A weekend getaway to Bruges, Belgium

Sometimes, crossing the English Channel is an easier and quicker way to get out of London and explore a new place. Last month, rather than driving 5 hours to get to Snowdonia or the Lake District, Matt and I swapped the usual outdoor adventures for a city break. The chosen location was Bruges, which sits on the north-western part of Belgium.

  •  Ferry tickets for 2 people and 1 car: £78 from Dover to Dunkirk.
  • Time taken from London to Bruges: Approximately 5 hours in total.
  • Our trip duration: Thursday night to Sunday morning. Although this trip can easily be done from Friday morning to Sunday morning.

But… why visit Bruges?

Because of the proximity to London.
Because of the cute, unique looking buildings.
Because of the canal which surrounds the main town centre.
Because of endless choice of Belgian Beer!
Because of  the convenience of being able to walk everywhere.
Because of the Waffles and Chocolate (although I didn’t buy any because I used my calorie tokens on beers!

How to get there?


o  Brewery Tour at Bourgogne des Flandres

The brewery is at heart of Bruges, the tour costs 10 euros per person and it lasts for approximately 1 hour. This is a cool experience if you like beer and would like to see how beer in general is made, as well as learn about the history of the Bourgogne des Flandres beer. As a bonus, you get a free beer at the bar in the end!

o  Potato Bar

I found the food in Bruges a bit of a hit and miss, but Potato Bar was actually quite good compared to another place we went to the night before, Ribs N’ Beer. Potato bar was quite chilled, and the chips and toppings were yummy whereas Ribs N’ Beer was just average, and we felt very rushed by the staff! Also, the Potato Bar is the perfect place you if want to have a small-ish dinner so that you can save some space for beer!

Chips at Potato Bar, Bruges

o  Monsieur Ernest Hotel 

I actually loved this cozy hotel. It costs around £410 for 3 nights (although we realized we could have saved some money by staying for 2 nights only) for a room with canal view. The breakfast was good, location was perfect – everything within 10-20 minute walk, and the atmosphere was very relaxing. 

o  Le Trappiste Bar 

Really liked this little underground bar – the beer selection is very good but the only downside is that it’s hard to find a table as it’s quite popular. 

o  The Bottle Shop

Take home a few souvenirs (Belgian beer) from The Bottle Shop.

The Bottle Shop, Bruges

General Tips

  • Take this trip on a weekend: Friday to Sunday.

  • Go to Bruges around Autumn or Spring if you like cheap prices, not so cold temperatures and a nice nature setting i.e. leaves falling or flowers blooming.

  • Go to Bruges in Winter if you like Christmas markets, decorations and mulled wine.

Best place for a short ski break in Europe: Innsbruck

Innsbruck is known not only for its modern and imperial architecture, but it is also very popular amongst winter sports and hiking enthusiasts. It is an ideal destination if you are in need of a quick skiing getaway and a great place to visit if you enjoy the peace and quiet of the mountains whilst being within easy reach from the hustle and bustle of a big city. Having skied in other places like Les Deux Alpes, Alpe D’Huez and Tignes before, Innsbruck has been the best experience for me so far. Here is why:

5 reasons why Innsbruck is a great skiing destination

Getting there is easy and transfers to hotels and resorts are short

Innsbruck airport is small, easy and close to the city centre. You can stay in the town or just outside the city. Either way, you will still be very close to any resort surrounding the Innsbruck area. Take a look at Götzens if you fancy staying just outside the city (10-15 minutes drive from the city centre). There are also free ski shuttles which takes you to your desired resorts.

You can go to any resort around the Innsbruck area

Innsbruck can be a great choice for your skiing holiday because it offers a variety of ski resorts catering to all abilities. You can try different resorts each day, meaning you will have an endless choice of pistes throughout your whole stay. These are some of the resorts you can visit which are not very far from the city centre: Axamer LizumSchlick 2000 – FulpmesGlungezer – TulfesMuttereralmpark – Mutters/GötzensStubai Glacier (Stubaier Gletscher)Bergeralm – Steinach am BrennerRosshütte – SeefeldKühtai.

Slopes are not crowded and there are no queues for the ski lifts

Does the thought of huge crowds and massive queues fill you with dread? Yes? Then Innsbruck might be the right place for you. If you are skiing during the weekdays, even better! If you wake up early enough and get ready for the first lift up, much much better! It will literally just be you, the mountain and fresh powder.

Great value for money on the ski lift passes

There is an OLYMPIAWORLD SKIPASS you can get which costs around 135 euros for 3 days and it gives you access to 9 ski resorts in the Innsbruck area, covering 300km of slopes. You may also get a discount on the lift pass if you have an Innsbruck card, which is provided by some hoteliers. With the discount, our passes cost 120 euros for 3 days, which is great value for money compared to other lift passes in Europe.

Visit the city if you fancy a little break from skiing

Take a stroll around the Altstadt von Innsbruck (Old town). There are palaces, cathedrals, Baroque and Renaissance style buildings – in which some are over 500 years old – all surrounded by snowy peaked mountains, making it all a very picturesque experience.

Where to stay

Stay at the Alp Art Hotel to enjoy great views, breakfast and spa

Views from Alp Art Hotel

Sunrise from Alp Art Hotel

Breakfast room at Alp Art Hotel

Where to Eat

Try the Taverna da Guzzi for amazing homemade style Italian food

Linguine con Salmone

When to Go

Anytime between December and March, except during the school holidays, and you may get yourself an empty piste like the image below

Axamer Lizum


5 places you must visit for cheap short breaks in 2018

As we are coming close to the end of another year, it is time to start thinking of places we could go during the year to come. It is time to start thinking about how we can use our holidays wisely so that we could have as many adventures as possible. For this reason, I have put together a little list with some of the places I have visited recently which might not break the bank and may fit in perfectly with a weekend or a bank holiday.

Trani, Italy

Trani's cathedral

Trani is a hidden gem. Matt and I were there this year  for our friend’s wedding and thanks to them, we were introduced to this town. The town is a historic fishing port in the Puglia region and it is a lovely place to explore, eat and relax. Trani offers a sophisticated feel with its marina side bars and restaurants, limestone streets, medieval churches, and its enchanting cathedral. To get there, you will need to fly to Bari and then get a taxi or a train to Trani. The journey from the airport takes only 30 minutes.

Personally, I will definitely be visiting Trani again for a cheap and relaxing break, especially because of another hidden gem we found there. Quintessenza Ristorante is a Michelin Star restaurant where you can have a six-course meal with wine pairing for 70 euros per person. Compared to Michelin Star restaurants in London, 70 euros per person is very cheap and the food quality is the same or better. The brothers who own this restaurant are very passionate about the way they cook and you can really feel that when they are serving each course. The experience we had at this restaurant is absolutely worth a trip to Trani again.

Polignano a Mare, Italy

Polignano a Mare is another little treasure hidden on the coast, lying by the Adriatic Sea. During the few days we stayed in Trani, we took a day to visit this little town. This town offers everything you need for a perfect day out: a beach, caves, rocks (so that you can be a daredevil and jump a few times), white-washed winding streets and amazing fresh seafood.

Mallorca, Spain

Mallorca is one of the most popular destinations for holidays in Europe. Whether you are a party animal, a beach bum, or someone who just wants to relax and enjoy nice scenery and food, you will find that Mallorca caters to everyone’s needs. The island is also a great place for activities like rock climbing, sailing, kitesurfing and more. There are many beautiful places in Mallorca, like Cala Sant Vicenç, Cala Figuera, Cap Formentor and Playa de Formentor. However I want to share my favourite place with you:

Cala Tuent

Cala Tuent was my highlight because of its tranquil and scenic atmosphere. Surrounded by the Serra de Tramutana mountains, the way down to Cala Tuent through the winding narrow roads is breathtaking. The beach is approximately 100-meters long and it is made up of pebbles and gravel. The water is clear and clean, great for snorkelling. Cala Tuent is great for a relaxing day at the beach due to the fact that not many people go there. Tourist buses do not stop at this Cala and it is also not very family friendly. There are no facilities or snack bars at the beach either, however I would recommend eating at the Restaurante Es Vergeret so that you can have a meal with a view!

Dubrovnik, Croatia

Dubrovnik is known as the pearl of the Adriatic and also as King’s Landing, a fictional city in the famous Game of Thrones series. Being the huge fan that I am, Dubrovnik had to be on my list of places to visit. As a result of the show’s great success, Dubrovnik is now even more of a prominent tourist destination in Europe. Here are my highlights from Dubrovnik:

Dubrovnik City Walls

Views from the City Walls

Fort Lovrijenac

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View from Fort Lovrijenac ↓


Day trip to Kravice Waterfalls and Mostar

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During our stay in Dubrovnik, we took a day to visit Kravice Waterfalls and Mostar in Bosnia.  There are many excursion companies in Dubrovnik which offer day trips to Bosnia and Hezergovina, Serbia and Montenegro for approximately £40 per person. Personally, I thought the day trip was very worth it since it gave us an opportunity to explore another country and know a bit more about its people and culture. 

Budapest, Hungary

Budapest surprised me so much as a city, I never thought I would like it as much as I did. Aside from its stunning baroque architecture, accommodation, food and drinks are very cheap. To find out more about my highlights, take a look at my post about Budapest: Tips for staying in Budapest for 3 days on the budget

Accommodation tip: Baroque Hostel ↓
→  Click here to get £15 off your booking


Happy new year everyone, and I hope your new year is filled with new adventures! 

Tips for staying in Budapest for 3 days on the budget

Budapest is a beautiful European city and a great getaway if you want a holiday on the budget. The idea of going there came about because my dad was visiting me in the UK for a few weeks and I thought we should go on a little adventure together. We decided on Budapest as one of the destinations when I saw a a pretty good deal of £45 per person for a return ticket on skyscanner

So here are my tips for having an enjoyable and relaxing getaway:

1. Go sightseeing and enjoy the walk around the city

View from Gellert Hill


Parliament Square



Shoes on the Danube

Matthias Church

Fisherman’s Bastion


View from Fisherman’s Bastion

Parliament from Fisherman’s Bastion

2. Go to Food Markets and Szimpla Kert

Karavan Food Market


Szimpla Kert


3. Don’t miss the Széchenyi Thermal Bath


→ General cost of food, travel and accommodation in Budapest

Local shop Food market Tourist places General/Fixed Cost
Bus, Metro and Tram

72 hours ticket

3900HF per person
Local Beer 0,5L 270HF 590HF 800HF
Snacks, Coffee 150-300HF 400-500HF 500-600HF
Burgers, Pizzas, Salads 1000-2000HF 1500-2500HF
Thermal Baths ticket 5000HF
Taxi to/from Airport 7000HF
Hostel/Private Room in shared apt  27000HF

Total cost including flights, hostel, transfers and others: £392 / £196 per person
Exchange rate £1 = 310HF approximately

Motorbiking from London to the South of France

One motorbike, two sore bums and three panniers for seven days

In the spring of 2015, Matt and I were looking for a little adventure to go on our motorbike. We decided to go to the south of France based on the fact that we could do a round trip in seven days whilst also enjoying a little taste of summer.


We planned most of our trip using the Explore feature in Google Maps. To summarise it, it shows you pictures of the place you are looking at and their exact location. Check it out below ↓

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So we planned our route, packed the essentials on to our three panniers – including our camping gear – and set off for another adventure. 



Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 12.05.16.pngDay one did not go exactly to plan. We took the ferry from Dover at around 5.30am and did not settle down until about 10pm. Day one was the hardest day for 3 reasons:

    • Driving for most of the time on a motorway is boring, especially at the back of a bike. There is no pretty scenery, just a dead-straight road.
      • Just after we left Paris, it started pouring down with rain and it did not stop until the evening. It was cold and we were soaked wet.
    • We stopped at a service station near Chalon-Sur-Saone for some dinner and we had a problem – the bike would not start again. We spent three hours at this service station thinking our holiday was over and thinking that we would have to spend the night cold and wet with no bed… Until someone who worked at the service station told us that some bikes have the same problem when they stop there. It was something to do with a signal tower and the motorbike alarm – so the bike should work again if we pushed it as far away from the tower as possible. Running out of options and feeling super tired, we had no other choice but to push that 1000cc bike plus the heavy panniers alongside the hard-shoulder of the motorway. After almost 20 minutes walking down the motorway, we arrived at the end of the hard-shoulder and prayed that the bike would turn on – and it did, finally! 

The original plan was to camp for the first night so that we could save some money. However, given the circumstances mentioned above, we resorted to Booking.com to find a property at a reasonable price for the night.


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Day two was a lot brighter and drier. Riding through the Gorge du Verdon National Park was stunning – we went through lots of small villages surrounded by beautiful scenery.
We settled down in a campsite called Camping Peyrengue near Moustiers Sainte Marie.
It was a very cheap campsite which also had its own little bar and restaurant plus a cute Labrador pup. 




Screen Shot 2017-10-05 at 21.34.17.pngWe woke up early and rode to Pont du Galetas to find a kayak rental place. It was really easy to find it and also to rent a kayak. We were ready to kayak by 8.30am and that was the perfect time as there were not many people around.


Pont du Galetas

Kayaking through the Gorge


After kayaking, we rode on through the scenic route to Nice. We did not stay in Nice for very long, we stopped for a while at the beach and decided that was enough.


The rest of the day consisted of riding through the iconic cote-d’azur until we reached Cassis. When in Cassis, we looked for a little hotel/B&B as we would stay for two nights.



View from the rooftop in our hotel


Day four was amazing! We rented a kayak for the whole day and kayaked from Cassis to Calanque d’en-vau in under one hour. The Calanques cannot be reached by car, the only way is to walk or go by water. We thought that kayaking was the quickest and easiest way for us. Take a peak at this amazing place below ↓








Day five was the day we needed to start making our way back to London. We made a quick trip to La Ciotat – a little town near Cassis – before we started making our way back. We visited the Calanque de Figuerolles. Later in the afternoon we started our journey back and settled down in a campsite near Annonay. 

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We camped on the last night in a little town just outside of Paris. It was a ghost town and the only open place was a kebab shop. 

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We woke up quite early as we needed to get our ferry back to Dover from Calais. Bye bye motorbike adventure.

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  • The best time to go is during Spring. Best month: May. Everything is likely to be cheaper and there are less people/tourists.
  • Go camping for a few nights if you can. The money you save by camping means you can spend it on a nice meal in a cosy restaurant (or however you wish to spend it)
  • Steer clear from the well-known cities like Nice, Cannes, Marseille and enjoy the little towns and national parks instead.

Thank you for reading and see you for the next adventure post! ♥

Thailand: Highlights from Phuket, Koh Phi Phi and Phang Nga Bay

9 Days; return flight from London: £400; everything else: cheap!

Matthew and I took one and a half weeks of holiday in May 2017 to spend some time in the sun and eat great Thai food. Thailand was my first experience in Asia, and I believe there would not have been a better country to introduce me to this continent. From the weather to landscapes, culture and food, everything about Thailand made me feel glad to have been there and it is a shame I didn’t have time to see the whole country. But heeey, we need to be wise with our 25 days of annual leave huh?

Thailand is now one of these famous tourist hot points, and I know I am just one of the many people who have been there, but I want to share my highlights with you.


 Old Town

Our first evening in Thailand was spent here. We arrived at the hostel at about 9pm and took a stroll down in the Old Town. Unfortunately when we arrived it was a Buddhist holiday, so most shops, cafes and restaurants were closed, and they couldn’t sell beer (big big problem for me). But the town was worth seeing for its architecture alone. Not a bad way to start our mini adventure in Thailand. 

Surin Beach

This beach was a quiet little piece of heaven, which was close to our villa in Phuket. It is approximately 15 minutes away from Patong on a scooter and it is worth checking it out if you want to steer clear from crowds.



Nai Yang Beach

The best beach in Phuket in my opinion. Situated north-west of  Phuket island, near the airport, we stayed near this beach on our last day in Thailand. It was nice, quiet, pretty, and the sunset was really beautiful.


Wat Chalong

Wat Chalong temples are definitely worth taking a look in Phuket. I had never seen anything like it, so to me this was a really nice experience as I got to know a bit more about Thai culture. I also loved the architecture of this place, it was incredible.




Elephant Jungle Sanctuary

WHAT an experience! We went to an Elephant Sanctuary in Phuket where people go to feed and spend time with the elephants. Here no one rides the elephants, we just feed them and bathe with them. However one cheeky elephant caught me off guard, lifted me up and put me on her back for a couple of seconds! How did that happen? She started putting her trunk in-between my legs and I had no idea what was going on, but her carer told me to let her do it. It all happened so quickly and I got a bit scared, but this was such a great experience. It was a bit pricey for what it was, about 2500 baht each, but if you want to see one of these creatures up close then I would say you can’t put a price on these things.



Koh Phi Phi

Walk from Ao Tonsai Pier to Long Beach

Phi Phi island is such a beautiful place that it is a pleasure to walk around the island instead of taking a taxi boat. We stayed on the south-east side of the island, at the end of Long Beach. Walking is the best way to get around if you are staying on the south part of the island. It takes approximately 30 minutes to walk from Ao Tonsai Pier to the very end of Long Beach.


Long Beach

Long beach was gorgeous, not crowded and very spacious. It had a lovely view overlooking Phi Phi Leh. I would definitely recommend staying on this side of the island if you want to stay away from all the noise near Tonsai Bay.




This will be the place you might love and hate at the same time. The view is beautiful, but the place is crowded. You pay 30 baht to “go in” and also struggle to find a quiet spot. But… you can’t miss it, it is indeed very beautiful.



Nightlife in PhiPhi is like being in a big bar crawl. Do not settle just in one place. Get the “traditional” bucket and walk around from bar to bar. Loh Dalum Bay was a nice place to chill with a bucket!




Maya Bay and Phi Phi Leh Lagoon

Maya Bay is beautiful without a doubt but unfortunately its beauty is overshadowed by all the tourists. However, the famous beach is a must-see if you go to Phi Phi Island. Phi Phi Leh Lagoon was also beautiful

Tips for Maya Bay:

– Take your own private longboat. It will cost between 1000 – 1500 baht per person.
– Go early. The earlier the better. We arrived there at about 8am and there were already quite a few people on the beach.
– Do not stay on Maya Bay for too long. Go and enjoy the Lagoon instead.


Phang Nga Bay – Captain Mark’s Boat Tour

Captain Mark’s boat tour was a-m-a-z-i-n-g! Definitely a must if you are in Phuket.
We were looking for a more private boat tour and this was definitely a great choice. There was only about 20 of us on the boat, the food onboard was amazing and the places we went were stunning. Places we visited included Lawa Island, a couple of caves in Phang Nga Bay, James Bond Island (we did not get off the boat here – which is a good thing considering the amount of people I saw on one little piece of land) and Panak Island.