When people think of China, major cities such as Shanghai and Beijing usually come to mind. However, travellers on a budget can also consider Dalian, a modern port city on the southern tip of Liaoning Province. Best known for its beautiful lawns, gardens and fountains, Dalian also offers visitors noticeably fresher air and elegant 20th-century architecture.
Where to go: Dalian has a number of swimmable beaches, the most popular ones being Bangchuidao Beach, Jinshitan (Golden Pebble Beach) and Xinghai Bathing Beach. Once you’ve had your fill of sun, sea and sand, you can spend the rest of the day sightseeing at places like Xinghai Square, Russian Street and Zhongshan Square. Those travelling with kids can take a day trip to the Dalian Forest Zoo or the Dalian Discovery Kingdom amusement park.
What to eat: Dalian is an excellent place to sample fresh seafood and unwind at waterfront bars and restaurants. Oysters are a speciality here and you can enjoy them for as little as US$1 apiece. Head to Golden Pebble Beach, where you can enjoy a veritable seafood feast paired with ice-cold beer, while taking in panoramic ocean views.
Where to stay: For a luxurious stay, book a sleek, spacious serviced apartment at Fraser Suites Dalian, located in the Donggang CBD. The property offers convenient transport connections, being only a 30-minute taxi ride from the airport and a few minutes’ walk from the metro station.
Travelling on a Budget in Europe
Berlin, Germany: The Capital of Europe’s Nightlife
Berlin is a must-visit for history buffs hoping to learn more about Germany’s turbulent past. The capital is also home to thriving art, music and nightlife scenes, as well as an abundance of affordable places to eat and drink.
Where to go: The UNESCO-listed Museum Island is where you’ll find Berlin’s many museums. The Pergamon Museum (Pergamonmuseum) is among the city’s most popular cultural attractions and houses an impressive collection of ancient artefacts, including the Ishtar Gate – the eighth gate to the inner city of Babylon. Other notable venues to visit include the Altes Museum, the Neues Museum and the Alte Nationalgalerie. Of course, don’t forget to check out the Berlin Wall Memorial and the Brandenburg Gate to learn more about the division – and subsequent reunification – of the city.
Where to stay: Capri by Fraser, Berlin / Germany is a design-forward serviced apartment in the heart of the city. It’s just steps from Museum Island and a 20-minute bus ride from Kreuzberg.