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Europe Slovenia Travel Weekend Away

Things to do in Ljubljana & the beautiful Lake Bled

September 24, 2016

I really wanted to visit Slovenia after seeing photos of Lake Bled on Pinterest. I also decided to visit Ljubljana as it’s the capital of Slovenia, I still have no idea how to pronounce it though! Lake Bled lived up to my high expectations, its like a fairytale you could spend a few days there admiring the views. Here is what I got up to on my trip.

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Love locks at Butchers Bridge

Ljubljana Castle

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I got a funicular to the castle, ticket price with entrance to the castle is €10 or €7 with a student card. It is slightly cheaper to walk to the castle and pay for entrance €7.50 or €5.20  for students. The funicular runs frequently around every 10 minutes. Once at the castle climb up to the viewing point for a beautiful view over the city.

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View from castle

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If you walk around the city in the evening you will see the castle lit up green.

Lake Bled

Lake Bled is amazing it’s so picture perfect with its emerald waters and cute church in the middle.

How to get here

To get here from Ljubljana I got a bus it takes about 1hr 15 minutes. I went in August and the bus was full lots of people were standing. I left at 10am and the buses got even busier after this. I would recommend arriving at the bus station early so you can get a seat. At the bus station there is a kiosk you can buy a single or return ticket €12 from and also a small bakery you can get some snacks from. Once you arrive it is only a few minutes walk from the lake.

What to do

Bled Castle

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A medieval castle built above the city of Bled overlooking the stunning lake. The castle has a museum, restaurant and the most breathtaking views. It takes about 20 minutes to walk up here it is quite steep and there is a lot of stairs. It costs  €10 or €7 if a student.

Walk, cycle & swim

There is an area cornered of for swimming you have to pay to get in but it has changing rooms, showers and you can rent a beach umbrella. Its also great to walk or cycle (they have bikes to rent) around the lake and you can get a closer view of the church on the island.

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Accomodation – Hostel Tabor Ljubljana

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  • Free breakfast & wifi
  • Good location short walk from centre and about 15 minutes from bus station
  • Hostel used to be a school, it feels funny sleeping in a school but its quite cosy
  • Quite a big hostel so not that easy to meet people, the people in my dorm room where really friendly though
  • You have to give your key in everytime you go out which is a bit annoying so try and remember your room number

Essential information

  • Getting around Ljubljana is easy by foot
  • Don’t eat dinner too late I went to one restaurant around 8.30pm and most of the dishes where sold out and another pizza place I went to shut at 9pm. People tend to eat fairly early here.
  • Currency: Euro
  • A lot of museums are closed on Mondays
  • A lot of shops and supermarkets are closed Sunday or close earlythings-to-do-in-slovenia

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Europe Food Italy Travel Weekend Away

Things to do in Milan, Italy

September 18, 2016

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If you’re into shopping then I would recommend Milan its the global capital of fashion and design. Milan is also ideal if you fancy splurging or going on a romantic getaway as it has many high end shops and restaurants. Here are some things to do in Milan.

Milan Cathedral

Visit the iconic Duomo Di Milano cathedral. Be aware it does get busy and there are big queues outside. There are lot of tourists taking photos outside the cathedral and there is a ridiculous amount of pigeons as well haha.

Galleria vittorio emanuele

This shopping centre is right next to the Cathedral and has a mix of high end shops and restaurants. It is well worth a visit for the beautiful ceilings and patterns.

milan-italy-shoppingNavigli District Canals

Great place to go at night full of people in bars and restaurants. The Italians have an apertivo also known as happy hour. This is pre drinner drinking, with the purchase of a drink you get to have some nibbles from a buffet. I think this is an amazing idea and Milan is a great place to have an Aperol spritz and enjoy the view of the canal.

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Accomodation

Ostello Bello Medici Hostel 

This is one the of best hostels I’ve ever stayed in. I arrived at night around 10pm and was pretty hungry and feeling tired from travelling. The receptionist was super friendly asked me if I was hungry and bought me a bowl of pasta and some wine. I had such a friendly welcome and this hostel has such a great atmosphere.

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Ostello Bello photo from Hostelworld

Hostel info

  • Free breakfast and dinner! Breakfast consists of cereals, toast, eggs, juice and tea. Dinner is a buffet style with bread, salad and pasta
  • Free welcome drink on arrival
  • Bar downstairs
  • Good for solo travellers as people are friendly and the dining area is a good place to meet people at dinner or after for drinks
  • Guitar and piano for guests to use also had bands and enterainment in evenings
  • Free wifi
  • 24hr reception
  • Open air terrace with hammocks
  • Free towels – always useful as a backpacker
  • Good location near shops

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Europe Food Switzerland Travel Weekend Away

Weekend in Zurich, Switzerland

September 11, 2016

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I first visited Zurich a few years ago and immediately fell in love with this city so I decided to go back on my backpacking trip around Europe. Here are some things to do in Zurich.

Grossmünster church

For 4 Swiss Francs you can climb to the top of Grossmünster church there are quite a lot of steps and its a tight squeeze if people are going up the stairs as you come down them. Its well worth the climb once you reach the top and see the amazing views of the city.

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Lindenhof Platz

Free viewing platform offering views of the lake and old town, such a beautiful view especially in summer.

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Where to eat

Hitl Restaurant

This is the oldest vegetarian restaurant in the world. The food is amazing! They have a buffet filled with salad, falafel, cheese, pasta, curry and many other things. You fill up a bowl of what you want and pay by weight. They also have other meals, snacks and puddings you can order.

Cafe Schober

I decided to come here after reading great reviews on Tripadvisor. I wanted to get a hot chocolate but it was such a hot sunny day when I visited I got an iced vanilla frappe which was good. Its quite expensive here but then so are a lot of places in Zurich.

Where to stay

Switzerland is an expensive place for backpackers. I stayed in Langstars hostel and prices  start from £30 a night.

Hostel information

  • Free drink in bar
  • 15 minutes walk from station
  • Good for solo travellers as people are sociable
  • Based in international area and can be quite noisy outside at night

Where to go next

I used flixbus to travel to Milan, the journey had amazing views of Switzerland’s mountains, lakes and cute countryside houses.

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Europe Luxembourg Travel Weekend Away

Things to do in Luxembourg

August 28, 2016

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Luxembourg is a small European country surrounded by Belgium, France and Germany it is ranked as one of the wealthiest countries. I hadn’t heard much about it before visiting and was pleasantly surprised by Luxembourg. The city is a UNESCO world heritage city full of fortresses castle and old medieval buildings.

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Luxembourg vintage coffee shop

Kaale Kaffi 

This is a cute little vintage coffee shop with old antique pictures and decor. Nice place to get a drink and relax.

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Chocolate House

This place does the best hot chocolate and also has amazing decor inside, its so girly and pretty. There are loads of flavour hot chocolates to choose from. I choose strawberry pink pepper which was great but a bit spicy. They bring you a mug of hot milk and chocolate on a spoon which you mix into the milk. This is so much better than a powdered hot chocolate! You also get a mug with whipped cream and a marshmallow. If you love chocolate then you definitely have to visit this place.

Luxembourg Chocolate House

Accommodation – Luxembourg City Hostel

This is the only hostel in Luxembourg so if you are on a budget book in advance as it was fully booked when I stayed there in August. I met some people in this hostel but its not overly social. As it is the only hostel there is a mixture of ages and some families staying here.

Hostel information:

  • Free breakfast – bread, jam, cheese, ham & cereals
  • Near city centre – close to fortress with great views
  • Cheapest accommodation in Luxembourg
  • Lockers – bring padlock with you
  • Members of hostelling international get a 3 Euro discount
  • Wifi – however you don’t get this in the room only in common areas which is a bit annoying

Luxembourg castle

Vianden Castle

Such a beautiful fairytale castle that is definitely worth a day trip. To get here from Luxembourg city centre get the train to Ettelbruck then get the 570 bus. The bus stop is opposite the Ettelbruck train station. The whole trip costs 4 euros for a return ticket this includes the bus trip. I went at the end of July and they had a medieval concert here it was amazing! It featured bands and a medieval show with sword fighting. You have to get a cable car up to the castle it only costs a few quid and has amazing views.

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Information & Tips

  • Currency is Euros
  • The train station is about 15 minute walk to the old town, turn right when exiting the station and keep walking straight past the shops
  • Day ticket on buses is 4 Euros
  • Free history museum in centre

Luxembourg city centre

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Belgium Europe Travel Weekend Away

One Day in Bruges Belgium

August 27, 2016

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Bruge Belgium Canal

I absolutely loved my recent trip to Bruges, it’s such an amazing city. I enjoyed wandering around the medieval buildings and beautiful canals. I arrived by train from Brussels. The trains in Belgium are easy to use and are run frequently. When I arrived at Bruges station it was a 10 minute walk from the centre. Everything in Bruges is within walking distance so its easy to get around.

Buildings in Bruge

If you haven’t seen the movie In Bruge I would recommend watching before you go. Its a dark comedy about two Irish hitmen starring Colin Farrel. It features all the beautiful buildings of Bruges. Also a lot of the walking tours will show you key places from the movie.

What to do in Bruges

  1. Visit the market square
  2. Canal boat tour
  3. Get lost wandering the beautiful streets
  4. Explore at night the market square and buildings around the canal are all lit up
  5. Free walking tour
  6. Eat waffles
  7. Enjoy a hot chocolate
  8. Beer tasting
  9. Try some of the famous Belgian fries
  10. Eat loads of Belgian chocolate

Accommodation – Lybeer Travellers Hostel

Lybeer hostel Bruge

Lybeer Hostel Lounge – Photo from Hostelworld

This hostel was great not too far from the station. Ideal for solo travellers as they have a lounge and people seemed very sociable. I met a group of people and went to a free outdoor concert which was brilliant. This hostel also has a bar and holds beer tasting evenings. I would recommend this hostel and would stay here again.

Bruge Belgium Canal 2

Overall I had an amazing time in Bruges, it was my favourite place I visited in Belgium. I could have spent longer here as I didn’t get to do and see everything I wanted.  Next on my list of places to visit in Belgium is Ghent!

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