A Guide To The Best Districts To Stay In Tokyo

Hotel Switching In Tokyo …

A vast neon skyline stretches high above busy streets filled with lantern-lit Yakisoba stands, while teenage girls in maids outfits hand out fliers to salarymen carrying the burden of a briefcase and office politics towards the super-chic Ginza to hunt out the latest fashions and the city’s best eats.

This is Tokyo, a city of hyper-modernity built on stern tradition, a place where young and old, future and past, the buzz of modern life and the pursuit of peace through zen Buddhism are endlessly and sometimes awkwardly entwined.

In many ways, this makes Tokyo the perfect city for hotel switching. By staying in two hotels you can open up areas of the city that might not be explorable with time constraints and across city travel woes. But whether you spend your time between night spots like Roppongi and Shinjuku or amongst the theatrical walkways of Shibuya and Harajuku, this huge megapolis is infinitely more discoverable with a hotel switch to help you out.

Shibuya For Sights and Youth Culture

The best way to get a feel for the gob-smacking scale of Tokyo is by paying a trip to the legendary Shibuya Crossing right outside of Shibuya Station. Thousands of people cross here every hour and at night it becomes a circus of neon lights, huge video billboards filled with the faces of whomever the latest pop idol happens to be and dense impenetrable crowds. From here you can easily explore the fantastic Shibuya Center-Gai, a popular maze of alleyways that serves as a hangout for Japan’s many teenage factions, but also Shibuya’s centrepiece and home to a wonderfully vast collection of restaurants, boutiques and clubs. Don’t miss the iconic statue of Hachikō the dog who waited for his owner night after night for nine years after he died, before being immortalised in bronze outside the entrance to Shibuya station, and if you want to try out a karaoke bar in Tokyo then head to Karaoke Kan, which has western music and some English-speaking staff.

Shinjuku & Roppongi For Nightlife

Tokyo’s nightlife is legendary, and our favourite spot to get to know it is Shinjuku. In Shinjuku you’ll find a warren of neon-lit doorways and hundreds of bars, incorporating everything from whisky bars and dives to karaoke bars and world famous cocktail bars such as the Park Hyatt Tokyo Hotel (heavily featured in the film Lost in Translation) and the fantastic Ben Fiddich, where every cocktail is made to order according to your preferences.

If you’re looking for something a little more decadent then take the subway straight to Roppongi for personality-driven izakayas and sprawling nightclubs playing everything from Japanese Hip-Hop and techno through to J-ROCK and western dance music.

If you decide to stay in Roppongi, then take a wander into Roppongi hills to see a different side to the district. Contrary to the all-night, alcohol-fuelled sleaze of Roppongi, Roppongi Hills is filled with a huge collection of modern skyscrapers (both residential and commercial) and its streets are manicured and genuinely beautiful. This is also the home of our favourite observation deck in the city, on the 52nd floor of the Mori Tower, which has some of the best nighttime views over the ultra-modern skylines of Tokyo – including the Tokyo Tower and the Sky Tree and out to the idyllic waters of Tokyo Bay.

Harajuku & Ginza For Fashion & Shopping

 For the well-heeled and style conscious it’s all about Ginza and its boutique-lined streets that are shared with tech giants such as Sony and Apple, but if you’re not sure what you’re looking for then head straight to the Matsuya department store that sells a healthy mix of Japanese fashions such as icons Issey Miyake and Yohji Yamamoto, and has a wonderful basement dedicated to Japanese food (it’s a bit like a Japanese version of the Harrods food hall).

Those on the lookout for something a little more experimental should stay instead in Harajuku, the home of Tokyo’s ever-changing youth cultures, underground fashion boutiques, and subcultures. Spend a few hours walking the streets here and you’ll pass by Gothic Lolitas and cosplayers of every genre, leather-clad punks and Yami Kawaii girls. This is the beating heart of Harajuku and the best place to see it all is on Takeshita street which is filled with colourful fashion stores and food stands that sell a smorgasbord of extremely sweet desserts – from multi-coloured candies and ice creams to crepes stuffed with fruit and delicious whipped cream. Harajuku is a great spot for cat cafes too, try the chain Cat Cafe MOCHA for a true kawaii neko experience.

Akihabara for Pop Culture

Akihabara Tokyo Districts

What started out as a place to get mostly illegal electronic goods is now a mecca in central Tokyo for those who love anime, manga and video games. Wander the busy streets that are lined with buildings branded with names such as Sega and Nikon, ascend neon-lit towers that are filled with the endless bleeping of arcade machines, visit maid cafes and buy cheap electronics and manga in-between food stops at the local food trucks. Afterwards, if it all gets a bit much then head into the residential exterior of Akihabara which is infinitely quieter by comparison and filled with quaint parks, residential houses and the odd roadside shrine or two.

Tokyo For Foodies

There really isn’t just one area of Tokyo that’s best for food, because every district of this city is home to something tantalising, delicious and unforgettable – this is after all the city with the most Michelin stars in the world. There are old school izakayas filled with cigarette smoke, beer on tap and small bites on every corner, tiny soba shops down atmospheric lantern-lit alleys, delicious pizza and Italian-style gelato and incredible sushi in every district. To get started we suggest indulging in an authentic Ramen stop (get the tantanmen Ramen!) in the Kaduya restaurant in the Meouro district, while anyone hunting down a kaiseki should head straight to Ginza and the Michelin-starred Ginza Kojyu, which frequents many “best restaurants in the world” lists, and offers a slightly more modern and creative take on the traditional kaiseki.

Finding Zen & Tradition in Tokyo

The stunning gardens of the Imperial Palace is as good a place as any to escape the riot of Tokyo’s streets but the gorgeous Yoyogi Park is the place in Tokyo to retreat to. The sprawling park has cherry blossoms and a lake, and is generally packed around the edges but quieter as you get deeper in. Groups of Rockabilly’s gather for a dance at the entrances on Sunday but other than that the park is perfectly serene and a perfect place to unwind and find your zen in central Tokyo.

Most of the temples in Tokyo are overcrowded and popular every day of the year, but a favourite of ours is Sensō-ji in the charming Asakusa neighbourhood. Visit the temple sure, but afterwards, take a stroll through the historic streets surrounding it and do a little shopping in the trinket stores or take a tour of Asakusa on one of the rickshaws.

Tokyo’s distinctly different districts mean that it has something for everyone but with so much on offer it can be overwhelming to travellers who want to see as much of the city for as little cost as possible, but that’s where hotel switching with Nightly.travel comes in to offer a brand new way to discover more of a city while saving money.

This post was written by Nick Nomi, our guest blogger.

For many of those who travel, modes of transport are on top of their list of things to try when visiting a new city. We have created a list of our top cities to visit for those of you who have a passion for all things mobile!

Hong Kong

Hong Kong TransportThe fantastic travel links start as soon as you arrive in Hong Kong. The Chinese city offers a very fast airport express. The shuttle costs as little as $6 and travels every 12 minutes, with a journey length of 24 minutes.

As well as the shuttle, Hong Kong also has an incredible system called an ‘Octopus Card’. An Octopus Card allows you to travel on the city’s MTR without having to struggle with getting tickets. The card, which acts like a pre-paid debit card, can also be used around the city.

Vienna

Vienna TransportVienna’s travel links are almost as beautiful as the city itself! The city is home to a famous train system, as well as a metro, multiple bus routes and trams.

You can purchase single tickets, as well as return tickets on all the modes of transport, however, if you’re planning to stay in the Austrian city for more than a couple of days then you’d be best to purchase a Wien Karte (Vienna Card) to avoid having to purchase multiple tickets.

London

London TransportWithout being biased, we believe London has the best transport links of all those in this list. The city has a very famous underground system, with a recognisable logo. The English capital is also home to the iconic red buses and unique travelling options such as the Emirates Airline in Greenwich.

Most London commuters possess an Oyster Card, which helps them with their daily travel and it’s certainly worth getting one if you’re travelling to the city for more than a long weekend.

Frankfurt

Frankfurt TransportFrankfurt, unlike the others on this list, isn’t known for its transport links but the German city does boast one of the best train systems in the world. Frankfurt has an overground and underground system, both of which require a pre-paid ticket to use.

As well as the two train systems, there is also the ‘Nachtbus’ which translates as night bus. As the trains only run till 1am (I know “only”…) the night bus, although longer, covers the same areas as the trains.

Get Booking your Transport Extravaganza

There are many ways to experience a city, but very few allow you to experience a city properly, whilst also saving. Below is a video explaining who Nightly.travel are and what we do. Take a look to see how 2 hotels are better than 1.

Places to Remember When Travelling in November

Into planning your holidays in advance? Then our list of top places to visit in November will certainly be a must-read for you!

Below we look at our 5 top picks for the month of November and also explain why we believe they’re the best!

Las Vegas, USA

Las Vegas November

A city that doesn’t need much of an introduction, the beautiful Las Vegas is one of the liveliest, if not, the liveliest city in the world. With its mixture of beautiful scenery and electric nightlife, the Nevadan city is a must see and that’s why it’s on our November list!

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Buenos Aires NovemberThe Argentinian capital is a fantastic city to visit all year round, however, we particularly love the city in the latter months of the year. It has a mixture of exciting history, ranging from hosting World Cups to wars – and all the history is beautifully documented for the modern visitor to see.

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong November

Known as the city with the most skyscrapers in the world, the Chinese city of Hong Kong certainly stands out as a ‘must-see’. With its modern look and futuristic feel, it is hard to picture Hong Kong as a traditional Chinese city, however, the city has a very East/West split and the fantastic travel links the city has allows you to experience tradition as well as modernisation.

Essaouira, Morrocco

Essaouira NovemberA destination that is completely different from the others on our list, Essaouira has a rich history due to its position on the coast of Morrocco. The place now provides a fantastic place to kick back and relax.

Venice, Italy

Venice SwitchVenice is known as one of the most beautiful cities in the world and it’s clear to see why in the image above. Whether you’re strolling through the petite streets or relaxing on a gondola, you’ll fall in love with Venice in a second.

Book your November Stay Today!

Visit Nightly.travel to see how much we can save you on your November stay. Watch our video below to further understand how we generate our fantastic savings.

Cities don’t get more unique than the New Zealand city of Auckland. the most populous city in the county has a whole range of activities to do and sights to see.

Below is the Nightly.travel team’s top picks of what to do if you visit Auckland!

Explore the Sights

Visit a Lost Island – Rotoroa Island was re-opened to the public in 2005 as a museum to display artefacts of the lost island. As well as learning the history of Rotoroa Island, you’ll also get to walk along beautiful sandy beaches and scenic trails.

Walk on a Live Volcano – It’s not as dangerous as it sounds, we promise! The area provides a perfect place for a picnic as well as fantastic views. The last eruption was over 600-years-ago, so there are no worries of a lava-filled sandwich!

See Maori Culture – Auckland is home to the largest collection of Maori taonga. See everything from small artefacts to full-size meeting houses and canoes. You’ll learn about the culture whilst also getting to see its beauty.

Once-in-a-lifetime Experiences

Kayak to a Volcanic Island – There are a plethora of places to rent a kayak in Auckland and with that, you can take a paddle and row to Rangitoo Island. The island offers fantastic views but also has beautiful scenery.

If you don’t feel like kayaking, you can also get a ferry across.

Surfs Up! – The west of Auckland offers some of the best beaches in New Zealand to surf. The black-sand beaches offer the perfect waves for some afternoon surfing!

See a Penguin Colony – Kelly Tarlton’s Aquarium is home to the world’s largest penguin colony, as well as the world’s only display of spiny sea dragons. The aquarium offers a great day out for all the family as well as a fantastic insight into life under the sea!

The Nightlife

Party the night away – Auckland has a whole host of clubs to party at, but if you’d prefer some live music, there are a variety of concert locations as well. There are various sites displaying what acts are performing/what nights the clubs are hosting.

Taste the Local Cuisine in Town – A portion of New Zealand’s top chefs are situated in Auckland. Take a stroll into the heart of Auckland and taste some f the finest New Zealand cuisine there is to offer.

Just to note, the food is pricey – but certainly worth it!

See the Night Sky – Take a trip to the Auckland Stardome Observatory to see a beautiful display of the stars through the observatory’s interactive system. Learn more about the world above us with guides explaining points throughout the evening.

Book your Auckland Stay with Nightly.travel

Struggling to see how you’d fit all of the above into one trip? Watch our video below to see how Nightly.travel can help you with your Auckland stay.

Top Cities for a Blast from the Past

With so many places having such rich histories it’s hard to choose where to learn and experience nex. Below are Nightly.travel‘s top picks for cities based on their history.

Boston, USA

Boston History

Stories don’t get much more famous than that of the Boston Tea Party in 1773. This is only one of many historic events to happen in Boston. The American city is a prime example of a city adapting to modern changes and these changes are documented and remembered throughout the city.

There are a variety of monuments that the general public can see and learn about, as well as a plethora of tours that guide you through Boston whilst an experienced tour guide explains the history of each area.

Athens, Greece

Most of Athens history can still be seen. The Greek city has various ruins and remains throughout the city. Take a guided tour or just simply visit the sites to see the history for yourself.

It’s certainly worth reading up on the ruins before you visit them to ensure you really take in how historic they really are.

Rome, Italy

Possibly the most beautiful past (to look at) is situated in Rome. The Colosseum is one of many famous architects that forms part of the Italian city’s rich history.

Fantastic stories of Gladiatorial times are told throughout Rome and it’s certainly worth visiting the city to learn all about them.

Beijing, China

Beijing History

Beijing’s history dates back over 3000 years and almost every part of it is documented. China is seen as one of the more modern countries in this day and age, however, many forget that the country also has a rich past of its own.

Beijing is a prime example of this and for all it’s modern experiences it’s certainly worth visiting the Chinese capital for its historical experiences.

Berlin, Germany

Berlin History

When most hear of Berlin’s history they only think of the Berlin Wall, however, the city also has a fantastic history within the art industry.

The modernisation of many art techniques have flowed through Berlin and the city’s plethora of museums display these. From graffiti art to classic paintings, the Germa city has it all.

Begin Your Holiday History with Nightly.travel

See our video below to see how Nightly.travel can help you save when you visit popular city destinations, including the 5 above!

Summer Cities you Have to Visit

For us, July signals the beginning of Summer and when we think of summer we think of holidays. Despite the summer months being the busiest time for holidays due to school holidays and also the warm weather, it’s still possible to find a great saving.

There aren’t many city destinations where we don’t have a huge saving, but for your sake, we have whittled it down to our top 7 summer destinations.

Marseille, France

Marseille, FranceThis beautiful French city doesn’t spring to everyone’s minds when thinking of a summer vacation away – but that’s one of the main reasons we love it! The second largest city in France has the perfect balance of coastal areas as well as rural inlets.

A popular destination for cruises, you’ll have no issue finding fantastic bars and places to eat. If the hustle and bustle of a busy port isn’t your cup of tea, however, there are many more authentic French restaurants further inland.

Boulder, USA

Boulder SummerLocated at the bottom of the Rocky Mountains, Boulder, like Marseille, isn’t necessarily a popular summer destination. However, what the Coloradan city lacks in numbers of tourists it certainly makes up for in it beauty.

With stunning views of the Rockys, as well as being voted the world’s happiest city in 2011, you’ll certainly not be upset with a week or two in Boulder.

Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg SummerA hugely popular tourist destination, Hamburg is everything German in a nutshell. Fantastic food, cheap beer and also a rich history that deserves to be learnt.

There are a variety of tours you can take of the town or if you’d rather, it’s a beautiful city to just take a leisurely stroll at your own pace.

Koh Samui, Thailand

Ko Samui SummerThis is the only destination on our list that is more of an island than a city. Koh Samui sits just off of Kra Isthmus.

The island’s appeal to tourists is getting greater and greater, meaning this summer is a fantastic time to experience the mixture of natives and entertaining tourists.

Toronto, Canada

Toronto Summer

Probably the most popular Canadian city for tourists, as it is also the biggest Candian city. As well as being seen as one of the most cultural cities in the world. It’s Toronto’s culture that provides most of the entertainment.

There are a plethora of music venues, art exhibitions and public displays across the city. As well as there being lots to do in the city, the city has fantastic architecture and views that are definitely worth seeing.

Miami, USA

Miami Summer

It will come as no huge surprise that Miami has made it on to our list. The Floridian city has an incredible balance of beautiful scenery and electric nightlife. As well as a brilliant balance of city landscape and beautiful beaches.

You can’t go wrong with a 10 to 14-night-stay in Miami.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen SummerThey say a picture speaks a thousand words and that’s certainly the case with our Copenhagen image certainly does just that. The Danish capital, like Miami, has a perfect mixture of relaxing beach settings as well as calming city vibes.

Many would recommend Copenhagen in the Summer and we certainly agree.

Get Booking your Summer Holiday!

Watch our video below to see how Nightly.travel can help you with your summer hotel booking.

See Stockholm in a Whole New Way with Nightly.travel

The most populous city in the Nordics, Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and is home to nearly 900,000 people.

As well as being Sweden’s most populous city, the capital also welcomes over 2,000,000 visitors-per-year. It’s no surprise many travellers visit Stockholm, as there’s a plethora of activities and sights the city has to offer.

Whether you’re staying for a long weekend, a week or even longer you’ll struggle to experience the whole of the city in one stay – unless you take the Nightly.travel approach, combine 2 hotels for your stay instead of 1.

What to do in Stockholm

The Sights

The Sunset from Monteliusvägen Cliff Path

Not only a fantastic place for a selfie with a panoramic view of Stockholm in the background, the Monteliusvagen cliff path also is a great place to see a beautiful natural sight – sunset.

Don’t worry about getting chilly if you’re visiting in the winter months, the path has plenty of cafes for you to grab a nice hot drink to keep you warm.

Changing of the Guard

Every summer, three-times-a-week there’s a 40-minute performance where the guards walk from the Army Museum or Cavalry Barracks with a marching band to then partake in the royal guard ceremony in the main courtyard.

The ceremony usually begins around 11:45am – it’s worth double-checking beforehand to avoid disappointment!

Secret Gardens of Tantolunden Park

Labelled as one of the most colourful parks, the ‘Instagram -famous’ Tantolunden park is filled with a beautiful array of flower beds and terracotta miniature homes.

The park also has a multitude of activities including mini-golf and outdoor gyms for visitors to enjoy. Winter is a fantastic time to go for all those who love a toboggan ride!

Enjoy the Cuisine

The Best Meatballs Around

Sweden is very famous for its delicious meatballs and there is no better place to taste the delicacy than in the Swedish capital. Many recommend the Old Town, however, this is very much a tourist trap. Many recommend the Södermalm district to get the best prices.

Have a Breakfast with a View

The theatre Bio Rio hosts a breakfast at 10:30 every Sunday. Seen as the perfect hangover cure, you can choose between a huge selection of yoghurts or even have a famous Swedish open sandwich.

As well as tucking into a fine breakfast, you’ll also get to watch a movie, sitting in red velvet seats – so just kick back and relax!

Be Involved in the Action!

Party till Dawn

Stockholm has loads of nightclubs with lots of varied themed nights. A couple of clubs that deserve a special mention are the Open-air Club, unique in the fact it sits beneath a gigantic concrete bridge and the Berns music festival – where modern bands play in a 19th-century setting.

Exercise with a View

For those who just can’t go a week without a bit of exercise, there are plenty of spots with beautiful views. One particular example is Kungsholmen Island – the island is 9.5 km and many people choose to run, or sometimes walk, around it to get their daily steps in!

If you’re more of a swimmer, Långholmen island is a fantastic place to relax and take a dip. The island is also a perfect place to have a picnic – although it’s more of a grassy area rather than sand.

Enjoy a Tipple

Stockholm is home to a plethora of clubs and bars and just picking a few is a task easier said than done. Although a couple of bars to look out for are: Ångbåtsbryggan is a unique bar that floats on the water – very unique, but it’s also worth mentioning it is quite pricey.

Another bar to make sure you visit is Tak. Opened in 2017, the bar is on the rooftop and offers some of the best views of Stockholm.

Get Booking you Stockholm Switch!

Don’t panic about struggling to fit all of these activities into one stay in Stockholm – Nightly.travel have you covered. Our hotel switching approach will not only help you save money on accommodation, it’ll also allow you to experience two separate parts of the city.

Unsure what switching is? See our video below to find out how we can save you as much as 70%

 

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