Triple Travel Guide: Barcelona

Welcome to another triple travel guide, dear salty souls. In this guide, I list the top three recommendations to visit, taste and to stay at. This time, it’s the turn of Barcelona. You might have already read my insider’s guide to Barcelona. After living in Barcelona for a while and discovering all the amazing things about this world famous city, I decided to share my tips with you so you can make the most out of a visit to Catalunya’s capital.

This guide is a shorter version and is a perfect pocket guide if you’re planning to travel to Catalunya’s capital.

What to visit

La Sagrada Familia €€

This iconic masterpiece of Gaudí earns its worldwide fame to its unique architectural style, however the inside of the cathedral is often not visited by the majority of tourists – but its interior beauty exceeds, like the previous works, the exterior beauty. So make sure you buy your tickets early in advance and save time and money.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22.60

Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a magical place an sich. Hike uphill towards the magical fountain that lights up occasionally for a spectacular light show, and continue your road with stunning view of the iconic castle of Montjuïc. Walk further and run into the stretched, green park, accompanied by the Olympic stadium and further lays the botanical garden. What is a better way to enjoy a city then to come to rest in its nature, right in the city centre?

Parque Guëll & Museu Gaudí

Parque Guëll is often described as “Gaudi’s playground”, the place where he let all his fantasy run wild and create the most unique and gorgeous works. There is a free area as well, however to access the famous mosaic bench and Gaudi’s house, you must enter the paying area, which has a price of €10.

What to taste

Bar Jaica

If you’re craving delicious, traditional tapas, then Bar Jaica is the place to be. Located in the Barceloneta area, close to the beach and port of Barcelona, this spot is ideal for a lunch break during your day. Every dish is prepared with love, especially combined with the iconic beer Estrella (or try a local type of beer named Clara). Salada russa, berenjenas con miel, tortilla are some of the most typical dishes your belly will thank you for.

La Barca del Salamanca €€

In this huge restaurant located near the casino of Barcelona, you’ll find all kinds of fresh seafood dishes such as paella, grilled fish, pasta, etc. However, what makes la Barca del Salamanca so special, is their service and atmosphere. You’ll be guaranteed to receive a welcome drink, free entrees, dessert and liquor on the house, as well as musical entertainment and photography services. Visiting this restaurant is an experience I have introduced to every guest in Barcelona.

La pepita €€€

A balanced combination between traditional tapas and high-end, creative cuisine is the perfect remedy for your appetite while in Barcelona. Try some of the iconic tapas with an extra touch of la Pepita’s style and taste. Their entire menu cart consists out of unique and imaginative Spanish “pepitas”.

Where to stay at

Urbany Hostel BCN GO & Urbany Hostel Barcelona

At the Urbany Hostels, you will be welcomed warmly by the friendly staff who will do anything in their power to make your stay a memorable adventure. With hostel activities, free entries to the biggest nightclubs in Barcelona and a cozy bar open every day, you will not be bored one second of your stay and by meeting people from all over the world you will experience the true feeling of traveling: connecting with others.

Ayre Hotel Caspe €€

Ayre Hotel Caspe is a modern, luxurious hotel with a perfect location. Their friendly staff will happily help you with all your requests. Each one of their rooms are spacious, beautiful and comfortable. The price range differs from season to season, but in general you receive a good price-quality for what you get.

W Hotel €€€

The iconic W Hotel is a must-visit if your budget can handle it. One of the trademarks of Barcelona is this five star hotel which guarantees you to experience an elite and enriching stay at la Barceloneta, the most famous beach of Catalunya’s capital. Bear in mind the exclusive rooftop parties this hotel hosts, as non-guests can enter as well. If you’re craving a luxurious stay in Barcelona, and are looking for the top notch when it comes to stunning rooftop parties, this is your place to be.

Six Small Steps to Get Into Solo Travel

Lately, solo travel is hot. Fierce, independent and courageous women and men have been all over social media sharing their solo voyages. It makes you wonder: is solo travel something I should try? We are all different interests, experiences and priorities. It might seem difficult to make that jump into solo travel. There are lots of benefits of solo travel, and you deserve those too.

Although there are many advantages about heading out there all by yourself, to clear things up, I’ve listed some easy ways to get into solo traveling. I think everyone should have the opportunity to travel around and try out solo traveling. But it’s easier said than done. In this post, you will find six small steps towards solo travel to help you become more comfortable with being out all by yourself!

1. Go to the Movies By Yourself

« The journey of a thousand miles begins with one step. » – Lao Tzu

And yours is a trip to the movies. It’s a perfect way to get out there and do a solo activity in a comfortable environment (read: snacks, sofa’s and your favorite actor included), so why not give it a try?

2. Go to a Restaurant/ Bar By Yourself

This second step is a bit more challenging. When I first started solo traveling, heading out to eat in a restaurant solo was a bit weird- not for me, but for other people. Apparently, asking for a table for one isn’t something they hear everyday, but why should that stop you from doing it?

Eating out by yourself is great because you can treat yourself to a nice dinner so you’re instantly rewarding yourself for gathering all that courage! Plus, you can enjoy a dinner in peace by yourself and fully focus on the delicious food – extra advantage: you don’t have to share side dishes and that break basket? All yours!

Pick out a nice table, maybe close to others who are also out solo. Or you could go to a cool bar and sit at the bar! You can start a chat with the bar tender and everyone who passes. This is a great way to get to know people yet be remained at your own cool spot.

3. Travel in Your Own City

Now let’s go on a real trip. A lot of people don’t see their domestic cities as fun or cool or vibrant. Often, this exciting feeling of going out in your own city gets lost after living there for a while. Try to open your eyes: what are some cool places you haven’t visited yet? What attracts foreigners to your city? An exposition, a museum, a park? Try to find attractions in your city that match your interests and this time, skip asking a friend to join you and head out solo.

4. Travel in Your Own Country

Let’s move to a bigger scale! Now that you’ve been exposed to being outdoors by 2 and you might have been on a little trip (depending on how big your city is), try to think about your home country.

It’s the perfect time to wander around a place without a plan and to just get lost in a destination. I find that one of the many advantages of solo trips: you have the freedom and peace to discover things on your own and wander around on your pace.

I’m positive that all countries have their specialties and uniqueness to offer. So think about what makes your country so special or what is a cool place you haven’t been to yet. Often, the capital is full of life and cultural sights, so why not go for that one? Or, if you’re more into peaceful vibes, head out to the coast side of your country, or ( if there is none), the mountains or any other natural sight!

If you’re not sure what you’d like to do or see, make a bucket list. You can answer questions like: What do I love to do in my free time? What makes me smile? What gives me excitement when I think about it? What is my dream destination? Why?

5. Go on A Solo Trip

Now let’s take it to another level! If you’re feeling confident enough to head out solo on a trip, go for it! Choose a country that matches your bucket list and get to know your perfect destination. This is a hard one, because we all have so many. So the next best things to do is to book your trip on the right timing. Get those offers and best prices and make that jump!

It’s important to think about what destination suits you. For more tips on how to do that and make that big decision, check out my previous article with tips on how to choose your perfect destination. Further on, another thing you might struggle with is finding time to travel and actually go on a trip. Again, finding time is all about making priorities: read this on how to make time to travel.

6. Go on A Group Trip

If you’re not so confident about traveling solo yet, you can opt for a group holiday. That way, you don’t have to worry too much about arranging everything about your trip and you get to know so many new people instantly! Remember you are a part of a group, a team, and you’re all there to make unforgettable memories and to discover amazing destinations.

If you’re in between a group trip and a solo trip, check out special formulas companies like the variety of Contiki offers: you have the freedom to head out yourself yet you are a part of the group whenever you want to.

There are many ways to start travelling solo, close or far away from home. We’re all different and the fun part of solo travel is that you can do it completely on your own way. No obligations, no rules. Only pure freedom and adventure! So if you’re still doubting if solo travel is your thing: start with small steps and begin your journey of a thousand steps.

An Insider’s Guide to Barcelona

The vivid capital of Catalunya is known for its mouthwatering tapas, extraordinary art collections and one-of-a-kind architecture. With Gaudí’s spirit present in every barceloní and barcelonina, it’s not hard to understand why many tourists come to admire the many attractions of the global city in all its defined glory. And for that, it might be confusing to know where to start – not only has Gaudí left outstanding artworks in the city, the football club Barcelona also has many fanatics from all over the world and keeps the fire burning in the modern, spicy cosmopolitan.

If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know I lived in Barcelona for a while. After exploring the city with locals and visiting the best spots, I came to the conclusion that Barcelona has it all: mountains, beaches, parks, malls, castles, viewpoints; whatever it is that you are looking for in a city. To guide you during your next trip to Barcelona, I created an insider’s guide so you can fully immerse yourself in the Catalonian spirit and, like a local, devour delicious tapas, visit gorgeous architectural wonders and come to a relaxation at the most stunning and highest viewpoints.

Your Arrival

Aerobus

The Aerobus is the most convenient way to transport yourself from the airport to the city. It has several stops throughout the city center, free wifi and luggage storage space.

Cost: €5.90

Golden Gaudí

Parque Guëll

Parque Guëll is often described as “Gaudi’s playground”, the place where he let all his fantasy run wild and create the most unique and gorgeous works. There is a free area as well, however to access the famous mosaic bench and Gaudi’s house, you must enter the paying area, which has a price of €10.

Casa Battló

Entering casa Battló is like immersing yourself in the deep, enchanting blue ocean. With a decor that takes you to your wildest fantasies, a visit to this house is often one skipped by many tourists, however very much worth a visit. Its location on Passeig de Gracia, in the middle of high-end fashion boutiques, represents the spirit of Barcelona very well, mixing the modern shopping street with an authentic showpiece, brought to you by the famous Gaudí.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €25

Casa Milá

Casa Milá is the next Gaudí-made piece of art on Passeig de Gracia, however its themes are distinctively different. Casa Milá serves many as a natural wonder, a place for exhibitions and at the same time a foundation for disabled people. Go all the way up to this casa to enjoy the beautifully shaped chimneys, ventilation towers and stairwells.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens was Gaudí’s first gem in Barcelona, built between 1883 and 1885, served as a summer house for the Vicens family. Gaudí started his series of masterpieces with a contrasting styled, extremely detailed and in every way mesmerizing jewel.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €16

Sagrada Familia

This iconic masterpiece of Gaudí earns its worldwide fame to its unique architectural style, however the inside of the cathedral is often not visited by the majority of tourists – but its interior beauty exceeds, like the previous works, the exterior beauty. So make sure you buy your tickets early in advance and save time and money.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22.60

The Hidden Gems

Bunkers del Carmel

Higher above Park Guëll, there is a non-touristic part of the city that, in my experience, gives you the most breathtaking view in town: Bunkers del Carmel. Many locals, mostly youngsters, join on this secret spot to enjoy the passing of sunset. Bring some snacks, a good camera and nice company and prepare yourself for sweeping sunset views.

Botanical Garden

Montjuïc is a magical place an sich. Hike uphill towards the magical fountain that lights up occasionally for a spectacular light show, and continue your road with stunning view of the iconic castle of Montjuïc. When you walk further, you run into a stretched, green park, accompanied by the Olympic stadium and further lays the botanical garden. What is a better way to enjoy a city then to come to rest in its nature, right in the city centre?

Horta Labyrinth

This park makes you feel like you’re in that Harry Potter movie – the one with the deadly labyrinth and the goblet of fire. Just one thing: this maze is not deadly. And smaller. But nevertheless worth the visit and the getting lost-part (especially while losing from toddlers that find the exit sooner than you). The ancient architectural gems and gigantic park surrounding the laybrinth make up for the €2.23 entrance fee.

Taste Catalunya

La Boqueria

It is hard to miss this food market in the middle of the Rambla, the most visited street in Barcelona. From fresh fruits to southern seafood, nothing lacks this tasteful food heaven. You’ll walk out of it satisfied, with in one hand holding a cup filled with watermelon and in the other one some candy – yes, there’s candy as well.

La Pepita

A balanced combination between traditional tapas and high-end, creative cuisine is the perfect remedy for your appetite while in Barcelona. Try some of the iconic tapas with an extra touch of la Pepita’s style and taste. Their entire menu cart consists out of unique and imaginative Spanish “pepitas”.

Bar Jaica

If you’re craving delicious, traditional tapas, then Bar Jaica is the place to be. Located in the Barceloneta area, close to the beach and port of Barcelona, this spot is ideal for a lunch break during your day. Every dish is prepared with love, especially combined with the iconic beer Estrella (or try a local type of beer named Clara).

Dazzling Disco

La Taverna de Barcelona

La Taverna de Barcelona takes you to a place where music is only played live and acoustically, while its wooden interior decorated with international flags focuses on welcoming people from all corners of the world. While bringing forth this international spirit, the pub breathes in life from the authentic Catalan fuego, making it very hard for you to sit still during an evening spent here.

Jamboree Jazz

Somewhere in the middle of La Rambla, you find Placa Reial, an exotic square filled with restaurants and bars, connecting the most popular street in Barcelona with the old neighbourhood: the Gothic Quarter. In the corner of Placa Reial, you find Jamboree. However, don’t enter the first level of the club, but descend until you find yourself in a Rnb/Jazz/Hip Hop heaven, with the finest selection of DJ’s playing your favourite and most soulful tracks from the 80’s until now. Pay attention to their Facebook page, as they often give away tickets or offer a possibility to put you and your friends on the guestlist in advance.

Pacha Club Barcelona

The world-wide famous Pacha Club has a franchise in Barcelona as well. The all-white themed luxurious night club offers various theme parties with a variety of music genres, such as: techno, hip hop, rnb, disco, etc. Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance to avoid lines, waiting times and more expensive tickets.

A Getaway to Seducing Seville

Seville. A magical gateway to the early Middle Ages inspired by the fairytale marriage of the Moorish architectural style palaces, castles and buildings, together with the Spanish, traditional flamenco-infused spirit, interrupted by the modern, vivid city centre and balanced out evenly by the flourishing green city gardens with its stunning statues, dreamy views and in the background accompanied by subtle strumming on the Spanish streets artists’ guitars.

Spending only two days in this city was a bare minimum – I crossed off the top items on my bucket list, such as visiting the Real Alcazares, Plaza España , las Setas, Parque Maria Luisa, and in the meanwhile, my trip didn’t lack some occasional, mind-clearing peaceful strolls through the city.

When visiting Seville, make a clear planning of what you want to visit. As popular attractions are rapidly sold out and waiting lines tend to lengthen quite easily, you might want to be sure to not miss out on any precious sightseeing time and book your tickets in advance.

Entering the Real Alcazares of Seville is a true journey in time and a taste of different cultures coming together in one ode to history, coherency and the royal class. As there are many royal rooms, tranquil baths and decorative patios, an organized map of your itinerary will help you visit the seeings you want to see most. Don’t forget to look up, down, to your left and your right, as the designers have spared no effort of creating effortless symmetry, detailed decorations and mesmerizing patterns.

Pass a stroll through Parque Maria Luisa to discover a tranquil assembly of gorgeous green gardens, orange trees and fountains, and find yourself in the midst of traditional horse carriages passing through the park. Make you way through the park and end up at Plaza España, of one Spain’s most iconic plaza’s, mixing up different styles of Spanish architecture, in a way an ode built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Hard to miss are the alcoves against the walls, each representing a different province and designed in colourful details, bounded by the pair of a book cover, holding information about each province.

The Metropol Parasol, also known as las Setas de Sevilla (the mushrooms of Seville), is the world’s largest wooden structure built on ancient roman ruins – also interesting to visit the archeological museum during your visit to this attraction in the capital of Andalusia. To fully enjoy Seville and its countless churches, squares and cathedrals, make your way to the top of las Setas and enjoy the stretched city views.

Let’s talk food. Seville’s mouthwatering tapas include berenjenas con miel (fried eggplant with honey), fried ansjovis, and the classic bites such as patatas bravas, salada russa, pan con tomate y jamon – which is also a typical dish to eat for late breakfast around 11 a.m. together with a coffee and splendid views on a patio or terrace, surrounded by sky-high palm trees and the subtle sound of flamenco dancers on the background. Be sure to stop by the ecological restaurant Estraperlo, where I had a tasteful and all-biological lunch, just outside the crowded Maria Luisa park, in the quiet, local neighbourhood el Platinar.

Getting around Seville is pretty simple: it is very walkable, I did not use public transport – except for the handy aerobus that brings you direction aeropuerto for only €4, and occasionally a requested Uber or city taxi, whose prices often combat each other. Furthermore, be sure to beat the crowds by getting up early and buying entrance tickets online – even for Metrosol Parasol, an entrance ticket is needed, so a little preparation in advance will save you a lot of time.

Visiting the charming city of Seville will capture you quickly in its magic, ancient Moorish history and architecture, while at the same time being the modern capital of Andalusia, a touristic hotspot for discoverers and Spain lovers. Taste the Spanish flavours, watch a flamenco show and lose yourself in the many attractions of this southern city.

A Guide to a Road Trip Through South Portugal

The South of Portugal has a lot to offer: wide stretched beaches, beautiful lagoon caves and freshly grilled seafood. After living in Lisbon for almost a year, I finally took the leap and went on a road trip through South Portugal. Because this three day trip was more than worth it, here’s my guide to you for a three day road trip through south portugal with exclusive local recommandations, tips on where to stay, eat and go, and much more. If you are planning on visiting Lisbon first, then check out my insider’s guide here.

Day 1

Driving Down Beach Lane

Today’s direction: beaches! Hop in your car and drive straight to the other side of the river in Lisbon. Offering a whole range of wide stretched Atlantic beaches, the Western Coast of South Portugal will keep you fulfilled for the first day of your road trip.

Some tips regarding renting a car in Lisbon: if you want to return your car the latest as possible, book it at an agency which is located at the airport – the agencies in town often close a couple of hours earlier. If you want to book a rental car without having hundreds or euros blocked on your credit card as caution, book with a company that offers a caution free rent – for example, Centauro (be sure to save time and pick up your car at the main building, you don’t have to wait at the airport). If you don’t have a credit card at all, you can easily use Revolut to create one.

Here you can find my map for this roadtrip with all the beaches listed and pinned on Google Maps. Be ready to visit these pieces of paradise:

Praia de São Torpes

Praia da Ilha do Pessegueiro

Praia das Furnas

Praia do Tonel

Praia do Carvalhal

Praia do Odeceixe

Praia da Arrifana

Praia do Penedo

Praia do Camilo

Praia dos Pinheiros

After heading to the South and driving past the West coast, you can drive to your accommodation – whether it be in Portimao, Lagos, or the romantic, beautiful and cozy village of Ferragudo where we stayed.

You can spend your first evening in the vivid and dazzling centre of Portimao. Enjoy some delicious and fresh seafood at Restaurante Marisqueira Carvi, a typical, local Portuguese restaurant.

Day 2

Surreal Cave Kayaking

Today, be prepared to use those arm muscles, because you are going on a 4-hour kayak or SUP tour around and in the Benagil caves. This is the best and most authentic way to visit the different lagoon caves, as you can enter them with your kayak or SUP – in contrary to other touristic boats which cannot enter them. Book your tour on Experitour, where you are sure of a safe handling of your order and you have an overview of all the best tours available for you.

During this tour, make sure to bring a waterproof camera or a waterproof case for your phone, because it can get wet! Nevertheless, if you go during summertime (June-September), you can be sure of pleasant water temperatures and a dive in the Atlantic ocean after the tour has finished.

But please, a little tip – when attempting to ascend the boat after your legendary jump in the water, don’t accept the help of the boat guide, because it will resonate in pulling him down in the water with you. So please, let us spare these guides because we all need them. Use the rope.

After the tour, energise yourself and stop for some lunch – not lanche (a Portuguese afternoon snack) at one of the many restaurants in blossoming Albufeira. Albufeira is really touristy, so make sure to keep walking through the touristic restaurants or enters small alleys, where you will find somewhat more authentic Portuguese or Italian restaurants.

¡Hola España!

Hop back in your car and prepare yourself for more vitamin sea at Praia Maria Luisa. After relaxing at seashore, the choice is up to you: either you drive to Faro and spend your evening there, or you drive through Faro and straight to the South of Spain. Crossing borders on a afternoon is really calm, there won’t be any hassle or waiting in lines.

You can also combine the two: drive through Faro to visit the city sightseeing through your car. Afterwards, you can drive to Isla Cristina, a nearby Spanish marine village, and watch an enchanting sunset at the port.

Day 3

Loosen Up In Lagos

This beach might be my second favorite from the whole trip. Praia dos Três Irmãos. It earns its popularity well, since this beach has it all: beautiful clear water, warm toned caves and rock formations spread over the entire beach. It almost creates a closed up bay, and attracts huge, long waves. It is mesmerizing just to be standing at the shore, watching the waves come and go.

If you’re feeling an afternoon snack or late lunch, you can always go to the local seafood restaurant Atlantida, located right at the beach. Ask for their homemade sangria, I can assure you, you will be far from disappointed.

Wonderful Wine Tasting

Next up: Wine tasting (to book yours, visit Wine Tourism Portugal, a website that gives you an overview of all the best wineries and activities that they offer throughout Portugal. We paid a visit to Herdade Canal Caveira and it was absolutely amazing. The owners gave us a whole tour of the factory and explained to us in detail the wine making processes. Then they offer you different together with bread, typical Portuguese sausage and cheese.

Praia do Vau

Praia de Carvoeira

Praia da Rocha

Setúbal

Arrábida

These are the final beaches from the winetasting location to Lisbon. You will also pass Setúbal and Sesimbra, as you can see on the map. While in Sesimbra, enjoy some local, fresh food at Lobo do Mar. Choose the fish you want made especially for you and enjoy it with some traditional Portuguese side dishes and wine. Oh and be quick for the desserts, because they may run out off soon! We just missed out on the bolo do chocolate (chocolate cake), I wouldn’t wish that pain to anyone.

Sesimbra

Afterwards, simply return your car back to the car center (if it’s Centauro, bring it back at the main office building) and enjoy your last evening in Lisbon. Boa noite!

An Insider’s Guide To Lisbon

For the most of us, discovering a city happens in the same way: you look up the main attractions, the most popular spots, and you go check them up. For me, discovering a city during a citytrip isn’t about the popularity of attractions, monuments or places, but it’s about the experience. That is why I created an insider’s guide to Lisbon, especially for you, the curious, open-minded, adventurous traveler.

Lisbon has a lot to offer. Gastronomy-wise, culture-wise, and viewpoints-wise! That category was invented by Lisbon. The many miradouros in the city offer breathtaking views from different hidden spots. Sure, you have some popular miraoudors, but did you know about the less known ones?

As you can see, I created three categories: what to visit, what to taste and what to see.

What to visit

What to visit is all about the most beautiful and impressing monuments, places and parques that are worth paying a visit to. You can enter these places, often for free. There are exceptions, however: Cristo Rei monument offers (at a rate of €6) an elevator that takes you to the feet of the monument, offering you panoramic views of not only Lisbon, but the whole surroundings over the river and the other side of the river.

What to taste

In what to taste, I put the main drinks and dishes that are deliciously Portuguese and often not so known, but so worth tasting. I also listed the places where you can get the best ones. Of course, this is just a recommendation and if you’re blown away by one of these dishes in another restaurant, please, let your fellow foodie know.

Let me give you some more explanation regarding the foodie part! Pensão Amor is an authentic cocktail bar and udes to be a brothel (many, many years ago). This theme is conserved very well, as they created their own signature cocktails , referring to the “madames” of their golden years! Take one of the cocktails (aphrodisiac level is also indicated) and enjoy a night back in time.

Ginjinha do Carmo is a local spot to try out a ginjinha. a cherry liquor, often poured into a chocolate cup. Yes, a cup made out of chocolate, which you can devour after your free refill!

At Casa do Alentejo, a hidden tavern in the Morrocan-inspired, hidden spot at Restauradores, you can enjoy traditional Portuguese dishes with products from the Alentejo region. My favorite ones are scrambled egg with farinheira and Migas’ fried roll with pork meat. Try out the Alentejo bread and olive oil and the house wine (red of course) and your lunch cannot be any better nor on a better budget.

A Tigelinha is my favorite dinner spot in Lisbon. Freshly grilled fish, homemade dishes, salads, sausages and 1 liter of delicious red wine for €3. Leave with a full stomach for less than €20 for two people at this local, hidden and small restaurant. note: their alheira sausage is to die for. Also is their homemade cheesecake.

Cova Funda is the place to be for a nice atmosphere, friendly waiters and good (and so much) food. Grilled salmon with cooked vegetables must be my favorite dish. Try it with the local green wine (vinho verde) for a refreshing taste.

Next up is the manteigaria. This pasteís de nata factory is the perfect quick stop if you want to try out this Portuguese deliciousness. Try it for only €1 and put some cinnamon on the warm goods. I guarantee you, this is the start of a pastel de nata- addiction.

I discovered Cruzes Credo on Momondo app – you can choose your city and the theme of things you want to explore (obviously, I choose dining) and they promised me the best chocolate cake was to be found at this little restaurant. Since you’re reading about it now, you already know the outcome.

What to see

In what to see, I listed places and viewpoints that will leave you breathless. Especially during sunset, Lisbon can offer stunning views – whether it be in summer or winter, the setting sun in the rio or the golden light shining over the city of Lisbon makes you not want to miss any sunset. At these places, you can just relax, order yourself a drink and enjoy the beautiful views by day, during sunset or by night.

Sidenote: if you are looking for accomodation, I stayed the Largo da Sé Guesthouse, as it name says: close to the Sé Cathedral. Our rooms were modern, luxurious and the facilities were great. Breakfast was served with local pastries and anything you would like to try, they would provide it to you. Largo da Sé Guesthouse is the perfect balance between a luxurious and authentic experience of Lisbon. The location is perfect for when you want to discover the colourful and authentic part of Lisbon – Alfama district!

Enjoy, fellow salty soul, foodie, discoverer, adventurer, photographer. And be aware: I cannot promise you that you won’t turn into a lisboeta (habitant of Lisbon). It is very contagious!

Pack Perfect: How To Pack Lightly

For many, packing is the most annoying, stressful and time-absorbing activity of the whole trip. Often, we end up taking way too much luggage. And then we end up paying a fine at the airport, or even worse- being obliged to leave behind items from our luggage. And what about style? How about not looking like the obvious tourist, but instead packing your best pieces of clothing that make you shine and show the real you?

As a frequent traveler and a ex-flight attendant, packing was almost a daily routine for me. I learned a lot of lessons through experience, and I am happy to share these tips & trips about packing perfectly.

Finding the perfect inbetween – not packing too little, not packing too much – is not so difficult as it looks. Let’s take a look at how to pack perfect.

Less is more 

Be realistic. If you are going away for a weekend, don’t pack 7 different outfits and 10 pair of underwear. Try to be honest with yourself. Maybe pay more attention to how many clothes you consume during the length of your upcoming holiday. I tented to take a looot of clothes with me for a trip of one week. But when I really paid attention to my dressing habits for a week, I realised I don’t need that many different outfits. I was fine with half of them.

Only take the essentials with you, the key pieces of your wardrobe. That dress that you think you’re gonna wear during this trip? You won’t.

Pack lightly, be prepared for cold and warm nights, but don’t exaggerate. Only bring clothing you really need. Because you never know, maybe you find an amazing gift for somebody or a nice souvenir, and you don’t have anymore space in your luggage. Unfortunately, it happened to me too many times.

Out with the old, in with the new

As I said, you never know what you may run into while on holiday. I always fall in love with the local style. The grass is greener on the other side, yes, but don’t you want one-of-a-kind, stylish and cool clothing to freshen up your home garderobe? Getting inspiration from another culture is inevitable in my case.So make sure to keep some space left for these authentic pieces of clothing.

When I was strolling through the streets of Buenos Aires, I just wanted to sell everything I brought with me and buy a new garderobe completely in the Argentinian trendy style. And I wish I had.

It happened to be that one of my traditions while traveling is the following: when I arrived in a city, the first day I go shopping and buy an outfit that makes me feel comfortable there. It has been a typical Moroccan dress, a fashionable dress in Milan, a mythical Greek dress,… it serves as a souvenir and as a way for me to identify more with that culture, so I feel more at comfort.

So before you leave, take a look at your closet and throw away all the clothes you don’t have a passion for anymore. We all have clothes we will wear someday, but that won’t really happen. And you know it. So just throw away that T-shirt you only wore once. You can do it.

Glorious gadgets

This is especially about sanitary products/health products: don’t take gigantic 500 ml shampoo bottles, conditioner and a pot of mask with you. Please, buy the best invention of this century: travel sized bottles. They come in super handy, in different styles, colors and quantities. You can buy them in your local convenience store or online.

When it comes to perfume, I always need my favorite smell close to me. While traveling, it reminds me of home, of a person, or about a special time in my life. it holds a lot of sentimental value for me. Unfortunately, it is not always possible to take my whole perfume bottle with me. If it is bigger than 100 ml, and you don’t have checked in luggage, it’s a no-go. Or, if you just want to have some perfume in your bag, but don’t want to carry around your 90 ml bottle in your purse all day, I strongly recommend you a Travel Perfume Spray Bottle. It is easy to use, it doesn’t cost much, and you have you favourite perfume on-the-go, wherever that may be.

Gadgets are lifesavers. Whether it is a foldable toothbrush and mini toothpaste, it will save you from a morning breath on the airplane after a night flight. The feeling of gratefulness when you notice you snuggled in a mini deodorant when you’re in the middle of summer and you’re sweating to death will be indescribable.

Only take the essentials with you, the key pieces of your wardrobe. That dress that you think you’re gonna wear during this trip? You won’t.

S.O.S.

Ahhhh. Now your suitcase is a whole lot lighter, right? Good job.

Let’s not forget the absolute travel essentials. A toothbrush, toothpaste, hand sanitizer, a padlock, a band-aid, tweezers, deodorant, a pack of mini refreshing towels, a copy of your passport, your insurance cards, an external battery, a travel adapter, a bag of tissues and finally: cash and a credit card on two different locations (for when you lose one). This is the list that should be on #1 priority when you make your suitcase. Being a flight attendant, this list also included: panty hoses. Lots and lots of panty hoses.

You can take your precautions and visit the doctor before going on a trip to an unknown destination. Be sure to ask your doctor about possible health dangers and what you can do in precaution. Of course, don’t start taking pills like a crazy person, but just be aware of what can happen and get a prescription of the most important medicine you should take with you. Just in case. You’ll be thankful to yourself. And me.

How to Know Which Destination Is Perfect For You

Traveling is a wonderful treat you can give to yourself and others. Going on an adventure or discovering a new destination never gets old. In many cases, you may already know which destination to go to. We all have that “dream destination” in our minds. But maybe you don’t. And then what? How do you know which destination is perfect for you to travel to? How do you know which destination suits you best?

Let me provide you with some tips that help you choosing your perfect travel destination, so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. We’ll figure your perfect destination out, together, using the W-W-W-W-H method (Who-What-When-Where-How). If you specify these points, you’ll get a lot closer to pinning down that place on the map.

Who would you like to bring on this trip? (Who)

In order to find your perfect travel destination, you have to make a decision about who is traveling with you. Is it nobody? Perfect, less hassle, more independence for you. Are you traveling with friends? Sit with each other and discuss the others needs, wants and availability. Are you traveling with family? Idem.

Communication is really important in the process of planning a vacation, and it is uttermost important that you discuss important factors with your fellow travelers. Even small details, like a preferred airline or accomodation type, can change your entire getaway. If you’re having difficulties finding time to travel in a group or even with yourself, then check out my tips on how to make time to travel.

What do you want to get out of this vacation? (What)

What is your main reason for traveling? Maybe you want to discover a new culture, city or language. Or you’re more the adventurous type that likes to go into nature, pack your backpack and go hiking for a bit. Maybe you want to relax and lay at the beach all day. or maybe, you’re the type that likes to get both out of a vacation: go to an interesting place and relax. Yin and yang, as they say.

If you decided this for yourself, than you’re making your quest for the perfect travel destination a whole lot easier. Do some research about the best beaches, for example, or the best hiking trails or cultural cities. Write them all down.

Which climate do you feel most comfortable in? (Where)

After you made this list, you can specify more by selecting the proper climate. This is a really important one and it requires some research. Because no matter when you go to a certain country or city, their climate can be a whole lot different than yours.

Do you want a sunny location? If yes, what is the maximum temperature that you could handle? If you’re going hiking in the mountains, what is the minimum temperature that you’d like to find yourself in?

Always prepared about any changes that this climate can bring, such as diseases or insects that can harm you.

After deciding on which climate you would like to find yourself in – cold, tropical, moderate,etc. – remove the destinations from your list that do not meet this requirement.

Which period would be best suitable for you to travel in? (When)

This is a really important filter. The date. You should check with different parties to have the perfect period to travel in. Is anybody traveling with you? When are their days off? Or are you traveling solo, and are you looking to find time to travel? Another helpful source is my previous blog make time to travel, where you find tips and tricks to pin down that travel date.

After checking off possible date(s), see which destination would be suitable to visit during this period. For example, if you want to go hiking on a trail or go to a beach that is closed during that time, you might want to find another destination. Cross out the destinations that are not suitable for your availability.

How would you like to travel? (How)

Last but not least: transport. How do you like to travel? Catching flights is my favorite. Get comfy in an airplane, put on that airplane mode, have some me-time, get served food and drinks, and fly with your favorite airline. There’s nothing better than a nice flight to start your trip with.

But maybe you don’t like flying, or the flights are overpriced, or the people you are traveling with are afraid of flying.

Whatever the reason may be, there are so many transport options these days. Bus, train, car, boat, you name it. If you want to do some island hopping but you don’t want to fly in and out or take the ferry all the time, you can consider a cruise.

If you’re planning on doing the yin and yang vacation (beach and city), a car may be a good idea, so you can drive to places you would like to visit and you have the freedom to visit any beach in your surroundings. If you’re traveling solo and you want to do a full city trip, public transport is your go-to!

Take your list of destinations with you and investigate on how to get there. If it’s overseas and you’re afraid of flying, check out alternates like cruises or an overnight boat. There are so many ways to travel nowadays. Find your way and make the best out of it!

The most important thing is to follow your heart. If you have a dream destination in mind, go for it. If not, the world is so big, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect travel destination for you after applying the W-W-W-W-H method. Save travels, adventurer!

Make Time to Travel

Traveling. Getting on that airplane. Catching flights. Breathing in a new culture and country. That fulfilling feeling of adventure and jumping into the unknown.

Many of us love to travel. Especially if you’re reading this. I see you! The difficult things about going on a holiday? Budget and time. If you’re struggling with planning a vacation within a budget, read my tips here. If you’re struggling with finding time to travel, keep on reading then!

Make Yourself A Priority

Start at the beginning. Who wants to travel? You? Or your friend(s)? Or a spouse or family member?

If it’s just you and you are waiting on somebody to make time to join you on your trip, then leave that. Just plan your trip, since you want to travel so badly. Take a look at your budget, the flight tickets and availability of your desired accommodation. Next, compare it to your vacation days. When can you take a weekend/week/month off? The same goes for when you are the plus one. If you notice your friend really wants to go to a place and you don’t have the time/money/motivation to go with them, let them know. For the sake of all travelers out there, don’t keep us waiting.

The more, the merrier

If you are planning on going on a trip with somebody or a group, but you are struggling to plan dates, here’s what to do next. Firstly, ask around when everybody can take off to go on holiday, if somebody already used all their vacation days or they have a busy job and they have a strict schedule, ask them to request days off in advance and plan your trip later. If you really want the person to come with you, first make sure you’re all on the same line and with the same availability. Next, discuss a budget, and put it all together in one account.

Side note: I recommend to use Revolut. It’s an online bank where you can create a credit card in a second and opt to use a vault. Everybody can put money the credit card and put it in the vault or on the current account. Then, when you are traveling, pay all the common expenses with this card so it’s fairly divided.

It comes in extremely handy when you are traveling because it gives you the best currency rate possible. Plus, they offer a travel insurance that was better than my original one! I used Revolut for all my trips and I am a happy customer. And no, they didn’t ask me to write this.  

If you’re more of the “we’ll see what happens”, you can opt for an app that divides everything you spent. But you will divide it later on, so somebody will have to take the big bill into account first.

Maximize Your Vacation Days

As I already mentioned, vacation days are an important factor if you are looking for time to travel. Maybe you don’t have time in the weekend to go on a trip. I get that. But play it smart then. Plan you vacation days in advance and get everything out of it.

Take a look at the upcoming bank holidays. If there’s a holiday on a Friday, plan the Thursday. Like this, you put one vacation days and you win four days. Hello, city trip!

If there’s a holiday on a Thursday, same rules applies. Get that Friday and enjoy your 4 days off. Or put the Wednesday and Friday and enjoy 5 days off while only losing two days. It’s all about being smart!

Plan Beforehand 

If you are wanting to go on a big trip of a month or two weeks and you are struggling with finding time, don’t panic. It’s all about planning. A big trip like this has to be planned in advance.

Firstly, make sure you have flights available on those dates and you have enough budget for it. If you really want to go to a certain Airbnb, hotel, hostel, etc.: also check that availability. Because since it’s for a longer period of time, it’s less evident to guarantee an availability for the whole period.

Secondly, request a holiday for that period. Since you’re planning it way in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you get the flight tickets at a normal rate and not at a higher rate close to the departure date.

And finally, don’t forget the important details about your trip. Vaccinations, a visa, a credit card, travel gadgets; you will thank your future self for planning in advance and being prepared. You can read all about preparations and gadgets that will help you here.

And there you go, off to your next destination. I’m so proud of you. Fly, discover, live, enjoy.

6 Small Things You Can Do to Be a Perfect Passenger

Catching flights. To me, it is my passion, my hobby. The moment you walk in to an airplane, you make yourself comfortable at your seat and a few moments later, you feel the plane taking off and the ground disappears more and more with every mile you’re ascending.

While others are looking less forward to being inside an airplane, we can all make a difference and make the flight as comfortable as possible. It all starts with you. Think about what made your flight uncomfortable in the past. Was it an annoying passenger? Was it miscommunication with your flight attendant? Was it the fact that you forgot something?

Whatever it was, you can make sure it won’t happen again. Or, at least, you can learn how to be a perfect passenger and make a wonderful start on a stress-free flight. 

Be prepared

It’s all about preparation. Before going on board, make sure you got everything you need.

If you are taking carry-on luggage, be sure to check the sized that are allowed at your airline to avoid trouble inside the aircraft or having to pay extra for putting it in the hold.

Take with you a bottle of water, some snacks, and a pull for when it would get cold in the airplane. You never know how the food is like or when you get thirsty during landing or take-off, thus have to wait approximately 10 to 30 minutes before asking your flight attendant for some water. Just bring your own.

Not all airlines request boarding passengers to show their boarding pass, but it can never do any harm. So be sure to not put your boarding pass away until you are sitting on your seat. I’ve had lots of delays because passengers cannot find their boarding pass anymore while boarding and thus hold up an entire line of passengers behind them.

Be polite

Treat the flight attendants and passengers with respect. We are all in one space, one aircraft, for a certain amount of hours. Don’t make a hassle for nothing, don’t get drunk or high, just stay decent, polite and show manners to everybody.

Your flight attendants are trained to be polite to you. So greet them back, say thank you and please like they do to you. It is just one word, but it means so much more. Just your smile can make someone’s day. And don’t be afraid to start a conversation with them, it’s a pleasure to talk to passengers and it makes time pass quicker, too.

Be realistic

Schedule changes, delays or cancellations can happen. It is not always due to logistical or organizational reasons. Nature happens, too. Unfavorable wind, a rainstorm, snow, a tropical storm, you name it: natural changes can happen and they can affect your flight. Be reasonable and don’t blame it on your crew, airline or fellow passengers. It is natural and it will pass. Be patient and accept whatever solution your airline gives you – vouchers for another flight, hotel coupons, etc.

The same things is applicable for overbookings. Often, it is hard for passengers to understand the concept of overbooking. Airlines always overbook their seats. Depending on the airline, a certain percentage of all seats is overbooked, just in case people cancel, get sick, or just don’t show up ur check in.

“But why do they sometimes call a name of a passengers who didn’t arrive yet? If the seats are overbooked, shouldn’t you call for everybody who didn’t show up and not only one person?”

When we call for a certain passenger, it means they checked in themselves and their luggage, but didn’t board the plane yet. An overbooked seat that somebody purchased, but never checked in for, will not be given anymore attention to, since that person obviously was no longer interested in the flight, got sick, etc.

Be on time

Do the check-in and boarding on time, so there will be no delay because of this. If everybody is on time, the flight can depart at the scheduled time of departure and there will be no unpleasant surprises.

Be clean

Keep your seat, table and area in the airplane clean. Do not leave behind a mess during or after the flight. The planes are cleaned after every flight, but show some respect for the next passengers and your crew and just keep it clean. Flight attendants pass by often with waste bins so you can easily pass is to them. Also, there are waste bins in the galley (kitchen) of the stewards, so you can always go to them and give it personally. We always appreciate that!

After paying a visit to the toilet, don’t leave it like a kid’s pool at the beginning of summer. Clean up, wash your hands, and if there is a problem, there is a flight attendant call button inside the toilets as well.

Be calm

Stay calm and relaxed. There is no need to stress. The world is far below our feet now so it has no use to get caught up in delay stress. If you are scared of flying, talk to the flight attendant, they will help you. There are a lot of things we can do to help you cope with that fear.

When a passenger in front of you is making too much noise or if there is a problem, don’t freak out immediately. Talk to us so we can help you.

If you see, hear or smell something that concerns you: again, communicate with us. Let us know. Why do you think the window blinds have to be opened during take-off and landing? It is so you, our passengers, can let us know if there is a problem. So everybody can keep the situation in control.

Hopefully you take these tips into account next time you hop on a flight. And remember, flight attendants are here to keep you safe and comfortable. It’s our job to do so.

Top 5 Safest Cities for Solo Female Travel

Solo female travel. It is a delightful thing, isn’t it, ladies? You have all the freedom and adventure in the world. You can broaden your horizon just by taking a plane on your own and going on a solo adventure. You expand your limits by jumping into an unknown experience. Yes, most of us have been bitten by the travel bug. And that’s okay.

The taste of freedom while traveling solo is even sweeter when you travel to a safe environment. A place where you don’t have to worry about being harassed or robbed. A serene yet interesting travel destination, perfect for perhaps your first solo trip.

But where can I find these perfect destinations, you might wonder? Let’s see what are the top 5 of safest cities for solo female travel in my experience. I went to each of these cities alone and I am happy to share with you my honest and true review about solo travel to these destinations.

5. Uruguay, Colonia

Colonia is a small Uruguayan city close to the border with Argentina. Yet, even though it is close to Buenos Aires and the habitants have the same accent, the safety changes drastically when you’re at the other side of the pond. Colonia is a warm, cozy and beautiful city. You feel yourself at home while strolling through this city , smelling the fresh forests, the salty ocean and the sweet flowers. This is a place where you can find true and deep peace.

As you can already imagine, this Uruguayan pearl is super safe for anyone to visit. The locals are super friendly and relaxed, making you feel welcome in their tranquil city.

4. Belgium, Bruges

Being born in Belgium, it is easy to know which places to go to and which places to avoid. Bruges is definitely a must-see when you have to chance to visit the country of beer and chocolates (and let’s not forget the waffles). Besides the rustic architecture and the many cafés (and types of beer) you can find here, you can come to complete relaxation when in Bruges.

Belgium is overall a very safe country to stay at, and in Bruges, where tranquility meets history, you will find yourself in a safe environment. You can pass your time strolling through musea and visit old, big buildings and get to know their stories.

3. Italy, Venice

I don’t think Venice needs an introduction. With is romantic rivers running through the whole city and its small islands all sticking together to create what may be the most beautiful city in Italy, it is well known worldwide.

Venice may be a destination not so loved by solo female travelers because it is so popular and crowded. But if you are as much an Italian food and culture lover as me, then you will find a way to make this destination an amazing solo trip.

I recommend you to stay not in Venice itself, but on the mainland of Italy, close to the train station. A train will take you to Venice in no-time. It is totally safe to stroll around this authentic city, and since there are so many people, you will never be alone so you can always address somebody to ask for help if you – like me- are really, really, really bad in orientation (and the little Venetian roads don’t do no good, trust me).

2. Portugal, Lisbon

Lisbon is the central hub of Portugal. With its charming style and stunning architecture, this is perfect destination for solo female travel. Spend your golden hour at one of the many rooftops bars with gorgeous views – stretching all over city until the other side of the river – order some pastel de nata and drink a café meia-de-leite in peace without anyone bothering you. Lisboetas are in general really friendly and social, so you’ll make local friends in no time. Also, there are lots of international visitors and especially Brazilians who love to visit this Portuguese capital, which makes the atmosphere in the center so vivid.

I took a trip to Lisbon with a friend last year and a couple months later, I found myself living in the capital of tiles. I love a lot of things about Lisbon, and a big factor is that it is so safe. As a woman traveling alone, you will experience a city that is so popular and crowded, but peaceful at the same time. The only strangers that will address you are some guys in the popular streets asking if you want to buy something. But they even address the locals, and they will do no harm to you.

1. Malta, Valletta

Valletta, the capital of the small island Malta, was declared the European Capital of Culture in 2018. And does this marvelous, Italian-influenced city deserve this title. Not only historical and architectural lovers will adore this lovely city; I am talking to you, dear foodies, because Malta has an amazing gastronomy. That is why I chose this destination to spend my first solo trip. And after returning for a couple of times, I still do not regret discovering Malta- more precisely, Valletta.

Lose yourself in the interesting history and architecture of the ex-British colony and pay a visit to the many museums. Stroll around the dockside for a lookout to the Three Cities (Birgu, Senglea and Bormla) and grab some pastizzi for on the way.

But let’s not wander too far from the real subject here, which is: safety for solo female travelers. Valletta always made me feel comfortable and welcome, since the moment I set foot in this city. It is a completely safe and cozy city, where you can be sure to enjoy your travels the most.