12 Dec 13
A whirl of Victorian markets and soaring glass skyscrapers, world-class museums and royal palaces: London roars with life.
As you shimmy up to Big Ben, take a wander through Notting Hill, and find your favorite nook at a local London pub, you’ll soon see how easy it is to fall in love with the Big Smoke.
Day One: From The Shard to Soho
Morning: Skip the line and head to the top of The Shard for the best views of the British capital.
Next up, hop aboard the London Duck Tour for a sightseeing adventure aboard the amphibious WWII truck. Swing past the Houses of Parliament, Big Ben, Westminster Abbey, and Downing Street before bursting into the Thames for a mighty river splashdown.
Afternoon: In summer, skip the line and take a tour inside Buckingham Palace.
Outside summer, head to royal Hyde Park before a trip to Notting Hill. An eclectic neighborhood with colorful Caribbean roots, the area is packed with pastel townhouses, artists, celebrities, and antiques dealers.
Evening: Head to Soho’s famous Pitt Cue Co for slow-cooked barbecue food so good you’ll be looking at London house prices straight away.
Day Two: Tate Modern to the Tower of London
Then take a stroll by the Thames to the Globe Theatre, originally built for Shakespeare’s plays in 1599.
Hop back on the sightseeing bus to skip the line for St. Paul’s cathedral.
Lunch: On a lively food tour, sample Afro-Caribbean delicacies in vibrant Brixton, then head to Borough Market – one of the oldest and largest food markets in London.
Evening: Shoreditch’s Brick Lane may be London’s most famous curry street, but for something really special, head to the Michelin-starred Trishna in Marylebone.
Take an evening stroll along South Bank for amazing views of Big Ben, Westminster and Tower Bridge shimmering on the inky water.
Especially for kids: Explore the wizarding world of Harry Potter on an exciting trip to Warner Bros. Studios.
Get around: The easiest and cheapest way to get around London is with a prepaid Oyster Card, which you can pick up for a £5 deposit at any station across the city.
Getting into town: Relax with a private transfer to your hotel from any of London’s airports.
P.S. Fancy digging a little deeper into London’s alternative culture? The street art tour of East London is just the ticket.
10 Dec 13
We want you to go up. Way up. Up higher than you’ve ever been before. Come to the top of the world with us… or at least to the roofs of some of its tallest structures!
We’ve got 1,001 Arabian reasons to get you to the top of the Burj Khalifa. What’s that? Oh, actually, we have 2,717 reasons: one for each foot of height on the tallest building in the world.
Paris is not known for its skyscrapers, which makes the views from one of its few even better. Climb 56 stories to the Montparnasse Tower’s rooftop terrace and gaze upon the City of Lights from above.
Berlin’s 1,200-foot Fernsehturm is home to a rotating cafe. In the 1960s, the cafe took an hour to complete a full 360° turn, but thanks to the wonders of capitalist engineering, that time has been reduced to 30 minutes. Reduce your own wait times with this skip-the-line tour!
Empire State Building
Though it’s no longer the world’s tallest, the Empire State Building is still one of New York’s most famous sights. No trip to the Big Apple would be complete without ascending the 1,050 feet to look out over the city. On this tour, save time by skipping the line!
The London Eye is perhaps London’s only major tourist attraction capable of moving under its own power – it’s Europe’s largest Ferris wheel! Come and observe jolly old London from above.
05 Dec 13
Paris is the city for dreamers and romantics: people who can think of nothing better than getting lost in a whirl of cafes and cabarets, bistros and bakeries.
Still, it’s hard to relax in a new city before you’ve ticked off its icons. Here’s your wintery guide to dreaming among the bohemian streets of Montmartre and scaling the Eiffel Tower, all in one weekend.
Day One: Eiffel Tower, Montmartre, and the Moulin Rouge
Lunch: With all that time saved, relax over lunch at Chartier Bouillon. The timeless dishes and Belle Époque glamor are a taste of old-fashioned Paris, and lunch costs less than €10.
Afternoon: Wander the cobbled streets of Montmartre on a 2-hour walking tour. Climb the steps of the Sacré-Cœur basilica. Visit the last vineyard in Paris, and enjoy the bohemian atmosphere.
Evening: Stroll back to your hotel along the banks of the Seine, and get ready for a night of champagne and dancing at the Moulin Rouge.
Day Two: Champs-Elysees, Croissants, and Catacombs
Morning: Champagne hangover? Grab a cafe au lait and sea salt croissant from Blé Sucré, then head for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus with your 24-hour ticket.
First stop, The Louvre! Skip the line at the world’s most visited museum, and let an art historian be your guide.
Lunch: Feast at Benoit. It’s the only bistro in Paris with a Michelin star. Run by Alain Ducasse, the 3-course lunch menu costs €38.
Afternoon: Catch some sun from the top deck of a hop-on hop-off bus as you’re driven down the Champs-Élysées. Hop off at the Notre Dame, where entrance is free. Wander the moneyed streets of the Marais district, then take a peek at the Pompidou.
Evening: For a really special night, head to cozy l’Ambassade d’Auvergne for lentil and bacon salad, and finish off with the most decadent chocolate mousse in the city.
Skip the line to the Catacombs of Paris, where the underground tunnels are lined with the skulls and bones of millions of Parisians, removed from the city’s overflowing cemeteries in the 18th century.
Emerge back into the City of Light for one last stroll among the grand boulevards and secret courtyards.
Local tip: For a filmhouse that’s as beautiful as it is unusual, La Pagode Cinema is a little piece of Japan in the heart of Paris.
Get around: If you are staying in Paris for a few days, save time and money by buying a carnet of ten metro tickets for €12.70. For something really unique, get around the capital by vintage Citroen 2CV.
Getting into town: Whether you’re coming in from Charles de Gaulle or Paris Orly, make life easy with a private transfer to your hotel.
P.S: For your classic photos of the Eiffel Tower, head to the Palais de Chaillot at Metro Trocadero. Sunset is the best time to go, when the Eiffel Tower bursts into a million sparkling lights. Enjoy!
03 Dec 13
September of 1989 started the same as it usually did on Pier 39, in the busy Fisherman’s Wharf district of San Francisco. With the height of tourist season over, there was finally time to do some routine maintenance on K dock at the far end of the pier, and the boats moored there were temporarily moved further down the wharf. Then something magical happened.