Wonderful restaurant, serving gorgeous food at ludicrously affordable prices, it's deservedly popular, although be prepared to queue with locals and tourists alike (well worth it and the queue moves very swiftly) you almost feel sorry for the surrounding eateries whilst in that 50 yard long queue. Plaça Reial is a popular haunt with some of Barcelona's more "colourful" characters, which only adds to the restaurant's charm.
Plaça Reial, Barcelona. tel: 93 317 3075.
A very large modern tapas bar popular with locals. Excellent place for a group to go out for a meal/night out. The best thing about it is the prices, second best is the staff - great craic. You can sit at the bar for a casual bite and a beer, pointing out what you want from the huge array of appetising Tapas on display on the bar, or sit down and order off the menu. A group of four of us sat down for a meal at about 9.30.
We left after 2am (last out of the place), with plenty of beers and about three-four tapa each on board. The cost was an astonishing 30 euro each including a tip on top of the included service charge, as the waiter was such a laugh. Highly recommended for a cheap and utterly cheerful night out. You may have to wait a little while for a table, but people are constantly coming and going, so don’t be put off by a queue.
Rambla Catalunya, 18; tel: 93 318 1997
Vegas can be an expensive place once you've gambled, shopped and seen a few shows. Save a bit of money by eating at one of the buffets. For around $12 you get all you can eat. There's a surprisingly good range of food, including plenty of friut and veg if you starting to tire of burgers and Coke.
Walk right past the fast food chains and overpriced restaurants in the Ramblas – this focacceria is the place for a tasty, healthy meal on a budget. The freshly made focaccias with gorgeous toppings (try sausage and onion) are quality, as are the moreish desserts.
Plaça Bonsuccés, 6;
tel:93 318 37 08;
nearest metro: L3 Catalunya
This smart card allows you to travel on all the transport system in Hong Kong without the need to worry about carrying the correct amount of small change. It works on the swipe card principle. Available from all metro stations and 7/11 shops.
The initial deposit is 50 HK dollars, minimum credit when purchased is 100HKD. Top up as required.
A fabulous free light and music show to the "dancing" fountain at the foot of Montjuic - a spectacular display of light, water and music. At the same time, the Palau National is illuminated, providing a beautiful background. The show runs every thirty minutes. The start and end date depend on the time of the year (see the web link), but the best time to see the fountain is at sunset with a glass of cava from one of the snack bars alongside.
Av Maria Cristina; nearest metro: Espanya (L1, L3);
The YMCAs in Manhattan are more comparable to upmarket backpackers' hostels than they are to the YMCAs we have in the UK. The one near Central Park West has the best facilities, including a reasonably priced cafe serving a wide choice of food. All three YMCAs in Manhattan have gym facilities. Most of all, the price for rooms is hard to beat - you could be ten minute's walk from Times Square for a fraction of the amount you'd pay for any other hotel in the city.
Harlem YMCA: 180 West 135th Street, NY 10030.
West Side YMCA: 5 West 63rd St., N.Y. 10023.
Cooperatively run vegetarian restaurant handy for the Picasso Museum and the lively bars of the Born area. It's based in a former sweetie warehouse and is a lively, informal restaurant, free of much of the worthiness that so often goes with veggie restaurants.
Choose soups, pasties or innovative pasta dishes from daily changing blackboards or pick more hearty dishes from the restaurant's menu. And do try to leave room for the fab cakes and puddings.
c Dels Flassaders 30 bis; tel 93 319 9866; Metro Jaume I; Open 1pm to midnight, Tuesday to Saturday
II found renting an apartment is a good-value option for a Barcelona city break. You pay about the same per night as for a standard double room in the cheaper hotels and get the benefits of self-catering facilities and more space. We rented a self-contained apartment just off the marina through Freestanza: clean, designer chic and about 70 euros per night. The beach, Gothic quarter, Ramblas and Borne all walkable. We felt we were living in Barcelona.
I had a very poor experience when I stayed here. First of all, the location - it's in a very dark, secluded area of Moscow and I've heard several visitors have gotten into sticky problems returning home in the evening. Second, the building and the hostel are in a dilapidated condition. Third, expect to wait for a long time to get to the toilet and the shower - if you ever reach it.
If you are planning to buy a three-day pass for Angkor, go and buy it the night before - you should be able to get in for sunset that same day as well for no extra charge. Bring a passport photo.
Ticket office, main entance to Angkor Wat
Not too far from Prague - a bus ride away - and home to some absolutely beautiful spas. Try and go in the winter for a wonderful contrast between the snow and the hot springs. Restaurants and bars are also cheap.
However, anyone travelling with children - be prepared for nudity - many spa-goers strip off completely.
Lovely piece of fried dough (looks like a large flattened doughnut) best served with sour cream (tejföl), cheese (sajt) and garlic (fokhagyma). Perfect Hungarian street food.
At any of the markets in Budapest - Feny Utca market near Moszkva tér, Lehel tér market etc. Just look for stall with a Langos sign
Two great restaurants in downtown Pest. Both cheap and with great menus. The Boheme is on Paulay Ede Utca and does massive portions of great food. The Kiskacsa is on the corner of Kazinsky and Dob Utca, just in the Jewish part of town and specializes, as the name would suggest, in duck. It also lets you throw dice at the end of the meal to get a freebie. I've never won it but it adds to the fun.
Vegetarium is a great vegetarian/vegan restaurant in the heart of the city. A wonderful restaurant: great atmosphere, very helpful staff, and the food is excellent. A great choice of dishes, both vegetarian and vegan, many of these are from Hungarian cuisine. They have menus available in English. The place doesn't have the feeling of abstinence that many vegetarian restaurants seem to have in Europe - very warm and inviting.
Vegetarium, 5, Cukor Utca 5; tel: 1 48 40 848
No trip to Whistler is complete without a visit to Shakespeare’s pie shop
– it’s hands down the best spot for a snack in town.
They offer a mouthwatering selection of freshly made pies, and it’s great value for money. It’s very popular locally, and you’ll often spot some of Whistler’s many resident top pro skiers and snowboarders in there.
201-4000 Whistler Way
Tel: +1 604 935 1743
One of the best cities for regional Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and a host of others. If you have a friend with a car, check out Scarborough and Mississauga for them, also Richmond Hill and Markham for Chinese. Almost every strip mall has cheap and amazing, authentic food, much more authentic and diverse than the better known areas downtown.
Spicy, vegetarian and non-vegetarian south Indian:
Anjappar Chettinnad, 3090 Eglinton Avenue East, Scarborough; tel: 416 265 2695
Fang's Restaurant (Hong Kong food)
3225 Hwy 7, Markham; tel: 905 947-9969
Dragon Dynasty (banquet food and dim sum)
2301 Brimley Road, Scarborough; tel: 416 321 9000
Vegetarian south Indian:
Saravana Bhavan 4559 Hurontario St (at Eglinton) Miss.; tel: 905 290 0769
also 1571 Sandhurst Circle (Finch & McCowan); tel: 416 293 7755
Take two to three days to travel the Great Ocean Road - turn off the beaten track and find wild koalas in the trees. Also, head the opposite direction out of Melbourne and drive down the Mornington Peninsula then across to Wilson’s Promontory for some spectacular camping, bush walks and beaches. At the main campsite on Wilson’s Promontory you will have wombats snuffling around your tent at night. It's one of the most beautiful and unknown places in Australia.
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