Best Vegetarian/Vegan Food Places in Budapest

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads ( Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Budapest, Hungary. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

Hello and welcome back to Aperture & Wanderlust!

Today I will be sharing with you my favourite food places in Budapest and tell you about traditional foods you need to try. As I’ve been vegetarian for six years, and mainly eat plant based if I have the choice (I know, you always have a choice, but this post is not supposed to debate the pros and cons of different diets or lifestyles), these recommendations are especially suitable for people who prefer a plant based, or vegetarian diet.

 

Hummus Bar – Hummus is sexy!

I really loved the food chain called „Hummus Bar“. They offer a variety of hummus based dishes, and they have many vegan and vegetarian options. It is really delicious, especially because they serve warm pita bread with the hummus and you can also have lots of Tahini (love it!) and enjoy Falafels, fresh vegetables and more! I have to admit, during the four and a half days I spent in Budapest, I went there THREE (!!) times! Absolutely loved it! You will get a big hummus plate with warm pita and veggies for only 1990 HUF (5.89 EUR – 6.47 USD – 5.00 GBP)!

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Wow, I’m actually getting pretty hungry writing this post…

 

Napfényes Étterem – a completely vegan restaurant

Napfényes Étterem is a completely plant-based, aka – vegan restaurant. You can either sit down and enjoy a warm meal, have a sweet snack or buy some vegan cake to go! It is not particularly expensive but not super cheap either. However, it is a real restaurant with kind waitresses and waiters and the interior design is really beautiful! I actually felt pretty fancy there :D!

 

Las Vegan’s Budapest

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Las Vegan’s is a vegan Burger/Fast Food place. They offer a variety of burgers, vegan nuggets, smoothies, potatoes and more. It was really delicious! You will get a burger for around 2000 HUF!

Street Food Karaván Budapest

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Karaván Budapest is a small Street Food Market in the former jewish quarter of Pest, right in front of the Las Vegan’s restaurant and the Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar. They have different food trucks offering Langós, Chimney Cake, Asian dishes and there is also a Las Vegan’s burger truck. Great thing if you are travelling in a group, I am sure everyone will find something delicious to eat at Karaván!

 

Naspolya Nassolda – raw vegan food

I found this café by accident and fell in love with the interior design. They actually have a swing you can sit on while enjoying your juice or your „rawsome“ cake. They only sell raw vegan and organic food.

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Chimney Cake

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Chimney Cake is a must-try when you visit Budapest. You can get it on the Christmas markets or go to a Chimney Cake Café. I decided to get one with salted caramel ice cream in it and enjoyed a nice black coffee with it. I am actually pretty glad that I sat down while eating this, since I am really bad at eating on the go and it is not particularly easy to eat (-to my mind…maybe I am just bad at multi-tasking!).

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Chocolate Chip Chimney Cake with Salted Caramel Ice Cream!

 

Lángos

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Unfortunately I don’t have a good-looking picture of Langós and I just realised that the lady is preparing something like a potato fritter instead. 

Langós is another thing you need to try when you are going to visit Hungary. You probably know it from your local Christmas market, since it is already well known, at least in Germany. If you have not heard of Langós yet, it is a fried dough that is usually topped with sour cream and grated cheese. However, there are multiple other versions available, I got one with Nutella for example, which was super delicious!

 

Central Market

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Have you ever heard of Sajtos Pogácsa? It is something like a cheese scone and – oh my goodness – it is so good! I went to the Central Market to try them and got a whole bag for only one or two euros. If you want to eat on a budget, the Central Market is the right place for you!

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This is the zero waste grocery shopping heaven!

 

New York Palace / New York Café

The New York Palace is a well-known luxury hotel on the Grand Boulevard in Budapest and the New York Café, the restaurant on the ground floor, is often recommended in city guides due to its beautiful interior design. To be honest, I did not go in there, I was not very keen to pay 7€ for a coffee. I therefore cannot give you any information on the food and drinks since I just admired the beautiful ceiling from the outside.

 

As you can see, Budapest has many great restaurants and cafés for the vegan and vegetarian gourmet and I will not lie – I spent most of my money in Budapest (besides from the flight and the accommodation) on food. 😀

Thank you for reading and let me know if you have more food recommendations for this beautiful city!

xx, Sophie

Exploring Budapest #1

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Airlines, Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Budapest, Hungary. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

 

Hello and welcome back to Aperture & Wanderlust!

Last December I decided to go on two solo trips, the first one was a 72-hour trip to Lisbon and the second one was to Budapest. I spent four days in Hungary’s capital in stayed in a Hostel at Oktogon, which is one of the major intersections in Budapest. From there, I was able to catch metros to different districts of the city and if you are into walking like I am, you can also go to many places by foot.

Budapest first became „Budapest“ in 1873 when the three parts of the city, Buda, Óbuda and Pest united. The city has many Museums, great places to eat, shop and drink and a lot of history to offer. As I already said, I spent four complete days in this beautiful city, however, there are many things that I still want to see when it comes to Museums and historical places. In this post I will share with you what I did on my first day in Budapest.

Hősök tere (engl. Heroe’s Square)

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Hősök tere (Heroe’s Square)

From Oktogon, I walked up Andrássy út (street) and it took me around twenty minutes to get to my first stop, Heroe’s Square. It is located next to the City Park and is one of the major squares in Budapest. In the middle of the square, you will find the Millennium Memorial, which was built for the thousandth birthday of the Hungarian land-taking in 1896. On top of the memorial rises the angel Gabriel. To the left and to the right of the Millennium Memorial, there are statues of the Seven chieftains of the Magyars and other Hungarian national leaders. The history of the Heroe’s Square is very interesting to my mind, I can highly recommend reading about it. As I source I used a wikipedia article which I will link you here. At this point I need to say, that I really like using our well-known encyclopedia to learn something about the cities I visit, I feel like sightseeing is so much more interesting when you have some background information and are actually able to recognise sculptures or people in paintings.

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The Millennium Memorial 

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Városliget (engl. City Park)

Passing the Heroe’s Square, you will find Budapest’s City Park. Part of it is turned into a City Park Ice Rink during winter, which was actually a highlight for me since I love ice skating! I linked you a website that I used to learn about the opening hours and the entry and rental fees. It was such an amazing experience since you are skating in front of the beautiful Vajdahunyad Castle. It was magical! I paid around 11,90 EUR (13,12 USD – 10,05 GBP) for the entry and the skate rental, but it was totally worth it! (1000-1500 HUF entry fee, depending on the weekday and 2500 HUF Skate rental, you also need to bring a deposit of 2000 HUF for the skates)

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Vajdahunyad Castle

 

Széchenyi gyógyfürdő (engl. Széchenyi thermal bath)

Heading a little bit further into the City Park, you will find a huge building in the Neo-Baroque style, which is Europe’s largest medicinal bath. The also called – Széchenyi Medicinal Bath – gets its water from two thermal springs and is, according to many travellers, a must-do. Too bad I did not bring any bathing suits … next time!

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Széchenyi gyógyfürdő (Széchenyi thermal bath)

 

Margit híd (engl. Margaret Bridge)

The Margaret Bridge connects Margaret Island with Pest and Buda across the Danube. Margaret Island is a 2.5 km long island in the middle of the Danube River and is famous for its recreational area. I really liked the bridge because of its colour, plus- you have a great view on the Danube and the Parliament building (which I will tackle in another post).

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Margit híd (Margaret Bridge)

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Széchenyi lánchíd (engl. Széchenyi Chain Bridge)

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Another well-known bridge connecting Buda and Pest is the Chain Bridge, which is at the same pitch as the St. Stephen’s Basilica (Szent István-bazilika).

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Szabadság híd (engl. Liberty Bridge)

Liberty bridge is to my mind, the most beautiful bridge in Budapest. I was told that it is a famous gathering place for young people during the warm summer months. You will probably see some more pictures of this „instagram-worthy“ bridge in the upcoming posts.

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Szabadság híd (Liberty Bridge)

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Cipők a Duna-parton (engl. Shoes on the Danube Bank)

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Cipők a Duna-parton (Shoes on the Danube Bank)

The Shoes on the Danube Bank is a memorial that was created in 2005 on the east bank of the Danube. It reminds us of the Jews who were killed during World War II by the Arrow Cross Party, which was a right-wing extremist party in Hungary. This party was in power from October 1944 to March 1945 and during this short period, tens of thousands of people were killed, most of them Jews and Romani. The memorial is very impressive and should serve as a warning for future generations.

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Climbing Gym: Monkey Boulder Budapest

I travelled with carry-on only, but still had some space left for my climbing shoes. The evening I arrived, I went to the biggest climbing gym in Budapest, called Monkey Boulder (The website is in Hungarian, but Google Translate did a good-enough job for me :D)
It was really cool to boulder with locals and at least five people talked to me in Hungarian which was super funny. No, I do not speak Hungarian, but they were fortunately fluent in English. Bouldering in Germany is pretty expensive, but I only paid 2100 HUF (6,25 EUR – 6,89 USD – 5,28 GBP) which is super cheap. I really loved getting in touch with locals and just chilling out after my flight from Germany.

 

I hope you enjoyed the first part of my Budapest series, let me know if you have ever been to Budapest and what you liked most about the city!

Thanks for reading, Sophie

Lisbon – A Travel Guide

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Airlines, Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Lisbon, Portugal. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

 

Hello everybody and welcome back to Aperture & Wanderlust.

Today I will be sharing with you kind of a summary of my Lisbon-Posts (click here for day one, here for day two and here for day three), I’ll call it a Travel Guide to Portugal’s capital. I hope you enjoy reading this and if you have any tips and experiences to add, feel free to comment down below!

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View from the Castelo de São Jorge

The Flight

I know it is controversial, but I booked my flights with Ryan Air, since they provide cheap flights from, in my case, Luxemburg to Lisbon. I arrived on a Sunday and departed the following Wednesday. For two direct flights, travelling with a small bag (not the usual carry-on size, you need to pay extra if you want to take a normal carry-on-sized backpack on board), I only paid around 30€. By the way, I travelled with my Fjallraven Backpack as you can see in the following picture and it provided me with enough space for my clothes, a book, my hygiene stuff AAAAND my Nikon reflex camera.

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The Hostel

I stayed at the HUB New Lisbon Hostel which is located in the Bairro Alto. I was really pleased with this hostel, they have a great breakfast buffet with fruit, cereal, bread, coffee, even cake etc. and a kitchen where you can cook. The room I stayed in offered enough space for the travellers, I stayed in an eight bed dorm room, however, since it was off-season when I went to Lisbon, I shared the room only with two other guys. The curtains at the bunkbeds offer you a bit more privacy and there are big drawers under the beds where you can store your backpack in (you should bring a pad lock though). Additionally, the location is good and it is just a fifteen minute walk to Cais do Sodré.

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8-bed-dorm at the HUB New Lisbon Hostel

Transport

Getting from the airport to the city center is pretty easy if you take the metro. You take the red line to Alameda and transfer to the green line and get off at Cais do Sodré. From there you can easily walk around or take the famous trams to get around.
I bought a VIVA-Card at the metro station that costs 0,50€ and you can load money on it. It therefore costed me only 1,33€ to get from the airport to the city center. However, if you want to reload it, you will have to put at least another 3€ on it, just keep that in mind if you don’t want to buy a new card. I will link you the website of VIVA here.

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Food and Drinks

Lisbon is a little bit cheaper than Germany, however you will still pay around 10-15€ in an average, nice restaurant. There are many great restaurants and small cafés, make sure to check everything out that appeals to you, I’ve seen so many nice places! I will now provide you with a list of restaurants and cafés that I enjoyed.

Noods – Asian cuisine, great bowls, noodle dishes and more!

PARK – A rooftop bar on top of a parking lot, nice atmosphere but the walk upstairs is a bit scary.

Basilio Café – they offer juices, bowls and have a great variety of vegetable packed dishes. Plus, the atmosphere is just great!

Go natural – I went to a café/Grab and go place but they also have supermarkets and restaurants.  You will be able to get Smoothie Bowls, juices, lunch and more there for a convenient price.

Time Out Market – Absolutely fell in love with this place, they have almost every kind of cuisine you can imagine!

Jamie’s Pizza – A Pizza place by Jamie Oliver, I really enjoyed a Pizza Funghi there!

Manteigaria – A food chain where you can get the famous Pastéis de Nata! People usually get one or two pieces of the Portuguese speciality and order a coffee and enjoy their snack next to the counter.

A Cultura do Hambúrguer – A bar located in the Bairro alto with an amazing interior design, they offer very fancy cocktails. The drinks aren’t as cheap as in the other, smaller and local bar, but still affordable.

If you like to drink beer, make sure to order Super Bock, Sagres or Imperial. Those are the Portuguese beer brands.

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Go natural Café

To-See:

In and around the city center:

  • Praça do Comércio
  • Elevador de Santa Justa
  • Castelo de São Jorge
  • Alfama
  • Tram 28
  • Elevador da Glória
  • Elevador da Bica
  • Pink Street 
  • Bairro Alto
  • LX Factory
  • Museums your interested in, I went to the Pharmacy Museum which was really interesting!

Belém:

  • Jerónimos Monastery
  • Torre de Belém

These are the things I did in Lisbon, if I came back, I would definitely go to Sintra, a small city in the west of Lisbon. It is known for its beautiful castles and a stunning view on the Atlantic Ocean.

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Torre de Belém

Shops and Stores

I’ve seen many cute little shops in Lisbon where people sold Portuguese jewelry, bags, clothes and more. If you visit the LX Factory, you will find loads of them, but I also loved a small store called „Hoiko“ where they sell handmade jewelry.

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Hoiko Jewelry store

Also make sure to go to one of the many sardine stores. I don’t eat fish but these stores look so nice and colourful. They even sell sardine cans from 1927! (Even though I’m not entirely sure if those sardines are actually from the nineteen-twenties…)

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Sardine Store

Another store I really loved was Organii at the LX Factory. They sell organic cosmetics and you will find anything from skin care to dry shampoo and conditioner bars.

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Walking around Lisbon, you will also find many old bookstores, selling new- and second hand books. 

More advice

Security: Personally, I felt really save in Lisbon, even though I was travelling by myself. However, I’ve heard from many people that they often got asked wether they wanted to buy drugs. It only happened to me once when I had company. However, as far as I can tell, just saying „No thank you“ (don’t let it sound too polite) will get you out of the situation.

Don’t buy tiles (Azulejos): You will probably fall in love with the beautiful houses in Lisbon covered in colourful tiles and maybe consider buying one as a souvenir in one of the small gift shops. However, it is often the case that people steal them from the houses in order to sell them, so just don’t buy tiles and just enjoy a picture of them.

Wear proper shoes: Lisbon’s streets and sidewalks are not made for high-heels, you will be likely to get stuck wearing heels. Do yourself a favour and pack some comfortable sneakers!

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Thanks for reading and feel free to tell me about your Lisbon experience!

xx, Sophie

Exploring Lisboa, three days in Portugal‘s capital #2

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Airlines, Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Lisbon, Portugal. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

Welcome back to my „Exploring Lisboa“ series. If you haven’t read the first article, click here. To give you some background information, I arrived on a Sunday afternoon and left the following Wednesday in the evening. I therefore spent around 72 hours in Lisbon, which is around two complete days plus the day of arrival and departure where I was able to explore some things too.

Today I will share with you what I’ve done that Monday, I’ve tackled some of the most famous sights in Lisbon that day, which is the Elevador de Santa Justa, the Tram 28, the Castelo de São Jorge, the historic district of Alfama, the Pink Street and the Time Out Market.

 

Elevador de Santa Justa

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My first stop that day was the Elevador de Santa Justa. It is an elevator that was originally built to connect the streets of Baixa with the district Chiado. This vertical lift is a famous tourist attraction, if you want to use the lift, you will have to wait approximately thirty minutes, since the queue is usually pretty long. Additionally, it will cost you some money to use the elevator to go up, I will link you a website with further information about the prices here.

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Well, I wasn’t very keen to spend my time in Lisbon, waiting for an elevator, so I decided to look for bridge that connects the elevator with the upper streets. If you walk past the actual elevator and walk up the street, there will be stairs to your right at some point that will lead you up to the Chiado district from where you can access the bridge that is connected to the first platform of the elevator. It is definitely worth to walk up there and enjoy the view, even though there are better viewpoints in Lisbon, as you will read later in this post.

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I simply love listening to street musicians! There are so many young, creative people in Lisbon!

 

The Tram 28 disaster

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Lisbon is known for its little trams that connect the different districts of the city. The most popular one is the wooden Tram 28 which goes from Martim Moniz to Campo Ourique, passing many historic districts, including Graça, Baixa, Alfama and the Bairro Alto. It will take you to many beautiful places in Lisbon but be prepared to stand in line for a long time.

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When I arrived at Martim Moniz, I was pretty happy to see that there were only two girls in front of me waiting for the tram. When they were about to enter, a man got in their way and pointed towards an at least 150m long queue of people, all waiting to enter the historic tram. No way was I gonna wait for so long to stand in a tram full of people and likely being pick pocketed. I therefore decided to walk to my next destination, which was the Castelo de São Jorge. Right behind the Tram 28 station I found escalators, surrounded by beautiful residential buildings covered with gorgeous tiles. These escalators will take you uphill and you can give your legs some rest, while enjoying the view! Of course you can take a tram to the Castelo, but I really enjoyed my walk, since I found many nice photo spots, and little shops selling unique Portuguese souvenirs.

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On my way to the Castelo I haven’t met many people but when I spotted more tourists, I knew I was getting close. In front of the Castelo were some artists, selling their art work like the man in the picture who created unique art using coffee as colour. However, most impressive to me where the two guys who played music with their instruments, called Hand Pans. I really enjoyed listening to their music and bought their CDs to support them. They met in Lisbon, one of them is Spanish, the other one from Berlin. I just love the idea of two individual artists meeting and uniting, creating new pieces of music together, supporting each other and enjoying themselves, which is quite good to see in the picture I guess.

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Castelo de São Jorge

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I stood in line for around ten minutes maximum, but depending on when your planning to visit the Castelo, you might have to wait longer. However, it is definitely worth it! If you are between thirteen and twenty-five years old, you will pay only 5€ for the entry, if you are older you will pay 10€.

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The castle complex, surrounded by a garden, provides you with castle walls to walk on, and old towers to climb. You will be exposed to one- or maybe THE most beautiful view in Lisbon. You can see the whole city from different viewpoints in that area, it is simply amazing! However, I would recommend wearing closed shoes with a good profile, since the steps up the castle are quite steep and might be slippery.

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The streets of beautiful Alfama

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After having visited the Castelo de São Jorge, I decided to explore the historic district Alfama, which is recommended in every travel guide. On my way I found this greek looking spot with a man playing the guitar and singing. I sat down for a while and just enjoyed the fact that I was travelling by myself, that I could do whatever I wanted and I was extremely grateful and extremely happy. It was a wonderful feeling!

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However, I think my expectations for Alfama where a little too high. I don’t even know what exactly I expected but it is still a gorgeous district of the city. I adore the tiles of the buildings, and just the atmosphere, there are many small and sometimes hidden restaurants. I haven’t even seen many tourists but instead some locals who always smiled back when I smiled at them. To my mind, it just felt so different, so relaxed, so kind.

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An encounter that’s typical for solo travel

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My next destination was the Pink Street, but on my way I discovered a cute little place that was very appealing, called Basilio Café. I ordered a green juice and just came back from the bathroom when I saw a young woman sitting on my place, next to my backpack which I had left there, hoping the Portuguese would say something if someone wanted to take it. I mean, it was a small café full of locals and the waitress even talked to me in Portuguese. Anyways, I told the girl that I was sitting there and she apologized and was about to leave when I asked her if she was on her own. She agreed and I asked her if she wanted to sit with me. That is how I met Sarah. She grew up in London and spent some days in Lisbon, and we chatted for at least an hour in that café. I was really happy that I had asked her to stay, since we had a great conversation and she is such an engaged and inspiring young woman. This is what I love about travelling by myself, I think we wouldn’t have met if I had been travelling with someone else.

 

„You just need a street and a couple of buckets with pink paint to create a tourist attraction.“

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Sarah and I decided to go to the Pink Street together, it is near the Cais do Sodré  station and pretty easy to find, even though it isn’t too long. It is really funny how „easy“ it is, to create a tourist attraction, just paint the street pink! Okay this isn’t quite true in this case. The street used to be Lisbon’s red light district and was originally called Rua Nova do Carvalho. Today you will find many bars and restaurants there, it is one of the places to go to if you want to go on a night out.

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Me, standing on the Pink Street, my face matching the colour of the street, super exhausted :D!

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Time Out Market

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It was time for Sarah to leave to catch her flight home and I decided to grab a drink at the Time Out Market, a huge food court with many different food options available. International food, typical Portuguese food, Wine, a Bar and next to the food court there is a big grocery market where the locals buy their greens, meat, fish and more. Good thing about this place: If you travel in a large group, everyone will find something to eat!
Have you ever heard of Pastéis de Nata? It is a Portuguese speciality made of egg yolks and topped with cinnamon. At first, I thought it was something with cheese, until I tasted it. It was super weird, as I was expecting something salty and it turned out to taste sweet, actually reminded me of cheesecake or something with pudding. It wasn’t really my thing but I’m glad I gave it a try!

I finished my day with a pizza at Jamie’s Pizza. I mean, I had pizza at a Jamie Oliver restaurant, to me, that’s pretty amazing!

I hope you enjoyed reading about my second day in Lisbon. I’d love to hear your feedback and Lisbon travel tips!

xx, Sophie

Exploring Lisboa, three days in Portugal‘s capital #1

Blogpost contains unsponsored ads (Airlines, Hostels, Restaurants etc.). These are all my personal recommendations based on my experience in Lisbon, Portugal. I don’t get paid for mentioning any of these places.

LISBON. I fell in love with this beautiful city. In the end of October I booked a flight to Lisbon in the middle of the night. It was actually two in the morning and I couldn’t sleep. The past few months the urge to go travelling by myself again, grew a lot. And I knew that now was the time. So I booked a flight with Ryanair and a Hostel on Hostelworld. (I’ve already considered planting a tree or collecting waste, because I don’t really trust the airlines eco donation program, I still need to look that campaign up…)

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By the end of November, the time had come and I went to the Luxemburg Airport and took a plane to wonderful LISBOA. The flight was on time, I only carried a small backpack and therefore didn’t have to wait for my luggage. The Metro station is located directly next to the Airport and getting to the city centre couldn’t be easier! I took two subways and within 30 minutes I found myself at the promenade of Lisbon. (I will publish another post about my hostel, public transport, expenses etc.)

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Praça do Comércio, Lisbon’s main square.
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Beautiful Trams everywhere!
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Arco do Triunfo

I arrived at Cais do Sodré and walked down the promenade until I arrived at the Praça do Comércio. My first impression was „wow it looks even better than in all the pictures“ and my second one was „why are here so few people“. It was a Sunday afternoon in November. Definitely not the hot season but good for me, there weren’t as many tourists present, I can’t imagine how crowded the city must become during summer, even I’d love to visit Lisbon during the summer months.

I sat down at the shore, took a couple of breaths and enjoyed the smell of saltwater. I’ve really missed travelling!

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After having passed the big Arco da Rua Augusta (also called Arco do Triunfo), I discovered the labyrinths of small streets in Lisbon. There are restaurants in the middle of the streets, just like the ones on the famous „La Rambla“ in Barcelona. To be honest, I wouldn’t eat there, I’m quite sure the food and drinks will cost you a lot more than usual. It was quite funny when I caught sight of a couple that took the same plane as I did, sitting in a restaurant in the middle of the street. I decided to walk to my hostel, instead of taking a bus. I feel like it’s so much easier to develop a sense of direction when you’re exploring places by foot. On my way to the hostel, which was located in the Bairro alto, I’ve already found the place where I wanted to have dinner and saw many little boutiques and shops. There are so many cute shops in this city where people sell handmade jewellery, fair trade soap, old books or vintage clothes. It’s definitely worth checking some of those out, just to get some inspiration. Personally, I enjoy looking at beautiful small gifts, boutiques etc. But I love to look at it as a whole, because even if I decided to buy something, it wouldn’t be as beautiful at my home, as at the store. You know. Conscious buying and minimalism. 😀

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View from the Jardím de São Pedro de Alcântara
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Elevador da Glória

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Walking uphill, I spotted one of the three Elevadores, the trams that just go straight up and down one single hill (street). The one I saw is the Elevador da Glória and one ride costs 3,80€. Next to this small tram is the Jardím de São Pedro de Alcântara, which provides you with an amazing view of the city. When I was there, there were constructions going on, but it was still a very nice place.

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One of the small shops I really loved, they had travel related books, soaps, art, everything!

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After I checked in at my hostel, which was pretty easy to find by the way, I decided to go for an Asian dinner and had Salad, Tofu and Edamame at a restaurant called „Noods„. The Atmosphere was great, the food was delicious and they offer a big variety of Asian dishes and have vegan options. I don’t know why but I tend to eat a lot of Asian food when I’m travelling, no matter where I am…

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Noods, Asian cuisine, great dishes, bowls etc.

After having enjoyed my dinner and a Portuguese beer, I realised that it was still too early to go back to the hostel and decided that I was going to look for a rooftop bar called „PARK“ which is located on top of a parking lot. I actually found the parking lot and went up the stairs till I reached the upper level. Alright, to be honest, the walk upstairs is a little cheeky, if I hadn’t known that there was actually a bar on top of the building, I wouldn’t have gone up there (is that a sentence?). But I was eager to see the bar so I took the stairs, ignored the weed smoking teenagers and well, it was definitely worth it! The bar has an urban flair, provides a great view on the city, is decorated with plants, has two DJs who are playing good music and has an indoor and an outdoor space. Unfortunately they closed at 8pm that Sunday, probably because it was off season, I am sure it’s different during summertime.

 

I really enjoyed my first day in Lisbon and after I’ve had a nice dinner and a drink at PARK, I went to bed, tired, but with a smile on my face.

Stay tuned for the next Lisbon posts! I am still not sure if I prefer the ‚travel-diary‘ kind of articles, or the ‚recommendation-must-see‘ ones. What do you prefer to read?

Have you ever been to Lisbon?

Solo Travel – My fears, my thoughts, my expectations

As you may know, I will be going on my South East Asia- and Australia- trip in September. The first country I will be going to will be Malaysia.
This first part will probably be the most exciting one, since I will do Solo Travelling. I have never travelled to another country alone before, therefore I thought I could share my thoughts with you!

Maybe you have already read my Malaysia Blogpost, if yes, you already know something about my expectations etc.
But I cannot deny that I am VERY excited about this time!

There are certain reasons why I chose to travel alone and today I will be talking about these reasons, my fears and my expectations.

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Why do I feel like travelling solo will be good for me?

As I already told you, I recently graduated from High School in Germany.
After thirteen years of school, I feel that I have to do something different, to do something for me, on my own.
I guess it is because going to school and being surrounded by the same people everyday is no longer giving me the inspiration I need- which, to my mind, is completely normal.

Consequently, I think that it will be quite helpful not to see my friends and family for a while (This is not meant to be rude!), since I will have to learn to be very independent, without the constant feeling of security my friends and family give and gave me. (Don’t get me wrong, I’m very grateful for that!)

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You are your own boss!

I always used to be very interested in exploring and in adventures as well, but if you are travelling with a friend, you will probably have different interests, therefore you will have to compromise.
When you are travelling solo, you are your own boss and you can decide where you want to go, how long you want to stay and what you want to do.

But stay alert, traveling too solo and taking risks is definitely too dangerous when you are in a foreign country on your own.
You should never arrive at a new destination after dark, or go home alone in the dark. This means, do not make yourself a target for „criminals“ or pickpockets. I would also highly recommend to hide brand names, or even better, not bring high-fashion items, or expensive equipment when you cannot protect it from thieves in a certain way (f.e. in a Travel Safe or in a locker).

There will always be people around you

One of my biggest fears is that I will feel alone on my trip.
However, I think that this fear is unjustified, since there will always be someone around you. When you are checking in in a hostel, you will meet so many people from different countries who will love to talk to you or to go on a trip with you. And do not forget – you are not the only solo traveler in the world!
On my last trips I also recognized, that I would have also appreciated the opportunity to go on certain trips alone, since you are usually a little bit limited when you are travelling with friends, because you are often staying in your group, instead of taking the advantage to talk to other people.
Sometimes I really regret that I have not talked enough to other people when I traveled. I mean, you will see your friends at home, but you only have the chance to connect with people from foreign countries when you are traveling.

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Push yourself out of the comfort zone

This is one of the best advantages you will have from Solo Travel!
The human being is a creature of habit, which means that we love to have habits and we want things to be comfortable.
However, it may be hard for us to adapt to an uncomfy situation and this is exactly what you have to do when you are traveling alone!
Additionally, this will probably be one of the best experiences of your whole trip!
 

Don’t be afraid of traveling solo! I will also try to not be!
I am taking the opportunity and I am sure this experience will enrich my life!

Have a wonderful week!

Sophie

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