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Beijing's Top 10 : Bei Hai Park
An imperial garden for more than a thousand years, Bei Hai was opened to the public in 1925. Filled with artificial hills, pavilions, and temples, it is associated with Kublai Khan, who redesigned it during the Mongol Yuan dynasty.
Beijing's Top 10 : Lama Temple (Yonghegong)
Beijing’s most spectacular place of worship is also the most famous Buddhist temple outside of Tibet. It has five main halls, as well as some stunning statuary. The path through the Lama Temple proceeds from south to north – from earth to heaven.
Chicago's Top 10 : John G. Shedd Aquarium
The eponymous John G. Shedd, president of Marshall Field’s department store, donated this Beaux Arts aquarium to Chicago in 1929. One of the city’s top attractions ever since, it houses some 25,500 marine animals representing 2,100 different species that include amphibians, fish, and aquatic mammals.
Chicago's Top 10 : Navy Pier
As recently as 1995 Chicago’s Navy Pier was a drab slab of concrete projecting into Lake Michigan, formerly used as a military and freight terminal.
Munich's Top 10 : Oktoberfest
With more than six million visitors, over five million litres of beer, 200,000 pairs of pork sausages, and 100 spit-roasted oxen – Munich’s Oktoberfest is the largest folk fair in the world.
Munich's Top 10 : Residenz
Located in the heart of the city, this former residence of Bavarian kings and home of the Wittelsbach dynasty until 1918 was gradually transformed from a moated castle (1385) into an extensive complex with seven courtyards.
Seattle's Top 10 : Broadway
This is the main drag that slices across Capitol Hill, one of Seattle’s edgier communities just up the hill from downtown. Block after block of hip stores and a wide variety of cafés and restaurants attract a thriving gay culture and gritty youth population.
Seattle's Top 10 : International District
Once known as Chinatown, this district was renamed when community leaders recognized that inhabitants from all over Asia had made that term obsolete. One of Seattle’s most historical districts, the ID is a striking example of how Asian cultures thrive and assimilate into Western society.
Barcelona’s Top 10 : Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya
Incorporating one of the most important medieval art collections in the world, the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya (MNAC) is housed in the majestic Palau Nacional, built in 1929.
Barcelona’s Top 10 : Parc de la Ciutadella
Built in the late 1860s on the site of a former military fortress (ciutadella), the park was artfully designed to offer Barcelona’s citizens an experience of nature (shady corners, paths and greenhouses), recreation (rowing boats on the lake) and culture (two museums).
Toronto's Top 10 : Casa Loma
Designed by famed Toronto architect E. J. Lennox , Casa Loma — Spanish for “house on the hill” — was the estate of prominent financier and industrialist Sir Henry Pellatt, who was forced by financial ruin to abandon his 98-room dream home less than 10 years after it was built.
Toronto's Top 10 : Art Gallery of Ontario
Founded in 1900 and now one of the most prominent art museums in North America, the wide-ranging Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) has over 68,000 works. The outstanding pieces of Canadian art, in particular paintings by the Group of Seven, are a national treasure.
Boston's Top 10 : Harvard University (part 2) - Harvard Alumni & Harvard’s “Architectural Zoo”
Stirling was himself responsible for the university’s modernist Sackler Museum & Harvard Art Museums opened in 1985. The seemingly ubiquitous architect Charles Bulfinch, whose claim to fame is the Massachusetts State House, left his mark on Harvard Yard with his 1814 University Hall, featuring an ingenious granite staircase that “floats” – supported solely by virtue of its interlocking steps.
Boston's Top 10 : Harvard University (part 1)
America’s most prestigious university – named in honor of its principal benefactor, John Harvard, in 1638 – has nurtured, tortured, and tickled some of the greatest minds of the past 350 years.
New York's Top 10 : Ellis Island Immigration Museum (part 2) - Milestones in Immigration History
The restoration included the establishment of the Ellis Island Immigration Museum, telling the immigrant story through displays and more than 2,000 artifacts. The museum also has an oral history archive of taped interviews and an interactive children’s gallery, both available to visit by appointment.
New York's Top 10 : Ellis Island Immigration Museum (part 1)
Ellis Island is the symbol of America’s immigrant heritage. From 1892 to 1954, it was the arrival point for over 12 million people fleeing religious persecution, poverty, or unrest in their homelands.
New York's Top 10 : Statue of Liberty
The figure presiding over New York harbor, officially titled “Liberty Enlightening the World,” has been a harbinger of freedom for millions since her inauguration by President Grover Cleveland in 1886.
Paris Top 10 : Notre-Dame (part 2) - Famous Visitors to Notre-Dame
By 1831, when Victor Hugo’s novel Notre-Dame de Paris (The Hunchback of Notre-Dame) was published, the cathedral was in a sorry state of decay.
Paris Top 10 : Notre-Dame (part 1)
The heart of the country, both geographically and spiritually, the Cathedral of Notre-Dame (Our Lady) stands majestic on the Ile de la Cité. After Pope Alexander III laid the foundation stone in 1163, an army of craftsmen toiled for 170 years to realize Bishop Maurice de Sully’s magnificent design.
Paris Top 10 : Eiffel Tower
The most distinctive symbol of Paris, the Eiffel Tower (Tour Eiffel) was much maligned by critics when it rose on the city’s skyline in 1889 as part of the Universal Exhibition, but its graceful symmetry soon made it the star attraction.
The world’s best walks
Fancy stepping off the beaten track? If you’re up for a real adventure, there’s a whole host of fantastic trekking opportunities all over the world. All you need is your passport and some careful preparation.
London's Top 10 : Tate Modern
Affiliated with Tate Britain, London’s most exciting new gallery is housed within the old Bankside power station, on a prime riverside site opposite the City. Large enough for huge installations, its 88 galleries provide a light, airy space in which to display Tate’s collection of international modern art.
London's Top 10 : London Eye
An amazing feat of engineering, this giant observation wheel is the second highest in the world, and offers fascinating views over the whole of London. Towering over the Thames opposite the Houses of Parliament, it was built to celebrate the Millennium year, and has proved enormously popular.
Berlin's Top 10 : Kurfürstendamm
After years of decline, the Kurfürstendamm, or Ku’damm for short, has once again become a fashionable hot spot. Breathtaking architecture, elegant boutiques and a lively scene with street artists around Breitscheidplatz have made this shopping boulevard Berlin’s most attractive and – at 3.8 km (2.5 miles) – also its longest avenue for strolling.
Berlin's Top 10 : Pergamonmuseum
The Pergamonmuseum is one of the most important museums of ancient art and architecture in the world. The museum was built in 1909–30 by Alfred Messel and Ludwig Hoffmann to house Berlin’s collection of antiquities as well as vast temples and palace rooms in their original size.
San Francisco's Top 10 : Golden Gate Park (part 2) - California Academy of Sciences
Part of the Steinhart Aquarium, the Swamp is home to alligators and alligator snapping turtles. There are also exhibits on rattlesnakes, frogs, and salamanders. Find out about the swamps of the Southeast US in the Story Time area.
San Francisco's Top 10 : Golden Gate Park (part 1)
The park’s more than 1,000 acres are some 3 miles (5 km) long and half a mile (1 km) wide, making it the largest cultivated urban park in the US. There are 27 miles (43 km) of footpaths, winding through gardens, lakes, waterfalls, and forests.
San Francisco's Top 10 : Chinatown
This teeming, densely populated neighborhood, with its bright façades, noisy markets, exotic temples, and ethnic restaurants and shops, is like a city within the city – and a place every visit to San Francisco must include.
Washington, D.C.'s Top 10 : National Gallery of Art (part 2) - National Gallery of Art Collections
The East Building is an angular construction designed to house permanent and touring exhibitions of contemporary art. Its entrance is from 4th Street or from the underground concourse leading from the West Building.
Washington, D.C.'s Top 10 : National Gallery of Art (part 1)
The collections at this immense gallery rival those of any art museum in the world, displaying milestones of western art from the Middle Ages through to the 20th century, including Italian Renaissance works, Dutch Masters, French Impressionists, and all ages of American art. John Russell Pope designed the harmonious Neo-Classical West Building in 1941.
Washington, D.C.'s Top 10 : National Museum of American History
An amazing quantity and variety of events, both entertaining and enlightening, are available to the public at the museum. These include musical events such as live concerts and seminars by jazz artists, photographic exhibitions on periods in 20th-century American history, lectures on culture and the arts, and more.
Rome's Top 10 : Roman Forum (part 2) - Palatine Hill Features
Most Romans lived in insulae, apartment buildings of perhaps six floors, with the poorest residents occupying the cheaper upper floors. An average Roman male citizen arose before dawn, arranged his toga, and breakfasted on a glass of water.
Rome's Top 10 : Roman Forum (part 1)
Gazing on it today, a picturesque shambles of ruins and weeds, you would hardly guess that the Forum was the symbol of civic pride for 1,000 years. Its humble beginning, more than 3,000 years ago, was as a swampy cemetery for the original village on Palatine Hill.
Rome's Top 10 : The Pantheon
When Emperor Phocas donated this pagan temple to Pope Boniface IV in 608, he unwittingly ensured that one of the marvels of ancient Rome would be preserved, virtually unaltered, in its new guise as the Christian church Santa Maria ad Martyres.
Hong Kong's Top 10 : Star Ferry
One of Hong Kong’s best-loved institutions, the Star Ferries have plied between Kowloon and Hong Kong Island since 1888. The portly green and white 1950s and 60s relics are still used by commuters despite the advent of rail and road tunnels beneath the harbour.
Hong Kong's Top 10 : Happy Valley Races
Feel the earth move beneath thundering hooves as you cheer the finishers home in the ultimate Hong Kong night out. Races have been held at Happy Valley – the widest stretch of flat land on Hong Kong Island, originally a swamp – since 1846.
Madrid's Top 10 : Museo Del Prado (part 3) - Flemish and Dutch Paintings
The highlight of the small but valuable German Collection (room 55 ground floor) is Albrecht Dürer’s Self Portrait of 1498, one of a quartet of paintings by this Renaissance master, and his depictions of Adam and Eve.
Madrid's Top 10 : Museo Del Prado (part 2) - Italian Paintings in the Prado
Technically brilliant, irreverent, ironic, satirical, sarcastic and bitter, Goya’s “black paintings” are some of the most extraordinary works in the history of art. They originally decorated the rooms of his house, the Quinta del Sordo (“Deaf Man’s Residence”), near the River Manzanares and were produced while he was recovering from a serious illness.
Madrid's Top 10 : Museo Del Prado (part 1)
Housing one of the world’s finest art collections, the Prado is one of Madrid’s top tourist attractions. At its core is the fabulous Royal Collection of mainly 16th- and 17th-century paintings, transferred from palaces around Madrid.
Vancouver Bound (Part 3) - Night enjoyment, Shopping & Playing
One of the most interesting ways to discover Vancouver is by bicycle. You can hire one at Stanley Park Cycle (768 Denman St., and ride around the park, to the waterfront, past the rail to come in the Chinese ward and gravel streets of Gastown district.
Vancouver Bound (Part 2) - Eating
At first, do not miss the famous eating place mentioned before – Hawksworth restaurant – which was founded and managed by one of the leading chefs. The restaurant’s style is close-knit to the diversity in Vancouver’s culture. The restaurant is designed luxirously with such expensive art collections that everyone has to praise.
Vancouver Bound (Part 1) - Staying
Returning since last summer and having glorified by the Press, Rosewood Hotel Georgia has succeeded in renovating classicality. The hotel has a wonderful view. It is located in Vancouver’s commercial centre, a few blocks away from the waterfront and Stanley Park, and next to food, shopping areas, cinema, and art institute.
Beijing's Top 10 : Tian’an Men Square
Tian’an Men Guangchang (the Square of the Gate of Heavenly Peace) is not one of the world’s most attractive public plazas. It also has unfortunate associations with death, in the physical form of Mao’s Mausoleum and in the memories of the bloody climax of 1989’s pro-democracy demonstrations.
Beijing's Top 10 : Temple of Heaven (Tiantam)
It was here that the emperor would make sacrifices and pray to heaven and his ancestors at the winter solstice. As the Son of Heaven, the emperor could intercede with the gods on behalf of his people and pray for a good harvest.
Chicago's Top 10 : Museum of Science & Industry (part 2) - The Museum’s Origins
The Field Museum inhabited the building until the 1920s when it moved to its present-day Museum Campus home. Sears Roebuck retail chief Julius Rosenwald then decided that a fortified palace, stripped to its steel frame and rebuilt in limestone, would be the perfect home for a new museum devoted to “industrial enlightenment” and US technological achievements.
Chicago's Top 10 : Museum of Science & Industry (part 1)
The cultural star of the city’s Far South, this museum was the first in North America to introduce interactive exhibits, with a record of innovative, hands-on displays dating back to the 1930s.
Chicago's Top 10 : Field Museum
Founded in 1893 to display items from the World’s Columbian Exposition, and renamed in 1905 to honor its first major benefactor, Marshall Field, this vast museum offers fascinating insights into global cultures and environments past and present.
Munich's Top 10 : Olympiapark
In preparation for the 1972 Olympic Games, a former airfield and parade ground were transformed into an Olympic park. The park features landscaped hills, an artificial lake, a communications tower, and sports facilities.
Munich's Top 10 : Museum District – Alte Pinakothek
The Museum District comprises three major museums: the Alte Pinakothek, the Neue Pinakothek, and the Pinakothek der Moderne. Nearby is the Glyptothek, the State Collection of Antiquities, and Lenbachhaus.
Seattle's Top 10 : Pioneer Square
The Great Fire of 1889 virtually destroyed it, before Alaska’s Gold Rush breathed new life and Victorian architecture into the mix. The old warehouses and narrow streets gave rise to a thriving loft arts scene in the 1980s and 90s.
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