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Your Lisbon Guide

Route: Kuwait-Dubai-Lisbon (Via Emirates Airlines)

Where I stayed? Hotel Memmo Alfama

Time of visit: July 2014

Would I visit Lisbon Again? Y-E-S.

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Sleep.

I loved loved the hotel we stayed at: Memmo Alfama, however it’s a small boutique hotel and you might either not find a room or find it too small for your taste. My parents for example, would hate to stay in this hotel mainly because they like spaciousness. The hotel is located in an neighbourhood called ‘Alfama’ which is an area with narrow streets, stairways and viewpoints. Most genuine and authentic neighborhood in the city.

For that, here are some other options I looked at online:

Things to do:

> Walk around old town: Start your tour by visiting São Jorge Castle, stop over the cathedral (“Sé) and finish at the Comércio Square, overlooking the river

> Tuk Tuk ride: A funny way to explore Lisbon

> Tram 28: The tram is the perfect way to explore interesting aspects of Lisbon’s historical and architectural heritage. The tram goes through Alfama, Lisbon downtown, Chiado and Bairro Alto

> Discover Fado, UNESCO’s Immaterial Cultural Heritage. Fado is a part of Lisbon and Alfama is the heart of Fado. Visit Fado museum and for ainnder choose between “Baiuca” if you look for amateur singers in a more authentic atmosphere or “Clube do Fado” to listen to the traditional fado in a more romantic atmosphere

> Mosteiro dos Jeronimos (HUGE monastery classified as Unesco World Heritage Site from 1500) and close by you have the Tower of Belém (amazing also, a late-gothic monument that marks the beginning of the Age of Discoveries, like Brazil etc)

> On Sundays from 11 AM to 6 PM don’t miss the flea market called LX Market

> Check out Baixa Area (coolest place in lisbon, full of hills, a lot of shops and restaurants) – have icecream at Santini Icecream Shop – deliiiiiicious – in the Baixa area

> Checkout Rossio Square – and while you’re there see Teatro Nacional (thanks Fulla!)

> If you’re into parks, Parque Eduardo VII is a nice park with nice views of Lisbon, you will also see the biggest Portuguese flag in this park

> Cristo Rei – huge Christ statue on the other shore of the river (famous)

> Go to the beach! I recommend you rent a car to reach those beaches: 1) Sao Joao da Caparica and 2) Praia do Guincho

 

Food. (recommended to make reservations in all restaurants if the option is there)

Breakfast & Brunch (and/or coffee hangout):

Portuguese:

 

Italian:

 

Seafood:

Food Market:

  •  Mercado da ribeira

 

Burgers & Pizza:

 

Sunset/rooftop bars:

 

Tips & Info

Places to visit near Lisbon – a must!

  • Sintra – it’s a really cool village near Lisbon. Very cool!! Full of palaces, castles, mystic houses, and a forest. The best way to get there is to rent a car. Go to Palacio da Pena,  Palacio de Monserrat and Palacio da Regaleira (Palacio means palace). These are the coolest palaces of all.
  • On your way to Sintra go to Cabo (means cape) da Roca. It’s the the most western point in Europe and its a very cool place. Nearby the is a restaurant really cool called – O Moinho – with a fire place inside where u can crash and have a meal or just a drink or a coffee.
  • If you want to go to other places in Portugal, I recommend you check-out Algarve (south of Portugal), we will be posting about it sometime soon.

 

 

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Ahh, missing Lisbon already!!!!! Special Thanks to my Portuguese friend Miguel for making my visit extra special, congrats again 🙂

Cheers,

Hello965 team

Travel Itinerary and tips part 2

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Hey there!

As you might have noticed, we’ve been busy with the blog lately. Both on the front-end and behind the scenes. The blog should be loading faster now, on both desktop and on your mobile devices.

Anyway,  in case you missed Our 5 Pre-Travel Tips, be sure to check it out. In this post, we will talk more about how to prepare your travel itinerary and how to decide on where to travel and what to do when you travel.

To start off, ask yourself this question, why do you want to travel? The answer to this question may not be as simple or as straight forward as you might think. Not to over-complicate things, but this question will decide on where you will go, how much you would want to spend on your vacation, and what kind of activities you will do. So spend as much time deciding on the answer.

It could be one, or a combination of the following

  • I want to spend some time away from the routine life
  • I want to relax, switch off and go somewhere far
  • I want to experience new things that I always wanted to do
  • I want to spend my hard-earned cash on things that aren’t available locally
  • I want to escape the hot weather and ‘ghbar’!

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Answering the question will decide on the style of your vacation. For me, I have a busy life style here in Kuwait. Things vary between my day job, my  small business and initiatives, my studies, the gym and social life responsibilities. I tend to want to travel every 3 months or so. It doesn’t have to be a long vacation, a short weekend getaway will do. But every now and then I want to have what we all call a Real Vacation. Usually it’s a combination of the following:

  • I want to experience new things
  • I want to relax, switch off and go somewhere far

I don’t mind allocating a big budget to do the above. The places that I usually go to are pretty far and I always do multi-destination trips, going through multiple countries. I’m very active when I travel and end up covering tons of activities in a single day, spending no more than 4 nights in a single city or country. So, I end up burning a huge chunk of my travel budget on hotels and air plane tickets.

So how do I choose my destinations?

  1. By checking  this blog , following us on Instagram and Snapchat (@Hello965) and sending us your questions. because ‘Hello 965’ team are awesome travel consultants!
  2. Word of mouth – by having a big international circle of friends that tells you about destinations worth checking. This is my personal favorite, but it can only be effective when you have a huge circle of friends from various nationalities.
  3. online sites – such as tripadvisor, travelocity. They can be useful and give you an idea of a place, but do NOT depend on them.
  4. Apps – Instagram/twitter/Google plus pages on traveling, Yelp and Foursquare.

How do I look for travel tickets and prices?

  1. Expedia
  2. Google travel
  3. Direct deals announced from airlines or any 3rd party agency
  4. Skiplagged.com

You may not find the best prices at Expedia, so be sure to check the airline websites for a better prices. Tried Skiplagged couple of times and get got me the best prices that i couldn’t match anywhere else, however it does not always work.

How do I book my hotels?

  1. Booking.com
  2. Hotels.com
  3. Airbnb.com

Always think strategically when you book a hotel. Look at the hotel location on Google Maps and make sure it’s not too far from the places that you will spend most of your time at. AirBnB is a new concept of booking a place (House, apartment etc..). I highly recommend that you check them out, as my experience using it has always been great.

Hope this helps with your travel plans and as always, feel free to ask us for consultations!

Happy traveling!

Our 5 Pre-Travel Tips!

Hello hello lovely readers!!

It’s a beautiful feeling when you know there is a trip coming up. That tingly excitement which lasts for weeks or even months!

A friend shared with me an article about travel tips (Thank you!), and as I was reading it, it made me realize how little tips can make a very big difference. We traveled, we made mistakes, we learned. Here are some of Hello965’s travel tips that we believe are essential and might change your life forever (given you follow them…).

Ready? Here’s your guide to a stress-free start of your trip.

1. Pack like a pro. This one is especially for the heavy packers, prepare a check list. After a long while of traveling heavy myself, worrying about luggage weight and over packing or even sometimes under packing; I finally perfected packing. As simple as this will sound, my solution was preparing a check list before my trip, and crossing it off as I pack.

Avoid this – prepare your Checklist!

This is what you do: plan your days ahead. You’re going for 5 days? How many outfits are you wearing per day? 2? So pack those 10 outfits knowing which 2 are you wearing for each day, then break it down to the little details during those days. Going on a Safari trip? Again, checklist: (Insect repellent, sneakers, personal-hygiene items, sunscreen, antibacterial wipe, etc..)

Great. You get the idea! Again, it might sound very simple, and this simple tip will make a HUGE difference for your suitcase, and for you. I promise. (#beentheredonethat)

2. Prepare your documents. Print ALL your documents (although its a digital world), but I do advise you to do so. Keep a copy of all your reservations and bookings in one folder, and keep it in your carry-on. On the flip side, keep a scanned copy of all your important documents such as your passport – it really comes in handy in the event of theft.

3. Money. Plan your budget ahead your trip as this helps you keep everything intact. Always travel with a credit card (that has a limit) in case you need it for reservations or other. Get some cash, and exchange it at the airport before you leave! Be prepared.

I noticed something, during travel that happened to friends, and once to me, banks tend to block some accounts due to “unusual transactions” for security reasons obviously. If you’d like to avoid this, it’s a good idea to call your bank, and inform them that you are traveling to XYZ country for this period of time in order for them not to block your account.

4. Keep your phone/electronics alive. Take a portable charger for your phone (make sure the charger is fully charged). Remember, put your smartphone on Airplane mode while on plane to save battery and charge faster. If you happen to forget your charger, use the TV USB slot to charge your phone. You could also be the airport hero, and travel with a power strip/cable.

– A photo taken from google

5. Be comfortable. Pack your own travel pillow and your own blanket in your carry on – always helps me sleep and be more comfortable on flights. Another thing is to prepare your on on-plane music playlist depending on what helps you sleep (and block the noise of the crying baby behind you..)

A photo I found on google, looks so comfy!

Final words: If you wanna be on the careful side, it’s always helpful to take a picture of your suitcase and its contents before you travel. Just incase it’s lost (Which happens alot) you have a picture of how it looks like, and what was in it.

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My Suitcase Tag <3 (from GANT Gifts, Mexico)

 

Safe travels!

Hello965