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Ecuador Holidays for Families of All Ages

Travel Tips and Destinations - 11 hours 3 min ago
This article highlights some of the family adventures to be had on a holiday to Ecuador. No matter what your family's interests or their ages, there is fun to be had by every member of the family.

Sufi Music Festival, Rajasthan, India

Travel Tips and Destinations - 13 hours 7 min ago
This article summarises some of the delights of travelling to Asia and experiencing the Sufi Music Festival. With so much choice, there's something for everyone to enjoy.

Visiting Barcelona for the First Time: 7 mistakes to avoid

EuroCheapo via rss - 14 hours 2 min ago

Despite being a “small” big city of just 1.5 million people, Barcelona can feel overwhelming to the 8 million tourists who visit each year from across the globe. From staying in the wrong location during your visit to eating a frozen paella warmed up just for tourists, it’s easy to fall into tourist traps… especially if visiting for the first time.

We’ve made many of these errors ourselves in the past, and we’re here to help you avoid making these rookie mistakes when visiting Spain’s second largest metropolis.

1. Staying out in no-man’s land to save bucks

Just the other day I met a couple on the train who were coming to Barcelona for a few days from Paris. I asked them where they were staying and they said Sarrià. “Oh…” I said, and they could see the look of concern in my eyes. Sarrià is a nice area, but it’s not well connected by metro, and it’s not central (there is a train that goes there). Most of the couple’s time was undoubtedly spent negotiating public transportation or paying for taxis.

It may cost you more to stay centrally, but if you only have a few days, it’s worth the splurge of a few extra euros. In the long run you will save money, time and headaches by getting a place in central neighborhoods like Gothic Quarter or Eixample.

One word of caution: La Rambla is centrally located, but it can be crowded and touristy, so if you like a little more peace and quiet try Hostal Fernando and Hostal Goya, both of which are located just a few blocks from the main stretch.

Related: Cheapo tip – Book a hotel in central Barcelona to save time, money and stress

Don’t leave your bag sitting on a bench like this scene along the Barcelona beach. Photo: Regina W Bryan

2. Bringing valuables with you to the beach

You’re asking for it by bringing valuables to the beach—either you’ll lose your keys in the sand or a thief might end up with them. Either way it will put a damper on your vacation. The beach is the last place you want to bring money, cameras or expensive smartphones. Do the selfie later, post-playa.

If you do bring your valuables to the beach, never leave them unattended. If someone comes up to you asking you for a light for their cigarette, the first thing you should do is turn around—his buddy might be behind you stealing your bag.

When I go to the beach, I bring a book and my house keys. If I think I might want to buy something to eat or drink at one of the beach bars (which are plentiful and offer lots of tasty snacks from May – October), I roll up a €10 and keep it in my book. I never bring my wallet with me if I am going to be swimming or sunbathing alone. If you go with a friend, then take turns swimming and watching your stuff.

One more thing: Never sleep or camp on the beach. It is illegal, dangerous and not particularly comfortable.

3. Tipping American-style

It’s hard to not tip if, like me, you come from a tipping culture. However, it is not normal in Barcelona to leave a 10-20% tip, as the tip and tax have already been included in the bill.

If your beer costs €2.75, go ahead and leave them the remaining €.25 if you must. Locals almost never do. And forget about leaving one for a coffee barista. In a restaurant, if the service is exceptionally stellar, you might tip 10%.

For an Instagram worthy food moment, get yourself a paella that looks this good. Photo: Regina W Bryan

4. Eating frozen paella

If you see a brightly colored dish of neon rice that some shady folks are trying to sell as paella on La Rambla or elsewhere: Avoid! Paella should not glow in the dark.

Instead, head down to La Barceloneta and have an authentic paella, or rice dish, by the seaside at La Barceloneta Restaurant, El Suquet de l’Almirall, El Nou Ramonet or almost any of the other seafood joints in the ‘hood.

Note that those in the know do not eat paella for dinner. It’s a lunch dish. Walk to La Barceloneta around 1 PM and search for a place that seems popular with the locals. That’s where you want to be. Normally eateries that have photographs of the food (or the menu in 20 languages!) are not going to be the real McCoy.

Related: 8 tasty and cheap meals in Barcelona (with mouth-watering photos)

Get off the beaten path to take a break from the crowds at local neighborhoods like Gracia. Photo: Ok Apartment

5. Spending all your time in the center city

Most of the tourist sights are in the Gothic Quarter, and visitors spend a big chunk of their time along these cobblestone streets. They are right to do so, as top attractions like the cathedral, Roman wall, medieval buildings, history museum, Picasso Museum and hidden plazas are worth a gander.

Of course La Rambla cuts through downtown, and you should walk it up and down at least once. After the Gothic Quarter many travelers head towards the Gaudí triangle (Passeig de Gràcia’s Casa Batlló, La Pedrera and La Sagrada Família) and maybe Park Güell. There’s a lot to see.

When I speak to people who have visited Barcelona I often hear “It’s SO touristy.” Indeed. The rookie mistake is to spend too much time, or all your time, in areas that cater only to visitors. Make sure to take a break from the well-worn Gaudí track. Find popular ‘hoods where locals live, lounge, and linger. Go up to Gràcia for the day or a night of bar hopping. Eat lunch in Poble Sec. Party hardy in El Raval. Chill at the clothing optional beach close to Poblenou.

Like any touristy city, there are two sides to Barcelona, and the residential side takes some work to discover, but it’s worth the effort.

Related: 3 Barcelona budget hotels favorites in less touristy neighborhoods

6. Eating breakfast in your hotel

I can think of very few times that I’ve been offered a hotel breakfast that was worth it. For some reason the price for toast, jam, juice, limp cheese and coffee at a hotel is usually about three times more than it would be in any nearby local bar. They can get away with this sometimes, because guests seek convenience.

If you want to save €10, then find a cafe or bakery and have breakfast for €3 or €5 instead of €18. It’s true that for this price you will not get eggs and bacon or pancakes and waffles. But, if you want excellent coffee and a buttery croissant, or a ham sandwich and a fresh OJ (typical morning fare in Barcelona), you will find a staggering array of options at low, local prices.

One of my personal faves is Cafe Laie on Pau Claris. Here’s a list of some more favorite breakfast spots.

Taking the tram is a low-cost way to get around, especially if you use T-10 tickets instead of the HolaBCN! pass. Photo: Michat K

7. Buying the HolaBCN Metro pass

The HolaBCN! passes are sold at tourist information points, on the airport bus and in the metro stations. They are not a good deal when compared to a normal metro card. If you are going to be in Barcelona for more than two days, buy the T-10, which gives you 10 rides in the city for about €10. Note that this pass can also be used on the bus and tram.

Note: You need to buy the T-10 in a metro station (not on the bus or tram), and you can buy T-10s with cash or credit card.

The post Visiting Barcelona for the First Time: 7 mistakes to avoid appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

The Value of Paraguay History

Travel Articles - 14 hours 26 min ago
Taking into account that Paraguay is one of the poorest countries in South America, has no direct access to the sea and is captured between economic pillars of the continent, Brazil and Argentina, the state still manages to amaze foreign visitors.

Exploring the Town of Krabi

Travel Articles - 21 hours 34 min ago
Go for a holiday in Krabi to enjoy the natural beauty, and have a once in lifetime experience in this small town.

The Cradle of Huizhou Culture - Huizhou Ancient Town

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 21:58
Established more than two thousand years ago in the Qin Dynasty, Huizhou Ancient Town is considered to be the cradle of Huizhou culture, responsible for the development and popularization of Xin'an schools of painting and architecture.

Family Fun Reaches New Heights At Museum Of Flight

Travel and Leisure - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 18:00
Museum of Flight has an amazing assortment of vintage aircraft on display as well as exhibits showing the entire history of aviation and space exploration

Where To Stay In Boracay Island

Travel Tips and Destinations - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 14:24
Going to Boracay Island but not sure which parts of the island are tropical white sand and which parts are not? This guide will help you choose which part of the island is right for you, from peaceful areas of the island to more lively areas we have you covered.

Do You Have Plans For This Three Day Weekend? Let LA Yellow Cab Get You Where You Are Going

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 13:56
There are horror stories associated with cabs. However, should you let that hinder you from taking advantage of the wonderful things that hiring a cab has got to offer? Well, the thing is, you should make sure that you find a good taxi Los Angeles service to do that. Do not just go around and get a cab. Any random cab. You find the best one that LA has got to offer. LA Yellow Cab can do that for you. This company can offer you a variety of things which you can check out here.

July 4th Fireworks Display Best Seen From Marina Green Or Crissy Field

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 12:31
Are you psyched for the 4th of July fireworks? You should be! This happens only once a year and we are celebrating a huge event for our country.

Three days in Dorset: Fossil hunting on the Jurassic Coast

from Go travel via rss - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 09:59
Last week I fulfilled a childhood dream and went dinosaur hunting… well, sort of. I actually spent three lovely days on a family holiday to Lyme Regis, on the Jurassic Coast – as famous for its geological history, as it is for its literary heritage and status as a quintessential British holiday...

Visit the blog for the rest of this post.

Visiting Palm Springs For The 4th Of July - Hire American Cab To Take You Around Town

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:42
One of the places that you can go to and enjoy this American holiday would be Palm Springs. It is a really nice place to be in and it is in sunny California. This should be a really wonderful place to be in and have fun. It can be by yourself, with family, or with friends. Whatever your type of adventure is, Palm Springs should be on your list of options.

The Rules of the Dubai Tourist Visa

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:20
Dubai is a city that attracts a lot of visitors from around the world. It provides endless opportunities for shopping, attractions and yearly events. Many people from around the world flock to this vigorous city.

What Are The Benefits Of The Marhaba Services?

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:19
Have you ever found travelling from one city to another very hectic and tiring? The rush to catch your flight and the stress to reach on time, especially for first timers, can take a toll on your health and mood.

What Are The Document Requirements For The Dubai Transit Visa?

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:17
If you are travelling to another country and have to stop in between at the city of Dubai, you will need a Dubai transit visa. Here we tell you how to apply for Dubai transit visa for Indians in a few easy steps.

How to Legalize Your Stay in Dubai with a Visa

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 08:16
Dubai is a very exciting city that provides endless opportunities to the citizens of the world. Be it business or pleasure, these citizens always flock to the city to fulfill their dreams.

Popular Heritage Hotels in Goa: Mix Extravagance with Time Immemorial

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 07:39
So, if you decide to head to Goa (ah, finally), then you should book your hotels right away! It is suggested that you make an advance booking especially if you are traveling with your family (unless you are a family of adventure-loving weirdoes)!

London: a cheapo neighborhood guide to the City of London

EuroCheapo via rss - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 06:15

If you’re heading to London for work or just wish to explore the business heart of the city, then this is the area for you. However, unlike many urban hubs that see their business district shut down as night falls, London’s City area borders some of the most popular night spots in the capital, boasting a distinctly more laid back vibe with trendy bars, a huge choice of restaurants, plenty of culture and colorful markets which spring up over the weekends.

When it comes to accommodation, the choices are also blossoming and becoming increasingly boutique, but there are still plenty of affordable staples that will place you at the heart of the action and a short stroll home at the end of the night.

Where to stay

The modern lounge area makes the Qbic Hotel an affordable home base to explore The City. Photo: EuroCheapo

Qbic London City
42 Adler Street, London E1 1EE
Tube: Whitechapel or Aldgate East
Read our full review
Website

A new arrival on the London hotel scene, Qbic is a great budget option for business and leisure travelers alike. Located just opposite Aldgate East station at the end of Brick Lane, it’s perfect for exploring East London.

The rooms are all built around the revolutionary Qbic pod formation which comprises a double bed, TV, bathroom, bedside tables and lamps and wardrobe, but you pay more for a window with a view. Rooms are clean, compact and very comfortable, but you’ll probably want to spend most of your time in the uber cool lounge area, which feels like the designer living room you always wished you could afford.

Related: Does Qbic London City manage to be both chic and cheap?

Ibis London City
5 Commercial Street, London E1 6BF
Tube: Aldgate East
Read our full review
Website

The Ibis offers what you would expect from an established hotel chain; comfort and cleanliness in a good location. While the design is nothing to write home about, the prices are always very reasonable and you will be guaranteed a good night’s sleep and attentive staff on hand all the time. Rooms come with phones and flatscreen TVs and all have private bathrooms. The hotel also boasts a modern bar and restaurant with decent value food—great for a snack after a long flight, but there are plenty of more inspiring places to explore nearby if you’re looking for a more memorable dinner (carrying on reading for ideas…).

What to see

Whitechapel Art Gallery is a focal point of the neighborhood. Photo: Phil Clark

Whitechapel Gallery
77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London E1 7QX
Tube: Aldgate East

A great gallery that offers lots of free (and some paid for) modern art exhibitions ranging from sculpture and painting to photography and unique installations. If your visit falls on the first Thursday of the month, be sure to head to the gallery’s First Thursdays, which sees over 150 spaces in the area open their doors until 9pm with free events, exhibitions and talks throughout the night.

Barbican Centre
Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
Tube: Barbican

Europe’s largest performing arts center is housed in an iconic building slap bang in the middle of the City of London. Everything from film screenings and theater to concerts and exhibitions take place here and, sadly, it is often missed off the tourist agenda. Some things are free and some are paid for, so check the website in advance and work out what you want to see to make the most of your visit.

Related: Our favorite free art galleries and museums in London

Spitalfields Market
65a Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA
Tube: Liverpool Street

Located just behind Liverpool Street you’ll find a creative and quirky market that contrasts wildly with the suits that inhabit this corner of London during the week. Spitalfields is home to artists, vintage clothes stalls, accessories and unique homeware, as well as plenty of tasty food. Sunday to Friday sees the Traders Market take place, or alternatively time your visit with the Saturday Style Market.

Eating and drinking

Brick Lane Brasserie
67 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Tube: Aldgate East or Whitechapel

You can’t visit The City without sampling one of Brick Lane’s legendary Indian restaurants. As tower blocks and offices give way to ethnic restaurants and supermarkets, so you’ll find yourself marveling at another of London’s fantastic contrasts. Brick Lane is absolutely jam packed with curry houses, many of which vie for your attention as you walk down the road and, while some of them serve up more questionable food than others, you can’t stay in East London without experiencing it once. My personal favorite is the Brick Lane Brasserie—which serves up familiar curries and some more unusual options if you fancy branching out. Make sure you negotiate before you sit down, because most places throw in a few free beers with your meal.

 

Box Park is a rotating selection of shops and eateries housed in shipping containers. Photo: Matty Ring

Box Park
2-10 Bethnal Green Road, London E1 6GY
Tube: Shoreditch High Street

This self proclaimed “pop up shopping mall” made out of shipping containers has become less pop up and more of a permanent structure next to Shoreditch High Street train station over the last couple of years. However, the shops that reside within it do change regularly and upstairs there are lots of fun eateries and bars. Cottons Rum Shack is a particular favorite for a Caribbean cocktail in the summer months.

All Star Lanes
95 Brick Lane, London E1 6QL
Tube: Shoreditch High Street

For burgers, shakes and some good old bowling and karaoke, All Star Lanes is the ideal place to let off steam after a grueling day in the office or a long day sightseeing. A filling meal in the form of a generously sized burger starts form £9.50, while bowling costs between £6.95 and £8.95 per person per game, depending on the day and time.

Nightlife

For late night drinks try Vibe Bar on a nice evening as the huge outdoor terrace is a great place to soak up the last of the sunshine, or head to Brick Lane staple, 93 Feet East, for DJs and live music Wednesday through to Sunday. Wednesday nights also play host to “Mundo Lingo” an intercambio style multilingual event for foreigners and locals to meet new people and practice language skills.

Special treat

Heron Tower soars 40 stories above London for excellent city views. Photo: Martin D

Heron Tower
110 Bishopsgate, London EC2N 4AY
Tube: Liverpool Street

If you do feel like splurging, save your pennies for an unforgettable trip up the 40-storey Heron Tower. Here you’ll find the British-inspired Duck and Waffle, and the internationally renowned Sushi Samba, both of which will set you back a good £13 for a cocktail, but if you really want to get a bird’s eye view of The City from the heart of it, this is most certainly the place to do it.

The post London: a cheapo neighborhood guide to the City of London appeared first on EuroCheapo's Budget Travel Blog.

Switzerland Honeymoon – Top Destination for Indian Couples

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:19
Honeymoon is a piece of marriage. No marriage is finished without honeymoon. The couples frequently pick the residential spots for their honeymoon, regularly pick universal ones. Among the universal ones, Switzerland is a standout amongst the most loved spots of the honeymooners.

Travel To Kerala- A Pleasant Journey

Travel Articles - Wed, 07/09/2014 - 05:15
God's own country is always been a pleasure place to enjoy your holiday destination. Kerala is the most travelled destination in whole country.

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