A good and most importantly, free view over Central Park is notoriously difficult to come accross, unless you live in an apartment overlooking it. However, on a recent trip, I was delighted to find that the excellent Metropolitan Museum of Art has just such a novelty. Notwithstanding the cornucopia of exhibits to look at there is also a staggering view accross the park towards midtown. Especially good if there's a lightning storm approaching - you can take shelter behind one of the dodgy pieces of 'Modern Art' that are sure to get struck before you do. And they serve Mojitos up there too...
1000 Fifth Avenue at 82nd Street. Take 4, 5, or 6 train to 86th Street and walk three blocks west to Fifth Avenue
Market Cafe is a small, unassuming place that's a tad like an institutional canteen but serves gourmet food at great prices. You can easily walk out of this unlikely placed restaurant - that sits just east of the more salubrious areas - spending less than $20 on a first and main course. Try the scallops, which were enormous and delectable on a bed of pureed potatoes and rocket with a burnt butter sauce. They're a steal at around $8.
Market Cafe, 496 Ninth Ave between between 37th and 38th. 212-564- 7350 nearest station 34st-Penn station
Instead of paying ridiculous amounts of money to put on an ugly grey suit and be frog-marched up the bridge, why not walk across the whole bridge, and make your way up the pylon (200 steps) to visit the bridge's museum? The views are similar and the museum is interesting. Walking across the bridge is free, the museum costs around £3. Compare this to Bridge Climb that costs around £70.
If coming from the Rocks, enter from Cumberland Street. The other entrance is near Milsons Point or you can enter via Observatory Hill/ Kent Street.
It's a vegetarian restaurant serving cuisine from southern India. The food is invariably delicious and cheap, even cheaper at lunchtime when they have an excellent buffet. It's not licenced but you can take your own booze (bought at the supermarket next door if need be). You can't reserve tables, so be prepared to queue at busy times. They also do food to take away. A terrific alternative to the overpriced chain food outlets on Euston Station, as it's only a couple of minutes' walk away.
121-123 Drummond Street, NW1; 020 7387 5556; Euston
Friendly, laid-back hostel chain Home now has three excellent branches in Valencia. The vast Backpackers, at Calle Santa Cristina s/n, has dorm rooms from around €13 per person per night or doubles for around €16 per person. The original and more cosy hostel at Calle La Lonja, 4, is similarly priced. The newly refurbished Home Deluxe at Calle Cadires, 11, offers themed double rooms for around €40 a night.
A truly Spanish, family-run tapas bar just by the famous towers. No frills and no tourists; just cheap, well-cooked tapas classics. Around €10 per head for a hearty meal, wine or beer and coffee.
Cervecería Serranos, Calle Blanquerías, 5
For great tapas in a central location, check out El Kiosco bar. The price is very reasonable and the bar is popular with the locals. Its set in an idyllic square in the old town and there are tables outside as well as inside.
Address: Derechos, 38. (On the corner of Plaza Dr Collado) Telephone: +34 96 391 0159
You should never bother with English's restaurant which is overpriced and not all that brilliant. The thing to do is go to the Regency and the Melrose, two fish restaurants run by Cypriots just at Regency Square where you can get for about £6 the finest cod and chips you will get anywhere in Britain. But they also do oysters, lobster, plaice and Dover sole, wonderful chips. It's first rate and hard to spend more than £15-20 a head for a feast.
The Regency, 131 King's Road, BN1 2HH; 01273 325014; www.theregencyrestaurant.co.uk. The Melrose, 132 Kings Road; 01273 326520
Cheap and cheerful accommodation in central location, with English-speaking staff and a lively basement bar mainly filled with backpacking tourists. The rooms range from cheap-as-chips shared dormitories to affordable, stylish apartments with roof terrace
Thai is often the best value, helped by Australia's BYO culture (in most restaurants you can bring your own wine/beer and pay a modest - $2-5 - corkage charge). Thada in Darlinghurst is cheap and fresh. Thai on Wok in Glebe offers lots of flashing woks and fire. You can eat well for $15 per person.
Thada, 245 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst; Thai on Wok, 193 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe
Set in a beautiful functionalist building that could be the set of a Hercule Poirot mystery, Ekeberg offers breathtaking views of the city, the Oslo fjord and the surrounding hills. Enjoy a beer on the terrace or a delicious dinner inside.
Kongsveien 15; Tel: 23 24 23 00; Tram lines 18 and 19, Ekeberg station; www.ekebergrestauranten.com/
Run by the same chef as the more upmarket Chez Michel almost next door, this is the bare-table, stripped-down, half-price and totally delicious Paris bistro par excellence.
6 rue de Belzunce, a few 100 yards from the Gare du Nord; Tel: 01 48 78 28 80
Authentic south Indian vegetarian food served in a stylish cafeteria. A culinary adventure into steamed rice cakes, chutneys, spicy pulses and peppery vegetable dishes. Prices start from Rs 23.
Connaught Place; Tel: 2334 7755
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