Where to Stay in Halong Bay

Where to Stay in Halong Bay – A guide to Descending Dragon’s (1,600) remote islands

Image source: halonjunkcruise

Aside from its capital, Hanoi, Vietnam has many natural wonders to offer to travelers. One such beautiful oasis is Halong Bay (Ha Long Bay). Located near the Chinese border, the ‘’Descending Dragon’’, hidden meaning behind Ha Long, is one of the tourist hotspots in Vietnam. It consists of more than two thousand limestone islands and islets with turquoise waters harboring over them. 

Because of its rich vegetation, followed by the splendid landscape, this area has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994. Ever since it hasn’t been attracting only travelers, but also artists, scientists, and researchers from all over the world and diverse fields of research to explore this, mostly uninhabited, and intact, natural wonder. 

Image source: _femo__

Safety alert!

Halong Bay is a safe travel destination both for men and women. There are only minor inconveniences one can expect during their visit. 

Firstly, the greatest problem Halong Bay faces are inconsistencies when it comes to following international safety regulations. Since many cruises take this route, in case you want to sign up for a tour, it would be best to select one of several trustworthy cruise companies listed on the Official Web Portal of Quang Ninh Tourism

Secondly, the infrastructure on the mainland is far from the standard and the level of fatalities is quite high, so you should take extra care during your transport from Hanoi to Halong Bay. Lastly, the sea can be very polluted at times but don’t let this ruin your stay at this natural paradise. 

Transportation

Since Halong Bay basically consists of more than two thousand islands, some of them even uninhibited, and smaller islets, the most efficient way to arrive at this location is by cruise ship. Most of the tourists even base themselves on these cruise ships as they allow them to explore and reach the nearby islands much easier.

Five best places to stay in Halong Bay

Image source: avramio

Travelers usually decide to spend a day or two on the cruise. There are two types of cruise, normal, with a moderate price, and luxury, rather expensive, but with greater amenities. Staying on a cruise allows you to explore numerous islands much easier. However, if you prefer accommodation on the mainland, Halong Bay has got you covered. With the increased number of tourists, Halong Bay has seen many new hotels and Airbnbs open on the islands, and along the coast. With plenty of accommodation options so you can have a hard time finding the ideal place as your base. We recommend: 

  1. Cat Ba Island
  2. Titop Island
  3. Co To Island
  4. Quan Lan Island
  5. Halong City

If you are interested in exploring the natural beauty of the islands, then you can always stay on one and visit other islands nearby on a day trip, or you can base yourself on the mainland, in Halong City, and enjoy the Bay at sunset. On the numerous islands, you can enjoy relaxing on the beach, participate in watersports, or admire their preserved and thriving nature. 

Either way, wherever you decide to stay in Halong Bay, you won’t be disappointed. So as not to be overwhelmed with the available options, we have made a list of the most popular places among tourists with their details: 

Place

Ideal for: 

Why? 

Cat Ba Island

First-timers Has everything from the typical tourist scenario

Titop Island

Nightlife

Restaurants, bars, and pubs are located on this island

Co To Island

On a budget

Tourist attractions and activities with affordable accommodation

Quan Lan Island

Bohemians

The mixture of the sea, sand, nature, and seafood ie everyone’s dream 

Halong City

Long-term stay

The most convenient location

Where to stay in Halong Bay for the first time – Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island is not only the biggest island of Halong Bay but also the most popular one. Located at 50 km from Hai Phong City, it takes approximately one hour by speedboat to reach the island. Since the island has great biodiversity, one part of it is a National Park where the visitors can enjoy the relaxing scenery filled with coral reefs, forests, white sand beaches, and mangroves. 

The best way to explore the island is by renting motorbikes. Apart from the trekking route around the National Park, and Ngu Lam mountain, Cat Ba Island has three beaches for those wanting to go for a swim. Given the natural beauty and numerous activities, this island is perfect for your first visit to Halong Bay. 

Image source: goexplorevietnam

Things to see and do on Cat Ba Island

Cat Ba Island offers numerous opportunities for hiking, snorkeling, kayaking, rock climbing, and swimming. Other than that, there are restaurants serving famous Vietnamese seafood dishes, and drinks, where you can relax with a spectacular view of coral reefs and sea. 

Check out our top places to visit:

  • Cannon Fort
  • Monkey Island
  • Lan Ha Bay
  • Cai Beo
  • Cat Ba National Park 
  • Green Mango Restaurant 

Cannon Fort

Once a fort defending the island from the invasion of the Japanese military, today the visitors of the island can enjoy the spectacular panorama of the island and the whole Halong Bay. Apart from the amazing view, it also contains underground tunnels, cannons, and model soldiers.

Image source: sind.unterwegs

Image source: mireilleburger

Monkey Island

Take a field trip to the popular Monkey Island where apart from the amazing beaches and tracks leading to astonishing greenery, you can see monkeys roaming freely around the island. Also, it is a great place for kayaking and exploring the island.

Image source: ctrendyblog

Lan Ha Bay

If you are interested in greenery, amazing landscape, sea, and kayaking, then make sure to visit Lan Ha Bay, a group of more than 200 karst islands, rocks, and caves spread around the southeast coast of Cat Ba Town.

Image source: berenice_turpaud

Cai Beo 

Cat Ba was once a fishing port, and its remains are still visible today in Cai Beo, the ancient fishing village. It is also known as the ‘’Floating Village’’ because of more than 300 boathouses which today fish or farm seafood for living. 

Image source: travelm0ment

Image source: planeta_jade

Cat Ba National Park 

Rich in flora and fauna, and home to more than 32 different species of mammals, some of which are endangered, this National Park is also the ideal place for hiking lovers because of its hiking trails which allow you to explore it and enjoy the nature and scenery.

Image source: kristinka_sir

Green Mango Restaurant

Praised both for excellent food and service Green Mango Restaurant is the tourist hotspot in Cat Ba. While enjoying your meals and drinks, you can also enjoy the view of the harbor. 

Image source: shubhnanda

Where to stay on Cat Ba Island

As Cat Ba Island is quite an attractive tourist location, it has a wide range of accommodation options to suit everyone’s taste. Still, the island tends to be crowded so it might be hard to find the perfect place to stay.

We recommend the following ones: 

Affordable optionWoodstock Jungle Camp – Great accommodation, with the only downside being its location 8 km away from the center.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moderate optionThis room on the Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba island Cruise

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury optionThe room on Cat Ba Sisters Legend Cruise

Where to Stay in Mexico City

Where to Stay in Mexico City – the largest city in the Western hemisphere 

The largest city in North America, the second-most populous city in the world, and the capital of Mexico, Mexico City is also the oldest city in the Americas. Founded in 1325, this city was the capital of the Aztec Empire. Furthermore, during the colonial period, Mexico City served as the capital of New Spain. This city didn’t gain independence until 16th September of 1810. To honor this important milestone in Mexican history, the city hosts numerous exciting and interesting festivities. 

Moreover, Mexico City has the largest number of palaces in the Americas and several archeological sites. Together with authentic colonial architecture and some of the Aztecan ruins, they testify to the immense cultural and historical heritage of this global metropolis. That is why it comes as an utter surprise to discover that this incredible destination is, in fact, a hidden gem of this part of the world. The large majority of tourists who visit Mexico City are usually domestic travelers while the international ones pass out on the opportunity of engaging in a truly unique experience. 

In case you decide to visit this marvelous city, owing to everything Mexico City has to offer, you may become overwhelmed with deciding where to stay in this gigantic city. There is no need to worry, as we have prepared a detailed guide with the best areas of the city.

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico City

As Mexican capital and the largest city in North America, Mexico City is divided into 16 boroughs or ‘’alcadias’’ for easier and more efficient functioning. These boroughs are further divided into countless neighborhoods or ‘’colonias’’. People of Mexico City select the area to live in based on their income and social status.

On the other hand, tourists decide to stay in neighborhoods that will allow them to explore the city easily and enjoy its major landmarks. It is important to add that due to the enormous proportions of Mexico City, it is quite impossible to visit all its cultural and historical landmarks during one visit. To put it simply, Mexico City will enchant you and leave you wanting more. 

To help you with your quest of finding the ideal place to stay in this splendid city, our top neighborhoods are the following ones:

  1. Reforma
  2. La Condesa
  3. Roma Norte
  4. Coyoacán
  5. Centro Historico 

When combined with the majority of activities and attractions they have to offer to its visitors, it looks like this:

Neighborhood

Ideal for:

Why?

Reforma

First-timers

This area contains the majority of historical landmarks of the city

La Condesa

Nightlife

It has an incredible vibe fueled by numerous restaurants, clubs, and bars

Centro Historico

On a budget

Affordable accommodations with some historical landmarks

Coyoacán

Bohemians and ex-pats

Museums, cobblestone streets, colonial architecture

Roma Norte

Long-term stay

The ideal mixture of culture and tradition

Where to stay in Mexico for the first time – Reforma

When they say Reforma, the locals usually mean the area surrounding the most famous avenue in Mexico City, Paseo de la Reforma, which runs between Alameda Central and Chapultepec. This area contains the majority of the cultural and historical values of this metropolis. That is why it is the most suitable area for staying in Mexico City if you are visiting for the first time.

Apart from these landmarks, it also has numerous business and office buildings, shops, and restaurants which makes it a very trendy place as well. Due to its attractions, it is one of the most congested districts in the city. 

Image source: paseodelareforma

Things to see and do in Reforma

The area surrounding the Paseo de la Reforma contains numerous museums, parks, lakes, castles, and iconic monuments. Check out what we have selected as musts in Reforma: 

  • Chapultepec
  • Castillo de Chapultepec
  • Anthropology Museum
  • Diana the Huntress Fountain
  • Angel of Independence

Chapultepec

Chapultepec is one of the largest parks in Mexico City. It provides a piece of nature and a relaxing oasis in the middle of the bustling city. This park also contains a Zoo, two artificial lakes, and a castle. The Monument of Young Heroes (Monumento a Los Niños Héroes) is located at the entrance of the park, as the remainder of the war between Mexicans and Americans. 

Image source: matth_fln

Image source: es_mexico_

Castillo de Chapultepec

This castle is found in the Chapultepec park and through history, it served several purposes. From being an imperial palace, presidential residence, observatory, to what it is today, the National Museum of History. 

Image source: aysaraelisa

Anthropology Museum

Museo Nacional de Antropología is the largest museum in Mexico City. It contains some of the most remarkable archeological and anthropological artifacts from several historical periods. 

Image source: poeirasluis

Diana the Huntress Fountain

Fuente de la Diana Cazadora is one of the most impressive fountains dedicated to Diana, the Roman goddess, or Artemis, the Greek counterpart. 

Image source: chimbo

Angel of Independence

El Ángel or Monumento a la Independencia is the most prominent landmark of Mexico City. Both used for celebrations and protests, this sculpture symbolizes Mexico’s fight for independence and ultimate victory. 

Image source: lucke_andolini_corleone

Where to stay in Mexico City for nightlife – La Condesa

For eclectic nightlife go to La Condesa. It actually consists of three smaller neighborhoods such as Condesa, Condesa-Hipodrómo and Hipódromo, but the locals here don’t separate them and refer to this area simply as La Condesa. This whole area is a great mixture of urban and bohemian. 

With numerous shops, boutiques, refined restaurants serving both local and international food, and bars on the one hand and art galleries, museums, colonial buildings, authentic street markets on the other, La Condesa successfully and stylistically merges the traditional with the modern. If you are interested in its more urban side than feel free to wander along Avenida Insurgentes which will show you the modern buildings and cafes as well as some of the most picturesque parks of Mexico City. 

Things to see and do in La Condesa

As the nightlife hub of Mexico City, La Condesa offers plenty of options when it comes to bars, pubs, taverns, restaurants, and shops while during the day you can relax in some of the nearby parks or check out some of the finest buildings in Art Deco style. We recommend: 

  • Tacos Gus
  • La Xampa
  • El Plaza
  • Azul Condesa
  • Huset

Tacos Gus

If you are looking for a unique local food experience, don’t miss a chance to try some of the best tacos in the whole of Mexico! Gus, the owner, offers countless different items to choose from and prepares the taco of your choice on the spot with love. 

Image source: coluhenry

La Xampa

For a place with great food, even better drinks, and lovely live performances by local artists, visit La Xampa, as it is one of the most popular restaurants in town. 

Image source: foodandpleasure_

Where to Stay in Oaxaca

Where to Stay in Oaxaca, Mexico – a city of fine cuisine and unusual festivities

Millions of tourists visit Mexico each year for its pristine beaches, crystal clear sea, culture, and history. While most of these visits are to its capital, Mexico City, or to summer resorts such as Cancun, or Cabo, this is far from what this splendid country has to offer. One of the lesser-known areas of Mexico, located in the southern part of the country is the state of Oaxaca (wah-hah-kah). 

This state is distinguished by its indigenous culture, unique and lively crafts and arts, traditional celebrations, and folklore, but most of all, by superb local cuisine and natural wonders. Its perfect location between Sierra Madre mountains and beaches provides some of the most astonishing landscapes and scenery for both locals and travelers to admire. 

Conscious of their colonial and cultural treasures, the government has been promoting eco-tourism with an aim to conserve their centuries-old legacy.

Image source: acawanderer

Five Best neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca

The central place of this state occupies its capital, Oaxaca City, Oaxaca de Juárez or simply Oaxaca. This colonial city has developed into a cultural and historical hub of the area. As one of the rare cities in the world to contain examples of all the historical periods of their country such as pre-Hispanic, colonial, independent, and modern, the city along with the archeological location of Monte Albán has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. 

Thanks to its authenticity and avoiding mass tourism, Oaxaca is slowly becoming a favorite destination for locals and ex-pats searching for tranquility and abundance of activities and landmarks. 

Despite being a relatively small city, Oaxaca is divided into many neighborhoods which are at a walking distance from each other while some of them even merge at some point. Each district is unique in content and activities. 

But some of these neighborhoods are better than others. With so many options, it can be difficult to find the best area to stay in during your visit to this marvelous city. We have gathered some of the best areas for you and here is what we suggest:

  1. Centro
  2. Santo Domingo 
  3. El Llano 
  4. Jalatlaco
  5. La Noria

These are the top 5 neighborhoods to stay in Oaxaca and to help you even more with finding accommodation and securing a pleasurable stay in this city, here are the features of each neighborhood and for which activities they are ideal: 

Neighborhood

Ideal for: 

Why?

Centro

First-timers

Center of all landmarks and activities of the area

Santo Domingo

Nightlife

Energetic nightlife, restaurants, tavernas, and bars

El Llano

On a budget

Backpacker experience

Jalatlaco

Bohemians and ex-pats

The coolest place with a pleasant and relaxed atmosphere

La Noria

Long-term stay and families

Local experience, peaceful but with many attractions

Where to stay in Oaxaca for the first time – Centro

In most of the cities around the world, the majority of attractions are usually located in its central area, and Oaxaca isn’t any different. Centro, or Center, is the very heart of the city. As such, it is the most congested neighborhood in Oaxaca. Not only does it have many cultural and historical landmarks, but it also provides numerous shopping, dining, and entertainment options. 

In addition, it is well connected with surrounding neighborhoods which you can explore even on foot, as well as with other cities in the state. As a result, it is the ideal place for the first visit to this colorful city since its colonial architecture and cobblestone streets are truly something special and unique.  Image source: tomomiyoshim

Things to see and do in Centro

As the central neighborhood of Oaxaca, there is plenty to see and do here. Inquire about the incredibly rich culture and history of this area, participate in some of the craft workshops, and make unique and memorable souvenirs to remind you of Oaxaca. 

Here are our recommendations: 

  • Monte Alban 
  • Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños
  • MACO
  • Casa de la Ciudad
  • Zocalo

Monte Alban 

Take a short walk to the nearby Santa Cruz municipality and take a tour around one of the largest pre-Columbian archeological sites declared UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1987. 

Image source: indsay_caron

Museo de Los Pintores Oaxaqueños

If you are an art lover, then you will know to appreciate and admire the collection of contemporary art presented in this museum.

Image source: arianereine

MACO

Museum of Contemporary Art of Oaxaca or MACO is another place worth visiting and acquainting yourself with some of the exquisite art pieces of some of the most renowned Oaxacan artists. 

Image source: jose_keyblade

Casa de la Ciudad 

A place where most activities in Oaxaca take place, this community center seems like a great place not only to admire the exhibited pieces but also to engage in some interesting and creative workshops. 

Image source: worldbikeforum

Zocolo

Zocolo is the main town square where both international and domestic travelers like to gather especially during the night as it serves as the meeting point. 

Image source: majo_sal

Where to stay in Centro

Since this neighborhood is the hub of Oaxaca, it is tourist-friendly in the sense that it offers a wide range of accommodation options to suit every taste. Despite being the heart and soul of the city, in comparison to other travel destinations, it is quite affordable. The average price in Airbnbs is $41 per night. Our top picks are:

Affordable option – This private room with an incredible view

Moderate option – This apartment in the historical part of the town

Luxury option – This green loft in the city center of Oaxaca

Find more Airbnbs in Centro here

Where to stay in Oaxaca for nightlife – Santo Domingo

North of the city center within walking distance, Santo Domingo is located. This peculiar and vivid neighborhood is most famous for its energetic and vibrant nightlife. With so many restaurants, tavernas, and bars, it is the favorite area not only for parties but also for trying out some of the most delicious local dishes and drinks such as diverse moles, which is a type of a sauce, chapulines, spicy fried grasshoppers, or tasting the local drink, mezcal, and many more. 

Image source: axelmalohdz

Things to see and do in Santo Domingo

This neighborhood has an interesting combination of clubs and bars, colorful colonial architecture, and historical heritage. Check out our must-see places in Santo Domingo:

  • Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán
  • La Mezcaloteca
  • El Cortijo Mezcaleria
  • Oaxaca Brewing Company
  • Los Danzantes

Templo de Santo Domingo de Guzmán

This temple with impressive architecture and art is the most iconic landmark of this neighborhood. 

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La Mezcaloteca

As a part of the local experience, you should visit La Mezcaloteca and learn everything about the local drink mezcal. Don’t worry, tasting is included!

Image source: renebeckhansen

El Cortijo Mezcaleria

This is a great place to stop by and try different blends of mezcal. Polite and kind staff will assist you in buying the most suitable blend for you. 

Image source: jony137b

Oaxaca Brewing Company

Oaxaca is famous in this area of Mexico for many distilleries and small brewing companies. Stop by this one and try some of the unique craft beers. 

Image source: oaxacabrewingco

Los Danzantes

Los Danzantes is the perfect restaurant to try some of the rich and delicious Oaxacan food. If you decide to visit this place, make reservations in advance as it is quite a popular place. 

Image source: danzantesoaxaca

Image source: louise_rothschild

Where to stay in Santo Domingo 

This area tends to become quite busy especially during the night so make sure to seek accommodation in some quieter parts of the street if you decide on this neighborhood as your base. The average nightly price in Airbnbs is $39. We recommend:

Affordable optionThis nice house in a quiet area

Moderate optionThis room in a hostel 

Luxury optionThis small but luxurious house 

For more Airbnbs in Santo Domingo click here.

Where to stay in Barcelona

Beautiful Barcelona: where to stay in “the city of dreams”

With its mouth-dropping architecture, lively and friendly vibe, and beautiful Mediterranean beaches, it truly is one of the world’s most beautiful cities. As it is one of the older Spanish cities, it is full of historical sights. Fans of modern art and lifestyle will also appreciate it due to Gaudi’s fascinating contribution to the city landscape. Falling in love with Barcelona is quite easy: all you need to do is come visit it and it will steal your heart forever. 

Photo credit: barcelona_barcelona

Where is the best place to stay in Barcelona — Our 5 favorite areas

Your experience in Barcelona heavily depends on the neighborhood you stay in. Although the city is well-connected, each area has a distinct vibe and lifestyle. To help you pick the best place, we’ve made a rundown of our favorite Barcelona neighborhoods:

  1. El Poble-Sec
  2. El Born
  3. El Raval
  4. El Gotico
  5. Gracia
Where to stay in Barcelona, Spain
Best for budget travelers El Poble-Sec An affordable but lively area with plenty of bars and pubs
Best for party animals El Born The crowdest neighborhood where you’ll find all major bars and clubs
Best for cool kids El Raval An artsy neighborhood known for its bohemian vibe
Best for first-timers El Gotico The historical center of the city with major tourist attractions
Best for expats Gracia A peaceful, family-oriented area ideal for a long-term stay

Photo credit: barcelona_barcelona

Where to stay in Barcelona for budget travelers: El Poble-Sec

El Poble-Sec is a safe, primarily residential neighborhood ideal for budget travelers. It is close to the city center and you can get to the major sights on foot. Even if you’re not a fan of walking, this area will suit you as it is well-connected with other parts of the city. It is located at the bottom of the Montjuïc hill, so it won’t take you more than a few minutes to reach its most wonderful attractions. There are plenty of economical accommodation options that will suit your budget perfectly. 

What to do in El Poble-Sec

El Poble-Sec is surprisingly lively for such an affordable neighborhood. Although there aren’t any major sights to see, the area has many tapas bars, interesting pubs, and hip restaurants. If you decide to stay in El Poble-Sec, make sure to visit our favorite places:

  • Bar Seco
  • Caixa Forum
  • Archaeology Museum of Catalonia
  • El Molino
  • Montjuïc hill
  • The Magic Fountain 

The Magic Fountain 

The Magic Fountain is a true spectacle of sounds and colors. It was built almost a century ago and still remains one of the most beloved tourist attractions in Barcelona. The square below the fountains is especially lively and crowded, and it is where all major concerts are held. Who knows, maybe you’ll go for a walk around the fountains and accidentally run into Shakira’s concert!

Photo credit: livee_falco

Where to stay in El Poble-Sec

If you want to stay close to the city center without spending much money on accommodation, you will adore El Poble-Sec. There are plenty of accommodation options, both budget and high-end. On average, one night will cost you around $70. Take a look at our top picks:

Budget option: This lovely, comfortable private room.

Midrange option: This fantastic loft.

Luxurious option: This amazing apartment near La Rambla.

You can browse for more accommodation options here

Where to stay in Barcelona for party animals: El Born

Once known as a shady, gangsta neighborhood, El Born has transformed into the most vibrant and exciting area in the city. While there are several great tourist attractions, nightlife is the area where El Born shines. It is crowded and lively at any hour of the day or night. There are hundreds of fantastic bars, restaurants, and clubs in this area, which makes it perfect for party animals. 

Where to party in El Born

If you go for a walk around El Born, you’ll notice interesting night spots at every corner. From casual bars to cocktail lounges and exclusive nightclubs, El Born is where you will easily find your favorite party spot. If you’re not sure where to start, check out some of these places:

  • Dr. Stravinsky Cocktail Bar
  • Magic 
  • Dux
  • Mamaine Mojitos
  • Palau Dalmases
  • Dans Le Noir

Dux

Dux is a true hidden gem of Barcelona’s night scene. This secluded speakeasy is a place any connoisseur of adult drinks must visit. The bar has its own, homemade gin that is an absolute treat for your tastebuds, and there are hundreds of craft cocktails that you can experiment with. 

Photo credit: duxbarcelona

Where to stay in El Born

El Born is quite affordable for a neighborhood so close to the city center. A night in an AirBnB costs around $80 on average. Here are our top picks:

Budget option: This affordable apartment at the very center of the neighborhood.

Midrange option: This enormous room in a fantastic location.

Luxurious option: This elegant studio with a balcony.

Want more options? Visit this page!

Where to stay in Barcelona for cool kids: El Raval

El Raval is a neighborhood heaven-sent for art lovers and culture vultures. This area is lively, charming, and bursting with a trendy, hipster vibe. In El Raval, you will see lots of museums and galleries, as well as some stylish cafes, restaurants, and shops. This neighborhood is like a magnet for bohemian, artistic souls so it’s no wonder it’s known as the coolest part of Barcelona. Unfortunately, El Raval is not as safe as some other neighborhoods, so keep an eye on your belongings to avoid pickpockets, especially at night.  

Major sights in El Raval

Whether you are looking for unusual architecture, unique art exhibits, or fancy restaurants, El Raval is where you will find everything your heart desires. If you can’t decide where to go first, check out some of our top picks:

  • Sant Pau del Camp
  • Centre of Contemporary Culture of Barcelona
  • Avenida del Paralelo
  • Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona
  • Mr. White Cocktail Bar
  • Bar Marsella

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona

Museu d’Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA) is one of the best museums of contemporary art in the whole of Spain. This museum is proof that Barcelona has much more to offer than just Gaudi. Besides the permanent set up, the museum regularly hosts temporary exhibitions of world-famous artists. There is even a section referring to The Rolling Stones!

Photo credit: lauraxiu

Where to stay in El Raval

El Raval offers plenty of accommodation options for both budget travelers and those seeking more high-end places. On average, one night in an AirBnB costs around $70. Check out our favorite places:

Budget option: this cute private room

Midrange option: this amazing private room near the market

Luxurious option: this beautiful room with a balcony.

Browse for more AirBnBs here

Where to stay in Barcelona first time: El Gotico

El Gotico, also known as Barrio Gotico, is the very heart and soul of this fascinating city. We can call it the original Barcelona as it is the historical center and has many remnants of the ancient Roman village that it once was. Its charming streets are decorated with cobblestone and gorgeous architecture. This neighborhood is a beautiful blend of the new and the old, so you will experience the whole of Barcelona’s long history. 

Places in El Gotico you shouldn’t miss

Barrio Gotico is an ideal location for first-time visitors as this area offers so many things to see and do. There are plenty of tourist attractions so sightseeing will be a true adventure. The area is also full of bars, restaurants, and shops, so you’ll always have something interesting to do. If you’re visiting the city for the first time, make sure to check out these places:

  • La Rambla
  • Guell Palace
  • The Barcelona Cathedral
  • Museum of the City of Barcelona
  • Picasso Museum
  • Plaza del Rei

Guell Palace

Just like every part of Barcelona designed by Gaudi, Guell Palace is absolutely amazing. It’s an outstanding representative of the Art Nouveau movement and will swipe any architecture lover off their feet. 

Photo credit: andrey_on_the_way

Where to stay in El Gotico

In El Gotico, you won’t have difficulty finding the perfect accommodation for you. The average price is around $80 per night. Take a look at our top picks:

Budget option: this apartment near the Picasso Museum.

Midrange option: this amazing room in the center.

Luxurious option: this gorgeous apartment at the very heart of the Gothic Quarter.

You can see more accommodation options here

 

Where to stay in Panama City

Where to stay in Panama City — Live like a local in the coolest neighborhoods in Panama

Founded in 1519, Panama City is the capital of Panama. Thanks to its long history, it has a number of historical and culturally significant landmarks, and even a whole district dedicated to those landmarks. One of the things most often associated with Panama is, of course, the Panama Canal. Thanks to its construction, Panama and Panama City were effectively put on the map and the Canal helped grow the economy, as well as help the city grow into the modern metropolis that it is today.

Image source: xavies35

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Panama City

Thanks to the blend of old and new, traditional and modern, Panama City can cater to anybody’s taste. The city is divided into a number of corregimientos which is a Spanish term for district subdivisions. Below we will present you with our top 5 picks for the best neighborhoods in Panama City.

  1. San Francisco
  2. El Cangrejo
  3. Costa Del Este
  4. Obarrio
  5. Casco Viejo

 

San Francisco Great for first-time visitors who wish to explore the charm of Panama. Some of the more prominent landmarks include Atlapa Convention Centre and Parque Omar. Overall, this neighborhood provides a great mix of opportunities for relaxing and having fun.
El Cangrejo El Cangrejo is known for its exotic and fun nightlife. There are a number of great bars, pubs, clubs, cafes, and restaurants in this area. Perfect for those who like to party and dance the night away.
Costa Del Este Costa Del Este is more of a luxurious neighborhood with high-end shops, fancy restaurants, and pricier accommodation. However, it is not as touristy as some other areas, thus it is more quiet and calm. 
Obarrio Obarrio is one of the most affordable neighborhoods in Panama City, which is great news for travelers on a budget. There are still plenty of things to do and places to see.
Casco Viejo Casco Viejo offers its visitors a blend of hip, traditional, modern, and historical. An excellent neighborhood for those who want to learn more about Panama City through its art, history, and culture.

Transportation in Panama City

Buses: an easy and affordable way of moving around the city. The majority of people in Panama commute by bus because it is cheap and they run often.

Taxis: are present throughout the entire city. They are yellow and don’t have any meters. You should keep this in mind when taking a taxi. Make sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before heading to your destination. On average, in Panama City, taxi fares are around 3 US dollars.

Where to stay in Panama City for the first time— San Francisco

A bustling and lively neighborhood with an abundance of options for entertainment, fun, and exploration of Panama City. An excellent place to come to if you are visiting Panama for the first time.

Things to see and do in San Francisco

These are some of our suggestions for activities and places to visit:

  • Atlapa Convention Centre
  • 5inco Cocina Urbana
  • Parque Omar

Atlapa Convention Centre

A convention center that has been opened for several decades. Frequently they host all kinds of events, concerts, sporting events, and other interesting and fun events.

Image source: iamyohany

5inco Cocina Urbana

A restaurant that offers a variety of cuisines, ideal for foodies.

Image source: 5incopanama

Parque Omar

An oasis in the middle of the busy and loud city. The park has trails for walking, exercising equipment, and playgrounds. A great place to rest and relax, and see some great murals.

Image source: run_mela_run

Where to stay in San Francisco

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: an apartment close to markets, shops, and restaurants.

Mid-range: a modern apartment close to Parque Omar.

Luxury: a large and spacious apartment with a view of the city.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Panama City for nightlife — El Cangrejo

El Cangrejo is one of the trendiest and most vibrant areas in all of Panama City. This neighborhood has everything, from low-key and chill coffee shops to colorful and exhilarating bars, clubs, and pubs. 

Things to see and do in El Cangrejo

Here are some of our recommendations for places to visit while in El Cangrejo. These places were selected based on the atmosphere and location.

Here are some of our picks:

  • Istmo Brew Pub
  • La Rana Dorada
  • El Chante Panama

Istmo Brew Pub

Head to this pub for a relaxing night out. Enjoy various types of beer and other alcoholic beverages. They also have a pool table so you can play a game with friends, or maybe have fun with the locals.

Image source: gpetersond

La Rana Dorada

This bar offers delicious food and great drinks along with a lively atmosphere.

Image source:  hreaper

El Chante Panama

This bar has a real local feel to it. Spend the night out drinking and having fun with the locals in an inviting and fun atmosphere.

Image source: pbeventspty

Where to stay in El Cangrejo

There are a number of affordable apartments for renting, with the average price per night being around $60. Most of them are concentrated in the heart of the area, in the vicinity of a lot of bars, pubs, clubs, and restaurants.

Affordable: a 1-bed, 1-bath apartment close to transportation and all the tourist attractions.

Mid-range: a fully furnished apartment in an excellent location.

Luxury: a lavish and luxurious apartment.

If you are interested in other options make sure to check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Panama City long term — Costa Del Este

Over the last several years, Costa Del Este has become one of the favorite places among international expats. This area also has a large number of corporations. When it comes to buying property here it is a bit more expensive, however, renting a place offers a great deal for a decent sum of money. Thanks to the fact that this area is so well planned, you are able to get everywhere very easily. Costa Del Este is also close to Tocumen International Airport, which is a great bonus. In this area, you are also close to shops, malls, parks, entertainment, restaurants, and so on. 

Things to see and do in Costa Del Este

  • Go for a walk through Parque Costa del Este
  • Shop at Multiplaza Panamá
  • Dine at Noi Restaurante

Parque Costa del Este

Take a break in this oasis in the middle of a bustling city. Take in the beautiful scenery and unwind after a long day.

Image source: comoyoveoapanama

Multiplaza Panamá

From high-end to low-end shops, Multiplaza Panamá has something for everybody’s taste and wallet. It also has a variety of restaurants and well-known fast-food chains.

Image source: otto.alvarez.b

Noi Restaurante

This trendy restaurant serves dishes from a wide variety of cuisines, namely Argentine, Italian, and the Mediterranean. You can also find vegetarian, gluten-free, and vegan options.

Image source: restaurantenoi

Where to stay in Costa Del Este

Due to the increasing popularity of this area, it is getting slightly harder to find a place to stay, especially for a longer period of time. Depending on the time of the year, and the demand, the prices may go up or down. Obviously, living in the center is the most expensive option, and you are more likely to find more value for your money if you decide to move away from the center. 

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: a spacious apartment in a great location.

Mid-range: a modern apartment with a view of the ocean.

Luxurious: this apartment is just 15 minutes away from the airport.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Santiago

Where to stay in Santiago, Chile — Best areas for food, fun, and more

Serving as the capital, as well as the cultural, political, and economic center of Chile, Santiago is the largest and most densely populated city in all of the country. Chile is one of the most stable countries in South America, and it is a country that keeps demonstrating development and economic growth. Placed between the mountains and the ocean, Chile, and Santiago, have more than enough natural sites to show to the ever-increasing number of tourists.

Image source: nelinhasixx

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Santiago

Santiago is an interesting blend of traditional and contemporary, thanks to which it can offer a wide variety of people a lot of different and exciting things to do and see. On the one hand, it is surrounded by a mountainous terrain which is great for outdoor-loving and adventure-seeking people. On the other hand, it has a large number of restaurants, cafes, shops, markets, museums, and so on, for those more relaxed, and chill tourists.

Here are our picks for the 5 best neighborhoods:

  1. Centro
  2. Bellavista
  3. Providencia
  4. Barrio Buenavista
  5. Barrio Brasil
Centro An excellent starting point for first-time visitors.
Bellavista Although it is a small area, it is considered to be the cultural heart of Santiago.
Providencia A great neighborhood for people who want to stay in Santiago for an extended period of time.
Barrio Buenavista A great neighborhood for those who want to party and have fun.
Barrio Brasil For travelers on a budget.

Getting around Santiago

Santiago has a great public transportation system which enables you to get around town pretty easily. Head to any subway station and get a bip! card that you can recharge and use for more than one person; you just have to scan it twice when entering the subway or bus.

Image source: wikitravel.org

Where to stay in Santiago for the first time — Centro

Out of all the areas in Santiago, Centro is the most tourist-oriented. If you are thinking of visiting Chile and Santiago but you are unsure of where to start — then this neighborhood might be the best option for you. There are a number of shops, markets, tourist attractions, and historic landmarks — something for everybody’s taste.

Things to see and do in Centro

Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Eat at the Central Market
  • Visit the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts
  • Stroll through the Parque Forestal

Central Market

Located in the heart of Santiago, this market offers some of the best dishes from the famous Chilean cuisine. This market sells predominantly seafood, however, you can also find fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as other knick-knacks. 

Image source: juliafoodstylist

Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts

This grand building houses some of the finest works of art from Chilean culture and history, as well as some pieces of art from Italy, Spain, and Africa.

Image source: gabobaudino

Parque Forestal

Located just across from the Chilean National Museum of Fine Arts, this is one of the most popular spots among tourists for unwinding and relaxing. Here you can see families spending time together, having a picnic, kids playing, young people hanging out; occasionally there will also be a street musician playing some music. All in all, a relaxing way to spend a day. 

Image source: blognosnochile

Where to stay in Centro

Santiago has a plethora of options when it comes to accommodation. You can find apartments that are in the heart of the city or slightly away from the center, depending on your preferences. The average price per night is around $55. 

Here are some of our picks:

Affordable: this apartment is close to the metro, shops, and tourist attractions.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-range: a sunny and spacious apartment close to everything you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury: a modern apartment with an excellent view in the heart of Santiago.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay in Santiago — bohemian edition — Bellavista

Bellavista is more of a bohemian and artistic area than other, more tourist-oriented neighborhoods in Santiago. You can recognize it thanks to its colorful and dynamic murals, bright and vibrant houses and buildings. This is the area where you will find a lot of young and artistic people.

Things to see and do in Bellavista

Here are some suggestions for places to visit in Bellavista:

  • Bellavista street art
  • Visit the house of national poet Pablo Neruda
  • Shop at Pio Nono

Bellavista street art

A perfect spot for art and street art lovers. Gaze at the interesting and captivating murals painted by professional artists and up-and-coming artists.

Image source: mari.blasm

House of Pablo Neruda

Visit the house of national poet and icon Pablo Neruda. No prior reservations are required, visitations work on the principle of first-come, first-served.

Image source: _carleria

Pio Nono

Pio Nono is lined with cafes, shops, and restaurants. There is also a market that sells lots of handcrafted items, so make sure to check it out.

Image source: chaeamando

Where to stay in Bellavista

If you decide to stay in Bellavista you don’t have to worry about finding a place, since there is a decent selection to choose from. Also, Bellavista is quite affordable when it comes to accommodation. The average price per night is $39.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: Pariwana Hostel Santiago

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-range: a cozy apartment furnished with everything you need.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury: a lavish big apartment – Hotel Boutique Castillo Rojo

Vintage-chic quarters in a circa-1923 house-turned-stylish hotel with dining & a wine bar.

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay in Santiago long term — Providencia

As the financial center of Santiago, Providencia is incredibly significant when it comes to commerce. This is also largely a residential area so there aren’t that many tourist attractions. However, that doesn’t mean that there aren’t things to do or places to visit. If you decide to move here you will get the opportunity to experience Santiago in a more authentic and local way.

Things to see and do in Providencia

Although Providencia isn’t full of tourist attractions there are still plenty of things to do. Here are some of our suggestions:

  • Shop at Mall Costanera Center
  • Drink at Bar Liguria
  • Visit the Festival de Jazz de Providencia

Mall Costanera Center

Shop at this 6-floor shopping mall that also offers a great panoramic view of the city.

Image source: blvckimvges

Bar Liguria

Head out for some drinks and dinner at this charming bar.

Image source: lauraprietov

Festival de Jazz de Providencia

This festival is typically organized during the summer. Visit this festival and have fun with locals and international visitors.

Image source: suservidor

Where to stay in Providencia

Despite being the financial center and residential area for many middle-class families, Providencia can still offer some affordable accommodation options.

Here are some of our suggestions:

Affordable: Ají Hostel – Simple dorms & private rooms in a bright, informal hostel offering complimentary breakfast & Wi-Fi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mid-range: this apartment is in a great location for walking around and exploring the city.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury: Hotel Boutique Le Reve Hotel

Sophisticated rooms in an upmarket hotel offering a bar & a courtyard garden, plus free breakfast.

 

Where to stay in Mexico

Where to stay in Mexico – A diverse and rich country

Mexico, or to be more precise Pre-Colombian Mexico, is considered to be one of the cradles of civilization. It was the home to the Aztecs, Mayans, and Olmec, among several others. During the beginning of the 16th century, Mexico was conquered and colonized by the Spanish Empire which left a huge mark on Mexican history and culture, which is still visible to this day. Following the war for independence, Mexico went through some struggles due to the political and economic situation in the country. 

Nowadays, Mexico is working towards rebranding itself as a modern and stable country. The tourism sector for Mexico has been flourishing for the past few years; many tourists view it as an exotic and exciting place to visit.

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Mexico

The focus of this text will mainly be on Mexico City and its neighborhoods. With that in mind, these are our picks for the best neighborhoods to stay in while in Mexico:

  1. Centro Histórico 
  2. San Ángel 
  3. Colonia Roma 
  4. Zona Rosa 
  5. Colonia Santa María la Ribera
Neighborhoods in Mexico City
Centro Histórico The historical center of Mexico City. Full of significant and stunning landmarks and sights, this neighborhood is ideal for first-time visitors.
San Ángel A charming neighborhood with a traditional feel to it. Our pick for long-term visitors.
Colonia Roma This neighborhood is home to a large number of art galleries, museums, libraries, cinema, and theater. Essentially, Colonia Roma is one of the neighborhoods to visit if you are interested in the art scene and culture.
Zona Rosa Meaning Pink Zone in English, this area is famous for entertainment, nightlife, shopping, and being the home to the gay community. It has faced some issues due to questionable and illegal activities, however, it is still one of the best-known areas for the gay community and nightlife in Mexico City.
Colonia Santa María la Ribera Once a neighborhood for the most affluent and richest people in Mexico, nowadays it has a mixture of different classes. It has a few landmarks, but the best thing about this neighborhood is that it is close to other areas. It’s great for travelers who are on a budget and want to find affordable accommodation.

Things to know before traveling to Mexico

Currency 

The official currency in Mexico is the Mexican pesos and in order to make your life easier, especially if you are traveling with cash, you should exchange your currency for the local one. You can exchange your currency at exchange offices at the airport, banks, and ATMs. If you are exchanging your money at the airport or a bank you might be asked to provide your passport. Also, some banks won’t exchange your money unless you have an account with them, so keep that in mind.

Transportation

The easiest and most affordable way to get around the city by far is the metro. The ticket price is around 5 pesos, which is about 25 cents. There is also the option of buying a smart card which grants you multiple rides, depending on how much money you put on it.

Safety

Sadly, women in Mexico are often the target of violence and harassment, and although the government has been trying to fight that, there is still an alarming number of assaults. A word of advice for all female travelers, especially those who travel on their own, is to keep your eyes open constantly and to watch out for any trouble.

Where to stay in Mexico for the first time – Centro Histórico

A World Heritage Site, Centro Histórico once served as the center for the Aztec Empire, and now as the center of Mexico City. One of the most tourist-friendly and tourist-oriented areas, this impressive city center is home to a large number of historical landmarks and sights.

Things to see and do in Centro Histórico

Here are some suggestions for places to visit:

  • Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral
  • Palacio de Bellas Artes
  • Dulcería Celaya

Mexico City Metropolitan Cathedral

An imposing and instantly recognizable landmark in Mexico City, full of lavish and stunning decorations. This cathedral is worth visiting simply because of its impressiveness and beauty.

Image source: malitamarti

Palacio de Bellas Artes

A cultural center that blends multiple styles seamlessly. This building hosts some of the most notable events in dance, music, and theater. There are also some really beautiful murals painted on the walls.

Image source: aldonautico

Dulcería Celaya

While you are in the city center make sure to stop by this sweet shop and enjoy some of those delicious Mexican sweets.

Image source: mrhinla

Where to stay in Mexico long term – San Ángel

A picturesque and charming neighborhood with cobblestone streets and gorgeous architecture all around. This neighborhood has a more mellow vibe and it seems more authentic than some other areas. It has some really pleasant and cozy restaurants and shops, as well as a flower market, and a museum dedicated to Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera.

Things to see and do in San Ángel

Here are some of our suggestions for things to do during your stay here:

  • Bazar Sabado
  • Flower Market
  • Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

Bazar Sabado

A bazaar organized on Saturdays which features a lot of interesting goodies made by the locals.

Image source: clairethomas

Flower Market

A flower market which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week – and it sells absolutely beautiful flowers.

Image source: conde.petatl

Museo Casa Estudio Diego Rivera y Frida Kahlo

This was once a studio where Diego Rivera lived and worked with Frida Kahlo. The museum is dedicated to their work, as well as preserving the place where they lived. There are two buildings, one belonged to Diego, and the other to Frida. The buildings are connected by a bridge.

Image source: belen_palacios_zurita

Where to stay in Mexico – art and culture edition – Colonia Roma

The streets of this neighborhood are lined with galleries, museums, libraries, cinemas, and theater. An ideal spot for lovers of culture, art, and literature.

Things to see and do in Colonia Roma

Here are some suggestions for places to visit while in Colonia Roma:

  • Casa Lamm
  • Galería OMR
  • El Pendulo

Casa Lamm

This was once a house that was repurposed as a cultural center in the mid-1990s. This cultural center frequently hosts art exhibitions, and you can also find a restaurant and a bookstore on the ground level.

Image source: orange.madness

Galería OMR

An art gallery that exhibits contemporary art.

Image source: virroylola

El Pendulo

El Pendulo is a combination of a café and a bookstore, a great place for just sitting and enjoying a cup of coffee or tea whilst reading a book.

Image source: travelandleisure

Where to stay in Kathmandu

Where to stay in Kathmandu – The city of temples

Once an isolated place, Kathmandu–as well as Nepal, has opened its doors to tourists, sometime in the late 1950s. Kathmandu has been aptly named the city of temples – there are a plethora of both big and small temples dedicated to various deities in the Hindu religion, as well as Buddhism. 

Kathmandu has an impressive number of World Heritage Sites – seven, to be exact, which are the following: Patan Durbar Square, Changu Narayan, Kathmandu Durbar Square, Bhaktapur Durbar Square, Syambhunath Stupa, Bouddhanath Stupa, and Pashupatinath.

Image source: tourismkathmandu

5 best neighborhoods to stay in Kathmandu

Each neighborhood has a great variety of options for accommodation, tourist sights and attractions, shops, bars, pubs, restaurants, clubs, monuments, temples, and other things. These are our top 5 picks for the best neighborhoods in Kathmandu:

  1. Chabahil 
  2. Maru 
  3. Lazimpat 
  4. Thamel 
  5. Gyaneshwor 

 

Neighborhoods in Kathmandu
Chabahil Chabahil can be considered one of the more spiritual neighborhoods in Kathmandu, largely thanks to two big temples, a number of smaller ones, as well as a number of monasteries.
Maru Maru can be seen as the melting pot of the long and rich history, culture, and tradition of Kathmandu, as well as Nepal overall. This is the place where you can experience the culture and history of Kathmandu to the fullest.
Lazimpat Lazimpat is a delightful residential area, just 20 minutes away from downtown Kathmandu. In this area, you can find a large number of schools, organizations, shops, restaurants, embassies, etc. Due to the residential vibe of this area, Lazimpat is our pick for a neighborhood to stay in for a longer period of time.
Thamel Thamel is the most commercial out of all the areas in Kathmandu. Here you can find streets and alleys lined with street vendors and shops selling a variety of things. This area is also the hotspot when it comes to Kathmandu nightlife. The liveliest and most energetic neighborhood, great for party lovers.
Gyaneshwor Gyaneshwor is one of the more central neighborhoods with a mix of multiple cultures. This area is also home to some really beautiful sights, such as the Garden of Dreams, Pashupatinath Temple, Bhandarkhal Jungle, among many others. A wonderful area to visit for tourists who are on a budget.

Transportation in Kathmandu

There are several options when it comes to getting around Kathmandu, namely by rickshaw, by bus, and by taxi.

In order to get the full local experience, we recommend renting a rickshaw because it’s one of the best ways to explore the city and soak up its charms.

Taxis are another option, you can recognize them by their black registration plates, and a taxi sign on top of the vehicle. 

Buses in Kathmandu are known as Sajha Yatayat, they are green buses that run along a designated route.

If you want to learn more about the public transportation system in Kathmandu make sure to check out the official tourism website.

Where to stay in Kathmandu for the first time – Chabahil

Walk around this ancient neighborhood and observe the stunning and admiration-worthy landmarks, sights, monuments, and temples. As previously mentioned, this neighborhood has a very spiritual vibe and feel to it.

Things to see and do in Chabahil

Here are some suggestions for places to visit while in Chabahil:

  • Boudhanath Stupa
  • Mrigasthali
  • Pashupatinath Temple

Boudhanath Stupa

A stupa is an important structure in Buddhism used for the preservation of important relics and remains of Buddhist monks and nuns. Stupas are closely related to Buddha and his teaching, and besides being used as a burial spot and preservation of religious objects, it also serves for meditation. Boudhanath Stupa is one of the most recognizable structures in Kathmandu, and those who are visiting for the first time should definitely come here.

Image source: sumayatara

Mrigasthali

During your exploration of Chabahil make sure to pay a visit to Mrigasthali, which is a peaceful and relaxing park surrounded by a lot of greenery. Beware of the monkeys wandering about the place. You can also see the Pashupatinath Temple from this park.

Image source: iamnidus

Pashupatinath Temple

A sacred Hindu temple, and one of the World Heritage Sites – along with Boudhanath Stupa. A remarkable and beautiful structure in the heart of Kathmandu.

Image source: arlesh.maharjan

Where to stay in Chabahil

Here are some suggestions for places to rent:

Affordable: a modern studio apartment that comes equipped with everything you need.

Mid-range: a spacious condo with an outdoor area and modern amenities.

Luxury: an extravagant and lavish villa that combines modern amenities with traditional designs and decorations.

For other options in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Kathmandu – culture and tradition edition – Maru

Immerse yourself into the culture by exploring and visiting the culturally significant landmarks, structures, temples, as well as the local market and street vendors who sell interesting stuff.

Things to see and do in Maru

These are our suggestions for places to visit in Maru:

  • Kathmandu Durbar Square
  • Ashok Binayak Temple
  • The Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum

Kathmandu Durbar Square

One of the most popular and most visited attractions in Kathmandu, Kathmandu Durbar Square is situated in front of the old royal palace. The square stands as a testament of time and the long and rich history of Kathmandu and Nepal.

Image source: phoebs_walks

Ashok Binayak Temple

Located on the eastern side of Kathmandu Durbar Square, this temple serves as a place of worship for the god of luck.

Image source: wikipedia.org

The Hanuman Dhoka Palace Museum

A museum dedicated to the various dynasties that ruled over Nepal throughout history, as well as preserving the long history of this country.

Image source: bikhuu

Where to stay in Maru

These are some of our ideas for places to rent while in Maru:

Affordable: a spacious apartment with quirky and interesting decorations.

Mid-range: a contemporary apartment with a rustic feel.

Luxury: a large apartment with an excellent view of Kathmandu.

For other options check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Kathmandu long term – Lazimpat

Lazimpat has become quite popular with expats due to it being an upscale residential area, with a great selection of shops, bars, restaurants. There are also schools, large organizations, companies, and embassies.

Things to see and do in Lazimpat

Here are some suggestions for things to do or places to visit:

  • National Museum of Nepal
  • Nepali Chulo Authentic Restaurant and Banquet
  • Mela Restaurant & Bar

National Museum of Nepal

A museum that has three buildings, each one preserving important artifacts and relics from the tradition, culture, and history of Nepal.

Image source: nepshots

Nepali Chulo Authentic Restaurant and Banquet

Have a go at the national cuisine of Nepal. Treat yourself to some delicious local delicacies.

Image source: grgkt87

Mela Restaurant & Bar

Enjoy at a night out with the locals at this charming bar and restaurant. This restaurant and bar also have a very vibrant design.

Image source: photographer_and_writer

Where to stay in Lazimpat

Here are some suggestions for accommodation options in Lazimpat:

Affordable: a cute and cozy apartment, with a bright, minimalistic design, in a great location.

Mid-range: a spacious villa close to public transport, attractions, shops, in an excellent location.

Luxury: a stunning 5 bedroom villa, with beautiful interior design, close to all the tourist sights and attractions, but still offers privacy, as well as peace and quiet.

If you want to see the other options available in this area check out Airbnb.

Where to stay in Cambodia

Where to stay in Cambodia, a land of wonders

Cambodia has had a bloody history but it managed to rise from the ashes. Once associated with genocide and death, it has become one of the world’s most beloved destinations. Nicknamed the Land of Smiles, now it is known for its authentic vibe and friendly locals. 

No one could stay indifferent after seeing its architectural wonders, historical landmarks, and cultural attractions. But Cambodia isn’t just a county for history buffs. It has a great nightlife, exotic jungles, and gorgeous beaches. With so many wonderful things this country offers, it’s not easy to decide where to stay in Cambodia. 

Photo credit: keoponha

Top 5 cities to stay in Cambodia

Each of Cambodia’s major cities has something to offer, from cultural sights to wild parties. To help you find the city that will suit your personal interests, we’ve made a rundown of our favorite places:

  1. Siem Reap
  2. Phnom Penh
  3. Sihanoukville
  4. Battambang 
  5. Kampot
Where to stay in Cambodia
Best for the first time Siem Reap A gorgeous city with lots of remarkable landmarks and activities
Best for culture vultures Phnom Penh The capital city with immense historical and cultural significance
Best for nightlife Sihanoukville A port town that never sleeps
Best on a budget Battambang  An affordable city known for authentic Khmer culture
Best for long-term stay Kampot An exotic expat epicenter with a laid back vibe

Photo credit: beautifulcambodia

Where to stay in Cambodia for the first time: Siem Reap

Once dubbed “Paris of the East”, Siem Reap has plenty to boast about. Dating back to the early 9th century, this gorgeous city is bursting with culture and history. It is most famous for being the gateway to Asia’s greatest landmark, Angkor Way, but it also has countless other attractions to offer. Besides historical sights, Siem Reap is also notable for its jovial lifestyle, energetic nightlife, and fantastic cuisine. 

Top places in Siem Reap to visit

Siem Reap has something for anyone’s taste, which is why we think it’s ideal for first-time visitors to Cambodia. From museums and temples to boho bars, the city’s treasures will surely make your visit memorable. Here are some of our top places:

  • Angkor Wat
  • Angkor National Museum
  • Wat Thmei
  • Apsara Dance Show
  • Phare Circus
  • Prek Toal Bird Sanctuary

Angkor Wat

One of the new 7 wonders of the world, Angkor Wat is a place no one should miss when visiting Siem Reap. An architectural masterpiece and the largest temple on the globe, Angkor Wat is unique in every sense. 

Photo credit: experienceangkorwat

Where to stay in Siem Reap

Another reason Siem Reap is ideal for first-timers is the fact that it offers countless AirBnBs, hotels, and hostels that will suit anyone’s price range. The downtown area is a bit more expensive than the outskirts and a night in an AirBnB close to major landmarks will cost you around $50. Check out our favorite places:

Budget option: a room in a boutique guesthouse in the ancient city

Midrange option: this amazing villa with a swimming pool.

Luxurious option: this gorgeous high-end villa.

You can find more AirBnBs here

Where to stay in Cambodia for culture vultures: Phnom Penh

In order to understand Cambodia and its people, you need to learn about the country’s bloody history, and, for that, there’s no better place than Phnom Penh. What this amazing city is most known for is being the cradle of Pol Pot’s reign of terror. As the Khmer Rouge seat of power, its cultural and historical value is incredible. Besides historical attractions, Phnom Penh is an attractive destination for its authentic Cambodian atmosphere and countless entertainment options.

What to see and do in Phnom Penh

If you’re a culture vulture and a history buff, you’ll never run out of places to visit in Phnom Penh. Here are some places we highly recommend:

  • The Killing Fields
  • S21 Prison
  • The National Museum
  • The Royal Palace
  • Silver Pagoda
  • Phnom Penh Night Market
  • Daughters of Cambodia Visitor Center

The Killing Fields

Although Pol Pot’s killing fields are spread all over Cambodia, Phnom Penh’s Choeung Ek Killing Fields are by far the most grotesque and infamous. This genocide site serves as a memorial to over two million people who were killed during the four years of Pot’s regime. The fields are packed with skulls and bones, so this is not a destination for the faint-hearted.

Photo credit: loveocheve

Where to stay in Phnom Penh

As Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh is more expensive than other cities. Luckily, that doesn’t mean you can’t find affordable accommodation. On average, one night in an AirBnB will cost you around $55. Check out our favorite places:

Budget option: this comfy studio near the National Museum.

Midrange option: a room in this fantastic hotel.

Luxurious option: a room in this fascinating pavilion.

You can check out more AirBnBs here

Where to stay in Cambodia for nightlife: Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is a place where parties never stop. This fantastic port town is packed with nightlife options, and its bar scene is absolutely unique. It is also the gateway to places such as Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem, so, when you get tired of partying, you can go island hopping. Sihanoukville is not as crowded and polluted as the big cities, and you can also unwind on one of its pristine beaches.

Where to party in Sihanoukville

Choosing where to go after the sunset in Sihanoukville is not an easy feat. There are so many fantastic places you won’t know where to start. Besides clubs, restaurants, and casinos, Sihanoukville will provide you with any sort of bar you can think of. Common bars, pool bars, beach bars, girly bars, disco bars, rooftop bars—you name it, it’s got it. Here are our favorite nightlife places:

  • Jack & Daniels Bar
  • Boudoir Sihanoukville
  • Shipwreck Bar
  • Oocha
  • Why Not Bar
  • Afterwork

Boudoir Sihanoukville

This luxury lounge is the best spot in the city for party animals. Music is always amazing, the place is usually packed, and the service fantastic. The alcohol offer is amazing and, above all, inexpensive. 

Photo credit: queencoasia

Where to stay in Sihanoukville

As Sihanoukville is a small port town, accommodation is more affordable than in big cities. A night in an AirBnB costs around $40 on average. Here are some places we recommend:

Budget option: this minimalist studio with swimming pool access.

Midrange option: this entire house

Luxurious option: this beautiful bungalow with a swimming pool.

Browse for more AirBnBs here

Where to stay in Cambodia on a budget: Battambang 

Battambang is probably the most underrated city in Cambodia, and not just because the cost of staying is so low. The city is impressive in every way and has lots of historical and cultural attractions. The architecture is truly unique, mixing the well-preserved French colonial architecture with the authentic Khmer style. Usually called Cambodia’s “rice bowl”, it is also a heaven for foodies. We’re sure you’ll adore the traditional Khmer cuisine.

Best Battambang attractions to visit

Battambang is the heart of the Khmer culture, so it is an ideal place for sightseeing. It also offers many entertainment options, so you can be sure your stay in this awesome place will never get boring. Make sure not to miss our top picks:

  • Wat Banan Temple
  • Phare Ponleu Selpak
  • Battambang Bat Caves
  • Ta Dumbong Statue
  • Mrs. Ban Roeng’s Ancient House
  • HUMAN Gallery
  • Romcheik5 artspace

Phare Ponleu Selpak (Battambang Circus)

Phare Ponleu Selpak is an attraction unique to Battambang. These circus performances are fascinating and include lots of acrobatic and dance shows. They are hosted by Phare Ponleu Selpak, an NGO fighting poverty and education issues, and many performers were victims of the Khmer Rouge.

Photo credit: ruthio1985

Where to stay in Battambang

Battambang is packed with gorgeous, traditional Khmer houses that also happen to be amazingly affordable. AirBnBs cost around $35 on average. Have a look at our top picks:

Budget option: a private room in this hostel with a beautiful balcony.

Midrange option: this entire romantic bungalow.

Luxurious option: this traditional Khmer bungalow with a pool

Check out all Battambang AirBnBs here

 

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur

Where to Stay in Kuala Lumpur – the city of skyscrapers

The capital of Malaysia, Kuala Lumpur is a metropolitan city worldwide famous for many skyscrapers and futuristic towers, the clash of traditional and colonial architecture with modern and picturesque, and diverse cultural and historical attractions. The greatest landmark is Petronas Twin Towers, which are the highest twin towers in the world.

The name of the city means ‘’ muddy estuary’’ owing to its geographical location in the confluence of Gombak and Klang Rivers. Its rich history and cultural heritage along with the stylish development are the reasons behind the growing popularity of this city and country in general. Aside from significant landmarks, real foodies will enjoy this travel destination as its remarkable cuisine consists of truly delicious dishes.

Image source: pexels

Five best neighborhoods to stay in Kuala Lumpur

With everything that Kuala Lumpur has to offer to its tourists, this city has become one of the most popular and safest travel destinations in Southeast Asia. Becoming a global city with millions of visitors every year, the accommodation options have increased significantly resulting in the widest selection of luxurious hotels, mid-range hostels and Airbnb for every budget. With all these alternatives, finding an ideal place to stay in KL can often be quite overwhelming, especially if you are visiting for the first time. 

Image source: pixabay

Kuala Lumpur is divided into 11 districts each of which is culturally diverse and unique. They have plenty of dining, shopping, entertainment, and nightlife options to a certain degree. You should select the area that suits most of your interests, whatever they may be. So as not to become overwhelmed with the available accommodation choices, we have made a carefully selected list with the best area to stay in:

  1. KLCC
  2. Bukit Bintang
  3. Chinatown and Merdeka Square
  4. Bangsar
  5. KL Tower – Bukit Nanas

Still, whatever area you select, you won’t be wrong since Kuala Lumpur has a highly developed and efficient public transportation system so you can easily explore the city no matter where you are staying. 

Here are our suggestions: 

Area

Ideal for: 

Why?

KLCC

First-timers

Staying in this area will put you in the center of everything

Bukit Bintang

Nightlife

Crazy nightlife

Chinatown & Merdeka Square

On a budget

Wide budget style accommodation options 

Bangsar 

Bohemians

The area easily accessible by public transportation with a hipster vibe 

KL Tower – Bukit Nanas

Long-term stay

A residential area away from the crowd

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for the first time – KLCC

If you want to be at the center of everything in the city Kuala Lumpur, then Kuala Lumpur City Center is the right area for you. This area is most known for the city’s two main attractions the Petronas Twin Towers and the Menara Kuala Lumpur Tower. Apart from these two, there are other cultural and historical landmarks, along with many fun activities for families and dining and shopping opportunities. This area is also unique since the majority of the city’s sights are located here while at the same time it is a financial and business center. 

Image source: best_malaysia_photos

Things to do and see in KLCC

As the heart of Kuala Lumpur, there is plenty to eat, shop, do, and see in KLCC. Check our top list: 

  • Petronas Twin Towers
  • Menara KL Tower
  • Aquaria KLCC
  • KLCC Park 
  • Suria KLCC
  • Traders Hotel Skybar 

Petronas Twin Towers

With 88 floors, these twin skyscrapers are the highest twin towers in the world. They are joined together by a Sky Bridge.

Image source: yiing86

Menara KL Tower

This tower was constructed in 1994 and with a height of 421 meters, along with Petronas Twin Towers, represents one of the most prominent landmarks of Kuala Lumpur.

Image source: maryah_4

Aquaria KLCC

One of the largest aquariums in Southeast Asia, Aquaria KLCC is located in Kuala Lumpur Convention Center. It is home to more than 150 marine species and a great place for a family visit. 

Image source: iqanazira_

KLCC Park 

In the midst of the hectic and crowded city, this natural oasis is the perfect place for a getaway where you can enjoy the city’s skyline filled with skyscrapers and nature. 

Image source: stefan_ashdown

Suria KLCC

Located at the foot of the Petronas Twin Towers, this shopping mall is every shopaholic’s dream. With numerous department stores and fashion outlets, Suria KLCC provides the perfect opportunity to renew your wardrobe. 

Image source: lisairelandbooks

Traders Hotel Skybar

Traders Hotel is home to the popular Skybar at its 33rd floor. Order something to drink and enjoy the view of the nearby Petronas Towers. 

Image source: yoko_matsuta

Where to stay in KLCC 

Thanks to the amount of not only tourist attractions but also business buildings, Kuala Lumpur City Center is quite an expensive area to stay in. Other than luxurious hotels, this area is far from being packed with accommodation options for every budget. In case you are looking for Airbnbs in KLCC, you have to know that those are usually located a bit further from Twin Towers. The average nightly price  in this area is $63. 

 

Affordable option – This simple minimalistic hostel

 

 

 

Moderate option – This brilliant suite

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury option – This luxury hotel in the city centre

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Where to stay in Kuala Lumpur for nightlife – Bukit Bintang

Bukit Bintang is the most vibrant and energetic area of Kuala Lumpur. With many shops, markets, restaurants, bars, and nightclubs for everyone’s liking, this neighborhood has a lively and youthful atmosphere. Usually packed with tourists in search of the more entertaining side of the city, it is conveniently located near KLCC but you also have full access to other districts via public transportation. 

Image source:  wonderfuljogja

Things to see and do in Bukit Bintang

As the center of shopping, dining, entertainment, and nightlife of Kuala Lumpur, Bukit Bintang has such a diverse offer to suit every tourist’s taste. Whether you are looking for unique souvenirs, street food or fancy restaurants, or energetic nightlife, you will find all of that and even more in this district. 

Here are our recommendations what you definitely mustn’t miss in this area: 

  1. Berjaya Times Square Theme Park
  2. Jalan Alor
  3. Berjaya Times Square
  4. No Black Tie
  5. Heli Lounge Bar
  6. Changkat Pub Street

Berjaya Times Square Theme Park

Malaysia is home to the largest indoor theme park.  Berjaya Times Square Theme Park has two separate zones for adults and children. It is the perfect place for some quality family time. Image source: yxlandp

Jalan Alor

Jalan Alor is the most famous food street in Kuala Lumpur. Here you will find diverse restaurants and street food carts where you can try specialties from both international and local cuisine. 

Image source: weih9nglee

Berjaya Times Square

Bukit Bintang is home to one of the largest shopping malls in this area. Near Jalan Imbi, this astonishing twin towers has 48 floors with numerous stores and restaurants. 

Image source: kiwcekrek

No Black Tie

A popular jazz club where many famous jazz artists have performed. It is a quite relaxed atmosphere with great and diverse music.

Image source: adollopofme

Image source: larnkatrina

Heli Lounge Bar

This rooftop bar is located at the helipad near the Menara Tower. Enjoy your drinks with the sunset over Kuala Lumpur. 

Image source: cvl_antonov

Changkat Pub Street

Another famous street in Bukit Bintang is Changkat Street. The colonial buildings were transformed into restaurants and pubs. 

Image source: jayychw

Image source: gazipurxpress

Where to stay in Bukit Bintang

This district offers plenty of accommodation options for every budget since the tourists like to stay in this area for nightlife. It is quite hectic and traffic can be busy but you can easily explore other areas on foot. 

Affordable option –This Stylish Cozy Hostel

 

 

 

 

Moderate optionThe Eden

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Luxury option – This high end hotel with an amazing view