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We grabbed the bargain for 3 days in Budapest, 6 months ago. We don’t usually plan so much ahead, unless the trip multi-day hiking or other outdoor activities. Budapest was awarded as European Best Destination for 2019.
We knew we would be in Budapest, Hungary for sightseeing. The city has to show a great amount of history through its architecture, landmarks and tasteful cuisine. Read our guide on how to eat the best food in Budapest (street food and restaurants).
Budapest has been featured in many movies as a location where action movies related to spies were partially or completely filmed. Some of them are: Mission Impossible – Ghost Protocol, Red Heat, Hellboy II: The Golden Army, Transporter 3, Underworld Evolution, World War Z, A Good Day to Die Hard, Evita and many more.
It was one of our bucket list things: to spend 3 days in Budapest and experience as much as possible. It was proved that you need more than 3 days, as Budapest is a city of many layers.
Best Things to Do in 3 Days in Budapest
Budapest carries lots of the Old Europe essence. It is indeed a city with a huge historical center. Furthermore, if you want to do what a good traveler must do (aka, walk a lot) you will see even more things that are in the center of Budapest.
Great architecture, luxurious SPA facilities hosted inside old buildings, even more castles and great parks are everywhere. Many think that it is a small European city when you compare it to other popular ones. It is not that small. The city surprises you with how well it is kept through the ages; far beyond the center.
Why to Walk through the Budapest City Center?
Of course you need to walk. Walking is the way to get familiar with a place. Get a hop on/hop off bus if you like but combine it with lots of walking.
Maybe you are a fan of river cruises in such cities. Usually it is not the best option, as rivers are -of course- far lower from the street level and as you sit there you see things for a very diminished position.
Downtown Budapest, walking next to the river
One of the emotional charged areas in the city center is next to the river. There, a memorial installation takes place. You have seen that in pictures. The sculptures are different kinds, sizes and sets of boots and shoes sculpted in metal. The installation is called “Shoes at the Danube River” (sculptor: Gyula Pauer).
Shoes at the Danube River
They represent the execution of Jews during the WWII period, by the local fascist militia. It is a true story. All these people were aligned next to the river bank, ordered to take off their shoes and they were shot to fall in the river.
Another one is the magnificent Parliament building, also related to the rough communist period of this country. The underground museum presents and explains what happened during the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, with videos, pictures and narrations.
Next to the Parliament, stop and take a break. Have a peach frappé at Smúz. It is like milk-shake but (to our opinion) far more tasty.
Do visit the Vajdahunyad Castle, close to the Heroes Square (Hősök tere).
That is a really big area that includes a castle and a park with lakes. You can rent a car-shaped kayak-like “boat” and get through the lake.
Walk the Széchenyi Chain Bridge; the first permanent bridge across the Danube in Hungary. When it was built, it was regarded as one of the modern world’s engineering marvels.
Széchenyi Chain Bridge
St. Stephen’s Basilica. It took its name after king Stephen, the first king of Hungary. It is the largest church in Budapest.
St. Stephen’s Basilica from the front
Why to Explore the Buda Castle Hill?
We advise to approach the Buda Castle Hill area during your first or last day there, as this is a really big area, far from a simple castle. Have in mind that you might spend half a day on this area, or even more.
Aspect of the castle from afar
It is so big that the view to Budapest changes as you walk all around the enormous hill.
Aspect form a location at Buda Castle Hill
From this aspect (above) you see another hill afar, that hosts the enormous monument of the Liberty Statue.
Fisherman’s Bastion, nead Buda Castle is a structure that looks like a fortified wall, surrounding part of the hill. It is famous famous for its turrets and for spires. You can pay a ticket and get through the turrets for a view to the city of Budapest, though you can see the same from other corners of the same area, without paying anything.
Close to the bastion is the amazingly looking Matthias church, with the famous Holy Trinity statue.
Matthias church, with the famous Holy Trinity statue
Matthias Fountain is located in the court of the Buda Castle. It is sometimes called the “Trevi Fountain of Budapest”. Here is an interesting story for some secrets related to this fountain.
Budatower is also here. This is the church of Saint Mary Magdalene and the oldest building in Kapisztran square. It was built in late Gothic style. You can pay a ticket and get to the top for a surrounding view.
Why to Visit the Margaret Island (Margitsziget) Park in Central Budapest?
If you have a few hours to spare and want to walk in -what we called as- the Central Park of Budapest, then you need to visit this island. You can walk there as you cross one of the bridges. It is in the middle of the river.
There are lots of recreational areas, a sports center and many paths to walk. It is a nice break and you can have fun either walking through (you will need 2 to 3 hours just to walk it) or rent a double-bicycle (or even a quad-bicycle).
Cycling through the Margaret Island
We had so much fun. We took one for 1 hour and stopped at different areas taking photos.
There are restaurants, cafe’s, bars and many things for kids, parents and couples to do.
There are parks and many areas to rest and relax at Margaret Island
3 Days in Budapest.. Where to Eat?
From “plain” sausages, to “complex” Goulash’s, fried bread and chimney cakes, Budapest has lots of intriguing foods to taste.
Do not neglect to drink the famous Palinka drink. Especially after eating a lot, it will boost your digestion process. Read our food post for that too.
Which Museums to Visit for 3 Days in Budapest?
Budapest was awarded as European Best Destination for 2019. Get the Budapest Card to have access to 17+ museums, tours, transportation, restaurants and more. For 3 days, that is a whole lot of museums and you won’t be able to see them all.
One that is a must-see is the History Museum at the Buda Castle. Ιt covers a big range of the 2000 years of Budapest (once separated into: Buda, Pest and Obuda).
Exhibits in the history museum
Exhibitions go back from the Roman times to present days, all shown in wonderful palatial rooms.
Are you going to Budapest, Hungary and you want to eat the best food in Budapest? Wait no more, as we were there and we had a wonderful time.
We would love to share all the insider tips for this here. As in Lisbon, we chose Withlocals for Budapest too. In case you didn’t read about that experience, go and read it please.
Anyway we are in experiencing various food tours these days, along with some really nice hiking experiences and city sightseeing. We make our plans to see many things in cities but when it comes to getting deeper in the off-the-beat secrets we prefer someone from that city to walk us through.
Let us take you through our best food in Budapest story.
Our Food in Budapest Tour
Our guide in that tour was Adrienne. A classy lady from Hungary, which indeed loved good food. She explained a lot of things for ingredients, drinks and the origin of them.
We learned how to understand a good and real Goulash soup from a “touristy” one, and we tasted the good one. Same with sausages, the Palinka drink, fried bread, chimney cakes and the famous wine with soda of Budapest!
So, how to eat the best food in Budapest? Go to:
Arany Pince Restaurant
Hungarians say that in order to eat good Goulash you have to go down. That means you need to go to traditional Hungarian restaurants that are under the street level. So you walk down.
We entered one of the most beautifully decorated halls. Really cozy and warm place. The chef was not speaking English well but she had such a big smile; a very warm person!
We learned that Goulash is made with pork meat. It is a soup and not a stew (as served in some places). The soup has plenty of materials in it like: pork meat, beans, vegetables, potato and such. It is not just juice.
Goulash (Gulyásleves) soup
You get really full with that. We consider that plate as one of the best foods in Budapest one must try.
Hungarians also make Goulash with beef and chicken (mostly in summer time).
We got out feeling really full. The tour was not just nibbling food around. We were served with good portions for each plate.
Thankfully, we didn’t just moved in from one restaurant to another. We walked through the city center, where Adrienne explained lots of things for different areas.
This one looks more like a “fast-food” along with a butchery but it is neither. There, pork is the king (but also serves beef, poultry, etc). You can even choose the part of meat you want at the ground floor and they cook it on the spot.
In that place you will taste the most meaty Kolbasz sausages, with very little fat in them.
Eat them with horseradish, a salad made with braised cabbage, pickles and braised carrots. Hungarians prefer to eat that white bread.
The place is a self-service one with lots and lots of people coming through.
Best Street Food in Budapest: The Caravan
There are lots of bars where the Caravan is.
The Caravan Street Food area
At some point (don’t know exactly when) some person took his food truck and placed it in an empty field close to the bars.
People were staying up late drinking and partying. What comes after drinking? You got it right. Time for some food to ease “the munchies”.
That person had the truck in place, so people found a way to ease their hunger. You can guess how it goes. Soon, more found out and pretty soon an area with many different food trucks (caravans) was developed.
You actually get in a food court corridor with food caravans (different ethnic cuisines) left and right.
The delicacy there is fried bread with yellow cheese flakes on top. The dough is more like a donuts one, than of a bread. It is sweet, and the yellow cheese makes it even sweeter.
Fried “bread” Street Food in Budapest
We split one in 3 as more would be way too much. We also had to reserve some space for the cake and some drinks.
Moving to the Chimney Cake of Budapest
We’ve seen the chimney cake before in other cities in Europe, but never tried it. Weird, right? Apparently it is the most easy cake to make, even with its variations!
Dough is wrapped in stripes, around a wooden cylinder, then dipped in sugar and then in cinnamon.
Chimney cake preparation
The cylinder is pierced with a skewer and this is placed over fire. The skewer whirls until it is ready, then it is taken out from the cylinder and there you have it.
Chimney Cake ready to eat
The cinnamon dip is the original chimney cake. There are variations with chocolate chips, fillings in the chimney and all kinds. In some cities or even in Budapest you can get your chimney filled with chocolate cream, nuts and all kinds of stuff.
Wine with Soda at Szimpla Kertmozi, aka the Ruins Pub
That is far from a pub. It is a have-fun ecosystem by itself.
With “ruins” you may think something from antiquity, but it is not. It is called “ruins” because this big place was an abandoned and never renovated old house -or house complex- of Budapest.
These days it is a place of free expression of art and of partying.
The story behind is an intriguing one. Years ago, the government said that old houses in Budapest had to be renovated. The owner of this place didn’t have the money needed to do that. The place was big and it would be costly.
So, he decided to kept it like that. On top, he decided to decorate it with items that he would find as thrown away from other old houses that were to be renovated. In a few words: One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
That exact styling became trendy.
All different areas, rooms that host different bars, chill-out places are decorated with a huge number of contradictory things. On top of that there is green everywhere.
Literally all walls are covered with things people write on them. You can leave your “mark” everywhere. It seems that such is not only forbidden but also indirectly encouraged.
You can get your drinks from the ground level and go sit at one of the rooms on top.
It seems like decadence art everywhere with many paradox items as decorations. We have never seen something like that. It is not just about the graffiti. This place is a huge concept.
Beware on the wine with soda drink. You can get addicted to that!
We were feeling a bit heavy from all the food and such and as Adrienne predicted, she again mentioned that we need to have a glass of Palinka!
She claimed that that one will speed up digestion and Hungarians drink it for that reason.
So, we moved on to the Palinka museum.
The Palinka Drink, Museum and Bar
Yes, we had to go down there too. The Palinka museum is an under the street level establishment where you can:
Pay 13 euro p.p. and taste 3 different tastes of Palinka, or
Pay 10 euro p.p. to go through the museum, learn about Palinka production, play the interactive game(s) and at the end taste 1 glass of Palinka
Well, Palinka is an over 50 degrees alcohol drink. Having 3 of them each would be too much and we wanted to visit the museum too. We chose option number 2 and we were right about it.
You can also sit at the bar and buy a bottle from the same inhouse store.
The museum is not big but explains how this drink is made. Apparently it can be made from different fruits. It is made through the fermentation and distillation process.
The end result is a really clear (like crystal) liquid, that is really strong.
You can play a game they have which resembles the harvesting and the production of the drink, along with a memory game which helps you to remember the fruits used in the distillation process. It was funny enough for us to play that.
Inside the Palinka museum
Guys and girls, let us tell you that in no more than 30 minutes from drinking just one glass from that liquid, we were ready to eat again!
That was our last stop for the day. Three hours flew very fast.
It would also be our last day in Budapest and that was a nice closure.
Well, we had a couple of drinks later that night too in one of the numerous small bars in the city centre.
Before and after tasting Food in Budapest
There are some fantastic places to visit in the city (separate post coming up). Along our food tour, we walked through the Gozsdu Courtyard (Gozsdu Udvar).
This courtyard has many small bars, cafe’s and bistro’s at the left and right side of a corridor that goes through it. It is like a portico, that changes from lunch to dinner to party area as the day goes by.
Having a Lisbon food experience was something we had in mind in our previous trip to Portugal’s different cities. During that trip we mostly tasted “tapas”.
Now we wanted to have an experience, guided from locals as we love quality in food and good ingredients.
So, we had a tour through WithLocals and it was the right choice. WithLocals is one of the tour providers we decided to add to our suggestions for organized tours. We wanted to make sure their services are of the level we wanted them to be.
We booked with them and were assigned with a local guide. Her name was Luciana; a fantastic, funny and well educated person. She got us through the small Lisbon food establishments, that had something special “to say”.
Bottom line? We had lots of great food and fun!
Let us get you through our food experience.
Lisbon Food Tip: In our tour we tasted around 10 different flavors/dishes. Make sure to have space in your stomach; eat an early breakfast and book the Lisbon food tour after 1pm.
Our first stop was…
Casa da India (House of India)
Wait… What? We were puzzled to see that name outside the tavern. We looked at each other, wondering if we were about to go into an Indian restaurant.
A second look at the -nearly- outdoors grill was enough. A really fast cook was roasting chicken, pork, fish, squid in parallel lines over open fire/coals.
The tavern is at Bairro Alto and you can get there through Metro. When you look at it from outside it doesn’t show as a fancy/touristy place at all. When driven to such places by locals, that usually means you will eat good food.
Luciana explained that we would taste cod fish and “bifanas”. Bifanas are really popular in Portugal. It is the simplest sandwich you can find.
Two plates arrived. The sandwich was obvious but where was the cod fish?
A small potato-looking delicacy was at one of the plates. That was Pastel de Bacalhau, aka, Codfish Cake.
Yes, you read it well. It was a Codfish cake. Really tasty. You can eat as it is or dip into a spicy sauce that largely enhances its taste. It is a traditional plate of Portugal. They cook cod and tuna with many ways.
In other places in Portugal it is served along with a liqueur (more on that in our upcoming posts for Madeira and our 50km hiking trips there).
The bifana sandwich was soft and really well seasoned.
The tour was becoming a really promising one.
Pasteis De Nata
From cod and pork to dessert? That was a turn-around!
Everybody has to taste this fantastic sweet. We had some during our previous trip in Lisbon and we simply liked it. Little did we know that we were about to taste the most fantastic and fresh one in Lisbon.
That was a completely different experience for our palate.
Pasteis De Nata
The “Manteigaria” shop, at Rua de Loreto, serves only Pasteis De Nata sweets. You can literally watch the pastry chefs make them.
Fresh ones come out from the oven every 30 minutes.
That guarantees that you will eat something fantastic! We can’t transfer the emotion, that was generated from such a fresh dessert. It was heavenly. There were lines of people waiting to get served, just to get a couple of them!
A dessert was an out of the box way to start a food tour, right? Well, more surprises were expecting us along the way!
The “Bread of God” (pão de deus)
The store was “A Padaria Portuguesa”. A bakery with lots of sweets looking at you from the shop window. It was an open invitation to a sugary feast.
However, the secret delicacy to taste here was the “Bread of God”. It is covered with coconut. The filling interior is a buttery brioche-like bread.
It is fluffy, soft with lemon zest, a little bit of rum and an “idea” of vanilla.
Bread of God, indeed!
Such breads usually has dried coconut flakes as a topping, but in this shop coconut covers 80% of the bread.
So far, we had 2 sweets in our Lisbon food tour. An unorthodox -maybe- way to start a food tour, but on the other hand it really puts a smile on your face, right?
Along our walk, Luciana was explaining things for the history of the city and the points of interest we were looking at. Food and guided tour, all in one!
Leaving desserts behind us (with a bit of sadness), it was time for Tapas tasting! We sat at Tasca Pombalina. A small busy tavern who served us with a tri-plate dish.
Octopus with onions
Chickpeas with cabbage
Chicken offals with red sauce
Lisbon food: Tapas
The food was plenty and we couldn’t finish it all! I am not a huge fan of chickpeas (Maria likes them more), but these tasted really good. The octopus was tender with a touch of vinegar, while the offals were chewy and with very little fat.
Food cooked like that was a really new experience of local cuisine for us. We are familiar with octopus and chickpeas but not cooked in that way. Nice surprise!
Lisbon Portugal Food Market(s)
For our next experience, Luciana took us through one of the Lisbon Food Markets. Talking about lots of ham, cheese and “bifanas” (plain bread and pork sandwiches).
Do pass by the food kiosks and take the small bites of ham and cheese to taste. There is a special soft buttery cheese in Portugal that you have to eat it like that; wrapped in a slice of ham.
Farm to Market… to Mouth
Do taste, taste more and taste a little bit after that!
There is not only food market in Lisbon. There are some where you can shop and eat, while there are others that are all-under-one-roof restaurants. Such is the TimeOut Market!
The TimeOut Food market
Tasting more Tapas!
We moved into the Alfama district, only to sit at another small tavern, with really friendly people. The name: Tasca Sao Miguel.
A plate with Chorizo and 2 different kinds of cheese, landed on our table.
No end to Tapas! Bring it on!
We washed that down with some sweet white wine, while discussing with the owners on which quiet Greek island is best to visit in summer time. Just to let you know, we suggested Naxos and Ikaria.
We left the place, feeling more relaxed and smiley. The wine may had to do something with that feeling, or it could be the fantastic chorizo. But, who really cares…?
Drinking Ginjinha (Ginja)
A nice shot of this sweet drink was what we needed to complete a feast of different local Lisbon foods and clean our palates.
Ginjinha is made of cherries. It is sweet and strong. It is served in small plain cups or ones made from white or dark chocolate. That makes them even stronger.
Sipping down some Ginja in black chocolate shots
We entered the smallest standing bar (or shots bar?) ever seen in our lives, but the Ginja shots were perfect!
Two for the road and like that we reached the end of our tour, after 3 hours of walking in the city and tasting so many things!
Overall feelings after our Lisbon Food Tour
Despite tasting all that amount of food we were not feeling heavy. That is usually a sign of good quality of the ingredients.
During our walk we saw many additional landmarks of Lisbon that we had no idea they existed, like the oldest bookstore in the world: Bernard Chiado (Livraria Bertrand), one of the oldest bars in Lisbon (A Brasileira) and so many more.
That day, was also the Freedom day for Lisbon, so there were tons of red carnations all over the city.
Lisbon is a fantastic city. When you go there, also make time to visit the cities of Sintra, Cascais, Porto and Fatima. All are easy to reach by train or bus or you can rent a car!
If you plan for Germany, then you can definitely spent a weekend in Berlin. The strategic location of Berlin at the ‘heart of Europe’ assures any would be visitor some smooth convenience in the course of travels. This combined with the rich heritage of Germany as a whole makes a visit to the city worthwhile.
Our post here dares to offer guidance to a typical two-day visit. Read on to find out more about how to prepare and where to visit.
Berlin is a pretty large city both in terms of population and land mass. You will hence find it quite inconvenient to move from one location to another. The city does have a robust transportation system. This is however made cumbersome due to the exorbitant cost of travels.
Luckily, it does have some nice lanes for biking.
For this reason, you have to think ‘outside the box’ while planning a visit. If you have more days in Berlin (i.e. 3), then read this post with more ideas for things to do in Berlin.
Just like in many other cities, your first day of the visit has to be concentrated at the central business district. This is to give you the head start you need to familiarize yourself with the entire city. It is also to acquaint you with the various ethics, signs, and rules governing matters transportation in the wider Berlin metropolis. These are the ‘must visit’ areas in your first day of the tour:
The Reichstag Building is the seat of Germany’s political power. It is an edifice that features a historic, Norman Foster glass dome. At its zenith is an observation deck which accords a 360° view of the city below. Access to its interior is severely limited to non-EU nationals.
It is nevertheless a good background for matters photography. Depending on when you visit and how lucky you are, you might also have some one-on-one conversations with the federal lawmakers.
East Side Gallery
A multitude of graffiti awaits you here.
Located right at the center of Berlin, this East Side Gallery houses some conserved graffiti project by 118 artists. These paintings cover portions of the Berlin Wall and it aims at celebrating its collapse. They stretch 1316 m long and showcases some of the struggles that went to the sinking of the wall. It hence provides one-stop access to the brutal history of the cold war. Spare some time to reflect the horrible past of this event while at this place.
Berlin Cathedral Church
Germany, much like most of Europe also played a crucial role in the spread and advancement of Christianity. It was the home of Martin Luther and the epicenter of the Protestant Reformation of 1517. This Berlin Cathedral Church is a silent reminder of this awesome past. Inside it is an organ that has 7,000 pipes. Its exterior has royal tombs and a dome for breathtaking city views.
The city of Berlin was at the crossroads of the cold war (1945-1989). This Checkpoint Charlie marked the border between these two opposing factions or protagonists. It is at this junction that visitors to either side were screen before being allowed entry. After the collapse of the Berlin wall, this checkpoint is now a silent reminder of this horrible past.
Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe
We all know what role Germany played in the persecution of Jews during the Nazi era (1933-1945). This museum is devoted to reminding anyone of this sad chapter in Germany’s history. It comprises some 2,711 columns which jointly commemorate the Holocaust. Underneath it is an underground exhibition room for the display of numerous relics. The atmosphere here is generally tense and unforgiving. Take heart though.
Potsdamer Platz is a square that occupies the very heart of the city’s history. It is a plaza in Berlin, Germany. This historic square goes a lifeline at the fall of Berlin Wall and is now an entertainment hub by virtue of comprising numerous restaurants and shops. Do visit here to eat some of the topnotch local cuisines. Be prepared to spend a lot due to the high costs of food in Germany.
Museum Island (Bode Museum)
This island is so-called because it incorporates a museum, cathedral, and art museum at the same time. It lies in the northern half of the Spree River and is also the site of the ancient city of Cölln. All the aforementioned facilities are located at close proximity to one another. For this reason, you will not really struggle to access them and will hence spend less of your time and effort in so doing.
Berliner Fernsehturm is probably the most notable of all the structures that dot the Berlin skyline. It is famously called the TV Tower in English and also stands as the tallest and visible of all the buildings in Germany. The structure has a revolving restaurant and a viewing platform at its zenith.
In all, it measures 368m tall, has a viewing gallery at the 203m level and revolving restaurant at 207m. Do spare some time to eat and sightsee the city while at it.
Charlottenburg Palace is one of the many buildings that were devoted to past rulers of Germany. This palace has its roots in the 17th century and has castles and gardens. It comes in the form of the Baroque summer palace and has huge gardens, rooms packed with paintings, tapestries and porcelain.
Its interior is very breathtaking and accords some nice photo opportunities. Apart from learning a bit about Germany’s past, you will also take some nice photos of your memorialization.
Weekend in Berlin: Day 2
In your last day of the trip, you want to focus on those little known attractions which are scattered all over the city. In this last segment, we have identified and are going to explain those facilities and attractions which served some peripheral yet equally significant contribution in shaping the destiny of Germany as we know it. Arm yourself with a digital camera and a tour guide if you can afford one for the most rewarding of outcomes.
Berlin Wall Memorial
To commemorate the fall of the Berlin Wall and the grip of communism on West Germany, the city does have a Berlin Wall Memorial. It is in the shape and form of a monument in Berlin, Germany. For a large part, it is a conserved part of the city wall and exhibition. It also commemorates the historic divide by way of a preserved section of the original wall and memorial.
Sanssouci Palace and Gardens
Germany was once ruled by a skilled combatant who led it through a series of military victories. He reigned from 1740-1786 and is popularly called Frederick the Great. This iconic Sanssouci Palace, located in Potsdam is devoted to his life and times. That is because it served as a summer residence and still contain those 18th-century furnishings as well as an iconic terraced vineyard.
Germany, like any other major power, has been involved in some wars in the past. One such was the Danish-Prussian War which was fought in the 1800s. This monument in Berlin commemorates this milestone. It takes the form of the 67m-high gilded column. Its peak provides some city-wide views from which are unhindered by any tall building nearby. Your visit to this venue during your weekend in Berlin, gives you a chance to take photos and enjoy awesome views at a time.
Unter den Linden
Touring Berlin does not just have to entail taking a taxi or public transport. This cul-de-sac gives you a rare opportunity to walk around and sightsee the many gems that Berlin central hub has to offer. The grand boulevard is lined with linden trees on both sides and is hence good to gaze and capture photos. It also has some malls for your purchase of several commodities and merchandises.
Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church
This protestant church in Berlin, Germany is named after the last of Germany’s emperors. It is available in the form of a 19th-century architecture which has been rebuilt to conform to the modern standards. If you happen to visit the facility on Sunday, you will be able to attend the services. Otherwise, sightseeing and photography will do just fine on other days.
Germany and indeed much of Europe contains numerous plant and animal species. That is why a visit to one of Berlin’s major zoos make much sense. This Zoo Berlin is huge, leafy and contains a modern aviary. At the zoo are some naturalistic animal habitats, a modern birdhouse with daily feedings. They number around 1,380 different species. They offer some great resources for any animal enthusiast. If you cannot speak Deutsch, ask for an English translator for the best understanding. Mark this for your weekend in Berlin, in case you have spare time after seeing all architecture.
To wrap up your weekend in Berlin, you want to take some boat ride on the sprawling Spree River and canal.
It snakes its way through the heart of Berlin. Being wide and deep, the river is greatly navigable. A boat ride will cost you some premium but will nonetheless fill your experience and adventure of the city. Do capture some photos as you move along. Take care of the waves though as they may at times turn violent.
Getting to know all that awaits you in a typical three-day visit in and of itself is not enough. You definitely have to take a step further and actualize the recommendations.
Just like much of Europe, you are advised to visit here mostly in the warm summer months.
Apart from being conducive, the timeframe also experiences numerous visitors from around the world.
Going for 2 days in Paris? Popularly known as the ‘City of Lights’, Paris is a great metropolitan area within France and the wider Europe as a whole. You can never afford to overlook it in your visit to mainland Europe.
Given the expensive nature of the city, you want to make the most of your visit to the area. We have lined up for you some itinerary of the most critical and ‘must-visit’ places in a typical two-day visit.
If you have 5 or 7 days for Paris then read more of our posts from here and here.
Generally speaking, we do recommend that you visit this city in the summer which runs from the end of May through to the end of August. It is at that time that the weather is forgiving and the city is also lively with visitors.
Expect to spend quite some money to move around. Paris, being a first world city, is naturally very expensive. To add insult to injury, the city is also unfriendly to bikes and as such, you will mostly find yourself hiring taxis.
2 Days in Paris, France: Day 1
On your first day of the trip, we do recommend that you visit the most popular and globally-renowned landmarks. This is just in case you are unable to proceed with the rest of the tour. Luckily, most of these landmarks are located within close proximity to one another.
As such, you will not have to walk longer to be able to access them. This means limited inconvenience and greatly reduced costs of transportation. Here are some of the places to start with:
Louvre Museum at the Right Bank of the Seine
Louvre Museum is yet another well-known of Paris building structures and facilities. It is also a landmark art museum which has a vast collection of artwork of all kinds. The facility once served as a historic palace.
It houses huge art collections, mostly from the Roman sculptures to da Vinci’s “Mona Lisa.” Its strategic and central location means limited hassles to access and fairer degree of convenience as well.
Cathédrale Notre-Dame de Paris is an iconic Gothic church which is located at the heart of Paris. It traces its origins way back to the 13th-century and has some flying buttresses and gargoyles. The cathedral has played some significant roles in the spiritual and political life of France.
You need not necessarily be a Catholic or a Christian for that matter to be able to make some good out of this building. Its breathtaking appearance coupled with nice architecture is both great for sightseeing and photography.
(Note: In April 2019, Notre-Dame, was largely damaged by fire. You need to check if you can visit).
Arc de Triomphe at the Champs-Élysées
France was at one time a ‘strong man’ in the affairs and history of Europe. During the Napoleonic era (1799-1815), it dominated Europe militarily, politically, and diplomatically. No other structure reminisces these accomplishments better than this Arc de Triomphe.
This iconic triumphal arch and a national monument commemorate Napoleon’s victories. It also has an observation deck for you to get to and gaze the breathtaking beauty of Paris metropolis. Arm yourself with a camera to capture these and many more images.
Eiffel Tower at Champ de Mars
Eiffel Tower at Champ de Mars
Needless to say, the Eiffel Tower should top the list of your tourism destinations. This is a world-renown tower in Paris, France. The landmark measures 324 mt high and was constructed in the 19th-century tower. It contains steps and elevators which lead you to some observation decks high up.
Other than photography and sightseeing, your visit here may and should indeed entail climbing the elevators to capture some panorama of the Paris skyline.
Definitely, you cannot visit Paris and leave without eating or buying anything. Perhaps no other shopping district grants you the opportunities to do these better than this Champs-Élysées. It is an iconic site of landmarks, dining, and shops.
As you walk through these streets, you will come across some fine restaurants, shops, and other great dining facilities. Food and merchandise cost a lot here in Paris. Be prepared to dig deeper in your pocket to be able to afford them.
Sacré-Cœur at Barre
France and indeed much of Western Europe played a vital role in the proselytization of Christianity. This Sacré-Cœur is yet another silent reminder of Europe’s great Christian past. It is basically a landmark hilltop white basilica.
Apart from the core role of serving as a place of worship, the facility in and of itself is also breathtaking to behold. It does have some interior mosaics, stained-glass windows, and a crypt, all of which are great for photography and sightseeing.
As part of your study of the glorious past of France, you want to spend some time here at the Palace of Versailles. This structure served as the official residence of King Louis XIV. It is gilded and adorned with great gardens.
Access to the facility is restricted to those who hail from outside the European Union. If you do happen to gain access, you will be taken through some guided tours of its gilded apartments, chandeliered Hall of Mirrors and fountain show.
Are you a lover of art? Well, you have this Musée d’Orsay museum for your visit. The museum contains a collection of several masterpieces of 19th- & 20th-century art. These including photography, furniture, sculptures, and paintings.
Entry is free to children who are citizens. Others can be charged up to €14. Though huge, the benefits you stand to accrue far outweigh this small investment. Do purpose to spare a bit of your time and spend it here.
Montmartre in Paris’s 18th arrondissement
Montmartre is a large hill which is located right at the heart of Paris. At the hill are a basilica, vineyard, and a museum that is dedicated to the celebrated Dutch painter, Vincent van Gogh. A stay here lets you hit three birds with one stone.
You get to access the basilica, take some tour of the vineyard and even visit the museum for a deeper understanding of the life and times of the Dutch painter. Being free of any congestions, it is also a place to detach and relax.
Luxembourg Gardens in the 6th arrondissement of Paris
Your final venue on your first day of the tour should be these Luxembourg Gardens. It is basically a park which has a couple of manicured lawns and statues. The trees provide the shade whereas the breeze from the winding Seine River cools the atmosphere for your lively stay.
This is a place to detach and relax from the congested lifestyles of the rest of the city. Being breathtaking, it also provides you some great photography opportunities. What’s more? You will also get to socialize with others from around the world!
2 Days in Paris, France: Day 2
Having exhausted the most crucial landmarks and places of interest in your first leg of the tour, it is now in order to go deeper into those other facilities which are located farther afield. These places are located far apart and will hence require longer commute time and transport expenses.
Taxis are the best means to move around. They are flexible enough to accord you the convenience you require. Be prepared though to spend a lot as transport costs are too high.
Tuileries Garden near Place de la Concorde
This garden is an expansive, 17th-century formal garden in Paris. It is dotted with a couple of statues such as the 18 bronzes by Maillol. The garden is public in nature; meaning that you are not charged any amount to access it.
This is a good place to retreat to as you prepare to venture out to your visit. The ambiance is cool and breathtaking. You will get to unwind and even make friends with other like-minded persons of your kind in the area.
Are you a lover of nightlife? Well, this Moulin Rouge is a nice place to retire to at the end of your visit to the city. It is basically a Cabaret in Paris, France. Inside the facility are some dinner, dancers, and Belle Epoque décor.
The dancers adorn themselves in elaborate costumes which add some life to the air. You will get to have some fun after a long and hectic day running your errands.
If you choose to travel with your junior, you must divert and spend a bit of your time here. This is a theme park in Marne-la-Vallée, France. It comes in the form of an iconic amusement park that offers some themed rides.
Other than that, it also provides some family-friendly shows and costumed characters, as well as a dozen hotels. It is located some 32 km away from downtown Paris and is hence not so convenient to access.
The Centre Pompidou in the Beaubourg area
Paris has in store for anyone an opportunity to quench his literary and musical thirst. This Avant-garde multicultural complex serves that particular role just fine. It houses a music center, library, and a modern art museum.
Being a one-stop-shop facility, you will get to enjoy all your interests and issues ‘under one roof.’ For this reason, you will spend less of your time and money yet gain so much more in return.
Place de la Concorde
France did interact with the mighty Egyptian Empire for quite some time. In the course of this, they did amass some artifacts and devote some relics to commemorate the now fallen empire. This Place de la Concorde Plaza in Paris, France is a venue dedicated to those issues.
At the 18th-century plaza are an Egyptian obelisk, a major public square, a number of the scene of executions, fountain decorations, and statues of Egyptian Pharaohs.
Le Marais in the 4th arrondissement, aka SoMa (South Marais)
Do you cherish matters fashion and dressing? Purpose to spend some of your time here at the Le Marais. It is a segment of Paris that is devoted to matters hip boutiques and also contains gay bars, galleries, and a Jewish quarter.
French boutique and designer attire are ordinarily expensive. Be prepared yet again to spend a lot of your cash. The quality and the prestige are nevertheless impeccable, a fact that guarantees your long-term value for your money.
Sainte-Chapelle on the Île de la Cité in the River Seine
As has already been noted, France and indeed much of Europe played a crucial role in promoting Christianity. This chapel in Paris, France is yet another silent reminder of this glorious past. It is a gothic chapel which has stained-glass windows.
Its interior contains some ornate, 13th-century relics and notable stained-glass windows of the various biblical scenes. It is a nice place to just walk around and gaze the beauty over and above taking some photographs.
Les Invalides in the 7th arrondissement
Apart from the Arc de Triomphe, this Les Invalides is yet another facility that is dedicated to the past military successes of France. It is a building complex in Paris, France which serves as a military museum and the remains of the interred war heroes.
The complex also contains a church and the tomb of Napoleon Bonaparte. You have to visit the facility if you are a lover of history or matters past events.
Latin Quarter is an area in the 5th and the 6th arrondissements
Just in case you happen to be a student, you have to visit this Latin Quarter. It is home to the reputable Sorbonne University and is lined with numerous cafes and bookshops. A visit here will let you mingle with several scholars from all walks of life.
While here, do take some time to visit the Jardin des Plantes botanical gardens, the stately Panthéon building, and the National Museum of Natural History. You will get to see the remains of notable persons like Voltaire and Marie Curie.
Catacombs of Paris
One last significant yet oft-overlooked place of interest is the Catacombs of Paris. This is a complex of cemeteries and tunnels which houses a whopping 6 million skeletons. The skeletons were dug and relocated from the various cemeteries which exist in and around the city of Paris.
The interior of the catacombs is sufficiently illuminated to enhance your visibility. The scenes do appear scary. You are advised to stay away from here if your heart is not ‘made of steel.
If you are looking to go for a holiday in Europe, we recommend your first stop to be 2 days in Amsterdam. This charming Dutch port city has no shortage of interesting places and resources for any would-be visitor. It assumes this designation by being the Netherland’s largest city and economic hub.
To be able to make a visit successful, it is necessary to know the various points of interests and their relative importance. This is where our discussion comes in. We are going to take you through some guidance in a typical two-day visit to the city.
Before we start, we would just like to let you know more about the transportation infrastructure of the city. Well, as stated, Amsterdam is a port city.
There are hence some numerous canals and ferries which may transport you to and from several destinations.
The Dutch also seem to have a knack for cycling. You may hence consider renting a bike from the numerous outlets in the city.
If you want speed, then you may have to rent an Uber can or rely on the city’s public transportation resources. These do cost lots of money though.
2 Days in Amsterdam: Day 1
In your first day, we suggest that you concentrate more on those installations that are located within or at a comfortable distance from the central business district. This is to minimize the hassles and acquaint you with the surroundings of the city.
We have identified some of the facilities which you may consider giving a topmost priority. Some of them may not necessarily be located within the CBD but they are nonetheless best of the very best, all factors considered.
Van Gogh Museum
Van Gogh Museum
Every art enthusiast is probably familiar with Vincent van Gogh. His contribution to the painting cannot in any way be wished away or downplayed. Few people know though that he, in fact, is a native of this city. That is why you want to visit a museum that is wholly dedicated to him and his works.
This museum houses the largest collections of the paintings, letters, and drawings of Vincent van Gogh. It is situated in one of the residences of the painter. A stay here thus takes you back in time and allows you to relive the past moments of the said artist.
This is yet another museum which is quite close to the Van Gogh Museum. It does host a collection of European masterpieces. The structure is housed in the 19th-century building and showcases the Dutch Golden Age painting masterpieces as well as a plethora of European art collection.
If you cherish or want to know more about the rich history of Europe’s past, this is the place you want to pass by. Its surrounding itself is also very serene and breathtaking indeed. Do take some pictures to memorialize.
Anne Frank House
Anne Frank house
Do you have some sympathy for the Jews? Would you want to know more about the atrocities that were meted out on them by the Nazi regime? You do not necessarily have to go to Auschwitz or Birkenau. Amsterdam can also shed some light on this for you.
While at the city, do pass by this Anne Frank House. It is basically an annex within a larger building where some courageous Jews, Anne Frank & her family took cover from the Nazis. Its location on the Prinsengracht canal also gives you some opportunities for taking some break.
You definitely cannot visit Amsterdam and leave without spending some money. For this, we recommend that you visit the Dam square. Located within the central business district, this square houses numerous shopping facilities and jewelry. Its strategic location allows for easy access.
Things cost a lot in the Netherlands especially if you happen to come from a developing country. Be prepared psychologically for the shocks. To make your shopping a breeze, we advise you to come with an international debit card e.g. Visa, MasterCard, Alipay or American Express.
Are you a lover of beer or strong drinks? Amsterdam has you well taken care of. With lots of bars and drinking spots, you can never lack any opportunity to express your drinking prowess. Having scoured through all the drinking spots available, we strongly vouch for the Heineken Experience.
Take a tour of this interactive beer museum. It does have a tasting room which stocks and serves all kinds of European beers. Exercise some moderation though, as you do not want to overwhelm yourself.
In between your travels, you definitely want to take some breather. The Voldenpark is a place you want to retreat to. It is a huge 47-hectare park which also contains an open-air theater, playground and a couple of ponds right at the Amsterdam.
Do take some time off to sit and relax at the park. The slow breeze from the adjacent harbor together with the plenty of shade from the numerous trees will work to enhance your comfort and rejuvenation.
If and when you do feel hungry, do not just go to any hotel or eatery. We suggest that you try out the Jordaan. This district of Amsterdam is flanked by numerous hip eateries, cozy pubs, and indie boutiques. Of these, it is the eateries that are great and beneficial.
Food, just like every other commodity, costs a premium in the Netherlands. Yet again, be prepared to part with lots of cash. Even though you are free to eat anything you want, it is always advisable that you try out some local cuisines. Examples of these are endive stew, hutspot, boerenkool (kale). Bitterballen, and Stroopwafels.
Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam
Amsterdam definitely has no shortage of museums. After taking your lunch, you may yet again have to spend a bit of your time here at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam. This museum is dedicated to matters of contemporary art and design.
It exudes the appearance of large bathtub and stocks both international, modern art and design. This is a place you want to visit if you love and cherish modern art. You will come across lots of collections indeed.
Rembrandt House Museum
The Netherlands has always been the hub for painting and artwork. It is no wonder that it is coincidentally home to many kinds of museums that are dedicated to such issues. This Rembrandt House Museum is more facility of that kind.
This facility is the exact home where Rembrandt resided and worked for 17 years (1639-1656). Its interior has been reconstructed to give you a true feel of how Rembrandt must have felt while in it. It also contains a collection of his work.
Royal Palace Amsterdam
By all means, you can never visit the city of Amsterdam without taking some time off to visit the royal palace. This ornate golden-age palace has been the seat and the home of the Dutch monarch since 1808. It is also partially open to the public especially when the ruler is not around.
Detach and spend some time here to see some exhibitions of the past of the Netherlands. As a foreigner, (non-EU native), your access to the facility may be restricted for security reasons.
Check accommodation prices for your 2 days in Amsterdam trip via Booking.com. There are over 450 fantastic Amsterdam guided tours. Have a look here.
2 Days in Amsterdam: Day 2
After exhausting the central business district or the most important places of interest, you might now want to go ahead and explore those other places which also matter but are remotely located. This is the core of your second day of visit to the city.
You will often have to travel longer distances. If you lack the cash to hire a tour guide or travel company, we advise that you carry a GPS-enabled cellphone with Google maps and Waze installed in them.
NEMO Science Museum
NEMO Science Museum
NEMO Science Museum is a waterfront and boat-like, a science museum. It is situated between the Oosterdokseiland and the Kattenburg, in the Oosterdokseiland and the Kattenburg. You will find it in the Amsterdam-Centrum borough. To get here, we suggest that you use a boat.
The museum is devoted to the advancement of scientific knowledge. It hosts and showcases well over 17,000 artifacts related to science and technology. You will receive some guidance as to the contribution that each of those artifacts has made to advance the course of humanity.
Europe is a very unique continent. It is the only one without a desert and also boasts of numerous species of flora and fauna. You can never visit any European city without devoting a bit of your time to peek at the animals in the zoo.
At this Artis zoo, you will come across animals of all kinds. These include the elephants, zebras, chimps, and so much more. It also incorporates the planetarium and aquarium. The former teaches you about matters space whereas the latter is for matters marine life.
The Oude Church
The Netherlands, and indeed entire Western Europe, has a rich Christian heritage. Having played some roles in the history and development of religion, it is only fair to spend some of your time learning about the institution of the church.
The Oude Church is a cultural center in which doubles up as the oldest city building. It was once a thriving church in the 13th-century. At the moment, it hosts religious and cultural activities such as spiritual concerts.
In your second day in the city, you definitely want to experience some nightlife, don’t you? Well, the Leidseplein center is yours to visit. It is a bustling square and nightlife center. Each night, the center is a beehive of entertainment, nightlife, dining, and shopping.
It is also easily accessible via public transportation. Not all entertainment is paid for. Some performances are availed to the crowd free-of-charge. Some local theaters do charge modest amounts also. You can never have a reason to miss being here.
By far the most striking thing about the Netherlands is its love for flowers. This Bloemenmarkt market in Amsterdam brings together all stakeholders in the field of flower marketing. Unlike your ordinary market, this one floats on barges atop the canal that snakes its way through the city.
As you walk around the market, you will behold some awesome blooms of the many flower species available. These range from geraniums to tulips and so on. It also has some 15 souvenir and gift shops where you can purchase some valuables.
Reading about the history of Amsterdam via Wikipedia in and of itself is not enough. For the history to sink deeper into your memory, you have to pay a visit to a museum which is wholly constructed with it in mind. This is the Amsterdam Museum.
The museum traces the history of the city. It was once an orphanage but now collects and showcases numerous interactive exhibitions, artifacts, and artworks which trace the history of the city from the beginning of time till now.
Madame Tussaud’s Amsterdam
Apart from flowers, the Netherlands is also known to be a hub for the manufacture of wax and allied products. At this museum, you will learn anything and everything about wax and the nation. You will, for instance, peek a life-size replica famous historical persons made of wax.
Instead of a two-dimensional presentation, you will get as close to knowing about these people as you probably can. Its strategic location at the heart of the city means easy and unconstrained access to you.
As has already been stated, the Netherlands has a pretty and impressive Christian past. This Begijnhof community center is one such facility. It was at one point a women’s religious which had the capacity of the 1400s. The entire facility is generally breathtaking to behold.
Presently, it serves as two churches; one of them being English Reformed Church with the other the Catholic Houten Huys. You want to spend some time here to enjoy a service just to relive Netherland’s glorious past.
Albert Cuyp Market
This is a busy market which provides an array of offerings for just about any other customer. Here, you will find all manner of fast moving consumer goods. These include flowers, foods, clothing, and containers. Given its rich past, you will also learn about Netherland’s past.
Its name is no coincidence at all. It is named for one Albert Cuyp, who was a painter in much of the 17th century. This is in line with Netherland’s rich art, painting, and crafts past.
The National Maritime Museum
Your last stop should be at the National Maritime Museum. As the name suggests, it is devoted to matters of maritime history. To achieve this aim, the facility hosts and displays numerous maritime history exhibits and replica ship. Its stands apart from the other facilities of its kind.
It is interactive in that it allows for two-way communication between you the visitor and the artifacts on display. To enable this, the facility contains and showcases some virtual voyages which replicate the 18th-century merchant ships.
Check accommodation prices for your 2 days in Amsterdam trip via Booking.com. There are over 450 fantastic Amsterdam guided tours. Have a look here.
Having done all we can to give you the appropriate guidance for a typical two-day visit to the city of Amsterdam, we now challenge you to plan your visit soonest possible.
Even though you are at liberty to visit the city anytime you wish, the summer is by far the most recommended.
That is due to the favorable weather conditions which allow for easy access to the various facilities.
Are you planning or holiday in Europe? Spending 2 days in London, United Kingdom is a really popular getaway concept even for Europeans.
Alternatively, are you already in Europe and wondering where to go next? Scratch, not your head otherwise you might go bald!
Go to London. This city stands tall among the world’s financial centers and business hubs. It is also rich in history and contains numerous places of interests. A visit to the city is hence highly recommended.
Well, yes, London is a bit far if you come from USA (or even further) but you can combine a weekend with our 3 days in London itinerary. Going with your kids? Then do read this post for things to do in London with kids. Reading all these posts will make you plan for a week (at least) in London. But lets say you have only a weekend. What do you do?
For us, London is a destination we preferred for many reasons. One of our road trips through Europe started from there while going through France, Italy, ending up in Greece.
The city is easily accessible via sea, railway, and air. Due to the island nature of the entire United Kingdom, the city may not be easily accessible via road. To make the most of your trip, you have to plan appropriately for the visit.
We have decided to come in and rescue you out. To do so, we have split your typical visit to two days. Just like every other European city, London is also quite expensive. You have to set aside some decent amounts to make a nice visit.
2 Days in London: Day 1
As always, we often recommend that you restrict your first day to the central business district. This is to give you a head start and also aid you in getting familiar with the environment of the city as a whole.
Listed and explained below are some of the places which are more likely to make your first day of visit worthwhile and highly memorable.
Big Ben at the north end of the Palace of Westminster
Perhaps no other structure in London is as recognizable as this Big Ben. It is basically a clock tower at the parliament buildings in London, England. The tower comes in the form of the 16-story Gothic clock and is truly iconic.
Apart from showcasing time by virtue of being the most accurate time clock, it is also a nice background for matters photography. This is a place you want to take photos and memorialize for later reference.
Buckingham Palace in Westminster
Being the home to the reigning monarch, the Buckingham Palace is a must visit. In case you are a non-EU citizen, your access to the facility may be limited or severely restricted. If you qualify, a lot of resources await you.
In the building, you can tour and see the palace’s opulent private as well as staterooms. Alternatively, you may watch the changing of the guard ceremony. This takes place roughly every two hours throughout the entire daytime.
Coca-Cola London Eye at the South Bank of the River Thames
If you want to swing while at the same time gaze at the breathtaking scenery of London skyline, you have to visit the Coca-Cola London Eye. This cantilevered observation wheel gives you nice and uninterrupted views.
You should take some precaution though if you happen to fear heights or motions. That is because the motions of the wheels will mostly scare you. Plan your visit early enough due to a high number of expected visitors.
Tower of London on the North Bank of the River Thames
Just like the London Eye, the Tower of London is also another iconic structure. It, however, is not an observation deck but a medieval castle which houses the Crown Jewels. The facility has witnessed some bloody events.
Your visit at it will hence give you some peek on the past of the city. The adjacent river Thames winds down past the building structure and is good for photography.
Though initially constructed to facilitate the smooth transfer of people and goods across the Thames River, it now stands as a silent reminder of the UK’s golden Victorian age. While walking atop the river, you will peek at the panoramic views around the area.
As you stand on this bridge, you will be able to see ships cruise underneath it and the spectacular London skyline not so far from there.
The British Museum is a historian’s treasure trove. It is a huge collection of global antiquities of the world’s leading past empires. These range from the Egyptian mummies to the ancient Greek sculptures. A visit to this facility is as good as too many countries at a time.
Queen Elizabeth II Great Court (British Museum)
On the whole, the facility hosts around 8 million works of some of the largest and most comprehensive artifacts in the world. These were mainly sourced during the Victorian age.
In your hustle and bustle, you want to take some time off and breathe a little a bit. The Hyde Park which is basically acres of greenery in Central London is a place you want to consider being in. It is huge and spacious enough for your utmost relaxation.
While at the facility, you will view the Diana Memorial Fountain, boat and swim in the Serpentine Lake. The atmosphere is generally cool and lively owing to many charming people in attendance.
At the passage of one monarch or the abdication of a monarch from the throne, the new leader is usually installed here at the Westminster Abbey. The site is both a Gothic church and site for the coronation of new monarchs.
Even though coronations do happen once in a lifetime, a visit to the facility is still worthwhile. Moreover, the facility holds some church services day in and day out for anyone to attend.
This iconic structure is yet another of the many treasures that the United Kingdom has to offer to any would-be visitor. It is both a garden and churchyard and serves as the global headquarters of the Anglican Church.
Other than experiencing where the Church of England traces its roots from, it is also located at the highest point of the City of London. A visit to the venue hence gives you a chance to capture some nice photos of the city below.
Your first day of the visit to the city should culminate with a visit to the seat of the political power of England. Westminster is not just a palace. It is also an iconic structure which has some inherent photography values.
The best place to visit here is on the weekends as you will receive some guided tours of the facility. You are also allowed to take some photos from time to time. If you hail from outside Europe, you visit the facility may be restricted.
Your second day from your 2 days in London itinerary is on the run and you are on fire!
Having exhausted the attractions in the Central Business District, you now want to move on to the periphery of the city. These are facilities and other places of interests which are detached from the heart of London. You have to incur some expense to access them.
The most flexible mode of transportation in London are the taxis. They are costly though as they charge per meter. Not every portion of the city is bike-friendly though this means that to some extent, your options are limited.
Erected to commemorate the decisive defeat of the French emperor in the Napoleonic wars, this is a square you must visit if you cherish history. It comprises Nelson’s Column, fountains, and some lion statues. Its fountains are LED-lit for clear visibility in the dark.
You won’t have to pay to access the facility as the area is open for easy access to all. This is a place to take photos and socialize with other like-minded persons.
The River Thames is itself an attraction of its kind. That is because it is wide, navigable, and snakes its way right through the heart of London. You will have to pay for a boat ride up and down the stream. As an adult, be certain to part with £13.50.
You will find this quite expensive especially if you hail from a developing nation. Take heart though because you obtain in return is unlike any other.
You must definitely spend some of your money to afford a number of merchandise. We recommend that you stop over at the Covent Garden shopping hub. It also contains a Royal Opera House which hosts several concerts every now and then.
While at the facility, you will come across numerous fashion stores, entertainment spots, and crafts. Things do cost a lot here in London due to the strength of the British Pound. Prepare yourself for the shock.
The British people are lovers of flora and fauna. That is why they have dedicated several museums to the preservation and showcase of these facilities. This Natural History Museum is one such and is devoted to natural phenomena and hands-on activities.
In the facility are a diverse collection of specimens from a number of segments of natural history. Pop in here with your camera, notebook, and pen. You will get to enjoy the experiences of lifetimes.
Natural History Museum
The National Gallery in Trafalgar Square, Westminster
Showcasing and displaying major art the 13th to 19th centuries, this gallery is yet a ‘must visit’ museum facility. It is also located at the Trafalgar Square and its masterworks dig into the development of Western European painting.
Founded in 1824 and with over 2,300 paintings which originate from the mid-13th century to the 1900s, this is a place you cannot overlook if you truly cherish history. That the entrance is free is one more reason you want to spend a part of your time in London at the facility.
Just like the Coca Cola London Eye, this one also lets you gaze at the London skyline. It is 306m high glass and steel tower. In all, it has 87 floors. At the zenith of the facility are some jagged peak, which is adorned with numerous restaurants, offices, hotels, and a viewing platform.
If you fear heights, we advise that you do not visit this facility or alert one of the many tour guides around the area to guide you through. Yet again, arm yourself with a camera to capture those memorable moments.
Piccadilly Circus in West End
Even in your busy schedule, you want to spare a bit of your time to enjoy some plays and performances. The Piccadilly Circus is the place to be. This is a bustling Theatreland traffic junction. The facility organizes and hosts a number of clowns, acrobats, and music shows.
It contains a giant neon sign which is clearly legible for any would-be visitor. Entry to the facility is absolutely free-of-charge. You have no reason not to spend a bit of your time here.
Tate Modern in Bankside
Tate Modern is an art gallery in London, England. The gallery stores and showcases contemporary art. It also contains a cafe which accords you breathtaking river views of the Thames. This is not a place to hurry to. Just take your time and eat while skimming the artifacts.
Most people who frequent here are students who come from all over Europe and have an interest in matters art. You will hence get to mingle and share your experiences with them.
Madame Tussaud’s is a museum, though not your ordinary kind. That is because it showcases portraits and statues of famous persons in the shape and form of wax construction. You get to obtain and behold the exact manner in which your famous celebrity might have been.
Also, it has some themed galleries which showcase innumerable other collections for your perusal. Arm yourself with a camera to take and save some images while at the facility. You will indeed live to cherish your time here.
As a final destination, you might want to spare some time to Oxford Street. It is mainly intended for shoppers of fashion products. The street is not so far from downtime London and is therefore easily accessible on foot.
If you want to buy good outdoors and sports gear and clothing, then this is the place too.
Being busy, it is frequented by many people from all walks of life. Take some care not to get lost. A GPS-enabled device will help you trace your route backward just in case you might lose track of your state.
Ready for London, UK?
Hopefully, you have received the insight you need to make and plan a successful holiday for 2 days in London. What is now left is for you to implement the advice we have given.
As you may have noted, London is a significant destination indeed for any would-be visitor.
You cannot even think of skipping it in your itinerary. That is why we strongly recommend that you plan to visit it at least once in a lifetime. When are you planning a visit? Who are you bringing along with you? We look forward to hosting you soonest possible!
When you travel you know the feeling. You are so tired that you can’t sleep, and what about the airplane too? These 8 sets of breathing exercises for sleep are for travelers or anyone who finds difficult to sleep during any time of the day.
Try them anywhere; in your bed or in the airplane, or even in your camping tent. They work.
You don’t have to be a yogi to use these techniques. They are suitable for everyone, especially in our times where things move fast and we strive to stay focused.
The key element in breathing exercises for sleep is the same as in all things: Concentration.
The different following exercises will help you achieve relaxation and sleep in almost all circumstances. If you are a tech lover, check this white noise gadget.
Before you start your Breathing Exercises For Sleep
Prior starting any of the techniques, do close your eyes. That simple thing will cut out all distractions. Just focus on your breath. Do not try to control it. It happens naturally during the day and night anyway.
Many do try to control their breathing, “forcing” it to become rhythmic and “natural”. It won’t happen! Doing that just makes you think more, stronger and can cause headaches and some anxiety.
Choose any of the following techniques that suits you best. No worries about “having” to do all.
You can use them to relax (while i.e. sitting) or to sleep. For that, do practice them in a place where you feel comfortable to relax or to sleep.
The 4-7-8 Breathing Exercise
How to try this breathing technique:
Close your eyes.
Let your lips slightly open. Do not force them. Just let them be.
Inhale for a period of 4 seconds and close your lips (not forcefully) for the same time.
Keep your breath for 7 seconds.
Exhale for 8 seconds.
Repeat this cycle for 4 times in your first attempts, and for 8 maximum
This is a slight variation of Pranayama breathing. Pranayama is -among other things- an ancient yogic technique that helps people relax and replenish oxygen in their body.
The Bhramari Pranayama Exercise
How to try this breathing technique:
Close your eyes.
Inhale and exhale deeply, once.
Cover your ears with your hands.
Place your fingers like that: Your fingers need to be over your eyebrows and the rest of your fingers over your eyes.
Next, gently press your fingers at the sides of your nose and focus on your eyebrows area. Do not block your nostrils from letting air in.
Keep your mouth close and slowly inhale from your nose, vocalizing the sound “Om”.
Repeat this for 5 cycles.
Bhramari Pranayama is used to slow down breathing and heart rate, which is a prerequisite for falling asleep.
The 3 Parts Breathing Exercise
To perform this breathing technique follow these 3 steps:
Inhale deep and as naturally long as possible.
Complete exhale while having your attention at your body and how you feel.
Do this a few times, until you notice that you exhale longer than you inhale.
The Solar Plexus Breathing Exercise
To do this kind of breathing:
Place a pillow under the back of your knees. If not possible to lie down then sit on a chair.
Place one of your hands on your chest and the other on your stomach.
Inhale slow and deep from your nose, while still keeping your hands as mentioned.
Do not press your hands. Just let them be and they will naturally move up as you breath in.
Exhale keeping your lips closed.
Repeat. At some point you will be able to breath without your chest moving up and down. This is a sign of getting deeply relaxed.
Nadi Shodhana Pranayama Exercise
How to do this breathing technique in a simple way:
Sit down with your legs crossed.
Place your left hand on your knee and your right thumb on the side of your right nostril.
Exhale completely and press your right nostril to block air intake from that one.
Exhale from your left nostril (of course).
Inhale from your nostril.
Release your thumb from your right nostril side and close your left.
Exhale from your right nostril while having the left one closed.
Repeat this rotation of steps for 5 minutes or as long as you feel comfortable (do not push yourself). The last cycle is good to find you exhaling through your left nostril.
That is a very powerful technique that can really reduce stress, relax you and get you really focused.
The Papworth Breathing Exercise
In this method you focus on your solar plexus:
Sit straight on your bed.
Inhale and exhale slowly and deeply, counting up to number 4 on each.
Inhale must be done through your nose, while exhale can be done through your mouth or nose.
Focus on your belly, observing getting filled with air and getting empty again. Stay focused doing that as if breathing happens/sounds from your stomach.
This method can be useful to reduce yawning.
The Kapalbhati Breathing Exercise
This technique happens in 4 steps:
Inhale deeply from your nose, like smelling something nice.
Slightly press your lips like holding a cigarette with them.
Exhale through your lips 3 times slower than the inhalation time.
Repeat until your feel clam and sleepy.
This breathing calms down rapid breathing, by allegedly reducing carbon dioxide.
The Box Breathing Exercise
During this kind of breathing, you focus on the amount of oxygen you take in and release:
Sit with your back straight and inhale.
Then try to push all that air outside from your lungs.
Slowly inhale from your nose and -mentally- count to 4, filling in your lungs with air on every number.
Keep your breath while mentally counting to 4.
Exhale slowly from your mouth, focusing to really push out all the oxygen from your lungs.
The “box technique” is a practice common in meditation, aiming to find your center and relax. Meditation is a really important practice for your health.
Conclusions on the Breathing Exercises For Sleep
Try each of these exercises for a few days each. You will find the most suitable for you. Either using these breathing exercises for sleep or to relax after a hard days work, or a day trip or after a hiking trip, they will bring lots of benefits for your health.
Some of these can be done while sitting in your office, while others need you to lie down.
Find a calm quiet place and practice them. In a more “advanced” level you may be able to practice some of the sitting ones during any time of the day.
Why? Because breathing properly during the day can give you peace of mind all day long (or as much as possible).
Tons of travelers (from tourists to digital nomads) find hard to answer this easy question. You see it in forums and travel groups: How to stay healthy when you travel?
Personal hygiene, accommodation, and food hygiene are crucial issues. Traveling with a limited budget? You start thinking that it will be “OK” to stay in “that” budget hotel/hostel or eat “that” food.
Hey, you may have booked some travel insurance too. But travel insurance is there only to solve a problem and not to prevent it. Isn’t it better to know what to do, so to reduce the risk of having a mild or a serious health issue?
You can’t control everything but there are lots of things you can control. You need to stay healthy during your trip and enjoy as many things as possible.
Let’s see all these important points. Feel free to contribute more from your experience.
How to Stay Healthy When You Travel?
Be proactive and organize your trip is crucial when you want to address the “health” factor. relatively A trip is usually separated into 4 main sections.
Activities (from hiking to getting intimate, to simply staying in shape)
After the trip actions
How to Stay Clean and Healthy in airplanes, trains, and cars?
The basic rule here is to remember that you are not “crazy”. When you use any kind of transportation, do remember that millions of people used the same seats. So what do you do?
Staying clean In Airports
Want to arrive with a clean(er) luggage? Will you drop your luggage? Then wrap it up. That protection provides better protection from scratches. All that plastic cover will keep it cleaner. Do you get into crowded trains after your flight? Dirty luggage or backpack will rub all over your clothes, neck, arms, etc.
Do you remember the 12 Apes movie? You will remember that the person who wanted to spread a virus all over the world, used the airports to achieve so.
How to stay clean In Airplanes?
Do not assume that all head seat covers change from flight to flight. Staff touches the seats. Seats get touched by all the fellow travelers as they walk through the aisle looking for their seat.
Do not put food or other things that you will put in your mouth (fork, spoon, etc) on the tray. Clean the tray first.
Better to travel wearing long sleeve shirts and long pants. That is good for two reasons. First is to keep you from freezing in the airplane cabin (it is cold). The other reason, is to limit how much of your skin – your largest body organ- touches the seat.
Traveling to Greece should be a marvelous adventure. That’s why it’s important that you prepare for it right and plan your trip thoroughly.
Knowing little important details, like how to best take money to Greece or how to best talk to the locals will help you prevent many possible problems and make your trip more enjoyable.
5 Basic Tips for Traveling to Greece
Talk to the locals, but be careful about following their directions
One of the first things you’ll learn about Greeks is that they are extraordinarily friendly and boisterous people. This is the country where talking to strangers is not only expected but also encouraged.
Therefore, don’t be shy and start conversations with vendors and other people you come across.
Remember, it’s socially acceptable to talk about personal opinions and beliefs on any subject. Also, feel free to express your own and start a loud but friendly discussion that will attract the passerby.
You are sure to make lots of new friends when traveling to Greece. This approach can also result in some pleasant surprises like free samples or discounts from market vendors.
Be sure to haggle while you are here.
However, one thing you should never ask the Greeks about is directions. The risk of getting an answer that will make you even more lost is very high, so use Google Maps or buy a map of the city you are visiting.
You should also be careful when establishing new contacts in Athens. After the economic crises. Which hit the country hard, the crime rate there has been climbing. The city is considered to be a low-threat and generally safe place today (OSAC), but it’s best to be on your guard.
Be prepared to pay in cash
The currency you’ll need in Greece is the Euro, so it’s rather easy to obtain. You can take your money in cash, use a prepaid travel card, or use one of the transfer companies that offer sending money to Greece.
Your regular credit or debit cards should work as well, but banks charge large fees for using those abroad.
Note that no matter which method you choose, you need to be prepared to pay in cash in the majority of shops.
If you stay in big cities or places that are most popular with tourists, you should be able to pay with your card.
However, even there smaller vendors might only accept cash. Not all islands and rural towns and villages have ATMs, so be prepared.
You also should carry cash in small denominations, as many vendors will claim they have no change.
If disabled, book well ahead
Despite being one of the more popular tourist destinations in the world, the majority of places in Greece aren’t adapted for people with disabilities.
Therefore, anyone with special needs will have to do a lot of research to create an appropriate itinerary.
You will also need to book everything a few months ahead as rooms adapted for people with special needs are in high demand.
You will also have to avoid hilly and remote islands as they have no facilities for the disabled.
Make your peace with cigarette smoke (or avoid crowded places)
Technically, smoking indoors is banned in Greece. However, many vendors, especially in rural areas, are slow to catch up with this rule. And you shouldn’t forget that smoking outdoors is allowed.
Therefore, if you aren’t comfortable with cigarette smoke, you’ll need to avoid crowded places by default.
The cigarette consumption on this country is the highest in the EU, so walking down the busy streets and hanging out in crowded plazas will have you inhale some smoke no matter how hard you try to avoid it.
Be careful when driving
The boisterous nature of the Greeks is reflected in their driving.
The majority of drivers you’ll meet are rather reckless, so you need to be on guard while on the road.
Beware of motorcycles zig-zagging and appearing out of nowhere.
The good news is that some of the Greek islands have no cars at all, so you can avoid the fumes and enjoy calm bike and donkey rides there.