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18 Things To Do in Ljubljana Slovenia 2019

Ljubljana Dragon

Are you planning for things to do in Ljubljana Slovenia? We went there, and we have lots to say. Ljubljana is Slovenia’s most significant and capital city. The city was awarded as the European Green Capital (2016). It is also mentioned as one of the top 10 safest countries to visit.

Though populated by many people, this city also contains plenty of spacious green spaces that dot its landscape. These and many more resources make it a suitable destination for any holiday enthusiast.

It is impossible for you to make your visit to the city a success without really getting to know more about the place and what awaits you.

We have seen it wise to step in and provide the direction you desperately want to move on. Our experiences here shall center on the places of interest in the city. We went to Ljubljana, booking a day trip from Zagreb (transportation, guide and most of the tickets included). It came with a perfect tour guide who provided tons of information.

Things To Do in Ljubljana Slovenia

Ljubljanica River

Straddling the center of the city is the majestic Ljubljanica River. This river winds through the unique natural landscapes of the marshes that surround the town. At its bed, sits one of Slovenia’s most significant archaeological sites. The river itself is pretty breathtaking to behold.

Ljubljanica River
Ljubljanica River

Its clear blue waters sparkle during the day to dazzle the eyes of whoever beholds them. At night, the bright street lights hit the surface of the waters and are reflected. What happens next is some sparkling multicolor appearances that are truly breathtaking to the eyes. You may consider taking photos too over and above mere sightseeing.

Ljubljana Central Market

You can never tour the beautiful city of Ljubljana and leave without really purchasing some fantastic merchandise therein. For this, we ask that you make a stop at the Ljubljana Central Market. This market complex is pretty significant. It straddles the Dragon and the Triple Bridges and hosts many sellers.

Ljubljana Central Market
Central Market of Ljubljana Slovenia

The Central Market is more than just a market. It hosts numerous eateries, curios, grocery shops, and boutiques. These jointly provide you with the opportunity to lay your hand on just about anything you might desire to own. While shopping, do stop by and have some taste of the local cuisines.

National Museum of Ljubljana Slovenia

If you love artifacts and issues of historical significance, you might want to spend some time at the National Museum of Slovenia. This facility is housed in a building that was once a palace. The palace complex itself features the neo-Renaissance architecture and was constructed from 1883 to 1885.

At the museum, you will be able to behold an extensive collection of archaeological artifacts. Among these are old banknotes, coins, and other relics, which were valuable in the years of yore. The staff is generally kind and will do the much they can to offer you the guidance you need.

Green Spaces

We have already stated earlier that the city of Ljubljana is dotted with numerous green spaces. Indeed, the town contains 542 square meters of public green spaces. It does have the world’s highest area of green space per resident in the world.

What’s more? It features a whopping 80 new hectares of well-maintained green spaces. Moreover, some green spaces are still in the course of being generated from the derelict urban lands. You hence have plenty of room to sit, relax, and enjoy the breathtaking ambiance of the cityscape.

Art Nouveau Buildings

Like any other city, Ljubljana has numerous buildings and structures. One of the most outstanding of these, and which we would suggest that you consider visiting is the Art Nouveau Buildings. As their designation implies, such building are dedicated to all things art and fashion.

Ljubljana Buildings
Streets of Ljubljana Slovenia

You cannot afford to miss out on it if you are interested in or passionate about matters of art. Here are some beautiful paintings, crafts, jewelry, and curious. A peek into the facility will take you back in time and allow you to catch up with Slovenia’s remarkable past.

Tivoli Park

Though dotted with numerous parks and green spaces, the Tivoli Park particularly stands out as the premier green space in Ljubljana. Not only is it large, but also is it lovely to behold. It stretches right into the center of the city and is as such very accessible.

This park covers around 5 square kilometers. It is crisscrossed by three walks lined with chestnut trees, breathtaking landscape, ornamental beds, numerous stretches, fountains, flower beds, and a couple of statues. That is the place to be to walk and stretch and release some buildup of stress.

Lake Bled

Though not located within the city of Ljubljana proper, Lake Bled is a ‘must visit’ by any severe tourist of Slovenia. The lake is at a distance of about 35 km from the Ljubljana International Airport and about 55 km from downtown Ljubljana city. Several factors combine to make it suitable for your time.

Here is our post for Lake Bled only. It is a fantastic day trip you can take from Ljubljana or the nearby Zagreb, Croatia.

Chief among these are breathtaking ambiance, several islands, and a chance to undertake numerous watersports. If you so wish, you may kayak or canoe on the calm waters of the lake. Yet again, you may also photograph the lake, its surrounding locales, and many other beautiful spots in the area.

Church of St. Nicholas

Slovenia, like many European nations, has a rich Christian heritage. This is captured by the numerous chapels, churches, and other places of worship that dot the entire landscape. St. Nicholas’s Church is perhaps the most outstanding of these places within the larger city of Ljubljana.

Church of St. Nicholas Ljubljana Slovenia

It is, first and foremost, a landmark that is much recognized in the city. Its breathtaking appearance and stature make it pleasant for sightseeing and photography. Then, it does hold some services from time to time. You may wish to adjust your visit accordingly to coincide with any of these services.

This is the famous door gate of St Nicholas.

St Nicholas Gate
St Nicholas Gate

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

Still, on matters of Christianity, the beautiful city of Ljubljana has no shortage of rich Christian sites. The Franciscan Church of the Annunciation is yet another resource you may look up to for spiritual insight and inspiration. This church is found in the Prešeren Square within the city capital proper.

Franciscan Church of the Annunciation
Franciscan Church of the Annunciation

Though not actively used as a place of worship today, the facility is nonetheless rich in pomp and color. It contains numerous frescoes and other breathtaking decorations. It is undoubtedly in your best interest to spare some time and visit the facility. Do arm yourself with a camera to capture pictures to remember her by.

The Triple Bridge of Ljubljana Slovenia

We have already explained how that the city of Ljubljana is crossed and straddled by the majestic Ljubljanica River. Along the course of the river are numerous bridges and canals. These let the people, vehicles, and ships to pass through unhindered. One of the most outstanding bridges is the Triple Bridge.

As its name implies, it is not one but three bridges in one.

The Triple Bridge of Ljubljana Slovenia
The Triple Bridge of Ljubljana Slovenia

These lay across the river and connect the capital’s two main segments. These are the historical and medieval on the one hand and the modern city on the other side. On the whole, the bridge is intended for pedestrians and is hence not so congested.

Ljubljana Castle

Slovenia has a long history and tradition, which dates back to the medieval era. Nothing captures this as much as the Ljubljana Castle.

Overview of the Castle
Overview of the Castle

This castle indeed played a formidable role in hosting monarchs who rule the ancient kingdom and the surrounding conquered lands. Today, it stands as a stark reminder of the ancient past.

You will find it right in the center of the town, but you need a funicular to get there.

It is, as a matter of fact, a famous landmark that is very easy to behold by just about any other visitor to the city.

Carry with you some digital camera to capture the shots and display the same to your peers and loved ones.

Dragon Bridge

The Dragon Bridge stands apart from the Triple Bridges we have mentioned above. It, too, crosses the Ljubljanica River. Unlike the other kinds of bridges, this one is wholly pedestrian-friendly and is as such devoid of any cars or other forms of non-human traffic.

Ljubljana Slovenia Dragon Bridge

It derives its name from the numerous dragon statues that adorn its whole length and breadth.

This is the place to be to just walk and relax around. The slow traffic gives you the space to walk around freely and breathe some fresh air. You will also get a chance to mingle and exchange ideas with the other pedestrians.

Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova

Are you a lover of contemporary art? If you are, the city of Ljubljana has you well taken care of. It is home to the Museum of Contemporary Art Metelkova.

Metelkova Mesto is a social and cultural center in the city center of Ljubljana, the Slovenian capital city.

This one displays numerous selections of contemporary works of art. Among these are over 2,000 collections sourced from local and international places.

Further to these, the museum also hosts well over 66,000 books, professional journals, exhibition catalogs, and newspapers. All these collections have contents which aim to promote the contemporary works of art. A walk into the facility will surely give you a peek into most contemporary issues.

In the streets of the city
Through the streets of the city

National Gallery

Apart from matters of Christianity, Slovenia also boasts of a vibrant art culture that goes back to the High Middle Ages. No other facility within the nation captures this reality better than The Slovenian National Gallery. It was founded in 1918 after the downfall of the Austria-Hungary Empire.

The art gallery is a permanent exhibition of all the leading art and photos. Among these are the works of great personalities like Zoran Mušič, who once ruled the wonderful world of music in Europe. Many of the collections are significantly preserved and are hence available in good shape and pictures.

Postojna Caves

Not so far from downtown Ljubljana are the Postojna Caves. This system measures 24,340 m long and is located in the Southwesterly direction. It doubles up as the second-longest cave system in the nation and ranks high among the country’s top tourist destinations and attractions.

Postojna Caves
Postojna Caves

At the caves is a small cave train which will take you through a guided tour of the facility. While on tour, you will behold spectacular dripstones, halls, galleries, tunnels, and a system of underground caves. If you are lucky, you will catch a glimpse of the Proteus anguinus, which is an amphibian salamander that is endemic to the area.

What to Eat in Ljubljana Slovenia?

There are plenty of typical foods to try in the city, but these two are by far the ones you must have.

The famous Vigò Ice Cream

Walk down Mačkova ulica and get in the Vigò ice cream store. Select from a small but tasteful number of flavors and get ready to be blown away. On a hot day, that ice cream will taste like heaven.

Where is the Best Sausage in Ljubljana Slovenia?

You will find the best sausage in Klobasarna. This is the typical local meat sausage you must eat when you are in Slovenia. That store is the best spot where you can get it quick with fresh bread & a glass of Cviček.

The best sausage in Klobasarna
The best sausage in Klobasarna

National Museum of Contemporary History

In case you are a scholar, your visit to Ljubljana can never be complete without a stopover at the National Museum of Contemporary History. This facility exists primarily to trace and showcase the history of Slovenia from the 20th century to date through multimedia and artifacts.

You will find it in the middle of Tivoli Park, right at the center of Ljubljana. Due to its centrality, this facility is accessible by just about every other means of transport. You have no excuse not to spend part of your time here at all. Carry with you a notebook and a pen for note-taking.

Saunter around the Streets of Ljubljana Slovenia

Lastly, you should also plan to spare some time to roam around the streets of Ljubljana. Unlike most modern cities, Ljubljana’s downtown is wholly car-free. There was a change of tact by the city authorities around a decade ago. The authorities banned all personal cars from entering the downtown segment of the city.

As we speak, the city center is open only to pedestrians and bicycles. Only one electric taxi service is allowed to ferry passengers to the downtown area. On account of these developments, the city is less congested and has plenty of breathing spaces indeed. Take some time out to unwind.

FAQs for Ljubljana Slovenia

Q1. Is Ljubljana worth visiting?

By all means, YES! All factors considered, the city is a sweet and cool place to retreat to. It comes in the form of some medieval town and stature. Then, it is also relatively crime-free, less congested, and full of excellent resources to explore and gaze at. All you have to do is find a suitable niche for your interest and capitalize on it.

Is it safe in Ljubljana?

YES, the city is very safe, indeed. It does not, in any way, present any dangers to a visitor at all. Other than the theft of bicycles and occasional pickpocketing, there are almost no other dangers attached to a stay or exploration of the city. Do not drag your feet when contemplating a visit to the area hence.

How many days should I spend in Ljubljana?

Just a day would be enough to explore the city since it is small enough to allow for easy access to just about any other facility of interest. For maximum enjoyment, though, we would recommend 2-3 days. These will also help you to acclimatize and establish relationships which you may count on later.

Is English widely spoken in Slovenia?

It all depends on the demographic of interest. The younger generation does understand and speak English extensively. This stands in stark contrast with the elderly generation, of which only a handful comprehends the language. You should hence strategize your communications and associations beforehand.

How much is a taxi from Ljubljana airport to the city Centre?

Transportation costs here are high, though not as high as those in the Western European cities. Charges vary from €0.80 to €1.50 (standard fee) and a further €0.70 to €1.70 per kilometer. These charges tend to be lower whenever the taxi is ordered by phone.

Having belabored the beautiful things you may do in Ljubljana, we now ask that you complement your reading with concrete actions. This cannot mean anything other than planning to visit the city within a realistic time-frame someday. The best time to do so, from experience, is in the summer.

Ljubljana

Winters are too cold and snowy to allow for a proper visit. The springs, on the other hand, are very rainy and disruptive as to make for a good time out. Before setting out on vacation, seek the assistance of tours and travel company to take you around. All the best on your future trip!

Ultralight Backpacking Gear Basics – Back and Legs Savers

Ultralight Backpacking Gear Basics

What are the secrets for ultralight backpacking? From the onset, backpacking was a simple undertaking. The father of backpacking as we know it today, one ‘John Muir’ took only some bread and tea out into the wilderness. A century later, the backpackers were carrying 50-70 pounds of gears.

The trend started changing yet again in the 1990s, though. It witnessed a return to lighter gears by adopting the slogan ‘less is more.’ This begs the question. What is ultralight backpacking?

For a start, ultralight backpacking (also called as lightweight backpacking) is a broad and subjecting term. As such, there exists no specific definition which can accurately describe it. This notwithstanding, it can merely mean carrying fewer gears, which ensures your safety, health, and overall comfort while on the hiking trail.

Great Ultralight Backpacking Gear Tips

You will find these tips quite great and handy if you are a starter in the field of the lightweight backpacking trip. These apply to all circumstances and not only in a PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) hiking. All these tips and top gear help you to save weight, either for a day trip or a multi-day one.:

Tip #1: Weigh your gear

Start by weighing your gears appropriately. You may use the kitchen or luggage scales to do the job. Take note of the present B.W. That refers to every item on the backpack apart from the fuel, water, and food that are jointly called consumables.

Tip #2: Replace older gears with lighter ones

Next, replace the more former gears with their lighter counterparts. As you do so, pay keen attention to the precise weights of each item. Your overall aim should be coming up with a total B.W. of no more than 10 pounds. This weight may, however, double if you choose to add some consumables.

Tip #3: Make gradual changes

Gears generally become more expensive whenever they get lighter. Concerning this, you have to lessen the load for an extended duration of time. To do so, you have to replace the ‘big ticket’ item one at a time. In their place, fix the lighter-weight and potentially costlier model.

Tip #4: Comprehend the trade-offs

Generally speaking, lighter backpacks usually are less durable. That means that you will pay more to leverage their services in the long run as opposed to the heavier versions. You, therefore, have to come to terms with this reality and make the necessary expectations.

Mount Parnassus Greece Snow Trekking - Ultralight Backpacking Gear
Sunny but freezing

Going Ultralight with the Big Four for an Ultralight Pack

Perhaps the fastest and the most convenient way of lightening your load is to substitute all of the four most substantial loads which must be carried by all the backpackers. These are the tents, backpacks, pads, and sleeping bags.

#1: Backpack

Traditional backpackers are generally larger and bulkier in size. Their capacities are 65 liters and can contain 3 to 4-pounds of weight. They are hence undesirable for use, especially in harsher terrains.

In their stead, you should use the ultralight versions, which are generally frameless, minimally padded, possess limited 45- to 55-liter capacity, weigh a paltry 1.5 to 2 pounds, and are occasionally smaller in size.

Ultralight Backpacking Suggestions:

#2: Shelter

Backpacking Tents – If you prefer to use the tent as the shelter, use one that contains mesh all over. Such a tent has to possess a rainfly to keep insects and other smaller critters out. A tent with a capacity to accommodate one person requires a trekking pole for added support. It goes for around £1 or £2.

Ultralight Tents & Gear Suggestions:

Tarps – Ultralight tarps allow you to create some decent rain shelters. They, however, require some guylines as well as a couple of trees, stakes, or trekking poles for added support.

Ultralight Backpacking Tarp Suggestions:

Bivy sacks – These sacks generally weigh 1-2 pounds. They have some waterproof shells and require some bare minimum bag, which weighs around 6 ounces to carry.

Ultralight Backpacking Bivy Sacks Suggestions: MLD Superlight Bivy

Ultralight Hammocks – To further guarantee your comfort, you may opt for an ultralight hammock. These may include some rainfly or a bug net.

Ultralight Hammocks Suggestions:

#3: Sleeping bag

Choose the down sleeping bag as it is lighter and more compressible than the synthetic fills.

Moreover, most of them are water-resistant and weigh a paltry 1-2 pounds. Below are some tips you might wish to uphold to reduce the weight of your bag:

Select a bag whose warmth you are comfortable with. Extra warmth will typically bring in excess weight.

Go for a mummy bag that lacks a hood. Instead, wear a balaclava or a warm knit hat on the colder nights.

Think of a down trekking quilt, especially if you are a thru-hiker rather than a sleeping bag.

Ultralight Backpacking Sleeping Bag Suggestions:

#4: Sleeping Pad

The air pad sleeping pads have primarily taken the place of self-inflating pads as the lightest comfort pads necessary for lightweight backpacking. With just £1, you can obtain a full-length pad, which confers great cushioning and even slight insulation.

If you are a thru-hiker, though, you should prefer a closed-cell foam pad given their more exceptional durability for the long haul travels. To spare you the extra weight, you have to select a pad that is the length of a torso.

Alternatively, you may also cut down the closed-cell foam pad. You may make use of your pack for insulation by placing it under your feet from the ground.

Ultralight Pad Suggestion:

Water, Fuel and Backpacking Food

These three are the most substantial items after those above big four.

With regard to this, you should only carry those that you need for the entire duration of time you will be out on the hiking trail.

#1: Water

Carry enough water for the whole of the day. Carry out some research to find out the lakes and streams that may be available along your route. That is to ensure that you filter and refill conveniently along your way. Below are some great water tips for your consideration:

‘Camel up’ before leaving the camp each morning. Do so by drinking sufficient amounts of water. The same should apply at all times you get to a source of water. That will see to it that you carry less water along the way.

Limit your water load to one liter or 2.2 pounds. This is not unless you intend to hike in a desert. It is only then that you will need more in between any two consecutive sources.

Carry along with you some mini filter. Some of these weigh only 2 ounces. On the same not, carry some backup purification tablets in the tiny plastic bags rather than the glass bottles in which they are sold.

Make use of the collapsible water bottles with capacities of between 1-2 liters. Such a container is 80% lighter than the hard plastic water bottles.

Ultralight Water Suggestions:

#2: Fuel, Stove, and Cookware

To stay as light as possible, you have to boil the water to dehydrate the food rather than cooking complete meals from scratch. This arrangement also saves high weight on both the fuel and the food.

As regards the cookware, consider the dual-purpose ones. The titanium mug may also play the role of a pot. While at it, make use of the Spork instead of buying the fork and the spoon separately. Listed below are some popular ultralight backpacking stove alternatives:

Tablet fuel stoves – These are stoves that use a tablet rather than liquid fuels. Find one that is made of Aluminum or buy one. Make use of one tablet fuel a day or a meal as per your unique needs.

Alcohol stove – The alcohol stove weighs only an ounce. You should, therefore, carry along a bottle that contains as many fluid ounces of alcohol as you might probably need for each meal per person per day. Be sure that the container is strong enough not to break apart inside the backpack. You may wish to safeguard it in a zip-top bag just in case.

Canister stove – Canister stoves are tiny folding stoves. They typically weigh 2-3 ounces. They perfectly screw onto the isobutane canisters, which weigh a lot.

The amount of meals each canister may make varies greatly. It is in your best interest to learn just how much a canister may make. In general, though, 2 ounces per day is sufficient for one person who consumes two meals daily.

Integrated canister stove system – Certain ultralight backpackers will often contain some integrated canister stove system. This is especially if it has to prepare meals for two or more persons at a time. It also boils water much faster than the ordinary canister stoves.

Ultralight Backpacking Cooking Suggestions:

#3: Food

Plan to carry along enough food to generate 3,000 to 4,000 calories or around 2 pounds each day. This should be determined by the number of miles you intend to cover and how fast you intend to do so. You should also consider how strenuous the elevation gain or loss is likely to be. Below are some ultralight food tips:

Go instant – For breakfast, you should think instant coffee and oatmeal. They are quick and fuel-efficient sources of food. On the mornings that are too cold, you should eat some protein bars to get you up and to move. Make some stops along your way for some added oatmeal.

Be calorie-conscious – Bring along some fat and calorie-rich snacks for your lunch. These include the powder supplements, dried fruits, chocolates, seeds, nuts, and protein bars. You may wish to carry along also some salami and hard cheese.

Dehydrate the food at home – Doing this saves a great deal of money and packaging effort. You also get to generate and season the meals in the manner you prefer.

Do your packaging – Other than dehydrating your food; you also ought to package them on your own. Store the dried dinner inside a zip-top freezer bag. Add the hot water directly into it. The bag can withstand near-boiling water.

Rehydrate some of the foods using cold water and letting them sit for some hour or two to save fuel.

Make use of what you find first and foremost – In case you serve your foods on mugs or pots, you need to clean them beyond mere rinsing. Use leaves, grass, or sand to wipe out the vessels first. After that, make use of some water and scrub them if need be. Use a sponge that measures one-by-two-inches typically derived from larger ones at home.

Additional Tips for Ultralight Backpacking

Don’t compromise your safety – In your weight loss venture, do not at all overlook your safety. Always keen the ten essentials with you as they will come in to enhance your safety if and when you need it.

Be Ultralight But Safe

Navigation system – Carry along with you a map. GPS watch or other navigational devices. Get to know the benefits and downsides of the personal locator beacons, especially with satellite imagery. They are heavy but play a crucial role in alerting the peers of your whereabouts at any given time.

Navigation Suggestions:

Safety whistle – You may wear a whistle that is light in weight yet loud enough around your neck. This is to be ready for use in times of emergencies. Remember, three blasts are what is necessary for international distress calls for help.

Whistle Suggestion: Tri-Power Whistle

Sun protection – Carry some ounces of sunscreen in some small bottles as well as a tube of lip balm oil that is preferably rated UPF 30. You should also put on an excellent sun-shading hat as the first line of defense against direct sunlight. While in the desert, you should also put on the sun gloves and a long-sleeve shirt with a UPF rating of 50+. Sunglasses are vital for the excellent health of the eyes.

Ultralight Sun Protection Suggestions:

Illumination – Fill the no-frills, low-weight kids, or the adult headlamp, which weighs 2-3 ounces with the inclusion of the batteries. Fix the fresh batteries right before you depart from the room to prevent the need to carry some extra amounts. You may even illuminate your camp using a small LED lantern which weighs only 2.5 ounces and powered by one AA battery. Prefer only the tiny LED micro lights which weigh 0.5 ounces.

Illumination suggestions:

Insulation and clothing on Ultralight Backpacking

Always carry synthetic or lightweight puffy jackets. For the base layers, you will want to make use of a long underwear bottom and a preferably long-sleeve top.

Most long-distance backpackers prefer to put on running shots that are complemented by built-in underwear. Bring in some long pants if you anticipate scrambling on your route. Carry some two pairs of wool or any other synthetic underwear to wash and wear alternately.

Two or three pairs of wool or synthetic socks may also work well for most of the ultralight backpacking needs.

Suggestions:

Rain/storm gear – These include the rain pants, gloves, warm hats, pack cover, and rain jackets. They also incorporate some free waterproof rain mitts. Keep these gears at the top of your pack for the sake of easy access when needed.

Rain Wear Suggestions: 

Bandana – This clothing item is highly versatile and is therefore worthy of special mention. Put it on as a headband, sun cape under a cap, or as a damp clothing round about your neck.

You may also wish to use it as a towel for your dishes or to dry your body. Some other added uses are pot holders, tourniquets, or bandages in times of emergencies.

If you happen to be a woman, bring in a dedicated one to serve the role of a pee rag.

Footwear – In most instances, trail-running shoes are the best for ultralight backpackers. Before making a switch from the sturdy boots, do consider strengthening the feet on the load-bearing day hikes. Some instances may, however, require the non-waterproof footwear, given that it takes shorter to dry completely.

Shoes & shoes gear suggestions: 

Scaled-down first-aid and repair kit – Do carry some antibiotic ointment, bandages, gauze pads, blister pads, razor blades, and pain-relief pills, in some tiny packets. You should also bring a few inches of duct tapes that are preferably wrapped around the lighter or water bottle. Pieces of gear-repair tape are also necessary in case you sustain a hole in the pack, air pad, or sleeping bag.

Suggestions:

Cleanliness and hygiene

Below are some small amounts of things which you need to bring to be able to stay healthy while on the trail:

  • A small bottle of hand sanitizer for disinfecting your hands after visiting the toilet but before preparing foods.
  • Have a travel-size tube of toothpaste (squeeze out half of it to use at home) or some baking soda in a baggie, which you may moisten with some water.
  • Carry a toothbrush that is cut in half or a child-size toothbrush.
  • Have a small bottle or piece of biodegradable soap. This is necessary to clean your hands and body outside the camp but not in a water source.
  • Two pre-moistened wipes per day. One of these wipes is for your hands, neck, and face, one of them for your nether regions. While at home, get hold of your allotted wipes and leave them out at night to dry a little bit.
    This reduces its weight significantly. Store them in a zip-top bag. Re-moisten, if necessary, using a bit of filtered water on your trail. The wipes require to be packed out, rather than buried, as most may contain some plastic.
  • Two squares of toilet paper each day. Use some heavy-duty paper towels that are cut into 4-inch squares in the place of ordinary toilet paper.
    Alternatively, measure out the wads of regular toilet paper and leave out the rest of it on the cardboard at home. Lastly, put the paper in some zip-top bag. On the same breath, carry a zip-top waste bag with you for the sake of packing out.
  • Pee rag (if you are a woman): ¼ of a full-size bandana works fine. Tie onto the outside of the pack for drying.
  • Lightweight Backpacking trowel: Contemplate bringing in some ultralight towel for digging the cat hole. Wipe it first and foremost using some soft leaves, smooth stones, or sticks. After that use some square or two of the paper.

Suggestions:

Trekking poles

Opt for the carbon fiber to arrive at the lightest weight possible. These poles are great for the maintenance of balance, especially on the rocky terrains. They alleviate knee strains on the uphill and the downhill terrains besides serving as shelter poles.

Suggestions:

Luxury items

Each ultralight hiker brings in at least one thing which contributes to the excitement of the trip. That could be a small set of binoculars if you are a bird-watching enthusiast, a journal to jot down notes, and so on. Make room for some treat or two for the trails.

Suggestions:

Lightweight Backpacking FAQ’s

Q1. What exactly is “ultralight backpacking”?

That is a form of packing the backpacks in such a manner as to minimize significantly the excessive weights that are often brought about by the gears. Among others, it entails carrying only those gears that are essential for the trips. It also sees to it that the gears are as light as is realistically possible, given the prevailing circumstances.

Q2. How different is ultralight backpacking from the “regular backpacking”?

It is mainly preoccupied with then shaving off of excess luggage and weight, as has already been stated and explained. The backpackers place a significant priority on the weight of their gears rather than the contents carried. Ultralight backpacks are often manufactured by cottage industries, whereas the regular backpacks by well-established firms. As such, they are less durable than ordinary backpacks.

Q3. Which weight is generally regarded as the ultralight?

Making a distinct boundary is a bit tricky, given that the concept is largely subjective. On the whole, though, the following are some of the general base weights (B.W.) for these kinds of backpacks:
Regular = 30 pounds B.W.
Lightweight = 20 pounds B.W.
Ultralight = 10 pounds B.W.
Hyperlight = 5 pounds B.W.

Q4. How is the B.W. calculated with regards to the “total pack weight”?

The formula is:
Base Weight (fixed gears) + Consumables (variable gears) = Total Pack Weight
Calculating such a B.W. is necessary for assessing the standard amounts of gears.

Q5. Which items are deemed B.W. (fixed) while which ones are considered to be consumables?

Food, water, gears that are worn while hiking, and stove fuels are generally considered consumables and wearables. Everything else apart from these is found B.W.

Q6. Is going ultralight right for you?

This is yet another subjective question. It all depends on what you intend to get out of a trip. If you prefer spending more of your time at the campsite rather than hiking, you have to carry along some playing cards, thick air mats, coffee makers, and an extra pair of comfortable camp shoes.

If you, however, plan to hike a long distance for a prolonged duration of time, you will prioritize those items which take up less space and weigh less.

Finally, you need to take care of your after-hike recovery or your day to day after hiking recovery while you are on the trail (yes, read these posts).

This post helps you to hike easier, safer, and with less “baggage.” Kindly share it around with your friends.

Enjoy.

What to Wear in the Snow & Look Cute?

What to Wear in the Snow & Look Cute?

Are you puzzled about what to wear in the snow? Ladies usually feel colder than men, and there are body parts that collect such discomfort fast.

Winter comes together with skiing and snow, of course. Your friends may like skiing, but possibly you are the “chalet” type of person.

You like to sit outside, sun-lounging, sipping hot chocolate and enjoying the sun, while skiers are doing their tricks on the slopes.

You enjoy the snowy landscape in front of you, taking lots of selfies wearing colorful ski clothes.

Of course, you need to be warm to do that. For ski clothing, check these proper winter outfits too.

A winter trip is beautiful, but ladies, it is (indeed) cold weather out there. Freezing wind will add to that.

You need to get proper winter outfits. Almost all of such clothing is good for any winter travel.

It is best to get dressed for success stylishly and warmly. Here are our knowledge and tips.

So, What to Wear in the Snow and Look Cute?

It is a matter of style and a selection from different outfit ideas. You need excellent but lightweight materials and clothing, under the “onion” concept. That means to get dressed in layers, so your body limbs are always warm, while the central core can be adjusted.

From our experience, you don’t have to sacrifice style for warmness and vice versa. Clothing gear technology has evolved very much, and there is plenty of stylish clothing gear that is winter-specific, safe to wear (i.e., proper snowshoes), and warm.

Keep in mind that snow wear is different from ski wear.

Happy Feet

Feet are the major heat-loss part of your body. Maybe your grandma used to tell you that “you catch a cold from your feet” (our Greek grandma said so, anyway). Have you noticed that if your feet get cold, your whole body does?

What Shoes to Wear in Snow?

The best solution for a chalet case is the après ski boots or a pair of waterproof winter snow boots.

Such boots allow you to walk easier on cold/iced terrains and will keep your feet warm (along with proper socks).

You can choose ones with that extra fur on top for an upgraded, stylish look.

Tip: A small outdoors shoulder bag with a beautiful winter color will fill your image nicely and let you carry the things you need.

Happy Socks

Wear a pair of thermal socks instead of cotton ones. Cotton will keep moisture in, and as a material, it never gets warm. You need moisture-wicking materials. Thick wool will get your feet extremely hot, and you don’t want that either.

When in a snowy environment, you may get in and out of a chalet many times. Better to wear socks that relatively “adjust” to such room-environment changes, than getting either too hot or too cold.

Here is an excellent range of such socks:

Heads up

Your head is the first that needs to be warm, as it is one of the significant heat-loss points of our body. A trendy beanie cap is a solution. Better to use one with fleece lining for extra warmth.

Wool ones are warm, but some times the “holes” ventilate the heat.

Neck High

Keep your neck and throat warm with a wool knitted neck gaiter. Such an act as a scarf while allows you to raise it to cover your mouth and nose when it gets rather cold. It is best to have a smart solution for extra protection.

Tip: Sun reflects on the white surface of the snow, and this can cause severe issues to your eyes (while giving you a tan). Wear a stylish pair of sports sunglasses.

Looking good and not getting blind is perfection.

Check these cool sunglasses:

Here are stylish ideas for gaiters to keep you warm:

Hot Body

The trick here is layers. As when hiking or mountaineering, you need layers when you stay still outside.

The Base Layer

Wear a proper thermal base layer. See the extended post for base layers here and how we combine clothes for different weather conditions (from extremely hot to extreme cold).

That layer will entrap your body heat. Cotton t-shirts won’t do the work. In case you sweat even a little bit, you will immediately feel cold, no matter if you wear a thick jacket. Base layers are made for that reason accurately.

There are base layers following the lines of a female body (side and chest) for all sizes.

A Fleece Jacket or other Mid Layer

Wear a soft fleece jacket as a mid-layer. You can wear this as it is (without extra hardshell jacket) or as another layer before your outer layer. Most good jackets are in the form of 2/3 to 1, where the mid-layer is detachable. Wear vivid colors, as they look good on the snow.

The Outer Layer

Complete the outer layering with a soft down jacket or a hard shell. Such is necessary for winter in the city anyway. There are double-faced jackets for even more combinations.

Tip: Your hands need protection too. Choose a hiking specific pair of gloves and leave your plain wool knitted pair home. Why? You may want to build a snowman or through some snowballs with your friends.

Waterproof gloves will keep you warm, without getting wet. There are glove options with extra linings, and you can have 2 in 1. Read this extended post for best-hiking gloves.

There are even special gloves where you can release the fingers to take photos or gloves that are touch-screen friendly!

What Pants do you Wear in the Snow?

Leave your jeans at home. Cotton, jeans, and such materials get wet immediately. Choose an outdoors pair of pants, suitable for snow. That will keep you dry and warm, while pants with breathable materials won’t get you sweaty.

Such pants are also of the elastic type and can take the figure of your body. With a pair of cute winter boots, you will look hot while keeping your legs warm.

Do you need the extra mile in legs warmness? Then wear a pair of leggings or tights under your pants. See this post for ideas. That will keep you warm under icy conditions.

Conclusion on Snow Wear

The keys are lightweight, warm, high looking stylish clothes. There are plenty of options to choose from. Pants and jackets are essential.

Snow is just another condition in nature and needs not to block you from enjoying outdoors. Get suited up correctly, and you won’t regret it.

Your style can rock, and you can look really like the active type you are!

Make sure to check our hiking gear posts from here.

21 Hidden Dangers of Traveling and How to Account for Them

21 Hidden Dangers of Traveling and How to Account for Them

Travel broadens your horizons. It opens your eyes to new ways of seeing the world, and it deepens your understanding of what it means to be human. That said, the dangers of traveling are also crucial to acknowledge.

While you can only do so much to avoid any unwanted issues, you can choose your destinations with care and adjust your travel plans accordingly. You should also take certain precautions to ensure the safety of yourself and your family.

With that in mind, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know in the sections below.

Tell People Where You’re Going — and When You Plan to Return

Whether you’re jetting off to Paris for an extended weekend or studying in China for a semester, let those you love know where you’re going and when you expect to return. This way, they know to contact the appropriate authorities if you get delayed.

Also, do your best to maintain contact with folks at home. Even if you’re traveling to distance yourself from the place where you live, have someone stateside you text or email regularly. This is particularly important if you plan on remaining abroad for an extended period.

Research Your Destination in Detail

21 Hidden Dangers of Traveling and How to Account for Them

 

 

Now isn’t the ideal time to travel to places like Iran. While it’s a country with a rich culture ripe for exploration, distrust of Americans runs high. In general, it’s best to avoid areas actively at war.

Doing some preliminary research alerts you to the crime rate in the region you’re visiting as well. Read up on common scams in the area. In some places, criminals pose as taxi drivers, for example. Once you get into the wrong vehicle, a stranger has full control over the situation.

Watch the Weather Forecast

Imagine if you booked a trip to the Bahamas in early September of 2019. When Hurricane Dorian struck, countless people suffered injury or death. Yes, you can rely on airlines to cancel flights during inclement conditions, but what if you plan to remain abroad for weeks or even months?

Check the weather forecast for your destination. While you may find travel bargains during certain times of the year, is it worth risking a nonrefundable deposit on a Caribbean excursion during peak hurricane season?

Memorize Important Phone Numbers

The most efficient device you have is located between your ears. Cellphones can break, and replacements can prove challenging to find in certain regions. Computers and tablets crash.

Memorize the phone numbers of your emergency contacts. Believe it or not, many people don’t recall their intimate partner’s info. Also, commit the phone number of the American embassy to memory. This way, if you lose your phone or electronics don’t work, you can still reach out for help.

Learn a Little of the Language

If you’re setting sail for Australia or New Zealand, you’ll adapt to colloquialisms quickly enough. However, if you’re traveling to China, learn to say “I need help” and “Where is the hospital” in Mandarin.

Even if you don’t speak the language correctly, shouting any word in the native tongue will turn heads. Plus, you’ll feel more confident ordering in restaurants.

Invest in Quality Carry-On Gear

Many travelers carry their most vital documents, like their passports, in their carry-on luggage. Make sure yours exceeds usual safety standards. For example, chain zippers have two sets of interlocking teeth, making them more secure than standard models you can open with a ballpoint pen.

Invest in luggage with locks for additional security. While soft-sided bags let you squeeze in “just one more thing,” hard-sided versions offer superior protection. It also helps you prevent paying extra in baggage fees for the additional weight.

Triple-Check Travel Arrangements

If you have a physical disability of any type, contact your airline ahead of time to ensure it provides you with accommodations like a wheelchair for waiting at security. Also, call your hotel the day before your departure to confirm your reservation. You don’t want to arrive in Karachi, Pakistan, only to discover “no vacancy” signs everywhere.

Furthermore, verify your transportation to and from the airport. Many hotels offer complimentary shuttle services. Even though you may have to contend with other passengers, taking advantage of such perks is safer than using an Uber or a limousine. You could encounter fake airline drivers with criminal intentions.

Upload Documents to the Cloud

Losing your passport means heading to the American embassy to request a replacement. However, you can upload copies of insurance, your driver’s license, and credit card numbers to a secure cloud storage account like Dropbox. This way, if thieves abscond with your wallet, you have the information you need to minimize damage.

Carry Your Wallet in Your Front Pocket

If you carry your wallet in your back pocket, switch it to the front. It’s harder for pickpockets to swipe something in front of your eyes, even if you’re momentarily distracted by a ruse. This is an easy way to sidestep some of the more common dangers of traveling in a foreign country.

You can also invest in a money belt. While extracting the contents proves awkward, money belts allow you to carry a small amount of cash in your pocket while keeping the rest of your cache free from prying eyes.

Avoid the Dangers of Traveling by Carrying a Dupe

Are you terrified of theft? If so, consider carrying a dupe wallet. This way, if you’re accosted at gun or knifepoint, you can hand the fake version to the miscreant while keeping the real one. Fill your fake wallet with an expired driver’s license and credit cards and include a small amount of cash like $1 to $5.

Leave Your Jewelry at Home

Sporting your best bling to the nightclub stateside is risky enough. When traveling abroad, try to leave any valuables with sentimental value at home. After all, you’re looking to have an adventure, not impress the locals with your wealth.

If you do plan on bringing your jewelry, make a simple jewelry roll. You’ll have a compact, practical way to carry your valuables that can fit in a suitcase or bag.

Dress Conservatively

If you plan to visit a house of worship during your trek, many enforce strict dress codes or bar entry altogether if you show too much skin.

Yes, you want to wear shorts and a tank top on an African safari. However, keep your attire classy and conservative. Pass on showing too much cleavage or wearing shorts that don’t reach your fingertips.

Buy Backup Chargers Galore

At home, a dead cellphone is an inconvenience. Overseas, a drained battery can mean wandering lost for hours without GPS. Before you depart, buy and charge several backup power sources. This way, if your tablet fizzles, you’re not left looking like a deer in headlights.

Learn to Read a Map

Unless you’re a pilot, you might not realize the gravity of GPS failure. Even the best devices go down sometimes, though. Fortunately, most destinations sell road maps — if you’re not accustomed to reading one, learn how before you leave. Getting lost is a significant danger of traveling abroad that many tourists don’t consider.

Photograph Your Ride’s License Plate

Unscrupulous Uber drivers and cabbies can fleece you — or worse. They’re less likely to do so if you can identify them to the authorities. Before hopping in your ride, tell your driver you’re snapping a photo of their license plate. Then do it.

Even if you don’t send the picture out via text, they don’t know this. Plus, if you leave something accidentally behind, you have a way to track down the driver and recover the lost item.

Lock Everything Up

This should go without saying, but always lock your hotel deadbolt at night. Make use of the in-room safe for storing valuables like tablets and computers. You can even invest in locking wallets.

Set up Dual Authentication

Dual-factor authentication keeps vital logins like your PayPal and bank account secure by requiring an unconnected device to verify your credentials. If you accidentally leave your laptop open and housecleaning enters, they can’t access sensitive data stored on it.

Take Your Vitamins

Getting sick is never fun. Finding quality medical help abroad can prove tricky. If you’re traveling to many developed nations, you’ll get your care for free or low-cost. However, if you’re trekking through countries lacking this, you can accumulate hefty bills if you fall ill.

Even if you’re on a brief holiday, maintain healthy habits. Take your vitamins and eat healthfully — at least, most of the time. Get regular exercise and consider carrying lightweight equipment like fitness bands with you.

Learn the Local Emergency Number

If you’re visiting India and dial 911, don’t expect help to arrive quickly. Each nation has a unique emergency access number, and your travel insurance can help you in case you fall and break your leg or witness a crime.

Store this number in your phone and memorize it just in case you suffer an injury or another one of the dangers of traveling on this list, especially in high-risk destinations.

Get to Know Your Neighbors — or Hire a Housesitter

Danger doesn’t only strike you when you travel. Your home is left sitting empty. If you neglect to pause your mail service, for example, that overflowing box tells thieves, “No one’s here, so come on in!”

If you have a good relationship with your neighbors, ask them to stop in periodically to inspect your property and pick up any flyers left on your doorstep. If you wouldn’t know your next-door pal if you ran into them on the street, hire a housesitter to pop in if you plan on being away for a while.

Wait Until You Return Home to Post Info Online

You’re dying to share the spectacular sunset shot you took on a Tahitian beach with your Instagram followers. Wait until you return home before doing so, however. Like a driveway littered with newspapers, posting travel pictures while away informs miscreants that your house is open and ripe for the picking.

Travel Smart, Travel Safely

You can’t prevent all possible risks when you visit an unfamiliar country. But by following the tips above, you can minimize the dangers of traveling and help ensure a pleasant trip.

Author Bio:

21 Hidden Dangers of Traveling and How to Account for ThemDylan Bartlett, aka, “The Regular Guide,” writes about a wide variety of topics on his site. Check out Just a Regular Guide for more, or follow Dylan on Twitter @theregularguide for updates on his work.  

Summer Hiking – A Comprehensive Guide

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide

Summer is finally here! The summer hiking activity is an entirely different experience. Summer is lovely but can also come with grave issues when you are active in the great outdoors. Hot weather hiking in summer is one summer activity you need to get prepared for.

Deal with warm weather during your hiking by being adequately prepared.

Your pace and gear will change due to climate conditions. You need to be 100% prepared. Summer hiking has some hidden dangers. Knowing how to walk under heat is a skill to be developed to enjoy and not to suffer.

What to Wear When Hiking in Summer?

We will share a range of useful mistakes and tips many do in summer hiking activities, and thus you will be ready to get out there.

Heat is not an obstacle when you are well prepared, and you can enjoy the lovely hiking experience all summer long.

These items below are really hot right now.

Summer Hiking Clothes

A phrase many times said out loud: It’s hot, lets remove some clothes!

That is a mistake! Many think that to get more refreshing or -at least- not to get hotter, it is better to remove t-shirts and all in reality that is far from the truth.

The more the naked body is under the hot sun, the worst it gets.

That doesn’t mean that we need to wear heavy clothing. A shirt is excellent, or a light-colored t-shirt (light color reflects sunlight) will do the job against sun-rays.

Part of the summer hiking clothes you need to wear are ones with UV protection materials that block UV rays (enough). Usage of sun protection creams/lotions, adds up to that. Choose UPF-rated clothing (ratings include UPF 15, UPF 30, and UPF 50+.)

A more “technical” blouse with long sleeves, helps your body to maintain proper body temperature in a more chill and healthy level. At the same time, it releases wick moisture (from sweating), while letting your body “breath.”

Ever seen people in countries like Africa wearing long shirts with long sleeves? There is a reason for that.

You can choose to wear short sleeve clothes too, but do apply sun cream on your arms to avoid sunburn.

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
With short shirts wear sun cream.

Apply sun cream to all exposed parts of your body. Did you know that many get sunburn on their ears and/or neck as it is one part not covered by hats?

Do apply suncream on your nose too, when you were sunglasses. The reflection from the sun on them, adds up to the power of rays hitting on your nose.

Finally, here is a mantra to repeat: “Wear a hat! Don’t go under the sun without a hat!” (repeat 20 times and wear a hat).

Summer Hiking Pants

The same happens with summer hiking pants. Choose summer hiking pants where you can remove part of the legs area with a zipper and turn them into shorts.

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
Shorts from long pants. Just unzip them.

These come helpful, and you have 2 in 1 when you want to “slip into” something more refreshing.

Such pants are from special lightweight material that allows your skin to breath. Summer hiking pants dry fast even after soaking them into water and moisture from sweating “escapes” in the same way. They are not like regular pants.

Get Wet

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
Photo from @ingle_jake, Unsplash

That will make you apply sun cream a little bit often, but it is a wonderful way to deal with heat.

Hikers simply dip their hats, scarfs, bandanas, shirts, shorts/pants in water, and just wear them. On a hot day, these will dry up fast. Keeping your neck fresh is a lifesaver.

Have you ever seen these far-west movies where the cowboy dips their scarf in water and wears it around the neck? That’s the case. Be that cowboy!

Do the same with pouring water over your head. Just make sure you don’t use icy water on a “heated” head.

The water has an evaporative cooling effect while providing you with the necessary temperature reduction protecting you from heat exhaustion or symptoms of heatstroke.

Not All Routes Are Equal

Many hikers believe that heat is the same on any day in summer hiking. That is not correct. Heat, along with humidity levels, change depending on location and existing conditions.

Many routes/paths and trail mixes do not “respond” in the same way during hot days, even months. Some of these paths are better to hike through during early morning time, while others during the afternoon. It is best to avoid high temperatures timeframes.

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
Photo from @austinban, Unsplash

You need to keep a note of the places you want to hike and get information about weather conditions and their difficulty level. Most national parks have websites with lots of valuable information.

Weather conditions “intelligence” is not limited to your hiking day but for the days before and after that day. If there was rain, some locations trap humidity, and with a burning sun, they get to the “sauna” level.

The opposite happens with periods where the temperature is lower. Some routes become easier to hike during such.

Body for Summer Hiking: Make, Don’t Break!

You need to adjust your body for heat. Have you ever noticed that during the first summer days, we feel them far hotter than the next ones?

The same thing happens during the first cold days in winter. Your body needs to adjust.

Your body is not accustomed to the “new” temperature conditions, and you must allow a few hikes to adjust and deal with that change.

A big mistake done by many is believing that their body will react in the first days of summer as if it was in the last days of the previous summer. Many hikers don’t allow this transition, and they suffer. Especially weekend hikers tend to rush things up.

How to adjust for summer hiking? Start with small and easy routes under shade. Another “trick” is to spend 20 to 30 minutes in a sauna. That will tune up your body for the upcoming summer heat during your hiking.

Take Your Water Seriously

You can’t imagine how many plan poorly their water intake strategy during summer hiking. Many end up without water during the first hour of their hiking time.

Others consume all the water too fast, so to spare the weight of their flask/water bottle. Most don’t search to see if there is a water supply along their hiking tour, especially when such takes many hours to finish.

The result is inadequate water intake. During summertime, this can lead to fatigue, feeling sick, and are prone to micro-accidents.

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
Photo from @averieclaire, Unsplash

Many people lose their water by not placing their bottles correctly in their backpack (and thus spill it along the way).

The majority think that they need to stay hydrated correctly only on the hiking day. That is wrong, especially in multi-hour hikes. Proper hydration started a few days ago, and if you hike for many hours/days under the sun, you need to continue appropriate hydration after completing your hiking trip.

In that way, you can reduce how much water you have to carry (depends on the route and difficulty and weather conditions) as your body is ready to cope with the heat in a better way.

Some energy gels or drinks full of electrolytes (i.e., salt capsules) can be beneficial on a long hike under hot conditions.

Important tips on Hot Weather Hiking

If you feel your mouth sticky, it means more than you are only thirsty for “some” water… It is a sign that your body is severely dry, and you need to act urgently.

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
Learn about water springs prior your summer hiking

Don’t drink large portions of water along your hike (depends on body weight and conditions). Better to consume some every 15-20 minutes and no more than the amount that leaves your body through sweat.

If you drink lots of water in a fast manner, you may notice that you immediately get sweaty, especially if the water is cool to cold. That is a defensive mechanism of your body, and you don’t need to do it like that.

A brimmed hat is an excellent solution for hiking with hot weather, as it protects your neck along with your head.

Have a salty snack with you. It may sound weird but salt can help you if you feel dizzy.

Make sure you have enough water to consume around 1 liter of water, every 2 hours.

If possible do not go alone. It is best to have fun and be safe along with a hiking partner.

Summer Hiking Shoes & Socks

On a hot day, keep your feet dry. You need to wear socks and shoes that permit proper ventilation.

Your socks must not be wet (don’t dip them in water). Wet socks in warm shoes or poor ventilation lead to blisters.

Make sure your socks are made from excellent material (not cotton) and are not too thick.

Make sure your shoes allow air to circulate, and your feet feel comfortable on them; not too tight or loose.

Avoid waterproof boots & shoes during summer hiking. They block ventilation and keep all the moisture and heat inside the shoe. That will lead to excessive sweat.

Better test your shoes and socks before your hiking, during some short hikes or around the house.

Depending on the terrain, a nice pair of trail running shoes can do the job, so you can be comfortable, lightweight, and with a good grip on the ground.

Choose Time Wisely

In hot and dry conditions with no shade, it is better to hike early in the morning or late afternoon.

Start no later than 11:00 am and plan to get some rest under the shade and -preferably- near water. As mentioned, proper planning and knowledge of the terrain are crucial for your well being during your summer hiking.

During your break (12-1 pm), eat your main lunch but not a heavy one with lots of fats. That will provide you with the necessary energy to complete your hiking.

Walking under shade (at least for most of the part) is a must for both directions.

Summer Hiking - A Comprehensive Guide
Learn about where it has shade along your route. Any shade.

Following such simple instructions for your gear and conditions, allows you to enjoy summer hiking with the least possible troubles.

Heat needs not to be an obstacle to stop us from hiking, but just another thing to handle.

Here is a list of new posts for hiking.

Enjoy your summer hiking!

Red Alert Climate Change Intergovernmental Reports

Red Alert Climate Change Intergovernmental Reports

The new Special Report of The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) published on 25 September 2019, and things are rather worrying.

The report is about the oceans and cryosphere status. In plain words, it is about the frozen parts of Earth.

Read our extended post on Global Warming.

The Data for the Climate Change Intergovernmental Report 

The SROCC (Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate) report from the IPCC working groups, was written by 104 principal authors, coming from 36 countries, based on 6.981 scientific publications.

The report went through three rounds of consultation, during which 31.176 comments from 80 countries were submitted.

The report summary was approved by the representatives of the 195 county-members of IPCC.

Why this the IPCC Special Report is Important

Life on Earth is mostly influenced by the ocean and the cryosphere – the frozen parts of the planet. 

You need to know that the sum of 670 million people that reside in high mountain regions, along with another 680 million people in low coastal zones depend on these systems.

There are 4 million people permanently living in the Arctic zone.

Small island developing states are the home to 65 million people.

Now, global warming has reached 1°C above the pre-industrial level. The main reason is greenhouse gas emissions.

We now have a vast amount of evidence that this has a stunning effect on ecosystems and people.

That means that the ocean is now warmer, it is more acidic and far less productive.

As glaciers and ice sheets melt, they cause a sea-level rise. That leads to severe coastal extreme events.

The IPCC Report Findings on Sea Levels

The average sea level rises with a double rate, in relation to the average levels of the 20th century. 

Σea level has risen globally by around 15 cm. That rise happened during the 20th century. Now, it is currently growing more than twice as fast – 3.6 mm per year – and accelerating.

The reported scenario mentions a rise of 0.6 to 1.1 meters by 2100 and up to 5.4 meters by 2300.

That, along with with the frequency and the intensity of extreme marine phenomena, will multiply the negative impact on coastal zones.

Acidification and rising sea temperatures will have a significant impact on coastal marine ecosystems.

It will affect the geographical distribution and abundance of fish stocks, increasing the existing pressure from the current non-sustainable fishing.

Changing Ocean Ecosystems

Global warming and all the changes happening in the ocean chemistry are disrupting species. 

Such happens throughout the ocean food interconnection. That impacts marine ecosystems, as they depend on them.

The excess heat is taken up by 90% from the oceans. However, by 2100, the ocean will have to take up 2-4 times more heat, even if global warming is limited to 2°C.

The ocean warming reduces the mixing that happens between water layers. That affects the supply of oxygen and nutrients for marine life. You understand where this is going.

The Climate Change Intergovernmental Report Findings on the Cryosphere

When it comes to the cryosphere, the report points out the following:

  • The mountainous glaciers outside polar regions may lose 80% of their mass by 2100. That has a massive impact on the affected communities and their financial activities that depend on the rivers fed by them
  • The permanently frozen areas can lose up to 70% of the surface ice mass, which can lead to positive feedback by releasing additional greenhouse gases

The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is the United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change.

The word “cryosphere” – comes from the Greek word “kryos.” It means cold or ice, and describes the frozen components of the Earth system. Such, include snow, glaciers, ice sheets, and ice shelves, icebergs and sea ice, ice on lakes and rivers as well as permafrost and seasonally frozen ground.

You can:

Is there a Solution?

The report claims that we have to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. We need to act to protect and restore ecosystems and manage well our natural resources.

Doing that, it is possible to preserve the ocean and cryosphere as resources for future opportunities on further changes that will come.

To keep global warming under 2°C above pre-industrial levels, we need to change things in our society aspects. Such include energy, land and ecosystems, urban and infrastructure, and the industrial sector is not excluded.

Global Warming: How to Kill The Planet Manual for Novices

Global Warming: How to Kill The Planet Manual for Novices

Is there hope against global warming and climate change? For some people, global warming does not exist.

Possibly some of them still choose to believe whether Earth is flat too.

People with similar mindset perceive global warming as something you either believe in or not. They don’t think of it as a -possible- fact. That stands for ice melting, temperatures changing, increased pollution, and reduction of natural resources.

It is disturbingly weird that people, after all this wealth of information and ways to reach it, choose not to research but to either believe to something or not.

That is not by chance, of course. Through the centuries, people acted like that. They choose to believe and even worship things they see or don’t see.

Having faith in something is not bad. Everyone is entitled to their opinion and assumptions. 

However, when just staying to beliefs or non-fact based assumptions, then problems will arise, and we all have to face them.

Global warming and climate change are one of them.

Facts show that it is happening and our actions (or lack of them) are the cause.

Choose, either that or we can believe that there is a “ghost” inside Earth that is doing it, or maybe the Aliens. That would be an excellent way to transfer our responsibility to oblivion. 

Are all things right when it comes to Global Warming, or maybe not? If correct, what can we do for that?

Is what we hear based on people’s likeness to bad news, conspiracy theories, and fridge science content, or we are in a “Defcon 1” situation?

Analyzing all the things is not possible in just one post, but this one here is a good start for all of us who care.

From the moment we started this blog, we stated that our travels and outdoor trips are shared, so to inspire people to outside, into nature. By observing what happens in nature, we became even more concerned about life, people and sustainability.

For us, observing and reporting on the issues and solutions for climate change is now a natural evolution of what we still do through our travels.

Why? Because, there will be nothing to experience if we don’t support such a cause, right?

Is Earth In Trouble? No, The People Are!

Let’s ponder on it for a moment. Is Earth in trouble? Close your eyes and imagine this beautiful enormous planet we live.

Maybe we are in trouble and not the planet? Gorge Carlin, a fantastic comedian who satirized numerous things using common sense, nailed it just fine.

“The Earth is fine. It survived for 4.5 billions of years”, he said. “The people are f….ed.” 

You have to watch the video. He speaks about how things change too, but also on if we are indeed a threat to the planet. We are a threat to us

We need to put our senses together and start thinking about how we won’t go extinct due to our simple lack of common sense, greed included.

Nature will take care of itself, but if people don’t act, nature will shake them away like a bag of fleas. 

Basic Terms We Have to Know

The best thing to start is to understand the fundamental terms. Some times we skip such information, but it is needed. Explaining global warming to politicians like they were kids could be the solution too. Guardian puts it nicely here.

Here is a simple FAQ on how global warming and climate change work.

What does Global Climate change mean?

It is the average climate over the entire planet.

What is the deal with Carbon?

Carbon is in carbon dioxide (CO2). It helps Earth by trapping heat. Earth holds the energy from the sun. If there was no carbon, oceans would be solid frozen.

Carbon is part of life and a building block of it. Even humans are made of 18% carbon. So, a standard (balanced) amount of carbon in all things, including CO2 is fine. We need it.

However, unbalanced amounts of CO2 lead to the Earth’s GreenHouse Effect. And that is the problem.

What is the Greenhouse Effect & Greenhouse Gases?

We assume that you all have seen a greenhouse with plants, at least once. Maybe all of you or some walked in one of them. Did you notice the big difference in terms of temperature and humidity?

There was a reason that micro-climate situation is different in a greenhouse. After all, there is just a plastic cover separating the plants from the environment outside.

Here is how it works with the climate greenhouse effect:

1. Sun is hot and beams all that energy

2. That results in heat that penetrates through the atmosphere

3. Some of the heat bounces back to space

4. Not all heat goes out. Gases like carbon dioxide (CO2) keep it “for” earth

5. Lots of CO2 leads to more heat-trapping “inside”

6. As a result, as more gases help to trap heat inside, the earth gets hotter

7. Temperature increases and a series of climate changes escalate

8. So, when people, with their activity on the planet, emit more CO2 to the atmosphere, there is unbalance to the trapped heat

9. That is a generic example, outside of physics and chemistry terms, but it shows the overall picture.

How do we know the climate is changing?

Earth’s temperature is monitored. There is no thermometer we place somewhere, of course. There are stations all over the world with instruments and people who keep track of changes, especially the ones that seem as unnatural during the years.

The climate of our planet was not stable during its lifetime. There were cold periods and warm ones.

The problem is that now we see a faster increase in rising temperatures. We think that increases of 1.5 to 2 degrees are fine during our day or sometimes in a week. That is correct.

But when such a change is permanent, that has a massive impact on the planet. Such changes affect all living things, including plants, but also the soil and the water.

Phenomena like the speedy melting of glaciers are a huge red flag in front of us.

NASA is monitoring this closely. It even created an Evidence page so you can see & compare the change during the ages and how fast this moved during the last 70 years and there are more like that.

Global Warming: How to Kill The Planet Manual for Novices If you think when it is the time to scream, now it is a good one.

What is happening to the oceans?

The enormous amounts of water that we call Oceans have a vital role in the heat regulation of the planet.

They absorb lots of it and help cool it down and distribute it evenly along with our planet. Let’s not forget that oceans cover 70% of the planet surface.

Oceans absorb significant parts of CO2, too.

However, keep in mind this simple thing. What happens when water gets heated? Life in that water cannot adapt fast when that increase in heat happens fast. Life in the ocean dies as there is no time to adapt to the fast-changing conditions.

Oceans contain fish and mammals, but also algae and bacteria, plankton, corals and so many more. The whole food chain among species that live in the ocean is radically destroyed.

All start dying, so what is left is just water. Organisms can’t survive with salt water only.

Furthermore, increased heat changes how currents behave and how temperatures are balanced all over the planet. With increased heat, the whole heat and cooling system of the planet get out of order.

The system that relates to the currents and temperature balancing is engaged into what we call as “The Global Conveyor Belt.”

The Philosophical Question: Do We Need to Protect the Earth?

Some of you may laugh, but that is a critical question to ask yourselves. It is not an up straight and easy answer for all.

For example, there are many religious people that have in their minds that God is responsible and knows what to do with all that “Earth” thing.

Some people refer to Earth as “our spaceship on which we live.” 

We can call planet Earth with many names, but to keep things simple, we have to consider some fundamental questions:

  1. Do we want to live well during our lifetime?
  2. Do we understand what extreme heat or freezing conditions mean for our day to day life?
  3. Can we survive separate from other beings of this planet (plants, animals, bacteria, and microbes)?
  4. Do we want to preserve the planet for others and for future generations? Do we (have to) care?
  5. Is our Economic and Political model helpful to sustain life and the planet? What should we do differently?

There is no metaphysical or spiritual nature in these questions. They are driven by common sense. Eventually, we need to think about if we care for us, at least.

Even egoistically thinking can produce a positive result to take action and sustain life.

Haven’t We Noticed Global Warming Before?

When it happens in an exponential level in a mere 70 years period, it shows some lack of knowledge, don’t you agree? 

Maybe there is a reason for that “lack,” though. Know have the technology to measure and calculate things in a better way.

Exploration of the planet happened during an extended period, and there are parts of this planet still to explore. Some times we forget that.

We also have the technology now to run models and scenarios through computers and see projections with different input of data.

With all that, there is no surprise that actual discussions on the environment and our future started no earlier than the recent years.

From a philosophical aspect, of course, things are (were) very clear at any point of history. Simple things, like:

  1. Non-renewable resources are finite
  2. When you need oxygen, you don’t cut down all the forests or kill the oceans algae
  3. Energy doesn’t disappear and if you burn wood/coil/rocks you “transform” them to something else

Things like that, you know, for dummies. The fundamental elements of how life and energy exist and works were known since ancient times.

Industrial development went very fast and seems we (decided to) skipped the “nothing is free” and the “there is cause and effect for everything” concepts.

Now, people start thinking that the promise of religion for an afterlife paradise is a good concept, but let’s not bring hell on earth while we are alive, right?

Either you are rich or poor, with an increasing hellish (scorching or freezing) situation, the only difference will eventually be on how long you will survive, and that’s that.

It is time to turn this around, to take action, and hopefully, we have enough time to make it happen.

Some think that “we can always move to the moon or Mars.” Really? Did you take a good look at the photos?

Do you imagine yourself looking outside of the window and see the treeless, riverless, dry grey dessert of such a planet or moon?

We don’t see us in that picture. We like taking photos and taking photos of the air-condition/oxygen generator of a roomy is not one of our preferences.

Are Global Warming & Climate Change Happening Now?

A series of scientists, organizations, agencies, and people who simply use their mind show that it happens as we speak. 

Here is just a short list of articles for this. Keep on reading as we also present a small series of articles, with initiatives against global warming from different countries, scientists and organizations.

A signal from Climate Change: Europe becomes much hotter than predicted over the last 70 years: The continent has experienced a series of “high-impact heat extremes,” over the past two decades as the world warms. Increases in extreme heat and heatwaves are by no means limited to Europe. A study recently published in the journal Environmental Research Communication found that climate change will lead to a significant rise in the frequency and severity of extreme heat across the contiguous United States in the coming decades.

2018 was one of the hottest years on record: Sir David Attenborough outlines the challenge it poses for all of us.

Great Barrier Reef’s health Outlook Report: Watch the video, the data, and why the Reef is so essential. The report finds the greatest threat to the Reef is still climate change. 

Indonesia is moving its capital: Jakarta is sinking, crushed under the weight of overpopulation and over-extraction of groundwater.

Greta Thornberg Interview from Trevor Noah: Some critical points are made in this one.

Dangerous new hot zones are spreading around the world: This lengthy article, rich in graphics and explanations, shows how life is affected due to climate change in different locations on the planet, what cold-water clams tell us.

The Carbon Footprint of Cities: The key to stopping or slowing global warming may lie with cities—unusually large and wealthy ones. A small number of large and or affluent cities drive a significant share of total national emissions.

Australian Medical Association declares climate change a health emergency: AMA points to ‘clear scientific evidence indicating severe impacts for our patients and communities.’ They recognized climate change as a health emergency in June 2019, and the British Medical Association the following month declared a climate emergency and committed to campaign for carbon neutrality by 2030.

World “losing the battle against deforestation”: An assessment of the New York Declaration on Forests (NYDF) says it has failed to deliver on key pledges. Deforestation has not only continued – it has accelerated. The same happens in different critical hot spots all around the world.

Greenland melting four times faster than predicted: Record rates of ice sheets melting have been recorded on the great ice-shelf of Greenland. It’s critical for all of us because of its potential effect on global sea levels.

Climate change “could make the planet uninhabitable for birds”: Climate change could have a lasting impact on bird populations, with some dying out and others forced to recolonize.

Adaptation to climate change isn’t enough: We’ve got to throw everything at the climate crisis. Without cutting emissions, it won’t work.

Is Mediterranean Europe’s most polluted sea? A study from EurOcean Member Ifremer presents new figures about a long-lasting problem. Two hundred thousand tons of plastic are dumped each year, representing more than 60 percent of all the trash we find at the bottom of the sea.

The hellish future of Las Vegas with climate crisis: The city’s poorest residents are most at risk in the heat. Las Vegas is the fastest-warming city in the United States, its temperatures having risen 5.76F since 1970.

How to Deal with For Global Warming?

Education and getting people informed is number one. Understanding what is happening and how we can act in a personal, national, and international level is crucial.

You can educate your kids. NASA has produced this easy to navigate and kids friendly website. They can learn all the climate-related terms and their importance and interconnection. 

ACT NOW is the United Nations’ global call to individual action on climate change. It is primarily an online and social media campaign.

We find it great for adults, too, as we learned a lot from that before getting deeper into the overall subject. Some times you need to learn things in simple, non-scientific words as kids do.

A continually increasing number of articles are published daily on the topic, coming from different countries that try to cope with global warming and pollution.

Some, concerning research & results, others concern day to day actions for individuals, while others show national-level steps.

You can start your information from the selected ones below. We have produced a summary per post to get you started.

Urban Sustainability and Resilience: From Theory to PracticeHow Urbanization affects our relation to nature and the environment. How having increasingly bigger cities affects our life and our connection to nature and how to create a livable urban future.

The Planet Needs a New Internet: How current infrastructure is affected due to climate change, rising sea levels, and temperatures. What are the cleaner ways to power the web?

How can city dwellers help with climate change? More consumption relates highly to climate changes. What are the numbers behind that? How the “getting more stuff” affects all resources needed to make that stuff? 

Students Invent Bacteria That Eat Plastic From The Oceans And Turn It Into Water: If people don’t stop making and using plastic fast enough, then such ways can help break down the material to become biodegradable. 

China Has Officially Started Construction on the World’s First “Forest City”: The same post in French is here. Due to fast growth, China has evolved into a resources consumption behemoth. It is no secret that in its many major cities, pollution is so extended that people walk around with surgical masks.

What is different in this city? Allegedly, Liuzhou Forest City will run on renewables and absorb nearly 10,000 tons of CO2 and 57 tons of pollutants yearly, while producing 900 tons of oxygen annually at the same time.

Shift the focus from the super-poor to the super-rich: More policies are needed that target people at the opposite end of the social ladder — the super-rich. According to some estimates, the average lifestyle consumptiocarbon footprint of someone in the wealthiest 1% could be 175 times that of someone in the poorest 10%. 

6 Busted Green-Roof Myths: Are green roofs obsolete? That is far from being true. Ready why we need green roofs, walls and all the green we can plant around us.

City building 5,000 curbside rainwater collection gardens: Another way to not waste rainwater and, instead, use it to water gardens and avoid sewer overflows. A simple change in the shape of sideroad drainage systems can do that.

Hospital’s Rooftop Garden Provides 7000 Pounds of Organic Veggies a Year for Patients: A roof garden that feeds the patients of the hospital provides natural insulation and cooling, while also reducing heating costs.

KitKat Japan Is Ditching Plastic Packaging For Paper: You can even fold it to an Origami after using it. Nestle is ditching plastic for paper with this one, along with their plan to make 100% of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025. 

Shop less, live more – save the planet: An additional article that focuses on the reduction of consumption, that is beyond just using reusable metal straws.

Barcelona’s car-free ‘superblocks’: Reducing traffic from less to zero is a bet for Barcelona to reduce premature deaths.

Floating Solar Farms: Millions of solar panels clustered together to form an island could convert carbon dioxide in seawater into methanol, which can fuel airplanes and trucks.

Irish teenager invents magnetic Liquid Trap: It can remove 90% of Microplastics from water: He won a Google science award with an environment-friendly version of ferrofluid, the kind NASA uses in rockets but in a different manner.

India set to outlaw six single-use plastic products: These include plastic bags, cups, plates, small bottles, straws, and certain types of sachets.

Helsinki (Finland) becomes the first European city to deliver Sustainable Development report: Helsinki’s contribution to the High-Level Political Forum and willingness to proactively engage with the SDGs is an important step to encouraging other cities to also present voluntary reports on their progress towards a sustainable agenda. Find the reports here.

A factory in the Ivory Coast turns plastic waste into classrooms: What can be done with existing plastic? This factory put it in good use by building classrooms. It aims to produce enough plastic bricks to build 500 classrooms across the country by 2021.

This Bhutanese Man Spent Five Decades Planting 100,000 Trees by Hand: Have you heard about Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness Index? Then meet Sonam Phuntsho. He is a forest caretaker who has planted more than 100,000 trees over the past 50 years.

Urban Gardening: Grow your veggies. Case studies from Dallas and Connecticut that help their communities. Food is donated in food banks, but this action is more than food.

How much plastic is out there? If you recycled all the plastic waste on the planet, you would be the world’s richest person, and you could buy NFL, Apple, and Microsoft. Read the data.

Book Publishers Go Green To Reduce Their Carbon Footprint: As the publishing industry grew, so did its carbon footprint. The publishing industry in the USA uses about 32 million trees annually to make books. Producing books emit over 40 million metric tons of C02 each year.

Sustainable packaging in the food sector: Consumers are prompting restaurants and shops to launch initiatives to reduce single-use plastics in packaging.

Copenhagen plans to reach carbon-neutral status in just six years (by 2025); here is how: One of the most friendly for people city to live in Europe, Copenhagen takes a big decisive step to shift into renewable energy.

Do Global Warming and Climate Change Connect with Other Crisis?

Yes, they do. In fact, after reading all this material you see that these changes are closely related to our industrial activity on this planet.

We are going to expand on this in our upcoming posts.

In the meantime get these books to start understanding what happens.

Suggested Products

Online Resources to Monitor Climate Change

This link deserves a standalone section as it includes a wealth of information, all coming through NASA’s different projects. 

The Greenhouse Effect: A simplified animation of the greenhouse effect, with annotations

22-year Sea Level Rise: This visualization shows the total sea-level change between 1992 and 2014.

Antarctic Ice Loss 2002-2016: Changes in Antarctic ice mass since 2002

Greenland Ice Loss 2002-2016: Changes in Greenland’s ice mass since 2002

Atmospheric CO2 from 2002 to 2016: The global distribution and variation of mid-tropospheric carbon dioxide concentration observed by the Atmospheric Infrared Sounder (AIRS) on NASA’s Aqua spacecraft.

Following Carbon Dioxide Through the Atmosphere: The behavior of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere from September 1, 2014, to August 31, 2015

Operation IceBridge Over Western Greenland: Using a fleet of research aircraft, Operation IceBridge images Earth’s polar ice to better understand connections between polar regions and the global climate system.

Earth Mission Montage: These campaigns study carbon, Earth’s gravity field, the ocean-ice interface in Greenland and coral reef health.

Vital Signs: Graphs and an animated time series track the vital signs of Earth’s climate.

Annual Arctic Sea Ice Minimum 1979-2018: The expanse of the annual minimum Arctic sea ice for each year from 1979 through 2018.

Global Temperature Anomalies from 1880 to 2018: A progression of changing global surface temperature anomalies for that period.

Temperature vs. Solar Activity: A graphic that compares global surface temperature changes and the Sun’s energy received by the Earth.

Hollywood on Climate Change and the Future

There are plenty of movies that show us what can happen with severe climate change and the effects of global warming. Some suggest different ideas to take some immediate climate action.

Most of them are doomsday kind of movies, though. 

They don’t present a liveable future.

They instead present the Earth covered by either water, ice, or under extreme volcano & earthquake activity. Along that come overpopulated cities (when people survive), fog, lack of green, forests and wildlife.

This is topped with lack of food and water, violence and the survival of the fittest. Mad Max movies are around for many decades now.

Other movies present a dramatic change in our dietary conditions, that is not pleasant at all unless you are fine being barbequed.

Few movies present an optimistic approach, and these involve the usage and application of science and scientific minds for the improvement of humankind and a change to our false mentality.

“Tomorrowland” with George Clooney is one of them and one of the most promising ones, despite its few dark parts. It shows a different philosophy on how we approach life and people. To be honest, we prefer that one from “Water World” with Kevin Kostner, or any other post-apocalyptic ones.

The thing is that way too many movies and series are made nowadays, under the world being destroyed to climate change and greed. They are disturbingly too many.

With our new series of posts for global warming, we aim to shed light on all bad and good practices and help out the Solve Climate Change movement.

Did you find this article interesting? Share it with your friends and start discussing and sharing more information.

Global warming is about us and our quality of life.

The planet will be here, after all. 

Climate change is the major issue of our time, and now is the time to do something about it. There is still time, but it will run out faster if we don’t act.

20 Best Things to Do in Dubai

Dubai from above

Do you have a Dubai vacation in the cards? It goes without saying that you’ll find plenty of options to top up your Dubai travel itinerary.

No matter you’re looking for a relaxed or an action-packed holiday or even a combo of both, Dubai offers a variety of options for all types of visitors.

But if you’re a first-timer or someone revisiting after a long time, you’ll definitely be in need of some help to locate the best things to do in Dubai. And that’s why we’ve put together this list for you; just read on!

Visit Burj Khalifa to See Dubai from Celestial Heights

No preface is probably required to describe this 828 meters-high glossy structure which is the world’s tallest man-made structure.

Burj Khalifa
Burj Khalifa

A trip to Burj Khalifa in the stylish downtown gives you the rare chance to experience the exquisiteness and grandeur of the unparalleled skyline from an astonishing vantage point.

Get the most panoramic city views from At the Top Observation Deck on its 124th level or go 24 stories up on the 148th level to take in all of Dubai from the world’s highest observation deck (at a height of 555 meters).

Watch the Fountain Show

Spraying over 20,000 gallons of water to a massive height of over 150 meters. This is the world’s largest musical fountain show which is set outside of Dubai Mall on Burj Lake and placed right adjacent to Burj Khalifa.

The best part is that you can spectacle it for free; just make sure that you reach here much earlier (before 7 pm in the evening) to secure a perfect spot to watch it up-close.

You can also step into one of the dining venues in the vicinity (preferably within the Mall) or take an abra ride to admire the show from an unmatched viewpoint.

Shop till you drop at Dubai’s malls

Planning for a long trip and wondering what to wear in Dubai or how to accessorize yourself during your holidays?

Just come here with a lightly packed bag, with the city being home to about 70 malls including the world’s biggest mall (the Mall with over 1200 shops)!

Dubai Mall
Dubai Mall

From high-end luxury brands to best-value outlets for almost everything including clothing, cosmetics, electronics and fashion, Dubai’s malls have all!

That said, shopping malls are not just limited to shopping, as they offer the widest spectrum of dining, leisure and entertainment options too.

So whether you’re a hardcore shopaholic or not, be sure to check out the malls, especially Dubai Mall, Mall of the Emirates, Ibn Battuta Mall, etc.

Book a Table within Burj Al Arab

Can’t afford a stay at the world’s most opulent as well as the only seven-star hotel?

A cost-effective alternative to experience Burj Al Arab’s consummate magnificence and majesty is to sign up for a lunch, dinner or afternoon tea session at one of its restaurants.

Burj Al Arab
Burj Al Arab

This not only allows for a smooth entry to this iconic sail-shaped structure (set on its own private island) but also gives you a closer look at its plush interiors.

And not to mention about its dining options; they all are sumptuous and make a perfect complement to the hotel’s regal ambiance.

Explore Palm Jumeirah

The man-made island of Palm Jumeirah which resembles a giant palm tree is probably the first thing that comes into mind when one thinks about Dubai.

20 Best Things to Do in Dubai
The Palm Jumeirah

This, in fact, is timeless and finds a top position among the list of things to do with its mix of 17 fronds, a truck, and a seven-meter-long crescent-like island. It’s one of Dubai’s hotspots complemented by premier shopping, leisure, and dining establishments.

Hire a supercar, take a monorail ride or consider an exclusive guided excursion or a helicopter sightseeing ride to take in the Palm Jumeirah’s marvelous sights.

Step into Atlantis, The Palm to experience the mysterious Atlantean Past

If you’re up for something unique with a dose of enigmatic fun and adventure, head over to Atlantis, The Palm. That is a stunning five-star accommodation placed on the crescent of Palm Jumeirah.

20 Best Things to Do in Dubai
Atlantis The Palm

Whether staying here or not, you can easily plan a whole day in this imperial resort that has been designed to take after the mythical underwater city of Atlantis. 

Make the most of the pulse-racing rides and slides within Atlantis Aquaventure Water Park or visit the Lost Chambers Aquarium to glance into the ancient Atlantean era.

Check out Dubai’s newest attraction at Bluewaters Island

A visit to Bluewaters Island, placed off the JBR coast, is your ticket to experience a whole new level of an urban retreat.

Here, you’ll get the chance to enjoy waterfront living, be part of unique shopping and entertainment options (with Caesars Palace), and of course ride aboard the world’s largest observation wheel, Ain Dubai (once completed).

See Old and New City at once from Dubai Frame

Modeled to resemble a giant picture frame, Dubai Frame at the Zabeel Park is the biggest of its kind in the world, supported by two towers of 150 meters high and capped by a 93-meter long bridge.

Dubai Frame
The Frame

Travel up to its Sky Deck where you can see Old Dubai on one side and New Dubai with super stylish architectural marvels on other.

But, a visit to Dubai Frame is beyond enjoying the region’s classic and classy sights all at once; it also allows you to step back in ancient times at its Dubai Past Galley and even step into Dubai’s future with the Future Gallery.

Experience absolute fun and heart-racing thrill at Parks and Resorts

If you’re a theme park fanatic, Dubai Parks and Resorts alone is enough to fill in your entire Dubai travel program.

This colossal resort is one of the Dubai’s latest attractions and has three theme parks plus a water park, along with an exclusive dining and recreation area (Riverland Dubai) and a Polynesian-themed resort (Lapita).

The biggest of three theme parks is Motiongate which is completely based on Hollywood movies.

Motiongate Dubai
Motiongate – Source

The second one is Bollywood Dubai with exciting rides and live shows all inspired by Hindi cinemas. Last but not least, LEGOLAND Dubai together with LEGOLAND Water Park is exclusively designed for families of kids aged 2 to 12 years.

Enjoy the coolest ever hangout at Ski Dubai

Whether you’re traveling to Dubai in winter or summer, Ski Dubai is where you can enjoy year-round snow activities.

Yes, this indoor attraction inside the Mall of the Emirates lets you enjoy some of the memorable moments of your vacation while amidst real snow and chilling ambiance.

With its 3000-square-meter snow park, you can enjoy skiing, go tobogganing, throw snow and hit some thrilling rides such as Mountain Thriller and Snow Bullet ride. What’s more; you can even catch up with adorable Gentoo and King Penguins.

Fly over the Marina with XLine Zipline

The artificial canal city of Dubai Marina is one of the region’s most posh areas, dotted all over with high-rise buildings, waterfront sights, opulent yachts, swanky cars, etc.

And with XLine Dubai, you’ll get to fly high like a superhero over the bustling yet glitzy scenes across the Marina, Palm Jumeirah, and JBR.

The approximately one-kilometer ride reaches a pulse-pounding speed of up to 80 kilometers per hour and is the longest urban zipline in the world.

Spectacle La Perle by Dragone Show

Want to spectacle a grand live show within a jaw-dropping setting? The stunning La Perle by Dragone show should be top on your Dubai bucket list.

This is a Cirque du Soleil-style show, conceptualized by the Italian-Belgian theater maestro, Franco Dragone.

It is performed in a purpose-built aquatic theater at Al Habtoor City and is definite to wow you with its mix of spellbinding storyline and gravity-defying actions that are performed in, on or under the water.

Get a taste of Old Dubai at Bastakiya Quarter & Dubai Museum

Amidst all dazzle and liveliness, it’s difficult to believe that Dubai was once a quaint fishing village. So if you want to revisit Dubai’s bygone era, make your way to the Bastakiya Quarter, also known as Al Fahidi Historical District.

Bastakiya Quarter Dubai
Bastakiya Quarter Dubai – Source

Developed by Persian merchants during the 19th century, it’s now a heritage site with the majority of its sand-colored, wind-tower-topped structures being beautifully preserved.

Besides a string of art galleries, museums, etc here, you can visit Dubai Museum for a more authentic overview of Dubai’s historic past. It’s located inside the city’s oldest structure, Al Fahidi Fort (built in the 18th century).

Buy unique souvenir pieces from traditional Dubai souks

If you want to ditch premium designer boutiques and extensive shopping malls, simply follow in the footsteps of locals to the region’s traditional bazaars or souks in the Bur Dubai and Deira areas.

Dubai souks
Dubai souks – Source

Be sure to check out these souks even if you don’t have plans for shopping as it gives you a slice of Dubai’s ancient trade scenario.

One of the unmissable among them is Gold Souk which will take your breath away with its streets, shops, etc, all packed-to-brim with astonishing jewelry pieces finished in gold (18K, 21K, 22K, and 24K), platinum, silver, diamond and other precious gems.

You can further visit Perfume Souk, Textile Souk, and Spice Souk to pick up some rare Dubai souvenir gifts.

Go on a thrilling Desert Safari

A desert safari is a highpoint of any Dubai trip, especially if you’re an adventurist or a culture buff. You can make it as relaxed or as exhilarating as possible depending on your needs.

Desert Safari Dubai
Desert Safari Dubai – Source

Choose from morning, evening or overnight desert safaris and add high-octane activities such as 4X4 dune bash, quad biking and sandboarding to make it an action-packed off-road tour.

Alternatively, if you want it more relaxed, go for an exclusive Dinner in Desert package which comes devoid of all heart-racing thrills.

Apart from these, BBQ food, traditional performances (like belly dance and Tanura show), and Bedouin-inspired activities (including henna tattooing, Shisha smoking, and falconry) are part of most evening desert safaris.

Enjoy an atmospheric dhow cruise along Dubai Creek or Dubai Marina

There is no better way to absorb the marvelous nighttime views of Dubai than on a relaxed evening dhow cruise.

A dhow is a traditional wooden sailing vessel that was once indispensable for pearl farming and fishing during the pre-oil era.

But, it’s now used as a floating restaurant with the most scrumptious foods and live entertainment onboard.

Take a cruise across the glamorous Dubai Marina or the historic Dubai Creek; it lasts for 1.5 to 2 hours and allows you to see the unhindered city skyline views in an unhurried pace.

Set aside an evening for Dubai Miracle Garden

This is one of the Dubai attractions that you shouldn’t miss, particularly if you’re traveling to the city during winter months.

Dubai Miracle Garden
Dubai Miracle Garden – Source

At its over 70,000 square meters space in Dubailand, the Dubai Miracle Garden presents a striking floral wonderland which is something unthinkable in a desert city.

You’ll be in absolute awe as you explore its more than 50 million flowers decorated in an array of patterns, size, and shapes across its several themed sections.

Be in awe at the festive fervor of Global Village

It’s yet another attraction which is a part of Dubailand and opens only during winter months.

Visit this ultimate leisure attraction for its festive carnival kind of ambiance and unique concept which lets you appreciate the culture, traditions and shopping/dining delights of different parts of the world, with its 30 plus pavilions hosting over 70 countries.

Global Village is at its best during Dubai Shopping Festival or DSF (January – February).

Go on a day trip to Hatta

Hatta may be just 150 kilometers from Dubai but it’s a far cry from the Dubai’s ever eclectic crowd and dazzling sights.

Hatta Mountain
Hatta Mountain – Source

So if you wish to retreat from all, Hatta makes an ideal getaway with its spectacular mountainous landscapes and unpretentious villages.  

See Fossil & Camel Rock, stop at Hatta Heritage Village and experience the rugged charm of Hajjar Mountains on this extraordinary day trip.

Visit Dubai’s Green Parks and Gardens

If you’re looking for a tranquil, pastoral escape right in the heart of Dubai, the place boasts of numerous parks filled with sprawling green spaces, shaded areas, BBQ facilities, kids’ play sections, etc.

One of the must-visits among them is Dubai Creek Park which is an ultimate family park with attractions like Dubai Dolphinarium, Children’s City, etc.

Then there is Al Mamzar Beach Park, Zabeel Park and Mushrif Park with replica models of dwellings from all over the world.

Al Mamzar Beach Park
Al Mamzar Beach Park – Source

As we wind up this list with 20 must-dos, know that things to see and do in Dubai are much beyond these and are somewhat endless.

Precisely, there is more to Dubai than what your eyes meet, so come prepared to enjoy a Dubai holiday full of memorable moments and surprises!

This post is a guest post from our friend Neha. An avid traveler, Neha seeks out new adventures and experiences in life. She likes weaving her travel experiences into stories for readers. In her pastime, she loves trekking and listening to music. You can find her on Facebook.

Top Things To Do in Croatia

Top Things To Do in Croatia
Trogir

Ιt’s essential to take a vacation to a nostalgic place, and that place could be no other than Croatia. Prepare for lots and lots of things to do in Croatia.

Croatia is a beautiful country famous for its crystal clear Adriatic sea. It showcases pebble beaches, a mountainous coastline with exquisite views, great wines, and sublime food.

Croatia is also a clean and safe city with friendly people.

Are you an outdoor enthusiast, a family traveler looking for a place kids can have fun, or a couple looking for romantic spots?

That is the best place that won’t disappoint.

Make sure you read our posts for Dubrovnik and Cavtat.

Top Things to do in Croatia

Croatia is as one of the wealthiest archipelagos across the globe, and with more than 1000 islands, you cannot miss the chance to sail along the coast.

If you still are not sure of whether you should come here or not, here are the top things to do in Croatia.

Need accommodation? Check prices via Booking.com or Hotels CombinedThere are over 450 fantastic Croatia guided tours. Have a look here.

Sail the High Seas

It would be recommendable to set your first day in Croatia to sail, which will make you feel at home.

When sailing, the breeze of the sea will make you forget all your troubles and wish you stayed there forever.

Some of the best islands to visit are:

  • Hvar with a popular playground
  • Korcula which is home to Marco Polo
  • The island of Brač famous for its gorgeous food and beaches
  • The islands of Cres, and Mljet

Croatia
Hvar in the Adriatic Sea

If you love the land, don’t panic.

The Adriatic Coast offers a tranquil atmosphere. You will enjoy the sound and the blue bay of the sea and explore the mainland when the ship makes stops.

When sailing, Konoba Opat will be there at your service to serve you fresh fish from the sea. That has been caught by local fishermen.

Go snorkeling and diving

If you love waters and activities related to waters, Croatia is the best place for you as its one of the best places for snorkeling and scuba diving.

Croatian beaches are pebbly, and the coast is rocky; a seabed that gives underwater a perfect visibility and makes it useful for diving and snorkeling.

Also, there are no dangerous sea creatures such as barracudas and sharks, and therefore, you dive with confidence, knowing that nothing wrong will happen to you.

To make it even more interesting, Croatia is for maritime history. You will see that when diving through cargo loads such as ancient amphorae.

These were transporting wine and olive oil, underwater in-situ museums, and various shipwrecks.

There are a total of eight in situ underwater museums in Croatia, all of which contain remains of cargo and ships that date back the first century.

Top Things To Do
Vis Island

The best diving sites in Croatia include Bisevo Cave around Vis Island and Te Vega Sea Lake on Susac southwest of Korcula Island.

If you are fond of waters, don’t limit yourself the fun of getting into the sea because with scuba, you can explore the underwater as much as you want.

Explore National Parks in Croatia

If you are planning to go for a vacation in Croatia, don’t be carried away by seas as there is a lot to see.

There are a total of eight parks in Croatia and therefore, ensure that you visit at least one or two while on holidays.

Parks are suitable for the family, and if for instance, one of your family members is afraid of waters, there are stunning parks that will please them.

One of them is a UNESCO World Heritage Site known as Plitvice Lakes National Park.

It is only two hours drive by bus from Zagreb and easily accessible from Zadar and Dubrovnik.

Top Things To Do in Croatia
Plitvice Lakes National Park

The park is an apple of many people’s eyes with sixteen emerald-blue lakes connected by a succession of thundering waterfalls.

Meandering along the wooden plank trails with your loved ones will be a great idea. As you enjoy, nature’s best, and the entrance ticket will include boat riding across the lakes.

The park is also a home for several wild animals such as bears, wolves, eagles, owls, and falcons.

There are various hotels on the edge of the park that serve delicious cuisines, and if you wish to spend the night there, accommodation is also available.

Check accommodation prices via Booking.com or Hotels Combined

There are over 450 fantastic guided tours for all Croatia. Have a look here.

Go on a Wine Tour

Wine is crucial in Croatian lifestyle and has played a significant role in the country’s economy.

The ancient Greek colonists introduced vines to the Islands of Hvar, Vis, and Korcula and since then, viticulture became common among Croatians.

Top Things To Do in Croatia
Korcula

There are two main indigenous grape varieties in Croatia, which are the white variety (Istarska Malvazija) and red variety (Plavac Mali).

During the communist rule, the wine was produced by large cooperatives for the state, but since the mid-1990s, things have changed, and new generation winemakers make quality wines for Croatians.

With that insight, Croatia has a fantastic history of winemaking and geographically wine regions which you should stop by.

You can visit stunning wine cellars and tasting rooms, drive around Croatian wine routes, and wander along neatly planted vineyards.

You can explore wine cellars on your own or book a wine tour. Either way, the experience will be one of a kind.

Top Things To Do

If you love wine, it would be recommendable to head to the Peljesac Peninsula, home to around 8000 people and a perfect travel destination.

The region prides itself on finger-licking shellfish, dry red wines and amazing beaches where you can sit back and relax with your lovebird.

You can join other wine lovers at Korta Katarina Winery in Orebic and have a taste of homemade wine.

Explore Istria

Istria is a home of medieval hilltop towns like Motovun, gems such as the town of Novigrad, and some of the region’s best wine, food festivals and olive oil.

If you love cycling, there could not be any other place perfect for your daily activities other than Istria.

Top Croatia

The place contains the best scenic route perfect for cycling regardless of whether you are a professional or an amateur. There is a trail with incredible views and various locations to stop and enjoy a cup of coffee with your loved ones.

It’s a perfect place for everyone because as you enjoy yourself on the beach, you can take your children on Aquapark for educational purposes.

If you love animals more, especially horses, Istria allows you to go horse-riding or witnesses horse-riding experience.

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Istria

Barban is famous for its horse riding competition. The place has a restaurant that serves you finger-licking meals to ensure that your stomach does not prevent you from experiencing horse-riding.

Horse-riding competition started 400 years ago and attracted more than 8000 thousand visitors on Augusts’ third weekend.

If you visit the place any other time of the year, don’t panic. The local ranch Barba Tone will make you feel special by offering horseback guided tours.

One of these magnificent tours is riding to the sea where once you reach Blaz Bay, you swim with the horses with the help of your guide.

Top Things To Do in Croatia

Check accommodation prices via Booking.com or Hotels CombinedThere are over 450 fantastic Croatia guided tours. Have a look here.

Get active

Croatia is a country with fast rivers, Adriatic sea, rugged mountains, and karst topography, and therefore, it has so much to offer, especially if you are an outdoor enthusiast.

Some of the activities include free-flying, rock-climbing, speleology tours, paragliding, windsurfing, rafting, kayaking, and kite-lining. It will give you a headache to choose which one to do and which one to skip.

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Velebit Mountain

For a hiker, Croatia is perfect for you due to its mountain ranges, forests, hills, and canyons which can never disappoint.

If you are afraid that you might get lost in a foreign land, the hiking paths are visible as they are marked with white and red dots to ensure that you find your way out.

The most famous hiking destinations are Lopud Island, Mljet national park, Biokovo Natural Park, Velebit Mountain, Paklenica National Park, and Ucka Natural Park.

Top in Croatia
Biokovo Natural Park

Continental Croatia is not left behind as long as hiking destinations are concerned. , because Risnjak national park and Medvednica mountain are the best places for a hiker yearning to explore nature’s best.

If you love the mountain, Croatia is the place for you.

It is part of the Dinaric mountain range and when you come here, expect to find deep karst mountains with lots of sharp edges and little vegetation.

The Velebit Mountain is the best for climbers, and even though it doesn’t look high enough to fear it, it’s very steep and tricky to climb.

Therefore, climbing is not for faint-hearted, but if you are determined, you can do it.

Explore Split

Split is the second-largest city in Croatia and coming here allows you to travel back and experience Roman Times.

The city has a fantastic historic destination and originated in the second and third centuries as a Greek colony.

Top Things To Do in Croatia
Split

In 305 AD, the Roman Empire Diocletian chose the city as his favorite home for retirement, and since then, it became a significant settlement. Diocletian established a palace in the town which grew, and still is an apple of many peoples’ eyes.

Wandering Split will allow you to see the palace and take selfies and group photos to show the people you left behind why UNESCO declared it World Heritage.

You can as well stop by and eat in restaurants located in ancient Roman buildings.

Split is also a modern city with legendary nightlife and fine-looking waterfront promenade which you are not likely to find in any other place across Croatia.

Check accommodation prices via Booking.com or Hotels CombinedThere are over 450 fantastic Croatia guided tours. Have a look here.

Rove the Old Town of Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik is also referred to as the ‘Pearl of the Adriatic’ and is quickly joining the likes of other most popular places in Croatia. Read our post from our trip to Dubrovnik and this one for Cavtat next to Dubrovnik.

Top in Croatia
Dubrovnik

It is a stunning old city which you and your loved ones will have a great time.

It has a history that dates back the time of independence when it was famously known as the Republic of Ragusa and a rival of Venice in the fifteenth and sixteen centuries.

Here, you have all the time in the world to gaze at the mighty City Walls of the alley’s labyrinth in the Old Town and its iconic red-roofed houses.

If you are a fan of Game of Thrones, Dubrovnik is the best place to connect with other fans in the Game of Thrones tours.

There are stunning beaches and other fantastic nature to explore, and therefore, ensure you use your time well to see and do lots of things in Croatia.

Visit the City Tower, Rijeka

The City Tower in Rijeka is a historic building, and even though an earthquake hit it in 1750, it still looks as good as new.

Top in Croatia
Rijeka

The iconic yellow City Tower was used as a gate traversing from the old town center to the waterfront. After the earthquake, the entrance was redecorated using baroque to establish an emperor image.

In 1873, a clock was installed on the gate, and it is still functioning correctly. The watch makes some people refer to the gate as the City Clock Tower.

Coming by the tower is one of a kind activity. You don’t have to worry much about what to eat or bother yourself carrying food. The place has many walking streets with shops, cafes, and restaurants that make it ideal for spending time with your loved ones.

Check accommodation prices via Booking.com or Hotels CombinedThere are over 450 fantastic Croatia guided tours. Have a look here.

Go to Mimara Museum

Roosevelt Square in Zagreb is a beautiful place where you and your children could have a whale of a time in an art museum famously known as the Mimara Museum.

The museum contains a fantastic collection gathered by Ante Topic Mimara, a local philanthropist who donated all the items to the museum.

Given that the museum is not too busy, you will not have to fight with others to see the art.

Here, you will get an opportunity to have a closer look at various pieces of artifacts and arts from prehistoric times to date.

The museum helps you to look back and appreciate the efforts made by a single individual to collect different arts that are eye-catching.

Visit the Museum of Broken Relationships in Zagreb

As they always say, marriage is not a bed of roses, and the unexpected things happen, forcing you to divorce or separate from your loved ones.

If you wish to be in a place that will make you forget about the painful and heartbreaking separation, visit the museum of a broken relationship. It will make you feel that there is someone somewhere who passed through the same thing as you.

This museum is located in Zagreb and is dedicated to failed love relationships. It contains various items left over by former lovers, all of which are accompanied by a brief story or description.

If your love relationship broke, but you can’t let it go, visit the museum and donate items to the collection. That will help you to cope well with life; after all, a problem shared is half solved. The museum has three sections, and you can choose the one that suits you.

The first section is called the Material Remain Layout where people across the world present documents and materials and indicate dates and location of the relationship.

The second section is a virtual web museum where people upload documents and images to be used by other viewers. A third section is a Confessional place where visitors can record their confessions or store their objects and messages.

Visiting this museum allows you to see that what happened to you is a bridge towards a bright future. Perhaps this is one important reason to visit the museum as part of your things to do in Croatia itinerary.

Rent a Car

If you are afraid of waters, don’t limit yourself to having fun because you can rent one at an affordable price and explore Croatia.

Croatia is a place with many magical hilltop towns in Istria and the rural life in the village is only accessible by car.

That way, you will have opportunities to view historical buildings and landmarks, and you will explore the place in ways you could never imagine.

Final thoughts

When your children or family members ask you to take them on vacation, you might scratch your head so hard wondering where to go and what to do there.

Taking as much time as possible to plan on your vacation is crucial because you must do and see unique things you have never done or seen before. And if you are looking for such a place, it could be no other than Croatia.

Croatia prides itself with a rich history, breathtaking scenery, clear waters, deep cultural roots, hundreds of Islands, and fresh seafood. That makes it a convenient place for vacation.

If you are so passionate about nature, Croatia will allow you to explore many beautiful beaches, mountains, beautiful parks, and stunning waterfalls. That will make a difference in your life.

Greece is around the corner so you can combine the best from both countries.

Fantastic Things To Do in Dubrovnik Holidays in 3 Days

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik Holidays in 3 Days

A low airfare price for visiting Dubrovnik flashed in front of our eyes on a Monday. We thought, “Hey, what things are to do in Dubrovnik, Croatia? We planned to go there at some point. It seems like this low price is a chance to do that…”.

A couple of hours later, we booked tickets, hotels and started making our plan on the things to do in Dubrovnik for three days.

We had only that much of time since we would then move to Ios island in Greece (stand by for this one).

Planning the trip to Dubrovnik, Croatia

This one was a rather last-minute trip. It was not intended, but an impulse. From the moment it was conceived to the point we were entering the airport we had only a few days to organize all. The idea was stuck in our heads when we did a little research on the things to do in Croatia (read this post).

Luckily, the things to do in Dubrovnik are concrete, so we knew we had to find a lovely accommodation for a three days trip.

There we talked with locals and found out for more trips you can do with either Dubrovnik or Zagreb as a base.

What is the currency of Croatia?

That was a surprise. Croatia is part of the European Union, but they don’t use Euro so much. The official currency -still- is Kuna. One euro equals to -nearly- 7.5 Kuna.

That may seem like a good bargain, but prices in Dubrovnik follow the “euro” pricing logic. Items you purchase are expensive.

Cost for food, drinks, and sightseeing in Dubrovnik

A water bottle (250ml) is around 1.3 euro.

Food is costly, especially inside the Old City (Grad). Two persons, each order one plate of food and two drinks in total can be from 349 Kuna (47 euro) to double. It depends on where you want to eat. There are cheap eateries, but that means kind of street food (sandwiches and pizza slices).

Museums & landmarks entrance fees start from 80 Kuna and rise to around 180 Kuna. Nearly every museum or monument needs a fee to enter, even City Walls (yes, that’s right). If you want to walk the city walls perimeter, then you pay for that.

There are just a few water fountains inside the Old City, with potable water. The biggest one is at the Main Gate entrance.

Bus tickets are at 15 kuna p.p. (that costs approximately 2 euros). Bus from airport to city center (where the main gate is) is 40 kuna p.p. (approx. 5 euros).

By the way, if you like Ice Coffee, then be prepared for a coffee with a ball of ice cream and whipped cream on top! All other coffee variations served here are hot.

What to pack for Croatia?

Expect the Mediterranean weather all over, along with some humidity. It is hot, and if you stroll inside the Old City and the Walls, it gets warmer. Everything in the old city of Dubrovnik is made of stone so that you can imagine.

Pack light summer clothes and maybe sandals or shoes that breath well. A hat and sunglasses along with sun-cream.

If you plan to visit the beaches (and you should), then bring proper attire. In many beaches, you will need water shoes, as they are rocky (in and out).

The whole city of Dubrovnik (old and new) is charming to walk through.

Few Words for The Dalmatian Coast Beaches

This part of the world is like concentrated beauty. All the coastline has to show spectacular green that ends down to the beach and waters with bright blue and deep green colors.

It is like a two-fold postcard. The coasts and cities at the Adriatic Coast look beautiful when you are watching from the shore, but even great when you watch from the sea. The history that comes with all the towns of this area is fascinating.

Castles and fortresses are so lovely and dominant.  We understand why they were chosen as a filming location for large parts of the Games of Thrones.

Small islands groups that are close to the mainland, add to the whole thing, and the sum is a treat for the eyes and all senses!

What to do in your Dubrovnik Holidays?

If you have up to 3 days, then your itinerary can be quite specific especially if you plan to have some leisure time too and not constantly to walk up and down and around the city and nearby villages.

As said, you need to allocate a swimming and relaxing time. Dubrovnik and surrounding areas are ideal for that. Combine leisure with culture.

If you plan to stay for 7 to 10 days, then you can do even more things by traveling in Croatia, while staying in different cities. You can also book organized tours and have Dubrovnik as your “home” base. There are plenty of such that last from 12 to 14 hours, and you reach up to Kotor or Budva.

You can also sail to other cities of the Dalmatian Coast. Sailing seems quite a beautiful way to experience the Dalmatian Coast, and we kept this in mind for future trips.

The Old City of Dubrovnik is one of the top beautiful cities for tourists in the country and is one of the cultural UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

Things to Do in the Town Dubrovnik, Croatia

Here is our itinerary for our three days trip with things to do in Dubrovnik. Expect lots of cultures, as this place is part of European history, so it has some essential things to “narrate.”

Dubrovnik is a tourist-friendly city and is spectacularly clean, day and night. You may don’t know this, but even free camping is allowed in Croatia (with penalties if you don’t leave the place exactly as you found it, i.e., clean).

Make sure you visit all the locations in Dubrovnik mentioned here, using a prepaid Dubrovnik Card. Read below why to do that.

Why buy a Dubrovnik Card?

You do need that card unless you want to pay for everything at their regular price. The Dubrovnik Card will cuts your museum and landmarks entrance fees by 50%!!!

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik Card: Comes with a detailed city guide too.

You can get it online, on your hotel or in the many Tourist Offices that are scattered around the city.

It comes in 3 different schemes:

  • One Day card: 180 Kuna
  • Three Days card: 225 Kuna
  • Seven Days card: 315 Kuna

Each provides you with different privileges on top of the museum entrance fees. If you want to go easy on a three-day trip, then buy the three days card. You can see all the museums in one day, except if it is Sunday as in that day some are closed.

With the One Day Card, you get a 24-hours free Bus pass while with the others you get even more. The cost from One to Three Days card is minimal.

On top of all other benefits, you also get discounts (5 to 15%) in restaurants, bars, and many other places. See all the details from here (note: in Hotels the card costs around 20 kunas more than purchasing it online).

Onofrio’s Fountain

This fountain comes with a sweet story behind it. Many fill up their water bottles here and also acts as a meeting point. That fountain was developed to solve the water problem of Dubrovnik along with the aqueduct system.

The architects contracted with the aqueduct project had to develop it under one term. If even a water drop was lost, they would be penalized ad the system wouldn’t work as needed.

When the whole network was developed, then Onofrio della Cava takes over. He builds two fountains:

  • The Big Onofrio’s fountain on Poljana Paskoja Milicevica, in front of the St. Savior church
  • The Small Onofrio’s fountain under the Belltower next to the building of the City guard
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
The Big Onofrio’s Fountain

The picture above is from the big one and has 16 sides.

Strada of Dubrovnik

After filling up your water bottles, you get more rooted in the old city through the Strada.

Bet Things To Do in Dubrovnik
View of Strada

That is the main street of the Old City of Dubrovnik. You will see thousands walking up and down here, both in day and night. There are all kinds of stores, restaurants, sweet shops.

Bet Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Strada ends up to Church of St Blaise square (the Patron Saint) and the Baroque Cathedral is also here. Many sit to admire the surrounding architecture before moving on to the museums and the narrow alleys, or the small harbors at the opposite side.

Here is a video from the square at the far end of Strada.

The Museums of Dubrovnik

Visiting the museums in each city/country we go to is a must for us. Museums are a concentrated way to explore the history of a country through the ages. We used our Dubrovnik card to visit as many as possible.

Important note: Make sure to double-check via email or a call on which museum is open per specific day. For example, the Natural History Museum is not open on Sundays.

The visiting hours of the museums are:

March 22 – June 14; September 16 – November 2

  • Cultural History Museum (Rector’s Palace): 9 a.m – 6 p.m., every day
  • Maritime Museum (Fort St John): 9 a.m. – 6 p.m., Mondays closed
  • Ethnographic Museum (Rupe/The Holes Granary): 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesdays closed

June 15 – September 15

  • Cultural History Museum (Rector’s Palace): 9 a.m – 6 p.m., every day
  • Maritime Museum (Fort St John): 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Mondays closed
  • Ethnographic Museum (Rupe/The Holes Granary): 9 a.m. – 8 p.m., Tuesdays closed

November 3 – March 21

  • Cultural History Museum (Rector’s Palace): 9 a.m – 4 p.m., every day
  • Maritime Museum (Fort St John): 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Mondays closed
  • Ethnographic Museum (Rupe/The Holes Granary): 9 a.m. – 4 p.m., Tuesdays closed

Dubrovnik Museums are not open on December 25, Christmas Day; January 1, New Year; and February 3, the Feast of St Blaise

Old Pharmacy at Friars Minor Franciscan Monastery

Get into this place and see an exhibition of all pharmaceutical tools, containers & grinders used to prepare medicines in the early days, along with recipes books.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik Holidays in 3 Days

This place dates from 1317 and is the third oldest, still functioning pharmacy in the world.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Cultural – History Museum & Rector’s Palace

This museum is two museums in one. You can explore the artistic and historical heritage of this place and related to the Republic of Ragusa. The building exterior and interior is magnificent.

The time you will spend 1.30 to 2 hours.
Location: Pred Dvorom, 3

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

It represents a robust historical point as it used to be the seat of the Rector of the Republic of Ragusa. It also housed an armory, a powder magazine, the watch house, and a prison.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Maritime Museum

The naval history of Dubrovnik is here along with lots of exhibitions regarding ship parts, old navigation systems, and manifests.

The time you will spend 45 minutes to 1 hour.
Location: St John Fortress

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Ethnographic Museum Rupe

This museum will take you back to the 16th century. They used to store grains in this building’s underground, thus the word Rupe (means: Holes). You will see traditional attire and themed settings based on local customs (i.e., Easter).

There is a sitting area where a film is presented explaining customs and their relation to the history of Dubrovnik.

The time you will spend 1 to 1.30 hours.
Location: Od Rupa Street, 3

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Marin Drzic House

This house hosts some basic things about Marin Drzic, but the sign inside says that this house may not be his actual house.

Marin Drzic was a popular entertainer, maitre de Plaisir. Allegedly he wrote a series of comedies, yet he was also accused of plagiarism.

We didn’t find a reason to visit this place, but since it was included in the Dubrovnik Card, we visited as well.

There are not many exhibits to see. Mostly posters, and some scary abstract ones.

The time you will spend 30 minutes.
Location: Široka ul. 7

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Walk the Great Town Walls of Dubrovnik

That is your opportunity to see the whole of the by walking all around it. The walk can easily take up to 2 hours, depending on your rhythm and stamina. There are two small shops with refreshments along the walking wall, plus a couple of small restaurants.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

You will be on the actual fortification walls of the old city so that you will see everything in all directions.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

In that way, you can combine the walk and sightseeing with a small lunch break.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Cable Car of Dubrovnik

That is one of the things to do in your Dubrovnik holidays, despite being a bit expensive. You can take the cable car (around 150 kunas round trip ticket per person) and get to the top of Mount Srd.

Yes, the view is breathtaking, and you can stay there as long as you like. You have two ways to get to the cable car tickets office and boarding area.

  1. From Pile or Ploče gates. A 12 minutes walk behind the city walls from pedestrian sidewalks.
  2. From Strada (Stradun), towards Buža gate, it takes around 10 minutes. Walk up the stairs, and after 1 minute, you will get to the tickets office. It is closer, but the steps are steep and a lot.
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

There is a restaurant at the top of Mount Srd, and you can enjoy the sunset with your dinner if you plan to be there at that time (locals recommend it). There are some tours offered at the top, but by searching around, we didn’t find any good reason to attend to such.

See this panoramic video of Dubrovnik from the mountain top.

Dubrovnik Beaches

As said (and seen), Dubrovnic is next to the sea. That means lots of beaches. Beaches here are mostly rocky, with some having pebbles. That doesn’t diminish their beauty, though.

This photo is from the Bellevue beach, and the view was from our room.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

People will “make a beach and a swim” out of nothing. That is a beach as seen from atop from the City Walls. Lots of people in Dubrovnik engage in diving from high rocks, water-polo, and sea kayak.

Other beaches are:

  • Danče Beach
  • Buža Beach
  • Banje beach
  • Sveti Jakov Beach
  • Šulići
  • Uvala Lapad Beach
  • Veliki žal Beach
  • Copacabana, Cava, Lokrum
  • Porporela Swimming Spot
Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Fort Lovrijenac or St. Lawrence Fortress

This castle is often called “Dubrovnik’s Gibraltar.” It is outside the walls of Dubrovnik (seen in the left side of the photo). This fort has almost zero things to see (exhibits and such), but it is a beautiful spot for pictures to the old city and a cool place for resting.

Many guided tours include it in their itinerary, and the small bay between the city walls and the fort served as a popular sea kayak station.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Sea Kayak in Dubrovnik

Sea kayaking could be one of the most popular activities in the area and logically along the whole coastline of Croatia. We saw many sea kayaks doing tours to the islands or along the coast.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

They start from many different locations, even from the nearby Cavtat. We love sea kayaking too and have attended many tours.

Climb the Jesuit Stairs

Beautiful spot in the old city. The stairs designed in Baroque style (by Pietro Passalacqua), are similar to the famous Spanish Steps in Rome.  At the top, you will find the Uz Jezuite Street, along with the Jesuit Church of St. Ignatius of Loyola.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Strolling through Dubrovnik Old Town

Allocate a few hours to walk through the narrow alleys and streets of Dubrovnik.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Despite the fantastic architecture, you will also meet many small wine bars and restaurants that serve great delicacies.

On the main street (Strada), you will find the Captain Candy store.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

What & Where to Eat in Dubrovnik?

There are all kinds of food in Dubrovnik. Since the city resides by the sea, expect all local delicacies to be around fish and anything the sea provides.

We ate at different places. For a median price restaurant, we recommend Tavulin Wine & Art Bar as the food is really nice there.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

However, you can find splendid Japanese and Mexican cuisine too. We spotted a Mexican food restaurant and got ourselves some Burrito con Pollo and Quesadilla con Carne, along with a local beer and margarita. The restaurant was Mex Cantina Bona Fide.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Accommodation: Where to Stay?

There are plenty of options, of course. You can’t say that there are not affordable accommodation options in Dubrovnik, and services are definitely at the top level.

Since we had just a few days, we decided to go to a 5-star hotel. It was the Bellevue Hotel, only 10 minutes walking time from the Old City and had its beach! The hotel even had a private pool and gym and huge rooms with lots of amenities.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik
The beach of Bellevue Hotel

Even guests from nearby hotels came to swim on that beach. For hotel residents, there were sun lounges and all comforts.

For a thorough list of prices and accommodation prices, click here. There are 2500 accommodation options in Dubrovnik, and keep in mind that local transportation is frequent and excellent. You don’t need a car inside Dubrovnik.

Just make sure to get tickets before boarding the bus or have exact change. When you buy tickets on the bus, they cost three kunas more than getting them outside the bus.

The Adriatic sea is fantastic for a summer swim.

Visit Cavtat village (30 minutes from Dubrovnik)

Tha can be a half or full-day activity. You can get there by taking the local bus (number 10). Cavtat has numerous beaches and great promenade routes.

Here is how Cavtat looks, but best is to read our exclusive post for Cavtat.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Dubrovnik Croatia: The Weather

Weather in Dubrovnik follows that of the Mediterranean area. Hot summer and mild springs and autumn. If you want to avoid crowds, then go in Springtime; we went in mid-August, and didn’t feel “crowded.”

Many people go into the old city bars and restaurants at night, and you see lots of people during that, but you don’t feel like you can’t walk or such.

Dubrovnik Map: Old & New City

Dubrovnik belongs to Croatia and is a city by the sea, famous for summer vacations both from tourists and locals. Since it is not an island, it can be reached even by car from any European country.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

Here is a painting showing the Old City of Dubrovnik. Walls surround it. All buildings and fortification are in good standing. They are renovated and well maintained.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik

During the recent war, Dubrovnik was bombarded, but it was renovated excellently.

Walking around the walls of the old city will give an accurate view of the city from all possible angles. Reach up to the Pile Gate.

Dubrovnik Nightlife

As in many Mediterranean cities, the nightlife is one of the key elements to having fun.

There are a few bars in the old city, but there are many nice restaurants with excellent wine, and travelers seem to prefer these better.

Best Things To Do in Dubrovnik Holidays in 3 Days

Dubrovnik Tours options

Most popular guided tours in Dubrovnik relate to either food, Games of Thrones, visits to nearby islands for swimming and/or day tours to other popular cities. You will see many kiosks selling, such in the town. Plan and book them online, since some of them require some pretty good amount of time. These are:

You can have a look for all available tours from here.

How to get to Dubrovnik, Croatia?

Flights to Dubrovnik

You can fly to Dubrovnik airport from many European countries. These are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Norway, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, plus Israel and Turkey.

Bus to Dubrovnik

You can get the bus from Italy (Trieste) that is run by Autotrans or from Bosnia & Hercegovina and Montenegro. Check the website of Dubrovnik Bus Station for more details.

Reach Dubrovnik by ferry

Ferries are departing from Bari port, Italy. The ferry line is in operation between March and October. It is the overnight journey that takes about 12 hrs.

Summary On Things to Do in Dubrovnik, Croatia

There are lots of things to do in Dubrovnik, right?

We promise you that you will be amazed by this city, if not from the Croatia allover. Nature and sightseeing’s you will encounter, along with great food and wine and top services, will make you want to come back and explore more of the neighboring countries. For example, you can travel from Dubrovnik to the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro.

Have fun and let us know how Dubrovnic and Croatia were for you.

Here is a sum-up video from this experience!

Amazing Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

Cavtat could be one of the best-kept secrets south of Dubrovnik, Croatia. We visited this small town with tons of beaches, during our trip to Dubrovnik.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

The buildings in the town of Cavtat have remained from the time of the old Dubrovnik Republic. There is plenty of rich cultural and historical value here.

Where is Cavtat?

It is a small village by the sea, 30 minutes (20km) from Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Cavtat is considered an alternative stay for Dubrovnik for two main reasons:

  1. It is very close to Dubrovnik (30 minutes by bus) and closer to Dubrovnik airport
  2. It has lots of options for beaches and is far more serene
Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

Things to do in Cavtat

The village is small but has some pretty attractive options for a short range of things, apart from “spreading” yourself on a different beach per day.

Note: Prices for drinks, coffee, beverages, and food are better than Dubrovnik.

The House of Vlaho Bukovac

That is the actual house of the painter Vlaho Bukovac. A 3 story building with a charming front yard, secluded with high stone walls.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

It is in Bukovceva 5, Cavtat. Make sure to double-check the opening hours. We googled it only to find that cl from 13:00 to 16:00 but that was not true. The Museum was open during these times.

The museum offers an app you can download and use it as an audio guide as you go through the different rooms.

You can see art presenting all the stages of the paintings oeuvre, as part of the museum’s permanent exhibition.oses

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

That was the childhood home of one of the most famous Croatian painters, and you can even see the tools he used.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

Vlaho Bukovac died in Prague. His remains were brought back to Croatia with high honors. You can find lots of information about his life and work from here and here.

The Racic Mausoleum of Cavtat

The Mausoleum is inside the Cavtat cemetery, and the whole atmosphere is Gothic. Travelers who like to explore cemeteries in their trips will find this place to be exciting.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

The building has an octagonal shape with an elegant dome and beautiful bas reliefs. It is the masterpiece of the famous Croatian sculptor, Ivan Mestrovic.

Cavtat Seaside Promenade

That is a walk that you take.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

The route starts from the port of Cavtat. It goes in a circular way all around the hill, but always next to the sea.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

Along the promenade, you will see many small beaches where people love to relax and swim off the rocks (better to have swim shoes).

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

A couple of bars are along your way, and you can have refreshments or lunches.

You can return from the same point or go through the car parking and find yourself to the bust terminal again. Yes, you are right. The circular route gets you to that point, which is just 1 minute from the Cavtat harbor.

Either way, you can walk towards the other side of the seaside promenade that ends at the steps of the Hotel Croatia. A shorter but equally lovely route.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

After swimming and exploring the pebble beaches, you can visit the Rector’s Palace and the Church of St Nicholas.

Sea Kayak in Cavtat

As water sports are a popular way to spend your holidays in Dubrovnik, the same stands for Cavtat with sea kayak being the king.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

There are sea kayak stations to rent a vessel and start paddling, exploring the coastline.

Guided Tours for Cavtat

There are not many tours for Cavtat, but the village is part of organized wine & sightseeing tours from Dubrovnik. These are some ideas to consider for more fun.

Get to Cavtat by Bus

Take local bus number 10 from Dubrovnik (leaves every 30 minutes).

After 30 minutes it will drop you at the bus terminal. After 1 minute of walking, you find yourself in the harbor with all the stores, restaurants and other sightseeing’s at your disposal.

The ticket fee is 25 kuna p.p. That equals to around 3 euro.

If you got the Dubrovnik 7 days card, you might have a free ticket already.

Get to Cavtat by Ferry

You can always take the ferry from Dubrovnik to Cavtat if you don’t want to sit on a bus. Price is 50kunas (one-way ticket) or 80 kunas (return ticket).

Boats & ferries leave from the Old City harbor, and there are plenty of them. Just buy the ticket at the kiosks in front of the boats.

Things to Do in Cavtat, Croatia near Dubrovnik

How to Get from Cavtat to Dubrovnik

In the same way, you came. There is a bus to Dubrovnik every 30 minutes. Just be at the bus terminal, pay the ticket fee, and that is all. In 30 minutes you will be inside the Dubrovnik, close to the old city.

You can disembark at the station near the Cable Car of Dubrovnik and combine both activities. There is no stop outside the Cable Car, and you will have to walk a bit (5-7 minutes) to get to the tickets booth.

Weather in Cavtat Croatia

Mediterranean climate with hot summers and mild autumn and spring. Ideal for long term vacations.

Accommodation in Cavtat

These hotels below are popular for Cavtat. For the complete range of hotels and apartments, click here.

Cavtat is a fantastic place to stay either for your vacations or to enjoy it as a day trip from Dubrovnik.

Make sure to get there early enough to book a sea lounge and an umbrella for the sun.

Enjoy your trips in Croatia!

Is Lake Bled Slovenia the Paradise?

Lake Bled Slovenia

Lake Bled in Slovenia is one of these places that you see and then believe that there bits of paradise that have fallen on Earth. There is no exaggeration to that. 

It is a small town in the foothills of the Julian Alps.

We were in Zagreb and decided to do this as a day trip, along with Ljubljana.

Lake Bled is so beautiful that you start believing that there is indeed some “Divine Painter” with the inspiration and the force to manifest such beauty in real life. 

The lake and its surroundings are breathtaking. It is 2.12 km long and between 0.5 to 1 km in width. The water temperature is around 23-25 degrees in the summer.

During winter, the lake freezes and you can go ice-skating.

Your eyes will be wide open, to absorb all such harmony and beauty that exists in just one place.

You may start imagining what it takes to be a bird and admire all that view from above.

Lake Bled is a place full of things to do and all worth a visit.

Activities at Lake Bled
Seems like a beach, but it is a lakeshore

There is stand up paddling, lake kayak, boat rides, shore games, and all kinds of fun activities to spend a full day or more.

Activities at Lake Bled
Many people were doing SUP

Do the Boat Ride to Bled Island

One of the must things to do is to take the boat ride with a “Pletna.” The guide will paddle you from the lake shores to the small island in the middle of the lake. 

Boat Ride at Lake Bled
Approaching the island

He uses a double paddle system. No engines are heard or allowed in the lake.

The ride is not that long (around 15 to 20 minutes), but as the lake waters are serene, it is a lovely and calm one.

Boat Ride at Lake Bled
Boat Ride at Lake Bled

The boats are from wood, and their design is almost the same among each other.

Boat Ride at Lake Bled
A typical “Pletna.”

We found out that this is a father-to-son job, and once someone makes their boat, they have to name it with a female name. Usually, the name is about the woman they love.

Island Lake Bled
View of the lake from the castle

The ticket is at 15€ per person for the round trip. There is no need to pre-book.

You will stay on Bled island for about one hour. 

A path runs around the island, so you can easily walk it.

The popular tradition is to go in the church and ring the bell.

The Island Lake Bled
The island in the middle of Lake Bled and the church buildings

Ring the Bell at Lake Bled island

There is a beautiful legend related to that tradition. It says that you can make as many wishes as you like before ringing the bell, and then ring it as many times as your dreams are.

Assumption Church Lake Bled
The Assumption Church bell tower

To ring the bell, you must go into the Pilgrimage Church of the Assumption of Maria.

You have to put a little strength to pull the rope that connects with the bell. Yes, it is not an electric one.

Do allow time to sit and admire the view towards the shores. In a good day, you will see many people rowing, doing SUP or swim around.

There are plenty of facilities and hotels around the lake. Thus, you have lots of options for dinner, lunch or coffee, and tea while sitting and admiring the view.

Explore the Bled Castle

Very close to the lakeshore, where the boats are, is the castle of Bled. You can take your car there, or walk through the asphalt road. We advise doing that if you have the time, as the way up is excellent too.

Lake Bled Castle
The Castle as seen from inside lake

The castle offers two great things to do. One is the museums with the castle itself, and the other is the views of the lake, of course.

These people knew where to build their places, right? See the video to understand how beautiful the lake looks.

Getting in the castle requires to pay a fee of around 15USD. That also provides with a discount at the small cafe, equal to 10% of the ticket cost. 

That will come handy when you want to try the famous Bled Cake.

The castle museum has not many things to see.

Lake Bled Castle Museum
Museum exhibits

It is nicely renovated but other than that there only a few displays from the castle life of old times.

Lake Bled Castle Museum
Exhibits in the museum

Straza Bled

Straža Bled is a hill overlooking Lake Bled in Slovenia. It is considered the perfect spot for adrenaline lovers. During summer-time, you can slide from the top with a sled.

Straza Lake Bled
The Straza hill

In winter Straza changes into a ski slope!

Hike the Vintgar Gorge

If you are into hiking and gorge trekking, then the Vintgar Gorge is close with beautiful hiking trails. That is a different excursion by itself, and we didn’t have the time to do it while we were there. 

We noted that for the next excursion at Slovenia. Follow this link to admire the majestic walks of this gorge. It is only 1.6 km long, and there are well-marked routes and pathways to get you through.

If you plan to stay in Bled for more than one day, then you should visit Lake Bohinj, too.

Eat the Bled Cream Cake

Once in Bled, you have to taste that creamy cake. You will find it all over Bled, but we got ours inside the Castle cafe. Thus, we enjoyed it along with admiring the magnificent surrounding views.

The cake is somewhat creamy.  Imagine a golden crispy crust made from butter dough. Then a delicious vanilla cream.

Lake Bled Cream Cake
The Cream Cake

All that cake is topped with whipped cream. Finally a crispy layer of buttery dough and sugar icing.

Are you drooling already? This cake is like a symbol for Bled. It kind of looks like Mille-feuille, but at the same time, it is not one.

If you plan to stay in Bled for the night, do visit a wine cellar for some wine tasting. Slovenian wines are exciting.

How to Get to Bled Lake

We went there with a minivan, before spending a few hours in Ljubljana.

You can visit Lake Bled area either bu train or car, providing that you are in Slovenia. The train station is Lesce Bled International Station. 

The same train line serves Villach-Jesenice – Ljubljana – Belgrade – Istanbul – Athens.

Bled is about 4km from the train station. Simply take the local bus or a taxi. If you are a hiking fan, you can walk that too. There is a particular route, specially made for pedestrians and cyclists!

In case you approach the area from nearby Italy, use the train line that runs between Koper Gorizia-Nova Gorica-Jesenice and Villach. The train station is named “Bled Jezero” and is around 1km from the city.

Some buses frequently travel from the nearby countries of Croatia, Italy, Austria, Germany or Hungary towards Ljubljana. From there you can take a bus or a taxi.

Of course, you can also rent a car.

In case you visit from Croatia (and depending on the day) you may encounter a bit of traffic at the borders between Croatia and Slovenia.

Organized Tours to Bled Area

If you prefer to be transferred there, not worrying about driving a car and such then an organized tour is the best solution for you. 

These tours are cost-effective. We tried two of them from the same website, and the same tour company served them.

Their price per person was just fine, covering transportation and a specific number of entrance fees, along with a couple of really knowledgeable certified tour guides.

Here are some ideas:

Where to Stay Around Lake Bled, Slovenia?

The Bled area has lots of different options for accommodation. Here is a list of suggestions, under three different accommodation categories to choose from, depending on your budget.

Now, you have all the information needed to visit this magical place. We strongly believe that it will leave you in awe when you see it and spend a day there.

Please share your impressions from Bled.

Antiparos Greece, More Than Tom Hanks

Antiparos

Antiparos Greece is a not so remote Cyclades island in the South Aegean sea, very close (15 minutes by ferry) to Paros island Greece.

Maybe Tom Hanks, who bought a beach house there, years ago, knew something others don’t?

In our recent week to Paros island, we decided to take a break from Paros beaches and take a day trip to Antiparos.

That is the great thing with the Greek islands in the Cyclades. You can be in one and do some hopping to Naxos, Mykonos, Santorini, Ios, Tinos, Milos and so many more.

Ferry from Paros to Antiparos Greece

It is effortless and affordable to get to the small island of Antiparos. It is less than one nautical mile from Paros.

Ferries depart from the port of Pounda, that is near Parikia (Capital of Paros). That Punda port is not the same with Punda beach, which is not near Parikia. It simply has the same name.

These are local ferries that depart almost every 30 minutes, so either by car, bike, or foot, you will find your way in and through.

The trip time is about 15 minutes and you can just stay in your car if you like. You don’t need to book online.

Another popular way is to book a day cruise from Paros to Antiparos. Such involves a series of activities along with swimming.

When you arrive at Antiparos, definitely visit Chora, the Cave, and swim at one of the beaches. For the latter, we preferred the Vathis Volos beach.

Chora of Antiparos Island

Fifteen minutes after entering the ferry, you disembark at the port of Antiparos, where its main town is.

Chora of Antiparos
Inside Chora

It is a typical white-washed Cycladic town; thus, it is gorgeous.

If you have a car, drive near to the end of the town & take any road to the left. You will find lots of parking spots in such areas, as it will be a bit difficult to park in the harbor.

Chora is beautiful to walk through. 

Chora of Antiparos 1

It is very picturesque, with lots of small cafe’s and small taverns and souvenir shops.

The Venetian Castle of Antiparos Greece

Inside the town is the Castle of Antiparos. You may not notice it directly as it is not a stand-alone castle. Instead, it is part of the town buildings.

Castle of Antiparos Greece
The Castle sketch

Some houses are occupied and are part of the castle, yet don’t expect any ruins.

Castle of Antiparos Greece 1
Surround views

The castle was built as a protection measure against pirates, who were “fond” of Antiparos.

Another name for Antiparos is “Kastro” (means: Castle).

Castle of Antiparos Greece 2

When you arrive there, walk all around it, to see how it was constructed with its inner and outer yards.

Antiparos Greece Beaches

There are about nine excellent sandy beaches in Antiparos island, but since we were there for a day trip, we decided to pick one of them for our swim. 

All come with blue waters, and some come with turquoise waters.

We chose Vathis Volos. The reason for that was a friendly tavern that is next to the beach, along with the beach having calm waters and overlooking Despotiko island.

Vathis Volos Antiparos Greece
Vathis Volos

When you get hungry after your swim, choose the little tavern that is 5 minutes from the beach. The name is Captain Pipinos and the food is rather tasteful. The seafood there is so fresh that you can actually see and grab it!

However, that beach -eventually- had no showers to wash out the salt from the sea and we prefer beaches that have such.

The other thing is that the beach had few umbrellas to rent and the sun was scorching. We managed to find one, though.

We also went to Soros beach and here is how it looks like.

Soros Antiparos Greece
Soros beach

The other beaches in Antiparos are Glifa, Panagia, Psaralyki, Soros, Agios Spiridonas, Agios Georgios, Kako Rema, Livadia and the camping beach in front of the Antiparos camping.

Despotiko island

This island is at the southwest of Antiparos, Greece. It also has some pretty beautiful beaches.

There are a few remains of ancient cemeteries and a temple dedicated to Apollo on the island.

Despotiko
Despotiko island

Despotiko remains uninhabited today. It can be reached by tour boat from Antiparos or Paros. If you go to Vathis Volos, you can rent a sea kayak and paddle your way there. It takes about 30 minutes with calm weather.

Getting Around Antiparos

The local buses network is pretty good in Antiparos island. They depart to and from various locations, around every hour, ending at approx. at 19:00

For beaches specific, there is “Oliaros” bus. There is a bus from Antiparos port to the Antiparos beaches.

The Cave of Antiparos Island

The cavern (cave) of Antiparos is one of the most prominent places to explore on the island. It is also called the Cave of Agios Ioannis church and is around 8km from Antiparos town (Chora).

The oldest stalagmite in the cave is located at the entrance and is estimated to be around 45 million years old. That is also believed to be the oldest stalagmite in Europe.

Cave of Antiparos

The formations of stalactites and stalagmites are no less than spectacular. 

The descent to the bottom of the cave involves going down 411 steps (and get back in the same way).

Cave of Antiparos

Entrance ticket is 6 euro for adults, 3 for children from 6 to 12 years old, and free under that age. The basic facts for the cave are:

Location: 171 meters above sea level
Cave area: 5.600 sq.m.
Maximum depth: 85 meters
Length: 89 meters

Maximum width: 60 meters
Number of stairs: 411
Temperature: 15 degrees Celsius

If you plan to visit the Historical and Folklore Museum in Antiparos, then you can enter there with the same ticket and without paying extra.

Overview

Antiparos is ideal for a day trip (or a multi-day one) for those who want a secluded, peaceful island, away from any noise. 

This is depicted all over the island “energy.” It is quiet and peaceful, keeping things simple and relaxed.

Next time you are in the Cyclades, do pay a visit.

Best Beaches in Paros Island, Greece 2019

Paros Beach - Best Beaches in Paros Island

Planning for Paros island? Read our extensive post on all the things to do in Paros. This one is dedicated to Paros beaches, as it is another fantastic destination in Greece.

We went to Paros island for a week and the island of Paros is another one of the Cycladic Greek islands you have to be.

Paros has so wonderful beaches for all kinds of travelers, that it deserves a special tribute to these small golden sand paradises.

Here is your definitive guide to help you plan an itinerary

The Best Beaches in Paros

We can say that the beaches in Paros are generally divided into 2 main categories. The long sandy ones and the small ones.

Most are sandy beaches and the good ones are organized beaches. However, all here are indeed beautiful beaches.

We think that these are the best beaches on the island, as we visited them all. In a couple of them, we went more than once.

Paros beaches are also divided into popular beaches and the not so popular ones. We always refer to the beaches that you can approach by car or a bit of walking.

Here are the best beaches you don’t want to miss.

Chrissi Akti Beach (Golden Beach)

Crystal clear waters, sandy with perfect wind for windsurfing, 10km from Parikia.

Golden Beach Paros

Punda Beach

A popular beach, really close to Golden Beach. A huge beach bar/club is next to the beach so partying is hot there (around 11km from Parikia).

Punda Beach Paros

Kolymbithres beach

It is kind of out worldly with rock formations that resemble some moon-like terrain. A small calm beach with granite rock (10km from Parikia). It is popular but getting a spot there is by pure chance only.

Kolimpithres Beach Paros

Monastiri Beach

Driving further (around 10 minutes) from Kolimpithres you will find Monastiri beach. Bigger than the previous one but also small. It has a good beach bar and restaurant.

Monastiri beach
Monastiri Beach

Marchello (Martselo) Beach

Very long and sandy beach, 2km from Parikia.

Marchello Beach
Marchello Beach

Logaras Beach

An organized beach with lots of trees for some natural shade, apart from the many umbrella/sunbeds. Has different restaurants, but we ate some great seafood at Piso Livadi village, at Halaris. The village is next to Logaras beach and has a small beach too.

Logaras Beach
Logaras Beach

Piso Livadi Beach

It is next to Logaras and is a small quiet village with some pretty nice taverns at the far end (20km from Parikia).

Piso Livadi
Piso Livadi Beach

Livadia Beach

Very close to Parikia (2km), sandy and relatively quiet, though it gets crowded as it so close to the main town.

Livadia Beach - Best Beaches in Paros Island
Livadia Beach

Faragas Beach

This beach is in the region of Alyki, around 18km from Parikia and on the southern side of Paros. It rarely gets crowded.

Faragas
Faragas Beach

Dryos Beach

Very close to Alyki beach and alternative when things get busy in the first one.

Dryos
Dryos Beach

Alyki Beach

Pebbled beach close to Parikia. There is another one named as Krotiri Alyki but is around 18km from Parikia.

Aliki Beach - Best Beaches in Paros Island
Aliki Beach

Piperi Beach

If you stay in Naoussa then this beach is right at the entrance of the town and is as beautiful and clean as it looks. Few umbrellas but -maybe- that is the strong point of it.

Piperi in Paros Island
Piperi Beach

More Paros Beaches to Visit

Are the above mentioned the only beaches in Paros? No. There are more beaches but time was not enough (yes, even a week) this time. These beaches are:

Santa Maria Beach
Parasporos
Krios
Ambelas
Glyfa
Agali
Agia Irini
Agioi Anargyri
Agios Fokas
Agios Nikolaos

Boudari
Delfini
Fykia
Kalogeras
Kaminia
Katholiko
Kladia
Krotiri Aliki
Langeri
Limnes

Messada
Molos
Pigadaki
Platia Ammos
Tripiti
Voutakos
Xifara
Tsoukalia

FAQ’s for Paros Island Beaches

What is the best time of the day to go to the beach?

To find a sunbed/umbrella set, you need to be there early in the morning. That means to be at the beach prior 10:00 am, or you can book ahead. Most of the beaches offer a phone you can call. Ask in your accommodation if they have that info, otherwise, you will find that on the spot.

Is this pre-booking concept only in Paros?

No. It also happens for many years on the nearby Mykonos island.

Are all the beaches with sand?

The vast majority of beaches is with sand.

Are all beaches easy to reach?

Some are very easy, even provide parking space. However, during high season that too can be limited and you may have to walk a bit, after you park.
Some of the beaches need to walk from 8 to 15 minutes to actually arrive on the beach.

Are there showers on all beaches?

No, not in all. Make sure to ask your accommodation on such info, as from year to year things may change.

Are there restaurants, beach bars and such?

Most of the popular ones host at least one of them. In some of these facilities, you skip the umbrella/sunbed charge if you book for lunch or dinner after your swim.

Are there water sports facilities on the beaches?

Yes, there are. In the large ones, you will find the biggest variety of water sports. In smaller ones, you may not. That also depends on the year you visit but, the rule is that big ones host lots of things to do on the beach.

The Sun Bed issue in Paros Beaches

It could be also called as the “sunbed incident”, the “sunbed case” or the “sunbed problem”. 

The reason why is the lack of sunbeds and umbrellas to cover the demand. Paros receives tons of tourism, but if you go to beaches then you will see very little of such gear.

From one point of view that is a good thing, as you can set your own -almost- wherever you like. On another point of view that can be a bit frustrating as you may not want to carry all the extra umbrella and chairs around.

As that is not enough, the availability of sunbeds is another issue, along with price variations.

Yes, you read that right. 

In most of the popular beaches, to be able to book an umbrella with a pair of sunbeds you had to deal with:

  • To call the day before and book your set (umbrella and a pair of sunbeds).
  • Choose in which row you want one. Prices change depending on if you book on the 1st, 2nd or 3rd row from the where the water ends. In high season prices may vary a lot, while in other seasons, the difference may be around 5 euro per row. When we were there, the 1st row was at 25 euro, second at 20 and 3rd at 15. That prices changed depending on the facility that owned the sets.
  • Leave it to chance. You may find an available set, or not.

The case is though that in the summertime, weather is scorching as the sun is strong. You need some kind of protection when you plan to stay long at the beach.

We also found a website that mentioned sets 3 times up the price we found, where you could book online but we didn’t encounter such case and prices.

Facts for Paros island

There are some important things to know when you plan your vacations to Paros. These are:

Paros belongs to Cyclades islands. That means it is windy, especially during August.

If you are in windsurfing and kitesurfing, then this island is for you. It is considered a paradise for windsurfers. Golden Beach and Punda Beach are the places to be.

You will have a good range of places to eat good food in Paros, outside of the main touristic towns, with an exception for Naoussa. Naoussa, offers a good variety in dining places.

The island is not considered to be either far or long from Athens/Piraeus. You can get a luxury “ride” there with -for example- Blue Star Ferries. We prefer that ferry company and its sister companies for other islands in Greece, as their ships are comfortable, spacious and you can book your own numbered seat. To book a ferry in Greece, use this website or this one. These are the 2 major ones.

Apart from its beaches, the island is ideal for some popular island hopping between Naxos, Santorini, Mykonos. You do need more vacations days but the memories will be stunning.

Make sure to organize your accommodation and beaches properly, so you can visit the numerous things to do in Paros.

Paros Greece Top Vacations Destination 2019

Paros Greece

Are you planning for Paros Greece? We decided to spend a week in Paros Greece for our summer vacations. Both of us have spent some long weekends in our early youth in Paros island with crazy partying and extreme nightlife.

This time was an opportunity for more in-depth exploration of the island. We did that and didn’t leave a stone unturned. 

Where is Paros island?

Paros Greece is one of these magical islands in the heart of the Cyclades that will pop up in your search on where to experience your vacations in the Greek islands.

Paros Island is the center of the Cyclades islands, to the west of Naxos, really close to Santorini and Mykonos. Some include Paros in their island-hopping plans.

The island of Paros is merely 4 hours (with the slow ferry) from Athens port of Piraeus or just 3 hours with the fast one. That makes Paros another ideal destination for a long weekend or a multi-day trip.

Paros Greece

Paros showcases itself as the epicenter of a traditional Greek island, with fishing villages, Cycladic architecture and impressive churches scattered over the land. 

Moreover, the island is famous for outdoor and sea sports, like kite-surfing, wind-surfing, horseback riding, yoga, mountain biking, scuba diving, to name a few.

Paros is one of the islands where accommodation expires fast. We decided to go there at the end of July, and it was tough to find accommodation. Book early following these links: Click here or here

How to Get to Paros Greece

If people ask me how to get to Paros then I say that the best choice is by ferry – that is my opinion. There are regular departures from Piraeus to the Cycladic Islands. Our choice is Blue Star Ferries who steadily travel all year long.

We booked airplane-style seats, which definitely made our trip to Paros comfortable and pleasant.

Blue Star Ferries is a member of Attica Group, and so is Hellenic Seaways. Both companies offer fantastic services and can definitely make your trip a pleasant experience.

It only takes 4 hours to get to Paros, so there is time for strolling around, having breakfast or lunch and even… have a nap!

Going to Paros with Blue Star Ferries
Big seats, lots of comforts

Keep in mind that also the lounges are comfortable. So the choice is really up to you.

Now, when it comes to booking, we did it online and afterward received the printed tickets at the kiosk in the post. It was only a few meters away from Blue Star Patmos. Of course, you can choose the easier way to use the web-check-in feature, which lets you get on the ferry by simply showing your mobile.

Getting the car on the ferry was also very easy, and a few minutes after that, we were comfortably sitting and waiting for the departure, sipping a Freddo Espresso coffee in the lounge bar.

A Blue Star Ferries ship

The trip went by without us really noticing it. Four hours later, we entered the port of Paroikia, the capital town of Paros island.

For us, that is the ideal ferry trip and our trip to Paros had a great start!

Things To Do in Paros island

We did quite a lot of stuff on Paros Greece, besides relaxing at its beaches. As we stayed there for seven days, there was time for many things. We advise all to spend at least seven days on the island, so to experience the food, the beaches, and the sparkling nightlife.

What To Do in Paroikia on Paros Island, Greece

The island’s main port and the capital of Paros. Parikia has conventional Greek architecture, as well as several beaches and churches.

It is a popular destination during summer as many visitors first land here from nearby islands. Parikia is also the cultural and commercial center of the island.

To book your accommodation in Parikia, click here.

The top things you don’t want to miss are the following.

The Church with the 100 Doors (Gates)

Even if you are not a fan of churches, you will love this one. Besides the numerous taverns, clubs, and other fun to explore places, you must visit the Church with the 100 Doors (Gates).

Paros Greece
The Church of 100 Gates

The actual local name is Panagia Ekatontapiliani. This is one of Greece’s most important Byzantine monuments. 

The Venetian Castle

Another landmark to visit is the Venetian Castle (also known as the Frankish Castle).

It now sits in partial ruins but remains an attractive piece to pay a visit. Frankish Castle was built in the 1200s by Venetians using materials from the ancient Temple of Demeter. You can identify this from the castle’s structure.

It is located in the old town of Parikia and at the highest point in the city, which enables visitors to have a magnificent view of the surrounding area.

The archaic temple of Goddess Athina is there. It is an Ionian style temple dedicated to the goddess, that is the protector of Paros island. Parts of the original temple structure foundation are seen at the north side of the temple.

Paros Greece

A prehistoric settlement of the 2nd millennium B.C. was excavated next to the temple.

The Asklepion

Do pay a visit to the Asklepion. The sanctuary is located on the plateau over the Pythion (you can read more for Apollo from here). 

The temple is close to a spring, as water had an essential role for ritual proceedings. 

Paros Greece

The Archaeological Museum of Paros

Paros Greece

The Museum of Paros was founded in 1960. It is considered one of the most important museums in Greece because of its exhibits. These were found in excavations on Paros and Antiparos islands and date from the Neolithic period to early Christianity.

Exhibits include, among others: 

  • The Nike of Paros
  • Cycladic figurines
  • Mosaics
  • The Archaic marble statue Gorgon
  • Statues of Kouroi
  • The poet Archilochus
  • Amphorae from a Parian workshop and deities

Mosaics discovered in Panagia Ekatontapiliani are exhibited in the atrium.

Leisure Time: Walk Around Paroikia

One of the best things to do in Paroikia is to walk through the narrow alleys and beautiful squares.

Paros Greece

There are lots of tourist shops with souvenirs ranging from affordable to expensive ones, and they cover all tastes.

A multitude of small restaurants or snack places is available. You can enjoy souvlaki and all kinds of seafood or meat in any plain diner or fine dining restaurant in this town.

Get a Book From the Free Outdoors Library

On your way to/from the airport, you will see a very small building on a crossroad. That acts as a free open library. You can get any book to read while you wait the bus. 

Paros Greece

What To Do in Naoussa Town on Paros

Naoussa is a picturesque fishing town with a vibrant nightlife. It is the second-most important village in Paros.

Naoussa Paros

Taverns and small eateries surround the port area and are typically busy. If you are a party person and night owl, there are plenty of bars and nightclubs that stay open till dawn.

Naoussa Paros

The festival celebrating the victory over the Turkish pirate Barbarossa occurs on every August 23. The celebration is characterized by more than 100 boats.

Naoussa has some pretty lovely beaches too, both prior entering the town and in.

Naoussa Paros

The town is relatively quiet during day time as most people run to the beaches. However, it gets alive after 6 pm up to early morning hours.

Compared to Paroikia, Naoussa is considered a more cosmopolitan town, and that is seen all around the place.

Most high-end restaurants and nice cocktail bars are in Naoussa, but it has options for all budgets.

To book your accommodation in Naousa, click here.

Explore the Village of Lefkes

Lefkes is a mountainous village trendy among travelers. Walk around to see the colorful houses and old buildings. The ancient Byzantine Hiking path starts here (about 3 km long).

In this village, almost every alley calls for a photo opportunity.

There are two cafes serving delicacies here. Choose the one with the Greek “yiayia” (grandmother). It is the white one at the left of the yellow building below. She knows her way around Greek coffee.

Paros Greece

Stop in this square below for a Greek coffee or chocolate pie. Don’t worry; you will find it as you walk around. It has the best shade and cool breeze ever.

Visit the Butterfly Valley

Every summer, this valley is luscious green filled with Jersey Tiger Moths that seem to cover the entire place.

It is a natural phenomenon that can take your breath away.

Butterflies in Paros
Butterflies resting during day time

That happens near the Monastery of Jesus of Woods, around 5km from Parikia. The locals refer to the place as “Koilada tvn Petaloudon” (means: valley of Butterflies).

Visit the Village of Marpissa

This village is famous for two things. It’s lots of churches; small town but with 20(!) white-washed churches. The other thing is the Perantinos Sculpture Museum. 

Paros Greece
Sculpture of N. Perantinos

Nikos Perantinos was a famous sculpture in Greece. The Museum is housed in a beautiful, neoclassical building with five large halls exhibiting his sculptures.

Day Trips from Paros

Some of the most famous Cycladic islands are close to Paros. Jump in a ferry for:

  • Antiparos (10 mins): Tom Hanks and his Greek wife have a house here and visit often.
  • Naxos (20 mins): Check our Naxos posts and all the things we did there.
  • Mykonos (1 hour): Plenty of things to do in Chora and swim in some of the beaches. Check our Mykonos posts.
  • Santorini (3 hours, so it can be your next stop): You need days to explore Santorini, but if Paros is your “thing” this year then you can take the ferry and have a day in Santorini, visiting Thira and Oia only. See all our Santorini posts for more ideas.

More day trip ideas are:

Dance your heart out in a Paros Festival

There are 10ths of folklore festivals taking place in villages of every Greek destination, especially from July to September. All of them involve dancing over Greek folklore songs.

In Paros, they host the Pirates festival. A revival representation of the time when Paros was frequently invaded by Pirates. Young boys dressed as such, “attack” with their fishing boats (cacigues), going after young girls to “kidnap” them and take them into their ships.

Do not miss the Fist and Wine Festivals, for -well- apparent reasons! That takes place in Marpissa (1st Sunday of July).

There are fireworks, music, food, and fun. Moreover, there is nothing more that will get you mingled with locals than participating in one of these festivals.

Best Beautiful Beaches of Paros Island

There is no visit to this Greek island without paying a visit to all its beaches. 

Chrissi Akti Beach: One of the most famous & best beaches on the island, the Golden Beach has warm, clear waters with powdery soft golden sand, making it a favorite for sunbathers. Because the winds there are great for windsurfing, every year is occasioned with an international windsurfing competition.

Golden Beach Paros

Punda Beach: Punda beach is close to Golden Beach and is famous thanks to the beach bars and its beautiful, natural environment, not to mention the Kite and Windsurfing action taking place. Paros is renowned to the windsurfing world.

Punda Beach Paros

Kolymbithres beach: With its unique rock formations, it directly distinct itself from the other ones. However, keep in mind that it is a tiny one.

Kolimpithres Beach Paros

There are even more beaches to have in mind, all around the island. These are:

  • Monastiri Beach
  • Marcello Beach
  • Logaras Beach
  • Piso Livadi Beach
  • Livadia Beach
  • Faragas Beach
  • Dryos Beach
  • Aliki Beach
  • Santa Maria Beach

We can’t include all info in this post, but we created an additional post dedicated to Paros beaches

Where to Stay in Paros Greece?

Paros is not a huge island (i.e., like Crete or others). To give you an example, you can get around the island in around 1.5-2 hours driving. Of course, there are many beaches, sightseeing and such and you won’t do that, but you get the idea.

We decided to choose a strategic point for our accommodation. That is something we always do on our trips.

We stayed at a comfortable hotel, for which we found out it had great reviews and excellent breakfast, close to Naoussa town.

Naoussa is the 2nd famous town in Paros and is more of a cosmopolitan style, while Paroikia is a more “rough” one.

The hotel was next to a small beach, which proved quite handy for some extra early morning swims, before getting to any other beach on the island.

We could also get to Naoussa withing 10 minutes walking time if we liked while enjoying not being in the town (and avoid any noise).

There are plenty of beaches in Paros island, but if you stay for a week, you will logically spend more time in some of them. We will explain why, later in this post.

Getting Around Paros Island

Don’t want to rent a car? Then you are lucky as Paros has an excellent public bus system in place. Through that, you can reach most beaches and villages/towns. The bus ticket is around 1.80 euro.

If you like to drive, then you will find a vast variety of rentals: cars, scooters, quad bikes and ATV’s. Make sure to pre-book these too as in high peak seasons you may not find the desired availability.

Make sure to have all papers in place (drivers license and anything else needed for driving outside of your country). Double-check that your insurance covers you adequately in case of accidents. Make sure to get travel insurance!

Where to Eat in Paros Island

Here are some of the places we ate in Paros island.

In Lefkes village: Go to “Klarinos” tavern at the main square. We recommend it for its meat (local producer with his livestock).

In Paroikia: Go to “AR n’ SO crepes etc.” for crepes and coffee. The best crepe I had for a long time now.

In Naoussa: We ate at one of the restaurants in the main square but not impressed, but there are plenty to choose from, not at the harbor square.

In Piso Livadi village: We ate at Chalaris tavern. All the food was excellent.

When to Visit Paros Island

The best time to visit Paros is any time between May and October. That is the best time for most Greek summer destinations. During that period the weather is perfect.

There won’t be many businesses open from November to April, though you can always go to Paros in Easter time when that falls in April.

July and August is the peak season for the island, and in August it can be crowded, and Paros is not a big island. 

Paros belongs to the Cyclades and in the summertime, strong winds called “Meltemia” blowhard. That is why Paros is considered an exceptional destination for windsurfing and kitesurf/wakeboard enthusiasts.

Ready for Paros Greece?

This is an island that combines romance, thrilling water sport activities, great food, and outstanding nightlife all in one place. 

We also visited the nearby island of Antiparos (a 10 minutes ferry transportation gets you there). More on that is coming soon.

It is not by chance that many visit Paros every year even for a few days!

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

Thinking of a holiday in Europe? Think Kalymnos island. Kalymnos, a Greek island of the Dodecanese, with its rocky landscape, is a worldwide popular climbing destination.

It is located at the Southeastern Aegean Sea.

With a population of only 16,000 and numerous uninhabited islets, this area gives you numerous opportunities for holidays.

Indeed, the entire length and breadth of this small island chain are rich in resources and other opportunities.

To be able to make your trip worthwhile, it is important that you know about them. That is the role we have stepped in to play.

Ours expose hereunder endeavors to explain the various things you can do while on a visit to the island.

It looks into some of the top places of interests as well as when best to pay a visit to them. Lastly, the expose explains what you should do to make your travel worthwhile.

Things To Do in Kalymnos

Sightseeing

As hinted above, Kalymnos contains numerous places of interests. You hence have it for your own visitation if you cherish everything to do with sightseeing.

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

For instance, you may choose to walk around the numerous beaches.

Then, you may also walk within the town to behold the various building structures that adorn the town.

If you are interested in the past of Kalymnos, consider popping into the Archaeological Museum of Kalymnos or the Chrysocheria Castle.

While there, you will get the opportunity also to explore Kalymnos glorious past in visual forms. You may also ask questions and seek clarifications.

Kindly note that many other resources exist which we cannot exhaust here due to the limitations of space.

Photography

Definitely, the island of Kalymnos is not short of places to photograph.

From the awesome sunrise to the glorious sunsets to the charming strands, the island has many things you might want to capture and keep for memory.

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

Unlike many other islands of its kind in the region, Kalymnos lacks those stringent photography restrictions.

There is no place, region, its facility in the region that is restricted. Instead, you have the leeway to photograph just about any area.

Closely related to this benefit is the lack of photography license or fees. You just have every other freedom to do whatever you want whenever you want it.

This is a great reason to prioritize this area over and above alternative destinations.

Sunbathing

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece
Bird’s eye view of the beautiful beach near Sikati cave

Given its relatively mild weather and the existence of numerous beaches, Kalymnos is a great place for sunbathing.

Though the island is adorned with an infinite number of beautiful beaches, some two particularly stand out.

These are the Masouri Beach, Sikati, On the Rocks, and Melitsachas Beach.

They are relatively clean, less crowded, appropriately sheltered from direct exposure to the adverse weather elements, and experience unconstrained supply of fresh air.

Moreover, they have several shades nearby.

These offer excellent opportunities for you to sit and relax with your spouse.

This area experiences limited fluctuations in environmental conditions year-round.

It is hence a good place to come to sunbathe in during the harsh winter months that the continental Europe experiences.

Wining and Dining

Obviously, no trip to a foreign land, no less Kalymnos, can be complete without a taste of the various cuisines.

Like most other top tourism destinations world over, this area is adorned with numerous cafes and eateries. Top examples are Ambiance, Ethereal, and Neon Center.

These facilities serve diverse kinds of cuisines, both locally and internationally.

You will be able to eat Greek, Italian, Chinese, and a host of other international cuisines while here. Perhaps there is no better place to try plates of seafood.

Being right next to the Aegean Sea, this area is a hotbed of everything seafood.

Some of the delicacies you must attempt while here are Greek Mussels, Greek Shrimp Saganaki, Greek Lobster Pasta, Greek Crispy Fried Squid, Greek Sea Bass, Greek Fried Anchovies, Greek Cod With Garlic Sauce, Greek Cuttlefish With Spinach, Greek Octopus With Pasta, and Greek Crab Salad.

Cultural Activities

Greece is full of culture and history. If you are a fan of Grecian culture or simply want to sample it, Kalymnos has got you taken care of.

These cultural activities are pretty diverse. 

Of these, the rock climbing cultural event stands tall in Kalymnos. Each year, the municipality hosts the Rock Climbing Festival in the month of September.

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

During this event, rock climbers from many countries around the world troop to Kalymnos.

They come here to conquer the mountains of Telendos and Kalymnos. You too may wish to join them to make the most of your own time.

Prior to your participation in these events, you will receive instructions on how to keep yourself safe as well as the necessary equipment.

Unwinding

Do you operate squeezed and unforgiving lifestyles or schedules? Kalymnos, yet again, is a place for you! A number of factors converge to make it a nice spot to come and unwind.

Its population is low, it has many beaches and secluded interiors.

All these combine with the relatively low pace of life to make your worries melt away.

Considering also that the area is devoid of heavy industries and potential pollutants, you are guaranteed some fresh air. This is definitely great for your own health also.

There is never a specific time to come over to the area for the sake of unwinding. Indeed, Kalymnos is great for such kind of activity year-round.

Nightlife

Lover of nightlife? Kalymnos yet again has you covered. It prides itself in being extremely safe and secure.

This stems from the extremely low population of the area and the relative wealth of its inhabitants.

These factors make for your own safety and wellbeing at night.

Further to these, the main city also contains numerous pubs, discos, theatres, night clubs, and casinos.

These sell alcoholic beverages, hold concerts, dances, music, and shows. Together, they make the entire island full of life at night.

What’s more? Kalymnos itself is well-lit at night with great street lights.

Other than the core issues of enhancing your own enjoyment, these nightlife facilities also provide you breathtaking views of the adjacent port and sea.

You may hence choose to sit at a table and simply gaze the ships as they come and go.

Watersports

Being an island, it is no wonder that Kalymnos too is a hotbed for everything watersport. In particular, these activities take place within the sea channel that separate Kalymnos from Telendos.

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

A number of sporting activities do take place here.

These are sailing, windsurfing, sea kayaking, competitive swimming, scuba diving, and canoes.

You may choose to go solo or participate in the various events which are hosted by the local municipalities.

Also complementing your enjoyment of these issues are the numerous rental facilities.

You need not necessarily carry your own sporting equipment. Instead, you have the privilege of renting your own from the various companies that deal with them.

Be ready though to part with some money to access the venues and take part in sporting activities.

Socializing

Obviously, you are not the only one who will go to Kalymnos. At any given point, there are people drawn from all walks of life who choose to visit the area.

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

In the course of your own visit, you might want to incorporate socializing as part of your core duty here.

This simply entails meeting persons from all walks of life and spending some time with them.

In that time, you will talk, share jokes, and exchange ideas with them. Definitely, you will also capture some shots and keep for your memory of this place.

The island is also home to many facilities that encourage socialization.

The numerous sporting activities, open beaches, concerts, pubs, and live performances are examples of these.

Yet again, do take your time to participate in them for better experiences.

Sailing

In case you are a lover of sailing, again Kalymnos is a great place to be. Its waters are deep, tranquil and appropriately sheltered from the harsh external weather elements.

They hence provide a great environment for you to sail and enjoy the waters.

There is never the best time to do so. Indeed, the weather around the island is perfect all year long.

You only have to determine when it is convenient for you and there you go! Sailing around the entire island chain takes roughly four days.  

Do make some appropriate arrangements to do so. As you sail, you will also get to behold the breathtaking views of the adjacent ocean.

Then, you will also be bombarded with the strong and tranquilizing breezes from the ocean waters itself.

Shopping

You can never visit this wonderful island without buying anything locally made here.

For your shopping, the island yet again contains many curios, grocery stores, eateries, and boutiques, to mention but a few!

In these facilities, you will be able to purchase many merchandises.

Some of these are textiles, greens, traditional products, curios, artifacts, pottery, and textiles, to mention but a few! The prices are quoted in dollars.

They are two; one for the local population and the other for the tourists.

Many of these stores accept major payments cards like Visa, Mastercard, and American Express.

If your store of choice demands that you exchange your currency to the local Euros, you have some forex bureaus for your use.

They strew the entire island of Kalymnos.

Sponge Diving

This underwater activity is known to be the oldest. Originally, its purpose was to aid in the retrieval of the natural sponges for human use.

Best Things To Do in Kalymnos Greece

It was done by trained sponge harvesters (sponge divers). With time, however, it evolved to be a sporting activity in its own right.

Given the existence of many sponges underneath the waters of Kalymnos, you have no better place to experience this particular activity than Kalymnos itself, when it is available.

Indeed, Kalymnos also experiences milder waves, deeper waters, and relatively still currents.

It is hence in your best interest to spare a bit of your time to come over and enjoy sponge fishing. Ask the locals or simply visit this page

Useful Information for Travelers

Ready for Kalymnos?

Kindly note that the things we have highlighted and explained above are not all that you may do while here at Kalymnos.

As the island belongs to the Dodecanese, it is great as a pivot point to other nearby islands. These are the small island of Telendos and the island of Kos, among others.

Indeed, there are many others which you might do. Owing to our limited time and space, we just had to leave them out.

It is certainly not a wise thing to read through our explanations above yet take no meaningful step towards making use of the insight you receive.

That is why we now urge you to consider planning a visit to Kalymnos within the shortest realistic time possible.

To do so, factor your own expectation and then find a time that is most suited to that kind of activity.

When do you plan to embark on this wonderful journey? Kindly let us know to prepare to meet you well!

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Apart from Europe, Asia has a series of world-class best places to travel in December in a Budget.

December is traditionally the month when people all over the world go on their winter vacations.

Most places have a pleasant climate in December and winter months, and this sends the prices of airfares and hotels and room rates soaring.

At the end of the article, find a guide that will help you to find all the necessary resources for budget travel.

Places to travel in December in a Budget

We are here to tell you the best places you can visit in December on a budget!

With the advent of new modes of accommodation, such as serviced apartments, local homestays, shared accommodations, hostels and even camping out in the open, your dream vacation doesn’t have to be out of reach.

We are going to see the places that you must travel in December on a budget in the holiday high season!

Bhutan

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Bhutan is a landlocked country in the East Himalayas surrounded by India and China. Filled with scenic valleys, snow-clad mountains and fresh snow-fed glaciers, Bhutan is Heaven on Earth.

It is primarily a Buddhist country with several monasteries dotting the landscape.

The most suitable time to visit here is from October to December as in January temperatures drop below zero levels. It is also the time when most traditional festivals happen.

Bhutan currency value

The Bhutan currency value is the same as the Indian rupee value, i.e., 1 USD = 70 INR.

Bhutan Visa charges

It will cost around 40$ for getting a Bhutan visa. Note, you have the only option to book an organized tour with a Government-authorized tour operator which would cost you 250$ per day.

That includes everything like 3* hotel accommodation, food, and tour with a guide.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Bhutan

  • The Rinpung Dzong, overlooking the Paro valley, is an excellent example of Buddhist architecture. It is a monastery and fortress that was used in earlier times to protect the country from Tibetan invasions.
  • At an altitude of 3989 meters, Chele La Pass is a beautiful spectacle with views of the Paro and Haa valleys on either side. The 22000 feet Mount Jomolhari can be seen from this point.
  • The 169 feet tall statue of the Buddha Dordenma is a popular place situated at the foot of the Paro Valley made of gold and bronze. It is a must-visit place in Bhutan.
  • The Taktsang Monastery also located in Paro Valley is a religious site of Guru Rinpoche, a revered figure in Buddhism. The Monastery is built on a cliff and gives panoramic views of the lush green forests in the valley below.
  • Chomolhari is well known for its trekking circuit. It is mildly strenuous packed with splendid views of glacial lakes, snow-lined slopes and rare flora along the way. It begins at Paro and spans between 7-15 days for the complete circuit.
  • A few more monasteries that can be visited are Drukgyal Dzong, Tashicho Dzong, and Punakha Dzong, which are the better-known Dzongs in Bhutan.

You can also check the beautiful sites to tour in Bhutan!

Overall Cost

Farmstays and homestays are available as cheap as US$20 per night.

Food is mostly local and straightforward as most places practice sustainable tourism here.

Travel is by bus or taxi. An average five day stay in Bhutan would cost US$200-300 per person.

Philippines

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

The Philippines is the best place to go if you are looking for a budget trip.

It has fantastic beaches, a tropical climate and plenty of water sports, not to mention island hopping and a trendy nightlife.

The weather in December ranges from 22 degrees to 32 degree Celsius, which makes this a perfect time to visit this place. It has more than 7000 islets, so it’s easy to visit the country multiple times.

The scenery in the Philippines is diverse as it has steep mountains, tropical beaches, private sanctuaries, and historical landmarks in different regions.

Philippines currency value

1 USD = 52 Philippine Peso

Philippines visa cost

You can get Philippines visa for free for a stay up to 30 days!

Places to Travel in December in a Budget in the Philippines

  • Palawan: This should be at the top of your list if you are looking for a pure beach stay with beautiful views of the sea. The Puerto Princesa is the town from where Palawan is approachable. You shouldn’t miss the Puerto Princesa underground river, which is a World Heritage UNESCO site. Flights are available from Manila and Cebu to Puerto Princesa.
  • Boracay is a famous island, as it consists of more than 12 beaches. It has many stay options, and getting here requires a flight from Manila to the closest airport at Panay island. The boat then brings you to Boracay.
  • The Island of El Nido has spectacular ocean views and sandy, and sun-kissed beaches. There are secret lagoons and jutting limestone islands that rival the beauty of the Phi Phi islands or the Halong Bay. El Nido is accessible by land or by flight.
  • The beaches of Coron also are pristine and are suitable for shipwreck diving, snorkeling and coral watching.
  • Cebu is the most popular destination in the Philippines known for its colonial history, beaches, waterfalls, and nearby beaches. It has functional connectivity by air and the ferry. It is also close to Bohol, which is a must-visit to see the iconic Chocolate hills. Dolphin encounters can be had in the Panglao Island nearby. Other beaches to explore are Siargao, Divagate Islands, Britania Islands, Siquijor Island, etc.
  • Visit the Banaue and Ifugao rice terraces to see the well-preserved culture of the local population. Sarada is one more place where you can see the bizarre spectacle of the hanging coffins. It is known for its waterfalls, caves, limestone mountains and hill-tribe atmosphere.

 Also check the most unexplored Masasa beach in Batangas, Philippines.

Overall cost

Stay in the Philippines can be ridiculously affordable as there are plenty of backpackers hostels, dorms, and hotels available for around US$20. Local food is available at shacks on the beaches for less than a dollar.

Island hopping is by public ferries, which is around US$4 per trip. You can plan a trip to the Philippines according to your budget. You could visit just one island or traverse the entire region as every island has the utmost beauty to offer.

Stay, food, and travel would cost around US$50 per day.

Sri Lanka

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Sri Lanka is heaven for holidaymakers.

With a perfect mix of beautiful beaches, mountainous towns, historical architecture, and city conveniences, it has something for everybody.

There are two parts to Sri Lanka, and the best time to visit the western and southern coasts is from December to March when the weather is dry and pleasant.

Sri Lankan currency value

1 USD = 176 Sri Lankan rupee

Sri Lankan Visa charges

You can get Sri Lanka visa for 30USD. You can get it on arrival or apply it online from their official website.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Sri Lanka

  • Wind and kite surfing is a popular activity, so if that is your interest, the Meddawatta, Weligama, Mirissa and Midigama beaches offer this sport. The climate is December is just right for these sports.
  • The hilly areas experience rains during the monsoon, so by December, there is dense greenery all around. Hiking and trekking are popular options in the Horton plains and near Ella Rock.
  • The Yala National Park sees a grand influx of migratory birds during this season. Wildlife safaris and stay options are available inside the park.
  • Tea Plantations organize their picking from December. Thus, a stay at the hill stations of Nuwara Eliya and Horton plains give you the refreshing view of bright green tea plantations.
  • The golden triangle featuring the iconic religious landmarks of the country is a must-visit for history buffs. Sigiriya, Polonnaruwa, and Dambulla are the three spikes of the triangle and abound in natural beauty too. The capital city Colombo is the place to go for shopping, dining and enjoying the western-influenced lifestyle.

Overall cost

You can go to Sri Lanka by railway and bus transportation. Otherwise, you can also hire a taxi, although it can be more expensive.

Sri Lanka is abundant in local homestays and guest houses. Even the locals let out their homes for short stays and provide food to travelers.

So a holiday in Sri Lanka can be as cheap or as luxurious as you want it to be, without compromising on the experience.

Stay, food, and travel can cost US$80 per day.

Cambodia

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Cambodia is a small nation tucked away between Thailand and Vietnam in South East Asia. Untouched as yet by the crowd of tourism that afflicts neighboring Thailand.

It is slowly getting discovered as a go-to place for tourists seeking a vacation in natures lap.

As it is in the tropical belt, the climate is temperate to hot all year long. However, November to March are the best months to tour this place.

Scores of ancient Hindu and Buddhist temples, beaches and lush forests are the trademarks of Cambodia.  

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Cambodia

Phnom Penh is Cambodia’s capital and home to the Royal Palace. The Palace has a Pagoda on its southern side which is one of a kind, constructed with almost 5 tonnes of silver and Italian Marble. It houses a life-sized statue of Buddha entirely in gold and diamonds.

A tuk-tuk can be hired to explore the town with its local culture. Boat cruises on the Meyking river can take you from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap in 3 days.

Siem Reap is a quaint little resort town with French and Colonial-style architecture, local markets selling souvenirs, a cosmopolitan dining scene, and traditional apsara performances.

Note: It will take 7 hours to get Siem Reap from Phnom Penh by bus, which is the cheapest way to get there. One, three, and seven-day passes can be purchased and are quite affordable, starting at USD 37.

There are over 36 temples that can be toured at the 402 acre Angkor Wat complex.

The largest temple in the world is beautiful to behold with its intricate architecture and historical importance.

However, do take along a hat and lots of water as touring this place can get quite tiring due to the heat.

The southern coast of Cambodia is a tropical paradise nestled away between lush coconut trees and lagoons.

The beaches are pristine, and the big resorts have not got here yet so local bed n breakfasts and homestays provide a cheap, yet peaceful stay. 

Some of the beaches to go are Koi Thmei, Saracen Bay, Lazy Beach, M’Pai Bay, Coconut Beach, and Long Beach.

Sihanoukville is a scenic beach town and also has historical importance as the last place where the US fought the Vietnam war.

It has several resorts in the area and provides snorkeling, boat rides, and kayaking activities.

Battambang is home to the famous Bat Caves. Take a tuk-tuk from the town at dusk and get to the Bat Caves. See the incredible spectacle of thousands of bats flying out of the caves together.

The vision lasts for around 1 hour.

Although Battambang is 7 hours from Phnom Penh, don’t miss this experience as it appears in not so many places.

Cambodia tourist visa cost

You can get Cambodia visa for 30 USD for a stay of 30 days. You can get it on arrival or pre-apply it online.

The overall cost per day in Cambodia

The railway does not have much of a presence in Cambodia, so traveling by buses and taxis are the best ways to get around. Food, stay in mid-range hotels, and travel by public buses can require a budget of US$50 per day for one person, will make Cambodia a must-visit destination in this December!

Vietnam

With its temples and pagodas, endless stretches of paddy fields, unsullied beaches, and warm hospitality, Vietnam is a popular destination for budget travelers that too in December!

You step foot in Vietnam through Ho Chi Minh, which is the capital city.

Ho Chi Minh is a blend of old and new, with former French buildings and architecture, modern-day skyscrapers, malls and swanky dine outs.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Vietnam

  • A one day tour in Ho Chi Minh can cover historical landmarks in the city such as The War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, History Museum, and the ornate Saigon Post office. The Saigon Opera house conducts performances in the evening which you could combine with a walk through the city’s local markets.
  • The Cu Chi Tunnels, 70 km from the city, are a reinforced version of the tunnels used by the Vietnamese soldiers to move around secretly during the Vietnamese War.
  • The next place to visit would be Mui Ne, on the southern part of Vietnam. It is a beautiful beach town with plenty of hotels and resorts. It is well known for its majestic white and red dunes. Dune tours are very cheap at $5, and for a little extra you could do hot air balloon rides and quad biking also.
  • The next stop would be Da Nang, which serves as a stopping point to visit the Marble Mountains. There is a cluster of five mountains. They are made of limestone and Marble and are a sight to behold! Some caves and tunnels are visited by local Buddhists to pray and meditate. Trekking can occur on the hills.
  • Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park is a UNESCO protected park with a bountiful forest area. The natural beauty is at its most magnificent here, and you can bike through the mountains too. It is home to the worlds most significant cave system Hang Son Doong. 
  • Halong Bay: The crown of Vietnam, Halong Bay is a World Heritage Site in the Gulf of Tonkin. It is a cluster of more than 2000 limestone islands with lush forests surrounded by turquoise and green waters that make for a breathtaking sight.
  • You can stay at Hanoi or Halong city and book a cruise to tour these fascinating islands.

Note: A day cruise should cost around US$60 and go up to US$150 for an overnight one. 

Vietnam visa cost

The stamping charges are at 25 USD, and the visa letter fee would cost you around 5 USD. In the total, you can get Vietnam visa for 30 USD.

The overall cost per day

The Best way to travel around in Vietnam is by bus. Airports are available from Hanoi, Da Nang, and Ho Chi Minh with regular flights, so there is high-grade connectivity between all tourist places.

Stay at mid-range hotels, eating the local food at local restaurants, and travel by buses around the country should cost US$50 for one person per day.

Singapore

The city of Merlion is said to be the dream destination of any traveler wishing to visit South East Asia.

Singapore’s Arab Quarter
Singapore’s Arab Quarter

A combination of east meets west, with a melange of cultures adding to its vibrant social scene, Singapore is a beautiful place to explore in December.

It is considered a little pricey by many. It has developed its hospitality industry to include guest houses, short term rentals, shared accommodations in apartments, and of course, budget bed n breakfasts.

Tip: Avoid popular tourist areas and go for areas that do not have much tourist presence and you will get good deals. Since travel in Singapore is extremely convenient, with excellent bus and metro connectivity, you can easily access any area.

Singapore Visa cost

A Singapore visa would cost you around 30 to 40$ (Processing fee 30 Singapore dollars + service fee extra if processed by authorized agents).

Singapore Currency value

 1 USD = 1.40 Singapore dollars

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Singapore

Sentosa Island: Located on the southern part of Singapore, Sentosa Island was originally a military fortress.

It has changed remarkably over the years into a beach holiday destination for tourists traveling to Singapore. You can access it by cable car, bus, and metro.

The beaches are full of life, teeming with nightlife, good food, drinks, and hotels.

There is iFly Singapore, an adventure park, and Resorts World, which has all the luxury brands for retail therapy.

Universal Studios is a movie-themed amusement park with themes like Transformers, Jurassic Park, and more.

An underwater world with 2500 marine animals is an enjoyable visit for families with children.

Read our post from our experiences in Singapore.

Visit the Singapore Night Safari at the zoo to see lions, tigers, leopards, orangutans as well as a giant panda forest. Jurong Bird Park is a magnificent place to see hundreds of birds of distinct types in the immediate vicinity. Clarke Quay is the hub of nightlife in Singapore. Weekends are lively and full of people milling about the clubs and restaurants here.

The Merlion statue is the symbol of Singapore’s humble beginnings as a fishing village. It overlooks the Marina Bay, spouting water from its mountain in a fountain. Orchard road has the best malls and luxury hotels in the city.

The city’s Chinatown area will take you right into the bylanes of a little China, with small Chinese food stalls, shops, and buildings with Chinese decor. Similarly, Little India is an area where you can find Indian food, products, and religious places of worship. There are an Arab street and Malay street along the same lines.

The Singapore Flyer gives a birds eyes view of Singapore’s skyline, reaching over to Malaysia’s Straits of Johar too. Visit the Marina Bay Sands to explore the Gardens by the bay, Infinity pool at Skypark hotel and the Double Helix bridge. It is the first curved bridge in the world built in the shape of human DNA. The sights at Marina Bay are best seen at night with all the lights glowing.

Note: The food at restaurants can get quite expensive. There are many stalls scattered along with the interiors of the city. There you can get local as well as continental cuisine. Parottas and chicken are the favorite street food in Singapore.

The climate in Singapore is tropical, so it is pleasant all through the year. However, occasional thunderstorms do occur without warning.

Overall Cost

Travel is by bus and metro rail which connect every nook and corner of the city. Food and Overall Cost can cost around US$80 – 150 per day for one person depending on the area and standard of stay.

Thailand

Best Places to Travel in December on a Budget

Thailand has long been a dream holiday destination for many.

With its long stretches of sandy beaches, turquoise clear waters and international culture, Thailand gives the best vacation experience one could ever have.

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Thailand

Phuket

  • Beaches: Kata and Karon Beaches have the right mix of nightlife, restaurants, and watersports. Kamala, Bangtao and Mi Khao beaches are quieter with sprawling resorts and a peaceful family atmosphere.
  • The most distinctive feature in the seas of Phuket is the Phang Nga Bay. Small limestone islands with thick vegetation jut out from the water dramatically.
  • James Bond Island and Koh Panyee are two famous spots in the Bay. You can take a boat and go cruising along the islands leisurely, which makes for a breathtaking experience.
  • The seas near Phuket are home to many other small islands, the Phi Phi Islands being one of the best. They are tiny islets surrounded by the endless expanse of the azure blue Andaman seas. You can spend a day or two here.

Krabi

  • The most famous island in Krabi Province is Ao Nang. It is a hub for long-tail boats that can take you island hopping to other islands such as Ko Hong, Koh Poda, Koh Gai, and Railway.
  • Thung Teao Natural Park is the most arresting highlight of Krabi island. Home to tall trees in ever-changing shades of green, the waters in the Emerald Pool are beautiful and bright, with a surreal aura of untouched beauty. It is accessible from the island of Ao Nang by taxi.
  • Klom Thong Hot Springs is the scene of natural hot springs flowing from within the volcanic chambers of Klom Thing.
  • Two hours from Krabi, the Khao Sok National Park is the oldest rainforest in the world. It is a beautiful place for trekking, watching animals like deer, bears, monitor lizards, various rare species of flora, bamboo rafting and camping.

Bangkok

  • If you are full with the endless beaches around Thailand, then Bangkok will add the fun element into the mix. The capital city of Thailand, Bangkok, is known both for its vibrant nightlife and culture.
  • The Chatuchak market is a thriving market that sells everything from clothes to antiques to crockery.
  • Explore the floating markets in Taling Chan market and Bang Ku Wian. They are an exciting experience. You can float in boats and buy fruits, vegetables, flowers, and more from vendors in vessels.
  • The night markets also are a colorful affair with hundreds of people teeming through the stalls.
  • Go on a dinner cruise over the lovely Chao Phraya river in the city.
  • Get a glimpse of the Grand Palace, the former abode of Royalty in Thailand.

Also, check the top sites to hit in Thailand!

The overall cost per day

Phuket and Krabi have international airports, so getting there from any major international city is convenient.

You could backpack across the islands or choose to live in luxury resorts. Travel between the islands is usually by ferry and is cheaper if you rent bicycles or motorcycles.

Bangkok has some of the worlds best affordable hotels so food, stay, and travel would cost less than US$80 per day on a mid ranges budget.

Nepal

Hiking in Nepal Top Locations

Nepal is a mountainous country nestled in the lap of the Himalayas.

Natural beauty abounds in this area where you can soak up fantastic mountain views and experience the warm hospitality of the native Gorkhas.

You could be looking for a backpacking adventure trip, or a luxury vacation, Nepal can offer you the best of both worlds.

December is an excellent time to visit Nepal as the climate is dry and cold with temperatures going from maximum 22 degrees to minimum 5-degree Celsius.

It is one of the worthy places to be considered for budget travelers!

Nepal visa charges

It would cost you 30$ per adult for a stay up to 15 days and 50$ for a stay up to 30 days!

Nepalese currency value

1 USD = 113 Nepalese rupee

Places to travel in December in a Budget in Nepal

Your holiday will begin from Kathmandu, the capital city of Nepal with an international airport.

The Pashupatinath Temple is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a must-visit for any tourist.

The Boudhanath Temple is a Tibetan pilgrimage center known for its large stupa. About four hours from Kathmandu, the scenic town of Nagarkot offers spectacular views of snow-clad mountains, including Mt. Everest.

You might rent a taxi for the day to visit Nagarkot. Don’t miss the plane rides which give a panoramic view of Mount Everest and regularly fly from Kathmandu. The cost of a plane ride is around US$170. 

Pokhara is the second-largest valley in Nepal. It is in the Annapurna Range, which acts as the gateway to the Himalayas.

There are many adventure sports available in this area, such as skydiving, mountain biking, trekking, rafting, zip wire flying, and paragliding.

You could stay at Pokhara and explore all the places nearby. Some of the places to check out are:

  • Lumbini, the birthplace of Gautam Buddha. There are over twenty monasteries built here by numerous countries and Buddhists come here to meditate.
  • The Annapurna Range offers a fantastic opportunity for hardcore mountain trekkers. The complete trekking circuit can take three weeks. You go around the Annapurna range, Mustang Valley, follow the Kali Gandaki river and end the trek near Muktinath.
  • The Chitwan National Park has Royal Bengal Tigers and one-horned Rhinos as the star attraction. At 1000 sq km area, this park is the most well conserved national park in Asia. It is at a distance of 150 km from Pokhara.
  • Mount Manaslu, is the world’s 8th largest peak. The Manaslu circuit in Nepal is one of the most robust trekking regions in the area and also one of the most beautiful. The trail has tea houses on the way stop make halts, and the hospitality of the locals leaves you feeling welcomed.

Overall Cost

Kathmandu has options from luxury hotels to let out bungalows. An average stay with food and travel in the city would cost around US$50. 

Busses and taxis are the most convenient way to get around the nation. A 50 km distance by taxi would cost around US$35. Cycling and trekking can further reduce your costs. 

Useful Information for Budget Travelers

Conclusion on Places to Travel in December on a Budget

These are the best worthy places to visit in this December on a budget with your family.

Remember that these places are not only budget-friendly but very beautiful too!

Please do let us know your comments and feedback!

Christmas in Europe 23 Best Cities

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe

Christmas in Europe has an entirely different allure. When it comes to Christmas celebrations, some of the best Christmas Markets in Europe are ideal destinations for travelers.

It is that time of the year; it’s Christmas time and flags the Winter Holidays.

An essence of grandeur if you like! Now is the time to plan (yes, in August) to get the best possible prices for airfare and accommodation.

A sizzling blazing spirit goes through Europe each year bringing up the best of Christmas markets that are out there.

Fantastic decorative lights and ornaments elevate warm feelings everywhere around.

Our expert’s team put together this handy post for where to spend Christmas in Europe. We took into consideration the preferences of our fans, of millions of visitors of Europe, and a little bit of Christmas spirit and magic.

Here is our extended and informative post!

Best 23 Destinations for Christmas in Europe

Why in Europe? It could be the architecture when all the twinkling lights fill the night with amazing colors and buildings of Old Europe. It can also be the cobblestone streets that get a different life of their own.

Maybe it is the spectacular range of different foods that each European country has to offer in the Christmas period! Could be the mulled wine, spiced with cinnamon and herbs of Northern countries.

Could be all of these put together, next to a dazzling Christmas tree, aside to a blazing fireplace.

Some of these Christmas winter destinations offer wooden chalets and glamor while others offer joy through their open-air Christmas markets.

It could be love and who can tell?

Christmas have their magic dust, and specific European destinations take that magic and mix it with each local magic ingredients.

Let’s find out.

Vienna, Austria

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe
Vienna, Austria

The city of Vienna is one of the best Christmas destinations to enjoy your Christmas holiday.

These are some of the events that you can plan for:

  • The Christmas in Vienna concert
  • Ice skating
  • Advent concert at Stephansdom
  • Belvedere palace Christmas market
  • Schonbrunn palace orchestra Christmas and new year concert
  • Freyung Christmas market
  • Karlsplatz Christmas market
  • Winter in MQ (winter in the Museumsquartier) and
  • Mozart Christmas concert

If you plan to go to Vienna besides Christmas period, read our post for things to do in the city.

Copenhagen, Denmark

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe
City of Copenhagen, Denmark

Copenhagen presents several; Christmas events worth visiting.

These are:

  • Tivoli amusement park
  • Ice skating in Frederiksberg Have
  • Copenhagen street foods
  • The Royal Copenhagen’s Christmas tables
  • Visit Fairytale castle
  • Paper island street food
  • Strolling down Kronprinsensgade; you may also visit the old candy factory.

Copenhagen is a great city (top for a living). We spent a week there. Read our posts from here.

Nuremberg, Germany

Christmas Markets Europe
City of Nuremberg, Germany

Beautiful sites during Christmas in Nuremberg include:

  • Be part of a stagecoach tour
  • The market of the sister cities for international gifts
  • Visit the Christmas market
  • See the Nuremberg Christkind
  • The funny prune men
  • The children’s Christmas market
  • Find a selection of Christmas tree decors at the Christmas market

If you choose to go to Germany, then read this post for things to do in the country in a few (or many) days.

London, England

Christmas Markets
City of London, England

In London, expect the following:

  • London Christmas concert
  • Christmas lightings in London
  • Meet Father Christmas at ZSL London zoo
  • Visit London museums
  • Christmas carols at Trafalgar square
  • Battersea Cats and dogs home carol concert
  • St Paul’s Cathedral
  • St Martins-in-the-fields Church among others
  • Go ice skating

London is great at Christmas but also great with kids or not. Read our related posts.

Strasbourg, France

Christmas in France
Strasbourg, France

In Strasbourg expect to see; Cathedral Notre-Dame, The Strasbourg Christmas markets, the huge Christmas tree in Strasbourg city that’s about 30 feet.

Prague, Czech Republic

Christmas in Czech Republic
City of Prague, Czech Republic

The city of Prague presents these beautiful sights and events:

  • Watching the Nutcracker ballet and other international class performance
  • Ice skating in the old town
  • Relaxing moments at Prague river cruise
  • A visit to Prague Zoo
  • Czech traditional food stands
  • Shopping in Prague street markets
  • The Christmas atmosphere in Prague town

One of the most popular destinations in Europe for all year round trips. Read what to do in Prague.

Colmar, France

Festivities in Colmar
Colmar, France

In Colmar city you and to enjoy the following:

  • A visit to the Toy museum
  • Colmar Christmas park for children
  • A stroll through Colmar’s Christmas market
  • A visit to the hills, Christmas carols by boat
  • Shopping and sampling foods at Colmar City markets
  • Christmas tasting at Colmar
  • A visit to the historic town

If you travel to France, then you need to see more things. Depending on where you will choose to stay, there are many options. Read all our posts from here.

Dresden, Germany

Best Destinations for Christmas in Europe
Dresden, Germany

Yes, Dresden city has the record of having the tallest Christmas tree, which is around 14 meters high.

The city of Dresden has one of the oldest Christmas markets in the world. Experience the:

  • The Frauenkirche (Church of Our Lady)
  • The Moritzburg water castle is one of the world best water castle
  • The Green Vault museum a rococo-style palace.

Brussels, Belgium

BChristmas Brussels
Brussels, Belgium

The city of Brussels has some of the ancient cathedrals in Europe; St Catherine, St Gudula, and St Michael cathedrals.

Expect to see amazing Christmas lightings in Brussels streets:

  • The city hall is well light with Christmas decorations
  • A visit to the Brussels Christmas market should be in your list
  • skating at Place de la Monnaie

And finally the Christmas tree, sound and light show at the Grand- Place.

Did you know that Brussels is considered one of the best affordable destinations in Europe? Read why.

Cologne, Germany

Christmas Markets
Cologne, Germany

A visit to Cologne city you should experience the following:

  • The Fragrance Museum
  • The cathedral or Dom
  • Cologne city Christmas markets for a variety of Christmas gift for family and friends
  • A Visit to Museum Ludwig

A visit to the old town and a stroll by the waterfront, the chocolate museum is also worth visiting.

Paris, France

Best Destinations for Christmas
City of Paris, France

Paris France presents the following during Christmas:

  • Grand Magasins like the Bon Marche and the Galeries Lafayettes
  • A visit to Trocadero square for a spectacular view of the Eiffel tower
  • Ice skating
  • A visit to the Paris Christmas markets
  • Christmas in the church at Notre-Dame Cathedral
  • Sacre-Coeur Basilica of Montmartre or The Church of Saint Eustache

You may also opt to sample wine in Pairs bars and watch the Christmas lighting in Paris streets.

Three days or maybe seven days in Paris? Well, it is Paris, and there is a ton of things to do.

Read our advice and things to do for five days in Paris and another one for seven days.

Budapest, Hungary