Top ten alternative landmarks around the world
The feeling of “Been there, done that and could have done without it” is one of those feelings we travellers hope to avoid. Spending precious holiday time queuing to see - and be underwhelmed by - a landmark or masterpiece is a no-no so Cheapflighters have suggested a list of alternative must-sees around the world.
The Rijksmuseum Amsterdam is an impressive museum, a staple on the top things to see in Amsterdam list. Stuffed with all kinds of art, it can be overwhelming for a three-day city break so if your passion is modern art consider visiting the Cobra Museum instead.
Meagan D., who grew up in the Netherlands, says that only Dutch, Danish and Belgian artists are featured at the Cobra. Its curators do a great job of blending contemporary art with local culture - a powerful homage to the Cobra movement. The avant-garde collection and rotating exhibitions make the trip to Amstelveen, a suburb of Amsterdam, a must. Search and compare: cheap flights to Amsterdam
On a recent trip to Portofino Amy was shocked by the high prices charged for everything from beers to boutiques. Rather than handing over the euros in Portofino, she recommends catching a water taxi to nearby Santa Margherita, which is a more down-to-earth alternative.
The coastal town is filled with reasonable B&Bs and pocket-pleasing restaurants. Santa Margherita attracts fewer tourists than splashy Portofino, providing you a more authentic Italian holiday. Search and compare: cheap flights to Genoa (a 40-minute drive from Portofino)
Tel Aviv, Israel
While exploring Tel Aviv, visit an up-and-coming alternative to Jaffa: Neve Tzedek. The culturally revitalised area boasts amazing architecture, boutiques, galleries and restaurants. Dalia, a frequent visitor to Tel Aviv, recommends Café Dallal – a charming bistro – for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And for dessert, go next door to the sweet little bakery.
Another must-visit is the Tachana, a train station-turned-entertainment complex that, following a decade of renovations, attracts visitors with photography exhibitions, arts-and-crafts fairs and live music shows. After an afternoon of strolling around, the Tachana has lots of great restaurants for a spot of al fresco dining. Search and compare: cheap flights to Tel Aviv
Washington, DC, United States
On a recent trip to the US capital, Nadine discovered some fabulous landmarks off-the-beaten path. For dinner, she skipped M Street and tried the newer, and trendier, 14th and U streets near Logan Circle. From Asian fusion to Spanish tapas (her personal recommendations are Estadio and Masa 14), the area’s culinary gems are storming the ranks of DC’s best restaurants.
While there, check out Logan Circle’s happening art scene. Logan Circle boutiques, like the Hamilton Gallery and Project 4, are more casual than Georgetown’s galleries – and a great way to spend an afternoon. Search and compare: cheap flights to Washington DC
New Orleans, United States
A fan of New Orleans and live music, Emily suggests that travellers looking for more music for their money skip JazzFest (last week of April, first week of May) and take a trip to The Big Easy a couple of weeks earlier – for the French Quarter Festival (11-14 April 2013).
The four-day event is often called the locals’ festival. Local and up-and- coming musicians play in venues along the riverfront and throughout the Quarter. While it might lack Jazzfest’s headline acts (this year’s line-up includes Fleetwood Mac, Maroon 5, The Black Keys and John Mayer) and prices, it's well worth the trip for an authentic – and free – event. Search and compare: cheap flights to New Orleans
Quebec City, Canada
In the wintertime Quebec City is a wonderland, and Meghan K. advises a visit during the Quebec Winter Carnival (31 January to 16 February 2014). Sculptures carved from snow, sleigh rides and canoe races along the icy St. Lawrence River are on the list and not to be missed.
If your travel plans can't include the festival, but you can visit between December and March, make sure you take a toboggan ride at Les Glissades de la Terrasse Dufferin in the centre of Old Quebec. Located beside the imposing straight-out-of-a-fairytale Chateau Frontenac, it’s a 90km (about 60 miles) thrill ride. Search and compare: cheap flights to Quebec
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Where to go for nightlife in Buenos Aires? Kat, a former resident of Argentina, knows. She recommends skipping the tango shows in the San Telmo neighbourhood. They are impressive but they’re full of tourists and won't give you a real taste of the capital city.
Visit La Bomba de Tiempo for a night of fabulous live music instead. Let loose with locals as percussionists jam out for the first hour, and an invited guest joins in for the second half of nonstop music and dancing. Rain or shine, every Monday it’s an absolute must. Search and compare: cheap flights to Buenos Aires
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Josh is our resident expert on Brazil. He has been to Rio de Janeiro four times in the past two years alone and his advice is to skip Ipanema and Copacabana, the bustling beaches.
If you're looking for seclusion take a two-hour bus ride to Buzios. Twenty-three beaches, eclectic boutiques and quirky restaurants dot the fishing village. It has become the Riviera for Brazilians and Argentines alike. Pack your beach bag and a bus ticket and go. The last time Josh visited, he had the beach all to himself. Search and compare: cheap flights to Rio de Janeiro
Chiang Mai, Thailand
When visitors to Bangkok and Phuket want to see the real Thailand, they head north to Chiang Mai. Often, riding and playing with elephants will be the icing on the cake. However, tourists rarely see the effects of this type of wait- in-line attraction on the animals.
Lauren, who spent a year as an English teacher in the Land of Smiles, recommends Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation centre in Chiang Mai. The nonprofit organisation is a fantastic alternative, and gives volunteers the chance to learn about and play with their elephants on day-, overnight- and week-long visits. Search and compare: cheap flights to Chiang Mai
You could never rule out a visit to Sydney's iconic harbour for a world-class view, but it's the vantage point that makes all the difference. A long-time resident of Australia, Don recommends the Sydney Fish Market (just 2km west of the business district) over touristy Darling Harbour.
Over a plate of oysters and a bottle of the local wine gaze upon the seaside marina’s sights and sounds. For a lesson in shelling and grilling sign up for a class at the market’s premier Seafood School – Australia’s leading cooking school. If you’re heading Down Under for New Year’s Eve, Pete suggests going to Balmain for a view of the magnificent bridge – and to ring in the New Year with locals. (Tip: Get there early to nab a good spot!) Search and compare: cheap flights to Sydney
Updated April 2013