This looked a good thing, but we found that by walking and judicious visits to attractions, it was not cost effective. I can appreciate families may have youngsters, but we oldies can walk and we spent far less than the card in our week in Madrid.
A theme park dedicated to Hello Kitty and a host of other supporting Sanrio cartoon characters. Young children will enjoy the (basic) rides and attractions; visitors with an appreciation for Kitty kitsch will be in seventh heaven.
A high hill on the Asian side of the city, it's lovely to take a taxi to the park up here at sunset to watch the sun go down over the city, see the Bosphorus bridge and the city light up, and hear the prayer calls from all over the city come up from all around you - your very own surround sound system.
Tucked away in the West End this great restaurant serves contemporary Scottish food in a great setting. The Bothy manages to have staff in kilts and irn-bru sorbet on the menu, but still has an upmarket, elegant feel.
Ruthven Lane, Off Byres Road. Opposite Hillhead Subway station
An excellent alternative to the noise and bustle of Central Hong Kong but easy to get there, with the locals, by ferry - which is two minutes from the hotel. Close to the airport (about 40 mins by taxi, 60 by bus). Excellent value.
D.D. 2 Lot 648 Silvermine Bay, Mui Wo, Lantau Island
Tel: (852) 2736-0922 Fax: (852) 2405-0922
Two huge pools and a kids' pool, in a fantastic location. Get there when it opens - 11am. Leave before the gangs of dive-bombing boys turn up - 1pm. Closed after the first weekend of September.
Next to Lago metro station
In the heart of Madrid you'll find this beautiful park that's a break from the hustle and bustle of the city. Amble around the wide winding lanes through fabulous park land and greenery and make sure you visit on Sunday as the place comes alive with musicians and street entertainers alike.
Science museum up north not far from Parque Guell (the Gaudi park) - museum full of didactic machines and good explanations - kids loved it and so did us parents - to make a real day of it make trip coincide with planetarium thingys, etc.
Up the top of the city to the left of Guell park on the map
Visit the Penguin Colony and get close (as close as the boardwalk and fencing will allow you, which is within a few metres) to lots of penguins. They strut their stuff for the tourists and their cameras. When you're done, leave the colony itself and turn left on along the footpath to the other side of the Boulders Bay. Here you can sit and watch the penguins parade by a few feet away, or, if you're really lucky, swim with them.
Also known as the Birla Temple, this large and comparatively modern complex was inaugurated by Mahatma Gandhi on condition that it would be open to all castes. Unexpectedly, with its stone grottoes, landscape gardens and slightly kitsch animal sculptures, it's also one of the best children's playgrounds in the city.
West Of Connaught Place, Mandir Marg
Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is a heavenly place to visit. On the slopes of Table Mountain, with clear crystal fresh air, one of the nicest things to do is listen to the open-air concerts on a summer's evening.
Dusk descends gently over the sloping green lawns and the air, scented from the diverse range of flowers and plants, is filled with a different choice of music each Sunday evening.
Take a picnic including some superb chilled South African white wine to sip, while you relax, take in the views and listen in one of the most beautiful gardens in the world.
Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Private Bag X7, Claremont
Tel: +27 21 799 8899
Fax: +27 21 797 6570
INFORMATION OFFICE: (021) 799 8783/8620 weekdays: (021) 7614916 weekends
You're in the tropics: it's going to rain. But when it does, you can still see Hong Kong in this breathtakingly modern complex. The display walks you from the geological origins of the island through the dinosaurs, cavemen, ancient dynasties, colonisation, world war two and the final handover in 1997 - all of it an engaging fashion that brings the exhibits to life.
100 Chatham Road South, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong (next to the Hong Kong Science Museum - nearest Metro is Tsimshatsui) Tel: 00 852 2724 9042 hk.history.museum
The best aquarium I've ever been to with species I never even knew existed like the giant spider crabs, which can grow up to 1 metre tall, and the tomato clown fish, whose males can turn into females at will. You'll also see sharks, stingrays, penguins and crocodiles. Well worth a visit, plus it's near all the great shops so when you're tired of fishing for bargains…
Dock Road, Victoria and Albert Waterfront, Capetown
Tel: +27 21 418 3823
Prater Garten is a biergarten at Kastanienalle Prenzlauer Berg, the best bier, the best ambient for families and groups. It has great food and location, you must go.
www.pratergarten.de at prenzlauerBerg Berlin in the middle of the funky suburb of Berlin (east)
Yangshuo is one of the few places in China where foreign tourists can easily escape the urban jungle. Hire a bike and see a tiny corner of the real China of rice paddies and peasant farmers, all of it framed by the scarily photogenic karst rock formations.
Rental shops around the tourist market, and from cafes and hotels.
The West Coast is only now starting to be discovered by tourists. Yes, the water is cold and yes, the wind can blow but the views and of course, the seafood, more than make up for it!
Paternoster has a great beach and a lovely, unspoilt fishing village feel. Head to the hotel for some of the best 'honest' seafood you'll find in the Cape.
Head up West Coast Road for about 80kms
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