Itinerary: Faro, Algarve, Portugal (2 days)

Itinerary: Faro, Algarve, Portugal (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Faro, Algarve, Portugal.

If I had to describe Faro in one sentence, it would be “a historic city with access to golden beaches and an incredible culinary scene”. Faro has managed to keep the balance of an authentic old-town while providing a variety of modern bars, cafes, restaurants, and attractions to keep you entertained for days.

Faro hosts the major airport in the south of Portugal and is the gateway to the Algarve. Bring your swimmers and a hungry tummy. You are in for a treat because Faro is full of surprises.

Here are my recommendations for a 2 day itinerary in Faro, Portugal.

Planning a trip to Portugal? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Lisbon and 5 reasons to visit Porto.

Day 1

Breakfast at Porta Doze Guesthouse

Your culinary journey in Faro starts at Porta Doze Guesthouse. My friend, Tamara, and I stayed here for three nights during our trip in Portugal. Porta Doze is a cozy bed-and-breakfast located in the center of town and just a block away from the bus terminal.

Each morning the lovely Vânia would prepare a delicious breakfast from local ingredients. What made this even more special was how personalized she made the experience. After asking about about our preferences, Vânia customized the meals to suit our tastes. For Tamara it would be a plate of fresh fruits, yogurt, and granola served out on the terrace in the sun. For me, it was bread with cheese and jam sat down next to my laptop in the dining room. (I promise that I did sit out on the terrace at least once!).

And if that wasn’t sweet enough, there would always be a pastry like the “Pastel de nata” (a Portuguese egg tart) with coffee or tea.


Exploring the city center

After your glorious start to the day, step out and go exploring! Faro has shaded shopping streets, a cute marina, and a number of museums. You don’t have to wander far to find the perfect cafe or maybe even an ice cream.

Another site worth visiting is the Faro cathedral. Located within stone walls, it has a courtyard filled with orange trees (very reminiscent of Valencia, Spain) and restaurants. For a small fee, visitors can enter the church and climb to the top for views out to the sea.


Ilha Deserta

Have you ever wanted to visit a desert island? Well, here is your chance! Ilha Deserta is an uninhabited island with nothing but a restaurant and a few beach huts. The entire island can easily be walked around in less than an hour. It is also home to the most southern point of Portugal!

The beach on the south-side is the perfect place to relax in peace. I recommend bringing a towel, sunscreen, bottle of water, and a good book. After you’ve finished enjoying the sun, stop in at the restaurant for a cold beer while waiting for your boat ride back to the mainland.


Dinner at A Venda

A Venda was recommended by Rui, one of the owners of Porta Doze Guesthouse, as a good-value, local restaurant. The interior has a retro-design with crocheted place-mats and mismatched furniture. There is a relaxed vibe and friendly staff who are happy to help with suggestions.

Tamara and I shared five small plates of food (pratinhos), a bottle of wine and a dessert. The price was really reasonable for the amount of food that we had. In fact, I wished I had of ordered more!


Day 2

Praia Faro

Get your beach towel out again, because it is time to hit Faro Beach. From Porta Doze Guesthouse,  it’s just one block to the bus terminal and then a short bus ride to the beach. In fact, it’s the same bus that takes you to Faro airport. So simple!

If you love the beach as much as I do, you will want to spend hours here just listening to the waves with your eyes closed, taking photos, or sleeping in the sun.


Drinks at Hotel Faro

Another local recommendation from Rui was to see the sunset from the Hotel Faro rooftop bar. We came up here one evening and ordered cocktails while watching the sun go down. Even after dark, the view is magnificent with all the harbor lights. The cocktails aren’t too overpriced however weren’t very strong, so you might be better off ordering a glass of wine or beer. Either way, it’s a great way to start your evening in Faro.


Dinner at Portas de São Pedro

I am still raving about the food that I ate at Portas de Sao Pedro. This was one of those magical experiences where you stumble across a restaurant that looks good and it turns out to be amazing. We shared a bottle of wine, four dishes, and a dessert. I even accidentally ate octopus (I am not a fan of seafood) without realizing it, and loved it!

Our waiter was so much fun, chatting about life as a local in Faro and bringing different types of liqueurs to try for free. There was a lot of laughter and jokes shared, then at the end of the night they took our photo for the restaurant. When you visit, let me know if we made the wall!

Porta Doze Guesthouse

Porta Doze Guesthouse is your home away from home in Faro. A four-bedroom family hotel with two shared bathrooms, a terrace, dinning and lounge room. You will find yourself looking forward to your time here, as much as exploring outside.

Whether it’s curling up on the sofa with a magazine, sitting out on the terrace with a coffee, chatting in the kitchen with a glass of wine, singing along to one of the records, or taking a luxurious hot shower –  Porta Doze Guesthouse is to be savored.


My friend and I stayed in the Citrus Room with twin beds, a wardrobe, table and chairs, as well as its own private terrace with street view. The rooms are big with plenty of space to spread out.

I also loved all the windows which can either be opened up to let the light stream in, or closed at night for a peaceful rest. Extra blankets and a heater are available for the cooler months. As well as a fan for summer.


The decor is minimalist and modern, with personal touches everywhere you look. Even those who don’t usually appreciate interior design will be impressed. The owners, Rui and Joana have a knack for design. Check out the Porta Doze Guesthouse Instagram and see for yourself.

Location: Rua Miguel Bombarda 12, 8000 394 Faro – Algarve



My friend and I were complimentary guests of Porta Doze Guesthouse, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.

Budget breakdown: Faro

All costs are quoted for one person and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Porta Doze Guesthouse provides bed and breakfast living in the Algarve. For a truly homely experience, this guesthouse offers four bedrooms for groups of families, friends and couples. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Rooms.

Food: Porta Doze Guesthouse serves breakfast each morning to their guests. They also have a “honest bar” where you can purchase drinks and snacks at your own convenience.

Day 1 – Bread rolls and ham from the supermarket for lunch (€1.49), beer on Ilha Deserta (€3.50), dinner with a bottle of wine at A Venda (€16.50).

Day 2 – Bread rolls and ham from the supermarket for lunch (€1.49), Snickers bar at Faro Beach (€0.90), cocktails at Hotel Faro (€16.00), dinner with a bottle of wine at Portas de São Pedro (€20.00).

Transport: Return boat ticket to Ilha Deserta (€15.00), return bus ticket to Faro Beach (€4.50).

Average daily spend: €39.69 each* ($41.98 USD and $55.25 AUD as of 8 March 2017) excluding accommodation and snack purchases from the Porta Doze Guesthouse honest bar.

*This daily amount could be reduced by skipping the wine and sticking to water.

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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Faro, Algarve, Portugal. Including Ilha Deserta, Faro Beach, and many Portuguese culinary delights.

Have you traveled to Faro or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Itinerary: Lisbon, Portugal (2 days)

Itinerary: Lisbon, Portugal (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Lisbon, Portugal.

Portugal has become an increasingly popular destination and for good reason. The Portuguese are welcoming, warm and charming: just like their cities. The crown jewel of this Western European treasure is the capital, Lisbon. It is a global city with a provincial feel, and a destination that deserves a place on all European itineraries.

This was my second time in Lisbon but first time for my adventure buddy, Tamara. You may remember her from such posts as 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain. Even though I’d been before, I still had a list of experiences I wanted to tick off and was excited to get started.

Here is our 2 day itinerary for Lisbon, including budget breakdown.

Planning a trip to Portugal? Check out how to find local cuisine and culture in Lisbon.

Day 1: Lisbon

Breakfast at Gat Rossio

While in Lisbon, Tamara and I had the pleasure of staying at Gat Rossio hotel. Each morning the hotel provides a buffet breakfast with breads, cheeses, cold cut meats, boiled eggs, yogurt, fruit, pastries, coffee, tea and juice. Not only is the food delicious but Gat Rossio is also conscious of guests with food preferences and allergies. There are lactose and gluten free options, all easily identifiable with labels. I was ecstatic to find oat milk to have with coffee!

Do you have a sensitivity or preference when it comes to food? Read my tips for traveling with a food allergy.

And if that wasn’t good enough, you can look forward to the Portuguese specialty of Pastel de Nata (cream pastry) each morning. Warning: these are highly addictive!


Exploring Barrio Alto

Another bonus of staying at Gat Rossio is its city center location. Barrio Alto has many historic and charming sites to visit including Praca dom Pedro IV and Praca do Comercio. Tamara decided to take a free walking tour with Sandemans New Lisbon (meeting point Martim Moniz at 10am). I had gone on walking tour during my last visit so decided to hit the streets with my camera instead.


Taking the tram to Alfama

Alfama is the colorful “old town” of Lisbon and only a fifteen minute walk from Barrio Alto. If you are looking for an experience you might want to take the tram there. The 28E tram is very popular with tourists as it goes through different neighborhoods of the city. The ticket is inexpensive (around €1.25, paid with your standard metro card) but it can get crowded. Expect to wait for half an hour minimum, even if you get on from the first stop at Matrim Moniz.


Alfama is a lot of fun to explore. Here you will find many restaurants, cafes and souvenir shops. As a popular spot for tourists, some of the meal prices can be in the higher range, however it is still possible to find a cheap sit-down lunch at local restaurants. Basically, the places that don’t have English on the menu. If you don’t speak Portuguese but know Spanish, Italian or French you will see some similarities in some words (just don’t try speaking Spanish to the waiters – they are different languages!). Otherwise a bit of google translating, guessing and pointing goes along way.

I speak enough Portuguese to get around, and we found a quaint corner restaurant with meals from €5 each. The staff were incredibly friendly and when there was one word I was not familiar with, a Brazilian at the nearby table translated it.  I just love hunting for the more “authentic” places, especially if it means saving money.

Something to keep in mind when eating out in Portugal – waiters will often bring bread (sometimes also olives and cheese) to the table. These usually cost extra. Depending on the restaurant it can range from 50 cents to 5 euros for a bread roll (true story – happened to a friend of mine). Check the menu or ask your server before consuming.

 Lunch in Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

Castelo de Sao Jorge and sunset at Zambeze bar

While in Alfama, it is worth taking a walk to Saint George Castle. There is an entrance fee, however you can still see the castle walls and explore the alley ways outside. After a wander around, we went to the nearby Zambeze bar for a cold drink and a beautiful sunset over the city.


Fado concert

As this was my second time in Lisbon, there were three things that I was determined to experience: Pastel de Nata (I got to eat every morning at Gat Rossio), Sintra (we visited the next day) and a Fado concert. Fado is a type of song that is used to express “saudade” (the feeling of missing someone or something). It originated from Portuguese women singing to express heartache when the men left on long sea voyages.

The area of Alfama is the traditional place to see a Fado concert and there are many venues to choose from. We asked Gat Rossio for their recommendations, and subsequently made a booking at Parreirinha de Alfama. This venue is also recommended by the Lisbon Tourism office, so you know it’s really good.

We arrived at the reserved time of 8:30pm and were shown to our table. The restaurant has an intimate setting with stone walls and mood lighting. The performance itself is included with the cost of the meal and guests are required to spend a minimum of €30 per person. Considering the quality of the concert and food, it was well worth the cost.


Day 2: Sintra

Sintra is a Portuguese town located around 30 kilometers (18 miles) outside of Lisbon. It is a magical wonderland of palaces and castles that feels straight out of a fairy tale. The area was once home to Portuguese nobles and is now open for the enjoyment of the public.

It makes a great day trip (or three!) from Lisbon. There are many places to see. You can try cramming in as much as possible with a guided tour or hop-on hop-off bus. We decided to visit just a couple of sites and spend more time in each. Based on recommendations, we chose Quinta da Regaleira and Palacio da Pena.

Getting to Sintra is easy and inexpensive. From Caminhos de Ferro do Rossio station you can take a train direct to Sintra in about forty-five minutes. Don’t worry if you haven’t planned your trip in advance. Upon arrival you will find the tourist information center inside the station, where you can pick up a map and directions.

Quinta da Regaleira

This stately home and lavish grounds is a short 15 minute walk from the Sintra train station. During our Fado dinner we had met a couple who raved about the gardens. I have to agree – they don’t disappoint! Prepare yourself for underground cave systems, enchanting wells and waterfalls. Entrance to the property and house is €6.00.


Palacio da Pena

Pena Palace is a little further away. From the Sintra train station it is an hour walk. Alternatively you can buy a return bus ticket for €5.50 or enjoy the novelty of a tuk tuk for €5 per person, each way. Pena Palace costs €6.50 for access to the grounds and €11.50 if you also want to enter the palace rooms.

The walk to Pena is a highlight on its own, as it goes through the Natural Park of Sintra-Cascais. There are a a lot of hills so you probably want to be in moderate shape at least. The park closes its gates at 5pm sharp and the palace is open until 6pm.


Dinner and drinks in Lisbon

There is no shortage of traditional Portuguese restaurants in Lisbon. As we were staying at Gat Rossio and tired after a big day, we decided to stay close to the hotel for dinner. We ventured a few streets away to Rua dos Correeiros to enjoy Bolinhos de Bacalhau (fried codfish balls) for €4 and a bottle of house wine for €5.

For nightlife, many friends had recommended “Pink Street” (or Rua Cor de Rosa) which is actually located on Rua Nova do Carvalho. The street is literally painted pink and packed full of bars and clubs. For my last night in Lisbon, I decided to head to a Couchsurfing event instead. There I enjoyed a beer while chatting with expats, locals and other backpackers.

Gat Rossio Lisbon

Gat Rooms offer designer accommodation in central locations with a focus on value. The brand strives to embody the cat spirit (the word “Gato” is Portuguese for cat) with curiosity, friendliness and playfulness. Gat Rooms have hotels in Berlin and Lisbon, with a new site opening in Barcelona.

We stayed in their Lisbon location, Gat Rossio, and were awed by the helpfulness of the staff. The Gat Rossio team went above and beyond to make sure that we had a great stay in Lisbon. Which is not hard to do when you are staying in a hotel as nice as this!


My friend and I shared a double standard room which comes with an ergonomic “5 star” bed. The furnishings and fittings are very sleek with fresh, bold colors.The custom-lighting control panels above the bed let you set the mood of the room with dimming. Or allows guests to read on their side of the bed while their roommate sleeps.

On the second level at Gat Rossio, you can find the kitchen, terrace and lounge area which is called “Roomroom”. Roomroom is a great place to chill, work, or message your friends to brag about the great time you are having.

Location: Rua jardim do Regedor, 27-35, 1150-193 Lisboa



My friend and I were complimentary guests of Gat Rossio, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.

Budget breakdown: Lisbon

All costs are quoted for one person and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Gat Rossio is a design-lovers hotel located in the center of Lisbon. They offer single, double and triple rooms as well as junior suites. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Rooms.

Food: Gat Rooms Lisbon provides a daily buffet breakfast to all their guests.

Day 1 – Coffee and muffin (€2.20), lunch in Alfama (€7.50), beer at Zambeze (€2.00), dinner at Parreirinha de Alfama, including Fado concert (€35.50).

Day 2 – Lunch in Sintra (€8.00), hot chocolate at Pena Palace (€2.50), chocolate cake (€1.20), dinner and wine in Lisbon (€7.25).

Activities: Entrance to Quinta da Regaleira (€6.00), entrance to Pena Palace gardens (€6.50).

Transport: Metro card for center (€6.30), 24 hour train ticket to SIntra (€10.25).

Average daily spend: €47.66 each* ($50.21 USD and $66.38 AUD as of 4 March 2017) excluding accommodation.

*This daily amount could be reduced by choosing cheaper activities. Also I made an error with my metro tickets and paid more than I needed to.

Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Lisbon, Portugal exploring Barrio Alto and Alfama as well as a day trip to Sintra.

Have you traveled to Lisbon or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Itinerary: Valencia, Spain (2 days)

Itinerary: Valencia, Spain (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Valencia, Spain.

Valencia is a Spanish city located on the eastern coast, around four hours by car from Barcelona or Madrid. It is most known for its Valencia oranges and as the original birthplace of paella.

For me, Valencia was a tranquil and charming break from the pulsing energy of the bigger cities. A place to take your time, have daily siestas and multiple cafe breaks. I spent a large part of my time wandering around with a serene smile, stopping to take photos whenever I felt like it or just sitting down in a the plaza to people watch.

In total I spent two and half days in Valencia, however it could easily be fit into two days without rushing.

Here is my two day itinerary for Valencia, including budget breakdown.

Heading to Spain? Check out our posts for Barcelona and Mallorca.

Day 1

Plaza de la Virgen and free walking tour

A great way to get orientated and learn the basic history of a destination is to go on a free walking tour. Most cities will have at least one walking tour, which you can find by asking your hostel or hotel reception desk, or by searching online. The free tours are on a tip basis, so you pay what you think it is worth. I have also found this to be a great way to meet other solo travelers, making friends on previous walking tours in Barcelona, Porto and Amsterdam.

The free walking tour that I took in Valencia started in Plaza de la Virgen. Luckily for me, it was just a few minutes walk from my hostel. The guide led us around the center, showing us the main attractions and giving a brief overview of Valencia in two and a half hours. The pace is quite relaxed and overall we didn’t do that much walking (the center is quite small). I started chatting to another girl from Seattle and we decided to go exploring after the tour ended.


Mercado Central 

The walking tour included a stop in the central market of Valencia, however I think that it is worth a trip (or two!) on its own. Many major cities around the world have these public food markets. They can be really fun to explore and get an idea of the local produce and cuisines.

The typical Valencia snack to purchase here is horchata and farton. Horchata (orxata) is a local drink made from ground tiger nuts. There are similar versions in Latin American countries. The farton is a sweet pastry which tastes somewhat like a doughnut. The custom is to dip your farton into the horchata, however as I am not a big fan of horchata, I had mine with coffee instead.


Plaza de la Reina and Torre de San Miguelete

A short distance from Plaza de la Virgen is Plaza de la Reina. This is a busier square with more restaurants and traffic (both pedestrian and vehicles) but it still retains that relaxed vibe. Rising above the square is the San Miguelete Tower and Santa Maria Cathedral. Both require a ticket to enter. If you are really into churches and don’t want to pay then you can visit the cathedral in Plaza de la Virgen for free.

The cost to climb San Miguelete tower is only two Euros and definitely worth it for some amazing views of the city.


El Carmen street art

When I had arrived the previous night by bus from Barcelona, I couldn’t help but notice all the street art I saw while walking to my hostel. This area is called El Carmen and is a maze of decorated alleys close to Plaza de la Virgen. There are also a ton of cafes and restaurants littered throughout this area. A Spanish friend of mine who lived in Valencia told me that this is where she used to go for drinks.



At the time that I was in Valencia, the place to go drinking seemed to be Ruzafa. So much so that I actually ended up here two nights in a row. There are a range of bars from craft beer to jazz clubs, and I tried to visit as many as possible on a crazy pub crawl.

One famous Valencia drink is “Agua de Valencia”. This is consists of cava or champagne, vodka, gin and orange juice. Usually served by the glass or in a jug. I bought a jug to share but have to say that it was very overpriced. The Agua de Valencia I tried was similar to a mimosa which are very common in the USA and Australia. Apart from that, the drinks are generally well-priced starting from €1 for a tap beer.

Day 2

Bluebell Coffee Co.

While in Valencia, I upped my caffeine intake. It wasn’t to stay awake (I was still having daily siestas) but rather for the taste and pleasure of sipping on the hot beverage in between my leisurely strolls. The only issue was all the milk that I was drinking. I suffer from a lactose sensitivity, which means that I can’t consume dairy in large quantities. With all my coffee breaks, I really needed to switch to something light for my stomach.

Do you have a sensitivity or preference when it comes to food ? Read my tips for traveling with a food allergy.

For those who have lactose sensitivities or prefer their specialty coffees, this can be a little tricky when traveling in Spain. Most cafes will only serve the standard types e.g. cafe con leche (coffee with milk) or cafe negro (black coffee). And if you are after soy milk, forget it. There more expensive options available are Starbucks and Costa Coffee however I tend to get sick of visiting chain coffee shops and crave the experience of an independent cafe.

And that’s what I found in Bluebell Coffee Co. A quiet and cute cafe with specialty coffee and fresh breakfast options.


Turia Gardens

When I asked a friend of mine what I should do in Valencia, she enthusiastically responded “Go to the river!”. The so-called river actually no longer exists but has been filled in and covered with a beautiful park-land that extends from Parque de Cabecera, in the west, almost all the way to the ocean in the east.

The park is full of people exercising, walking or just talking a relaxing. There is also a huge children’s playground in the shape of Gulliver from the book “Gulliver’s Travels”. I would recommend hiring a bike for a day and riding the entire length of the gardens to the sea. If you do go by foot, be aware of the different paths for cyclists, joggers and walkers. I was almost run down when I didn’t look before stepping out onto a bike track.


Ciudad de las artes y las ciencias (CAC)

The City of Arts and Sciences is a huge complex of futuristic buildings within Turia Gardens. Each building is unique creation and contribution to the education of arts and sciences. There is an entrance fee to the science museum, aquarium and 3D cinema or you can just wander around gaping at the science-fiction type architecture.


Playa de la Malvarrosa

If you bike east through the length of Turia Gardens then start to head north after the City of Arts and Sciences, you will find yourself at the sea! I actually walked the distance from Plaza de la Virgen to Playa de la Malvarossa and it took over an hour (I got the bus back).

The area around the beach is quite nice with a harbor, walking paths and Rollerblade park. The beach itself is calm and wide. Restaurants are lined up behind the shore and there is a feeling of merriness in the air. Especially if you visit on a sunny day like I did.


Budget breakdown: Valencia

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: 2 nights’ in a 6 bed female dorm (€22.20).

Food: My hostel provided free breakfast with tea and coffee however as the quality wasn’t very good, I bought my coffee and breakfast out of the hostel.

Day 1 – Coffee and farton at Mercado Central (€2.20), lunch and a beer (€6.40), latte with soy milk (€3.30), slice of pizza (€1.50), icecream (€1.50), beers in Ruzafa (€6.00).

Day 2 – Breakfast and coffee with soy at Bluebell Coffee Co. (€6.50), 1 liter bottle of water and bag of candy (€2.40), little sandwiches and fries at 100 Montaditos (€4.50), latte with soy milk (€3.30), slice of gourmet pizza (€2.50).

Activities: Tip for the free walking tour (€10), entrance to Torre de San Miguelete (€2).

Transport: Bus from Playa de la Malvarrosa back to Turia Gardens (€1.50).

Average daily spend: €37.90* ($40 USD and $52.14 AUD as of 22 February 2017).

*This daily amount could be reduced by cooking your own meals or sticking to drinking more water.

Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Valencia, Spain exploring Mercado Central, Turia Gardens, City of Arts and Sciences, and Playa de la Malvarrosa.

Have you traveled to Valencia or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Itinerary: Barcelona, Spain (2 days)

Itinerary: Barcelona, Spain (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain.

I know what you are thinking. How can you only go to Barcelona for two days? That can’t possibly be enough to see and do everything in this amazing place. And you’d be right! However, we don’t always get the luxury of spending as much time as we would like in a city. Unfortunately with work, family and other commitments, sometimes all we get is two days to pack in as much as we can.

In fact, when I planned this trip to Barcelona it was to meet up with an old friend from Australia, Tamara. She was flying in from London and only had the weekend free. This was her first time in Barcelona, the third for me, and I was excited to show her around one of my all time favorite European cities.

So here was our two day itinerary for Barcelona – perfect for the first time visitor!

Heading to Europe? Check out posts on Portugal and England


Plaça de Catalunya, Centric and Port Barcelona

Tamara and I met at the airport on Friday evening, before traveling in together. Another girl approached us to ask if we would like to split a cab and we agreed. The ride was actually really fun with all of us chatting with the cab driver and hearing about his life in Barcelona (and the many languages that he speaks!). If you are arriving with two or less people, then it is definitely more economic to take the Aerobús. This goes from terminals one and two to the city center for just under €6 a ticket.

The Aerobus terminates in Plaça de Catalunya, which is right near our hostel of choice, St Christopher’s Inn. We arrived with our bags and were greeted at reception by Adrian, who would become our new friend and comic entertainment during the stay.


After checking in, we decided to start our night with some tapas and wine. We asked the other hostel receptionist for a recommendation and were pointed towards Centric, a bar across the square. For dinner we enjoyed patatas bravas (spicy potatoes), artichokes and a squid slider over a bottle of Spanish red wine. I can’t imagine a better way to start a weekend in Barcelona!

Then we took a stroll down the colorful and energetic La Rambla to Port Barcelona for cocktails by the sea. Every time I have gone drinking at a bar in this area, the bartenders have always given out free shots. Talk about a warm welcome to the city.

Day 1

Park Güell and Gaudi House Museum

Park Güell is a wonderland of Gaudi creations. Originally a private estate, owned by Eusebi Güell, the park was made public in 1926. A large portion of the park is free to enter, wander around and marvel at the magnificence of Gaudi. To access the Monumental Zone and Gaudí House Museum, you can purchase your tickets online or at the gates. Tamara purchased her double pass to Gaudí House Museum + La Sagrada Familia for €24.

The Visit Barcelona website also offers guided park tours, including entrance to Park Güell.

Park Guell, Barcelona, Spain

There is definitely something magical about Park Güell. Imagine strolling along the path ways looking at the Gaudi constructions, inspired by nature. Buskers are found around every corner, adding to the ambiance with soothing sounds. And did I mention the views? Make sure to take your camera.

Park Guell, views of Barcelona, Spain

Street Art 

While visiting Barcelona, you are going to see a range of street art from political statements, amusing caricatures and mind-blowing murals. We had a lot of fun getting lost down back streets and alleys to be surprised by new works of art.

Street art in Barcelona, Spain

Lunch at Belushi’s bar

After a big morning of exploring, we needed to recharge so we headed back to our hostel, St Christopher’s Inn. Attached to the hostel, is Belushi’s bar. Every morning they serve a continental-style buffet breakfast, complimentary to hostel guests. During the day and nights, guests also receive a 25% discount on food purchases as well as a number of drink specials.

Tamara and I ordered the patatas bravas (the portion was huge!) and two coffees. While enjoying our meal, we began chatting to another guest and decided to all go to the Gothic Quarter together.


La Rambla and Gothic Quarter

La Rambla is great to see by day and night. There is just so much happening that it is hard to know where to look. For me, it really does seem to be the heart of Barcelona, that to connects everything, including the Gothic Quarter.

Step off La Rambla and you will immediately find yourself in a different world on winding alleys and quiet plazas. The Gothic Quarter is one of these areas with buildings dating back to the medieval times. The architecture is break-taking and will keep you amused for hours, even if you aren’t a history buff.

Lucky for us, Tamara has an interest in art and history, and shared all her new found knowledge. If you want all the history, without the effort then you may want to take a guided walking tour of the Gothic Quarter.

Gothic quarter, Barcelona, Spain

Tablao Flamenco de Carmen at Poble Espanyol

The stand out activity of our trip was Tablao Flamenco de Carmen at Poble Espanyol. Located just a short walk from the Montjuïc Magic Fountain, Poble Espanyol is an attraction of Spanish arts, architecture, food and history, enclosed within tower walls. We arrived thirty minutes before the beginning of the flamenco show and visited some of the artisan shops sampling sangria, cheese, olive oil and honeys from around the country.

At 8:45pm, we returned to the entrance of Tablao Flamenco de Carmen and were swiftly seated at our stage-side table. We had chosen the ticket options which included a dinner of five tapas, a main course, desert, coffee and a choice between sangria or wine. The food was incredibly delicious and plentiful. The tapas included a nice range of cheeses, ham and seafood, showing off the best that Spain has to offer.


With much excitement and anticipation, the flamenco show soon began. Tablao Flamenco de Carmen tribute to the Barcelona-born dancer, Carmen Amaya. The performance is multi-faceted with talented vocalists, musicians and dancers. In total there were four flamenco dancers, two male and two female, each with their our incredible and individual styles. Tamara and I were both in awe during the performance. It was really very moving and an experience that I won’t forget.

Get your tickets to Tablao Flamenco de Carmen here!

Tablao Flamenco de Carmen, Turisme de Barcelona, Spain

La Sagrada Familia

You can’t come to Barcelona and not see Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia (the sacred family). As this was my third time in the city, I had already been in the church twice. However this was Tamara’s first and top of her list of things to do. I went along with her and while she explored inside, I walked around taking photos from the park across the street. If you are on a budget and can’t afford an entrance ticket, you can still go and enjoy these incredible views from outside.

For a professionally led tour, with entrance to La Sagrada Familia included, check out Visit Barcelona.


Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona

We’ve all heard of Arc de Triomphe in Paris, well meet the Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona. This was built for the 1888 Universal Exhibition and leads right up to the spectacular Parc de la Ciutadella. Stroll along the paved walkway to take great shots of both the arch and park from either end.

Arco de Triunfo de Barcelona, Spain

Parque de la Ciudadela and Picasso museum

Parque de la Ciudadela completely surprised me. It is a huge sprawling park, buzzing with activity and merriment. I spent an hour here while Tamara visited the nearby Picasso Museum (€12 entrance or free on Sunday between 3-7pm but there is about an hour wait). There is plenty to see and do with a grand fountain, public table tennis sets and lush gardens.

Parque de la Ciudadela, Barcelona, Spain

St Christopher’s Inn Barcelona

We wouldn’t have been able to fit in as many activities as we did, if it wasn’t for staying in a central location. One of the reasons that we chose to stay at St Christopher’s Inn is the fact that they are right near Plaça de Catalunya and La Rambla.

There are so many reasons to love St Christopher’s, that it is hard to know where to start! I definitely felt at home here, easily making friends with the reception staff and other guests. The whole vibe of the hostel, bar and restaurant are very relaxed, fun and social. There is also a “chill out” room where you can go hang out with your new mates or relax while surfing online using the free WiFi.

We stayed in both a private twin room and 8 person dorm (on different nights). The private room came with it’s own bathroom, terrace and access to a separate “chill out” room on the 7th floor. The dorm rooms are fitted out with “pod” beds that have their own curtain, lamp and draw to lock up your bags. In both rooms, the beds very comfortable, clean and modern.


St Christopher’s Inn has a variety of rooms available for groups of all types and sizes from mixed dorms, female-only dorms, twin en-suites, as well as 4, 6 and 8 bed private rooms.

Location: Carrer de Bergara, 3, Barcelona, Spain, 08002



My friend and I were complimentary guests of St Christopher’s Barcelona and Barcelona Tourism, however my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.

Budget breakdown: Barcelona

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (EUR). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. I always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with my readers. If you know of a better deal, tell me about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: St Christopher’s Barcelona is a social hostel located right next to La Rambla. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Booking.

Food: St Christopher’s Barcelona provides a continental-style buffet breakfast to all their guests. The attached bar and restaurant, Belushi’s, provides a 25% guest discount on food and other drink specials.

Arrival – Tapas and a bottle of wine at Centric (€34), cocktails at Port Barcelona (€48).

Day 1 – Lunch of Patatas Bravas and coffee at Belushi’s bar (€7).

Day 2 – Coffee at the Costa Coffee near La Sagrada Familia (€7), lunch of tapas and wine near Ciudadela Park (€38.45), nachos and 2 jugs of beer at Belushi’s bar (€26.50).

Activities: Although my friend visited Gaudi House Museum, La Sagrada Familia and Picasso Museum, I choose to wander around the nearby streets and parks instead.

Transport: Taxi from Airport to Plaça Catalunya (€20), Metro pass x10 rides (€10), Airport bus (€12).

Average daily spend:  €44.10 each* ($46.77 USD and $63.37 AUD as of 19 November 2016) excluding accommodation and the Flamenco Show.

*This daily amount could be reduced by purchasing food from supermarkets or local bakeries.

This page contains some affiliate links. I may receive a small commission from purchases made through these links, however there is no extra cost to the reader.

Adoration 4 adventure partners with quality brands that are relevant to readers. I only promote what I believe in, which is why the A4A audience can trust my recommendations.

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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Barcelona, Spain exploring Park Guell, Gothic Quarter, La Rambla and Port Barcelona.

Have you traveled to Bareclona or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Itinerary: Krakow, Poland (2 days)

Itinerary: Krakow, Poland (2 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Krakow, Poland by A4A guest writer, Darrell Whaley.

Since Chantell and I recently moved to Germany, we wanted to take a trip before I started school, but also a trip that wasn’t going to break the bank. So, what better place in the world to travel to than towards Eastern Europe?

Our trip started off in Krakow, Poland and as soon as we got there we knew we should have planned to stay longer. We made the most of our 2 full days in Krakow and jammed it with as many of the best things we could find. If you only have 2 days to see the city, this will easily help to smooth things over.

Heading to Europe? Check out posts on Slovakia and Hungary.


Day 1

Krakow Old Town

Krakow is known as one of Europe’s most beautiful cities. The evidence of Krakow’s beauty also lies in its complex history of government control. Being taken over by many different countries throughout history also brought with it different styles of architecture, which is seen all throughout the city and especially in the Old Town area. As this was our first time in Krakow, we wanted to learn as much as possible about this historically rich city, so we set to find a walking tour. The Free Walking Tour Company in Krakow is one of the most informative guides to the history of the city. They are easy to spot with their yellow umbrellas, beginning in the north part of Old Town and venturing all the way down to Wawel Castle. I can honestly say that without doing this tour, we would not have been able to learn about not only the different styles of architecture and where they came from, but also how and why the city was formed to how it is today.

Krakow Old Town


Just outside of Krakow lies the most known concentration camp established by the Nazis during World War II. Auschwitz was a place of terror with over 1.1 million people dying at Auschwitz. It is believed there were a significantly larger number of deaths at Auschwitz than 1.1 million, due to records being destroyed or simply not kept. The memorial and museum established at the Auschwitz-Birkenau site is a tribute to those who suffered here. I was able to book a tour with a guide, which I would highly recommend. Our guide, who is from the area, shared experiences of locals who lived through the time of Auschwitz’s existence. The entire experience definitely left me heavyhearted. As somber as it may be to visit Auschwitz or any past concentration camp, I truly believe everyone should take the opportunity to go. It is a simple reminder of how we as people should never discriminate, or judge, or spread hate and fear.


Day 2

Wawel Castle

On the southern edge of Old Town sits Wawel Castle. Built in the 13th century for King Casimir III the Great, it has been rebuilt and had many additions constructed ever since. Now serving primarily as an art museum, it is the perfect location to see history, take in views of the city, relax in the courtyard, and even see the Dragon’s Den, home to the legendary Wawel Dragon.

Wawel Castle Side View

Oskar Schindler Factory

Just across the river in the southern part of town sits the factory of Oskar Schindler. Most people know of Oskar Schindler from Steven Spielberg’s film, Schindler’s List. The factory has been turned into a museum with a permanent exhibition on Krakow under the Nazi Occupation from 1939 through 1945. I felt this was one of the best history museums I’ve ever been in and definitely a must visit. Every Monday has free entrance, but the wait can be long and filled with more people than normal.

Jewish Quarter

When we arrived in Krakow, we were told to explore the Jewish Quarter. We quickly found out that the Free Walking Tour Company also gives an in depth tour of the entire Jewish Quarter, so we joined them for their afternoon tour. Our guide gave us insight to life in the Jewish Quarter before the Holocaust, during, and even after. She even pointed out certain locations where Schindler’s List was filmed. It is truly incredible how strong and giving the Jewish community is in Krakow, even today, especially after everything that happened to them throughout Krakow’s history.

Jewish Quarter

Yarden Aparthotel

During our time in Krakow we stayed at the beautiful Yarden Aparthotel. After a short walk from the main Railway Station, we were welcomed by Yarden’s hospitable reception who are available all hours of the day and will help with anything and everything. They were especially helpful in giving ideas of what to see during our short time there.

Yarden Double Room

There are 48 varieties of rooms to choose, ranging from Double beds to Family Rooms, all with a number of amenities. A wonderful buffet style breakfast is included, filled with Polish meats and cheeses, breads, coffees, and so much more.

Yarden Breakfast

Yarden has a beautiful garden area perfect for breakfast or lunch, enjoying a drink in the perfect weather, or just simply relaxing in the inner city. This beautiful atmosphere is the perfect way to start your day as many people would fill their breakfast plates and quickly head towards the garden. Yarden is a unique and beautiful aparthotel perfect for any type of traveler.

Location: ul. Długa 35, 31-147 Kraków, Poland


Yarden Garden

Adoration 4 Adventure were complimentary guests of Yarden Aparthotel, however our opinions are our own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to our readers.

Budget breakdown: Krakow

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (Polish Zloty). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. We always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with our readers. If you know of a better deal, tell us about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Yarden Aparthotel offers multiple room choices for different group sizes. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Rooms

Food: Yarden Aparthotel includes breakfast in all their pricings.

Arrival – dumplings (24zl), water (1.79zl)

Day 1 – water (5.13zl), lunch (39zl), dumplings (34zl), sipping chocolate (37zl),

Day 2 – water (2.78zl), Polish cookies (13), food in Jewish Quarter (16zl), 2 beers (8zl), coffees (13.90zl)

Activities: Tips for 2 Free Walking Tours (40zl), Auschwitz Tour (45zl)

Transport: train from airport to Krakow for 2 people (16zl), bus to Auschwitz (28zl), 6x city tram trips (16.80zl)

Average daily spend: 85.10 Polish Zloty each* ($22.25 USD and $29.33 AUD as of 9 October 2016) excluding accommodation.

*This daily amount could be reduced by sticking more strictly to street food or cooking your own meals.

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Adoration 4 Adventure’s 2 day itinerary for Krakow, Poland. Exploring the Old Town, Wawel Castle, Oskar Schindler Factory and Jewish Quarter.

Have you traveled to Krakow or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Itinerary: Budapest, Hungary (3 days)

Itinerary: Budapest, Hungary (3 days)

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 3 day itinerary for Budapest, Hungary.

Let me start by saying that 3 days wasn’t enough for us to see everything we wanted. Although we had bad luck with the rain, I still would have loved to stay 4-5 days to explore more of this incredible destination.

Budapest is a vast city brimming with history, culture and delicious food. There is so much to do that it can be hard to decide where to start. This post will help you plan out your Budapest itinerary with ease, while keeping your costs low.

Planning a trip to Europe? Check out our posts for Poland, Slovakia and Germany


Arrival and check-in

Check in to Gregersen Art Hostel

Our accommodation of choice was Gregersen Art Premium Hostel, conveniently located on the Pest side. We arrived in the evening and were cheerfully greeted at the reception by Csöpi. After a speedy and efficient check-in, Csöpi asked if we would like an overview of the city. He happily gave us maps, marking out suggested landmarks and attractions. It was a lovely introduction to the city.


Ruin Pubs

Free entrance into most bars in the Jewish Quarter.

For our first evening in Budapest, we decided to check out the famed “Ruin Pubs”. These are basically old buildings in the Jewish Quarter which have been transformed into bars and clubs. Often the bars are below street level and even themed. Based on Csöpi’s recommendation, we headed to the Yellow Zebra which was a low key pub, with a local feel and a nice atmosphere.

Day 1

Pick up Budapest Cards

The Budapest Festival and Tourism Centre offers a 1, 2 and 3 day sightseeing cards. These official city cards provide free admission and discounts for heaps of attractions, tours and restaurants. To make the deal even sweeter, it includes free public transport on all BKK services (this covers buses to and from the airport).

Darrell and I both had the 72 hour Budapest Card and loved how fuss-free it made our visit. We were able to hop straight onto buses or trains, without having to worry about buying tickets. We also had free access to some of the most popular attractions in Budapest.

This card is a very convenient option for visitors to the city, as you can order online and collect from the airport or the Budapestinfo Point in the center of Pest. You can also purchase after you arrive, at one of the various kiosks all over the city (trust me – you will see them everywhere and they are more than happy to help with directions).

For more information and to order your Budapest Card online, go to Buy Now.


Central Market Hall

Free entrance.

The Central Market Hall (or Grand Market Hall) is a popular tourist spot. Visitors come here to peruse local produce, buy souvenirs and enjoy a Hungarian meal. Head upstairs to the food vendors and grab a seat, so you can people watch from above while munching on your Langos.

Free Communism Walk

Free walking tour (tips appreciated).

Both Darrell and I are big fans of walking tours. What better way to see the city and hear about history from a local, while getting some great exercise. The free walking tours run by United Europe Free Tours, offer a Budapest, Communism and Jewish District walk. They also have 2 tours in Spanish for the general Budapest tour as well as a “Dictators and Religions” tour.

As we had recently gone on a Jewish Quarter walking tour in Krakow, Poland and were taking a Pest Tour the next day, we opted to go with the Communism walking tour at 3:30pm. During this 2.5 hour tour, our guide provided fascinating insight and knowledge about this difficult period in Hungarian history.


Sweeney Todd Musical

3000 HUF per person.

While on our 10 day backpacking trip of Krakow, Bratislava and Budapest, Darrell was keen to see a musical performance. By chance we heard about a Sweeney Todd musical in English (with Hungarian subtitles). The show was presented by Eso Theatricals and held at a theater on the Buda side. It was a wonderful experience to watch a mainly Hungarian cast, with a few International actors, in an intimate setting.

Gregersen Art Hostel can also arrange tickets for musical performances such a orchestra, classical and folk.

Goulash and beers

Free entrance into most bars in the Jewish Quarter.

After a long but fun day in Budapest, we were in need of some sustenance. We headed back to the Jewish Quarter and came across a rock-themed bar called “Liquid Pub”. Darrell and I had a blast singing along to rock songs, sipping beers and savoring a bowl of goulash.

Day 2

Classic Pest Walking Tour

Free with Budapest Card.

Cityrama operates walking tours for the Buda (2pm daily) and Pest (10am daily) sides of the city. We took the Classic Pest Walking Tour and found the guide to be courteous and knowledgeable. There was some overlap with the Communism Walking Tour so in hindsight, we would have taken the Classic Buda Tour instead. Although hearing two different perspectives on Hungarian events and politics, from the guides, can also be interesting.


The Chain bridge and Danube River


A must-do for anyone visiting Budapest, is to walk across the Széchenyi Chain Bridge. This awe-inspiring construction was the first permanent structure to link the Buda and Pest sides from across the Danube River.

Stroll along the Danube River at both night and day for contrasting views of this picturesque city.


Buda Castle District

Free entrance to Budapest History Museum with Budapest Card.

After crossing the Chain Bridge to the Buda side, you will be in the Buda Castle District. This area contains many fantastic viewpoints as well as attractions including the Budapest History Museum, Royal Palace and Fishermen’s Bastion. Darrell and I explored the Budapest History Museum to learn even more about the city.


Day 3

Heroes Square and Vajdahunyad Castle 

Free entrance to the courtyard of the Vajdahunyad.

Take a leisurely stroll up Andrassy Avenue until reaching Heroes Square. A tall column is surrounded by the Seven Leaders of the Hungarian Conquest. An impressive sight to behold. Behind the square, you will find a Budapestinfo Point and the Vajdahunyad Castle.

While in this area, you can also visit the Szechenhyi Baths, the largest and most popular thermals baths in Budapest. Budapest Card holders receive a 20% discount off the entrance fee.


Lukács Thermal Bath

Free entrance with Budapest Card.

For as long as I’ve known thermal baths existed, I’ve wanted to visit one. The whole idea of a bath house seemed so mysterious to me. The closest experience I’d had was during our recent trips to outdoor hot springs in La Fortuna, Costa Rica and Copan Ruinas, Honduras.

Lukacs Thermal Baths are located in Buda and easy to travel to via the tram. We decided to leave this experience till our last evening, so we could relax before flying back to Germany. It was very luxuriating with multiple saunas, steam rooms, indoor and outdoor thermal pools. We stayed for almost 2 hours and could have stayed longer, especially if we had of indulged in some of their wellness services or treatments.

As newbies to the world of thermals baths, we weren’t sure about what to bring and ended up having to wear our normal shoes to walk around between baths (you can rent flip flops, towels and swim swear if needed).

To help you be better prepared than us, make sure to pack the following for your trip:

  • Towel
  • Pair of flip flops / thongs to walk around in
  • Swimming costume (bikini, board shorts, etc)

Lockers are available and included with free entrance for Budapest Card holders.


Gregersen Art Premium Hostel

Gregersen Art Point is a fantastic option for high quality, low cost accommodation in the center of Budapest. The hostel offers single, double, triple and quadruple rooms with a shared bathroom. As well as premium rooms with a private bathroom. This makes it a great choice for all types of travelers from solo backpackers to families.

The hostel rooms and facilities are immaculate, with a shared kitchen to help you keep your food costs down. We appreciated the high speed WiFi so we could get work done during the nights. The staff were always pleasant and accommodating for any questions that we had.

Location: Budapest, Lónyay u. 31, 1093, Hungary



Adoration 4 Adventure were complimentary guests of Gregersen Art Premium Hostel and Budapest Card, however our opinions are our own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to our readers.

Budget breakdown: Budapest

All costs are quoted for two people and in the local currency (HUF). See below for the average daily spend per person including currency conversion to USD and AUD. We always try to find and negotiate the best prices to share with our readers. If you know of a better deal, tell us about it in the comments below.

Accommodation: Gregersen Art Premium Hostel offers multiple room choices for different group sizes. For the full list of accommodations and current prices, please refer to Hostel.

Food: Each morning we would go to the local supermarket to buy pastries for breakfast. Tap water is drinkable in Hungary so we did not have to buy bottled water.

Arrival – 2 beers at the Yellow Zebra (900).

Day 1 – 2 coffees (1400), 2 breakfast calzones from a bakery (840), barbecue lunch at Bel Varosi Disznotoros (950), 2 coffees (1130), 2 ice creams (440), 1 cookie (390), 2 beers and a bowl of goulash (2070).

Day 2 – 2 coffees (930), 4 pastries from the supermarket (595), 2 coffees (790), 1 langos (900), 2 beers at the Street Food Show (1600), 2 ice creams (400).

Day 3 – 4 pastries from the supermarket (362), 2 coffees (880), 2 course lunch with soup and pasta (1100 – shared), 2 slices of pizza (400).

Activities: Tip for communism walking tour (1400), 2 tickets for the Sweeney Todd musical (6000), Budapest History Museum (Free with Budapest Card) and Lukács Thermal Bath (Free with Budapest Card).

Transport: Free BKK public transport (including to and from the airport) with Budapest Card.

Average daily spend: 3912.85 HUF each* ($14.33 USD and $18.79 AUD as of 25 September 2016) excluding accommodation, BKK transport and activities covered by the Budapest Card.

*This daily amount could be reduced by sticking more strictly to street food or cooking your own meals.

Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure’s 3 day itinerary for Budapest, Hungary. Including visits to ruin pubs, castles, thermal baths and walking tour recommendations.

Have you visited Budapest or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.