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  • Adam 22:12 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: венеция, италия   

    Парад гондол открыл карнавальный сезон в Венеции 

  • Adam 21:10 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    Things To Do In London This Weekend: 23-24 February 2019 

    All weekend

    Children’s author Cressida Cowell appears at Southbank Centre

    HALF TERM: Running out of ways to keep the kids busy as half term comes to an end? Take a look at our family-friendly events guide — there’s still plenty going on including a family fun day, a Lego exhibition and a chance to see vets in action.

    IMAGINE FESTIVAL: It’s the final weekend of Southbank Centre’s Imagine Children’s Festival, which celebrates kids’ literature, theatre and music though talks, workshops and performances. See the full programme here — highlights from these final two days include a reading of How To Train Your Dragon and a book signing with the author, Cressida Cowell. Southbank Centre, various times and prices, until 24 February

    LAST CHANCE TO SEE: Two big exhibitions close this weekend — and we expect them to be busy. V&A’s Videogames is aimed at gaming aficionados, with a detailed look at the design and creation of games (£18, book aheaduntil 24 February). Lost Treasures at Strawberry Hill House is an impressive gathering of some of the objects owned by the house’s original owner, Sir Horace Walpole. They were sold off after his death and haven’t returned to the house, until now  (£16, book ahead, until 24 February).

    WALES WEEK: In advance of St David’s Day, Wales Week is actually a fortnight of events celebrating all the great things about Wales and being Welsh. A full programme is available here, and includes a celebration of Welsh food and drink at Borough Market, a St David’s Day dinner, and a concert by the London Welsh Male Voice Choir. Various locations, times and prices, 23 February-9 March

    CULTURAL REVOLUTION: On tour from Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, Cultural Revolution is an exhibition of Chinese state graphics from the 1960s and 1970s. The colour red — the colour of the revolution — features heavily in the propaganda posters, as do images of then state leader, Chairman Mao Zedong. William Morris Gallery (Walthamstow), suggested donation £5, just turn up, 23 February-27 May

    PHYLLIDA BARLOW: Work by British sculptor Phyllida Barlow goes on display throughout the Royal Academy’s new galleries. She’s reinterpreted the space as a residential cul-de-sac, with colour used as a key theme. Royal Academy (Piccadilly), £14, book ahead23 February- 23 June

    Saturday 23 February

    Bag a bargain at The Big London Flea

    COCKPITS AND CABINS: There’s a rare chance to climb inside the cockpits and cabins of some of the RAF Museum’s most fascinating vehicles, and get an idea of what it would have been like to drive or fly them. Vehicles open for business include the Sea King helicopter, the Phantom plane, and the K2 ambulance. RAF Museum (Colindale), £15, book ahead11am-3pm

    BIG LONDON FLEA: Get your rummaging skills ready and head to the Big London Flea, where you might pick up anything including furniture, homewares, vintage clothes and unexpected oddities. Stallholders range from vintage experts to locals having a clear out, so you’re bound to find something, whatever your budget and taste. Earth (Hackney), £1 entry, just turn up, 11am-6pm

    ART 50: Barbican celebrates all things British at Art 50, a day of performances, dance, music, photography and film. Artists from all walks of life where asked to create something which showcases what national identity means to them in 2019. Barbican, free, just turn up, 12pm-8pm

    FETISH COLLECTION: Bishopsgate Institute is home to the UK Leather and Fetish Archive, a national collection documenting the history and heritage of the leather, rubber, BDSM and fetish communities. Today, the archive is open for anyone who wants to drop in and see the magazines, pamphlets, posters, ephemera, t-shirts and artefacts. Bishopsgate Institute (Liverpool Street), free, just turn up, 1pm

    QUEER UTOPIAS: With London nightclubs closing at an alarming rate, there are concerns that LGBTQ club culture is under threat in the capital. Hear a panel of experts discuss why nightlife — and particularly LGBTQ dancefloors, which are considered a utopian safe space — and important, and how they can be saved. The British Academy, free, just turn up, 2pm-4pm

    SPACEBALLS: Where better to watch a space-themed sci-fi film that in the Royal Observatory? 1987 film Spaceballs, a Mel Brooks comedy which offers a pastiche of the original Star War trilogy, is screened, followed by a talk on the science of ‘ludicrous speed’ by a Royal Observatory astronomer. Royal Observatory (Greenwich), £10.30/£8.20, book ahead6.45pm-8.45pm

    FROMAGE ON ICE: If you like your music cheesy and your dance floor slippery, head to Club de Fromage On Ice. It’s 90s versus 00s night, so dance the night away to the best (and worst) tunes from both decades, all on an ice rink. Choose your dance moves very carefully. Alexandra Palace, £10/£9, book ahead8.30pm

    SHEEPS: It’s the final performance of Sheeps’ run at Soho Theatre. The comedy sketch trio trot out their new work in a show encompassing selfie sex and Harry Potter. Soho Theatre, £14-£19, book ahead9.15pm

    Sunday 24 February

    The Denim Juniors come to Islington.

    HALF MARATHON: Run a 13.1 mile course around Richmond Park, starting and finishing at Sheen Gate and taking in impressive views along the way. Not much of a runner? Go along and cheer them on. Richmond Park, £35-£37 to participate (booking required) or free to watch, 10am

    ANTIQUES FAIR: Browse antiques being sold by 140 antiques exhibitors and experts from all over Europe at Adams Antiques Fair. Early arrival is recommended as queues tend to form later in the day. Royal Horticultural Halls (Victoria), £4, booking recommended10am-4.30pm

    TEDDY FESTIVAL: Teddy bear lovers and traders from all over the world descend on Kensington for Hugglets BearFest. Add to your new collection with prices ranging from a few quid to thousands, pick up accessories for your ursine friends, or learn how to care for them and make any much-needed repairs at the  teddy bear hospital. Kensington Town Hall, £4, just turn up, 10.30am-4pm

    DENIM JUNIORS: Suitable for all ages, The Denim Juniors is a drag pop concert aimed at kids and their families, with impressive costumes and plenty of familiar hits to sing along to. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £12/£10, book ahead2pm

    ART OF BURIAL: Join Footprints of London guide Marilyn Greene for a tour of the V&A, focusing specifically on burial practices. Learn about imagery and representations found in tombs around the world, some of which date back thousands of years — including a couple of archaeological discoveries from the London area. V&A Museum (South Kensington), £12/£9, book ahead3.45pm-5.15pm

    DRUNK WOMEN SOLVING CRIME: Popular podcast Drunk Women Solving Crime is recorded in front of a live audience. It does exactly what the title suggests — comedian hosts Hannah George, Catie Wilkins and Taylor Glenn are joined by a boozed-up panel in an attempt to personal crime stories and true crime cases. Pleasance Theatre (Islington), £10, book ahead6pm

    OF LOVE & LAW: Documentary Of Love & Law is the story of openly gay Japanese laywers Kazu and Fumi, who have taken on cases such as a woman who was born outside of the traditional family structure, so doesn’t legally exist, and a teacher fired for not standing during the national anthem. This screening is followed by a Q&A with the director. Bertha DocHouse (Bloomsbury), £12.50/£10, book ahead6.30pm

    COMEDY SKETCH OFF: See some of the UK’s best up-and-coming sketch artists and character comedians go head to head in the fourth annual Sketch Off. Tonight’s the grand final, so the cream of the crop are performing in a bid to win a cash prize and their own comedy showcase. Leicester Square Theatre, £16.75, book ahead7pm

  • Adam 21:08 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    London’s Best Year-Round Rooftop Bars 

    Image: Madison

    Us Londoners love a rooftop bar. From spring’s first rays right through to summer’s dying embers fading into autumn, we’ll find any excuse to head up high for a pint or Aperol Spritz and enjoy the sun. Then, when winter rolls around, we chuck on a couple of extra layers, offer up a quick prayer to the gods of patios heaters, and do it all again, switching that Spritz for a mulled wine.

    London’s rooftop bars know that we love them, and they fully play up to it, serving up up a permanent rotation of menus, themes, and even igloos, dotted all across London’s skyline. Here are a few of the best, whatever month it is.

    Queen of Hoxton’s rooftop bar

    The summer 2016 incarnation. Photo: Queen of Hoxton

    Marketing itself as a playground for adults, this east London party venue doesn’t take itself too seriously. It might sit right on the edge of the Square Mile, but its heart and soul are firmly in Shoreditch — and thankfully, so are the drink prices.

    The rooftop has a makeover and a new theme every season, although the wigwam is a permanent fixture. In recent years, Moulin Rouge, Dr Strangelove and Valhalla themes have come and gone, each incarnation bringing with it a themed food and drink menu, Instagrammable decor and a full programme of events.

    If it’s views you’re after, Queen of Hoxton has limited eyeline, due to its position right next to the Broadgate towers. But, there’s usually so much going on — think life drawing classes, drag bingo, hip hop karaoke — you barely notice.

    Oxo Tower, Bankside

    It’s cheating slightly, calling the Oxo Tower venue a ‘rooftop bar’ as it’s not strictly on the building’s roof (how long until someone does open a venue on top of that famous tower though?). What it is, is a restaurant, bar and brasserie all in one, 10 floors above London, with a stunning terrace that offers views all the way along the river, and over towards St Paul’s and beyond.

    Even in bad weather, the venue is a decent option for after work drinks or a pre-theatre meal — provided you’ve booked a table. But it comes into its own when the sun is shining, and those floor-to-ceiling glass doors are wedged open, given the entire venue the feeling of being outdoors.

    The Trafalgar St. James

    See eye to eye with Nelson (well, almost), high up on his column, at what must be London’s most central rooftop bar. The Rooftop at The Trafalgar St James is open to non-residents of the hotel, although opening hours are restricted, particularly in winter, so do check before you go.

    It offers both covered and open-air seating areas, and we’d recommend braving the elements for the best view of the masses snapping selfies in Trafalgar Square below — fear not, blankets and heaters are provided in the chillier months.

    The menu includes classic and signature cocktails — with some warmer ones in the winter — plus spirits, wine, beer and an impressive tea list. Bar nibbles take the form of edamame beans, breads, baby ribs, chicken skewers and the like, although the menu is liable to change seasonally.

    We’re all for being sociable, but can someone just reserve us a front row seat, hand us a bottle of wine and a plateful of snacks and leave us alone to people-watch for hours on end?

    Radio Rooftop at ME London

    Look east to the skyscrapers of the City, west to central London… or down for views straight into the courtyard of Somerset House. Radio Rooftop, above the ME London hotel,  has undergone several transformations in recent years, but it’s finally found its mojo as a rather hip year-round hangout.

    These days, food is as much of a priority as drinks are, with an impressive menu running through breakfast, brunch, afternoon tea and all-day dining. Dress code is ‘smart and glamourous’, and the drinks menu depends on what the current pop-up is — for winter 2018, Grey Goose Vodka cocktails were the speciality, served up in  a Nordic-style winter hideaway.

    Madison, St Paul’s

    Image: Madison

    For the WOW factor, head up to Madison. It’s located on the eighth floor, above One New Change shopping centre and offices, which doesn’t sound all that romantic, but the views are impressive (it’d make for an epic first date venue). You’re practically nose to nose with the dome of St Paul’s Cathedral, meaning you’re not just gazing out at the London skyline… you’re in it.

    The vibe is a chilled out one, with comfy sofas and low tables that wouldn’t look out of place in an Ibiza beach bar. The bar and seating area is covered, but the terrace area with the best views is open to the elements, making summer the optimum time to visit. Be warned though, in peak months, you’ll be queueing even to get in the lift.

    Of course, you *could* come up here during the day and visit the roof terrace for free, but then you wouldn’t have a cocktail in you hand, would you?

    Coq d’Argent, Bank

    Some people call it a banker’s haunt. We call it the Bagpuss building, on account of its stripes. Either way, Coq d’Argent is a surprisingly large venue, the restaurant mainly tucked away inside, serving up contemporary French cuisine.

    Outside on the rooftop terrace, meals from the grill menu are served during lunch time, but in the evening, focus is firmly on spirits and cocktails, with bar snacks offered as a stomach-lining option.

    The space is a variety of covered and open-air, with various pop-ups throughout the year, including the annual winter Lodge d’Argent, dressed to look like a ski lodge with food and drinks to match. Heaters and blankets are plentiful, but Coq d’Argent’s terrace really comes into its own in the summer, when those luscious (fake, we assume) green lawns give way to sunkissed views of the City skyline.

  • Adam 20:55 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    U.K. committee says Facebook ‘intentionally’ violated data privacy laws and behaved like ‘digital gangsters’ 

    Facebook should be subject to new regulations so that it can not be allowed to behave like “digital gangsters,” a U.K. parliamentary committee’s report has concluded.

    A report from the Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which was issued Monday after an 18-month investigation, said that the social media giant “intentionally and knowingly” violated data privacy and competition laws, The New York Times and CNN report.

    The committee had examined Facebook’s internal emails as part of the investigation, and it recommends a watchdog be set up for the technology industry, as well as for Facebook and other companies to be legally compelled to remove harmful content.

    “Companies like Facebook should not be allowed to behave like ‘digital gangsters’ in the online world, considering themselves to be ahead of and beyond the law,” the report reads, CNN reports. The report also criticizes CEO Mark Zuckerberg, saying he showed “contempt” for the committee by refusing to appear before them and accusing Facebook of deliberately sending witnesses who weren’t briefed on key issues.

    Facebook expressed openness to “meaningful regulation,” The Times reports.

  • Adam 20:52 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    10 things you need to know today: February 18, 2019 


    President Trump is prepared to issue a veto if Congress votes against his declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, White House senior adviser Stephen Miller indicated on Sunday. “The president is going to protect his national emergency declaration,” Miller told Fox News Sunday. Asked if that meant Trump would veto a resolution of disapproval, Miller said: “He’s going to protect his national emergency declaration, guaranteed.” Democrats, who say Trump is exceeding his authority by going around Congress to fund his border wall, are planning to introduce a resolution of disapproval. Several Republican senators already have indicated they would support it. Public Citizen, a progressive advocacy group, has filed a lawsuit accusing Trump of overstepping his constitutional authority. California also plans to sue to block the order. [The Associated Press]


    Activists across the nation have planned Monday protests against President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on the U.S.-Mexico border, which he plans to use to free up $8 billion in funding for 234 miles of border wall. Protests are scheduled from New York to California, and from North Dakota to Texas. “We are mobilizing nonviolent rapid-response events to stand up against Trump’s #FakeNationalEmergency to defend our democracy and immigrant, Muslim, black, and brown communities from Trump’s dangerous national emergency power grab,” said on its website for the nationwide events. In Atlanta, the Georgia Alliance for Social Justice organized a Presidents Day protest outside the offices of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, because that agency would be “charged with patrolling this ridiculous wall.” [USA Today, WSBTV]


    France’s justice minister, Nicole Belloubet, said Monday that her government would not immediately act on President Trump’s call for European allies to bring home and prosecute hundreds of Islamic State fighters captured in Syria. Trump on Saturday demanded that France, Britain, and Germany repatriate more than 800 ISIS fighters who are from European countries. French policy has been to refuse to take back fighters and their wives, on the grounds that they are “enemies” of the nation who should face justice where they are. The U.S.-backed Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces are holding 150 French citizens, many of them children, in northern Syria, and their status is in question following President Trump’s decision to withdraw U.S. troops from the country. [Reuters]


    Former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe said in a 60 Minutes interview that aired Sunday that “a crime may have been committed” if President Trump was trying to obscure his campaign’s ties to Russia and derail the Russian election meddling investigation when he fired then-FBI director James Comey in May 2017. McCabe was ousted in March 2018, 10 months after opening two investigations into Trump that he said led to his firing. The White House said in a statement to CBS News that McCabe opened “a completely baseless investigation into the president,” and has “no credibility.” McCabe’s book, The Threat: How the FBI Protects America in the Age of Terror and Trump, is being released Tuesday. [The Associated Press, Politico]


    Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, on Sunday said he would investigate former FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe and other top Justice Department officials to determine if they plotted an “attempted bureaucratic coup” against President Trump. Graham made the statement on CBS’ Face the Nation in response to McCabe’s comments in a CBS 60 Minutesinterview that Justice Department officials had discussed the possibility of asking Cabinet officials whether they would support using the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from office. McCabe corroborated reports that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had suggested wearing a wire in a meeting with Trump. “We will have a hearing about who’s telling the truth,” Graham said. [The Huffington Post]


    Iranian and Chinese hackers appear to have resumed attacks on U.S. businesses and government agencies, The New York Times reported Monday. The recent targets of Chinese spies included Boeing, General Electric Aviation, and T-Mobile, according to an intelligence briefing summary read to the Times. Security experts believe that the hackers stepped up their efforts after President Trump withdrew the U.S. from the Iran nuclear deal last year, and as trade tensions escalated with China. Iran’s recent attacks have been broader than previously reported, targeting U.S. banks, businesses, and government agencies and prompting the Department of Homeland Security to declare an emergency order during last month’s government shutdown. [The New York Times]


    The Trump administration has blocked a United Nations agency’s attempts to reopen North Korean airspace to international flights, Reuters reported Sunday, citing three sources familiar with the matter. One of the sources said the U.S. move is part of an effort to maintain sanctions against Pyongyang as a negotiating tactic ahead of President Trump’s second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in late February. The U.S. is trying to get North Korea to take concrete steps toward fulfilling its commitments to dismantling its nuclear and missile programs. The U.N. International Civil Aviation Organization has been working with North Korea to reopen an air route over its territory. Foreign airlines now fly around the country due to the threat of unannounced missile launches. [Reuters]


    Chinese stocks soared on Monday ahead of a new round of high-level trade talks between the U.S. and China in Washington. The Shanghai composite index surged by 2.7 percent, while the Shenzhen composite rose by 3.7 percent. Both countries said last week’s talks in Beijing had resulted in significant progress. President Trump said the world’s two biggest economies were closer than ever to “having a real trade deal,” adding that he would be “honored” to remove new tariffs if the “very complicated” talks yielded an agreement. He also reiterated that he would consider extending an early March deadline and further delaying tariff hikes on Chinese goods if a deal is near. U.S. markets are closed Monday for Presidents Day. [CNBC]


    Denny Hamlin won his second Daytona 500 on Sunday after a late 21-car crash delayed the finish of the 61st running of NASCAR’s biggest and season-opening race. Hamlin was one of just 14 drivers to finish on the lead lap, after a series of crashes late in the race. Nineteen cars, out of a field of 40, were able to complete an overtime period that added 17.5 miles to the race, the lowest number to finish since just 18 got through the race in 1985. “It’s incredible to me how many times we were able to crash in the last 10 laps,” said Jamie McMurray, a former Daytona 500 champion involved in the night’s final wreck. “When the Daytona 500 is on the line, people are willing to take big risks.” [USA Today]


    Team LeBron came back from a 20-point second-half deficit to beat Team Giannis 178-164 in Sunday’s NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte, North Carolina. It was the second-straight win for LeBron James’ team in the captain’s-choice format. Warriors forward Kevin Durant earned MVP honors, scoring 31 points for Team LeBron. LeBron James finished with 19 points and eight rebounds. First-time captain Giannis Antetokounmpo led all scorers with 38, hitting 17 of his 23 shots for the team he drafted. Team Giannis also got 20 points from Paul George and Khris Middleton, and another 17 points apiece from Stephen Curry, who was Antetokounmpo’s first draft pick, and Russell Westbrook. [CBS Sports, The Associated Press]

  • Adam 20:47 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply


    Pasta through the post? Yep it’s a thing thanks to Pasta Evangelists, who deliver fresh, artisanal pasta and sauces direct to you door, meaning you can whip up an authentic Italian dinner in just five minutes.

    Each box contains fresh, handmade pasta and a sauce – both made in London using seasonal ingredients – plus garnishes and instructions on how to bring the dish together. The menu changes weekly, with eight options to choose from but don’t go expecting spag bol. As well as the likes of crab tortelloni with a crustacean bisque and pappardelle with pork stracotto and cavolo nero, Pasta Evangelists likes to feature lesser-known regional Italian specialities like pesto trapanese from Trapani and malloreddus from Sardegna.

    GBBO judge Prue Leith and food critics Giles Coren and William Sitwell have given their seal of approval , so if you wanna get in on the pasta action, you can get £10 OFF your first order.

    USE code LOTI10

    Terms & Conditions
    £10 off a £13 minimum spend.
    Offer valid to new customers only.

    The post £10 0FF PASTA EVANGELISTS appeared first on London On The Inside.

  • Adam 20:42 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply

    Best New Hotels Around the World for 2019 

    Although London is where our heart is, we do love travelling the world doing much the same things we do in London: seeking out amazing food and experiences. Hotels are a crucial part of that experience too and following on from our round up of London’s most exciting hotel openings for 2019, here’s a global edition of the best new hotels for 2019 to look forward to.

    Aman Kyoto

    1. Aman Kyoto

    Super luxury hotel group Aman is opening its third hotel in Japan, this time in Kyoto. Japan and Aman is a dream combination and the design of their latest, a high end ryokan with sleek minimalist materials and traditional touches, looks like the kind of place you’d have to be dragged away from with tears in your eyes. Located on the outskirts of town it will have a beautiful setting surrounded by temples and mountains, plus the usual top-notch Aman spa experience and a traditional Japanese restaurant. Opens: November

    2. Six Senses Bhutan

    Six Senses don’t half know how to pick a location. As well as opening a resort on Cambodia’s tiny Krabey island in March it has a stunning new property in Bhutan slated to open in May. Located in the Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, the hotel is actually made up of five separate lodges spread across the western and central valleys. This means you can essentially hop across the country while bedding in for the night at a different Six Senses lodge, with a range of itineraries on offer.  There will be a total of 82 suites divided between the lodges with the first three due to open in May and the rest by the end of the year. This one looks very special indeed. Opens: May

    Rosewood Hong Kong

    3. Rosewood Hong Kong

    Hong Kong is no stranger to luxury hotels in skyscrapers but even so, the arrival of Rosewood’s latest is likely to set a new bar. Occupying 43 floors of a 65-storey tower in Kowloon, it will have 322 rooms and 91 suites, the most ridiculous of which will have landscaped gardens, sun decks with private pools, and wraparound terraces. There’s also going to be a spa and EIGHT restaurants, and if you’re having a really good time you can move in to one of the private residences upstarts. Opens: March


    4. Singita Safari Lodge Rwanda

    Singita is opening a new lodge in Rwanda, set on the edge of Volcanoes National Park, home to one third of the world’s remaining mountain gorillas. Besides gorillas, there’s loads to see and explore, from the Afro montane forests of Nyungwe National Park to the capital city, Kigali. Singita Kwitonda will offer 8 suites and a villa with views of the Sabyinyo, Gahinga and Muhabura volcanoes, all designed with locally sourced and produced materials. Luxury African adventures don’t come much better than this. Opens: winter


    5. Sonop, Namibia

    Zannier Hotels already have one property in Namibia, the luxe game reserve Omaanda, and in 2019 it’s adding another, Sonop. It’s camping, but not really, with ten tens set in a huge private dessert reserve featuring infinity pool, four posted beds and copper bathtubs. Pure luxury. Outside you’ll be able to go on dessert rides by horseback or 3-bike where hyenas, leopards and oryx can hopefully be spotted. Opens: August

    Life House Little Havana

    6. Life House – Little Havana and South Beach, Miami

    A new boutique hotel collection, Life House, is off to a strong start this year opening not one, but two hotels, just a few months apart, in Miami. First up is Life House Little Havana in March, a 33 room hotel located in a 1920s mansion in Miami’s Cuban heart. The interiors will be a mix of art deco and Cuban cool, with a living room library and gallery all squeezed in to the building. This will be followed by Life House South Beach in May, a beach cottage retreat set right on the ocean. Opens: March (Little Havana); May (South Beach)

    The Hoxton Chicago

    7. The Hoxton Chicago and LA

    Following openings in Brooklyn and Portland in 2018, The Hoxton continues its march across America with two new hotels, in LA and Chicago. Both properties will have a rooftop pool (a first for The Hoxton) and the usual Hoxton-style smart design and welcome public spaces. In Chicago there’ll be new restaurants run by local heroes Boka, with the LA food and drinks programme soon to be announced. Opens: summer

    Artist Residence Bristol

    8. Artist Residence Bristol

    We’re big fans of Artist Residence and its latest, due to open in Bristol in March, looks like a stunner. Set in a Grade I listed former boot factory it will have 27 bedrooms, cafe, bar and events space. Given the building’s heritage it’s set to look pretty stunning once given the Artist Residence touch: smart design and filled with contemporary artworks. Open: spring

    The post Best New Hotels Around the World for 2019 appeared first on London On The Inside.

  • Adam 20:33 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply
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    In Review: The Alchemist, London 

    Despite frequenting The Alchemist for a number of years, I’ve never given the cocktail citadel a proper review.

    This could be, perhaps, because I’ve typically only drank in the bar’s North England venues. The first Alchemist launched in Manchester’s Deansgate in 2010 on the site of a former 19th century ‘den of iniquity and alchemy’ (giving the bar its name) and I hadn’t actually visited the brand’s London sites since my hometown return.

    Luckily, the whole affair met past expectations – their St Martins Lane outpost is a little bit of alco-theatre in the theatre district. And then some.

    The cocktails fizz, smoke, pop and – well – transmogrify like they have for years while the food menu tantalises in its own way; there is a little bit of everything and a lot to keep your mouth watering.

    After toasting with a Smokey Old Fashioned (Woodford Reserve, maple syrup, Jerry Thomas bitters and smoke), my dinner date and I shared tempura prawn lollipops, steamed pork buns and duck gyoza – all of which went down a simple but delicious treat.

    I was especially surprised to see the menu championing seitan (both in ‘nuggets’ and boneless ‘wings’) but decided to forgo my vegan favourite for a later date so we could share some mains.

    Forgoing the pant stretch of the Vietnamese Banh Mi (my favourite street food of all time), we opted for the tandoori seabass (unbelievably flavoursome) and poke bowl (which, while loaded, was a little more ‘great vegan salad’ than ‘poke bowl’).

    All in all, it’s wonderful to know I can line my stomach with an array of affordable yet appealing bites when fate leads me, inevitably, back to The Alchemist.

    Their Penicillin (Ardbeg 10 yearr, Chase Marmalade vodka, lemon and burnt cinnamon) is the only dessert I’ll ever need.

    the alchemist london review

    The post In Review: The Alchemist, London appeared first on Lela London – Travel, Food, Fashion, Beauty and Lifestyle Blog.

  • Adam 15:56 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    The least macho president 

    President Trump’s supporters love how manly he is. They wear “Donald Trump: Finally Someone With Balls” T-shirts at his rallies. They should reconsider, and not only for reasons of propriety. For all his machismo, Trump is the least macho president in American history.

    Think about it: His behavior defies the traditional definition of what it means to be “manly.” He wears bronzer, loves gold and gossip, is obsessed with his physical appearance, whines constantly, can’t control his emotions, watches daytime television, enjoys parades and interior decorating, and used to sell perfume. He dislikes the NFL, Harley-Davidson, and female porn stars — the holy trinity of toxic masculinity.

    Sure, he talks a lot about being a man — “it is a very scary time for young men in America” — but real men aren’t supposed to talk a lot or get scared. Trump talks all the time and he’s scared of everything, including stairs, sharks he sees on TV, rain in France, and not talking.

    The guy who hates handshakes because he’s scared of germs claims he would stop a school shooting “even if I didn’t have a weapon.” His supporters hail him as the savior of masculinity. But his machismo, like everything else about him, is a charade. Trump is not the savior of masculinity. He is a parody of it.

    His supporters proclaim him a fighter, but he fights only when he can’t get hurt: in the safe space of cyberspace and in sell-out arenas. At WrestleMania, an event where men with big muscles take off their clothes and run around on a stage, Trump got in a fake brawl with Vince McMahon and shaved his head. Rather than punching or kicking his make-believe victims, Trump gives them bad hairdos. On Twitter, Trump picked a fight with Joe Biden, who, like Trump, has Secret Service protection. It’s been 10 months, and he hasn’t cut a follicle.

    Unlike at WrestleMania, Trump’s fans are no longer in on the joke, but they still applaud him. They don’t care that Nancy Pelosi forced him to reopen the government last month. According to a new Monmouth University Poll, 44 percent of his supporters said he looks stronger after losing to a 78-year-old grandmother.

    You’d never hear Pelosi talk so much about her hair. Trump explained his daily routine to Playboy: “I get up, take a shower, and wash my hair. Then I read the newspapers and watch the news on television, and slowly the hair dries. It takes about an hour. I don’t use a blow-dryer. Once it’s dry I comb it. Once I have it the way I like it — even though nobody else likes it — I spray it and it’s good for the day.”

    He uses Twitter to ponder about his hair (“Re my hair-Should I change it? What do you think?“), to confide about his hair (“I will not have to wash my hair this morning!”), and to defend his hair when under attack. After Bette Midler made fun of it, he said she had an “ugly face.”

    This is the way Trump writes — like a parody of a 12-year-old girl. His favorite words are “sooo,” “soooo,” and “sooooo.” His favorite TV show is “soooo much better” than the other ones. “The Emmys are sooooo boring,” but he’s watching them anyway. “Sooooo important, get out and VOTE for Brian!” Trump tweets. “In war, the elememt [sic] of surprise is sooooo [sic] important,” he says.

    Meanwhile Trump gushes over strongmen and strong men. He chose as his acting attorney general a guy whose Twitter picture is of himself lifting weights. He said that Rep. Greg Gianforte (R-Mont.), who body-slammed a reporter, was “my kind of guy.” But his favorite guy is Vladimir Putin. In 2013, Trump asked the internet, “Do you think Putin will be going to The Miss Universe Pageant in November in Moscow — if so, will he become my new best friend?” Because this is what manly men do: They go to beauty pageants, meet other manly men, and become best friends.

    Why, then, do so many men admire Trump?

    Every man, Aldous Huxley said, has two choices: He can either repress his instincts or indulge them. Trump says and does whatever he wants, like a child without any supervision. He eats hamburgers, has sex with porn stars, and insults people while lying in bed and watching people on TV praise him for the job he isn’t doing. He’s like the guys in Mötley Crüe and Poison — who wore makeup, permed their hair, and screamed unintelligibly — except that he’s 72 and not on drugs.

  • Adam 15:56 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply  

    This ‘metallic wood’ is like buoyant titanium 

    “A newly invented material has the strength of titanium, however, it’s light enough to float on water,” said Jennifer Pattison Tuohy at Dwell. The University of Pennsylvania scientists who developed the material call it “metallic wood” because, like wood, it is porous. Some parts are thick and dense and “hold the structure.”

    (Courtesy Image)

    It was made by coating plastic spheres with nickel, then dissolving the plastic, leaving a super-strong porous metal structure. The new material is 70 percent empty space; researchers say that in the future they could create variants that fill the space with energy-storing material to create super light batteries — or even with living organisms that could give it biological properties.

  • Adam 15:52 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply

    The Cheapest Destinations to Travel to 


    1. Laos, $30/day

    laos cheapest places to travel to

    Back in my budget backpacking days around Southeast Asia, Laos was one of the two destinations that I was able to keep my budget at $30/day, even though accommodation was slightly more expensive than most places in Southeast Asia at that time. Many of the amazing activities you can do in Laos are cheap. I paid $2.50 to see one of the most beautiful waterfalls in the world, $7 for a full day tubing experience along the Vang Vieng river, and $6 for an awesome tiger balm massage. You can also rent a motorbike for cheap and venture off to the smaller towns, where everything is even cheaper! With more and more new hostels built to cater to the increasing number of backpackers, you can go for cheaper for longer. However if you have a bit more to spend, you can get a gorgeous room for closer to $35 that would easily cost $100 in the US.

    Meals: $3 – $9 per day. Some hostels provide a basic breakfast.
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel.
    Transportation: $6 – $15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills), or up to $25 for an intercity bus ticket.
    SIM card with data: $6 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The best things to do in Laos

    2. Vietnam, $30/day

    I probably had the healthiest and cheapest street food in Vietnam. Think a soup with rice noodles, cilantro, amazing broth, and a whole shank of pork for $1.50, or a cup of strong, aromatic coffee for $1. As far as transportation goes, if you rent a motorbike, you are all set for the day. However, I understand that not everyone is comfortable riding a motorbike, especially in countries like Vietnam where the road traffic can be overwhelmingly chaotic. The good news is that GrabBike (similar to Uber but on bikes!) is widely available in all major cities, and the cost is as low as $0.5o for a 2km ride! The long distance buses and trains are also affordable and reliable. Accommodation is similarly pleasant and easier to afford than almost anywhere else in the world.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast that consist of a baguette, fruit, and coffee.
    Accommodation: $8-$12 per night in a hostel (here’s a full guide to the best hostels in Vietnam)
    Transportation: $8-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or for an intercity bus ticket.
    SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: The ultimate backpacking Vietnam route planner

    3. Cambodia, $25/day

    I know for sure that if you choose to rough it, you can easily spend a month in Cambodia with just $1000Dorms are very basic but can be dirt cheap, the same goes for food and alcohol. I also had my haggling skills to thank as I was almost always able to talk my way out of being charged unfairly by the Tuk Tuk drivers. There are some one-off expenses such as the 3-day pass to Angkor Wat, which is currently set at $62, and diving trips that add up, but there will also be days of riding bicycle in a small villageeating cheap and delicious meat skewers, when just a dollar or two could stretch very far.

    Another thing is to consider the gorgeous, mostly new boutique hotels on They are obviously not as cheap as staying in hostels but for the price, they are so worth it! I’d definitely splurge on a couple of nights and have some R&R time by the pool.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel (here’s a guide to the best hostels in Cambodia)
    Transportation: $6-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or for an intercity bus ticket
    SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: A perfect Cambodia itinerary

    4. Northern Thailand, $30/day

    The north of Thailand is easy on a tight budget.  As one moves south, costs for accommodation start to double, triple, and even quadruple. If you are short on time and budget for your Thailand trip, stay up north! Even in popular places like Chiang Mai and Pai, you can easily find basic dorms for less than $5. If you stick with eating street food (to each her own, but why eat pasta when you can have Pad Thai, am I right?), not only you will save yourself some money, the experience will be much more authentic and delicious, too. As far as activities go, you really do not need a lot of money to enjoy your day as most activities such as visiting the White templehiking, or gathering 3 other people from your hostel to rent a car and go on some day trips, are all affordable.

    Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $6-$10 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or a rental car split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $7 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity

    READ: 8 Amazing Day Trips from Chiang Mai

    5. Indonesia, $30/day

    The Blue Lagoon on Nusa Ceningan

    The thing about Indonesia is that it can be really cheap, or it can be quite expensive, depending on one big thing – transportation. Intercity traveling can be very time-consuming and costly, so is traveling from one island to another with a private boat. To save costs, stick with a region or two! There’s a lot to do and see, and spending more time in one place will only allow you to travel deeper and have a more meaningful experience anyway. If you want to travel far and wide on a budget, my biggest tip is to take the local transportation! That’s what I did backpacking in Indonesia a few years back, and sure enough, I ended up with some funny stories.

    On the flip side, food and drinks are cheap throughout the country, not to mention absolutely delicious too! Riding a scooter through the mountains cost very little, so does hiking, chasing waterfalls, and slouching in a hammock by the beach all day long. Hostels are plentiful, social and affordable especially in places like the Gili islands.

    Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $8-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills)
    SIM card with data: $5 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The Perfect Indonesia Itinerary for 2 weeks to 2 months

    6. The Philippines, $35/day

    lagaan falls siquijor

    The Philippines’s archipelago can cost quite a lot of both money and time to get around, and the hostel options aren’t nearly as abundant as other Southeast Asia countries. While these two factors seem like a big turn off for travelers trying to stretch their budget as far as possible, there are ways to keep your travel cost in the Philippines low. If you choose to travel during shoulder seasons, book your flights and plan your journey way in advance (it is not the country to always wing it!), and try to stick within 1-2 regions, the Philippines can still be affordable. On top of that, the country has some of the most gorgeous islandsbeautiful dive sites, and hidden gems that you’d have had to pay so much more to experience in other parts of the world. In that sense, the Philippines is worth every peso you spend.

    Meals: $5 – $15 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $7-$13 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $10-$15 for a motorbike for the day (prices may vary depending on the bike condition and your haggling skills) or $15 – $20 for a boat ride from one island to another
    SIM card with data: $6 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The Perfect Philippines Itinerary

    7. Malaysia, $35/day

    tioman island beach

    Being one of the most economically developed Southeast Asian countries, Malaysia is often perceived as expensive. On top of that, when I visited Malaysia for the first time, a few people told me it wasn’t worth staying long. However, I ended up meeting lots of locals, more able to communicate and find more common ground with them than I had in Cambodia or Laos, and had so much fun exploring Cameron Highlands, the jungles of Borneo, and the gorgeous islands. The cherry on top? They were all affordable. An overnight bus from Kuala Lumpur to the Perhentian islands cost as little as $8, there are so many interesting local neighborhoods and markets that are free to explore, and finally, the Malaysian cuisine is like no other – you can find food from just about any culture and it’s so cheap and delicious – but not necessarily healthy. Malaysia is also one of the cheapest places in the world to get a PADI scuba diving certificate.

    The one thing that could make Malaysia expensive to travel in is alcohol, which is highly taxed. However, if you don’t plan on drinking every night, that will not be an issue.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of train and bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an overnight intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    READ: The Best Places to Visit in Malaysia

    8. Sri Lanka, $33/day

    train from ella to kandy, Sri Lanka

    Like many countries, Sri Lanka can be seen on a backpacker budget, or one can spend a small fortune there.  The biggest kicker was the price of activities, such as safaris, and admission into the UNESCO World Heritage sites.  With each running about $40-$50 per ticket, this made Sri Lanka more expensive to fully explore. That said, Sri Lanka can be done on closer to $40 per day on the days that you don’t pay for expensive activities. Food, transport, accommodation, and Internet are relatively cheap. One thing to note about transportation is that in some cases, taking a taxi / uber (in major cities) can be cheaper than renting a bike. If you can find people in your hostel to split the cost, hiring a driver for the day can be as low as $5 per person. The cheapest transportation is the train, which is delightful and IMO, the best way to travel through Sri Lanka.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $8-$15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $10-$15 per person for a private car and driver split between 4 people, or $3-$5 for a second-class cabin train ride between cities
    SIM card with data: $2 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: A Complete Guide to Sri Lanka

    9. Nepal, $28/day

    thurong la pass nepal

    Nepal is a very cheap country to travel through, with most food, accommodation, and transport running at just a few dollars if you eat, sleep, and travel using local options. For food, while I never seem to get any stomach problems eating street food, the street food in Nepal does not have the best reputation. You can get cheap and delicious home cooked meals in local-run small cafes though. Be very mindful when you book your accommodation online, as big corporations have taken over local homestays and and turned them into boutique hotels and resorts. The “local guesthouses” you’ve booked may very well be part of a big hotel chain. I suggest booking the first couple of nights online, and look for accommodation from real local guesthouses when you’ve arrived.

    If you end up trekking, as long as you do so independently and avoid Mt. Everest itself, which costs tens of thousands of dollars, you can travel for as cheap as $10 per day on food and accommodation at the lower elevations, and closer to $20 USD at higher elevations on popular routes like the Annapurna Circuit.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $5-$10 per night in a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $10-$15 per person for a private car and driver split between 4 people, for a local bus ride between cities
    SIM card with data: $3 for 1.25GB with 30-day validity. Yes, it is that cheap!

    READ: A Comprehensive Guide to Nepal

    10. Taiwan, $34/day

    taiwan cheapest place to travel to

    2 words: street food. For less than $2, you can get a plate of fragrant rice with pork / chicken on top, or a large deep fry chicken chop, or a bowl of delicious vermicelli with oysters. Food in Taiwan is delicious and ridiculously cheap. If you are a foodie on a budget, you know where to go! In cities like Taipei and Tainan, you can register for their city bikes, which costs less than $0.50 per hour per ride, and are free for the first 30 minutes. This means you can possibly get around the city all day without spending any money on transportation at all.

    That said, high-end food and clothing prices in Taiwan can sometimes be at US’s level. intercity traveling is either expensive with the High Speed Rail (HSR), or time-consuming with slightly cheaper options. Internet is also not as cheap as the countries above.

    Meals: $5 – $10 per day. Some hostels provide breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $20 per night in a hostel (I highly recommend this one in Taipei!)
    Transportation: $0 – $3 for a full day of bike, bus, and train rides, or $20 – $40 for a HSR ride between cities
    SIM card with data: $33 for unlimited data with 28-day validity

    11. India, $20/day

    India is perhaps the cheapest country to travel to, but if and only if you’re willing to haggle and hunt for deals. Keep in mind that cheap rooms that run in the $3 range will be very basic and it’s normal to shower with buckets of heated water. You will be hard pressed to find cheap gems in the North but the South with its gorgeous beaches may prove more fruitful when it comes to budget accommodation.

    The best way to travel through India on a budget is to book things yourself. This means no agents and no online booking sites (except for some intercity travels, for that, check out 12Go Asia). Similar to Nepal, if you walk into local guesthouses, restaurants, and tour companies, you could easily get the same things in person for half the quoted price online.

    Meals: $3 – $6 per day
    Accommodation: $4 – $8 per night in a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of bus and train rides, or $8 – $30 for an intercity train ride (sometimes a domestic flight costs as little as $30, if you want to splurge without actually splurging!)
    SIM card with data: $3 for 1.5GB with 30-day validity, Yes, it is that cheap!

    12. Some Parts of China, $25/day


    China’s big cities have all kinds of fancy restaurants and hotels that can eat right into your budget in a big way, but in a country this vast, you just need to get off the beaten path for a cheaper yet more authentic experience. Think provinces like SichuanDali , and Guangxi, where cheap accommodation, delicious street food, and unique experiences like having a BBQ with the locals, or riding a bicycle around, can be completely free or very, very cheap.

    Even in major cities like Beijing and Shanghai, there are ways to cut your travel costs down. Hostels are great value – perhaps the best in the world – and as always, if you stick to eating street food, you won’t need a lot of money to get by. What’s expensive is intercity traveling, as transportation can run a bit more expensive at $20+ for 8-hour buses and upwards from there. China is a huge country and therefore, moving around quickly and on higher classes of train can add up quickly. If you pick a province and spend a longer time in it, this will not be a problem.

    Meals: $4 – $8 per day
    Accommodation: $5 – $10 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of bus and train rides in the city, or $10 – $30 for an intercity bus or train ride
    SIM card with data: $15 for 2GB with 30-day validity. Don’t forget your VPN subscriptions so you can stayed connected with your social media and Google!

    READ: A Quick Guide to China

    13. Kyrgyzstan, $25/day

    Kyrgyzstan is the country of choice for most travelers interested in trying out Central Asia, and thus most well-suited to travelers of all budgets. Food is cheap and interesting, so is getting around using the minibuses. Public transportation prices are fixed and is probably the cheapest aspect of traveling in Kyrgyzstan. As for accommodation, you can find hostels in major destinations, and local home stays in more rural places for less than $10. If you are doing a multi-day hike like the Tian Shan Mountains, the tour price should include most things.

    Meals: $4 – $8 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $0.20 for a local minibus ride, or $4 for an intercity bus ride – that’s right!
    SIM card with data: $3 for 3GB with 30-day validity. Though I wouldn’t expect it to work in the mountains

    READ: A Quick Guide to Kyrgyzstan


    14. Romania, $33/day

    If you are planning a European trip that’s affordable and a little bit off the beaten path, Romania is perfect for you. While the country is known for Dracula, many charming towns and free activities remain unknown to most foreigners. Whether you’re taking a long stroll through the medieval villages, or people watching in one of the beautiful parks, Romania is great for anyone after a European experience on a budget. You can also make use of the free walking tours to check out the numerous historical sites. Hostels run $10-$15 per night, food is hearty and delicious (a money-saving tip: Have your breakfast at the hostel, have a big hearty meal for lunch, and cook your own meal for dinner. It’s easy and affordable to get fresh produce from the local market, just make sure your hostel has a kitchen!), and the public transportation is reliable and affordable.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel or a local guesthouse
    Transportation: $5 – $10 for a full day of bus and train rides
    SIM card with data: $6 for 3GB with 28-day validity

    15. Georgia, $30/day

    Georgia is another underrated European destination that’s absolutely beautiful and affordable. Also, get this: most of you will be able to enter Georgia without a visa, and stay for one year. Say what?!

    Quality hostels at a reasonable price range, a meal at a local restaurant for as low as $3, and a local mini-bus ride for less than $1, are just some of the great things Georgia can offer to its visitors. What’s more? Entrance fees to museums and historical sites are mostly less than $2.  The locals are extremely warm and welcoming, and hitchhiking is totally possible for short and long distance travel. There are many day trips, hikes, and monasteries in Georgia, that one can easily spend months and not get bored. It’s perfect if you have more time than money.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of bus and train rides, $5-$10 for an intercity ride, or $0 if you hitchhike!
    SIM card with data: $3 for 1GB with 1-month validity

    16. Greece, $40/day

    Timing is crucial if you want to travel in Greece on a budget. While prices of flights, accommodation and tours have been largely cut down since the country’s debt crisis in 2010, summer months still cost more than others. This means avoiding July and August, which are the hottest and busiest months in Greece. Instead, go a few weeks before or after summer, and you will be able to enjoy Greece with smaller crowds and a lower budget. You can also cut down on food costs by buying fresh produce from the market and make your own meals, since eating out in restaurants can be expensive at certain parts of Greece. A little picnic by the gorgeous beach can be as enjoyable as a lavish meal at a seafood restaurant!

    As far as activities go, opt for the free walking tours available, and if you are planning to do some island hopping, plan well and stick with a group of islands to minimize transfers. For any long distance travel, keep in mind that sometimes a domestic flight can be cheaper than a bus ride.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $10 – $15 per person for a rental car split between 4 people (note: scooter rental costs about $25 – $30/day), or $10-$20 for ferry tickets around the islands
    SIM card with data: $12 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    17. Czech Republic, $40/day

    As more and more tourists flock to Czech Republic, or more specifically, Prague, for its rich history and cheaper-than-water beer, prices have inflated over the last few years. However, it is still easily one of the cheapest central European countries to travel in, especially if you go beyond Prague, such as Cesky Krumlov and Telc, to experience true Czech culture at a much lower cost. Local transportation is reliable and affordable, and if you plan to do a lot of traveling, consider getting a 3-day pass for $14.

    Czech cuisine is very hearty and large in portion. While it’s not the healthiest (most meals consist of potato and meat), it will surely fill you up so to stretch your budget – eat out at a local restaurant for lunch, and have a light snack for dinner. Entrance fees to historical sites and museums can be quite expensive ($18 to enter the Prague Castle), but you don’t always have to actually enter – the hikes up are awesome, and you can always admire the architecture from outside, and pick the most intriguing ones to go in.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $12 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $5 for a full day of tram rides, $15-$20 for a intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with 1-month validity

    18. Ukraine, $26/day

    Ukraine is a challenging country to travel in, due to the language barrier and lack of reliable transportation. But if you are looking for an interesting European adventure on a budget, Ukraine is perfect. The main thing that makes Ukraine so affordable to travel in is its devalued currency. At this time of writing, 1 USD = 27 UAH. To put things into perspective, a dorm room typically costs about 150 UAH per night. That’s 6 USD. Bear in mind that this is Europe we are talking about! Food, transportation, sightseeing and other activities are all incredibly cheap for a European destination.

    Meals: $6 – $8 per day
    Accommodation: $6 – $10 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of train rides, $6-$15 for a intercity train ride
    SIM card with data: $3 for 3GB with 1-month validity

    19. Poland, $40/day

    If you are a fan of heritage sites, Poland has 14 to offer. A country rich with culture and history, it’s a shame that Poland is often overlooked by tourists. It costs an average of $5 to enter museums and historical sites, which is fairly affordable by European standards. Food is delicious and has a bit more variety than its neighboring countries, though it’s still heavy on the calories. The trains are a bit dated but cost very little.

    Poland is one of those countries where you can easily spend an entire day just wandering and people watching. There will be days when you spend nothing else other than on the essentials. Make sure to eat at a “milk bar”, an affordable yet delicious option that’s popular with locals. Go beyond Krakow and Warsaw, and explore other smaller towns like Gdansk, Wroclaw, and Zakopane, which are all stunning and possibly even cheaper to travel in.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of train rides, $10-$15 for a intercity train ride
    SIM card with data: $3 for 2GB with 1-month validity

    20. Croatia, $40/day

    If you like turquoise waters, sunshine, and parties, look no further than Croatia to plan your next budget trip. There are thousands of islands surrounding its mainland, excellent weather from May – October, and beach and yacht parties year-round. The essential expenses including accommodation, transportation and food all come with a reasonable price tag. There is also beautiful architecture to marvel at, interesting sights such as the museum of broken relationships, as well as cute small towns to explore. To travel in Croatia on a budget, you need a similar approach to Greece – travel in the shoulder season. July & August are the country’s busiest months, so avoid them if possible. Also, keep your island hopping to a group of islands to minimize transfers.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $12 – $16 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $12 – $15 per person for a rental car split between 4 people, or $10-$15 for a ferry ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    21. Turkey, $40/day

    Turkey can be cheap or expensive, depending on what you want to do and how deeply you want to travel through the country. A hot air balloon ride costs around $160 – $200, and intercity traveling can be really long and costly. However, the country has a bunch of other bucket list-worthy items that cost way less, and if you plan your route well, it is definitely possible, if not easy, to travel through Turkey on a budget.

    The stunning Blue Mosque in Istanbul, the breathtaking white travertines in Pamukkale, and the hustling bazaars all over the countries are relatively affordable to enter. While the long distance buses are expensive, if you plan well and take the overnight buses, you get to save on accommodation. If you are short on both time and money, just stick with a city or two. Turkish food is delicious and cheap, so that’s one less thing to worry about!

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a taxi ride, or $30 – $60 for an intercity overnight bus ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 2GB with 30-day validity

    22. The Baltic States, $40/day

    Lithuania, Estonia, and Latvia are the perfect trio for those who want to travel Northeastern Europe on a budget, especially if you like rich history, vibrant culture, and towns that are best explored on foot. Spend a few days to a week in each country to soak everything in, enjoy different things each country has to offer, and venture into the small towns outside of their capital cities, where you will see very little tourists.


    Lithuania is a tiny country that most travelers skip or spend at most a night or two in just the capital city, Vilnius. However, this charming place is not only underrated, but also very affordable to travel in! If you enjoy partying, the nightlife scene in Vilnius is vibrant and fun, and the alcohol is fairly affordable. If you’d like a quieter experience, check out the Old Town in Kaunas, Klaipeda, and Curonian Split. Bear in mind that outside of the capital city, hostels can be hard to come by, so book in advance or even consider couchsurfing!

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $6 for a full day of bus rides within the city, or $15 – $20 for an intercity bus ride. Buses seem to be more reliable than trains in Lithuania!
    SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for $7 for 3GB with 30-day validity


    Nature lovers will love Estonia – 53% of the country is forested. This also means that activities like hiking and exploring the national parks are plentiful and affordable (if not completely free). The small towns are also great for walking and cycling, so transportation costs can be minimized. On that note, affordable hostels can be hard to come by in these small towns, so consider basing yourself in the capital city, Tallinn, and make day trips to visit them.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $6 for a full day of train rides within the city, or $10 – $15 for an intercity train ride.
    SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for $7 for 3GB with 30-day validity


    Similar to Estonia, half of the country is covered in forests. There are also thousands of lakes and rivers in Latvia, perfect for canoeing lovers. The best time to go to Latvia is during fall or winter, when you can canoe down the rivers with the color-changing leaves accompanying you, or when Christmas vibe is on full displayed at the local Christmas markets. One can also easily spend an entire day wandering through the enchanting forests with castles hidden in them (okay, maybe not “hidden” but this sounds dreamier, as castles should be). All of these activities are affordable / free, which is why traveling in Latvia can be done on a budget.

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $2 – $5 for a full day of train rides within the city, or $10 – $15 for an intercity train ride.
    SIM card with data: Get a Baltic SIM card for $7 for 3GB with 30-day validity


    23. Mexico, $40/day


    Mexico is full of endless adventures. This vast country is rich with culture, nature, and some of the best food in the world. Though the country does not have the best reputation as far as safety goes, most violence takes place in certain areas, and Mexico is a big country and there are plenty of safe places to explore. Now the good news? It’s easy to travel in Mexico on a budget. For less than $20, you will be able to explore at least 5 stunning cenotes, like the one in the picture above; for less than $3, you can devour delicious street food like tacos (I LOVE tacos), quesadillas, and tortillas; the white sand beaches are essentially free, and the hospitality? Priceless.

    While getting around within a city is cheap, intercity traveling in Mexico can be costly, mainly because of how big the country is. The best case scenario is to rent a car, which costs about $30 – $50 per day, and split between 4 people. If you are backpacking Mexico solo, try to stay in the same place for a longer time to stretch the transportation costs out. That way, you are able to travel deeper and experience authentic Mexico, too.

    Meals: $8 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of bus and train rides, or $30 – $50 for an intercity bus ride (yikes!)
    SIM card with data: $10 for 2GB with a 30-day validity

    READ: 7 Amazing Things to do in Tulum, Mexico

    24. Nicaragua, $35/day

    Nicaragua is one of the cheapest Central American destinations to travel in, although it’s not likely to stay that way for much longer. The country is nicknamed as the next Costa Rica, and we all know what that means. For now, the country remains affordable, fun, and interesting so go before the prices go up and before mass tourism hits.

    For outdoor lovers, Nicaragua is great for surfing, volcano hiking, and diving. For a more relaxing journey, the colonial cities are beautiful to take a stroll in, and there are plenty of gorgeous beaches to lay all day on. Food is cheap and delicious albeit repetitive. There are hostels all over the country so you don’t have to worry about finding cheap accommodation. One thing to note is that there is unfortunately safety concerns in the country, so check the official advisory site and be your own judge before going.

    Meals: $6 – $10 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $3 – $5 for a full day of chicken bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $12 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    25. Guatemala, $38/day

    For an amazing central American adventure on a budget, check out Guatemala. The country is covered in lush jungles, volcanos, and ruins. When you need a break from outdoor sports, its colonial cities will capture your heart with their stunning architecture and cobblestone streets. Local food is delicious and cheap at about $3 for a full meal (except for in Antigua, where prices are actually close to the US standards).

    Local transportation can be very cheap but at times confusing and risky. The locals typically take the chicken buses, which are converted school buses from North America, and are the cheapest way to get around. The buses do not have specific stops, nor is there a board with prices on it. Instead, people simply wave the buses down, and pay the collector money. Watch how much the locals are paying and pay the same.

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $10 – $15 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of chicken bus rides, or $5 – $10 for an intercity bus ride
    SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with a 30-day validity

    26. Colombia, $35/day

    A colorful destination with a dark past, Colombia is fast becoming a popular affordable destination. If you are a history geek, you will love the museums and historical sites in Bogota, the Lost City, and beyond. If you are into nature, the Amazon awaits. As for diving enthusiasts, Colombia also boasts some of the world’s best diving sites and gorgeous beaches. With accommodation, transportation and food being so affordable, you will have room for some occasional splurges – consider booking a luxurious villa for a night or two, you won’t get a deal this great anywhere else in this part of the world!

    Meals: $10 – $15 per day. Some hostels offer complimentary breakfast
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel
    Transportation: $1 – $3 for a full day of bus rides, or $10 – $50 for an intercity bus ride (be sure to check the domestic flights which can sometimes be cheaper than buses)
    SIM card with data: $13 for 2GB with a 30-day validity

    27. Bolivia, $30/day

    Bolivia isn’t for everybody, but if you are looking for a real South American adventure (on a budget, nevertheless), this is the place to be. You will deal with a handful of long, winding roads off the beaten path, the altitude can be problematic for some, but the adventures are endless. The Salt Flats and Dead Road bicycle trip are unmissable, the Amazon is largely untouched, and the country is incredibly ethnically diverse.

    For things remain cheap, you just need to stick with the locals’ lifestyle. For instance, you can get a 3-course meal for less than $2 if you eat at a local restaurant. The same goes for transportation and accommodation if you take the local buses, and walk into local guesthouses instead of booking online. The tours to places like the Salt Flats can be exorbitant, but 100% worth it.

    Meals: $8 – $10 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $12 per night in a hostel (try walking in for lower prices)
    Transportation: $1 – $2 for a full day of local bus rides, or $8 – $15 for an intercity train ride
    SIM card with data: $8 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    28. Arizona & Utah (for a road trip!), $45/day

    While the US is generally not a super budget destination, if you are doing a road trip, you can definitely save in some areas and splurge in others to even out your overall budget. For my American southwest road trip, I spent an average of $110/day, which included a camper van rental, food, gas, camping, plus little splurges here and there. Now, it was definitely more expensive because I was solo. If you had just one other person, you’d be able to split the costs almost perfectly in half. If you had two other people along, take it down to one third and so on. The more the merrier (until you run out of room and start elbowing each other).

    Some quick tips on saving money:

    • Get a national park pass and for $80, you will be able to get a carload of people into any national park in the US for an entire year.
    • Rent a camper van if you are renting a car. Then your accommodation apart from the van fee can be absolutely free by camping only on BLM land.
    • Cook your own meals! Again, renting a camper van with kitchen facilities will enable this and save you a lot of money

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: free
    Transportation: $9/day for a camper van split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $35 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    READ: The Best American Southwest Road Trip Itinerary


    29. South Africa, $40/day

    south africa road trip

    If you are traveling on USD or Euro, the exchange rate alone will do you a big favor. At this time of writing, 1 South African Rand is equal to 7 cents US. Any hostels/guesthouse/tourist accommodation in South Africa is called a “backpackers”, and they are typically in beautiful settings and each has a unique personality, not to mention affordable too. Food is where the big budget eater or saver can be, as it can get expensive in South Africa. To save money, cook your own food. Grocery stores are plentiful and have reasonable prices. By at least cooking your own breakfast and the occasional dinner, you can save a lot of money.

    Unfortunately, public transportation outside of Johannesburg and Cape Town can be pretty limited. While there are a few private companies and trains that all provide transportation around the country, the best (and possibly) cheapest way to get around the country is to rent a car and share with 3 other people.

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $12 – $15 per night in a “backpackers”
    Transportation: $9 per day for a camper van split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $35 for 1GB with a 30-day validity

    READ: The Perfect South Africa Road Trip Itinerary

    30. Namibia, $42/day

    sossusvlei namibia

    Namibia is home to some of the world’s most spectacular views including the gorgeous Sossusvlei, the hauntingly beautiful Deadvlei, and the massive Fish River Canyon, just to name a few. At first glance, Namibia may not seem like a budget destination, as most accommodations cater to the luxury category, and transportation availability from one place to another can be limited in such a vast country. However, you just need to do things a little bit differently to save a lot of money.

    The most important thing is to choose to camp instead of staying in a lodge. The luxury lodges cost about $50 – $200 per night, but you can camp at their campsites for about $8 – $10 per night. Camping at the government campsites will set you back about $15 – $18 per night. As for transportation, ideally you would want to rent a 4×4 and share it with a few people to split the cost. If your accommodation comes with a communal kitchen, make full use of it as cooking your own meals will definitely save you money. Entrance fees are generally cheap!

    Meals: $12 – $15 per day
    Accommodation: $8 – $15 per night
    Transportation: $15 – $18 per day for a 4×4 split between 4 people
    SIM card with data: $16 for 1.5GB with a 60-day validity

  • Adam 15:43 on 18.02.2019 Permalink | Reply

    20 Outdoorsy Things to Do in Aruba 



    eagle beach aruba
    Sunset at Eagle Beach

    Not far from the high-rise hotels of Palm Beach, you’ll find Eagle Beach with white sand and perfect positioning for the sunset each night. Watch as boats sail by, or consider staying at a boutique hotel on this beach for a slightly quieter experience.

    2. Snorkel at Baby Beach

    aruba things to do
    Baby beach – calm and serene

    Baby Beach, and the beaches that border it on either side, are some of the nicest, least crowded white sand beaches on Aruba. They’re also a favorite for snorkeling, swimming, and basking in the sun. You’ll find this one on the south side of the island.


    More south on the Eastern side of the island, the surf is bigger and the wind is stronger, which makes it perfect for kite boarding. If you’re a kiter then this is the perfect spot.


    California lighthouse
    Or stargaze

    Since it’s high up on the island, the California Lighthouse is the perfect place to catch the sunset. It’s not far from Palm Beach, where most of the hotels are, so it’s easy to stop by after a long day at the beach and watch as the sun dips below the horizon. It’s also a good spot for stargazing and astrophotography if you’re into it.


    You can’t go to Aruba without seeing Arikok National Park! It’s the rugged, enchanting side of the island which ended up being my favorite during my time in Aruba. Different tours will take you to different places, like the Ayo rock formation or the caves listed below, but in general they all take you up and down rocky roads in a Jeep with a driver or self driving an ATV in a group with a guide. You can pick your tour depending on what you’d most like to see, choosing from more of the options listed in this article. I went with ABC tours and had a great time.


    The diving is pretty good in Aruba. It’s not the hands down best in the world, but for such an easy variety of dive sites that you can access in water that isn’t that deep and not too far from shore, I was pretty impressed! You can ask your hotel or one of the many dive operators along Palm Beach for a morning or afternoon dive. It only takes a few hours and in my opinion, is worth the time and money if you’re a diver.


    If you’re not a diver, or even if you are, there’s a wreck that almost every boat cruise stops by that’s incredibly shallow compared to most wrecks. You can either freedive down to it, or swim above it with the possibility of seeing much of the wreck on a day with clear water.


    what to do in aruba
    You need a 4×4 for this one

    After the Natural Bridge collapsed years ago, this is now the largest natural bridge on Aruba. It’s on a remote road that you’ll need either a 4×4 or an ATV tour to get to, but if you want to see the more adventurous side of Aruba that fewer tourists see, I recommend taking a drive all along the east coast, including this spot. I did a solo drive here and absolutely loved it. You can rent a 4×4 Jeep at the airport when you arrive.

    Bonus: If you’re a surfer, there’s a popular surf spot nearby. Just be careful, the waves crash right up on rocks along this part of the coast.


    what to do in aruba
    Loved this experience

    Yet another natural bridge, this one has three arches and is a bit less remote to reach, though you’ll still need a 4×4. I headed here for the sunrise thinking I’d get it rising right in front of the bridge, but it was actually a bit more to my right. That said, heading there first thing in the morning meant I got it all to myself!


    aruba things to do

    Some of the Jeep tours in Arikok National Park will stop by this cave, which is even cooler than I expected! If you get there are the right time of day you can see light beams coming down as well. Aim for midday to see this. You can either self-drive with a 4×4 or book a tour that takes you here as well as the next stop, the Natural Pool.


    what to do in aruba
    Wow, right?

    This was easily my favorite thing to do in Aruba. The rocks that perfectly form this natural pool, and a natural ‘jacuzzi’ to the right of my right shoulder in the photo above, make for a perfect swimming area. It can get a little crazy with the waves crashing over the side, but there’s a park guide nearby who closes the pool if the waves get too rough. If you can, try to go on a calmer day. Earlier in the morning or later in the afternoon are good times to avoid crowds.


    flamingos aruba
    Oh hey guys

    In the spirit of full disclosure, flamingos are not native to Aruba and these guys are here more as a spectacle than anything. You can buy food to feed to them and take photos with them, though it does come with a $120 price tag to visit Renaissance Island unless you’re staying at the hotel, in which case it’s free. The rest of the island is lovely as well, but there’s not much shade. You can find out more about how to visit here.


    what to do in aruba
    Many of these on the island

    I was surprised to see cacti all over Aruba the first time I went. I had no idea that it was more of a desert island than the humid Caribbean islands I’m used to seeing. There are plenty of trails in Arikok for exploring to get up and close with them. You’ll also pass plenty when driving along the east coast. If you do end up hiking, keep in mind that there’s little to no shade, and you’ll want to bring lots of water with you. Opt for the early morning hours to avoid peak day heat. Here are some great hiking options.


    what to do in aruba
    I LOVED my Jeep

    If you’re up for a self-drive adventure, I can’t recommend renting a Jeep and driving along the north and east coast enough. I took my Jeep out on a 4×4 road every day that I was on Aruba, and loved the freedom it gave me. It also allows you to see parts of the island that others don’t see. You can compare options here.


    aruba things to do 2
    Would be a lovely place for a horseback ride

    For a dreamy beachy horseback ride, Dos Playa in Arikok is the spot. You’ll find this near the natural pool where the horses hang out. Personally I’m pretty scared of horses (I know it’s silly that I’ll solo hitchhike before I’ll get on a horse but we all have our weird fears). If you enjoy horseback riding, though, you can book it here.


    tres trapi aruba
    Three steps lead to clear, beautiful water

    Just up the coast from Palm Beach, Tres Trapi is a swimming spot with three steps carved into the rock that lead to incredibly clear water. There’s a tiny sea cave near the steps, and it’s another favorite snorkeling spot on the island. You can either drive yourself there or potentially walk along the sand from Palm Beach.


    If you’re a surfer, head to the east coast’s Andicuri beach for the best surfing on Aruba. I didn’t test this out myself and can’t speak to how great the surf is, but to access it you’ll want a vehicle that you can take through sand. Alternatively, check surfline for the best surf of the day. In some cases, you’ll be ok to get there with a standard vehicle. If you don’t have a board it tow or want to learn, check out the Aruba Surf and Paddleboard school.


    what to do in aruba
    Gorgeous Mangel Halto

    Mangel Halto is one of the best spots for sunset, and for a secluded beach amongst the mangroves. It takes a while to get there from Palm Beach or Eagle Beach, so leave yourself at least an hour before sunset if you want to be able to enjoy it without getting stuck in too much traffic. Bring along a mask and snorkel, too!


    what to do in aruba
    Don’t miss this!

    If you’re into being on the water and love boats, then I highly recommend a sunset sail, departing from Palm Beach. They’ll take you to the ship wreck and provide evening beverages while going along the coast as the sun goes down. It’s a fantastic evening activity. You can book here.

    20. SKYDIVE

    Though I didn’t try this, I was pretty curious about the skydiving on Aruba. It must look pretty insane to dive down to such a small island from the air. You can find out more and book here.

    While those are some of the best outdoorsy things to do on Aruba, there are also colorful buildings, famous restaurants, and even a donkey sanctuary. Now that I’ve had the pleasure of exploring Aruba twice, I’m pretty impressed by how much there is to do for such a small island, particularly if you’re into 4×4 driving and rugged coastline.

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