URBAN TRAVELLER

There are plenty of things to do in Chicago that cater for those with champagne tastes or on a beer budget.  All it takes to save money while exploring things to do in Chicago is a little research and forward planning.

Use the Chicago City Pas

The Chicago city pass includes five of the most popular Chicago attractions at substantially discounted rates. See the Hancock Observatory (or Sears Tower), the Field Museum, Shed Aquarium, Adler Planetarium and Museum of Science & Industry plus Omnia. For around $98 for adults and $82 for children aged 4-11, you can save up to 53% of the regular ticket price to these top Chicago attractions.

Visiting Lincoln Park Zoo & Conservatory is one of the best things to do in Chicago, and the good news is that it is completely free. Established 140 years ago, the Lincoln Park Zoo is one of America’s most established zoos. The zoo contains a large collection of mammals, reptiles and amphibians, and birds from all over the world. There’s even an interactive farm house where visitors can learn about all things farm life, from bees and honey, to where milk comes from.  In the farm house, you can also participate in one of the many cooking classes.

Take advantage of museums and galleries free days.

Chicago is known for its museums and art houses. With some clever planning you’ll discover that many of the cultural things to do in Chicago offer free or discounted admission days. The museum of contemporary art is free all day, every Tuesday. The art institute of Chicago offers free admission on Thursdays after 5 pm in the evening. Additionally, the shed aquarium offers a series of free general admission days throughout the year.

Millennium Park

This is an expansive 24.5 acre park that opened in 2004. The park offers a multitude of free things to do in Chicago that centres on art, music, and architectural design. The crown fountain is an interactive display that pays homage to the use of gargoyles in fountains. The fountain has two 50-foot glass towers that have images of 1000 Chicago residents projected onto them. Water sprouts from the mouths of these images during most months of the year. Ongoing live music events and temporary art exhibitions are also showcased throughout the year.

Chicago luxury on a budget!

Chicago is an incredibly diverse city with more to see and do than you’d have time for in a month and it is an easy choice for a fun, memorable vacation. Choosing a luxury hotel in Chicago is easy, and depends on the location and ‘feels’ you’re after. For those looking for a cosmopolitan experience, staying at a hotel in downtown Chicago will give you easy access to everything the loo has to offer. From a night at the opera to days at the many art museums, you’ll be able to steep yourself in culture, and a downtown Chicago luxury hotel is definitely the way to go.

Travelling and exploring new cities is an important experience that should never be completely deleted from anyone’s budget. With so many intriguing cities just a few hours away by plane, it’s always possible to find a way to make it happen. Chicago with its two airports can be a great destination for those looking for a luxury vacation as well as a bargain trip.

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New Delhi, the capital of India, is full of attractions but is literally the food capital of India too. The mixing pot it has been for the past five centuries has provided it with a cuisine that is derived from many parts of the nation as well as the world. Diversity is second nature to all Indians and Delhi is the perfect example of the conglomeration of the nation.

Delhi, is a melting pot of various regional cultures with engrossing ancient monuments and heritage museums, vibrant performing arts scenes and some of the subcontinent’s yummiest places to eat. If you’ve only got a couple of days here, this article about Delhi things to see will help you make the most of it.

Don´t forget to visit the flea & street markets with miles of market vendors, that´s the place where you can get artefacts from all over India and you can shop and have a meal as well. One shop to visit if you don’t have much time is Dilli Haat, here you find lovely things, good quality and low prices.

India´s capitol is chock full of restaurants to explore, but of course there are so many amazing things to do and see in Delhi.

Presenting to you the various destinations in Delhi under various budgets (Budgets quoted are approximate only, and are for a meal for two.):

* $5-10 or Rs. 300-600

A lot of places exist in Delhi for the people who are on a tight budget. If you are a non-vegetarian, then you must try Al-Bake in New Friends Colony.

The golgappas in Chitranjan Park are meant only for those with a strong stomach and a penchant for spice.

For a South Indian Extravaganza, you should try Sagar Ratna in Malviya Nagar.

But there are many other places you should go to as well.

Dilli Haat, in Aurobindo Marg, is an amalgamation of the various state foods of India, and is the showcase of the ethnic wear of the country as well.

One can also go to Chandni Chowk's famous "Paranthe Waali Gali" to try some really great North Indian food.

In Chandni Chowk itself there is another great treat you must try: the Raj Kachori sold near Ishar Sharfi.

** $10-20 or Rs. 600-1300

People who are not afraid to splurge a little extra can go to various places in Delhi that have great ambience and food as well. One can go to Pind Balluchi located in South Ex. for a great North Indian food experience.

For a great Punjabi style paranthas experience you could try "Not Just Paranthas" in GK2.

You can also try the Big Chill chain of restaurants located in Select Citywalk and Kailash Colony Market that serve delicious Italian food.

Tapas World in Defence Colony serves a wide array of cuisine for those who like variety.

And for those looking for a "dhaba food" experience, should try out Angrezee Dhaba located in GK2. Another "Dhaba" that really takes it up a notch is the Rang de Basanti Dhaba in South Ex 2. this one completely takes one by surprise (pleasant surprise!)

*** $20-40 or Rs. 1300-2600

Delhi is the capital city and you would find power emanating from the restaurants in this range. Owned by famous personalities like film stars, singers, and other P3 celebs, these restaurants are the definition of posh.

Let me start with one of the most "cool" lounges in New Delhi, literally. The Ice Lounge located in MGF Metropolitan Mall, Saket is exactly what its name suggests: a lounge made completely of ice. As you enter they make you put on heavy coats, and give you some vodka shots complimentary to beat the cold. The Lebanese and the Chinese that they serve is delicious.

For an amazing French cuisine one should also try out Rara Avis in GK2 whose Cordon Bleu and Savoyarde is especially recommended.

"Oh! Calcutta" in the International Trade Towers, Nehru Place is also a great destination if one wishes to have excellent Bengali as well as Sea Food. The ambience, decor and food of this place are amazing and you should not leave without trying their desserts for which West Bengal is famous.

Try and tell me what´s your favourite!

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Although Singapore it is the smallest country in Southeast Asia, it is one of the most beautiful and cleanest countries in the world. The combination of dream-like, exotic landscapes, imposing ancient temples and worship sites grant the island a mysterious, almost unreal feature, immersing travellers into a deep state of relaxation, appeasement and contemplation towards the wonders of architecture and nature.

As soon as you arrive in Singapore, you will be overwhelmed by the magnificent modern sites and ancient architectonic structures, emerging from a landscape that seems to be untouched by man. The observation deck of the Sands Sky Park makes you feel like you’re high above the clouds. The Botanical Garden and the Gardens By The Bay, as well as the beauty of the beaches found in Singapore making it a marvellous destination for tourists from all over the world.

Getting around in Singapore is a breeze.

The public transport system is well connected and even taxis are inexpensive and plentiful most times. Get a Singapore Tourist Pass for unlimited bus and train rides for 1 to 3 days. You can easily but one online, grab it one at Changi Airport or the Transit Link Ticket Offices.

Contrasting with the exotic landscapes, vast parks and ancient architectonic remains, imposing sky-scrapers, wide boulevards and modern monuments suggest the advanced civilization characteristic to Singapore, defying the struggled history of the country afflicted by many political conflicts in the past. With a population of around 4.5 million people, Singapore has a pronounced syncretic character, bringing together people of different ethnical groups and various religious beliefs.

Must See Attractions

1. The Gardens By The Bay might be a little too artificial for some hobby gardeners, but they are still worth checking out for the ingenuity and uniqueness of the design. The Flower Dome is huge and indeed the largest glass greenhouse in the world. So even non-gardening enthusiasts definitely find something of interest among the 380,000 plants here.

2. The Marina Bay Sands complex, or 'the boat building', is another Singapore icon that's worth taking a look at. To stay as a hotel guest is pricy, but you can catch the elevator to Ku De Ta (level 57), grab a cocktail and a spot on the balcony, and explore the amazing city sights.

2. One of the most ancient Singapore attractions is the temple Thian Hock Keng, referred to as the Temple of Heavenly Bliss. Thian Hock Keng is an ancient Chinese worship site, initially built in tribute to Ma Po Cho, the patron goddess of sailors, also known as the Mother of the Heavenly Sages. The temple was reconstructed in the 19th century by Tan Tock Seng and Tan Kim Seng, highly respected personalities in the history of Singapore. The entrance inside the temple is guarded by the statues of two imposing lions, symbols of strength and fertility in Asian culture. At the temple gates, “door gods” provide further protection against evil spirits, purifying temple visitors from malignant energies.

Singapore is a country with a very interesting culture, built on the scaffolds of different ancient traditions and beliefs. If you decide to visit Singapore, you will be amazed by the intriguing contrast between ancient and modern, old and new, tradition and libertinism.

3. Kampong Glam is the traditional Malay quarter of Singapore, and an interesting mix of old Malay culture and young modern local culture. It's also a nice area for a quiet stroll, taking in the sights, sounds and smells, and browsing the cute little cafes and shops.

4. If you like shopping, Orchard Road is a shopping mecca full of chain stores, but really is a sight to behold (even if just for a quick look). At a 2.2-kilometre stretch 22 malls and 6 department stores are located, most of them are connected by underground walkways, it's all a little bewildering, but go for it.

A trip to Singapore is undoubtedly a truly unforgettable experience for tourists from around the world!

Local food tip: Lau Pa Sat is a great place to start if you want to have a quintessential hawker experience. At Lau Pa Sat you'll find a huge range of choices (Chinese, Japanese, Indian, Seafood, Fast Food, Barbecue, Asian, Thai, Korean, Vietnamese, Indonesian, Malaysian, Bangladeshi, and Vegetarian), such as dumplings, prata, chicken rice, fish ball noodles, and even pizza.

Hawker centres get very busy at peak meal times, so when you find a free table, reserve it by placing a packet of tissues. Then you are free to explore the stalls!

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Munich is a thriving city in southern Germany with a population of about 1,400,000 people who enjoy a high quality of life thanks to a thriving economy. Its main sources of income are from information technology, biotechnology, and publishing.

Exploring Munich On a Budget

If you’re exploring Munich on a budget avoid Munich´s Oktoberfest, which runs from late September to October.

During Oktoberfest the prices go way up and safety also goes way down. The best month to visit is in November. The weather in November is cold, so bring a Jacket. The weather for the rest of the year looks like this: Winter is from December to March. The coldest month being January freezing temperatures, do expect snow. Summer is from May until September. The hottest month is in July with an average temperature of 24.0 °C (75 °F). Expect sudden rainstorms during this time.

Cheap Accomodations and Travel

November is also the best time to find cheap accommodations. The Wombats City Hostel (located within 3 minutes from Bahnhof central station) is highly recommended and starts around 20 Euros a night. A family sized hotel starts at around 84 Euros a night. The cheapest form of travel is by train. Prices range from 2.50 to 5.20 Euros a ticket. If public transportation doesn’t excite you then the next best thing is bike travel. Call-A-Bike offers daily bike rentals for 5 Euros.

Must See Tourist Destinations

Like I said, there is a lot to see in Munich. The top tourist destinations are the Bavarian Castles. If you’re planning on seeing some Bavarian Castles and Palaces like the Nymphenburg Palace, then get a season pass. An annual pass for one person is 45 Euros. For 2 people the pass is 65 Euros. The passes are good for all locations. Normally each attraction is 15 Euros each per a day. The Bavarian Museum is only 1 Euro on Sundays Tuesdays are the best time to see a movie when tickets drop from 8 Euros to 5.9 Euros

Want to See Munich for Free?

If you’re looking for something free to do then there’s lots. The Munich walking tour is always free. Some places you can visit for free are Munich’s Church of Our Lady, Field Marshal’s Hall, Munich’s Residence Palace, Theatine Church, Viktualienmarkt, The English Garden, St. Peter’s Church, St. Michael’s Church, Dachau Concentration Camp, Deutsches Museum, and the Olympic Stadium.

When you’re done seeing the famous sites you can save money on food by avoiding the main tourist spots. Food prices for quick eats (kebab, gyros and bratwurst) start at 2 Euros. However the most affordable food can be found at the local markets.

I hope you enjoy your time in Munich on a budget.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Plans for a trip to Washington, D.C., any time soon? There are plenty of attractions to visit. However, with so many places to visit, it can be easy to miss out on the very best experiences possible. In order to make the most of your next vacation, here are the top 5 museums in the nation’s capital according to popular review sites such as TripAdvisor or Lonely Planet.

1. National Gallery of Art

The National Gallery of Art is often rated to be the number one museum to visit in the nation’s capital because of its extensive artwork collection and knowledgeable staff. With artwork from such artists as Rembrandt, Leonard da Vinci, Vincent van Gogh, and more, you will have plenty of pieces to admire.

For people that want to learn as much as they can about the artwork, tours are available at different times. The tours typically last about one hour and focuses on the history behind different pieces of work.

2. Smithsonian Institution Building

The Smithsonian Institution Building is world famous and consists of 15 specialty museums and affiliates. If you want to visit the Smithsonian, you may want to look into nearby Washington, D.C., hotels since you will need days to see everything the complex has to offer.

Within the Smithsonian, the National Air and Space Museum is considered to be the most popular of its museums. Visitors can see everything from the actual Wright’s Brothers’ 1903 Flyer to the Apollo Command Module Columbia from Apollo 11. If you only have a few hours to spend in Washington, D.C., the National Air and Space Museum will not disappoint.

3. Newseum

The Newseum is an excellent place to visit for people that want to learn about U.S. history from a journalistic point of view. With seven levels filled with various exhibits, there is plenty to explore. However, some of the content may not necessarily be suitable for children 10 and under.

4. Hillwood Museum & Gardens

If you love to learn about history and stroll beautiful gardens, the Hillwood Museum & Garden is for you. The site is actually the grand estate of the Post Cereal heiress, Marjorie Merriweather Post, and is home to beautiful gardens and Russian and French decorative arts. While there is much to see, the site is not particularly child friendly, so young families may not benefit as much as other visitors.

5. United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum is a site dedicated to educating people about the rise of Hitler’s Germany and the devastation of World War II. It is a powerful and emotionally draining site to visit, but is well worth the effort. With its passionate voice, the museum is geared more toward young visitors in order to best teach them that history should not be repeated. However, you better book tickets in advance due to the museum’s popularity.

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