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Historic Site

When should you visit a historic site? Historic sites are locations where pieces of political, cultural, or social history have been preserved. Often due to their cultural value. Historic sites can be temples, whole cities, pyramids, castles, churches or any other kind of buildings.

The basilica built right on the rock is must visit place if you are at Lago di Garda. However, chose wisely the day of your visit. During summer it’s pretty busy on the opposite in the winter it’s peaceful and quiet. Crowds can be an issue; therefore, avoid Sundays to enjoy this magical place. However, during service, you hear the choir echoing in the valley. I find this place intensely emotional and touching a very rare experience nowadays. Don’t come here in a rush; take your time.

Steep steps along the stations of the cross to Madonna della Corona during winter

Opening Times Madonna Della Corona Church
  • April – October: 7 am to 7.30 pm
  • November – March: 8 am to 6 pm
Prayer Service

Prayer Service at Madonna della Corona

Weather and Crowds

The lake has its own mild microclimate. However, the mountainous area is a little cooler. Rain occurs throughout the year. Snow is rare but definitely happens between late October to March. If visiting Lake Garda in the winter you either need winter tires or snow chains for driving. It’s a winding road to Spiazzi on 850 m elevation.

Snow capped mountains at Lake Garda during the winter.

Spring (March - April - May)

Lovely temps during the day up to 20°C. Increasing rain in May but usually in the afternoon or evening. Nights are still cold on average around 10°C. It gets more crowded but still bearable except for the Easter holidays. The villages and towns around the lake get busier.

Summer (June - July - August)

The summer is warm often hot with temps around 30°C. In the night, temps are pleasant on average below 20°C. It’s also the wettest time of the year. Heavy thunderstorms occur in the afternoon or evening. Usually, the visibility to the other side of the lake is poor before midday due to the humidity of the lake clouds built up. Lago di Garda and all attractions around are crazy busy. The traffic is terrible. Hotel and rental holiday prices are sky-high.

Autumn (September - October - November)

It's also a lovely time at Lake Garda. Crowds thin out a little. More accommodations are available except for the autumn holidays. September and October are excellent months still around 20°C though November is already cold and temps can drop below 10°C. Fresh porcinis can be found in the mountainous areas while hiking or buy them fresh on the market.

Winter (December - January - February)

Usually, days are mild with temps between 5-10°C. Sometimes temperatures drop a little. Nights are cold on average around 0°C. Most campgrounds are closed. Snow occurs in higher elevations and at least once a year on the north shore of the lake like the beginning of November 2019. As soon as the sun is shining it’s pleasant. The advantage it's clear without haze during the day. It’s the driest time of the year but rain occurs. It’s also the quietest time of the year. Though before Christmas a little busy. However, less traffic. Our preferred time at Lago di Garda.


Tips for Photographers

Staircase to the Sanctuary Madonna della Corona

Summer
The picturesque church is in the shadow in the morning. You get the best sunlight on the basilica from midday onwards.

Winter
It's a short window in the morning to get the perfect shot with sunlight. The sun disappears behind the mountains already at midday.

 

IT Italy

The guards change ceremonies at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial bronze statue hall takes place at the beginning of the hour. You should arrive at least 15 minutes before. This will ensure that you may get a place in the first row. Check out more details below about opening times, busy times, crowds, and more.  Special Tip: Make sure to save our new Taiwan Guide:

 

HOT TIP | The image above takes you to our brand new Taiwan Guide with tons of useful information for your trip [Don't worry, it opens in a new tab/window] We also included some special tips which might suprise you. Click/touch the image or save the link for later: Definitive 2019/2020 Taiwan Guide - With Insider Tips

Opening Times and Crowds
 

The hall is open from 9 am until 6 pm but the guard change happens from 9 to 5 each hour in total 9 times each day. The hall is closed at Chinese New Year Eve, Chinese New Year and maintenance days.

The monument and the park around are one of the main attractions for tourists and guided tours in Taipei. Try to get there early in the morning and in general avoid weekends because the location is visited by many local people as well. The Memorial Park opens daily from 05:00 am to 12:00 pm.

Peak Season in Taiwan

Crowds at the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall

If possible, avoid the summer months (July and August) and around Chinese New Year (late January or early February) when prices are on the highest level, accommodations are often fully booked, and many places are overrun. Otherwise follow our tips above. 
 

 
Taipei Weather

Chiang-Kai-shek Memorial Hall view from the park

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/February with rainfall on average less than 100 mm. The climate is influenced by the northeast and the southwest monsoon. The northeast monsoon season lasts long from October until March and the southwest from May until September. At the monsoon season typhoons occur, and Taiwan gets hit each year frequently from July to September.

TW Taiwan

This is our complete travel guide for Angkor Wat in Cambodia, including the 7 top tips! You’ll learn about the best time to see this beautiful historic site, as well as everything else you should know before you go. Especially, tips for each season and month, opening times, how to get there from Siem Reap, the must-visit temples, ticket prices, and more.

The Best Time | Season Overview


Dry season means pleasant weather and crowds. Wet season means less crowds and more rain, but also a gorgeous lush scenery

The best time to visit Angkor Wat in terms of weather is in the dry season from early December until March: You experience pleasant temps and the least rainfall. Temperatures hover around 30°C (86°F). However, that is also the busiest time. It is much quieter in the rainy season from May to October.

Tours we recommend:

 


Below you’ll find our unique 7 Tips for Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples, a complete season guide, weather details, sunrise and sunset tips, opening times, as well as detailed answers to most of your questions can be found in this article. Just use the quick navigation (table of contents) below. Hint: We usually refer to the main temple as Angkor Wat and say Angkor Archaeological Park when we mean the whole site. We may also call it 'Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples' or 'the temple complex Angkor Wat'.

  1. Dry Season | Weather - Crowds - Tips
  2. Shoulder Season | Weather - Crowds - Tips
  3. Wet Season | Weather - Crowds - Tips
  4. Time of Day Tips & Opening Hours
  5. Hotel Deals and Tips
  6. Tickets and Entrance Fee
  7. How to Get There | From Siem Reap
  8. Itinerary | 1 - 3 Days - Tours (Recommended!)
  9. 10 Must-Visit Temples
  10. Sunrise vs. Sunset
  11. 7 Must-Know Tips

 

Monthly Weather | Temperatures and Rainfall

Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia enjoys a tropical climate which is warm throughout the year with relatively high average temps. This means it’s a great all-year destination in terms of weather, as long as you don’t mind bringing out the umbrella or rain jacket. Between May and October it’s the wet season and you experience a monsoon climate. Although, that doesn’t mean there will be rain every day. Besides, the usual downpour in the morning or afternoon often lasts between one and two hours only. On the other hand you can witness an explosion of a green, vivid landscape and significantly fewer crowds. Another small downside besides the rain during wet season is the higher humidity.

 
Dry Season | December–January–February–March

Weather-wise, the best time to visit the temple complex Angkor Wat is in the dry season between December and March. During these months, the weather is warm, and rain is almost non-existent.

Typically, maximum dry season temperatures peak in late March, so be prepared for it to be warm, especially in February and March, the latter half of the dry season. Around this time, average maximum temperatures around 35 degrees Celsius (95°F), and only drop to the mid-twenties (75 - 80°F) overnight. If you don’t like the hot weather, December and January are a few degrees cooler.

Crowds/Busy Times: Aside from the heat, the main drawback of visiting Angkor Wat in the dry season is the crowds. The promise of round-the-clock sunshine certainly brings plenty of tourists, and you certainly won’t be lonely at Angkor Wat and the other temples. Avoiding the crowds in the dry season? You can manage the crowds by visiting the popular temples (such as Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom or Ta Prohm) late in the afternoon when the crowds are at their thinnest. Angkor Wat itself, in particular, is the busiest temple of all in general. While visiting in the late afternoon is great to avoid the crowds, you should still see the sunrise (see our tips below) at Angkor Wat at least on one day, regardless of the crowds. Check out our '3-day itinerary' below.

Special Heat Tip: In the middle of the day in summer, you might actually prefer to head back to your guesthouse to escape the searing midday heat. However, if you’re not scared off by the temperature then it’s a good time to visit the less famous temples (such as Ta Som). Here, you’ll get a much more relaxing – and no less beautiful – experience of the Angkor temples.

 
Shoulder Season | April – early May and November


Sunrise over Angkor Wat  by Maxim B. CC BY-SA, cropped

The rain usually arrives fairly suddenly in Cambodia, meaning the shoulder season is relatively short. Nonetheless, it does present a great opportunity to enjoy good weather before (or just after) the heavy crowds arrive.

April (after the dry season): The months of April and early May are usually still dry, and very hot, with average temperatures hovering around the mid-30s Celsius (85 - 95°F). April is the hottest month overall. As a result, you’ll probably want to plan your day so that you are exploring early before the sun gets too intense.

November (after the wet season): Already drier than wet season and not as hot as in the dry season. However, visitors report Maximum temperatures are in the low 30s (85 – 90°F). On the other hand, it can rain of course, but it’s usually clearing. Therefore, as long as you don’t mind bringing a rain jacket or umbrella just in case, November can be a great time to travel to Angkor Wat.

Crowds/Busy Times: Unfortunately, shoulder seasons in April or November at Angkor Archaeological Park don’t mean there are no crowds. But still, it’s at least a little less busy - especially at the lesser-known temple complexes - making both shoulder months a great time to visit.  Just keep in mind, that April is the hottest month.

 
Wet Season | May-June-July-August-September-October


Ta Keo Tempel  by Marco Verch CC BY, cropped

Around late May, the monsoon season arrives in Cambodia, bringing humidity and lots of rain. The rain typically arrives quite suddenly. While the number of rainfall days between May and October seems quite even (check our weather chart above), the months of September and October experience the most overall precipitation. In the wet season, temperatures drop a little from the peaks, but still hover around the mid-30s (85 - 95°F). The humidity can also make the temperatures seem more intense, with humidity above 80% a common occurrence.

There are two advantages of visiting in the wet season besides fewer crowds: The truly gorgeous lush green scenery is back and there is more fascinating birdlife to watch.

Crowds/Busy Times: The weather can certainly put a dampener on your travel plans, however, they are also the quietest time to visit. While the Angkor Wat temple itself can still be sort of busy in the wet season, you’ll have much more space to enjoy the intricate beauty of it and the other temples.

 
Time of Day Tips

The popular temples (Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm) are very busy throughout the day, even more in high season (dry season). However, it thins out slightly in the late evening. Keep in mind, that Angkor Wat is also extremely busy in the early morning because everybody wants to experience the stunning sunrise. But still, we recommend being there at least once during sunrise, regardless of the crowds (check our itinerary as well as our sunrise tips below in the main text). Later in the day always means (at least slightly) fewer crowds. The less popular temples are even less crowded in the late evening as well as in the early morning (when everyone watches the sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple). While the temples can only be accessed until 5:30 pm, you can still visit many of them after that time. However, you can’t explore the interior after ‘official closing’ time.

Opening Hours

  • Ticket Office: 4:30 am – 5:30 pm (Ticket Office Google Maps Location)
  • Angkor Wat (+ Srah Srang): 5:00 am – 5:30 pm
  • Pre Rup, Phnom Bakheng: 5:00 am - 7:00 pm
  • Other Temples: 7:30 am to 5:30 pm

The ticket office is open from 4:30 am – 5:30 pm every day. Note that if you buy your ticket after 5 pm, then it will count as valid for the next day rather than the day of purchase.

Most of the Angkor temples are open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm every day. However, Angkor Wat itself is one exception! It is open from 5:00 am to 5:30 pm so that guests can watch the sunrise. Srah Srang, Pre Rup and Phnom Bakheng also open at 5:00 am. Special Tip: Even though the temples officially “close” at 5:30 pm, you can still access some of them – and it doesn’t cost you anything!

KH Cambodia

Mont Saint Michel the most visited destination in the Normandy with an estimated three million visitors and pilgrims each year. The island is situated 600 meters from the mainland with its own microclimate. Mont Saint Michel is 78 meters / 256 feet high. Exceptional is the highest tidal range in Europe with roughly 15 meters. This makes a visit during spring tide a unique experience. Regarding the weather, it may be pleasant from May to October. What makes a visit outstanding? Continue reading to get detailed information.

Tides at Mont-Saint-Michel

If possible, visit Mont St. Michel during low tide. Spend a couple of hours on the island and the Abbey and wait for the incoming high tide. Ask at the information centre close to the parking and opposite the shuttle bus stop when the first wave may come. After visiting the Abbey, instead of leaving it walk back to the west terrace, especially if a spring tide is expected. You can also leave the Abbey at the entrance afterwards. Alternatively, visit the Abbey half an hour before the first wave, the tidal bore is predicted. Bear in mind that you may queue for a ticket depending on the season and time of the day. This ensures that you are in time at the west terrace to get a good place for watching a spectacular show of the incoming tide. You can visit Mont Saint Michel also during high tide but not when a spring tide occurs. The door is closed for roughly 1.5 h during this occasion when the entire island is surrounded by the sea.

Crowds on the west-terrace at Mont-Saint-Michel watching the spring tide
Pretty busy on the West Terrace

The sea flows out 15 km during spring tides and comes back with an immense Tidal bore. You already hear the sea coming back from far away with 30 km/h / 18.64 mph. It’s an extraordinary experience to witness the power of the tides.

The first wave at spring tide watched from Mont-Saint-Michel
Most impressive is the first wave; the tidal bore

The spring tides occur 36 -48 hours after the full and new moon; in a total round about 20 times a year. Mont Saint Michel becomes an island with a water level of 12.85 m and higher. The strongest spring tides happen in March and September with a sea-level above 14 m. To get the most out of your visit, check the tides first. If the spring tide is in the night, you can watch it, but you can't get a good shot. If a spring tide is forecasted for the evening; the Abbey closes around 10 pm. Mont St. Michel is not accessible roughly for 1.5 hour during the highest water level. We experienced this outstanding spring tide in September 2018. Tidal times for Mont Saint-Michel

Visitors are waiting for the spring tide on the bridge in front of Mont Saint Michel
Visitors are waiting for the spring tide.

Visitor Centre Opening Times

It’s open from 9 am to 7 pm from Easter until the end of September and the rest of the year from 10 am to 6 pm. Only closed on Christmas Day the 25.12. and New Year 1.1.

Abbey Opening Times
  • Closed on 1st January, 1st May and 25th December
  • 2nd May until 31st August from 9 am to 7 pm, last admission one hour before
  • 1st September until 30th April 9.30 am to 6 pm, last admission one hour before
  • Exceptions: During July and August also open from 7.30 pm until 11 pm except Sunday with a special programme and illumination. An additional or combined ticket is necessary for it. Roughly four evenings each year during spring tide in the evening open at least until 10 pm
Peak Season and Crowds

Narrow alleys are empty at Mont Saint Michel during the evening
The main street "Grand Rue" is less crowded during the evening.

With three million visitors each year it’s almost always crowded but summer months are the worst. You even have to queue for the restrooms and for paying your parking ticket at the ticket machine. Most of the guided bus tours come here during the day and already leave the outstanding place in the afternoon. If you want to avoid the crowds; come here for the sunrise or in the afternoon. Experience the village in the evening when most of the shops are closed, and the narrow alleys are almost without any people.

Weather

Sunset at Mont Saint Michel

Mont St. Michel has a coastal climate but due to the location, influenced by the tides it has its own microclimate mostly a bit cooler. Rain frequently occurs throughout the year but not much just around 750 mm per year. Less precipitation from June to September. Most sunshine hours from May to September. The summer is the most popular time of the year for a visit with pleasant temps and plenty of sunshine. Temps in summer are on average around 20°C but can climb up to 25°C as well. October and May are similar to an average daily temp of 16°C, and the lowest is 10°C. December to February expect one-digit temps. Anyhow, it’s pretty chilly during winter due to the high humidity. The water temp is below 20°C, even in the summer.

Tidal Flat Tours and Must-Do Tours from Paris
 

There are tidal flat tours offered at low tide (It seems they're not being offered in the winter months due to the cold sea. However, the day trip tours from Paris are awesome and it's less busy in the wintertime). If you visit the area for more than one day, it'll be an outstanding experience. In general, it's essential to book a guided tidal flat tour due to quicksand, waterholes and the fast coming tide. Find some of the best tours here at one of the largest and reliable tour provider (GetYourGuide) here: Mont Saint-Michel Tours (Safe Booking!). Alternatively, check the selected tours from the world's largest tour operator: Mont Saint Michel - Things To Do  — Viator | TripAdvisor Experience

 

Tidal Flat Tour at Mont Saint Michel, Normandy

Where to Stay

Camping
The closest campground is “Camping du Mont Saint-Michel”. It’s just the location next to the walkway to Mont Saint Michel which makes it worth to stay here. The campsites are not big. The facilities are ok, more or less. Anyhow, you can check-in 24 hours at the hotel reception and the staff is friendly. If you plan to stay just for one night, it’s fine, but for a couple of days you better chose “Camping aux Pommiers - Mont Saint Michel”. The facilities are well maintained. Plenty of showers and dishwashing sinks are available. There are an indoor pool and cabins with private bathroom offered as well. The campground is open from the end of March until the beginning of November.

Hotels
You will love to stay on the island for one night. Enjoy the mystic atmosphere in the narrow alleys when day visitors left the island. Experience the sunrise in front of Mont Saint Michel. The best-rated charming hotel for Mont Saint Michel is the "Auberge Saint Pierre". You'll feel like in Hogwarts from Harry Potter.

Auberge Saint Pierre at Mont Saint Michel island

Another cheaper option but not in such a magical location is the “Le Relais Saint Michel”. Ask for a room with a Mount St. Michel view. The hotel is situated just next to the walkway.

Hotel Le Relais Saint Michel close to Le Mont

Alternatively check more options here: Hotels Le Mont Saint Michel - via booking.com

FR France

It’s a popular landmark and for us one of the most impressive sights of Lisbon. Usually, ii's crowded even in winter. Less busy in the morning at 10 a.m. when it gets opened. Expect to queue the rest of the day due to limited access to the tower. Only 150 people are allowed going up the tower at the same time. Torre de Belem is also famous for tourists and Portuguese as well to watch the sunset.

Torre de Belem at sunset

Opening hours:

  • May to September from 10 a.m. until 6.30 p.m. Last admission is at 5 p.m.
  • October to April closing one hour earlier at 5.30 p.m. Last admission is also at 5 p.m. (like in the summer).
  • Closed on Mondays. Also closed January 1, Easter Sunday, May 1, June 14, December 25
     

Tip: Entrance fee 6 €, combined with Jerónimos Monastery 12 €.

Jeronimos Monastery

Crowds

To enjoy the Belem Tower come here early in the morning and avoid Sundays. Citizens get free admission until 2 pm. Even in the winter, it is busy here but summer is worse. However, we always come here when we are in Lisbon but only during the week. The sunset is truly beautiful and of course, the promenade is packed with people.

Cafe at the Tagus River close to Torre de Belem
Perfect location to watch the sunset

Weather and Crowds in Lisbon by Season

Lisbon is an outstanding travel destination throughout the year.

Spring

Day temps in spring are pleasant around 20°C / 68°F. Nights are a bit chilly on average between 10°-16°C / 50°F-60°F. We like this season; not hot but warm although in June temps increase already and it's almost always sunny. Showers can occur occasionally. In April crowds are still bearable except for Easter. From May onwards more tourists come to Lisbon and Portugal.

Summer 

Expect at least 30°C / 86°F and consider the powerful sun. Summer is the driest time of the year. July and August are the peak season and it’s pretty busy in Lisbon.

Autumn

September is still very warm with temps around 26°C / 79°F. Nights are cool on average 17°C / 63°F. During October day temps are still above 20°C / 68°F and in November around 18°C / 64°F. Rain increases in October, however, below 100 mm in November. That’s not much. In October and November, fewer visitors come to Lisbon and the surroundings. You can enjoy the city and Sintra much better.

Winter

In winter the day temps are on average around 15°C / 59°F, one-digit temps / below 50°F during the night. However, it’s mild but the wind can be chilly. Although it’s winter, the sun is still strong UV 6. Precipitation occurs more often, but it’s rare to experience rain the entire day. We’d been here several times in January and February. Usually, you can even walk barefoot at the beach. We love to come at this time of the year except for Christmas. Most of the sights are quiet with view visitors only.

PT Portugal

Located close to the historic center of Sintra which is popular and gets busy from late morning on. It is part of the “Three Palace Tour” and gets even more crowded in summer the holiday season. The best time for a visit is in the morning when they open at 9.30 in the high season and 10 in the low season. Best sunlight for a good shot in the late afternoon!!

Avoiding tourist crowds:
In July and August Sintra is completely crowded. If you want to visit in summer, you should go either early or late in the day. Weekends are even busier, and it might be very difficult to find a parking space. Winter is the best time to avoid masses of tourists coming by bus from Lisbon and swarming around.

My favorite months are May until mid-June and September, less hot and busy mostly with a blue sky. Anyway, this time we came end of December and had 16 degrees in Lisbon which were 13 degrees in Sintra, and it was sunny for several weeks. None of the places were crowded.

High season (end of March until the end of Oct.): 9.30 a.m. until 8 p.m. for the park last admission at 7 p.m. and the palace 7 p.m. last admission 6.15 p.m.
Entrance fee: adult 8 €

Low season (end of Oct. until the end of March): 10.00 a.m. until 6 p.m. for the park last admission at 5 p.m. and the palace 5 p.m. last admission 4.30 p.m.
Entrance fee: adult 6,50 € and family 22 € (2 adults and 2 under 18 years)

You get a 5 % discount when buying tickets online and avoid queuing in the peak season:
Buy tickets

Climate:
Although Sintra has a different climate to Cascais and Lisbon due to the high elevation summer can be very hot with up to 30 degrees. There is mostly a breeze which is convenient in summer but be careful in autumn and winter. Weather is more unpredictable from October to March, and more rain occurs. However, it seldom rains a whole week a view days only. Sintra is frequently covered in fog which let it appear mystic. Often mid to end of December the weather is fine. This told me a hiking guide and friend from PortugalWalkHike

PT Portugal