10 Things to Do in New York With Kids

New York is so much more than the Statue of Liberty, Central Park, and other popular Manhattan attractions. And, if you’re traveling to New York with kids, you’ll be pleased to hear that there is also plenty for you to do!

New York City is comprised of five boroughs: The Bronx, Queens, Brooklyn, Staten Island, and Manhattan. Just outside of New York City, you’ll find Long Island, Rockland County, Orange County, and Westchester County, all within an hour’s drive.

If you visit New York but only stay within Manhattan, you’re doing yourself and your family an injustice by not getting the full New York experience. So hop on a bus, a train, or in a car and venture out a little further. You’ll discover some of these amazing New York destinations that your kids will be talking about for years.

Get the New York Pass

Experience NYC with up to 40% off admission to some of the most popular tourist sights with the New York Pass. Enjoy free entry to 100+ top attractions, and visit as many as you like for up to 10 days. Family-friendly activities include Marvel & DC Superheroes Walking Tour, Central Park Bike Tour, LEGOLAND® Discovery Center, Staten Island Zoo and Staten Island Children’s Museum.

10 things to do in New York with Kids

Here’s how to get the most of out visiting NYC with kids – from museums to nature and adventure parks.

See also: Where To Stay In New York City: Our New York Accommodation Guide

New York Hall of Science, Queens, NY

If your kids love science, experiments, and hands-on museums, you’ll want to visit The New York Hall of Science. The New York Hall of Science is easily accessible using public transportation. You can jump on the 7 train to the 111th Street subway station, and it’s only a short walk away.

At the New York Hall of Science, there is something for children of all ages. Older kids can invent things in the design lab. For younger kids, you’ll find Preschool Place, an area with multi-sensory activities for children under 6. Outside of the included exhibits and experiences, there is also a 3D Theater, mini-golf, and a science playground.

The Hall of Science is in the perfect location for a full day of family fun. After spending a couple of hours at the museum, you can walk to Flushing Meadows Corona Park. In the park, you’ll find some additional attractions including the Queens Zoo.

New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Is your child fascinated with trains? Does the history of New York City and the transit system interest you? If so, then hop on over to Brooklyn to check out the New York Transit Museum.

What makes this museum fascinating is that it’s located inside a decommissioned subway station from 1936. You enter the museum using the original subway station entrance. Show your ticket to an employee who is sitting inside the original ticket booth and then walk through the old turnstiles.

On the main floor of the museum, you can sit on a replica of an old NYC bus, view vintage signage, and learn about how the fare collection has changed over the years. But downstairs is where the magic happens! On the lowest level of the museum, you can walk onto subway cars dating back to 1907. The museum itself is small but the experience is worth every penny.

New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY
New York Transit Museum, Brooklyn, NY

Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY

If you came to New York City but did not visit Coney Island, you’d be missing out on such an important part of New York City’s history, not to mention a lot of fun. Hop on the D, F, N, and Q trains headed towards Brooklyn and take them to the very last stop. The Coney Island Boardwalk, attractions, and beach are just a 5-minute walk from there.

Take a ride on Dino’s Wonder Wheel, Coney Island’s Ferris wheel which was built in 1920 and has become a New York City landmark. Afterward, visit Luna Park, an amusement park with modern games and rides. Inside Luna Park, you’ll find The Cyclone, Coney Island’s iconic wooden roller coaster which dates back to 1926.

When you’re hungry, you can head over to Nathan’s Famous, home of the 4th of July hot dog eating contest. The restaurant and its famous hot dogs date back to 1916. If you’re not a fan of hot dogs, there are plenty of other places to eat in Coney Island. A short walk from the famous Coney Island attractions is the New York Aquarium. Whatever you fancy, there is no shortage of things to do in Coney Island.

New York with kids - Coney Island Wonder Wheel
Coney Island’s Wonder Wheel – depositphotos.com

Bronx Zoo, Bronx, NY

The Bronx Zoo, home to over 700 species of animals, is one of the largest zoos in the United States. With over 265 acres of land to explore, you’ll want to bring your most comfortable walking shoes. In addition to the typical animal exhibits, there is a children’s zoo with a petting zoo, a playground, and plenty of interactive activities.

After the children’s zoo, you can walk through the butterfly garden, or one of the zoo’s most popular attractions, Jungle World. When you need to rest your feet, ride the open-air monorail and watch the animals roam. If you’re looking for a different zoo experience, you can take your kids to ride the carousel, take a nature trek, or do a ropes course at Treetop Adventure.

Bear Mountain State Park, Tompkins Cove, NY

If hiking and exploring nature is more your family’s thing, then rent a car and head on up to Bear Mountain State Park, about an hour north of NYC. For those who love to picnic, there are plenty of picnic areas scattered through the park, or you can sit on the large open grass area. This grass area also doubles as a play area for recreational sports like soccer and American football.

If you love to fish, there is a beautiful large lake and access to river fishing. You can also rent a canoe to take onto the lake. There are hiking trails for all levels of experience and walkways along the lake for walking and biking. If you’re visiting in the summer, check out the swimming pool and the Trailside Museum and Zoo.

Planning a winter trip? Go ice skating or skiing. Hike, bike, or drive to the top of Bear Mountain to experience breathtaking views of the Hudson Valley. In the fall you can see some spectacular views of the fall foliage. Not ready to leave after just one day, rent a room at the Bear Mountain Inn.

Related read: Hiking Mohonk in New York’s Hudson Valley

Bear Mountain State Park, Tompkins Cove, NY
Bear Mountain State Park, Tompkins Cove, NY

Playland Park, Rye, NY

Playland Park has been a popular family destination since 1926, known mostly for its amusement park. Located right off the Long Island Sound, Playland Park also has a pool and a beach. If you’re a fan of wooden rollercoasters, you can take a ride on the historic Dragon Coaster which is one of Playland’s original rides.

The amusement park also includes a kiddie park with rides for smaller kids and some thrill rides for older kids. There are also areas for picnicking and boating. Only a short 40-minute drive from New York City, Playland Park is a great summer attraction. If you don’t have a car, you can take a 45-minute train ride from Grand Central Station.

Palisades Center, West Nyack, NY

The Palisades Center is a huge four-level shopping mall 30 minutes north of New York City. It has a large collection of attractions and restaurants that will keep your kids busy for hours. Inside The Palisades Center, you’ll find the world’s tallest indoor ropes course which spans all four levels of the mall.

If you’re traveling with a toddler, there’s a small practice rope course for them as well. Tucked away in the corner of the mall on the bottom level, you’ll find Billy Beez. Billy Beez is an indoor playground with some of the longest, steepest, craziest slides your kids have probably even been on.

If you’re a kid at heart, you’ll be happy to know that Billy Beez encourages parents to join in on the fun. For kids who like to drive, there is a speedway and bumper cars. If arcade games are more your kid’s style, there’s a Dave & Buster’s as well. Add an IMAX movie theater, a bowling alley, and an ice skating rink and your child will never want to leave the mall.

Legoland Theme Park and Resort, Goshen, NY

Did you know that New York has its own theme park? Opening its gate in the summer of 2021, Legoland Theme Park and Resort has been a wonderful addition to New York. If you’re staying in New York City and would rather take public transportation, you can hop on a Coach bus at the Port Authority Bus Terminal in Manhattan.

Legoland is the perfect addition to your New York adventure if you’re traveling with kids under 13. They won’t have to worry about being tall enough to ride at this theme park as most of the rides do not have a minimum height requirement and the ones that do have a minimum height of 36″, with a few exceptions.

While the theme park caters to young children, parents will also have fun riding with their kids. Stay for a day or spend the night at the Legoland Hotel. Visiting during the summer? Don’t forget your bathing suit! Legoland New York has a few water rides to cool off on a hot summer day.

Book your entry ticket with transport below:

Visit Legoland Theme Park and Resort with kids in New York
Legoland Theme Park and Resort

Splish Splash, Long Island, NY

You can’t have a list of fun things to do with kids in New York and not include a waterpark. Splish Splash, located 60 miles east of New York City, is one of the best waterparks in the greater New York City area. It has 20 waterslides and attractions. Cool down and relax in the lazy river or jump around in one of their two wave pools.

If you have kids who are daredevils and love thrills, they won’t be disappointed. There are several intense rides to choose from. When your kids get hungry from non-stop swimming and splashing, head to Johnny Rockets located inside the waterpark for the best burgers and shakes.

The Adventure Park, Long Island, NY

Calling all ropes course lovers to The Adventure Park in Long Island. If you’ve been looking for an activity to bond with your kids in New York, this is it. What makes The Adventure Park different from other ropes courses, is that its courses are aerial treetop courses.

Whether you are a beginning or an expert, there is a trail for you. There are 5 different levels of challenge, each color-coded. With 14 trails and 49 ziplines, The Adventure Park is easily a day-long activity. Children under 7, who are too young to climb the trails, can play in the Adventure Playground.

With this list of things to do with kids in New York, you may never make it to any of the more popular tourist attractions in Manhattan. You will however have experienced New York in a way many tourists have not and will be planning your next trip back to New York to do some of the things you never got around to. For more family travel tips and ideas, check out Traveling the West Way, a family travel blog.

If you’re visiting New York on a budget, check out this list of free things to do in New York – and don’t forget to check out our post on How to Be a New York Tourist!


8 Lesser-Known Destinations in The US Everyone Should Visit

The extensive landscape of the US makes it a popular destination for tourists the whole year round.

There’s something to do for everyone: families, couples, and single travelers alike. No matter what time of the year you’re visiting, there’s a destination for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you love exploring the corners of new cities or you want to go hiking off the beaten track, we’ve got some beautiful destinations that will satisfy your wanderlust.

This guide will take you through some of the best entertainment options as well. It’s not just the views that can take your breath away!

Whether you’re interested in outdoor activities, bars and restaurants or even casinos, we’ve got all the entertainment you need. There are many options to choose from, including some Michigan online casinos.

No matter what you’re looking for in the USA, we’ve got all the best destinations off the beaten tourist track.

Bars Off the Beaten Track

Baker’s Keyboard Lounge in Detroit, Michigan

One of the oldest jazz clubs in the world, it’s no wonder that Baker’s is a must-see attraction in Michigan. Built all the way back in 1934, this historic arts venue has always been a Detroit hotspot. The food is some of the best in town and the service is always impeccable. And with legends such as Nat “King” Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Miles Davis, Oscar Peterson and George Shearing having graced its stage, Baker’s legendary status is no surprise.

Tunnel Bar in Northampton, Massachusetts

If you’re a fan of a martini in an unusual location, then the Tunnel Bar in Northampton is the bar for you. Located in (or under) Northampton’s Union Station, this tunnel was previously used for commuters and train workers. Now, it’s been transformed into a beautiful bar with all of its original brick and stone fully intact.

The Coffin Club in Portland, Oregon

This next bar is not for the faint-hearted! It’s the Coffin Club in Oregon and we think you can probably guess the theme. It’s full of spooky memorabilia and glow in the dark skeletons that makes for a spooky night out. The Coffin Club has even been voted as being one of the top ten themed bars in the world!

Unique Nature Sites

Ocqueoc Falls in Rogers City, Michigan

If your interests are less city and more out in the wilderness, why not take a trip to Ocqueoc Falls just outside of Rogers City? Not only can you experience the beauty of these magical waterfalls but there’s also a campsite nearby where you can stay. You’ll have to be quick though, there are only 15 sites for tents and small campervans and they’re available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

You can hike up to the falls along the Bicentennial Pathway and you can even do some trout fishing if you’re so inclined. Make sure you’ve got the right equipment to cook it though! There are only very basic amenities onsite including vault toilets and a hand pump well for water. So it might be campfire cooked trout for dinner!

Sleeping Bear Dunes in Lake Michigan

The Sleeping Bear Dunes are found alongside a 35 mile stretch of Lake Michigan’s eastern coastline. This park is known for its incredible scenery including its beaches and forests as well as, of course, the sand dune formations. You’ll also find the North and South Manitou islands nearby which are accessible via ferries.

There are 20 miles of hiking trails as well as an 1871 lighthouse that you can visit. And if you’re a history buff, there are plenty of tours you can take as well as a museum to visit and learn all about the rich history of the dunes and surrounding areas.

Goblin Valley State Park in Green River, Utah

Don’t let the name put you off – Goblin Valley is one of the most unique sandstone formations you’ll see anywhere in the world. In fact, its landscape is often compared to that of Mars! With its weird and wonderful sandstone formations, you’ll feel like you’ve entered another world. It’s a once in a lifetime sight and one you won’t want to miss!

Devil’s Tower in Wyoming

Another unusual rock formation is the Devil’s Tower in Wyoming. This astonishing geological feature was formed by molten rock millions of years ago and has managed to stand the test of time. There are lots of hiking trails to complete – or even rock climbing if you’re feeling brave! But note that there is an annual climbing closure for the month of June to respect the Native American cultural significance of the site.

White Sands National Park in New Mexico

The White Sands National Park is so unique that it is even home to a type of sand that is rarely found anywhere else. It’s called gypsum and is so rare because it is actually moderately soluble in water – meaning that you won’t be finding it on a beach. White Sands National Park is actually the largest gypsum dune field, covering 275 square miles.

The rarity of this landscape means that all of its life and plants are protected. It also means that not a lot of people know about it – so it’s always a peaceful place to visit.

Channel Islands National Park in Ventura, Los Angeles

Despite its proximity to Los Angeles, Channel Islands National Park is the second least visited park in California. That’s great news for travelers who prefer to bask in the beauty of nature in peace. It’s also a must visit place for activity lovers! There are loads of hiking trails to explore such as the Smugglers Cave trail.

If a day trip just isn’t enough time for your island trip, there’s also the option to camp on the island. Just make sure you pack light – it’s a mile long hike to get from the ferry to the campsite!

Given the vastness of the USA, it’s no surprise there are some places that are hidden away from the usual tourist traps. Whether it’s a park, lake, or entertainment venue – there are plenty of unknown places to explore.

Which hidden gem would you like to add to the list?


Waterfalls in the North West of Ireland

The north west of Ireland can boast some great waterfalls, with high annual rainfall these waterfalls in Ireland are often flowing wildly and offer great viewing—and the perfect photo—opportunities.

Often paired with great walking trails, these waterfalls in Ireland give a great glimpse of the Irish countryside at its best as well as offering the best views.

Irish sights like these often have well maintained and pathed walking tracks. We have seen a few ourselves and we have to give a run down on our best waterfalls to see in the north west of Ireland, we hope you may visit one or two.

See also: Walking Tracks of Ireland’s Mid West

A few of the best waterfalls in Ireland’s North West

If you’re visiting the north west of Ireland, make sure to visit a few of these waterfalls.

See also: Exploring Belfast and the Coast of Northern Ireland

Glencar Waterfall

Located just off Glencar Lough and a short walk into the trees you will find Glencar waterfall. This waterfall stands at 50ft high and is ever flowing. The fall has viewing platforms to get close to the fall and for photo opportunities.

Glencar waterfall in Ireland
Glencar waterfall

The waterfall also has a short walking track of 0.48 km through trees and lush green area, in a loop track around the fall and back to the beginning.

At the end of the track, you’ll find a café for all your refreshment needs complete with children’s play area and a little shop.

You can also enjoy the sights of Glencar Lough. Set in between the hills, the Lough provides fantastic views and is also home to many water activities like stand up paddle board and canoeing.

The Glencar waterfall is also known to be the inspiration for Irish poet William Butler Yeats and features in his poem ‘The Stolen Child’.

Glencar lough in Ireland
Glencar lough

The Devil’s Chimney

At 492ft, the Devils Chimney is the largest waterfall in Ireland. Located only a few minutes drive along the Glencar Lough just before Glencar waterfall, this waterfall has a tougher track than its neighbour with a 30 minutes moderate grade hike to get to it.

The name Devil’s Chimney means stream against the height, meaning that during certain weather conditions the waterfall is blown upward and back over the cliff from which it falls.

You’ll get fantastic views of the hills on the way up and on the way down the sight over Glencar Lough in amazing.

The view down from the Devils Chimney walk
The view down from the Devils Chimney walk

Fowley’s Falls

Fowley’s falls is a unique looking waterfall as it is not a single-drop waterfall. Instead the waterfall cascades into numerous smaller falls over the exposed bedrock, producing a picturesque sight you have to see.

The name is taken from the apparent original owner of the land in great tribute to him and his family.

Poll An Easa

Poll An Easa waterfall is a waterfall in the Ballinamore region of County Leitrim, it’s unknown to many due to its rural location and access through windy country roads.

The waterfall has access to its own little stream to walk along and enjoy the Irish countryside. A picnic area is also situated on the site and even a couple of local donkeys grace the land opposite for photo opportunities.

Poll An Easa is one of the unique waterfalls in Ireland
Poll An Easa waterfall

Assaranca Waterfall

Assaranca Waterfall is a stunning waterfall in the northern regions of Donegal, set in between lush Irish greenery making this waterfall even more beautiful. The waterfall starts off at the top of the hill in small streams, winding down and coming together in a lovely wide powerful waterful and landing in a little pool at the bottom.

The waterfall is easy to find as it can be seen from the road side parking, although a walk up close is still a better option to admire this spectacular fall⁠—you’ll get to hear the crashing of the water and feel the force yourself.

Respect the land

As mentioned, these sights are kept in good condition and it’s our hope that people keep them the way they are. There are people who go off track to find the best photo or another reason, but the land should be respected. It’s also worth noting that a lot of fields adjacent or sometimes within these areas are private. Often, live cattle is free to roam and can be unpredictable, especially during lambing season, so pay attention to all paths and signs.

More waterfalls in Ireland

If you’re travelling around Ireland and want to take in some more waterfalls then we recommend checking out a couple of the popular ones.

Firstly, and probably Irelands most popular, is Powerscourt in Co Wicklow. Set in the stunning Wicklow mountains, a beautiful scenic drive in to this 121 metre waterfall is worth the visit.

Secondly, Torc waterfall in County Kerry is a fascinating 20 metre high, but 110 metre cascading waterfall.

See also: Top Experiences and Things to Do in Ireland

When is the best time to see waterfalls in Ireland?

With a high average rainfall in Ireland, most of the year is great to see waterfalls. But, our preference would be during spring as the winter cold has gone but the summer crowds haven’t arrived yet, so it’s not so busy—allowing you time to see and explore more of the waterfalls. Spring is also a great time to go camping in Ireland!


8 Day Sicily Itinerary – Travel Dudes

Sicily is of course a part of Italy and is the largest island in the Mediterranean with a host of attractions that make it famous. This stunning island is one of the twenty regions of Italy and is famous for such things as Mount Etna, The Roman Theatre of Taormina, as well as the bustling city of Palermo—which is an attraction in its own right and should definitely be included on your Sicily itinerary.

Sicily is an island that has the perfect combination of beautiful landscapes, fantastic beaches, incredible cuisine as well as one of Europe’s best climates, so it’s no wonder that this island is a favorite among travelers and holidaymakers.

So, let us show you what an 8 day Sicily itinerary could look like.

Exploring fishing villages on your Sicily itinerary
Traditional fishing village Aspra with colorful boats in Sicily. Depositphotos.com

Here’s how to plan an eight day Sicily itinerary

Let’s start off your Sicily trip in Palermo.

Day 1-3: Palermo

You will begin your dream trip to Sicily, by starting in the capital city of Palermo which is famous for its beautiful fountains and glorious piazzas. But mostly for its incredible food culture—which is one of the main reasons you’re in Italy right?

Sicilian cuisine is out of this world and attracts many people for this reason alone, and one of the major attractions you cannot overlook is the ancient La Vucciria food market. This market holds social significance within the city as well as playing a central role here. This iconic food market is where you can indulge in all kinds of delicious and local street food, experience locals enjoying the dolce vita as well as embrace the lively atmosphere, which makes this a standout spot.

To get here, make your way to Piazza Caracciolo, Palermo anytime between 7 am and 7 pm Monday – Saturday. Palermo is an ideal spot to try some famous street food such as arancini (Italian rice balls) and sfincione (Sicilian pizza), as well as take a cooking class to learn the secrets behind these mouthwatering recipes. If you’re feeling adventurous, be sure to try the famous beef spleen sandwich known as pani ca meusa.

With full bellies, you are ready to take on some of Palermo’s best attractions over these few days.

  • Cattedrale di Palermo: This impressive Roman Catholic church dates back to 1185, and is a fantastic building of great significance within the city. It’s open Mon-Sat from 7am-7pm and Sun from 8am-7pm.
  • Palazzo Dei Normanni: This is by far one of the best-preserved examples of Arabic-Norman-Byzantine architecture and can be visited Mon-Sat from 8:30 am-4:30 pm and Sun from 8:30 am-12:30 pm.
  • Teatro Massimo: The largest opera house in Italy and the third-largest in the world.

If you find yourself with time on your hands and are looking for more things to do, then make sure to add these optional attractions to your list.

  • St John of the Hermits: A medieval Norman church with impressive Arab-Norman architecture. You can visit Mon-Sat from 9:30am-6:30am and Sun from 9:30am-1:30pm.
  • The Ballaro market: Another market to experience more delicious Sicilian food as well as clothing. You can find some mouthwatering fruit, cheeses, fresh fish, and local vegetables. Mon-Sat 7:30 am-8:30pm/Sun 7:30am-2pm.
Palermo, Sicily
View of Palermo with old houses and monuments. Depositphotos.com

Day 3-5: Taormina

Today, you will leave Palermo and follow the north coast towards Taormina, stopping off at Cefalu—a stunning hamlet by the sea—before continuing to the east coast of the island. Taormina is a fantastic resort town, which is definitely worth a visit. On your first evening, make sure to take a stroll down the bustling main street of Corso Umberto and pick a bar or restaurant to spend at for the evening.

After dinner, why not take in an open-air performance at the Greek Theatre which dates back to the 3rd Century—guaranteed to be a great experience, as well as provide insatiable views of the famous Mt Etna in the distance.

The next day, there are a host of activities you can enjoy in this beautiful coastal town, including:

  • Relaxing on one of the beaches such as Isola Bella.
  • Enjoying the panoramic view from Piazza IX Aprile, which has the best view of the city and Mt Etna and is, of course, open 24 hours a day to enjoy.
  • Chiesa Madonna Della Rocco for more incredible city and sea views, a peaceful haven to relax and the perfect spot to enjoy a glass of local wine. Mon-Sun 8:30am-7pm.
  • Alcantara Gorge, which is a 50-minute drive from Taormina and is a geological marvel, as well as the perfect place to visit to see glorious waterfalls and take a refreshing dip in the Alcantara River.

Spend your second evening in Palermo listening to live music and enjoying some delicious Italian cuisine in town.

Tip: The Godfather fans can visit a few of the movie’s film locations in the town of Savoca, just outside Taormina, which was used as the fictional town of Corleone.

Taormina, Sicily
Taormina, Sicily, Italy. Beautiful ancient theatre of Taormina. Ancient Greek theatre, ruins of significant landmark. Amazing view of Etna volcano from the auditorium. Fantastic cityscape of Taormina. Depositphotos.com

Day 5-6: Catania

After breakfast, you will leave Taormina and head to Catania. However, you will of course be stopping at one of the most famous attractions on the island along the way–Mount Etna. This active stratovolcano is the tallest volcano in Europe and attracts many visitors to marvel at the sheer sight of this natural attraction. You can either take on the Mt Etna trail, which is around a 1-hour return and is of medium grade, or you can simply spend some time enjoying the views and the endless photo opportunities before continuing to Catania.

Related read: The World’s Most Famous Volcanoes

Note: While Italy is generally not an unsafe place to visit, you should be aware of pickpockets and petty theft, especially in touristy areas, so be vigilant and take care of your valuables in places such as this.

Catania is the second-largest city in Sicily and is a place that you just cannot overlook on your Sicily itinerary planning. When arriving, expect to be greeted by a fantastic view of Mount Etna, which forms the iconic backdrop of this stunning city. Here you will spend the evening absorbing the atmosphere of the city in all its glory, which is apparent at the Piazza Duomo.

The following day you will have the whole day to explore the city’s sights, including:

  • Palazzo Biscari: Visit this marvelous palace for its incredible Catanese Baroque architecture, complete with stunning frescos. Given that this historic location is now being used for concerts, check their website for upcoming unmissable events. Mon-Sun 10am-1pm.
  • The Cathedral of Catania: This beautiful and historic cathedral is centrally located, so there is no reason to miss out on seeing the wonderful baroque architecture which makes this so popular. Be on the lookout for the domed roof, the columned facade, and the numerous frescoes that can be admired for hours. Dedicated to the patron saint of Catania, St Agatha, whose festival is held from February 3rd – 5th. Mon-Sat 10:30am-12pm/4pm-5:30pm, closed Sundays.

During your time sightseeing in Catania, make sure to refresh yourself with a cold and fruity beverage from one of the historic Catania kiosks which date back to the 1800s and are found in many of the piazzas, especially Piazza Umberto. Enjoy another beautiful evening in Catania, with a delicious local dinner of Pasta Alla Norma (pasta and eggplant) and a stunning sunset over Mount Etna, as you take in all you have encountered today, as part of your 8 day Sicily itinerary.  

A kiosk in Catania, Sicily
A kiosk in Catania, Sicily. Depositphotos.com

Day 6-8: Siracusa

Today, after a fresh and tasty Italian breakfast, alongside some world-famous coffee, you will set yourself up for the day and make your way to Siracusa, which is an ideal spot to discover its attractions as well as being close to some major stop-off points too. On your way here, you can stop at the archeological site of Agrigento, which is one of the most significant historical sites on the whole island. After marveling at the various mesmerizing ruins, you will continue to Siracuse, where more adventure awaits.

On your first day in Siracusa, you will get the chance to discover many things, including:

  • The Fontana Diana at the Piazza Archimed: Dating back to 1907, this is a major feature in the city of Siracusa, which is dedicated to the Goddess, Diana.
  • Ortigia, which is accessed via a bridge and is famous for its incredible Baroque style Piazza del Duomo–one of the best in Italy.

On your second day in Siracusa, you will visit Modica, which is a haven for the sweet tooth, given that it is famous for the Modica chocolates—which you can taste and, of course, take home. This town is famed for its beautiful array of historic buildings, its chocolate museum, and its tiny narrow, picturesque streets.

You will spend the rest of the day as you please, wandering this beautiful hilly town, before making your way back to Catania for your last evening in Sicily, closing off your fantastic 8 day Sicily itinerary.

Siracusa, Sicily island
Siracusa, Sicily island, Italy: Night view of the fountain of Arethusa, Ortigia, Syracuse, a historic city on the island of Sicily, Italy. Depositphotos.com

Planning your trip to Sicily

If you’re a traveler that likes to give back to the community, make sure to book your trip with Baboo Travel. You can rest easy knowing that your well-earned money has gone towards community projects, combatting climate change as well as empowering the locals to thrive. And, at the same time, you’ll have a dedicated Destination Expert on hand from start to finish to make sure your Sicily itinerary is exactly as you hoped, with local experiences and knowledge thrown in.

Take the hassle and stress out of planning, save yourself hours of time and research, and make the eco-friendly choice to travel to Sicily with a tailor-made trip created by Baboo and the experts.


The best beach clubs and bars in Barcelona

Keep in mind: some of these establishments are going to open in the coming months, so we are giving you the best beach clubs to bear in mind for the end of May and beginning of summer! 

Who loves the beach in Barcelona? And who loves the Barcelona nightlife? Combine the two and you’ve got the best beach bars in Barcelona! These bars and clubs offer a huge variety of fun experiences as well as high-quality gastronomy for those who tend to get peckish mid-way through your night out! 

See also: Top Coolest Bars in Barcelona

Beach bars in Barcelona, Spain
Beach bars in Barcelona, Spain

The best beach bars in Barcelona

These beach clubs in Barcelona have stunning views, making them the perfect place to enjoy the sunset with a cocktail in your hand. Some stylish, some more relaxed and chilled, with multiple styles of music for you to enjoy. You can book tickets, reserve tables and organise VIP bookings, we give you the top beach clubs in Barcelona. 

See also: Places to Stay Cool in Barcelona in Summer

Hotel W, The Wet Deck

Located at the beachfront along the famous Barceloneta boardwalk is the stunning W Hotel, visible on Barcelona’s skyline. The luxurious terrace here will impress you with the breath-taking views it offers and the incredible cocktails it’s mixologists can provide for you. 

Every Sunday at the Hotel W they hold an event which includes food, music and drinks by the pool. This ritzy hotel bar has it all! There’s tapas, cocktails, drinks, a DJ, a pool, and views of the stunning Mediterranean Sea. This is the perfect place for day and night parties hosted with the best DJ’s in the city. 

Hotel W, The Wet Deck in Barcelona, Spain
Hotel W, The Wet Deck

You can even book tables where you can rent a cabana with sofas and sunbeds, towels, next to an infinity pool, where you won’t have to lift a finger, and can enjoy cocktails and drinks all day long. You can also rent out private jacuzzis, with sunbeds, tables and even a private bathroom, this promotion even includes a 75cl bottle of Veuve Clicquot. 

Address: Plaça Rosa Del Vents 1, Final, Passeig de Joan de Borbó, 08039 Barcelona

Pool Bar at W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain
Pool Bar at W Hotel in Barcelona, Spain

Vai Moana

In El Poblenou you can find the chiringuito Vai Moana with Easter Island decor, this is the place to really take in the tranquillity of your surroundings and enjoy the small lapping of waves. They are located literally right on the beach, giving you the most authentic experience possible. This beach bar in Barcelona is somewhere you can of course find incredible gastronomy to keep you going. They have a load of healthy options and they have options for kids, like burgers and macaroni, and just wait till you see their cocktail, smoothies and fruit juice selection. 

This bar is occupied by those who don’t suffer the mundanities of life, they don’t care if they have sand in their shorts. They are there to relax, have fun and enjoy themselves. If you like a frozen margarita or daiquiri, this is the place for you!

Address: Av. del Litoral, s/n, 08005 Barcelona 

Vai Moana in Barcelona, Spain
Vai Moana in Barcelona, Spain

Bambú Beach Bar

For a locals choice, the Bambú beach bar is a great place to relax in a cosy atmosphere. They are right on the beach, and serve delicious food that can be savoured at any time of the day. They serve refreshing drinks and cocktails and provide a fun- filled cosmopolitan atmosphere. Bambú beach bar has been created for their people to unwind and have fun. 

Bambú were inspired by the crystal clear beaches in Thailand, creating a special touch of Southeast Asia in this bar. The tropical trees surrounding the beach bar along with the perfect crashing waves create a delightful harmony for any customer who enters Bambú. They don’t take bookings so make sure to get there earlier rather than later!

Address: Ronda Litoral, s/n, 08005 Barcelona

Bambú Beach Bar in Barcelona, Spain
Bambú Beach Bar in Barcelona, Spain

Jefferson Beach Club

Jefferson Beach Club is a great option for travellers looking for good drinks, great food and outdoor seating on the beach. They have an enormous option of drinks available, and be sure to try their incredible mojitos! Their chef is known for his paellas, and the staff known for their great service. 

They have music and are based on Sant Sebastià beach, they have the inspiration of the Hamptons, wanting to bring a small portion of Long Island closer to Barcelona. You can sunbathe on the loungers, chill on the terrace or even get up and dance. This is a space for fun and comfort. 

Address: Playa Bogatell, Av. del Litoral, s/n, 08005 Barcelona 

Jefferson Beach Club in Barcelona, Spain
Jefferson Beach Club in Barcelona, Spain

Bestial Beach Club

The Bestial Beach Club is a great place to go. They have a stunning spacious terrace right in front of their trendy inner club, the best thing about this club is that if you enter before 1am its free entry! This club is located just beside the Casino and Hotel Arts Barcelona in front of the beach. They have events weekly like Reggaeton parties and special DJ guests. 

The place is cosy but edgy and has great views out to the sea. The beach club is also a very popular restaurant throughout meal times, being one of the best places in the city to eat and relax at. This place is so picturesque you’ll not be complaining. Bestial is famous for its Mediterranean and Italian dishes as well as their delicious paella. 

Address: Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 2-4, 08005 Barcelona 

Bestial Beach Club in Barcelona, Spain
Bestial Beach Club in Barcelona, Spain

The Coconut Club

The Coconut Club is a Miami style poolside bar in the heart of Villa Olímpica. They are inspired by the Caribbean and provide a cool and hip place to relax. They serve delicious Caribbean food and drinks. Their dishes are original and they even offer a selection of ice cream in case you have a sweet tooth. Their drinks menu includes a plethora of cocktails like sangria and mojitos, and their atmosphere will make you feel as if you’re in the islands, without the coconut trees at every turn. 

They also offer cool events like taco sundays where they offer a speciality dish for promotion for their eager customers! This is another one of the best places to hang out for a drink in the sun by the beach. Make sure you try their coco ice cream or coco drinks too, they are refreshing and delicious! 

Address: Carrer de Ramon Trias Fargas, 2, 08005 Barcelona 

Exploring the beach bars in Barcelona, Spain
Exploring the beach bars in Barcelona, Spain

Looking to make the most of summer in Barcelona? Check out these posts:


Your Alternative Osaka Travel Guide

If you’re looking for an alternative Osaka travel guide, you’ve just landed on the right page. Japan expert, La Carmina, shares her best tips and advice for exploring the more underground side of Osaka.

Only three hours from Tokyo by bullet train, Osaka is a turbo-charged setting for a long weekend getaway. Although it’s worth seeing historic landmarks such as Osaka Castle, travelers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground culture for an alternative perspective of the city. For instance, Osaka is home to a gritty and raucous music scene that’s matched only by its drinking holes — where the staff has feathered and dyed hair, the speakers blast Def Leppard, and the walls are decorated with grinning skulls.

I’ve been writing about Japan and visiting Osaka for well over a decade on my La Carmina travel blog. Here are some of my favorite subculture hangouts in the city, which I hope you’ll get to check out on your next trip.

See also: A day in Osaka, Japan

Japan travel expert - La Carmina
La Carmina, Japan travel and fashion blogger of LaCarmina.com

Osaka shopping guide

Let’s start off this alternative Osaka travel guide with a few vintage, indie and unique shopping spots in Osaka.

Shinsaibashi

Shinsaibashi’s Shopping Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: look for indie and vintage boutiques, such as Dangerous Nude, amidst the mass retailers. Nearby Amerikamura is the cultural equivalent of Tokyo’s Harajuku, with Goths, punks and rockers hanging out in Triangle Park (here’s a map of the best stores). Poke your head through the beaded curtains for cyber fashion, tarot cards and 1980s toys.

Osaka travel guide recommending a Satanic-themed 666 clothing shop in the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka.
A Satanic-themed 666 clothing shop in the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka. Image by La Carmina Blog.

EST Center

A stone’s throw from Umeda Station, EST is a young women’s “shopping town with dream and excitement.” The boutiques lure you in with frantic J-pop music and the chic outfits seen in Cutie and ViVi magazines. If the hundred-plus indie and alternative shops aren’t enough, across the street is Hep Five, a shopping and entertainment megalopolis with a red Ferris wheel.

Osaka travel guide recommending Pokemon Center, Osaka. Photo by La Carmina
Pokemon Center, Osaka. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Sightseeing in Osaka

Here are a few more unique sights to visit in Osaka.

Pokemon Center

Believe it or not, the Pokemon Center is one of the top tourist attractions in all of Japan. The gargantuan Umeda, Osaka store is stocked with every character imaginable. Children in Pikachu hats will remind you that the brand’s motto is “gotta catch em all,” so bring your wallet.

Kaiyukan Aquarium

Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world and a family favorite. Young Osaka resident Takumi Tanaka reminisces on his childhood visits. “It’s always fun to see the penguins and dolphins playing, but my favorite thing to do is visit the Floating Jellyfish tanks. It’s so relaxing to watch the intertwining tendrils,” he says. “Also I love to watch the staff feed the sea otters, who play like children.”

Osaka Castle

Tanaka also encourages first-timers to visit the historic Osaka Castle, especially during the cherry blossom season. “There are always festivals and gatherings in the beautiful park, and little stalls that sell traditional foods like takoyaki. It’s fun to just sit on the benches and watch people go by,” says Tanaka.

Related tour: Guided Walking Tour around Osaka Castle

Alternative Osaka travel guide
Fu-Ki pours a devilish drink at hard rock Bar Midian, Osaka. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Bars and Nightlife in Osaka

What’s an Osaka travel guide without a list of the best bars and nightlife?

Related tour: Osaka: Nightlife Experience

Bar Midian

Fans of Visual Kei/J-rockers Blood were heartbroken when the group disbanded. But like a Goth Elvis, vocalist Fu-ki is alive and ominously wielding an ice pick behind the counter of his Bar Midian.

The Umeda dive is near-impossible to find, so I suggest studying these detailed directions on my La Carmina Blog. Midian’s decor is a heavy metal wet-dream: a dripping candle sits in a Dracula wine bottle; an axe rests in the umbrella stand. That night, we sat with tattooed rockers who headbanged to Black Sabbath videos and scandalized us with their boy-on-boy antics.

Drinks are 500 yen and have names such as Black Rose and Satan. Fu-ki mixes a strong cocktail and will gladly make you a special one, or pour you a Belgian Satan Beer. He’s also known to pick up the tab for newcomers, especially if you bond over music — so don’t forget to ask him about his Motley Crue cover band.

Bar Moonwalk

When metal and rock bands tour Osaka, they frequently stop by Moonwalk, a bar that pumps Marilyn Manson and Japanese glam metal to a young, heavily-pierced crowd.

My travel comrade and I had an instant crush on our eyeliner-smeared server Kouta, who plays bass in a new Visual Kei band. The fantasy faded a little when he went into the kitchen to cook our orders: tasty 315 yen plates of Korean fried rice and lotus pork cakes. There’s a 400 yen cover charge, but the drink menu — which has over 300 offerings for 200 yen each – more than makes up for it. Got a sweet tooth? Try the raspberry yogurt cocktail. More of a hardcore type? Go for the brandy ginger mixer. And don’t be surprised if the charming bartender brings over free shots.

Bar Rock Rock

Alice Cooper. Bad Religion. Motley Crue. Metallica. They are among the hundreds of famed faces who have raised hell at Rock Rock since the bar opened in 1995, leaving behind autographed photos and tales of destruction.

The atmosphere reminds me of a really chill jazz club, only with screamo vocals. The bar plays anything from punk to metal and has events throughout the year that bring in throngs of rock fans. These include special DJ nights such as Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Dead (emo) and the self-explanatory Loud & Heavy.

The menu is a typical selection of pizzas, pastas and salads (600-800 yen). The drinks are standards, plus a selection of fruity cocktails (500-800 yen). A little pricy, but worth it when they’re poured by celebrity bartender “Noxl Rose.”

Alternative bars in Osaka, Japan
Cute octopus balls, or takoyaki: an Osakan favorite food. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Food in Osaka

Take your tastebuds on an adventure.

See also: Japanese Pork Chop in Downtown Osaka

Okonomiyaki

Non-Japanese speakers, memorize the word “okonomiyaki.” It’s a tragedy if you leave without tasting the grilled savory pancake (usually with seafood, and topped with bonito flakes and brown sauce) that is Kansai’s soul food. Look for family restaurants such as Tengu, where recipes are passed down from several generations.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki — grilled octopus balls made from pouring batter into molds — are another Osaka specialty. Every major street has a stand where you can buy a dozen for 500 yen. Twists on the original include egg or melted cheese toppings, and takoyaki stuffed in a crepe. But nothing beats mom-and-pop shops, such as Tako House at Umeda station, where a shy grandma oversees the cooking.

Yuzu (citrus fruit)

Yuzu is a divine mating between a lemon and a tangerine. In Osaka, you’ll find the flavor in seemingly every type of dish: sorbet, sake, shochu. The fruit is rarely found fresh outside of Japan, so don’t hesitate to gorge on it at every meal.

Related tour: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

Alternative Osaka travel guide
A pentagram coaster from Gothic, fetish and occult themed Bar Idea in Kobe, Japan. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Day Trips from Osaka

If you want to escape from Osaka for a day, check out a few of these nearby places.

Kobe

Take a jaunt to Kobe to explore its outstanding parks, zoo, and harbor. For a walk on the dark side, visit Gothic / fetish / occult / Satanic Bar Idea. The friendly ladies behind the nail-spiked bar will chat with you and perform dark rituals, including shibari or rope bondage demonstrations.

Nara

Get away from the grit with a day trip to Nara, only an hour away by subway. The cultural capital dazzles with six Buddhist temples, a Shinto shrine and the Imperial Place. But the biggest thrill, for tourists of all ages, is petting the sacred deer that roam in Nara Park.

Related tour: From Kyoto or Osaka: Private Walking Tour through Nara

Kyoto

Kyoto is located north of Osaka, and home to thousands of well-preserved places of worship such as Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion). First built in the 14th century, the three-story gilded structure holds the Buddha’s ashes and is set in an exquisite garden with a mirror pond.

Related tour: From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Japan travel expert, La Carmina
See more Japan travel tips on La Carmina’s social media @lacarmina and her award-winning travel blog.


The Most Spectacular Bali Volcano Hikes

If you’re looking for a bit of adventure while vacationing in Bali, consider doing one of the Bali volcano hikes. It is one of the best ways to not only get your heart rate up, but an incredible way to take in the picturesque landscapes that Bali has to offer.

And so, while volcanoes may not be the first type of hiking ground that comes to mind when you think of a hike, let the record show that this is not an experience that you want to miss. Every step you take will be totally worth it!  

An intro to the top Bali volcano hikes

Keep in mind that this is an introduction to three volcanoes to trek in Bali – more is to come, don’t you worry.However, before you go embarking on this adventure, it is important to keep in mind that they all differ in difficulty and trip length. That being said, they all provide breathtaking views and a sense of achievement when you reach the summit.

When to hike volcanoes in Bali: During the months of April to September (the dry season) is the best time to climb any of the volcanos as the tracks get muddy and slippery in the wet season, making it difficult or impossible to climb.

Usually, it’s best to aim for the summit around sunset, so the climbs begin very early in the morning. If possible, choose a date close to a full moon for extra light, but you can climb the volcanos any time of the month.

What to bring: Warm clothes, good shoes, water, snacks, and a headlamp.

Top 3 Bali volcano hikes

Mount Batur – The Easiest Climb

Mount Batur is the easiest Bali volcano hike of the three volcanos and provides spectacular views of Lake Batur and the ocean. It is also Bali’s most active volcano, so check whether it is safe to climb before you go.

Most people do the climb as an organized tour, but you can do it on your own if you prefer. If you decide to do the volcano trek without a guide, be prepared to deal with local guides in Kintamani, the town where the trek starts, who have a reputation for being extremely pushy and doing almost anything to hinder people without a guide to reach the summit.

The track starts out as a dirt path, but as it quickly gets steeper it also gets rockier and after a while vegetation is mainly limited to grasses growing among the rocks. Before reaching the summit, a small vendor sells refreshments.

On the summit, views reach as far as Mount Rinjani, and if you have a guide, he or she might cook you an egg boiled in volcanic steam before the descent.

  • Difficulty: The trek is straight forward, so if you are in decent shape, you shouldn’t have many problems.
  • Trip length: This Bali volcano hike takes one to two hours to reach the summit and the same time to get down, but you should also include time to enjoy the views and explore the rim of the crater.
  • Location: An hour’s drive north of Ubud.

If you decide to do the hike with a guide there’s an option of a few add-ons, including a sunrise hike with a natural hot spring, a sunrise hike with breakfast, or a sunrise hike with white water rafting.

Mount Agung – Bali’s Highest Point

The trek starts at around 2.30 in the morning at the stairs of the temple. Bring a torch or preferably a headlamp, as the first part of the trek through the forest is particularly dark. After walking uphill in the dark for about three hours you should reach the summit as the sun starts to color the sky orange. Especially on windy days, it can get very cold at the summit, so make sure to bring extra warm clothes.

As you start making your way down, the sun becomes more intense, and you’ll welcome the guy selling semi-cold refreshments at the temple where the trek ends.

  • Height: 3031 meters
  • Difficulty: You need to be fit for this trek as it is a fairly long climb with some steep sections.
  • Trip length: It takes about two to four hours to reach the summit and a little less to get down.
  • Location: An hour’s of drive northeast of Ubud

There’s an option to book a Mount Agung sunrise hike with breakfast.

Mount Rinjani – Lombok’s Spectacular Volcano

The classic Rinjani volcano trek takes two nights and three days and is the most spectacular of the three. And is one of the harder Bali volcano hikes.

On day one, walk from the National Park entrance to the rim of the volcano. The first half of the day goes through the jungle, where curios monkeys will watch you, but as you get closer to the rim, vegetation is limited to grasses and small bushes. When you reach the rim, and if you still have any breath left, the spectacular view of the crater will take away what remaining breath you have.

Spend the next day exploring the crater for a couple of hours where you can swim in the blue crater lake or relax your muscles in the nearby hot springs before climbing up to the opposite side of the rim.

On the third day, you get up early in order to reach the summit at sunrise. On a clear day, you get a spectacular view of Lombok, the Gili islands and Bali as the sun starts warming you up.

Back at camp, you’ll have breakfast before descending through grass and farmlands all the way down to the village of Sembalun where the trek ends.

  • Difficulty: Climbing Rinjani is a hard trek with some steep sections, especially the last bit to the summit, where the sand-like surface makes walking difficult, so you need to be in good shape to reach the summit of Mount Rinjani. An easier option, but with equally good views, is just to trek to the rim, which is easier as the track is good most of the way and without too many steep parts.
  • Trip length: The classic length is three days and two nights, but you can also do a two day, a one night, or some trips go as long as a week. In the latter case, you’ll spend more time trekking the area around the volcano and inside the crater.
  • Location: Mount Rinjani is located on Lombok. From Bali it is a 90-minute boat ride and an hour’s drive to the foot of Mount Rinjani. From the Gili Islands, it will take you ten minutes by boat plus an hour by car. You are not allowed to climb Rinjani without a guide, so you need to go on an organized tour, which can easily be arranged from Bali and The Gilis.

Mount Catur – The hike with the major view

Located in the northwest of Bali, this picturesque location is surrounded by so many gorgeous waterfalls, lakes as well as a botanical garden that you can easily explore. One of Bali’s most photographed temples, The Temple at Lake Bratan (Pura Ulun Danu Bratan) happens to be in this location too.

When you begin the hike, you need to keep in mind that unlike Mt. Batur and Mt. Agung, this volcano is actually extinct. This means that you won’t be able to see any cool lava eruptions or cook your eggs on lava rock either – sorry.

  • Height: 1 247m
  • Difficulty: This specific hike is neither a leisurely stroll nor a serious hiking challenge. It is somewhere in between. But keep in mind that you may want some endurance training beforehand!
  • Trip length: This hike is by no means a long one or even an over-nighter for that matter! See this as a fun day trip as because, on average, it should take you about three hours to get to the very top, where you will be met with the most stunning views yet.  
  • Location: Your hike will begin at Lake Bratan at Gua Jepang (literally translated to “Japanese Cave”).

Mount Batukaru

If you are looking for the second-highest mountain in Bali, then look no further than Mount Batukaru. This dormant volcano sets itself apart from all of the other Bali volcano hikes as it has some very unique terrains that will, without a doubt, shock and delight you!  From the shady forestry to the hike peaks and views of the craters and lakes – it has all you need to form a summit.

  • Height: 2,275 meters
  • Difficulty: This specific hike is ideal for those of you who enjoy walking through forests and being surrounded by tall trees. The rocky terrains and steep inclines make for a rather difficult and strenuous hike. Thankfully it is only a day hoke though
  • Trip length: This trek is about five hours long, so do not mistake it for a leisurely hike, as it is nowhere close to that. So, make sure that your fitness levels are relatively high so that you can get to the top in good time.   
  • Location: Mount Batukaru is an extinct volcano that is both the highest peak in the Bedugul volcanic area and the second-highest mountain in Bali.

Looking for accommodation in Bali? Check out our:

Bali Accommodation Guide


Unique Things to do in Florence

Florence is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Italy. This city has a village atmosphere that can’t stop bringing visitors back repeatedly due to its old-world charm.

However, you might be bored of going to the same few tried and tested museums or destinations. You might not yet know that there are many unique things to do in Florence, including a lot of non touristy things to do in Florence that will show you another side of this fantastic destination. 

Here are some Florence hidden gems to add to your itinerary next time you travel to Italy!

See also: Cheap but Chic: Budget Hotels in Florence

Finding hidden gems in Florence streets
Finding hidden gems in Florence streets

Unique things to do in Florence

Selfie Museum

The Selfie Museum is an international sensation that features incredible installations created by many artists designed to be used as a backdrop for Instagram photos and selfies!

Selfie Museums started as far back as 2015, with one of the first museums located in the Philippines. Now, Florence is the home to the first Selfie Museum in Italy

You should know that it’s not an actual museum but more of an interactive experience designed for entertainment. Each person is encouraged to immerse themselves in their surroundings. 

You can expect corridors of colourful backdrops, optical illusions, and more. Don’t forget to wear an #instagrammable outfit. 

A ticket gets you 1.5 hours of access to over 50 installations created by international artists. It’s also open every day from 10:00 – 19:00pm. 

Individuals can expect to pay €13, with student discounts and bundled options available for families. Booking is essential, so don’t miss out on one of the most unique things to do in Florence – book your ticket here.

All’Antico Vinaio Food Tour

All’Antico Vinaio is a renowned sandwich store in Italy, known for its ‘schiacciata’, sandwiches made on focaccia-style bread. It first opened in 1989 and has since opened branches in Rome, Milan and even across the pond in New York.

If you are looking for non touristy things to do in Florence but still want to enjoy great food and drink, you would love the All’Antico Vinaio – Skip The Line food tour. 

You can expect just under three hours of unique eats, featuring 7 different stops and 4 kinds of wine. You’ll start with traditional Italian espresso and pastries, enjoy a fantastic sandwich at All’Antico Vinaio, drink Chianti wine and enjoy a sweet surprise at the end. 

Florence food markets in Italy
Florence food markets – depositphotos.com

Museo Salvatore Ferragamo

This is one of the best non touristy things to do in Florence for any fashionistas who happen to be in Florence instead of Milan.

The Museo Salvatore Ferragamo is one of the most unique things to do in Florence off the beaten path! It’s a fashion museum entirely dedicated to the life and work of world-renowned fashion designer Salvatore Ferragamo and his company. He is known for his prolific shoe design and production. The museum features over 10,000 models of shoes created and owned by Salvatore Ferragamo. 

The museum is open every day from 11:00 until 19:30, and admission costs €16.50. You can also expect seasonal exhibitions at the Salvatore Ferragamo museum if you’re lucky!

Villa Bardini

Often, the Bardini Gardens in Florence are missed by travellers. It wouldn’t be wrong to feel like you’re discovering a new place while visiting the beautiful premises of Villa Bardini.

Villa Bardini features a 17th-century villa with many acres of gardens. This area offers some of the best views of Florence and regularly hosts art exhibitions and other significant events.

You don’t want to rush your visit to these lush gardens! There is no better place to lie under the trees and simply relax. It might not be the most fitting for the title of non touristy things to do in Florence, but it’s worth a visit anyway. 

Bardini Gardens in Florence
View from the Italian-style Bardini gardens in Florence, Italy – depositphotos.com

Acquario di Livorno (Livorno Aquarium)

You may not think of an ‘aquarium’ when you think of ‘Florence’. That’s because it’s not in the city centre of Florence – it’s actually in Livorno, about 1.5 hours away by car. 

However, the Acquario di Livorno (Livorno Aquarium) is one of the most unique things to do in the broader Florence area.

Inside, you’ll find a Mediterranean-style aquarium that features unique international exhibits. You’ll discover blacktip sharks, jellyfish, manta rays and sea turtles.

This is a fantastic opportunity for families with children looking for Florence hidden gems to enjoy. Other visitors enjoyed the tremendous sights, helpful staff and relative quietness of the aquarium compared to other tourist destinations in Florence.

Admission is around €16.00, with more significant price discounts if purchasing online. It would be a great destination to make a day trip adventure with other non touristy things to do in Florence and its greater area!

Tettuccio Thermal Spa

Located between Florence and Versilia in Montecatini, Tettuccio Thermal Spa offers four different thermal pools in Europe’s oldest spa town. These baths contain mineral salts and other precious elements, set in a beautifully landscaped garden to create the most dreamy spa day ever. 

If you are looking for the ultimate in relaxation, this is the perfect thing for you – and one of the most unique things to do in Florence.

There is a beautiful fresco in the cafe here, a historical writing room (sala di scrittura) and a few shops to browse.  

You’ll also find unusual healing treatments here, such as drinking the thermal water. There are also more traditional spa treatments, such as massages, facial treatments and thermal baths. 

Summary 

There are many unique things to do in Florence that will take you off the beaten track to find a bit of quiet during your visit – you just need to know where to look!

If you like fashion and art, you will love the Selfie Museum or Salvatore Ferragamo museum, two of Florence hidden gems that aren’t always busy.

If you are after a family outing, take a trip to the Livorno Aquarium just outside Florence for a lovely day out. Solo travellers may enjoy the Tettuccio Thermal Spa or Villa Bardini for the ultimate holiday bliss. 

No matter what you’re looking for, we’re sure you’ll find non touristy things to do in Florence during your next trip to Italy!


Walking Holidays Across Spain

 

At the heart of walking holidays in Spain lies the Camino de Santiago – Pilgrimage of Compostela – known as the Way of St James in English. This is a network of pilgrim paths dating back to the 9th century, when the remains of the apostle Saint James the Great were discovered, in which different towns and villages across Europe all lead back to Santiago, Spain.

Although Camino de Santiago Frances begins in France, these routes all end in Spain. For this reason, Spain has become a very popular walking holiday destination, in which holidaymakers and hikers from around the world dive into a segmented route within one of the pilgrim paths.

This type of holiday has it all: physical activity, culture and history, and is a chance to explore different places. Whilst you may have driven from one town to the next in Spain, it’s not quite the same experience as walking, in which you have lots of time to take in your surroundings and see every inch of soil between two connected villages or towns.

 

Popular Routes

Within Camino de Santiago, there are many routes with varying levels of difficulty. Sarria to Santiago is a popular one as it’s graded 2 out of 5, yet covers 111km, crossing various significant Spanish towns such as Sarria, Puertomarin, Palas de Rey, and Arzu.

This particular route takes 7 days to complete, in which there are many great hotels along the way. Of course, because most of the day is spent walking, which is free, and the hotels include half board or breakfast (up to you), these walking trips have very few unexpected costs.

Another popular route to Santiago is from St Jean Pied de Port. if you’re thinking that doesn’t sound very Spanish then you’re right, because this route begins in southern France and ends in, you guessed it, Santiago. The ‘French Way’ is one of the most culturally rich walks in the world. St Jean Pied de Port in the French Basque region is a 12th-century town. Soon, you head to Pamplona, which is world-famous for its bull-running, before you eventually pass through northern Spain. This walk is extremely diverse, allowing you to see both the differences and similarities in Spanish-French architecture, culture, and terrain.

 

Socialising and Culture

Of course, meeting other pilgrims along the way is also a key part of these routes – this is the benefit of sticking to the historical trails. Other like-minded folks will undoubtedly be crossing the same paths that are experiencing the same challenges.

Because these are historical routes, the towns they cross are culturally significant too. Almost any route you choose will have a plethora of cathedrals, architecture, and authentic cuisine. Rustic villages and forests are plentiful in northern Spain too.

 

What Time of Year is Best?

Southern France and northern Spain are both fairly mild climates all year round, with average summer temperatures of 25 degrees celsius (80F) and average winter temperatures of 12 degrees celsius (54 F). For this reason, no time of year is too challenging to make these walks, although between June and September is recommended if you want as little rain as possible.

The post Walking Holidays Across Spain appeared first on Wandering Earl.

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