Another charming old boozer tucked away off the main drag, The Bear is celebrated for its curious collection of old school ties. Mind your head - in this historic building the ceiling is rather low.
6 Alfred Street, off the corner of St Aldates and High Street
So it's where they filmed Harry Potter. Designed by Sir Christopher Wren, Tom Tower and its bell are landmarks of the city. The vast Tom Quad opens out on a variety of other niches, including the college's very own art gallery and the smallest cathedral in Britain.
Christchurch, St Aldates
Rowers, or "boaties" to some, are the bane of many other students' lives. However, come the annual Head of the River race, all flags are flying in voluminous support and beer, Pimms and testosterone abound.
College Boathouses off Christchurch meadow
The all-year-round beer garden is warmed by the sun in summer and by scented braziers in winter. Some great ales too, all in a creaking, cellar-like building straight from the middle ages.
4 Bath Place just off Holywell Road Tel: 01865 243235
About as weird as it gets in Shanghai, and that's saying something. It’s basically a ghost train that passes under the Huangpu river and transports you from Puxi to Pudong. The walls of the tunnel blink with psychedelic neon lights and the air fills with strange noises; there’s even a bit that’s meant to be a volcano. It might not be quite worth the cover charge but it’s five minutes of utter silliness in an otherwise business-obsessed city.
Enter across the road from The Bund (Waitan) - nearest station Henan Zhong Lu (Metro Line 2)
Otherwise known as “soup dumplings”, these are a Shanghai speciality. They can be found sold cheaply on the street either fried or steamed, and also at some Shanghainese restaurants. Watch out on your first bite though: unfortunate first-timers often get a squirt of scalding liquid on their clothing and lose the lining from the roof of their mouths.
Street stalls and restaurants
Every major city has one: Chinatown in London and New York; Le Quartier Chinois in Paris; Berlin is actually building one. So it may surprise you to learn that even cities in China have Chinatowns too.
In Shanghai it’s the Yu Yuan area, a sealed-off district where development is not quite as rampant as elsewhere and the atmosphere of old China still pervades. At its centre is the famed Yu Yuan teahouse and classical gardens, plus the temple of the city god. Yu Yuan is pretty commercial these days – most of the area’s business is in selling tourist tat, but it’s still the place to go for Chinese arts and crafts.
A bit tricky to get to by Metro. Your best bet is a taxi.
This the place to come and feed yourself up on good old Romanian cooking. The tochitura - a traditional stew - is a treat. There's four of them altogether in the city - God knows how Mama copes with all that cooking.
This is not a recommendation, this is a tip. If you see a shop with a large window, a rotating red-and-white barber's sign full of sinks and girls in hotpants, it's not a hairdresser's, it's a massage parlour-cum-brothel. Chances are that the occupants have no more idea of how to cut your hair than they have of flying the Space Shuttle.
All over the place in sinister quantities
Every city's got one; Shanghai has three. But this newly refurbished English pub currently has its Irish rivals beat on value at least. The Sheperd's Pie is great and they even have Cornish pasty (sometimes).
1 Wulumuqi Nan Lu (near Dong Ping Lu)
Most certainly THE place to be seen in Shanghai, this classy split bar and restaurant has magnificent views over the Bund and the Pudong skyline.
You can't be seen coming here by public transport. Taxi - find No.5 The Bund (at the corner of Guangdong Lu) and head up to the 7th floor. www.m-onthebund.com/
It's a bit of a slog to get to but once your there it's a glimpse into how the people used to live. More a defensive walled citadel than a castle, it has an unfinished feel to it - it's still being restored - but that just adds to the ambience. The final bonus is the view. On one side is a vast open plain, while the other three look over wild Transylvanian hills licked by tongues of mist.
By bus from Brasov
Centred around the chapel, every inch of the mediaeval building’s surface is clad in biblical scenes. It’s as if students of Giotto had fallen on hard times and turned to exterior decorating.
On the west wall, rows of saints stare at you from their backdrop of Voronet's very own specially-named shade of blue like a holy crowd of football supporters. Next to this, a Dantesque scene of hell leaps out at you as sinners tread the path to iniquity borne on the tongue of the devil himself.
Inside, the serious-but-benevolent features of Christ stare down at you from every corner, and all is quiet but for the murmurings of prayer. Nothing is left bare, with every surface decorated in gold leaf. Even the monks are covered, dressed from head to toe in deep black robes topped with a black pillbox cap and with just the pink of their cheeks and foreheads peeping out from above shaggy beards.
Not the easiest place to get to, your best bet may be to check with the Romanian tourist board: see www.turism.ro/english/addresses.php
Andrew Carnegie poured cash into an ambitious project aimed at promoting world peace, but the First World War scuppered that idea. Nevertheless, this imposing gothic hall survives, and now houses the International Court of Justice and one of the world's top legal libraries.
Surprisingly, it is open to visitors so long as you book in advance. And don't forget to inspect the monument outside the gate which includes crystals, stones and rocks contributed by every nation of the world (some more generously than others).
Tel: +31 70 3024242
Holland's most famous son - Rembrandt - celebrates his 400th birthday this year, and the Stedelijk Museum is one of the best places to encounter him.
It's currently exhibiting enough miniature Rembrandt etchings to make your eyes hurt (the genre aptly exhibits the artist’s trademark contrasts of light and dark, and you’re even issued at the ticket office with a tiny magnifying glass) and next on the agenda is a collection of his lesser-known landscapes.
Oude Singel 28-32
Tel: +31 (0)71 5165360
The place to go for Japanese food in Amsterdam, this is housed in what looks like an old art shop on the Spui. At first the prices seem a little steep, but you get a lot for your money and on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings it's an all-you-can-eat sushi orgy for 18 Euros.
Spui 15 (corner Voetboogstraat and Spui square, underneath the pre-Raphealite style shop frontage);
Housed in the Oude Kerk (in itself well worth a visit), to me the World Press Photo exhibition is about everything that modern cosmopolitan Amsterdam really represents: a tolerance and an affection for the rest of the world, combined with a deep concern for what's going on out there.
This showpiece of the planet's best photojournalism visits several cities around the world, but Amsterdam is its spiritual home and the Oude Kerk is a most appropriate setting.
Jacob Obrechtstraat 26;
tel: 20 676 6096;
The 2006 exhibition closes on June 18 but is on tour throughout Europe and the world: check www.worldpressphoto.nl for details.
There's quite a few Hotel Temples in India, I expect: this one just off Assi Ghat is a good one. It's not luxurious, but for the price (Rs 350, about 4 quid, for a double) it's very decent and enjoys a prime location overlooking the Ganges at the southern tip of the ghats.
The next best thing about the place is the staff, who make every effort possible for you. The food, on the other hand, owes a little too much to Maggi tomato ketchup.
When you get tired of Amsterdam's endless artwork attractions, head for the Tropenmuseum for a surprising alternative. It wasn't just the Brits that were busy conquering the four corners of the globe back in the olden days - the Dutch were at it too and here is assembled a vast collection of artefacts from their colonies and other exotic locations around the world. On the ground floor right now there's a beautifully conceived interactive exhibit on Hinduism to explore; and for the kids, the museum has a special junior section with games and activities.
Linnaeusstraat 2 Amsterdam;
From Central Station: bus 22, tram 9.
From Muiderpoort station: trams 14, 3 and 6;
From the Dam: trams 9 and 14;
From Leidseplein: trams 10 and 7;
tel: +31 20 568 8215;
Forgive the Dutch for laying it on a bit thick this year with the 400th anniversary of Rembrandt's birth, and get yourself to Amsterdam for an art-lover's dream. There's exhibitions all over the city, with the comprehensive displays at the Rijksmuseum and Van Gogh Museum among the highlights. One of the only chances you'll have to see so much art in one place at the same time.
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