The name says it all. The guardian of all things old in the name of the state. Great exhibitions, both permanent and temporary. The definitive museum for the discerning museum-goer.
Ny Vestergade 10 - A short walk from the Town Hall Square.
50 kroner for adults. Children under 16 free.
Open 10-17. Closed Mondays.
Tel: (+45) 33 13 44 11
Copenhagen’s City Museum is a cosy place, much like the city it represents. It gives you a great impression of the city’s 1000 year evolution from fishing village to thriving European capital.
Kids love the huge model of the city in the old days and there is something for everyone inside. The building itself – former home of the Royal Shooting Club – is impressive. Check out the little Søren Kierkegaard exhibition.
20 kroner for adults, kids under 14 free.
Open 10-16. Closed Tuesdays.
Vesterbrogade 59 – five minutes from the Central Station.
Zoos are zoos are zoos but Copenhagen Zoo is a great getaway for the family and it is unique in that it is located very close to town. A simple bus or bike ride from Central Station.
Built in 1859, the Zoo has evolved well. The petting zoo is super for kids and Sir Norman Foster has designed the coming Elephant House.
The Zoo is open 365 days a year!
The official name is The Calgary Zoo, Botanical Garden & Prehistoric Park, which gives you an idea of the scope.
Ranks high on the international 'zoo-o-meter' for it's quality and size. Loads of things to see and the kids will love the prehistoric park with dinos and what have you.
The LRT (train) stops at Zoo Station.
1300 Zoo Road (off Memorial Drive)
16 dollars (adults), 8 bucks (kids)
Fantastic, small scale wildlife park which is ideal for kids. You can get up close and personal with all the animals without the usual queues found else where.
Our kids loved it and got loads of photos with the koalas. A great way to spend a morning or afternoon in Sydneys suburbs.
West Pennant Hills, Sydney
One of the best attractions in the city, and a must-see for visitors. It is expensive - $27 single or $65 for a family of four - but well worth it. From the large opening platypus tank (try and count the shrimp) to the crocodile, seals and penguins, the aquarium has all the big draws. The most popular area is the shark tunnel - but don't miss the stunning Barrier Reef exhibit. Dozens of smaller tanks cover all of Australia's marine habitats - it really is a great aquarium.
Darling Harbour, west of the city centre
There are plenty of museums in Sydney - some good, some decidedly average. The Museum of Sydney ($7) tells the story of the city from 1788 to the present, and although small is extremely interesting. Also worth a look is the nearby Hyde Park Barracks Museum ($7), built by convicts in 1818, which shows the history of the fledgling community through the people who were housed there - convicts, immigrants and soldiers. Finally the Powerhouse Museum ($10) is a fun and massive collection devoted to science, transport and technology - where you could spend hours. Kids will love it.
On the downside is the Australian Museum (£10). Despite having been there three times, I've always felt let down at the size and content. For such a huge building, there really is precious little on display apart from the ubiquitous animal bones and minerals. If you can make it over to Canberra, the National Museum of Australia there is far, far better.
MoS - cnr Phillip/Bridge Sts, city centre
HPBM - Queens Square, Macquarie St, city centre
Powerhouse - Harris St, Ultimo (Central station)
Australian Museum - College St, Hyde Park
It all started in 1912 when rodeo competition was arranged to celebrate the old west and the cowboy culture. For ten days every July this busy oil town dons denim and stetsons and has a party. There is rodeo and chuckwagon racing galore, as well as Native American culture and a fun fair.
You can eat free for the duration as many shopping centres put on pancake breakfasts. Yeehaw. Yahoo. And all that.
It's good, clean fun (unless animal cruelty is an issue for you) and at the very least it's fascinating to see such a large city get so into an event that they change their wardrobe en masse.
At Stampede Park on McLeod Trail. Easily reached from downtown by train. Starts on the first Friday in July every year.
Healesville Santuary is a zoo which only has Australian animals in a natural bushland setting. Healesville is an absolute must for any international visitor to Melbourne, and can be combined with a day of wine tasting in the Yarra Valley, although it can easily fill a day on its own.
Address Badger Creek Rd
Healesville VIC 3777
Phone 03 5957 2800
This museum offers some excellent material on the early history of the area, particularly on the First Nations. It has also a small, though interestingly stocked, bookshop.
We missed it the first time we were in Calgary and the second time only found it on the last morning we were there. Don't make our mistake!
Got kids? Need to relax but keep an eye on them? Get on the Manly Ferry - so easy to use, and great fun as well as a super view of Sydney. When you get to Manly get off and turn left and keep walking until you can go no further on the beach and you'll be at a cove called Shelly Beach. This little horseshoe is for parents and kids - the water is cyrstal clear and about 8"-12" deep for a good 100 yards, so ideal for little ones with no menace, unlike the big surf furhter along.
Then, when you are all famished, wander 25 yards to 'The Kiosk' the misleadingly named and wonderful restaurant on the front there, and eat your fill of Morton Bay Bugs, Sushi, etc, etc for buttons. Great easy day. The other thing you could do is peel off to Manly market and buy a tray of mangos to eat on the beach - it will add half an hour to the journey out there though! Again, costs buttons as do most things out there.
Ferry leaves from Sydney harbour every hour.
Lasted three hours, costs about the same as the Statue of Liberty trip. We had the same views of the statue plus toured the rest of Manhattan. No x-ray/search as per Statue of Liberty and Empire State so much more enjoyable and relaxed.
It leaves from pier 83, which is right next to the air and space display and concorde so all in all great value plus you don't get the disappointment of finding out after the security etc to get to the Statue of Liberty that you can now only go up the base not the actual statue.
Absolutely stunning twin towers. Go during the day and there is a free guided tour and then again at night to see the towers lit up! There is also a shopping centre, cinema and restaurants at your disposal.
Junction of Jalan Ampand and Jalan P. Ramlee
Kuala Lumpur City Centre, Kuala Lumpur.
Just look for the towers you can't miss them!
If you want to know what the Japanese do on a Sunday afternoon, then head off to Yoyogi Park. The whole of Tokyo seems to descend on this wonderful park. Families come for a picnic, unsigned pop bands play inpromptu gigs, theatre groups practise their latest plays and people just hang out letting the world go by! Everything seems to happen in this one place! When I went there a year ago, I felt like I saw the real Tokyo - seeing the Japanese at play.
Don't miss it!
Adjacent to Yoyogi-koen and Meiji-jingumae Stations on the subway Chiyoda Line, and Harajuku Station on the JR Yamanote Line
Kiddy Land, one of Tokyo’s largest toy stores, is a shrine to all things “kawaii” (cute). Spread over six floors, the shop features all major global toy brands and characters, including Dick Bruna’s Miffy, Disney and of course Hello Kitty. Character-branded stationery, cards, stickers, stamps, and gift wrap can be found in the basement.
The first floor offers an eclectic mix of fancy dress gear, watches and accessories. The second floor features a fabulous array of stuffed animals, while the third floor concentrates of American characters such as Barbie and Spiderman. The fourth floor is geared towards pre-school kids and toddlers, and the fifth is full of games and gadgets. With such a fantastic range of toys, this Tokyo institution will win over even the most jaded of shoppers.
ADDRESS: 6-1-9 Jingumae, Shibuya-ku
PHONE: +81 (0)3 3409 3431
WEBSITE: www.kiddyland.co.jp/index2.html (Japanese language only)
Why, because it has to be done! Camp, funny, beautiful scenery and with a toboggan ride thrown in. You only go into one of the film's locations but visit several others and spend three hours immersed in trivia and SoM songs. Main disapointment for me is that none of the other tourists sang along on the coach!
Before you can feel that you have been properly welcomed into Munich's heart, you have to sit and take in the atmosphere of a genuine Bierhalle. Nestled in among far more modern shops in Munich’s Kaufingerstrasse, leading away from the Marienplatz, is the Augustiner Bierkeller.
The Augustiner is a very large hall, longer than it is wide, on the ground floor of an ancient half-timbered building. (Whether genuinely old or simply rebuilt after the bombings of World War Two, as in many German cities, it is difficult to tell.) It is cosy and snug, relaxing, and, despite the number of customers, not crowded. The atmosphere is friendly and pleasant. Fresh cooking smells pervade the place along with the rich aroma of the beers, and this could easily become your favourite pub.
The enormous floor plan is divided up into numerous sections, each the responsibility of one or a small team of waiters and waitresses. The vaulted ceilings are high, disappearing, church-like into the gloom above. The floors are of red flagstones, and the walls are richly and decoratively panelled up to about shoulder height in wood the colour of ebony, the kind of colour that only comes as a patina.
You sit down on benches at solid, light oak wooden tables. The waiters wear white shirts with black trousers and black waistcoats, some have aprons, and purses bulge from back pockets. They are not all young. If you are lucky you will get a real character, with a sparkle in his eye, who has been here decades, and is almost part of the furniture. The waitresses wear variations on the regional costume, the Dirndlkleid, usually a long, voluminous red or green dress, with a white apron, and a low cut blouse on top, their purses in belts around their waist.
A group of men in their early twenties sits in animated conversation at one table, their vase shaped glasses of beer before them. Middle-aged and well-heeled citizens sit comfortably at other tables reading, with the air of people having no need to hurry. Couples while away lunchtime over two or three courses. An elderly gentleman sits alone in one corner, reading a newspaper and gently puffing on a pipe. The waiting staff buzz around efficiently, unhurriedly and politely, nothing is too much trouble, is the food ok, how about another beer?
This is a meeting place as much as anything, but also somewhere to eat and drink as much or as little as you like. The atmosphere is remarkably hushed for so many people. Business-like, practical and unhurried. The fare is about as traditional as you can get, from powerful soups through an innumerable variety of sausages with sauerkraut and mustard, to pork, veal and beef dishes all with some style of potatoes and vegetables. This is a menu with which to fortify yourself against the cold outside. Not lacking in calories, it is top quality, traditional, basic food.
The beer is also traditional. I order a Hefeweizen, an unfiltered wheat beer that retains its yeast sediment in the bottom of the bottle, so that it pours out deliberately cloudy and very aromatic. Nectar. Agreed by most to be among the best beers on the planet. My lunch arrives. Two Weisswurst, white sausage, another speciality of Munich, that come floating in a tureen of boiling water, so that you have to fish them out to put them on your plate. They are delicately flavoured and contain herbs. I am given a choice of mustards.
You ask for the bill. “Ich komme gleich”, the waitress says, “I’ll be right with you”. And disappears for ten minutes. She returns to write out what you’ve had on a small slip of notepad and, as always, you are surprised at how little it costs, just a couple of pounds, and you are sent on your way with another piece of Gemütlichkeit in your back pocket.
In Kaufingerstrasse, just off Marienplatz in central Munich
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