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Vancouver is quite simply one of the most beautiful places on Earth with its stunning big mountain panoramas and some of the bluest water you’ve ever laid eyes on. It’s green here year round, even when much of Canada is buried in snow or dried up with summer drought. Do make sure that you have a valid Canada ETA before you fly to Canada for your holiday. There’s so much to see and do, but if you have just a few days to enjoy a family, friendly or romantic vacation, here are some of our favorites Vancouver attractions.

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/irschick/

Day 1

MORNING:

Starbucks- Coffee

If you are an early riser and need your caffeine pronto! Coffee culture has improved greatly in Vancouver and Starbucks still running the show. There are a handful of nice cafes in different neighborhoods which includes:

Gastow:

  • Timbertrain
  • Revolver
  • Purebread bakery

East Vancouver:

  • Yama cafe
  • Green tea latte

Riley Park:

  • Le Marche St George

China Town

  • Matchstick

Café Medina- Breakfast

Café medina has been one of the best spots to find an early breakfast or later brunch and their mouth-watering waffles covered in dark chocolate and passion fruit as an additional attraction. Enjoy the great service and the vibrant atmosphere. You can also get decent breakfast and brunch at the listed spots

  • Beaucoup Bakery
  • La Pentola at Opus Hotel
  • Tomahawk
  • Le Marche St George
  • Yolks Food Truck
  • Yolks Commissary

AFTERNOON

Stanley Park

Once you are done with breakfast you can venture into the magnificent Stanley Park, a historic site of Canada that is integrated into Vancouver’s urban area. It was voted the best park in the world by users of tripadvisor. Whether you’re strolling around by bicycle, shuttle, or horse, you will pass the scenic view of the far mountains, beautiful gardens, artists, wildlife, and sculptures all in one place. The best way to see the park is to rent a bike and cycle around it. Some favorite photo stops are the Totem poles, Siwash Rock and Brockton point lighthouse

Stanley Park is a must do in Vancouver whether a few hours or even a quick drive through. It really is amazing and one of my favorite places in the city.

Granville Island

Granville Island is Vancouver‘s most famous food market. Home to more than 50 vendors, this packed-to-the-rafters market offers the best fresh seafood, produce, meats, sweets, and global specialty foods in the city. It has a great blend of local products, art, live music, and beautiful scenery right by the water. In case you have not got enough to eat you find prepared Indian, Mexican, Chinese, sushi and many more in the food court. Have a decent sunset supper at one of the seafood restaurants like the Longliner Seafoods or take in a show at one of the clubs or theaters that are found near the Market. Granville Island is home to artists, so there are plenty of studios and boutiques to explore.

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/kmoliver/

NIGHT:

Gastown- Dinner

After exploring the Gransville Island, head to Gastown for dinner and then drinks. You will be impressed with everything at Bauhaus, it is one of the best restaurant experiences you can ever have. There are several recommended restaurants like but I highly recommend you go for some Mexican at Tacofino Bar; there is also Shizenya for Japanese, Nuba for Lebanese or head over to Bestie in Chinatown for sausages and beer.

Day 2

MORNING:

Purebread Bakery

Depending on where you are staying we have cafes to choose from gastown, in East Vancouver, riley park and China town. Jam café is a really nice café in gastown and the breakfasts are amazing and excellent coffee. Be prepared to queue as it is very popular but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Capilano Suspension Bridge

The Capilano Suspension Bridge is a simple suspension bridge crossing the Capilano River in the District of North VancouverBritish ColumbiaCanada. The current bridge is 140 meters (460 ft.) long and 70 meters (230 ft.) above the river. Treetops Adventure is one the most popular experiences at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park and the first venue of its kind in North America. It offers a squirrel’s eye view of a thriving coastal forest. Enjoy a stroll through the forest and past tranquil trout ponds.

AFTERNOON:

Grouse Mountain

Grouse Mountain is an easy 15 minute drive from downtown Vancouver, located in the city of North Vancouver. No matter what time of the year you visit, there are many activities to enjoy on the mountain, including hitting the slopes, taking to the sky, mountaintop dinning, theatre in the sky and getting close to wildlife. To get to the top of Grouse Mountain you board a sky ride! Step onboard the famous Grouse Mountain Skyride, and get ready to experience a one-mile journey like no other.

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/moov4/

Vancouver Art Gallery

If you are an art lover, then you will definitely want to visit the Vancouver Art Gallery in 750 Hornby Street, Vancouver. Immerse yourself in ground-breaking historical and contemporary exhibitions, and encounter artworks by Canadian, Indigenous and internationally acclaimed artists, with special attention to the art of the Asia Pacific region through the Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art. You can also visit the Gallery store for unique gifts or take a break for lunch on the gallery cafes rooftop patio.

NIGHT:

Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge

Sometimes an old-school lounge with plush velvet seating, a live pianist, and a neat whiskey is just what you need to end such an adventurous day and when that’s what you need, it’s Bacchus Restaurant & Lounge that you want. This is an amazing restaurant, top notch service, incredible food and excellent atmosphere. If you are on a romantic trip this is the perfect spot for you and your partner. The candlelight and live piano music makes the atmosphere very romantic. The staff are extremely efficient and friendly.

Day 3

MORNING:

Vancouver Lookout

The Vancouver Lookout Harbour Centre Tower provides a stunning 360-degree view of the city and is equally impressive during the day and at night. The tower is home to Vancouver’s only revolving restaurant. Don’t worry, the revolving speed is at a leisurely rate and won’t cause you to lose your appetite. Enjoy intimate views of cosmopolitan Vancouver, historic Gastown and bustling Coal Harbour.

Start your day with the Vancouver Lookout, then come back and end your day with a West Coast sunset and the city lights.

East to East

After a few days of exploring the city, walk into East is East for a tasty meal that will leave you full and satisfied, complimented by a calming serenity. The menu has a vast array of vegetarian and meat options that will please differing palates.

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Berlin has been through quite a bit of history from the devastation of the Second World War to almost 40 years of divided East and West Berlin by the construction of the Berlin Wall during the Cold War. Although it has been about 30 years since the collapse of the German Democratic Republic (East Germany, Deutsche Demokratische Republik, or DDR) and reunification of West and East Germany, you can still visit historical landmarks associated with the Berlin Wall era. Besides these historical sights, Berlin is also known for its excellent museums – almost 170 of them and there is even an island of museums called Museum Island (Museumsinsel). During my short 5D4N trip in Berlin with Scoot (yes! Scoot now flies direct from Singapore to Berlin!), besides trying 11 different interesting dining experiences in Berlin, I had also checked out over 8 historical sights and museums in Berlin.

If you like to visit museums, then this is the post for you as I will provide you with a quick overview of what you can see in these 8 historical sights and museums around Berlin. To get started, I strongly recommend that you buy the Berlin WelcomeCard which gives you access to all public transport (buses and U-bahn and S-bahn) as well as discounts on selected tours and museum. If you are going to visit a number of museums, I also recommend that you buy the 3-day Berlin Museum Pass (29 Euros) which provides you with free admission to over 30 museums for 3 consecutive days – see this link for the list of museums covered by the Berlin Museum pass.

1 – Checkpoint Charlie

Checkpoint Charlie is Berlin’s most famous border crossing during the time of the Berlin Wall and it was where the USA and Soviet tanks will point at each time during times of tension. Today, Checkpoint Charlie is the middle of a busy street with souvenir shops and cafes. There are also actors who are dressed up as US soldiers at the checkpoint building – you will need to pay them to take photos with them so do ask ahead how much it will cost. Just behind Checkpoint Charlie, there is the Haus Am Checkpoint Charlie, a museum dedicated to documenting the history of the checkpoint and it is full of artifacts, photographs and explains why the wall was built and the various escape attempts.

2 – Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial)

If you want to see what the wall looks like when it was up back in the days, you should visit the Gedenkstätte Berliner Mauer (Berlin Wall Memorial) where there is a section of the Berlin wall with both inner and outer walls and even a watchtower from the time when the wall was up. The wall nearer the watchtower was the inner wall – anyone who is not authorised to go near this area could be shot by the border guards. Between the inner wall and the outer wall, there is a “killing field” which is mined and brightly illuminated with clear line of sight from the watchtower. If you want to know more about the history of the Wall, you can cross the road to the Berlin Wall Documentation Centre where there are artifacts from the Berlin Wall era as well as audio and visual stories of families who lived through that era.

3 – East Side Gallery

The East Side Galley is the longest remaining section of the Berlin Wall at almost 1.3 kilometres long and it is a huge open air art gallery (likely one of the largest in the world). Running along Mühlenstraße between the Oberbaumbrücke bridge and the Ostbahnhof rail station (formerly East Berlin’s main railway station), the East Side Gallery was created in 1990 when an international gathering of artists used this section of the Wall as their canvas. The gallery is home to roughly 106 different murals, each painted by a different artist. Two of the most famous murals are the Trabant mural (with the infamous East German car smashing through the wall) and the “Kiss of Death” mural (with Soviet premier Leonoid Brezhnev and East German leader Eric Honecker in a lip locked embrace).

4 – DDR Museum

If you want to experience what daily life was like for the East Germans back then, you should check out the DDR Museum (located at Karl-Liebnecht-Straße 1 facing the back of the Berliner Dom cathedral is the DDR Museum). DDR stands for Deutsche Demokratische Republik which was what East Germany was called back then. The DDR Museum truly lives up to its slogan – “History You Can Touch”. It is the only museum dedicated to life in the former DDR, from everyday life in the Socialist state to the impact of living with the Stasi and the Berlin Wall. Here in the DDR Museum, there are lots of interactive displays – you can touch pretty much everything e.g. the toys that the East German children used to play with back then, and even drive a classic East German car – Trabant virtually! There is even a mock up of a typical East Berlin apartment and Stasi (East Germany secret police) interrogation room and prison. As you go through the exhibits, you will notice that the East Germans are subject to propaganda messages about how good the East is and how bad the West is and indoctrination starts very early – even with children.

Entrance fee to the DDR Museum is 8.50 Euros for adults and 5.50 Euros for children. The museum is not very big but it may take you some time to go through the museum if you like to see the level of details of the mock-up apartment and the large number of interesting East German artifacts.

5 – Pergamon Museum

The Pergamon Museum is one of the museums on the Museum Island. It is known for the huge Ishtar Gate of Babylon and the Roman Market Gate of Miletus that was reconstructed from the original ruins. There is also a dedicated section on Islamic Art and showcases the beautiful Aleppo Room. Entrance is free with the Museum Pass.

The Pergamon Museum is a very popular museum and you can expect queues of up to 2 hours to get in. To skip the queue (I am among the first few to get into the Pergamom Museum when it opened and I did not queue at all), you will have to book a timed ticket. You can do so even if you have a Museum Pass. This is how you can secure a timed ticket if you have a Museum Pass:

Step 1: Go to https://shop.smb.museum/#/tickets/list?museum_id=14 to buy the tickets for the Pergamon Museum

Step 2: Choose the date of your visit. On the right side you have to choose your tickets. “Pergamonmuseum frei: übrige” is the time slot ticket for visitor with a Museumspass or an area ticket for the museums island. It is $0 for the above option.

Step 3: Select how many tickets you wish to purchase. At the bottom on the right side, click on “In den Einkaufswagen” to go to the next side.

Step 4: Select your preferred entrance time for the Pergamon museum. Click on “In den Einkaufswagen” again, you will reach your cart. Here you can see a summary of your booking and the total price. Click on “Kostenpflichtig bestellen” to reach the next page.

Step 5: Click on “Als Gast fortfahren” to reach the site where you have to fill in your personal data. By clicking on the button down to the right you will purchase the tickets. You will then receive an email from Pergamon Museum with the attached tickets, which you have to present in the museum with your MuseumsPass or the area ticket for the museums island.

Please note that the website may require you to create an account with them in order to make a “purchase”. If you get a prompt for that, then just create an account with them and confirm your email address and you can go back to step 5 to continue to secure the timed ticket.

Ishtar Gate of Babylon

Roman Market Gate of Miletus

6 – Neues Museum (New Museum)

The Neues Museum is just beside Pergamon Museum – you do not need to queue or get a timed ticket to get into Neues Museum. The main attraction of the Neues Museum is the Nefertiti Bust which is showcased alone in the domed hall in the north of the building. No photography is allowed and there are many museum staff there to ensure you don’t take photos of the Nefertiti Bust (no even photography without flash). The Nefertiti Bust is one part of the museum’s extensive collection of Egyptian antiquities, which comprises of sculpture, a huge collection of papyrus texts and literary works. In this museum, you can also find artifaccts from Stone, Bronze and Iron Ages, where the standout exhibit is the famous Berlin Gold Hat — an elaborate golden headdress thought to be around 3,000 years old. Entrance is free with the Museum Pass.

7 – Natural History Museum

If you or your kids are into dinosaurs, then you must not miss the Natural History Museum (Museum fur Naturkunde). In this museum, you can find exhibits ranging from gigantic dinosaur skeletons to celestial projections. The dinosaurs are a big attraction to most, as this museum not only contains the largest mounted dinosaur in the world, but also has one of the very best preserved fossils of the earliest known bird, Archaeopteryx. Don’t miss the  large T-rex display in the museum. Entrance is free with the Museum Pass.

8 – Spy Museum

We wrapped out our museum-hopping trip with a visit to the Spy Museum – Entrance is free with the Museum Pass. As the name suggests, you can learn about the history of spying in this museum and there are lots of spy gadgets and interesting spy stories you can check out. The most interesting part of this museum is its interactive elements – here you can get to do a classic ‘Mission Impossible’ scene – moving above and crawling below laser beams to avoid detection! This is perhaps not really a spy thing but it seems fun!

And this concludes our museum-hopping experience across Berlin. Check out these links for our experiences with in-flight meals during the flight from Singapore to Berlin and back with Scoot and our other interesting dining experiences in Berlin as well as our day trip to Potsdam.

Scoot flies from Singapore to Berlin on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Singapore at 12.25am and arriving at Berlin Tegel airport at 7.20am, and from Berlin to Singapore on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday, departing Berlin at 9.40am and arriving at Singapore at 3.45am (one day later). The best part about landing at Berlin Tegel Airport is the airport’s proximity to the Berlin city centre. After clearing immigrations and collecting your baggage, you can be at your hotel in the city centre within 20 minutes

The Singapore to Berlin (and return) flight is on the spacious 787 Dreamliners which offer several amenities and services suited to long-haul travel e.g. inflight Wi-Fi, in-seat power and inflight ScooTV entertainment streamed to guests’ own devices (paid services). Promotional fares from Singapore to Berlin start as low as SGD 239 one way for Economy FLY option.

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When it comes to planning a trip to some of the most famous locations in North America, a city like Las Vegas is hard to ignore. There is simply nowhere on Earth quite like the ‘bright light city’ which Elvis sang about back in the 1960s, with its seductive mix of old-school casino glamour and some of the most impressive entertainment on the planet.

IMAGE SOURCE: @CityofLasVegas via Twitter

It is a bustling hive of activity which attracts visitors from across the globe, with figures suggesting that more than 42 million people headed to the city in 2017 alone. Visitors are even thought to be getting younger, which suggests that a whole new generation is once again falling in love with the array of excitement, great food and gambling that the resort can offer.

But while visiting Vegas remains as exciting as ever, where should you stay on your visit? As you would expect in a place like Sin City, there are a range of accommodation options to choose from. As such, picking the right one is an important first step to take when preparing the trip itinerary for your stay. Here we take a look at some of the basic options you could consider when planning your visit.

A classic Vegas experience

There is only one place to start when it comes to accommodation in Las Vegas – the city’s famous array of incredible hotels and resorts.

Some would argue that a stay in one of the famous hotels is perhaps the quintessential way to experience the city, with the likes of the Bellagio, Mandarin Oriental and the Four Seasons being names synonymous with luxury and the ultimate level of glamour. Picking the right hotel is about more than just which room you prefer of course, as the biggest hotels also tend to offer the most exciting shows in the city. As Betway.com outlines, acts from Celine Dion to Britney Spears have earned a fortune from residencies at Vegas hotels so it is well worth checking out if a showbiz icon will be performing during your time there. Furthermore, with many hotels offering culinary masterpieces, check out the on-site restaurants and whether they cater to your tastes.

IMAGE SOURCE: @Bellagio via Twitter

Getting your own space

A trip to Vegas just would not be the same without a bit of glitz and glamour, but what happens when you just want a little break from it all? Staying in a hotel puts you right in the centre of the action, so if you’re looking to have a little downtime from the bright lights then why not consider renting an apartment?

An option which is likely to prove less costly than a hotel room, staying in a property or apartment through a service like Airbnb could give you a chance to unwind after a day of immersing yourself in everything that the Strip has to offer. The Culture Trip examines a few great options here, from low-key properties in a neighbourhood to impressive high-rise pads.

Heading off the beaten track

Of course, if your journey to Vegas is part of a wider trek across the US, you may want to factor in accommodation which takes your transport into account. For example, taking up a spot at an RV camp like the Thousands Trails Resort could be a great option if you’re seeking a peaceful spot and somewhere to park your vehicle which is still close to all of the action. While an RV camp might lack the glamour of a hotel stay, it is undoubtedly practical.

Alternatively, if you’re truly looking to experience Vegas on a budget why not try a hostel? Somewhere like the Sin City Hostel could be ideal if you’re happy to keep accommodation simple and ensure that the majority of your spending money is freed up for some fun in the casinos. Again, while a hostel is not the most glamorous location, it is still a bed to sleep in.

Range of options

As our analysis above demonstrates, visitors to Vegas have a range of options available when it comes to the important issue of accommodation. From the high-class luxury of its famous hotels to the simple pleasures of a hostel, ultimately what you choose to go for is dependent on the experience you are after.

Take some time to consider just what you want from your stay and then you should be able to make a decision on accommodation which satisfies both your needs and budget.

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During our trip to Berlin with Scoot, we took a day trip to Potsdam which is located just a short 30-minute S-Bahn train ride away from Berlin.What I like about travelling to Berlin is that you don’t have to spend a lot of time travelling around e.g. after arriving at Berlin Tegel airport from Singapore with Scoot, you can reach the Berlin city centre within 20 minutes and most of the sights in Berlin are accessible by U-Bahn or S-Bahn or buses within 10 to 15 minutes!

There are lots of historical sights in Potsdam and I have put together a list of 4 instagrammable sights that you should not miss when you are in Potsdam

1. Potsdam’s Dutch Quarter

If you have been to Amsterdam, you may find that the houses in the Dutch Quarter (or Holländisches Viertel) look very familiar like the canal houses in Amsterdam. The Dutch Quarter was built in the early 18th century by Dutch immigrants recruited to develop the swampy grounds of Potsdam. Today, many of these buildings are cafes, restaurants and shops, making it a lovely place to start your trip within Potsdam city centre.

2.Bridge of Spies (Glienicker Brücke)

You may have heard about this bridge from the Tom Hanks movie with the same name “Bridge of Spies”. This bridge is actually used for prisoner exchanges during the Cold War. Over 40 people were exchanged on this bridge between East and West Germany. In the picture below, we are standing on the West Berlin side and the other side then-East Germany. The bridge is of a darker green color on the West Berlin side and you can see the transition to a lighter green color in the middle of the bridge!

To reach the Bridge of Spies, you will either need to drive or go on a Hop On Hop Off bus tour which brings you to several of the sights that I will be referring to in this post.

3. Cecilienhof Palace

The Cecilienhof Palace is where the Potsdam conference was held between USA, UK and Soviet Union to decide on the fate of postwar Germany – because the Soviets organised this conference, they planted a giant red star in the lawn.

4. Schloss Sanssouci

The Schloss Sanssouci is a very beautiful palace – both in its interior as well as the gardens around it. What makes this palace most interesting is the story of Frederick the Great who used this palace as a summer retreat from the Berlin court. The name Sanssouci, which roughly translates to “without cares” and this pretty much explains why he spends so much in this palace. You can explore this palace with a self-guided audio guide which will guide you through each of the interesting rooms in the palace e.g. ceremonial Marmorsaal (Marble Hall) and the stunningly ornate Chinese House

Other sights that you should not miss in Potsdam include the Filmpark Babelsberg which is one of the oldest and largest film studios in the world and is responsible for some of the blockbuster movies e.g.  Valkyrie, V for Vendetta, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Inglourious Basterds. The Filmpark is located outside of Potsdam city centre and you can access the Filmpark via the hop on hop off bus Hop off at Bus Stop 3 to learn all about the history and culture of the Germany cinema.

August-Bebel-Str. 26-53, Besuchereingang: Großbeerenstr. 200, Potsdam, Germany, +49 0331 7212750

Potsdam also had a small Russian colony dating back to the 1820s – the Alexandrowka comprises a dozen quaint buildings; these buildings will provide you with a glimpse of Russian culture and architectural style back in those days.

Russische Kolonie 2, Potsdam, Germany, +49 0331 8170203

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Amsterdam is a wonderfully vibrant part of the world, with many world-renowned historical sites that visitors love to see, and many wonderful places to go. So, once you’ve booked your Amsterdam deals through Voyage Prive and you have your passport at the ready it will be time to get your suitcase packed and enjoy all that Amsterdam has to offer.

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/iceninejon/

Let’s take a look at the top 10 things to do in Amsterdam so you know where to go and what to do during your time in Netherlands’ capital.

  1. Hire a Bicycle

As soon as you step onto Amsterdam’s streets you will no doubt see an abundance of bicycles. Travelling on a bicycle is perhaps one of the best ways to see this part of the world. This is why we recommend that you hire a bike as it gives you the freedom to explore as and when you please. There are many different bike hire places, and they will be happy to lend you a bike for as long as you want it. So get ready to explore Amsterdam and have some fun!

  1. See Anne Frank’s House

You simply cannot visit Amsterdam without seeing Anne Frank’s house. Visit the home where Anne Frank and her family hid from the Nazis, and see Anne’s room that’s been preserved with clippings cut out of magazines. Learn about life in the concentration camps, and get a real feel for what it was like to hide away. While Seeing Anne Frank’s house is not a joyful occasion, it will give you a few insights into what life was like in Amsterdam all those years ago.

  1. Visit the Cat Museum

If you love cats and all-things cat then you need to head to the cat museum. Known as the ‘Kattenkabinet’, the museum is jam-packed with works of art that include cats. You may be surprised to come across a Picasso and a Rembrandt as you make your way around the museum. What’s more is the museum is home to quite a few cats who are more than happy for you to stroke them.

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/ecogarden/

  1. Enjoy a Spot of Retail Therapy

Many people enjoy a spot of retail therapy when they’re on vacation, and the great news is that Amsterdam is a hive of shopping-related activity. You won’t be able to go anywhere without coming across outdoor markets that sell anything from antiques to flowers, food, and clothing. Alternatively, if you want to visit a few quirky shops head to Nine Streets as you will find many boutiques selling some very unique products.

  1. Visit a Bruin Cafe

Bruin cafés also known as ‘Brown cafés’ are named after the wooden panels and walls that have become stained with tobacco. With more than one thousand Bruin cafés in Amsterdam, you’ll find these cafés are very pleasant and ideal if you love nothing more than to relax somewhere new. Enjoy some locally brewed beer and sit back and relax as you people watch.

  1. Enjoy a Spot of Fine Dining

We all love to eat out when we’re on vacation, and when it comes to visiting beautiful Amsterdam you will not be disappointed with the number of restaurants and cafés on offer. While there are some amazing places to dine such as Zaza’s at Daniel Stalpertstraat and Mount Everest Tandoori at Spreewenpark 3D, there are also many cheap places to dine. Some of these cheaper places happily serve rijsttafel (rice table), a dish with an Indonesian origin that is much-loved by the Dutch and definitely worth a try.

  1. Take a Day trip and See the Countryside

The Dutch Windmills and Countryside Day Trip is something you really need to sign up for if you would like to see what traditional Dutch culture is like. On this day trip, you will be taken to Marken where you will see a wooden shoemaker in action, and you will also have the chance to sample some local cheese. Visit the areas famous windmills and enjoy a cruise on Ijsselmeer lake, understand a little more about what life was like in the past, and how this area’s history makes it one of the world’s most visited destinations.

Credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/hereistom/

  1. Visit Body Worlds

Body Worlds has to be one of the most fascinating places to visit. Home to The Happiness Project, Body Worlds explores how happiness can affect our health. Located at Damrak 66, Amsterdam. This science museum uses real human bodies to help you understand our resilience, vulnerability, and complexity. If you’re not particularly squeamish or you’re simply fascinated by the human body, make sure you visit ‘Body Worlds’ while you’re in Amsterdam.

  1. Visit The Van Gogh Museum

The Van Gogh Museum is a must-visit destination for anyone who loves paintings. While the museum’s queues tend to be quite long you can opt for a fast-track entry that will allow you to get inside a little quicker. Showcasing the world’s largest collection of Van Gogh’s art, the museum shows off some of the artist’s most popular pieces and some little-known ones too. Learn more about one of the world’s best love artists and view many of his 850 paintings that will take your breath away.

  1. Enjoy a Drink at the Icebar Xtracold

The Icebar Xtracold is a hugely popular tourist attraction that offers something quite unique. Constantly kept at -10 degrees Celsius, the whole bar is made of ice and simply remarkable. Those who make their way to the bar are offered a few free drinks and asked to wear a pair of gloves and a coat as they stand or sit in one of the world’s most unusual bars. With blue and pink lights that give the bar a spectacular feel, and with drinks that have been made to keep you warm, the Icebar Xtracold offers an experience you are unlikely to forget.

Amsterdam is a wonderfully vibrant part of the world that really offers something for everyone. Whether you’re planning to visit Amsterdam for a few days or a few weeks, you’ll no doubt find that there’s a lot more to Amsterdam than you may have realised.

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Planning a family vacation can be challenging when you have to balance maximising your vacation leave and budget so thankfully for us, being in Singapore means we have access to nearby destinations which are just a short distance away and also cheap flights with a wide selection of low cost carriers. To maximise our limited vacation leave next year, we have already planned ahead for our family trips during the 4 long weekends in 2019. We have put together some tips and suggestions for 4 child-friendly destinations in Asia that you should check out.

3 Day 2 Night Trip to Hong Kong Disneyland over the Good Friday Weekend (19 April 2019)

Spring time is the best time to check out Hong Kong Disneyland with our child as the temperature is just perfect – cooling and comfortable (we need not put on thick layers of winter wear and we will not sweat too much from a whole day out at the theme park). There are many rides to suit children of all ages as well as the young at heart (us!). If you are tired out from all the walking around in the theme park, you can catch the Golden Mickey shows performed by Mickey and friends who speak in Cantonese but don’t worry, you won’t miss the plot as there are Mandarin and English translations projected onto a screen by the stage. Wrap up your day at Hong Kong Disneyland with the fireworks show over Sleeping Beauty Castle. Don’t miss the breakfast with your favourite Disney characters at the Enchanted Garden restaurant!

3 Day 2 Night Trip to Cebu (Philippines) over the Vesak Day Long Weekend (19 May 2019)

If your kid is like mine who loves to swim and play with water, you can plan for a beach holiday over this long weekend. I recommend Cebu for its beautiful beaches and clear blue water. We had stayed at the Plantation Bay resort in Cebu which is famous for its huge man-made freshwater lagoon in the middle of the resort. You can kayak and swim right inside the resort and if you are staying at a pool-side room, you can jump right into the pool! There is also a Children’s Lagoon with a maximum depth of 0.5 metre so children can also have safe water fun. Besides water activities, your child will also have fun at the Pitch and Putt golf course and riding around the resort in a horse carriage. If you are staying at Plantation Bay for a 5 Day 4 Night trip, we have compiled a suggested Plantation Bay itinerary that you can plan your activities around.

5 Day 4 Night Trip to Perth (Australia) over the National Day (9 August 2019) and Hari Raya Haji Long Weekend (11 August 2019)

This is a longer weekend compared to the other 3 long weekends – you get 4 days off. I would recommend taking 1-2 more days of vacation leave to make it a week- long holiday and fly to Perth, Australia. Rent a car for the flexibility to check out various fun attractions around Perth. Don’t miss Swan Valley – just a 30- minute drive from Perth – where you can get up close with animals at the Caversham Wildlife Park. Catch a farm show where you can see the farmers shear sheep and if your kids are brave enough, they can volunteer to bottle-feed baby goats. There are also opportunities to get up close to various native animals e.g. koalas, wombat and kangaroos.

If your little one needs the space to run around and expend his energy after a long drive strapped up in his car seat, there are lots of family-friendly playgrounds around Perth. Check out King’s Park Lotterywest Family area (suitable for toddlers 1 to 2 years old) and Synergy Parklands (for older kids 3 years and above). If you need ideas on what to do in Perth, check out our suggested 6 Day 5 Night Perth itinerary here.

3 Day 2 Night Trip to Bangkok (Thailand) over the Deepavali Long Weekend (27 Oct 2019)

There are many attractions in Bangkok that your child will love e.g. Dinosaur Planet (a prehistoric-themed amusement park with life-sized dinosaur replica), Funarium (a huge indoor playground with large climbing structures and water play area). I would also set aside a day for a trip out of Bangkok to check out the interesting Maeklong Train Market and Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. These experiences will definitely make for great memories and I can only imagine my boy telling his friends at kindergarten about how he got up close with a train that moved slowly over a market and how he enjoyed delicious food while moving around in the boat at the floating market!

While some of the above destinations are fun and child-friendly, unfortunately some of the cities have quite bad traffic conditions and pollution. The pollution can be quite bad sometimes and medical conditions like asthma may be triggered. Personally, I had a very bad experience with asthma a few years back when I was visiting a city (which I shall not name here). I had childhood asthma which is very rarely triggered during my adult life but the pollution was so bad that suddenly I found it very hard to breathe and realised that I am having an asthma attack (I don’t have an inhaler with me as I had not had an asthma condition for years). I took a taxi to a hospital where I was hospitalised and treated for my condition. Being a foreigner, I paid the full unsubsidised bill for my treatment and medicine which added up to a few hundred dollars. I had expected to claim for these expenses with my travel insurer but my claims were rejected as medical conditions like asthma are considered pre-existing conditions, which are excluded from most travel insurance plans!

To be fair to the insurer, the non-coverage of pre-existing conditions is indeed mentioned in the fine print. When I read the fine print, I was very surprised that quite a number of common medical conditions are considered pre-existing, for example, asthma, heart disease, hypertension.

MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex – Travel with Peace of Mind with a Travel Insurance that Covers Pre-Existing Medical Conditions

I have been sourcing for travel insurance plans that cover pre-existing medical conditions and I am glad to learn that MSIG Insurance has a new travel insurance product called TravelEasy Pre-Ex which is designed to provide peace of mind for travellers with pre-existing illnesses. MSIG offers 3 types of plans for Single Trip travel insurance – Pre-Ex Standard, Pre-Ex Elite and Pre-Ex Premier, so you can choose a plan which suits your needs.

What’s great about the MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plans is how easy it is to apply for it – there is no complicated medical forms to fill in or a need to see a doctor beforehand for assessment – all you have to do is answer 5 simple health questions at the point of purchase and you are ready to buy the TravelEasy Pre-Ex insurance. Perfect if you are doing last minute travel insurance purchase on the go while on the taxi to the airport!

Find out more about the MSIG TravelEasy Pre-Ex plan here.

Wherever you choose to go, always remember to buy travel insurance that covers you and your family. A comprehensive travel insurance ensures that you and your loved ones are covered financially if anything bad happens during the trip, be it baggage loss, injury or illness. Hassle-free, worry-free and stress-free, that is how I would like to start my holiday with my family J

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Thanks to Scoot, we recently had the opportunity to experience the best that Berlin had to offer in terms of dining, shopping and history during our 5 day trip to Berlin and not have to bust our airfare budget. Yes, you heard right – Scoot – a low cost airline flies non-stop to Berlin from Singapore and this is not the first time that they are doing long haul flights (Scoot is also doing long haul flights to Athens in Greece and Honolulu in Hawaii, USA).

Over the next few blog posts, I will be sharing with you our various interesting experiences in Berlin but for this post, I have some suggestions for the foodies who are keen to check out the diverse dining experiences in Berlin and I have 11 of them!

But before we talk about dining in Berlin, I just want to share some tips on enjoying a long haul flight on Scoot. Being a low cost airline means we get bargain fares with Scoot (one way fare to Berlin from Singapore starting from S$239!) but that also means that the usual amenities that we would expect with a full-fare airline e.g. meals, in-flight entertainment, will not be complimentary. But if you add up the costs of buying these extras, you have still scored a huge bargain for a flight to Berlin!

The flight to Berlin from Singapore is almost 13 hours long so do preorder your long haul meal bundle or else you can get quite hungry during the flight. Preordering ensures that you get the meal you want and there are usually discounts or certain perks (for example, you may get a complimentary Haagen Daaz ice-cream or cookies with your meal). The flight departs from Singapore to Berlin at 12.25am and the first meal service (where a light meal of chicken sandwich wrap was served) will start around 1 hour+ after take-off (around 2am). There is no seatback inflight entertainment – you will have to bring your own entertainment or sign up for the ScooTV access (US$11 or about S$15) for the duration of the flight (but you will need to bring your own device e.g. iPad, phones and if you are using Apple devices, ensure that you had downloaded the ScooTV app before boarding your flight; for android devices, you can download the app from the Scoot Wi-Fi portal for free during the flight). If you need to charge your devices (nowadays whose phone can last for 13 hours on a single charge right?), you can buy in-seat power for about US$7.

To help yourself get as comfortable as possible and to sleep well during this long haul flight, I would recommend getting a Scoot Snooze Kit which comprises a very comfortable blanket and eye mask and inflatable neck pillow. Pre-purchasing this snooze kit before your flight will save you S$5 – otherwise you can buy the Scoot Snooze Kit onboard for S$23.

Our second meal service came in at around 3 hours before we landed at Berlin and it was roast beef with potatoes (there are other choices too – chicken, vegetarian etc.). This tasted very good as the beef is very tender. The sides include a potato salad and yoghurt. Scoot’s long haul meal bundle for flights to Berlin comes in non-vegetarian and vegetarian options and includes:

  • Premium Meal Combo which includes a deluxe meal, 2 sides and a drink.
  • Light Meal Combo which includes a light meal, a snack and a precupped juice.

This long haul meal bundle is available for preorder only.

Our Scoot flight to Berlin from Singapore landed at Berlin Tegel Airport at 7.20am – perfect timing to start a long day of fun at Berlin. The best part about landing at Berlin Tegel Airport is the airport’s proximity to the Berlin city centre. After clearing immigrations and collecting your baggage, you can be at your hotel in the city centre within 20 minutes! Our basecamp for our trip to Berlin was Capri by Fraser Berlin – we had a great staycation at Capri by Fraser Singapore (the one beside Changi City Point) and the Berlin one was just as good an experience.

Now, back to the topic at hand – Interesting and Diverse Dining Experiences in Berlin, we will of course start with German cuisine:

1. The Grand

The Grand is known for its French-German delicacies and steak dishes.If you are a big fan of steak, you will enjoy a wide selection of Irish Herford Prime, US Prime Beef, Charolais, Simmental Beef, Wagyu at The Grand. The restaurant has a special grill to prepare the steak in such a way that the surface is crispy and yet retaining the juiciness of the beef. Dining at The Grand is not cheap though – do be prepared to spend about 30 to 40 Euros for a dinner main course and about 15 Euros for dessert.

What makes this dining experience an even better one is the classy setting of the restaurant set in a historic building from 1842 that has retained all of its charm and now serves. We tried one of The Grand’s veal dish served with potato and artichoke – so delicious!

If you love desserts, don’t miss the Chocolate Lava Cake served with ice-cream served at The Grand.

Address: The Grand, Hirtenstraße 4, 10178 Berlin (nearest U2: Rosa-Luxemburg-Platz)

2. Brauhaus Lemke am Alex

Brauhaus Lemke is Berlin’s oldest craft beer brewery and they have a number of branches in Berlin – the most convenient for those staying at the city center is the Brauhaus located directly across from Alexanderplatz and the Berlin TV tower. Beer and sausages – you can’t get more German than that and you can enjoy both at Brauhaus Lemke am Alex.

Besides trying the house craft beer, we enjoyed the Sausage Trilogy – yes the name of the dish sounds epic and it truly is. The Sausage Trilogy comprises the Original roast bratwurst, grilled veal bratwurst and Berlin steamed sausage with marjoram. My favorite of the three is the Original roast bratwurst. My recommendation is to get this Sausage Trilogy dish to share with friends (who can order other signature dishes of Brauhaus Lamke e.g. the Schnitzel Vienna Style (veal)).

Address: Brauhaus Lemke am Alex, Karl-Liebknecht-Str. 13, 10178 Berlin (nearest S+U: Alexanderplatz)

3. Bar 203 at Berlin’s TV Tower

Soaring 368 meters into the sky, Berlin’s TV Tower is the city’s most visible landmark. The tower is also the highest building in Europe open to the general public.

From the dizzying height of its viewing platform, you have spectacular 360-degree panoramic views out across the entire city – and beyond. You can also chill out with cocktail from Bar 203. You can also have dinner at the rotating restaurant just one floor above the viewing platform

Address: Panoramastraße 1 A, 10178 Berlin (nearest S+U: Alexanderplatz)

4. Currywurst at Curry 36

If you are still game for more sausages after the Sausage Trilogy at Brauhaus Lemke am Alex, don’t miss Berlin’s iconic street food – the Currywurst served at Curry 36 which is a legendary fast food joint where you can get a quick bite at very affordable prices. For just 2 Euros, you get a sausage cut into small pieces with a generous dose of ketchup and curry powder. Top up an additional 1.60 Euros for french fries to complete your meal.

The Currywurst has an interesting origin: During 1949 in Berlin, a resourceful German housewife, Herta Heuwer, traded some spirits with British soldiers for ketchup. She then created the dish – composed of German sausage, or wurst, sliced and doused in ketchup and sprinkled with curry powder and created the currywurst which became an overnight success and eventually a staple, mainly amongst construction workers who valued its high protein content and low cost.

Address: Curry 36, Hardenbergplatz 9, 10623 Berlin (this is near the Zoo or the BIKINI Berlin which we will talk about later – nearest U2: Berlin Zoologischer Garten)

or

Curry 36, Mehringdamm 36, 10961 Berlin Kreuzberg

5. Michelin-starred Tim Raue

From traditional German food, we now move to other dining experiences with other influences e.g. Asian and Middle Eastern. The restaurant TIM RAUE serves Asian-inspired cuisine that can be characterized as a blend of Japanese product perfection, Thai aromas, and Chinese culinary philosophy. The aim of his dishes is to provide energy and joie de vivre. Guests are invited to a deliberately simple ambience influenced by the urban atmosphere of Berlin. The Michelin guide awarded Tim Raue’s restaurant with two Michelin stars.

We started our dining experience with the Ikarimi Salmon served with buttered stock of tomato juice & marukan rice vinegar, compote of tomato & star anis and green anis. The dish is served lukewarm, keeping the salmon tender – the salmon is soft and melts in your mouth. The various flavours of vinegar, tomato gives you a mix of different tastes with each bite.

Next we had the Langoustine served with wasabi mayonnaise cantonese style. This is like our Singaporean equivalent of wasabi prawn – those that you can order from zi char stalls at hawker centre, although the quality at Tim Raue is a lot better – instead of prawns, Norway lobster meat (langoustine) is used and it tasted very fresh. The wasabi mayonnaise sauce is perfect with the langoustine – some zi char stalls in Singapore makes the wasabi sauce overwhelming (as if you are swallowing wasabi) but here at Tim Raue, its just gives a tinge of wasabi taste and that is good enough.

Next, we had Sate Chicken – or we call it Satay Chicken. I am very surprised to taste such familiar tasting food all the way in Germany. The chicken is tender and when eaten with the satay sauce, it tastes so good!

We wrapped up our meal at Tim Raue with dessert which comprises Quince sherbet, macadamia nougat and passionfruit. It is a good mix of taste – sweet and sour.

A 4 course menu for lunch at Tim Raue like the above will cost 68 Euros + 19% tax. You get a choice of dishes to make up the 4 courses – the 3 course menu is the cheaper option at 58 Euros. Do note that if you select the wasabi langoustine, that will cost an additional 12 Euros to the 68 Euros for a 4 course menu.

Address: Restaurant Tim Raue, Rudi-Dutschke-Straße 26, 10969 Berlin (near Checkpoint Charlie)

6. Night Kitchen

Night Kitchen serves modern Mediterranean dishes (designed to share with friends) from an open kitchen in a warm, rustic and inviting atmosphere. If you are planning to catch a show at Friedrichstadt-Palast, Night Kitchen is the perfect stop for a pre-show dinner but do factor in some time (about 10 minutes) to walk from Night Kitchen to Friedrichstadt-Palast. We had this dinner at the Night Kitchen before catching the THE ONE Grand Show at Friedrichstadt-Palast – amazing performance which I will provide a short review later on in this post.

My personal favorites at the Night Kitchen are the meat dishes. The pictures below are what I would call the must-try: (1) Octopus a la Plancha served with Jerusalem Artichoke, (2) Slow-cooked short ribs served with Maple-lemongrass sauce and (3) White fish served with spicy carrot ginger tomato sauce.

The short ribs are tender and well marinated, thus making it very flavorful. The white fish is fresh and the spicy sauce brings out the flavour in the fish. Lastly the Octopus is just perfect in term of texture and tasted very delicious!

Address: Night Kitchen, Oranienburger Str. 32, 10117 Berlin (nearest S-station: Berlin Oranienburger Straße station)

7. Casalot

Casalot offers a wide range of selected, fine specialties from the Arabic cuisine. You will find a wide variety of specialties from the Middle East, the Maghreb and the Arabic Peninsula. According to their motto “eat and drink differently”, all of the dishes are freshly prepared. Their signature is the grilled meat – chicken and lamb. Casalot is also very near Friedrichstadt-Palast – a short 5 minute walk away so this restaurant will also be a good spot for pre-show dinner.

Address: Casalot, Claire-Waldoff-Straße 5, 10117 Berlin

Just a short aside on the THE ONE Grand Show at Friedrichstadt-Palast, if you want to catch one of the most lavish show in Europe on one of the biggest stage in the world, then you should not miss the ONE Grand Show. An iconic part of the ONE Grand Show performance is the more than 500 daring, extravagant, and glamourous costumes designed by Jean Paul Gaultier, one of the great stars of Parisian haute couture. The scale of this performance is massive in many ways – more than 100 artists on the world’s biggest theater stage and a production budget of more than eleven million euros.

Most of the singing is in German but you should be able to interpret from the music and costumes what is going on but in case you don’t, here’s my quick take on the performance.
THE ONE Grand Show blurs past and present in a vibrant, euphoric waking dream. You will follow a young man who struggles with his inner emotions – anger and curiosity as he rekindles the splendour and glamour of times past in his mind’s eye while everything dissolves, floats, and spins in front of him, all leading back to the one person who means everything to him – THE ONE. I know very chim (deep-meaning in local Singaporean colloquial terms) but this is a show where you get amazed and surprised by the myriad of costume and death defying acts by the performers. It is a good mix between a typical circus act and dance performance and musical (the latter you will appreciate better if you know German).

8. KANTINI Food Market at BIKINI Berlin

If you want diversity in your food selection, then head on to the food markets where you get a wide selection of cuisine in one place. If you are in the area of the Berlin Zoologischer Garten for a currywurst at Curry 36, pop by BIKINI Berlin for the KANTINI where there are 13 food stalls covering various cuisines e.g. Thai, Israeli, Italian. We ordered a Thai green curry rice and sweet potato fries – prices are reasonable – you can have quite a good meal for about 10 Euros. Choose a seat overlooking the zoo and you may be able to see some animals while you eat.

Address: Bikini-Haus, Budapester Str. 38-50, 10787 Berlin (nearest U2: Berlin Zoologischer Garten)

9. Markthalle Neun (Street Food Thursday)

For a more traditional food market, don’t miss Markthalle Neun (Market Hall 9) in Kreuzberg on Thursday because of Street Food Thursday. On Thursdays from 5pm to 10pm only, the various stalls compete with each other with their culinary delicacies, but it is you who are the winners. This is truly an international event as you get to experience British pies, Thai tapioca dumplings, Mexican tacos, Allgäu cheese spaetzle or Nigerian FuFu. It gets really crowded though so seats are very limited.

If you need help navigating the culinary gems that Berlin offers on this exciting street food tour through the district of Kreuzberg, check out the Food Tour with Fork & Walk by Dov Selby. If you check out his website, you will notice that there are lots of different food tours to meet your needs, be it whether you are a vegan or coffee connoisseur, there is a food tour for you.

We went on a Evening Food Tour with Dov where he showed us some of the best street food stalls in Markthalle Neun, for example – these tofu burgers by Tofutussis and …

… amazing cheese sandwiches by Alte Milch

10. Doyum Restaurant

Due to a large migrant population from Turkey, you can find lots of Middle Eastern restaurants around Kreuzberg. As part of the Evening Food Tour, Dov brought us to Doyum Restaurant where we got to savour some of the best Turkish cuisine.

If you are looking for traditional Turkish food, Doyum Restaurant is the place to be – the food is grilled over an open charcoal fire and they are known for the meat dishes. The following are some of my favorites and I would recommend that you try them too.

Lahmacun – A snack-sized thin crust pizza whose name is derived from Arabic: laḥm bi-ʿajīn, meaning meat with dough. It’s a delicious Turkish staple and street food that has existed for thousands of years.

Adana Kebap Yogurtlu – Minced meat on the skewer with yogurt, tomatosauce, gegrilled tomatoes, pepper and special bread

Künefe – Pastry mozzarella cheese doused with sugar syrup

Künefe is a crispy cheese-filled dessert made with kadayıf, which is a traditional shredded wheat dessert with pistachio filling. Native to the southeastern parts of Turkey in a area named Hatay. This is a very sweet and addictive dessert

Address: 37, Admiralstraße 36, 10999 Berlin, Germany

11. Kaffee Karamell

Kaffee Karamell is located right at where we stayed – Capri by Fraser. They serve great food at affordable prices. We tried this delicious Carbonara dish (with ham, garlic in cream sauce) and Brownie and a cup of coffee (all for just under 20 Euros). Kaffee Karamell is also where we had our daily breakfast with the hotel.

And there you have it – 11 interesting and diverse dining experiences you can check out in Berlin. To get around Berlin, you can use the public transport – buses and U-bahn and S-bahn. The Berlin WelcomeCard gives you access to all public transport as well as discounts on selected tours and museum. Ranging from 2 – 6 days, these will definitely come in handy when exploring Berlin. Just remember to validate your ticket before you take your first ride with the bus /U-bahn.

Capri by Fraser Berlin

What I like about staying in Capri by Fraser Berlin is how convenient it is – there is a supermarket just across the road and there are buses (just a few minutes walk away) that..

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Europe is a truly beautiful place, featuring some of the most varied landscapes you’ll find in the world. From mountains to beach front roads and snow capped regions – you can find it all right here.

So, if you’re considering a road trip around scenic Europe, why not consider one of our below driving routes for a trip of a lifetime? Whether it’s for a week or a weekend, there’s something for everyone – just make sure you’re properly prepared. This road trip planning guide from RAC is a good starting point.

The Atlantic Road, Norway

An 8km road situated in Norway has perhaps one of the most impressive routes. Built over water and running through multiple islands, this makes it somewhat fascinating and also unusual. It was once voted Norway’s ‘Engineering Feat of the Century’ and is considered to be one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/82134796@N03/

Amalfi Coast, Italy

Southern Italy has always been a popular European holiday destination, especially for those wanting to drive through it. Here, you can drive along the coast feeling as if you’ve been taken back in time thanks to the perfectly sculpted coastline. Drive from town to town and embrace the beauty in every single one of them.

Route 500, Germany

This route takes you through the Black Forest giving you stunning views along the mountains. The route is 60 km long and it’s completely worth the half a day drive it takes; just make sure you allow time to stop and have a break in one of the main car parks and viewpoints, enabling you to embrace the beauty of the valleys and peaks.

Grossglockner Hochalpenstrasse, Austria

This is an impressive route that takes you through some of the highest peaks of the Austrian Alps, passing through tunnels, twists surrounded by flowering meadows, and bare cliffs before reaching high up in to the clouds.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/philmciver/

The High Coast, Sweden

Taking just under an hour and a half to explore, The High Coast will take you through a World Heritage-listed terrain of glacier-produced landscapes that will make you stop and stare in sheer awe. Being one of Sweden’s best hiking regions, it boasts an array of red-granite cliffs and pine forests.

Les Corniches, France

Glide through some of the most densely populated real estates in all of Europe and take an envious look at glamorous regions such as Cannes and Monte Carlo. You really don’t have to travel to remote areas for some truly breathtaking views as this proves.

Ring of Kerry, Ireland

A 179-kilometre circuit escorting you around the Iveragh Peninsula will give you incredible coastal views and of mountains that are the highest point in the south west of Ireland. This landscape is steeped in beauty. It’s a famous route that’s often crowded as tour coaches frequently travel here but – thanks to its historic stones and castle ruins – it’s completely worth joining the crowd of admirers.

Reykjavik, Iceland

As a country full of natural wonders already, it’s no surprise it has one of the most beautiful scenic driving routes in Europe. The best way to take in all the beauty that Iceland has is by car, through Route 1 – the Ring Road. Beginning and ending in Reykjavik, the Ring Road wraps itself around the country in a circular fashion. With so many spectacular villages to explore, attractions and sights, you’ll never want it to end.

Just remember, if you’re planning one of the above scenic routes for your road trip, make sure you take out European Breakdown Cover so you’re covered if you need roadside assistance or recovery while away.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/blacklili/

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The island country of Sri Lanka is becoming one of the hottest tourist destinations. I will be sharing with you a suggested 5 days and 4 nights itinerary that will help you to see almost everything that the city Kandy in Sri Lanka has to offer.

Before you can leave for Sri Lanka, you’ll want to make sure that you have your hotel booked. There are plenty of great hotels in the country. However, you’ll want to choose the most centralized hotel e.g. Randholee Resort & Spa or the Eden Garden Hotel. These hotels are fairly close to the most important attractions.

Day 1

Even if you’re not a religious individual, you’re definitely going to want to visit the Temple of the Tooth. This Buddhist temple is located in the city of Kandy. Therefore, it will be very close to your hotel. The Temple’s construction was completed in 1595 and it was opened the same year, making it one of the longest running temples in the entire country.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/mal-b/

Once you’ve finished at the Temple of the Tooth, you should check out the Dumbulla Cave Temple. This one is a little further away from your hotel, but you should still have plenty of time. It is found on Jaffna Highway in Habarana. Near this location, you will find 80 documented caves and possibly even more.

There are plenty of places to eat in Sri Lanka. The Swiss Residence and the Café Aroma Inn are pretty close to your hotel. Exotic Voyages can help you find great dining establishments in Sri Lanka.

Day 2

During your second day, stay within Kandy for some of the very best attractions. Here, you will find the Sigiriya. It is an accident rock fortress pretty close to Kandy. The massive rock column is almost 200 meters high. It has been said that King Kasyapa selected the site as his new capital. He then built a palace on top of the rock formation. If you’re an adventure junky, you could easily spend the entire day climbing the rock formation.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/lakpura/

Day 3

Again, you won’t have to travel far from Kandy to find some amazing attractions. On your third day, you should wake up early and head 5.5 km to the west. Here, you will find the Royal Botanical Gardens. The gardens attract more than 2 million tourists every year. It expands over an area of 147 acres.

You should end your day early and enjoy some of Kandy’s night life. There is really plenty to enjoy here. The Royal Bar is one of the best establishments. The Pub is another one. It is located on Dalada Veediya.

Day 4

On day four, it is time to enjoy some of the best sports in Sri Lanka. Head on over to the Pallekele International Cricket Stadium. The stadium is located in the heart of Kandy. The stadium is one of the best stadiums for cricket in the entire country. After the game, check out the Horton Plains National Park, which was established in 1969. Since it is 12.2 square miles, you won’t get to see everything. Nevertheless, you should at least enter the park and see everything that it has to offer.

For dinner, head on to the Foodlands Restaurant. This restaurant is located in Kandy and it offers plenty of delicious foods. In fact, you’ll be able to choose from Chinese, Indian and Italian dishes. No matter what you’re after, you can guarantee that this restaurant is going to satisfy your needs. After that, you may want to take a walk across the local beach at night.

Day 5

Grab some souvenirs at some of the fine shopping establishments located in Kandy. For starters, you’ll want to visit the Kandy City Center. There are plenty of great shops here. Then, you should visit the Kandy Market Hall.

 

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Each year, Australia receives more than 5 million visitors from all over the world. The country is a hot spot where tourism and tourists are concerned. It has hundreds of top scenic and the most attractive destinations. It is little wonder that it attracts these many visitors annually. The country is one of the world’s most beautiful places. It is as mysterious as it is majestic. It can leave you spellbound too!

Below are the top 10 most scenic spots in Australia you should never miss.

  • Uluru

Uluru is in the Northern Territory. It’s located in what is aptly named the country’s “Red Center.” It is the spiritual heart of the country too. You can only enjoy the best that Uluru has to offer by staying here awhile.

Walk around Uluru’s base while experiencing either sunset or sunrise here. You will be right in concluding that you’ve never seen a better sight than that. You can walk; rides a bike or a camel while going around this majestic natural landmark. While here, don’t forget to make your way to Kata Tjuta, which is nearby.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/richardwc/

  • Great Ocean Road

It is in Victoria. A visit to one of Australia’s world-renowned scenic spots would be an excellent use of your time. It does not limit you to the beautiful features found in one location alone. Instead, it opens up a big chunk of the country to you!

Go on a road trip along the Great Ocean Road to truly feel what Australia is all about.

Taking a tour bus would mean covering this entire strip in one day. That would be a great disservice to you. Hire a car from Easy Rent Cars instead. Let this trip open up the world of beauty to you slowly. Go on this trip when you’re not in a hurry.

A trip along this road exposes you to some stunning views of:

  1. 12 Apostles
  2. Waterfalls
  3. Jagged cliffs
  4. Surf breaks

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/neelelora/

  • Rottnest Island

Rottnest Island is in Western Australia. The more than 60 scenic beaches and bays on this Island make it one of the country’s truly magical spots to visit. Tourists here not only get the chance to relax and enjoy the beaches and bays, but also to indulge themselves in a bit of:

  1. Snorkeling
  2. Diving
  3. Kayaking
  4. Swimming
  5. Fishing

Stay here for a day or two to take it all in. If that’s impossible, half-a-day would be enough to sample its best features.

  • Lake McKenzie

The lake is unique in several ways. First, it is part of the world’s largest sand dune – Fraser Island. Sencond, the lake is not only one of the most pristine but also opulent in the world. The words “pristine” and “opulent” are a true description of what Lake McKenzie guarantees.

Numerous unique geological features stand out on this lake.

You would think you’re in a movie setting looking at the views that the lake opens up to you.

The tranquility around the lake is unmatched in most of the places you may have visited.

  • Gold Coast

You can’t talk about Australia’s most scenic spots without mentioning the Gold Coast, which is in Queensland. The world loves it as one of the country’s top tourist destinations. A beautiful coastal scenery and an amazing hinterland are just two the traits that make it unique.

Some outstanding places along the Gold Coast worth visiting include:

  • Burleigh Heads
  • Rainbow Bay
  • Coolangatta
  • Springbrook National Park
  • Binna Burra National Park
  • Lamington National Park

Gold Coast is synonymous with fun!

Visit it to enjoy some of the country’s most beautiful beaches

  • Kangaroo Island

Visitors who like a destination with more diversity should include Kangaroo Island in their itinerary. Its incredible landscapes that include forests, sand dunes, beaches and rolling farmlands make the island worth the hassle.

What is more, the island offers an excellent mix of some of Australia’s best-known animals. These include koalas, kangaroos (from which it derives its name), dolphins and many more! You have to visit it to experience its beauty yourself.

  • Bungle Bungle

Bungle Bungle refers to a rock formation that is famous all over Australia for many reasons. One, it’s famous for the incredible beauty it offers, which can leave you rooted at one spot admiring all that loveliness and wondering how it came about.

Bungle Bungle is in Western Australia. The roundness at the top of the formations resembles gigantic beehives.

The formations offer the perfect picture that completes the endless majestic sky above and the tranquil yet mysterious golden plains below. Everything in these formations seems to hold more secrets than they care to share.

Image credits: https://www.flickr.com/photos/andy_tyler/

  • Whitehaven Beach

Whitehaven Beach is in Whitsunday Island. It is ready for exploring. It is arguably the closest place in Australia to paradise. What is more, the beach is arguably the cleanest in the whole country. The sand and water found here look so pure and clean.

It is little wonder that Whitehaven Beach has been named one of the most famous beaches in the world. It is in the list of the world’s top ten beaches. Visit it. Spend time here to appreciate why it’s so highly thought of and popular with tourists too!

  • Royal Botanic Gardens

The Gardens are in Melbourne. They attract more than 1.8 million visitors each year. It is the perfect place to go to for a bit of tranquility away from the busy city life. The serene lakes, stunning vistas, and diverse collection of plants make it truly scenic.

Some of the Gardens’ most popular attractions include:

  1. Aboriginal Heritage Walk
  2. Garden Discovery Tour
  3. Riding on Garden Explorer
  4. Punting on Ornamental Lake
  • Glass House Mountains

The Mountains are in Queensland. They feature 11 elegant peaks. The 13 hills that form the mountains emerge surprisingly from plains of the Sunshine Coast below. That’s just one of the qualities that make these one of the country’s most scenic places.

The mountains stand 70km away from Brisbane, which is equivalent to an hour’s drive. You can check for the best rates of car rentals at easyrentcars.com if you wish to travel to these Mountains from Brisbane.

The mountains’ craggy peaks are guaranteed to leave you mesmerized. Walking tracks, panoramic views, and open forests truly make the mountains special!

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