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Readers' travel tips: send us a tip on hidden Madrid

A tapas bar down a neglected alley, flamenco lessons no tourist would know about, or a cool gallery off the beaten track. Send us a tip on experiencing Madrid away from the crowds and you could win a £200 hotel voucher<p>Do you have any advice on where to go for those travellers who are tired of …

Pictures: How a Python Can Swallow a Crocodile

Snakes regularly eat items 75 to 100 percent their size.<p>In an epic battle in northern Queensland, Australia, a 10-foot olive python got the best of a Johnson's crocodile, and a lucky passerby snapped photos.<p>We talked to Terry Phillip, curator of reptiles at Reptile Gardens in Rapid City, South …

Europe’s top 10 scenic rail journeys

Give thanks to the engineers who built railways across Europe's most difficult terrain, their hard work has translated into some of the world's most picturesque journeys – in Scandinavia along icy rivers to fjords, in Germany, Switzerland and Italy through carved valleys in the Alps, along the …

Brightest Lunar Impact Ever Recorded

This artwork depicts the blast formed from an impacting meteor on the lunar surface. Credit: NASA<p><b>Anyone looking up at the right moment on September 11, 2013, may have caught sight of a brief flash of light on the moon.</b><p>The flash was the biggest and brightest lunar impact ever observed by …

Astronomy

Marrakesh: what to pack and shopping tips

Lonely Planet's top 10 best value stays for 2014

Amazing experiences aren’t reserved for unlimited budgets. These characterful places to stay around the world offer comfort and charm in superlative settings - all of them are well under US$100 per night, and plenty have dorm beds for only a few dollars. Here are our top 10 wallet-friendly hotels …

Ryanair's £10 flights to the US: would the experience be worth the savings?

Michael O'Leary, the chief executive of Ryanair, has claimed the airline could offer flights to the US for less than £10 when it eventually buys the long-haul aircraft it needs.<p>The flights would leave from up to 14 major European cities to 12-14 destinations in the US, he said. Passengers, however, …

Long Haul

On Way to New World, First Americans Made a 10,000-Year Pit Stop

The first human settlers of the New World may have spent ten millennia on the landmass that linked Siberia and Alaska.<p>Sediment cores from Alaska and the Bering Sea support genetic evidence that the first human settlers of the New World spent thousands of years inhabiting Beringia, the region that …

Anthropology

Gladiator School Discovery Reveals Hard Lives of Ancient Warriors

Archaeologists have mapped an ancient gladiator school, where the famed warriors lived, trained, and fought.<p>Ancient Rome's gladiators lived and trained in fortress prisons, according to an international team of archaeologists who mapped a school for the famed fighters.<p>Discovered at the site of …

Ancient History

The Big Picture photography competition: round 295

Sign Language: week 292

Language

Hidden gems in Paris: readers' travel tips

Put away the tourist guide and discover Paris's bars, restaurants and attractions that pull in the locals<p>• To add a tip for next week and be in with a chance of winning a £200 Hotels.com voucher, go to GuardianWitness<p>WINNING TIP: L'Entrepôt<p>This venue comprises three small, comfortable cinemas …

Zürich: more than finance and fondue

Ask the average person to name the party capital of Europe and Zürich probably would not top the list. What's in Zürich? Erm…bankers, fondue, chocolate, chalet-style cuckoo clocks. Think that covers it? Think again.<p>Switzerland’s largest city may not have the glamour of Paris, the hedonistic party …

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 …

Germany

Readers' travel photo competition – March: architecture

Enter your architecture shot via GuardianWitness to be in with a chance of winning a trip to KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa<p>From the ancient to the modern, buildings have defined cultures and populations. March’s theme is architecture to challenge you to capture the art, life and history that the …

The best time to book a flight for a cheap holiday is 54 days (7.5 weeks) in advance, new research has revealed. According to CheapAir.com, fares start to drop around 225 days (7.5 months) before a flight date and they continue to drop slowly but

The best time to book a flight for a cheap holiday is 54 days (7.5 weeks) in advance, new research has revealed.<p>According to CheapAir.com, fares …

Chefchaouen: four ways to explore Morocco's blue city

Chefchaouen is an otherworldly escape nestled in Morocco’s Rif Mountains. As well as its distinctive palette of blue and white buildings, a striking contrast with the arid setting, this popular tourist town has plenty to offer. Embark on strenuous hillside hikes or idle strolls; bathe in mountain …

Uganda's New Anti-Gay Law: Part of a Broader Trend in Africa

Homophobia is on the rise across much of the continent.<p>"EXPOSED! Uganda's 200 Top Homos Named," the headline of a popular Ugandan tabloid, the <i>Red Pepper</i>, screamed on February 25, the day after President Yoweri Museveni signed the country's Anti-Homosexuality Bill.<p>The <i>Red Pepper</i>'s witch hunt and …

LGBTQ

Behind the Headlines: Venezuela's Crisis

Oil has long been the country's great stabilizer—and destabilizer.<p>Venezuela's economy is unraveling—and so is the confidence of the country's hard-hit population. Soaring crime, high inflation, and a plummeting living standard have sparked weeks of protest in Caracas and other cities.<p>President …

Venezuela

Top secret(s): the truths behind 10 of the world's great wonders

Ever visit an incredible site in some exotic land and wonder how it was built? The notice board just lists a few meaningless dates, or a guide rattles off a bunch of jargon-packed phrases, but you want the real dirt. Here we reveal the ingenious engineering behind 10 of the world's most epic …

Channel Homepage

Ten must-see events in March

From Las Fallas to Mardi Gras to Nowruz, here are 10 fascinating, festive celebrations taking place around the world this month.

Mardi Gras

Your Weird Animal Questions Answered

<b>Have a mad question about March hares? Something about squirrels driving you nuts? Want the poop on dung beetles?</b><p>Welcome back to Ask Your Weird Animal Questions, in which we answer a few of your awesome animal inquiries each week. Let’s jump right in, because the first question is about dolphins.<p><b>Do</b> …

Air Pollution

Opinion: End Illegal Wildlife Trafficking on World Wildlife Day

In a National Geographic op-ed, John Kerry, Eric Holder, and Sally Jewell call for halting the illegal wildlife trade.<p>Today, the world celebrates the first ever World Wildlife Day. Here in America, the bald eagle, the grizzly bear, the salmon, and the American bison are distinct examples of the …

Wildlife

Thailand tour in two weeks: holiday itinerary

From dazzling temples and night markets, to hill tribe treks and idyllic islands, this itinerary takes in the classic sights as well as more off the beaten track experiences and destinations, including Thailand's cowboy country<p><b>Did we miss your favourite place? Share your tips and suggestions in the</b> …

Granada beyond the Alhambra

Granada’s Alhambra, a 1000-year-old palace complex that rises like an Arabian Nights fantasy at the foot of the Sierra Nevada mountain range, is a hard act to follow. After basking in the glory of its foppish Nasrid rulers amid ornate palaces and even more ornate gardens, everything else threatens …