Paris, city of lights and romance, art and culture, is home to a number of world famous landmarks including the Mona Lisa’s residence – the Louvre, the Arc de Triomphe and of course, standing proudly in the Parisian skyline, The Eiffel Tower. But before you scramble up its 324m to feverishly snap the panoramic view, consider this: if you are on the Eiffel Tower, you cannot see it and what is a picture postcard photograph of Gay Paris without La Tour Eiffel? You can enjoy different vistas of the city from these alternative points of view.
Australia had a decent but modest cluster of high-rises for decades. That is until the aughts. The last decade has produced not one but two stunners in Melbourne’s Eureka Tower – the tallest skyscraper in the country from base to roof – and Gold Coast’s Queensland Number One (Q1) – the fifth-tallest residential tower in the world.
Not all of that choice real estate is for office space and plush flats either. A slew of hotel towers proliferates from Perth to Sydney and makes the urban hospitality scene in Australia one of the most progressive and impressive in Asia Pacific.
Australia is arguably the motherland of day trips, weekend trips and, indeed, road trips in general. The abundance of excellent, singular sights and destinations is a foremost cause but so too is the country’s geography.
Think about it. Name another country with a city as cosmopolitan and vibrant as a Melbourne, Perth or Sydney that, as it happens, has so many rare gems on the doorstep. And by gems, we mean epic UNESCO World Heritage Sites and national parks, from the Gondwana Rainforests to the Greater Blue Mountains, world-class wine regions and historic towns.
Places that dominate the big, global quality-of-life indices – your Viennas, your Vancouvers, your Helsinkis – do so on the basis of public safety, hygiene, environment, economic stability and the like. Pretty humdrum stuff. Culture and recreation, however, also play vital roles and help determine whether a city merely delivers the bare minimum or, preferably, enriches and stimulates as well. Patrons of Melbourne city hotels know what this is all about.
The state capital of Victoria has long stood proudly atop many a livability index (The Economist Intelligence Unit index for 2012 is a prominent case). That the metropolis on the Yarra succeeds with such banal regularity is a credit to a lively arts, culture and extracurricular scene that, simply put, makes Melbourne a fun, attractive place to live and, indeed, visit.
There is no denying that London is one of the most exciting, cosmopolitan cities in the world. It is also one of the most expensive. However, for those visiting the great capital of England, there is plenty to do whilst still avoiding an empty wallet. Here are 5 of the best free attractions in town:
Cruising can be the perfect way to experience the real Europe. With literally thousands of miles of waterways and the chance to visit multiple countries in a matter of days, European river cruises are perfect for those who want to sit back and enjoy the picturesque sights that this continent has to offer.
One of the main benefits of exploring Europe on a river cruise is that visitors will have the chance to hop on and off at various cities. This means they’ll be able to take advantage of the lively sights the towns have to offer and then will have a relaxing and comfortable place to retreat to when that much needed rest is required. European cruises are also excellent for history buffs, as visitors get the chance to compare and contrast the vast array of Celtic, Roman, French and Greek monuments in a matter of days.