isle of Man

Famous for its pro-BTC attitude and, like Jersey, a contender for the title of "Bitcoin Isle", the IOM is more of a business location than a vacation destination.  However, the island's overwhelming support for bitcoin enthusiasts (and its status as Crypto Next's home country) meant that we had to include it in the vacation list.

The charming little island, with an established population of high-net-worth individuals, is not all work and no play, with attractions such as: fantastic restaurants, a low crime rate, and breathtaking scenery.  Given its size, the Isle of Man offers relatively plentiful locations to spend your bitcoin.  The Thirsty Pigeon, and the Java express coffee shop and noodle bar, both in the island’s capital of Douglas, now accept Bitcoin payments.  The Thirsty Pigeon is also home to The Isle of Man's first bitcoin ATM, launched by QwikBit.

The Isle of Man offers a great deal of security to the customers of BTC companies via the Financial Supervision Committee (FSC).  The tax system in place on the island also offers favorable terms, not only to the trading and mining of the currency, but even to its general usage.  That, alongside bitcoin incubators, and a number of Corporate Service Providers that now accept the digital currency, make the island very attractive to bitcoin startups.  Notably, six businesses, including Wi-Manx, Dixcart, KPMG, and the national postal service, now offer either free or discounted services for bitcoin startups in order to help produce innovation in the marketplace. 

Peter Greenhill, the Director of E-Business in the Isle of Man Department of Economic Development said in his statement to Crypto Next, "we welcome this announcement by Crypto Next plc and are pleased to have them join the growing number of quality Digital Currency businesses who are selecting the Isle of Man as their jurisdiction of choice. Their acceptance of our insistence to adhering to full AML/KYC regulations and then applying for formal registration by our Financial Supervision Commission will help us to ensure that the consumers are protected and that we keep crime out."

5. Spain

For a destination with a (big) difference, you can head to Calafou, a small, “postcapitalist eco-industrial colony" just outside Barcelona in Spain.  Not your typical vacation destination (in fact, Calafou's website states it is not looking for vacationers but for supportive visitors) this is an abandoned factory where a group of activists have created a home and workspace where they can exist away from a traditional capitalist society and cultivate their "ideas, passions, experiences and visions".  

The nature of Calafou, also affectionately known as Hackafou, means that it is not always open to visitors, but if you can drag yourself away from Barcelona's beaches and tapas bars on a Saturday, the centre is open from 10am, complete with guided tours, and you can even stay for dinner for a small fee of approximately 2 Euros.  (Please note, Calafou's website warns that it is not suitable for children or pets.)  If you wish to stay for longer, bearing in mind the maximum available stay is 15 days, you can request an extended visit in advance and will have to wait for confirmation before arrival.

Perhaps not the most relaxing getaway, or a vacation in the strictest sense, Calafou none-the-less promises an inspiring and unique experience for bitcoin enthusiasts.

6. Australia

Back to more exotic destinations, who hasn't dreamed of going to Australia?

The Tasmanian City of Lanceston, with a population of 106,000, is our next bitcoin destination.    Launceston's business owners and government are planning to build the world's largest local bitcoin economy, calling it the 'Launceston Launch'.   They are encouraging tourists to visit and spend bitcoin there, using Sydney-based payment processor BitPOS.  

The Launceston Launch promotors have big ambitions, with retail, trading and even real estate projects aimed at the bitcoin market.  According to Australian publication The Mercury in January 2015, Launceston Launch's Bitcoin Director Adam Poulton announced Tasmania's first bitcoin ATM and confirmed a total of 12 Launceston businesses that accept bitcoin.

With its temperate climate and historical buildings, the second biggest city in Tasmania is already a popular tourist hub, although it would seem that the bitcoin-based project, also known as “Reactivate Launceston” is being used to boost the city's tourism industry - which is fine by us so long as we get to go down under!

Got a bitcoin vacation destination to add?  Tell us about your favorite place to spend BTC!


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