Copenhagen is one of the absolute most amiable cities in the world. It's full of vibrancy wherever you go. While it is possible to see a lot that the capital city offers in just a day or so, you won't want the time you have to spend there to be so fleeting. Once you get wrapped up in the city's charm, history, and culture, you may never want to leave. So to make sure you take in all that you can during your visit, here is a list of the top experiences you shouldn't miss out on.
1. Tivoli Gardens. This exciting theme park is fun for all ages.
2. Nyhavn. Don't miss the chance to see the bright and colorful 17th-century homes along the waterfront.
3. Nationalmuseet. Get lost in Copenhagen's National Museum viewing all of the artifacts.
4. The Little Mermaid Statue. This statue was created in 1913 by sculptor Edvard Eriksen as a tribute to Hans Christian Andersen.
5. Strøget. Explore this .69 mile shopping area designated to pedestrians.
6. Rent a Bike. Riding bicycles is a common form of transportation for locals and tourists getting around the city.
7. Christiansborg Palace. The gold details and meticulous architecture of this palace will leave you awe-struck.
8. Christiania. This historic region is full of art, culture, friendly locals, music venues, and organic shops.
Flowing from China through Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam before eventually pouring itself into the South China Sea, the Mekong River offers a wealth of opportunities to travelers. Traversing a total length of around 2,700 miles (4,350 km), the river is the sixth-longest in Asia and the 12th largest on the planet.
It is possible to take day trips along the Mekong but the best way to fully immerse yourself in the culture of the river is with a live-aboard experience. The most rewarding cruises connect you with major landmarks in Southeast Asia as well as taking you deep into the heart of the local communities. Here are the highlights of what you can expect from your Mekong River cruise.
Southeast Asia is brimming with Buddhist pagodas that grant insight into the region’s spiritual beliefs. The UNESCO World Heritage Site of Luang Prabang sits directly on the riverside and is richly occupied with gilded temples. Rent a bicycle to explore this peaceful city or wander on foot. Luang Prabang is also the setting for the daily alms-giving ceremony in which Laotian monks receive food parcels in a daily sunrise ritual. While Siem Reap doesn’t sit directly on the river, you can expect most cruise providers to schedule a stop in the town where you can access the mighty Angkor Wat temple complex.
The diverse island city of Singapore is full of hidden gems. There are countless things to explore, whether it's in nature or the concrete jungle. There's a reason nearly 20 million tourists visit Singapore each year. To make your next vacation to Singapore a bit more fantastic, here are ten hidden gems you must check out.
1. Orchard Road
Stroll down Singapore's fashion street, Orchard Road. Here is where you'll find luxurious boutiques, shopping malls, fabulous restaurants, and hotels. Orchard Road is a great place to enjoy a delicious lunch and a little shopping.
2. Ride a Bumboat Downtown
The view you'll get of downtown Singapore from the bumboat is perhaps the best. You can take it for a quick ride or take it easy on the 40-minute tour.
3. Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade
This walkway by the bay is nearly 2.2 miles long. As you take this stroll, there are enchanting sights through including views of glamorous skyscrapers, unique structures, art, and of course, the bay. Take advantage of the breeze shelters, mist sprays, and fans along the waterfront if it's too hot.
4. Sands Skypark
Head to the observation area atop the ship-shaped deck at Sands Skypark for the most magnificent view of downtown Singapore.
5. Gardens by the Bay
This modernized garden is undoubtedly one to behold. This outdoor nursery sits on about 250 acres and was designed during an international design competition.
Forming a bridge between the European and African continents, the island nation of Malta is rich with Mediterranean culture, history, and natural sights. With over 300 days of sunshine each year and mild temperatures even during the winter months, Malta is a sound choice for a winter sun destination. While you can undoubtedly fill a week in Malta, my recommendation is to visit the island as a side trip from Italy.
Located 58 miles (93 km) from mainland Italy, Malta is easily accessible thanks to its international airport which is well connected to European, North African, and Middle Eastern destinations. As travelers from the US will need to transfer via an Italian airport, this is why planning a vacation to both countries is an attractive idea. Alternatively, you can travel to Malta from Sicily via ferry. Crossings take between 2 and 7 hours subject to your route you will need to factor additional time into your travel schedule.
Where to stay in Malta
Rather than one island, Malta is an archipelago. Malta, Gozo, and Comino are the largest islands. Malta’s main island is tiny; spanning 95 square miles (246 square kilometers) it takes less than an hour to drive from one end to the other. You can access Gozo and Comino via a 25-minute boat crossing from Cirkewwa.
Beyond the eclectic capital of Lisbon, Portugal offers its visitors a wealth of nature, quaint rural villages, and even the world’s oldest demarcated wine region. One of the best places to experience all four is the Douro Valley.
Recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Douro Valley is named for the Douro River which flows from the Portuguese city of Porto across the northern stretches of the country before passing over the Spanish border. The waterway measures 557 miles (897 kilometers) and sits at an altitude of 2,157 meters (7,077 feet).
What to see in the Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is one of Portugal’s leading viticulture destinations which makes the region a hit with wine enthusiasts. Rising at both sides of the river you will see terraced vineyards that yield grapes for the production of Port wine (vinho do Porto). As a demarcated region, the area is defined by strict boundaries.
Wineries and vineyards, or quintas, welcome tourists and there are a variety of wine tours available that enrich you with knowledge about the Portuguese wine industry while you sip velvety Port. One of the best times to visit the Douro Valley is during the annual harvest that falls during mid-late September.
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