Tag Archives: world

Here is the largest bookstore in the world: Tehran Book Garden

2017-09-22

Amazon may claim the title of the largest bookstore in the world, but the largest bricks-and-mortar store where you can walk in and touch the actual products is called the Book Garden. It is located in Tehran, Iran, and was opened in July 2017.
Tehran Book Garden bookstore
The vast bookstore is only one of the sections of the spacious 65,000 square meter (about 700,000 square feet) building. All and all, it is more like a cultural center than a bookstore alone. The center features movie theaters, science halls, classrooms, a restaurant, and a prayer room. A park on the roof is reserved for reading outdoors.

The building has enough floor space indoors for fourteen football fields, and over 10,000 square meter rooftop park.
World's largest bookstore in Tehran, Iran: Book Garden
Iran has been in the news for its efforts to censor the written word, but the bookstore has a large selection of English titles as well. More than 30,000 titles are available for children alone.

View a film by Iran PressTV that shows the different sections of the large building. The architect tells about the spacious design.

The Guinness World Records regards the Barnes & Noble along Fifth Avenue in New York City the biggest bookstore on earth (before the Book Garden was opened). Barnes & Noble Fifth Avenue has more than 19 km /12 miles of shelves.

Book Garden’s architecture:
Tehran Book Garden building, Iran

Tehran Book Garden architecture from air

Travel safely: here are the safest countries in the world

2016-07-28

If you are planning to travel to Europe, but are concerned about the recent news on violence conducted by a radical group in some countries, an extensive study on the safety status of the world’s countries convinces that Europe still is the safest continent to travel. The thing with Europe is that although it is not as large as North America or Australia, it is divided into many countries that have different cultures, economic situations, politics and external relations. All this affects to the stability, and internal and external threats.

iceland scenery by moyan brenn on flickr

Iceland scenery by Moyan Brenn on flickr.

The Institute for Economics and Peace has published an annual report: the Global Peace Index. The Index is a measure of global peacefulness. It gauges on-going domestic and international conflict, safety and security in society, and the degree of militarisation in 163 countries and territories. The report takes into account 23 indicators in order to tally the Index. You can download the whole extensive report here. Here a the highlights from the report.

Europe was once again ranked the most peaceful region in the world. The largest improvement in safety since last year occurred in Central America and the Caribbean, while South America also made progress in its levels of peacefulness. Middle East and Africa had the largest safety decline, followed by Sub-Saharan Africa, Europe and Asia Pacific respectively.

Top 40: the safest countries in the world according to the tenth edition of the Global Peace Index (the number after each country is its calculated safety index):

1 Iceland 1.192
2 Denmark 1.246
3 Austria 1.278
4 New Zealand 1.287
5 Portugal 1.356
6 Czech Republic 1.360
7 Switzerland 1.370
8 Canada 1.388
9 Japan 1.395
10 Slovenia 1.408
11 Finland 1.429
12 Ireland 1.433
13 Bhutan 1.445
14 Sweden 1.461
15 Australia 1.465
16 Germany 1.486
17 Norway 1.500
18 Belgium 1.528
19 Hungary 1.534
20 Singapore 1.535
21 Netherlands 1.541
22 Poland 1.557
23 Mauritius 1.559
24 Slovakia 1.603
25 Spain 1.604
26 Croatia 1.633
27 Chile 1.635
28 Botswana 1.639
29 Bulgaria 1.646
30 Malaysia 1.648
31 Romania 1.649
32 Latvia 1.680
33 Costa Rica 1.699
34 Qatar 1.716
35 Uruguay 1.726
36 Estonia 1.732
37 Lithuania 1.735
38 Madagascar 1.763
39 Italy 1.774
40 Zambia 1.783

A map shows the peaceful regions of the world for vacation-goers and digital nomads who are planning their next destination.

peace index map by Institute for Economics and Peace

Peace Index map by Institute for Economics and Peace. Dark green: very high state of peace, turquoise: high, sand: medium, red: very low.

The best cities to live in the world: top 10 in 2015

2015-11-09

People who intend to move overseas usually have traveled in the destination, perhaps even stayed there a while before making a decision to move there permanently. It is extremely important to get a personal feel on the city, its culture and people before making any judgments on its attractiveness as a place to live.
Sydney Northbridge golf course A suburb of Sydney, Australia.

Numerical judgments, such as the Economist Intelligence Unit’s (EIU) Global Liveability Ranking, measure a number of factors in the world’s cities and calculate the best cities to live in from those factors. EIU has measured 30 factors, such as stability, infrastructure, education, health care and environment in 140 cities across the world in order to conclude the world’s best city.

Melbourne, Australia is the number one, whereas conflict ridden cities, like Damascus (Syria), Kiev (Ukraine), Tripoli (Libya) have heavily fallen towards the bottom. The best cities to live in top 10 ranking in 2015:
1. Melbourne, Australia
2. Vienna, Austria
3. Vancouver, Canada
4. Toronto, Canada
5. Calgary, Canada
5. Adelaide, Australia
7. Sydney, Australia
8. Perth, Australia
9. Auckland, New Zealand
10. Helsinki, Finland
10. Zürich, Switzerland

Cities in Australia and Canada dominate the top ten ranking. Three European cities – Vienna, Helsinki and Zürich – that are quite different culturally and historically made it to the list.

If you are planning to travel to Helsinki, here is a compact city guide and here are two cultural guides that help you cope with the unique Nordic customs: The Lighter Side of Finland and Analysis of the Finnish Tango.