Germany is known for three things: good beer, fast cars, and a mythical place that's dark as night, straight as an arrow, where speed records and personal bests are meant to be broken – or zee Autobahn, the country's system of seemingly speed-limit-free federal highways. Here are 16 things you should know about it.
April is here, which can mean only a couple of things—spring showers and Tax Day. You're either getting a refund or writing a big check. So what better time to find out how to save or splurge on travel? We're discussing tips with the experts during our Twitter Chat this Tuesday, April 15th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Whether you want to know about destinations that are worth the splurge or strategies for squeezing value out of a trip, join along to ask for insider advice!
Opening this weekend, Hank and Asha is a tale of two cities. During intimate video chats, a pair of long-distance lovers share their adopted homes, Prague and New York, as they plan a rendezvous in Paris.
These days, in-flight magazines have to work harder and harder to get a traveler’s attention—and Delta’s redesigned Sky is doing just that, with a cleaner layout that emphasizes white space, refined typefaces, and eye-catching photography.
Where to find the best food in Boston? The smaller, less-explored neighborhoods, where delicious local haunts are waiting to be uncovered, according to chef Michael Scelfo, whose buzzy new Cambridge restaurant, Alden & Harlow, opened in February. Read on for his perfect day of eating in and around Beantown.
Mexcaltitán, a man-made island in a lagoon on the Nayarit coast, is thought to be the ancestral home of the Aztecs. Mexico gave it a Pueblo Mágico designation which can occasionally lure tourists away from the area’s enchanting beaches (like Sayulita, pictured here) for a visit.
Most of us struggle to take a decent photo from the right angle (and have to cloak our misgivings in Instagram filters), but that's not a problem for award-winning, Boston-based photographer Alex S. MacLean – who flies a Cessna 182, and has been taking photos from the sky for years.
MacLean, who's a licensed pilot and fine art aerial photographer, recently had a show at London's Beetles + Huxley gallery, exhibiting his sky-high shots from over the US and Europe; here are some of our favorites.
Throughout the coming months, Will Leather Goods, an Oregan-based lifestyle brand, will release seven on-of-a-kind bikes at random times and locations. Each leather-wrapped bike will be reflective of a specific period in American culture. The attached bike is inspired by a pre-revolutionary time when the main form of transportation was horseback. The brand's founder, Will, hopes to inspire American travel and exploration with these pieces.
Pastificio Gentile, Gragnano (pictured). Book ahead for a pasta demo followed by a meal of Signora Maria’s celestial fusilli and homemade preserves. $$
Torre del Saracino, Vico Equense. Gennaro Esposito’s pasta mista soup is one of Italy’s most celebrated creations. $$$
Osteria Francescana, Modena. Every trattoria in Emilia-Romagna serves good tortellini, but genius chef Massimo Bottura’s toothsome beauties in a cream of organic aged Parmesan should be enshrined. $$$$
A playground slide right out of an 7-year-old’s fever dream, a swimming pool and Jacuzzi, a two-level butterfly garden, free foot massage machines—Changi Airport offers many diversions to travelers and to the million or so local Singapore residents who spend time there every month.
Yesterday we found out that Google has brought Room 77 into its portfolio of travel tools—and we think it’s big news. While the deal may not be the largest of the company’s partnerships or acquisitions to date, it’s a sign of what’s to come: As far as we can see it, Google is positioning itself to disrupt the travel sphere. Simply consider the acquisitions already in its portfolio, including travel search tool ITA—a $676 million buyout four years ago—Zagat, and Frommers (though the latter no longer belongs to Google, its content was integrated back in 2012). What it all adds up to is a growing arsenal of travel tools ready to be unleashed—the only question is when.
Nikki Ekstein is an Assistant Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @nikkiekstein.
A new ad for Las Vegas targets gay couples...almost.
The clip, released this week and scheduled to air nationally, portrays a straight couple checking in to their Sin City hotel. The woman leaves to freshen up just as another man shows up to the front desk, at which point a receptionist asks whether the two gentlemen are ready to check in. A quick, knowing glance at each other and both men nod yes, queueing the iconic slogan, "What happens here, stays here."
We’ve already introduced you to Baha Mar, the massive-scale resort that’s set to reinvigorate the Bahamian Riviera later this year. But if the $3.5-billion, five-brand hotel and casino has you thinking Vegas, think again: despite being the biggest destination project in the western hemisphere, Baha Mar is surprisingly tapped in to the island’s cultural and natural assets. Here, a by the numbers look:
• 34: the number of football fields it would take to hold all the sand that’s been brought in to re-nourish the beach at Baha Mar.
It’s good if the place looks a bit beat-up. The outside doesn’t matter that much. Peanut shells or sawdust all over the floor is always a good sign. It’s a real dive bar if the owners haven’t bothered to keep up with the times. Chez Jay, in Santa Monica, is amazing. So is the Frolic Room(323/462-5890), on Hollywood and Vine.
It’s all about access to great stories: you want people there who have them. I love waterfront bars, like the Liar’s Saloon(631/668-9597), in Montauk, New York. Same guys sitting on the same stool for decades. These guys know the real story of Jaws, the guy who caught that shark. There’s something about having a salty old guy or woman behind the bar doing shots with customers.
Texas taco chain, Torchy’s, announced April 1 that their month-long special would be taco smoothies "all freshly whipped and available in a compostable 18oz. cup!" After midnight, the April Fools prank complete, Torchy’s named a chipotle pork taco as the real taco of the month.
It’s dinnertime, but before you lift a fork of paprika-infused lamb to your lips, you pause again to look at the stars. At Jawai Leopard Camp, a new eight-tent lodge in a remote part of India, there is little man-made light. A half-moon throws a gentle glow on the granite hills, where red-turbaned Rabari herdsmen share their land with hyenas, jackals, and even the leopard your guide pointed out on safari last night. Tomorrow you may visit the UNESCO World Heritage site Kumbhalgarh Fort or bird-watch at Jawai Bandh reservoir, but now you have just one item on your agenda: ducking into your creature-comfort-filled canvas tent for the kind of sleep that only comes after a day in the wild. All-inclusive.
Still hesitating about heading Brazil for the FIFA World Cup (June 12-July 13)? The game plan just got a little easier: Brazilian airline, TAM has scheduled 750 additional flights for the tournament period, including hops between the 12 cities hosting matches.
From beach weekend getaways to Napa Valley wine tours, we're discussing California during our Twitter Chat this Tuesday, April 8th from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. EDT. Whether you want to know about the best local haunts, favorite shopping destinations, or where to go on a California road trip, ask the experts for their advice!
Special Correspondent and New Media Editor, Sarah Spagnolo, @SarahSpagnolo
Boutique travel company, Mr. Aristotle, is known for showcasing unique global experiences, which are hand-selected by an expert team and are personalized for the traveler.
Several of unique Mr. Aristotle experiences have recently been nominated for inclusion within HSBC’s Home & Away Privilege loyalty programme. Operating in 39 global markets, travelers will have the chance to access the offers from around the world.
Excursions include options like a surf weekend getaway in Australia, or an epicurean journey in Barcelona. Whether travelers are retreating to a beach cottage near Sydney to master the waves or creating a traditional Catalonian meal in a private cooking class, the luxury experiences are tailored and unique to the destination.
Gabrielle Blitz is Associate Social Media Editor at Travel + Leisure.
A comparison of zebra habitats mapped with data about local predators, eco-regions, and insects indicates that a zebra’s stripes are an adapted defense against biting flies, according to a study just published in Nature Communications.
Don’t think of it as just a stopover; Johannesburg deserves serious exploration of its own.
Because downtown is back. For ages, visitors have sought refuge in the gated suburbs north of town, but inner-city crime rates are dropping and young urbanites are moving in. Walk down lively Juta Street in gritty-but-safe Braamfontein, where Dokter & Misses sells hand-cast ceramics and Afro-Deco furniture, then join the crowd for retro cocktails at the 108-year-old Kitchener’s Carvery Bar (27-11/403-0166; $).
Elevating food and design to a work of art, these new museum restaurants are destinations in their own right.
London: With its undulating fabric roof, the Magazine(pictured) at Serpentine Sackler Gallery is unmistakably Zaha Hadid. German chef Oliver Lange shows off his Japanese training with a menu that includes both sushi and côte de boeuf. $$$$
Q: We are hotel-hopping through europe and we want to be prepared for mixed weather. any suggestions for lightweight outerwear? —Julia Stuopelis, via e-mail
A: Your best option for a fickle forecast: gear that packs into a pocket or pouch (see video below). Here, easy-to-stash coats and boots that offer protection from the elements or can be tossed into a tote or backpack during bouts of sunshine. Clockwise from left:
When it comes to hotel gratuities, even the most seasoned travelers admit to being stumped. That’s why we’ve put together this handy cheat sheet below, which you can take with you the next time you’re on the road.
Bellman: $1 to $2 per bag.
Concierge: $10 to $20 for performing a special service, such as scoring tickets to a sold-out event or wrangling lost luggage from your airline.
Doorman: $2 for hailing a cab in rush hour or in the rain; $1 for each bag.
Housekeeping: $5 to $10 per day. Leave it at the front desk if you want it divided equally among all your housekeepers.
Room Service: A service charge is almost always included in the bill. To personally thank your server, 5 percent will suffice.
Valet: $5 when your car is delivered.
Free Town-Car Service: Because they’re providing a complimentary amenity, drivers are instructed not to expect tips. However, it’s not uncommon for travelers to offer a gratuity. The minimum starts around $5 and goes up as the distance increases. While chauffeurs are generally making above-market wages, they still appreciate being recognized for going the extra mile—literally.
Note: Gratuities are often lower or not expected outside North America. Follow local tipping customs when traveling overseas.
Jennifer Flowers is the Travel News Editor at Travel + Leisure and part of the Trip Doctor news team. Find her on Twitter at @JennFlowers.
Bagan, an ancient city in Myanmar with thousands of Buddhist temples and stupas dotting the landscape—and a place that I was lucky enough to visit last December—has put a halt on new hotels while the government applies for UNESCO World Heritage status.