Auckland Favorites

We don’t normally get to spend large chunks of time in big cities on the boat, so we tried to maximize every minute in Auckland, New Zealand’s biggest city. Our conclusion: we could live there! Auckland is a vibrant cosmopolitan city with a lot to offer, from museums to excursions to food. This post details our Auckland favorites.

About Auckland

I thought it was the capital, but that’s Wellington, at the southern end of the North Island. Instead, Auckland is New Zealand’s most populated city, with nearly 1.7 million people.

Located in the north of the North Island, Auckland is on a narrow isthmus between two large harbors and is known as The City of Sails. With it’s waterfront location, Auckland is home to beautiful beaches, waterfront trails, fish markets, and scores of sailboats. It’s also based around multiple volcanos, great for hiking.

Auckland Harbor
Auckland from the water
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Curaçao Street Art

I love discovering street art when I travel, and I’m wowed by the street art in Curaçao! Downtown Willemstad is a treasure trove and since there is a lot, I’ve divided this post by neighborhood, so you can do your own walking tour when you go! if you’ve only got a day in Curaçao, this is the area to visit.

Want to see more posts about street art in The Caribbean? Check it out in Guadeloupe, Martinique and Bonaire.

The Top Curaçao Street Art is in Otrobanda

We stayed at an airbnb in Otrobanda, so this hip and growing neighborhood introduced us to the colorful street art of Curaçao. In our first days in the city, we wandered the streets taking photos and learning about the community. We also went on a Free Walking Tour and our guide showed off this trendy neighborhood and its street art.

  • Love Locks
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Walking Around Cape Town: Bo-Kaap Tour

When I go to a new city, I like to get acclimated to the place through a guided tour. Bike tours are scarce in Cape Town, probably because of all the hills, but we found good guided tours through Cape Town Free Walking Tours. They offer three walking tour options at different times of day. Our first day in Cape Town, we took the walking tour of Bo-Kaap.

Bo-Kaap Overview
walking tour of Bo-Kaap
Photo taken on the Bo-Kaap walking tour
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Free Leon City Tour

León is an interesting city to walk around, but it’s always better to have a guide! I happened to find a new company that offers free walking tours every morning so I signed up. Here’s my experience on the free Leon City tour.

About the Tour

The tour lasted 90 minutes and covered the centre of the city. I learned more about the history of the city and the country and saw some of the murals depicting these stories. On the tour with me were a Canadian couple and 3 Germans, which is not surprising! Germans and Canadians are the most common tourists in Nicaragua right now.

City of Churches

I already mentioned the enormous amount of churches here, and the guide, Sebastian, pointed out León is known as a city of churches. This is because there are 2 Catholic churches per neighbourhood here. I don’t know why that’s necessary but the churches are pretty to look at and have some crazy icons inside.

He also informed us that the main cathedral, which is a UNESCO World Heritage site, has tunnels to 5 different churches in the city. These were created to fend off pirates!

Cathedral de Leon a stop on our free Leon City Tour
Crypt entrance in the Cathedral of León
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Munich Outside the Beer Halls

If you visit Munich and you don’t like beer or you just need a break from it, there are plenty of other things to do outside the beer halls.  We kept very busy exploring the other side of the city. Here are ways to spend your time in Munich outside the beer halls.

Walking Tour of Munich

Sandemans Munich Tour
Munich Tour – it was a big group for a cold New Year’s Day

Not much is open anywhere on New Year’s Day, so we signed up for a walking tour. The walking tour of Munich was led by a Chicago-accented German. It offered a lot of info and history on this city and we recommend it. We walked around the downtown area and learned about the history of the city, with a lot of focus on Hitler and beer.

If you’re visiting the city, this is a “free” tour where you are asked to tip whatever you think it was worth at the end. We learned a lot about the city and got some useful tips on where to go for local food to eat and places to visit.

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