The Best Sydney Restaurants For Most Spectacular Views

The city of Sydney is absolutely infatuated with food, celebrating celebrity chefs and creating incredible dining experiences for both locals and visitors. It should come as no surprise then that this city has capitalized on its natural asset, the incredible views it offers. Restaurants throughout the city have been built so diners can look out onto the Harbour, Opera House, beaches, and cityscape. From a revolving restaurant 47 floors up to one located a short ferry ride away; here are 8 Sydney restaurants with spectacular views.

8. Ormeggio at the Spit

This restaurant first opened its door in 2009 and has won too many awards to keep track of, making it not only one of the best restaurants in Sydney with a spectacular view, but also a spectacular menu and service team. The call themselves refined Italian dining and put a contemporary twist on traditional meals, taking things to a fine dining level. The restaurant is located inside the D’Albora Marina on the western side of The Spit, giving diners views of the impressive sunset over Middle Harbour.

Choose to dine either inside or out, both offering glimpses of the shimmering water and twinkling lights. Indulge in such menu items as carnaroli risotto, squid and mussel tagliolini and wagyu beef cheek. Rounded off by a wine list that features both local and international wines, there may be no better place to take in the sunset while eating a delicious meal than Ormeggio at the Spit.

Via Australian Sky

7. Aqua Dining

This elegant restaurant is located above the North Sydney Olympic Pool and offers stunning views of the impressive cityscape views in Sydney, with views that sweep from Luna Park to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Opera House. The venue is both modern and minimalist, with plenty of room for dinners, parties, and weddings. The executive chef here uses the freshest Australian ingredients to create an incredible Italian menu. This fine-dining restaurant is tucked under the Harbour Bridge, so close to the water it feels like you are in the harbor itself.

Diners can look past the bridge and see the perfectly framed Sydney Opera House. Open for lunch and dinner seven days a week, the chef here offers 2, 3 or 4 courses which include items such as chicken liver agnolotti, pumpkin custard, and lamb rump. Make sure to save room for the rhubarb, beetroot & chicha morada sorbet.

Via www.aquadining.com.au

6. Jonah’s

It may be a 45-minute drive north of Sydney but locals have been heading here for years, to this incredible restaurant located high up on the cliffs of Whale Beach. This award-winning restaurant features a modern menu with French influences and includes favorites such as Sydney Rock Oysters and 500g Dry Rubbed Aged Beef Rib Eye. In all actuality, the only thing that can take your eyes off of the view is the food itself.

The pristine dining room features floor-to-ceiling glass windows overlooking the sand, cliffs and the Pacific Ocean. If you feel like enjoying the outdoors, snag a seat on the more relaxed outdoor terrace balcony where lighter, grazing menu items are offered. Make sure to make a reservation and arrive before sunset to get the entire magical experience.

Via jonahs.com.au

5. O Bar and Dining

It is one of three revolving restaurants in the city and although many peg these restaurants as “touristy”, they do in fact offer the best 360-degree view of Sydney. O Bar and Dining is located 47 floors up and is both lofty and warm, offering patrons a fabulous bar and dining area. The creative cocktails are worth mentioning here and it is quite obvious that a spectacular team works behind the bar.

Whether you order off the menu or let the bartender choose, you certainly won’t be disappointed. The choice of entrees here range from fresh oysters to grilled steaks to hazelnut gelato and reach audiences from around the globe, blending ingredients from over the world in harmony. Don’t forget to look up at the stunning views of the Sydney Harbour as you slowly rotate by, taking in one of the best views of the city.

Via Venue – O Bar and Dining

4. Hugos Manly

It is hailed as having Sydney’s best pizza and this waterfront restaurant offers stunning views into Manly Wharf, looking back into the city. To get here, take a 30-minute ferry ride from Circular Quay and although you will only be 5 miles from Sydney, you will feel as though you are in a different world. Weekends can be extra busy here and we suggest heading during the week if you are looking to have a peaceful dinner taking in the skyline that stretches east.

Choose to sit inside or out, although we suggest outside to enjoy the smells and breeze off the water. The menu here consists of favorites such as the choc hazelnut pizza with ricotta, banana, icing sugar and vanilla gelato, as well as the slow-roasted roast lamb with potato, feta, olives, capsicum, and onion and chili pizza. Whether you are after a couple incredible cocktails or a full sit down meal, don’t miss out on this Sydney gem.

Via Dimmi

3. Opera Kitchen

It would not be a complete list of restaurants with spectacular views without the Opera Kitchen on it, offering postcard-perfect views of the CBD skyline, Circular Quay, and Sydney Harbour Foreshore. Diners will be perched under the most famous sails in the world, in a collection of different tables, chairs, and dining settings. The atmosphere here is casual and relaxed, a nice break from the fancy fine-dining restaurants that often offer up the best views.

It has been dubbed a “fantasy food court” as there is truly something here for everyone, with over 60 creative dishes. Friends, families, theatergoers, and professionals are all welcome at this spot. Whether you are grabbing a bit before the theatre, having late night wine with your girlfriends or looking for a spot to take incredible pictures; this kitchen fits the bill.

Via Gets Ready

2. Café Sydney

It is renowned for its “million dollar” view, located on the rooftop of Customs House in Circular Quay and giving visitors spectacular views of the Sydney Harbour Bridge and Circular Quay. There are many places to choose from in terms of where to sit here, the breathtaking outdoor terrace, stunning cocktail lounge or the more relaxed indoor dining room. It also happens to be world-renowned for its incredibly fresh seafood menu, second to none in the city.

You will find professionals closing deals here, as well as beautifully dressed diners soaking up the view and people celebrating special occasions. This restaurant promises exceptional food, service and a creative wine menu, all designed with you in mind. Don’t miss out on trying the freshly shucked oysters, grilled swordfish and if you are with friends or family, make sure to indulge in the delectable seafood platter.

Via Sydney Cafes

1. Aria

This award-winning restaurant is located on the very edge of the Sydney Harbour, giving diners an incredible view of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge, two of the most sought-after landmarks in the city. This restaurant has been in business just about 15 years and has held strong in being one the “the” restaurants to eat at in the city. This iconic restaurant comes at a high price, although many will say that an experience here is most definitely worth it. The menu can be ordered in two, three or four courses and promises not to disappoint hungry patrons.

Make sure to try the pink snapper with mussels, sashimi of yellow fish tuna or the miso baked eggplant, all popular and delicious choices. As an added touch, the tables have all been so strategically placed diners almost feel as though they can reach out and touch the iconic landmarks they are looking at.

Via YouTube

The 10 Best Cities in the World 2015

More than 128,000 readers of Condé Nast Traveler voted for their favorite cities in the world outside of the U.S. and the votes have been tallied. It should come as no surprise that the major cities such as Rome, London and Paris made the list, thanks to their iconic landmarks, fantastic cuisine and abundance of things to see and do. There are a couple of sneaky cities that made this list, ones that are not obvious at first but once you dig deeper it becomes abundantly clear why they are favorites. Discover the top 10 best cities in the world as of 2015 according to the readers of Condé Nast Traveler:

10. London, England

It is one of the world’s most visited cities and offers an abundance of things to see and do for people of any age. London is a mash of wide-open spaces and chaotic cityscape, a combination that seemingly works for this city. Central London is where you will find the awesome galleries and museums, and the most iconic of sites, the double decked buses and the famous phone booths. The landmarks such as Big Ben, Tower Bridge and the London Eye enthrall visitors as does Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park and Hampton Court Palace with their beautiful green spaces. There are a ton of restaurants, bars and clubs to choose from when the sun goes down, along with friendly locals. Arts, culture, history- you will find it all here in this city that rates as one of the best 10 cities in the world in 2015.

elenaburn / Shutterstock.com
elenaburn / Shutterstock.com

9. Kyoto, Japan

Step back into time when you visit Japan’s ancient city of Kyoto where quiet temples, sublime gardens and colorful shrines make up the landscape. There are said to be over 1000 Buddhist temples found in this city and it is here where visitors can appreciate the masterpieces of religious architecture. The city is surrounded by mountains on three sides which offer incredible hiking. Don’t be surprised when wandering the streets to find a secret temple or unique shop that you may have passed by and not noticed, as it seems secrets lie throughout this city. A large range of excellent restaurants are located throughout the city, most housed in traditional wooden buildings where you can gaze over incredible gardens while you eat. Experience the ancient times of Japan as you wander the streets, stopping to chat with friendly locals, visit the ancient specialty shops such as pickle vendors or tea merchants and ending your day with a soak in the local public bathhouse. It will be clear why this is one of the best cities in the world.

TungCheung / Shutterstock.com
TungCheung / Shutterstock.com

8. Bruges, Belgium

Entering this city is to be transported into the middle of a fairy-tale that is based in a medieval town. Cobblestone streets, market squares with soaring towers and historic churches at every turn help make this one of the most picturesque cities in the world. Built between the 12th and 15th century, it remains one of the best preserved medieval cities. Dreamy canals link the market squares, nighttime brings evening floodlighting and in the spring the daffodils cover the courtyards. It is one of the most visited cities as well, due to its overwhelming beauty. Visiting in the winter is the best away to avoid the throngs of tourists, and although cold and icy, there is something magical about this medieval city when it’s covered in snow. Make sure you spend at least a couple of days exploring here.

Emi Cristea / Shutterstock.com
Emi Cristea / Shutterstock.com

7. Prague, Czech Republic

This beautiful historic town is worth visiting for the beer alone- kidding, sort of. Arguably, it does boast the best beer in Europe but there are so many other reasons that this city was voted number 7 as the best in the world. It’s maze of cobbled streets and hidden courtyards are a paradise for those who love to wander throughout the city, exploring ancient chapels, awe-inspiring gardens and hidden pubs with no tourists in site. The landmarks are truly spectacular here, from the 14th century stone bridge to the hilltop castle to the lovely lazy river that inspired one of the most beautiful pieces of 19th century classical music, Smetana’s Moldau. Quirky doesn’t even begin to describe this city, with its nuclear hidden bunkers, cubist lampposts and interesting fountains. Marvel at the Bohemian art, discover the stunning architecture and order a beer by simply placing a beer mat on the table.

Prague, Czech Republic

6. Rome, Italy

Italy’s eternal city continues to enthrall visitors from all over the globe. Rome is known for its history, fine art and incredible food. There are endless sights to take in including The Colosseum, Pantheon and St. Peter’s Basilica. There are extraordinary restaurants to eat at, cafés to drink at and tiny local shops down alley ways that serve up the best pizza and pasta you have ever had in your life. Masterpieces by Michelangelo and fountains by Bernini are strewn throughout the city as well as towering ancient churches overflowing with beautiful stained glass and ornate decorations. Whether you are a history buff that can spend weeks wandering through this city, or a foodie who wants to enjoy local wine and fine dining, or someone who just wants to experience an incredible city, full of locals with a gruff sense of humor, Rome should be at the top of your list.

Vatican Museums Rome

5. Paris, France

It has established itself as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, boasting iconic landmarks, cobblestone streets, historic buildings and charming sidewalk cafes. There would be no point in visiting this city if you are planning on skipping the most iconic landmark, the Eiffel Tower. Make sure not to miss the other “big” sights though, such as the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame cathedral, and the impressive Louvre. Finding a place to grab a bite to eat here is almost overwhelming as it’s reputation for cuisine is outstanding. Whether you are looking for a neighborhood bistro or an epic fine dining experience, every single establishment here prides itself on it’s food and wine. Paris also happens to be one of the great art repertoires of the world, with scores of museums throughout the city, from the famous Louvre to the smaller ones boasting contemporary and modern art. There is no shortage of places to discover in this incredible city.

cesc_assawin / Shutterstock.com
cesc_assawin / Shutterstock.com

4. Sydney, Australia

It is Australia’s biggest city and even after spending a month here it can feel as though you have barely scratched the surface of what it has to offer. The city can be loud, in your face and chaotic offering crazy firework displays, drag queen clubs, hip bars, live music and no shortage of parties to attend. Sydney can also be wild in terms of nature, with National Parks bordering the city and working their way into it. Native critters show up in unsuspecting places and parks compete with skyscrapers and suburbs. Spend endless hours at the beach, specifically Bondi Beach, one of the world’s greatest beaches. Dine at lively restaurants, visit the Sydney Tower for spectacular views from the glass platform or spend hours’ people watching from one of the outdoor cafes.

Bondi Beach Sydney Australia

3. Vienna, Austria

Packed with history, host to great nightlife, full of incredible restaurants and home to quiet tucked away corners, Vienna is a city that begs to be explored. It is one of the most musical cities in the world in part due to the great number of composers and musicians that were born here, lived here and worked here. Visitors to the city should count on taking in the incredible music at one of the famous music venues such as the Staatsoper and Musikverein. Dining in the city is always a treat with its bistro pubs serving up delicious brews and wine, or in creative restaurants where chefs are taking things to a new culinary level. An incredible transportation system makes it easy to get around, the city is known for being incredible safe and the locals are both welcoming and friendly.

volkova natalia / Shutterstock.com
volkova natalia / Shutterstock.com

2. Budapest, Hungary

This city is rich in history, natural cites and unique cuisine, drawing visitors from all over the world. A famous hallmark of Budapest is their hot springs that surround the city, making bathhouses one of the most popular activities in the city. Soak your troubles away in one of the many that are located within the city. Budapest is often called “The Paris of the East” due to its stunning architecture including Roman ruins and the Buda Castle which was built in 1265. Don’t count on just indulging in goulash, there is actually a lot more to Hungarian food and Budapest has the reputation of being a food capital, offering incredible dining options along with excellent wine. Discover a city whose history is almost too complex to understand, a city that is rebuilding with hope and reconciliation, a city that will leave you feeling in awe of it.

pavel dudek / Shutterstock.com
pavel dudek / Shutterstock.com

1. Florence, Italy

Despite Rome and its incredible architecture, and Milan- fashion capital of the world; the best city in Italy and the world in 2015 is actually Florence. Some say you can visit time and time again and not see it all. This city is romantic, magnetic and busy, home to incredible world-class art, food and wine. Don’t miss the iconic Uffizi Gallery or the modern-art museum- Museo Novecento, as well as the Palazzo Vecchio, the stunning fortress palace. Head to the maze of streets in San Lorenzo for a food lover’s paradise or to the 400-year-old pharmacy that still sells traditional elixirs in the central square of Piazza di Santa Maria Novella. The narrow streets of this city tell a thousand tales, through its historic buildings, through the food and wine, and it’s no wonder why it’s number one on this list.

Florence Italy

The 10 Most Beautiful Views in Australia

Australia is a vast country/continent rich with scenic grandeur on a magnificent scale. From Queensland to Western Australia, Tasmania to the Northern Territory, splendor is always on display. Although this is only a small sample of what the country has to offer, here are arguably the 10 most beautiful views in Australia:

10. Mount Wellington Peak, Tasmania

The gorgeous state of Tasmania has many magnificent views to take in but one of the most rewarding is the view from the top of Mount Wellington. At its peak, Mount Wellington stands over 4,000 feet above sea level and provides spectacular views over the capital city of Hobart, the Derwent River and the World Heritage Protected Mount Faulkner Conservation Area to the west.

Mount Wellington Peak, Tasmania

9. Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

These gravity-defying rock formations are located in Karlu Karlu/Devils Marbles Conservation Reserve, between the towns of Tennant Creek and Alice Springs in Australia’s Northern Territory. These large granite boulders have been shaped by weather and erosion and many are naturally precariously balanced on top of one another, forming larger rock formations. Some have even been split clean in half by natural forces. The Karlu Karlu site has great cultural and spiritual significance to the Aboriginal owners of this land, making the view even more special.

Devils Marbles, Northern Territory

8. Sunset at Mindil Beach, Darwin

Some of the most spectacular Australian sunsets can be witnessed from Darwin’s Mindil Beach as the sun dips below the Arafura Sea. Beautiful hues of pink, orange, blue and purple paint the sky each night while the beach setting of sandy shores and palm trees swaying in the breeze set the ultimate tropical tone. From April to October you can enjoy the festive nightlife of the famous Mindil Beach Sunset Markets which celebrate the gorgeous view each night.

Mindil Beach, Darwin

7. Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay, Sydney

It’s a view known the world round as one of the most popular and iconic shots of Australia. The famous Sydney Harbour and Circular Quay can be best experienced from a birds eye view, one you can experience yourself if you have the nerve to climb 143 meters above sea level to the top of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It may be a nerve racking climb for some but it’s guaranteed to be an amazing view that you’ll remember for a lifetime.

Sydney Harbour

6. Uluru at Sunrise, Ayer’s Rock

There’s something magical about witnessing the first beam of sun hitting the big red rock as dawn breaks in the Australian outback. Uluru is a deeply spiritual place for the Aboriginal people of the area and it’s well worth a visit to see the colors of this monolith change over the course of the day depending on the light conditions. Personally we think sunrise is the most impressive when the whole rock is glowing red.

Uluru at Sunrise

5. The Pinnacles, Western Australia

This is one Australian view that’s eerily beautiful. These limestone formations are known as The Pinnacles and can be found in Western Australia’s Nambung National Park. One theory of how they formed is that long ago they were formed from seashells which were broken down into limestone sand which blew inland forming the dunes that can be seen today.

The Pinnacles, Western Australia

4. McLaren Vale, South Australia

This impressive wine region of Australia lies just 35 kilometers south of the city of Adelaide in South Australia. This internationally renowned wine region was first planted with vines in 1838 and has some vines over 100 years old that are still producing today. The lush rolling hills of vibrant greenery provide a picture perfect setting to rival the most beautiful views in the country.

McLaren Vale, South Australia

3. Cape Byron Lighthouse, Byron Bay

This next view is not only beautiful but significant; the Cape Byron Lighthouse is the most easterly point in the entire country. Each year more than 500,000 people visit the lighthouse which rises up above Byron Bay offering spectacular views of the bay, the beach and even an opportunity for whale watching when the season is right.

Lighthouse, Byron Bay

2. The 12 Apostles, Victoria

Who knew limestone could be so beautiful? The golden sand and rolling turquoise water probably helps out this magnificent view but the star… or should we say stars of this scene are the giant limestone stacks known as the 12 Apostles. Located near Port Campbell in Victoria, just off the Great Ocean Road, the apostles were formed by erosion. Over the years some of the stacks have fallen, with the most recent collapse in 2005. Today eight Apostles still stand on the shores providing a most breathtaking view.

12 Apostles

1. Whitehaven Beach, Whitsundays

For many, the typical Australian image is of a beautiful beach with soft sand and blue waters all around. The 7 kilometer stretch of sand known as Whitehaven Beach on Whitsunday Island is about as beautiful of a beach view as one can get anywhere in the country. The beach is known for it’s powder white sands which are 98% pure silica giving it the signature bright white color. The sand at Whitehaven also doesn’t retain heat meaning that walking barefoot on the beach is comfortable even at the hottest points of the day. Whitehaven can only be accessed by boat making this a pristine picture worthy of any postcard.

Nadezda Zavitaeva / Shutterstock.com
Nadezda Zavitaeva / Shutterstock.com

Top 10 Destinations Around the World for Homestays

A homestay can be an incredibly rewarding experience both for the homeowners and visitors. Typically, students use homestays as safe, affordable accommodations when traveling on a tight budget. But it’s also a great way to practice language skills in a comfortable environment and receive insider information on the best areas to explore in their travel destination—homestays are especially suited to solo female travelers. There are homestays all around the world to suit almost any type endeavor, from remote villages to vivacious cities, the following are 10 alluring destinations ripe with homestay options ideal for enjoying a fulfilling sojourn abroad.

10. Yuvacali, Turkey

In Turkey’s southeast region, in the village of Yuvacali, visitors receive a raw experience of what daily life is like for local Kurdish families. Traditional life means hard work for families living here, most only survive off a few dollars a day. Though struggling financially, these families offer a culturally rich experience for anyone interested in a unique holiday. A handful of families in the small village offer accommodation under the starry skies of Yuvacali in a nomadic canvas tent adorned with vibrant paintings or in a traditional, mud/brick house. Guests help out on the farm, learn to cook traditional dishes on an open hearth, and enjoy swapping stories with locals. This is no five-star hotel (in fact, it’s far from it) and families here, though extremely friendly, present an opportunity to work together, not offer hotel-like services. If you’re up for the challenge of helping out, Yuvacali has plenty to offer any curious, open-minded traveler.

Village in Turkey

9. Tighza Valley, Morocco

Throughout Morocco, there an abundant number of opportunities to experience a homestay with a local family. One particularly magical place is within the breathtaking Tighza Valley where many Berber families open their homes to foreign visitors, offering simple, clean rooms within family owned homes. The arid valley, dusted with cacti and leafy green foliage, is within the high-reaching Atlas Mountains, far from the turbid, bustling cities of Fez, Marrakesh, Casablanca, and Rabat. This is rural Moroccan life at its finest: simple and scenic. Within the valley, most guests take to the alpine trails, hiking throughout the valley and enjoying mountainous routes filled with endless snap-worthy scenes: Berber women cultivating fields, shepherds watching after flocks of goats and sheep, and boisterous children playing imaginative games. Life definitely happens at a slow pace, which is not for everyone, but the Berber people are exceptionally welcoming and on point with keeping guests occupied and well-fed.

Atlas Mountains, Morocco

8. Old Havana, Cuba

Becoming familiar with the words “casa particular” or “casa particulares” is a great advantage when traveling to Cuba for an independent holiday. The term means “private house”, and upon booking, will land you either a private home or room. The Cuban government issues special permits for renting out privately owned homes, or rooms in family homes, and they are advertised through bright blue signs out front with the words “Arrendador Divisa”, it’s a rental permit showing which casas are legal. Prices vary and depend on the travel season, area of Cuba, amenities offered, square footage, and so on. One of the best places for casas is in Old Havana, where friendly owners give a healthy measure of gossip and tips on the lay of the land. You’ll get great insider information on Old Havana’s top music clubs, festivals, and bars, and most often the owner will treat you just like family.

Old Havana, Cuba

7. Lisbon, Portugal

In Portugal, “Solares de Portugal” is an interesting idea introduced to bolster tourism within houses laden with charm and unique character, calledTurismo de Habitação”. The concept is aimed at preserving rich heirlooms of the country’s cultural and architectural heritage. This type of accommodation is not a guesthouse or hotel, but a genuine homestay. Accommodation comes in various forms such as rustic farmhouses, elegant estates, and grand country homes restored to their original luster for welcoming guests from around the world. Most homestays can be found in Lisbon, but others are in Porto, Faro, the southwest islands, and other small Portuguese cities and towns. The Solares exemplify hundreds of years of Portuguese culture and history (a large part of the magnificent 17th and 18th centuries manors are owned by descendents of the original owners). Taken quite seriously as a representation of their country, the Portuguese are dedicated to providing exceptional experiences to foreign visitors.

Breakfast in Lisbon Portugal

6. Amazon Rainforest, Brazil

If you’ve ever had the desire to explore the deepest reaches of the Amazon Rainforest, a Brazilian homestay could be an idyllic experience. Easily planned in Manaus, you can book a trip and be paired up with an indigenous family. You’ll score a room in an eco-lodge or camp under the forest canopy—it’s entirely up to you. Lodges are simply constructed from locally sourced, natural building materials and designed in traditional style. Think “fancy” thatch hut with some modern conveniences and you’re not far off. Ideal for intrepid spirits, planning a trek through the lush, magical landscape is authentic, eye-opening, and lands you where wildlife is richest. Friendly indigenous guides offer a healthy dose of insight on the rain forest ecosystem and teach guests survival tips in a natural environment. You’ll also be treated to some amazing local eats and be privy to some Amazonian cooking secrets too.

Amazon Eco Lodge

5. Lake Titicaca, Peru

Peru is home to some of the greatest archaeological treasures in the world and exhibits some truly fascinating history. The entire country has something to offer: the finest specimens of Inca ruins, Pacific Coast beaches, Amazon River rafting, sand-boarding, incredible national parks, and magnificent cross-country train rides. There are a host of options for budget accommodation in Peru, but a homestay experience offers more; enjoy a vacation with a ton of insight into one of the most culturally and historically prosperous countries in the world. There are several homestays around Lake Titicaca (the highest lake in existence) providing authentic accommodations with the added value of a tour of the floating reed islands, local dining and Andean musical evenings, and a look at pre-Inca ruins and centuries-old agricultural terraces. If city living seems more interesting, there are many host families in colorful Cusco and in the capital city of Lima.

Lake Titicaca, Peru

4. Brest Oblast, Belarus

There are a large number of homestays and farmstays in the Brest region of Belarus, a cosmopolitan town situated in the southwest bordering Poland. Here you’ll find historical monuments, war memorials, charming galleries, and Belovezhskaya Pushcha National Park. If you’re traveling from the capital city of Minsk, prepare to disembark into a town far more influenced by its EU neighbors than the Soviets. Cozy, comfortable Brest homestays are run by friendly families eager to show guests surrounding attractions, cook traditional meals, and facilitate independent outings including hiking and fishing trips, cycling tours, and other outdoor pursuits. Visitors will find that Belarusians have an innate love for the natural world so expect to spend quality time exploring surrounding landscapes. Most homes are two stories and have anywhere from two to six bedrooms with shared bathrooms. Some sport saunas, outdoor fireplaces, canoes, and fishing boats so check amenities thoroughly.

Brest, Belarus

3. Brisbane, Melbourne & Sydney, Australia

Australia has scores of homestay organizations typically helping students find a safe and comfortable place to live while studying abroad. Many programs are government endorsed, aimed at helping students acclimate in a healthy and safe environment while providing a reliable place to practice their studies. Though those scenarios are typical, homestays are also an option for anyone wishing to travel in Australia while staying with local hosts. There’s a dizzying array of options in Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney along the southeastern stretch and even more in the west and northern territories. Australian homestays are popular because of their relatively inexpensive rates compared to hotels while also offering an authentic local experience in the Land Down Under. If you’re using an organization to book accommodation, succinctly communicate your desired experience; some families offer more of a bed and breakfast whilst others set aside ample time to spend with guests.

Circular Quay Sydney Australia

2. Sa Pa, Vietnam

If Southeast Asian culture is appealing, there are Vietnamese families offering homestays across the country. From lively cities packed with people and an endless flurry of activity, to verdant farmlands and rice paddies where slow and steady is the pace, what’s up for grabs in Vietnam is fairly unique to many other countries. In the old town of Sa Pa in the Hoàng Liên Son Mountains there are stunning agricultural terraces that define the landscape where host families wait with open arms; Vietnamese people are extremely welcoming, hospitable, and chatty. Families embrace you, ply you with food and drink, introduce you to all the neighbors. They will even show you around the area. There’s almost no beating the incredible pride Vietnamese people feel when hosting foreigners. Enjoy Sa Pa’s beauty through climbing and hiking within the mountains, exploring hill tribe markets, volunteering at the local school—there are plenty of fulfilling activities available.

Sa Pa, Vietnam

1. Kerala, India

Tucked into the southwest tip of India is delightful Kerala, a world away from the typical, chaotic India. A lovely coastal town nestled on the shores of the Arabian Sea, Kerala is a laid back plexus of gleaming backwaters and flourishing tea and spice covered slopes. Tame your inner wild child with a hefty dose of Kerala, breathe in the salty air, gaze upon peaceful temples, and smell the endlessly spiced aromas. Festivals and celebrations, wild elephants, and exquisite boathouses will reel you in. Most accommodations are heritage homes, unique in architectural design with anywhere from one to twenty-plus rooms led by easygoing locals for nominal fees—choose a smaller abode for a more personal cultural exchange. Hosts are easygoing, offer rides to and from town and usually provide bicycles for exploring. Sanctuaries and synagogues, beaches and bayous; Kerala is an arresting blend of attractions with piles of things to do and see.

Kerala India

The 14 Longest Non-stop Flights in The World

Flying from one end of the world to the other takes a long time, but luckily for passengers it is taking much less time with the introduction of non-stop flights. What used to be a two-day journey from New York to Hong Kong can now be done in just about 16 hours. Engineers have worked hard over the years to come up with innovative ways to make airplanes go faster and longer distances, without having to stop. Although these 16 hour journeys may take a long time, there are plenty of on-board amenities to keep passengers happy. Discover 14 of the longest non-stop flights in the world, and why flying long distance is easier than ever.

14. Chicago to Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific

Residents of the windy city can take a 15.5 hour journey all the way to the bustling metropolis of Hong Kong, a journey that covers 7,793 miles. Cathay Pacific is known around the world as one of the favorite airlines to fly and it’s no wonder they now have daily flights, as well as an extra direct flight three times a week between these two cities. While their planes don’t have the fully enclosed suites in first class, they still offer one of the best products out there for passengers who want to fly in style. Expect to spend the 15 hours sleeping in the ultra comfortable beds, in the provided pajamas while watching an unlimited amount of movies and television shows. One thing to note about this flight, if you do need something make sure to press the call button as the flight staff like to leave you alone as much as possible to get the rest that most people want.

Eric Hui / Shutterstock.com
Eric Hui / Shutterstock.com

13. New York to Taipei: EVA Air

This 7,808 mile route started back in 2011 and has only grown in popularity, despite the fact that it takes a whopping 15.5 hours to reach Taiwan’s booming capital from the Big Apple. Passengers aboard this flight will have three options of classes from regular Economy to Elite Premium Economy to the much loved Royal Laurel Class. Taking a flight and sitting in the Royal Laurel Class is unlike any other 15.5 hour flight as it offers one of the most comfortable sleeping areas. Each seat can convert to a two-meter long fully flat bed complete with lush linens and pillows. Added touches such as the shoe cabinet, retractable armrest and closet space just add to the experience. In-flight dining complete with champagne and fresh lobster are what passengers will find here. Economy passengers will still be subject to delicious dining, comfortable reclining seats and touch screen entertainment.

Taipei 101, Taiwan

12. Toronto to Hong Kong: Air Canada

It is the longest flight originating out of Canada and sits at 7,810 miles and takes a total of 15.5 hours to complete as passengers make their way from Toronto to Hong Kong. The aircraft for this long flight is Air Canada’s Boeing 777 that is complete with the loved Executive Pod Business Class cabins. With 48 of these classic pods, passengers can lie-flat, watch their own personal touch screen TV’s and charge any electronic devices in their personal power outlets. There is only the choice of economy and business class on these aircrafts but economy passengers can expect a wider seat pitch than others, a power outlet in-between the seats and access to the in-flight entertainment. Enjoy a hot meal with complimentary wine and spirits as you take the long journey from Toronto to Hong Kong.

Top Cities 2013 - Hong Kong

11. Los Angeles to Melbourne: United

What was once a route run by Virgin Australia, who moved its fleet to its L.A-Brisbane route, is now a route run by United, and this 7,921 mile journey takes about 16 hours. United flies its Boeing 787 Dreamliner which seats 252 passengers divided into three classes; Business, Economy and Economy Plus. Passengers in business class can expect seats that transform into lie-flat beds, an ottoman in front of the seat featuring storage and in-seat power with USB and reading light. Passengers aboard this 16 hour flight will have access to 150 hours of entertainment including movies, RV programs, music and games. Service with a smile, friendly passengers and enough options to keep you occupied for those 16 long hours, makes flying with United both easy and pleasant.

American Spirit / Shutterstock.com
American Spirit / Shutterstock.com

10. Dallas to Doha on Qatar Airways

This 7,931 mile journey takes passengers from Dallas, Texas to Doha, a new destination in the gulf region for Qatar passengers. This route debuted in July 2014 after the success of the Houston-Doha route that has been operating since 2008. Passengers will pass the 16.5 hours by using the awesome on-board entertainment system, getting some shut eye with the provided sleep mask or upgrading to the generous Business Class seats. This trip doesn’t come cheap though and passengers should expect to pay around $2,000 for a round trip economy ticket. It also happens to be one of the last of the 7,000 mile journeys on this list

Ivica Drusany / Shutterstock.com
Ivica Drusany / Shutterstock.com

9. New York to Guangzhou: China Southern

China’s biggest airline launched this flight in 2014, hoping to attract transit customers coming from other countries who will connect in Guangzhou. The journey from New York to Guangzhou is just over 8,000 miles and takes about 16 hours to complete. Along with the launch of this service came the delivery of their new 777-300ER aircraft that can carry 309 passengers in the four-class configuration. Featuring First Class, Business Class, Premium Economy and Economy, passengers now have an array of options on how they want to travel. Although you won’t find the same luxuries as Emirates, for example, there are still plenty of in-flight options, power outlets and food and drink choices to keep passengers happy. This route also happens to be very budget friendly and those looking to score a great deal, should look at China Southern.

Canton Tower in Guangzhou, China

8. Houston to Doha: Qatar Airways

It takes a total of 16.5 hours and covers over 8,047 miles taking passengers from Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport to the megacity of Doha, on the cusp of the Persian Gulf. Luckily this Boeing 777 comes loaded with options such as the flat-bed first class suites, generous economy seats and flat seats in business class. Every passenger here is treated to an amenity kit complete with eyeshades, socks and other essentials. The acclaimed Oryx Entertainment system is available to all passengers on this flight. Most likely this plane ride will be full of business travelers as they fly from the oil-rich Houston area to the Middle East. For six years this flight has been in operation and demand continues to grow for this airline which operates 131 planes to over 137 destinations worldwide.

JPRichard / Shutterstock.com
JPRichard / Shutterstock.com

7. New York to Hong Kong: Cathay Pacific

On this flight from New York to Hong Kong, passengers will actually fly close to the North Pole, before descending back down south over Russia Siberia. At 8,072 miles, this journey takes about 16 hours. Cathay Pacific happens to be one of the best airlines to fly in Economy Class, good news for those not wanting to shell out big bucks for Business or First Class. Economy seats feature extra width and legroom compared to other airlines as well as a plethora of in-flight entertainment options. Small touches such as a printed menu with food options the same as in First Class, a USB and power outlet, along with a well-designed seat back, makes flying this 16 hour journey easy!

New York

6. Dallas to Hong Kong: American Airlines

It is one of the most recent routes on this list as it only launched in May 2015 and now features the incredible Boeing 787 Dreamliner aircraft. The journey from Dallas to Hong Kong is approximately 8,123 miles and takes about 16.5 hours. The custom designed Dreamliner aircraft is unique to American and offers Business Suites with fully adjustable lie-flat seats and direct aisle access for all. Every passenger here will enjoy the onboard Wi-Fi, power outlets and personal in-flight entertainment with up to 250 movies, 180 TV programs and 350 audio selections. It became the first flight from Dallas to China as a whole and we expect it won’t be the last.

Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock.com
Ivan Cholakov / Shutterstock.com

5. Houston to Dubai: Emirates

This 8,168 mile journey from Houston to Dubai takes about 16. 5 hours, but for those oil tycoons who can afford to fly in style, it certainly won’t feel that long. First class brings “do not disturb” signs, personal mini-bars and on-demand dining. Business Class features privacy screens and leather seats that transform into beds, complete with a built-in massage feature. Even in economy, passengers are treated to the onboard entertainment system that features up to 1,500 channels of content. It is easy to book a seat on this flight as Emirates offers two connections between the cities daily, often at bargain rates at just over $1,000 round trip. This is one long journey that you may want to splurge on First Class, trust us, you won’t regret it.

Sophie James / Shutterstock.com
Sophie James / Shutterstock.com

4. Los Angeles to Dubai: Emirates

This 16.5 hour flight that covers over 8,339 miles flies from one end of the globe to the next, although you wouldn’t know it on arrival as these two cities both boast deep blue seas, luxurious hotels, fashion malls and miles upon miles of beaches. The aircraft used here is a double-decker A380 which features 14 First Class suites, 76 flat beds in Business Class and almost 400 seats in Economy. Premium fliers also get access to the exclusive upstairs cocktail lounge. Emirates is typically known for its over-the-top amenities on their flights and expect thousands of entertainment choices, a generous baggage allowance and both Wi-Fi and mobile phone connectivity on-board. If you happen to be taking this flight in first class, amenities range from bottles of Dom Perignon, in-flight shower spa sessions and 27-inch flat screen TV’s.  You may never want to leave this aircraft!

Sorbis / Shutterstock.com
Sorbis / Shutterstock.com

3. Los Angeles to Abu Dhabi: Etihad

The third longest non-stop flight in the world also takes just over 16.5 hours and covers over 8,390 miles; connecting the desert boom town of Abu Dhabi with L.A. This flight is one of the most comfortable on this list though as Etihad offers generous legroom in all of its classes. Passengers will choose from three different classes including the award-winning Diamond First Class suites, Business Class flatbed seats and Economy class. Expect 6-foot reclining beds and 23-inch flat-screen TV’s in the First Class suites as well as your own personal closet. For families that are flying this route, they may want to take advantage of the “Flying Nanny” program, where parents are given a break from their little ones. Wherever you sit on this plane, expect first-class service, excellent in-flight entertainment and a lot of hours in the air.

Lukas Rebec / Shutterstock.com
Lukas Rebec / Shutterstock.com

2. Atlanta to Johannesburg: Delta

Anyway you cut it, it is a long way from the United States to South Africa and at 16.5 hours, this flight covers over 8,439 miles. The 777 Boeing planes that are used to make this long flight provide awesome comfort though, if you are willing to spend a bit of extra cash. The business elite class is the favorite amongst many as it features lie-flat seats that allow your feet to face the aisle and offer the ultimate privacy, and as an added bonus every seat has aisle access. Even in economy, the new seats on these aircrafts provide enough room to stretch out and sleep. Economy comfort is also a great choice, not near as expensive as business class but still offers extra leg room and alcoholic beverages. The flight crosses over the entire breadth of the Atlantic Ocean before touching down in a country that teems with culture and wildlife.

Johannesburg South Africa

1. Dallas to Sydney: Qantas

At a whopping 17 hours this is currently the longest non-stop flight in the world and travels an insane 8,578 miles between the two cities. This route also boasts the biggest passenger plane in the skies; the double-decker A380. Qantas can fly this route in either direction and passengers have their choice of four different classes on-board. Choose from one of 14 seats in first class, 64 seats in business, 35 seats in premium economy or one of 371 seats in coach. Either way, expect more leg room, ergonomically correct seats, better in-flight facilities and even a self-serve snack bar. The on-demand entertainment systems ensures passengers have access to over 100 movies, 500 TV programs, 800 music options and 18 radio channels; ensuring this 17 hour flight will whiz by.

Circular Quay Sydney Australia

10 Awesome Zoos Where You Can Spend the Night

We all know that kids love spending time at the zoo but did you know you can take things one step further and actually spend the night there? And hey, this experience isn’t just for kids. Many zoos all over the world are opening their doors after dark and are giving visitors a once in a lifetime opportunity to get up close and personal with the animals. From bring your own tent events to luxury lodges to sleeping beside the sea lions; here are 10 awesome zoos where you can spend the night.

10. Zoo Miami -Miami, FL

Zoo Miami, formerly known as Miami MetroZoo has a tragic past. In 1965 Hurricane Betsy dumped over three feet of water onto the zoo and killed 25 animals. Then in 1992 Hurricane Andrew came in and destroyed 5,000 trees, the 1.5 acre aviary and all of its inhabitants. The zoo has worked hard over the past decade to restore it and one of the ways they have made themselves unforgettable is their sleepovers they offer. The best they offer is perhaps their Annual Big Cat-Nap Campout. This special once a year sleepover invites families to pitch their own tents in the grasslands for a real camping experience, complete with sounds effects provided by the very real zoo animals nearby. A favorite for kids and adults, make sure your kids are at least 6 years old and pre-register as this event is known to sell out fast!

Jaguar Zoo Miami

9. Zoo Atlanta -Atlanta, GA

Zoo Atlanta is one of the best in terms of offering an abundance of overnight programs. Whether you want to bring 10 kids for a birthday party or want to have a family sleepover; this is the zoo for you. For families there are two options for overnights. The first is to pick one of their theme nights, pack up your sleeping bag and join the fun as you have awesome animal encounters, themed games, a scavenger hunt, breakfast and private guided tour of the zoo. The second option is to join one of the deluxe family nights where you will have the opportunity to go behind the scenes and actually feed the zoo residents. If you want to leave the kids at home, Zoo Atlanta offers an adult-only group experience where you and 10 of your friends get together for an epic after hours scavenger hunt that lasts throughout the night.

Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com
Rob Hainer / Shutterstock.com

8. Zoofari Slumber, Nashville Zoo -Nashville, TN

The Zoofari Slumber at Nashville Zoo allows anyone over the age of 4 to camp out overnight, specifically recommended for families with children aged 4-12. This is a bring your own tent experience that requires families to pack everything they would normally take camping, including camp food, chairs and musical instruments. A variety of activities awaits families here including hayrides, inflatable castles, animal shows and crafts. The evening hot dog and marshmallow roast is always a hit for the kids, as is the campfire songs. A full breakfast is served in the mornings. Sleeping under the start just a short ways from the snoozing animals, content in your own tent is something every Nashville family should experience.

Photo by: Nashville Zoo
Photo by: Nashville Zoo

7. Overnight Safari at the Bronx Zoo -The Bronx, NY

The overnight safari series at The Bronx Zoo sells out year after year so if you are planning on snoozing with the snow leopards, we suggest you register early. Children 5 and older are welcome at these fun nights where you will bring your own tents, sleeping bags and picnic dinners. It is more like a summer camp experience packed all into one night here as the experience starts at 4pm and the zoo fills your night with never ending activities. From the classroom where animals are brought in to the scavenger hunts and activities that are planned, there is never a dull moment until the 10pm bedtime. The campsite is located between the Monkey House and the Sea Lion Tank, promising that the barking sea lions will wake you up in the morning. Plenty of snacks are provided, admission to the zoo the next day and a whole bunch of surprises await you at this overnight safari.

littleny / Shutterstock.com
littleny / Shutterstock.com

6. Snore and Roar, Smithsonian National Zoological Park -Washington, DC

It is the best way to see the animals of the Smithsonian Zoological Park after hours and have the entire park to yourself, as well as falling asleep to the sounds of wolves howling. Your tent will be perched on Lion/Tiger Hill and the overnight experience begins with a keeper-led tour of the exhibits. There is a maximum of 12 participants on each of these sleepovers so it’s suggested you book early. Both of the family options and the adults-only nights offer games, activities and breakfast. Each overnight experience is catered to a different area of the zoo, from reptiles to cheetahs to small mammals. Expect wine and cheese on the adults only nights and more family geared activities on the family nights, perfect for ages 6 to teen. Whatever experience you choose, this is one zoo that lets you get up close and personal with the animals of your choice.

Red Panda Smithsonian National Zoological Park

5. Adult Overnights at the Philadelphia Zoo -Philadelphia, PA

Leave the kiddos at home on one of these adults-only overnights at the Philadelphia Zoo. You have to 21 and over to attend this event and prepare to indulge in some happy hour drinks starting at 6:30pm. What you will get on these overnights is a behind the scenes experience, up-close encounters with the animals, an after-dark tour of the zoo, meet and greats with the zoo experts and a light dinner. There are a couple different options for adults overnights, including a throwback to summer camp bring your own tent option and a haunted overnight where you will sleep in the historic treehouse. The next morning breakfast is served and you will experience the opening of the zoo alongside the workers, while visiting some adorable baby animals. An awesome night complete with beer, animals and ghost stories; you couldn’t ask for a better zoo experience.

Peacock Philadelphia Zoo

4. Serengeti Bush Camp, Toronto Zoo -Toronto, Canada

You won’t have to bring your own tent to sleep here, nor will you be stuck inside a building. The Toronto Zoo offers something really unique at its overnights. Spend the night in an authentic African Tent, complete with cots as you experience the African Savanna. Activities are in abundance during the experience and include a walking tour of the African Savanna and interactive adventure at the African Rainforest Pavilion. Dinner is served at the Simba Safari Restaurant which overlooks the white rhino and zebra exhibits, as the sun sets in the background. There are a number of programs here including an adults-only night and a night for families with kids younger than 5; all planned with age appropriate activities. This VIP experience is once in a lifetime and you will truly feel as you sleeping in the middle of Africa, amongst the animals.

Lion Toronto Zoo

3. Roar and Snore Safari, San Diego Zoo Safari Park -San Diego, CA

It is quite possible you will fall asleep to lions roaring and elephants trumping at this overnight safari experience at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. From February to November, you can combine the thrill of camping with the excitement of up-close animal encounters at one of the many themed overnights here. The campground, complete with your choice of canvas tent overlooks the 65 acre East Africa enclosure which features such animals as rhinos, giraffes, wildebeest and antelope. As with many of the zoo, this one offers a number of different programs for families with young children, school aged children or adults only. Dinner, snacks, breakfast, crafts, activities and of course animals encounters are all included in the price. If you do feel like splurging try one of the adults-only experiences where you can get up close and personal with more animals than ever, and stay in the premium tents where wood floors, a queen sized bed and electricity await you.

littleny / Shutterstock.com
littleny / Shutterstock.com

2. Roar and Snore, Taronga Zoo -Sydney, Australia

The unique accommodation site sets this overnight experience apart from the rest. Nestled on the cliff top overlooking the stunning Sydney Harbor on one side, and lions, leopards and meerkats on the other side; Roar and Snore at Taronga Zoo is an extra special overnight experience. In the evening guests are privy to some of the amazing native Australian reptiles as well as the big cats who are most impressive at night. In the mornings are when the cute and furry animals come out to play.  The full education experience include close up animal encounters, guided tours of the zoo after dark and behind the scenes experiences. The VIP treatment continues with refreshments, a feast with drinks and beautiful tent accommodations. Think beds, showers and electricity here. The Tarongo Zoo has created an incredible overnight program that should be the envy of many others around the world.

Taronga Zoo Giraffe

1. Jamala Wildlife Lodge, National Zoo and Aquarium -Canberra, Australia

Australia is at the forefront of delivering exceptional overnight zoo experiences and Jamala Wildlife Lodge at the National Zoo and Aquarium is a prime example of this. This all-inclusive luxury lodge experience includes overnight accommodation, all beverages and food and a number of animal encounters. Accommodations range from lodge rooms, bungalows and tree houses, each with their own unique animal encounter. How would you like to stay in a bungalow where you can take a bath and look into the lion’s den, or how about being able to feed the giraffe from your balcony? From an amazing dinner party to personal tours to pre-dinner drinks and an afternoon safari; this feels more like a vacation than just a simple overnight experience at a zoo.

Photo by: National Zoo & Aquarium Canberra
Photo by: National Zoo & Aquarium Canberra

The 6 Best Australian Cruises for 2015

Cruising in Australia and New Zealand is simply magnificent. Cruisers have the chance to explore the wonder and excitement of the land Down Under and make lasting memories. Whether you are looking to cruise for several weeks on a familiar cruise line, with loads of amenities and fine dining or whether you are looking for something a little more adventurous; you can find it here. All of these cruises depart in 2015 or early 2016 and offer exciting ports, offshore activities and the promise of lifetime memories. Read on to discover the six best Australian cruises of 2015.

6. New Zealand Cruise- Celebrity (12 Nights)

Celebrity cruise lines are loved all over the world for their destinations and fully loaded ships. On November 2, 2015 the Celebrity Solstice will leave Sydney for a 12 night cruise around New Zealand. This ship is packed full of adventures and is one of the most decorated ships at sea. Cruisers will enjoy the top deck lawn club where you can sink your toes into the grass or the serene spa where you can relax. Specialty award winning restaurants, a hot glass show unlike any other show on board a cruise ship and a passion for amazing customer service are just part of the daily life aboard this ship. Although this ship does not dock at a lot of its ports, the ones it does dock at offer plenty of offshore excursions and activities.

Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com
Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com

5. Great Barrier Reef Cruise- Coral Princess Cruises

If you want to stay away from the big cruising companies and experience something entirely unique, Coral Princess Cruises is who you want to book your next cruise through. Specializing in small, personalized and friendly cruises along the Great Barrier Reef; this company focuses on nature based expeditions. You will still find incredible food and all the amenities you want though. Cruising the Great Barrier Reef means a combination of exploring the underwater marine life and the historic towns such as Cooktown. As much time as possible will be spent snorkeling, scuba diving or on glass bottom boats exploring the incredible marine life and coral that lives here. The longer cruises offer guests the chance to explore private tropical islands as well.

Photo by: Roy Luck
Photo by: Roy Luck

4. Tasmania Cruise- Royal Caribbean International (7 Nights)

For those new at cruising you may want to stick to a slightly shorter trip, just to make sure you love it as much as we do. This seven night cruise on the Voyagers of the Seas ship is the perfect introduction to cruising and the land Down Under. Starting off in Sydney, this cruise stops in Melbourne and Hobart, giving passengers the opportunity to explore the different cities. This is truly a family friendly ship with onboard activities such as rock climbing, ice skating, mini golf and more. Adults can relax in the adults only area, relax at the spa or work out in the fitness center. Off the ship you can explore the historic city of Melbourne’s dynamic and eclectic urban scene. Hobart offers unspoiled nature, great food, wine and a city full of life.

Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com
Leonard Zhukovsky / Shutterstock.com

3. Southern Safari Cruise- North Star Cruises

This adventure cruise is certainly one of a kind and departs in January 2016. North Star Cruises caters to those passengers who are looking for a little more discovery and adventure than just an everyday run of the mill cruise. The Southern Safari Cruise takes a journey along the Southern Coast exploring Kangaroo Island to Ceduna. The coast boasts an endless horizon of white sandy beaches, uninhabited islands and sheltered bays. There are plenty activities to do along the way including cage diving with great white sharks, snorkelling with seals and dolphins, hiking in the Coffin Bay National Park and exploring the many small islands. The ship itself is gorgeous and even features a helicopter, perfect for exploring the sea and land from above.

Kangaroo Island

2. New Zealand Discovery- Holland America (13 Days)

Embarking from Sydney on Nov 22, 2015 is Holland America’s Noordam ship on a 13 day cruise around Australia and New Zealand. With eight ports of calls, an exquisite ship and the professionalism of Holland America, this cruise is for someone who really wants to explore New Zealand. The ship itself is packed full of amenities such as numerous lounges, pools, spas and fitness centers. The port of calls all offer something a little different and unique. Visit Napier, the center for gourmet food and wines in NZ or take a tour in Rotorua, a thermal wonderland of fiery heat, sulfuric air, steam and magical waters. Days at sea can be spent watching the waters for signs of dolphins, seals and other amazing creatures.

CristinaMuraca / Shutterstock.com
CristinaMuraca / Shutterstock.com

1. Auckland to Melbourne- Crystal Cruises (15 Days)

If you have ever wanted to bring in the New Year smack in the middle of the Sydney Harbour; this is the cruise for you. It departs December 21st from Auckland, NZ and travels on a course exploring the vast wonders of both Australia and New Zealand. This is truly a luxury cruise where the utmost care is taken in regards to personalized service, exceptional cuisine and respect for a quiet cruising experience. One of the most luxurious ships on the sea, the onboard amenities include grand lounges, a full-service fitness facility, casino, spa, 360° teak Promenade Deck, two pools, a jacuzzi, and award-winning cuisine and entertainment. Port of calls includes, but is not limited to, Auckland, also known as ‘city of sails’, Tauranga which features thermal hot pools and springs and Wellington; New Zealand’s capital city. The shore excursions are plentiful and to make things even more luxurious many of them feature a Private Option.

Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com
Vytautas Kielaitis / Shutterstock.com

The 10 Best Cities to Use Uber

Uber is a rapidly growing car sharing system all over the world that is taking cities by storm and seemingly putting taxi services out of business. The question becomes, where is the best place to use Uber and what factors come into play when passengers choose to use this service over a regular cab? Cities that offer low fares, reliable rides and quick pickup are often thought of the best cities to use this service. Combine that with friendly locals, inconsistent weather and the legality that surrounds this company and we have found you the 10 best cities in which you should be using Uber.

10. Nashville

It is a city that has truly embraced this ride sharing program and thus is a perfect city to use Uber. It became the first city to allow passengers to be picked up from the airport legally by an Uber driver. The city of Nashville doesn’t make it easy for residents or visitors to get around by public transportation and that is where Uber has really come in handy. The average ETA for an Uber pick up is just four minutes here and the average fare is under $10. Home of many concerts, festivals and late nights; it seems this city and Uber can work perfectly together.

Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com

9. Sydney, Australia

If you happen to live in the land down under or you are simply visiting and looking for a cheaper way to get around, Uber is the perfect answer. In just one year Uber drivers gave over a million rides to riders in Sydney and the average wait time for pickup was an incredibly short 4.1 minutes. What’s even better; many Uber drivers in Sydney have supercars that they will pick you up in. The main reason this city is great to use Uber; it is far cheaper than using a traditional cab and much more reliable. There are no Uber ‘horror stories’ floating around the internet about Sydney, instead there is praise for the drivers and vehicles. Plus as a visitor to the city it’s great to use this service as the driver can normally recommend restaurants, clubs and other local interests that tourists may miss out on.

Sydney Harbour Bridge

8. Toronto, Canada

Uber is here to stay says the mayor of this city, which is a great relief to many of the users who are already using this ride sharing service. Using Uber in Toronto is a great way to get around the city as it often seems traditional cabs are few and far between. Uber riders also use this service to get to and from the airport as the public transportation that runs to the major airport is unreliable and inefficient. So far, it is not illegal to call for Uber to pick you up from the airport in this city. Toronto has been at the heart of the Uber controversy for the past year and the time to use it is now; just in case it becomes obsolete. Did we mention that it is also normally cheaper than the average taxi ride and these Canadians are just so darn nice?

Toronto

7. New York City

Although New York City is one of the most expensive places to use Uber, it is also one of the best; mainly because the amount of users is so high. You can expect five star rated drivers here in New York and vehicles equipped with everything from the latest iPhone charger to vomit bags in the backseats; just in case. Using Uber in NY means shortcuts down side streets, avoiding traffic and paying to ride in a nice, clean car rather than a sometimes dirty taxi. It means talking to the friendly locals who give tips on where to eat, what to do and where it’s safe to be at night. Uber has exploded in this city and it’s easy to understand why. Plus with the wicked weather that often hits the city, it is a great way to keep dry instead of fighting for umbrella space while walking down the sidewalk.

New York City, USA

6. San Francisco

The birthplace of Uber makes this list and it’s really no surprise. San Francisco is the original home of this ride sharing service, which started to give the public a different option than cabs and other public transit. This city has one of the highest numbers of drivers which makes catching a ride both fast and easy. The taxi business in this city has dropped about 65% since Uber came in and fewer and fewer cabs can be seen around the city. Due in part to lower costs for rides by Uber and the caliber of vehicles that are picking passengers up. Uber is so present in this city that you won’t even think about calling a cab. Plus due to strict laws, using Uber ensures that you are the only passenger in the vehicle snagging a ride. Expect nice vehicles with plenty of amenities when you call for a ride in this city.

San Francisco bridge

5. Houston

This city is perhaps one of the safest cities to catch an Uber ride as in recent months it started requiring drivers to obtain special licenses. The long time debate Uber has faced is the lack of laws and rules it set forth. In Houston now drivers are required to go through physical tests, drug tests and have their car inspected. As an Uber rider in Houston you can be sure you are riding in a car less than 7 years old, by a driver who has no criminal history and no drug use and who has been licensed as a driver. Something you will not get in other cities currently. Add in the fact that Uber here is cheap and quick and especially reliable and this is definitely one city that has embraced this ride sharing program and made it easy for both riders and drivers to feel safe.

Houston

4. Washington, DC

In a recent study this city was rated the best city to be an Uber driver but it also happens to be a great city to be an Uber rider. Washington, DC comes in at number four on this list for a number of factors. Slashed fares often pop up in this city and it becomes incredibly cheap to use Uber. The government on the other hand hasn’t been so quick to hop on board but all that means for other riders is better availability of drivers. Washington is also one of the only cities with Uber Family; an option that allows families to order a car with a car seat.  They have also recently hooked up with Fuhu and are installing two Nabi kids’ tablets into these family cars. Families love that the kids are both safe and entertained.

Washington DC

3. Boston

There is no shortage of drivers to pick you up in Boston and they are constantly fighting for your business. Which makes using Uber even more convenient. Gone are the days when you had three to four taxi drivers hassling you when you hailed a cab. Now it’s simply a few touches on your phone and you have a clean, reliable car to pick you up. This city also sees its fair share of reducing fairs and many studies have shown that it is significantly cheaper to use Uber here than a taxi. It doesn’t hurt matters that the governor is an avid supporter of this ride sharing program and is doing his best to make it safer for both drivers and passengers. Plus you can find some stellar coupons and discounts to score free rides around this city.

Boston Bay

2. Los Angeles

Using Uber in Los Angeles is easy and cheap, much cheaper than using a taxi, and significantly more efficient than using public transit. Plus there always seems to be a number of choices for drivers that are around you. With the promise that Uber will be allowed to pick up passengers from LAX shortly, there is no reason not to use this ride sharing service in this city. Plus it gets awful hot in the summertime here and with all that shopping you do, you will need someone to carry it all home. This city also offers UberEATS; where you can order in your favorite food from their curated menu. It’s as easy as requesting a ride including the cashless pay system.

Los Angeles

1. Chicago

Chicago has long been the cheapest place in the USA to use Uber, although it is not fully understood why. If you’re planning on using Uber in any city; this would be it. Chicago is also the perfect place to use this ride sharing system because of its weather. Wind and rain often pelt the city and waiting for a city bus or hailing a cab just isn’t fun. Uber drivers come up in a big way by being especially quick and reliable. The local drivers also know their way around town, where to eat dinner and how to get you to your destination as fast as possible. UberEATS also recently launched in this city and is currently offering lunch time service only, with a choice of two options, and promised to be delivered in just 10 minutes.

Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com
Andrey Bayda / Shutterstock.com

12 Awesome Images from Vivid Sydney Festival

Sydney is a vibrant city, the largest population center in Australia, and, as such, has much to offer, from its cuisine to its landmarks. One of the city’s major events, held every winter (Australian winter that is), is the Vivid Sydney festival. Supported by the New South Wales government and wrapping up its 7th year in early June, Vivid is a unique combination of music, lights and ideas. Art and technology come together during the festival, delighting locals and tourists alike, but a picture’s worth 1,000 words—so don’t take my word for it. Let these 12 awesome images tell the story instead!

12. Sydney Harbour Bridge

Standing on Sydney’s North Shore and glancing across the bay to the Central Business District during Vivid Sydney, you’d see something similar to this picture. The iconic Sydney Harbour Bridge, built in 1932, gets decked out in lights every year during Vivid Sydney action, illuminating the way for would-be revelers, beckoning them to join in the fun on the other side of the water. The Harbour Bridge is often a central part of big events, such as the 2000 Olympics and annual New Year’s Eve celebrations, and Vivid is no exception. Much of the city’s CBD is lit up in a multitude of changing colors. At various points during the 2015 festival, the Harbour Bridge itself wore just about every color under the sun. This shot from June 5, the closing days of the festival, shows the bridge wearing patriotic blue, white and red—the colors of the Australian flag.

Sathit / Shutterstock.com
Sathit / Shutterstock.com

11. Exposed

Vivid Sydney is as much about light as it is about celebrating arts and culture, so it only makes sense that each edition of the festival features many art installations around the city, such as this sculpture from the 2015 festival. This sculpture featured 3 giant humanoid figures. Entitled “Exposed,” the figures were transparent, which provided a window unto their “inner worlds.” Like many of the sculpture pieces featured at Vivid Sydney over the years, this piece makes ample use of LED lights to illuminate the construction. In shedding light on an “interior world,” this piece asks us to stop and think about the inner worlds each of us has hidden away beneath our skin. Not only is the piece a visual delight, with a plethora of colors and patterns, but it’s thought-provoking as well—as the very best art should be.

Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com
Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com

10. Entertainers

What’s a festival without costumes? Vivid Sydney isn’t just about art installations and static sculptures; in fact, many street performers and artists call the festival home as well. From stilt walkers to clowns to “living statues,” these myriad artists occupy the spaces in, around and between art installations and events, lighting up the dark streets with their own brand of performance art. Pictured here are two stilt-walkers masquerading as retro robots, re-imagined for the 21st-century in LED costumes on June 6, 2014, during the final days of the festival. Street performers up the ante during the festival, with many donning bright costumes and bombastic make-up—often in colors that are accentuated by blacklight or LED panels in clothing and accessories. Performers are often happy to have their costumes and performances snapped and their presence at the Vivid Sydney festival is all part and parcel of the magic.

Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW
Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW

9. Museum of Contemporary Art

It’s only fitting that Sydney’s Museum of Contemporary Art would take part in the city’s largest festival devoted to perhaps the most modern form of art, light art including illuminated sculptures and so-called light paintings. Each and every year, the building’s façade becomes the canvas for a projection of color and light. During the 2015 festival, from May 22 to June 8, the museum was lit up with different patterns and colors, many of them decidedly modernist in terms of their use of line, fractals, pattern and even their motif. In this image, the museum is lit up with a brightly colored mosaic pattern that might remind us of any number of things—from tiled walls to television screens that have lost their signal to Tetris and other video games. Other buildings and landmarks around the city are also illuminated, creating an outdoor “gallery” of light paintings like this one.

Jean-Philippe Menard / Shutterstock.com
Jean-Philippe Menard / Shutterstock.com

8. Games

One of Vivid Sydney’s most enduring characteristics has been interactivity. Whether it’s art installations engaging with their environments or an audience engaging with a speaker, Vivid offers up immersive experiences designed to envelope festival-goers. Of course, interactivity should also be fun—and that’s why some of the festival’s best installations have been games. At the 2014 festival, people could take part in an interactive game of pool (as pictured). In 2015, festival-goers could take part in a game of “Duck, Duck, Goose” with a number of illuminated drums. When players approached the drums, they would begin to emit light and sound; as the game progressed, they would increase speed and vary the pattern. In another area, people could play a game of “beatdice,” in which they could “mashup” various sounds and rhythms. The dice also responded by emitting pulsating light, creating an artwork that is both visual and aural.

Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW
Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW

7. Sydney’s Luna Park

What’s a festival without a few rides thrown in for good measure? Those who wanted to get a better vantage point and see the art installations from a different angle could get above the crowd on the 35-meter tall Ferris wheel at Sydney’s Luna Park. The amusement park is located at the foot of the Harbour Bridge on the North Shore. With 24 gondolas, the wheel carries passengers high up into the sky to view Sydney—and most of Vivid—from a unique perspective. The wheel itself was also lit up, as shown in this shot, snapped on May 31 during the festival. The wheel operated every night from 6 until 10. Luna Park also offers other rides and amusement all year, not just during the festival. Festival-goers could also dine at the park’s restaurant before hopping on the wheel. With a 360-degree view, it’s hard to go wrong.

Jean-Philippe Menard / Shutterstock.com
Jean-Philippe Menard / Shutterstock.com

6. Affinity

Another spectacular sculpture installation, Affinity was easily one of the highlights of the 2015 Vivid festival. The brainchild of amigo & amigo + S1T2, “Affinity” depicts the complexity and connectivity of neurons in the human brain. Much like the installation “Exposed,” “Affinity” asked festival-goers not only to enjoy the lights, but to also stop and think about how exactly they were able to perceive the world around them—including the amazing light and art of Vivid Sydney. “Affinity” wasn’t just pretty to look at though; this sculpture was interactive, which meant the usual museum rule of “don’t touch” was out the window. When a participant stepped into the web of orbs and touched one of them, the sculpture reacted, changing color and emitting sound—mimicking the reaction of the neurons in our brains to the world around us. “Affinity” shows that science and art are intimately intertwined.

PomInOz / Shutterstock.com
PomInOz / Shutterstock.com

5. The Dresses

If “Affinity” married science and art, then the installation “The Dresses” married form and function. The work of France’s Tae Gon Kim, “The Dresses” are three elaborate gowns formed of thousands of intricately woven and shaped fibre-optic strands. Delicately illuminated, the dresses change color, representing different periods in history and the passage of time. In the dark, the dresses appear as apparitions of the fashions of bygone eras, while images projected onto each of the gowns showcase various desires—bringing new meaning to the phrase “wear your heart on your sleeve” in the process. Like other sculptures in the 2015 edition of the festival, “The Dresses” invited the viewer into a deeper world, one that surpasses the superficial functioning to illuminate the hidden processes underneath. “The Dresses” are as much an exploration of fashion, form and function as they are of the human condition.

Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW
Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW

4. Food, Music and Fun

An outdoor art gallery is well and fine, but every festival has to have more than one component; other staples are food, music, shopping and, of course, fun. Vivid Sydney didn’t forget that; in fact, the opposite is quite true. Throughout the festival area, people could find musical performances, talks and workshops, and fun in abundance. Food was supplied by many of the restaurants in the area, as well as food vendors who set up shop near the installations along the festival’s Light Walk, so you could grab a quick bite without interrupting your gallery tour. This shot from May 26 shows a crowd of festival-goers at the Opera Bar, near the beginning of the Vivid Light Walk, enjoying refreshment along with the view. The festival generates over $20 million for the New South Wales economy and attracts around 500,000 visitors during its 18-day span each year.

PomInOz / Shutterstock.com
PomInOz / Shutterstock.com

3. Arclight

Billed as one of the festival’s highlights for 2015, the “Arclight” installation is one that married form and function, proving once again that science and art aren’t as far apart as we sometimes think. A collaboration between 3 artists and a number of Australian and German institutes and universities, “Arclight” used cutting-edge technology, such as computer-aided manufacturing and computational software, to create a dense tangle of artificial limbs, reminiscent of the mandrake forests that cluster Australia’s waterways. The LED lights were programmed to interact with the environment, responding to wind, temperature and humidity—meaning that the sculpture was ever-changing and always interesting. Like other installations, the ability of the sculpture to “sense” the world around it invites us to think about the nature of perception—and how that allows us to perceive beautiful art like “Arclight” and the other installations at Vivid Sydney.

Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com
Leah-Anne Thompson / Shutterstock.com

2. The Flowing River of Light

It’s a trick we’ve likely seen before, but one that never gets old—and not when it’s on such a grand scale! The Chatswood area was lit up with an immersive light projection of a flowing river, replete with waves and ripples, aquatic life and a soundtrack to whisk you away to days idled away by the riverbank. The river began at the entrance to Chatswood mall and created a path that visitors could follow to the Chastwood marketplace. Envisioned by Ample Projects and 32 Hundred Lights, the project flowed into other 2015 attractions, including the Nautilus and the Sea animation at the Chatwood Concourse. Waves poured overhead from frosted LED lighting and incorporated the tidal flow installation at the Aquarium. The result was an immersive (or perhaps submersive) walkway through some of the festival’s most lively attractions.

Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW
Photo by: Vivid Sydney/Destination NSW

1. The Sails of the Sydney Opera House

Perhaps the most iconic building in Australia is also the most integral part of the now-iconic Vivid festival. Every night of the 18-day festival, the “sails” of the Sydney Opera House become the canvas for the light paintings of various artists. When Vivid began in 2009, originally called “Smart Light festival,” the projection of light paintings on the building’s sails was the original installation. Envisioned by Brian Eno as a way to start conversation and thought about energy efficiency, Smart was intended to raise awareness about LED lighting and other energy-saving technologies in a way that made them relevant, beautiful and interactive. Six years later, Vivid’s installations are proving that vision, and projecting light paintings on the Sydney Opera House is still a highlight of the festival. Here, fireworks—another kind of light display—explode above the Opera House as part of a show on May 25, 2015.

Leelakajonkij / Shutterstock.com
Leelakajonkij / Shutterstock.com

15 Favorite Museums from Around the World

What’s one of the first things you check out while visiting a new city? If your answer isn’t ‘a local museum’ then you definitely need to read this list! We’re exaggerating a bit, but while a museum might not be your first stop, it’s long been a favorite activity of travelers and tourists alike. It’s a great way to explore the history and culture of any city or country and help get a better understanding of its people. Many museums also feature beautiful architecture making them a must visit for those photography enthusiasts. With so many amazing establishments all around the world, choosing a museum can be difficult (although you can always visit more than one) so here’s a quick look at some of our favorites from major cities around the globe:

Museum of Anthropology –Vancouver

Located on the University of British Colombia (UBC) campus, the MOA is home to more than 40,000 ethnographic objects from around the world including the South Pacific, Asia. Europe, Africa and the Americas. The museum offers educational school programs, facility rentals for special events, a Native Youth program, and serves as a research facility for UBC students. Located just 20 minutes from downtown Vancouver, the museum is easy to get to by car or public transit. Admission is $16.75 CAD for adults and children under 6 are free. Museum of Anthropology Vancouver resized2

Royal Ontario Museum –Toronto

The Royal Ontario Museum or ‘The ROM’ as it’s affectionately known, is located near downtown Toronto and is among the world’s leading museums of natural history and world cultures. With constantly changing exhibits and galleries, one visit to the ROM is never enough as this facility strives for dynamic education and entertainment. Adult admission is $16 CAD, $13 for children age 4-14, or visit on Friday’s after 4:30pm for special discount rates.

Niloo / Shutterstock.com
Niloo / Shutterstock.com

The Guggenheim –New York

With so many amazing institutions to choose from in this city, it’s hard to pick just one to visit; but The Guggenheim Museum located in Manhattan’s Upper East Side is a real stand-out. Most notable for its unique architecture, the ‘teacup’ design was created by the famous architect Frank Lloyd Wright. Opened in 1959, visitors to this art institution can experience special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art, film screenings, performances, lectures and tours. Admission is $25 USD for adults and children under 12 get in for free.

f11photo / Shutterstock.com
f11photo / Shutterstock.com

 Field Museum of Natural History –Chicago

Where can you meet a scientist to learn about nature and history, or sleep over among creatures from prehistoric times? Chicago’s Field Museum has all this and much more. This museum inspires curiosity about life on Earth while exploring how it came to be and how we can work to make it a better place. With traveling exhibits on subjects from Indigenous peoples, to prehistoric mammals, even the history of chocolate…there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Basic admission to the Field museum is $18 USD for adults and $13 for children.

Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com
Jason Patrick Ross / Shutterstock.com

Los Angeles County Museum of Art –Los Angeles

Also known by its acronym; ‘LACMA’ is the largest art museum in the western United States today. The museum boasts a collection of over 120,000 objects ranging from antique artifacts to modern objects of today, which represent the entire geographic world and nearly the entire history of art. It’s clear that this museum strives to be best in class. Located in the heart of LA, it’s situated on 20 acres known as Hancock Park. General admission to LACMA is $15 USD for adults and children under the age of 18 are free.

Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com
Ken Wolter / Shutterstock.com

Niterói Contemporary Art Museum –Rio

Another museum that may be most famous for its recognizable architecture, the MAC Niterói is located in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil and serves as one of the city’s most famous landmarks. Designed by Oscar Niemeyer, the 16 meter high structure includes 3 floors and is surrounded by a beautiful reflection pool. Inside you will find many works of contemporary art from influential Latin artists as well as those from around the world. Adult admission is $10 Brazilian Real or about $3.20 USD, with children under 7 in for free.

lazyllama / Shutterstock.com
lazyllama / Shutterstock.com

The British Museum –London

Founded in 1753, the British Museum located in London brings history and art to life in England. This was the first national public museum in the world and offered free admission to guests since its beginning; a tradition that continues even now. Nearly 6 million people a year come to visit this museum and explore the interesting architecture and fascinating exhibitions which range from ancient mummies, to works of aboriginal art, to ancient Greek statues. The British Museum London

The Louvre –Paris

One of the most recognizable museums in the world, no trip to Paris is complete without a visit to the Louvre. This French landmark is the largest and most visited museum in the world drawing nearly 10 million visitors each year. Museum exhibits are grouped into 8 categories including Egyptian Antiques, Islamic Art, Sculptures, and Prints and Drawings. All-access admission is €16 or about $17.50 USD.

cesc_assawin / Shutterstock.com
cesc_assawin / Shutterstock.com

Vatican Museums –Rome

What world-wide list of museums would be complete without including the famous museums of the Vatican in Rome, Italy. The collection is made up of 54 galleries with the world famous Sistine Chapel being the very last gallery in the museum. The galleries display works of art built up by the Popes through many centuries including some of the most renowned sculptures and pieces of Renaissance art in the world.  Admission to the Vatican Museums is €16 or about $17.50 USD for adults and €4 or about $4.50 USD for students. Vatican Museums Aerial Rome

State Historical Museum –Moscow

Many people know Moscow’s Red Square as the home of the world famous Saint Basil’s Cathedral, but this colorful landmark isn’t the only sight worth seeing in the square. The State Historical Museum is also a most recognizable structure with its grand size and deep red color. The museum is an homage to all things Russian history and the total number of objects in the collection is said to be in the millions. Admission is 300 Russian Rubles for adults which is about $5.30 USD.

Elena Ermakova / Shutterstock.com
Elena Ermakova / Shutterstock.com

ArtScience Museum –Singapore

What first might look like some sort of lotus flower structure is actually Singapore’s ArtScience Museum, located at the Marina Bay Sands Resort. This newer attraction opened in 2011 and is the world’s first ArtScience museum; featuring 21 gallery spaces in over 50,000 square feet. Inside you’ll find permanent galleries as well as intriguing temporary exhibitions that change throughout the year. All access admission to the ArtScience Museum is $25 Singapore Dollars or roughly $18 USD for adults and $12.50 USD for children. ArtScience Museum Singapore

Hong Kong Museum of Art –Hong Kong

The Hong Kong Museum of Art seeks to preserve the cultural heritage of China while promoting locally produced works of art. Established in 1962, the museum’s collection contains over 16,000 pieces including paintings, calligraphy works, and antique treasures. Located in historic Victoria Harbour, a trip to the Hong Kong Museum of Art is a great way to learn more about the history and future of Chinese art. Standard admission is $10 Hong Kong Dollars or about $1.30 USD.

e X p o s e / Shutterstock.com
e X p o s e / Shutterstock.com

Tokyo National Museum –Tokyo

Located in Tokyo’s Ueno Park, the Tokyo National Museum is a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of the city. Established in 1872, this is the oldest national museum in Japan as well as the country’s largest art museum. The museum collection focuses primarily on Japanese art and antiques but also includes art from other Asian countries and along the Silk Road. Adult admission is 620 Japanese Yen or around $5.20 USD while those under the age of 18 get in for free.

cowardlion / Shutterstock.com
cowardlion / Shutterstock.com

Museum of Contemporary Art –Sydney

Located in The Rocks district on the edge of Sydney’s famous Circular Quay, the Museum of Contemporary Art first opened its doors in 1991. The MCA operates with the goal of exhibiting, interpreting and collecting contemporary art from all over Australia as well as around the world. The permanent collection includes over 4,000 works by Australian artists, while the museum also features ever changing temporary exhibits. Regular admission to the MCA is free of charge, though special temporary exhibitions may require a small charge.

Jean-Philippe Menard / Shutterstock.com
Jean-Philippe Menard / Shutterstock.com

National Gallery of Victoria –Melbourne

Located in Melbourne’s CBD, the National Gallery of Victoria -or more commonly known as the NGV, is the oldest public art museum in Australia.  The organization operates 2 distinct sites: On the South side of the Yarra River you’ll find the NGV International where you’ll find an extensive collection of art from all over the world including Asia, Europe and America. North of the river in Federation Square is the NGV Australia, also known as The Ian Potter Centre where you find both aboriginal and non-aboriginal art from all over Australia from the colonial period to present day. General admission to either site is free of charge. National Gallery of Victoria Melbourne resized