Seeing the World on foot

Friends Apartment, New York http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2125/1859741914_cf4f0c1c71_z.jpg

Friends Apartment, New York
http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2125/1859741914_cf4f0c1c71_z.jpg

Favoured by many, short breaks usually give you just enough time to see the well known sites and little else.  One way to make the most of your time is to see as much as possible on foot.

Of course in large cities and on large islands this would take you months – imagine trying to explore London on foot?  A great suggestion is to scour the guide books or blogs for city districts in your chosen destination and pick sights before you start walking.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

 

Amsterdam

Amsterdam is small compared to most capital cities and it’s flat.  Both of these attributes make it very attractive for tackling on foot.  You can’t go to Amsterdam without taking a look at the Red Light District and the flower market on the Singel Canal – 2 big Amsterdam industries.  The Red Light District is in the central district (Centrum) of Amsterdam a short walk from the Central Station.  Here the canals showcase the typically narrow Dutch canal-side houses.

If you like rummaging, wander around the flea market at Waterlooplein.

Must sees: the canals and bridges, the flower market.

Tip:  remember bikes have right of way over pedestrians so always give way to them or you’ll end up as tourist road kill.

 

New York

New York, New York too big to walk around in its entirety, so why not take a short walking tour instead?  Interesting areas to cover are Greenwich Village, Washington Square Park and Washington Arch and the ‘Friends’ apartment.

Or you could travel along the Highline starting in the Meatpacking District at Gansevoort Street and ending at 30 South Street. You’ll get to look down on bustling streets as you pass through the Meatpacking District, West Chelsea to Clinton/Hell’s Kitchen district.

Must sees: the whole of New York from the top of the Empire State Building.

Tip: there’s a Sex and the City Tour with familiar locations from the series.

 

London

Pick one of the boroughs – try Islington, Camden, Portabello or the Olympic Park.

Wander down Camden Passage in Islington, which is still full of antique shops and then onto Upper Street for some select shopping.  Stores include After Noah, TwentyTwentyOne and Chest of Drawers for quirky furniture!

The Portabello Road and Notting Hill is also an interesting area to amble around with some small boutiques including Alarm, which has a selection of old pocket watches or Goldsmith Vintage for some yesteryear fashion finds.

 

Must try: Upper Street’s many restaurants.

Tip: use a London bus or the underground to get to your chosen area.

 

San Francisco

The city of 1.7 mile long Golden Gate Bridge, cable cars, Alcatraz and one not to be missed off your wish list.

The city is quite small but very hilly, so keep walking to small areas.  Chinatown is a good place to start.  The ‘entrance’ is where Grant Avenue meets Bush Street and it’s called ‘Dragon’s Gate’.  Chinatown covers a whole 24 blocks but stick to Grant Street to see a good selection of what’s happening here.  What’s to see?  Restaurants of course, food markets, exotic shops, museums and temples.  Buy ancient herb potions and watch fortune cookies being made.

Must try: a dim sum lunch in Chinatown.

Tip:  the California Street cable car runs through Chinatown, tickets are $5.

 

Majorca

A short break needn’t restrict you to just cities. Majorca is only an hour or so away on a plane and you can get there relatively cheaply too.

If you go out of season in September prices can be kept down whilst the weather will still remain warmer – well warmer than in the UK anyway! What could be better than relaxing in nice temperatures on any one of Majorca’s fine beaches?

Must try: A relaxing stroll along a fine sand beach

Tip: Avoid the touristy areas and experience a fine meal in a traditional restaurant. You will not be disappointed when on short family holidays to Majorca.

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