Listed City Guide - I
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Idaho

Boise Travel Guide

 

Boise is nestled on a high desert plain in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, and visitors will be hard-pressed to forget its proximity to the glories of Mother Nature. The Boise River flows directly through the centre of town, enhancing the 25-mile (40km) Greenbelt path system, which connects five major parks throughout Boise, providing runners, walkers, bikers and skaters with endless space for exercise. Boise’s location makes it a convenient gateway to Idaho’s great outdoors. Towering mountains lie to the north, including the Bogus Basin Mountain Resort, just a few minutes’ drive from the city. Also easily accessible are natural sand dunes, hot springs and crystal clear mountain lakes.

Downtown Boise, however, is not without urban flair. Shops, galleries, restaurants and clubs radiate from the central Grove Plaza, where free concerts are staged throughout the summer and festive celebrations, including the lighting of an enormous Christmas tree, take place during the winter. Renovated historic buildings like the 8th Street Marketplace and Union Block offer unique shopping and dining experiences. Boise has an active downtown association, which promotes initiatives like First Thursdays, when city businesses stay open late and offer various promotions.

One must-do is to sample Boise’s Basque cuisine. In the 1930s, a group of Basques left Europe and settled in Boise, joining the sheep-herding industry, which was quite strong at the time. Today, Boise has one of the largest concentrations of Basques in the world outside the Pyrenees. In Boise’s Basque neighbourhood, visitors can enjoy the Basque market, traditional restaurants and various cultural events.

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Illinois

Chicago Travel Guide

With impressive architecture, a wealth of public art installations, and an effortlessly cool culture, Chicago’s endless popularity hasn’t prevented the city from being ‘discovered’ again and again:

Chicago is a legendary metropolis that is almost as popular a tourist destination as New York, and it seems to get better every year. Once the city of gangsters, Chicago is now a well-oiled machine of a metropolis, trendy, powerful and proud. During a holiday in Chicago there need never be a dull moment, the number of world-class events and attractions being as large and diverse as the city itself. Chicago is celebrated for its galleries, theatres and restaurants, and attracts shopaholics with its exciting shopping scene.

Anyone and everyone will enjoy a holiday in Chicago, which is a marvellous modern city in a delightful setting, offering amusements, entertainment and interesting sights to suit all tastes.

Best time to visit Chicago

If there is anything that might put off visitors who travel to Chicago it could be the weather, which is miserable for most of the year. It is called the ‘Windy City’ for good reason. Summers, between June and August, are overly hot and humid, and winters, between December and February, unbearably cold, windy and snow-covered. The best time to holiday in Chicago is during early autumn, when the air is frosty but it sparkles under blue skies and sunshine. Read more on Chicago’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Chicago

-Admire the views from the Hancock Observatory or the Willis Tower.

-Enjoy the many attractions of Navy Pier, a good starting point for a boat tour.

-Find out what’s going on in Millennium Park, the heart of Chicago.

-Marvel at the heavens in the Adler Planetarium and Astronomy Museum.

What to do in Chicago

-Spend a sunny day on one of Chicago’s Lake Michigan beaches.

-Walk the Chicago Loop, a downtown stretch packed with public art and interesting architecture.

-Shop and eat along the aptly named Magnificent Mile on Michigan Avenue.

-Treat the kids to a day of thrills and squeals at Six Flags Great America.

Beyond Chicago

The city of Rockford is very close to Chicago, boasting a barrage of cultural attractions. Those keen to track the historic Route 66 begin their pilgrimage in Chicago.

Getting there

Flights to Chicago most commonly land at O’Hare International Airport, located 17 miles (30km) northwest of the city. Chicago Midway International Airport, somewhat closer to the city, also handles some international flights. Get more information on Airports in Chicago.

Did you know?

-Chicago encompasses 552 parks, making it a surprisingly green city.

-The Willis Tower (formerly the Sears Tower) is one of the tallest buildings in the Western Hemisphere.

-Chicago was the birthplace of the Twinkie, the Ferris wheel, and Walt Disney.

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Indiana

Indianapolis Travel Guide

Indiana is known as the ‘Crossroads of America’, and in Indianapolis, the intersection of several major Interstate highways, this is literally true. This makes the state capital’s multiple attractions easily accessible, including the one many consider to be hallowed ground, the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. Those who know nothing else about the city know that each May racing devotees flock to Indianapolis by the thousands for the Indy 500. During the winter, Indianapolis is a hotspot for football fans, whose fervour for the Colts has reached frenzied heights since the team won the XLI Super Bowl.

No worries for those less enthusiastic about spectator sports. Once dubbed ‘Indiana No Place’, Indianapolis now caters to a variety of other interests, not the least of which is history. At the centre of town is Monument Circle, home to the 284-foot (87m) Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument, among many others. From the circle, the city spreads outward in a grid and is divided into six cultural districts. Broad Ripple Village mixes sidewalk cafés and upscale boutiques with retro fashions and original music venues. Fountain Square is a funky downtown neighbourhood laid out like a European village. Both are known for their artistic leanings and abundance of ethnic restaurants. Indiana Avenue showcases the city’s African-American heritage, and Mass Ave is the free-spirited, friendly arts and theatre district.

The final two cultural districts may have less of an eclectic vibe, but they are packed with attractions. Those in search of good, old-fashioned American consumerism need look no further than the Wholesale District’s Circle Centre, a large shopping mall connected to the Indiana Convention Center and a number of downtown hotels via skywalks. Wholesale is the home of the business district as well as Conseco Fieldhouse, where the Indiana Pacers play, the Colts’ RCA Dome and loads of chain restaurants. For visitors who wish to spend a bit of time enjoying the fresh air, there is the Canal and White River Park district. The Canal Walk snakes through the city, offering an urban respite for fitness buffs, while scattered throughout the 250-acre state park are top museums, unique festival and concert spaces and the Indianapolis Zoo.

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ICELAND

Reykjavik Travel Guide

Back in the first century AD, legendary Viking Ingolfur Arnarson named the settlement he founded on a south-western peninsula Reykjavik, meaning ‘Smokey Bay’. The smoke he found wafting over the area, however, had nothing to do with pollution, but rather the bubbling, boiling natural geysers and geothermal springs that now underlie the modern capital of Iceland. This source of heat and water has ensured that Reykjavik has no need to burn fuels to warm its heart, and the crisp, clean air is delightful.

The sky is not always blue, however: Reykjavik receives more than its fair share of rainy weather blown in from the sea, and during the long, bleak winter its northern latitude ensures that the sun makes no more than a brief appearance every day.

Despite this, the capital of Iceland is definitely a hot spot, renowned for its lively pubs and clubs, which draw hundreds of merry-making visitors, particularly during the long, light, bright summer nights. Reykjavik’s growing reputation as a fun tourist destination is enhanced by its fiery, friendly inhabitants, relaxed pace of life, many cultural attractions and dozens of opportunities for fascinating day trips, not to mention the novelty of bathing in one of the steamy public geothermal swimming baths.

Reykjavik’s setting on the southwest corner of Iceland is another draw card. All around are panoramic views of the majestic Mount Esja, which rises up behind the bay, and vistas across the Atlantic as far, on a sunny day, as the crystalline Snaefellsjokull glacier to the west. The city is well positioned to act as a springboard for southern Iceland, and many of the country’s most popular attractions are within easy reach.

Reykjavik has a small-town atmosphere, its centre easily explored on foot, the quaint whitewashed wooden buildings and colourful houses interspersed with plenty of open space.

Even those who come to indulge mainly in the hedonistic nightlife cannot fail to leave Reykjavik feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.

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INDIA

Bengaluru Travel Guide

Until 1831, Bengaluru slumbered in the shadow of its neighbouring city Mysore. When the British took control over the local kingdom they moved the capital to Bengaluru, upgrading its infrastructure in the process with fine colonial buildings, roads, rail connections and wonderful parks and gardens. The city was then known as Bangalore – a name still in common usage – but is now officially known as Bengaluru once again. It is the state capital of Karnataka and is still called the ‘Garden City’ due to its leafy avenues and quiet suburbs.

Bengaluru was the first city in India to become electrified, and has ever since retained the cachet of being India’s most technologically modern and progressive city. It is also quite literally one of the country’s coolest cities, with an average temperature far lower than the scorching plains of the surrounding region. Among other advantages Bengaluru enjoys are noticeably cleaner streets and a generally calmer and less frenetic atmosphere than other Indian cities.

Bengaluru is well-known as the centre of India’s IT and telecommunications industries, and thus attracts professionals from all over India and abroad. The influx of Westerners and knowledge-workers, coupled with the rise in affluence, have made this India’s most modern and secular city – often its residents have relaxed and refreshingly liberal attitudes by Indian standards that many find appealing, but others find scandalous.

Bengaluru is perhaps best described as the face of modern India, a fast-developing and charming city with a lot of potential.

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Delhi Travel Guide

To holiday in Delhi is to succumb to the chaos and charm of a sprawling and ancient city, which is full of surprises, and shocks. Delhi is a city of contrasts, part squalor and part exotic splendour.

A quintessentially Indian city, the manic, noisy and labyrinthine streets of the old city give way to the imperial grandeur of New Delhi and its wide, leafy avenues. Visitors will see sprawling slums and marvellous palaces, abject poverty and glittering wealth, and be overwhelmed by the age and history of the city.

A holiday in Delhi can be exhausting, unless you can afford air-conditioned luxury, so this is a destination for the adventurous and energetic. Shoppers will enjoy the experience of bargaining for unique and exotic souvenirs in the crammed street markets, while foodies can sample the North Indian cuisine that the city is known for in Delhi’s numerous restaurants. The city’s impressive array of attractions will pack any travel itinerary to bursting point, and Delhi is also the gateway to the fascinating Rajasthan region.

Best time to visit Delhi

Unless you are acclimatised to intense heat and can tolerate temperatures of up to 113°F (45°C) and beyond avoid Delhi in the summer (March to July). Dust storms and high humidity during the monsoon season (end of June) may further add to the discomfort of travelling to Delhi in the hot summer months. The best time to visit Delhi is between November and March, when the weather is warm and sunny. To catch the colourful Hindu festival of Holi, book your trip to Delhi in late February/March. Read more on Delhi’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Delhi

-Marvel at Jama Masjid, India’s largest mosque.

-Visit the residence of the President of India, the architecturally stunning Rashtrapati Bhavan.

-See the ancient symbol of Islamic power in Delhi, the Qutub Minar.

-Soak up the atmosphere at India Gate with its war memorial and green lawns.

What to do in Delhi

-Wander through the frenzied, exciting bazaars surrounding Chandni Chowk.

-Spend some time admiring the flower-like Lotus Temple.

-Explore Humayun’s Tomb, one of the most beautiful examples of Mogul architecture in Delhi.

-Stroll around the famous Red Fort, Delhi’s landmark attraction.

Beyond Delhi

Delhi is the perfect springboard for travel in the north of India: Agra and the iconic Taj Mahal are within easy reach; the northern hill stations, like Dharamsala, residence of the Dalai Lama, are accessible; and cities like AmritsarJaipur and Varanasi are all possible destinations with plenty to offer travellers of all kinds.

Getting there

There are direct flights to Delhi from the UK and the US, landing at Indira Gandhi International Airport, which is located 10 miles (16km) southwest of New Delhi. It is the busiest airport in India and there are trains, taxis and buses available to take passengers into the city. Get more information on Airports in Delhi.

Did you know?

-The walled city of Delhi originally had fourteen gates; five are still standing.

-Although Delhi is the capital of India, it is only the third largest city in the country.

-Delhi has an International Toilet Museum.

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Goa Travel Guide

If you’re yearning for spectacular sunsets, paradise beaches, a laid-back lifestyle, great market shopping sprees, and full-moon parties, Goa is the place to visit:

Goa is celebrated globally as a destination for hedonists, beach bums and hippies, but this beautiful state now attracts people of all kinds to holiday on its picturesque shores, and families and millionaires are as likely to be seen there as backpackers. The big drawcard is Goa’s beaches, but there is fun to be had beyond the golden sands.

Goa was a Portuguese colony until 1961 and the state’s natural bounty is complemented by the colonial splendour of Old Goa and parts of Panaji. There are many temples and churches of note to explore if you can drag yourself from the beach. Goa also offers interesting cuisine, fabulous shopping opportunities, and, of course, some seriously good parties. There is no disputing that Goa’s nightlife is the best in the country, and it is a dream destination for lovers of trance music.

Best time to visit Goa

Goa is uncomfortably hot and humid during summer, and the monsoon rains arrive between June and September. Therefore, the best time to visit Goa is during the state’s short winter, between November and February, which just happens to coincide with the extremely popular New Year’s celebrations. October and March are good months to visit if you want to avoid the crowds and the parties as well as the worst of the heat, but many facilities will be closed. Find out more about Goa’s Weather and Climate.

What to see in Goa

-Explore the colonial splendour of Old Goa, a UNESCO-listed site.

-Visit the Dr Salim Ali Bird Sanctuary and explore the mangroves.

-Take an excursion to the Dudhsagar Waterfall, and enjoy the views.

-Enjoy the unspoiled beach paradise of Palolem.

What to do in Goa

-Shop for souvenirs at the renowned Anjuna Flea Market, before hitting the beach.

-Go swimming at the picturesque Baga Beach.

-Trawl the bars, shops and restaurants at Calangute Beach.

-Stroll through the cobbled streets of the state capital, Panaji.

Beyond Goa

Many visitors choose to combine a Goan beach holiday with the urban delights and challenges of the city of Mumbai. Mumbai and Panaji are joined by a quick rail link making this trip easy. Another nearby city with many worthwhile attractions is Bengaluru, and some choose to travel all the way south to enjoy the beauty of Kerala and Kochi.

Getting there

Also known as Dabolim Airport, Goa International Airport is the only airport in the state of Goa, and provides a gateway to the state’s exotic beaches and spectacular temples. The airport is located 18 miles (about 29km) southwest of Panaji. Get more information on Airports in Goa.

Did you know?

-Goa is the smallest state in India.

-The first printing press and the first medical school in India were in Goa.

-Though the smallest state in India, Goa has more than 6,000 bars – nearly two per square kilometre.

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Kolkata Travel Guide

Kolkata (formerly Calcutta) is a city of contrasts and contradictions, and one which has a lasting impact on its visitors. It is India’s third-largest city, and home to some of the country’s holiest temples and finest colonial structures.

As the ‘Cultural Capital of India’, Kolkata is said to have the biggest concentration of artists, writers and publishers in the country. Although it is the centre of Bengali culture, Kolkata is also a diverse city, with a polyglot mixture of languages spoken among its 14 million inhabitants. Kolkata was home to two Nobel Laureates: Mother Teresa, whose humble home can still be visited; and writer Rabindranath Tagore. The city also accommodates sports fans, with Eden Gardens, the city’s temple to cricket and the second-largest cricket stadium in the world; and Saltlake Stadium, one of the world’s largest football venues, with an impressive crowd capacity of 120,000.

From 1772 to 1912 Kolkata was the capital of the British Raj, a legacy evident in its superb colonial architecture – highlighted by the enormous Victoria Memorial – and well-planned infrastructure. The latter half of the 20th century, however, saw Kolkata enter a period of decline, with rampant poverty and economic stagnation. It was only in the 1980s, under India’s first democratically-elected Marxist administration, that the city turned the corner.

Today, visitors making the journey to this eastern corner of the country will find a city that has rediscovered its pride and cultural identity, offering a Bengali welcome warm enough to seduce even the most jaded traveller.

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Mumbai Travel Guide

To explore Mumbai is to explore a microcosm of India; it is a colourful and vast city where cultures and religions collide, and magnificent wealth and abject poverty interplay on every street corner:

The largest and most cosmopolitan city in India, a holiday in Mumbai (formerly Bombay) is an experience in contrasts, from the glitz and glamour of Bollywood to the terrible poverty of its beggars; from the Gothic splendour of colonialism, to the ornate beauty of Indian architecture; from the palaces and temples that inspire, to the smog, garbage and throngs that hamper the experience. There is nothing dull or tired about Mumbai, and simply soaking up the atmosphere in the streets is sufficient to open the mind and the heart to what this fascinating country is all about.

A holiday in Mumbai is not for the faint-hearted because the sheer size and scope of this city is daunting. Globetrotters who revel in people-watching, and those who enjoy shopping for bargains in chaotic markets are good candidates for a Mumbai holiday. Those keen to party will find that Mumbai has the best nightlife of India’s cities. Tourists tend to gravitate first and foremost to the Colaba district, on the southernmost peninsula of the city, for the good hotels and restaurants, and the landmark Gateway to India.

Best time to visit Mumbai

The climate of Mumbai is generally hot and humid throughout the year, but the best time to travel to Mumbai is in the winter months between November and February, when conditions are slightly more bearable. Avoid the monsoon season (between June and September), when your holiday is likely to be swamped by heavy rain and flooding. Read more on Mumbai’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Mumbai

-Pay tribute at the Haji Ali Dargah, a mausoleum and mosque built in 1431.

-Watch the age-old labours of the dhobis at the ‘world’s largest laundromat’, the Dhobi Ghat.

-Learn about Mahatma Gandhi at his old Mumbai headquarters, the Mani Bhavan Gandhi Museum.

-Wander through the Prince of Wales Museum, learning about India’s colonial history.

What to do in Mumbai

-Shop at the colourful Crawford Market and explore the Kalbadevi merchant district.

-Catch the ferry to the awe-inspiring caves on Elephanta Island.

-Explore the Gothic magnificence of Mumbai’s colonial Fort Area.

-Stroll along Marine Drive, Mumbai’s famous coastal thoroughfare.

Beyond Mumbai

Quite centrally located on the west coast of India, Mumbai is the gateway to the hedonistic pleasures of Goa, the beach paradise of India. However, from Mumbai it is also easy to travel north and experience cities like Udaipur and Jaipur. The well-known Kanha National Park can be found to the east of Mumbai.

Getting there

Mumbai Chhatrapati Shivaji International Airport, often referred to simply as Mumbai Airport, is the second-busiest airport in southern Asia. It is located 18 miles (29km) north of Mumbai and receives direct flights from London and New York. Get more information on Airports in Mumbai.

Did you know?

-It is estimated that by 2020 Mumbai will be home to 27 million people, making it the second largest city in the world after Tokyo.

-Mumbai holds the record for the highest rainfall of any city in a single day.

-Nobel Laureate Rudyard Kipling, who wrote Kim and The Jungle Book, was born in Mumbai.

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INDONESIA

Jakarta Travel Guide

Jakarta is not a city that appeals to everyone but many find it an unavoidable stop on the way to more tranquil Indonesian destinations. A decentralized sprawl of low slung buildings and occasional high rise towers; the lack of any real city centre makes it difficult to experience Jakarta’s highlights, which are scattered about the enormous districts. Jakarta has a reputation as a rich person’s playground and although it is a city of grungy streets and some conspicuous poverty, travellers will also find modern shopping complexes and examples of ostentatious wealth. Visitors can enjoy a bit of this glamour in the garish nightclubs and elegant restaurants.

Travelling far in the city is laborious and adding to the difficulty is heavy traffic and haywire street grids throughout this dense and stretching metropolis. Yet despite or, possibly, because of Jakarta’s reputation as a difficult city, little visited areas and unique attractions feel like personal discoveries. Jakarta is a melting pot of everything Indonesian, giving visitors a quick introduction or synopsis of the country’s various and incredibly diverse cultures, architectures, foods, languages, religions, and combined histories.

Although it can be a polluted and frustrating city to visit, Jakarta has some hidden gems and confronts tourists with the realities of urban Indonesia, providing an interesting contrast to the peaceful rural villages and glorious coastal areas.

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IRELAND

Dublin Travel Guide

Dublin epitomises the Irish spirit of jollity and ancestral pride; it is a fun city with a thousand years of history and culture to explore…

Dublin has a well-earned reputation as a party city, and the nightlife is the greatest attraction for the many party animals that descend upon the Temple Bar District for some raucous Irish revelry. However, there is a lot more to Dublin than Guinness and pub-grub.

The capital of the Emerald Isle is overflowing with cultural and historical attractions and traditional sightseers delight in the city just as much as those who come for the wonderful food, booze and music.

Dublin has a rich literary heritage, having produced some beloved and iconic writers, including James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Oscar Wilde and W. B. Yeats. The city also offers visitors some fascinating museums and tours. Dublin is easy to fall in love with.

Best time to visit Dublin

The summer months, between May and August, are the best time to travel to Dublin. Dublin is a rainy city year-round and seldom gets hot, but the summer weather is pleasantly warm and often sunny. The city is more expensive during these peak months, however, so budget travellers should consider visiting Dublin out of season. A popular time for a Dublin holiday is around St Patrick’s Day, at the end of March, when the city is even more festive than usual. Read more on Dublin’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Dublin

-Visit Saint Patrick’s Cathedral, Ireland’s largest church.

-See the award-winning Yeats exhibition at the National Library of Ireland.

-Explore the National Museums of Ireland, which contain countless treasures.

-Wander around the lovely campus of Trinity College and see the ancient Book of Kells.

What to do in Dublin

-Take a tour of the lavish State Apartments in Dublin Castle.

-Enjoy a pint at the very popular Guinness Storehouse.

-Party in the famous Temple Bar District with its many quality pubs, clubs and restaurants.

-Learn how whiskey is made at the Old Jameson Distillery, founded in the 1770s.

Beyond Dublin

Dublin is a wonderful springboard to the rest of Ireland with many worthwhile attractions, like Clonmacnoise, just outside of the city for those who want to take excursions with Dublin as their base. Ireland is a small country and both Galway and Limerick are easily reached from Dublin.

Getting there

Dublin International Airport is Ireland’s busiest airport and receives flights from the UK and the US. The airport is situated seven miles (11km) north of Dublin, near the M50 and M1 motorways. Get more information on Airports in Dublin.

Did you know?

-It is estimated that about 50 percent of Dublin’s population is under 25.

-The Brazen Head Pub in Dublin, established in 1198, is thought to be the oldest pub in Ireland.

-The Carmelite Church in Dublin claims to hold the remains of Saint Valentine.

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ISRAEL

Jerusalem Travel Guide

With a humbling and fascinating combination of ancient history and sacred religious sites, Jerusalem attracts more than three million tourists a year and earns a profound loyalty from many of its visitors.

Jerusalem, the Holy City, is a place of pilgrimage for the Muslim, Christian and Jewish religions; but whatever their religious beliefs, people from all over the world are drawn to holiday in Jerusalem, the city with a sacred heart. The relatively small area of the Old City is arguably one of the most atmospheric ancient enclaves remaining in the world, with winding old streets, ancient fortifications and an almost tangible sense of history. Most who holiday in Jerusalem come to immerse themselves in the religious and historic attractions of this ancient city, including iconic religious sites like the Church of the Holy SepulchreTemple Mount and the Western Wall.

Jerusalem is also not without modern attractions and the city has many world-class museums and art galleries and hosts a number of cultural festivals. The city is also well located to be a spring board to some of Israel’s most remarkable landscapes and attractions.

Best time to visit Jerusalem

Summers in Jerusalem are hot, but the months of July and August remain high season for a Jerusalem holiday, despite accommodation being more expensive and queues longer. Both spring and autumn (around May and September) are great seasons to travel to Jerusalem, with sunny and warm days. For budget travellers the least expensive is the cool (but wet) winter, between November and March. During the Jewish Passover and some other religious holidays many facilities are closed.

Read more on Jerusalem’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Jerusalem

– Pay tribute at Yad Vashem, Israel’s moving Holocaust memorial.

– Visit the Israel Museum to learn about the Holy Land from the prehistoric to the present.

– Stroll around the famous Citadel of David, admiring the views, the exhibits and the ancient architecture.

– See where Jesus was born just outside of Jerusalem, in Bethlehem.

What to do in Jerusalem

– Explore the ancient Hezekiah’s Tunnel, which winds beneath the city.

– Float in the unique, healing waters of the Dead Sea.

– Take an excursion to Masada, one of Israel’s most famous tourist attractions.

– Walk the footsteps of Jesus on the Via Dolorosa, or the Way of the Cross, through Old Jerusalem.

Beyond Jerusalem

Israel is not a big country and Jerusalem is a great base for excursions to other famous sites and tourist attractions, like Masada, the Ramon Crater and The Dead Sea. Tel Aviv, the coastal city known as the heart of Israel’s contemporary nightlife and shopping scene, is within easy reach and complements the more sombre and ancient treasures of Jerusalem with its young, hip atmosphere.

Getting there

International flights to Jerusalem and Tel Aviv land at Ben-Gurion International Airport, which is situated nine miles (14km) southeast of Tel Aviv, and 30 miles (50km) west of Jerusalem. It takes about 40 minutes to drive from the airport to Jerusalem and there are buses and taxis available.

Get more information on Airports in Jerusalem.

Did you know?

– The city of Jerusalem is over 3,000 years old.

– Considering the number of people, of various religions, who hold Jerusalem sacred, it can be called the most holy city in the world.

– Jerusalem has more than 2,000 archaeological sites.

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Tel Aviv Travel Guide

Tel Aviv is a vibrant modern city that is best known for its sun-drenched beaches, pumping nightclubs, designer shopping, crowded street markets and high culture. What it lacks in antiquities, Tel Aviv makes up for in commerce. One third of Israel’s population have made this bustling metropolis home. Over weekends, residents from nearby towns head to Tel Aviv looking for entertainment and relaxation and city-slickers spill out onto the city’s beaches to soak up the Mediterranean sun along a six-mile (10km) stretch of golden sand. The diversity of the population is reflected in the architectural variations and influences, such as the Yemenite Quarter and the Vodka cafes of Allenby Street. Tel Aviv also provides an ideal base from which to explore other parts of Israel, including Jaffa, the Galilee area and Caesarea.

Go rock-climbing, browse street markets, dine on seafood in the Old Port, party the night away, sunbathe on the beach or tour a top museum. These are just some of the diversions available on a holiday in Tel Aviv, which, like New York, is a ‘city that never sleeps’. Tel Aviv is the hip and happening commercial centre of Israel. A holiday in Tel Aviv is great for families looking for fun in the sun, shopaholics who lust for its many malls and markets, and young travellers who revel in the nightlife and young vibe of the city.

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ITALY

Naples Travel Guide

Italy’s third-largest city thrives on the chaos that prevails amid its busy streets. This is the place where pizza was invented, and its restaurants continue to serve some of Italy’s finest cuisine.

Sheltered by the Bay of Naples and dominated by the slopes of Mount Vesuvius, Naples is imbued with the best of nature’s bounty. The city is somewhat schizophrenic in its juxtaposition of superb museums and Renaissance and Baroque churches alongside crumbling tenement blocks and squalor. Noisy markets sell a collection of items, from high-quality fresh produce to fake designer goods. Roads are characteristically hectic with gung-ho moped drivers weaving wildly through the streets and frustrating traffic jams clogging the city’s arteries. Despite these less refined elements, Naples is a fascinating destination and a great base from which to explore popular attractions like the Amalfi Coast, Pompeii and Herculaneum.

The city’s transport hub is located around the immense Piazza Garibaldi, on the east side of Naples. The area’s growing African population has imbued the streets with the flavours of its immigrants. Southwest from here is the Piazza Bovio, and branching to the left of it, the Piazza Municipio and nearby Piazza del Plebiscito. On the watery edges are the Molo Beverollo and the Stazione Marittima, the point of departure for ferries. From the reaches of Spaccanapoli one can explore the historic part of Naples with its numerous palaces and churches.

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Milan Travel Guide

Milan is about fashion, food and all things glamorous, proudly presenting the modern face of Italy and luring tourists with its sleek cityscape and cultural riches:

Travel to Milan to discover the ‘alternative’ Italy, for the city embodies everything that is chic and sophisticated in Italian culture, far removed from quaint Tuscan villages or warbling gondoliers. Milan is the home of haute couture and haute cuisine, world-class shopping, supreme opera, elegant skyscrapers, tasteful galleries and museums, and spacious piazzas. The proud denizens of this city seem to do everything with style and they know how to have fun: Milan has an energetic nightlife and a sophisticated clubbing scene.

Fashion fundis, shopaholics, opera-lovers and anyone who enjoys the finer things in life (and can afford to pay for them) will revel in a holiday in Milan. This is not to say there are no archaeological or historical treasures in the city; sightseers searching out the ancient and historic will find plenty of diversions. Art-lovers are drawn to Milan to see the masterpieces stored in its leading galleries and the piece de resistance, da Vinci’s The Last Supper fresco, is in the refectory of the Santa Maria delle Grazie.

Best time to visit Milan

Mid-summer (July and August) is stiflingly hot and humid in the city, and most locals head for the lakes at this time of year. The best time to holiday in Milan is in early summer (May to June), or early autumn (September), when the weather is warm and sunny. Winters are very chilly, wet and foggy. Read more on Milan’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Milan

– Marvel at the breathtaking Duomo di Milano, the world’s largest Gothic cathedral.

– See Leonardo da Vinci’s legendary designs and inventions in the National Science and Technology Museum.

– Seek out the peaceful beauty of the old botanical gardens at Orto Botanico di Brera.

– Gaze upon da Vinci’s The Last Supper in the UNESCO-listed Santa Maria delle Grazie.

What to do in Milan

– Visit the fascinating Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio, one of the oldest churches in Milan.

– Explore the vast Sforzesco Castle, one of the city’s most iconic monuments.

– Catch an opera at the world-famous La Scala Theatre.

– Wander through one of Italy’s finest art collections at the Pinacoteca di Brera.

Beyond Milan

There are many enviable excursions from Milan: the stunning scenic villages of Cinque Terre are within easy reach; the glamorous playground of Portofino attracts many day-trippers; and the beautiful Dolomite Mountains beckon to outdoor enthusiasts. Venice and Genoa are also close enough to encourage quick visits.

Getting there

Flights to Milan most commonly land either at Milan Linate International Airport, five miles (8km) southeast of central Milan, or Milan Malpensa International Airport, located 28 miles (45km) northwest of Milan. Despite its distance from the city Milan Malpensa is one of the busiest airports in Europe and buses, trains and taxis ferry passengers into the city. Get more information on Airports in Milan.

Did you know?

– Milan is considered one of the most expensive cities in the world.

– The famous Milan Cathedral took nearly four centuries to complete.

– Milan has been ruled by Celts, Romans, Goths, Lombards, Spaniards, and Austrians in its long history.

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Genoa Travel Guide

Those of us who remember our history books recognise Genoa as the birthplace of famous explorer Christopher Columbus. Always an important port city in Italy, for decades Genoa languished behind Rome, Venice and Milan as the tourists passed it by.

This changed dramatically after the European Union nominated Genoa as the European Capital of Culture in 2004. Cruise ships docking in the Porto Antico now bring visitors by the thousands, and travellers in Italy are making time in their itineraries to spend several days on holiday in Genoa.

This tourism renaissance is well-deserved, as there are many beautiful and fascinating tourist attractions in Genoa. The medieval district is filled with stunning marble churches and stately palaces, grouped around scenic plazas like the Piazza San Matteo and the Piazza Dante. Visitors should be sure to look for the famous frescoes of the Church of Sant’Agostino and the fanciful Gothic carvings of the Cattedrale San Lorenzo. The Via Garibaldi has a number of impressive Baroque buildings. There are many interesting museums in the city, dedicated to everything from cultural and natural history to the navy, cathedrals, and royalty of the city’s past. There are no fewer than five art museums in Genoa as well.

Though it is Italy’s largest medieval town, Genoa’s present is just as vibrant as its past. The streets are always buzzing with life, and visitors are spoiled for choice when it comes to restaurants, shops and entertainment. The Porto Antico on the harbour front has been rebuilt from a utilitarian dock to an entertainment area with museums, cinemas, restaurants, and one of the biggest aquariums in Europe along the pretty promenade.

Genoa makes a good base to explore the other towns along the Italian Riviera, including Portofino, Cinque Terre, Rapallo and La Spezia.

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Florence Travel Guide

Seemingly eternal in its allure, Florence is one of the most beautiful cities in the world and a treasure trove of Renaissance art and culture:

Despite being over-run with tourists for centuries, people continue to flock to holiday in Florence, an artistic, architectural and cultural gem. In a relatively small area, Florence contains a wealth of Renaissance art treasures on streets that were once walked by great artists like Michelangelo, Boticelli and Leonardo da Vinci. The entire historic old town of Florence is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is also known for its good shopping and great Tuscan cuisine. Florence is the launching pad for the stunning countryside, wine routes, Etruscan sites, and medieval hill villages of Tuscany, one of the most popular tourist region’s in Italy.

No self-respecting European tourist can miss out on a holiday in Florence, which ranks as one of the must-see Italian destinations. Serious art-lovers, who are out to do more than just tick the destination boxes, also rank a holiday in Florence at the very top of their itineraries.

Best time to visit Florence

High season for a holiday in Florence is high summer (June to August), when the sun bakes down from the blue Tuscan skies. Crowds make this season unpleasant for serious art-lovers, however, and for a relatively quieter view it is best to travel here in spring or autumn (April, May, September, October), or even during the mild winter, although during this season visitors should anticipate rainy days. Read more on Florence’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Florence

– View an unrivalled panorama of the city from the cupola of the Cathedral of Florence.

– See the tombs of Michelangelo and Galileo in the beautiful Gothic church of Santa Croce.

– Marvel at the Renaissance sculpture collection in The Bargello, Italy’s first national museum.

– Admire the art in The Uffizi, one of the world’s greatest art galleries.

What to do in Florence

– Explore the many museums and landscaped gardens of Palazzo Pitti, the Medici family headquarters.

– Visit the world-famous Florence Accademia to see Michelangelo’s statue of David.

– Wander by the quaint shops on Ponte Vecchio, the oldest bridge in Florence.

– Tour the Basilica di San Miniato al Monte, a superb example of Tuscan Romanesque architecture.

Beyond Florence

There are many fun and popular excursions from Florence into the surrounding Tuscan countryside and to nearby villages and cities: the scenic coastal stretch of Cinque Terre draws many visitors; the Chianti Wine Region could keep tourists occupied for days; famously charming Tuscan towns, like Siena and San Gimignano, are perfect for day-trippers from Florence; and Pisa, with its famous Leaning Tower, is also close by.

Getting there

Flights to Florence land at Florence City Airport and at Pisa Airport, 50 miles (80km) west of Florence. Many visitors also land at the Bologna G Marconi Airport which is conveniently close to a number of cities, including Florence. Get more information on Airports in Florence.

Did you know?

– The Via Chiantigiana, between Florence and Siena, is often called the most beautiful road in Italy.

– Florence Nightingale was named for the city where she was born.

– Florence became the first European city with paved streets in 1339.

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Rome Travel Guide

Rome, known as the Eternal City, is an ancient and fascinating travel destination, which tops the bucket list of many a historical sightseer and Catholic pilgrim:

Hundreds of thousands of visitors travel to Rome on holiday every year to steep themselves in the remnants of the ancient Roman Empire, glory in the artistic treasures of the Vatican City, and gorge on pasta and pizza in pretty piazzas. Rome boasts possibly the best historical sightseeing in the world, with priceless ancient attractions strewn all over the city. Gems like the Pantheon and the Colosseum can single-handedly justify a trip to Rome. Though it may feel eternal, the Italian capital also offers some modern thrills, with a stylish fashion scene and good shopping, sumptuous restaurants, a proud and lively population, and a laid-back, fun nightlife.

For many Catholics, a visit to Rome and the Vatican City is an unforgettable religious pilgrimage, and even non-Christians will be awed by Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and the numerous treasures and beauties of the Pope’s seat. Art-lovers will find marvels on every street corner and some of the most astounding galleries, museums and churches on earth.

Best time to visit Rome

The best time to travel to Rome is during the spring (April and May) when the city experiences lovely warm holiday weather with plenty of sunshine and blue skies. The height of summer (July and August) can be uncomfortably hot for trudging sightseers. Read more on Rome’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Rome

– Marvel at the museums and views of Capitoline Hill, seat of power in Ancient Rome.

– Visit the 4th-century Basilica Di San Giovanni, the first church built in Rome.

– Imagine fierce gladiatorial battles within the iconic Colosseum.

– Stroll through the winding, romantic streets of Trastavere, searching out coffee and gelato.

What to do in Rome

– Explore the thrilling remains of Ancient Rome’s political centre at the Roman Forum.

– Take a tour of St Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican Necropolis where the saint is entombed.

– Toss a coin over your shoulder into the beautiful Trevi Fountain.

– Picnic in the peaceful Villa Doria Pamphili Park, a green haven in a busy city.

Beyond Rome

Rome is conveniently located in the middle of Italy and is a transport hub for the rest of the country, often serving as the entry point for foreign tourists. If you can tear yourself away from the endless treasures of the ancient city, it is easy to travel south to Naples and Pompeii, or north to FlorenceVenice and Milan.

Getting there

Flights to Rome land in Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport (known as Fiumicino Airport), situated 19 miles (30km) southwest of central Rome, or in Giovan Battista Pastine Airport (often called Ciampino Airport), located nine miles (15km) southeast of Rome. Get more information on Airports in Rome.

Did you know?

– Nearly €700,000 worth of coins get tossed into the Trevi Fountain by tourists every year.

– Rome’s population of more than a million was not matched by any European city until London in the 19th-century.

– The first shopping mall was built in Rome by Emperor Trajan and consisted of more than 150 shops.

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Venice Travel Guide

One of the most romantic and unique travel destinations in the world, Venice’s fame is perennial and well-deserved; the watery city is full of treasures and surprises and is guaranteed to delight visitors:

Floating on its blue lagoon with an almost dream-like quality, Venice is just as romantic and beautiful as it looks in travelogues and movies, making it extremely unlikely that anybody who realises their ambition of a holiday in the city will be disappointed. The charming piazzas and singing gondoliers, idiosyncratic buildings and crumbling palaces are all there to be seen, admired and photographed for posterity. Venice’s art galleries, museums and churches house some of the masterpieces of European art and the difficulty for tourists is choosing what to see when so many treasures are accessible. A Venice holiday may be crowded and expensive but will surpass all expectations.

Best time to visit Venice

The busiest tourist seasons in Venice are between spring and autumn (April to October), over Christmas, and during the popular Carnival in February. However, these may not be the best times to travel to Venice if you don’t enjoy crowds of sightseers. Winter, between December and February, is a good option for a Venice holiday because although it is cool and wet, the sights are more easily enjoyed and accommodation is cheaper. Read more on Venice’s Climate and Weather.

What to see in Venice

– Marvel at the elegant architecture of Venice’s picture-perfect Grand Canal.

– See the breathtaking interior of the School of St Roch, covered in the art of Tintoretto.

– Enjoy a dose of modern art from the world-renowned Peggy Guggenheim Collection.

– Admire the views of Venice from the 9th-century Campanile di San Marco.

What to do in Venice

– Enjoy a sophisticated meal in one of the many restaurants off St Mark’s Square.

– Wander across the iconic Rialto Bridge, and explore the markets in the area.

– Take a Gondola Ride through the picturesque, narrow canals of the city.

– Stroll through the Gallerie dell’Accademia to see one of Europe’s finest art collections.

Beyond Venice

The islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello have been incorporated into Venice to some extent and all three offer some interesting attractions for visitors. For a break from traditional sightseeing, or as a treat for the kids, Aqualandia water park, also very close to the city, is a blast. Further afield, the historic city of Padua is a charming destination. Both Milan and Florence are within reach.

Getting there

The Venice Marco Polo Airport is the most common entry point for visitors and is conveniently located five miles (8km) north of Venice. It is possible to get to the city from the airport by bus, boat, taxi or train. Get more information on Airports in Venice.

Did you know?

– From the 14th century to the 16th century Venice’s Republic was the most powerful force in the Mediterranean region.

– Venice has 177 canals and more than 400 bridges.

– Despite the ingenious building methods which have kept Venice afloat for centuries, the city is slowly sinking.

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Verona Travel Guide

For most people, Verona is the setting of one of the most famous love stories ever told – William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet – making it one of the most popular holiday destinations for lovers and romantics. Shakespeare said, ‘There is no world outside these walls…’ and tourists will indeed feel like they are lost inside another world when they enter the gates of the historic city of Verona.

With beautiful red-tiled rooftops juxtaposed with leafy green trees and the sparkling Adige River that flows through this UNESCO World Heritage Site, Verona is one of the most picturesque destinations in the country. Sadly though, much of the exquisite ancient architecture and ancient Roman monuments were destroyed by a powerful earthquake that rocked the city in 1117, which led to a massive Romanesque rebuilding (evident in structures like the ancient parish of San Giovanni in Valle).

Visit Juliet’s house and balcony and rub her statue for good luck; stroll across the Ponte Pietra bridge to admire the views over the Adige River; visit the remains of a 3rd-century Roman gate at the historic Porta Borsari; visit the statue of famed poet Dante Alighieri in the Piazza dei Signori; or marvel at the crumbling but still functional Arena di Verona, an enormous Roman amphitheatre dating back 2,000 years and still boasting the largest opera stage in the world. The best time to visit the Arena is during the ‘lyrical season’, in the summer, where operas take place inside this ancient theatre on balmy summer nights.

The areas surrounding Verona provide some of Italy’s most breathtaking scenery, and a trip to Valpolicella or Soave to sample the renowned wines is something wine-lovers will not want to miss out on; while nearby Lake Garda to the west of Verona is a popular tourist destination, whose shores are home to a number of exclusive hotels and resorts.

After a long day of enjoying the romance, history and splendour of the city of Verona, climb the steps on the hill above the Roman Amphitheatre to the Castell San Pietro (St Peter’s Castle) for spectacular views over the city – the perfect setting for a romantic sunset picnic.

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IVORY COAST

Abidjan Travel Guide

Abidjan was once the proud and flourishing capital city of the Ivory Coast, and a jewel in the continent of Africa’s crown; however, years of civil unrest and a lack of maintenance have seen the city slowly move away from the reputation it once held as the ‘Paris of West Africa’. For those travelling to Ivory Coast, Abidjan will more than likely be your first introduction to the country.

The city is testament to what the country once was and what it could be again. This is evident in the sites such as the Hotel Ivoire, which was constructed in the sixties and hasn’t changed significantly since then. Visitors can take a trip down memory lane as the hotel’s architecture, furniture and decor are all reminiscent of styles that have long-since passed. Abidjan is arranged along the coast and the shores of a lagoon. Some sites in the city include a popular beach area known as Grand Bassam, the public zoo, a rainforest park in the city called Park du Banco, and Saint Paul’s Cathedral.

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