Wednesday
Aug202014

Hip Neighborhoods: Yogyakarta

The heart-and-soul of Indonesia, Jogja, as it’s known to locals, boasts a thriving art scene, wonderful architecture, nearby beaches and a heady shopping scene, all in the shadow of the sultan’s palace. It’s a mash-up of old and new, from ancient temples to brand-new shopping malls. If you’re preparing to visit this vibrant city, plan on spending some time in the following neighborhoods:

Malioboro

Jalan Malioboro is the Main Street of Yogyakarta, and it approaches, though doesn’t quite arrive at, the sultan’s palace. This is one-stop-shopping at its finest, and the sidewalks are lined with merchant stalls hawking souvenirs, batik and silver. A lot of tourists are keen to skip Malioboro and purchase handicrafts from the artisan workshops on the outskirts of town. By all means, buy from the source, but that doesn’t mean you can’t browse the wares on Malioboro first. If you do decide to purchase gifts from a street stall, be prepared to bargain. It’s part of the experience, after all.

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Thursday
Aug072014

Big City Transit: Paris, France

Getting around is a pleasure in Paris—especially if you’re into cycling or cruising the River Seine. But in even more practical terms, this is a city that knows how to organize public transport. Between the metro, light rail, tram and bus lines, you’re able to get anywhere in the city center on relatively short notice. And in all honesty, even walking is a pleasure in a city that’s as chock full of attractions as this. 

For transport purposes, the city is divided into six different zones (though you’ll probably be spending most of your time in Zones 1 and 2). Metro tickets can purchased from vending machines in the stations and also provide access to buses and trams. Save money by buying them in bundles of ten (called a carnet), or you can even pick up daily or weekly passes. The Paris Visite pass is intended especially for tourists.

Without further ado, here’s a breakdown of Paris’ public transit options:

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Thursday
Jul172014

Five Great Things to do in Munich for Free

Bursting with Bavarian charm, Munich exemplifies Germany’s beer-drinking, sausage-eating, Lederhosen-wearing reputation, and while the rest of the country may resent this image, Munich proudly embraces its unique, vibrant heritage.

Although Munich is one of the most expensive cities in Germany, visitors need not turn their money purses inside out to have a good time; there are plenty of free activities to fill up your trip and give you a taste of the history and culture of the Bavarian capital.

Relax in the English garden

Munich’s Englischer Garten is one of the biggest and best urban parks in the world, and is easily accessible from the city center. The park provides the perfect retreat from the city, and locals flock here in the summer to get away and relax in the sun. But don’t worry: it’s easy to escape the crowds in this vast oasis of greenery which covers an area of 2.3 square miles.

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Wednesday
Jul022014

Kimchi – Korea’s most revered condiment

It’s safe to say that almost every Korean meal you will ever eat will include kimchi. Kimchi is a fermented dish that can be prepared with a choice of vegetables such as radish, cucumber, or cabbage. The vegetable is cured with salt and loaded with dry chili flakes, then left to sit for a few days until mild fermentation begins to occur, the level of bitterness being determined by how long the fermentation process is. When you eat a Korean meal, kimchi is served as what’s known as a banchan, or a small side dish. Despite being considered only a condiment to complement a main course, kimchi is often considered to be the national food of South Korea.

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Wednesday
Jun182014

Agoda: Top 10 Things to See in London

Founded by the Romans more than two thousand years ago, few cities are as rich in history, culture, and character as London. Home to revolutionary innovation, famous writers and musicians, leveled by war, and rebuilt into one of the world's leading financial centers, London truly is a city fit for a king (or queen). Start your exploration of the UK's capital at ten of our favorite spots.

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Wednesday
Jun042014

Top 3 People Watching Spots in Kyoto

Kyoto is a Japanese city unlike any other. Modern office towers and a city center sit next to one of the highest concentrations of UNESCO World Heritage Sites on earth, somehow in perfect harmony. Business people do their thing while monks tend to their temples and visitors marvel at it all. Perhaps this shouldn't be a surprise as most of the stunning temples that dot the city's landscape are all about peace and tranquility at their heart.

The city is also home to real geishas who manage to live highly traditional lives, going to and from in their kimonos as they have for thousands of years, seemingly unaware of the modern world around them. This is a place where different worlds literally intersect, collide, and work well together, creating a fantastically rich social canvas to watch go by. Kyoto is a fascinating city, but also a wonderful spot to slow down, take a seat, and watch its people live their lives. Here are three of our favorite spots to get a sense of the social fabric of this most traditional of Japanese cities and watch its people live their lives.

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Wednesday
May212014

Big City Transit: Sydney, Australia


Sydney is a world-class city with a variety of public transport options you’ll need in motion. The offerings are a little bit underwhelming (though entirely adequate), with no dedicated underground service and LRT routes that keep opening, closing and opening again along new arteries. While you may hear locals complaining about the rising specter of traffic or a confounding shortage of taxis, the truth is that visitors don’t really feel the pinch when it comes to Sydney’s public transit woes. By all rights, the city has you covered via road, rail and sea.

If you're planning a go-wherever-you-feel-like tour of Sydney vs. a more regimented itinerary, you’ll almost certainly save money with the MyMulti Day Pass. Pay a flat rate and enjoy 24 hours’ access to all of the following:

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Wednesday
May072014

Florence – Five Top Highlights

It’s safe to say that Florence is one of the most amazing cities in all of Italy. Apart from the most popular reasons to visit Italy – to taste the food and gaze upon the architecture – there are plenty of spectacular sites and attractions around Florence that stimulate and charm the other senses.

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Wednesday
Apr232014

The Beaches of Bali

Bali is a big island with a long history of tourism and beaches that range from frenetic to lazy. Generally speaking, for the tropical idyll of powder-fine sands and calm seas you are probably on the wrong island (the Gilis might be more what you're looking for), but for surfing, diving, dining, dolphin spotting and enjoying coastal village culture, Bali is your place. The most popular and accessible beaches are those closer to Denpasar airport, at the bottom of the island.

Kuta

The birthplace of tourism in Bali, Kuta started out as primarily a surf spot. Still a popular destination for surfers – especially from Australia – the beach now draws an international crowd of all permutations. There's little observable "authentic" Balinese culture this close to the airport, but there's still a small-town charm in the area's narrow winding lanes, urban rice paddies, ramshackle shophouses and moped traffic jams. On this side of the island, the beaches are best from April to October when the monsoon is directed out to sea, rather than blowing debris up on shore.

The atmosphere on the beach changes depending on where you are along its five-plus kilometer span. It starts off crowded in the south, where Kuta's main shops, restaurants, bars and clubs are, and gets more peaceful the farther north you go. For affordable Bali accommodation Kuta is the best location – especially for younger independent travelers seeking to party with like-minded souls.

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Wednesday
Apr092014

Five Great National Parks: Australia

Australia’s diverse ecosystems are among its headlining attractions, and you could spend years just exploring the national parkland on this island continent. Of course, no one has time to see them all, so we’ve compiled a list of five great national parks in Australia. Just plan on doing a lot more than cooing over the adorable koalas (though, to be fair, there’ll be time for that, too).

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