Outstanding Reasons to Visit the Hermitage Museum in Russia

Outstanding Reasons to Visit the Hermitage Museum in Russia

The Hermitage Museum does not disappoint and it certainly lives up to its reputation. You can get lost for days just soaking up all the treasures in its 360 rooms. And to think what's on display is a mere fraction of over three million items in their collection--this amounts to a comprehensive history of Western European art. Catherine the Great, one of the greatest art collectors of all time, began the collection. Visiting the museum requires planning so download the Hermitage Museum Travel Guide and Offline Map and start now!

1. Portrait of Soler

One of the most emotive paintings from Picasso’s ‘Blue Period’, Portrait of Soler is a picture of a young man sitting alone in a café, and is widely considered a comment on loneliness and isolation within the artist’s own life. Painted in 1903, using his good friend and patron, Soleras as his model, Picasso expresses melancholy through a powerful use of color, expression, and lighting – or lack thereof.

2. St. Luke Drawing the Virgin

A significant artwork by Belgian painter Rogier van der Weyden, St Luke Drawing the Virgin portrays an artist--perhaps a self-portrait of van der Weyden himself--sketching the Virgin Mary as she cradles baby Jesus. Interestingly, the canvas was initially two separate pieces, one half owned by Tsar Nicholas I, and the other by Alexander III. If you look closely, you can still see the vertical join.

3. Head of Athena

There are a number of sculptures of Greek Goddess Athena throughout the State Hermitage Museum, but the Head of Athena is arguably the most captivating. Dating back to the 2nd century, the marble is immaculately preserved, so her powerful and wise gaze continues to be as striking as it would have been when it was created.

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Germany, More Than Just the Land of Beer

Germany, More Than Just the Land of Beer

Germany definitely goes beyond its big city reputation to many beautiful landscapes that look like came out of a story book, romantic castles fit for fairy-tales, and half-timbered towns. Still need convincing to go? Experiencing Germany through its food and drink will add a rich layer to your memories and stomach. You'll quickly realize that there's so much more than just pretzels, sausages, and beer to good old German cuisine. So what are you waiting for? Download the Germany Travel Guide and Offline Map now!

1. Berlin 

Being such a multicultural metropolis, local place great emphasis on their mantra 'live and let live' and put greater emphasis on personal freedom and a creative lifestyle than on material wealth and status symbols. Cafes are jammed at all hours, drinking is a religious rite and clubs keep going until late. Size-wise, Berlin is pretty big but its key areas are wonderfully compact and easily navigated on foot, by bike or by using public transport.

2. Schloss Neuschwanstein

Appearing through mountaintops, Schloss Neuschwanstein might look familiar to majority of visitors. This wondrous palace was the model for Disney’s Sleeping Beauty castle. King Ludwig II planned this fairy-tale pile himself, with the help of a stage designer rather than an architect. He envisioned it as a giant stage on which to recreate the world of Germanic mythology, inspired by the operatic works of his friend Richard Wagner.

3. The Wild Life

The Black Forest or popularly known has the forest where Hansel and Gretel encountered the wicked witch got its name from its dark canopy of evergreens. The vast expanse of hills, valleys, rivers and forests stretch from the swish spa town of Baden-Baden to the Swiss border, and from the Rhine almost to Lake Constance.

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Pack Your Bags, Georgia is Calling

Pack Your Bags, Georgia is Calling

Georgia is the stuff that mountain scenery dreams are made of. From green valleys to sprawling vineyards to its old churches and watchtowers, it is a favorite among hikers, horse riders, cyclists, photographers, and travelers of every kind. But the view isn't the only thing that makes Georgia so special, its proud, high-spirited, cultured people is one of its best assets: guests are considered a blessing and hospitality is their way of life. Download the Georgia Travel Guide and Offline Map now and experience it for yourself.

1. Tbilisi

Tbilisi in all its picturesque glory sits on a deep valley of the Mtkvari River. Filled with colorful architecture that is partnered with a lively arts and culture scene, this city is a must-visit when visiting Georgia. Prepare yourself for a plethora of inviting cafes, funky bars and clubs, spruced-up museums and so much more. Modernized transportations make it so much easier and fun to go around the city.

2. Vardzia

This remarkable cave city was built by King Giorgi III as a fortification in the 12th century. His daughter, Queen Tamar, established a cave monastery that grew into a holy city housing for some 2,000 monks. It is a cultural symbol for all Georgians and a spiritual bastion of Christendom’s eastern frontier. This rock-hewn dwelling ranges over 13 floors and spans over 400 rooms, 13 churches, and 25 wine cellars, and to this day more are still being discovered.

3. Stepantsminda

Imagine a valley town with the famous hilltop Tsminda Sameba Church and surrounded by the snowy cone of Mount Kazbek. What used to be known as Kazbegi is now officially named Stepantsminda is a great must-visit for hikers and mountain-bikers alike for its rich scenery and fresh air.

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A Taste of the Pure Life in Costa Rica

A Taste of the Pure Life in Costa Rica

According to recent study, Costa Ricans live longer, healthier lives than people on the rest of the planet. And it all comes down to every locals' mantra, which is "pura vida" or pure life. After a few days in this beautiful, rich country, you'll soon realize the true meaning of pura vida and will start living it too. So just sit back and enjoy life's ride in one of the most beautiful countries in the world. Plan your trip by downloading the Costa Rica Travel Guide and Offline Map.

1. The Peaceful Soul of Central America

Costa Rica is also known as the "rich coast" and for good reason. It earned its name for its cutting edge surfing, farm-to-table, and sustainable tourism. As one of the world's most biodiverse countries it also protects one-quarter of its wild lands through law. Developing infrastructure is balanced by green energy like wind and hydro, and while there's no standing army, you almost always feel safe.

2. Outdoor Adventures

Costa Rica offers a plethora of outdoor activities that any adventurous soul can think of. From rain forest hikes and white-water rapid rides to world-class surfing and canopy zip-lining--Costa Rica has it all. National parks allow visitors to glimpse life in both rain forest and cloud forest, simmering volcanoes offer otherworldly vistas, and reliable surf breaks are suited to beginners and experts alike.

3. The Wild Life

With half a million species--from insects to the giant anteaters that devour them--one quarter of its lands is protected by law. So much wildlife abounds in Costa Rica that it almost seems like you've been transported to a different land where only animals exist. Blue morpho butterflies flit amid orchid-festooned trees, while colorful tropical fish, sharks, rays, dolphins and whales thrive offshore – all as if in a conservationist’s dream.

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Exploring the Great Canadian Outback

Exploring the Great Canadian Outback

It comes to now surprise how the world's second largest country can offer endless varieties of landscapes. Spread across six time zones, Canada has sky-high mountains, glinting glaciers, spectral rain forests, and remote beaches. Whether it's snowboarding Whistler's mountains, surfing Nova Scotia's swells or kayaking the white-frothed South Nahanni River in the Northwest Territories, adventures abound. So go on that next adventure with the Canada Travel Guide and Offline Map.

1. Haida Gwaii

Haida Gwaii forms a dagger-shaped archipelago of some 450 islands, it offers a magical trip for those who make the effort. The number-one attraction here is remote Gwaii Haanas National Park, which makes up the bottom third of the archipelago. Attention has long focused on the many unique species of flora and fauna to the extent that 'Canada's Galápagos' is a popular moniker. But each year it becomes more apparent that the real soul of the islands is the Haida culture itself.

2. Niagara Falls

Witness a spell-binding rush of unstoppable water over the arcing fault in the riverbed with thunderous force. Niagara Falls is the collective name for three waterfalls conveniently placed at the nook of the international border between Canada and the United States. These falls have a combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in North America that has a vertical drop of more than 165 feet.

3. Cabot Trail

Who can resist driving through Cabot Trail? Driving the trail is Nova Scotia's most famous recreational activity. Let the winding roads take you to serene lakes, beneath soaring eagles, and cliff-top vistas. Along the way, artists' workshops dot the southeastern flank of the trail like Easter eggs, from Englishtown to St Ann's Bay. You'll find pottery, leather, glass and pewter workers, painters and sculptors, and discover living remnants of Mi'kmaw and Acadian culture.

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Exploring Greece, the World's Most Ancient City

Exploring Greece, the World's Most Ancient City

Probably the most go-to country during the European Summer, Greece has countless of adventure-filled destinations for both the young and young at heart. Step into the ring where Olympians first competed. Climb steps hewn out of stone to Meteora’s monasteries, perched atop towering rocks. Experience Greek culture at its best with passionate music, inspired cuisine, and thrill-seeking activities. Don't forget to download the Greece Travel Guide and Offline Map as you plan your trip.

1. Athens

Modern-day Athens is a mix of history and edginess. I lively urban bustles rings around the ancient landmarks, but don't be deceived, the city is pulsating with so much culture and tradition. The historical Acropolis towers over the city and is daily reminded of the Greek's heritage and its many transformations. Enjoy a leisurely stroll around Athens and visit its many open-air restaurants and bars whenever you feel like taking a break from all the sightseeing.

2. Ancient Delphi

Built on the slopes of Mount Parnassos, Ancient Delphi, is the most spiritual place out of all the archeological sites in Greece. Let the views of the Gulf of Corinth that extend into a valley of olive trees whisk you away to another time. This UNESCO World Heritage Site was regarded as the center of the world by Ancient Greeks and according to mythology, Zeus released two eagles at opposite ends of the world and they met were Ancient Delphi stood.

3. Acropolis

Considered as the most important ancient site in the Western World. And how can it not be when it is crowned by the renowned Parthenon. The Acropolis stands proud over Athens and is visible from almost everywhere within the city. Its monuments and sanctuaries of white Pentelic marble shine in the midday sun and gradually transform into a honey hue as sunset arrives.

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Jaw-dropping Croatia and Why You Should Visit Now

Jaw-dropping Croatia and Why You Should Visit Now

Spend your days basking under the balmy sun and frolic in the Mediterranean sapphire waters amidst ancient walled towns--there's no better place to be than in Croatia. Its extraordinary island-speckled coastline is indisputably its main attraction where its crystal clear waters will outstand you. Precariously poised between the Balkans and central Europe, this land has been passed between competing kingdoms, empires, and republics for millennia. Download the Croatia Travel Guide and Offline Map and plan your next adventure now!

1. Dubrovnik

Regardless of whether you are visiting Dubrovnik for the first time or the hundredth, the sense of awe never fails to descend when you set eyes on the beauty of the old town. Indeed it’s hard to imagine anyone becoming jaded by the city’s white limestone streets, baroque buildings and the endless shimmer of the Adriatic, or failing to be inspired by a walk along the ancient city walls that protected a civilized, sophisticated republic for centuries.

2. Plitvice Lakes National Park

Within the boundaries of this heavily forested national park, 16 crystalline lakes tumble into each other via a series of waterfalls and cascades. The mineral-rich waters carve through the rock, depositing tufa in continually changing formations. Clouds of butterflies drift above the 18km of wooden footbridges and pathways that snake around the edges and across the rumbling water.

3. Hvar Town

The island’s hub and busiest destination, Hvar Town is estimated to draw around 20,000 people a day in the high season. It’s odd that they can all fit in the small bay town, where 13th-century walls surround beautifully ornamented Gothic palaces and traffic-free marble streets but fit they do.

Croatia Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad and AppleWatch

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Top 3 Must-sees in Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

Top 3 Must-sees in Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy

The U-shaped Palazzo degli Uffizi was built between 1560 to 1580 that was used to house government offices. Today, it houses the world's greatest collection of Italian Renaissance art. The collection, which was originally the Medici family's private collection, was bequeathed to the city in 1743. The expansive collection contains some of Italy's best-known paintings. Download the Uffizi Gallery Travel Guide and Offline Map and discover art at its finest.

1.     Tuscan Masters: 13th to 14th Centuries

As you arrive in the Primo Corridoio on the second floor, you will be greeted by Rooms 2 to 7, which are dedicated to pre- and early Renaissance Tuscan art. Among the 13th-century Sienese works displayed in Room 2 are three large altarpieces from Florentine churches by Duccio di Buoninsegna, Cimabue, and Giotto. These clearly reflect the transition from the Gothic to the nascent Renaissance style.

2.      Renaissance Pioneers

Florence's victory over the Sienese at the Battle of San Romano, near Pisa, in 1432, is brought to life with outstanding realism and increased use of perspective in Paolo Uccello's magnificent Battaglia di San Romano in Room 8. In the same room, don't miss the notable Madonna con Bambino e due angeli (Madonna and Child with Two Angels) by Fra' Filippo Lippi, a scandalous Carmelite monk who married a nun from Prato.

3.     Botticelli Room

The spectacular Sala del Botticelli is one of the Uffizi's most visited rooms. Of the 18 Botticelli works displayed in the Uffizi in all, the iconic La nascita di Venere (The Birth of Venus), Primavera (Spring) and Madonna del Magnificat (Madonna of the Magnificat) are the best known by the Renaissance master known for his ethereal figures.

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Visiting the Superstar of Modern Art, the MoMa

Visiting the Superstar of Modern Art, the MoMa

We're not exaggerating when we say superstar we mean superstar. Since its founding in 1929, this museum has featured almost 200,000 pieces of modern art by heavyweights such as Picasso, Warhol Van Gogh, Pollock, and so many more. It has documented the creative emergence of ideas and movements throughout the late 19th century. This is the place to be for both art enthusiasts and novices. Download the Museum of Modern Art Travel Guide and Offline Map and have a peek at your next art destination.

1.     The Fifth Floor

We suggest you head straight to the fifth floor and progress through the galleries in numerical order. This takes you on a chronological ride through the development of modern art. On this floor, you will begin your journey with some of the most notable pieces of modern art in the world. One of them is Vincent Van Gogh's The Starry Night. It depicts a turbulent sky over Saint Remy, where Van Gogh himself was confined in a mental asylum.

2.      The Fourth Floor

Here you will be left in awe with Jackson Pollock's One, which that is considered a masterpiece of the "drip" technique. And it is also one of Pollock's largest paintings. Andy Warhol's seminal work of Pop Art, Campbell's Soup Can, is also one of the stars on this floor. Warhol used familiar images that everyone can relate to and in this case, he used thirty-two varieties of soup offered by Campbell's--a staple of American diet during his time.

3.     The Persistence of Memory

Probably one of the world's most well-known example of modern art, Salvador Dali's masterpiece showcases his penchant for Surrealism and in this piece the theme is time. A desert landscape that contains melting watches, ants, and a grotesque object in the center that resembles Dali's face profile.

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Exploring Spain One Village at a Time

Exploring Spain One Village at a Time

The best places to visit are the ones that you don't read in guidebooks or see on social media. Lucky for us, Spain is abundant in these beautiful, unexpected little gems. Sprawled all throughout the country are medieval villages that are the stuff of fairy tales. Read on and go ahead and download the Spain Travel Guide and Offline Map to start your journey in the country of surprises.

1.     Pals, Girona

One of our favorite villages are ones that look like they haven't been touched by time. Its narrow stone streets, arched steps, and delicate flowers is certainly a blast from the past. The quaint little town of Pals seems was built in the 14th-15th centuries. Not only is it a beauty to behold, but it is also rich in history. This medieval Catalonian town experienced a peasant revolt that resulted in a civil war against Joan II.

2.      Peñafiel, Valladolid

Europe is mostly famous for its medieval stone towns, but Peñafiel is unique for its wooden buildings. Nestled in the Ribera del Duero is known for its sumptuous cuisine where wine and suckling pigs are the highlights. Make sure to also visit the Peñafiel Castle that overlooks the village and the Plaza del Coso Square its Clock Tower.

3.     Buitrago del Lozoya, Madrid

When in Madrid don't miss Buitrago. It is considered as the best-preserved Arab defense systems in Spain. Stop by the Chruch of Santa María del Castillo a church that’s small in size but otherwise impressive in its interior.  Santa Maria Church definitely adds character to the already charming town. The Buitrago del Lozoya Hospital, which was founded by the Marquis of Santillana in the 15th century is also a must-see.

Spain Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad and AppleWatch

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Get Lost in the Biggest Museum in the United States: The SF MoMa

Get Lost in the Biggest Museum in the United States: The SF MoMa

San Francisco has always been known as a confluence of different creatives and now its ushered itself in the forefront of the art scene worldwide with the Museum of Modern Art San Francisco. The museum's new extension double its gallery space and since its opening has accumulated more than 4000 new works in addition to ones they already have Don't forget to download the SF MoMa Travel Guide and Offline Map on your visit!

1.     Features the Largest Photography Center

SFMOMA houses the largest gallery, research and interpretive space devoted to photography of any art museum in the United States. Named the Pritzker Center for Photography, it presents the museum's impressive holdings of more than 17,800 works and occupies 15,000 square feet on Floor 3.

2.      Dishes from Around the Globe

In Situ, an acclaimed restaurant from Michelin-three-starred chef, Corey Lee. Just like the museum itself, the restaurant curates a menu of dishes from recipes by more than 80 chefs from around the world including culinary heroes, René Redzepi, Alice Waters and Thomas Keller just to name a few. The museum also offers additional dining options to suit your tastes, from local-based coffee at Sightglass to family-friendly California fusion at Cafe 5.

3.     The Fisher Collection

During the 1970s, Doris and Donald Fisher, the founders of the famous Gap apparel brand, began collecting artworks for the offices of the company they founded. SFMOMA is the only place you can see one of the greatest private art collections in the world, which is comprised of more than 1,100 pieces by more than 185 artists.

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Israel, the Land of History and Natural Beauty

Israel, the Land of History and Natural Beauty

Israel is a place like no other. A religious melting pot that stirs up your penchant for breathtaking landscapes of hills and valleys and not to mention, and probably less known to the world, great surfing spots. Enjoy the stillness of the Dead Sea, the multi-colored canyon of Makhtesh Ramon, and the ancient streets of Nazareth and Jerusalem. So what are you waiting for? Book that trip now and download the Israel Travel Guide and Offline Map.

1.     Dead Sea

You fill uplifted in the lowest place on the face of the Earth. And how can it not when it is a thing of beauty rich in ancient history and modern mineral spas that take you to a whole new level of pampering and relaxation. As if its jagged bluffs of the Judean Desert, cleft by dry canyons that turn into raging tan torrents after a cloudburst, rise from the cobalt-blue waters of the Dead Sea, heavy with salt and oily with minerals isn't enough to make feel like you're already in paradise.

2.      Masada National Park

Enjoy one the best sunsets in the world in Masada National Park. The plateau atop Masada, which measures about 550m by 270m, is some 60m above sea level – that is, about 490m above the surface of the Dead Sea. It isn't just famous for its stunning landscapes, but it is also an archaeological stunner. Excavations began in 196 and fast forward to the present you’ll be able to spot at least one of the Romans’ eight military camps and their siege wall from atop the Masada plateau.

3.     Gordon Beach

South from Hilton Beach, this is Tel Aviv's main beach. Well equipped with sun loungers, ice cream shops, an outdoor gym and beach restaurants, it's popular with Tel Avivians, tourists and matkot (paddle ball) players. On Saturdays, you'll likely see group folk dancing on the boardwalk. The Gordon Swimming Pool is at the nearby marina.

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Reasons why The British Museum is London's Most Visited Attraction

Reasons why The British Museum is London's Most Visited Attraction

We've talked about the MET, the MoMa, and SFMoMa, but now it's high time we talk about London's very own British Museum. Considered as the country's largest and one of the oldest museums in the world, it boasts a wondrous collection of Egyptian, Etruscan, Greek, Roman, European and Middle Eastern galleries. Be among the 6.5 million visitors annually and download the British Museum Travel Guide and Offline Map now.

1.     It's Free

The British Museum in itself is a work of art. But the architecture and the pieces of rich history within its walls isn't just the reason why it draws the crowds. It isn't much of a wonder why it draws millions of visitors each year as visiting the British Museum is for free. Yes, we're not kidding here. You can enjoy a slew of the best art pieces in the world for free. If that's not enough to entice you to visit, we don't know what will.

2.      The Egyptian Rooms

See ancient mummies for yourself and if you think that's cool enough, think again. Here, you will also learn a great deal great deal of Egyptian history--from its early years of Rapid advances in the technology to the significance of death and the afterlife to Egyptians who will be in awe at every turn. If you're up for some truth in gossip, in these rooms you will also learn about Cleopatra's unbelievable true story.

3.     The Middle-Eastern Rooms

Middle-Eastern history and artifacts might be overshadowed in other museums, but in the British Museums, it is definitely one of the stars. In Room 10, for example, you will catch a glimpse at the extravagant hunting rituals of the last great Assyrian king, Ashurbanipal, who lived between 668 and around 630 B.C. The sculpted reliefs on alabaster panels that line this gallery mark the king's prowess and power.

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Antwerp, the City of Medieval Allure

Antwerp, the City of Medieval Allure

Oh Antwerp, where do I begin? It is considered as Belgium's second most influential city and rightfully so. Through the years, starting in the 16th century, it's one of Europe's most important cities with fashion moguls, art lovers, and even diamond dealers are drawn to its magnetic charm. Despite its turbulent experiences during the WWII, Antwerp retains its medieval allure with an abundance of cafe-filled cobbled lanes, riverside fortresses, and an impressive cathedral. So what are you waiting for? Download the Antwerp travel Guide and Offline Map now!

1.     Rubenshuis

The picturesque 16th-century building was built as a home and studio by baroque superstar painter Pieter Paul Rubens. Unfortunately the stunning palatial residence was left in ruins until 1937 when it was extensively restored. The building is indeed jaw-dropping with a baroque portico, rear facade and exquisite formal garden. The furniture all dates from Rubens’ era, although it's not part of the original decor. Fourteen Rubens canvases are displayed, along with some wonderful period ephemera.

2.      Grote Market

What is a Flemish city without its signature medieval Grote Markt or Market Square? The triangular shaped, pedestrianised space features a baroque Brabo Fountain depicting Antwerp’s giant-killing, hand-throwing legend. Flanked on two sides by very photogenic guildhalls, the square is dominated by an impressive Italo-Flemish Renaissance-style stadiums, completed in 1565.

Antwerp Travel Guide for iPhone, iPad & AppleWatch

3.     The Jane

If you're looking for a truly gastronomic experience with a splash of aesthetically pleasing modern art then The Jane is the place to be. Antwerp's most dramatic restaurant is the perfect marriage of fine dining and rock and roll. Architect Piet Boon did not shy away at with restoring what once was a military-hospital chapel in its decaying state. Paired with the already sumptuous architecture is an even more sumptuous offering by Michelin-starred chef Sergio Herman.

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Switzerland, the Land of Adventure and Urban Culture

Switzerland, the Land of Adventure and Urban Culture

Beyond its decadent chocolates, Switzerland is probably the epitome of the great outdoors. Its ravishing landscapes and heart-stopping Alpine views demand for you to grab your outdoor gear and explore. With hiking and biking trails abound, Switzerland is every adventurer's dream come true. Its urban edge comes from its medieval old town and world-class modern art. This land of four-languages will definitely not disappoint. Don't forget to download the Switzerland Travel Guide and Offline Map on your Swiss journey.

1.     Zermatt

Imagine a town beautifully nestled at the foot of iconic, snowy peaks. Reminiscent of Christmas pop-up greeting cards, Zermatt lies at an elevation of around 1,600m and lies below the stunning pyramid-shaped Matterhorn peak. This famous mountain resort is world-renowned for skiing, climbing, and hiking. Stroll down its main street, Bahnhofstrasse, and experience a true white holiday while window-shopping with its boutique shops, hotels, and restaurants.

Switzerland Guide for iPhone, iPad & AppleWatch

2.      Aletsch Glacier

Feel The Sound of Music vibes right down to your core as you visit the Aletsch Glacier. At 23km, it is considered the longest glacier in the European Alps and is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It numerous viewpoints can be reached through cable cars and lifts climbing from Fiesch, Bettmeralp, and Riederalp. You can also hike above the glacier and with a view that will make you sing, "The hills are alive with the sound of music!" ala Julie Andrews, you know it's well worth it.

3.     Lake Geneva

Switzerland is never short on spellbinding views and Lake Geneva has one of the most stunning views of the Alps. Half of the lake belongs to France while the other half is Vaudoise's pride and glory. It's a perfect getaway all-year-round as hiking activities are said to be glorious in the Summer and once Winter hits you can enjoy skiing with some of the world's elites.

Travel to Switzerland with our Guide with Maps Offline

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Prado Museum, the Window the Spanish Soul

Prado Museum, the Window the Spanish Soul

Being in awe when visiting Prado Museum is considered an understatement. Don't take out word for it, go see it yourself! With more than 7,000 paintings in their collections. What was once a grand palace now turned museum, it is a must see when visiting if you ever make your way to Madrid. And how can you not when the city itself is already filled with so much culture and beautiful art in itself. So what are you waiting for? Download the Prado Museum Travel Guide and Offline Map now!

1.     History

The neoclassical Palacio de Villanueva was completed in 1785 and what is now the museum's Western Wing. It was originally born as a house of science and later became a barracks for Napoleon's cavalry troops. The building itself is already beaming with history. In 1814, King Fernando VII decided to use the palace as a museum. Five years later the Museo del Prado opened with 311 Spanish paintings on display.

Visit Prado Museum with eTips Travel Guide

2.      Goya

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes is a staple name in the Prado Museum. His work can be found on all three floors of the Prado. In Room 65, Goya’s El dos de mayo and El tres de mayo rank among Madrid’s most emblematic paintings as they bring to life the 1808 anti-French revolt and subsequent execution of insurgents in Madrid. Alongside, in Rooms 67 and 68, are some of his darkest and most disturbing works, Las pinturas negras with their dark browns and black and distorted animalesque appearance of their characters.

3.     Velázquez

Diego Rodriguez de Silva y Velázquez is another of the grand masters of Spanish art who brings so much distinction to the Prado. Of all his works, Las meninas (Room 12) is what most people come to see. Completed in 1656, it is more properly known as La família de Felipe IV (The Family of Felipe IV). The rooms surrounding Las meninas contain more fine works by Velázquez with his paintings of various members of royalty--Felipe II, Felipe IV, Margarita de Austria, El Príncipe Baltasar Carlos and Isabel de Francia on horseback.

Meninas, Velazquez. Prado Museum Guide

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Get Lost in Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

Get Lost in Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art

When we say get lost, we literally mean you way just experience that as you weave your way through the world's largest permanent collection of art. The Metropolitan Museum of Art of fondly called simply as the MET has over two million individual collections of paintings, artifacts, and textiles from around the globe. Now, if that's not enough to entice art lovers and visitors to visit this museum we don't know what will. Download the Metropolitan Museum of Art Travel Guide and Offline Map and be even more enticed to visit!

1.     The First and Seconds Floors

The first floor of the MET is a vast Egyptian collection that is unmatched anywhere else. You might as well have taken a trip to Egypt when you walk through the Temple of Dendur. Built at around 10 BC and now relocated from Egypt in 1978 it is one of the must-sees in the museum. The second floor is dedicated to European paintings from the 13th to 20th century, while 15 rooms showcase a massive collection of Islamic arts and artifacts.

Visit MET Museum in NYC with our Museum Guide

2.      The American Wing

As if the name itself isn't a dead giveaway to what this wing offers--the American Wing houses decorative and fine art from across US history. Other galleries in this wing are devoted to classical antiques such as sculptures dramatically illuminated by natural daylight. It also houses Asian art, modern and contemporary paintings and sculptures. And truly, you just have to visit to believe how extensive their collections are.

3.     Art Installations

If visiting April through October, head up to the excellent roof garden, which features rotating sculpture installations by contemporary and 20th-century artists--through the grand city and park views are the real draw. Enjoy a sundowner cocktail from its on-site bar. And if you're coming with kids, fret not, they will also be entertained. There's a specially designed brochure and map for kids, and events listed on the website.

Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City Travel Guide

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Visit Japan, Where the Modern Meets the Old

Visit Japan, Where the Modern Meets the Old

Japan may be in the technological forefront, but amidst all the sky rises and modern technology is one of the countries who has kept their culture and traditions intact. Timeless would be the perfect way to describe this beautiful country full of breathtaking countryside views. Take a trip outside Tokyo and you'll soon discover exactly what we mean. From traditional bathhouses and geisha dances to sleeping in old farmhouses and learning to prepare matcha (powdered green tea) there is much to Japan than meets the eye. Download the Japan Travel Guide and Offline Map and start your cultural trip!

1.     Tokyo

Strolling down Tokyo's bustling streets you'd think you were transported into a sci-fi film set. It's neon lights, sky rises, and edgy designer boutiques are the makers of its futuristic vibe. Visit the world's tallest tower, the Tokyo Sky Tree's twisting spire draws inspiration from ancient building techniques making it an exemplary example of how Japan seamlessly mixes the old and the new together. Tokyo may be the forefront of advancement, but its traditions still stay strong, whether it be witnessing sumo tournaments or relaxing under cherry blossom trees.

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2.      Kyoto

Kyoto is Japans hub for traditional architecture and culture. With 2,000 something temples and shrines and stunning Zen gardens, it is your gateway to whole new level spiritual relaxation. As the cultural capital of the country it comes to no surprise that many traditional arts and crafts still live long in Kyoto. From sublime gardens to traditional teahouse and even geishas about, this place really takes you back in time to old Japan.

3.     Cherry-Blossom Viewing

In early April, people from all over the world visit Japan solely for cherry-blossom viewing. One of the most popular parks for locals and tourists alike is Maruyama-kōen. There's plenty of strolling to be done around its gardens and ponds and if you're ever in need of a drink or meal it has restaurants and even souvenir shops abound. For two weeks in early April expect hanami (cherry-blossom viewing) parties under the trees.

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Travel Back in Time in Vibrant Cuba

Travel Back in Time in Vibrant Cuba

Globetrotters have been visiting Cuba left and right and for good reason. Walking down the vibrant streets of this country makes you feel like you've traveled back in time. Not much of Cuba's colonial cities have changed since pirates stalked the Caribbean. Making this beautiful gem a melting pot of well-preserved architecture, culture, and food. But asides from its world famous or should I say Instagram-famous colorful buildings of Old Havana, Cuba also boast pristine beaches. Download the Cuba Travel Guide and Offline Map and start planning your next adventure!

1.     Old Havana

There's something that just draws you to Old Havana’s eclectic beauty. Despite 50 years of neglect gold dust still shines in its magnetic architecture and vibe. Walk its street and you will feel engulfed with by its 500 years of colorful and rich history. Today, it boasts a surprisingly thriving art scene that is much to be coveted by any major city in the world. Lined by cool cafes and bohemian-themed bars, Old Havana is contradictoringly beautiful in its own unique way.

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2.      San Pedro Fort

People often come to San Pedro Fort for the history, but stay for outstanding views. Built in the 1600's to protect the city of Santiago from pillaging pirates. Although partially destroyed, Castillo de San Pedro, still stands tall and proud. At 60-meters high it's no wonder the views from here are impeccable. Explore the upper terrace where you will be greeted by a jaw-dropping view of Santiago's coastline with the Sierra Maestra in the background.

3.     Varadero

Known to be the largest resort in the Caribbean, Varadero is located on the 20-kilometer long Hicacos Peninsula. There's plenty to do here with over 60 hotels, shops, water activities, and poolside entertainment to choose from. Although, what really catches the attention of any tourist is the untouched 20-kilometer stretch of white sandy beaches that is said to be one of the best in the entire Caribbean You'll definitely have to see it for yourself to believe it!

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Bath, Britain's Cultural Melting Pot of Architecture

Bath, Britain's Cultural Melting Pot of Architecture

From the grandest Georgian architecture to the world's best-preserved Roman bathhouses, it comes to no surprise why Bath has been drawing crowds for more than 2,000 years. Founded on top of a natural hot springs, this architecturally sophisticated city came to be during the 18th century. Thanks to father and son architects John Wood the Elder and Younger, who founded slinky landmarks such as the Circus and Royal Crescent. Download the Bath Travel Guide and Offline Map and experience this wondrous city for yourself.

1.     Roman Baths

Considered as the world's most well preserved Roman bath that was constructed above the city's three natural hot springs. Emerging at 46 degrees celcious it is situated alongside the temple dedicated to the healing goddess Sulis-Minerva. But it isn't just the goddess' temple that is within arm's reach from the Roman spa. In fact, 18th to 19th century buildings surround it. Expect throngs of tourist out and about in the baths so try and avoid weekends as much as possible.

2.      Royal Crescent

Asides from the great Roman Baths, Bath is also famed for its outstanding Georgian architecture. And it doesn't get any grander than the semicircular terrace of townhouses of Royal Crescent. And as if it can get no more majestic than it already is, it overlooks the green sweep of Royal Victoria Park. Design by John Wood the Younger and built between 1767 to 1775, the houses are perfectly symmetrical from the outside giving it it's architectural charm.

3.     Prior Park

The estate was established by the entrepreneur Ralph Allen and partly designed the landscape architect Capability Brown. The grand estate today is occupied by a private school, but the several lovely pathways around it are open to the public. This includes the Bath Skyline, a 6-mile circular trail offering wondrous views. It also features cascading lakes and a graceful Palladin bridge, which is notably one of only four such structures in the world.

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