Something To Declare: Art by Eurostar; Christmas cruises on the Rhine; Durban; queuing in Poland

Destination of the week: Art by Eurostar

Versailles and Antwerp, both easily accessible on Eurostar (08705 186 186; ), boast intriguing new exhibitions this winter.

The Palace of Versailles (00 33 1 30 83 78 00; ) promises "the first major exhibition devoted to the public image and personal tastes of Louis XIV". It runs from 20 October until 7 February next year. The exhibition aims to explore and explain the creation of the image of the Sun King, and will highlight "the finest works of the royal collections: jewellery, cameos, medals, paintings, sculptures, miniatures, objets d'art..." Admission is €15 to the exhibition and the rest of the palace. Versailles is accessible in around half an hour on the RER line C from central Paris; a separate ticket is required.

Next month, it is the turn of Antwerp (accessible in 40 minutes from Brussels, and – like any other destination in Belgium – covered by a standard London-Brussels return ticket. The Rubens House (00 32 3 201 15 55; ) will celebrate the genre of the "Art rooms". During Rubens' era, art collectors liked to cram a room with art. Most of these collections were subsequently broken up and the works scattered, but three rooms created by the painter Willem van Haecht will be recreated.

The exhibition runs from 28 November to 28 February next year.

Tip of the week: Christmas cruises on the Rhine

For a month from 20 November, the leading Rhine boat operator, KD Line (00 49 221 208 8319; operates Christmas cruises, mainly from its bases in Cologne and Dusseldorf. Most are afternoon and evening cruises from Thursday to Sunday, with the most indulgent events on Sundays at 10.30am – a €26 Advent brunch cruise that offers an expansive buffet.

Bargain of the week: Durban

South Africa's third city has this week become more accessible from the UK thanks to a new link from Dubai to Durban on Emirates (0870 243 2222; ). The flights make the Indian Ocean city one stop from Gatwick, Heathrow, Birmingham, Manchester, Newcastle and Glasgow, and fares are typically £550 return for travel in November. Cheaper deals are available on Air France (0870 142 4343; ), typically under £500 return, though this journey requires a change of plane in Paris and another to a domestic flight in Johannesburg. If you book a ticket on Air France to Johannesburg, you can pay as little as £360, and since connecting flights are typically available for around £60 return, this is the cheapest option. You could also consider the overnight train service, or one of the frequent, fast buses between Johannesburg and Durban.

Warning of the week: Queuing in Poland

After years of practice during the Cold War, queue-barging has become an art form in Poland, according to the online and print guides In Your Pocket ( "Whether you find yourself at a ticket counter or fast-food vendor, do not make the mistake of being patient," advises the guide. Foreign visitors, it says, are prey to people who can't be bothered to wait, and who ask "I'm late for something, can I go first?" so the foreigner gives up their place in a line."Old people seem to assume they should be able to take position at the head of a line." The only time, says In Your Pocket, when "common rules of etiquette" apply are at banks or at ATMs, when the locals "assume a stance as far as possible from the next man".

The Independent travel offers: Discover a world of inspiring destinations

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Luis Suarez looks towards the crowd during the 2-1 victory over England
Life and Style
Cheesecake frozen yoghurt by Constance and Mathilde Lorenzi
food + drinkThink outside the cool box for this summer’s frozen treats
John Barrowman kisses his male “bride” at a mock Gretna Green during the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony
peopleBarrowman's opening ceremony message to Commonwealth countries where he would be sent to prison for being gay
Sir Bradley Wiggins removes his silver medal after the podium ceremony for the men’s 4,000m team pursuit in Glasgow yesterday
Commonwealth games Disappointment for Sir Bradley in team pursuit final as England are forced to settle for silver
Alistair Brownlee (right) celebrates with his gold medal after winning the men’s triathlon alongside brother Jonny (left), who got silver
England's Jodie Stimpson won the women’s triathlon in the morning
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    C++ Software Engineer - Hounslow, West London - C++ - to £60K +

    £40000 - £60000 per annum + Pension, Healthcare : Deerfoot IT Resources Limite...

    VB.NET and C# developer (VB.NET,C#,ASP.NET)

    £30000 - £45000 per annum + Bonus+Benefits+Package: Harrington Starr: VB.NET a...

    Visitor Experience volunteer

    Unpaid voluntary role: Old Royal Naval College: To assist the Visitor Experien...

    Telesales Manager. Paddington, London

    £45-£55k OTE £75k : Charter Selection: Major London International Fashion and ...

    Day In a Page

    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little
    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform