Las Vegas, one of the most famous cities on the planet, is visited by millions of people every year. With so many things to do and see, though, it can be difficult to come up with an itinerary that will cover everything. But fret not if you find yourself struggling to figure out what you absolutely cannot miss during your visit to this vibrant and exciting city. Continue reading for a list of four things that you must do when you are there.
Indulge in a Breakfast Buffet
Start the day off right by indulging in the many delicious foods available at one of the many Las Vegas breakfast buffets. According to Time, the Wynn has the very best option, but you can also opt to get your buffet at the Payard at Caesars or the one at T.I. if you would prefer. No matter what you choose, you can rest assured that the food will be delectable and that you will have the energy you need to see all of the other sights and sounds throughout Las Vegas.
Party the Night Away at a Club
Las Vegas is a party city, and the best way to celebrate what this unique place has to offer is by dancing the night away at one of its many beautiful clubs. Because there are so many options to choose from, though, it can be tough to decide where to go. You should, however, make it a point to check out Pure, which is located at Caesars, Tabu at MGM, Tao at the Venetian, The Bank at the Bellagio, and Cathouse and LAX at the Luxor, to name just a few of the best ones you can find.
Check Out the Bellagio Fountains
You may not think that a water fountain is all that exciting or worth taking time out of your busy schedule for during your vacation, but the Bellagio Fountains really are a sight to behold. From 3pm to 8pm, the fountains begin their incredible show every half hour. From 8pm to midnight, you can see the show every 15 minutes. The lake is 8.5 acres and water is shot up to 460 feet into the air using over 1,000 spritzers. Music, such as songs from Gene Kelly or Frank Sinatra, plays as the water dances along to the rhythms and makes for a truly unique and enchanting show. No matter what hotel you choose to stay in, make it a point to check out these fountains one night for a few minutes. You certainly will not regret it.
Relax at a Spa
Las Vegas is one of the best destinations for spas. The Spa at the Bellagio is a great choice for those who want to indulge in a relaxing massage, but you can also try Canyon Ranch at the Venetian, as both are highly recommended by Time Travel.
Ready to plan your trip and enjoy some relaxation and partying? Click here to get started on planning your next much-needed getaway.
If you’ve ever visited Philadelphia, it’s easy to see why it’s considered one of the most important cities on the East Coast of the US. It’s a center of learning and culture, with a great atmosphere and a buzzing night life.
It’s also a great place to call home. That said, you wouldn’t move anywhere, least of all Philadelphia, without a solid idea of which neighborhoods are most sought after, which ones are growing quickly, and which ones have the best features, landmarks, and businesses. With that in mind, read on for a look at what promise to be some of the hottest neighborhoods in Philly in 2014 and beyond.
If you’re going to live in Philadelphia, you’re going to be immersing yourself in a place that undoubtedly has the atmosphere of a bustling, metropolitan city. Not everybody wants to live in the thick of it, however, and so choose to live on the city’s outskirts instead. Fishtown is not for them.
One of the most active neighborhoods in Philly right now is the Fishtown area, which offers all of the big-city feel you’re looking for without the big-city price tags. Right now, the median home price is about $169,000, which is decidedly modest for a neighborhood that’s in the midst of a full-blown cultural renaissance. Philadelphia apartments in the Fishtown area are perfectly placed for easy access to great restaurants and shops, all without falling victim to the sort of faceless condominium scene many city dwellers are all too familiar with.
The Rittenhouse neighborhood in Philly is decidedly more upscale than some of the other places on this list. The average asking price for a home sits right now at about $429,000, making it a better fit for families and empty nesters. Even so, singles and couples who can afford it will enjoy the somewhat more laid-back lifestyle and safer, quieter streets.
Even so, Rittenhouse isn’t without its share of exciting places to go. The food scene offers something for everyone, along with a great selection of shops that has only improved over time.
This neighborhood is becoming an increasingly popular destination for 20- and 30-year-olds. There has been an astronomical increase in the number of residents in possession of a B.A. degree over the last ten years (nearly 115%).
Some of the best-known names in real estate, such as Center City Real Estate, have been taking down For Sale signs as soon as they go up. It might have something to do with the short commute to Center City, or with the modern riverfront atmosphere, which features apartments overlooking the water, a great culture of fine dining, and a growing retail scene.
New Hope is offers a picture-perfect small-town feel for anybody who’s looking to make an escape from the big city atmosphere. The area has been popular with both young and old over the years, offering a great environment to raise a family thanks to quality local schools.
Indeed, those who are looking for the best family friendly atmosphere that Philly has to offer will find a lot to like about New Hope and its fairly small population of ~2,500 residents. You might have a little farther to go for food and shopping, but the residents seem to think it’s worth the trade-off.
Frank L. DeFazio is a native and current resident of Philadelphia. Frank’s skill, reputation and work ethic are widely hailed in Philadelphia and the CenterCityTeam has been recognized by Prudential Fox & Roach, Realtors and Philadelphia Magazine for their local expertise and commitment to world class customer service.
The city of Liverpool in the United Kingdom has a rich history about its global prowess in the 19th century up to the present day 21st century. The history of Liverpool into becoming a world renowned city started during the heyday of transatlantic journey, in which the city held some famous shipping companies that today are still best remembered. Liverpool is a legend in the world of sports particularly with its football clubs Liverpool FC and Everton FC which have called the city home. While in pop culture, Liverpool has some of the trendiest people in the world, and not to be forgotten is the country’s biggest export in popular media, the Beatles which is still growing strong and even more popular than ever. The best way to get to Liverpool being in the United Kingdom, from any parts of the globe is by plane or a more luxurious option such as a jet charter.
In the world of entertainment, one band is recognizable around the globe with no age limit to its popularity, the Beatles. The Beatles are being loved by various fans who today still praise the magnificent display of artistry by the band. The origin of the Beatles band took its legendary journey in the city of Liverpool, in which the band members started singing in clubs and various events before becoming famous.
When one is visiting in Liverpool, one will notice an actual place that is found in the lyrics of many Beatles songs. The songs made by the Beatles are a representation of how they feel, where they work, and others that are all visible in the city of Liverpool. Places like the yellow submarine, penny lane, strawberry field, and many more which are now recognizable due to the famous songs.
The docks of Liverpool spearheaded the transatlantic crossings in the 19th century as it held some world renowned ship builders, and shipping companies. The shipping company holds many awards in terms of being the largest, fastest, and grandest. The company buildings are regarded of a landmark status like in the case of the “three graces buildings” in which Cunard is part of. Cunard is one of the industry’s biggest contributors in terms of shipping.
Visiting Liverpool will make one reminisce and feel nostalgic upon witnessing the actual site during the launching, arrival, and departure of many ocean liners. The Merseyside Maritime Museum gives full insights on the shipping industry of the city and some documentaries like one on the famed Titanic. Today, Liverpool is still busy catering to present famous cruise ships.
Top Class Sports
When it comes to sports Liverpool will not be denied of glory as the city’s two main football clubs are widely recognized around the globe. The Liverpool and Everton FC both competing in the top flight of English Premier League are legendary in the world football. Either team bags some important sports hardware that made them elite. Fans around the globe cheer the football clubs with excitement and fascination about the players, the team, and the city.
The best way to experience quality football action of Liverpool and Everton is to come and visit the stadium they call home. Tourists and visitors must visit Anfield stadium for Liverpool home games, and Goodison Park for Everton. Visiting the various stadiums will be a fun filled experience of learning the facts about the team and the enjoyment of touring the complex either by self guide or with a professional. It is awesome.
The people of Liverpool are up-to-date when it comes to fashion from hip, funky, and cool. The fashion savvy people will be glad to visit the city as it welcomes graciously to fashion. The Liverpool One shopping center would satisfy anyone’s personal craving for beauty and fashion.
Whether Division I or Division III, college sports teams must travel across state lines to participate in athletic competitions. However, mode of travel and funding sources may differ depending on the size of each school’s athletic budget. According to allpro.eu the availability of traveling funds may even vary from sport to sport within the same college or university.
Division I schools with substantially larger budgets can usually afford to provide airline tickets to faraway games for their sports teams. This is especially true of more popular sports like football, basketball, and track and field. There are even athletic programs that charter flights for their teams, although this is not as common as flying commercially or traveling by bus. Schools that cannot afford the cost of airline tickets and travel fees typically rent charter buses for their teams. Still others rent large vans that enable their teams to drive to competitions at a more affordable cost.
Creative Approaches to Air Travel
In recent years, the rising cost of fuel and air travel has led many athletic departments to rethink their approach to transportation. Some schools have opted to purchase airline tickets for team members, but allow bags and equipment to travel by van or truck to save money on checked item fees, which can be costly when multiplied by several athletes, coaches, and trainers. Colleges and universities are also bringing along fewer extra teammates in the interest of saving on additional tickets. Some universities also have worked out group discounts with airline carriers the teams frequently use.
The Shift Toward Shorter Distances
In planning schedules for the upcoming season, some institutions are increasingly planning their schedules to include competitions and games that are closer to home. The NCAA has expanded its radius for the maximum distance teams are expected to travel by bus in light of growing concerns regarding rising travel expenses. Teams were required to travel up to 350 miles by bus to participate in sports contests; however, the maximum has now been increased to 400. Teams are also expected to travel up to 150 miles to the nearest airport if doing so would result in a lower airline booking fee. Although these rules are in place, men’s basketball is not required to adhere to the restrictions.
Weighing Cost vs. Benefit
The ultimate decision athletic departments must make is whether the benefit of traveling to faraway locations outweighs the cost. While some athletic directors have expressed a desire to not deny students the opportunity to participate in certain competitions, others look for alternatives. For example, if a school has an opportunity to participate in a high caliber event on the oppose coast and another comparable tournament exists at a location that is within driving distance, the school may opt for the closer option. In the interest of helping schools that are heavily affected by rising travel costs, Division II approved a one-time allocation of $250,000 to be divided among institutions that needed the funding. While division conferences strive to make changes to enable more affordable travel for affected schools, these changes are less helpful to schools for which long distance travel is compulsory, such as institutions that are locate in Alaska and Hawaii. These institutions are forced seek alternatives to cost savings such as attempting work out discount deals with airlines or taking flights as less convenient times.
North America is a vast continent with a variety of different places to see and explore, from the highest mountain peaks to what seem like never-ending stretches of deserts and gorgeous, unforgettable beaches. Whether you live on the continent or you are visiting from another part of the world, it can be difficult to determine where you should spend your next vacation. To help you narrow down your many choices, five of the very best places you should definitely try to visit at some point in your life are below.
New York City
New York City, the city that never sleeps and one of the biggest centers for business all over the world, is definitely one of the many places on the North American continent that you should make it a point to visit. With so many places to shop, dine, and be entertained, this city has something to offer to everyone. Even those who love the great outdoors will enjoy a stroll through Central Park, where you feel worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the streets that surround it.
Yellowstone National Park
For those who adore nature and want to experience it in all its glory, a trip to Yellowstone National Park, located in Wyoming, is a must. Visit Old Faithful Geyser, the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone, Mammoth Hot Springs, and Hayden Valley, to name just a few of the top attractions located throughout the massive park. While you explore, take the time to breathe in the crisp, clean air and take plenty of photographs of the unique plants and animals that call this place home.
One of the most popular destinations in Canada, Montreal is a city that is charming, friendly, and offers plenty to do. Check out Notre Dame, explore museums, do some shopping, and make sure you indulge in the local cuisine by visiting the many restaurants that are found throughout this bustling city.
Florida’s Beaches and Amusement Parks
From Naples on the western coast of the state to Miami on the east coast, Florida has so many beaches to choose from if you are planning a much-needed winter getaway to a place that offers tropical temperatures all year long. But the state also houses the very best amusement parks, including Universal Studios, Walt Disney World Resort, and Busch Gardens. Islands that surround the state, such as Sanibel and the Florida Keys, are also the perfect places to go if you are looking for a tranquil destination to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery that surrounds you.
Few places in Canada draw as many tourists from around the world as the Niagara Falls. These massive waterfalls are known for their majesty and their power, as well as their beauty. You can check them out from any one of the nearby towers and high-rise buildings or you can see them from the ground or take a boat to the bottom of the falls for a truly unforgettable experience. And finding a list of Niagara Falls hotels is easy, making planning and booking your excursion really simple.
Dean Attwood is a freelance travel blogger who really enjoys exploring the many diverse places that this world has to offer. He has seen a variety of cities and towns throughout North America and is always willing to tell everyone about them so that they, too, can experience them for themselves.
Whenever you head out into the wilderness to enjoy a camping trip, there are many things that you need to keep in mind and remember to bring with you. However, the chances are that one of those items will be forgotten in the hustle and bustle of preparing for the trip and you will not bring it along with you.
This is why it is helpful to have a camping equipment checklist with you, so that you can make a list of everything you need and then check each piece off one by one before you leave. Here are some of the most commonly forgotten items that are important to remember for your camping trip:
A First Aid Kit
Many people only remember the first aid kit when it is too late and they have already hurt themselves, but have nothing to treat the wound with. A first aid kit is something very important to have while you are camping, because you never know when an accident might occur.
If you have been using the same first aid kit for years, make sure that you check on it every so often, to make sure that the bandages haven’t dried up, the antibiotic cream hasn’t expired and the painkillers are all still within their “best before” date.
Don’t forget to bring with you plenty of rubbish bags for your camping trip. You will have food packaging, cans and other rubbish when you are done and you should not just leave it in the wilderness. Keep the forest as clean as you found it, or even cleaner if possible! Remember, you shouldn’t leave bags of food waste out at night because it might attract animal scavengers – so put the trash in your car or hang it up from a tree where it cannot be reached.
Dish Soap and a Sponge
This is one of the most often forgotten camping supplies, but you will find that it really comes in handy when you need to clean up your dishes or wipe down the table. Try to find eco-friendly dish soap that will be gentle on the environment.
Don’t forget to bring along with you plenty of changes of socks! When your feet start to stink to high heaven partway into your camping trip, you will wish that you had a fresh pair to change into. Good quality hiking socks are made with fabrics that wick away sweat from the skin and will keep you more comfortable while reducing odour, so invest in a few high quality pairs.
Water shoes are a style of footwear that is designed for activities where your feet will likely become wet, such as kayaking or canoeing. They are made of waterproof mesh and they have a hard rubber role that prevents your feet from getting cut on rocks or gravel in a river or a lake. These shoes are great to have with you when you are camping, even if you are not kayaking or canoeing. If you are only swimming in a nearby lake or river, you can still wear water shoes so that you don’t have to worry about hurting your feet on the rocky and rough surfaces. A cut foot can quickly become infected and ruin a camping trip, so make sure that doesn’t happen!
If you really want to find some really good water shoes as well as hiking boots, outdoor clothing and much more, you can visit Live Out There. Check out their Boxing Day sale, as they are offering some great deals on all of their products.
What is the shovel for, you might ask? This is an important camping item because you can use it to over your campfire with dirt after you have put it out. This is a safe way to make sure that the campfire is completely out, which reduces the risk of forest fires.
This is a commonly forgotten item on camping trips, especially if the weather is overcast and rainy when you leave and then it gets warmer later in the trip. Bringing sunscreen (and sunglasses!) is just as important as bringing rain gear, because you never know what the weather is going to bring. A bad sunburn can really ruin your fun camping trip, so keep yourself safe.
These are a few important items that you will want to remember on your next camping trip, so add them to your checklist and make sure you don’t forget any of them!
Ben Brown is a freelance writer and blogger who loves to explore the great outdoors. He grew up in Canmore, Alberta and has been camping since he was a baby with his family.
I fancy a holiday. No, I really fancy a holiday. I can’t even blame it on the colder weather as it has actually been relatively balmy for October, more likely it’s an attack of the green eyed monster as a friend of mine has recently come back from a cruise, tanned and relaxed and popped round to tell me all about it.
I have to say that I’ve never really been struck by the idea of a cruise. Sure, there is definitely something that appeals to my (not so well hidden) lazy streak. The idea of having nothing to do but idle away the hours on deck, shuffling between the pool and the bar with nowhere much to go and therefore every excuse to ‘relax fully’. But I think I might just have watched far too many re-runs of the Poseidon Adventure to ever ‘relax fully’ whilst out at sea.
I mean just me, a metal outer shell and the deep (undoubtedly shark infested) sea, shudder.
But still the idea had some pull. A cruise, I thought…. Cocktails with the captain, me sporting a sophisticated little chiffon number, perhaps dining at his table…
Nope, that’s it I’ve definitely od’d on The Poseidon Adventure. I’m much more of a sin hiding kaftan, fish and chips eating kind of a gal. And then there’s the ‘entertainment’ … shudder.
The luxury I could live with. The ‘entertainment’? I’m not sure. I’m more likely to run back to my room with a good book than enjoy the sequined and feathered delights of the coca cabana. My friend laughed,’ Iit’s really not like that anymore’ she said. ‘There’s something for everyone even the kids.’ Hmmn.
Later after she’d gone I still couldn’t quite shake off the idea, she’d sold it well and I really did need a good break. Two years of sleepless nights courtesy of my toddler had left me withered … not just physically but mentally as well. However could being trapped in a metal can with my two (possibly sea sick) children actually constitute a rest? Probably not.
An hour or two’s happy googling later and suddenly a whole new world of possibilities had opened up. River cruises! Now that sounded much more up my street, I mean you can actually see land (for most of the time anyway) from a river can’t you? And it brought up happy memories of a long weekend in Venice many (pre-children) moons ago where from the Grand Canal we happily surveyed the architecture at a leisurely pace, hopping ashore from the vaporetto every now and then whenever it took our fancy.
I began to get excited. Rivers, by their very nature, are at the heart of some of the most beautiful cities in the world. What better way to see them than by navigating up (or indeed down) stream? Often it is the oldest, most beautiful part of the capital that sits at the waterfront (bringing with it, of course, an abundance of waterside cafés and restaurants).
I was hooked. Most of the tours I looked at seemed to offer plenty of opportunities to stop and have a good wander perhaps along the shores of the Rhine, through the valleys of the Dordogne or even the Nile or the Seine. When jerked back to reality rather helpfully by my two year old waiving the remote control under my nose I sighed and thought … but not with the children. No.
But just as I was about to turn away, something caught my eye. A Christmas market cruise! Wow! The idea of cruising along the river shore to a spectacularly lit market, full of the sights, sounds and smells of Christmas really appealed.
Best of all I could justify a long weekend without the children. I mean I wouldn’t want to risk them seeing their presents before Christmas would I, it would spoil the surprise …!
Some rapid fire googling later (after I’d put Peppa Pig on of course) and there it was, a ‘Christmas Markets Extravaganza’ four day cruise. Now if I can just persuade Grandma …
Nicola Wilson is a mum, freelance writer for www.rivercruiseholidays.com, entrepreneur, business coach and writer with several years experience of working as a headhunter within the IT sector. Her website is www.infiniteresources.co.uk.
Whether you’re interested in fast food on the go or want to sample something fresh and locally produced, there are plenty of eateries in Amsterdam that won’t break the bank. There are lots of places for breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack all within easy reach of the city centre that cater for every taste.
When you’re in a new city you really should try the local cuisine. One of the best places to try is Pannenkoekenhuis Upstairs. As the name suggests, you have to climb some steps but the walk is worth it when your waiter brings you Dutch pancakes, or pannenkoeken, with either savoury or sweet toppings. Everything’s reasonably priced and the pancakes fill a dinner plate so you’ll be full till dinner time. Another unmissable place for local food is Café Het Paleis which is found west of Dam square. There a slice of appelgebak (appletart) won’t cost you the earth but the thick, buttery pastry will be as memorable as any of the city’s famous sites.
If you’re tastes lean towards French or Italian food then Van Kerkwijk could be the restaurant for you. There the menu includes dishes like carpaccio and steak tartare or you could opt for an Indonesian curries or African tagines. Restaurant Azmarino is another place where international dishes are served. The food is served on giant sharing platters and you can expect a mixture of hot, sour, sweet and spicy dishes from East Africa. Thai food is another option in Amsterdam and one of the best restaurants for Thai food can be found near the popular Leidseplein. Sawaddee Ka is a well-respected and inexpensive restaurant where Thai dishes like curries, noodles, fish cakes and soups can be sampled.
If you fancy a stop during a busy day’s shopping or site seeing then the best places for lunch are Singel 404 and Poco Loco. Singel 404 is a bit of an institution in Amsterdam so table can be difficult to find but if you’re lucky enough to get a seat you should try the broodje with smoked chicken, sun-dried tomatoes, melted brie and avocado. You can specify the type of bread and you’ll find it’s more than enough to get you refuelled for the afternoon’s activities. Poco Loco has a terrace that overlooks the Nieuwmarkt but people don’t go there for the views. The place is famous for its club sandwich with crispy bacon, Dutch cheese, smoked chicken and salad.
If you’re interested in quick food there are plenty of places that will serve you a burger or make a pizza for you. One of the best places to go for burgers is Getto. The atmosphere is relaxed and inviting so there’s a chilled out vibe and yet they’re serious about their food. The Jennifer Hopelezz burger topped with guacamole and bacon comes highly recommended, as does the Dolly Bellefleur with tzatziki, each of which are served with chunky chips and salad. Yam Yam is so good they named it twice. The name means “yum yum” and visitors to their restaurant on Frederik Hendrikstraat will attest that the Tartufata pizza with Italian ham, parmesan, rocket and truffle sauce definitely justifies the name.
If after sampling the cuisine on offer throughout Amsterdam, you would like to relax with a beer or two and maybe munch on something light, De Zotte on Raamstraat would be the best place to end a long and busy day.
Visiting the Dutch capital needn’t cost the earth, and there are cheap flights to Amsterdam available throughout the year. So why not book a ticket and experience it for yourself!
Frank Williams is a travel blogger who specialises in finding the best value European city breaks.
What Turkey has to Offer: Why it’s an Amazing destination
Ever Wonder Why So Many People are Going to Turkey for Holiday?
Photo by John Walker / Flickr
Travel to Turkey on holiday? Yes! More people are realizing the benefits of going to Greece all the time. Below is a short look at some of the main reasons so many people enjoy going to this country. You might be surprised at some of the things that make it such an amazing travel destination.
Why Turkey is Amazing
Here’s a closer look at why so many people feel Turkey is so amazing.
History – One of the things that makes travel to Turkey so cool for some people is all the rich history that’s available in the country. Whether you’re in Istanbul or another city, you can hardly turn around without seeing something that has survived through history. From ruins to buildings that are still standing, history buffs are going to love all that Turkey has to offer.
Nature – From scuba diving and swimming with the turtles to exploring the beauty of the country on land, nature lovers are going to find a lot to enjoy about Turkey. Most wouldn’t consider it the most beautiful place in the world, but its natural beauty cannot be denied.
People – The local people you’re going to run into in the country are another reason so many people who have gone sweat they’re going to return as soon as they can. Friendly and welcoming to foreigners, the people can really make your holiday special.
Culture – From museums to art galleries to all the history everywhere you turn, those who enjoy cultural experiences are going to get a lot out of going to Turkey. From Greek to Roman to Ottoman culture, there’s a lot of culture to explore and experience.
Nightlife – If you’re more into the party life, Turkey has a lot to offer you as well. With a lot of great nightclubs and restaurants, you’re going to be able to dance and drink the night away – especially if you’re staying in Istanbul. Even if you don’t drink alcohol, there are a lot of great places where you can relax and unwind socially, and this can make your holiday a lot better.
Turkey is an amazing destination where you can find a variety of beautiful holiday homes when you book online. As long as you do your homework and research before you leave, you’re sure to find a lot of great attractions and events to keep you busy when you’re on holiday. If you have experience visiting Turkey, leave a comment below and share your adventures with the rest of us.
About the Auhtor of What Turkey has to Offer: Why it’s an Amazing destination :
Theresa likes learning about different cultures around the world. She also enjoys writing articles for different Internet publications that accept guest posts – like this one. She has two cats and one turtle she rescued in an incident she still doesn’t like to talk about.
Having put its recent troubled history firmly behind it, Kuwait is beginning to put itself on the tourist map in the same way as some of its Middle Eastern sister countries. Accommodation in Kuwait is certainly of a high standard and there are a number of cultural attractions to enjoy in this prosperous and welcoming country.
The House of Mirrors
Not a funfair attraction but rather one of those quirky must-sees that is the result of one person’s passion and single-mindedness. The mind in question belongs to Lidia al-Qattan, the widow of renowned Kuwaiti artist Khalifa al-Qattan and it was inspired by a piece of dining room furniture. From these humble beginnings grew such grandiose-sounding attractions as the Room of the Universe and the Basin of Sharks. The mirrored mosaics that cover both the inside and outside of the house apparently required the use of 77-tons of glass and 102 tons of cement in their construction.
Souk Al Mubarakiya
As with any Arabian destination, a visit to the local souk is a must for the frenetic excitement, non-stop activity and of course practice in haggling. Despite a number of the traders recently moving into a modern building, it still retains its timeless charm as you haggle amongst piles of dates, olives and cuts of meat. Beyond this the souk spills out into the traditional winding alleyways and near here you will find the Souq al-Hareem where Bedouin women sell the old-fashioned black eyeliner kohl, pumice stones and distinctly non-traditional sequined dresses.
For a complete change of pace a visit to the city’s aquarium should do the trick. Slightly unusually but entirely fitting due to its location, the Aquarium includes a ‘Desert Zone’ which features a selection of local mammals, reptiles and birds that display remarkable adaptations to the harsh conditions and many of which are endangered. The journey continues through the ‘Coastal Zone’ and creatures living in rivers and mangrove swamps including penguins, otters, pythons and seabirds. The spectacular ‘Sea Zone’ contains more the 100 species from the Arabian Gulf, Red Sea and coastal Africa and includes the incredible wraparound, floor-to-ceiling shark and ray tanks. Try and coincide your visit with feeding time if you can.
Once home to the Al-Sabah collection, one of the most comprehensive displays of Islamic art in the world, the museum was systematically looted and vandalised during the Iraqi occupation. The museum is still undergoing reconstruction and restoration and pressure from the UN helped restore many of the antiquities and artworks, many of which have been on display at the British Museum in London and New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art in the interim. Now there are more than 2000 pieces back on display, charting Kuwait’s history back to the Bronze Age.
Al-Hashemi Marine Museum
The centrepiece of this odd museum – and even odder gift shop selling toy Viking longships and Lord Nelson figurines is the largest wooden boat in the world. The Al-Hashemi II is 80.4m long, 18.7m wide and weighs around 2500 tonnes. It was constructed in 1998 using mahogany from Africa and pine logs from Oregon, US. Its lavish interior is now used as a conference venue while the nearby (and significantly smaller) Al-Boom is a superb restaurant.
Tareq Rajab Museum
Assembled as a private collection of Islamic art by Kuwait’s then Antiquities Minister and his British wife, it fortunately survived the Iraqi invasion because the owners bricked up the doorway to the cellar in which it was housed and disguised the entrance. Still housed in the cellar of this elegant villa, the collection numbers around 30,000 items, around a third of which are on display at any one time. The first section houses calligraphy, miniatures, ceramics, metalworks, carvings and the Islamic manuscripts for which the museum is internationally renowned. The second collection is Islamic objects from the last 250 years and includes costumes, textiles, jewellery and musical instruments.
Transformed in the last two decades, Kuwait should be high on the agenda for any visitor to the Arab Peninsula with accommodation, attractions and shopping all of a high standard.
When Sally recently travelled to Kuwait she visited a number of religious and tourist attractions. She hopes to share what she learned to ensure travellers can plan best.