Europe

A Weekend in Istanbul, Turkey

A bustling city resting on the banks of the Bosphorus, also known as the Straight of Istanbul. Forming the boundary between Europe and Asia or Asian Turkey side and the European Turkey side, this straight is the hub and center of the city. Tour boats, shipping docks, hundreds of men fishing off the bridges to catch fish, tourists taking pictures, families on the boardwalks selling chestnuts, mussels, and roasted corn, restaurants built underneath the bridges for visitors to enjoy the view. Its nothing but magical and exciting to see.

The various types of architecture throughout the city has something everyone will love, from the beautiful old buildings and mosques from the Byzantine Empire era to the more ornate, grandiose palaces which housed Sultans and royal families. Additionally, the Turkish people were so welcoming and hospitable, it made our stay that much better.



The weekend was filled with site-seeing, wandering around the new and old town in addition to tasting an absurd amount of Turkish delights and mixed kebab plates. On our first day, we took to the streets wandering from the new part of town, Taksim Square, through the winding and bustling streets across the Bosphorus to the Old Town. Stopping along the way to admire all of the handcrafted lights, tiling, handwoven scarves, Turkish towels, artwork and of course all the baklava and treats, I was overwhelmed with the beauty and energy Istanbul had to offer. We finally managed to make our way over the river on the Galata Bridge after stopping to watch a mid-day prayer at a local mosque while the somewhat eerie, but beautiful prayer call played throughout the city. We were finally off to explore the major attractions. The (Sultan...) Blue Mosque, Hagia Sofia and Topkapi Palace. Words can’t explain the overwhelming beauty and detail that each of these places exhibited. They all were so magical. Having visited countless amounts of ornate churches throughout Europe, it was incredible to finally experience first hand what a practicing mosque looked and felt like. Shoes off, cover your head, women in one area and men in another. Although we weren’t allowed to enter the Blue Mosque while prayer was taking place, we visited another, much smaller and less popular Mosque where we were able to enter while prayer was taking place. It was a memorable experience to say the least.



Lastly, we visited the both the Basilica Cistern, Ortakoy Mosque, The Grand Bizarre and the Dolmabahçe Palace. Used during the Ottoman Empire, this palace was nothing short of immaculate. Breathtaking is an understatement. Each room had its purpose. Prayer room, musical room, tea room, sitting room, you name it, there is a room dedicated for it. But the showstopper was the Grand Ballroom. Reaching 35 meters high, this room absolutely took my breath away. Crystal chandeliers in every corner and a hand painted dome with gold plated work as far as the eye could see. I could have stayed in this room for hours. Truly something build for a “king”…or Sultan.

A quick weekend in Istanbul can be done, but is definitely not enough time to fully experience all of the amazing things Turkey and it’s people have to offer. It’s energy during the day only is amplified into the evening. Make sure to visit the Taksim Square at night. Street vendors selling chestnuts, muscles, musicians playing on the streets, smells of shisha in the air, people shopping and buying Baklava at 1 am, it’s an incredible site to see. Venture down one one of the side streets and another world of restaurants and bars appear. Be prepared to stopped at every place and asked to eat at their restaurant. Every place we tried had the most incredible Turkish food. You definitely can’t go wrong eating a unknown local spot.

Se apaixona por Portugal | "Falling in love with Portugal"

Se apaixona por Portugal or falling in love with Portugal would be an understatement. I just returned back to Prague from my Spring holidays traveling throughout Portugal and when the time came to go, it was a very hard to say goodbye. There are only incredible things to say about Portugal, along with everything and everyone in it. 

Arriving late in the evening, I was able to see Lisbon at night. Lively, sexy, dimly lit beautiful alleys and cobblestone for as far as the eye could see. I could only imagine how beautiful this city was with the sun shining. Waking up the next morning, I walked out on to the terrace at our hostel and was greeted with the most breath-taking view. Bright orange rooftops crammed next to one another and a beautiful cloudless blue sky. 

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As with most of my travels, I tend to not have any solid plans that I need to abide by or fulfill. Most often I love to get an early start and simply wander throughout town, the streets and enjoy getting lost. In Lisbon, this was the perfect place to wander. Around each corner were the most beautifully tiled and decorated houses, streets and buildings. The embellishments on the exteriors of the buildings changed constantly and kept your eyes staring at the beautiful patterns. It is a photographers dream. I'm pretty sure I stopped to take pictures every other building I walked by. In addition to the beautiful tiles that Portugal is known for, the street art in Lisbon is incredible as well. It filled the alleys and stairways and was amazing to see how much detail and effort is put into this. 

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Markets

 

 

Markets: Time Out: 

If you consider yourself a "foodie," or simply just love good food, eating and socializing, Time Out market is one of the best places to go in all of Lisbon. Opened in 2014, Time Out market has a concept of a market feel, while having high-end restaurants and shops within it. 24 restaurants to choose from all with various cuisines and incredible chefs, 8 bars and a farmers market. Also, absolutely do not miss getting an "egg tart" from the incredible Manteigaria in the market.

Market: LX Factory

Another incredible area to check out when in Lisbon is the LX Factory. With over 200 business ranging from Cafes, restaurants, design houses, show rooms, clothing stores, bars, it has everything to offer. LX Factory offers amazing culture and design to look at. While there, make sure you stop at Mez Cais LX. This quirky, yet incredibly lively restaurant is the place to get amazing margaritas, listen to good music and eat good food (do not miss out on the avocado mousse)! It has a great vibe and both times I went there (yes I went twice in 7 days), every table was full.  

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Porto

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After spending our first days in Lisbon, my friend and I took the train to the city of Porto. As being the birthplace of Port wine, I knew I was going to be in heaven. Give me all the red and white port wine, please! Porto was a lovely, very walkable city. Small and incredibly charming. Incredibly friendly and warm people. I can't say enough amazing things about this town. Since we visited during the winter season, it was raining most of the time we were there. I would highly recommend visiting in Spring/Summer. 

First things first, we checked into our adorable Airbnb and scoped out the best places to brunch, grab wine and to eat good food. We walked around town and stopped by the infamous library, Livraria Lello. Although being overly congested with people, the library itself was charming. It felt like stepping into a Harry Potter novel, with the beautiful hanging staircase and old, worn wooden shelves. There is an entrance fee of around $11-12. 

We then braved the wind and rain and wandered throughout the streets, looking at the architecture and made sure to stop and do a port wine tasting. Also, make sure you try the local and famous dish of Porto, Franceschini. This sandwich is filled with various meat, and covered with melted cheese in a hot tomato and beer sauce.  Yum, right? It was actually incredible.

After exploring both Porto and Lisbon, I can truly say that Portugal has been one of my favorite places I've been to. If you are planning a trip there, see all of my recommendations for places to eat and cafes to stop by below. 

Places to be obsessed with: Lisbon

Cafe: Organic Cafe Estoril - Rua da Misericórdia 139
Cafe: Bowl Lisboa
Cafe: Royal Cafe (incredible veggie burger) 
Restaurant: A Cevicheria** (has 1 michelin star) - absolutely do not miss going to this place. It doesn't take reservations, but has the best fresh ceviche I've ever tried and the vibe is incredible. 
Restaurant: Costa Do Castelo
Drinks/Food: Mez Cais or Mez Cais LX (Mez Cais LX is located in an incredibly cool and trendy area call the LX Factory). 
Drinks: Fox Trot
Drinks: Park Bar or Topo

Places to be obsessed with: Porto
Drinks: Candelabro 
Restaurant: Cruel
Cafe: Zenith cafe (great vibe and amazing food) 
Cafe: Progresso

Hope you've enjoyed this post! If so, share it with others and make sure to follow my adventures @tripleoblog on Instagram. Cheers! 

Views of Vienna

Hallo! 

I am so excited to share all about my quick getaway to Vienna the other weekend. After a wild and nonstop weekend in Amsterdam, it was time to slow it down a bit and check out all of the breathtaking views of Vienna. 

Only being a four hour train ride away from Vienna, Austria, this seemed like the perfect place to getaway to for a quick weekend trip. Furthermore, since it is is peak Fall season, I knew Vienna wouldn't lack in beautiful fall colors, as the town is filled with parks, trees and areas to walk around and take in the nature. 

Vienna definitely blew me away. I hadn't anticipated the incredible amount of diversity in things to do. While there, I visited the Naschmarkt filled with vendors offering a taste of their most delicious delicacies. Falafel's, baklava, candied nuts, dried fruits, turkish candies and more. The market also had a variety of restaurants to sit down at and enjoy the crisp fall air, with of course a blanket and heating lamp provided. 

We visited the most famous Schönbrunn Palace, and made our way through the winding pathways throughout the perfectly manicured archways of trees. The gardens of the Schönbrunn Palace were magical. Spanning as far as the eye could see, the variety and types of flowers seemed to never end. 

As we continued our walking day tour around the city, we realized one of the best parts about Vienna, is that everything is located so close to each other and incredibly easy to get to by foot. Not once, did we take the metro or public transportation. This also allowed us to stumble upon narrow alley ways and admire all of beautiful and traditional Viennese architecture.  

Lastly, we visited the National Gallery and also the incredible city hall of Vienna, known as the Rathaus. This is definitely not like any city hall I've seen before. The city hall where I am from, has two rooms and a front door. Walking up to the plaza towards the Rathaus, I was mesmerized by the gothic architecture and beautiful red flowers adorning the windows. 

Overall, Vienna was a total blast and there are so many different things to do, whether you're into museums, architecture, cafes, good food, shopping, Vienna has it all. There isn't a lack of beauty or things to do in this city. Check out a few of my recommendations below for your next visit!  

Must visit restaurant: Motto & Kussmaul 

Must visit place: Naschmarkt

Must visit cafe: 

Must Visit Museum: Leopold Museum 

Schönbrunn Palace 

Schönbrunn Palace 

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Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace 

Gardens of Schönbrunn Palace 

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Burgring Cafe 

Burgring Cafe 

Burgring Cafe

Burgring Cafe

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Adventures in Amsterdam

Wow, after being in Prague for nearly 3 months now, I couldn't imagine a more incredible first weekend traveling, than my time spent in Amsterdam the other week with my girlfriend. I can't even begin to count how many times I've thought of going to Amsterdam and decided against it, thinking it was too touristy and overcrowded. I am so excited to share with you all of the incredible places we went to, but I don’t even know where to begin. There were so many places I had on my list to check out and not enough time, so we made sure we hit up the cutest neighborhoods, cafes and places to grab dinner and cocktails.  


When arriving in Amsterdam I was completely overwhelmed with the charm and accessibility of the city. Not once, did we take public transportation as most places are easy to get to and stumbling upon hidden alleyways, graffiti painted walls, local shops and the endless canals throughout the city were some of my favorite times while in Amsterdam.

I still can’t describe to you how much I fell in love with Amsterdam after visiting and the best part is that we barely did any of the “touristy things,” that most people come to do. Having no agenda and getting lost within the city made for the most enjoyable times.

Although my major recommendation to anyone visiting, would be to first just wander and explore the streets and canals, I of course have some incredible places you must check out as well.

Shown below: 

Must Visit Café: Lavinia Good Food Café

Must Visit Café: Café Georgette

Must visit restaurant: Bull & Dogs

Must visit place: Pulitzer Hotel

Must visit restaurant/bar: Palladium (mainly for drinks) (not pictured)

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Must Visit Café: Café Georgette

Recently opened this cafe, is light, bright and incredibly well decorated. Their healthy and incredibly creative food options are endless and beautifully done. We both ordered avocado toasts, one being pomegranate, feta and avocado and the other with arugula, prawns and a soft-boiled egg. YUM! Oh and of course, I needed to test out their acai bowl. Pretty much in love.

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Must Visit Café: Lavinia Good Food Café

So, I have to be honest, this place was so good, we went back for a second time. The food is so fresh, healthy and there are a ton of veg/vegan options, it is the perfect place for everyone. Additionally, the endless options of fresh juices, nut mylks, dairy free options and the turmeric golden latte, had me swooning. I ordered their breakfast truffle, egg and tomato flatbread and can pretty much say it was one of the best things I've ever tried. Clearly this is a must stop when visiting Amsterdam. Oh...and its incredibly cute inside. Perfect for taking photos. ;) 

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Must visit restaurant: Bull & Dogs

This place...I literally have no words. It was heaven. Look at this milkshake. After coming across this place while doing our research, we knew we NEEDED to stop and check out Bull & Dog's incredibly creative and artistic milkshakes and hot dogs. Interesting combination, but it works. My friend Catie & I decided to go with the Big Banana Bash surrounded with peanut butter and chocolate mixed somewhere in there. Needless to say, it was gone within a matter of minutes as well as the Bourbon Bacon Dog we ordered too. This is definitely a must on my list of places to check out. 

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Must visit place: Pulitzer Hotel

If you are looking for a perfect place to grab a cocktail or glass of wine with incredible decor, this is the place. Located centrally in the Nine Streets neighborhood its incredibly convenient to get to. Make sure to check out the incredible gardens

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I can't wait until you experience all of the wonders this adorable town has to offer. Comment below if you visit and have anymore tips for future travelers. 

Cheers!! Make sure to follow my adventures on Instagram @tripleoblog