japan has the most powerful passport

Ranked: world’s most powerful passports 2023

In 2023, Japan has the world’s most powerful passport. Holders are able to visit 193 destinations without a prior visa

It’s official. Globally, we are on the move again. In 2022, international travel showed significant signs of recovery, with arrivals reaching 57% of pre-pandemic levels. An estimated 474 million tourists travelled internationally during the first seven months of 2022, compared to 175 million in the same period of 2021.

Hawa Mahal Palace in Jaipur, India

50 quick tips for first-time visitors to India

India can be a culture shock, especially for newbies. To help you adjust, we’ve put together 50 quick tips for first-time visitors

On my first trip to India, I was a relatively inexperienced traveller. I was overwhelmed by its beauty and allure. But I was also taken aback by the assault on the senses often reported by first-time visitors. On my second visit – this time with my father who lived in India for several years – I expected to be more familiar with the country’s various vagaries. In reality, I was just as overwhelmed as the first time round.

Chichén Itzá lead image

Visiting Chichén Itzá: my seventh wonder of the world

Peter finally gets around to visiting Chichén Itzá, but will the Maya ruins measure up to the other six wonders of the world?

During our round-the-world trip in 2014-15, Kia and I visited Christ the Redeemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It was my sixth of the New 7 Wonders of the World, a 2007 campaign which selected the new world wonders from a list of 200 monuments. The final seven were chosen by the public who cast over 100 million votes in the process.

things to do in Ras Al Khaimah lead image

11 best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah, UAE

From the world’s longest zipline to desert bedouin camps, these are the best things to do in Ras Al Khaimah

Ras Al Khaimah, one of the seven emirates that make up the UAE, is an intriguing blend of the modern world and old Arabia. Unlike its neighbouring emirates, overdevelopment is yet to engulf Ras Al Khaimah, more commonly known as RAK. This, along with its sandy coast and craggy interior, makes it a beguiling Middle East destination.

Asunción, Paraguay

20 interesting facts about Paraguay

The most interesting facts about Paraguay, from a double-sided national flag to the ‘Heart of South America’

American essayist P.J. O’Rourke once quipped that Paraguay was “nowhere and famous for nothing.” He then took a business trip there, fell in love with the country and promptly moved there.

While we can’t say we felt the same striking attraction, we certainly appreciated Paraguay’s history and authenticity. The small and struggling country is a steamy subtropical land of remarkable contrasts with a tragic and torrid history filled with violence and loss.

visiting-easter-island-Ahu-Tongariki

16 interesting facts about Easter Island (Rapa Nui)

We examine the island’s history and explain some of the most interesting facts about Easter Island

This remote Pacific island is not only beautiful but full of mystery. The open-air museum in the middle of the Pacific Island has some of the world’s most recognisable images.

things to do in Eswatini Swaziland big five

21 interesting facts about Eswatini (Swaziland)

We share the most interesting facts about Eswatini collected on our brisk but beguiling sojourn into ‘Africa’s newest kingdom’.

We had been in southern Africa for nearly three weeks by the time we arrived in Eswatini, our fourth country of the trip.

Krakow in Poland during sunset

Kraków Old Town: a DIY walking tour

Kraków Old Town is best explored on a DIY walking tour. Here we share our tried-and-tested route for exploring Poland’s glorious former capital

Kraków was Poland’s only major city to escape World War II virtually undamaged. Since then, the assembly of monuments and architecture that makes up its Old Town was quite rightly celebrated by UNESCO as one of the 12 original World Heritage sites first listed in 1978.

Visiting Auschwitz from Kraków: a sobering journey

Kia reflects on a visit to Auschwitz from Kraków and defends what some dismiss as problematic tourism

The famous gates of Auschwitz are startling, not because they’re sinister or imposing but the very opposite. Usually depicted in black and white, these gates have featured in myriad Holocaust films and documentaries. Today, however, they’re not in menacing monochrome or veiled in evocative fog. Rather, they’re bathed in sunlight with a blazing blue sky behind.

Rio de Janeiro in brazil

23 interesting facts about Brazil

The most interesting facts about Brazil we learnt during our stay in Rio, proving it’s not all Carnival and football around here

Our short city break in Rio de Janeiro was tagged on at the end of our big trip so we didn’t get as long as we wanted in either the city or Brazil itself. We’re committed to returning one day to explore the country’s massive interior and take a boat trip down the Amazon River.

A carp pond with bridges and Japanese ornaments

Secret gardens: best parks in Buenos Aires

We explore the best parks in Buenos Aires to help you find a spot of calm in Argentina’s whirlwind capital

Buenos Aires whizzes past. While its cafés, bars and restaurants spill out onto the sidewalks, honking throngs of traffic hurtle by just inches away. Porteños (residents of Buenos Aires) barely raise an eyebrow over their espressos, but for those of us uninitiated, Buenos Aires can be overwhelming.

facts about Colombia lead image

24 interesting facts about Colombia

Our curated list of the most interesting facts about Colombia we learnt during our visit

We didn’t plan on staying a month in Colombia. After spending longer than we had planned in the South Pacific, we were wary that we had only six months for an area far larger than what we had seen thus far.

Of course, our journey through Cartagena, Santa Marta, Taganga, Medellin, Guatapé, Popayán and San Agustín warranted more than the two weeks we had planned.

Durdle Door on the Jurassic Coast is one of our favourite outdoor destinations in Britain

10 great outdoor destinations – and their British twins

From Alpine-esque peaks to Basque-country beauty, there’s a world’s worth of wonder right here at home

It’s strange that in a place literally named ‘Great’, we the British like to self-deprecate. We as a nation tend to regard blind ambition and gaudy success with a sense of mild distaste. We value modesty and restraint and seldom shout about our strengths.

Stari Most, an Ottoman bridge in Bosnia and Herzegovina

The travel that changed me: Tharik Hussain

Kia speaks to author Tharik Hussain and explains why his book about Muslim Europe is changing her thoughts about her own religion

If I had read Minarets in the Mountains in my youth, I would have almost certainly felt differently about my religion. My parents were Bangladeshi immigrants to the UK and in an effort to cling on to their identity, followed a highly prescriptive version of Islam that wasn’t very much fun.

interesting facts about sri lanka

22 interesting facts about Sri Lanka

We learnt a host of interesting facts about Sri Lanka on our month-long trip through the country. Here, we share the best of them

Sri Lanka is a rich and fascinating country that seems to have everything a traveller could want. It is one of the best safari destinations outside of Africa with an abundance of wildlife squeezed into its 26 national parks.

facts about argentina The Church of Maradona has over 120,000 members

22 interesting facts about Argentina

Interesting facts about Argentina, from the largest creature to have walked the earth to the first human to be born in Antarctica

I first visited Argentina in 2015 as part of our year-long trip around the world. Due to quirks in our itinerary, technically, we visited the country three times in the space of a mere few weeks (as we crossed in and out of neighbouring countries).

Hvar is known as a celebrity hideout

5 best day trips from Split, Croatia 

Croatia’s second city is a great base for exploring Dalmatia and beyond. Here’s what not to miss when planning day trips from Split

If Dubrovnik is a picture-perfect slice of old-world charm, then Split is its slightly wearier cousin in the north. Built around the ancient Diocletian’s Palace, Split is a bustling maze of houses, churches and chapels but with all the conveniences of a modern tourist town. 

Calm amid the chaos in Colombo Sri Lanka meditation

How to find calm amid the chaos in Colombo, Sri Lanka

Colombo isn’t as frenetic as other Asian capitals, but it’s still a busy working city. Here are five ways to find calm amid the chaos at any time of day

Home to nearly six million people, Colombo is the commercial capital and largest city of Sri Lanka. There is no metro or tram system so there’s no escape from the rumbling buses, tooting tuk-tuks and tinted cars that clog the wide boulevards.