Browse Category by A Millennial’s Travel Advice

What You Will Find Here

Travel advice from someone who is passionate about travelling. My name is Arielle and I have been happily afflicted by wanderlust since a young age. As a result, I work hard to motivate others to travel and explore the world. However, don’t be mislead by my twenty-something age status. Many of the travel tips and advice that I write about are applicable to people of all ages. As someone who rarely misses an opportunity for a new adventure, I hope that through reading my posts, readers will experience a desire for adventure as well.

Or, at the very least, please read about some very practical advice and information about your planned travel destination. I have been to every destination that I have written about. Not every destination that I have written about may be widely known to readers. My hope is that through reading my blog you may find a desire to visit a place never considered before. Travel is an education all unto itself.  Congratulations for taking steps towards expanding your mind.

Thanks for reading; I hope that you’ll find something that to enjoy.

“Traveling- it gives you home in thousand strange places, then leaves you a stranger in your own land.” – Ibn Battuta

A Millennial's Travel Advice

How To See Barcelona on a 20-Something Budget

how to see barecelona on a 20 something budget

We had an amazing time in Barcelona. The city has a vibrant nightlife, which suits us quite well, and no shortage of sights to see and things to do during the day.

How to See Barcelona on a 20-Something Budget

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Miles of candy in Mercat de la Boqueria.

Three Things You Must do in Barcelona:

  1. Mercat de la Boqueria: Everywhere you turn in this market your eyes will be accosted by splashes of different colours and distractions. I am all about a good market and this one did not disappoint. My taste buds were screaming with satisfaction the entire time we spent here. The market is also located along La Rambla, which is a great shopping street. You could make a day of it.
  2. Have shots at Espit Chupitos: With 700 to choose from and only costing 2 euro a piece, this can make for a spectacular night. More on this place down below.
  3. Waterfront: Barcelona has a great beach. Along the sand people make different sand sculptures. They do expect a tip if they catch you trying to take a photograph.

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There were a lot of different sand sculptures along the beach!

You may be surprised not to see La Sagrada Familia on my list. We did not actually go inside and were underwhelmed by the outside. I mean, it was nice, but it just didn’t do anything for us. The construction really took away the impact for us.

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Construction makes us sad.

We did make an appearance at Park Guell but we only scoped out some of the free portion and didn’t spend much time wandering through.

Nightlife in Barcelona

  • I just cannot say enough about Espit Chupitos. This is the best shots bar that I have ever been too, they have 700 to choose from. The first time we went, Jess and I teamed up with two other people from our hostel in an attempt to sample the most shots. We each bought rounds of different things. Harry Potter shots are lit on fire and served with an orange. Willy Wonka shots are served with whipped cream and chocolate. Pulp Fiction shots are essentially death in a tiny glass. Tutti Frutti is a sweet break from the other options. After this night of bonding, we hope to see these friends again when we visit Chicago this summer. Strategize to sample as many as you can! You’re in Europe, enjoy it! This is one of the many times in our friendship that Jess and I have noticed that we always drink harder than everyone we are with. But, we have the most fun.

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The names of all the different shots are listed on chalkboards at the back.

  • We went to Sutton twice and both nights that we went they played hip-hop. I love a good hip-hop night.  In Spain, the party starts late. If you go to the club before 1:30 am- 2:00 am (which is last call where I’m from), you may be the only people in the club. Try to get there late. I recommend napping before going. And pre-drinking because club drinks are pricey.
  • Another place we checked out was Opium. The security at this beach club is very strict, the guy in front of us was not allowed in because he was wearing pink shoes and another guy had to remove his earrings. That being said, creepy guys will always find their way in. Stand your ground. You don’t have to dance with anyone that you do not want to. I am no stranger to inviting guys to get away from my friends and myself.

Places to Eat:

Ramen-Ya Hiro: Every single time we walked by this ramen place there was a massive line. People start lining up 45 minutes before the place even opens. Naturally, we needed to know what the fuss was all about. The food was delectable. I never knew ramen could taste so good! In light of the long line, I asked the waiter if we could order a glass of wine to drink will we waited outside. He happily obliged us. Fun Fact: I tried edamame for the first time without knowing that it is essentially a green bean and you only eat the insides.

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This ramen was seriously so amazing! Worth a line.

Mercat de la Boqueria: I’m always a proponent of a good market. You can find every single type of food you could possibly want here. It is almost impossible to even make a decision. Don’t be hasty; wander the whole market before deciding. There is flavour and temptation around every corner.

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So many tantalizing options.

Pizza del Born: Located more centrally, this place makes a mouthwatering pizza. We needed this to recover after visiting Espit Chupitos.

Getting Around in Barcelona

Barcelona has a good metro system. Jess and I shared one metro card, as they don’t track who is using it. If you only need to go for a few stops through the city, this could be a wise idea for yourself and your travel mate. We were able to take the metro to a bus stop and a bus to the airport for only 6 euro.

Otherwise, we walked through the city.

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Yeah Barcelona Hostel

We stayed at Yeah Hostel, which was part of a larger chain of hostels throughout Spain and Portugal. Honestly, I loved this chain. The beds are massive with individual charging stations; there is plenty of space to lock up your things. The showers were great. The only thing that I didn’t love was the lighting. The rooms have terrible lighting. These hostels all offer a 15 euro pub-crawl which gives you open bar in the hostel for beer and sangria, followed by one bar, where you are meant to get drunk for cheap, and then head off to a larger club.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

The Ultimate San Sebastian Tapas Pub Crawl

Donostia San Sebastian is jam packed with crowded tapas bars. This makes it a perfect place for the ultimate San Sebastian Tapas Pub Crawl. Everywhere you turn in the old town you are greeted by delectable options. In other words, the only way to maximize the tapas and bar experience is with a tapa bar crawl. To save you the effort, we have prepared an epic tapas crawl experience for your savoury pleasure. San Sebastian will give you the true tapas experience, the tapas are on display around the counter and you must elbow your way in amongst the wall of people surrounding the bar to make your order. We often found that in San Sebastian knowing a little Spanish went a long way as English was not as commonly spoken.

 Without Further Ado, The Ultimate San Sebastian Tapas Pub Crawl

Stop Number 1:

First, head over to Paco Bueno and sample the prawns or calamari with a glass of white wine. For a grand total of 5.50 euro we enjoyed two glasses of wine and two tapas. Despite the low price, the food was excellent. We actually both started and finished our own pub-crawl with this place because we were so impressed. The second time we visited that night we got to bear witness to the bartender’s frustration over the football game, it felt so Spanish.

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Paco Bueno prawns and calamari. Muy bien

Stop Number 2:

Nagusia Lau is located right next door to Paco Bueno and does excellent sangria. There are a variety of tapas spread out on the bar to choose from. You can’t go wrong as they all looked wonderful. The prices were all around 3 euros a tapa. The atmosphere of this place is less fast paced. Other tapas bars make you feel a rush of adrenalin trying to squeeze up to the bar to get your order. But, at Nagusia Lau, you can casually saunter up to the bar to make your selection and peacefully sit at a nearby table. Hence, this is great for first timers.

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Do not be fooled by the lack of a crowd. The tapas were delectable.

Stop Number 3:

Located close to Paco Bueno, we next hit up Atari. Here, we did not end up going for tapas. Instead, we ordered a plate of palatable calamari and two gin tonics. This place is “famous” for its gin tonics. Not that we get how a place can be famous for gin tonics. You take gin, you take tonic and voila! You have a gin tonic. Sadly, we do not even like gin tonics but ordered them anyway just to try the “famous” version. The glass was massive and freely poured to half a glass full of Tanquery gin. And drumroll….. it tasted like every other gin tonic. We struggled to finish them. However, if you are into gin tonics then this place is for you!

Atari was a little bit more highly priced than some of the other tapas bars we explored. Fortunately, there is a lot more seating. Since we ordered a meal not a tapa we got bread which we promptly pocketed as the massive gin tonics went straight to our heads.

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This is the most gin tonic I have ever drank in my life.

Stop Number 4:

Karrika Taberna looks like a hole in the wall, as do most of the San Sebastian tapas bars. But, once inside, they offer well-priced white wine at 1.30 euro and a relaxed ordering experience. Above the bar you can see ham or jamon hanging. It was by this point that I got more drunkenly confident in my Spanish and attempted to both ask and then order the bartenders favourite tapa. “Tu favorito?” I ended up with a sausage with an egg on top. I actually highly recommend this! If you see an item that looks like this, try it. It was mouthwatering.

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This is what the bartender’s favourite was and it was an unexpected delight.

Stop Number 5:

Bar Restaurante Gandarias was another tapas bar stuffed to the brim of people where you really need to work your way through the crowd to order. Do it though! Their selection was hard to choose from as it was all so enticing.

Stop Number 6:

Bar-Goiz-Argi is known for its prawns. This place was again a little more expensive, we paid about 9.50 euro for our tapas. However, we really enjoyed the prawns and all of the other food that came out looked equally as scrumptious.

5205579A-002D-4A5A-9498-94408F4E3CE0         This post is making me crave tapas.

After our tapas crawl we staggered back to our hostel, Urban House, while our taste buds sighed with delight.

Final Words

These are the six places we visited when we went out on our pub-crawl. You cannot go wrong though. If you see a place that look tasty or interesting, pop in there. Most of the time the tapas and drinks are fairly cheap so it does not hurt to sample. We stopped at six because that is where we got too full.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

Things You Must Do In San Sebastian, Spain

how to see san sebastian on a budget

If I had to choose one word to describe San Sebastian I would have to go with stunning. There are many things you must do in San Sebastian.

One of the things that you need to do in San Sebastian is hike Mount Urgull. The top of the mountain can be reached in two ways. One is by walking past the aquarium. You should be following the castle signs as the Jesus statue is located on top of an old castle.

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Jesus from atop the hill.

The alternative is to take the stairs next to the San Telmo Museoa. What we ended up doing was starting at the aquariam and finishing at the San Telmo Museoa. This your best bet because you will be able to catch a variety of different view points. Trying to actually selfie with the Jesus statue results in very unflattering angles but you can definitely try it out. Taking the exit towards the museum gives a viewpoint of Zurriola Surf Beach; however, it was not particularly wavy during our visit.

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Zurriola Surf Beach from the Museum exit. Does life get any better?  

Near the Zurriola Surf Beach you can board either a little red train tour or a hop on hop off bus.

We opted for the small red train as it only cost 5 euro. This has no stops but does provide an audio tour lasting about a half an hour of San Sebastian. We liked the opportunity to see more of the city.

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The view from atop Mount Igueldo. The larger mountain behind us is Mount Urgull.

Another mountain that you must visit in San Sebastian is Mount Igueldo.

Whereas Mount Urgull involves a hike, this gem can be reached by taking a funicular up the mountain. The funicular is a little hard to spot but it is essentially a cable car that you take you up to unbelievable viewpoints of the entire city. For only a few euro it was well worth it. There is a little café up here if you are a sucker for a meal with a view, which I am.

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I’ll take my morning coffee with a view any day.

Finally, the tapas of San Sebastian make this a must see for any trip to Spain.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

Three Things To Do In Seville on a 20-Something’s Budget

the three things you must do in seville

Are you heading to Seville, Spain? Then you’re in luck as I’ve prepared a list of three things to do in Seville:

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Alcazar gardens.

Three Things to do In Seville

  1. Alcazar: This former royal fortress is very influenced by its Muslim background. The wall tiles and shapes of the doorways speak to its rich history. I loved wandering through the courtyard gardens. These gardens are exactly what I envision living in a palace to be like. They feature beautiful walkways coupled with ambient fountains. In addition, they do offer reduced rates for students with an ID card. Be careful though, it is only for students under the age of 25 years old and they do check both student ID and regular ID.
  2. Plaza de Espana: Words cannot describe how stunning this place is. The architecture doesn’t even look real. Do not miss this breathtaking sight. The stone is chiseled to such perfection that it looks like it could be a drawing. The pictures are underwhelming compared to the real building.
  3. Take in a Flamenco Show: Seville is known for Flamenco, as such it would be tragic not to see a show here. We found that most hour long Flamenco shows cost about 15-20 euros. However, we managed to find a place called Taverna Casa del Volapie which hosts a free show lasting about 20 minutes. The restaurant serves mainly tapas. Which of course are wonderful and the atmosphere was buzzing with life. Equally important, the show was captivating.  I recommend getting there early because it does get quite full. Who doesn’t love a free show? Jess tried to ask our server if she spoke English and was given a bottle of water. Therefore, we feel it was safe to say she did not speak English.

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There is no picture that will do the Plaza de Espana justice.

Side Note:

If at anytime you find yourself in need of a good hangover burger, hit up The Good Burger, we did multiple times for an instant cure.

 

A Millennial's Travel Advice

What You Must Do in Lagos, Portugal

I am officially obsessed with Lagos. From the quaint old town with a mix of bars, restaurants, and shops to the stunning beaches I fell in love. Don’t confuse this with Lagos, Nigeria. Lagos, the love of my life, is in Portugal. All of the photos here are from the cliff walk I mention later on in the post. Read on for what you must do in Lagos, Portugal.

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We stayed at an adorable hostel JJ’s Yard. This is family owned by a young couple that has two locations and lives in between them. They are readily available to help give guidance and stop by every morning to check up on their guests and chat with them about life. The place feels so homey. At night, they take you on pub-crawls throughout the old town. I’ve never felt so cared about by a hostel or hotel for that matter. They truly go above and beyond to ensure you enjoy yourself.

What You Must Do in Lagos, Portugal

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Lagos is full of beaches; it would be a shame for you to not check some out on your stay here. For 25 euro there are boat rides through the coastal grottos. The boatman can be located next to the fortress along the coast.

Another alternative is to do a cliff walk. Actually, it’s not an alternative, it’s a must do. Walk to the fortress and when standing directly in front of the fortress you would head to the fortress’s right. This will take you towards the cliffs and lighthouse. While doing the cliff walk you will get sensational views of the beaches and cliffs. Wear sunscreen though! We got sunburned on our three-hour walk. There trails aren’t always obvious but always try to keep to the left as much as possible. Eventually, you will reach a restaurant called Antonios where we stopped for ciders but they also offer delicious octopus rice.

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Nightlife in Lagos

No list of what to do in Lagos would be complete without nightlife. One of the things that surprised me about Portugal is its vibrant nightlife. I discuss the nightlife of Lisbon here. In Lagos, all the bars are tightly packed together in the old town, which means that our hostel was in close range. We visited Three Monkeys that offers battleshots and beer bongs. This bar was packed the night that we went.

On our second night, we hit up The Tavern. The shots in this bar are insane! They have something called “Walk the Plank” which costs 25 euro (at time of writing) to participate in unless you beat the record time. In order to win, you have to do the six shots (not all are very nice) in less than the record time. When we got to the bar the record was 7.2 seconds; however, this was beat that night and became 6 seconds. I don’t even think I could swallow six times in six seconds. They offer beer bongs and keep a record of the countries that have done it. Naturally, I took one for Canada.

Finally, many of the bars close at 2 am. So at 2 am head on over to Inside Out which stays open until 4 am and keep going. As it is the only place still open, it gets PACKED and quickly too. The Black Cat is where all the locals congregate if you are in for more of authentic experience. Plus, you can drink in the streets here.

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Food In Lagos

We ate breakfast at Café Odeon on both days that we were there. For 3 euro you can get an English breakfast that is quite tasty. Café Odeon is very tiny and non-descript but offers delectable breakfast.

The Green Room serves zestful Mexican food. We had dinner here that included burritos, fish tacos and jalapeno poppers. We now know that authentic jalapeno poppers are made of battered jalapenos and our mouths will beg us to be a bit gentler next time.

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Yum, fish tacos.

Another place we ate was Churrasqueira “Praca d Armas” which served excellent half chicken and fries for 6 euros.

Antonio’s Restaurant is located quite far away from the old town; however, the meal with a view is well worth it. Or in our case, ciders with a view.

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Ciders with a view at Antonios.

On the night of our bar hopping, we finished by getting donairs/kebabs from Paradise Doner Kebab. A local recommended that I get durum which is essentially a Canadian donair. Jess got a doner. Both were simply amazing and highly recommended.

In addition, Bondi Café offers Portuguese tarts that are divine.

 

I cannot recommend a trip to Lagos more. I would love to come back here just for a week of relaxation.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

What to do in Lisbon, Portugal

If you’re wondering what to do in Lisbon, Portugal then something that I recommend is appreciating the architecture. Often referred to as the San Francisco of Europe, Lisbon definitely carries a similar charm with its own European flair. The yellow streetcars creak their way through winding, narrow streets. Many of the buildings are shades of white, making the distinctive yellow of the streetcars stand out against them. However, one of my favourite things about Lisbon is that in amongst the white buildings tiled with brown roofs are the random smatterings of brightly coloured buildings. This character feature adds to the thrill of turning the next corner. In comparison to San Fransisco, I find that Lisbon has a much more relaxed atmosphere.

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I love these splashes of colour.

Another lovely feature of the buildings in Lisbon is the Azulejo tiles on many buildings. These are an Iberian art form and absolutely beautiful. They come in a variety of colours and add so much character to the buildings. They help with temperature control and are easy to clean. Lisbon hosts a San Fransisco-esque bridge which leads towards the interior of Portugal and the large statue of Jesus paying homage to the one in Brazil.

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The trademark number 28 tramcar on a sunny street.

What To Do In Lisbon, Portugal

The São Jorge Castle or Castelo de São Jorge offers stunning views of the city. For students, it is 5 euros or 8.50 otherwise. As always, I brought my outdated student ID and got in at the lower price. The guidebooks tell you to check out the castle, as may gut instinct upon arriving and seeing such a distinctive piece of architecture. But the locals will tell you that there are numerous free miraduoros (viewpoints) around the city. In the end, whichever you choose is up to you. Keep in mind that aside from the view there isn’t terribly much up at the castle.

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The bridge with Big Jesus in the distance.

Another one of the main sights to see in Lisbon is the Praça do Comércio Square that can be found along the Tagus River. Locals refer to this as the Square of the Palace. However, the actual palace was destroyed during an earthquake in 1755. Currently, a variety of restaurants now border the square. From the square you will notice an arch that was created during the rebuilding of Lisbon after the earthquake. Beyond the arch are many cafes, restaurants and tourist shops. In essence, this is a great tourist area of Lisbon.

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Just beyond this arch are tons of sunny cafes and restaurants.

While traveling through Lisbon keep an eye out for the word “miraduoro.” This will be a viewpoint.

Tourist Traps

You may have heard of the Santa Justa lift also called the Carmo Lift. This is the only remaining vertical lift in the city. Skip it. No locals from Lisbon ride this elevator, as it isn’t worth it. The lift costs 5 euro and after waiting in a long, long line you’ll find that it doesn’t even go to the top!! To add insult to injury, you can reach the same level of the elevator by walking FOR FREE.

To avoid this typical tourist trap first head to the Museu Arqueológico Do Carmo. Second, when standing in front of this building, head around the corner to the right. This will bring you up some stairs, which are in line with the top of the elevator. This isn’t even the best view of the city as it is blocked by metal fencing. Fun Fact: the Museu Arqueológico Do Carmo is one of the few buildings that withstood the earthquake of 1755. It has been preserved in the same state to show future generations just how devastating the quake was.

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The view from the castle.

In the same way, a second tourist trap to avoid is the elevators or funiculars that will take you up larger hills. I only recommend making use of them if you are unable to walk a steep hill. Locals used to use these; however, once tourists noticed them the prices more than doubled. For 3.60 euro you can essentially be transported up a hill. These cars are yellow and similar in colour to the tramcars but don’t confuse them. An example of one of these elevators can be found across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe. Anything near such an iconic tourist restaurant is definitely overpriced and for unsuspecting tourists only.

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The Calcada da Gloria street, located across from the Hard Rock Cafe. If you look closely you can see the lift.

 

Authentic Drinks and Food of Portugal

An alternative viewpoint to the Santa Justa lift is located up the hill across the street from the Hard Rock Cafe. Once you reach the top of the tram elevator turn right and walk up the hill. There is an area that will give an excellent view of the city as well as the São Jorge Castle. On the day we stopped there was a market set up. This gave us an opportunity to sample the traditional Portuguese alcohol Ginjinha or Ginja, which is made from sour cherries. It is fairly strong and served in a chocolate shot glass. I liked it but Jess doesn’t like cherries.

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The viewpoint from the above mentioned location.

Another drink we tried that is unique to Portugal is vinho verde. This is a green wine; however, it doesn’t look that green. It has a bit of an acidic taste and must be served very cold. It will get you drunk and is a must try for any wine connoisseur.
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Ginja served in chocolate cups.

Before you leave visit Time Out Market. This place has all of the foods you could imagine and is packed. We each ordered two different dishes and shared them. This is an excellent way of sampling Portuguese foods. As a result of sharing, we managed to try octopus rice and peri-peri chicken. It was mouthwateringly delicious. The market is packed and provides so many food options it was a struggle to choose just two. Make sure to do a  full lap around before letting your stomach decide.

Lastly, sample some Portuguese tarts. They are divine.

Nightlife in Lisbon

Unexpectedly, Lisbon has an excellent nightlife. The Bairro Alto area contains tons of different bars perfect for bar hopping.  The whole area is a grid and some buildings contain helpful maps on the outside. The Atalia Street is busiest because it has the cheapest bars. The Portuguese music Fado can be heard in some of the bars in the area. We didn’t get a chance to hear it but I’m told it is very emotion inducing.

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Throughout the area we noticed maps painted on the sides of buildings to help guide your drunken self.

Here are some recommended bars in the area: 

http://www.welovelisbon.net/articles/lisbons-best-rooftop-bars

http://www.10best.com/destinations/portugal/lisbon/nightlife/bairro-alto-principe-reals-best-bars/

 

Finally, while in Portugal, exercise normal security precautions. This includes keeping your bag in front of you and being aware of your belongings to avoid pickpockets. Do this especially inside the tram cars where you may may find yourself pressed between strangers.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

The Best Things to do on Lanzarote, Canary Islands

Located just about a hundred kilometres west of Africa, the Canary Islands provide Europeans, particularly those from Great Britain, with a beach vacation that is but a short plane ride away. Since this destination is largely targeted towards this market, it is very hard to have a true Spanish experience here. Walking up the main street in Puerto Del Carmen will give you a variety of different restaurants ranging from Chinese food to Mexican to British foods. The entire area is littered with Irish pubs. Luckily, these aren’t included in my list of the best things to do on Lanzarote.

The actual island is full of stunning beaches. It is no surprise that this is a popular destination. We stayed at Parque Tropical and we adored it. Our room was basically a tiny apartment, we had a full kitchen and our bedroom that contained two single beds was in a separate room. The hotel had a pool but we never saw anyone swimming in it.

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The camel driver makes the camel pay attention for you AND they don’t charge for photos.

The Best Things to do on Lanzarote

One of the first things we did after picking up our car from the airport was make our way to Echadero de los Camellos. Here, you get the opportunity to ride a camel around a volcanic area. One camel costs 12 euro, meaning for two people it was 6 euro each. The ride was short but enjoyable. A camel sitting down and standing up is an experience in its own right.

The entrance to the camels is located just before the Parque Nacional de Timanfaya, which is the national park of Lanzarote. Follow the signs for the camels before heading to the park.

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The view of La Graciosa, from the free point of the Mirador del Rio.

We drove up to the Mirador del Rio which offers a viewpoint of La Graciosa, a nearby island which can be reached by ferry in Orzola. The water surrounding it is turquoise and magnificent.

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Don’t miss the Cueva de los Verdes. 

Cueva de Los Verdes offers visitors a trip through a volcanic cave. The volcanoes on Lanzarote are still active so not all of the cave can be explored. However, with a guide you can travel for about an hour through this unique cave. This cost 9 euro but was an amazing adventure. This location served as a hide out from ancient pirates who used to visit the island. The actual entrance for this place is very easy to miss. Cueva de Los Verdes can be found just before Jameos del Agua so keep your eyes peeled.
editedF970D9CC-CCAF-4A62-A216-A4F13EFC26FCThis reflection was perfect (Also, this spot was mentioned on Buzzfeed #7 ).

It may have never crossed your mind to visit a volcanic tube before but Jameos del Agua offers a very unique opportunity to do so. In fact, I don’t even think that I had heard of volcanic tubes before my visit to Lanzarote. Inside, there is a large, still pond. The entire area is serene and peaceful, spa music plays which adds to the ambiance of peace. The cost was 9 euro.

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The serene water of Jameos del Agua. The white spots are microorganisms. 

The towns of Lanzarote are reminiscent of Greece. Many of the buildings are white with painted doorframes that strike out in bright blue or green. I really enjoyed simply driving through them and admiring the architecture. Lanzarote is a popular bike destination so you will often spot bikers along the roads. Watch out!

Eating In Lanzarote

Our hotel was located in Playa Del Carmen, which as I’ve mentioned caters to British tourists. We had a traditional English breakfast most days, this is offered by many restaurants.  Including, our favorite, the Tequila Lounge. We also popped over to La Cantina for Mexican. Many of the restaurants located along the main strip offer happy hour drink specials. Either bar hop to maximize drink specials or walk up the street before deciding where to go. We went to Africa twice as they offer two for one happy hour prices.

At night, walking up the main street of Playa Del Carmen feels like being in Vegas. There are promoters that encourage you to visit their bar or club. Many of the restaurants offer the same foods at roughly the same prices. Eat at whichever strikes your fancy.

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The beach of Playa del Carmen is what really matters here.

The Beaches of Lanzarote

Not only does Lanzarote contain some stunning sights but it also contains gorgeous beaches.

El Golfo: Check out this unique beach. Lanzarote is a volcanic island, which means that there is volcanic ash. At El Golfo, the beach is beautifully composed of black, slightly rocky sand. This is a result of the volcanic ash. The gentle blue water creates a stunning juxtaposition against the backdrop of the sand. The town of El Golfo has numerous restaurants along the water for a meal with a view.

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El Golfo is nestled in the distance of this frothy water beach.

            Mojon Blanco Surf: Located on a sneaky backroad near Orzola, this surf beach has turquoise blue water. In order to reach it, you’ll have to drive by the signs for the boat to La Graciosa, You will approach the back end of the town and see a barren field with a solitary building. Watch closely for the sign offering directions, just before you should see a parking lot with a tiny back road turn right and buckle up for a bumpy ride. There is a sign saying no swimming but there were plenty of people ignoring it and it is easy to see why.

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See why?

            Following the LZI highway towards Orzola allowed us to spot another barely noticeable road to a beach full of volcanic rock that had been arranged as a shelter for daytrips to the beach.

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How cute would a picnic in this volcanic rock circle be?

            Punta Mujeres: Another site of beautiful water is the Punta Mujeres. The water takes on a turquoise blue and I am all about lovely water.

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We picnicked at the Punta Mujeres.

Many of the beaches in Lanzarote are reached by back roads or travelling through the smaller towns. While driving around the island keep your eyes peeled for the sight of sand and watch out for these tiny roads.

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I’m trying to pose for the photo while being alert for bicycles (Actually, I’m a paranoid driver in other countries).

Getting Around Lanzarote

Basically, your life will be easier if you rent a car. There are some tourist buses and cabs that will take you to the main sites but this is expensive. If there is more than one of you we really recommend renting a car. This can be done in the airport at arrivals, reserve ahead of time since this island really requires cars they can be booked up fast. We rented a car from Avis for 93.77 euros for two days and it cost us 20.43 euro to fill up the tank at the end. This was very reasonably priced and well worth it. Moreover, it made our entire experience much more smooth.

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Everyone should know how to read a map. Cell phones aren’t everything.

We visited Lanzarote in May when the water was only about 17 degrees which was far too cold for swimming in our opinions. Brave souls may find this to be reasonable.

These are some of the best things to do on Lanzarote that we found! Please feel free to add your own favourites in the comments.

A Millennial's Travel Advice

Where to Find Cheap Paella in Valencia

where to find cheap paella in valencia

What is Paella?

To be honest, we mainly came to Valencia as it is the place where the traditional Spanish rice dish, paella, first scorched the bottom of its trademark round, flat-bottom pan. Paella comes in multiple varieties including seafood (mariscos), meat paella (carne or pollo if it’s chicken), or mixed (seafood and meat combination). This is to just name a few of the common ones I’ve encountered while in Spain. No matter which variety you choose, your taste buds will rejoice with delight. Read on to find some of the cheap paella in Valencia that didn’t sacrifice their flavour.

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Pan seared from Mercaders, a sign of freshly prepared paella

Although waiting can be a challenge, especially when you’re starving from waiting for Spanish dinnertime, when it comes to paella waiting is a good sign. Some places will pre-cook their paella and re-heat it upon ordering. You don’t want that. True paella is made on the spot and can take upwards of a half an hour. Be patient, the time difference is worth it.

Some of the top-notch, expensive places require you to order 24 hours in advance because the process behind fresh paella can take so long. Freshly cooked paella will cling to the bottom of the pan, scraping these bits should give a burst of burnt taste.

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Ready made paella in the windows.

If you’re okay with not having freshly made paella, you can find a variety of cheap places such as TAPAS PAELLAS Y MENUS located just behind the Mercado Central. As you can see, they have massive pans of palatable paella in their windows. To be fair, they still looked tasty and were prices at 10 euros or less making it excellent for the less picky budget traveller or for those daunted by the long waits.

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A must do in Valencia, Mercado Central

Another Must Do In Valencia

As an aside, you simply must check out Mercado Central, the building was constructed in 1928 and not only is the building surprisingly stunning, the inside is alive with energy and sights to see. Definitely give it a walk through even if you don’t buy anything. Not that we avoided buying anything. The market has a smorgasbord of everything from pastries and candy to fish and ham. We had a divine market breakfast. It was so good, that we returned to the market to purchase snacks for our train to Barcelona. The empanadas were too enticing to resist.

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No one will blame you for getting one of everything. So tempting.

Cheap Paella In Valencia Without Sacrificing Authenticity

For dinner, we stopped by La Roche, which was a very cute restaurant nearby the market. We had Valenciana paella, which contained rabbit, chicken and veggies. Coming at 12 euro each this place was both savory and affordable. The massive pan of paella took about 45 minutes to freshly cook. We were a little wary of eating rabbit and ultimately our forks dodged passed what we suspected were rabbit bits. Either way, we found La Roche to be scrumptious and eyed down every dish that passed our table. It all looked delish.

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Valenciana paella at La Roche

Lastly, we stopped by Mercaders located just off the market, where we had seafood paella (mariscos). It took about 30 minutes and the bottom of the pan was seared, leading us to believe the paella was made fresh. At 13.50 euro each, this was our most expensive paella experience. However, the sight of that large pan was mouthwatering and we happily devoured it anyway.

They also offer a menu del dia, which includes seafood paella as an appetizer plus the standard main course and dessert for ten euros. We skipped this, as we wanted to maximize our paella experience. For those who just want to maximize their lunch experience, this is another viable option. I drank their agua de Valencia that contains vodka, gin and orange juice while managing to taste just like orange juice. They claim to have the best cuban mojito in the city; Jess even goes as far to say the best mojito of her life.

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Appetizing paella mariscos. 

Final Words

Overall, there were plenty of places with delectable paella for less than 15 euro a person. I wish I could have sampled them all but alas there is never enough time. Valencia is home to paella making it hard to go wrong. Even if you don’t make it to Valencia, do not leave Spain without having paella somewhere.

 

What is your favourite kind of paella and where do you get it?

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