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Spa Experience: Ironmonger Row Baths, Old Street, London

Spa Experience: Ironmonger Row Baths, Old Street, London

On a rainy afternoon in November, I set off to experience the Thermal Spa Experience and Gold Turkish Delight treatment at Ironmonger Row Baths, which are not far from the Old Street station in London. The Baths were easy to find and I was directed […]

Graham’s Port Lodge: Tour and Port Wine Tasting

Graham’s Port Lodge: Tour and Port Wine Tasting

If you are travelling to Porto and you are not opposed to alcohol, a visit to a Port Lodge is a must. Port wine was actually called after Porto and the vineyards along the Douro River provide grapes for its production. We have selected to […]

Lisboa Card: Is it worth it?

Lisboa Card: Is it worth it?

On our recent trip to Lisbon we made a very good use of Lisboa card and I wanted to share the benefits of having one if you are spending 1 – 3 days in Lisbon. 

The card costs 19 Euros for 24 hours, 32 Euros for 48 hours and 40 Euros for 72 hours. You can buy the card in the airport and use it on the metro system straightaway to get to your accommodation in Lisbon. 

What did I like most of all about the card?

It includes all of the public transport in Lisbon and this covers trams, trains, metro and even ferry. You don’t have to think about loading your Viva card or having enough change with you, when taking public transport.  If you want to take one of those vintage trams, you can and if you are travelling with the buggy, you might also appreciate the fact , that elevators are also included on particularly steep streets. You don’t have to push that buggy and sweat!

The card includes a massive number of attractions, which are either free with the card or have a discounted rate for certain places. When you buy a card, you will be given a leaflet with all the attractions and discounts, so you can plan and decide what exactly you want to see. It is  a very detailed and provides plenty of useful information about all attractions: working hours, address, last entry time.

On our first day,  we went to see Lisbon Story Centre and Pillar 7 Experience. Pillar 7 experience was absolutely brilliant, as it was not busy at all and we almost had a whole place to ourselves. I am not sure, whether it was due to the fact that UK school holidays coincided with European ones, but during our visit Lisbon was very busy with tourists and queues were almost everywhere.

Pillar 7 Experience is a very Instagrammable space, as there are lots of cool and clean backgrounds to take your pictures. And then also you have the beauty of the bridge, the glass box on top of it and glass floor to walk on, which is a bit scary at first, but you get used to it pretty quickly.

And did I mention the view? Oh my! I have been to quite a few observation decks in the world, but this one was really fun.  You can hear the sound of the passing cars  and you also have a completely open view on all sides, with no mesh or barriers. I personally loved it!

On the second day we went to Sintra and while admissions to Pena Palace and Quinta de Regailera were not free, we did get 10% and 20% discount respectively at both of these attractions. As I mentioned, Lisboa card gives free journeys on local trains, so our train tickets were included with Lisboa card as well.

We also rode the tram a few times, the kids loved it and it does feel special – being able to sit in such an old fashioned car. 

It was not my first time in Lisbon, so I have already seen some of the most famous landmarks, like Jeronimos Monastery and Belem Tower, but both of them are free with Lisboa Card and it is possible to see them on the same day. I also heard that Museum of Carriages was fantastic and we went to see Gulbenkian Museum, where Lisboa Card offers a discount or you can go for free every Sunday after 2pm. 

I think Lisboa Card offers fantastic value for money, it frees up your time and allows you to travel extensively using public transport and enjoy so many museums and places of interest around Lisbon. If you have small kids, you can just take the tram/metro or a bus everywhere and don’t worry about little feet getting tired.

Can you recommend any other City Cards, which offer good value? I would love to hear!

Disclaimer: Our Lisboa Cards were kindly provided by Turismo de Lisboa, but all opinions are my own.

Which Royal Palace to visit in Seoul?

Which Royal Palace to visit in Seoul?

There are 5 Royal Palaces in Seoul and if your time is  limited, it might be difficult to decide which one to visit. While Gyeongbokgung Palace is the most well known and most grand of them all, my heart really stayed with Changdeokgung  Palace and I want […]

How to avoid crowds in Dubrovnik?

How to avoid crowds in Dubrovnik?

We have all been there: arriving in a certain place and discovering that not just you but hundreds, and I repeat, hundreds of other people want to see the same place, try the food at a restaurant or take a picture at Instagrammable location. Dubrovnik […]

Best views of Dubrovnik

Best views of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is a gem. So pretty and stylish, that you will find yourself liking it despite the large number of cruise ship visitors and never ending climbing staircases.

If you take the bus/taxi from the airport, you will see fabulous views of Dubrovnik once you approach it from the road, the harbour and the old city walls startle you so much that you almost short of breath. But how can you repeat this experience while you are still in town? You will get to see the town from a high point and also you can have a nice meal or a drink while appreciating the views.

My advice would be to go on Dubrovnik Cable Car, which you can very easily access from the old town. As I was with the buggy, access issues in the old town of Dubrovnik are a bit of an issue. Some places stayed off the limits for me, as I just could not get there without the help of passers-by. But luckily if you have a pram, you can walk to the  Cable Car station without any stairs by taking Iza Grada street. This will bring you down to the ticket office and the entrance station. The cabins are large and you can take the buggy inside and once you reach the upper station there is also plenty of space for the buggy or your little ones to run around to get their steam off. 

The best thing about this attraction is that the views are so good, it does not matter at what time in the day you go. I would think that mornings are probably quieter and it picks up towards the afternoon, as some people try and make it for the sunset. I went around 6.30 pm and there was a queue at the ticket office, but it was moving well and I did not feel like I was standing there for ages. The views were stunning and the setting sun made the pictures even prettier. On a clear day you can see as far as 60 kilometres around, and let’s face it there are not too many cloudy days in Dubrovnik.

You can also extend your time at the viewing platform by going to the Panorama Restaurant and Bar, they have a bar and a sit-down area, in case you do not fancy a full blown meal. There are plenty of umbrellas to keep the area shaded even if you go when it is still hot. In the evening there were a lot of couples, getting ready for their romantic dinners, and it was lovely to see so many well dressed people.

The hours of operation are great:  from 9am to midnight during summer months, and you can also buy your tickets online if you want on their Official Website.

I urge you to give Dubrovnik  Cable Car a chance and take plenty of pictures of pretty Old Town. It will stay in your heart, I promise!

Disclaimer: My ticket to Dubrovnik Cable Car was provided using media rate, but all opinions are my own.

Traditional Dance Show in Kandy: Kandy Lake Club

Traditional Dance Show in Kandy: Kandy Lake Club

If you want to learn more about traditions and culture of Sri-Lanka in an entertaining way, I suggest to attend a cultural dance show in Kandy. The show will also be interesting for children, as costumes are bright and colourful and acrobatic elements will keep […]

5 Must-try dishes in Seoul

5 Must-try dishes in Seoul

My first introduction to  Korean food was quite predictable:  kimchi,  barbeque and bibimbap. When I bought my tickets to Seoul, I have done some research into Korean cuisine and decided to try the dishes, which I would not be able to find in the UK, […]

Seoul Dress Up: Essential Tips on Hiring Hanbok

Seoul Dress Up: Essential Tips on Hiring Hanbok

If you are looking for a fun way to spend a morning or an afternoon in Seoul, I heartily recommend hiring a hanbok and playing some dress up with your friends or family. I have done it when I visited Seoul in May 2018 and I want to give you some helpful tips on how to make your experience even better.

1. Think about your colour palette

The variety of outfits that you can choose from is absolutely massive, so you will be lost for choice. Try to choose colours , which will look good in pictures and also think about your costumes complimenting each other, if you are hiring outfits with your friends or family. Girls, boys and dads can also dress up as there are outfits available for them too.

2. Check the weather and dress accordingly

If it is going to be hot during the day, it is better to hire in the morning before the temperatures climb so high, it will be unbearable to wear the costume. Majority of costumes are made entirely out of non-breathable synthetic material and you will also be wearing it on top of your normal clothes.  It will get hot, believe me! 

Either think about your outfit before you leave the hotel and wear something really light or bring a change of clothes with you to wear under the costume, as majority of hiring shops have the lockers, where you can leave your belongings.

3. Make friends with comfy shoes

Wear some comfortable shoes, as you can’t see them under the dress, but you are bound to walk some distances, even if it is from the hire shop to the place, where you want to take your pictures. 

4. Do your research

There are a lot of hiring shops around the most popular areas in Seoul, like Gyeongbokgung Palace, Insandong, Bukchon Hanok Village. If you want to find the best deal price-wise you might want to browse around a little bit. I also think that it is cheaper to hire costumes at weekend, probably because they have more people wanting to do it, but the hire will generally vary from 5,000 Won to 15,000 Won for 2 hours and will depend on whether it is just the outfit or accessories included as well. Some places even offer to do your hair style and make up. 

5. Choose a location

My advice would be to go to Gyeongbokgung Palace, as it offers free entrance to anyone who is wearing a costume and you will have the right background for your pictures all the time. Bukchon Hanok Village or Insandong will be a bit more challenging in terms of picture taking, as effectively it is residential areas full of cars, modern environments and plenty of people minding their own business. In the Palace, you don’t have these issues, as it is very big and there are so many different buildings and angles, that you are bound to find a spot, where there will be no-one else around, and look authentic in your pictures with such royal background.

6. Ask for help or bring a selfie stick!

Don’t be shy to copy pictures, if you see that someone is making a particularly good shot, just wait for them to finish and do exactly the same. If you are on your own, don’t be shy asking other people taking pictures of you or posing with other people, everyone is really friendly and will gladly help with your requests. We have asked passers-by a few times  to take our pictures and were extremely happy with the result. 

Have fun and let me know where was your favourite place to wear traditional dress in Seoul!

Product Review: Cookies, Tea, Satay Sauce and Granola

Product Review: Cookies, Tea, Satay Sauce and Granola

I have a confession to make: I love food and I love trying new products. When I do my weekly shop, I usually have a list to help me along the way, but once the list is complete, I will choose a couple of things […]