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Welcome to the first series of blog posts dedicated to the best hotels I visit during my city adventures. I name this series “Urban Hotels” and I’m happy to start from one of the biggest urban centres in the world, Beijing, the capital of China. Among many hotels, The Opposite House stands out with its unique luxurious boutique style. I stayed there for 3 nights during my transit in Beijing en route to North Korea.
Visiting North Korea is definitely my highlight this year in travel so far. I booked my trip 6 months before the tour and I had so many days waiting impatiently until the day I arrive to Pyongyang. How did I end up there? There was a lot of preparation behind it because the country is quite secretive and visits to the hermit kingdom are rare. Here are things to know on how to visit the DPRK.(more…)
Bethlehem is known around the world, and for centuries, as an important Christian centre. It hosts the Church of the Nativity which is believed to be the birthplace of Jesus, thus, making Bethlehem a sacred city for Christians. I travelled to Bethlehem from Jerusalem to spend quite a nice time in the city that ending with a tasty Palestinian lunch and a meeting with an ex-mayor of the city who is a Christian Palestinian woman.
Eleven cities in the biggest country in the world will host the 2018 FIFA World Cup. Russia is known for its rich culture, artistic charm and astonishing diversity. Therefore, every host city is distinct from the other with a typical touch and will certainly offer an experience to remember for fans around the world! Here are some highlights from every 2018 World Cup host city in Russia.
Having travelled to many cities in the Middle East, Tel Aviv was left on my bucket list. I wanted to visit for so many reasons but the timing was finally right. It’s a fun city, full of young people and full of great things to do, for the most time, free. In reality, it feels like a bubble inside Israel. It is very detached of the reality of the conflict and detached from the country’s neo-fascist politicians. Instead, Tel Aviv is where people mix and where everybody feels welcome.
Europe is the smallest continent but it is very diverse and is full of things to do. For a first visit in Europe, new travellers are overwhelmed with the vast choice of great destinations available within a small land. To be honest, the 10 essential cities to visit for first-timers are actually the most touristy and also a must-see, why else would they be so full of tourists? On this list, I will share with you some classics and my tips for a perfect debut in Europe!
The “Beast from the East”, that’s what the media calls this unusual week of cold weather in Europe. Yesterday, it snowed a little bit in London while I was at work. I got super excited and right after work, I went on a little walk around Wapping, where I live. It rarely ever snows in London, so it was a special day. I went to bed but on my surprise the next morning, the first snow showers didn’t melt yet. Instead, it tripled in volume! It was a lovely sunny morning with fresh snow all over the place. I was in heaven because I love snow very much! So I decided to walk to work instead of taking public transport. I managed to capture an exceptional view of frozen London! read more…
Getting a visa is a headache… as a traveller, I have no choice but submit to that long and annoying bureaucracy! As a Moroccan passport holder, I need a Schengen visa even though I live in the UK (because the UK is not a Schengen state!). I had few experiences with visas but lastly, I got two years visa with the French Consulate. Here are the steps to take for applying for a Schengen visa and some of my trips from my personal experience. read more…
Vienna is famous for its yearly ball season taking place in January and February. These balls are usually associated with elitist and celebrity exclusive events but it’s not true! Around 400 balls take place in the Austrian capital during the season following Ash Wednesday, so plenty of choice for all budgets. All you need is to dress elegant and a ticket – most balls are tourist friendly. Plus, you can have a great time even on a smaller budget. I had a memorable night at a typical Viennese ball, so here are more details on how I enjoyed it perfectly.
23,578 gemstones are stored inside it but when you are walking by the City of London, all you notice are skyscrapers nowadays. Most are business offices for the biggest banks, professional services and law firms. But amongst them, there is a historic fortress, a royal palace and a prison, all known now as the Tower of London. I had the opportunity to make my first visit there recently and see world-famous Crown Jewels of the British Monarchy. read more…