Park. Sprawling green space - very kid friendly. Several play areas, one that defies belief (in the centre) based on '101 Arabian Nights'. Open-air cinema, jogging paradise, enclosed 'dogs-only' field, petting zoo, mini golf...it goes on and on. Even the drug dealers are polite. Easily combined with your visit to the Vatican's embassy at Sudstern.
South/Central berlin in Kreuzberg. U-Bahn: Sudstern or Hermann Platz
Funky out-sized statues of founding fathers of Communism, looking very much like you favourite uncles when you've done something of which they're very proud, but they don't want all the praise going to your head. I defy you to see them and not want to stroke them. Surrounded by brushed metal pillars with black-and-white photos of suitably rallying Communist incidents. Gorgeous in the winter when there's snow on the ground.
Between Alexanderplatz and the Palast der Republik
Gi-normous, fenced in park with plenty of room to roam, masses of stuff for kids and adults to do (wee train trips, water areas, lakes, all sorts of animals (free on the range), open air music and theatre) and masses of space to do nothing in, if that's what takes your fancy. Beautifully maintained and not at all corporate feeling. Couple of euros to get in. Bargain.
Neukoln, in the south east of the city. It's big, so no 'one' place to get in. Get a map!
Free movies in Bryant Park next door to the NYC public library every Monday. It's over for the season, but it'll be back next year. Go early, take a blanket, grab some wine and smoke and enjoy classic movies with like-minded people.
www.bryantpark.org/calendar/film-festival.php. It's on 40th and 42nd Streets & Fifth and Sixth Avenues. Subway station 42nd Street/Bryant Park (F,V,B,D)
Sawai is out in the rural west of Metropolitan Tokyo and offers a perfect contrast from the wonders of downtown life. The sake brewery with its restaurants overlooking the River Tama is a great spot to take a breather from what thrills Tokyo has to offer. Tours are in Japanese only but the English pamphlet is well handy and doesn't get in the way of sampling the liquid on offer. There are 4 tours a day.
Sawai is about 90 minutes from Shinjuku Station. Take the Chuo Line to Tachikawa and change to the Ome Line. The Brewery is 5 minutes down the hill from the station. Reservations for a tour can be made on 0428 78 8215.
A park in the centre of Tokyo, the former site of Edo Castle and next to the Imperial Palace. It includes a wonderful Japanese garden, is rarely crowded (almost deserted when I went on a glorious Saturday afternoon), and, best of all, admission is free. Note that it is closed on Mondays and national holidays.
1-1 Chiyoda, Chiyoda-ku Metro: Otemachi, Takebashi, or Nijubashi-mae. Within walking distance of JR Tokyo Station.
About 25 miles south of the city. Go early before it gets too hot and see how many of the 400 palms and 5,000 orchids you can identify. Entry is free. Avoid on Sundays as that's when the locals invade.
Jalan Ir H Juanda 13; Tel: 322 187; www.bogor.indo.net.id/kri
Wander around the old Sunda Kelapa port, watching gangs of sinew-stretched coolies smoking pungent clove-laced cigarettes unload cargos of timber, coal and spices from stunning wooden schooners. For a small fee (about £1), hire a dugout canoe and paddler and enjoy the waterside view. The boats also go to the nearby old fish market, which can be reached easily by foot from the port and is free to enter. Work starts here at 3am and it's essential to arrive by 6am to see the best of the action.
Wander along the narrow streets of the bustling Walled City (Shahjahanabad) before escaping the rush by entering the sandstone and white marble edifice of the Jama Masjid, India's biggest mosque. Dress appropriately as it is still a working mosque.
On Saturdays from late morning to early afternoon the pretty and central, if unassuming, Ciudadela square is turned into a large open-air dance hall. The music is primarily salsa and the more demur danzon, and the atmosphere is utterly charming. Most, but not all, of those who come to dance for free are older couples. There are also dance teachers giving lessons on the side of the square.
Ciudadela square; nearest metro: Balderas
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