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travel tip

malta

T

he world is filled with magical places. Yet I always end up on this rock. 😂 We met in 2013 and I have been in love ever since. In all honesty the obscene amount of sun, incredibly versatile bunch of residents and magical landscapes are hard to resist. So I figured I’d do a little overview and let you know my TOP 5 places to visit in Malta. 

1. DINGLI CLIFFS

If you are the kind of person who appreciates scenic views then Dingli cliffs is a must. 
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2. MDINA, RABAT & MOSTA

There’s history and then there is mind boggling locations that exude memories and times that make you take a step back and look at the world in a new light. Mdina (the silent city) with its colorful windows and no traffic is definitely one of these places. The same goes for Rabat that use to be the suburbs of Mdina and well one can not visit these places and leave out Mosta with it’s jaw dropping Rotunda church.

3. ST. PETERS POOL

This is a little hidden gem in Malta. You probably need a local to find it, but it’s such a perfect place for cliff jumping and sunbathing without loads of tourists.IMG_4504_2

4. VALLETTA

My beautiful Valletta 😍 There are no words to describe you. The capital of Malta is all about the vibe – hidden bridge bars, enchanting little parks and cinema nights on the streets. One can not visit Malta and not feel what this city has to offer.

5. BLUE LAGOON

Last but not least is my favorite place of all – the Blue Lagoon. Every single time I go to Malta I take a Fernandes to visit Comino and this blue beauty. It’s a full day boat trip filled with snorkeling, great food and breathtaking underwater views.
! Tourist warning. If you go to Malta during high season this place will be overcrowded.

These are just a few of the incredible places that Malta has to offer. I still haven’t had the chance to visit the island of Gozo, but I have a feeling it is in my near future. 😉

If you want to see more of Malta then check out my videos!

I love to plan when I travel… then again I don’t. It’s usually a hard balance to obtain – planning enough so you don’t miss all the important stuff, yet planning little enough for the magic to happen. Over the years I’ve perfected this skill, so stepping off the plain with a vague idea of what awaits for me in Portugal felt perfectly acceptable.
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During this magical balancing act I somehow discovered 5 beautiful things about Porto that I truly want to recommend to everyone who ever find their way there.

1. Oporto Adventure Tour

On the last day of my stay in Porto I really felt the urge to get into the nature (that’s what happens when you leave an Estonian in a city for too long 😂). I managed to get a last minute trip with Oporto Adventure Tour and man was I lucky – the group, the guides, the locations were out of this world. Words can’t describe it, so I will let pictures do the job.

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2. Ponte de D. Luis

One might find a bridge to be boring well I can assure you this one isn’t. The night time view from our Airbnbporto_ponte…and the day time view from the bridge itself were breathtaking.porto_ponte_luis

3. CATHEDRAL

Mythical cathedrals have always been one of my favorite reasons to travel Europe. The grandeur and intricacy of these buildings is overwhelmingly yet for some reason always empowering.

This beauty is located in the heart of Porto, hard to miss even if you tried 😉

4. LIVRARIA LELLO & IRMAO

For a book nerd like me this exquisite store felt like heaven. I spent hours in Livraria Lello & Irmao enjoying the atmosphere and  abundance of books but even for a non fanatic this place is a beautiful delight. I mean it is the 3rd most beautiful bookstore in the world. 😍

5. OCEAN SIDE

On the first day of my trip the weather was kind of windy and wet so I decided to do something stupid and visit a spot I knew would be even windier and wetter – the ocean side! Luckily for me, it was probably the best decision ever. The waves were huge and crashing with a force of a wrecking ball. The beach was completely abandoned and mine for the taking. It was hard not to be excited by such a site and experience, so this magic definitely belongs in my top 5.

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There you have it 5 great things to do in Porto, tested and approved by yours truly. I do hope you enjoyed this long but very picture-y kind of post.  See you soon with another one, okay? 😉

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If pictures are not enough for you, then feel free to experience the listed things in the format of a video 😊

And FYI guys I snap (snapchat: kairikilling). Here are a few moments you missed. Make sure to not miss anymore 😉

Now this is what happens when I go shopping in bookstores 😂 I totally get side tracked with awesome little bits and bobs. This time all of the items that caught my attention were travel related. Guess I’m already experiencing withdrawal symptoms after being in one place for over a month. So here is a short post about perfect gift ideas for your travel loving friends!

TRAVELERS GIFT LIST

Unique suitcase
Scratch-off city scavenger hunt
Ööloom face blanket
Any Lonely Planet book
Adventure water bottle

One might think a hostel is simply a place to crash after a full day of adventure, but…
giphyin reality a hostel can make or break your travel mojo.

During my travels I have always managed to stay in some pretty amazing places. Yet finding a great hostel isn’t an easy task at all, so I may have to say thank you to lady luck or these 3 simple rules.

CROSS-REFERENCING

The first thing I always do is go to my favorite sites (HostelWorld and TripAdvisor), find the top 5 rated places and cross-reference them between sites. The ones that overlap, are the ones I keep in my selection. And in all honesty places with less then 75-80% as a score, will be crossed off my list immediately.
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LOCATION

Once the mini-selection is established it is time to dig deep and find the perfect match. The first criteria I use is the location. It would suck if your hostel were in a dodgy area or hours away from any kind of attractions. Trust me, you don’t want to be scared to roam the streets at night. Nor do you want to stay in the middle of nowhere and have to “hike” a massive distance every single time you need/want to go to the hostel.

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This is also the time you check any other criteria’s you may have, such as price, room types and flexible booking options.

VIBE

Before you make your final decision, spend an obscene amount of time reading peoples comments. Yes, I mean it; don’t just skim through the first three reviews. Take your time and choose the comments of people who are similar to you. For example if you travel solo, read solo travelers reviews, they might have had a completely different experience then a family with two kids. This will give you an adequate idea of the vibe of the place and it will more likely suit your style.

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That’s it. These 3 little tips have helped me stay in places that have contributed to my adventures in more ways that I can say.

And last but not least here are my TOP 3 hostels in Europe so far.

1. 3 Ducks Boutique Hostel, Paris
10 minute walk from the Eiffel tower, best bar in the city and super nice rooms.
2. Wombat Nachmarket, Vienna
Great transportation connections, happening bar and beautiful interior everywhere.
3. Dreaming in Rome, Rome
The best hostel owner and loads of activities with fellow guests.

 

This summer I had a super experience traveling Europe with trains. A huge part of what made it easy and fun was using InterRail. Now, I knew nothing of this magical way of traveling and since a lot of my friends have never heard of it also, I decided to share a bit of food for thought.

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InterRail (for EU citizens) or Eurail (for non-EU citizens) is basically a company where you can purchase a train pass type of a thingy. Depending on if you are a European resident or not the passes you can purchase and the prices differ but the main benefits are the same.

3 reasons why I loved traveling with InterRail!
  1. Freedom! If you have an InterRail pass you can literally jump on almost any train at any time. Since you fill in your travel day right before you step on the train you can easily decide to postpone or expedite your travels. You can also decide to get off the train at any point and continue your travels later in the day. I mean sometimes you just have the urge to have breakfast in a small town in the Alps if you’re heading from France to Italy.
  2. Stress-free! If it is your first time traveling, then finding the right tickets and stations can be a bit stressful. But with the Rail planner app (iOS/Android) you simply type in where you are and where you want to go and it will show you all the possibilities in a super easy manner. Since you don’t have to buy a ticket you simply have to show up at the train station. I mean talk about stress-free 😉
  3. More time! I always thought that traveling by plane is quicker but during my train travel I really felt that I had more time. Just because with planes you have to get there a couple of hours earlier and they are mostly far from the city center. Whereas with trains the stations in Europe are almost always in the center and you only have to be there like 5 minutes before. I actually tried that in Milan, where 15 minutes before the train departed I decided I wanted to be on it. So I ran from a BBQ that was 10 minutes from the train station, caught a train 5 minutes before it left and I was definitely not the last one to jump on it.

Although it is comfortable, using the pass is not always wise, especially if you are doing short distances or not traveling for very long. In that case buying individual tickets may be budget friendlier. But I have to say I came across a lot of happy InterRail/Eurail travelers during my summer holiday in Europe and it was super nice to be able to change your plans just to stay and chat with someone for a bit longer.

There isn’t a train I wouldn’t take.

The first time I hear of InterRail/Eurail was through the Q&A of my all-time favorite traveler vloggers – Vagabrothers. So I will share their video also, so you can learn a bit more about traveling Europe by train.

 

…and so the adventure begins.

If your compass, heart or feet have taken the direction of Thailand, I applaud you! Many great adventures will await. Thailand in itself is extremely versatile, that is why it would be a sin to include all my favorite things in one post. So I will begin with the laid-back cultural city called Chiang Mai.

What to do in Chiang Mai

There is so much to do in this “new city” (founded in 1296, seems like a legit name). But here are the three things I would say are a must do!

EAT

Seriously eat all the food! You know, how you never know where you want to go and what you want to eat? This problem ends in Chiang Mai. The amount of good food is ridiculous. A great cheap good place to eat has to be Cooking Love and if you are all about the atmosphere then Dash! won’t let you down.

We ate too quick for photos ♥

WALK

Bring your sunglasses because the gold is blinding and bring your cash because the markets are binding! Walking around Chiang Mai is a breathtaking experience. The amount of historical temples is jaw dropping and the feeling, well let’s just say it is enlightening. When night falls the streets change and you are in the midst of crazy busy yet extremely fun markets. When you do walk around Chiang Mai make sure to find your way to the Temple of The Golden Mountain and find a night market will you 😉

FEEL

Adventure is all about feeling and experiencing new things. On the sidelines of this cultural hub you can find spectacular ventures in the nature. Going crazy in the mountains with an ATV, rafting down the beautifully insane white waters or gliding across the skyline of magical forests with a zip-line, now this is what I call great memories. If you fancy some madness in your travels then call Eric from 8Adventures, he simply made us want to miss our plane.

Well there you have it, my favorite things to do in Chiang Mai. Hope it helps you have as much fun as I did in this splendid city!

If you lack motivation to get on a plane, here is a recap of our time in Thailand 😉