This place is an oasis for 'picky eaters'. In a city where organic and vegetarian options are extremely limited, Le Jardin is invaluable. Specialising in unusual and often vegetarian or vegan pasta dishes, it's ideally placed for a meal after a day out in the Latin Quarter.
The only downside is that, like many in Paris, this restaurant is likely to be closed between 2.30pm and 7.00pm.
4 Rue Lacepede, 5th Arr. (Near the Jardin des Plantes)
The appearance of this chain of restaurants can be a little off-putting to tourists looking for the 'authentic' Paris, but if you can get past the American-style decor and the packed tables you'll be pleasantly surprised. I can't vouch for all branches, but the restaurant in the Opera district was a real eye-opener; the quality of the food was excellent (the fantastic creme brulee is especially recommended). Very reasonable fixed-price 'menus' add to the appeal.
1 Blvd. des Capuchines, Metro: Opera
www.hippopotamus.fr/accueil/ (website content in French)
The Roissybus is an express bus service running between Terminals 1, 2 and 3 of Charles de Gaulle airport and the centre of Paris (corner of Rue Auber and Rue Scribe in the Opera area). At around 45 minutes, the journey is longer than the train service that's also available, but if you're staying in the Opera area it’s worth it for the convenience.
The YMCAs in Manhattan are more comparable to upmarket backpackers' hostels than they are to the YMCAs we have in the UK. The one near Central Park West has the best facilities, including a reasonably priced cafe serving a wide choice of food. All three YMCAs in Manhattan have gym facilities. Most of all, the price for rooms is hard to beat - you could be ten minute's walk from Times Square for a fraction of the amount you'd pay for any other hotel in the city.
Harlem YMCA: 180 West 135th Street, NY 10030.
West Side YMCA: 5 West 63rd St., N.Y. 10023.
Some people are a little nervous of the subway, thanks to the terrible reputation it previously had for crime and vandalism. Thankfully, times have changed, and the subway is not only a cheap and efficient way to get around the city, it's a great way to experience the 'real' New York.
This street in the Latin Quarter has many quirky shops, from fromageries to organic bakeries and oriental accessories and clothes shops. Ideal for a stroll and some window shopping before a day at the Jardin de Plantes.
Rue Monge, 5th arrondisement
This awe-inspiring structure is dedicated to the French citizens who were deported to concentration camps by the Nazis. As you approach, it doesn't look like much, but as you descend the stairs into the memorial you begin to feel a tremendous sense of claustrophobia.
The way it's constructed makes you think about the fate of the victims of the holocaust in a much more emotional way than I've experienced at any other memorial site - it's unsettling, but I'd go back anytime I'm in Paris. We owe it to the victims of the Holocaust to remember them.
Behind Notre Dame on the tip of the Ile de la Cite
This independent cinema offers a refreshing alternative to the huge Cineworld multiplex nearby. Showing a wide variety of arthouse, documentary and mainstream films, the GFT is the perfect place to relax with a drink (alcoholic if you prefer) and enjoy a good movie.
12 Rose Street, Glasgow, G3 6RB
(just off Sauchiehall Street)
Listings and online booking: www.gft.org.uk
This ancient military fortification is still in use by the army, but also functions as a monument and museum of army life at the fort. It's visually stunning and fascinating for military buffs, but just as fascinating for lovers of nature - dolphins and numerous types of wild sea bird can be seen. Bring your binoculars.
Ardersier, near Inverness (easily accessible by Tourist Bus from Inverness town centre)
This late 14th-century castle is a must-see when visiting the Highlands. Steeped in history, the fascinating and diverse art collection within is just as impressive as the castle itself. There are plenty of activities for people of all ages, including woodland walks and duck feeding.
Nairn, near Inverness (easily accessible by Tourist Bus from Inverness town centre)
This gorgeous riverside restaurant compares favourably to any of Scotland's popular upmarket restaurants. Although it may seem pricey compared to some places in Inverness, the food is worth every penny and considerably cheaper than what you'd pay for similar quality in Edinburgh or Glasgow.
16 Fraser Street, Inverness
This welcoming cafe/restaurant is in the basement of St Andrews in the Square (a renovated 18th-century church, now functioning as a folk club and venue for events such as weddings and conferences). Cafe Source offers value for money - not particularly cheap, but fantastic quality and decent portion sizes (especially the delicious sandwiches).
It's also a good choice for families, as a selection of toys is usually available, and is ideally placed for lunch or dinner following a visit to the People's Palace on Glasgow Green.
The monthly jazz supper club is well worth a visit, but book in advance - it's very popular.
St Andrews Square, just off the Saltmarket, G1
Tiny on the outside, this tardis-like museum takes you through the history of Norway's WWII Resistance movement. The layout is very user-friendly, although quite a lot of the English text provided is only a summary of what's available. Highly recommended, even for those who aren't WWII afficionados.
Within the grounds of Akershus Slott (fortress).
Another of Oslo's fine seafood restaurants. The dishes are very modern and imaginative, with both a la carte and set menus created to showcase the best of what's on offer. Slightly pricey, but not extortionate like many places in Oslo offering similar quality.
Frognerveien 12b; accessible by tram (Majorstuen 12 from Jerbanetorget or Radhusplassen)
One of the very best seafood restaurants in Oslo, Lofoten is a popular choice for couples and businessmen who want to impress clients. The slightly formal atmosphere doesn't detract from the truly delicious food; for me, this is michelin star quality without quite the same level of fuss and expense. It also provides a wonderful view of the harbour.
Find it on the waterfront, at the very end of Aker Brygge.
In winter, the pond in Central Park is turned into an ice skating rink (skate hire is available). Even if you don't want to skate, the viewing platform above the rink is highly recommended - the skyline in the background is familiar from many films.
Central Park, Manhattan
An excellent and very reasonably priced restaurant, serving sushi, noodle dishes and other Asian-inspired cuisine made with the best local ingredients. At less than half the price of many competitors, it can't be recommended highly enough.
Dronning Mauds gate 1, near the Town HallTel: +47 22 83 1818
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