EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

#bunk – A chic place to stay in Istanbul

Since the levels and qualities of services can wildly fluctuate in Istanbul, it might be more difficult than usual to find a decent place to stay, being affordable at the…

Since the levels and qualities of services can wildly fluctuate in Istanbul, it might be more difficult than usual to find a decent place to stay, being affordable at the same time. As this was my second stay in Istanbul, I know how truly hard it is to find not only a high quality hostel, but one that is safe and is situated in a good location in the epicenter of the city.

During my search for that ever elusive hostel, #bunk caught my attention primarily because of its beautiful design and chic spirit. I already liked the place before I have even arrived, and actually fell in love with its charm as soon as I stepped through the door. I received such a warm welcome from its friendly staff and immediately was drawn into the hostels cozy atmosphere.

Short Introduction to #bunk

#bunk is owned by an international team of four coming from England, Germany and Turkey. The brand was formed in 2011 and currently consists of two hostels: one in Beyoğlu and the other set to open next month in Taksim.

The owners are openly enthusiastic about their jobs, which can be seen from the fact that they highly value their guests’ feedback and you will probably be asked to fill in a survey during your stay.

Hostel Areas

I have stayed in the superior 4 bed mixed dorm, but the hostel also has standard twin private, deluxe double bed private and superior 4 bed female dorms.

#bunk hostel 4 bed room

4 bed room

The beds are really cozy and comfortable, and the rooms are designed in white minimalist style with the oriental motifs on the ceiling, which were inspired by mosques. The only drawback is that there is not enough space to spread out your luggage, especially if the room is full.

#bunk hostel marble bathroom

Marble bathroom

#bunk has marble bathrooms that look really luxurious for a hostel, a rooftop terrace and a cozy lounge area where you can chat with other guests or enjoy a cup of coffee with a magazine or newspaper.

#bunk free use of desktop computers

At #bunk you get free use of desktop computers

Free breakfast includes cereal, bread, tomatoes, olives, freshly boiled eggs, cheese with of course butter, spreads, coffee and tea.

#bunk free breakfast

Kitchen area

Location

The location is just perfect! Situated in Sahne sokak, just two minutes from the Istiklal street (Istiklal Caddesi) and few steps from the Nevizade street makes #bunk a great base for exploring the city. Taksim square is within 1km from the hostel.

#bunk location

Staff

My favourite thing about this place are actually people working there who are always smiley, friendly and ready to help. Thank you Pauline, Dunya and Muhammet for your kindness!

So again what you get?

   
24h reception/security key card room access
free secure luggage storage marble bathrooms
free wireless internet bunk beds
free use of desktop computers chill out lounge
free breakfast roof terrace
free fluffy towels cafe
hairdryers/straighteners no curfew
air-conditioning in every room etc.

How to Get There

#bunk is located 25km from the Ataturk airport, and 50km from the Sabiha Gökçen airport. The best way to reach Taksim square from both airports is to use HAVATAS coaches that operate regularly.

For more info and schedules you can check their official website or their Booking profile.

If you are looking for a high quality accommodation with moderate price I suggest you check out #bunk. You will spend your time in a trendy and clean environment, surrounded with friendly people!

Disclaimer

I’ve stayed as a guest of #bunk.

© All photos belong to #bunk brand.

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23 Essential Do’s in Istanbul

“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with the same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is…

“Istanbul, a universal beauty where poet and archeologist, diplomat and merchant, princess and sailor, northerner and westerner screams with the same admiration. The whole world thinks that this city is the most beautiful place on earth.” – Edmondo De Amicis

Here’s the pick of 23 essential do’s in Istanbul;

1. Befriend Turkish people and see for yourself why they are famous for their hospitality

Turkish people

Photo: quinn.anya on Flickr under CC

 2. Cross the Bosphorus Bridge

Bosphorus Bridge

Photo: http://www.bariskaradeniz.com/ on Flickr under CC

3. Try Turkish specialties

Iskender kebab

İskender kebab

4. And beer

Turkish beer Efes

Photo: erenemre on Flickr under CC

5. Don’t miss the Asian side, especially the Bağdat Avenue

Bagdat avenue Istanbul

Bağdat Avenue

6. Attend a sport match of one of “The Big Three” teams

Galatasary basketball team

The Big Three teams are Galatasaray, Fenerbahçe and Beşiktaş. And all are based in Istanbul.

7. Ride in dolmuş!

Dolmus Istanbul

Because doing it local style is the way to go!

8. Hang out at Taksim square – the heart of modern Istanbul

Taksim square Istanbul

Taksim means ‘division’ and originally it was the point where the main water lines from the Belgrade Forest were collected and laid to this point. Nowadays, Taksim is a favorite meeting point for locals and a location for organizing public events and social gatherings.

9. Combine Simit and Ayran

simit and ayran

Simit is a popular street food, sold everywhere by street vendors.

 10. Stroll along İstiklal Avenue

Istiklal avenue

Beautiful. Vibrant. Cosmopolitan. Sleepless. Visited by nearly 3 million people in a single day.

11. Get on top of Galata tower for spectacular views

view from Galata tower, istanbul

A place to see all Istanbul.

12. Climb the Kamondo stairs

Kamondo stairs

Photo: ahunziker on Flickr under CC

13. Feed the cats. They rule the city.

Istanbul is a city of cats.

14. Feel the history in Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia interior

Istanbul’s most famous monument.
Oh, and if you want to be cured from all your ailments, don’t forget to stick your finger in a hole of the weeping column.

15. Visit the stunning Blue Mosque and listen to the call to prayer in the cortyard

Blue Mosque

Remove your shoes, put on a headscarf and enjoy the beauty around you.

16. Take a ferry trip to the Asian side.

ferry trip to the asian side

Enjoy the great view!

17. Search for the Medusa heads in the Basilica Cistern

Basilica Cistern Istanbul

The cistern was used as a location for the 1963 James Bond film “From Russia with Love”

18. Try your art of bargaining at the Grand Bazaar

Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Explore, drink lots of tea but don’t get carried away. Note that the Grand Bazaar is a typical tourist trap and everything is overpriced here.

19. Have a cup of Türk kahvesi (Turkish coffee) or çay (tea)

Türk kahvesi - Turkish coffee

Check out the tea gardens (çay bahçesis) or coffee houses (kahvehanes).

20. Explore Üsküdar – One of the city’s more conservative suburbs

Uskudar, Istanbul

One of the streets

21. Istanbul is huge, so don’t forget to have a rest

Uskudar. Istanbul

🙂

22. Try tulumba

turkish tulumba

Besides Turkey, this is a popular dessert throughout the Balkans.

23. And if you have some spare time, escape to the Princes’ Islands

Büyükada

Beautiful white homes of Büyükada

All photos are © Eurotribe except where noted. All rights reserved.

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7 Great European Tourism Videos

Videos represent a great tool for promoting the tourism of a country and increasing its attractiveness. It can enhance the destination’s image and result in significant increase of tourism number….

Videos represent a great tool for promoting the tourism of a country and increasing its attractiveness. It can enhance the destination’s image and result in significant increase of tourism number. Here are seven great examples of European tourism videos;

AUSTRIA – Moments of Bliss

The “Austria-Moments of Bliss”  campaign focuses on the individual traveler and the authentic travel experiences.

 

In short: Arrive and Revive

CROATIA – The New Tourism Star of the European Union

This video is an extension of ‘Ode to joy‘, which won a prestigious award at the International Tourism Film Festival at ITB Berlin. This video highlights very well the cultural, historical and natural heritage of Croatia.

FINLAND – The Northern Lights

Magical.

LUXEMBOURG – Is It True What They Say?

The main idea is to counter widespread stereotypes about Luxembourg and present the country the way many inhabitants and visitors experience it today.

 

Cool music too!

HOLLAND – The Original Cool

This video screams “We’re so awesome and we’re much better than the rest of the world!”, but it’s very creative and enticing.  Oh, and definitely check the parody of this.

SERBIA – Soulfood

Yes, Belgrade is “Europe’s new capital of cool”, “Eastern Europe’s Berlin”, “The party capital” etc., but it’s so refreshing to see that Tourist Organization of Serbia opted for focusing on something different like gastronomy. The result was pretty good, wasn’t it? The winner of the 2012 FilmAT – Film, Art and Tourism Festival in Warsaw and various other festivals.

SWEDEN

Gotta love Sweden! Gotta love Swedish humor!

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How To Get Around In Belgrade

Belgrade City Public Transportation is often confusing to foreign visitors due to lack of information in English and more flexible tickets for tourists. The article will go through the cheapest…

Belgrade City Public Transportation is often confusing to foreign visitors due to lack of information in English and more flexible tickets for tourists. The article will go through the cheapest and best ways of transportation so you know how to get around in Belgrade more easily.

BELGRADE AIRPORT TRANSFER

1. Bus line #72

This line runs twice an hour and you can check the full timetable here.

From the Nikola Tesla Airport to Zeleni Venac From Zeleni Venac to Nikola Tesla Airport
click HERE. click HERE.

 

When you open the links, the first row shows hours, the second one minutes when the line runs (Monday-Friday), the third (minutes; Saturday) and the fourth (minutes; Sunday).

The cost of the ticket is 89 RSD (with BusPlus card) and 150RSD in the bus.

The journey takes approximately 40 minutes.

2. Mini Bus A1

This line operates between Slavija and the Nikola Tesla Airport.

Timetable click HERE.

Valid Mon-Fri, Saturday and Sunday.

This line runs more often than the previous one and the journey takes about 30 minutes. Ticket costs 300RSD and can be bought in the bus. More expensive but more comfortable.

3. Taxi

There are many illegal taxis outside the airport’s arrival terminal which is a shame, and many taxi drivers will offer you a ride inside the terminal building. Of course the best is to refuse and go to the TAXI INFO stand, where you can get information about your destination and the appropriate price for the taxi service. More info HERE. Usually the price will be around 1500RSD if you are going to the city center and 2000-2500RSD if you are going to the suburbs.

You can also:

1. Order taxi by a phone

2. Grab a taxi at the departure section that has just dropped off passengers.

Recommended taxi companies Beogradski Taxi, Lux Taxi, Pink Taxi

MOVING AROUND THE CITY

Public transport network consists of buses, trolleybuses and trams. There are several types of tickets available but these are the best for tourists;

Paper ticket for a single ride

The ticket can be bought in the bus. 150RSD  for a single far, valid for 90 minutes.

Non-personalized smart card

Valid for 3 years.

BusPlus Non-personalized smart card

BusPlus Non-personalized smart card

How much? 250RSD

If you plan to use public transportation more often this is the best option. You can get this card and fill it with as many rides as you want. Single fare is 89 RSD and is valid for 90 minutes. With this card you can also buy a 1-day pass (250 RSD), 3-day pass (700 RSD) or 5-day pass (1000 RSD). You can top the card at any kiosk in the city.

Another advantage of this card is that if you are coming with someone or as a group you can use just one card. During the validation process, you need to select ‘GRUPNA KARTA’ (group ticket), type in the number of passengers and validate the card.

Free maps of the public transport network click HERE.

NIGHT LINES (00-04)

These lines differ from the daily ones and they usually run every hour. Tickets are more expensive (between 150-200RSD).

Map for the night lines Timetable
click HERE. click HERE.

 

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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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