Travel News

Weekend in Cambridge: The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary 

If you’re planning a city break in England soon, you’re in luck – I’ve put together an itinerary for the perfect weekend break in Cambridge. I was born and raised just a few miles away from this beautiful university city and have spent many weekends enjoying all it has to offer.

Situated in East Anglia, in the county of Cambridgeshire, Cambridge is perhaps most famous for its university. Founded in 1209, it’s the world’s third-oldest university in continuous operation. Subsequently, grand university buildings dominate much of the skyline and give the entire city a feeling of grandeur.

It’s the perfect backdrop for a romantic weekend in Cambridge and is a popular international tourist destination. Home to many excellent bars, restaurants, and cafes to enjoy, it was always an easy hop from my hometown for a night out or a weekend in Cambridge with friends.

Weekend in Cambridge (2-Day Itinerary)

After visiting many times over the years, with my husband for birthday trips, with friends, and for work, I have tied together all my favorite parts of the city so you can enjoy the best of Cambridge in two days. I like experiencing plenty of culture by day and the food and drink scene by night, so let’s dive straight in:

Day 1 in Cambridge

An old historic building university with green grass.

Make sure you’ve got your most comfortable walking shoes on as Cambridge is a great city to walk around. There are loads of photo opportunities at every turn, so make sure your phone is fully charged to capture them all!

Day 1: Morning

Kick off your weekend away in Cambridge with a hearty breakfast and a good dose of caffeine. Benets Cafe serves delicious crepes and pancake breakfasts and offers stunning views of Kings College Chapel and Great St Mary’s Church.

After breakfast, take a guided walking tour of the city. It’s a great way to get to know your way around and to ensure you see all the main sights. Some guided tours include entry to three colleges such as the world-famous Kings College. Click here to find out more and to book your tour.

Finish the morning with a short stroll to the spot where gravity was discovered. That’s right, the acclaimed apple tree where Sir Isaac Newton founded the concept of gravity is located in Cambridge. Although the story of the apple hitting him on the head is a myth, the spot proudly celebrates Newton’s discovery of gravity during his Cambridge years.

Day 1: Afternoon

Red meat served with fresh cherry tomato and arugula, canon 1Ds mark III

No Cambridge weekend break would be complete without lunch at Market House – it’s one of my favorite restaurants in the city. The stylish decor, outstanding menu, and exceptional wine and cocktail list make it the perfect place to refuel.

Much like Venice, Cambridge is famous for punting. The River Cam runs through the city and there are many boats and tours available for visitors. If you’re lucky enough, you may even cross paths with a mobile river bar and be able to grab yourself a cocktail as you enjoy the wonderful sights along the river. Be sure to plan ahead by booking your punting tour here.

Finish the first afternoon of your two days in Cambridge and get over your ‘sea legs’ (or ‘river legs’) with a pint at The Anchor. This cozy, traditional English pub is right on the banks of the river and has a wonderful terrace overlooking the water. You can enjoy watching some fellow punters ride past as you sit back and relax.

Day 1: Evening

Cambridge by night brings with it new delights. The beautiful architecture is brought to life by some stunning lighting that makes the entire city especially atmospheric to stroll around at night. Be sure to spend some time after the sun has set, simply enjoying the beauty of the city.

Head for dinner at Butch Annie’s, a popular but casual burger and pizza joint. It’s great for everything from light snacks to full dinners and has a great bar selection too. They specialize in organic farm-to-table beef and serve up some truly satisfying burgers.

Finish the first night of your weekend getaway in Cambridge with cocktails at 2648. An underground bar with a speakeasy vibe that serves generously portioned drinks. They make an exceptional Salted Caramel White Russian – a salty sweet take on the classic cocktail. Be sure to explore the secret library, if you can find it!

Day 2 in Cambridge

Full breakfast on wooden, top view. Sunny side fried eggs, roasted bacon, hash brown and pancakes.

After all that sightseeing, food, and cocktails yesterday, I hope you got a good night’s sleep! So, if you’re ready and raring to go, let’s get started with day two of your weekend in Cambridge:

Day 2: Morning

Much like yesterday, be sure to start the day with a good breakfast and even better coffee. Head to the Copper Kettle, something of a Cambridge institution established in the early 1900s. Serving excellent breakfasts from 8 a.m. and overlooking the famous Kings College Chapel, it’s an ideal place to start your day.

Walk off your breakfast by discovering more of Cambridge’s rich history with a self-guided audio tour. From scientific breakthroughs to unique traditions, you’ll learn about the University graduation ceremony, marvel at the Corpus Clock, explore the history of the Chelsea Bun, and delve into stories about the iconic University Boat Race. Click here to book your tour.

Round off your second morning with a trip to the Sedgwick Museum of Earth Sciences. The fossils, rocks, minerals, and archive material on display are of outstanding scientific and historical importance. Notebooks, photographs, and collections from many notable scientists, not least Charles Darwin, form part of this interesting exhibition.

Day 2: Afternoon

A full load of meat in bread and a green vegetable with cheese.

For lunch, make your way over to Bread & Meat, where they serve a concise menu of awesome roast-meat sandwiches. The tiled butcher-style setting makes for a great casual lunch spot. Their topside British beef sandwich is off the charts, (and for those who don’t eat meat, they also offer a tasty veggie sandwich).

Cambridge is packed with great historical pubs, and you can visit some of the best ones on a heritage pub tour. This unique tour, founded by two former Cambridge students will give you an authentic, intimate slice of local pub culture. It mixes informative fun with a relaxing afternoon of drinking in Cambridge’s most amazing pubs. Click here to find out more information.

Finish off the afternoon with a gentle stroll along The Backs. This is the picturesque green space where several colleges ‘back’ onto the River Cam. It’s a really pleasant area to take a gentle afternoon stroll. The National Trust Chairman rated The Backs as one of the top 10 views in England.

Day 2: Evening

As the final night descends on your 2 days in Cambridge, embrace the darkness with a ghost tour. Led by University Alumni you’ll be regaled with stories of some truly horrific events that have occurred over the centuries at Cambridge University. It’s a fascinating insight into a dark part of the city’s history. Click here to book your tour ahead of time.

For dinner, treat yourself to one of the best restaurants in the city – The Cambridge Chop House. Serving traditional British classics and fantastic steaks and chops, this stylish eaterie has sensational views of Kings College Chapel. There’s also a really cozy basement dining room. It’s a popular place and gets busy, so be sure to book ahead.

Finish off your weekend in Cambridge with a show at the Cambridge Arts Theatre. The beautiful 87-year-old, 666-seater auditorium attracts some of the biggest performers and shows in the country; including productions straight from London’s West End. Check the events calendar as there’s sure to be something great on during your visit.

How to Get to Cambridge

A shallow shot of a man holding his travel luggage at a train station, with two trains in the background.

Cambridge has a good-sized train station that connects it to many cities in England, including London. Regular and reliable trains run daily to and from Cambridge. Ticket costs vary but be advised that it’s best to book around 12 weeks ahead of time to secure the best price.

If you plan to drive to Cambridge you’ll find an excellent park-and-ride scheme that keeps the center as car-free as possible. Simply park up at any of the 5 free car parks around the city and regular bus services will drop you into the heart. Bus tickets start at £3 ($3.70) return, and up to 3 kids under the age of 16 travel for free with a paying adult.

If you’re flying in for a two-day trip to Cambridge the nearest international airport is London Stansted. Cambridge is around 30 miles away – it’s a straightforward drive, and hiring a car from the airport is easy. The airport train station is walkable from arrivals and regular trains will drop you in central Cambridge within 30-40 minutes.

Cambridge is a particularly walkable city, but for assistance getting around, reliable local buses, taxis, and ride-sharing services like Uber operate daily.

Where to Stay With 2 Days in Cambridge

A view of Cambridge University and King's College Chapel, a large green tree, a building structure on the opposite side of Cambridge University, and a crowded people on the street.

The City Center is undoubtedly the main attraction when planning a trip to Cambridge. But the city also has several popular areas and surrounding villages that offer great options and amenities for a 2-night break in Cambridge.

Central Cambridge: Central Cambridge is famous for its historic colleges, museums, and scenic parks. Along the River Cam, you’ll spot boaters punting and practicing for the annual Boat Race. Historic pubs, tea rooms, hotels, and restaurants are also in abundance here for visitors. Check out this great central hotel option.

Mill Road: Mill Road is a vibrant neighborhood near Cambridge Station. It has plenty of Victorian architecture with live music pubs, a craft brewery, and stylish coffee shops. You’ll also find Asian and Middle Eastern markets for groceries and can enjoy dining in Japanese, North African, and Indian restaurants. Here’s an amazing accommodation choice near Mill Road.

Trumpington: Consider staying a little further out of the city where hotels are often a little cheaper. Trumpington is just over 2 miles away and offers easy access in and out of central Cambridge daily. The village also has plenty of its own quaint shops, pubs, and restaurants to explore. Have a look at this great place to stay – it’s a 17th-century pub!

Tips for a Weekend Trip to Cambridge

A woman's hand writing a list on white paper.

With so much to fit in during a 2-day trip to Cambridge, I’ve put together a few of my top tips to help refine your itinerary. Take these on board to ensure you have the perfect trip:

1. Plan ahead: Cambridge is a popular, international tourist destination and with the University centrally located in the city, things can get busy! Plan your tours, trips, hotels, and even restaurant bookings ahead of time to ensure you get to do everything you want to do.

2. Park-and-ride: The Park-and-Ride system has been active in Cambridge for as long as I can remember. And although you can still park in the city, it’s expensive, and the traffic and one-way system can be a nightmare. Simply park up for free at one of 5 parking lots on the outskirts and get the bus in – it’s much more convenient.

3. Save money staying further afield: A weekend break in Cambridge for 2 can become expensive, especially if you’re planning on staying centrally. There are many great hotels, B&B, and apartment options available a few miles out of town that are still within easy access of the City Center.

4. Enjoy the free stuff: Cambridge is such a beautiful city and just walking around can be an activity in itself. Stunning architecture, impressive chapels, beautiful parks, centuries-old churches, and magnificent museums and theaters are all to be found just strolling the streets.

5. Know your happy hours: As a city with a vibrant student community, Cambridge features a variety of bars with enticing drink specials, including 2-for-1 cocktails. This offer runs all day, every day at Las Iguanas.

Additionally, Cambridge is home to a Wetherspoons pubThe Regal. This well-known UK chain of 800+ pubs is celebrated for its extensive menu of affordable food and drinks. They serve everything from breakfast bites to dinner plates and everything in between.

6. Wear comfortable shoes: Cambridge is a very walkable city and you’ll easily rack up the steps just strolling around the many beautiful sights and attractions. Wear comfortable walking shoes or sneakers to ensure your feet don’t tire out before you’re ready to call it a day.

7. Remember you’re in England: Having lived in England most of my life I can confirm the rumors about the weather are mostly true. Even if you’re traveling during the summer months, be prepared for some wet weather and pack your suitcase accordingly.

8. Train prices can be steep: Unlike some neighboring countries in Europe, the UK’s train network is privatized which means prices are often quite high. It’s a major bone of contention amongst the British public. The best prices are generally available around 12 weeks before, so plan well ahead if possible. One of the best options for booking rail tickets is

FAQs About a Weekend Getaway in Cambridge

Here are some answers to frequently asked questions about weekend breaks in Cambridge:

Can you do Cambridge in just a weekend?

You can absolutely do Cambridge in just a weekend. There’s plenty to see and do, but with the right 2-day itinerary for Cambridge, you can ensure you hit all the key sights during your stay. Additionally, the city is particularly walkable, and getting around is very easy.

How do I spend my weekend in Cambridge?

Be sure to research a weekend itinerary for Cambridge. There are lots of tours, museums, and sights to see but it’s always advisable to book ahead. You can also enjoy the many historical pubs, excellent restaurants, and quaint cafes and tea rooms that can be found all over the city at your leisure.

Where should I stay for 2 days in Cambridge?

There are a number of great accommodation options in Central Cambridge. Staying here will mean you have easy access to everything the city has to offer. Staying a little further afield may be a more economical option, and there are good public transport options that link the city to many of the outer villages and regions.

How much would a weekend in Cambridge cost?

A figure of around $250 per person for 48 hours in Cambridge should suffice for comfortable accommodation, dining, drinks, and a couple of tours. But, given the abundance of tours, museums, free sightseeing options, and enjoyable walks available, crafting an itinerary to suit various budget preferences is entirely possible.

What’s the best month to visit Cambridge?

The best month to visit Cambridge depends on your preferences for weather, crowd levels, and the type of experience you want. Many people find spring and early autumn to be particularly pleasant times to visit; when the weather is comfortable, and there are fewer crowds compared to the peak summer season.

Is Cambridge a good city break?

Cambridge is an excellent city break. The abundance of history and culture mixed in with great bars and restaurants make it a terrific option for a getaway. There are so many things to do, and Cambridge is a popular international tourist destination. So, be sure to plan ahead with your tours, trips, and restaurant bookings.

Can you drive in Cambridge city center?

Cambridge City Center has a designated “Pedestrian Zone” in operation 24/7 where general vehicle access is limited and controlled by bollards. This is further heightened between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Typically, only buses, bicycles, and some authorized vehicles are allowed within this zone.

A park-and-ride service allows visitors to park at one of 5 free parking lots on the outskirts of the city and take the bus to central destinations.

Which is prettier Oxford or Cambridge?

Maybe I’m biased, but Cambridge is prettier than Oxford. I grew up just a few miles away from Cambridge and although I’ve visited the lovely city of Oxford numerous times, I think the beauty of Cambridge has the edge.

Is Cambridge expensive?

Like any city, there are expensive options and there are cheaper options. Whether considering accommodation, dining, or drinking you can make a weekend itinerary for most budgets.

It’s always advisable to plan ahead and do your research. In my experience, Cambridge is cheaper (in general) than London, but is pretty much on par with other major UK cities.

How far is Cambridge from London?

The approximate distance from central Cambridge to central London is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) in a straight line. By train, the journey from Cambridge to London usually takes around 1 hour. If you’re driving, it can take approximately 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on traffic and the route you choose.

Enjoy Your Weekend Trip to Cambridge

It’s been a real treat to relive a few days away in Cambridge. Growing up close by it was always easy to take it for granted when considering a city break away somewhere in the UK. But time and time again, the beautiful and vibrant city has been my preference for day trips, nights out, and weekends away with friends.

So, whether you enjoy history and culture, having a great bar and restaurant scene, or both, Cambridge has everything you need for an amazing weekend city break.

The post Weekend in Cambridge: The Perfect 2-Day Itinerary appeared first on Goats On The Road.

8 Best Online TEFL Courses in 2024 (Teach Online & Abroad) 

If you hope to teach English online, getting your TEFL certification is a great idea. In fact, if you plan to teach English abroad in any capacity, getting your TEFL course online should be high on your to-do list.

I’ve been an online English teacher for 3 years, and in order to get that job, I took a TEFL course with International TEFL Academy. In this post, I’ll cover the basics of TEFL certification and the best TEFL courses for online English teachers, and teachers who want to teach in a foreign country.

The beauty of taking a TEFL course online is that you can do it while you’re working a full-time job, or while you’re traveling — you just need a wifi connection.

What is a TEFL Certificate? 

tefl certificate

A TEFL Certificate is a qualification that’s recognized internationally. It allows you to teach English abroad and is a crucial part of your teaching job application. 

There are a few types of TEFL certifications, and the acronyms can be a bit confusing!

1. TEFL (Teach English as a Foreign Language). This certification is used worldwide for teachers who want to teach English abroad to foreign students (or teach English online to foreign students). Example: A Canadian teaching English in China, or an American teaching English as a second language in Mexico.

2. TESL (Teach English as a Second Language). This certification is used by those who are teaching English in their own country to someone who needs to learn English as their second language. Example: A Brit teaching English to immigrants in England. 

3. TESOL (Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). This certification is used for those who want to teach English either abroad as a foreign language, or in a country that speaks English as its native language. It’s similar to TESL (above), but isn’t as widely used or recognized.

4. CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages). The acronym doesn’t really work for this one! CELTA is the more expensive, “posh” version of TESOL, and is specific to Cambridge University.

Now that that’s out of the way, we’re going to focus on TEFL Certifications in this article. Having a TEFL certificate will allow you to apply for jobs teaching English in foreign countries or jobs teaching English online.

The typical curriculum covers teaching fundamentals, how to create lesson plans, and how to instruct students in English grammar, reading, speaking, and writing. 

Who Needs a TEFL Certification? 

teaching english with a TEFL certificate

Anyone who plans to teach English abroad or teach English online should look into getting their TEFL certification. TEFL certificates are widely known and valued in the English teaching industry.

I got my TEFL certificate even though I already had a Master’s in Teaching and three years of formal classroom experience. I didn’t want to disqualify myself from a potential job just because I lacked the credentials they required. 

Most in-person English teaching jobs around the world want teachers who have a TEFL certification. Even in places where a TEFL isn’t required, you’ll likely get a higher pay rate and have more employment options if you have one.

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Best Cities To Teach English in China

Will I Need a TEFL Certification to Teach Online?

woman teaching english from her laptop at home best online jobs
I love being able to teach English online from anywhere in the world

That depends, but probably. Most of the high-paying online English teaching companies require you to have a TEFL certification.

A few years ago, online ESL companies were mainly concerned with hiring native English speakers. Now, with more regulations on online teaching and more competition between companies, requirements are stricter. 

It’s becoming common for online English companies to require that all teachers have a TEFL certificate.

China recently passed a law that says all online English teachers must either have a TEFL certification or a traditional teaching license.

Considering how many of the large online ESL companies cater to the Chinese market, you can imagine how many teachers were impacted.

But even if your online teaching company doesn’t require a TEFL certificate, it’s a good idea to get one anyway. With a TEFL certificate, you’ll have two main advantages: 

1. ESL Teaching Skills 

During your TEFL course online, you’ll learn best teaching practices that will improve your skills as an educator. 

A lot of people think “If I speak English, I can teach it, right?” But this isn’t the case. Teaching a language is very different from speaking a language. Some people who speak excellent English don’t make great teachers. 

Teaching, like any skill, must be learned and practiced. In a TEFL certification online course, you’ll have the opportunity to do exactly that. 

Getting a TEFL certification is especially important if you don’t have a formal teaching background. You’ll want to gain as much practical teaching knowledge as possible so you can impress your future students and employers. 

2. Job Security

If for some reason your online ESL company changes its requirements, having your TEFL certification could be the difference between keeping your job and having to find another one. 

If you need to switch companies at some point during your online teaching career, having your TEFL certification already taken care of means you’ll have more options. 

Also, if you ever decided to transition into in-person teaching, you would already have the certification you need. Even if you have online teaching experience, most schools still need to see proof of your TEFL course completion for you to be eligible to teach. 

For me, having a TEFL certificate feels like a security net. I know that if I’m ever unable to teach online for some reason, I can use my TEFL certificate to get a job teaching abroad instead. Having TEFL credentials only improves your choices.

☞ SEE ALSO: 15 Pros and Cons of Being an Online English Teacher

Which TEFL Course is The Best?

the tefl academy course classroom

That’s a great question! In short, if you’re looking for a Level 5 TEFL course, check out the TEFL Academy. For 120-hour TEFL certification, MyTEFL is a good option. 

A quick Google search will show you that there are dozens of online TEFL courses out there, so it can be difficult to know which one is best for you. There are a few things to consider when making your decision.

1. Accreditation 

In order for your TEFL certification to have any meaning, it needs to be accredited. 

You may have seen ads on discount websites for $5 TEFL courses or even websites offering Free TEFL courses. Unfortunately, these usually are not accredited and won’t do you much good when it’s time to get hired.

Although, there are some legitimate cheap TEFL courses available, see our list here

While you might be able to get away with an unaccredited TEFL course with some uninformed employers, I wouldn’t recommend doing that. It’s not worth risking your job if someone discovered that your certification wasn’t legitimate.

Taking accredited TEFL courses online means that a third party approved the curriculum and teaching methodologies of the course.

You’ll know for sure that what you’re learning is correct and up to date. This helps you become a more effective English teacher in the long run.

2. Number Of Hours 

When you start looking into TEFL courses, you’ll see the number of hours for the course. This represents the number of hours you will study to get the certification. In general, you want a course that offers at least 120 hours.

Now, if you do a self-paced online TEFL course, there’s a very good chance you’ll finish in less than 120 hours. But that 120-hour course will cover much more content than a 40-hour or 60-hour course.

Most TEFL employers want to see the 120-hour certificate. 

3. Online, In-Person, and Combination Courses

teaching english online with a tefl certificate

TEFL courses fall into three categories: online, in-person, and hybrid courses that combine the two.

Online TEFL Courses: 

Online TEFL courses are great if you need schedule and location flexibility.

Before I started teaching online and travelling, I did an online TEFL course because it worked out well with my job. I was able to go to work during the day and complete my TEFL course online in the evenings and on weekends. 

Online TEFL courses are often self-paced and may take longer to complete than in-person TEFL courses. They are also usually less expensive. 

The downside of choosing an online TEFL course is that you won’t get real-time demonstrations and feedback on your teaching.

While your course might include video content, there’s no replacement for actually standing in front of people and applying the material. This is where In-Person TEFL courses shine.

In-Person TEFL Courses:

With an in-person course, you’ll do all your training and practical student teaching during a shorter time frame, usually a few weeks.

You can also choose to do your TEFL training abroad, meaning you’ll get to explore a new place while learning new skills. 

In-person TEFL courses are better for those who want to get TEFL certified as soon as possible. You’ll also leave with more experience teaching in real life.

In-person TEFL courses are usually more expensive.

The benefit is that you’ll be ready to start teaching sooner, have more practical experience, experience living in a new country, receive job placement assistance in that country afterward, and meet other aspiring TEFL teachers in your class.

Plus, your accommodation and some excursions and activities are also included. 

If an in-person TEFL certificate sounds like what you’re interested in, click here to check out exciting opportunities in Thailand, Spain, Argentina and more!

Hybrid Or Combination Courses:

The third option is to combine online and in-person elements into a hybrid or combination class. With these class formats, you’ll do most of the written work online independently.

Then, your TEFL company will arrange opportunities for you to do in-person teaching days, possibly with other students. This means you’ll get a chance to apply what you’ve learned and receive feedback before applying for teaching jobs. 

4. Practicum Teaching

preply teacher

Some TEFL courses will also include a practical teaching component. During your practicum, you will either practice teaching a lesson to real students or observe English lessons taught by established teachers. 

Practicum experience can also be tutoring one-on-one, student teaching, or volunteering with a local organization that offers English classes. 

Here’s how this plays out in different TEFL courses:

In-Person TEFL Courses: The course arranges the practical teaching opportunity for you. You will observe and practice teaching during your in-person TEFL course. 

Hybrid TEFL Courses: You do the theoretical parts of the course online on your own time. There are special in-person training days that you can attend to get your practical experience hours.

Fully Online Independent TEFL Courses: You do the course on your own and you are responsible for arranging your own practical teaching opportunities. 

When you complete your practical component, you’ll need to have the supervisor or lead teacher sign off on your hours. You submit this to the TEFL company when you finish your training. 

While there are lots of ways to fulfill your practicum teaching requirement, it can be time-consuming to arrange. 

Not all TEFL courses have a practical teaching component. But it’s a good idea to consider one that does if you want to get some hands-on teaching experience before diving headfirst into the classroom. 

☞ SEE ALSO: 10 Things To Know Before Becoming an Online English Teacher

Best Online TEFL Courses For English Teachers

What is the best TEFL course for online teaching? The following TEFL courses online are great choices if you want to start teaching online or in person. I’ll give a breakdown of what each course entails and what features make it appealing for aspiring teachers. 

1. MyTEFL (best online TEFL course for budget)

online teaching backdrop ideas
MyTEFL student Kacie

MyTEFL consistently has some of the most affordable TEFL courses on the market. They have online and in-person TEFL courses so you can choose the best option that fits your needs.

If you’re looking to take your TEFL course online, MyTEFL is a good bet.

Across the board, MyTEFL has excellent student reviews and ratings and is an affordable option. Click here to receive 50% off the TEFL.

Additional information about MyTEFL: 

  • Fully accredited 
  • Students receive 24/7 Tutor Support
  • You can request a letter of recommendation upon course completion 
  • Online classes are offered for 40, 60, 80, or 120 hours
  • Most students finish online classes in 3-6 weeks
  • In-Person classes are available in Thailand, Argentina, and Spain lasting 3-4 weeks
  • Students receive free job placement assistance after graduation
  • MyTEFL courses are affordable 

Learn how to sign up for MyTEFL, the costs, the pros and cons, and more in our in-depth guide to taking the MyTEFL course. Don’t forget, Goats On The Road readers receive 50% off your TEFL certification. Click here for details.

2. International TEFL Academy (best online TEFL course for quality)

teaching abroad
I’ve been able to travel around the world while teaching online thanks to getting TEFL certified

The International TEFL Academy is a highly regarded company offering online and in-person TEFL training. This is the company I went with when I did my TEFL training and I highly recommend them.

International TEFL Academy has a unique feature over the other companies: they offer a special 30-hour Online English Teacher TEFL course add-on that you can take after finishing your traditional TEFL course. 

While these courses are more expensive than some of the others listed, there are a few highlights that make them worth the extra cost. For more information, see our in-depth review of the International TEFL Academy.

Benefits of an Online TEFL Certification with ITA

  • Fully accredited
  • They are consistently ranked as one of the highest-caliber TEFL courses around 
  • You get a lifetime of job-finding assistance
  • They have an active alumni community, meaning you have a built-in network of friends around the world
  • You can choose between an 11-week online TEFL course or in-person courses around the world. 
  • They offer a specific Online English Teacher add-on course that you can complete after you finish your basic TEFL certification online
  • It’s one of the most recognised TEFL courses

Their online course is 170 hours in total. That includes 150 hours of classroom learning and 20 hours of self-arranged practicum teaching.

The online TEFL course with International TEFL Academy is not self-paced. You will have new modules released every week and assignments that are due on a timeline you receive upfront. 

International TEFL Academy has in-person classes in the USA, Asia, Europe, and Latin America. In-person TEFL courses last between 3-4 weeks. 

international TEFL academy

I signed up for the online course and I was able to complete it while I was working a full-time job. This made it easy to save money for travel while getting certified all at the same time.

When I completed the course, I felt secure in my job prospects because I had contacts at International TEFL Academy who would help me out if I needed it.

I also became a part of their vast alumni network which has since introduced me to some of my best travel friends. All in all, I’m very happy I went with ITA for my online TEFL course. Click here to learn more about the International TEFL Academy

3. TEFLPros (top online TEFL with free trial)

woman working at a laptop taking an online tefl certification

TEFLPros is an innovative TEFL course that has been met with great reviews.

It was formed by a female TEFL teacher trainer who realized that some courses didn’t fully prepare new educators for the reality of the classroom. She designed her own TEFL course to fill those gaps. The TEFLPros course is a fully online 120-hour TEFL option.

More benefits of this online TEFL course:

  • Fully accredited
  • Students get job assistance after graduating from the course and leave with a professional portfolio 
  • There is an emphasis on instructional videos and real classroom footage to show how skills learned in the classroom look in practice
  • The course can be completed from anywhere and on your own timeline
  • Many people finish the course in 4-6 weeks
  • This course includes modules about lesson planning for reading, writing, listening, grammar, and speaking lessons, classroom management, and encouraging student participation
  • The TEFLPros course includes weekly live coaching calls where you can speak directly with your training staff to get support
  • Free 2-Day trial

One nice perk of TEFLPros is that anyone can sign up for their free 2-day TEFL training course. This is perfect if you want to see what the material is like before purchasing the full course. 

Learn how to sign up for TEFL Pros, the costs, the pros and cons, and more in our in-depth guide to taking the TEFL Pros Course. Goats On The Road readers can sign up for a free 1-1 Strategy Session with the TEFLPros team by clicking here.

4. Bridge TEFL (best online TEFL for university credits)

best 120 hour tefl courses

Bridge TEFL is a popular option for those who plan to teach abroad or online while traveling. With Bridge TEFL, you can choose from shorter 40 and 60-hour online certifications. You can also opt for more in-depth 100, 120, and 150-hour online options. 

With the most advanced course offering, students even have the possibility of earning university credits. All of the courses over 100 hours include job placement assistance and feedback from a tutor. 

In addition to its impressive online course offerings, Bridge TEFL also has 140-hour in-person TEFL courses in North and South America. 

Bridge TEFL offers the following: 

  • Fully accredited
  • You can complete your coursework on your computer, tablet, or phone
  • It’s one of the oldest players in the business with lots of success stories
  • Courses all include chat support with a tutor
  • Videos allow you to see best teaching practices in real classrooms
  • They have several course options depending on the level you wish to pursue  
  • There’s the possibility of earning university credits

Learn how to sign up for Bridge TEFL, the costs, the pros and cons, and more in our in-depth guide to taking the Bridge TEFL courses. Click here to visit the Bridge TEFL website.

5. i-To-i TEFL 

how to get a tefl course online

i-To-i TEFL is a well-reviewed TEFL course provider with online and in-classroom course options.

I really like how this program offers a wide variety of courses, including 120-hour introductory TEFL courses all the way up to 300-hour online TEFL diplomas. 

i-To-i TEFL has the following appealing attributes:

  • Fully accredited 
  • They have been around since 1994 and have well over 100,000 TEFL graduates
  • After completing the program you get access to a jobs board to find teaching opportunities
  • They offer appealing “bundles” that you can purchase which include things like grammar ebooks, lesson plans, and a mini-course specifically about becoming an online English teacher
  • They frequently offer discounts on their top TEFL courses

i-to-i is currently offering 75% off its online TEFL courses.

6. ITTT International (best hybrid TEFL courses)

woman teaching english online from her laptop holidng up a book

At ITTT International TEFL and TESOL Training, you can do in-person courses, online courses, or hybrid courses that are a combination of the two. This is the best TESOL certification online.

One feature I like about ITTT that I didn’t see anywhere else is that you can choose how much support you want and the price adjusts accordingly.

For example, you can choose to do a 120-hour TEFL course with tutor and video support, or you can choose to do just the course without the extra support and save about $100.

ITTT offers TEFL students the following:

  • Fully accredited
  • They offer online, in-person, and combination courses
  • You can take in-person courses in over 40 locations 
  • With online classes, you can choose from 60-hour, 120-hour, and 220-hour options
  • They provide job support and assistance after course completion
  • ITTT is one of the longest-running online TEFL companies (since the early 1990s)

Read more about ITTT in our article here and click here to receive 15% off your TEFL course with ITTT.

7. The TEFL Academy (best TEFL certification Level 5)

take a tefl course online to teach students around the world

The TEFL Academy is a unique option for getting TEFL Certified because they offer a 168-hour, Level 5 Certification.

This is one of the higher-level TEFL credentials available, and The TEFL Academy provides this training at a surprisingly affordable price.

The TEFL Academy has two options: a fully online course and a combined online and classroom course.

When you sign up for one of these main TEFL programs, you’ll also receive access to one of their specialty “Top-Up Courses” for free.

You can choose between a bonus course for Business English, Teaching Young Learners, or Teaching Online. In total, you’ll receive 198 hours of TEFL instruction when you get certified with The TEFL Academy!

Here are some highlights of online TEFL courses with The TEFL Academy:

  • Fully Accredited, Level 5 TEFL courses.
  • Students can choose between fully online certification or a combination online/classroom certification. Training weekends for the combination course take place in North America, Europe, Oceania, and South Africa
  • Students have six months of access to course materials and most finish in 1-2 months
  • Receive a Free Top-Up course in the area of your choice when you sign up for a Level 5 TEFL course
  • Graduates of The TEFL Academy receive job hunt assistance and have access to an active job board
  • Internships and volunteer TEFL teaching opportunities available to graduates
  • Discounts are frequently offered

Learn how to sign up for The TEFL Academy, the costs, the pros and cons, and more in our in-depth guide to taking The TEFL Academy course. The TEFL Academy frequently offers 60% off its best TEFL courses online. Click here to see if there is a discount currently on offer. 

8. UNI-Prep Institute (best TEFL diploma course)

teaching english in China with a tefl online course
Get TEFL certified and teach English to students around the world

UNI-Prep Institute is a great option for getting your TEFL certificate online. Founded in 2005, this company offers 3 high-quality, affordable TEFL courses — 120 Hour, 250 Hour, and a Live TEFL Course.

What I like about UNI-Prep’s 250-hour TEFL course is that it includes everything that the 120-hour course does, but in addition, there are 10 specialty areas covered (including young learners, business English, teaching online, and more). 

Plus, there’s an 8-hour practicum included. This is great for teachers who are looking for a deeper understanding of teaching ESL.

Benefits of Taking an Online TEFL Course With UNI-Prep Institute:

  • You’ll receive 24/7 access to the online course materials
  • You can take the TEFL course from anywhere in the world
  • UNI-Prep offers job support and tutor support
  • UNI-Prep is accredited and internationally recognized
  • The TEFL courses are affordable and are often available at a discounted rate
  • Receive a free classroom activities booklet (100 activities)
  • TEFL certificates are electronic and you’ll receive it immediately
  • There’s no final exam
  • Specialization courses are included (business English, teaching grammar, advanced learners and more)
  • A 20-hour practicum can be added to your TEFL for free
  • UNI-Prep offers several merit scholarships annually

Uni-Prep Institute frequently offers discounts on their TEFL online courses. At the time of writing, discounts range from 40% – 65% off depending on the course. Click here to learn more.

What to Expect During Your Online TEFL Course

online teaching with a TEFL

Now that you’ve chosen a TEFL course, you might be wondering what to expect. In general, TEFL online and in-person TEFL courses cover the same topics.

You can expect to learn:

  • How to create and execute a TEFL lesson plan
  • General best teaching practices
  • How to teach reading, writing, grammar, and speaking
  • Managing a classroom and student behavior
  • Cultural awareness and how to navigate teaching students of different backgrounds
  • Creating classroom materials, activities, and assessments

You’ll likely leave your TEFL course with at least one full lesson prepared that you can use when you apply for jobs. In fact, it’s a good idea to save any lessons or activities you create throughout your TEFL course to build a hire-worthy teaching portfolio. 

You’ll also leave your course with an understanding of lesson pacing and language acquisition processes that will be helpful when you start teaching English online or abroad.

Are Online TEFL Courses Legitimate?

Yes. If you take a TEFL course from one of the companies on this list, it will be legitimate, and you will be able to get a job as an English teacher. For a high-quality TEFL with a solid alumni community, I recommend the company that I took my TEFL with, International TEFL Academy.

MyTEFL offers 120-hour courses (with 50% off using this link)

TEFL Pros offers a free 2-day trial 

TEFL Academy has Level 5 TEFL certifications that are often 60% off (using this link)

ITTT is the longest-running TEFL company and you can get 15% off (using this link)

In Conclusion

As you can see, there are numerous online TEFL courses that you can take — there’s something for all budgets. Invest in yourself as a teacher and your job opportunities will be much greater than if you don’t.

The practical and theoretical skills you learn in a TEFL course will help you approach your first classroom feeling as confident, prepared, and awesome as I’m sure you are! Happy teaching. 

Once you’re TEFL certified, you’ll want to apply for a job. Have a look at Preply, or Cambly. And, for those of you who don’t have a Bachelor’s Degree (but did take an online TEFL course), check out our article which lists 10 teaching companies that will hire you without having a degree.

Like This Article? Pin it!

“7 Best Online TEFL Courses For English Teachers
The 7 Best Online TEFL Courses For English Online or Abroad
“7 Best TEFL Courses To Teach English Online


The post 8 Best Online TEFL Courses in 2024 (Teach Online & Abroad) appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Most Beautiful Temples to Visit in and Around Bangkok 

Out of Town Blog
Most Beautiful Temples to Visit in and Around Bangkok

The Best Temples to Visit in and Around Bangkok

Bangkok, the capital city of Thailand, is home to some of the most beautiful temples in Southeast Asia. These temples are not just places of worship but also architectural wonders that showcase the rich cultural heritage of the Thai people. With their intricate carvings, stunning murals, and glittering gold leaf, these temples are must-visit destinations for anyone traveling to Bangkok.

The Temple of the Dawn in Bangkok by Anantachai Saothong via Unsplash
The Temple of the Dawn in Bangkok by Anantachai Saothong via Unsplash

One of the most famous temples in Bangkok is Wat Phra Kaew, also known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha. Located within the grounds of the Grand Palace, this temple is home to a small but revered statue of the Buddha carved from a single piece of jade. Visitors can also admire the intricate murals that line the walls of the temple, depicting scenes from Buddhist mythology.

Another temple worth visiting is Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn. Situated on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, this temple is known for its distinctive spires that are decorated with colorful pieces of Chinese porcelain. Visitors can climb to the top of the main prang, or tower, for panoramic views of the river and the surrounding city.

Historical Significance of Temples in Bangkok

Temples in Bangkok have a rich history and are an integral part of Thai culture. They are not only places of worship but also significant historical landmarks that reflect the country’s religious and cultural heritage.

Many of the temples in Bangkok were built during the Ayutthaya period (1351-1767), which was a time of great artistic and cultural flourishing. These temples reflect the architectural style of that era and are adorned with intricate carvings and murals that depict scenes from the Ramayana, a Hindu epic that is also popular in Thai culture.

The temples in Bangkok also played a significant role in royal ceremonies. For example, the Wat Phra Kaew, located within the Royal Palace grounds, is the most important temple in Bangkok and is the site of many important royal ceremonies. The temple is home to the Emerald Buddha, which is considered to be the most sacred object in Thailand.

In addition to their cultural significance, the temples in Bangkok also played a role in global diplomacy. For example, King Mongkut (Rama IV) of Thailand sent a mission to the United States in 1856, which included a gift of two white elephants. The gift was meant to strengthen diplomatic ties between the two countries and was accompanied by a request for the US to send a Christian missionary to Thailand. The request was granted, and the missionary, Dan Beach Bradley, was given permission to build a church within the grounds of the Wat Pho temple.

Famous Temples in Bangkok

Bangkok is famous for its stunning temples, each with its unique architecture and rich history. Here are some of the most famous temples in Bangkok that are worth visiting.

Wat Phra Kaew
Wat Phra Kaew

Wat Phra Kaew

The awe-inspiring Wat Phra Kaew, otherwise known as the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, is one of the most important and visited temples in Bangkok. Home to the revered Emerald Buddha, which is carved from a single block of jade, the temple is renowned for its intricate murals and lavish gold-plated structures.

Officially known as Wat Phra Si Rattana Satsadaram, Wat Phra Kaew is the most venerated Buddhist temple in Thailand, situated within the grounds of the Grand Palace in the heart of Bangkok.

Sunset at Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan
Sunset at Wat Arun Ratchawararam Ratchawaramahawihan

Wat Arun

Gleaming in the early morning sun, Wat Arun or the Temple of Dawn is one of Bangkok’s most iconic attractions. Located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, the temple stands proudly next to the Naval Base and directly across from Wat Po.

Its intricate mosaics and bell-shaped pagodas have captivated both locals and tourists alike, and many visitors make the climb to the top of the temple to take in the breathtaking views of Bangkok.

Wat Pho by Jack Hunter via Unsplash
Wat Pho by Jack Hunter via Unsplash

Wat Pho

Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha, is a must-see for any visitor to Bangkok. Built by the founder of the city, this ancient temple has been a bastion of Buddhist faith for centuries, even as the modern metropolis has grown around it.

It is home to one of the largest collections of Buddha images in Thailand, and the famous reclining Buddha statue measures an impressive 46 meters long and 15 meters high. Despite its age and size, Wat Pho can still get quite busy, so make sure to add it to your list of things to do in Bangkok.

Wat Saket Ratchawora Mahawihan photo via Wikimedia cc
Wat Saket Ratchawora Mahawihan photo via Wikimedia cc

Wat Saket

Wat Saket Ratchawora Mahawihan, more commonly referred to as Wat Saket, is a centuries-old Buddhist temple located in Pom Prap Sattru Phai district, Bangkok, Thailand. This historic temple dates back to the Ayutthaya era, when it was known as Wat Sakae.

The iconic Golden Mount is an impressive sight, towering over the city and offering a breathtaking view of Bangkok from its summit. Inside the temple is an impressive golden chedi, which houses a relic of the Buddha. Climb to the top of this magical temple and be rewarded with a stunning panoramic view of this vibrant city.

 Wat Traimit Withayaram Worawihan by Benjamin via Unsplash
Wat Traimit Withayaram Worawihan by Benjamin via Unsplash

Wat Traimit

The Golden Buddha, officially titled Phra Phuttha Maha Suwanna Patimakon and affectionately known in Thai as Phra Sukhothai Traimit, is a magnificent gold Maravijaya Attitude seated Buddharupa statue weighing an impressive 5.5 tonnes.

Located in the awe-inspiring temple of Wat Traimit, Bangkok, Thailand, it is the world’s largest solid gold Buddha statue and is a sight to behold. Situated in Chinatown, the temple is renowned for its stunning architecture and intricate details, making it an unforgettable experience.

Wat Suthat Thepwararam Ratchaworamahawihan by BerryJ via Wikimedia cc
Wat Suthat Thepwararam Ratchaworamahawihan By BerryJ – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Wat Suthat

Wat Suthat Thepwararam is an awe-inspiring Buddhist temple located in Bangkok, Thailand. This first-grade royal temple is one of the oldest and most beautiful in the city, having been commissioned by King Rama I in 1807.

It was originally named “Wat Maha Sutthawat” and was situated in a combretum grove. Tourists visiting Wat Suthat are in for a treat with its breathtaking murals and intricate carvings. There’s even a small-scale replica of the majestic Angkor Wat in Cambodia!

Wat Ratchanadda by BerryJ via Wikimedia cc
Wat Ratchanadda By BerryJ – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Wat Ratchanadda

Wat Ratchanatdaram, the Temple of the Royal Niece, is an iconic landmark in the heart of Bangkok. Built in 1846 by King Nangklao as a tribute to his granddaughter, Princess Somanass Waddhanawathy, this Buddhist temple is renowned for its unusual architecture.

Its complex of interconnected metal structures, resembling a giant spider web, is a sight to behold. Climb to the top of the temple, and you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view of Bangkok.

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram by BerryJ via Wikimedia cc
Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram By BerryJ – Own work, CC BY-SA 4.0, cc

Wat Benchamabophit Dusitwanaram

Visitors to Wat Benchamabophit Dusitvanaram are captivated by its majestic white marble structure and intricate carvings. This stunning temple, located in the heart of Bangkok, is home to various Buddhist artifacts and relics, making it a must-see for any traveler.

Its grandeur and beauty make it an iconic symbol of the city and a reminder of Thailand’s rich culture and history.

Wat Suwannaram Ratchaworawihan photo via Wikimedia cc
Wat Suwannaram Ratchaworawihan photo via Wikimedia cc

Wat Suwannaram Ratchaworawihan

Wat Suwannaram Ratchaworawihan, often simply referred to as Wat Suwannaram or Wat Suwan, is an awe-inspiring temple located in the heart of Bangkok. Its stunning architecture and intricate details have made it a renowned destination for visitors seeking to explore Buddhist artifacts and relics.

Situated in the Soi Charan Sanit Wong 32, Charan Sanit Wong Road, Siri Rat Subdistrict, Bangkok Noi District, Thonburi side, the temple lies on the western bank of the Khlong Bangkok Noi. Come and explore the beauty of Wat Suwannaram and experience its captivating history!

Wat Prayoon

Wat Prayurawongsawat Worawihan, known in short as Wat Prayun is a 19th century Buddhist temple complex, located near the Memorial Bridge in Bangkok, Thailand. Wat Prayoon is a unique temple in Bangkok that is famous for its unusual architecture.

The temple is home to a series of interconnected metal structures that resemble a giant spider web. Visitors can climb to the top of the temple and enjoy a panoramic view of Bangkok.

Wat Kalayanamit Woramahawihan

Visitors to Wat Kalayanamitr Varamahavihara can experience the breathtaking beauty of its stunning architecture and intricate details. From its ornate spires to its elaborate carvings, the temple’s design is a testament to the skill of the artisans who crafted it. Inside, visitors can find a variety of Buddhist artifacts and relics, including ancient statues, paintings, and other artifacts.

Established in 1825 by Chaophraya Nikonbodin, the temple is a lasting reminder of the rich culture and history of Thailand. Located in the heart of Bangkok, Wat Kalayanamitr Varamahavihara is a must-see for anyone looking to experience the beauty of Thailand.

Temples Beyond Bangkok

Wat Pha Sorn Kaew

While Bangkok is home to some of the most beautiful temples in Thailand, many temples are worth visiting outside the city. One such temple is Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, located in Khao Kho, Phetchabun province. This temple is known for its stunning architecture and colourful mosaic tiles that cover the entire temple complex. Visitors can climb up the temple’s nine-tiered pagoda to enjoy panoramic views of the surrounding mountains.

Wat Phra Sri Sanphet

Another temple worth visiting is Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, located in Ayutthaya province, which was once the capital of Thailand. This temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is home to three impressive chedis (stupas) that are said to contain the ashes of three kings. Visitors can also admire the intricate carvings and statues that adorn the temple’s walls.

Wat Phra Mahathat

Discover the ancient and captivating Wat Phra Mahathat, located just east of the Grand Palace and next to Pa Than Bridge in Phra Nakhon Si Ayutthaya, Thailand. Believed to have been built by King Boromaraja I in the 1370s, this royal Temple of the Ayutthaya Kingdom is one of the oldest and most significant in the region’s history, as it once housed the Buddha’s holy relic. Many important royal ceremonies were held here until the Ayutthaya Kingdom fell in 1767 when the temple was destroyed by fire and abandoned.

Nowadays, the temple is part of the Ayutthaya Historical Park and is home to a number of impressive attractions, including the remains of pagodas, octagonal pagodas, royal hall, small temples, murals under a Bodhi tree, and the famous sand-stone Ayutthaya-style head of the Buddha image in a tree’s root.

Nearby attractions include the Ancient Palace, Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, Wat Ratchaburana, Wat Phra Ram, and Vihara Phra Mongkhon Bo Phit. Immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of this remarkable temple and explore its beautiful architecture and art.

Religious and Cultural Importance

Bangkok is home to some of the most beautiful and spiritually significant Buddhist temples in the world. Buddhism is the predominant religion in Thailand, and visiting these temples is an essential part of Thai culture and spirituality. The temples serve as a place of worship, meditation, and contemplation for both locals and visitors.

Buddhist temples in Bangkok are known as “wats” and are characterized by their intricate architecture, colorful decorations, and ornate statues of Buddha. The most famous temples in Bangkok include Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. Each temple has its unique history and cultural significance, making them a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Thai culture.

Visitors to these temples should dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering the temple grounds. It is also important to respect the customs and traditions of the temple, including refraining from touching or sitting on any of the Buddha statues. Visitors should also be mindful of the use of incense and follow the appropriate etiquette when lighting them.

Apart from Buddhist temples, Bangkok is also home to a Hindu temple, the Sri Mahamariamman Temple. This temple is known for its colorful and ornate decorations, as well as its collection of ancient weapons. The temple serves as a cultural heritage site and is a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Hindu culture.

In addition to visiting the temples, visitors can also explore the amulet market, where they can purchase amulets and other spiritual items. The market is a fascinating place to learn about Thai spirituality and culture.

Visiting the Temples

Visiting the temples in Bangkok is a must-do activity for any traveler who wants to immerse themselves in the rich cultural heritage of Thailand. The city is home to hundreds of temples, each with its own unique architecture, history, and spiritual significance. Some of the most popular temples to visit in Bangkok include Wat Phra Kaew, the Temple of the Emerald Buddha, and Wat Pho, the Temple of the Reclining Buddha.

One of the best ways to experience the temples is by taking a boat ride along the Chao Phraya River. This will give you a chance to see some of the most beautiful temples in the city, including Wat Arun, the Temple of Dawn, which is located on the west bank of the river. The temple is known for its stunning architecture and intricate details, which are especially beautiful when lit up at night.

Another popular temple to visit in Bangkok is the Marble Temple, also known as Wat Benchamabophit. This temple is located in the Dusit district and is known for its beautiful white marble exterior. Inside, visitors can see a stunning collection of Buddhist art and artifacts, including a statue of the Buddha made from a single block of jade.

Other temples worth visiting in Bangkok include Wat Suwannaram, which is located in the Thonburi district and is known for its beautiful architecture and intricate details, and Wat Prayoon, which is located on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River and is known for its stunning pagoda and beautiful gardens.

For visitors who want to venture outside of Bangkok, there are also many beautiful temples to visit in the surrounding areas. One of the most popular is Wat Pha Sorn Kaew, which is located in the Khao Kor district and is known for its stunning views and beautiful gardens. Another popular temple to visit is Wat Phra Sri Sanphet, which is located in the ancient city of Ayutthaya and is known for its beautiful architecture and historical significance.

Beautiful Temples to Visit in and Around Bangkok
Beautiful Temples to Visit in and Around Bangkok

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the three famous temples in Bangkok?

The three most famous temples in Bangkok are Wat Phra Kaew, Wat Pho, and Wat Arun. These temples are popular among tourists and locals alike, and are must-visit destinations in Bangkok.

Which temples are worth visiting in Bangkok?

Apart from the three famous temples, there are several other temples worth visiting in Bangkok. Some of these temples include Wat Benchamabophit, Wat Saket, Wat Intharawihan, and Wat Ratchanatdaram. Each of these temples has its own unique architecture, history, and significance.

What is the most famous shrine in Bangkok?

The most famous shrine in Bangkok is the Erawan Shrine, which is located in the heart of the city. This shrine is dedicated to the Hindu god Brahma, and is believed to bring good luck and prosperity to those who visit it.

What is the most ancient temple in Bangkok?

The most ancient temple in Bangkok is Wat Mahathat Yuwaratrangsarit, which was built during the Ayutthaya period. This temple is known for its ancient relics and artifacts, and is a popular destination for history buffs and archaeology enthusiasts.

What is the biggest temple in Bangkok?

The biggest temple in Bangkok is Wat Phra Dhammakaya, which covers an area of over 400 acres. This temple is known for its unique architecture and modern design, and is a popular destination for meditation and spiritual retreats.

What is the dress code for visiting temples in Bangkok?

When visiting temples in Bangkok, it is important to dress modestly and respectfully. Visitors should avoid wearing shorts, sleeveless shirts, and revealing clothing. It is also customary to remove shoes before entering the temple, and to cover the shoulders and legs with a scarf or shawl.

Bangkok Tourist Spots and Tour Packages

Avoid the hassle! Find the best places to stay in Bangkok and book your accommodation with Booking and Agoda!

Want more updates about new package tours and tourist attractions in Bangkok that you can add to your itinerary? Like, Follow, and Subscribe to on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest, and Team Out Of Town on YouTube for more Manila tourist spots.


Most Beautiful Temples to Visit in and Around Bangkok
Melo Villareal
Out of Town Blog

Best Level 5 TEFL Courses Online (Fully Accredited) 

Choosing a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) course can be tricky. With so many options available, you might be wondering which program is best for you.

For those who want to go above and beyond basic credentials, a rigorous Level 5 TEFL certification course might be your best bet!

Generally speaking, TEFL Level 5 courses are some of the most widely recognized and accepted TEFL certifications in the business.

They are more work and are usually more expensive than a standard certification, but you could end up with more job opportunities and a higher salary as a result.

online english teacher

I took my TEFL certification online and it has allowed me to teach English while working and travelling all around the world. Getting certified really is one of the best things I ever did.

This guide will break down the best Level 5 TEFL courses on the market today. 

What is a Level 5 TEFL Course?

To be categorized as a TEFL Level 5, the course materials must be regulated by the UK government and must meet higher requirements than standard TEFL certifications.

The governing body that regulates and monitors Level 5 TEFL courses is called The Office of Qualifications and Examinations Regulation, or Ofqual

A Level 5 TEFL certificate must meet the same standards as a CELTA or TrinityCertTESOL certification. Collectively, these certifications are considered top-tier for aspiring English teachers.

Usually, level 5 TEFL courses are less expensive than CELTA or TrinityCertTESOL courses, making this an affordable alternative if you want additional training. 

The courses must meet rigorous accreditation and regulatory standards.

As I discuss each program below, I’ll share more information about their regulation and accreditation status. 

Who Should Take a Level 5 Course?

tefl teacher in china

Level 5 TEFL courses are more advanced than standard TEFL training programs. They require more work and will take longer to complete, but you’ll leave with a deeper knowledge of teaching practices and a higher-level certification. 

While a basic TEFL certification will be sufficient for most teaching jobs abroad, having an advanced certification can be helpful if you plan to apply to more competitive positions.

This could help your application stand out and give you more opportunities in the long run.

A Level 5 TEFL course is for you if: 

  • You want to teach abroad in a country with a competitive teaching market
  • You want to apply for higher-level teaching positions abroad
  • CELTA and TrinityCertTESOL courses are out of your price range
  • You don’t mind spending more time getting a higher-tier TEFL certification
  • You want to have a deeper knowledge of TEFL practices and methods

1. The TEFL Academy (top pick for level 5 TEFL course)

taking a level 5 tefl course online allows you to teach english abroad in south korea
Taking a level 5 TEFL will ensure you receive a higher salary, and more job opportunities

The TEFL Academy offers two Level 5 TEFL course options. Both courses are approved and accredited by the Distance Education Accrediting Commission (a USA government body) and Ofqual (a UK government body). 

These courses are affordable and offer lots of free training, materials, and support. Learn more about the TEFL Academy here, or read on.

Online Level 5 TEFL Course (168-hour)

The online course is a 168-hour TEFL certification that can be completed remotely.

It also includes a free 30-hour top-up course. Students can choose between extra training for business English, teaching young learners, or teaching online. 

The course includes modules about: 

  • Lesson planning
  • Teaching vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar
  • How to teach listening and reading
  • How to teach speaking and writing
  • Using materials and resources in the classroom 

Because the online Level 5 TEFL course from The TEFL Academy is the same level as a CELTA certification, it will be widely accepted no matter where you hope to teach. 

Cost of the 168-Hour Course with The TEFL Academy

The cost is $660 but it’s often discounted on their website (It’s currently 60% off, bringing the cost down to $220). 

If the price is an important consideration for you, make sure to check the course description page for the latest price before making a decision. 

Your course fee includes the 168-hour TEFL training, a free 30-hour bonus course, 6 months of course access, weekly one-hour webinars, access to the international job board, virtual tutor support, and much more. 

tefl teacher level 5 in china

Combined Level 5 TEFL Course (168-hour)

The second Level 5 TEFL course you can take with The TEFL Academy is a combination program.

In the combination course, you’ll complete a 148-hour online TEFL training and then participate in a 2-day in-person training session for 20 hours. Your total certification will be for 168 hours of coursework. 

Like with the fully online option, participants will also get a free 30-hour specialty course in a subject area of their choosing. 

With the combined course, you’ll receive access to your online training materials immediately after you sign up. The TEFL Academy will also give you information about how to sign up for your in-person training days. 

During the training days, you’ll get a chance to practice hands-on teaching skills, classroom management, and receive peer feedback. 

Cost of the 168-Hour Combined Course with The TEFL Academy

The cost of this course is $1100 but it is often discounted. Right now, it’s discounted to $441. This includes the online TEFL course materials and 20 hours of in-person training spanning two days.

If there aren’t any in-person training centers near you, you might need to account for accommodation and transportation fees as well. Click here to learn more about the available options with the TEFL Academy

2. International TEFL Academy (high-quality Level 5 TEFL)

teaching from the road in a van with a tefl certificate
At one point, I was teaching English online while on a road trip!

International TEFL Academy curriculum and courses are regulated by Ofqual and are very high-quality. This is the company I chose for my TEFL certification.

I was able to complete the online Level 5 TEFL course while I was working a full-time job. I was working to save money for travel, and getting a certification for teaching at the same time. I then went on to teach English online for many years, while traveling the world.

There are many things that set ITA apart from other Level 5 TEFL courses, but the main standouts are the guaranteed job search guidance or job placement, and the fact that there’s a sizeable community of alumni students — many of these people have become my best travel friends!

ITA also provides its prospective teachers with an admissions advisor who will help you make decisions and achieve your TEFL goals.

Online Level 5 Courses (4 weeks or 11 weeks)

International TEFL Academy offers two online course options, both of which offer around 170 hours of training. Depending on how much time you have, you can choose the intensive 4-week option or the part-time, 11-week option.

Both of the courses include live office hours with your instructor and peer participation with the other students in the course. You’ll also receive lifetime job search guidance, live practice teaching to get some hands-on experience, and of course, OFQUAL Level 5 Accreditation from TQUK. Learn more about the online courses here.

In-Person Level 5 Courses

If you’re traveling, or are interested in living somewhere, why not take a TEFL course in that destination?! With the International TEFL Academy, you can join a TEFL course in more than 20 destinations around the globe.

Choose from places like Chiang Mai in Thailand, Chicago and New York in the USA, or somewhere in Europe like Barcelona, Florence, or Prague. All offer job search guidance live practicum training and university-level instructors (and much more).

Cost of the Courses with ITA

ITA’s online courses cost between $1,499 and $1,999. Currently, they are discounted by $300. Click here for details about the online level 5 courses. The cost of these 4-week courses varies depending on the location. Click here for details about the in-person Level 5 TEFL courses.

3. i-to-i TEFL

Young English teacher giving online lessons.

The i-to-i Level 5 TEFL courses are regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Open and Distance Learning Quality Council. You can choose from three different certification packages which are explained in detail below. 

Online Level 5 TEFL Course (180-hour, 300-hour, or 420-hour)

The 180-hour training from i-to-i TEFL will help you build a strong foundation in teaching while earning a reputable Level 5 TEFL certification. 

Designed for people who want to go beyond 180-hours of TEFL training, the 300-hour Level 5 TEFL diploma course is fully online as well. The 300-hour course includes everything in the 180-hour course as well as a 60-hour add-on about teaching business English. 

To take it one step further, you can join the 420-hour course (which is their most popular). 

Even though all three of these options are online, students will get feedback and support from virtual tutors if needed. 

Cost of the 180, 300, and 420 Hour Courses with i-to-i TEFL

Keep in mind that i-to-i TEFL often runs significant discounts on their courses so it’s worth going to their website to see what the current deals are. (For example, at the time I’m writing this, all courses are discounted 70%

4. Premier TEFL 

teaching with props online Nicola interview
A map and phonics cards that I frequently use when teaching

The Level 5 TEFL course by Premier TEFL is regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Distance Learning. Training Qualifications UK has also approved Premier TEFL as a training center. 

Premier TEFL’s Level 5 Courses

Premier TEFL offers 180-hour, 240-hour, and 300-hour Level 5 TEFL courses that can be earned completely online.

You will learn about general teaching philosophy as well as how to instruct pupils in grammar, speaking, reading, writing, and pronunciation.

The courses also cover lesson planning tips and how to use teaching resources in your classroom. You’ll walk away from your course feeling more prepared and confident in your teaching abilities. 

Plus, you have access to live Zoom classes (if you want), a 30-hour business English course, 10 pre-written lesson plans, and much more. 

Cost of the 180-Hour Course with Premier TEFL

The cost is around $670. Check their website for discounts and promotions. They are currently discounted to $200.

5. The TEFL Org

teaching english classroom

The Level 5 courses offered by The TEFL Org are regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the British Accreditation Council. At this time, they offer a self-paced online course as well as a combination online course with virtual practice sessions.

Level 5 Online Course (168-hour)

The TEFL Org offers a fully online 168-hour TEFL course for a reasonable price.

In addition to providing information about how to teach core concepts to English learners, this course includes entire modules devoted to teaching over the telephone and teaching large classes. 

The TEFL Org also includes a module with video observations so you can see how classes look in real life. Several student reviews pointed out how helpful it was to see what they were learning put into practice in real classrooms. 

They created this course for students who were seeking deeper TEFL knowledge. While their 120-hour traditional TEFL course is still very popular, this course is a great option for aspiring teachers who want a more rigorous credential. 

Cost of the 168-Hour Course with The TEFL Org

The course costs around $650 but is frequently available for a discounted rate on their website. The Level 5 courses are currently 60% off.

girl teaching students in china
Teaching English in China

Level 5 Combination Course (188-hour)

The TEFL Org also offers a combination online and hands-on course with Level 5 distinction. The unique part about this option is that the hands-on training component can be completed virtually.

While getting to practice teaching skills face to face is ideal, TEFL Org understands that not everyone can take time off for a full-day training.

If you have a busy schedule or don’t live in an area with TEFL training centers nearby, this could be a great way to get some personalized feedback without missing work or spending a ton of money on travel. 

When you enroll in the combination course, you’ll receive instant access to the 168-hour online TEFL course mentioned above. You’ll also be able to sign up for an additional 20-hour virtual classroom course.

Virtual classroom courses are offered weekly on a rolling start basis, so you can choose the time and dates that work best for your schedule. You’ll meet over the course of four days for live sessions, so it’s important to make sure you can attend every meeting. 

Cost of the 188-Hour Combination Course with The TEFL Org

The combination course costs $749. This includes the full 168-hour online course and the 20-hour virtual classroom component. You’ll also get a reference letter from your virtual classroom teacher. Check the website, as the courses are frequently discounted. The courses are currently 60% off.

6. TEFL Institute of Ireland

students laughing take a tefl course

This company offers a 180-hour TEFL level 5. They are approved and regulated by Ofqual and accredited by the Accreditation Council for Distance Learning.

Regulated Online Level 5 Courses (180-hour, 240-hour, 300-hour)

The TEFL Institute of Ireland has three Level 5 TEFL training courses available. The 180-hour course will take you through the fundamentals of becoming a teacher and best practices for your classroom.

On its own, this course will leave you prepared and qualified for many teaching jobs abroad, but if you want to learn about more specializations, there are two other courses to consider. 

The 240-hour course includes the entire 180-hour TEFL training as well as additional training for teaching English exam preparation.

This course includes a 30-hour module to help students prepare for the IELTS exam and a 30-hour module to help students prepare for the TOEIC exam.

Having this training could make you more desirable as an instructor or private tutor around the world since many English learners wish to prepare for these important tests — especially if you hope to teach English as a freelancer, having a background in exam prep could help you attract more clients.

You can also choose to go a step further with the 300-hour Level 5 TEFL course.

This online course includes everything in the 240-hour course with an additional 30-hour module for teaching business English and an additional 30-hour module for teaching young learners. 

Cost of the 180, 240, and 300 Hour Course with The TEFL Institute of Ireland: 

The TEFL Institute of Ireland’s courses are frequently discounted. Currently, they are 60% off, with the 180-hour Level 5 course priced at $229. Click here to learn more.

FAQs: Taking a Level 5 TEFL Course

teaching and travelling with a TEFL
I got certified with International TEFL Academy, and teach and travel online around the globe
Is TEFL Level 5 Equivalent to CELTA? 

No, a TEFL level 5 is not equivalent to CELTA. There are some similarities, however. A Level 5 TEFL certificate must meet the same standards as a CELTA or TrinityCertTESOL certification. Both are level 5 qualifications meaning they are the same level of difficulty. But, the method of delivery and content of the two certifications are actually very different.
A TEFL Level 5 is more affordable than a CELTA certificate, and it takes less time to complete — making a Level 5 certification more attractive for teachers. 

Do I Need a Level 5 TEFL?

If you’re looking to teach English at home (for example, in the UK, USA, or Canada), then having a TEFL level 5 will give you a leg up on your resume. If you’re looking to teach abroad, typically a 120-hour TEFL will be sufficient. A Level 5 goes into more depth than a regular 120-hour TEFL and is a great option if you’re new to teaching and would like a bit more information in order to be a confident teacher. 

How Much Does a TEFL Level 5 Cost?

The TEFL Academy frequently offers 60% off their courses, plus free online learning materials, and access to webinars. Prices generally start at $250+ for a Level 5 TEFL certification. If you’re looking for a high-quality Level 5 TEFL, with guaranteed job assistance or placement, International TEFL Academy is a good option.

Is a Level 5 TEFL Certification Right For Me?

Even though a basic 120-hour TEFL will qualify you for most teaching abroad jobs, having a Level 5 course under your belt could make your application stand out to employers and allow you to apply for more competitive opportunities.  Consider your budget, timeline, and what kinds of jobs you hope to pursue in the future. No matter which course you decide on, getting TEFL certified will provide you with countless opportunities to work and travel around the world. A Level 5 certification course is a great option for those who want an advanced credential without a high price tag.

How long does a Level 5 TEFL course take?

170 to 420 hours depending on the course you take! Some TEFL level 5 courses online can be completed on a part-time basis, while others are more intensive. Choose a course with hours that fit with your schedule.

Is Level 5 TEFL hard?

No, getting a level 5 TEFL certification isn’t hard. If you’re motivated to learn how to be the best teacher you can be, and if you have the time, you’ll be able to pass your course.

Like This Article? Pin it!

“The 5 Best Level 5 TEFL Courses On The Market Today
The Best TEFL Level 5 Courses Online
“The Best Online Level 5 TEFL Courses On The Market Today


The post Best Level 5 TEFL Courses Online (Fully Accredited) appeared first on Goats On The Road.

The Best Things To Do From Riyadh To Manila As A Tourist 

Out of Town Blog
The Best Things To Do From Riyadh To Manila As A Tourist

Explore the Best of Manila: The Must-Do List For Tourists From Riyadh

Manila is the capital and largest city of the Philippines, and it is a vibrant and diverse destination for tourists. The city offers a mix of history, culture, nature, and entertainment, and you will never run out of things to do and see. 

The Boulevard Riyadh by Slayym via Wikimedia cc
The Boulevard Riyadh by Slayym via Wikimedia cc

Here are some of the best things to do from Riyadh to Manila as a tourist: In this guide, we will unveil the best things to do to ensure your visit is filled with memorable moments.  

Manila offers a blend of tradition and modernity, from exploring cultural landmarks to savouring local flavors. 

Apart from that, you can explore the bustling markets, entertain yourself with historical wonders, and indulge in the warmth of Filipino hospitality. This concise guide equips you with straightforward insights that will make your travel from Riyadh to Manila a delightful adventure. 

Whether you seek cultural immersion or culinary delights, Manila has a lot of things, like a diverse tapestry of attractions that ensures a fulfilling tourist experience from start to finish.

1. Cultural Attractions In Riyadh

Riyadh, which is the capital of Saudi Arabia, offers travellers a lot of things to explore, like its cultural tapestry, modern landmarks, and ancient historical background.

  • Visit the King Abdulaziz Historical Center 
  • Explore the National Museum 
  • Tour the Masmak Fortress 

Visit The King Abdulaziz Historical Center 

Riyadh’s journey through time begins at the King Abdulaziz Historical Center. This sprawling complex houses the National Museum and Murabba Palace, providing visitors with a comprehensive understanding of Saudi Arabia’s history. The museum’s exhibits showcase artefacts, manuscripts, and interactive displays, making it a must-visit for history enthusiasts.

Explore The National Museum 

Delving deeper into the nation’s history, the National Museum offers an immersive experience. From prehistoric artefacts to the establishment of the Kingdom, the museum’s curated exhibits provide a chronological journey through Saudi Arabia’s evolution.

Masmak Fortress by Francisco Anzola via Wikimedia cc
Masmak Fortress by Francisco Anzola via Wikimedia cc

Tour The Masmak Fortress 

A stroll through Riyadh is incomplete without a visit to the iconic Masmak Fortress. This mud-brick structure not only stands as a symbol of the city’s foundation but also houses a museum that narrates the story of the storming of the fortress by King Abdulaziz in 1902, marking the beginning of the formation of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

3. Culinary Experiences In Riyadh

To make your trip enjoyable with trendy food ideas and tastes, we are going to share culinary experiences in Riyadh that will make your stay unforgettable.

  • Indulge in Traditional Saudi Cuisine 
  • Try Local Street Food at Al-Mubarakiya Souq 
  • Fine Dining at Najd Village 

Indulge In Traditional Saudi Cuisine 

No visit to Riyadh is complete without savoring traditional Saudi Arabian cuisine. From Kabsa, a flavorful rice dish, to Mandi, a tantalizing meat and rice combination, Riyadh’s restaurants offer a gastronomic journey into the heart of Arabian flavors.

A date seller in Mubarakiya by Trammell Hudson via Wikimedia cc
A date seller in Mubarakiya by Trammell Hudson via Wikimedia cc

Try Local Street Food At Al-Mubarakiya Souq 

For a more casual dining experience, Al-Mubarakiya Souq is the place to be. This bustling market is a treasure trove of local street food, offering a variety of snacks and bites that capture the essence of Saudi culinary delights.

Fine Dining At Najd Village 

For those seeking a luxurious dining experience, Najd Village provides an ambience that complements its delectable menu. This restaurant not only offers a feast for the taste buds but also immerses diners in traditional Saudi hospitality.

4. Travelling From Riyadh To Manila

After planning towards Manila, you will consider the following as your first preference,

  • Flight Options and Considerations 
  • Accommodation in Manila 

Flight Options And Considerations 

As you bid farewell to Riyadh and set your sights on Manila, understanding the flight options and considerations is crucial. Several airlines service this route, offering diverse options for travel duration, layovers, and budget considerations.

Accommodation In Manila 

Upon arrival in Manila, choosing the right accommodation sets the tone for a comfortable stay. This section provides an overview of popular neighborhoods and recommends hotels and resorts that cater to various preferences and budgets.

5. Tapestry Of History And Nature In Manila

Manila offers travellers a lot of things to explore, like its historical sites, natural attractions, and, above all, Culinary Adventures Manila, which creates long-lasting memories. 

  • Historical Sites in Manila 
  • Natural Attractions 
  • Culinary Adventures in Manila 

Historical Sites In Manila 

Manila, the bustling capital of the Philippines, is a city steeped in history. Intramuros, the Walled City, stands as a testament to the Spanish colonial era. Rizal Park and San Agustin Church further enrich the historical tapestry, providing a glimpse into the Philippines’ cultural roots.

Philippines secures back-to-back nominations at the 2023 World Travel Awards
Philippines secures back-to-back nominations at the 2023 World Travel Awards

Natural Attractions 

Manila’s charm extends beyond its historical sites to embrace natural wonders. Explore the picturesque Taal Volcano, venture into the Chinese and Japanese Gardens at Rizal Park, and dive into the marine wonders at Manila Ocean Park for a harmonious blend of nature and urban excitement.

Culinary Adventures In Manila 

Filipino cuisine is a delightful fusion of flavours, and Manila is the perfect place to indulge in culinary adventures. From exploring street food in Binondo, the world’s oldest Chinatown, to savouring traditional Filipino dishes, the culinary scene in Manila is diverse and satisfying.

6. Practical Tips For Travellers

In this guide, we will share practical tips for travelers that will make their journey from Riyadh to Manila smooth and enjoyable.

  • Visa Requirements and Considerations 
  • Currency Exchange and Banking 
  • Transportation within Riyadh and Manila 

Visa Requirements And Considerations 

  • Navigating the visa requirements for both Riyadh and Manila is crucial for a smooth travel experience.

Currency Exchange And Banking 

  • Understanding the currency exchange rates and banking facilities in both cities is essential. 

Transportation Within Riyadh And Manila 

  • Efficient transportation is key to exploring these vibrant cities. 

Recognizing Riyadh and Manila In conclusion, the journey from Riyadh to Manila is a fascinating exploration of different and relentlessly complementary cultures. From the historical opulence of Riyadh to the vibrant cities of Manila, each city offers uniquely designed experiences. Whether immersing yourself in cultural landmarks, marveling at modern architecture, indulging in a variety of cuisines, or exploring rewarding travel deals, this comprehensive guide ensures that every visitor can make the most of their journey through these two dynamic cities.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) 

When is the best time to visit Riyadh?

The best time to visit Riyadh is between October and March, particularly in November to February when the weather is coldest and most pleasant.

Cultural norms in Riyadh?

In Riyadh, it is important to be aware of and respect cultural norms. These include a strong moral code, cultural values such as hospitality, loyalty, and a sense of duty to support the community.

Additionally, social etiquette and customs should be observed, such as using the right hand for shaking hands or handing anything and respecting Islamic traditions and customs.

Navigating Riyadh’s public transport?

Getting around Riyadh primarily involves using taxis and ride-hailing services like Uber and Careem. While there is no extensive public transport system, the city is developing a metro system as part of the King Abdulaziz Project for Riyadh Public Transport.

Want more updates about other Saudi Arabian tourist spots? Like, Follow, and Subscribe to on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest, and Team out Of Town on YouTube for more Saudi Arabia Tourist Spots.


The Best Things To Do From Riyadh To Manila As A Tourist
Melo Villareal
Out of Town Blog

Whatever You Want from a Caribbean Vacation, Westin Grand Cayman Has It 

Aerial view of Seven Mile Beach at Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa
It might seem like the beach is busy here, but the laidback vibes make it feel like no one else is around. Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa

Word on the street is there’s no hotter island in the Caribbean right now than Grand Cayman. I’m not talking about temperature, but instead how this destination is racing to the tops of many travelers’ wish lists. If you follow trends, numbers, and social media buzz, it feels like there is a giant arrow pointing right at this 75-sq. mi. island, and it certainly seemed that way as I recently boarded a packed flight from Miami International to Owen Roberts International Airport to finally see for myself just how busy this once-subtle destination has become.

Funny enough, if there’s buzz around this island, it hasn’t really landed yet. Or, perhaps, the wonderful people of Grand Cayman simply aren’t affected by it. The island is still as laidback as it gets, because, well, it’s impossible not to experience instant bliss and relaxation when your entire vacation is spent wandering up and down Seven Mile Beach. And that’s undoubtedly what has increased the attention for this amazing island.

That and spectacular resorts like Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa.

Location Really is Everything

A view of Seven Mile Beach from the pool at Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa
Walking up to that legendary beach for the first time is nothing short of magical. Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa

No matter where in the world we travel, be it to one of the many amazing Caribbean islands or some slice of heaven halfway around the world, it’s always great to hear that your ride from the airport to resort will take less than 10 minutes. That shouldn’t be a massive perk for an island, but it’s an irresistible bonus when you’re dying to finally set your eyes on that legendary stretch of sand.

I was excited enough to see Seven Mile Beach from the spacious lobby, even if the sprawling pool area somewhat blocked the view, but when I opened the curtains inside my Beachfront-Lanai room, it was a classic Caribbean moment of breathless appreciation. In the weeks leading up to my visit, I even wondered if I could compare this beach to Grace Bay in Turks and Caicos—both are widely regarded as the best in the Caribbean—and my ultimate decision was: why bother? We’re so lucky to have the opportunity to visit these unbelievable places, so ranking, comparing, and debating is a fool’s errand. Seven Mile Beach is astounding, and everyone should try to see it.

But you also need to get out and explore the island, and Westin Grand Cayman is an ideal base of operations. Golfers will love that North Sound Golf Club is a quick car ride from the lobby, and visitors who tour on two feet will love to get out and stroll. Sure, there’s a decent amount of vehicle traffic on West Bay Road (and obviously even more on Esterly Tibbets Highway), but it’s still incredibly safe for pedestrians throughout the day. The shopping plazas are loaded with fun local dining options and great shops for souvenirs, but if you ask just about any staff member at the resort for recommendations, you’ll never get to do it all in one trip.

An Elite Dining Experience

Beach Terrace restaurant at Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa
Day or night, there’s no bad view here. There’s also no bad meal option either. Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa

Two of the biggest events that take place on Grand Cayman—Cayman Cookout and Taste of Cayman—revolve around food, so I should have known this is a destination packed with creative cuisine. Still, I had no clue how good it all is, beginning with the dining options at Westin Grand Cayman.

Specifically, the newest option: woto, a fun little Japanese spot that is maybe half the size of the hotel’s coffee shop but offers the freshest, most downright delicious sushi, ceviche, and poke that could easily provide a different meal every day. However, that’s not to say the signature restaurant, Ferdinand’s, has lost any luster compared to this funky newcomer. If anything, they play very well together and uphold the “little bit of everything” vibes this property showcases so well.

But you’re going to want to wander and try local establishments, even if it’s just a quick jaunt to neighboring Governors Square, which is home to Seven Mile Burger, a restaurant unassuming in name but so highly recommended by just about every Westin Grand Cayman staff member I surveyed, and the place was as marvelous as billed. When it comes to dinner or merely enjoying an evening under that clear, beautiful Caribbean night sky, there’s nothing quite like Camana Bay on any island I’ve visited. In fact, it felt like a stylish slice of South Florida had been dropped in the middle of the sea.

The crown jewel dining experience of this open-air plaza is Union Grill and Bar, which a friend previously told me was home to the best steak he’s had anywhere in the Caribbean. “My friend, that’s a tall claim,” I replied, but when I finally had the chance to see if it lived up to his hype, I smiled as I told the restaurant’s owner that I’d had no finer dining experience anywhere else. And it’s all no more than a few minutes by car or shuttle.

An All of the Above Experience

The pool at Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa
For relaxation or fitness, this pool’s spacious design makes it one of the best spots on the island for anything. Westin Grand Cayman Resort and Spa

One thing that caught me off guard and struck me as odd was when I learned that Westin Grand Cayman recently did away with its kid’s club facilities. I ask myself a set of standard questions when visiting a resort for the first time, and it almost always begin with: “Would my 8-year-old son like it?” No kid-specific amenity is a strange play for a resort that otherwise seems perfect for families with multiple children, so I had to ask why it was gone, and I absolutely loved the answer: “We want kids to experience the island, and they can’t do that in a room.”

Really, that goes for everyone. This isn’t a family-specific resort because everything is cultivated so well here with every type of traveler in mind. In fact, I’d say that wellness-focused people will feel like this is their kingdom, because it’s possibly the one place you can lose weight despite being surrounded by incredible dining options.

Start the day with a 3- or 5-mile guided run and see Grand Cayman while breaking a great sweat and follow it up with a 45-minute F45 full body workout class. Prefer to take it easy? Water fitness classes are great for all fitness levels and offer amazing views with a side of cardio. Daily sunrise yoga is hands down better than a cup of coffee, even the Caribbean latte at the Cayman Coffee Exchange (it’s been a month and I’m still furious that Starbucks has nothing that comes close). And the meditation and mindfulness classes recently resumed to allow any high-stress professionals to come down and let every bad thought melt away.

This barely scratches the surface of everything guests can experience when visiting Westin Grand Cayman—I didn’t even mention catamaran excursions to Rum Point and Stingray City! But that’s just a testament to the amazing versatility of this phenomenal island. Some destinations are “been there, done that,” but it’s impossible to claim you’ve done it all here.

That’s because this resort will never let the good times end.

The post Whatever You Want from a Caribbean Vacation, Westin Grand Cayman Has It appeared first on Islands.