Notre-Dame de Paris, also known as Notre-Dame Cathedral is a Catholic cathedral which stands at 420 ft tall (128 meters). It was built in 1345 with its gothic architecture, rose windows and gargoyle statues remaining a prominent part of the city. The outstanding construction is in the heart of Paris and is free to enter – great for those travelling on a budget.
No visit to Paris would be complete without mentioning the Eiffel Tower. One of the most recognised and visited tourist attraction in the world the iron-lattice tower is nearly three times the height of Notre-Dame and over 1000 ft tall (324 meters). Founded in 1889, the tower is split into three sections where the public can gain access to the different floor via the lift or the stairs. However, depending on how good you are with heights, prices do vary for adults and children on the floor you want to visit. As with any popular tourist attraction arrive early to beat the queues.
An alternative to the Eiffel Tower, Montapassne gives you a bird’s eye view of the city. The skyscraper, also known as Tour Montpassne, is 210 ft tall (64 meters) and is easily reachable by metro with the station of the same name. Although, it is 15 Euro per person the lesser-known attraction is for those who don’t like crowds or queues while also getting a stunning view of the surroundings.
A must for who have a limited amount of time in the capital. A boat cruise along the Seine River is a cheap way to see all the main sites without having to move from your seat. Most cruises are free to go on if you have a Paris pass which may be worth investing in if you plan to visit a lot of museums and attractions while in the city. Along the river, you can expect to see the Eiffel Tower, Orsay museum and the Notre Dame Cathedral.
Visit a wine bar
Whether you are a Chardonnay or Chateau Margaux type of wine drinker Paris has plenty to offer in terms of wineries, tours and bistros celebrating one of its famous exports.While there are plenty on offer in the French capital and many highly regarded on Trip Advisor unless you are bound by reviews stick to the back streets if you want a less costly drink. Some recommendations for a cheap wine bar include Le Mondain, Chez Jouff, Minato Bar and Divvino Charonne.
Explore the streets of Paris
Exploring by foot, train or bus it is easy and relatively cheap to get around the streets of Paris. A basic Metro ticket cost 1.90 Euro while ten tickets will cost you 14.90 Euro depending on how long you are in the city and how many attractions you want to tick off from your list. The transport system is pretty simple to understand but if you want to be efficient plan your trip beforehand to ensure you don’t get lost.
Just Go and Explore
The city has plenty to offer whether you are exploring the old town, tourist attractions or back streets of Dusseldorf. For every area, you pass it is filled with a rich history of cathedrals and monuments making Germany a notable place to visit. Dusseldorf is a mid-priced city in terms of costs. According to Expatistan, the city is the sixth most expensive place to visit in Germany.
The Rhine Tower is a telecommunications tower with a 360-degree view of Dusseldorf and neighboring city Cologne. It stands at 174.5 meters high and is the tallest building in Dusseldorf. The sculpture features an observation deck, restaurant and bar and is one of the most popular attractions in the city. There is a small entrance fee of 9 euros which can only be paid in cash.
Classic Remise is a place for vintage and classic cars. Even if you don’t know your spark plugs to your air filters this center has everything you can imagine in terms historic vehicles. There are only two of these centers in the world (the other being in Berlin) so is well-worth a visit and something different to do on a holiday.
Located along Dusseldorf Tonhallenufer, Fishmark features around 90 stalls selling fish, fruit and veg, flowers and crafts. However, check your holiday dates as the market is only on for seven Sunday throughout the year between April and November. Expect the market to be busy with many people enjoying the food, drink and entertainment that they have on offer.
Drink an Erdinger
Germany is famous for its production in beers and Dusseldorf is no different. Local breweries such as Uerige, Fuchschen and Kurzer are all great and well worth a visit and if you want to try some of their local beer. There are endless bars, pubs and restaurants which offer local, national and international beer, however, I couldn’t get enough of Erdinger Weissbrau Weissbier which is a wheat beer.
Auschwitz Birkenau Camp
A recommended tour if you visit Krakow. The grounds of the camp are free of charge to visit but it is well worth getting a tour guide who will educate and give you a full history of the sites itself. Although, it is not for the faint-hearted Auschwitz-Birkenau Camp has remains including shoes, glasses, gold teeth and hair removed from the victims, demonstrating a fraction of what went on inside the camp. The grounds feature a crematorium, gas chambers, barracks and the camp commandant’s office.
Also known as the Main Square it is situated near the old town of Krakow and is at the centre of the shops, bars and restaurants of the Polish city. The square has horse and carts, a cloth hall and al-fresco dining on the outskirts with tourists easily losing a few hours on the square alone.
Wawel Royal Castle
Situated in central Krakow, Wawel Royal Castle overlooks the whole of the city while also gaining a real history of the Polish royalty. Inside the castle, visitors can expect to see chambers, staterooms, and historic Polish art as well as temporary and permanent exhibitions. The cathedral alone is well worth the visit. It is beautifully maintained with its stunning architecture and stand out views along the river. Each entrance to the castle has a separate ticket fee with no ticket available for a combined fee to all of the entrances and exhibitions. However, the castle has a set day and time during certain periods of the year where the public can visit the castle for free but it is first come first serve.
Try the local cuisine
Whether it’s street food, fine dining or cafes Krakow is one of the cheapest places to eat in Europe. They are local food walking tours available, however, tourists should get lost in the city and embrace their local cuisine. Foods such as pierogi (stuffed dumplings), pickled cucumber and cabbages are renown Polish dishes.
Wodka Cafe Bar
Poland is known for their love of vodka and the Wodka Cafe Bar has one of every imaginable flavour you can think of. Although, small inside it does host an array of beer and cocktails as well as vodka tasting with lemon, mint, honey and chocolate all available to try. It’s situated near the Old Square so is easily manageable to find your way back to your hotel.
Visit the gardens of Jardin Majorelle
Jardin Majorelle is one of the most visited sites in Marrakesh due to its picturesque scenes. The botanical garden is located near the Yves Saint Laurent Museum, which is a site dedicated to the iconic fashion designer and is also a must see if you are fashion muse and if you have much more time to spend in Morroco. The garden itself is two and a half acres which also includes its own museum dedicated to Berber culture. Although it is slightly pricey for a tourist attraction in Marrakesh at 70 Morrocan Dirham (MAD) which is equivalent to £5.80 with the museum costing extra of another 30 MAD it is well worth a visit if you are wanting to get away from the chaos of the medina.
Stay in a riad
Whilst there are plenty of hotels, apartments and Airbnbs that are cheap and widely available across Marrakesh I would thoroughly recommend staying in a riad. There are not many places in the world where you can stay in a spacious home with an inside courtyard or garden. Most riads are family-run and have beautiful interiors which have been turned into hotels. The higher your budget the more you get with many modern riads offering spa and relaxation treatments, rooftop pools and restaurants on your doorstep.
Explore the streets of Marrakesh
Marrakesh is a place where tourists can easily get lost in between the medina, souks and the residential areas. Although, most of the fun is in getting lost and exploring the streets of a new country sometimes it can frustrating when you are meant to be somewhere at a specific time. There are signs offering directions to Jamaa El Fna and people suggesting routes but these should be ignored as they are mostly never correct and sending you in the completely wrong direction.
Visit the Koutobia Mosque
Also known as Jami ‘al-Kutubiyah, Koutobia Mosque is the largest mosque in Marrakech. Located nearby the Jemaa el-Fna and situated next to the Parc Lalla Hasna it is a true highlight in Marrakech due to its Islamic architecture. During the evening, the mosque is lit up and demonstrates its decorative arches, well-maintained gardens and curved windows for all of Marrakesh to see.
Breakfast with a view
One of the many benefits of going to Marrakesh is the warm weather with temperatures reaching on average 20 degrees in December. When travelling a hearty way to start the day is breakfast with many Morrocan riads serving their morning meals on their rooftops overlooking the hustle streets of Marrakesh. Carb substantial foods such as bread and muffins are commonly served as well as seasonal fresh fruits. Other energy inducing foods including Bagrir, a bread/pancake like mixture and Harcha which are both made from semolina flour and enjoyed at breakfast.
This is definitely one for those who love the adrenaline rush and being outdoors. These sorts of activities can be booked online in advance through a major travel site or while you are out there but would be best booked through the riad that you are staying in. Although, prices may differ depending on where you are staying when I went it cost £70 for two people. The activity tends to run three times a week and twice a day – one in the morning and then again in the afternoon, and do take half a day to do. As well as quad-biking there are buggies available to use as well as getting to explore the Moroccan desert and taste some Moroccan tea during a pit stop. On these sorts of trips, you can expect to get dust, dirt and water all over you so bring extra clothes and wear something old.
Try some Moroccan cuisine
Moroccan food is as vibrant as its spices with cayenne pepper, turmeric and paprika being some of the traditional spices used in their cuisine. Whilst, tagine is served anywhere you visit in Marrakech whether being a cafe, riad or restaurant Morocco has plenty of other food on offer. Harira is a simple yet fulfilling starter of lentil soup which is flavoured with herbs and spices and gives an extra depth of flavour to the dish. Another dish you must try is pastilla, which is a chicken or pigeon pie and is a hearty main meal which can be enjoyed mixing both sweet and salty flavours of the meat dish. Finally, Kaab el Ghazal is a sweet dish that can be enjoyed after a meal. Despite the fact, you can find them on a stall on the side of the road (and also that they are so moreish that you won’t want to stop) they are filled pastries with almond paste and scented with orange flavour water and cinnamon.
Another attraction which I came across through exploring was the Spanish steps. It has an irregular butterfly-shape design and was built in the 18th century. The steps link between the Piazza di Spagna and Piazza Trinita dei Monti with many crowds gathering at the location to take a photo. It was requested to be built by a French diplomat its name, however, came from the Spanish Embassy.
Walk along the river Tiber
Tiber is the third longest river in Italy and flows 406km through Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. The river was originally called Albulula due to it being so white but was renamed Iberis after the king of Alba Longa, who drowned in the river. The river runs through the centre of Rome with a castle and greenery surrounding the Tiber. The Colosseum and the hop on hop off bus are nearby and are a central part of Rome’s history.
Go on a hop on hop off bus
Although these sorts of tour operators run in almost every city it is a quick and efficient way of getting around if you have a limited amount of time. Hop on hop off buses run on a frequent scheduled service and can be purchased online through various ticket sites such as Trip Advisor, TicketBar or Viator as well as in person at the place of travel. The costs of the operators all depend on which city you are visiting but in particular, for Rome, it can start from £10.52 with being different views of Rome and its attractions available.
Have an Aperol Spritz
The classic cocktail drink is served commonly in the North East of Italy. It is traditionally served in a wine glass and is garnished with a slice of orange. Although many recipes differ according to its location it is originally served with parts prosecco, soda water and Aperol. But drinkers don’t forget your ice especially in the hot Italian summer weather where it is much preferred.
Visit the Colosseum
Probably mentioned on almost every list for travel guides to Rome. The Colosseum, also known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is a must visit for anyone who is interested in ancient Roman history. It is situated in the centre of Rome with most of the attraction open to the public to view. There are guided tours available at the three-tiered theatre which was once used to hold gladiator games. Book in advance to skip the queues and help plan your trip.
Explore the streets of Rome
I was in Rome for only a weekend but I managed to get most of what I wanted to do done in a day. You can explore the streets of the Italian capital on foot while there is also buses, trains and bikes available to use if you are not keen on walking all day. Many attractions are close to one another while taking the back streets and wandering around the city can help you find many hidden treasures that the hot spot has where I accidentally came across the Trevi Fountain without the use of Google Maps.
Go and explore Dublin
Go to Hard Rock Cafe Dublin
Take a look at the street art
Walk along the river Liffey
Go inside Trinity College
Amsterdam: Discord in the City
In September 2014 I traveled to the Netherlands to visit Amsterdam- a city known for sex, drugs and stag do’s. Beyond the stereotypes, there is history, politics with it being a rich tourism destination in Europe.
Photo Story-Columbia Market
For my 10 piece photo story I wanted to capture the public event of the Columbia Market, which is a weekly event every Sunday located at Bethnal Green in East London. I wanted to showcase Columbia Market’s practicality and uniqueness to the public by promoting it as a great weekly event.