Office and residential buildings stand in the financial district of Manhattan in this aerial photograph taken over New York, U.S., on Wednesday, July 7, 2010. Photographer: Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

There are certain iconic cities that everyone should visit at least once. And New York has to be main attraction, as this vibrant metropolis offers a captivating blend of towering skyscrapers, captivating streetlife, and some startling entertainment opportunities that range from scratch cards to rollercoasters.

Must-see sights

The most striking thing about visiting New York is the incredible spectacle of the skyscrapers that fill up the skyline of Manhattan. If you’re looking for a good overview of the city, then a quick trip up the Empire State Building can provide a jaw-dropping panorama of the whole New York area.

A further iconic place to head to has to be Central Park that offers the slightly surreal, but ultimately tranquil excuse to have a picnic right in the heart of the metropolis that truly never sleeps.

Other essential things to do in NYC include taking a trip in a yellow taxi, admiring the chaos of Times Square, and of course grabbing a piece of that famous New York pizza pie!

Busy street and billboard of Times Square in New York City, New York, USA

What to do

New York is truly a shoppers paradise with the uptown Manhattan area being packed full of world-famous department stores such as Bergdorf Goodman that can provide luxury brands at eye-watering prices.

But for something a little more low-key, then wandering the streets of Greenwich Village and Chelsea can uncover many chic boutique shops that can help you find something truly unique to take back home.

If shopping isn’t your thing, then there’s plenty of gambling fun to be had at the Resorts World Casino that’s located on the outskirts near JFK airport. But if you’d prefer to stay downtown to gamble, then there’s always online gaming sites such as Coral that feature easy-to-use scratchcard games, so that you can scratch them off whilst you watch the world go by over another infamously strong cup of coffee!

Alternative sights

Of course, New York is such a big city that there’s truly something for everyone. So whether you fancy visiting the old-fashioned theme park at Coney Island that features some terrifying wooden rollercoasters, or want to pay your respects to New York’s punk heritage by exploring the gentrified Lower East Side, then you can be sure to find something interesting on pretty much any street corner.

So whether you’re looking to sail around the Statue of Liberty, or just want to play scratchcards in Central Park, New York certainly is the place to be in 2016!

albert dock

There is one city in the UK that is full to the brim with history, culture and entertainment. No, it's not London; we're talking about Liverpool. The maritime city has gone from strength-to-strength since it was awarded the Capital of Culture 2008, as the title breathed new life into the city, with tourists flocking to Liverpool to join the buzz. So, if you are planning a trip to "scouseland" any time soon, here are 5 Liverpool landmarks you will want to visit...

1. Another Place

You can't visit Liverpool and not experience the beauty that is Another Place by Antony Gormley. Located on the stunning Crosby Beach, you will witness 100 cast-iron, life-size sculptures looking out to sea. The figures, which are based on the artist's body, are spread out along three kilometres of the shore and one kilometre out to sea. Whether the rain is pouring or the sun is shining, Another Place is simply breathtaking, day or night.

2. 30 James Street - Home of the Titanic

30 James Street - Home of the Titanic

30 James Street once served as the White Star Line's HQ, and so it was also RMS Titanic's port of registry. The design plans for the ship were stored in this very building, and it was here the captain and crew received their orders. The HQ's location was also the reason why the "Liverpool" lettering appeared on the ship's stern. The HQ now serves as 30 James Street - Home of the Titanic, a Titanic hotel that commemorates the ill-fated vessel and her passengers and crew. It's therefore the perfect place to stay during a visit, and you should be sure to book a table at 30 James Street's Carpathia Bar and Restaurant.

3. Mersey Ferries

You haven't experienced Liverpool until you've stepped aboard a Mersey ferry, which is the best way to view the city's iconic skyline. During your 50 minute journey, you'll see some of Liverpool's most celebrated, historic buildings, including the Three Graces, the Strand and the Pier Head. There is also a commentary played on the ferries that will explain the iconic sights that can been seen as you travel along the UNESCO waterfront.

4. Albert Dock

The Albert Dock is part of Liverpool's prestigious UNESCO World Heritage site. The world's first non-combustible warehouse system opened in 1846 and was a working dock until it closed in 1972. In 1988, it was opened to the public as a visitor attraction by HRH Prince Charles.
The Albert Dock now boasts some of the finest restaurants, bars, shops and museums in the country, including the Beatles Story, International Slavery Museum, Merseyside Maritime Museum and Tate Liverpool.

5. Liverpool One

liverpool one

Liverpool One is the beating heart of the city, as the incredible open-air shopping and leisure district offers a multitude of luxury and high street stores, as well as independent boutiques. That's not all, Liverpool One also offers a diverse range of restaurants, cafes and a cinema. You can also visit Chavasse Park located at the top of Liverpool One, which hosts a variety of pop-up events each month.

travel partner

There are numerous reasons why travelling is one of the best things to do. It awakens the mind, the soul and enlightens you. Travel breaks the monotony of the routine and tedious life. People travel to add vigour and clarity in their lives.

The kind of experience you have while travelling varies because of a lot many factors such as money, location, weather, food, people, language, transportation etc. It is a well accepted fact that travelling can be very rewarding and can have everlasting memories if shared with the right companion. Sharing an experience can magnify the overall effect whether you stay in a hotel or any serviced apartments in London.

When you are making a travel plan, choose a travel partner who adds value to your trip and make the experience enriching. Here are some of the qualities that we feel you can look in for a travel partner:

  • Good listener: Someone who listens to what you say and cares about your opinions makes for a good travel companion.
  • Has some knowledge of the destination: Who minds a travel guide in the travel buddy, after all?
  • Open Minded: To be with someone who is open to try out new things is quite a lot of fun. Decision making becomes so much simpler when that happens and there are fewer limitations.
  • Adventurous: Choose someone who doesn’t mind being adventurous and fun.
  • A good sense of humour always helps. You will love your travel partner for making you laugh. Makes you holiday all the more fun.
  • Smart – Isn’t it awesome to be able to talk on a number of issues? A travel partner who gives you feedback and gives perspectives, the travel experience becomes enlightening. It is a good idea to know the person you plan to travel with a little beforehand and see if there is good compatibility.
  • Independent – It always helps when the people you are travelling with are independent and can pretty well take care of them. As all the necessities will be available in your stay at any serviced apartments. Too much dependency makes things a little less exciting sometimes.
  • Sharing and caring – It is good to be with someone who is giving and generous. A healthy bond between you and your travel partner will help in making the entire experience enlightening.

There are so many adventures out there. Choose a person you get along with well and enjoy the experience of travelling.

013001793

A unique and inspiring opportunity awaits you in South Africa that will change your life and the lives of others forever. It’s an experience that will have you coming back year after year, spoiling other trips abroad for you until you only want to travel to South Africa. Other holidays will seem vapid and unnecessary in comparison to your first volunteer vacation. By making a difference to the people and wildlife of South Africa, you’ll never want to travel selfishly again.

Due to the serious epidemic of AIDS and other diseases in the area, South Africa is home to nearly four million orphans. This staggering statistic is heartbreaking, knowing that these children are left alone without the love of their family—many of whom are left to care for their other siblings. As a volunteer, you can be sent to live in a community with these orphans, offering much needed love and attention. With the help of other community members and your volunteer colleagues, you’ll create loving relationships with these wonderful children, making a lasting difference in their lives.

There are other packages available that aim to help the wildlife that call South Africa its home. In 2013, some 20 000 elephants were killed by poachers for their ivory.  Animal welfare programs allow you to live on reserves with animals like elephants, supporting the daily operation of the sanctuary. Your work will go towards rehabilitating their rapidly dwindling numbers, offering protection from cruel hunters.

Whether you choose to work with children or with animals, a professional volunteer tourism company will arrange for you all the necessities. You’ll have a safe place to stay, delicious meals, transportation to and from the airport, and the opportunity to participate in day excursions, so you’ll have a secure and wonderful time while you make a difference. Through their services, you will be given extensive training and orientations that ensure you’ll perform your duties safely and enthusiastically.

Some of you may have already started researching how you can volunteer in South Africa, but perhaps some of you fear for your safety. Make sure to check out Volunteersa.com to see how a reliable tourism company will ensure your safety during your entire time in the country. Their expert guides are experienced and well-prepared to deal with anything that comes their way. With a proper company facilitating your trip, everything is considered. All you have to do is give your time generously to the cause, helping the children and wildlife of South Africa where they need it most.