A great find in Amman! A good place to relax in the evening. Food and drink was good and the service was excellent. We came here about three times during our time in Amman and the staff recognised us and were very welcoming.
Grappa is the bar/restaurant on the top level of the complex with 'Salute' a bar/restaurant at the bottom level with a view of the city.
Seems to be the place to go in Amman with a lot of big cars pulling up on a regular basis.
A pint of Amstel cost about 5JD a pint.
Most of the bars (that sell alcohol) in Amman seem to be part of big hotels but this is the great exception.
Second Circle Jabal Amman, Amman, Jordan
Best way to find this place is to walk from Rainbow street down the main road in the direction of the 2nd circle. As you pass the Iraqi embassy (with the big ornate gates and army guard outside) take your 1st right down the side of the embassy (I think Nina Hussein street) and continue to the end of the road.
We spent five days here in August. More towards a hostel rather than a hotel with a mix of rooms, from rooms with private bathrooms to beds in dorms with shared bathrooms.
For our room with the private bathroom we spent 33JD per night. Citadel and amphitheatre are on the doorstep.
There is a communal room where people can eat or meet other backpackers/travellers.
The hostel can arrange trips. They organised a car to take us and two other guests to Mount Nebo and the Dead Sea for 20JD (not including admission fees). Additionally they can arrange cars to and from the airport or to the Jordanian border.
Good breakfast served in the morning.
Staff always on hand (with perfect English) to assist with any queries such as how to handle taxi drivers etc.
Not luxurious but safe, comfortable and friendly.
48, Hashemiyeh Street, Hashemiyeh, Amman, Jordan
One of the few places in Wadi Musa that you can get a drink (alcoholic). Not cheap in that a pint of beer costs between 5JD - 6JD. Annoying that the price on the menu does not include the 26% tax and the service charge.
Having said all that it is a great location for a bar, occupying a 2,000 year-old Nabataean tomb only a stone's throw from the entrance to Petra.
Just near the entrance to Petra (on the right hand side as you face the Petra entrance).
Part of the Crowne Plaza hotel complex.
P.O. Box 30,Wadi Mousa Petra 00000, Jordan
+962 (0)3 215 6266
Google map: bit.ly/Vi0peR
We only stayed here for one night but cannot speak too highly of this place. The staff were very friendly with the owner dropping us down to the Petra site after we arrived at the hotel. The hotel is situated above the main town but is only a short taxi ride down the hill to Petra/town centre. However there are a number of other hotels and restaurants around this hotel so it is not isolated.
When you see what Movenpick etc are charging in the town you will be amazed at this hotel's prices!
The owner's father was a previous governor of the area and he is very well regarded in the area.
We paid 28JD and were astounded at the quality of the accommodation. The whole place was recently renovated to a very high standard and would not look out of place in one of the good hotels in Europe. For example the bathroom was huge, enclosed in frosted glass.
The owner arranged for a bus to pick us up from the hotel for our trip back to Amman saving us a journey to the bus station.
My wife wished the accommodation on the rest of our trip in Middle East was like this!!
Good place for food and drink on a buzzing corner on Dizingoff street. We ate and drank here twice during our time in Tel Aviv.
Had two mains, three beers, two wines and one coffee for 240 NIS.
Later in the evening queues form, a testament to the popularity of the place. An added bonus is that there is free wi-fi. Some seating outside with more seating inside.
Dizengoff 306, Tel Aviv, Israel
Google map: bit.ly/RtZoib
Seems to be part of a chain but still a good place for a drink. We sat outside and had a beer and a wine. A pint of Tuborg beer (at happy hour prices) cost 17 NIS.
Located in a busy pedestrian area that hosts a popular craft market Tuesday & Friday.
Came across this place by accident.
Good food and very friendly service. On our fist visit we had two mains (liver and mash and salad) together with sangria for 160 NIS.
Additionally the place has free wifi.
Always seems to be busy with people looking for a bite to eat or simply a drink.
Open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Not kosher as I had a bacon cheese burger on my second visit!
We came across this restaurant in the old port of Tel Aviv by accident and loved it so much that we came back to eat again.
The salads were huge and very nice. One night I had kebabs on cinnamon sticks which were lovely.
Very friendly staff.
Only when we came back home, we read about the restaurant on the web and learned that it was a Galilee style restaurant.
This restaurant was named after an Israeli soldier killed in the 2nd Lebanon War in 2006.
We stayed here for six nights in early September and were not disappointed. While on the map it looked like it was situated on the northern edge of the city centre, it was in fact very central for us.
Only a few minutes walk from the beach as well as the renovated Old Port area (with many restaurants and shops), quite simply a brilliant location. Great bars and restaurants only around the corner on Dizengoff street (especially on corner of Yirmeyahu street and Dizengoff street).
Very modern spotless hotel with free wi-fi.
We paid $154 per night (which for Tel Aviv was one of the best value decent hotels we could find!)
Particularly liked the fact that our room had a fridge which we were able to fill with drink and food from the nearby supermarkets.
Breakfast was basic but other than that no complaints about this hotel!
We were in Tel Aviv for six days and came back to this area a number of nights. The old port area has been renovated and was full of shops and restaurants on the water front. Some good bars and restaurants here especially our favourite, Cafe Nimrod.
Would definitely recommend a visit here in the evening. Great buzz about the place especially on the weekend.
Tel Aviv Old Port area (Namal)
North end of Dizengoff Street
Google map: bit.ly/StOTft
An absolute must see when coming to Jerusalem. The Hall of Names is particularly moving as you can see where pages of around three million names are stored around walls and the gaps for the many millions whose names of the victims we as yet do not know.
The Children's memorial commemorating the 1.5 million children who perished is haunting. This underground memorial has one solitary candle but with the use of hundreds of mirrors creates the effect of hundreds of candles throughout the building.
Additionally the Cattle Car memorial featuring an original German cattle cart used to transport Jews catches the eye as it is on a railway track suspended in the air.
One thing I would say is that despite having a map the outdoor area can be confusing to navigate and we frequently got lost.
P.O.B. 3477, Jerusalem 91034 Israel
Get the tram from Jaffa Road to the end of the line. A free shuttle bus will pick you up every 15 mins from a stop across from the tram stop.
Google map: bit.ly/TdtFyK
This hotel is situated up on the Mount of Olives in Arab East Jerusalem. While not centrally located near the old town, every morning we got the #75 bus that dropped us outside Damascus gate within 10 - 15 mins for five NIS. Taxis at night back to the hotel cost us between 35 - 45 NIS from the centre. Too far to walk especially at night.
The hotel was rather tired but we paid a very good price for Jerusalem at about £43 GBP per night for five nights. The room had an ensuite old bathroom but no TV.
Friendly hotel with a large buffet breakfast on offer every morning. Additionally free wi-fi.
We were surprised to find that the hotel was right next to one of Jerusalem's attractions - Mosque of Ascension which is on the site of Jesus's ascension and contains his alleged footprint!
Good hearty food to be found here. Not high end dining but authentic wholesome food. Food could be described as Kosher Turkish/Kurdish, with Iraqi and Syrian influences. This restaurant has been serving food for decades, where the food is slowly cooked in huge pots over traditional oil burners called ptelias. This authentic place is extremely popular with locals which might mean a little wait during busy times.
We had two hearty mains and soft drinks for 110 NIS.
HaEshkol 4, Jerusalem, 94322, Israel
+972 2 623 5204
Google map: bit.ly/VUHabx
Hotel located in a very central location on the north bank of the Arno river. A hotel since 1837, located within a much older building (dating back to the 13th century I believe).
Perhaps slightly worn around the edges - all the fixtures, fittings and furnishings hark back to the early 20th century.
We paid just over £50 using a well known hotel website. The continental breakfast choice was varied with cereal, fruit, cold meats, cheese to name but a few.
Seemingly many famous people have stayed in this hotel, ranging from Charles Dickens to Daryl Hannah.
Not perhaps to everyone's taste.
Bus to airport (£1.50) just across the road from hotel.
Just a remider to folk that you need to validate your train ticket before you board the train.
We bought tickets at Stazione Centrale di S. Maria Novella in Florence for a trip to Pisa.
We did not realise we had to validate the tickets on the platform before we got on the train. We could have incurred a fine, only that the ticket inspector let us off!
Stazione Centrale di S. Maria Novella
A 'must see' to visit Michelangelo's statue of David at the Galleria dell'Accademia. Additionally you see half finished sculptures by Michelangelo so you get an opportunity to see how the process of creating David must have taken.
The most important thing is getting in and avoiding the queues. Sometimes there are small queues while other times the queues can be quite big.
You can call +39 055 294883 to make a reservation in advance which costs an extra €4 onto the €11 ticket price. The phone operator will give you a six digit extension number which you quote when you purchase tickets. All the operator takes is your name and asks what your chosen day / time slot is.
The reservation will then allow you to go to a different door avoiding the long queues. The real beauty of the phone reservation is that you do not pay until you turn up so if there are any unforeseen changes to your schedule you don't end up out of pocket. Additionally if there are small queues, you would simply queue up and avoid paying the €4 reservation fee.
Phone reservation available Mon - Fri 08.30 - 18.30 (Italian time) & Sat 08.30 - 12.30.
Tried the online booking service but gave up as it kept falling over as I input the details of my UK credit card.
Square on south side of Arno river off Corsa Italia.
A square surrounded by bars and restaurants, with locals sitting around and kids playing football.
Nice place to relax, in complete contrast to the more tourist orientated area around the Campo dei Miracoli.
Square on south side of Arno river off Corsa Italia.
Google map: bit.ly/LTXy5o
Nice tree lined square surrounded by pavement cafes.
Plenty of seating in which to relax, away from the more tourist parts of Florence.
One end of the square has the church of Santo Spirito dating back to the 15th century.
On the south side of the Arno river on the right as you come over the Ponte Santa Trinita.
Google map: bit.ly/LTXFOw
Great location to sit and drink and watch the world go by, on Piazza Santa Croce. The Santa Croce church is just yards away.
For such a prime location, the prices were surprisingly good. We only had drinks but at €3.50 per large glass of house white we were not complaining.
Service was good.
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