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Food Norway Travel Weekend Away

Oslo, Norway Travel Guide

December 8, 2016

Oslo is full of colourful old and new architecture and quirky sculptures. The main thing I loved about Oslo is how everything is Koselig (cosy). Local bars and restaurants supply outdoor heaters and wool blankets you put over your lap whilst enjoying a drink. Inside is filled with candles or warm fires and many bathrooms have heated floors to warm up chilly feet. Being one of the most expensive cities in the world Oslo is not cheap so I’ve included some free things to do.

What to do

Royal Palace

It’s free to walk around the gardens and you can purchase a tour around the Palace but it is only open from end of June to Mid August. The changing of the guards take place every day at 1.30. The Palace looked so pretty in the snow I felt like I was in Narnia!

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Go Shopping
Scandinavia is famous for its elegant and minimalist clothing and home ware. Walk along Karl Johans gate for some great shops.

Akershus Fortress

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Museums

If visiting on a Sunday some museums are free so check online before visiting.

Nobel Peace Centre

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National Gallery

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Edward Munch’s most famous piece – The Scream

Free

Go inside the City Hall

From the outside it doesn’t look that impressive but inside is full of beautiful art about Norwegian culture and history.

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Visit the Opera House

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The Vigeland Park (Sculpture Park)

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Trying out the sculpture poses obviously nailed it haha

Walk along the waterfront

Wander along the waterfront admiring the views and then get cosy in one of the bars.

Accommodation

Oslo Central Hostel

  • Free breakfast – this is the best hostel breakfast I’ve ever had. They have a wide variety of fruits, yoghurt, egg, bacon and the best herby mushrooms.
  • Lockers and towels provided
  • Good location close to the fortress and shopping streets
  • Atmosphere more of a hotel rather than a hostel

Where to Eat & Drink

Mathallen Market

This food market is outside the centre there are bus’s or trams that you can get here. We walked and its around a 20-30 minute walk. The food here is expensive but then so is everywhere in Norway. It is also closed on a Monday.

Justisen Bar

This place is a lot of fun there’s an outdoor bar with heaters and upstairs lots of different rooms. The rooms look like they have been decorated by someone’s Grandma with loads of floral wallpaper and cosy lights.

Mona Lisa – Italian

Very fancy looking restaurant you can also eat outside on the balcony.

Homan Bistro & Bar

I had the best bangers and mash here!

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Information

  • If visiting in Autumn/Winter it will be freezing pack thermals, scarves and hats
  • Oslo is super expensive so budget accordingly. Dinner or lunch will cost £20-£30 for one course and that is in the cheaper restaurants. If you visit during summer you could go to a supermarket and buy some foods for a picnic. You should also pack some snacks with you. We ended up paying £5 for a packet of crisps and chocolate bars are about £3 so its worth bringing stuff in your suitcase.
  • I would recommend getting an Oslo pass they have 24hr, 48 and 72 hour passes which will provide you with free entry to museums the fortress and public transport. 24 hr is 335NOK 48 hr is 490NOK and 72 is 620NOK you can also get student discount. The museums are quite expensive to get into so it does make the pass worth it.

*Note: Special thanks to Visit Oslo for providing me with a 72hr Oslo Pass

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Ireland Travel Weekend Away

What to do in Dublin, Ireland

November 24, 2016

Dublin is an amazing city to explore! With plenty of things to do and see from walking by the river, enjoying a Guinness in a cosy pub with live music or exploring Dublin’s historic buildings. Its super easy to get to the city centre from the airport just get the Airlink bus 747 to the city centre it takes about 30 minutes. You can buy the ticket at the airport and there is free wifi on the bus. Below is a list of things to do in Dublin.

Temple bar area

Very touristy and expensive but you should visit here at least once. Around the city there are plenty of pub crawls or beer or whisky tasting tours that you can join.

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Trinity College

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Kilmainham Gaol

Book a time slot in advance as it can sell out, it is €7.00 for adults or €3.00 for students with a booking fee of €1.00. The guided tour lasts 90 minutes and will explain the history of the jail and talk about the prisoners. I found this really interesting its definitely worth a visit!

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Guinness Storehouse

This is very touristy but a lot of fun and you can easily spend a few hours here. There are lots of different floors featuring Guinness advertisements a tasting room and a rooftop bar. You are shown how to pour the perfect pint of Guinness and then get to take home a certificate. You can enjoy your drink at the rooftop bar with a view over Dublin. Prices are around  €14- €20 and you can get a small discount by booking online.

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The Brazen Head Pub (oldest in Ireland)

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Christ church cathedral

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Dublin Castle

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St Patrick’s Cathedral

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The Little Museum of Dublin

Here you can learn about the history of Dublin in 30 minutes a tour guide will show you around the rooms. It costs €8 or €6 for students.

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Free things to do

Free walking tour

The walking tour I did meets at the Generator hostel and takes you around Temple bar area, Trinity College and St Patrick’s Cathedral.

St Stephens Green

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River Liffey

Free music gig

Ireland is famous for its live music and you are likely to wander past some pubs with live singers or bands. Generator hostel also has live music nights check out what’s on here.

Accommodation

Generator Hostel

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Photo from Hostelworld

  • Daily events such as comedy evenings and live music
  • Bar downstairs – even if you don’t stay here you can come here for drinks and live music
  • Luggage storage
  • Lockers
  • 24hr reception

Places to eat

Jo’Burger

This place is right around the corner from the Generator hostel and offers a wide range of burgers and toppings.

Fade St Social

One of the best places I’ve had tapas! It is fairly expensive but worth it. I would recommend the truffle pasta with charred asparagus and parmesan & a tuna and tomato dish. You should try getting a few tapas to share. They also have

Queen of Tarts

This little cafe has a selection of cakes and also has breakfast and lunch dishes. I had a hot chocolate and raspberry scone. The scones are lovely and they have a variety of flavours!

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Make sure you have a Guinness it tastes so much better in Ireland. Also Guinness chocolate tastes really good too!

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Croatia Europe Travel Weekend Away

What to do in Split, Croatia

October 16, 2016

what-to-do-in-split-croatiaSplit is the second largest city in Croatia. It is full of history and culture it is a very popular tourist destination. Here is a list of what to do in Split.

  • Visit the Old Town

The old town is a UNESCO world heritage site

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  • Wander through Diocletian’s Palace in the Old Town

    Some of game of thrones was filmed here!

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  • Explore the Markets

Selling a variety of souvenirs and food. Croatia is one of the largest producers of lavender so be sure to pick up a lavender gift or try out the lavender ice cream.

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  • Go to the beach

Bacvice beach is closest to the city centre.

  • Day trip to Krka National Park

I did a day trip with Gecko tours, the trip started at 8 in the morning and took about 1 hour to get there in a mini bus. It is a good idea to get to the waterfalls early as it gets super busy. When its busy its hard to cross the bridge which is the best area to take photos.  We went on a walk around the park and to some small museums. If you go swimming it is a good idea to wear wet shoes as there’s lots of rocks to climb over. The Krka National Park is definitely worth a trip the waterfalls are stunning!

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  • Island Hopping

Split is a great destination for island hopping. I got a ferry Split to Hvar it only takes 1.5 hours. You can book tickets at the pier in Split with Jadrolinija. Some other options would be to get a ferry to Vis, Brac or Solta.

  • Relax with food and drink by the seafront

  • Enjoy the night life

Split has a great night life with many different bars. I went on the tower pub crawl you get to drink as much as you want for two hours.Theres also free pizza and beer pong and after the two hours drinking you get taken to a massive club.

Accomodation

Split Hostel Fiesta Siesta

  • This hostel is great for solo travellers as they have nightly dinners which are a great way to meet new people
  • Staff are friendly and helpful trying to make sure all guests are having a good time
  • Located abover Charlies backpacker bar which is a good bar to meet people
  • Centrally located near restaurants and bars
  • Free towel and linen
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Photo from Hostelworld

Information

  • Language: Croatian – easy to get by with English though
  • Currency: Croatian kuna (10kuna = £1.21)

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Croatia Europe Travel Weekend Away

Why visit Croatia’s Capital Zagreb

October 10, 2016

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Many travellers often overlook Zagreb and head straight to Croatia’s Dalmatian coast. I decided to stop here for one day before heading to the coast and I am so glad I did as its a lovely city with plenty of shops, museums and buildings to explore.

St Marks Church

This church has an elaborate patterned roof representing the coat of arms of Zagreb. It is just around the corner from the museum of broken relationships.

The Museum of Broken Relationships

I thought I’d try out this museum as it has good reviews and is different to any other museum I’ve seen. The concept is that people around the world send in items from previous relationships with a message about that relationship. Some of the items and letters are very sad and moving and others are funny.

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The Museum of Illusions

Fun museum that kids will enjoy as there’s lots of different activities. It’s not very big so you don’t need to spend that much time here.

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Cathedral

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View from Upper Town

You can get the shortest funicular in the world from lower town to upper town. It costs 4 kuna (£0.48) Alternatively you can walk to the top this is what I did and its not very far. Once at the top you can admire the views over the city.

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Trg Josipa Jelacica

The main square in Zagrebs lower town with beautiful coloured buildings this area is ideal for people watching.

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Accommodation

Chill Out Hostel Zagreb

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Photo from Hostelworld

  • Very close to main square and shops
  • Check out at 12pm
  • Each bed has a locker
  • Free towel and wifi
  • Pub crawls
  • Bar and restaurant downstairs but wasn’t loud so could get a good nights sleep

Information

  • Currency: Kuna
  • Tram line runs throughout the city 30 kunas for a day ticket (£3.60) or 10 kunas for 90 minutes (£1.20)
  • Good times to go: July & August’s hot climate attracts the most visitors to Croatia November & December are good for the Christmas markets

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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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