Seoul City Guide – Seoul Travel Tips

Seoul City Guide – Seoul Travel Tips

Seoul City Guide - Seoul Travel Tips

Pop culture, skyscraper, Buddhist temples, unique cuisine and high-tech transportation, you can find it all in the capital of South Korea, Seoul.

Reasons to visit

When visiting Asian metropolises, people often feel that the cities and people are all the same, however, Seoul cannot be compared to anything, it is special. When Seoul is mentioned, the Olympics, Gangnam style and isolated North Korea are the first to come to mind but South Korea has much more to give.

Seoul is the business and cultural center of South Korea, where Buddhist temples are in the shadow of skyscrapers. Check out all of this from the N Seoul Tower at the highest point of the Nam Mountain Park.

The shops of the Insadong Quarter provide insights into Korean taste, which you can learn more about by visiting the gardens and museums of the Gyeongbokgung Palace. The UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cshangdokkung Palace, is a great example for the authentic ancient architectural style.

Seoul Weather

South Korea it’s a country that has four seasons. Between June and August is summer and it is humid and hot. Winter starts in December and ends in February and it’s dry and ice cold.

Best time to visit is autumn and spring because is warmer, sunny and has clear blue skies.

Seoul Local Transport

Seoul has a friendly public transit system including subway, which covers entire metropole, and buses. You can buy Mpass which allows up to 20 rides per day on the subway or a reloadable smartcard as T-money cards which works for all public, taxi, convenience stores or vending machines.

Subway is easy to use, it has signs and announcements also in English and runs from 5:30 AM to midnight. is good to donwload Subway Korea app for timetables and usefull for planning your routes.

Seoul Bus is the city’s bus extensive network and runs almost 24h a day haaving also night buses.

Language

You might think in south Korea is things are easy, everybody speaks Korean but they have many dialects. The main dialect used in South Korea is the Hanguk dialect.

As a tourist, you don’t have to worry because English is used as a second language. Most of the people study English for academic reasons, business, trade and so on.

In Busan you might find Japanese speakers because this city is close to Fukuoka city from Japan. their dialect is pretty similar to Japanese and also Fukuoka dialect looks the same.

Electric

In South Korea, the power plugs and sockets are of type C and F.  Plug C, also known as the standard “Euro” plug. We suggest that you have a power adapter if you are not from around.

Having your smartphone or camera charged for taking pictures is mandatory in this beautiful city. We suggest having a travel adapter if you are not from around.

Currency

In South Korea, the currency used is Won. You can exchage your money at most Seoul banks or their exchanges called Foreign Exchange Bureaus. You might look after signs as Cambio, Bureau De Change or Geld Wechseln.

Must Try Food

Korean meals are unique in taste some may love it some may not be so found of the dishes. You do not need to worry as if you are one of the later as there are plenty of other options such as fast food restaurants. The younger generation in Seoul loves pizzas, burgers and Italian pasta so you can find such American-European meals at almost every corner. However, we do recommend that you give it a try and see if the food is to your liking. You may never know if you don’t give it a try.

Barbeque is famous throughout the world, and believe it or not Korea’s is its home country. In Seoul in the restaurants, there is a large, circular grill in the center of each table, where you can grill the food you ordered.
The beef broth is also served in the same way they bring out a huge pot and place it on a mini gas stove that is again in the middle of the table, you have about ten ingredients in small dishes that you can add to the broth and cook it to your own liking.

In addition to this peculiar serving style, street food offers a lot of variety, small food shops are almost everywhere. You can eat hot dogs, seafood, fried potatoes, giant pancakes, sushi, stuffed chestnuts, and many other things.

If you have a sweet tooth you need not worry as ice cream is also originally from Korea. Even the frozen yogurt comes from here; there is a huge selection as they have almost every flavor you can imagine.

Two special dishes that you need to try if you ever get the change to walk on the streets of Seoul are bibimbap and bulgogi. There is no hospitality in Korea without bibimbap. The word itself means mixing, shaking.

There are no strictly defined ingredients, but ready-made food must meet certain aesthetic and philosophical expectations. In a large, but not too high-walled, pottery bowl, fine, thinly sliced ingredients are placed.

In the bowl, there are four different colors of raw vegetables such as beetroots, cucumbers, mushrooms, and radishes with optional meats and rice. These four different vegetables symbolize the four seasons associated with them and the astrological and personality traits they identify.

In the middle of the bowl, there is always an egg yolk, which in its color and shape symbolizes the Sun. This arrangement shows the harmony in the world. After you admired the plating you need to stir everything together and enjoy.

Bulgogi is a Korean dish we would recommend to those of you who are not very fond of “exotic” flavors. The thinly-cut beef and mushrooms are cooked on the grills that are placed on the table.

Since the meat is really thin, the grilling does not take more than a few minutes. The grilled meat strips should then be packed on small raw lettuce leaves. You can add kimchi or other vegetables to it even rice. Once you added all you like on to your lettuce leaf just eat it. It may sound simple but it is delicious and filling.

You can choose between a variety of meats: beef, fish, seafood, salmon, tuna, venison that is thinly sliced and served with olive oil, lemon, and truffles to bring out the taste that will delight your taste buds.

Where can you taste all this delicious food you ask? Well there are many places to eat in Venice but if you really want a treat and fine dining visit Riviera or Ristorante Alle Corone where excellent sea food and great service go hand in hand. If you are looking for local cuisine then All’Arco is the place for you.

Must-Try Drinks

As an accompaniment of a delicious dinner, celebration or even on a Saturday night, a “dusty” wine bottle is often opened. Drinking a good wine makes the participants more free and close to each other during a gathering or a conversation.

This is also the case in Seoul, and even in the whole country, there is a large, almost compulsory tradition for after work drinking. After a hard day’s work colleagues gather and drink a glass of two of their favorite alcoholic drink before heading home.

They also have special drinks for such occasions. Who would not have heard of the famous soju or makgeolli, or of the fine fruit and medicinal wines?

Soju is the most popular beverage in Korea. The most common and largest volume version of the basic soju is water and a variety of beverages. The most famous of these are Chamisul and
Chum Churum.

There are, of course, conventional sojues, such as Andong Soju, which has a very high alcohol content of 45%. You need to be very careful with this drink as it will not only make you tipsy but drunk as a skunk if not consumed in moderation.

Another soju variety may be Leegangju the pear or ginger flavored one that is considered the finest drink of soju of them all because of the sweet and slightly spicy taste.

If you are more interested in wine a fine fruit wine is what we recommend. Depending on the preparation, there are two types of fruit wine.

One is made of pure fermented fruits and the other is mixing the fruits with sugar and alcohol to achieve a fruitier flavor. The most popular brands of fruit wine found in stores are Bokbunja, Maesilju and Meoruju.

Medicine wines are also very good but even though you will prefer a second glass we advise you not to have one. These wines are very strong and Koreans drink it mostly for their medicinal purposes not for recreational ones. If you will drink more than what is advice it may have a negative effect and not a healthy one such as headache or stomach problems.

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How to get there

South Korea has around ten airlines companies like Eastar Jet, Jeju Air, Jin Air, Asiana Airlines and all of them serve Incheon International Airport or Gimpo International Airport. Another useful airport is Cheongju International Airport which is a little bit further.

So, in our opinion, it’s perfect for a city break here, the perfect escape. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust kiwi.com. Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

You can spend good time in cars with locals and they can suggest you different places to visit which could be more useful then guides.

Things to know

When you say hello or goodbye you also need to take a small bow towards the person you are greeting,
When you take something from another person in Korea use both hands to be polite.

You should never kiss or hug someone in Korea as a form of greeting. Although this is a customary form of greeting in the West, especially among girls, it is not the case of Koreans, as it is a particularly intrusive gesture if it is not between couples or relatives.

Under no circumstances should you sit on the triple seats on the metros. These seats are reserved for the elderly, the mothers, the visually impaired and the disabled, and the Koreans are very strict about such matters.

Korean livelihood dictates that people should be called not by their first name but by their title. If you are not close to the person, do not call a Korean by his name, and if you do not know how to call him, feel free to ask him.

It could be a complicated big city for tourists; it is best if you have a GPS mobile application already installed on your phone to get by. Often not even the locals can give you good advice; the metro is the best means of transport as it is fast and also cheap.

Where to stay

Seoul has multiple options for finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget. If you don’t have to worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on www.booking.com or www.agoda.com.

If you are looking for a cheap option ob Booking you can try FlexHome Seoul for only 16$ per night or Seoul Forest Guesthouse for 27$.

If you don’t worry about your budget we suggest RYSE, Autograph Collection with great coffee and a nice view of the city. Another choice can be The Westin Chosun Hotel Seoul in great an area for shopping.

If you are looking for three stars hotels you can book a room at Ibis Styles Ambassador Seoul Gangnam for 141$ per night or Hotel Uri for 195$ per night.

It’s a different city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on www.airbnb.com and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them. If you are traveling on a budget or not couch surfing seems to be a good idea.

It’s a great opportunity for making new friends maybe for a week or maybe for a lifetime, you never know. Hostels are less expensive than a hotel room. Why spend 300$/night for a hotel room when you can spend 30$/night for a hostel room?! The culture of making friends never fails to amaze people.

Booking.com

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Here are some of the most beautiful sites Seoul presents to its visitors. In other words, let’s start!

 

HONGDAE SQUARE

Hongdae is located in the center of the capital, north of the river. It is a hipster, lively, trendy quarter with dense music such as underground, indie rock and artistic life.

The life of the square is fundamentally determined by the fact that there are four universities here. Among them is the Hongik Daehakgyo (Hongik University). It is one of South Korea’s most significant universities of arts.

A lot of shops have very good prices. Nightlife is very active; there are many themed, character cafes and walking trails.

Hongdae
Hongdae
Hongdae
Hongdae

GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE

Do not miss out on Seoul’s best tourist experience this emblematic place gives you the opportunity to learn about Korean history. The palace is not in its original state, as the Japanese destroyed the original, and the North Korean army caused terrible damage to the place in the early 1950s.

The inner part of the palace is also beautiful. However, you cannot go into three main buildings, but through the window, you can take a glance at the decor. It is worth taking a look at the ceremony of changing the guard at 10 o’clock in the morning.

On Tuesday the place is closed if you visit it, it will take about an hour to see everything as there is no real museum content, but you can still view the palace and its beautiful garden.

GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE
GYEONGBOKGUNG PALACE

CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE

Changdeokgung Palace is a beautiful, huge palace with a wonderful garden. You travel back to Soul of the 19th century when you visit this extraordinary place. You should buy a ticket in advance online to avoid the long lines.

There is a special ticket to visit the garden as well that needs to be purchased separately. There are other parts that can only be viewed if a special booking is done in advance former example you have the change to check out the district of comfort in the place.

It is best to schedule your visit before the evening to avoid crowds.  

CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE
CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE
CHANGDEOKGUNG PALACE

KOREA NATIONAL MUSEUM

The Korean national museum is an interesting, huge modern museum that can impress the visitors. Many hours can be spent here as it is so rich and interactive. It is worth watching more little movies and you can easily spend 2 hours here.

In the open air of the museum, you can see a B-52 bomber. The museum is fairly propagandistic, which is understandable for foreign tourists, considering that South Korea is still f battling with North Korea.

KOREA NATIONAL MUSEUM
KOREA NATIONAL MUSEUM
KOREA NATIONAL MUSEUM
KOREA NATIONAL MUSEUM

MYEONGDONG SHOPPING STREET

Is not just a street but a lot of small streets that intersect each other. It is a good place to shop, but it is certain that international brands are not cheaper than in Europe or America.

There are many clothes shops, but there are a lot of cosmetics as well. Surprisingly, there are also trademarks. It is a more convenient place to shop than Seoul’s shopping malls, which are the same as in Europe.

Much more interesting is that after six o’clock the street becomes a food market. You can eat delicious food from a huge selection as there are plenty of stands, so you can spend hours here.

MYEONGDONG SHOPPING STREET
MYEONGDONG SHOPPING STREET

LOTTE WORLD TOWER

At the beginning of April 2017, the 555-meter-high 123-story Lotte World Tower skyscraper has its lookout tower in Seoul. On the banks of the Han River, the magnificent building has the fastest lift in the world, which takes visitors to the lookout tower on the 118th floor, in only 1 minute.

The lookout has a glass-covered floor part as well. The skyscraper reminds us of the pen used to write the calligraphic letters with ink due to its interesting form.

The Lotte World Tower is the world’s fifth tallest skyscraper. On the 85th floor of the tower building is a swimming pool there is no other swimming pool so high in the world like this one.

Otherwise, there is a luxury hotel in Lotte World Tower, a concert hall with 2000 seats, a cinema, an aquarium, several cafes, a restaurant, and even a gallery.

LOTTE WORLD TOWER

NAMSAN TOWER

At the top of a 480-meter-high Namsan mountain stands the only 237 meters tall tower. It is a 3-hour program including the ride. The tower can be reached by cable car, by bus or on foot through Namsan Park.

Many people go by bus and walk downhill. The not-so-spectacular wires run time is approximately 3 minutes, but a queue you can be standing up to 30 minutes. Maybe a 25-35 minute walk is a better idea, but you have to prepare for a steep ride. Many older locals do it all the time, so it is not too difficult.

The look-out tower itself is not special, but it is worth taking the elevator up to the 360 degrees city view. The tourist crowd is noisy and alarming but the biggest crowds are on the weekends. Many tourists are coming to see the city light in case there is no mist.

NAMSAN TOWER

JONGNO DISTRICT

Jongo works simultaneously as Seoul’s bustling downtown and traditional “old town”. The district is home to many historic palaces, gardens, markets, and squares, and the image is modernized with modern office buildings, elegant bars, and restaurants.

Due to the carefully preserved attractions and the blend of bustling markets and music shops, Jongo is able to merge the old and the new, it is worth visiting this district.

JONGNO DISTRICT
JONGNO DISTRICT
JONGNO DISTRICT
JONGNO DISTRICT
JONGNO DISTRICT

HONGDAE DISTRICT

Hongdae is located in the center of the capital, north of the river. It is a hipster, lively, trendy quarter with dense music (underground, indie rock) and artistic life.

The life of the quarter is fundamentally determined by the fact that there are four universities here. Among them is the Hongik Daehakgyo (Hongik University).

It is one of South Korea’s most significant universities the university of arts. Nightlife is very active; there are many themed, character cafes. The Trick Eye Museum is an exciting art gallery you can find here with paintings in 2D and 3D.

HONGDAE DISTRICT
HONGDAE DISTRICT
HONGDAE DISTRICT
HONGDAE DISTRICT

ITAEWON DISTRICT

The Itaewon district is mainly cosmopolitan. If you had enough of Korean food, you have to come here, because here most of the international restaurants are located (eg Italian, Indian, Turkish, German and American). Its main street is long and full of bars. There are plenty of foreigners: both tourists and expatriates living in Seoul. In antique shops, you can find mostly replicas, with a few originals pieces but they are still very well done.
In the Itaewon District, there is also a great nightlife so if you want to party and dance this is the place to come to. If you want to take a taxi here be very careful as taxi drivers always want to set up fixed prices and will try not to turn on the meter so you may be paying more than the actual ride is worth.

ITAEWON DISTRICT

Outside the city

 

 

 

GOYANG

If you are near Seoul you should also visit Goyang as there are a lot of possibilities to have fun.

If you like sports go to Bukhansan Mountain where you can go hiking or if you are more brave and strong why not try out rock climbing as well. If you like the outdoors but prefer just a simple long walk go to the National Haneul Park.

If you want to do some exploring then the Bukhansanseong fortress awaits where you can have a guided tour. You can also visit the Digital Media City a high-tech complex with digital technologies and lots of exhibitions where you can come across the marvels of the new high tech generation devices.

Bukhansan Mountain
Bukhansan

BUKCHON VILLAGE

Bukchon village is a clean, cozy, rural village with picturesque houses on the edge of the metropolis, not too far from the skyscrapers. It’s not much, but it offers a lot if you are interested in seeing some of Seoul’s old days.

You can easily go here by bus and visit the real local residents. Just make sure you are not disturbing anybody and not taking pictures of them without their approval. Go early in the morning or later in the evening to avoid the tourist.

However, the houses you are going to see here are not the original ones because Seoul has been completely destroyed several times, most recently by the North Korean troops in the early 1950s.

Still ,you can get away from the crowded city and you can also see a mesmerizing sunset.
So put on your sneakers as there are many photos that will need to be taken here mainly because many Korean visitors are impressed with the spectacular folk costumes and you will be as well.

BUKCHON VILLAGE
BUKCHON VILLAGE
BUKCHON VILLAGE
BUKCHON VILLAGE

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Venice City Guide – Venice Travel Tips

Venice City Guide – Venice Travel Tips

Venice City Guide - Venice Travel Tips

Venice “Queen of the Adriatic” a place like no other with its pictures canals, elegant bridges and breathtaking architecture.

Reasons to visit

Made up of 118 islands and countless canals and bridges Venice is one of Italy’s most popular touristic destinations. Thanks to its wonderful location, its architectural and artistic beauty it is one of the most romantic and beautiful cities in the world. T

he beauty of the city has worn somewhat in recent decades, but has kept its appeal to this day. It has been known by many names such as “City of Water”, “City of Masks”, “City of Bridges”, “The Floating City”, and “City of Canals” and it lives up to all of them.

If you wants to visit an “enchanted” city that is floating on water, if you want to see something unique and had enough of the loud humming of cars Venice is the place for you.

Venice Weather

Venice’s climate is moderately continental with, warm summers and cold winters. If you like walks in the rain you should visit in June or October, if you prefer your clothed dry visit Venice in January or February.

The best months for city sightseeing would be May, possibly early June, and early September. In these months, the weather is good, and there is no heat.

During summer it is very hot, there are lots of tourists and mosquitoes that may make your stay rather difficult. But of course, if you have the chance to visit Venice during summer time, don’t lose out on the opportunity.

Also another great time to travel to Venice is during the Venice Carnival in February for obvious reasons.

Venice Local Transport

In the City of Canals transportation is quite different than in any other city. There are buses and taxis but the ones without wheels. Don’t get alarmed these water buses and water taxis will get you to your destination in no time.

And of course let’s not forget about the gondolas they may be more expensive, however they can give a special experience of witch couples can take advantage of.

What could be more romantic then a ride with a gondola in the Floating City while you listen to singing and guitar play? Yes, bargaining is an option but keep in mind that you may be riding for a shorter period of time and you might not see the most special places.

Language

Some may think that Italian is the primary language spoken in Venice. Well, not quite. Venetian the language of romance, a dialect of Italian is most common language in Venice.

Of course if you are a speaker of modern Italian you will have no issue understanding the locals as the majority also speaks it.

The city being a major tourist hub English is spoken by most vendors and people working in the tourism industry.

.

Electric

In Italy the power plugs and sockets are of type F and L. We suggest that you have a power adapter if you are not from around.

Having your smart phone or camera charged for taking pictures is mandatory in this beautiful city. We suggest having a travel adapter if you are not from around.

Currency

If you are flying to Venice you will probably want have ‘a few’ euros with you for incidental expenses before you can get to an ATM as the only currency is euro. We advise you to bring a hundred or so euros for meals, rides, and then hit the ATM for larger amounts of cash once you have settled in.

Must Try Food

While we do recommend trying a good pizza with your favorite toppings there is so much more that the culinary world of Venice can give. Try for instance a local favorite sarde in saor.

The name may sound fancy but it is actually fried sweet and sour sardines. It is marinated in softly cooked onions with olive oil and with its added raisins and pine nuts it is the ultimate sweet and sour dish.

If you want something simpler but with a dash of excitement try scampi con polenta. Cornmeal can be boring but the shrimp with the mixed herb can uplift it to the highest peaks flavor vise. It is a true dish of Venice for those who are fans of seafood.

Carpaccio is a delicious appetizer if the idea of raw meat is appealing to you. Is it safe? Well even if foodies swear by it. there is no way to guarantee the safety of raw meat but sometimes you need to take the risk to experience something new.

You can choose between a variety of meats: beef, fish, seafood, salmon, tuna, venison that is thinly sliced and served with olive oil, lemon and truffles to bring out the taste that will delight your taste buds.

Where can you taste all this delicious food you ask? Well there are many places to eat in Venice but if you really want a treat and fine dining visit Riviera or Ristorante Alle Corone where excellent sea food and great service go hand in hand. If you are looking for local cuisine then All’Arco is the place for you.

Must-Try Drinks

When in Venice you must try at least a glass of Prosecco made from Glera grapes. You can choose your favorite version of this Italian white wine may that be spumante (sparkling wine), frizzante (semi sparkling wine) or tranquillo (still wine).

It is served chilled and most often drunk as an appetizer. It is a drink that has a crisp and intensely aromatic flavor bringing to mind apricots and it is best served unmixed.

If you are looking for something with more mixture in it then try a classic Spritz. You can choose your own variety again as Spritz is mixed with white wine, sparkling mineral water Aperol to make it sweeter or Campari to make it bitter.

It all depends on what you favor. Last but not least don’t forget the ice to make it more refreshing.

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How to get there

With Ryanair’s low-fare flights you can get the best price and arrive at Treviso Airport from all around the world. To get into Venice from the airport you can take a bus to Lido di Jesolo, Cavallino, Punta Sabbioni, Caorle, Eraclea Mare and Bibione.

From the Marco Polo airport to which Easyjet airplanes arrive, you can take a bus to Lido di Jesolo, Punta Sabbioni, Caorle, Bibione, Lignano and Eraclea Mare.

So, in our opinion it’s perfect for a city break here, perfect escape. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust kiwi.com. Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

If you have more time to spend you can also take an international bus like Flixbus. Prices are pretty good and you don’t have limits on your baggage.

Of course, take more time to get here but is perfect if you want to visit different cities around like Venice, Rome, Florence and so on. You can also use ride-share apps like BlaBlaCar for a cheaper ride.

You can spend good time in cars with locals and they can suggest you different places to visit which could be more useful then guides.

Things to know

Don’t get in the water, avoid stairs that lead to the water as they are very slippery and you can end up underwater real fast.

Don’t feed the pigeons in Piazza Saint Marco as it is illegal and you can end up with a pretty big fin as well.

Find affordable meals by searching for restaurants that serve a “Tourist Meal” that can be a great deal cheaper than eating at a regular restaurant. However, make sure you ask first how much the drinks cost as they can be even 5 euros and suddenly your great deal meal is not so great after all.

Waterproof footwear is a must during the high water (aqua alta) period that mainly occurs during winter and autumn, most often in

November and December. If you choose to visit Venice during this time keep in mind that you may need to stay for a few hours at higher peaks of the city.

Watch out for pickpockets ending up without your wallet and documents might not be the adventure you are looking for.

The streets of Venice are like a labyrinth the signs are helpful but a map is a must have you need to have with you at all times. Preferably that antique kind made of paper so the battery life of your device is not something that decides if you remain a “prisoner” of the labyrinth or not.

Last but not least don’t forget to just enjoy this marvelous city that gives you a view through a looking glass to a different world than any other.

Where to stay

If you want to save some money keep in mind that accommodation is much cheaper in Mestre than in Venice, and you can get to Venice by bus or train in 10 or 15 minutes. If you do not want to stay outside the city, it is important to pay more attention to the location of the hotel than in other cities.

If you want to walk around the city and do not want to spend much on a water buses choose a hotel that is in the middle part of Venice even if it is more expensive you save time and money by not spending it on expensive public transport.

Alto if you want to stay in Venice there is not to many cheap options but you can try the Youth Venice Hostelers Home for 45$ per night or Atlantide Hotel for 70$ per night. 

If you want to stay at a 3 star hotel we recommend Hotel Marconi  or Antica Casa Carettoni for 100$ per night or if you are looking for a 4 star hotel we highly recommend Hotel Bella Venezia  or Foscari Palace for about 140$ per night

Venice has multiple options for finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget. If you don’t have to worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on www.booking.com or www.agoda.com.

It’s a different city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on www.airbnb.com and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them. If you are traveling on a budget or not couch surfing seems to be a good idea. 

It’s a great opportunity for making new friends maybe for a week or maybe for a lifetime, you never know. Hostels are less expensive than a hotel room. Why spend 300$/night for a hotel room when you can spend 30$/night for a hostel room?! The culture of making friends never fails to amaze people.

 

Booking.com

Getting around

Venice is fully accessible on foot, no vaporetto that is a water bus is required. However, it is worth at least one time to go by a vaporetto, since you can admire the Grand Canal.

To the St. Mark’s Square, to the Rialto Bridge and to Piazzale Roma, the yellow panels on the house walls show the way so you cannot get lost in the “labyrinth” that is Venice. The panels often point in two directions, meaning that both paths lead to the same spot.

It is also worth wandering in Venice, even at night, when the city is particularly romantic, as every little alley, every corner has some beauty. You can walk through bridges and end up in the middle of marvelous squares. In such cases, it is very easy to get lost, so it is recommended to have a map in your pocket.

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Here are some of the most beautiful sites Venice presents to its visitors. In other words, let’s start!

 

St. Mark’s Square / Piazza San Marco

Many consider it the world’s most beautiful square. Napoleon called it “Europe’s Lounge”.
In the square you can see St. Mark’s Cathedral, the bell tower, and the clock tower. The flagstones on the bronze foundations before the cathedral date back to the 16th century where there are two granite columns near the waterfront, since the middle of the 13th century.
For those interested in history and art the Doge Palace and the Correr Museum are a must see. However in addition to the many tourists, you have to share Saint Mark’s Square with a lot of pigeons.

Saint Peter’s Basilica dome was designed by Michelangelo, after climbing 320 steps you can admire the splendid view of Rome and the dome. During the tour, you can also view the Basilicas ceiling with its magnificent artwork.

If you are walking on the Aventinus hill, do not forget to view Saint Peter’s Basilica through the “Keyhole of Rome” as an interesting, memorable, special experience. The famous keyhole is on the gate of the Roman Order of Malta.

PIAZZA SAN MARCO
PIAZZA SAN MARCO

Saint Mark’s Basilica / Basilica Di San Marco

The cathedral in the eastern part of Saint Mark’s Square was consecrated in 1094. Since then many renovations, reconstruction and expansion works have been carried out during the centuries, every era left its mark on the church built in Byzantine style.

This is the most important and representative building of Venice, the place for prayers and important meetings. The city always entrusted the most important artists with the supervision of the decorative works that gives us todays Saint Mark’s Basilica.

BASILICA DI SAN MARCO

Campanile Bell Tower

The Campanile is the bell tower of the cathedral and it was originally built in the 9th century. It was rebuilt in 1514, then collapsed again in 1902 and was completely destroyed. Finally in 1912, the Campanile was reconstructed to its original form. The bell tower has a wonderful 360° view of Venice and the sea.

CAMPANILE BELL TOWER

St. Mark’s Clock Tower / Torre Dell’orologio

The cathedral clock tower was built in 1496 and was renovated in 2006. To visit the clock tower a pre-booking is necessary as it can be accessed a couple times a day.

ST. MARK'S CLOCK TOWER

Ducale Palace / Palazzo Ducale

The palace was not only the headquarters for the ducal of Venice, but it also has a tribunal, a courthouse, offices, a jail and even a torture chamber. Nowadays it has been operating as a museum. It is one of the most beautiful examples of Gothic architecture. Here you can experience the history of Venice, and through the tour you can also cross the Bridge of Sighs. Its impressive interior is enchanting, the palaces’ paintings, decorations, sculptures and walls are eye-catching. If you are not the scary type an interesting tour would be to visit the torture chamber and see the former prison cells.

PALAZZO DUCALE

Bridge of Sighs / Ponte dei Sospiri

Venice’s most famous bridge, which connects the Ducal Palace and the old prison, was built in 1600. If you like legends this is the place to be. The Bridge of Sighs was named by Lord Byron, he thought the prisoners who were sentenced sighed on the bridge as they caught a last glimpse of the city before being swallowed by the prison. Also according to another legend, if lovers kiss each other under the Bridge of Sighs under a gondola at sunset, eternal love and happiness will be their reward.

BRIDGE OF SIGHS

The Grand Canal

Canal Grande is the main waterway of the city, it has an impressive line of churches and a magnificent palace lined up along the canal, with four bridges over it. The Grand Canal demonstrates the well-being and art of the era of Venice. It’s a good idea to take a water bus or a gondola and pass through the canal as it can be a fascinating experience.

THE GRAND CANAL

The Peggy Guggenheim Collection

One of the best museums in Venice the Palazzo Venier dei Leoni it is home to the Peggy Guggenheim collection presenting modern art. Cubist, surrealist, abstract expressionist works are presented here, including Dali, Miró, Picasso, Pollock, Metzinger, Duchamp, Gelizes’s works. If you are just a little interested in modern art you should definitely visit this grand museum.

THE PEGGY GUGGENHEIM COLLECTION

Scoula Grande of San Rocco

On the building of Scoula Grande of San Rocco the most beautiful works of the Renaissance painter Tintoretto can be admired. The magnificent building, its walls, its breathtaking ceiling and a combination of paintings will give the art lovers an unforgettable experience.

San Giorgio Maggiore

San Giorgio Maggiore is one of the islands of Venice and can be reached by vaporetto. It is also known for its 16th century magnificent San Giorgio Maggiore church and the bell tower of the church. It has a stunning view of Venice and it’s as beautiful as the bell tower of St. Mark’s Cathedral, but without the huge crowds.

SAN GIORGIO MAGGIORE

Santa Maria Gloriosa of the Frari Basilica

A huge, beautiful basilica is the Campo dei Frarin, the Franciscan church, the second most important church building in Venice with beautiful works of art from the era of the Venetian Renaissanc. It is worth mentioning, Tizianos The Ascension of Mary and the Madonna of Pesaro.

Church of Santa Maria dei Piracoli

The church of Santa Maria Dei Miracoli is like a small jewel box with a beautiful colorful marble cover. It is simple yet unique in its way and gives a sense of peace whoever is in its presence. It is considered by many to be the most beautiful church in all of Venice.

Canaregio

If you are looking outside the “museum town” for the real Venice then you need to go to the northwestern part of Canaregio. It is a quiet, authentic neighborhood, and it is away from the noise of tourists. It is worth visiting here to get to know another face of Venice. It’s nice to walk around here and retreat a bit from the crowd. You can also have a nice cheap meal at a restaurant or a drink at a café or bar then in the central part of Venice.

Outside the city

 

 

Lido di Venezia

Lido di Venezia is the nearest beach to Venice, it takes 15 minutes to get there by vaporetto from St. Mark’s Square. It is not particularly a cozy or a beautiful beach but it is 11 km long and ideal for long walks along the shore. More tourist friendly beaches would be Gran Viale, Santa Maria, and Santa Elisabetta.

Venice’s attractiveness is further enhanced by the availability of nearby beautiful resorts. In addition to the sightseeing and tours Burano, Murano or Torcello are also worth visiting.

Burano

Burano is located just 7 km from Venice, and prepare yourself for vibrant colors, as it is famous for the colorful houses the locals live in. It consists of 4 islands that are connected by bridges and it has the most amazing lagoons. It is worth visiting here if you are in Venice, as it is a nice place to go for a walk. If you do not want to be part of the tourist mass come here early in the morning.

Burano

Murano

Murano is even closer to Venice just 1.5 km and it consists of 7 islands and 8 canals that are connected by bridges. It is famous for its glass production the unique Murano Glass.
The art of glassblowing can be viewed on the island and of course you must stop by the Museo Vetrario the glass museum. The famous Basilica of Murano known for its 12th century Byzantine mosaics is also worth visiting. Murano is a peaceful, much quieter place than Venice but where else can you familiarize with glassblowing if not here?

Murano

Torcello

Torcello is a small, quiet island the ancestor of Venice, for those who are interested in history, should definitely visit it. There are not many sights here that worth visiting, but the 7th century Basilica, the Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta, are very beautiful inside and outside. At the same time, there is a special “spirit-city” mood on this deserted island.

Torcello

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Rome City Guide – Rome Travel Tips

Rome City Guide – Rome Travel Tips

Rome City Guide - Rome Travel Tips

The Eternal City, the capital of Italy, timeless Rome. Legend has it if you throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain you will return to Rome. Well, you are going to be throwing a lot of coins after this journey, just to be sure.

Reasons to visit

Over thousands of years, Rome has enriched with many wonderful churches, sculptures, artworks, buildings, palaces, gardens, fountains, and squares that are renowned.

The place sometimes can feel like it is enchanted if you are a first time visitor. Make sure that you have your camera ready and comfy shoes on as this is going to be one lifetime trip.

Exploring Rome is like a never-ending journey as there is always something new to see that is probably a thousand years old and that will take your breath away and leave you speechless.

Rome Weather

Because Italy is surrounded by sea climate in Rome is Mediterranean with some elements of continentality. Roma has warm winter and hot summer. Perfect time for visit is between October to April because is less crowded and mild temperatures.

Rome Local Transport

In Rome you have plenty of option to move around. Perfect for a city break it’s a to buy a Roma Pass. You can chose between 2 options 48h or 72h and you have full access to public transportation, free admission to some museums and other discounts.

If you plan to visit Rome by car our advice is DON’T! Traffic it’s horrible, you can spend long time in car, finding parking spots, more time then here instead of visiting or enjoying your time.

Moving around by taxi it’s the most expensive way to travel and you can be unlucky if you find a fake taxi, so be aware!

A good choice is travel with local transport ( buses, trams, trolleybuses, metro, light railways) managed by ATAC. You can check here your options.

Language

Main language spoken is Italian, and around 30 percent of the people do speak English, mostly in tourist areas.

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Electric

Type L (three-prong plug) and Type F (two-prong plug). We suggest having a travel adapter if you are not from around.

Currency

Main currency is Euro (€) with ATM’s available almost every street corner. Cash is preferred and tipping is not required but you can leave a tip around 10-15% off the bill.

Must Try Food

Italian cuisine is divers, rich, delicious, mouthwatering, sweet and savory. What you really need to try if you are walking down the streets of Rome and need a bite is arancini. You will not regret it. These are stuffed crunchy rice balls sprinkled with breadcrumbs and fried until golden brown served with a spicy tomato sauce with oregano and garlic.

If you are very hungry and need more than a bite lasagna is always an option. This well-loved Italian dish is made with minced meats, lasagna noodles, béchamel sauce, tomatoes and parmesan cheese.

If you are very indecisive when it comes to ordering food why not try three-way pasta where in one serving you get to try pasta bolognese with ground beef and tomato sauce, carbonara with bacon and a white cheesy sauce and last but not least amatriciana with olives and dried tomatoes. You have a sweet tooth? Rome has you cover with a creamy gelato or a sweet and light tiramisu. You can find some of these wonderful dishes in the restaurants listed below:

433

The 433 restaurant is praised by many. In the restaurant at Piazza Navona you can enjoy a delicious menu for 12 euros, which includes bruschetta’s, pasta or meat and dessert, plus wine and water. The dishes are delicious and the ingredients are fresh. For a great price, you get first-class quality (that is not the case with a few other menus offering this price), so it is one of Rome’s best value-for-money restaurants, which is also centrally located.

AD HOC

Ad Hoc is one of Rome’s finest restaurants in all respects: location, service, quality of food and taste are all of first class. The prices are not high as compared to other places and it is a very romantic, stylish, cozy, especially nice restaurant in Rome. Many say that Ad Hoc deserves even a Michelin star. The menu is abundant, famous about the dishes made with truffles and the great and wide selection of wines they serve.

ANTICA OSTERIA DA GIOVANNI

If you not looking for something fancy but something more family friendly the Antica Osteria Da Giovannp is a great traditional, authentic, Roman family restaurant, where local people prepare your meals. In this small restaurant you can have a great value for money lunch where in addition to cheap prices, varied and delicious menus can be eaten.

GELATERIA LA ROMANA

Gelateria La Romana is an ice cream parlor that is considered to be one of the best in Rome by very many people, along with tourists and locals alike. It is a large ice cream parlor that is present in several cities in Italy and offers the best ice cream in town. The ice cream is authentic, unique with great, clean flavors. In this ice cream parlor, besides the must try ice cream you can also buy biscuits, cakes and ice cream deserts limited by your imagination. However there is also a down side, the lines are almost always quite long but it is definitely worth the wait.

Must-Try Drinks

Wine the drink of Gods, what can be more adequate to drink in a city such as Rome? Well, sometimes a cool beer is also a good option so this is what we came up with:

AI TRE SCALINI – BOTTIGLIERIA DAL

A popular restaurant among locals and tourist in the Monti square is Ai Tre Scalini. Here you can find authentic Italian food specialties, and they offer over 100 kinds of wine.
Traditional Italian dishes are served, which are made from high quality ingredients. The ambience of the place is also enchanting and it is very popular. It is always a sparkling restaurant, but keep in mind that it is also a bar, so if you want a quieter, more relaxed dinner do not choose this restaurant. Due to its popularity, we advise you to go early or reserve a table. In addition, the price is only 10 euros for main courses, which is a very low price compared to the quality wines and foods they serve.

BAR SAN CALISTO

If you want to go for a drink in Rome, go to the Trastevere square, in the immediate center of the Santa Maria Trastevere Basilica. Bar San Calisto is a trendy, authentic bar of the locals where a beer is 2.50 euros, which is probably the cheapest in Rome. The place is always full as it is very popular, it is also simple yet the atmosphere is always great.

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How to get there

Rome is a destination you must visit at least once in your life. If you plan to visit you must know Rome has two airports. “Leonardo da Vinci” Airport is used by the most of airlines companies and Ciampino Airport is used by low-cost airlines.

From Europe is pretty easy to fly here. Plenty of low-cost airlines have flights here, so if you catch a promotion, a discount, just take it! A plane ticket with carry-on baggage could be really cheap, like 10 euro.

So, in our opinion it’s perfect for a city break here, perfect escape. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust kiwi.com. Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

If you have more time to spend you can also take an international bus like Flixbus. Prices are pretty good and you don’t have limits on your baggage.

Of course, take more time to get here but is perfect if you want to visit different cities around like Venice, Rome, Florence and so on. You can also use ride-share apps like BlaBlaCar for a cheaper ride.

You can spend good time in cars with locals and they can suggest you different places to visit which could be more useful then guides.

Things to know

Italy mostly functions under a cash economy so make sure that you have a few euros in your pocket as paying with a card is not always an option.

Watch your bags and valuables at all times, Rome is a safe city but petty crime is still pretty common.
Dress properly and avoid shorts, skirts, uncovered shoulders as you will not be allowed to enter in the churches if you do not respect a specific dress code.

Save time by buying online tickets to the Vatican Museums and avoid the long ques.
If you want to save money you can go on the first Sunday of the month when you can visit the Vatican Museums for free. However don’t say that we did not warn you that the mass is unbearable on these days.

Generally long queues can be avoided by buying tickets online or having a Roma Pass or Roma Archeology Card. In addition to online shopping, the tickets can also be purchased in person at the Colosseum’s Info Point.

Last but not least enjoy all that this magnificent city has to give and be grateful for it.
 

Where to stay

We highly recommend the Martini Rooms which you can book for only €10 or Termini Colosseum for only €12 but with  free breakfast, also if you are looking for a 4 star hotel we highly recommend The Britannia Hotel for only €110 but including everything even a spa and airport transfer.

Rome has multiple options for finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget. If you don’t have to worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on www.booking.com or www.agoda.com.

It’s a huge city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on www.airbnb.com and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them. If you are traveling on a budget or not couch surfing seems to be a good idea. First of all, it’s a chance for you to talk with a native and learn about day by day life in new york city.

It’s a great opportunity for making new friends maybe for a week or maybe for a lifetime, you never know. Hostels are less expensive than a hotel room. Why spend 300$/night for a hotel room when you can spend 30$/night for a hostel room?! The culture of making friends never fails to amaze people.

 

Booking.com

From airport

If your plane landed to “Leonardo Da Vinci ” Airport you have two train lines to get to the city. First one is “Leonardo Da Vinci” Express and leaves at every half of hour and cost 14 euros. The journey takes 35 minutes to to Rome’s central train station, Roma Termini.

The second line is FL 1 line, the suburban train which doesn’t stop to Roma Termini but you can find different option travel where you need.

Also the most cheapest way to travel for this airport to Rome is by bus with Terravision Bus. The journey to Rome city center take around an hour and cost 7 euros one-way and 10 euro round-trip. Of course, if you are buying online you can be cheaper.

Of course you can try public transport buy you might be more complicated.

From Ciampino your choices to get to the city center are more easier. You can use public transport, buses, taxi and car rentals.

The cheapest way is bus no 520 and you can combine with other metro, depending on your need, of course. By bus you have three choices: Terravision Bus, Sit Bus Shuttle, or Cotral. Prices and hours you can check on their websites.

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Here are some of the most beautiful sites Rome presents to its visitors. In other words, let’s start!

 

VATICAN, ST. PETER’S BASILICA

The Vatican is one of the few enclaves of the world that is a country that is entirely located in the territory of another country. Founded in 1929 this is the world’s smallest nation with 442 hectares of land and 801 inhabitants, according to the latest estimates. The main attraction of this small country is Saint Peter’s Square, Saint Peter’s Basilica, the Sixtus Chapel and of course the 14 magnificent Vatican Museums.

Basilica di San Pietro is one of the four great basilicas of Rome. The Renaissance-style basilica was built between 1506 and 1626. The basilica is the most prominent building in the Vatican.

The Basilica’s dimensions are astonishing.. Until 1989, it was the largest Catholic Church in the world, when it was preceded by a basilica in the capital of Ivory Coast, Yamoussoukro. It has an area of ​​2.3 hectares and has a capacity of more than 60.000 people. Its length is 211 meters, its maximum width is 186 meters and its maximum height is 132 meters.

Among the many important works of art found in the church, Michelangelo’s Pieta of 1499, must be emphasized as it is the only art piece of the artist between these walls. The statue depicts Mary holding Jesus after the crucifixion.

Saint Peter’s Basilica dome was designed by Michelangelo, after climbing 320 steps you can admire the splendid view of Rome and the dome. During the tour, you can also view the Basilicas ceiling with its magnificent artwork.

If you are walking on the Aventinus hill, do not forget to view Saint Peter’s Basilica through the “Keyhole of Rome” as an interesting, memorable, special experience. The famous keyhole is on the gate of the Roman Order of Malta.

Vatican
Vatican
Vatican

COLOSSEUM

One of the symbols of Rome is the Colosseum, the largest amphitheater built during the Roman Empire and one of the most important works of Roman architecture. It lies east, next to the Forum Romanum. Its dimensions are 48.5 m high, 156 m wide and 189 m long. It was commissioned by Emperor Vespassianus.

He was able to accommodate an approximate of 70.000 spectators. The audience was entertained by gladiators who were fighting each other or wild animals. It was also the scene of public executions. Its fading appearance is not only due to the harshness of time but to earthquakes and stone robbers as well.

colosseum
colosseum

FORUM ROMANUM

Between the Capitolium and the Palatinus Hill, west of the Colosseum lies the center of ancient Rome, which is still being discovered, so locals and tourists can easily imagine the once lively bustle and the flourishing of Roman culture. Forum Romanum was the center of Rome’s, judicial and political life, and trade.

In addition to the houses there were shops, markets and churches. The Forum Romanum had a holy church dedicated to various gods such as Saturnus, Janus, Vesta and Concordia. The senate was also located here and the execution square. Today you can see ruins of basilicas, palaces and triumphal arches. There are also night tours you can attend to visit the Forum Romanum and admire the ruined remains of old times in the moonlight.

forum romanum
forum romanum

TREVI FOUNTAIN

One of the most famous and beautiful fountains in the world the Trevi Fountain. Don’t forget to have a coin in your pocket as it is believed that he who throws a coin over his shoulder in the Trevi Fountain will one day return to Rome.

From coins daily, approximately 3000 euros are collected, though some fancied thieves occasionally use magnets to steal from the fountain. The baroque fountain was built on the plans of Nicola Salvi and was completed in 1762, and has since been restored several times. It is Rome’s largest fountain 26 meters tall and 49 meters wide. It has more than 100 lights installed so in the nightlight it is even more beautiful.

trevi fountain

SPANISH STAIRS

The Spanish Steps were built between 1723 and 1725 and lastly renovated in 1995. It is Europe’s longest and widest outdoor staircase, one of the favorite venues for the Romans and has 138 steps.

The name of the Spanish Steps is because the Spanish embassy is still located here, though it might be called The French Steps as well, as it is due to a French diplomat Étienne Gueffier, whose significant donation help in the building of the steps.

In addition to its beauty, its mood is impressive; it is always full of locals, tourists, young people, and couples in love, often playing guitar music and sitting on the steps. The staircase leads to the Trinitá dei Monti church, at the foot of the stairs there is a square with a Baroque fountain

SPANISH STAIRS

PANTHEON

The Pantheon is one of the best preserved ancient Roman monuments, and probably one of the earliest buildings of its time. It was built in honor of the seven gods of the Pantheon of the State of Rome, since the beginning of the 7th century, and today it is a Christian church. It also serves as a resting place for many famous people.

The dome is a miracle of engineering as in the 2th century it was possible to build a dome that was bigger than the dome of the Basilica of Staint Peter and by 1960 was the world’s largest freestone dome.

PANTHEON

SANT’ANGELO CASTLE

Saint Angels Castle was built it as a mausoleum by a Roman governor for himself and for his family. Basically it is a gigantic burial site. For nearly a thousand years it has been a fortress and a castle, and today it is a museum. You can also see the torture chamber in the cellar and a great collection of weapons.

The name of Angel was given by the angel statue at the top of the fort. From the roof you can see a wonderful panorama of Rome and the Vatican.

The bridge to the Angel Castle, Ponte Sant’Angel, is considered by many as the most beautiful bridge in Rome. The bridge is decorated with ten angels, but the angels were added to the bridge in the 17th century thanks to Bernini and his disciples.

SANT'ANGELO CASTLE

CATACOMBS

There are many Christian and Jewish burial places in Rome, but only a few can be visited. The world’s most famous and most extensive catacombs are undoubtedly in Rome. There are 5 Catacombs in the city that can be visited dozens of martyrs and 16 Popes are buried here. There are about 20 kilometers of Christian catacombs that can be seen on a great guided tour.

TIBER ISLAND / ISOLA TIBERINA

The boat-shaped island on the River Tiber is very small: 270 m long and 67 m wide. Certain sources say it is the smallest inhabited island in the world. Once there was a large church here.

It is connected with Rome by two bridges; Pons Fabricius the oldest bridge in Rome, and Pons Cestius, connecting the island with Trastevere.

Sometimes it is a great experience to leave the hustle and bustle of Rome on the banks of the Tevere and watch the river and the birds. There are restaurants, cafes and ice cream shops on the island for you to enjoy.

tiber island

PIAZZA VENEZIA

Piazza Venezia is a nice square with good views and photo taking opportunities. For the most beautiful panorama, go up to the top of the monument where you can have a cup and enjoy the 360 ​​° view of the Colosseum, the Forum and all of Rome. The enormous 135 m high, 75 m wide monument, which many Roman and tourist love, but many people hate and say it is ugly because it is too big, can be seen from almost every part of Rome. The Romans call it a “wedding cake”. The memorial was given as a sign of gratitude to the first king of Italy, II. Vittorio Emanuele. In 1895 it was designed by Guiseppe Sacconi and finally finished in 1935 it is made of white marble from Bottinió. In the memorial, the tomb of an unknown soldier can be found, with a legacy, which was built after the First World War.

PIAZZA VENEZIA

Outside the city

 

CALCATA

Calcata is beautiful, but it is dangerous. 47 kilometers from Rome, Calcata is an enchanting place that thanks to its unusual location, gives visitors a taste of the beauty of nature and the unusual historical atmosphere of the past.

The city has a rich history, but in the 20th century it was for a long time abandoned. In the 1930s, its inhabitants abandoned that place, fearing that the rock beneath the city will collapsed and the settlement would sink into the deep. Local people moved to Nuova Calcata, New Calca.

The danger, however, did not hinder the hippies and the artists who had settled in the abandoned buildings. Although in time they had persuaded the authorities that the city would not collapse and got housing permits, still many people consider it risky planning for long-term in Calcat.
The city is also looking forward to the special atmosphere of today’s tourists.
Restaurants, cafés and galleries also work between the old-fashioned walls. You may even visit some of the homes of some residents.

In the main square of the city there are three stone-carved thrones waiting for those who wish to rest. In the nearby woods you can view, Constantino Morosin’s stone statues and other status made by local artists. Calcata is a popular destination that gives an unique experience for however is interested in something new, different.

Pompeii

If you want to see a town frozen in time you can see Pompeii “thanks” to eruption of Mount Vesuvius from 79 AD. You can discover here how Roman live used to be. The architecture is very well preserved and it’s amazing have have done this huge ancient tragedy. You can see a whole town, with all the normal exuberance of city life, stopped in its tracks.

You can book a personalised guided tour, join a group tour or wander by yourself with a map in hand.

From Rome you can take the “slower” train and you can reach in three hours or you can take regular one and you will arrive at destination in one hour

Pompeii
Pompeii
Pompeii

Etruscan sites

 

If you are interested of old Roman history you can visit Etruscan sites from Cerveteri, Tranquinia and Vulci. In Cerveteri you can visit Etruscan Necropolis name “city for the dead” with plenty of tombs good to visit.

In Tranquinia you can visit the Etruscian Museum and also have a Necropolis with painted tombs, some of them pretty well preserved, some of them not so much. Also, don’t miss Etruscan Museum at Villa Giulia.

Vulci was pretty active because of Greek labours in production of ceramics, sculptures and bronze objects. Here you can visit Tomb of François and Tomb of Inscriptions.

Etruscan sites Cerveteri

Frascati

Frascati is considered one of Castelli Romani built on top of a hill founded by Latins before Rome. It’s a nice place where you can eat good pizza and see a living history before eternal Rome. If you have the opportunity to visit don’t miss Villa Aldobrandini where you can see a nice view of Rome.

Scuderie Aldobrandinian archaeological museum with pieces from the ancient Roman town of Tusculum.

Frascati

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Sibiu City Guide – Sibiu Travel Tips

Sibiu City Guide – Sibiu Travel Tips

Sibiu – the cultural Capital of Europe full of wonders and lovely experiences every single weekend

Reasons to visit

Sibiu was chosen to be European Cultural Capital in 2007 – 2008, and every year since then the city exploded with events that happens every single weekend so come, there is always something happening.

As of 2018 Sibiu was chosen to be Musical Capital of Europe, with plenty of show’s happening as well as of 2019 Sibiu will start hosting Gastronomical events so if you want to try food here is the best place to do it from all Romania.

If you are looking for a more village experience, we can offer you that in a 4 day 3 nights package including homemade food, homemade drinks, trips, barbecue, airport pickup and drop off, city tour and much much more for only 300$ / pers for more information please feel free to send your request at [email protected]

Sibiu Weather

It’s perfect to visit Sibiu in spring between March to May and in summer – autumn between April to November.

The summer can be sometimes very hot with temperatures reaching up to 40°C/104°F  and in winter it can go down to -30°C/-22°F so please dress accordingly, because temperatures can vary a lot.

The best time to visit in our opinion is during summer start in April – May, it’s perfect for almost any activity but it depends on what your favorite activities are.

Sibiu Local Transport

Getting around city could be difficult but it’s not impossible. The easiest way to travel it’s by using the local bus system, as there is no metro in the city.

Almost every bus station is equipped with automated ticket selling machine in multiple languages so it’s easy for you to buy a ticket at a price of 2 Lei / 0.5 Cents  but they do not sell passes.

In order to buy a ticket pass you need to find once of the kiosk clearly designated TURSIB, where you can buy 1 day pass for 5 Lei / 1 Euro or 7 day pass for 18 lei / 4 euro.

You can also pay directly into the bus if you have a contactless card for the same price, but take notice not all contactless cards will work so have a ticket with you before.

If you want to take the bus from Sibiu to travel somewhere else there are 3 bus stations in Sibiu, one is Located near the train station called Transmixt, one is located at Attlasib main station, and last one wich is called Q7 is located near the the stadium

Language

The main language spoken is Romanian, but a lot of people do speak English as a second languange so don’t be afraid to ask for directions or people out for a beer.

Electric

In Sibiu the power sockets are european. This socket also works with plug C and with plug E if it has an additional pinhole, we suggest having a travel adapter if you are not from Europe.

Currency

Main currency is LEU. Though exchange centers are available at airports and most tourist attractions, the best way of exchanging currency is to withdraw from ATMs – which is both the fastest and cheapest method of doing so.

But if you are looking to exchange money to the best rates from a local perspective is Prima Exchange while there are only 2 non stop exchange places both in same spot Pro Exchange

Must Try Food

In Romanian culture there are so many food items that you have to try, like Sarmale, Ciorba de burta, Iahnie de fasole, Ardei umpluți, Mici, Mamaliga and many many others that we will visit at the end of article.

But unfortunately, a lot of tourists mistake Romanian food with some of our country neighbors like Baclava, Gulas, Papanasi,  Kurtos Kalacs, Langos and many others so please don’t be deceived before eating and do a little bit of research.

If you are looking for cheap but good Romanian food, you can find it in one of the 6 Super Mama restaurants, one being right in the city center or if you are into kebab, then you should go to Turkish Kebab where you will not be disappointed.

Or if you are looking for something more fancy but a bit more pricey you should try Hermania Restaurant , the food is excellent and location is just perfect. 

And let’s not forget the super expensive place that serves Romanian food and with a lot of items on the menu then Dobrun is the location for you. 

Must-Try Drinks

The first thing you will be thinking to try in Romania is the local strong drinks, although i advice you against it you will still try it.

As most of the authentic drinks can only be found in villages where is homemade, we suggest you take a trip to one of the villages and ask to buy and do not buy it from shops it’s not even close to the same thing.

Depending on what part of Romania you are, you can try different things to buy, here is a small list of drinks and where you can find them:

Afinată – Homemade drink made from blueberries with alcohol, found in almost entire Romania
Cireșată – Homemade drink made from fermented cherries with alcohol and sugar, found in almost entire Romania
Vișinată – Homemade drink made from cherries with alcohol, found in almost entire Romania
Zmeurată – Homemade drink made from raspberry with alcohol, found in almost entire Romania
Pălincă – It’s made from a mix of fermented fruits distilled in copper with usually 70% alcohol concentration but added water after to reduce it, usually found everywhere in Romania
Țuică – Same as Pălincă but totally different taste because it’s made of fermented plums
Rachiu – While the process of distilling it’s the same as Pălincă, it’s fermentation process is made from  wine grapes with sugar
Socată – This is not an alcoholic drink, it’s a homemade juice made out fermented soc flowers commonly found everywhere during the end of spring with lemons and a lot of sugar
Vin(Wine) – Homemade wine is very common in almost every part of Romania, but the quality it’s not that good

If you are looking for an interesting drink in Sibiu, then we recommend heading to Atrium, it’s right near the Liars Bridge, but you can order some amazing drinks like Mexican Beer (Heineken + Tabaco + Tequila) or Mint Beer (Heineken + Mint Siroup) but also the amazing Blue Lemonade.

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How to get there

From Europe is pretty easy to fly here. Plenty of low-cost airlines have flights here, so if you catch a promotion, a discount, just take it! A plane ticket with carry-on baggage could be really cheap, like 10 euro.

So, in our opinion it’s perfect for a city break here, perfect escape. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust kiwi.com. Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

If you have more time to spend you can also take an international bus like Flixbus. Prices are pretty good and you don’t have limits on your baggage.

Of course, take more time to get here but is perfect if you want to visit different cities around like Venice, Rome, Florence and so on. You can also use ride-share apps like BlaBlaCar for a cheaper ride.

You can spend good time in cars with locals and they can suggest you different places to visit which could be more useful then guides.

Where to stay

Sibiu has multiple options of finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget, one example is B13 hostel right in the hearth of the city with prices as low as 40 lei / 9 Euro / night,

If you are looking for a more high-end hotel you should  stay at 4 star Ramada Hotel with prices as low as 400 lei / 90 Euro / night or 3 Star Ibis Hotel for as low as 230 lei / 50 Euro / night

If you don’t have worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on www.booking.com or www.agoda.com.

It’s a huge city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on www.airbnb.com and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them.

Booking.com

Getting around

Sibiu has only one airport and unfortunately there are only two ways to get into the city:

By Bus : There is only one bus that travels to the airport and towards the city, bus no 11, that runs every 20 minutes from 6:00 to 23:00, click here for full hour list

By Taxi : There is no Uber in Sibiu, so the only way to get a taxi is to get lucky that you have one at the airport or you need to call one to come pick you up. I highly recommend to not take one of the taxi at the airport and rather call for one because they will try to scam you. Here are some phone numbers you can call for a taxi : +40269949+40269924+40269953

If you are planning to get a taxi most of taxi drivers barely speak English but it’s not difficult understand each other.

 

Events

During Summer there are so many events happening in the main square and on the road leading to the square, so make sure you visit during the weekends from Friday to Sunday.  Here is a list of events that you can attend every year:

THE INTERNATIONAL THEATER FESTIVAL (TIFF) – Usually takes 10 days from  6th – June 15th with over 80.000 spectators day, 2500 artist and guests and over 65 places for performances

TIFF

SUMMER CLASSICS – MUSIC DAYS – Between 22 – 28 June so for one week, in the main square and other selected venues you can attend all kind of music events from international guests and Romanian singers.

SIBIU FASHION DAYS –  Between 13 – 14 July In addition to the collections of well-known designers and the presence of professional models, the spectators will have the chance to enjoy great concerts during the two event days

SIBIU FASHION WEEK – Between 17 – 22 July also known as Feeric Fashion Days is the most important fashion festival in the country and the only one held for six days in a row.

TIFF SIBIU – 20 – 24 June it’s the most important annual movie festival is 3 locations in Sibiu and 1 in Sighisoara, you can watch one of the multiple Romanian movies and meet with actors. The places where it takes place are : Piața Mare, Teatrul Gong, Cisnadioara Fortress and the ASTRA Open Air Museum

SIBIU CYCLING TOUR – Happening between 4 – 8 July it usually manages to gather 22 teams from Europe and Asia to take part in the most difficult road cycling race in South–Eastern Europe.

THE TRAVELLING CRAFTSMEN – Between June 29 to August 28 it’s a gathering from all travelling craftsmen from all over Europe that get to work alongside Romanian artisans to promote traditional crafts. In Sibiu you can find them near Stâlpul Calfelor where they display open workshops, photographs and presentations

Casa Calfelor

RED BULL ROMANIACS – between 24 – 28 July an international Enduro rally so if you are into motorcycles and raw power then this event it’s for you.

Enduro

ARTMANIA FESTIVAL – 27 – 28 July it’s all about Rock music, loud speakers and party going on all over the rock pubs and clubs in the city and big guests like Nightwish , Within Temptation, Tarja,My Dying Bride, Laguna Coil and many other big names but also Romanian rock bands.

ARTMANIA FESTIVAL

“THE SONGS OF THE MOUNTAINS” FESTIVAL – 7-9 august, if you looking to see a parade of Romanian costumes and songs from all arround Sibiu but also nearby places, then this is the place to come.

MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL – 24 – 26 August, if you like sword fights, flamethrowers, maiden and many other things like knights tournaments, music concerts, circus shows, all having as a theme the medieval art, then come and enjoy.

THE POTTERS’ FAIR – 01 – 02 September, Master potters from all over the country and representatives of the most renowned pottery centers in Romania are present within this fair.

THE POTTERS’ FAIR

SIBIU OPERA FESTIVAL – 09 – 28 September, if you like opera then  Filarmonica de Stat Sibiu, will gladly open their arms to invite you here.

Opera Festival

CIBINFEST – 20 -23 September, it’s a Romanian copy of the infamous Oktoberfest , where you can buy all kinds of Romanian beer and taste the local food while enjoying the Bavarian music and style. The entire thing happening in an huge tent that covers the entire main square. You can learn more on their website CibinFest

SIBIU OPEN – Tennis event hold at the Tenis Club Pamira in September.

ASTRA FILM FESTIVAL – It’s the biggest film festival between 15 – 21 October where you can watch movies in open air for all genders.

SIBIU RALLY CHALLENGE – 16 -18 August, a unique event in Europe which will gather top pilots from national and international competitions

SIBIU JAZZ FESTIVAL – 21-24 May, Numerous Jazz concerts, jam sessions and workshops will take place during the seven days of the festival.

THE CHRISTMAS FAIR – November 20-December 26, no doubt the longest running and the most famous event. During the winter days this is the places where to find fairy tale houses that attracts tourist with homemade wine with cinnamon (a Romanian winter specific drink) alongside winter sweets and other goodies. A lot of festive lights to make it the perfect Christmas Market location with Santa Claus Village and the place to be at New Years midnight if you are in Sibiu.

But the list does not end here, in fact there are so many other events that happens in Sibiu every week, while most of them are not set in stone and do not repeat annually at an exact date, you can look them up when next event will be.

THE CHRISTMAS FAIR

STREET FOOD FESTIVAL – From homemade Romanian food, to Indian, Chinese, Japanese and other European foods awaits you to come and delight you with their smells but also with good music and atmosphere. You can find more details on Street food festival 

Food Festival

ROMA FESTIVAL – Roma or Gypsies have a set date on 8’th of April but we’ve seen this festival being held 3 to 5 times a year in Sibiu’s Main Square where you can enjoy custom Gypsies music and buy handmade items from hundreds of vendors.

ROMA FOOD FESTIVAL – Roma or Gypsies have a set date on 6’th of September but we’ve seen this festival being held 3 to 5 times a year in Sibiu’s Main Square where you can enjoy custom Gypsies music and eat a lot of interesting food.

HANDMADE FESTIVALS –  While this is held a few times a year the most important one is held between 7 – 9 Decembrie, in small square under the name Artsy Handmade Fair.

HANDMADE FESTIVALS

Since there are so many other festivals i’ll try to make it faster so here we go : Beer Festival (3- 8 August), Apsara Festival (8-12 August)Holszstock Festival(17-19 August), FullMoon Festival(9-12 August), and the list can go on but i’ll let you discover them all when you arrive.  

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Sibiu it’s a small city so there won’t be any long lines to enter the places you want to visit so In other words, let’s start!

Main Square

This is the most important place of the city, where all major events happens and where a lot of good restaurants are, also it’s usually the meeting point for every tourists to meet for the first time.

The road to Main Square it’s also filled during hot days with full of terraces with all kind of food and drinks, but take notice all of them must close by 23:00, so prepare your time ahead.

While you are here you can visit Turnul Sfatului build between 1221 and 1241, where you can go up for a fee of 2 lei / 0.5 cents to get a view over main square from above, also you can visit Romano-Catholic Church “Sfânta Treime” built in 1948 open between 9 – 19 everyday and last Național Brukenthal National Museum where you can enjoy old Romanian art but sometimes there is also a display of live Reptiles.  

Main Square
Main Square

Liars Bridge

One of the most unique style bridge in Sibiu, build in 1859 completely from metal, it became very well known due to it’s many legends, but since then the bridge has suffered few changes lately even the complete remove of all locks. 

While many legends are being told, there is only one that it’s the truth and that’s when young army lads went to war they sealed their love and marriage proposal with a lock on the bridge to ensure the brides that they will come back alive and well. But as we all know the war takes casualties therefore the name of Liars Bridge. 

The best times to visit is during the summer when the bridge is full of flowers or during the winter then city lights take over and makes it a fairy tail photo spot. 

Liars Bridge

Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary

Build in 1520 in Gothic style, it’s one of the famous and biggest churches in Sibiu, standing tall at 75m, it’s almost impossible to take a picture with it. 

The church has a visiting fee of 2 lei but also a go up into the tower fee of 6 lei, but fair warning this is not for people with fear of height because to get up you have to walk some weird stairs with a view. 

Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary
Lutheran Cathedral of Saint Mary

Citadel Park

This park hides a lot of secret spots, but you should take it slow and enjoy the beauty of it while walking on the most beautiful street in Sibiu, so here are a few other things you might notice while you walk there: 
The 4 Towers – Build around 1700 to help protect the city walls, although only 3 of them are still partially standing.
Sibiu Walk of Fame – Every year the walk of fame is updates with new artists that deserve it.
Thalia Philharmonic – Every day takes place new concerts and art operas that you must not miss if you like.
Museum of History – From real life size dinosaurs to unique types of rocks and ancient animals.
Pardon Cafe & Restaurant – The best place to eat seafood and barbecue but also much more 

Citadel Park
Citadel Park

Sub Arini Park

By far the biggest park in Sibiu, over 22 hectares, it’s the perfect retreat for a walk, or run, or cycle or just take a picnic near the small river, but you can also find some amazing places to visit like the Music Pavilion, Play Football or Tennis and if you arrive here during the winter you must bring your sleigh and go down the hills. 

During the summer there are plenty events that are hold here, from music to food festivals but even open air movie presentations each with their own unique flavour.

Citadel Park
Citadel Park

The Zoo

Sibiu zoo is one of the most well cleaned and maintained zoo I’ve seen in Europe and many other places, with a very small entrance free of only 4 lei / 1 euro a lot of locals come here just to take a stroll thought the forest zoo or take a stroll with the boat on the amazing lake.

You can visit the reptiles pavilion, the birds or take a more wild run with the tigers or bears that are hiding here but also many other animals that kids will love so come and enjoy it, it’s well worth it especially during the summer.

Zoo

Dumbrava National Park

Do you like old style buildings, then here is the place to come to enjoy the entire history of Romania exactly like it was hundreds of years ago, from chariots to old style streets it’s a big maze that will take you to an entirely new world. 

Dumbrava National Park
Dumbrava National Park
Dumbrava National Park

The Cross

Hidden on the top of Gusterita Hill, it’s a sight you might not want to miss during the night, with a perfect view over the city and an amazing photo shot spot. To reach here you can take bus no 10 and then walk the rest of the way for about 20 minutes.

Near City

Bâlea Lake

It’s a glacial lake situated at 2000 meters altitude in Făgăraș Mountains. It’s a perfect place to escape in the summer heat. If you are a hiking lover or not you can spend quality time by yourself, with friend or family.

The view is breathtaking and it’s perfect to spend a day in summer or winter. If you are a lover of winter sport you can come here for snowboarding, snowmobiling or tubbing. If you need to take a break you can visit the Hotel of Ice and have a hot drink or you can pray on Ice Church.

During summer Bâlea Lake it’s the perfect start for hiking routes to the highest peak in Romania, Negoiu and Moldoveanu Peaks, you have two choices to arrive here: cable car or Transfăgărășan which is open only in summer.

Balea Lake

Transfăgărășan

It’s one of the most famous roads in Romania named by Top Gear “the world’s best road”. It was built during Nicolae Ceaușescu’s communist regime. It’s considered one of the wonderful roads built with many difficulties and many human lives lost.

Because of his altitude (around 2000 meters), this road it’s open only during summer and it’s dangerous to drive here outside the season.

If you have motion sickness you must be prepared with some pills if you want to enjoy the marvellous landscapes, it’s the main road if you want to visit Bâlea Lake, Bâlea Waterfall, Vidraru Lake and Dam and more.

Transfăgărășan

Bâlea Waterfall

Bâlea Waterfall is the largest waterfall in the stairs from Romania. It’s situated over 1200 meters altitude and has 60 meters fall.

It’s something that you can’t miss if you are in your way to Bâlea Lake. Here you find plenty of choices to book a room, eat some traditional food or buy souvenirs.

Negoiu and Moldoveanu Peaks

These peaks are the highest peaks in Romania. Moldoveanu Peaks has 2.544 meters high and Negoiu has 2.535 meters. Perfect for hiking lovers, these hiking trails can be considered as difficulty medium/high because are long. Always you must be prepared for hiking properly and of course, we recommend to have a guide or someone who has experience in hiking.

Negoiu and Moldoveanu Peaks
Negoiu and Moldoveanu Peaks

Păltiniș

Păltiniș it’s a mountain resort situated 35 km south-west from Sibiu. It’s a perfect escape from the city and it is situated at 1440 meters altitude.

It’s suitable for families, couples, winter sports lovers or for hiking. Also if you are looking for a place of silence there is a hermitage, very beautiful, peaceful and quiet. It’s also famous because is the place where philosopher Constantin Noica spent here his last days.

You can spend quality time every time, doesn’t matter the season. it’s perfect in winter or summer. Most tourists love to have a ride in chairlift which works most of the time. During summer, it’s perfect if you like hiking or climbing. we recommend Arka Park Adventure Park if you like outdoor climbing.

Paltinis

Salt Lakes from Ocna Sibiului

During summer if you want a daybreak, this is the perfect place. It’s situated 15 km from Sibiu. You can swim in salt lakes, you can stay on the beach or you can take a mud bath, good for skin, rheumatics or bones conditions. Also, you can find here places where you can treat some medical conditions.

Here you can find 12 lakes, salt pool for kids, freshwater pool, cold and warm showers, places to eat and drink.

All lakes have different salinity. Bottomless Lake is the most famous lake and it’s declared a monument of nature because of the phenomenon of heliothermia. Ocniţa Lake is the largest lake, the most prefer to swim. Brâncoveanu Lake is the saltiest lake from this place. The Mud Lake has a thick layer of mud good to treat some bones conditions. Black Lake it’s similar to Mud Lake.

Ocna Sibiului

Castle Clay Fairy Valley

If you want something unusual to visit this castle is a choice. It’s made entirely of clay and wood and looks like a castle from fairy tales. It was designed as a hotel but it not yet finished. But you can visit it for a 5 lei as entrance fee.

You can spend a good time here, eat something or drink and take some nice pictures. Spring or summer it’s perfect time to visit.

Clay House

Brukenthal Summer Palace in Avrig

This assembly used to be the former summer residence of the Transylvanian governor Samuel von Brukenthal.

It was built in baroque style inspired by Vienna and has a huge and beautiful garden. During spring the gardens just revive, full of flowers and colour. It’s famous for the Tulip Trees, brought by the Baron of North America.

Also, you can take a nice picture of a romantic fountain, you can eat your lunch surrounded by flowers and beauty. The entrance is free and you pay only for the exhibitions.

Today most of the time this palace is used for public events or weeding and you also can book here rooms.

Clay House

Sighișoara

Situated outside of Sibiu county, and around 90 km from Sibiu city, Sighișoara’s citadel it was included in UNESCO World Heritage list because of the way his architectures it’s conserved.

Most of the buildings are dated in Middle Age and it’s consider as a walking museum. It’s easy to reach here, you can arrive by train or by car.

If you have the chance to visit this small but lovely city you have to see some famous touristic spots. One of them is The Clock Tower, the one that you can see it on post cards. Also you must not miss The Tailors Tower, The Scholars’ Stairs, The Stag House, The Venetian House, and more.

Perfect time for visit it’s in July during the medieval festival.

Sighișoara
Sighișoara
Sighișoara

Top 5 Articles

Singapore City Guide – Singapore Travel Tips

Singapore City Guide – Singapore Travel Tips

Singapore City Guide - Singapore Travel Tips

Singapore – The “Lion City” in Asia, land of beauty with fantastic architecture where future will automatically hit you and you would not believe it.

Reasons to visit

If you want to escape from your home for a little and take a break from your thoughts, it’s a good opportunity to visit Singapore. Its culture it’s going to leave you speechless.

When you will land on Singapore the image of a country coming from the future will automatically hit you. The architecture of the city seems to be from a different future time.

Singapore Weather

Singapore’s having a tropical climate. Easy to understand that there’s no such thing as summer or winter. The temperature tends to be constant all over the year, excepting the monsoon season.

So, that being said, consider traveling to Singapore starting with March when the temperature reaches  36 degrees, until the month of September when the temperature may drop with 2 degrees.

Starting with November it is indicated to avoid traveling to Singapore because the monsoon season start and your flight may be affected by it or your trip may turn into a nightmare because you will be forced to cancel all of your plans due to the abundant rainfall.

Singapore Local Transport

Another thing you will be amazed by is the missing of private cars on Singapore’s streets. The land of Singapore’s not very large so they are trying to keep a low rate of pollution excluding private cars.

You will still be able to visit the city by taking the bus, taxi, trains and bicycles. Due to exclusion of the private cars, all the six taxi companies lowered the prices

.
A strange thing about this country is the fact that they own eight airports but seven of them are not for public use.

Language

Singapore uses as its official language English, besides it there are three other recognized languages like Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil. Most of the Singaporeans are speaking fluently in two of the official languages. English comes first being the first language they get in contact with since day one of education and second Mandarin Chinese, Malay, and Tamil.
If you want to travel to Singapore and your identification papers are in other languages than English, please consider translating them into English for your own safety.

Electric

Singapore uses mainly the British type of power sockets. That means they are using G type plugs. You can buy power plugs adapters from the internet or from any other store that sell home items. We suggest having a travel adapter if you are not from around.

Currency

The history of Singaporean currency it’s really interesting. For 94 years, between 1845 and 1939 they used as currency the Straits Dollar, the currency of a British land located in Southeast Asia. The currency was changed into the Malayan dollar and used for 14 years. Since 1967 Singapore use the Singapore dollar. You can use the Singapore dollar to pay also in Brunei.

Must Try Food

If you are traveling to Singapore you should try the following food :

Bak Kuk Teh – Literally meaning Pork Ribs Soup. It was made during the humble times of Singapore when the city was still developing and its nation was poor and begging for food.

Fried Carrot Cake – This cake is made with eggs, preserved radish, and white radish flour cake. The result will be a „white carrot” cake.

Kaya Toast and soft boiled eggs – It is the only traditional Singaporean meal. The eggs are usually boiled for 10 minutes to obtain the soft shell. Kaya toast is a common looking toast bread, toasted on a bread grill, greased with coconut oil or eggs.

Crabs – If you travel to Singapore, don’t miss eating Crabs on its Asian stylish way. You can’t compare it to any European way of cooking them.

In Singapore, the craps are served with sweet or spicy tomato chili sauce or with black pepper sauce. In some places in Europe, crabs are only boiled in hot water, but in Singapore, crabs are first boiled then fried to crack open the shell much easier.

Oyster Omelette – It is a very popular dish in Singapore. The cooking process is alike with the one of fried carrot cake, having the same special ingredient – eggs.

Chwee Kueh – traditional breakfast specific for Singapore. A mixture between flour and water, filled with preserved radish and chili. The young citizens of Singapore and not very happy about this dish but the elders keep the tradition alive.

Must-Try Drinks

Kope-O – The first thing you need to try when you reach in Singapore. Kope-O is an intense traditional black coffee cup, usually served along with breakfast.
Teh Tarik – in Singapore, they love Teh Tarik, even if is not a genuine Singaporean drink. Indian cuisine influenced this drink. It is prepared with black tea liquor and condensed milk.
Singapore Sling – this drink shows you how a tropical city tastes like. It is a cocktail with gin as a base and made with Benedictine, Cherry Heering, and pineapple juice. A taste you will never forget.
Bandung – is a drink obtained from chilled milk mixed with rose syrup.

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How to get there

Singapore it’s an exotic destination. If you want to buy cheap flight tickets you must look for Singapore as the destination because here you can find the cheapest tickets. You don’t need to carry too many things, just enjoy your time here. If you want to check the best fly tickets you can trust kiwi.com. Kiwi can help to find also best fly on your way home.

You can reach Singapore traveling by plane with Singapore Airlines, Tiger Airways or Scoot Airways. In any case, you will land on Singapore’s Changi Airport. Changi Airport it is the main airport and it has the greatest reputation being one of the busiest airports of the world.
If you are afraid of flying you can get to Singapore taking a cruise. There are two options – traveling with Singapore Cruise Center for a common cruise, or traveling with Marina Bay Cruise Center for a luxury cruise.
There is still one more option – driving to Singapore. If you are coming from Europe it’s almost impossible to get here driving, but if you are from Asia, nothing less easy. Singapore has two lad checkpoints. One in Tua and another one in Woodlands.

Things to know

If you want to travel to Singapore make sure you have all the travel papers done. You will need a visa but keep in mind that a visa is not an immigration pass. Your immigration pass together with your visa it will be checked by Immigration and Checkpoints Authority. Your staying period in Singapore has to be mentioned in your passport. Remind yourself the date mentioned in your passport is not related to the validity of your visa.

Where to stay

Singapore has multiple options for finding a cheap or expensive place to stay. As I said, could be expensive but you can fit also on a budget. If you don’t have to worry about your budget can book plenty of hotels rooms and pensions where you like on www.booking.com or www.agoda.com.

It’s a huge city and must consider how much you will to walk, how close to the city center it is your place. If you like to hang out with a local you can book a room on www.airbnb.com and you can find a good price for your accommodation.

Also if you can stay with them for free using Couchsurfing app. You can use it also only if you want to meet with them. If you are traveling on a budget or not couch surfing seems to be a good idea. First of all, it’s a chance for you to talk with a native and learn about day by day life in new york city. It’s a great opportunity for making new friends maybe for a week or maybe for a lifetime, you never know. Hostels are less expensive than a hotel room. Why spend 300$/night for a hotel room when you can spend 30$/night for a hostel room?! The culture of making friends never fails to amaze people.

You can book a room in a hotel placed on Orchard Road if you are a shopping addict. Orchard Road is always busy with passing pedestrians. The nightlife is quite limited. An option to book a room is Swissotel The Stamford. This hotel has a great location, in the heart of Singapore, with a great area for shopping.

If you don’t have much time for visiting the city or you are traveling on a budget, a room in Marina Bay its ideal. You can enjoy the view but you won’t feel the Singaporean life at all.

Find a place to stay in Clarke Quai if you enjoy the nightlife. Clarke Quai is well known for the main nightclubs in Singapore. Even if you have less cultural attractions you can benefit of thousand prices lowered on happy hours in almost every market you walk in.

For those who love the sound of the beach, a room in Sentosa is a perfect choice. Sentosa is an ideal place for families, being far from the noisy city and crowded stores. But consider that a trip from Sentosa to Singapore is taking time. Make sure you have enough time.

If you don’t worry about the budget we recommend to stay at Marina Bay Sands. The location is fabulous, and the view speechless and the services are the best. The area is great for shopping.

 

If you seek for culture, plus traveling on a budget, consider booking a room in Chinatown or Little India. Chinatown has everything put together – culture, malls, bars, nightlife clubs, easy to walk to every other spot. In Chinatown, you can book a bunk bed with breakfast included at Campbell Inn. It’s easy for you because you don’t need prepayment and cancellation is free. In Little India is the same, with breakfast included and free cancellation at Heritage Hostel.

Booking.com

Getting around

You can move from a place to another using the MTR (mass rapid transit). MTR system has five lines – The circle line, the east-west line, the north-east line, the north-south line and the downtown line. Each of them can be easily recognized by its color. Orange belongs to the first line, green of the second, purple for the third, red for the fourth and blues for the last one.

If you don’t like crowded spaces then you can choose the public buses. The public buses system is very efficient and very inexpensive. It’s indicated for you, as a traveler, to take the bus rides because you can spot various attractions.

The price of a ride depends on how far you want to go. You have to tap your bus card twice, which can be a little confusing. Tap the card once you get on a bus and tap one more when you are about to take off. The system will tell you the price of the ride.

Avoiding the crowd sometimes can cost you an extra amount of money. Think of it if you want to take a taxi in Singapore. We recommend you to take a taxi if the distance covered is short. Don’t get mad if you can’t find a taxi on rush hours.

One more traveling option – by river taxi – maybe you are staying place is located downtown, in this case taking the river taxi can be really pleasing. A ride costs almost 4$/person. Don’t forget the river taxi won’t be available on weekends.

The water taxi stops at – Robertson Quay, Clemenceau, Clarke Quai, Boat Quai, and the Esplanade.

Must see

Now we are getting to our top. Here are some of the most beautiful sites Singapore presents to its visitors. In other words, let’s start!

Gardens by the Bay

The Central region of Singapore hosts an amazing natural park named Gardens by the Bay. Those gardens are used for turning Singapore in a more natural environment for its citizens. The park has three waterfront gardens – Bay south garden, Bay east garden, and Bay central garden.

Bay central garden link the south and east gardens. It also has a 3 km waterfront promenade. Bay east garden it has a 2 km promenade. From Bay east garden you can enjoy the view of the skyline. The design of the Bay east garden is following an aquatic theme.

Bay south garden is the largest garden in the park. Its main purpose it’s to present the tropical environment of Singapore.

Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay
Gardens by the Bay

Artscience museums

Artscience museum it’s a museum located in Marina Bay Sands Resort. The architecture of the museum was designed by Moshe Safdie and reproduce the form of a Lotus. The museum host nothing less than 21 galleries.

Three of the galleries are always the same – one of them has at its base the feeling of curiosity, the next one has at its base the feeling of inspiration and the last one the expression.

Artscience museums

Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore Botanic Garden is the only tropical garden honored as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Starting with 2013, Singapore Botanic Garden has been ranked as a top attraction for tourists. In 2008, the garden obtained a rank of 3 Michelin Stars.

A special fact related to the gardens is the fact that its gate is opened every day starting with 5 in the morning until midnight. Over 10.000 species of plants are planted from north to south along 2.5 km. 4.5 million tourists are coming every year to visit Singapore Botanic Gardens.

Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens
Singapore Botanic Gardens

Singapore ZOO

For the tourist its name it’s Zoological Garden, for the locals its name is Mandai Zoo. This zoological garden host no more than 315 species of animals. 16% of them are protected by law.

Singapore’s zoo is home for the largest colony of orangutans. Animals are kept in modern cages. A clean environment is provided for making them feel like home as much as possible. Every animal it is surrounded by a habitat that reproduces the one animals used to live in.

A unique thing about Singapore’s Zoo is the fact that they offer a ride with trams, animals, boat, pony, and horses. As well you can rent strollers, wagons, and wheelchairs.

Another unique aspect of the zoological garden it is the fact that you can find three venues hosting events – Forest Lodge, Pavilion by the lake and Garden Pavilion. As well they have three venues that host coffee shops, birthday parties or wedding receptions – Elephants of Asia, Tigar Trek, and Treetops Trail.

Singapore ZOO
Singapore ZOO

Sentosa

A resort island in Singapore with a rich history. A place that deserves to be visited. Sentosa was once in its history a military base and a war camp during the Japanese occupation.

Starting with 1972 Sentosa has been turned into a public place, having 14 hotels, 2 casinos, a place where you can learn how to play golf and a theme park.

The process of turning Sentosa from a military camp into a touristic area affected the island so much. Its fauna and flora were highly deteriorated and various species of animals and plants are now lost.

Sentosa is the fourth largest island of Singapore and it serves as a home for various species of lizards, monkeys, parrots, and peacocks.

Sentosa
Sentosa
Sentosa

Haw Par Villa

Haw Par Villa si a traditional theme park in Singapore, situated along Pasir Panjang Road. I highly recommend a visit to Haw Par Villa if you are interested in local history. Haw Par reveals a part of Chinese mythology together with the local folklore, legends, and various religious aspects.

At first, Haw Par Villa served as a place in which you could learn about the Chinese values, back in the era when there was no internet, malls or mass-media. The most interesting attraction to visit in Haw Par is the representation of the ten gates of hell. It’s a Buddhist representation of how’s hell suppose to look like.

Kampong Glam

Kampong Glam is a special place in Singapore. Once it was the village of the aristocracy, the place where the Sultan together with his family and servants used to live. Today, in Kampong Glam the Malay and Muslim communities are coexisting in peace.

If you want to get the vibe from the 19th century, to explore the roads of Kampong Glam feeling like a real royalty, to admire the luxurious view and imagine the life that ancient people were living, Kampong Glam is the right place for you to be in.

Kampong Glam

Universal Studios Singapore

If you visit Sentosa make sure you are not missing Universal Studios. As you can guess it is a theme park in Sentosa having 28 different attractions split into seven themed zones. To each zone, it corresponds to a specific movie made by Universal Studios featuring specific attractions.

After this adventure, I’m pretty sure you will get hungry. Don’t worry about your stomach. Universal Studios has over 30 restaurants and 20 retails stores from which you can provide all the sweets you will need for one more ride on the roller coaster.

Once you enter in Universal Studios you will get in another world. You are no longer in Singapore. New York, Hollywood, Madagascar, Egypt, Fairy worlds are now opening in front of your eyes. Visit Universal Studios for discovering a new world or an ancient lost one.

Universal Studios Singapore

Outside the city

Outside of Singapore is considered outside of the country. If you want to leave Singapore please check first your condition for your visa.

Legoland Malaysia

It’s a perfect destination for a fun-filled holiday with kids still at Lego age up to around 12 years old.

The small things you notice out the corner of your eye fascinate both parents and children alike. The themed rooms are brilliant. The many subtle details and the treasure hunt are really well thought out.

If you have young children or tweens, this is a great place to visit and stay. Every cent is well spent.

Legoland Malaysia
Legoland Malaysia

Barelang Bridge

If you love beautiful scenery and you want a break from Singapore this bridge it’s a good choice. It is awesome, beautiful & also a nice place to take photos. Sometimes they do have a mini concert held there & not to worries that they have drinks stall there.

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque from  Johor Bahru it’s famous for its beautiful Moorish architecture built by a Malay architect Muhammad Arif in 1893. It is located on a small hilltop overlooking the scenic Straits of Johor and Singapore.

Each day almost 25 busloads of tourists visit the mosque to enjoy the architecture as well as the scenic view of the surrounding. Being a local I grew up to admire this mosque. Definitely one of the best tourist attractions in Johor Bahru

Pulau Kukup National Park

If you want an escape for city and want to get closer to nature Kukup Island is one of your options. You can find here a fishing village, a mangrove park, a Chinese village over the water, and of course the local fauna.

Pulau Kukup National Park

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