The colosseum in Rome draws millions of visitors every year and for first time visitors the experience can be overwhelming. In the summer the popular Rome attraction draws huge crowds so try to buy tickets in advance if you can to avoid the queuing pushy tourists. If you don’t buy in advance there are tour guides that you can go in with to cut the queue. The tour guides use a rudimentary but effective coloured sticker system to keep the group together.
It takes patience to get a snap of the impressive ruin with no one else in your pic. Do a circuit and you’ll likely get more than a few good photos. In the summer I often carried a water bottle round with me refilling it wherever I could. One of the brilliant things I love about Rome is that there are drinking water fountains all over the city! Perfectly safe to drink and you’ll see both locals and visitors quenching their thirst. Even within the Colosseum you can stay hydrated.
Beautiful and romantic Prague in the Czech Republic. Prague is known as the city of 100 spires and is a great place to wander through its pretty cobblestoned streets. Architecturally it is a dream with many baroque and gothic styled buildings.
Charles Bridge is the city’s most iconic landmark that was built in 1402. There are statues of 30 saints that line the bridge and it is hugely popular with tourists so go in the early hours of the morning to get great photos.
These are the Golden Buddha statues at Wat Pho Temple in Bangkok, Thailand. You’ll see these and many other religious and historical treasures around the temple complex including the famous golden reclining Buddha.
You can catch a ferry here to avoid the heavily congested Bangkok road traffic. It’s not a hugely scenic trip but it’s fun to be with other travellers who are also going to see the temple.
Beautiful Rome! This is Ponte Sant’Angelo (bridge) over the Tiberius river with the Vatican in the background.
Exploring this part of the city is easy and makes a good walk. Start in the morning at the Vatican, make your way to Castel Santagelo, walk along the river then head to Piazza Navona before checking out the Pantheon. The last two places have fab lunch options!
This is the Chapel of St Vincent in beautiful French seaside town Collioure in Southern France. Located south of Perpignan and within the Languedoc Rossillion region, an area that produces the country’s most and some of the best wine.
Collioure is dubbed the City of artists because many have stopped here, including Picasso, to capture its beauty. The town is also less than 10 kilometres from Barcelona and has a rich Catalan culture.
Stay locally or make it a fun day trip from Carcassonne, Toulouse or Perpignan. Get a car rental and check out these gorgeous French regional cities!
This is the amazing Cenote Ik Kil on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico. It is probably one the most photographed in Mexico and is hugely popular with tourists.
A cenote is a sinkhole and they are quite common in this area of Mexico though not are all open to the sky like Ik Kil. The ancient Mayans used it in ritual ceremonies and you can swim in this one. It is over 40 metres deep!
Getting here is easy. It’s a very popular day trip from Cancun and is usually included in tour packages when you go to see Chitzen Itza and Xelha. The stop doesn’t last long so try to get round and see it from lots of angles because it really is impressive. If you are feeling adventurous you could get a car rental and explore peninsula.
This is the incredible and still standing Roman aqueduct in gorgeous Segovia in Spain.
The aqueduct is considered to be the most important Roman engineering work undertaken in Spain. Up until the 19th it was still carrying water to the city from a river 15 kilometres away – impressive!
You can explore and climb the city walls. The view is incredible and there are many great photo opportunities. The local specialty is pigs trotter. How do you make pork taste even better? Cook it in fat.
Getting to Segovia is very easy and makes a great day trip from Madrid using the AVE train service.
No visit to beautiful Venice is complete without a gondola ride through through the city’s canals. Once the main mode of traffic with almost 10,000 gondolas in operation, the city now has fewer than 500 used to ferry tourists around the city.
There are different routes you can choose and tour operators that you can book in advance with. You could wing it and decide once you’re there! A ride typically lasts about 40 minutes and the pricing is fixed so expect to pay between 80 and 100 euros and slightly more towards the end of the day. You can also save money by sharing with others. There are gondola “ranks” around San Marco Square and near the Rialto Bridge you will also see gondoliers touting within the city.
Or, you could try something different and head to the Jewish Quarter! Search out an elusive gondolier named Koba who wears his hair in blonde dread-locks and works this area. He will take you through less congested canals of the city. There is no said area where he can be found so you’ll have to explore the quarter to find him. Happy adventuring!