Listed City Guide - E

Alavi Travel > Listed City Guide – E


Quito Travel Guide

Quito, the capital city, is the central hub of Ecuador, and often the entry point for all other destinations in the country. In a beautiful setting, at an altitude of 9,350ft (2,850m), Quito is nestled in the Andes Mountains, a vibrant amalgam of modern business executives and the traditional culture of the ‘indígenas’, or local Andean people.

The city is divided into two areas: the Old Town, declared a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO, where the architectural influence of Spanish colonisation is evident in the red-tiled roofs lining steep, cobblestoned streets; and the more business-oriented New Town, with its shopping centres, offices, hotels, embassies and travel agencies.

Quito is the cultural centre of the country. Indígenas make up a large proportion of the population and evidence of their culture is all over the city, from the handicrafts displayed on street corners and ramshackle shops selling traditional everyday goods, to the women in thick woollen clothing and felt hats queuing for bus tickets. The Quechuan language rings through the streets and the central plazas (squares) throughout the city.

A city rich in historical churches, monasteries and convents, containing a wealth of religious paintings and sculpture dating back to the 16th century, there are also a few museums worth visiting in Quito, like the Museo del Banco Central with its beautiful pre-Colombian artefacts, the ethno-historical Museo Mindalae, and the contemporary art museum Museo Guayasamin.

Also a popular base for learning the Spanish language, Quito has over 60 language schools dotted about the city.

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Cairo Travel Guide

Cairo is a messy, noisy delight of a city which enchants visitors with its ancient treasures and challenges them with its modern riotousness. The ‘Mother of all Cities’ is full of great restaurants and thrilling archaeological sites; it is the doorstep to one of the most intriguing tourist destinations in the world.

Egypt is most renowned for its historical sightseeing, and Cairo certainly doesn’t disappoint in this regard: it is the city of the pyramids, the sphinx, the Colossus of Ramses II. The ancient Egyptians left their mark on this area and their presence can still be felt. There is also more recent history on show in Cairo and tourists should not limit themselves to ancient relics: Old Cairo, also called Coptic Cairo, is the meeting place of three religions and boasts remarkable churches as well as synagogues and mosques; The Hanging Church is a favourite with visitors.

Cairo is well-situated for excursions to various ancient sites, including the Western Desert Oases, which offer visitors a taste of the immensity and beauty of the Egyptian desert.

The city is bursting with people, colours, smells and tastes and travellers will be thrilled by the experience of the Egyptian markets and coffee houses, not to mention the mouth-watering array of quality restaurants in Cairo. For those keen to do a little late-night exploring the Cairo nightlife is also worth investigating.

Best time to visit Cairo

Cairo is hot and dry all year and only has two seasons: a swelteringly hot summer between May and October, and a mild winter between November and April. The best time to visit is in the cooler winter months when the heat is less overwhelming. The nights can get cold in Cairo so visitors should bring something warmer for the evenings. Read more on Cairo’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Cairo

-Spend a few hours, or a few days, in the Egyptian Museum of Antiquities.

-Explore the breath-taking Saladin Citadel with its many mosques, museums and wonderful views.

-Shop in the labyrinthine Khan al-Khalili market, one of the largest in the world.

-Visit the domed Coptic Church of St George in Old Cairo.

What to do in Cairo

-Take a ride around the famous Pyramids of Giza.

-Treat the kids to a tour of The Pharaonic Village.

-Visit the shining world of the Asfour Crystal Factory to shop for souvenirs.

-Take an excursion out to the ancient cities of Memphis and Saqqara to explore the temples and museums.

Beyond Cairo

Cairo is often the starting point of an Egyptian holiday and is a useful travel hub. Tourists can easily visit Alexandria on the nearby Mediterranean coast, and the numerous Red Sea resorts offer all the sun, sand and sea you can handle, as well as world-class diving destinations. The ancient treasures of cities like Aswan and Luxor are accessible on the famous Nile River Cruises, which are a popular way of exploring the country.

Getting there

Cairo International Airport, the biggest airport in Egypt, is situated nine miles (15km) from Cairo. Flights to Cairo arrive from major cities all over the world. It takes about 45 minutes to reach central Cairo and visitors can take taxis, airport shuttle buses or public buses to get there. It is also possible to hire a car and a driver at the airport. Get more information on Cairo International Airport.

Did you know?

-Cairo is the second largest city in Africa.

-In Arabic Cairo is known as ‘Al-Qahirah’ which means ‘The Triumphant’.

-The Al-Azhar University of Cairo is thought to be the oldest university in the world.

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Tallinn Travel Guide

The ancient coastal capital of Talinn exudes a sense of romantic history, being one of the most completely preserved medieval cities in Europe, a gem on the UNESCO World Heritage List that is slowly being discovered by delighted visitors of all ages. A spirit of mystery still pervades the cobbled courtyards of the picturesque Old Town, the winding alleys overhung with original 12th- and 13th-century merchant’s houses and a perfectly preserved medieval church.

While preserving its past, Tallinn is as progressive as any other modern European capital. This is probably best reflected in the interactive exhibits at the Tallinn Science and Technology Centre, the city’s showcase for the arts and sciences. Public transport is modern and efficient. The nightlife is pumping with cigar bars, pool halls and nightclubs. Dining out promises tasty choices ranging from take-away pizza and Chinese to formal French and traditional Estonian cuisine.

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Addis Ababa Travel Guide

Addis Ababa (sometimes spelt Addis Abeba) is a diverse and riotous capital city of well over three million people, home to roughly 80 different nationalities, and a multitude of distinct religious and linguistic groups.

Nestled at the foot of Mount Entoto, Addis Ababa was founded in the late 1800s by Ethiopian Emperor Menelik II and was later occupied by the Italians during the second Italo-Abyssinian War. Once the Italians had been ejected, Emperor Haile Selassie immediately set about rebuilding the capital and formed the Organisation of African Unity, replaced by today’s African Union, which still has its headquarters in this proud African city.

Addis Ababa is also home to the world-renowned early hominid, Lucy, whose skeleton is housed in the Ethiopian National Museum. The city also boasts several interesting mosques and cathedrals, Menelik’s old Imperial Palace, which is the official seat of the Ethiopian government, and one of the largest open air markets in Africa (in the Merkato district).

Addis is the perfect place for tourists to buy souvenirs of their stay in Ethiopia. Top of the shopping list is likely to be a pack of Ethiopian coffee beans, preferably vacuum sealed to preserve freshness. Decorative metalwork, in the form of crosses, and painted religious artworks on carved wooden boards are also popular. Filigreed silver and gold jewellery is also a great buy. Addis Ababa is also the best place in Ethiopia to sample the local cuisine which is inventive and flavourful.

Addis Ababa is an interesting mix of poverty and wealth, urbanisation and nature (the city is surrounded by forests and cultivated land). It is a dynamic capital and not without charm, but has its fair share of unemployment, petty crime and destitution. Ethiopia’s capital is a loud, chaotic, and industrious city which is alive with people in search of a better life. Most travellers merely pass through Addis, as it is the main transport hub of the country, but this transit shouldn’t be rushed. Addis Ababa is a good two-day tourist city, offering travellers an authentic taste of urban Africa and enough interesting attractions to make a decent sightseeing itinerary, but more than a day or two is probably unneccesary, particularly considering the wealth of world-class attractions awaiting visitors beyond the confines of the city.

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Tallinn Travel Guide

The ancient coastal capital of Talinn exudes a sense of romantic history, being one of the most completely preserved medieval cities in Europe, a gem on the UNESCO World Heritage List that is slowly being discovered by delighted visitors of all ages. A spirit of mystery still pervades the cobbled courtyards of the picturesque Old Town, the winding alleys overhung with original 12th- and 13th-century merchant’s houses and a perfectly preserved medieval church.

While preserving its past, Tallinn is as progressive as any other modern European capital. This is probably best reflected in the interactive exhibits at the Tallinn Science and Technology Centre, the city’s showcase for the arts and sciences. Public transport is modern and efficient. The nightlife is pumping with cigar bars, pool halls and nightclubs. Dining out promises tasty choices ranging from take-away pizza and Chinese to formal French and traditional Estonian cuisine.

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Birmingham Travel Guide

Birthplace of the Industrial Revolution, Birmingham is shaking off its dreary reputation as a manufacturing city to reveal a modern, cosmopolitan hub. Situated in the geographical heart of England, the UK’s second-largest metropolis is a mixed bag of cultures, dotted with a colourful array of continental eateries, modern shopping arcades, sweeping plazas and vibrant markets.

Much of the area now covered by sprawling Birmingham was originally the northern corner of the ancient Forest of Arden. Birmingham came to life in the mid-1800s as a major manufacturing town owing to the large deposits of exploitable coal and iron nearby. Despite heavy bomb damage during World War II’s ‘Birmingham Blitz’, much industrial heritage is still present in ‘Britain’s canal city’, which has even more waterways than Venice. Built over 200 years ago, the canals, which once bore the raw materials that would spawn the Industrial Revolution, are now principally used for pleasure, and provide a moody backdrop to the historic buildings, restaurants and pubs that are situated alongside the water, most notably at charming Brindley Place and the Gas Street Basin.

Birthplace of the likes of JRR Tolkien, Robert Plant, Black Sabbath and The Streets, the Brummies have done their fair share in creative contribution. An impressive live music scene now illuminates the evenings and an exhaustive listing of events can be found in the free fortnightly publication, The Fly.

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Bath Travel Guide

The Romans established Bath in the year 43 AD and this city, awash with fabulous architecture, history and culture, has been welcoming travellers ever since. Many of Bath’s great buildings date back from its renaissance in the 18th century when it again became a fashionable spa town and played host to royalty and the cream of aristocracy, who famously visited the city to ‘take the waters’. Today visitors can walk around the old Roman Baths, enjoy the splendour of Bath Abbey or simply take in the breathtaking Georgian architecture of this beautiful city, which somehow managed to escape the ravages of industry and the Luftwaffe.

Jane Austen lived and based several of her books in Bath, and on Gay Street, near her home, visitors can find the Jane Austen Centre, which allows visitors to immerse themselves in her life and times. For an authentic feel of life gone by, period decorations and furniture have been reinstated at No. 1 Royal Crescent, so that the house appears as it did in its days as a fine 18th-century townhouse.

Bath is home to much older attractions than its Elizabethan assets, including the famous ancient Roman baths, situated over natural hot springs. Bath was a prosperous tourist destination as early as its Roman occupation, when the baths were built, and continued its reputation as a therapeutic health resort through the medieval period.

Though architecturally Bath is something of a period piece, it is also a very modern city. Its restaurants and pavement cafés are packed full of local businessmen and artisans, and its cinemas, pubs, and nightclubs keep its residents entertained each evening. Bath’s answer to Camden Market is Walcot Street, where a bohemian street market takes place each weekend, its parks and gardens are also popular for relaxing and enjoying pleasant weather.

The International Music Festival marks the beginning of summer and adds to Bath’s lively, festive atmosphere. Its Theatre Royal is one of the country’s leading provincial theatres, attracting big names and pre-West End show runs.

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Brighton Travel Guide

The city of Brighton is one of England’s most exciting seaside destinations. Renowned for its cosmopolitan characters, diverse (and sometimes dizzying) entertainment venues and unsurpassed nightlife, local and international tourists flock to this city at every chance they get, be it for a long weekend or a summer vacation, and Brighton remains one of the most popular day trip destinations from London for foreign visitors. In fact, Brighton Pier is the most popular tourist destination in the UK outside of London. The stripy deckchairs on the iconic Brighton Pier have become an instantly recognisable image of the English seaside.

Brighton’s modern atmosphere is strongly contrasted by some of its older Regency and Victorian architecture. The charming village lanes are home to numerous cafés, antique shops and jewellery stores, while not far away the Palace Pier stretches out over the lapping waves of the sea, the lights and music from its funfair and amusement arcades luring vast, raucous crowds.

During the summer, the pebbled Brighton Beach and its waterfront bars and clubs become a vibrant ‘anything goes’ zone, with locals and vacationers alike throwing all caution to the wind and revelling in the laid-back, summery atmosphere.

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Bristol Travel Guide

A holiday in Bristol, England’s largest seaport, is guaranteed to be memorable as the city is bursting with things to see and do. Some of the sights are quite unique, like the graffiti of local street artist Banksy and the restored Victorian ocean liner, SS Great Britain. Bristol has a vibrant nightlife, exciting shopping, and a fascinating maritime heritage that is preserved and showcased in the lively Old Harbour area. Visiting Bristol also presents opportunities for excursions to all the popular tourist destinations of Southwest England.

The River Avon winds picturesquely through the bustling city centre of Bristol, and has played a key role in the development of the city as a major English commercial port. Surrounded by a charming hilly landscape and the spectacular, ice-carved Avon Gorge, Bristol is a scenic mix of history, commerce and culture.

The city contains a mish-mash of architecture, spanning over 400 years, much of which has been rebuilt, destroyed, relocated or vandalised over time. Today few of the city’s earliest treasures remain, particularly because Bristol was severely blitzed during World War II. Although there is little to no visible evidence of Bristol’s 11th-century origins, the city is not devoid of character by any means, and there has been an attempt to restore the remaining jewels, evident in the beautiful Queen and Portland Squares. There are plenty of Georgian and Victorian churches, buildings and monuments to be seen and the city’s strong maritime history remains palpable. Modern Bristol is known for its many artists and eco-activists and is carving out a vibrant and unique identity.

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Cambridge Travel Guide

With a university heritage dating back as far as 1209, the city of Cambridge is steeped in tradition and, as its colleges have been added piecemeal by royal and aristocratic patrons over the centuries, it opens for the visitor like a catalogue of the past 700 years of European architecture. The prestigious University of Cambridge, which dates back to the 13th century, gives the town an academic gravitas while simultaneously providing it with a youthful and exuberant population.

Cambridge offers a number of historic buildings and sites worth exploring, including Kings College Chapel, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, and the Great St Mary’s Church. There are also a plethora of top-notch museums in Cambridge, dedicated to zoology, classical archaeology, earth sciences, anthropology, art, and local history.

With daffodils and summer flowers carpeting the ‘Backs’, or banks of the River Cam, summer and spring are ideal seasons for punting in Cambridge. The city has a number of parks and gardens that provide quiet retreats from the urban city centre.

Cambridge offers first class accommodation, as well as an abundance of shops, culture and entertainment, all features that make the pretty town one of England’s most popular holiday destinations. It hosts several popular festivals, including the Cambridge Summer Music Festival and the Cambridge Shakespeare Festival.

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Durham Travel Guide

With a thousand years of history under its belt, and a skyline dominated by its magnificent cathedral, the hilly city of Durham in northeast England is picturesque and prominent on the list of the UK’s must-see tourist destinations.

Back in 995, legend has it a group of monks from Lindisfarne (the Holy Island off the coast of northeast England) were wandering around looking for a place to settle down and entomb the body of their revered mentor, Saint Cuthbert. They stopped to help a distressed milkmaid who had lost her cow, and the animal was found resting on a pretty peninsula formed by the River Wear. The spot seemed perfect for their purpose and they stayed, later starting work on the building of a cathedral (1093), which still houses Saint Cuthbert’s remains.

As well as becoming one of England’s most influential ecclesiastical centres, the residents of Durham also set about making their mark politically, mainly because of the town’s strategic position close to the Scottish border. The castle built by William the Conqueror in 1071 saw plenty of military action over the centuries, and stands proudly opposite the cathedral, now home to a college of Durham University.

Many of the sons and daughters of Durham have made their mark in a variety of fields, from poets and artists to novelists and musicians. One of the most notable modern celebrities spawned by the city is Tony Blair, former UK Prime Minister.

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Leeds Travel Guide

Not very long ago the West Yorkshire city of Leeds was a grim, grey industrial town; however, in little more than a decade, Leeds has enjoyed an economic boom and its transformation has earned it accolades from all quarters. It is now recognised as one of Europe’s most successful cities. Along with this boom has come regeneration and a fresh tide of tourism.

Leeds currently attracts about 20 million tourists a year, the majority of which are day-trippers. The reasons visitors come to Leeds are many and varied; its famously wild nightspots, frequent cultural events, abundant shopping and fascinating collection of museums are just a few.

Sharing access to the nearby international airport is the neighbouring historic Yorkshire city of Bradford, also a vibrant, cosmopolitan city offering plenty to amuse and entertain visitors. Bradford has attractions like the National Media Museum, Industrial Museum, and a splendid art gallery contained in beautiful Lister Park.

These two complementary Yorkshire cities, with their packed calendars of festivals and events, have become the beating heart of northern England. Visitors to the UK should not pass up the opportunity to visit Leeds, which has been dubbed the ‘Knightsbridge of the North’.

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Liverpool Travel Guide

Whether they take the ‘ferry cross the Mersey’, or a stroll down Penny Lane, most visitors will find it difficult to explore Liverpool without a song on their lips. From the Twin Cathedrals with their striking views over the city to the historical, Grade 1-listed Albert Dock and its Beatles museum, there’s certainly plenty to see and do in Liverpool.

An important maritime centre and industrial port, Liverpool was one of the great cities of the United Kingdom during the Industrial Revolution, and much of its wealth came from its dominance in the shipping of textiles, cotton, sugar and slaves. The city was severely bombed in World War II and has struggled to get back on its feet, experiencing alternating waves of prosperity and depression. The 1960s saw the explosion of the Beatles and pop music, while the 1990s saw an attempt to regenerate the urban centre.

Liverpool’s waterfront is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the city has achieved World Heritage Status, joining Edinburgh and Bath as the only UK cities to carry the honour. Millions of pounds were poured into the development of the city when Liverpool was announced as the European Capital of Culture for 2008, including the £920 million Paradise Street development in the city centre.

Famous for football, music and shipping, Liverpool has steadily increased in popularity with tourists over the last decade.

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London Travel Guide

A global powerhouse, the ancient city of London is packed with history and culture and is a perennial favourite with travellers of all kinds:

England’s historic capital was the centre of the British Empire for generations, and is imbued with an incredible sense of history; visitors to London often feel that the city is familiar because of all the iconic landmarks and famous buildings. Modern London has moved with the times and in addition to its proud ancient heritage it is a truly cosmopolitan city which continues to host prestigious world events. Anyone wishing to understand and explore the origins of Western culture will revel in a holiday in London, where traditional attractions still amaze and astound, but they will also be entertained by contemporary London, with its excellent restaurants, energetic nightlife, and enjoy world-class shopping.

A holiday in London is enjoyable for anyone and everyone. Families will find plenty to intrigue and delight children; couples can revel in the romance still imbued in this old city; and culture vultures will be in heaven.

Best time to visit London

The best time to holiday in London is during spring (April and May) when its famous parks erupt in a profusion of flowering bulbs, early autumn (September and October) when the trees turn into golden hues and skies are often blue, or summer (July and August) when the long evenings are a joy. Winters can gloomy, dark and cold but the cosy pubs and brilliant museums still beckon. Read more on London’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in London

-Spend a few hours getting lost among the myriad treasures of the British Museum.

-Visit Madame Tussauds to meet all your favourite celebrities.

-Gawp at the magnificence of St Paul’s Cathedral and Westminster Abbey.

-Get a sense of the city’s rich history and see the crown jewels in the Tower of London.

What to do in London

-Take a tour of the state rooms and Queen’s Gallery at Buckingham Palace.

-Sample punk culture at the fun and feisty Camden Market.

-Explore UNESCO-listed Greenwich, famous for its meridian and many museums.

-Visit the South Bank, and marvel at the breathtaking views from the London Eye.

Beyond London

England is a small country with a brilliant transport network and good roads; almost everything is easily accessible from London. Glorious attractions within reach include historic towns like Canterbury and Windsor, and grand buildings like Hampton Court Palace and Leeds Castle.

Getting there

Heathrow Airport, situated 15 miles (24km) west of London, is the busiest airport in the UK and one of the busiest in the world, and many travellers begin their London experience in this famous hub. International flights also commonly land at Gatwick Airport and London Stansted Airport. Get more information on Airports in London.

Did you know?

-Once the largest and most influential city in the world, London is still the biggest city in Western Europe and one of the largest financial centres in the world.

-London is the only city that has hosted the modern Olympic Games three times.

-Aldgate Tube Station is built on a massive plague pit containing more than 1,000 buried bodies.

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Manchester Travel Guide

Although now best known for its football team, Manchester was once one of England’s greatest Victorian cities, and the birthplace of both rail travel and Rolls Royce cars. It is situated on the east bank of the Irwell River in the northwest of the country, and is the centre of a huge metropolitan area which now encompasses the surrounding towns of Bury, Bolton, Wigan, Rochdale, Salford, Stockport and Oldham. Liverpool is just 30 miles (48km) down river. The area long had a reputation as a drab, industrialised sprawl, but Manchester has succeeded in reinventing itself, becoming a vibrant metropolis with a nightlife second only to London. The city boasts more than 50 free museums and galleries, a world-class sports centre, and plenty of parks, gardens and other attractions.

The city’s architecture is largely a reminder of its central role in the cotton trade, and many of the original warehouses can still be seen, although modern-day Manchester is now very different from its heyday as an industrial hub. When the city centre was badly damaged in an IRA bombing in 1996, much of the central area was beautifully renovated. Now renamed the Millennium Quarter, it is a marvellous contrast of splendid Victorian architecture and towering glass edifices, including the eye-catching Urbis exhibition centre.

Manchester is home to two of the United Kingdom’s largest universities: the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University. The Royal Northern College of Music is located here as well, bringing the total to more than 86,000 students living in the city. This large student population ensures that there is always a buzz of activity and a party atmosphere in Manchester.

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Newcastle-Upon-Tyne Travel Guide

Newcastle-Upon-Tyne, or just Newcastle, as it is more commonly known, has developed from an industrial city into a thriving metropolis. Successfully regenerated, Newcastle has now become a highly popular UK weekend destination, particularly with a younger crowd who flock to its bars, restaurants and nightclubs. A compact city with plenty to do, Newcastle is friendly to tourists and teeming with history and culture.

Situated on the River Tyne’s north bank, the city boasts a 2,000-year history and a treasure-trove of architecture, with some of the most classically-styled buildings found anywhere in the UK. Although Newcastle really only reached prominence during the Industrial Revolution, it had long been a capital and a chief defensive point in the north of England for the Romans and Saxons respectively. The city’s origins as a Roman town are still evident in Hadrian’s Wall, the ruins of which can be seen stretching eastward to Wallsend.

Today, these Roman ruins and the grand elegance of areas such as the neoclassical Grainger Town in the city centre contrast with the ultra-modern buildings of the city’s new Quayside development. Newcastle’s waterfront features chic boutiques, excellent restaurants, stylish hotels and modern art. The Gateshead Millennium Bridge, a work of art in itself, arches across the River Tyne to link Newcastle to the Gateshead Quays.

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Oxford Travel Guide

Having spawned the legendary Alice in Wonderland, Bilbo and Frodo Baggins and the Chronicles of Narnia, Oxford is not only England’s oldest centre for learning, but the home and inspiration of such famous authors as Lewis Carroll, CS Lewis, and JRR Tolkien. In recent years, the city added to its literary resume by acting as the location for several parts of Hogwarts School in the blockbuster Harry Potter films.

The ‘dreaming spires’ of Oxford University house the famous Ashmolean Museum and the Museum of Modern Art; other excellent museums in Oxford include the Pitt Rivers Museum of Anthropology and Ethnology, the Christ Church Picture Gallery, and the Oxford Museum of Natural History. Whether lazing on one of the college quadrangles, punting down the river, pub crawling, or exploring the city’s ancient heritage, Oxford promises something for visitors of all ages.

Outside of the university, the city of Oxford has a number of its own attractions, including active theatre and art communities, and many unique and interesting shops and restaurants. The Covered Market in High Street is one of the oldest in England and worth a browse, and you’ll find many shops that sell Oxford University memorabilia, whether authentic or not.

It should come as no surprise that a town this dedicated to its university would have a busy nightlife, and many bars, pubs and nightclubs open their doors nightly to students and anyone else who wanders in.

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York Travel Guide

From the remains of a Viking settlement discovered deep beneath Coppergate Street, to the medieval wall surrounding the old city and the splendour of Castle Howard (the setting for TV’s Brideshead Revisited), York is a city richly steeped in history. It is one of the most interesting and popular cities in the UK, attracting a steady flood of local and international tourists.

Founded in the year 71 AD, York is located at the convergence of the Ouse and Foss Rivers, and was thus a strategic northern hub, passing through the hands of the Romans, Saxons, Vikings and Normans respectively. The varied history of the city is evident in its magnificent architecture – from Viking ruins to the spectacular York Minster cathedral. Northern Europe’s largest Gothic Cathedral, the Minster took more than 250 years to complete, and is an impressive and photogenic structure surrounded by beautiful gardens.

This is not just a city of history, however, and the presence of York University makes for a lively mix of the old and the new. There are plenty of shops, bars, clubs and restaurants, and weary travellers in York can spend their afternoon in one of the city’s excellent tea rooms or coffee shops, while the evenings offer West End-style shows at reasonable prices, and plenty of places to find some solid English pub grub.

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