>>> When first time in Mallorca good to know

I deliberately wrote the tile for this post as “when first time in Mallorca” (or Majorca as often also called), as I believe once you visit this island you will would want to return to it one day, just as I wish now. Especially that I am revoking the memories of it, by writing this post.

MALLORCA SIMPLY HAS IT ALL!

It is a beautiful Balearic island, part of Spain, opposite of its east coast and just across Africa. Ibiza and Menorca are also very close by, but Mallorca is the the largest island of all. The whole island has population  of around 900,000 inhabitants., and the predominant languages beside the Spanish are German and English.

Capital of Mallorca is Palma, as well as the capital of all Balearic Islands.  Island has also the so called Serra de Tramuntana (Unesco’s World heritage) – a mountain range with a length of 90 km and a width of 15 km at some point, that runs along the northwest coast of Mallorca. 

I heard so much about Mallorca from others but somehow I was delaying travelling there, until this summer when I decided to check it out. So buckle up, for a Majorcan ride to see how Classy Explorer experienced it 🙂

WHEN TO GO?

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>>> 5 reasons to explore Malta

Malta is an amazing island, and would definitely suggest to everyone to go and enjoy its beauties. It is not as popular among tourists like Spain or Italy, and it is similar  in popularity to for example Madera,…but this post might open your horizon of choices when deciding to see some unique places.  I will give you 5 reasons to explore Malta before planning your next trip.

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>>> My favorite Budapest Xmas markets

Upcoming Xmas is one of the nicest holidays in a year, and especially if you get the chance to be during December somewhere in central or northern Europe. I was lucky to visit several Xmas markets so far, and I can tell you from my experience that the most beautiful ones are in Austrian, Swiss and German cities… as well as in Budapest – which is for me the most favorite one. Why? Maybe because I am emotionally attached to the city (feeling originating from my studying years there) and because I really love the fact that there are so many city areas where you can see some Xmas markets.

Most common Xmas market’s gastronomic offerings are mulled wine ( this year I even tried white one with oranges, honey and ginger), apple punch, grilled sausages, stuffed cabbage, roasted pork, potato cake (tócsni), langos (Hungarian fried bread) with cheese and sour cream,  Chimney cake (Kürtőskalács), strudels etc. I usually take mulled wine and sometimes fried sausages though my eyes get hungry for everything there when I see it. But prices are a bit higher than usual, for example mulled wine 3 dl is around 3 euros. Food in general from 3-5 euros. 

Here are a few Budapest Xmas markets around the city:

NEAR BASILICA

One of my favorite buildings in Budapest and magnificent architectural piece of work is definitely the St Stephens Basilica (Szent István Basilika). I simply love going inside, lighting up a candle… Once even attended friend’s wedding there. And more to my happiness, there is a nice Xmas market in front with an ice ring for the kids. Here are few photos to depict it. Read more

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>>> Seville – city for music and food lovers

Hello my lovely readers! I hope you already read my blog about Seville,, if not CLICK HERE, as now I will try to present you what I enjoyed most eating and experiencing while in the streets of Seville. I already mentioned that Madrid charmed me with food delicacies, but when I came down to Seville I discovered  more traditional Andalusian food prepared with some cool ingredients.

Also I could hear music everywhere on the streets so this post is for food and music lovers who will hopefully enjoy it. For example I liked the scene where some kids were dancing and singing flamenco on the street, in typical flamenco dressing.

flamenco-at-street-seville Read more

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>>> Wanna visit sunny and lively Seville?

As part of my recent visit to Spain, I decided to give chance to visit to at least one city in Andalusia. And I chose Seville, even though initially the plan was to see Granada, Cordoba… (so next time then…). But I thought to myself – if I fall in love with Seville, I will love the rest of the Andalusia’s cities as well. And so I did, so looking forward to visiting the rest of it sometime in the near future. Plus Seville is one of the largest cities in Spain, with around 700,000 residents (data from 2011), so it was a good point to start with.

I took a fast train from Madrid to Spain, which takes about 2 hours and is pretty comfortable. Though my TIPP is to pre-book the train tickets way before, which you can do online on Renfe  (Spanish railways), as they tend to rise just like airline tickets, and the prices can go really high or simply with no seats left. So if you book much earlier, you can get good deals.

Regarding accommodation again I was using Airbnb platform and I had a really nice flat in the center of Seville, just 5 min walking from the main attractions. The host was very kind and actually showed us many interesting things in Seville, acting as kind of a tour guide.

As soon as I stepped out of a train in Seville I felt a bit different >> it was hot, sunny, with 27 degrees in the beginning of November and day lasts long till 20-21h. I could not believe it, as in Madrid I was still wearing coat in the mornings and evenings.  

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>>> Gastronomic experience in Madrid

I hope you enjoyed my previous post about what to see in Madrid where I gave you some good tips from my recent trip to Spain. If not please CLICK HERE to read it, as this post is continuation of it.  And I would like to dedicate it to the gastronomic experience I had throughout this trip. 

Madrid is so alive, so cheerful and one of the main reasons for that, beside its people, is that you can hear music everywhere: on streets, in bars, shops…and you can eat such delicious food everywhere.

Yes food, OMG I loved it! Complete “foodporn”! During this trip I ate some quite exquisite things – as I would not eat those at home. I wanted to try everything there since that is the goal of any trip > to pick the most out of the city, country, culture…

As I mentioned in the post about Madrid, you can find shops selling Spanish ham, sausages, cheese…called for example Jamoneria, or Museum of Jamon. And they are found on many places throughout the town, where you can buy as well as eat – usually standing, so good spots to have some street bites. Or there are also many cute places in the center, called Tapas & Wines or Caffe & Tapas…where you can grab few tapas and a glass of Spanish wine.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR THE DAY:

One place I MUST stress out and my favorite one in Madrid is Mercado de Sen Miguel. It is located just few steps from Plaza Mayor and just at the  Plaza de San IldefonsoI loved this place so much, so I returned there even twice after the initial experience and let me show you why is that. Read more

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>>> Why I love Madrid!

Madrid me gusta mucho! I love Madrid!

I just returned from a nice holiday in Spain, visiting a bit of Madrid, Seville and Toledo, so the information I will provide in this post will be completely fresh! So much to say, photos can not depict the real beauty but I will do my best. I had such a great time there, that I will for sure go back there again one day and so want to show you and incite you to visit these places soon!

GENERAL…

Spain has a fantastic climate, and going there now at the end of October, I couldn’t expect nicer weather than I had. Lovely, sunny weather in Madrid and in Seville even around 27 degrees. Though in Madrid every day I took a coat with me, as in the mornings and late evenings it gets cooler or if you are in the shade during the day… But most of the time I was without the coat and enjoying the sun shinning down on me :-).

People were so nice and friendly, smiley…and to my surprise there were not so many tourists like I had experienced before in Barcelona. They do not really speak good English there, so it is really advisable to learn some basic phrases or words if you need to find your way around. Also, there was supposed to be like a siesta time in the midday but honestly, in the center, I didn’t feel it – all the shops were open most of the time, even during the pubic holiday (November 1st) or on Sunday – so it was pretty great.

I also enjoyed tasty food anywhere I ate, with so many delicacies which are not common to eat often in my country. Not to forget that I enjoyed drinking delicious Spanish red wines, Sangria and beer with lemon whenever I could, but I will write more in the next post. Read more

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>>> Strolling in autumn along West Berlin

Visiting Berlin was my wish since being a teenager, when my best friend was spending months there at her sister’s and telling me stories about the city. She was vividly explaining to me how the city center looks like and how people have crazy clothing styles and hairs. 

Once I finally went to Berlin  for one extended weekend ( I had short time just to see a bit of West Berlin and didn’t have time to go to East part), it was exactly how I imagined regarding the street fashion. But all in all I was not that impressed at first sight – better to say it was “not my kin of a scene”. Here I mean mainly on what I saw on the streets as I prefer classier style rather than grundge, punk, blue/violet hairs, piercings all over the bodies, suspicious looking young people etc. Also Turkish and Arab minorities prevail in the city, but they do not bother anyone. 

charlottenburg-classy-explorer

What I liked and didn’t like about West Berlin

I have visited many German cities like Frankfurt, Munich, Dusseldorf, and recently Hamburg and a couple of lower Saxony cities, and Berlin actually left me the least impression from all. Why? I found it to be very dirty.  I heard also that the standard in Berlin is much lower than in the rest of Germany so that could be an explanation for the fact that people on the streets were looking quite down. Read more

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>>> Planning trip on your own – my tips for you

How do I travel?

When travelling , many people use travel agencies in order to get predetermined, already booked in advance, group travel options, with fixed dates. Which, is, I must say, much easier than planning trip on your own, especially when you are OK with the terms and conditions the agency is providing. Here I mean the dates for travel – as usually they refer to the charter flights or some regular flights on which agency gets some %  deal off  – and the choices of hotels which the agencies are also in deal with. Also agencies offer  services of tour guides  along, but I din’t have some good experiences with that so far, so that extra money that I pay for the service (included in the overall price) is not worth it.

I usually use travel agency when going for a longer vacation, more specifically in the summer, as I do not want to hassle with airplane tickets, transfers to the accommodation etc. In these cases I want to get everything served to me with the least stress. But still to get the maximum quality out of it -which is not always the case (depending on the tour operators used, etc).

For shorter trips, mainly around Europe, or when I go to visit someone I know (so providing me accommodation already) I like to book all on my own – so be my own agent :-). And it always pays off, since then I am flexible with the departure and return timings, choices of the accommodations – to be in more central areas so  to walk around and not spend too much time in metros, buses…

Therefore, I would like to give you few tips which websites, tools I use when planning my trips so it can help you with yours in the future. Read more

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>>> When having couple of hours in Split

Split city is a major transportation hub on the Adriatic sea, so anyone who is going to some of the Dalmatian islands in Croatia like Hvar, Korcula, Brac, Vis etc. might have some free time to spend in the city. It might be the time gap between the ferry boat or Catamaran and the flight or bus from/to Split, so why not to see what can you expect in Split during that “waiting” period.

It happened to me three times that I needed to spend a couple of hours in Split when I was going to Hvar island ( I already wrote a post about Hvar which you can read HERE). So I decided to show you how I enjoyed those free times in this lovely coastal city called Split.

classy-explorer-split

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>>> Visiting Hamburg for few hours

I was visiting Hamburg twice but shortly – it was just for couple of hours, though I wish I spend more time one day, when I visit this part of Germany again.  

The first time I visited it was on a 31st of December six years ago, and it was freezing cold as I remember. I was flying at the time for Emirates airlines so we had a layover there for New Year’s. But I was so tired due to time difference between Dubai and Germany as well as working on a flight, so I took a walk with one Indian and Chinese girl (two mega powers as I say :-)) and we walked around, drank some boiled wine, ate something and went back to hotel. Basically, I spent the New Year’s in a hotel room, sleeping 😛 (problem with cabin crew job is that holidays are not really holidays for us). But it seemed to me on the first glance that Hamburg is a very nice city indeed and worth visiting again.

Second time just happened recently, and I was actually staying in Lower Saxony part of Germany, but paid a visit to Hamburg to catch its vibe again. It was Sunday though when nothing, absolutely nothing works, except cafes and restaurants – so my options were to walk around the center, eat, drink something and enjoy the scenery.  Read more

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>>> My top Skiathos beaches

In my previous post about Skiathos I talked about what I liked in Skiathos and why I think it is one of the best Greek islands. I mentioned  that it has around 65 beaches, considered to be one of the best in the whole Greece.  All of them surrounded with pine trees, which gives them a nice surrounding and some natural shades. And all of that gave me the incentive to go and visit this beautiful island this summer. I didn’t have the chance to see so many beaches, as there are too many good ones, but I am sure that I will go there once again and explore its beaches in more depth.

City bus I mentioned takes you to all the important beaches on the south of the island. You just need to be careful not to miss the stop, as the bus conductor or driver sometimes neglect to mention what is the next stop. And also fair to mention is that it can be pretty crowded in the peak times, so there is a battle to enter the bus and grab a seat. So after a whole day on the sun when you feel  exhausted from the beach, this can be tiring to catch a seat in a bus. Other solutions are to rent a bike, squad or car and be more flexible.

In this post I will focus on my top Skiathos beaches, actually the two beaches I loved while being there and some small info on the others which are also worth to see while in Skiathos.  If you would rent a set of sun-umbrella with two sunbeds > it is 8 euros on all of the beaches. Hard to miss paying as there is always someone coming to collect money for. And drinks are not included, so expect to go to the beach bars and get yourselves coffees or drinks.  Whenever in Greece, I always like to drink cold Freddo Cappuccino which is about 3-4 euros in general, but worth it, believe me 🙂 Read more

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>>> Skiathos – one of the best Greek islands

 

freddo-capuccinoI just returned from a nice summer holiday in Skiathos, one of the most beautiful and best Greek islands, and so would like to share with you how it was and what to expect if you go there. I don’t know about you, but I have been many times in Greece – in Athens, Chalkidiki peninsula,  on several islands, historical sites….And therefore I can say that I am quite overwhelmed with the country, its culture, people, food, everything…I also speak a bit of Greek, due to  friendship with many Greeks during my studies in Budapest, which makes it a bit easier for me to orient and get what I want while in Greece. They love when you show that you know even a bit of Greek since they are quite a proud nation. Entaksi, pame twra ! 🙂 (Ok, then let’s go)

When to go?

My impression of this Greek island is that it is lovely and MUST VISIT at least once for summer holidays. I will definitely come back, maybe even next year 🙂  And my recommendation would be end of June beginning of July or end of August, not during peak season due to crowds and weather being too hot then. It is quite a small island, so easy to go around by city bus, car, quads or scooters, whichever you prefer. Read more

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>>> Story of an amazing Hvar wedding

My previous post was to show you why I love Hvar island and what you can expect if you go there. So if you decide to visit it for couple of days during summer,  you can follow some of my recommended places mentioned in that post.

But last year I was on Hvar for some more special  occasion. Let me tell you about it…

Hvar wedding

It  was one of my best friend’s weddingAnd it practically lasted 3 days since all the guests came from different parts of the world like England, Dubai, Serbia, Sweden, Bosnia… so it was very much an international wedding. Even more so as the bride was Bosnian/Swedish, and groom British, and they had initially met in Dubai. So naturally they needed to choose one place in the world where they could invite their closest friends and families. And so they chose HVAR! Plus, a couple of us, her closest friends, were bridesmaids so it added additional magic, especially for me, to this beautiful Hvar wedding.

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>>> My best summers in Hvar town

Hvar is a small but an amazing island in Adriatic sea, Croatia. I have been there three times in the past five years, plus twice when I was a child. So I am pretty loving this island and I am coming back to it with joy each time. I like to consider it a pearl of Adriatic,  though Croatian coast is all so lovely so you need to visit more places in it like Dubrovnik, Split, Brac, Vis, Istra…Now let me tell you first about Hvar and its center Hvar town.

coffee-at-hvar

Thanks to my great friend, who was having a summer holiday several years in a row in Hvar, and who was inviting me to come and come each time, I accepted and went there five years ago. And… I was immediately angry at myself why I didn’t go there even before. Because that summer I had the time of my life! Read more

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>>> Classy Vienna trip 2-3 day itinerary

Vienna is  the city that radiates with history and beautiful architecture as well as parks…so wherever you go you will be amazed with nice facades, streets, and beautiful art.Vienna is classy and see why it is so.

What is more, Vienna is  CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN… I was just there recently (my fourth time in Vienna) in an accommodation near Main Railway station (Hauptbanhof).  I don’t know how the railway stations  look like in your countries, but in mine Railways station is not a very pleasant place – quite dirty and dangerous at night to be around. But the one in Vienna was more like a shopping mall, full of bakeries, coffee shops, and there was not even a dropped cigarette on the floors. To me, this is amazing… 

 

Classy Vienna day 1 itinerary

MUST SEE in Vienna for me is the central city area, which you can start by walking from Opera -Karlsplatz metro station. Opera building is marvelous, you can go inside but not upstairs, unless for a show. But just from outside it is so impressive and if nice weather they play opera shows to the open public. so you can watch for free.

 

Opera-building-Vienna
Opera-outside-show

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