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If you are looking to stretch your travel budget, you may be wondering, which are the cheapest countries in Europe to travel to?!

The good news is that there are many affordable countries within Europe and you do not have to travel to typical budget destinations like SE Asia to enjoy a budget holiday!

Whilst many of the cheapest countries in Europe are based in the East, you may be surprised by how affordable some countries like Portugal and Southern Spain can be.

If you are travelling Europe on a budget, it is best to stick to off-the-beaten-track destinations and avoid staying in the city centres as usually rural Europe is considerably cheaper. Also, consider travelling off-peak and avoid the school summer holidays (usually from Late July to early September.)

I’ve asked my travel colleagues about the cheapest countries in Europe they have travelled to and why they loved them. I’ve also asked them how much to budget for each country and here are the results…

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** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

The Cheapest Countries In Europe to travel to this year Albania

By Emily Lush from Wander-lush.org

Why visit Albania?

Dramatic mountains, white-sand beaches and charming fortified towns – Albania has it all. Top it off with old-fashioned hospitality, incredible local cuisine and relatively thin summer crowds, and you have one of Europe’s best budget travel destinations.

Start with a few days in Tirana, Albania’s quirky capital city, where old nuclear bunkers are used as art galleries, and the castle has been transformed into a dining precinct.

Head north to the Accursed Mountains for the Valbone to Theth trek, a single-day hike through one of the most impressive landscapes in the Balkans. Medieval towns including Berat and Gjirokaster (both UNESCO-listed), Kruje, Shkoder and Korce all elucidate different chapters of Albanian history through fascinating house museums, heritage architecture and lively bazaars.

If it’s the right season, spend some time lazing about on the Albanian Riviera, especially on the beaches around Saranda.

How much does a trip to Albania Cost?
  • Cost of a hostel: From €6
  • Cost of a hotel: From €20
  • Cost of meal out: €3 (local cafe) to €11 (restaurant)
  • Cost of a beer/wine: €1.50
  • Cost of internal transport e.g. buses/taxi/trains: €1-4 for short journeys; up to €8 for longer trips
  • Overall approx. cost per day: €20-€35

Top tip | Family-run guesthouses usually include breakfast in the nightly rate and can help organise group tours and onward transportation, often for a lower price.

Macedonia

By Roshni of TheWanderlustWithin.com

Why visit Macedonia?

Macedonia is the hidden gem of the Balkans. With its lively culture, delicious food, picturesque villages and rich history, it’s a destination that will please any traveller that loves to explore off the beaten track destinations. 

The capital Skopje, is known for its countless statues but just 15km from the city lies Matka canyon, a hotspot for hikers, and those who love watersports. The area is tropical like that it felt more like Vietnam or Mexico than anywhere in Europe!

However, my favourite spot in Macedonia lies on the border of Albania. Lake Ohrid, is one of the oldest and deepest lakes in Europe and is a great place to sail, kayak, paraglide or scuba dive. For those who love culture, they have to try and visit many of the 365 churches found in Ohrid.

How much does a trip to Macedonia cost?
  • Cost of a hostel: 10 EUR per night
  • Cost of a hotel: 30 EUR per night
  • Cost of meal out: 4 EUR
  • Cost of a beer/: 1.35 EUR 
  • Cost of internal transport: Buses between cities are plentiful, the 3-hour journey from Skopje to Ohrid costs 8 EUR one way and 11 EUR return.

• Overall approx cost per day: 25-45 EUR

Top tip | Try paragliding in Ohrid for 49 EUR, its the cheapest I’ve seen in Europe!

Georgia

By Chris Backe of WorthyGo.com

Why visit Georgia?

Georgia’s days as an unknown Eastern European country are over — while tensions with Russia continue to simmer, the country offers plenty to see, a fair bit to do, and quite a bit to eat. It’s a fine base whether you’re a digital nomad (citizens of over 90 countries may stay visa-free for up to a year) or just going for a few days.

The capital, Tbilisi, is the most obvious place to start, but tourists should consider checking out the revitalized areas of seaside Batumi as well. If road trips are your thing, the city of Gori 1 hour away dedicates a museum to Stalin and holds the UNESCO World Heritage site of Uplistsikhe, a well-preserved ancient city.

I’d personally skip Borjomi, though — a museum of local lore was just OK, and what was hyped as the spring of sparkling water was anything but tasty.

How much does a trip to Georgia Cost?
  • Cost of a hostel: 7 EUR for a bed and up
  • Cost of a hotel: 25 EUR and up.
  • Cost of meal out: around 9 EUR for two people (without alcohol)
  • Cost of a beer/wine: between 1.25 and 2 EUR at typical bars or restaurants.
  • Cost of internal transport eg buses/taxi/trains: 0.16 EUR
  • Overall approx cost per day: doable with 20 EUR a day, comfortable with 35 EUR a day.

Top tip | Machakhela is a local chain of restaurants that offers up a classy feel with large portions and reasonable prices. Ready for more? See Tbilisi’s best street art over here.

Romania

By Karolina of KasrolinaPatryk.com

Why visit Romania?

Romania is probably one of the cheapest places to travel around Europe. For less than $50 a day, you will be able to explore the medieval castles and fortresses that dot the lush countryside of Transylvania. 

Made popular by the work of Bram Stoker, Romania is usually filled with tourists who are captivated by the mystery of the legendary Count Dracula, putting the Bran Castle, rumoured to be the home of Vlad Tepes, the cruel historical figure that the famous count was based on, on top of the list of places to visit.

However, if you are looking for the place which he frequented and conducted most of his gruesome tortures, then pay a visit to the ruins of the Poeinari Fortress.

You may also want to follow the famous Wallachian noble to his grave to the Snagov Monastery which is surrounded by a magnificent lake. 

How much does a trip to Romania cost?
  • Cost of Hostel: USD7.50 per night
  • Cost of Hotel: USD17 per night for a 3-Star Hotel
  • Cost of Meal Out: USD4 for a daily menu, USD11 for a full lunch or dinner menu
  • Cost of Beer / Wine: USD1.50 to USD2 per serving (beer); USD3 to USD5 per serving (wine)
  • Cost of internal transport (eg. Buses/taxi/trains): USD5 to USD10 for short train trips that are under 100 km. For longer trips, expect to pay USD75 to USD90 depending on the class of your berth. Buses are generally under USD14 and taxis cost 50 cents per km.
  • Overall Approximate Cost Per Day: USD35

Top Tip | Traditional food in Romania is delicious! There are many street food stalls where you can get pretzels, sandwiches, shawarmas, meatballs, and other traditional comfort foods for just under a dollar. 

Armenia

By Maggie of TheWorldWasHereFirst.com

Why visit Armenia?

Though Eastern Europe, in general, is known for being affordable to travel in, the small nation of Armenia might just take the cake for the most budget-friendly European destination.

Nestled in the Caucasus bordering Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran and Turkey, Armenia is known for its vibrant capital of Yerevan, its beautiful monasteries and Christian history, and its impeccable natural scenery. If you’re considering a trip to Armenia, these are the prices that you can expect:

While most people visit Armenia as part of a completely organised tour, you can save so much money if you travel independently and make sure you support local businesses and buy locally produced products.

Also, many of the top attractions to visit in Armenia (including the beautiful monasteries and the incredible mountains) are perfectly free to access, meaning your daily travel expenses won’t be too high. All in all, if you’re looking for an underrated European destination that will be easy on your budget, then Armenia is an excellent choice!

How much does a trip to Armenia cost?
  • Cost of a hostel: €5-10 per night
  • Cost of a hotel: €15-20 for a family-run guesthouse, €20-30 for a budget hotel
  • Cost of meal out: €5-10 per person
  • Cost of a beer/wine: €1-3 for a glass of local wine or beer at a restaurant
  • Cost of internal transport eg buses/taxi/trains: €1-5 per journey via minibus or train
  • Overall approx cost per day: you can easily spend less than €30 per day
Lithuania

By Mary of AMaryRoad.com

Why Visit Lithuania

Vilnius, the capital of Lithuania is one of the most overlooked destinations in Europe. What many family travellers don’t know is that Vilnius is great for kids at the same time it is very cost-friendly. It is also one of the most affordable places I’ve been in Europe – experiencing the real European vibe without spending too much.

Visit Uzupis, the art capital of Vilnius where you can explore and have fun and adore the arts in every corner of the town. From the giant swing on the river, broken pianos on the riverside, Jesus the backpacker statue, and many more.

Check out the Greenlakes and rent a canoe for as cheap as €6 for two people or a pedal boat for €12. 

Also, if you have kids, take them to the Trakai Castle where you can do more water activities during summer or walk on the frozen lake during winter.

You can join free walking tours in Vilnius, Kaunas, and Klaipeda which is located in the Baltic Sea. Check this what to do in Vilnius article for more ideas.

How much does a trip to Lithuania cost?
  • Cost of a hostel: between €5-€15/ bunk bed
  • Cost of a hotel: €20-€35/ double bedroom
  • Cost of a meal out: €4 is the average for a decent casual restaurant, €2 in a street food stall / fast food
  • Cost of a beer/wine: €2 for a 330 ml, €5 for a litre of cider or beer.
  • Cost of internal transport eg buses/taxi/trains: €0.66 per ride (around the city), €1.5 from the city centre to suburbs. €3 for a taxi around the city (15 min ride), €4 for a train to the next city (3-hour ride)
  • Overall approx cost per day: €15-€20/day if on budget, €30-€50 per day for comfortable travelling

Top Tip | Use public transportation, trains or buses when going around the city, going to another city, and even crossing the borders.

I also recommend taking a free walking tour (tip-based.)

I stayed at Jimmy Jumps House which was one of the most known hostels in Vilnius, perfect place to meet other travellers if you are solo, while I couch surfed my way in Kaunas.

Portugal

Campbell & Alya/Stingy Nomads

Why visit Portugal?

Portugal is an amazing country with many interesting places to visit and exciting things to do, anybody regardless of age and interests will find places and activities they enjoy.

Another reason to visit Portugal is the people locals are very friendly, helpful and hospitable even if you don’t speak Portuguese you’ll be able to communicate here as quite a lot of people speak English. 

Portugal is a real paradise for outdoor lovers from surfing and diving in the Algarve and the Azores islands to hiking and cycling along some of the famous routes like the Portuguese Camino de Santiago or the Rota Vicentina.

Of course not to forget about sightseeing Lisbon, Porto or Coimbra are not to miss when visiting Portugal. The Azores Islands and Madeira are perfect places for a beach holiday.

How much does a trip to Portugal Cost?
  • Cost of a hostel: Depending on the location (city centre or not), the area and the season a bed in a hostel costs between 12 Euro and 20 Euro. It’s possible to find a bed in Lisbon for 10 Euro. 
  • Cost of a hotel: Same with a hotel it depends on the location and on the season, a budget double room from 30 Euro. 
  • Eating out: Popular lunch option Menu do Dia (a set meal with bread and drinks) costs 10 Euro. A sandwich or a pie and a cup of coffee or a cool drink in a bar will cost 3-4 Euro. 
  • Cost of a beer/wine: A glass of wine or a beer in a bar costs between 1-1,5 Euro. 
  • Cost of transport: Trains are the cheapest and the fastest option to travel between the cities, a train ride from Lisbon to Porto costs 25 Euro. For a bus ride from Lisbon to Alentejo or Algarve, you’ll pay between 15 Euro and 25 Euro depending on the distance.
  • Average cost per day: 35-45 Euro per person per day.
Turkey

By Kate of OurEscapeClause.com

Why Visit Turkey?

As a global region that has been the nexus of culture between Europe, Central Asia, and the Middle East for thousands of years, Turkey (including its European portion, which we’ll be sticking to here) belongs on the bucket list of any budget traveler hoping to experience fascinating history, engaging culture, and delicious food–all at low prices.

Above all else, when visiting the European portion of Turkey, you absolutely must come to Istanbul.

Absolutely packed with fun things to do–including historical monuments brought to the city by both the Byzantines and the Ottomans–it is impossible to be bored in Istanbul.

Be sure to visit the Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Grand Bazaar, and Galata Tower while visiting Istanbul–and that just scratches the surface!

How much does a trip to Turkey Cost?
  • Cost of Hostel: 10-20 Euros
  • Cost of Hotel: 15 Euros & up — 40-50 will get you a nice budget hotel in a great location.
  • Cost of Meal Out: 5-15 Euros
  • Cost of Beer/Wine: 3-5 Euros 
  • Cost of Internal Transport: Within Istanbul, less than 1 Euro for a metro ride or 5+ Euros for a taxi, depending on the distance.
  • Overall approximate cost: Around 40 Euros/day for budget travellers will be comfortable.

Top Tip | If you’re only going to be in Istanbul for a short time, consider staying in the Little Hagia Sophia area–it’s quiet neighbourhood, not great for nightlife, but if you want to see the major historic sights quickly, you can stay here for lower prices than staying right in the historic area whilst also being within walking distance of places like the Hagia Sophia.

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The Amalfi coast was always super high on my bucket list. Already smitten with Italy from previous trips, I had lusted after the picture-perfect views of terracotta houses stacked on high cliffs rising from the azure oceans overlooking perfect beaches. So when the opportunity arose to spend 3 days on the Amalfi Coast, I set to putting together the perfect 3 day Amalfi coast itinerary to make the most of my precious short time there.

The result was the most perfect 3 days driving along the Amalfi Coast with stunning views in every direction, spending my time exploring the beaches, towns and islands along this beautiful coastline.

So if you only have a long weekend on the Amalfi coast or you are visiting as part of a longer Italian road trip, this 3 day Amalfi coast itinerary will help you get the most out of your time and show you the bets of The Amalfi coast in 3 days…

No time to read it now?! No worries! Pin it for later!

** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

An Overview of this 3 day Amalfi Coast Itinerary

To see all the best bits of The Amalfi Coast in 3 days, you’re going to be busy! If you want to see it at a slower pace then you may want to stretch this itinerary out over 4 to 5 days, especially if you want a beach day or two.

But if you’re short of time, this is how I suggest you structure your 3 days Amalfi Coast itinerary…

Day 1 Explore Amalfi Town, Amalfi beach and Ravello

Day 2 Day trip to the island of Capri

Day 3 Spend your last day exploring Positano

Things to know before you visit The Amalfi Coast Firstly, where is the Amalfi Coast?

The Amalfi coast is on the South-west coast of Italy a 3.5 hours drive south of Rome. Naples is the closest big city and has the closest airport. It takes just over an hour to drive to The Amalfi coast from Naples.

When is the best time to visit the Amalfi Coast?

The Amalfi Coast gets busy, like seriously busy! So I would suggest avoiding visiting in the height of summer. Instead, choose the shoulder seasons in Spring and Autumn. The weather will still be warm but it’ll be cheaper, less crowded and the heat will be tolerable.

I would suggest the best months to visit are April-May and September-October.

How to get to The Amalfi Coast

Getting to The Amalfi Coast is not particularly easy. The narrow twisty roads mean that public transport is infrequent and taxis expensive.

You have a few different options for how to get to the Amalfi Coast…

  • Hire a Car. This gives you the ultimate flexibility but parking your car can be difficult and expensive in most towns along the Amalfi Coast
  • Take a bus or train to Sorrento and then get a local SITA bus to Positano or Amalfi. (Sit on the right side for the best views.)
  • Take a bus or train to Salerno then catch a ferry to Positano or Amalfi (great views of the coastline guaranteed.)
  • Take a multi-day guided tour of the Amalfi Coast. Often the pick up will be in Naples or Rome so you won’t have to worry about your own transport at all. See the section below about group tours…
How to get around the Amalfi Coast in 3 days

If you have a hire car then you will have plenty of flexibility to visit where you please when you please. It’s also great for stopping in laybys whenever you see a beautiful view you want to photograph. I’ve hired many cars in Italy and have had VERY mixed experiences. By far, my best experience has been with Europcar.

However, car parking can be expensive, sometimes as much as €5/hour. There are car parks in all the main towns along the coast and I didn’t have any problem finding spaces in late May. However, if you are visiting in July/August, you may struggle to get parked at all.

You may also need to stay on the outskirts of town in order to find a hotel with parking.

For those who decide to use public transport, the main methods are by SITA bus or ferries. Try to avoid travelling at peak times as the queues can be incredibly long. At one point, I experienced a full-out war to get a seat on the bus, everyone crushing each other. Not a pleasant experience! I didn’t take any ferries except to Capri Island but I imagine it may be a more orderly experience than the SITA buses where everyone queues in the streets.

The other option is to take organised day trips so you don’t have to worry about parking a car or joining long queues for public transport.

Where to stay for this Amalfi Coast itinerary

I decided to stay near Sorrento since the ferries are more frequent to Capri from Sorrento than any other town. This might suit anyone with longer than 3 days on the Amalfi Coast as it’s quieter and more relaxed. It’s also perfectly positioned to visit Pompeii and Mt Vesuvius if you so wish.

However, the drive to the main towns of the Amalfi coast – Positano, Ravello and Amalfi – always took much longer than I expected. In retrospect, I would recommend anyone spending just 3 days on the Amalfi Coast, to stay somewhere more central even though it might be harder to get to initially! If I did the trip again, I would base myself in Positano. If I had 4 days or more, I would split my time staying in both Positano and Sorrento.

Accommodation near Sorrento

I stayed at Hotel Torre Barbara and I can’t recommend it enough. With a car park for your hire car, bright and airy rooms, friendly staff and a beautiful verandah overlooking the ocean. It also had a brilliant restaurant on site where I had some of the best food I had throughout my whole trip to Italy. I only wished I had more time to actually enjoy my time there and perhaps read a book on that verandah or take a dip in the pool!

Accommodation in Positano

All the following hotels have car parking facilities which is a rare find in Positano!

Budget |Villa Palumbo B&B Whilst there’s no such thing as true budget accommodation in Positano (all that beauty comes with a hefty price tag) Villa Palumbo B&B is still pretty affordable. It was the most affordable hotel I could find which is still central and has a car park for your hire car.

Mid-budget | Hotel Villa Gabrisa A small step up in price gives you this lovely light and airy rooms and a verandah with a pretty view.

Luxury | Casa Nina Located only 900 yards from the main beach, this boutique hotel with its gorgeous rooms and pretty garden balcony, is in the perfect location.

Your 3 Day Amalfi Coast Itinerary Day 1 in the Amalfi Coast: Ravello & Amalfi

On Day 1, you will visit the far west section of the Amalfi Coast with stops at Ravello, Amalfi and Atrani Beach.

Ravello

Start with Ravello as it can get very busy here so it’s better to visit in the early mornings. The main highlight in this pretty coastal town is Villa Rufolo and you have no doubt seen photos of this already whilst planning your Amalfi coast trip.

The ideally positioned Villa and its impeccable gardens are one of the most popular places to visit in the Amalfi Coast. The view overlooking the coast is also one of the prettiest viewpoints in this beautiful region of Italy so plan to spend at least an hour or two here soaking up the views.

After visiting Villa Rufolo, I suggest you spend some time exploring the quaint narrow streets and their many pottery shops before enjoying lunch with an incredible view at Il Glicine.

Atrani Beach

After lunch, head along the coast to Atrani Beach. You can park in the car park which serves both Amalfi and Atrani Beach since they are right next to each other.

Atrani Beach is a pretty pebbled cove which bright blue sunbeds and parasols tucked into the cliffs. There are a few shops and restaurants surrounding it but be aware many of these close in the afternoon for siestas. Have your own siesta and chill out on the beach for a couple of hours soaking up some Italian sunshine.

Amalfi

From Atrani Beach, head through the little tunnel and follow the road down to Amalfi Beach and Pier. This is a busy beach and a great place for people watching and seems to be full of locals catching some rays of sunshine. and playing games of beach volleyball whilst the boats ferry tourists in and out of Amalfi.

Then as the sun is going down, it’s time to explore Amalfi town, the main feature being Piazza del Duomo with its striking cathedral. I’d recommend getting dinner in Amalfi before heading back to your hotel.

Day 2 in the Amalfi Coast: Capri

You can’t visit the Amalfi Coast without at least spending one day in Capri, the infamous island popular with the rich and famous. Capri is expensive so I wouldn’t recommend staying there if you are travelling on a budget!

Luckily it’s easy to take a day trip to Capri which you can organise from Sorrento or Positano. The ferries are more frequent from Sorrento so I’d suggest you prebook from Positano. I would also recommend booking the earliest boat out and the 2nd to last boat back. I have heard many stories of people being stood on the wrong jetty and missing the ferry that it would be a risk to choose the last ferry back.

Top Tip | Even if the later ferries are sold out, some companies will let you get back on any ferry going back to the mainland with a ticket even if you’ve missed your time slot. Check with your boat operator first!

Take a boat tour

When you first arrive in Capri, hop straight on a small boat tour of the island. You’ll get up close to the Faraglioni rock formations and get to visit several grottos including the Blue Grotto. You’ll have the opportunity to pay extra for a little rowing boat to take you inside the cave (you have to enter lying down as the entrance is so tiny) and inside you’ll witness the most incredible bright blue clear water.

You have 3 options for boat tours. The cheapest option (around €18) gives you a quick overview but won’t allow you to swim. There are some more pricey smaller boat trips where you can get inside the other smaller grottos and lagoons and have a swim. Or if you can afford it, you can even hire a private boat and dictate your own route and swimming spots.

Visit Capri Town

After your boat trip, explore the colourful marina, perhaps stopping to enjoy an Aperol Spritz. The take the cable car up to the main town of Capri. The little town has a buzzing atmosphere and you could spend plenty of time here enjoying the views and the designer shops.

After a little window shopping, head for lunch at Ristorante Il Geranio. This is not the cheapest of restaurants BUT it has wonderful food, delicious wine, excellent service and most importantly, an absolutely stunning view of the Faraglioni. If you are going to splash the cash anywhere during your 3 days on the Amalfi coast, let this be the place!

Spend your last hour or two exploring the beautiful Gardens of Augustus which look out onto Faraglioni and Via Krupp – the zigzagging path which leads to Marina Piccola. This pathway was closed when I was there but it was beautiful looking down onto it.

After your fill of stunning viewpoints, it’s time to hop on the cable car and head back to the main marina where you should enjoy some gelato whilst you await your ferry back to the mainland.

Day 3 in the Amalfi Coast: Positano

Spend a fairly relaxed last day exploring the pretty town of Positano.

Check out the iconic beach (you must have seen many photos of this beach splashed all over Instagram,) before exploring the pretty town centre and it’s many galleries, restaurants and gift shops. Now is the perfect time to pick up your Italian souvenirs.

Follow the coastal road to find some pretty viewpoints looking back onto the town where you can see the pastel-hued houses stacked on steep cliffs overlooking the pebbled beach with the bright blue parasols.

For lunch, head to Hotel Poseidon. Here you’ll find yet another Instagram-worthy..

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If you are planning 3 days in Guangzhou, China, this Guangzhou itinerary written by guest writer, Krasen, will help you plan the perfect trip to China’s 3rd biggest city.

Guangzhou (otherwise known as Canton) is the geographical, historical and cultural core of the country’s southern part. Being such an important city, it is no wonder that there is a lot to see and a lot to do there. It is full of places of interest and opportunities to try.

If you want to explore it in full, you need maybe a whole month. But what if you have only 3 days in Guangzhou to stay? Here is my suggestion about how to best spend your time in this famous city and build a perfect 3 day Guangzhou itinerary. 

Visiting Guangzhou

But before that – let’s introduce Guangzhou. What kind of city is it? What can you expect there?

If you look at the map of China, you can see three rivers, called East, North and West Rivers, joining together in a large and complex delta. This is Pearl River Delta, occupied by one of the largest city clusters in the world. Guangzhou is a part of this cluster, the biggest city within it. It is also known by the name Canton, but Guangzhou is its local Chinese name. 

Guangzhou is established in the northern part of the delta, on land which is mainly flat, consisting of many islands and river canals. It has its central urban part, and long northern and southern suburbs area- so long, that the distance between the southern to the northern ends is more than 100 km. 

So, you can build your 3 day Guangzhou itinerary as a part of a longer itinerary including Hong Kong, Shenzhen, Macau and the other cities of Pearl River Delta. If you want to explore the whole Delta, but your time is limited, plan 1 or 2 days in all of the other cities, but leave 3 days in Guangzhou as a minimum.

Two of these three days leave for the central area. On the first day focus on the old sites and the second day spend exploring the new and modern sites. Then, on the third day head to the southern suburbs, called Panyu and Nansha, which are more interesting than the north suburbs. 

An overview of this 3 days in Guangzhou itinerary

Here is my proposed Guangzhou itinerary:

Day 1 Explore the two older parts of Guangzhou; Liwan and Yuexiu

Day 2 Focus on Pearl River, and the new modern parts of Guangzhou; Tianhe and Haizhu

Day 3 Make a trip to the south- to explore Panyu and Nansha areas. 

Reasons you should visit Guangzhou

As I already mentioned, Guangzhou is the southern centre of China, so it should be a mandatory part of your China trip. Here are a few other reasons you should visit Guangzhou…

  • Guangzhou has more than 2000 years of history and has developed a rich culture, so you can expect to see really a lot here.
  • Guangzhou is one of the most modern and developed cities in the world, perfect for those who are looking for luxury and super modern style.
  • The food in Guangzhou (called Cantonese cuisine) is known as one of the richest in variety in the whole of China.
  • Guangzhou is one of the largest trade centres in the world, hosting the famous Canton Fair, so for the businessmen, it should be of great interest.
When is the best time of the year to visit Guangzhou?

Guangzhou is located in the southern part of the humid tropical zone. It is near the South China Sea, and the climate is really humid. From February to June is mainly rainy, and in February it is also cold so the weather is comparable with rainy weather in England!

Then from April to September is the hot and humid summer, the rains reaching their peak at the end of May and the first half of June, after which it starts to dry up.

So, the best time of the year to visit Guangzhou is from the second half of October until the beginning of December. The weather then is mainly sunny and dry, and not too hot but pleasantly warm.

After December 1st it starts getting cold. Still nice, but since there is no central heating in Guangzhou, your room could be cold and uncomfortable. 

Also, avoid the main Chinese holidays, especially the National Holiday from October 1 to 7, because it may be really crowded. Seriously, don’t forget that the Chinese population is almost 1,4 billion people and you can feel it VERY strongly during these holidays!

How to get around Guangzhou

As a big city, Guangzhou has a very well developed transport network, so you can go almost anywhere very quickly. 

One of the most convenient forms of transportation is the metro system. It is cheap (from 2-10 CNY, depending on the distance). I would recommend your stay close to a metro station. From there you can travel conveniently to every corner of Guangzhou, avoiding the heavy traffic and traffic jams around the city. It is good for quickly moving from one place to another. The only downside is that you can’t watch the city go by.

Public buses are another option. They are convenient too and allow you to observe local daily life in Guangzhou. However, they are slower than the metro.

If you want to move faster, and at the same time to watch the city from the window, you can take a taxi. Of course, it is much expensive than the metro and bus, but can be very comfortable. Prices start from 10 CNY – add 2-6 CNY for every kilometre. 

Another new and convenient way for relatively short distances is the shared public bike. Great for if you want to get between metro stations and attractions. Now you can easily find a shared public bike on the street and move quickly to the desired place, fully immersed in the local life around you. You just need to have WeChat installed, the shared bike’s application and a bank account attached.

Where to base yourself for 3 days in Guangzhou

You need a good location to base yourself in Guangzhou, in order to use your time in the best way. Basically, the best places in big cities like Guangzhou are near the metro stations.

You’ll want to find somewhere with plenty of things to do in the evenings and ways to relax in Guangzhou whilst also being close to the metro station.

The first place I’d suggest is near the pedestrian street Shanxiajiu, which is very attractive, especially in the evening. It has its own ‘old Cantonese’ atmosphere and is full of restaurants, street food, shops, malls, as well as bars and clubs. The nearest metro station is Changshou Road.

Another good place is near Beijing Road, another more modern pedestrian street. The nearest metro station would be Beijing Road station. 

Your 3 Day Guangzhou itinerary

So, let’s look at your Guangzhou itinerary in detail… 

Day 1 of your Guangzhou itinerary In the morning…

Your first day in Guangzhou is focused on Yuexiu and Liwan areas, which are the older part of the city. There are a few important landmarks and symbols of Guangzhou, which represent this city, so you can focus on them this day.

They are Yuexiu Park, Xiguan Antique City, Chen Clan Academy and Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, as well as some minor, but also very interesting sites like the Cantonese Opera and Art Museum and Nanyue King Mausoleum. 

So, in the morning you should move to your starting point for the day- Yuexiu Park Metro Station. From here you will visit your first destination for the day- Yuexiu Park, with its symbols Five Rams Sculpture and Zhenhai Tower. 

Yuexiu Park is located on a hill, with nice gardens and three lakes. It is full of beautiful traditional pavilions, amusement playgrounds, alleys and other places to relax.

But first, you should visit Zhenhai Tower- a very important symbolic building, dated from the early Ming Dynasty times. It is the first Lingnan architecture style tower in the area, and now it is turned into the Guangzhou Museum. The entrance fee will cost you 10 CNY. 

Another important symbol is the Five Rams Statue. More than 2000 years ago, five immortals, riding five rams, came to this place (suffering poverty and misery at that time), gave rice to the local people and left. But their five rams stayed, turned into stone and remained as an eternal blessing of prosperity to the city. That’s why this turned into one of the most important landmarks of Guangzhou.

For lunch…

The whole walk in Yuexiu Park, including the Guangzhou Museum visit, can be roughly about 3 hours long. So, after that, it would be time for lunch. If you are looking for something cheap and fast- there are a lot of small fast food places on the streets around.

But if you are looking for something more special, you can go to a few restaurants nearby: Macau Restaurant (澳门街风味餐厅), or Subway Lao Xiguan Food centre (赛百味)- both of them can be easily found on Google Maps (just copy-paste their names in Chinese). 

In the afternoon…

In the afternoon, when you finish your lunch, you can proceed to explore the nearby sites. There are two important museums, just right beside Yuexiu Park.

The first one is the Nanyue King Mausoleum. It presents the history of the ancient Nanyue Kingdom- a state which existed in the 2nd century BC, finally conquered by the Han Empire. The most interesting and symbolic artefact there is the Jade Burial Costume of the Nanyue King- a unique way of burial by thousands of jade plates. The entrance fee is 10 CNY as of June 2019. You will need about at least one hour to explore.

Then proceed to the second important site nearby – Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. Now you move ‘by the time machine’ to the beginning of the 20th century. Guangzhou played a very important role in the Republic of China era, and Sun Yat-Sen’s life. So this memorial hall, being the largest one, dedicated to Dr Sun Yat-Sen, is now turned into a museum. The entrance fee is 10 CNY (as of June 2019.) Estimated time for visiting is about 1 hour.

For dinner… 

Once you have finished exploring Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall, you can enjoy a nice evening in Xiguan Antique City- a delicious dinner in the restaurants in the area, like Lingji Fulaige or Panji Restaurants, offering Cantonese food. Or, alternatively, you can try some street food nearby. 

There are a few ways how to get to from Xiguan Antique City from Sun Yat-Sen Memorial Hall. If you choose to travel by taxi, you can expect it to cost 30-35 CNY.

You can also go there by metro, although you have to change from Line 2 to Line 5. There are some public buses that you can use too: No. 133, 85 and 204 (for only 2CNY). And finally, the best (in my opinion) option – by a shared bike. 

In the evening…

After dinner, you can enjoy the old streets of Xiguan, and especially the nice park with its Liwan Lake. The evening atmosphere is really exciting there. You can enjoy some shopping in this area too – there are a lot of souvenirs, Chinese tea, as well as just clothes, shoes and other “normal” shops.

Day 2 on your Guangzhou Itinerary In the morning…

There are still a few more places you need to explore in Guangzhou. The first important place, which is one of the most important Guangzhou landmarks is Chen Clan Academy. You can go there by metro and it is found by exit D of Chen Clan Academy (Chen Jia Ci) station. 

Chen Clan Academy is a real masterpiece of Cantonese Lingnan architecture. It was originally built by a wealthy Chinese overseas family to serve as an educational centre, preparing students for government examinations in Qing Dynasty era. After the fall of Qing, its role has changed a few times. Now it is not just a museum of art and architecture but still serves as an educational centre for fine arts. The entrance fee is 10 CNY (as of June 2019.) Estimated time for visiting is 1 hour. 

Then you can take the metro to Changshou Road or Huangshan (1 or 2 stations away only) and walk around 550-600 m to the Cantonese Opera and Art Museum. This museum is really worth to visit.

It is not just a museum, but it also contains a splendid Cantonese traditional garden, with old Lingnan architecture buildings and a beautiful pond. In the main hall of the museum, you can see a lot of Cantonese opera and art presentations. It is free to enter and the estimated time for visiting is 1 – 1.5 hrs.

At lunchtime…

The best place for lunch on your second day of this Guangzhou itinerary is Shamian – a small piece of Europe in the heart of Guangzhou. The best way to move from Cantonese Opera and Art Museum to Shamian is by taxi or shared bike since there are no direct buses or metro on this route. If you chose to walk it will take around 30 mins. 

Crossing one of the bridges onto Shamian Island, you will find yourself in a totally different environment. Shamian is an island which has been given to the French and British traders in concession, from the end of the 18th century. As a result, a lot of beautiful buildings were raised there, all in the classical European style, with quiet garden-style alleys. You can literally feel like you are in Vienna or somewhere in Paris. So, Shamian has become another landmark of Guangzhou.

Your walk in Shamian would lead you to the Pearl Riverbank, where you can find some nice restaurants and cafes – a great location to find some lunch.

In the afternoon…

After lunch, it is time for one of the most exciting activities during your Guangzhou itinerary- a cruise on Pearl River.

Follow the river bank. After you leave Shamian, you find a large square, where you can see the beautiful old building of the Canton Customs on your left. Not far from there you will see the wharf where you can take the ferry to Canton Tower, for only 2CNY (a really cheap cruise!). 

The cruise on the river is around 45 mins and you will enjoy stunning views of the Guangzhou cityscape. The highest skyscrapers will rise on your left, and straight in front of you will be Canton Tower, the newest symbol of Guangzhou.

Canton Tower is one of the tallest TV towers in the world, and in general- one of the tallest buildings, at 600m high. Its design is a real masterpiece, reminiscent of a maiden, gently twisting her waist. 

You can enjoy seeing the Canton Tower from outside but there are a lot of attractions inside the tower too. Yes, it is more expensive with an entrance fee of 150 CNY and some attractions requiring an additional fee, such as the bubble tram and free-fall dropping. But the best thing to do in the Canton Tower is to visit the panoramic terrace. You can not only observe the whole Guangzhou from bird’s view but if it is late afternoon and the sky is clear, you can enjoy a breathtaking sunset. 

When you go out of Canton Tower and walk around 300 m southward, you will see another tower, which is small and much older. It is called Chigang Pagoda, and the small garden around it is a really nice place to relax. If you walk around it, you can find a spot where you can take a photo of the two towers together – the old and the new one. 

For dinner…

From Canton Tower, you can take the metro for a few stations and arrive at the central part of Tianhe- to Tianhe South station. Then you can take an evening walk and enter Tee Mall – one of the biggest malls in China. There are a lot of things that you can do inside – shopping, watching movies, and of course finding your dinner. There are a lot of restaurants, offering plenty of cuisines from China and abroad.

Day 3 of your Guangzhou itinerary

During your last day in Guangzhou, you can try moving further from the central parts of the city. There are two main suburbs areas. The northern consists of Baiyun, Huadu and the counties of Zengcheng and Conghua. It is too large, covered by fields, low mountains and a lot of villages, towns, industrial and residential areas. There are some attractions too, but they are too far and require too long time only to reach one of them.

There is also a smaller eastern suburb area, consisting of Huangpu and Luogang districts (which are now merged), but there is not too much to see there.

And finally, there is the southern suburb area, consisting of Panyu and Nansha. I would recommend visiting here on the 3rd day of your Guangzhou itinerary, especially Panyu. 

In the morning…

In Panyu, there are a few beautiful old traditional and historical sites worth visiting. But since with just 3 days in Guangzhou, you will not have enough time to explore all of them, I would recommend two – Lingnan Impression Park and Baomo Garden. But be ready for long distance trips, much longer than in the previous..

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When you imagine visiting Rome, you probably envisage sitting in a piazza sipping on an Aperol spritz or spending long summer days wandering the Colosseum and Roman Forum… However, sometimes Mother Nature is not on our side and the weather may put pay to those ideas. Rome in the rain is not ideal but there are still some great things to do in Rome when it rains.

You can still have a brilliant time visiting Rome in bad weather and I’m here to tell you how.

So today we are going to discuss things to do in Rome on a rainy day…

** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

Read Next | Visiting Rome in Winter – a local’s guide

Things to do in Rome in the rain Visit The Vatican City – The Vatican Museums and The Basilica

No trip to Rome would be complete without visiting the Vatican. The two biggest attractions are the Vatican museums (where you’ll find Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel) and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Luckily, aside from the Vatican gardens, most of the attractions are indoor activities which means visiting them is one of the best things to do in Rome in the rain!

The Vatican museums are home to the world’s largest private art collection so if you are an art lover, it will be the perfect way to spend a rainy day so make sure you factor in at least a few hours. For many, the main attraction is the Sistene Chapel, a floor to ceiling spectacular painted room created by Michelangelo which brings tourists from all corners of the world to the Vatican Museums.

You can visit the Basilica and Vatican museums in one day but I recommend starting early to make the most of them both. The queues can also be absolutely insane and there is no way you will want to be queueing in the rain! So whatever you do, get a queue jump ticket! You can book them with or without a tour or audio guide – I would suggest getting the later.

Get your camera out and take an alternative photography tour of Rome

You may be thinking ‘why photograph Rome on a rainy day?!’ Well because every man and his dog has photos of Rome on a sunny day and quite frankly, photos with perfect blue skies can get a little boring… If you enjoy photography, then get out with your camera and think outside the box!

Use the puddles to get some quirky reflection photos like the one below.

Top Tip | I was chatting to a photographer recently who carries a bottle of water just to create puddles for the purpose! Clever!

Make use of people walking with colourful umbrellas to add depth to your photos and wait until the rain dissipates and the sun breaks through the clouds. Often this is when you will find the most interesting skies for photography which will make your photos ‘pop.’

Explore an art gallery

If you are looking for more art then you’re in luck as there are many art galleries which make for a great rainy day activity in Rome.

The Borghese Gallery is one of the most popular collections of art in Rome and a great place to spend a few hours. Whilst the gallery is all indoors, there is also a pretty garden to explore should the weather improve!

Due to its popularity, I’d recommend getting a queue jump ticket which also offers the option for a guided tour.

Take a cooking class

If you’ve had enough of art galleries, then consider something completely different and instead, get out of the rain and into the kitchen to learn how to cook – Italian style.

There is no superior comfort food than some Italian carbs which makes taking an Italian cooking class, a brilliant idea to occupy yourself on a rainy day in Rome!

Opt to learn how to make homemade pasta or pizza or learn how to make a delicious Tiramasu or gelato – the choice is yours. Make sure you host an Italian dinner party on your return to show off your newly acquired Italian culinary skills!

Stuff yourself silly with Pizza and pasta

If you don’t fancy learning to cook the Italian way then you should still spend some time enjoying the local eateries. The Italians like to eat in a slow leisurely way savouring their food and eating multiple courses, making it a great way to kill some time whilst you are waiting for the rain in Rome to stop…

Take the hop on hop off bus

If you only have a short time in Rome, you may want to tick off the Rome icons regardless of the weather. If this is the case, at least avoid getting wet by walking everywhere and instead get a ticket for the hop-on-hop-off bus or hop-on-hop-off-boat. The seats downstairs will keep you dry and there’s likely to be fewer people using the service on a rainy day so you might even be able to dodge the crowds.

The other option is to get a multi-day Roma pass which will allow you access to all the big-city attractions as well as giving you free access to public transport. Well worth getting if you plan to see a lot in Rome in 4 days or less.

Go shopping

Italians are some of the best dressed people in Europe. They ooze simplicity and style and Italy is one of the best places to go on a designer shopping spree. (Or window shopping if your budget isn’t up to it..!)

So if designer names is your thing, don’t forget to bring your credit card…

If you’re looking for high street stores then head for Via del Corso. If it’s designer stores you’re after then head for Via Condotti.

Explore the Pantheon

The Pantheon is one of Romes best-preserved ancient Roman buildings formerly a temple built under the Emporer Hadrian between 113-115 AD. It was later converted to a church and remains one of the most popular places to visit in Rome. Since it’s an indoor activity, exploring the Pantheon is a great thing to do when it’s raining in Rome. Opt for a guided tour or use an audio guide (For under $6) to get the most from the experience.

Go Underground and visit the catacombs

The Catacombs are underground passageways where the dead were buried dating back to the 2nd-5th centuries. There are many kilometres of them which you can explore seeing inscriptions in the wall documenting the deceased. Taking a tour of the catacombs requires zero sunshine so is a perfect activity to do in Rome in the rain.

Visit ‘Welcome to Rome’ and interactive theatre journey through Rome’s History

The projection and interactive exhibits at this converted old cinema, will guide you through 2700 years of history in Rome, all whilst staying warm and dry! It will take approximately 30 minutes so it’s a great activity to do during a brief downpour in Rome!

Go Church Hopping

There are so many beautiful churches in Rome, why not see how many of them you can explore in a day? Even if you are not religious, you will be able to admire the impressive architecture and beauty of these intricate buildings. It always amazes me how they were constructed in such detail back when there was very little in the ways of tools! Painted ceilings in particular always get me!

Get out of Rome for the day

So it’s raining in Rome but what’s the weather like elsewhere in Italy? You may be pleasantly surprised to learn that the weather not that far away, is actually quite nice! You can even take a day trip all the way to Venice and back courtesy of a high-speed train.

Here are a few options from day trips from Rome:

Hopefully you have managed to find some ideas for things to do in Rome in the rain with these 17 ideas. Whether you decide to spend a day in the Vatican city, learn to cook Italian style or escape to find better weather on a day trip, you are bound to enjoy your trip. Because Rome is beautiful and fascinating, no matter what the weather is like!

Which of these activities and day trips would you choose? Or do you have any other suggestions?! In which case, tell us in the comments…

Read Next…

The post 17 Fun Things to do in Rome in the Rain appeared first on The Globetrotter GP.

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There is something pretty special about Italian road trips. If you are brave enough to tackle the crazy hot-headed local drivers and the tight twists and turns and narrow laneways, then you are in for a treat.

Yes, Italy road trips are not for the faint-hearted or the newbie drivers, but you cannot deny that road trips in Italy are pretty spectacular. With the perfect blend of sophisticated culture, mind-blowing scenery and delicious food and drink.

Yep, those close calls with a reckless scooter and that time you took 30 minutes to manoeuvre yourself out of a tiny alley your sat nav somehow led you down, will be worth it! Trust me!

The hardest thing will be choosing your Italy road trip as there are so many beautiful driving routes through this stunning country. I’m currently visiting Italy for the 4th time during which time I will be taking two more Italian road trips (I just can’t get enough…)

So based on my experience with Italian road trips, I decided to create 5 perfect Italy road trips which you can easily take in your annual leave ranging between 3 days and 2 weeks.

Here are 5 of the best Italy Road Tips you need to steal for your next trip..!

Overview of the best Italy road trips
  • #1 Sicily – 10-14 days – old towns, beautiful beaches, history, islands and active volcanoes
  • # 2 Italy icons – 10-12 days – Rome, Pisa, Milan, Venice – ancient ruins, history, culture, shopping, romance and buzzing nightlife.
  • #3 Northern Italy – 12-14 days – Cinque de Terre, Lake Garda, Dolomites, Venice – cute coastal towns, beautiful lakes, spectacular mountains and finished off with some romance in Venice.
  • #4 Tuscany – 4-7 days – Florence, Chianti wine region, Sienna and Val’ D’ Orcia Tuscan countryside – beautiful cities, cute villages, rolling hills, stunning scenery and wineries.
  • #5 The Amalfi Coast – 3-5 days – Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi and Capri – postcard-perfect beach towns, sophisticated boutique hotels and restaurants, designer shopping and beach time.

Let’s look at those Italy road trips in a little more detail…

The 5 Best Italy Road Trips Italy Road Trip #One – Sicily

Sicily is famous for its beautiful cities, stunning beaches and most of all for being the best place in Italy for foodies. You will also find Mt Etna here, an active volcano you can see gently smoking away, and plenty of historical archaeological ruins. For one island, it packs a lot of punch!

Top attractions on a Sicily road trip…
  • Taormina
  • Mt Etna
  • Cefalu
  • Zingaroo National Park
  • Favignana
  • Valley of the Temples
  • Baroque cities
An overview of your Sicily road trip itinerary

Fly into Catalina and begin your Italy road trip by heading to Taormina, a seriously beautiful old town with cobbled alleys and shed loads of character. Take the cable car to visit Isola Isabella beach or visit the ancient and well-preserved amphitheatre overlooking Mt Etna!

Your next stop is to visit the iconic Mt Etna. You can choose between a variety of day trips, some of which visit various villages and markets on the way and show you a snapshot of Mt Etna where you can admire the lava trails. Others where you can actually hike up Mt Etna. Either way, you cannot miss iconic Mt Etna off your 10 day Sicily itinerary!

From Mt Etna, head toward Cefalu. This was possibly my favourite town in Sicily with charming cobbled alleys and a beautiful beach with the most perfect aquamarine water.

From Cefalu, make your way to Zingaroo National Park and enjoy a hike to one of the many beautiful beaches before winding up in Trapani on the west coast of Sicily.

Trapani is a great springboard for visiting Favignana island, a tiny place which you can easily explore by bike in one day. Spend a relaxing day cycling between beaches before catching the ferry back to the mainland. Alternatively, you could book a sailing trip and visit a few islands in one day.

Wind your way towards the Valley of the Temples where you can spend a day exploring these giant ancient monuments.

For your last few days in Sicily, spend them exploring the Baroque towns in the South east of Sicily, Ragusa being my favourite. I’d also ecommend spending a few hours at Marzamemmi, a gorgeous little fishing town with some incredible restaurants and spending your last afternoon in Syracuse exploring the old part of the town, Ortigia.

Italy Road Trip #Two: Italy Icons

If you are a city girl (or guy) then this is the Italian road trip for you! This Italy Icon road trip ticks off some of the most popular cities in Italy allowing you to soak up the history, culture and traditions of this beautiful country.

Top Attractions on this Italy Icon road trip
  • Visit the Vatican City
  • Visit the many ancient archaeological sites in Rome such as the Colosseum and Roman Forum
  • Take a Selfie at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Hit the shops in Milan or see a football game
  • Check out Al Duomo in Milan
  • Take a gondola ride in Venice and get lost in the canals
  • Visit colourful Burano
An overview of this Italy Icon road trip

Spend your first 4 days in Rome soaking up the atmosphere in this beautiful hectic city. Explore the many archaeological monuments, amphitheatres and fountains and piazzas. Make sure you take some time just to sit outside a cafe enjoying an aperitif and watching life go by. You must also allow one day for enjoying the Vatican museums and Sistine chapel – make sure you get a queue jump ticket really early – the queues can be insane!

Read more about Rome:

After you’ve had your fix of Rome, spend a day or two in Pisa. Pisa is famous for the Leaning Tower of Pisa where you must visit for that iconic photo! But it’s also a really lovely city which is not quite as busy as Rome so you can spend time just soaking up the atmosphere. From Pisa, you can also take several day trips up to Cinque de Terre, to Elba island or into Tuscany where you can enjoy the stunning scenery and delicious wine!

Your next stop is Milan where you should plan to stay 1-2 nights. Milan is famous for both football and shopping so try to make time to browse the shops or enjoy a game in the famous stadium. Football’s not really my thing so you’d be much more likely to find me exploring the boutiques! You should also make time to visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Nascente, also known as Al Duomo, which is one of the most spectacular cathedrals in all of Italy!

Spend your final 3-4 days in Venice, one of the most romantic cities in the world. You should plan to get lost in Venice. Spend hours wandering the tiny cobbled alleys with no direction and stumble across little at galleries, shops, delicious eateries and enjoying the beautiful Canal system which makes Venice so famous. You can’t leave without enjoying a boat trip up the canals (though don’t expect it to be cheap!) A day trip to colourful Burano would also be a great way to end your trip.

Italy Road Trip #Three : Northern Italian Gems

This is the perfect Italy road trip for any country bumpkins amongst you. This route will take you through colourful seaside towns, into the stunning snow-capped mountains and lakes of Northern Italy and will end in charming Venice.

Top attractions on this Northern Italy road trip
  • Hike the beautiful Cinque de Terre trail
  • Take a boat trip along the coast of Cinque de Terre to see it from another angle
  • Visit the charming towns and villages around Lake Garda
  • Enjoy the spa at Sirmione where you can watch the sunset over Lake Garda
  • Visit the lovely town of Trento which has somehow escaped mass tourism which affects other parts of Italy.
  • Take hikes amongst the lakes and mountains in the Dolomites region.
  • Enjoy wine tasting in Trentino
  • Enjoy the canals and colourful streets in Venice and Burano.
An overview of this Northern gems Italian road trip

Start in the Cinque De Terre with a few days in the picture-perfect colourful villages which rise steeply from the dramatic coastline, accessible only by train and boat. A public footpath connects the 5 villages which make up the Cinque de Terre and hiking between the villages is a great way to explore. Make sure you stop for plenty of pizza, prosecco and gelato along the way and savour your time, people watching from restaurants lining the coast. It’s also worth taking the ferry at least once so you can see it from another perspective!

Spend one night in Sirmione found at the most southern tip of Lake Garda. This beautiful old town is home to a castle directly on the water and the most incredible spa whee you can sit in a jacuzzi until midnight watching the sunset over Lake Garda and then the stars come out. Bliss.

Spend your next day traversing Lake Garda, stopping at little villages and viewpoints along the way, winding your way north to Trentino.

Trentino will be your base for exploring the lakes, vineyards and Dolomites mountains. I would recommend staying in the capital city of the region, Trento, where you’ll find a laid back old town with cobbled alleys, a charming castle and a cable car with views over the whole valley. Spend a few days in Trentino, visiting wineries, castles, lakes and taking short hikes to enjoy the spectacular scenery in Northern Italy.

Learn more: How to plan a perfect weekend in Trentino

Your final stop on this northern Italy road trip is Venice. Spend a few days exploring the canals, laneways, churches and restaurant scene in this romantic city. Make time for a day trip to colourful Burano.

Italian Road Trip #Four: Florence and Rural Tuscany

Tuscany is possibly one of the most beautiful places in Italy and therefore makes for a great place to road trip in Italy! Expect to see rolling hills, tiny ancient walled villages sitting on hill tops, fields of colourful poppies and pretty vineyards where you can sample the wine or take a wine tour. Try not to plan to much as the beauty of a Tuscany road trip, is stopping wherever you fancy.

Top attractions on this Tuscany road trip in Italy
  • Visiting the Duomo in Florence
  • The birds-eye views from one of the many towers in Florence
  • Wine tasting in the chianti region
  • Pienza – possibly the cutest village in Italy!
  • Driving the scenic Val D’Orcia route where there are instagram – perfect views in every direction!
Overview of this Tuscany road trip

Start this road trip in Tuscany, one of the most beautiful cities in Italy. Visiting the Duomo is a must but definitely get queue jump tickets as the queues were insane! I’d recommend spending two days in Florence in order to see most of the highlights.

Your next stop is the Chianti wine region where you should stay in an agriturismo and spend your days drinking wine and visiting the cutest of hilltop villages.

From there, you should spend a few days driving the Val D’Orcia – one of the prettiest driving routes in Italy. You will recongnise many viewpoints which appear on postcards across Italy here and if you’re a photographer, you should definitely factor in a few early mornings for sunrise photoshoots. Make time to visit Pienza – this is my favourite town in all of Italy. Never have I seen such a colourful town brimming with flower arrangements ad overlooking the beautiful tuscan hills.

Italian Road Trip #Five: The Amalfi Coast

Road tripping along the Amalfi Coast isn’t without it’s challenges – narrow roads, hair pin bends, expensive and scarce parking and congested roads! But it’s also one of the prettiest road trips you can take in Italy and remains one of the most popular p[laces to visit in Italy, or for that matter, Europe!

The colourful houses are framed by dramatic cliffs overlooking pretty beaches and a turquoise ocean. It is like something straight out of a movie! S, hectic as it may be, a road trip along the Amalfi Cast is worth it every time!

Top attractions on an Amalfi coast road trip
  • Beautiful Capri Island
  • Positano beach
  • The view from Ravello
  • The beach at Amalfi town
  • The viewpoints all along the beautiful coastline.
Overview of this Amalfi Coast Italian road trip

Spend 3-5 days winding along the coast road from Sorrento to Amalfi stopping off at postcard-perfect villages and towns and viewpoints..

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Is Sri Lanka on your travel bucket list yet?

If not it needs to be! With luscious rainforest, tea plantations, national parks teeming with wildlife and exotic beaches all on the agenda, Sri Lanka really does have it all.

Today I’m going to be reviewing the adventure group tour of Sri Lanka I took with G Adventures, a company I have travelled with many many times.

** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

So Why Sri Lanka? 

It’s hard to put into words why I love Sri Lanka so much. It’s like an assault on the senses. The lingering heady waft of incense, women wearing vivid colourful saris, intense sunsets, the fragrant curries, the crashing of the waves on otherwise serene beaches…

People told me I would love it but I wasn’t expecting to fall quite so head over heels as I did. Sri Lanka well and truly stole my heart.

There are ancient temples to explore, beaches to relax on, rain forest scenery to hike amongst and its one of the best places to go on safari for wildlife fanatics. It’s also one of the friendliest places I’ve been in Asia and somewhere I always felt safe.

Sri Lanka has only recently become a tourist hot spot and this year was ranked number one tourist destination by The Lonely Planet. It won’t be long before tourists are flocking there in their masses. I’d recommend going BEFORE this happens.

Sri Lanka is one of those up and coming destinations which is at its tourism peak right now – enough tourist infrastructure for the ease of travel but without being ruined by mass tourism and high rise beach resorts.

I’ve recently finished a G Adventures Sri Lanka group tour and would wholeheartedly recommend this tour to anyone. It was my 7th trip with them (I’ve now done my 8th – a Maldives dhoni cruise.) Every trip I have taken has been absolutely fantastic.

So I decided to write this G Adventures Sri Lanka Encompassed review to show you exactly why I loved this Sri Lanka group tour so much and will be recommending it to all of my besties…

If you want to skip my article and go straight to see the tour I took, you can click HERE.

What is G Adventures anyway?

G Adventures is a global adventure travel company specialising in small group, ethical tours which venture off the beaten track and give back to the local community.  

They offer adventure tours on all seven continents and so far, I have travelled with them in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, The Galapagos, Peru and The Maldives.

Their tours are always reasonably priced and each trip has a “ripple score” which reflects how much money goes back into the community. This transparency is one of the reasons I choose G Adventures over other companies.

G Adventures is dedicated to ploughing as much money as possible back into the local community so you can be confident the money you spend, will go a long way towards helping Sri Lanka’s tourism industry boom once more.

They also have a charity Planeterra which runs initiatives to help communities help themselves for long term benefits. For example, providing training to lead to employment and business opportunities. Most G Adventure tours visit at least one or two of these projects and the Sri Lanka Encompassed group tour was no exception.

Is it safe to travel to Sri Lanka?

You may be wondering if Sri Lanka is safe to travel to? It’s a tricky question to answer as at the moment, our world is in a precarious position with terrorist attacks occurring all over the world. Yes, Sri Lanka was targeted in early April. But terrorists have attacked London, Paris, New Zealand, Turkey, Bali and so many more places in recent years.

My personal opinion is that we cannot halt our travel plans and sit at home, wrapped in cotton wool. The terrorists would win. The risks have now been downgraded, the government has conducted a very thorough investigation, travel insurance is valid again and Sri Lanka is ready to welcome you with open arms.

Travelling Sri Lanka with G Adventures is a safe way to see the country as you will always have travel companions and a guide to watch your back and someone will always know your whereabouts.

I commented many times whilst I was in Sri Lanka, about how safe and comfortable I felt. Far more safe than I have felt in other countries in Asia! I personally would not hesitate to return to Sri Lanka which is now one of my favourite countries that I have visited.

Right, let’s get onto the good bit and talk about what you can expect on a Sri Lanka Encompassed tour with G Adventures! I’ll outline some of the highlights from each day on tour, discuss the pros and cons of travelling Sri Lanka with G Adventures, answer some frequently asked questions about group tours and offer you some post-trip advice.

G Adventures Sri Lanka Encompassed Itinerary Day 1 – Arrival

You can arrive at any time and in the evening there is a group meeting followed by dinner together in the hotel to get to know your tour group.

Day 2 – Colombo to Negombo

The trip starts properly on day 2 with a quick tour of Colombo’s highlights before transferring to Negombo. We spent a lovely afternoon exploring Negombo’s canals seeing the colourful fishing boats, the mangroves and the wildlife including meeting some very cheeky monkeys. After a fantastic first day, we relaxed on our hotel beach, watching the sunset with a cocktail.

Day 3 – Negombo to Sigiriya

The morning began with a tour of Negombo’s busy fish markets. We then headed toward the cultural triangle where we climbed the 1200 steps up Sigiriya’s Rock Fortress, a world heritage site. The views at the top were well worth the effort and we cooled off with a dip in the pool back at the hotel.

Day 4 – Dambulla cave Temples to Minneriya National Park Safari

The day began with a trip to Dambulla Cave Temple, a series of 5 beautiful caves containing ancient artwork and buddha statues. (Make sure you take socks as you’ll have to ditch your shoes and walk on the hot granite rock!)

This was followed by a tour of a village, seeing rural life in Sri Lanka. We learnt to make hoppers – a traditional breakfast food before our exciting elephant safari at Minneriya National Park.

This was an optional extra but definitely worth the money. We saw so many elephants, many just a few metres from us, some with babies. There was plenty of other wildlife here but the baby elephants stole the show.

Day 5 – Kandy

On our 5th day, we travelled to the bustling city of Kandy. Along the way we stopped at a spice plantation for an informative tour and a short but sweet ayurvedic massage.

Lunch was at the Sthree project – on of G Adventures Planeterra projects in Sri Lanka. Here women run a social enterprise encourage women in hardship or people with disabilities into work by running their own creative businesses and selling their wares in the shop. They also make delicious lunches and the proceeds get ploughed back into the enterprise.

That afternoon after arriving in Kandy, we checked out The Temple of The Tooth – one of Sri Lanka’s most important and grandest of temples. We then squeezed in time to go to a traditional Sri Lankan drum and dance performance.

I was so impressed with our hotel that night. Not only was it pretty luxurious but wow, the views from the balcony across pretty Kandy Lake…

Day 6 – Kandy to Tamarind Gardens Homestay

The following morning we had some free time which I chose to go for a proper Ayurvedic massage after my little taster session the day before. I felt completely rejuvenated afterwards. You could also choose to visit the botanical garden, go shopping or walk around the Kandy lake.

We then drove to another Planeterra project, this time a homestay at Tamarind Gardens and hour or so outside of Kandy. I will be writing a separate article about this amazing place so please watch this space…

At Tamarind homestay, there family run a dairy farm whilst also running several projects to benefit those who live in the nearby village. This includes running a project where women are recycling rice bags into tote bags as well as helping women start creative businesses such as incense and jewellery making to avoid having to work in the mines.

They are in the process of building some classrooms where they will be teaching apprenticeships free of charge to those who leave school with little qualifications.

One of the schemes I particularly loved was their goat project. They provide one family with two goats to breed. They then have to return one kid to the farm which is paired with another goat to help another family. The original goats and any other offspring then belong to that family to use in what way they like to help make money for example breeding or using to make goats cheese etc.

That afternoon we were shown around the village and had the opportunity to mingle with the locals before enjoying some delicious food in the evening.

Day 7 – The Tea Plantations and Nuwara Eliyah

After bidding farewell to the wonderful family at Tamarind Gardens we set off on our journey to Nuwara Eliyah in the highlands passing through beautiful lush scenery along the way. Our trip took us to a tea plantation where we learnt how to choose and pick the right leaves and then had a tour through the tea factory followed by some tea tasting. Alas it was not enough to convert me to tea but I did enjoy taking some photo in the tea plantations.

Make sure you pack a jumper for Nuwara Eliyah as it’s at higher altitude and can actually get pretty chilly, especially in the evenings. It’s nicknamed ‘Little England’ and it’s easy to see why. Not only is the weather reminiscent of back home but also the colonial houses and some of the scenery. There were even stags roaming on the moors!

In the afternoon there is spare time. You could spend this shopping in the markets or go for high tea on the manicured lawns at the prestigious Grand Hotel.

Day 8 – Horton Plains and the Ella Train Jouney

We made an early start leaving at 4 am to drive to The Horton Plains for a hike starting at sunrise. The scenery was beautiful and so different to elsewhere in Sri Lanka. Having made such an early start, we were back at the hotel in time for a quick shower before we took our much-awaited train journey to Ella.

Widely recognised as being one of the most beautiful train journeys in the world, the journey to Ella was no ordinary train ride. We had 3 hours of beautiful lush scenery, tea plantations, forests and mountains and of course trying to get that iconic ‘leaning out of the door’ photo everyone wants for their Instagram!

Day 9 – Ella Rock and Nine Arch Bridge

It’s another early start today to walk to Ellas Rock. Unfortunately I’d sustained a knee injury so didn’t manage to make it but instead enjoyed some time chilling out in charming little Ella full of quirky bars and cafes and, art galleries and gift shops. Those who did the walk also loved it and said the scenery was brilliant.

That afternoon our team reunited and we walked (well I hobbled) to Nine Arch Bridge, a particularly scenic place to see the blue train come past. Expect crowds and lots of people taking selfies. However, it really is beautiful nonetheless.

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Dubai, being on many flight paths between Europe and Asia, makes the perfect city for a short stopover. If you have just 3 days in Dubai, you’ll be wanting to make the most of the short amount of time available to you to see as much of the city as possible. This 3 day Dubai itinerary is written by Valentina Djordjevic and is packed full of the best things to do in Dubai.

I’ll hand you over to Valentina now to tell us how to explore Dubai in 3 days

** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

No time to read this now? No worries! Pin it for later!

Planning 3 Days in Dubai

Dubai is a flashy travel destination overflowing with great restaurants, entertainment & shopping. It’s a modern city, built from the ground up only in the last few decades. Dubai is located in the middle of the Arabian Desert, and it’s bordered by the tranquil turquoise waters of the Persian Gulf.

You don’t need more than 3 days in Dubai to check off the bucket list, and we’ll show you how!

Use this 3 day Dubai itinerary and you’ll be able to take advantage of everything this great city has to offer. We’ll help you get to all of Dubai’s hottest attractions, dine at Dubai’s trendiest restaurants, hit up the best beaches and stay at the most luxurious hotels.

Dubai is one of the most unique places in the world. Almost like Las Vegas of the middle east. It’s where glam and excess meet old world history and Muslim culture. The service industry in Dubai is top-notch. It’s, without a doubt, the cleanest city I’ve ever laid eyes on! Also, it’s one of the safest places in the world with unbelievably low crime rates.

An overview of this 3 day Dubai Itinerary

Day 1. You’ll learn about history and culture at the Dubai Creek and experience the luxury of Dubai’s downtown.

Day 2. Visit one of Dubai’s best beaches then take a desert safari.

Day 3. Walk the Dubai Marina, tour the Dubai Miracle Garden and experience the Global Village.

When is the best time to visit Dubai?

The best time of year to visit Dubai is November through to April (in the winter months). Due to the desert climate, it can be excruciatingly hot in the summer!

Also, many of the top attractions like the Dubai Miracle Garden and the Global Village are closed during summer months.

You’ll especially want to avoid travelling during Ramadan (beginning of May through the beginning of June) because many restaurants will be closed or have odd hours.

Getting to Dubai

You can get to Dubai by flying into the Dubai International Airport (DBX). Emirates airline connects Dubai to major cities all over the world. It’s an absolute treat flying Emirates because they offer above-average legroom, free WiFi and 2 checked bags with every economy class ticket! Dubai’s downtown is only a 15-minute cab ride from the airport.

Getting around Dubai in 3 days

To get around Dubai, you’ll need to take quite a few cabs… or Ubers. It’s a big city, and many of the attractions are relatively far from one another. For example, it will take 25 minutes to get from Dubai’s downtown to get to the Dubai Miracle Garden.

Alternatively, you can opt for public transportation. Although, it will take twice as long to get around. Luckily, cab fare is reasonable. You’ll pay less than 10 USD for that 25-minute cab ride.

You might decide to rent a car. Roads signs in the UAE are labelled in Arabic and English making it quite easy to get around. Although, like in many big cities, you may struggle to find parking.

See where all the various attractions are located in this Tourist Map of Dubai.

Where to stay in Dubai

There are many great places to stay in Dubai, but we recommend staying in downtown. You’ll be within walking distance to the Dubai Mall, Dubai Fountains, the Burj Khalifa and more!

The most luxurious hotels in Dubai’s downtown are the Palace Hotel and the Armani Hotel.

Sofitel Downtown Dubai is a great affordable luxury alternative. The Carleton Downtown is a top-rated budget option.

If you think you’ll want to spend every spare minute on the beach, stay at the Jumeirah Beach Hotel

3 Day Dubai Itinerary Day one of your 3 day Dubai itinerary For breakfast on day 1…

Start your first morning in Dubai at the ‘Sum of Us’. It’s a 10-minute drive outside of downtown in the direction of the Dubai Creek attractions. The Sum of Us serves up some of the best breakfasts in Dubai! They’re a bread and pastry bakery, a gourmet coffeehouse and innovative restaurant all in one. With plenty of vegan and health conscious breakfast options, the Sum of Us won’t disappoint.

In the morning…

Continue to the Dubai Creek for some cultural and historical enrichment. Start at the Dubai Museum and Al Fahidi Fort. The Al Fahidi Fort is one of the few historic buildings in Dubai. It was built over 200 years ago in defence of the ruling monarchs. Inside the museum and fort, you’ll take a step back through time and learn about how civilizations lived in the Arabian desert.

Next, you can take a traditional Abra boat across the river to the Souks. Abras are leaving every few minutes. You’ll pay a 1 dirham coin to your driver once you get inside the boat. Ideally, you want to take route 1: Bar Dubai to Old Souk. Then, you’ll only be 5 minutes away from the Gold and Spice Souks.

Visiting the Souks can be a challenge but I do not regret going. Although, I wish I had known more about what to expect.

The Souks are traditional markets where locally sourced goods like gold, textiles, spices and perfumes are sold. They are great places to shop for souvenirs or gifts for the family. However, the vendors are extremely aggressive with their sales tactics. This can be off-putting.

Get lunch at…

Once you’re done shopping, take the Abra back across the creek. Get lunch at the beautiful Arabian Teahouse restaurant. This is a Dubai must!

Not only does it offer a cute garden vibe, but the Arabian Teahouse is one of the best places to taste authentic, well-prepared, Emirati food. You can’t make reservations here, so expect to wait a few minutes. It’s worth it! Make sure to order some tea with your meal!

Early afternoon…

Finally, you’ll want to visit the Al Fahidi Historical District before you head back to your hotel. The neighborhood is set up like a labyrinth with traditional style buildings. Get lost inside looking for various art galleries, craft shops and museums.

In the Evening

Spend your evening of day 1 in Dubai in the downtown area. If you’re staying in downtown, walk to the Dubai Mall first. It’s huge and gorgeous. There’s also an aquarium and an ice rink inside!

The most impressive parts of the mall are the ones that house the luxury design brands. Walk towards Chanel, Burberry, Gucci and you’ll see what I’m talking about. This part of the mall is also less heavily trafficked. The basement of the mall is where you will access the Burj Khalifa.

You’ll want to book the SKY experience at the Burj Khalifa. This package includes access to floors 124, 125 and 148. Floor 148 is the world’s highest observation deck.

It’s a lot cheaper to purchase standard admission that includes only floors 124 and 125, but these floors tend to be a lot more crowded. Your SKY ticket will also include a refreshment at the top.

Be sure to check the time of sunset and book the tour that starts 1 hour before the dusk. Book early to avoid disapointment!

You won’t need a whole hour on floor 148. Take a few photos and then head back down into the Dubai Mall.

Exit the Dubai Mall in the direction of the Dubai Fountains. Explore this pretty plaza, view the stunning Arabian architecture of the Palace Hotel, and wait for the next fountain show to start.

After you’ve seen the fountain show, explore Burj Plaza just before dusk. There’s a lot of pretty lights that come on at night. This area is so scenic and picture perfect!

Have dinner at Em Sherif. It’s a Lebanese restaurant located across from the Dubai Fountains. Dubai is a cultural melting pot with a huge immigrant population. So, don’t focus on just Emirati cuisine here! Eat delicious Lebanese, Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian food! If you don’t feel like splurging on dinner, instead have middle eastern fast food at Filful’s downtown location. This is a local favourite chain!

After dinner, head to the Level 43 Sky Lounge rooftop bar. It is a 40-minute walk from downtown if you are feeling ambitious, but it’s only a 10-minute cab ride.

I love this place because it’s got a hip vibe, chill electronic music and an outdoor rooftop terrace with views of the surrounding skyscrapers. You can also make a reservation online in advance to ensure you’ll get a great table.

Day 2 of your 3 day Dubai Itinerary Have breakfast at…

Start your morning of day 2 in Dubai with breakfast at Comptoir 102. It’s a 15-20 minute cab ride from downtown and a few minutes walk from La Mer Beach. Comptoir 102 is regarded as the best healthy cafe in Dubai.

All ingredients are locally and sustainably sourced to ensure the highest quality. The menu is focused on nutrition and flavour, with many low carb and dairy free options. You’ve got to try one of their famous smoothies that are infused with vegetables, fruits, vitamins and nut milk.

In the morning…

Next, walk over to the beautiful La Mer Beach. It’s one of Dubai’s newest and best-developed beachfront. You’ll find plenty of shopping, dining and urban art. It’s the perfect place to relax. You can rent lounge chairs, umbrellas and even towels. Spend the day basking in the sun & enjoying the crisp waters surrounded by luxury.

Have lunch at…

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, walk down the beach to Salt. Have lunch or just their amazing soft serve ice cream! Their original softies are the best.

In the afternoon…

If you have more time and energy, the other neat attractions in this area are the Etihad Museum and the Jumeirah Mosque. The Etihad Museum is a 15-20 minute walk from Salt in La Mer, and the Jumeirah Mosque will be on your way.

The Etihad Museum is a beautiful modern and interactive museum that documents the contemporary political history of the United Arab Emirates.

The Jumeirah Mosque is one of Dubai’s most iconic landmarks. Visitors of all faiths are welcome. Organized free tours are run most days at 10 AM. Rework this activity at the beginning of your beach day if interested. The cultural tours discuss holidays, traditions and customs of the Muslim faith.

In the evening…

In the evening of your second day, set out on a Dubai Desert Safari. This is a Dubai bucket list must! There are many different tours and operators to choose from. Most tours will pick you up at your hotel around 4 or 5 PM.

Safari tours include camel rides, dune bashes, falconry shows, traditional food, belly dancing performances and henna tattooing. Some include alcoholic beverages.

We did the Dubai Desert Conservation Reserve Tour. Overall, it was a great experience. The food was excellent! The landscapes were stunning, and the entertainment was fun. Our guide took the time to help us snap amazing desert photos. Make sure to get a henna tattoo.

The only part I will caution against is the SUV dune bash. The dune bashing may be a lot more fun in an ATV than the 4×4 SUV. My experience with the 4×4 SUV was that it was too long and a bit nauseating in the end. We spent more than 3 hours of the night driving and dune bashing!

Some tours skip the dune bashing all together. Instead, they may offer longer camel rides and dune surfing. If I were to go again, I’d definitely opt out of the SUV dune bash and choose either ATVs or no dune bash at all!

Whatever you decide, make sure you take part in a desert safari! Also, bring a sweater or jacket. It gets surprisingly cold out in the desert at night.

Day 3 of your 3 day Dubai itinerary Have breakfast…

If you’re staying in downtown, walk to..

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If you are planning a weekend in Trentino then congratulations! You are going to have an epic trip to Italy!

Trentino wasn’t really on my radar until I attended a travel writing conference in Trento called Traverse. You can read more about Traverse here.

The very moment I arrived in Trento, I was smitten. Trentino is a stunning region of Italy and it’s capital Trento is the perfect base for exploring the wine regions, lakes and snow-capped mountains of Northern Italy. That is if you can tear yourself away from the charming old town of Trento with its castles, churches, gardens, cobbled streets and spectacular cable car views…

Spending a weekend in Trentino will not nearly be long enough to appreciate all that this wonderful region has on offer. But it will give you a good taste for Northern Italy and hopefully leave you wanting to come back and explore further afield.

** Pssst, this article may contain affiliate links. If you have no idea what this means, click here and everything will be explained!**

Where is Trentino?

Trentino is a region in northern Italy which borders with the tip of Lake Garda and is a gateway to the stunning Italian Dolomites Mountains. The region is packed with wineries, castles, old towns, mountainous and lake scenery offering lots of outdoors activities and fantastic hikes.

Trento is the capital city of the region of Trentino with a population of 117K, home to the extremely beautiful Buonconsiglio Castle. The old town centre is compact and easy to walk around with quaint cobbled alleys, old churches with restored baroque architecture and parks brimming with colourful flowers. Just outside of town is a cable car which will afford you gorgeous views over the valley. I would recommend making this lovely city, Trento, your base for your weekend in Trentino.

Why you should plan a weekend in Trentino?

You may be wondering ‘Why Trentino?’

As I’ve already mentioned, Trentino hadn’t been on my personal radar before this year. I hadn’t even heard of it! Places like Tuscany, The Amalfi Coast and Sicily were all high on my bucket list as I’m sure they are for many travellers. But Trentino had never leapt out at me. I didn’t really know what to expect when I got there.

But now I find myself asking why it had never made it onto my radar before? How is it not equally as popular as Lake Garda, Venice or Cinque de Terre?!

Because Trentino is beautiful!

But not only is it beautiful but it’s friendly, affordable, uncrowded, authentic and there’s such a variety of things to do and places to see in this area. You will certainly not be bored on a weekend in Trentino! You are halfway between the Dolomites and Lake Garda so you will be indulged with some of the most beautiful scenery in Northern Italy.

There are so many places in Italy which have become overrun with tourists. It’s almost impossible to get good home cooked pasta without a hugely inflated price tag – lunch on Capri Island on the Amalfi Coast set me back a whopping €53!

Somehow, Trentino has escaped over tourism which has affected so many parts of Italy. The restaurants all serve delicious and affordable food – without exception! There are more locals than tourists and they smile at you as you walk by. You can afford a quality hotel room without needing to sell a kidney for the privilege.

Things to do on a weekend in Trentino Take a Hike to Lago Di Tret

Suggested by Philipp Ammon of CapturingWanderlust.com

Hiking to Lago di Tret, an old wooden jetty invites hikers to take a dive into the cool, emerald meltwater of this hidden forest lake. While you might not feel up to joining the locals on a traditional winter-morning swim, a sunny Trentino day during the warmer seasons could offer the perfect atmosphere for a picnic and a refreshing dip in lake Tret.

You can find a place to park next to the Hotel Scoiattolo in Val di Non. Follow the 512 Mountain Trail marked by a red and white flag and signs reading “Al Lago” for a relaxed 30-40 min uphill walk. The trail is lined with rushing creeks and colourful wildflower meadows.

You may work up a sweat, but as with most things in Trentino, the effort is well worth the reward.

Credit @ Philipp Ammon Take a day trip to Bolzano

Suggested by Kate of OurEscapeClause.com

Nestled in the Italian Dolomites and the capital of South Tyrol, a day trip to Bolzano is the perfect getaway from Trento!

Whether you want to pay a visit to the 5,000-year-old man Ötzi (yes, really!), stroll through Bolzano’s many colorful streets, hit up the delicious food markets, marvel at the frescoes at Castel Roncolo, or board a cable car that will whisk you away to one of the many small mountain villages in the region, Bolzano has something for you.

If you’re looking for epic views, try heading to Santa Maria Maddalena Church–and don’t forget to go for a wine tasting at one of the many nearby vineyards while you’re out there!

If you happen to be visiting the region in the winter, don’t forget to add a visit to Bolzano’s Christmas market onto your itinerary–as the home of the oldest Christmas market in Italy, there’s no better place in the country to experience a bit of festive cheer.

Take the Hydrotour Dolomiti at the Santa Massenza Hydro-Power Plant

You cannot fail to notice on your weekend in Trentino, just how many lakes and rivers there are. Trentino has tapped into that water source to create clean energy across the region and supply it nationally be creating Hydro electricity plants. They created huge tunnels under the mountains and funnelled water at high pressure and speed into power plants where the water is processed through huge turbines and is turned into clean electricity without any negative impact upon our environment. You can now learn all about how they do this by taking the Hydrotour Dolomiti.

Visit Lago Di Toblino

Take a leisurely stroll around this stunning lake admiring the Castel Toblino, this ideally situated castle. This is a great location for photographers for sunset and blue hour pictures. Here’s mine below! The great thing is that it can be accessed by a 5-10 minute walk which is great when there is not much light!

Visit Lake Garda

Ah Lake Garda, such a beautiful location. Although the lake is huge, you can get around it in one day if you start early. Stop off at the many beautiful villages including Sirmione with it’s charming lakeside castle complete with moat.

Try Tandem Paragliding

Suggested by Lucy of FarawayLucy.com

If you’ve ever wanted to try your hand at tandem paragliding, there is truly no better setting in which to do so than over Lake Idro. Boasting a view that is second-to-none across the majestic Chiese Valley, paragliding is a great opportunity to get a bird’s eye view over one of Italy’s most beautiful lakes.

Hop in the car which takes you up to the mountainous alpine pastures and soon you’ll be ready to fly! Whether you are after a relaxing ride or a more exhilarating experience, the friendly team at Trentino Adventures gear your flight towards what you want to get out of the experience.

While the time may seem to fly by (pun totally intended), the flight actually lasts around 20 minutes, leaving you plenty of time to soak up the scenery. The experience may set you back around £100 per person, but the views make it well worth every penny!

Visit a winery

Suggested by Andrea of HappyDaysTravelBlog.com

Cavit Winery, located just outside the city of Trento, is a cooperative of ten wineries
and their associated 4,500 individual growers. It was set up in 1950 and now employs 200 people and produces 60% of all Trentino wine. As well as supplying the home market, Cavit exports all over the world and is the leading Italian brand in the USA.

The main grapes used by Cavit are Müller Thurgau, Gewürtztraminer and Pinot
Grigio, but they also grow a small amount of the ancient variety, Nosiola. In 2018,
they produced just 6000 bottles of this delicious award-winning white wine, rich with walnut flavours. We were lucky enough to taste it during our visit.

Cavit also produce red wines, mainly Bordeaux blends, and, under their Altemasi
label, sparkling Trentodoc wines, the oldest appellation in Italy.

The winery is happy to arrange visits for groups of ten or more. Contact them by
email at least a month before (cavit@cavit.it). Individuals can visit the onsite shop for tastings and purchases. It is open Monday to Friday 9.30 – 12.30 and 2.30 –
6.45 and Saturday 10 – 12.30. I highly recommend you do – it was a highlight of my time in Trentino.

Visit the Gorges of Ponte Alto

Suggested by Toti and Alessia of ItalianTripAboad.com

For centuries the main objective of the inhabitants of Trento was to protect the city from the danger of flooding. The most important engineers in the World were working constantly on dyke, embankment and docks with the only plan to protect Trento.

That made the amazing Gorges of Ponte Alto, a deep canyon carved in the rocks by the river Farina over thousands of years. This is one of the best experiences to have in Trento and beyond.

Trekking along the valley, you can get close enough to the gorge to touch with your hands the cold flowing water, breathe the breeze of the spring water coming directly from the top of the mountains in the canyons. I had an amazing experience roaming between the vineyards of Trento Doc. An adventurous journey inside the thick forest and climbing down the difficult rocks while reaching the pool where the gorge flows.

Thanks to a group of passionate inhabitants and professional climbers I had the chance to get in deep into the gorge, an experience that will be forever in my mind. 

Go Skiing or Ski Boarding in winter in San Martino

Suggested by Ania of TheTravellingTwins.com

We spent a winter holiday in San Martino skiing and snowboarding in the region of Trentino and we had a great time.

Our family was pretty new to snowsports, and with a total of 60 km of pistes, about half of which were graded blue, we had a fantastic choice. Slopes are wide and long, but beside skiing San Martino has lots of winter activities for everyone like guided snow rackets walks, snow mobiles etc.

The location is beautiful right up there at the top of the valley in the woodlands just before the Rolle Pass. We will never forget the sight of the evening sun on the pink rocks of the Dolomite peaks behind the town.

Talking of woodlands, the Violin Forest was a fascinating place to explore. Stradivari used timber from these trees for his instruments. Today you can go and see the beautiful landscape, spot wildlife and hear fascinating stories on a guided tour of the forest.

Things to do on a weekend in Trento City

There are so many things to do in Trento itself that you might be reluctant to leave the old city!

I’d consider starting with a walking tour to help orientate yourself. Here are some places you shouldn’t miss when you are in Trento;

Buonconsiglio Castle

This well-conserved castle dating back to 1239 has been lovingly restored. It was home to the Prince Bishops until 1802 and is one of the most important castles in the region. It is open to the public to browse between 9.30 AM and 5 PM. The hours are slightly altered in high season to 10-6. It costs €10 for entry and I’d recommend paying for an audio guide as I found it extremely informative. Please note it is currently closed on Mondays.

Take The Trento Cable Car

If you wan’t a great view of the city, head up the cable car which is free with your Trentino city card.

Visit the 3D Bronze Map of Trento to gather your bearings

Suggested by Larch of TheSilverNomad.co.uk

No matter how much you walk around a town or city and how well you know it, sometimes it is hard to envision just how it used to look many years ago. In Trento, on the right hand side of the Cattedrale di San Vigilio in Piazza Adamo d’Arogno, there is a 3D bronze representation of the city before the River Adige

was diverted round the city in 1850. The original bronze patina has mellowed over the years to a soft blue, though certain areas have been rubbed back to the bronze by many fingers.

The layout of Trento does not seem to have changed much in the last 160 years and you can trace the major buildings, duomo and palace around the city including, standing up on a bronze rock, the circular Cesare Battisti Mausoleum.

The main buildings are numbered and to the left side there is a key to tell you what each one is. However, for the visually impaired, next to the numbers on the map there is an explanation in Italian Braille, you may need an Italian speaker to translate!

Visit a brewery

Suggested by Aga of

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Planning 3 days in Maui? If so, this 3 day Maui itinerary, today’s guest article written by Brittany, will help you plan your trip to make sure you get to sample some of the best bits of this beautiful island in Hawaii.

Maui is one of those places which can appeal to lots of different people. Whether you are looking to enjoy some volcanic crater hikes (like Haleakala,) want to chill on an exotic beach or fancy road tripping along the road to Hana, Maui has something to offer you. Maui has the most beaches with good swimming conditions in Hawai. It is also one of the best places to go Whale watching with one of the densest population of Humpback whales in the world!

So you may be wondering, is 3 days in Maui enough?! Possibly not as there is so much to see an do there. But it will give you a flavour of the island if you are planning to island hop in Hawaii or only have a short time to visit.

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I’ll pass you over to Brittany now for her to tell us about her 3 day Maui itinerary.

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How to Spend 3 Days in Maui
Guest Author: Brittanywww.wegetaroundtravel.com

Hi! I am Brittany and I am a travel addict. I always thought travelling was something I would experience sometime in the distant future and at a different stage of life. After going on a Europe trip in 2016, I fell in love with travelling and knew I needed to do whatever I could to travel more. After learning some tricks of the trade, I decided to share my travel tips, guides, itineraries and more to inspire others at my travel blog, We Get Around Travel. Follow us on Pinterest, Instagram, Facebook, and our Facebook Travel group Travel Addicts Unite.

The island of Maui in Hawaii is the perfect blend of gorgeous beaches and green jungle, relaxation and adventure. If you have only 3 days in Maui, then read below to see which things you can’t miss on your trip. Below I have laid out a 3 day Maui Itinerary so you will know the best places to eat, sleep, and top things to do while you are in Maui.

Maui is home to some of the best and most beautiful beaches in the world. If you have 3 days in Maui then you are going to want to maximize your time so that you can see the top beaches that Maui has on offer. You can do this by trying to stay in the same area each day but trying out several different beaches. While the island is small, the lack of roads can mean it takes a while to get to one part of the island to another.

This 3 day Maui itinerary mixes 2 relaxation beach days with one day for adventure in other parts of the Island. Which is the perfect combination to let you have a taste of the beautiful island of Maui.

An Overview of this 3 day Maui Itinerary

Day 1  A beautiful sunrise and the best beach in Maui

Day 2 Adventure awaits

Day 3 End it all with relaxation on the beach and amazing dinner experience

Reasons you should visit Maui

Maui is an island in Hawaii that is home to beautiful pristine beaches and resorts but also has a whole other side to it beyond the beaches with jungle, plenty of hiking and waterfalls for you to see. It is the perfect island for people who want both relaxation and adventure. There are so many things to do in Maui.

When is the best time of year to visit Maui?

Maui is nice year round at about 80 degrees. Summer can be extra busy and a bit more humid with less wind which can make it feel hotter.  The rest of the year has a cool sea breeze that makes it very pleasant and the water is always warm. Visiting in December-March is the prime time to see humpback whales which is an amazing experience!

How to get to Maui?

You need to fly to Maui – most major cities have a direct flight though with some smaller cities, you may need a connecting flight. If you are travelling to Maui from another island in Hawaii, there is the airline, Hawaiian air, that has regular flights between the islands.

How to get around Maui in 3 days?

Once on the island I highly recommend you rent a car. Maui is not the type of Island where you will want to just hang out at your hotel resort. It is an island where you will want to drive to many different beaches and to the other parts of the island.

Where to base yourself for 3 days in Maui

There are 3 areas in Maui I recommend. The first is Kaanapali. Home to THE most popular Maui beach, Kaanapali has many great hotels and affordable condos for rent. Kaanapali is also close to many great restaurants and the old whaling village Lahaina which has great shopping opportunities. Kaanapali is the most popular place to stay on the Island.

Accommodation options in Kaanapali

The second area is Wailea. This is the fancier area of the island with high priced resorts. But what is so cool about Hawaii, is that the beaches have to have access for everybody, not just resort guests. So even if a resort sits right on the beach, everyone has access to it! Big Beach and Makena Surf beach are great beaches in this area. 

Accommodation options in Wailea

The third place I recommend is Kihei. It is located between Wailea and Kaanapali which makes it a good location to explore many different beaches and places. It also has many affordable condo options that are right on the beach. Kihei also has many great restaurants nearby.

Accommodation options in Kihei 

The Best 3 Day Maui itinerary Day 1 of your 3 day Maui itinerary In the morning…

One of the most amazing things you can do in Maui is watching the sunrise on Haleakala Crater. It is breathtaking and you really appreciate the beauty for the island from 10,000 ft.

I recommend doing this on your 1st day in Maui because the time difference makes it easier to get up at 3-4 am on for the 1.5-2 hr drive up the summit. Yes, it is early but SO worth it. It is a one of a kind experience that simply takes your breath away.

With limited parking at the summit, you must make reservations online prior to going up to 30 days in advance.

It is also a good 20-30 degrees cooler up on the crater so plan on bringing a jacket and even gloves and hat. This is an amazing photo opportunity spot so bring your camera! 

Eat lunch at…

You should eat lunch at Kimo’s Maui in Lahaina overlooking the ocean. The food is great and the views are spectacular. Get the fish and a blue Hawaiian to drink.

In the afternoon…

Spend the afternoon at Kaanapali Beach. For great snorkelling, head closer to black rock which also is great for cliff diving. Or if you just prefer to relax and take it all in, this is a great beach for everyone. You may want to go back to take a nap before heading out for dinner and your evening!

Eat dinner at…

Eat dinner at MonkeyPod in Whaler’s Village. It has great food and views. This is a popular place so it may be best to make a reservation. After dinner walk around at some of the shopping in Whaler’s Village which has a bunch of beachfront stores.

In the evening…

Take a sunset stroll at Keawakapu Beach. This beach offers a surprisingly isolated half-mile stretch of beautiful white sand, located in Kihei and is perfect to catch a beautiful Maui sunset. Bring a towel and have a beer on the beach if you prefer that to a walk.

Day 2 of your 3 day Maui Itinerary In the Morning…

Make sure you have snacks, lunch, water, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent and hit the road to arrive in Paia by 7 am.

Today you are going to one of the most unique and amazing experiences you can have – The Road to Hana.

The Road to Hana is less about the destination and more about the journey and experience. This road is only 64 miles long but will take you all day to visit and head back. This road trip is home to so many amazing lookouts, waterfalls, and hikes. I suggest downloading a Road to Hana app that will tell you the best places to stop and even narrate the Maui history.

Recommended stops along the road to Hana Twin Falls

The first is Twin Falls at Mile Marker #2. Just past Paia, Twin Falls is a good place to stop if you’ve started the drive early. (Otherwise, you may want to skip it in favour of the bigger, more impressive waterfalls later on.)

The hike to the waterfall is easy and beautiful, and there’s a farm stand selling coconut water, banana bread, and smoothies at the entrance. It’s definitely worth a quick peek.

Garden of Eden Arboretum

The next is Garden of Eden Arboretum which is at mile marker #10. This one has a car fee but we found it absolutely worth it. It has amazing views and so many photo opportunities. They have a beautiful botanical garden with amazing eucalyptus trees and a 1000-year-old mango tree!

The Lava Tube

The Lava Tube is at mile marker #31. The Hana Lava Tube, also known as Ka’Eleku Caverns, provides a wonderful adventure. There are self-guided cave tours available seven days per week and take about 40 minutes. Plus, the handrails and comfortable temperature make this activity fun, safe, and easy for visitors of all ages.

Wai’anapanapa State Park Black Sand Beach

Wai’anapanapa State Park at Mile Marker #32. This is known as the “black sand beach”. It so unique and beautiful, you won’t want to miss it. This is a great place to spend some time and have a picnic lunch.

Halfway to Hana Banana Bread stand

Do not finish the Road to Hana without stopping by the Halfway to Hana banana bread stand. It is insanely delicious. The Road to Hana also has so many fresh fruit stands that you need to try. If you did not pack a lunch you can try Braddah Hutts BBQ Grill which is a food truck that has delicious traditional Hawaiian fare like BBQ chicken or fish tacos with rice and macaroni salad.

The Seven Sacred Pools

The last stop and the most popular is the Seven Sacred Pools aka ‘Ohe’o Gulch  This is an easy 1/2 mile trail to beautiful pools. After this stop, you turn around and head back and can stop at any of the spots you missed on the way back.

These are just a few of the many stops on the Road to Hana. But for your 3 days in Maui, you can’t miss driving the Road to Hana, it is a firm favourite for sure!

For Dinner…

After your day on the Road to Hana stop in Paia and eat at Paia Fish Market which has amazing fresh fish tacos. Paia is a super cool bohemian surfer town with tons of cool shops you can explore after dinner.

Day 3 of your 3 day Maui Itinerary In the morning…

For your third day in Maui, I would start your day by visiting Wailea. Hit Big Beach AKA Makena Beach which has a mile long shoreline with pristine sand. Since it is so big it never really feels crowded. This is a great beach but can have rough waters so be cautious.

For lunch…

For lunch go to Ka’ana Kitchen in Wailea. This is a great elegant but casual option. They have great food and service. Get some shaved ice at Surfing Monkey Shave Ice.

In the afternoon…

Once you have had lunch I would go to my personal favourite beach – Makena Surf. It is absolutely gorgeous and usually less crowded than a lot of the other beaches. This is a great beach to see and swim with giant sea turtles and there may be humpback whales in the distance in the winter/spring months.

For dinner…

Another can’t miss for your 3 days in Maui is going to Mama’s Fish House. This is THE most popular restaurant in Maui so plan on making reservation at least 6-8 weeks in advance. This upscale restaurant has an amazing locally caught fresh fish centred menu.

I highly recommend Mama’s Stuffed Fish. You also need to try the famous Polynesian Black Pearl dessert which is chocolate mousse in a pastry shell. Perfect of Instagram.

The atmosphere is out of this world. Located right on the beach, it is a perfect way to end your Maui vacation. I recommend going before sunset so you can watch the sunset. After dinner, sit out on the beach and watch the waves in tiki light.

You can definitely spend much longer than 3 days in Maui but with this 3 days in Maui itinerary, you will hit all the top things to see and do in Maui. This itinerary has the perfect balance of relaxation, adventure and good food. After your taster of Maui, I am confident you will want to come back, it is just that amazing.

Thanks, Brittany for this useful insight into visiting Maui. This Maui itinerary certainly has me wanting to pack my bags and head for Hawaii! What about you?!

If you’d prefer to have the stress taken out of organising your own trip, you could consider taking a small group Hawaii adventure tour with G Adventures, a company I trust and have travelled with 8 times.

Read Next| A Honolulu Visitors Guide

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The post 3 Day Maui Itinerary: Get The Most Out Of 3 Days In Maui appeared first on The Globetrotter GP.

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4 Days in Rome may be the most perfect European City Break. There are so many amazing places to see, experiences to have and foods to eat, you will likely want to return again and again. In today’s guest article written by Shelley Jarvis, she tells us how to make the most of 4 days in Rome with this fabulous 4 day Rome itinerary perfect for first-times in Italy’s capital city.

A 4 Day Rome Itinerary – A Guest Post
Guest Author for this Rome Itinerary: Shelley Jarviswww.nichetravel.com

Shelley Jarvis is a travel writer and photographer who hails from the USA. She acquired her wanderlust as a child and has been exploring ever since. She currently manages Niche Travel Design, a travel blog and community featuring stories of life abroad, cultural experiences, recipes, ideas and tips for creating unique memories to last a lifetime. Niche Travel Design believes that designing the perfect vacation is as much an art form as designing a home’s interior or a garden’s landscape. Niche Travel Design curates travel to feed the soul. You can follow Shelley on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest.

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A 4 Day Itinerary For Rome.

You could spend a month in Rome and not see all its treasures. Rome is rife with beauty, history, fashion, and food.  4 days in Rome will give you a taste of the city and hopefully entice you to come back again. This 4 day Rome itinerary will give you the best way to see the city’s highlights.

An Overview of this 4 days in Rome itinerary 

One must visit this iconic city at least once in your lifetime. As the old adage says, “all roads lead to Rome” as this city that was the centre of civilization for centuries.  Rome’s historic place at the crossroads of the trade routes, left an impression on the city and culture. Rome still bustles with vibrancy and influences from African, Asian, and European cultures. 

When you first arrive, Rome can be overwhelming. It is noisy and chaotic. After you get to know Rome though, you will discover that Rome is also home to quaint parks, hidden piazzas and alleyways, and spiritual havens.

Day 1: Begin by exploring and familiarizing yourself with some traditional Roman neighborhoods.

Day 2: Dive in and visit ancient Rome. The Colosseum, The Forum, and Palatine Hill.

Day 3: Learn about the impact that Christianity and the Vatican had on Rome and the Roman Empire by visiting the Vatican Museums and Vatican City.

Day 4: Spend your last day savouring the Tridente neighbourhood with visits to The Spanish Steps, Piazza del Popolo, Parco Villa Borghese, and Trevi Fountain.

When is the best time of year to spend 4 days in Rome?

The best time of year to visit Rome for a long weekend is in the spring or autumn. In the autumn the colourful trees contrast beautifully with the ancient buildings. Spring is also a nice time to visit, however, you may encounter spring showers so be sure to pack a travel umbrella just in case.

While the summer is the most popular time to visit Rome, I would avoid spending 4 days in Rome during the summer months if you can visit at another time of year. Summers in Italy are hot and humid and Rome is no exception. It is also incredibly crowded in the summer.

It is much nicer to visit the sites when there are fewer people and you are not spending hours waiting in line. 

Read more about visiting Rome in winter.

How to get around Rome

Standard transportation passes of varying lengths can be purchased at any metro station or a tabacco shop, which is a small store selling cigarettes, drinks, and snacks.

Transportation passes can be used for unlimited rides on buses and the metro within Rome and are sold for 1, 2, 3, 7 days, or a month. On a 4 day Rome itinerary, you can mix up the various days according to your willingness and ability to walk.

Another option, the Roma Pass includes free transportation, a Rome Transportation map, free entrance to some sites and reduced entrance fees to remaining sites. The Roma Pass can be used at more than 40 monuments, museums and archaeological sites.

You can purchase a Roma Pass at the train station, the airport, at museums or monuments or online here. The price for the 2-day pass is 28 euros and the 3-day pass is 38.50 euros.


Please note that if you buy individual transportation tickets you must validate your ticket before riding the bus or metro. You will see little machines at each stop. Stiff fines will be incurred if you have not validated your ticket. Also, note that bus tickets and transportation passes cannot be purchased on the bus or train. They must be purchased in advance.

Taxi cabs cannot be hailed on the street. One must find a taxi stand and wait in line for your taxi. It is not very convenient. You can always call and have a taxi pick you up at your hotel though.

Where to base yourself for 4 days in Rome.

Rome is a sprawling big city. The majority of historic sites, however, are located in a relatively small area in the old centre of the city on the eastern bank of the Tiber River. This city centre is where most tourists choose to stay due to the proximity to the sites.

I usually recommend, however, that people stay in the Trastevere neighbourhood. Situated just across the Tiber on the western side of the river, Trastevere offers an authentic Italian experience. 

Trastevere is walkable from the city center or is easily accessible on tram number 8 which will take you right into the center. An added bonus, if you walk, you get to cross the beautiful stone footbridge, Ponte Sisto. Standing on Ponte Sisto one feels like they are at a crossroads of ancient history and modern, über stylish Rome. 

If you happen to be in Trastevere on a Sunday, you can visit Porta Portese’s famous Sunday flea market which sells everything you can imagine to buy. This market is full of hidden treasures.

If you prefer to be closer to the tourist spots I would recommend staying near Piazza Navona. Piazza Navona is a large beautiful square teeming with life at all hours and it is smack dab in the middle of most of the top tourist spots.

4 Days in Rome Itinerary  Day 1 in Rome – Exploring Roman Neighborhoods In The Morning

Italians don’t typically eat a big breakfast. They have a brioche and an espresso standing at the bar of their favourite café. Most hotels will provide a continental breakfast, but the breakfasts aren’t up to much and when in Rome, you should do as the Romans do.  

To make the most of your 4 day Rome adventure find yourself a café to start your day. The neighbourhood café is the heart of Italian life. Every Italian has their favourite café that they stop at on their way into work. 

Going to a café as opposed to a hotel breakfast, you will get to experience the Italian coffee culture up front and in person. Enjoy a strong cup of coffee and a brioche (or some other delectable) at a table with table cloth and a proper cup instead of a paper cup with your name written on it. Or you can stand at the bar to save money. The coffee culture is strong in Italy. Enjoy it.

In Trastevere, I recommend Le Levain Roma, Via Luigi Santini 22/23 +39 06 4754 3834. Delectable pastries and good strong Italian coffee.

After breakfast: Tour Trastevere.

Fueled with espresso, head over to the Janiculum Terrace. It is a bit of a climb, but the views are worth it. In Roman mythology, Janiculum is the name of an ancient town founded by the god Janus (the two-faced god of beginnings).

On the way to Janiculum Terrace, stop at Piazza di Santa Maria, and see the oldest fountain of Rome, in Piazza Santa Maria. Located in the square in front of the church of Santa Maria, the fountain dates back to the 8th century.  Take a quick peek at the Basilica di Santa Maria, which is known to be one of the oldest churches in Rome. It is adorned with incredibly detailed, intricate mosaics.

Finally, head up the hill to Janiculum Terrace. This is a climb, but the end result is sweeping views of Rome. You can stand there, view the city, and like a Roman Emperor, decide where you will conquer next.

Midday

Head over to Piazza Navona. This square is one of the larger squares in Rome. It is full of artists selling paintings, performers, and stalls selling tourist trinkets. It is also home to the famed Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi, the Fountain of Four Rivers, designed by Bernini.  

This fountain is a photographer’s dream. Full of drama, rushing water and beautifully carved animals, you literally cannot take a bad photograph here.

The Baroque church Sant’Agnese in Agone is also worth a visit. In addition to the architectural feast it offers your eyes, the church maintains an interesting history.

According to church lore, a Christian girl named Agnes refused to marry a man against her will. She was punished for her rebellious nature by being taken to a brothel where she was stripped of her clothes and her hair. Miraculously, her hair immediately grew back and covered her unclothed body. Sadly, despite this miracle, Agnes was killed. It is said that the church retains her head in its crypt.

After exploring Piazza Navona, it’s time to eat. 

Eat lunch at Caffè Peru – Via di Monserrato 46

This café is a hidden gem. A short walk from Piazza Navona, it is located behind Campo de’ Fiori, the next stop on your neighborhood tour. Caffè Peru is a local hangout and offers a variety of dishes and good Italian wine. Sit and enjoy a slow meal, the Italian way. 

In the afternoon Explore Campo de Fiori.

Campo de’ Fiori is a lovely piazza that the locals refer to “Campo.”  The name Campo dei Fiori means field of flowers. The piazza acquired its name because, during the day, you’ll find one of Rome’s famous markets.

Campo de Fiori is vibrant in colour, noise, and atmosphere. You can find almost anything here – fresh fruit and vegetables, salumi and a wide variety of cheeses, clothes, tourist souvenirs. The Campo market opens in the mornings and closes late afternoon.

After the market stalls begin to close, there are plenty of other sites to visit in the Campo.

Bruno’s Statue.

In the centre of Campo dei Fiori, one finds a statue of a man donning a long dark cloak. This is Giordano Bruno. Bruno was burned alive at the stake on that very spot for the radical idea of embracing science.

Bruno’s scientific opinions were seen to be in direct conflict with the Church’s teachings and Bruno lost his life supporting his ideas. It is just my opinion, but I think that dying for science and the advancement of a society is worthy of a quick visit to pay respect to the great minds that have passed before us. 

Via Giulia

Via Giulia is one of the most quaint streets in Italy. Picturesque and charming, it runs for 1 kilometre from San Giovanni dei Fiorentini church to Ponte Sisto.

Via Giulia is best known for its architectural aesthetic, multiple antique shops, and stores that make custom made clothes fitted to your body. Also, look for the ivy-covered arch that was designed by Michelangelo (hint – it’s near Palazzo Farnese).

Via dei Giubbonari

This is one of the most popular shopping streets in the Campo area. Via dei Giubbonari is packed with independently owned shops. You can shop for antiques, custom made clothes, Italian leather shoes, trinkets, and food.

Late Afternoon

Find a place at one of the many in bars near Camp de Fiori and enjoy aperitivo. Perhaps a glass of Prosecco or an Aperol Spritz? Italian aperitivo is akin to Happy Hour in the UK or the USA, however, in typical Italian fashion, it involves a lot more food as Italian culture ordains that one should not drink without eating.

As such, one could literally eat dinner at some apertivos and Campo dei Fiori offers lots of options to enjoy this Italian tradition.

Eat dinner at Assunte Madre – Via Giulia 14, +39 06 68 80 69 72

This popular restaurant is known for its fish. A bit of a higher price point than most restaurants, but you will not regret it. It is popular though, so it is recommended that you make a reservation.

In the evening head to the Pantheon.

The Pantheon is a temple located at Piazza della Rotonda.  Built as a sanctuary to all the gods before Christianity, it was transformed into a Christian church in the 6th century. 

Inside there are numerous tombs, the most famous being those of Italian painter and architect Raphael and Victor Emmanuel II, the first king of unified Italy. The most popular aspect of the Pantheon, however, is the spherical dome in the centre. Designed to provide natural light, it is magnificent to see in the early evening or even at night. 

Day 2 in Rome – Ancient Rome

You have spent a day familiarizing yourself with modern Roman life, thus, it is only fitting that on your second day you step in back in time to the Roman Empire to understand how Rome has evolved.

No matter what time of year you visit Rome, I advise booking tickets in advance for the Colossuem, The Forum and Palatine Hill. These historic sites are some of the most visited tourist destinations in all of Italy and they are crowded all year long. Booking tickets in advance allows you to skip the long lines. You can also determine if you want a guided tour with a local expert or an audio tour. Given the vast amount of history, I recommend that at the very minimum you do an audio tour.

Eat Breakfast at…

Eat Breakfast at Coromandel, Via di Monte Giordano 60. +39 06 68802461 (Closed Mondays.)

Coromandel does not provide a typical Roman breakfast as their breakfast menu caters to tourists. If you are looking to eat a hearty breakfast this is the spot. Coromandel serves pancakes, French toast, omelettes, bacon, and fresh juice.

In the Morning

Begin your day visiting Palatine Hill. Go early if you are visiting Rome in the summer, as once again, it is best to do outdoor activities in the morning before the heat and humidity set in.

Rome is known as the city of 7 Hills and the Palatine is one of the most famous hills. This archaeological wonder displays life in ancient Rome.

Palatine Hill is also home of the legendary Lupercal, the cave where Remus and Romulus, the founders of Rome, were found by the wolf. This legend is the heart of the city lore and made Palatine Hill one of the most prestigious and important hills since the city’s beginning.

Touring Palatine Hill today, one sees the ruins of the Stadium of Domitian, Romulus’ Hut, Flavian Palace, the House of Augustus, and the House of Livia. The Houses of Augustus and Livia are worth visiting to see their incredibly well-preserved frescoes.

In ancient Rome, The Forum was the seat of city government. Most city events, such as elections and political speeches, military processions, and criminal trials, were held in this large piazza.

The Forum was where Romans went to get their news, pay their taxes, and shop. It was literally the heart of ancient Rome. One cannot truly understand Rome and its evolution to the city it is today without visiting its ancient history.

Eat lunch at…

I try to avoid eating anywhere near a tourist destination. The restaurants are usually not very good and overpriced.

Unfortunately, this area of Rome is one big tourist destination, and that being said, a restaurant that has been around for over 70 years must be doing something right. Angelino ai Fori, Via dei Fori Imperiali, 25, +39 06 679 1121, has been making simple, traditional Roman food since 1947. It is a nice place to refuel and is an exception to the “don’t eat near a tourist site” rule.

In the afternoon…

Visit the Colossuem. In the heat of summer it is best to visit the Colossuem in the afternoon because one can escape the heat under the porticos and inside the thick walls that keep the air cooler.

Again, I recommend booking tickets online so that you can skip the long lines. Find a guided tour or take advantage of the audio tour. There is so much history and you don’t want to miss out.

After your visit to the Colosseum, take a 15-minute walk will take to La Bocca Della Verità or the Mouth of Truth.  Known to locals for centuries, the Mouth of Truth was made famous by Audrey Hepburn in the Movie Roman Holiday. Legend has it that the Bocca Della Verità will eat the hand of anyone telling lies. It is a great photo spot.

Eat dinner

My local Roman friend recommended Li Rioni. Via dei SS. Quattro Coronati 24, +39 06 70450605.

Only open for dinner, this restaurant is generally filled with locals despite..

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