Migrating Miss https://www.migratingmiss.com Travel & Expat Lifestyle Blog Tue, 17 Jul 2018 18:33:10 +0000 en-GB hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.7 Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland https://www.migratingmiss.com/what-to-wear-in-scotland-packing-list/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/what-to-wear-in-scotland-packing-list/#respond Thu, 05 Jul 2018 14:52:41 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4489 “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing” – Billy Connelly And who would know better than Billy Connelly, the Big Yin, and Scotland native? Since I first moved to Scotland over 5 years ago I have found this to be entirely true. Deciding what to wear in Scotland is a big deal! Despite what you may have heard, the weather does vary from season to season, day to day and even hour to hour, and creating a packing list for Scotland is no easy feat! Aside from dealing with all four seasons in one day, your decision on what to pack for Scotland will also depend on what you intend on doing there. I’ve read packing lists saying you should take an umbrella everywhere, which would just be madness in the countryside (and even in the cities to be honest!) and others saying you definitely need hiking boots and waterproof pants, which isn’t always true. So after experiencing multiple seasons and many trips around Scotland from the Borders to the far northern islands of Shetland, I’m dishing my take on what to pack and wear in Scotland! The number one rule for what to wear in […]

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“There’s no such thing as bad weather, just the wrong clothing” – Billy Connelly

And who would know better than Billy Connelly, the Big Yin, and Scotland native? Since I first moved to Scotland over 5 years ago I have found this to be entirely true. Deciding what to wear in Scotland is a big deal! Despite what you may have heard, the weather does vary from season to season, day to day and even hour to hour, and creating a packing list for Scotland is no easy feat!

Aside from dealing with all four seasons in one day, your decision on what to pack for Scotland will also depend on what you intend on doing there. I’ve read packing lists saying you should take an umbrella everywhere, which would just be madness in the countryside (and even in the cities to be honest!) and others saying you definitely need hiking boots and waterproof pants, which isn’t always true. So after experiencing multiple seasons and many trips around Scotland from the Borders to the far northern islands of Shetland, I’m dishing my take on what to pack and wear in Scotland!

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

The number one rule for what to wear in Scotland

LAYERS.

If there is ONE tip that I could give you when you’re planning your trip to Scotland it’s to take layers. As much as I try to tell people the sun really does shine in Scotland, the weather is also very changeable and you’ll be thankful to have several different layers with you. And I’m not just talking about when you’re packing, I’m talking about when you’re out and about during the day.

I also love carry-on travel, and it’s even possible to take carry-on only luggage in winter if you pack right. And by pack right I mean pack layers!

You don’t need to have the fanciest of winter gear in the colder months, but you will want to have a warm coat with several layers under it and a hat, scarf, and gloves. If the day warms up you can put a layer or your woolies in your bag. Even in summer, you might want to check the forecast and be prepared with waterproof clothing in the event of rain. So maybe my second tip would be to have a decent sized day bag…

Read More: How to Pack for Winter Travel with Carry On Only Luggage

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

What you wear in Scotland depends on where you’re going

Detailing a packing list for an entire country is kind of weird. After all, would you have one list for the entire year and every eventually from city living to getting outdoors for where you live? Maybe if you live somewhere with a temperate climate, but chances are your list would be pretty extensive! So lets narrow down a few things based on where you’ve decided to visit in Scotland and what you plan to do.

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

What to wear in the cities in Scotland

Scotland isn’t a particularly fashionable place, not that I mean that in a bad way. Basically, you can wear what you like. Smart casual will get you by almost anywhere, even on a night out. Although some people will dress up more it’s not expected and you won’t stick out wearing casual clothes (like I feel I do in some stylish European cities!).

Winter in the city

You can expect temperatures to average around 5°C (41°F) and although it does snow, it usually isn’t a lot in the cities and will rarely settle in many places in Edinburgh and Glasgow.

My usual go-to for what to wear for the colder months in the cities (and towns) is the following:

  • A warm pair of boots like these or these
  • Jeans or warm tights under a skirt or dress
  • Under layers like a vest top or shirt
  • Cardigan or warmer jumper if it’s particularly cold
  • Warm overcoat (either woollen with a hood to be more stylish or my warm waterproof Regatta which I love!)
  • Carry or wear a scarf (you could wait and buy a tartan scarf here!), hat, and gloves (I love the kind you can use with a touchscreen)
  • Light waterproof coat if rain is forecast and you intend to be out walking around a lot
  • A dress you can dress up if we go out somewhere (with tights!)
  • Footwear should be a good waterproof pair of boots that can be comfortable during the day or that are dressy enough to wear out at night
  • For men, nice jeans, chinos or nicer trousers will do for going out, plus a shirt, and ankle boots/leather shoes

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

Summer in the city

Unfortunately “summer” is really only from June to mid-August, although it depends on the year and it can still be chilly during those months if it’s not sunny. Days are long since Scotland is so far north, and in June it can be light from before 4 am until after 11 pm in Edinburgh, and for even longer the further north you go.

You can expect temperatures to average around 15°C – 17°C (59°F – 63 °F) although there is usually around 2 weeks of much warmer weather (as I write this it’s 21 degrees in June!). Although Scotland can have plenty of sunny days in the summer, the breeze or wind can often bring a chill, which is why once again layers are a must. I have a light raincoat (no warm layer) that I still need to use in the summer when the weather isn’t cooperating!

I love visiting Scotland’s islands in the summer, and the weather there can be particularly changeable, so be sure to have wet weather gear as well as warmer layers just in case.

My usual go-to for what to wear in the warmer months in the cities are the following, although it varies A LOT depending on the actual weather:

  • Jeans or shorts if it’s warm enough
  • A dress or skirt (with or without light tights depending on the temperatures)
  • A light top, t-shirt, or shirt
  • Cardigan or another layer like a light scarf to go around your shoulders for when it’s chiller
  • Summer coat for the colder days (yes, a summer coat is really a thing! Basically a light coat you can layer with as appropriate. Click here to see what I mean.)
  • Footwear can vary between sandals, ballet flats, Converse, or some other type of sneaker depending on what the plans are
  • Dress to go out in (but that can often double up as more casual during the day)

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

Spring and Autumn in the city

Spring is one of the best times to visit Scotland, as the weather seems to be more settled and the days are getting longer and warmer. Temperatures range from 7°C – 13 °C (45°F – 55°F) and the days just seem to be sunnier, although with the occasional run of rain.

Autumn is particularly changeable, and it can be hard to determine what to wear in Scotland at that time. Temperatures are roughly the same as spring ranging from 8°C – 14°C (46°F – 57°F) but it seems like the weather changes more often, swinging between sun and rain.

During these seasons layering is key. I usually switch to an in-between coat (I love my orange trench like this), that is not quite as warm as my woollen winter coat but heavier than my light summer coat. If you don’t own something like this then it’s easy enough to drop a layer under your winter coat or add one under a summer coat. I also usually carry my waterproof and stick to knee-high boots if I know it’s looking rainy.

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

What to wear in Scotland in the smaller towns

If you’re heading out of the major centres of Edinburgh and Glasgow to smaller cities like Aberdeen or Inverness, or to the small towns and the highlands but not attempting any major outdoor activities then you’ll be basically able to stick to the above.

Footwear will be your biggest difference, as even if you want to do some short walks I’d recommend good boots that are waterproof. However, at the same time, you don’t need to spend a fortune! You could look for something like these boots which will allow you to crossover between city and countryside easily!

What to wear while hiking in Scotland and doing outdoor activities

If you intend to do some hiking in Scotland during your trip, or even walking and exploring areas outside of the cities then you might want to consider some more “outdoorsy” clothes. These are pretty much the same all year round, with the addition of layers of course!

On short walks where I have checked that no rain is forecast, I will often just wear jeans or leggings with a t-shirt, jumper, and take my waterproof coat as a windbreaker. However, if there is a chance of rain and you’re walking for long enough to have your trousers get wet I would definitely consider a waterproof or quick-dry type of bottom layer.

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

General Scotland Packing List

If the above is a bit overwhelming and you’re thinking, “this what to wear in Scotland thing is really complicated!” then here’s a cheat sheet list of the main things you’ll want to bring!

Coat/Jacket – Choose according to the weather, but consider something waterproof even in the city. You can get stylish waterproof jackets too you know!

Boots/Shoes – I usually live in my knee-high boots from late autumn through to early spring. Consider footwear that can handle walking around the city or the countryside.

Sweatshirts/Jumpers/Cardigans – Remember layering is key so you want something that’s warm but not too bulky, that way it’ll fit under a coat plus you can remove it in you need to.

Base layers – I would only suggest thermals if you’re going somewhere in the highlands in the winter and intend to be outside a lot, otherwise, a simple vest top or t-shirt will work.

Jeans/Trousers – Think about the activities you have planned and if you need something more water resistant if you want to go hiking, or dressier if you plan on going out somewhere fancy.

Dressier outfit – Unless you’re planning a really fancy dinner and night out it’s unlikely you’ll even need this! For women, a dress and tights with boots or flat shoes will be fine for going out and you can wear it during the day too. For men, jeans or chinos plus any type of shoe or boot that’s not hiking boots would do fine!

Winter warmers – Think warm socks, a scarf or neck warmer, hat, and gloves.

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

Extras to Pack for Scotland

Aside from what to wear, there are a few extra things you should consider when packing for a Scotland trip.

  • Plug converter: I like this one that includes USB ports.
  • Camera: You’re going to want to take plenty of photos! I love my Sony a6000 mirrorless as its compact and light but takes great photos.
  • Reusable water bottle: Water from the tap in Scotland is safe to drink so bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and for the environment!
  • Flashlight: A small flashlight may be useful if you’re staying in accommodation outside of the city or a headlamp if you’re staying in a hostel.
  • Daypack: This can take many forms depending on what you like and your purpose. My husband and I carry this camera backpack and camera shoulder bag, or I use a large handbag when I’m in the city. You can also use a foldable backpack if you’re bringing carry-on only luggage!
  • Hand warmers: These little hand warmers can be really handy if you’re susceptible to cold
  • Binoculars: If you’re heading to the highlands or on a boat trip consider some small binoculars to view wildlife. Especially if you’re looking for Puffins in the summer!
  • Midgie repellent: Midgies are a small flying insect and are kind of like mosquitos in that they can be found in marshy areas and can bite. They don’t seem to bother me too much (knock on wood!) but they definitely do some people so if you’re going out of the city them consider bringing repellent. Locals also swear by Avon Skin So Soft lotion as a repellent!
  • Camping gear: Obviously if you’re going camping (really only recommended in late spring and summer) then you’ll have a whole lot more gear you need to consider!

Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

What to wear in Scotland for men

This post is pretty skewed towards a packing list for Scotland for women, mostly because I am one, but also because I think women’s clothing is harder to judge! A guy could almost get away with changing his shoes and that’s about it. I have tried to include some tips for what to wear in Scotland for men throughout the post, but to recap, I think men would basically need the following:

Packing List: What to wear in Scotland

You’ll notice I never did recommend an umbrella, and that’s because I see far too many of them in the rubbish bin on rainy days, but if you are sticking to the cities and the wind is pretty much non-existent you could consider it!

You shouldn’t need to do a huge shop for new clothes when you’re packing for Scotland, although of course, it depends what kind of climate you’re coming from. By sticking to layers and having a decent coat and footwear to protect you from the elements you should be just fine!

Don’t worry if you get here and find you’ve forgotten something or haven’t quite packed the right clothes. There are plenty of stores on the high street where you can buy what you need! Marks & Spencer have great winter coats and warm clothing in the winter, and if you need outdoor gear you can always look for Craghoppers stuff or a Regatta stockist.

That’s the lowdown on what to wear in Scotland and your Scotland packing list. It might seem complicated but at the end of the day, the most important thing to remember is layers, and something waterproof!

Sonja x

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Scotland Packing List: What to Wear in Scotland

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City Guide: What to Do for 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia https://www.migratingmiss.com/2-days-in-kuala-lumpur/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/2-days-in-kuala-lumpur/#respond Wed, 04 Jul 2018 08:00:17 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4478 The following is a guest post by Antoine, a Canadian travel blogger who now lives in the Cayman Islands, where he works in marketing and travels as much as possible, both to local Caribbean islands and to destinations further afield. He has visited every continent except Antarctica and has experienced climatic and cultural extremes, and now he’s on a mission to show you the less visited side to places around the globe. Follow his adventures on his blog Traveling Life or find him on Facebook. Glittering Kuala Lumpur is a truly global city; it’s a melting pot of cultures, with influences from countries including Britain, China, and India, but still manages to maintain a distinct Malaysian vibe. Travellers love Kuala Lumpur for its amazing architecture, the abundance of museums, modern attractions and temples, and mosques. Malaysia’s capital is a wealth of culture, and 2 days in Kuala Lumpur is just enough to get a taste of this captivating city. Kuala Lumpur is often a stopover destination for travelers venturing from destinations in Asia or Australasia to Europe or elsewhere in Asia; but if you have a stopover, why not extend it and make it a 2-day layover to check out […]

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The following is a guest post by Antoine, a Canadian travel blogger who now lives in the Cayman Islands, where he works in marketing and travels as much as possible, both to local Caribbean islands and to destinations further afield. He has visited every continent except Antarctica and has experienced climatic and cultural extremes, and now he’s on a mission to show you the less visited side to places around the globe. Follow his adventures on his blog Traveling Life or find him on Facebook.

Malaysia Itinerary: 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Glittering Kuala Lumpur is a truly global city; it’s a melting pot of cultures, with influences from countries including Britain, China, and India, but still manages to maintain a distinct Malaysian vibe. Travellers love Kuala Lumpur for its amazing architecture, the abundance of museums, modern attractions and temples, and mosques. Malaysia’s capital is a wealth of culture, and 2 days in Kuala Lumpur is just enough to get a taste of this captivating city.

Kuala Lumpur is often a stopover destination for travelers venturing from destinations in Asia or Australasia to Europe or elsewhere in Asia; but if you have a stopover, why not extend it and make it a 2-day layover to check out some of the best sights that the city has to offer?

How to get to Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur airport is incredibly accessible from destinations in Asia, Australasia, and even Europe. Cheap AirAsia flights reach Kuala Lumpur from many destinations around South East Asia and China. The airport is also serviced by many other airlines; it is a hub for Malaysian Airways and is serviced by other national airlines.

It’s easy to reach Kuala Lumpur from the airport. Trains or bus leave, both bound for KL Sentral – the main station. Trains are faster, but the buses are cheaper. Once you reach KL Sentral, you can take the monorail to the station nearest your accommodation.

Alternatively, Grab (a taxi app) is affordable and popular in Kuala Lumpur. There is WiFi in Kuala Lumpur airport, so you can download the Grab app (if you haven’t already!) and order one from there. You can choose to pay the driver in cash.

If you’re visiting Kuala Lumpur from elsewhere in Malaysia or Singapore, overland travel is simple. Long distance buses are cheap and readily available – journey time is approximately 7-8 hours from Singapore and 5-6 hours from Penang. Trains also connect the country and reach up to Bangkok in Thailand.

Malaysia Itinerary: 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

What to do for 2 days in Kuala Lumpur

There are many sites to see within the city itself, plus some very easy trips to nearby destinations or day trips further afield.

Masjid Negara (National Mosque)

The Masjid Negara welcomes visitors at certain times of the day outside of prayer. They provide guests with long robes with a hood for women (if you are female, your hair must be covered) and visitors are welcome to walk around the grand building at their own leisure; of course, being considerate about any signs for areas that are for Muslims only. Sometimes volunteers are within the mosque, and they will tell you all about the history of the building and the significance of Islam in Malaysia.

Central Market

If you want to purchase any bags, shoes, belts and more, the Central Market is your place. It sells all sorts, from fake designer labels to dried legumes. It’s also a great spot to grab some dinner; there are plenty of restaurants lining the marketplace.

Malaysia Itinerary: 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Museum Negara (National Museum)

A fantastic starting point for national history, the Museum Negara discusses the tale of Malaysia; from ancient history to how the modern culture has developed. It’s a great place to get a grounding in Malaysia and learn why it is such an ethnically diverse country, about the natural landscape, and how Islam came to be the dominant religion (but also how other religions are respected and celebrated). For 5 ringgit entrance, it’s an absolute bargain.

Sri Mariamman Temple

Now we’re onto the Hindu temples! Kuala Lumpur has always had a big Indian population, thus the need for Hindu temples is prevalent. Guests are welcome to enter the temple and look around, admiring the statues of Hindu deities. Quite often, music is played and joyous prayers happen – which guests are sometimes invited to watch. Seeing the Hindu temple is another side of Malaysian culture and is a must-visit when in Kuala Lumpur.

Malaysia Itinerary: 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Masjid Jamek (Jamek Mosque)

Situated at the founding place of Kuala Lumpur, where the two rivers meet (Kuala Lumpur actually means ‘muddy place where two rivers meet!), the iconic Masjid Jamek has absolutely breathtaking architecture and is well worth a visit – even if you have already visited the Masjid Negara. The exterior of this mosque is the most impressive – so be sure to take it in from the outside. Similarly to the Masjid Negara, you can enter the mosque and look around outside of prayer time.

Petronas Towers

If there’s one thing to represent modern-day Kuala Lumpur, it’s the futuristic Petronas Towers. They are an icon of Kuala Lumpur and are one of the most significant landmarks in Malaysia. Visit during the night to see them lit up.

Malaysia Itinerary: 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Islamic Arts Museum

If you’re interested in Islamic art and design, this is the place to visit. With various displays – some intertwining together and some as individual pieces – it’s a fantastic place to not only appreciate Islamic art but also learn about Islamic history through artwork.

National Visual Arts Gallery

Containing murals, paintings, and sculptures, the National Visual Arts gallery houses artwork from Malaysia and abroad. It is separated on floors; the ground floor is dedicated to Malaysian art, with contemporary artwork on the second floor and traditional paintings on the top. It’s a wonderful place to visit for any art lovers or anyone wanting a slice of Malaysian culture.

Batu Caves

A train ride away from the city, the Batu Caves take about half a day to visit and enjoy properly. It’s an easy journey out there, and entry to most of the caves are free. Here, you can enjoy the spirituality of these caves as well as take part in a cave tour which explains some of the flora and fauna found in tropical caves like these.

Batu Caves from Kuala Lumpur

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur

Budget: Paper Plane Hostel

This hostel is perfect for the budget traveler; with a social atmosphere, lovely and helpful staff and funky artwork all around the hostel, as well as cute free toiletries and other extras, you’ll feel like you’re in a ‘home away from home’ in Paper Plane Hostel. Choose from a dorm room or a private accommodation.

Mid-Range: Summer Suites Bernice

This aparthotel offers studios with a kitchenette, so you can cater for your own needs. Other facilities are great air conditioning, comfortable beds, clean en-suite bathroom and a swimming pool. It’s in a great location – right in the heart of Kuala Lumpur.

Luxury: The Majestic Hotel Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur does luxury very well, and the Majestic Hotel is no exception. This world-class hotel offers deluxe en-suite rooms; some with a four-poster bed and a standalone tub in the bathroom. The hotel has a pool, a fitness center and a spa and wellness center.

Malaysia Itinerary: 2 Days in Kuala Lumpur

Day trips from Kuala Lumpur

Port Dickson

If you’re looking for a coastal retreat to cool off in Malaysia’s heat, head to Port Dickson for gorgeous beaches, complete with palm trees and glittering blue ocean. Port Dickson is quite touristy, but it’s a welcome respite for anyone after some sea and sand after the urban chaos of Kuala Lumpur. Port Dickson is located 1 hour 15 minutes from Kuala Lumpur and can be reached by train or bus.

Malacca

A two and a half hour drive or bus ride away from Kuala Lumpur, Malacca is a wonderfully historic and quaint city. Visit to enjoy the mosques, local food, and epic viewpoints. Visit museums and enjoy delightful restaurants in the city. There is a strong Portuguese influence in the city, and you can visit the Portuguese Village where descendants of Portuguese colonists still live!

Day Trips from Kuala Lumpur

Where to go from Kuala Lumpur

Kuala Lumpur airport is a hub, so it’s possible to fly to lots of destinations in Asia, Australasia, and Europe from here. AirAsia has a hub in Kuala Lumpur, with budget flights to locations all over South East Asia and Australia.

You can also venture south towards Singapore or north towards Thailand and South East Asia overland.

Two days in Kuala Lumpur would be just enough to give you a taste of the city, see the main things to do and maybe take a short trip to somewhere nearby!

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Best Things to Do in Kuala Lumpur in 2 days

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33 Best Things to do in the Costa Brava + Things To Know Before You Go https://www.migratingmiss.com/things-to-do-in-the-costa-brava/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/things-to-do-in-the-costa-brava/#comments Tue, 03 Jul 2018 10:50:11 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4454 This post contains affiliate links The Costa Brava is the perfect holiday destination for just about anyone. Located in Catalonia in the northeastern corner of Spain, there really are so many things to do in the Costa Brava. And I don’t say that lightly! From the gorgeous beaches surrounded by rocky cliffs to the wineries, the legacy of Salvador Dalí, the delicious cuisine, and family-friendly activities; I’m not kidding that there’s something for everyone! I was lucky enough to recently be able to explore much of the Costa Brava, from the north near the French border to the very south at Blanes, and inland to Girona, and I can’t wait to share about it with you! I was struggling with exactly what to write about because it was so awesome. So instead I’m just going to write about all the best things to do in the Costa Brava! First though, here’s a map to help you see the layout of the Costa Brava and all the main attractions. Not everything is on the map (obviously beaches, diving, or snorkelling could be anywhere!) but it will help you in planning your Costa Brava itinerary. Towns/cities mentioned in this list of things […]

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This post contains affiliate links

Best Things to Do on the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava is the perfect holiday destination for just about anyone. Located in Catalonia in the northeastern corner of Spain, there really are so many things to do in the Costa Brava. And I don’t say that lightly! From the gorgeous beaches surrounded by rocky cliffs to the wineries, the legacy of Salvador Dalí, the delicious cuisine, and family-friendly activities; I’m not kidding that there’s something for everyone!

I was lucky enough to recently be able to explore much of the Costa Brava, from the north near the French border to the very south at Blanes, and inland to Girona, and I can’t wait to share about it with you! I was struggling with exactly what to write about because it was so awesome. So instead I’m just going to write about all the best things to do in the Costa Brava!

First though, here’s a map to help you see the layout of the Costa Brava and all the main attractions. Not everything is on the map (obviously beaches, diving, or snorkelling could be anywhere!) but it will help you in planning your Costa Brava itinerary. Towns/cities mentioned in this list of things to do in the Costa Brava are marked with orange stars, attractions are marked with a blue pin, and restaurants with a green knife and fork!

Here are the top things to do in the Costa Brava, plus tips and advice about the things to know before you go:

Explore the beaches

You couldn’t talk about the best things to do in the Costa Brava without mentioning some of the hundreds of beaches along the coast. There’s everything from large sandy beaches next to towns to hidden coves accessible only by boat or on foot. Although the water is cooler along the Costa Brava than in Barcelona or further south, you can still enjoy a refreshing dip in the sea from June when temperatures are in the mid-teens.

Beaches on the Costa Brava

Find Game of Thrones locations in Girona

Much of season six of the popular TV series Game of Thrones was filmed in Girona, the largest city in the Costa Brava that sits around 20km from the coast. The Old Town of the city lent itself well to the fantasy world, and not a lot of changes had to be made in post-production, meaning it’s easy to spot the Game of Thrones filming locations as you wander around the city. (Or check out my Girona Game of Thrones guide to be sure!)

Read Next: Girona: Game of Thrones Locations + Awesome Things to Do

Girona: Best Things to do in the Costa Brava

Try Kayaking the Costa Brava

Kayaking in the Costa Brava is a great way to explore more of the hidden coves along the coastline and view the beautiful houses perched on many of the cliffs. It’s possible to rent kayaks and do a self-guided tour, however taking a guided kayaking tour will give you much more information about what you’re seeing and enable you to safely navigate the coast, especially if you’re less experienced!

Book a tour: Kayaking and Snorkelling Tour

Visit the fortifications in Tossa de Mar

Tossa de Mar is one of the most picturesque medieval villages along the Costa Brava, although to be honest there are so many it’s really hard to choose! What makes Tossa stand out is the fortifications that include towers and medieval walls. Wander around them in the early morning when there are hardly any people, or go out there in the evening when all the hidden bars and restaurants come to life.

Tossa de Mar: Best Things to do in the Costa Brava

Be amazed at the Salvador Dalí Theatre Museum

I don’t pretend to fully understand the artwork of Salvador Dalí, but then I’m not sure anyone does! However, after a guided visit to the Theatre-Museum that he designed himself in his birthplace, I do think I have a much greater appreciation for what he accomplished. The museum is set in an old theatre in Figueres, and Dalí is actually buried in a crypt beneath the former stage.

I spent a good two hours attempting to explain the significance of the artwork within the museum and the jewels that he designed to my husband after returning home, but you really need to see it to appreciate it for yourself!

Book a Guided Tour

Dali Theatre Museum: Best Things to do in the Costa Brava

Eat at one of Dalí’s favourite restaurants

Around 5 minutes walk from the Dalí Theatre-Museum is the Duran Restaurant, which was a favourite of Dalí. It is also a hotel and the walls near the entrance are adorned with small drawings he did for the restaurant as well as photographs of him when he was younger. The restaurant has actually been around since 1827 however, and it gives the feeling of having stepped back into another era with the traditional decor. The cuisine on offer is traditionally Catalan, and we enjoyed the daily menu which included three courses for €22, drinks excluded.

Duran Restaurant Figueres: Best Things to do in the Costa Brava

Take a wine tour

Given that the Costa Brava is known for its gastronomy, it’s no surprise that they have an array of wineries to go along with it. The Empordà Wine Region is home to many of the wineries of the Costa Brava, and plenty of them offer tours, tastings, and other activities. Try La Vinyeta or Mas Estella. If beer is more your style, you can find several microbreweries stretching along the coast too! Check out more about the must-visit wineries and breweries in this post on Savored Journeys.

Book a wine tour 

Walk the Coastal Path

The Costa Brava Coastal Path covers over 200 kilometres of the coastline, from Port Bou to Blanes. At times it runs along the beaches, through towns, or even the front gardens of houses, and at others it just meanders along rocky cliffs above the sea. The Coastal Path north from S’Agaro is probably the most accessible, with wide paths and much fewer steps. When you’re visiting the Costa Brava make sure you take some time to walk along the path somewhere!

Coastal Path: Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Visit Cadaqués

Cadaqués is a short journey from Figueres, and after visiting the Dalí Museum it’s likely you’ll want to take a trip! Aside from being regularly touted as one of the most beautiful towns on the Costa Brava and nicknamed “The Pearl of Costa Brava”, it featured in Dalí’s paintings as he spent his childhood holidays here, and lived nearby in his adult life. There isn’t anything in particular to do in the town, other than visit the beach and walk around the rocky bay and pebble beaches. Then find a table in the sun and order some drinks!

See the start/end of the Costa Brava in Blanes

The “gateway to the Costa Brava”, Blanes should feature on your trip itinerary. There are both sandy and rocky beaches’ and the town is a little quieter than some of the others along the coast. The rocky outcrop of Sa Palomera marks the beginning (or end!) of the Costa Brava and gives beautiful views up and down the coast.

Blanes: Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Stop by Es Blanc, just across from the rock, where we had one of our best culinary experiences on the Costa Brava. The modern restaurant bar offers several stations and areas where you can see sushi being made or Jamon and cheese being cut, plus order tapas and other Mediterranean cuisine from the menu. All of the food was delicious and served thoughtfully, which I love. Later in the evening it transforms more into a cocktail and beach bar!

Es Blanc: Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Discover Dali’s House in Port Lligat

Between 1930 and 1982 Dalí often lived and worked in a house in Port Lligat, until his wife Gala died. You’ll be able to spot the house which has now been turned into a museum because of the distinctive eggs on the roof. Yes, eggs. Entry is by ticket only and in small groups admitted every ten minutes. Be sure to book in advance if it’s high season because you don’t want to be disappointed!

Savour the restaurants and cafe’s of Girona

Girona is full of unique eateries, from the more upmarket to the hole in the wall style tiny shops. There’s traditional Catalan dishes as well as more modern fusion cuisine. Try Casa Marieta in Independence Square for an old world experience of traditional food in a restaurant over 100 years old, or Indigo Restaurant in Hotel Carlemany where you can get everything from Catalan tapas with influences from other cuisines to cocktails.

If you need a pick me up after wandering the Old Town then head to Rocambolesc, a Willy Wonka style ice-cream shop with delicious flavours and unique toppings on offer.

Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Have fun at Costa Brava waterparks

The Costa Brava has miles of gorgeous coastline, but if you want to spend a day in the water you can also go to one of the many waterparks. They’re good for children and adults alike! Check out the following:

  • Aquabrava – Roses
  • Water World – Lloret de Mar
  • Aquadiver – Platja d’Arco
  • The waterpark in the sea – Empuriabrava

Swim the coastal swim lanes

As well as walking the length of the Costa Brava Coastline, you can also swim much of it! The Swim lanes, or Vies Braves, are open water swimming and snorkelling trails that follow the coast. You’ll need to be a confident swimmer to make your way between the beaches and coves along the coast, and check for what safety gear you need, like a bright float to make boats aware of you.

Swim Lanes Costa Brava

Enjoy the oasis of the Botanical Gardens

Beautiful parks and gardens are a feature of the Costa Brava, as many have been set up as an oasis from the beaches and the rocky coast. The cliffs next to the sea are often the perfect spot for gardens, and so you’ll find plenty as you travel around. There are some of the most beautiful botanic gardens in the Meditarreanean, so take a wander through when you’re visiting a town nearby.

  • Pinya de Rosa Botanical Gardens between Blanes and Lloret
  • Mar I Murtra in Blanes
  • Cap Roig Gardens in Calella de Palafrugell which are also the setting of the Cap Roig Festival

Walk the bridge at Besalú

Besalú is a beautiful medieval town on the Costa Brava, but with a distinctive Romanesque Bridge that is around 1000 years old. The bridge with its seven arches makes for a grand entry point into the small village! I would rank visiting Besalú and seeing the bridge as high on your list of things to do in the Costa Brava, having never been anywhere else like it!

Read Next: Why You Need to Visit the Fairytale Town of Besalú

Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Visit Gala Dalí Castle Púbol

If you want to complete the Dalí triangle after visiting the Theatre-Museum in Figueres and the Portlligat Museum-House you’ll need to travel to Castle Púbol between Girona and Figueres. Dalí bought the Castle for his wife Gala in 1968 and she spent every summer there from 1971 until 1980. It was only after her death in 1982 that Dalí moved in but he left again after a fire in 1984. Castle Púbol has been open to the public since 1996 and you can visit and see the surrealist masterpiece he made for his wife.

View the Santa Clotilde Gardens

The Santa Clotilde Gardens in Lloret de Mar are evergreen gardens rather than botanic, so they can really be enjoyed at any time of year. Although they are in the Renaissance style, they were designed by a local architect who was inspired by the Villa d’Este gardens near Rome. Perched on the rocky cliffs above Lloret de Mar, the gardens include beautiful pathways leading towards views of the coast.

Created in the 1920s and named after the first wife of the architect, the gardens have since been restored twice and are now similar to how they would have been in the 1950s. Originally only for the family, the gardens are now public.

Santa Clotilde Gardens: Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Journey around the rice fields in Pals

Just a few kilometres from the coast is yet another Costa Brava beauty, the medieval village of Pals. However, as a point of difference to the other villages, Pals is surrounded by what were once marshlands that have now been transformed into rice fields. They date back to 1452! You can visit the rice mill and the fields on the tourist train, or by bicycle.

Get lost in the Old Town of Girona

That cliche of “stepping back in time” as you walk through a modern-day city is true about Girona or at least the Old Town! It has retained much of its medieval architecture and influence, and you really can walk along the ancient walls or explore the Jewish Quarter.

Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Refresh yourself with a frozen Daiquiri

When I was visiting Lloret de Mar I was intrigued to find out about the connection between this small town on the Costa Brava and Floridita, one of the most famous bars in Havana, Cuba. The town of Lloret has been in existence for over 1000 years, and although it was originally a ship-building community, this work unfortunately dried up, and many people moved on to Cuba in search of making a living.

One such man, Constantino Ribalaigua Vert, worked in a bar called La Piña de Plata, before becoming the owner and changing the name to El Floridita. He was widely considered to be the best bartender of his time, and he is credited with the invention of the frozen daiquiri in the 1930s. He used rum, sugar, and lemon like a traditional daiquiri, but with the addition of crushed ice and maraschino liquor.

So while you’re in Lloret de Mar, be sure to have a frozen daiquiri and remember the man who was from there that invented them!

Daiquiri Drinking: Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Appreciate the local food and gastronomy

I really think that Spain, in general, is an underrated foodie destination, and the Costa Brava is no different! The traditional Catalan food on offer is often a combination of rural and sea, with things like veal and prawns being served together. Paella with black rice and seafood is served, as well as fideauá, a Catalan-style paella made with short noodles kind of like vermicelli rather than rice.

In addition to the delicious traditional dishes and abundance of fresh seafood, you’ll find more modern restaurants serving fusion food or a new take on Catalan dishes.

Some places to try:

  • Sa Barca in Tossa de Mar – A delightful dining experience, with wonderful staff and plenty of seafood dishes (try their Black Rice Paella).
  • Casa Marieta in Girona – A restaurant that has been operating for over 100 years, serving traditional Catalan dishes.
  • Casa Brinda in Platja d’Aro – With a beautiful interior and cuisine to match, this is a lovely place to stop in for lunch or dinner during a day at the beach.
  • Sybius Cala Canyelles in Lloret de Mar – A seaside setting with lots of seafood dishes on offer. Their seafood paella is delicious!
  • Es Blanc in Blanes – A modern restaurant/bar (think vaguely hipster) that mixes traditional and fusion dishes served in quirky crockery. My favourite!
  • Indigo in Hotel Carlemany, Girona – Cocktail bar and tapas lounge inside the Hotel Carlemany in Girona. Great for any time of day.

Food in the Costa Brava

Play a round of Golf

Now golf isn’t really my thing (unless its mini golf!) but it is definitely a reason for some people to choose their next holiday destination. The Costa Brava has a wide range of excellent golf courses and even luxury golf hotels. European Tour events have been held on the Costa Brava, and there are four courses in the region ranked amongst the top 50 in Europe.

Have a cider at Mooma Cideria

Catalan people (and indeed all Spanish people) are well-known for being wine-drinkers, but at Mooma Cideria, they’re trying to change that. The cideria is located to the east of Girona, almost on the coast, and is the only place making cider within 500 kilometres. The family-owned and operated business was started over 60 years ago when apple orchards were planted to sell into supermarkets.

Mooma Cideria Costa Brava

However, the younger generation of the family decided that they wanted to try and do something a little different, and so the cideria was born. Although a type of cider can be found in the Asturias region in the north of Spain, they travelled to Somerset to investigate how to craft an English cider. The first cider was sold in December 2015, and in January 2016 the apple juice variations and vinegar were also released. The most recent addition are guided tours of the orchard and the small chiller, showing how the operation has already grown, plus tastings of course, as well as their restaurant and beer garden.

I absolutely love visiting this kind of place on my travels. Where a small group or family are trying to do something different and make their living outside of the norm. I’d highly recommend a visit to Mooma!

Mooma Cideria Costa Brava

Enjoy the Costa Brava Nightlife

Lloret de Mar is the typical spot to go in the Costa Brava if you’re looking for vibrant nightlife, but many of the smaller towns have fantastic bars and clubs that are a little more local and chilled out too. You’ll need to pay around €12-15 for entry to some of Lloret de Mar’s biggest clubs, some of which are open all day, from the afternoon, or only really become popular after midnight. This does mean the town attracts some stag and hen parties, so look to other places along the coast (there are plenty!) if you want a quieter night out or more local experience!

Take a boat trip

Exploring the Costa Brava coastline by boat is a wonderful way to see even more of this beautiful area. You can join established boat tours, take a ferry between Lloret de Mar and Tossa de Mar, or charter your own boat for the day to explore hidden coves along the coast!

Book a Boat Tour

Boat Trip: Things to Do in the Costa Brava

Wander the ruins of Empúries

Around the 6th century BC a Greek colony was founded on this site, and later in the 1st century BC, it was a Roman town. These now comprise the largest archeological site in the Costa Brava. You can wander down streets, see an old factory and the amphitheatre and Basilica, plus mosaics and paintings. It is possible to park close to the ruins if you have a car or walk along the promenade from L’Escala.

Try snorkeling Costa Brava

The water may be chillier than in Barcelona and the south of Spain, but snorkelling is one of the best things to do in the Costa Brava! The waters are some of the clearest seawaters in the world, second only to the Caribbean. When you snorkel in Costa Brava you can expect to spot colourful fish, sea anemones and maybe even octopus!

Snorkeling Costa Brava

Marvel at the medieval towns

You might have guessed by now that one of the best things to do in the Costa Brava is explore all the beautiful medieval destinations. There are the streets of Girona’s old town, and the fortifications in Tossa de Mar, but you’ll also find plenty of beautiful little villages strewn all along the coast and inland.

One of the best to visit is Peratallada, which is full of stone-cut buildings with bougainvillea climbing over them. Besalú has its beautiful bridge and fascinating Jewish history, and Sant Pere de Rodes has a monastery on top of a mountain. Then there’s Pals and Begur as well! You could spend days and days exploring all of the medieval towns on the Costa Brava!

Medieval Towns in the Costa Brava

Climb up to Sant Ferran Castle

Just a short 15-minute walk from the Dalí Theatre-Museum in Figueres is Sant Ferran Castle, a large 18th-century fortress that is one of the largest of it’s kind in Europe. It’s worth the effort for the stunning views over the surrounding countryside. Admission is €3.50, but you can also book to see the underground canals built for water receivers in the advent of an invasion.

Explore Cap de Creus

Cap de Creus is in the north of the Costa Brava and comprises of wild coastline and rocky and dry inland scenery where not much grows in places thanks to the wind. There are lots of hidden coves as well as the lighthouse to explore, as well as hiking trails. Dalí used the national park for inspiration, and it’s close to many of the small villages he used to frequent.

Hiking in Costa Brava

Attend one of the Costa Brava Festivals

The Costa Brava has festivals and fiestas all year round, so when you’re planning your list of things to do make sure you check if there’ll be anything on when you’re there! Some examples are:

  • Temps de Flor in Girona
  • Fireworks and Fiesta Mayor in Blanes
  • Lloret Formula Weekend
  • Holy Week Processions
  • Sail Regattas
  • Cap Roig Gardens music festival

Try Scuba Diving Costa Brava

The Costa Brava is one of the best diving destinations in the Mediterranean, thanks to the beautiful clear waters you can find there. Many areas in Cap de Creus are protected, as are the Medes Islands which means there is no fishing or collecting coral, and the visibility is fantastic. There are even caves and tunnels to explore! You can dive all year round as temperatures vary from 12.4 to 22.8 degrees in the water, although you will likely want a wetsuit in both summer and winter. With plenty of operators up and down the coast, it’s also possible to become dive certified in the Costa Brava.

Scuba Diving Costa Brava

Practical Information

Where is the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava is the coastal region in the very northeast of Spain, in Catalonia. It stretches from Portbou to Blanes, and inland to Girona.

How to get to the Costa Brava

Girona has the nearest airport to the Costa Brava, making it a great place to fly to and explore both the city, the coast, and the inland villages and towns. I flew directly from Edinburgh to Girona with Jet2 Holidays and it was only about a 2-hour flight!

Best time of year to visit the Costa Brava

The Costa Brava is known for being sunny all year round. Its location in the north of Spain means it can be cooler than the rest of the country in winter, but then not quite as hot and stifling in the summer. July and August are when the temperatures are the highest, including the sea temperature, but it also means they’re a very popular time to visit.

I went in June and enjoyed the daily sunny weather and temperatures that weren’t too hot, and it was also obvious that the crowds hadn’t yet arrived! I always enjoy travelling in the shoulder and off-season in Europe and the Costa Brava is no different.

Where to stay in Costa Brava

The accommodation and options on where to stay in the Costa Brava are almost endless! From cities like Girona and Figueres to coastal resorts and villages, and all of the small towns in between. Where you choose to stay in the Costa Brava really depends on what you intend to do, as there is so much to see up and down the coast. I would recommend having a car for at least some of your time in the Costa Brava to enable you to visit many more of the attractions and not be reliant on tours.

We stayed with Jet2Holidays in Tossa de Mar at the Premier Gran Hotel Reymar & Spa. The outlook from the seaview rooms was amazing and I loved relaxing there in the morning and then the evening after a long day. It also has spa facilities and two swimming pools, with lots of lounger space by the outdoor pool.

This is a mammoth post of the best things to do in the Costa Brava, but there really is even more than this too! It’s the kind of place you could holiday more than once and still have plenty of new things to see and do each time. I know I’ll certainly be back!

Sonja x

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Best Things to Do in the Costa Brava

My trip was organised by Jet2Holidays Costa Brava and Costa Brava Tourism Board. As always, all opinions are my own.

The post 33 Best Things to do in the Costa Brava + Things To Know Before You Go appeared first on Migrating Miss.

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Why You Need to Visit the Fairytale Town of Besalú, Costa Brava https://www.migratingmiss.com/things-to-do-in-besalu-costa-brava/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/things-to-do-in-besalu-costa-brava/#comments Tue, 26 Jun 2018 08:00:26 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4442 I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’ve likely not heard of Besalú. Or maybe you’ve stumbled across this post because someone mentioned it as one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the Costa Brava and you decided to check it out. Whichever way, I’m going to tell you why you need to visit one of the most beautiful places in Spain! The words “fairytale”, “charming”, and “picturesque” are probably overused when it comes to describing historical towns, but the thing about Besalú is that it really is all of those things. From the impressive almost 1000-year-old bridge you walk across to enter the town, to the narrow cobblestone streets, building facades, and the church that’s far bigger than a village of this population needs, it is a charming picturesque fairytale come to life. Where is Besalú Besalu is in the province of Girona, in the heart of Catalonia in the northeast of Spain. If you visit Girona or the Costa Brava, then you should include Besalu in your itinerary plans. It’s 25 minutes from the fabulous Dalí Museum in Figueres, 35 minutes from Girona city itself and around 35 minutes from the coast. What to do […]

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Things to do in Besalu, town in the Costa Brava

I’m going to take a wild guess and say you’ve likely not heard of Besalú. Or maybe you’ve stumbled across this post because someone mentioned it as one of the most beautiful medieval towns in the Costa Brava and you decided to check it out. Whichever way, I’m going to tell you why you need to visit one of the most beautiful places in Spain!

The words “fairytale”, “charming”, and “picturesque” are probably overused when it comes to describing historical towns, but the thing about Besalú is that it really is all of those things. From the impressive almost 1000-year-old bridge you walk across to enter the town, to the narrow cobblestone streets, building facades, and the church that’s far bigger than a village of this population needs, it is a charming picturesque fairytale come to life.

Where is Besalú

Besalu is in the province of Girona, in the heart of Catalonia in the northeast of Spain. If you visit Girona or the Costa Brava, then you should include Besalu in your itinerary plans. It’s 25 minutes from the fabulous Dalí Museum in Figueres, 35 minutes from Girona city itself and around 35 minutes from the coast.

Things to do in Besalu, Girona

What to do in Besalú

There are only around 2500 people living in Besalú, and it is a small place that can be seen within a few hours, although it will feel like you’ve travelled to another age. In that time you should see all of the best things to see in Besalú but of course, you could always stay longer and I imagine being in the town for sunrise or sunset would be stunning (especially for photographers!).

Things to do in Besalu, Girona

Learn about the Jewish heritage

It is believed there has been a settlement at Besalú since Roman times, however, it is the later Jewish community that makes this town so special. In Catalonia, many Jewish communities lived peacefully alongside Christian ones until the late 14th century and into the 15th century when the Jewish people were persecuted out of many places. However, in Besalú it is thought that the Jewish community was allowed to flee elsewhere with little bloodshed.

The Jewish Quarter contains the remains of a synagogue as well as the gate that the Jewish population had to use when they came to or from the town. However one of the most interesting parts of Besalú’s Jewish heritage is the bathhouse, or Mikveh. It dates back to 1264 and is one of only three remaining in Europe. It is where women used to wash as part of various rituals. The Mikvah was actually only rediscovered in 1964! If you want to visit, ask at the tourism office near the carpark before you cross the bridge. It’s hard for a picture to do it justice, you really need to visit!

Jewish Heritage of Besalu, Girona

Monastery of Sant Pere

This monastery was founded in 977 and the building was renovated in 1160. It is interestingly constructed in the style of a Basilica and is very large for the size of the town. This is because the town used to be a capital in the area and because a large number of Pilgrims would pass through the church, circling around the outside naves and behind the altar.

Fortified Bridge

One of the most iconic images of Besalú is, of course, the bridge spanning the river Fluviá. It has seven arches that were built onto existing rocks in the riverbed, meaning it takes on more of an L shape than straight across the river. In the middle is a fortified tower and then another gate by which you enter the town. Make sure you wander to different parts of the town to get various views of the river, and even down to the riverbank itself!

Bridge of Besalu, Girona

Medieval Festival

In the last weekend of August, a medieval festival is held in Besalú. The historic centre is transformed to show how it may have been historically with reenactments and other events. Many people turn up in costume and given the architecture of the town they really look like they fit in!

Local crafts

Make sure you check out the souvenir shops and look at the woven baskets or Catalan pottery available. Much of it is made locally!

Local Crafts in Besalu, Girona

How to get to Besalú

Car

Girona is the closest major city to Besalú, but it’s also accessible from Barcelona or Perpignan across the border in France. By far the easiest way to get to Besalú is by car and that also gives you the freedom to explore for as long as you like. There is a big carpark, from which you can see the tourism office to get more information before crossing over the bridge into the town.

Public Transport

It’s also possible by public transport. Girona is the closest train station so you would need to take a bus from there.

Teisa operates almost hourly buses from Girona between 7 am and 9.30 pm and return as well. The journey takes just under one hour.

It also operates 4 buses per day from Barcelona, but with a 1 hour 40 minute journey time, and 4 return journeys. It would be possible to do a day trip but you would need to time it carefully!

You can check timetables here.

Given it only takes a couple of hours to explore Besalú (although you could spend far more, especially if you like taking photos!) it may be worth looking into a tour that will include the town and other nearby destinations to make the most of a day trip.

Bridge to Besalu: Visit the medieval town of Besalu, Girona

Places to visit near Besalú

  • Figueres – The birthplace of Salvador Dalí and the location of his museum
  • Girona – A beautiful city set along the river and with plenty more medieval architecture to explore (and Game of Thrones filming locations!)
  • Costa Brava – All along the coast are beautiful beaches and quaint towns

Of all the towns we visited on the Costa Brava and near Girona, Besalú was definitely one of my favourites. It’s so distinctive and is such a beautiful little place!

Sonja x

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My trip to Costa Brava was organised by Jet2holidays with Girona flights with Jet2 and Costa Brava Tourism. As always, all opinions are totally mine! 

The Fairytale Town of Besalu, Spain

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Girona: Game of Thrones Locations + Awesome Things to Do https://www.migratingmiss.com/girona-game-of-thrones-things-to-do/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/girona-game-of-thrones-things-to-do/#comments Mon, 25 Jun 2018 10:50:43 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4423 Girona is a colourful and vibrant city in the northeast corner of Spain. Visiting the city is a step back in time, and thanks to that it was featured prominently in Game of Thrones. However, it’s a fantastic place to go even for those who don’t watch the series! After a recent visit, I decided I wanted to share the best Girona Game of Thrones locations, but also what else you can see and why you don’t need to know anything about it to visit! I seem to have a thing with visiting Game of Thrones filming locations, and it’s not even on purpose. The most recent has been exploring Girona, Game of Thrones locations included, and much more! But first, there was Northern Ireland, then came Dubrovnik, Split, Almería, Córdoba, Seville, and a return trip to Iceland that included some top filming spots. Many people skip over Girona as they travel from Barcelona to Figueres to see the Dalí Museum, but it is a city that deserves at least several hours of your time on its own, if not days. There really are a lot of awesome things to do in Girona! Not every TV series or film inspires […]

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Girona: game of Thrones Locations & Best Things to Do

Girona is a colourful and vibrant city in the northeast corner of Spain. Visiting the city is a step back in time, and thanks to that it was featured prominently in Game of Thrones. However, it’s a fantastic place to go even for those who don’t watch the series! After a recent visit, I decided I wanted to share the best Girona Game of Thrones locations, but also what else you can see and why you don’t need to know anything about it to visit!

I seem to have a thing with visiting Game of Thrones filming locations, and it’s not even on purpose. The most recent has been exploring Girona, Game of Thrones locations included, and much more! But first, there was Northern Ireland, then came Dubrovnik, Split, Almería, Córdoba, Seville, and a return trip to Iceland that included some top filming spots.

Many people skip over Girona as they travel from Barcelona to Figueres to see the Dalí Museum, but it is a city that deserves at least several hours of your time on its own, if not days. There really are a lot of awesome things to do in Girona!

Not every TV series or film inspires fans to visit the locations where it was filmed but Game of Thrones has had a notable effect on many places across Europe. It may be that the fantasy series has taken advantage of already gorgeous destinations when choosing where to fil, and that the genre lends itself well to the historical and scenic places of Europe that I and many others already love to explore. Or it could be that the use of those locations in the films is now driving more people to want to see these types of places. In many cases, I’ve only found out once I was in a place that it was used in the series, but there are definitely people who are seeking out the world in the Game of Thrones in real life!

Girona: game of Thrones Locations & Best Things to Do

Girona Game of Thrones film locations

*Potential spoiler alerts below!*

Girona Cathedral

Jaime Lannister on his white horse at the Great Sept of Baelor

The Girona Cathedral is located at the highest point in the town, with plenty of steps to climb to see the inside. Construction began in 1417 but the cathedral has had many additions over time. It was featured as a season 6 Game of Thrones location, with the archway you pass through to get into the small square below it being the same one Jaime Lannister and his troops went through to prevent Margaery’s atonement. And of course, Jaime Lannister riding up the stairs on his white horse!

If you watch closely in the final episode of the season you’ll also see the Girona Cathedral briefly as the Great Sept of Baelor is exploding.

It’s 7 euros to enter the Cathedral or free on Sundays.

Cathedral: Girona Game of Thrones & Things to Do

Medieval Streets of Girona

Arya Stark begging in Braavos

The major use of Girona as a Game of Thrones location was as the town of Braavos in season 6 (fitting given it’s on the Costa Brava!). The well-preserved medieval streets lend themselves perfectly to the show, with little editing needed in many places. Even those who don’t know Game of Thrones won’t fail to appreciate them!

Arya stark can be seen begging on the streets of Braavos, so see if you can spot the corners and steps where she did so!

Girona Game of Thrones & Things to Do

Sant Pere de Galligants Monastery and Plaza del Jurats

The Maesters’ Citadel and outdoor theatre

The 11th-century Monastery building is now an Archeology Museum that you can visit as part of your Girona explorations, however, it was also the Maesters’ citadel where Samwell, Gilly, and Sam Jr. approaches the Maesters’ desk. The architecture of the building is beautiful and worth well taking in with a walk around the outside.

Out the back of the Monastery, you’ll see a dry creek bed where a river was added through CGI for the show. Across a bridge, you’ll find Plaza del Jurats where Arya watched her family be mocked by actors at the outdoor theatre.

When we wandered through there was a music lesson going on for students at the music school.

Girona Game of Thrones & Things to Do

Arabic Baths

Market scenes in Braavos

The Arab Baths are actually an imitation of Muslim Baths built in Roman times. However, they do date back to the 12th century and remain largely intact. You can visit the baths just to see what they would have looked like then, and even walk around the roof area for more views.

Outside of the Baths is where the Girona Game of Thrones film location where the market scenes in Braavos took place. Arya is pursued here by the Waif and enters the baths to try and escape.

Girona Game of Thrones Locations & Things to Do

Steps of Sant Domenec

Arya and the Waif

As you walk to the steps of Sant Domenec along Carrer de la Forca from the Cathedral, make sure you glance up the alleyways on your left where more scenes with Arya and the Waif were filmed. The beautiful steps of Sant Domenec are said to be one of the most romantic places in Europe. With the sought after tables of Le Bistrot dotted across the wider parts of the stairs, it’s not hard to see why. They were the location where Arya jumps out the window and lands in the middle of the market and knocks the oranges.

Girona Game of Thrones Locations & Things to Do

Other awesome things to do in Girona

Girona was the first or last city on the pathway to and from the Pyrenees, making it an important centre in medieval times and the reason why it has so much fantastic architecture. By visiting the Game of Thrones location above you’ll be able to see some of the best of it, but there is more, and other things to do in Girona too!

Icecream at Rocambolesc

Girona has plenty of gelaterias, but there’s something special about this one! The three Roca brothers are the team behind the best restaurant in the world, El Celler de Can Roca, located in Girona. They are inventive with their food, providing a visual and mystical experience as well as a delight for the taste buds. However, the youngest brother also decided to open up Rocambolesc to provide ice cream and frozen desserts with a gastronomic flair.

The first shop was opened in Girona, and unique flavours of ice cream are served with various interesting toppings. You can even get your ice cream served in a panini type bread! Sounds weird but it’s like an ice cream sandwich. I went for the more standard (but rich and amazing) chocolate flavour, with chocolate covered popping candy, candy stars, and delicious caramel sauce. There are also funny shaped ice blocks (and one is the hand of Jaime Lannister!).

Rocambolesc: Best Things to do in Girona

Temps de Flors/Girona Flower Festival

In May Girona comes alive with art installations, music, lights, and thousands and thousands of flower displays. It’s a really busy time to visit the city, but also an interesting and beautiful one! There will be all sorts of different displays everywhere that change every year, including often having flowers cascading down the steps in front of the Cathedral.

Walk across the bridges

Girona lies on the River Onyar, and as such there are several bridges connecting the old and new parts of the city. I believe there are 11 altogether, although only 5 which connect through to the old town. Of these, 4 are exclusively for pedestrian use. You’ll find some of the best views along the river, so it’s well worth walking across several!

Our guide explained how the colourful buildings in Girona were originally painted by the owners, and when it was realised how pleasing it looked some rules were implemented that now govern how historic buildings can be painted, with certain colours being allowed. The best place to see these is along the river, particularly if it’s calm and they are reflected in the water!

The Eiffel Bridge is probably the most famous because it was designed by Gustav Eiffel of Eiffel Tower fame. He actually designed a large number of buildings and bridges in Europe (including one of my favourites in Porto!) and when you know this you can begin to see his style. It was originally called the Pont de les Peixateries Velles but locals call this bridge El Pont de Ferro.

Other beautiful bridges to check out include the Pont de Pedra which allows bicycles as well as pedestrians, the romantic Pont de la Princesa (Princess Bridge) and the Pont de Sant Agusti near Independence Square.

Eiffel Bridge: Best Things to do in Girona

Wander the Medieval Walls

Although parts of the 14th-century walls, known as Passeig de la Muralla, have been destroyed as the city of Girona expanded, much of it has been restored and reconstructed and it’s now possible to walk along them and take in panoramic views of the city and beyond to the Pyrenees.

German Gardens

In the centre of the Old Town of Girona are the Jardins dels Alemanys, or German Gardens. During the Peninsula War in the 19th century many Germans were stationed in Girona and it is still possible to see the remains of the old barracks they lived in. Through the spring and summer, there are beautiful flowers in bloom, and there are often musical and other events taking place here.

Kiss the butt of the Lion

If you cross over the Pont de Sant Feliu into Girona Old Town you’ll spy a concrete pole with some steps below it leading up to a curious looking statue of a creature. It’s actually a lion, and legend has it that if you kiss the butt of the lion you’ll return to Girona. It’s a way to declare your love for the city and desire to return.

Kiss the Lion Statue: Best Things to Do in Girona

Independence Square

The name of the Square actually refers to the independence of the city from France. It’s lined with restaurants and bars, many with al fresco tables allowing you to enjoy the atmosphere. We ate at Casa Marieta which has been operating for over 100 years, since 1892. They specialise in traditional Catalan dishes.

Look out for the flies

You might spot some flies as you walk around Girona. Not just normal flies, but statues of flies stuck to the walls of buildings. This is because of the legend of Sant Narcis and the flies. In 1285 Girona was surrounded by French troops and even though the city didn’t fight them they ransacked and damaged many buildings, including the church of Sant Felix which held the body of the patron saint of the city, Sant Narcis. Unfortunately for them giant flies flew out of the body and killed many of them, giving the city back to the people. The fly is now basically the hero of the city!

Find the Flies: Kiss the Lion Statue: Best Things to Do in Girona

Visit the Museums

  • The Museum of Archaeology based in the old Monastery
  • The Museum of Cinema showcasing why Girona is such a popular place for filming
  • The Museum of Jewish History with its beautiful garden and tiled Star of David, explaining how important Jewish people were to the development of Catalonia and how they were forced to live in the cramped alleyways off main streets
  • The Girona Art Museum housing both modern and historical Catalan works

Get lost in the Old Town

Honestly, the best thing to do in Girona is to just lose yourself in the Old Town and find hidden gems for yourself. There are so many winding alleyways and streets that at times you’ll find yourself alone and at other times you’ll stumble across busy plazas, shopping areas, or cute looking cafes and restaurants.

Girona: game of Thrones Locations & Best Things to Do

What to see around the Costa Brava

Girona is the gateway to the Costa Brava, which I absolutely love and where you can spend plenty more days exploring all the amazing things to see and do! Here are just a few of the highlights:

Dalí Theatre & Museum at Figueres

Figueres is the hometown of Salvador Dalí. Before his death, he designed this museum in an old theatre, and he is now buried in a crypt beneath what was the main stage.

I want my museum to be a single block, a labyrinth, a great surrealist object. It will be [a] totally theatrical museum. The people who come to see it will leave with the sensation of having had a theatrical dream.

— Salvador Dalí

And honestly, this is exactly how I felt upon leaving. The museum contains many of his stunning works. I wouldn’t have understood the majority of it without our guide, however!

Costa Brava Coastal Path

The towns along the coast of the Costa Brava from Port Bou in the north to Blanes in the south are connected by a 200km long pathway. It takes around 10 days to walk the whole thing, but you can choose a small section to enjoy as well. We walked the most accessible part from S’ Arago.

Town of Besalú

The fairytale town of Besalú makes a great detour between Girona and Figueres. Its medieval streets will have you feeling like you’ve stepped back in time. The beautiful bridge into the town is over 1000 years old!

Read Next: Why You Need to Visit the Fairytale Town of Besalú

Bridge of Besalu, Catalonia

Coastal villages and towns

The Costa Brava is full of charming medieval towns along the coast and inland. You could spend a long time trying to explore them all! We stayed in Tossa de Mar, which has a gorgeous fortress right next to the sea. There’s also the Santa Clotilde Gardens at Lloret de Mar, snorkelling and diving off many of the beaches and opportunities to cycle through medieval streets and between villages.

The best time to visit Girona

The best time to visit Girona is in June, after the crowds of the flower festival in May but before the influx of tourists in the hotter months of July and August, although you could then go to the beach to cool off! Earlier in spring, like in April is also a great time, as well as later in the summer season.

Thanks to the Mediterranean climate, Girona doesn’t get too cold through the winter (for me being from Scotland anyway!) although January would be the coldest month. On the coast, you’ll find many places may close and you’re less inclined to want to spend time at the beach of course, but in the city of Girona, it’s a time for locals, making it a great time to visit if you want to go without the crowds.

Girona Game of Thrones & Best Things to Do

Girona is a great place to visit for Game of Thrones lovers, but there’s far more to the city than that! Give yourself plenty of time to get lost in the Old Town and you won’t regret it.

Sonja x

My trip to Girona was organised with Jet2 flights from Edinburgh to Girona and with Costa Brava Tourism, but as always, all opinions are entirely my own! 

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Best Things to Do in Rotorua and Top Rotorua Attractions to Visit https://www.migratingmiss.com/best-things-to-do-in-rotorua/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/best-things-to-do-in-rotorua/#comments Sat, 16 Jun 2018 08:00:12 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4364 As Queenstown is the adventure capital of the South Island, Rotorua is definitely the North Island equivalent, with the added bonus of geothermal activity and a strong connection to its Maori cultural roots. Growing up in the North Island, I can’t tell you the first time I visited, but it was somewhere we frequently took holidays and it’s still a favourite with locals and travellers from overseas, thanks to all of the things to do in Rotorua. There are so many great Rotorua attractions and even having visited countless times over the years, I always find something new to do! These are the top things to do in Rotorua and the top Rotorua attractions you should plan to visit during your stay. Skyline Rotorua Skyline Rotorua encompasses a range of activities found on the hill behind Rotorua. I’ve been going here since I was a child and it’s still one of my favourite places in New Zealand! Jump on a Gondola and head up the mountain for beautiful views over the city and Lake Rotorua. From there you can do zip lining, mountain biking, wander natural trails or enjoy wine tasting and food overlooking the view. But by far my […]

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As Queenstown is the adventure capital of the South Island, Rotorua is definitely the North Island equivalent, with the added bonus of geothermal activity and a strong connection to its Maori cultural roots.

Growing up in the North Island, I can’t tell you the first time I visited, but it was somewhere we frequently took holidays and it’s still a favourite with locals and travellers from overseas, thanks to all of the things to do in Rotorua. There are so many great Rotorua attractions and even having visited countless times over the years, I always find something new to do!

These are the top things to do in Rotorua and the top Rotorua attractions you should plan to visit during your stay.

Things to do in Rotorua

Skyline Rotorua

Skyline Rotorua encompasses a range of activities found on the hill behind Rotorua. I’ve been going here since I was a child and it’s still one of my favourite places in New Zealand! Jump on a Gondola and head up the mountain for beautiful views over the city and Lake Rotorua. From there you can do zip lining, mountain biking, wander natural trails or enjoy wine tasting and food overlooking the view.

But by far my favourite thing to do is the luge! I honestly don’t know why this hasn’t caught on more in other places around the world. Basically, you sit in a black luge-like cart with bicycle-like handlebars and wind your way down tracks on the side of the mountain. Hard to explain but it’s awesome!

White Water Rafting

The Kaituna River is rated a Class V for white water rafting, mostly thanks to two large waterfalls, one of which is 7 metres high and the tallest commercially rafted waterfall in the world. I can’t say it’s something I’ve dreamed of doing, but since it was our honeymoon in New Zealand my husband convinced me to give it a go. It was terrifying but exhilarating and amazing at the same time! We went with Kaitiaki Adventures and the guys who were our guides were so great the whole trip. Highly recommended!

Things to do in Rotorua - White Water Rafting Kaitiaki Adventures

Explore the Geothermal areas

The first thing you will probably notice about Rotorua is the smell. Thanks to the geothermal activity in the area the smell of sulphur is strong in the city. There are plenty of different Geothermal areas to explore, where you can see geysers shooting into the sky, natural to springs and pools, and Mars-like landscapes with hot steam pouring from vents into the air. Some options are Kuirau Park, Te Puia, Waimangu Volcanic Valley and Hells Gate Geothermal Park. They all offer something a little different.

We really enjoyed visiting Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland, which is about a half an hour drive from the city. The Champagne pool with it’s turquoise-blue waters edged with flaming orange rock was a sight to behold for sure!

Check out Rotorua’s geothermal attractions here

Things to do in Rotorua - Geothermal areas

Maori villages and performances

Rotorua is a great place to learn more about Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, and their culture. This is something I grew up with and even took part in Maori cultural group performances at school, and I forget how amazing it can be for visitors to have an insight into a culture they may have previously known nothing about.

There are several Maori villages where you can take a tour, learn about culture and traditions, enjoy a meal and watch a cultural show.

Things to do in Rotorua - Maori cultural villages

Rotorua Lake adventures

While you’re in Rotorua, don’t neglect activities on the lake. The Lakeland Queen is a steam-paddled cruiser offers daily breakfast, lunch, or coffee cruises around the lake. There’s also stand-up paddle boarding and kayaking tours.

Check out adventures on the lake here

Redwoods at Whakarewarewa Forest

Whakarewarewa Forest is home to a huge number of towering Californian Coast Redwoods, surrounding beautiful walking tracks and some of the best mountain biking trails in the country. The forest was decimated by the Mount Tarawera explosion as well, and although native New Zealand trees were planted these can take around 200-300 years to mature, so the much faster growing Redwoods were also used.

Things to do in Rotorua - Whakarewarewa Redwoods

Buried Village

Te Wairoa, or the Buried Village, is the most visited archaeological site in New Zealand. It sits close to the banks of Lake Tarawera, 20 minutes drive from Rotorua, and was once a thriving community that saw many visitors on their way to the Pink and White Terraces, a natural wonder similar to Pammukale in Turkey today. Sadly, both were destroyed and buried in the 1886 eruption of the volcano, Mount Tarawera. The village has since been excavated and provides an insight into life in New Zealand at the time. The beautiful green and blue lakes nearby are also worth a visit.

Thermal Swimming Springs & Pools

While many of the geothermal areas have pools of water far too hot for swimming, there are also designated hot pools and free natural hot springs where you can enjoy the thermal waters. Kuirau Park and Kerosene Creek are areas where you can dip your feet in and swim for free, but there’s also the Polynesian Spa on the Rotorua lakefront. We loved relaxing at the end of the day in their natural pools with views out across the lake.

Things to do in Rotorua - Thermal Swimming Pools

Velocity Valley Adventure Park

Want to try bungy jumping, jet boating, or take a giant swing? Head along to the Velocity Valley Adventure Park. They offer six different speed-related adrenalin activities for both children and adults.

Rotorua Museum

The Rotorua Museum is housed in the Old Bath House in the Government Gardens, dating from 1908. This building is an icon in pictures of Rotorua, and somewhere I remember playing outside of as a child. Unfortunately, after recent earthquakes, the building was found to be below current earthquake standards and is currently waiting to be repaired. It is still possible to view from the outside and the Rotorua Museum are still running events, daily tours of the gardens and education programs in the meantime.

Things to do in Rotorua - Rotorua Museum

Rotorua Night Market

Every Thursday night on Tutanekai Street is the Rotorua Night Market. We stumbled across it by chance and are SO glad we did. So much so that we still talk about it months later…

You’ll find a mix of food vans, craft stalls, and entertainment. The dumplings are to die for, just look out for the massive line!

Rotorua Agrodome

Just 10 minutes from central Rotorua is the Agrodome, a 350-acre working farm open to visitors. For anyone looking to learn more about what it’s like in rural New Zealand or who just wants to step into a sheep farm, then this is your chance! They have an hour long Farm Show that can introduce you to farming life, or you can take a Farm Tour too.

Things to do in Rotorua - Farm show at the Agrodome

Rainbow Springs: Rotorua Wildlife & Nature Park

If you want to meet the elusive Kiwi then Rainbow Springs is a great addition to your list of things to do in Rotorua. Although Kiwi are our national bird it’s extremely rare to see them in the wild outside of Stewart Island. At Rainbow Springs they have a nocturnal enclosure where day and night is flipped, so you can see the Kiwi at their most active. The rest of the park offers plenty of opportunities to see other native New Zealand wildlife too.

Mount Tarawera Hike

As well as white water rafting with Kaitiaki Adventures, you should check out their Mt Tarawera tour. You’re transported to Mt Tarawera up a bumpy mountain road, before walking to the summit of the volcano across loose volcanic rock. From there it’s a sliding run down the scree into the crater, before a hard slog of a climb out the other side.

The views are stunning, and it’s also kind of like an alternative to the much busier and longer Tongariro Crossing.

Things to do in Rotorua - Mount Tarawera Hike

Ziplining

For another adventurous outdoor activity in Rotorua, there are a couple of different ziplining courses, including the one up Skyline Rotorua and the Rotorua Canopy Tours. The forests you’re ziplining through often contain native trees and it’s a great opportunity to learn more about the landscape while having some fun!

Hobbiton Movie Set

Hobbiton is not in Rotorua, but at an hour away many people visit on a day trip while they’re staying in the city. The former movie set was used originally in the Lord of the Rings trilogy, before being dismantled and then rebuilt before The Hobbit films. And lucky for us, it’s now here to stay!

We absolutely loved visiting the set, which is so well maintained it looks like you’ve literally walked into Middle Earth. We would have loved to linger for hours, but tours are separated into time slots with guides who show you around the Hobbiton homes before finishing the tour at The Green Dragon Inn where you can enjoy one of their specially made brews. From the moment you get on the bus, it’s an amazing adventure!

Check out Hobbiton tours here

Things to do in Rotorua - Hobbiton

Rotorua Essential Travel Tips

The best time to visit Rotorua

Summer is the best season to visit Rotorua as temperatures will be the warmest for any outdoor activities you intend to do, especially water-based ones. However, even in winter, it’s still worth visiting the city for the cultural experiences, geothermal areas, and many of the activities like the luge or ziplining are still available. Having said that, many of the attractions like white water rafting will still be available and you’ll be given extra gear to stay warm.

How long to spend in Rotorua

How long you should spend in Rotorua depends on how many of the awesome attractions you plan to do! I would suggest a minimum of 2-3 days, extending it out further if you want to travel more around the area using the city as a base or do a lot of the activities listed here.

Plan in advance and book Rotorua activities here

Where to stay in Rotorua

Rotorua is a fairly small and walkable city, although a lot of the attractions are located outside of the city centre as well. If you don’t have a car, I would recommend staying in the centre to allow you to easily reach any pickup places for activities and tours. If you’re travelling with a car you can really stay anywhere! We enjoyed staying in the centre for the ease of going out to eat in the evening, and walk around the lakefront.

Since Rotorua has long been a hub for tourists, there are many established hotels at good prices. We stayed in the Millennium Hotel, although I have also previously stayed in the Novotel and many other smaller motels.

Check out hotels in Rotorua here

Check out more tours, attractions, and activities here:

I hope when you visit New Zealand (or if you live there!) you consider Rotorua as a destination to get your adventure-fix and learn more about Maori culture and the history of the amazing area.

Sonja x

Read more and plan your New Zealand trip:

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The Best Things to Do in Rotorua, New Zealand

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Itinerary: Things to Do with 2 Days in Delhi, India https://www.migratingmiss.com/2-days-in-delhi-india/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/2-days-in-delhi-india/#respond Fri, 15 Jun 2018 10:40:21 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4401 The following is a guest post by Shivani, a blogger at The Wandering Core and working a full-time job in IT sector. A native of Delhi, India, Shivani has a keen interest in travel and loves to explore not only far off places but also her home city. As the capital of largest democracy in the world, Delhi is the perfect mix of history and urban culture. With a history going back to the 6th century, and now the capital of India, Delhi is an enchantment for all. As a metropolitan city with lots of places to visit, not all can be covered in Dehli in 2 days. But I’m going to present a detailed itinerary about how to spend your best 48 hours in Delhi. Old Delhi perfectly blends with New Delhi while maintaining its culture and charm. Delhi has a number of ancient architectural buildings, but it is slowly catching up with an urban city feel alongside the impressions of colonial buildings built by the British. Old Delhi still attracts a lot more tourists than its later version, thanks to the largest spices market in Asia, oldest cloth market of Chandni Chowk, the largest mosque in India, and […]

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The following is a guest post by Shivani, a blogger at The Wandering Core and working a full-time job in IT sector. A native of Delhi, India, Shivani has a keen interest in travel and loves to explore not only far off places but also her home city.

What to do with 2 days in Delhi

As the capital of largest democracy in the world, Delhi is the perfect mix of history and urban culture. With a history going back to the 6th century, and now the capital of India, Delhi is an enchantment for all. As a metropolitan city with lots of places to visit, not all can be covered in Dehli in 2 days. But I’m going to present a detailed itinerary about how to spend your best 48 hours in Delhi.

Old Delhi perfectly blends with New Delhi while maintaining its culture and charm. Delhi has a number of ancient architectural buildings, but it is slowly catching up with an urban city feel alongside the impressions of colonial buildings built by the British. Old Delhi still attracts a lot more tourists than its later version, thanks to the largest spices market in Asia, oldest cloth market of Chandni Chowk, the largest mosque in India, and 17th century Red Fort built by Shah Jahan.

What to do in Delhi in 2 days

Qutub Minar

Start your first day early with Qutub Minar – the tallest brick minaret in the world. Qutub Minar is the symbol of the start of the Mughal empire rule in India and is the location of the first mosque in India. When Qutb al-din AIbak began his reign of Delhi Sultanate, he perceived the minaret and this is how it received its name. Despite being the largest minaret, it is still few inches shorter than the Taj Mahal.

Delhi Itinerary 2 days

Humayun Tomb & Nizammudin Dargah

Humayun Tomb is like Delhi’s own red sandstone Taj Mahal. Even the iconic Taj Mahal got its inspiration from Humayun’s Tomb! Compactly located in the South Delhi, the tomb is a photographer’s playground.

The Mausoleum holds the graves of Humayun Kabri & Haji Begum and attracts millions of tourists every year. So, if you wish to create unique pictures, then I would advise heading to the tomb either in the early morning or late evening. Near sunset, the crowds will disperse and you’ll be able to capture amazing pictures.

Nizammudin Dargah is another of the most-visited places in Delhi, located just across from the Humayun Tomb entrance. Spend an hour soaking in the ambiance of some of the most sacred places in Delhi.

Things to do in Delhi

India Gate & Connaught Place

India Gate is the largest war memorial in India. It is a triumphal arch built in a similar tone to ones in Paris & Rome. The arch is surrounded by a huge array of gardens and small canals perfect for an evening picnic. India Gate is closely connected to Rashtrapati Bhavan through Rajpath. If time permits, don’t miss out on photographing another architecture marvel from the national capital.

India Gate is closely located to Connaught Place which is visited equally by locals and tourists. It is a large shopping junction, restaurant hub and a great place to feel Delhi’s culture. If you want to stay for lunch or dinner, try Farzi Cafe in the inner circle.

2 days in Delhi - India Gate

Old Delhi

I would advise keeping the second day for old Delhi. It’s huge and extensively crowded so if you wish to cover all four places in a day, you must start early.

Red Fort

Start your tour with Red Fort. Once an official residence of Mughal emperors, the Red Fort is now famous for hosting the Indian PM on Independence Day. The fortified monument is a huge complex flaunting a design of intricate Mughal and Islamic architecture.

2 days in Delhi - Red Fort

Jama Masjid

After visiting the Red Fort, head to Jama Masjid, the largest mosque in India. Another stunning Mughal monument, it is one of the most sacred places in India. It’s a place of prayer, so be careful to respect the culture and don’t disturb people offering their prayers.

Explore not only the main monument but also head to the top of the minaret for amazing views of Delhi. The ticket counter for both is near Gate 2, and the entry for the Minaret is near the same gate too.

What to do with 2 days in Delhi

Chandni Chowk Market

After covering both monuments, prepare yourself for the large and bustling crowds in the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk’s market. Hold tightly to your belongings including wallets, handbags or camera, it’s better safe than sorry!

The market is divided into various sections, Dareeba for gold/silver jewelry, Kinari Bazaar for decoration, artificial jewelry, or laces etc, Meena Bazaar for Indian wedding lehengas (dresses). It’s difficult to cover or shop from all in a day, so I say wander through the alleys and enjoy the vibe before heading out.

Before ending your day, I would highly recommend trying out Dahi Bhalla (a sweet Indian snack) from Natraj Dahi Bhalla walla. Ask any local, they will point in the right direction. They serve the best Dahi Bhalla in Delhi and are must-try from my personal experience.

Things to do with 2 days in Delhi

How to get to Delhi and around

Being the capital of India, Delhi is well-connected through air, rail, and roads.

By air

Delhi’s international and domestic airports are located on the very outskirts of the city. Delhi International (IGI) airport is locally known as T3 airport and T1, including 1C & 1D, cater domestic flights. If you’re covering the Golden Triangle of India (Delhi-Agra-Jaipur), then most likely you will land in Delhi’s T3 airport. T3 is well connected through a special section of the Delhi Metro – Airport Express. The Airport Express will take you directly to the central Delhi, ending at New Delhi Railway station.

By rail

Delhi is a major junction for covering Northern India and it has more than 6 railway stations. Out of these the New Delhi Railway station and Old Delhi railway station are the most used.

By bus

Delhi has 2 major bus terminals – Kashmere Gate and Anand Vihar. Comfortable Volvo buses are available for nearby states. For Agra and other parts of Uttar Pradesh, Anand Vihar is the best place. For Himachal Pradesh, Punjab, and Haryana, and some of Uttar Pradesh too, Kashmere Gate is the place to head to.

Getting around

Travel in Delhi in the metro is the safest and fastest to commute. Autorickshaws and uber/ola are available too, but watch out for traffic if you choose these options.

2 days in Delhi - Transport

Where to stay in Delhi

For a short duration of two days in Delhi, I recommend staying near Central Delhi, CP or Lutyens Delhi. There are various hotels available, from 3 – 5 star. I would not suggest staying in South Delhi as it’s usually tied up with heavy traffic and the commute time will seem never-ending. Airbnb or homestays are also good if you choose areas like Jor Bagh, Sundar Nagar, Khan Market. But beyond these areas in South Delhi, almost everything is located in a high traffic area.

Day trips from Delhi

Agra is a 3-hour drive from Delhi thanks to the new Delhi-Agra expressway. If you’re spending more than 2 days in Delhi, I recommend taking a day out to visit the Taj Mahal. However, the Taj Mahal is closed on a Friday, so bear that in mind.

Mathura and Vrindavan are also on way to Agra. Vrindavan is the birthplace of Lord Krishna. Vrindavan has some famous temples including Iskon temple, Bankey Bihari Temple and the Nidhi Van aka a small garden.

Day trips from Delhi

Delhi is a big metropolis but it is also the historic capital of India. Two days in Delhi might not be enough to cover all the historic places and see the modern part of the city, but you can get a feel for the vibe of the city and experience at least the highlights and top things to do. Nervous before traveling to Delhi? Read my top tips about first-time travel to Delhi.

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The best things to do in with 2 days in Delhi

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Itinerary: What to Do with 2 Days in Melbourne, Australia https://www.migratingmiss.com/2-days-in-melbourne/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/2-days-in-melbourne/#comments Thu, 14 Jun 2018 11:04:06 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4387 The following is a guest post by LC, an ex-expat who is currently re-exploring her home country of Australia and writing about her travels on her blog, Birdgehls. Her life’s aspiration is to one day live in Tasmania with a Shetland pony, miniature pig, and several pygmy goats. It would be a shame to journey to the Land Down Under and not spend at least a little bit of your trip in one of Australia’s biggest and best cities. Two days in Melbourne is just enough time to scratch the city’s surface. It’s a place rife with culture, art (urban and otherwise), a pumping nightlife and some of the best restaurants and cafes in Australia. What to do in Melbourne in 2 Days Melbourne in 2 days is a proper challenge, but you can at least cover most of the highlights within the city centre. Around five days to a week is a recommendable amount of time to spend in the city so that you can go exploring beyond the city centre. However, if two days is all you have to spare, then this is what you should prioritise. Day One Itinerary Check out Federation Square and Flinders St Flinders […]

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What to do with 2 days in Melbourne

The following is a guest post by LC, an ex-expat who is currently re-exploring her home country of Australia and writing about her travels on her blog, Birdgehls. Her life’s aspiration is to one day live in Tasmania with a Shetland pony, miniature pig, and several pygmy goats.

It would be a shame to journey to the Land Down Under and not spend at least a little bit of your trip in one of Australia’s biggest and best cities.

Two days in Melbourne is just enough time to scratch the city’s surface. It’s a place rife with culture, art (urban and otherwise), a pumping nightlife and some of the best restaurants and cafes in Australia.

What to do in Melbourne in 2 Days

Melbourne in 2 days is a proper challenge, but you can at least cover most of the highlights within the city centre. Around five days to a week is a recommendable amount of time to spend in the city so that you can go exploring beyond the city centre. However, if two days is all you have to spare, then this is what you should prioritise.

What to do with 2 days in Melbourne

Day One Itinerary

Check out Federation Square and Flinders St

Flinders Street Station is the beating heart of Melbourne’s city centre and the building housing it considered one of the most beautiful and historic within the city.

It’s a regular meeting place amongst locals – instructing one another to “meet under the clocks” above the station’s main entrance.

From Flinders Street, you can stroll across to nearby Federation Square, which is home to some lively bars and eating areas, outdoor entertainment screens and ACMI – the Australian Centre for the Moving Image.

There are regular exhibitions held at ACMI concerning art, culture, and film. You can check out their website to see if there is anything of interest on during your own visit.

2 days in Melbourne

Tour the MCG (for sports enthusiasts)

Melbourne is considered to be the sports capital of Australia and the home of much of the fanfare is the Melbourne Cricket Grounds, also known as The MCG, or simply The “G”.

The MCG is the largest stadium in Australia and the tenth largest in the world. It’s big.

It’s here that cricket and Aussie Rules fanatics journey to, to watch their teams play off against one another. Or in the case of cricket, drink beer in the sun whilst the teams on the grounds do seemingly not very much at all.

It’s worth trying to nab a ticket to an AFL game, because the atmosphere in The G is incredibly. If no games are playing and you’re still keen to check it out, you can tour the MCG and learn all about Australia’s great and passionate sporting history.

If you’re into that kind of thing.

Visit the National Gallery of Victoria

One place I thoroughly recommend heading to is the NGV.

Located a short stroll south from Flinders Street, it regularly holds some of the best art exhibitions in the country.

Some cost coin to get into, but others are free. Just make sure you get there early, to avoid the crowds.

2 days in Melbourne

Poke around the laneways

After this, you can head back into the city and start exploring!

Melbourne’s laneways are world famous, playing host to some fabulous urban art, cute cafés and restaurants serving the most delicious food. You can eat very well in this Australian city, for a range of prices.

For art, I recommend checking out the ever-changing Hosier Lane, or AC/DC Lane, which bears tribute to the famous Australian rock band. For food, explore Tattersalls Lane (there are excellent dumplings to be found along here) and Meyers Place. I enjoy simply walking down Flinders Lane as well, to see what’s on offer in terms of art, drinks and eats.

Visit the Shrine of Remembrance for stellar views of the city

This tribute to Australia’s fallen soldiers is free to enter and well worth a wander around, to learn about the country’s history and involvement in the world’s wars over the last century.

A climb to the top will provide you with an excellent and more importantly free view of Melbourne’s cityscape, looking back from the south.

2 days in Melbourne

Day Two Itinerary

Go Shopping on Chapel St

If you asked any Australian why they’d make a trip to Melbourne that wasn’t event specific, they’d probably answer “to shop”. The city is packed full of boutique shops selling interesting and varied clothes, homewares, art and other knick-knacks.

Chapel Street in the city’s southeast, stretches through the suburbs of South Yarra, Prahran, and Windsor. It’s a popular destination for good food, entertainment and a spot of shopping.

You can swing by Prahran Market to grab a bite or ogle at gourmet delicacies if you’re there any day other than a Monday or Wednesday when the market is closed.

Visit the Brighton Beach Boxes

Despite being located outside the city, the Brighton Beach boxes are one of the most iconic and photographed images of Melbourne. They comprise of 82 colourful boxes lining the sand of one of Melbourne’s most affluent suburbs. Considered a status symbol, owning one comes with a price – a box that went up for sale was sold for over $326,000 in 2017.

The easiest way to get there via public transport is to catch the train on the Sandringham line to Middle Brighton. From there, it’s just over a kilometres walk down to the beach.

2 days in Melbourne - Brighton Beach

Stroll along St Kilda Beach

One thing Melbourne is admittedly lacking in is a decent beach. There are many beautiful stretches of coastline and sand from about a half hour drive out of the city in either direction, but the metro beaches leave a lot to be desired.

It is worth heading south to St Kilda beach, if only to explore the historic pier.

If you’re in the mood for a bit of fun and it’s the weekend, you can have a stroll around Luna Park. Opened in 1912, it’s the oldest continuously running theme park in the country. Its most famous ride is the Scenic Railway, a rollercoaster that runs around the park’s perimeter. And the giant face that serves as the entrance to the park is both terrifying and worth a gander at.

Go bar hopping

After your day exploring Melbourne’s southeast, chill out with a bit of revelry in the city itself. As far as cities in Australia go, Melbourne probably has the best nightlife (certainly more so than Sydney, which has been crippled by lockout laws).

I’d start at either Berlin Bar on Corrs Lane or Madame Brussels on Bourke Street. From there, just head to wherever takes your fancy – there are interesting and varied bars right across the city, including a handful of rooftop bars.

2 days in Melbourne

How to Get to Melbourne

In an act of minor insanity and a major inconvenience, Melbourne doesn’t have a train line that cuts straight out to Tullamarine International Airport from the city.

What it does have is a rather expensive coach known as the SkyBus. These buses arrive at the airport at regular intervals (ten minutes or so), taking travellers back and forth from Southern Cross Station in the city.

You can transfer to a smaller coach at the station, which will drop you off at your hotel. Tickets are cheaper to book online – $18 for a one-way adult and $36 for a round trip.

Uber and other ride-share apps, as well as taxis, are also an option. But if you’re heading to the city, the SkyBus is probably the best and “cheapest” way to get there.

2 days in Melbourne

Where to Stay in Melbourne

If you’re wondering where to stay in Melbourne, the surrounding suburbs can offer a glimpse into a local’s life within the city. Melbourne is comprised of many interesting suburbs, with their own varied activities and individual vibes. If you’re short on time, however, I’d recommend staying in the city.

There are a range of hotels and hostels sprinkled around the CBD (Central Business District) that will suit any budget, whilst keeping in mind that Australia is quite an expensive country to travel through.

If Airbnb is more your style, there are plenty of studio apartments on offer around Docklands, which is a stone throw away from Southern Cross Station (and so conveniently, the Skybus).

2 days in Melbourne

Day Trips from Melbourne

Australia is a big country. Like, sixth largest in the world big. There’s only so much ground you can cover in a short space of time, particularly when our public transport system leaves a lot to be imagined.

It would be a real shame to journey all the way to Melbourne and skip driving the Great Ocean Road. It’s one of the most scenic drives in the country, taking you through small coastal towns and past beautiful beaches. It’s also easily doable as a day trip from Melbourne.

The standout attraction of this route is the Twelve Apostles, a collection of limestone stacks off the shore of the Port Campbell National Park. They’re a three-hour straight drive from the city. It takes around two hours longer if you travel along the coast. I would recommend doing the scenic route on the way there and then hammering home via the highway on the drive back to Melbourne.

Day trips from Melbourne

If you’re travelling by train and want to check out what regional Victoria has to offer, take a trip out to the smaller cities of Ballarat and Bendigo. Both are relics of the state’s gold rush era and there are a plethora of activities to do in each.

It’s impossible to see and do everything with only 2 days in Melbourne, but this list will help you scratch the surface of what this fantastic Australian city has to offer. And perhaps encourage you to return for a longer trip, one day!

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Things to do in Melbourne in 2 days

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Taipei Itinerary: 2 Days in Taipei, Taiwan https://www.migratingmiss.com/taipei-itinerary-2-days-in-taipei/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/taipei-itinerary-2-days-in-taipei/#respond Wed, 13 Jun 2018 10:16:59 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4377 The following is a guest post written by Cat Lin, a Canada-based food and travel writer. She loves adventure travel and enjoys sampling the local cuisine while visiting foreign countries. You can follow her stories at For Two, Please. Taipei might not be on your travel radar, but should be! As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei has an infectious energetic vibe and a fascinating mix of Chinese, Japanese and Western cultures. And then there’s the food! Known for its street food and night markets, Taipei is home to one of most exciting street food scenes in Asia – if not the world. For first time visitors to Taipei, I have to warn you that Taipei is very addictive! Two days in Taipei are certainly not enough to explore the entire city, but it will give you a brief taste. If you want to sample what the city has to offer and plan a Taipei itinerary for in 2 days, below are my personal recommendations and insider tips! What to do with 2 days in Taipei – Day 1 Traditional Taiwanese breakfast Start your day in Taipei with a morning breakfast at LoCo Food. This breakfast joint serves up mouthwatering pan-fried crispy egg rolls, a traditional Taiwanese breakfast […]

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The following is a guest post written by Cat Lin, a Canada-based food and travel writer. She loves adventure travel and enjoys sampling the local cuisine while visiting foreign countries. You can follow her stories at For Two, Please.

Taipei might not be on your travel radar, but should be! As the capital of Taiwan, Taipei has an infectious energetic vibe and a fascinating mix of Chinese, Japanese and Western cultures. And then there’s the food! Known for its street food and night markets, Taipei is home to one of most exciting street food scenes in Asia – if not the world.

For first time visitors to Taipei, I have to warn you that Taipei is very addictive! Two days in Taipei are certainly not enough to explore the entire city, but it will give you a brief taste. If you want to sample what the city has to offer and plan a Taipei itinerary for in 2 days, below are my personal recommendations and insider tips!

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan

What to do with 2 days in Taipei – Day 1

Traditional Taiwanese breakfast

Start your day in Taipei with a morning breakfast at LoCo Food. This breakfast joint serves up mouthwatering pan-fried crispy egg rolls, a traditional Taiwanese breakfast staple, with many different filling options! Pair it with soybean milk and that will give you the energy to jumpstart your day!

Malls of interest and shopping

Head over to Huashan 1914 Creative Park. This early 20th-century brewery has been remodelled and converted into a cultural hub for exhibitions, performances, restaurants, and shops. Here, you can find boutique shops selling items designed by local artists. It also has many cute corners for photo-shoot! Pop-up markets are sometimes hosted on the weekends.

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan

Nearby, there is Syntrend Creative Park – a 12-story mall that has anything and everything tech-related, from latest smartphones to gaming devices. Definitely a paradise for tech enthusiasts!

If that’s not up your alley, check out Taipei’s upscale shopping center – Xinyi District. Home to a dozen shopping malls such as ATT4fun, Shin Kong Mitsukoshi, Uni-UStyle, and Breeze Songgao, Xinyi District is a top shopping spot to visit during your trip to Taipei. Don’t forget to stop by the Elite Bookstore Xinyi Flagship Store. This 7-story bookstore is the largest in Taiwan and sells a variety of lifestyle products in addition to an expansive range of books.

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan - Shopping

Taipei 101

Taipei 101, one of the tallest buildings in the world, is located in the vicinity. Stop at the Observatory Deck on the 89th floor for spectacular city views. Afterward, have a coffee break at the highest Starbucks in the world (located on the 35th floor in the same building). You’ll need a reservation to get in though so make sure you ask your hotel concierge to book it for you in advance!

Dinner of dumplings

While you’re in Xinyi District, don’t miss out on Din Tai Fung, a famous restaurant known for serving xiao long bao (soup dumplings). Expect to wait in a long line, but the food is worth waiting for!

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan - Dumplings

Elephant Mountain

After dinner, take a hike to the top of the Elephant Mountain. A quick 20-minute hike will take you to the top where you can enjoy spectacular night views of Taipei City!

What to do with 2 days in Taipei – Day 2

Explore Beitou and the natural hot springs

Spend the morning in Beitou, an area that is known for natural hot springs. You can take the MRT to XinBeiTou station, which will take you directly to the area. When you arrive, you will find a walking route to the different attractions Beitou has to offer.

I strongly recommended making a stop to Taipei Public Library (Beitou Branch). This library is Taiwan’s first green library and is made primarily of timber. Resembling a large treehouse, it blends in with the surrounding lush environment. Its unique design attracts many visitors and makes it a popular photo spot!

The Thermal Valley, nicknamed “Hell Valley,” is another must-see. It is a volcanic crater filled with boiling hot sulphuric water that has a temperature between 80 to 100 degrees Celsius! Although you can’t swim in it, it is still very scenic. You can actually see the smoke and mist rising up from the surface!

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan

Of course, you cannot leave Beitou without soaking up in the hot springs! Millenium Hot Springs is an outdoor public bathhouse. For NT$40, you get admission to 5 pools of varying temperatures! It is an incredibly affordable option. Please note that because it is a public hot spring, you need to bring your swimsuits. Alternatively, you can visit the hot spring hotels nearby for privacy. Those are usually charged at an hourly fee and offer private hot spring bath in your en-suite bathroom.

Enjoy lunch at Beitou Market, just a few minutes’ walk from Beitou MRT station. There, you can find many traditional eats, including spare ribs noodles, steamed spring roll, braised pork rice, and meat dumpling soup.

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan

National Palace Museum

In the afternoon, pay a visit to the National Palace Museum. Home to the world’s largest collection of ancient Chinese artifacts (nearly 700,000 items!), the museum is the best place to learn about China’s imperial history and culture.

Shilin Night market

Later in the evening, have a feast at Shilin Night market. This night market is the largest and most famous one in Taiwan, featuring an amazing array of mouth-watering street food! It’s also good for shopping as there are plenty of stores selling clothes and accessories.

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan - Night Market

Where to stay in Taipei

For upscale accommodation, I would recommend Xinyi District. Most luxury hotels like Le Meridien, Grand Hyatt, and W Taipei are located there. This area is safe, close to metro stations and convenient for shopping and dining.

Day trips from Taipei City

Once you’ve seen Taipei City’s main attractions, why not get out of the city for a day and get some fresh air?

Yangmingshan National Park is a popular scenic destination that is easily accessible from Taipei City. It is known for its unique volcanic terrain and spectacular mountainous landscape.

Jiu Fen is another popular day trip option. This old gold mining town is a charming and delightful gem. Red lanterns fill the narrow cobblestone streets. Can you believe that this place serves as an inspiration for Hayao Miyazaki’s animated film Spirited Away? If you have time, plan to make a stop at Shi Fen for the beautiful cascading waterfall, and Ping Xi for sky lanterns!

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan - Day trips from Taiwan

Utilize these 5 tools to help you plan trips around Taiwan.

How to get to Taipei from the airport

There are several ways to get from Taoyuan International Airport to downtown Taipei.

MRT

The Taoyuan Airport MRT is the fastest and most convenient way to get to Taipei. MRT, short for Mass Rapid Transit, is the Taiwanese version of a subway system. Accessible from both Terminal 1 and Terminal 2, the express train will take you straight to Taipei Main Station in only 36 minutes! A one-way ticket is NT$160 (equivalent to approximately USD$5.47).

Once you arrive at Taipei Main Station, you can easily transfer to Taipei MRT that takes you to other parts of Taipei city.

For more information on how to take the MRT, check out this post on getting around Taipei by subway.

2 days in Taipei, Taiwan

Bus

Buses are also available from the airport. They leave frequently, have long operating hours, and are slightly cheaper than MRT – fares are around NT$140 one way.

Kuo Kuang Bus, Evergreen Bus, and CitiAir Bus run many different routes between the airport and the city. 1819, for example, operates 24 hours and departs from both terminals to Taipei Main Station. 1840 travels to Songshan Airport, making several stops along the way. 1960 East services to Taipei City Hall.

Taxi

If you’re traveling in a group, taking a taxi might be more cost-effective. Fares are based on the meter. Depending on where you’re traveling to the city, the ride costs around NT$1000 to NT$1200.

So there you have the best things to see and do if you have 2 days in Taipei. The city is packed with delicious offerings, fantastic shopping hotspots, and fascinating cultural sites. You’re gonna love it!

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Taipei Itinerary: What to do in Taipei

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Scotland Roadtrip: Edinburgh to Glencoe by Car https://www.migratingmiss.com/edinburgh-to-glencoe-by-car/ https://www.migratingmiss.com/edinburgh-to-glencoe-by-car/#comments Mon, 11 Jun 2018 16:34:35 +0000 https://www.migratingmiss.com/?p=4362 Driving from Edinburgh to Glencoe is one of my absolute favourite road trips in Scotland. There are plenty of amazing stops along the way, and a fantastic mixture of scenery with green and lush lowlands, lochs, picturesque towns, hidden gems, and the stunning change of entering the highlands with it’s more rugged scenery. And that’s before you even get to Glencoe! Why drive to Glencoe? Many people travelling to Edinburgh or Glasgow do so without a car and rely on organised tours to see the rest of Scotland if they have extra time. While there are some fantastic tour companies offering great tours, I also love the freedom of having your own car and really think it’s the best way to see Scotland. Especially on the Edinburgh to Glencoe trip since there are SO many places to stop, and tours tend to try to include Glencoe on a much bigger tour heading towards Loch Ness or the Western Isles. There’s so much more to see on the way there and beautiful stops in the glen itself that I think it’s worth doing it with a car for the freedom! How long does the drive take? It is possible to complete […]

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Driving from Edinburgh to Glencoe is one of my absolute favourite road trips in Scotland. There are plenty of amazing stops along the way, and a fantastic mixture of scenery with green and lush lowlands, lochs, picturesque towns, hidden gems, and the stunning change of entering the highlands with it’s more rugged scenery. And that’s before you even get to Glencoe!

Why drive to Glencoe?

Many people travelling to Edinburgh or Glasgow do so without a car and rely on organised tours to see the rest of Scotland if they have extra time. While there are some fantastic tour companies offering great tours, I also love the freedom of having your own car and really think it’s the best way to see Scotland. Especially on the Edinburgh to Glencoe trip since there are SO many places to stop, and tours tend to try to include Glencoe on a much bigger tour heading towards Loch Ness or the Western Isles. There’s so much more to see on the way there and beautiful stops in the glen itself that I think it’s worth doing it with a car for the freedom!

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

How long does the drive take?

It is possible to complete a roundtrip from Edinburgh to Glencoe in one day, but it does involve a lot of driving! One way to Glencoe is around 3 hours, so you’d need to allow at least 6 hours of driving time, plus all of the stops. It’s best attempted when the daylight is longer in the summer months, or better yet plan to spend the night somewhere along the route, or around Glencoe.

Renting a car in Edinburgh

Recently, Avis Car Hire asked me to help them create a road trip guide to some of my favourite places within one day’s drive of Edinburgh. Avis have a car hire location at Edinburgh airport and in the city centre so it’s easy to hire a car for a day or two and see more of Scotland!

For the one day road trip from Edinburgh guide, I decided to focus on Glencoe as the ultimate destination since that’s where I always recommend people to go when they want to see Scotland outside of the city. I chose some of my favourite hidden gems and well-known spots along the way.

You can check out the finished Avis guide here!

 

My favourite stops along the drive to Glencoe

The Kelpies

A Kelpie is a mythical creature that could be found around waterways across Scotland and has now been immortalised in the 30-metre high horse-head sculptures at the Forth and Clyde Canal. The Kelpies can be seen from the M9 as you drive from Edinburgh towards Stirling, but if you do have a little extra time they’re worth a closer look too!

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Photo by Phil Bolger at Phil Bolger Writes

Stirling

Although it’s tempting to skip past Stirling on the motorway, catching just a glimpse of Stirling Castle as you do so, I’d really recommend a pit stop in this historic city. If you want to learn more about the way historic buildings and sites and preserved and maintained in Scotland then The Engine Shed has interactive displays that will allow you to do just that.

There’s Stirling Castle and the Wallace Monument just outside the town of course. But make sure you wander downtown and visit Made in Stirling, an amazing shop that supports local artists and designers, showcasing all the beautiful art and things made in the area. It’s the perfect spot to get a unique gift or keepsake to remember your epic road trip!

Just outside of Stirling is the Blair Drummond Smiddy Farm Shop, Butchery and Cafe. It’s a great place to stop for a break since there’s plenty of parking, a beautiful shop crafts, and delicious foods from around Scotland, a butchery and a cafe where you can grab something to eat in or take away. The toasted sandwiches and hand cut chips are divine!

Stirling: Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Doune Castle

I love this castle. It’s not the grandest, biggest, oldest, or even the most beautiful, but I love it all the same. Aside from featuring in some prominent moments in history, the medieval castle has featured in several films and TV programs. The commentary in the audio guide is by Monty Python member Terry Jones and Sam Heughan of Outlander fame. Don’t miss going all the way to the roof for the views!

Doune Castle: Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Callander

If you haven’t stopped yet, then Callander is a great option. At the boundary of the lowlands and highlands of Scotland, it’s just before the scenery gets much more dramatic. The town itself has lots of places to grab a coffee or something to eat, including Mhor Bread with their delicious steak and haggis pies. Get something and then continue along the road to the picnic spot at Loch Lubnaig, a beautiful scenic area where you can relax and enjoy a break.

Callander: Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Loch Lomond

If you’re starting out from Glasgow, or planning on coming back the same sort of way, then I’d highly recommend driving further through Loch Lomond National Park than you would if you stick to the route through Callander. From the loch it’s north to Glencoe. When you return you can go through Callander instead! This is really only recommended if you’re staying overnight on the trip since it does add time to your drive, or if you’re not making too many other stops.

You can turn off at Stirling (or backtrack slightly after Doune, since it’s only just up the road) and drive towards Luss on the western shore of the loch. Its a picturesque lochside village with views across to Ben Lomond and of the surrounding mountains.

My favourite new discovery is the Luss Smokehouse, where they smoke locally caught sustainable trout and salmon onsite. The new store sells packets and sandwiches to take away, as well as coffee and other Scotland made goods. I always leave wishing I’d brought more smoked salmon!!

Loch Lomond: Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Culross

Culross, pronounced (Coo-Ross, because Fife), is a little bit of an anomaly on the list. It’s located across the Firth of Forth north of Edinburgh, not too far from the new Queensferry Crossing. You’ll pass through here if you choose to go north straight out of the city before heading west for Glencoe, or if you want to take a different route on your way back instead of going through Stirling and along the M9. It’s a chance to see a little more of Scotland and Fife, a rather underrated area.

The charming village was recently used in the filming of the popular Outlander TV series, thanks to its well-preserved medieval looking streets and buildings. Culross Palace with its distinctive yellow colour is a beautiful spot, and there’s even a tearoom named after Lallybroch, a location in Outlander. The Red Lion Inn is lovely on a sunny day with its outdoor tables, or if you can get a spot in the cosy inside. They serve some traditional Scottish pub grub and sticky toffee pudding for dessert!

Glencoe

And now for the star of the show, Glencoe itself. Here are some of my favourite spots to stop for photos and you drive towards and through the glen.

Buachaille Etive Mor

You’ll spot this distinctive pointy mountain as you drive across Rannoch Moor towards Glencoe. There are some great spots on the side of the road where you can take pictures. After you’ve passed the mountain, be sure to look back (not if you’re driving of course!) to see the totally different view from the other side. You’ll spot a small white cottage, the first of two in the area that feature in many photos of Glencoe.

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

The Three Sisters

The Three Sisters are three steep ridges stretching down from Bidean nam Bian, and they form a prominent feature in Glencoe. After Buachaille Etive Mor the road narrows as you pass through Glencoe. Watch out for waterfalls and marvel at the steep mountain ridges, before it opens up slightly as you drive alongside the Three Sisters. There are several bays where you can pull over and admire the view, and also some small paths that lead you on a walk between the bays. I like getting off the roadside and further down into the glen for different views.

As you near the end of this stretch you’ll see the second white cottage in a picturesque spot below the mountain ridges.

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Glencoe Visitor Centre

Just at the end of the glen is the Glencoe Visitor Centre. You can stop here if you want to learn more about the area, the wildlife, and some of the history. There’s also a cafe. If you go right through behind the Centre there are some short walking paths that take you to see another angle looking back at Glencoe.

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Glencoe Folk Museum

The Glencoe Folk Museum is a labour of love that brings together historical items and exhibits of Glencoe and the surrounding area. It’s a real step back in time, especially since it’s located in a traditional thatched roof cottage along the main street of Glencoe.

Glencoe Massacre Monument

Glencoe has a tragic past, which you can learn more about in the Visitors Centre, Folk Museum, or this post about stories of Glencoe. In the small town, you’ll find a monument dedicated to those affected by the Glencoe Massacre in February 1692, which came about as a result of tensions after the Jacobite rebellion.

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Tips for driving in Scotland

In Scotland we drive on the left, and outside of the main motorways the roads can be very narrow. So here are some general tips to help you out if you’re not used to driving here!

  • Be prepared for the weather. Slow down in wet conditions and watch for sun glare if it’s sunny but winter when the sun is low. Don’t drive in weather you’re not comfortable in, for example snow.
  • Watch out for animals on the road, especially in more rural areas where sheep aren’t always fenced in.
  • Be careful where you stop for photos. You’re going to want to stop a lot, but make sure you pull over somewhere that is fully off the road and watch when you open your doors!
  • Realise it’s probably going to take you longer than Google Maps tells you. Partly because it’s just inaccurate and the roads take longer, and partly because you’ll stop all the time for photos!
  • If you have a rental car check if it’s diesel or petrol so you fill it up right
  • Automatic rental cars will be much more expensive than a manual car
  • Don’t pass on or near corners. This should be a given, but for people used to driving on multi-lane roads it can be forgotten.
  • Stick to the speed limits, that also means trying not to go too slowly. Although you should drive comfortably, if you’re holding up traffic make sure you look for somewhere to pull over and let it pass.

 

Want to read more about the locations? You can check out the finished Avis guide here!

 

Edinburgh to Glencoe by car

Have you ever dreamed of driving to Glencoe?

Sonja x

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Scotland Road Trip from Edinburgh to Glencoe by Car

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