When I traveled through Europe in 2000, I passed through Munich three times…yet, I never left the train station. The European trip, which I made with my mom and aunt, was a spontaneous one and a few missteps had us slightly zigzagging through countries. Munich wasn’t on our original, rough-outlined itinerary, so we had done little research on the city. When we arrived at the Munich train station, we had no map, no guidebook and no idea how close we were to the city center. My one and only memory of our layover in Munich is that a train station vendor refused to sell us sausages. Instead, our layover in Munich was spent – without sausage or beer – simply waiting for the next train.
As slow travelers, we often spend weeks in cities that many travelers only give a day or two. Only on rare occasions do we limit ourselves to a single day in a city and that only happens when our scheduled commitments and flight arrangements put a squeeze on our itinerary. That’s what happened with our visit to Amsterdam. Eager to see as much of it as we could, we set out on a One Day in Amsterdam Self-Guided Walking Tour to 15 of the city’s best sights. (Map below!)
Amsterdam is a compact city, but the sights are spread throughout, making it somewhat difficult to organize an easy-flowing self-guided walking tour. To see what we wanted to see, we had to cover some ground, which included a little zigging and zagging. With only one day in Amsterdam, we eliminated stops at museums and didn’t even consider attempting a bike rental. That being said, we left just enough time in our One Day in Amsterdam Self-Guided Walking Tour to sip on coffee, enjoy the views and wind our day down with a few beers.
Twice before we have visited Madrid on quick, less-than-24-hour layovers. Both times, we dashed through the city to see as many sights in Madrid as we could. On this trip we had more time – but still only two days – so we created a self-guided walking tour to sights in Madrid that allowed us to slow down and enjoy the city a little more. We’ve outlined 10 sights to see in Madrid, including plazas, churches, markets and museums.
Note: Our trip to Madrid was at the end of December, so the city was decorated for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.
Singapore Marina Bay self-guided walking tour – Part 2 in a series
We had three days to explore Singapore. Setting out on foot each day, we completed three different walking tours: Singapore Downtown sights, Marina Bay and Chinatown, Temples and Clark Quay. An ambitious person could link the three tours together for one long day of Singapore exploration! Continued from Singapore Downtown self-guided walking tour (Part 1)
Singapore Marina Bay self-guided walking tour
Recharged after lunch, we retraced our steps back to the Fullerton Hotel and took the air-conditioned underpass beneath the street to get to the marina. We marveled at the Marina Bay Sands Hotels across the water, looking as if the towers emerged from the depths of the sea, sweeping a boat right out of the water and hoisting it up in the air. The shiny, lotus-looking ArtScience Museum looks dwarfed in comparison, but together they look futuristic and it is simply impossible not to stop and gawk at it.