Paris: ultimate travel guide

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

After my third time in Paris, I’ve decided to share some basic must go’s with you! 

Eiffel tower

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OMG , could this one be more obvious? Obviously this huge landmark has to be seen, but 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 city rather than the Eiffel Tower. So, the places I suggest you to go is literally bellow the tower, near the margins of the seine. To see it along with the beautiful french capital, don’t miss Trocadero gardens, it’s a gorgeous viewpoint.

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.  If you go up to the top, which you can do only by stairs,  you have an amazing view including the Eiffel.

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.

Price: 15€ for adults | Website here

Tuileries Garden

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Located right next to the Louvre, you’ll find the Tuilleries 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.

Price: free

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!

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 for me was the cell of Marie Antoinette.

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

Notre dame

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Another iconic and unmissable site of Paris. The church itself is huge and beautiful, wether 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 😛

Price: free |PS – there’s usually a big line to enter but it walks really fast.

Shakespeare bookstore

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

 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.

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.

Price: Free

Montmatre

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

Versailles

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As this place is out of Paris, you’ll need at least mid day to visit it, so make sure you plan it accordingly. The village itself is very beautiful and quite different from palace, but of course the main attraction is the Château  de Versailles. It’s just overwhelming how big and rich it looks. Covered in gold and showing 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 fountain show available, which is basically water “dancing” on the sound of music. It’s truly a unique show and very fun!

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 ever 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 🙂

Some of my tips to help you having a better experience in 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! Make sure you book it before as well.
  • Even tho the city is very big, it is doable to visit it by walking and, in my humble opinion, it’s the best way to do it and see how things actually are around there.
  • Food can be very expensive, so if you are on a budget follow  this tips to save some money.

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 ! 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina

 

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Disneyland Paris in one day: 6 best rides + hacks

When going to Paris, if you are a inner kid like me, Disneyland is something that you just can’t miss. People usually say you can’t see anything in one day at Disneyland, but I must disagree as I live to prove it!

I went to Paris in October and I just couldn’t skip Disneyland Paris, since I was going to be so close, so I just booked my ticket !

I pretty much got in to every attraction, and this is my top 6 :

 

      Indiana Jones Adventure

This is the craziest and funniest roller coaster I’ve ever been to! The decoration is insane, 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!

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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!

 

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 !

Big Thunder Mountain

This one is lighter than the ones I mentioned before, but it’s still worth to try. 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.

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It’s a small world

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 !

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Pirates of the Caribbean

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!

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Disneyland is definitely doable in one day, and to make the most out of it here’s a few  hacks I used and actually worked:
  1. Choose 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 – 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!

And you, have you visited Disneyland? What’s your favorite ride?

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

Lisbon Travel Guide: TOP 6 Parks & Gardens

Hi guys!

Parks are always one of my favorite things to visit in other cities, and Lisbon has a lot of amazing parks worth to take a look at – some more forest-like, some more exotic… but they are plenty, so here’s my advise on that 🙂

 

Eduard VII Park & Amália Rodrigues Garden

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Edward VII Park is located in Marquês de Pombal (can’t miss the huge green area near the roundabout)  and it has a beautiful view through Avenida da Liberdade and Tagus River. Amália Rodriges Garden is located right behind with a nice fountain.

Location – Marquês de Pombal or S. Sebastião | Price: Free

 

Monsanto Forest Park

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Monsanto is a huge forest park a bit far from the city center. It has so much to explore that you can get lost inside (literally: it happened to me), great viewpoints, like Alfredo Keil where you get a view of the river, but my favorite is “panorâmico” de Monsanto. This place was a fancy restaurant that was abandoned after it  went bankrupt, so even though it is state’s propriety and it’s not really legal to enter, it has such fascinating view that everyone goes there – WORTH.IT.

Location – Monsanto  | Price: Free

 

Campo Grande Garden

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This garden was recently renovated so it is a very nice place to hang out – a McDonald’s inside, a little lake where you can go on a boat and sometimes they held Outjazz in there, which is a free music festival happening in the evening.

Location – Campo Grande | Price: Free

 

Calouste Gulbenkien Foundation Gardens

 

 

This was one of the first places that made me fell in love with Lisbon. Gulbenkien is an amazing foundation with  a museum that often has great exhibits,  but the best part , in my opinion, are the gardens. It’s close to a busy street but, as you come in, it’s like you immediately left the city and entered in a different dimension, since it is so different from the common gardens: it has lakes, fountains, plants, animals and it is just relaxing to walk around there. There’s also an auditorium outside where you can sit and just read a good book .

Location – S. Sebastião| Price: Free

 

Tropical Botanic Garden

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With all the fuzz going on in Belém with the monuments and pastéis , this place goes a little unnoticed by tourists – but it is something special. It has a few temples and tropical plants, so it is actually a pretty cool place to go.

Location – Belém | Price: 2€

 

 Quinta da regaleira

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I’ve told you about it on the post  about Sintra , but I will tell you again because I can’t say it enough times. This garden is freaking amazing and I cannot get tired of it. It is located in Sintra, but usually tourists tend to choose Pena Palace instead of this amazing place. Well I tell you : do go ! This is such a beautiful place, filled with secrets and beauty!

Location – Sintra center| Price: 6€

My personal favorite park is of course Regaleira, even though is not exactly in Lisbon.

 

Let me know everything! Have you visited any of this? Which one is your favorite? Which one would you rather visit? 

All the photos are mine, if you wanna check what I’m up to follow me on Instagram 🙂

 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina

Travel Hacks: 7 ways to save money on flights

Hey everyone!

If you are traveling on a low budget, like I do, there’s a few hacks you can use in order to save some money. I already shared with you how I save money on food here, but there are also a few ways to save money on the flights, so this second post for the travel hacks series will be focused on helping you out with that

 

1. Choose the right timings  – Try not to travel during high season, like summer or holiday breaks, when most of people travel, because everything is super expensive and crowded. Also, if you buy it on the “ideal time”  which according to experts is 6 weeks before the flight, on Tuesday at 3 am , you’ll have the lowest fare.

 

2.  Use incognito mode (ctrl + shift + n) – Considering that websites save your search history, they  realize you are interested in buying, so the more you look the higher the prices.

3. Use skyscanner  – this is a really good website, user-friendly and with great prices

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4. Research for each trip separately – If you are going to just one place, sometimes the matches done by the websites aren’t always the cheapest, so look for each trip at once and make your own combo depending on your preferred schedules and prices.

5. Look for alternative transportation – Even though airplane is the fastest option, usually  trains and bus can get really cheap,  specially if in Europe, so make sure you check all your options. GoEuro is a nice website to compare all the options.

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6. Check out if the airport is close to the center –  Do your maths. Is is worthy to buy a cheap plane ticket and spend a lot of money on a transfer to the hotel? Or is it better to buy a more expensive plane ticket to the closest airport to the city. Don’t forget that you will probably have to pay for transfer for the city center, and sometimes it’s even more expensive.

 

7. Make sure your lugagge is according to the travel company’s allowed size and avoid to pay an extra fee. And you are thinking “how the hell am I supposed to fit my close into those tiny bags?!” the answer will come on a new blog post really soon, so stay tuned!

 

This are the hacks I use to spend the minimum on my flights , do you use any of these? Do you know any other tricks? Do share them with me please 🙂 

 

 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina