A Dolce Ice-Cream in Italy
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Enter sweet gelato heaven at Il Gelato di San Crispino, one of the finest artisan gelaterie in Rome (from €2.70). Visit the Centro Storico outlet and throw a coin in nearby Trevi Fountain to ensure a return to the Eternal City.
A Bird's-Eye View in Estonia
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Climb Toompea, a limestone hill considered the birthplace of Estonia’s capital city, Tallinn. The Knights of the Sword built a fortress here circa 1229 and modern-day viewing platforms offer gorgeous views to the Old Town and the sea. Visit the castle, with its Baroque façade, then ascend the tower of Saint Olaf’s Church (€2) for an even better view.
A Visual Spectacular in Hong Kong
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Take the Star Ferry, Hong Kong’s iconic cross-harbour mode of transport ($HK2.50), from Kowloon to Hong Kong Island (or vice versa) just before 8pm, in time to catch the full effect of A Symphony of Lights – a nightly extravaganza of lasers, lights and fireworks.
A Test of Mettle in Croatia
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Limber up and take the 180 steps to the top of the belltower in the Cathedral of Saint Domnius (20 kuna), housed in the imposing fourth-century Roman ruins of Diocletian’s Palace in Split. A symbol of the Adriatic city, the tower was built in the 13th century and stands 57 metres high.
An Ancient Duo in Greece
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Kill two birds with one stone: visit the Byzantine & Christian Museum (from €4) then pop next door to the Lyceum of Aristotle (free) for a double dose of bygone Athenian culture.
A Cinematic Wonder in New Zealand
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Watch indie, art-house, foreign and documentary films all day on Wednesdays at Auckland’s Academy Cinemas ($NZ5).
A Spice Lane in India
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Visit Paranthe Wali Gali, a narrow street in Old Delhi’s Chandni Chowk bazaar that is famous for its shops selling paratha, the traditional fried flatbread (about 145 rupee). Depending on the stall, the popular street food might be stuffed with chilli and paneer, green peas or sweet pumpkin.
A Sinking Feeling in Wales
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Descend 90 metres underground and experience the working life of a Welsh coalminer at the Big Pit National Coal Museum in Blaenavon, South Wales. Don a helmet and cap lamp and drop down the mine shaft for a 50-minute guided tour; entry and the tour are free. Afterwards, you can retire to the cafeteria for a sausage bap (€2.65).
A Treasure-Trove in Austria
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Fossick for a bargain at the Flohmarkt, Vienna’s top flea market, held every Saturday near the huge produce market beside Kettenbrückengasse U-Bahn station. Pick up a snack here or head to the nearby Café Amacord for a hand-stirred hot chocolate (€3.60).
A Party in Brazil
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Spend an evening in vibrant Praça Floriano Peixoto – more commonly known as Cinelândia Square. It’s a popular, centrally located public square in Rio de Janeiro with landmarks nearby that include the National Library of Brazil and the National Museum of Fine Arts, where cold beverages such as locally brewed beers (about 6 real for a half a litre) flow freely from Portuguese- in uenced botequins (bars).
A Grand Feast in Turkey
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Fuel up on a döner kebab with sumac onions and tomato folded into thick pide at the legendary Dönerci Şahin Usta (from 9 Turkish lira), before plunging into the commercial cacophony of Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar.
A Cruise in Switzerland
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Jump on a boat with a panoramic glass roof and cruise the Limmat River (4 Swiss francs). Designed to pass under the eight bridges spanning the Limmat, these flat boats will take you past the pretty sights of Zürich’s Old Town – including the Town Hall and Grossmünster church – all the way to Lake Zürich and back again.
A Tipple in Ireland
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Follow in the footsteps of Irish notables James Joyce, Brendan Behan, Jonathan Swift and Michael Collins and have a glass of Guinness stout at The Brazen Head (€3.20), a watering hole that’s been operating near Dublin’s Liffey Quays since 1198 and proclaims itself Ireland’s oldest tavern.
A Culinary Dare in Iceland
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Sample the Icelandic delicacy of kæstur hákarl, or fermented shark, at a traditional Reykjavík restaurant such as Café Loki (500 krónur). The dish is often described as having a “strong ammonia smell”.
A Cure-All in Latvia
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Try the astringent vodka- based herbal liqueur known as Riga Black Balsam (about €2), sold in most Riga taverns and bars. Latvians say it’ll cure whatever ails you – and that to visit the country without trying it would be like visiting Russia without drinking vodka.
A Snag on the Barbie in Norway
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Make like a Norwegian and char some meat on a disposable barbecue in one of Oslo’s parks – the cheap foil barbies are referred to as engangsgrill. Immerse yourself even further in the culture by sampling morr, the local smoked and cured sausages (about 30 kroner).
A Dip in the Netherlands
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Forget the bikes: take a swim in the Zuiderbad at Museum Square, Amsterdam (€3.70). Opened in 1912, the pool is housed in an Art Deco building with a high glass ceiling and wooden cubicles for dressing.
An Ancient Ruin in Malta
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Visit the prehistoric temple site in Mġarr known as Ta’ Haġrat, dating from 3600 to 3200 BC (€3.50). Inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, it’s one of the oldest freestanding monuments of such scale and complexity in the world. Its beautiful rural location is another drawcard.
A Ride Through History in Portugal
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Hop on one of Lisbon’s classic wooden Remodelado trams (€2.85), originally commissioned in the 1930s, for a great way to see the city. The No. 28 route passes through its loveliest and liveliest areas, including Baixa, Alfama and Estrela, with sights such as the Se Cathedral, the Santa Luzia viewing point and the grand Estrela Basilica.
An Aquatic Adventure in Papua New Guinea
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Hire a paddleboat at the Adventure Park (5 kina), a 15-minute drive from Port Moresby. Entry to the park is free and includes crocodile feeding sessions.
A City Loop in Luxembourg
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Take in the history and views of Luxembourg City on the Wenzel Circular Walk. Named for a former duke, Wenceslas II, the three-hour circuit takes you past some of the best attractions. Just download the guide and start strolling then reward your efforts with a pastry from Cathy Goedert in the city centre (from €3.50).
A Roving Roaster in Germany
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Track down a Grillwalker – roaming street vendors selling Berlin’s favourite snack, bratwurst (€1.50), from their wearable barbecues.
A Cycle in Slovenia
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Hire a bike in Ljubljana to see the charming Old Town in two-wheeled style. Take out a weekly BicikeLJ subscription (€1) for access to the bikes, which are kept at 32 stations around the relatively flat city, and cross the famed Triple Bridge and Dragon Bridge that span the Ljubljanica River. The first hour of hire is free of charge each time and it’s €1 for the second.
An Open Fire in Finland
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Catch the Metro from Helsinki to Kalasatama (€2.90) and enjoy the Sompasauna, a wood-burning self-service public sauna. It’s maintained by volunteers who recommend that you pack supplies such as “sauna beer” and sausages to grill on the open fire.
A Historic Staircase in England
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Climb the Monument to the Great Fire of London (£4), a Doric column designed by Christopher Wren and Robert Hooke, near the northern edge of London Bridge and close to the Pudding Lane site where the Great Fire started in 1666. A winding staircase of 311 steps ends with a viewing platform that makes the pain worth it.
A Feathery Find in South Africa
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Get to know the waddling inhabitants of the African penguin colony on Boulders Beach (70 rand), near the seaside village of Simon’s Town, south of Cape Town. The noisy seabirds are endangered and the entrance fee goes towards conservation efforts.
A Very Happy Hour in Monaco
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Wander along the harbour and see the growing number of waterfront art galleries and cafés. Then head to La Brasserie de Monaco, on Route de la Piscine, where organic beer is brewed on the premises and happy hour offers unbeatable prices (about €3.50).
A Bohemian Burger in Serbia
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Walk through Belgrade’s most storied downtown quarter on Skadarlija, also known as Skardarska Street and often referred to as the “Montmartre of Belgrade” for its bohemian atmosphere and abundance of street performers. There are plenty of restaurants to choose from but it’s just as good to grab a pljeskavica – Serbia’s tasty take on the burger, with cabbage salad, cheese and hot pepper flakes (from 250 dinars) – made by one of the many kerbside kiosk vendors.
A Tram over Water in the U.S.
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Ride New York’s Roosevelt Island Tram ($US2.25), which has operated since 1976 and connects Roosevelt Island to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. At its peak, the aerial tram climbs 76 metres above the East River, offering spectacular views of the main island.
An Alternative Art Gallery in Sweden
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Get arty with Stockholm’s subway system (from 36 kronor), also known as the world’s longest art gallery. It features paintings, sculptures, mosaics, tiles, installations and other displays adorning more than 90 of the city’s 100 stations.
An Alfresco Drink in the Czech Republic
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Czech beer (about 30 koruny) is justifiably well known and drinking a pint or two in a Prague beer garden is essential. Try Letná, found in Letná Park on the banks of the Vltava River, overlooking the Old City.
A Step Back in Time in France
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Head to the famous 10 Bar in the 6th arrondissement. A dive bar popular with students and artistic types, it’s been open since 1955, serves sangria for about €3 and has a jukebox stacked with classic albums by singers of the chanson.
A Walk in the Gardens in Singapore
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Stop and smell the flowers at the National Orchid Garden, part of the Singapore Botanic Gardens ($S5). Breeding of the beautiful blooms began in 1928 and it’s now the largest display of tropical orchids in the world, with more than 1000 species. There are even hybrids named for visiting VIPs, including the late Nelson Mandela.
A Dairy Delight in Romania
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One of the best spots to enjoy Bucharest’s Old Town is from an outdoor table at Cremeria Emilia, where the universe revolves around ice-cream, milkshakes, panna cotta and – best of all – brioche buns stuffed with ice-cream and whipped cream (from 7 lei).
A Bustling Market in Canada
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Walk around Granville Island, a former industrial area that’s now the thriving home of Vancouver’s most exciting public spaces, shops, restaurants and cafés. Grab a plate of poutine – fries with cheese curd and gravy (about $C5) – while exploring the Granville Island Public Market.
An On-Water Excursion in Thailand
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Explore Bangkok from the ferry on the Chao Phraya River (40 baht), passing attractions such as the Taling Chan Floating Market, the Wat Phra Kaew Buddhist temple, Grand Palace and the Royal Boat House.
A Hot Dog in Denmark
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Wander around Copenhagen’s hippie haven, Freetown Christiania, then pick up a much-loved hot dog (about 30 kroner) from a street vendor. Piled high with fried onion, gherkin, mustard and ketchup, the one-handed meal is a cultural institution.
A Head for Heights in Spain
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Go up in the world at central Madrid’s Círculo de Bellas Artes, an 1880 building that offers the best uninterrupted views of the city from its spectacular rooftop terrace (€4), 56 metres above the ground.
A Cocktail in Tonga
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Finish the day with a climate-appropriate piña colada (about 8 pa’anga) during cocktail hour at casual waterfront bar and restaurant Billfish (Hala Vuna, Ma’ufanga, Nuku‘alofa), a social hub on the main island of Tongatapu.
A Stretch of Sand in Scotland
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Scotland may not be known as a beach destination but Portobello Beach, close to Edinburgh’s city centre, has three kilometres of golden sand and a host of beach activities, including volleyball and art installations. Just take the No.15 or No.26 bus (£1.60).
A Pick-Me-Up in Indonesia
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After a day on a Balinese beach, make your way to fun and vibrant Seminyak hang out Motel Mexicola for a Mexicola Kiss sundowner – a mix of local tropical fruit and blue agave with a sangrita chaser (60,000 rupiah).
A Scenic Hike in Japan
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Take the Keio Line from Tokyo’s Shinjuku Station (¥390) and embark on one of the walking routes to the top of Mount Takao. Reaching an elevation of 599 metres, it’s considered the gentlest mountain hike near the capital. Keep an eye out for local wildlife, including monkeys.
A Royal Outing in China
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Visit Beijing’s Summer Palace (30 yuan), north-west of the city and easily accessible by public transport. It’s the largest royal park in China and said to be the best-preserved imperial garden in the world.
A Revolution in Albania
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Go upmarket in colourful and chaotic Tirana – have a leisurely glass of Prosecco at the revolving Sky Club (about 410 lek). Entry is free and it takes an hour to complete a 360-degree turn.
A Religious Shipwreck in Montenegro
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Visit the Church of Our Lady of the Rocks, a church and museum (entry about €1) built in the 17th century on a man-made islet in UNESCO World Heritage-listed Boka Kotorska (the Bay of Kotor). It’s a short boat ride from the picturesque town of Perast.
A Virtuous Feast in Malaysia
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Have a vegetarian meal at Kuala Lumpur’s Dharma Realm Guan Yin Sagely Monastery canteen (about 8 ringgit). Tucked behind a working Buddhist temple, it’s where people from all walks of life gather each day to choose from a huge array of dishes, served by monks and volunteers and eaten at communal tables.
A Ruination in Hungary
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Discover the cool ruin bars of Budapest – character-filled derelict buildings transformed into anarchic watering holes. Grab a Hungarian craft beer amid the amiable disorder of Szimpla Kert (1000 forint), one of the original (and still one of the best) of the breed.
A Fry-Up in Belgium
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Brussels isn’t short of street vendors selling the national snack of thin fries in a traditional paper cone but Frit Flagey is reputed to make some of the finest fritkot (about €2.50). Just add mayonnaise.
A Retail Battle in Bulgaria
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Haggle over handicrafts at Sofia’s open-air market in Alexander Nevsky Square. Take home an imitation icon as a souvenir then visit the crypt of the Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, opposite, to see an extensive display of Christian art (6 leva).
A Love of Learning in the U.S.
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Downtown Los Angeles’ legendary The Last Bookstore is one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world. Get lost among the thousands of new and used titles (prices start from $US3) and you might nab a bargain.