Backpackers to Ukraine

A Backpacker’s Travel Guide To Ukraine

Ukraine is a beautiful corner of Eastern Europe that many tourists overlook. It’s a large country and therefore has an abundance of exciting things to see and do different kinds of things to do, from admiring the Black Sea coastline to its awe-inspiring gold-domed Cathedrals and ancient-old capital. We’ve got the latest if you’re a backpacker looking to soak up the sights, sounds and scenery in Ukraine, for less…

Where to stay and when to visit

Ukraine fits perfectly in the travelogue of a backpacker since the daily cost is the bare minimum (depending on your necessities). You can easily discover a different kind of rooms, guesthouses, hostels, resorts and more – even in popular cities like Kyiv.

Ukraine Hotel

Be mindful about staying in a hostel if you prefer to keep to yourself, since there’s a mixture of different people, aside from tourists, who may be sharing a room with you. If you’re open to meeting new people though, hostels can be your best bet for both experience and cost.

The food is pretty cheap in Ukraine too, so you can easily fix up a bite to eat for breakfast or lunch in a cafeteria for no price at all.

Autumn in Ukraine
National Natural Park Synevir, the Carpathian Mountains, Ukraine

The climate in Ukraine is continental, meaning freezing winters and toasty summers (which are progressively warmer the further south you move). Do not visit in the winter since the average temperatures plummet below 0°C, and while spring brings the warms, it turns the ice and snow into mud – not ideal for backpackers to explore in! From May onwards, the summer months boast pleasant temperatures averaging at 25°C – but there is the possibility of thunderstorms throughout these peak months. The autumn month of September sees a drop in temperature but pleasant blue skies remain, with highs around 23°C – making this time of year the best for tourists to get the most out of the country and all it has to offer.

What to do

There are plenty of cheap things to do in Ukraine, which is ideal for savvy backpackers to save on money while exploring at the same time. We’ve highlighted a few of our favourite pastimes that are either free or totally affordable:

KYIV

Autumn view of Kiev
Autumn view of Kiev

The capital of Ukraine, Kyiv is one of the best and cheapest places to visit in the country, with plenty of history, sights, shops and tours to discover if you’re new to the area.

  • Chernobyl Tour: Discover the site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history with a guided tour.
  • Kyivo-Pechers’ka Lavra: Built by monks, you won’t find another holy place quite like this.
  • Andriyivski Uzviz: Connecting two neighbourhoods, this street is bursting with wonderful architecture to admire.

ODESA

Odesa, ukraine

Odesa is a vast and beautiful city sure to keep you entertained while you’re visiting, with some pretty landmarks to tick off.

  • Deribasovskaya Street: A bustling pedestrian walkway full of food, drinks and entertainment.
  • Primorsky Boulevard: Take in the architectural wonders along the boulevard and towards the seafront.
  • Potemkin stairs: Enter the city through these iconic stairs, symbolic to Odesa.

UMAN

Sofiyivka park in Uman, Ukraine
Sofiyivka park in Uman, Ukraine

This city has panoramic views that’s why tourists don’t leave this city unexplored if they land in Ukraine. If you visit Uman in autumn then you are not going to leave this place easily as it looks breathtakingly awesome.

  • Sofiyivka Park: An English garden hidden in the heart of Uman.
  • Tomb of Rabbi Nachman of Breslev: If you’re spiritual, it’s the best place to visit in Uman.
  • Ostashivskiy Lake: A pretty spot for picnics, with beer tents and pop-up food stalls.

LVIV

Lviv, Ukraine
Lviv, Ukraine

There is a whole UNESCO protected town in Lviv, which is the main reason this place is our highlights – a must-visit for history-lovers. There’s more to Lviv than it’s history and culture though, this town is quirky and vibrant in the right balance – so you’ll find something to suit everyone here.

  • Rynok square: A 13th-century square that can’t be missed for its intricate architecture.
  • Old Town: This quaint square is bursting with local food and drink, shops, cafes and more.
  • High castle: Take the small walk up the hill for some amazing food and views to match.

If you want to explore the more rural areas and uncover the real Ukraine, visit Mezyn, Dzembronya, Strusiv, Grushevka, Opishnya, Iza and more.

How to explore

Explore Ukraine
Tourist girl with a backpack and camera standing in the meadow at the mountains. Carpathians. Ukraine

There’s no better place than Ukraine for a backpacker because everything is so cheap and convenient. The public transport in Ukraine is easy to navigate, economical and efficient, so you won’t have to worry about walking from A to B!

Here are the different modes of transport that you can take in Ukraine:

  • Train
Carpathian mountains, Ukraine
Train on the railway bridge in Carpathian mountains, Ukraine

The cheapest mode of transportation that you can find in Ukraine is a train ride. But if you have a time crunch, then it might not be the right option for you, since the trains are pretty slow here. If you know where you’re heading, there are newer express trains available which run between different destinations  – but you’ll need to book tickets in advance.

  • Bicycle
Explore Ukraine by bicycle
Explore Ukraine by bicycle

If you don’t mind a little exercise then why not hire a bike to explore the place at your own pace? Plus, it all adds to the backpacking experience, right? You’ll pass bustling markets and have a chance to stop and mingle with the locals.

  • Bus
Explore Ukraine by Bus
Explore Ukraine by Bus

Buses come in handy when you don’t want to take the train, however, they can be a little crowded – so if you get claustrophobic it might not be the best option for you. If you’ve ever been on the London Underground, we’re sure it’ll be a doddle.

  • Taxi
Explore Ukraine by Taxi
Explore Ukraine by Taxi

Taxi services are available around Ukraine and you can order an Uber from 7 major cities, but it’s worth noting that travelling by taxi here can be an unpleasant experience for foreign tourists and service can be patchy, so it might be best to take the train instead?

Try not to hitchhike while you’re in Ukraine; while the destination is safe for tourists it’s sensible to not get into a vehicle with other strangers if it can be avoided.

Tips and Tricks to get the most out of your Ukraine holiday

Holidays to Ukraine
Holidays to Ukraine

Here are some of our top tips that can come handy if it’s your first time in Ukraine.

  • Forgot something essential? You can always buy in the small underground shops.
  • Inside an orthodox church, it’s respectful to cover your head if you are a female and uncover it if you are a male.
  • You can’t use any other currency in Ukraine, so you’ll have to use ATMs where you can.
  • Carry proper documents while you’re here

If you go on backpacking tours often, then you may already have this wonderful destination on your list. But if you’re new to the whole spontaneous thing, then Ukraine is definitely the best place to start your journey. Fancy booking a last-minute trip? We’ve got fantastic flight deals available to book with Crystal Travel, simply give us a call and we’ll do the hard work for you.

Grab your bags!

Solo Travel

A Backpacker’s Travel Guide To The Bahamas

Long gone is the era of well-crafted itineraries, today, travellers are all about spontaneous travel and impromptu plans – adding to the overall excitement. And why not?! We got in touch with a nomad who lives for the moment and spoke about their latest travels in the beautiful Bahamas…

The Bahamas
Bahamas Beaches

Where to Stay

When to go bahamas
Enjoy your stay in Bahamas

The Bahamas is not exclusively cheap in terms of travel or living, but if you know where to look you’re in luck. There are a few islands that are somewhat untouched by the prying eyes of abundant tourists, but if you look hard enough, you can find accommodation here to be extremely cheap – plus you won’t have to fight for a space on the beach!

Such islands include Cat Island, Andros, Abaco, Long Island, Crooked Island and Inagua, where you can experience total R&R amid the Bahamian beauty. On these islands, you’ll find that seafood is fairly cheap – and of course delicious – helping you to keep your pockets fuller for longer. It’s worth noting however that if there’s a popular upcoming festival, the islands prices will shoot up in anticipation of partygoers visiting to celebrate – so it’s best to avoid these dates if you’re trying to travel on the cheap.

when to visit the bahamas

When to Visit Bahamas
Best time to visit Bahamas

The best time of year to visit the Bahamas if you want to soak up the Caribbean sun, is between the months of November to April when the weather is pleasantly warm yet with less rain than the summer months. The average temperature is around 24°C, which is ideal if you want to explore without overheating!

What to do

Want to explore the island without spending a small fortune on attraction tickets and tours? We’ve rounded up some of the best things to see and do in the Bahamas, that won’t cost you so much as a penny.

Pristine Beaches

Beaches in Bahamas
Pristine Beaches in Bahamas

The Bahamas is brimming with exotic white-sand beaches, so you’ll have your fair share of time spent on the sand. As a backpacker, you have total freedom and flexibility with regards to where you go and when, but we have a few favourite beaches we’re sure you won’t want to miss while you’re here. A few of these best public, free beaches include Cabbage beach, Cable Beach, Coco Plum beach, Lighthouse beach, Pink Sands beach, Jaws beach and beyond.

Queen’s Staircase

queens Staircase in Bahamas
Queen’s Staircase in Bahamas

If you want a change of scenery beyond azure blue waters (we could personally stare at them for weeks on end!), then you need to visit Queen’s Staircase. This historical landmark in Nassau – the capital city of Bahamas – consists of 65 steps, carved out of solid limestone by slaves in the late 1700s. If you like history and culture, this attraction is free to visit – however you can hire someone if you wish to know more about the history of this place.

John Watling’s Distillery

bahamas distillery
JOHN WATLING’S DISTILLERY

If you fancy a tipple, take a free independent or guided tour of the John Watling’s Distillery. You’ll see barrels of rum lined up and discover the processes of rum making. There is a minimal charge for tasting their in-house rum, where the waiter explains the art of tasting and how to do it properly!

Port Lucaya Marketplace

Port Lucaya
PORT LUCAYA MARKETPLACE

It’s one of the top open-air marketplaces in Freeport, which you can visit while you are in the Bahamas. There are many opportunities for dining, entertainment and shopping within this bustling market; and in addition to local shops, there are boutiques too, which offer something different yet local. If you get tired of all the exploration, take a seat and unwind in the bars or diners within the market.

Dean’s Blue Hole

Deans Blue Hole
Dean’s Blue Hole

If you’re after a dive-in experience in paradise, you’ll find one at the Long Island area of the Bahamas. Dean’s Blue Hole is believed to be the deepest blue hole in the world, where the water plunges to a depth of 663 feet (202 metres) sure to test your adrenaline! Not into watersports? Lace up and go for a climb up one of the rugged cliffs, the effort will be worth it when you’re rewarded with breathtaking views at the top.

How to Explore

Explore Bahamas
Explore Bahamas

Another way of living like a local on your Bahamas holidays is by using the local transportation. If you want to explore the roots of the place, interact with locals and join them on the public commute – you’ll soon get talking about the best places to visit unknown to tourists.

The cheapest and easiest modes of transport in the Bahamas are:

Jitney

This bus has a capacity of around 30 people, making it a spacious way to travel from A to B. However, these are not available on all of the islands, so be sure to check in advance.

Water Taxis

Water Taxi service in Bahamas
Water Taxis in Bahamas

The Bahamas houses around 700 islands, and taking the road can rack up some serious dough. There are plenty of ferries available with a variety of different routes – the prices vary depending on your destination, availability of seats and age.

Taxi

Taxi service in Bahamas
Taxi services in Bahamas

If you can’t flag down a Jitney, taxis are the next best way to travel if you’re not comfortable with driving in another country. The rates may vary but be careful as some journey costs may be fixed.

Tips To Get The Most Out Of Your Bahamas Holiday

Travel tips
Holidays to Bahamas
  • Seafood is cheap and fresh, so you’ll want to indulge in local food at local eateries as much as you can.
  • Don’t get in a vehicle with strangers, especially at night time
  • You can camp at the beach if you don’t fancy renting accommodation.
  • If you want to explore nearby places, hire/buy a bike for a cheaper way to travel.
  • Travel off-season, avoid crowds and lap up the island’s natural beauty yourself!

Inspired by this carefree way of travelling? You can catch a last-minute flight to this Caribbean Isle for fantastic prices when you book with Crystal Travel. Explore our deals today and call to tailor your backpacking adventure…

Phuket

15 Best Winter Sun Destinations to Visit around the World

Eager for a splash of winter sun? We don’t blame you. Escape grey skies and woolly jumpers for warmer weather in some of the world’s most exotic destinations in 2021. If you’ve been wondering where is hot in January, we’ve handpicked a list of some of the best places for year-round sun so you can start packing your suitcase for 2021.

1- The Maldives

Maldives Travel
Maldives

Say goodbye to the gloomy dark skies and welcome the bright sunshine in the unmatched beauty of the Maldives. With over 1190 islands in the Maldives archipelago (185 uninhabited), there’s an abundance of paradise isles to unwind on. Stay in a luxurious Water Villa, get active with watersports, pamper yourself with rejuvenating spa treatments and indulge in world-class food from the finest restaurants. Wherever you stay, you’ll have an unforgettable time in the Maldives.

Best time to visit: November – April

Average Temperature: 29.9°C

Top Attractions: Meeru island, Maafushi, Ari Atoll.

2- Malaysia

Malaysia

Full of luxurious hotels and resorts, Malaysia offers an enchanting escape in Southeast Asia. Whether you want to explore the incredible wildlife, admire skyscrapers in the bustling city, or relax on a white-sand beach, no two days are the same in this gorgeous destination. With almost 900 islands, water adventures, beach resorts and innovative cities, there really is something for everybody in this corner of the world.

Best time to visit: December – April

Average Temperature: 27°C

Top Attractions: Batu caves, Mount Kinabalu, Perhentian islands.

3- South Africa

South Africa wildlife

South Africa makes for a perfect coastal escape in the winter months, with the best beaches, wildlife and adventure sports available to lap up. If you like to surf, you’ll be in for a treat as this part of the Atlantic experiences fantastic waves all year round. Or, if national parks and wildlife is your thing, head to Kruger National Park for an iconic safari experience or admires famous Table Mountain National Park. South Africa is one of the best winter holiday destinations for its diversity.

Best time to visit: December – February

Average Temperature: 28°C

Top Attractions: Cape of good hope, Robben Island, Boulders beach.

4- Thailand

Phi Phi island, Thailand

Verdant forests, stunning islands, and paradise-worthy beaches, Thailand is one of the most popular places to spend your January holidays. Hop from island to island and discover all this incredible destination has to offer, from its beautiful animal sanctuary to lush forests, eclectic nightlife, drool-worthy street food and much more. Go rock climbing, discover hidden lagoons, scuba dive or spend a day with the elephants all while soaking up the toasty whether – the list is endless.

Best time to visit: December – February

Average Temperature: 31 – 34°C

Top Attractions: The grand palace, Railay beach, Similan islands.

5- Barbados

Barbados

A tropical climate blesses Barbados throughout the year, making it a perfect destination for any month or season. However, if you wish to experience the dry season of Barbados then January is the best month to do so. Mouth-watering dishes, swimming with the turtles and lots of well-earned lazy afternoons can be spent here with your loved ones.

Best time to visit: December – April

Average Temperature: 29°C

Top Attractions: Harrison’s cave, Carlisle bay, Animal flower cave.

6- Dubai

Dubai Beach

If you’re looking for the best of both worlds, Dubai certainly has the wow-factor. Perfect to visit in January, you’ll be met by an abundance of things to see and do here – from shopping in city-sized malls to attending cultural events, taking part in adventure sports and wandering exotic souks – there really is no end to the entertainment. This world-class destination isn’t short of luxurious resorts either, so you’ll be sure to stay in style while you’re here. The summer warmth is quite unbearable in Dubai, but the winter months are the most pleasant times to explore the place.

Best time to visit: November – April

Average Temperature: 26°C

Top Attractions: The Dubai Mall, Burj Khalifa, Dubai safari.

7- Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka Attraction

Golden beaches and blue skies calls are what you can expect on holidays to Sri Lanka, a perfect winter escapade this season. Aside from picture-perfect beaches, history lovers can also spot some amazing UNESCO world heritage sites with olde-worlde ruins to discover. With amazing views from different cliffs, enchanting fortresses and breathtaking temples, this Sri Lankan holiday might be all that you have been waiting for.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 27°C

Top Attractions: Sigiriya fortress, Yala national park, Galle Dutch fort.

8- Cyprus

Cyprus

Cyprus may not be far-flung or exotic as our other featured destinations, but it certainly brings the heat. The sun shines for almost the entire year here, (approximately 340 days) and it’s one of the warmest places to visit in the Mediterranean. Whisk the family away to a landscape of beautiful beaches, rich history and lush forests, each of which sure to help you forget about the drizzly weather back home. Cyprus can offer you both unspoiled natural beauty and atmospheric streets, so you can have a holiday that’s as laid-back or lively as you wish.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 23°C

Top Attractions: Tombs of the kings, Nissi beach, Coral bay.

9- Laos

Laos

Laos serves up spiritual and cultural vibes to visitors that wish to explore this corner of Southeast Asia. You’ll discover intricate ancient temples, cascading waterfalls, verdant jungles brimming with Gibbons and plenty of adventure sports – from kayaking to white-water rafting, zip line experiences and more.

If you like to shop, there’s plenty of market stalls oozing spilling with handmade arts and crafts for those all-important keepsakes.

Best time to visit: December – March

Average Temperature: 27°C – 29°C

Top Attractions: Phousi hill, Kuang Si waterfall, Wat Xiengthong.

10- Morocco

Morocco

You are going to the right place if cultural beauty, bustling street markets, opulent buildings and intricately handcrafted ceramics is what you’re after. Morocco has a mild temperature in the winter months making it a perfect sunshine destination to beat the chills. There’s plenty for you to see within its cobbled streets, from colourful belly dancers and snake charmers to intimate shops selling unique souvenirs. One of the best destinations to put on your bucket list.

Best time to visit: November – March

Average Temperature: 20°C

Top Attractions: Bahia palace, Ouzoud falls, Koutoubia.

11- Egypt

Egypt

The winter months in Egypt are certainly toastier than in the UK, with average highs of 19°C in Cairo and 22°C in a popular tourist resort, Sharm El Sheikh. Prepare to be enchanted by your visits to Cairo, Giza, Sphinx, Luxor, Aswan and more amazing places the country holds. You’ll notice ancient buildings, monuments and pastimes in abundance when you visit this interesting destination, with ornate carvings, statues and sculptures around every corner. Prefer a little R&R while you’re away? The luxury hotel resorts lining the Red Sea are sure to satisfy sun-seekers…

Best time to visit: December – February

Average Temperature: 19°C – 22°C

Top Attractions: Great Sphinx of Giza, Karnak, The Egyptian museum.

12. Vietnam

waterfall in Vietnam

Vietnam experiences warm weather in January, with average temperatures of 26°C in the south, 23°C in the central regions and a cooler (and more comfortable) 18°C in the north. Discover the vibrant cities including Hoi An, Hue and Ho Chin Minh City, with their rich history and bustling atmosphere – or, go more rural and visit Halong Bay with its turquoise waters or verdant Cat Ba Island and you’ll feel a million miles from home.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 25°C

Top Attractions: Chu chi tunnel, Temple of literature, Ha Long bay.

13- Mexico

Mexico Beach

The perfect destination for exploring white-sand beaches, ancient Mayan architecture and an underwater world of exotic marine life – Mexico holidays are a fantastic option if you want an all-round sunshine escape in January. This sunny winter holiday destination is well-suited to those who enjoy being close to nature, love to adventure and lap up their fair share of buzzing nightlife and tasty food. Whether it’s cenote swimming, scuba diving, or simply lounging on Cancun beach that you’re looking forward to most, your Mexico holiday won’t disappoint.

Best time to visit: November – April

Average Temperature: 25°C – 27°C

Top Attractions: Tulum, Xcaret park, Pyramid of the sun.

14- Myanmar

Myanmar

Myanmar is generally a humid destination, but during the winter months, the climate becomes dry and a little cooler, making it a perfect stop for you. Typically there are fewer visitors around this time, so you won’t be overwhelmed by large crowds. You can admire the spectacular ancient sights, temples and amazing natural wonders at your leisure – ahh bliss.

Best time to visit: November – February

Average Temperature: 21°C – 24°C

Top Attractions: Inle Lake, Sule Pagoda, Ananda temple.

15- Oman

Oman

Oman’s diverse landscapes can be best experienced when the summer desert heat gets over-shadowed by pleasant winter temperatures. A scintillating sea breeze is going to embrace you when you’re exploring what this Middle Eastern gem has to offer, from its valleys and ravines to swaying palm trees and clear waters…

Best time to visit: October – April

Average Temperature: 26°C

Top Attractions: Jebel Shams, Wadi Ash Shab, Nizwa fort

So, there we have it, our list of the best places to visit in winter around the world. Call our experts at Crystal Travel and let us help you plan your trip this upcoming January 2021, for less.

Norway holiday

10 Most Beautiful Places to Visit in January around the World

There’s no better time than January to beat the winter chills and start the New Year with a bang, in some of the worlds far-flung destinations. Why wait any longer for blue skies, sandy beaches and pockets full of sunshine? Dive into our list of the most beautiful places to visit in January around the world.

1- Norway

If you don’t mind the cold, why not wrap up and experience a proper winter wonderland in Norway. January is the coldest month in Norway, which is one of the obvious reasons why it attracts fewer tourists, allowing you to explore the place at your own pace (and with plenty of space). Indulge in exciting snow sports or get lost in the dreamy landscape with frosty nights and lazy sunrises.

Top Attractions: Pulpit rock, seven sisters waterfall, Kjosfossen falls, Fonna glacier.

Average Temperature: High -1.8°C (28.8°F)

2- Bali

One of the best places to travel in January if you’re a sun-seeker, is Bali. This exotic Indonesian Island destination boasts fantastic sunshine ideal to warm things up when the winter chills hit the UK. It’s worth bringing your umbrella though since January is the wettest month with unpredictable rain spells – often a welcome cool-down from the heat!

Top Attractions: Mount Batur, Sacred monkey forest sanctuary, Bingin beach, Sanur.

Average Temperature: 26°C (78°F).

3- New Zealand

New Zealand

You can’t visit this amazing destination without soaking up an aerial view of the glaciers – a stunning experience. January is the warmest month in New Zealand with average temperatures of 24°C in the north and 19°C in the south, making it one of the most popular times for visitors to explore this island country.

The place is divided into North and South Island and it all depends on your curiosity where you land, as both the areas have attractive exploration options. From rooftop bars, beaches, erupting geysers and more, New Zealand makes for the perfect place to visit in January.

Top Attractions: Lake Tekapo, Waitomo Glowworm Caves, Fox glacier, Abel Tasman National park.

Average Temperature: 25°C (77°F)

4- South Africa

South Africa

South Africa blooms the best in January, boasting a mix of moderate temperatures and no rainfall. It’s a great stop to explore everything this beautiful destination has to offer, from exotic wildlife to quirky party locations and dozens of natural attractions. Wander comfortably in the South African sun with a glass of wine in hand, touring the country’s renowned vineyards.

Top Attractions: Maclear’s Beacon, Cape of Good Hope, Boulders Beach, Robben Island.

Average Temperature: 18°C (64.4°F)

5- Dubai

DUBAI

This man-made wonder nestled in the heart of a golden desert attracts tourists from all over the world. Dubai is renowned for its sheer luxury, world-class experiences, grandeur and record-breaking architecture – with exciting attractions sure to make for a memorable trip. The temperature in January is a comfortable 24°C, making it the perfect option if you’re seeking a splash of winter sun. Explore the bustling city or spend time relaxing on Jumeirah beach – Dubai can be as lively or laid-back as you wish.

Top Attractions: Burj Khalifa, The Dubai Mall, Dubai Creek, Jumeirah Beach.

Average Temperature: 24°C (75.2°F)

6- Maldives

Maldives

No list is complete without a mention of the Maldives. Crowned as one of the best January holiday destinations, these paradise islands are a haven for those who want to lap up the luxury in style, with fun-loving watersports, rejuvenating spa treatments, first-class restaurants and state-of-the-art water villas to match. What better way to unwind after the festivities?

Top Attractions: Ari Atoll, Hukuru Miskiy, Fuvahmulah, Kuda Rah.

Average Temperature: 27°C (80.6°F)

7- Vietnam

Vietnam

Dry and sunny weather awaits you in Vietnam, a country that has natural beauty in abundance. There’s so much to discover here, from the world’s largest caves to beautiful Halong Bay, or take a hike up Cat Ba Island. Catch the enchanting Lantern Festival in Hoi An for the perfect way to see in the New Year. The early months serve up an eclectic blend of lively and serenity in Vietnam, making it one of the best holiday destinations in January.

Top Attractions: Cu Chi tunnel, Temple of Literature, The marble mountains, Ben Thanh market.

Average Temperature: 24°C (75.2°F)

8- Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka

The best time to visit Sri Lanka is from December to March, perfect if you wish to escape the winter chills. Mix beautiful mountain backdrops and natural attractions with fast-paced urban life, and you’ve got the perfect balance for your Sri Lanka holidays. The landscapes, greenery, tea plantations, blue skies, Buddhist temples and golden beaches will make you fall in love with this corner of South Asia.

Top Attractions: Sigiriya Fortress, Adam’s Peak, Galle Dutch Fort, Elephant orphanage.

Average Temperature: 27°C (80.6°F)

9- Australia

Australia

Where better to find the sunshine than by travelling halfway across the world? If you want to see in the New Year before everybody on the planet, then Australia is the place to do it. With an average and super toasty temperature of 28°C, it’s no wonder it’s classed as one of the top January holiday destinations. Celebrate In style and watch the epic fireworks display in Sydney and Melbourne.

Top Attractions: Honeymoon Bay, Cumberland River, Cedar Creek, Coorong Beach.

Average Temperature: 28°C (82 °F)

10- Thailand

Thailand

Thailand is known to show it all in only one trip, right from amazing cities to rainforests, the place has it all and in full glory. The days in Thailand in January are sunny and dry, making it one of the best places to go in January. Drive the Great Ocean Road, have a BBQ on the beach or wander Darling Harbour.

Top Attractions: The Grand Palace, Railay Beach, Khaosan Road, Ko Samet.

Average Temperature: 27°C (80.6 °F)

So there you have it, our compilation of some of the best places to visit in January – just in time for2021! Did you found your dream winter escape? Call us now to book a tailor-made holiday this January, for less.

Christmas Celebration

How is the festive period likely to be different this year?

Christmas is upon us and amidst the pandemic, the festive season is going to look a little different this year. Families are encouraged to celebrate within their households in their local area only, to ensure the safety of loved ones and others you may come in contact with throughout this period.

Celebrating Christmas at Home
Celebrating Christmas at Home

1- Christmas Bubbles

It is possible to celebrate Christmas this year by forming Christmas Bubbles. However, with the new lockdown rules implemented as of midnight on Saturday 19th December, these bubbles are only acceptable in certain tiers.

  • Tier 4 is prohibited to form bubbles or mix with other households
  • Tier 3 can form a bubble of three households on Christmas Day only.
  • The members of these bubbles can mix and enjoy in each other’s houses, a place of worship or in an outdoor public space or garden. Also, the bubble member’s list should be fixed as no swapping is allowed.
  • If you have children returning from university, they are automatically considered as a part of your household.
  • Other children who are not at university but are spread across the nation cannot form a bubble with their parents and must stick to their local areas.

2- Online celebrations

Online weddings, meetings and family reunions played a major part of 2020 with regards to both business and personal gatherings (hands up if you did one too many zoom quizzes?). Since there are restrictions on throwing a big party this year, zoom parties will most likely be the way forward – so be sure to have that WiFi working!

3- Communal gatherings

Currently, places of worship including churches will remain open even in the Tier 4 areas. This relaxation may however be reviewed for safety reasons, so it’s advised that, if you can, to attend church services online.

4- Online Christmas shopping

All major retail stores are likely to remain closed, so online shopping for gifts and essentials is probable. With this comes the possibility of popular items (Your Christmas Turkey) out of stock, so be sure to get online and buy as soon as possible with social distanced delivery.

Here’s to wishing you all a safe Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

Uncover India’s 20 Most Stunning Places with your Family and Friends

A canvas of colour and beauty, India overwhelms its visitors with its myriad range of sights, experiences and tourist attractions. With more than 30,000 years of history, it is amongst the oldest civilizations in the world and home to many religions and cultures. It has been ruled by various dynasties and kingdoms that have left its reminder in the different forts, palaces and other historical monuments found all over the country. With a diverse landscape, India has been blessed with lush valleys, snow-covered mountains, plateaus, huge deserts, beautiful beaches and backwaters, all of which are worth a visit. If you are thinking of visiting this fascinating country, we have made a list of top Places to Visit in India:

1. Leh- Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

Leh- Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir
Leh- Ladakh, Jammu and Kashmir

The adventure capital of the country, Leh-Ladakh is the ultimate dream of an adventure lover. Located at an altitude of about 2,300 to 5,000 metres above sea level, it is possessed with the top three mountain passes which make for a fun ride. It is also notable for its arid landscape, beautiful lakes, Buddhist monasteries and gompas. Leh-Ladakh is a favoured destination amongst adventurers and mountain lovers. The rough climatic conditions and inhospitable terrain further add to its charm. Shanti Stupa, Pangong Lake, Nubra Valley, Khardung-La Mountain Pass and the Magnetic Hill are some of the places that you must visit on your trip to this fascinating place.

Things to do: Chadar Trek – Frozen River Zanskar Trek, Trek to Markha Valley, Cycling, Motor Biking, Spot the Snow Leopard, Indus River Rafting, Go on a Camel Safari, Go on a Yak Safari, Shop at the Leh Market, Skiing, Hangout at Lala’s Art Café.

Best time to visit: April to mid-May and mid-September to mid-October.

Nearest Airport: Kushok Bakula Rimpochee Airport in Leh.

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Read Also: Top 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

2. Goa

Goa
Goa

Famous for its white-sand beaches, lively nightlife and pristine natural beauty, Goa attracts travellers from all over the country as well as the world. It is the smallest state on the western coast of India, is crowded with local and foreign tourists during the high season. Goa is not only popular for its wonderful beaches which are full of beach shacks with great music and mouth-watering seafood but also for its world heritage architecture and the amazing old churches. The Dudhsagar waterfalls is another attraction of Goa that attracts many visitors. It is also a biodiversity hotspot because of its location on the Western Ghats range making it a favorite among nature lovers.

Things to do: Enjoy sunbathing and nightlife, visit Baga, Learn about Goan history at Goa State Museum, Explore history at Chapora Fort, Shopping at the Anjuna Beach Flea Market, Water sports at Calangute, Get spiritual at The Basilica of Bom Jesus, Take in the view at Fort Aguada, Check out the Dudhsagar Falls, Dolphin Watching at Palolem, Water sports at Vasco Da Gama, Scuba Diving at Bogmalo Beach, Cocktails and Dancing at Gatsby’s Pub.

Best time to visit: November to February.

Nearest Airport: Dabolim Airport or Goa International Airport.

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3. Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh
Varanasi, Uttar Pradesh

One of the oldest cities in India Varanasi or Banaras is situated along with the banks of the holy river Ganges in Uttar Pradesh. Often referred to as the temple city of India, Varanasi is considered as the holy city by Hindus, Jains as well as Buddhists. Popular amongst both tourists and pilgrims, Varanasi Ghats are used by Hindu pilgrims for bathing and cremation. It is said to be continuously inhabited since the 11th century and is known as the spiritual capital of India. Pradeep Kumbhashi and Dasaswamedh ghat are some of the most famous Ghats which attract devotees and tourist for spiritual salvation.

Things to do: Boat Ride in Ganges River, Take a Holy Bath in the Ganges, Explore Varanasi Temples, A Sunset Stroll Along The Ghats, Witness Grandeur Evening Aarti Ceremony, Go for a Sightseeing Tour of Sarnath, Visit Historical Ramnagar Fort, Shopping in Varanasi’s Local Market.

Best time to visit: October to February.

Nearest Airport: Lal Bahadur Shastri International Airport.

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4. Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Agra, Uttar Pradesh
Agra, Uttar Pradesh

Home to the iconic ‘Taj Mahal’, Agra is a city immersed in Mughal charm and needs no introduction. It is one of the most famous places to visit in India. The city has three world heritage sites the impressive Taj Mahal, magnificent Agra Fort and splendid Fatehpur Sikri, luring thousands of tourists, historians and art lovers from all across the country and the world. On your visit, savour the city’s authentic and traditional Mughlai flavours, go for shopping in the lively markets and watching the epic love story of Shah Jahan and his beloved, Noor Jahan at the Kalakriti Cultural & Convention. There is so much to do in the historic city of Agra. For a closer glimpse of this cultural city, take off the beaten road and explore the narrow alleyways of the old city, ancient temples or visit the renowned poet, Mirza Ghalib’s birthplace.

Things to do: Witness The charm of Taj Mahal, Explore the Jewel of Agra – Agra Fort, Explore the Sandstone City- Fatehpur Sikri, Delve in the beauty of Jahangir Mahal, Delve in the spirituality of Jama Masjid, Witness the serenity of Humayun’s Mosque, Witness the historically Rich- Itimad-Ud-Daulah, Wander through the streets of Agra.

Best time to visit: April to October.

Nearest Airport: Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay Airport in Agra.

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5. Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
Jaisalmer, Rajasthan

A beautiful city in Rajasthan, Jaisalmer which is also known as the ‘Land of Golden Sand’ is popular for its rich cultural heritage and magnificent forts. Set amidst an endless stretch of golden Thar Desert, Jaisalmer attracts travellers from different corners of the world. With its extensive range of cultural activities and authentic Rajasthani cuisine, Jaisalmer impresses its visitors especially during the Jaisalmer Desert Festival which includes Folk dances, musical performances and camel shows. Witness the magnificence of Jaisalmer fort as you admire its intricate carvings and impressive architecture. Also, visit the ancient ‘Salim ji ki Haveli’ and ‘Nathmal ji ki Haveli’ that reminds us of the royal grandeur of erstwhile wealthy Rajput merchants. One can also go for sand dune bashing and camel safari in the desert and enjoy a stay at the camp under the open starlit sky. Your trip to Jaisalmer holds numerous adventures and extraordinary opportunities for fun.

Things to do: Camping, Jeep Safari, Parasailing, Camel Ride, Visit Jaisalmer Fort, Feast on Rajasthani Cuisine, Enjoy Quad Biking, Dune Bashing, Paramotoring, Visit Gadisar Lake, Explore Tanot Mata Mandir, Visit Patwon Ki Haveli, Visit Desert National Park, Enjoy traditional Puppet Show, Uncover Jaisalmer War Museum, Explore Longewala War Memorial.

Best time to visit: October to February.

Nearest Airport: Jodhpur airport.

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6. Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Rishikesh, Uttarakhand
Rishikesh, Uttarakhand

Bordering the River Ganges, Rishikesh is yet another spiritual destination in India. Located in the foothills of Himalayas, it is also famous for yoga, meditation and Ayurvedic resorts which attracts tourists from all over the world. One of the holiest places for Hindus, it is a pilgrimage town where Hindus sages and saints have been coming in search of knowledge and meditation since time immemorial. It is also an adventure destination for youngsters with activities like rafting, zip-lining, bungee jumping and so much more. The city also holds the International Yoga Festival every year.

Things to do: River Rafting, Bungee Jumping, Camping And Bonfire, Mountain Biking, Flying Fox, Cliff Jumping, Body Surfing, Trekking, Rappelling And Rock Climbing, Kayaking, Enjoy Ayurvedic Massage And Therapies, Parasailing And Paragliding, Yoga And Meditation, Ganga Aarti at Triveni Ghat.

Best time to visit: September to November and February to June.

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.

7. Coorg, Karnataka

Coorg, Karnataka
Coorg, Karnataka

Located on the slopes of Western Ghats in Karnataka, Coorg is counted amongst the top hill stations in India. With its verdant plantations, wonderful viewpoints and lush greenery, it is often called the Scotland of East. The charm of this place lies in its beautiful amalgamation of history, nature and adventure. Visit the Madikeri fort to admire its architecture and learn about its vast history or experience the adventure as you trek to the Abbey waterfalls. Enjoy the enchanting views of the scenic landscape and spend some moments of joy in the lap of nature.

Things to do: Camping, Enjoy river rafting in the Barapole, Sunset Jeep Drive At Mandalpatti, Enjoy Quad Biking, Visit Dubare Elephant Camp, Visit Abbey Falls, Kumara Parvatha Trek, Hike to Raja’s Seat, Visit Pushpagiri Wildlife Sanctuary, Visit Madikeri Fort, Explore The Wildlife at Nagarhole National Park, Dubare River Rafting.

Best time to visit: October to March.

Nearest Airport: Mandakalli airport in Mysore.

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8. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

Rann of Kutch, Gujarat
Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

An incredible place to visit in India, Rann of Kutch is one of the greatest salt deserts in the world that remains submerged underwater for 4 months in a year. With its astonishing beauty, it attracts an endless number of tourists especially during the Rann Utsav when one gets to experience the different shades of the region. It gets alive with live folk music and dance performances and camel safaris. Tourists get a chance to experience a rustic stay while relishing delicious Kutch cuisine which makes the experience an unforgettable one for every visitor.  Get a glimpse of the salt-making process as you take a stroll through the white desert or watch the colourful migratory birds in the nearby Chari Daand Sanctuary, your trip to Kutch is bound to be an eye-opener.

Things to do: Witness the Gorgeous White Salt Desert, Visit Kala Dungar: the Highest Point in Kutch Region, Visit Kutch Museum at Bhuj, Visit Vijay Vilas Palace, Enjoy Camel Ride on Mandvi Beach, Explore Wild Ass Sanctuary, Visit Prag Mahal and Aina Mahal at Bhuj.

Best time to visit: October to February.

Nearest Airport: Bhuj Airport.

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9. Hampi, Karnataka

Hampi, Karnataka
Hampi, Karnataka

One of the most incredible places to visit in India, Hampi is the ruined city of the Vijayanagar Empire dating back to the 14th century. Immersed in the glorious past, the ancient city of Hampi is home to a number of strikingly beautiful monuments, temples and palaces offering a glimpse of the grandeur and magnificence of the Vijayanagar rulers. Spread over 4,100 hectares, it is a UNESCO world heritage site of more than 1600 remains of the last Hindu Kingdom of South India. Whether it is the artistic beauty of the Virupaksha Temple, the innate carvings of the iconic stone chariot in the Vijaya Vittala Temple or the ornamentally carved pillars of Achyutaraya Temple, visitors will be amazed by the sheer majesty of this place. A trip to Hampi is incomplete without taking part in its musical extravaganza during the ‘Hampi Utsav’, a 3-day festival in the first week of November when the entire city comes alive with glittering lights and cultural dance performances.

Things to do: Try Bouldering, Stay in a hut on Hippie Island in Hampi, Climb Matanga Hill for a Spectacular View of Hampi, Visit Anjaneya Hill – the birthplace of Lord Hanuman, Visit Sunset Point on Hippie Island, Cliff jumping, Scooter Ride Around Hampi and See Rice Paddies.

Best time to visit: October to February.

Nearest Airport: Belgaum airport.

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10. Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand
Valley of Flowers, Uttarakhand

Located amidst the Himalayas at an elevation of 3,858m, the valley of flowers is a national park in the North Chamoli district of Uttrakhand. It is well known for its variety of flora and flower meadows. Monsoon season is the best time to visit and see this valley in full bloom. It was discovered by the British traveller Frank Smith in the year 1931 who then wrote a book on the Valley of Flowers popularising this place among Nature lovers worldwide. Trekking through this fascinating valley enjoying the view of a variety of wildflowers is an experience of a lifetime. You are likely to spot flowers like lilies, poppy, geranium, calendula, daisies, zinnia and petunia. Valley of Flowers is a must visit place in India and makes for a perfect getaway for you and your friends.

Things to do: Explore Valley of Flowers National Park, Visit Hemkund Sahib, Ghangaria, Gaurikund, Bedini Bugyal, Badrinath Temple, Govindghat, Vasudhara Falls, Bheem pul, Lakshman Ganga River, Nanda Devi National Park, Narsingh Temple, Pushpawati River.

Best time to visit: July to September.

Nearest Airport: Jolly Grant airport in Dehradun.

11. Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Shimla, Himachal Pradesh
Shimla, Himachal Pradesh

Shimla does not need an introduction. The snow-clad mountains, the lush greenery and the ageless charm make it an unforgettable hill station. It has been a popular summer holiday retreat since the colonial times. It was the summer capital of British India, the reflection of which can be seen in the various Victorian style colonial buildings found here. Traffic is banned from the central part of the town so one can explore it on foot. The Mall is the most popular hanging spot in Shimla that houses some of the loveliest cafes and eating joints. Discover the incandescent beauty and serenity of Shimla on your trip to India.

Things to do: Travel in Toy Train, Visit the Shimla Ridge, Shopping at Lakkar Bazar, Ice skating, Camping, Paragliding, Rafting at Tattapani, Trekking to the top of Jakhu Temple, Walking through the pine forests, Photography at the Indian Institute of Advanced Studies, Walking through the Military Museum at Annandale, Take a Glance at the Setting sun at Scandal Point.

Best time to visit: March to June.

Nearest Airport: Shimla Airport.

12. Kashmir

Kashmir
Kashmir

Renowned for its enthralling beauty, Kashmir is one of the most amazing places to visit in India that has been rightly called the Paradise on Earth. Surrounded by the snow-covered peaks of Himalayan and Pir-Panjal ranges, Kashmir is home to picturesque lakes, lush green gardens, fruit orchards and thick woods of pines and deodars, making it picture-perfect destination for holidays. On your visit to Kashmir, enjoy a heavenly Shikara boat ride on the dal lake or stroll through the beautifully manicured Mughal Gardens. Enjoy a gondola ride at Gulmarg or soak in the beauty of Betaab and Aru valleys. And while you are there, do not forget to relish the traditional Wazwan dishes and buy souvenirs such as Kashmiri handicrafts to take back home. Your trip to Kashmir holds many possibilities and unlimited options for relaxation and enjoyment. The breathtaking beauty of Kashmir is sure to captivate your heart.

Things to do: Enjoy Shikara Ride in Dal Lake, Gondola Rides at Gulmarg, Experience Nature’s Wonder at Magnetic Hill, Trek Chadar Lake, Down the Slopes of Gulmarg valley, Stay in a House Boat, Indulge in the Heavenly Taste of Kashmiri Cuisine, A Trip to Shalimar Bagh, Must Visit the Monasteries of Kashmir.

Best time to visit: October to March.

Nearest Airport: Sheikh ul-Alam International Airport in Srinagar.

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13. Gangtok, Sikkim

Gangtok, Sikkim
Gangtok, Sikkim

Situated at a height of 5500 feet with a spectacular view of the Khangchendzonga, Gangtok is the capital of Sikkim and provides the perfect base for travel through the state. It is a cosmopolitan city that offers all the amenities to the travellers. A popular place for tourists who are heading for treks, you will find numerous viewpoints that offer glimpses of the snow-topped Khangchendzonga. Visit the Chogyal Palace, with its manicured gardens, a former royal residence and a city attraction worth exploring.

Things to do: River Rafting, Paragliding, Goecha La Trek, Cycling on Silk Route, Seven Sisters Waterfall, Visit Nathu La Pass, Explore Tsomgo Lake, Enjoy Yak Safari, Go For Cable Ride, Mountain Biking, Visit Rumtek Monastery, View Sunset At Tashi Viewpoint, Discover Lal Bazaar.

Best time to visit: October to mid-December.

Nearest Airport: Bagdogra Domestic Airport in West Bengal.

14. Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh
Dalhousie, Himachal Pradesh

Located in Himachal Pradesh, Dalhousie is a piece of paradise and boasts of the mesmerizing natural landscape and old-world charm. With pine valleys, flower meadows, cascading rivers and misty mountains, it offers travellers peace and serenity. The Scottish and Victorian architecture will remind of the colonial times. It was a favourite amongst the colonial British who would often come here during summers. Panch Pulla, Satdhara Falls and the Daikund peak are the top tourist attractions here. Get away from the monotonous city life to spend some moments in the lap of nature.

Things to do: Boating on the Chamera Lake, Trekking at the DainKund Hill, Visit the Rock Garden, Shopping at Gandhi Chowk, Drive through Garam Sadak, Visit the Kalatop Wildlife Sanctuary, Dine at Café Dalhousie, Paragliding, Horse Riding, Camping, Upper Bakrota Loop Walk.

Best time to visit: March to June.

Nearest Airport: Pathankot Airport.

15. Alleppey, Kerala

Alleppey, Kerala
Alleppey, Kerala

Kerala is often called God’s own land and Alleppey could be a reason behind it. Experience the best of Kerala’s backwaters in Alleppey, one of the best tourist attractions in India. You will be mesmerized by the breathtaking beauty of this place. Nestled between canals and waterways, it is fondly referred to as the ‘Venice of East’. It is considered to be the oldest planned town of the region and you will be impressed by its picturesque lakes, canals and lagoons flanked by the rice paddies and palms. Hire a houseboat and float along the waterways gazing over paddy fields and simple village life along the banks. If you love taking photographs, get ready to click some captivating pictures with a vivid background.

Things to do: Enjoy your stay at Houseboat, Explore your religious side, Rejuvenate yourself Ayurvedic massage and Spa in Alleppey, Enjoy wonderful food in Alleppey, View gorgeous sunset in Alleppey, Visit Revi Karunakaran Museum, Watch Snake Boat Race, Enjoy the Nehru boat race every monsoon in Alleppey, Visit Karumadikuttan Statue.

Best time to visit: November to February.

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport in Kochi.

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16. Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh
Khajuraho, Madhya Pradesh

A UNESCO world heritage site, the Khajuraho group of temples were built around the 1st century AD by Chandela Rajput. It is famed far and wide for its erotic stone carvings and sculptures depicting deities, animals and mythical creatures. The western group of temples, in particular, contains some of the finest temple art in the world. The temples are a remarkable example of the Hindu Nagara style of architecture. Located against the beautiful backdrop of the Vindhya Range of mountains, Khajuraho is a fascinating destination to visit in India.

Things to do: Explore Temples of Khajuraho, Witness Wildlife and Nature at Panna National Park, Enjoy the Dance Festival, Visit State Museum of Tribal and Folk Art, Explore Raneh Falls Canyon, contemplate in the Beauty of Pandav Waterfall, Take a Visit to Ajaigarh Fort, Experience Ayurvedic Spa at Ayur Arogyam, Explore the Ruins of Mastani Mahal, Enjoy Jungle Safari at Ken Ghariyal Sanctuary.

Best time to visit: October to February.

Nearest Airport: Khajuraho Airport.

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17. Aurangabad, Maharashtra

Aurangabad, Maharashtra
Aurangabad, Maharashtra

A historical city located in the Maharashtra state of India, Aurangabad is mostly popular for Ajanta and Ellora caves. Several dynasties have ruled the city in the past and you will find many architectural marvels reminding the tales of these empires. Boasting a rich heritage and plenty of historical monuments, Aurangabad is visited by both domestic and international tourists. Visit the Bibi ka Maqbara that reflects the architecture of the iconic Taj Mahal and houses the tomb of Mughal emperor Aurangzeb’s wife. Admire the intricate carvings of the fortified city gates such as Kala Darwaza and Rangeen Darwaza which offers a peek into the artistic skills of the artisans of ancient times. The cultural festival ‘Ellora Ajanta Festival’ is another reason to visit Aurangabad when the city comes alive with dance performances and cultural music in the backdrop of 1400 years old caves illuminated by glittering lights.

Things to do: Visit Bibi-qa-Maqbara, Green Leaf, Explore Aurangabad Caves, Siddarth Garden, Visit Bhadra Maruti Temple, Valley Of the Sufi Saints, Explore Ellora Caves, Ajanta Caves, Explore Jyothirlinga Grishneshwar temple.

Best time to visit: October to March.

Nearest Airport: Chikalthana Airport in Aurangabad.

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18. Munnar, Kerala

Munnar, Kerala
Munnar, Kerala

The heart of Kerala, Munnar is famous for its rolling hills and endless tea plantations. It was the summer capital of British administration and many of these tea plantations were started under British rule. The low Western Ghats scenery with spice and tea plantations is magnificent and one often feels above the clouds with a veil of mist everywhere. Munnar is also the land of the Kurunji flower that blooms once in 12 years. A visit to the plantation is a must on your visit to this lovely hill station. The best time to visit is between September and May if you are looking for an idyllic vacation.

Things to do: Hike to the Anamudi Peak, Mountain Biking, Eravikulam National Park Safari, Rejuvenate at Lakkam Waterfalls, Rock Climbing, Visit Echo Point, Spend an Evening at Mattupetty Dam, Visit Thoovanam Falls, Enjoy Shikara Ride in Kundala Lake, Elephant Safari at the Carmelagiri Elephant Park, Rejuvenate With an Ayurvedic Spa, Visit the Tea Museum, Visit Kolukkumalai Tea Plantation.

Best time to visit: March to May and December to February.

Nearest Airport: Cochin International Airport in Kochi.

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19. Andaman and Nicobar islands

Andaman and Nicobar islands
Andaman and Nicobar islands

A cluster of small islands, Andaman and Nicobar are famous for pristine beaches and unique water activities. Offering great opportunities for scuba diving, one can enjoy all kinds of water activities on the island. Home to vibrant coral reefs, it is the best place to experience the underwater world of aquatic lives. A group of more than 500 shimmering islands in the Bay of Bengal, Andaman & Nicobar Islands are relatively unexplored which only adds to its enigmatic charm and lure thousands of tourists every year. ‘Radhanagar Beach’ on ‘Havelock Island’ is considered the best beach in Asia. It is a paradise for honeymooning couples who can be seen here walking hand-in-hand and enjoying nature.

Things to do: Discover the Sea Life with Scuba Diving, Snorkeling, Visit the Limestone Caves in Baratang Island, Mangrove Kayaking at Mayabunder, Visit Radhanagar Beach, Visit the Famous Cellular Jail, Enjoy Barren Island Volcano Tour, Parasailing, Visit Forest Museum, Visit Mahatma Gandhi Marine National Park.

Best time to visit: October to May.

Nearest Airport: Veer Savarkar International Airport or Port Blair Airport.

20. Meghalaya

Meghalaya
Meghalaya

Meghalaya is also known as the ‘Abode of Clouds’ and you will know the reason when you visit this place. With high hills, undulating streams and waterfalls, it is a land of mesmerizing scenic beauty that won’t cease captivate you. Located in the Northeastern part of India, Meghalaya separates Assam from the plains of Bangladesh and popular for its rocky cliffs and mysterious caves. A popular travel destination during monsoon, it is the wettest place on Earth. Cherrapunji and Mawsynram receive the maximum rainfall annually so if you love rain, you know where to travel on your vacation. Most of the rain falls between June and September creating numerous impressive waterfalls. See the best of what Meghalaya has to offer on your visit to India.

Things to do: Explore Cherrapunji, Visit Nohkalikai Waterfalls – India’s Tallest Plunge Waterfall, Living Root Bridges, Explore Mawlynnong Village – The Cleanest Village in Asia, Visit Nongkhnum Island, Wildlife encounter at Balpakram National Park, Visit Don Bosco Museum, Shopping at Police Bazar and Leh Duh Market, Play Golf in Shillong.

Best time to visit: March to July.

Nearest Airport: Umroi Airport in Shillong.

New York

20 Best Things to do in New York

The Big Apple, a City That Never Sleeps, Gotham- New York has many names. It is the epicentre of art, the trendsetter, and the dining and shopping capital that offers a feast for all. There is so much to do, see and taste in this exciting city which is always on the move. For locals, it is the centre of the universe. Home to landmarks like the statue of liberty and the Empire State Building, New York City is ready to show off all that it is. Constantly changing and evolving, it houses some of the world’s best restaurants, museums, boutiques, hotels and bars. New York is different every time you visit. The hot spots of the city keep changing so everyone who wants to know what to see and which places to visit in New York needs an expert guide.

Here is a list of the best things to do in New York and the must-see sights which will make you fall in love with the city.

1. Appreciate the world’s most important art at Met Museum

Met Museum is one of the finest art museums in the world where you could spend a week browsing 5,000 years of human creativity. It is New York’s version of the Louvre where you can see Renaissance masterpieces alongside pre-Columbian artifacts. The ancient Egyptian Temple of Dendur and Warhol’s Mao are some of the highlights of the museum. With a constantly evolving collection and special exhibits, you cannot say “been there, done that” when talking about the Met. It is worth a visit on your every trip to New York.

2. Fun and Frolic at Central Park

Fun and Frolic at Central Park
Fun and Frolic at Central Park

The world’s most famous green space, Central Park is an urbanized Eden that gives you a glimpse of the city. Most visitors get their first impression from 59th Street, the busy southern section of Central Park. We suggest you take the 72nd Street and Central Park West instead and then head east to hit up Strawberry Fields. No matter how many people congregate in Central Park, you can always find a spot to picnic, stroll, or just take in the greenery.

3. Museum of Modern Art

Museum of Modern Art
Museum of Modern Art

Housing some of the finest collections of art in the world, New York’s MoMA showcases recognizable masterpieces from famous artists like Warhol, Calder, Picasso, and Van Gogh. With an extensive collection of art, sculpture, and photography, the museum is one of the topmost places to visit in New York. It gets really crowded during the peak tourist season like Christmas or late spring and summer when hordes of people come to get a glimpse of Van Gogh’s Starry Night or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.

4. Enjoy the skyline views from the iconic Empire State Building

Enjoy the skyline views from the iconic Empire State Building
Enjoy the skyline views from the iconic Empire State Building

There’s no better way to understand the endless possibilities of New York City than by making a visit to the top of one of the skyscrapers. The 86th-floor deck offers stunning views of the city with the Hudson and East Rivers, the Brooklyn Bridge and the Statue of Liberty, but the views from 16 stories up on the 102nd-floor observatory are even more stunning with the full view of Central Park and yet, fewer visitors make it this far. Whatever you do in New York, make sure you visit the top of the empire state building on your trip.

5. Salute the Statue of Liberty and enjoy the views from the Crown

Salute the Statue of Liberty and enjoy the views from the Crown
Salute the Statue of Liberty and enjoy the views from the Crown

The landmark and the quintessential symbol of American liberty, this copper statue was constructed in 1886 and its massive pedestal houses an observation deck as well as exhibits the fascinating history. For millions of immigrants, the first glimpse of America is the Statue of Liberty. Visitors approaching Liberty Island from Battery Park might experience the same feelings. Enjoy the views from the crown- a must-do in New York, but remember to book the tickets in advance.

6. Enjoy Ballet & Opera at the Metropolitan Opera House

There is something magical about watching opera at the posh Metropolitan House. With its plush velvet stairs, golden ceilings and sparkling lights- not to mention the dramatic arched entrance as well as its lobby’s immense Swarovski crystal chandeliers, it will impress even the most jaded opera-goer. The hall is also notable for its Marc Chagall paintings which can be seen from the outside during the day.

7. Get Amazed by the Billboards at Times Square

Get Amazed by the Billboards at Times Square
Get Amazed by the Billboards at Times Square

Times Square is the most frenetic part of New York City that most New Yorkers would like to avoid. It is a cacophony of flashing lights, the chaotic mix of huge underwear billboards, digital displays, on-location television broadcasts and shoulder-to-shoulder crowds. If this sounds exciting and you really like sensory overload, Times Square is the place to be! Get a taste of the mad rush of New York City here.

8. Visit the American Museum of Natural History

Visit the American Museum of Natural History
Visit the American Museum of Natural History

The largest natural history museum in the world, this 149-year-old institution is expertly curated that attracts visitors of all ages and fills them with a curiosity about the universe. Housing more than 30 million artifacts from the land, sea, and outer space, you could spend your day just looking at the things that hail from different corners of Asia, Africa, rainforests and the ocean. So it has everything for visitors whether you’re interested in oceans of the world, or the cultures of faraway lands or the stars just beyond our reach, a visit to this museum is bound to teach you a few things you never knew. With halls dedicated to an array of different cultures, you could spend a day studying and learning about the human species.

9. Pay Your Respects at the 9/11 Memorial

Pay Your Respects at the 9/11 Memorial
Pay Your Respects at the 9/11 Memorial

Hailed as the largest man-made waterfalls in North America, it was finished just in time for the 10th anniversary of 9/11. These 30-foot waterfalls sit at the spot where Twin Towers once stood. Each pool is nearly an acre in size and edging these pools at the plaza level are bronze panels inscribed with the names of the 2,983 people who were killed in the terror attacks at the World Trade Center site, in 93’s Plane crash in Pennsylvania, at the Pentagon, and people who died in the World Trade Center bombing in 1993. There is also a museum that provides a glimpse of the people who perished in the bombings and delves deeper into the background leading up to the event.

10. People-watching at Grand Central Terminal

People-watching at Grand Central Terminal
People-watching at Grand Central Terminal

With over 700,000 daily commuters and subway riders, Grand Central is not only the UK’s busiest but also the world’s largest railway station. It also named one of the world’s most magnificent and majestic public spaces. Admire the glimmering chandeliers of the waiting room and the jaw-dropping main concourse which is modelled after an ancient Roman public bath. Overhead, the blue ceiling resembles a fiber-optic map of the constellations. To fully appreciate the beauty of it all, avoid visiting at rush hour.

11. A day out at the Coney Island

A DAY OUT AT THE CONEY ISLAND
A DAY OUT AT THE CONEY ISLAND

A go-to place since the 1920s when looking for fun and frolic, Coney Island has not lost its century-old charm. It is especially attractive and worth a visit during Easter and Halloween. With over 50 rides and stunning seaside views, Coney Island is only an hour away from the city and promises a fun day out for the entire family. With exciting rides like Luna Park, Scream Zone and the Cyclone Roller Coaster, plus fireworks that start at 9:30 pm every Friday night, kids will especially enjoy the visit. And while you’re there, don’t forget the famous boardwalk.

12. Take a ferry to Staten Island

Take a ferry to Staten Island
Take a ferry to Staten Island

Some 70,000 people ride the free ferry daily to Staten Island which is one of the city’s outer boroughs. Without paying a cent, one gets to enjoy the phenomenal views of the Lower Manhattan skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and Ellis Island during the hour-long boat ride across New York Harbor. Plus, the ferry boasts some of the lowest beer prices in the city and you can drink up aka cruise-style.

13. Walk around Greenwich Village

Walk around the Greenwich Village
Walk around Greenwich Village

Explore the Village as you walk around, sampling different coffee shops and restaurants, and visiting its unique shops especially through MacDougal and Bleecker Streets. The area has an eclectic vibe because of the fact it is home to colleges like NYU and so on. Head to Washington Square if you’re in the mood to simply people watch. You are also likely to see some of the regular street performers as well.

14. Madame Tussauds New York

This famous wax museum of the United Kingdom opened its doors to New York City in 2000. With over 200 replica wax figures spread over 5 floors, it has become extremely popular in the city. The kids especially love seeing their much-loved sports personalities, actors, actresses and rock stars. One can also visit the section that is dedicated to explaining how each wax figure was made. Have fun taking selfies with your favourite stars.

15. Relish Fancy Cocktails at a Speakeasy Bar

Relish Fancy Cocktails at a Speakeasy Bar
Relish Fancy Cocktails at a Speakeasy Bar

New York City has gone crazy with the speakeasy trend and the most fun part of these bars is the thrill of finding it and getting a table. While some harder to find than others like Bathtub Gin (entry through the coffee shop) and The Back Room (entry through a grimy Lower East Side basement). Few of these places hold on to the speakeasy theme with costumes and decor, others just serve good cocktails. Please Don’t Tell is the most famous speakeasy which can be accessed through the phone booth of a next-door hot dog hut but getting a reservation can be extremely hard.

16. Top of the Rock Observation Deck

One of New York City’s must-visit attractions, make sure you add Rock Observation Deck to your itinerary. Situated midtown in the historic Rockefeller Center, it offers mesmerizing views of the stunning Manhattan panorama. There are 3 short films to catch, offering an excellent background before you ascend to deck for enjoying the dramatic views. Don’t forget to bring your camera!

17. Catch a few Broadway shows

Catch a few Broadway shows
Catch a few Broadway shows

Broadway is another word for theatre and practically synonymous with New York City. More than three dozen Broadway theatres are located in the area around Times Square and host some of the greatest spectacles in town. From big-budget musicals to critically-acclaimed plays to stage debuts featuring Holly wood stars, you are likely to find something interesting playing on the boards. It is one of the top things to do in NYC but remember to buy tickets in advance for popular shows. However, if you are just curious and willing to see anything, stop by the TKTS booth in Times Square, which sells same-day tickets.

18. Admire the Downtown Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Admire the Downtown Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art
Admire the Downtown Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art

Located in the Meatpacking District, between the High Line and the Hudson River, Whitney opened this museum in early 2015 inside the fabulous new Renzo Piano-designed building. With more than 50,000 square feet of state-of-the-art gallery space, the museum has 8 floors but only 6 are accessible to the public. There is also 13,000 square feet of outdoor space with views of the Hudson River and the surrounding District.

19. Discover the history of African American Culture in Harlem

Discover the history of African American Culture in Harlem
Discover the history of African American Culture in Harlem

A haven for artists and writers, Harlem was the heart of African American culture in the 20th century, when writers like Langston Hughes and James Baldwin led the Harlem Renaissance and made this neighbourhood famous. Despite the massive modern real estate developments, one can still sense the old neighbourhood charm. Today, it has become a cultural and dining destination. Celeb chef Marcus Samuelsson’s Red Rooster is such a spot in this neighbourhood that serves chicken and waffles alongside jazz in an elegant setting.  To experience a taste of African culture, visit the Malcolm Shabazz Harlem Market where you will find stalls selling traditional crafts and textiles from the different corners of Africa.

20. Savour Dishes from the Different Corners of the World

Savour Dishes from the Different Corners of the World
Savour Dishes from the Different Corners of the World

We know New York City is famous for bagels and pizza, but you can get it anywhere. When in New York, venture off the beaten track to sample something truly authentic. You can try food from all over the world here, especially if you’re ready to travel to the outer boroughs. Gorge on Ethiopian food at Bushwick’s Bunna Café or feast on Yemeni cuisine at Yemen Cafe in Brooklyn Heights. If you can’t travel to Brooklyn or Queens, you can still try Afghan cuisine at Khyber Pass or Georgian food at Old Tbilisi Garden, which are all located in Manhattan. If trying new dishes is not your thing, there are world-class French, Italian, and Japanese food joints in every neighbourhood.

Christmas Destinations

Top 22 Places in the World to Welcome Christmas and New Year 2020

The week you’re waiting for a year is coming soon. If I am not wrong, you guys have already planned your Christmas and New Year merriments. Celebrating prime parties have become the best way to welcome a week-long Christmas and New Year festivities. And nothing can be better than celebrating the eve at the destinations of your dreams. It’s high time to start planning your fancied journey and making plans for celebrations if you haven’t done so.

Visualizing amazing annual celebrations thrills us to enjoy the epic fireworks, all-night party and other activities. BUT the question arises, where’s the perfect spot to witness the clock striking midnight on 31st December?

We’ve done some groundwork for those who have yet to plan their celebration. Signifying more than 22 great places where you can rush for the unforgettable Christmas and New Year’s Eve. We are sure, you’d find your celebration incredible around these fantastic termini.

1. Las Vegas, Nevada:

Las Vegas, Nevada
Las Vegas, Nevada

A Sin City, Las Vegas dazzles the globe on 31st December with its glamorous arena. Rushing to Vegas is not a child’s play since the city is an ultimate adult’s playground. Amazingly desired the Las Vegas Strip, it is the premier city to party. Find desert and mountains at one place and enjoy the exceptional amenities. You can lovingly call it a 24-hour city that never sleeps. It’s emerging culture, festivals and conventions plus late-night entertainment would leave you spellbound.

2. New York, USA:

New York, USA
New York, USA

Famous as the Big Apple, New York is truly a heaven for holiday lovers. It is second to none in welcoming Christmas and New Year. Comprising five boroughs, i.e. Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, Queens, and the Bronx, the city offers a complete package of overall recreation.

3. Bangkok, Thailand:

Bangkok, Thailand
Bangkok, Thailand

A recent survey unveiled, Thailand has become the third most popular tourist destination across the globe. The country serves millions of tourists with mesmerizing venues and of course, Bangkok is favourite to all. It is the number one city in terms of welcoming international visitors. Are you eager to know why? Catch flights to Bangkok and feel the reason.

4. Dubai, UAE:

Dubai, UAE
Dubai, UAE

One of the emirates that enjoy ambition and availability of foreign visitors throughout the year. Enjoy the best luxury holidays at picture-perfect beaches under the blue skies. Relishing your Christmas and New Year’s celebration in Dubai would amplify the golden moment of your life. You could witness the magnificent skylines while relaxing in skyscrapers. A paradise for modern and traditional shopping, world-famous desert safari and many other things. Believe us, your countdown has an end but the luxurious dose of Dubai is endless.

5. Amsterdam, Netherlands:

Amsterdam, Netherlands
Amsterdam, Netherlands

It is said about Amsterdam that whatever you’re exploring in a city during a holiday find it here. No matter when you are coming to Amsterdam, the city has always something to exhibit. Celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Amsterdam could be like dream come true for visitors. The warmth of exploring elegant design, art history, the canal belt, art scene, and architecture would fill you with life-long remembrances.

6. Paris, France:

Paris, France
Paris, France

The City of Love, Paris is an all-time dream honeymoon destination, catering to the romance in its every gesture. Actually, Paris enjoys several synonyms like ‘City of Light’ and others. You would be the aficionado to the city once you be there. Mesmerizing voyage to the iconic Eiffel Tower, Louvre Museum, Notre-Dame de Paris, Arc de Triomphe and other tourist stoppers. Beginning your new year in Paris could surely bring romance to your life. Just one comment, come and fall in love with Paris.

7. Los Angeles, California:

Los Angeles, California
Los Angeles, California

A benchmark to the world for high-quality life standards. The city is the true face of what should be the living standard of an individual. Crafted beautifully for TV and Films, the city is always open for visitors. An abundance of recreational activities and a luxury lifestyle make it a fantastic destination for celebrating Christmas and New Year’s Buzz. Site spotting, shopping, nightlife, the beaches and Beverly Hills catering to the thriving and lively inception of New Year.

8. Tenerife, Spain:

Tenerife, Spain
Tenerife, Spain

If you dare enough to face the adventure, come to Tenerife for Christmas and New Year celebrations. A vibrant nightlife welcomes visitors to Tenerife with unappetising dishes. Enjoy amazing Marine Life, Beaches, Diving and witness mesmeric Star Gazing, Carnival, and Los Gigantes in Tenerife, Spain.

9. Dublin, Ireland:

Dublin, Ireland
Dublin, Ireland

A short-haul tourist stopper from the UK, Dublin enchants visitors with regular choral performances. Enjoy the calm way to begin your New Year through library hopping, Wicklow Way, Phoenix Park, Croke Park Stadium and other spots. Enjoy sea swimming, seafood at its best in Dublin.

10. Sydney, Australia:

Sydney, Australia
Sydney, Australia

Closely associated with many iconic attractions, Sydney has always been one of the premium choices for New Year’s Celebrations. Beautiful harbours, water bodies offer scenic views to the visitors and allow them for amazing water activities. Enjoy the best views of the midnight fireworks, music, parties, and delicious dining in Sydney.

11. Barcelona, Spain:

Barcelona, Spain
Barcelona, Spain

Are you fond of European charm? It’s a premium choice to celebrate Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Barcelona. World’s culture hub, amazing food and architectural masterpieces, Barcelona proves to be an epic destination for a perfect family holiday. Witness the famous Picasso Museum and enjoy amazing bike tours plus fantastic nightlife.

12. Hong Kong, China:

Hong Kong, China
Hong Kong, China

Stunning skyline filled with skyscrapers, Hong Kong beautifully showcases advanced and traditional practices together. What a better way to welcome the New Year than tasting vivid cuisines and exploring historical structures. Earn lifetime memories while visiting all-time favourite Disneyland accompanied by Dim Sum and Tsim Sha Tsui. Fall in love with the street food and amazing nightlife in Hong Kong.

13. Mumbai, India:

Mumbai, India
Mumbai, India

A ‘jewel in India’s crown’, Mumbai is the heart of religion, custom, cuisine and business practices in India. Comprising amazing beaches and fabulous hotels, Mumbai is the home to world-famous Bollywood. It welcomes the New Year in style. You may face some crowd but certainly enjoy surfing Juhu Chowpatty, Camy Wafers, Gateway of India, Victoria Station, and Marine Drive in Mumbai.

14. Rome, Italy:

Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy

Honoured as the “Eternal City” by the early Romans who believed in the sustenance of the city regardless of the upheavals in the whole world. The same is depicted in the colonial monuments and colossal relics that take you back to the era of Romanian glory. Being a wayfarer is the best way to explore the reminiscence of Rome. It is indeed the third most visited city in entire Europe. The lustrous cuisine and chirpy atmosphere give another reason to celebrate your Christmas and New Year’s Eve in Rome.

15. Málaga, Spain:

Málaga, Spain
Málaga, Spain

The city starts celebrating New Year’s party a week before Christmas. Visiting Málaga is like residing in a culturally sophisticated and innovative arena. Explore the Picasso collection at Museo Picasso and Enjoy Beach life, amusement park, marina, golf and flamenco at its best in Málaga.

16. Alicante, Spain:

Alicante, Spain
Alicante, Spain

With the large coastline and beautiful beaches, Alicante enjoys sunshine throughout the year. Comprising plenty of mesmeric destinations, it is a gateway to explore the beauty of Spain. Apart from the decent weather, the city exhibits ancient history accompanied by good food, good people. Welcoming New Year at Tabarca Island would be a great experience for visitors. Santa Bárbara Castle, Santa Cruz, Postiguet Beach, and Santa Pola have internationally appreciated holiday spots.

17. Madrid, Spain:

Madrid, Spain
Madrid, Spain

The name itself enough to elaborate on the modern charm that the city holds. Well known for its Christmas and New Year Celebration, the city welcomes thousands of international visitors on New Year’ Eve to its ultra-advanced hotels, resorts, restaurants, and nightlife. It’s a wonderful city comprising several historic sites and other attractions. The city beautifully allows its visitor to rediscover Madrid, no matter how many times you visit there.

18. Tokyo, Japan:

Tokyo, Japan
Tokyo, Japan

Holding amazing fireworks as an integral part of the culture, Tokyo celebrates hundreds of dazzling shows, events and festivals across the year. And it’s Christmas and New Year’s Carnival would leave you awestruck. There is no word to define the manners and the cuisine that the Japanese cater to its guests. Witness the world’s fastest transit and explore rich cultured temples, shrines, and gardens of Tokyo. Known as the King of gadgets, the city enjoys amazing nightlife and deliberate fashion.

19. Orlando, Florida:

Orlando, Florida
Orlando, Florida

Fully loaded delight, Orlando stands first for its theme park across the globe. It retains its supremacy as the most desired tourist destination for New Year’s Carnival. Sunny weather, exciting sports and top-notch spas, what you else need this year. The city has always something new for its guests that allow them to be a kid again. Relish yourself with ultimate dining, untouched culture, beautiful nature, relaxation and wellness.

20. Reykjavik, Iceland:

Reykjavik, Iceland
Reykjavik, Iceland

Numerous reasons that attract travel freaks to enjoy New Year’s Pageant in Reykjavík, Iceland. Explore imaginary landscapes and enjoy contemporary cuisines accompanied by a lively nightlife. There are endless picturesque stoppers to put you spellbound with its charm. Music festivals, lighting and fireworks are the major attractions for the visitors coming to Reykjavík on Christmas and New Year’s Eve.

21. Melbourne, Australia:

Melbourne, Australia
Melbourne, Australia

The world’s most vibrant city welcomes tourists with rebellious street art. Melbourne is known for its hulking beauty and seaside fun. Comprising some rarest wildlife species, it offers the cutest jungle safari to explore. The singular city in the world who facilitates you to swim with dolphins. Enjoy a picture-perfect destination and wild recreation on this New Year’s festivity.

22. Berlin, Germany:

Berlin, Germany
Berlin, Germany

Enjoy your heartbeat in Berlin this year with its king-size enthusiasm. The city has almost everything that your desire on New Year’s Bash. From the museum to the monument, lights to fireworks, music to art, tradition to glamour, you’d fall in love with Berlin once you be there. Feel the unrivalled majesty at Airport Park and the world’s most charming memorials. Stay chilled, the city has no closing times. Go beyond limits and relish the life-long memorable Christmas and New Year’s Gala.

MONACO

Top 20 Smallest Countries in the World

What if we say that there are countries in the world, which only needs a few hours or probably a half-day to criss-cross the whole landscape? Yes, we are talking about some of the smallest countries in the world. Visiting these countries might make you wonder that you’ve reached a town or a hamlet.

Some countries are so tiny that even some of the biggest metropolitan cities in the world are colossal when compared to them. There are countries in the world covering an area of less than 400 square Kilometres.

Most of these tiny countries are located in Europe, the Pacific and the Caribbean islands. You only need a day or two to explore the whole country. Travelling to these countries is an amazing experience as you explore their culture and natural attractions. Many of the countries are also some of the richest in the world, perfect for an amazing holiday. Let’s go through these countries one by one to explore their beautiful landscape, people, heritage and more.

20. Luxembourg, Area — 2,586 km2

Luxembourg
Luxembourg

Many say that it takes an hour to drive across Luxembourg. It is the last remaining Grand Duchy distinguished for its Vianden and Bourscheid castles. The tiny landlocked nation is blanketed by dense Ardennes forests in the north. The Moselle river valley dominates the south-east of the country while the Mullerthal region has its rocky gorges. The border of Luxembourg and Germany is divided by three rivers: the Sauer, Our and Moselle.

19. Fiji, Area — 18,274 km2

Fiji
Fiji

Fiji located north of New Zealand in the South Pacific includes 333 tropical islands. It is one of the most remotely located countries in the world. Still, the island has managed to capture the imagination of the world and has become one of the favourite tourist destinations. Once you land on the island, get ready to enchant by the rugged landscape, palm-fringed beaches, and coral reefs with stunning lagoons. Viti Levu and Vanua Levu are the two major islands boasting the majority of the population. The capital port city Suva holds a British era colonial architecture a pivotal tourist attraction.

18. Singapore, Area — 719.1 km2

Singapore
Singapore

Singapore is a tiny city-state located off southern Malaysia. The country is a global financial power featuring tropical climate and boasting multicultural society. Not just an economic powerhouse, but the destination is also cherished for its man-made tourist attractions. The country is a popular international tourist destination in the world. When in Singapore must-visit destinations are Sentosa, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay. Apart from the iconic wonders, there are various wildlife parks and night safaris that a traveller could venture on.

17. Dominica, Area — 751 km2

Dominica
Dominica

Dominica is a tiny island nation in the Caribbean encapsulating natural hot springs, pristine lakes, waterfalls, incredible diving spots and tropical dense rainforests. But the majority of the island is volcanic in nature with incredible beaches. But, the volcanic terrain of the island has restricted tourism inflow to a large extent. Surpassing the hurdles Dominica has become a popular ecotourism destination. The volcanic nature of the island has made the destination a major attraction for scuba divers. Tourists are required to travel to other Caribbean islands to reach Dominica Island because of the unavailability of an international airport.

16. Tonga, Area — 747 km2

Tonga
Tonga

Tonga is an archipelago of 170 islands located on the South Pacific Ocean. It is also a Polynesian kingdom. Most of the islands of the country are uninhabited ornate with white powdery beaches, dense tropical rainforests and coral reefs. Tongatapu is the main island blanketed by limestone cliffs and lagoons. The island is also home to the Nuku’alofa, capital of Tonga. The capital city is mostly rural, lined with coral beach resorts, plantations and a plethora of natural wonders like Maui a monumental coral gate dated from the 1200s.

15. Andorra, Area — 467.63 km2

Andorra
Andorra

Andorra sandwiched between France and Spain is nestled in the Pyrenees mountains. Being a landlocked country in past Andorra was cut off by the world. But in recent times, the country has managed to spread its relations with other countries opening its borders to tourists from across the globe. The country is a burgeoning economy famed for its ski resorts and duty-free shopping. Its capital city Andorra la Vella is cherished for its exquisite outdoor ambience, boutiques and jewellery shops on the Meritxell Avenue.

14. Seychelles, Area — 459 km2

Seychelles
Seychelles

Seychelles is an archipelago nation comprising of 115 islands located on the Indian Ocean. The destination is home to incredible beaches, nature reserves and mesmerizing coral reefs. Due to its jaw-dropping landscape, the island offers world-class diving sites perfect to explore the underwater world. For adventurers, there are outstanding opportunities to test their adventure skills both in the land and sea. The capital city Victoria is a great place to saunter and know more about the people and local culture. Treat yourself with an exotic holiday as you escape to this picturesque destination.

13. Antigua and Barbuda, Area — 442 km2

Antigua and Barbuda
Antigua and Barbuda

These two namesake islands of Antigua and Barbuda are an independent commonwealth country. Apart from the two main islands, there are several smaller islands making this tiny island nation. Nestled on the Atlantic and Caribbean, the island is cherished for its beautiful beach life, reef, rainforest and stunning beach resorts. St. John the capital city is a great destination to unwind and explore. When in the capital city visit the famous National Museum, which displays indigenous and colonial artefacts.

12. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Area — 389 km2

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

Located in the Caribbean, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines is a stunning island known for its spectacular beaches and tropical climate. Saint Vincent the largest island in the Caribbean mostly known for its submerged volcanic mountains. The island also has an active volcano, La Soufriere, which is also the highest peak.  Boasting an area of 389 km the whole island is peppered with bewitching natural extravaganza.  Kingstown is the capital city perfect to explore the culture, colonial legacy and people. The city offers a range of entertainment activities with bars, discos and clubs.

11. Grenada, Area — 344 km2

Grenada
Grenada

Grenada is a tiny island in the Caribbean. It consists of the main island and several encircling islands. Famously known as the “Spice Isle”, the pivotal island is home to several nutmeg plantations. The island boasts several natural wonders peppered with mesmerising landscapes. The capital city St. George allures travellers with its colourful homes, Georgian edifices and 18th century Fort George overlooking the narrow Carenage Harbour. Tourism is a huge contributor to the country’s economy. Ecotourism is also catching up fast alongside beach and water sports adventure.

10. Malta — Area 316 km2

Malta
Malta

Located in the Mediterranean Sea Malta is a beautiful island country. The country is actually made up of three islands: Camino, Gozo and Malta. The island of Malta is the largest of the three. A tiny country with a population of over 4,500,000 people, turning it into one of the most densely populated nations in the world. Though it may be small, still the country attracts millions of travellers every year. Tourists visit this country to explore its rich history and amazing weather. Malta is also known for spectacular beaches and electrifying nightlife.

9. Maldives — Area 300 km2

Maldives
Maldives

The Maldives is a stunning tourist destination and also the tiniest country in Asia, both in terms of area and population. An archipelago, the island has over 1,192 coral islands sprawling over 90,000 sq. km. In the past, the country was ruled by several entities such as the Portuguese, the British and the Dutch. Today, the country has made its mark in the international tourism circuit. Tourists from all over the world travel to the island to enjoy white sand beaches and azure seawater. The place is also famous for its underwater marine activities such as scuba diving, snorkelling, boating and more.

8. Saint Kitts and Nevis — 261 km2

Saint Kitts and Nevis
Saint Kitts and Nevis

Saint Kitts and Nevis are two small islands in the Caribbean that were first to be colonised by the Europeans. A small country cherished for its amazing beaches, incredible landscape and diving sites. The shallow blue water allows people to dive and explore the magnificent marine life. People could also explore their cities while enjoying the salubrious weather. In the past, the country was a major sugar exporter, today these colossal sugarcane plantations have been converted into beautiful hotels and resorts.

7. Marshall Islands — Area 181 km2

Marshall Islands
Marshall Islands

Located on the Pacific Ocean, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is nestled between the Hawaii Islands and Australia. The island is a part of Micronesia, and an incredible destination to visit. The island with its jaw-dropping biodiversity is home to over 800 fish species and 160 corals. With a total area of 181 square Kilometres, the Marshall Islands is one of the smallest countries in the world. A traveller can easily explore the whole country in a day. With its tropical jungles, spectacular landscape and friendly people, the island offers a perfect escape to enjoy a tranquil holiday.

6. Liechtenstein, Area — 160 km2

Liechtenstein
Liechtenstein

Liechtenstein, a beautiful and the only country to be entirely nestled in the Alps. Sandwiched between Austria and Switzerland, Liechtenstein is the richest country in the world by GDP per capita. It also enjoys the lowest unemployment rate. The country does not have an airport of its own. So, if you are looking forward to visiting the country, you have to take the flight to Switzerland’s Zurich Airport and then travel 130 km to reach this beautiful country in the Alps. Another interesting fact — the country is still ruled by a prince.

5. San Marino, Area — 61 km2

San Marino
San Marino

San Marino is also known as the most serene Republic of San Marino. It is a landlocked country encircled entirely by Italy. Having a total area of 61 Square Kilometres, it is the fifth smallest country in the world. With a total population of 30,000, it is also the 3rd smallest country in Europe. The country’s tourism sector contributes immensely to the GDP of San Marino. With no airports, millions of tourists visit the country every year by taking a bus from the city of Rimini in Italy.

4. Tuvalu, Area — 26 km2

Tuvalu
Tuvalu

Tuvalu located in South Pacific Ocean is midway between Australia and Hawaii. It is a tiny island nation with 10,000 inhabitants boasting 8 km road with one hospital on the main island. Due to its remote distance, only a few tourists visit this incredible island best known for its picturesque palm-fringed beaches and WWII sites. Its capital Funafuti boasts Conservation Area, which is known for pristine outdoors and adventure activities such as snorkelling and diving. Furthermore, the place has an array of sea turtles and several tropical fishes to spend the day.

3. Nauru, Area — 21 km2

Nauru
Nauru

Located in north-east Australia, Nauru is a small nation in Micronesia. The country is famed for its coral reef and white powder sandy beaches lined with palm trees. In the interiors, its tropical vegetation surrounds the Buada Lagoon. Previously known as the Pleasant Island, it was famous for its phosphate resources, which has now depleted. The island’s highest point known as the Command Ridge still has a Japanese outpost from WWII. Additionally, tourists can enjoy scuba diving, fish and snorkelling.

2. Monaco, Area — 2 km2

Monaco
Monaco

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, having the largest numbers of millionaires and billionaires per capita. Nestled on the beautiful French Riviera, Monaco boasts only 2 square kilometres area. Boasting luxury goods and service industry, the country has a terrific gambling scene as well. The tiny European nation is famous amongst the rich and powerful people. The country is bordered by France on its three sides and the Mediterranean Sea. Boasting a population of 36,000, it is one of the most densely populated countries in the world. Most people speak French. Monaco is famous for its Formula 1 race an annual event with tracks traversing the city streets.

1. Vatican City, Area — 0.44 km2

Vatican City
Vatican City

Boasting an area of 0.44 square kilometres Vatican City is the smallest nation in the world by land area. The country is completely encircled by the Italian capital city of Rome. The country also has St. Peter’s Basilica the largest church in the whole world and a must-visit. The church has some stunning artworks from the Renaissance period such as The Pieta and the Creation of Adam. Vatican City for its income source depends heavily on the tourists. Other means by which the country boosts its income source is by selling stamps mementoes, coins and medals. Donations and admission fees to the museum also contribute to the economy of Vatican City.

BURJ AL ARAB

Top 15 Tallest Hotels in the World with Jaw-Dropping Views

Do you want to see the world beneath you and experience how does it look? Stay once at one of the tallest hotels in the world to witness the comprehensive vision of beautiful cities and gorgeous surroundings.

In general, the Middle East and Asia are the home to amazing skyscrapers having unparalleled heights piercing the clouds. We are signifying the top 15 Popular Tallest Hotels around the World. Do visit any of these if you are not acrophobic.

1. Gevora Hotel (Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al Attar Tower, Dubai)

GEVORA HOTEL
GEVORA HOTEL

A supertall skyscraper, the Gevora Hotel is located at Ahmed Abdul Rahim Al Attar Tower on 101 Sheikh Zayed Rd in Dubai, United Arab Emirates. Around 357.8 metres tall, the tower is owned by Ahmed Abdulrahim Al Attar Properties. Recently constructed and accomplished the rank of the amazing tallest hotel in the world, Gevora Hotel offers the best of Middle Eastern hospitality.

Constructed: 2018

Floors: 75

Height: 357.8 Metres

Things to Do Near Gevora Hotel: Dubai City Tour and Desert Safari Combo, Dubai Morning Desert Adventure and Dubai Desert Safari. Furthermore, visit Trade Centre, Arabia Horizons Tours and world-class shopping malls nearby Gevora Hotel.

2. JW Marriott Marquis, Dubai

JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS, DUBAI
JW MARRIOTT MARQUIS, DUBAI

The Second tallest hotel in the world, the JW Marriott Marquis Dubai is a luxury five-pearl hotel having a modern, green and hygienic design. Significantly, the tower holds a heavenly environment for couples and business travellers. It offers 8,000 square feet of space for meeting or conference, 14 dining options, and 1608 luxury rooms. Spa, indoor and outdoor pool and more other comforts likewise enhance the luxury. The traveller witnesses alluring views of the beautifully arranged surrounding and other skyscrapers of Dubai.

Constructed: 2012

Floors: 77

Height: 355 Metres

Things to Do near JW Marriott Marquis Hotel, Dubai: Visiting Safa Park, Dubai Bowling Centre, Dubai Water Canal Extension, the Dubai Mall, Jumeirah Mosque and Dubai Fountain would be an amazing expedition.

3. Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

FOUR SEASONS PLACE KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA
FOUR SEASONS PLACE KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA

A mixed residential and commercial building, the Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur comprises hotel, shopping mall and apartments. Constructed in 2018 beside the Petronas Twin Towers, the hotel will start inviting visitors by the end of 2018. The Four Seasons Place is developed by a Singaporean businessman, Ong Beng Seng in association with the Sultan of Selangor and Tan Sri Syed Yusof Tun Syed Nasir.

Constructed: 2018

Floors: 65

Height: 343 Metres

Things to Do near Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia: Biomedical Museum, Shopping in Kuala Lumpur and National Planetarium are the major attractions near Four Seasons Place Kuala Lumpur.

4. Rose Rayhaan by Rotana

ROSE RAYHAAN BY ROTANA
ROSE RAYHAAN BY ROTANA

Located on 105 Sheikh Zayed Road in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Rose Rayhaan by Rotana is one of the most admired hotels in the list of the popular tallest hotels in the world. A luxury hotel brand of Rotana Hotel Group, Rose Rayhaan was constructed in 2007 and opened for public in 2009. Every room of this hotel provides a magnificent view of the city.

Constructed: 2007

Floors: 72

Height: 333 Metres

Things to Do near Rose Rayhaan, Dubai: Enjoy the most beautiful nightlife at Zinc nightclub (0.6 miles away) and Water Fountain Show at the Dubai Mall (0.56 mile away). Arabian Adventures, Souq Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai Mall Ice Rink and Desert Safari are also must visit places near Rose Rayhaan, Dubai.

5. Burj Al Arab, Dubai

BURJ AL ARAB, DUBAI
BURJ AL ARAB, DUBAI

Famous for its exceptional luxury, the Burj Al Arab could be a perfect place for a dream vacation. Having a high-tech architectural style of renowned architect Tom Wright, the Burj Al Arab is developed by Jumeirah. Standing on an artificial island, it is the most iconic hotels in Dubai which offer the finest hospitality. Why waiting? Explore why the world admires the Burj Al Arab. It’s not that difficult. Book flights to Dubai and travel through your dream.

Constructed: 1999

Floors: 60

Height: 321 Metres

Things to Do near Burj Al Arab, Dubai: Enjoy Spas & Wellness in Dubai at Burj Al Arab Jumeirah. The Skyview Bar and amazing nightlife are the major attractions of the Burj Al Arab, Dubai. Turtle Rehabilitation Project and Wild Wadi Waterpark are the must-visit places near the Burj Al Arab, Dubai.

6. Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai

Operated and Managed by the Jumeirah International Group, the Jumeirah Emirates Hotel Tower would leave you spellbound with its elegance and glamour. It is also famous as the Emirates Tower Two. Comprising several luxury suites, the hotel offers a luxurious stay with unlimited access to the along with swimming pools and conference facilities.

Constructed: 2000

Floors: 56

Height: 309 Metres

Things to Do near Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai: Visit the mesmerizing Big Gallery at Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel. Wild Wadi Waterpark, Talise Fitness and Aerobic Studio, as well as incredible vistas of Dubai, are the major attractions near Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai.

7. Baiyoke Tower II, Bangkok

BAIYOKE TOWER II, BANGKOK
BAIYOKE TOWER II, BANGKOK

One of the tallest buildings in Thailand, the Baiyoke Tower II or the Baiyoke Sky Hotel beautifully defines the standard luxurious hotels in Bangkok, Thailand. Having several perks for visitors, the Baiyoke Hotel provides beautiful city views along with the highest open-air restaurant, music lounge and rooftop bar. Catch the flights to Bangkok and witness the widely-admired hospitality.

Constructed: 1997

Floors: 84

Height: 309 Metres

Things to Do near Baiyoke Hotel, Bangkok: Visit the Pratunam Market, a Good place for shopping for clothes and ornaments. The weekend market of Chatuchak is also a must visit. Siam Paragon, MBK Shopping Centre, Siam Square, Jim Thompson’s House and Museum and Victory Monument are the major attractions near Baiyoke Hotel, Bangkok.

8. Wuxi Maoye City – Marriott Hotel

Situated at Qingyang Road of the Sichuan province, China, the Wuxi Maoye City – Marriott Hotel is the first skyscraper in the city. Offering the scenic view of Lihu Lak, it is the first luxury hotel of Suzhou Taihu national tourism vacation zone.

Constructed: 2013

Floors: 68

Height: 304 Metres

Things to Do near Wuxi Maoye City – Marriott Hotel: Lingshan Buddhist Scenic Spot, Taihu Yuantouzhu, Nanchan Temple of Wuxi, Tai Hu Lake, and Vatican Palace are the major attractions Marriott Hotel, China.

9. Millennium Plaza Hotel, Dubai

MILLENNIUM PLAZA HOTEL, DUBAI
MILLENNIUM PLAZA HOTEL, DUBAI

Situated at the Sheikh Zayed Road, Dubai, the Millennium Plaza Hotel adds countless advantages to enrich the index of the skyscraper. Having the most convenient location from the Dubai International Airport, it offers access to beaches, outdoor pool, luxury suites, multilingual staffs and several other amenities.

Constructed: 2011

Floors: 66

Height: 294 Metres

Things to Do near Millennium Plaza Hotel, Dubai: Visit Dubai Aquarium and Underwater Zoo and witness the thrilling experience of watching various sharks and rays. The Dubai Fountain is also a major centre of attraction near Millennium Plaza Hotel, Dubai.

10. The Bahia Grand Panama

Formerly known as the Trump International Hotel and Tower, the Bahia Grand Panama is the first international expansion of the Trump Organization. Designed by the Colombian architects, it includes condominium units, five-star suites, residential apartments, retail shops, office premises and others.

Constructed: 2011

Floors: 70

Height: 284 Metres

Things to Do near Bahia Grand Panama: Visit the world-class Ocean Sun Casino. Enjoy boat tours and water sports with Red Cat Mega Catamaran in Panama City. The Multiplaza Pacific is also a must-visit place near the Trump International Hotel and Tower, Panama.

11. The Cullinan South Tower

A residential complex established in the Union Square of Hong Kong, the Cullinan South Tower is exceptionally amazing. Indexed among the tallest hotels around the world, it is a twin tower having futuristic look. The Cullinan South Tower is purely the best in Hong Kong. The skyscraper is developed by Sun Hung Kai and keeps notable rank in the world’s most expensive apartments.

Constructed: 2008

Floors: 68

Height: 270 Metres

Things to Do near Cullinan South Tower: The International Commerce Centre is the best place to roam near Cullinan South Tower, Hong Kong. Sky 100 Observation Deck, The Peak Tram, Hong Kong Disneyland and Edward Youde Aviary are the major attraction near the South Tower. You may also visit the Peak Tower for leisure and shopping near Victoria Gap.

12. Four Seasons Hotel Manama

FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MANAMA
FOUR SEASONS HOTEL MANAMA

Located at Bahrain Bay in Manama, Bahrain, the Four Seasons Hotel Manama provides world-class luxury on a private island. The hotel is famous for elegant accommodations together with the views of the Arabian Gulf.

Constructed: 2014

Floors: 50

Height: 270 Metres

Things to Do near Four Seasons Hotel Manama: Tourists staying at Four Seasons Hotel must go the Avenues. Moda Mall – Bahrain World Trade Centre and Bahrain National Museum are very popular among visitors. Reef Island and Scuba life Dive Centre are famous among adventure freaks whereas, Beit Al Qur’an and Al-Fatih Mosque are significant religious place near Four Seasons Hotel Manama.

13. Radisson Royal Dubai

A skyscraper hotel complex located on 26 Sheikh Zayed Road Dubai, United Arab Emirates, the Radisson Royal is not only the tallest but desired hotels in the world. Very close to Dubai International Airport and the Dubai World Trade Centre, the Radisson Royal is the perfect option for leisure and business guests. Luxury suites, indoor and outdoor pools, beach access and the scenic view of city and ocean are the major specifications of the Radisson Royal Dubai.

Constructed: 2010

Floors: 60

Height: 269 Metres

Things to Do near Radisson Royal Dubai: Enjoy the spas and wellness at Spa Zen and visit the World Trade Centre in Dubai. Visitors can experience camel riding at Oscar Knight Tours. If you are a music lover and night out freak, Cavalli Club Dubai and Zinc Nightclub are the perfect destinations for your near Radisson Royal Dubai.

14. Grand Lisboa Macau, China

Designed by Dennis Lau and Ng Chun Man, the Grand Lisboa is efficiently dazzling its visitors with mesmerising appearance. World-famous restaurants and casinos with more than 1,000 slot machines and 800 gaming tables. Enjoy the next level of glamour accompanied with elegance. Having more than 430 luxury suites and rooms, it tops the luxury skyscraper in Macau.

Constructed: 2008

Floors: 52

Height: 258 Metres

Things to Do near Grand Lisboa Macau: The Grand Lisboa Casino serves thousands of tourists every year.  Leal Senado, Rua da Felicidade, Sam Kai Vui Kun Temple, Crazy Paris Show and the Performance Lake at Wynn Palace are the prime attractions near the Grand Lisboa Macau, China.

15. Lanko-Grand Hyatt Hotel, China

The second tallest building in Chongqing, China, the Lanko·Grand Hyatt Hotel is one of the tallest hotels in the world. Signifying the rapid growth of Chongqing City, this hotel provides great hospitality services including luxury rooms, spa, swimming pools and additional comforts.

Constructed: 2004

Floors: 60

Height: 258 Metres

Things to Do near Lanko-Grand Hyatt Hotel: Yangtze River Cruise and Three Gorges Museum are the prime tourist destinations near the Lanko-Grand Hyatt Hotel. Hongya Cave, WanDaJin Jie, Century Cruises, NanPing BuXingJie, and Chongqing South Lake attracts thousands of tourists every year.