Small cafe on main street serves decent sandwiches and hot tea. It really comes alive at night when local chef Jamie takes over the kitchen. He serves a limited menu of freshly cooked food, everything we had was excellent. Makes the most of local produce. A really good meal and very reasonably priced - you'd have to mortgage your granny to eat anything like it in Dublin.
Main Street, opposite the church
A great bar, friendly staff, good fresh seafood and fantastic atmosphere at night. There's often live music. Work by local artists cover the walls, and the wine list is surprisingly good and cheap.
Main Street, near the zebra crossing.
We wouldn't actually recommend this hotel, it was not good. I know you don't expect luxury in a budget hotel but when you spend the amount of money we did on our room, we would have loved to sleep in a room that was not suffering a major damp problem.
Tea and coffee in our room would have been good, instead of out of a machine, in a polystyrene cup that we had to go down 3 flights of stairs, (no lift), to get.
A full Irish breakfast does not consist of a plate of rubbery scrambled egg with a couple of bits of toasts. There was fruit scones and croissants on offer, but fresh not stale would have been really nice. To sum it up, we will NOT be stayimg there again!
Lower Gardiner Street, Dubin 2
Situated along the walk from the Rynek Glowny to Wawel Hill the restaurant Balaton at ul Grodzka 37 provides excellent value Hungarian and Polish cuisine.
The surroundings are simple but pleasant, white walls, wooden chairs and benches, black and white photos on the wall and an array of hanging wooden fishes. The menu comprises a variety of soup - brought to your table in a metal dish suspended over an open flame from which you ladle it into your bowl – herrings, salmon and salami for starters followed by main courses of meat - including veal and wild boar goulash - poultry and fish dishes many incorporating potato cakes and dumplings. There is, however, only one vegetarian dish, potato cakes with mushroom sauce.
Service was understated but friendly and with a touch of flourish, for instance, when a main course of chicken Hungarian style was brought out sizzling from the kitchen and served ceremoniously from a platter onto the plate. As for the food itself it was great, tasty, filling, well cooked and well spiced. The main course of trout was perfectly cooked, crisp skin with melt in your mouth flesh underneath. Each main course also came with a side order of refreshing carrot, red and white cabbage salad.
And the price for two people for two courses, beer and vodka each – 99 zloty including a tip (approx. £17.00/$33.00). Excellent.
ul. Grodzka 37
Tel. (012) 422 04 69
Santo Spirito, as i think a few have pointed out, gives you a welcome breather from the tourists yet it can only be a hundred yards from the Ponte Vechhio.
It is popular with students and with the locals (nearby are some delis and whatnot so you actually see Florentines) and comes to life after nine or so in the evening.
At the top of the square is Brunelleschi’s spectacular church - as well as having a crucifix by a very young Michelangelo, it was studied and admired by many including Da Vinci and it is easy to see why. It is especially pretty when the facade is lit at night.
There are a few restaurants and a couple of bars in the square, the type of spots where, if you drink too many amerettos, they give you a tequilla on the house - the atmosphere is friendly at all of them.
Istayed at Antica Dimora with a friend but it would be especially nice to go there romantically - ask for a room with a little balcony. You can watch (and listen!) to the market being set up in the morning. The rooms are huge with lovely wooden beams and, maybe vaguely kitsch decor but it feels like you’ve been to Firenze! It’s a short back street walk to the wonderful, wonderful Bobili gardens too.
piazza santo spirito no.9
t. +39 055 2658376
Minori is a small town 4 kilometres from Amalfi. It is much cheaper for everything - food, drink and accommodation - and is a beautiful small town. It is ten minutes by ferry, a great way to see the coast, and a ticket costs about 4 euros. Well worth it. A great spot with very friendly people, particularly the staff in Antares restaurant, and beautiful food.
For accommodation check www.amalfivacation.it
A shot of espresso with a dash of foamed milk.
An excellent way to enjoy a shot of coffee, best taken standing at the bar. It is socially acceptable to drink anytime of the day, not marking you out as the sort of person who would drink a capuccino after lunch.
The splash of milk makes the espresso more palatable. But do not spoil this by adding sugar.
A macchiato is also cheap. Even standing in a cafe right by the Rialto bridge I have still paid only one euro for a macchiato.
Enjoy, but be careful, by the time you leave Italy you will be having one of these an hour.
Any Cafe, Bar
Booking directly through Trenitalia's website is easy, and a bargain compared to rail travel in Britain. There are lots of discounts available too, we were able to find Eurostar tickets between Rome and Venice for Eu29. However, the standard first class fare is only Eu74. That is the most you could possibly pay, for a journey that is the equivalent of London to Edinburgh (but is over faster).
For our convenience their website is even in English.
Consider going to a restaurant where the locals dine for your Peking Duck. Ok, you may not get the fancy furniture and uniforms that you will get in the touristy restaurants, but what you will get is a restaurant full of character and, of course, local people.
Think about it, if you have been to any of the advertised Peking Duck restaurants for tourists, have you seen many locals ? Of course the answer is probably no. The reason is probably due to the costs involved.
Myself and a few friends went to a restaurant close to a Hutong and had Peking Duck for three people. It cost less than £7.50 for the whole meal including beer and cola, not bad for three people. The portions were very large and we couldn't finish what was served.
Do consider trying a local restaurant, you will be amazed at the reception you will get and the locals will enjoy you as much as you will enjoy the experience of dining with them.
Do not miss this if you visit Vienna - just a short and cheap underground ride from the centre and main attractions, Naschmarkt is a great place to explore for fun, or simply to eat very cheaply. Choose from a wide range of specialist food stalls (lots of cheese, olives etc) from around the world. A great multi-cultural experience if you get the chance, and even better if you're on a budget!
Google map: tinyurl.com/nrq52s
Las Teresitas is the town beach of the capital, Santa Cruz, and is remniscent of a beach at the other end of the Atlantic. Yellow sand shipped from the Sahara, palm trees and cheap lounger hire make this beach an unexpected joy. Enjoy before the threatened strip resort is built here.
Las Teresitas, 8km north of Santa Cruz
We went for new year's eve and no surcharge, just the regular first class Mediterranean menu. Relaxed atmosphere and good location behind main square. It is, apparently, the best restaurant in Krakow at the moment. Not expensive.
Very friendly couple own this large two bedroom appartment, a 15 minute walk from main square.
They picked us up from the airport in two cars, fed us breakfast, and booked restaurants on our behalf.
They live upstairs. Works out for four at £15 per night including the above. Easy access to the centre and Kazimierz.
Friendly cheap casa particular in Vinales.
The owners only speak Spanish so it's an excellent opportunity to practice.
Excellent evening meals!
25 C. P. del Rio No 6B,
Pinar Del Rio
Telephone : 79 3105
Accessed just off of the road into Vinales. Phone ahead and they'll meet you off the bus.
Visit Colmar in the region of Alsace for the Christmas markets and pop into Germany for the afternoon! That's what we did with our kids (aged 10 and 8) just before Christmas.
We flew BA to Basel-Mulhouse, hired a car and stayed for 3 nights at the (cheap) Novotel on the edge of Colmar.
The town was breathtakingly decorated and boasted not one but five Christmas markets selling festive produce from decorations to outdoor food and lots of vin chaud. Yes, some of the merchandise was a bit tacky, but the markets were fabulous for families and Christmas lovers like us! The weather was cold but gloriously sunny.
All in all a great little pre-Yuletide trip and a much more cost effective way of getting in the mood than Lapland!
My family and I decided to visit Icaria after passing by some years ago on a Greek Island trip. We found Evon's Rooms in Faros, not too far from the airport with a beautiful beach.
The owner was very friendly and hospitable and the rooms were cheap, clean and very well presented. We stayed in their biggest room which had four single beds as well as our double and cost us only 60 Euros per night in October.
Icaria is a great place and Evon made our stay even more enjoyable!
Faros Beach, Icaria
Just read that stuff is cheap in Moscow? It doesn't have anything on Calcutta or Kolkata as they are now calling it. First of all let's talk about alcohol - it's less that 50p for a litre of vodka - and that is Smirnoff as well. Second, fags. The best prices I have ever seen - 200 for £1.50. I KNOW!!! However, some of you I know will be thinking that these cigarettes will not be real. This is probably true because in the real shops they are more expensive (around £8.00 for 200.) However, even if they are fake, they taste fine! And if you are arguing about the fact that they are full of poison, the real ones kill you anyway. That's just my opinion.
You'll find it on Park Street, (or Mother Teresa Sourani as they now call it) from a street vendor just beyond Music World. He will sort you out, but don't let him take you for a ride if you're a tourist. Don't pay more than £5.00, and if you're good at bargaining, he is known to let them go for as little as £1.50 for 200.
Certainly not the four star accommodation we expected. Hotel was advertised with spa but there was none. Room was fine - nice bathroom. Boasted satellite TV but only news channels were in English. Pool area was small but nice when it wasn't packed with hundreds of holidaymakers and kids. This was an all inclusive package but food was poor to mediocre although they did try to make an effort on Christmas Day and there's no bar just a cheap looking counter where you get drinks from. You certainly wouldn't want to spend any time there. If all you're looking for is a room then this hotel is fine.
Puerto Del Carmen - quiet end. 5 minutes from beach.
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