germany berlin monuments
Five of the best things to do in Berlin
Berlin is moving and changing at lightning speed, so we asked Serdar Kutucu, Vice President of Brand, Marketing and Communications at Design Hotels, to give us the lowdown on what’s new and fab.
Agonda Beach, Goa, India
Four secret travel gems of India
From sipping fragrant tea in the tea gardens of Coonoor to trekking a breathtaking hike to Dzongri Peak, India's 4 secret gems will offer experiences to last a lifetime. 1. Agonda Beach, Goa Where on Earth is it? In goa state on India’s south-west coast, on the Arabian Sea. Why you need to know about it It’s the best beach in India, according to TripAdvisor members, thanks to it being not much more than a sleepy hamlet hugging the wide, white sands on an idyllic stretch of the Arabian Sea; a contrast to some of the big resorts further north.   It’s also home to a hatchery for Olive Ridley turtles, providing a great chance to see them nesting. Grab a colourful beach hut for a week and get to know this wonderful palm tree-framed golden crescent by doing nothing much at all. 2. Coonoor Where on Earth is it? It is the second-largest hill station in the Nilgiri Hills in India’s southern state, Tamil Nadu. Why you need to know about it One of three hill stations in the Nilgiri Hills (the others are Ooty and Kotagiri), Coonoor sits at an altitude of 1839 metres and is surrounded by tea plantations. [caption id="attachment_25996" align="alignleft" width="667"] A vibrant green tea garden in Coonoor, India.[/caption] Though the town is accessible by road, many visitors choose to arrive via the UNESCO World Heritage-listed mountain railway built from 1891–1908; its track passes over 250 bridges.   Many people visit the hill station in summer because the cool climate offers a welcome break from India’s stifling heat. 3. Dzongri, Sikkim Where on Earth is it? In the state of Sikkim, north-west India. Why you need to know about it Sitting at an altitude of 4200 metres, Dzongri is incredible for trekking. The five-day journey to Dzongri Peak and back starts from the town of Yuksom in West Sikkim, a six-hour drive from the nearest railway station. [caption id="attachment_25998" align="alignleft" width="1000"] A dramatic view of Kangchenjunga from Dzongri, Sikkim, India.[/caption] Passing through verdant rhododendron forest, past Buddhist monasteries and taking in views of snow-drenched mountains, the journey can be a taxing one, but standing on top of the world looking out over uninterrupted 360-degree views will make all the work seem worth it.   Hypnotised by the Himalayas? read about Leisa Tyler's experience here:  Sikkim: The spirit of India's Himalayas. 4. Gangotri Where on Earth is it? In the Indian state of Uttarkashi, 470 kilometres north of Delhi, close to the Indo-Tibetan border. Why you need to know about it Surrounded by the Indian Himalayas, the picturesque town of Gangotri is an important pilgrimage for Hindus as it’s the origin of the sacred Ganga (River Ganges). [caption id="attachment_25997" align="alignleft" width="1000"] India's Gangotri has a divine beauty and is an important pilgrimage for Hindus.[/caption] Pay your respects at the 18th-century temple, which stands at an altitude of 3042 metres. Alcohol and meat are strictly prohibited here, but you’ll find delicious vegan cuisine at the local dhabas.   More… The 17 Secret Travel Gems of Asia
malaysian fried noodles eating etiquette
Char kway teow – Malaysia’s most loved dish?
Char kway teow is a popular fried noodle dish in Malaysia. Cindy Bingley-Pullin takes a guided food tour through the streets of Kuala Lumper to find out more about this tasty noodle dish and the proper etiquette on how to eat it.
souvenirs catalan tiles barcelona park Güell
What and where to eat in Barcelona
Not sure what the difference between a fideuà and a jamon is? Here's a nifty guide to help you on your way. What to buy Catalan tiles Use these decorative ceramic tiles as coasters to brighten your table. [caption id="attachment_45849" align="alignleft" width="600"] There are at least 13 different tile types around the city[/caption] Porron Drink wine directly from this traditional Catalan wine vessel.   Panellets These ancient sweets are the traditional fare of All Saints’ Day. [caption id="attachment_45856" align="alignleft" width="600"] Nothing says Barcelona like panellets[/caption] Espardenyes Catalan for espadrilles; a shoe made from jute rope and linen fabric. What to eat Besides all the tapas, be sure to leave room for these local delicacies...   Fideuà Similar to paella but made with pasta instead of rice. [caption id="attachment_45851" align="alignleft" width="600"] If you like a good paella, you will love fideuà[/caption] Pa amb tomàquet Bread brushed with a delicious trinity of oil, tomato and salt.   Jamon Similar to prosciutto.   Sangria Alcoholic beverage consisting of red wine and fruit.   Crema Catalana A sweet dish similar to creme brulee however crema catalana is made with citrus zest and cinnamon.   Churros Everything tastes better deep fried and bathed in chocolate, churros are like a dense donut that tick those two boxes. [caption id="attachment_45850" align="alignleft" width="600"] Your trip to Barcelona isn't complete without a good churro[/caption] Where to eat Breakfast Milk For a coffee and a wholesome breakfast, this is Barcelona’s one stop shop. [caption id="attachment_45854" align="alignleft" width="600"] Milk has a little something for everyone[/caption] Enjoy a delicious (and exotic) crab benedict, featuring (you guessed it) crab meat, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and toasted chapata. Or go for a chorizo hash, with sautéed potatoes, poached eggs, spinach and chorizo sausage. [caption id="attachment_45855" align="alignleft" width="600"] Milk was opened by an Irish couple in 2005 and has since grown to be among the most popular restaurants and cocktail bars in the area[/caption] Milk also offers more humble breakfasts for tourists who are less daring, like the American bagel, French toast, pancakes or fruit and granola. This place has everything you need to fuel a busy day in bustling Barcelona.   Xurreria Laietana Skip the wholesome breakfast, and if you’re game, and jump straight to the Spanish churro. Xurreria Laietana offers caramel or Nutella filled churros, which promise a good time. This is a great way to start a day in Barcelona (and a great way to finish it if you come back in the afternoon for seconds).   Ugot Bruncherie Add gorgeous interiors (of salmon colored walls, wooden food displays and antique pendant lights) and an outstanding brunch menu, and what have Ugot? [caption id="attachment_45859" align="alignleft" width="600"] Look for the Flamingo Wallpaper and Dreamy Cakes[/caption] Ugot boasts a glorious (and rather exotic) brunch menu of roast beef and truffle hollandaise, eggs and chorizo sausage and a daily round of house made brioche bread. Being a Spanish establishment, the café also has a range of brunch related tapas: grilled tomino cheese, smoked herring and broken olives with garlic.   Lunch Although most breakfast places are interchangeable with lunch, thanks to the strong Spanish brunch culture, try these places out for a quick lunch on a day of exploring.   The Pans Club A vegetarian restaurant serving bagels, burgers and salads, The Pans Club is a great place to balance out your churro desserts while in Barcelona. [caption id="attachment_45858" align="alignleft" width="600"] Lunch from the Best Vegetarian Restaurant in Barcelona[/caption] This place is famous for their quiches, serving ricotta, bacon and cheese or vegetable varieties (and more!). Their great lunch box initiative, where you can buy a quiche, salad and smoothie combo to go, is a great picnic option to take to the beach, and soak in some rays.   With the title of ‘Best vegetarian restaurant in Barcelona’, even the biggest carnivores will be salivating over this menu.   Kersol Perfect for a post-siesta late lunch, Kersol serves a great range: salads (quinoa or potato), vegetable curry, grilled capsicum stuffed with pork, vegetable meatballs and even cheesecake, if you’re feeling like a dessert for/with/after lunch.   Dinner La Pubilla For an authentic Spanish feast, head over to La Pubilla.   Do not let the tired façade fool you, the food is incredible and without fault. Start off with steak tartar or roasted meat croquette, then head to the roast pork belly salad with tomato and herbs or cuttlefish paella for the main. [caption id="attachment_45853" align="alignleft" width="600"] Based on creativity, originality and seasonal product.[/caption] Finish off with a Catalan cheese assortment and a wine.   La Pepita A small local tapas bar in the heart of Barcelona, La Pepita is the best place to enjoy authentic Spanish tapas. With tapas including marinated sea bass with spinach and strawberry, roasted artichokes with blue cheese and the traditional patatas bravas (a slightly spicy potato dish), you need to get yourself to La Pepita.   The cosy atmosphere and great drinks menu also help to make this one of the best hang outs in Barcelona. Dinner service starts at 7:30pm, but get there early to nab a table, this place is popular.   Lab Restaurant Imagine the best culinary experience you have ever had, and then combine that with some hard-core science, and you get Lab. [caption id="attachment_45852" align="alignleft" width="600"] Prepare yourself for a thrilling and sophisticated gastronomic experience[/caption] Serving dishes like the crispy lasagna, pasta foie gras and lady figs and messy zarzuela, the creativity in this restaurant will excite you as much as the food does.   Where to stay If you're wondering where to stay while in Barcelona, check out our reviews of Hotel Claris and Mercer Hotel.   More... Getting ready to go to Barcelona
No cars allowed on Gili Islands, Indonesia
Three secret travel gems of Indonesia
The 3 hidden gems of Indonesia offer an experience away from your typical commercialised offering, from the largest Buddha temple in the world to an island that prohibits cars. 1. Gili Islands Where on Earth is it? The Gilis are an archipelago of three small islands off the coast of Lombok. Why you need to know about it Surrounded by pristine water and fringed by pure-white sand, The three atolls that make up the Gili Islands – Gili Trawangan, Gili Meno and Gili Air – are an idyllic break from popular Bali (just A two-hour boat ride away).   The fact that they do not allow cars nor motorbikes is bliss; tourists rent bicycles instead. The most developed of the three, Gili Trawangan, is a bit of a party island, while the other two are more laid-back, with hip hotels, bars and restaurants popping up. 2. Borobudur Where on Earth is it? An ancient complex in Central Java. Why you need to know about it The largest Buddhist temple in the world is a massive hulk of sculptural work planted in a lush landscape. Constituting one the most important Buddhist monuments on the planet, it was built in the 9th century and has 2672 reliefs and 504 statues of Buddha. Incorporating Indian influences as well as indigenous art, it’s a distinctly Indonesian masterpiece. [caption id="attachment_26014" align="alignleft" width="1000"] Borobudur Temple surrounded by lush green jungle in Indonesia.[/caption] Pilgrims start their journey at the base of the temple and wind their way to the top in a symbolic journey to nirvana. Spend a few days getting to know the region and rise early to see it at its best.   If you're after a Bali holiday of the spiritual kind, Despina Meris finds a peace in a rejuvenating resort : Is this Bali’s most relaxing hideaway? 3. Sidemen, Bali Where on Earth is it? In east Bali, a 90-minute drive from Denpasar airport. Why you need to know about it The allures of Bali have been commercialised for so long that it’s staggering to find there are still parts of this island that offer a glimpse of life as it once was. Sidemen is one such place, Surrounded by mountains and lush rice paddies that day-trippers flock to see in Ubud. [caption id="attachment_26015" align="alignleft" width="667"] Away from the typical touristy areas of Bali, bean crops are planted on the hills of Sidemen, Bali.[/caption] There are no flashy resorts, but sacrificing chilled towels is a small price to pay for the privilege of discovering the undiscovered.   More… The 17 Secret Travel Gems of Asia
cambodia wat hanchey temple young monk
Cruising Cambodia: behind Mekong’s wide smiles
Despite a turbulent history, the intriguing South-east Asian kingdom of Cambodia is an intoxicating mix of colour and warmth, as seen here in Elise Hassey's photo essay cruising along its thriving artery, the Mekong River. 
Barcelona La Rambla meeting point sights
Barcelona’s La Rambla – six essential places to see
Hans Christian Anderson once described Barcelona as the 'Paris of Spain', but it has a personality all of its own, as a simple stroll down La Rambla shows. 
Shanghai rainy day activity
Eight things to do when it rains in Shanghai
Shanghai is a city buzzing with activity, so when it drizzles don't let the wet dampen your trip. We've found six indoor activities to keep you occupied - in the rain or shine. 1. Try a dumpling-making course Eating dumplings is a Shanghai institution not to be missed, but if you want to replicate these steaming little parcels of bliss at home, take a dumpling making course while there. [caption id="attachment_25547" align="alignnone" width="1000"] Learn how to make these steaming dumplings with the Chinese Cooking Workshop in Shanghai.[/caption] Try Chinese Cooking Workshop's Dim Sum classes to learn the ropes. The kitchen offers a range of public courses to take part in, as well as hosting private group courses, which could be good if it's a family affair.   The Dim Sum courses go for two hours and are staggered throughout the week in morning, lunch and afternoon classes. The group scheduled wok and dim sum courses are beginners-friendly and each lesson starts from making the dough, through to completing the dim sum.   Address: no 370 Wulumuqi Rd (South) near Zhaojiabang Rd 2. Visit the museum for the dying The Nankeen Exhibition Hall (637 Changle Road) in the French Concession is a small gallery and shop celebrating the beauty and tradition of this 3000-year-old dyeing technique. [caption id="attachment_46155" align="alignnone" width="1024"] Blue Nankeen; a cotton fabric rich in Chinese history.[/caption] Originating thousands of years ago, blue nankeen is a style of Chinese textile that began on the Silk Road, though it's actually made of cotton. The fabric is rich in history, often used  by Chinese commoners to craft things such as clothing and household linens like tableclothes and drapes. It was a traditional gifts at weddings and births.   The little shop-cum-museum is reached by zag-zagging down laneways, and then past a courtyard where (on sunny days) billowing lengths of fabric are strung up to dry.   Address:  637 Changle Rd, Xuhui Qu, Shanghai Shi, China 3. Go to the antique markets Ignore the tourist trinket stalls crowded around the stunning 18th-century buildings at the busy Yu Gardens and head for the ‘Antique Markets’ in the bowels of the building, where you will find ramshackle little shops overflowing with dust-covered treasures. [caption id="attachment_25545" align="alignnone" width="667"] Uncover treasures at the Yu markets in Shanghai. Don't forget to haggle.[/caption] Everything is apparently from the Qing Dynasty but you should haggle like it was made last week (which it probably was).   Keep smiling and never insult the vendors by offering a ridiculous price, and you will have huge fun here. 4. Get custom glasses frames Getting glasses made at Han City Plaza is quick and easy.   There are myriad shops and kid-in-a-candy-store numbers of designs to choose from in this rather unprepossessing centre, and it takes as little as 20 minutes to have prescription lenses fitted into the frames you choose. Be ready, you need to haggle hard if you're after a good deal.   Address: 580 Nanjing Xi Lu 5. Eat authentic at Han Mama's Perch on blue and white ceramic stools at long tables and order from Han Mama’s home-style Taiwanese menu.   The signature dish is an unctuous mix of noodles with huge chunks of crumbling, slow-cooked Uruguayan grass-fed beef.   Everything is delivered with crisp efficiency by white-jacketed staff and tastes delicious; the atmosphere is funky and bustling.   The reviews reveal a nourishing, satisfying experience that's authentic and great value for money, much like the below found on TripAdvisor.   "The braised beef was tender and awesomely good. The broth was well balanced and the noodles were cooked to perfection." Reslimpan, Shanghai, China   Address: 123 Nanyang Lu 6. Visit the Long Museaum West Bund The Long Museum West Bund is a masterpiece of curving lines and vast spaces filled with Chinese, Asian and European contemporary art, Chinese classical art and visiting exhibitions.   The passion project of art collectors Liu Yiqian and his wife, Wang Wei, the space also has an art bookstore, cafe, restaurant overlooking the river, children’s exhibition hall and concert hall.   It's well worth doing your research on the website to find out what's coming up at the gallery - and filling your diary with key dates!   Address: 3398 Longteng Avenue, Xuhui District Shanghai   7. Scale the world's largest indoor waterfall Okay, so you might be doing your best to avoid the wet at all costs, but this magnificent indoor waterfall - and the 'Cloud Forest' it's housed in is well worth a visit, rain, hail or shine.   Simply take the elevator to the top of the Gardens by the Bay and descend the winding ramps. which will give you an incredible glimpse of the show-stopping vegetation. The rain that falls drops from 100 feet above the floor, and produces one of the most show-stopping attractions for guests.   The waterfall is housed in a giant greenhouse-style enclosure and provides a wonderful home for the spiraling walkways that'll keep you captivated the whole way through.   Address: 18 Marina Gardens Drive Singapore   Open daily from 9am-9pm. 8. Head over to the Science Centre and brush up on your knowledge No, heading to a Science Centre doesn't have to feel like going to back to school. It can actually bring to your attention some of the advancements in the world that you might not be aware of.   It's a family day of fun as you head to Jurong East and get to explore interactive presentations, games and displays. The website will present you with an ever-changing list of exhibitions, with some of the most notable being the 'CSI Experience', the 'Human Body Experience' and the kinetic garden.   Address: 15 Science Centre Road, Singapore Open daily from 10am to 6pm.   MORE... 48 hours in Shanghai
Machu Pichu Inca Trail
The secret Inca Trail – Machu Picchu’s new route
Eschewing the tourist hordes, Craig Tansley treks a new secret Inca Trail route to Machu Picchu that’s as much about culture and luxury as it is hiking...
Hungary accomodation holidays danube
Review: Iberostar Grand Hotel Budapest
A budget-conscious Quentin Long checks in to a central hotel to find that affordable luxury can be found; you just can’t have it all.

Free Travel Brochures

Voyages To Antiquity - Grand Voyages 2017

Browse our carefully selected brochures from
across the world.
Voyages to Antiquity