Recommendations (1834)

Pompeii: the city of ashes Pompeii: the city of ashes Pompeii: the city of ashes Pompeii: the city of ashes Pompeii: the city of ashes Pompeii: the city of ashes
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Pompeii
Pompeii: the city of ashes
Naples, Italy
Naples, Italy
Type : Touristic Town
The world-famous Pompeii, extremely well preserved, attracts every year around 2 million visitors. The site, which is classified as "endangered," could disappear one day. So, before it is too late, you should visit it. It's worth seeing! Story time: On the night of 24th October 79 A.D., a volcanic eruption of the Vesuvius buried five cities around Naples, that is to say, Herculanum, Oplontis, Boscoreale, Stabies and the most famous one: Pompeii. Before the disaster, Pompeii was a flourishing city, at the height of its power. The eruption took by surprise the inhabitants of this city. Indeed, when you visit Pompeii, you also visit a site, where a tragedy took place. According to an estimation, around 3,000 people died this night. The eruption was so intense that a vertical column of between 20 and 30 kilometres would have risen above the crater of the Vesuvius in just a few minutes. For 18 hours, rains of ashes, pumice stones and several bursts of burning clouds buried Pompeii. The Vesuvius was considered extinct at the time as the last known eruption took place in 217 B.C. and according to writings of this period, earthquakes were recurrent between 62 and 70 A.D., so nobody thought the shocks (before the eruption) were actually the signs that an eruption was going to happen. The city has been forgotten for more than 1500 years and rediscovered in the 17th century in an incredible state of preservation. You will be surprised by the incredible conservation of the bodies, killed instantly by the fiery clouds of a temperature of more than 300°C. The victims were burned alive and remained frozen in their last gestures. In 1997, Pompeii was listed as UNESCO World Heritage. The monuments you must visit in Pompeii: - The amphitheatre (which could contain more than 20,000 people at the time) - The palestra - House of the Vettii - House of the Faun - The Forum - The thermae - Villa of the Mysteries - The Lupanar - Temple of Apollo - House of the Tragic Poet - Temple of Jupiter - House of Sallust - The cobblestone streets Prepare your visit: You can spend an entire day in Pompeii but generally two or three hours are enough to visit most of the city. Pompeii is fairly close to Naples but 240 km (around 150 miles) from Rome. If you spend your holiday in Rome note that many tours are organised to visit the Pompeii site. If you do not like tours you can rent a car or buy a train ticket to reach Naples. Then, in Naples, you will have to take a train to go to Pompeii. There is no non-stop train from Rome to Pompeii unfortunately. And be prepared: trains in the direction of Pompeii are often crowded. So, the other (practical) solution is to take a taxi in Naples. Moreover, the taxi will wait for you during your visit. It is more expensive (around 90 euros) than the train (around 3 euros) but at least you will travel comfortably. The entrance ticket for Pompeii costs 11 euros (full price) and 5.50 euros for 18-24-year-olds and teachers. It is free for EU nationals under 18. And every first Sunday of the month the entrance is free (but it will be crowded). You can buy in advance “no queuing tickets” to avoid the crowd at the entrance. It is just slightly more expensive (around 15 euros). Dates and opening hours: - From April to October: from 8.30 am to 7.30 pm. - From November to March: from 8.30 am to 5.30 pm. - It is closed on 1st January, 1st May and 25th December. Interesting information: - Luggage and bags are not allowed inside the city, so you should bring a small handbag. - For people in wheeling chair and parents with pushchairs, enter via the Piazza Anfiteatro entrance, where a special road was built to meet the needs of people with reduced mobility. - At the entrance do not forget to ask a map of the site. It is essential and if you do not ask they may "forget" to give you one. Pompeii is vast so without a map, it is like walking in a labyrinth. I hope you will enjoy your visit as much as I enjoyed it!
10 - 25 USD
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Colosseum: A tale of gladiators Colosseum: A tale of gladiators Colosseum: A tale of gladiators
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Colosseum
Colosseum: A tale of gladiators
Rome, Italy
Rome, Italy
Type : Monument
If you ever go to Rome, everybody will tell you the Colosseum is a "must-see." And indeed, the old amphitheatre is still very impressive even if you won't be able to see gladiator fights anymore. Every year around five million visitors explore this breath-taking monument and that is why I cannot recommend you more to prepare your visit. Story time: The Colosseum is the main amphitheatre of the Roman world, it is also the biggest and the most symbolic. It was built in 70 A.D. by emperor Vespasian and his son, emperor Titus and was inaugurated only 10 years later (even if many improvements were made after that). Very few degradations were made by the hand of the man, most of the damage came from natural disasters (earthquakes mostly). Actually, it is a real feat to find the Colosseum in its current state of preservation when we see its past. Its inauguration in 80 A.D. was the pretext to organise huge Games, which lasted around 100 days and caused the death of around 5,000 felines and 2,000 gladiators. The Colosseum could contain between 50,000 and 75,000 spectators. It served for nearly 500 years, mainly for gladiator fights, but also for other public spectacles (for example public executions, wild animal hunts, reconstructions of famous battles or dramas based on mythology, etc.). Prepare your visit: First, if you want to take beautiful pictures (and who doesn't want to?) of the monument before entering, I recommend accessing the Colosseum through the Via dei Fori Imperiali street. From there you will have a fantastic view of the best-preserved facade and at night the monument is beautifully illuminated (perfect to take more pictures!). Ticket cost: - For an adult: 12 euros (around $14.6). - For 18-25s from the EU: 7.5 euros (around $9). - For under 18s: entrance is free. - Free for disabled people. - Free for all every first Sunday of each month. Please note that if you buy your ticket(s) online it will be a bit more expensive (but you will save time). The Colosseum is open all days with the following hours: From last Sunday in October to 15 February: 08.30 to 16.30 From 16 February to 15 March: 08.30 to 17.00 From 16 to last Saturday of March: 08.30 to 17.30 From the last Sunday in March until 31 August: 08.30 to 19.30 From 1 to 30 September: 08.30 to 19.00 From the first to the last Saturday in October: 08.30 to 18.30 The Colosseum is open every day except the 25th December and the 1st January. The long queues: As I said earlier, the Colosseum is visited every year by around 5 million people. So, you can imagine that there are long queues to visit it. In Summer especially queues can last between two and three hours. In addition, waiting time can be painful because you have to wait in full sun (temperatures can reach 30°C sometimes) and many people visit with their children (who are easily bored and impatient). So, if you really want to visit the Colosseum I cannot recommend you more to visit it outside of the summer months (or at least avoid during weekends). Magic solution: You can buy "no-queuing tickets" on www.getyourguide.com to avoid the long queues. They are a bit more expensive and you will have an indicated time to visit the monument. With these tickets, you will also enjoy the presence of a guide during your visit. And if something unexpected happens and you cannot go to your visit, don't worry you can cancel the visit one hour before the scheduled time. Other information: - The visit last between1 hour (if you do not have a guide or an audio guide) and 2 hours (if you have a guide). - Yes, there are toilets (at the entrance). - You will be searched before the visit and you cannot enter with your luggage. - Be careful, there are often pickpockets around the famous monuments. So, take care of your belongings. - With your ticket, you can also visit the Roman Forum (without having to buy another ticket) Hope you will enjoy your visit!
10 - 25 USD
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Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont
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Parc des Buttes-Chaumont
Walk in the Parc des Buttes Chaumont
Paris, France
Paris, France
Type : Parc
If you are on holiday in Paris and between two visits of the famous monuments of the city you want to take a break, what better place to do it than a park? Paris is full of beautiful and pleasant parks: Jardin des Tuileries, Bois de Boulogne, Jardin du Luxembourg, Jardin des Plantes, etc. But today, let's talk about a less known: the park des Buttes-Chaumont. Located in Belleville, the park is generally less visited than the others listed above because tourists rarely want to move away from the tourist loop. Indeed, the park is located in the 19th arrondissement of Paris. However, it is one of the city's most magical spots. Story time: Its surroundings were known for its infamous Gibet de Montfaucon, a place where the bodies of hanged criminals were put after their executions (from the 13th century until the end of the 18th century). The Parc des Buttes-Chaumont, before being a parc was actually a zone of gypsum quarries. During the expansion of Paris in 1860, Napoleon III decided to transform the old Gypsum quarry into a magnificent garden. The park, with its meandering paths, waterfalls, temples and vertical cliffs, was designed by Adolphe Alphand. It was inaugurated on 1st April 1867 on the occasion of the Universal Exhibition held in Paris. The lake inside of the park is also a "creation" because the waters come from the Canal de l'Ourcq. You will also be able to see and cross the suspended bridge, created by Gustave Eiffel (yes, the same who designed and built the Eiffel Tower). Interesting information: - The entrance is free. - Sightseeing tours are often organised (check on the website). - It is open every day. - It opens every day at 7 am but the closing time is subject to change (generally between 8 pm and 12 am but I recommend checking the site the day of your visit). - It is adapted to disabled people. - There are some restaurants inside of the park. - There are activities for children. - Dogs are admitted. - You can bring food and/or beverages. - There are toilets. Hope you will enjoy your visit!
0 - 10 USD
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Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage
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Međugorje
Medjugorje: Place of pilgrimage
Čitluk, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Type : Religious
Međugorje or Medjugorje [mêdʑuɡoːrje] is a place of pilgrimage for Catholics. Located at the frontier between Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina (in the Balkans), it attracts every year more than 2 million believers. Why is Medjugorje a place of pilgrimage? Medjugorje gathers four villages: Bijakovici, Vionica, Miletina and Šurmanci (but don't worry you won't have to know how to pronounce it if you travel to Medjugorje). Until 24th June 1981, it was a normal village. Inhabitants cultivated to meet their family's needs. But on 24th June 1981, everything changed when six young people from the parish of Medjugorje saw on Crnica Hill a white apparition with a child in its arms, which gestured to them to approach. They came back on the 2nd and 3rd days and, each time, the Virgin appeared. It was the beginning of the belief and the transformation of a small village into a place of pilgrimage. Actually, since 1981, over 600 miraculous healings have been recorded. Nowadays, pilgrims, who go to Medjugorje come from around 120 countries. Masses take place in several languages. Interesting information if you want to visit: - Medjugorje is a very beautiful village. The church is magnificent and you will find several shops and restaurants around. Even if you are not a believer, it is still a wonderful place to visit but I do not recommend basing your whole holidays on this place. Ideally, I would recommend spending a day in Medjugorje. Especially if you are spending your holidays on the Adriatic coast in Croatia. You can find tours to visit Medjugorje from Croatia or rent a car for the day at an affordable price. - If you want to climb Crnica Hill, to see the place where the apparition of the Virgin Mary took place, you should do it in the morning (especially if you come in summer). Indeed, temperatures in summer are often high and as you can see on the pictures, the path is steep and it is difficult to find shade (don't forget to bring water, except if you want to endure the pain on purpose, as it is the case for many pilgrims). - Medjugorje is only 30 km from Mostar, another very beautiful and touristic city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. You should be aware that Medjugorje was not acknowledged by the Vatican, even if it is a place of pilgrimage. You can choose to believe in it or not.
0 - 10 USD
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A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones A Walk Among the Tombstones
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Père Lachaise Cemetery
A Walk Among the Tombstones
Paris, France
Paris, France
Type : Other
I know it can seem creepy but walking among the tombs is not that strange. Actually, many Parisians and tourists like to visit this famous cemetery. More specifically, around 3.5 million people from all around the world visit the Père-Lachaise cemetery each year. It is the most visited cemetery in the world and contains more than 69,000 tombs. So, what makes it so special? Firstly, it's calm (obviously). It is a place of meditation, everybody is quiet in cemeteries (because you do not want to wake the dead, right?). Paris, like all big cities, is noisy, people are stressed and always in a rush. So, sometimes it feels really soothing to simply walk in a cemetery. Secondly, it is a wonderful place for art lovers. Indeed, all styles of funerary art are represented: Gothic tomb, Haussmanian vault, a mausoleum in the antique style, etc. Thirdly, many famous people are buried in this cemetery: artists, musicians and singers (ex: James Morrison, Edith Piaf, Frédéric Chopin), writers (ex: Molière, Balzac, Colette, Marcel Proust, Alfred de Musset, Oscar Wilde), former statesmen, military men, historians... It is a place full of history. Useful information: - The entry is free. - Sightseeing tours are organised on weekends. - A detailed plan can be downloaded from http://www.paris.fr/cimetieres - Opening time: From November to mid-March: From 8h to 17h30 from Monday to Friday. From 8h30 to 17h30 on Saturdays. And from 9h to 17h30 on Sundays and public holidays. From mid-March to October: From 8h à 18h from Monday to Friday. From 8h30 à 18h on Saturdays. And from 9h to 18h on Sundays and public holidays. - The last visitors are admitted at the latest 15 minutes before the closing. And for people, who want to visit it by night, I am afraid it’s not possible!
0 - 10 USD
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Paris Catacombs: a tale of bones Paris Catacombs: a tale of bones Paris Catacombs: a tale of bones Paris Catacombs: a tale of bones
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Catacombs of Paris
Paris Catacombs: a tale of bones
Paris, France
Paris, France
Type : Other
Paris the city of love? Not only. If you are one of those who like to scare themselves, come to visit the Paris catacombs. The Catacombs of Paris form a huge labyrinth beneath the surface of Paris. Indeed, they are located twenty metres below ground. The ossuary was created in the galleries of the former quarries (which were used to build the capital) and contains the remains of millions of Parisians, who were transferred there between the late 18th and mid-19th centuries. At the time, cemeteries were being closed because of the risk they posed to public health (but don't worry you won't be ill if you visit the catacombs!). In the long and dark galleries, you will see (of course) lots of bones but also messages to explain you when these bones were placed here. You will also see the tableau of death with bones placed in a macabre display and terrifying messages such as "Halt, this is the real of Death" above the ossuary's entrance meant to scare you. Interesting information for your visit: - Visitor numbers are restricted to 200 at any time. - Distance covered during the visit: 1.5 km (around 0.93 mile). - Duration of the tour: around 45 minutes. - No toilets. - Animals are forbidden. - 130 steps to go down and 83 steps back up to street level (so it is not adapted to people with reduced mobility unfortunately). - Temperature: around 14°C (57.2°F). That’s why I really recommend visiting the catacombs in the summer season to avoid heat! - Children must be at least 10 years old to visit the catacombs and children under the age of 14 must be accompanied by an adult. - All bags are searched at the exit to be sure you did not steal any bone. And obviously, I do not recommend visiting the catacombs on weekends and during the Halloween period (even if the atmosphere is perfect) in order to avoid the crowds. By the way, did you know that the catacombs contain the remains of many famous names from previous centuries such as the remains of the writers Jean de La Fontaine or Charles Perrault? If you listen carefully you may hear their ghosts telling stories... Last but not least: Maybe you heard of the catacombs' "forbidden part," which are basically gigantic quarries not open to the public but where some lunatics still go to feel like adventurers. If someone offers you to visit them I recommend you say no. It is dangerous and if the police catch you, you'll have a fine.
10 - 25 USD
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Taj Mahal: A tale of love Taj Mahal: A tale of love
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Taj Mahal
Taj Mahal: A tale of love
Agra, India
Agra, India
Type : Monument
Forget Romeo and Juliet and let’s talk about a real love story: the story of the Taj Mahal. The Taj Mahal is a mausoleum based in Agra (India), which was built in the 17th century under the orders of Shah Jahan, the 5th emperor of India. In 1607, Shah Jahan, who was 14 at the time, was strolling down the Meena Bazaar when he saw a girl selling silk and glass beads. She was named Arjumand Banu Begum but became known as Mumtaz Mahal and was 15 years old. Indeed, the emperor (prince at the time) fell in love immediately after he saw her and just after their meeting he told his father he wanted to marry her. They finally married in 1612. Mumtaz Mahal was the love of his life, she accompanied him everywhere, even on military campaigns. They had 14 children but unfortunately, Mumtaz Mahal died when she was giving birth to their 14th child. On her deathbed, Shah Jahan promised her that he would never remarry and that he will build the richest mausoleum over her grave. It took 22 years and the labour of 22,000 workers to construct the monument. After Shah Jahan died, his body was placed in a tomb next to his beloved Mumtaz Mahal. Millions of people visit the Taj Mahal every year. A ticket (for a foreign visitor) costs 1000 rupees (around 13 euros) and here is some information for your visit: 1. The Taj Mahal is in Agra, which is around 200 kilometres from New Dehli. It is not the world's end but you have to get there. You can take a flight, the train or a taxi but I do not recommend taking the bus. It will be long and it is not the "safest" way. 2. Get there early to avoid the crowd. According to the official website of the monument "Taj Mahal is open from sunrise to sunset during normal operating days." 3. Don't be surprised if you see Indian people taking pictures of you or wanting to take pictures with you. It's "common" but if you do not want to see people queuing in front of you to have their picture with you, I recommend politely say "no" from the very beginning. 4. You cannot bring snacks with you. So, eat before visiting. Otherwise, you have lockers outside the gate. Not to mention that the Taj Mahal was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 for being “the jewel of Muslim art in India and one of the universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage.”
10 - 25 USD
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Mostar Bridge: a symbol of multiculturalism Mostar Bridge: a symbol of multiculturalism Mostar Bridge: a symbol of multiculturalism Mostar Bridge: a symbol of multiculturalism Mostar Bridge: a symbol of multiculturalism
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Stari Most
Mostar Bridge: a symbol of multiculturalism
Mostar, Bosnia and Herzegovina
Type : Monument
Mostar is the second biggest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina, a “small” country, which was part of Yugoslavia before 1992. Mostar is particularly famous for its bridge, the Stari Most (Old Bridge), which is a classic example of Ottoman design and became a world-recognised symbol during the Bosnian war. As you may know, in Bosnia and Herzegovina, there are two main religions: Christianism and Islam. The bridge is a kind of “symbol of friendship” because it connects Muslim communities (in the east) and Christian communities (in the west) and in addition, it symbolises the multi-ethnicity of the country. In 1993, the bridge was destroyed during the civil war, which is still a hard memory for the city’s inhabitants. After the war, the bridge was rebuilt. The reopening of the bridge by Prince Charles took place in 2004 and was a sign that life was slowly returning to normal. UNESCO added the bridge to their Wolrd Heritage list in 2005, saying that "The reconstructed Old Bridge and Old City of Mostar is a symbol of reconciliation, international co-operation and of the coexistence of diverse cultural, ethnic and religious communities.” Today, Mostar is worth a visit. I especially recommend you the Ottoman quarter and its numerous artisan shops. You also should taste a typical Bosnian coffee. Another interesting thing to know is that the bridge dominates the river from a height of 24 metres and if you are lucky, you will be able to see professional divers jumping off the bridge into the Neretva River. P.S.: Unfortunately, the bridge is not adapted to people in wheelchairs.
0 - 10 USD
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