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Top 20 free things to do in Paris

City of love, fashion capital, literary paradise… Paris has many different guises. And while museum entry can be steep and fine dining comes at a premium, the French capital can also be a cheap date.<p>Whether you go weak at the knees for soaring church spires or want to rub elbows at an authentic …

20 free things to do in Sydney

You don't need a fat wallet to enjoy the glamour and chic of Sydney. These 20 attractions, activities and icons won't cost you a cent.<p><b>Take the Bondi to Coogee Walk</b><p>One of the most spectacular walks and coastlines you could hope to see, this route takes in some of Sydney’s most iconic beaches. In …

Top things to do in Rome

Few cities evoke the sheer wonder and amazement of Rome. Ancient history, outstanding art and religious icons are around every corner and when it all gets too much you can just join the locals in sipping espresso in one of the city's many squares. With so much to see and do, the real test will be …

20 free things to do in Amsterdam

It's easy to spend a fortune in the Netherlands' stylish capital, but the city has plenty of gratis goodies up for grabs.<p>Check out our pick of the freebies on offer.<p><b>1. Canal Ring</b><p>More canals flow in Amsterdam than in Venice, and get this: the 400-year-old waterways are a UNESCO World Heritage site. …

Top 10 glamorous A-list destinations

Hoping to catch a glimpse of the rich and famous on your next trip? Unfortunately for any aspiring celeb-spotter, those celebs are stealthy types and really aren't interested in being spotted, so while some getaway locales never change, new under-the-radar destinations keep popping up around the …

New York City's top shopping strips

<i>This is an excerpt from the Shopping chapter of Lonely Planet's</i> <i>New York City</i> <i>guide.</i><p>To the question ‘Where do I shop?’, NYC answers ‘How much you got?’ Well-funded shoppers head to Midtown’s Fifth Ave and the Upper East Side’s Madison Ave. SoHo has high-end boutiques stocking the wares of …

First time Ireland: unmissable Emerald Isle experiences

Ireland’s reputation precedes itself, so first-time visitors might think they know what to expect – rolling green fields, chatty locals and a pint for each hand – but there’s so much more to Ireland than its stereotypical charms. Skip the bus tours stopping at leprechaun-filled souvenir shops and …

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Best places to shop for travel gear and gadgets

Gadgets. Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they're rapidly becoming part of the traveller's arsenal. But that doesn't mean you have to spend a fortune: next time you’re planning a trip overseas, consider taking along your travel tech shopping list. You can save plenty of cash if you know where to shop - and …

Top 10 Eastern European getaways

For years Eastern Europe was the undiscovered half of the continent - but things have changed. The diverse highlights of Eastern Europe are now drawing travellers by the trainload. Here are our top 10 Eastern European getaways.<p>1. Julian Alps, Slovenia<p>The Julian Alps form Slovenia's dramatic …

O'ahu's top surf spots

Haleiwa<p>An unruly, wild, wintertime break that picks up pretty much any north or west swell. A split-peak with a better right, it breaks from two feet to 12 and can either be a lot of fun or one of the scariest places you'll ever surf. The current out of the Haleiwa Harbor's relentless, so make sure …

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 …

A brunch-lover’s guide to New York City

Ahh, brunch. One part omelette, two parts mimosa, three parts coffee – life’s sweet distraction when the workweek is nigh. Though not a uniquely New York 'thing' <i>per se</i>, there’s no other city that takes its breakfast-lunch combustion quite as seriously as the Big Apple and every visitor should take …

18 free things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona has enough to keep the most voracious of culture vultures and self-indulgent of gourmands happy for weeks, but all those entry fees and tapas bills can mount up. Fortunately, help is at hand with a variety of ways to make your holiday budget stretch a little further.<p>In addition to the …

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What an eyeful: the world's most beautiful buildings

Straight away we'll say that this isn't a top 10 list. There are just far too many styles of buildings, each worthy of a top 50: sacred buildings, homes, skyscrapers, theatres...<p>Instead, this is a list showing the variety of architectural beauty across the globe - and pointing you in the direction …

Our top 45 free things to do in New York City

Seeing New York City's biggest attractions can mean spending a hefty chunk of your trip budget on tickets. Empire State Building? $36. The Guggenheim and the Whitney both go for $25. Even the Frick is $22. But there's a lifetime of fun to be had without ever handing over a cent, and not just by …

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Finding the right Greek island

With more than 2000 islands, from tiny atolls to Crete, maritime Greece is unmatched for sheer variety. Beaches, history, walking, cycling, water sports, festivals, food, ecology: chances are if you want it, they’ve got it. Here are just a few of the incomparable offerings Greek islands hold.<p>Best …

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The world's best secret islands

Looking for a romantic spot that's (almost) all yours? Here’s a list from our brand new <i>Best in Travel 2011</i> guide to reignite your love affair with desert islands, with picks from across the globe.<p>1. Torres Strait Islands, Australia<p><i>Image by Killer White Fluff</i><p>As far as you can go in Oz without …

Bali: beyond the usual suspects

Bali may have its fair share of tourists seeking nothing more than seven days of sun, sand and sex in the southern party triad of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak, but this only forms a small part of what’s on offer. In reality, Bali is a lush Indonesian island teeming with cultural experiences, delicious …

Surfing for novices amidst Bali's monster waves

Tucked within Indonesia’s ferociously powerful waves, lies a unique surfing experience that will bring mile-long smiles to beginners and intermediate surfers alike. It’s not your typical Balinese wave: no coral reef to stab you through the foot, no riptide to pull you out to sea, and no towering …

Learning to surf in the Land of Giants

The name Teahupoo is synonymous with fear in the surfing world. Rivaling Hawaii's Pipeline as the most photographed wave in the world, Teahupoo's mountainous tube breaks near-perfectly over a shallow cheese grater of coral. Every year in May or August Billabong throws a surf contest here, pitting …

Surfing on Easter Island

Known worldwide for the curious stone heads (<i>moai</i>) that sprout up from the earth as if they were craggy hedges, Easter Island – or Rapa Nui – is the most remotely inhabited island on the planet. Around 75,000 adventurers make the journey to this Polynesian island each year to examine these strange …

Essential Bali travel tips: what to know before you go

From navigating the crowds to being monkey-savvy, there are a few tricks to getting the best out of a trip to Bali. We’ve rounded up 15 top tips to bank for your next visit to the Island of the Gods.<p>Expect crowds<p>One of the most touristed islands on earth, Bali isn’t exactly an untouched paradise. …

Top 8 Caribbean towns

Life’s not always a beach. The Caribbean may win hearts for its white-sand beaches on perfect turquoise coves and high-end villas with moored yachts, but there’s another part of the story: its towns. Some have histories that predate the Pilgrims, cobbled centers that gaze out at the water and …

Bora Bora beyond the beach

Bora Bora is world-famous for its glinting turquoise lagoon, dazzlingly white sandy stretches of beach and luxurious resorts. With such a dreamlike setting, this magical island is, unsurprisingly, a great spot to decompress. But there’s much more to do than simply sipping a cocktail on your chaise. …