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We’re funny (usually), controversial (sometimes) and insightful (always!). Our travel experts share their experiences below in hopes of hearing back from YOU. So read, comment and enjoy!

Posts in ‘Sightseeing & Culture’

The Louvre Museum

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Have you ever wondered why the Mona Lisa sits with her hands folded across her lap or why the Venus de Milo is lacking both her arms? Find out more than any guide book will tell you with a guided tour of the Louvre museum in Paris.

With over 35,000 works of art housed within the former royal palace it is impossible to see, know and absorb everything in a week, let alone a day. A tiny bit of organization before leaving could mean the difference between spending all day snaking your way around the pyramid in a long queue, or going straight to the front and leaving a few hours later full of useful and fascinating artistic wisdom.

Discover where Dan Brown got his inspiration from and why the royal family chose to abandon the incredible building as their official residence. Take full advantage of an expert guide on buying Louvre tickets and make sure they answer any question, no matter how obscure.

Buying Louvre tickets in advance allows for more time exploring the surroundings including the Louvre palace itself, house of the royal collections since 1793 as well as the Jardins de Tuileries on the other side of the Arc de triomphe du Carrousel.

There is a whole host of things to discover in Paris and although it can be difficult to fit all of these things in it could be a more worthwhile option to explore a few in depth than cram everything into one weekend. Louvre tickets allow for both, saving time while you could have been queuing and offering you insightful access to the museum.

Be warned though, you could find yourself missing that most English of pastimes, queuing

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See the panoramic views from the Eiffel Tower Restaurant

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As you drop your knife over the edge of the basket and hear the screams from below you realize your dreams of dining above the streets of Paris was probably not best achieved in a shaky and cramped hot air balloon. If only you had known the Eiffel Tower restaurant was easy to book and not out of your price range before you had to make a getaway to Russia with just hot air and the unpredictable weather to take you there.

58 Tour Eiffel is closer than you think, and can be booked as part of varying kinds of tours whether for lunch, dinner or anything in between. Sit on stable ground above vistas of Paris and its surroundings during a shining and sunny day in April or frost-bitten and misty night in December. Either option seems perfect if you are planning a romantic weekend with nothing but romance, romance and a bit more romance and is organized at the click of a mouse rather than going to elaborate lengths to impress the girl of your dreams and leaving the fate of the most romantically romantic weekend to chance.

Although a choice venue for couples the 58 Tour Eiffel restaurant is becoming one of the most respectable and well-renowned restaurants in Paris after a refurbishment in 2009. Fine food, impeccable service, the finest wines and panoramic views raise this restaurant from tourist trap to a delectable experience for all the senses. The restaurant has the tendency to be extremely busy throughout the year, but booking as part of a sightseeing tour or nighttime visit through the city is one way to ensure your table above the hustle and bustle.

The Eiffel Tower restaurant is the simple and hopefully extremely effective method for impressing your choice of date without going to perilously dangerous lengths and can be the perfect sojourn in a busy and otherwise action-packed trip to Paris.

With more and more elaborate activities, trips and experiences on offer in any destination across the globe, risking the lives of visitors with the danger of falling cutlery, keep it simple and spend an evening with the old-fashioned but never out of fashion components; fine food, fantastic location and lofty conversation.

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Don’t be Scared of an Alternative Halloween Across the Channel

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Does the thought of having to find a costume for Halloween fill you with more dread than the haunting face of a man wielding a chainsaw? If so, Europe could be the answer. With some semblance of a cultural festival still being celebrated across the Channel you can take advantage of an excuse for a holiday without the dodgy eye make-up, fraying bandages and the handing out of ‘treats’ to hungry teenagers.

For a last minute trip Paris is the perfect option, and easily accessible. The city of love is slowly becoming one of horror for one night of the year only, but like the rest of Europe celebrates All Saints Day on November 1st, where the dead are honoured and the graves of loved ones are visited to pay respects. This also constitutes a national holiday so many attractions will be closed. The Paris Hop-on Hop-Off Bus takes in all the sights and runs all year, so while Parisians are paying their respects, the city can be explored. The route takes in all the most popular sites such as the Louvre, Champs de Mars, Notre Dame and the Champs-Élysée. continue reading

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Eat…Pray, Love

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You might wonder what taking a hop on hop off Rome tour, buying Last Supper tickets, and embarking upon a Venice gondola ride have in common with Julia Roberts. If you’ve seen her latest film, then you will know that one third of it takes place in Italy, where all three of the above experiences can be enjoyed. continue reading

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Winter Delights in Paris

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When the chilly November winds begin howling down the boulevards of Paris, the locals simply do as they always have: Turn up their collars, go about their business and complain archly that such weather is simply un-Parisian. For visitors however, winter in Paris can reveal a trove of treasures from cosy Paris boutique hotels to glistening markets that the summer tourist will never experience. Be sure to invest in a very warm coat with all the trimmings (boots, gloves and hats are highly recommended) and stay outside – there is much to see and do in the City of Love, even in winter.

continue reading

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Alternative Travel in Spain

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Spain’s busiest beaches and exciting cities have been hot tourist spots forever. Independent travellers and those looking for an adventure will revel once in these buzzing centres but will soon crave more unique experiences on the Spanish peninsula. How about a road trip through one or more of Spain’s distinct regions, sampling culture and cuisine and staying in historic Paradores hotels?

continue reading

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How to avoid being cheated in Paris cafés

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This is the other side of the medal, as they say in France, of those little old style Parisian cafés.
Nothing really illegal, but sometimes they bend the rules to the point that unsaavy tourists end up paying fat bills.
 
More light on this:
- Most cafés have a clear menu on each table, with all items and prices clearly displayed.
But others will only bring you a printed menu upon request. In some cases they assume that you
don’t need the menu for simple orders (coffee, drinks) and that’s precisely where they
get you. Your bill will show fantasy prices based upon the look of your clothes.
- The “riskier” areas are the famous Paris hop on hop off bus tourist spots: Ile de la Cité (around Notre Dame), Saint Michel, Saint Germain, the restaurants area around Les Halles/Chatelet.
-“Would you like some X with that?” is a typical strategy to sell you more without telling you
it’s more expensive, sometimes by a lot. Adding milk to coffee can add 1-2 euros.
Adding a side salad to a steak can add 4-6 euros to the bill.
- Serving a larger size than requested is quite typical, especially when hiding behind
linguistic incomprehension (sometimes faked). For example draught beers: the standard serving
is called “Démi” and it’s about 20cl. The larger option is called “Serieux” and is around 40cl, roughly the same as a British “pint”. Well, if you just ask for “a beer” without being specific, chances are you’ll get a pint, or even sometimes one full litre. For coffee: the default size for
coffee is a small cup, but don’t be surprised if you get a large bowl. A generic “café creme” order
will get you a large bowl unless you specify “petit” or “noisette”.

continue reading

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How to pick the best holiday for you

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Different destinations appeal to different travellers for different reasons. We all fall under categories that determine where in the world we may end up. The categories are usually quite simple and obvious in most cases. Are you the traveller who can’t be bothered to do anything but sunbathe? Are you the one who wants to do everything active that every website, brochure, hotel clerk tells you is available? Are you all about culture and sightseeing or just abroad for the hot weather and a fancy hotel?

Destinations will always tell you they have everything but are you really going to go to Marrakech for beach life, The Great Barrier Reef or Uluru for old ruins, or Brooklyn for a taste of the Middle East? No, you’re not. They all have their own magic but it takes a specific type of traveller for each, to bring the magic to life. continue reading

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Mystical Marrakech

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Here is our list of the best things to do in Marrakech – take these into account while planning your trip to Morocco’s most magical city and you’ll be sure to not miss anything out!

The isango! team

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Picturesque Prague

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Check out our new page of things to do in Prague for the must-sees and can’t-misses of Eastern Europe’s most visited city!

The isango! team

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