21 November 2013

Asiatique: The Riverfront Bangkok

Undoubtedly, there are many places in Bangkok locals and tourists flock to when it comes to finding the right spot to dine and relax, in the busy Bangkokian atmosphere. Some choose to go to open markets such as Jatuchuk or Sanam Luang 2 while others tend to keep cool indoors, walking in big malls. However, it wasn’t until sometime ago a new venue opened: Asiatique: The Riverfront. Asiatique in respect is extremely different from any outdoor venue in Bangkok.



Located by the Chao Phraya River which made it accessible by both car and boat, Asiatique boasts a nostalgic feel of Bangkok’s trading post past.

What is Asiatique?

Asiatique: The Riverfront is located by the Chao Phraya River which can be easily reached by a variety of transportation methods. The most common method is riding the BTS to Saphan Taksin station and catch a cheap boat ride to the venue.

Reaching Asiatique, it does create a sense of nostalgia as this used to be a small trading post back in the past. Perhaps around in the early 1900’s when westernization was just touching Bangkok’s trading posts. To commemorate the Bangkok’s past; Asiatique has several bronze statues erected to show the lives of the people during that time. These statues are located by the harbour.

Fast forwarding to the present, the entire location is decorated with fancy lights and shops lined in the hundreds in warehouses. These shops almost similar to Jatujak weekend market, contains various of items for sale: Clothing, tourist souvenirs, jewelry and sweets are just some of the items available for purchase. Most of the items, however, are hand crafted which makes them slightly expensive but worth the price.

Eating Out by the Harbour

At Asiatique, there are a variety of restaurants which are worth mentioning. From Japanese to Italian restaurants, there’s a big assortment of dishes prepared by skilled chefs. Price wise, is slightly leaning on the expensive side but accompanied with amazing and well-prepared food, the price is just right. If visitors don’t want to pay outrageous amounts for well-prepared dishes then don’t fret; Asiatique has an open food court as well.

The food court is simpler, yet refined. It’s refined in a sense of the area’s cleanliness, the positivity and friendliness of the staff and the food that’s served.

Asiatique is one of the few places that shine at night. During some special occasions, the venue will host a tall, well lit Ferris wheel for couples and families to enjoy.

Closing Remarks

Asiatique: The Riverfront is a great place to hang out with friends and families. Not only does the venue contain amazing food, there’s amazing items to be bought or simply, people can chill out in Bangkok’s afternoon breeze. Perhaps what makes this place special is the calmness that surrounds the place. Not only does Asiatique allow people to escape the city, it allows its visitors to gather their peace of mind by eating good food and listening to live bands perform at Bangkok’s once famous trading post.

Marisa Willis has been living in Thailand for the past 6 months. Her favorite place is Asiatique out of all the places she's visited in Bangkok. She is currenly residing at Pullman Bangkok hotel writing travel articles and Bangkok travel tips for online travel communities.

13 November 2013

Exquisite Tanzania

If you are feeling tired of the winter blues already and are looking for that ultimate escape where you can revitalize your senses and indulge in an experience unparalleled to any other, then this is your chance. There will be no better time than right now to discover the wonders of East Africa and the best place to do this is by starting at one of the most famous countries. Yes, we are talking about none other than the wonderful Tanzania. Get ready to hike to the top of the highest mountain in Africa, explore the history and indulge in the ultimate safari experience. This is also the place that boasts Kilimanjaro which is the highest mountain in Africa and thousands of tourists rush to book their tickets to Tanzania!



If you are looking for an escape from the noise and all the worries that envelops you then this is just the right place for you. Here are some of the attractions that people from all over come to visit Tanzania for and those that you definitely should not miss out on!
 
The Serengeti National Park

Known as Tanzania’s primary attraction, the Serengeti National Park has wowed people for many many years. One glace at this park and you would know all the reasons why this national park is set a part from all the other ones including Selous National Park, Tarangire Park and several others. Hence this national park should be one of your first stops after landing in Tanzania.

Historical side of Tanzania

If you are thinking that Tanzania is filled with boring natural attractions then you do not know how wrong you are. This is because Tanzania is filled with countless archeological and breathtakingly beautiful historical places that are sure to leave you mesmerized. Although there is a lot to see at Tanzania however some of the places that you should keep in mind are Laetoli, Kalambo Falls, Palace of HunsuniKubwa and last but not the least Kubwa.

In addition to this the Stone Town in Tanzania is going to be worth visiting as it lets you unveil all those secrets that everyone wanted to know.

Beaches

What is most surprising is that Tanzania is actually one of the places with some of the most beautiful white sandy beaches. This is your chance to lie back and relax underneath the soaring sun and get the perfect tan which would make everyone green with envy.

Ruaha National Park

This is one of the largest national parks in the country and is surely going to be worth your time and mey because it is filled with numerous animals such as lions, leopards, wild dogs, cheetahs, zebras, giraffes, foxes and jackals. This is your chance to get up close and personal with these amazing creatures. Revel in the beauty of nature and the surrounding wildlife for the first time so search low fares flight to Tanzania and experience your ultimate African escape.

Pemba Island

The tourists who are looking for a less crowded place to explore should definitely visit the Pemba Island as this is also perfect for all those divers who are eager to explore the untouched coral and very rich marine life.

Jeff Alexander is the article/content writer for worldwide holiday destinations. He is working with Travel House UK (rated 4.3/5 on reviewcenter), the company lets you compare your cheap flight deals from all major airlines that you want to bargain for your travel.

12 November 2013

Is Colorado Due For A Big Snow This Year?

Denver sucks, tell your friends. Ok, not really, Denver is pretty awesome. But this popular bumper sticker is popping up in an effort to curb the population growth that Colorado has experienced over the past few years. The current population in Colorado is 5.1 million people, a number that has tripled in the past 50 years. Experts predict that this number will only continue to grow. The reason? Colorado isn’t actually a blizzard year round like many people think. We don’t take ski lifts to work and in the summer, believe it or not, it does get HOT! One rumour that is true about Colorado is that winters generally hit us pretty hard and most years we get a decent amount of snowfall. However, that’s not always the case and sometimes experts accurately predict how much snow is headed our way. So what about this year’s winter? How much snow can we expect? And, how cold will we be?+



The Farmers’ Almanac has long been a trusted source for long-term weather updates. Other lesser known sources try to provide the same long-term weather forecasts but often times they are just using the information that the Farmers’ Almanac provides. Well, this year the trusted publication is predicting a very cold winter. They say that below normal temperatures will soon sweep the nation east of the Continental Divide. While that doesn’t include all of Colorado, it does include most of it including the Denver metro area.

As far as snow fall goes, it looks like it’s going to be a pretty normal winter for Colorado which means the metro area will get some snow and the mountains will get enough to make skiing on fresh powder a regular occurrence.  There are some parts of the country that are going to get hit with massive amounts of snow but Colorado isn’t one of them. The Midwest plains and parts of New England will find themselves in a winter wonderland several times this year.

One prediction from the Farmers’ Almanac that is interesting to note is when they are predicting some of the nation’s fiercest winter storms, in March. That’s not too unusual for Colorado. Anyone who grew up here most likely has a memory that includes both spring break and a winter storm. But, they are saying that it’s not just Colorado that will see fierce winter storms this time of year. The entire country is expected to experience storms will all types of precipitation and heavy wind all throughout the month of March.

The prediction of this year’s Colorado winter might be sad news for school kids in the form of fewer snow days. But, that doesn’t mean we are in for a mild winter. The Farmers’ Almanac targeted Colorado specifically as an area that will see bone-chilling temperatures throughout the season. Now might be a good time to stock up on your winter clothing and check to make sure your home is ready for a brutally cold winter. Bust out the hot chocolate and scarves, winter is almost here and it looks like it’s going to be a rough one.

This article was brought to you by SummitCove.com.  Summit Cove is the premiere source for vacation rentals in Summit County, Colorado.

02 November 2013

Philippines - The Alternative Vacation Destination This Summer

The Philippines is one of very few counties that is defined by it’s spectacular rice fields, smouldering volcanoes, huge water buffalo and hospitable people, and the culture is admired all over the world. Not only are its beaches unmatched, but because of over 350 years of Spanish rule, there’s some amazing architecture to be found in the Philippines, inspired by the catholic religion. If you’re looking for an alternative destination to holiday this year, then there’s nowhere better than the Philippines, so let’s take a look at some of the country’s top tourist attractions. 

Mayon Volcano

At over 8,000ft above sea level, the Mayon Volcano is a natural attraction you simply can’t miss out on! Although it is still technically active, visitors can enjoy a number of tours around the base of the volcano, from hiking and camping to off-roading and mountain biking. Bird watching is also popular with tourists, and you can even stay the night in one of the many log cabins. In 400 years, this volcano has erupted over 40 times, making it the most active in the county’s history!  


 

The Tubbataha Reef

Located in the Sulu Sea, this is one of the most beautiful reefs in the world, and it is also a protected marine sanctuary. Made up of two atolls, the reef is separated by a 5 mile deep channel, and it’s a great diving spot due to its spectacular coral walls and ocean life. If you’re looking to take a diving trip to see the reef, the marine park will only allow excursions during April – June, and this is to limit the effect on the reef by humans. The waters are also the calmest during this time, so the views of the reef will be amazing.

San Agustin Church

For architecture and design, then you simply must visit the San Agustin Church in Manila. Not only was it built in 1589, but the structure has survived nothing less than 7 earthquakes in its dynamic history! A further two fires were still not enough to bring it down, and it now holds the titles as the oldest church made of stone in the Philippians. The huge wooden doors at the entrance to the church are a highlight, and the amazing interior has been heavily influenced by Mexican design, specifically in the shape of a Latin cross.

Flights to the Philippians don’t have to be expensive, especially if you’re travelling with your family. Make sure you check out the great deals at http://www.cheapflights.com.au/airlines/TigerAirways/, and you could even save a small fortune this year!

Malapascua Island

If you’re looking to take an excursion off the coast of the Philippians, then Malapascua Island is the place for you. This is a small fishing island, and is known for it’s small population of thresher sharks, as well as hammerheads and manta rays. There are many other hidden gyms on this island too, from the crystal clear waters to the coconut trees and coral reefs, and if you’re holidaying with your loved one, then why not make it a romantic trip of a lifetime and stay the night!



10 October 2013

Cruise On The American Rover

There may not be many things unite Norfolk in Great Britain and Norfolk in Virginia but water is one of them. In England it is the Broads and in Virginia there is the chance to sail on a Tall Sailing Ship, The American Rover.



It has become a common sight for people in downtown Norfolk and they are well used to seeing the red sails as the cruises leave from the waterside and takes passengers for a journey that will show them the beauty of Norfolk.

What You Get On The Tour

The journeys have been taking place since 1986 and if you are in the area between April and October there will be the chance to see her or travel on her as she glides through the water allowing visitors a stunning view from the Elizabeth River. Tours are narrated so as well as seeing the amazing sights it is possible to get a history lesson. Cruisers are given the chance to work on the sails and the very lucky ones get their turn at the helm. If 2 hours is not long enough it is possible to hire the ship out for a special event. It could be a wedding or a corporate event it does not matter, the main thing is that the event will be fully organised and all the pressure will have been taken off the host. Everything will be fully provided even the catering bar and any entertainment that may be required. It is a glamorous ship and guests will remember their journey for a long time.

The ship is an impressive 135 feet long and is registered as a three masted top sail schooner. She is large enough for most events as there can be 129 people on board and there is a variety of places to sit – some in the shade, some can sit inside and enjoy a drink at the air conditioned bar. The trip is well known and very popular so if you are only in the area for a while it will be best to book and make sure that you get a place.

Safety Is Fine

There have been some issues for different forms of water recreation recently and most of them have been around safety. This is not going to be a problem here as there is a Coast Guard Certificate attached to the American Rover and regular checks ensure that passengers are safe.

Pricing

For the amount of time that is spent on board the cost is very fair. Children are charged $10 and it is $16 for adults for the hour and a half cruise although different event will lead to their being a different charge. When the tour lasts for 2 hours it is going to cost $25 for adults and $15 for children





What To Look Out For

One of the most spectacular sights will be the Norfolk Harbour and the Portsmouth Skylines are not to be missed. The Battleship Wisconsin is clearly visible and there are also Naval Ships and elegant yachts and seeing them will certainly show you how the other half lives.. If you look out at the right time you may be lucky enough to see a dolphin swimming by.

Patrick Armstrong is the writer of this exciting post. He is a business consultant, a travel enthusiast and a serial blogger. He says even though he has been to many fun cruises in the past, he still gets excited about them.

05 August 2013

Visiting Peru - Join a Tour or Go Solo?

Travel in Peru - Should I Join a Tour or Go it Alone?

Peru is an absolutely phenomenal place that is full of cultural gems. There are so many great reasons why it is such a wonderful place to visit that one blog post simply wouldn’t be enough! Even so, having made the decision to immerse yourself into a world of cultural charm there comes a difficult decision; should you go it alone or should you join a tour? Obviously, this ultimately depends on what you want to get out of the trip and how confident you are with travelling alone in foreign lands. Often this varies with the pace you envisage your trip taking, or indeed the prior knowledge of the area being visited.



The beautiful thing about Peru is that it has so many incredible natural sights to behold. It’s stunning landscapes compliment the ancient culture that engulfs every corner of the land. With the recent completion of the
Interoceanic Highway, there is an extraordinary opportunity to uncover the hidden delights of Peru’s natural beauty from the comfort of a vehicle. As you cruise around the hillsides at your leisure, you can be witness to some of the most breathtaking scenery you could ever think of laying your eyes on. The natural beauty that is intertwined into the very depths of Peru are revealed right before you as your journey progresses. 
 

The significance of this is that you don’t even need to worry about a large group expedition, or even have to rely on anybody else to get you to those typical out-of-reach tourist destinations. At your own leisure, within your own itinerary, you can whizz around the expansive highway in a car. There’s not even any need to fret about car hire, as companies like National Car, just one of many UK based car hire companies, exist to facilitate that very need. With approximately 1500 miles of road to cover, a car hired straight from the airport could end up being the most vital part of your experience. This option offers the comfort of taking things at your own pace and the convenience of exploring more scenery than you could ever have dreamt of.

On the other hand, let’s not just go ahead and dismiss joining a tour. Perhaps what you really want is to experience the typical tourist based attractions and get the most out of these fantastic, often ancient, settings. There really are so many options available to the budding explorer, with popular destinations including the all-famous
Inca Trail which ultimately leads to the magnificent sights that Machu Piccu has to offer. In all its splendour there really is nothing else quite like it and for the budding photographers out there, the delights of Machu Piccu really will go down a treat. 

 

One of the major benefits of travelling as part of a tour is that you will no doubt be taken care of by some of the world’s most fantastic tour guides. With an unbelievably extensive area to explore, the tour guides will allow you to soak in the beautiful surroundings whilst also taking you on the most amazing cultural journey. You will no doubt be left wanting to get straight on the computer when you get home and research even more about this amazing country! If you are going to go with the tour option, then remember to do your research first. You want to make sure you go with the tour that is most appropriate for you as an individual. Is it being targeted at your demographic? The last thing you want is being stuck on a long tour with people that are not compatible with you. Think carefully also about the itinerary of the tour you are considering and ensure that it fits your requirements.

For many people, a Peru trip really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and you will want it to be the most fantastic experience. Be sure to check that you are getting what you want out of it. If you want to meet likeminded people and be educated, a tour group is an excellent way forward. Perhaps instead you want to opt for a more subdued, slow-paced trip, where you can take in the breathtaking scenery at your own pace. Whatever you choose it will be an experience of a lifetime for sure.


02 August 2013

Beat the Airport Queues This Summer

 Overland and Sea Getaways From the UK

Anybody flying away for a summer holiday this year will understandably be excited about a week or two without a care in the world - once they step off the plane that is. Let’s face it, actually getting to our holiday destination can be a bit of a nightmare. Firstly there’s the inevitable traffic on the way to the airport and that awful feeling that you might actually miss your flight. Then there are the long check in queues - and even if you’ve checked in online you still have to wait to get your luggage on the plane. Finally, there are the security controls. Nobody would want to underestimate the importance of security, but does it really have to take so long?

There is another way though - if you want to avoid all the hassle of queues at the airport you could consider an overland and sea getaway. If you haven’t thought about taking a cruise already, why not?


Britons love to cruise

The Guardian reports that more than 1.7 million Brits went on a cruise in 2012, and the numbers are looking like they will only increase. One of the reasons that cruises have become so popular is because people have started to realise just how much value they provide. With an exceptional range of food available on board, holiday goers don’t have to worry about breaking the bank.
World-class entertainment

It’s not just food that provides the value for money, however, as cruises are also known for the fantastic entertainment they put on. The Royal Caribbean for example has staged the crowd-pleasing musical Hairspray, while other cruise-liners have played host to the Blue Man Group. When you consider what the price of a ticket for that show would be on Broadway or the West End you’ll understand that this is seriously good, professional entertainment.
No need to travel far

You can see the best of the world right from your doorstep as there are regular cruises from Southampton. As soon as you’re onboard the holiday begins - you don’t have to worry about a long flight somewhere followed by the joys of passport control and a long drive from the airport to your hotel before you can put your feet up.
Experience more

Of course, another great reason to go on a cruise is the opportunity to visit lots of different places. Even though the world’s best cruise ships are big enough and packed with enough activities to keep you occupied for weeks on end, being able to set foot on land and explore different countries is an experience that most conventional holidays just can’t offer. A Caribbean cruise might take in places like Haiti, Jamaica and Puerto Rico, while a cruise of South America could take you to Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires and Punte Del Este in Uruguay. There are so many options that you’re bound to discover a new favourite country or return to an old favourite.

CNN has a great feature about discovering the secrets that destinations have to offer while on a cruise - who knows what magic little restaurant you’ll stumble across or when you’ll discover a secluded beach of your own?
Shopping

Another great thing about going on a cruise is the shopping opportunities. While the cruise ships themselves often sell great products, being able to visit shops in different countries is shopping heaven. Whether you’re a big fan of global brands or prefer to rummage through independent boutiques there is something for everyone. It makes a trip to Paris or New York look positively tame as a shopping trip in comparison.
What are you waiting for?

Perhaps you think that a cruise isn’t for you. Speak to anyone that’s been on a cruise and once they’re done telling you about how it was the holiday of their life they’ll probably tell you they also though they weren’t the cruise holiday type. So why not see what you're missing, beat the airport queues this summer and find out just why more and more people are taking cruises?


31 July 2013

Self Catering Holidays

When considering your family holiday the question is not just where you want to go but also your choice of accommodation. Whether you would prefer a hotel with all the facilities and meals included or whether the self catering option would suit you and your family best. The recession has undoubtedly boosted the self catering holiday industry. Research by responsibletravel.com has revealed that there has been a general annual increase of 54% in self catering holidays and an 81% year on year increase in the numbers of people enquiring about self catering eco accommodation for groups of up to 10 people. This indicates that people may not be willing to forgo their annual holiday but they are definitely working out more cost effective ways of taking their holiday.

Enjoy the support of family and friends

Joining up and going on a self catering holiday with family or friends is not only cheaper but has many other benefits. If you have young children they will have others to play with and you will have a bit more freedom as they happily play with their cousins and friends. You will also have a built in babysitting service, family and friends can take turns at looking after the kids whilst each has an evening out alone so it can work out perfectly. Then there is the opportunity to save money on food and sharing the cooking and cleaning up not to mention being able to cater for the fussier eaters in your party! Providing you all get along, it can be a wonderful way for you and your children to bond with your family members and friends under the relaxed situation of a holiday.

Privacy + Flexibility = Family Harmony!

Taking a family to a hotel can offer its challenges. You may have to take several rooms to house all of your family. You might have to squeeze into a family room, the cramped conditions and lack of privacy could put extra strain on the family or you could suffer the expense of a suite if you want to have a bit more space but that could be out of the reach of most families’ budget. The appeal of the self catering family holiday offers greater flexibility to larger groups. Where there are children of differing ages, a holiday cottage or house offers more privacy and space for teenagers to get away from their annoying, younger siblings and happy children on holiday leads to an easier time for everyone! Also you can come and go as you please. You can get up late and not worry about missing the time for breakfast, you can wonder around in your robe all day not worrying who will see you!

Experience how the other half live

The other exciting thing about the self catering holiday option is the variety of experiences you can have. It allows you to choose to live for a week or two in a totally different environment. If you currently live in a rural location then maybe you’d like to experience a high class serviced apartment in Cambridge, London or even New York. Or if you currently live in an urban environment you may want to find peace and quiet in a traditional country cottage or what about a week on a farm for a total change of lifestyle!


Then there are the unusual holiday homes for hire such as converted windmills and lighthouses! The possibilities are endless as are the experiences to be had by living in a totally different life every time you go away!

Written by Karen James, business owner, corporate traveller and prolific writer for Citystay UK and other business sectors

Exploring the Beautiful Pugu Hills Forest Reserve, Dar es Salaam

There’s a lot to be said for a city break, particularly when that city is as exciting, exotic and as multicultural as Dar es Salaam in Tanzania. From humble origins as a nineteenth century fishing village, Dar es Salaam (the name means ‘haven of peace’ has evolved into an exhilarating African metropolis where ancient and modern cultures meet, and historic buildings stand cheek-by-jowl with cutting-edge architecture. 



Dar is a city where one moment you can be enjoying the air-conditioned opulence and mod-cons of a luxury hotel such as the Regency Dar es Salaam Kilimanjaro, and the next sweating it out among the locals and enjoying haggling with traders for second-hand bargains at the city’s Ilala Market.
 
Dar es Salaam offers enough landmarks, attractions, museums, galleries, shopping opportunities and other entertainments to fill several days of itineraries, but when it’s time to retreat from the buzz of the city and experience some of Tanzania’s natural beauty and tranquillity, there’s nowhere better to start than in the nearby Pugu Hills Forest Reserve.

Pugu Hills: some of the world’s oldest forests
It’s only necessary to travel around fifteen kilometres southwest of Dar el Salaam before the suburban outskirts of the city give way to a rolling landscape of tree-clad hills. These are the Pugu Hills, and the evergreen forests which cover them and the neighbouring Kazimzumbwi Forest Reserve and Selous Game Reserve are believed to be among the most ancient forests on earth.



Whilst the immense natural beauty of this coastal forest reserve is a major draw for visitors, it is also offers a diversity of fascinating environments to explore. The Pugu Hills are a rich source of kaolin, a fine clay mineral which is one of the key components of porcelain. The reserve contains what was formerly one of the world’s largest kaolin mining operations. Although this activity has ceased, the mining compound features an abandoned railway tunnel and a number of man-made caves which provide a habitat for large colonies of fox bats. These present a spectacular sight at dusk when they emerge en masse to feed.

The Pugu Hills Forest Reserve is also the source of the Msimbazi River which flows down to Dar es Salaam and onward into the Indian Ocean and the combination of river and forest habitat ensures that the reserve is rich in wildlife.

The diverse flora and fauna of the Pugu Hills Forest Reserve

The Pugu Hills Forest Reserve is undoubtedly an unmissable destination for nature lovers, bird watchers and wildlife spotters. The forest contains no fewer than fifty indigenous species of trees and shrubs including the fruit-bearing Natal Wild Pear, Custard Apple, Mangosteen and Black Plum trees, and the beautiful yellow-flowered Birdseye bush and the sweetly-scented Uvaria kirkii.

Whilst the reserve was once home to a population of lions none has been spotted in recent years. However, big cats including cheetahs, leopards and civets still inhabit the par along with a wealth of other exotic animals including elephants, giraffes, jackals, hippos, warthogs and colobus monkeys along with smaller mammals such as mongooses and elephant shrews.
Bird watchers will be in their element; among eighty species of birds regularly observed within the forest, the vigilant spotter might see the Thick-billed Cuckoo, Speckle-throated Woodpecker, Green Tinker bird, Red-tailed Ant Thrush, Kretchmer’s Longbill, the Little Yellow Flycatcher and the Uluguru Violet-backed Sunbird.

Hiking in the Pugu Hills Forest Reserve

Enjoyment of all of this outstanding scenery and wildlife is made possible by the reserve’s well-established hiking trails which offer walks of vary duration to suit all abilities. As its name suggest, the View Point Hike climbs steadily through the forest to reveal outstanding panoramic vistas of Dar es Salaam and the Indian Ocean. Other popular hikes take in popular sites within the reserve such as a natural reservoir and a cave that is considered sacred by the local Wazaramo people.

29 July 2013

Guide to Getting Around London

Ways to Travel around London


Millions of holiday makers are attracted to the bustling UK capital each year to sample a blend of British history and modern attractions. Whilst a lot of walking is generally expected within a large city, there are plenty of alternative ways to get around London and see the city and its outskirts from new and exciting angles. Here are seven travel experiences that London has to offer.

The London Underground

Although this system is all too familiar to Londoners, visitors from overseas and other parts of the country continue to marvel at the world’s first underground network. Since 1863, the underground or tube has been a crucial part of the city’s transport network. Its 245 stations now ships more than 3 million travellers and commuters to all parts of London every day. Ticket prices are determined by how far you wish to travel outside of Greater London, therefore if you plan to stay within the Greater London area, purchase a zone 1-2 ticket for a cheaper price.



Hybrid buses

Eco-conscious travellers will be pleased to know that London introduced a new fleet of hybrid red buses in order to create a quieter and cleaner city. By 2016, more than 1000 hybrid buses are expected to hit the streets. London has one of the largest bus networks in the world with 19,500 bus stops within the capital with six travel information centres around London which provide live travel information and maps. 

The London Helicopter Tour

View the city from more than one thousand feet up in the air on the London helicopter tour. From its starting points in either Battersea or Red Hill, the route follows the River Thames from the west to the east. Along the way you can see London’s top attractions including Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Trafalgar Square and The Shard – the tallest building in Western Europe. 

Bike

If you prefer your feet to be firmly on the ground, take to the streets by bike to really soak in the energy of the city. Barclays bikes (better known as ‘Boris bikes’) can be found at 570 stations around the city. Since they were first introduced back in 2010, the bikes have become so popular that other cities like York in the North are now planning to roll out a similar scheme within the next few years. Prices and a guide to the system can be found online.


Coach tours

Why not sit back and relax on a coach and let a driver do all the hard work for you? Travelling by coach is a popular alternative for those travelling on a budget. The tours are particularly useful if you wish to travel to places outside of the city such as Kempton Park, Kent and Brighton - book in advance to save money. 

River cruise

The RiverThames has been acting as a transport system for hundreds of years. Today, visitors can take to the water via a river cruise to peacefully amble along and see the sites. Lunch and dinner cruises are also available alongside family deals and other discounts.

London taxi cabs

The London black cab is now synonymous with the city. Although many traditional taxi cabs (also known as Hackney carriages) are now decorated with advertisements and designs, they still retain their classic shape. Drivers usually expect a tip of around 10% and fares do alter depending on traffic and times.

22 July 2013

Tips For Visiting Langkawi, Malaysia


Escape to a fantastic chain of 99 tropical islands, where you can relax and rejuvenate with the soft white sand between your toes.



A romantic tropical hotspot, Lankawi is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Malaysia. A group of 99 islands drifting off the coast of Malaysia in the Andaman Sea, it is accessible by boat from Georgetown, Kuala Kedah, and Kuala Perlis. It’s an ideal place to unwind in peace and enjoy the unique Malaysian culture.

Palau Langkawi: The Main Island

This is the largest island in the group, and the only one with any real settlement. This stunning tropical paradise has long sandy beaches fringed with swaying palm trees, lush green jungles, and miles and miles of rice paddy fields. Many Malaysians escape here to this quiet retreat for their holidays, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s a tranquil place with a slow rhythm of its own and no shortage of natural beauty.
Langkawi has been declared a duty-free zone since the 1980s, which has drawn even more tourists to its shores looking for great bargains on alcohol and other luxuries. Many tourist facilities have sprung up since then, such as a marina at Telaga Harbour Park and a few high end luxury resorts tucked into isolated coves around the islands.

Natural Beauty and Thriving Culture

While exploring the islands of Langkawi, there will be moments where you will feel like you have stepped back in time. Away from the major tourist areas, Langkawi is a rugged and rural Malay island where you will see life being lived as it was many hundreds of years ago. Small villages with simple architecture glean their food from traditional ride paddies, where you might spot a water buffalo in the morning mist.
However, although Langkawi has a tranquil and timeless simplicity, the islands also look towards the innovation of the future. The main island of Palau Langkawi is host to many major cultural events throughout the year, such as the Langkawi International Maritime and Aerospace Exhibition. There is also the Langkawi International Festival of the Arts which brings fascinating pieces together by artists from around the world.

Tips for Visiting Langkawi

Here are a few other things to keep in mind when exploring these beautiful islands:
•    The beaches will be less crowded if you avoid the local school holidays. These are in March, May, and August and from November to December. This is when the islands will be at their busiest.
•    Mosquito repellent is recommended for visiting Langkawi.
•    Langkawi is very warm and humid, so wear lightweight cotton clothing. Swimming suits are acceptable, but sunbathing or swimming topless is not. When you are visiting places of worship, always dress appropriately by covering your arms and legs.
•    One of the cheapest ways to get around the island is to rent a bicycle or a car. They are available to rent at the beach resorts.

Enjoy unwinding on the tranquil paradise islands of Langkawi!

30 June 2013

Tokyo On A Shoestring

As one of the strangest, most fascinating countries in the world, Japan, Land of the Rising Sun, has an equally interesting, influential and unique capital. Mad, fun and more than a little bit kooky, Tokyo offers the very best of modern entertainment alongside ancient traditions and ways of life, making it way up on the list for most travellers! And though Tokyo's pricy reputation can put the economical traveller on edge, a limited budget shouldn't stop you from enjoying this awesome Asian city!



There's much to see and do for minimal yen! Tokyo is the capital of quirk and one of the busiest places on the planet - just to stand in its streets is an experience!

What to eat

The Japanese have one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Why? Largely because of their diet. Japanese food is healthy, delicious and can be incredibly cheap if you know where to look and avoid expensive tourist restaurants. From sushi to ramen to some of the best food on the planet, Tokyo is taste central and has the highest number of bars, restaurants, cafes and eateries of any city in the world - over 140,000. So whatever food takes your fancy, you can guarantee to find it. In the land home to cosplay, manga, and tonnes of imaginative make-believe, hundreds of themed restaurants make the experience even more fun. So name your theme - you'll probably find an eatery to suit!

Where to go and what to do

A cluster of 26 districts, 23 wards, 8 villages and 5 towns, Tokyo as a whole is huge, but there are plenty of cheap and even free attractions to be found amidst its boundaries!
  • For an infamous scenic visit, visit the busy four-way crossing in Shibuya, by the station, or head to the 'cool district', Harijuku on a Sunday to witness the latest in youth fashion culture - this is cosplay and dress up central, so bring a camera! Nearly every conceivable look will grace the streets here, so it's quite the colour scene.
  • Tsukji Fish Market  in the Marunouchi & Ginza district is the world's largest seafood market, so well worth a look. From the tuna auction at 5am (arrive by 4.30am) to the sight (and smell) of hundreds of varieties of fish, it's a market you have to see to believe. It's an early start though, and most of the bustle will be over by 11am. But while you're in the area, why not check out the shopping scene in the rest of the Ginza area?
  • Sumo in Ryōgoku is seasonal, but as the national sport of Japan, deeply traditional, and a primetime TV high that must be seen if you can. January, May and September are the best times for sumo. Seats cost between ¥8200 and ¥14300, and can be bought a month in advance, or on the day (though you'll need to get there early!)
  • Alternatively if you're looking to escape the rush of the city, Higashi-Gyōen, or The Imperial Palace East Garden is a beautiful Imperial retreat, open regularly to the public and free.
Where to stay

If you're heading to Tokyo, don't expect to stay in spacious sprawling luxury! With over 35 million people living here (in a city measuring 13500 square kilometres - thats a population density of 2642 people per square kilometre!) space is a serious commodity. But that's all part of the fun! From cute little capsule quarters to rooms the size of a closet, Japan's miniature living makes staying in Tokyo a unique experience - just watch your wallet. Despite their modest rooms, hotel rates can be sizeable! But from traditional to contemporary - and very futuristic - there are still places to stay for cheap. Look for business hotels and basic hostels - or go for a local stay to save some yen.
  • Hotels - The Hotel Hoteiya in the Shitamatchi District costs the equivalent of £31 for a double room. Popular with budget travellers it is minimal, but has WiFi, laundry, and satellite TV, but be warned - bathrooms are shared. For something more upmarket, the Shinjuku Washington Hotel is close to the Harijuku district and offers reasonable room rates - just avoid the costly hotel bars and restaurants!
  • Hostels - Khaosan Tokyo Annex - one of the cheapest hostels in Tokyo at ¥2300-5000, has regular discounts. 
  • Guesthouse - K's house (little more expensive but a backpacking favourite due to its homely feel (tatami communal area) - it's more like an apartment than travel accommodation. 
  • Ryokan - Those hoping for a more traditional stay can still find it - even on a budget! Traditional Japanese inns, or ryokan such as Ryokan Katsutaro in the Yanaka district, nearby to the shopping and food hall mecca of Ginza, offer a more historical stay experience, though amenities like WiFi are still available. You can expect to pay around the equivalent of £70 a night for a double room here.
Eating and finding things to do are the cheaper sides to Tokyo trips, so expect to budget a little more for your accommodation. Also, be aware that some budget to middle-price hotels may not accept cards - unless you've already paid, it's best to bring cash. In fact you'll find the Japanese prefer cash in most situations - great for the shoestring traveller who needs help controlling their budget!

Other points

Travelling around - Avoid expensive taxis, and either walk, hire a bicycle or use the metro - it's cheap and simple to navigate, even to non-Japanese speakers. Other options such as busses are more difficult without much Japanese ability, but will still save your wallet from taking a hit! If you're planning to stay out late, seek out some sushi and sake, and try a little karaoke but don't forget about the train time limits. Trains in Tokyo stop running at midnight and start again at 5am. But if you end up stuck after midnight, don't panic! A capsule hotel (often also expensive) isn't your only option. Some manga kissa (an alternative sort of coffeeshop/ media entertainment centre) offer overnight facilities along with their regular DVD, gaming, coffee and recreational amenities.They cost around ¥2500 for eight hours.

Choose your season wisely - You can make your trip even cheaper if you travel off-peak, as prices change dramatically. Spring and autumn are the most popular and pricy times to go as the weather is more pleasant and the city will either be completely in bloom with cherry blossoms (March-April), or coloured by autumn leaves (October).


Lucy is a freelance writer and travel blogger and she provided this article on behalf of Communicaid a cultural and business communication skills consultancy based in the UK.

25 June 2013

Playa de las Americas Tenerife

Things to Do in Playa de las Americas

Heading to Playa de las Americas in Tenerife this year? Then don't leave home until you've checked out our Playa De Las Americas guide. This is just a handful of 'must-dos' and no doubt you'll have plenty more to add, but it should give you a flavour of the breadth of things to see and do in this popular region of southern Tenerife.


Siam Park
Nearby Siam Park is a monster of a water park. It's one of the biggest and the best in Europe, offering all manners of different themed rides, slides, flumes and screech-worthy entertainment. Day-long fun for all ages with plenty of on-site amenities including cafes, bars and restaurants.

Dolphin Spotting
From Playa de las Americas you can book onto numerous wildlife-spotting excursions. Head out on a whale or dolphin-spotting trip to get up close and personal with these majestic creatures.

Top of a Volcano
Mount Teide is Tenerife's resident volcano. It's active but it's been dormant for some time now, and there's a cable car that can take you from the foot of the mountain to the top.



On a clear day you can enjoy spectacular views of Tenerife and the neighbouring island of La Gomera.

Go Golfing
Tenerife is famous for its golf courses. You can tee off with the sun on your skin and surrounded by spectacular views, be it of spectacular seascapes or against the mountainous backdrop of the island's famous volcano. According to Tenerife.com Hotels, the five-star Las Madrigueras Golf Resort & Spa Hotel in Playa de las Americas is a great place to stay, and it has its own golf course too.

Visit La Gomera
The tiny island of La Gomera is a nature-lover's heaven. It's a beautiful unspoilt place that you can get to by ferry or as part of an organised tour. Once on the island, explore the rocky trails and deep gorges of La Garajonay National Park, and wander through its traditional Canarian villages and dense pine-scented forests. Unsurprisingly, the park is on UNESCO's protected list so expect plenty of soul-stirring scenery and wildlife.

13 June 2013

Places To Visit In Oslo


Oslo, which is the capital city of Norway, happens to be the third largest in Scandinavia. It has a rich history that can be traced back to over a thousand years. If nature tripping is what you go for, then it I definitely one of the travel destinations you have to see at least once in your lifetime; based on area alone, Oslo is one of the largest at 453 square kilometers and most of it is forest.



However, there is certainly much more to this city than just wooded areas and wildlife. There are interesting sights and entertainment to be had in the capital too. Here are the top 5 places that are a must-see for Oslo:
  1. The Tusenfryd Amusement Park is Oslo’s answer to Disneyland. It is the largest amusement park in all of Norway, housing over 30 attractions such as a 5D haunted house, large and small rollercoasters, carousels, log rides, and more. There are numerous game stations and refreshment areas within the park as well. The newest attraction as of the moment is Thor’s Hammer, an indoor 3D adventure.
  2. For those who find Viking history interesting, the Viking Ship Museum should hit the spot. This museum has two of the world’s best-preserved 9th century Viking ships displayed all year-round. History buffs can also see small boats and other artifacts such as tools, implements, and even household utensils from that era.
  3. If preserved relics from the past do not impress you that much, then pay a visit to the Norwegian Museum of Science & Technology instead. The Norwegian Museum of Science & Technology (Norsk Teknisk Museum) is a place where you can explore natural science and technological principles for technology, industry, science, and medicine. It even houses the National Museum of Medicine, which shows how improvements in medicine, public health and health care have changed people’s lives over the last 150 years.
  4. The National Gallery is where Norway’s largest public collection of paintings, drawings, and sculptures are kept. In this gallery, you can find Edvard Munch’s haunting painting The Scream. The permanent exhibitions showcase art highlights from the romantic period until the mid-1900s. Note that the National Gallery is closed during the holidays—something to keep in mind if you are visiting Oslo during Christmas season.
  5. And finally, no visit to Oslo can be complete without dropping by Vigeland Sculpture Park (Vigelandsparken). The creation of sculptor Gustav Vigeland, this area contains over 200 sculptures in granite, bronze and cast iron. Vigeland not only created the sculptures but also designed the architecture of the park itself.  Over 1 million visit this park each year, which is open year-round at all times.
Exploring the city is very convenient, thanks to Oslo’s very modern and comprehension system for ublic transport. All forms of public transport runs on a uniform fare scheme, and each ticket is valid for all modes of public transport. Fare is calculated based on the number of zones that you pass through on a trip; children below four ride for free, while older children and senior citizens pay half-price.

A better option for tourists is the Oslo Pass. The Oslo Pass (costs around 430 nok, which is good for three days, includes entrance to many main museums within the city, as well as unlimited rides of public transport. You can even ride the ferry to Bygdoy Island for free, where you can find even more attractions in addition to the Viking Ship Musuem.

With the Oslo Pass, you can get in the Viking Ship Museum, The Norwegian Museum of Science & Technology, and the National Gallery for free just by swiping it at the designated entrances. Oslo Pass holders are also entitled to a 20% discount off Tusyenwald Amusement Park entrance tickets.


Ali Asjad is a travel blogger based in Stockholm. He writes about issues faced by travelers. This blog was written to address the issue of finding parkering i Oslo.

07 June 2013

Greetings from Girona

This wonderful Catalan city was voted one of the best places to live in Spain; furthermore, it is also a very common destination for tourists coming from different parts of the globe. Girona has a population of about 97.198 people, a high percentage of this population is constituted by students that come from other places of Spain and the world, and after all, we can’t forget that this amazing city also houses the University of Girona. If you love beautiful places to visit, but you hate crowded ones, then Girona is the right place for you. Definitely an amazing touristic location with a lot of activities to do and a big advantage, which is: there are no crowded streets, no too much traffic. Great, isn’t it?

The Climate

The climate in this magnificent city is quite good. The summers (June - August) are warm and during the winter (December - February) the temperatures decrease a little bit. During the summer you can expect to find temperatures ranging from 19ºC to 29ºC. During the winter you can expect to find temperatures ranging from 1ºC to 10ºC. There is no need to say that during the summer the tourists’ activity increases. It doesn’t rain frequently in this Catalan city, which means that the rain won’t spoil any of your outdoor plans or catch you off-guard.

The Transportation System

Girona has a transportation system that meets the needs of the population, needs that are not many since it has a population of slightly more than 97 thousand people. Here you can use the bus or the train to get from one place to another. Even though there is not much traffic, if you want to get to somewhere faster without having to wait for the train or the bus, you can call a taxi. Also, you can easily hire a car at the airport; by renting a car you can have complete freedom when it comes to exploring the city. To do not mention that it is the option with the higher cost/benefit ratio. It’s cheap, comfortable, fast, and easy.



The Activities 

The activities available in a certain destination are absolutely important to decide whether or not to visit it. Let’s have brief a look at some of the things you can do in Girona:

Catalan Cuisine: If you are going to visit this Catalan city, there is one thing you can’t forget. You can’t forget to taste the flavorful Catalan cuisine. A different experience that your senses will love.

Relax:We travel for two main reasons: work or pleasure. In this case tourism is travelling for pleasure, and if you are travelling for pleasure you will surely want to relax and get rid of all that stress you were used to. Right? Girona has various hotels and effective services that will allow you to relax and enjoy the Catalan culture.

Girona is what you can call an “old city”, even though it has centuries of history, the people here are mostly young (students and travelers from other parts of Spain), the locals are welcoming and friendly, you will surely love to talk with them and get to know their habits, culture and way of life


This guest post was written by Aronno, a writer who has a boundless love for travel and tourism. If you are interested in visiting Girona and want to rent a car to pick you up at the Girona Airport, simply access www.GironaAirport.net and get the additional information you need in a fast and comfortable manner.

29 May 2013

Lanzarote Hot Spots

Lanzarote’s Best Holiday Resorts


So you’ve chosen to visit the popular Canary Island of Lanzarote. But now you need to work out which is the best resort for you to stay in. Fear not, as our in depth guide to the island’s hot spots below should provide you with plenty of insight.



Lanzarote is around a four hour flight from the UK and boasts three main holiday resorts, all of which have their own unique identity. There are also plenty of great places to stay in more undeveloped parts of the island too.

Puerto del Carmen


The largest and oldest of these destinations is called Puerto del Carmen. It started life as a fishing village but during the 1960’s and 70’s started to be transformed into a full blown holiday resort as package tourism from the UK took off. Today it is the most popular spot on Lanzarote and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors from the UK, Eire and Germany each year.

What’s the attraction? As well as being located just a short drive from the airport – so keeping transfer times to a minimum – Puerto del Carmen is also home to some excellent beaches, most notably Playa Grande, which has golden sand gently shelving into the sea, making it an ideal choice for families. As well as other smaller bays and coves such as Playa Chica, which is located close to the Los Fariones Hotel, the first establishment of this kind to open on the island back in 1968.

Puerto del Carmen boasts plenty of other attractions too, such as Rancho Texas, a wild west theme park and zoo and one of only two golf courses on the island. As well as a host of restaurants and bars which also make it the best choice for those seeking nightlife.

Playa Blanca


Playa Blanca is a much newer resort, located right at the southern end of the island about 40 minutes drive from the airport. The resort is particularly popular with holidaymakers seeking self catering accommodation and there are lots of locally based agencies, such as Optima Villas, who have over 70 properties for let in this area, such as Playa Vista, which is new to the market for 2013 and which is available from £140 per day, sleeping up to eight people.

Playa Blanca´s primary draw are it´s three beautiful beaches, Playa Flamingo, Playa Dorada and Playa Blanca (which the resort is named after), whilst the protected coves and bays of Papagayo are also just a short walk from the centre of the town.

One of the other main plus points for tourists staying in Playa Blanca is the ease with which they can visit the neighbouring island of Fuerteventura, which is just a short ferry ride away.

Costa Teguise


In contrast to the other two main resorts Costa Teguise is located to the north of the airport in a slightly less sheltered part of Lanzarote, making it more prone to the winds that can blow quite hard across the island. It´s location also makes it the least obvious choice for those seeking winter sun as the other resorts to the south enjoy more sunshine hours. On the upside however Costa Teguise is very closely located to most of Lanzarote´s main visitor attractions, such as the Cactus Garden and the Jameos del Agua, so it´s a great choice for those who are interested in doing some serious sightseeing.

Miami Nice

Miami is an intriguing vacation spot for tourists and those seeking an adventurous holiday. Located on the Southeastern coastline of Florida, Miami has some wonderful locations for sun and fun inspiration. You can find attractive architecture in the downtown area of the city, golf on some of the most famous courses in the country, enjoy several aquatic activities, dine at some of the finest restaurants, roam the long stretch of beaches and enjoy several of the local holiday festivals.


When it comes to finding somewhere to stay why not consider staying with a local in their home? You can choose a room or apartment as an alternative to staying in a hotel which not only will save you money but offer an individual feel to your accomodation.

 

Miami is a great destination for the whole family to spend their holiday because it is a bustling community of culture. Unique corner markets and artistic venues offer a little color to the city and some of the most spectacular works of art are displayed in several of the local museums. Art and entertainment is a part of the diverse culture of Miami and after the museums close, there are several attractive venues that will spark adventure and provide an entirely new view of the Miami culture. Musical festivals and live concerts will fill the streets and no one can resist the variety of talent that calls Miami home. Many of the venues overlook the bay and provide not only entertainment but spectacular views as the city lights bounce along the calm ocean waters.

The entire family can also enjoy the local parks located around the city and across the bay for amazing views and fun. South of the city, the famous Historic Virginia Key Beach Park can offer fun and education for the whole family. Another great park located on Miami Beach is near Normandy Shores Golf Club which makes it easy for dad to hit the greens while mom and the kids play at the scenic North Shore Park. Traveling around Miami and across the bay to the many parks on Miami Beach can also be fun when paddle boarding to favored locations. If paddle boarding seems a little tame, then you can try windsurfing which is also a local favorite.

Miami can seem like a little slice of paradise and the many adventures available for holiday fun or relaxation can easily satisfy just one or the whole family.

17 May 2013

Kielder Water & Forest Park

Kielder Water & Forest Park is an impressive place, spanning about 250 square miles of forest, the largest one in England and also holding the largest lake created by Man in the territories of northern Europe. Its unique and beautiful landscape is loved and enjoyed by people from all over Britain and Europe and was voted NE England’s best tourism experience of the year 2012.

While there are many reasons for one to visit, its incredible views and scenery are the most popular reason to be here. It is a remote, quiet location that offers crisp clean air, plenty of open spaces for picnics and stunning views begging to be photographed. You can rejuvenate your energy by even enjoying a nice dark night of stargazing. You can spend quality time here thanks to the comfortable accommodation and traditional cuisine offered in the area as well.


Outstanding beauty spot Kielder Water

Kielder Park offers a whole lot for nature lovers and explorers through a chance to enjoy walking, cycling, family picnics, water sports and whole lot more. Whether your passion is mountain biking, long hiking trips or something more calm such as bird watching you will find an activity to enjoy. See more on this video:


When it comes to cycling, you have a wide range of routes available to you for various levels of skill and ability. There are twenty-two trails one can choose from, but Lakeside Way allows to enjoy a long bike along the Kielder Water shoreline where you will enjoy a 27-mile long beautiful cycling experience. The trails have a travel guide one can obtain at any of the visitor centres at the site itself.


Deep in the woods are tower slides designed and built by Image Playgrounds - read more about the interesting project work at Kielder on their website

Lakeside Way has the most scenic, gorgeous part of the lake shore with views and wildlife both abundant and lovely for all of us enjoying a great time in the green expanses of England. The multi-user track available here is capable of accommodating cyclists, walkers, horse riding and even wheelchairs. If that is not enough, you can take a walk around Kielder village.

Kielder Water offers wonderful opportunities on its eleven square kilometres for water sports. A fun fact: If the waters of the lake were to be distributed among the world's population, each and every one of us would have seven gallons of water. That is the size of the lake you would be exploring should you visit the park grounds. Sailing, canoeing, water skiing during the summer season and more are offered through the Calvert Trust and professional clubs around the lake. These activities are highly sought after, so pre-booking is required to stay ahead of the line of people aiming for them. Make sure you call your chosen club ahead of time so you can enjoy your time there without disappointment and issues originating from such lack of organization on your part. You can even use your own equipment on the park grounds, however you will need to adhere to the rules and regulations decided upon by the park authorities. 

Horse riding is something else you and your kids can enjoy, and if you have a horse of your own, you'll be able to ride it here as well. There is a lovely network of forest tracks and bridleways for you to enjoy with access to almost all of them. If you don't have one, you can always check Cragside Stables, which is a horse riding school which doubles as an equestrian centre in Hexham, near Bardon Mill. Your age, riding history and height will be required before you can rent any horses or ponies for your enjoyment. 

Guest author Heather writes for http://www.vacation-rentals.com/vacation-rentals/kentucky.html and has been traveling since she was a little child. She lives in the US and loves planning family trips and exploring new places.
 

10 May 2013

Areas to Stay in Barcelona

Five areas to stay in Barcelona


These are my five best places to stay in Barcelona. Some are iconic and world famous - such as the Sagrada Familia and the old town and Las Ramblas while others are insider's local tips but all are ideal locations for renting Barcelona apartments.

Barcelona is very popular with tourists and these 5 tips will help you walk the best of both its beaten and unbeaten tracks.



The Old Town - El Barri Gotic


If you don’t have long in Barcelona perhaps stay here as it is the most central district with most sites packed in.

El barri gotic is the original and oldest part of the city with roman, medieval, art nouveau and modern architecture packed within its ancient streets.

In truth many locals would opine that Las Ramblas are a little over-rated and that their tsurrounding areas are much more interesting. They are certainly bustling and depending on your preferences read into that overcrowded or vibrant.

In the surrounding old town you will find the Picasso Museum also, the Port Vell (Old Port), shops, restaurants, windy old streets, pedestrian plazas and terrace cafes.

Accommodation here is in plentiful supply but due to its popularity prices can be high in summer.

The Beach


Come summer or winter, Barcelona has wonderful sandy beaches that are extremely enticing to all. The beaches in Barcelona are also very accessible from the centre and are a part of the city itself, they not a long trip by public transport away.

Come winter, the beach then becomes a city park used for recreation by locals and tourists alike. It is perfect for gettings some fresh sea air and enjoying a drink and some tapas next to the sea in the winter sunshine. 



Passeig de Gracia


Described by some as an outdoors museum, Passeig de Gracia is Art Nouveau central, and is where Gaudí's Casa Batlló and the Casa Milà (La Pedrera) can be found. Passeig de Gràcia links Plaça Catalunya (the central square) with the former village of Gràcia. Gràcia is a very popular district and hangout place for young people and especially young families in especial.

This is probably Barcelonas finest street and home to the most expensive shops and restaurants in the city. It divides Barcelona’s 19th century art nouveau district in two and is the main focus of the neighbourhood.

Gràcia


Gràcia village was once a small rural village outside the city limits, until the aformentioned Eixample district was built at the end of the 18th century and it was consumed by the city. Luckily it was not changed at all and maintains its villlage charm.

Gràcia is charming and laid back and is where locals hang out at the weekends. It offers an old low rise village with pedestrian streets and squares lined with orange trees, relaxed and informal bars and restaurants and a generally very relaxed atmosphere. If only Barcelona were a stressful city this would be the place to escape it!


Sagrada Familia


This is not a well known area in terms of accommodation as it si dominated by the iconic Sagrada Familia. But it is a delightful central residential neighbourhood with Gaudí’s landmark right on its doorstep.

If you are interested in the Sagrada Familia then this is a good place to stay so you can roll out of bed early but not too early and beat the queues.

Sagrada Familia is part fo the Eixample district and you can get to the centre in 3 metro stops so it is very well communicated, It also boasts ann excellent food market and Avinguda Gaudí. The latter is is a pedestrian rambla and it is a very agreeable place for some refreshments.

These recommendations were written by the team of www.feelathomeinbarcelona.com. If these districts interest you go to their site here.