9 Amazing Things To Do In Tokyo For Any Traveler

9 Amazing Things To Do In Tokyo For Any Traveler

LeanThere are many incredible things to do in Tokyo. So many, indeed, that it is hard to decide what to do.

Many travelers — most travelers, actually — over-complicate their search for things to do in Tokyo. Starting with the assumption that Tokyo is the largest city in the world (and must, therefore, be the most impenetrable on short visits), they set themselves up for failure from the beginning.

What if I told you that getting a taste of Tokyo was actually very simple? Regardless of how many days in Tokyo you have to spend, and whether you’re planning for two weeks or a month in Japan after you leave the capital behind, I think you’ll want to continue reading.

things to do in Tokyo

9 Unmissable Things To Do In Tokyo

Walk through neon-bathed streets

If you’re arriving in Japan from Europe or North America, chances are good your flight will land in the afternoon. As a result, your time in Tokyo will begin, in earnest, on your first evening. This is a perfect opportunity to take in Tokyo’s iconic nighttime scenery. A few options for this exist — the arcades and manga shops of Akihabara, the izakaya and snack bars of Shinjuku or the upscale department stores and Teppanyaki restaurants of Ginza — but all will get you immediately in a Tokyo mood (and prevent you from falling asleep!).

If you’d rather join a guided tour, these are some good options:

GOOD TO KNOW: One of the coolest things to do in Tokyo is crossing the “Shibuya Scramble.” Shibuya Crossing may as well be the largest crossing in the world, and whenever the green light flashes, it’s pure madness.

best things to do in Tokyo

Eat sushi for breakfast

Another one of my favorite things to do in Tokyo is to eat sushi for breakfast — especially on my first full day in the city, when I’m up early due to jet-lag. Note that I don’t recommend watching Tokyo’s famous tuna auction, for two main reasons: 1) A limited number of people are allowed in, so there’s a chance you’ll rise at 3:00 am for nothing and 2) The new Toyosu Market, although functional, is rather sterile.

Head instead to Tsukiji Market, where the auction used to take place, and pop into any of the sushi bars there for a tuna donburi to get your morning started right.

If you care to join a guided tour of this market, here are a few options:

You can also sign up for a sushi making class such as this one.

Go on a food tour

Sushi, ramen, Wagyu (Japanese beef) and much more: Japanese food is absolutely delicious and one of the best things to do in Tokyo to discover all that’s on offer is a food tour what will get you set on the basics, so that you can continue savoring on your own during the rest of the trip. You will get a small taste of the most popular dishes – depending on the tour you pick, the portions and the dishes vary. 

Here is a selection of the best food tours in Tokyo:

In fact, if you want to learn about the secrets of Japanese cuisine, you may want to join one of the many cooking classes on offer such as this Wagyu class.

things to do in Tokyo

Visit a cat cafe

If you are a cat lover as much as I am, you will definitely agree that one of the best things to do in Tokyo is visiting a cat cafe. Places such as MoCHA are a favorite of tourists, but you will also come across the occasional local who – slippers on their feet – will literally try to catch the cats’ attention. 

Cat cafés have timed entrances, with a minimum of 30 minutes, and you get a drink with your admission fee. You will be requested to wash your hands upon walking in. Keep in mind that cat cafés are quite popular in Tokyo, especially at weekends, so you may need to stand in line before getting in. You may want to try to make reservations. 

Visit an Onsen

An Onsen is an hot spring bath and while going to one may not be your priority when in Tokyo (the most popular ones are indeed outside of the city), should you decide to visit one you will have quite a choice! Onsen Monogatari is an onsen theme park which offers great entertainment, with indoor and outdoor pools; good food and other things such as the fish pedicure and the stone sauna.

Learn about Sumo

For one of the most unique things to do in Tokyo, try to attend a Sumo training session. There are more than 40 Sumo training stables in Tokyo – most of them in Ryogoku district – where you can observe the training. But keep in mind that the athletes you will be seeing are really training and not putting up a show for the sake of tourists, so show respect for them. This guided tour takes you to one of the wrestling stables. 

what to do in Tokyo

Ride a train from the past to the future

Once you finish breakfast (and after, optionally, heading back to your hotel to freshen up), ride the subway to Asakusa, where you’ll emerge into the historical Tokyo district of the same name. Explore ancient attractions like Senso-ji temple, either via foot or rickshaw, then go back underground and ride the Ginza Line to Omote-Sando, which will take you to Harajuku‘s wild and futuristic Takeshita Street. Whether you finish up at at serene Meiji Shrine or in Shibuya‘s manic pedestrian crossing is up to you.

You can get a Tokyo metro pass here.

Tokyo views

Tokyo views from i-Link

Take in underrated views of Tokyo

While in Shibuya, you might ascend the new Shibuya Sky building to enjoy a good panorama of Tokyo. Alternatively, another one of my favorite things to do in Tokyo is to venture outward for truly amazing views. My top picks are probably i-Link, a free observation located near Ichikawa Station in Tokyo’s neighboring Chiba prefecture, followed by the Fuji TV Sphere on Odaiba Island.

The former allows you to see the entire Tokyo skyline splayed out beneath Mt. Fuji, while the latter sees the iconic Rainbow Bridge imposed in the foreground of a classic Tokyo city shot.

Another of the coolest things to do in Tokyo if you want to get incredible views is going up the Skytree. This TV broadcast tower is a symbol of the city and stands 634 meters tall. You can go up to the first viewing platform and 350 meters, or the second one at 450 meters. 

If you want to go up Tokyo Skytree, you can get your tickets here.

things to do in Tokyo

Devote one day to making excursions

Speaking of Fujisan, you can get a bit closer to it (specifically, the town of Kawaguchiko in the Fuji Five Lakes region) as one of the day trips from Tokyo I’m about to recommend. Alternatively, travel northward to Nikko and the 17th-century Tosho-gu Shrine, or southward to Kamakura, a historical city that once served as the capital of Japan. While on your way back to central Tokyo from Kamakura, get off in underrated Yokohama, either to luxuriate in serene Sankei-en garden, or to eat your way through one of Japan’s best Chinatowns.

These are some of the best guided day-trips from Tokyo:

Tokyo attractions

Other Useful Information To Plan Your Trip To Tokyo

How long should you spend in Tokyo?

The topic of how many days in Tokyo is a somewhat contentious one, but I have a simple answer: As many days as your trip to Japan allows. If you plan to spend 10 days to two weeks in Japan, for example, 3-4 days in Tokyo is sensible. This allows you a day or two of core sightseeing in the city center, plus a day to explore secondary and tertiary Tokyo attractions, and one more to take day trips to the city’s outskirts.

On the other hand, there’s plenty of things to do in Tokyo to justify a longer trip, if you can spare it. If you’ve traveled in Japan before, for example, and want to focus your next trip more on a deep exploration than a wide one, get yourself an Airbnb and “live” in Tokyo for a week or longer. After hitting up some of your favorite Tokyo tourist spots, including the ones I’ve mentioned above, focus on getting to know your neighborhood, whether that’s popular Shinjuku or offbeat Shimokitazawa.

Where to stay in Tokyo

Many of my favorite places to stay in the capital are near Tokyo Station, which in spite of being a somewhat quiet area is the most central place you can base yourself.

On the more affordable end, UNIZO INN Tokyo Kanda-eki West is a chic and comfortable place to stay, while five-star properties such as the Imperial Hotel and Tokyo Station Hotel (which, as its name suggests, is actually located within Tokyo Station itself) are worth the splurge, if you can afford it.

Other properties aren’t quite as convenient, but provide great ambiance and convenience. Akasaka’s Hotel Felice is a stylish boutique property at a great price point, while the pair of Celestine Hotels in Ginza and Shibakoen pair great design with proximity to icons like the Ginza business district and Tokyo Tower, respectively. Hotel WBF Asakusa, meanwhile, is within walking distance of Senso-ji, the oldest temple in Tokyo, and one of the most important attractions in the city.

If you want to try the experience of staying in one of the infamous capsule hotels in Tokyo, you may want to opt for First Cabin (there are several scattered around town) for a more luxurious yet tight experience.

Finally, one of the most recommended things to do in Tokyo is sleeping in a Ryokan, a traditional Japanese inn where you will find tatami-matted rooms, very low tables, and communal baths. Ryokans aren’t cheap, but you should definitely splurge at least for a night to try the experience. Ryokan & Day Shizuku is a great one, and it’s quite budget friendly given Japan’s high prices.

All hotels have wi-fi in Japan but if you don’t want to have to worry about looking for it while out and about, you can get a portable router such as this delivered to your hotel.

Guided tours of Tokyo

If you feel like you need guidance to explore Tokyo, you may want to consider joining one of these guided tours – they are all equally good, but varying in prices, length and size of the group:

Shinjuku

Where to go after you are done exploring Tokyo

Tokyo, for most travelers, is where Japan begins — but the country doesn’t have to end in the capital. Japan’s “tourist trail” usually runs from Tokyo westward to the Kansai region, centered around the popular cities of Kyoto and Osaka. From there it’s typically on to Hiroshima (which needs no introduction) and then an about-face back to Tokyo. If you have just a week or two in Japan, it’s likely your trip will take this shape.

It’s not certain, however. Many travelers devote shorter trips to secondary islands like Kyushu, Shikoku, Hokkaido or the Okinawa archipelago, or to underrated regions like snowy Tohoku or off-the-beaten path San’in. Another option is to head northward from Tokyo into the dramatic Japanese Alps, whether you spend your entire trip hiking through them, or emerge into the underrated Hokuriku region on Japan’s northern coast.

The bottom line

If you organize yourself properly, transposing a list of things to do in Tokyo into a workable itinerary is easy. Rather than thinking of Tokyo’s as one of the world’s largest cities, consider it as many not-so-large cities pasted together. Focus not on seeing and doing everything, but on getting a cross section of the culture, cuisine and scenery that makes Tokyo such an iconic destination.

As far as how many days you should spend in Tokyo, the answer is “as many as possible.” With this being said, you shouldn’t stress too much if you can only devote a couple days of your Japan trip to the country’s capital. Tokyo is a city where the quality of your experience is at least as important as the quantity of time you have.

Further readings about Japan

Make sure to check out these other posts about Japan:

This post has been written by Robert Schrader, who created Japan Starts Here as a one-stop shop for Japan information — and inspiration. Whether it’s your first trip and you need to know the basics, or you’re returning and want to dig into secondary and tertiary destinations, Robert’s hundreds of guides, itineraries and essays will get you where you need to go. Don’t forget to follow Japan Starts Here on Facebook and Instagram, either!

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12 Free Things To Do In Denver

12 Free Things To Do In Denver

There are many cool free things to do in Denver and you’ll be able to enjoy this city without having to break the bank.

Denver, the capital of Colorado, has seen quite the boom in tourism the last few years. Over 17 million people now flock to Denver annually, on average. Many come to experience Colorado’s unparalleled mountain outdoor recreation. Many come for special events, like an annual festival, or for weddings, or a Denver bachelorette party.

Whatever the reason, Denver welcomes tourists with open arms, and it is one of the best places to travel alone. And while the city appreciates the revenue brought in by its visitors, it’s also nice to save a buck here and there while on vacation! Working in some free activities to your Denver agenda is a great way to accomplish this.

Here are 12 completely free things to do in Denver, CO.

Free things to do in Denver

12 Fantastic And Completely Free Things To Do In Denver

Window Shop and People Watch on the 16th Street Mall

The 16th street mall is one of Denver’s most well-known attractions. It’s quite popular with tourists, and is generally busy year-round. It consists of a one-mile pedestrian mall filled with shops, bars/restaurants, street art, pop-up entertainment, and more.

Walking along the mall to window shop, check out the street artists, and people watch is completely free to do. And it makes for a wonderful time! There is also a free mall ride bus that runs continuously along the mall, in case you get tired from all the walking.

free things to do in Denver

Take a Photo Exactly One Mile High

When visiting the “Mile High City” it doesn’t get more touristy than taking a photo exactly one mile high. Which is something you can easily do while visiting in Denver, completely free of charge.

Take the free 16th mall ride bus to the south, and get off at the Civic Center Station stop. From there it’s a quick and easy walk to the Colorado Capitol Building (you can’t miss its giant golden dome). One of the steps in the Capitol stairs is engraved with the “one mile above sea level” moniker. Stand here, smile, and snap a pic! Easily one of the best free things to do in Denver. 

Free Things To Do In Denver

Attend a Free Annual Festival

One of the best free things to do in Denver is attending a festival. Between beer festivals, arts festivals, music festivals, and more, there’s quite the lineup of annual Denver festivals, most of them are completely free to attend!

A favorite for locals and tourists alike is the Taste of Colorado, which happens every labor day weekend. There’s no entry fee to get into the grounds, and the concerts are free as well. You’ll only pay for incidentals like food, drinks, and amusement rides/games – not a bad deal at all.

Another solid option is the annual Denver Chalk Art Festival held in the iconic Larimer Square. This free festival features live music, vendors, and more than 200 artists turning Larimer Street into a gallery of incredible chalk art pieces.

Gallery Hop in the Santa Fe Arts District

The Santa Fe Arts District is a local gem in Denver. The district is home to hundreds of artists, art galleries, theaters, studios, art installations, and other creative businesses.

Visitors can plan their own adventure hopping from shop to shop, completely free (unless you purchase a piece, of course). Or, if schedules allow, come for the districts signature event: First Friday Art Walks. It happens the first Friday of each month, year-round. And the event spills from the galleries into the streets, with live music and street vendors.

hikes near Denver

Take a Hike

Hiking is one of the unmissable and free things to do in Denver. With the Rocky Mountains as her backyard, it’s no wonder Colorado is an incredible vacation destination for outdoor recreation. People who live here go crazy for it. Biking, camping, skiing/snowboarding, mountain biking…you name it!

And, of course, we can’t forget the hiking. Hiking is a way of life in Colorado. And luckily for tourists, there are plenty of options close to Denver that are completely free to enjoy. Check out nearby Red Rocks Park, Deer Creek Canyon Park, or the Chautauqua Trail in Boulder. All are within 30 miles driving distance of Denver.

Make sure to check out my posts “The Best Things To Do In Rocky Mountain National Park” and10 Not To Miss Hikes Near Denver.”

Take a Free Brewery Tour

Denver has a long-standing history with beer so one of the free things to do in Denver is tasting beer (yes, I promise you it is free!). The world’s largest single-site brewery in the world, Coors, sits just to the southwest in Golden. Denver and the surrounding metro area have over 150 individual breweries. Many of which are located in downtown Denver.

And many of these breweries are happy to open up their operations to curious visitors completely free of charge. Some even include free samples! For free brewery tour options in Denver, check out one of the largest brewpubs at Wynkoop Brewing Company, Great Divide Brewing Company has a barrel bar and packaging facility in RiNo, and Avery Brewing is a local favorite near Boulder. 

Catch a Free Museum Day

Denver has an expansive slate of amazing museums. Between large art museums, history and science, and boutique museums for a particular person or place, it’s pretty much all covered. And while most of the time these museums require income to run their operations, there are a number of times throughout the year when they open up for free visitors!

Here is where you can find out if the free dates coordinate with your trip for some of Denver’s biggest and best museums: Denver Art Museum, Denver Botanic Gardens, Denver Museum of Nature & Science, and the Denver Zoo.

Additionally, some smaller museums are simply free all the time. Check out options like Hudson Gardens, the Colorado School of Mines Geology Museum, or the Museum of Outdoor Arts.

free things to do in denver

Check Out Red Rocks Amphitheater

Red Rocks Amphitheater is an internationally known outdoor amphitheater. Some would argue it’s the best outdoor amphitheater in the United States. And the rest would be wrong. But all jokes aside, it’s an incredible blend of mother nature with a little human intervention.

And while catching a concert is certainly the best way to enjoy Red Rocks, it’s not the only, or probably even most common way. Because any day of the week when visiting the rocks, you will find lots of people taking in the views, snapping some pictures, or getting in a workout. It’s definitely one of the free things to do in Denver.

Go Willy Wonka at Hammond’s Candy Factory

Located north of downtown Denver, Hammond’s Candies has been making handmade treats in Denver since the 1920s. And while they started as a small family business, they have since grown into an internationally distributed brand.

Are you someone who wonders how their favorite candies are made? Or would you like to compare taste between a piece that’s come fresh off the factory line? Well you can do all of that and more during their multiple times daily free factory tours.

Please note reservations are required to guarantee tour availability.

Sunset over Denver

See One of the Last Remaining US Mints

As of today, there are only four remaining active coin-producing US mints, and one of them happens to be located in Denver. The Denver US mint produces billions of coins each year for the United States. And you can see how it all goes down with one of their daily free tours open to the public – it’s definitely one of the most interesting free things to do in Denver. 

Although the tour is free, tickets are required to manage tour capacity. The free tour tickets are available only same day, at the “Tour Information” window located near the gift shop entrance. The tour is quite popular, especially during peak seasons, so be sure and secure your tickets early!

Visit the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge

It’s hard to imagine, that just a short distance to the northeast of Denver lies a 15,000 acre wildlife refuge. This land has been everything from farmland to housing manufacturing facilities, but since 1992 it has been designated as a national wildlife refuge land.

Entertainment options at the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge include hiking trails, catch-and-release fishing, and more. But people really come for the wildlife viewing opportunities. Visitors can take a self-guided drive through the refuge for the chance to see more then 330 different species of animals! Including bison, deer, coyotes, ferrets, bald eagles, and more.

Take a Free Denver Walking Tour

Did you know most major cities have a totally free walking tour you can participate in? Well they do! And it’s a great way to see the city (for free) and get local insider tips from your guide that you probably wouldn’t have learned otherwise.

In Denver, your best bet is to work with Denver Walking Tours. They offer a free walking tour almost every day, no matter the weather. It’s a great way to get outside for some exercise, while walking through Denver and learning about major points of interest.

Further readings about the United States

Make sure to check out my other posts about the US

This post was written by Kara, the one-woman team behind Destination: Live Life, a travel blog. After fleeing small-town life in Wyoming, she has called Denver, CO home for the last 12+ years. When it comes to travel, she appreciates traveling like a local, and never paying full price for a trip. And when she isn’t living that travel life, she can be found petting every dog that will let her, and laughing (loudly) at any opportunity.

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The Best Bars In Tel Aviv For The Best Tel Aviv Nightlife

The Best Bars In Tel Aviv For The Best Tel Aviv Nightlife

Tel Aviv nightlife is legendary. 

Whether you are planning to spend a week or a month in Israel, you really need to factor in enough time to make the most of nightlife scene in Tel Aviv. This is a city where a new bar pops up every week, a bar closes every week, and one is offering something new, different, innovative in an effort to beat competition. 

With so many bars and clubs for any interest, budget and taste, from large clubs with pounding music to sophisticated neighborhood bars, it’s no wonder Tel Aviv nightlife scene is world famous, and you are bound to find something to keep entertained.

I only know too well! I don’t think there ever is a night I stay at home when I am in town. Of course, I have my favorite areas to hang out – the ones where my friends and I meet for a chilled beer at the end of a long working day. But each time I am there I also love discovering new neighborhoods, whether alone or with my friends. 

Continue reading this post for a quick guide about Tel Aviv nightlife, with the best bars in Tel Aviv divided by area. For each of them, I will also tell you the best time to go. 

Tel Aviv nightlife

The Best Areas For Tel Aviv Nightlife And The Best Bars In Tel Aviv

Rothschild and Levontin

Many will tell you that the southern part of Rothschild Boulevard, with the nearby areas such as Levontin, are the heart of Tel Aviv nightlife. And who am I to disagree?

Rothschild really is one of Tel Aviv most interesting streets, with many beautiful Bauhaus buildings, small cafés, bars and more.

I lived on the corner between Rothschild and Maze Street and loved every minute of it, because there is so much going on at any time of day! All you have to do is walk out and there will be some cool place to hang out. 

You will be able to find some of the best bars in Tel Aviv right around this area. Below is a summary of the best ones. 

Best Bars in Rothschild and Levontin

Radio EPGB

Shadal 7, go after midnight

There is no doubt that this is underground bar one of the best bars in Tel Aviv. It is the place to see and be seen, especially for a crowd of younger hipsters who enjoy indie and electronic music. It can get incredibly crowded, and there is no real dance-floor so you can’t really define it a club, but it’s the kind of place where people sip a drink will shaking their shoulders a bit. There may be a line outside, but it usually moves really fast. It can get very smoky!

GOOD TO KNOW: Things at Radio EPGB only really get interesting after 1:00 am. 

Lima Lima

Lilienblum 24, go after 10:00 pm

One of the best bars in Tel Aviv, it’s a place that’s been going strong for more than 10 years. The dance-floor is always packed and in case you need some fresh air there is a great outdoor area.

Tel Aviv nightlife

Buxa

Rothschild 31, go after 10:00 pm

This is one of the best bars in Tel Aviv if you want to immerse yourself in a place with sophisticated design. There is a collection of designer toys, as well as regular art exhibit by up-and-coming artists. There is a large dance floor on the ground floor, and a great terrace on the top floor.

Bellboy

Berdichevski 14, go for happy hour, from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, when you can get 1+1 on all drinks. 

Some of the best bars in Tel Aviv are located actually hotel bars. One of them is Bellboy, which is inside the Berdichevsky Hotel and where you will find a retro-style place and great cocktails. The atmosphere – apparently sophisticated – is more easygoing than you can imagine!
 
TOP TIP: Make sure to look for Butler, a one-room bar inside the Bellboy. It’s perfect if you are looking for a more intimate place.
Levontin 7

Levontin 7, open from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am

This small underground bar is one of the best bars in Tel Aviv if you enjoy a bit of a sophisticated scene. You can expect to find live music most nights, featuring local artists. 

Best bars in Tel Aviv

The Prince is one of the best bars in Tel Aviv

Allenby

Allenby may lack the charm of Rothschild (it mostly is a commercial street with high street kind of shops), but the bars there have such an easygoing vibe that you will enjoy them for sure. There is a good selection of pub-like places (where you can also enjoy a bite), jazz clubs and clubs. Below are the top picks.

Best Bars in Allenby

Kuli Alma

Mikveh Israel 10, go after 10:00 pm

A post about the best bars in Tel Aviv is not complete without mentioning Kuli Alma. Consistently voted best bar in Tel Aviv, it features an outdoor area where you can chill and chat, a closed room with great music for dancing, and a third one where there usually is live music. You will definitely enjoy the vibes and the decorations. 

The Prince

Nahalat-Byniamin 18, open from 5:00 pm to 1:00 am, go after 9:00 pm.

This place is an institution and definitely one of the best bars in Tel Aviv. It’s located inside an old building in Nachalat-Byniamin. You have to walk up the stairs all the way to the top floor and you can pick between two areas – on the right, there is a large indoor bar with a corner there they play live music (they often have jazz); on the right, a fabulous rooftop bar. There is a good selection of wine, beer and cocktails and even some food. It can get very busy. 

Minzar

Gedera 28, open 24 / 7

I was reluctant to include Minzar in this list of best bars in Tel Aviv. You see, this is probably my favorite place in town, the first place I go to for a drink when I finally put my bags down, and I almost didn’t want to spell the secret. It’s a great neighborhood pub in the heart of Tel Aviv, shabby at first sight, but locals really love (in fact, it can get very crowded). It has indoors as well as outdoors seating, a bar with stools, a very good selection of beers and chasers and a small but good menu – and it is also open on Shabbat. 

Pasaz

Allenby 94, go after 10:00 pm

This bar located in an underground passage right on Allenby is a cool hipster place with vintage furnishing and good music. It’s very easy going. 

best bars in tel aviv

Florentin and South Tel Aviv

Once an area of abandoned factories and buildings, Florentin is now one of the trendiest neighborhoods in Tel Aviv. Chances are you will explore it during the day – especially if you are a fan of street art (check out this guided street art tour of Tel Aviv here). Go at night and you will find an incredible selection of places – from really niche, underground ones that you really have to look for with a trained eye, to more easygoing bars and pubs. Below is a selection of places you may want to check out.

Best Bars in Florentin and South Tel Aviv

Hoodna Bar
Abarbaner 13, go after 10:00 pm
 
One of the best bars in south Tel Aviv, you will usually find live music by Israeli artists, good drinks that don’t cost an arm and a leg, some food and a very easygoing vibe. 
Teder FM

Derech Jaffa 9, go after 10:00 pm

If you want a hipster place for your night out in Tel Aviv, this is the one. It really doesn’t get better than that. Tables are set in an outside gallery where you can hang out, listen to good music, have a good, reasonably priced beer and – should you get hungry, a pizza. There occasionally are DJ nights, performances and even movie showings. 

Haoman 17

Abarbanel 88, go after 10:00 pm

Without a doubt one of the best bars in Tel Aviv that contributed to giving Tel Aviv nightlife its reputation. It was one of the first that regularly started bringing in international DJs. It’s the perfect place to dance the night away. 

The Block 

Shalma Road 157, best after 1:00 am

This is a bit of a difficult place to reach – you will need to get there by bus or by cab (make sure to download Gett, which is the local Uber). It’s a great, immense nightclub where you will find 3 different halls – a main dance floor, a smaller one and a lounge, all connected by shiny corridors.

Tel Aviv nightlife

Jaffa

Jaffa is a bit of a unique place when it comes to nightlife in Tel Aviv. This is the oldest neighborhood in town. The best bars are found in the area around the flea market. Below is a selection of the best bars in this part of town. 

Best Bars in Jaffa

Beer Bazaar

Yishkon 36, open from 11:00 am. Go from 6:00 pm for a bit more action. 

This pub chain started in Mahane Yehuda market, in Jerusalem, and it quickly became incredibly successful. It’s the kind of place where you can get craft beer and pop-corn, but also a good pub-style meal (and it is kosher) and spend a chilled night out with friends. 

Anna LouLou

UPDATE: Anna LouLou is currently closed. It’s a shame as this used to be one of my favorite bars in Tel Aviv. I sure wish they open again soon, perhaps at a different location. I shall keep you posted.

Hapnimin 2, go after 10:00 pm

This is one of the most unique (and definitely one of the best) bars in Tel Aviv. Here, Israeli Jews, Israeli Arabs, locals and tourists, straights and gays all mix together in what is one of the friendliest places in town. Music is simply great. 

best bars in tel aviv

Dizengoff, King George and Ibn Gabirol

I must admit I don’t hang out much in this part of town for some reason, but when I do I am always impressed by the chilled vibe. You will find many simple bars and pub style of places, where you can enjoy a beer or a cocktail and grab a bite. 

Best Bars in Dizengoff, King George and Ibn Gabirol

Double Standard

Dizengoff 247, go for happy hour

A shop selling any possible tool to prepare cocktails during the day (you can even buy a cocktail mix, in case you want to shake up something but are a bit of a cheat), Double Standard becomes one of the best bars in Tel Aviv at night, mixing some incredible cocktails. There is a good snack menu too. 

Spicehaus  (Jaffa Perfume Company) 

Dizengoff 117, best after 10:00 pm

I have only been to this place once, but I liked it so much that it definitely deserves a mention for bringing something new to Tel Aviv nightlife scene. You will hear it called “cocktail bar pharmacy” – because bartenders are dressed like pharmacists and cocktails are served in beakers. It’s definitely one of the best bars in Tel Aviv for cocktails. 
 
GOOD TO KNOW: The sign outside says “The East Jaffa Perfume Company.”

Tel Aviv beaches

Tel Aviv Beach

If you come from a beach town like I do, you will definitely appreciate that Tel Aviv nightlife has taken to the beach. A fantastic place to hang out during the day – come here to swim, surf, bask in the sun, play matkot and just chill – the beach is a great place at night, with some good bars. Keep in mind that these bars are more touristy than the ones you will find in other parts of town. Below is a selection of the best.

Best Bars along the beach

Patio

Hayarkon 114, best for happy hour from 7:00 to 9:00 pm

A nice bar close to the beach with a nice terrace, good drinks and Israeli music playing. They have buy one get one free on drinks during happy hour.

Imperial Cocktail Bar

Hayarkon 66, go there for happy hour from 6:00 to 8:00 pm

This classy bar that serves delicious Asian staples plays music that goes from rock to jazz. If you go for happy hour, all drinks are half price.
 
Tel Aviv nightlife

6 Useful Things To Know About Tel Aviv Nightlife

The timings are a bit different

This came as no surprise to me, because I am used to the timings of southern Italy, but you may want to know!

One thing to keep in mind is that people in Tel Aviv tend to go out a bit (or a lot) later than in other places. So while many will meet for drinks right after work and some bars doing happy hour may get crowded at 7:00 or so, Tel Aviv nightlife proper won’t start before 10:00 pm and bars usually start filling up at around 11:00.

Clubs only get really busy at 1:00 or even 2:00 am. 

Bars and clubs stay open until really late – 3:00 am is definitely not late by Tel Aviv standards!

Many bars and clubs have minimum age policies

Drinking age in Israel is 18, however many clubs and bars in Tel Aviv will refuse to serve alcohol and some will deny entry to people that are younger than 25. I can’t really comment on this more – I am definitely older than 25. 

Look for special events

There is always something interesting or fun going on in Tel Aviv – a bar opening up, a special event, a concert, an exhibit and what not. To be honest, it is kind of hard to keep up with what’s happening, but you may want to download the app Local, which will basically give you a sum up of what’s happening in the location you select. 

What you wear doesn’t really matter

One great thing about Tel Aviv nightlife is that there hardly ever is a dress-code. You can pretty much wear whatever you want – as long as you look decent – and you will be allowed in. This basically means that you will hardly have to fret about what to wear, and that even if you get a last minute invitation to go out, you just have to wear your shoes and you are good to go. Coming from a country where everyone dresses up as if preparing for a fashion show, this comes as a great relief!

People still smoke in bars

Although smoking in public places has been banned in Israel, many of the best bars in Tel Aviv still allow their customers to smoke inside. Prepare to reek of smoke and smell like an ashtray by the time you go home! 

A Tel Aviv nightlife tour may be a good idea

If you don’t know where to start, which bar to go, or are traveling alone and are reluctant to go out by yourself (though trust me, in a city like Tel Aviv you won’t be hanging out by yourself for long when you walk inside a bar!), you may want to join a guided Tel Aviv nightlife tour such as this one.

BOOK YOUR TEL AVIV NIGHTLIFE TOUR HERE

Further readings about Israel

If you are planning a trip to Israel, make sure to read my other posts:

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Read about the best bars in Tel Aviv

Where To Get The Best Views In New York

Where To Get The Best Views In New York

New York is an incredible city – the kind of place you fall in love with as soon as you set foot there (I only know too well!). But where are the best views in New York? 

The short answer would be “anywhere” – because really, no matter how you look at it, New York is a gorgeous place. But I suppose this isn’t truly helpful if you are visiting New York for the first time and are looking for good photo opportunities. 

Worry not! I certainly have my favorite places for a great New York City view, but I am here to tell you about all the ones I know of. The only thing you have to worry about is taking a good camera with you – in fact, even a good smart phone may be enough at times (I normally use a Nikon D3300 with a 18-105 mm lens; or my iPhone 11 Pro).

Continue reading this post to discover the places to go for the best views in New York – I will give you a good selection of places to choose from, some of which you can access for free!

GOOD TO KNOW: This list of best views in New York is by no means exhaustive! There are more places where you can go if you have more time – for example Hoboken in New Jersey, for a great encompassing view of Manhattan; and there is about a million rooftop bars!

Views in New York

12 Places To Get The Best Views In New York

One World Observatory

You can get one of the best views in New York from the One World Observatory. With its 541 meters and being the tallest building in the Western Hemisphere, this skyscraper located where the World Trade Center once stood is an incredible vantage point from where you can get 360 degrees New York City views that go all the way to Upper New York Bay and the Statue of Liberty, as well as Brooklyn Bridge on the other side.

TIP: for an even better view, go right before sunset. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: One World Observatory admission hours vary. In general, they open every day at 8:00 am and close between 9:00 and 10:00 pm. 

You need tickets to go up the One World Observatory. You can get them here.

best views in New York

The Empire State Building

To me, the ones from the Empire State Building are the best views in New York – at least when it comes to views from above. I have been to the observation deck a bunch of times and each time I get goosebumps. The skyscraper was completed in 1931 and back then was the highest building in the world. It may have lost its record since then, but definitely not its charm (if you are curious to see which are the tallest buildings in the world, check out this post).

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Empire State Building is open every day from 8:00 am to 2:00 am. 

The issue with trying to get on the Empire State Building is that there are often lines to get tickets, so you may want to get them in advance. These are some good options:

3 days in New York

Top of the Rock

You can get stunning views of New York from the Top of the Rock. This Art Deco skyscraper was built in the 1930s. Although it is not as tall as the Empire State Building, the views from there are impressive as you can see Midtown and Downtown skyscrapers as well as Central Park.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Top of the Rock is open every day from 8:00 am to midnight.

Visits to the Top of the Rock are timed so you need to get tickets in advance. You can get them here. 

The High Line

For beautiful and completely free views in New York, the High Line is a great place. It once was a railway viaduct cutting down the west side of Midtown Manhattan and abandoned in the 1980s. Since there, it’s been turned into an elevated park. The park was opened in 2009 and you can access it from Chelsea. Over the 2 km walk you can get great views of the Hudson River.

Staten Island Ferry

Staten Island Ferry

For some of the best views in New York that are also free, make sure to ride the Staten Island Ferry – but watch out! One of the most common scams in New York takes place right before embarking, with people trying to sell you tickets for something that is completely free. The ferry ride lasts about 25 minutes, and you can get beautiful views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island, as well as those of Lower Manhattan.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Staten Island Ferry works 24/7, every day.

Liberty State Park

Liberty State Park is in New Jersey (just as the Statue of Liberty, by the way!). From its waterfront you can get impressive views of the skyline of Manhattan and of the Statue of Liberty. 

GOOD TO KNOW: Make sure to visit the Empty Sky Memorial, which was dedicated to the victims of the 9/11 terror attacks.

a day in New York

Brooklyn Bridge

Brooklyn Bridge is one of the symbols of the city. Its view is incredible, and just as well the views of New York from the bridge are out of this world. The bridge has a pedestrian walkway and several places where you can rest and from where you can take amazing photos, so it is just about perfect. To top it off, it is 100% free!

Brooklyn Bridge Park

If you walk along the East River down to Brooklyn Bridge Park you can get some of the best views in New York, as you will be able to spot lower Manhattan. The best spot there is Old Pier 1, where you will see the wooden pier pilings. 

brooklyn heights view

Brooklyn Heights Promenade

The views from Brooklyn Heights Promenade is one of the best views in New York, and actually my favorite. I discovered it when I lived in the city and visited a friend, and what shocks me every time I go is that there aren’t more people around – which means you can enjoy the views without being surrounded by a million other people. You will be looking at Lower Manhattan and can also see New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty.

For more views you can also walk to DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan Overpass), once an industrial area turned artistic district and thought to be one of the most instagramable places in New York.

GOOD TO KNOW: This New York view is completely free.

a day in New York

Williamsburg Bridge

Williamsburg Bridge is quite a sight! First of all, the bridge (which was inaugurated in 1903 to connect Brooklyn to Manhattan) is beautiful to look at in and of itself – you will recognize it immediately from its bright pink color. Secondly, from there you can enjoy great views of New York and of Brooklyn Bridge. There is a pedestrian walkway and a bike lane, and it is obviously free to access. 

Roosevelt Tram

This is a bit of a local secret. You can get on Roosevelt Island tram with your metrocard. This cable car is guaranteed to give you impressive views of the city!

From the sky

This is an easy one – hopefully! The best views of New York are by far from the sky. I won’t recommend a helicopter ride because I am against those unless really necessary – they pollute, they are loud and what not. But you can get just as amazing views from a window seat on a plane, so make sure to factor that in when booking your flights to and from New York. I promise you the view is impressive and it’s worth paying the small extra fee to get the seat you want!

Further readings about New York

If you are planning trip to New York or the United States, make sure to read these posts:

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Where To Get The Best Views Of Rome

Where To Get The Best Views Of Rome

Rome is located on the hills, and there are many places you can go to to admire the city. But where are the best views of Rome? 

This is not an easy question to answer. As I have lived in Rome for some time, I do have my favorite places town which I have discovered simply roaming around the city. But I appreciate that, if you are there for a quick weekend getaway or just a few days at the beginning or end of your trip across Italy, you may want to go straight to the point and get somewhere which will provide you incredible views of Rome and excellent photo opportunities at the same time. 

Good news – you landed on the right page as here I will tell you exactly where to go to get the best views of Rome. I will let you know if there is an access fee or if you can enjoy the beautiful views at no cost. All you have to do is make sure you take your camera with you to snap those panoramic views.

Rome secret places

The 11 Best Views Of Rome

Orange Garden

My favorite panoramic views of Rome are easily those from the Orange Garden (Giardino degli Aranci). This is located on the Aventine Hill, at can be easily reached on an easy stroll from the Colosseum. The gardens, which were designed in 1932 by Raffaele de Vico are very pleasant to visit – and 100% free to access. The views of the Vatican you get from there are some of the best views in Rome, and since you get to see other parts of the city you will literally be looking at two countries at the same time – Italy being the other one! So just make sure to add it to your itinerary. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The gardens are located in Via di Santa Sabina and open from dawn till dusk. 

GOOD TO KNOW: If you are a photography geek, make sure to go to the now well-known keyhole on the Aventine Hill from where you can get some of the best views of Rome (and one of the coolest photos). It’s right by the Orange Garden

Rome attractions

St. Peter’s Basilica Dome

You will surely visit St. Peter’s Basilica and the Vatican during your trip to Rome. So make sure to make the extra effort (and pay the extra money) to go all the way up to St. Peter’s Basilica Dome for some of the best views of Rome. From up there you can see St. Peter’s Square, Via della Conciliazione, Castel Sant’Angelo and the Tiber River. 

The only issue (other than the fact this views aren’t free) is that there may be a line to get tickets to access the Dome, so I would recommend getting tickets in advance. These are some good options:

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: St. Peter’s Basilica Dome is open every day from 7:30 am to 5:00 pm in the winter months and from 7:30 am to 6:00 pm in the summer months. 

GOOD TO KNOW: There are 320 steps to get to the Dome if you take the elevator to the first level. If you only take the stairs, you have to count 531.

Rome attractions

Via della Conciliazione

I took the photo you see above in 2006 with my first digital camera and when photography was hardly my thing. It probably isn’t the best quality and some bloggers wouldn’t dream of placing it on their site, but I guess it gives you the idea of the beautiful views of the Basilica you can get from the very end of Via della Conciliazione, when you are on your way to Castel Sant’Angelo.

Of course I was lucky to catch a moment when there was no traffic and very few people, but honestly – give it a try. It’s one of the best views of Rome.

what to do in Rome

Castel Sant’Angelo

Castel Sant’Angelo is a massive fortress built around 139 AD. Initially meant to be a mausoleum for Emperor Hadrian’s, it became a medieval citadel, a prison and subsequently a place of safety for popes during times of political unrest. What many don’t know is that it is one of the places with the best views of Rome. 

You can see all the way to the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica and Dome, the Tiber river and the bridges and the historical center of Rome. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Castel Sant’Angelo is open Mondays to Wednesday from 9:00 am to 7:30 pm and Thursdays to Sundays from 9.00 am to midnight. 

Make sure to get your Castel Sant’Angelo skip the line ticket before going.

Ponte dell'Angelo

Along the Tiber river

The Tiber River is the second longest river in Italy and a great place to go for a walk. Along the river you will find many bridges and some of them, such as Ponte Sant’Angelo (right outside Castel Sant’Angelo and with statues of angels sitting along the ramparts) are so pretty to look at that I thought I’d include them in a post about the best views in Rome. I am pretty sure you will agree with me when you go. Besides, it is free!

Gianicolo

The Gianicolo, or Janiculum, is the second highest hill in Rome and overlooks Trastevere, one of the most famous neighborhood. It’s a bit of a walk to get all the way up there but you will be rewarded with some of the best views of Rome, and they are completely free! You can have fun trying to recognize the various buildings you can see, and then explore the area – make sure not to miss the small Renaissance temple of Tempietto del Bramante and the 16th century Fontana dell’Acqua Paola.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Gianicolo is open 24 / 7.

Access to Borghese Gallery

Pincio Terrace

Chances are you will pass by the Pincio Terrace on your way to Villa Borghese, or Borghese Gallery as it is known to non-Italians. The Pincian Terrace is scattered with beautiful statues and is one of the nicest parks in the center of Rome. More importantly, you will get truly nice views of Piazza del Popolo, from where you will likely access it.

The bonus? It’s completely free!

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Pincio Terrace is open 24 / 7.

Piazza Venezia

Altar of the Fatherland

The Altar of the Fatherland is one of the most famous buildings in Rome. As it is located in Piazza Venezia and on the way to the Colosseum, behind the Roman Forum, chances are you will pass by it quite a few times during your trip to Rome. 

What many don’t seem to realize, however, is that the Altare della Patria (or Il Vittoriano, as we often call it here in Italy) will offer you some of the best views in Rome. From the rooftop you can see all the way to the Colosseum, the Palatine and the Roman Forum on one side, and Piazza Venezia and the historical center of Rome on the other. 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Altar of the Fatherland is open daily from 9:30 am to 7.30 pm. The elevator to the terrace costs €7, but you can walk up the stairs for free.

Palatine Hill

The Palatine Hill overlooks the Colosseum, Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum so it obviously is a place where you will get some of the best views of Rome. The bonus is that the Palatine is a great place to visit in and of itself. This is the hill where, according to legend, twins Romulus and Remus were brought up by a wolf and where Romulus founded the city after he killed his brother. There are the remains of the residences of emperors and aristocrats.

You can access the Palatine Hill with the same ticket you use for the Colosseum and the Roman Forum, so make sure to keep it! The following are the best ticket options:

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: The Palatine Hill is open daily from 8:30 am to 7:00 pm.

places to see in Rome

The wall overlooking the Colosseum

I stumbled upon this view years and years ago (I guess you can tell from the photo). Other than the Roman Forum, this is the best place in town for views of the Colosseum. The main difference is that this one is completely free to access! 

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: To get to this viewpoint, walk out of the metro station and go on your left. You will find a short set of stairs (also on your left). Keep in mind it’s on the opposite side of the street from the Colosseum.

Caffarelli Terrace

One of the issues with some of the places I have mentioned in this post is that they are popular, and therefore crowded. If avoiding the crowds is what you want to do, make sure to head to Caffarelli Terrace, on the Capitoline Hill (where the Capitoline Museums are located, to be clear!). From there you will get great views of the Jewish Ghetto, of Il Vittoriano (Altar of the Fatherland) and of a number of cupolas. Definitely one of the best views of Rome.

PRACTICAL INFORMATION: Terrazza Caffarelli is free to access and open 24 / 7. Keep in mind there is a nice café with the same name on the location, which is open from 9:30 am to 7:00 pm.

Further readings about Rome

Make sure to read my other posts about Rome:

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Find out which are the best places for incredible views of Rome - via @clautavani

Find out where to go for the best views of Rome - via @clautavani