Churros con chocolate is a great Spanish traditional breakfast. There's a little churreria stand on the square between the Alcazar and the Caliphal baths.
Order your churros (sort of long doughnuts), watch them being fried, and eat them on the hoof. Much better than a slice of toast and coffee.
A much praised (in the guides) Galician restaurant with a Michelin star. Deperately snooty. Desperately contrived. We should have been suspicious because we walked in and got a table without a reservation. Both other tables were visitors like us. Neither the food nor the service lived up to the star rating (not our first visit to a starred place.) Tasteless Croquetas de Mariscos (we had better in a small bar in Padron the following day for a fraction of the cost.) Pointless sugar flourishes, adding nothing. Appalling unhelpful and begrudging service of courses in the wrong order. Freezing cold cheese platter - explained to us by the chef herself "the Spanish don't eat cheese so we have to keep it in the fridge..." What???? Chef (in civvies) and waiter (with blocked nose - hay fever or a cold?) pacing the floor impatiently throughout the meal - not helpfully, but as if desperate for us to be out of the way - and this was before we had indicated we were not entirely delighted. If you have money to spend on good food, go somewhere else.
Rosalía de Castro, 24 - 15706 Tel.no.: 981 594 100
A voluntary charity in the centre of town. If you're here for a while, teach a bit of English, or help with their ever-precarious IT situation, shorter term there is a nightly drop-in English conversation class, just come along and chat, that's it.
As well as all this, they also have yoga classes, some of the cheapest rooms in town and it's a good place to meet other travellers who aren't in India for the cheap weed.
Lots of good work here with many newly arrived refugees and monks, even if you cannot volunteer, donate something.
Temple Road, opposite Thomas Cook
Bagel and coffee shop. I have just spent 10 days in Edinburgh for the first time, went to this cosy, crazy cafe on my second day and found myself heading back there every day for the rest of my hols!
Amazing choice of Bagels, good coffee and not too pricy. Just a brilliant place to hang out and relax (hope my drawing makes it on to the wall).
On our latest visit to the west of Ireland my son and I decided we would try accommodation at a couple of Irish tourist hostels.
Our main motives were to save a little bit on money and the notion that we might increase our chances of meeting interesting fellow travellers.
Unfortunately after staying at two "hostels" in Galway and Ennis respectively, we have come to the conclusion that Irish hostels are neither cheap or particularly friendly places to stay on holiday.
One of the hostels we stayed at was not even properly cleaned and at both facilities were variously nonexistent, broken, unserviceable or at an extra charge and not as advertised.
We had an infinitely better experience in every way with standard B&Bs, and my tip would be to use these in preference to hostels and, unless money is no object, many provincial Irish hotels.
Irish Hostels National site. And www.hostelworld.com
If you're visiting Edinburgh on a budget, I recommend staying at the Argyle Backpackers Hostel.
It's very cheap - my girlfriend and I stayed in a twin room and it was just over £40 a night between the two of us but you can get a bed in a shared room from about £13 a night.
The hostel is in the beautiful Marchmont area, directly opposite an excellent little row of shops - a greengrocers, a vegetarian wholefood shop and an amazing convenience store with a wide range of vegan and organic products.
It's just south of the Meadows and is only a few minute's walk from the Royal Mile.
14 Argyle Place
Phone: +44 (0)131 667 9991
I went with wife and teenage son by train to Barcelona.
We drove to Lille via Eurotunnel and stayed at a budget hotel, leaving the car there the next morning when we took the nearby metro to Lille Flandres station.
This was because Eurostar and the train from home in Gloucestershire would together have been the most expensive part of the trip, and we could also bring back a decent quantity of wine!
Lille to Paris by TGV then Paris to Perpignan by TGV and a night there in a hotel near the station.
Lovely, intriguing chat with fellow travellers and a chance to explore a French Catalan city that evening.
Train next morning to Barcelona, which I think had come from Switzerland.
After a week's stay we reversed the trip and didn't feel the slightest bit travel-weary when we got home. We had to juggle around with train times on the SNCF web site to get best fares, but being accompanied by our young son seemed to give us cheaper fares than if we had only been a couple.
Roll on St Pancras to Barcelona without a change!
Everyone talks about the News Cafe or Jerry's Deli, but the 11th Street Diner is cheaper, with better food and it doesn't take an hour to get your order delivered! They do huge omelettes in the morning and great milkshakes, all in the setting of an authentic 1950's diner. I love it!
11th Street Diner, corner of 11th and Washington Ave.
I would like to suggest JSC Travel agency, an online travel agency in Prague. I was very satisfied with the kind help before and during my stay in a Prague hostel that they run.
The service included online reservation for accommodation. They just took my credit card number as a guarantee for the reservation. No payment before, no stressed nights.
A square on top of a hill full of people, cafés, bookshops and a big fountain. Come here to get away from the crowds on the vieux port and see beautiful Marseille.
The atmosphere is relaxed: think Schanzenviertel, Hamburg or Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin in July/August.
Enjoy the view over the Cathedral of Notre Dame de la Garde at the end of 'Cours Ju' with a pression and some olives or browse the markets and boutiques during the day.
It's calm, yet cool, and a different side of Provence for those who want to experience the buzz in France's second city.
Metro: Notre Dame du Mont/Cours Julien.
Fabulous and reasonably priced B&B (about £40 a room in June) in a small village (excellent restaurant and church, but that's it). Very pretty garden and pool.
The B&B is separate from the owner's house and has own lounge(s), spa, and use of a kitchen, which helps cut costs if you're on a budget.
Easy to get to Avignon, Pont du Gard etc.
24km from Nîmes.
Fly to Nimes airport, and either hire a car or get the bus into Nimes, then a bus to Uzes (bus station at back of the train station - this is the first stop for the airport bus).
At Uzes get a bus heading for Avignon which drops you at Argilliers on the main road. It's about 1 mile walk head for the church spire!
Crete is the most mountainous island in Europe. The link below gives access to reasonably-priced accommodation near Zaros, a quiet village on the southern slopes of Mt. Ida, far removed from the throbbing nightclubs (unfortunately) associated with Greek tourism.
Mountain biking, walking, bird watching, visits to nearby monasteries etc. Delicious food. Don't be put off by the website name - "agrotourism" is the Greek rough equivalent to rural eco-tourism, and has nothing to do with "aggro" lager louts!
If you're arriving at Budapest Ferihegy Airport Terminal 1, you can now hop on a train at the airport and travel to the main downtown railway station - Nyugati (West) Station.
It costs 300 Forints (about 80p) and takes about 25 minutes. Far cheaper than other options and faster than most, expensive taxis aside.
Most of the budget airlines fly to Terminal 1. If you're flying BA or another "normal" airline, you'll arrive at Terminal 2 and this tip does not apply to you.
It's a cafe in the middle of Regent's Park's playing fields. So a good place to watch people wearing themselves out whilst you sip on hot chocolate. But also, it has changing rooms, lockers (£1 returnable) and showers (£1.50) which you can use after a run round the park. Plus a schedule of gym classes. Slightly chaotic but all the nicer for it.
Malapascua is small island just north of Cebu. Good diving, amazing beautiful beach - much better than the world-famous, but now too spoiled, Boracay beach.
Getting there is really quite hard work. Small native pump-boats run from the end of the road, Cebu-City bus terminal, at a very small place called Maya. Many taxi drivers will be willing to take you there, direct from Cebu City, but it's so little known, that not many of the local taxi drivers really know the right way to go! The bus takes 4+ hours from Cebu City.
When you finally reach Maya, there's no pier, so expect to get your feet wet! Last pump boat leaves at 5pm. Later than that - you must pay lots for a special boat trip.(PhP1500+ or negotiate with the captain!)
Dano Beach resort is at the far end of the white beach. Bungalows cost Php 1,200 - which is not a lot UK£12 / US$25 but service was appaling. I requested a chair to sit on, on the verandah, and was bluntly told none were available. Simple plastic chairs can easily be purchased locally for less than Php200. I tore a hole in my new shorts sitting on a homemade table of nailed bamboo strips as there was nothing else to sit down on.
In the morning the resort's water pump stopped and wasn't fixed, so no way to wash; the beach resort owners just shrugged and said to wash in the sea.
A few bigger resort places on Malapasqua have better facilities at maybe double the nightly price. Try Blue Water or Cocobana if you want to stay here. Ging-gings is a good place to eat. Greedy local owners have been overbuilding on the beach (which is public, govement-owned property) and a lot of illegal constructions have been marked with big painted red Xs to signal their demolition, if less than 30 metres from the high-tide line.
Will this really go ahead, or will the often lazy and corrupt Philippine bureauracy allow one of the world's finest beaches to be destroyed by greed and over-development?
A very quirky B&B. Rooms are colourfully decorated in individual North African styles, some with views over a delightful patio garden, complete with mature trees and hammocks!
Excellent breakfast with home-made preserves. Charming hostess.
Close to old city walls, convenient for sightseeing.
Would visit again any time.
This is a beautiful guesthouse which is really close to Brussels but in a beautiful countryside area, ideal for cycling and hiking.
The landlady, Caroline, was a very caring hostess and made our weekend perfect.
The prices are a real bargain.
Vlezembeek, 10km from Brussels at Bekersveldstraat 3.
mobile: 0032 476949118
Part of the excellent Baxpax chain and recently opened, this modern, funky hostel is slightly out of the centre but located in the über-cool Kreuzberg district.
Some of the rooms have country themed decor (think Swiss cheese, mountains, flags etc) and kitchen and bathrooms are impeccably clean.
The small bar is laid back and chilled out; a good place to meet fellow travellers for a random chat.
Staff are welcoming and incredibly helpful, and you can even hire bikes for only 12 euros a day.
Skalitzer Strasse 104, 10997 Berlin, Germany.
Tel.:++49(0)30 695 183 22 www.baxpax.de/kreuzberg
An excellent little Vietnamese restaurant in the heart of Kreuzberg.
The menu is limited, but there's a daily specials board in English along with a range of tasty lassi drinks.
The service was impeccable with the food cooked right in front of your eyes.
The best thing is, a meal and a lassi only cost me 8 euros.
Skalitzer Str. 103, 10997 Berlin-Kreuzberg. Across the road from U-Bahn stop Gorlitzer-Bahnhof
Only a mile from town with 24/7 bar, shop and restaurant and a heated Olympic-sized swimming pool. You can rent a bike, fridge or safe. There’s a beach 10 minutes’ walk away, but fashionable St Tropez bathing is further south along the Plage Tahiti and Plage de Pampelonne.
0033 4 9455 6780, www.lesnaiades.com
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