Based in the newly developing southern edge of town international business sector, this pod type hotel with self-service check in, has some nice features in the rooms: chaise longue and mood lighting.
The room space is above average for the price and the beds are massive and comfy. The pod is like a four poster bed with a wetroom and stools attached at either end. It lodges in the World Trade Centre and so there are cafes etc in the building for breakfast and cyclist watching.
The women all seem to turn up for work in black high heel boots, cycling, of course, and the men struggle to steer and hold their briefcases at the same time. They then disappear underground on a moving walk way to park their bikes. Dutch transport efficiency at its best.
Anyway, it's well linked to Schipol airport (train) and to Centraal on number 5 line tram, all in the same station Zuid. Very good value for money and pleasant escape from the city rush.
Station Zuid, World Trade Centre, www.qbichotels.com/
Off-the-beaten-track but central (in Prenzlauer Berg)
little cute family-friendly cafe serving cornish pasties, PG tips tea, great ice cream and soups. With English-speaking owner.
senefelder platz U-Bahn
Comillas in the region of Cantabria, northern Spain, is a gorgeous little cobble streeted seaside town, loads of lovely cheap family friendly places to eat, a fab fun family atmosphere in the square at night (sometimes there is even a free outdoor cinema) and the most perfect beach and sea.
The very basic campsite is within walking distance of both the town and the beach - so no worries about evening drinking. The huge beach is great for swimming, bodyboarding, rockpooling and sandcastle building. In Comillas, you can get up late, have late lunches and late dinners, just really chill out - and there's not too many British travellers! The climate is perfect for camping - you won't be boiled out of your tent in the morning!
Get the ferry to Bilbao or Santander and drive there - the ferry journey is great fun - kids love it and it's so relaxing! There is plenty to see and do in the area apart from just lazing on the beach. You can visit the fantastic nature park of Cabárceno, palaeolithic rock art caves, the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the oceanographic museum and aquariums of Santander, Gaudi's only building outside of Barcelona or the perfectly preserved medieval village of Santillana del mar - there really is something to please everyone in this area of Spain.
Just don't everyone rush there and spoil it!
With your back to Osaka's Umeda station, walk at street level around the right hand side of the Hanshin department store. There you will find an off license that serves beer and great snacks at off sale prices. There's a standing bar with sports playing in the background - stand with the suited office set drinking in a unique (for Japan) western friendly style.
Les Tuileries is the most central park in Paris. It stretches its 'à la Française' alleys and lawns along the Seine river from the Louvre museum to the Concorde square. There is a large round central fountain where an ancient Parisian hires out beautiful yachts made by himself - the boats sail across the fountain and the kids are armed with long canes to push them into another direction. We grabbed a coffee and sat around the fountain watching Paris go by and the kids were entertained by the boats for an hour - what more could you ask for 15 euros!
Use les tuileries metro station on line 1
Great campsite on the edge of the city, 15 mins to Dam Square on a tram. Cheap tent rates or hire a little cabin, central heating and bedding included in the cost of these. Good breakfast can be bought from the bar in the morning, and food all day at not extortionate prices. Good clean showers, if a little cramped when you are taking one. Bike hire on site as well, and saves you having to find parking in the city centre at very expensive rates, you just leave your car at the campsite!
Palermo House is a hostel with a very friendly social atmosphere in the trendy Palermo neighborhood of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The huge common areas make it easy to meet fellow travelers, and to trade travel tips with folks from around the world. Cool place!
This is a great cafe on Rodney Street in central Liverpool, not far from Liverpool Lime Street. They serve a wide range of food; from light lunches to amazing cakes.
I recommend it for convenience, price, atmosphere and generally being a really nice place to hang out for the day.
They have great fresh coffee, the beans are apparently imported from Portugal. After an hour drinking coffee and some delicious 'chocolate salami' we decided to have lunch. The menu had a fantastic selection, all at incredibly reasonable prices, including some Portuguese dishes as well as the old favourites like salads, sandwiches and paninis. I wanted something light so went for the roast vegetable bruschetta, my friend went for the cod fishcakes. Both were excellent and cost around £4.
Cafe Porto is at 14 Rodney Street; telephone number 0151 708 5276, open Monday to Saturday. The nearest station is Liverpool Lime Street.
My four-year-old daughter and I found ourselves living it up in New York recently when we joined my husband on a business trip. We had a great time eating out, exploring the city on open-top bus tours, and doing museums and Broadway shows, but some of the best things we did really were free (or at least nearly free). Here are my top ten things to do with kids for next to nothing in NYC…
1. Lay out a blanket in Central Park (picnic optional) and soak up the atmosphere. The huge expanse of grass at the Great Lawn is a favourite spot and great for games too.
2. Visit Belvedere Castle in the middle of Central Park at 79th Street. It is the highest point of the park with great views, a visitor centre, walking tours and free educational programs.
3. Attend Saturday morning story time for children of all ages in Central Park at the Hans Christian Anderson Memorial (mid-park from East 73rd entrance. Check for times at www.centralparknyc.org).
4. Visit one of the spectacular toy shops: Toys-R-Us in Times Square or FAO Schwartz (the corner of Fifth Avenue and Central Park South) which has a giant electronic keyboard built into the floor upstairs that children can play with their feet. You can easily spend an hour or more exploring and trying out the display toys without buying a thing.
5. Take the Staten Island ferry. Day or night this is one of the best free (or paid for) boat rides in the world. It takes about half an hour each way. You can get straight off and back on again or spend time on the dockside at Staten Island looking at the distant Manhattan skyline. The ride gives spectacular views of the downtown skyline and the Statue of Liberty, all lit-up to magical effect at night.
6. If it’s a quiet stroll you’re after and you find yourself in Brooklyn, take a walk along the Brooklyn Seafront for a great view of Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge. (And if you do want to spend a few dollars there is a great ice-cream parlour there too.)
7. Stand in the middle of Times Square for ten minutes and don’t forget to look up.
8. Stand just about anywhere and play how many yellow cabs can you count in a minute?
And if it’s summer…
9. Summerstage (held at Rumsey Playfield near 72nd Street and Fifth Avenue) and Shakespeare in the Park (at the open-air Delacorte Theater near the W81st Street entrance to the park) are two of the most popular summertime programs and both are free. Top-shelf acts and great performances.
10. Fancy a dip? There are 14 miles of public beaches in four of NY’s boroughs: Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens, and Staten Island. Contact General Parks and Recreation Department Information at www.nycparks.completeinet.net for more info.
Fantastic little dairy farm with amazing views on the Quilotoa circuit. The couple who own it are really friendly and took our kids off on the llamas and let them milk the cows. Great homemade food using lots of stuff from the farm, cold beer/wine and a woodburning stove for cosy evenings.
Rooms are quite basic but clean and they were building ensuite shower/loos when we were there.
The hotel is in a residential area about 10min walk from Termini. The room and bathroom are small but clean and new. It is generally quiet at night, except for the hostelry and pizzeria close to the hotel. Very nice employees, helpful and smiling. Only problem we had was with the elevator... there wasn't an elevator!!! Within walking distance of Stazione Termini. I would definitely stay there again.
Htel Felice, Rome
nearest Station: Termini
The local train service runs from Sorrento to Naples, with stations near to the main sites or with a shuttle bus (to Vesuvius). It drops you right outside Pompeii entrance for example. It's cheap and regular.
Stan, who despite the name is a real French bloke, cooks some fantastic, unusual and delicious rustic French food and loads of different sausages and mash, veggie options too. All of this is served at Little Johnny Russell's. It's a great pub in Albert Road, Southsea. Visit it... good food, great music, lovely staff.
This is a wonderful intimate theatre in Kings Cross. It's the only theatre to produce all Australian work and has some of the most exciting new plays in Sydney. On Monday it has a Pay What You Can policy so anyone can afford to go.
Germany isn't that great for vegetarians, but for a delicious, cheap and filling meal, falafel is a must! On nearly every corner of Berlin is a Doner stall or shop and they all sell Falafel in a big chunk of FladenBrot (Flat bread which really is wonderful) heaps of salad and sauce!
One of my favourite places to get falafel is a Doner place under the arches on Friedrichstrsse by Friedrichstasse Ubahn, also in the supermarket on Hackeshehof and of course in Kreuzberg are some great places too!
New restaurant (opened Januaary 2008) attached to new 'eco-hotel' Chancileria on Calle Chancileria near the centre of Jerez. Chef Juan used to be a teacher at the local catering college but it hasn't stopped him producing great dishes in the modern Spanish style (good fresh local ingredients, traditional methods, attention to seasoning and detail, beautiful presentation.)
For example 'hamburguesa de cola de toro' - a little timbale of beautifully cooked oxtail off the bone with a perfect apple puree, brilliant combination - mouthwatering. Artichoke soup with foie and truffle oil also fresh and delicious. Main course fish fresh and delicious. Portions sensible size. Desserts looked good but need developing.
Mixed and slightly odd wine list (some good if predictable riojas and also lambrusco(!?) but all very reasonably priced (c.100 euros for an unstinting 3 course meal for two with aperitif and wine and dessert wine and coffee...) Much better than other recommended but more 'traditional' restaurants in the town. Go quick before everyone else discovers it and the prices go up...
Calle Chancileria, Jerez
This accommodation at university residences is only available June - early September. In June 2007 it cost £24 a night for a single room with shared bathroom. It's a beautiful location by Holyrood Park with free car parking, and it takes around 20 minutes to walk to Princes St. The self-service breakfast is excellent.
Cheap especially for a single room. I paid £24 for a single ensuite room. Centrally located, 10 minutes walk from Waverley rail station and Princes St. Breakfast not great, but good if you want budget accommodation with your own bathroom at a cheap rate.
It's right in the centre of the town. It's a new hotel with bright spacious family rooms that sleep up to two adults and two kids. It cost from just £19 a night if you book online on the non-refundable saver rate at least three weeks in advance.
The Ginnel, Harrogate HG1 2RR
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It's centrally located just off the Royal Mile and you can find rooms from just £19 a night if you book online at least 3 weeks in advance on the non-refundable saver rate.
30 St Mary's Street, Edinburgh EH1 1TA
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