My Visits to the Ancient Zapotec Wonders of Monte Albán and Mitla
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
3d ago
If you’re visiting Mexico's Oaxaca Valley, you have the opportunity to visit two of the most significant remnants of the ancient Zapotec civilization: Monte Albán and Mitla. These archaeological treasures, each with its unique charm and place in history, offer a window into a world that thrived long before European explorers set foot on American soil. I highly recommend visiting both if you can, and here are my tips and takeaways for a successful visit. Monte Albán Why is Monte Albán important? Monte Albán, one of the earliest cities of Mesoamerica, was occupied over a period of 1,500 years ..read more
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A Self-Guided Walk Through Xochimilco: Oaxaca’s Historic and Cultural Gem
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
2w ago
With incredible street art on every corner, a stroll through Xochimilco was a sensory feast that left me captivated and inspired. This easy self-guided walk maps out my path through the barrio’s picturesque streets, with a few bonus stops along the way to highlight the city’s history and culture. If you’re spending some time in magical Oaxaca, don't miss the chance to add this to your travel itinerary. Where is Xochimilco? Xochimilco is located just north of Oaxaca’s Centro district and west of its Reforma and Jalatlaco neighborhoods. The neighborhood is easy to access, with the starting poi ..read more
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The Best NYC Museums You've Never Heard Of
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
2w ago
There are museums with such outsized influence that they have become prerequisites to any cultural understanding of New York City. The sheer gravitational pull of Manhattan’s Museum Mile, and the instant name recognition of such heavyweights as The Met, MoMA, the Natural History Museum, and the Guggenheim dominate the itineraries of most first-time visitors. We aren’t arguing against these must-visit institutions; we’re huge fans of them. However, throughout our time in NYC, we’ve discovered other, lesser-known institutions that are absolutely worth your time and attention. Here are our favor ..read more
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48 Hours in the Maya World: Exploring Topoxte, Yaxha, and Tikal
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
1M ago
When we planned our Guatemala trip, we weren’t sure if we should push ourselves to fit Tikal and its surroundings in. Located on the other side of the country, the Petén region holds countless treasures, but many choose to leave it off unless they are traveling across Guatemala. Embarking on a 48-hour journey through the ancient Maya cities of Topoxte, Yaxha, and Tikal is undeniably ambitious, but entirely possible. If you’re unsure how to do it, we’re going to dive into our whirlwind itinerary, packed with stunning landscapes and awe-inspiring archaeological sites. Our 2-Day Itinerary for To ..read more
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Hidden Gems in Madrid: Exploring Off the Beaten Path in Chamberi
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
2M ago
Madrid is one of the world's greatest art destinations. From the masterpieces of the Prado Museum to the avant-garde works of the Reina Sofia, Madrid's cultural landscape is a testament to centuries of artistic brilliance. Even though I spent a lot of time at Madrid’s Art Walk, one of my favorite days was spent exploring the city’s hidden gems in the sleepy neighborhood of Chamberi. If you’re looking for a quiet day off the beaten path, the streets of Chamberi are the perfect place to start. Where is Chamberi?   Calle Serrano 69 by Spanish architect Fernando Higueras   Madrid’s Cha ..read more
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A First Timer’s Guide to El Rastro, Madrid's Vibrant Flea Market
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
3M ago
From the ornate halls of the Royal Palace to the priceless artworks of the Prado Museum, Madrid boasts opulent royal treasures, embodying centuries of regal splendor. Yet just a stone's throw away lies El Rastro Flea Market, a bustling hive of activity that stands in stark contrast. El Rastro offers the opportunity to immerse yourself in the eclectic blend of treasures, traditions, and timeless charm of Madrid’s people. If you’re planning on visiting El Rastro for the first time, here’s a guide to help you make the most of the experience. What is El Rastro?     El Rastro is an open ..read more
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Sapporo to Otaru: A Perfect Day Trip Adventure to the Enchanting Blue Cave
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
3M ago
When visiting Hokkaido’s bustling capital city Sapporo, it's easy to create an itinerary dominated entirely by activities within the city. But that would be a mistake. Hokkaido is revered by the Japanese for its wealth of natural beauty, a deep appreciation rooted in the teachings of Shintoism and Buddhism. So any Hokkaido itinerary should include at least a little interaction with nature. One easy option is a visit to the picturesque coast of Otaru, with its unimaginably azure waters, awe-inspiringly large coastal rock formations, and one of Hokkaido’s most famous natural treasures, the Blue ..read more
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Uncover Authentic NYC Through Its Cool and Unique Neighborhoods
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
3M ago
New York City has a mind blowing abundance of bright, shiny objects, such as iconic landmarks and venerable institutions, which can monopolize your time and focus. In our opinion, however, the essence of the city can be found in its unique and vibrant neighborhoods, and a visit to at least some of these neighborhoods should absolutely be a part of any NYC itinerary. In this article, we'll guide you through a number of accessible neighborhoods that define the city's diverse culture, history, and local character without taking you too far afield from the most popular tourist attractions. Fun ne ..read more
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Long Layover in Zurich? Here's How to Make the Most of It
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
3M ago
While a long layover is rarely viewed as ideal, savvy travelers recognize that it provides an opportunity to explore yet another city, which can be the perfect salve on an otherwise long and boring journey. And Zürich is a perfect layover destination. Nestled amidst the Swiss Alps, Zürich’s famously efficient transportation and compact city center make it easy to explore even if you only have a few hours to spare. So if you find yourself with a layover in Zürich like I did, here’s a guide to help you maximize every minute of your time in this Swiss metropolis. Important Layover Logistics How ..read more
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How to Spend a Day in Ueno Park: Tokyo’s Must-See Attraction
Mad Hatters NYC Blog
by Lynn and Justin
3M ago
I’ve visited Tokyo multiple times and have several friends living there or visiting regularly, and you know what I’ve learned? You can’t run out of things to do in Tokyo. It’s impossible to come up with a list of things to do in Tokyo and not feel like you’re still missing out. But allow me to make the case for finding time to visit Ueno Park. Although Tokyo has numerous lush green spaces, Ueno Park is a captivating oasis which offers a truly immersive experience in Japanese culture and history. Join me on a journey through the cultural and natural wonders of Ueno Park, and discover why this ..read more
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