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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

Explore Barcelona with Hello965

1. Book your flight

Barcelona’s main airport name is initialed “BCN” – Aeroport de Barcelona-El Prat, Aeroport de Barcelona (Catalan) or Aeropuerto de Barcelona (Spanish).

Many flights would take you to Barcelona depending on the country of departure. From Kuwait, you have the following options: KLM, British Airways, Emirates, Qatar, Turkish, Lufthansa.

 

2. Book your hotel

  •  W Hotel (Our favorite)
  • Hotel Omm
  • Hotel Neri (Gothic Quarter)
  • Hotel Casa Camper
  • Hotel Bagués
  • Room Mate Emma (Budget friendly)
  • Hotel España Ramblas
  • Hotel Miramar Barcelona

 

3. Plan your food and make reservations if needed

 

We have posted previously about our restaurant recommendations in Barcelona, you could find the post here.

 

4. Plan your activities and days

Must-Sees:

Placa Espanya (magic fountains)
Gaudi’s Parc Guell
La Sagrada Familia
Camp Nou

 

More to see: Placa Catalunya, Poble Espanyol (book dinner there with flamenco),  Arts Hotel (weather is warm enough to walk on the beach), Casa Gaudi, La Pedrera, Rambla Catalunya (nice to walk and stop for a coffee), Placa Reial, visit El Born district because it is where the hand crafts area is, at night watch out in Raval it’s the redlight district, visit Gotico it’s the Gothic district, visit Mont Juïc, La Rambla is the most popular street but careful (lots of pick pockets), Barceloneta is super nice too, Palau Musica Catalana. As we always recommend, use the Hop On Hop Off Bus tour to see the main attractions of the city.

 

Shoppings:

  • El Corte Inglés – spread over 9 floors and possibly the most important chain store in Europe, can be found on the Plaça de Catalunya
  • Arenas (bullring turned into shopping mall, huge)
  • Passeo de Gracia (look down when you are walking this street, each tile was designed by Gaudi)
  • Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol is usually filled with street musicians, fortune-tellers and painters. This area is full of designer boutiques and handicraft shops that will definitely tempt you into buying
  • El Bulevard Rosa– Indoor arcade of over 100 shops in the heart of the Barri Gotic area – mostly clothes boutiques.  The side streets in the area are lined with a multitude of antique shops – visit Bulevard dels Antiquaris, which has more than 70 antiques shops, mostly furnishings, paintings, decorative items
  • Las Rozas Village (Outlet Mall, Car needed to get there)

Activities:

  • Sailboat (“Sail along the marina front and discover Barcelona from a new perspective. Explore sea life and navigation techniques, and learn how to cruise on this impressive sailboat. See how it works and learn everything you need to know about sail trimming, navigation courses and more. This is the perfect initiation to sailboat cruising!”)
  • A full day tour – 11 Hours maybe? – to Vic and the Pyrenees Mountains (Recommended!)
  • Portaventura Park (Rides, Roller coasters, shows .. Needs a full day)
  • Barcelona Walking Tours
  • Montjuïc Cable Car Ride (“See the sights of Barcelona from a Montjuïc cable car. Discover the city’s greenbelt areas, and enjoy views from the castle atop Montjuic Hill”)
  • Barcelona City Bike Tours
  • Photography Tours to those who love photography
  • Tapas Walking Tour
  • Hot Air Balloon ride

 

5. Maybe Road Trip?

Depending on how long you’re staying there is alot you could do in Spain. I suggest you look up both Valencia & Costa Brava (The Costa Brava, especially the part closer to the French border, has amazing landscapes, but be prepared for strong cold winds). Both different directions so you should choose one of them and not both.

 If you require more information on Valencia and/or Costa Brava, please feel free to email us, or contact us on our “Contact Us” Form on the blog.

 

6. HAVE.A.BLAST. 😀

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Cheers,

Hello965 Team

Cuba Itinerary

We’ve been asked some questions regarding things to do in Cuba. Here is what we learned from our friends:

CUBA  –   A literal sense of  “A blast from the past”

  • Traveling to Cuba:

Virgin Atlantic: Flight leaves from Dubai, with a stop in London then a direct flight to Cuba.

KLM:  Flight leaves from Kuwait to Amsterdam, then a direct flight to CubaHavana.

Traveling from USA: As there are sanctions between US and Cuba, you should  make travel plans from Canada or Mexico instead.

 

  • Accommodation:

– Hotel Saratoga Cuba:  The best hotel in Cuba, located in Old Town, all the shops and historic areas are walking distance away. Very busy neighborhood in the day and night as well.  Nice rooms, nice staff, good internet!

– Hotel Nacionale : A very decent hotel, away from the downtown area, overlooks the beach, however there is no beach for swimming. The Kuwaiti Embassy is located in the Hotel in case anything is needed. The rooms are decent, neighborhood is quieter and there are some shops around the hotel.

-Room Rental: There are many rooms at local’s houses that are up for rent, whether you are alone or with a group of friends.  Locals are very friendly and many of the rental homes are very good, and hosts are very sweet and welcoming.

  • Food:


-There are many options to eat from in Cuba, however most of the food will be tasteless and very blah, highly recommended to take Tabasco, or any other condiment of your choice.

– The best restaurants are all located in an area of town called Miramar, here you will  find a little upper scale places, better than the ones found in Havana Town.

-Old Town: There are many restaurants in Old Town Havana, however most of them are tourist traps so be careful, make sure you check out the seating and the menu.

  • What to do:


-Old Town Havana: walk around enjoy the history, try to arrange for a tour around the town on your first days so you are able to go back to the places you liked most.

– In the middle of Town you will find a big area where everyone is selling historical items in mint condition for very cheap, best place for souvenirs.

-Visit “El Floridita” – A place cherished by locals where Ernest Hemingway used to order their famous Daquiri.

-Arrange for a trip to visit cigar factories and farms, as well as a visit to see the old caves. 

-Go to the show at the Copacabana in Havana, a famous dancing show.

-Visit the Revolution Museum, and any historic museum of your liking.

-Arrange to go see Ernst Hemingway’s house that was preserved in its original condition and is now a museum for everyone to see.

-Try arranging day trips with excursion companies to see other areas outside Havana (Caves, cigar plantation, rum factory…..)

Also, there are many districts around Havana that are also nice for beach areas, our friends have visited Varadero, a very nice area by the beach to swim and chill, but there wasn’t much to do besides stay at hotel and see the town there. 

There are also other areas that are awaiting exploration by any tourist.

 

  • Tips & Info


Currency: There are 2 currencies used in Cuba, one for locals and one for tourists. Know the difference.

Phone: Another important thing is that there are no phones in hotel rooms nor will your Kuwaiti phones will work, either get a contact number from airport, or go to the lobby and ask for the phone booths to make your calls, or you can keep it simple with emails at the internet café’s or business centers at hotels.

Visa: Kuwaitis, Get your visas from here: Cuba Embassy in Kuwait – details: Tel :22549361 (Rawda, Block 3, St. Shahab Ahmad Al Bahar, House 74) – Visa process takes 1 to 3 days.

Transportation: Take normal taxis, or use classic cars for taxis, sometimes more expensive. You can also rent a car or arrange for a driver to be available with you at all times.

Hope this helps!!

Cheers,
Hello965

Mexico City Itinerary

Mexico is a very magical place; and very close to my heart. Mexico City, is the capital of Mexico officially known as Mexico, D. F., or simply D. F. Mexico City is the country’s largest city as well as its most important political, cultural, educational and financial center.

Airport Name: Juarez International Airport (MEX)

Many of the most visited tourist attractions in Mexico City are concentrated in the historic center, including the Plaza de la Constitucion or Zocalo, the National Palace, Metropolitan Cathedral, Templo Mayor, Palace of Fine Arts and Alameda Park. A few blocks north of the Palace of Fine Arts, Plaza Garibaldi is one of the best places in Mexico City to hear live mariachi music.

You’ll also want to explore the neighborhoods of Zona Rosa, Roma, Condesa, Coyoacan and San Angel. Home to lovely parks, plazas, shops, markets, cafes and some of the top tourist attractions in Mexico City, these artsy neighborhoods are especially popular among visitors to the city and foreign residents. Nearby, in the trendy posh neighborhood of Polanco you’ll find some of Mexico City’s top nightspots and chic restaurants.

Speaking of Polanco, during my last visit to D.F., i stayed at the W Hotel Polanco and I highly recommend it. Great location, excellent services.

Some of the near by attractions to W Polanco are:

  • Basilica of the Virgin of Guadalupe
  • Polanco Commercial District
  • Plaza of Three Cultures
  • Tehotihuacan Pyramids
  • Archeological Museum
  • Museum of Modern Art

Food.

Biko

Merotoro

Nicos Mexico

PUJOL

Quintonil

SUD 777

Maximo

Mercado San Juan

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I will update the food section in particular as soon as I remember the good restaurants I’ve personally tried!

Cheers

Toomzie