If you want to see Newcastle in all of its multi-level glory, the best place to be is on the viewing platform of Baltic, the art gallery on the Gateshead side of the Quayside. It's wonderful to look down on such a busy, beautiful city.
Baltic, Gateshead Quays. Use the handy 'Quaylink' bus direct from the centre of Newcastle.
Walk down the steps in front of the 100m-high Palais de Justice and turn left onto Place Poelaert for a magnificent view over the roofs of the city. Take the glass lift down to the slightly down-at-heel Marolles area and find Pieter Bruegel the Elder's house at 132 Rue Haute.
Place Poelaert; Tel: 02 508 64 10; Nearest metro: Louise; Tram: 91, 92, 93, 94; Bus: 20, 48; Open: 8am-5pm Mon-Fri; Admission: free
Chapman’s Peak Drive, cut into the sheer mountainside, offers spectacular views of the sandy bays below, as well as the city by night. It was closed due to rockfalls, but is now open again.
Between the 405 and the 101 freeways, Mulholland Drive provides the iconic view of the unending sprawl of the city of tiny lights (OK, that may have been somewhere else). From the ridge of Mulholland, gaze south at the skyscrapers of downtown, the Pacific and LAX in the distance. Look east and you may see the snow on the mountains 50 miles away on the edge of the city. Look down and you may get a glimpse of the Hollywood sign. Look north and you will see the view immortalised in innumerable movies, of the San Fernando valley. All views fog permitting.
This is a new restaurant which is known as the best seafood restaurant in Sultanahmet. The food is outstanding, you should ask the staff for the special of the day.
The restaurant is on the shore of Marmara Sea with a view of Turkish islands. The "Boukoleon" name comes from the 5th century. There used to be a "Boukoleon Palace" standing right where you sit.
Now you can easily see the archeeological heritage of the old time palace. If you are interested in history, looking for a nice Istanbul view and also outstanding food, I would highly recommend you go to this restaurant.
Hagia Sofia, Sultanahmet, Istanbul
Bar and cafe; amazing location, good food and drink (reasonably priced considering its location) and the most breathtaking views from the terrace. Great flathead and chips, risotto, wine, cocktails etc. Also, if you happen to be around on a Sunday afternoon they also have live jazz.
An easy climb up this wooded mountain reveals beautiful views of the city. Guided up it by indigenous tribes in 1535, adventurer Jacques Cartier, who discovered the city, was so inspired by the view that he named the mountain Mont Royal, a small step away from the city's modern name. There is much to do in the park, which is also Metro accessible to the north.
The Centre de la montagne is at Smith House, 1260 Chemin Remembrance, North Montreal, near McGill University;
tel: (514) 843 8240
Get the bus out along Geary Blvd to The Cliff House - which is reputably fantastic if you are not on a budget ;-) we ate at the diner just up the hill for a tenth of the price. But the views from the Cliff House over Ocean Beach on the Pacific are pretty special. Then head down to the old Sutro Baths to check out where the San Franners used to come for their r n' r.
A classic Greek portal opened to a massive glass enclosure containing seven swimming pools of various temperatures. There were slides, trapezes, springboards and a high dive. Together the pools held 1.7 million gallons of water and could be filled in one hour by high tides. There were 20,000 bathing suits and 40,000 towels for rent.
Balmy temperatures and abundant plants enhanced "California’s Tropical Winter Garden." The Baths could accommodate 10,000 people at one time. Now all that remains are the ruins.
From here you can head through the little tunnel down by the baths and up the hill to the trail which leads along the coast all the way around to Chinia Beach via an increasingly impressive panorama of the GG.
Surfers take on the Pacific swells just below you at the base of the cliffs. You re-enter civilisation at China Beach and could probably walk up to the Palace of the Legion of Honor about half way around if you had time.
Walk through China Beach past the millionaires row of ab fab homes and if you still feel spritely, you can continue along the coast path to the GG or if not, grab a bus on Lincoln Blvd into the city - a lovely untouristy gem of a walk that is pretty easy to reach via public transport and not too strenuous (I did it with a 1yr old on my back!)
An island with something for everyone; cool, cosmopolitan Naoussa, with its bustling nightlife and beautiful warren of twisting, quintessentially Greek streets; picturesque Lefkes tucked into a valley in the mountains; and countless tiny villages dotted around a coastline that is blessed with some of the best beaches in Greece.
Even Parikia, the once rather grotty port town, is re-emerging from its downmarket past and can't be beaten as the place to watch the sun slowly sink into the beautiful blue waters of the Aegean.
Between three and five hours (or even longer if you take a G.A ferry) from Athens by sea, or half an hour by plane;
In a city which has mirrored the history of the 20th century very closely, the Reichstag is one of the most poignant symbols of the mix of politics, history and architecture in Berlin.
It was badly damaged in the war and the Berlin Wall ran along the back of it. The new cupola, designed by Norman Foster, offers fantastic views over the city, but get there early - there are always long queues.
Right in the centre, just north of the Brandenburg gate. Bus 100 (which is a good route for sightseeing) passes by it; the nearest S-bahn station is Unter den Linden
If you have more than a few days, I recommend taking the ferry to one or more of the Princes' Islands.
There are no cars, hardly any other city life noises and the air is definitely cleaner. They are my favourite spot for peace and quiet especially in winter, early spring and autumn as there is hardly anyone visiting and the beautiful wood-clad houses from late 19th century are empty and serene in all their glory.
You can walk around or take a tour in a horse drawn open (covered in winter) carriage and have a glass of tea by the port.
There are regular ferry services to the islands from Eminonu on the Golden Horn and Bostanci on the Anatolian side
This grand old public park, on the outskirts of Dublin's southern suburbs is a great way of escaping the mayhem, walking off that hangover and acts as a gateway to the beautiful Dublin and Wicklow hills. A wander through the Victorian grounds, forest, Saturday market and model railway for kids is extremely rewarding.
For one of the outstanding views of Dublin, follow the yellow marker posts for about an hour on a climb into the nearby woods. This view (on the Wicklow walkway) looks north taking in Dublin city, the bay and environs.
For even more stunning scenery follow the track for another hour up the hill and the city disappears to reveal open Irish hillsides and rolling forests. If you’re lucky, you will see some native deer and mountain goats.
Take the 48A bus from Dame Street (city centre near O'Connell Street) for 1/2 an hour, the last stop is Marley Park. To get to the viewing points follow the yellow markers in the main carpark. A map and information are also provided. For more details on the Wicklow way see www.wicklowway.com
Not for the faint of pocket or those with a fear of heights but a brilliant roof bar on the top of the Banyan Tree hotel.
Banyan Tree Hotel, 21/100 South Sathon Road, Sathon, Bangkok; Tel: 66 2 670 1200; nearest underground: Lumpini; www.banyantree.com/bangkok/dining_vertigo.htm
Towering 656 feet above the ground on top of the Banyan Tree Hotel is Vertigo, the highest - or so the advertising has it - al fresco bar in the world.
The service is impeccable, the cocktails wonderful and the view – though muddied a little by the Bangkok smog – amazing, just see how close those aeroplanes are to you!
Be warned, the bar is not for the faint hearted. 656 feet in the open air is high and we spent a good portion of the time – at least until the cocktails had kicked in – sitting down and discreetly hanging on to the side of our chairs.
Dress code is smart/casual, so no shorts.
The Banyan Tree Hotel, 21/100 South Sathorn Road; Nearest Skytrain: Sala Daeng; www.banyantree.com
Forget Cannes. Get on a train and head beyond Monte Carlo to Menton. It's where the old people go to live! Very sensible. Decent beach, pleasant atmosphere. Fabulous old town, which can be explored in an hour or so. Well worth a day trip.
If you get fed up, come back to Monte Carlo, forget all the usual rubbish about the Casino and Royal Palace and visit the Botanical Gardens. A brilliant collection of cacti and other succulents (far better than it sounds!). It costs an entrance fee but it is well worth it. Also, a superb cave system which you can go down. Very strange; the temperature underground is warm, not cold.
The view from the Gardens over Monaco and out to the Mediterranean is excellent.
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