Just about the smartest thing you can do on arrival is to head to the central ticket office on the Leidseplein. So well signposted you can't miss it. They sell tickets for all the major museums (so you can sail past the queues at the van Gogh), concert halls and have a handy whiteboard of the day's events so you can see what's on. They also sell travel tickets and will answer almost any touristy question with a smile.
Google map: bit.ly/eNZ2O6
Two ideas to budget in NYC on holiday:
1. You can get tickets to see TV recordings for free i.e. for Ricki Lake. You need often to apply early though.
2. On the same day, head down to Time Square and the TKTS booth and get theatre tickets half price.
TKTS Booth, 46th st & Broadways
The Indian Railways online ticket system. Don't even think about queueing to buy a ticket, just go online and buy it there. It only has one major problem, you either need a local card or a AMEX... Otherwise it is a godsend, no endless Indian queues
If you love Broadway shows like I do, Las Vegas is the place to visit. Most hotels on the Vegas strip have shows and concerts - everything from Le Reve or Cirque Du Soleil 'O' to famous magicians like Penn and Teller - the list goes on.
Show tickets, on the other hand, can cost you between $40-$200 per ticket, but don't despair, there are ways to get discount or half price tickets. Here are some tips:
For the key games it is better to book in advance as Barcelona v Real Madrid or v Espanol can get sold out. For other games you can usually buy on the day. The Barcelona v Madrid game though is too popular and buying through a website is worth doing if you are desperate to see the game.
In Italy, the blackmarket football merchandise is the more frequently available - even outside stadiums! The handiest store is at Piazza Colonna on the left as you walk north on Via del Corso. It is also a ticket office for games in the Stadio Olimpico but make sure to bring your passport for ID.
Google Map: tinyurl.com/5dvzf8
As the security restrictions have made it almost impossible to buy tickets online in advance of your trip to Milan - try this! You can purchase the tickets through Tonino who meets you in person at the no.67 ticket office on the north of the stadium. The service charge is around ten euro per ticket but in fairness it's better than getting one from a tout as the tickets are legitimately purchased through the club with your name on them. Made my recent trip over for the Milan derby possible.
The Alhambra is beautiful and really worth a visit. You can see parts of it without tickets but if you want to see the palaces and the wonderful gardens you need them.
Try and book online in advance as the queueing system for buying there is badly organised and can take hours.
This is the official site in English for buying tickets:
Just a tip about buying a ticket and recognising the train. This site is ace for planning times reiseauskunft.bahn.de/bin/query.exe/e.
Worth writing down the journey details and the Romanian for 'first-class ticket' and handing it over - no English spoken at the train station when I was there. But the Lonely Planet guide came to the rescue.
Once you have found the platform watch out. The noticeboard flagged two separate trains - one to Targa Mures and one to Bucharest. The Bucharest train stops at Sighisoara.
But the trains appear to arrive joined as one - late. So it can be confusing.
What seems to happen is that the first-class carriage is always carriage three.
If you are on the same train as me be prepared for 50 year-old rolling stock in first class.
The scenery is fantastic. Ranging from the awesome pollution of Copsa Mica to shepherds and their flocks.
Str. Garii 1-3
JAL - Japan airlines and ANA airlines are the main players in the air travel industry in Japan. Many other smaller airlines are also competing with them along the most popular routes, such as Skymart, Air DO.
If you are staying for several days buy a Carte Orange, zone 1 & 2, to use metro/buses etc rather than the Paris Visite tourist pass which is more expensive.
Tickets can be bought at most metro stations, you will need to ask for the wallet and card from the ticket desk, then attach a passport-sized photo and you have free travel from Monday to Sunday. As this is a weekly pass, aimed at Parisian commuters, be careful with the dates, it runs from Monday to Sunday.
This combined ticket covers the Duomo, Baptistery, Opera dell' Duomo (museum), Duomo Crypt and St Bernard Oratory.
It works particularly well if you buy the ticket at the Baptistery as the queues there are shorter (and it opens earlier than the Duomo itself).
You then have time to look at the Baptistery, and walk round to the west end of the Duomo for the opening time of 10:30.
There is a priority entry system for ticket-holders, so if you time it well you can get into the Duomo before the main rush starts and have a few moments to appreciate the scale of the building in peace.
Despite the impression given by the map which comes with the ticket, the St Bernard Oratory is right over the other side of town by the Basilica of St Francesco. However the remainder of the sites are all clustered around the Duomo itself.
Baptistery of Siena (at the east end of the Duomo)
Booking gets you in during the busy season. Sometimes you can arrive and do not need to use the reservations line so forget to mention the booking and save 3 Euros per person. Avoid June and try the winter period for a calmer visit.
They speak English and are helpful.
An English-language website where you can buy tickets for almost every event in town - theatre, ballet, Chinese acrobats, Peking opera and more. They bring the tickets to you, and you pay on delivery. Good for those who don't speak Chinese.
Train tickets are sold from more than one ticket office, and hotels and hostels seem to have different sources.
So, if the tour/ticket desk where you're staying can't book you a ticket for the day or time you want to travel it's definitely worth asking at another hotel - they may find you the ticket you want from someone else.
Tourist desk in hotel / hostel foyers.
Found this online today: for $199 (adult) the City Pass gives you entrance to five (5) amusement parks: Disneyland, Disney's California Adventure, SeaWorld in San Diego, Universal Studios Hollywood and San Diego Zoo or San Diego Zoo's Wild Animal Park. You have 14 days to use it. Saves a bundle if these parks are your funky thang.
If you are visiting more of Japan then grab a Japan Rail Pass. This can be used on JR lines in Tokyo such as the Yamanote loop line. When I went I used it all the time to get around the city, which saved significantly on travel. It is only worth getting though if you are going to be travelling beyond the city, otherwise it's rather pricey.
Available in Japan at major railway stations for various time periods (eg 7 days, or a month).
Arguably one of the world's most famous opera houses. On its busiest night, I decided to gamble and walk in ten minutes after the start of the Saturday 7pm performance of (...I honestly can't remember, but it featured a nun who had renounced her vow of celibacy and was sung in German...).
I asked, using my basic French vocabulary for the cheapest ticket available. Three minutes later, I was in the 'Gods', in a packed Bastille, watching opera with Paris glitteraty ... for €5, yes FIVE EUROS. It was fantastic. I recommend anyone gambles!
L'Opéra de Paris-Bastille, 120 rue de Lyon 75012 Paris France ... It's at the Bastille!
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