This is the best place to eat lunch in Florence. It's tiny, but they can squeeze you in. It's popular with the locals and the odd tourist. There is one hand written menu (changes daily) on the wall. We had simple but incredibly delicious pasta dishes to start (which cost about €3), followed by wonderful roast pork and tumblers of great local red wine. It was so good we went back for bistecca fiorentina later in the week.
Via Rosina 2, near the food market and S. Lorenzo. Open for lunch only;
tel: 055 218 550
If you haven't got a bike, take the bus. Air conditioned buses normally cost 2 rmb, normal buses cost 1 rmb. Can be crowded, and pickpockets abound, but if you're careful you will be OK. Get on, and if you can't see a ticket seller by the door, find a seat and they will find you. Often free seats at the back of buses, if you can squeeze past people to get there. If you are cycling, don't expect buses to stop for you. Either they can't or won't, or both.
Bus stops have the bus route numbers clearly printed. The numbers are usually painted on the buses, although more modern buses have large displays showing their numbers.
Firstly for the breakfast - really good English breakfast and for those really indulgent days try their American breakfast. And if you've had a night of clubbing and can't face eating I really recommend their milkshakes - sets you right up for the day.
After the food, Una and Mitch, the owners are really friendly and always willing to provide all the information you need.
Calle Ramon Muntanter 49, Figueretes;
Krabi's night market is wonderful - tonnes of different foods to try and all fantastic and so cheap. The atmosphere is relaxed but exciting too, and there's a real community feel as most of the town turn up at some point during the evening. A must!
The Monash Gallery of Art is a public gallery run by the local council. Its aim is to push the visual arts and I think it succeeds in that. Predominantly showing Australian photography, the collections and the special exhibitions are worth a visit.
860 Ferntree Gully Road, Wheelers Hill;
tel: 9562 1569
Get some culture and go to this museum, situated close to Mykonos Town. It is very old and contains a lot of interesting artefacts from not only Mykonos, but all over the Cyclades group of islands. Some of the artefacts are relief carvings from the fall of Troy as well as the renowned black and red vases from the 5th century BC. When we visited in 2005 the admission was 2 euros for adults and free for children and students
In the large white building, on the hill above the road that runs between the port and the town of Mykonos
tel: +30 22890 22325;
A traditional Alentejan joint in Bairro Alto, where diminutive space is inversionally proportional to the food quality. Forget the mercurial service: the gambas ao alho (garlic sauce shrimps) may be the best you´ll ever taste. Nice value, too.
No sign, but it’s on a corner of Rua do Norte (number 46), low Bairro Alto;
tel: 21 346 4265
Open every day except Monday from 7pm
Built by Peter the Great for his wife Catherine, this palace provides an opulent backdrop to much of Estonia’s foreign art collection.
The galleries contain paintings, prints and sculpture by mainly Flemish, Dutch and Russians artists of the 16th -19th century and include works by Breughel the Younger and Cranach. There are some excellent portraits by Anton Graff and an interesting room dedicated to 19th century views of Tallinn. As the information plaques explained these were produced almost as equivalents to today’s postcards, souvenirs for the more well-heeled visitor.
Also impressive are the Russian realist pictures - such as "A Soldier’s Tale" by Ilja Repin and Ivor Shisnkin's "The Pine Forest" - which have a very earthy, tactile feel to them.
There was also a small but interesting temporary exhibition about copies of masterpieces - not fakes but copies made, again, as a kind of souvenir or as a tribute to the original artist, or as practise for an apprentice painter.
Information plaques, in Estonian and English, are found in each room and the exhibits themselves are well labelled.
The Palace is open 10.00am-5.00pm closed Mondays May-September and both Monday and Tuesday October-April.
Weizenbergi 37/Valge 1;
Take Tram No. 3 to Kadriog, then it is a short and rather pleasant walk;
This is a fabulous little hotel - though don't expect luxury, some may call it more of a hostel - a couple of minutes walk from Place de Clichy Metro station. I stayed here with a friend, we were both 17 at the time, and had the most fantastic stay. The staff were friendly and helpful, the rooms were simple with no phones or TVs, but who comes to Paris to watch telly?
The rooms were individual, unusual and full of character, and the odd creaking floorboard and winding staircase only added to that. For us it worked out at about £18 per night, which we thought was brilliant value. We always felt safe, although we tried to get back before 11ish most nights. It is perfect for students, travellers on a budget, maybe couples but not if you're after luxury. For us though, I couldn't fault it, and can't recommend it highly enough.
18 Rue des Dames, Paris;
Nearest Metro: Place de Clichy;
Karavitis is a very nice traditional taverna that is central, but located far enough from the tourist area that it remains uniquely Greek. A good sign is that it is always full of locals. The food is traditional, inexpensive and delicious. Also, if you go on a Friday or Saturday night you might be lucky enough to experience some live entertainment courtesy of an old gentleman who sings to you whilst playing his guitar.
The place is very basic, with tables covered in paper tablecloths and walls lined with wine barrels. In the summer there is a vine-covered patio which is a delight to sit on. If traditional is what you are after, it does not get much more traditional than this.
Located near the Panathenaic Stadium and across the street from the statue of Harry Truman. It is at the corner of Arktinou and Pafsania Street just off the main street of Vassileos Konstandinou in the district of Pangrati (exact address is 35 Arktinou and 4 Pausaniou);
nearest metro: Evangelismos;
tel: 2107215155; open 8pm-1:30am.
A small, family run taverna, close to Piazza Navona. The owner, Paulo brings produce from his hometown in the Sabine Hills. The roast chicken, with potatoes roasted in oil and rosemary is real comfort food. Bread, tomatoes and fresh basil to start, helped on it's way by half-decent house wine. My wife, daughter(ice cream scored well) and I had a truly great evening, and left with change out of £30.The Taverna is closed Tuesday, but signs direct you to a sister taverna, a few steps away (slightly larger,but almost as good).
Via Monte GiordanoTel: 06 68 80 10 53
Bed and breakfast in Rome. Gianpaolo's (30) - he is previously wine buff, painting restorer. Five minutes from the town centre. metro station very close; wonderful views of the roofs of Rome, can be noisy from traffic and no air con. Good breakfast cooked by GP. Lovely friendly dog Goedel who is kept out of the rooms. Very friendly and will pick up from airport at cheap cost.
metro A. ANAGNINA direction. RE DI ROMA
A lot of the state museums in Stockholm have gone to free entry this year (2005). NB NOT the Vasa or Skansen. Bear this in mind before paying out for a Stockholm card... It does make it easier on the budget and means you can more happily drop in for a short visit. A couple (notably the Nordic Museum and the National Gallery) have rather thwarted the intention by organizing parts of their collections as "special exhibitions" and charging for those, but others are basking in their new popularity. Try the Historiska Museum for its Viking and medieval displays - or at least its collection of viking etc gold in the strongroom in the basement, or the Etnografiska Museum (ie most of the world outside Europe's cultures) which has very atmospheric displays addressing modern impacts as well as traditional ways, and is much more interactive and lively than its title suggests.
Historiska Museet. Narvavagen - five minutes walk up from the Djurgarden bridge.
Etnografiska Museet. Out on the side of Djurgarden furthest from the city centre: bus 69. I'ts in open parkland, with the Technical and the Maritime museums and the TV tower nearby.
An amazing aray of Japanese antiques furniture & crafts trucked into the scerenity of the Togo shrine in Harajuku, an area more commonly known for its comtemporary Japanese hip-hop pop boutiques, than for traditional culture.
Just of Takashimaya dori, from 7.00am on the first, fourth & fifth Sunday's of the month. Metro Yoyogi Koen
A budget heritage hotel. Our tour organiser had booked us into Rajasthan's luxury heritage hotels, but we tired a little of the formula. This one, we booked ourselves and were more than happy with. It has a lovely secluded courtyard and an excellent rooftop restaurant where we dined every night. The hotel is small, comfortable and full of character.
Perfectly positioned at the gates to the old town. Address: Goverdhan Chowk, 345 001 Jaisalmer, Rajasthan
price: Rs900-1,500. Suites Rs2,100. Plus 10% tax. Peak season: October-March.
It's a Cuban restaurant but not your trendy wood and steel decor style. It's the real thing run by an elderly couple. Checked tablecloths, real daiquiris, great fried chicken as well as other specialities.
Calle Infantas, close to Fuencarral end. Mtero Gran Via, Chueca or Tribunal.
It's a very old established all night pizza place where a slice of the most delicious pizza will cost you 1 euro. There's one standard topping - salami/cheese/tomato, but you can order different ones at a small extra charge. You can sit outside on wooden benches, and the beer or wine isn't bad either. Good for late-homecoming revellers.
Bleibtreustrasse, off Ku, damm.
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