Welcome to another triple travel guide, dear salty souls. In this guide, I list the top three recommendations to visit, taste and to stay at. This time, it’s the turn of Barcelona. You might have already read my insider’s guide to Barcelona. After living in Barcelona for a while and discovering all the amazing things about this world famous city, I decided to share my tips with you so you can make the most out of a visit to Catalunya’s capital.

This guide is a shorter version and is a perfect pocket guide if you’re planning to travel to Catalunya’s capital.

What to visit

La Sagrada Familia €€

This iconic masterpiece of Gaudí earns its worldwide fame to its unique architectural style, however the inside of the cathedral is often not visited by the majority of tourists – but its interior beauty exceeds, like the previous works, the exterior beauty. So make sure you buy your tickets early in advance and save time and money.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22.60

Montjuïc

Montjuïc is a magical place an sich. Hike uphill towards the magical fountain that lights up occasionally for a spectacular light show, and continue your road with stunning view of the iconic castle of Montjuïc. Walk further and run into the stretched, green park, accompanied by the Olympic stadium and further lays the botanical garden. What is a better way to enjoy a city then to come to rest in its nature, right in the city centre?

Parque Guëll & Museu Gaudí

Parque Guëll is often described as “Gaudi’s playground”, the place where he let all his fantasy run wild and create the most unique and gorgeous works. There is a free area as well, however to access the famous mosaic bench and Gaudi’s house, you must enter the paying area, which has a price of €10.

What to taste

Bar Jaica

If you’re craving delicious, traditional tapas, then Bar Jaica is the place to be. Located in the Barceloneta area, close to the beach and port of Barcelona, this spot is ideal for a lunch break during your day. Every dish is prepared with love, especially combined with the iconic beer Estrella (or try a local type of beer named Clara). Salada russa, berenjenas con miel, tortilla are some of the most typical dishes your belly will thank you for.

La Barca del Salamanca €€

In this huge restaurant located near the casino of Barcelona, you’ll find all kinds of fresh seafood dishes such as paella, grilled fish, pasta, etc. However, what makes la Barca del Salamanca so special, is their service and atmosphere. You’ll be guaranteed to receive a welcome drink, free entrees, dessert and liquor on the house, as well as musical entertainment and photography services. Visiting this restaurant is an experience I have introduced to every guest in Barcelona.

La pepita €€€

A balanced combination between traditional tapas and high-end, creative cuisine is the perfect remedy for your appetite while in Barcelona. Try some of the iconic tapas with an extra touch of la Pepita’s style and taste. Their entire menu cart consists out of unique and imaginative Spanish “pepitas”.

Where to stay at

Urbany Hostel BCN GO & Urbany Hostel Barcelona

At the Urbany Hostels, you will be welcomed warmly by the friendly staff who will do anything in their power to make your stay a memorable adventure. With hostel activities, free entries to the biggest nightclubs in Barcelona and a cozy bar open every day, you will not be bored one second of your stay and by meeting people from all over the world you will experience the true feeling of traveling: connecting with others.

Ayre Hotel Caspe €€

Ayre Hotel Caspe is a modern, luxurious hotel with a perfect location. Their friendly staff will happily help you with all your requests. Each one of their rooms are spacious, beautiful and comfortable. The price range differs from season to season, but in general you receive a good price-quality for what you get.

W Hotel €€€

The iconic W Hotel is a must-visit if your budget can handle it. One of the trademarks of Barcelona is this five star hotel which guarantees you to experience an elite and enriching stay at la Barceloneta, the most famous beach of Catalunya’s capital. Bear in mind the exclusive rooftop parties this hotel hosts, as non-guests can enter as well. If you’re craving a luxurious stay in Barcelona, and are looking for the top notch when it comes to stunning rooftop parties, this is your place to be.

Travel? I would love to! But I don’t have the money… Going somewhere during the upcoming holiday? Sounds great, but I don’t have the time…

Unfortunately, we often lose the motivation of going on a trip because it looks like such a big deal, like an enourmous monster is ahead of us and we can only travel by plane, stay in an all-in hotel and go on a spend-it-all-vacay mood. There are other alternatives, too. Short trips make you get the best out of a destination while maximizing your time and not digging too deep into your wallet. Whether you’re strugglng with finding time to travel or travelling on a budget, this article features five tested ways to travel cheap and maximize your time.

After applying these tips, you will be able to travel cheap, gain more out of a destination and utilise your time to the maximum.

Hop on a overnight bus

In Europe, it has gotten quite easy and cheap to travel around. Crossing borders with major bus companies such as Flixbus, Busbud or Rede Expressos have more advantages than you think. Reduce your carbon footprint and enjoy less stricter luggage rules by choosing a bus or coach for your next trip. Also, there are almost always free Wi-Fi, plugs, aircon and a bathroom available.

A trip on a overnight bus is the easiest, since you sleep all night and arrive at your destination in the morning. I took a bus from Lisbon to Porto (and saved more than €100), Lisbon to the North and South of Portugal for €9 one-way and I even went from Lisbon to Malaga twice for a price of €60 return in high season (august).

Opt for a green train ride

Trains are great, eco-friendly options for long-distance travels. If you plan to visit a further destination, you can even get a private cabin to catch a good night’s rest. Trains often offer dining carts, free Wi-Fi and it’s a fast and reliable method of travel. From Lisbon, there is an overnight train to Madrid. From Brussels, you can get easily to Amsterdam, Paris or London, etc. Omio gives you the best option for bus, train or plane rides.

If you’re really low on time and budget, opt for a trip inside your country. Trust me, you’d be surprised where a train trip might take you! Often, we focus too much on big destinations or big cities. Remember how unique and beautiful unknown destinations can be. Don’t be afraid to let yourself wander off the beaten path. I’ve often travelled by train, especially in Belgium.

Don’t ditch the plane, step up your game

Airplane tickets can be expensive, but they can also be ridicously cheap. You have to know when to look for them and how to look for them. Last year, I went to Seville for €9.99, from Seville to Barcelona for €30 and two year ago, I went from Barcelona to Mallorca for just €5.99 one- way, makin a total of €11.98 return tickets. There are crazy deals ot there, you just have to look for them.

Start by looking for plane tickets on incognito mode (private mode) on your mobile phone or laptop. Aso, look for flights on calm hours: don’t look for them on a Friday night, but start your search on a Tuesday or Wednesday, or during unpopular hours such as in the middle of the night.

However, planning a trip by airplane all depends on what you already know. There are many websites who offer you good prices, but on some flights you’rebette off with one supplier than the other. So, to explore the best options, you need the best search engines. I’ve listed them right here, depending on your situation.

  • If you don’t know the date or destination
    • Skyscanner lists the cheapest flight for all dates per destination from your preferred airport
    • Google Flights has a tool to look up flights for a weekend, one week or two weeks. Underneath the search bar, scroll down and enter the world map. Move your mouse onto where in the world you would like to go and zoom in to explore more options!
  • If you know your available dates, but you don’t know where to go
    • Fly Me Anywhere: just enter your location and the dates and this website will give you the cheapest flights to any place.
    • Google Flights: enter the dates or the length of your trip and your leaving point, hit search and explore your options. Handy tool: you can add the option of hand luggage an it calculates the extra cost for you.
    • Skyscanner: again, enter your location and preferred travel data and Skyscanner will give you the cheapest options.
  • If you know the destination, but you don’t know the date
    • Google Flights: click on the world map and look for the cheapest flight to a certain destination in the next 6 months. You can adjust the length of the trip and decide on which month you would like to go (but it’s not necessary). Another option is to go to the search bar, choose a day span on a random date and then scroll further to see the prices of the other months.

There are so many websites that offer you great deals, but it’s easier and less time consuming if you use the biggest search engines who lead you to the best deals.

Choose your accomodation wisely

Holiday time = treat yourself. I agree 100%. But it doesn’t neccesarily mean that you have to book a fancy hotel room or all-in resort. Why not book an Airbnb room or apartment or even better, a hostel. This a great way to socialize, keep your budget low and do new experiences.

If you do want to stay in a hotel, you can find the best prices directly in their webite. Yes, I said it. Booking.com or Expedia only have better deals in case they “buy” a hotel room on advance at a lower rate or in case of exclusive member rates. But in most cases, the hotel offers the best price, also for their members, and even some extras such as romantic packages etc.

When I went to Porto by bus, I stayed in the most gorgeous hostel – a gallery – where I had a comfortable bed with everythin I needed: plugs, sockets, light, a locker to keep my stuff secure, a modern and big bathroom and breakfast included for not even €20 a night.

Even during my trips to Cape Town and Buenos Aires, I stayed in hostels. It saved me so much money and allowed me to meet so many interesting people from all over the world.

Seas the day!

Traveling by ferry or boat is a great way to start your next adventure. In Argentina, I took a ferry from Buenos Aires to Colonia, Uruguay. It wasn’t only better for the environment, it was also a fun experience and qute easy and fast.

When I was a kid, my family vacation used to be a roadtrip to Italy and from Italy we took the boat to Greece. It was a small adventure. And it was fast and easy to do, we could even take our car with us and we had our own cabin. If you want to make your whole trip an adventure and you love being on the sea, opt for a ferry trip or a boat ride!

Even in Malta, you can take a ferry to the nearest isand. The same is for Corfu, Croatia, Venice and many more destinations. Often, these ferries cost only a few euros. Think about it: where would you head out if you took the nearest ferry or boat?

No matter where you live, there are always great alternative and cheap ways to travel around. If you have weekend off and you feel that wanderlust coming up, look what your best options are.

Travel is forever worthwhile the journey and adventure, whether you’re alone, with friends, family or your lover. That last option may be even better since Valentine’s Day coming up. If you have something to celebrate or not, treating your loved one to a shared adventure abroad is the best way to bond and enjoy your time together to the max.

I’ve listed a countdown of Europe’s secret & most romantic destinations – the anti-stereotypes, the destinations you have yet to discover. This blog is available in three languages: English, Dutch and French. Simply click on the language you wish to read in and you will be redirected to the blog.

5. Sevilla, Spain

There’s a good reason Sevilla, the birthplace of flamenco, is the capital of Andalusia: its charming city centre, welcoming locals and delightful cuisine will make your romantic stay a great one. Come to relaxation during an evening stroll through plaza de Espana accompanied by the sparkling city lights and enjoy homemade paella or Spanish tapas in the heart of this seductive city.

Get to know Sevilla inside and out with my travel article covering the main attractions of this southern Spanish city. Use my triple travel guide as a tool to plan your next romantic getaway to Seville, including the best recommendations on cuisine, accomodation and attractions.

4. Bruges, Belgium

There are a few romantic spots in Belgium, but the combination of the medieval styled centre, the cobblestoned squares and the city lights reflecting this view on the calm waters of Bruges makes this town top them all. With its endless amount of medieval castles (50 in total), opt for a night in one of the many special Airbnb’s or hotels in this UNESCO World Heritage sight. Stroll through the city and capture the swans swimming in the canals, the many bridges and waterlanes, and stop at a local beer pub to taste some of the best beer in the world, accompanied by a worthy dessert – Belgian chocolate of course!

To learn more about Bruges, you can check out my post here which features Bruges as one of the safest cities to travel to.

3. Crikvenica, Croatia

Croatia is one of the many pearls at the Mediterranean Sea and it conquered many hearts these last few years with its lagoon blue waters, stunning scenery of mountain landscapes and delicious local cuisine. However, if you feel like choosing an off the beaten path this Valentine’s Day, opt for a stay in Crikvenica, a small village located at the Eastern coast of Croatia.

This undiscovered coastal gem enchants you with its sunset views over the harbour and the impressive mountains in the background make this scenery worth a visit. Hop on a boat tour to spend be the perfect romantic Valentine’s night together with your lover. Afterwards, treat yourselves on a budget friendly and tasty Mediterranean meal at one of the many restaurants in the picturesque town hub. The currency is kuna, which equals to €0.13.

To discover Croatia to the fullest, check out my full guide on Croatia, featuring Crikvenica as central destination.

2. Valletta, Malta

Malta’s capital Valletta has been marked as Europe’s capital of culture of 2018, the same year I first set foot on this island. The marks many colonists and foreigner immigrants left in this country since 5900 BC, shaped it to be one of the most diverse islands and countries in the European continent.

What makes Valletta in particular so romantic and a perfect choice for a Valentine’s Day visit is the hilly construction of the city, which leaves you to bump into beautiful decors and stylish restaurants with a harbor seaview. The style of the city is a mixture between ancient roman architecture and British influences, topped of with a hint of Arabic architectural (and linguistic) traces. The friendly inhabitants will welcome you in English, Italian or Malti.

Head out to my travel blog about Malta to learn more about this upcoming European destination.

1. Guimaraes, Portugal

At the very top of our list of Europe’s most romantic secret destinations, we have Guimaraes. This lowkey Portuguese medieval town takes you back in time with its well preserved, iconic X-th century architecture. The enriched history goes back to the foundation of Portugal’s first capital, and as such, some UNESCO World Heritage sites are to be discovered on your visit to this charming city. What makes Guimaraes so romantic is the all-year-round christmas lights brighten up the cozy and historic Gothic city centre.

Check out my triple travel guide to Guimaraes, perfect for a romantic weekend getaway to Portugal’s most romantic city.

The vivid capital of Catalunya is known for its mouthwatering tapas, extraordinary art collections and one-of-a-kind architecture. With Gaudí’s spirit present in every barceloní and barcelonina, it’s not hard to understand why many tourists come to admire the many attractions of the global city in all its defined glory. And for that, it might be confusing to know where to start – not only has Gaudí left outstanding artworks in the city, the football club Barcelona also has many fanatics from all over the world and keeps the fire burning in the modern, spicy cosmopolitan.

If you’ve been reading my blog, then you know I lived in Barcelona for a while. After exploring the city with locals and visiting the best spots, I came to the conclusion that Barcelona has it all: mountains, beaches, parks, malls, castles, viewpoints; whatever it is that you are looking for in a city. To guide you during your next trip to Barcelona, I created an insider’s guide so you can fully immerse yourself in the Catalonian spirit and, like a local, devour delicious tapas, visit gorgeous architectural wonders and come to a relaxation at the most stunning and highest viewpoints.

Your Arrival

Aerobus

The Aerobus is the most convenient way to transport yourself from the airport to the city. It has several stops throughout the city center, free wifi and luggage storage space.

Cost: €5.90

Golden Gaudí

Parque Guëll

Parque Guëll is often described as “Gaudi’s playground”, the place where he let all his fantasy run wild and create the most unique and gorgeous works. There is a free area as well, however to access the famous mosaic bench and Gaudi’s house, you must enter the paying area, which has a price of €10.

Casa Battló

Entering casa Battló is like immersing yourself in the deep, enchanting blue ocean. With a decor that takes you to your wildest fantasies, a visit to this house is often one skipped by many tourists, however very much worth a visit. Its location on Passeig de Gracia, in the middle of high-end fashion boutiques, represents the spirit of Barcelona very well, mixing the modern shopping street with an authentic showpiece, brought to you by the famous Gaudí.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €25

Casa Milá

Casa Milá is the next Gaudí-made piece of art on Passeig de Gracia, however its themes are distinctively different. Casa Milá serves many as a natural wonder, a place for exhibitions and at the same time a foundation for disabled people. Go all the way up to this casa to enjoy the beautifully shaped chimneys, ventilation towers and stairwells.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22

Casa Vicens

Casa Vicens was Gaudí’s first gem in Barcelona, built between 1883 and 1885, served as a summer house for the Vicens family. Gaudí started his series of masterpieces with a contrasting styled, extremely detailed and in every way mesmerizing jewel.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €16

Sagrada Familia

This iconic masterpiece of Gaudí earns its worldwide fame to its unique architectural style, however the inside of the cathedral is often not visited by the majority of tourists – but its interior beauty exceeds, like the previous works, the exterior beauty. So make sure you buy your tickets early in advance and save time and money.

Entrance: online ticket prices start at €22.60

The Hidden Gems

Bunkers del Carmel

Higher above Park Guëll, there is a non-touristic part of the city that, in my experience, gives you the most breathtaking view in town: Bunkers del Carmel. Many locals, mostly youngsters, join on this secret spot to enjoy the passing of sunset. Bring some snacks, a good camera and nice company and prepare yourself for sweeping sunset views.

Botanical Garden

Montjuïc is a magical place an sich. Hike uphill towards the magical fountain that lights up occasionally for a spectacular light show, and continue your road with stunning view of the iconic castle of Montjuïc. When you walk further, you run into a stretched, green park, accompanied by the Olympic stadium and further lays the botanical garden. What is a better way to enjoy a city then to come to rest in its nature, right in the city centre?

Horta Labyrinth

This park makes you feel like you’re in that Harry Potter movie – the one with the deadly labyrinth and the goblet of fire. Just one thing: this maze is not deadly. And smaller. But nevertheless worth the visit and the getting lost-part (especially while losing from toddlers that find the exit sooner than you). The ancient architectural gems and gigantic park surrounding the laybrinth make up for the €2.23 entrance fee.

Taste Catalunya

La Boqueria

It is hard to miss this food market in the middle of the Rambla, the most visited street in Barcelona. From fresh fruits to southern seafood, nothing lacks this tasteful food heaven. You’ll walk out of it satisfied, with in one hand holding a cup filled with watermelon and in the other one some candy – yes, there’s candy as well.

La Pepita

A balanced combination between traditional tapas and high-end, creative cuisine is the perfect remedy for your appetite while in Barcelona. Try some of the iconic tapas with an extra touch of la Pepita’s style and taste. Their entire menu cart consists out of unique and imaginative Spanish “pepitas”.

Bar Jaica

If you’re craving delicious, traditional tapas, then Bar Jaica is the place to be. Located in the Barceloneta area, close to the beach and port of Barcelona, this spot is ideal for a lunch break during your day. Every dish is prepared with love, especially combined with the iconic beer Estrella (or try a local type of beer named Clara).

Dazzling Disco

La Taverna de Barcelona

La Taverna de Barcelona takes you to a place where music is only played live and acoustically, while its wooden interior decorated with international flags focuses on welcoming people from all corners of the world. While bringing forth this international spirit, the pub breathes in life from the authentic Catalan fuego, making it very hard for you to sit still during an evening spent here.

Jamboree Jazz

Somewhere in the middle of La Rambla, you find Placa Reial, an exotic square filled with restaurants and bars, connecting the most popular street in Barcelona with the old neighbourhood: the Gothic Quarter. In the corner of Placa Reial, you find Jamboree. However, don’t enter the first level of the club, but descend until you find yourself in a Rnb/Jazz/Hip Hop heaven, with the finest selection of DJ’s playing your favourite and most soulful tracks from the 80’s until now. Pay attention to their Facebook page, as they often give away tickets or offer a possibility to put you and your friends on the guestlist in advance.

Pacha Club Barcelona

The world-wide famous Pacha Club has a franchise in Barcelona as well. The all-white themed luxurious night club offers various theme parties with a variety of music genres, such as: techno, hip hop, rnb, disco, etc. Be sure to buy your tickets online in advance to avoid lines, waiting times and more expensive tickets.

Seville’s charms put a spell on me – read all about the magic of Andalusia’s ancient capital here – and who would I be to keep this charming and seducing city unknown to my dear readers? After my recent travel blog about Seville, this is a more practical guide to the blossoming Andalusian capital, sharing with you the three best places to visit, the three best dishes to try (and where to try it), and the best accomodations – whichever kind of traveler you might be. Because whether you rest you eyes on a king size bed or a bunk bed in a hostel: travel is for everyone, and the sightseeings and local dishes still stay the same. And that is why I have created yet another Triple Travel Guide. Enjoy, or, as the Spanish say, disfruta-lo!

What to visit

Real Alcazares €€

Feeling like a true king isn’t difficult in this Moorish decorative and ornate collection of beautiful royal rooms, immense and fresh green gardens, also known as the Real Alcazares. It served as a set location for the serie Game of Thrones, which made this location immensely popular – more than it already was. The general entrance costs €11.50 and you pay extra for other add-ons, such as the royal bedroom, which is €4.50. Buy the tickets in advance on the official website and avoid queues of +2 hours.

Plaza de España €

One of the most iconic plazas in Spain is undoubtedly Plaza de España, built for the Ibero-American exposition in 1929. A visit to this monument won’t leave you without a grand history lesson: this plaza surrounds four bridges, each representing the ancient kingdoms of Spain. Furthermore, the brilliant Alcoves of the different Spanish regions shine beautifully in their ornate of colourful tiles, each telling their own story about the history of Spain’s different provinces.

Entrance is free.

Metrosol Parasol

Las Setas de Sevilla (the mushrooms of Seville) are a unique landmark, visited abundantly by curious tourists and locals too. As largest wooden structure in the world, built on Roman ruins, now serving as an archeological museum – included in the ticket price -, these “mushrooms” are worth paying a visit to. Since Seville is relatively flat, you can enjoy stretched views all over town, providing you with a splendid oversight of all the city’s churches, cathedrals and other iconic buildings of matter.

Entrance is €3

What to taste

Cervecería Puerto Plata

Pan con tomate y jamón is a must-try when in Seville, usually eaten around 11a.m. as a late breakfast. If you like to sleep out (as I do), wake up slowly with a aromatic cup of coffee and taste a crunchy, warm pan con tomate y jamón and enjoy splendid views in front of you on the Plaza Ministro Indalecio Prieto, with in the background the sound of horses galloping rhythmically, transporting carriages throughout the old city centre.

Taberna Coloniales €€

This restaurant is known for its famous, traditional secreto Iberico (Iberian secret), a piece of meat originated from Iberian pigs, keeping the meat tasty and juicy inside, covered by a crusty layer on the outside.

Mama Bistro €€

Carrillada de Cerdo, braised pork cheeks in a variety of different sauces, is another typical Sevillian speciality and a must try-out when visiting Seville. The best one? Available at Mama Bistro.

Bonus: place not to miss

Estraperlo €€

An ecological restaurant with nothing but fresh, tasteful biological products, where the friendly and helpful staff’s only intention is to meet your needs as good as possible and treats you like family – and not to mention the wine collection is deliciously tantalizing.

Where to stay

For You Hostel

For You Hostel is a hostel of the hotel group Zenit Hotels. The benefit of a hotel group launching its first hostel? An experience that makes you feel the ease and luxury of a hotel, yet gives you the low rates of a hostel, and a comfortable and fully furnished bunk bed, inclusive of bathroom amenities, a reading light, curtains, international plugs and a soft pillow. Equipped with a bar, patio, kitchen, and other communal areas, feel free to socialize in this modern hostel, as the staff will be happy to help you if you have any needs.

Hotel Adriano Sevilla (&Café Pompeia) €€

My quest to a paella con pollo for one person led me to Café Pompeia. This modern and delightful bistro offers a wide range of classic Spanish dishes at a reasonable price, a warm smile from the staff and, above the fact you can have paella per person here, cozy uptown vibes with a location on the vivid calle Adriano. Above this bistro, you’ll find the charming hotel Adriano Sevilla, a chic, sophisticated, luxurious hotel with small prices for the quality you receive.

Hotel Casa del Poeta €€€

As multiple times winner of the Trivago National Awards, earning its title as best hotel in Spain, this lovely boutique hotel combines both relaxation and luxury while immersing you in the ancient history of Seville and at the same time being located in the heart of the Andalusia’s capital.

Seville. A magical gateway to the early Middle Ages inspired by the fairytale marriage of the Moorish architectural style palaces, castles and buildings, together with the Spanish, traditional flamenco-infused spirit, interrupted by the modern, vivid city centre and balanced out evenly by the flourishing green city gardens with its stunning statues, dreamy views and in the background accompanied by subtle strumming on the Spanish streets artists’ guitars.

Spending only two days in this city was a bare minimum – I crossed off the top items on my bucket list, such as visiting the Real Alcazares, Plaza España , las Setas, Parque Maria Luisa, and in the meanwhile, my trip didn’t lack some occasional, mind-clearing peaceful strolls through the city.

When visiting Seville, make a clear planning of what you want to visit. As popular attractions are rapidly sold out and waiting lines tend to lengthen quite easily, you might want to be sure to not miss out on any precious sightseeing time and book your tickets in advance.

Entering the Real Alcazares of Seville is a true journey in time and a taste of different cultures coming together in one ode to history, coherency and the royal class. As there are many royal rooms, tranquil baths and decorative patios, an organized map of your itinerary will help you visit the seeings you want to see most. Don’t forget to look up, down, to your left and your right, as the designers have spared no effort of creating effortless symmetry, detailed decorations and mesmerizing patterns.

Pass a stroll through Parque Maria Luisa to discover a tranquil assembly of gorgeous green gardens, orange trees and fountains, and find yourself in the midst of traditional horse carriages passing through the park. Make you way through the park and end up at Plaza España, of one Spain’s most iconic plaza’s, mixing up different styles of Spanish architecture, in a way an ode built for the Ibero-American Exposition of 1929. Hard to miss are the alcoves against the walls, each representing a different province and designed in colourful details, bounded by the pair of a book cover, holding information about each province.

The Metropol Parasol, also known as las Setas de Sevilla (the mushrooms of Seville), is the world’s largest wooden structure built on ancient roman ruins – also interesting to visit the archeological museum during your visit to this attraction in the capital of Andalusia. To fully enjoy Seville and its countless churches, squares and cathedrals, make your way to the top of las Setas and enjoy the stretched city views.

Let’s talk food. Seville’s mouthwatering tapas include berenjenas con miel (fried eggplant with honey), fried ansjovis, and the classic bites such as patatas bravas, salada russa, pan con tomate y jamon – which is also a typical dish to eat for late breakfast around 11 a.m. together with a coffee and splendid views on a patio or terrace, surrounded by sky-high palm trees and the subtle sound of flamenco dancers on the background. Be sure to stop by the ecological restaurant Estraperlo, where I had a tasteful and all-biological lunch, just outside the crowded Maria Luisa park, in the quiet, local neighbourhood el Platinar.

Getting around Seville is pretty simple: it is very walkable, I did not use public transport – except for the handy aerobus that brings you direction aeropuerto for only €4, and occasionally a requested Uber or city taxi, whose prices often combat each other. Furthermore, be sure to beat the crowds by getting up early and buying entrance tickets online – even for Metrosol Parasol, an entrance ticket is needed, so a little preparation in advance will save you a lot of time.

Visiting the charming city of Seville will capture you quickly in its magic, ancient Moorish history and architecture, while at the same time being the modern capital of Andalusia, a touristic hotspot for discoverers and Spain lovers. Taste the Spanish flavours, watch a flamenco show and lose yourself in the many attractions of this southern city.

Guimaraes, the first Portuguese capital, built in the 4th century, earns its a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its well preserved medieval city centre. My visit to this city was like a journey back in time: to the Middle Ages.

Welcome to another Triple Travel Guide, curious travelers. This Triple Travel Guide features three hidden gems to visit, taste and stay at in marvellous Guimaraes. Scroll down to the end of this blog to see my Triple Travel pocket-sized Guide of Guimaraes.

What to visit

Choosing the three best places to visit in Guimaraes is hard. Even though it is a small, medieval village, there are a lot of beautiful squares, monuments, castles, churches and viewpoints to visit. I listed the three hidden gems when it comes to sightseeing, cuisine and accommodation.

Montanha da Penha

For impressing and high views stretching over Guimaraes, Braga and Penha, the miradouro da Penha or the Santuario da Penha is your go-to. You can easily take the cable car up and down between the woods in the city until the top of the hill, where the 20th-century, art-deco sanctuary is located. If you want to enjoy the sunset, be aware: the cable cars close before 7pm. In this case, your best option is to go by Uber: cable car up and Uber down.

Largo da Misericórdia

Forget Paris, forget Venice, forget every romantic destination you know about: Guimaraes tops these well-known romantic destinations easily. The historical centre offer a range of romantic, cozy, medieval squares, accompanied by christmas lights everywhere – all year round. After a local recommended me a to go to a restaurant on this square, I stayed there sitting for a few hours, admiring the colourful sunset and enjoying local dishes and a glass of regional, red wine.

Largo República do Brasil

If you couldn’t make it to a sunset on Montanha da Penha or Largo da Misericórdia, there is an even worthy alternative: the central point of Guimaraes, Largo República do Brasil. This long stretched flower field, with at its ending the church of Guimaraes, and at its beginning a fountain, offers you magical sunset views. Enjoy a drink while overlooking Guimaraes’ modern city centre as you watch locals and tourists pass by.

What to taste

Cervejaria Guimaraes

After being recommended by a local to visit this restaurant, I ended up in this traditional Portuguese diner – and it sure was worth it. Typical Portuguese dishes are served in this restaurant located right in the middle of Largo da Misericórdia. I see myself as an enthusiast of the Portuguese cuisine and I have tried out all one dishes in several restaurants, namely alheira – a type of sausage mixed with several types of meat, served with fried egg and rice. As a self-made alheira expert, I have to admit: the alheira here is worth the try!

Gil Doce

Regional products such as pastries and sweets are the specialities of this Portuguese pastelaria. What distinguishes this one from the thousand other pastelarias, you might wonder? The artisanal products and the love which they are served with gives a extra taste. And while you’re in Portugal, you’re allowed try out as many pasteís as possible, without a single feeling of guilt – you have to truly discover the taste of the country, am I right?

Xisko restaurant

Try out one of the most popular Portuguese dishes, Bacalhau a Bras, in this beautifully styled and elegant restaurant. If you’re looking for a different setting than the traditional pastelarias in Guimaraes, but still receive high quality food, this restaurant might be your best option.

Where to stay

Hotel Fundador

Hotel Fundador is a budget-friendly hotel, located close to the train station of Guimaraes. Easily reachable by foot from the centre and offering nice hotel rooms for a very small price, this is the perfect accommodation if you’re traveling on a budget and looking for a well located and decent hotel.

EMAJ boutique Hotel €€

Feel the medieval spirit of Guimaraes in this well-preserved National Bank turned into a centrally-located boutique hotel. Luxury and budget come together in this renovated building, with very reasonable prices for the comfort, location and service that is offered to you.

Pousada Mosteiro de Guimarães €€€

If you really want to travel back in time during your trip to Guimaraes, then complete your trip with a stay in this 12th-century Augustinian Monastery. Relax after a day of citytrippin’ in the 9-hectare garden and release your inner medieval highness in one of the luxurious rooms.

Ah, Porto. The birthplace of the Port wine, friendly inhabitants and a charming city centre. What’s not to like about it, you might wonder. I went on a two-day trip to Porto and Guimarães from Lisbon, to escape the hassle of busy Lisbon. In Porto, a whole different atmosphere rules: one that invites you to stroll around the town, relax, grab a glass of wine produced in the Douro region, and watch the sunset at one of the many bridges sights.

Welcome to another Triple Travel Guide, curious travelers. This travel guide features the hiddens gems to visit, taste and stay at in another marvellous city. Scroll down to see my pocket-sized travel guide of Porto.

What to visit

Mercado Ferreira Borges

Let’s start off with my very favorite location in Porto. The Market of Ferreira Borges. Grab a coffee, pick out a nice spot on the terrace, and admire this beautiful view over downtown Porto and the river behind it. I stayed up here, writing, reminiscing, and enjoying the view. This is that special place for – in every city, I find myself falling in love with a certain location. If you recognize this, I would love to hear your experiences.

Torre & Igreja dos Clérigos

I visited a lot of churches in a lot of cities, countries and continents. But this church had me staring at the interior for a while, speechless – with its dusty pink walls and impressive golden details, I could sit in this piece of heaven all day. You can visit this church completely for free – you only pay in case you want to visit the tower or other parts of the church.

Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

Get completely lost in this giant mosaique of nature – it’s a collection small gardens, all put together in a big park, where peacocks run around together with pigeons, like they are of the same species. These gardens are perfect for romantic dates, family walks, or just – like I did- running around and finding beautiful viewpoints after every tree. Since it’s uphill, you find yourself admiring many different viewpoints – over the river, over town, over the lower gardens, and many more.

What to taste

Don’t worry, fellow foodies, of course I have some juicy stories and dishes for you as well. I even have three of them.

Mercador Cafe

Mercador Cafe is located in the most flowery and gorgeous street in Porto – rua das Flores. It’s true to its name: a street filled with flowery balcons, beautiful buildings and regional restaurants. Mercador Cafe is my favorite. Make sure to get a seat on the terrace and order one of the many, healthy dishes – I had the rainbow smoothie bowl and although I was craving some eggs with bacon and pancakes, this smoothie bowl fulfilled me and my cravings – and that is a tough job to do.

Mirajazz

This winebar also offers – like the name suggests it – a mira (a look) and jazz. And a tasty selection of regional wines and products. Visit it before sunset to get a table on the terrace and enjoy the colours in the sky changing subtly and wait for the night to fall. Do you need any other reason to go?

O Diplomata

O diplomata is a true paradise for brunch lovers – here, you will find a fine selection of delicious pancakes, pancakes and more pancakes. You can choose between four menus and combine them with your favourite sweets.

Where to stay at

Gallery Hostel

This artistic hostel was my choice of accommodation – a perfect mix between the social aspect of a hostel and the comfort and rest of a hotel. Also, this hostel is a piece of art – literally. Rooms with themes of different artists, a gallery-inspired design and outdoor-and indoor patios, 24-h bar, free cake and a drink during the day, and lovely staff. The price might be €, but the quality sure is €€€.

The Intercontinental Porto €€

The iconic InterContinental Porto is one of a kind; it’s a palace, literally. Its location (right in the centre, next to the station Sao Bento) and luxury are everything you need for a relaxing stay in Porto. The breathtaking restored interior will leave you feeling like a king in their palace.

The PortoBar Hotel Teatro €€€

This charming and elite hotel is inspired by the art of theater, and staying in this hotel makes you feel like you’re on your own stage: of refined relaxation and luxury. My room was spacious, styled with dark, warm modern tones – this style is noticeable from the main entrance, that immediately shows you how unique this bohemian hotel is. The breakfast is also worth the try, so even if you’re not a guest, worth checking out.

Share with me your end results and funny stories and I will shout out the best ones on my social media channels!

Traveling is a wonderful treat you can give to yourself and others. Going on an adventure or discovering a new destination never gets old. In many cases, you may already know which destination to go to. We all have that “dream destination” in our minds. But maybe you don’t. And then what? How do you know which destination is perfect for you to travel to? How do you know which destination suits you best?

Let me provide you with some tips that help you choosing your perfect travel destination, so you can enjoy your holiday to the fullest. We’ll figure your perfect destination out, together, using the W-W-W-W-H method (Who-What-When-Where-How). If you specify these points, you’ll get a lot closer to pinning down that place on the map.

Who would you like to bring on this trip? (Who)

In order to find your perfect travel destination, you have to make a decision about who is traveling with you. Is it nobody? Perfect, less hassle, more independence for you. Are you traveling with friends? Sit with each other and discuss the others needs, wants and availability. Are you traveling with family? Idem.

Communication is really important in the process of planning a vacation, and it is uttermost important that you discuss important factors with your fellow travelers. Even small details, like a preferred airline or accomodation type, can change your entire getaway. If you’re having difficulties finding time to travel in a group or even with yourself, then check out my tips on how to make time to travel.

What do you want to get out of this vacation? (What)

What is your main reason for traveling? Maybe you want to discover a new culture, city or language. Or you’re more the adventurous type that likes to go into nature, pack your backpack and go hiking for a bit. Maybe you want to relax and lay at the beach all day. or maybe, you’re the type that likes to get both out of a vacation: go to an interesting place and relax. Yin and yang, as they say.

If you decided this for yourself, than you’re making your quest for the perfect travel destination a whole lot easier. Do some research about the best beaches, for example, or the best hiking trails or cultural cities. Write them all down.

Which climate do you feel most comfortable in? (Where)

After you made this list, you can specify more by selecting the proper climate. This is a really important one and it requires some research. Because no matter when you go to a certain country or city, their climate can be a whole lot different than yours.

Do you want a sunny location? If yes, what is the maximum temperature that you could handle? If you’re going hiking in the mountains, what is the minimum temperature that you’d like to find yourself in?

Always prepared about any changes that this climate can bring, such as diseases or insects that can harm you.

After deciding on which climate you would like to find yourself in – cold, tropical, moderate,etc. – remove the destinations from your list that do not meet this requirement.

Which period would be best suitable for you to travel in? (When)

This is a really important filter. The date. You should check with different parties to have the perfect period to travel in. Is anybody traveling with you? When are their days off? Or are you traveling solo, and are you looking to find time to travel? Another helpful source is my previous blog make time to travel, where you find tips and tricks to pin down that travel date.

After checking off possible date(s), see which destination would be suitable to visit during this period. For example, if you want to go hiking on a trail or go to a beach that is closed during that time, you might want to find another destination. Cross out the destinations that are not suitable for your availability.

How would you like to travel? (How)

Last but not least: transport. How do you like to travel? Catching flights is my favorite. Get comfy in an airplane, put on that airplane mode, have some me-time, get served food and drinks, and fly with your favorite airline. There’s nothing better than a nice flight to start your trip with.

But maybe you don’t like flying, or the flights are overpriced, or the people you are traveling with are afraid of flying.

Whatever the reason may be, there are so many transport options these days. Bus, train, car, boat, you name it. If you want to do some island hopping but you don’t want to fly in and out or take the ferry all the time, you can consider a cruise.

If you’re planning on doing the yin and yang vacation (beach and city), a car may be a good idea, so you can drive to places you would like to visit and you have the freedom to visit any beach in your surroundings. If you’re traveling solo and you want to do a full city trip, public transport is your go-to!

Take your list of destinations with you and investigate on how to get there. If it’s overseas and you’re afraid of flying, check out alternates like cruises or an overnight boat. There are so many ways to travel nowadays. Find your way and make the best out of it!

The most important thing is to follow your heart. If you have a dream destination in mind, go for it. If not, the world is so big, I’m sure you’ll find the perfect travel destination for you after applying the W-W-W-W-H method. Save travels, adventurer!

Traveling. Getting on that airplane. Catching flights. Breathing in a new culture and country. That fulfilling feeling of adventure and jumping into the unknown.

Many of us love to travel. Especially if you’re reading this. I see you! The difficult things about going on a holiday? Budget and time. If you’re struggling with planning a vacation within a budget, read my tips here. If you’re struggling with finding time to travel, keep on reading then!

Make Yourself A Priority

Start at the beginning. Who wants to travel? You? Or your friend(s)? Or a spouse or family member?

If it’s just you and you are waiting on somebody to make time to join you on your trip, then leave that. Just plan your trip, since you want to travel so badly. Take a look at your budget, the flight tickets and availability of your desired accommodation. Next, compare it to your vacation days. When can you take a weekend/week/month off? The same goes for when you are the plus one. If you notice your friend really wants to go to a place and you don’t have the time/money/motivation to go with them, let them know. For the sake of all travelers out there, don’t keep us waiting.

The more, the merrier

If you are planning on going on a trip with somebody or a group, but you are struggling to plan dates, here’s what to do next. Firstly, ask around when everybody can take off to go on holiday, if somebody already used all their vacation days or they have a busy job and they have a strict schedule, ask them to request days off in advance and plan your trip later. If you really want the person to come with you, first make sure you’re all on the same line and with the same availability. Next, discuss a budget, and put it all together in one account.

Side note: I recommend to use Revolut. It’s an online bank where you can create a credit card in a second and opt to use a vault. Everybody can put money the credit card and put it in the vault or on the current account. Then, when you are traveling, pay all the common expenses with this card so it’s fairly divided.

It comes in extremely handy when you are traveling because it gives you the best currency rate possible. Plus, they offer a travel insurance that was better than my original one! I used Revolut for all my trips and I am a happy customer. And no, they didn’t ask me to write this.  

If you’re more of the “we’ll see what happens”, you can opt for an app that divides everything you spent. But you will divide it later on, so somebody will have to take the big bill into account first.

Maximize Your Vacation Days

As I already mentioned, vacation days are an important factor if you are looking for time to travel. Maybe you don’t have time in the weekend to go on a trip. I get that. But play it smart then. Plan you vacation days in advance and get everything out of it.

Take a look at the upcoming bank holidays. If there’s a holiday on a Friday, plan the Thursday. Like this, you put one vacation days and you win four days. Hello, city trip!

If there’s a holiday on a Thursday, same rules applies. Get that Friday and enjoy your 4 days off. Or put the Wednesday and Friday and enjoy 5 days off while only losing two days. It’s all about being smart!

Plan Beforehand 

If you are wanting to go on a big trip of a month or two weeks and you are struggling with finding time, don’t panic. It’s all about planning. A big trip like this has to be planned in advance.

Firstly, make sure you have flights available on those dates and you have enough budget for it. If you really want to go to a certain Airbnb, hotel, hostel, etc.: also check that availability. Because since it’s for a longer period of time, it’s less evident to guarantee an availability for the whole period.

Secondly, request a holiday for that period. Since you’re planning it way in advance, it shouldn’t be a problem. Plus, you get the flight tickets at a normal rate and not at a higher rate close to the departure date.

And finally, don’t forget the important details about your trip. Vaccinations, a visa, a credit card, travel gadgets; you will thank your future self for planning in advance and being prepared. You can read all about preparations and gadgets that will help you here.

And there you go, off to your next destination. I’m so proud of you. Fly, discover, live, enjoy.

That deep state of relaxation, that immense thrill of expanding your boundaries, that exciting feeling of strolling around in unknown streets and that spontaneous, wild version of you being outside your comfort zone and away from the daily life; going on a holiday is something we all cherish. It has become an essential part of our lives. But how do you book your dream holiday while being on a budget?

Personally, 2018 and 2019 – so far – were two years full of traveling and adventures. Some were unplanned, some were solo, some were in another continent, some ended in me celebrating my seventh month of being an expat in a foreign on this day.

One question I frequently hear is: “Where do you get all the money from for your travels?”

Prioritise your dream holiday

Let me make one thing clear. If you want something, really want something, you make it a priority. This is applicable on all things in life. With traveling, it’s the same. There is no magical, hidden treasure for people who want to go on holiday – unfortunately. You make money for it, like you make time for it.

However, I have one golden rule when it comes to planning and booking a holiday, and that is the following:

Set up a budget.

Wherever you want to go on holiday to, whenever you want to go, with whomever you want to go; you will need to set a budget for all your costs and keep some “emergency money” extra. Because while you’re traveling, anything can happen – don’t be scared, I’m not talking about medical emergencies, I’m talking about ordering too many of those delicious cocktails, planning another trip in your trip,… life happens, you know?

A for Effort

Next up is the planning part. My best experience is putting a trip together by yourself. That means you have to do all the work, like: checking multiple websites, OTA’s, apps, and online searching tools. It sounds exhausting and you probably want to click away this tab and look for package deals, but trust me, it is worth the effort.

Here are some tools I recommend: Skyscanner and Google Flights helped me out a lot during my quests to the best flights with my preferred airlines and dates. Google Flights even lets you choose your stop (which airport, how many hours, etc). Booking.com has a Genius reward program which allows you to get extra benefits out of your booking. And lastly, websites of hostels always guarantee you the lowest price.

Here’s a tip for when you have no clue where in this beautiful world you want to go to: on Skyscanner, you can put as destination ‘anywhere’ and they will provide you the cheapest flights for periods of whole months. That rule applies as well for known destinations: just click on ‘entire month’ when selecting the date.

When you have set your budget, you can start filtering on this, the date you had in mind for your ideal holiday, and/or the destination. The more information you possess, the merrier; it will be a lot easier to find your perfect holiday combination.

Sidenote: are you still doubting about certain flights? Create a price alarm so you get a notification you when there has been a price change in your selected flights. On some websites you can also reserve your flights: KLM lets you reserve your flight prices for €15.

So you already have your flights reserved or booked. Now it is time to book your accommodation before the prices go up – the disadvantage of checking everything by yourself (make sure to always clean up your cookies too).

Another important detail to remember is your included luggage when booking a light. For example, Lufthansa included my checked-in luggage in the flight prices, while Turkish Airlines didn’t, and my flight prices went up with €140. It may seen unimportant and just a small detail you can ‘arrange later’, but it is an essential part to not get caught in the flight deals. Always read the conditions of the flight fares.

Booking your stay on a certain location is more a question of personal preferences. Some would prefer the budget hotel, others see themselves being in a surf hostel, you may prefer an Airbnb: the cost may be the same, but of course, you aren’t the same as your fellow travellers.

If it is the first time you are using Booking.com, Airbnb, or another OTA, make sure to use your leverage as being part of the late majority and get extra discounts on your very first booking.

Livin’ la vida loca

Finally, you got your flights and accommodation all set up. Next up is planning your activities and discovering the city or country you will visit. My personal favourite guide is Lonely Planet’s “Guides”. They have offline city guides for a collection of cities worldwide. You can filter on different categories like food, attractions, etc. and within those categories you can filter on degree of popularity, price, etc. Culture Trip offers you a wide variation of blogs about different fields of interests for your next destination.

To summarise my collection of tips: always set up a budget, use the right sources to check your flights and accommodation options, use those online advantages such as discounts and never forget to read the small letters. Hopefully, these tips will facilitate the booking of your next holiday so you can enjoy it even more. I wish you happy travels and lots of eye-opening adventures.