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Place & People

Top 10 Beautiful Countries to visit in 2019



10 Netherlands

Entering the top ten this year, the Netherlands also scored sixth in top countries to raise kids. Even better?

The country is also one of the best for women.

9. São Tomé & Príncipe

Intrepid explorers have always searched out places to boldly go where no one has gone before. This is a rare chance for you to visit a place few other travellers have even heard of. The two-island nation of São Tomé & Príncipe – found floating in the Gulf of Guinea – is now calling. Don’t make the mistake of ignoring it. Surreal landscapes climb dramatically to the heavens, tropical waters kiss its empty beaches and jungles consume everything from colonial sugar, cocoa, and coffee plantations to sobering relics of the island’s past role in the slave trade. And whether trekking through the forests, climbing the mountains or snorkelling in the waters offshore, you’ll discover many untold treasures here.

8. Belarus

Long a beacon for those seeking the obscure, Belarus has quietly become cool on the back of relaxed visa requirements, a sneaky-good art and cafe scene, and locals who party like it’s 1999. Minsk is the hub and where you must arrive and depart to take advantage of a new 30-day visa-free regime. In its impeccably restored Old Town, centred around the graceful ratusha (town hall), evening revellers erupt out of bierstubes and fashionable cocktail bars to join raucous summer street parties. Minsk has also become a hub for global events and summits. Next up: the 2019 European Games.

7. Indonesia

Indonesia is as diverse as its span is long, from new eco-resorts offering orang-utan encounters in Sumatra to the tribal traditions of Papua. More than 17,000 islands make up the medley of cultures, cuisines and religions across the archipelago, offering a kaleidoscope of experience. Earthquakes recently struck some parts of Indonesia, which is located on the volcano-lined Pacific Ring of Fire. The response to these natural disasters is ongoing, but much of this sprawling country remains safe for visitors. Thanks to substantial investment in new air, land and sea connections, plus recent visa-free access for nationals of 169 countries, it has never been easier to explore this tropical country. Go now, before all its secrets are uncovered.

6. Jordan

Have a taste for adventure? Here’s a new recipe: find a path 650km long and set aside 36 days (42 with rest stops) to hike it; throw in a mindblowing Rift Valley landscape crumpled with canyons and made green after flash floods; add vistas of the lowest point on Earth (the Dead Sea) and of biblical catastrophe (Sodom); season with wildflowers strewn over crusader castles; combine with a healthy pinch of irrepressible Jordanian optimism and there you have it – the Jordan Trail, the country’s latest signature dish. Be ahead of the pack to sample the highs and lows of this epic route.

5. Kyrgyzstan

Kyrgyzstan’s moment on the world tourism stage seems to have come following huge buzz from the 2018 World Nomad Games, Central Asia’s competition dedicated to its traditional (and quirky) regional sports. The time to visit has never been better – more than 2700km of newly marked trekking routes; a countrywide push of community-run tour products; a revamped national highway system cutting transit times immensely; and a simplified e-visa programme for those not on the list of 60+ visa-free countries – but do it now: Kyrgyzstan is quickly becoming an in-the-know favourite for independent travellers seeking unspoilt natural beauty.


Welcome to the crossroads of the Americas. In Panama, north meets south in a fiesta of tropical biodiversity, celebrated at the world-class BioMuseo. East meets West through expanding world trade, with the world’s biggest cargo ships travelling the recently revamped Panama Canal. Darling Panama packs so many treasures into one small country – from white-sand beaches to tropical rainforests, misty highlands and indigenous culture – it is shocking that it’s somehow still under the radar. In 2019, Panama Citypledges to party like never before, marking its 500-year history with one raucous jubilee that you won’t want to miss. ¡Viva Panama!


5th for quality of life and 4th on the “best countries to travel alone” list—chalk it up to that renowned Aussie friendliness and the country’s landscapes.

2. Germany

Germany has long been a powerhouse of innovation and has bestowed upon the world the printing press, the automobile, the aspirin and other milestones of invention. And 100 years ago, a little school in the Thuringian countryside kick-started an aesthetic movement so globally influential that its reverberations are still felt today: the Bauhaus. Join the year-long birthday party of this midwife of modernism that was founded in Weimar in 1919, flourished in Dessau and was quashed by the Nazis in Berlin in 1933. Sparkling new museums are set to open in these three cities along with scores of related events and exhibitions held throughout Germany.

1. Sri Lanka

Sri Lanka is decidedly having its moment in the equatorial sun and change is coming swiftly. Already notable to intrepid travellers for its mix of religions and cultures, its timeless temples, its rich and accessible wildlife, its growing surf scene and its people who defy all odds by their welcome and friendliness after decades of civil conflict, this is a country revived. There’s now more than ever for families, adrenaline junkies, eco-tourists, wellness seekers and foodies of all budgets. Even the north and east, including areas previously off limits, difficult to reach or lacking in services, deliver new discoveries.

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Place & People

LA TOUR EIFFEL – The symbol of the city of Paris




The Eiffel Tower is a wrought iron tower that stands 1,063 ft (324 m) tall. It was designed for the Exposition Universelle, a world fair held in Paris in 1889. It is currently the most famous symbol of Paris.


Two senior engineers working for the architect and engineer Gustave Eiffel designed the Tower, which was then approved by Eiffel and proposed as the center piece for the world fair held in France’s capital, the Exposition Universelle in 1889. Once approved, 250 builders were hired to build the monument, which took over two years to finish.

Initially, the Eiffel Tower was subject of controversy. The artists of the period thought the monument to be monstrous, and given its low profitability it was suggested on several occasions that they should demolish it.

During World War I, enemy messages were intercepted thanks to the tower radiotelegraphy center.

Currently, the Eiffel Tower is the most-visited monument in the world with over 7 million visitors a year. This is partly due to the popularity of Paris as a tourist destination.

Visiting the Eiffel Tower

If it’s your first time in Paris, going up the Eiffel Tower is a must. Visitors can choose to go up using the Tower lift or the stairs. However, before making your mind up on how you want to visit the monument, it is important to keep in mind that there are 1,665 steps to the top.

If you decide to take the stairs, you can only visit the second floor. Although the stairs admission ticket is cheaper, the difference is not worthwhile and we recommend taking the elevator.

The best moment to enjoy the breath-taking views of Paris is early in the morning to avoid the lines or at dusk, when visitors will see Paris lit up.

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