Top 10 Places to Visit and Things to Do in Peru

Peru is an incredible country filled with astounding history, culture, beauty, adventure and endless possibilities for travellers. The diversity of the landscape and its people make it one of the most unique destinations on the continent of South America. From the capital city of Lima’s museums, a boat ride on the world’s highest navigable lake or a walk through the ancient ruins in the Sacred Valley to hiking in the Andes and the mysteries of the Nazca Lines, there are so many spectacular sights and experiences that planning a trip may seem exhausting – but don’t worry, we have you covered. Check out our list of 10 must-see Peru tourist attractions that you must include in your itinerary for an incredible holiday.

1. Explore the Real Amazon at Parque Nacional Manu

Parque Nacional Manu
Shores of the Madre de Dios river in Manu National Park, Peru

Peru is only South American country where one can experience the different forms of the Amazon jungle that starts from Carhuasanta, stretching to the Andes and the Amazon basin on the other side. Manu National Park (Parque Nacional del Manú in Spanish), established in 1973 is Peru’s best-protected national park and one of the most bio-diverse in the world, with over 1,000 birds and over 200 mammal species. The park is located in the regions of Madre de Dios and Cusco. Here, you can catch glimpses of exotic beings and wild animals such as the pink dolphin, jaguar and monkeys. The national park spread over an area of 1,716,295.22 hectares which comprises mountainous areas (traversed by creeks and valleys) with elevations close to 4,000 m above sea level and a portion of the Amazon Basin plains was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. Tourists visiting the park can indulge in multiple adventure activities.

 

Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Manu National Park is during the dry season from April to November. Avoid the rainy season (February to March), when access through road or air gets difficult. 

 

How to reach: Access to the park is only possible if you’re travelling with an organized tour and authorised permit. The tour begins from Cosco and takes about six to eight hours to reach the park. 

 

Read Also: Top 10 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

2. Explore the Inca trail and Find a Way to Machu Picchu

Machu Picchu
Cute llama playing outside, Machu Picchu, Peru

The most popular trail in Peru, none matches the beauty and history of the Inca Trail. It includes the stuff of travel legends, a four-or five-day trek along the ancient road between soaring mountains to get to the secret city of Machu Pichhu. This holy trail is one of the world’s greatest, going through stone Inca stairways to pass deserted villages and fields terraced onto steep Andean slopes.

Concerned about ecological impacts, the Peruvian government has placed a cap on the number of people taking the trail per season, as a result of which booking is mandatory. Every day, a maximum of 500 people are permitted on the trail, out of which only 200 are trekkers, the rest being guides and porters. One of Peru’s most impressive tourist attractions, hike the Inca Trail on your visit to Peru. However, remember that the trail is closed every February for cleaning and hence, if Inca Trail is in your list, avoid February

Best Time to Visit: Inca trail is closed in February, every year for cleaning and hence, you need to avoid this month for the trail. All other months of the year are ideal for the trail.

How to Reach: The 3-night hike starts from one of the two points: 88 km (55 miles) or 82 km (51 miles) from Cusco on the Urubamba River, all the way to Machu Picchu via Sun Gate (also called Inti Punku).

Read Also: 20 Best Places to Visit in Europe

3. Explore the Surquillo Market and Eat Adventurously

Surquillo Market
A little store in Mercado de Surquillo market selling the typical Peruvian Pitahaya (Text translation: Pitahaya yellow and red)

Over the past few decades, Peru has turned into a foodie destination. The food scene has exploded especially in Lima that is now considered the gastronomical capital of Latin America. The city boasts two of the world’s top 10 restaurants in the world. It’s hard to beat fresh seafood with the Pacific Ocean being so close. Young chefs from every part of the country are creating some of the most exciting dishes on the planet. Surquillo Market in Lima is a food hot spot and one of the best markets in the city. Opt for a walking tour of the market and you’ll see a variety of local vegetables that you probably have never heard of. You can also find a wide range of dry goods, spices and many other rare food items here. At the center of the market, there are little food kiosks that prepare unique seafood dishes with the daily catch. A visit to the market is an excellent way to taste traditional Peruvian food.

How to Reach: The market is located in the district of Surquillo, just a few blocks from Parque Kennedy in Miraflores. You can reach here after a 10-minute walk from Av. Ricardo Palma.

Best time to visit: Surquillo Market is ideal for a visit round the year. And the best time of the day is the late morning when everybody is busy with their routine.

Delicacies that you should not miss: Ceviche, spiced with red onion and aji pepper, and served with sweet potato and Rocoto Rolleno, red bell stuffed with spiced, sautéed ground beef and hard-boiled egg.

Read Also: Go Where is Hot in February to Escape the Wintry Blues

4. Get the Most Out of Lima

Lima Peru
LIMA, PERU: View of San Martin square

Most travellers overlook the charms of the capital city, Lima and move to tourist hubs like Cusco and Arequipa. However, Lima is no less than any fascinating tourist destination with numerous attractions and is one of the best places in Peru to visit on a holiday. The city has mountains and jungles mere hours away. Lunahuana, located 187 km south of Lima, is home to numerous vineyards and also offers great opportunities for white water rafting. If you’re a historical buff, travel 200 kilometres east to Tarma and visit the adobe buildings that belongs back to pre-Colombian times, with South America’s deepest cave Sima Pumacocha, nearby. Lima is also home to the best and most famous museums in the country. Museo Larco and Museo de Arte de Lima are some of the most popular ones that display Peru’s great history, where you can spend your days exploring the ancient art and erotic pottery.

Best time to visit: December to March is the ideal time to visit Lima when it’s warm with plenty of sunshine.

How to reach: Jorge Chávez International Airport serves the city of Lima and connecting flights are available from London that takes about 15 hours 30 minutes approximately.

Book Cheap Flights to Lima

5. Spend a day with the Condors at Cañón del Colca

Colca canyon, Peru
Tourists at the Cruz Del Condor viewpoint, Colca canyon, Peru

Cañón del Colca, one of the world’s deepest canyons is a place that you should not miss while in Peru. Located in southern Peru, 160 kilometres northwest of Arequipa, this is the third most visited place in Peru with the footfall of 120,000 visitors annually. The 62-mile canyon is more than twice as deep as the Grand Canyon and is also the place where mighty condors rule the roost. Come in the morning to Cruz del Condor viewpoint to watch these majestic birds. Watch them in action as they soar above your head in the sky and make their way down to the canyon, disappearing out of sight. The region is also home to ruins from pre-Incan and Incan societies, as well as various Spanish structures.

Best time to visit: Colca Canyon can be visited at any time of year but we recommend to go between March and June when the condors are most active and the trails are in great condition.

How to reach: An organised group or a private tour is the best way to visit Colca. Tours start from Arequipa and take approximately three to four hours to get inside the Canyon.

Read Also: Top 20 Romantic Destinations to Visit this Valentine’s Day

6. Discover the Other Side of Cusco

Cusco
Morning sun rising at Plaza de Armas, Cusco City

Most travellers get out of Cusco as soon as they complete Macchu Picchu and the Inca Trail but if you are willing to extend your stay by a day or two, explore the Historical Capital of Peru, which has several gems to offer. Take a Boleto Turistico del Cusco pass to gain access to 15 key historic sites inside and around the city. Head to Sacsayhuamán overlooking the city and walk back to Cusco strolling through the San Blas neighbourhood, popular for its galleries and boutiques. You can also visit the Sacred Valley, the valley of the Urubamba River and explore the historic Inca sites at Pisac, Ollantaytambo and Chinchero. Cusco was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 and hosts around 2 million visitors a year. While on a visit here, you should also make sure not to miss pre-Incan salt pans at Maras.

Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Cusco is from June to mid-September when the city sees fewer rain showers and temperatures hover around mid to upper 60s Fahrenheit.

How to reach: The quickest way to reach Cusco is to take a flight from Lima that takes about 1 hour and 20 minutes. Buses are also available but they can be time-consuming.

Read Also: Top 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

7. Hike to Peru’s Stone Faces, Marcahuasi

The stone face of humanity in marcahuasi, Peru
The stone face of humanity in Marcahuasi, Peru

Located 60 kilometres east of Lima, Marcahuasi is a plateau in the central Andes known for its enormous stone sculptures that are a part of the stone forest. It contains dozens of megaliths and mysterious monuments that resemble human faces and animals and is one of the places to visit in Peru on a holiday. The origin of these carved figures is still unknown and has been the subject of countless debates, with some claiming that they were created by aliens. Out of all the monuments in Peru, Marcahuasi with its stone faces structures have one of the most compelling stories.

Best time to visit: To visit Marcahuasi, opt the dry season from May to October, when the weather will be more pleasant and welcoming.

How to reach: Take a cab from Lima to Marcahuasi, which will take about five hours by road.

Read Also: The Seven Natural Wonders of the World

8. Go for Urubamba River Rafting

Urubamba River
Urubamba or Vilcanota River running alongside the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu, near Cusco, in the Andes of Peru

Faint-hearted vacationers, please excuse. This is not for you. Urubamba River rafting is reserved for tourists aspiring for extreme adventures. If you are one among them, it is your chance to raft down class III and IV rapids of Urubamba River in the Sacred Valley, located at a short distance from Cusco. Undertake this adventure with a professional guide and a group of friends and see what the thrill is all about. It is a great way to escape the busy city life of Cusco and raft your way through world-class rapids.

Best time to visit: Rafting is possible only during the dry season, that too on some specific sections, like the one between Huambutio and Pisac. So make sure to plan the trip accordingly.

How to reach: Take a 1.5 hour journey from Cusco by road to reach the point at Urubamba River to experience the adventurous rafting.

Read Also: 14 Iconic Places in the World Where Photography Is Prohibited

9. Visit the Floating Reeds on Lake Titicaca

Lake Titicaca
Totora boat on the Titicaca lake near Puno, Peru

The largest lake in South America, Lake Titicaca in the Andes is renowned for its man-made islands, built out of reeds by the Uros people who live in a collection of traditional houses on these islands, each differing slightly from the other. These surreal islands over 70 in total were created centuries ago for the defensive purpose to escape from invaders. The uniqueness of Uros Floating Islands is the material used in its construction that was created completely out of buoyant Totora reeds, that grows on the lake’s surface. These dense roots are piled on top of each other until an island is formed. Since the bottom starts rotting over time, new layers are needed continuously to be added to the top. One of the best things to do in Peru is to visit Floating Reeds on Lake Titicaca.

Best time to visit: Dry season from May to October is the ideal time to visit the floating reeds and to experience it better, you need to plan the trip accordingly.

How to reach: Take a one-hour flight from Cusco to reach Juliaca and take a bus or taxi from there to Puno to reach Lake Titicaca to visit the Floating Reeds.

Read Also: Top 15 Stunning Fairy-tale Villages around the World

10. Read between the Nazca Lines, Nazca

Nazca Lines
Tree (Arbol) and Hands (Manos) lines in Nazca desert and observation tower near the road

The Nazca Lines found in the arid Peruvian desert have long puzzled both experts and tourists. Researchers have spent their entire lives trying to make sense out of these mysterious lines in the ground without coming to a clear, unanimous conclusion. A UNESCO heritage site, it was first discovered by Toribio Mejia Xesspe, a Peruvian archaeologist in the late 1920s and you must take a plane ride to see the images carved into the ground clearly and experience the wonder yourself. Although it is not known who created these lines and why it is believed that these lines were the product of the Paracas and Nazca cultures between 900 BC and AD 600. As to why these were created, some suggest the lines were a type of astronomical calendar, some say it was an alien landing pad or a track that joined the ceremonial sites or perhaps a part of a water cult.

Best time to visit: Since Nazca Lines are more visible in the dry season from May to October, tourists are advised to visit this site during this time of the year.

How to reach: The best way to witness Nazca Lines is from the top and hence, it is better to opt for an air ride from Nazca airport. Since Nazca’s tiny airport doesn’t serve passenger flights, you need to take a bus from Lima, which will take around seven hours to reach Nazca.

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Secret Beaches in the World

Peru is one of those countries that is fascinating beyond measures and manages to stand above the crowd. With so many natural and cultural treasures, it is one of the world’s most exciting destinations in South America. There are thousands of reasons to visit this majestic land but we just gave you ten. So, make sure you visit Peru and include all the attractions in your itinerary.

10 Best Attractions in Bahrain That You Should Not Miss

There is unspeakable pleasure in experiencing the rich past complimenting the flamboyant present and this makes Bahrain the top-rated holiday destination in the Middle East. With a glorious past of over 5,000 years, Bahrain homes some marvellous old forts and heritage buildings along with a vibrant skyline reaching out to its prosperous present.

Initially, a fishing village, Bahrain’s transformation into a tourism paradise did not happen over midnight but was the outcome of a well-planned strategy carved out by the country’s rulers. A small country next to Saudi Arabia and an archipelago of 33 islands, you’re never far away from the warm waters of the Arabian Gulf while in Bahrain. From the Arab architecture to water sports, desert safari to shopping and dining, Bahrain has everything in the store that a tourist desires for.

We have rounded up 10 best tourist attractions in Bahrain that you should visit to make your holiday a memorable one. Before moving ahead, remember that the country is hot and dry in summer with low-level winds from the Zagros Mountains in the Persian Gulf and the best time to visit Bahrain is between November and February, the cooler months.

1. Bahrain World Trade Center, Manama

Bahrain World Trade Center, Manama
Bahrain World Trade Center, Manama, (Aerial view of architecture and newly constructed areas in Manama, Bahrain)

Rising 787 ft. into the city’s skyline, Bahrain World Trade Center is the most inspiring and dynamic building in the country that highlights the boom in economy and trade. The 50-floor twin towers linked with three sky bridges is the first skyscraper in the world to integrate wind turbines to its design, supplying power to more than 300 houses. A winner of two prestigious awards for its striking architectural design, the Bahrain WTC was featured in 2009 television sci-fi movie ‘Annihilation Earth’.

How to reach: The transit lines that have routes that pass near the Bahrain World Trade Center are Bus – 12, Bus – 41, Bus – 43, Bus – 46 and Bus – A2.

Read Also: Go Where is Hot in February to Escape the Wintry Blues

2. Bab Al Bahrain, Manama

Bab Al Bahrain, Manama
Bab Al Bahrain, Manama – View of the Bab al Bahrain square in Manama, the capital of Bahrain

Situated in Manama, Bab-Al-Bahrain is one of the most magnificent markets in Bahrain that sells fruits, vegetables, handicrafts and clothes. It is also one of the best spots to buy authentic gold and pearls. The arched entrance with a beautiful fountain right at the front gate welcomes you to the market. Come evening, and you can also witness the musical fountain in all its splendour. Moreover, the entire vicinity exudes true Islamic beauty through hotels, political buildings and famous structures.

How to reach: The closest stations to Bab Al Bahrain are Bab Al Bahrain, which is 45 meters away with 1 min walk and Bab Al Bahrain Station, which is 448 meters away and 7 min walk.

Read Also: Top 10 Things to do in Dubai for First-Timers

3. Al Khamis Mosque, Tashan

Al Khamis Mosque, Tashan
Al Khamis Mosque, Tashan – Twin minarets with ruins of Al Khamis mosque, Bahrain

Founded in the 7th century and extending 115 metres, the Al Khamis Mosque is one of the most majestic historical mosques in Bahrain. Believed to be the first mosque built in Bahrain during the era of the Umayyad caliph Umar II, its foundation is believed to have been laid as early as 692 AD. Located in the lively market areas of Khamis, it is a lovely structure with two strong minarets at the edge. Both are made out of limestone with pieces of wood and stone embedded marvellously. The prayer room is built flawlessly with a flat rooftop supported by wooden columns.

How to reach: The closest station to Khamis Mosque is Sh Salman Highway-3/Khamis, which is 209 meters away. After you get down, it’s just a 3-minute walk.

Read Also: 20 Best Places to Visit in Europe for Summer 2020

4. Qal’at Al-Bahrain, Al Qala

Qal at Al-Bahrain
Bahrain Fort (Qal’at al-Bahrain) in Bahrain

Right on the Arabian Peninsula of Dilmun, 3 miles away from Manama City, the archaeological fort of Qal’at Al-Bahrain rises 40ft., drawing numerous visitors from across the globe. Also known as Bahrain Fort or Portuguese Fort, it is one of the best places to witness plenty of antique treasures and historical remnants. The fort has seven massive sections, which is spread more than 10,000 sq ft. The sturdy wall itself is roughly 12-m high that brings back the past historical era. Once a capital of Dilmun civilization, Qal’at Al-Bahrain was inscribed as the first UNESCO World Heritage Site of Bahrain in 2005. There are tiny settlements around the fort – a small market and houses that give a pleasing look to this entire region, making it one of the top places to visit in Bahrain.

How to reach: The closest stations to Qal’At Al-Bahrain Fort are:

Qalat Al Bahrain-4/Karbabad, which is 536 meters away with a 7-min walk to the fort and Qalat Al Bahrain-3/Karbabad, which is 587 meters away with an 8-min walk to the fort

Read Also: 25 Most Popular Fairs and Festivals in Dubai

5. Tree of Life, Bahrainian Desert

Tree of Life
Tree of life, a 400-year-old mesquite tree on sunset in Bahrain By Dr Ajay Kumar Singh

Known as Bahrain’s loneliest tree, the Tree of Life is as interesting as the name itself. Located a mile away from the famous Jebel al Deckhand, it is a 700-year-old free-standing beauty surviving on a 25-foot high desert hill without any visible water source. No wonder it’s a legend in itself, the seventh wonder of nature surrounded with mystery. Its thick branches penetrate right under the earth’s surface. Due to its popularity and unknown factors, the tree is visited every year by more than 50,000 tourists, making it one of the most popular tourist attractions in Bahrain.

How to reach: The Tree of Life is located 2km away from Jebel Dukhan, in the middle of the Bahrainian desert.

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6. Al Areen Wildlife Park, Sakhir

Al Areen Wildlife Park, Sakhir
Greater Flamingo: Pink big birds Greater Flamingo, Al Areen Wildlife Park, located in Sakhir, Bahrain

Soak up the peaceful environment and enjoy the lush outdoors at Al Areen Wildlife Park. A situated 40-minute drive away from Manama Center, this is a natural reserve and a zoo with a huge concentration of flora and fauna in Bahrain. One of the five protected areas in the country and spread over 7 km sq., the wildlife park in Sakhir has more than 500 species of animals and 10,000 species of plants. The park is divided into two sections, one which is open for the visitors and the other, that is a restricted reserve area.

How to reach: A 40-minute drive away from Manama, Al Areen Wildlife Park is connected by a highway and is located adjacent to Bahrain International Circuit.

Read Also: Top 10 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites

7. Jebel Al Dukhan, Southern Governorate of Bahrain

Nicknamed as the Mountain of Smoke, Jebel Al Dukhan is the most noteworthy elevated hill in Bahrain with a height of 150m. From the top, the highest point in the country, you can see the desert land as far as your eyes can go. No wonder, the wilderness might remind you of the movie – The Lawrence of Arabia that was filmed in the scorching climate in Arabia. But the heat here might not be severe. The northern part of the hill houses many caves that can be explored with the help of a guide and the southern part offers trekking and camping options that are worthwhile.

How to reach: If you’re in Manama, continue out 21 miles from Al Juffair, Manama and you’ll see the mountains at the distance.

Read Also: Top 20 Most Romantic Destinations to Visit this Valentines Day

8. Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir

Bahrain International Circuit, Sakhir 
Roof supported by the beam in the grandstand, Bahrain International Circuit

The Bahrain global circuit was opened on 17th March 2004 and this place is really for those who have dreamt and played Need For Speed. Since its inception, many sporting events were held in the circuit. Some of them include racing, Grand Prix, V8 supercars competition and the desert 400. The entire circuit is divided into a Prix track, inner narrow track, broad outer track, paddock circuit, the drag strip and the oval track and can hold 70,000 spectators.

How to reach: From Manama, it’s a straight forward ride by car, taxi, bus or shuttle bus to the circuit in Sakhir, about 19 miles to the south of the city.

9. Bahrain National Museum, Manama

Bahrain National Museum, Manama
View of the Bahrain National Museum in Manama.

Situated in Manama, Bahrain National Museum is the largest and oldest public museum in Bahrain. Opened in 1988 with a beautiful front overlooking the ocean, this museum complex covering 27,800 sq meters homes cultural artefacts of more than 5,000 years of history. Undoubtedly, with a grand collection of archaeological wonders, it is one of the most important spots to visit in Bahrain. You can also explore its enchanting corridors, halls, shops and a cafeteria with authentic Bahrainian coffee and snacks. The museum is open from 10 am to 6 pm and is closed on Tuesdays.

How to reach: There are 2 ways to get from Bahrain to Bahrain National Museum by bus, taxi or town car:

  • Take the line 1 bus from Al Muharraq to Manama 1
  • Take the line 1 bus from Manama to Al Muharraq 1

Read Also: Top 20 Things to do in Abu Dhabi, UAE

10. Al Fateh Grand Mosque, Manama

Al Fateh Grand Mosque
Al Fateh Grand Mosque Manama city, Bahrain

Built-in 1988, Al Fateh Grand Mosque is one of the largest mosques in the world and can accommodate more than 7,000 worshippers at one time. Named after Ahmed Al Fateh, the first monarch of Bahrain, the mosque is made of Italian marble, glass and Indian teak wood and has a dome made of fibreglass, which gives a unique shine at night. The walls of the mosque are elaborately festooned with Kufic calligraphy carved by local Bahraini experts. The mosque is open for visitors daily from 9 am to 4 pm (except Fridays). It is one of the few mosques in the area that encourages non-Muslims to visit.

How to reach: The closest stations to Al Fateh Grand Mosque are:

  • Alfateh Grand Mosque-2, which is 447 meters away with a 6-minute walk
  • Alfatih Highway-2/Gulf Hotel, which is 912 meters away with a 12-minute walk
  • Alfatih Grand Mosque-1, which is 1023 meters away with a 14-minute walk

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Places to Visit in Dubai

Well, with so much to offer, Bahrain promises to mix the old and the new and present a city that will surely make to the top of your travel list. A rich cultural past compliments the vibrant present and offers a bright future. A unique country, Bahrain is worth a visit and you need to add this country in your list of destinations for 2020.

10 Best Places to Visit in Australia

If Australia is not yet on your bucket list, it should be. The only continent which is also a country, Australia homes national parks, beaches, mountains, rain forests, deserts and numerous other treasures. The magical beauty of the country isn’t limited to natural paradises but also include manmade wonders like Sydney Opera House, Sydney Harbour Bridge, St. Pauls Cathedral, Victoria Harbour and Story Bridge. For a traveller, the list of tourist places that he should not miss in Australia will be too lengthy and hence, we have filtered down 10 best places to visit in Australia in 2020

 

Read Also: Experience Top 15 Things to Do in Australia

1. The Great Ocean Road, Victoria

The Great Ocean Road, Victoria
Twelve Apostles & the Great Ocean Road, Australia

Holidaying in Australia is incomplete without a drive through the 150-mile long road, which runs along the southern-eastern coast of Australia between the Victorian cities of Torquay and Allansford. Driving on this stunning road is like a dream come true as you will encounter scenic vistas, emerald blue ocean, spectacular shorelines and more. The prime attraction on this drive is the Twelve Apostles, the collection of limestone stacks. These limestone pillars formed by erosion stands strong in the ocean, as the Southern Ocean gnaws them at every second. Certainly, it is a road trip of a lifetime and should not to be missed.

 

Best time to visit: December to February is the peak time to visit as warm temperature makes it ideal to surf beaches. Australian Open Tennis Tournament in January and Australia Formula 1 Grand Prix March to April also allures a host of tourists.

How to reach: Flights from London and Glasgow fly to Victoria’s capital city of Melbourne. Torquay, the official start point of the Great Ocean Road is 100 kilometres away from Melbourne by road.

Read Also: Top 15 Things to Do In Melbourne (Australia) in 2020

2. Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory

Kakadu National Park
Rockpool at the Barramundi falls, Kakadu National Park, Northern Territory, Australia, one of the crocodile free lakes in this area, where swimming is possible

Being a colossal island, Australia is known for its endemic animals and native vegetation. To experience and encounter them, a tour to the Kakadu National Park is a must. The park spread over 19,804 km sq., with its diverse terrain from wetlands to sandstone escarpments and rivers, is home to 2,000 plants and numerous wildlife. While on a visit to the park, you can also enjoy ancient aboriginal paintings at Nanguluwaur, Nourlangie and Ubirr. Kakadu National Park is one of the finest places to see in Australia.

Best time to visit: Dry season between June to August is the favourable time to visit Kakadu National Park in Northern Territory.

How to reach: Flights are available from London and Manchester to the Northern Territory state in Australia. Darwin and Alice Springs are the nearest flight hubs. From there, you can take a road trip to reach the park.

Read Also: 20 Best Places to Visit in Europe for Summer

3. Sydney Harbour Bridge, New South Wales

Sydney Harbour Bridge
Sydney Harbour Bridge

The Sydney Harbour Bridge is an iconic heritage-listed steel arch bridge, which runs across the Sydney Harbour, connecting the Sydney Central Business District with the North Shore. Opened in 1932, the 1,149-m bridge is the sixth-longest spanning arch bridge in the world and offers a sweeping view of the harbour and surrounding area. Millions of tourists visit Sydney annually to get the glimpse of this spectacular steel bridge, which was added to the Australian National Heritage List in 2007. Nicknamed ‘The Coathanger’ because of its arch-based design, the bridge carries rail, vehicular, bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Professional climbers’ ascent the bridge’s arch at 440ft above the sea level to get an incredible city view. A photo with the iconic Sydney Habour on the background combined with Sydney, one of the best cities to visit in Australia take your holiday trip to the next level.

Best Time to Visit: Sydney is an around the year tourist destination with October, November and late February to March being the best time to visit due to the sunny weather.

How to Reach: Sydney is well connected with all major cities including London and Glasgow via air. 

Book Cheap Flight Tickets to Sydney

4. Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin, Western Australia

Cape Naturaliste
Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse, South West of Western Australia

To explore the geographical beauty of Australia, there is nothing better than a visit to Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin. The 120-mile long dive between Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia is a treat for any nature lover. Along the road, there are national parks, lush vineyards and coastline of impeccable beauty showcasing Australia’s vibrant and bewitching landscape. You should also not miss Cape Naturaliste Lighthouse if you have a flair for photography.

Spring is the favourable time to hit this road stretch. During this season, the landscape explodes with eye-catching wildflowers. But the take away from this trip is the Margaret River wineries that astonish all the year-round.

 

Best time to visit: November to March is the best time to visit Cape Naturaliste and Cape Leeuwin in Western Australia. During this season, it does not rain much, making it ideal for outdoor activities.

How to reach: Perth Airport is the closest to reach Cape Naturaliste. It is also the starting point of the incredible road trip.

Book Cheap Flight Tickets to Perth

5. Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk, Queensland

Millaa Millaa Falls
Millaa Millaa Falls in the Atherton Tablelands in North Queensland, Australia

If you are interested in the local Aboriginal culture and want to know more about the community, the Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk is a golden opportunity. The walk offers an in-depth analysis of the aboriginals of the Mossman locality. Situated in Queensland‘s tropical north, the gorge and surrounding area are a vital source of food, medicine and spiritual sustenance for the local Kuku Yalanji people of the Mossman locality. It is one of the top places to visit in Australia to know more about the local native culture their traditions by opting for this walk.

Best time to visit: June to October is the best time for Ngadiku Dreamtime Walk in Queensland.

How to reach: Flights to Queensland are available from London, Manchester and Birmingham.

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6. Flinders Ranges, South Australia

Flinders Ranges
Flinders Ranges

The Flinders Ranges, the largest mountain range in Southern Australia stretches for over 430 km (265 mi) from Port Pirie to Lake Callabonna, offering some of the stunning views one could find in Australia. A traveller in Australia should never miss the prominent attractions within the area, including Wilpena Pound – a huge natural amphitheatre and St. Mary Peak – the highest peak of the range measuring (1,171 m (3,842 ft.), surrounded by spectacular landscape. It is an ideal place to spot red kangaroos, western grey kangaroos, wallaroos and several animals native to Australia. The place has long been inhabited by the Adnyamathanha native people. Tourists can find various cave paintings, rock engravings and numerous artefacts about the history of the aboriginal people. 

 

Best time to visit: Late autumn until October is the favourable time to visit Flinders Ranges. A trip during the spring season will reward you with colourful flowers.

How to reach: The nearest city to Flinders Ranges is Adelaide, located 500 kilometres (311 miles) away, which will take a five-hour road drive. You can also fly from Adelaide to Port Augusta, which takes 55 minutes.

Book Cheap flights to Adelaide

7. The Great Barrier Reef, Queensland Coast

The Great Barrier Reef
A turtle diving back to the reef in a shallow lagoon on Lady Elliot Island

Considered by many as the eighth wonder of the world, the Great Barrier Reef located off the Queensland coast is nature’s most incredible gift to the humans. The stunning reef, the world’s largest coral reef system, is known for its maze of coral cays, lagoons, islands, caverns and channels teeming with diverse marine life. This colossal 2,300 km long ecosystem encompasses thousands of reefs and hundreds of islands made of numerous soft and hard corals. The reef is home to countless fish species, turtles sharks, dolphins and starfish. It attracts millions of tourists every year, as the reef offers a vibrant, unique and colourful undersea life. Without a doubt, the reef is one of the top things to see in Australia on a holiday trip.

Best time to visit: September is the best time to visit the Great Reef Barrier. During this month, the water temperature is ideal to indulge in a host of activities like snorkelling, swimming and diving.

How to reach: The nearest airport to the Great Barrier Reef is Cairns Airport. The total distance from Cairns airport to the Reef is 259 km.

Book Cheap Flight Tickets to Cairns

8. The Red Centre, Northern Territory

Red Centre, Northern Territory
Outback scenery in the Red Centre of Australia (NT), dirt road near Alice Springs

This massive outback area right at the centre of Australia is blanketed with Aboriginal sacred sites and symbols. Full of Aboriginal’s history, the region is the home of Anangu and the Pintupi native tribe. At every turn, you will see the rich Aboriginal history, age-old indigenous art and galleries, while encountering Australia’s signature wildlife. A trip to this region will change your perception towards Australia, opening entirely new horizons.

Best time to visit: May to September is the favourable time to visit the Red Centre in the Northern Territory.

How to reach: Direct flights from Sydney to Alice Springs or Ayers Rock Airport is available. It takes 3 hours by flight and five to six hours by road from Alice Springs to reach the famous Australian Outback.

Read Also: 15 Weird Restaurants Around the World You Must Visit

9. Bondi Beach, New South Wales

Bondi Beach, New South Wales
Bondi Beach, New South Wales

Bondi Beach in Sydney needs no introduction. This world-famous seashore is hailed as one of the most sought out beaches in the entire world. Apart from enjoying the sun, sand and sea, you will also get various options to dine and drink at the beach. Enjoy a rejuvenating stroll on the Bondi to Coogee coastal trail. The entire walk will take over an hour each way, covering 6 kilometres (3.7 miles). In between, there are beautiful attractions with charming parks, picnic spots and cafes. If you are looking for solitude, take the less travelled route to Watsons Bay. Undoubtedly, the beach is one of the remarkable places to visit in Australia.

Best time to visit: December to February is a great time to visit Bondi Beach. For an incredible beach experience, indulge in a range of sea adventures.

How to reach: To reach Bondi Beach, board a train from Sydney Central station to Bondi Junction, from where you can take a local bus to the beach.

10. Tram Route 96, Melbourne

Melbourne Tram
Melbourne Tram

Your Australian holiday is incomplete without taking the famous Tram Route 96 of Melbourne. The tram route is ideal to explore the beautiful city of Melbourne. The nine-mile journey starts from north of the city, crossing the centre, south and passing through spectacular beachside St. Kilda. The ride passes through some of the key landmarks. It gives a wonderful chance to unravel the city from the comfort of the Melbourne Tram. Tourists find tram not only affordable but also a wonderful way to divulge the city.

Best time to visit: Melbourne is best to visit in March to May and again from September to November due to its moderate climate.

How to reach: Tourists can board flights from Glasgow and London to fly to Melbourne.

What to do in Australia is not even a question to ask. The Land Down Under is a concoction of cosmopolitan cities decked with bewitching beaches and unique endemic wildlife, perfect for a memorable escape. It is time to start planning your trip to this diverse and energetic destination.

Top 10 New UNESCO World Heritage Sites to Add to Your Bucket List in 2020

For the past 43 years, UNESCO meets annually to evaluate the list of places that will be added to the organisation’s coveted list of World Heritage Sites. A place or structure can secure its place on the list if it has great natural, cultural or historical significance and it is no surprise that travellers fly in to explore the ‘planet’s most extraordinary places’. This year, UNESCO has selected over 29 such natural and cultural wonders, recognised for their value to humanity. From Babylon in Iraq to Jaipur city in Rajasthan, here are our top 10 picks of the newest UNESCO World Heritage sites across the globe.

1- Vatnajökull National Park, Iceland

hiking activity on the glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland
Hiking Activity on the glacier in the Vatnajokull National Park in Iceland

Covering over 14 per cent of Iceland’s territory, about 14,141 sq. km of total area, Vatnajökull National Park is not only home to one of the largest glaciers in the world but also holds two active volcanoes. A popular place to explore ice caves, you can experience here the breath-taking vistas of Svartifoss, Dettifoss and Selfoss waterfalls, frozen rivers and herds of reindeer around Mt. Snæfell, which lends a magical quality to the entire region. This park also served as a filming location for the early seasons of Game of Thrones. The national park contains 10 central volcanoes, eight of which are subglacial. You can explore these geological wonders through cave tours, glacial hikes and jeep safari.

Best time to visit: May to September is the ideal time to visit Vatnajökull National Park, when the days are long and warm with dry weather making it great for hiking.

How to reach: The Park is only 4 hours’ drive from Reykjavík, the capital of Iceland. You can rent a car or a campervan. If you prefer public transport, take one of the twice-daily summer bus services, connecting Reykjavík and Skaftafell via the Ring Road and stop at the park.

Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, Vatnajokull National Park
Jokulsarlon glacial lagoon, Vatnajokull National Park
Skaftafellsjokull Glacier in Iceland, part of Vatnajokull National Park
Skaftafellsjokull Glacier in Iceland, part of Vatnajokull National Park
Vatnajokull National Park in Northeast Iceland
Vatnajokull National Park in Northeast Iceland

Read Also: Top 20 Smallest Countries in the World

2- Jaipur City, India

Second Unesco world heritage Sites of India
Jaipur – Second UNESCO World Heritage Sites of India
The walled city of Jaipur is one of the most colourful cities in the world and a part of India’s famous Golden triangle. The city is not only renowned for its peachy-pink coloured buildings, but also the interiors of the houses, shops, restaurants and hotels which are also a kaleidoscope of colours. Founded in 1727 by Sawai Jai Singh II, it is believed to be the first planned city in India and second Indian city after Ahemdabad to feature on the prestigious list. Built according to a grid layout interpreted in the light of Vedic architecture, the city’s layout, vibrant streets, temples and large public squares or chaupars have put Jaipur on UNESCO’s map. It was designed to be a commercial capital and has maintained its local commercial and artisanal traditions to this day.

Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Jaipur is during the winter months from November to March, when the days are sunny but nights are cold. It is also the peak of tourist season in Jaipur.

How to reach: Take a 1-hour flight or 4-hour drive from New Delhi, the capital of India. Jaipur is well-connected with all big cities in India. Sanganer Airport serves the Pink City.

Jantar Mantar
The Jantar Mantar is a collection of nineteen architectural astronomical instruments built by King Sawai Jai Singh II, the founder of Jaipur, Rajasthan. The monument was completed in 1734
an elephant walking along the road at Amber Fort. India. Rajasthan
An Elephant walking along the road at Amber Fort. India. Rajasthan

Read Also: Top 20 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in India

3- Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, China

City site at Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, Hangzhou, China
City site at Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, Hangzhou, China

Dating back to 5,300 years, the Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City covering an area of 14.3 square kilometres in the northwest of in Hangzhou, was inscribed in the UNESCO World Heritage list this year. It is considered as an important representation of early urban civilization based on rice cultivation in late Neolithic China. The heritage site includes four areas – the Yaoshan Site, the High-dam at the Mouth of the Valley, Low-dam on the Plain and the area of City Site. The city ruins with palace and altar remain, 11 early-stage dams and high-level cemetery sites showcases the contributions made by the Yangtze River Basin to the origins of Chinese civilisation. According to archaeological research, the Neolithic civilisation is believed to have lasted for about 1,000 years and got ended 4,300 years ago. 

Best time to visit: The ideal time to visit Liangzhu City is during spring (March-May) & autumn (September-mid November), when the weather is mild and perfect for exploration and outdoor activities

How to reach: Take a 2-hour flight to Hangzhou from Beijing. From the downtown area in Hangzhou, you can take bus line 313 or line 348 to reach the park. You can also take a taxi which can cost you about CNY100. The park is open from 9:00 – 17:00 and the last entry is at 16:00.

Landscape around Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, in Hangzhou, China
Landscape around Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, in Hangzhou, China
Landscape around Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, in Hangzhou, China1
The Landscape around Archaeological Ruins of Liangzhu City, in Hangzhou, China1

Read Also: Top 15 Stunning Fairy-tale Villages around the World

 4- Babylon, Iraq

Panorama of partially restored Babylon ruins, Hillah, Iraq
Panorama of partially restored Babylon ruins, Hillah, Iraq

Nearly 3,000 years ago, Babylon was one of the most important cities in the ancient world. It was ruled by Nebuchadnezzar, whom we know from the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego in Christianity and Judaism. It was home to striking city walls gates, palaces and temples, of which ruins of some are still visible. Babylon is also associated with one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, the Hanging Gardens that has inspired artistic and religious culture universally. Today, the city isn’t in great condition with many of its ruins left unexcavated and damaged due to the conflict in the region but UNESCO World Heritage tag comes with a dose of hope and restoration aid so that further damage can be avoided.

Best time to visit: March to May (Spring) or September to October (Autumn) are the ideal months for visiting Babylon, away from the scorching heat and the winter chills.

How to reach: Located 85 km south of Baghdad, it takes about 3-4 hours approx. by road to reach Babylon. You can rent a car to reach this new UNESCO World Heritage site.

Restored ruins of ancient Babylon, Iraq
Restored ruins of ancient Babylon, Iraq
Ancient city of Babylon, Iraq
Ancient city of Babylon, Iraq

Read Also: Top 10 Best Beach Wedding Destinations in the World

 5- Bagan, Myanmar

Ancient temple in Bagan after sunset, Myanmar temples in the Bagan Archaeological Zone, Myanmar
Ancient temple in Bagan after sunset, Myanmar temples in the Bagan Archaeological Zone, Myanmar

Located on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River, Bagan is Myanmar’s answer to Cambodia’s Angkor Wat and is due to grow in popularity for tourists in 2020 and beyond. It was the capital of the ancient Burmese empire and features a stunning range of Buddhist art and architecture. With numerous 13th- and 15th-century Buddhist temples, monasteries, stupas and places of pilgrimage, it testifies to the once-powerful Bagan Empire. Visitors can get the best views at sunrise by taking a hot air balloon ride and witness hundreds of architectural treasures as far as the eye can reach.

Best time to visit: Bagan is hot most of the year and hence, the best time to visit is from November to February with mild weather and an average temperature of 30 C.

How to reach: Bagan is an 80-minute flight travel away from Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar. After reaching Nyaung U airport in Bagan, hop on a cab and you’ll reach Old Bagan in 10 minutes.

Hot air balloon over plain of Bagan in misty morning, Myanmar
Hot air balloon over plain of Bagan in misty morning, Myanmar
Aerial view at the ancient Shwezigon Pagoda,the main tourist destination of Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Aerial view at the ancient Shwezigon Pagoda, the main tourist destination of Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)

Read Also: The Seven Natural Wonders of the World

6- Bom Jesus do Braga Sanctuary, Braga, Portugal

Historic Church of Bom Jesus do Monte and her public garden
Historic Church of Bom Jesus do Monte and her public garden Tenoes, Braga. The Basilica is a popular landmark and pilgrimage site in northern Portugal. Aerial landscape on the top of Braga mountain.

Located on the slopes of Mount Espinho, overlooking the town of Braga in the far north of Portugal, Bom Jesus do Braga Sanctuary is a Baroque-style Catholic Sacri Monti or sacred mountain, built over 600 years. It is home to one of the most iconic examples of 17th-century Baroque architecture with a series of chapels housing sculptures evoking the Passion of Christ, along with fountains, allegorical sculptures and formal gardens. Visitors need to climb up the 577 steps to reach the cathedral at the top that some pilgrims tend to complete on their knees. The church itself is beautiful and the zig-zagging steps known as the Via Crucis is the highlight of the entire property, recognised by UNESCO in 2019.

Best time to visit: August to September is the ideal time to visit Braga, when the weather is quite warm and pleasant.

How to reach: Take a 1-hour train journey from Porto or opt for shuttle buses operated by Getbus costing €8 to reach Bom Jesus do Braga Sanctuary.

Bom Jesus do Monte inrerior, Braga in Portugal
Bom Jesus do Monte interior, Braga in Portugal
Stairs Leading to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus Do Monte in Tenoes, Braga, Portugal
Stairs Leading to the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus Do Monte in Tenoes, Braga, Portugal

Read Also: 14 Iconic Places in the World Where Photography Is Prohibited

 7- Hills of Prosecco di Conegliano and Valdobbiadene, Italy

Vineyard Prosecco on the green hills near Valdobbiadene, girl with a glass of Prosecco wine, Veneto, Italy
Vineyard Prosecco on the green hills near Valdobbiadene, girl with a glass of Prosecco wine, Veneto, Italy

Located in north-eastern Italy, the Prosecco region of Italy is noteworthy for its winegrowing landscape, where grapes are grown for sparkling wine. It is characterised by ‘hogback’ hills, where Italians in the 17th century planted small plots of vines on the hills’ terraces, creating a checkerboard pattern over the terrain that has been shaped and adapted by man for centuries. Visitors can go on a scenic road trip to the Prosecco Road that is lined by over three dozen vineyards while tasting and drinking your way through the region.

Best time to visit: April to June is a wonderful time to visit the newly recognized UNESCO World Heritage site, when the weather is pleasant and not too hot.

How to reach: Take a 1-hour train ride from Venice. You can book a tasting tour with a guide to visit these renowned vineyards.

View of vineyard Prosecco on the hills of Valdobbiadene , Veneto, Italy
View of vineyard Prosecco on the hills of Valdobbiadene, Veneto, Italy
Picturesque hills with vineyards of the Prosecco sparkling wine region between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano; Italy
Picturesque hills with vineyards of the Prosecco sparkling wine region between Valdobbiadene and Conegliano; Italy

Read Also: 15 Weird Restaurants Around the World You Must Visit

8- Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan

Fujinoki Tumulus, ancient burial mound in Ikaruga, Nara, Japan
Fujinoki Tumulus, ancient burial mound in Ikaruga, Nara, Japan

Located on a plateau above the Osaka Plain, these are 49 ancient tombs, dating back from the 3rd to the 6th century. The mounds come in different shapes and sizes and are believed to be meant for members of the elite with the largest tomb in Japan named after Emperor Nintoku. With elaborate design forms of keyhole, scallop, square or circle, these are decorated with paving stones and clay figures. Out of a total of 160,000, these 49 kofuns have been selected in Japan that forms the richest material representation of the Kofun period (3rd to 6th century CE). It demonstrates the social class differences of that period with the evidence of a highly sophisticated funerary system.

Best time to visit: Autumn (October-November) and spring (March-May) are the two best times to visit Mounded Tombs of Ancient Japan in Osaka, when the weather is mild and pleasant for an outdoor exploration.

How to reach: Opt for a 2 hours 30 minutes train ride from Tokyo. Take the JR Hanwa line to Mozu station from where it is only10 minute walk away.

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Secret Beaches in the World

 9- Risco Caido and the Sacred Mountains of Gran Canaria, Spain

View at sunset on symbol of the island Gran Canaria Roque Nublo
View at sunset on symbol of the island Gran Canaria Roque Nublo (rock in clouds) is an ancient and sacred place of worship and main tourist attraction

Located in the centre of Gran Canaria in the Canary Islands, the Risco Caido comprises cliffs, ravines and volcanic formations. It has been recognized for its pre-Hispanic cave dwellings, where those who lived on the island before the 15th century created granaries, cisterns and homes on the mountains themselves. The pre-Hispanic culture evolved in isolation, from the arrival of North African Berbers, until the first Spanish settlers in the 15th century. The highlights of the region are two sacred temples in mountain cavities where seasonal ceremonies were held by the inhabitants. These temples are thought to belong to the cult of star and Mother Earth.

Best time to visit: Spring (March to May) or autumn (September to November) are the best times to visit Risco Caido, when the weather is warm and comfortable.

How to reach: Take a direct flight to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria from the UK. The Risco Caido cave complex is not open to the public currently but you can walk up to Roque Bentayga and visit the fascinating on-site.

Beautiful Gran Canaria landscape
Beautiful Gran Canaria landscape. Pointer to Roque Nublo (rock in clouds) is Symbol of the island Gran Canaria, an ancient and sacred place of worship and main tourist attraction Canary island, Spain
Gran Canaria Island
Sunset and mountain landscape view from eroded stone arch know as Ventana del Nublo or La Agujereada. One of the highest places in Gran Canaria Island. Unesco World Heritage

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

 10- Plain of Jars, Laos

Plain of jars in Laos during daylight with cloud and blue sky
Plain of jars in Laos during daylight with cloud and blue sky

Located on a plateau called Xiengkhouang in central Laos, the Plain of Jars got its name from the tubular-shaped megalithic stone jars that were used for funerary practices during the Iron Age. With over 2,100, this property comprises large carved stone jars, shards, lids, tombstones and funerary objects dating from 500 BCE to 500 CE. These jars and related elements are the most prominent surviving evidence of the Iron Age civilization that created and used them until it disappeared around 500 CE.

Best time to visit: October to April is the ideal time for a visit, when the weather is warm and dry throughout.

How to reach: An 8-hour bus ride from the capital city, Luang Prabang will take you to this newly recognized UNESCO heritage site.

This is the biggest stone jar at the Plain of Jars site 1 in Phonsavan, Laos
This is the biggest stone jar at the Plain of Jars site 1 in Phonsavan, Laos

The world heritage sites of UNESCO are worth visiting as each is considered to be of immense cultural and natural importance. To be of “outstanding universal value to humanity”, as defined by UNESCO, each heritage site is unique and tells a thousand stories about its past. So which of these gems are top of your list to visit in 2020?

Top Christmas Markets in Europe To Make Your Festive Season Memorable

There’s nothing as grand and lively as a European Christmas. If you’re there from late November through the New Year, it’s easy to see why. All around Europe, Christmas markets have started to open and this is the perfect opportunity to enjoy the festive spirit. Don’t miss the luscious barbecue or a hot, pastry rolled in cinnamon and sugar. Follow the aroma of mulled wine, seasonal cookies and gingerbread; buy glistening gifts, linger around food stands and shop for seasonal items. Just put it all together and revel in the Christmas spirit with these top Christmas markets in Europe that are worth visiting.

1. Resselpark, Vienna

Resselpark, Vienna
Resselpark, Vienna

Vienna, the capital of Austria has numerous Christmas markets popular as ‘Christkindlmarkt’ spread all over the city. The name ‘Christkindlmarkt’ is derived from the traditional Christmas culture. And among the Christmas markets, the one at Resselpark is the best. It is full of rides and other adventure activities for children and young people. It gets dark quite early and taking walks around the Resselpark Christmas market is what Viennese people love to do. Revel in the aroma of baked items, sip on delicious mulled wine, shop for wonderful gifts, watch jugglers and street magicians at their best and cherish the festive atmosphere.

Best time: 22 November 2019 – 05 January 2020

How to reach: Situated in Karlsplatz, this magnificent spot can be reached either by subway (Karlsplatz station) or via Operngasse Street.

Read Also: Best Place In Europe To Celebrate Christmas

2. Havel’s Market, Prague

Havel’s Market, Prague
Havel’s Market, Prague

Visitors come from everywhere to experience the Christmas markets in Prague, especially Havel’s Christmas Market. Prague Old Town Square Havelska is the location of this large market. It’s situated between the Old Town Hall and Church of Our Lady before Tyn. Some exceptional items that are available here during Christmas are handmade ornaments, toys, holiday decorations, traditional cookies, tablecloths, Frankincense and the Czech Christmas potpourri called purpura. Some other products on sale are Czech wooden puppets, artistries, clothing decorations, scented candles and handmade soap. Taste hot wine, grog and warm honey liquor called medovina as they come in handy in the cold climate. Czech Christmas carols add to the festive atmosphere. After dark, the market is lit up gorgeously. The key event at the market is a special musical night and light ceremony on the Christmas tree, which is frequently repeated as visitors settle down.

Best time: 30 November 2019 – 6 January 2020

How to reach:  If you are at Prague’s central district, you can take Bus 55A and 56A.

Read Also: Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Around the World

3. Piazza Navona Market, Rome

Piazza Navona Market, Rome
Piazza Navona Market, Rome

With the Christmas flavour in full-swing and the Eternal City already floodlit in cheerful displays, what better time to sip coffee and pick up various gifts at one of the many markets happening during November and December in Rome. Wander through the stately Piazza Navona as you pause between local hawkers offering sweets, chestnuts, artisanal crafts and artwork. You are sure to be amused by the festive holiday rides, nativity scene and live performers, all of which are surrounding the architectural beauty of Bernini’s Quattro Fiumi, Saint Agnese Church and Palazzo Pamphili. Wait until twilight as the Piazza market glows majestically with the crowd slowly setting in. Escape to this famous spot for a chance to show off your skill on the ice rink. And don’t forget to witness the traditional Christmas concert and performance, packed with more than 50,000 people, also featuring food from various Italian regions, artisan works and hand-crafted gifts.

Best Time: 01 December 2019 – 06 January 2020

How to reach: To reach this market, just walk to the Termini Station and from there, take Bus Number 64 or Bus Number 40. Stop at Vittorio Emanuele. Just a few minutes’ walk and you have arrived!

Read Also: 20 Best Summer Holiday Destinations in Europe

4. Nyhavn’s Christmas Market, Copenhagen

Nyhavn’s Christmas market, Copenhagen
Nyhavn’s Christmas Market, Copenhagen

If there’s one thing that can stir up the Christmas spirit amidst Denmark’s cold, wind-swept atmosphere, it’s Nyhavn’s Christmas market and central Kongens Nytorv. Offering abundant gift options with pungent aromas of cinnamon-infused mulled wine and roasted almonds, visitors have the prospect of enjoying the best goodies while savouring a glass of hot liquor along the way. The market has ample festive events running up to the 25th for those in need of early festive inspiration. The harbour front provides an iconic setting to select your holiday gifts with the option to soak up the winter feel by strolling along its cobbled walkways. Grab your camera and a cup of something warm as the canal captures the ideal winter-time shot of the city.

Best time: 08 November 2019 – 23 December 2019

How to reach: Take the city metro from Nyhavn and walk down for 5 minutes till you reach the market.

Book Cheap Flights to Copenhagen

5. Main Market Square, Krakow

Main Market Square, Krakow
Main Market Square, Krakow

Where better to soak up a slice of Christmas joy than in Poland? Take a break at one of the season’s most popular highlights – Krakow Christmas fair on the main market square. According to the Irish Times, Krakow Christmas Market is one of the top ten Christmas markets in Europe. One cannot imagine how beautiful Krakow Christmas Market becomes during this season. Situated on the Main Market Square and the Old Town’s centre, the decorated wooden booths of the Main Square Christmas market offer a selection of gifts, delicacies and brews that are best enjoyed out in the cold air while exploring all the best that Krakow has to offer. If you’re planning an extraordinary December holiday, consider Krakow as a budding destination – certainly, it has much more to offer than the Christmas market but the festival event takes the city’s unique atmosphere to the next level.

Best time: 30 November – 26 December 2019

How to reach: Main Market Square is right in the heart of Krakow, a 10-minute walk from the city’s main train station. Being a walkable area, the square is only accessible by foot or on a bike.

Book Cheap Flights to Krakow

6. Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, Berlin

Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, Berlin
Gendarmenmarkt Christmas Market, Berlin

Who doesn’t love Berlin? The German capital is worthy when it comes to enjoying the last two months of the year when the city turns into a real-life Christmas-fairy-tale. There are roughly 80 Christmas markets spread out all over the city but the historical Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market is quite famous and one of the most beautiful to behold. From gifts, souvenirs to the best waffles and more, immerse yourself in the magic of the festive season. Witness glassblowers, basket weavers, jugglers, handicraft makers, winter delicacies and origami art during Advent. The market transforms into a small city with copious exhibitors and stands as well as more than 1,000 fairy lights providing a cosy ambience. The nostalgic Christmas market has an impressive array of artisans, amusement rides and traditional culinary delights such as roasted almonds and a variety of cakes.  

Best time: 25 November – 26 December 2019

How to reach: The market is located in front of the Konzerthaus on the Gendarmenmarkt and can be reached by foot from several stations like Stadtmitte and Franzosische Straße.

Book Cheap Flights to Berlin

7. Museumplein, Amsterdam

museumplein
Christmas in Museumplein

Witness festivities in the Dutch capital. Each year, Amsterdam’s Museumplein transforms into a charming Christmas village with an ice rink, live entertainment, market stalls and plenty of festive food and drink to keep you warm. Take a spin on the ice or play some human bowling at this spectacular event. Warm-up with mulled wine and Dutch Doughnuts, find the perfect gifts for friends and family and just take in all the festive charm of the city. The Ice Village is a traditional Dutch Christmas market in the centre of Amsterdam, right by the huge ice rink at Museumplein. If you fancy a spot of ice skating and warming yourself up with hot mulled wine and Dutch Christmas foods, this is the market for you. The atmospheric market will be glowing with lit up trees and dazzling lights and you can glide on the ice with the stunning Rijksmuseum as your backdrop.

Best time: 16 November 2019 – 02 February 2019

How to reach: You can get to Museumplein by Bus, Light Rail, Train or Metro. These are the lines and routes that have stops nearby – Bus – 142, Bus – 170, Bus – 197

Book Cheap Flights to Amsterdam

8. Vorosmarty Square Market, Budapest

Vorosmarty Square Market, Budapest
Vorosmarty Square Market, Budapest

Budapest has smaller and bigger Christmas Markets that have been attracting hundreds of thousands of visitors and are the most spectacular. The most beautiful, oldest and internationally acclaimed Budapest Christmas fair is the Christmas Market on Vorosmarty Square in the heart of the city. The winter festival in Vorosmarty is celebrating its 21st year in 2019 and every year surpasses the previous one in terms of size and activities. The festive Christmas markets showcase young and old talents of Hungary, who master in glass-blowing, knitting, wood carving, candle making, pottery, leather & shoe trade. Moreover, enjoy 3D projection light show, street food on Zrinyi and Sas Streets, roasted chestnuts, plum juice with cinnamon, hot chocolate, mulled wine, spit cake and much more.

Best time: 08 November 2019 – 01 January 2020

How to reach: The centrally located Vorosmarty Square is unmissable since it lies in the inner city of Budapest (district V.), at just a few minutes’ walk from the Danube.

Book Cheap Flights to Budapest

So, what makes many of the Christmas markets enticing and outstanding in Europe is that there is a real focus to preserve authentic European folk art, traditions and offer really good quality handicrafts. The above ones are voted the best Christmas markets in Europe that truly ignite the Christmas atmosphere. It’s nothing but pure holiday magic, mixed with spectacle.

10 Must-See Destinations In and Around New Zealand’s North and South Island

From spectacular glaciers and pretty beaches to stunning waterfalls and magnificent mountains, New Zealand is the place with unspoiled natural landscapes and adventure-filled spots. Get ready for the hugest national parks, rich Maori culture and world-class surfing & skiing opportunities. It is one destination that’s on the bucket list of every adventure enthusiast but with so many choices, it can be hard to decide where to go and what to explore when you visit. So, here we are, to save the day or shall we say the trip! Take a look at our top picks of the 10 best places to visit in New Zealand and make sure you include each one of these spots in your itinerary.

Abel Tasman National Park

Abel Tasman National Park
Abel Tasman National Park

A coastal paradise, it is home to the iconic Abel Tasman Coast Track, one of nine Great Walks in the country and sits right at the north-western tip of the South Island. It is the smallest national park in the country but perfect for adventure and relaxation. You can go hiking or try kayaking in the blue waters and its surrounding coves. If lucky, you might even spot dolphins here on your South Island tour in New Zealand.

Read Also: Top 10 Places to Visit and Things to do in New Zealand

Mount Maunganui

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Home to one of the most popular beaches in the country, Mount Maunganui is definitely a must-visit place if you’re passing through the Bay of Plenty region. From the base of the Mount, you’ll see long unending stretches of white sand surf beach. Relax on the beaches, spend time at one of the many cafes or swim in the clear blue waters of Pilot Bay. This is also a great place to just sit and watch the people.

Read Also: Top 15 Things to Do In Melbourne, Australia

Waiheke Island

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With beautiful vineyards, stunning beaches and olive groves, Waiheke Island is an incredibly popular destination located just 40-minute ferry ride away from downtown Auckland. In terms of landscape and experience, it is definitely a world away. The island is quite bigger than what it seems with plenty of activities that can be covered on a single day trip.

Read Also: Top 15 Things to Do in Australia for Memorable Holiday

Lake Taupo

Huka Falls, Lake Taupo
Huka Falls, Lake Taupo

One of New Zealand’s North Island top attractions, Lake Taupo was created by a volcanic eruption that occurred about 26,500 years ago. Head to encounter the country’s largest lake. Visit the Craters of the Moon to see the evidence of the birth of this lake in the geysers, steaming craters and boiling mud pools. Since it is a popular stopover for adventurers and water sports enthusiasts, mark it in your list of things to do in New Zealand’s North Island. Huka Falls located here is also worth seeing on your visit to this part of New Zealand.

Read Also: Top 20 Smallest Countries in the World

Hokitika Gorge

Hokitika Gorge
Hokitika Gorge

Located in the South Island’s West Coast region, Hokitika Gorge draws plenty of travellers with its picture-perfect setting, blue water and lush greenery. The remarkable turquoise tinge that you see in the water here is not visible anywhere else in the world. From the car park, you have to walk along a trail to reach a small viewing platform to witness the gorge in all its glory. With breath-taking glacial waters, rock stilt and plankton, Hokitika Gorge invites nature lovers. Add it to your list of things to do in New Zealand’s South Island.

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Secret Beaches in the World

Franz Josef Glacier

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier

If glacier hiking is on your bucket list, travel to Franz Josef Glacier during your visit to New Zealand. One of the best-known glaciers, it is a sought-after place by adventure-enthusiasts who want to get on the ice. The steepest in the country, it was first explored in 1865 by geologist Julius Von Haast, who named the glacier after the Austrian emperor. While you’re in the region, take your time out to visit its famous neighbour, the longest and fastest-moving Fox Glacier.

Read Also: Top 15 Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve Around the World

Great Barrier Island

Great Barrier Island
Great Barrier Island

The largest and most seaward of the Hauraki Gulf islands in the Auckland region, it is one of the magical places to visit in New Zealand. Since not easily accessible, tourists do not make much effort to reach this sixth-largest island. However, a trip to here is worthy enough to make your New Zealand holiday a memorable one. Take a 4-hour ferry ride or a 30-minute flight to witness the picture-perfect sandy beaches, secret waterfalls and natural hot springs amidst the lush greenery.

Read Also: 22 Best places across the globe to welcome Christmas and New Year

Matapouri

The Mermaid Pools
The Mermaid Pools

One of the top-rated tourist locations in New Zealand, Matapouris is just a 40-minute drive away from Whangarei. At Matapouri, you will find hidden emerald pools named “The Mermaid Pools” that are perfect for swimming and diving. However, be cautious of high tides as waves may crash the rocks at the high speed and could be dangerous. Taking a dip at one of these mermaid pools is a must-do thing in New Zealand’s North Island.

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

Whangarei Falls

Whangarei Falls
Whangarei Falls

The most photogenic waterfalls in New Zealand, tourists rush to Whangarei Falls to click photographs. Stay here for a while and to experience more spectacular views, climb behind the falls. You can also drive to Whangarei Heads and the Bream Head Scenic Reserve for hiking and panoramic coastal and harbour views. Visit early in the morning to avoid the crowds and be cautious while climbing over the slippery rocks!

Read Also: Top 10 Best Beach Wedding Destinations in the World to Say ‘I Do’

Mount Cook

Mount Cook
Mount Cook

The highest mountain in the country, Mount Cook helped Sir Edmund Hillary to develop his climbing skills to conquest the Mt. Everest. A paradise on earth, you need to visit to believe how beautiful it is. Take the Hooker Valley walking the track to witness the most dramatic scenes. The easy path takes you alongside the rushing Hooker River, over the picture-perfect swing bridges offering views of enormous ancient glaciers. If you’re here for a short period, head to Tasman Lake, which can be reached by an easy 20-minute walk from the car park to see the reflection of Mount Cook in the water and big icebergs floating around. You might also encounter cheeky kea (mountain parrots) on your way!

So what are you waiting for? Plan your holiday in New Zealand to have the adventure of your life. Regardless of the places you visit in the country, you’re sure to have a wonderful time. It’s such a beautiful destination with so much to see!

JA Ocean View Hotel Dubai: Luxury & Hospitality Redefined

JA Ocean View Hotel – Yes! The hotel deserves this name as each room has a distinct view of the Arabic Gulf. Located in a tropical haven of The Walk on Jumeirah Beach Residence, Dubai, it rejuvenates your soul catering to the true essence of luxury and comfort. Endless shopping, dining and leisure facilities are mere a few steps away from your royal accommodation at JA Ocean View Hotel. From the first hello, it serves the guests with indulgent amenities, award-winning wellness and of course the epic dining experiences from celebrity chefs. The hotel is ready to keep visitors swaying on rhythms with its inebriating live entertainment varieties and extend an unforgettable experience of iconic hospitality every time you’re there.

Location

Whether it’s a family holiday, a romantic getaway or a business trip, there couldn’t be a better location for a memorable trip to Dubai. JA Ocean View Hotel is sited on Jumeirah Beach Residence (JBR) in the Dubai Marina area surrounded by hundreds of retail, dining and entertainment outlets. Dubai’s iconic dining and shopping promenade, The Walk begins just opposite to the hotel and attractions like The Dubai Mall and Burj Khalifa are at a 40-minute drive away. Easy availability of public transport and proximity to Dubai International Airport make this hotel one of the best stays at the Dubai Marina area.

Read Also: Rendezvous with Luxury at the Iconic Caesars Palace Bluewaters Dubai

Style and Ambiance

ambience
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Lauding the backdrop of the Arabian Gulf and elegance of JA Resorts & Hotel Group, this property brings a stylish and comfortable accommodation featuring contemporary art decor and sea view of nearby stunning beaches. Equipped with every mod-con you can think of, it welcomes you in a pleasing atmosphere with picturesque spaces, cutting-edge restaurants and lively entertainment options. The prudent design mirrors the supreme diligence of hotel’s interior decor.

Read Also: W Dubai – The Palm: Discover the Brand New Luxury Escape

Rooms and Suites

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JA Ocean View Hotel keeps its promises what this hotel group is known for. Bright and modern, each of its 342 rooms is furnished to the highest standard. Like its name, you can relish the panoramic sea views from your balcony that looks out onto the beach. Either it’s a standard room or a suite, is spacious and well-kitted including comfy bed, TV, safe, wardrobes, minibar and more. Free fast Wi-Fi is available 24X7 throughout all rooms and floors. Its casual atmosphere, while still being classy, makes it a great place to stay.

Read Also: Top 10 Things to do in Dubai for First-Timers

Club Sea View Room
Club Sea View Room Image Source
Family One Bedroom Suite
Family One Bedroom Suite Image Source
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Read Also: Redefining Luxury: Dubai’s Newest & Most Anticipated Hotels

Amenities and Services

fitness-club
fitness-club Image Source

Experience a warm welcome and relax at breath-taking locations of the Middle-East with the entertainment of your choices. Fitness-freaks will love the modern health club kitted with Jacuzzi, hot tub, sauna and steam room. Elude your stresses with an elevated spa experience. The infinity swimming pool tempts you to dive in, whereas the king-size loungers nearby invite you to doze on. Besides for families and couples, the hotel also has a separate kids’ pool keeping your little ones amused. Enjoy shopping like never before across the cutting-edge retail outlets and savour the global flavours at dining kiosks nearby offering free-flowing drinks.

Read Also: 25 Most Popular Fairs and Festivals in Dubai

calm-spa
calm-spa Image Source

Read Also: 15 Most Amazing Places to Visit in Dubai

Food and Drink

food and drink
Food and Drink Image Source

Dubai is home to some superb restaurants and none more so than at JA Ocean View Hotel. It houses seven restaurants proudly overlooking the Arabian Gulf and Palm Jumeirah offering the taste of global cuisines. Caffé Via serves tea, coffee and light snacks, whereas, Le Rivage offers gourmet buffets and theme nights in a modern brewery. Savour delicious pizza from Brooklyn, New York at Pizzeria Motorino. Your daytime can be more relaxing with cocktails and light snacks by the poolside, however, the night will be memorable with the great Arabian shisha, belly dancing and dinner.

Read Also: Rixos Bab Al Bahr: Discover the Award-winning All-inclusive Paradise in Ras Al Khaimah

food and drink
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JA Ocean View Hotel adds a star in the magnificent skyline of Dubai, therefore, stands amongst the trendiest and most luxurious five-star hotels of this stunning emirate. Its great location and friendly staff augment the luxury and comfort during your stay. Find your luxurious space in the backdrop of private beach and island seclusion surrounded by the bustling urban atmosphere but limitless indulgence.

Read Also: How Can You Enjoy Dubai on a Budget?

Europe’s 15 Most Festive Cities to Spend Christmas

No one celebrates Christmas as Europe does. The country is awash with Christmas markets, decorated churches, the aroma of gingerbread and mulled wine and a lot of fiestas. If you’ve not decided where to go for Christmas celebration in Europe, this is the time to plan a getaway with your family or friends. To make your choice easy, we have listed out 15 best destinations in Europe where you can celebrate Christmas to make your holiday a memorable affair.

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1- Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen
Copenhagen

Nobody celebrates Christmas quite like the Scandinavians. In December, the Danish capital transforms into a huge Christmas card. Copenhagen represents the concept of hygge during Christmas – a special feeling of a cosy home, nice people around you and a relaxed and happy atmosphere. One of the finest Christmas customs in Copenhagen is the annual Saint Lucy’s Kayak Parade. Several kayaks are decorated with Christmas trees and twinkling lights as they sail across the city harbour through the canals.

Take a stroll through Tivoli. Being the oldest amusement park in the world, it is the best place for children and adults with likings for decorations, sweets and lots of rides! Another fun-filled activity in Copenhagen is ice skating.

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2- Amsterdam, Netherlands

Amsterdam in Christmas
Amsterdam in Christmas

Amsterdam is the most popular place to visit in Europe in Christmas. The Dutch truly know how to celebrate Christmas and in Amsterdam, the Christmas spirit travels through each waterway, road and square. In Dam Square, a 20-meter-tall tree is decorated with 3km of lights and you’ll witness carollers, jugglers and artists to keep you occupied. In and around Amsterdam, there are Christmas markets to gratify all tastes, whether shopping or eating.

During the Amsterdam light show, where lights illuminate the waterways, your Amsterdam twilight cruise will be significantly more fantastic. Additionally, you can visit Amsterdam’s Ice Village in Museumplein, where you can go ice skating, buy Christmas novelties and eat and drink the best Dutch delicacies.

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3- Paris, France 

Paris in Christmas
Paris in Christmas

One of the best places to visit during Christmas in Europe, Paris brings alive the Christmas artistry, style and gastronomy. The well-known markets buzz with shopping, live choir and several events during this time. The marketplaces are packed with appealing chalets that complement the Christmas atmosphere.

You will be overwhelmed by various Christmas art and decoration items available at these markets. The food is heavenly and the normal French cheddar, wine and champagne are boastfully included in the food courts. Furthermore, the sparkling city view at dusk will give you some remarkable memories.

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4- Prague, Czech Republic 

Prague in Christmas
Prague in Christmas

In the Czech Republic, Prague is a beautiful place to celebrate Christmas in Europe. The destination has an interesting history filled with annual traditions that draw tourists every year. Moreover, Gothic architecture adds to the Christmas zest. Your day begins with a snow-covered city on a cold wintry morning but it gets merrier when you start looking at Prague’s impressive bistros for the best cup of coffee or hot chocolate in the city.

From noon, the biggest Christmas markets in Old Town Square and Wenceslas Square start filling up with people. And from dusk, the celebrations begin with a grand feast while a huge Christmas tree gets decorated. The markets are full of irresistible wonders, vintage souvenirs and the best delicacies. Visitors to Prague can also enjoy live nativity scenes, ice skating, and other Czech Christmas traditions throughout December.

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5- Rome, Italy 

Rome in Christmas
Rome in Christmas

Christmas in Rome is about light shows, rituals and shopping. The Eternal City is the best place to witness Christmas flair. Since Rome is significant to the Christian faith, Christmas is an interesting time to visit the city. But Christmas in Rome is much more than traditional elements and the nativity scenes.

Apart from the endless Christmas lights at Via del Corso, there’s a whole different world to experience! Vendors in their colourful clothes line up the lively squares at Campo de’ Fiori, where you can purchase baked goodies and handcrafted items. Explore decorated cafes and restaurants. Likewise, there’s a beautiful Christmas market in Piazza Navona. It’s not loaded with sellers but you can still find treasures and treats for everyone.

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6- Krakow, Poland

Krakow
Krakow

Voted as the best city to celebrate Christmas two years in a row, Krakow is the next on the list. Krakow’s Christmas fairs were once Poland’s best-kept secret but now it entices tourists from all over. During this time of the season, each alcove and corner of the city is decorated lavishly with outdoor entertainment and more.

The festive spirit, markets and enthusiasm are the ones that astound tourists. Plus, world-class DJs and classical concerts throughout the day will keep everybody’s spirit high. Do not forget to stop by the tasty treats lined up on the side lanes and you can even choose your choice of themed entertainment.

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7- Barcelona, Spain

Barcelona
Barcelona

Unbelievable but true, Barcelona offers much more Christmas romance than one can imagine. Saturated with celebrations during Christmas, the regions around the churches witness an influx of visitors. The whole city looks like little heaven of hues and lights, celebratory sounds and mount-watering aroma. Foodies and party lovers will cherish this spot.

All through the celebration season, food vendors draw endless crowd towards potato fritters, printen or gingerbread, Christmas cakes and rolls – all line up the boulevards. You will even locate some exceptionally pretty artful souvenirs at the colourful stalls. There’s even a part devoted to ‘Las Sardana’, where locals perform the folk dance in the street and relish epicurean delights to their heart’s content.

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8- Vienna, Austria 

Vienna in Christmas
Vienna in Christmas

Considered as one of the best places to celebrate Christmas in Europe, Vienna in Austria is known for exquisiteness and style that it carries while observing Christmas. It feels like paradise when you’re are in Vienna during this time. The squares are loaded up with brilliant Christmas delicacies, bistros with unique eateries and twinkling lights beautifying the city’s architecture.

You can enjoy naturally prepared dishes and bakery items at Vienna’s Christkindlmarkt, try ice-skating in Rathausplatz, visit the Snow Globe Museum or be a part of the fantastic Christmas concerts. In case you’re keen on visiting some other season, make a point to indulge in Christmas gaiety while visiting Vienna!

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9- Budapest, Hungary 

Budapest in Christmas
Budapest in Christmas

Given the chance that you are in Hungary throughout the Christmas occasion, make sure you visit the Budapest Christmas Fair and Winter Festival that happens at Vorosmarty Square. This will be a different experience for you. The magnificent square situated at the core of Budapest turns into a joyful space adorned with wooden stalls, customary snacks and platforms for neighbourhood entertainment.

If you are a foodie, we suggest you taste the honey cakes and biscuits made out of traditional Budapest ingredients and the glimmering mulled wine. The aroma of these goodies will lure you into the market square.

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10- Brussels, Belgium 

Brussels in Christmas
Brussels in Christmas

Christmas in Brussels is bold and over-the-top. Chocolates, coffee, mountains of cakes & pastries and world-famous concerts take the centre stage. The Christmas market goes on for over a month at the Grand Place, the Place de la Monnaie, the Marche aux Poissons and the Place Sainte-Catherine. The market brims with charming little stalls that offer traditional art and craft items, European treats, endless chocolates, a festive area with rides and an ice dome for some skating.

But the showstopper is the monstrous Christmas tree decorated by the light and sound show. No wonder, Brussels would probably be one the best spots to spend your Christmas holidays.

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11- Berlin, Germany

Berlin
Berlin

Christmas in Berlin is memorable. The city is festive, fun-filled and historical and there are exciting things to do for first-timers. Christmas markets are the top reason that draws visitors in Berlin. Among the many, Gendarmenmarkt Christmas market is great because of its position between two gigantic churches. Find anything from hot drinks and beer to gluhwine, meats, candy, pretzels and more.

Next in the line are Alexanderplatz market that has an ice skating rink, Ferris wheel, scores of stalls with endless food and drinks and the tiny Potsdammer Platz market. The park here has memorials and historical information about the city as well as a zoo, trees, trails and beautiful landscapes.

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12- Venice, Italy

Venice in Christmas
Venice in Christmas

Christmas in Venice is cold, quiet and gorgeous. The canals, gondolas, piazzas and architecture are lit up with Christmas decorations. The streets are less crowded and locals doing their Christmas shopping – the holidays make for a fantastic time to visit. Festive songs are performed at special concerts in churches and piazzas throughout December and church bells resound all day on Christmas Day from the famous bell tower at St. Mark’s.

Spend Christmas in Venice and you’re promised a marvellous culinary experience. It is customary for Venetians to relish a multi-course fish dinner on the Christmas Eve. And not to forget, no Christmas holiday in Venice is complete without a trip to the Island of Murano. The island transforms into a riot of colourful lights and glass decorations. There is even an enormous Christmas tree made totally of Murano glass, which is not to be missed.

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13- Bern, Switzerland 

Bern on Christmas
Bern on Christmas

Nothing speaks Christmas like the glacial winter wonderland of Switzerland. The feel of Bern’s medieval old town decked out in golden lights is overwhelming in Europe. There are, obviously, incredible Christmas markets, a lot of calm bistros where you can sip up on hot cocoa and enjoy endless shopping if your Christmas list is long enough.

When you initially land in Bern, go for a guided stroll through the 800-year-old city to get familiar with Bern’s top attractions such as the 12th-century Clock Tower and the Gothic Basilica. However, for the best winter action in Bern, hit the hills of Gurten for some sledging activity you’ll ever witness.

 

14- Algarve, Portugal

Algarve
Algarve

Spending Christmas in the Algarve is a fantastic way to enjoy the festive season. It’s more sandy beaches than snow-covered windscreens. Whether you want to know more about Portuguese Christmas customs or merely hoping to escape the UK winter, it’s a wonderful alternative Christmas and there’s surely something for the entire family to enjoy. A lovely atmosphere hovers over the city.

Loule, the brand new shopping destination is the talk of the town. Many of the streets on the Algarve are decorated with Christmas trees and lighting. Witness non-stop events and attractions every December – from Christmas parades and festive concerts to handcrafted nativity scenes. There’ll be fun guaranteed for the whole family with mesmerizing ballet performances. Head to Faro and get a chance to show off skating skills on the ice rinks and spend a fantastic day at Zoo de Lagos.

15- Reykjavik, Iceland

Reykjavik in Christmas
Reykjavik in Christmas

While it may look like a tiny city with not much going on, Reykjavik is one of the best places in Europe for celebrating Christmas with your loved ones who do not mind the cold temperature. Though December is the darkest time of the year in Iceland, the dark days are lit up with countless Christmas lights. The edge of the world truly turns into a hub of joy and friendliness during Christmas time and every bit of it is lit up with festive lights. The streets are filled with the aroma of freshly baked goods and the sound of Christmas carols echoing from the houses!

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If you want to experience Europe exceptionally, definitely consider soaking up the Christmas spirit in one of the cities of your choice this December.

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Top Rated Tourist Attractions in Singapore

Singapore is geographically small, yet a giant unification of culture, communities, festivals, shopping and cuisine, and not to forget the patchwork of several smaller islands. The Lion City has been Southeast Asia’s most popular modern cities for over half a century. Its appealing tapestry draws millions of tourists and offers a wide array of sightseeing and culinary opportunities that is sure to spoil you for choices. Right from the core of downtown Singapore and the Colonial District, each zone has its own individual flavour, from the fragrant spice stores of Little India to the age-old backstreets of Chinatown, where one can still spot calligraphers and fortune-tellers or the Arab Quarter, whose jumbled stores sell fine cloths and silks. Head towards North of the city to explore Bukit Timah and the Central Catchment Area, along with the impressive Singapore Zoological Gardens. The east coast features excellent seafood restaurants set on the stretched sandy beach. Moreover, there are over fifty islands and islets within Singaporean waters, all of which can be reached easily. Well, there’s a lot in this little island and we’ve narrowed down to a few of the best that Singapore offers:

1. The Merlion

The Merlion
The Merlion

The Merlion is synonymous to Singapore. It is a mystic creature and features the head of a lion and body of a mermaid. The statue used to be situated at the mouth of the Singapore River. At present, it is situated at Merlion Park close to a cluster of glitzy restaurants at One Fullerton. It is easily visible from the surrounding areas of the Marina Bay waterfront. Another statue, known as Merlion cub has been added to the new Merlion Park. Both the statues are meters apart from each other. The place is one of the prime Singapore tourist attractions to visit.

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2. A Visit to Orchard Road

Orchard Road
Orchard Road

The 2.2-kilometer road in the central area of Singapore is a major shopping belt, frequented by tourists and locals alike. Commonly addressed as Orchard, it got developed as a shopping avenue in the 1970s and in the next decades witnessed the mushrooming of several shopping malls and entertainment centres. Once you are in Singapore, it is a must to shop in Orchard and spend some time relishing the cuisines offered at some of the dining centres.

Read Also: Best Places to Celebrate New Year’s Eve

3. Enjoy a Cruise Ride on Singapore River

Cruise Ride on Singapore River
Cruise Ride on Singapore River

A ride on Singapore River offers a mesmerising view of the city’s skyline. While riding the cruise one will pass through the Clarke Quay, Robertson Quay, the Merlion, Boat Quay and Marina Bay. Through the cruise ride, tourists can see a contrast between the city’s colonial buildings located close to the riverside and contemporary skyscrapers in the background.

Read Also: Top 20 Smallest Countries in the World by Area

4. A Stroll on Clarke Quay and Boat Quay

Clark Quay
Clark Quay

Clarke Quay and Boat Quay are the two most vibrant and happening places to spend the evening in Singapore. Ranging from peppy dance clubs to live music venues and rooftop bars, partying in Clark Quay and Boat Quay make evening electrifying. At every step, there is something new to discover at Clark Quay and Boat Quay.

Read Also: Most Beautiful Fairy-Tale Villages in the World

5. A Visit to the Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles

Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles
Statue of Sir Stamford Raffles

The statue of Sir Stamford Raffles located on Boat Quay denotes the site where Sir Stamford Raffles first landed on the shores of Singapore. Sir Stamford Raffles landed in Singapore on January 29, 1819. The site today is a great place to explore and spend the evening, and also get to know more about the colonial legacy of Singapore.

Read Also: Best Places to travel in February

6. Go Electronic Shopping at Sim Lim Square

For the latest gadgets and electronics shopping, Sim Lim Square is the best place to shop. From cameras, laptops, iPods and computers one will get everything here. Close by is another shopping centre called Funan Centre is also known for its electronic items.

Read Also: Most Stunning Places to visit in October around the World

7. A Visit to the Suntec City

Suntec City
Suntec City

Suntec City Mall is again a great place to shop and dine in Singapore. The mall along with Marina Square and few luxury hotel buildings are a part of the Marina Centre in Downtown Singapore. Within the mall, there are international convention and exhibition centre, numerous offices, entertainment centres, foreign embassy offices and food outlets.

Read Also: Hot Destinations to Travel in November

8. See Cathedral of the Good Shepherd

This colonial building was constructed in 1846 and located in the heart of the city on Queen Street. Over the years the cathedral has undergone several restorations and is also a popular place for Catholic worshippers. Due to its restoration work in 2016, the cathedral now has a modern façade. The Churches of Saints Peter and Paul (Queen Street) and Saint Joseph’s Church (Victoria Street) make for a wonderful visit.

Read Also: Top 15 Tallest Hotels around the World

9. Explore Singapore Botanic Gardens

Botanic Garden
Botanic Garden

The Singapore Botanic Gardens is one of the most popular Singapore tourist attractions. Spread over 52 hectares of land, the garden is filled with numerous floral specimens and perfectly manicured gardens. Major attractions within the garden include National Orchid Garden, Bonsai Garden, Swan Lake, Healing Garden, Evolution Garden, Botany Garden, Heritage Museum and Ginger Garden.

Read Also: Most Beautiful Beach Wedding Destinations around the World

10. Vibrant Chinatown

Chinatown
Chinatown

Chinatown is a vibrant historic district in Singapore popular for its restaurants, numerous shops and Chinese temples. Chinatown was the residence of the Chinese immigrants during British colonial days. The town showcases a rich Chinese culture offering culinary delights, art and attractions. Key attractions include The Thian Hock Keng Temple features intricate Chinese design, 1827 Sri Mariamman Temple and the ornate Buddha Tooth Relic Temple and Museum. The Chinatown is a must-visit place in Singapore to explore the rich Chinese culture.

Read Also: Seven Natural Wonders of the World

11. Explore Little India

Little India
Little India

Little India like Chinatown is the epitome of the multicultural society of Singapore. The district has a significant population of Tamils. It is a district located along Serangoon Road in Singapore. Dotted with colourful Hindu temples, churches and mosques, Little India is a perfect example of Singapore’s diversity. Also, for a taste of Indian culinary delight, Little India is the place to go.

Read Also: Weird Restaurants Around the World

12. Jurong Bird Park

Jurong Bird Park
Jurong Bird Park

Singapore is not only famous for its futuristic structures, but also has rich wildlife and nature. Jurong Bird Park is a perfect example of Singapore’s nature conservation. Home to some 5000 birds of 400 species the park makes for a great escape. There are numerous attractions within the park such as the magnificent Waterfall Aviary and more, featuring a wide range of birds.

Read Also: Beautiful Hidden Beaches Around the World

13. A Visit to Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo
Singapore Zoo

Singapore Zoo is yet another magnificent tourist attractions to visit in Singapore. It is more than an ordinary zoo, divided into different zones. The main branch showcases wild diversity and the other three branches feature night safari, wild jungle and Jurong Bird Park. It is an open zoo, where animal strolls freely in their natural habitat. Besides, the zoo also has 11 zones where visitors can observe the wild habitat and indulge in several other kids’ centric programmes.

14. Take a Tour of Butterfly Park and the Insect Kingdom

Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom
Butterfly Park and Insect Kingdom

Where to go in Singapore? Butterfly Park and the Insect Kingdom is a unique park in Singapore and a perfect place visit. The park filled with a wide range of butterflies and insects also features lush tropical greenery. Beautiful wilderness, different species of insects, butterfly and incredible interactive experience are sure to make your tour a thrilling experience.

15. Click a Selfie with Madame Tussauds Wax Museum

Madame Tussauds Wax Museum in Singapore offers a chance to get close with your favourite celebrity in person. Opened in 2014, the wax museum brilliantly carries the legacy of 200 years of impeccable flawless wax art. The highlight of the museum includes “Spirit of Singapore” boat ride, get on stage with music legends and enjoy new Marvel 4D experience. Some of the famous wax statues are Michael Jackson, Queen Elizabeth II, Geok Choo, Taylor Swift and more.

16. Swim at Infinity Pool at Marina Bay Sands

Infinity Pool
Infinity Pool

Want to see the panoramic view of the Singapore city while simultaneously enjoying the refreshing swim? The Infinity pool located on the 57th floor at Marina Bay Sands offers an incredible chance to do that. Plus, after you are done with swimming and appreciating the view, take a sunbath at the poolside lounge or rejuvenate under the palm trees. End the day by sipping a Champagne as you relish the incredible view of the sunset from the Marina Bay Sands.

17. Panoramic View from Singapore Cable Car

Cable Car
Cable Car

Singapore Cable Car offers a drooling bird eye view of the city. Again, it is a must to do activity in Singapore to experience an incredible journey. The cable car connects Mount Faber of Singapore to Sentosa Island, offering you an incredible 360-degree view of the city. Apart, from being a tourist attraction the cable car also serves as a means of local transport.

18. Unique Ride on the Original Duck Tours Sentosa

The Singapore duck tour is an amphibious boat ride. It is one of the best things to do in Singapore. The boat ride is highly popular amongst tourists. During its 30 minutes ride on the land, the boat passes through iconic attractions such as City Hall, Supreme Court, The Padang and Singapore Flyer. On water, it cruises through tourist attractions such as The Esplanade, Marina Bay Sands and Gardens by the Bay.

19. Fly at iFly Singapore

iFly Singapore offers a surreal experience of skydiving. It allows adrenaline rush without any risk associated while performing the adventure. Just imagine jumping from a height of 13,000 feet, which is the same kind of adrenaline rush you will feel in iFly Singapore. Once you decide to experience the experience there will be a training and instruction session to make you ready. It will allow an individual to enjoy the fun of skydiving, by replicating it inside a wind tunnel of iFly Singapore.

20. Breathe Fresh at National Orchid Garden

National Orchid Garden
National Orchid Garden

The National Orchid Garden a sprawling 3 hectares of land is a part of Singapore Botanic Garden. The amazing thing about the garden is that it beautifully presents the floral display through four seasons, divided into different zones namely summer, spring, winter and autumn. Every zone season displays flowers that are particularly grown during that season. Again a great place to go as it boasts around 1000 spices of flowers with more than 2000 hybrids.

21. Thrilling Rides at Adventure Cove Waterpark

Adventure Cove Waterpark in Singapore promises to offer a thrilling and joyful experience. The park also features world-class attractions along with modern-day facilities. It has a wide range of activities to offer right from hardcore adventure to participating in some light-hearted activities. The park is an ideal place to spend time with kids.

22. Thrilling Tree-Top Walk at MacRitchie Reservoir

MacRitchie Reservoir

The MacRitchie Reservoir is a dream come true for the nature lover. The reservoir was primarily built by the Singapore government to harvest rainwater. Besides serving the purpose, MacRitchie Reservoir has become a key tourist attraction, especially amongst nature enthusiasts. The tree-top walk a tall bridge traversing the reservoir allows for an adventurous walk. Waking on the bridge offers an exceptional experience while enjoying the pristine jungle beauty below your feet. It is one of Singapore’s top attractions amongst the tourists in Singapore.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr: Discover the Award-winning All-inclusive Paradise in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah’s 5-star resort, Rixos Bab Al Bahr is renowned for its unmatched luxury and has won several awards since its opening – the recent being the World Travel Award 2018 for Middle East’s ‘Leading All-Inclusive Resort’. Rixos Bab Al Bahr is internationally recognised for its distinct Turkish-inspired hospitality and expertly-curated culinary venues. With its powdery private beach and distinctive pyramid-style architecture, this is a resort with a difference. 

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Situated on the pristine white sands of Ras Al Khaimah’s Marjan Island, Rixos Bab Al Bahr has a beautiful private beach, stylish rooms with rain showers and breath-taking ocean or pool views, eight amazing restaurants and a luxurious spa. What sets apart is its ultra-all-inclusive concept, where guests enjoy unlimited access to sumptuous food and beverages. With a few exceptions, everything is inclusive whether it’s innumerable dining options and a diverse choice of entertainment, night clubs, spa or other leisure activities.

 

Rixos Bab Al Bahr location and view
Rixos Bab Al Bahr location and view

 

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Rooms and suites provide a serene stay away from the outside world and come with ocean or garden view with the landscaped garden surrounding the resort. All the rooms are spacious and airy, designed to make you feel like home. The resort also has family suites that are the perfect choice for couples travelling with children. There are two connecting bedrooms with a privacy door allowing the couples to enjoy solitude and fun family time. Some of the suites also have a terrace, an unrivalled view of Ras Al Khaimah and the vast blue ocean.

Rixos Bab Al Bahr Room
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Room

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With eight restaurants and bars, the resort offers a wide array of dining and drinking options including the international restaurant ‘Seven Heights’, popular for live cooking stations and BBQ and the rustic Italian restaurant L’Olivo, serving a home-style selection of appetisers, salads, pizzas and pasta. Lalezar, another restaurant, is artfully decorated and offers authentic Middle Eastern dishes influenced by Turkish Ottoman cuisine. Meat lovers will enjoy a delicious choice of barbecued meats here. Steak house specialities at the Meat Point and Fish Bone are especially for those who love indulging in seafood. Enjoy your drinks at any of the hotel bars or Mojito Bar, a favourite evening spot or at Cigar Bar. You can also relax by the poolside with a drink at the Infinity Bar. The hotel also has a nightclub ‘Inferno’ and a spa and wellness centre. All-out luxuries complete with exceptional activities guarantee an unforgettable stay at Rixos Bab Al Bahr.

 

Rixos Bab Al Bahr Restaurant1
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Restaurant1

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The Ultra- inclusive Plan

 

With almost everything included in the ‘all-inclusive’ plan, it doesn’t get much better than this. Guests have access to all the hotel facilities, from nightly entertainment to a vast range of dining options including Seven Heights, Mojito Bar, Cigar Bar, Meat Point, Fish Bone, L’Olivo, Lalezar, Su Pool bar and more. Guests also can make free use of the daily restocked mini-bar. They have complimentary access to Turkish Hamman, sauna, steam room & pool as well as to Rixy Club and Teen’s Republic. Enjoy high-speed Wi-Fi throughout the resort. Reservations for the a la carte restaurants are required.

 

Rixos Bab Al Bahr pool side view
Rixos Bab Al Bahr poolside view
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Room Pool
Rixos Bab Al Bahr Room Pool

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