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Singapore Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit And Things To Do

Singapore is the capital of Singapore on the island of Singapore, with the Singapore River flowing into the Singapore Strait. This is where monotony ends, and miracles begin. A city of fantastic skyscrapers immersed in the greenery of fabulous gardens. A futuristic mirage emerged on land reclaimed from the ocean on the site of former malaria swamps through hundreds of urban architects over some thirty years. His giant artificial trees are complex engineering systems. Its buildings are magical castles with precise mechanisms inside. Silhouettes of unprecedented structures in multi-colored night lights, clear lines, and bizarre outlines – all this is Singapore.

Singapore is 600 sq. km of land, connected to the mainland by a kilometer dam through the Strait of Johor. A vast cargo port, where almost 300 sea routes lead. A modern city with a developed network of transport arteries, a world market for high-tech technologies, and a financial center, one of the four “Asian Tigers” along with South Korea, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. A recognized economic and technological phenomenon, a country with an excellent investment climate and solid technical potential.

Life expectancy here is one of the highest on the planet, thanks to advanced medicine and a healthy lifestyle. Due to the high population density, the state is forced to control the birth rate. The population of Singapore, which has attracted immigrants for many centuries, consists mainly of their descendants – Indonesians, Tamils, Malayalis, Singhs, Sinhalese, and Pakistanis. Still, most of all, here are Chinese, Malays, and Indians. Here only four languages ​​are officially used – English, Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. The Chinese are Buddhist, Confucian, Taoist, and Christian. Most Malays are Muslims, Hinduism is also widespread, and part of the population is atheists.

The island is not rich in natural resources. There are almost no forests, and little agricultural land left. At the same time, Singapore continues to grow in the area, draining the sea and buying this soil from neighboring Indonesia. It doesn’t even have its freshwater. The country provides itself with almost everything it needs through the port – the second in the world in terms of cargo traffic.

History

At the dawn of our era, the inhabitants of a small coastal village in the center of the Asian tropics did not imagine what a series of amazing transformations history had in store for it. For two millennia, the quiet harbor passed from hand to hand into a global technological giant and financial monster at the end of the ⅩⅩ century.

Among swamps and mangrove forests

Mariners who crossed the Indian Ocean learned early on to harness the energy of the tropical monsoons. Merchants and conquerors tied their routes to the directions of the prevailing seasonal winds and reached the farthest shores. The western monsoons drove ships eastward, and the eastern ones helped them sail back – this is how one of the main sea trade routes of the ancient world developed.

Traveling from the Indian Ocean to the South China Sea through the Strait of Malacca, traders could not pass the islands of Tumasik, or Temasek, with a small fishing village in mangroves and swamps. Residents lived in kampong – settlements on the water – and hunted fishing, collecting oysters and shellfish. Ships from Asia, India, and China hurried to shelter from storms and storms in the quiet harbors of the island. They replenished fresh water and provisions supplies. Here they changed goods – red gold, blue satin, printed cotton fabrics, rubber, pepper, gambier, and lacewood – aromatic wood. Tons of copra, rattan, rhino horns, and elephant tusks passed through the port, making it desirable for all the surrounding empires seeking to subjugate Tumasik.

Pirates ruled in the surrounding seas until the middle of the ⅩⅩ century. The pirate tactics were cunning – they sent several people with poisonous fruits to a passing ship, and when the passengers and crew lost the ability to resist, they were taken prisoner, and the boat was sunk. Plundered goods were sold here under the guise of merchants, and weapons were bought from the local Chinese.

“Lion City” without lions

Until 1300 Tumasik belonged to the Sumatran empire of Srivijaya. An ancient legend tells of the Srivijay Rajah, a descendant of Indian maharajas, who gave it its name. Raja and his entourage landed in the island’s bay, fleeing a terrible storm, and saw an unusual animal on the shore, which he took for a lion. He named Singapore, which means “lion city,” in a mixture of Malay and Sanskrit. Lions were not found in these places, and historians explained the strange fantasy of the Srivijaya raja by the intoxicating joy of miraculous salvation.

There is also speculation that lion motifs date back to Indian pictorial traditions, where the Indian, or Asiatic, lion lived before it was completely exterminated. Perhaps the symbols of lions were brought to the island by the Buddhists who settled here.

Srivijaya has long competed with the Tamil state of Chola. Later, Singapore came under the rule of the Thai form of Sukhothai, which Ayutia then absorbed, and in a short time, it managed to visit the Javanese Majapahit. And while the applicants were dividing the small island, its inhabitants continued to fish and grow spices.

“Father of Singapore”

In 1819, Sir Thomas Stamford Bingley Raffles landed on the island to establish a British trading post. He was a man of an extraordinary destiny. Born aboard a ship off the coast of Jamaica in 1781, he became an educated encyclopedist and historian, participated in the Napoleonic Wars against the Dutch and French, was Lieutenant Governor of the Dutch East Indies, Lieutenant Governor of Bencoolen, Governor of Java, and even received a knighthood.

Sent to Southeast Asia, Raffles learned the Malay language and set about organizing military expeditions to expand the British presence in Java, Sumatra, and the surrounding islands, decisively subjugating local governments and provoking the hostility of the local nobility. Singapore caught Raffles’ attention with its advantageous position. Taking advantage of some confusion among the heirs of the Sultan of Johor and the chaos of the Dutch side, which also had views of Singapore, Raffles was able to sign a treaty and gain a foothold on the island.

Raffles’ contribution to the city-state’s development was so significant that he is still called the “Father of Singapore.” Raffles was considered an enlightened ruler. In addition to wars of conquest, he was engaged in preserving and studying historical monuments on the surrounding islands, such as Borobudur, researching the culture, life, and nature of the places he lived. He published a two-volume “History of Java.”

The son of a captain of a slave-trading ship, he contributed significantly to the abolition of slavery. Raffles died in England in 1826, not yet an older man. In memory of his short but productive reign, a monument has been erected that meets travelers at the mouth of the river. From 1867 Singapore became a fully English colony.

Be happy, or I will kill you.

During World War II, Japan seized all of Malaya, took possession of Singapore, and ruled it until its defeat in 1945. After the war, the Malay states united into the Malay Union, then into the Malay Federation, and later into the shape of Malaysia. However, due to racial clashes between the Chinese and Malays, the existence of Singapore as part of Malaysia was problematic. The Chinese population of Singapore was 75 percent of the people who did not want to give up their national identity. Therefore, in 1965, Singapore proclaimed its independence, and from that time, a multi-year stage of modernization began, which turned the commercial port into a global economic phenomenon.

Singapore was the smallest country in Southeast Asia. In the 50s, just over a million people lived here. At that time, almost 7 million people lived in neighboring Malaya and 100 million in Indonesia. For three decades, he traveled the path that Western states have overcome for centuries. The critical role in this was Lee Kuan Yew, the first prime minister of Singapore – a figure that intrigues researchers and observers, causing a lot of controversies and opposite assessments.

Lee Kuan Yew made national equality a priority of his policy, created an army from scratch, and trained it under the guidance of Israeli instructors. He eliminated corruption without neglecting the most brutal measures, attracted foreign investors, and introduced English to the education system. With him, Singapore entered the top ten most prosperous countries globally, successfully surviving several economic crises. In the region, pirates have disappeared; for many centuries, they kept at bay all ships passing through the Strait of Malacca. Today it is the largest financial center in the Asia-Pacific region, an exporter of electronics and equipment, and the world’s second cargo seaport. Its fantastic buildings and cityscapes are like 3D renders, devoid of the abundance of small details that lend credence to the landscape.

Singaporean society paid for this violent prosperity with the loss of rights and freedoms. Lee Kuan Yew transformed Singapore’s political system into a one-party capitalist technocracy. Rigid ideological guidelines for uniformity and a shared desire for order, cleanliness, health, and prosperity have been entrenched in the country. “Disneyland with the death penalty” was called Singapore by the writer William Gibson. “Be happy, or I will kill you” – with this metaphor, the famous science fiction writer described the ideology prevailing here. The government implants Orwellian like-mindedness in all spheres of public and private life. Political views, creativity, personal preferences, and everyday habits are subject to censorship.

Religion, orientation, and race issues are the subject of close state scrutiny. All content – films, video games, books, magazines, plays, and audio – is subject to a rating system licensed by the IMDA – Information Development Department. Before watching a movie or buying a book, it is recommended to look into the classifier. Fabulous finds for various offenses are one of the items of income for the treasury. Violations are recorded using cameras installed everywhere. On the online portal Stomp – Straits Times Online Mobile Print – anyone can post cases of undesirable behavior of fellow citizens registered in photos and videos. This web portal was created by the Singapore Journalists’ Association to condemn antisocial behavior and has become a site of forgery, abuse, and false denunciations. The country has the death penalty for drugs and corporal punishment.

Nevertheless, the business-friendly atmosphere, flexible taxation, and political stability attract young and ambitious people in business from all over the planet. It is not easy to get here, and work quotas are limited. The standard of living in the country is exceptionally high. The average salary is $ 3800 per month, in the field of high technologies, it is much higher. The wages of the current Prime Minister Li Hsien Loong are the largest in the world among the heads of state – he receives more than $ 2.5 million a year. In different years of his career, the prime minister was in charge of finance, was involved in defense, trade, and industry. In his spare time, Li Hsien Loong programs in C ++.

Singapore is a city of youth; older adults leave it, unable to pay for a high standard of living. However, the government is concerned about developing a program for retirees and people with disabilities to lead a comfortable life and is bringing in the best doctors and architects to create an environment for senior Singaporeans in parks and public spaces.

Climate and nature

Singapore lies one kilometer south of the Malacca Peninsula and is separated from it by the Johor Strait. It covers the entire area of ​​Pulau Ujung Island and many small neighboring islands with a total coastline of about 200 km. In the south, the island is washed by the waters of the Singapore Strait, and in the west is the Strait of Malacca, which connects the Pacific Ocean with the Indian Ocean through the South China Sea. The island is separated from the equator by one latitudinal degree and about 130 km.

The equatorial climate of Singapore does not have sharp boundaries of seasonality since it rains here every month, but two monsoon periods and two off-seasons can be distinguished. In December, the wet phase of the early northeastern monsoon begins. Monsoon surges bring abundant and frequent rains and wind up to 25–35 km per hour. The late northeastern monsoon comes in early January, very windy and relatively dry, which lasts until March. In March, there is a calm. There are hot days with a light sea breeze when the temperature is around + 32 ° C. Sometimes it rains and even thunderstorms.

In June, it is the turn of the southwest monsoons, which blow until September. At night or before dawn, Sumatran squalls fly in sudden gusts from the Strait of Malacca. They are accompanied by a series of thunderstorms and winds up to 80 km / h. After the storm, heavy rains follow, which can last for several hours or even days. In October, the monsoons subside again until December.

Singapore’s sunny weather alternates with cloudy weather, fogs occur, and sometimes the island is enveloped in the haze of the annual Indonesian wildfires. Traveling in Singapore is comfortable at any time – all public buildings and vehicles are equipped with air conditioning, the average temperature in the premises is + 20 ° C. It can feel calm, so it’s worth bringing a shirt for extended events in concert halls and cinemas or on long trips.

Due to its proximity to the equator, the daylight hours in Singapore are constant – 12 hours; the sun rises at about 7:00 and sets at about 19:00. The sea is calm and clean with daily ebb and flow cycles and level fluctuations of about two meters. The average water temperature is + 27 ° С. A rare cargo port can boast of such cleanliness and transparency of water as Singapore. Here, everything is subject to the idea of ​​ecology, and local authorities constantly monitor possible pollution of the sea by enterprises and ships.

Singapore nature

Singapore’s vibrant greenery is the fruit of the creative work of architects, agronomists, designers, and landscapers. Due to the rapid development on the island, almost no previous vegetation remained. Therefore, those few areas of virgin forests, miraculously preserved in the catchment areas, are under the protection of the state. In the northwest of the island, in Krandzha, there are small areas of mangrove forests; in undeveloped areas, natural vegetation is represented by palm trees and lalang, which the local population traditionally uses for economic and decorative purposes. Tembusu – a large evergreen tree with a spreading crown – is the national symbol of Singapore, bats feed on its bright fruits, and the image of nembutsu was placed on a five-dollar Singapore bill.

Among the 110 reptile species in Singapore, several huge ones are the reticulated python, the giant king cobra, the estuarine crocodile, and the monitor lizard. The famous video of a 30-minute python and a cobra fight on the side of a road was filmed in Singapore by local graduate student Abhishek Embed. Bengal tigers once lived here. People and domestic animals became their victims. About once every two days, the predator dragged the peasant into the jungle.

Elephants were common, hunted uncontrollably for the sake of tusks. But already, during the famous trip of Goncharov on the frigate “Pallada” in Singapore, there was only one elephant, and even that one worked at a sugar factory. Today, elephants and tigers can only be seen at the Singapore Zoo.

Several families of smooth-haired otters live in the city, and the most numerous are the Bichon and Marina, families. Townspeople can watch their games and territorial wars at dawn and in the morning at Marina Bay Park. Otters are local favorites. They starred in the movie “Wild City” by David Attenborough and have their own Facebook page. The archipelago is home to the scaly anteater, the loris – the tailless night lemur, the long-tailed macaque, and many birds – the Indian myna, the brahmana kite, and then swallow. Singapore is surrounded by coral reefs, home to tropical fish and marine animals – moray eels, parrotfish, barracuda, puffer, sea turtles, sea urchins, and sea cucumbers.

Cities and regions of Singapore

The island area is small – 45 km from east to west and 25 km from north to south. It is divided into five prominent regions – Central, Western, Northern, North-Eastern, and Eastern. For ease of maintenance, the regions are divided into 55 planning spaces. Singapore’s urban development concept, adopted during the modernization period, is based on the creation of New Cities – large autonomous residential systems that fully meet the needs of residents. Queenstown, the first product of this concept, was built in the 1950s.

Now Matured residential – residential complexes – are scattered throughout the island. There are 23 of them in Singapore. The largest are Bedok, Woodlands, Tampines, Jurong West, and Sengkang. These condominiums with parks, schools, hospitals, and sports facilities are home to mixed-income Singaporeans, most of whom are proprietors. Industrial zones and retail outlets are located outside residential areas and have convenient transport links.

Several rivers in Singapore, Singapore, and  Kallang and two catchment areas connect large reservoirs. The Singapore River flows in the city center, its source is near the Kim Seng Bridge, and its mouth is at the Esplanade Road Bridge in the Bay. The river, which initially had a length of 3 km, was continued by a two-kilometer Alexander channel from its source to the west. The mouth was widened and deepened, and the old buildings along the river were repaired.

central region

The central region occupies the southern tip of the island and is divided into 12 administrative districts. Tourist guides usually divide the city center into historical and ethnic areas.

Colonial District

The Colonial District is an area located around the harbor formed by the mouth of the Singapore River, where the first British ships arrived. Here, in the town of Padang, the construction of the city began. British architecture of neoclassic style is represented by stations Parliament (Parliament House), theater “Victoria” (Victoria Theatre and Concert Hall then), City Hall, Cricket Club and the hotel “Raffles.”

One of these buildings – Empress Place Building  – houses the exposition of the Museum of Asian Civilizations. Numerous museums and temples are concentrated in the Colonial District – the Perancan Museum, the Art Museum, the National Museum, the Anglican Cathedral of St. Andrew, the Armenian Church of St. Gregory, the Catholic Church of St. Joseph, the most important Hindu Temple of Chettyar (Sri Thendayuthapani). The colonial center includes Fort Canning Park, a green oasis, and popular open airs.

Business center

The Central Business District, or Downtown, which is called the financial heart of Singapore, is the business and historical center of the city. The offices and headquarters of the world’s largest corporations and the Singapore Stock Exchange are concentrated here. Raffles Square’s central point, with the three tallest skyscrapers One Raffles Place, Republic Plaza, and  UOB Plaza One. There are business districts with buildings, luxury hotels, and restaurants in all directions from the square. On the most beautiful embankment near the court stands the sculpture of Merlion – half-fish-half lion – the mythical patron saint of Singapore.

Here is the most unusual and expensive hotel complex in the world – Marina Bay Sands, consisting of three 55-story buildings with a three-deck ship on the roof, covering an area of ​​12.5 thousand m2. You can see the fantastic panorama of the Bay and Downtown from the Singapore Flyer, the world’s tallest Ferris wheel.

Kampong Glam, Arab or Malay Quarter

A more accurate name for the area would not be “Arabic,” but “Muslim.” Most of its inhabitants are not Arabs but Muslim immigrants from Malaya, India, and Indonesia. The main historical attraction is the Sultan’s Palace, which now houses the Malay Heritage Center. The historical building of the Sultan Hussein Mosque is located nearby on the square. With its golden dome and blue-tiled facade, the Malabar Mosque has also become a recognized work of Islamic religious art.

Chinatown – Chinatown

Most of the Chinese population of Singapore lived outside of China Town. Still, it is here that the sights associated with the historical heritage of the country’s Chinese community are concentrated. Here is the Temple of the sacred tooth of Buddha, the Jamai Mosque, the temple complex of Taoism and Buddhism Thian Hock Keng. In the center of the district on Pagoda Str. they located the Museum of Chinese Cultural Heritage (Chinatown Heritage Center).

The narrow lanes have everything that attracts tourists – an abundance of street food, tea, and souvenir shops, ethnic restaurants, Chinese astrologers, and street performers. This exotic is adjacent to modern shopping and office centers, built on the site of demolished slums.

Adjacent to China Town is the picturesque Tanjong Pagara district, which was the center of smuggling, prostitution, and opium trade until the middle of the last century. The redeveloped slum block now houses trendy and tourist-favorite bars and restaurants. In Tanjong Pagar, there is a historic railway station building.

Little India

Neighborhood Little India lies to the west of the Arab quarter and the north of the colonial center. The doors of Hindu and Buddhist temples are open to visitors, and the scents of Indian cuisine soar among the distinctive architecture. Here is the Museum of Cultural Heritage of India, the temples of Sri Veeramakaliamman, Sri Perumal, Abdul Ghafoor Mosque, and many others.

The main interest of tourists in this area is the distinctive goods and souvenirs, which are abundantly presented by the Indian community of Singapore in the markets and souvenir shops. The most popular is Tekka Center (Tekka market), Little India ArcadeSerangoon Plaza. Sentosa Island, Marina Bay, Orchard Road, Clarke Quay, and others are considered independent areas with many attractions and entertainment on the tourist map of Singapore.

Western region

The western region of Singapore is the second largest region after the Central one. The main districts are Choa Chu Kang, with a population of 30 thousand, and Jurong West. The main buildings are residential areas and industrial zones. Tourists will be interested in visiting the Singapore Science Center and the famous Jurong Bird Park. You can look into the Chinese and  Japanese gardens located next to the park, created according to the historical canons and the rules of landscape art.

Northern region

The northern part of the island is developing rapidly; high-speed highways and residential and industrial areas have been built here. The center of this area of ​​Singapore is named Woodlands, and it is home to more than 250 thousand people. The peculiarity of the northern region is large areas of untouched forest.

On a swampy peninsula, on the shores of the Dzhokhor Strait, there is an artificial wetland reserve Sungei Buloh. Dozens of bird species stop here during seasonal flights. One of the best zoos globally – the Singapore Zoo, and two safari parks – Night Safari and  River Safari is built in the Mandai area. Over time, it is planned to move to the northern region and Jurong Bird Park.

Eastern region

The capital of the region is Tampines, and Bedok is its largest city. In the eastern part, Singapore’s air harbor – Changi Airport, naval and military aviation bases, one of the world’s largest semiconductor industries.

It created a huge beach park Pasir Figure ( Pasir Ris Town Park then). You can live in tents on the sandy seashore for several days, wander along with the wooden decks in the mangrove thickets, and watch birds from the observation towers.

Northeastern region

There are two large cities in the North-East region of Singapore – the administrative center Seletar and Hougang. The area is the center of aviation and aerospace science and industry. Tourists in this area are interested in Granite Island (Pulau Ubin) – the last place in Singapore, where authentic fishing villages – kampongs – have been preserved. Small fishing and shrimp farms and small restaurants have been opened, where you can take a break from the noisy metropolis and try fresh seafood and exotic fruits. They come to Pulau Ubin island by ferry or pleasure boat.

What to see

The first attraction, acquaintance with which occurs right after leaving the plane, is Changi airport. After the reconstruction of 2019 and the opening of the Jewel multifunctional complex, the world’s largest 40-meter indoor Rain Vortex waterfall and the Canopy park with an area of ​​14,000 square meters appeared in Changi. M with walking paths, labyrinths, art installations, and a unique microclimate.

In the area of ​​Marina Bay – the city’s tourist center – the sights that have become the hallmark of Singapore are concentrated. The recognizable silhouette of the Marina Bay Sands Hotel – three 55-story buildings crowned with a huge ship – hovers over the bay. In addition to 2,560 apartments, Marina Bay Sands has shops, restaurants, a casino, a cinema, and theater halls. The giant rooftop gondola houses a garden, observation deck, and a 150-meter swimming pool. The author of the unique building is the Israeli and American architect Moshe Safdi.

Near the hotel is the most famous garden in Asia – Gardens by the Bay – Garden by the Bay, on 101 hectares of which are the wonders of the high-tech landscape industry. Walking paths lead from the hotel to the garden. The expansive parkland is open to free access, with only the entrance fee to the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome, built in the shape of shells, and a walk among the Supertrees, unique vertical gardens on metal frames. Every evening at 7:45 pm and 8:45 pm, the fantastic Supertrees are the backdrop for a light and music show.

On the embankment stands the Merlion – the symbol of Singapore with the head of a lion and a fishtail. The image was designed by Lim Nang Seng as a tourist sign of the city and later became a state symbol. Its appearance is minted on Singaporean coins. Initially, the figure of the Merlion met travelers at the mouth of the Singapore River, but after intensive development of the area, the 70-ton statue was transported closer to the audience. Now the fountain is installed near the Fullerton Hotel on the shores of Marina Bay, and its 40-meter copy with two viewing platforms is on Sentosa Island.

There are unique architectural objects nearby: the DNA bridge, with its design resembling a molecule – the Helix Bridge, the fantastic hemispheres of the Esplanade theater and concert halls, the Museum of Art and Science in a stylized lotus shape.

Take in the breathtaking panorama of central Singapore from the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, the Singapore Flyer. From a height, you can see the barriers around the bay, the old colonial center, and Downtown skyscrapers.

There are 57 skyscrapers in Singapore, and the tallest is Tanjong Pagar Center, or Guoco Tower, 290 m high. It was built in the historical area of ​​Tanjong Pagar. A whole mini-city is located on the floors of a high-rise building: offices, a business hotel, a city park, conference rooms, shops, bars, and restaurants.

Among the many attractions of the old so-called colonial center, a special place is occupied by the building of the Raffles Hotel, which has been hosting guests for over 120 years. The hotel is an architectural monument of the colonial era and a national symbol of Singapore; world celebrities stay here. Its luxurious apartments are named after famous guests – Chaplin, Kipling, Neruda, and the city’s founder, Sir Raffles. The building of the former post office after reconstruction has housed another popular hotel – “Fullerton.” Many buildings of colonial times have been restored, and now museums are open: the Museum of Asian Civilizations, the National Museum of Singapore, the National Gallery of Singapore.

A short drive from the center is Sentosa Island – the former island of Bulacan Mati, which means “behind death.” During the British presence, a battalion of British Gurkha – Nepalese volunteers were stationed here. The Museum of the Fort Siloso tells about the military past of the island. Now Sentosa is an entertainment island, where attractions, hotels, restaurants, and beaches are concentrated.

Main attractions: The SEA Aquarium is one of the largest in the world, located in Marine Life Park. This unique engineering structure holds 45 million liters of water and features 800 species of marine life from 49 ocean habitats. Adjacent to the aquarium is the Adventure Cove Waterpark with a hydro-magnetic slide, the Universal Studios Amusement Park, the Tiger Skytower observation deck, and the Maritime Museum, Madame Tussauds, and the Museum of Optical Illusions.

Many places of interest in Singapore are associated with nature. The decorative and natural parks dotted across the island can be very tiny or cover hundreds of hectares. The largest is the artificial East Coast Park, which stretches for 15 km along the coastline and receives 7,500,000 tourists annually. East Park has wild camping sites, Marine Cove with restaurants and attractions, and other recreational spaces.

In the very center of the city, on an area of ​​52 hectares, there is the oldest Botanical Garden, founded by Sir Raffles in 1822. The garden’s pride is a unique botanical collection, skillful space design, and thematic sections, including the Orchid Park, which has 60,000 species of these plants.

Zoological parks and reserves have been created with care and respect for animals and birds. Inhabitants of the Singapore Zoo are housed in open enclosures in Jurong Park and Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve, birds, live in natural conditions.

The global population of Singapore has shaped the distinctive and colorful appearance of the ethnic regions of Little IndiaChina Town, and Kampong Glam. Cultural heritage museums are dedicated to the civilizational values ​​brought to Singapore by different ethnic communities: Indian Heritage Center; Malay Heritage Center – Malay Centre the Heritage; Heritage Center Chinatown  – Chinatown Heritage Centre and the center of Chinese heritage in Nanyang University.

The city is full of interesting religious buildings of different religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Taoism, and Christianity. The most famous of them are Sri Mariamman, the Temple of the Tooth Relic, Sultan Mosque, Lianshan Shuanglin Monastery.

Where to go in Singapore

Ferris wheel

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The Singapore Flyer is located on the shores of Marina Bay. The official opening for visitors took place in March 2008. The author of the project was the Japanese architect Kisho Kurokawa.

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The height of the Ferris wheel in Singapore is 165 meters (like a 55-story building), which is 30 meters higher than the London Eye, but 2 meters lower than the new High Roller wheel, which opened in March 2014 in Las Vegas. And even so: in Dubai, a wheel with a height of 210 m is being built, in New York – 192 m.

There are 28 cabins in total, each of which can accommodate 28 people. The wheel makes a revolution in 28 minutes. Such is the magic of numbers: in Feng Shui, “28” means “easy money.” Initially, the wheel rotated counterclockwise, but in 2008, on the advice of experts, again, Feng Shui, the direction was changed. There can be 784 people in the booths of the Singapore Ferris Wheel at the same time.

Each cabin is equipped with air conditioning. It is worth noting that the floor is not transparent so that you can enjoy the views only through panoramic windows. And the pictures are breathtaking: the visibility from the top point is about 45 km in diameter so that you can see not only Singapore and the adjacent metropolitan area, but, if you try hard, also the islands of Malaysia and Indonesia. Also, in particular, are visible: the famous Marina Sands Bay hotel, the futuristic Gardens by the Bay park, the floating stadium, theaters in the Esplanade Bay, etc. The views of the night city are incredibly stunning.

Sentosa Island

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Sentosa (sometimes you can meet “Sentosa”) is one of the Singapore islands. It is washed by the waters of the Indian Ocean and is connected to the main island of the republic by a bridge. It gained its popularity among tourists after 1972 when the local authorities decided to turn it into the main entertainment area of ​​the state.

Since then, the direction of the island’s development has changed, but even the name. His former dissonant name, “Pulau Blakang Mati,” which translated from Malay means “the island of the dead,” he changed to a more pleasant “Sentosa,” which in Russian would be “peace, tranquility” True, travelers who have had a chance to visit this Singaporean island know that there can be no question of any stability here. After all, they come here for absolutely opposite things – adrenaline, impressions, luxurious relaxation in spas, and excitement (thanks to the casino).

In terms of natural features, up to 70% of Sentosa Island in Singapore is covered with rainforests.

Lizards, monkeys, swifts, herons, eagles, peacocks feel great here. The latter, by the way, freely walk along the beaches and ignore the tourists. The island was also chosen by  15,000 different butterflies, about 3,000 insects; sea urchins, octopuses, snails, and crabs live in its waters. But the population of the area is not so prominent – about 6,000 people. Tourists create the mass – about 19 million people visit the island annually.

Laser show “Wings of Time” in Singapore

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On Singapore’s Sentosa entertainment island, between Palawan and Siloso beaches, the breathtaking Wings of Time laser show takes place every evening. The performance combines laser and pyrotechnic effects, fountain shows – and all this accompanied by captivating music. It can be viewed twice a day: at 19:40 and 20:40.

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Infinity Pool Rooftop

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A fantastic rooftop pool called “Infinity Pool” is in Singapore in the Marina Bay Sands hotel. The beautiful, visually stretching pool is part of the open-air entertainment complex called Sands Sky Park.

Fountain of wealth

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The Fountain of Wealth is located in the heart of Singapore, next to the Suntec City Shopping Center and a short walk from the Singapore Ferris Wheel. In 1998, it was listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the largest fountain in the world.

Singapore zoo

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The Singapore Zoo has been located in a natural rainforest on an area of ​​26 hectares since 1973. A distinctive feature of the Singapore Zoo is its open concept. All animals are kept in enclosures, which are maximally equipped by the natural habitat of their inhabitants. Empty chambers with greenery and ponds, separated from visitors by moats, glass partitions, hedges, and the complete absence of cages allow you to observe the representatives of the animal kingdom freely.

The Singapore Zoo contains over 2,400 animals of over 300 species, a third of which are rare or endangered. The zoo’s zones include a living variety from all continents of the world. Almost 2 million visitors visit the natural park every year.

Travel

Vacations Forever: 5 Best Resort Towns You Should Move to ASAP

Do you want to be on vacation all year long? Fewer people are using their part-time vacation homes as primary residences nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it couldn’t be a great choice for you.

Let’s go through the top resort towns you should move to if you want to be permanently on vacation.

1. Jackson Hole, United States

If you’re a big fan of skiing, you’re sure to enjoy Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Jackson Hole has very low crime rates, so it’s a safe place to live if you have a family.

It’s also home to some excellent schools, so you don’t need to be worried about your children’s education. However, Jackson Hole does have high costs of living, particularly for a city in a less populated state.

2. Estepona, Spain

Do you enjoy the south of Spain? Consider moving to Estepona. This city, which is located on the Costa del Sol, is populated along the coast. There are tons of amazing water sports you can try out when you visit Estepona.

Plus, you can check out interesting museums when you live in Estepona, like the Antonio Ordóñez Museum of Bullfighting, the Ethnographic Museum, and the Paleontology Museum. And, Estepona is home to delicious restaurants, so you’ll never get tired of eating the local cuisine. Those who are looking for a place to live in Estepona should check out choosemarbella.com.

3. Cartagena, Colombia

If you’re looking for a great beach city, you’ll certainly want to consider Cartagena. There are plenty of resorts you can check out, or you can hit the beaches yourself.

Cartagena is also one of the cheaper cost of living options when it comes to beach cities. However, if you’re a vegetarian or have dietary restrictions, Colombia can be a difficult country to navigate.

4. Palm Springs, United States

Palm Springs is an interesting resort city. It’s extremely popular with seniors and members of the LGBTQ community (along with, of course, people who fall under both categories).

Palm Springs is the perfect place to live for people who love golfing or playing tennis. But be forewarned, you’ll need a car to get around Palm Springs since things are spread out and public transportation can be limited.

5. Todos Santos, Mexico

While Cabo San Lucas is one of the most popular resort city choices out there, it’s probably not a place you want to live long term. So, why not try out one of the neighboring towns? Todos Santos is one great option.

Todos Santos is home to a great community of artists, so people who love creativity won’t want to miss out. Plus, Todos Santos is one of the safest resort towns out there. And, the city is becoming more and more popular, so you’ll be trendy by moving to Todos Santos.

Move to These Resort Towns Today

Related:  12 Best Tourist Attractions in the United States

What are you waiting for? Any of these resort towns are a great option for your next stage in life.

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Travel

Estonia Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit And Things To Do

Estonia is one of the brightest, most versatile, and diverse countries in northern Europe. Situated on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea and washed by the waters of the Gulfs of Riga and Finland, Estonia offers tourists an incredible selection of natural landscapes, ancient monuments, and architectural wonders. Millennia of history, cultural traditions, lively and fascinating, historic cities, castles, and fortresses of the Crusader era, museums, and elegant museums from the time of the Empire. Two thousand five hundred islands, virgin forests and National parks, lakes, swamps, meteorite craters, and hundreds of kilometers of beaches – this is all Estonia!

With the latest technological advances, Estonia offers a unique cocktail of experiences where all the ingredients are perfectly matched. Excursions, entertainment, historical routes, shopping, gastronomic wonders, spa hotels, and the best beaches of the Baltic Sea – whatever plan you go on vacation, Estonia will undoubtedly bring them to life.

Despite its modest size, Estonia can surprise even the experienced traveler. It is easily accessible from any corner of Europe – by air, land, and water. Tallinn, the delightful and ancient capital of Estonia, and the main cities of Sweden and Finland are only hours apart. Guests from Warsaw will be delivered by a comfortable bus, and residents of St. Petersburg should not be late for the evening train. Breakfast can be ordered in the heart of Tallinn.

Magical Tallinn, an actual teleport city, a time machine in action.
The entire old town is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List as an example of conservation in northern Europe.

From a bird’s eye view, its shape repeats the heart – this is probably why it regularly steals hearts from impressionable tourists!

It is enough to climb one of the observation platforms to leave your own there, and there are many of them in the city.

And then walk the whimsically twisted streets, admiring the ancient fortress walls, towers, and underground passages – the Tallinn fortress is more than 700 years old, and it is also considered the standard of medieval architecture.

In addition to the fortress, the historic part of Tallinn will offer ancient temples, medieval mansions, museums, and, of course, restaurants – to celebrate your acquaintance with the city tastefully, and you have a choice of 1001 restaurants. Many of them have earned the laurels of the best in northern Europe.

The second most important city in the country is Tartu. It is considered the intellectual capital of Estonia, and it is not for nothing that its foundation is attributed to Prince Yaroslav the Wise. The oldest university, the most picturesque ruins of the cathedral, the most beautiful Botanical Garden, and the most “advanced” museums are located here. Another reason to visit Tartu is fairs, festivals, and other entertainment events. Thanks to the university and the student body, it is also the funniest city in Estonia.

In Narva, Rakvere, and Põltsamaa, ancient fortresses and majestic castles fans should take a ride.

Life here is quiet and unhurried, and only occasionally, the city’s peace is disturbed by music festivals and historical reconstructions.

The “summer” capital of Estonia, stylish and bright, will offer its guests spa hotels, health resorts on the shores of the Gulf of Finland, a pretty port with yachts, and the Old Town of the Hanseatic League.

But the main thing for tourists who come here is eight kilometers of sandy beach, the best in the country.

Those who love everything at once should go to Haapsalu. One of the most famous spa resorts, renowned for its traditions and admirers, Haapsalu also has a worthy historical dimension.

A medieval castle and an old cathedral, a vibrant Old Town, the Seaside Promenade – culture is perfectly combined with vacation motives.

And, of course, you cannot leave Estonia without seeing its islands. Choose the largest and most beautiful island of Saaremaa and its capital, old Kuressaare. The local Bishop’s Castle is considered the most harmonious in the country, and the climate is one of the best on the coast.

In short, why would you not come to Estonia – to have fun, improve your health, or intellectually enrich yourself, you will have a great vacation. Estonia will take care of this!

History

Estonian history is a journey of thousands of years. This northern country has managed to preserve the traditions and customs of its ancestors, Viking sagas, and tales of overseas kings while remaining a modern European state.

Estonia: the beginning of the beginnings

Historical evidence of life on these lands can be found already in the 9th millennium BC. The appearance of the first people on the territory of modern Estonia is associated with the end of the last known ice age. According to archaeologists, the oldest site of primitive people appeared on the banks of the Pärnu River, not far from Sindi, approximately in 9500 BC. There are several such settlements. They all belong to the Kund culture.

This ancient cultural stratum existed until the 5th millennium BC and is named after the Estonian city of Kunda. Its influence spread to the eastern Baltic states, Poland, and southern Finland. The settlements of hunters and anglers used stone tools of labor and defense, which are found in many archaeologists, right up to the Mesolithic period.

Over the millennia, cultural layers have changed, and along with them – the traditions of the peoples inhabiting these lands. Already in the third millennium BC, the inhabitants of the settlements began to raise livestock, and by the first millennium, this trade became the main activity of the settlers.

The path to the emergence of statehood

Three thousand years ago, the inhabitants of the territories that make up modern Estonia chose a sedentary lifestyle. As a rule, the new settlers preferred the coastal regions, and here the first settlements were built, fortified, and defended. Their traces can be found to this day on the island of Saaremaa, and these are Ridala and Asva, as well as the settlement of Iru near Tallinn.

At the same time, sea and land contacts with neighbors begin to develop. Archaeologists designate this period as the culture of stone burials. It is associated with the resettlement of the ancestors of the Germans from Scandinavia.

Estonia, at the beginning of our era, is the land of agriculture and cattle breeding. Already in the early Middle Ages, customs and traditional ways of rural life appeared, which Estonians managed to preserve to this day. Many historic villages still exist today.

The early Middle Ages are a crucial period in the formation of Estonia. New, fortified settlements are being built, a system of administrative registration of territories has been formed, and a small farm is taken as a unit of measurement – a typical family farm. There are still many of them in Estonia. The entire territory of the state is divided into 8 regions and counties, these are Virumaa, Läanemaa, Rävala, Saaremaa, Sakala, Ugandi, Harju County, Järvamaa.

By this period, an early feudal model of society was formed, where elders ruled the lands. The major Estonian epic, which tells the story of the medieval giant Kalevipoeg, was written just in the spirit of that time.

In the same historical period, around 1030, the campaign of Prince Yaroslav the Wise began in the northern lands. He founded the city of Yuryev, present-day Tartu.

A little later, local tribes recaptured Tartu. In the following centuries, the ancient Estonians, on the one hand, and the inhabitants of Pskov with Novgorod, on the other, regularly “exchanged pleasantries.”

Such raids on neighbors were considered in the Order of things. One of them even went down in history. It is known that the Estonians conflicted with the Scandinavian Vikings. The inhabitants of the largest Estonian island – Saaremaa, mainly distinguished themselves in this confrontation.

Possessing a solid fleet at that time, the Oeselians, that is, the islanders kidnapped the Norwegian Queen Astrid and her son, Prince Olaf.

Subsequently, it was canonized, and one of the most outstanding examples of medieval architecture in Estonia, St. Olaf’s Church, was named in its part.

The Estonian Vikings are also credited with the destruction of the Swedish capital of Sigtuna at the beginning of the 12th century. Visiting the island of Saaremaa, you can see with your own eyes the treasures of the Vikings, which were found here in many.

The Early Middle Ages: From the Crusaders to the Reformation

The beginning of the Middle Ages in Estonia is associated with the spread of Christianity. The faith of Christ came to these lands later than to central Europe, and if at the beginning these were missionary movements, then the planting of a new religion took place with fire and sword. Various organizations – the Teutonic Order, the Pope, German archbishops, Denmark, and the Kingdom of Sweden – advocated for Estonia’s conversion to Catholicism. Pagan ancestor cults have always been extreme in these parts, so the Northern Crusade decided to take drastic measures. In history, he remained under the name of Livonian.

The crusaders reached the Estonian lands by 1208. And in 1217, the battle of Viljandi took place, where the Estonians were defeated. Two years later, the territories of northern Estonia were conquered by the Danes, the south of the state began to belong to the German Order of the Swordsmen.

As a result of the conquests, these lands fell under the control of the powerful Livonian Order, which had occupied a substantial part of the modern Baltic.

At the same time, the Danish king granted Tallinn, which was considered a pearl among cities, the privileges of the Lübeck city law.

According to these laws, the capital of Estonia, like other cities of the Hanseatic League, was governed until the beginning of the twentieth century.

The conquered lands were transformed into bishoprics. Some of them were subordinate to the supreme authority in Riga. Denmark ruled others.

Of course, this did not consider the interests of the local population, and conflicts were inevitable.

The most famous uprising was St. George’s Night, which marked the Peasant War of Liberation beginning.

The riots, which the Danish authorities could not cope with, forced them to sell the land to the Teutonic Order. The era of German rule in Estonia began.

German landlords wielded tremendous power here for the next 700 years. The territories of modern Estonia and Latvia are called Livonia – a medieval community of interconnected small principalities that were part of the German church territories of the Holy Roman Empire. The feudal system formed in medieval Estonia put German knights and Catholic bishops at the pinnacle of power.

The rights and freedoms of residents were constantly infringed upon, right up to the introduction of serfdom. Taxes and taxes reached unprecedented levels, and all administrative and judicial power belonged to the German magistrates. At the same time, the Estonians themselves, who constituted the majority of the population, remained predominantly peasants and did not have personal freedom.

In large cities, merchant guilds and artisan communities were formed, and Rewal – modern Tallinn, Dorpat, now the city of Tartu, Pernau, familiar to us as Pärnu, and Viljandi were part of the powerful Hanseatic League. This commercial and defensive amalgamation of merchant guilds and merchant cities quickly became a monopoly in northern Europe.

Traces of those times are still easy to find on the streets of Tallinn.

Walking through the Old Town, pay attention to the medieval warehouses, equipped with hooks sticking out above the attic for lifting loads.

Perhaps due to the eternal conflict of interests of the trading cities with their merchants and the Catholic clergy represented by the German bishops, the Reformation movement in Estonia received support.

The middle of the 16th century was accompanied by riots, where ordinary people revolted against the Catholic clergy.

One of the manifestos of the Reformation, which the locals supported, was the holding of divine services and the publication of books in Estonian.

Middle-Ages: from the Livonian War to the Russian Empire

The sixteenth-century turned out to be a turning point – the Livonian Order, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, the Russian tsar, Sweden, and the Danish kingdom started a major conflict over the division of territories. It remains in history as the Livonian War. Estonia became one of those lands for which they fought. Both the population and the economic component of the cities suffered greatly during the hostilities. As a result, the state was divided between Sweden, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and Denmark.

Later, by the middle of the 17th century, all the territories of modern Estonia were ceded to the Kingdom of Sweden. The foundation of the University of Tartu, one of the oldest in Europe, dates back to this time. A significant event took place in 1632, at the direction of the Swedish king Gustav II Adolf.

Until the end of the 17th century, the economic stability of Estonia was ensured by trade. Large cities – Narva, Tallinn, Tartu, stood at the crossroads of trade routes, through which goods went to Europe or Russia and back. The agricultural sector also functioned well, and crafts were developing.

The Great Northern War changed the balance of power in the region. It ended in 1721 with the surrender of Sweden, and the Estonian lands came under the control of the Russian Empire.

Estonia as part of Russia

Most of the Baltic territories in the middle of the 18th century were ceded to Russia. Northern Estonia turned into Revel province, and southern lands, together with Latvia, formed Livonia. Emperor Peter the Great restored the rights of the German nobility, and they constituted a solid layer in the highest authorities. In religion, complete freedom was also allowed for both the Lutheran faith and the Russian Orthodox Church.

In the spheres of culture and education, progress was observed, books, newspapers, and magazines were published in Estonian, educational societies were actively working, defending the rights of the people, and literacy of the population was almost universal.

The population also recovered, undermined by wars and epidemics.

An important historical milestone was the abolition of serfdom by Tsar Alexander the First. It happened in 1816.

In the middle of the 19th century, Estonia and the rest of the empire entered the era of capitalism.

The industry developed by leaps and bounds, mechanical engineering, textile, and agricultural industries formed the basis of the economy.

Success in the economic field and the development of educational programs contributed to the birth of the Estonian national movement.

Towards a free Estonia

Activists of the national movement, formed at the end of the 19th century, demanded equal rights for Germans and indigenous people, Estonians, whose interests were infringed upon. These societies united writers, educators, journalists, representatives of the intellectual elite. They fought not only for legal rights but also for restoring traditions such as the Song Festival, ethnographic festivals, the first Estonian theater. However, despite these bold attempts, the Russians and Germans remained society’s economic and political elite.

In the wake of patriotic movements and extreme provocations, strikes and unrest broke out throughout Estonia. The tsarist government responded with harsh repression, but the uprisings continued in 1916, leading to the 1917 revolution. The interim government was entrusted with managing the former Estland province.

Riots continued this time between Estonian nationalists and Bolsheviks. However, now the First World War intervened in the plans of the future Soviet government. Estonia remained neutral in this conflict, demanding independence.

The wish came true on February 24, 1918 – finally, Estonia became a free state.

The first Estonian republic existed until 1940. The Second World War, its sad consequences, and the subsequent incorporation into the USSR lasted almost fifty years.

Estonia regained independence in 1991 with a rally known as the Singing Revolution.

Over the past thirty years, the state has been actively developing.

Tallinn’s old town was renovated for the 100th anniversary of independence.

Estonia is a member of the UN, the European Union, and NATO, a technically advanced and progressive country.

The system of electronic elections exists and is actively used here, and Skype was invented.

In 2002, Tallinn hosted the Eurovision Song Contest, and in 2018, the anniversary year for Estonian independence, many museums, palaces, and cultural sites were renovated.

The Tallinn Christmas market was recognized as the most beautiful in Europe by the European Best Destinations Association in the same year.

And regardless of political trends, time of year, and the weather outside the window, this beautiful, diverse, and close country is always waiting for you to visit!

Climate and weather in Estonia

Weather in cities

Several factors influence the Estonian climate. The proximity of the Baltic Sea, the Gulf Stream, Atlantic cyclones, temperate continental regions, fifteen hundred islands – this combination can be safely called unique.

The warmest month of the year is July, and the coldest is February.

However, the transitions between seasons are smooth and comfortable, and the country’s inhabitants are unfamiliar with both severe touches of frost and sweltering heat.

Estonia, located both on the mainland and on the islands, is surrounded by water on three sides. A large part of it is swamped, and the sea and the unusual natural relief create their microclimate. The weather in Estonia is most often described as humid and calm, relatively mild.

Winter in Estonia starts as expected – in December. As a rule, snowfalls at this time, which greatly adorn the landscapes, and there is a light frost conducive to walking.

It is one of the most popular tourist seasons of the year and is the time to celebrate Christmas and New Year.

January and February are colder and frosty, and there is a lot of snow. However, the air temperature rarely drops below – 6 … 8 ° C.

The weather is conducive to winter fun – ski runs, skating rinks in parks, sledding, fishing are open.

Estonians are a very athletic nation, and most of the time, joining their winter walks is entirely free.

Spring comes to Estonia not earlier than the second half of March. At this time of the year, frosts are still possible, mainly at night, but the sun is peeping more often.

April is also a fantastic month; May is considered more successful for a visit to the country. Spring can be seen in all its glory – in blooming parks, meadows outside the city, and bright city flower beds. Walking around Old Tallinn, do not deny yourself the pleasure of sitting at a table in an outdoor cafe – in May, such gatherings in the air are already quite comfortable.

If the purpose of your visit is to see summer Estonia, plan your trip in July. June is more like a warm spring than our usual summer. However, the month is exceptionally sunny and not too grainy.

The best time to visit Estonia is in June and July.

July is considered the warmest, sunniest, and driest month of the year. The air temperature warms up to + 22 … 24 ° C. + 30 ° C in Estonia is an abnormal heat. Such temperature cataclysms do not happen often.

Despite quite hot daily temperatures for Estonia, summer nights remain cool.

This feature of the local climate dictates to tourists their own rules for collecting luggage – a light jacket or sweater is required even in the middle of summer.

July and August are perfect for exploring Estonian cities and relaxing on their beaches.

The water temperature off the coast of Tallinn is usually around + 20 ° C, in rare cases warming up a few degrees higher.

Another good season to visit Estonia is autumn.

September usually welcomes guests of the country with dry, warm, and sunny weather.

This is an excellent time for both city walks and outdoor recreation. The first frosts and rains come with the onset of October, and although the average temperature is around + 10 ° C during the day, the mood is spoiled by prolonged precipitation.

It is freezing and wet in November. This is the time of real northern autumn, with fogs and falling snow. A warm hat and mittens are a must, or you can keep warm at the numerous spas, as well as at Christmas markets, which also start in November.

Estonian cities and regions

The territory of Estonia, divided in the 13th century by the knights of the Livonian Order into eight historical regions – Maakondas in Estonian, today, with the recognition of independence, has been divided into 15 counties. Almost all of them, to a greater or lesser extent, are of some interest to travelers.

Northern Estonia

The country’s history in stone can be studied in the regions of Harju, Lääne-Viru County, Ida-Virumaa. Here you will find the ruins of ancient castles, noble estates from the times of the empire, palaces, and all this against the backdrop of dunes and seemingly pristine coniferous forests. The main cities of the north of the country are the capital Tallinn, the seaside Paldiski, Maardu with its lake.

In addition to the beauties of ancient Tallinn, with its great fortress and streets of the Old Town, Harju County attracts with its excellent preservation of medieval buildings.

Temples and fortresses, historical landowners’ estates – manors, the Vasalemma palace, and park complex.

The views are also in order here – 17 landscape zones protecting unique natural monuments, including karst fields, heaths, springs, swamps, picturesque coastal cliffs.

County Ida-Viru County is famous for its ancient megaliths in Lahemaa National Park, on the coast of the Gulf of Finland.

Noble estates, the “village of captains” Käsmu, where the first ship of Estonian production was launched, the family estate of Admiral von Krusenstern, as well as a tour of the Neeruti National Park – you will not have time to get bored. Don’t miss Rakvere Castle – built-in 1226 by the Danes, it is perfectly preserved for its advanced age.

Ida-Viru County will appeal to nature explorers. Sea ledges – Klint, the highest waterfall in the country, the Oru landscape reserve, the most interesting in Estonia, the Alutaguse adventure park, the beaches of Lake Peipsi, and the opportunity to kayak on the Kurtna lakes.

Western Estonia

The western regions of Estonia – Saaremaa, Hiiumaa, Pärnumaa, and Läänemaa, are an opportunity to have a fantastic seaside holiday, combining vacation with viewing architectural masterpieces. In this region, sea resorts, spa centers, mud baths, and sanatoriums are concentrated.

Saaremaa county is located on the largest island in Estonia and encompasses the islets nearby. They are loved by fans of sea sports – surfing and kiting, thanks to their windy weather. And in the holiday season, you can go swimming with seals, organized by the employees of Vilsandi National Park. Do not miss the Kaali meteorite crater, which is filled with water of an unusual jade hue. The lake is round in shape, 100 meters in diameter, and you can swim in it in summer.

The capital of the county is Kuressaare. There is a sea harbor, an airport, and the Episcopal Castle, one of the most beautiful in Eastern Europe.

The Old Town has also survived in Kuressaare, with colorful historical buildings.

Surfers and beachgoers also love hiiumaa.

The second-largest island in Estonia offers tourists a picturesque coastline with a total length of 310 km, wind, and waves for fans of sea activities, as well as hiking trails.

You can walk, for example, to the Kõpu lighthouse – the most ancient navigational landmark in the Baltics.

The largest county in Estonia is Pärnumaa. Its capital, the seaside port city of Pärnu, is considered the main Baltic resort in Estonia. Perfect sandy beaches with white dunes surrounded by pine forests are found here.

Neighboring Läänemaa attracts visitors thanks to the county capital, the old town of Haapsalu. Famous for the traditions of mud therapy – the first clinic in the country was opened here, he has not lost his “qualifications” even now. Do not miss the old Kurhaus on the seaside promenade – a beautiful wooden building from the 19th century with a concert hall. And in the center of the city, you will find a 13th-century bishop’s castle, whose ruins are majestic.

Central Estonia

The center of the country is beautiful during the warm season. Gardens are blooming, historic estates are opening their doors, and landscaped parks are inviting guests. Raplamaa, Viljandi County, and Järvamaa counties offer many exciting walks.

For example, in  Raplamaa, it is suggested to visit the “Golden Ring of Raplamaa Manors.” The program includes noble estates, old churches, historical manors, which are now open as crafts centers. Hikers should pay attention to the limestone plateau in Maryamaa parish.

Viljandi County is visited for the sake of the central city – Viljandi, with a very ancient and venerable history. The first settlements here date back to the 5th century BC, the Viking Age. Written references to the city date back to 1154, and in the 12th century, the first permanent settlement appeared on the site of Viljandi. At the beginning of the XIII century, these lands were conquered by order of the Swordsmen, and already in 1224, a stone fortress was erected here, which was considered the largest in the Baltic. The defense and the city were called Fellin. Under this name, they were part of the Hanseatic League. 

In  Järva will appeal to fans of nature and lovers of history. Here you can visit the historic Albu estate and then walk in the Kõrvemaa landscape reserve. Bird watchers will especially appreciate this park; you can watch rare black storks and golden eagles here.

Eastern Estonia

The legendary shores of Lake Peipsi are the birthplace of the Tartumaa and Jõgevamaa regions. The historical battles of the Russian-Swedish and the Livonian War did not pass unnoticed; numerous castles and fortresses in the east of the country have survived to this day in the form of picturesque ruins.

County Tartu County  – the citadel of knowledge and scientific progress. Tartu, the region’s central city and the second most populous in the country, boasts a rich history. One of the oldest in Eastern Europe, Tartu was founded by Yaroslav the Wise in 1030 as the city of Yuryev. In addition to the university, one of the oldest in Europe, Tartu is famous for theaters, museums, architectural monuments, pretty streets of the Old Town.

The vicinity of Lake Peipsi, located nearby, will be an excellent competitor to seascapes.

You can come here for a whole vacation and not have time to see all the exciting places in the area – ancient manors, the famous “Onion Route” – a historical route through museums and castles, the beautiful Alatskivi Palace.

The amazing glacial landscapes of Jõgevamaa county take us back to the time of the epic about the exploits of Kalevipoeg, the giant warrior.

Mysterious protected forests, lakes, giant boulders, as if forgotten here by a strong man – everything breathes with legends.

One of the most exciting places in the county is the town of Põltsamaa. Once there was the capital of the Livonian Kingdom, with its castle, which welcomes guests in the city center today. By the way, Põltsamaa is also considered the wine capital of Estonia – fruit and berry and fruit wines are produced here, arranging colorful festivals and fairs in summer.

South Estonia

In winter, the southern regions of Valga County, Võrumaa, and Põlvamaa are especially popular with Estonian residents and visitors. The best ski resorts are located here, and the hilly terrain is favorable for snowmobiling and sledding. Valga County is also popular with professionals – it hosts the qualifying rounds of the European Championships and the World Cup in cross-country skiing. In summer, the freestyle jumps are used as an observation deck.

Põlvamaa will appeal to fans of ethno-tourism. Here are the settlements and villages that have preserved the traditional way of life, all against the backdrop of marvelous nature. National parks offer hiking trails of any degree of difficulty, and you can walk along swamps, cliffs, and canyons.

An additional highlight is meteorite craters, and there are four of them in the area. Moreover, the diameter of the deepest is about 80 meters.

Võrumaa county will appeal to wildlife researchers. The main pride of the region is the Hinni Canyon, a mysterious valley that gives rise to the Rõuge Trail. Having passed it to the end, you will see the pasture of the indigenous abodes of these places – the reindeer.

The largest lake in Estonia and the country’s highest point, Suur Munamägi Hill, 318 meters high, is also waiting for you on the route.

Where to go in Estonia

Tallinn Zoo

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The Tallinn Zoo was founded in 1939.

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Today the collection numbers over 350 animal species living on 89 hectares. The zoo’s expositions include Alpine, Central Asian, South American, Arctic, and many other zones.

The zoo is proud of the collection “Tropical House,” rare for northern latitudes: the inhabitants of the tropical jungle were settled here.

Town Hall Square

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Each ancient European city has its central square with a town hall founded in medieval times. Such areas were usually used as a gathering place during some important events and as a trading platform. Tallinn is also no exception and has its center – Town Hall Square.

Monument to the battleship “Rusalka.”

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A bronze angel on the seashore holds a cross in his hand held high above his head. He points to the place of death of the battleship “Rusalka.” The statue, created by the sculptor A. Adamson, was installed in Kadriorg Park in 1902 on the 7th anniversary of the shipwreck.

Fat Margarita Tower

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A medieval maritime city is, first of all, towers and fortress walls, in a word, structures intended to defend the city from invading invaders. Today the Great Sea Gate and the Fat Margarita have turned into monuments reminding native Tallinn residents and guests of the town about the terrible times. Fat Margarita was “born” in the 16th century: a giant armory tower (155 loopholes) with a diameter of 25 meters and a height of 20 meters was erected next to the Sea Gate.

Kadriorg Palace and Park

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Kadriorg is considered a prestigious area of ​​Tallinn. The tranquil area is famous for its rich history and the main attractions – the Kadriorg Palace and park. Now on its territory is the residence of the Estonian president and several embassies of other states. The preserved wooden houses are also of interest; Estonia’s prominent figures of literature and art lived in them in the 1920s – 1930s.

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Aquapark in Tallinn

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Aquapark in Tallinn is a water spa at the Kalev Spa hotel located in the center of the “old town” next to Kanuti Park. Town Hall Square is just a 7-minute walk from the water park. In addition, within walking distance of many attractions is the center of Tallinn – Dominican Monastery, Alexander Nevsky Cathedral, Dome Cathedral, St. Peter and Paul Church, St. Nicholas Church, Church of the Holy Spirit, Church of St. Nicholas the Wonderworker, Toompea Castle, Kiek-de- Kyok and other objects.

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Travel

Czech Travel Guide: Best Places to Visit And Things To Do

The Czech Republic, or the Czech Republic, is a central European state bordering Poland in the north, Germany in the west, Austria in the south, and Slovakia in the east. The capital of the Czech Republic is the city of Prague, which is one big attraction in the open air. The country covers an area of ​​78 866 km², has 10 610 947 people (2016). The largest cities are Prague, Brno, Pilsen, Ostrava.

According to legend, the ancestors of today’s Czechs, led by their leader Czech, settled on the territory of the modern Czech Republic, which has been inhabited since the Stone Age. The first chronicle mentions settlements on the Czech land date back to the end of the 9th century when princes from the Přemyslid clan united these lands. In the Middle Ages, the Czech kingdom had significant influence. Still, the religious conflicts that arose (the Hussite wars in the 15th century and the Thirty Years’ War in the 17th century) significantly weakened it. Soon the kingdom fell under the rule of the Habsburgs and became part of Austria-Hungary.

After the end of the First World War and the fall of Austria-Hungary in 1918, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Subcarpathian Rus united into the independent republic of Czechoslovakia. Germany occupied the country in 1939. At the end of World War II, the Czech Republic found itself in the Soviet camp, which predetermined its history until 1989. On January 1, 1993, Slovakia separated from the Czech Republic, and both countries gained independence. Today’s Czech Republic has been a NATO member since 1999, and it has been a member of the European Union since 2004.

The Czech Republic is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe. Regardless of the season, the country annually is visited by about 50 million people—the choice of tourist routes in the Czech. Republic is so extensive that it is worthwhile to decide in advance which direction of tourism interests you at the moment and which should be left for subsequent visits. The most attractive are historical routes since the country has many objects that will be of interest to fans of antiquity: castles, fortresses, castles. Some cities in the Czech Republic are included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List.

Climate and weather in the Czech Republic

The climate of the Czech Republic is moderate continental with features of the sea. Summer in the region is warm, with daytime temperatures of + 23 … + 25 ° С, with a lot of precipitation. Winter is cloudy, cool, in the day around 0 … + 3 ° С, and at night -5. -2 ° С, snow often falls. In winter, ski resorts start operating in the mountains. 

The minimum precipitation occurs in spring and autumn, and this time is considered the most comfortable for excursions and travel around the country.

The weather in the Czech Republic rarely surprises: in summer, as a rule, it is not hot, and in winter, it is moderately calm, so tourists visit the country all year round. 

  • Pilsen Region  – This region attracts tourists with its old Baroque buildings, nature reserves, folklore, and delicious food. Local beer is considered one of the most delicious varieties in the whole Czech Republic and beyond.
  • The South Bohemian Region is the greenest and most picturesque region of the Czech Republic, with a rich history and unique architectural sights. A third of its area is covered with forests and seven thousand pounds.
  • Stí nad Labem  – this area is also called the “Gateway to the Czech Republic,” as it is surrounded by hills – former volcanoes, from the tops of which an impressive view of the whole Czech Republic opens. The region will be attractive for those who like to explore ancient cities and their architecture. And for those who prefer rest among the picturesque nature – there are many reserves here. Thanks to volcanic soils, the region grows the highest quality hops in the world.
  • Liberec Region  – the region is famous for its magnificent nature and ski resorts. It is also considered the birthplace of a precious stone – Czech garnet.
  • Hradec Králové Region  – the region is home to the highest mountains of the Czech Republic – the Krkonoše with numerous ski resorts, a large number of castles and fortresses, and the most significant Czech zoo – an authentic African safari.
  • Pardubice Region  – looks like heaven on earth. Along with its magnificent nature, this region is proud of its history and technical monuments. On the National Stud Farm territory in Kladruby nad Labem, you can see how the white breed of Starokladruby horses is bred.
  • The Olomouc Region attracts tourists with its nature reserves and the Jeseníky Mountains with exceptional climatic conditions. This area is rich in its cultural traditions and ancient monuments.
  • The Zlín Region has Czech traditions and folklore, good wine and plum brandy, delicious food, and mysterious castles. Visit the local town of Zlín with its unusual architecture in the Czech Republic. Thanks to the local businessman Tomáš Bati, who invited the most distinctive architects in the 1930s, the city has become a natural monument to functionalism.
  • South Moravian Region  – This hospitable region is considered a wine-growing region, as 96% of the Czech vineyards are located here. A region with beautiful picturesque nature and UNESCO Intangible Heritage Sites.
  • Central Bohemian Region  – the atmosphere of local towns and villages is created by the legacy of ancient royal dynasties, the prints of which can be found all over the region.

Old cities of the Czech Republic

In addition to castles in the Czech Republic, it is worth visiting ancient cities, in which a vast number of historical and architectural monuments are concentrated.

Czech Krumlov

Cesky Krumlov is the most famous historical area of ​​South Bohemia, located in the Sumava foothills, famous for its stunning ensemble of Gothic, Renaissance, and Baroque buildings. Cesky Krumlov Castle is the largest in the Czech Republic after Prague Castle, and it is also included in the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage List. The ensemble of the castle consists of 40 buildings and palaces, five courtyards, and a garden.

The castle on the old trade route was founded in the 1st half of the 13th century by representatives of the Vitkovich family. The architecture and the castle’s name determined its geographical location: the court was located in a loop formed by the bend of the Vltava River (die Krumme Au – crooked meadow). Podhradie got the name Latran (latus – side, side), and it was also planned to consider the river’s bends. Initially built in the Gothic style, the vast castle complex has changed – first in the Baroque style, then in the Rococo style. In the city, tourists will be interested in a garden and a park, theater, galleries, cellars. The dominant feature of the old town is the church of St. Vitus rising on the steep bank of the river. Buildings decorated in the sgraffito style, red-tiled roofs, and gilded turrets give Krumlov a unique charm and style.

Not far from Krumlov, only 32 kilometers away, there is a new (opened in 2012) attraction – a wooden observation tower at the top of Kremlin, above Lake Lipno. This tower is unique among structures of this kind for its pedestrian zone – a wooden suspended frame begins on the ground and gradually rises to the top of the building. In 2012, this site was named the best new Czech landmark.

Telc

Telč is a city on the water, Moravian Venice, whose layout is due to the presence of three artificial reservoirs and a bypass channel – the former castle moat. The city’s historical core is an old fortress, which has retained its appearance since the Middle Ages. The Gothic castle on the water was founded in the 13th century, and the building acquired its modern appearance during the reconstruction in the 16th century. The main building of the old city is a palace with rich interiors:

  • The Golden
  • Blue
  • Theater and Knights’ Halls
  • The All Saints’ Chapel
  • A treasury
  • A banquet hall decorated in the sgraffito technique

Jindrichuv Hradec

The town of Jindrichuv Hradec is home to the third-largest castle complex in the Czech Republic, built in the 13th century on the historical border between Bohemia, Moravia, and Austria. The complex’s main building is a Gothic palace with valuable paintings, the Church of St. John the Baptist with rare frescoes, and a former Minorite monastery. The city is famous for its annual classical music (Concertino Praga) and folk music (Folková růže) festivals.

Brno

Brno is the capital of Moravia and the second most important and largest city in the Czech Republic. The most recognizable symbol of Brno is the Gothic castle of Spielberg, the silhouette of which is depicted on Czech coins. The court was founded in the 13th century on the summit of the Spielberg mountain. 

Once in Brno, it is worth exploring the Moravian Gallery, the second largest museum in the Czech Republic, famous for its rich collection. The gallery, founded in 1961, contains objects of free art – not only painting, graphics, and plastic arts from ancient times to the present, but also photography, applied art, and graphic design.

Also noteworthy in Brno is the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul, the Basilica of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the Church of St. Jacob, the Town Hall, the Church of St. Michael.

Kutná Hora

The historic town of Kutná Hora, the second largest after Prague in the 14th century, became famous for its silver mines. In the 16th century, after the cessation of silver mining, its importance fell, but the town retained its charm, becoming one of the most famous tourist centers in the country. Tourists may find it interesting to visit the Chapel of All Saints, built around 1400 at a Gothic cathedral in the cemetery of the Cistercian monastery in Sedlec. As a result of the cholera epidemic of 1318 and during the Hussite wars at the beginning of the 15th century, the cemetery grew considerably. The arriving bones began to be piled up in pyramids. In 1870, by order of the Schwarzenberg’s, woodcarver Frantisek Rint decorated the chapel’s interior with bones from 40,000 skeletons, from the altar to the chandelier.

It is worth visiting Vlašský Dvor – a cultural monument of Kutnogorsk, which is a complex of buildings from the 13th – 14th centuries, once the residence of Czech kings, with an old mint; the stone palace Hradek, which today houses the Silver Museum with an exciting exposition; Cathedral of St. Barbara – Czech Notre Dame de Paris.

Plzen

Plze, the fourth largest city in the Czech Republic, located in the country’s west, stretches at the confluence of four rivers – Uslava, Uglava, Radbuza, and Mži. Pilsen is famous for the following attractions: the tallest church tower in the Czech Republic (103 m) – the tower of the Cathedral of St. Bartholomew, the cathedral itself with the late Gothic Sternberg Chapel, the Town Hall, the dungeons, the Museum of West Bohemia, the third largest synagogue in the world in the Moor-Romanesque style.

As you know, Plze is the capital of Czech brewing, and Plze beer of the Prazdroi and Gambrinus brands is brewed here. The beer is produced according to the old technology, unchanged since the century before last, and the inimitable taste to the drink, according to the Czechs, is given by the Pilsen water, its malt, and the unique storage conditions in the cellars. You can learn more about the history of the Plzeský Prazdroj brewery in the Brewery Museum.

Memorial Terezin

The Terezin Fortress was founded at the end of the 18th century at the confluence of the Laba and Ohři rivers, 5 km south of Litoměřice. During World War II, the German invaders set up a concentration camp for Jews in the fortress, the so-called Terezin ghetto, which housed a little less than 140,000 people (of whom 33,000 died while in the ghetto). Some of the Jews (88,000 people) were deported to Auschwitz and other death camps. By the end of the war, 17,247 people had survived in the ghetto. Soviet troops liberated Terezin on May 9, 1945. Today Terezín houses the Memorial to the Victims of the Concentration Camp.

Medical resorts of the Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is a recognized destination for health tourism, and the country is famous for its thermal and mineral spas, the most famous of which is Karlovy Vary. The city was founded by Emperor Charles IV century. 1358 appeared in a place where 132 mineral springs break through to the earth’s surface, 12 of which are with healing water. The resort has a glorious history; the entire world elite came here to improve their health: monarchs, prominent political figures, famous people of art. The city’s streets repeat the bends formed by the Teplaya River, across which openwork bridges are thrown. The town is decorated with picturesque buildings of different eras, parks, squares. In addition to medical procedures shown for a wide range of diseases, and pleasant walks in the bosom of nature, you can always enjoy your time here. For example, the city hosts the Karlovy Vary Film Festival – the second most important in Europe after the Cannes Film Festival.

Marianske Lazne -the second most important resort in the Czech Republic after Karlovy Vary, whose history begins in 1528 – discovered Ferdinand’s spring. Today there are about 40 mineral springs here.

Another Czech town with a spa tradition is Frantiskovy Lazne, popular mainly among women, as the local mud successfully treats infertility.

You can find out more about the country’s resorts in our article “Therapeutic spas of the Czech Republic,” which tells about the most popular places for treatment on the waters.

Water parks

Aquapark Babylon is located in Liberec and is part of the largest entertainment center in the Czech Republic Babylon. The interiors of the water park resemble antique baths, and the most popular attractions are the “wild river” and the adrenaline “space bowl.”

The AquaPalace water park is located in the village of Čestlice near Prague – it is the largest water park in Central Europe. The complex consists of the Palace of Waves, the Palace of Adventures, and Relaxation. There is a diving tunnel for lovers of deep-sea diving, and sauna lovers can visit the classic Finnish saunas, Roman baths, and Russian baths.

The Aqua-Olomouc water park is located in Olomouc and is famous for its adrenaline-pumping attractions. Visitors are also offered a massage, solarium, and tepidarium (dry heating zone).

Where to go in the Czech Republic

Prague Old Town

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The Old Town of Prague (Old Town) is the central, oldest, and most popular part of the Czech capital. Everything that Prague is associated with is concentrated here: narrow cobbled streets, unique buildings built in different architectural styles from Gothic to Art Nouveau, beautiful copper doorknobs, orange roofs, and the indescribable charm of a medieval city.

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The Charles Bridge

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Charles Bridge is a famous Prague landmark, one of the recognizable symbols of the city, so adored by tourists.

The medieval Charles Bridge over the Vltava River is a pedestrian, free entrance, open around the clock.

The bridge connects two historical districts – Stare Mesto and Mala Strana.

The length of the Charles Bridge in Prague is 515.76 meters (usually rounded up to 520 meters).

Golden Lane

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In the very center of Prague Castle, there is a picturesque street called Zlata Ulichka. Along the cobblestone pavement, there are tiny multi-colored “gingerbread” houses built into the arches of the former fortress wall.

National Park “Bohemian Switzerland”

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This reserve, which has no analogues in Europe, stretches from the town of Tisza in the Ustecky region to the Shluknovsky ledge in the Decinsky region. The park was founded on January 1, 2000, and became a Czech extension of the German Sächsische Schweiz National Park (Saxon Switzerland), founded 10 years earlier (1990). The Bohemian Switzerland Park is part of the vast natural complex of Labske Piskovce, and the main object of protection is the characteristic sandstone phenomenon – the “rocky sandstone town” of Etrschowické and Dečinské Stena, and the associated biological diversity. Tourists love to visit observation decks with unique views of sandy cliffs, bridges and castles created by nature. The park is popular with fans of active sports: climbers, cyclists, rafting and hiking enthusiasts.

Millions of years ago, the sea stretched here. Having collapsed, it left behind a unique land of high sandstone cliffs and towers, rocky arches, ravines and mountains with truncated peaks.

Wild nature, which for a long time developed without human intervention, was discovered at the end of the 18th century by two Swiss artists of the Romantic era – Adrian Zingg and Anton Graf. Depicting this land in engravings and describing in poetry, they quickly spread the fame of it throughout Europe. The sites along the Elbe River canyon have become the cradle of modern tourism, becoming one of the first actively visited tourist attractions in Europe.

One of the most famous landscape painters of all time, Caspar David Friedrich, came here for the motives of his paintings. The owners of the local estates quickly realized the attractiveness of the local dense forests and romantic outlines of the cliffs, they went to great lengths to make these places more accessible by building roads and bridges. On the Mariana Rock, the Wall of Welhelm and the Rudolph Stone, steps were made, benches were placed, and gazebos were placed on the peaks. Along the roads, new taverns and lodging places were opened for tourists, walking paths appeared, and the wild river Kamenice began to be used to move between the gorges.

Not only artists came here for inspiration. Forts of robber knights, rock towns, legends about gnomes and fairies influenced the storyteller Hans Christian Andersen, poet R.M. Rilke, composers K.M. von Weber, Richard Wagner and others.

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And today the Pravcicke Gate is a symbol of “Czech Switzerland”, conquering artists, for example, the snow-covered Silent Rocks became the scenery for the film “The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe”. It was here that Lucy visited the cave of the faun Tumnus, and all four brothers and sisters crossed the rocky bridge for the first time and looked at the endless forests of Narnia.

One of the main attractions of Bohemian Switzerland, along with the Pravcické Gate, is a romantic boat trip along the Quiet and Wild Canyons on the Kamenice River. It is a short but impressive boat ride with a gondolier between two sheer cliffs – in places so deep that direct sunlight hardly gets here.

This was once a serious obstacle for the inhabitants of local villages. Once in 1877, at the U Zeleného stromu tavern in the town of Hřensko, five brave souls made a bet that they would sail on rafts from the Dolskoy mill to what was then called the “end of the world”. On rafts 4 meters long, they really safely reached Hrzhensk, in fact, becoming the founders of the tourist water route. The local prince Clari-Aldringen invited specialists from Italy, under whose leadership, through the labor of over two hundred workers, these sites became available to the public. Suspended bridges were thrown here, tunnels were built with the help of explosives. On May 4, 1890, the grand opening of the “Quiet” (“Edmond’s”) canyon took place. Since then, “at the very end of the world”, in fact, nothing has changed much,

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Moravian Karst

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The Moravian Karst, or Moravian Karst, is a nature reserve, one of the largest karst massifs in Europe, located in the Czech Republic, 30 km north of Brno.

The area stretches 25 km in length. Its width in some places is 6 km. The natural park covers an area of ​​92 sq. km. The highest height of rock formations in reserve is 734 m. The lowest place of Kras is the Macokha abyss, which has 138 m with the Punkva River at the bottom. For tourists, unique bridges (Upper and Lower) were equipped over the abyss, from which a stunning and, at the same time, a terrible panorama of the gorge opens up.

The most popular among tourists are the caves of the Moravian Kras, of which there are about 1,100 pieces. Only five underground cavities are equipped for excursions in the Moravian Beauty, among which it is worth mentioning the Punkva cave, through which the Punkva underground river of the same name flows; deep cave Macokha; Katezhinskaya cave with unique limestone formations – helictites growing horizontally; the Balcarka stalactite cave and the Stolbsko-Shoshuvsky caves with spacious underground corridors. Other attractions of the Moravian Karst include the Empty Trough and Dry Trough karst canyons and the White Water Gap.

Unique flora and fauna protect the reserve. Many species of plants and animals are endemic. In some caves, ancient rock paintings have been found on the walls.

On the reserve territory, the so-called “ecological trains” run, delivering tourists to remote points of the park. Tourists should remember that it is stably cold even in summer in the caves, so it is worth bringing a set of warm clothes with you.

Dancing House in Prague

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The Dancing House in Prague is the image of a couple in dance, expressed in urban architecture. The house consists of two towers called “Ginger and Fred,” referring to the famous Hollywood dancer and actor couple Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire. The comparison is indeed justified: one tower is straight, has the shape of a cylinder, expanding upward, and symbolizes a man. And the second tower – glass, depicts the figure of a woman with a narrow waist. In the dance, she seemed to lean against her partner. The building’s less flattering nickname is The Drunk House.

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