Destinations

10 cities for every type of culture aficionado

1. Toronto – for diversity from around the world in one place

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In Toronto you can find a bit of everything. In fact 49% of the population is foreign-born, making it the most international major city in the world. Diversity and colorful local neighborhoods have their own flair. This vibrant culture has given growth to independent shops, galleries and “art” hotels. It’s a wonderful mishmash!

2. London – for the world’s most popular museum and gallery scene

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Over 30 million visits to museums and galleries a year: London’s art and creative scenes are the most active in the world in terms of people. There’s always something on and London doesn’t shy away from investing in grand projects. Let’s not forget the Olympics!

3. Buenos Aires – for keen theater goers

287 is the number of theaters in Buenos Aires, beating out a close second-place, London, for most theaters in the world. The breadth of performances is breathtaking, from the Teatro Colon for the country’s best opera and classical, to Corrientes Avenue – often called the Broadway of Buenos Aires – the scene is the best in Latin America.

4. Paris – cinephiles rejoice

With 55,500,000 visits to cinemas, Paris is the moviegoer capital of the world. It’s easy to see why: Paris has always been at the heart of creativity and art, inspiring its inhabitants and visitors alike. France’s national love of cinema is still alive and its independently run cinemas seriously helped the careers of filmmakers like Jean Cocteau and Francois Truffaut.

5. Tokyo – gamers, eat your heart out

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At about 1,000 video game arcades, Japan’s are the brightest, flashiest and busiest. Techies can find all kinds of interactive delight in the colorful capital of Japan.

6. São Paulo – for the late-night dancers

Nightclubs, discos and dance halls are at a premium in São Paulo, with over 2,000 in the city. You’ll never run out of places to go in this enormous city, befitting its urban character.

7. Moscow – for a museum a day

You could spend an entire year visiting museums in Moscow – at 365; it has the most in the world. Russia’s long and exciting history is constantly on display and many of their museums are at the forefront of artistic experimentation.

8. Shenzhen – a home for bookworms

Shenzen has 639 public libraries, meaning incredible access to life long learning if you’re a resident.

9. New York – for art lovers

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With 613 art galleries, New York’s constant inflow of visitors and creatives offer an impressive array of classic art and avantgarde experimentation that has something for everyone.

10. Los Angeles – music to your ears

Los Angeles’ over 500 live music venues makes it, arguably, the best music scene in America (and maybe the world). From hard-kicking rock to lulling classical, Los Angeles has the best of just about everything.

Karlstejn Castle near Prague

10 pictures that prove autumn is the most photographic season for traveling

While it might be getting a bit chilly outside, there’s something romantic about the changing of seasons with its fiery foliage, vivid sunsets and long shadows. Changing temperatures make for cozy evenings spent together outside or around campfires. But for the seasoned explorer, the season means dramatic framing of iconic landmarks. Here are 10 of our favorite.

10. Central Park in New York City

New York City

New York City

 

9. Sunset over Krakow’s limestone quarry

Krakow

Krakow

 

8. Rome’s golden skyline at dusk

Rome

Rome

 

7. View over Paris’s Champs-Élysées draped in Autumn colors

Champs-Élysées

Champs-Élysées

 

6. The Zen Garden at Kennin-ji Temple in Kyoto, Japan

Kyoto

Kyoto

 

5. Granada, Spain

5. Granada, Spain

Granada, Spain

 

4. The Albert Memorial in London

The Albert Memorial in London

The Albert Memorial in London

 

3. View from the Siegessäule over Berlin

View from the Siegessäule over Berlin

View from the Siegessäule over Berlin

 

2. Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest

Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest

Vajdahunyad Castle in Budapest

 

1. Karlstejn Castle near Prague

Karlstejn Castle near Prague

Karlstejn Castle near Prague

Vietnam’s 5 most stunning tours

Vietnam is as exciting as it is diverse: over long complex systems of roads in the mountains and into hillside villages along the rivers, Vietnam’s landscape is tough to cover alone. But worth it.

These 5 tours cover the most iconic scenery of Vietnam and are experiences in and of themselves. Because, as we all know, the journey is just as important as the destination.

5. Cycling the entire Ho Chi Minh Trail.

The Ho Chi Minh Trail

The Ho Chi Minh Trail

The complicated road system winds along the Truong Son mountain range through bumpy village roads and through stunning nature reserves, rice paddies, and sugarcane farms far away from overcrowded cities. It was once used to facilitate the movement of troops and supplies from North to South Vietnam during the Vietnam War.

4. From Hanoi across the Luang Prabang Mountain Range

Luang Prabang

Luang Prabang

Vietnam’s mountainous northwestern provinces are a bumpy ride through dramatic karst rock formations and remote hill-tribe villages. Isolated and far from any developed highway system, the payoff are the stunning temples and night market of Luang Prabang in Laos.

3. Trekking through Vietnam’s Sapa Valley

The Sapa Valley

The Sapa Valley

Surrounded by sloping rice terraces, Vietnam’s Sapa Valley combines dramatic mountain scenery and rich cultural diversity spread out among its many hill-tribe villages. At 1,500 meters above sea level, you’re up among the clouds staring across misty expanses.

2. Cycling or floating through the Mekong Delta

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Fruit orchards, floating markets spread out over an extensive maze of rivers and islands, life in the Mekong Delta floats at the pace of its watery vital force.

1. Through Ha Long Bay from Hanoi

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No limit of choice here: junk boats – that are really closer to floating palaces – drifting languidly through the stunning limestone karst formations of Ha Long Bay dot the turquoise waters as far as the eyes can see. Sporty travelers can kayak into hidden caves and camp on uninhabited islands.

 

Ha Lang Bay

Asia’s 10 most beautiful places

The world’s largest continent is host to some of its most spectacular natural and manmade wonders. With thousands of sights that are an optical feast, which ones should you visit first?

Here are 10 of our favorites for your next voyage to this wonderfully diverse land.

10. Bagan, Myanmar

Paul Arps @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Paul Arps @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Described by Marco Polo as a “gilded city alive with tinkling bells and the swishing sounds of monks’ robes,” Bagan’s overgrown, forgotten temples are still as imposing as they were centuries ago, with over 2,000 temples scattered across the expansive dry landscape flanked by balloons hanging in the distance.

9. Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Ha Lang Bay

Ha Lang Bay

Gigantic limestone pillars teetering perilously over emerald waters, mostly uninhabited and capped with rainforests, carved out with coral grottos and caves. Ready to go?

8. Petra, Jordan

Petra

Petra

The “Rose City,” carved and built into pink sandstone cliffs, is part manmade, part natural wonder. Emerging after a deep narrow gorge, stumbling across Petra feels like entering another time and place, forgotten by civilization.

7. Borobudur, Java, Indonesia

Frank Douwes @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Frank Douwes @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

The stunning 1,000-year-old Buddhist temple is nestled in an idyllic landscape of rice-terraced hills framed by volcanoes. The grand structure seems to “emerge” – in all its grandeur – in the early morning wrapped in white shrouds of mist.

6. Taj Mahal, India

Gerard McGovern @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Gerard McGovern @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

History’s greatest monument to undying love, the Taj Mahal’s architectural harmony is unmatched in scale and awe. Constructed out of pure, white marble and adorned with precious inlay jewels, it shines in the sun and sparkles in the moonlight.

5. Luang Prabang, Laos

Mills Baker @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Mills Baker @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

The ancient town, a colorful mishmash of Lao and French architecture, sits sleepily at the confluence of the Mekong River and the Nam Khan. Surrounded by verdant mountains, its an unmatched example of a town harmoniously joined with its stunning natural surroundings.

4. Paro Taktsang Monastery, Bhutan

Nagarjun Kandukuru @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Nagarjun Kandukuru @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Perched on the cliffs of the Himalayas in Bhutan, the complex was built in 1692 at the site of a cave where Guru Padmasambhava supposedly meditated for three years, three months, three weeks, three days, and three hours. Ascending the mountainside, one passes thousands of prayer flags, crosses over steep waterfalls to finally stare down upon the Paro valley.

3. The Great Wall of China

NomadFoto @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

NomadFoto @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Winding ramparts stretching over mountains, deserts, and grasslands: this incredible feat of engineering can be seen from space.

2. Chiang Mai, Thailand

Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai

Bursting with gilded temples, flanked by moats and overlooked by Thailand’s tallest mountain, this quintessentially Thai city is a beautifully serene stroll through nature and civilization.

1. Mount Fuji, Japan

Guilhem Vellut @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Guilhem Vellut @ Flickr (CC by 2.0)

Japan’s highest mountain is a place of spiritual and national importance scaled by over 300,000 people a year. It forms a serene backdrop to the idyllic landscape outside of Tokyo best viewed and contemplated from afar.