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Arts & Culture
Is there a better cure for a rainy day than plopping on the sofa and clicking to Netflix? Instead of indulging in two (or five) hours of The West Wing, why not enjoy a relaxing staycation and live vicariously through the adventurers around you? We’ve compiled a list of our ten favorite travel shows currently available in the U.S. for instant streaming on Netflix.
Long considered the most conservative of South American capitals, and passed over in favor of its flashier Argentine neighbor to the east, Buenos Aires, Santiago has been undergoing something of a Renaissance in the past decade. Chic hotels, restaurants, and boutiques have opened up all across the city. Despite this trend, the city is still a very affordable place to visit – and with LAN’s current “Big Deal” promotion, getting there doesn’t have to cost a fortune either.
Hip HotelsThe Aubrey hotel enjoys an unbeatable location at the foot of Cerro San Cristóbal, under the watchful gaze of the giant Virgin Mary that stands atop the hill. The hotel, which is housed in a building that a prominent political party once called home, is made up of two mansions dating from the 1920s. The 15-room boutique hotel retains the buildings’ art-deco wood paneling and features stylish interiors that mix Tom Dixon lamps with mosaic tiling, crystal chandeliers, and 17th-century oil paintings. Some of the rooms have terraces overlooking the bohemian Bellavista neighborhood, while at the on-site piano bar, you can sip an authentic pisco sour in the relaxing ambiance of the cobble-stoned courtyard. (Rates start at $242 a night).
Most travelers to Philly know that they can experience lots of the city’s history and the arts for free or on the cheap, but what else is there to do in the City of Brotherly Love without burning up your budget? On a recent visit, we came across a wide-variety of inexpensive activities that will help you spice up your next trip: Read more
Italy wasn’t created for one-stop shopping – in fact, it’s not even that well suited to single-destination trips. Rome? Venice? Florence? How to choose? Well, you might not have to. The Italy deal in this week’s Top 25 newsletter offers a six-night train ride including a two-night stop in at each of those iconic cities. Since you won’t be spending the entire trip watching the scenery go by (at least, we hope not), here’s a look at the best shops to visit to take home a one-of-a-kind, easy-to-pack souvenir. Read more
Who needs five star resorts, marble bathtubs, and caviar dinners? Sure, those perks are nice, but for travelers seeking a quick, easy getaway that won’t leave them in the financial lurch, there are better ways to go about it. Rather than overindulge, focus instead on fun, practical activities that are unique to the destination, whether that means hiking in a state park or snagging $9 seats to a symphony orchestra. To get you started, here are ten US cities perfect for budget travelers, plus tips on what to do when you get there: Read more
These days, cost-conscious travelers have more options than ever. The question is no longer “Where will we go?” but “How cheap can we get there?” Rest assured, we’re here to tell you the answer: pretty cheap! As evidence, we’ve compiled a list of the ten most budget-friendly travel destinations to watch out for in 2014. These places show it’s totally possible to plan an unforgettable trip to a unique, accessible, and culturally interesting destination, and still feel like you’re getting a deal. Trying to fit all these fabulous trips into a single year? Well, that’s another question…
1. Singapore It’s telling that Singapore Airlines spent the better part of this fall introducing over two dozen brand new 777-300ER planes into its fleet. The national carrier, consistently recognized as one of the top airlines in the world, is simply catering to demand as more and more visitors flock to this verdant Southeast Asian hub. Scores of new hotels are opening all over the city – many of them artfully designed and, best of all, reasonably priced. But it’s not just affordable lodging that keep travelers coming back. The city’s treasure trove of cheap hawker centers (food stalls), diverse ethnic neighborhoods, and abundant green spaces (Gardens by the Bay, for one) show why it’s becoming one of the region’s most accessible, yet endlessly entertaining modern metropolises. (See also: Off The Beaten Path In Singapore)
Coffee, one of the world’s most universally beloved drinks, offers a taste of local culture with every sip, in whatever form it’s served (small but strong, organic and Fair Trade Certified, topped with whipped cream, or spiked with whiskey). Inspired by cool fall temperatures and a recent #TTOT (that’s Travel Talk on Twitter, a hashtag travelers should definitely check out if they’re not familiar with it), here we spill the beans on five destinations where caffeine-craving travelers can get their fix.
Vienna: The coffeehouse, or Kaffeehaus, is as much a staple of Viennese culture as the waltz and opera. In recent years, the number of traditional coffeehouses has dwindled as owners face competition from modern chains (yes, Starbucks has several locations here) and increasing real estate costs, but enjoying a cup is still a must-do during a visit. From decades-old institutions with soaring ceilings and immaculately dressed waiters to boho-hip joints that draw a young crowd, you can find the perfect spot for any sipping style.
Can’t-miss spots include Café Sperl, a gorgeous architectural gem that has been around since 1880; Café Sacher, known for its decadent Sacher-Torte; and Café Landtmann, with live music, a celebrity clientele, and live music.
The one holiday you associate with New Orleans is probably Mardi Gras, for obvious reasons. But three months prior, just as winter is making the rest of the country reach for their snow shovels, another important holiday makes this balmy southern city shine: Christmas. In typical New Orleans fashion, the end-of-year holiday is turned into a month-long series of street festivals, light displays, and live concerts. Ready to take part? We’ll show you how. Read more
Charming Charleston, South Carolina, has received lots of accolades, including “Top U.S. City” in Condé Nast Traveler’s Readers’ Choice Awards for the past three years, but this southern belle hasn’t traditionally been known as a low-cost destination.
All that changed when budget carrier JetBlue started offering twice-daily nonstop service from New York City and daily flights from Boston earlier this year. And with a new limited-time getaway package, which includes half-priced airfare for travelers booking an air-and-hotel combo package, visiting Charleston has become even more affordable. Read more
Newly famed as the first location of the World Ski Awards, as well as long-time host of the World Cup Ski races each year, including the downhill run on the famed (and scarily steep) Streif slope, Kitzbühel has a reputation for being one of the fanciest ski resorts in all of Austria. We’ve discovered it is possible, however, to have your strudel and eat it – on a budget. Here are just a few highlights and dollar-saving ideas for this tony resort…
Following some recent legislation, it’ll be at least seven years before developers are allowed to build a casino in New York City (though we’d happily wait another 50). Until then, New Yorkers craving the sounds of ringing slot machines and clacking poker chips will continue trekking to the same ocean-sprayed resort town they’ve been visiting since the early 1900s: Atlantic City.
And why shouldn’t they? Situated just 130 miles south of Manhattan, Atlantic City is an easy day trip that’s both cheap and entertaining. Don’t believe us? Allow the facts to speak for themselves: Read more
On Friday, Dallas’s main public square (and a National Historic Landmark), Dealey Plaza, will host an estimated 5,000 people for an official ceremony commemorating the 50th anniversary of JFK’s assassination, complete with a reading of JFK’s speeches by Pulitzer Prize-winning author David McCullough, a live music performance, and a military airshow. Though free and open to the public, ticketing for the event is now closed, meaning only those who reserved a space ahead of time will be admitted into the Plaza itself.
But that’s no matter, as the city offers a host of other ways to pay tribute to the 35th President of the United States, many of them totally free: Read more
Despite a volatile economy and steep inflation, Argentina has been a well-liked budget destination for the past decade, which is fortunate as flights from most North American cities go for around $1,000. When visiting its capital, Buenos Aires, you won’t have to skimp on luxury experiences to save some dollars. Here are a few tips for stretching your budget while enjoying the best of the Paris of the South.
Located in the center of Buenos Aires, the Hotel Pulitzer (a member of the Design Hotels collection) boasts hip modern design and reasonable rates – around $120 a night. Some rooms have balconies and hotel amenities include a 13th-floor open-air sky bar and an eighth-floor pool deck. Read more
For most concertgoers, heading to a local venue is a chore accomplished for one reason: to see a band or artist. The venue itself almost never plays a role in one’s decision to purchase a ticket, but as travelers, we know that the occasional venue speaks just as loudly as the act that’s filling it. For music lovers, there are a handful of venues that are routinely placed on a higher pedestal, and for good reason, whether for their acoustics, scenery, or sheer ability to attract concert-goers to such remote locations as: Read more
We know what you’re thinking: “Fado” is a chain of Irish pubs in cities all across America.
Well, yeah… we’re not really sure what’s up with that, because Fado is also a traditional style of urban Portuguese folk music that typically features two or three guitarists and a male or female singer. The lyrics reflect themes of longing and nostalgia, about the sea or the life of the poor. The Portuguese describe it with the word saudade, which has no direct translation into English but describes a deep melancholic longing for something or someone that is now absent.
Sounds like a bit of a downer, right? But the mood inside a fado bar is far from sad. And we guess that’s the one good thing about not speaking Portuguese as a tourist – you won’t know what they’re talking about anyway. But you will appreciate it in very much the same way as people appreciate Opera music: the beautiful, booming voices to go along with the soft, picking guitar. Except you don’t have to wear a tux to a fado show, and you can see a show while bellied up at a bar. Read more
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