Visiting Hamburg: One day travel guide

Hello fellow travelers!

I originally went to Hamburg kind of unintended because the flight was way cheaper than to my original destination: Berlin. So, I  decided to make the most out of this stop  and see it!

Since my flight arrived to the city pretty late I stayed for the night and then explored for the next day – until my evening bus to Berlin.

Due to the limited amount of time, and in order to see as much as possible, we took a Free Walking Tour (more info about this concept here) , which is definitely the best way to get to know a new city – then moved on to other things I wanted to see.

Based on my tiny one day experience, here are the route I did in Hamburg and advise you to do:

 

Rathaus

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The city hall is located in the center of the city, on Rathausmarkt square, and it it was reconstructed after the great fire of Hamburg. It was also where our tour started.

 

Chilehaus

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This building is famous for being shaped as a ship’s prow,  it was designed by Hoger and now it is filled with offices.  Do check the inner courtyard, it’s really different than the regular buildings.

 

Deichstrasse

Deichstrasse

Coming to this street immediately made me think of  Amsterdam or Copenhagen. It’s one of the oldest streets in the district, even tho the majority of the buildings was restored after the fire.

 

St. Nikolai Church

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These are the remains of the church bombed on the world war II . One of the most impressive things I’ve ever seen. They also have a pretty interesting museum close by worth to take a look.

 

Speicherstadt 

Speicherstadt

The neighborhood of warehouses is a total must see and I think I can risk saying one of the most taken photos in the city!

 

Elbphilharmonie and the view to Landungsbrucken

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This stunning building is one of the best concert halls in the world, its acoustic is unique and so is its design! According to our guide, it took way more time to be built than it was originally planned and it’s was absurdly expensive , so they made the entrance free to the visitors.

On the top you get the most beautiful view to Landungsbrucken port.

Tip: the tickets are free if you get them at the venue, there’s a big line but it’s relatively fast.

Stadtpark

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If you’ve read my posts, you know I’m a sucker for parks, so obviously I had to come here and take a walk around. This park is huge and the snow  on the floor made it even more beautiful . Don’t miss the planetarium!

 

Where to stay: A&O hostels

Since I arrived pretty late to the hostel, I just spend the night and left the hotel in the morning, but it was pretty good. Clean, confy and cheap – everything one wants! Totally recommend!

Where to eat: Gasthaus Heimathafen 

I literally found this place by miracle! After leaving the Elbphilharmonie, I was starving and bumped into this place near the metro station. I tried the burger which it was really good, the staff was super cool and it was relatively cheap! Totally recommend!

 

Unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to see everything I wanted, so I’ll definitely be back one day to explore the city a bit better. So, if you have time, I recommend you going as well to: Planten un Blomen and to the Soviet Submarine. 

 

Don’t forget to follow me on my instagram to see what I’m up to! I post lots of throwbacks on my trips and Portugal related content.

 

Happy Travels,

Catarina

Madrid in 2 days: Ultimate Travel Guide

I’ve had the chance to go to Madrid a few times now and I would say it’s a pretty cool city to visit. People are nice, the food is great and there are plenty amazing things to explore.

The three times I’ve been there, I was in Madrid for 2 days and, unless you want to visit museums, it’s a reasonable amount of time to check all the “must-go” properly and still enjoy some “chill” time.

 

Wander through Plaza mayor

Plaza mayor during NYE

This square is the center of Madrid and it’s definitely a pretty sight.

However,  I was there in New Years eve (aka super crowded), so this was only photo I could take.  It was built under the Philip III – who is represented  in the statue in the center – reign and it’s super close to Puerta del Sol, another super famous site in Madrid.

 

Pass by Puerta del Sol

Puerta del Sol - photo in mywowo.com
Puerta del Sol – photo in mywowo.com

This square is the “center of Madrid”! Always crowded with people running around, it is one of the most famous landmarks of the city.

 

Explore Parque del Retiro

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El Retiro – Cristal Palace

My absolute favorite place in Madrid. Retiro is a huge park with a lot to explore! Unfortunately, it was under construction, when I visited.

There’s plenty you can’t miss, inside: The mesmerizing Crystal house, in which you can get into; the impressive Monument in honor to Afonso XII, fountains, statues and much more!

 

Taste typical food at Mercado de San Miguel

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Mercado San Miguel

Not only is this market super cool to take photos but you also get the chance to taste some typical food in here! From tapas, desserts and sausages, this is a true food heaven for the madrileños.

 

Admire Debod Temple

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Temple of Debod

This magnificent temple was brought all the way from Egypt, stone by stone, and rebuilt in Madrid. It’s, obviously, different from everything in Madrid and totally worth to stop by and admire it!

Discover the Royal Palace

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Royal Palace – View from the gardens

Don’t miss the chance to see what once was the home for the royal family! This place has incredible history and it’s worth for you to at least see it from the outside! Its gardens are beautiful as well. Find the Almodena Cathedral right in front of  the palace

 

Pass under Puerta de Alcalá

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Puerta de Alcalá | Photo by @tania_fernandez

This gate passes a certain vibe of Arc du Thriumph, right?  Ordered by Carlos III, it was built by Sabatini to refurbish the city and it’s now one of the most remarkable monuments in the city. It’s really close to Park del Retiro.

 

Try the typical tapas

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Cidreria El Tigre

You know what I think about food! You don’t know a country’s culture if you don’t try the food! To try the tapas, I totally recommend you “Cidreria el tigre”, a local restaurant in which you can find spanish people drinking by the end of the day.  You order the drink an they give you tapas. A pint is around 6€ and you get lots of food, as you order some drinks.

 

Accomodation

If you’re wondering where to stay, I would recommend airbnb for sure! There’s lot of apartments in Madrid, and they’re usually cheaper (and better) than the typical hostel/hotel.

If you’re booking for the first time you can use my code here for 35€ credit!

 

Transportation

All the monuments are in a pretty walkable distance, however if you’re feeling lazy or short on time, I would recommend the subway. It’s pretty effective and it gets everywhere !

 

This is pretty much what I gotta say about Madrid, but probably there’s much more! Is there any tip you would like to share?

Don't forget to follow me on Instagram to see what I'm up to! 

 

Happy travels, 

Catarina

Paris: Ultimate travel guide

The dream trip of many, Paris is one of the most visited cities ever! It’s a cliché for sure, but any given traveler should go there at least once. It’s a big city with much to see, so it should be carefully planned to make the trip worth it! One thing that I do promise is: this city is an open sky museum!

Sendo a viagem de sonho de muita gente, Paris é uma das cidades mais visitadas de sempre! É cliché? Claro, mas um viajante que se preze tem de ir pelo menos uma vez! É uma cidade grande com muito (mesmo muito!) para ver, portanto requer uma rota bem planeada para quem queira aproveitá-la da melhor maneira!

Posso prometer uma coisa: Esta cidade é, sem dúvida, um museu a céu aberto!

Eiffel tower

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Obvious. But, this huge landmark has to be seen. The questions here are: where from? And is it worth to go up the tower?

Well, going up is a unique experience for sure! BUT, in my opinion there’s way better (and free!) views of the whole city – including of the actual tower on it. So, the places I suggest you to go is literally bellow the tower, near the margins of the Seine – see it along with the beautiful french capital – and don’t miss Trocadero gardens, it’s a gorgeous viewpoint.

Óbvio. Mas claro que este monumento tem de ser visto! As questões são: De onde? E, vale a pena subir à torre?

Bom, é sem dúvida, uma experiência única. Mas, na minha opinião, não há vista melhor (e mais barata!) que as vistas de toda a cidade, incluido a torre nela. Sugiro, por isso, ir junto à torre, nas margens do Sena e vê-la dos Jardins Trocadero, é uma vista magnífica!

Price : 16 € for adults | Website here

Arc du Triomphe

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To be honest, my first impression of this so called monument was “what a big ass roundabout” . It’s a mess that only the french could deal with! Many cars, many people but you gotta give it to the greatness of the building! It honors the ones who died fighting in the french revolution and it’s located near the Champs Elysées, which you should also check out. If you go up to the top, which you can do only by stairs, you have an amazing view including the Eiffel tower.

Para ser honesta, a minha primeira impressão deste monumento foi “esta rotunda é grande como o caraças!”, é uma confusão que só os fraceses conseguem lidar: muita gente, muitos carros e mais faixas do que pude contar mas tenho de admitir que o edifício é de facto incrível! Foi construído em honra das vitimas da revolução francesa e fica ao pé dos famosos Champs Elysées (que também deviam espreitar!). No topo das escadas, encontram uma das que dizem ser das melhores vistas de Paris.

Price: 12 € for adults | Website here

Louvre

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The Louvre is an incredible and huge museum (I don’t think this word even starts to describe it). Interesting fact: If you would take 1 minute per piece and spend there 8 hours per day, it would take you 75 days to see it all. So yeah, it’s pretty big!

But, if you’re an art lover, you should definitely go inside and spend your day admiring the many pieces included there.

Just in case you don’t know: the famous Mona Lisa is in there, but don’t be disappointed by the small size of it!

If you don’t have much time to spare here or if you’re simply not a big fan of art, I still advise you take a look at the outside as those stunning pyramids which modern design fits perfectly in the building.

O Louvre é um museu incrível e enorme (não consigo sequer começar a descrevê-lo!). Facto interessante: Se levarem 1 minuto por peça e passar lá 8 horas por dias, demoraria 75 dias para ver tudo. Pois, é grandote!

No entanto, para amantes de arte vale muito a pena passar o dia a admirar arte de um dos países mais afamados por ela, incluindo a Mona Lisa (spoiler: é um quadro muito pequeno!).

Se não tiveres muito tempo a perder ou simplesmente não és muito fã de arte, aconselho na mesma a passar lá e ver as maravilhosas pirâmides de vidro, que curiosamente combinam na perfeição com a arquitectura mais antiga do edifício.

Price: 15€ for adults | Website here

Tuileries Garden

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Located right next to the Louvre, you’ll find the Tuileries Garden! It’s a public park used by locals and visitors to relax. So it’s the perfect spot for you to sit near a fountain and have a warm coffee while you chill and admire nature.

Localizado ao lado do Louvre, está o jardim das Tuileries. É um parque público frequentado por locais e visitantes para relaxar, é o local perfeito para apreciar a natureza no meio da cidade, enquanto se bebe um café.

Saint-Chapelle

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I’m totally not the person that will visit all the churches, when traveling, but this one… oh man! It’s the most beautiful I’ve ever seen! Its inside has amazing color stained glasses and the effect of the lightning on it makes it something you see once in a lifetime. It’s just mind-blowing and so worth it!

Não sou de todo uma pessoa de percorrer tudo o que é igreja, quando viajo, mas esta… oh meu Deus. É a mais bonita que já vi na minha vida. Os maravilhosos vitrais coloridos, desenhados à mão fazem um efeito fantástico com a luz, e é sem dúvida algo que se vê uma vez na vida. Vale MUITO a pena.

Conciergerie

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I ended up coming to this place because of the deal with saint Chappelle, but this old prison was a total surprise for me! It was part of the royal palace, which had also the Saint Chapelle and Palais de Justice. The building is very well kept and all the signs were very informative, but the most interesting part was the cell of Marie Antoinette.

Vim parar à Conciergerie devido ao bilhete conjunto com a St. Chapelle, mas esta antiga prisão foi uma surpresa! Era parte do palácio real, que tinha também a capela e o Palácio da Justiça. O edifício está muito bem conservado e toda a exposição é informativa. E mais interessante: está lá a cela de Marie Antoinette!

Price (Saint Chapelle + Concergerie) : 15€ for adults | Website here

Notre dame

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Another iconic and unmissable site of Paris. The cathedral itself is huge and beautiful, outside or inside. The entrance is free , so don’t miss the chance to check it out! And of course, don’t forget to pay a visit to Quasimodo.

Outro icónico e inperdível monumento em Paris é, claro, Notre Dame. A catedral é imponente e lindissima, quer por dentro como por fora. A entrada é gratuita, portanto não há desculpa para não fazer uma visita ao Quasimodo!

Shakespeare bookstore

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This one goes for the book lovers out there! I just loved getting lost in this adorable quirky book store. It has existed for almost a century, it has seen a lot of people to pass by, you can just see that those walls have a lot of stories to tell. Literally. Definitely worth to stop by.

Esta recomendação é especial para os book lovers! Existindo há mais de um século, esta livraria é sem dúvida peculiar e está literalmente cheia de histórias escritas nas paredes! Definitivamente que vale a pena espreitar!

Pont des Arts

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This was the original bridge where love promises were made through lockers. A few years and lockers later, the lockers were removed due to the weight they made on the bridge. However, any bridge over the Seine is beautiful and in any of it you can find love lockers, after all you’re in Paris, the city of love.

Esta é a ponte onde imensas promessas de amor foram feitas. Uns anos (e cadeados) depois, todos os cadeados foram removidos por causarem o risco de caída da ponte. No entanto, qualquer ponte é bonita e tem cadeados – por mais escondidos que estejam- afinal, esta é a cidade do amor!

Sacre Coeur

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This church is located in one of the highest points of Paris: Montmatre. This means that you’ll have to take a lot of stairs but it also means that you’ll have a great view. And indeed, it was worth it! The view over the city is just stunning as it’s the church.

Esta igreja está localizada num dos mais altos pontos de Paris: Montmatre. Significa isto que são precisas muitas escadas para lá chegar mas também que a vista é incrível. E valeu definitivamente a pena!

Montmatre

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This neighborhood is one of the most typical and known from Paris. It’s narrow streets, cute houses and little stores are very worth to see.

Monmatre é dos mais conhecidos e típicos bairros parisienses. É particularmente famoso pelas ruas estreitas, casinhas bonitas e lojas pitorescas que valem muito a pena ver!

Versailles

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Since this place is out of Paris, you’ll need at least half day to visit it, so make sure you plan it accordingly. The village itself is very beautiful and quite different from Paris, but of course the main attraction is the Château de Versailles. It’s just overwhelming how big and rich it looks, all covered in gold – you can totally see the wealthiness of Louis XIV’s time. The gardens are payed separately but they’re really worth to visit as well. Not only they are extremely beautiful, but there’s a musical fountain show available, which is basically water “dancing” on the sound of music. It’s truly a unique show and very fun!

Tendo em conta este local é fora de Paris, é necessário pelo menos meio dia para o visitar. A vila é muito bonita e bastante diferente de Paris, mas claro que a atração principal é o Palácio de Versailles. É simplesmente enorme, coberto de ouro e mostrando a riqueza do tempo de Luís XIV. Os jardins pagam-se em separado mas valem muito a pena visita. Não só são extremamento bonitos mas incluem também um espectáculo de fontes musicais , que consiste basicamente em água a dançar ao som de música, é um espetáculo verdaderamente único.

Price: 16 € for adults | Website here

Disneyland

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Of course I had to mention Disneyland! I mean, I’m the biggest Disney lover, so for me it’s unthinkable to go to Paris and not go to this magical world. But for that I have this whole different article here. Check it out 🙂

Claro que tinha de mencionar a Disneyland! Quer dizer, sou uma grande fã disney portanto é impensável para mim ir a Paris e não ir a este mundo mágico. Mas isso dá todo um artigo, que podem encontrar aqui.

Some of my tips to help you having a better experience in Paris:| Algumas dicas para ter uma melhor experiência em Paris

Paris is one of the most visited cities of the world, so no matter when you go it will be FULL of tourists and the lines will be huge. So, make sure you booked every entrance in advance. In the majority of monuments, people bellow 25 don’t pay BUT you have to book!

Paris é uma das cidades mais visitadas do mundo, portanto não interessa onde vás, vai estar CHEIO de turistas e as filas vão ser enormes, portanto: compra todos os bilhetes com antecedência e online. Na maioria dos monumentos em Paris, os menores de 25 não pagam mas têm de reservar na mesma.

Even though the city is very big, it is doable to visit it by walking and, in my opinion, it’s the best way to do it and see how things actually are around there.

Ainda que a cidade seja muito grande, dá para visitar a andar a pé e até é a melhor forma de o fazer, pois dá para ter uma melhor percepção do que realmente se passa na cidade.

Food can be very expensive, so if you are on a budget follow this tips to save some money.

A comida pode ser cara (e não valer o preço), portanto se quiserem poupar na comida, vejam neste artigo como o fazer.

Have you visited Paris? Is there any place I’m missing? Let me know everything! Don’t forget to follow me on Facebook and Instagram to check out what I’m up to !

E tu, já visitaste Paris? Há algum local que aches essencial e não esteja aqui? Conta-me tudo! E não te esqueças de me seguir no Facebook e no Instagram para ver onde ando!

Happy Travels,

Catarina

Disneyland Paris in one day: 6 best rides & hacks

When going to Paris, Disneyland is something that you just can’t miss, specially if you have Peter Pan sydrome like me! People usually say you can barely see anything in just one day at Disneyland, but I must disagree and I live to prove it! I pretty much got in to every attraction, but this is my top 6 (without a specific order):

Quando se vai a Paris, a Disneyland é algo que simplesmente não podem perder, especialmente se têm síndrome do Peter Pan como eu! As pessoas geralmente dizem que não se vê quase nada num só dia, mas devo discordar e eu sou a prova viva: andei em quase tudo mas este é o meu top 6 (sem ordem específica):

 

      Indiana Jones Adventure

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This is the craziest and funniest roller coaster I’ve ever been to! The decoration is awesome, it really seems you got into an Indiana Jones movie and the ride itself it’s insane! It has a loop in the middle and it’s super fast – totally worth it!

Esta é das atrações mais loucas e divertidas que eu já andei! A decoração é íncrível, sem dúvida que parece que entramos no filme e a montanha-russa em si é de loucos! Tem um loop no meio e é mega rápida. Vale a pena irem a correr assim que chegarem para não apanharem fila, porque acreditem vão querer repetir!

 

Star Wars Hyperspace Mountain

This one is so much fun that I did it two times in a row! You basically ride in a cart at the speed of light, as you were inside a spaceship and part of a galactic battle! It’s always all dark so you almost don’t know what’s happening – so cool!

Diverti-me tanto nesta, que fui duas vezes seguidas! Basicamente consiste em andar num carrinho à “velocidade da luz”, como se estivessem dentro de uma nave espacial e fossem parte de uma batalha intergalática! Está sempre super escuro, portanto quase não se percebo o que está a acontecer – brutal! 

 

New Star Tours – the adventure continues

This attraction is a simulator that tells a story (which I’m obviously not gonna spoil for you), like you were part of it – it’s very good because it all seems real !

Esta atração consiste num simulador que conta uma história – que obviamente não vou contar para não dar spoil – como se fossem parte da história. É muito bom e parece totalmente real! 

Big Thunder Mountain

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This one is lighter than the ones I mentioned before, but it’s still worth to try. It’s a train that goes through an “old mine”, it passes through the water and it has a nice view, in the middle of the fun. The ride is short for the line it has though.

Esta é um pouco mais soft do que as que falei antes, mas continua a valer a pena. É um comboio que vai por uma “antiga mina” , passa por água e tem uma vista bonita com muita diversão à mistura. No entanto, o tempo é curto para a longa fila que tem.

 

It’s a small world

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This is a must for us travelers! You basically go on a boat and pass through  a representation of every country on this journey while listening to an adorable song. Very fun !

Para amantes de viagens, o Small World é essencial! Vai-se num barquinho e passa-se por uma representação de todos os paíes no mundo, enquanto se ouve uma canção adorável! 

Pirates of the Caribbean

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I don’t know about you but I just love all about this movies! On this ride you walk into a journey like you were Jack Sparrow! I was hopping for something scary, but it’s not at all, it’s a trip around Pirates of the Caribbean world totally work taking!

Não sei de vocês, mas eu adoro tudo o que é Piratas das Caraíbas! Esta montanha russa leva-vos por uma jornada como se fossem o Jack Sparrow! Estava à espera de algo assustador mas não foi de todo! É no fundo uma viagem à volta deste mundo mágico dos piratas das caraíbas que vale totalmente a pena fazer !

 

Disneyland is definitely doable in one day, and to make the most out of it here’s a few  hacks I recommend:
  1. Don’t be too  ambitious, go only to one park: it’s sad but it’s true! It’s already hard to see Disneyland Park in one day, imagine the both of them… Don’t book the ticket to both parks in one day, it’s literally mission impossible to see everything.
  2. Play smart with the timings: go during the week, otherwise is going to be packed and get there really early.
  3. Go to your favorite attractions first – the ones you wanna try are probably the ones that will be crowded during the day, so run your ass to those and start the day with the best ones!
  4. Use your map wisely – don’t run from one side to the park to the other,  make sure you saw everything in one side and then move to another
  5. Take your own food – obviously everything there is crazy expensive, but also another thing I noticed is they have lousy service in the restaurants and it’s freaking slow! So bring your own food, not only you’ll save money but you’ll save time and I bet the food will be way better!
  6. Don’t miss the final fireworks show – The show is at 8 PM and it’s a must for Disney lovers, since it’s not only firework it’s a whole show full of songs we all love!

 

A Disneyland é definitivamente fazível num dia, e para aproveitar o máximo possível há alguns truques que recomendo: 
  1. Não sejas demasiado ambicioso, vai só a um parque: é triste mas é verdade! Já é difícil ir à Disney num dia, imaginem a dois parques só num – é missão impossível! 
  2. Joga com o tempo de forma inteligente:   vai durante a semana (senão vai estar cheio!) e chega lá bem cedo! 
  3. Vai às tuas atrações preferidas primeiro: é provável que aquelas que queres mesmo experimentar sejam as que vão estar ao barrote durante o dia, portanto  assim que chegares vai logo para lá e começa com as melhores!  
  4. Usa o mapa:  Não percas tempo a correr de uma ponta do parque para a outra, garante que vês tudo o que queres ver naquela zona, antes de mudares.
  5. Leva a tua comida:  Claro que tudo lá é caríssimo, mas algo que notei é que o serviço de todos os restaurantes que vi é péssimo e muito lento! Portanto, não só poupas dinheiro e tempo, mas provavelmente ficas também mais bem servido! 
  6. Não percas o espetáculo de fogo de artifício: O espetáculo é antes de fechar (8 PM)  e é um MUST para amantes deste mundo Disney! Todo um show de luzes, fogo de artifício e a melhor parte: MÚSICA que todos adoramos! 

 

I hope my tips are useful to you! And you, have you visited Disneyland? What’s your favorite ride? 

Espero que as minhas dicas sejam úteis! E vocês, já visitaram a Disneyland? Qual foi a vossa atração preferida?

Pop Cereal Cafe – Heaven for Cereal lovers

Cereal has been my major comfort food since I was a kid! I love it in rainy days, on lazy weekends or when I don’t want to make dinner! Everybody knows that cereal are for children but if you love it and you ain’t ashamed – JOIN THE TEAM !

So, as a huge cereal lover,  as soon as I heard about Pop Cereal Cafe in Lisbon I immediately I had to go and try it out.

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The whole concept of this place basically appeals you to chill out with your friends while you eat cereal ! Not only it has  delicious combinations of cereal bowls, including some that no longer exist or that never came to my country, but also totally indulging  milkshakes. Sounds good, huh?

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Starting with the space, I found it super creative and well laid out. It suits perfectly with the concept of the business – it’s super colorful, with cereal boxes everywhere, old TV’s and pop theme decor, so it totally brought me back to the 90’s – insanely cool!

The staff was super nice and thoughtful, they always help you out and advise you on what to choose – which is pretty hard to do , believe me.

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They have a wide range of products – from super chocolaty bowls, mint and chocolate, fruity, with ice-cream… you name it! You can either choose from the menu or do your own There is a huge amount of cereal to choose from, different types of milk and even yogurt.  Just makes me want to try it all!

As huge fan of mint chocolate, I couldn’t resist choosing an after eight cereal bowl – with mint M&M’s and mint milk – which was absolutely delicious! An explosion of flavors, different than everything I’ve ever tried.

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This ended up being an unique and delicious experience that I look forward to repeat, because that is still so much left to try ! So if you’re visiting or living in Lisbon, you can’t miss it !

Adress: Rua do Norte No 64 – Bairro Alto, Lisbon

 

Have you tried a similar concept ? Which kind of bowl would you like to try?

Click here to follow me on instagram and see what I’m up to ! 

 

Lots of Love,

Catarina