Gues-T House is a backpackers hostel in Azubujuban, SW Tokyo. I recommend it because it gives excellent value for money, and is in a fantastic location for seeing Tokyo.
One night - Y2,900 (c.£15)
Azubujuban Station - exit 4. Head up the road to the left of 'Wendy's' to a cross road (c. 200m). Turn left, and go down the road 'til you get to a park on your left. Look for a coffee bean shop, take a right and the hostel will be on your right, the same side as the coffee bean shop.
Perfect al fresco budget seafood. Try the fried squid, the black cuttlefish risotto or 'little fish' on one of Dubrovnik's best squares. The only trick is beating the cut-throat scramble for tables. An orderly queue is a northern European concept.
Gundulićeva poljana 8, next to the cathedral;
tel: (+385 20) 32 36 82
Clean, friendly, affordable hostel in the middle of St Petersburg. Breakfast included, internet available. Free tickets for the Puppet Theatre next door for guests. Around £13 per night in a shared dorm.
Just off Nevsky Prospekt
Small typical Viennese Beisl in the 9th district. Dunno if it's still on the menu but I used to say I'd choose an endless supply of owner Herbert's Krautsuppe (cabbage soup) as my desert island discs luxury item. Now very popular with the nearby Wirtschaftsuniversität staff as he does an all you can eat buffet. So try and go at the weekend. Classic Viennese cuisine at its best
Reznicekgasse 10, 1090 Vienna, tel.: 0043 1 317 91 40, take the D tram towards Nußdorf and get off at Althanstrasse or Augasse
There are some luggage lockers at Wien Mitte / City Airport Terminal but not as many as you'd think. They're near the McDonalds. Don't rely on being able to deposit your luggage as they might all be occupied.
Wien Mitte station
They are a really cool independent holiday company with three chalets in Chamonix. My friends and I have stayed with them for the last three years and have always had a wicked time!
They offer everything from lift passes and airport transfers to great meals and hot tubs for very reasonable prices.
Sausages filled with molten cheese. Best bought from one of the many Würschtlstände (sausage stands) dotted around the city. Ask for a Käsekrainer hotdog and they take a mini baguette, hollow out the centre, fill it with ketchup and mustard and stuff the cheese-filled sausage in. They're probably heart attacks waiting to happen, the dripping ketchup and mustard are guaranteed to make a mess of your shoes / clothes but they taste amazing, especially late at night
all over the city
It's fast, frequent, well-run, and cheap (about 20 pence for any journey when we were there in August 2005). However, I'd advise travellers to learn the Russian alphabet (at least) as it can be difficult to find your way around the system otherwise. You can't always see the station name from inside the train, and the (Russian) announcements are sometimes not audible. So it's useful to be able to follow the map. You can buy postcards that show the map - handy to carry around if you don't want to bring your guide book. There's a wealth of info on the internet - just type "Moscow Metro" into Google.
Bia Hoi is the ultimate Vietnamese drinking experience. It's basically a keg of beer outside someone's house or shop or whatever, and you go and help yourself to local "brew".
It costs around 1,500 dong a glass (about 7 pence) and you end up drinking with all sorts of colourful locals.
Anywhere in Hanoi, or the rest of Vietnam.
To say it is a campsite gives the wrong impression, though it is - a large one. We stayed there in a trailer-type bungalow in October 2005. The accommodation was clean and comfortable with twin beds (linen provided), heating and shower room/WC. It was very cheap, compared with any hotel - only £145 for two of us for six nights. There are no cooking facilities, but that was fine for we ate out while sightseeing during the day and had a cold meal in the bungalow in the evening, or went to the splendid on-site pub/restaurant which also provides breakfast. The main downside was no way to dry wet shoes! Frequent buses connect the camp with the Rome metro system.
A small hotel on the fifth floor of a block, within easy walking distance of Termini, the main railway station in Rome, so good for the first or last night of a holiday in Rome, giving easy access to the station and the metro or buses to the airports. It is not smart, but the front desk is manned 24/7, the staff are friendly, it is inexpensive, breakfast is included, and there are plenty of nearby places to eat.
Domus Mea Hotel, 31 Via Calatafimi
Italy. Phone #: 64881174,
# Rooms: 24, Fax #: 6486496,
A straightforward, good value budget option - the all day menu del dia at 7 euros is excellent and the setting ideal. Take a table outside under the orange trees to watch the world go by on the busy plaza. Refreshingly, the menu makes clear what is included in the menu del dia - with a wide selection of racions, service, drink etc - a pleasant change to other places which may try it on with additional charges (I feel bound at this point to condemn El Cai in Arenal who added 8 euros for 2 lemonades and 5 euros for 2 sachets of olive oil!).
Santa Maria la Blanca, Santa Cruz
A fairly uninspiring municipal (but privately owned) campsite. It has lots of space and shade; there are no marked pitches and the toilet/shower blocks are rather elderly.
But the little onsite bar/restaurant serves amazing, very reasonable evening meals and breakfasts.
On the N110 road south of Crespian (easily missed - look very hard for the entrance signs)
It can be described as many things: a spicy omlette; a 'breakfast burrito'; the literal meaning approximates to 'egg pancake'. Great for a quick, cheap hot snack; a useful fallback for vegetarians in a meat-loving nation; plus great to watch them being made.
At streetside vendors everywhere
Very good, well-kept, secure, cheap campsite. Well serviced by a regular bus service to the nearest metro, which itself is only a 15-minute walk from the centre of Paris.
Much cheaper than any hotel. The only drawback is the poorly stocked shop so do your food shopping before you arrive.
Good website, reservations can be made online. If you haven't got a tent there are also self-catering cabins to rent.
Les Campings d'Île de France
Camping du Bois de Boulogne,
Allée du Bord de l'Eau 75016 PARIS
Tel : 33(0)1 45 24 30 00 Fax : 33(0)1 42 24 42 95
All but a luxury hotel for all but a backpacker's price. The Lai Thai has a great location, minutes from the night market; the air-con rooms are clean and beautifully decorated with teak and bamboo; there's even a swimming pool.
If you're still not satisfied, the hotel has its own foot masseur and fortune teller too. Doubles from 600 Baht (about £8)
111/4-5 Kotchasarn Road, Tel: +66 5327 1725 or 5320 6438
A fine youth hostel. The dorms are well airconditioned, close to the city centre and transport links to places such as Pompeii. The staff are exceptionally helpful and friendly and there's internet facilities, a laundry service and common room for meeting fellow travellers.
Danhostel Copenhagen have opened a designer youth hostel in one of the city’s few tall buildings. Every room has a stunning view and the shared rooms aimed at backpackers start at about 10 pounds. Budget rooms with more privacy are available, too.
H.C. Andersens Boulevard 50
Tel: (+45) 3311 8585
Barranco is the artists’ quarter of Lima, made up of narrow cobbled streets under the shade of some of the oldest residents of Lima. Most of the backpacker bars can be found in and around the Parque Central. The Boulevar' is lined with small pubs and bars where you can enjoy a beer and listen to some live music.
There is also beautiful cathedral and countless art galleries.
Go for a walk and catch a glimpse of a Lima long gone, but still alive.
Barranco is to the south of Miraflores and north of Chorrillos. Get there via el Zanjon or head south through via Larco Mar or the coast highway. It's lively any time of day, but don't miss it on a Saturday night.
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