London Top Alternative 5

Most of the people who visit London goes straight away to the typical tourist hot spots such as London Eye, Buckingham Palace, and Piccadilly. But, there is a world to discover in the English capital, one of the best cities to spend a weekend with friends, family or even by yourself. We will give you a top 5 MUST DO alternatives you should not miss. There are infinite places to go, pubs to drink and streets to walk, but like everything in life, choices are always the hardest decision to make.

1. Camden Town

The artist district. Probably if you are an Amy Winehouse fan you already know what are we speaking about: Camden Town. You can hear people saying: if you are looking for something you can’t find anywhere, go to Camden. True. And with that, we are not referring only to clothes, jewellery or books. In Camden, you can find the best tattoo artists, singers, poets and street actors. If you enjoy live music make sure you spent one night around there, most of the bands start their careers playing in Camden’s pubs. Drink a pint in ‘Proud Camden’ in the Stables Market, and probably if you drink more than one, you would end up with a micro on your hands singing in their karaoke.

2. Natural History Museum

Really? Yes. Probably is not one of the recommendations you use to hear about. But trust us, you are gonna have a good time there and if you are traveling with kids, is the ideal museum for them. Also if you go with friends, you will feel like kids playing around. Located in Kensington, this museum brims with more than 70 million different specimens and exhibits, from dinosaur bones to a simulated earthquake (one of our favourite ones). Could it be better? Well, it is. The admission is free, that means if you are on a budget, but you still wanna live the cultural London side, you have a place to go.

3. The Jack the Ripper Tour With Ripper Vision

The dark history of the city: “In the early hours of Friday morning, on the 31st August 1888, a penniless prostitute was slaughtered in Bucks Row, Whitechapel. Her name was Mary Ann Nichols. Her throat was severed deeply by two cuts but it wasn’t until her body was taken to the mortuary that it was discovered that the lower part of her abdomen was partly ripped open by a deep, jagged wound”. Wanna you know more about it? Let’s be honest, we all fell curious about human devil part, take a walk on the scary side of human behaviour and learn the history of one of the most legendary infamous killers.

4. Free Harry Potter

Check out freetour.com, there is plenty of free tours to do with them (not only in London but almost in every European city). If you are a Potter’s fan make yourself a favor and walk from the muggle’s world to J.K Rowling’s Magic Kingdom: “ walk past the Ministry of Magic or the Leaky Cauldron without even realising it. See some of the most iconic buildings, streets and even neighbourhoods that were used during the filmings for the movies. Enjoy strolling down Diagon Alley where you can even check out shops selling unique Potter-related products. To top it off you’ll even get to walk past buildings that were used as inspirations for the Ministry of Magic, The Leaky Cauldron, and the headquarters of The Order of the Phoenix”.

5. See a last-minute West End show

If you are already in London, you have to go to a West End show, the European Broadway. If you don’t want to spend so much money on a theatre play don’t worry, you can find tickets under £20. On the same day, visit the website and see what they have on sale. Another option is The TKTS booth in Leicester Square offers half-price and discounted theatre tickets or Go directly to a theatre’s box office on the day for standby tickets and returns. We can’t promise it’s gonna be the show of your life, but in any way, it’s gonna be an experience of life. There’s nothing quite like a trip to the theatre!

Book your #Cuddlystay and start to plan your alternative London getaway now cuddlynest.com

Hoi An: 5 Things to do in the Lantern City

Located on the central Vietnamese coast, this city is a well-preserved example of the important Southeast Asian trading port during 15-19th centuries. Already a must stop for backpackers and increasingly getting popular among tourists too. On the 14th day of each lunar month, the town trades its electric lights for traditional co- loured lanterns. Sights include the Japanese Covered Bridge and the Quan Cong Temple. Furthermore, Hoi An is very famous around the world for the expert tailors who can make you some bespoke clothing of the best quality for fraction of price as compared to what you would pay in Europe.

Here are 5 best picks that you MUST DO if you have the chance to walk around this wonderful city.

1. Take a cooking lesson

Cooking classes are a really popular attraction in Vietnam, that means you can do one in any city of the country. But, there’s something about the soothing pace and slightly less commercial feel of Hoi An that makes it the perfect spot to get out the chopping board and learn what is a bowl of pho.

There are many different classes on offer so you can take a look around and ask in different restaurants or schools. Our suggestion is Gioan cooking school, where you can learn how to make traditional vietnamese cuisine at its best. Balancing the ying and yang of flavours- sweet and sour, hot and salty all in a really healthy way.

2. Visit Madam Khanh – The Banh Mi Queen

Do you know what Banh is? Well, basically a baguette. It was introduced by the French during the colonial period in Vietnam. The most popular variety of Vietnamese sandwich is bánh mì thịt, thịt meaning “meat”. Bánh mì thịt nguội is made with various Vietnamese cold cuts, such as sliced pork or pork belly, chả lụa (pork sausage), and head cheese, along with the liver pâté and vegetables like carrot or cucumbers.

Keep this address in mind: 115 Tran Cao Van Street, Hoi An 065, Vietnam. You will find there a fierce older lady who rules the shop with the best banh mi in the city.

3. Visit a tailor

Getting something tailor made is a popular thing to do in Hoi An. Items that are pricey back home, like suits, are cheaper, and everyday clothing can be anywhere between low and average price depending on the quality you are after. Furthermore, all tailors in Hoi An offer free fittings and adjustments until it is perfect. Make your own research and ask as many people as you can to find the best one in the city or at least the one that goes with your style.
Tony the tailor is really well known, so why not to walk to 294 Nguyen Duy Hieu Street and see what you come out with?

4. Tour the rice fields

Grab a bicycle and get lost in the gardens of Tra Que, the ancient sites and shipbuilding yards at Cam Kim and the friendly villages all around. Don’t forget to take some water with you. If cycling on your own is not your thing, you can always join a tour, there are plenty of it and it’s a good way to to explore Hoi An’s beautiful surroundings.

5. Take a food tour around the Old Town

And last but not least, a tour around the Old Town – a food tour would be more accurate -. Hoi An is famous for local specialities like white rose dumplings and chicken rice but what of the lesser known treats that populate this city? One tasty and adventurous way to find out is with a Street Food Tour, a gastronomic journey through the Old Town and beyond.
Enjoy two of the great pleasure of life: eating and explore. Take away your lunch and go to the Japanese covered bridge (it’s one of the most photographed bridges in Asia). Walk around the pretty ancient houses that line the streets and stop for a coffee, coffee culture is huge in Vietnam. Enjoy yourself and the small pleasures of life in The UNESCO Heritage Town: The Lantern City.

Top 5 Spring Break Destinations

The Spring season is often referred to as the best time of the year to travel, with the cold winter finally coming to an end and most places preparing for the high season, it allows you to enjoy cheaper destinations with fewer crowds of tourists and good weather. Furthermore, the landscapes at this time of the year are ready to blossom giving those photographs that extra bit of color.

There are plenty of places to go during the Spring, we are going to give you a list of our 5 favorites and most compelling reasons to visit during the Spring.

1. Greece

The Greek Islands are always a good option, the weather is ideal at this time of the year, the temperatures are mild yet comfortable to walk around and you can simply lose yourself in the small and narrow streets. You will come across the mysteries of the old civilization and see some of the worlds most distinctive architectural styles. At the same time, you can absorb the nations rich culture and enjoy the authentic Greek Cuisine. Greece has many options to explore perfectly for both the city and beach lovers.

Try not to miss the sunset in Santorini, the Shipwreck Bay in Zákynthos, the Metéora monasteries, a wine tasting session and don’t forget to Climb Mount Olympus.

2. New York

New York in the spring not only brings in warmer temperatures but also prepares for baseball season. From May onwards the festivals season is full on and the concerts agenda is unlimited. The amazing colors of the city are reflected in the parks, especially in Central Park and whilst you are there, take a walk along the Museum Mile to visit some of the big apples renowned museums and head over to the Top of the Rock to catch a sunset. Walk across Brooklyn bridge to enjoy the stunning views of Manhattan and get close to the Statue of Liberty (there is a free ferry from Staten Island). Head over the High Line, a linear elevated park formerly part of the New York Central Railroad and take a wander along the Esplanade and capture the view of the city and New York Harbour. Lastly, don’t forget to take a walk around Times Square and enjoy a Broadway show while you are there.

3. Morocco

Morocco is an exciting destination that takes you back to another era, another culture, other aromas/smells, colors, and flavors … what else can you ask for? You do not need the time machine to experience first-person unique experiences and feel like a true explorer. take a trip to the Atlas mountains from Marrakech and experience the real Bedouin culture. Things you can not miss here: Ali Ben Youssef Medersa, Erg Chigaga, go for lunch at the Amal Center, and walk around the Jardin Majorelle and the markets in the city and sip on the local Moroccan Tea.

If you like to surf, you have to go to Sidi Ifni, a small town in the south-west of the country with amazing beaches and landscapes.

4. Indonesia

The Indonesian archipelago is huge with 17,000 islands and a tropical climate all year round. Although temperatures are almost always similar, it is advisable to avoid the months of rain that are concentrated between the months of November and April. The dry season begins in May and it is the best time to visit the country.

You should also bear in mind that the high season runs from mid-June to September, so prices soar, so spring is a good time to see the green landscapes, especially the rice fields staggered in the mountains of Bali.

For the city lovers, Jakarta is a must, missing out would be a mistake. Underneath the urban facade is a city full of surprises, an exciting nightlife, a great shopping scene and of course friendly locals. Go on, immerse yourself in the melting pot of Indonesian culture and enjoy the cuisine

You should not miss the magical island of Bali, the temples of Prambanan, Borobudur and the Bromo volcano on the island of Java, and if you like to dive you should go to Gili Trawangan to enjoy the magnificent oceanic fauna.

5. Dubai

There is no hotter destination in the world than the Middle East. Of course, when we mention Middle East Dubai comes to the mind. In Dubai, it is possible to literally turn to the sun. during the spring the water is warm and the weather is perfect for a late picnic on the beach. With the high temperatures here you will melt to get to know one of the historical basis of the Arab Emirates, one hour and a half from Dubai, the zoo park Al Ain Zoo. Here you can feed the giraffes and spot white lions. After an intense day of safari climb (by car) the Jebel Hafeet mountain. It will surprise you and you will appreciate how cool it is up there.

Are we missing something? Don’t worry we have all the possible destinations at cuddlynest.com