Beijing will host the XXIV Olympic Winter Games in February 2022. This is a particularly special occasion as China’s capital city previously hosted the XXIX Olympic Summer Games in 2008, making them one of the few to host the Games twice.
Beijing benefits from fewer crowds during its winter months which results in the major landmarks being significantly quieter. Plus, the excellent food and winter activities on offer – besides the Games – ensure that spirits remain high. Here are the 5 top experiences in Beijing during winter.
Step into history at Forbidden City
Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Forbidden City was constructed during the early 15th century under the Yongle Emperor, Zhu Di. For 500 years, it served as the political and ritual epicenter of China as well as the residence of the emperors. Surrounded by a moat, the inner complex features some of the best-preserved buildings, ceremonial halls, and shrines in China. Previously off-limits to the majority of subjects and members of the royal families, the Forbidden City captivates year-round and February is ideal for exploring the Palace Museum.
Sharpen your skills with a cooking class
The diverse cuisine available in the Chinese capital is the antidote to the cool climate. Local Beijing dishes are available alongside classic Sichuan and Cantonese specialties, with Peking duck, jiaozi (dumplings), xiaolongbao (steamed buns), and Chinese hot pot guaranteed to keep you warm. Once you’ve found your favorite plate, discover how to make it for yourself in a cookery class at the Beijing Cooking School or The Hutong.
With its sky-piercing mountains, outstanding architecture, and musical legacy, Austria is one of Central Europe’s most evocative countries. What is less known about the nation is that it has a centuries-old heritage of fine wine production.
Beyond Vienna, Austria is heaving with mountain resort towns, fairytale castles, and spectacular natural scenery. With four distinct seasons, the landscape changes drastically throughout the year. As this is a European destination that you can visit at any time of year, here is what you can expect from visiting Austria in either winter or summer.
Visiting Austria in Winter
Austria in winter summons to mind scenes of the Alps blanketed in snow and bustling yuletide markets.
Snow falls on the mountains and higher altitude areas from early December and remains until late March, with the ski season opening in January. The ski resorts of Austria are some of the most exclusive in Europe, with challenging conditions best suited to experienced skiers and boarders.
After two years of lockdowns, closed borders, grounded flights, and cancellations, the travel industry has experienced more than its fair share of turbulence.
Now that vaccines are readily available we anticipate that – finally – 2022 will see us inch closer to resuming international travel but in a new way. Although the future of travel feels promising, we must prepare for regulations to stay in place for some time.
Whether you are hoping to book your first overseas vacation or visit loved ones that live further afield, it’s time to ensure that you are caught up on the current state of travel.
State of Travel
The travel industry has fought tirelessly to remain in business over these years with hotels, airlines, and tour operators doing all they can to support clients. While at first, the pandemic caught businesses off guard, tourism providers are now in a position to share comprehensive guidelines relating to pandemic travel.
However, as new variants of the coronavirus and surges remain unpredictable, you should continue to exercise caution and familiarize yourself with the booking terms.
Consult my advice on how to travel post-pandemic.
Although some of Italy's more commonly-known islands often take the spotlight, many secret islands are worth exploring. So whether you prefer a remote getaway or an easier-to-get-to spot, keep reading to discover some of the best-hidden gems when it comes to Italy's islands.
Off the coast of Sicily lies one of the most remote Egadi Islands, Marettimo offers an escape from busy-traffic and overly-populated areas. Not only does it contain protected waters perfect for snorkeling and diving, but it is also nearby some of the most beautiful walking trails. In addition, the island is nearly car-less, so you can feel like a local.
Another traffic-free spot when you need to leave the crowded city life behind is Panarea. Frequented by celebrities such as Bill Gates and Beyonce, this island is east of the Aeolian Islands and is a hot place for taking yacht rides or renting traditional wooden boats. This small island is a gem for fabulous beaches, historical attractions, and breathtaking natural vistas.
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