EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

How To Visit London On a Budget

London is a pricey city, do not doubt it for a second. Unlike other touristic cities it is genuinely expensive, so simply avoiding the main street won’t be enough to…

London is a pricey city, do not doubt it for a second. Unlike other touristic cities it is genuinely expensive, so simply avoiding the main street won’t be enough to protect your pocket. Fortunately there are a few ways to keep your visit to London on a budget. A small percentage of your budget for London can easily represent the entire budget for many other cities.

 

Transport

London Tube

Docklands Light Railway (DLR)

Useful when coming from London City Airport or when visiting East London.

EasyBus

EasyJet’s land sister offers transport to Gatwick, Luton and Stansted for as little as 2£. Book in advance to save money. Tickets are flexible and you may travel within 60 minutes of your selected scheduled time without extra payment (subject to seat availability). The bus can drop you off at the several different places in town.

National Express

Large but efficient bus company that can basically get you anywhere. National Express usually has attractive fares, especially when booking in advance. Main hub is Victoria Coach Station.

Get In

Getting into London can be as expensive as the flight to London itself. Since London has six airports (yes, six), it’s very likely you will fly to one of these. So pay close attention.

From Heathrow: Take the Tube, or you can alternatively buy a Heathrow Express ticket (much more expensive)

From Gatwick: a) Take an EasyBus b) Catch a regular train. Or buy a Gatwick express ticket (much more expensive)

From Luton & Stansted: Take an EasyBus or National Express

From London City: Take a DLR train and connect to the Tube later

London Southend: The author has never flown into Southend, so you are on your own!

London attractions

Photo: Rodrigo Uribe

Moving Around

To transport yourself around London is quite expensive, but few simple tips will save you loads of money. The underground (tube) and buses offer an extensive and very efficient network of transport.

The first and most important rule is to buy an Oyster card. It’s not only cheaper than anything else, but it’s also simpler. Ignore this advice and you’ll spend lots of time and money on nothing. You can buy the card in almost any Tube station, and you can claim your £5 deposit when leaving the city. Oyster is valid on buses, Tube, DLR and any other TFL transports. The author recommends using it on the ‘pay as you go’ mode.

The Oyster card automatically calculates the most economic fare for you. For example, one single journey on the card will be charged as a single ticket, while 5 single journeys within a day will be charged as a daily travel card.

TIP: If you’ve been using buses all day long, don’t return on a Tube or you’ll pay for the Tube day pass (which includes buses). Use the bus and you’ll only pay for the daily bus pass. If you’ve used the Tube for a couple of times don’t stop and use it all you want (including buses), since you’ll be paying for the Tube’s day pass anyway!

Tube vs. Bus

Most tourists visiting London only look at the iconic double-deckers as a background for their photos, without noticing that they represent a fantastic way of transportation. Once said this, the dilemma pops out. The Tube is usually faster but considerably much more expensive than buses.

Although longer, bus rides are  more enjoyable, since you can sit up front on the upper deck. The Tube is simpler for the inexperienced, while buses require a bit more concentration. Buses don’t have fare zones, while the Tube does.

Here’s a tip then. Don’t be afraid of the buses, get on them and enjoy the view. Only take the Tube when traveling long distances or when you are really short on time. You wouldn’t know if the neighborhood on top of the Tube is an absolute delight.

TOP TIP: Watch out for bus 11, since it goes through a lot of London’s highlights along the route!

Accommodation

Booking has a large selection of accommodation options and many budget listings.

Booking.com  

HotelsCombined is another good website. It searches for cheapest deals on the internet.

Things To Do

Surprisingly, London has an outstanding range of free museums. Not bad ones, but fantastic world-class museum. Here’s a glimpse of what you can see for free:

  • British Museum

  • Imperial War Museum

  • Natural History Museum

  • Science Museum

  • National Portrait Gallery

  • Victoria and Albert Museum

  • Tate Modern and others

If the free museums are not enough for satisfying your cultural needs, there are other superb attractions that can blow your mind. Parks, markets or simple neighborhoods are great alternatives, often with a more authentic taste than the overcrowded typical attractions.

London attractions Photo: Rodrigo Uribe

Top Picks

Parks

  • Regent’s Park

  • Hyde Park

  • Richmond Park

  • Battersea Park

  • Greenwich Park

Markets

  • Borough Market

  • Portobello Market

  • Spitafields Market

Neighborhoods

  • Notting Hill

  • South Kensington

  • Chelsea

  • Southwark

On the other end of the scale, are all those attractions which are not free. They tend to be quite expensive, from the Tower of London to Kew Gardens.

Top Tip

Most admission tickets have a hidden donation (a few pounds). Ask in the ticket office when buying the ticket and say you do not wish to donate. If you’re very pleased with your visit, you’ll have plenty of chances to donate before you exit the site.

London attractions

Photo: Rodrigo Uribe

Eating

Most supermarkets offer amazing discounts just before their closing times. You can get fruits, biscuits or even hot meals for a fraction of their price. The bigger the supermarket and the closer to the closing time, the bigger the reduction will be!

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Nine Great Bars in Belgrade

Belgrade has a variety of bars for everyone to enjoy and is known as one of Europe’s best destinations for nightlife. Bars and pubs are very popular in the Serbian…

Belgrade has a variety of bars for everyone to enjoy and is known as one of Europe’s best destinations for nightlife. Bars and pubs are very popular in the Serbian capital and you can find them basically on every corner of the city. There are many places which are worth visiting but here you will find listed just several;

Elixir Bar

The first vitamin bar in the city will attract you with its fresh squeezed juices, smoothies and milk shakes of unusual and exotic flavours. Besides fresh fruits and vegetables, the bright interior and friendly staff will make you feel cozy and relaxed. Besides the existing menu you can even opt to make your own combination. You can enjoy your drink in the bar or ask for the take away, but either way this is a great place for a successful start of the day!

The Black Turtle Pub

The Black Turtle represents a chain of pubs with four pubs in the city center and a mini-brewery established in 2000. These pubs are mostly famous for its beer. Besides local brands of beer, you can try even the seasonal beers and the beer with fruit flavors that make these pubs unique in the city. There are beers flavoured with blueberry, lemon and strawberry and I recommend you go for blueberry one.

The Federal Association of Globe Trotters

The most unusual bar in Belgrade filled with lots of interesting pictures, lamps, curtains and books. Pieces of old furniture brought by the guests make this place unique. The Association also organizes parties and celebrations, film projections, literal and travel lectures etc.  Highly recommended!

Triangle

Small and cozy café with relaxed atmosphere and good music. The bar offers live music, mostly jazz and ethnic compositions but also DJ performances. The bar serves cocktails and wine, but their homemade brandy is one of the best in Belgrade. A big plus is a very friendly staff.

Kandahar

If you want to try real Turkish coffee with lokum go to this place. Oriental interior design makes this place interesting and different to other bars in Belgrade, and it offers a very relaxed atmosphere and music. Kandahar is well-known for its wide choice of teas and tobacco but also Turkish Yeni Raki.

KC GRAD

Located on the banks of the Sava River this place organizes various events (from conferences, book launches, film screenings to music programmes). Its Steve Austen café bar is located on the ground floor. The building was an old warehouse built in 1884. and today it’s a great place for a night out, with the cool interior and decent music!

The Three Carrots Irish Pub

The first Irish pub in Belgrade offers well-known Guinness, domestic beers and some cool cocktails. The atmosphere is very cozy and the pub offers live music from time to time. It’s a great place to come and watch a football game or simply warm up for the night out!

Povetarac

Located on the Sava River, this club provides a unique view of the Old Town. From an old ship it became a big club consisting of two parts, while during the day it serves as a bar. It is famous for its mainstream music, funk, reggae, drum and bass etc. One of the coolest places in Belgrade!

Iguana

Famous for its FWJ (Food, Wine & Jazz) concept, Iguana is an elegant place with a great view! The menu here is small and bit overpriced, but its balcony is a great place to have a beer or two and watch the locals stroll by. Come here to enjoy the wonderful view of the river and jazz music.

Are there any bars that you would recommend? Feel free to leave your comments below.

 

 

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A Day At The Princes’ Islands

If it happens that you have some spare time in Istanbul, a great day escape is to the Princes’ Islands or Red Islands in the sea of Marmara. Istanbullus usually…

If it happens that you have some spare time in Istanbul, a great day escape is to the Princes’ Islands or Red Islands in the sea of Marmara. Istanbullus usually refer to them only as ‘The Islands’ since they are the only islands around the city.

‘The Islands’ are actually the chain of nine islands, with Büyükada and Heybeliada being the largest ones. In the past the islands were mostly populated by Greek, Jewish and Armenian communities while today Turkish population dominates.

Princes' Islands, Istanbul

On the way to the Princes’ Islands

It’s a totally different place comparing to Istanbul. The first thing you will realize is that there are no cars on the islands and the only way to explore them or to get from point A to point B is either by bicycle, horse-drawn carriage or by walking, which makes it quite peaceful comparing to Istanbul’s center. Bicycles are available for rent in many shops.

Büyükada, Princes' Islands

Street works in Büyükada

The islands are totally different during Summer and Winter season. Busy at Summer especially during the weekend, and empty during Winter. A lot of houses at the islands are actually holiday homes whose owners come to visit them during weekends.

Büyükada

Beautiful white homes

The largest island Büyükada is beautiful with its villas, but its most famous landmark is the Greek monastery of St. George. The monastery’s site is on a steep hill but once you are on the top you’ll be rewarded with a wonderful panorama of Istanbul and the surroundings.

Horse-drawn carriage on the Princes' Islands

Horse-drawn carriage on the Princes’ Islands

Princes' Islands, Istanbul

A great way to discover the islands is by bicycle

Princes' Islands Istanbul

A ghost town in Winter

Beware of dog!

Beware of dog!

the houses on the island of Büyükada

One of the houses on the island of Büyükada

 

How to get to the Princes’ Islands?

Ferries depart from Bostancı, Kartal and Maltepe on the Asian side and from Kabataş on the European side. To check the timetables and the fares visit ido.com.tr

*Tip* Don’t forget to check departure times of ships back to the city, since they are less frequent after the night falls.

The ferry port of Büyükada

The ferry port of Büyükada

Why should you visit the Princes’ Islands?

Silence and picnic. If you need a short escape from the hubbub of the city this is the place to go.

If you choose to stay overnight here it’s probably good to book something in Büyükada in advance.



Booking.com

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37+ Free Ways To Spend Time In Istanbul

Istanbul is definitely no longer the bargain tourist destination it once was, with some of its tourist attractions even topping the prices of those in Scandinavia! Accommodation offers good value…

Istanbul is definitely no longer the bargain tourist destination it once was, with some of its tourist attractions even topping the prices of those in Scandinavia! Accommodation offers good value for money and the inner city transportation is efficient and not too expensive, but some of its attractions are quite pricey and the fact that Istanbul has too many of them can really add up to costs. And clubbing in Istanbul (depending on the area) can really blow your budget!

This list will be primarily focused at attractions and events;

FESTIVALS/EVENTS

Children’s Day

A public holiday dedicated to children of Turkey and the world is celebrated annually every April 23rd. Besides performances at stadiums, Turkey is also the host of the “TRT International April 23 Children’s Festival” which gathers children from all over the world who are invited to stay at Turkish families’ homes. They get the opportunity to interact with Turkish kids and learn about each other’s countries and cultures.

Orthodox Easter

Celebrated by the Greek Orthodox community in Fener.

Akbank Short Film Festival

Besides the screenings of films from all over the world, the festival also includes workshops and conferences.

Anniversary of Atatürk’s death

On the 10th November at 9.05, a minute’s silence is held to commemorate the death of the founder of Turkish republic.

ATTRACTIONS

(by area)

Sultanahmet Area

– All mosques; Blue Mosque, Küçük Ayasofya Camii (Little Hagia Sophia), Sokollu Mehmed Paşa Camii

– Hippodrome

– Çemberlitaş

– or you can stroll along Arasta Bazaar

Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

The area around Topkapi Palace

In this area you can:

– Sit on a bench and watch the passers-by at the Gülhane Parkı

– Wander through Soğukçeşme Sokak (Street of the Cold Fountain)

– Visit Caferağa Medresesi

– Visit Sirkeci Railway Station which once was the last stop of Orient Express

– Go inside the Yeni Camii (New Mosque)

– Walk across the Galata Bridge

Sirkeci Railway Station Istanbul

Sirkeci Railway Station

Baazar District

– All mosques; Nuruosmaniye Mosque, Beyazit Camii, Süleymaniye Camii, Şehzade Mehmet Camii, Zeyrek Camii, Rüstem Pasha Camii

– Get lost at the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar

– See Beyazit Square and Istanbul University

– See one of the most famous landmarks of the city- Aqueduct of Valens

– Stroll through Sahaflar Çarşısı (Book Bazaar)  (for the literature lovers)

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Grand Bazaar

Western Districts

– All mosques; Fatih Camii, Mihrimah Sultan Camii, Fethiye Camii, Sultan Selim Camii, Eyüp Sultan Camii

– See Tekfur Sarayi

– Visit the Church of St. Mary of the Mongols and the Church of St. Stephen of the Bulgars

– Visit the Ahrida Synagogue

– Visit the Ecumenical Orthodox Patriarchate

Galata and Tophane Area

– All mosques; Azarkapi Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Camii and Arap Camii

– Walk up the Kamondo Stairs

– Visit the Church of St. Peter & Paul

– Visit Neve Shalom Synagogue

İstiklal

– Visit Christ Church and Çiçek Pasajı (Flower Passage)

or even better;

– Get inside the Pera Palas Hotel whose guests were Agatha Christie and Greta Garbo

– Wander around Taksim Square- the heart of modern Istanbul

Stroll along the İstiklal street

Istiklal avenue

Istiklal avenue

Beşiktaş

– Visit Ortaköy Camii

– Walk through Yildiz Parki

Üsküdar

– All mosques; Atik Valide Camii, Çinili Camii, Yeni Valide Camii, Şemsi Paşa Camii

– See Mimar Sinan Çarşisi

– Enjoy the view from the highest point of the city- Camlica Hill

– Visit the Florence Nightingale Museum

Uskudar, Istanbul

Uskudar neighborhood

Kadıköy

– Walk along the glamorous Bağdat Caddesi

Bagdat avenue Istanbul

Bagdat avenue

ARTS

Free Art galleries

– Galeri Nev

– Galerist

– SALT

– Proje4L/Elgiz Museum of Contemporary Art

Other interesting reads;

Mosques of Istanbul

All I ever wanted to know about Ottoman Architecture

Istanbul in photos

 

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Postcards from Delphi, ‘the center of the world’

Delphi is a modern town in Greece and also an archaeological site which is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. The modern town of Delphi is a popular…

Delphi is a modern town in Greece and also an archaeological site which is a part of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The modern town of Delphi is a popular tourist destination nowadays, with lots of hotels and guesthouses, souvenir shops and tavernas. In October there are less crowds than usual, and I’ve only had the chance to discover Delphi at night, while the town sleeps. Narrow streets, shut blinds on windows of the houses, beautiful balconies with colorful flowers and a few retro cars are some of the things that you can see in the town at night. What are the advantages of discovering the town at night? It’s interesting, adventurous and calm!

 A lot of people come here to discover the Archaeological site which represents the most famous oracle of the ancient Greece. It is also known as “the center of the world”.

 Besides its cultural and religious importance, one of the “wow factors” of this site is that it is set within a breathtaking landscape.

Archaeological site of Delphi landscape

At the foot of Mount Parnassus, this place was the main cultural and religious center for the Hellenic world.

Archaeological site of Delphi

Archaeological site of Delphi

Treasury of the Boeotians and treasury of the Sicyonians are just some out of many monuments located in Delphi.

Archaeological site of Delphi

Archaeological site of Delphi

Archaeological site of Delphi

The second most important games in Greece where held here every four years- Pythian games.

 

How did you like these postcards from Delphi? Let us know in the comments!

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Meet the Romans in Serbia

‘Meet the Romans in Serbia’ is a guest post from Tara Goldsmith of ReadyClickAndGo. We recommend you check their Twitter and Facebook profiles as well.   I was sat right…

‘Meet the Romans in Serbia’ is a guest post from Tara Goldsmith of ReadyClickAndGo. We recommend you check their Twitter and Facebook profiles as well.

 

I was sat right at the top, in the Royal Opera House it would have been seat Y51 – very high up with a restricted view. Looking down and behind the half naked archaeologist who was unmoved by the burning sun I could almost see Russell Crowe fighting ferociously for his freedom. Behind me was a flat green field with occasional glimpses of the Danube river, on whose bed was preserved this rich archaeological site.

We are standing at the top of the amphitheatre with a capacity of 12,000 seats” the voice of the enthusiastic guide woke me up.

 The itinerarium Romanum Serbiae

We are at Viminacium, one of many Roman towns and fortress in Serbia, not far from the capital city Belgrade. It covers a huge area and some of it is still undiscovered due to the presence of the nearby power plant which produces 20% of Serbia’s energy. The government is trying to buy land still owned by the local people to stop the theft of artefacts that are uncovered after heavy rain.

Large numbers of lamps, bricks, paving tiles, rings and coins have been uncovered and exhibited either at the Museum in Pozarevac or the Museum in Belgrade. The Viminacium complex is building their own museum too at the moment.

The Viminacium Amphitheater, Serbia

 The site has beautiful tombs decorated with frescoes whose colour was still bright and with mixed pagan and Christian symbolism. Tomb G5517 has a Christogram in a double floral garland and this is known as a Constantine Cross, after the first Roman Emperor to convert to Christianity. Tomb G2624 has animals and flowers and is clearly pagan, thus proving that Christians and Pagans were sometimes buried in the same cemetery.

Viminacium, Serbia

Serbia has the largest number of Roman emperors born outside of Italy – 17 altogether, among them Constantine I and Justinian I. The tourist board has put together a project to combine visits to all the major Roman excavations on Serbian soil, called Itinerarium Romanum Serbiae. It will incorporate Sirmium, today known as Sremska Mitrovica, Singindunum which is Belgrade, Viminacium or Stari Kostolac, combined with visits to the forts of Nis, Kostol and Karats. The itinerary also includes visits to the imperial residences at Gamzigrad and the UNESCO site, Šarkamen, Mediana and Iustiniana Prima.

2013 will see the 1,700 anniversary of the Edict of Milan by which Emperor Constantine legalised Christianity throughout the Roman Empire, and celebrations will take place in the city of his birth, Nis.

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