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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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

11 things to do in Évora – One day trip

Hey there! Long time no see huh? I am back!!!

This time I’m writting about Évora, one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. Évora is a very special place for me, since I have family there, which means: I went there many times and I absolutely love it!

So if you’re spending a few days in Lisbon you can easily take a train and you’ll be there in 1h30 hours for about 10€ (one way).

This amazing city is located in Alentejo region, have you heard of it? Alentejo is this perfect countryside region where you can rest peacefully, try some great wine and marvelous food. Évora is a part of it, and it has many things to visit for itself, but as it is quite small, it’s  easy to see in a day. To simplify it for you, here are my 10 favorite things to do when visiting Évora in a short period of time. Continue reading “11 things to do in Évora – One day trip”

24h in Munich: 8 things to do

Hi guys!

I visited Munich with a few friends while I was doing exchange,  in literally 24h – I know it seems impossible, but it was the amount of time we had, so we decided do take a chance. Despite it was a very short stay, I feel like it was plenty of  time to get the essence of the city and I actually really enjoyed the trip!  Better safe than sorry, am I right? 🙂

So here’s my advice of 10 things to do while staying in Munich for 24 hours! 

  1. Start out in Marienplatz

This is the main square of the city, so it only makes sense you start your visit by seeing it. Its amazing architecture, people walking around and its life are what makes it so special. In my opinion, it just makes you stop and stare into this magical square. I was lucky enough to visit while there was a festival due to a public holiday, so I was able to have a beer and a wurst there and see the typical bavarian costumes! How cool is that? 🙂

 

 

2. Have a beer at the Biergarten

This one is so obvious right?! German beer is famous for a reason –  because it’s freaking delicious! And having it on its “natural habitat” is a great experience! I loved the taste and thickness, but I found specially funny the way  they throw the beer from one side of the table to another, so naturally… I wouldn’t try this at home ! 😀

 

3. Eat a wurst

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Another obvious thing to do! The germans are specialists in what it comes to sausages, so what else would you eat in Germany?

They have a lot of types of wurst, but the best one (the one they advise you to eat) is the currywurst. It was quite spicy, which is not really my thing, so I had the normal one, and it was delishhhh!

 

 

 

4. Walk under the Kalstor Gate

It used to serve to defend the city, they were remodelled and now it divides the city center from the suburbs. It is definetly a really interesting thing to see and to pass by.

 

5. Walk around Hofgarten

This is a beautiful garden to spend a few hours during spring. It is very well treated, full of flowers and with a beautiful fountain and you can also see a few people, wether couples walking around or people passing by. Either way, it’s definetly worth the look. I don’t know if it happens often, but I got lucky again and saw a few people dancing tango inside the bandstand,  which was truly wonderful.

 

 

6. Odeonplatz

Another amazing square in the city that sometimes has held a small market.

 

7. Visit Dachau Concentration Camp

This was the first Nazi concentration camp, and it was the most impressive thing I ever saw in my life. The camp just brings you back to all the brutal things that used to happen there – it shows perfectly what a terrible time it was and how horribly people were treated. Since the “beds” that used to be packed with people, the bathrooms that had horrible conditions and the gas chambers… Just terribly sad, there are no other words to describe it. It is sad to see this didn’t happen that long ago, and that people were actually treated so horribly. Despite this was a horrible part of history, I advise anyone to go, as it makes you think and understand what happened.

 

 

8. Viktuallienmarkt 

Of course, I would have to name a market in the city, which is probably my favorite thing to visit. This one is a typical farmer’s market, it has nothing different but is quite european and interesting, so if you have time check it out.

What about you? Have you ever visited Munich? Tell me all about it ! 

 

Lots of Love, 

Catarina

Vienna Bucket List: 11 things to do

Hello there!

While I was an exchange student  in a village of Lower Austria,  I got the chance to visit Vienna a few times. This city has many sides and a lot to offer! It is  beautiful, with breathtaking buildings, filled with music, art and people from all over the world. It is definitely something special. So here’s a short travel guide to visit some basic monuments and some different places in the capital of Austria.

1. Visit Schonbrunn Palace and Gloriette

This one is definitely my favorite monument in Vienna. It is known for being Princess Sissi’s Palace and it is just glorious! The tour inside the palace is payed – you should definitely check it out, if you have the chance – but you can visit the gardens for free, they are beautiful and there is a great viewpoint from the gloriette.

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2. Take a picture of Rathaus

This is one of the most imposing and tall buildings in Vienna, it is quite beautiful on its own but you can also go up and have an amazing view over the city.

3. Comtemplate St. Sephen’s Cathedral

This famous cathedral is a gothic landmark of Vienna. If you go to the top, you can see the whole city, specificaly Stephansplatz, which name obviously comes from the cathedral,

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4. Get lost in Freud Museum

Don’t miss the chance to visit Freud’s former office, to see all the old objects and to learn a bit about his life and work.

5. Check out the Naschmarkt 

This is one of the most amazing markets I’ve visited, it is quite big and it has a big variety of stores and tents, from souvenirs to pubs, restaurants, spice shops, etc. It is a great spot to have lunch or just enjoy a glass of vino verde or kaiserspritzer, two typical beverages from Austria. This one is definitely worth a look.

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6. Grab a bite Museumquartier

This city has a lot of interesting museums all around, but this area in particular is a must visit, even if you aren’t going to any museum. This is a perfect place to grab something to eat and chill out in the sun. If you do like museums, you shouldn’t miss the natural history museum or MUMOK, if you are into art.

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7. Walk around in  Stadtpark

who doesn’t love parks? This is a beautiful park to take a walk, wether is sunny or not. Here you will find fountains, statues and a nice statue.

 

8. Have fun in the Prater

Prater is a great theme park that has the oldest big wheels in the world. Tbe entrance is free, you only pay for the rides you go on,  so you can j just walk around or go in some rides. If it’s spring or summer don’t miss the water rides, they’re super fun!.

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9. Enjoy a concert in the Vienna State Opera House

A great part of Vienna’s culture is music, so if you like opera or classical music don’t miss the chance to see a live show.

 

10. Eat an Apfelstrudel in a Coffeehouse

When in Vienna be Vienese ! This is the most classic austrian thing to do. Go to those old coffee houses and have that delicious apple pie and a cappucino, it feels great specially during the winter.

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11. Pay tribute to old musicians in Wiener Zentralfriedhof

I know this may sound creepy but this is the cemitery where a lot of famous musicians are buried (e.g. Beethoven and Brahms). It is weirdly nice and interesting.

 

This are the things I found most interesting in Vienna, but of course, this city has a lot more you can see and do to such as Belvedere, Rigstrasse or Hofburg. Besides that, do not miss the chance to eat some austrian goodies like schintzel, kaiserschmarrn or goulash! Hope this post was helpful 🙂

 

Lots of Love,

Catarina

Continue reading “Vienna Bucket List: 11 things to do”