A Great Place
When should you visit very special and unique places in the world that touch you? Places with an atmosphere you can’t describe or where you even get overwhelmed with emotion.
Stunning view regardless of the season. However, the TWTC is busy almost year-round. Don't miss the view to the World Trade Center 101 from the Elephant Mountain Hill which is less crowded and for free. Regarding the weather, December to March are the best months to come here. Read on for our detailed 'when to go' insider tips:
Time of Day / Opening Hours
Elephant Mountain – Skyline View: Most impressive and perfect for a good shot in the early morning or early evening. In the afternoon the sky is often not clear. The trail is well-lighted in the evening.
Taipei World Trade Center 101: The outdoor observatory opens if weather permits, check the large billboard above the ticket counter before you purchase the tickets. Opening hours from 9 a.m. to 9.30 p.m.
How to Avoid Crowds on the Elephant Mountain and the Top of TWTC
Elephant Mountain is a popular place, and the view is for free the reason that it is always a bit crowded. Anyhow, the view of the skyline is spectacular and a must when visiting Taipei. Even in the rain people walk uphill for this incredible experience as we did. For Chinese New Year's (usually late January or early February) fireworks people even come here a day before to occupy a good spot. Our tips to avoid the crowds at almost any time for the top of the TWTC 101 and the Elephant Mountain:
- Get there early to avoid the crowds. It’s very popular for the sunset and the city lighting.
- Avoid visiting on a weekend which already starts on Friday at midday.
- If the weather is fine, it’s more crowded.
June is also a favorite month due to the Computex; the biggest IT Show in Asia.
The iconic landmark may be one of the top attractions apart from museums and temples in Taipei. During our visit on a Friday, there were already too many people queuing; one hour waiting to get up and one hour to get down. We decided to see the skyline including the enormous 101 Tower from above and walked to Elephant Mountain.
From April until October temps can be unpleasant hot with high humidity at daytime. In summer day temps are around 30°C and in winter (Dec. to Feb.) around 20°C while nights are cold with less than 10°C. Most precipitation from May to September but a dry season does not exist. The driest months are November to January with rainfall on average less than 100 mm.
Avoid the summer months and Chinese New Year when prices are on the highest level, accommodations are often fully booked, and many places are overrun. Same in June when the Computex takes place.
Taipei is the capital city of Taiwan with an estimated population of almost three million people. Choosing the perfect location for a visit to Taipei is important. For example, if you stay close to the airport, you may need a minimum of 1 1/2 hour with public transport to get just to the Xiangshan metro station red line. You may also like to visit the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall. Therefore, it makes sense to stay in the city center close to these attractions. We recommend the Dandy Hotel-Daan Park Branch with an excellent location. Breakfast is provided, and there are many outstanding restaurants within walking distance.
This is our ultimate guide to Perito Moreno Glacier with 7 essential must-know tips before you go, including the best time to visit. Weather-wise the most pleasant time is from November to March. Read on for more details including our 7 must-know things: 1) Highlights 2) Avoiding Tourist Crowds 3) Weather 4) Facts 5) Getting to Perito Moreno Glacier 6) How to Visit 7) The Best Itinerary. And a lot more incredibly useful advice as well as stunning photos! In case you'd like to jump directly to the tour and visiting tips click here: How to Visit & The Best Glacier Tours
Highlights (Cracking Ice)
To hear more of the deep thunderous sound of the cracking ice you should visit during sunny weather in the late afternoon if possible (see options below). You will hear those sounds even in the morning hours quite often, but they are more frequent and intense in the (late) afternoon when the ice is warmed by the sun. It gets better: To witness a chunk of ice falling off, you might have to wait a while, but it's worth it. Great weather with sunshine really helps here. Regardless, it's a once in a lifetime experience and absolutely worth it. The light to take photos is great at both times: In the morning as well as in the late afternoon, before sunset. Bottom line: In order to see the ice chunks falling off and listening to thunderous sounds, sunny weather drastically increases the chances and frequency. That's why we highly recommend staying 2 full days (spend 3 nights!) in nearby El Calafate: If it rains on one day, you still have at least one other day with a good chance of sunshine. Being there 2-3 full days will maximize your chances of spending a perfect sunny day at the glacier with those amazing phenomena. We added an itinerary suggestion at the end of this article.
Avoiding Tourist Crowds
During high season (southern summer, Nov-Mar) it gets crowded between 9:30 AM and 5 PM. Dodge the crowds and you won’t have to fight for the best viewing spots. Even more important: Being able to listen to the cracking sounds of the glacier without other noise distractions from groups of visitors is just magical. Three ways to avoid those large groups of people:
Late Shuttle Bus:
The best way to avoid the crowds while using the public shuttle bus is to take the late one: Departing at 1 PM (or 2 PM) and going back at 7:30 PM. Using the late bus you have about 1-2 hours left later in the early evening at the glacier with significantly fewer tourists, as most of them leave between 4 PM and 5 PM.
Go Early or Late (Rental Car/Taxi):
A rental car offers the highest flexibility to dodge the crowds: You could either get there very early in the morning before any of the crowds arrive. As of 2018 the area is usually quiet until 9:30 A.M. Sometimes the hordes of tourists even arrive later. That means arriving at 8 A.M. gives you about 2 hours of solitude. Alternatively, arrive around 4 PM to stay late and experience a magical sunset after most tourists have already left. You could also pay a taxi, including staying a couple of hours at the site. For the expensive taxi option it only makes economic sense when you are in a group of at least 3 people or money is not an issue.
It usually starts to get busy from mid-October until March. The peak months with the most crowds are December/January/February. Moderate month (still/already slightly busy): October/November, March/April. Late September until mid-October or mid-April until early May are great times with fewer tourists, lower rates and decent weather. However, it's not as warm as in the peak summer months. Monthly weather overview (you can switch between F and C): El Calafate Weather. A travel blogger who visited in late May: Read his article
The glacier is a year-round destination. However, during southern summer (November - March) the weather is more pleasant with the most sunshine but it also gets very crowded. The temperatures are mild, especially in Dec/Jan/Feb: 44-74°F (7-24°C). However, please keep in mind that the weather is unpredictable. Always bring rain gear and dress in layers. Visiting in the Winter (late May-August) means virtually no crowds, but really cold, rough weather (sometimes below 32°F/0°C) and fewer agencies offer tours to the glacier.
Jokulsárlón (Google Maps) is one of the most popular sites in Iceland. That's why the place gets incredibly crowded during the daytime. Read on for our guide on how to avoid the crowds, when to see the most icebergs and more useful tips:
The lagoon is accessible year-round. Even in the winter, the part of Route 1 (Ring Road) between Reykjavik and Jokulsárlón is usually snow-free. There might be some exceptions when heavy snow-storms occur. Tip: You'll have the best experience and more freedom if you rent a car, preferrably a 4WD. Most of our tips below can only be followed with a (rental) car.
The icebergs are present year round. However, it's impossible to predict the amount of ice on a certain day. Our tips on increasing your chances:
Visit In Winter:
You'll often see more icebergs during the winter months. Another great advantage to visiting in winter is the Northern Lights. The downsides: It's colder, and no boat tours are available in winter.
Visit In Summer:
In the summer, as well as late spring and early fall, there are slightly fewer icebergs, but boat tours are available, and the weather is more pleasant. However, you'll usually spot enough icebergs in every season. A great experience in the summer: Afternoon on a sunny day for incredible contrasts between light, ice and the black beach.
Stay Two Days:
Regardless of the season, you should stay at least two days. Book a nearby hotel (Best Hotels at Jokulsárlón). First you visit the Lagoon in the afternoon/evening, then you stay the night in the hotel and on the next day you get back to the lagoon early in the morning. That way you'll avoid the crowds at both times (evening and morning). Staying two days also means, you can experience different tide levels, often different wind/weather and different light. You'll maximize the chances to see enough icebergs as well. Few visitors report, that almost no icebergs were there on a given day. It's not very likely but possible. Visit 2 days to be on the safe side.
Avoiding the Crowds
Crowds at Jokulsárlón are usually present year-round. The peak summer months bring the most tourists. However, there are easy ways to get away from the crowds:
Be Early or Stay Late:
Be there as early as possible, preferably around 7:30 AM. Then you'll have about an hour or more until the first tour buses arrive. Since a drive from Reykjavik takes about 5 hours, the best bet is to stay at a nearby hotel the night before you visit early. We highly recommend to stay two days (see section above: stay two days for the icebergs and light). Example: Day #1: Stay late at the lagoon until at least 4 or 5 PM when most tourists are gone. Staying late is a great idea even if you are not planning to visit again the next day. The night: Stay at the nearby hotel. Day #2: Be at Jokulsárlón early in the morning (see above).
The area around the main parking lot is always crowded: Check out the layout drawing below. Most people stay within 60 m of the parking area. Just walk a little farther, and you'll get away from the main crowds. About half mile down the road is another parking lot. From there you can go down the cliff to the beach. It's significantly less busy here and most of the time you see as many icebergs. The two beaches are nearly identical, while one of them often has more icebergs than the other. It's impossible to predict that on a certain day. If you'd like to avoid crowds, just go to the beach with fewer icebergs.
Visit In Shoulder Months:
Usually, the place is busy year-round nowadays. The peak season used to be from June until August. However, in the recent years, many visitors also come for the Northern Lights in winter. A chance of a slightly less busy place is the months of late September - October or April - early May. However, don't expect a quiet place during daytime regardless of the season.
This is our complete Blue Lagoon guide with every question answered (fully updated for 2018/2019). Need quick tips? Jump directly to our 9 Must-Know Tips and the ultimate guide above it. Also, scroll down even more for tips about viewing the Northern Lights, Opening Hours, Prices in US Dollars and Euros.
Tip: If you stay in Reykjavik and want it hassle free, book a tour:
- Blue Lagoon Tours incl. Transfer from Reykjavik. Some also include a 'small' Golden Circle tour with excellent guides!
- Alternative: If you have a rental car, you must visit the stunning Skógafoss Waterfall (free!) nearby (2 hour drive from Blue Lagoon or Reykjavik)
Now, what about Blue Lagoon tickets? Pre-booking your admission tickets is necessary for this famous spa in Iceland, as they only allow a limited number of visitors. In this way, they avoid a heavily crowded lagoon. However, regardless of the season and month it still gets busy during the day. Read on for our best time to visit tips before you go:
Avoiding the Crowds
Long waiting lines, hectic locker rooms, ... You’ll enjoy a much more peaceful lagoon and its surreal surroundings by visiting either very early in the morning or as late as possible. Stay at a close hotel as it's more comfortable, but not at the super expensive new 'internal' Silica and Retreat hotels. Our top hotel recommendation: Northern Light Inn (Tip: Bookmark the link! If you like, scroll down to more hotel tips and deals). Also try to avoid weekends (Friday - Sunday), because it's busier then, even in the morning or evening. Make your reservation a couple of weeks in advance to get your tickets for the desired slot:
Book a ticket the first time slot available (see opening hours below). Being there first thing in the morning, you won’t see any crowds and no waiting lines, regardless of the package you booked. Often there are only 20-30 people within the first hour of operation.
It usually thins out in the evening. Book tickets for a time slot about two hours before they close. Timing your visit for sunset will make your photos even more amazing. After sunset, there is even a chance to see the Northern Lights in winter. Check sunrise and sunset times here: Sunrise / Sunset Grindavík
Weather and Water Temperature
Regardless of the season, weather and outside temperature, the water is always kept at 37–39°C (98–102°F). However, if it’s really cold and windy, some parts of the lagoon can be cooler (different temperature zones). Check the monthly weather details for the area, as well as average rainy days here: Average Monthly Weather Grindavík (you can switch between °F and °C). Keep in mind, that the weather is unpredictable, particularly in the winter months. However, almost everyone says that a visit is always a fantastic experience, even on a cold, windy and rainy day. The warmth of the water and the shelter of the heaters help a lot. Especially with rain and fog the atmosphere is just otherworldly and even more amazing.
Great to visit any time of the year. Gets crowded on holiday weekends....but its still ok.
You can visit this national park any time of the year. But it can be amazing cold and wet sometimes. We visited it at the end of october and had wonderfull weather. Since you are unprotected in an open landscape, it can be very windy and cold. We had sun and wind, it was a good period on our opinion