A real gem of a hotel with diamond staff too. Beautifully finished rooms offer an inviting and intimate experience. It's incredible value: a boutique hotel yet budget price.
15 rue le grimaldi, nice
Last August my partner and I stayed at Piccola Perla, a charming one-bedroomed apartment in St. Antonin, located roughly midway between St Mark's Square and Arsenale.
It was quiet, tastefully decorated and it was great to come back in the evening after a long day's sightseeing and put our feet up in the little courtyard, together with a drink of Prosecco. Being on a budget, some evenings we cooked our own meals, so it was good to be a couple of bridges away from one of only two supermarkets I have come across in Venice.
Recommended as a romantic getaway for a couple or an inexpensive spot for a small family (there was a sofabed in the living room).
www.ourveniceapartment.com - Tel. (UK) 01242 243693. Nearest Vaporetto: San Zaccaria.
A lovely Indian/Pakistani restaurant located next to the Poble Nou metro station. They specialise in Tandoori, but for spicy food lovers the good news is that their dishes are prepared as they would be in Ireland or the UK, and not made mild for the locals!
Prices are very reasonable, if not downright cheap.
Nearest metro: Poble Nou.
An excellent institution, which sometimes confuses European visitors. The acronym means "bring your own", i.e. alcohol when you dine at a restaurant.
Formerly almost ubiquitous, the practice is becoming less common - some say even dying out - no doubt to the pleasure of many Sydney restaurateurs.
It makes dining far more affordable than when you have to include the restaurant's alcohol mark-up, which is usually greater than on anything else you consume.
It also means you can occasionally splash out on a very nice bottle - of Hunter Valley Semillon, say - to accompany a spread of Sydney seafood without worrying about your starving bank account.
BYO is more common at medium range and casual restaurants.
Seven traghetto (ferry) points between the railway station and San Marco allow you to cross the Grand Canal without having to squeeze over the bridges. These decommissioned gondolas ply back and forth until dusk for 60c a trip. Venetians make the crossing standing up. Tourists sit down and worry about the rocking motion.
Look out for small yellow signs pointing down alleys leading to the Canal.
Small, reasonably priced and clean 1-star hotel (but deserves 2) in a very central location between the seaside and the railway station - and great value for money.
Recommended by lots of major guide books.
Kevin, the friendly British owner, has a blog with tips on visiting the Riviera on his website, which makes for an interesting read.
22 Rue de Russie, 06000 Nice. www.nicenotredame.com, email@example.com
Tel: 0033 (0)4 93 88 70 44
fax: 0033 (0)4 93 82 20 38.
Five minutes' walk from the train station and 10 from the seaside; just off the main shopping street (Avenue Jean Médecin).
The area covered by the local bus services run by Ligne D'Azur has been extended. Collect a free route map from the airport or elsewhere.
The seven-day passes are great value and allow journeys to such places as Vence, Eze and some distance inland.
An exceptionally beautiful small museum hovering above a lake in the Parc Floral Phoenix (bus 23 westbound stops almost directly outside).
There are sections covering Japan, China, India and Cambodia.
Exceptionally restful, light and airy.
Every day except Tuesday; €4.5.
405 Promenade des Anglais
Cheap and cheerful, if not exactly charming. Great location and nice rooms, this hostel stands out simply by being such in a city dominated by pricey hotels. The staff are friendly, but Oki-Doki perhaps takes its unique status for granted, often requiring guests to change rooms. But it really is just 10 minutes’ walk from the Old Town, less to the Palace of Culture and Science, and its in-house bar is good craic till the wee hours.
Take an ombra (a glass of wine) in a bar at mealtimes, and eat the delicious snacks on offer (whose special name I've forgotten) - all classic Italian antipasti. There are good cheap bars everywhere, each with their own ambience. Our favourite was facing onto the fish market.
Buy a slice of pizza and a bottle of wine, then sit on the steps looking down towards the shimmering moonlit cathedral and watch everyone come and go, the couples slow dancing to the string quartets dotted around the bars and restaurants. It's wonderful, and as good as free. Be prepared, however, to fend off approximately 400 rose sellers an hour.
St Mark's square
Unless you are flying in or out of Bangkok / Phnom Penh, due to Cambodia's primitive infrastructure getting to Siem Reap can be a nightmare.
If you are determined to travel overland, it's worth checking out the website below. The author is clearly an old Cambodia hand and his site is filled with regularly updated info, tricks and tips on how to get around.
And loads of other nice stuff on the rest of the site.
A small hotel on the island of Sant'Erasmo. The island is quiet and agricultural (artichokes their own endemic variety), few cars, you get bikes from the hotel. It is cheap and quiet and friendly. Getting to and from the main parts of Venice is easy, its not far from Murano.
Via Forti 13, Sant`Erasmo.
o4i 523 0642
Take vaporetto 13 from Fondamenta Nuove to Sant`Erasmos
Small Italian hotel, some rooms overlook small canal and campo S. Apostoli, close to Grand Canal and Rialto, reasonable price and very friendly and helpful.
Camp San Apostoli, Cannareggio, Venice.
As long as you don't have loads of bags and it's not the middle of rush hour, it's perfectly easy to get the train/tram into (and from) town. Take the LRT train from the airport to Zeytinburnu, then change to the tram that will take you all the way to Sultanahmet and beyond. You can also change at Aksaray, but I recommend Zeytinburnu (even though it will take a bit longer) because it's an easier interchange (just over a bridge) and you're getting onto the tram at the start of its journey (so you're more likely to have space to get on), plus there's an Akbil kiosk if you want to buy one of those multiple-trip gadgets. Otherwise, the trip costs 2.20 YTL for two tokens.
A pizzeria in the back streets of San Polo that has an enormous range, great staff and even better prices if you're trying to do Venice on a budget. Used by a mix of locals and lucky tourists, so you get a good atmosphere, but also an English language menu if your Italian isn't up to scratch but want to try one of their more interesting pizzas.
Santa Croce, 1552/a; Go out of Campo San Polo to the north-west, and follow the calle straight, over a little cross-roads, and Ae Oche wil be on your left. Not easy to find, but worth it
There are actually two parts to this outfit. The first, on ul. sw Anny 13, is the more formal, and serves Polish food in a cosy cellar. The second is a salad bar, and is located nearby, off a passage and also in a cellar. And in summer the courtyard at the back is a salad bar too, serving great veggie food at very reasonable prices. The smoothies are good too.
ul. sw. Anny 3, Old Town (Stare Miasto)
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