Tripsget Travel & Expat Blog https://tripsget.com Travel Blog for Young Adventurous Professionals & Expat life in the UK Sat, 08 Dec 2018 19:52:55 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 https://tripsget.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/cropped-Tripsgetlogotypepink2-1-32x32.png Tripsget Travel & Expat Blog https://tripsget.com 32 32 Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea https://tripsget.com/2018/12/best-things-to-do-during-a-layover-in-seoul-south-korea/ https://tripsget.com/2018/12/best-things-to-do-during-a-layover-in-seoul-south-korea/#comments Wed, 05 Dec 2018 21:43:50 +0000 https://tripsget.com/?p=5389 Hey guys, in this post, I wanted to tell you about the best things to do if you have a layover in Seoul, South Korea. Layover means you’re staying in…

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Hey guys, in this post, I wanted to tell you about the best things to do if you have a layover in Seoul, South Korea. Layover means you’re staying in Seoul at least overnight, so please don’t confuse it with the stopover. If you only have a short stopover in Seoul (less than 5 hours), it doesn’t make sense to leave the airport, as the airport is located very far away from the city, however, if you have 6 hours and more, you can try the free transit tour that is offered to all transit passengers using Incheon Airport.

However, in this post, I’m going to talk about a layover in Seoul. We had one not so long ago when we were flying to Japan (read the post about our itinerary in Japan) via Seoul with Asiana airlines (I loved Asiana airlines and would wholeheartedly recommend it). We arrived about 5 pm in the evening and got until 4 pm the next day. Given the long commute to the airport (1.5 hours), we didn’t have that much time during our layover in Seoul, so we went to explore the city right after arriving at the hotel.

Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea

Layover in Seoul: where to stay

Your first thought would probably be staying at the airport hotel, and it would make sense if you’re arriving very late. However, we arrived at 5 pm, as I already mentioned, so it was enough time to get to the hotel in the city centre and explore the nightlife/shopping life of Seoul. For this reason, we chose to stay in Myeongdong, one of the trendiest and busiest districts of Seoul.

In Myeoungdong, we stayed in the Lotte City Hotel Myeoungdong and overall, I liked this hotel. We got the room almost on the last floor (25 or 26), so the view from our window was great (sunrise in Seoul was beautiful). On the last floor of the hotel, there’s a, and the breakfast is served there. I was positively surprised by the variety of dished during breakfast. Also, there was even an udon soup cooking station with a chef. How awesome is that!

Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea

Layover in Seoul – where to go in Seoul at night

If you’re wondering, where to go in Seoul at night or in the evening, I would definitely recommend Myeongdong. Myeoungdong is famous for shopping, and it has more cosmetic shops that the entire London (it’s just an estimate, but I think it could be actually true).

If you buy things in the big cosmetic stores, e.g. Olive Tree, you will get a discount at the cashier when you show your passport, so no need to collect cheques and wait forever at the Duty-Free in the airport.

Myeoung Dong also had a great selection of street food – we had a chance to try a lot of new for us dishes and also this district had some good Korean restaurants. We chose Shinseon Seolnonstang for our dinner, and it was unique and very delicious, so I would definitely recommend it.

Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea

Best things to do in Seoul during a layover

One of the best things to do in Seoul during a layover is to head to the Gyengbokgung Palace and observe the change of guards that happens 4 times a day. We witnessed the change of guards at 10 am, and it’s accompanied with instructions in English, so you really know what’s going on. You can check the latest schedule on the official website.

You can also walk inside the Gyengbokgung Palace complex and explore the different areas of the Royal complex.

Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea

Another thing to do in Seoul during layover that doesn’t require much time is exploring the famous Gangnam district and shopping for some unique street-style clothing shops. South Korea is really great for shopping, so if you have a budget and a bit of time for that, you can totally explore the shops of Gangnam.

Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea

Other things to do in Seoul

If you still have time left, you can head to the N Seoul Tower for the fantastic panoramic views of the city or explore the traditional Bukchon Hanok Village.

There are plenty of other things to do in Seoul, however, during a layover, you have to be picky with what you want to visit, as you generally don’t have much time.

Best things to do during a layover in Seoul, South Korea

Hope you enjoyed reading this post. In case you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask!

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Our fast-paced 7-day itinerary for Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Osaka & more https://tripsget.com/2018/12/fast-paced-7-day-itinerary-for-japan-tokyo-kyoto-osaka-more/ https://tripsget.com/2018/12/fast-paced-7-day-itinerary-for-japan-tokyo-kyoto-osaka-more/#comments Sun, 02 Dec 2018 20:51:48 +0000 https://tripsget.com/?p=5321 Last updated on December 5th, 2018 In this post, I wanted to share with you our fast-paced 7-day itinerary for Japan in November when we visited Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Miyajima, Osaka,…

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Last updated on December 5th, 2018

In this post, I wanted to share with you our fast-paced 7-day itinerary for Japan in November when we visited Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Miyajima, Osaka, Nagoya and even Inuyama. I understand that this itinerary might not be for everyone because it’s pretty tiring and requires a lot of travelling between cities, but if you only have a few vacation days and you want to see as much as possible in Japan in 7 days, I hope you will find this post useful.

We went to Japan in November for the Momiji season – to see the famous red coloured trees in beautiful parks, however, the itinerary is not dependant on the season and you can use it during any time of the year. 

So, our fast-paced 7-day itinerary for Japan looked like this:

2.5 days in Tokyo -> 1 day in Hakone -> 1 day in Kyoto -> 1 day in Osaka + Miyajima -> 1 day in Nagoya + Inuyama

In order to move between cities, we used the Japan Rail Pass. We bought it from the Japan Specialist (UK). If you’re in the USA you can get your Japan Rail pass voucher here

Let me tell you a bit more about our one-week itinerary for Japan & why we picked all these places I mentioned above.

1 week in Japan: super fast itinerary

1 week in Japan: super fast itinerary (CAUTION! intense travel required):

Trip days: Friday evening to next Sunday evening (Saturday in Seoul)

Days 1-3 of our 7-day trip to Japan: Tokyo

We flew to Japan from London via Seoul with Asiana Airlines and stayed in Seoul for 1 day to see a bit of South Korea (if you have an option of flying through Seoul and some time to spend there, I would totally suggest you choose this option). I really liked Seoul – it’s a modern and friendly city with a lot of history and absolutely amazing shopping and I wrote a post about the layover in Seoul – you can read it HERE ).

Getting to Tokyo city centre from the airport

Due to the layover in Seoul and time difference, we only arrived in Tokyo on Sunday evening. Getting from Tokyo airport to Park Hotel Tokyo (which we booked for 3 nights) took us about 3 hours. In the Tokyo Narita airport, we exchanged our Japan rail pass voucher for the actual rail pass (the exchange office is located just next to the Airport express tracks) – it took us about 25 min because of the queue, which later got longer and the express took about 1 hour to the Tokyo station (add to that 35 min waiting for the train – it departs every hour). From Tokyo station, we took a JR line to the Shimbashi station and walked to the hotel (< 20 min in total). 

Where we stayed in Tokyo: Park Hotel Tokyo

I loved the location of the Park Hotel Tokyo in the Shiodome Media tower and it had the most beautiful view of the Tokyo Tower (especially great during the sunset or sunrise). It is located just 17 min walking to Ginza and 30 min walking to the Imperial Palace in Tokyo. We picked one of the artist rooms and got the most popular one (Mount Fuji) because of our Expedia Gold status (for that you need to book more than 15 nights a year will Expedia, all over £50 or $50). However, you can request the room you like in advance. 

Instagrammable spots in Tokyo
Sunrise in Tokyo

Things we did in Tokyo:

In Tokyo, we tried to cover the most touristic and photogenic spots. I already wrote an article about the most Instagrammable places / photo locations in Tokyo, make sure to take a look at it if you’re taking photography seriously or just want to know the trendiest locations. 
One the first night, we simply had a dinner in Shimbashi and walked around the area for the bit of time. There’s not much to do in Shimbashi besides eating and we were too tired to walk to Ginza. 

On the second & third day in Tokyo, we tried to cover some of the main highlights: the Hie Shrine in Akasaka (resembles the shrines in Kyoto, however, not as crowded), people watching at the Shibuya crossing, Asakusa, attending some arcades in Akihabara, Harajuku including trying rainbow cotton candy, dining in a Michelin-starred restaurant Fushikino (traditional kaiseki meal), visiting Ginza, the famous Piss Alley, trying fluffy Japanese pancakes and more. I will cover the highlights of Tokyo in a separate post not to clutter this post, as it’s already seriously long.

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations
Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

On the third day, we woke up very early to visit the Imperial palace gardens, had breakfast at our hotel and headed to Hakone. 

If you’re interested in some tours to take in Tokyo, I would recommend checking out the Robot show @ Robot restaurant, Akihabara Go-Kart tour, Tokyo tour by a local

Day 4 of our 7 days in Japan: Hakone & Gora

How to get to Gora / Hakone from Tokyo

Around 9:30 am we grabbed a train to the Tokyo station to catch our first Shinkansen train to Odawara. There are two ways you can get to Hakone / Gora: either from the Shinjuku station to Odawara with the Odakyu Line and then to Hakone or Gora via local Tozan trains or buses or from Tokyo station (or any other station on the way) to Odawara (make sure to take the Kodama train that stops at every stop) and then via the same local Tozan train to Gora. There’s also a bus from Odawara directly to Gora, and it costs around 1000 Yen to get there. In Shinjuku and Odawara you can buy a Hakone Free Pass. With the Hakone Free Pass, you can travel using Hakone Tozan buses and use all the ropeways, special trams and even go on a cruise in Lake Ashi. 

Hakone circle mount Fuji

The Hakone free pass costs around 4000 Yen per person at the Odawara station and a bit more expensive in Tokyo (5000 Yen) because it includes a train to Odawara from Tokyo Station. I was sceptical about the pass, but then I realised that completing a full circle in Hakone / Gora wishing 3 hours is feasible and decided to go for it.

We left our bags at the Gora station (there is a manned storage room) and went on the circle.  We completed the full circle before 4 pm (a couple of trains, ropeways, the cruise in lake Ashi and a bus back to Gora Station) and got back to the Gora station, where we had a pick up from our hotel.

Taking the cruise in lake Ashi

A night in a ryokan with a private room onsen

In Gora, we decided to treat ourselves a bit and splurge on a hotel. We spent a night in GORA HANAOUGI MADOKA NO MORI and it was one of the best experiences in our lives. From the moment we stepped on the floor of the ryokan to the moment when we left the hotel, we were in a dream. We had the nicest welcome with a tea and a desert, amazing room with a private onsen, a separate dining room downstairs with a 12-course meal including a whole lobster, sea urchin and wagyu beef, amazing public onsen and a massive Japanese breakfast. Our room was also absolutely beautiful and we were provided with pyjamas set and a set of kimonos to walk around the onsen. The ryokan was proper luxurious and was worth every penny spent on it. We left the ryokan at 8:30 am the next day and headed to Kyoto.

Staying in Gora Hanaougi
Our private onsen in Hakone

Day 5 of our 7-day itinerary for Japan: Kyoto

The entire day 5 we spent in Kyoto. We managed to get to the city around 12 pm, bought a Kyoto 1-day travel pass (not worth it because there are plenty of private transport companies in Kyoto and it’s not valid on any of those) left our bags at our hotel Grand Bach Kyoto. We really liked the hotel because it was modern, included a breakfast and was in a prime location just 10 min walk to Gion. 

We only had about 3.5-4 hours in Kyoto before it would get dark, so we had to rush a bit. Our first stop was Gion, which was impressive and then we went to two shrines: Tofikuji and Yasaka. Later on, we went to the famous Kiyomizu-Dera through the gorgous streets on the Old Kyoto.

The streets of Kyoto
our fast-paced 7-day itinerary for Japan

If you’re interested, what camera do I use to take photos, I have two: Sony A7 III with Samyang 35 mm prime lens (super flat and tiny) and Sony A6000.

After that, we hopped on a bus and went to the famous Fushimi Inari shrine and watched the sunset over Kyoto. We only made it half-way up, as the shrine is enormous and part of it is on the top of the mountain.

If you want to go on a tour in Kyoto to learn more about the history of the city, I would recommend you these tours: Full-day UNESCO World Heritage Sites Tour of Kyoto, a Night walk through Gion and The Traditional Tea Ceremony.

We returned to Gion and had a tasty Shabu-Shabu meal (basically same as Chinese Hot Pot meal) there before walking around for a while and exploring the nightlife of Kyoto. 

our fast-paced 7-day itinerary for Japan

Day 6: Kyoto, Miyajima island and Osaka

The 6th day of our 7-day itinerary for Japan was one of the most tiring days of the entire trip. We woke up at 6 am and by 7:45, we were in the Arashiyama Bamboo forest. We were hoping to find it empty, but at that time it was actually already pretty crowded.

Our 7-day express itinerary for Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Miyajima, Osaka (Rdy)

Later on, we went to the famous Unesco Heritage shrine nearby – Tenryuji Temple and its garden.

We returned to our hotel, grabbed our suitcases and hopped on a train to Osaka, where we booked Mariott Courtyard at the Shin-Osaka station (perfect for commuting from/to Osaka). Japan has a massive problem with lockers – out of 8000 lockers, there were no available at the Kyoto station and I suspected it would be the same in Osaka. Luckily, Osaka was just 15 min away by a Shinkansen and our hotel was literally at the station, so we didn’t lose much time before hopping on a Shinkansen to Hiroshima and changing to a local train to Miyajima-guchi to visit the famous Miyajima island.

Miyajima – the island full of deer

I was recommended to go to Miyajima Island (or Itsukushima – it’s another name of the island) by a friend who was amused by it. Getting there from Shin-Osaka station took around 2 hours 30 minutes, but it was worth it. Despite the huge crowds (Japan is quite overcrowded), visiting Miyajima was a great experience. There is a lot of street food, excellent restaurants and even a cookie factory. Also, the island is full of adorable deer, who can steal your food (be careful, as feeding them is not allowed – they shouldn’t eat biscuits and fish cakes). The deer are cute though, so you won’t leave the island without taking 500 shots of the deer. 

In Miyajima, you can also visit a couple of beautiful shrines and even go on top of a mountain via a ropeway. You can easily spend 2-3 hours on the island, but make sure to start queueing for a ferry before it gets dark, as it gets very crowded.

7-day itinerary for Japan Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka
7-day itinerary for Japan Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka
Our 7-day fast-paced itinerary for Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Miyajima, Osaka

1 day in Osaka: 7 days in Japan

We returned to Shin-Osaka around , and went to the main station (Osaka) to see the famous shopping district – Osaka really has an insane amount of shops. I fell for it.. besides it was Black Friday, so I didn’t leave the shopping mall without the new lens for my camera. I got the Sony FE 85mm 1.8 lens and I couldn’t have been happier. 

Later on, we went to the Grand Front shopping mall for some kaizen sushi (belt sushi) on the 13th floor – it was very easy to find and were amused by the quality of the fish, tuna, especially.  

Day 7: Osaka Castle, Nagoya and Inuyama

The last day of our weeklong trip to Japan in November was the most disappointing one, as we couldn’t do what we planned to do. We woke up early and went to the Osaka castle – it was stunning in the lights of the sunshine, but we didn’t go in, as we had a lot planned for Nagoya.

7-day itinerary for Japan Tokyo, Kyoto, Osaka

When we got to Nagoya around 1 pm, there were no available lockers no matter how many times we looked and the bag storage was also full with a massive queue of people just waiting for someone to take out the baggage.  

The Oldest Castle in Japan 

Due to the huge amount of people on the streets, we just couldn’t walk around with our suitcases, so we went to the shopping mall and had some lunch and headed to Inuyama around 3pm. Initially, we wanted to explore Nagoya castle, visit the Toyota museum and do some souvenir shopping, but instead we visited the Inuyama castle, which is the oldest castle in Japan. We got there just before the closing time (4:30 pm) and were lucky to see Inuyama in the rays of the declining sun. There were not many food options in Inuyama and everything was closed (except for a couple nice souvenir shops), so we tried a local Izakaya (which I wholeheartedly don’t recommend) and went back to the Airbnb. 

The oldest castle in Japan

On the day 8 we flew back to London (there was an Express train from Inuyama directly to Nagoya Chubu airport, so it was very convenient to stay in Inuyama – keep it in mind, if all the hotels in Nagoya are sold out or too expensive). 

Summary of our 7-day fast-paced itinerary fo Japan: Tokyo, Hakone, Kyoto, Miyajima, Osaka and Inuyama in one trip

To summarise, I must say that I was pretty happy with our fast-paced itinerary for Japan (except for the last day in Nagoya), however, I would probably spend less time in Tokyo and add an extra day to Kyoto simply because Kyoto is incredibly beautiful and much more impressive than Tokyo.

However, if you want to visit some unique shops or stores, Tokyo would probably be a better option. On day 7, you can also visit either Kobe or Nara (both close to Osaka), so you can see even more of Japan. If you have luggage – don’t rely on the lockers, as you can see from our example, finding one is almost impossible!

Should you have any questions about a 7-day trip to Japan, please don’t hesitate to ask!

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Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan | Tokyo photo locations https://tripsget.com/2018/12/most-instagrammable-places-in-tokyo-japan-photo-locations/ https://tripsget.com/2018/12/most-instagrammable-places-in-tokyo-japan-photo-locations/#comments Sat, 01 Dec 2018 00:06:18 +0000 https://tripsget.com/?p=5300 Guess who’s back with the series of the most Instagrammable locations around the world? In this post, I’m happy to continue the series with the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo,…

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Guess who’s back with the series of the most Instagrammable locations around the world? In this post, I’m happy to continue the series with the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan, where I spent 3 days exploring the best places and the most beautiful Tokyo photo locations.

Tokyo is huge and so is the number of cool or Instagrammable places in the Japanese capital. You would probably need a week to see them all, as some spots have large queues and some others are closed on certain days (for example, the puff factory was closed on Tuesday – the only day when I could visit it). In this post, I will tell you about 10 photo locations in Tokyo for your perfect Instagram feed.

To get to any of these locations, use Google maps. I used Google maps every day during my entire trip to Japan, and it never failed. Unlike in Seoul, where Google maps just don’t work, and I had to use Citymapper.

10 most instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan:

Totti Candy Factory in Harajuku, Tokyo

This colourful cotton candy was trending on all the Instagrams of the famous bloggers for the last couple of years and there is a reason for that – it’s huge and it’s really pretty. The cotton candy costs 800 yen and it tastes…well, it looks definitely better than it tastes, however, the queue doesn’t get any smaller – prepare to wait 10-30 min to get your cotton candy.

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

Hie Shrine in Akasaka

The second of the most Instagrammable places in Tokyo is the Hie Shrine located close to the Akasaka subway station. If you won’t have a chance to visit Kyoto, this is the miniature version of the famous Fushimi Inari Shrine and in the mornings it’s usually empty (during the workdays, of course – nothing is empty in Tokyo on weekends), so you can get your perfect shot. 

Instagrammable spots in Tokyo

The artist rooms at Park Hotel Tokyo

If you’re coming to Tokyo and considering staying for a day or longer, I would recommend you to stay in Park Hotel Tokyo and get one of the artist rooms. You can request a room in advance, however, some of the rooms are extremely popular (e.g. Mount Fuji or Cherry Blossom) – you can get a list of the rooms and their photos on the hotel website and pick a room that you like most. We stayed in the Mount Fuji room for 3 nights and we had the best view of the Tokyo Tower. Once we woke up before the sunrise and watched the most amazing sunrise.

Instagrammable spots in Tokyo
Sunrise in Tokyo

If you’re interested, what camera do I use to take photos, I have two: Sony A7 III with Samyang 35 mm prime lens (super flat and tiny) and Sony A6000.

Akihabara

If you want to experience the “weird” side of Tokyo, head to Akihabara that is home to countless arcades, anime shops and maid cafes. In my opinion, Akihabara is also pretty Instagrammable as it looks like the Tokyo I always imagined.

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

Shibuya crossing

Another of the most photogenic locations in Tokyo, is the famous Shibuya crossing. One of the most popular activities in Tokyo is people watching from Starbucks in front of the crossing or the Mark city mall (however, the window there is not perfect), but if you’re looking for great shots, you can get one by crossing the road.

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

Asakusa temples, markets and streets

One of my favourite districts in Tokyo for photography and sightseeing is Asakusa. Asakusa is famous for its marvellous shrine that is very beautiful during the day, but it’s especially charming at night. Also, Asakusa has a great market that is also a great spot for photography. Finally, you can see the Tokyo Skytree from there. 

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

Omoide Yokocho

The “Piss” Alley or Omoide Yokocho is a piece of Kyoto in Tokyo (well, it is not actually a piece of Kyoto or anyhow connected to Kyoto, but the way it looks – it reminds me of Gion in Kyoto) – it’s a place where you can get a beer & some pork (beef, chicken, tofu) skewers in some tiny & really photogenic eateries. The entire street is full of these eateries. I feel like I’m terrible at describing the street, so please just take a look at the photo below and see how pretty it is.

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

Tokyo vending machines

Tokyo has a huge amount of vending machines literally on every corner. Some of them can look cool in the photos (Tsss, there is also a marvel vending machine somewhere on the streets of Tokyo)

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

Tokyu Plaza Omotesando Harajuku Shopping mall

The entrance to this shopping mall looks extremely photogenic and attracts a lot of photographers and Instagrammers alike. You can try to be creative and try different angles or just take a standard shot like this one. 

Most Instagrammable places in Tokyo, Japan - Tokyo photo locations

The narrow streets near Harajuku

If you want to explore Tokyo properly, don’t just use the big avenues, go off in the narrow streets where you often can find some really good photo locations in Tokyo (and plenty of Instagrammable places in Tokyo as well). Pepe took this shot of me in front of some random pretty restaurant on the way to the Gram restaurant in Harajuku.

Instagrammable spots in Tokyo

Some other places that look very Instagrammable, but I didn’t have a chance to visit them:

TeamLabs Tokyo Interactive museum (it’s better to book online), Kawaii Monster Cafe

Instagrammable food in Tokyo:

The Zoo, Shirohige’s Cream, Gram 

I hope you liked this post about the most Instagrammable spots in Tokyo! If you like travelling and you’re interested in some other posts about Instagrammable places around the world, here are my guides to Instagram for:

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5 charming villages near Toulouse, France | Midi-Pyrenees villages https://tripsget.com/2018/11/5-charming-villages-near-toulouse-france-midi-pyrenees-villages/ https://tripsget.com/2018/11/5-charming-villages-near-toulouse-france-midi-pyrenees-villages/#respond Mon, 26 Nov 2018 22:06:15 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5265 Last updated on December 5th, 2018 French villages are a huge attraction for the tourists from all around the world. Some pretty villages can be found near Toulouse, in the…

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Last updated on December 5th, 2018

French villages are a huge attraction for the tourists from all around the world. Some pretty villages can be found near Toulouse, in the Midi-Pyrenees region of France. In this post, I want to tell you about 5 charming villages near Toulouse that I visited on my weekend road trip in France in November.

If you haven’t been to Toulouse before, I recommend you to visit the city, because it’s as charming as the villages surrounding it. I have a post about my weekend in Toulouse that I spent last year, where I tell about the best itinerary for Toulouse and the best attractions in this gorgeous city. If you’re coming to Toulouse for a weekend, you can explore Toulouse in 1 day and then spend another day hiring a car and visiting the best villages in the Midi-Pyrenees. For hiring a car, I recommend Avis, which is located in Toulouse airport. We almost always rent with Avis these days and get really nice and new cars.

Let’s get started with the best villages near Toulouse:

Cordes-sur-Ciel

The village that impressed me most in Midi-Pyrenees is undoubtedly, Cordes-sur-Ciel. Located 1 hour driving away from Toulouse, Cordes-sur-Ciel can be seen from far away due to its elevation (it’s located on a hill) and it’s really beautiful from the outside. But it’s even more impressive if you climb this hill (or well, drive there, as you can park pretty close to the top of the village), as you’ll see a charming Medieval village that looks almost intact (as if you were transported into the 17th century). The centre of Cordes-sur-Ciel has a lot of art and souvenir shops and plenty of lovely restaurants. I recommend spending at least 2 hours in Cordes-sur-Ciel and if you’re planning to grab a bite there, maybe even more.

Albi

Albi might be a bit too big to be called a village, it’s rather a small city. It’s a beautiful place and it’s definitely worth visiting. The city center is actually quite compact, so you don’t need more than 2-3 hours in Albi. Albi is escpecially famous because of its Saint Celilia of Albi cathedral that is almost 800 years old and it very impressive inside. Also, the views of Albi from the river Tarn are definitely worth taking a look.

In Albi, there’s a nice food market (just near the cathedral), which is even open on Sundays (until 2 pm, however, most stalls close around 1 pm). You can try some local wines, charcuterie and pastries there. 

If you’re interested, what camera do I use to take photos, I have two: Sony A7 III with Samyang 35 mm prime lens (super flat and tiny) and Sony A6000.

Castelnau-de-Montmiral

Another one of the beautiful villages near Toulouse is Castelnau-de-Montmiral. It doesn’t have as many landmarks as other villages and towns listed here, however, it’s pretty by itself and in case you’re interested in fine dining, it has a restaurant included in the Michelin guide on the main square (prepare for pretty high prices and advance reservations though). Castelnau-de-Montmiral is such a small village that you won’t spend more than an hour there (most probably, way less, unless you decide to dine there).

Montauban

Just like Albi, Montauban is rather a commute than a village and it has a population of 50,000 people. Depending on where you’re from, that could be almost nothing, however, Montauban is a bit bigger than a traditional French town or a village. Montauban has actually quite a few things to see and do, including just wandering around the city and enjoying the sunset over the river (guess, which one?) Tarn, of course. It has a very beautiful main square – Place Nationale, Ingres Museum and Montauban Cathedral.
If you’re in Montauban on Sunday evening, please be aware of the fact, that you won’t be able to eat anything from 3 pm to 7 pm, as that’s the way French restaurants work in smaller towns. Our plan was to have a dinner in Montauban, but we weren’t able to find anything that was open, so we had to drive to Toulouse to eat (it wasn’t a problem, since we had to fly back from Toulouse anyway).

Tarascon-sur-Ariege

Tarascon-sur-Ariege is one of my favourite villages in Midi-Pyrenees. Located half-way to Androrra (from Toulouse), it’s a great place to go for a hike or for a walk. We spent a night in Tarascon-sur-Ariege, as we were coming back from Andorra quite late in the evening and Tarascon was a perfect place to stay in terms of geography. Tarascon-sur-Ariege might not have some famous sights like Albi or Montauban, however, it’s a charming little village that looks straight like from the Beauty and the Beast (musical) and if you climb to the small tower, you will see a gorgeous panorama of the town.

Where to stay in Midi-Pyrenees

If you’re planning to stay in Midi-Pyrenees overnight, I recommend following hotels: Domaine de Massoulac, Relais de Mirepoix, La Tissandiere Hotel

Interested in other places we would recommend in France?

– We did this great road trip starting in Nice and visiting all the beautiful coastal towns in cities nearby (read about our experience in this post)

– We went to Marseille for a weekend a hiked to the most beautiful calanques near the city

– We spent a weekend in Toulouse and fell in love with it

– We visited all the most photogenic locations in Paris (worth a perfect shot)

Hope you liked this post! Should you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask.

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10 luxury destinations to visit if you hit a jackpot https://tripsget.com/2018/11/10-luxury-destinations-to-visit-if-you-hit-a-jackpot/ https://tripsget.com/2018/11/10-luxury-destinations-to-visit-if-you-hit-a-jackpot/#respond Wed, 14 Nov 2018 23:06:18 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5251 Last updated on December 2nd, 2018 Many people dream of winning a lottery, but never actually buy a ticket, missing out on a chance to actually win a good sum…

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Last updated on December 2nd, 2018

Many people dream of winning a lottery, but never actually buy a ticket, missing out on a chance to actually win a good sum of money that could be used on the best activity in the world – travelling. In this post, I will showcase 10 luxury destinations to visit if you scooped a large prize, because who knows, maybe you’re going to be the lucky one!

Let’s be realistic: £10 M is kind of hard to win. However, £200,000 could be realistic. For this post, I collaborated with Lottoland, where you can try your luck and who knows, maybe win big! Of course, you can invest it in the property or stock, but you can also spend that money on a luxury break in Europe or an around the world trip. Just to help you with some ideas of luxury holidays, I decided to write this list of 10 luxury getaways to visit if you won big on a lottery bet (or maybe you have this money due to hard work or generous ancestors, who knows).

Let’s get started with the 10 luxury destinations to visit if you win a lottery:

1.French Polynesia

French Polynesia, especially Bora Bora is the ultimate luxury destination in the entire world. You must have seen it at least a 1000 times in different travel ads, because Bora Bora looks like a paradise. Well, it actually is a paradise. If you want to stay in a resort in Bora Bora, be ready to pay at least $400-500 per night for a hotel, however, if you really want an ultimate luxury holiday, you can splurge on a 3 bedroom villa with a private pool in Four Seasons Bora Bora for $24,000 per night. Not bad, huh? Maybe your neighbour will be George Clunie.

10 luxury destinations to visit if you hit a jackpot

 2. Seychelles

Another luxury getaway is Seychelles. Known for its luxurious properties and cheap holiday villas alike, Seychelles can provide a lot of privacy to the ones seeking it, that’s why it’s one of the favourite spots of the celebrities around the world. Seychelles also have some of the world’s best beaches – especially on the Dhigu Island. What’s the ultimate luxury you can buy yourself in Seychelles? Well, you can stay in the Fregate Island Private Resort for just $8,000 per night. Alternatively, you can rent the Presidential Villa in Four Seasons Seychelles for almost $16,000 per night.

 3. Safari in Kenya & Tanzania

Kenya and Tanzania aren’t luxurious destinations per se (if you’re looking for something affordable – I actually went there and wrote about my experience), but you can definitely go on a luxury safari for at least $10,000 per person. If you won a lottery, why not?

Amboseli NP Kenya

4. Cruise to Antarctica

If an adventurer has been asleep inside you all your life and now you finally realised that adventure is in your blood, head to Antarctica. The Antarctica cruises are some of the most expensive cruises in the world, and they are totally worth it. They start from $5,000 per person, but if you want comfort (I know you do), you can get yourself a suite for $40,000 per person. 

5. Luxury getaway in Milan

Another luxury destination (this time in Europe) is Milan. Known for its boutiques, restaurants and the best opera in the world, Milan attracts a lot of luxury travellers, willing to spend their money on shopping, exclusive hotels and theatre. 

5. Maldives

Another luxury destination is the Maldives. I actually went to the Maldives in May and absolutely loved it (read about my experience here). I stayed in a 5* hotel and it was amazing, however, it’s far from what a huge sum of money can get you. You can stay in Soneva Jani and pay about $15,000 a night – for this money, you can get an overwater villa with your own water slide, how awesome is that?

Best time to go to Maldives, Maldives in May [and best things to do in Maldives]

6. Dubai, UAE

Another luxury spot to visit if you’re rich or you won a lottery is Dubai. Dubai has some of the world’s most exclusive restaurants, lavish hotels and posh nightclubs. Also Dubai is great for shopping and it’s warm all year long there (well, maybe a bit too warm in summer).

10 luxury destinations to visit if you hit a jackpot

7. Santorini, Greece

Santorini itself is not an expensive destination – you can get things for any budget in Santorini, however, if you have money and you’re willing to spend it, you’ll be able to rent an amazing villa with the the infinity swimming pool and the most gorgeous view over the iconic white houses. It’s very romantic, isn’t it?

10 luxury destinations to visit if you hit a jackpot

8. Courchevel 1850, France

If you’re looking for something different, e.g. winter sport destination, you should definitely consider Courchevel 1850, where you have a 70% chance to meet Russian oligarchs (not that it’s amazing to meet them – however, it’s an indicator of poshness). Skiing in Courchevel is very prestigious and you’ll have a chance to eat in some amazing Michelin-star restaurants.

10 luxury destinations to visit if you hit a jackpot

9. Luxury cabin in the Transsiberian Express in Russia

Another luxurious adventure that you can buy with a lot of money is the journey in the Imperial Suite of the Transsiberian rail in Russia – just $30,000 and the suite is yours! 

10 luxury destinations to visit if you hit a jackpot

10. Yacht holiday in Capri

One of the most exclusive islands in Europe is Italian Capri. And what can be better than hiring (or buying) your own yacht and exploring every bay of the beautiful Capri while having your own butler on board who prepares you your favourite cocktails? I’m afraid of mentioning the prices here – it all depends on the type of yacht you want, but the possibilities are pretty unlimited!

I hope you enjoyed this post and now feeling inspired to maybe try to win a lottery? 

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How expensive is Russia? Cost of travelling in Moscow & St. Petersburg https://tripsget.com/2018/11/how-expensive-is-russia-cost-of-travelling-in-moscow-st-petersburg/ https://tripsget.com/2018/11/how-expensive-is-russia-cost-of-travelling-in-moscow-st-petersburg/#comments Mon, 12 Nov 2018 23:48:42 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5223 Hi guys, in this post I’m going to tell you how much money you need to travel in Russia. How expensive is Russia? What’s the cost of travelling in Moscow…

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Hi guys, in this post I’m going to tell you how much money you need to travel in Russia. How expensive is Russia? What’s the cost of travelling in Moscow and St. Petersburg? I’m going to cover this and much more in this post about cost of travel in Russia. Let’s get started.

I would call myself an expert in very few fields actually, but Russia would be definitely one of this fields. In case you’re new to this blog and you haven’t read any of my posts before, welcome, my name is Liza and I was born and raised in St. Petersburg, Russia (read my local’s guide to Saint Petersburg, Russia). I also lived in Russia until I was 22 when I moved to the UK. I still go to Russia at least 2-3 times a year and stay on top of the trends, so I can definitely share with you the cost of travelling in Russia for 2018 & 2019 (I’ll be updating it for 2020 and further, don’t worry).

Moscow and Saint Petersburg are the most expensive cities in Russia (I don’t count Murmansk and other Northern cities, where groceries are extremely expensive because of their location above the Polar circle, but hardly any tourists go there). Moscow is definitely more expensive than Saint Petersburg in terms of restaurants and services, but don’t expect the difference to be that huge. 

How expensive is Russia? What’s the cost of travelling in Moscow and St. Petersburg? I’m going to cover this and much more in this post about the cost of travel in Russia. Let’s get started.

Let’s get started with the cost of travelling in Moscow and Saint Petersburg

Price of Hotels & accommodation in Russia

You can find all sorts of properties for all sorts of budgets in Russia. Because of recent (well, it happened a couple of years ago, but it’s still pretty recent) ruble drop, you can actually afford luxury for less in Russia.

Cost of luxury hotels in Russia:

You can stay in a 5* hotel in Moscow for $200-300 per night (there are cheaper and more expensive options, of course, but that’s just an average). Impressive 5* hotels to look at in Moscow are: Metropol, Peter I, Moscow Mariott Grand.

In Saint Petersburg, you can stay in a luxury hotel for $200-350 per night during a high season. I would recommend looking at The State Hermitage Museum Official Hotel, Corinthia St. Petersburg and Belmond Grand Hotel Europe. 

How expensive is Russia? What’s the cost of travelling in Moscow and St. Petersburg? I’m going to cover this and much more in this post about the cost of travel in Russia. Let’s get started.

Affordable hotels in Russia:

If you’re interested in good affordable 3*-4* hotels in Moscow, you can get one for $90-150. Well-rated hotels in a great location within this price range are: Mini Hotel Tverskaya 5, Vremena Goda Hotel, Barin Residence Balchug

Same level of hotel in Saint Petersburg you can get for $60-150 – take a look at Griboedov House, WYNWOOD Hotel and Baby Lemonade Hotel (funny name, but the rating is nearly 10 out of 10). 

Cost of hostels & vacation rentals in Russia

Finally, the cheapest category of accommodation in Russia is very cheap. You can get a decent hostel for as low as $5 per night, however, if you’re looking for something cheap yet nice, here are some options to look at:
Moscow (price range $15-50): Hostel Kremlin Lights, Hostel Artist on Kitay-Gorod, Capsule Hotel InterQUBE. 

St. Petersburg (price range $18-50): Hotel Ivan da Marya, Malevich hostel, Simple Hostel. 

how expensive is Russia, Moscow and St Petersburg prices (2 of 7)

Airport transfers & transport costs in Russia

Moscow has many airports, however, the price for the aeroexpress (train to the city centre) is usually around $7-8 per person. A taxi (try to use Uber or Yandex Taxi) would cost you around $15-30. A cost of one ride a public bus, metro tram or trolley bus in Moscow ranges from $0.55 to $0.9.

In Saint Petersburg, the airport is close to the city, so you can actually take a public bus to the metro for $0.7 and then take metro to your accommodation – also around $0.75 for a single ride. Some of the metro stations also accept contactless, so you can pay with your bank card. 

If you’re planning to visit both Moscow and St. Petersburg and looking for the most efficient way to get from one city to another, I’ve got a guide to moving between Moscow and Saint Petersburg for you!

how expensive is Russia, Moscow and St Petersburg prices (2 of 7)

Food costs in Russia

How expensive is Russia in terms of food? Well, there are all kinds of places (restaurants, cafes etc) in Moscow and Saint Petersburg and the prices can range from very low ($2 for a meal) to very high ($400 for a meal). 
However, usually, you can get a lunch in a very nice restaurant in Moscow for about 1500 rub ($20) and in Saint Petersburg, for about 1000 rub ($15).

Some nice restaurants also offer business lunches for about $10. If you go to some chain restaurants e.g. Teremok, you can have a menu for about $5, which is an insane price for the amount of food offered. If you’re looking for budget-friendly restaurants and eateries in both St. Petersburg and Moscow, you can go to the places with the name “Stolovaya” – these are usually very cheap and you can eat for as low as $2. 

If you’re willing to splurge, you can head to White Rabbit (the best restaurant of Moscow) or the restaurants of the Ginza Project group in Moscow and Saint Petersburg. Novikov restaurants are also a great choice, however, the prices are comparable to major European capitals. You would spend around $100 for a dinner with alcohol. 

Nightlife costs in Russia

Going out & drinking in Russia is relatively cheap as well. Of course, there are a few luxirious nightclubs in Russia, but on average, a very nice cocktail in a posh place would cost you from 400 to 1000 rub ($6-15). If you consider cheaper bars / pubs in Moscow or St Petersburg, you can get a pint of local beer for about 150 rub (2.5$) and a pint of German or Belgian beer for about $4-6.  There are plenty of affordable cocktail bars with the deals of 2-4-1 where you can get yourself two cocktails for $8.

If you’re on a tight budget, there are two very affordable bar chains in St. Petersburg – Kontakt Bar and SPB bar, where you can get 0.5 of beer for less than $2 (125 rub) and a shot of vodka for even less – 100 rub or $1.44.

how expensive is Russia, Moscow and St Petersburg prices (2 of 7)

Entertainment & sightseeing in Russia

Finally, sightseeing. Russia is all about museums and landmarks, so I strongly recommend you to visit some. Should you need inspiration, I’ve got a guide to Saint Petersburg with all the landmarks or a 3-day itinerary to see the most important things in the city. For Moscow, I have this weekend guide, so feel free to check it out as well.

Here are some prices of landmarks you should probably be aware of:

Prices of museums in Moscow:

  • Tretyakov Gallery 500 rub ($8)
  • Kremlin – the entrance to the Red Square if free, of course, however there are a couple of museums within Kremlin that charge 500-700 rub ($8-11)
  • Pushkin Museum of Fine Arts – 400 rub Saint Basil’s Cathedral – 500 rub.

Free museums & landmarks in Moscow: Mausoleum, Cathedral of Christ the Saviour

How expensive is Russia? What’s the cost of travelling in Moscow and St. Petersburg? I’m going to cover this and much more in this post about the cost of travel in Russia. Let’s get started.

Prices for some museums and landmarks in St. Petersburg:

  • Hermitage Museum – 400 rub (main building) & 700 rub (main museum + other branches). For $24 you can buy a two-day ticket for all the branches of Hermitage
  • The Colonnades of the Isaac’s Cathedral + the cathedral museum – 400 rub
  • The Church of the Spilled Blood – 250 rub
  • Peterhof park with fountains & the palace – 1000 rub (it’s better to buy tickets online – you’ll skip a massive queue)
  • The Catherine Palace + park (only charged in summer for the park) – 700 + 150 rub

Free museums in St Petersburg: Kazan Cathedral, The Hermitage (free of charge only on the 1st Thursday of the Month) & always for students, Please note that if you have a valid student ID, you can go to some museums free of change (e.g. Hermitage) or get a substantial discount.

If you want to see ballet in Russia, I’ve got a guide to watching a ballet in St. Petersburg for you!

how expensive is Russia, Moscow and St Petersburg prices (2 of 7)

If you’re interested in various tours and excursions in Russia, I would recommend Moscow Metro Tour & Bolshoi Theatre Tour in Moscow and City Sightseeing tour in St. Petersburg. 

Don’t forget to monitor the exchange rate, as the Russian ruble is quite volatile: the exchange rate used for this post is 65 rub for $1.

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Northern Spain road trip itinerary: Santander to San Sebastian https://tripsget.com/2018/10/northern-spain-road-trip-itinerary-santander-to-san-sebastian/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/northern-spain-road-trip-itinerary-santander-to-san-sebastian/#respond Tue, 30 Oct 2018 23:22:56 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5118 Last updated on November 7th, 2018 Hello, my dear readers! We’re back with another road trip itinerary, this time for Northern Spain. We drove from Santander to Sebastian and visited…

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Last updated on November 7th, 2018

Hello, my dear readers! We’re back with another road trip itinerary, this time for Northern Spain. We drove from Santander to Sebastian and visited Santillana del Mar and Bilbao on our way. This is a very short long weekend road trip to Northern Spain that we completed in less than 3 days, however, you can make it longer to fit your style of travelling! Let’s get started with the Northern Spain road trip itinerary: from Santander to San Sebastian and back!

Logistics of the road trip in Northern Spain:

We flew from London to Santander (we found some really cheap tickets on Ryanair), however, you can also fly to Bilbao or Biarritz (it’s in France, but it’s really close to the border with Spain – but in this case, you need to tweak this itinerary a little bit). We rented a car in the airport with Avis (I really like Avis as they always have new cars and every time we get a better car than we asked for! This time we had a new Mini Cooper, which was fabulous). However, we rented a car through Rentalcars.com as we like their full insurance option (it’s usually up to 2-3 times cheaper than buying it directly from a car provider).

We rented all our properties on Airbnb (click here if you need a £20 towards your next booking), as we found them cheaper than staying in a hotel, besides, some of the hotels didn’t have a free parking and both our apartments did.

The itinerary of our Northern Spain road trip:

Santander -> Santillana del Mar -> San Sebastian -> Bilbao -> Santander

If you’re interested, what camera do I use to take photos, I have two: Sony A7 III with Samyang 35 mm prime lens (super flat and tiny) and Sony A6000.

Day 1 of the road trip in Northern Spain: Santander

We flew to Santander (as I already mentioned) and stayed in the city for 2 nights (and fewer days, as we arrived at night and left in the morning on Saturday). We chose Santander because of very affordable tickets (about £30 return from London – check the availability now) and because of its convenient location – literally in the middle of Northern Spain.

Santander is a lovely city that doesn’t have that many landmarks, but it has a great atmosphere and amazing beaches. If you’re planning your road trip around Northern Spain in summer, you will surely be able to swim. However, we went to Northern Spain in October and it was too cold to swim. It was nice to walk around the promenade of Santander in the evening.

Northern Spain road trip itinerary: Santander to San Sebastian

Top things to do in Santander in autumn:

  1. Visit one of the traditional wine restaurants e.g. Bodega del Riojano – I really liked the food there and the prices there are just slightly above average.
  2. Take a hop-on-hop-off tour in Santander in case you don’t feel like walking around
  3. Stroll on the promenade of Santander and explore a couple of great beaches
road trip around Northern Spain Santander

I edit all my photos with Adobe Lightroom – it’s super easy to use and it allows to apply one preset (filter) to multiple photos.
Check Adobe Lightroom out now! .

Day 2. Santillana del Mar & San Sebastian

On the second day of our road trip in the North of Spain off season (& early in the morning), we headed to the gorgeous village of 3 lies how it’s often described – Santillana del Mar. Why 3 lies? Well, first of all, it’s not on the sea – it’s actually quite far from the sea. Secondly, it has nothing to do with the Saint (Santi in the name of Santillana comes from Saint) and it’s not flat (llana means flat in Spanish). 

Northern Spain road trip itinerary: Santander to San Sebastian

Getting from Santander to Santillana del Mar is very easy. You do need a car (unless you’re fine to take a tour like THIS ONE, for example). 
There is not that much to do in Santillana del Mar, so it’s fine to come here for an hour or two to walk around and go shopping for some local chocolate or souvenirs! There is a lot of history associated with Santillana, you can read more about the history of the village here

Northern Spain road trip itinerary: Santander to San Sebastian. Santillana del Mar

Getting to San Sebastian from Santander

Right after visiting Santillana del Mar, we headed to San Sebastian. The ride took around 2.5 hours and cost us 11 euros (some of the roads in Spain have tolls and this road is one of them, so keep in mind these fees). San Sebastian was probably one of the most important places of our Northern Spain itinerary, as we heard a lot about the city, especially about the culinary side.
In San Sebastian, we stayed in an Airbnb, as the hotels were quite pricey and not all of them had a parking. We actually were staying in Donostia, some 15 minutes away (by car) from the heart of San Sebastian.

However, if you’re planning to stay in San Sebastian for a couple of days, I recommend staying within the city and these hotels could be a great affordable option:

Northern Spain road trip itinerary: Santander to San Sebastian

What to see in San Sebastian in 2 days:

We only have less than 2 days in San Sebastian, so we started exploring San Sebastian from the Monte Igueldo – the mountain located in San Sebastian, from where you could see the entire city. The view was really gorgeous, such a pity, it wasn’t sunny and warm on that day. You can either go by car, bus, funicular, bike or walk to the top of the Monte Igueldo, but in any case, you need to pay a bit more than 2€ per person to enter the top of the mountain. 

Monte Igueldo

Some of the obvious things to see in San Sebastian in 2 days include heading to some of the city’s best beaches like La Concha or Playa de la Zuriola.
You can also visit Urgull (the peak with the fortress) and the Miramar Palace.  In the evening, you should definitely head to some local restaurants to try the famous pintxos (pinchos) of the Basque Country – they are very similar to traditional Spanish tapas. Almost all the major restaurants, bars and taverns around the city centre are serving pintxos and that’s how the locals spend their evenings – tasting pintxos.

Pintxos in San Sebastian

Best pintxos in San Sebastian:

Unusual pintxos in San Sebastian:

So, where to try the best pintxos in San Sebastian. We went to 3 places and we liked all of them a lot. The first one was Bar Zeruko – it applied a special twist on the traditional Basque pintxos. Every dish was like a piece of art and honestly, I was really impressed with this place. Also, keep in mind, that most of the pintxos restaurants in San Sebastian are standing – they will be packed with groups of people and you need to be prepared to spend like this the entire night. However, Bar Zeruko is one of the very few pintxos restaurants that has a lot of seating spaces and is predominantly for seating guests.

Bar Zeruko Best Pintxos San Sebastian
Traditional pintxos in San Sebastian:

The next place we visited was Casa Urola. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the pintxos by the local – my colleague who happened to be home at the same time as our visit to San Sebastian for two days (how cool is that?). So, apparently, every place is famous for 1-2 pintxos and you come there with your group of friends and everybody pays for one round of pintxos. 

What is also worth trying in San Sebastian is the sidra – their local cider that tastes like very sour fresh vine. I honestly really like the taste – it was different from any other alcohol I’ve tried before. Finally, the third place we visited was Bar Bergara – a well-rated pintxos bar, where I tried 3 different pintxos and liked them all. Bar Bergara is a typical pintxos restaurant.

If you feel like you want to try more places or if you want to go with an expert, you can take a special guided tour of pintxos (check the availability here). 

San Sebastian

Last day of our Spanish road trip: San Sebastian and Bilbao:

On our last day in Spain (the last day of our road trip in Northern Spain), we spent a couple of hours in San Sebastian, where we tried a traditional breakfast in the Cafe Irubi (it’s 2 toasts with a spread made of fresh tomatoes and olive oil). That plus a cappuccino only cost €3, so it was really a bargain. 

We also walked a lot in the city centre and explored the Old Town without groups of tourists – it looked so calm and quiet compared to the previous day aka Saturday night. However, it started raining again, so we decided to hit the road and head to Bilbao that was exactly half-way between San Sebastian and Santander airport. 

In Bilbao, our plan was to walk around and maybe explore the Guggenheim museum, but it started raining so much (the downsides of visiting the North of Spain in October – while in the South of Spain it’s still nice in warm, it’s already considered to be off-season in Cantabria and the Basque Country), so we headed straight to the Guggenheim museum. The entire second floor of the museum was closed, so there wasn’t that much to see in the museum and pretty much nothing to see at all if you don’t enjoy modern art.

Guggenheim Museum

Summary of the road trip around Northern Spain

To be honest with you, even though we were really unlucky with the weather, I thoroughly enjoyed our trip. I didn’t think that Spain can still surprise me, as I’ve been to quite a few places in Spain already (read my post about weekend in Seville or New Year in Madrid), but it did – I liked the food in San Sebastian, enjoyed walking around Santander and just overall, liked driving around the Basque Country – it looks a bit like Austria, to be honest.

I know you like our road trip content, otherwise, how can I explain that our road trips posts are the most popular ones on Tripsget? Read about our experience road tripping through Europe (from Italy to Germany), our road trip in Ireland and our day road trip to Highlands, Scotland. And of course we also drove through French Riviera – read more about our adventures here. 

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Best Christmas spots to visit in London | Christmas Markets, Lights & Shops https://tripsget.com/2018/10/best-christmas-spots-to-visit-in-london-christmas-markets-lights-shops/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/best-christmas-spots-to-visit-in-london-christmas-markets-lights-shops/#respond Thu, 25 Oct 2018 23:17:45 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5108 Last updated on December 5th, 2018 Hi guys, in this post, I’d like to share with you the best Christmas spots to visit in London – best Christmas Markets, ice…

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Last updated on December 5th, 2018

Hi guys, in this post, I’d like to share with you the best Christmas spots to visit in London – best Christmas Markets, ice skating rinks, Christmas lights, photo locations, shops and more. 

Where to stay in London?

If you’re not a local in London, here are some great affordable hotels in London, where you can stay without breaking a bank (London can be very expensive):

Also, if you’re interested, I have a list of the best free things to do in London – feel free to check it out here. 
Looking for the best Instagrammable places in London – look no further – here’s the guide to the most Instagrammable places in London!

Best Christmas spots to visit in London | Christmas Markets, Lights & Shops

Best Christmas spots to visit in London:

Leicester Square

One of my favourite Christmas Markets in London is located right in the middle of Leicester Square near Picadilly Circus tube station. The location couldn’t have been more centric – if you’re a tourist in London, you will definitely visit this place. If you’re a local, I’m sure you are visiting Soho from time to time to visit one of the new trendy spots, so why not to visit the Leicester Square Christmas Market?

Best Christmas spots to visit in London | Christmas Markets, Lights & Shops

Covent Garden

There is no Christmas Market in Covent Garden, I’m afraid, however, its Christmas decorations are amazing and that makes it a perfect spots for photos in Christmassy London.

Covent Garden, London

Best Ice Skating rinks in London

There are plenty of amazing ice skating rinks in London that are constructed specially for Christmas holidays. Some of my favourite Ice Skating rinks in London include:

  • Somerset House Ice Skating Rink
  • The ice rink in Canary Wharf
  • The ice skating rink in front of the Museum of Natural History in London

Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park

The Winter Wonderland Christmas Market in Hyde Park is one of the biggest Christmas Markets in Europe. It gets an insane amount of visitors, so prepare to queue for 30 min – 1 hour to get in on a busy day. If you’re planning to visit Winter Wonderland before the crowds get in, head there around 2pm on weekends or simply during the working week. 
Looking for Christmas Markets outside London as well? Here’s my post about the absolutely best Christmas Markets in Europe that you need to visit at least once!

Best Christmas spots to visit in London | Christmas Markets, Lights & Shops

Peggy Porshen 

Peggy Porshen is the iconic instagrammable spot in London that gets new decorations every season. My favourite so far have been the Christmas Decorations, so you can definitely head there for great photos. 

Most instagrammable places in London - Peggy Porshen Cakes

Regent Street

One of the most beautifully decorated streets in London is Regent Street – it’s incredibly nice and festive and it’s just lovely to walk there. 

Christmas Market near Waterloo – Southbank Centre

Another Christmas Market to visit in London is the Wintertime at Southbank Centre – unlike Winter Wonderland that is inspired by German Christmas Markets, the Wintertime is inspired by Scandinavia! Scandinavian Christmas Markets are actually amazing (I visited Danish city Aarhus last year and was honestly impressed – more about my experience in this post). 

Winterwille in Clapham Common

Another iconic Christmas Market in London for those who are based in SE or South London and have no desire to head to Winter Wonderland in Hyde Park. There are a lot of nice eats, shows and attractions, so you won’t leave Winterwille without buying something. 

Selfridges

The iconic department store in London looks great before Christmas and it also has its iconic floor of beautiful Christmas decorations – if you like special decor – head there. Selfridges is also one of my favourite department stores in London – you can buy almost anything there. 

Igloos in London

If you want to have a cozy dinner in an igloo, but you’re not planning to travel anytime soon, you can head to Jimmy’s Lodge on the river – you need to book in advance, though, the demand for the igloos is huge.  If Waterloo igloos are fully booked, you can try your luck in Coppa Club winter igloos. Alternatively, you can also book Igloos at the Sipping Room and at the Aviary. 

St. Pancras International or Somerset House Christmas trees

If you’re looking for the best Christmas trees in London, you can either head to St. Pancras International or to the Somerset House – both of the Christmas trees look amazing. 

Best Christmas spots to visit in London | Christmas Markets, Lights & Shops

Christmas in Kew Gardens

Kew Gardens are the most famous botanic garden in London. You might think, what is there to do in a botanic garden in winter? Well, there is the amazing Christmas installation with the chorus of singing trees, lights and piano music. Read more about the Christmas in Kew Gardens here.

Carnaby Christmas Lights

Another spot to visit for Christmas in London is the famous Carnaby street that is nicely decorated for Christmas. It’s just a few steps away from Regent Street, so don’t worry, you won’t have to walk a lot. 

Trafalgar Square

Do you think there’s nothing for Christmas at one of the most important and famous squares in England? No, it can’t be. Head to the Trafalgar Square for a huge Christmas tree and a choirs singing traditional Christmas songs. 

The Montague Ski Lodge

And the last, but not least of the best spots in London for Christmas is the Montague Ski Lodge located at the Montague street (who would have thought?). It’s a very lovely place that looks just like a chalet or a ski lodge somewhere in Austria or Switzerland. 

Here’s how London is decorated for Christmas in 2018:


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The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit https://tripsget.com/2018/10/the-best-christmas-markets-in-europe-that-you-should-visit/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/the-best-christmas-markets-in-europe-that-you-should-visit/#comments Tue, 23 Oct 2018 21:14:25 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5049 So let’s get started with the Best Christmas Markets in Europe: In this post, I teamed up with many great travel bloggers to tell you about the best Christmas Markets…

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So let’s get started with the Best Christmas Markets in Europe:

In this post, I teamed up with many great travel bloggers to tell you about the best Christmas Markets in Europe that you should visit at least once in your life!
There are so many Christmas markets all around Europe – in Southern Europe, Central Europe and even in Eastern Europe in Russia, however, there are some cities that have particularly great Christmas Markets that are worth visiting just because of the Christmas Markets alone (not mentioning the cities itself – but you can visit them any other time of the year and it’s probably going to be cheaper).

My selections of the best Christmas Markets in Europe:

1. Edinburgh Christmas Market

My personal favourite Christmas Market in Europe is the German-style Christmas Market in Edinburgh, Scotland. It’s so impressive that I have a separate post about Christmas in Edinburgh (feel free to check it our here). Edinburgh Christmas market is spread across the city with multiple locations, but my favourite part is the fair in the Princes Street Gardens. The only downside is the lack of snow (it rarely snows in Scotland in November and December) and many many people.

You can also check my ultimate guide to Edinburgh (I used to live there for a couple of years) and the best affordable hotels to stay in Edinburgh that I personally recommend.

Check the price of the flights to Edinburgh 

Visiting Edinburgh Christmas Market

2. Moscow Christmas Market

You might be surprised, but Moscow Christmas Market is one of my favourite in the entire world. Not many might think of Moscow as of a great New Year and Christmas Destination, but it actually is. Moscow is one of the best-decorated cities (for Christmas) that I’ve ever seen. Don’t be scared of Russian winters, yes, it can be cold, but bring some warm puffer coat, gloves, hat and shoes and you’ll be fine. If you’re interested in learning more about Christmas in Moscow – I have a post for you!

You can fly to Moscow with low-cost airlines now. Check the availability of the tickets.

Christmas Market in Moscow

3. Bruges Christmas Market

Another of my favourite Christmas Markets in Europe is definitely Bruges, the most charming city of Belgium. I didn’t like Brussels at all (read about my horrible experience in Brussels), but I fell in love with compact and cute Bruges. The Christmas market in Bruges is located on the Main Square and has a lot of stalls with food and even an ice-skating rink. I visited Bruges as part of my 16-days European winter trip (if you’re interested in reading it – here’s the link).

Check the price of the flights to Bruges now 

4. Aarhus Christmas Market

I bet not all of you have heard of this lovely Danish city! Aarhus stole my heart last year with great museums and attractions its pretty looks. Yes, Aarhus has its own Christmas Market and not one, but many – including the main square, Christmas market in the open-air museum and the Tivoli park! Sounds attractive to you? Read more about Aarhus in this post!

Check the price of the flights to Aarhus now 

Okay, enough submissions from me – here’s the part you all have been waiting for…

Travel bloggers’ favourite Christmas Markets in Europe:

Prague Christmas Market

Faith from Delve Into Europe 

The Czech capital Prague has several Christmas markets, but one stands out from the others – the one in the Old Town Square.
It’s so special because the setting is pretty much incomparable. That goes for the whole of Europe. On one side of the square, the Old Town Hall looms above, its tower providing an amazing, albeit crowded, vantage point. Much of the square is surrounded by grand Renaissance-era townhouses, and the fairytale spires of the church of Our Lady Before Týn make for a stunning backdrop. Across from there, the lovely Baroque church of St Nicholas is serene.
The stalls have some fantastic food and drink, from the local spit-roasted trdelnik cake to potent gluhwein and, if you don’t mind the cold, some of the best pilsner beers on the planet. It’s also an amazing place to go shopping for Christmas presents, with some outstanding craft stalls the best that we found.

Check the price of the flights to Prague now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

Dresden Christmas Market

Submission from Alex from Swedish Nomad 

Dresden Christmas Market, also known as Striezelmarkt is one of the oldest Christmas markets in Europe. It’s also perhaps one of the most famous Christmas markets in Germany. The market has been held since at least 1434, which was the first time it was mentioned, under Friedrich II.
In 2014, the market celebrated its 580th anniversary. Since 2014 it has grown exceptionally, and now you can find up to 250 stalls. The annual market lasts through the advent season until Christmas eve.
It’s a traditional market where you will find old toymakers, sausages, glühwein, candy, handicrafts and lots of other stalls. For the kids, there are also some carousels and playgrounds.
The vibe and atmosphere is exactly what you can expect from a charming Christmas market in Germany. Not only tourists come here, but also many locals, ranging from a wide range of ages.
People come here to enjoy themselves and celebrate the festive season that awaits around the corner. The Striezelmarkt in Dresden is one of the coziest Christmas markets I’ve visited, and I will definitely recommend a visit here.

Check the price of the flights to Dresden now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

Strasbourg Christmas Market

Submission from Gloria from Nomadic Chica 

The first time I visited a Christmas Market in Europe was in Strasbourg and it was the best place to get
introduced to Christmas with winter time! Strasbourg is one of the most beautiful cities in the Alsace, and hosts one of the oldest and biggest Christmas Market in Europe. The Christmas Markets in Strasbourg, or “Marché de Noël” in French are definitely worth the visit as the city whole turns into one fully decorated.
More than 300 little chalets spread through the city center where you will find together many handcrafted objects, beautiful Christmas decorations, and of course: Food. My favorite place is right outside the Gothic Cathedral and all the area around Little France. They close this area for cars so it’s very pleasant for pedestrians to walk Bring your warmest clothes as it’s usually freezing and windy, but it’s the perfect excuse to try a crunchy and delicious Tarte Flambée with a Hot wine or ‘Vin Chaud’.

Check the price of the flights to Strasbourg now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

Warsaw Christmas Market

Maria & Rui from Two Find a Way 

Looking for a city filled with delightful Christmas spirit? Visit Warsaw! The capital of Poland is, in our opinion, one of the most underrated cities in Europe at any time of the year, but it is even more magical during the Christmas season. The lights and decorations turn the city into a Winter wonderland. There quite a few different Christmas markets around the city, as they truly are places locals visit and use to buy their gifts and spend time with their friends.
The most famous Christmas Markets are located in the Old Town. At the Rynek Starego Miasta (Old Town Market Square) you can find a market mostly dedicated to delicious food and warm drinks. There’s also a free ice skating rink! If you’re looking for handmade Polish products, go along the Barbican Walls where you can find some beautiful gifts (for others as well as for yourself!). Even though this Christmas Market is located at the tourist center of the city, it still very authentic and unique, and that’s one of the many reasons that made us fall in love with the city during our Ersamus in Warsaw.

Check the price of the flights to Warsaw now 

Vienna Christmas Market

Submission from Kris from Nomad by trade 

The Viennese Christmas Market located in front of the Rathausplatz in Vienna is absolutely stunning. The ornately carved town hall and towering Christmas tree make the perfect backdrop for the booths selling gifts, snacks, and – of course – gluhwein. You can get traditionally flavored gluhwein, or try some other fruity versions of the steaming hot boozy beverage. My favorite items were the Christmas ornaments, and they made the perfect souvenir for my visit. The traditional giant gingerbread cookies were another popular item, with several booths selling them with classic “Frohe Weihnachten” messages or some more modern and sassy options. If you need a break from shopping, you can hit the ice and spend some time skating down the frozen pathways curving around and crisscrossing each other. It’s so much more fun than the usual skate-around-in-circles-on-a-rink open skate. Lockers and skates can be rented on site. Kids visiting the Vienna Christmas Market will love the carnival rides that are also available.

Check the price of the flights to Vienna now 

Frankfurt Christmas Market

Submission from Jorge & Claudia from Travel Drafts 

Frankfurt Christmas market is one of the largest and oldest in Germany, dating back to 1393. In those days the market existed to provide the essential supplies to the locals before winter. Nowadays the Christmas market is different, it’s packed with Christmas art crafts and food stalls. There’s so much good food to try, Kartoffelpuffer (potato pancakes), Flammkuchen (German version of a pizza), wood-fired salmon (definitely a must), wurst with bread and mustard (any kind of wurst), Lebkuchen (Gingerbread), and many others. It is a foodie’s paradise. It is also the ideal place to buy gifts and embrace the Christmas atmosphere. You will find a big merry-go-round and an enormous Christmas tree in the Romerberg square. At night there are several choirs singing Christmas carols, and most of all the town is so full o life with so many things attracting your attention! One of the most memorable moments of this Christmas market is the chiming of the church bells, on the Saturday before the 1st advent, all the 10 churches of Frankfurt (50 bells) chiming their bells. It’s something to remember!

Check the price of the flights to Frankfurt now 

Krakow Christmas Market

Submission from Patrick from Complete City Guides 

Kraków, in Poland, is one of the largest medieval town squares in Europe. And every winter it gets converted into a huge Christmas market. The entire square gets decorated with an absolutely massive Christmas tree in one corner, lights everywhere, and around 80 stalls. One of the most popular stalls include the grilled meat vendors. It is the perfect food for those cold December days. But if eating lovely grilled meat isn’t your kind of thing, you can find a large selection of sweet stalls (candy) and other snacks.

If you come to Kraków in December, you will almost certainly go home with a few unique gifts from the market for friends back home. There are many traditional Polish gifts sold here, including amber jewellery, stalls selling lots of gifts made of wood, small Christmas decorations for your Christmas tree (in a very Polish style), and of course some souvenirs for tourists. The market attracts many locals though, so it isn’t full of tourist souvenirs. It normally opens from the last Friday in November and ends just after Christmas. The dates change every year. And if you’re still here for New Year’s Eve, there is always a huge party (often televised on Polish channels) in the main square. Although with Kraków’s weather in the winter, make sure you dress up very warm if you want to enjoy this.

Check the price of the flights to Krakow now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

Gothenburg Christmas Market

Submission from Hannah from That Adventurer 

Liseberg Christmas market in Gothenburg, Sweden is the best Christmas market I’ve ever been too. At Liseberg, it’s not just about stalls and cheap gifts, but the full Christmas experience. There’s ice skating, Santa’s grotto, Glogg, arcades and Christmas Carol being sung throughout. There are also more fairy lights than you can imagine and open fires to warm up your hands on.

What makes this Christmas market truly special is that it’s held in an amusement park. The park is completely transformed into a festive wonderland during the winter. This Christmas Market is split into different sections. There’s Rabbit Land full of multi-coloured fairy lights, presents, an abundance of Christmas trees and a giant rabbit, an old-fashioned district with a huge ship, carol singers and quaint looking houses, and even a trip back to the Middle Ages with a Princess castle! And, of course, there’s a Lapland section too. Don’t worry, you can still get your festive gifts too only they come with some Scandi style! If you’re looking for a different type of Christmas Market then I’d highly recommend Liseberg.

Check the price of the flights to Gothenburg now 

The Hague Christmas Market

Submission from Karen from Wanderlustingk 

As a veteran of Christmas markets, I was impressed with the Christmas market in the Hague. Every year, there’s one weekend in December when the Royal Christmas Fair occurs. This market happens along one of the most beautiful streets of the Hague: Lange Voorhout, which is lined with trees and embassies. This street is said to have inspired the Unter den Linden in Berlin!

At the market, you can browse for unique artisan goods, sip on gluhwein, and snack on food from all around the world. Unlike many other Christmas markets, the Royal Christmas market is quiet, enough for a beautiful stroll along the grounds together with your significant other or family! Be sure to come around dusk as seeing the Christmas market lit up only adds to its charming ambience. If you’re merely visiting as a tourist, be sure to go to an ATM ahead as many booths do not accept credit cards, only Dutch debit cards.

Check the price of the flights to the Neverlands now 

Nuremberg Christmas Market

Submission from Cate from Int’l Desserts Blog 

The Nuremberg (Nürnberg) Christkindl Markt is one of the oldest in Germany and a must-see. It offers 180+ food and craft stand to peruse, and if you’re there on the Friday before the first Advent, you can attend the opening ceremony (and maybe see the current Christkind in her golden robes and blond curls). When at the Nuremberg Christkindl Markt, do as the Germans do: eat a Bratwurst (in Nuremberg you get three little sausages on a roll rather than one large sausage), drink at least one mug of piping hot Glühwein (mulled wine), and enjoy a Lebkuchen (gingerbread) dipped in chocolate or savor a packet of warm Gebrannte Mandeln (cinnamon sugar almonds)! A few tips…visit the market both during the day and at night, dress in layers and wear comfortable shoes (it can get very cold but Glühwein also helps with that), and avoid the busy and often overcrowded weekends.

Check the price of the flights to Nuremberg now 

Brasov, Romania

Submission from Amy & Nathan from Two Drifters 

One of the things that makes a European Christmas market so wonderful is its location. Well, you can’t beat the charming location of the Brasov Christmas Market, tucked directly in the center of the quaint Old Town. This pastel-hued square is picture-perfect, and the Christmas market that springs up inside it every December is equally magical.

You can drink hot mulled wine, check out hand-made Romanian crafts, and of course sample many of the local traditional treats. A few of our favorites were gogosi doughnuts with chocolate sauce, and  Kürtőskalács, a Hungarian inspired spit cake. And don’t just try traditional hot wine (vin fiert), be sure to taste the hot tunca, too, a Romanian plum brandy that will warm you from head to toe.

Check the price of the flights to Romania now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

Riga Christmas Market, Latvia

Anisa from 2 Travelling Texans 

Riga, Latvia, may not be the first place you think of to visit for Christmas Markets, but they do take the holidays seriously. They claim to have invented the Christmas Tree. You will find Christmas decorations everywhere and four Christmas markets in the Old Town area. In the evening, save time to check out the artistic and unique Christmas trees that are part of “The Way Through the Christmas Trees,” which has been a tradition for the last seven years.
They have plenty of food and warm beverages at all the Riga Christmas Market, but if you want a sit-down meal the Livu Laukums Market has an indoor restaurant called Sunshine. Kids will love the adorable rabbits and carnival rides at the market in Esplanade Park. If you are in Riga to do your Christmas shopping, you will find a vast selection of gifts and Latvian handmade crafts at all of the markets. Riga is the perfect destination to help get you in the Christmas spirit.

Check the price of the flights to Riga now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

Leipzig Christmas Market

Clemens from Traveller’s Archive

From afar I can already smell the roasted almonds and the mulled wine already. I am in the middle of Leipzig and surrounded by Christmas markets, which is a unique thing about the Christmas season in Leipzig. A walk through the beautiful old town, along with the beautiful facades of the houses and over the cobblestone streets shows that Christmas can be felt in every corner of Leipzig. Every small courtyard is adorned, the streets lined with small stalls and in just one day you can visit five, if not more, Christmas markets in the Saxon city. Since the 15th century, Christmas markets open up in Leipzig and now offer a selection of almost 300 stalls. Enough to savour the variety of mulled wine varieties and another great culinary offer. The best thing about the Christmas market in Leipzig is the location: Located in the middle of the city, you can also make a quick detour to the famous sights from here. Starting with a warm tea to warm up in Auerbachs Keller, you can continue through the historic Mädlerpassage, which goes right into the central market square. Although the marketplace is small, it has a very special flair. Right on the market square, you’ll find the Old Town Hall, which was designed in the style of the Saxon Renaissance – the best point to fall back into the middle of the mulled wine paradise.

Check the price of the flights to Leipzig now 

The Best Christmas Markets in Europe That you should visit

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Stopover in Bahrain: Bahrain visa and how to spend 7 hours in Manama https://tripsget.com/2018/10/stopover-in-bahrain-bahrain-visa-and-how-to-spend-7-hours-in-manama/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/stopover-in-bahrain-bahrain-visa-and-how-to-spend-7-hours-in-manama/#respond Sun, 21 Oct 2018 22:44:54 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5037 If you have at least a 4-hour stopover in Bahrain, this post is for you. I’ll tell you how you can spend 4,5,7 or more hours in Manama, Bahrain, whether…

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If you have at least a 4-hour stopover in Bahrain, this post is for you. I’ll tell you how you can spend 4,5,7 or more hours in Manama, Bahrain, whether you need a visa for getting out of the airport in Bahrain and what to see in the capital of Bahrain, Manama.

Why visit Bahrain? Stopover in Bahrain

If you haven’t been to this blog before, hi, I’m Liza and I’m obsessed with travelling. I want to visit 100 countries before I turn 30 and I still have 33 to go (and less than 4 years left). Together with my husband Pepe, we were invited to a friend’s wedding in India (flying to India as well? You might be interested in my post about the most common Indian tourist scams and how to avoid them) and the cheapest tickets were actually with Gulf Air. There was a 7-hour interchange involved and I thought ‘why not explore Bahrain in the meantime’? I didn’t hear much about Bahrain before, I just thought it’s one of these rich tiny countries who have access to oil. Nonetheless, it was very interesting to see how does Bahrain actually look like and how do people live in the capital of Bahrain, Manama.

Stopover in Bahrain: Bahrain visa and how to spend 7 hours in Manama

Visa for Bahrain (Bahrain eVisa and transit visa)

Unfortunately, if you want to go out and see Bahrain during your interchange or a layover, you will have to get a Bahrain transit visa. We applied for our visas in advance on this website. The visa cost was $77 per person. You can check if you’re are eligible for an eVisa for Bahrain (that’s the one we got) on the website I mentioned before.

The passport control at Manama airport was super fast, we weren’t asked pretty much anything and in 10 minutes, we were already getting inside a taxi in the airport to go to Manama, the capital. There weren’t many people, who wanted to go out in Manama and explore the city during the stopover in Bahrain.

If you’re interested, what camera do I use to take photos, I have two: Sony A7 III with Samyang 35 mm prime lens (super flat and tiny) and Sony A6000.

What to see in Bahrain?

Most of the landmarks of Bahrain are actually located in Manama, so your best bet is just taking a taxi to Manama. We paid around $15 for a 25-minute journey, which isn’t very expensive. However, it was complicated to grab a taxi from the Manama Fort, as there were no taxis. Nonetheless, we managed to ask the Archaeological Museum staff (big thanks to them) to ask for a taxi for us, so we could go explore other parts of Manama. However, if you have internet in Bahrain, you can use this website for ordering your taxi.

Things to do in Manama, Bahrain during a stopover with Gulf Air (or anyone else really)

1. The Fortress of Manama (Qal’at al-Bahrain)

Our first stop was the archaeological museum of Manama and the old fort, where this photo below was taken. The museum didn’t impress us much, so you can totally skip it, but the fortress was worth walking around. The fortress is a meeting point for many women in Bahrain, who are meeting, walking and talking together in their black abayas and hijabs. In Bahrain, however, you can see quite a few western-looking women wearing their regular outfits. For example, I’ve seen a woman going for a run in the fort. She was wearing regular jogging pants and a top and nobody was paying any attention to her.

So if you’re a female and you’re worried about what to wear in Bahrain – don’t worry at all. I wouldn’t still recommend wearing short skirts or dresses, but you’d be totally fine in a knee-long skirt or jeans and a T-shirt.

Stopover in Bahrain: Bahrain visa and how to spend 7 hours in Manama

2. The Gold Souq

Our second stop was actually the Gold Souq. We expected something lavish, like the Gold markets in Dubai, but it was actually just a normal building with small outlets selling gold. We walked around a couple of streets nearby and looked at the local market stalls. Many of the outlets sell the pashmina scarves for just $5, but they aren’t real pashmina, just synthetic. But they look pretty, in case you’d like to buy one.

Stopover in Bahrain: Bahrain visa and how to spend 7 hours in Manama

3. Traditional Breakfast near the Gold Souq

The third thing we did during our interchange in Bahrain, was having a traditional breakfast in Bahrain. The breakfast wasn’t expensive at all, but it was huge and really interesting. I would totally recommend you trying local dishes in Bahrain. The breakfast took longer than expected and also it started raining in Bahrain (totally unexpected, as Bahrain is basically a desert), so we skipped the last point of our itinerary, the Mosque.

4. Al Fateh Grand Mosque

If you have more than 7 hours in Bahrain, you can totally make it to the Al Fatih Grand Mosque. It was only built in 1988 (very recently), but it’s one of the most important landmarks in the city.

Stopover in Bahrain: Bahrain visa and how to spend 7 hours in Manama

5. Bahrain National Museum

If you still have enough time left, you can head to Bahrain National Museum that was also opened in 1988 (seems like 1988 was a very important year for Bahrain). The museum has a lot of archaeological artefacts and even a Natural History hall. If you’re having a stopover in Bahrain with children, you can definitely head there, as it would be interesting for the children.

Impressions from Bahrain

Bahrain really surprised us. We both thought that it’s more luxurious and lavish, but we haven’t seen a single golden car (like the ones driving the streets of London – however, these ones are from Kuwait. Bahrain left a nice impression of the country, where people live a quiet life. However, there are not many things you can do in Bahrain besides walking in the Fortress, the city centre, the promenade and shopping. Also, Bahrain isn’t a very walkable city, so you’ll have to find a taxi all the time you need to go somewhere. Thus, I wouldn’t spend more than 7 hours in Bahrain, so the layover in Manama was a perfect opportunity to explore Bahrain without going there on a separate trip.

Stopover in Bahrain: Bahrain visa and how to spend 7 hours in Manama

Finally, our opinion of Gulf Air

If you expect Gulf Air to be like Etihad or Emirates, you’ll be very disappointed. Gulf Air operates quite dated planes: our screen was broken, the food was very disappointing, but the worst part is really the customer service. After the incident on the plane, where I was harassed by a psychologically unstable passenger on the New Delhi – Manama flight, who started threatening me, insulting me and shaking my seat and absolutely no adequate assistance from the crew, we wrote a formal complaint to the airline, just to get an impersonal reply saying that the crew behaved as instructed. There was no apology from the airline or anything at all. For sure, we will never ever use Gulf Air again, but if you’re planning to see Bahrain during a stopover, this terrible airline is pretty much your only option.

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My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips https://tripsget.com/2018/10/my-australia-bucket-list-kangaroos-koalas-and-a-few-road-trips/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/my-australia-bucket-list-kangaroos-koalas-and-a-few-road-trips/#respond Fri, 19 Oct 2018 22:27:40 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=5014 Hi guys, in this post, I wanted to tell you about the best places to visit in Australia that are on my Australia bucket list. I always wanted to go…

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Hi guys, in this post, I wanted to tell you about the best places to visit in Australia that are on my Australia bucket list. I always wanted to go to Australia. However, I never had a chance to go. The closest I’ve been to visit Australia was back in 2013, when I was studying in Hong Kong (that was a great experience). However, I couldn’t go because of long visa processing times (about a month – more info here).

However, next year, I’m surely going to Australia for the first time and I will try to cross as many items from this Australia bucket list, as possible (I will probably be there just for a week, so it’s not enough time to see most of the spots on this bucket list. However, it’s enough for a first-timer to get a grasp of travelling in Australia).

So, without further ado, let’s get started with the post!

My Australia bucket list: best places/spots to visit in Australia

1. Sydney

For some reason, for me, Sydney is the first thing that comes to my mind when I think of Australia. I really dream to set foot on Sydney grounds and go exploring the city. And of course, I want to take a photo in front of the famous landmark – Sydney Opera House!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

2. Australian road trip feat. 12 Apostles

Okay, my big dream was buying a cheap car on Gumtree after arriving to Australia and touring this beautiful country straight for 1.5 months. As I work full-time, unfortunately, it’s not possible to escape for 1.5 months anymore, however, a 5-7-day road trip is entirely feasible. Driving all the way from Melbourne to Adelaide visiting the Great Ocean Road and 12 Apostles on our way!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

3. Tasmania

When I was a kid, I was always watching the Tasmanian devil cartoon and wondering, where is this Tasmania. Tasmania actually looks like a paradise and I really want to explore it one day!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

4. Uluru

Uluru is a sacred Rock formation and I’m 100% sure you’ve seen it in documentaries or somewhere on the Web. It looks so exciting and unique and I would definitely love to see it in person.

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

5. Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday islands

Another spot in my Australia bucket list is the Great Barrier Reef and Whitsunday islands. I would love to go there on holiday (and if it’s allowed, to take some fantastic drone shots with the crystal clear blue water). When I went to the Maldives earlier this year, I fell in love with snorkelling, so that would be the number one activity for me in the Great Barrier Reef!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

6. Surfing in Bondi Beach

For me, Bondi beach is some sort of iconic destination, as I’ve heard a lot about it. I never tried surfing in my life (even though I went to a couple of destinations, where it was totally possible to surf – Bali, Gran Canaria, Santander, Spain) – but I don’t know, somehow I never had time to try it (and was always scared to try). However, if I ever get to the Bondi beach in Australia, I should definitely try surfing there!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

7. Taking a selfie with a kangaroo & a koala in Murramang National Park

I always wanted to make a photo with a kangaroo and in Australia, it’s very easy to do that! I know that you can meet kangaroos literally pretty much anywhere in Australia, however, there are higher chances to see them in a National park like Murramang NP or in Lucky Bay, for example. For koalas, it’s better to head to Raymond island or even Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary.

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

8. Camping in the Blue Mountains

Another unique spot in Australia is the Blue Mountains in NSW (New South Wales) – the Jamison Valley is especially impressive in the morning. I never camped in my life, so it would be a great spot to do it for the first time!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

9. Visit a couple of Australian wineries

Australian wine might not be on the top of my list of wines that I like (sorry, Australia), but I would love to visit a couple of wineries to change that. There must be an Australian wine out here in the world that I like, so I need to embark on a journey through a couple (or maybe 10) Australian wineries to find the perfect wine!

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

10. Take a photo in front of the Wave Rock

Australia is famous for its rocks. Uluru, Wave Rock… Wave Rock is fantastic for pictures and looks very impressive in the videos, that’s why it’s on this Australian bucket list.

My Australia bucket list: kangaroos, koalas and a few road trips

There are hundreds of other exciting bucket list activities (e.g. swimming with sharks, crocodiles, fishes, sea lions etc.), landmarks and just amazing spots to visit in Australia, but I’m just naming the ones that are the top 10 on my bucket list. Have you ever been to Australia? Did you visit any of the places I mentioned in this post? Did you like them? Please comment below if you did ????

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Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal https://tripsget.com/2018/10/laid-back-2-week-itinerary-for-portugal/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/laid-back-2-week-itinerary-for-portugal/#comments Wed, 10 Oct 2018 22:18:32 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=4979 It has taken me more than a couple of years to write, but I finally did it! In this post, I’ll share with you my laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal…

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It has taken me more than a couple of years to write, but I finally did it! In this post, I’ll share with you my laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal for the first-timers. If you visited by the blog before, then you probably know that laid-back is not the way I travel now. Right now I manage to squeeze two countries on a 7-day trip and have every second attributed to some activity. However, it’s not how I used to travel before. This particular trip of two weeks in Portugal was made together with my parents, who travel in a very laid-back way (they travel to relax and have a proper holiday), so I’ll be sharing with you the itinerary for Portugal for two weeks that is not so packed with activities!

Where to stay in Portugal for two weeks?

It makes sense to stay in different places, e.g. a week in Lisbon and a week in Porto (Read my post about a wonderful weekend in Porto) to explore two different parts of the country. However, this is a proper hassle-free itinerary, so we will only choose one place. In reality, we stayed 2 weeks in one place, in a charming seaside town Estoril, 25 minutes by train from Lisbon. In Estoril, we stayed in a hotel called Palacio Estoril Golf & Spa, and it was a wonderful experience. The hotel was an actual palace where Royals from different countries have stayed, and it had the most fantastic service. Palacio Estoril also had some sort of affiliation with the Banyan Tree spa that was connected to the hotel via an underground passage so that we could visit the spa every day free of charge (it had a lazy river, who would resist?).

2 weeks in Portugal

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal: day by day

Days 1 – 5 of the 2-week itinerary for Portugal

We spent the first four days of our 2-week trip to Portugal in the capital, Lisbon. I forgot to mention that we went to Portugal in winter (in January, to be precise) and the weather wasn’t bad at all. What to expect from the weather in Portugal in winter? Well, it can be very windy, but the temperatures usually don’t sink below 12 degrees. Out of 14 days in Portugal in January, we probably had 5-6 days of rain, which was expected and wasn’t too bad for us.

14 days in Portugal

I probably need a separate post about the things to do in Lisbon, but in this 14-day itinerary for Portugal, I will just mention a couple of highlights. I would recommend you to choose your pace and just walk around the narrow streets of Lisbon exploring it bit by bit.

14 days in Portugal

The places that impressed me the most in Lisbon: the unique district of Alfama that looks like something from the movie of the 60s, the Sao Jorge Castle with its views over Lisbon, impressive Pedro IV Square, Praça do Comercio and the district around the Santa Justa Lift.

You should come to the promenade to see the famous Christ the King statue and take a photo of the bridge that looks exactly like the one in San Francisco! There are way more places to visit in Lisbon for four days so that you can check the best ones on Tripadvisor. Or you can just read the Portugal page on Lonely Planet.

14 days in Portugal

Tours to take in Lisbon

If you have 4-5 days in Lisbon, you can surely choose one of the historical walking tours of the city (this one is really the best-rated one) or attend a famous Fado show.

If you’re a foodie, you might be interested in this food tasting experience.

2 weeks in Portugal

Days 6 – 7 Sintra & Cabo da Roca

To go to Sintra from Estoril, we only needed to take a short train ride or hop on a bus. However, we rented a car for five days, so we had to take advantage of it. We rented a car from AVIS and absolutely loved it. Since then, I often book with AVIS. However, I book AVIS via Rentalcars.com, as it offers a great rate on full insurance (don’t really want to risk it after an incident in France).

We tried to go to Cabo Da Roca on the 6th day in Portugal. However, it was one of these rainy days, and moreover, just when we left, it got very foggy, so we could barely drive. The plans for Cabo Da Roca were cancelled, but we still managed to get to Sintra and go to the Sintra Palace. The palace looked unique and ominous in the fog.

2 weeks in Portugal

On day 7, the weather was fantastic – sunny and warm, so we managed to see Cabo da Roca – amazing cliffs and the most Western point of Europe. Later on, we parked in Sintra and went to see the Moorish Fortress (it was quite a climb) and the very photogenic Pena Palace that was the highlight of our 2 weeks in Portugal.

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal | Tripsget

We didn’t see the Quinta da Regaleira – the famous well with the stairs, as it was closed, but I would recommend you to visit it as well.

2 weeks in Portugal

Days 8 & 9 Mafra, Batalha, Obidos, Fatima and Alcobaça

The next three days we spent driving around Portugal visiting some of the most beautiful cities and towns in Central Portugal.

In the afternoon (we were tired from last day’s exploration of Sintra), we drove all the way to Mafra – a town famous for it’s enormous National Palace. The palace was imposing and we enjoyed touring around it. Apart from the castle, there was nothing else to do in Mafra, so we decided to head to the next stop.

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal | Tripsget

Obidos was a lovely medieval village that looked marvellous (and similar to the French town of St. Paul-De-Vence near Nice – I have a post about it). It was a pleasure walking there and taking some photos at sunset.

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal | Tripsget

On the next day, we drove all the way to Fatima – to see the famous Sanctuary of Fatima – a pilgrimage site for Catholics.

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal | Tripsget

We spent in Fatima good 2.5 hours before driving to Batalha – one of the most impressive towns during our 2 weeks in Portugal in winter. Batalha is famous for its gothic monastery that is almost intact, even though they started building it around the 14th century.

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal | Tripsget

From Batalha, we headed to Alcobaça, another amazing monastery that was founded in 1153 and it a UNESCO World Heritage site and then drove back to Estoril to return the car.

Days 10-13: Estoril, Cascais and a bit of Lisbon

The last 4 days of our trip to Portugal, we spent exploring the local area. We walked all the way from Estoril to Cascais, another marvellous seaside town in Portugal that is a prestigious resort in summer. Unlike Estoril, Cascais has more things to do, including a couple of museums and more restaurants and cafes. The weather was beautiful and sunny during these last days in Portugal, so we decided to relax and explore the area at a slower pace.

14 days in Portugal

Summary of 14 days in Portugal in winter

Looking back now, I would definitely add Porto to our 2-week itinerary for Portugal, as it’s a marvellous city with unique architecture and atmosphere. If you’re planning to go to Portugal in summer or autumn, you can also add other beach destinations like Faro or Algarve to the itinerary. However, if you’re going to Portugal in winter, it doesn’t make much sense to spend many days in a beach destination, so if you’re looking for a relaxed itinerary for Portugal, this one might fit you!

Laid-back 2-week itinerary for Portugal | Tripsget

What to pack for Portugal in winter?

Don’t forget to bring a high-quality umbrella, a waterproof jacket and a couple of sweaters, but don’t forget to pack some t-shirts as well, as the weather can suddenly get very warm!

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How much is a holiday in Maldives? Cost of a holiday in the Maldives https://tripsget.com/2018/10/how-much-is-a-holiday-in-maldives-cost-of-a-holiday-in-the-maldives/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/how-much-is-a-holiday-in-maldives-cost-of-a-holiday-in-the-maldives/#respond Tue, 09 Oct 2018 21:52:56 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=4966 How much is it to go to the Maldives? This is probably the most commonly asked question regarding a holiday in Maldives. Many people would love to go to the…

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How much is it to go to the Maldives? This is probably the most commonly asked question regarding a holiday in Maldives. Many people would love to go to the Maldives, but they think it’s way above their budget and instead of researching how much is a holiday in the Maldives, they just give up on a trip to paradise. In this post, I wanted to tell you a bit more about a cost of a holiday in the Maldives and how much does the overwater villa in the Maldives cost?

Choosing a good resort in the Maldives is complicated! Read my post about the best way to choose a resort in the Maldives and what to know when choosing one.

Wondering WHEN to go to the Maldives? I’ve got you covered with this post about our experience in May & what to expect in the Maldives during other seasons as well!

Are the Maldives expensive?

Well, yes and no. It doesn’t have to be very expensive, as there are plenty of guesthouses where you can stay for less than $100 per day (with Full Board included – that means 3 meals a day, which is pretty much all you need). However, if you want, it can be insanely expensive! The most expensive hotel in the Maldives costs about $10000 a night.

Best time to go to Maldives, Maldives in May [and best things to do in Maldives]

Let’s look at some of the hotel options in Maldives (and their prices):

Some great guesthouses in the Maldives for less than $50 per day:

Mathiveri Thundi Inn, Maafushi Inn, Whale Shark Inn

Great guesthouses in the Maldives with all meals included for less than $100 per day:

Ameera Maldives, Serene Sky Guesthouse, Hanifaru Transit Inn

How much is a holiday in Maldives? Cost of a holiday in the Maldives

Budget-friendly resorts in the Maldives for less than $300 per night:

Bandos Maldives, Paradise Island Resort and Spa, Sun Island Resort

Amazing resorts with water villas in the Maldives for $650 and less:

Embudu Village Resort, Summer Island Maldives Resort

How much is a holiday in Maldives? Cost of a holiday in the Maldives
Luxury resorts in the Maldives for an ultimate experience:

Anantara Veli, Shangri La’s Vilingili, Atmosphere Kanifushi

The most expensive luxury resorts in the Maldives (at least $3500 for a night):

Cheval Blanc Randheli, Velaa Private Island, Soneva Jani

Okay, now you know a bit better what exactly you can afford and for what price.

Food prices in the Maldives:

You might be surprised, but very few resorts in the Maldives actually have an all-inclusive food plan. The most popular plan is breakfast only. That means you’ll have to pay for a lunch and dinner separately. The average price for a dish at a resort in the Maldives is $40-60, so be prepared to spend $140-300 for a dinner for two including resort tax and the service charge (almost 30% in total).

If you’re staying in a Guesthouse, there will be budget-friendly local food options and the food prices won’t be very high (you might spend $300-500 for a week for two people or even less).

How much is a holiday in Maldives? Cost of a holiday in the Maldives

Transportation costs in the Maldives

A very important and just as well very expensive part of the holiday in the Maldives is actually transportation. Some distant resorts require two additional flights from Male – a domestic plane plus a seaplane. Some guesthouses also require you to take a domestic flight. The prices for a seaplane vary from hotel to hotel, but usually, it’s from $600 to $1400 for two, while the domestic plane is way cheaper – $70-160 per person. You might also require a boat ride and depending on the length of the boat trip, it could be $100-500. Make sure to include it in your budget.

How much is a holiday in Maldives? Cost of a holiday in the Maldives

How much was our trip to the Maldives?

I have received many questions regarding what we have spent in the Maldives.

Our trip definitely wasn’t cheap. We flew with Emirates (one of the best options when it comes to flying to the Maldives) and the tickets were around £650 per person. We paid £1300 for 4 nights in Anantara Veli because we had a 20% discount provided by the company I where I work + $400 for the transfer and, finally, we paid around £500 for food (for 5 days). In total, we spent about £3400 on a 5-day luxury holiday for two. Obviously, it’s not what we normally spend on our trips (we aren’t millionaires), but it was worth it for such an unforgettable trip.

Hope this post was useful for you! Liked this post about how much is a holiday in Maldives? Aware of the cost of a holiday in the Maldives now? Great! Please support this blog and share this post on Social Media if you can.

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Best places to live in London: 9 amazing London districts https://tripsget.com/2018/10/best-places-to-live-in-london-9-amazing-london-districts/ https://tripsget.com/2018/10/best-places-to-live-in-london-9-amazing-london-districts/#comments Mon, 01 Oct 2018 21:09:41 +0000 http://tripsget.com/?p=4911 Last updated on November 10th, 2018 London is such a huge city and doesn’t matter if you’re coming here for a week or for 10 years, it’s important to know,…

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Last updated on November 10th, 2018

London is such a huge city and doesn’t matter if you’re coming here for a week or for 10 years, it’s important to know, what are the best districts to live in London. I know this topic is a bit controversial and everybody has their own opinion of the best and worst districts to live in London. However, I’m writing this post for people just like me, who were moving to London and didn’t know where exactly to rent a flat. Before moving to London, I was trying to research the best and worst places in London and didn’t find much information. Most of the posts about the best places to live in London were written by letting agents promoting districts, where they had properties. Or written by newspapers sponsored by the government to promote & gentrify some of the worst districts to live in London (otherwise how Peckham could have ever made it to top 10 best places to live in London)? In this post, I wanted to tell you about the best places to live in London: the safest districts in London and just simply nice and trendy zones and London boroughs.

I just wanted to share my opinion on my blog, so people know more about their options instead of choosing a property based on its price or location on the map. There are way more factors that need to be taken into the consideration.

If you’re interested, what camera do I use to take photos, I have two: Sony A7 III with Samyang 35 mm prime lens (super flat and tiny) and Sony A6000.

Moving to the UK? Read this post to find out what do you need to do in the first weeks!

Also, here’s my post about the cost of living in London: how much do you actually need to have a decent life in London. In this post, I actually compare 4 salaries and explain what you can afford for minimum wage, 20K, 40K and 70K in London.

Also, if you just moved to London (or moving soon) and searching where to buy affordable furniture, I bought all my furniture HERE (the quality is okay and the same day delivery is perfect).

Best places to live in London: 9 amazing trendy London districts

1. Hampstead

Hampstead is one of the nicest areas to live in London. Located in the Zone 2, away from touristy hassle and bustle, Hampstead resembles a quiet and wealthy village. Owning a house in Hampstead will make you a millionaire and renting a nice 1-bedroom flat would be at least £1800-1900 pounds a month (plus a huge council tax and bills). So living in Hampstead is not cheap at all. However, if you have that money to spend on a flat and you’re fine using the Northern Line, you will love living in Hampstead!

hampstead best district to live in London

2. Notting Hill / Holland Park

Owning one of these pretty colourful houses in Nothing Hill is a dream of pretty much every single young Londoner. Notting Hill is a fabulous vibrant and beautiful area of London, which transforms into a huge antique & food market on Portobello Rd on Sunday. Notting Hill probably has the biggest concentration of brunch places on a square km in London! It’s possible to find a 1-bedroom flat in Nothing Hill for £1700-1800 if the size of the flat doesn’t matter so much.

Notting Hill photography walk in London [best places in Notting Hill]

3. Muswell Hill

When I first saw Muswell Hill, I fell in love. It has this nice feeling of a town, but at the same time, it has so many lovely restaurants, cafes and shops. It’s also quiet and very safe. The rent in Muswell Hill is not that high: you can rent a nice 1-bedroom flat for £1300-1400. The only downside of Muswell Hill is the fact, that there is no tube or overground around – you need to go to East Finchley or Highgate by bus and then take the tube. Alternatively, you can take buses to the city centre from there.

4. Canary Wharf / Island Gardens / Mudchute area

Canary Wharf is an absolutely fabulous place if you work nearby or if you like that feeling of living in a business district and having a flat in a skyscraper with a marvellous view over the city. However, not all the parts of the Isle of dogs are nice. I would recommend picking a zone next to Heron Quays, Crossharbour, Island Gardens or Mudchute (not more than 5-7 minutes away from any of the stations). Flats in Heron Quays are quite expensive (£1700-1900 for a 1-bedroom flat, however, Mudchute, for example, is significantly cheaper).

5. Greenwich

If you’re fine with living a bit far from the city centre (even though it’s zone 2, it’s quite far from Central London), then Greenwich would be a great option for you. Greenwich is absolutely beautiful and very touristy. Greenwich Park and Greenwich Market are certainly among the best in London. Greenwich isn’t exaggeratedly expensive

6. East Dulwich / Dulwich Village

East Dulwich is actually bordering with Peckham (that is one of the worst districts in London), however, the difference between these two places is massive. Dulwich Village is such an amazing place with cute houses, a huge park and a feeling of living in a real village. By the way, Tom Cruise used to have a mansion in Dulwich Village, so you can see, how nice is the area.

7. Clapham Common / Balham / Clapham Junction

If you’re looking for a place, where young Londoners live, look no further. The Claphams (North, South, Common, Junction) and Balham are the places to live if you’re a young professional and you want to live in a nice trendy zone with plenty of inexpensive restaurants, bars and brunch spots without breaking a bank.

8. East Finchley

At some point, I didn’t want to look for flats further than zone 2, and oh, how wrong I was! Right now, we are living in East Finchley and I like it a lot. Even though it’s in zone 3, getting to Central London takes about 35 minutes (from door to a cinema or restaurant if you’d like). You have two branches of the Northern line to choose: one goes via Bank and another one covers all the central London – e.g. Leicester Square, Charing Cross and so on. East Finchley also has plenty of local restaurants and fabulous Muswell Hill is located just 15 minutes walking away. The only downside I could think of is the fact, that it’s hard to find a nice refurbished flat (we were very lucky to find one), but the flats are very affordable in East Finchley (you can rent a 1-bedroom flat for £1250-1400).

9. Shoreditch / Old Street

Shoreditch is one of the trendiest and coolest districts to live in London. Some years ago, it could have been on the list of dodgy places to avoid in London, but now it’s cool and expensive. Around the Old Street, there are plenty of factory and warehouse conversions offering amazing huge loft flats as well as newbuilds, where people working in the City choose to live. The zone near Boxpark Shoreditch is more hipster and alternative. Many of the people living there work in some of the coolest startups in Shoreditch. Shoreditch is great for brunching, going out, dining and has a great location.

The only downside: in some places, it is still a bit sketchy and gets full of drunk people.

best districts to live in London

I hope you liked this post about the best places to live in London! Should you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask!

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