Take a stroll in the Candelaria, the city’s beautiful colonial heart. Calles 10 to 16 between Carerras 1 to 7 are the best-preserved streets to see. The area has fantastic architecture, a certain squalid charm and a vibrant bar scene thanks to the numbers of students and artists living and working here. The adjacent Plaza de Bolivar is worth a visit too.
Try going on a Saturday night for Karaoke night, really over-the-top OAPs getting down to some of the worst singing you've ever heard. Go REALLY early to get a seat (5.30pm)
Great food, dozens of different open-air restaurants. Argentinian, Middle Eastern, incredible Mexican, Creole, Chinese, French, diners, bars, everything.
You can also buy truly hideous souvenirs here, snow globes with palm trees, bare-breasted salt and pepper shakers, kittens made of rabbit fur (eeek!) deeply un-chic, and perfect gifts for your boss.
It's next to the newer open-air shopping mall called "The Grove", as in Coconut, I expect, not Notting Hill. There you can find a big department store and tons of Gap, Crate and Barrel, Anthropologie type shops.
Great inexpensive day and or evening out.
On the corner of Fairfax and Third
Visit the Ginza district on a Sunday.The streets are closed to traffic and it's a great time to stroll around the area with it's many shops. Perfect for people watching!
Ginza is well connected to both underground and overland train services. The nearest station is, not suprisingly, called Ginza.
The existentialists had a special word for walking around randomly in order to escape the routine and see things from a different angle. I can't remember what the word is, something long and French probably, but I wholeheartedly agree with the sentiment, especially in Tokyo.
Tokyo is basically an unplanned city - it has developed in a chaotic, messy way which means, sadly, that Tokyo is a very ugly city when seen from the macro level. But this also means, thankfully, that it is a joy to explore on the micro level.
Set off in any direction and you will come across tiny temples and shrines, strange shops which never seem to have any customers, ugly houses, more ugly houses and then a beautiful decaying old Japanese style residence.
You don't have to travel far for this experience - that is another wonderful thing about Tokyo's chaos - you can walk 10 minutes from the busiest train station, take a few turns and find yourself in a lovely, quiet, ancient residential area.
And the best thing about all this is the order behind the chaos - wherever you go and however far you walk, you will always be only a few minutes from a train station or bus stop. In Tokyo you can comfortably get lost, and Tokyo is a great place to get lost in.
I'm thinking here of Isetan in Shinjuku and Tobu and Seibu department stores in Ikebukuro, although all the major dept stores at Shibuya and Tokyo stations should have similar food basements.
Always busy and noisy with the calls of the sales staff touting their wares, they give an insight into the astonishing variety and sophistication of Japanese cuisine. Also, they also frequently offer tantalising titbits to passers-by.
On an upper-floor, there is usually also a selection of reasonably-priced restaurants offering a variety of different styles of Japanese cuisine.
If you get off the JR Yamanote line at Shinjuku, you'll find Odakyu, leave by the East Exit, and turn right, Isetan is on your left about 200 metres.
Get off the JR Yamanote line at Ikebukuro and it will be hard not to find yourself in either Tobu or Seibu department store basement 1. Both have two whole basement floors of food.
One of the highest buildings in the skyscraper district of Shinjuku, where you can see views of Tokyo and the area around it, including Mount Fuji (only on clear days in late winter/early spring). The plus point is that this is one of the only things you can do in Tokyo for free. The viewing area opens about 10am and closes about 10pm.
The nearest train station is Tocho mae.
Heldenplatz is where Hitler stood and proclaimed the Anschluss (Annexation). Stand in the middle and look around you. You have the Hofburg (Imperial Palace) behind you and you can see the two matching museums, the beautiful Rathaus (city hall) and the Burgtheater. Breathtaking.
Hofburg, 1010 Wien
This large, covered market sells all kinds of stuff that, if you’re not Brazilian, you probably will never have seen before. There are fruits from the Amazon region, for instance, that don’t even seem to have English names. Wandering past the stalls, you can see and smell eels, herbs, pineapples, salami, snails ... crammed together like a monument to the tastebuds.
Rua da Cantareira 306
If passing through Singapore's Changi Airport and you have five hours or more between flights, you can have a FREE tour of Singapore. Just look for the Free Tour Desks and sign up. They take you on a quick coach tour into the centre - you get a short trip on a "bum boat" as well - and bring you back to the departures lounge. Its easy to do and its free!
Singapore Changi Airport
From outside it's a big, impressive old building. But it's what's inside that counts.
The Town Hall is beautiful and church-like inside. Check out the Wedding Rooms - the murals on the walls are worthy of a religious building. But this is where Copenhageners get hitched in secular fashion. Show up on Saturday and witness the atmosphere in the waiting area. It's magic. Hey, why not sneak in with a large wedding party? Nobody will notice. My wife and I are still wondering who those two ladies in all our wedding photos are.
The Town Hall is, not suprisingly, located on the Town Hall Square or Rådhuspladsen.
You’re never pressed for space even in the tourist season. But if off the beaten track is the goal then rent a bike and ride out to Frederiksberg Gardens. It’s ten minutes from the Central Station to these relaxed gardens. The same paths and canal that the upper classes escaped to in the Danish Golden Age. Hans Christian Andersen and his fine friends promenaded here and you, too, can take a slow motion sail along the canal below the castle.
Head west along Vesterbrogade, turn right when the road forks and continue along Frederiksberg Allé. At the end of the road is the Gardens.
Bikes can be rented at the Central Station, next to Track 13.
Prices start at 75 kroner per day.
It’s secret mostly because Google Earth’s satellite photos are so outdated that it doesn’t even exist. Copenhagen’s new riviera, Amager Strandpark, was inaugurated this year and puts a massive recreation area with beaches, lagoons and outdoorsy pursuits within a 15 minute bike ride from the city. A man-made island juts out into the sea towards Sweden from the island of Amager just to the south of Copenhagen and will undoubtedly be a popular summer destination. Copenhagen doesn’t lack great beaches. There are long stretches to the south and trendy beaches to the north, but the new beach is an impressive attempt to create new, exciting areas for recreation close to the city.
Located along Amager Strandvej on the island of Amager.
Reached by metro to Lergravsparken station and a 15 minute walk along Øresundsvej or by bus #12 from the Town Hall Square or the airport.
Even in a modern design utopia on the cutting edge of technological progress it’s still a treat to see marching soldiers. At the Queen’s palace, Amalienborg, the changing of the guards takes place every day at 12 noon. The whole bearskin hat, snapping of the heels thing is always enjoyable. It’s amusing to see a group of soldiers carrying loaded machine guns with an ambling policeman armed with a little pistol as their minder.
Amalienborg Palace is on Amaliegade or entrance from Toldbodgade along the harbour.
Every day at 12
The term ‘view’ is relative in a city that banned skyscrapers by referendum in the 1970s. To get a bird’s eye view you’ll have to do a bit of climbing. Rundetårnet, or the Round Tower, is a landmark in the city centre.
Another option is the spire of Our Saviour’s church in the Christianshavn neighbourhood is unique in that the spiral staircase is on the outside of the spire. If your boots are made for walking you’re all set.
Our Saviour Church (Vor frelsers kirke)
Sankt Annægade 29, Christianshavn
Admission is free
The Round Tower (Rundetårn)
Tel: (+45) 33 73 03 73
Prices: 20 kroner for adults and 5 kroner for kids
A stunning modern building with Arab influences. Built in two sections, the roof garden can be accessed by a high-speed glass lift and metal walkway on the ninth floor. Not for the faint hearted but the views are fantastic and it's free. There is a cafe/restaurant at the top, but I didn't feel up to it after using the lift and seeing the prices.
1, rue des Fossés Saint-Bernard
Sit on the beach and look at the sun setting - (my favoured spot is in between the two piers, looking just over the burnt out one ...) call me a freak but if it's a good day for weather - you could almost be anywhere in the world.
The beach at Brighton
Get up at dawn and wander around the old quarter, where joggers and tai chi classes replace the ever-present mopeds.
Near the statue in Hoan Kiem Lake, down a side street, there is a flower market, which transforms the area completely.
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