Croatian charm in Old Town Dubrovnik: your next European city break

Hello lovely people,

As summer comes to an end, and as autumn’s go-go-go mentality creeps in, I find my mind slipping away to the sunshine and excitement from my summer trips.

The other week I went to Dubrovnik for my cousin’s wedding – and wow, I was absolutely blown away. I had been to Zadar, Croatia before, so I assumed Old Town Dubrovnik would be a bigger version of the quiet seaside town.

Boy, was I wrong.

Dubrovnik is like no other. From its bustling cobblestone streets to picturesque beaches, this city is one of a kind.

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

After walking through impressive city walls, you’re greeted with a stunning view of a marina as you stroll through stone-studded streets. Palm trees and sunshine… yes, please!

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

Some may recognize Dubrovnik as a Game of Thrones filming location, which is cool of course, but the city is so much more than that! Dubrovnik is first and foremost a dazzling, historical European city, being a filming location comes after (wayyyy after) all of its cultural and beautiful offerings.

Old Town Dubrovnik | Photo by McKenna

From quaint cafes to little independent shops, Old Town offers a variety of businesses and restaurants. One of my personal favourites was Pupo, where I found my desperately needed oyster fix.

Oyster goodness | Photo by McKenna

If you’re a pizza, pasta or seafood fiend, you’re in luck. Dubrovnik boasts an abundance of mouthwatering goodness on every corner. Don’t forget an ice cream cone (pistachio for me!) to top it off!

Photo by McKenna

After you’ve scoped out the city’s cobblestone alleyways and city walls, venture to Banje Beach for an afternoon of sun and sea. The beach is just a five-minute walk from the eastern wall of Old Town, equipped with a beach bar and sun loungers to rent for 100 kuna (£12).

The pebbled beach leads you to the refreshing Adriatic Sea. When we were there in late August, temperatures were HOT, making the cool sea water more than welcome.

Banje Beach | Photo by McKenna
Banje Beach | Photo by McKenna

Beach by day, cocktails and music by night. On my first evening in Dubrovnik there was a mini music festival in the main square of Old Town. It was absolutely surreal to dance to house music under flashing lights in such a historic, seaside setting!

In addition to the impromptu rave, we perused everything from little hole-in-the-wall bars to the city’s massive Club Revelin  – there really is something for everyone!

the logistics… 

To and fro 

Dubrovnik Airport is only 20 minutes away by car. An Uber is about 250 kuna (£30), but you can also take a shuttle to Old Town at the bargain price of 40 kuna (£5).

Sleeping beauties

My family rented an Airbnb just outside the city walls because we had quite a large group. However, you can find deals within the city walls, right in the middle of all the action, for £60 a night (for a couple). If you book far in advance, I’m sure you’d be able to find deals at hotels as well.

Money, money, money! 

Many places took both euros and kuna, Croatia’s official currency, but you should 100% use kuna within the Old Town. Not all places take euros, so better safe than sorry!

A view of Old Town | Photo by McKenna

I’ve posted more photos from my Dubrovnik adventure on my Instagram, so feel free to check them out if this amazing city has made it onto your travel bucket list!

What a sunset | Photo by McKenna

After all, Dubrovnik is calling your name! And you need this beautiful sunset in your life!

McK x

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Croatian charm in Zadar – a dreamy city break

Looking for an amazing weekend city break in a not-so-well-known European destination? Well, I have your spot.

Zadar, Croatia.

Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

I cannot recommend this tiny seaside city enough. Not only is it drenched in culture, history, delicious cuisine and dreamy weather, it’s one way to explore Croatia off the beaten track. Zadar, which is Croatia’s oldest continuously inhabited city, is not too big, not too small – the perfect size for thorough exploration within three or four days.

You’ll find quaint cafes, bustling restaurants, vibrant markets, a darling marina and quite a few historical attractions. The city is home to the beautiful Zadar Cathedral and an impressive Sea Organ, where crashing waves spark musical notes.

Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

Now, on to the yummy stuff. Zadar boasts a selection of Italian-influenced dishes – from seafood linguini to pizzas and caprese. Cue the food coma. The coffee is also to die for – heaven in a cup.

Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

As far as accommodations go, you’ll find fab apartments and hotels right in the city centre – perfect for wandering its cobblestone streets. We stayed in an Airbnb – for… drum roll please… £26/night! What a steal.

Photo by McKenna

Will Zadar make your travel bucket list?

McK x

Cascais, Portugal: The land of palm trees and custard tarts

Happy Friday!

Hope you are as excited for the weekend as I am! I’m heading to the cinema this evening and then to a brewery tomorrow afternoon. Bring on delicious craft beers 🙂

Even though I’m seriously looking forward to the weekend, I’ve still been reminiscing about my recent trip to Portugal — aka my favourite citybreak so far! I’ve covered the fabulous cities Lisbon and Sintra so far on the blog, but now it’s time to focus on this little gem — the sea-side Portuguese town of Cascais. Only 30 minutes away from car or metro, this is the perfect day trip from Lisbon.

What is there to say about this darling little palm-tree lined town? For starters you have quaint streets filled with shops, cafes and bars. Every shop window seems to have something that literally triggers stars and hearts in your eyes — whether that’s a cute little leather crossbody bag or a healthy scoop of gelato.

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Clearly, I could not resist from indulging in the traditional Portuguese custard tarts. These are absolutely to die for! If you go to Portugal and do not try one (or two or three!) of these perfects little treats you might as well not have even gone! I’m serious, they’re just that delicious! Why not pair it with a little cappuccino for a caffeine boost 🙂

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Although the streets that weave in and out of Cascais are absolutely adorable, the real gem is where the sand meets the sea. We enjoyed fab views of a turquoise marina and a quiet little beach… the perfect place to perch up and get lost in your favourite book or have a picnic (if it’s not too windy!).

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Although Lisbon seems to be the star attraction in this part of Portugal, Cascais is the perfect little day trip to break up your sightseeing in the capital. I mean, just look at that view 🙂

xxx

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Sintra, Portugal: Colourful castles and sun-kissed sea

Good morning loves! Hope your morning is off to a fab start!

It’s sad the Easter weekend has come and gone, but at least spring days are on their way! Definitely something to look forward for 🙂

As you may have read in my last post, I recently went to Portugal and literally FELL. IN. LOVE. I spent most of the trip in Lisbon, but also ventured out to Sintra to see the stunning Pena Palace. Just look at those colours! It’s a short drive from Lisbon – about 30 minutes or so. A day trip well worth it!

sintra

The palace is just outside the city centre of Sintra, where you’ll find an abundance of quaint shops, cute cafes and cobblestoned streets. It’s the absolute dream 🙂

sintra cobblestones

And strolling through the town isn’t even the cherry on top. On the way back from Sintra, you will enjoy GORGEOUS views of the water — I mean it looks like an air-brushed painting! I thought I had died and gone to heaven.

sintra water

Sintra is an added bonus to travelling to Lisbon. It’s like winning the golden ticket, meeting your celebrity crush AND finding the most perfect pair of pumps all in one day!

I think it’s time for you to pack your suitcase and head to Portugal! You won’t be sorry 🙂

xxx

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Lovely Lisboa! Why you need to go right now

Hello, lovelies!

Hope you’re having a fab Saturday! Today I’m dodging this dreadful Easter weekend storm in London and staying put on my sofa. Sometimes you just need a little Netflix in your life, am I right?

I’ve finally had a chance to post gorgeous pictures of a recent trip I took. If you’re wondering where to go for your next city break… I have the answer right here: LISBON, PORTUGAL.

Not only is this city absolutely beautiful, with its rustic charm and unique mosaic tiled buildings, it has everything you need in a weekend getaway: gorgeous sunshine, restaurants to die for, beautiful architecture and the most friendly culture I have ever encountered while traveling. Even our AirBnb host left a delicious bottle of traditional Portuguese green wine in the fridge, awaiting our arrival 🙂

lisbon art

Our days were filled with sightseeing, strolling down the city’s cobblestone streets (clearly obsessed!) and experiencing gorgeous castles and palaces. And, of course, indulging in traditional Portuguese food including custard tarts, seafood rice and codfish cakes.

One HUGE advantage of Lisbon is its affordable nature — you can find a delicious glass of Sangria for only 1.50 Euros (literally I could not believe it, especially coming from London). A daily travel card, which includes metro, bus, tram and water taxi, is only 6 euros. This place is a steal 🙂 not to mention our adorable AirBnb was authentic and in a prime location (in the Alfama waterfront neighbourhood) for an incredible price. Have I convinced you yet?

lisbon view

lisbon waterfront

lisbon square

And not only were we able to explore Lisbon, we were also able to experience palaces, castles and quaint cafes in the neighbouring cities of Sintra and Cascais. Just think colourful castles, waterfront restaurants and adorable family owned shops. Posts to come on those, of course 🙂

So, what are you waiting for? It’s time for you to experience Lisbon yourself!

xxx

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Tis the festive season! Christmas markets are calling my name

Christmas joy is in the air! I made my way to Germany for the first time and discovered my new favourite tradition … browsing through quaint, festive German Christmas markets! From delicious bratwursts to warming gluhwein and handcrafted tree ornaments, Dusseldorf offered cute little stands to suit any and all tastes!

Dusseldorf Christmas markets | Photo by McKenna
Dusseldorf Christmas markets | Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna
Photo by McKenna

And when you need a quick break from shopping … we eat cake!

Nomz | Photo by McKenna
Nomz | Photo by McKenna

Then we get back to eating and shopping!

Pretzels for days | Photo by McKenna
Pretzels for days | Photo by McKenna
Altbier, three regional sausages and sauerkraut | Photo by McKenna
Altbier, three regional sausages and sauerkraut | Photo by McKenna
Handcrafted wooden Nutcrackers | Photo by McKenna
Handcrafted wooden Nutcrackers | Photo by McKenna

Now let’s talk about the beer… in Germany an empty glass simply does not exist. The second you come to the last sip of your drink, a refill hits the horizon before you can even blink an eye. It is just FANTASTIC.

Keep them coming
Keep them coming

It’s safe to say I’m in a Merry Christmas mindset now! Just call me Mrs. Claus!

Home sweet home xx
Home sweet home

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