The world’s most stunning sports venues

Ultra modern stadiums and technologically futuristic arenas from around the world

Professional sports are an outrageously lucrative business globally, and all of that money has created some magnificent and luxurious venues. Explore some of the most indulgent sports stadiums and escapes in the world.

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AT&T Stadium

Arlington, Texas

The home of the Dallas Cowboys NFL team cost $1.33 billion dollars to build when it was completed in 2009. How could an NFL team possibly justify creating one of the most expensive sports venues ever built? By building one of the most architecturally extravagant stadiums in the world. It's only the fourth largest NFL stadium but it's the largest column-free room in the world. Yes, room. Its 300-foot-tall arches create a gargantuan room with an electric, retractable roof. The front and rear facades of the stadium also feature the largest operable glass doors in the world, at 120 feet tall and 180 feet wide.

Besides the structural wonders, including the 60-yard-long HD screen that hangs above the field, the stadium also offers a stunning VIP package. Valet parking beneath the stadium also connects to elevators that lead straight to the suites. The stadium brags over 3,000 LCD displays, some of which are in mirrors in the suites. Field level suites place fans only a few yards behind the endzone. The Cowboys require a 20-year lease agreement for suiteholders. To purchase single-game entrance to a suit through a website that offers this opportunity will cost upwards of $12,000.


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The Maracanã

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

Built for the 1950 World Cup, the Maracanã soccer stadium became the largest sports stadium in the world. It seated 199,854 fans for the final game of the 1950 World Cup but has since undergone renovations that reduced the capacity to a more reasonable 78,000. In 2016 it was the venue for the Olympic Games Opening Ceremonies. The stadium's new roof is made of opaque fiberglass and protects 95% of the seats from the sun. Pope John Paul II once celebrated a mass at the stadium. VIP packages include a private concierge, all-inclusive catering and access to exclusive arena clubs. Club membership includes an open bar, theater-style seats, a grand buffet and an upscale lounge area. It's a massive, classic stadium hosting some of the world's biggest events.


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Cheltenham Racecourse

Prestbury Park, U.K.

Cheltenham Racecourse is located in a natural ampitheatre where up to 68,000 fans watch the most prestigious horse racing events. The Cheltenham Festival, which the racecourse hosts every March, draws the best British and Irish-trained horses. The venue offers Long Run Suites, that stretch the length of the course and accommodate 24 to 40 guests. They offer the usual amenities: fine dining, bars and totepool betting in the hallway. The Cheltenham Hotel No 131 offers the highest quality sleeping accommodations for a stay at the racecourse. It has eleven elegant, wood-trimmed, Victorian-aesthetic rooms and two basement floors of drawing rooms-turned-restaurants and fine bars.


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Yankee Stadium

Bronx, New York

Yankee Stadium was a classic baseball venue, full of history and heroic stories of World Series wins. So they tore it down and built a replacement full of technology and expenses. The bleachers are gone but the new stadium holds 50,287 people in more comfortable seats. For the fan looking for a deeper experience of baseball luxury, Yankee Stadium offers suites that include granite bars and private lounge areas furnished with leather and glass. A personal concierge, private entrance, preferred parking and a private restroom create the best viewing experience in baseball. Suites start with a $1,000 first installment, and some go for as much as $800,000 a year.


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MetLife Stadium

The Meadowlands, East Rutherford, New Jersey

The shared home of the New York Giants and New York Jets NFL teams boasts the top luxury package in football. For $750,000 a night, ticket holders can gain access to the Commissioner's Club Suite. Leather seats, cherry wood and a fireplace await the lucky guests of this (don't forget) football stadium. It also provides VIP parking, a private entrance, a wet bar and enough HDTVs to make a fan forget they're at the game. The stadium's five premium lounges cover 130,000 square feet inside the venue but there's still room for a martini lounge and on-field patios, not to mention the Coaches Club. It's a private deck five yards behind the home team's bench with food and drinks, accessible at any time during games of events.


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Hartwall Arena

Helsinki, Finland

Things you expect to sit on at sports events: hard, plastic seats; hard, wooden seats; flat cushions; bleachers; violently angled folding chairs. Something you don't expect to sit on at a sports event: a wooden bench inside your private sauna. But lucky guests watching the Finnish ice hockey team from Skybox 408 can replace their clothes with a warm towel and relax in their own, 25-person sauna walled by beautiful wood that offers a view of the game. The suite also includes a private bar and sofa lounge, decorated in the home team's colors. The one-way glass windows overlook the rink from the upper level and make the towel optional. Grab tickets for just under $3,000 US.


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Ski Dubai

Dubai, UAE

Where else can you find 22,500 square meters of ski slopes inside a mall? Oh, right: in the middle of the desert. Inside the Mall of the Emirates, Ski Dubai is the world's largest indoor snow park. While not technically a sports venue, it is a giant sports complex where visitors can experience bobsled runs and tobogganing hills. Besides its location in the desert, inside a building, Ski Dubai is astonishing because it's open for skiing and snowboarding all year. Guests can reach the Avalanche Cafe by taking the ski lift to the top of the slope (inside the mall). Beginners can take skiing lessons before trying any of the more challenging slopes (inside the mall). There's even "the world's first indoor sub-zero zipline" that will drop visitors 150 meters down the slope (inside of a mall!). Five slopes, including one with freestyle equipment, rise 25 stories at their peaks and create an astonishingly authentic skiing experience. Tickets include rental snow clothing and gear. And for less than $150 US (510 AED), Ski Dubai offers a remarkable luxury opportunity for an unbelievable price.

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It's no secret that the restaurant scene in New York City is one of the most impressive in the world.

Whatever you could want to eat, you can find it in New York—meaning that even if you have a slightly restrictive diet, like veganism, there's plenty of options for you. Local fast-casual chains like By Chloe and Superiority Burger are making New York one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, but the deliciousness doesn't stop there.


Between Manhattan and Brooklyn, there's been a boom of vegan restaurants that'll satisfy any craving. Here are just a few of our favorites.

Blossom(Upper West Side + Greenwich Village)

vegan restaurant

With two locations serving both Uptown and Downtown, Blossom is a go-to for local and tourist vegans alike. They offer an elevated dining experience (and a wide-spanning takeout radius) that puts a cruelty-free spin on classic main dishes like chicken piccata, rigatoni, and grilled salmon. Complete your dinner with a fresh, fruity cocktail and tiramisu—but reservations are strongly recommended beforehand.

Jajaja (West Village + Lower East Side)

vegan Jajaja

Jajaja is the ultimate heaven for Mexican food addicts. Get your fix of south of the border staples like burritos, street tacos, and enchiladas that'll make you second guess whether or not it's actually vegan (pro tip: The nacho portion is large enough to be a meal for one person). They also have a small but mighty menu of tequila and mezcal cocktails to kick off a night of LES bar-hopping. It gets crowded here quickly, though, so try to schedule your dinner early.

Urban Vegan Kitchen(West Village)

Urban Vegan Kitchen

We get it—eating vegan can get kind of bland sometimes. But that's not an issue at Urban Vegan Kitchen, the type of restaurant that'll have you wanting to order one of everything on the menu (but we recommend the "chicken" and waffles). Co-owned by the founder of Blossom, they boast a menu that's just as edgy and exciting as their decor. Their space is large too, making it a crowd-pleasing option for a slightly larger group.

Champs Diner (Williamsburg)

Champs Diner vegan

Located near the border of hip neighborhoods Williamsburg and Bushwick, Champs is a favorite of many young Brooklynites. Their menu is full of vegan alternatives to classic diner fare like breakfast plates, cheeseburgers, and even milkshakes that taste mysteriously like the real deal, while the decor puts a quintessential Brooklyn edge on '50s digs. Who said going plant-based had to be healthy all the time, anyway?

Peacefood (Greenwich Village)

vegan Peacefood

Conveniently located just a stone's throw from Union Square—near both NYU and the New School—Peacefood is a hotspot for college students, but vegans of any age are guaranteed to enjoy their menu. They specialize in comfort food items like quiche, chicken parmesan, and chili with corn bread—all plant-based, of course. While their "chicken" tender basket is to die for, make sure to save room for dessert here, too; Peacefood's lengthy pastry menu is a dream come true.

Buddha Bodai (Chinatown)

Buddha Bodai vegan

Dim sum restaurants in Chinatown are a dime a dozen, but Buddha Bodai takes the cake for the best veggie-friendly experience in one of New York's most bustling neighborhoods. Bring your family or friends along with you to enjoy this massive menu of buns and dumplings stuffed with any type of mock meat you could want. This is also a great option for gluten-free vegans, too, as much of their menu accommodates a gluten-free diet.

Greedi Kitchen (Crown Heights)

Greedi Kitchen vegan

Crown Heights might not be the first neighborhood people think of when it comes to dining in Brooklyn, but Greedi Kitchen is making the case for delicious restaurants in the area. Inspired by its founder's many years of travel, Greedi Kitchen combines the comforting flavors of southern soul food with the added pizazz of global influences. Try one of their po'boys or the crab cake sliders. Trust us.

Screamer’s Pizzeria (Greenpoint + Crown Heights)

Screamer's Pizza vegan

We know what you're thinking: Pizza without real cheese? Call us crazy, but Screamer's does vegan pizza to perfection. If you're into classic pies like a simple margherita or pepperoni, or you want to branch out with unexpected topping combinations, Screamer's is delicious enough to impress carnivores, too (pro tip: the Greenpoint location is small and serves most pies by the slice, while the Crown Heights location is larger for sitting down).


Learning a second language is one of the coolest and most rewarding things you can do in your spare time.

However, if hopping on a one-way ticket to your country of choice isn't an option for you, it can be difficult to find an immersive experience to learn, especially past high school or college.

The next best thing is language-learning apps.

We wanted to look at the top two: DuoLingo and Rosetta Stone. Duolingo is the new kid on the block; one of the top downloaded, this free app is a favorite. Then, there's the legacy option: Rosetta Stone. For over 20 years, they've been developing their language-learning software, and their app is the most recent innovation.

They're both great options, but keep reading to figure out which one is the best for you.

Key Similarities

  • Both claim you'll expand your vocabulary
  • Both are available as an app for iOS and Android users
  • Both have a clean user interface with appealing graphics
  • Both have offline capabilities (if you pay)

Key Differences

  • DuoLingo has a popular free version along with its paid version, whereas Rosetta Stone only has a paid version
  • DuoLingo offers 35+ languages, and Rosetta Stone offers 24 languages
  • Rosetta Stone has an advanced TruAccent feature to detect and correct your accent
  • DuoLingo offers a breadth of similar vocab-recognizing features, and Rosetta Stone offers a wider variety of learning methods, like Stories

DuoLingo Overview

DuoLingo's app and its iconic owl have definitely found a place in pop culture. One of the most popular free language-learning apps, it offers 35 different languages, including Klingon, that can be learned through a series of vocabulary-matching games.

DuoLingo offers a free version and a version for $9.99 a month without ads and with offline access.

Rosetta Stone Overview

The Rosetta Stone app is a beast. There are 24 different languages to choose from, but more importantly, you get a huge variety of methods for learning. Not only are there simple games, but there are stories where you get to listen, the Seek and Speak feature, where you go on a treasure hunt to photograph images and get the translations, and the TruAccent feature, which will help you refine your accent. Whenever you speak into the app, you'll get a red/yellow/green rating on your pronunciation, so you can fine-tune it to really sound like you have a firm grasp of the language.

Rosetta Stone costs just $5.99 a month for a 24-month subscription, which gives you access to all of their 24 languages!

Final Notes

Overall, these are both excellent apps for increasing your proficiency in a new language! They both feel quite modern and have a fun experience.

When it comes to really committing words to memory and understanding them, Rosetta Stone is king.

DuoLingo definitely will help you learn new words, and the app can be addicting, but users report it as more of a game than a means to an end.

With Rosetta Stone's variety of features, you'll never get bored; there are more passive elements and more active elements to help you activate different parts of your brain, so you're learning in a more dynamic and efficient way.

The folks at Rosetta Stone are extending a special offer to our readers only: Up To 45% Off Rosetta Stone + Unlimited Languages & Free Tutoring Sessions!

Travel

So You Want to Try Workaway

Want to travel cheap, meet locals and kindred spirits, live off the land, and possibly change your life? It might be time to try Workaway.

Sitting in a house on a hill in Tuscany, Italy, watching the sun set and listening to the sound of music coming from the house in which I was staying almost rent-free, I wondered how I had gotten this lucky.

Actually, it was really all thanks to one website—Workaway.info.

Workaway Workaway


Workaway is a site that sets travelers up with hosts, who provide visitors with room and board in exchange for roughly five hours of work each weekday. The arrangement varies from host to host—some offer money, others require it—but typically, the Workaway experience is a rare bird: a largely anti-capitalist exchange.

I did four Workaways the summer I traveled in Europe, and then one at a monastery near my home in New York the summer after. Each experience, though they lasted around two weeks each, was among the most enriching times of my life—and I'd argue I learned almost as much through those experiences as I did in four years of college.

There's something extremely special about the Workaway experience, though it's certainly not for everyone.

Workaway Isn't for Everyone: What to Know Before You Go

I loved all the Workaways I went on, but the best advice I can give to anyone considering going is: Enter with an open mind. If you're someone who doesn't do well with the unexpected, if you're not willing to be flexible, if you're a picky eater or easily freaked out, then it's likely that you won't have a good experience at a Workaway.

There are exceptions to all of this. At the Workaway I stayed at in Italy, one of the travelers was suffering from stomach bloating, and the host helped cure her with a diet of miso. (I'm not saying you should go Workawaying if you're ill—this traveler's mother also came to oversee everything—but still, you never know what you'll find).

Workaway WoIsango.com

You should also probably be willing and able to actually work at your Workaway. These aren't vacations, and some hosts will be stricter and less forgiving than others regarding your work ethic. If you're someone who has no experience with difficult farm work, for example, it might not be a good idea to do a Workaway on a farm.

How to Choose a Host

The Workaway website boasts a truly overwhelming number of hosts. You can narrow your search down by location, but you can also search key terms that can help guide you in the right direction. You might search "music," for example—that's how I found the Italy location. You'll find hosts in busy cities and in the most remote mountains of India; you'll find opportunities to tutor and explore. You'll find shadiness, too, so trust your instincts.

Take time to actually read the host's entire bio before reaching out. Read all the comments, too, and if you're nervous or a first-timer, only reach out to hosts who have exclusively glowing reviews. I had the best experiences with hosts that had left extremely detailed bios—that showed me they were likely going to be dedicated hosts.

I also chose hosts whose bios gave me a good feeling, something like a spark of electricity or recognition. This instinctual method might not work for everyone, but it certainly led me in the right direction in all of my Workaway experiences. My Workaways gave me some of the best memories and deepest relationships of my life, and that was partly thanks to the fact that I chose places that were good fits for me.

For example, I chose to stay alone with a wizened academic in France. Something about his bio and descriptions resonated with me enough to trust him. (I also read some of his many thousand-page-long treatises on peace and compassion and decided that if someone could write this and be a psychopath, this wasn't a world I wanted to live in anyway). It was the right decision—and the two weeks I spent there were some of the most enlightening of my entire life.

When you reach out to a host, particularly if it's someone you really want to stay with, it's a good idea to frame your initial contact email as a cover letter of sorts—make sure you explain who you are and personalize your letter to fit each host.

Ixcanaan A Workaway painting experienceWorkaway


Travel Safely

Especially if you're traveling alone, it's always a good idea to choose a host whose page has tons of good reviews. Aside from that, a quick Google search and a scan of any social media pages related to your potential host can't hurt.

Ultimately, Workawaying requires a certain amount of trust and faith on both the host and the traveler's parts—you're either trusting someone to stay in your home or trusting a stranger to host and feed you.

But that trust, in my experience, also results in rapid and deep connections unlike anything I've experienced in the "real world." When you go and share a home with someone, you're also sharing yourself with them, and in that exchange there are the seeds of a powerful bond.

Participate Fully

Wherever you go, you'll want to open your mind and participate fully. Adjust yourself to your host's lifestyle, not the other way around, and take time to get to know your host and the others around you.

You might find that you become someone you never knew you were. As a lifelong introvert, I somehow managed to develop close relationships with many of the people I was staying with.

This might be because most people who are at Workaways are seeking something for one reason or another. In my experience, you find lots of people who are at junctures in their lives, seeking connection and meaning. With the right Workaway, you might just find it.

Workaway The Broke Backpacker - WorkawayThe Broke Backpacker