Traveling requires meticulous planning; studying climates and terrains and understanding what kit you’ll actually need with you. Some things will be entirely dependent on weather and climate. If you’re going to be in warm climates, you need protective gear like sun hats and UV deflecting sunglasses, if you’re going to freezing climates, you’ll need down jackets and thermal under-layers. There are however a group of items that all travelers should be carrying with them, that will be multipurpose and required in practically every corner of the globe at some point during a long trip. Even if you’re a casual traveler, chances are you’ll end up wanting to hike to a peak, or camp in the desert, or do something adventurous, which, without the right gear you’ll be left floundering.
Windsurfing is up there with the best sports ever! The exhilaration you feel being one with your board and the ocean while you fly across the surf, your focus on your body is amazingly addictive. But what do you do when you want to take your sport to the next level or just go somewhere different? Where are the top destinations to improve your game or help get your friends and family hooked? Let’s take a look at some of the best places to windsurf in the world.
Thomas Jefferson once said, “A walk about Paris will provide lessons in history, beauty, and the point of life.” Well, the bustling capital of France can certainly offer that, and more. With a population of over 2 million people, and hailed as one of the most romantic cities in the world, this makes Paris one of the most sought after destinations in Europe to visit. Naturally there are hundreds of things to do in Paris, mainstream and off the beaten track, so best to have a lose plan to get acquainted with this amazing city.
With over 7 million visitors a year, France’s most famous icon, The Eifel Tower, opened in 1889 in celebration of the 100 year anniversary of the French Revolution. Since then it has acted as a radio and television tower, not to mention the backdrop of practically every Paris photograph or postcard, and more recently hosts amazing light shows when the country celebrates milestones and events.
Tours run every day from 9.30am till late and you can either walk up, or take the lift!
Originally built as a railway station in 1898, this museum now holds exquisite French art from 1848 – 1915.
Located on the bank of the river Seine, this building is something all French historical architect lovers should see. In fact, everyone will be blown away by the beauty size, and construction of the building, not to mention the art that is housed inside. It is one of the best things to do in Paris.
Closed Monday but open late Thursdays, tickets can be bought on line or at the door.
Musee de Louvre
Located in the Louvre Palace is the Louvre Museum, one of the world’s largest museums and a sight to behold when in Paris. Instantly recognisable by the glass windowed pyramid in the forecourt, this museum is steeped in history.
It is open everyday except Tuesdays, and has changing exhibitions as well as permanent displays of over 35,000 works of art from pre history up to the 21st century.
Our Lady of Paris, Notre Dame, is not only famous for the well loved ‘Hunchback Of Notre Dame’ novel by Victor Hugo, but as one of the most well known churches in the world. This historic Catholic Cathedral has the most incredible French Gothic architecture and even houses a fragment of the true cross, and one of the holy nails.
The Cathedral is open everyday of the year from 8am-6.45pm and is free of charge in these hours. You may sit in on mass services or listen to choir concerts in the stunning main alter and cathedral chapter.
The Luxembourg Gardens sit cradling the Luxembourg Palace, two amazing sights and both built at the start of 1612, by Marie de’Medici.
The palace grounds are a famous spot to visit in Paris, and the French and English gardens it contains cover over 24 hectares.
There are many highlights here: an apple orchard, apiary, greenhouse, orangery, pavilion, gazebo, the circular basin where you can sail model sailboats, a nearby café, 106 statues, many monuments and the massive Medici fountain from 1630.
If you are visiting at the right time you may even catch and event on for the cultural program, which is great fun for locals and visitors to enjoy. The gardens are free to the public and open at 7.30am every morning.
Opera National de Paris
The main opera company of France is the Paris Opera. Founded in 1847, these two theatres, the 2700 seat Opera Bastille, and the 1970 seat Palais Garnier, are two of the most beautiful buildings one can visit. There is also a 500 seat Amphitheatre located under the Opera Bastille.
If you are lucky enough to see a show in any of these theatres whilst you are in Paris, you will come away in awe at both the building and the performance. The impressive and varied program changes often, and tickets differ in price, best to book plenty of time beforehand for the best seat.
Sainte – Chapelle
The Sainte-Chapelle, the Holy Chapel, contains one of the most extensive, and the most beautiful 13th century stained glass window collection in the world. The colours here will absolutely blow you away, and also the fact you are standing in a building first built in the 12th century.
This royal medieval gothic chapel sits in the heart of Paris and was named a nation historic monument in 1862. Open everyday from 9.30am, an adult ticket will cost €8.50. You can also buy tickets to sumptuous classical music concerts held in the Holy Chapel.
Pont Alexandre 111
One of the most popular bridges in France in the Pont Alexandre 111. Views from here take the cake when you are looking for the best sights in town.
This historic monument connects the left bank to the right of the Seine, and is classed as the most extravagant bridge in the city. No wonder, as the four pylons surrounding it are 17 metres high, and are adorned with gilt bronzed winged horse sculptures. Lets not forget about the cherubs, nymphs and exquisite Art Nouveau lamps as well. The design is meant to reflect that of the Grand Palais on the right bank, as it almost leading to its door.
Arc de Triomphe
Located right in the centre of the Place Charles de Gaulle, is one of France’s most famous monuments, the Arc de Triomphe. This Triumph Arch is a war memorial for all those people who fought and died in the Napoleonic Wars and the French Revolution. It has an eternal flame that is lit at 6.30pm every evening and a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which you can also visit.
Built over 30 years in the 1800’s, it stands 50 metres high you can admire from below, or climb to the top. Entry will cost adults €8 and is a wonderful alternative to climbing the Eifel Tower, if you had to choose that is!
Musee de l’Orangerie
If you are a lover of impressionist and post-impressionist works of art, the Musee de l’Orangerie is the place to go in Paris. This gallery houses many works of art by famous painters, but the one its most known for is Claude Monet’s eight murals titled the Water Lilies. Displayed in two oval rooms, it is an impressive set of works from the 1920’s.
Full price for a general ticket is €9 but they have many combination tickets to take advantage of to get the most out of your visit.
The Basilica de Sacre-Coeur is still as white as it was when it was first built in the late 1800’s. This is because of the particular travetine stone use in the construction is one that contains calcite which keeps the whiteness, even over so many years of weathering.
Containing a meditation garden, a fountain, a crypt, an impressive organ, and video and audio guides for i-phone users. You may take a guided visit and also see climb to the dome. From here you can get a spectacular panoramic view of the city. The basilica is free to enter and is open everyday from 6am- 10.30pm
The historic district in Paris known as ‘The Marsh’, spreads across the 3rd and 4th quarters of Paris on the right bank of the river Seine. Known for its magnificent and grand buildings and architecture, it had humble beginnings as an area for the working class of Paris, until recent years when it has grown into a popular place for tourist and cool locals to hang out.
Le Maris has a big Chinese community which arrived after World War 1 and today the windy cobblestones lanes are full of trendy restaurants and cafes, hip galleries and top fashion stores.
Not usually on a typical ‘must see in Paris’ list, are the Paris passageways. These old fashioned covered shopping malls were popular in the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, and thankfully they are still standing today. They are all different sizes and lengths and hold many beauties in the Paris fashion scene. Architecture lovers will also be satisfied on a visit to one or more of these gorgeous Parisian secrets, as their beauty is second to none.
There are nearly 30 passages in total including Passage Colbert, Panorama, Choiseul, Jouffroy, Brady, Verdeau and the most famous, the exquisite Vivienne.
Tour the Empire of Death Paris Catacombs
Treat yourself to a very special experience in Paris’s underground. Deep under the city are the ancient catacombs, full of tunnels and caves where more than 6 million citizens of the French Capital were buried in the 1700’s.
A 2 hour tour with a private guide for a group of 4 will cost around €50 per person. Not exactly cheep but its got a bunch of perks like skipping the usual queues to get straight to the city’s skeletal remains with your own private guide.
This is an experience not on every tourist’s radar if they are concentrating on the most famous sights and tours of above ground Paris. It also caters for larger groups, its best to book online, and then you are guaranteed a spot. A creepy things to do on Paris is coming soon!
Cemetery of Dogs and other domestic animals
In the North West of Paris is a cemetery like none you have ever seen before, the Le Cimetière des Chiens et Autres Animaux Domestiques, is the ’Cemetery of Dogs and other domestic animals’. Opened in 1899 it is filled with the most ornate and impressive gravestones and sculptures, all lain for the pets that have been buried there. A lot of the animals here have a documented history, such as the pet lion of a famous actress, a war hero dog and even the Hollywood K9 star Rin-Tin-Tin, who was actually a French born and bred dog before a soldier took him back to America with him.
Named an historical monument in 1987 the cemetery is open to visitors on most days and free to enter.
Museum of Carnival Arts
Located in a grand ancient wine warehouse is the Musee des Arts Forains, a magical place that sits somewhere between a cultural heritage experience and the most remarkable entertainment.
This exceptional private museum houses the largest collection of fairground art objects and entertainment in the world! Here you can see a 100 year old carousels, a magic fountain, and hot air balloon, mannequins and costumes, magic mirror house, animal statues, the list goes on.
Admission is by appointment only and for €16 you’ll receive a 1.5-hour guided tour in French, although there are handouts in English available. You’ll be able to ride a luxurious vintage carousel or watch an automated, magical, carnival mannequin show.
Un Regard Moderne – Bookshop
This cosy bookshop in rue Git-le-Coeur is a tiny two-room dwelling that will hold up to about 5 people at a time, standing. Not only is it so tiny, but its so unbelievable full! Stacked to the ceiling with haphazardly piled books and magazines.
You can find anything here, no matter what your theme or taste, or budget. It may be a challenge to find anything on your own though but that it why the shop owner, Jacques Noel, is there to help you, He will know where everything is and much like the Wizard of Oz, produce exactly what you were needing, from seemingly out of nowhere. His organised chaos is one of the things that make this store so famous amongst those interested in all things literature and printed matter.
I love you: The wall
A beautiful spot to stop off Paris’s main tourist attractions has to be that of the I Love You Wall. Covering 613 enamelled tiles, spanning 40 square metres, are the words ‘I love you’, written in over 300 languages. One of the great free things to do in Paris!
Frederic Baron collected the phrases, and artists Claire Kito and Daniel Boulonge completed the mural.
Hailed as a ‘space where love comes together in every language’, you can find the I love you wall on the Butte, Montmartre, Place des Abbesses in the Jehan Rictus Square.
The Petite Ceinture railway
If you feel you’d like to avoid some crowds and are not up for walking along the Seine River in Paris, why not take a stroll along an abandoned stretch of the Paris metro. The Petite Ceinture railway line has been unused since 1934; these tracks are now an overgrown oasis for those looking to explore a different side of the city.
There are a few separate sections to walk, varying in lengths, all open to the public. You can find these entrances at points like 21 Rue Rottembourg, Place Balard, and 60 Rue Damesme.
French Submarine Argonaut
In 1958 this submarine was the flagship in the Toulon Submarine Squadron. Back then she was hailed as one of the most modern submarines in the world and gave years of good service to the French Navy.
Decommissioned in 1982, this beast has spent over 32,000 hours under water and has made up to 10 trips around the world! Now preserved as a museum ship since 1991, it’s a great place to visit if you are looking for a non traditional museum to visit, that wont take all day. You can take a stroll inside for a small admission fee, every day except Mondays.
Paris is one of the most visited cities in the world. Most tourists think that it’s an expensive city, and it can be. There are lots of things to do in the City of Love to suit your interests and budget. Wherever you’re staying and whatever your budget is, Paris is full of free things to do. It doesn’t matter if you’re staying in some of the Paris luxury apartments or a cheap hostel, you should still visit these low-cost places. Here are eight of my favourite.
The idea of a lightweight waterproof jacket is not exactly what you would call sexy. And while they may look nothing like the hideous skin and fur accessory Tormund Giantsbane and his loyal legion of wildlings donned north of The Wall, the tables are turning.
Today, brands are unleashing extensive ranges like never before, ranges that lie somewhere between style and substance, designing pieces that look sleeker than your average, while managing to offer protection from seriously wet weather.
If you’re too busy to get out into the world and explore it on your own, you may find yourself looking for books to help fill that need in your life. Writing about travel is hard, and there are some authors that have gotten it done better than others. If you’re looking to find an escape in a book on travel, then here are some of the best books out there. These will whisk you away on the adventures held within their pages.
There are so many more amazing books about travel out there that it can be hard to choose where to start. We put together a list of what we think are the best travel books ever written, each one making an excellent place to start your journey into the world of travel books. Picking up a book can be an excellent way to relax and take your mind off of the stresses of everyday life. These books will offer you an escape to all sorts of places, people, and times.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
As I Walked Out One Midsummer Morning by Laurie Lee
This book is the sequel to Lee’s first autobiographical novel. This part of the story follows him as he walked to London and then further on to Spain. His journey across Spain is finally ended with the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War. Although the book was written well after the events occurred, the book is full of vivid descriptions that can put people in the moments that happened there. While this book may be harder to find because of its age and the time that it spent out of print, this book is well worth the effort of finding and reading.
Coasting: A Private Voyage by Jonathan Raban
Unlike other books on this list where people have walked across countries, Raban’s book tells the story of him going the 4,000-mile journey around Britain. Not only does this book cover the actual events, but Raban uses the time to reflect on his life and comparing it to the trip that he took on his boat.
Encore Provence by Peter Mayle
While this book is a sequel to Peter Mayle’s previous travel book about Provence, this book provides the reader with a deep look into the region. He explores the things that have changed since the time that he spent writing the first book. Not only does Mayle’s book tell you how to really get the most out of the area, but it also takes a peek into the life that he leads while he’s there. This book provides a real connection to both the author and his surroundings.
The Fearful Void by Geoffrey Moorhouse
In this book, you’ll find the story of a man that takes on a feat so crazy because he wanted to find out why he was afraid. This story is one full of inner conflict while traveling. Moorhouse took on the challenge of crossing the Sahara from the Atlantic Ocean to the Nile just because he wanted to understand why he was afraid of doing so. He took no one else with him and spent time working issues of fear and loneliness.
Homage to Catalonia by George Orwell
George Orwell is best known for other works, such as 1984 and Animal Farm, but before he was working on his most famous works, he was doing some traveling of his own. This travel book was the last of the nonfiction books he wrote, but it covered quite an interesting time in his life. The book takes place during the Spanish Civil War where Orwell was part of the volunteer group that was fighting fascism. This book serves to showcase a certain period of time, but it also helps to show Orwell’s place in the moment of history.
In a Sunburned Country by Bill Bryson
While Bryson has been writing travel books for a while, most of them have been focused on parts of the United States. But this book is concentrated on the country of Australia. His attitude makes the book a joy to read. It’s full of humor and fun. He makes commentary on the political situation in the country at the time. This book will give you a good show of the country and get everything factually right. It’ll make you want to get on a plane to explore Australia for yourself.
In Patagonia by Bruce Chatwin
This book blends fact and fiction, but that just makes it a more fascinating reading experience. This book follows the adventure of Chatwin as he tries to discover the origin of an animal skin that his grandmother has. This book is full of mini stories from his entire trip. The total number of stories is 97, but that just means that there’s a lot of places for you as a reader to escape to as you follow Chatwin’s journey to the South American region of Patagonia.
In the Country of Country by Nicholas Dawidoff
This book will not appear as a travel book when you first start out. This book is a series of biographies about country musicians that starts down small towns and backroads in America. Dawidoff looks at the genre and starts looking for its origin in America. This travel book will be a hit with anyone that’s also interested in learning about musical genres.
The Journals of Lewis and Clark
While the areas that Lewis and Clark explored are places that many people live now, the adventures of Lewis and Clark are still inspiring for tons of individuals. This journey back in time shows just how wild most of America was before it was a full country. Many of the places, plants, and animals that Lewis, Clark, and the rest of their crew discovered were brand new. They mapped out areas that hadn’t been explored. These adventures may be old, but they were crucial to the United States. The journey captured in these journals may just make you wish that you could find some unexplored land to tromp through.
The Joys of Travel by Thomas Swick
While many travel books are just a nice escape, Thomas Swick’s book will make you want to go out and travel regardless of work or money or time. The book is a collection of essays about the seven ideas that Swick identifies as “the seven joys of travel.” The essays talk about the parts of travel that are taken for granted. There are tips and titles of books that will help people really appreciate the trip that they are about to take.
Life on the Mississippi by Mark Twain
Mark Twain is well known for his works of fiction, but in this book, Twain takes a look at the place that inspired him. He writes of his steamboat days and the cultural history of the places where he was. This book is a lot of things that his fiction isn’t because of its nonfiction nature. He rambles on at times about the subjects that he’s discussing, but that’s because it’s his voice and thoughts. Within its pages are the sources of inspiration that would lead to his most famous works.
Naples ’44: A World War II Diary of Occupied Italy by Norman Lewis
This book started as a diary kept by Lewis while he was working in Naples as an intelligence officer. His job there was to deal with the locals. Inside this book, he wrote about the city and its people. He wrote about everything that he saw and all the strange people that live in the city. This snapshot of World War II is rarely seen in textbooks, but Lewis’s style makes it an excellent read.
On the Road by Jack Kerouac
Many writers and readers have read this book. This classic is on tons of reading lists, most of them not aimed at travel-centric books and their readers. This book follows Sal Paradise, who is really just Kerouac himself, all over the United States. This book is full of adventure based on Kerouac’s actual travels through the United States. After reading this, you may want to take a road trip of your own.
The Places in Between by Rory Stewart
This modern travel book is about Stewart’s walk across Afghanistan in 2002. While full of danger and towns destroyed by the Taliban, this book is an excellent piece of travel writing. There isn’t just danger in the landscape, but kind strangers and Stewart’s own knowledge of Muslim customs and Persian languages. The descriptions of the people and the places that Stewart finds on this journey are incredibly rich and paint a brilliant picture of the area that he walked through.
The Road to Oxiana by Robert Byron
Although this book is written in the form of a diary, there are many authors that say that Byron was looking to achieve the tone of modern travel writing. Byron’s tale covers most of the Middle East where he met many interesting people and saw many interesting buildings. There are some buildings within this book that no longer stand. This book is another classic travel book that many well-known travel writers have read and would recommend.
A Short Walk in the Hindu Kush by Eric Newby
Consistently called a classic of travel writing, this story is the description of one man’s journey in one of the most remote and magnificent wildernesses. Newby worked in fashion before his journey into the mountains and hadn’t done a lot of climbing. While his inexperience would seem to set this story up for tragedy, this piece of writing has become a favorite of so many people. While Newby faced his midlife crisis with a trip to climb mountains that even experienced mountaineers wouldn’t have touched, maybe his adventures will inspire you to get out of your comfort zone.
Siren Land by Norman Douglas
This book is the first of Douglas’s travel books. This travel book about Southern Italy is about much more than just the physical place. Douglas writes of the local legends, folklore, patron saints, and even the local ghosts. This is considered a classic of travel writing. This book wants to take on everything in the area to give the reader a beautiful description of the place.
Travels with Charley: In Search of America by John Steinbeck
This follows Steinbeck’s journey across America. Not only does he go coast to coast, but he makes sure to cover the northern and southern parts of the country as well. There are some people that would describe this memoir as angry at times, but who doesn’t get frustrated out on the road? Steinbeck writes about everything that he sees along the way, sometimes even reflecting on how those traits are in his own attitude and being as well. This book is full of wisdom that will keep you coming back to get a new meaning from the stories.
Wild by Cheryl Strayed
Cheryl Strayed, after the death of her mother, decided to hike the Pacific Crest Trail. Strayed’s story is one full of emotion as Strayed tries to find a way to deal with the pain that she felt. This book has been a national bestseller, and people all over the world have fallen in love with the struggle that Strayed went through as she tried to figure out her own life.
We hope this list of books inspires your travel spirit and helps you step outside your comfort zone. After all, that’s where the best parts of life happen!
Anaheim is the most populous city of Orange County in the metropolitan area of Los Angeles, California. A $5 billion regeneration programme has reinvented the city’s heart as the Anaheim Resort district, a stunning 1,100 – acre urban facility that makes the city a must-go-to tourist destination. Big travel companies like CLC World have seen the opportunity here and looking to expand their operations into the area.
If you have seen pictures of military buildings and city gates in Beijing, chances are some of those pictures were taken in the city’s historic Qianmen area. This area is one of the most recognised in all of Beijing due to two very important political events that took place there. If you have any plans to visit Beijing, the Qianmen area should be part of those plans, along with Nanluoguxiang and the 798 art district.
One of the most thrilling aspects of international travel is having the ability to step away from the popular tourist zones every once in a while and find places where one can experience how the locals live. In Beijing, one of the best ways to do that is to visit one of the many hutongs around the city. Perhaps no hutong is more interesting than Nanluoguxiang.