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2 WELCOME It s time to start the adventure! It s in our DNA. Whether we re haggling with the locals, trying weird and wonderful food or trekking new territory, we like to keep things interesting. It s the whole reason we set up STA Travel in This brochure will show you around some of our favourite cities on the planet. Here at STA, we love to travel and as a truly global company, we have asked our staff for their top tips and expert recommendations of where to hang out, what to eat and how to avoid the tourist traps. Whether you re looking for a romantic city break, a stopover on your round the world trip or just an adventure, this brochure is full of our best hotels and day tours plus some mildly amusing but often useless facts. If you need a bit more info then check out our other STA brochures - there s one for every part of the world. top 6 REASONS to travel with us WE ARE THE EXPERTS We know our stuff. We ve been there, done that! No matter what your age or budget, we ll inspire you to create your ultimate trip. IN-STORE. ONLINE. MOBILE. With hundreds of stores all over the world, you re never far from one of our Travel Experts. Alternatively, you can give us a call, browse our website or book accommodation and day tours on our STA app. Wherever you are, our Global Travel Help is there for you 24/7. WORLD-CLASS TRAVEL PARTNERS We only work with the most reputable tour operators and accommodation providers, so you can book with us in complete confidence. FLEXIBLE AND COMPETITIVE AIRFARES Our unique airline partnerships offer the lowest fares and allow you to change your plans without breaking the bank. You can secure the cheapest fares with our flight deposit scheme which means nothing more to pay until just before you travel. WE ARE RESPONSIBLE We offer travel experiences that are not only authentic but also sustainable and responsible. We believe in giving back to the communities we visit through the STA Travel Foundation. PRICE BEAT GUARANTEE We ll beat any price that you find elsewhere* *For full terms and conditions on our price beat guarantee please visit 2

3 CONTENTS 04 The Important Stuff EUROPE 06 London 08 Paris 10 Amsterdam 12 Berlin 14 Prague 16 Venice 18 Rome 20 Barcelona 22 Reykjavik 24 Istanbul AFRICA & THE MIDDLE EAST 26 Dubai 28 Cape Town ASIA 30 Bangkok 32 Singapore 34 Hong Kong 36 Tokyo AUSTRALIA 38 Sydney 40 Melbourne LATIN AMERICA 42 Rio de Janeiro NORTH AMERICA 44 New York City 46 Los Angeles 48 San Francisco 50 Las Vegas VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 3

4 stay connected Visit the STA Travel BLOG Get your travel fix straight from the source, with the brilliant STA Travel Blog. Get the inside track on adventure travel ideas, and stock up on knowledge from behind the scenes here at STA Travel. VISIT statravel.co.uk/travel-blog Like us on Facebook Over 725,000 travel fanatics like us on Facebook are you one of them? As well as giving away some of the world s best travel prizes, we also smother you with inspiration. Connect with other travellers, share your best travel tips, or find the latest deals from STA Travel. LIKE US facebook.com/statravel Sign up to our Newsletter Be the first in line for our best deals and promotions, by signing up to our weekly newsletter. SIGN UP AT Follow us on Twitter Get your tweet on and join the world s biggest conversation! We re on hand to answer your questions, and fuel your curiosity about the world s most exciting destinations, as well as bringing you our greatest deals. Wherever you are in the world, we re only a tweet away. FOLLOW twitter.com/statravel_uk watch us on youtube Yep - we have our own YouTube channel where you can watch awesome videos on some of the best bits of this planet! WATCH US youtube.com/statravel download the app Take STA Travel with you wherever you go with the new STA Travel Mobile App! Book your hostels and hotels as you travel at amazing prices. Free for iphone and Android. DOWNLOAD 4

5 SLEEP WITH US Star ratings are often not the best way to categorise hotels. Depending on what country you re travelling through, perceptions of each standard can vary quite dramatically. To make things much easier for you, we re giving you our own, very educated opinion on each property that we feature. We ve horizontally tangoed with the cool, the interesting, the enviable, the luxe and the off-the-wall to bring you our curated offering of hostels, hotels, lodges and apartments, all chosen especially for you. SHOESTRING Our wallet-friendly digs are hand-picked by us. No frills and no nasty surprises but a sociable atmosphere and fantastic locations! GLAMPACKER Stay in some of the most expressive and one-of-a-kind hostels and budget hotels around, without breaking the bank. They are cool and unique, just like you! ROCK SOLID You want a comfy bed, a hot shower and a good range of amenities. Ranging from low key 2* hotels to well known 4* brands, you know they re a safe bet. SAVE WITH STA TRAVEL A-LIST These flash and funky hotels are worth splashing out on. Great facilities, classy interiors and a bit of luxury thrown in. Get your bling on! Save with STA Travel and make that hard-earned cash stretch a little further by taking advantage of some of our amazing offers. We ve come up with some great, exclusive discounts and unique ways to save to make sure you get the best deals going. Cardholder discounts Great discounts on airfares and a load of free stuff too, just for being a student, teacher or young person. Ask your Travel Expert for details on the ISIC, IYTC and ITIC cards. Free Nights Stay longer at many of our hotels and hostels and we ll often throw in a free night, or two. Ask your Travel Expert for details. Flex STA Travel s unique range of flexible products aim to make travelling easier and cheaper. CASHflex Flexible, easy and safe money management plus earn cashback as you travel. Receive 3% on all travel products booked with STA Travel. Founded in 2012, The STA Travel Foundation is our chosen method of giving something back to the people and places that we work in. By funding a number of projects we are really making a difference to local communities as well as supporting local causes in the countries we have stores and offices. By harnessing our brand to raise money from our staff, customers, suppliers and networks we can help smaller charities access vital funds. STA Travel covers all costs of running this registered charity meaning that every penny the Foundation raises goes straight towards our chosen causes around the world. STA Travel also donates $30,000 per year to the foundation via staff donation matching. You can learn more at: statravelfoundation.com VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 5

6 pop-up london TOWER BRIDGE This capital city has got its finger on the pulse of what s hot but you ve got to be quick to see it coming! London is a pop-up phenomenon and even STA Travel is getting in on the act (pay a visit to our Box Park store in Shoreditch, housed in an old shipping container). The city is always alight with new experiences. Cheesy, comfort food is served up (sometimes with a side of deep fried Oreos!) at pop-up burger restaurants, food trucks offer an amazing array of global dishes across the city and an eclectic mix of music blasts out of underground clubs in the middle of abandoned warehouses and train stations. Sick of watching movies aside corn-crunching cinema-goers? Drive-in cinemas are a relatively new summer pop-up treat. You can also catch vibrant graffiti art on the streets of quirky East London, sip a brew at aromatic coffee festivals, or place your bets on bleating pets at The Goat Race in Spitalfields a favourite local alternative to the Grand National. The city is your oyster, and quite literally anything is possible! STREET ART LONDON FR 20 Hit the pavements to marvel at the work of world-famous street artists. From Banksy to Space Invader, your guide will show you creative masterpieces that mark three-storey buildings, 3D installations and street media art that never fails to impress! LONSAT LONDON PASS FR 47 Purchase one, two, three, or six-day passes and see everything vibrant London has to offer! With free entrance into over 60 famous attractions, museums and historical buildings, you ll avoid queues and benefit from special discounts. LONLON

7 AIRPORT TRANSFERS From 20 per way from London Heathrow and from 30 per way from London Gatwick door to door. No fussing around with trains and taxis. Result! EAT There are now three locations, but head to the tiny original branch of Yalla Yalla (Soho) for some amazing, well priced Lebanese nosh. RED BUSES & BLACK CABS EAT The growing trend of no reservation restaurants means you needn t miss out on the latest opening as long as you re prepared to queue. PICNICS IN THE PARK IT IS ILLEGAL IN LONDON TO HAVE SEX ON A PARKED MOTORCYCLE, BEAT A CARPET IN A PUBLIC PARK, OR IMPERSONATE A CHELSEA PENSIONER. shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list ST CHRISTOPHER S GENERATOR HOSTEL AMBASSADORS MY HOTEL BLOOMSBURY FR 16 FR 30 FR 22 FR 42 FR 75 FR 42 FR 160 FR 99 Quaint but basic with free breakfast, 15 minutes from the Tate Modern. LONCPR Sleek with quirky designs and a lively bar, three minutes from Russell Square. LONGNR In chic Kensington, comfortable and modern, near great museums and shops. LONAMB Central location, colourful and contemporary designs, with a bakery and spa. TLONMY VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 7

8 Paris les invalides LIFE S A beach The City of Lights may be the go-to destination for loved-up couples or art aficionados but don t disregard Paris as solely for those who love to walk hand-in-hand along the Seine or take touristy pictures around the Eiffel Tower (both of which are still fantastic). For starters, when summer hits, the city s riverside promenade is transformed into a fully-fledged beach. Lounge on silky sands, swim in pools suspended over the Seine, kayak or listen as the night sky is filled with music from free evening concerts. Unlike the rest of France, topless bathing is strictly interdit (presumably only for women!). Now extended across three different locations, visitors and locals alike can rollerblade, indulge in a game of boules, enjoy quayside restaurants or just laze under the imported palm trees. If you do want to venture elsewhere, sign the Love Wall, not far from the Sacré-Coeur Basilica, or kiss Jim Morrison s tomb (covered in lipstick marks from diehard fans) at the beautiful Père Lachaise cemetery. However, head back to the beach in the evening with a bottle of wine in hand for an idyllic, waterside picnic. Who needs the Côte d Azur anyway? SECRET PARIS: CHEESE, ART & LOCAL LIFE FR 34 Experience Paris like a local! Meander through the Louvre s picturesque gardens, browse quirky boutiques, marvel at historic buildings in Le Marais and sample mouthwatering macaroons and cheese in lively Parisian markets. A day well spent. PARDIP CHAMPAGNE CRUISE FR 39 What s better than cruising down the River Seine with the city s beautiful monuments laid out before you? Cruising down the Seine with a glass of bubbly in hand. When in Paris! PARCHC the love wall 8

9 le tour eiffel There are more dogs in Paris than there are children - around 300,000 Parisian beach on banks of the River Seine EAT DRINK Looking for chequered table cloths and old school ambiance then head to A La Pomponnette in Pigalle for traditional and delicious French cuisine. Check out Harry s Bar, Champs Elysées - Europe s oldest bar and the birthplace of the Bloody Mary. shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list CAULAINCOURT SQUARE ST CHRISTOPHER S GARE DU NORD ROYAL FROMENTIN LA DEMEURE FR 23 FR 32 FR 27 FR 41 FR 74 FR 40 FR 140 FR 80 Bohemian boutique, free Wi-Fi, located in chic Montmarte, near the Sacré-Coeur. PARCAU Stylish décor, with an amazing lounge and bar, easy access to the metro and Gare du Nord. PARSCG Traditional French décor, near the Eiffel Tower and Champs-Elysées, views of the Sacré-Coeur. PARROY Funky designs and a nightclubinspired lounge in the trendy Latin Quarter. PARDEM VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 9

10 HIDDEN amsterdam Amsterdam is your quintessential good-time city but don t be fooled into thinking that its Red Light District, cycle routes and canals are all it has to offer. Hop on a ferry from behind Central Station and check out Amsterdam Noord. They run every few minutes and take you across to the heart of one of the city s most vibrant and creative areas. Buzzing with industrial chic, the old warehouses are now home to happening restaurants and budding entrepreneurs. Sit on the riverbank and sample a local beer or two. There s no shortage of places to eat -all frequented by locals in the know. Hire a bike and head a bit further out to the Noord s quaint villages and explore the maze of canals flanked by traditional houses and interspersed with parks. Schellingwouder Park provides grassy meadows and a place to swim just 15 minutes from Central Station. Finish the day off with a glass of Dutch jenever (the Dutch invented gin) and you won t be disappointed. 40 MUSEUMS TO EXPLORE Dutch Prefer BICYCLES to Cars... 10

11 TAKE AN ADVENTURE, TAKE A TOUR ULTIMATE PARTY AMSTERDAM FR 18 AMSTERDAM COMBI FR 24 Prepare your liver this is the city s most famous pub crawl, complete with unlimited free shots! And through the drunken haze, listen up your guide is imparting loads of local knowledge. AMSUPA Head to the water and see the city on an hour-long canal cruise. After, discover everything about the world s best beers at the Heineken Experience or marvel at colourful masterpieces at the Van Gogh Museum! AMSAMS/AMSCVG SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER DON T MISS! DRINK Many bars in the city lay claim to being the oldest but we re going with Café Karpershoek close to Central Station - serving liquor since 1606! EAT Had one too many? Buy your deep fried food product of choice from a FEBO streetside vending machine and no one need hear you slur! HANS BRINKER FR 18 FR 24 Simply furnished, breakfast and Wi-Fi are free, plus a hip bar and club. AMSHAN ROCK SOLID ST CHRISTOPHER S WINSTON FR 24 FR 37 Eclectically decorated. Nightclub, beer garden, pub and party atmosphere. AMSWAD A-LIST HEINEKEN HAPPENS TO BE THE THIRD LARGEST BEER-PRODUCING COMPANY IN THE WORLD. WHAT ARE THE FIRST TWO?* WE LOVE... NADIA HOTEL FR 58 FR 33 Cosy and kitsch rooms, canal side views, near by Dam Square. AMSNAD HOTEL VONDEL Central, stylish with modern art, bike and Vespa rental available. AMSHVO FR 71 FR 36 *Answer: Anheuser-Busch InBev and SABMiller VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 11

12 48 hours in berlin From museums and street art to über trendy bars and eclectic restaurants, this capital city is a cauldron that never fails to impress. Fernsehturm TIPS TRAITS You must make eye contacts when you say cheers - its important in ways you ll never know. Start your morning by heading to Mitte and scoffing a pretzel from one of the many bakeries specialising in this most German of baked-goods - our fave is Alpenstuck Backerei. Fuelled by those carbs, grab a bike and tick off some of the cultural sights - start at the Reichstag (Tip: It s free but you need to book) followed by Tiergarten, Brandenburg Gate, Checkpoint Charlie and the Holocaust Memorial, stopping en route for another local delicacy - the currywurst. Indulge in a spot of shopping or maybe a little rest before tackling Berlin s incredible nightlife. Head to the Spree River where pop up open-air parties and clubs line the banks (summer only) and make the most of the fact that Berlin is still considered an underground scene - which translates as no VIP, no reserved table nonsense and better still, no curfew. This is partying for the masses. Day two - open one eye, and then the next. Yes - you re still alive. For an easy way to spend the day, head to the East Side Gallery - an area dedicated to art and street graffiti. If you happen to be in Berlin on a Sunday then Mauer Park holds a vast flea market which shouldn t prove too taxing. Later that evening if you cant face another hardcore night then a number of places in the city host open-air cinemas featuring recent blockbusters where you can recline in a deckchair, beer in hand, under the stars. Now that s 48 hours well spent. BERLIN CITY SIGHTSEEING BUS FR 13 Hop on a sightseeing bus and grab a pair of headphones for fascinating insights on Berlin s major attractions. Jump on and off as you please it s city exploring made easy. BERBSH

13 EAT Try currywurst, a local delicacy that has even inspired its own fork, at Konnopke s Imbiss - Prenzlauer Berg (under the elevated tram). TAKE A TRIP TO THE NEUES MUSEUM DRINK Check out the vodka, espresso and kahlua hangover cocktail at California Breakfast Slam, Neukölln. BERLIN NIGHTLIFE: FR 11 BERPUB AN INSIDER S NIGHT OUT IN BERLIN S BAR AND CLUB SCENE BERLIN IS A CAULDRON OF EVENING MADNESS FROM RUSTIC PUBS AND BARS TO CLUBS AND BEER GARDENS, DANCE THE NIGHT AWAY WITH FREE SHOTS, FREE ENTRY AND HAPPY HOUR PRICES shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list PLUS BERLIN GENERATOR BERLIN MITTE PARK INN ALEXANDERPLATZ NHOW BERLIN FR 17 FR 25 FR 23 FR 32 FR 68 FR 36 FR 95 FR 48 Bright, comfortable rooms, with a bar and restaurant, pool, sauna and yoga classes. BERPLU In the city centre, with a buzzing bar, daily happy hour, and TV lounge. The place to stay. BERMIT Elegant and spacious, panoramic views from the bar and terrace, and a wellness centre. EBERPI On the River Spree, a vibrant music hotel with state-of-the-art entertainment systems. EBERNB VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 13

14 WE LOVE... CULTURE Spend the evening at a Black Light Theatre dotted across the city where actors perform in a pitch black with flourescent costumes and props. EAT Desperately seeking veggie food? Try some Smazeny Syr - breaded and fried cheese served with tartar sauce and fries. Yum. BEST BEER IN EUROPE? 14

15 prague BEER CONNOISSEURS Prague may be stunningly beautiful with its winding cobbled lanes and hidden courtyards but it s the beer that takes centre stage. In fact, it s commonly known as the best in all of Europe (just don t tell the Belgians - or the Dutch!). Here s the lowdown on beer in Prague: Gambrinus is the most popular but Kozel s Medium s a close second. Some locals swear by Pilsner Urquell while others prefer Staropramen, Bernard or Budvar it s all in the tastebuds of the drinker. Fill up on carbs before you head over to U Medvidku Beer Hall, a 550-year-old institution famous for its infamous X-Beer 33 at 11.8% it s the strongest brew in the Czech Republic. Don t miss out on a visit to U Zlatého Tygra, a traditional beerhall that the Czech president famously took Bill Clinton to in 1994 (he ended up suspiciously cancelling his daily run the following morning). And if you want some out-there flavours, Pivovarský Dum, a Nové Mesto microbrewery, creates some new amazing brews of its own. Prepare your liver for an onslaught as beer is generally cheaper than bottled water in Prague, you really have no excuse but to get stuck in! TAKE A TOUR cheaper than water BITS BOBS Prague Castle is listed on the Guinness Book of World Records as the world s largest castle - and they should know! BOHEMIAN HIGHLIGHTS Prague has an impressive history and Konopite and Karlstjein Castles are steeped in it. Impressive manicured gardens, stunning art and incredible weaponry you ll feel like you travelled back in time. PRGBOH SOMEWHERE TO STAY... FR 72 URBAN ADVENTURES: PRAGUE DISCOVERY FR 48 Tuck into delicious Czech fare, see iconic sights, sail on a replica of a 19th century sailing boat, and end the day with a locally-brewed Pilsner. It s enough to make anyone want to be Czech! PRGDIS shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list SIR TOBY S FUSION HOTEL JULIAN HOTEL YASMIN FR 9 FR 16 FR 22 FR 45 FR 65 FR 36 FR 80 FR 40 Near the Old Town, lively pub, rustic décor, basic rooms. PRGSTL/PRGSTH Near Wenceslas Square, there s a rotating bar, gastro pub, and outdoor terrace. PRGFUS Modern designs, views of Prague Castle with an Irish-style pub and fitness centre. PRGJUL Within Old Town, luxurious décor, with a trendy bar, restaurant and summer garden. EPRGHY VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 15

16 venice the city Never touch the produce in a market! Ask the vendor what you want and they re more than happy to hand their best products to you. of carnivals 150 canals, 400 bridges, and incredible 16th and 17th Century palaces and piazzas it s no surprise Venice is considered to be one of the most beautiful cities in the world. But its greatest talent? Hosting carnival and party blow-outs like you ve never seen! Mingle alongside the masquerade madness and insane acrobatic displays at Piazza San Marco before the world s largest masked ball at Carnevale de Venezia or watch as the sky explodes in a series of colours and the Giudecca Canal becomes a floating dancefloor at the Festa del Redentore in July. Film buffs of the world unite at the Venice International Film Festival, usually held in August or September and if you love a procession or two, stick around for Regata Storica - almost as colourful as Carnival, when ornate boats are rowed down the Grand Canal by locals in decadent 16th Century regalia. The city buzzes at any time of the year and the Venetians sure know how to party! EAT Get your morning espresso fix at Pasticceria Tonolo in Dorsoduro and grab one of their amazing pastries while you re at it. DRINK Join the locals for an aperitivo in one of the cool bars at the north west foot of the Rialto Bridge. 16

17 URBAN ADVENTURE: CICCHETTI OF VENICE TOUR FR 57 Get those tastebuds ready for an onslaught of incredible flavours. Eat your way around Venice s Bacari wine bars and their famous cicchetti dishes, from traditional Italian polenta to sun-ripened olives. And trust us, the wine and prosecco will be flowing. VCECIC SECRET VENICE BY NIGHT & GONDOLA RIDE FR 56 Escape the crowds of St Mark s Square and explore Venice s hidden beauty. Wander past the likes of spooky Ca Dario, the city s most cursed house, and Ernest Hemingway s favourite haunts and you ll discover the city s most fascinating secrets. VCESVN shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list PLUS CAMPING JOLLY GENERATOR DA BRUNO HOTEL CA DEI CONTE FR 10 FR 14 FR 26 FR 50 FR 32 FR 91 FR 52 Basic bungalows and dorms, and tents with a swimming pool, bar and restaurant. VCEJOL Minutes from St Mark s by vaporetto, quirky designs, fantastic bar and restaurant. VCEGEN Near Rialto Bridge and St Mark s Square, family-run, traditional Italian style. VCEDAB Stunning 18th Century hotel, Venetian architecture with modern comforts and canal views. VCECDC VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 17

18 rome la dolce vita Few places on earth can send people into a tizzy over culture, food and history like Rome. For starters, hidden piazzas churn out some of the tastiest coffee you ll ever try. Start at Caffè Sant Eustachio, around the corner from the Pantheon, for a cup that s made from beans handpicked from South and Central America. After a trip to the Colosseum, pop into the La Taverna dei Fiori Imperiali which serves up delicious gnocchi and homemade pasta. Save room for gelato while the city s best is argued by locals and travellers alike, Ciampini, located halfway between Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps, comes pretty close. You ll have enough sugar buzzing in your veins to get you through a day of sightseeing! For dinner sample San Lorenzo s Formula Uno. The pizza crusts are thin and crispy and prices are cheap (and the toppings are never-ending!). Finish up at II Goccetto, a beautiful wine bar with more than 300 bottles in its collection. Don t forget to look up the ceiling was painted in The pizza, the pasta, the wine all of life s best indulgences wrapped into a charming city where even the ceilings are created with care. What s not to love? 18

19 TAKE AN ADVENTURE, TAKE A TOUR URBAN ADVENTURES: ROMAN DOLCE VITA FR 48 VATICAN TOUR FR 26 Eat your way around this vibrant city, sampling some of the best food concoctions Rome has to offer. You also get to visit the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon (and a few other secret spots!). ROMDVI Home to the Pope, and the world s smallest independent state, experience the many splendours of the Vatican. From St Peter s Square to the Sistine Chapel, you ll walk away awestruck by its artistic and architectural wonders. ROMVAT DON T MISS! EAT For truly unique pizza go to Pizzeria dar Poeta in Trastevere - neither Roman in style (thin and crusty) or Neopolitan (thick and soft) - it s delicious. EAT Meander over to Piazza delle Province for incredible gelato. Just look for the queues. WE LOVE... THE ANCIENT ROMANS USED TO WASH THEIR CLOTHES IN URINE, THE AMMONIA ACTING AS A BLEACHING AGENT SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER PLUS ROMA DOUBLE PRIVATE TENT FR 10 FR 12 YELLOW HOSTEL FR 21 FR 26 Dorm tents and private cabins, a pool, spa, pizzeria and late-night bar with a DJ. ROMROM ROCK SOLID Basic but buzzing! A short walk from Termini Station. Party central! ROMYEL A-LIST NARDIZZI FR 58 FR 32 Near the historical city centre, comfortable but basic rooms, scenic roof garden. ROMNAR MASCAGNI HOTEL FR 87 FR 48 Grandly furnished, Trevi Fountain and Spanish Steps are a short walk away. Free Wi-Fi. EROMMA VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 19

20 barcelona street art While this Spanish city is known for stunning modernist architecture (Antoni Gaudi s masterpieces take centre stage!), it s Barcelona s vibrant street art that is rising to attention. From the Gothic Quarter to El Raval district, road signs have been poignantly repainted by French artist Clet Abraham, walls are splashed with graffiti colour, and thought-provoking messages stand strikingly against cobbled streets. And it seems people are taking notice of Barcelona s gritty beauty the February ÚS Barcelona Urban Art Festival attracted around 9,000 visitors! The site of the old Encants Vells market, where it was hosted, has been left surrounded by an incredible collection of street art worth seeing. And even if you don t make it to this area, you re guaranteed a city filled with free art to feast your eyes on, from the hands of the very people who call it home. For travellers who are watching the pennies, this one s on the city of Barcelona. BARCELONA DAY AND NIGHT FR 37 After a walking tour of the Gothic Quarter it s either a Spanish cooking lesson, tapas and flamenco show or night out tour for a taste of the city s late night venues. Tough choice! BCNBDN GAUDI AND TAPAS CULTURAL DAY FR 39 Bike through Barcelona s most loved sights, from the Arc de Triomf to the Columbus Monument, and prepare for traditional Spanish tapas in the evening, complete with Flamenco dancers and musicians! BCNGTC Barceloneta (Barcelona's beach) is known as the best urban beach in the world 20

21 Image courtesy of Flickr, The euskadi 11 DRINK Great people watching experience at the W Hotel sky high bar on the Barceloneta boardwalk. The guy that plays sax on the bar is pretty hot too! EAT If you want traditional Catalan food and not touristy fare, hit Cal Boter's Restaurant in the Gracia neighbourhood. Flickr BCN Style shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list EQUITY POINT CENTRIC ST CHRISTOPHER S HOTEL PRINCIPAL HOTEL CHIC & BASIC FR 19 FR 43 FR 15 FR 34 FR 57 FR 31 FR 90 FR 55 On Paseo de Gracia, hosts concerts and salsa nights, exciting bar and terrace. BCNCEN Seconds from Las Ramblas, near city s main attractions, cool bar and free breakfast. BCNCHR Elegant wood and exposed brick walls in the city centre with a rooftop solarium. BCNPRI Eclectic 1960s vibe, minutes from the Ramblas, free bike hire and Wi-Fi. BCNCBR VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 21

22 reykjavik runtur 3 DAY REYKJAVIK STOPOVER Including transfers, accomodation and Blue Lagoon tour REKPAC FR 206 That's the name given to the weekend pub crawl around downtown Reykjavik that usually kicks off around midnight. Overflowing glasses of screwdrivers, shots as far as the eye can see, and early morning rays that shock the eyes as the clock ticks to 6am it s not just the Northern Lights that attract travellers in their thousands to Reykjavik. This night of debauchery begins late and doesn t let up until past sunrise, with a club for every discerning drinker and music lover. Hipsters gravitate to Dolly, which houses two, electronic-filled dancefloors and shots of tequila and gin are handed out like water. Live music lovers will need to make their way to Faktorý for consistently good acts that tend to end up as the next big thing at Coachella. Looking for an icy mojito? Silppbarinn, on the first floor of Icelandair s hotel Reykjavik Marina, creates incredible craft cocktails. Sip on a signature Pippi Gonzales (a blend of tequila and akvavit) as you settle down in a cosy nook under a fireplace that seems to float in midair. If you re just looking for a relaxed place to party, follow the locals into Kaffibarinn. With a rotating roster of DJs and local musicians, you re guaranteed a good time. Bottoms up! NORTHERN LIGHTS FR 111 As the vivid colours of the Northern Lights dance across the Arctic sky, you ll know this moment will live with you forever. And there s even a chance to explore the Blue Mountains lava field! REKNLH BLUE LAGOON FR 67 Spa weekends have nothing on the Blue Lagoon! A famous geothermal spa, unwind in the milky blue waters of a steam bath or under a waterfall. Bliss. REKBLL

23 EAT One speciality which takes a bit of getting used to is 'Hakarl' - rotten shark meat. Hot dogs are popular too - maybe stick to them! BEER WAS BANNED IN ICELAND UNTIL 1 MARCH MANY PEOPLE STILL CELEBRATE THE DATE EVERY YEAR WITH A GLASS OR TWO! DRINK Join the other beer nerds and hang out at the Micro Bar in the Center Hotel. Supports small brewers from all over Iceland. ICELANDIC GEYSER shoestring rock solid rock solid a-list REYKJAVIK BACKPACKERS CENTREHOTEL KLÖPP PARK INN ISLAND FR 16 FR 24 FR 41 FR 24 FR 60 FR 36 RADISSON BLU SAGA FR 81 FR 42 In the city centre, near restaurants and cafes, lively on-site bar. REKBKP Scandinavian style, in the city centre, near bars, museums, and shops. EHREKC Bright and airy, near the city centre, with a geothermal pool and jogging track. TREKPI Modern and stylish, just 10 minutes from the city centre. Health centre and great views. EHREKR VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 23


25 istanbul 2 CONTINENTS, 1 CITY The bridge between Europe and Asia, Istanbul is where East and West collide to incredible effect! The only city to sit across two continents, it has astounding history, bustling bazaars, places to wine, dine and gallery hop and a buzzing nightlife. Spend your days wandering around the stunning Blue Mosque, museums of Hagia Sophia and Topkapi Palace and grab a balik ekmek on the banks of the Bosphorus for lunch (just caught mackerel fillet smacked into a white baguette if you didn't already know). Hustle and you ll find beautifully made rugs, clothes and jewellery at the Grand Bazaar before heading to dinner. Istanbul s cutting-edge restaurant scene will satisfy even the pickiest of tastebuds. Party until the early hours at the city's numerous cool bars and hip clubs, before grabbing a kebab on your way home. Well, you are in Turkey. WE LOVE DRINK Have a cocktail or two at Reina down by the Bosphorous and watch the sunset. Get there early! CULTURE Head down to Sultanahmet and challenge the locals to a game of dominos. TAKE A TOUR BEYOGLU TRAM TURKISH BATH EXPERIENCE When in Turkey, do as the Turks do get a Turkish bath! Get scrubbed down, foamed up and pamper yourself clean. Finish it off with a healthy Turkish tea and you ll feel like new. ISTBAT FR 33 ISTANBUL CLASSIC CITY TOUR FR 60 Wander Istanbul s bustling streets, taking in the sights of Hagia Sophia, the Byzantine Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar and Topkapi Palace. Lunch is also included. Incredible! ISTICT SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list ORIENT HOSTEL #BUNK BEYOGLU DIVA S BOUTIQUE INNOVA SULTANAHMET FR 8 FR 16 FR 24 FR 33 FR 89 FR 51 FR 115 FR 67 Basic but clean, stunning rooftop terrace bar views, games room and cafe. ISTOHO High-end décor, marble bathrooms, rooftop terrace and cushioned decking. Nice! ISTBNK/ISTTAK Chic décor, garden with comfy sofas and incredible views over Old Town. ISTDIV Minutes from the Blue Mosque and Grand Bazaar with a panoramic terrace, spa and gym. EISTIS VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 25

26 dubai bigger better best DUBAI HOLDS THE DISTINCTION OF BEING THE FASTEST GROWING CITY IN THE WORLD An extraordinary architectural feat amongst the desert sands, Dubai s futuristic skyscrapers and supersized hotels and malls make the city grand on a scale like you ve never seen. Drive onto the city s main artery, Sheikh Zayed Road, and you ll have access to everything you ll want to visit. The largest global shopping mall? Tick. Tallest building in the world? Tick. Artificial island shaped like a palm? Double tick. But amongst the beaches and shops, there s even more zany experiences to be had. Sit amazed by a Vegas-inspired theatre performance 43 floors up at The Act Dubai it s the world s highest theatre club! Get active and ride atop a camel playing polo and you ll get a very good lesson on the importance of balance. Forego a desert safari in a 4x4 and speed along the sand on a wind-powered kart attached to a huge sail (you ll go as fast as 90kph!) or say no to skis at Ski Dubai and instead roll down a snow-covered hill inside a giant plastic ball, saying hello to a penguin before you go. Dubai is hotter than hot, in more ways than one! FUTURISTIC SKYSCRAPERS Image courtesy of the Government of Dubai, Department of Tourism and Commerce Marketing. 26

27 EAT Try Emirati food at Local Bites Café, a casual but funky cafe on Jumeirah Beach Road. DUBAI STOPOVER Choose from one, two or three nights, including transfers and an optional desert safari and/or city tour. DXBSGA/DXBSGD FR 74 TAKE AN ADVENTURE, TAKE A TOUR THE SPICE OF LIFE FR 75 Discover the bustling port of Dubai, exploring the city s heritage, culture and traditions. Jump on an Abra, taste local Emirati snacks and stand in awe of the Burj Khalifa. DXBSLD DESERT SAFARI FR 46 Zoom around sand dunes in 4x4s and recline on Persian carpets and cushions in a Bedouin camp, complete with Shesha, starry desert skies, bbq dinner, and belly-dancing. DXBDSF rock solid rock solid APARTMENT a-list IBIS DEIRA CITY CENTRE IBIS AL RIGGA GOLDEN SANDS APARTMENT SOFITEL DUBAI JUMEIRAH BEACH FR 52 FR 26 FR 49 FR 25 FR 32 FR 28 FR 150 FR 75 1 ROOM STUDIO 2 ROOM STUDIO Sleek design with a bar and restaurant in Dubai's historic centre. DXBIBI Budget conscious, near shops and cheap restaurants, has a funky bar. DXBIAR Spacious apartments with kitchens, swimming pool and sauna near Heritage Village. DXBGOL Located on The Walk near restaurants, shops and bars with luxurious décor. DXBJUM VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 27

28 cape town adventure central This South African city is well versed in making travellers fall in love with its soaring Table Mountain, golden beaches and sprawling vineyards. And what better way to experience it than spending every sunshine-filled second outside, pretending you re a stunt double? Launch yourself off Lion s Head tandem paragliding or abseil off Table Mountain and take in the incredible sights of Cape Town. If you d rather have a seatbelt around you as you explore the city from the air, maybe stick to a scenic, but exhilarating, helicopter ride. AT LEAST TWO COUPLES A MONTH GET MARRIED ON TABLE MOUNTAIN. Jetski along the stunning V&A Waterfront, kayak around Cape Point with seals and whales as your companions, or swim beneath blue waters alongside majestic Great White sharks. Test your balance with a surfing session or, for something more off-beat, sandboard down towering sand hills in Betty s Bay. With fresh air in your lungs, incredible scenery before your eyes, and adrenaline shooting through your veins, there won t be a dull moment. 28

29 TAKE A TOUR TOWNSHIP TOUR FR 26 Get an insight into this incredible area by spending a day with the very people who live in the city s oldest township the Xhosa with the added bonus of an included barbecue lunch or dinner. CPTVAM SHARK CAGE DIVING FR 123 Liven up your holiday by swimming with one of the ocean s largest predators Great White sharks! Come face-to-face with these majestic beasts and get the largest adrenaline surge you ve ever received. CPTSCD WE LOVE... DRINK Fans of skinny jeans, hip geek glasses and craft beers unite at The Power and The Glory bar and bistro. EAT You can't go wrong with a burger joint named 'The Dog's Bollocks' - feels a bit like gate-crashing your mate's barbecue. SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list ASHANTI GARDENS LODGE ATLANTIC POINT CAPE TOWN RITZ O ON KLOOF FR 10 FR 15 FR 10 FR 18 FR 38 FR 22 FR 81 FR 41 Victorian mansion, views of Table Mountain, fun pool and bar. Close to backpacker fave Long Street. CPTASH In trendy Green Point, bright, spacious rooms, pool table and barbecue area. CPTAPB Near the beach and V&A Waterfront, basic, comfy rooms, pool, restaurant and bar. CCPTRI Stunning Atlantic views, stylish, designer décor, lounge with a bar and library. CCPTOO VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 29

30 bangkok undiscovered This bustling metropolis hums with an insatiable energy. Tuk tuks zoom past, countless stall owners yell out the prices of anything and everything and a myriad of scents permeate the air. You d be forgiven for feeling slightly overwhelmed. While some attractions are obvious, there s plenty hidden that could easily pass unnoticed. On the other side of the Chao Phraya River lies the peaceful, tranquil area of Bang Kra Jao, known locally as Bangkok Jungle. Still well within the city limits and just five minutes from a BTS Skytrain station, this couldn t be further away from the chaos of the Patpong bar scene. Accommodation here used to be limited but the more adventurous can now stay at the Bangkok Treehouse an enterprising, unique and tiny hotel which combines comfort, eco-intelligent design and an amazing wow factor. It's not for everyone but if sleeping under starry skies, a locally-sourced organic breakfast, views of the Chao Phraya River and free ice-cream don t get your juices going then we suggest you check for a pulse! Ask about our Treehouse package (BKKTRE). Narrow pathways criss cross canals, the local community trade their wares at a floating market and push bike is the most popular mode of transport. 30

31 Wat Pariwat has been nicknamed 'David Beckham Temple'. In the back corner of the large altar a statue of a mythical Garuda has been replaced by... one of David Beckham! BIKING BANGKOK FR 28 Bike around Bang Kra Jao s stunning landscapes, past villages, schools, temples and even a bustling floating market, and see a different side of Bangkok. You ll zoom around canal paths, alleys, gardens and even tropical jungle! BKKJUN EAT The interestingly named Steve Cafe will surpass expectations, serving great Thai food set on the banks of the Chao Phraya Rriver. EAT The mother of all Bangkok food courts is housed in the MBK Shopping Centre selling authentic dishes from every corner of Thailand. shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list LUB D SILOM BUDDY BOUTIQUE INN VIENGTAI HOTEL DESIGN HOTEL FR 8 FR 10 FR 22 FR 11 FR 30 FR 17 FR 88 FR 44 Great dorms, funky communal rooms with a movie lounge and streetside cafe. BKKLUB Chic rooms with LCD TVs, next to Khao San Road, use of a pool and gym next door. BKKBOU En suite rooms, restaurant, bar, spa, outdoor pool and shops onsite, on Khao San Road. BKKVIE Trendy and stylish décor, elegant rooftop bar, spa and sauna. Check in now! BKKSIA VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 31

32 sleepless in singapore Singapore has an insatiable energy literally. This city lets you shop until you drop (365 days of the year), drink and dance until dawn in pubs and clubs, and even lose track of time in gardens that are open into the early hours. Having shaken off its less than flattering nickname "Singabore", this city state is out to impress in a big way. The high rollers flock to Marina Bay Sands, and why wouldn t they - it s the world s most expensive building capped by the open air SkyPark - home to an incredible infinity pool, bars and restaurants. The monolith that has transformed the city s skyline is proving to be a massive draw. However those looking for a bit more character and fewer dollar signs on the menu should head to Mohammed Sultan Road or Club Street in Chinatown. Here expats chink glasses with locals and tourists alike. Both are great hunting grounds for dinner or just drinks perfect before heading on to one of Singapore s world class clubs. Open until 5.00am on weekends, tumble out and you will be spoilt for choice for early morning places for breakfast. Alternatively join the locals for a spot of tai-chi in the Botanical Gardens. Luckily the best memories never come from getting a good night s sleep or any sleep at all! SINGAPORE CITY TOUR FR 19 Don t miss a single sight this tour will take you to it all! Visit the Taosit temple, Mount Faber, one of the city s oldest parks, and the Botanical Gardens. SINCIT

33 THE WOLRD'S MOST EXPENSIVE STAND ALONE CASINO - IN THE STYLE OF A BOAT! EAT You can't visit Singapore without eating Chilli Crab. Hot Palm Beach Seafood - one of the oldest seafood restaurants in Singapore - for good reason! Check out the vintage shops and local designer boutiques in Haji Lane. There s a raw, energetic vibe that s worlds away from Singapore's polished international stores. CHINESE LANTERNS SINGAPORE LAID CLAIM TO THE TALLEST FERRIS WHEEL IN THE WORLD (SINGAPORE FLYER) UNTIL APRIL 2014 WHEN THE HIGH ROLLER OPENED IN VEGAS. GlamPACKER GlamPACKER rock solid a-list LITTLE INDIA EMILY PENINSULA-EXCELSIOR SWISSOTEL STAMFORD FR 20 FR 22 FR 33 FR 116 FR 58 FR 154 FR 77 Trendy boutique hostel in cultural Little India, with an outdoor tanning deck. SINBUN Recently refurbished, inhouse restaurant and lounge, pool and gym, near Orchard Road. SINHAN In the city centre, with stunning 270 degree views, a pool, gym and restaurants. SINPEN Incredible city views, great rooms plus a spa, tennis courts, and two free-form pools. QSINSS VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 33

34 HONG KONGLANTAU ISLAND HOPPING ISLAND The Asian version of New York City, Hong Kong is home to stunning harbour vistas, lit-up skyscrapers, and ancient rituals. However, on the outskirts of this vibrant city lie remote mountain peaks, surf-beaten beaches and serene deserted islands don t get too distracted by the sparkling city lights! CITY OF CONTRASTS For some fresh air, visit Tai Mei Tuk. Caught between Tolo Harbour and a ridge of mountains, kite-fly, fish, or barbecue your days away. The sleepy island of Cheung Chau is small enough to explore on foot in a couple of hours with beaches, pirate caves, and Buddhist temples. Try clamming on Shui Hau, with a mountain backdrop and the azure waters of the South China Sea as your view, or head out on a junk trip for a day of sunbathing, swimming and watersports at one of Hong Kong s secluded coves. Fit in a trip to the family-run Wing Wo bee farm, less than a 10-minute walk from the MTR railway station, or climb to new heights on Phoenix Mountain at sunrise on Lantau Island. Life will never taste sweeter. 34

35 TAKE AN ADVENTURE, TAKE A TOUR AROUND KOWLOON IN 8 MARKETS FR 19 HONG KONG ISLAND TOUR FR 29 Bag the best bargains as you explore Hong Kong s incredible markets. A flower market, a street selling songbirds and goldfish, and the famous Temple Street night market are all in store! HKGKOW Follow your knowledgeable guide around the city s most fantastic sights! From seaside village bazaars and Aberdeen Fishing Village to a prestigious jewellery factory and Victoria Peak. HKGHKI WE LOVE... EAT Check out the innovatively named One Dim Sum Chinese Restaurant for the best dim sum in HK... best price for value ever! EAT Feeling a bit under the weather? Try the snake soup at Ser Wong Fun in Central - guaranteed to get rid of your cold. DON T MISS! - SPARKLING CITY LIGHTS - SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER FORTRESS HILL FR 30 FR 30 CAUSEWAY BAY FR 30 Cosy and colourful, near to Causeway Bay shopping centre and cheap restaurants. HKGYES ROCK SOLID Central location, near the MTR station, with a roof garden and common room. HKGYIH A-LIST TIPS TRAITS According to Hong Kong tradition, eating noodles on your birthday is one way to guarantee a long and blessed life. HARBOUR PLAZA NORTH POINT FR 78 FR 39 Near public transport links, with amazing views and 25m outdoor pool and gym. HKGPLA THE MIRA FR 164 FR 82 Urban luxe, award winning restaurants, with a pool and open-air lounge bar. HKGMIR VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 35

36 SHIBUYA CROSSING TIPS QUIRKS Go and oggle the Harajuku Rockabilly Club, which hangs out in Yoyogi Park at the weekend. It's like Grease the movie - but better. MODERNITY VS. TRADITION 36

37 tokyo CULTURE SHOCK CARTOON CRAZY Home to the understated and wacky, shrines and skyscrapers, the reserved and outlandish, this unpredictable city is at the forefront of fashion, food and technology. And travellers still can t figure out how to use the toilets (they do have more buttons than a space shuttle). There s sushi like you ve never tasted it at the famous Tsukiji Fish Market. Get there early though (it starts at 4.30am) as it s limited to 120 people and catch the live tuna auctions! Just mind your step: those speedy mini trucks wait for no man. Make your way to the famous scramble at the intersection outside WE LOVE... Shibuya Station the lights turn red at the same time in every direction and you can see the organised chaos that ensues. And if you re around in January, May or September, head over to the National Sumo Hall for an athletic display like you ve never seen. Other things to know? Don t tip (often not even accepted), blow your nose anywhere (akin to sticking your feet on table) and always walk left while on the pavement. And if you hear Irasshaimase (welcome), then bow. Politeness is everything in Tokyo don t say we didn t warn you. DRINK Check out Izakayas casual drinking dens that also serve small dishes shared amongst the table. Popular with young Japanese and usually found around train stations and shopping areas. EAT A California Roll is not Japanese sushi. It was invented in Los Angeles' Little Tokyo neighbourhood in the 1970s. Show your hosts some respect and go native with your raw fish! BENTO BOX TAKE A TOUR 2 NIGHT RYOKAN STAY Get a true taste of the Japanese lifestyle in a traditional ryokan (guest inn), complete with a futon bed, tatami mat and kimono. Spend your days learning everything you can on guided walking tours. TYORYO SOMEWHERE TO STAY... FR 198 MOUNT FUJI & HAKONE TOUR FR 80 Stand in awe of Japan s towering national symbol, Mt. Fuji, and take a scenic tour of Hakone National Park with an overnight stay at an onsen (hot spring) hotel. What s not to love? TYOFJA shoestring rock solid rock solid A-LIST GRAND HOUSE CHANG TEE BLUE WAVE INN ASAKUSA SHIBA PARK HOTEL FR 42 FR 27 FR 51 FR 29 FR 110 FR 55 HOTEL METROPOLITAN FR 116 FR 68 Well connected to all four corners of Tokyo by train, en suite bathrooms, free Wi-Fi. TYOGRA Homely, spacious rooms, free Wi-Fi, terrific restaurant serves delicious delicacies. TYOBLU Near local attractions, restaurants, bars and the subway, cosy rooms with TVs and fridge. TYOSPH In Ikebukuro, near cafes, shops and clubs, with a swimming pool and bars. TYOCRO VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 37

38 LET'S GO SURFING sydney the aussie lifestyle Flip flops (or jandals, or thongs) are the shoe of choice, the outdoors is a massive playground of beaches and sunny activities, and when night falls, the sparkling lights of the harbour beckon. Sydney s got it all, and everyone wants in on the fun! Hit up some of the city s 100 beaches from relatively unknown Milk Beach, which boasts one of the best views of Sydney Harbour, to glamorous Tamarama Beach, where gorgeous sunseekers go to tan and surf. Walk past local street art along Bondi Beach promenade and join the beautiful set for breakfast as you watch the early morning surfers do their thang! Head back into the city for a mooch around Paddington s eclectic boutiques and galleries and maybe grab a coldie or two and a spot in Centennial Park to gorge yourself on a locally-sourced picnic. The Aussies take their food and booze seriously! Come evening, there s always a new restaurant, crazy club or hip band to discover and although it's been popular for years, you can't beat the fish and chips at Watson s Bay overlooking the harbour. The Aussies have this outdoor life down pat.

39 PAUL HOGAN WORKED AS A PAINTER ON THE ICONIC SYDNEY HARBOUR BRIDGE BEFORE BECOMING CROCODILE DUNDEE EAT Get to Bourke Street Bakery in Surry Hills early to avoid the queues for their famous pastries. EAT Looking for something to eat after hours? Head to Haymarket and sample the delights of Chinatown, Thainatown and Koreatown. BONDI SURF EXPERIENCE Surf with the locals at Bondi Beach s calm bay. With groups no bigger than five people, your super-experienced instructor will have you standing on your board in no time. Surf s up! SYDBSE SYDNEY BRIDGE CLIMB FR 52 FR 116 Climb to the summit of the iconic Sydney Bridge. Clamber through the inner arch, crossing over catwalks and stairs you ll be rewarded with incredible views of the city and harbour! SYDBCS 5 DAY SYDNEY ACTIVE PACKAGE FR 380 Climb the iconic Harbour Bridge, head out to the stunning Blue Mountains, and test your balance with a surf lesson on Bondi Beach. Soak up the amazing Aussie lifestyle. SYDACT shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list WAKE UP! Y HOTEL HYDE PARK RENDEZVOUS STUDIO HOTEL 1888 PYRMONT FR 21 FR 29 FR 59 FR 30 FR 114 FR 57 FR 90 FR 45 Opposite Central Station with immaculate rooms, state-of-theart kitchen and an all-day café. Warm, contemporary interiors, free breakfast, café and lounge area. SYDYPH Near major attractions, with a rooftop pool, king-sized beds and rain showers. SYDMQU Luxurious rooms minutes from Darling Harbour, boutique shops and bars. ASYD18 SYDWUP VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 39

40 melbourne underground party scene In Melbourne, a bar crawl is more like a treasure hunt. Traipse down tiny alleys, climb to the rooftops, and descend into hidden basements they all guarantee one hell of a night! Madame Brussels looks unassuming until the lift doors part and you re transported into what looks like the Madhatter s tea party. A two-level terrace, it s fitted with kitschy synthetic lawns and white garden furniture and you re awarded a cityscape of church spires and grand theatres while sipping on a cocktail. On 252 Swanston Street, head down winding narrow stairs into the Toff, a live music venue that s also a late night Thai food place with private, closed door booths. Downstairs, Cookie offers over 200 beers from local boutiques and famed imports. Thai food, live music, and beer it s a winning combination! If you want something quirkier, Section 8 is a transformed car park lot, with graffitied walls and a makeshift roof, while 1806 Orchestra Bar was previously a cabaret theatre with décor that recalls this era (complete with a red velvet curtain). Keep your eyes peeled a legendary night in Melbourne can be found in unexpected places! MELBOURNE MOONLIGHT KAYAK Go for a serene kayak with only the moon to light your way! From Victoria Harbour to Southgate, you ll dine on fish and chips and see all of Melbourne s legendary sights by water. MELMKT PENGUIN PARADE & KOALA HIGHLIGHTS FR 70 Watch as adorable penguins waddle ashore at sunset, explore Phillip Island s stunning sandy beaches and rugged cliffs, and spot koalas and kangaroos. Animal lovers, this one s for you! MELPPP 5 DAY MELBOURNE ULTIMATE PACKAGE Experience the best of Melbourne, from its inner city laneways to breathtaking rugged coastlines. Speed down the Great Ocean Road, visit Phillip Island, and encounter Moonlit Sanctuary s kangaroos and dingos. MELUSP FR 58 FR

41 Melbourne used to be known as Batmania - Holy Smoke! DRINK SHOPPING A permanent pop-up - no we didn t know they existed either - but Section 8 fills the brief. A beer garden within a container. Give it a go. Satisfy your inner fashionista at Design a Space where local independent designers sell limited edition pieces or small capsule ranges. shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list BASE MELBOURNE ST KILDA UNITED BACKPACKERS CAUSEWAY INN ON THE MALL CROWNE PROMENADE FR 21 FR 43 FR 18 FR 38 FR 80 FR 40 FR 149 FR 75 Luxury dorms with self-catering kitchens, in Melbourne s trendiest suburb. Bar and glass atrium. MELBBP Opposite Flinders Station, light and bright designs. With a chill-out lounge and designer kitchen. MELUBK Central location, near the city s best bars. With a lounge with plasma TV. MELCAU In Southbank, spacious rooms, infinity pool, stunning city and bay views. AMELCP VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 41

42 rio de janeiro Brazilians always steal the show, whether it s on a Victoria s Secret runway or a crowded dancefloor. Men strut their stuff in Speedos on Copacabana beach, women shake their tailfeathers at explosive carnivals (Rio s is the biggest in the world!), and rumba and salsa music blast from every window you walk past. They don t walk, they dance through life, spending their days drinking Caipirinhas in the bright sunshine and partying into the wee hours in Lapa. They appreciate beauty when they see it, from stunning Sugar Loaf Mountain and the iconic Christ the Redeemer statue to a delicious charcuterie and a simple glass of good wine. Their irreverent spirit know instinctively when to celebrate (which is all the time) and their love of life is clear to anyone who steps a foot into their borders. Bold is what sums up this fun-loving city in music, colour and attitude! And here s a warning: it s infectious. TIPS TRAITS Get fit and catch some rays at the same time. Saddle up and explore Rio's 46 miles of bicycle pathways. SHAKE YOUR TAILFEATHER 42

43 TAKE AN ADVENTURE, TAKE A TOUR FAVELA TOUR FR 21 BIG DUDE TOUR FR 35 See Rocinha first hand, one of the largest favelas in South America, and experience a side of Rio you ve never seen. It s an eye-opening, authentic cultural experience. RIOLOF Head out for a jam-packed day to see all of Rio s best sights! Stand in awe of the towering Christ the Redeemer statue, visit the Great Madness at Lapa Stairs and catch the sunset from atop stunning Sugar Loaf Mountain. RIOCAR Image courtesy of Brazilian Tourism Board SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER EL MISTI COPACABANA OZTEL FR 11 FR 15 FR 34 Basic bunk beds, free Wi-Fi and kitchen, close to the beach. RIOMCO Dorms or private rooms, sandwich and cocktail bar, free Wi-Fi. RIOOZT ROCK SOLID A-LIST WE LOVE... EAT Get your meat on at Braseiro - they grill the best picanha steaks in Rio. DRINK People watching doesn t get much better than in Rio, and Bar Do Lado infront of Leblon beach is the place to be seen. DON T MISS! OLINDA RIO HOTEL FR 99 FR 50 Slap bang on Copacabana beach, enjoy 1940s charm and amazing views. TRIOOR PORTO BAY RIO FR 257 FR 142 On the beach, rooms with private verandas or panoramic views, rooftop terrace. TRIOPO VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 43

44 new york city neighbourhoods In NYC, you can be walking past quaint brownstones when you simply turn the corner and are suddenly surrounded by mammoth skyscrapers in every direction. Every time you take a step, the city morphs into something else elegant, industrial, ethnic, all- American and it never stops surprising you. Start at Chinatown for cheap eats and even more affordable markets. TriBeCa, Nolita and SoHo s charming cobblestoned streets have a host of upand-coming restaurants, boutiques and galleries to explore and the Lower East Side and East Village are peppered with bars, and fledgling designers and great chefs setting up shop to make their mark. Head to Chelsea and the Meatpacking District, filled with clubs and bars (and the Highline Park walk off those hangovers!), or the Upper West Side for a taste of history in its many museums. But don t overlook Brooklyn you ve got incredible views of Manhattan from Brooklyn Heights, not to mention Prospect Park, beautiful galleries, quaint Coney Island and plenty of theatre opportunities at Brooklyn Academy of Music. Bright lights, big city explore beyond Manhattan for a true taste of NYC! NEIGHBOURHOOD EATS TOUR Treat your tastebuds with a taste of the vibrant and locally-owned artisanal food shops of Brooklyn s Smith and Court Streets. Italian, Middle Eastern, and New American you name it, you ll eat it! NYCEAT NEW YORK PASS FR 36 FR 52 With this pass, you won t have to stand in line to experience this buzzing city! With free entry to over 80 must-sees, you can queue jump and get discounts on tours, restaurants and stores. Choose from a 1, 2, 3, 5 or 7 day pass. NYCPAS

45 YELLOW TAXI EAT Try Grandma's Spicy Ramen at Takashi - only available after midnight on a Friday or Saturday night. Booking advisable! EAT Di Fara in Brooklyn serves the best pizza in New York according to NYC Mayor Bill De Blasio. You might have to queue but it's BYO - bonus! HALF OF MANHATTAN IS WITHIN FOUR BLOCKS OF A STARBUCKS shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list HI NYC THE BOWERY HOUSE THE WOLCOTT ROW NYC FR 40 FR 32 FR 87 FR 44 FR 120 FR 66 On the Upper West Side, stylish café, games room, free Wi-Fi and kitchen. NYCHIN Part museum, part hotel. Quirky cabin rooms, Ralph Lauren towels and 300-thread-count sheets. Elegant décor, large rooms, gym, near the Empire State Building. NYCWOL Trendy rooms, in Times Square, restaurant, pizza bar, and cocktail lounge. NYCMIL NYCBOW VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 45

46 Image courtesy of the Los Angeles Tourism & Convention Board. John Paul "Boomer" Iacoangelo EAT WE LOVE... Little Sister in Manhattan Beach is a super cool Vietnamese hangout receiving rave reviews. Dive into the grilled pork spring roll - Heaven! DRINK Check out the Culprit Sessions at The Standard Downtown Hotel - a must for house music aficionados. BITS BOBS Animals are banned from mating publicly within 1,500 feet of a tavern, school, or place of worship STAR GAZING 46

47 los angeles CELEB SPOTTING It s known as the City of Angels but lately it s all about debauched celebs. Los Angeles Rodeo Drive may have all the famous stores but Robertson Boulevard is where you ll find the stars milling about. In the evenings, don t bother hanging behind the velvet rope of the hottest club you ve just heard about. Chances are it s already old news to L.A. s A-list! Instead, eat early and then party. Some of the city s coolest places are easier to get into before the party gets started. Head over to the SLS Hotel in Beverly Hills and book a table at Rojo y Blanca then hit the hotel s Bar Centro, one of L.A. s hottest cocktail spots, for a dirty martini. Also, don t bother shelling out for star maps. Instead, stargaze at the pool at the Four Season Los Angeles or dine nearby at Madeo, an Italian restaurant frequented by the likes of David Beckham. If all else fails, get some fresh air at celebhangout Runyon Canyon Park. All that exercise will put you on a more even footing with A-listers no one looks good running up this steep canyon! TAKE A TOUR LA IN A DAY This 32 mile, 5-hour excursion is 'bucket list' worthy. Start in West Hollywood, bike through Beverly Hills, Bel-Air, Santa Monica, Marina Del Ray and hidden gems like the Venice Canals! LAXLAD UNIVERSAL STUDIOS FR 63 FR 58 Go behind the scenes on the world-famous Studio Tour and delve into the fascinating ways Hollywood movies are made. You ll be put inside some of the biggest movies with rides, shows and attractions! LAXUNS SOMEWHERE TO STAY... shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list BANANA BUNGALOW WEST HOLLYWOOD HI SANTA MONICA FIGUEROA HOTEL MR C FR 18 FR 28 FR 26 FR 76 FR 41 FR 213 FR 107 Spacious, en suite rooms or dorms, TV lounge, games room, kitchen, Tiki Courtyard. LAXEUR Near the beach, local restaurants bars and theatres, colourful rooms, pretty courtyard. LAXHIS Moroccan-inspired décor, bar, pool, hot tub, great downtown location. LAXFIG Modern European design, panoramic Beverly Hills views, spa and massive pool. LAXMRC VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 47

48 san francisco on foot Frisco? San Fran? The debate about what is acceptable to call this most fantastic of American cities rages on (the jury's still out on both choices) but you can't deny how beautiful it is. Until 1876 they even had an 'ugly law' which prohibited unsightly people from being seen in public! The best way to see the sights is on foot over a couple of days. The city's numerous enclaves and suburbs each possess a different and unique vibe, so immerse yourself as you wander from one to the other. From the Italian Mecca of North Beach to the bedlam of Chinatown (birthplace of the fortune cookie!), continue south until you hit the Latino quarter of Mission. If you like your Mexican food then this is the place for you - taquerias and authentic restaurants line the streets that surround San Francisco's oldest structure - Mission Dolores. From there it's a relatively short walk to Castro, the colourful home to the city's gay and lesbian community and Haight-Ashbury - birthplace of 60's psychedelia which, despite recent gentrification, still retains its hippie credentials. We wouldn't recommend hitting the Tenderloin after dark but if you double back to the upmarket areas of Nob Hill and Pacific Heights (to see how the other half live) you'll find yourself at Fisherman's Wharf - not everyone's cup of tea but the views of the Golden Gate, Sausalito and Alcatraz will be reward in itself. CITY SIGHTSEEING 4-IN-1 ALL LOOPS & ALCATRAZ Grab some headphones and explore infamous Alcatraz on a self-guided tour. Along with the return ferry trip, you also get to see Downtown, Sausalito and Golden Gate Park! SFOALA OVERNIGHT YOSEMITE FR 209 Explore the stunning Yosemite Valley, stopping at El Capitan, Half Dome, Yosemite and Bridalveil Falls and Inspiration Point. Every single view will out-do the last. Cameras at the ready! SFOYOO REDWOODS & WINE San Francisco s wine country is world-renowned it would almost be a crime not to find out why! Explore Muir Woods stunning Redwood Sequoia trees then head to three boutique Sonoma and Napa wineries. Cheers! SFOEXT FR 63 FR 69 48

49 San Francisco prohibits elephants from strolling down Market Street unless they are on a leash EAT Foreign Cinema - a quintessentially San Francisco dining experience in an industrial chic setting located in the heart of the bustling Mission district. DRINK Assuming you know the password, check out the cocktails at Bourbon & Branch - a hipster San Francisco speakeasy. shoestring GlamPACKER rock solid a-list USA HOSTELS THE MOSSER COVA HOTEL FR 27 FR 38 FR 77 FR 44 FR 83 FR 42 FR 132 FR 66 RADISSON FISHERMAN S WHARF Simple rooms with privacy pods, with a theatre, kitchen, yoga room, and free walking tours. SFOUSA Super smart with Victorian touches, a bar and bistro and high-tech recording studio. SFOMOS Modern rooms with a French balcony, 24-hour gym, free breakfasts, daily shuttles. SFOCOH On Fisherman s Wharf, near Pier 39 and Alcatraz, heated outdoor pool. SFORAD VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 49

50 LAS VEGAS Image courtesy of Las Vegas News Bureau THE OTHER SIDE OF SIN CITY It s the only city in the world where you can spend the night partying in Ancient Rome followed by brunch under the Eiffel Tower the next morning. And it s the only city that holds everyone s most embarrassing, alcohol-fuelled secrets (and hopefully they stay there, or so the saying goes). Put those poker chips down for a second and get your Vegas highs at places other than the casinos. First, zoom around a rollercoaster that goes right through the New York-New York hotel (an incredible mini version of Manhattan) then head over to the strangest but most fun playground in America at Dig It!. With your very own bulldozers and excavators you get to go wild digging gigantic trenches, playing Bucket Basketball and stacking 2,000 pound tyres. Catch former Olympic gymnasts catapulting across the stage at Cirque du Soleil. Finish off with a drink at Top of the World, boasting 360 degree views of the Strip. And it spins, so don t think the alcohol has gone to your head. Make sure to take a picture not everything should stay in Vegas!

51 ROCKSTAR NIGHTCLUB FR 53 Party like a rockstar and cruise around the Las Vegas Strip in style, hitting up three A-list nightclubs. There are no long lines or expensive cover charges as you cruise around in a limo party bus, complete with a complementary bar and bartender. LASROC HELI TOURS GRAND CANYON 1 DAY TOUR FR 191 Get unrestricted panoramic views as you fly over some of North America s most stunning natural wonders. From the Grand Canyon to the Hoover Dam, you ll have a front row seat to incredible views! LASEH1 FR 58 Escape the city and spend a day exploring one of the most renowned sights in the USA. From Mather Point to Bright Angel, you ll have ample time to explore every nook and cranny. LASDGC DRINK Won big? A shot of The Macallan 1950 at Vegas' largest nightclub Hakkasan will set you back over $1300. Las Vegas Stratosphere Top of the World revolving restaurant with 360 views. DRINK Rockhouse will sell you an 88oz plastic guitar filled with its signature margarita. Classy! 15,000 MILES OF NEON TUBING MAKE THE LAS VEGAS STRIP THE BRIGHTEST SPOT ON EARTH shoestring rock solid a-list A-LIST CIRCUS CIRCUS LUXOR CAESARS PALACE FR 18 FR 9 FR 33 FR 17 FR 98 FR 49 THE COSMOPOLITAN LAS VEGAS FR 94 FR 47 World-famous circus acts, theme park, golf course, casinos, three pools, shopping promenade. TLASCC In a pyramid, spacious rooms, spa and in-house casino, luxurious swimming pools. TLASCO Six different pools, spa, Roman baths, enormous casino, 14 restaurants. LASLXH Terrace studio rooms, three pools with panoramic skyline views, nightclub. TLASCP VISIT STATRAVEL.COM CALL TO BOOK TODAY 51

52 LOVE your life Start over Start now Start the adventure Wherever you are, we re right there with you Download the free app now! Scan QR code or check out Available for Android & ios devices PICK UP A COPY OF OUR BROCHURES AT YOUR NEAREST STA TRAVEL STORE Phone: VISIT YOUR NEAREST STORE facebook.com/statravel twitter.com/statravel_uk youtube.com/statravel

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