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7 Best Craft Beer Bars in Amsterdam

 Proeflokaal Arendsnest

The word proeflokaal translates as ‘tasting room’ and with 50 full-flavoured beers on tap, no Amsterdam ale house quite earns the accolade like Arendsnest. Located on the grand Herengracht canal, the copper pipes, mahogany walls and waistcoat-clad bartenders will have drinkers thinking they have stepped back in time. If you’re feeling peckish, delve into a cheese or sausage plate from the chalkboard, the perfect accompaniment to a superior beer.

Bierfabriek

If you don’t go for the knock out beers brewed on site, go for the sheer thrill of being able to toss your peanut shells on the floor. Feeling the crunch under your feet on the way to the bar is all part of the Bierfabriek experience. If dinner is on the cards be sure to sample their famous grilled chicken, before washing it down with a pilsner, porter or ruby ale, all of which are prepared a peanut’s throw away.

Butcher’s Tears

Tucked away at the end of an industrial street in the Zuid neighbourhood, the secluded location of Butcher’s

Top spots for outdoor activities in the Adirondacks

 Hitting the trail

Called the “Porcupine Mountains” by Native American tribes, this vast park offers swaths of old-growth maple and beech pockmarked with serpentine lakes, bogs, and swamps that provide the perfect habitat for wildlife large and small. You might see porcupine, you’ll certainly see beavers and their iconic dams, deer, moose, maybe even black bears. In autumn these rounded hills seem almost on fire from the brilliant reds, golds, and yellows as the deciduous forests submit to winter’s chill.

For visitors seeking a hike, the park is criss-crossed with trails that offer something for nearly any trekking ability, from easy, short meanders along a scenic overlook or waterfall, to routes only the most seasoned of hikers can attempt. Note that park trails require you to sign in and check out, as getting lost or injured in this wilderness can be perilous. Bring appropriate layers and know your way at all times. Cellphone reception is limited, so plan well and know what to do if there’s surprise weather or a health emergency.

Sleeping Beauty

A wine tour of the Balkans

 It’s often said that under the communist regimes the region focused on quantity rather than quality of wine; but with family wineries honing their craft in recent years, change is afoot. Here we present the best of the Balkans’ hearty local grape varieties and where you’ll be warmly welcomed for a tipple of each.

Vranac: the jewel of former Yugoslavia

Meaning ‘black stallion’ in Serbo-Croatian, earthy red Vranac is perhaps best known for the millions of litres of it exported each year byMontenegro’s primarily state-owned winery, Plantaže. While their cavernous Šipčanik cellar just south of the capital Podgorica is worth a visit, do yourself a favour and continue your wine quest to the southern coast of Lake Skadar.

Known as Crmnica, Montenegro’s primary wine region is home to dozens of family-run wineries. Though most owners don’t speak English, local British expats Emma and Ben Heywood of Undiscovered Montenegro are happy to organise day trips and even week-long adventures through wine country. Here, you’ll be welcomed into the modest home of Miodrag Leković – nestled in the ruins of the 14th-century village of Godinje – for a

Asia’s Top 7 Backpacking Destinations

7. Hit the beautiful beaches of Sihanoukville, Cambodia

Sihanoukville’s latest incarnation as a budget traveler hub marks a fresh twist in its tragically eventful history. It is named after Norodom Sihanouk, a former King of Cambodia, under whom the town became a booming and glamorous port in the 1950s. But after the Khmer Rouge seized power the city was symbolically desecrated; the walls of its luxury Independence Hotel peppered with bullets. Through the past few decades, the town has been traveling the slow road to regeneration, helped in large part by intrepid backpackers who braved the journey’s dangerous reputation and brought back word of the area’s sublime beaches, such as the stunning 4km stretch of white sand, Otres Beach. The town is now the hub of Cambodia’s most vibrant backpacker scene, a chilled-out stretch of bars, restaurants, cheap lodging and tropical coastline, lively but relatively unswamped with travelers.

6. Get yourself along to the classic hippy hangout of Goa, India

There’s no denying that Goa’s soul has changed since it was first chosen by the hippies of the sixties as an exotic backdrop for exploration of self and consciousness, distanced from the psychic chains of

The Best Mosque in The World

They act not only as places of worship but also as schools, community centres, charitable foundations and even (in days past) hospitals and law courts. They are places in which worldly divisions of class, wealth, status and ethnicity vanish, with all becoming equal in the sight of god.

Most mosques around the world are off-limits to non-believers, reinforcing stereotypes and encouraging skeptics to label them as hives of Islamist extremism. Fortunately many of Islam’s largest, loveliest and most historic shrines are freely open to all, not only allowing visitors to experience some of the planet’s most spectacular buildings, but also to glimpse something of the religious and cultural life of these remarkable monuments to the world’s most misunderstood faith.

1. Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

Morocco’s largest city, Casablanca sees relatively few foreign visitors despite its absorbing array of sights ranging from medieval souks to Art Nouveau mansions, strung out along an attractively windswept expanse of Atlantic coastline.

Few who visit, however, pass up the chance to explore the city’s landmark Hassan II Mosque. Completed in 1993, the mosque stands on an oceanfront promontory, its enormous minaret (the world’s tallest, at 210m) soaring above

Why you should visit Palma in 2017

Where do I start?

You’ll find it impossible not to start at La Seu, the city’s enormous, attention-grabbing sandstone cathedral, perpetually bathed in golden sunshine and dominating the centre of town.

All flying buttresses and spiky columns, it is a Gothic masterpiece – and best seen from the outside. Its exterior, rising up from the water and announcing this as a Christian-conquered city, is its most striking feature and the stone seats along the old city wall at its base are the perfect place to soak up the sun and plan your assault on the city.

You’re in the heart of the Old Town here, its narrow pedestrianized streets tangling back from the water and begging you to get out there and explore.

Next head to the Royal Palace of La Almudaina, just next door – a great example of Gothic meets Moorish architecture. See the Arab baths and the state apartments, still used by the king on occasion, before retreating to the Italianate courtyard of the Palau March, home to modern sculptures and cracking views over Palma.

Then it’s time to dive in to the city’s street life, following whichever diminutive artery

The Best Area to Stay in Hong Kong

Best for luxury: Central to Causeway Bay

Hong Kong is known as the vertical city, and as you make your way up the Mid-Levelsescalators you can see why. Business blossomed in the 1900s and the influx of western banks, bars and boutiques line the streets on the north shore of the Island.

High-end shops and restaurants are here in abundance, and so are the most luxurious places to stay.

For oriental opulence: Mandarin Oriental. The Mandarin Oriental is often thought of as Hong Kong’s best hotel. The facilities and service are excellent, and you’ll find draped Chinese tapestries and antiques in each room.

Grand rooms, grand prices: Renaissance Harbour View Hotel. As the name promises, the Renaissance offers incredible views over the water. It shares a pool and fitness centre with the Grand Hyatt but set just back is often slightly cheaper.

Best for atmosphere on a budget: Mong Kok

The streets of Mong Kok are a sensory overload: hundreds of neon signs hang above roads that bustle with shoppers – you can buy anything from cosmetics to mobile phones here – and street food stalls steaming with local specialties.

It’s a

EXPLORING AMERICA’S GHOST TOWN

The history of Bodie reads like a parody of Wild West clichés. The discovery of gold transformed this one-horse mining camp into a boomtown of banks and brothels, saloons and schools. When the gold supplies dwindled in the early twentieth century, so did the population, and today Bodie is preserved in a state of arrested decay.

Rough Guides writer Greg Dickinson travelled to Mono County, California, to prospect these haunted streets.

The time portal to Bodie is located about three miles west of the town. Only, unlike the DeLorean time machine in Back to the Future, you need to reduce your car’s speed to cross this wormhole.

There’s no looking back now, as a cloud of whipped-up dust in the rear window distorts any memories of the modern world.
The tarmac road reaches a sign that reads “Bodie Historic Park” and a crunch falls beneath your tyres as you land on the sun-bleached dirt track. There’s no looking back now, literally, as a cloud of whipped-up dust in the rear window distorts any memories of the modern world.

Slowly and jerkily I approached Bodie, air conditioning blasting the hell out of my

A Magical Journey to Norway

It might as well be midnight as we leave Tromsø. Last night’s snow crunching beneath the tyres, only the pinkish glow of street lights illuminates the ink-blue sky. This close to the winter solstice, the days here have a strange beauty. The first light doesn’t appear until just before 11am; it’s dark by 1.30pm.

We may already be 350km north of the Arctic circle, but today our journey is only just getting started. Striking out from the city, we snake along the shores of placid fjords, passing traditional red clapboard houses, candles flickering in the windows. These are the most northerly reaches of Europe – and fairytale Norway at its finest.

Even at Breivikeidet, where an isolated ferry plies passengers across the glassy expanse of Ullsfjord, the local population stands at just fifty souls. It’s certainly a challenging place to live – with temperatures dropping to -17°C (1ºF) in winter and 24-hour daylight summer – yet speak to most locals, and they wouldn’t move anywhere else.

This landscape, its intricate geography of fjords and archipelagos carved over millennia, is simply astounding.

As we begin the crossing to Svensby, the Arctic day finally gets going, a soft blue

7 Best Beaches in Portugal

1. Praia de Tavira, Ilha de Tavira (The Algarve)

Linked to the mainland by ferry, the superb Praia de Tavira, is located on the Ilha de Tavira, a sandbar island that stretches southwest from Tavira almost as far as Fuseta.

Strung along this are miles of soft, dune-baked sand, without a hotel in sight. The main part of the beach is dotted with umbrellas and pedalos for rent, and scattered with a handful of bar-restaurants.

In high summer this part of the beach can get very busy, but you only have to wander fifteen minutes or so to escape the crowds. Come here out of season and you’ll probably have the place to yourself.

2. Praia da Marinha and Benagil (The Algarve)

The stretch of coast between Armação de Pêra and Centianes is strung with a series of delightful cove beaches that have mostly escaped large-scale development. Of them two stand out: Praia da Marinha and Benagil. A classic cliff-backed warren of coves, the only trace of development on Praia da Marinha is the seasonal beach restaurant.

Follow the clifftop path on from here as it winds round to the next bay at Benagil,

9 Most Beautiful Places in India

9. Madikeri, Coorg, Karnataka

Our Delhi team voted for Madikeri as an excellent base from which to explore the lush national parks, natural beauty and gorgeous coffee plantations that abound in this scenic stretch of the Western Ghats.

8. Mawlynnong, Meghalaya

Described by one of our editors as magical, this village in the East Khasi Hills district of Meghalaya is simply stunning. The surrounding areas are just as unforgettable, with natural bridges made by twisting the roots of rubber trees crossing the rivulets and streams.

7. Kumarakom Backwaters, Kerala

At number seven in the list, Kerala’s scenic backwaters, edged with coconut palms, lush green rice paddies and picturesque villages, make for a beautiful escape from hectic city life.

6. Mandu, Madhya Pradesh

One of central India’s most atmospheric monuments, this medieval ghost town is set on a scenic plateau still prowled at night by leopards and panthers.

5. Hampi, Karnataka

This vast archeological site would have been one of the largest and richest cities of its time. The design, detailing and ornamentation of the best-preserved ruins are astonishing.

4. Rann of Kutch, Gujarat

This hot and desolate

5 Skills to Learn Before You Go Backpacking

1. Understand the rules of the road

The first is simple: there are no rules. You yell stop, the traffic continues regardless, and a truck held together with no more than a hope and a prayer, thunders towards you as if involved in a Mad Max death race.

From Africa and India to Southeast Asia, it’s almost a contractual obligation. If you glare forebodingly at the truck driver, he’s still going to come for you. If you boldly walk on, you might get mowed down.

That may be a teensy exaggeration, but consider this: according to the latest WHO report, some of the most popular countries to travel to in 2016 are the most dangerous in which to be a pedestrian. There were 24,896 fatalities from road accidents in Iran, for instance, while in Thailand the number of road deaths hit 24,237. Other traveller hotspots such asVietnam, Oman, Brazil, and South Africa are equally as foolhardy.

It’s Wacky Races logic out there, so don’t forget to stop, look, listen and think.

2. Know your maths

Paying for a meal or bus ticket in a new country can sometimes feel

Safari Alternatives For Nature Lovers

Looking for tigers in northern India

Tiger numbers have crept up in recent years according to official statistics from the Indian government: in 2016, India was estimated to be home to 2500 of them – 70 percent of the global population. But in a country this vast, it’s still hard to see one.

With accredited naturalists working as guides, Himalayan Footsteps offers a 13-day trip taking in the Bandhavgarh and Kanha national parks. Sightings are by no means guaranteed, although it’s said the best time of year to see tigers is between February and April, so it’s smart to plan ahead. If you don’t spot one, you’ll stand a better chance of seeing sloth bears, jackals and grey mongoose. Bandhavgarh is also home to 250 species of birds, so make sure you pack your binoculars.

Birdwatching in Peru’s Islas Ballestas

Don’t listen to anyone who dismisses Peru’s Islas Ballestas as ‘the poor man’s Galapagos’; these uninhabited islands might not have inspired Darwin when HMS Beagle passed this way in the 1830s, but they are home to a huge seabird colony, as well as sea lions and fur seals.

Due to the

A guide to Copenhagen’s neighbourhoods

Indre By: the tourist hub

The popular inner city is the heart of Copenhagen, and its most visited neighbourhood. Nyhavn is just one of many major sights in this part of the city, which is also home to the family-friendly Tivoli Gardensamusement park, Strøget, the lively pedestrianised shopping street, and the fabled Little Mermaid statue, which sits right on the edge of the city centre.

This historic area is a fantastic place to explore many of the city’s cobblestone streets, charming squares, and excellent museums. At the royal residence of Amalienborg Slot, visitors can watch the Changing of the Guard and try to get a glimpse of the Queen, while Christiansborg Palace offers a look into the workings of Denmark’s monarchy and government.

Indre By is also a foodie paradise, home to many of the city’s top restaurants, including Michelin-starred AOC and Kokkeriet, the more modest yet fabulous Höst and Uformel, as well as the wonderful market Torvehallerne, packed with vendors selling fresh produce.

Vesterbro: the happening hotspot

Once the most destitute area of the city, Vesterbro is still Copenhagen’s red-light district, though it’s not quite as seedy as similar areas in Amsterdam or Berlin.

Honeymoon Planning Tips and Guide

Timing is everything

You’ve dutifully set aside your collection of vacation days — now it’s time to work out how to spend them on your honeymoon. It’s important to weigh the time you’ve allotted for your adventure against your destination of choice, and make sure that your trip is spent travelling, not transiting.

With two or three weeks, you’ll have a more generous amount of time to take a crack at a faraway destination and overcome the exhaustion of a long-haul journey and/or jet lag. But a week-long holiday, say, is never well served by spending two full days hoofing it from one continent to another, only to turn around a few days later and repeat the gruelling trek back.

The other major timing consideration has to do with seasonality. Tacking your honeymoon on at the end of your already-set wedding date might preclude travel to certain destinations simply due to the time of year. Large areas of the Caribbean, for example, are prone to hurricanes during the months of September and October. Other destinations have annual monsoons – like Thailand, which has two different curtains of rains that sweep across the kingdom during

Top 7 Honeymoon Islands

Corsica, France

For… Hikes, hills, haute cuisine, hidden sands

This chunk of France, afloat in the Mediterranean, deserves its monicker: L’île de Beauté. The rumpled, maquis-cloaked interior – where you can easily forget the world – tumbles to perfect golden crescents, some touristy, some seemingly unfound. There’s wildness if you want it (the hiking is some of Europe’s best), but also fine food and indulgent retreats, not least Domaine de Murtoli (murtoli.com) – possibly the continent’s most romantic hideaway.

Qurimbas Archipelago, Mozambique

For… Dhow cruising, culture

Why pick one island when you can have 30? That’s about how many specks of wonderful white sand make up this Indian Ocean archipelago. Among them is Ibo, home to the 16th-century Portuguese trading settlement of Ilha de Moçambique – a must-see. After a dose of culture here, sail between the islands – remote Vamizi, luxe Quilalea – stopping off on nameless cayes for lobster barbecues en route.

Huahine, French Polynesia

For… Blissful beaches, ancient sites

Huahine, a 40-minute flight from Tahiti, is Polynesia at its most sublime (and that’s quite a feat). Slopes of tropical abundance sink into eye-searingly blue

7 Travel Resolutions and How to Keep Them

Pack lighter

Next time you’re stuffing a pair of impractical shoes and a bumper-size shampoo into your bag, stop to consider the feelings of future you: the one sporting a sweaty back patch and a face riddled with regret. The ‘I’ll manage’ attitude dissipates in a flurry of expletives as you drag your luggage up a broken escalator, straining your bicep and stubbing a toe in the process. Worth it? Not so much.

Stick to it: Downsize: restricting suitcase volume soon hinders overpackers. Prioritise: it’s OK to take three paperbacks if you’re willing to forgo the laptop. Enlist a ruthless packing buddy who won’t give in to the words ‘but I neeeeeed it!’.

Take better pictures

Sick of returning home from a trip with thousands of hastily snapped images that you’ll never have the time to sift through and edit, let alone share? Whether you’re shooting for social media, an online portfolio or the family album, investing a little time and effort can take your creations from amateur to incredible.

Stick to it: Read up on how to take a decent smartphone snap; enrol on a photography course; join

Best free things to do in St Petersburg

Make use of free-admission days

Some of St Petersburg’s top museums organise free-entrance days. For the State Hermitage Museum it’s the first Thursday of the month, and for the Kunstkamera the third Thursday each month. Other museums are admission-free throughout the year, for example the Vladimir Nabokov Museum or the Sigmund Freud Museum of Dreams. In many Orthodox cathedrals you also don’t have to pay an entrance fee. While the church architecture is stunning enough from the outside, just wait until you enter – the icon art is breathtaking.

Relax in parks and gardens

If you love the green spaces, don’t miss St Petersburg’s parks and gardens. There are plenty to satisfy any taste: the small, hiddenYusupov Gardens, the royal Mikhailovsky Gardens, the calm Tavrichesky Gardens, or the famous Summer Garden with its marble sculptures. The recently reopened New Holland Island in the city centre is St Petersburg’s latest cultural hub and a haven for artists, writers, professionals and tourists alike.

Stroll around Alexander Nevsky Monastery

The Alexander Nevsky Monastery is the most important Orthodox monastery in St Petersburg; its Church of the Annunciation was the first resting place for the tsarist family. The monastery is magnificent both inside and outside, but for many visitors the major attractions are its

7 Best Spots to Indulge in Brussels

Café Luxembourg

Bustling during the week, the darkly dressed Café Luxembourg is a quiet haven at the weekend, where diners have time to pore over its healthy and wallet-friendly brunch menu. Items on offer follow the seasons and produce is always fresh from the market, so expect frothy fruit juices and yogurt and granola as well as cheese and charcuterie boards. Sweet-toothed rascals should opt for the banana-raspberry French toast or the seriously addictive carrot cake.

Les Filles

For a touch of home, indulge in the all-you-can-eat buffet along one of the communal wooden tables at Les Filles. Served in big Staub pots on grandma’s vintage china, the comforting cuisine at this brunch spot is all seasonal and all organic. So once you’re done with the Basque country chipolatas, take slabs of sugar bread and spoonfuls of homemade vanilla cream cheese before exiting through its ground floor grocery shop. Reservations recommended.

Jam Hotel

With rooftop pool parties and basement concerts, the Jam Hotel’s reputation as one of the most happening spots in the capital is already starting to stick. The former art school hasn’t strayed too far from the easel, with architect Olivia

Hidden gems of Florida’s Emerald Coast

Dubbed the ‘Emerald Coast’ by a local junior high school student in 1983 (he won $50 for his efforts), the thin stretch of coastline along theFlorida Panhandle between Pensacola and Panama City has long been featured on the itineraries of motoring families and spring breakers. But these visitors have mostly stuck to the main sights off Florida State Road 30A, the region’s main drag. Here we shed some light on the Sunshine State’s little-known destinations.

Secret beaches

Florida’s breezy Gulf Coast beaches are some of the quickest ways to fend off sweltering weather and take a few deep gulps of fresh, salty air. Popular beaches are plentiful near main resort areas like Panama City Beach and Destin, but the area still has a few hidden treasures worth seeking out.

Not far from Panama City Beach, Shell Island is a favorite among locals and a few in-the-know visitors. An uninhabited island separating St Andrews Bay from the gulf, this pristine stretch of sand features none of the usual amenities – no concessions, restrooms, picnic tables or trash cans (remember to pack out what you bring in). Wander along sugar-sand beaches and through mangroves where the