Petra & The Dead Sea

Both Petra and the Dead Sea have both been on my bucket list for a long time. Recently when I got my work roster I was rostered a flight to Amman in Jordan. I knew straight away that I wanted to get out to Petra, and if possible try and tie in a visit to the Dead Sea.

I managed to organise a trip to do both, it was a long day getting picked up at 6am and returning back to the hotel at 6pm in the, it was a tiring day as we landed in late at night, but it was so worth it to tick not 1 but 2 things off my bucket list.

Petra was just an incredible site to behold and getting to see the Treasury (Al-Kazneh) which is the main icon of Petra, and an image most associated with Jordan was just amazing! Even though I didn’t have a full day at Petra, to experience just a glimmer of it was like a dream come true.

Sights & Activities

Amman Beach Resort – Dead Sea

The Dead Sea is a truly unique place and is the lowest place in the world at 430 meters below sea level! The Sea is located in Jordan’s Rift Valley, and is one of the worlds saltiest bodies of water. Its harsh environment means no plants or animals can live in the Dead Sea which is why it got its name. It’s almost ten times more salty than the Ocean and why it makes it so easy to float on the water, it’s like no other water I’ve been in before. The water almost has an oily texture to it, and as soon as you lift your feet off the floor you immediately start feeling the buoyancy in the water. After taking a dip in the Dead Sea your skin feels amazing too.

Around the coast of the Dead Sea in Jordan there are lots of hotels and resorts to choose from. After a hot and sweaty morning walking around Petra our driver drove us to Amman Beach Resort which is a pool and restaurant with its own private section of Beach. There are showers and changing facility’s and a few stalls selling drinks and pool supplies.

Entrance into the resort is JOD20 per adult or you can pay JOD30 for entrance and buffet lunch. We decided to pay the bit extra as it worked out at roughly ยฃ35, and the buffet lunch was pretty good. The entrance I did find quite pricey I think if we had a spent a full day there it would have felt better value for money but as we only went for a few hours, it seemed quite steep. However it’s a great place to experience the Dead Sea, and as it was an extremely hot day, so it was good to cool off in the swimming pools after spending time floating in the sea and being down at the beach.

The changing and shower facilities were also handy to have nearby too, as I know some people go further down the road and use the free public beach but it was nice to have somewhere to change and freshen up, and food and drinks easily available. The only downside to this resort was I felt like a bit more care could be taken at the beach, such as there was a bit of rubbish around which the resort could clear up, and also maybe having a few sun loungers down at the beach would have been nice, other than that the resort is a great place to visit to experience the uniqueness of the Dead Sea.

While spending some time in the Dead Sea you will notice all the salt at the bottom of the sea floor, and also there are patches of Dead Sea mud, try and scoop some of the mud up and put on your skin as it is full of lots of healing properties and minerals! I did find that the sea really helped clear up some of my acne, and you can see lots of locals covering themselves from head to toe in the mud!

Desert Highway & Kings Highway

There are 3 highways running almost along side each other connecting Amman city to the south of Jordan. Driving along these highways are an attraction in themselves with lots of desert and mountain views.

One of the highways runs along the shore of the Dead Sea, and then there is the fastest route which is the Desert Highway or the more scenic but slower route is the Kings Highway. When visiting Petra or the Dead Sea you will travel along one of these roads. If you have longer and are not pressed for time you can either drive or ask your driver to drive along the Kings Highway, and make stop offs at the many sites and attractions along the way.

Our driver did drive us along the Desert Highway and the Kings Highway both to and from Amman to Petra and Petra to the Dead Sea. Unfortunately we didn’t have time to stop off anywhere along the way, however the scenery driving along was stunning and the rugged terrain was a site in itself to see.

Petra

Petra is a famous archeological site known all around the world, and situated 3 hours south of the capital of Amman in Jordan. The ancient city is about 2000 years old, and is also known as the Rose City due to its colour of stone it’s carved from. These incredible formations sculpted out from the desert rocks and caves were only rediscovered in the 19th century. This once was a bustling city built out of the rock faces by the Nabateans which were nomadic desert people who’s kingdom and wealth grew from the incense trade.

Petra tells the story of a lost civilisation and feels like stepping back into the beginning of time. Petra has been a UNESCO world heritage site since 1985, and was voted as one of the new 7 wonders of the world. The desert city has also been featured in many films over the years. It really is an amazing place and definitely one of the worlds man made treasures.

I knew as soon as I had a layover in Amman that I had to get myself out to Petra, as I only had a 24 hour layover I decided to spend the morning in Petra, and then escape the mid day heat and spend the afternoon at the Dead Sea. There are so many tombs, monastery’s, theatres, gorges and there is even a water supply system which for its time made this an oasis for the city to thrive.

I only spent a morning exploring the main sites of Petra, but you can buy a variety of passes I bought the 1 day pass which costs JOD50, however there were 2 and 3 day passes. Petra is huge and so spread out, if you have time I would recommend spending 1-2 full days here, and try and visit in the cooler seasons as most of Petra is best explored by foot. If your strapped for time like I was then I would recommend visiting in the morning especially in the summer months as temperatures soar in the afternoon.

The ticket price does also includes a horse ride but I declined as it was so hot and I didn’t see any water around for the horses, and had to admit felt a little sorry for them. As I wasn’t sure how they were looked after and treated I didn’t want to be contributing to any bad animal welfare. I have in the past and once I found out about the mistreatment of animals in tourism I now always try and do my research before having any part in it.

We explored Petra by foot and really enjoyed walking through the gorges and seeing the Treasury emerge from behind the rocks which is the main site of Petra with its intricate detailing which has remained well intact. We spent a while here admiring the view, and did climb up to a small viewpoint where a local had laid out some cushions and was selling mint tea and a good photo opportunity for just JOD1. We sat up on the rock drinking our tea enjoying the view and taking photos, this was one of my favourite parts of Petra. When you get to the Treasury be sure to climb up the few rocks and take a seat away from the crowds and appreciate the view and it’s only a ยฃ1 so well worth it!

I honestly can’t recommend Petra enough I wish I had more time to explore the vast amount of sites in Petra, but I think it’s safe to say I will defiantly be coming back in the future!Food & Drink

Amman Beach Resort – Dead Sea

The restaurant at Amman Beach Resort is a great spot for lunch, and is a buffet offering up lots of fresh salads, vegetable dishes, humus and breads and also has a hot food section serving up traditional rice and stew dishes. There is also a desert counter which has several Middle Eastern deserts available. If you are visiting the Amman Beach Resort I would suggest paying the little bit extra and having lunch there rather than just opting for the entrance fee choose to pay JOD30 and have lunch included. Top Tips

Petra is a 3 hour drive from Amman the capital and 2 hour drive from the Dead Sea. The Dead Sea is about 1 hour drive from Amman. There are regular buses and tours that run from the capital but might take a little longer. There are lots of private tours and drivers you can also book. I was recommended Tareq by several of my work colleagues and you can WhatsApp (+962 7 7731 8987) him to organise your trip and he can tailor it to what you want to see and do.

I would recommend when visiting Petra to visit at a coooler time of year either in their spring or autumn and try and go as early as possible to beat the heat and the crowds, also if your planning a trip to Petra then try and allocate at least 1 to 2 full days at Petra, and try and experience the Bedouin way of life, as all around Petra there are lots of glamping sites available in the desert, and we drove past some geo domes which looked amazing!

Important Information

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Kuala Selangor

I had not heard of Kuala Selangor ever before until a few months back while on a layover in Kuala Lumpur. When I was in Kuala Lumpur I decided to book onto a trip with a guide that many of the crew use for tours as I wanted to visit Selayang Hot Springs, Kanching Waterfalls and I wanted to revisit the Batu Caves as it had been years since I was last there.

While organising the trip the guide suggested adding on Kuala Selangor to see the fire flies at night and to stop off at a few other places along the way. I thought why not and decided to do the full itinerary that was being offered, and lots of the other crew decided to join me.

I was really surprised by Kuala Selangor and would really recommend getting out of Kuala Lumpur for half a day or a full day to go and explore this area which is only about an hours drive away from the capital Kuala Lumpur.

Sights & Activities

Bukit Malawati Hill (Monkey Hill)

Bukit Malawati Hill is a fortress on a hill which was built in the late 18th Century to defend Selangor from its enemies. The high ground provided a vantage point to view the ships that passed by the Straits of Malacca. The Civil War that occurred from 1867 to 1873 due to the struggle for tin mines had destroyed the fortress which was later taken over by the British.

What remains of the fortress today are some cannons, foundation stones and colonial houses. The Hill has several other attractions as well such as a light house, a royal mausoleum, a viewing tower, a museum, 200-year-old angsana trees and lots of silver leaf monkeys.

The monkeys here an attraction in themselves as they roam freely in the park. The adult silver leaf monkeys are dark haired and the young ones are bright orange. They are more gentle in nature compared to the Long Tail Macaques.

Food can be purchased to feed the monkeys for about ยฃ1 a bag, the monkeys are very confident and definitely not shy when it comes to approaching you to get some food and are more than happy to climb up you. Just be careful as these are wild monkeys but as long as they don’t feel threatened or under attack they are very friendly. This was a real highlight on our trip out to Kuala Selangor and is a must for any animal lovers visiting the area.

Kampung Kuantan

Kampung Kuantan is a small village that is surrounded with palm trees. This village is situated about 5 miles away from Kuala Selangor. The fireflies are what attracts many tourists to this area and as well as the gorgeous mangroves and fireflies there is a great opportunity to observe wild eagles and sea birds feeding over the water.

Witnessing the seabirds at sunset was an absolute amazing opportunity, and it was so surreal watching the sunset over the Selangor River mouth and getting to see so many birds swooping over the water. The photos really don’t do it justice, after watching the birds the boat then takes you further down the river as day turns into night all the fireflies can be seen in full force twinkling in the trees.

Our driver took us to to D-Tour boat company and from memory it was about ยฃ7 to see both the wild birds and to finish off with the fireflies. This was an amazing experience and it’s really relaxing and a great way to finish a day of sightseeing.

Sri Shakti Devasthanam Temple

Sri Shakti Devasthanam Temple is on an acre of elevated land in Bukit Rotan in Kuala Selangor. We stopped here on the way to Bukit Malawati Hill. This temple is the only temple in the world which displays all 51 Shaktis within the decor. There is also 96 carved pillars that depict the 96 universal principles of Hinduism.This is one of the most beautiful Hindu temples I’ve ever been in, entrance into the temple is also free. You cannot take photos inside the temple, and while we were there, there seemed to be a ceremony going on with lots of music being played and blessings. When in Kuala Selangor make sure to make a a quick stop here, we spent about 15 minutes looking around.

Food & Drink

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant

Kuan Hwa Seafood Restaurant is a well known and popular seafood restaurant in the area, it is situated a few doors down the the D-Tours ticket office. It’s a huge restaurant with views overlooking the river. There’s a large choice of food and several vegetarian options, just ask the server to point them out on the menu as they’re not very obvious.

There are several options of either you can choose a 5 course meal for RM35 per person or a 7 course meal for RM45 which both options are less than ยฃ10 which is such a bargain!

Top Tips

If your planning a trip to Kuala Selangor or even want a driver for sightseeing around Kuala Lumpur then I would really recommend a man called Suria he is really reliable and really well priced, and you can just WhatsApp (+60 18 286 9215) him what you would like to see and do and he will put an itinerary together for you and make suggestions.

Important Information

Osaka

I’m literally obsessed with Japan and first fell in love with this diverse country when I travelled to Tokyo with work several years ago. I was lucky enough to visit Tokyo on several occasions and have been desperate to explore some more of this incredible place.

Recently the airline I work for started a new route to Osaka and as soon as it launched I started requesting the trip straight away, and was lucky enough to get one on my roster the month we started the route there.

Osaka is Japan’s second largest metropolitan area after Tokyo, and is Japan’s former capital from years ago, today it is an economic powerhouse. Osaka is a great base to explore other areas of Japan such at the cultural hub of Kyoto and other areas of interest such as Nara, Kobe and Hiroshima.

On my first trip to Osaka I decided to take my husband along on the trip with me as I had quite a decent amount of time on my layover. Osaka seems to be a booming tourist hub at the moment, I never really have heard many people visiting Osaka and now I seem to see a huge travel trend emerging with lots of influencers and bloggers visiting this exciting city.

Sights & Activities

Dotonbori

Dotonbori is Osaka’s entertainment centre with its lively atmosphere and bright neon lights, it’s the main tourist hotspot in Osaka and full to the brim with restaurants, bars and shops. It sits on the Dotonbori Canal which is where it gets its name from. It is one of the most colourful areas in Osaka and shouldn’t be missed when visiting the Kansai region.

Osaka Castle

Osaka Castle is one of Japans most famous landmarks and was built back in 1583 and was created to unify Japan under Toyotomi rule and was the largest castle of its time. Over the centuries the castle has been destroyed in wars and rebuilt and restored over the years and today is modern on the inside, but on the outside still has much of its original charm even after restoration.

The castle houses a museum all about the castle and it’s history and has lots of Japanese antiques and artefacts. The castle grounds are free to roam around but there is a small fee to enter inside the castle which was JPY600 per person which is about ยฃ5 per adult. There are amazing views at the top of the castle, and it is well worth the small entrance fee. The castle is also surrounded by beautiful gardens and cherry blossom trees, we were lucky enough to catch the end of Sakura which normally takes place in early April.

Food & Beverage

Gyoza Oh

We stumbled across Gyoza Oh while wandering the crazy busy streets of Dotonbori. My husband and myself are both vegetarian and massively struggled finding Japanese vegetarian food, and we both love Gyozas but struggled finding non meat versions anywhere, when we found Gyoza Oh we were both buzzing to discover that they had vegetarian Gyozas as well as severing up several other vegetarian dishes.

This small casual restaurant is a must as it also has English menus available, so you actually have an insight into what your ordering which can be a struggle in Japan what with a language barrier. This place is a great find and the food is delicious and the service was warm and welcoming! When visiting not only order the Gyozas but try the edamame and burdock fries.

Ramen Kiou

Ramen Kiou is located not to far from Osaka Castle. We went there for lunch and this super casual tiny restaurant does not disappoint and cooks up delicious ramen, and even offers a vegetarian tomato and cheese ramen which was tasty but also very messy so I was offered a bib. This place seemed really popular with locals which is always a good sign, and is a great spot for a quick lunch.

Tachinomi Bars

Tachinomi Bars are small relaxed bars and are great places to pop into for a quick drink and to escape the madness of the busy streets. Tachinomi bars are all over Japan and translate to stand up bars and offer a whole range of sake tipples and drinks and some food or snacks. Some of the bars do have limited seating even though they are known as stand up bars. We visited one which I believe was called Tachinomi Bar Dragon.

Transport & Getting Around

Osaka covers a huge area and the best way to get around this huge city is by its excellent public transport, the trains and the underground systems are easy to use and the stations have English maps which helps with navigating your way around this huge city.

Top Tips

If your vegetarian or just prefer a plant based diet, then the biggest bit of advice would be to do some research before leaving your accommodation and decide where to eat beforehand. My husband and I really struggled finding vegetarian food and wasted lots of time traipsing around many restaurants asking if they had anything vegetarian.

Try downloading the Happy Cow app and there is also an Osaka Vegetarian Guide to help. If you can also take a small translation card or find it in a guide book take the translation for vegetarian food, as there is a language barrier. So if you have this you can show waiters and waitresses so they can assist you with choosing vegetarian options.

Important Information

Agra – Taj Mahal

India is somewhere I have always dreamed of going and I would love to go and spend a good month travelling around the country, so have always put off going on holiday there until I know I can get enough time off work.

Recently though I got a Delhi trip on my roster with the airline I work for, so straight away my mind started planning what I wanted to do on my quick stopover in Delhi. It was a no brainier I knew I had to go and visit the Taj Mahal in Agra. It’s one of the most associated icons with India, I’ve seen so many photos and films of it over the years but wanted to go and see it with my own eyes.

The Taj Mahal was built in 1632 by the Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan, it was built to house the tomb of his favourite wife – Mumtaz Mahal. The Taj Mahal is set in beautiful landscaped gardens, and set on the Yamuna River. There is also a mosque in the Taj as well as the mausoleum.

The Taj Mahal is quite away from Delhi it’s about a 3-4 hour drive depending on where you set off from in Delhi and what the traffic is like. I had heard some other colleagues of mine had been to the Taj Mahal and booked through a local company called Taj Mahal Trip, and I messaged them on Facebook and decided to book with them. We only had 24 hours in Delhi so trying to squeeze the trip in was really tiring but so worth it!

There was only myself and another colleague that wanted to go on the trip, so the tour company sent a car at 3am which was an early start, but it’s best to get to the Taj early to try and beat the crowds and the midday heat! The car was really comfortable and the seats fully reclined so we took some pillows and slept most the way to the Taj, as we had landed straight into to Delhi and didn’t have much time for a nap before the tour pick up.

We arrived at the Taj Mahal for about 6.30am and it was pretty hot and humid even at that time of the morning. The driver parked in one of the car parks around the Taj Mahal and agreed where we would come and find him after our visit, we decided to just book a driver and not a tour guide as we wanted to wander around at our own pace. I normally tend to visit major sights without a guide and usually will look online for all the facts and information as my attention span isn’t the best, and find I don’t always remember a ton of information given to me at once.

We took one of the electric cars up to the Taj ticket counter and purchased our tickets which were INR1300 per person which also included a bottle of water and some shoe covers to wear inside the Taj Mahal Mausoleum. While getting our tickets there was lots of tour guides touting for our business but you just have to be quite firm with them if you don’t want a tour guide, if you do visit the Taj Mahal without a guide do expect to be approached quite a bit before entering.

When we entered the grounds of the Taj Mahal it was absolutely stunning and just how you see in the pictures. It has gorgeous well kept gardens and lawns, even though we arrived early there was still quite a lot of people, and I wanted to get a photo on the bench where Princess Diana had her photo taken but unfortunately there was so many people around it, it wasn’t quite the same!

We wandered around the gardens and took lots of photos, and then went up to the Taj Mahal and went inside the Moloseum which is all made from beautiful white marble. There was saw of monkeys running around too and there are also some amazing views over the River.

After we had wandered all around the Taj Mahal we went back and met our driver for the long drive back to Delhi which took almost 4 hours as traffic was a bit more congested. We also stopped for some breakfast too. While driving out of Agra there is lots to see we even drove past Agra fort and got to witness all of the hustle and bustle in the streets and of course saw plenty of cows, monkeys, dogs and lots of traffic and people everywhere. We slept most of the way back to the hotel too.

If your visiting India then a trip to the Taj Mahal cannot be missed it’s an absolute must and is so iconic to the country. I really enjoyed visiting and am so glad I made the long journey it really was worth it! I can’t wait for my next trip to India to do lots more exploring, and to experience more of India’s diverse culture and of course eat lots more delicious Indian food.

Food & Drink

Eating & Meeting Restaurant

After visiting the Taj Mahal we asked our driver if he could take us somewhere for something to eat and drink. He stopped off at Eating and Meeting Restaurant in Agra which has a huge choice on the menu, we opted for some paneer paratha bread and a paneer gravy style curry to go with it, and some mango lassi and tea which was all delicious. The restaurant doesn’t look much and is set on a busy junction but the food there was so tasty and the service was warm and welcoming.

Transport & Getting Around

The only way to describe India’s road and transport system is congested and chaotic! If your short on time and only on a quick trip then I would suggest getting drivers as they’re vehicles should have air con and comfortable seats, and the drivers will know and understand how the roads work. If your travelling India for longer then there is a whole range of various transport options available for getting around and to suit all budget types, although if you have the budget splurge out and pay a bit more for a nicer seat or cabin!

Top Tips

My top tip for the Taj Mahal would be to plan your arrival time to try and avoid the crowds and heat as much as possible and to get the best light to really witness the Taj Mahal in all its glory. I would suggest getting to the Taj Mahal for either sunrise or early morning or for sunset. I visited during July so it was extremely hot even at 6.30am it was mid 30s and very hot a muggy.

Important Information

Bratislava

Bratislava is the small capital city of Slovakia which sits on the Danube River, and borders Austria and Hungary. I am always open to finding new city breaks around Europe and giving anywhere new a try, mostly Bratislava is always associated with stag dos here in the UK and Western Europe, however there is much more to this city.

I found some really cheap flights through Wizz air for only ยฃ35 each return, so decided to give it a quick google before booking the flights, Bratislava looked really nice in the photos online so we decided to give it a chance.

When we arrived in Bratislava we were pleasantly surprised as we walked through Michaels Gate into the Old Town to find our accommodation, it’s old cobbled streets and dimly lit street lamps were so pretty and not how we imagined Bratislava to be.

Bratislava has a lot more to offer than just bars and clubs to stag dos, although it does have plenty of those if that’s what your after. Bratislava is so much more than a stag do destination, and has lots of historic buildings, cute cafes and lots of restaurants. There is plenty to do here on any weekend break, however as it’s only a small capital city I would recommend that if your coming on a sightseeing break that 1 to 2 days is more than adequate to see everything.

We spent 2 nights and 2 days in the city and found this more than enough time to see all the major attractions and sites, and still take a leisurely pace wandering around the city and stopping in its many cafes and bars along the way.

Sights & Activities

Bratislava Castle

Bratislava Castle is one of the top attractions in the capital, set above the city and on the Danube River on a rocky hill. The castle dates back to as early as 907 but over the years has faced many changes such as wars, borders and empire change overs and much more. There is a museum set in the castle and some well kept gardens to explore. The views at the top also provide excellent views of the city, Daube River and of course the famous UFO in Bratislava. When visiting the city the castle is a must on your itinerary.

Church of St Elizabeth (Blue Church)

The Church of St Elizabeth which is mostly known as the Blue Church for obvious reasons is that everything inside and outside of the church is painted blue. The church is situated in the eastern part of the old town and about a 10 minute walk from the city centre. The church is built at the beginning of the 20th century in true art nouveau style. When we visited unfortunately the inside was locked, so we only got to wander around the outside, and have to say I think it’s one of my favourite church’s I’ve ever visited, it definitely stands out.

Cumil (Man at Work)

Cumil which translates to ‘watcher’ in Slovakian and is actually one of the most photographed objects in Bratislava. Cumil along with a few other statues appeared in the old town in 1997 a few years after Slovakia gained its independence to help polish up the cities image. Cumil is popular with tourists and can’t be missed when visiting the old town.

Grassalkovich Palace

Grassalkovich Palace was built back in 1760 for the chairman of the royal Hungarian chamber and was used for many years for aristocrat society events. Today it’s the official residence for the president of Slovakia. It’s a beautiful and grand building and when we visited at around midday we were lucky enough to catch the changing of the guard ceremony, so if you can try and time your visit to catch the event.

Landererov Park

Landererov Park is a small park in the city centre there isn’t a huge amount to see there’s a small fountain and a few seating areas, which on a really hot day was a perfect place to go and sit and enjoy the sun.

Michaels Gate

Michaels Gate is the symbol of Bratislava and it’s old town and was built in the 14th century. It has seven floors which visitors can actually go right up to the top of the building for views over the city. Michaels Gate is also the gate way to Bratislava’s old town and it’s beautiful quaint streets.

Old Town

Bratislava’s Old Town is the historic hub of Slovakia’s capital city. The old town district is home to many of Bratislava’s historic monuments and beautiful gothic buildings and architecture. The old town was one of my favourite places in Bratislava it has so much to see and do, and has a really great atmosphere bursting at the seems with bars, restaurants and cafes.

Opera House & Hviezdoslavovo Square

The Bratislava Opera House is officially known as the Slovak National Theatre. It originally opened in 1886 as the cities national theatre, it’s located on Hviezdoslavovo Square which also has lots of choice for restaurants, cafes and galleries and has lots of outside seating under the tree lined plaza. The pedestrianised street and square also has several fountains and sculptures and street performers too, this area is a must visit when in the city, with lots of options to choose from for lunch or dinner and eating alfresco on warmer days. ๏ฟผ

St Martins Cathedral

Bratislavaโ€™s gothic St Martins Cathedral is built on the site of a previous roman church which was there from 1221 until 1291 when Bratislava was given the privileges of a town, the church was then rebuilt to become part of the city walls, and its tower served as a defensive bastion The present church was made sacred in 1452. When visiting the old town make sure to visit this sacred church and have a look inside.

UFO

The UFO in Bratislava is an observation deck in the heart of the city just a few minutes walk from the old town. It also has a unique restaurant and bar at the top. We went up to the observation deck which costs only โ‚ฌ8 per person, and you can get the most incredible views over the city and the Danube River. After going up to the observation deck we went to the bar where they have amazing cocktails and drinks available.

Food & Drink

Arthur

Arthur serves up a good selection of ice creams and sorbets which are made from natural ingredients and they also have serval vegan options available too. There are a few Arthur ice cream parlours dotted around the city. I tried the salter caramel ice cream which was delicious!

Drak & Finch

Drak & Finch is a small little cafe and bar in the old town and near to Bratislava castle, we popped in to cool down with a drink after visiting the castle. Try the Hugo cocktail which is really refreshing on a hot day.

Enjoy Bistro

Enjoy Bistro is a cosy casual cafe just down from Michaels Gate in the old town. It serves up delicious smoothies and drinks as well as lots of healthy food options. We stopped here for a drink and the smoothies were great. The decor inside is really cute with lots of homely touches.

Fach

Fach is probably one of the coolest places we visited for drinks and snacks and has a very Scandinavian feel to it, it’s decor is ultra modern and up market. It has lots on offer from the bakery as well as a small menu cooking up fresh dishes. Fach is pretty big and has a bar and restaurant as well as the cafe at the front. We sat outside and had some drinks and ordered their freshly made bread and butter and the cheese board, although I misread the menu and the cheeseboard does come with meat so we ate around the meat.

If you want to go there for dinner then reservations are a must! This place has a really sophisticated feel to it and would be great to visit for a special occasion dinner. Fach serves breakfast, lunch and dinner and lots of cold pressed juices and tasty homemade lemonades. The raspberry and rhubarb lemonade was my favourite.

Foodstock

I absolutely loved Foodstock this was definitely one of the best places for vegetarian food in Bratislava. I had the best vegetarian gyozas I’ve ever had before, and we also tried the sweet corn hummus which was to die for. This spot is great for lunch or snacks if your vegetarian or not you must try Foodstock!

KGB Pub

KGB Pub is a themed pub with lots of KGB memorabilia and located next to Slovak Pub. There’s seating outside which is great on a warm day or the pub itself is set in the basement downstairs.

Re:Fresh

Re:Fresh is a really popular restaurant, bar and nightclub in the capital. We visited serval times once in the afternoon for drinks and olives and we came back in the evening for dinner and cocktails. They have an excellent vegan menu which had a several Slovakian dishes as well as lots of western food, so we decided to order several of the Slovakian dishes to give them a try.

Slovak Pub

Slovak Pub is a must visit when in Bratislava it is one of the cities largest pubs and restaurants and is the place to try traditional Slovakian cuisines and dishes, and big selection of drinks at affordable prices.

It’s decorated in old fashioned Slovak decor. We went there late afternoon for a drink and some snacks. We decided to try the garlic soup which is served up in a bread loaf which was amazing! Also the homemade potato chips are a must try, and are cooked up fresh to order. I’m not normally a fan of red wine but decided to try the redcurrant wine which was so good.

UFO

When visiting UFO observation deck be sure to check out their bar and restaurant. We didn’t eat but decided to sample some of the cocktails, the mango passion cocktail was my favourite. We went there in the early evening for pre dinner cocktails and before it got busy.

Urban Bistro

The Urban Bistro in Bratislava’s old town just by Michaels Gate was one of my favourite places we ate at. We went to Urban Bistro for brunch and everything was amazing the food and drink was delicious, the decor is really cool and the atmosphere and staff are really friendly. My husband and I opted for the smashed avo on toast with poached eggs and I had a mimosa. I can’t recommend this place enough for a decent brunch in the heart of the city. We also came back here one afternoon and had some chai lattes.

Vegan Kiosk

The Vegan Kiosk is a great place to pick up some homemade vegan comfort street food. They create a range of hotdogs, burgers and wraps. It’s really cheap which is great if your on a budget and they make the food up really quick, there’s a few small tables put by the stall to perch at while you eat too.

Accommodation

Stay In City Apartments

While searching for accommodation in Bratislava, there seemed to be lots of apartments coming up on my searches, and many of them worked out really reasonably priced and in central locations, so we decided to book Stay In City Apartments which was just located down an alleyway next to Michaels Gate which was a perfect location to being really in the centre, and only having to walk out of the building to find plenty of bars and restaurants. We really couldn’t fault the location and the apartment itself was really well kitted out and had a lovely balcony too.

The only downsides to these apartments is that there is no luggage room! So on the last day the owner kindly let us leave our luggage in the flat until 3pm but after that we then had to wheel around our cabin bag which was a little annoying. Also if you plan on booking these apartments and are arriving after 10pm make sure to email them before to arrange check in, as we had some confusion when we arrived there was no one at the door and all the lights were out, we ended up wandering around trying to find out how to get our keys and eventually we called the owner who then said she was there waiting and had sent an email which I never received. When we got back to the apartments there was a note stuck on the door, which would have been helpful if she had stuck that on in the first place!

I would recommend these modern, comfortable and central apartments just try and make sure you speak to the owner first about check in and maybe travel light if your flight is late so your not having to carry too much around after check out.

Transport & Getting Around

Bratislava is really easy to get around and everywhere around the city is walkable. The only transport we used were taxis to and from the airport. I would recommend when booking your accommodation email them and see if they can organise your airport transfers, as our accommodation organised our transfers and they were only โ‚ฌ15 from the airport to the old town. On the way back we assumed that all taxis were the same and jumped in one and it cost us double! So make sure to organise a transfer and price for both arriving and departing transfers so you don’t overpay!

Top Tips

The only bit of advice I have for Bratislava is that to visit for no more than 2 days as it’s such a small city you may run out of things to see and do, stay longer if your coming to the city to party or to venture out and explore further beyond the city.

Important Information

Luxembourg City

Luxembourg City is the capital city of the tiny European country of Luxembourg. Luxembourg is not normally a city break on most peoples radars, and to be honest it wasn’t really on ours either! However we decided we wanted to go on a small city break for our 7th wedding anniversary.

We didn’t have a big budget for this break and while searching for some inspiration and trawling through various flights and hotels, we decided on Luxembourg, I managed to get really cheap flights through the airline that I work for, and we had a hotel voucher that my stepsister had gotten us for Christmas to put towards the accommodation.

Luxembourg is however expensive when you are there. Eating and drinking out there is not cheap, however as there isn’t lots to see and do in Luxembourg you can literally spend 1 to 2 days there really, and that will be more than enough. We decided to book 3 days and 2 nights as we did plan on leaving the city and going to visit Vianden Castle on one of the days.

Our trip to Luxembourg didn’t go entirely to plan as on the second day I woke up feeling really unwell, and unfortunately I lost a day by spending it in the hotel room feeling sorry for myself, and the day after I still didn’t feel 100% so took a slow and steady day wandering around the city.

I have to admit Luxembourg wasn’t one of my favourite city breaks I’ve had in Europe and I have other cities that I much prefer, however if your like myself and your up for giving anywhere new a try and ticking off another country then it’s worth the trip. Also if you can get a good deal on flights and hotel then it’s definitely worth going to visit Luxembourg for a weekend getaway.

Sights & Activities

Cathedral Notre-Dame

Cathedral Notre-Dame is Luxembourg’s only cathedral, and is a Roman Catholic cathedral it was erected in 1613. The building has some gothic architecture and is pretty central to most other sites and attractions within the city. Inside the cathedral there are some gorgeous stained glass windows, and it is really peaceful to go in for a wander around.

Casemates Du Bock

Casemates Du Bock is part of UNESCO and is a series of tunnels and fortresses which were created in 1644 when the Spanish were dominating. These subterranean tunnels are full of Luxembourg history and provide impressive views over Luxembourg’s old town. Entrance is only โ‚ฌ7 per adult and you can easily spend and hour or so exploring these tunnels and reading the information in the museum by the entrance.

Chemin De La Corniche

Chemin De La Corniche which is also referred to as Europe’s most beautiful balcony and was built by the Spanish and French back in the 17th century. Back in the 1800s there used to be steep staircases but they were removed when dismantling the fortress, and today the area now provides panoramic views over the Alzette Valley, The Grund and the Rham Plateau.

Grand Ducal Palace

Grand Ducal Palace is the home to the Grand Duke of Luxembourg. The palace is closed to the public but opens exclusively in some of the summer months. The palace is one of the prettiest buildings in Luxembourg, and you can see the Grand Ducal guards stood outside. Opposite the palace are some cute little cafes and shops too.

Saint Michael’s Church

Saint Michael’s Church is the oldest religious site in Luxembourg City, it was built in 987 to replace the castle chapel. It has ben destroyed several times over the centuries but has always been reconstructed and resurrected. The way it stands today has been like this since 1688 but has been restored over recent years. The church has gothic and baroque elements and architecture and beautiful stained glass windows.

The Grund

The Grund is a quarter in central Luxembourg situated in the city centre in the lower valley below the city, and sitting on the Alzette River. It’s one of the most picturesque areas of the city and you can get down to this area by a lift that goes down through the cliff. The old cobbled streets are full of charm and The Grund is also known to have Luxembourg’s best nightlife. The area is traffic free and a great area to explore by foot.

Food & Drink

Beet

Beet is located in the heart of Luxembourg and is a vegan and organic restaurant that serves up locally sourced food. When we visited it was really popular and seemed like a locals favourite for delicious food. We came here for lunch unfortunately I still wasn’t 100% so I stuck with fries, however my husband ordered one of the falafel dishes which I did pick at and it was some of the best falafel I have ever had!

Beim Renert

Beim Renert is a bistro and bar which has a good selection of beers, it also has plenty of seating outside, and inside has a cosy atmosphere. We stopped in here for a few drinks before heading out for dinner. It has a really nice feel to the place and attracts a lot of locals.

Flowers Kitchen

Flowers Kitchen is a small cafe which is decorated beautifully. It serves up healthy homemade vegan food and drinks. It’s a great place to stop for lunch or a snack there’s lots of light options such a soups, salads, quiches and pastries etc. This was one of my favourite places we ate at in Luxembourg. It’s a really popular cafe so if you can try and make a reservation in advance I would recommend it.

Metropolitan

Metropolitan is a modern Art Deco bar and restaurant serving breakfast, lunch and dinner or if your not hungry it’s a great place to go for a drink, and serves up a good selection of cocktails. It’s set on the corner in a period building and has a terrace, and it has a friendly ambience to the place.

Nirvana Cafe

Nirvana Cafe might not look much from the outside or the inside for that matter, however don’t be put off as the food here is incredible and best of all it serves all vegan Indian food. It’s reasonably priced and big portions we went a bit overboard and over ordered. Its really filling hearty food! The momos were delicious and the mango lassi was also amazing. We visited for dinner, however they do offer a lunchtime buffet too. The service here was also warm and attentive and the best we had in Luxembourg.

Accommodation

Novotel Luxembourg Centre

Luxembourg is notoriously known as being really expensive and over priced. When looking for accommodation unless you have an unlimited budget then your options are quite slim. We opted for the Novotel in the city centre as it is a great location in the centre and was a little pricey but more affordable than other hotels in the city. The Novotel is clean and comfortable and as it’s a chain you know what to expect from a Novotel.

The hotel is situated down a quiet road and the rooms are good size. The hotel staff are also really friendly and helpful. If your on a budget and want a hotel that’s right in the city centre, then I would really recommend the Novotel!

Transport & Getting Around

Getting around Luxembourg is really easy as it’s not a huge capital city, and everywhere is within walking distance. The only public transport we used was bus 16 which runs every 10 minutes from the airport to the city centre and is a bargain at only โ‚ฌ2 per person, this is the cheapest and easiest airport transfer in Luxembourg.

Top Tips

My best bit of advice for visiting Luxembourg is to try and get out of the city, I really wish I hadn’t lost a day being ill and would have loved to visit more of the countryside. If your planning a trip to Luxembourg I would suggest allowing for 2 to 3 days for the trip and not any more, as it’s a small city you can pretty much see all the main sites and attractions within a day. Any longer and you might get a bit bored. I’m really glad I visited Luxembourg but have to admit it wasn’t one of my favourite city breaks in Europe, and there are other cities in Europe which offer a lot more to do and have a bit more edge.

Important Information

Nara

Nara was somewhere I have been wanting to visit for a long time, as I’m always seeing Nara Park pop up on Facebook and Instagram with all the cute deer roaming around the park, and I’m obsessed with animals so knew it would be right up my street.

The airline I work for launched a new route to Osaka in Japan, and when I saw one on my roster I was absolutely buzzing, I love japan and even better the layover was 3 full days in Osaka, so I decided to bring along my husband Sean on the trip, and we decided to pack in Osaka, Kyoto and a trip to Nara. My husband and I had been to Tokyo and Kamakura in the past and fell in love with Japan then, so we were so excited to get back to this exciting country.

As we only had a short amount of time, we decided to head over to Nara on the last day early in the morning and made our way straight to Nara Park. We spent about 3 hours or so exploring Nara Park which is more than enough if your on limited time, you can spend longer if you wanted to get around and go in to all the temples and shrines, however there is a lot, and most people we spoke to seemed to spending a morning or afternoon there, but you could spend a full day in Nara Park alone if you went to see everything!

I would love to go back to Nara in the future and see more of the city itself, however on this trip we spent the majority of our time sightseeing around Kyoto, even if your on a trip to Kyoto try and get out to Nara Park for a few hours.

Sights & Activities

Nara Park

Nara Park is a huge popular tourist attraction and is in the centre of Nara and home to many of Nara’s top shrines and Shinto temples. The park was established back in 1880 and is most known for its 1200 free roaming deer. The deer are sacred to the park and considered to be messengers of the gods in Shinto.

The deer are very tame however can sometimes be aggressive and a little pushy as they are so used to being fed by tourists. You can purchase deer biscuits all around Nara, and it’s one of the highlights when visiting, we went around all the temples and saved feeding the deers until last which is just as well as my Sean’s T-shirt got slobbered on by one of the deers. Some of the deer have learnt to bow their heads for their food if you bow your head some of the deer will do it back in return for some deer treats.

Nara Park is full to the brim with many temples and shrines, some of the temples do charge entrance so we chose a few to go in but didn’t go in all of them as there are so many it can start getting quite expensive.

The main temple which is also one of Japan’s most famous and historical temples is the Todaiji (Great Eastern Temple) it was established in the early Nara Period, when Nara was Japan’s capital city. It’s main hall was completed in 752, Todaiji served as the head temple of a nationwide network of Buddhist Temples and became so powerful that the capital was moved from Nara to Nagaoka in 784 in order to lower the temple’s influence on government duties.

The main hall called Daibutsuden (Big Buddha Hall) is the world’s largest wooden building, although the reconstruction in 1709 is only two thirds of the original temple size. It houses one of Japan’s largest bronze statues of Buddha. The grand entrance to the temple is called Nandaimon Gate and really spectacular. Entrance into the temple is 600yen per person which is just over ยฃ4 per person, I would suggest that if you pay to go in any of the temples in this area make sure this is definitely one you enter as it holds such historical significance in Japan.

Nigatsu-Do temple is part of the Todaiji complex but is also a small temple complex within itself as it houses several temples and shrines. It is located to the side of the Big Buddha Hall and on the hillside of Mount Wakakusa. There are stone steps leading up to the temple and from up there you can get some gorgeous views over Nara.

We also went to visit the Kofukuji Temple, however we did not go inside all of them we viewed them from the outside as it has a really impressive 5 storey pagoda and the Octagonal Halls. We did pay the 500yen entrance fee to enter into the Central Golden Hall.

We really enjoyed our morning in Nara some areas of the park and temples can get very busy so try and head there as early as you can to try and beat the crowds, although some areas of the park were pretty tranquil, Nara Park is an absolute must if your staying in either Kyoto or Osaka as it’s so easy to reach!

Food & Beverage

Kitchen Mamejica

Kitchen Mamejica is a cafe and restaurant located in Nara Park and is a great pit stop, and a good place to escape the crowds and the over confident deer. It was a really hot day when we visited Nara so we stopped in Kitchen Mamejica for a drink and a cute deer themed ice cream. They also serve hot savoury dishes there too, and we did notice they cook up a vegan katsu curry but unfortunately they had sold out when we were there, so if you are vegan or vegetarian go there, as finding vegetarian food in Japan is extremely difficult!

Transport & Getting Around

Nara is easily accessible from both Osaka and Kyoto and takes about 45 minutes to 1 hour by train from both these cities, and Nara Park is just a short 5 minute walk from Kintetsu Nara Station. When you reach Nara Park the best way to get around is by foot although if you did want to break up the walking there are lots rickshaws around the park.

Top Tips

I would recommend if you aren’t strapped for time to spend a day or 2 exploring Nara, however if you don’t have much time or are visiting on a layover head over to Nara in the morning for a few hours and visit Nara Park as it is one of the main tourist attractions in this area.

Important Information

Beirut

Beirut is the capital city of Lebanon, and also the largest city in this small county. Lebanon is in the Middle East and is where east definitely meets west, it’s a real mix of cultures, religions and has a very laid back feel compared to other countries in the Middle East.

Beirut was somewhere I had really mixed views about before visiting, as I had heard so much conflicting information about Lebanon in the past. I had heard how westernised it was and that it was meant to have an amazing nightlife and party scene, however I also remember several years back that Lebanon was at war with Israel, and decades ago the country had a civil war and was at constant unrest for many years.

I decided to request a trip with work to go and find out for myself what Beirut had to offer, as I was intrigued and don’t ever like to go on other people’s opinions and always like to make my own mind up on a place, and well I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised. Beirut is a beautiful picturesque city with lots on offer and serves up the most delicious Lebanese food, Beirut is a foodies dream!

Beirut has a very Mediterranean feel to it, but also shows its Middle Eastern heritage throughout its architecture, food and culture. There are still signs of Lebanon’s past unrest with derelict and war torn buildings, but this city feels very much at peace even with lots of chaos going on in neighbouring countries. Some of the places I visited were absolutely stunning and Beirut is somewhere I definitely want to venture back to and explore some more, however on my 24 hour layover I managed to pack quite a a lot into the trip.

Sights & Activities

Basilica of St Paul

Basilica of St Paul is situated in the mountain village of Harissa just north of Beirut, and is a stunning church and beautifully decorated with thousands of mosaic tiles and intricate detailing. Just outside the church are gorgeous views of the city too. When we visited the church was empty and so peaceful and quiet. Im atheist and church’s don’t normally appeal to me, but this church was absolutely stunning and well worth a visit, and only a short drive from Our Lady of Lebannon, where you can also get some lovely views of the Basilica in the distance.

Byblos

Byblos is actually a city itself and a UNESCO world heritage site, it is located to the north of Beirut and is one of the oldest inhabited cities in the world. It has a beautiful port looking out onto the vast ocean and the backdrop of old crumbling buildings from days gone by. There are lots of souks and market stalls, it’s easy to see why Byblos is a tourist hotspot! It’s pretty streets are filled with quirky bars, restaurants and boutiques and the area is steeped in history and archeology.

Byblos was my favourite area in Lebanon it’s so pretty and looks like a picture on a postcard, you can easily spend a day wandering around and stopping in the many cafes and shisha lounges along the way. I only spent a small amount of time here exploring and would love to go back to spend a full day there. It has a very relaxed atmosphere and it’s easy to loose yourself for the day and soak up the atmosphere. ๏ฟผ

Jeita Grotto

Jeita Grotto is a magnificent cave system with lots of limestone formations. There is a small cable car up to the caves which you can take in the gorgeous views of the surrounding greenery and hills. Once in the cave you are not allowed to take any photos and all cameras and phones must be locked away in lockers at the entrance, there wasn’t any real explanation as to why, so unfortunately I didn’t get pictures of these beautiful caves. While I was there the lower grotto was also closed off so I didn’t get to take the boat ride either.

The upper grotto is a easy walk through the cave and is well lit, and we spent about 20 minutes walking through the cave and back again taking in just how huge this cave actually is. Once we finished viewing the cave we took the small train back down to the entrance. The cable car, cave entrance and train back down are all included in the same ticket price which is LBP18,000 per adult which works out at less than ยฃ10 per person. ๏ฟผ

Nahr Al Kalb Bridge

Nahr Al Kalb is a river that runs 19 miles from a spring in Jeita into the Mediterranean Sea, and is also known as Dog or Wolf River which are previous names from myths and tales from years ago. The river runs through a beautiful valley surrounded by greenery, hills and mountains. On our way to the Jeita Grotto we made a small stop at this old roman bridge that sits on the river and admired the views.

Hills overlooking Nahr Al Kalb

The drive up to Jeita Grotto is impressive and also a top attraction itself with gorgeous views overlooking the Nahr Al Kalb valley, river and greenery. There are several places to pull over to appreciate the beautiful views. Also along the way to Jeita Grotto are several stalls selling food, souvenirs and one still in particular that grabbed our attention was a tourist photo booth where you could pay to dress up in traditional Lebanese clothes and have your photo taken while posing with a gun.

Our Lady of Lebanon

Our Lady of Lebanon is perched on top of a mountain overlooking Beirut and the beautiful ocean below and located in the village of Harissa. The statue was finished in 1904 and is one of Beirut’s top attractions. Our lady of Lebanon can be reached by the Telerifique cable car. The shrine to Mary is one of the most important shrines in the world to Christians, and attracts millions of tourists from all over the world. You can walk to the top of the shrine and witness the most incredible views from up there.

Telerifique

Telerifique is one of Beirut’s most visited and oldest tourist attractions. These gondola cars and cableway were constructed in 1965, and provide incredible views over the Bay of Jounieh and the surrounding areas. The ride takes you 650 meters above sea level, and up to Harissa village then from there there’s a funicular to take you up to Our Lady of Lebanon. We paid for a one way ticket and the funicular ride which was LBP7000 per adult which is just short of ยฃ4, and our tour driver met us at the top by our lady of Lebanon. The Telerifique is an absolute must when in Beirut the landscape was stunning and great to see.

Food & Beverage

Abou Jihad

Abou Jihad serves up traditional hot and cold mezes as well as lots of barbecued meats. You can tailor make your own wraps and sandwiches too. There are some great vegetarian dishes to try I tried some cheese filled pastries, meze and tabbouleh salad which was delicious and finished off with a pistachio dessert. There are also shishas available there too to finish off your meal.

Falafel Zeinoun

Falafel Zeinoun doesn’t look anything special from the outside and looks like a small cafe. We had an amazing feast in there, we had so much food and the falafel was delicious! My favourite dish was a yoghurt dish with chickpeas and almonds in (I can’t remember the name of it) but it was delicious with the bread. We had so much food all for the grand price of ยฃ7 each and we came away so full. This little place is a great spot for a cheap lunch and the falafels are cooked fresh to order.

Transport & Getting Around

As I only had a limited time on my trip to Beirut, my colleagues and I decided to book a tour guide to drive us around for the day and take us to some of the main sights around Beirut. The best and easiest way to get around the city is by taxi as it’s relatively cheap and I’ve heard the local buses are slow and overcrowded, and it’s not really a good idea to hire a car as the roads are crazy!

Top Tips

Beirut has really bad traffic so when heading out for the day try and head out before or after the the morning and evening rush hour, as after leaving Byblos we hit all of the traffic heading back into the city.

If your a shisha lover like myself then stop in one of the many cafes and grab yourself a shisha and some tea to wind down after the day.

There are tons of stray cats in Beirut so if your a crazy cat person, go prepared and take some cat treats out with you for the day to feed all our four legged friends. I took a few packets of cat meat and a tub of cat biscuits and treats out to Beirut with me and got some really funny looks off airport security I think thy thought I was mad, but these cats definitely needed some TLC!

Important Information

Bintan

Bintan is an Indonesian island located in the Riau Archipelago, and is the largest island in the province. Bintan is only a short 1 hour ferry ride from Singapore’s Tanah Merah ferry terminal. It’s a great escape from the city and a lot more accessible than you might think.

The Island is diverse and is a great add on to any trip to Singapore, even if it’s just going to Bintan on a day trip or checking into one of the luxury resorts and spending a few days on the island to unwind, Bintan has it all from luxury resorts, white sand beaches, water sports, golf, mangroves and historical sites and villages.

I have visited Bintan on 2 separate occasions when on layovers in Singapore with the airline I work for. The first time of visited Bintan I had bought along my husband on the trip, and we went over to Bintan with some of my colleagues and spent the day basking in the sun and chilling on the beautiful beach at Nirwana Gardens Resort.

The second time I visited Bintan was on another work trip which I had bought my dad and stepmother along for a belated 60th birthday present, and we decided to make the trip extra special by having a day trip over to Bintan. We spent the morning lazing around Nirwana Gardens then in the afternoon got the free shuttle bus over to Lagoi Bay for lunch and a wander, then heading back to Nirwana Gardens to finish our day by lounging on the beach before heading back to Singapore.

I can’t recommend Bintan enough it’s so easy to get to from Singapore and while there you can enjoy the most beautiful paradise beaches and meet some of the friendly locals at Lagoi Bay.

Sights & Activities

Lagoi Bay is a new purpose built complex and in the heart of the Bintan Resorts. The area is still quite new and very pristine with several restaurants serving up local cuisines and delicacies, and there are also a few small souvenir shops. Lagoi Bay is great for families as there are several small play areas, a children’s train and a petting zoo as well as the gorgeous pristine beach which was full of locals and their families spending a day out at the beach. There are a few other small attractions around Lagoi Bay such as a museum and a lantern park to name a few.

We were really glad we came and visited Lagoi Bay for a few hours as there’s lots to see and this is where many locals come and visit for a day out. I don’t think many westerners come to Lagoi as we got stopped frequently by locals wanting to talk to us and practise their English and wanting photos with us (especially my dad) we felt like celebrities, all the locals we met were so sweet and friendly and we loved chatting with them.

All the resorts and the ferry terminal run free and regular shuttle buses to Lagoi Bay, so if you can try and peel yourself away from the sun lounger and go down and see everything that Lagoi Bay has to offer you won’t regret it. When we visited it still seemed fairly new so there were still quite a lot of empty shop fronts, but I reckon in a few more years Lagoi Bay will be heaving with lots more small businesses and visitors.

Nirwana Gardens

Nirwana Gardens is a gorgeous resort located on its very own private beach called Mayang Sari and situated a short 10-15 minute drive from the Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal. The resort is huge it has just short of 250 guest rooms, with swimming pools, shops, bars and restaurants all available for guests and day visitors to use.

Both times I have visited Bintan I have come to Nirwana Gardens as the beach there is absolutely stunning, and they have a small stand at the ferry terminal where you can organise going to the resort for the day. They have a day pass which works out at approximately ยฃ12.50 and this includes your pick up and drop off at the ferry terminal, full use of their private beach, swimming pools, restaurants, bars and changing facilities as well as WiFi access and they provide you with a beach towel, and your met with a welcome drink. It’s such great value for money and a great place to base yourself for a day of relaxing.

If lounging around on the beach isn’t your thing then there is a range of water sports available at an extra cost on their private beach. I took my snorkelling mask with me for the day and went in the sea for some swimming and snorkelling which was a great way to cool down from the sun.

Food & Beverage

Spice Restaurant

Spice Restaurant is part of Nirwana Gardens Resort just set back from the beach. The first time I visited Nirwana Gardens we didn’t leave the resort as we accidentally missed the first ferry so didn’t have very long, and when we arrived it was raining so we decided to have lunch before relaxing on the beach. We had a gorgeous lunch at Spice Restaurant and a beautiful view over looking the beach even though it was raining it was lovely to be under cover watching the weather, and by the time we finished lunch the sun came out so it was perfect timing.

Spice Restaurant serves up Indian and Indonesian dishes and a good selection of cocktails, and it’s great if you don’t want to venture too far from your sun lounger, but would also be a romantic place to come for dinner and to watch the sunset over a delicious meal.

Waroeng Cek Bakar’s Masakan Khas Melayu

Waroeng Cek Bakar’s Masakan Khas Melayu is located in Lagoi Bay tucked between the plaza and the beach, it has both indoor and outdoor seating and serves up local Indonesian flavours, as well as several Singapore and Malaysian dishes. There was plenty of choice and being vegetarian I found plenty of dishes to choose from too.

As well as having a large menu serving up delicious Asian cuisine this cafe is also great to stop by for a cold drink or ice cream. The staff here were also super friendly and we chatted to them after our meal, they couldn’t do enough for us. We really enjoyed our lunch here and may have over ordered on the food as we were all starving by the time we got there, and it had been an early start to get the first ferry over to Bintan. The food here was really delicious but also so cheap. If you visit Lagoi Bay make sure you pay this place a visit, I will definitely go back when I’m next in Bintan.

Transport & Getting Around

Ferry

The easiest way to get to Bintan from Singapore is by taking one of the regular ferries which is run by Bintan Resort Ferries and leaves from Tanah Merah ferry terminal in Singapore and goes direct to Bandar Bentan Telani ferry terminal in Bintan. There are several ferries that go back and forth daily. I would advise however if you are going for the day to get up early and get the first ferry out and then return either by the last or second to last ferry back, to make sure you get the most of a full day there.

If you can try and prebook your tickets to get your more desired ferry times, however we turned up on the day and managed to get the last few seats heading out, and we booked the last ferry coming back as the second to last was full, but in the late afternoon we asked Nirwana Gardens to call to see if they had any cancellations for the slightly earlier one, which luckily they did and it was only ยฃ2.50 to amend the booking.

Make sure you allow plenty of time both ways at the ferry terminal as you have to go through immigration and customs at both ends, so allow for at least 30 minutes before your ferry departure. Something else to note is that Bintan is 1 hour behind Singapore so it’s great arriving to Bintan as you haven’t lost any time however going back to Singapore you loose an hour.

Getting the ferry over to Bintan is really easy and not as complicated or as expensive as you might think. Tickets are normally around SGD$70 return which is about ยฃ40 per person, and all you need to do is take is your passport and day bag, and for any crew wanting to visit on a layover take your passport, crew ID and the crew gendec paperwork, so that immigration can see your on a layover in Singapore, and won’t cause you any issues getting back in or leaving Singapore when your due to fly home. Shuttle Bus

Bintan Resorts and Lagoi Bay run regular complimentary shuttle bus services from the ferry terminal to the hotels and Lagoi Bay as well as putting on shuttles between the hotels and Lagoi Bay. They also have shuttle buses running in Singapore from Singapore Changi Airport to Tanah Merah ferry terminal.

Top Tips

My best bit of advice is if you have time maybe stay over night in Bintan, and try and get out and see more of the island as there are several island tours available which I’m hoping to do on a future trip. While visiting Bintan don’t just stick to staying in a resort head out to Lagoi Bay even if it’s just for lunch and to mix with the locals, they are honestly some of the most friendly and sweet people I have come across on my travels, and they genuinely showed an interest in where we were from and wanting to practise their English.

Important Information

Cape Town

I have been lucky enough to travel to Cape Town on many occasions through my work. It’s one of my favourite routes with my job, it’s definitely one of the most beautiful cities in the World. The landscape is just gorgeous from Table Mountain to Boulders Beach to Cape Point it’s all just stunning.

I love Cape Town as there is just so much to do there, it literally has something for everyone! If your a big wine lover check out the vineyards, if your a nature lover go cage diving with sharks or on a safari, if your an adrenaline junkie check out the shores for some surf lessons.

The food in Cape Town is also some of the tastiest food I have ever tasted and also amazing value as Cape Town is so cheap. Cape Town is also great for anyone on budget, I really can’t recommend Cape Town enough and every time I see it appear on my roster I’m always over the moon to go back. Every time I go on a layover with work I try and find something new to go and do or somewhere new to eat. You can never get bored in Cape Town.

Sights & Activities

Bo-Kaap

Bo-Kaap is a former township and is located at the slopes of Signal Hill. It has lots of history and is the heart of the Cape Malay culture. It is a bright and colourful neighbourhood and the majority of its residents are Muslims. Originally the aboriginal tribes in Cape Town resisted the Dutch back in the 1700s so slaves were bought over from Malaysia, Indonesia and other parts of Africa.

The brightly coloured houses are to express freedom as originally the houses were white when they were on lease many years ago. There are also several mosques dotted around the neighbourhood. Bo-Kaap should be added to any Cape Town itinerary as it’s such a diverse and vibrant place. While on the tour you also get the best views of Table Mountain and Signal Hill.

On one layover I decided to take a Free Walking Tour of Bo-Kaap which was great and lasts about 90 minutes, and the guides take you all around the main parts of the neighbourhood and provide lots of information about the area, I really would recommend the tour as there is no need to book you just turn up and check the times they run, and just give a tip as this is how the guides earn their money.

Boulders Beach

Boulders Beach is one of my favourite places to go and visit in Cape Town, it’s absolutely amazing and a nature lovers dream. Boulders Beach is situated in False Bay and not too far away from Simons Town, which is also another tourist attraction. What makes Boulders Beach so special is it’s 2000-3000 African Penguin colony that have made their home on the soft white sand beach.

Back in the early 1980s a few African Penguins made Boulders their residence as it’s well sheltered from storms and waves with its large granite boulders, and since the early 80s the population has continued to grow, unfortunately African Penguins are on the endangered species list which also makes Boulders extra special, and it is now protected under the Table Mountain National Park and Marine protected area.

To go and witness these feathered little guys there is a small conservation fee of R65 per person and some boarded viewing platforms which you can stand and watch these gorgeous little birds, and the boardwalks also protect the penguins and their nests from the visitors. If you do have extra time some people climb over the boulders and go to view the rock pools and go swimming in the crystal clear waters around False Bay.

Just as you walk towards the penguin colony there is a gorgeous little place to grab a drink or ice cream it has a little hole in the wall where you can order, we grabbed some Milkshakes to go and the blueberry one was very tasty!

Camps Bay

Camps Bay is a tourist hot spot in Cape Town and when visiting here you can see why with a gorgeous beach and Table Mountain as a backdrop it’s one of Cape Towns most desirable neighbourhoods. Camps Bay has a great atmosphere and plenty of choice of bars and restaurants to choose from. There are also several street vendors selling traditional African arts and crafts to browse. Camps Bay is a great place to base yourself if staying in Cape Town as it’s easily accessible from other main areas in the city and you can’t beat the breathtaking views of Table Mountain.

Cape Point & Cape of Good Hope

Cape Point is always referred to as the most southern point of Africa however that is actually Cape Agulhas, however a visit to Cape Point definitely makes you feel like your on the edge of the world. Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope are both part of the Table Mountain National Park. It’s got a rugged coastline and is where both the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean meet.

The Flying Dutchman Funicular is a must when visiting Cape Point it takes visitors up to the Cape Point Lighthouse and summit and provides panoramic views once at the top. The funicular also saves visitors a hard walk up to the top and can enjoy the views and only costs R70 per person return.

I have visited Cape Point on a few occasions now and have always booked a half day tour through the hotel concierge. The tour includes Hout Bay, Boulders Beach and Cape Point and Cape of Good Hope, and pick up from the hotel in Cape Town is roughly at 8.30am and normally returns to the hotel at approximately 1pm.

The half day tour crams lots in but also allows plenty of time to see everything and only costs about ยฃ25 per person, not including the funicular at Cape Point and the conservation fee at Boulders Beach. There is a huge variety of tours available in Cape Town and all vary slightly with what’s included, so have a good look into what you want to get out of a tour and what meets your budget.

Cape Wheel

Cape Wheel is at the V&A waterfront and offers 360 degree views over the waterfront, Table Mountain and the skyline. The Cape Wheel has 30 enclosed capsules for you to have to yourself which rise above 40 meters off the ground. The ride goes round several times which lasts about 15 minutes. I took my mother on the wheel for her birthday and if you take proof of ID you can get a free ticket on your birthday. If your visiting the V&A waterfront this is a great attraction to go on and only costs R150 per adult.

Chapmans Peak Drive

Chapmans Peak Drive is also referred to as Chappies by locals, this toll road stretches along 9kms around the rocky Atlantic coastline of Chapmans Peak from Hout Bay to Noordhoek. In total there is 114 curves and it isn’t one of the easiest roads to drive along, and can close due to bad weather conditions. Chapmans Peak was originally constructed during the First World War, and has won many engineering awards. The road is also a toll road so have a look over the website for full details and information. Chapmans Peak is definitely one of the most picturesque and scenic roads I have had the pleasure of witnessing and is a must do especially on the way to Cape Point.

Hout Bay

Hout Bay is a seaside neighbourhood in Cape Town which sits in a valley in the Cape Peninsular. The neighbourhood, the harbour and the valley are all referred to as Hout Bay. Hout Bay Harbour is a popular tourist spot as it hosts a small traders market selling local wares and there you can see local fishermen’s boats and other locals going about their day to day lives. There is also a resident sea lion which swims about the harbour which one of the locals feeds daily.

Hout Bay also has breathtaking views of the ocean and the surrounding valleys. Hout Bay is also one of the stops along Chapmans Peak which is one of the most scenic drives in the world. Hout Bay is an absolute must when in Cape Town even if it’s just to stop for a few minutes to witness the rugged coastline overlooking the Atlantic.

Kalk Bay

Kalk Bay is situated in the suburbs of greater Cape Town, and is a fishing village on the coast of False Bay. This beautiful little village has lots to offer any visitor, with interesting boutique shops, restaurants and cafes. It’s a beautiful place to visit with it’s rugged coastline on one side and mountain backdrop on the other. We stopped here on the way to Boulders Beach and walked along it’s quaint high street which is full of character. I really want to go back to Kalk Bay and spend a full day exploring the area as it had so much charm to the place.

Lions Head

Lions Head Mountain is another one of Cape Towns famous mountains and is situated between Table Mountain and Signal Hill. Lions Head Mountain is part of the Table Mountain National Park, and can be spotted as a backdrop from many parts of the city. I’m always really lucky as I mostly get a lovely view of it from my hotel room when I stay over in Cape Town on my layovers with work. You can also hike up lions Head which should take between 1 and half hours to 2 hours, and can be quite a tough walk up but the views are meant to be spectacular. The hike up Lions Head is still on my to do list, and something I would like to do on a layover in the future.

Sea Point

Sea Point is a affluent suburb in Cape Town, which follows the coastline and offers spectacular views of the Atlantic Ocean. This lovely neighbourhood is also great for foodies it has so many amazing restaurants and cafes to visit. Sea Point promenade stretches for several kilometres and is one of the main attractions in the area, it’s great to walk or run along the promenade and take in the sea air.

Sea Point is also a great area for families as there are lots of beaches, play areas, swimming pools and tidal pools. I love Sea Point and always try to sample a new restaurant in the area every time I’m in Cape Town and always have a leisurely wander along the promenade which is just gorgeous on a sunny day.

Table Mountain

Table Mountain is Cape Towns number one attraction and the landmark that is most associated with Cape Town. Table Mountain is breathtaking both viewing it from a distance and also while on top of it. I have visited Table Mountain on several occasions and normally get the cableway car up as it’s only about ยฃ15 return, however I do know some people that do climb up the mountain. I never have climbed it as it looks quite hard to climb, and I’d rather get up to the top and spend lots of time exploring the top of Table Mountain and it’s gorgeous views.

On one trip I took my friend with me, and we both went to the top of Table Mountain and decided to take a small packed lunch and some prossecco up to the top which was amazing, we sat overlooking the most beautiful views while having a picnic, can’t recommend it enough. I also took my Mum up Table Mountain on a separate trip for her 60th birthday, which she loved!

There is so much more than gorgeous panoramic views to see on top of the mountain, Table Mountain has lots of unique flora and fauna as well as lots of small cute little Dassies running around which are like small guinea pig type creatures.

Even though Table Mountain is a huge tourist attraction once on top of the mountain it never feels over crowded or too busy, and I always feel like I’ve had plenty of space to roam around and find a quiet spot to myself to enjoy the scenery. There is also a restaurant and gift shop near the cable car which is slightly busier area of the mountain but that’s to be expected.

If you are really strapped for time in Cape Town, then make sure you visit Table Mountain if nothing else.

Tigresse Catamaran Sunset Cruise

Tigresse is one of the largest catamarans in the V&A which offers a selection of cruises throughout the day which normally last from 60 to 90 minutes long. The catamaran can also be hired for private events and functions aswell as offering charter cruises. Some of my colleagues and myself decided to go for the sunset cruise to take in the spectacular views of Table Mountain from the ocean with beautiful pastel sunset skies. The sunset cruise is R320 per person but also included some sparkling wine which is the perfect way to wind down the day.

V&A Waterfront

The V&A Waterfront (Victoria & Albert Waterfront) is always popular with both tourists and visitors there is so much to see and do at the Southern Hemispheres oldest working harbour. The V&A has so much to offer from hotels, restaurants, bars, cafes, shops, markets, museums, historic attractions aswell as several purpose built attractions. The Waterfront is always a hive of activity as there is also a huge array of boat and watersport tours and packages available there too.

The Waterfront is upmarket and you can also take in stunning views of Table Mountain which is set behind the V&A. The Waterfront is steeped in historical attractions such as the Victorian Clock Tower, where you can also witness some of the resident sea lions nearby swimming and also coming up on to the boardwalks for a spot of sunbathing. The V&A is a great place to visit at any time of day but try and visit around one of your daily meals as there are so many great places to grab a bite to eat or drink.

Wine Tasting

No trip to Cape Town would be complete without sampling some of Cape Towns wines. There are lots of vineyards to choose from in Cape Town and lots of vineyard tours available. On one layover some of the crew and myself booked through our hotel who organised a driver to collect us and took us to 2 popular vineyards which were Groot Constantia and SteenBerg.

It was great to go to 2 different vineyards as they were very different Groot Constantia was a traditional vineyard which was more old fashioned and SteenBerg is a very modern and upmarket vineyard. Wine tasting in Cape Town is so cheap, there are various packages available at the vineyards but from what I remember we paid about ยฃ10 each to the driver who sat and waited for us while we were in each vineyard, and I paid less than ยฃ5 in each Vineyard.

At Groot Constantia I opted for a cheese and wine taster which was amazing and the taster was informative too. While at SteenBerg I opted for a sparkling wine taster which included about 5 different glasses of sparkling wines to sample. SteenBerg was my favourite out of the 2 vineyards we visited, it was a gorgeous sunny day sat outside with stunning views and great wine. If you are in Cape Town for a while try and sample as many vineyards as you can, I have had some of the best wine I’ve ever tasted in Cape Town and of course always bring a few bottles home with me to enjoy.

Food & Beverage

Brianโ€™s Pub

If your a little homesick and missing a good old fashioned dive pub, then head to Brian’s Pub in Seapoint. It’s a typical pub with cheap booze, pool table and juke box, literally nothing fancy at all, but I have to admit I pop in here from time to time for a nightcap.

Cape Point Vineyards

Cape Point Vineyards is a gorgeous place to stop at for a glass of wine or two or to visit for wine tasting. The views are stunning and this award winning estate is nestled between mountains and ocean in Noordhoek. There is also a restaurant on site which you can visit for breakfast, lunch or dinner.

Cape Town Fish Market

Cape Town Fish Market is a chic restaurant located in V&A Waterfront, it’s a restaurant which prides itself on serving up fresh seafood. There is outside seating which is great on a warm day, and the food is delicious. I had a lime milkshake which was amazing, it sounds like it shouldn’t taste good but was one of the best milkshakes I’ve ever had! I also visited here with my Mum on a trip I bought her on, and we stopped here and sat outside and had the some gorgeous milkshakes. Even if you don’t stop here for food you should definitely make a pit stop here and check out the milkshakes!

Craft Burger Bar

I always hear so many great comments about Craft Burger Bar, so recently I decided to check it out for myself, and can honestly say I was not disappointed. There are two locations one at Sea Point and the other at Heritage Square, I visited the Sea Point one. There is a decent selection of burgers which you can change to chicken or vegetarian, or alternatively and what I opted for was the create your own option.

You choose which burger you would like then can choose no bun or half bun if you like, lots of sauces and extras can be added too. I chose a vegetarian burger with half a bun and fried egg, pineapple, tangy mayonnaise, gherkins and red onions and a side salad and it was delicious, I’m not normally a fan of vegetarian burgers but can honestly say it lived up to the rumour as Cape Towns best burger!

Crew Bar

Crew Bar is a LGBT club and bar and is always a good night. It always has good music playing and on most nights the bar staff are topless and wear small hot pants, if you order shots you also have the option to take the shot off the abs of one of the bar staff. Crew Bar is the place to go if you want to get tipsy and dance the night away. It has a great atmosphere and is unpretentious and always attracts a good crowd to have a laugh with.

Hussars Bar & Grill

Hussars Bar and Grill has been around for over 50 years, and is a part of a chain with restaurants dotted all over South Africa. I have been to the Hussars in Camps Bay which is set back a little bit from the main strip overlooking the beachfront. This restaurant has a cosy and old fashioned charm to it which has a huge selection of wines.

Hussars Bar and Grill serve up amazing food and some of the best food I have ever eaten in Cape Town. The menu has a good selection of meats and steaks and also cater well for vegetarians. I chose the portobello mushroom starter and the grilled halloumi for my main and it was so flavoursome. I would really recommend a visit to Hussars you won’t be disappointed, and if you fancy a slightly more upmarket restaurant this is the place for you that won’t cost you an arm and leg.

Mojo Market

Mojo Market is a great find, I was so happy when I came across this quirky indoor street food market. It’s good if there’s a group of you and you all fancy eating something different as they literally have everything under one roof. There is everything from Thai, Italian, Greek, Indian and everything in between, I can guarantee you will find whatever you fancy in Mojos. One of my personal favourite stalls is Earthfire Pizza the pizzas are cooked fresh to order and honestly one of the best pizzas I’ve ever had!

As well as having lots of choice of street food vendors there are also several small stalls and pop up shops selling arts and crafts. There is also a roof terrace which has a gorgeous ocean views and a view of Lions Head Mountain, so there is the option of eating your food inside or outside. There are also several bars and they host events and live music too. I really recommend Mojo Market for either lunch or dinner as it’s open late and a great option if your on a budget but still want tasty food.

My Sugar

My Sugar is a chocoholics dream, it specialises in handcrafted chocolates as well as offering coffee and a selection of drinks and milkshakes in its cafe. This is a great place to stop at for a drink and pick up a selection of beautifully crafted quirky chocolates, they also make great gifts to take home. My personal favourite was the peanut butter and jelly chocolate it was to die for!

Nuri Sushi

Nuri Sushi in Sea Point offers take away sushi and Japanese food and there is also seating available inside. When I visit I always order the crispy vegetarian rolls which is the best sushi I have ever had! The Asian fries are also delicious, they are more like crisps than fries but are cooked fresh to order.

I like to go to Nuri after landing into Cape Town for my lunch and normally sit in and eat, and watch the world go by the window. Nuri Sushi is such great value for money without compromising on the taste. The sushi I have is so filling and for 10 pieces it works out at approximately ยฃ3.50. Nuri Sushi is a great place to pop in to for lunch or a light snack.

NV80

If you love a steak and wine then NV80 is the place to go. It’s a favourite with my work colleagues. NV80 is located in Sea Point in The Point Mall up the escalator. It’s really nicely decorated and your always greeted with a warm welcome. Before I went vegetarian I used to love going to NV80 for a fillet steak, creamed spinach and dauphinois potatoes, it was always a complete calorie overload.

The garlic bread rolls are to die for and so delicious and make a great little starter. NV80 is really reasonable as normally I would spend about ยฃ20 for a really decent meal and wine. They also serve lots of fish dishes which are also really delicious, the only downside to NV80 is they don’t offer hardly any vegetarian options, if you are vegetarian then you will prefer Hussars Grill as there is a lot more choice.

Ocean Basket

Ocean Basket is a South African chain restaurant serving up a huge selection of seafood dishes and platters. The Ocean Basket in Camps Bay is a great location and along the main strip of bars and restaurants overlooking the beachfront and it’s so cheap, I went a while back and got a platter to share with my colleague and it was absolutely delicious and so filling.

Scheckters Raw

Scheckters Raw has to be one of my favourite places to eat in Cape Town. Everything they create is organic and vegan and best of all very fresh. It’s kind of got a cool laid back cafe vibe, but they serve lots of food such as starters, burgers and Buddha bowls. They also have a selection of takeaway snacks and fresh juices available. If you fancy a detox and want some healthy food then this is the place visit, you won’t be disappointed.

Shimmy Beach Club

I went to Shimmy Beach Club in the evening for some dinner, and would love to go back during the day to see what this super chic beach/pool club is like during the day. Dinner however was delicious it has a great selection of vegetarian options and a wide variety of dim sum which was cooked to perfection.

Stones Bar

Stones Bar is a great place to go to if there’s a group of you, it has a little bit of a party atmosphere and lots of pool tables to have a game on. It’s a little bit of a dive bar so don’t go expecting all the glamour and just take it for what it is, it is a chain and there are several around, I have been to the one in Sea Point several times and always had a good night.

The Bungalow

The Bungalow is a restaurant and bar in Clifton and has the most beautiful decor and layout, with views overlooking the ocean. I did want to go there for dinner on a trip I was taking my Mum along with me on for her 60th birthday, however I heard from so many colleagues that the food was not all that and quite disappointing. So we opted for cocktails at sunset on the sofas outside, we tried the peach sangria which was so sweet and fresh.

The large bed/sofas outside are amazing to chill out on and watch the pastel sunset skies, it’s the perfect way to end a day in Cape Town. I would like to try eating there sometimes to see what the roofs like for myself but I didn’t want to risk it for my Mums special birthday. Hussars Bar and Grill is located just a few short minutes drive away which is where we headed after our drinks.

Top Tips

Even though Cape Town is a beautiful city with so much to see and do, it still can also be a dangerous one so like anywhere else in the world extra caution and awareness should always be taken when out and about, and maybe leave unnecessary valuables at your accommodation or locked away somewhere safe. Also make sure that you don’t venture into certain parts of Cape Town and try and stick to the main tourist areas and city centre, if your worried of concerned speak to your hotel concierge to gain some advice.

This is a bit of a random tip and one that might seem quite obvious, but when in Cape Town make sure to use sun cream especially in their summer months as I always burn quite easily in Cape Town and know a lot of my colleagues have suffered with sunburn in Cape Town, so slap on extra SPF lotion both when sunbathing and out and about wandering around the city, as it’s so easy to catch the sun in Cape Town.

Whatever you decide to do in Cape Town you will fall in love with this incredible city, it really is a city that can appeal to everyone with all age groups in mind.

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