Travel

travel-apps

Get An Upgrade for Your Travel With These Must-Have Apps

Choosing the right app can be just as confusing as deciding where to stay or how to get there. So we’ve combed through dozens of the latest travel apps (and a few mobile websites) to determine which tools are the most useful for planning a trip, getting around, finding friends, and saving money along the way.

FLYING

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DEALRAY

The $9.99 per month members-only airfare tracker finds low-cost flight deals and sends notifications when it detects massive price drops, error fares, or flash sales.

FREEBIRD

Register your flight on this website up to two days before departure, and if it gets canceled or delayed by four hours, book a new ticket on any airline. Fees start at $19 for a one-way flight.

SKIPLAGGED

Find “hidden city” one-way tickets with a stopover where you get off the plane instead of continuing on to the destination on your ticket — they’re often cheaper than a nonstop fare.

DINING

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GRAB

If you’ve only got a few minutes for a meal before boarding a flight, Grab will let you look at airport restaurant menus ahead of time, map them in the terminal, and in some locations order in advance and pick up your food on the way to the gate. The app currently serves 174 eateries at 17 airports in the U.S.; by early 2017, Dallas/Fort Worth Airport will offer Grab’s mobile ordering at all of its 200 dining outlets.

VELOCITY

This slick reservation app offers a highly curated collection of the hottest restaurants, such as Drunken Dragon, in Miami Beach, or Petty Cash, in Los Angeles. You can also use it to pay your bill or split it with your dining companions. Coming soon: popular nightlife spots in Aspen, Colorado, and Gstaad and Verbier, Switzerland.

HAPPYCOW

HappyCow lists vegan and vegetar­ian restaurants in nearly 10,500 cities worldwide, from major cities like London (Book & Kitchen) and New York City (Blossom du Jour), to obscure places like Vatra Neamului, in Chișinău, Moldova. Each restaurant listing comes with a short description of the menu and user-generated reviews. $3.99.

What It Works If You Got Little Ones, Teens and Tweens

When it comes to keeping the peace among the entire clan, hunkering down at an all-inclusive resort or a family-friendly villa is a smart move. Here are a few of our favorites.

All-Inclusive Resort

  • All-inclusives typically have free kids’ clubs, so parents (and grandparents, for that matter) can sneak in some alone time on the beach.
  • Restaurants, buffets, and 24-hour room service mean no stressing about shopping or cooking.
  • The kids can make new friends. Staying in a villa has its perks, but it can be a little more isolating.

NICKELODEON PUNTA CANA – Dominican Republic

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Grade-schoolers can hang with Dora the Explorer and the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles during character breakfasts. And with a water park and a clubhouse, the child-centric activities are nonstop. If you really want to blow their minds, book the two-bedroom, 2,292-square-foot Pineapple Villa: the foyer looks just like SpongeBob’s home under the sea.

HYATT ZIVA CANCUN – MEXICO

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The free kids’ club at this year-old resort has a game room, a pool, and waterslides, which means grown-ups can spend the afternoon at the resort’s tequileria, brew-pub, or three infinity pools guilt-free — especially if you take the family for gelato and pastries at the on-site Pasteles dessert parlor right after you pick them up from the club.

JUMBY BAY – ANTIGUA

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At this luxe Rosewood resort, parents can give older kids freedom to roam. There’s only so much trouble they can get into on a 300-acre private island, where activities include volleyball, mocktail mixology classes, and turtle walks. At night, everyone comes together for dinner at the Estate House, an 1830s mansion that just underwent a $6 million res­toration.

DREAMS PLAYA MUJERES – MEXICO

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Along with a water park that includes a lazy river, the brand-new Dreams property has a teens’ club, so kids ages 13 to 17 can try their hand at archery, golf, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding and rifle shooting by day and get together for foam parties and bonfires at night. (The club stays open until 1 a.m.)

Full-Service Villa

  • You’ll have a lot of space to spread out, and having a kitchen where you can stash juice boxes, formula, or breast milk will be a lifesaver. Many villas come fully staffed, so you won’t have to make the bed, tidy up, or even cook.
  • If you have a baby, you won’t be waking your neighbors up in the middle of the night.
  • You can maximize your privacy by putting your kids in a separate bedroom-and still have peace of mind.

FOUR SEASONS RESORT & RESIDENCES – ANGUILLA

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The 24 villas at this rebranded property, formerly the Viceroy, all have infinity pools and are just steps from the beach. If that’s not enough to entertain your brood, the Kids for All Seasons program changes its activities constantly: one day they’re decorating cupcakes, the next doing a scavenger huntor a three-legged race on Meads Bay Beach.

FOWL CAY RESORT – BAHAMAS

fowly-cay-resort

Get the best of both worlds at this all-inclusive private island with one-, two-, and three-bedroom villas. Not only does your fridge come fully stocked but you’ll also find a restaurant on site, plus plenty of diver­sions (snorkels, wake boards) to keep busy. Bonus: each villa comes with its own powerboat, so you can take a quick trip to feed the pigs on nearby Pigs Beach. Again. And again.

GEEJAM COLLECTION – JAMAICA

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Considering that Katy Perry, Drake, and Rihanna have all recorded song sat this Port Antonio resort, a stay at one of the three villas won’t be a hard sell. (Ask to take a tour of the studio.) For the ultimate brag­ging rights, book the four-bedroom Panorama Villa, once a favorite spot of Audrey Hepburn, and take the gang for a spin in a restored Alfa Romeo.

PIET BOON BONAIRE – BONAIRE

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Masterminded by famed Dutch designer Piet Boon, these 10 minimalist villas, each of which has a pri­vate pool, were built to take maximum advantage of the island’s cooling sea breezes. Which means that this is the trip where your kids can finally learn how to windsurf and kite board – both are popular activities here.

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philip-lim-1

Cambodian Culinary Adventures with Phillip Lim

On a spontaneous trip to Cambodia last summer, fashion designer Phillip Lim developed a passion for cooking and a new outlook on life and work.

For designer Phillip Lim, Cambodia always seemed shrouded in secrecy. “My parents never talked to me about it,” he says. “I remember asking to go and they’d say, “Oh, no, you don’t want to do that.’ ” They’d spent a decade there before he was born, fleeing to Thailand as the Khmer Rouge tookpower, and their memories were painful ones, of a country embroiled in civil war. Still, friends said he’d love it, so when he decided on a whim to take his first true vacation in years, Siem Reap was an easy choice. With no firm plans beyond a hotel reservation, Lim spent his stay meandering through temples, cooking with locals, and soaking in the slower pace. Here, he shares a few favorite moments from the trip.

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  • I fell in love with the cuisine in Cambo­dia. It was so simple, but delicious and refined. I just started cooking a few months ago. I used to joke that I was a professional takeout orderer, but I got to a point where I wanted to change my life. I stayed at Amansara and asked to shadow a cook who could teach me to make my own meals. I learned in this open- air kitchen. We used charcoal instead of electricity. We’d leave these three clay vessels heating all day and rotate whatever dishes we were cooking.

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  • This is the beginning of a curry paste. You use ginger, turmeric, galangal, Kaffir lime, Thai chiles, and gar­lic, and pound it with a mortar and pestle. It’s the foundation for almost all Khmer food.

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  • I hope to return and stay in one of these local houses—many of them have been in a single family for generations. This one, where I had the cook­ing lessons, over­looks Angkor Wat. It’s a traditional house, built on stilts. There’s no electricity, but it’s designed so air circu­lates constantly, and when monsoon sea­son comes the water runs underneath so there’s no flooding. It’s really beautiful. Cambodia has luxury, but to me the reason to go is to get in touch with what you want to be about.

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  • I didn’t tell my fam­ily I was going to Cambodia. My parents left so trau­matized that they can’t speak about it, and they were so protective of me. But the day before I left, I got a package from my sister with photos of my parents at Angkor Wat. Talk about synchronicity. So l went there at the beginning of the trip. It was an amazing, spiritual experience. When I came home and told my parents where I’d been, they were happy I had made the decision on my own. They see both sides— what Cambodia gave them and what it took away — but I just saw the beauty and the potential, which was nice for them to hear.

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  • Everything in Cambodia is cen­tered on food. That’s how the community comes together. It was beautiful to see, and I just wanted to be a part of it. We went to the market each day. These veg­etables are all grown by local farmers — no pesticides, just straight from the backyard.

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  • Every morning, a guide picked me up on a tuk-tuk to go see the sunrise from dilapidated forest temples. This tem­ple, Banteay Kdei, is one of the few in the area that are still used in religious ceremonies. It was a special experience to witness the monks at prayer. I said a blessing in gratitude that I am able to travel, to get out of my comfort zone, and to see a place that held such personal significance to my family.

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  • I made this lunch in the open-air kitchen. It’s shrimp-and-pomelo salad; coconut-curry fish with Kaffir lime; lemon grass pork skewers; and pickled cucumber, carrots, and radish with chile-lime dressing. Anything we didn’t need got turned into some­thing else. It’s made me see ingredients in a different way. It’s like what I do at work with materials. Apply it to cooking and the sky’s the limit.
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The Queen Is Back on The Atlantic Seas

Cunard’s $132 million, Art Deco-inspired overhaul of its flagship Queen Mary 2 has elevated the vessel from cruising mainstay to transatlantic icon

Spending seven days rather than seven hours to get to the same place might seem like an extravagance to today’s travelers. But that’s exactly the point. The 2,691-passenger Queen Mary 2, which spends much of the year ping-ponging between New York and England, is the only pas­senger ship still making regular transatlantic crossings. It’s a throwback to cruising’s golden age, when starlets and statesmen traversed the Atlantic by ship.

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Queen Mary 2 is getting closer to the Statue of Liberty – New York

Until recently, the grandeur was undercut by confining lay­outs, and decor that once seemed stately had begun to look dated. So last year, Cunard doubled down on early-20th-century glam­our with a stem-to-stem renovation inspired by the original Queen Mary, the 1934 grande dame that was retired in 1967.

The result is a ship that feels both nostalgic and totally fresh. In the Grand Lobby, two elevators were removed to open up the space, which is now furnished in a creamy palette instead of the old burgundies and browns. The once-cramped Kings Court has shed the cafeteria-like ambience; marble panels and Art Deco tiling give it a brighter feel.

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The ship’s Commodore Club

Gone are the tropical-themed Winter Garden, with its palm motifs, and the Todd English restaurant.

They’ve been replaced with the Carinthia Lounge, where guests can select among port vin­tages that date back to 1840 — the year of Cunard’s founding — and the Verandah, an upscale French restaurant that nods to the Queen Mary’s Verandah Grill.

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The verandah Restaurant – Queen Mary 2 Cruise Ship

The QM2 added go cabins, including 15 singles. Upper-tier Princess Grill and Queens Grill suites feature bespoke rugs that recall those on the original ship; the two Grill dining rooms echo the suites. Formality and tradition reign, in service as much as in decor.

Despite all that’s new, the Queen Mary 2 remains a ship for those who prefer black-tie dinners to waterslides, who’d rather spend an afternoon perusing the library’ or chatting over black-and- tans in the pub than be tethered to a screen. It’s admittedly old- fashioned — but these days, there’s nothing more novel.

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tech-creations

Seven Inventions Useful For Every Trip

We tested the latest travel-friendly innovations and sorted them for all kinds of itineraries. These are the essential products worth stowing in your suitcase.

THE ROMANTIC ESCAPE

nannette-de-gaspe-dry-facial-mask

Nannette de Gaspe’s reusable dry facial masks smooth and brighten skin with an innovative peptide-embedded fabric. A waterless formula means they’re mess-free, and since you don’t rinse, the active ingredients keep working for up to eight hours.

THE GROUP GETAWAY

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In a market saturated with speakers, the UE Roll 2 takes top marks. It’s waterproof, weighs less than a pound, and at up to 85 decibels is far louder than its size would imply. Stream for nine hours without charging; a mini float and built-in bungee let you take it anywhere safely.

THE LONG-HAUL FLIGHT

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Bose’s QuietControl 30 wireless headphones offer adjustable noise cancellation (turn it down for the PA, up for engine roar) to rival that of the over-ear classics in a slim, ultra-packable design. The neckband battery stays charged for up to 10 hours and prevents tangled wires.

THE ROAD TRIP

navdy

Dashboard gadget Navdy takes GPS to the next level by projecting directions onto your view of the road ahead. The app lets you control music, accept calls, and send texts with a gesture or command.

It installs with relative ease — tote it along to turn your budget rental into a smartcar.

THE CITY EXCURSION

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The analog aesthetic of the Hagen Connected hybrid smartwatch lets you go from gym to dinner without an accessory overhaul. It instantly adjusts to new time zones, tracks steps and sleep, and vibrates for VIP e-mails and texts. A traditional watch battery means no charging required.

THE CORPORATE RETREAT

moleskine

Handwritten notes can be quickly digitized with Moleskine’s new Smart Writing Set. A tiny camera in the aluminum pen uploads every mark on the page to an app for editing and sharing. Record audio while you write and it syncs to your notes for real-time playback, moieskine.com; $199.

THE BACKCOUNTRY TREK

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The twin lenses of Nikon’s KeyMission 360 capture immersive stills and 4K video of your adventures— all automatically stitched together in-camera. It can also capture loops and time-lapse footage, and it’s shockproof, waterproof, and freezeproof to 14 degrees.

How To Find Heaven On Earth In Barbados

ACCRA BEACH – The south coast of Barbados is a virtually uninterrupted stretch of development clinging to a number of popular, attractive beaches. The largest of these is Accra, a soft-blonde crescent of sand backed by shade trees, offering moderate suit But its premier feature is a boardwalk that allows you to walk two miles west to Hastings, breathing in the salty sea air as you stroll.

ACCRA BEACH

ACCRA BEACH

PAYNES BAY – Fringed by a fine stretch of white sand, gently curving Paynes Bay in St James is endlessly popular. It’s the west coast’s favourite spot for swimming and snorkelling, as you will almost certainly see sea turtles here. Chair rental, picnic tables and chilled-out bars are available. Have your paparazzi moment at the celebrity-studded beach in front of the ultra-exclusive Sandy Lane resort, nearby (there’s public access).

MULLINS BEACH – In colonial times, the west coast of Barbados was a popular holiday retreat for upper British society and today the area still goes by the moniker Platinum Coast. Along Hwy 1 between Holetown and Speightstown, Mullins Beach is a family-friendly enclave where the waters are usually calm and good for swimming and snorkelling. Drinks from the boisterous cafe can be delivered directly to your beach chair.

OISTINS FISH FRY

OISTINS FISH FRY

OISTINS FISH FRY – The south-coast fishing village of Oistins is the place to be on Friday and Saturday nights. Vendors sell barbecued fish to a soundtrack of soca, reggae, pop and country music, and there’s plenty of rum-drinking. It’s roughly 60 per cent locals, 40 per cent tourists, and there’s a joyous electricity in the air. It all happens in a complex right on the sand next to the fish market.

GARRISON SAVANNAH AREA – About a mile south of central Bridgetown, spreading inland from Carlisle Bay, the Garrison was the home of the British command in the 1800s. A focal point is the oval-shaped Savannah: parade grounds now used for cricket, jogging and horse races. Along its west side are some of the Garrison’s more ornate colonial-era buildings (free).

MOUNT GAY RUM VISITORS CENTRE – Mount Gay has been producing some of the Caribbean’s best aged rums for 300 years. Tours run at the distillery’s visitor centre just outside Bridgetown. Options include a signature tour, cocktail tour and Bajan buffet lunch tour; rum tastings and overflowing punch accompany a saunter through the brand’s history and craft secrets.

MOUNT GAY RUM VISITORS CENTRE

MOUNT GAY RUM VISITORS CENTRE

FISHERMAN’S PUB – Speightstown is easily the most evocative small town on Barbados, combining colonial-style charm with a Bajan vibe. This waterfront cafe is a local institution that serves up fish from the boats floating off the side deck. As the evening wears on, the scene gets more Bajan. Line up for the excellent, ever-changing food offerings, or drop by on Wednesdays for steel-pan music sessions.

Bali On A Budget: The Best Adventure You Can Get

PURA LUHUR ULUWATU – This Hindu temple is perched precipitously on the southwestern tip of the Bukit Peninsula, atop sheer cliffs that drop straight into the ceaseless surf. Enter through an unusual arched gateway flanked by statues of Ganesha to find walls of coral bricks covered with intricate mythological carvings. It’s a popular sunset spot.

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PURA LUHUR ULUWATU

SACRED MONKEY FOREST SANCTUARY – This cool, dense swathe of jungle (officially Mandala Wisata Wanara Wana) houses three holy tern pies and a cheeky band of long-tailed Balinese macaques. Nestled in the forest, the Pura Dalem Agung has a real Indiana Jones feel to it; the inner temple entrance features Rangda figures devouring children.

MUSEUM LE MAYEUR – Bali is an island with centuries of artistic flair; the first Western artistssettled in Sanur over 100 years ago. Here you’ll find the memorial museum to Le Mayeur de Merpres (1880-1958), one of Bali’s most influential artists -a Belgian by birth, who married a local Legong dancer in the 1930s. The beautiful beachfront Balinese compound housing the museum was once their home.

SUNDOWNERS – The popular beach resort of Seminyak is pricey, but the fun strip of beach that runs south from the end of Jl Camplung Tanduk to Jl Arjuna in Legian is still a good spot for cheap sunset drinks. Vendors are mellow and a sunset lounger and ice-cold Bintang beer cost about £9. Take a stroll along the beach and you’ll find a number of beach bars, including the colourful fantasy of La Plancha.

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SUNDOWNERS, Seminyak

SPA PAMPERING – Bali is an island that invites visitors to pay close attention to their well-being; Balinese massage is the perfect holiday prescription. The pampering needn’t cost a fortune. Bali’s spa spectrum is as broad as its beaches: treatments, often am id tropical flora or with your toes in the sand, can cost from as little as a few pounds. Try Sundari Day Spa in Kerobokan for an organic, high-class experience without the high price tag.

ALCHEMY – Ubud has become Bali’s culinary epicentre in recent years. This raw-food cafe epitomises the town’s next-generation, New Age side. Expect a vast customised salad menu, plus cashew-milk drinks, durian smoothies, fennel juice and addictive raw-chocolate desserts. The cafe is supplied by Alchemy’s organic farm, and has an on-site health store and holistic clinic.

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Hot News From Big Brands Hotel

Raffles Singapore will undergo a major restoration starting in January 2017. The first phase will refur­bish the hotel’s Arcade; the second phase—starting in mid-2017—will overhaul the main building, lobby, and some of the suites. During this time, the hotel will stay open. The hotel will close for the final phase, from the end of 2017 until the second quarter of 2018. Technology upgrades will be a major focus. The interiors will be decorated by award-winning designer Alexandra Champalimaud.

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Raffles Singapore Hotel

Marriott’s Edition brand will open its first Icelandic property in Reykjavik in late 2018. A recent article in the Iceland Monitor describes it as the coun­try’s “first five-star inter­national hotel.” For the 250-room hotel, U.S. real estate firm Carpenter & Company bought a prime piece of real estate next to the Harpa Conference Center and Concert Hall on the harbor waterfront.

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Designer Karl Lagerfeld is launching Karl Lagerfeld Hotels & Resorts, cre­ated top to bottom in the designer’s graphic esthetic. In addition to hotels, the brand will also encompass residential properties, res­taurants and private clubs. We are still waiting to hear where these new hotels will be built, but we’re banking on Paris, bien sur. Stay tuned.

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Enjoying A Perfectly Timed Weekend In Dresden

ZUM SCHIESSHAUS – Traditional, meaty and quintessentially Saxon: it’s a hearty affair at this restaurant in the Altstadt (Old Town), which retains its old-world atmosphere despite having been destroyed in both the Thirty Years’ War and WWII. The former medieval shooting range has been rebuilt and does a good line in local beers to go with the solid cuisine.

Dresden

FRAUENKIRCHE, Dresden

FRAUENKIRCHE – The graceful domed church at the heart of Dresden stood for two centuries until WWII. Rebuilt from rubble, it opened anew in 2005. The altar is especially striking. After climbing the cupola, head to the sixth-floor bar of nearby Hotel Innside for cocktails and incredible views of the church.

NIGHTWALKTOUR – See street art, learn about what life was like in communist East Germany and visit fun pubs and bars in the outer Neustadt on this entertaining three-hour after-dark tour. Night Walk also has exclusive rights to take visitors on weekday tours to the cellar where Kurt Vonnegut survived the bombing of Dresden in 1945, immortalised in his novel Slaughterhouse-Five.

MILITARHISTORISCHES MUSEUM DRESDEN Even pacifists will be awed by this engaging museum in a 19th-century arsenal bisected by a bold glass-and-steel wedge designed by Daniel Libeskind. Exhibits offer a progressive and often artistic look at the subject. Don’t miss the 1978 Soyuz landing capsule.

PALACES Dresden’s two big-hitters, rebuilt after WWII, are the neighbouring Zwinger and Residenzschloss. While the former was primarily a party palace, with a fountain-studded courtyard, the latter was the Renaissance main home to Saxon rulers until 1918. Both have fine museums, such as the Grunes Gewolbe (Green Vault), home to precious treasures.

GENUSS-ATELIER

GENUSS-ATELIER

GENUSS-ATELIER – Lighting up Dresden’s culinary scene, this fantastic place is well worth the trip on the 11 tram to Waldschlosschen in the outer Neustadt. Its creative menu is streets ahead of most offerings elsewhere, although the best way to experience the ‘Pleasure-Atelier’ is to book a surprise menu and let the chefs show off their era ft. Reservations are essential.

KUNSTHOFPASSAGE – Take a web of grimy , a load of paint and a bunch of visionary artists and out comes the Kunsthofpassage, one of the most refreshingly artistic spaces in the Neustadt. Each has its own charm, but favourites include the Court of the Elements, where ‘music’ is created by water running down interlinked rain pipes affixed to a turquoise facade.

Explore The Glasgow Creativity In A Unique Way

Art & Design

GLASGOW – Although damaged by fire in 2014, Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s greatest building still fulfilsits original function and remains Glasgow’s most astounding architectural show piece. Visits are by 45 – minute guided tour; the same folks also run recommended Glasgow walking tours.

KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY & MUSEUM – In a magnificent stone building, the Kelvingrove has an excellent room of Scottish art, a room of fine French Impressionist works, and quality Renaissance paintings. Salvador Dali’s Christ of St John of the Cross is also here.The nearby Hunterian Art Gallery holds more Scottish works.

KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY & MUSEUM

KELVINGROVE ART GALLERY & MUSEUM

GALLERY OF MODERN ART Scotland’s most popular contemporary- art gallery houses modem international works in a graceful Neoclassical building. The ornate original interior contrasts with the daring, inventive art. The statue of the Duke of Wellington is usually cheekily crowned with a traffic cone.

Performance

CITIZENS THEATRE – Orchestral rock, serious theatre, musical dramas – the Citizens Theatre is one of Scotland’s top performance venues. The theatre is firmly entrenched in Glasgow life and engaged in education and community work. It’s well worth trying to catch a gig here, or book an entertaining guided backstage tour through the Victorian theatre space.

KING TUT’S WAH WAH HUT Glasgow is the king of Scotland’s live-music scene. Year after year, touring musicians and travellers alike name Glasgow one of their favourite cities in the world to enjoy live music. One of the city’s premier music pubs is King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, a 300-capacity grassroots venue hosting bands every night of the week. Oasis were signed after playing here. It also has a bar and kitchen.

KING-WAH-WAH-HUT

KING TUT’S WAH WAH HUT

SHARMANKA KINETIC THEATRE This extraordinary mechanical theatre is the brainchild of Russian sculptor and mechanic Eduard Bersudsky. Large, wondrous figures, created from bits of scrap and elaborate carvings, perform humorous and tragic stories to haunting music. It’s inspirational and macabre, but always clever and thought-provoking.

Creative dining

SARAMAGO CAFE BAR

In the tall atrium of the Centre for Contemporary Arts, Saramago does a great line in eclectic vegan fusion food, combining flavours from around the globe. The upstairs bar has a great deck on steep Scott St and packs out inside with a friendly crowd enjoying DJ sets and quality tap beers; ortry Sunday brunch.

ORAN MOR BRASSERIE

ORAN MOR BRASSERIE

ORAN MOR BRASSERIE This temple to Scottish dining and drinking is set in an old church. Giving new meaning to the word ‘conversion’, the brasserie pumps out high-quality bar meals in a dark, Mackintosh-inspired space as well as in the pub area. Come for the ‘A Play, a Pie and a Pint’ lunchtime theatre deal.