It's December, which we've heard is the most wonderful time of the year! So why not treat yourself to a December getaway!
Scotland's beautiful capital is the perfect city for a weekend break. Jam-packed with stunning architecture, a plethora of historical hotspots, a strong contemporary arts scene and outstanding Scottish fare, Edinburgh is a truly captivating city.
Perched on top of Castle Rock in the city's Old Town, Edinburgh Castle dominates the landscape from above, overlooking the city. Explore the vast castle grounds or take castle tour where you'll hear about the castle's history and find many treasured artefacts. Be sure to listen out for the firing of the One O'Clock Gun from the castle grounds!
As you wander the cobbled alleyways of the Old Town you'll certainly get a flavour of old Scotland but with a modern twist - Grassmarket, Victoria Street and the Royal Mile are lined with delightful independent boutiques, galleries and eateries. You'll gradually notice how Edinburgh beautifully balances the very old with the new.
Across from the Old Town lies Edinburgh's New Town which boasts an array of shops, trendy bars and upmarket restaurants as well as glorious examples of Georgian architecture and town planning. For stunning views of the capital, head to Calton Hill where you'll be rewarded with views across some of the city's major sites.
A trip to the Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art won't leave you disappointed. Home to Scotland’s outstanding national collection of modern and contemporary art, the Gallery comprises two buildings, both set in beautiful sculpture parks. You'll find a superb collection of art ranging from the 1900s to the present day.
Finally, a visit to Edinburgh's Leith waterfront is a must if you are looking for the finest, freshest Scottish seasonal produce. Tom Kitchen's celebrated Michelin-starred restaurant 'The Kitchen' provides an exceptional culinary experience.
Use TripMapper to help plan your your Edinburgh travel itinerary!
Best time to visit Edinburgh: Edinburgh might be known as the ultimate hub of cultural activity in August during the Fringe festival but this city has so much to offer all year round.
Get your itinerary started! If you need a little inspiration, or just a helping hand to get your Edinburgh itinerary started, check out TripMapper's interactive itinerary below. Simply click the 'Copy this Itinerary' button to take it into your TripMapper account and then customise it to make your own!
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EXPLORE / CULTURE
The overwhelming, captivating and addictive Thai capital! Fully embrace the chaos, the culture and of course the spectacular street food of this enthralling city. Walk the its backstreets, duck into magnificent ancient temples, experience its vibrant floating markets and feast on delicious local fare.
Start your trip in Ratanakosin, the heart of old Bangkok, where the city’s most important and extravagant sights are located. This historic district is home to beautiful Buddhist temples and royal palaces where their dazzling grandeur makes them must sees for visitors! The Grand Palace, a former royal residence, and adjoining royal temple Was Phra Kaeo; Wat Pho which houses the city's largest reclining buddha statue (where you can also treat yourself to a Thai massage); and Wat Arun, one of Bangkok's most iconic and beautiful structures must be included on your TripMapper travel itinerary!
Take a visit to one of the capital's floating water markets. Situated along the khlongs you can experience how locals live and work by the water. Watch the small boats pass by selling local Thai delicacies and handicrafts - you’ll be enthralled by the incredible sights, smells and sounds that await!
Away from the water, take a trip to Chinatown's frenetic streets to enjoy a taste of local life. As you explore the narrow alleyways you'll stumble across wet markets, market stalls, street vendors and hidden shrines.
After a day of exploration feast in one of Bangkok's many Michelin starred eateries where you can sample cuisines from across the globe, from Thai to Indian and from French to Japanese. End the evening by having a cocktail or two whilst enjoying jaw-dropping views at one of the city's many roof top bars. From here you'll really grasp the massive size of this bustling metropolis!
Best time to visit Bangkok (weather): November to February which is known as the 'cool season' (although temperatures can still reach 30°C!)
RELAX / EXPLORE
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.
When visiting the United Arab Emirates, a trip to the capital is a must! Abu Dhabi is an energetic and cosmopolitan city with an astonishing blend of Arabian tradition and innovation. With its opulent architecture, dynamic arts scene, ostentatious shopping, theme parks and stirring sand dunes, Abu Dhabi is a destination for fun and luxury.
If art and architecture are your thing, head to the Louvre Abu Dhabi. Louvre Abu Dhabi is an architectural masterpiece housing a captivating collection which celebrates the contemporary Arab world and the region’s vibrant multicultural heritage. Your next stop must be the majestic Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, a marvel of modern Islamic architecture and one of Abu Dhabi’s most iconic landmarks. You will be inspired by its beauty and gain a deeper understanding of the emirate’s cultural beliefs.
Your next stop will take you away from the ultra modern landmarks to an area of fascinating archaeological and historical remains. Jebel Hafit Desert Park boasts majestic natural surroundings where you can discover remains that tell stories of the Neolithic period from 8,000 years ago, to the 5,000-year-old Jebel Hafit Tombs.
If your visit to Jebel Hafit left you wanting to explore, the vast and undulating Empty Quarter desert sands are an enchanting destination. Head here for dune bashing, desert walks and camel trekking. End your day with a sunset Bedouin dinner, before gazing blissfully at the blanket of stars above.
If dune bashing is just scratching the surface for the thrill seekers amongst us, Yas Island will continue to scratch that itch. Splash away at Yas Waterworld; enjoy speed and thrills at Ferrari World; and immerse yourself in entertainment shows and state of the art rides at Warner Bros. World.
After the adrenalin has worn off, perhaps a relax at one of Abu Dhabi’s beaches is much needed! Corniche, with its powdery white beaches and generous promenade, or Saadiyat beach, are the best public options.
Finish your Abu Dhabi experience by immersing yourself in nature, on land and on sea. Arabian Wildlife Park, located on Sir Bani Yas Island, is one of the region’s largest wildlife reserves home to more than 17,000 free-roaming animals, including Arabian oryx, gazelles, giraffes, hyenas and cheetahs.
Just outside Abu Dhabi city centre is the sprawling Mangrove National Park. A real haven for nature lovers, the mangroves are home to a surprising variety of inhabitants. Keep your eyes peeled for flamingos, heron and turtles as you explore the waterways by kayak.
Best time to visit Abu Dhabi (weather): Late October to late February.
Get your itinerary started! If you need a little inspiration, or just a helping hand to get your Abu Dhabi itinerary started, check out TripMapper's interactive itinerary below. Simply click the 'Copy this Itinerary' button to take it into your TripMapper account and then customise it to make your own!
Trip itinerary app by TripMapper
Seductive, romantic and utterly charming! Marvel at quintessential Parisian architecture; enjoy an elaborate pastry in elegant Saint-Germain-des-Prés; browse beautiful department stores and independent boutiques; be enthralled by art masterpieces; and sip an evening cocktail with a backdrop of a glittering Eiffel Tower.
The most immediate pleasures of Paris are found on its streets. Your senses will be working overtime by the enticing smells from the local boulangerie; the exquisite designs of the baked goods in the pâtisserie window; the buzz of chatter and laughter at a Parisian café; and the sensational flavours of French fine dining.
In addition to taking a cruise on the Seine, checking out cutting-edge modern art at the Centre Pompidou and marvelling at Saint-Chapelle, grab a coffee in a local café and wander beautiful tree-lined boulevards off the tourist path.
If your itinerary allows, perhaps take a getaway just outside the City of Light. Pair your visit with a trip to the the Palace of Versailles, a Moët & Chandon tour, or even a fun-filled trip to Disneyland Paris!
From fashion to food and from history to art, Paris is bound to delight. With so much to pack into your travel itinerary your TripMapper travel planner will certainly come to your aid!
Best time to visit Paris: Year round.
Get your itinerary started! If you need a little inspiration, or just a helping hand to get your Paris itinerary started, check out TripMapper's interactive itinerary below. Simply click the 'Copy this Itinerary' button to take it into your TripMapper account and then customise it to make your own!
Trip itinerary app by TripMapper
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Editor's note: There are still some restrictions on travel due to COVID-19. Please check the latest guidance before booking and departing and always follow local health guidance. TripMapper is not affiliated to any third party mentioned or linked to in this blog. Linked third party websites are not under TripMapper’s control, and TripMapper is not responsible for their content.