Madrid, La ciudad que nunca duerme

Madrid is indeed the city that never sleeps; it is vibrant and always alive! This was my first time in Madrid and only two days to explore the city in and out, which was quite a challenge because Madrid has so much to offer. We made it but with a bit of organisation and research in advance.

Parque del retiro 

Parque del retiro 

Plaza Mayor 

Plaza Mayor 

I’ll share with you the must see places, my favorite spots and some fun facts to take with you into consideration when visiting this beautiful Spanish Capital.

What to see?

Madrid is charming, with so many corners to explore and beautiful architecture to appreciate combining the medieval and contemporary. Wander around plaza Mayor or plaza de la cibeles, enjoy the sunshine in Parque del retiro, and make sure to enjoy the many cathedrals, churches and monuments. Try to avoid the main avenues and street, and keep walking in the hidden ones, if you want to experience the real charm.

What to do?

tartan roof
tartan roof
  • Rooftops: There are so many rooftops in Madrid, offering food or just drinks while enjoying the beautiful view. The rooftops might not be as high as the ones in Manhattan but that doesn’t make them less interesting. A nice one to try out is at the top of the Room Mate Oscár hotel. Another option is the Tartán Roof
  • Flamenco Show: There are so many flamenco shows that it can become confusing to choose. Normally you pay a entrance fee for the show along with a drink or dinner. The prices vary from 25 to 100 euros. We chose La taberna de Mister Pinkleton, located close to plaza san Mayor. The price is 25 euros for the show and a drink. The place was very authentic and cute, but the show wasn’t that impressive. It was more the atmosphere and vibe of the place that gave it a madrinian spirit. If you want something really fantastic I think you should go higher in price. Just make sure to check a few options before and donate forget the reservation. 
Hammam Al Andalus 

Hammam Al Andalus 

  • Hammam Al Andalus: By far the best hammam and spa that I have ever experience. A real oasis in the middle of the city that allows you to immerse yourself in the past through the beautiful architecture and aromas. Choose the complete package, where you will have the bath and massage, and they also offer student discount. I would recommend going there during the day, as it can be very packed in the evening.

Where to eat?


    Tenconten restaurant and bar: this restaurant is located in the fashionable Salamanca district and is always very busy, so make sure to reserve beforehand. It is modern, pleasant and serving high quality food. Highly recommended for dinner!

Fun yet important Spanish facts

Most small shops and restaurants are closed during the afternoon (siesta time), so either you go in the morning or afternoon :) Monday is a resting day in Spain, so some of the places will also be closed!

Where to eat in Bahrain?

I’ve spent the last two weeks in Bahrain, wandering around and exploring new places. Many of the get together and activities that you organize with people over there revolve around eating. The options in Bahrain are unlimited, but when it comes to eating it’s rare to find a place where both the space and the food is good. I therefore decided to make a list of a few of my favourite places, all very different from one another. Each one of them is given a title that represents the place with a short description.

1. The traditional

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron

Saffron

Street Art

Street Art

It’s called Saffron and it is located in the traditional old soul in Muharraq, in a corner away from the crowd. The space is built like the old houses in Bahrain and has both seating inside and out. The waiters are dressed in traditional Bahraini clothes and the vibe is so relaxing and peaceful. I recommend trying their breakfast together with saffron milk. Delicious!

2. The Artsy

Situated in the heart of Adliyah, this small space reminded me of the cafés and galleries in Europe or New York. Al Riwaq café/Art Space is an original place and one of a kind in Bahrain. It is a non profit institution that promotes local contemporary art and design. Because of it's very nice decor and calm vibe, It is a great place to enjoy reading a book or working. You can also go their with friends over a nice meal, fresh juices or dessert. The cafe is situated in the same building as the Art Gallery.

Al Riwaq Cafe 

Al Riwaq Cafe 

Al Riwaq cafe 

Al Riwaq cafe 

Al Riwaq Cafe 

Al Riwaq Cafe 

3. The outdoor Garden

There are plenty of outdoor restaurants and cafés in Bahrain, but not all of them offer a nice setting and vibe. I’ve tried many different ones, and none of them really caught my attention until I found this one. The Orangery is a Tea Room/patisserie located in Adliyah, right next to the Palace Boutique Hotel. My first impression was very positive; I felt that I wasn’t really in Bahrain, but in a heavenly garden somewhere. The place is isolated from everything that has to do with traffic, noise, crowd and you feel that it is a small oasis in the middle of the city. If you go there, you must try their labneh with red fruits and honey, it is absolutely delicious! Been dreaming about it ever since.

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

L'Orangerie 

4. Moulin Rouge inspired

Inspired by the French Moulin Rouge, Café Lilou has two locations in Bahrain; one in Adliyah and one next to Aali Mall. The interior is designed as a typical Parisian Brasserie taking us back to "la belle époque". The menu is very nice and offers a wide range of selection, a choice for every taste. Ever since it opened in Bahrain this place has been really crowded, with 45min to 1 hour waiting list. On weekends it is not possible to make table reservations, so I highly recommend to go there a weekday for breakfast if you want to avoid the waiting time.

5. The Fancy Pancy

tea-club-
tea-club-
tea club
tea club

Located in the heart of Amwaj, Tea Club is what I would call a mini palace with a royal yet tranquil ambiance to it. The food is a bit on the expensive side, so if you want to keep it on the budget then I would recommend to order a cup of their unlimited choice of tea and some nice dessert. The location is beautiful, right by the waterfront in Amwaj. 

Hope you enjoyed reading, and will be inspired whiny visit Bahrain :)

The Algarve Coast

We flew To Lisbon and then took the bus all the way to Lagos (it's a 3 hours drive). We booked our tickets online on rede expressos, a Portuguese bus company. We stayed 3 days in Lagos and then 3 days in sagres and then took the bus back to Lisbon. If I had to do it all over again, I would fly to Faro and then drive through the coast and then fly back from Lisbon. I think it makes better sense and then you get the chance to see much more. 

LAGOS 

Where to Stay?

In Lagos we stayed at Vivenda Solmar, a very nice and cosy apartments hotel on top of a hill. Each room has a kitchen, and there is a balcony overlooking the beach. The beach is only 5 min walk, but the city centre is a 20min walk. I would definitely recommend this place, because it's very spacious and clean and you have your own kitchen in case you want to make your own food.

Fatima & Lucia

Fatima & Lucia

Vivienda Solmar 

Vivienda Solmar 

Where to eat?

There are plenty of restaurants in the city centre and I cannot mention them all. Most of the restaurants are very famous for their seafood (especially the sea bass and sea bream). My favourite restaurant is called the Garden, it's in the city centre of Lagos. It has a lot of option to choose from, and very fresh food. My choice fell on the fish, and it was absolutely delicious!

Where to swim?

Just like the choice of restaurants, the choice of beaches is also very wide. It is a coast so you can find so many beaches around Lagos. If you are looking for clear water and some beautiful landscape, then you should go to Camilo beach (praia de camilo). It's a very small beach but very nice for bathing.

lagos

lagos

The city centre of Lagos is very small, but there are few good restaurants, bars, cafés and shops. Take into consideration that the city is filled with tourists during the summer.

SAGRES

Next stop was Sagres, which is a tiny town so there is not much to do. The town is very charming but I would recommend to stay there only 2 days. We stayed at Aparthotel Navigator, and I have mix feelings about it. The price is quite low but the place is not that nice. You pay 60 euros per night for 2 people for a spacious apartment with kitchen, but the place is not that clean and look quite old. It is close to everything and offers a swimming pool as well, but it doesnt own any charm. So if you plan only on sleeping there, then its fine otherwise find another spot.

MUM's

MUM's

I'm a vegeterian, and my favorite vegeterian restaurant was in Sagres, it's called Mum's. You need to book a table, because it is always full!

LISBON

last stop was Lisbon, we took the bus from sagres to Lisbon, I cannot remember how long exactly it took, but around 3 hours. After spending few days by the coast, coming back to Lisbon felt like coming back to a huge city.

Budget Hotel & Budget Living

We stayed at a hostel called Liv'in Lisbon Hostel, very nice place, spacious and clean. The only disadvantage is that is is a shared bathroom. We needed to do it the Vagabond way and limit our budget. Nevertheless the hostel was located in the centre, and was a good choice if you are considering this type of accommodation.

To do while in Lisbon,

  •     Have diner at Bairro Alto neighbourhood.
  •     Have a drink or a an evening tea on top of the hill at the Alfama district
  •     Go to Belem and taste their Pasteis (best dessert ever!)
  •     enjoy an evening listening to Fado


Vesterbro

Copenhagen is my home city and I have been living here for more than 20 years, which makes it difficult to write a blog post about this city and limiting it to only one page.   Therefore I am going to divide my posts about Copenhagen in areas, and I will obviously start with my area.

VESTERBRO

Like many other Northern European cities, Copenhagen can be very cold during winter and it can be difficult to find entertaining activities and things to do. Luckily Vesterbro and its surroundings (Frederiksberg and city center) offer so many options. Beside all the nice cafés and restaurants, escaping the cold is not only about eating and being inside, it is also about finding actual things to do.

Here are a few that might inspire you

  • TIVOLI gardens is a famous amusement park in Copenhagen. During winter they decorate it in winter wonderland, that you almost feel like in a fairy tale. Beside the rides you can enjoy their different type of performances and concerts.
  • Ice skating: If you want a real feeling of the winter, and feel the cold blowing on your skin then I recommend you go ice-skating. Either near Frederiksberg park, or try the new biggest ice skating ring in northern Europe: Genforeningspladsen
  • Theatre: If you are more into stimulating your mind while still being entertained, and staying inside check out the different performances at Betty Nansen, they always have a very nice selection, so keep your eyes open.
photo 2
photo 2
photo 1
photo 1

Now if you really don't like the cold and prefer to stay inside, but somewhere cosy and nice here is a list that might help you choose. All of them are located in vesterbro, and they fit for every taste.

1. the cosy cafés: I find it difficult to find a nice and cosy café where you can spend time either reading a book, writing or enjoying a conversation with a friend. Lately I've discovered 2 cafés that became my favourites: Kaffestuen on vesterbrogade or Kaffeplantagen on Enghave plads.

2. The brunch place: Brunch is always an issue for me because each time I want to suggest somewhere I have no idea where it should be. I think that finding a nice and delicious brunch is not that easy! Good experience that I had was at Von fressen for a berlin inspired interior, and delicious blueberry pancakes. For a more chic Parisian café, try the breakfast/brunch at Granola. If you are into buffets then check out A Propos on Halmtorvet.

3. Dinning: In kødbyen they have plenty of restaurants, but there are 2 that remain my favourite. MOTHER, a very nice italian place, great atmosphere and friendly prices. (Make sure to reserve a table, because they are generally fully booked). Paté Paté a more high end place but delicious food, and if you are not up for eating go there for their cheesecake and coffee. Otherwise try Neighbourhood on istegade, it's a new organic cocktails & pizza place. I really think it's the best pizza place in Copenhagen, very alternative.

photo 3
photo 3
photo-13
photo-13
IMG_3626
IMG_3626