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How to See Big Tourist Sites in Style

January 19, 2016

You might be better travelled than a vintage Globe-Trotter leather trunk, but there are still certain iconic sites you’ve simply got to see.

Thankfully, that doesn’t always have to mean enduring long lines amid the selfie-stick-wielding, visor-sporting, khaki-clad masses – here are our top tips on how to take in six of the globe’s best known sites in sumptuous, insider style, because there are far better ways to view the Colosseum than from betwixt two faux-gladiators, n'est-ce pas?

Updated 24 July 2019.

The Eiffel Tower, Paris 

While those not in-the-know are milling around the Champ de Mars or enduring 2+ hour queues to get to the top (although trust us, the view is just as good from atop the Arc de Triomphe), you’ll be at nearby Les Ombres enjoying an ace aspect of Gustave’s tower, over a 3-course prix-fixe lunch. Or book an outdoor table at dinner to nab a front-row seat for the nightly light show. Superbe!

Les Ombres, 27 Quai Branly, 7th, Paris, +33 1 47 53 68 00, lesombres-restaurant.com

Wat Arun, Bangkok 

Shoes off, sarong on, fan out to fight off the heat and humidity – really, who needs the hassle? Float over to rustic rooftop Amorosa bar, in boutique bolthole Arun Residence, for cocktails, cold brews and Instagram-worthy scenes of dusk descending over the temple’s ornately adorned pagodas and spires. If you time it right you might even hear the evening chants from across the Chao Phraya. That’s Wat’s up.

Amorosa Bar, Arun Residence, 36-38 Soi Pratoo Nok Yoong, Maharat Rd, Rattanakosin Island, Bangkok, +66 2221 9158, arunresidence.com

The Colosseum, Rome 

Ditch the lines – and the all-too-enthusiastic ‘Centurions’ – and at sunset hour head instead to Palazzo Manfredi’s Mich-starred open-air rooftop terrace, Aroma, to savour colossal views of the close-enough-to-touch stadium while supping on white truffle ravioli. Even Caesar never had it so good!

Aroma, Palazzo Manfredi, Via Labicana, 125, Rome, +39 6 9761 5109, aromarestaurant.it

Statue of Liberty, New York City 

Taking the ferry out to the island is fun; having to wait in line for an hour to get on the next boat is not. For a fuss-free, no-charge, front-line look at Lady Liberty, trek to the historic Brooklyn suburb of Red Hook where you can see the big green gal from the Valentino Pier, then make like the locals and lunch at Red Hook Lobster Pound. Or better still, in the summer months, pack some pickings and bob over to Governors Island for alfresco eats at Picnic Point.

Red Hook Lobster Pound, 284 Van Brunt St, Brooklyn, New York, +1 718 858 7650, redhooklobster.com

Hollywood Sign, Los Angeles 

Planning on getting your pics of this cultural icon from the Hollywood & Highland Center? Well, we hope you’ve brought your long lens. To get up close to the 45-ft letters, switch stilies for sneakers and saunter on up to the Griffith Park Observatory. There’s an outlook here, or more adventurous sorts can walk the three-mile Mt. Hollywood Trail which lets you get up-close – and even behind – the sign.

Griffith Park Observatory, 2800 E Observatory Rd, Los Angeles, +1 213 473 0800, griffithobservatory.org

Harbour Bridge & Opera House, Sydney 

We do love a quick sip at the perf-perched Opera Bar, but there’s no doubting Matt Moran’s slinky drink n’ diner can pack out fast on fine days. For a less crowded culinary experience with equally impressive harbour panoramas, book ahead for a weekend lunch or coveted dinner spot at Peter Gilmore’s three-hatted, Mod Oz, waterside wonder Quay.

Quay, Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, 5 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, Sydney, +61 2 9251 5600, quay.com.au

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