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8 amazing books to read before you visit Japan

From Haruki Murakami’s classic to a Tokyo guide for creatives, Jude Brosnan from Stanford Books reviews the 8 fantastic books you should read if you …

The 20 best summer holiday islands in Europe

Sardinia<p>Sicily<p>Ibiza<p>Menorca<p>Tenerife<p>Malta<p>Mykonos<p>Corsica<p>Formentera<p>Capri<p>Naxos<p>Majorca

England's most beautiful villages

26 reasons why New Zealand is the world's best country

17. Culinary flavours of Auckland

Discovering China's 'hidden' Himalaya

The mountains of north-west Yunnan, home to minority villages and snow peaks, offer the chance to experience a remote Himalayan enclave without …

Highlights of Slovenia: readers’ travel tips

For a country of just two million people, Slovenia has much more than its share of sights and attractions. Readers pick their favourites outside of capital Ljubljana<p>As you walk round Lake Bled, past Villa Bled, a little sign saying “Tearoom” points upwards through the trees. It gives no indication …

8 of the best trips to Silk Road cities

Seek the Silk Road's Chinese origins<p>Xian, the easternmost point of the Silk Route, is the starting point of Wendy Wu's 23-day <b>Silk Road Explorer</b> trip …

Like a local: Reykjavik

Given Reykjavik is only a three-hour flight from the UK, it does a great job in otherworldliness. For a European capital, there’s something truly …

Exploring Bali and Lombok: readers’ travel tips

Cycling in the rainforest, discovering secret beaches, eating with the locals, bathing in a volcanic spring … Readers get well off the beaten track on the isalnds of Bali and Lombok

Kites and colour: Sri Lanka's time to shine

From tribesmen to Test cricketers, Sri Lanka’s people are the stars of John Gimlette’s new book, with its towns, jungles, elephants and islets a vivid backdrop<p><b>Sri Lanka rises from the Indian Ocean like a planter’s hat to heights of up to 2,500 metres</b>. It gets a lot of rain, which keeps it lush and …

Sri Lanka

New Zealand in winter

It’s thought New Zealand acquired the Maori name <i>Aotearoa</i> or ‘the land of the long white cloud’ due to the nation’s abiding daylight. Even in winter this moniker rings true, with New Zealand’s colder months heralding sunshine and good times aplenty.<p>Avoid the queues, peak pricing and the summer …

Top 10 craft beer bars in Budapest

Budapest,Bars and clubs,Food and drink,Hungary,Europe,Top 10s,Travel,Pubs,Life and style,Food & drink<p>Already known for its lively nightlife, the Hungarian capital is also experiencing a boom of new microbreweries and specialist ale producers – which are celebrated at Főzdefeszt, a beer and street …

How to have a budget break in Iceland

‘Iceland is too expensive to visit if you’re on a budget’. Along with ‘don’t eat the street food – it will make you ill’<i>,</i> this is one of the great travel myths. And it could lead you to miss out on some amazing experiences.<p>True, Iceland can be eye-wateringly pricey, but with some planning it is …

Loneliness

Wild Debrecen: a weekend in Hungary’s refreshing second city

Even in Debrecen’s city centre, wilderness beckons. Forested parkland hugs the northern rim of Hungary’s second city, while 40km west lie the great plains of Hortobágy National Park. But despite natural riches at its fringes, as well as spas and a gleaming historic centre, Debrecen remains a juicy …

10 places for an unforgettable hot air balloon ride

Escape the crowds and experience the thrill of seeing the world from above by taking to the skies in a hot air balloon... Here are our favourites<p>1. …

The Golden Ring: a road trip through the heart of Russia

East of Moscow lies the land of small historical towns, ancient onion-domed churches, gingerbread cottages and largely unspoilt countryside, all in sharp contrast with the imperial megalomania of Moscow and St Petersburg. When the USSR started opening up for foreign tourists in the 1960s, the …

Top 10 things to do in Poland

Poland is back in a big way. Cities like Warsaw, Kraków and Gdańsk have been polished up, while outside the urban centres there are forests, mountains and lakes to be explored.<p>Whether your idea of a wild time is trying a tipple (or two) of the national drink, or discovering wildlife in the …

A guide to Budapest’s thermal baths

Budapest sits on a patchwork of almost 125 thermal springs, and ‘taking the waters’ has been a part of everyday life here since people walked in togas. No baths still operating date back to Roman times but some are a legacy of the Turkish occupation, others are Art Nouveau marvels and there are …

Exploring Norway's fjords

Scoured and gouged by glaciers, western Norway’s fjords are pincered by steep, rugged terrain where cliffs plunge down to barely populated shorelines and vertiginous waterfalls seem to drop from the clouds. The fjordscapes of western Norway are so utterly unique and so profoundly beautiful that …

32 photos that will make you want to travel to Iceland

Most of the island is an uninhabited landscape of jagged lava rock, fields of bright green moss, hot springs, towering waterfalls, glaciers, and volcanoes.<p>Many visitors say that the country is reminiscent of another world.<p>Plus, it is a perfect place for any adventurous traveler — visitors to the …

10 things you didn't know about Estonia

Tania Lestal reveals the Baltic gem's biggest secrets, as well as a few little-known tips that will keep you on the right side of the law!<p>Estonia is …

Japan's freshest food (and where to find it)

Shrinking the distance from food source to plate is a trend that is catching on globally. Japan is obsessed with eating – its famous national cuisine (known as <i>washoku</i>) is one of the few in the world to have been recognised by Unesco as an Intangible Cultural Heritage.<p>And while its local …

8 things you never knew about Vanuatu

1. You can send a postcard from an active volcano<p>Mt Yasur volcano, on the island of Tanna, has the world's only volcano postal service – so you can …

Top 10 Things to Do in Bucharest

Travel<p>The top ten things to do in Romania's capital city.<p><b>Gawk Until You Drop at the Palace of Parliament</b><br>The world's biggest parliamentary building (and one of the largest buildings of any kind) happens to be in Bucharest. Whether one views the gargantuan Palace of Parliament as a folly and …

Bangkok's best views: top spots to admire the Thai capital

In pancake-flat Bangkok, elevated views are as precious as a good dish of pat tai. Yet for a place that barely breaks sea level there are quite a few places to marvel at the scale of the city: from a Buddhist temple on an artificial mountain to chic restaurants crowning towering skyscrapers.<p>River …

Top 20 free things to do in Berlin

Berlin may be one of the best-value cities in Europe but, for visitors, those euros can start to add up after days of museum-hopping and nights of clubbing. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to stretch your budget further by cashing in on some tip-top freebies.<p>Catch a ride to the Reichstag’s …

Getting off the beaten track in Fiji

Despite the brochure images – luxurious resorts, pool-side bars and palm-fringed beaches dotted with hammocks – it's surprisingly easy to get off the beaten track in Fiji. Over half the country, including the main island of Viti Levu, offers less-trodden paths and unique adventures for those ready …

The ultimate foodie guide to Lisbon

From traditional Portuguese dishes to modern creations, the Portuguese capital is home to an array of eateries with a difference that will surprise …

14 things to do in Cuba before it changes forever

2. Take a stroll along Havana harbour<p>5. Explore the tobacco heartlands of Viñales<p>9. See the legacy of Che<p>11. Stay with a local<p>14. Explore eerie San Miguel de los Baños<p>1. Wander Old Havana

Heli-skiing in Iceland: the flight fantastic

The names of the destinations, and even of my host, were conjuring images in my mind before the flight from London had touched down in the harsh volcanic landscape outside Reykjavik. I was heading for what looked like the middle of nowhere on the north coast of Iceland; to the giant, bulbous, …