Ahh, Paris! The City of Light. No other city has such a reputation for romance. You can embrace it with a candlelit dinner cruise on the Seine, the city’s riverine artery, or maybe with a quaint horse-drawn carriage ride up to that iconic spire, the Eiffel Tower.

Paris’ grand boulevards are instantly recognizable (in fact, the term was invented here). Stroll down the grandest of them all when you walk the Champs-Élysées, a broad, tree-lined thoroughfare banked by pâtisseries, cinemas, and of course, plenty of picturesque Parisian cafes. Following this extravagant promenade takes you to one of the world’s foremost art collections, the Louvre.

If that’s not enough culture, the nearby Palace of Versailles hosts diplomatic functions as well as a permanent museum to complement its extensively manicured gardens.

The Top 10 Castles to Visit Worldwide

The world is swarming with stunning castles that were once inhabited by the rich and famous or royalty. Nowadays, the gates are opened for us tourists, granting us a fascinating peek into a lifestyle we can hardly imagine for ourselves. We put together a list of the top 10 castles worldwide based on visitor count with links to fun activities for each so you can get the royal treatment when you visit!

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How to stay sane at Versailles!

Versailles: the ultimate emblem of extravagance and absurd excess. So no wonder everyone wants to see it! At over 3 million visitors per year (that’s an average of over 8,000 visitors a day) things can get a bit hectic. So here’s some help so you receive some royal treatment on your next visit.

front facade

1. History

Versailles was once just a small, insignificant village outside Paris. The foundations for the palace were laid by Louis XIV – who decided he’d had enough of putrid smelly Paris and needed a break from the metropole. He moved the entire government and the royal family there in 1682. It’s sprawling grounds and massive complexes have hosted some of history’s most important events – from the beginning of the French Revolution to the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in its famed Hall of Mirrors. Visiting Versailles is an incredible chance to walk in the footsteps of royals and dignitaries. One can almost hear the arguments at conferences and the explosions of fireworks at royal celebrations.

2. Don’t Miss

Hall of Mirrors


This is where the famous treaty after World War I was signed. It is 73 meters long (239.5 feet) and boasts 17 arched windows each decorated with 21 mirrors. Can you guess what it’s original purpose was? For the king to walk from his private apartment to pray in the chapel Courtiers would stand around and watch, hoping to get invited to one of his house parties. No, we’re serious!

The Royal Chapel
Was the last to be built and is the most spectacular. Marie Antoinette was married here.

The Grand Apartments
These apartments are where the King spent his private hours. It’s incredible to imagine yourself sleeping, dining, and playing in such a lavishly decorated environment!

The Clock Room
The main attraction here is a 250-year-old clock which is capable of showing the time, date, and phases of the moon. To crown it all off, it even boasts a working model of the solar system.

The Gardens
Are just as stunning as the interior. For celebrations and festivities, Louis XIV installed a Grand Canal and two parterres. He used to sail small craft on it such as gondolas. There’s also 11 main fountains that feature designs from Greek and Roman mythology for beautiful and dramatic effect!


3. Tips for Visiting

Order tickets online
The queue to even buy tickets is daunting even during off-peak seasons. Buy skip-the-line tickets with a guide and avoid the hassle.

Get there early
Plan your day around the excursion! Versailles is massive so it makes sense to get there early around opening time (9AM) to avoid the increasing masses and ensure you have enough time to explore the gardens.

Closed Mondays
Which means you can’t get into the palace. But! If that’s not your thing, the gardens are still open on Mondays, meaning you could explore them relatively deserted at your own leisure, which is an experience in and of itself.

Avoid Sundays and Tuesdays
These are the busiest days as the Louvre and many other Paris museums are closed, drawing larger crowds that would otherwise be in Paris!

Eat Well: pack a picnic
It’s going to be a long day, so best prepare by bringing some food as the options at the palace are quite expensive and often crowded. Here’s a guide to where and how!

What do you think? Do you have any other tips? Share and comment on Facebook with suggestions and tips!

Ready to plan your next trip? Find things to do on GetYourGuide!

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Your Paris Sightseeing Map

Want to know how to make the most of your trip to Paris?

It can be quite confusing to get around in an unknown city…we have collected all of Paris’s must-see sights on a metro map for your perfect stay in France’s exciting capital!

Where to go? Which subway to take? The coolest attractions? It’s all in here! Download your Paris Sightseeing Map, take it with you to Paris, and become an insider!

Download your Paris Sightseeing Map here: in pdf

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The Hotlist: Top 10 Places to Visit in Spring

We all know it: the feeling of excitement when the days are finally getting longer again, winter time is over and the sun sets its rays over us, while we are planning new adventures for the following spring & summer season! If you are having difficulties deciding where to go, we are happy to help: check out our top 10 places to visit in spring! Whether you are a enjoying cultural sights, haute cuisine or action-packed fun on your vacation, you’ll have it all:


1. Dubai – Take a Walk on the Mild Side

Hot, hotter, Dubai. Be prepared – even in spring Dubai’s temperature can rise up to 35 degrees. Nevertheless, it’s still a rather ‘mild’ climate and one of the best times to experience Dubai’s magic, from the buzzing city to its desert!


Visit the Burj Khalifa. We know, it’s nothing new and everybody recommends it but the view from the 164th floors of the highest skyscraper in the world is simply breathtaking and allows you a completely different insight onto the world of a true elite travel city.


The world’s most luxurious hotel is situated in Dubai: the Burj Al Arab, a 7-star gigantic compound which is built on a man-island. You are only granted access once you have reserved a room or booked a special tour e.g. the tea time! That’s why it is also very recommendable to take a look from above via seaplane!


While you enjoyed the huge variety of activities in the city itself, take a trip to Abu-Dhabi. Explore the capital of the UAE on this 7-hour tour of Abu Dhabi from Dubai. Travel along the Sheikh Zayed Road, passing some of Dubai’s skyscrapers, before touring the Emirates Palace Hotel, Corniche, Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Heritage Village, and more.


2. Tokyo – Have a hanami


Spring is the best time to visit Tokyo: there is no better way to explore the City of Flowers then wandering along the amazing botanical gardens ‘have a hanami ‘(flower viewing) and admire the blooming flowers such as Sakura and Ume. At the same time, it is strawberry season, the weather is very nice and you can take advantage of tasting the many strawberry-flavored foods, sweets and drinks as well as go to the countryside and pick fruits for yourself!


Spring is the time for matsuri! Matsuri means festival and you should make sure you are attending one of the many famous festivities while you are there! From food stalls, to live performances and other events, spring is the time to be in Tokyo to enjoy the maximum of the culture.


Spring is also the season for clam-digging. Being a very famous family activity in Japan, you can dig along the hundreds of Japanese along Tokyo Bay only armed with a shovel! At night, prepare the delicious clams in a way you prefer and enjoy! Another idea is to take a food tour to taste some of Tokyo’s most iconic dishes in the vibrant places they originated.


Enjoy a 6-hour private guided tour of Tokyo designed by Lonely Planet Japan author and long-term resident Chris Rowthorn. This is the perfect introduction to Tokyo where you’ll get to sample both the modern and traditional sides of the city, while enjoying time with your friends and family only!


3. Prague – Few tourists & reasonable prices


When the last snow is gone, Prague awakes from its winter sleep and the flowers bloom. It is a wonderful time to visit the Capital of the Czech Republic since you can enjoy the many seasonal celebrations but still avoid the big tourist hordes that start to roll in by late May over summer.


Cultural highlights like visiting the Prague Castle, the St. Vitus Cathedral and other historical monuments are surely nothing to be missed. But –the Czech capital is a Mecca for beer lovers, and the birthplace of the world famous Pilsner lager! Enjoy some of the world’s finest beers and classic Czech hospitality on a trip to Prague’s best-loved bars. The Czech capital is a Mecca for beer lovers, and the birthplace of the world famous Pilsner lager!


The stunning architecture & the romantic atmosphere in the old town leads many couples to tie the knot or pop the question in Prague! While it’s not only a well-known destination for weddings, it is also fairly cheap to arrange everything you need. The Old Town Hall (Staroměstská radnice) and the New Town Hall (Novoměstská radnice), both offer the chance to say yes in a historic Gothic building.


While in Prague, you absolutely must see how the modern art scene has developed in the past years. On an alternative half-day tour through the cities coolest districts, you’ll see the different perspective of a historical town and will be able to check out famous music bars to make you feel like a local.

4. Paris – Printemps & romance


The City of Love in spring…well, what could be more romantic. And yet, even if you are not into the hearty, love mood, Paris has got so much more to offer! There is no better time to take a stroll along the picturesque hobble-stoned streets, across the charming bridges over the Seine,  to take in all of the cities beauty at once.


Yep, you simply must go to the Eiffel Tower. Skip the line and don’t waste time in the queue! The views are simply astonishing  and will allow you to have Paris at your feet. If you don’t feel like crossing the paths with many other tourists, check out the Tour Montparnasse which also enables you many breathtaking views but in a less crowded atmosphere.


China built a replicant town that was supposed to exactly resemble Paris. When the government realized that this was just not possible, it turned into a ghost town which you can still visit, an hour away from Shanghai. On the other hand, Japanese citizens sometimes suffer from the so-called ‘Paris Syndrome’ which means they were severely disappointed that Paris was not as pretty as the imagined.


Walking around Paris is one thing, but how about discovering the city the different way? On a segway, in an authentic Citroen car or maybe by bike? It’s up to you but we are sure you will enjoy our trip to Paris even more by discovering its most iconic sights with the whole family in a fun way!


5. New York City – The city that never sleeps awakes


The Big Apple comes alive in spring – it’s finally time to let the spring activities begin and get out there onto the famous streets in New York City. With tons of things to do, New York won’t disappoint and after having spent the whole day out in the sun, why not join a world-famous broadway or comedy show at night?


What you simply can’t miss? Well, many things! For all the art lovers out there: skip the line at the MoMa and if you want to enjoy the nice spring weather why not follow the cliches and jump on a horse carriage for a ride through the Central Park? We ensure you, you’ll feel just like in one of your favorite movies!


New York has got so much to offer but we recommend a trip that you can’t miss: fly out to the Niagara Falls for 2 days to escape the bustle of New York City! Experience both the U.S. and Canada sides of the Falls, and ride on the famous Maid of the Mist boat under the Falls. Enjoy time to shop and sleep in comfortable accommodation!


Get awe-inspiring views of New York City on a thrilling helicopter ride above the Big Apple’s skyscrapers and iconic landmarks. See the Statue of Liberty, Empire State Building, and many other attractions from a unique perspective.


6. Berlin – Roaring times in the sun


Berlin has got so much to offer: apart from the crazy night life and the many cultural monuments, the many green areas invite for a stroll in spring time, when the city finally reaches human 15 degrees again. Voted as the most fun city last year, Berlin is definitely worth a visit!


Apart from many festivals and public holidays in spring, you simply must go on a food tour to really get behind the secret of the famous Berlin Currywurst and more. If you are not into meat, we can also recommend the Reichtstags-Tour. Visit the glass dome in the Reichstag building and admire the fantastic view of the magnificent buildings and sights in the city.


Did you know you could jump off a building in Berlin?  Experience the sheer thrill of base flying in Berlin for 30 minutes. Enjoy flying down 125 meters from a special construction on the roof of the Park Inn Berlin-Alexanderplatz. Admire a unique view over Berlin on this fast-moving journey.


Explore the city in a unique way: by kayak! See Tierpark and Zoologischer Garten from the water, and learn about the capital’s impressive water lock system. Explore the length of the U1 line, suspended above the canal, then go for a trip on the Spree.


7. Pisa – Leaning against the tower


La Dolce Vita – tuscan hills, red wine and….the Leaning Tower of Pisa? Yes! Of course, Rome & Florence are beautiful cities to explore during spring time but Pisa, however, can’t be forgotten! With a history spanning back over 4000 years, Pisa has much to offer – visitors will find that the town is filled with beautiful bridges, architecture, churches and grand cafés.


It’s a must – get the obligatory photo at the Leaning Tower of Pisa and skip the line in front of the crowds. Climb up the world-famous Leaning Tower of Pisa with this convenient skip-the-line entrance ticket. The Leaning Tower is located in Piazza del Duomo next to the 11th century Cathedral and the Baptistery!


Did you know that you could combine your trip with the stunning Cinque Terre? Explore the characteristic villages of Cinqueterre National Park and see the spectacular coastline of the Ligurian Riviera. Hike the Via dell’Amore between Riomaggiore and Manarola, and stop to sample local wines and produce! This way you will be sure to not miss out on anything!

8. San Francisco – Golden times on the bridge


The Golden Gate City is simply a must when visiting California. From the various attractions like Alcatraz to the charming cable streetcars, San Francisco attracts yearly 17 Million people! In spring, you can avoid the tourist hordes mostly though and enjoy the quiet and peace in the colorful seaside town.


Golden Gate Bridge, what else. BUT why not experience something completely different? Take a bike and cross the historical sight at your own pace while taking in the beautiful scenery around you!


During the great depression in 1929, San Francisco’s situation stayed stable with no single bank failing!  Of the more than 25,000 banks in business in 1929, by 1933, only 11,000 survived. Go SF!Moreover, the Golden Gate Bridge was built during these years.


Enjoy a relaxing cruise on a luxury catamaran while the sun sets over San Francisco Bay. Nibble on light hors d’oeuvres and sip 2 complimentary drinks as you sail past the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz Island.


9. Istanbul – Asian-European getaway


Be there or be square – Istanbul in spring is just…breathtaking! Witness the awakening of the city as the days get warmer from mid-April on and enjoy your holiday while dining at one of the many terraces that open up again after winter time!


Istanbul features so many incredible sights you have to see, but if you only have a few days in town, it is recommendable to do a private full day tailor-made tour so that you explore Istanbul according to your own interests. A licensed guide will pick you up from your hotel and take you to the sights that you want to see as it is kind of difficult to get around on your own if you don’t know the city at all.


The Grand Bazaar is the biggest old covered bazaar in the world, with over 3.000 shops! You can find most anything, from Oriental rugs to hand-crafted jewelery and crockery. Experience this ancient complex as you fill your bag with exotic finds. Visit Nuruosmaniye Mosque, one of the finest in Turkey.


Enjoy an all-you-can-eat dinner adventure in Istanbul on a 4-hour food tour with multiple stops in the Pera district. Get a taste of the history of Istanbul through its gastronomy, tasting delicacies from different parts of Turkey.


10. Lisbon – Portuguese spring adventures


Lisbon: a city of Moorish castles and Gothic cathedrals, of solemn monasteries and whitewashed villas tumbling all the way down to the sea. Head to a sunny pavement cafe to watch businessmen slurp espressos before they hop on antique trams to work, while children play in the tree-lined streets and fishermen trawl the river’s iridescent waters!


We fell in love with the food in Lisbon. Really. The famous natas pastries are to die for and the green wine which is very special in Portugal, goes with any meal and tastes divine! Visit Lisbon’s historical center with a local guide and discover the city’s most delicious secrets. Sample Portuguese delicacies as you learn about the influence of different cultures on Portugal’s cuisine and its significance in Europe!


It’s not really the city of 7 hills. Even though every local will tell you so but the truth is that these 7 hills were never very historically accurate and were (mis-)counted, possibly on purpose just to make the city more similar to Rome.


Enjoy a Fado in Chiado performance and discover the soul of Lisbon. The musical form of fado was adopted as a part of Portuguese culture and is now a symbol of the nation, with a particularly strong tradition in the historic districts of Lisbon!