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Featured Destinations

Featured Destinations in April

 

25 Featured Attractions

Art Galleries

Maori Arts and Crafts Institute (Te Puia)

Te Puia, the Maori Arts and Crafts Institute was established by the New Zealand Parliament to guard and preserve Maori culture, housing the national schools of carving and weaving. Visitors interact with master craftsmen as they turn native hardwood and plant fibers into beautiful pieces of traditional art, spinning stories as they work. Touring the facilities is interesting, informative and not to be missed, but the highlight is Te Po, Te Puia's authentic evening experience. As evening falls, you'll assemble in a carved meeting space and go on to participate in Maori rituals of friendship and greetting. As the night progresses, you'll feast on traditional cuisine as your guides will share Maori heritage, song and weaponry. Te Puia is also the staging area for tours of the Te Whakarewarewa Thermal Valley, where there are numerous geysers and 3 regularly erupt - Kereru, Tohu and the world famous Pohutu geyser, which erupts around 20 times a day reaching heights of up to 30m.

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Buildings & Structure

Dhamek Stupa

The Dhammek Stupa is a giant cylindrical Buddhist stupa situated in Sarnath, near Varanasi. This huge structure was built on the site where the Buddha was said to have given his first sermon to his disciples after attaining enlightenment. As such, it is one of the most important and revered sites for Buddhist pilgrims within India. The Dhamek Stupa was constructed in 500 CE to replace an earlier structure, and has been enlarged on several occasions over the years. It has been constructed from a mixture of stone and brick, and measures 28 meters in diameter at its base and almost 44 meters in height. The stupa sits within beautifully manicured gardens, providing the ideal place for pilgrims and visitors to enjoy their surroundings and reflect on the life of the Buddha. The Dhamek Stupa’s immediate vicinity also features a number of half-ruined monasteries and the remains of much smaller stupas.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King

Considered one of the best museums anywhere in China, the Museum of the Mausoleum of the Nanyue King (sometimes called the Museum of the Southern Yue Royal Mausoleum) houses the contents of the royal tombs of the Nanyue-ruler Zhao Mo.The tomb was discovered in 1983 when a bulldozing crew digging up a basement for a hotel uncovered the ancient mausoleum.Zhao Mo ruled the southern Chinese kingdom of Nanyue from 137 BC to 122 BC after being sent south by the emperor to establish a new sovereign state. The skeletons of Zhao Mo, along with 15 of his courtiers who were buried alive to serve him in death and several thousand objects from the empire are on display, and the compact tomb sitting behind the museum is open to visitors as well.An audio tour available in English will walk you through the history of the Han Dynasty by way of the relics and artifacts once housed in the tomb.

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Sights & Landmarks

Martyrs' Lane (Sehidler Xiyabani)

In the early days of 1990 during the dissolution of the Soviet Union, Baku was the site of a violent crackdown on the Azerbaijani independence movement, leaving hundreds of civilians dead. Built atop a former cemetery destroyed after the Bolsheviks came into power, Martyrs’ Lane is a memorial to some 15,000 Azerbaijani heroes, including those who lost their lives during the Black January massacre. Rising from the center of the memorial is the Eternal Flame; it’s common to see fresh wreaths here left by Azerbaijani citizens who’ve come to honor the dead. The main “lane” of the memorial has marble walls to either side bearing the names of the martyrs buried there. Also of interest is the British memorial stone honoring British servicemen who died there toward the end of World War I.

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Well-known Landmarks

Titanic Belfast

Since opening its doors in 2012 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Titanic’s fateful maiden voyage, Titanic Belfast has rocketed to the top of Northern Ireland’s tourist attractions, drawing over a million visitors in its first year. It seems fitting that the city should host the world’s largest Titanic visitor experience; after all, this was the city where the world’s most luxurious ship was built and first launched. Today, the area of Belfast Harbor that once housed the RMS Titanic has been renamed the Titanic Quarter and is dominated by the towering silver façade of the Titanic Belfast, a remarkable building fashioned from four ship-hull-shaped wings. The futuristic building is home to the state-of-the-art Titanic Belfast exhibition, which spreads over 6 floors and includes interactive discovery zones, full-scale reconstructions, real-life accounts and mind-blowing special effects.

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Sights & Landmarks

War Memorial of Korea

While most people are familiar with the Korean War, fewer realize how wrought with conflict Korea’s history really is. The War Memorial of Korea documents this history with a focus on the country’s relationships with North Korea, China and Japan. Calling it a memorial is a bit of a misnomer, as it’s actually a full-fledged museum housed in the former headquarters of the Korean Infantry.The eight main exhibits house an extensive collection of equipment from the Korean War, including tanks, guns and military planes, as well as a series of sculptures and paintings depicting patriotic war efforts. If you only have time for one exhibit, make it the Korean War exhibit. Technically, the Korean War is still going on, and tensions run hot between the North and the South, rendering the information here particularly relevant.

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Well-known Landmarks

Byodo-in Temple

If you think this classic furled-roof temple looks familiar, take a look at a 10-yen coin, and you’ll see why. One of Japan's most famous temples, and a World Heritage Site, the image of its 11th century Phoenix Hall graces the coin and the 10,000-yen note. The reason why this Buddhist temple is so famous is because it is one of the few remaining examples of Heian-era architecture, a textbook example of Japanese perfection. Take a tour to see the famous statue of Amida and 42 Bodhisattvas from the 11th century. The surrounding gardens are also justly famous, with tranquil water gardens reflecting the temple's surrounding pines.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Darwin Aviation Museum

Boasting dozens of aircrafts, engines and plane crash remnants, the Australian Aviation Heritage Centre is the best place in Darwin for anyone with their head in the clouds. The enormous museum prides itself on its coverage of the fateful bombing of Darwin in 1942 and many other air battles of World War II. Its North American B-25 Mitchell Bomber is especially notable, as it is one of the last in the world and only one of two on display outside of the United States. Other exhibits include an Auster biplane, a Japanese Zero fighter, shot from the sky in 1942, a Tiger Moth, the remains of a crash-landed RAAF Mirage jet, a Spitfire replica and even a few of the first attack helicopters

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Sights & Landmarks

Patuxai (Victory Gate)

Victory Monument, with its five intricate towers, is a fixture in the skyline of Vientiane, as well as the center of Patuxai Park. This regal destination pays homage to those killed in the fights for independence against France, Siam and Japan. Patuxai is as stunning from afar as it is up close. The monument’s interior is decorated with hand-painted images of religious deities. Visitors can climb to the top of Victory Monument and enjoy spectacular views of famous Lao temples, the might Mekong River and the nearby neighbor, Thailand.

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Sights & Landmarks

Queensland Cultural Centre

Brisbane's cultural precinct is on South Bank, opposite the city center on the Brisbane River.The highlight of the Queensland Cultural Centre is the inspiring Gallery of Modern Art (GoMA), which hosts a regular program of visiting and local exhibitions. It's the largest contemporary art gallery in Australia, and includes drama and film. Housed in another building is the Queensland Art Gallery and its collection of Australian and international art. Queensland Museum – South Bank documents the changing face of Brisbane and Queensland over the centuries, from culture and history to flora and fauna. You’ll also find the State Library of Queensland, the Queensland Performing Arts Centre and the Queensland Theatre Company in this lively arts hub.

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Sights & Landmarks

Cemetery of Confucius (Kong Lin)

The Cemetery of Confucius contains the tomb erected in memory of Confucius, along with the remains of more than 100,000 of his descendants. Situated just north of the sage’s birthplace of Qufu in Shandong Province, the cemetery sits around two kilometers from the Confucius Temple and the Kong Family Mansion, which together make up a UNESCO World Heritage Site.The oldest graves at the cemetery date back to the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius’ tomb has gone through a few changes over the years, with the present-day tomb being in the form of a cone-shaped hill.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Kabah

This minor archeological site on the Puuc Route south of Merida is worth visiting to see its Palace of the Masks, an ornate structure covered with hundreds of masks of the same figure: the rain god Chaac. This repeating motif is rare in Mayan art and perhaps illustrates the importance of water—or the lack of it some years. There are no underground cenotes in this area, so rainfall was the only source of water.Artifacts have been found here going as far back as the third century BC, but most of what remains was built between the 7th and 11th centuries AD. It was abandoned soon after and was empty when the Spanish conquistadores arrived.Some of the sculpted elements of the site have been whisked off to various museums, but several low stone buildings and pyramids remain. Since Kabah is in a region dotted with other ruins, it’s usually a quick stop as part of a multi-site tour.

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Sights & Landmarks

Cardiff City Hall (Neuadd y Ddinas)

Standing proud in the heart of the city since Cardiff was granted its city status back in 1906, the City Hall remains the focal point of the city’s celebrated civic center – encircled in landscaped gardens, tree-lined alcoves and striking architectural landmarks. The arresting Edwardian building blends English and French Renaissance styles, with its magnificent façade characterized by its domed atrium, striking clock tower and dramatic water feature. It’s the 194-foot high clock tower with it’s four-face gilded dials and the HC Fear statue of a Welsh dragon perched atop the dome, that have become most iconic to its design, taking prominent place on the city skyline. Alongside hosting prestigious national and international events, the City hall makes a popular wedding and celebration venue, with its exquisite interiors carved from Portland Stone and embellished with bronze chandeliers.

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Panamá Viejo (Old Panama Ruins)

Long before smallpox, conquistadors, and Catholicism made the Americas safe for European occupation, a group of Spanish sailors laid claim to the indigenous settlement of Panamá, "Land of Plenty." It was August 15, 1519, and they had no sense of what their tiny village would one day become. Though Panama City is considered "Oldest Permanent European Settlement on the Pacific," the original Panamá Viejo (Old Panama) was abandoned after a devastating 1671 attack by Captain Morgan's pirate army. Today, you can wander its worn remains, including the old cathedral and several stone buildings and walls. The juxtaposition with modern Panama City, visible across the bay, is startling. Fascinating finds from ongoing archaeological excavations are displayed at the onsite museum.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Gibson House Museum

This popular historical attraction located in the heart of the Back Bay neighborhood of Boston is home to four floors of furniture, artifacts and decor that date back to the 1800s. Visitors can explore this popular attraction on guided tours that detail the life and times and the famous Gibson Family. The home is essentially untouched, making it the perfect place to see how early aristocratic Americans lived.Travelers can venture through the formal dining room and learn about the Italian Renaissance style that’s evident throughout the home. The brownstone and red brick façade was designed by the iconic architect Edward Clarke Cabot and remains one of the city’s most pristine nods to a long gone era of a life gilded in family heirlooms and European style.

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Buildings & Structure

Belfast City Hall

Belfast City Hall was built to commemorate the event of Belfast becoming a city, having been granted the status in 1888 by Queen Victoria in recognition of the contributions of Belfast in the industries of linen, rope, tobacco, engineering and shipbuilding. This imposing structure of Portland stone has a copper dome topping out at 173 feet high, as well as a statue of Queen Victoria celebrating her jubilee standing out front.Many other statues and monuments can be found on the surrounding grounds, including the Thane Memorial for the victims of the Titanic sinking, which was expanded in 2012 to become the Titanic Memorial Garden. The memorial garden contains a nine-meter-long plinth containing bronze plaques with the names of all of the victims and was the first memorial to include the names of all who died, both crew members and passengers.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Buenos Aires National Museum of Fine Arts (Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes)

Art lovers will find plenty to marvel over at the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Argentina’s number one fine-arts museum, located in the Recoleta district. With 24 ground-floor galleries devoted to pre-20th century European art, the museum is a trove of classic works, dominated by famous names like Renoir, Monet, Gauguin, Cézanne and Picasso. Most impressive is the beautifully curated galleries of Argentine art, the largest collection in the world, including works by legendary artists like as Xul Solar, Edwardo Sívori, Lino Enea Spilimbergo, Raquel Forner, Cesáreo Bernaldo de Quirós and Benito Quinquela Martín, whose colorful depictions of the city’s La Boca port are some of the museum’s most evocative pieces. The striking museum, designed by acclaimed local architect Alejandro Bustillo in 1933, also hosts a number of popular temporary exhibits, a small cinema and a display of pre-Columbian artifacts.

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Buildings & Structure

American Memorial Cemetery

A must for any American visitor to the Philippines, the Manila American Cemetery and Memorial is a not only a great and emotional symbol of American heroism, it is also a beautiful testament to a complicated history of American intervention in the region. Located in Metro Manila, the cemetery covers 152 acres, or 62 hectares, of total space and is the eternal home to more than 17,200 Americans killed fighting in the Pacific theater of World War II. Those buried may have either fought during the recapturing of Japanese held islands in New Guinea, or the Battle of the Philippines in 1941 and 1942. Even though it is surrounded by urban landscape, everything is surprisingly quiet and peaceful upon entering the cemetery, giving hundreds of wanderers each day the chance to be alone with their thoughts. As the largest resting place for Americans lost during the war in the region, the headstones themselves, which are made of marble.

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Museums & Exhibitions

Izmir Ethnography Museum (Izmir Etnografya Muzesi)

The Izmir Archaeology and Ethnography Museum are 2 separate museums located side by side on the hill at Bahribaba Park, just a short walk from Konak.The Archaeology Museum is blessed with Greek and Roman relics taken from its neighbouring ancient cities. Here you’ll find elaborately decorated sarcophagi and tomb carvings, an extraordinarily well-preserved frieze depicting the 250BC funeral games at the Belevi mausoleum, and an enormous Domitian statue taken from Ephesus.The Ethnography Museum next door eclipses this collection with a number of items originally belonging to Ataturk – Turkey’s founder. Set in a handsome stone building (1831) that began its life as a hospital, the museum exhibits and displays demonstrate local art, craft and customs such as pottery, jewelry, carpet and weapon making as well as the rather bizarre sport of camel wrestling.

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Buildings & Structure

Frankfurt City Hall (Romer)

With its striking three-peaked façade looming over the central Römerberg square, Frankfurt’s historic town hall, the Römer, is one of the city’s most identifiable buildings. The distinctive medieval design, characterized by three stepped gables, adorned with Neogothic embellishments and topped with a domed bell tower, was originally built in the 15th century, but reconstructed after the war to include the now-iconic central balcony.Today, the Römer also features an additional wing, added in the late 19th-century and linked to the main buildings by a pedestrian bridge, nicknamed the ‘Bridge of Sighs’ after the famous Venice bridge of the same name. Still the center of city council meetings and the house of the municipal leader, the Römer is also a civil registry office and a popular tourist attraction in its own right. For visitors, the undeniable highlight is the magnificent Kaisersaal (Emperor Hall).

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Cultural/Heritage Places

Delhi Old Fort (Purana Qila)

With a history dating back thousands of years, the city of Delhi has been destroyed and rebuilt numerous times by numerous leaders. Purana Qila serves as a reminder of the capital’s turbulent past as one of the oldest structures in Delhi and its oldest surviving fort.Purana Qila was built during the rule of Afghan ruler Sher Shah between 1538 and 1545 in the midst of a power struggle between him and Humayun, the son of Babur, the first Mughal emperor. Humayun had built his own fort in the same spot in the 1530s but was forced out by Sher Shah, who proceeded to destroy what Humayun had built and establish his own capital.

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Buildings & Structure

Bell Tower and Astronomical Clock (Orologio Astronomico)

One of Messina’s main draws is its cathedral, which houses its own campanile, or bell tower. The 200-foot tower was built in the late 16th century, destroyed after an 18th-century earthquake and rebuilt in 1908. In 1933, an astronomical clock was installed at the top of the tower, and it remains one of the largest such clocks in the world. The clock's show happens at noon each day, when bells begin to chime, a lion roars, a rooster crows, and a procession of golden statues circles atop the tower. It's an incredible show, one that draws spectators daily.

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Museums & Exhibitions

New Delhi National Museum

Thousands of historic artifacts covering 5,000 years of both Indian and world history are on display in the spacious galleries of the excellent National Museum. Exhibits include rare relics from the Harappan Civilization, Central Asian antiquities (including silk paintings from the 1st century AD), Indian textiles, tribal masks, sculptures, musical instruments, old coins (Portuguese, Dutch and Danish), miniature paintings and weapons (including a battle-axe from 1739 AD). It is the largest museum in India so give yourself at least a few hours - preferably a half-day - to explore this museum.As well as the displays over 3 floors, the museum has an active conservation and education program. Since it came into existence in 1983 the National Museum Institute of Art, Conservation and Museology has become a university and now trains people to preserve the rich heritage of India.

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Religious Architecture

Divine Mercy Sanctuary (Sanktuarium Bozego Milosierdzia)

The Sanctuary of Divine Mercy is a church located on the outskirts of Krakow, Poland. The church was consecrated in 1891 and dedicated to St. Joseph. It was originally built as part of the convent of the Sisters of Our Lady of Mercy. This church is home to the tomb of St. Faustina, a nun who saw a vision of Jesus in 1931. It is said that when he appeared to her, he instructed her to commission an image of him along with the quote, “Jesus, I trust Thee.” This image, painted by Adolf Hyła, has spread in the form of copies and reproductions throughout the world. St. Faustina rests in a white marble coffin below the original image of the Merciful Jesus along with other relics. It is a popular place for pilgrimages for Catholics from around the country and even from other parts of the world. Attached to the church is a tower that provides spectacular views of the city.

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Well-known Landmarks

Labna

Labna is an excellent site for archaeology lovers and architectural buffs with its Mayan building ruins that were built in the ancient Puuc style. Located in the Yucatan Peninsula by the larger Uxmal ruins, Labna is a compact structure hidden within the Puuc Hills. Though smaller than some of the other Mayan ruin compounds in Mexico, it is impressive nonetheless. Labna was once used as a ceremonial center by the Mayans during the pre-Columbian era.Labna’s impressive Gateway Arch is still standing today, and visitors can stand under it and walk through it while marveling at its intricate construction. It is believed that this arch was used to signify the start of the area of the ancient village where the priest and the elite people of Labna lived. Relief designs are etched into the side of the arch, providing impressive details that visitors love taking pictures of.

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