brazil, culture, history, lisbon, photography, portugal, Rio de Janeiro

An Unusual Story about Rio de Janeiro

My interest in Brazilian culture started at a very young age, which led me to listen to a lot of Brazilian music, watch Brazilian movies and TV Series like “A Coisa Mais Linda” or read Clarice Lispector and Hilda Hilst. Then, after living and studying in Portugal for more than a year and making a lot of Brazilian friends, I thought I already knew quite a lot about one of my most favourite countries.
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As you can see from my previous blog post about Rio de Janeiro, my childhood dream of visiting Brazil finally came true in 2018, when I flew from Lisbon to Rio and discovered the highly anticipated Brazilian city like a local. I realized that I still had a lot to learn about Brazil when during one simple Metro ride a local girl asked me “but did you know once we also were “officially” European?” I smiled without really understanding what she was talking about when she added: “Rio is the only non-European city in the world that has been the capital of a European country. Can you guess which one?”
My confusion mixed with curiosity made me say “Portugal?” but within seconds I started questioning the reality of my own guess, because I have been studying Portuguese language and culture for quite a while already, and no one has ever mentioned Rio being the capital of Portugal.
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After a small, nice and very informative talk in the safest transport of Rio de Janeiro, I decided to do a little research about Rio once being a European capital city.
That is how I found out that everything the Brazilian lady told me was right!
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In the 19th century following the conquest of Portugal by Napoleon, the Portuguese Royal Family fled to Brazil and established the capital of Portugal in Rio de Janeiro for thirteen years. You can see a full article and more detailed information here.

Who would’ve guessed, right?!

Make sure to share the most unknown fun-facts about your favourite travel destinations with me on Instagram and don’t forget to show me some love!
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Austria, Bar, breakfast, brunch, cocktails, food, Hotels, photography, travel, Trips & Other Stories, Uncategorized, vegan, Vegetarian, Vienna

25 Hours in Vienna

In 2019 Vienna was named as the most livable city in the world for the 10th year in a row by the Mercer Quality of Living Survey. So this August, while visiting Prague, I decided to go on a weekend trip to Vienna and to revisit one of my most favourite places in Europe.
One of the main reasons why I always wanted to go back to Vienna since 2015 (when I first visited Austria) was a bit more than just famous museums or outstanding architecture. More and more travellers like me are seeking more of a sustainable approach when it comes to travelling. So if a conscious holiday sounds right for you, then Vienna is definitely a place to be. Starting with an enormous amount of green areas in the city, a lot of vintage stores and sustainable fashion designers, the city is also very pedestrian and cycling friendly.
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Now let’s talk about the city itself and where to stay there in order to make the best out of your vacation. To be honest, I spent way more than 25 hours in Vienna (around 72 to be exact) but soon you will realize why I decided to name this very blog post “25 Hours in Vienna”.image2 (3)

25 Hours Hotel in Vienna (Museums Quarter)

I mean, be prepared to have an architectural WOW factor in Vienna, especially the old town is full of amazing buildings. Absolutely every facade is a solid architectural masterpiece. And yes, this architecture is extremely beautiful and all, but sometimes… all you need is something just a bit quirkier than your standard hotel. So that’s exactly why I decided to spend my weekend in 25 Hours Hotel in Vienna.
Located right in the heart of the Museums Quarter (MQ), 25 Hours will be not only your favourite hotel but your favourite hang out place in the city. Their open bar has one of the best drinks, music, and sunsets in Vienna. I think nothing shows the true spirit of the Viennese life more than this crazy hotel: creative, artistic, fun, vintage & different. Their sustainable approach to the zero-waste and eco-friendly environment is one out of many other reasons why I will definitely go back there!
The hotel features a circus theme and the illustrations in the rooms are made by a Berlin-based artist Olaf Hajek. And the outstanding interior design is made by Dreimeta.
In order to make your trip even healthier, you can attend the Yoga sessions that 25 Hours Hotel offers three times a week, or simply relax in the spa area with a steam bath and sauna!

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25 Hours Hotel in the Museum Quarter, Vienna

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View from 25 Hours Hotel Terrace

My favourite thing about mornings at 25 Hours Hotel was breakfast. As a vegetarian, sometimes I struggle to find the right nutrition on some hotel breakfast buffet because most of the hotels go for meat-based dishes. But not at 25 Hours! Just like their logo says “come as you are” they really are aware of the diversity of their visitors and this place makes sure everyone will feel equally welcome here.

After a decent breakfast, you also have a lot to discover in the Museum Quarter by itself: two of the most important museums MUMOK and LEOPOLD are located there, where they also run temporary exclusive exhibitions from all over the world.

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If you happen to visit the Austrian capital in August like me, be prepared for the heat. But once again, Vienna is a place with a lot of options. You can either join the locals on a hot sunny day and get refreshed at the Danube Island, or chill out in one of the many parks that Vienna has to offer. My favourite park in the city center is Stadtpark, which is very close to the old town. You can also visit Burggarten or Sigmund Freud park in front of the Votivkirche. And if you want to go to a more peaceful place head to Prater, or visit my all-time favourite park Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark on the 18th district.

And if you are a museum person and want to see the most iconic Kiss in the world, you should definitely check out the Belvedere Museum. The palace was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for the Prince Eugene of Savoy (what a lucky guy, don’t you think?).
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For your historical Viennese coffee and Sachertorte experience head over to Demel, a famous pastry and chocolate shop founded in 1786 that once served the Royal court. After Demel, you can have a luxurious shopping experience at the Golden Quarter. BUT if you trust me and go for more eco-friendly shopping, you will have a lot of options in Vienna! Places such asGreenground andZerum offer modern fashion made from organic materials. You can find super trendy vegan bags all from recycled polyester and more.

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Graben, Vienna

The food scene in Vienna deserves a completely separate post because, with a lot of Austrian traditional cuisine, this city is also one of the most vegetarian & vegan-friendly places I have ever been to. You have an enormous amount of options to try the most delicious vegan and vegetarian food from all over the world. And here’s a special shout out to Café Mendez for finally satisfying my cravings for the Mexican food with the most delicious vegetarian burger!

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Cafe Mendez, Karlsplatz, Vienna

Make sure to follow me on Instagram for the latest updates and be the first one who will hear the news from me! 

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brunch, Czech Republic, food, Hotel, photography, Prague, stories, travel, trip, Trips & Other Stories, Uncategorized

Where to Stay in Prague

It is no wonder Prague has become one of the most popular destinations in Europe during the last couple of years. A city where you can enjoy beautiful architecture, delicious food, one of the best beers and most importantly – cheap prices even during the most touristic season; July-August.

Prague’s beauty comes from that it wasn’t severely damaged during World War II. Therefore many of its historic buildings still remain intact today. Its buildings were also relatively untouched during the 17th and 18th century, which nowadays make Prague one of the most breathtaking cities with an unusual mix of Baroque, Gothic and Renaissance architecture that is hard to find anywhere else in the world.

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View from the Astronomical Tower in Prague

Here is where to stay in Prague in order to make the best out of your trip without breaking your bank!

1) Residence U Černého Orla
Located right in the heart of Prague’s old town, just 100 meters away from the historic Charles Bridge, Residence U Černého Orla is set in an elegant Baroque house. If you are looking for a vintage styled, centrally-located and budget-friendly hotel, you should definitely check out Residence U Černého Orla.
One of the best things about the hotel is the breakfast, which is served every morning during the weekdays from 7 – 11 a.m. and during the weekend from 8 – 11 a.m. at the Residence U Černého Orla Restaurant. It includes not only Czech but also international cuisine. You can have a fresh start of the day with a French or English breakfast alongside a lot of other options in their menu.
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The comfort about Residence U Černého Orla is that you can basically walk to anywhere in Prague’s old town and discover every little street by foot.
The iconic John Lenon Wall is just a two-minute walk from the hotel.
Also, if you’ll take my advice, leave your windows a bit open while you sleep, trust me, you will wake up to the most delicious Czech Chimney Cake smell, which is every dessert lover’s dream to find.

 

Another good thing about the hotel is that every day from 3 – 5 p.m. you can enjoy free snacks like fruit, club sandwiches and cookies.

If you need any help or advice from their friendly staff working there regarding entertainment in Prague, they will help you out at any time by arranging tickets to theatre performances and more.

 

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2) MeetMe 23
Another budget-friendly and super modern option you have while staying in Prague is MeetMe23. Located right in front of the Central Station and around 400 meters away from the National Museum of Prague, Meetme23 will give you a really comfortable vacation experience, with 24 hours reception desk. They even have a fun game called Escape-Game, which is your chance to win free drinks in the hotel’s restaurant.
Breakfast is served every morning from 7 – 10 a.m.
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You will also meet those cute blue figures at MeetMe23, where you will be able to create your own little figure right next to the reception desk, which will be a nice memory from your Czech trip.
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Now that you have an idea about where to stay in Prague, let me tell you about the Vegan-friendly places in the city. Because, as a pescatarian who is on her way to be vegan, it can be tricky for me to find good food on the go. While I love vegetarian food and am always ready to try something new, it’s next to impossible to find a meat-free dish in some areas.
If you’re a pescatarian, vegetarian, or vegan, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.
As locals told me if you went to Prague ten years ago and said you were vegetarian, you might get a few raised eyebrows.
But thankfully things have totally changed since then. Places like Vegan’s Prague, Beas Vegetarian Dhaba, or Veget Bistro Café will blow your mind away with their super delicious Vegetarian and Vegan cuisine.

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Vegan Sushi in Prague

Stay tuned for my amazing weekend trip I took to Vienna while visiting Prague. Coming your way super soon!

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Astronomical Clock in Prague

Meanwhile, you can follow my journey on Instagram. Make sure to share your travel stories with me!

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Stockholm, Sweden, Trips & Other Stories

Let’s Go Somewhere: Stockholm

In the second edition of the series “Let’s Go Somewhere” you will get to know the highlight of my Scandinavian trip AKA Stockholm from my perspective.

No wonder why I fell in love with the Swedish culture at a very young age when I was raised up reading Astrid Lindgren’s books or watching Ingmar Bergman‘s iconic movies. Always being curious about a Scandinavian culture I was rather excited to visit Sweden for the very first time in my life.

I won’t waste your (or my) time speaking about Stockholm on a geographical level and the number of islands the city covers, or all of the other things that you can easily Google. I’d rather share my personal experience about why I fell in love with Stockholm:

THE  SCANDINAVIAN  SUMMER
Even though I booked my trip to Sweden from Lisbon (where summer starts in early April and lasts ’till November) I still think Scandinavian summer is the most beautiful thing one can witness and experience. Visiting Stockholm in mid-June I was lucky enough to attend their cultural “Midsummer” celebration and to enjoy the sunny weather for almost 20H a day.

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Stockholm, Sweden


Cafés
As a person who enjoys a decent breakfast and tries to spend as much time in coffee shops as possible, Stockholm was my personal paradise. Who wouldn’t fall in love with the retro 1920’s style Café like Vete-Katten  where they serve one of the best coffees with a lot of dessert options like their iconic Carrot Cake or Cinnamon Buns.

Another highlight of my food experience was STHLM BRUNCH CLUB, where they have one of the best brunch menus alongside the coolest Scandinavian interior design and very friendly staff. They also have Vegan & Gluten-free options. To start your day with the Chia + Mango Bowl menu with a PINK fresh juice (a mixture of Strawberry, apple, ginger and mint) is a great way to stay healthy and energized. And you should definitely check out their MOCKTAILS (my favourite was BRUNCH CLUB’S MIMOSA) and Milkshakes or as they’d call them –  FREAKSHAKES like Donutella, Death by Chocolate (which sounds like a perfect way to die) and a Cookie Monster.

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Dalagatan 24, 113 24 Stockholm, Sweden

If you’re aware of the most Swedish thing FIKA – a coffee break that usually consists of coffee or tea and something sweet like cookies or Cinnamon buns is an important part of the national culture. You can Fika (it’s a verb and a noun as well) with your friends and even on your first date, you should definitely check out Bröd & Salt and get in touch with the local culture.
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After these fancy coffee shops mentioned above, I already knew that Stockholm was exactly my place to be. But then I came across one place called “Breakfast & Wine” and as a Georgian, I could not think of a better combination of my daily food must-haves. So I decided to give this place a try and guess what? It ended up in my “go-to” breakfast/brunch places in Stockholm.

And lastly, a bit of sad story as you won’t be able to check this place out since it closed its doors forever on December 22nd, 2018 SNICKARBACKEN7 was a really nice place to discover by myself in Stockholm. With the typical Swedish eco-friendly interior and one of the best coffees ever, SNICKARBACKEN7 was also popular with the local people. But GOOD NEWS: for you to have a bit of idea how cool this place was, you can still visit and enjoy their other Cafés like Kaffeverket, Gastcafe or Kavallerietcafe.

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Snickarbacken 7, 111 39 Stockholm, Sweden

FOTOGRAFISKA
I am not even a museum person, but as a photography geek, Fotografiska is one of my favourite museums all around the world. It is one of the world’s largest meeting point for contemporary photography and on the top floor, you also have a restaurant which recently won the prestigious Gold Dragon Award and is run by the well-known chef Paul Svensson.


NIGHTLIFE
Stockholm has one of the best options with trendsetting new eco-architecture and a diverse nightlife scene ranging from live jazz clubs like Fasching to some exotic cocktail bars like Tiki Room. And of course, if you happen to visit Stockholm somewhere from May ’till September you should check out Trädgården – an open-air club which has the authentic festival vibe. While walking around Stockholm on a Friday night you will end up having a lot of new, delicious cocktails & dreams.


To sum up my trip to Sweden I would definitely use the most Swedish word “Lagom” which means just “Right” or “just about enough, but not too much“. The word perfectly describes the Swedish cultural and social ideals of equality and fairness. Maybe that’s why I fell in love with Sweden so much, or maybe the Skarsgård brothers were another good reason.

Don’t forget to follow me on Instagram and be the first to check what’s coming up next!

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