In the third part of our Round the World series we’re appealing to those of you blown away by the vast cities that shoot high into the sky and sprawl wide across the landscape.
We’ve already shown you how to visit 4 continents on the cheap with East Bound & Down plus the foodie’s paradise of Down Argentine Way. This week it’s time to explore some of the world’s most vibrant and exciting cities with all flights covered for €1469, allowing you to explore the sheer scale of these five very different concrete jungles by the numbers…
Round the World Stop #1 – Dubai, UAE
So if you’ve been following the RTW series you’ll know how fond we are of this modern marvel of a city. We’ve already shown you the best places to go during your stay in the plush surroundings of Dubai but here’s a few crazy stats and facts about a city that, in 20 years has become one of the world’s most remarkable and a must visit for any city slicker…
80% of Dubai’s 2m population is made up of ex-pats from India, Pakistan & Europe
At 4.8 visitors for every one resident, Dubai is easily the most visited destination per permanent resident in the world
Dubai’s International airport is now the world’s busiest with nearly 71m visitors in 2015
Dubai is home to the worlds tallest building, The Burj Khalifa at 828 metres
Dubai has gone from having one skyscraper in 1978 to 148 and counting today
In fact, 1 in 4 operating cranes in the world are in Dubai!
The Dubai Mall is the largest in the world with 1,200 shops & the world’s second largest aquarium
The Emirates Golf Club in Dubai uses 100% recycled water to maintain the course and has won awards for this sustainable feat
The Dubai Police department has a Bugatti Veyron plus Lamborghini’s & Ferrari’s in it’s fleet of official police vehicles
It’s safe to say you’ll be blown away a city that’s evolving almost every single day but there’s still much more to explore so onto our second Round the World destination…
Round the World #2 – Melbourne, Australia
You’ll already know about these 15 Things To Do in Australia’s second largest city but there’s lots more unique about a city that used to be the capital until 1927…
Melbourne, like Dubai is a diverse city with 38% of its residents being born overseas.
Melbourne is sports mad with the MCG being the 10th biggest in the world holding over 100,000 people!
It’s also is the only city in the world with FIVE international standard sporting facilities
The highest temperature ever recorded there was in 2009 at 46.4 degrees. That’s hot!
Melbourne has the highest number of restaurants & cafe per person of any city in the world
Melbourne was originally called Batmania (no, seriously) after being founded by John Batman (also seriously) in 1869
The people are credited with ‘inventing’ the 8 hour work day (this was when slavery still existed!). The ‘888 rule’ included the same time for recreation and for rest.
After two long haul flights, you’ll be chuffed with the 2 hour hop along the Australian Coast to another of the world’s most iconic cities – Sydney.
Round the World #3 – Sydney, Australia
Sydney is famed for it’s New Year’s celebrations if you’re lucky enough to be here in Dec
If you love water sports there’s no better city to go
It’s hard to imagine a more spectacular sight anywhere in the world right now than this!
Sydney is by far and away the most popular Australian settlement for Irish travellers and ex pats so it would be simply rude to go around the world without stopping by this city that is bursting with things to do and see.
So what makes Sydney another of the world’s top cities to visit? Well…
Despite being a metropolitan area, Sydney has 180 miles of spectacular shoreline!
This includes two of the world’s most famous – Bondi & Manly
Sydney experiences 342 days of sunshine on average per year (do the maths!)
Like your seafood? Sydney has the 3rd largest fresh fish market in the world
As the first large city to ring in the New Year, Sydney spends millions on the world famous firework display – it cost $7m in 2015!
The iconic Sydney opera was supposed to cost $7m to build, when it opened in 1973 it had cost $120m! So worth it though.
That’s three of the world’s best cities to visit, ticked off on your Round the World adventure but as is the only way to do a trip like this, we’re saving the greatest city of them all until last…
Round the World Stop #4 – New York, USA
Every traveller who finds themselves drawn to big city lights and the buzz of modern day living probably used New York City as the blueprint to dream up their utopia. It’s busy, it’s loud, it glistens in the sun and it is officially the world’s most visited city on the planet!
You probably think you know Manhattan’s streets inside out before stepping into the airport terminal at JFK but here’s some facts about NY you probably didn’t know…
Demand for real estate in Manhattan is so astronomically high very often property developers will sell the air above a skyscraper! The air…
It costs nearly $300k to obtain a licence to sell hot dogs in Central Park
There’s more people in New York City than in 39 of the 50 states
If Brooklyn was counted as a city, it’d be the fourth largest in the US
On average, the Manhattan population swells by 1.3m people during working hours
If you’re homeless in NYC but can prove a residence anywhere else in the world, the state will fly you there for free!
The Empire State Building has it’s very own ZIP Code
If you listen hard enough (and for long enough) you’ll here nearly 800 languages or dialects spoken in New York
The furthest you can possibly be away from the Subway in Manhattan is 1.2km (Gracie Square).
New York has approx 1,600 places where you can eat pizza
Ok, so we slightly lied about New York being the last stop on the City Slicker! We’ll fly you back to London where you can spend a couple more days in metropolis and when you come back you’ll think of Dublin as a village!
Oh my God! It maybe coming into winter in Sydney but the opening of the Vivid Festival of light, music and ideas is pretty much the coolest thing we’ve seen in a long time!
Billed as a festival bringing together art, technology and commerce, the festival has utilised the latest and greatest in projection technology to turn the city into a living, breathing work of art. Over the next 23 Days, Sydney is home to the world’s largest outdoor gallery and some of the pics (and this time lapse of the Opera House via Eddie Sim) makes their New Year celebrations look tame in comparison.
The project took over 15 months of intense work to bring together and at the very heart of the festival is to highlight the plight of some of the world’s most endangered species.
Tens of thousands of people have already flocked to the installations across Sydney and it makes us long for hopping on a plane back to this incredible city.
Check out 10 of best pictures of the festivals opening night below:
The Echnida is one of the most endangered species in the world
A neon elephant at Taronga Zoo
The Sydney Opera House lit up with state of the art projection tech
The Opera House will be an enchanting watch for the next 23 days
The multi-coloured displays drench the Opera House
Many of the boats across the harbour will also be lit up during Vivid 2016
It’s hard to imagine a more spectacular sight anywhere in the world right now than this!
The Sydney Conservatorium of Music glows purple
Opening night at the Museum of Contemporary Art
The Godwana Light Lab in Chatswood
Have you been to any of the installations yet? Which are the most spectacular? Let us know in the comments.
Our Round the World series began last week with the cheapest way to go East Bound and Down, taking in the likes of Dubai, Sydney and Johannesburg. This week, we cannot resist the longing for some Latin vibes so we’re going Down Argentine Way from Dublin with all your flights covered from €1868.
After the short hop over the Irish Sea to London, the crosshairs are set firmly one of South America’s biggest and most passionate cities, Buenos Aires.
A world of colour and passion awaits you in Buenos Aires
No, this is not Dublin! Although the Samuel Beckett was based on this one
Puerto Madero Harbour
Three things are gospel in Argentina’s vibrant capital and home to three million inhabitants – the taste of a succulent steak, the passion of a steamy tango and the noise coming from the fanatical football fans at La Bombonera.
The moment you disembark and set foot on Argentinian soil you’ll know you’re in for an assault on the senses. Buenos Aires a European style metropolis but with an influential Latin twist. It’s loud, it’s colourful and it’s bloody delicious! The foodie in you will be about ready to burst from minute one.
The Argentine’s are thoroughbred carnivores and if you are too, this is the best meat you’ll find anywhere in the world. If that weren’t enough, Argentina’s national drink is red wine with the capital home to nearly 900 bodegas. Finding the best parilla (steakhouse) is an impossible task as each one will reinvent your idea of a great steak but consider La Cabrera, La Brigada and Don Julio.
Aside from being a foodie’s dream, Buenos Aires is also as amorous as it gets so if the once in a lifetime trip with your other half is what you’re after then this is a great place to fall in love all over again. Tango classes in La Vurita, a gondola ride through Puerto Madero or a stroll through beautiful Rosedal (Rose Garden) are all activities to bring out ‘The Notebook’ levels of romance.
Here’s a handy checklist of ‘must do’s’ while on your first RTW stop:
Devour mouthwatering steak in La Brigada
Go Wine Tasting in any of Buenos Airea famed bodegas
Take a tango class (or watch one) at La Vurita
Take in the atmosphere at Boca Juniors home ground, La Bombanera (or a tour if it’s off season)
Have a very, very late night out on the Costanera Norte promenade
It’s likely you’ll be taking some extra ‘carry on luggage’ after Buenos Aires but we won’t hold it against you. Onwards, towards the Andes…
The rugged Chilean landscape stretches the whole way down the spine of the country
Torres Del Paine in Patagonia is one of the world’s most beautiful
The view from atop Cerro San Cristobal overlooking Santiago
If Buenos Aires was paradise for your nose and taste buds, then Santiago will astonish your eyes! The views of Chile’s capital from atop Cerro San Cristóbal or Cerro Santa Lucia are sensational plus they’ll help you reverse the gluttony of the recent past.
The beauty of your surroundings doesn’t stop there either with Cajón del Maipo, 25km from the city centre where you can hike, bike, camp, glamp or raft your way through the stunning terrain.
Tired yet? Well, suck it up there’s one more unmissable day to spend here before we make the big journey across the Pacific. Rest is for the weak!
One hour from Santiago you’ll find South America’s biggest ski slopes with Valle Nevado, El Colorado or La Parva all in close proximity offering views like these…
Good and tired now? Great, time to get some shut eye as we make a move across the Pacific to New Zealand and Australia.
After being surrounded by the Spanish language and soaking up Latin culture you might be ready for a more familiar experience. Auckland is the largest city on New Zealand’s north island and a hugely popular settlement for Irish travellers and migrants alike.
Auckland is another ocular delight and there’s no better place to view the harbours than by reaching the top of the 328m Sky Tower. New Zealand’s biggest building offers amazing panoramic views of the city and you can even bungee off it if you’re crazy enough!
Auckland city at night
The residents of Auckland rival the Irish for their friendly demeanor so you’ll get on famously! Auckland is also a very multicultural city, in fact having more ethnicity’s living there than in London! Everyone integrates and engages with each other. You’ll soon find if you put in the effort you’ll meet people from every corner of the globe which will only enhance your Round the World experience. It’s also been voted the 3rd best city to live in the world in 2016.
What’s often said about New Zealand in general is that you’re never more than 15 minutes away from somewhere stunningly beautiful and around Auckland we could pick out 100 different places but one stands out, Waiheke Island. Words don’t do it justice, just watch this…
Melbourne is the financial centre of Australia and the closest thing to NYC you’ll find
The city sparkles and sprawls at night
Stop #4 and we’re hitting the Gold Coast for the first of two Aussie gems. From cruising down Great Ocean Road to hanging out with the Koalas on Phillip Island, here’s the 12 Best Things To Do from your time in Melbourne.
So you’ve sampled the passion of Latin America, explored the beauty of the Andes and of New Zealand, adopted the laid back way of life along the Gold Coast, now it’s time for the last hurrah!
Similarly to Sydney, if you travel Round the World the gateway to the East should certainly be on your list except this time we’re spoiling ourselves (as if we haven’t been already) last instead of first. Check these 5 Must Do’s off in Dubai before your RTW trip comes to an end.
For enquiries on the Down Argentine Way package or another other of our Round the World options give our experts a call on (01) 602 1906, visit our site or email firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re anywhere from 19-30+ and living in Ireland, the chances are thoughts of making a break for it and escaping Ireland to Australia have definitely come to mind. Nearly 75,000 of us have fled for the sunshine, laid back culture and career opportunities Down Under in the last 5 years and it’s no wonder when most can relate to these triggers…
Annoying ‘Check In’ Merchants
Not a day will pass without you finding a post in one of your timelines of a friend who is ‘living the good life’ somewhere on the Gold Coast of Australia. #BeachLife, #Bondi, #HotDogLegs #HomeAndAway #IrishDownUnder, the hashtags are endless and usually accompanied by one or more of cocktails, check ins at famous Aussie locations, more cocktails, smug comments about it being a ‘tough life’ and other b*llshit which only serves to increase your longing to be one of those b*llshitters. Whether it’s Snapchat, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, you are never far away from this trigger!
Watching Bondi Rescue, Realising Your Job Sucks
Your degree of addiction to watching a bunch of attractive Aussies continuously saving lives, effortlessly flaunting their bronzed skin and being general legends may vary the amount of weekly triggers that hit you, but it’s definitely happened! Bondi Rescue (and obviously Home and Away) showcase Australian life as better to life in Ireland in most ways (maybe except the sharks). It makes you realise that whether you’re getting paper cuts in the office, babysitting drunkards in a bar or faking politeness serving a table at a restaurant, you can convince yourself that this would all be more tolerable in Australia.
Bouncers in Coppers Know You By Name
Getting pegged as a ‘regular’ in Coppers is perhaps the quickest way to instantly attain sobriety in Dublin City. When the bouncer smiles and remarks “Who was that girl last week, Alan?”, it’s not good as you’ve probably got to the stage where you’ll know (and have the fear around) every third person in Dublin’s most famous nightspot. You’ll immediately long for some anonymity and a fresh start in Sydney.
Did You Think We Wouldn’t Mention The Weather?
Yep, definitely a daily trigger!
Googling ‘Oz Visas’ Without Realising
When the hours are melting away surfing the net when you should be studying (or working, bold!), you’ll invariably bump into some piece of content that makes you think of Australia. Maybe you haven’t seriously considered going but your curiosity will end up with you scrolling through info on how to get a Working Holiday Visa. Your initial reaction is it doesn’t look as complicated as you’d think. Next step, speak to someone in the know. Why not one of our upcoming Work in Oz talks in Dublin & Galway?
Family Pressure To Get Your Life Together
Getting yourself set up and out from under the family roof is bloody expensive in Ireland at the minute but even if you’ve successfully managed it (go you!), you’ll still be getting the third degree from Mum & Dad at every given opportunity. You’re not ready to settle down despite their enquiries, you reassure them you didn’t get sucked into a Black Hole last weekend, they ask you about your 5 year and 10 year plans! It’s not cool, it’s stifling even though it’s well intentioned and you know that leaving for Australia is a step forward in your life, while still having the freedom to enjoy each day as opposed to planning for the next! A dramatic representation of how they think you’re doing…
The Sunday Night 7th Circle of Hell
Favourite part of the week? Plenty of people would say Friday afternoon but you can be sure everyone’s least favourite part of the week kicks in from about 6pm on Sunday. It’s around this point the dread of the next week kicks in and you frantically search Netflix for something to distract you from the impending doom of another Monday morning. This Circle of Hell is made much tougher by the fact that it’s more than likely cold, rainy and increasing you’re generally miserable mood for what’s ahead. If you think this stressful ritual is easier in Australia, you’re probably right.
You’ve Run Out Of Excuses Not To Go
Don’t get us wrong, a decision to emigrate isn’t an easy one to make and even the most confident of young people will feel an element of fear and trepidation in packing the bags and going. Every time a pang of fear hits you and you start thinking of things that could go wrong with visas, apartments, jobs, spiders when you get over there, you’ll convince yourself of a water tight excuse that drowns the fear. “I can’t afford to go, I need to stay for my friends wedding, my family need me here, I’m pretty sure I’m allergic to sunshine, I’ll be eaten by a spider”. The excuses will increase in absurdity until you realise you’ve got none left. It’s about then you Google ‘Move to Australia’ and USIT display on your results page.
‘My legs are getting crushed…I’m starving…I think my ass has gone numb…I’m majorly bored…this cabin smells funny…I think that air steward just broke my arm with the trolley’. We can pretty much guarantee that you have muttered at least one of these under your breath when you’ve flown economy anywhere, you probably muttered several in truth. It doesn’t have to be this way!
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If you’ve spent a year living in Australia on a working holiday visa, you’ve no doubt come back to Ireland with three things. A mind chock-full of memories that will last a lifetime. The best tan you’ve ever had. And finally a collection of ‘When I was living in Oz’ stories that the mates you left behind have no interest in hearing. Chances are you’ve also come back a bit wiser than when you left…do any of these ten thoughts ring a bell? Continue reading 10 things every Irish person does when they move to Oz→
If you’re reading this you are in one of two situations. You’re either counting down the days until you move or make a trip to Australia, or you’re stuck in your day job dreaming about sun, sea and koalas. Either way, these 8 Instagram accounts from Oz should help take the edge off… Continue reading 8 of Australia’s best Instagram accounts→
You’re in Australia. The sun is shining (even in winter), the beaches are golden, the sunsets amazing. It’s a good life. But after a few months of backpacking down the coast or up through the centre, that bank account is looking decidedly emptier than when you first landed Down Under. There are many job options for a Working Holiday visa holder, but some are easier to find than others. Continue reading How To Survive a Rural Australian Town→