Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Hungary

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Corinthia Hotel Budapest

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Corinthia Hotel Budapest, Hungary

During winter, many people chose to go to the beach or to some paradise location. The truth is, it’s difficult to find a cozy place in a winter breeze, specially if you want to enjoy a spa, nice restaurants and a comfy room. Fortunately, we found an amazing Hotel in Eastern Europe for a romantic weekend escape: The Corinthia Hotel in Budapest.

First opened in 1896 as the Grand Hotel Royal, Corinthia Hotel Budapest remains among the grandest in the city. Recently renovated, to be a fine distinguished hotel with an original 19th century spa, two restaurants, the biggest meeting room in the city and lovely staff at your service the full day.

Installations

At The Corinthia Hotel you’ll find two great restaurants, two bars, meeting rooms and a wonderful Spa.

I have to add that their breakfast is great! There is a whole buffet with juices, sweets, cereals and even a cook that will make an amazing omelette for you in no time. Both restaurants were amazing and easy to encounter.

We had the opportunity to experience both restaurants and we absolutely loved them.

The Rickshaw:

This restaurant offers a wide range of Oriental Fusion dishes in a moody atmosphere ideal for a romantic dinner or a chill night with friends. I recommend you start the night with Rickshaw golden platter.

 

It’s a dish with Duck spring rolls, beef satay, prawn- and pineapple skewers, prawn cake, feta spring roll, BBQ pork chops, sweet chili sauce, soy-coriander sauce, peanut dip and tomato-ginger salsa. Excellent for a starter.

Also, one of the waiters was extremely kind to us and introduced us to the wide variety of beers they had. My favorite was an Asian one called Asahi. I also tried the Hungarian one but, I believe I prefer the Asian on this occasion.😊

VIEW MENU HERE

The Brasserie & Atrium:

This restaurant offers the very best of international and Hungarian cuisine. Don’t even think about it and order the famous Hungarian Goulash Soup. This famous local dish blends potatoes, meat and vegetables in a nice stew. 

If any of these two restaurants hasn’t content your stomach yet, you can visit one of the two additional bars, and get surprised by an amazing cocktail menu.

VIEW MENU HERE

The Spa:

One of the most famous facilities at the Corinthia Hotel has to be the Spa. As mentioned before, this Spa is original from the 19th century and it is  one of the greatest spas in Budapest.

As you might know, there are numerous thermal springs running underneath Budapest, and that is why it is known for its thermal baths.

Corinthia Hotel Budapest

If you visit Budapest during winter period, this spa will be heaven when you go back to the hotel!

One of its features is the central pool with 28ºC, perfect for a first swim during winter days. Along the side you’ll find 2 Jacuzzis, one at 32ºC and the other at 37ºC.

Apart, you have a steam bath, saunas, temperature showers and a relaxing area. We absolutely loved this place!

Meetings & Events:

Although we didn’t have the chance to experience the different meeting rooms they have, we have to say we did see a big convention and the rooms seemed very big. 

Location

One of the most convenient aspects of the Corinthia Hotel is its location. It is right in the city center, close to any public transport and to the main sites of the city.

To go to Fisherman Bastion, we grabbed a bus and in 10 minutes we were there. The bus stop is 2 min away walking distance.

Only 18 kms. Away from the airport, which is around 30 mins. by car or 50 min. by public transport. If you want to get to your hotel faster, I recommend you buy a BUDAPEST CARD.

Also, it allows you to visit many museums, thermal baths and other great sites in the city, for free!

Even more, it allows to use the whole public transport and get an airport transfer to and from your hotel.

If you want more details on the BUDAPEST CARD visit their site here.

Rooms

We stayed at a Deluxe King room, which is pretty spacious and has a mini lounge area with a two seat sofa and a desk. In terms of rates, this room is rated quite decent for all the services you can find at the hotel.

*Image from the Hotel

For your reference, we travelled to Budapest during January, which is a cold month and also, a low touristic period of the year. So maybe the rates change during the year (i’m sure they do, actually).

The room was very clean at all times. The staff in charge of the cleaning was very kind and gave us free toiletries every day.

If you get an interior room like ours you will have this view out your window. One day, we even got to listen to a classical music rehearsal in the middle of the hall!

Anyway, we truly recommend this unique hotel for a romantic weekend escape to the eastern side of Europe. There are a lot of things to visit, great restaurants, super friendly atmosphere and unique photo spots for the gram 😉

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CORINTHIA HOTEL BUDAPEST

 

As usual, if you liked the post or you’d like me to let you know anything else from this amazing hotel, just drop me a comment and I’ll reply right away!

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See you around and thank you for reading!

Hugs,

Ivan

-Traveling to Find Cool Cultures-

 

Best Rooftop Bars in Barcelona

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Best Rooftop Bars in Barcelona

What is the best thing to do on a Saturday/Sunday afternoon? Where can you go that is less touristic in Barcelona? How can you view the city from above? Think no more, here I bring you the best rooftop bars in Barcelona!

There are so many possibilities at the rooftop bars. Enjoy a brunch, a nice cocktail, a great swiming pool or a romantic dinner.

The cream of the top in the city are these incredible rooftops. Barcelona is characteristic for it’s simplicity, modernism, great food and also, it’s typical mediterranean culture.

Our culture is based on people that socialize a lot. It doesn’t matter where you’re from or what you do in life. Social gathering happens every day in Barcelona. And yes, some of these happen in our rooftops.

Sunset is the best time to visit the rooftop bars

The thing is that, most of these rooftop bars are managed by hotels. Therefore, morning hours are usually closed for private customers.

There are a few that are starting to open around 12:00 at noon. They offer a Brunch service an even a chill out DJ. But that is not common, yet.

I really recommend you visit the rooftop bars during the previous sunset hours: 17:00 – 21:00. If you go at peak hours, the chances are that you will not have the a place, given their capacity (between 40 to 100 persons at a time).

Now, many people have asked me this question several times: Which is the best rooftop in Barcelona? And my answer has always been the same: Best rooftop for what?

In order to judge properly, I’ve decided to stablish a ranking based on:

City Views, Food & Drinks, Instalations & Service

Also, given I am a well recognized writer in TripAdvisor I will check out each rating and write it underneath.

Oh, sorry, almost forgot! There isn’t a dress code to visit any rooftops in Barcelona, but, some recommend you look fresh and not like you just came from the beach with your sandals and so on.

Dress fresh!

Okay, here we go! Where are the best rooftop bars in Barcelona?

On number 1 position I’m gonna have to pick: HOTEL 1898.

Hotel 1898

rooftop bars

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This amazing city view of Montjuic and the west part of the city is incredibly stunning. Hotel 1898 has the best rooftops in Barcelona, as well as one of the best hotels.

La Isabella is the name of the rooftop. It’s split in different areas, the pool, the lounge area with outdoor beds and the restaurant facing the cathedral.

This hotel is located in El Raval district, it is very accesible from Las Ramblas. It has a unique decoration style, kind of like a french modernist style (i’m not specialist in interiorism, but I just say of what it reminds me, hehe).

The city views are almost 360º. I say almost, because the bar ocupies a spot that slightly covers a bit of the northern view. However, the views are stunning!

The cocktails are incredible, but the best here is the food. Very mediterranean style dishes, with incredible views. Prices are a bit high, but it is worth it. Very romantic place!

The waiters, barmans, cooks are great! Good detail of attention and perfect recommendations!

Here is one last photo…

rooftop bars

Hotel 1898 - La Rambla, 109, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L3, Liceu

TripAdvisor rating: 4,5/5

Hotel Grand Central

Now this has an amazing infinity pool! What a views! Hotel Grand Central is located in the Gothic Quarter district near the Cathedral and is also boundries with the well-known district of El Born.

rooftop bars

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*image from the hotels web page

Hotel Grand Central has one of the best rooftop bars in Barcelona, for various reasons. The city view is incredible. Sunsets here make you feel like if there was no tomorrow. You can spot many known buildings like, Agbar Tower, Hotel Arts and the Cathedral.

In their food menu, there are lots of good tapas to share. All of them with a Mediterranean feel. My favourite has to be: Cherries, black lobster and fresh cheese gazpacho soup!

The sky bar or city bar as they call it, is not very big. You can fit 43 persons max and there are just a few tables where you can sit and lunch or dinner. Then there are the pool hammocks and the tall chairs by the bar. Overall, seems quite exclusive, and quiet, which is what is meant to be.

The service is pretty decent, the waiters pay a lot of attention to you. Also, the dedicated barman is very professional.

The only “but” I would put in this hotel is the entrance fee at the rooftop bar, 20€!

Grand Hotel Central – Via Laietana, 30, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1 Urquinaona

TripAdvisor rating:  4,5/5

Iberostar Paseo de Gracia

Rooftop Bars

This is one of my favourites! Located in the center of Barcelona, right in Plaça Catalunya, this unique hotel offers great city center views!

The rooftop bar at the Iberostar Hotel is open and free for everyone! Off course it will depend on the number of people up there, which I think has a limit of around 80 persons.

As you can see on the photo above, the city views are incredible. From up there, you can see Plaça Catalunya in it’s totality, and the left corner you can see La Sagrada Familia also! it’s beautiful.

The food you can order almost any kind of typical tapas like bravas, olives, or clams. As per the cocktails, I have to recommend the Bloody Mary. It is quite a typical cocktail, but this one was very smooth and very well balanced!

rooftop bars

The infinity pool over the city is so breath taking that makes you dive in right away! I guess this option isn’t available unless you are hosted in the hotel 🙂

The service of the rooftop bar was incredible. There was a waiter who even offered us to take pictures of us 2.

Also, he pointed out the best photo spots and was very kind explaining things from the hotel.

Iberostar Paseo de Gracia РPla̤a Catalunya, 10, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro Station: L1, L3, Plaça Catalunya

TripAdvisor rating: 4,5/5

Almanac Hotel

Almanac Hotel has been rated by VOGUE as the best rooftop in Barcelona. I have to say, I never knew of this hotel until I went just a couple days ago. I believe the Almanac Hotel has one of the best decorations I’ve seen lately.

The rooftop is structured by an indoor bar with lots of accomodation, and then the terrace with a huge area with outdoor sofas.

rooftop bars

Nicolas, the Hotel Manager was so nice with his attention that he even took us around for a mini tour in the Hotel.

They have an amazing restaurant in the bottom floor as well with great Mediterranean food deals.

Cocktails are one of their best tools to attract people, as they have a dedicated barman with lots of experience behind the bar.

The city views are great. This is very close to Paseo de Gracia and once you’re above, you can spot La Sagrada familia and also the famous Agbar Tower.

One of the best indeed!

Hotel Almanac - Gran Via de les Corts Catalanes, 619, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1, Catalunya

TripAdvisor rating: 5,0/5

Hotel Mandarin Oriental

Hotel Manadarin Oriental is located in the very center of Barcelona, right at the concurred Paseo de Gracia.

This rooftop is one of the most elegant rooftops to visit. The views are incredible, as you can see the north part of the city and the views at Paseo de Gracia.

rooftop bars

The service at the hotel is outstanding. That day, it rained and many rooftops close for the whole day as they need to put away all the amenities. But, the staff at Manadarin Oriental, allowed us to go up and we were on our own.

I couldn’t have a taste of the cocktails given the situation, but, I saw the cocktail list and it looked incredible!

The views from above are the best. You almost have a 360 view from Barcelona. The ambient is so relaxing with the pool and the hammocks, that you will feel in heaven!

Hotel Manadarin Oriental - Passeig de Gràcia, 38-40, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1, Catalunya

TripAdvisor Rating: 4,5/5

Hotel Royal

Hotel Royal is located at Paseo de Gracia as well, and they have a very distinguished rooftop, with a glass cover. Which seems great if the weather isn’t promising.

rooftop bars

The ambient is very chilled with a dominant view of the city all around the Hotel. You can spot La Sagrada Familia, Hotel W and Agbar tower easily.

But the best comes behind the bar. A dedicated barman creates refreshing cocktails like this Expresso Martini…

rooftop bars

Also, the barman recommended to try the “Royal Sangria”. Apparently, they have their own recipe which includes peach and melon liquer!!

The instalations are very nice, but don’t expect to find a pool up there. The lounge-type rooftop offers a good and relaxed ambient.

Hotel Royal Paseo de Grácia - Passeig de Gràcia, 84, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1, Catalunya

TripAdvisor rating: 4,5/5

Hotel Arts

Hotel Arts is located in front of the sea and it is one of the twin towers you can spot in Barcelona’s skyline.

Rooftop Bars

*image property of the hotel

My cloudy day and rain was too poor to take good shots, so I borrowed this one from the hotel!

Hotel Arts is one of the most popular hotels for rich & famous people. Their rooftop is located in the 3rd floor, which is also where the 1 Michellin star restaurant and chef, Sergi Arola, are.

The pool can be enjoyed only by guests, but you can acces to the restaurant and enjoy a fabulous mediterranean meal!

It is a bit expensive in general, but, the views and the service are definetly worth it!!

Hotels Arts - Carrer de la Marina, 19-21, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1, Marina, or bus

TripAdvisor rating: 4,4/5

H10 Montcada Boutique Hotel

H10 Montcada, is a fabulous hotel located right next to the iconic Cathedral of Barcelona.

The sunset rooftop bar is perfect if you’d like to enjoy the views and great cocktails. Also, they have a Jacuzzi facing the sea, which makes it very appealing if you are hosted there.

Rooftop Bars

*image property of the hotel

Again, my cloudy day didn’t allow me to take good photos. But the hotel has provided these wonderful photos!

The staff are very kind and a very professional barman takes care of you from the very begining.

This hotel is located at the Barri Gothic. With many different sites around the hotel, it is perfect to make a stop and enjoy the views from above!

I really recommend a Gin Mare Gin tonic to get the full Mediterreanan experience!

H10 Montcada - Via Laietana, 24, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1, Urquinanona

TripAdvisor rating: 4,5/5

Hotel Ohla

Hotel Ohla, is located right at the edge of Barri Gothic, at the end of Via Laietana. This incredible hotel has a very “Chic” rooftop, with a glass viewed pool.

Rooftop Bars

*image property of the Hotel

Again, my cloudy day didn’t allow me to take decent photos of the hotel, but I have to say I was very impressed by the views and they way the rooftop is structured.

Completly facing the city and the Cathedral, you can enjoy a beautiful view, while drinking a nice and refreshing signature cocktails.

Also, they can offer you a list of Mediterranean tapas that will complete your experince and you won’t want to leave!

The elegant design of the rooftop is in line with the modernist architecture of the city, and also contrasts with the neo clasical architecture of the front.

Hotel Ohla Barcelona - Via Laietana, 49, Barcelona

Google Maps

Metro: L1, Urquinaona

TripAdvisor rating: 4,5/5

Hotel Ayre Rosello

Hotel Ayre Roselló, is a unique and modern hotel located in the very heart of Eixample quarter.

The most impressive part of this hotel, is the magnificient views of the gorgeous Basilica de La Sagrada Familia.

rooftop bars

*image property of the hotel

Hotel Barceló Raval

Hotel Barceló Raval, is a modern hotel located in the District of El Raval. This district is really close to some of the most touristic places in Barcelona, such as Las Ramblas, La Boqueria and the popular Liceu theathre.

Their rooftop is the biggest 360 rooftop in Barcelona and the views are spectacular!

Rooftop Bars

In terms of food and drinks, you have a very nice tapas menu with lots of mediterranean food options!

The cocktails are great, although they seem basic in terms of diversity. The typical mojito, gin tonic and a few more.

I really recommend this rooftop bar, if you want to see a 360 view of the city!

Alright folks! this is it. I hope you have enjoyed the reading and if you did, please leave a comment below!

 

Also, I would like to recommend the best way to move around Barcelona is by E-Scooter!

Now you can do so with ECOOLTRA simply download the app for iOS and Android and enjoy 30 min free with my code: TGFJK

 

In case you haven’t read my previous post…here is a link to the most beautiful food markets in Barcelona

THE BEST FOOD MARKETS IN BARCELONA

Also, you can follow my adventures on Instagram: ACECOOLTURE

Thanks for your support!! All the best!

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– Traveling to Find Cool Cultures –

Ivan

Top 8 Food Markets in Barcelona

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There has been different Food market re-openings recently in Barcelona, and I thought it could be of interest to share with you some of the Best Food Markets in the city.

In Barcelona there are 39 food markets spread out throughout the city

First of all, allow me to say that in order to judge them, I have categorized these in 3 different aspects: Accesability, Variety and Location.

By Accesability, I mean how easy is to get there from any part of the city. Public transports or ways to access the market.

By Variety, I mean the number of outlets like fruit stands, meat stands, fish stands and ever bars where you can sit down and have a coffee.

By Location, I mean how far they are from the city center.

As you might probably know, Barcelona is known for it’s food diversity, being the first city in Spain with the most number of Restaurants per person.

The upcoming trend of healthy lifestyle, has affected the Food Markets very posivetly. There are a lot more restaurant owners buying directly at the Food Markets to guarantee a great quality and to support the local agriculture.

Well, now that your mouth might be watering and you want to discover some markets here they are:

1. Mercat De La Boqueria

La BoqueriaLa Boqueria is probably the most well known Food Market in Barcelona. This is thanks to it’s fabulous location in the center of Las Ramblas.

La Boqueria, is also known to be a perfect pit stop before you visit any other centric sites near Las Ramblas. Inside there are numerous freshly squezeed juices, fruit bowls or even a nice Jam Sandwich (Entrepa de Pernil – in Catalan).

In terms of accesability, you can get there by metro, bus or even walking distance depending on where you are.

Mercat de La Boqueria – La Rambla, 89, Barcelona

Metro: L3, Metro station Liceu

Bus: Line V13, La Boqueria

If we consider variety, El mercat de la Boqueria has the widest variety of stands in Barcelona. Specialized in very good quality, you can find almost any type of fruit, cured ham, meat or fish. Also, there are a couple of decent bars that you can taste a nice fish tapa or typical sandwich.

Location is perfect, as it stands in the middle of Las Ramblas, a must transit place for tourists!

2. Mercat de Sant Antoni

Mercat de Sant Antoni

The Sant Antoni Food Market has been refurbished recently (2018) and there has been a local re-launch this past weekend that has been very promising.

This is known to be one of the oldest food markets in Barcelona, and even you can see Barcelona’s ancient city walls from the 18th century.

Sant Antoni is the district where this market is located, a very well known district for it’s food diversity. Like the famous restaurants from Albert Adrià.

Accesability is great in Sant Antoni, given there is a free parking underneath the food market and also many public transports that leave right in front.

In terms of variety, Sant Antoni covers every single category of foods you can imagine, and now you can even find clothing shops!

Location is fantastic. The Sant Antoni district is close to el Paralel that is also a must transit place to locate good restaurants.

Mercat de Sant Antoni – C/ Compte d’Urgell, 1, Barcelona

Metro: L2 Sant Antoni

Bus: Line 41, Sant Antoni

The Sant Antoni market also has furniture sales some weekends and even book sales outside!

3. Mercat de Santa Caterina

Santa Caterina Food MarketMercat de Santa Caterina is located in Ciutat Vella. Easily spoted by the innovative design of the rooftop, that resembles the diversity of food and colours inside.

A bit more vanguardist than traditional La Boqueria, this food market is unique also for it’s diversity inside. You can enjoy a good cheese, ham or fruit juice while admiring the amazing rooftop.

In terms of Accessability, this market is great with many public transportation around as well as a giant scooter parking. However, the parkings around it are payed parkings.

Variety is enormous inside, and one of the most atractive things is the numerous bars you can have a great snack in.

Location is a bit tricky, as it stands hidden in the middle of ciutat vella, and if you don’t know the place, it seems a bit difficult to find.

El Mercat de Santa Caterina – Av. Francesc Cambó, 16, Barcelona

Metro: L4, Jaime I

Bus: Line 120, Ciutat Vella

Don’t miss this one if you want to see something in line with the city’s architecture.

4. Mercat de Sant Andreu

Mercat de Sant AndreuMercat de Sant Andreu is probably a food market that might not be the biggest one in Barcelona, but it certainly has the most relevant things in a food market. Located in the district of Sant Andreu, this market offers fresh fish, meat, fruits and even spices.

Also, there are a couple of bars closeby that offer hot chocolatte, many kinds of tea and Ice creams.

This market has suffered a lot from many economic recessions, but it has been refurbished and now it is a solid place for people in the district of Sant Andreu.

Accesability is ok, but it could use a parking nearby. Anyhow, public transports reach here easily.

Variety is also ok, as it offers the basics from a food market, but you can enjoy great icre creams or teas here also.

Location is a bit far from the city center, but public transports reach here easily and in 20 min from the center you can get there.

Mercat de Sant Andreu РPla̤a del Mercadal, 41, Barcelona

Metro: L1, Sant Andreu

Bus: Line 126, Sant Andreu

It has recently been refurbished, so if you’re in the area don’t miss it!

5. Mercat de La Concepció

Mercat de la ConcepcióMercat de la Concepció, is a traditional market mostly known for the flowers and plants stands they have. Right in the middle of the popular neighborhood L’Eixample, this unique market is an experience itself.

When the market opens, it’s like a huge warehouse opening these big doors. You access the market on ground level, but, the food stalks are underneath you. Literally, underneath you. You have to walk through a glass bottom bridge and you can see everything underneath. It’s great!

Accesability is not as other markets, given it’s in the middle of a very crowded district. But, it’s one of those places that you reach walking.

Variety is awesome if we consider every food market has the same food stalks, but this one, also has a large plant section in the back! Which makes it unique.

Location is great. In the street of Arago, it’s very easy to locate and to get there in public transport.

Mercat de la Concepció – C/ Aragó, 313, Barcelona

Metro: L4, Girona

Bus: V17 or Line 34 will leave you in front. Girona is the bus stop.

Go check those flowers and enjoy the experience of that bridge!

6. Mercat de Sants

Mercat de SantsMercat de Sants, is a typical food market located in the neighborhood of Sants with a very unique design. Inside the celings are so high that give you and amplitude and modern feeling at the same time.

Inside you will find the typical food stalls with fresh fish, meat and vegetables, but also, there are plenty of stalls with take away food. This makes it special if you want to taste local tapas like croquetes, empanadas and salads.

The accesability is pretty good if you’re walking or getting there by public transport. But, it could use a parking nearby.

The variety is decent, and you have the compliment of freshly made tapas.

The location is a bit away from the city center, but Sants is located in the biggest train station in the city, so, it’s well situated.

Mercat de Sants – C/ Sant Jordi, 6, Barcelona

Metro: L1 & L5, plaça de Sants

Bus: Line 54, Plaça de Sants

Dive into those excellent tapas!

7. Mercat de Galvany

Mercat de GalvanyMercat de Galvany is located in Sant Gervasi – Sarrià area, a populated residential district with very good surrondings. This market is unique, as the architecture differs from the other food markets. With brick walls and huge spaces inside, it’s a place to even relax during peak hours.

Inside you will find a wide assortment of Cheese, Ham and even spices and Sushi stands!

I find this place quite charming and romantic. One of those places that every town has to have to mantain the culture vivid and fresh.

In terms of accesability, the market is in a residential area that is best accesed walking. Or by bus.

Variety is well balanced with the baqsic food market things, but also, with great assortment of spices and Sushi!

Location is perfect. It is in the north part of Barcelona and there are a lot of residential homes nearby, so buses and metro reach there easily.

Mercat de Galvany – C/ Santaló, 65, Barcelona

Metro: L3, L5, Diagonal

Bus: Line D40, Diagonal

Dive in this little but stylish food market!

8. Mercat de l’Abaceria

Mercat de l'AbaceriaMercat de l’Abaceria is one of the most visual atractive food markets in Barcelona. The first thing thing that will strike you is the numerous graphitis in the metal doors outside. These graphitis have been made by local artists and give this food market a lot of personality.

If you go there in the morning, it is very entertained to watch the owners of the stalls set up everything.

Another good reason to visit this food market is the variety of things they offer. From tools, to houseware and a central fish stall with a big assortment.

In terms of accesability, this market could be better with a parking nerby, but, since it’s located in the center of the city, it seems difficult to access it, unless it’s by foot.

Variety is superb. Besides the typical food market stalls, you can find tools and home accesories.

Location is great as it is right in the center part of the city and it’s very easy to find.

Mercat de l’Abaceria – Travessera de Gràcia, 186, Barcelona

Metro: L3, Fontana

Bus: Line 22 stops right in front

This is it guys! I hope you will enjoy this food market tour! Gastronomy in Barcelona is very important and these food markets will give a good sense of our essence!

Best food markets in Barcelona

Please comment on this post if you have any questions!

 

Best tips to visit DUBROVNIK!!

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Dubrovnik
Dubrovnik

Lonely PlanetDubrovnik is full of life and adventures!! You might want to check these tips before you go there!!

My girlfriend and I went for a quick 4-day visit to Dubrovnik in July, and besides the hot temperatures, I must say, I have been surprised by this city and the people living here in a very positive way.

First, let me mention that Croatia was accepted in the European Union the 1st of July of 2013. This is really important to know and to keep in mind while in Croatia. It’s only been 4 years since they’ve entered the Euro Zone, and this means that people are still not used to talking in another currency than theirs (Kuna).

With this post I will try to tell you my experience in Dubrovnik so you can avoid running around like a chicken with no head!

1. Money Exchange

Once at the airport, you will notice a huge line of people at the Currency Exchange desk trying to exchange money. My advice here is: Don’t!

1-12646900159AZJ

The exchange rate at the airport is around 25% higher compared to the rates of any local bank in the city. We ended up at this enormous line of people paying 20€ more than the local bank we went afterwards.

The reason for this is simple, if someone tells you that you’re going to a country with not much integration with the Euro, once you’re there, you’ll want to change all your budget as quick as possible to avoid getting high quotations in Euros, Dollars, or Pounds.

In fact, it’s not a bad idea to change some money at the airport, but only the exact amount that a taxi or bus will cost you!

There are local banks open untill late afternoon that will get you a better exchange rate than at the airport. They are not hard to find!

Here is a link to the OTP Bank in case you want to check their rates.

2. Transportation

Getting around the area of Dubrovnik is quite easy, however, the information you will find on the web is mainly on Blogs. Google Maps has no public transportation coverage yet (July 2017) in Dubrovnik.

My girlfriend and I decided to stay at a town near by called Cavtat. It is a town 5km away from the airport and at 22 km from Dubrovnik.

We read on a Blog post that is was quite easy to go from the airport to Cavtat with a local bus that would cost us around 50 Kunas each – around 7€ per person – but, once at the airport, they told us the service stops at 12:00 PM. So…screw! Taxi service from the airport to Cavtat is worth 120 Kunas – 16€ –

Car rentals are a good option, but we decided to move around by bus. Local buses cover most of the area of Dubrovnik. One way trip from Cavtat to Dubrovnik is 25 Kunas each – 3,30€ – so, we decided to move around by bus and save the extra money that a motorcycle or a car rental would cost you.

Another good option if you’re in Cavtat is the ferry. It costs 100 kunas each – 13,50€ – and the return ticket from Dubrovnik or Lokrum Island is included. If you’re in Croatia during the summer, you’ll want to consider fresh option like the ferry!!

So, take the bus or the ferry!! Here is a link to a popular company that does the route: Adriana Ferries.

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3. Where to Sleep

Dubrovnik during the summer is packed! We were not too sure to do the trip for this reason, but, we decided to explore towns nearby as the adriatic coast has one of the most beautiful sea colors i’ve ever seen!!

Cavtat, is a city 22 km away from Dubrovnik that offers a nice bay area, cool swimming spots, nice sunsets and cozy apartments that you can rent at a very reasonable price.

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Cavtat harbour area

We booked via Expedia a round trip of 4 nights 5 days as it was a lot more cheaper than other usual options like AirBnb, Booking, Trivago or Kayak + Skyscanner.

Our apartments were “Nina apartments”, in the top of the hill of Cavtat. You can check them out here: Nina Apartments.

Apartments in Cavtat are between 25€ to 60€ per night depending on the time of the year you go. It is very important to book with 20 days of advance as they have no more than 4-5 rooms each and they get booked very fast during high season.

4. Where to Eat

The area of Dubrovnik and Cavtat is full of restaurants and take-away bars where you will find a big variety of options.

As many tourist destinations, you could expect to have high prices for coffee or sandwiches but, in fact, this place has very reasonable prices.

When we did a day trip to Dubrovnik, we ate at a restaurant inside the old town that was very nice. For 2 sandwiches and 2 lemonades we spent around 150 Kunas – 20€ -. If you want more fancy stuff,  there are plenty of restaurants that offer super duper menus with fresh fish or nice meat, but, we went for the low cost options this time.

Another way to eat is to buy slices of pizza or take away sandwiches at the different food stands you will find. Usually, you’ll spend between 40 to 80 kunas – 5€ to 10€ –

In case you want to check out some cheap restaurants here’s a list from TripAdvisor:

Best Cheap restaurants in Dubrovnik

5. Places of Interest

There are plenty of activites you can do in Dubrovnik and the area around it! Water sports, city tours, turquoise water beaches, Island trips and even a Cable car trip to the top of Mount Srd! I’ve selected the ones I found MUST-VISIT:

Dubrovnik city tour

Dubrovnik is a city with a lot of history, the Kingdom of Ragusa as it was known for decades offers 2 different parts: The old town and the modern part.

The old town is where you will find all these terracota rooftops so typical to see from any photos of the city. Game of Thrones chose this destination because its beautiful location and fortified walls around the old city. For us, the perfect day was to get lost inside the walls of the old town and discover cool photo spots! And the most important thing, it’s free! (unless you choose to pay a 150 kunas – 20€ – to walk on top of the walls). We obviously chose not to..

There are many monuments and places of interest you can see inside the city walls, I discovered an app right before our trip that helps you plan your route in many cities in the world: Visit a city .  Maybe many people know about this app, but I just thought it was very usefull! (not receiveing any compensation from them).

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Dubrovnik’s Harbour
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Inside the walls
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Outside the walls – swimming spot

Dubrovnik Cable Car

If you want to explore the city from above, you have the option to grab a Cable car and go to Mount Srd and enjoy the beautiful views of the Old City.  Check out the Cable car website to know their updated prices: Dubrovnik Cable Car

If you prefer the cheap option, there is also the possibility to go up Mount Srd hiking. I read a very nice review from this hike, but at this time of the year it was too hot to spend 1 and a half hour hiking uphill. Read this blog post about it: Mount Srd Hike

They say the views from up there are amazing!!

Beaches

There are a lot of beautiful beaches in Dubrovnik and the afeas around it. We went to 3 beaches recommended by the locals.

Banje Beach is located outside Dubrovnik and it is very easy to access. After exiting the city walls from the south point, you walk like 10 minutes and there are these stairs that go down the beach very well indicated.

It is a little rocks beach were you can lay your towel and you won’t feel much. You have the option to rent a hammock if you want, although the hammock zone and the free zone are separated by a bar. We disn’t see necessary renting a hammock as the sea view is the same on both sides.

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Banje Beach – Dubrovnik

Pasjaca Beach is located 40km away from Dubrovnik and it is easy to access by bus, but the return bus leaves at 18:00 and you have a 30 minute walk from the beach to the bus stop.

The spectacular about this beach is the way you access to it. There is a wodden stairway to the beach that pases through a cove next to a cliff! Yes, I know, sounds crazy but this place is unique. If you’re staying in Dubrovnik, it is worth grabbing the bus or your transport early in the morning as the beach itself is not very big and it can be challenging to find a spot!

From Cavtat, it is a bit more complicated as there aren’t many buses that go there and the return bus leaves at 13:30 to Cavtat, so, unless you have a car, the only possibility is that you leave early in the morning, return late afternoon to Dubrovnik, and grab a bus to Cavtat!

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Pasjaca Beach – Popovici

Lokrum Island

This Island is located right in front of Dubrovnik and there are plenty of fun things to do there!!

We saw Kayak tours departing from Dubrovnik, Ferry Lines and small motor boats you can rent to get to the Island. In our case we went by Ferry from Cavtat and there were ferries almost every hour, but the return time was at 17:30 the latest.

A two way ticket from Cavtat costs you 100 Kunas – 13,60€ – per person. Also, if you want, you can return to Dubrovnik instead and you will have more return options for the same price!

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Once you arrive, you see a small path with indication signs with the different places you can visit. I wasn’t able to visit all of them, so I’ll recommend 4:

The Nudist Beach

Once you start walking through the path, the second beach you find is a nudist beach. It wasn’t our preference to stay there, but we saw a spectacular view and I decided to take out the tripod and set up the camera XD
The beach itself is nothing else than a bunch of huge rocks over a cliff and to swim you have to find your way down, but it seems quite easy.

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The Dead Sea of Lokrum

The next spot we visited was what they call “The dead sea”.  A small cenote with very salty water that helps you float better (not my case, I always sink no matter what).

It is a gorgeous place. It is like a super small lake with a cove surronded by huge walls. There isn’t much space to place your towel, but the views and the water are fantastic!
Right next to this place is a small heart-shaped cove that you can take beautiful photos!
This photo shot is quite difficult to take as there is a small pond in the middle and you have to climb through the rocks to get there. Unfortunatly, my camera only has a 10 second time shot so, I asked a guy to take the shot for us!

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The Cliffs

Following through the rocks towards the sea there is a cliff with cool jumping spots!! Despite my girlfriend’s fears, I’m a big fan of jumping off cliffs. The rocks there allow you to place your towel almost anywhere. It was very fun to watch some young boys jump off before I could get an idea of what I was going to do.

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Fort Royal

On top of the Island there is a medieval Fort with excellent views of Dubrovnik and the sea around! The hike uphill will take you around 15 minutes if you start from the cliffs where the jumping spots are. By the way, the hike uphill will get you thristy, make sure you have enough water.

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6. Gear and Equipment

The beaches in Dubrovnik and surrondings are mainly made out of rocks. The water sometimes is hardly reachable unless you climb around a few rocks. Specially in Cavtat, there are many little beaches that you will lie your towel on top of a rock.

Also, bear in mind that the water is crystal clear and you’ll want to explore the bottom of the sea everytime you go to any beach. Seriously, it is beautiful!

Therefore, my recommendation in terms of what to bring if you go to Dubrovnik is the following:

  • Snorkeling gear (I bought snorkeling gogles there and that’s about it)
  • Proper water shoes to jump in the water and have rocks underneath your feet.
  • Exterior pillow where you can lie your head (I used a rolled sweater)
  • Water protection for your devices (iphone, camera…)
  • Tripod – It is hard to take steady shots with so many rocks.
  • Sun screen!

With this you’re all set to enjoy the paradise of the Adriatic Sea!!

7. Best time to Travel

I’ve read a lot of things about when to travel to Dubrovnik. After my experience in July I’m a bit confused of what to recommend.

In July, there are plenty of tourists everywhere, but, it isn’t too anoying. There are a lot of little beaches where you can find a good spot and also, if you are patient, you can take photos like if there wasn’t people around (check my Instagram feed!)

On the other hand, from June to September it’s high season! So, if you’re looking for best deals and still enjoy of good weather, my recommendation is you go begining of October.

Thanks for reading this post! If you want to see more cool pictures of our trip to Croatia,  follow us on Instagram:

@acecoolture & @lulawander

Feel free to contact me via email for questions about your trip: acecoolture@gmail.com

Spoting Ace Destinations!