Are the winter blues stoking your travel itch? It’s time to shake things up and be (sort of) spontaneous! Rates at more than 160 Hyatt Hotels and Resorts around the globe are 25% off right now. But you need to act fast, as the offer is only available through February 28, and you must complete your discounted stay by March 15.
First, start by determining where you’ll go. Hyatt is calling its promotion “The Places You Can Explore,” so take the name literally and explore! For inspiration, check out these intriguing cities you can travel to while taking advantage of this great offer.
While most tourists go to Mumbai or Agra, get off the beaten path and experience two of Amritsar’s top attractions: the Wagah Border Ceremony and Harmandir Sahib (The Golden Temple). Every evening on the Wagah border, which separates India from Pakistan, crowds of locals and tourists gather on either side to watch and cheer as each country’s military performs elaborate drills (like high kicks and energetic marching) on their respective side of the border.
In town, enjoy the golden beauty of Harmandir Sahib, an ornate gilded temple surrounded by water. This is the holiest place of worship for Sikhs and has one of the world’s largest free kitchens, serving a complimentary meal to anyone who enters.
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There’s so much to do in Amsterdam, where do you begin? Since it’s called “Venice of the North,” go on a canal tour so you can see the city from a different perspective. Then, take time to visit its many top-notch museums, like the Van Gogh Museum, Anne Frank House, Rijksmuseum and Stedelijk Museum, to name a few.
Indulge in local experiences while you’re there. Visit a coffee shop, learn about beer at the Heineken Experience and discover 42 kinds of liqueur at House of Bols. Don’t leave without trying locally made cheese, crispy bitterballen and a hot and gooey stroopwafel.
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You may think of beautiful beaches when you hear “Bali” (and you’d be right!), but the island also has more to explore. Those interested in history or architecture enjoy the various temple complexes around the island, like the pilgrimage temples of Pura Besakih and Pura Tanah Lot, and ancient religious sites, like Goa Gajah and Gunung Kawi.
Photographers and artists gravitate toward Jatiluwih and Tegallalang to capture their stunning panoramas of verdant rice terraces. And the allure of seeing sunrise from the top Mount Batur, an active volcano, attracts the physically fit.
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This buzzing metropolis is where East meets West and old meets new. You can watch live Muay Thai at a stadium and, just a short cab ride away, experience a 4D movie at Paragon Cineplex. Stop at a spa for a traditional Thai massage and explore the floating markets of Khlong Lat Mayom and Taling Chan. You can dive further into the food culture by taking a cooking class or food walking tour.
For a taste of Thai architecture, visit the ornate Grand Palace complex, impressive Wat Arun and the gilded reclining Buddha at Wat Pho. Don’t head home before exploring the ancient ruins at Ayutthaya Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site 90 minutes north of Bangkok.
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Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Malaysia’s capital city, known as KL, offers a variety of interesting and family-friendly activities. For a great view of downtown, head to the skybridge and observation deck at the Petronas Twin Towers, which stand nearly 1,500 feet tall. When you’re done, wander around inside the towers at KLCC Suria, a popular shopping mall with more than 400 stores.
Another top attraction in KL, called the Batu Caves, is just a short distance outside the city. To reach the sacred cave temples, visitors must pass a towering 140-foot-high gilded Hindu diety statue and climb 300 hundred steps. Watch out for the all-too-friendly monkeys — they want your food, but might go for your camera!
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Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt
Maybe you go to Giza and Luxor to see the pyramids and temples, or maybe you head straight to Sharm El Sheikh for a beach break. Relax on the beach or jump into the Red Sea to enjoy one of the world’s top diving and snorkeling experiences. Go for a wreck dive at Jolanda Reef and see tons of sea life at Shark Reef, Thomas Reef and Jackson Reef, to name a few of the hottest spots.
If you want a break from the sand and surf, explore the Old Market, Coloured Canyon or the ancient Monastery of St. Catherine, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
The ferry from the mainland drops visitors in Stone Town, the gateway city to this beautiful island. Its narrow streets, abundance of curio shops and interesting architecture make Stone Town a walkable city that’s fun to explore. Make sure to visit the Old Fort, House of Wonders and Palace Museum.
Outside of Stone Town, you can surf on the southeast coast, relax on the white-sand beaches of Kendwa and take a spice tour to see how cloves, turmeric and more are grown (it is called “The Spice Island” after all). Don’t forget to fill up on fresh-caught seafood!
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There’s no shortage of fun things to do in Sydney. You can see a performance at the iconic Sydney Opera House, walk over (or climb up!) the Sydney Harbour Bridge, take a leisurely walk through the Royal Botanic Garden or watch for celebrities (like Hugh Jackman) at Bondi Beach.
Take a day trip to the Blue Mountains for stunning scenery or to Hunter Valley to tour vineyards and taste local wine.
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The area around Armenia’s capital is steeped in history. Dating back all the way to the 1st century is the Temple of Garni, an Hellenic pagan temple southeast of Yerevan’s city center. Nearby, the Monastery of Geghard was originally constructed in the 4th century. Many of the tombs and churches that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site are cut into the surrounding rocks.
Southwest of those structures is Khor Virap Monastery, less than 400 feet from the Turkish border. The monastery was built in the 17th century, but the site housed other churches since 642. It’s said to be where Saint Gregory the Illuminator was held in a pit for 13 years prior to attaining sainthood.
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This cultural hub on the island of Java is home to not one, but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Dating back to the 9th century, Borobudur Temple Compounds is a massive Buddhist complex and the Prambanan Temple Compounds is Indonesia’s largest Hindu temple complex.
Inside the city, visitors can attend Javanese performance art, like the Ramayana Ballet and traditional shadow puppet plays. You can also watch artists make batik (hand-waxed and dyed cotton textiles) or attend a hands-on workshop to try making your own.
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