Where To Play, Stay & Eat: A Travel Guide to Things To Do in Chiang Mai

Chiang Mai is one of my favorite cities in Thailand. Boasting ancient temples, amazing street food, some of the best night markets in Asia and the opportunity to help with the conservation of elephants, there are so many great Things To Do in Chiang Mai – and those are just the highlights! We’ve put together this handy Chiang Mai Travel Guide to help you get the most from your trip including recommendations for where to eat, where to stay and what to do in Chiang Mai to help you make the most of your time in Northern Thailand.

Things to Do in Chiang Mai Travel Guide Cover Image of Temple but blue sky background

Top Chiang Mai Travel Tips Before You Go

Where To Stay in Chiang Mai

You’ll never be short of accommodation options in Chiang Mai with a range of luxury hotels, guest houses and hostels, you’re sure to be able to find something to fit your budget. But if you’re not keen on any of our picks below or have specific needs, we recommend using HotelsCombined to compare prices, and Expedia to book with a guaranteed best price.

  • Luxury: Just outside the hustle and bustle of the Old City, grab yourself a slice of Luxury for at the RatiLanna Riverside Spa Resort for between $100-150 a night with on-site spa facilities.
  • Mid-Range: Stay in the heart of the old city at the 4* Bodhi Serene Hotel for between $70-90 a night.
  • Budget: Budget hotels don’t get much better than the 3* 99 The Gallery Hotel. Decked in traditional dark wood contrasting with stark white bedding, some rooms are a little on the small side, but for between $30-60 a night, it’s a great place to base yourself.
  • Backpacker: With a good location and great facilities, the newly opened Lullaby Hostel is cheap as chips with dorm beds as little as $10-15 a night.

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How To Get to Chiang Mai

  • While there are overnight trains available from major cities in Thailand, it has become much easier – and often cheaper, not to mention quicker – to fly into Chiang Mai airport. If arriving internationally, you will need to fly into Bangkok, from which you can hop on an Air Asia flight up to Chiang Mai. Use SkyScanner to compare prices and get the best deal.
  • The airport is located just a short 15 minute drive from the city and a taxi costs no more than 150-160 Baht (book your taxi from the counter in the arrivals hall). A lot of guest houses and hotels often provide a pick up/drop off service so it may be worth checking if their service is comparable. The return journey to the airport can often be negotiated for as little as 100 Baht.
  • TukTuks are sometimes available outside the airport, who will ask for 150-200 Baht with the intent of negotiating with you. If you are feeling confident, the lowest you could probably get without being insulting is 120 Baht. Their is also a mini van service (airport shuttle) which costs 60 Baht per person, but this is infrequent and often does not depart until full.

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How To Get Around Chiang Mai

  • Chiang Mai is a very walkable city and most people will enjoy exploring on foot. And as with all Thai cities TukTuks are everywhere – however remember to decide a price before getting in and remember that no journey within the Old City itself should come to more than 40 Baht. Taxis are a little less prevalent, but if you do come across one, always insist that the driver use the meter.

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The Best Time To Visit Chiang Mai

  • Chiang Mai – along with other cities in the North of Thailand – have 3 distinct seasons. The cool season (December – February), the hot season (March – May/June) and the rainy season (May – November).
  • The busiest time of year to visit is in December, when the cooler weather draws Thai holidaymakers up to the North; with international tourist numbers rising in July and August who take advantage of the lower/off season rates. The weather remains warm-hot and humid with plenty of sunshine between the occasional shower.

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Top 10 Things To Do in Chiang Mai

Go on a Temple Hopping walking tour in the Old City

wat chedi luangChiang Mai used to be the center of the Lanna Kingdom and within the Old City walls are multiple temples, lovely laneways and countless monuments to attest to that fact. A compact city that is very walkable, and with the cheap (yet delicious) food on every corner,  it is a travelers paradise – and with souvenirs that are a 1/3 of the price than what traders charge for in Bangkok (it’s the same stuff BTW!) there are plenty of bargains to be had. Grab a map and wander aimlessley and you’re bound to stroll across Wat Chedi Luang, the Three Kings Monument -and the centuries old Tha Phae Gate.

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Wander The Night Markets

Chiang Mai has several different night markets on different days of the week, so you are in no danger of missing out on this shopping and foodie experience regardless of when your stay in Chiang Mai is. The every-night Night Market is just outside the old city and (IMO) is slightly over priced compared to the Wednesday Night Market that runs along the streets through the heart of the main city, starting at Tha Phae Gate. At both you’ll find goods, clothes, food, little massage and reflexology stalls. The atmosphere is great and there are bargains to be had, just make sure you are prepared to haggle!

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Head to one of the highest temples in Thailand at (Wat Phra) Doi Suthep

Doi Suthep Chiang MaiLocated over 3000 ft above sea level, the road to the top through the national park is picturesque in itself and brings you to the base of temple. From here you can get your daily workout by climbing the 306 steps to the entrance – or there is a cable car/funicular (around $1) for the less physically able.
If arranging to get there via tuk-tuk, make sure you agree a price that gets you both there and back – and try and negotiate down to 350-400 Baht. Once you get there the temple complex costs 50 Baht to enter and modest dress is required.

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Hang Dong (The Chiang Mai Grand Canyon)

Chiang Mai Grand Canyon Water ParkHang Dong is Chaing Mai’s version of the Grand Canyon and is so called because the colour of the rock matches that of great crater in the USA. But that’s about where the immediate similarities end. Hang Dong is a crater filled with water and is home to an inflatable obstacle course which makes for hours of fun. Think of the TV show ‘Wipeout’ in the Thai jungle and you’re on the right track!

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look after the elephants for the day

Elephants in Chiang MaiWith a lot of South East Asia still being guilty of unethical animal tourism, there are Elephant Parks in Chiang Mai that – thankfully – are bucking the trend. Spend a day with these magnificent creatures includes learning about them, feeding them, washing them and (at some parks) riding them bareback – without a cage seat in sight.

RELATED – If you love seeing wildlife in their natural habitat, our guide to the best ethical wildlife holidays will get you super excited!

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Bua Tong Sticky Waterfall

Jungle time 🐍💦 #stickywaterfalls

A post shared by ELINE DE VREUGD (@elinedevreugd) on

Have you ever been to a waterfall that you can climb up?! The Bao Thong waterfall is a multi-tiered waterfall made of limestone and mineral deposits – and it is the limestone that makes the surface sticky enough to walk up. It makes for hours of fun, is a really unique experience and one of the top things to do in Chiang Mai.

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Go To Cooking School

Satay Chicken at a Thai Cooking SchoolSharpen up your kitchen skills at one of my many cooking schools in Chiang Mai. You’ll learn about local ingredients and the different ways the Thai people maximize flavor in several traditional dishes. Hopefully you’ll learn enough to try and recreate these delicious creations when you get back home!

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Go on A Treetop Rainforest Adventure

The Flight of the Gibbon has been one of Chaing Mai’s top attractions for adventure lovers for a number of years now. Spend a couple of hours (literally) flying through the trees on a canopy tour and release your inner child.

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Tribal Museum

Set in a beautiful building with large outdoor gardens, this museum pays homage to Northern Thailand’s minority hill tribes. It displays clothing, jewellery and artifacts as well as showing a video presentation. The Tribal Museum also hosts a monthly tribal market, selling handmade clothes, craft goods and food, from a different hill tribe each month. The museum is free to visit, but all donations are welcome.

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have a massage everyday

Massage every day in ThailandOK, so this one might just be me feeling a little indulgent. But when a hour long full body massage in Australia can cost upwards of $80, when the opportunity arises to have the same (if not better!) massage for less than $10, I can’t be the only one that see’s the benefit in exploiting this little godsend!

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What to Eat in Chiang Mai

Get your taste-buds at the ready, because the food in Chiang Mai is amazing – and there is something to suit everyone’s taste – and psst. it has some of the best street food in Thailand!

  • Khao Soi – a spicy soup flavored with yellow curry and coconut milk, loaded with boiled noodles and topped with fried noodles.
  • Thai Green Curry – a classic, but one that shouldn’t be overlooked. And one of the best versions and one I ate again and again was served by Chit Chai, a small family run restaurant on the borders of the old city about 5 mins from Tha Phae Gate. My protein of choice in Thai curry is always chicken, but you can order it with beef, tofu or seafood.
  • Khao Ko Moo – Pig leg, cooked for 15 – 20 hours in soy sauce, served with rice in a rich gravy (and no stalls are more famous the the cowgirl lady in the Chiang Mai night market – you can’t miss her, she’s the one in the cowboy hat!)
  • Nam Tok Moo – Spicy pork made with sliced grilled pork, crushed toasted rice, onions and chillies which is then covered in fish sauce and a squeeze of lime juice.
  • Pad pak bung (aka. morning glory) – get your daily intake of greens with this Asian version of spinach. Available throughout Asia, fried in a mixture of garlic, butter, chilli and oyster sauce.
  • Pad Thai – for when you’re not feeling creative and just want that comfortable bowl of noodles, meat, veggies and bean shoots.

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Extra Chiang Mai Adventures & Day Trip ideas

IF YOU HAVE THE LUXURY OF TIME AND CAN’T GET ENOUGH OF CHIANG MAI, TAKE A LOOK AT THESE GREAT TOURS TO EXPLORE THE SURROUNDING AREA:

  • Chiang Mai is just a hop skip and a jump from Chiang Rai (you know, where that famous white temple is) pre-book your Chiang Rai Group Tour here or if you like a little more control over the itinerary, a private tour of Chiang Rai might be just what the doctor ordered.
  • Like Tea? You’ll Love this! Get out into the countryside on this 2 Hour Tea Plantation & Tasting Tour.
  • See a different side of Chiang Mai on this bike and kayak tour through the countryside. Although the pace is easy, this activity is the perfect justification for those daily massages I was talking about above!

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So there you have it – hopefully we’ve given you enough information to plan the perfect trip to Chiang Mai – and given you a great list of Things To Do in Chiang Mai to make sure you get the most from your visit. Don’t forget to let me know you’re own highlights once you’re back!

Oh, and if you liked this post please tweet, pin and share – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for full size images!

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Hi There! Thanks for reading our Where To Play, Stay & Eat: A Travel Guide to Things To Do in Chiang Mai. I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which help support this site at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above. These links help me keep this site online and updated – so thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here.

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INCREDIBLE Things To Do in Dalat + Travel Guide

DaLat is a mountain resort town in Vietnam’s central highlands. It’s surrounded by mountain peaks, waterfalls, flower conservatories and coffee farms. The town actually has something of a ski resort vibe, with street vendors selling ear muffs and puffer jackets, and cosy coffee shops lining the streets in every direction.
For a small town tucked away in the mountains, Da Lat has a surprising number of quirky and unusual attractions. Here are 10 of the best things to do in DaLat along with some tips on where to stay, how to get around and day trip ideas.

Things to do in Dalat Vietnam + Dalat Travel Guide

A Guest Post by Maire Bonheim from Temples & Treehouses

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Top Dalat Travel Tips Before You Go

Where to Stay in Dalat

Where to stay in Dalat
Dalat is a small mountain town and as such, accommodation can be a little bit on the basic side, but if we could pick anywhere – and depending on your budget – it would be these guest houses and hotels in Dalat:

  • Luxury: Splash out in style at the Dalat Palace Heritage Hotel. For between $120-160 per night you get a giant beautifully decorated room, with free breakfast and free wifi.
  • Mid-Range: Ngoc Phat Da lat Hotel – one of the top rated hotels in the town and all rates inclues breakfast. (between $35-55 a night)
  • Budget: Star Hill Hotel – A 3* hotel for less than $20 a night. What more could you want?!

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How To Get To Dalat

Da Lat Vietnam is well connected to Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City by daily flights. Lien Khuong Airport lies about 30 km away from Dalat city center and is served by a range of taxis or shuttle buses for your airport transfer (taxi is around $10 one way, and the shuttle bus $2).

TRAVEL TIP – Download the FREE SkyScanner App and have cheap flights at your fingertips whenever you want to take to the skies!

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How to Get around Da Lat

As Dalat is a small town you can easily explore most of the city centre attractions on foot or by bicycle, or jump in an extremely affordably priced taxi. There are also motorcycle taxis on every corner. If you decide to take a taxi, make sure you negotiate a reasonable fare before you get in/on, or things could get awkward.
For attractions further afield, you’ll need to rent a car or motorbike, or take a back-of-the-bike Easy Rider tour and ask to customize the tour to include the attractions that most appeal to you.

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The Best Time To Go To Dalat

There’s isn’t really a bad time to visit Dalat Vietnam as the average daytime temperature hovers between 20-25 degrees celsius throughout the year. Thanks to this cool, temperate climate it’s a popular retreat for Vietnamese tourists, as well as those from further afield.

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The Top Things To Do In Da Lat

Visit the Crazy House

The CrazyHouse DalatThe Crazy House, also known as Hằng Nga guest house, is one of the weirdest places I’ve ever been. It’s made up of several bizarrely shaped buildings connected by spiralling, sometimes terrifying staircases. It has a surreal vibe that has been compared to Gaudí’s famous architecture in Barcelona, and to the work of Salvador Dali. Also reminiscent of Gaudi’s work is that fact that it’s still not completed! Parts of the Crazy House are still being built and added to almost 30 years after construction began.

The Crazy House is one of Da Lat’s most famous attractions, and you can pay a small entrance fee to have a look around (currently 50,000 dong, which is around £1.50 / $2.20 USD). But you can also actually stay here! It gets booked up well in advance and unfortunately I didn’t plan far enough ahead to snap up a room. But a couple of the bedrooms were on display when I visited and they are incredibly unusual little hobbit holes. I loved visiting the Crazy House so much that I’m planning to visit again in 2020 (when it’s supposed to be completed) and actually stay this time.

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Soar between peaks on the Da Lat cable car

Cable Car in DalatDa Lat’s cable car ride connects Robin Hill and the Truc Lam Pagoda (Vietnamese: thiền viện trúc lâm). The cable car to Truc Lam ride is around 3km long, with stunning panoramic views of the city’s surrounding mountains and lakes. Truc Lam Pagoda is a Buddhist temple, monastery and meditation centre with beautiful, serene gardens and grounds. It’s definitely worth a look.

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Experience an Easy Rider motorbike tour

Easy Rider Tour from DalatDa Lat is one of Vietnam’s most famous destinations for back-of-the-bike Easy rider motorbike tours. There are a huge number of tours available, and it’s common for tourists to be approached and offered tours on the streets of DaLat, but it’s probably best to go with a reputable company with good reviews (like this one!).

The Easy rider tour I did in Da Lat was one of the best experiences I had on my entire 6-week Vietnam trip. It felt like being on a slightly dangerous road trip with a new local friend, who told me about local life in Vietnam and took me to so many fun places.
The hills and mountains around Da Lat are particularly amazing for zooming around on the back of a motorbike, and there are definitely enough attractions in Da Lat and the neighboring valleys and villages to keep you entertained.

  RELATED: – If a one-day Easy Rider tour isn’t enough, why not ride to your next destination. By taking a 2 day biking tours you can reach either Mui Ne or Nha Trang

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Ride a self-propelled roller-coaster to the foot of a waterfall

This may be a gimmicky tourist attraction depending on your outlook, but in my opinion it’s a brilliant one. To get to the foot of the Datanla waterfall near DaLat, you climb into a roller coaster, and use a lever to control how fast or slowly you rocket down the hill to the falls. The roller coaster system twists and turns on the way down, over a distance of around 1km. I drove my roller coaster embarrassingly slowly, but I enjoyed every minute of the ride down to Datanla Falls

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And climb into a cave behind the Elephant falls

Elephant FallsThe Elephant Waterfalls don’t have their own rollercoaster, but they’re seriously impressive. Something not everyone knows is that you can actually climb down right alongside the waterfall, scrambling over jagged rocks and clinging onto very slippery railings, and squeeze into a cave behind the waterfall. It’s muddy, wet and the sound of the water against the rocks are deafening. You can’t really safely take photos unless you have an action camera, because there is so much spray in the air it’s like you’re in a monsoon. But inside the cave, you can pick your way to another opening on the other side, so you’re standing behind the waterfall, and watch the water cascading in front of you. I wouldn’t have known it was possible to do this without my Easy Rider tour guide (other travellers I spoke to visited the falls and simply watched it from a viewing platform). But although it was slightly terrifying, slipping and sliding into the belly of that cave was one of the best experiences I had in Vietnam.

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Explore Da Lat train station

Da Lat Train StationDa Lat’s buttercup-yellow art deco train station was built by the French in the 1930s. It’s a really striking period building and a tourist attraction in its own right. At the station, apart from some souvenir shops and a coffee shop, there are vintage wooden trains from the 30s, and a restaurant that’s actually housed in one of these trains.

You can’t actually arrive in Da Lat by train because the station is out of use except for one short route, which is…

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Take a vintage train to Linh Phuoc Pagoda

Linh Phuok PagodaFrom Da Lat train station, you can take one of the retro wooden trains to the nearby town of Trai Mat. It’s a 30-minute ride through scenic mountain countryside. When you get there, the town’s main attraction is Linh Phu quoc pagoda.
Linh Phuoc Pagoda is a quirky, surreal temple that fits right in with Da Lat’s other unusual attractions. Think giant usual sculptures covered in mosaic, crystals and glitter.

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Stroll by Da Lat’s flower gardens, lake and night market

The town of Da Lat itself has several fun attractions to keep you entertained. There are beautifully laid out flower gardens, a scenic pleasure lake with pedalos and paddle boats in the shape of swans, and a central night market where you can buy delicious Vietnamese snacks. One of the most popular street foods on offer at the night market is Bánh tráng kẹp, which looks like a Vietnamese pizza. It’s a round rice paper base with egg, minced pork, vegetables and hot sauce, barbecued over coals, then rolled up into a wrap to eat. Other foods to try in DaLat market include steamed snails, and beef rice noodle soup for breakfast.

RELATED – Add more destinations to your Vietnam Itinerary: we’ve got guides for Hoi An, Danang and the Mekong Delta to get you started!

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Indulge in Da Lat’s coffee scene

I was totally unprepared for the coffee scene in Da Lat. The locals take their coffee extremely seriously, and the town is peppered with quaint coffee shops where people sit for hours, reading a newspaper and savouring their brew. Iced coffee, even if you ask to have it with milk, is a lot stronger, thicker and darker than the coffee I tried anywhere else in Vietnam, with rich chocolatey hints. There were several unassuming hole-in-the-wall cafes I visited in Da Lat where the coffee was absolutely incredible..

Weasel Coffee

And perhaps give civet coffee a try

Civet coffee is a polite way of saying “coffee made from the poo of weasels”. I was astonished when I first discovered this was a popular, and very expensive, delicacy produced in Vietnam and in Da Lat particularly. You also find it in Indonesia, where it’s called kopi luwak.

Everywhere you go in Da Lat you see civet coffee for sale, and I visited a beautiful green civet coffee farm where I tasted weasel coffee (there were several different brews to sample, with different tasting notes). Civet coffee is made by feeding civets coffee cherries, which are fermented when the civets digest the beans, apparently bringing out the flavour. The beans are then made into coffee. Coffee connoisseurs I’ve spoken to have all insisted that civet coffee tastes far superior to regular coffee, but to be totally honest I couldn’t taste the difference.

Something I didn’t know when I visited the civet coffee farm and tasted my first weasel poo coffee is that some producers these days are unfortunately unethical, with battery farming and force feeding the civets becoming a problem. (Traditionally, farmers simply picked up the coffee beans after wild civets had enjoyed them). So if you choose to taste civet coffee in Da Lat, investigate the farm before you do so.

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The Best Day Trips from Dalat

White Water Rafting Dalat

  • Near Da lat there are beautiful gardens, a flower park, tea plantations and lakes; smell the flowers, drink tea and visit a silk weaving factory on this Countryside Day Tour.
  • Go Canyoning for a day at Datanla Waterfalls – try rappelling, cliff diving, water sliding, hiking, and more
  • Can you take on the challenge of Da Lat’s Da Don River? Raft through the rapids in 3 hours through 10 kilometers on this half day White Water Rafting Tour.

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So there you have it – hopefully we’ve given you enough travel inspiration and Dalat travel tips to kickstart your Vietnamese travels – and given you a great list of Things To Do in Dalat to make sure you get the most from your visit. Don’t forget to let me know your own highlights once you’re back!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this Ultimate Guide to Dalat please share on Facebook, tweet or pin – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for full size images!

Things to do in Dalat + Dalat Travel Guide

READY TO EXPLORE MORE OF ASIA (OR BEYOND!)? YOU MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THESE TRAVEL BLOG ARTICLES:

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Hi There! Thanks for reading my  Dalat Travel Guide inc Things to do in Dalat, Where to Stay & other travel tips! I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. And thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld travel blog edited by a travel blogger.

Maire is a freelance writer and travel blogger at TemplesAndTreehouses.com. She likes taking photos of quirky attractions, staying in unusual places, and eating at the type of restaurant that has plastic chairs and no menu.

Follow her adventures on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram.

Ultimate Auckland Travel Guide: Things to Do, Where to Stay & What to Eat!

Head to New Zealand’s North Island and you’re almost bound to end up in Auckland. A true metropolis, Auckland has a buzz to it, full of activity, diversity, atmosphere and opportunity. In some ways it is just another city, but in others Auckland is unique and well worth exploring. Often mistaken for the country’s capital (it’s Wellington BTW), Auckland is the largest city in New Zealand and has a population that’s bigger than the whole of South Island!
For anyone considering a trip, we’ve put together this Auckland Travel Guide featuring the Best Things To Do in Auckland, plus recommendations of where to stay, what to eat and how to get around!

Things to do in Auckland & Auckland Travel Guide

A Guest Post by Danny Newman from CoddiWomp and you if you enjoy this post, be sure to check out his pieces on the top North Island attractions and New Zealand budget travel tips for more NZ tips and info!

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Top Auckland Tips Before You Go

Where to Stay in Auckland

Where to stay in AucklandAs a bustling metropolis there are plenty of hotels in Taipei to pick from, but to help you narrow down your options we have included a selection of the best hotels for every budget:

  • Luxury: M Social Auckland – 5* luxury in the heart of the CBD (approx $200-250 a night)
  • Mid Range: Great for couples, lots of space and funky decor the Barclay Suites is a great choice (approx $150-200 a night)
  • Budget: Right in the center and under a $75-150 a night Celestion Waldorf Apartment Hotel is perfect for budget travelers.
  • Backpacker: Keep costs all the way down with a private room or bunk in a dorm at Jucy Snooze.

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How to Get Around Auckland

Auckland is an easy place to get around for a large place. It offers a well-run public transport system of trains, buses and ferries- head to Britomart in the center for the main public transport hub. City Link buses connect you to the different parts of the city from as little as NZD $0.50. However, for greener options there is also a range of cycle paths that have opened up, as well as walking trails that help you explore the city at your own pace.

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The Best Time To Go To Auckland

The best times to visit Auckland are from March to May and between September and November. These months offer pleasant temperatures, mostly sunny days and fewer tourist crowds. Peak season falls between December through February at which point you’ll contend with swells of visitors and high airfare and room rates; but temperatures will be warmer and with fewer rain showers. Between June and August, both temperatures and tourism drop off.

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The Best Things to do in Auckland

Auckland isn’t short of things to do. Thanks to its size, popularity and setting, there is always something to keep you entertained. Here are 11 of the best things to do in Auckland to keep you entertained!

Visit (and jump off) the sky tower

Sky Tower Bungee AucklandThe Sky Tower is Auckland’s landmark building. A towering needle-like structure in the heart of the city, it stands out for miles around and offers superb panoramic views around the observation decks.
You can (for a price) walk up to the viewing platforms high up in the air, sit and have a drink at the bars there, or, if you’re feeling adventurous, even jump from the top!
That’s right, the ‘Sky Jump’ offers you the chance to plummet 192m to the ground, attached to a guiding line. Not for the faint of heart!

PRE-BOOK YOUR TIX – Save yourself time in line and pre book your tickets to the Sky Tower. You can pre-book both General Admission which gives you 90 minutes (and enough time for meal at the top) enjoying the 360º views, or Admission with SkyWalk– or if you want to go all in and take the quick way down, pre-book your Admission with Sky Jump here.

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Auckland Bridge Bungy

Auckland Harbour BridgeThe AJ Hackett Bungy on Auckland Harbour Bridge is another action packed activity on offer in Auckland. The only ‘ocean touch’ bungy in the country, you can jump from the bridge and dunk yourself headfirst in the waters below. Pre-Book the Biggest Adrenalin Rush in Auckland here.

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Visit Devonport

View from devonportDevonport is a chilled out beachside township over the bridge to the North of the city. The vibe is far more relaxed here compared to the hubbub of the City centre and there are tonnes of restaurants and cafes offering good food and views over the city. You can get here by car or ferry.

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Coast to Coast Trail

Auckland Coast to coast walkFor anyone fancying stretching their legs, this 16km walk across Auckland could be a good bet. The Coast to Coast trail is a popular route that takes your through heritage sites, woodland areas, parks, areas of natural beauty and geological points of interest. The walk showcases all the beauty and history that Auckland has to offer.

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Visit One Tree Hill

You visit One Tree Hill (known as Maungakiekie in Maori) as part of the Coast to Coast trail, but it is worth seeing in its own right. This 182-metre volcanic peak, in what is now Cornwall Park, was once the site of a large Maori fortress and has a monument to the Maori at its summit. It is an easy climb to the top and offers awesome views of Auckland.

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Relax at Mission Bay

Mission Bay AucklandThis popular beachfront Auckland suburb attracts people in their droves all through the year. For its natural beauty, busy eateries and location away from the centre, it isn’t hard to see why. Mission Bay offers all sorts of water based activities as well as parks to explore and restaurants to eat in. It gets busy though and might be worth considering going out of peak times to get the best of the bay.

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Explore Viaduct Harbour

Viaduct Harbour AucklandBack to the city centre now and Viaduct Harbour is another place you should spend some time. The harbour itself is packed to the gills with fancy boats and yachts or all shapes and sizes. With sun and blue skies above, ocean all around, it’s a cool spot to watch the world go by. It’s a little pricier here, but there are many bars and restaurants around to enjoy.

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Climb Mount Eden

Located approximately 4km out of the centre (and also on the Coast to Coast Trail) lies the famous volcanic peak known as Mount Eden. It’s a short, easy 45 minute walk to the top that offers more incredible views over Auckland and the surrounding area.

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Head to Rangitoto Island

RangitotoRangitoto island is a conical shaped volcano just off the coast of Auckland. It is the youngest and largest of Auckland’s volcanoes and a place of outstanding natural beauty. Easily accessible by ferry from the city, it’s a great place to a day trip and, after an easy hike, offers awesome views from its summit. You can also take a kayak trip to the island too.

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Expore Waiheke Island

Waiheke Island AucklandSlightly further away from Auckland (21.5km from the centre) is Waiheke Island- the second largest and most populated island in the Hauraki Gulf. It is 35 minutes on the ferry from Auckland and renowned for its olive groves, vineyards and stunning beaches. Waiheke Island is another awesome day trip place. Go for a walk, go on a wine tour, laze on the beaches…it’s a heavenly place.

THROUGH THE VINES OR ABOVE THEM? Waiheke Island has some beautiful vineyards to explore (and for a spot of wine tasting!) – if you’re a foodie consider taking a Waiheke Food & Wine Tour from Auckland or if you’re more of an adrenaline junkie, spend 3 hours flying through the forest canopy on this Zipline Adventure.

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Channel your Inner Frodo in Hobbiton

Hobbiton New ZealandSo whilst this one isn’t technically in Auckland (it’s a couple hours drive) but if you have any interest in Lord of the Rings or The Hobbit, you absolutely must head to “Hobbiton” on an awesome day trip from the city. This small group tour also takes you to visit the famous Waitomo Glowworm Caves on the same day and is one of the highest rated day trips from Auckland.

RELATED – If you’re headed to Hobbiton + Waitomo be sure to have your camera and travel gear ready for all those iconic shots! Read our Top Travel Photography Tips before you go!

 

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What to Eat in Auckland

As you’d expect from NZ’s largest city, with inhabitants from all over the world, there’s a huge and eclectic range of things to eat here. From street food to fine dining, there’s something for everyone. However, here are 5 of the best foodie experiences for anyone heading to Auckland.

Ice cream from Giapo

Ice cream in AucklandGiapo is well known and exceptionally popular ice cream parlour slap bang in the heart of Auckland’s city centre, close to the waterfront. It offers a large selection of gourmet and handmade ice cream, sorbets and gelato of all different flavours and is the place to be on a warm city day!

Gourmet burger from Velvet Burger

Velvet Burger is a gourmet burger joint that’s also situated in the city centre. Choose from a wide selection of burgers with funny names such as ‘velvet lady’, ‘Beet Drop’ and ‘Big Bro’ and wash it down with a local beer or glass of wine.

No.1 Pancake!

People queue for huge lengths of time to try the delectable Korean pancakes made at No.1 Pancake. Whether you’re after something sweet or savoury, this is a great budget bet if you’re after some fantastic, tasty comfort food.

Asian food!

Asian Food AucklandIf you’re after Asian food in Auckland then Dominion road is a good bet. After all, it’s an entire street devoted almost entirely to it. Indeed, thanks to its large Asian community, Auckland is rapidly becoming a focal point for Asian dining. Dominion road is where to be if you want to sample it for yourself!

Anything you want at Elliot Stables!

Elliot Stables offers a gourmet selection of food from a whole host of different countries. There’s Spanish, French, Italian, Japanese, German, Latin American, Mexican and more. So, head here if you want a large variety or fine food to choose from. It’s located near the Sky Tower and as one of the best restaurants in Auckland, it is one of the pricier places on this list.

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So there you have it – hopefully we’ve given you enough travel inspiration and Auckland travel tips to kickstart your Auckland travels – and given you a great list of Things To Do in Auckland to make sure you get the most from your visit. Don’t forget to let me know you’re own highlights once you’re back!

Oh, and if you enjoyed this Ultimate Guide to Auckland please share on Facebook, tweet or pin – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for full size images!

Auckland Travel Guide inc Top Things to Do in Auckland, Where to Sat + What to Eat

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Hi There! Thanks for reading my  Auckland Travel Guide inc Things to do in Auckland, Where to Sta & What to Eat! I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. And thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld travel blog edited by a travel blogger.

Danny Newman is a travel enthusiast with a passion for writing and inspiring others to live fully. He
runs a travel blog called Coddiwomp, which is dedicated to helping aspiring travellers travel for the
first time. For Danny, the essence of travel is found in the feeling it elicits. He wants to inspire and
support as many people as possible to experience this ‘travel feeling’. You can find him on Facebook
@coddiwomp and Instagram @coddi_womp.

Edinburgh Festivals in August: What To Know Before You Go!

Have you ever wondered what it like to visit a city when at exactly the same time as 4 million other people have also decided to do so? Well if you’re heading to the Edinburgh Festivals in August you are about to find out!
Between 3-27 August each year Edinburgh becomes a mecca for festival lovers across the globe. They come to see the comedians, artisans, street performers, signers, dancers, acrobats, bookworms and anyone else that wanted to be part of such a monumental event. It’s vibrant, non-stop party atmosphere is world-famous, and when you are in the thick of it you can easily convince yourself that the rest of the planet has ceased all activity to watch the show too! It attracts those of all ages – groups, families, big kids and small, with the Festival itself taking on a life of it’s own and often able to outlast even the best of them. So strap yourself in for what is one of the most amazing events in the world – and read our top Edinburgh Festivals Tips packed full of things to know before you go to help you make the most of your visit.

Edinburgh Festivals in August - What to know before you go

Our 12 Top Travel Tips to Get The Most of The Edinburgh Festivals in August

Don’t Think that the only Festival is the Edinburgh Fringe

Fringe Sign above the Royal Mile in EdinburghPeople flock to Edinburgh in August to get involved in the largest arts festival in the world – The Edinburgh Festival Fringe (aka the ‘Edinburgh Fringe’ or simply, ‘The Fringe’). What started when 8 theater groups turned up uninvited to the newly created Edinburgh International Festival (and as such were on the ‘Fringe’) in 1947, has blossomed into largest open access celebration of the arts in the world. The typically elegant and dignified city of Edinburgh morphs into a carnival of chaos, culture and craziness between 3-27 August each year, hosting 3,548 shows covering a range of genres (theater, dance, circus, comedy, music, musicals, cabaret, children’s shows, free shows, exhibitions, events and spoken word!).

And whilst that should be more than enough to keep you going, Edinburgh actually turns into a complete Festival City in August when it also plays host to the Edinburgh Art Festival (26 July – 26 August); Edinburgh International Festival (3-27 August) – which is the actual Festival on in August and what the ‘Fringe’ is connected to; Edinburgh International Book Festival (11 – 27 August) and The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo (3 – 25 August). And it’s possible to get a taste of each in one (busy but epic) weekend!

RELATED – In addition to the 5 Festivals in August, Edinburgh hosts another 6 Festivals throughout the year. Click to Read our Quick Guide to ALL of Edinburgh’s Festivals here. (coming soon)

 

Plan, But Don’t Go Overboard…

Edinburgh Fringe Entrance RugIf you are heading to the Edinburgh Festivals in August you’re in for a treat – and you’re going to want to make the most of your time. Whilst a lot of the events are unticketed, the big names and notable/recommended performers all charge anywhere from pennies to pounds for you to be part of their audience. My top tip is to pick out no more than 3-5 shows per day and let your feet and the festival vibes do the selecting the rest of the time. It’s also a good idea to build in ‘arriving early’ time – the queues to get into venues can get pretty crazy – particularly if you are attending one of the free events; and be sure to leave enough time between performances to give you plenty of time to navigate around the buzzing city.

*2 TOP EDINBURGH FESTIVALS TIPS*
Don’t be late to stand up gigs. Comedian’s love to use late comers as start of the show targets (which in some cases can turn into a whole show!) You have been warned.
– Make sure you see a Showcase whilst you are in the city. These are typically hour long performances featuring 5-9 acts in 6-10 minute slots. There are comedy showcases, LGBTQIA+ showcases, family friendly showcases and cabaret + variety showcases (which feature a bit of everything). Highly recommended each year is The Electric Cabaret (late night comedy, circus, burlesque & bands) & new this year, the Russian Roulette (where all the acts have an element of danger!)

 

… And Don’t Try and See Everything

Performer at the Fringe Festival EdinburghHand in hand with a bit of planning is a whole heap of restraint. Sure, you could watch 12 hour-long shows throughout the day – which may not be good for your wallet depending on your show preferences (tickets run anywhere from Pay What You Like to £20 which adds up over a day) – but in cramming that much in, the likelihood is you’ll remember very little of any of them. Which is less than ideal.

Get ‘Appy – Keep your finger on the pulse with the EdFringe App and see what shows are where in real time – they even have a ‘near me now’ section to save you traipsing across town to find a show when there could be one right next to you!

 

Book Your Accommodation Early

ook Your Hotel Early for Edinburgh Festivals in AugustYou read my opening line that 4 million people descend on Edinburgh each year during the month of August, right? Well it should go without saying that you’re gonna need to book your bed as early as possible, and with prices only going up (and they’re already typically 3x the normal rate at festival time) the closer you get to the festival, you could end up paying a small fortune.
If you have the luxury of time and can have your pick from the hotels, we have a few favorites below to help you find the perfect place to get some respite form the craziness, and have options for all budgets too. Not a hotel fan? lots of locals open up their homes on AirBnB (use this link to get up to $x off your stay)

  • Luxury – The Balmoral – 5* Hotel in a stunning building in the heart of the city.
  • Mid Range – SugarHouse Close – A fancy aparthotel in a quiet section of the Royal Mile
  • Budget – Haddington Place Hostel – Basic private rooms with ensuite a short 15-20 minute walk from Princes Street on Leith Walk.
  • Backpacker – Euro Hostel Edinburgh Halls – Right in the heart of the city and within 150 yards of the Royal Mile, this hostel has private rooms and dorms and offers great value if you book early.

And if you’ve go too wrapped up with Festival Fever and forgot to book your hotel, click here for last minute offerings – I won’t go as far to call them deals, because if it’s late in the game you may find you just have to grab the best of the rest.

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Be Prepared for Any Weather

The Royal MileJust because it’s summer time doesn’t mean you’re going to be graced with blazing sunshine and warm days. This is Scotland after all – and you may be in for a down poor worthy of an Ark. If you get wet in Edinburgh, it may be the case that you stay wet all day – which when you’re out in the open for a large percentage of the shows is not going to be pleasant. Think like an onion – dress in layers for easy peeling should the sun come out, and invest in a lightweight packable waterproof jacket – bonus points if it’s windproof too – and a sturdy umbrella which fits in your handbag. You’ll be prepared for anything – and you can thank me later!

 

Don’t Limit yourself to the Big 4

Gilded Garden at Edinburgh FestivalsThe “Big 4” are the 4 main Fringe comedy and theater venues: the Assembly, the Pleasance, the Gilded Balloon and the Underbelly – not to be mistaken with the giant purple .upside-down cow that is the Udderbelly which now sits in George Square Gardens & is an outpost of the Underbelly.
Whilst you can’t really go wrong with these spots and where you’re pretty much guaranteed quality acts by the very nature of the venue, with over 300 venues and 3548 shows at the 2018 Edinburgh Festivals, there is plenty out there to see. Scan the program, go with your gut – and you never know, that person that you stumble across this year might be someone you have never heard – and be all that people are talking about next year!

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Talk To People

Bagpiper at Edinburgh FestivalsThink of it as crowd sourcing – because you can’t see everything, and you can’t go to everything – have a chat with your fellow festival goers and hear their recommendations. Word of mouth is often the best way to find out whats hot at whats not at the Edinburgh Festivals. (Just be sure that who you are talking to is not connected with the show!) And if you’re feeling a little out of your depth – read the recommendations from critics who know what they are talking about on sites like The Scotsman, Guardian or Telegraph.

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Buy Your Tickets Online

Half Price Hut at Edinburgh Festivals in AugustThe Fringe Box Office is located at 180 High Street on the Royal Mile and each of the Big 4 venues has a Box Office outside, however who wants to queue for tickets when the wonders of the interweb and the ed fringe app can put them right in the palm of your hand in an instant. There are also lots of ticket collections booths around the city, so if you have bought online you can pick your tickets up from wherever you happen to be.

If the internet or app are not inspiring you, the one queue it may be worth your while standing in is the one at the Virgin Money Half Price Hut at Mound Precinct. Open from 10am-9pm each day of the Festivals happy staff are flogging cheap tickets for a variety of shows. Grab yourself a bargain and see something on the spur of the moment. It might be the best show you see – or it could be the worst. Either way you’ll have a great story!

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Don’t Forget To Eat!

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the festival atmosphere as you drift from one performance to another enjoying the revelry and (possibly/probably) having a cheeky drink along the way. Scotland’s relaxed licensing laws (you can drink in the streets!) combined with the supply and demand ratio during the month of August means there is a bar practically everywhere you look, and whilst it may be temping to assign yourself a liquid diet during the festivities, we really recommend against it.

If you’re feeling prepared pack snacks, but there are plenty of options if not. There are food trucks in and around all the main performance areas serving everything from burgers to bratwurst, hummus to halloumi fries; and more restaurants, cafe’s and take-aways than you can shake a stick at. This could also be a great time to try those local delicacies – haggis or a deep fried mars bar – that you’ve heard so much about!

 

Pre-Book Your Tickets to the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo

Bagpipes & Drummers at Edinburgh Military TattooOne of the most momentous events held in Edinburgh in August is the mesmerising Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo. Hosting over 1000 military and civilian performers each night, the Tattoo welcomes 255,500 visitors to Edinburgh Castle’s grounds each year and is watched on TV by over 100 million people globally. Each year it embodies a different theme and in 2018, inspired by Scotland’s Year of Young People, the theme is ‘The Sky’s the Limit,’ and will mark the 100-year anniversary of the Royal Air Force (RAF).

It truly is an amazing thing to be apart of – and in it’s 67 years, it has never been cancelled. Come rain, hail or shine the show WILL go on so be sure to dress appropriately. The venue is open to the elements and can get a little chilly at night – without the Scottish weather taking a turn for the worse – so be sure to pack that waterproof jacket I mentioned earlier!

*Quick Fact* The Word Tattoo derives from a 17th-century Dutch phrase doe den tap toe (“turn off the tap”) a signal to tavern owners each night (played by a regiment’s Corps of Drums) to turn off the taps of their ale kegs so that the soldiers would retire to their lodgings at a reasonable hour.

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Tip The ‘Free Fringe’ Performers

Yes, I know the clue is in the title – the Free Fringe – but whilst it may be free for you, the performers have had to pay to be included in the festivities, and these performances are how they make money (and each performer will remind you of this towards the end of their show). If you enjoy a show, don’t be shy to show your appreciation and tip generously.
The standard tip (and what is set to on all the ‘Tap-to-Tip’ devices) is £3, although if you can give more it would be very much appreciated.

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Get Away From The Crowds

There are so many beautiful places in an around the city of Edinburgh – and that are so quiet, peaceful and tranquil that you could practically forget there is a Festival (or 5) going on at all! If you are in need of a little time-out to decompress these are our top picks for relaxation:

  • Botanic Gardens The Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh is one of the finest botanic gardens in the world. A scientific center for the study of plants, their diversity and conservation, the gardens are a pleasure to wander round – and a joy to photograph.
  • Calton Hill – If you want THE iconic shot of Edinburgh, be sure to head up Calton Hill where you can capture the Dugald Stewart Monument with the Edinburgh skyline in the background. There is also the (unfinished) National Monument and Anthean Acropolis
  • Arthur’s Seat– for those that love a good hike, Arthur’s Seat is a great way to escape the crowds and rise high above the city. There are several routes varying from easy to strenuous, just pick the one that is right for you, and off you go.
  • Dean Village – Just 5 minutes from Princes Street, Dean Village is one of the cutest towns you’re ever likely to visit. Located on the Water of Leith (the river makes for great photographs), people are always captivated by this picturesque town.
  • Scotch Whiskey Experience – you can’t come to Scotland and not have a dram (or 2) of Scottish Whiskey. And for this escapist activity you don’t even have to leave the Royal Mile! Just be sure to pre-book your tickets, as it can get super busy in August.

 

So there you have it – hopefully we’ve given you enough festival inspiration & travel tips to help you plan your trip to visit the Edinburgh Festivals in August. Don’t forget to let me know  if there are any questions I haven’t answered or alternatively let me your own highlights once you’re back!

Oh, and if you enjoyed reading this Israel travel guide please share on Facebook, Flipboard, Tweet or Pin – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for a full size image!

Edinburgh Festivals in August - What to Know Before you Go with text overlay above an image of the royal mile.

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Hi There! Thanks for reading our Israel travel guide to the Edinburgh Festivals in August: What to Know before you go! I just wanted to let you know that this post may contain affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. Thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld Travel Blog.

Vicki is the Lawyer turned Content Creator, Editor-in-Chief and all round Boss Lady at MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld.
She has lived and worked in 7 different countries and started the site to show everyone that it is possible to travel whilst holding down a full time job (because not everyone can – or wants to – quit and walk away from it all).
Her style of travel has always been to get the best out of a destination as a time poor traveler making the most of limited vacation days and all without breaking the bank; BUT she does know where to save and where to splurge to have the most incredible travel experiences – such as luxury hotels and over-water bungalows, safaris, spas and more(!) – where the situation calls for it.

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DIY Amalfi Coast Itinerary – Positano, Amalfi & Ravello

The Amalfi Coast is one of Italy’s premier tourist destinations, welcoming millions of visitors annually. A lot of those people think that the only way to see this incredible coast line and visit these beautiful fishing villages is to take an organised tour. But that it is just not the case! We’ve put together this Amalfi Coast Itinerary to help plan your own Do-It-Yourself Amalfi Coast Tour with tips on how to get there, how to travel between villages, where to stay (on any budget!) and where to eat to help you plan the perfect trip!

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

This post was co-written with Barbara of Jet-Settera

The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) is a stretch of coastline about an hour south of Naples in the Gulf of Salerno. The Amalfi Coast is a UNESCO World Heritage site and it is one of the most visited tourist attractions of Italy with the coast hosting 5 million visitors annually. It is a popular vacation destination for Italians and foreigners alike. The only land route to the Amalfi Coast is the 40 kms long Strada Statale from Vietra sul Mare to Positano. The road is also known as the Road of 1000 bends. Visitors drive through lemon groves and little villages while enjoying the coastal view as they make their way into the heart of region on their trip to the Amalfi Coast. There are 13 small cities located on the Amalfi Coast. Many of these are centered around tourism and the main towns along the coast that most tourists visit are: Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello.

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How To Get To The Amalfi Coast

Arrive to the Amalfi Coast either by boat from Sorrento or by bus from either Sorrento or Vietra sul Mare. The boat is a more picturesque option because you can enjoy the magnificent coastal view while cruising the sea and observe the houses of some of the rich and famous on the side of the cliffs. Taking the bus is the cheaper way to reach the coast, but be warned, the roads are winding and the traffic is usually bad. The buses run frequently (timetable), or there are a few high speed ferries between Sorrento and Positano. Or if you’d like to skip public transport completely, a private transfer can be arranged and financially may be a better option for groups of 4. Also, if you’re feeling brave about driving to and between the villages, AutoEurope have got some great car hire deals!

Many tourists visit the Amalfi Coast on a daytrip  from Sorrento, while some stay longer to enjoy the colorful, romantic towns of the Amalfi coast. Ideally between 48 hours and 4 days is sufficient to get a proper Amalfi Coast experience, visit its charming towns and soak in the beautiful views, and the below can be used as a 4 day itinerary

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Positano – Amalfi – Ravello Itinerary

Positano

Amalfi Coast Tour - A DIY Itinerary

Arrive to Positano and spend the day there. This coastal town used to be a scarcely populated fishing village in the 1950s, but it quickly became popular and within a few decades, it became one of the most popular jet-set destinations of Italy. Positano is a vertical village situated on the side of the mountain. Only about 4000 locals live here, but thousands of tourists flock here during the Summer season. There is not much to do in Positano besides hanging on the beach and watching the yachts cruising around or going shopping for locally made linen and sandals. Tourists will also enjoy sitting on a terrace of a restaurant sipping Campari and watching the beautiful people walking by on the beach. Take a boat to explore the coves along the coast and have lunch at the World famous restaurant Da Adolfo. This place can only be reached by boat. It may not look like a fancy place first, but it serves some of the tastiest dishes in Italy. Its zuppe di cozze, a shellfish soup in thick tomato sauce is World famous. All their ingredients are fresh and locally grown, the fish is caught fresh every day. After a delicious lunch at Da Adolfo, a good option is to head to Li Galli, the archipelago made of three tiny islands for snorkeling. Here the water is crystal clear and the visibility is great. Once you discovered the area, head back to Positano and consider walking the path of the gods before traveling over to Amalfi, to discover this beautiful historical town.

Where To Eat in Positano

La Sponda ($$$) – It s a Michelin star restaurant in the Le Sirenuse hotel. It provides a romantic dining experience where couples can have a candle lit dinner while listening to mandolin and guitar playing. Chef Matteo Temperini prepares amazing fresh, Mediterranean flavours. It’s the perfect place for food and drink.

Other Dining Options: Ristorante da Costantino ($$), Da Ferdinando ($) & C’era Una Volta ($-$$)

Where To Stay in Positano

Le Sirenuse - 5* Luxury Stay ($500+ per night)
It is one of the legendary hotels in the World with a terrace overlooking the sea and the entire town. The hotel is filled with pictures and antiques. The hotel has 59 rooms and its champagne & oyster bar makes it a prime aperitivo spot.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Villa La Tartana - 4* Mid-Range Stay ($250-300 per night)
Another beautiful hotel on the hill, with on site dining options, 24 hour room service and free wifi.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
La Maliosa D'Arienzo - Budget Stay (<$200 per night)
Set within the picturesque countryside of Positano, La Maliosa D' Arienzo offers comfortable accommodation on a bed and breakfast basis.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

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Amalfi

Amalfi Coast Tour - A self guided Itinerary

It takes about 45 minutes to reach the town of Amalfi from Positano (by bus or ferry). About 1000 years ago, Amalfi was a large maritime republic with a population of 80,000 people and the town was competing with big trade hubs like Venice, Genoa and Pisa. Today, the town is packed with tourists, who come here to enjoy the view and often take home ceramics and lemoncello as a souvenirs. The center of the town is Piazza del Duomo, which is dominated by a striped Norman-Arab style cathedral – the Duomo di santandrea. Pasticceria Panza is a famous pastry store where a wide selection of limoncello based pastries are sold. Perfect for relaxing and enjoying your time.

EXTRA: Atrani

For adventurous tourists, take the footpath that leads over the hill to Atrani, an authentic Italian fishing village and enjoy dinner at Trattoria A’Paranza. This is just one of the great Amalfi Coast Hikes that you can do in the region.

Where To Eat in Amalfi

A’Paranza – A low key trattoria that was renovated a few years ago. It is famous for delicious seafood dishes and deep-fried courgette flowers stuffed with cheese and the ricotta and pear flan is also incredible.

Where To Stay in Amalfi

Monastero Santa Rosa Hotel - 5* Luxury Stay ($500+ per night)
This converted monastery perches atop the cliffs between Positano and Amalfi. The hotel was reopened not long ago after a 10 year long renovation. The hotel has an exceptional view overlooking the coast. The service is also excellent. Visitors can often spot celebrities in this hidden gem. The place has an excellent chef who prepares outstanding Italian dishes.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Amalfi Holiday resort - 3* Mid-Range Stay ($250-300 per night)
5 self-contained, recently refurbished apartments come with a kitchenette and coffee maker and are only a 10 minute walk from Amalfi Cathedral.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Villa Maria Amalfi - Budget Stay (<$250 per night)
The bed & breakfast offers comfortable accommodation, with a flat-screen TV, heating and a hairdryer.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

 

Ravello

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

Spend the night in Amalfi and head to Ravello the next day to discover this tiny village, which is considered to be the jewel of the coastal crown. Ravello is situated on the top of the coast, high above sea level. The view from up there is truly spectacular. Ravello was also a larger, more prosperous town back in the days. Its magnificent gardens and palazzi attracted many artists and musicians. There are two famous gardens that most tourists visit in Ravello, one is Villa Rufolo that became famous because Richard Wagner drew inspiration from the garden for his opera Parsifal. The other place Villa Cimbrone is another famous garden and hotel. It served as a love nest for Greta Garbo and Leopold Stokowski in the 1930ies. Ravello is home to the coast oldest and most beautiful church, which was built in the 11th century, the Duomo di Ravello. Ravello is famous for colorful ceramics.

*EXTRA* – Scala

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast ItineraryJust beyond Ravello, a less touristy town Scala is located. It is a sleepy town, set 400m above sea level and is the oldest town on the Amalfi Coast. As the former outpost for the Amalfi Coast, there are many remaining palazzi (palaces) and a large duomo from the 12th century. It is a great place for people who enjoy hiking or would like to experience traditional daily life on the Amalfi Coast if people are looking for a little off the beaten path options on their Amalfi Coast Tour.

Where To Eat in Ravello

Rossellinis – is a two-Michelin star restaurant overlooking the Salerno Coast. The chef, Pino Lavarra, prepares tasty food with local flavours. The service is very friendly and attentive.

Where To Stay in Ravello

Palazzo Avino - 5* Luxury Stay ($500+ per night)
It is a pink palace with magnificent views to the coast. Some of the rooms even have private terraces. The hotel is famous for the excellent service. It has an amazing terrace that overlooks the entire coast. The hotel also has a free shuttle bus to its private beach club.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
La Moresca resort - 3* Mid-Range Stay ($150-200 per night)
La Moresca Ravello is conveniently located for guests wanting to sightsee in the area and offers free WiFi
The hotel has 9 unique rooms offering all the necessities to ensure an enjoyable stay.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews
Al Borgo Torello - Budget Stay (<$100 per night)
Borgo Torello has 4 well-appointed rooms that are equipped with a range of essential facilities to ensure guests have a comfortable stay.
Ravello's well-known attractions are within close proximity to the bed & breakfast, with Villa Rufolo just a brief walk away. Minori and Scala are located a short drive away.
Like more info? Click to Read Trip Advisor Reviews

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Where To Next?!

Ravello/Scala are the last stops on our DIY Amalfi Coast Tour – but that doesn’t mean your Italy trip has to be over! Hop on a bus/private transfer to Pompeii to stand in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius, Naples (to look out of the Bay of Naples) or head to the other side of the Peninsula and visit the stunning town of Sorrento where you could people watch from Piazza Tasso or spend a half day/few days in Capri where the incredible Blue Grotto and Mount Solaro are located. From these bigger towns the whole of Italy is accessible by train! (click for timetable info). Or if it is time to head home, head to  the airport at Salerno and catch a flight out of there!

RELATED: Want to explore more of Italy? Why not visit Florence, Pisa or Venice?!

And don’t forget these travel essential to help capture the incredible moments from your trip!:


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And that’s a wrap folks! I hope this post has helped you plan your own Itinerary for the Amalfi Coast and if you have an hints and tips I haven’t covered, let me know in the comments below!

 If you like this post, please tweet pin & share – and, as always, full sized and secret pins can be found by clicking the P in the sharebar :-)

Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary   Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

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Amalfi Coast Tour - Amalfi Coast Itinerary

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Hi There! Thanks for reading my travel tips and travel guide to your DIY Amafi Coast Itinerary: Positano, Amalfi & Ravello!  I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. Thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld travel blog posts.

 

Barbara is a London based luxury travel and lifestyle blogger. She left her country when she was 17 to conquer the World as a model. Ever since she has lived in seven countries and visited 68. She blogs about exclusive destinations and the some of the most prestigious events around the World such as Venice, Cannes, San Sebastian Film Festivals, Oscar Parties in LA, Fashion Weeks in Milan or Paris, yacht parties in St-Tropez as well as Prince Albert’s wedding in Monaco.

She also writes about adventure travel across Asia, South-America and Europe. Read about her latest adventures to Indonesia on her blog or follow her adventures on Facebook, Instagram & Twitter.

15 INCREDIBLE Things To Do in St Petersburg Russia

There are so many Incredible Things To Do in St Petersburg it is hard to know where to start! With Palaces, Churches, Fortresses and Museums, you’ll be enthralled by the beauty of the former Imperial Capital of Russia that was home to Tsars, Empresses and Aristocracy. And to help you get the most from your visit we’ve pulled together all the amazing things to do,  sights to see and places to visit in St Petersburg to get you off on the right foot!

Incredible Things to do in St Petersburg

Incredible Things To Do in St Petersburg

Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood

Church of the Saviour on Spilled BloodBuilt on the spot where Tsar Alexander II was assassinated in 1881, the Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood (also known as the Church of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ) was commissioned to celebrate the notable reforms he had been instrumental in enacting following the defeat of Russia in the Crimean War. The most notable of which was the emancipation of serfs which put an end of the slavery of Russia’s peasants. It took 24 years to construct opening in 1907; was closed following looting and Soviet vandalism in 1932 (after which it was used as a garbage dump, temporary morgue and for vegetable storage!) Restoration of the mosaic filled church took 27 years and it was reopened to the public in August 1997. Today it’s bright, multicolored onion domes that perpetuate the Russian Orthodox style are an instantly recognized symbol of St Petersburg and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the city. As the premier attraction in the city, crowds are to be expected. Grab your Skip The Line Ticket here before you go.

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The State Hermitage Museum

Green Facade of the State Hermitage Museum St Petersburg RussiaHoused in 5 monstrous riverfront buildings, including the incredible Baroque Winter Palace, the State Hermitage Museum is the second largest museum in the world and was established in 1764 when Catherine The Great acquired a large quantity of art from a German trader. There are currently over 3 million pieces of art housed within it’s walls and it would take 9 years to see everything if you were to stand and appreciate each piece for 1 minute(!) Head on over to our Photo Tour of the Hermitage to take a look inside right now – without having the leave your laptop!

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Peter & Paul Fortress

Peter & Paul Fortress in St PetersburgPeter and Paul Fortress, founded by Peter the Great, was the first structure to be constructed in St Petersburg and is considered to be the birthplace of the city. Built to be a defensive Citadel, it never served it’s intended purpose but has had an interesting history all the same. It has been a military base, is the burial ground of the Russian Imperial family, the site of groundbreaking scientific experiments, a home for government departments and a jail that has held some of Russia’s most prominent political prisoners. Today it is part of the St Petersburg Museum of History with the Peter and Paul Cathedral being one of the biggest tourist draws in the star shaped site, along with the Nevsky Curtain Wall complete with neoclassical gates; the Monument to Peter the Great (which has some ‘interesting’ dimensions); The Grand-Ducal Burial Vault (which is the resting place of the Romanov family); the Neva Gate (the gate through which traitors were led through to the execution site) and the Naryshkin Bastion where the fortress’s flagpole flying the fortress flag is located and from where the 12pm cannon is fired daily (it’s very loud, even when you are expecting it!)

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Yusupov Palace (aka. Moika Palace)

Yusupov Palace ChandelierYusupov Palace, located on the banks of the Moika River (and hence why it is sometimes referred to as the Moika Palace) was home to the monumentally wealthy Yusopov Family, and is most famous as the basement where Grigori Rasputin was murdered on 16 December 1916. The Palace has maintained it’s original aristocratic interior (one of only a few buildings in St Petersburg to do so) – including a full-production Palace Theater that is a third of the size of a traditional theater, perfect for intimate private performances; and a recreation in wax of how the assassination of Rasputin happened (according to the autobiography of Prince Felix Yusopov published following his exile to Crimea and passage to Paris.) Visits to this display are not included as standard but are part of the museums guided tours.

RELATED:  St. Petersburg was a port stop on my Regal Princess Baltic Cruise – click here to read all about it!

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Take a Canal Cruise along the Neva River

Things to do in St Petersburg - cruise on the Neva RiverSt Petersburg is best viewed from a variety of angles, and the view from the Neva River is extra special. It is one of the top things to do in St Petersburg and gives you a greater appreciation for the sheer scale of the Baroque and neoclassical styled buildings which line the city and along it’s Amsterdam-style canals and waterways. We recommend you Pre-Book Your Canal Cruise and avoid having to barter for your trip on the banks of the river.

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Peterhof Palace & Gardens

Peterhof Palace (c) maketimetoseetheworldA must-see St Petersburg attraction (although approx 30km outside of the city itself), this Grand Palace was designed to be the centerpiece of Peter the Great’s “Russian Versaille” – and is as grand and opulent in every way. Visitors to the Palace are allowed to walk a designated route through the open rooms as part of a guided tour which are ‘guarded’ by Babushkas (literal translation: Grandma but in reality they are rather pushy women who ‘shuffle’ you through the exhibits at an alarming rate!) – which can become tiresome quickly with no photography allowed; but visitors are able to wander through the gardens at their leisure. Set in 200 acres there are over 500 statues and 144 fountains for visitors to enjoy (which are only operational during the summer months) with the main cascade switched on to classical music each day at 11am from early May until the weather gets too cold.

TRAVEL TIP – Pre-Book a Skip The Line Guided Tour of Peterhof Palace from St Petersburg which includes return bus transfers, skip-the-line tickets and guide inside the palace + free time in the grounds.

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Palace Embankment

Palace Embankment St Petersburg (c) MakeTimeToSeeTheWorldThe Dvortsovaya (Palace) Embankment is a street along the Neva River in Central Saint Petersburg which contains the complex of the Hermitage Museum buildings (including the Winter Palace and other Museum buildings). It’s free to wander along, but it’s best viewed from the River.

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St Issac’s Cathedral

St Issacs Cathedral St PetersburgSaint Isaac’s Cathedral (Russian: Isaakievskiy Sobor) in Saint Petersburg is the largest Russian Orthodox cathedral in the city. It is the largest orthodox basilica and the 4th largest cathedral in the world with space for 14,000 standing worshipers inside. The interior is decorated with paintings, mosaics, and sculptures with a combination of marble, semiprecious stones, gilding and boasts and incredible 400kg of Gold! Climbing the 300 steps up to the gilded Dome takes visitors 43m high and offers a stunning panoramic view over St Petersburg.
I highly recommend a guided tour of St Issac’s (and the Church of Spilled Blood) – their is a recommended route to take in viewing the mosaics and paintings, and to get the full effect it is best to experience the Cathedral with an expert with in-depth knowledge.

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Nevsky Prospect

Stretching 42km, Nevsky Prospect is the main street of St Petersburg. It was planned by Peter the Great to link two important landmarks – the Admiralty (naval headquarters and shipbuilding yard) and St. Alexander Nevsky Lavra (a high ranking monastery.) The name Prospect was also imposed by Peter the Great – who had a love of foreign words – and is based on ‘perspective’ and ‘prospective’ which he hoped his city would be, i.e a prosperous city with many perspectives. Today it is the main thoroughfare through the city and is home to shopping, nightlife, cafes and restaurants.

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Faberge Museum

White Jeweled Faberge EggThe Fabergé Museum in the Shuvalov Palace is home to the world’s largest collection of works by Carl Faberge and was founded to preserve, study, and promote Russia’s cultural heritage. The museum’s collection includes nine of the famous Imperial Easter Eggs which are regarded not only as the finest jeweled works of art, but also unique historical artifacts.

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Russian Cruiser Aurora

Russian Warship ArouraBuilt in 1900, the Russian Cruiser Aurora saw active service in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-05) and played a key role in the Bolshevik Revolution when she fired a blank shot into the Winter Palace on the night of the Revolution in October 1917 which gave the signal to the rebellious workers, soldiers and sailors of the city to storm the palace. She is now preserved as a museum ship and is moored on the banks of the Neva. It is free to enter the museum, although for an additional fee you can also gain entry to the engine room, simply ask one of the attendants on the ship. It is one of the best things to do in St Petersburg and the best bit is it’s free!

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Catherine Palace

Catherine Palace St PetersburgLocated 30km south of St. Petersburg in the town of Tsarskoye Selo lies the magnificent Rococo-styled Catherine Palace, which was the former summer residence of the Tsars. Originally a modest palace built by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine I, it was turned into the grandiose structure it is today by their daughter Empress Elizabeth two years after her fathers death. Over 100kg of Gold was used throughout it’s 1km-in-circumference white and blue facade in it’s re-construction, and it’s interior is no less grand with the Amber Room – a chamber decorated in amber panels backed with gold leaf and mirrors – one of the most spectacular you will ever see.

TRAVEL TIP – Make a day of it on this Catherine Palace and Amber Room Tour from St Petersburg

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Palace Square

Considered to be Petersburg’s most famous public space, and had been the setting of major events in Russia’s history and modern day events such as New Year’s, Victory Day, Scarlet Sails, and other White Nights celebrations. The Winter Palace was constructed on the square between 1754 and 1762 and opposite, the 580-meter semicircular facade of the General Staff Building was built between 1819 and 1829 at the request of Catherine the Great to provide a worthy architectural counterpoint to the Winter Palace. At the center of the vast space between them lies the Alexander column which was raised after the Russian victory in the war with Napoleon’s France.

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Tour St Petersburg’s Metro System

Metro Tour St PetersburgTo mirror the incredible buildings above the ground in St Petersburg, the underground is filled with magnificent mosaics, sculptures and structures. It’s one of the most spectacular metro systems in the world and well worth a 2 hour Guided Metro Tour around the system to take you to all the amazing stations. A real must do things to do in St Petersburg.

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Alexandrinsky Theater

Mariinsky TheaterOpened in 1832, the Alexandrinsky Theater was built for the Imperial troupe of Petersburg and was where many of the stage masterpieces of Tchaikovsky, Mussorgsky, and Rimsky-Korsakov received their premieres. Today it is home to the Opera and Ballet which has launched the careers of several artists formerly of the Imperial Ballet School (known today as the Vaganova Academy of Russian Ballet). The company continue to perform the classics to this day, with Swan Lake remaining a crowd favorite. Click here to see if Swan Lake is being performed when you visit.

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So there you have it – hopefully we’ve given you enough travel inspiration & travel tips to help you plan your trip to Saint Petersburg, and shown you the top things to do in St Petersburg whilst you are there! Don’t forget to let me know your own highlights once you’re back!

Oh, and if you enjoyed reading this St Petersburg travel guide please share on Facebook, Flipboard, Tweet or Pin – I’d really appreciate it! Click the P in the share bar for a full size image!

Things to Do in St Petersburg Russia

Disclaimer: I visited St Petersburg as a guest of Princess Cruises on board the Regal Princess Baltic Cruise, however all opinions, as always, remain my own. Read my Full Disclosure Policy Here.

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Hi There! Thanks for reading our travel guide to The Best Things To Do in St Petersburg! I just wanted to let you know that this post contains affiliate links, which means if you purchase something after clicking a link, I may get a small commission – which is at absolutely no cost to you. If you enjoyed this article and are going to be searching for some of the things I mention anyway, I would love it if you could click through from the links above & thank you in advance! Read my full Disclosure here. Thank you for reading the MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld Travel Blog.

Vicki is the Lawyer turned Content Creator, Editor-in-Chief and all round Boss Lady at MakeTimeToSeeTheWorld.
She has lived and worked in 7 different countries and started the site to show everyone that it is possible to travel whilst holding down a full time job (because not everyone can – or wants to – quit and walk away from it all).
Her style of travel has always been to get the best out of a destination as a time poor traveler making the most of limited vacation days and all without breaking the bank; BUT she does know where to save and where to splurge to have the most incredible travel experiences – such as luxury hotels and over-water bungalows, safaris, spas and more(!) – where the situation calls for it.

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