How to Buy Tickets to the Tower of Belém in Lisbon

Welcome to the port of Lisbon! The first thing that arriving ships will see is the magnificent Tower of Belém.

This 35 meter high tower was built in 1521 to greet and welcome all visitors to Lisbon. As a world leading naval power at the time, Portugal wanted to make a statement with this grandiose structure.

And what a statement it is! The Tower of Belém is truly a sight to behold.

The gardens in front of the tower invite you to take a stroll, and from the 35-meter-high observation deck you can look far out over the sea. Besides, inside the tower you will find the first representation of a rhinoceros made by a European artist.

A visit to this historic site is only possible until 5:30 pm. By the way, this is the case with many Lisbon sights.

So be sure to plan your Lisbon itinerary accordingly.

Buy the ticket for Torre de Belém here, so that you don’t need to stand and wait in the line.

This ticket gives you access to Belém Tower, the Governor’s and King’s Chambers, chapel, lower and upper batteries, plus unbeatable views of the Tagus river.

You’ll get the ticket on your smartphone so that you only need to show it at the entrance or choose a printed version.

Opening times for the Belém Tower

Monday: Closed
Tuesday: 09:30 – 18:00
Wednesday: 09:30 – 18:00
Thursday: 09:30 – 18:00
Friday: 09:30 – 18:00
Saturday: 09:30 – 18:00
Sunday: 09:30 – 18:00
Last admission: 30 minutes before closing

Extra tip about getting Belém tower tickets:

If you want to see the Tower Belém and more sights, then save stress and money with the popular Lisboa Card. You can choose between 24, 48 or 72 hours, and you can use public transportation as much as you want!

That includes the famous wooden tram ride 28, the elevadores like “Santa Justa elevator” and even a free train ride to Sintra and Cascais.

It includes free admission to top attractions, and further sweet discounts.

Check out our guide on how to get around Lisbon.

Background of the Tower of Belém

The Tower of Belém was commissioned by King Manuel I as a defense against enemy ships. The fortress, which still stands today, is built in the Manueline style – a unique late Gothic architecture found only in Portugal. Construction of the tower replaced an existing ship that patrolled the area to protect Lisbon’s port entrance.

Across from the tower on the other side of river Tagus, there was once another tower so that any incoming enemy ships could be caught in a crossfire. However, this second tower has not stood since 1755 when a devastating earthquake struck Lisbon. Originally, Torre de Belém sat on a small island off the right bank of the Tagus River, but over time land has risen, and now it can be reached via a small bridge. Interestingly enough, Torre de Belém is one of few structures that survived the Great Lisbon Earthquake of 1755.

Prison, customs station and monument

The tower was converted into a prison and customs station after Lisbon was occupied by Spanish troops in 1580. In the 1840s, the Torre de Belém was restored. Today, the tower is a UNESCO World Heritage Site along with the nearby Mosteiro dos Jerónimos. The southern facade is richly decorated with royal symbols and typical architectural elements of the 16th century. The best way to view the southern facade is from the terrace of the bulwark.

Visiting the Tower of Belém is one of the not to miss experiences in Lisbon.

Interior: Armory and King’s Hall

The foundation of the structure was a bulwark, used to store food and weapons. There are embrasures here too. The tower itself has four floors- on the second floor is the room of the governor, and above that is the king’s hall (which has an ornate loggia with arches and holes in its floor so that those inside could fire). On fourth floor there is a chapel. The highlight of visiting this tower: at its very top is an observation deck 35 meters high from which you can see all of Belém, Lisbon, and even Tagus River.

If you’re looking to visit one of the most important sights in Lisbon, be sure to put Tower Belém at the top of your list. And if you’re wondering how to buy tickets to the tower, we’ve got you covered.

Just head to our Tiqets website and purchase your tickets there. Easy as that!

And if you want to see more sights and use the public transport, choose the Lisboa Card, to get a great value for your trip.

And here is a detailed guide for the best sights and hidden gems in Lisbon

A guide to Solo Travel in Ireland

Are you planning a solo trip to Ireland? If so, why not consider Ireland? The island is brimming with Irish treasures around every corner, with beautiful locations to escape for a long weekend away.

If you’re looking to solo travel in Ireland and have a good time, then you’ll be glad to know that there are plenty of ways to stay safe while enjoying yourself.

And keep in mind, if you search for negative testimonials on the internet, you will find them. Ireland is a safe destination to visit.

Unfortunately, the problem with these searches for “solo travel experiences” on the internet is that an above-average number of people only speak up when they have had negative experiences.

Let’s start with a few general solo travel tips:

  • Avoid walking alone at night in unfamiliar areas. If possible, travel with someone else or in a group.
  • Be aware of your surroundings and who is around you at all times. Trust your instincts – if something feels off, it probably is.
  • Don’t accept drinks from strangers or leave your drink unattended. Drink spiking can happen anywhere, so it’s important to be cautious, even if you’re just having fun at the local pub.

Basically, your safety while in Ireland depends on what you want to do. The danger of assault by others is significantly higher in the city than it is in the countryside, as is to be expected.

The way of getting around in Ireland when traveling solo

The way you travel around Ireland can have a big impact on potential dangers. If you would like to do a lot of hiking, see the most beautiful places and be flexible, public transport is not an option anyway.

Hitchhiking can have its own appeal (not only financially), but of course, the chances of getting into an unpleasant or dangerous situation are especially high. Aside from the safety risk, Ireland and Scotland are great for hitchhiking, by the way.

The best way to travel in Ireland is definitely to rent your own car. Not only because there are no passengers (at least as long as you don’t want to), but also because you avoid waiting at bus stops and train stations.

Hiking solo in Ireland

On hikes in Ireland, you often don’t meet many people. The ones you do meet usually exchange a few pleasant words and then carry on with their journey. You frequently come across local farmers, who often tell you some information about the area or give you advice for the route.

Otherwise, the basic rules and potential dangers of hiking alone still apply. These are more likely to be due to sudden changes in weather, inappropriate clothing or lack of navigation skills.

Hiking by yourself can be a great way to get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.

However, there are a few things you should keep in mind before hitting the trail solo. First, make sure you are well-prepared with plenty of food and water, appropriate clothing for the weather conditions, and a map or GPS device. Secondly, pay attention to your surroundings and know where you are going so that you don’t get lost. Finally, trust your instincts; if something doesn’t feel right, turn back or find another route. By following these simple tips, you can ensure a safe and enjoyable experience when hiking alone.

The most significant hazard in this area is probably that your vehicle could be broken into at the parking lot. You can read corresponding warnings occasionally at hiking parking lots. If possible, take your valuables with you on the hike (cell phone, wallet, camera, etc.) and leave pseudo-hiding places such as the glove compartment open so that potential thieves can see immediately that there is nothing to take.

Here, we’ve rounded up the most beautiful places for your upcoming visit.

Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher are situated alongside the Atlantic Ocean on the west coast of Ireland. The cliffs tower approximately 702 ft above the water, spanning almost nine miles along the County Clare coast. Here, you can capture stunning views of Galway Bay with Doolin Cliff Walk, only a few miles away.

The cliffs are one of the country’s most visited sites and a true natural wonder, so be prepared for some crowds. If you want to catch the sunset, stop by during the evening when the numbers drop for mesmerizing views.

You can get to the cliffs by starting at Doolin and walking 8 km towards the Visitor Center. A small access fee is required.

The Dingle Peninsula

The Dingle Peninsula is one of Ireland’s biggest treasures with its quaint, secluded feel. This west Kerry fishing town lies in the heart of the Gaelic-speaking region in County Kerry, which is also a tourist hotspot for cliff jumping with its Caribbean-like waters.

The Dingle Peninsula offers one of the most scenic drives for travellers, with jagged coasts, ancient sites and charming pubs along the coastline.

Limerick is the closest major city making the region easily accessible by car via the N21.

Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Ireland. It has inspired artists, stirred scientific debates and captured the imagination of millions.

A remnant of the Paleogene Period, the Giant’s Causeway came to fruition from continuous flows of lava moving toward the coast and cooling when they reached the seawater, between 50 to 60 million years ago. Giants Causeway is also Ireland’s first UNESCO Heritage Site, with an area flanked by dramatic cliffs and 40,000 basalt stone columns for all to see.

You can get to the site via bus or car, easily accessible from Belfast or Dublin.


Kilkenny, otherwise known as ‘Marble City’, is a medieval beauty situated in Ireland’s Ancient East just 90 minutes from Dublin. The town offers a walk down memory lane with a 12th-century castle, cobbled streets, a bustling crafts and design scene, traditional Irish pubs and secret alleys.

The atmosphere in this town is electric, and the town’s people are often referred to as ‘Cats’. June through August is the best time for visitors who like it warm and maybe even a party or two. Some of Ireland’s best festivals occur in Kilkenny between May and August.

You can get to Kilkenny by air, by sea or by car.

Kingdom of Kerry

Kerry is one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland and is located in the far southwest. Like Kilkenny, Kerry offers the finest history with burial tombs, stone circles and ring forts from the copper and bronze age. Ever since the O’Connor chieftain Ciar took control of the territory, which reaches from the now Shannon estuary to the Maine river, back in the 1st century AD, County Kerry has been known as ‘The Kingdom’.

Few places can compete with Kerry’s stunning scenery and rich cultural heritage, making it the perfect place for solo travelers who want to go back in time.

Wicklow Way

Wicklow Way is one of the oldest and most scenic walks in Ireland. Spanning around 130 km long, those who dare to take a trip here will find themselves crossing the Wicklow Mountains from Clonegal in County Carlow all the way to Marley Park in Dublin.

The best time to walk Wicklow Way is from April to September. During the winter, the days are too short and often too chilly, with many accommodations and restaurants closed. Most hikers take about 5-7 days to complete the hike, but this can sometimes take longer, depending on the pace. Expect quiet trails, rolling hills and high peaks spanning through multiple forests.

County Mayo

County Mayo is a county in Ireland which offers endless beautiful landscapes, from incredible Blue Flag beaches to bleak but mesmerizing bog land. The county is considered one of Ireland’s must-see destinations.

It has cozy, welcoming towns and villages, historical sites full of stories and heritage, and stunning, sprawling, picture-perfect landscapes.


Ireland is a great destination for solo travelers, especially if it’s your first time traveling alone. Basically, anything can happen anywhere and at any time. Crime does exist in Ireland, even though it’s often thought of as a safe place.

So, you should follow the usual rules, like not leaving valuables lying around in public. There are certainly bad apples everywhere in the world, but the Irish are generally helpful, friendly, and pleasantly reserved.

Ireland is a beautiful destination for any solo traveler, with one Irish beauty after the next. From impeccable walks to quaint Irish pubs, scenic views and cultural heritage, there is much to see for any avid traveler.

Remember, you can explore more than one destination, too. Why not take an extended trip and visit all seven destinations?

If you do intend to go on a road trip, you can wind down between stops by trying a selection of online slots at an Irish Online Casino where you can play Irish-themed online slots to further immerse yourself in the Irish spirit.

However, whether you are visiting only one or all destinations, we are sure you will have an enjoyable experience at these wonderful spots!

You can always find someone for a quick chat at the local pub, but you can also just keep to yourself without any effort. The latter may not always apply to an encounter with drunken adolescents in some pubs at a late hour, but I wouldn’t exactly call that typical Irish behavior.

Top Places to Visit in Malta

Are you looking for a beach-based holiday where there’s plenty more to explore nearby too?

Then consider a break to the island of Malta. With incredible scenery and lovely coastlines you can sit back and enjoy soaking up the sun, or explore the history, shops and holiday activities that the region has to offer.

A holiday to Malta is only 3 hours away from the UK (and not far from most European destinations), so it makes a great destination for those who are looking to take a medium haul break.

Here’s a list of the top places to visit in Malta.

Related read: 22 Great Things To Do in Malta

Top places to visit in Malta

If you are planning a trip to beautiful Malta in Southern Europe, know that you will be visiting a place that is full of rich, historic beauty and quaint, old world charm.

It is a densely populated country comprised of many little towns that blend together into one big country full of breathtaking scenery that is certain to provide you with a trip to remember.

As you plan your vacation to this beautiful country and are exploring the wide variety of Malta travel tips, hopefully the following list will help you with your travel itinerary.


The capital city is a must visit for anyone wanting to get a sense of history and a feel for the true Malta.  The capital is located in the central east part of the island and the entire town has been awarded UNESCO status as every street, square and church has a story to tell in the history of this country, do not miss the Hypogeum a fascinating underground insight in the history and long lost past of the Maltese people.

You must make a point to visit Grand Harbour, Valletta. This beautiful harbour will take you back to ancient times with its naturally made splendor and charm. Grand Harbour, Valletta is one of the most visited places in Europe and it contains many unique hotels for lodging and breathtaking sights to absorb.

Things to do in Malta, visit Valletta
Valletta, Malta


The old capital of the country and in my opinion, the most picturesque and photogenic town on the whole island. Known as the walled city, take an hour or so to wander round the small narrow streets, stopping to take in the amazing views of the whole island from one of its many vantage points.

Maybe grab an extended lunch in one of the small number of restaurants, but leave room for some cake to be devoured in the Fontanella tea gardens, which is located high up on the city walls. So high up is this small fortified city, that on a clear day you may be lucky to see Mount Etna across the sea on the island of Sicily.  

Golden Bay

Escape the crowds searching for little pockets of sand in the tourist areas of Bugibba and hop on a bus across to the north west of the island to Golden Bay, where sand, cliffs and grottoes can be found with minimal fuss. Although becoming more touristy, you can still get away from it all by visiting the national park close by, catch a ferry to Comino, explore the coastal areas on a speedboat tour or even go horse riding.

Comino is the perfect Malta travel destination if you desire to experience crystal blue waters. This beautiful island is home to the Blue Lagoon which is a watery paradise that is the best place in the Mediterranean to experience marine time fun.


If the hot summer sun is unrelenting, but you reckon you could manage a short trip out, head to Mosta on the bus, where its main sights will only take an hour or so to do, before you find a cool air conditioned café to relax in.  

The main reason to visit is to see the Mosta Dome (one of the largest unsupported domes in Europe) for its amazing interior of blue, gold and white and the replica bomb that is located by the alter after the original one pierced the dome roof and landed there unexploded during WW2.


Maltas sister island to the North is easily accessible by regular ferries from the northern tip of Malta in Cirkewwa. Aim to spend at least one full day here, to make sure you visit the capital of Victoria for shopping, visiting the old prison, the cathedral and a whole range of museums.  

Jump on the buses that travel extensively round the island to visit the beaches of Ramula Bay and definitely make time to sample some mouthwatering Gozitan cheeses and wines maybe in one of the many small towns and villages such as Xaghra or Nadur. Before heading back to the main island of Malta, pack your snorkel and enjoy the blue lagoon of Comino a small island in-between the two, uninhabited save for staff of the one and only hotel located there.

Blue Lagoon, Comino Island, Malta
Blue Lagoon, Comino Island, Malta

The Tarxien Temples

No trip to this European country would be complete without a visit to The Tarxien Temples. Although The Tarxien Temples were built between 2500 – 3000 BC, 3 of the 4 temples in all of their architectural glory have held up quite well through the years. The Tarxien Temples are a must see for any visitor of Malta.

The Beaches

Malta has a selection of golden sands, in particular the North West Golden Bay is a must visit, and rocky cliffs and caves. Whether you’re looking to sunbathe, swim or clamber across impressive rock formations the island offers it all. Another popular Malta beach attraction is the Blue Grotto area with its striking bright blue water and caverns, perfect for a romantic swim or dive. If you’re hoping to explore further out, beaches in Mellieha bay and Qawra are also great and within walking distance of some good resorts and restaurants.

Things to do in Malta - visit Golden Bay
Golden Bay, Malta

The Heritage

If you’re interested in learning about the history of Malta, visit the beautiful capital, Valetta. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage site; walking the charming streets it is hard not to marvel at the Baroque architecture. The 16th century Grand Masters’ Palace and the awe-inspiring St John’s Cathedral are also worth a visit. Valetta is one of the best places to take in the culture of Malta too, with a night-time visit to the Triton fountain well worth staying up late for – browse the art galleries too, and check out Malta’s Museum of Fine Arts for a unique outdoor art experience.

The Shops

For those who enjoy a spot of retail therapy on their holidays, Malta provides plenty to keep you occupied. There are a number of traditional souvenir shops to pick up gifts for those back home or there are the numerous chain stores that you’ll recognize from back home. Markets are also held regularly to pick up local handicrafts and bargains.

The Nightlife

Malta has plenty of nice restaurants and bars to spend your evenings in. St Julian’s is the best place to go for clubs, pubs and all night partying opportunities; for a different experience head to the open air clubs of Mdina and Rabat. There are also several casinos on the island of Malta if you’re stuck for things to do in Malta.

The Activities

Aside from sightseeing and shopping, Malta has activities such as water sports (try scuba diving, jet skis or banana boating), hiking and glass bottomed boat rides!

The Food

When you’re on holiday it’s the perfect excuse to over-indulge, and with the many great restaurants across the island, you probably will! Don’t forget to sample the traditional Maltese delicacies such as fresh fish pie, beef olives, rabbit stew, pate and goat’s cheese. Expect to see lots of fresh seafood on the Maltese menus too. A trip to the Marsaxlokk fish market will show you what an abundance of great fresh seafood the sea around the island offers up!

Things to do in Malta - Marsaxlokk market
Marsaxlokk, Malta

Celebrating Christmas in Barcelona Like a Local

Thinking about spending Christmas in Barcelona? Keep reading for more on what to expect.

As the lights are up all around the city, and the Barcelona Christmas markets are out in full effect, there is no better time to visit the Catalan Capital! In this blog, let us introduce you to some of the best Christmas traditions in Barcelona that will surely put you in the festive mood.

Winter is a great time to visit Barcelona. Temperatures are pretty mild at around 15 degrees, and there is very little rain in the colder months. Winter is therefore a great time of year to get up to some sightseeing. There are smaller crowds at popular tourist destinations such as the Sagrada Familia and Las Ramblas, as well as less busy public transport, making it easier to get from point A to B. 

With the mild weather, if you’re looking for somewhere to celebrate a white Christmas in Spain, Barcelona probably isn’t the place for you. 

However, if you want to celebrate Christmas with blue skies, surrounded by carollers, inspiring religious buildings, and incredible Christmas markets, without feeling the need to shiver your way through it all, Barcelona is the place for you. 

Celebrating Christmas in Barcelona like a local makes it all that much more exciting, so let’s talk you through everything you need to know how to celebrate Christmas like a local here in Barcelona. 

See also: Guide to Experiencing the Best of Christmas Around the World

Local Christmas markets in Barcelona

A large part of spending Christmas in Barcelona is visiting the many Christmas markets.

See also: New Year in Barcelona

La Fira de Santa Llúcia

This is one of the largest, most well- known and oldest markets in the city, this year will be its 235th edition, filling the area outside of the famous Gothic Cathedral with over 283 stalls selling everything from figurines to plants, to crafts and even Simbombes. 

At this incredible market you must be sure to keep a look out for the cheeky ‘caganer’ figure, which is a traditional catalan figurine with his trousers down, he is said to bring luck by fertilising the earth. 

This place dates all the way back to 1786, taking place on the day of Santa Llúcia, December 13th, this is a historic and exciting place for you to check out this winter! 

Opening dates: November 30th until December 23rd 10:00-21:00

Christmas market in Barcelona - La Fira de Santa Llúcia
La Fira de Santa Llúcia

La Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Familia

These Christmas markets are slightly smaller than the Santa Llúcia markets, but they are positioned right outside the incredible Sagrada Familia, which you must visit if you haven’t before (it’s one of the top Barcelona attractions). 

They have a little of everything here, but most importantly they serve incredible tasty christmas treats, such as roasted chestnuts, baked sweet potatoes and churros with thick hot chocolate! 

Opening times: November 24th to December 22nd 10:00- 21:00

La Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Familia in Barcelona
La Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Familia La Fira de Nadal de la Sagrada Familia

La Fira de Reis

This Christmas market in Barcelona surrounds the idea of the celebration of the three kings in Spain (don’t worry, this will be further explained shortly), the day in which the Spanish give out their main presents. 

Stalls at the Fira de Reis sell mainly kid’s toys and presents, making it a pretty ideal place to go find a Reyes gift for everyone who you need to buy for. 

Opening times: 21st December- 6th January 10:00- 21:00 

La Fira de Reis - Christmas market in Barcelona
La Fira de Reis

Traditional Spanish Christmas Meals


Escudella is a traditional christmas warmer, a kind of stew which contains everything. It has chicken, beef, pork backbone, ham bone’s bouillon, veggies; carrots, potatoes, cabbage. It’s a pretty hypercaloric dish, but there’s nothing wrong with that when it’s cold outside!  

The perfect dish to warm you up this winter. 

Sopa de galets

Sopa de galets include huge pieces of pasta, with which one will fill your spoon. The galets are the large pieces of pasta which are filled with veggies or meats. The soup itself is a traditional soup made with bouillon, making it a very comforting cold winter dish. 

This is usually eaten as a first course as part of Christmas day lunch, on the 25th of December. 


Canelons, or Cannelloni, is one of Catalonia’s favourites, usually eaten on the day of Sant Esteve, celebrated on December 26th. This dish includes Cannelloni stuffed with either chicken or meat and bechamel sauce, the difference between this and your traditional Italian Cannelloni is that this dish does not use tomato sauce. 

Traditional Spanish Christmas Treats


Turrón is one of the most well known Spanish Christmas foods that you will find in Barcelona, as well as being found in Italy and parts of South America. It dates back to the 16th century, and is enjoyed all over the Catalan capital during the holiday season. Turrón tastes almost similar to malteser chocolate, it is made with honey, sugar, egg white and toasted almonds or other nuts. 

This chocolate is extremely tasty and can be found in just your average supermarket at any time during Christmas. 

Mantecados and Polvorones

Mantecados and polvorones can be found all over supermarkets and department stores in the months leading up to Christmas. They are little baked and crumbly Christmas cookies served with “Moscatel”. The difference between mantecados and polvorones is the shape, polvorones are oval and mantecados are round. They are both similar to shortbread, but just tend to crumble much more easily. 

These sweet treats are super popular throughout Catalonia, you’ll find them everywhere! 

Crema Catalana

Crema Catalana is pretty much the Catalan recipe for a Crème brûlée, first found in Catalan books in the 14th century. The recipe includes the use of custard cream, over which sugar is poured and burnt with a hot iron rod to create the trademark burnt crust. 

This differs from your average Crème brûlée through both its cooking method & consistency, as well as its cinnamon and lemon zest flavour as opposed to your usual French vanilla. 

Spainish Christmas dessert - Crema Catalana
Crema Catalana

Traditional Christmas fun in Barcelona

Let us introduce you to some Catalonian Christmas traditions you may encounter on your travels.

El Caganer

As you wander around the city you will most likely come into contact with a small figurine, with a naughty side. El Caganer is a little boy who, in the middle of the nativity, pulls his trousers down and does a poo. Whilst this may seem odd at first to the average tourist, this funny character is hugely popular in Catalonia. In fact, he is seen as a symbol of prosperity, fertilising the soil of the land with his poop! In Catalonia, families often play games with El Caganer and hide him in the nativity scene for the others to find, kind of like a ‘Where’s Wally?’ of sorts.

You will find his presence all over the city, and certainly at every market you attend. Stalls often sell celebrity versions of the popular figurine, so be sure to look out for your favourite football players, and politicians doing their business this festive season!

El Caganer - Christmas tradition in Barcelona
El Caganer – Christmas tradition in Barcelona

Tió de Nadal

The Tió de Nadal is another ubiquitous symbol of Christmas time in Catalonia. This Christmas log, also known as Caga Tió, has a bright red nose, smiley face and an adorable red hat on its head. As tradition goes, the hollow log is brought out on the 8th of December and, from then on, fed daily until the 25th. When the day finally comes, the log is beaten by the children of the family until it poops (we’re sensing a theme here!). After the Tió de Nadal has pooped, the children will find gifts for them to open, rather like the Santa Claus stocking tradition.

As the log poops, the children sing a song translated as:

Caga tió, hazelnuts and nougat, if you don’t want to poop I’m going to hit you with a stick, very hard, very hard

This year there will be a large Tió de Nadal outside of Barcelona Cathedral from the 3-18th of December. So what are you waiting for? Go and see him for yourself!

Tió de Nadal Christmas tradition in Barcelona
Tió de Nadal Christmas tradition in Barcelona

Nativity scene at the Museu Mares

What better way to get you in Christmas mode than seeing the nativity scene up close and personal? This year, at the Museu Mares, visit the baby Jesus  in a beautiful setting and completely free of charge. You can visit from 10am-7pm from Tuesday to Saturday and from 11am till 8pm on Sundays and holidays. What fun!

Consult the Council’s website for further information on timings and where to find the Museu.

La Fira de Santa Llúcia Market

Everyday from 10am till 9pm, visit Barcelona’s oldest and most popular Christmas market. The Fira de Santa Llúcia is the perfect place to soak up the Christmas atmosphere. With plenty of stalls selling handcrafted gifts, as well as food stands and live music, this is not one to miss! The market is such fun for all the family, with activities taking place to entertain visitors of all ages. Our tip? Buy come yummy churros and get stuck in! There is so much to see, from the art and jewellery, to the giant Tió de Nadal. What’s not to like?

Take a look at the market’s programme here to see what’s on.

La Fira de Santa Llúcia Market in Barcelona
La Fira de Santa Llúcia Market

Barcelona is home to some of the biggest shopping centres in Spain, and during Christmas there are a load of great sales and deals to get you in the Christmas mood. These places are also perfectly happy to wrap your gifts for you. 

See also: Where to Find the Best Vintage Shops in Barcelona

The Diagonal Mar

A shopping centre split into three floors, to accommodate their 200 stores and 17 cinema screens, and even a bowling alley. This is one of the biggest in Barcelona, and is recognised as an environmental model due to their promoted values of environmental sustainability. 

This is the perfect place for your Christmas shopping as everything is in one place, as well as this the shopping centre is just beside the Parc Diagonal Mar and Museu Blau, two very ideal locations for spending the day as a family. 

The Diagonal Mar
The Diagonal Mar

Glòries Shopping Mall

The Glòries shopping mall is located in the Plaza de las Glorias Catalanes, surrounded by the incredible Torre Glòries (a huge skyscraper which changes colour day and night, it’s incredible!). 

This place has 75 major stores, restaurants and cinemas, with plenty free parking, charging points, and they even have a kids club play area! 

Glòries Shopping Mall
Glòries Shopping Mall

Las Arenas Shopping Centre

For shopping like a real local, why not go to a shopping centre that used to be a bullring! They have over six floors, 115 shops, a fitness centre, 12- screen cinema, events hall and several bars and restaurants. They even have a huge terrace in which you can get a 360° view over Montjuïc. 

Las Arenas Shopping Centre
Las Arenas Shopping Centre

Celebrating the Three Kings like a Local in Barcelona

Towards the end of December most people around the world begin to relax and finalise their Christmas celebrations, however here in Spain, that is not the case. The first week of January is one of the most exciting times to visit Barcelona. People in Catalonia, in fact, will still be buying gifts and preparing their Christmas dinners, whilst you can still admire the beautiful Christmas lights across the city and prepare yourself for the arrival of The Three Kings or Los Reyes Magos. 

Christmas in Barcelona, Spain
Christmas in Barcelona, Spain

These biblical characters come to Spain on the 5th and 6th of January to give gifts of presents and sweet treats to the children. On January 5th there is a parade dedicated to the three kings in which the Kings themselves arrive at the Av. Del Marquès de l’Argentera and travel 5km around the city, ending at the Montjuïc Magic Fountains. 

Traditionally, locals in Barcelona will leave food out for the three kings and water for their camels, and a pair of shoes outside their doors or windows for the three kings to fill with gifts after the three kings parade. The morning of the 6th will provide for the children an array of gifts, as long as they’ve been well behaved! 

Another fun way to celebrate Christmas in Europe…

Check out this wildly terrifying, yet incredibly fun Austrian tradition where Krampus’ (half-goat, half-demon) run through the streets of Graz during the Christmas season, punishing children who have misbehaved this year.

For more tips on Barcelona, check out the below posts:

A Guide to Street Art in Athens

Looking to explore the best street art in Athens? Keep reading for all the details you need to know.

Street art in Athens, Greece
Untitled by Guido Van Helten (Emmanouil Benaki 40 & Gravias, Exarcheia)

Street art is a form of art that is created and displayed in public places. According to Wikipedia, “Many instances come in the form of guerrilla art, which is intended to make a personal statement about the society that the artist lives within. The work has moved from the beginnings of graffiti and vandalism to new modes where artists work to bring messages, or just beauty, to an audience”. Street art springs from the life of the city. It is created by the most lively and restless part of society and reflects, in every period, the real soul of the city and the concerns of its inhabitants. Based on the social, cultural, and political ideals of each historical era, street art paints a distinctive portrayal of every city.

There is a distinction between graffiti and street art. Graffiti typically consists of written words intended to represent a group or community, while street art includes images and symbols. While both works represent a message, the difference between them is their audience. Street art generally wants to attract a wide audience, while graffiti is usually aimed at a specific group.

You’ll find street art in cities around the world, including Athens in Greece. If you’re visiting the city, here’s where to see the best street art in Athens.

See also: A Guide to the Best Street Food in Athens

Street art in Athens, Greece
Eternal Traveller by Leonidas Giannakopoulos (Liosion 66, Sepolia)

Best neighborhoods for street art in Athens

Street art has developed mainly in large urban centres and Athens is no exception. The central areas of Athens have become one of the hottest destinations in the world for street artists. The neighbourhoods of Athens that are real street art galleries with numerous works (some of them made to order) are Psyrri, Metaxourgeio, Gazi, Omonoia and Exarcheia. But there are also many remarkable works in Plaka, Monastiraki and Petralona (on Thessalonikis Street there are some very good examples).

Of course, this does not mean that there are no remarkable and unique works in other neighbourhoods of Athens. In recent years, numerous excellent works of street art in Athens have also been produced around the port of Piraeus.

Related tour: Athens Guided Urban Street-Art Tour

Untitled by Urban Act (Piraeus Port of Athens, Gate E2)
Untitled by Urban Act (Piraeus Port of Athens, Gate E2)
Untitled by Urban Act (Piraeus Port of Athens, Gate E2)
Untitled by Urban Act (Piraeus Port of Athens, Gate E2)


Psirri neighbourhood is inextricably linked to the history of street art in Athens. From a neighbourhood of fun and delinquency in the 19th and early 20th centuries, it evolved into a neighbourhood of workshops of various specialties and finally into the centre of the nightlife of the contemporary city. Along the way, it has gone through many cycles of decline and revival and is now back on top with its relaxed atmosphere and many dining and nightlife options. The narrow streets of Psirri are full of well-known works by foreign and Greek artists, while today many works are made to order from businesses in the area.


Metaxourgeio is one of the oldest neighbourhoods in Athens and was created near the ancient cemetery of Kerameikos. Although it started as a neighbourhood of wealthy citizens, after the creation of the silk factory (which gave the area its name), it developed into a working-class neighbourhood. After decline and abandonment in the 1990s, its development began again in the first decade of the 21st century.

Today, it has become a busy area with restaurants, cafes, and bars, particularly popular with young people and students. The concentration of youth in this neighbourhood and the existence of many old buildings have turned Metaxourgeio into an open air exhibition of leading and important works of street art in Athens.


Next to Metaxourgeio, the area of the former gas factory, named Gazi, is considered by many to be the place where street art was born in Athens. In the neighbourhood where the Athenian past mixes with the modern present, you can admire some of the most impressive murals but also discover hidden gems by Greek and international artists. Works with political and social messages as well as a strong concern for the future are reflected in the art of the area.


Omonoia is Athens’ most central square, and it was once the centre of the city’s social and commercial life in the decades preceding 1990. It then declined and became a hotbed of crime and a gathering place for illegal immigrants. In recent years, an attempt has been made to revive it and transform it once again into a lively part of the city. The grey and usually ungraceful buildings in the area around the square formed the canvas for some large-scale works of art that were able to beautify the impersonal streets of this side of the city centre.


The area of Exarcheia is a lively and alternative neighbourhood of Athens. During Greece’s seven-year dictatorship (1967–1974), the area was the focal point of people’s resistance events, and thus, after the dictators’ fall, Exarcheia emerged as a quintessentially “revolutionary” area, bringing together intellectuals, anarchists, students, leftists, and many others.

It was also and still is an area where the offices of organisations of the parliamentary and extra-parliamentary left were housed, as well as a place for anarchist groups to ferment and act. In this context, it is also a space for the expression of street artists, whose works, in many cases, have a strong political and social character.

An example of street art in Athens, Greece
At The River by Taxis and INO (Panormou 80, Ampelokipoi)

10 of the most famous murals in Athens

No one can record all the street art works that exist in the neighbourhoods of the city. Apart from their large number, they are also living works that could be destroyed at any time, and others could take their place. From the great works of art that can be found on the walls of the city, we have selected ten of the most famous  as representative examples of the artists and the various artistic trends that they express.

See also: A Guide to Athens, Greece

Loukanikos, The Riot Dog by Billy Gee, Alex Martinez and N_Grams (Riga Palamidou & Sarri, Psyrri)
Loukanikos, The Riot Dog by Billy Gee, Alex Martinez and N_Grams (Riga Palamidou & Sarri, Psyrri) [Read here the story of Loukanikos]
The Musicians by Paparazzi and Achilleas Michaelides (Riga Palamidou & Sarri, Psyrri)
The Musicians by Paparazzi and Achilleas Michaelides (Riga Palamidou & Sarri, Psyrri)
Apocalypse Now by INO (Agias Eleousis 2 & Miaouli, Psyrri)
Apocalypse Now by INO (Agias Eleousis 2 & Miaouli, Psyrri)
So Many Books, So Little Time by SimpleG (Megalou Alexandrou 2, Metaxourgeio)
So Many Books, So Little Time by SimpleG (Megalou Alexandrou 2, Metaxourgeio)
Access Control by Aiva and INO (Peipaios 105, Gazi)
Access Control by Aiva and INO (Peipaios 105, Gazi)
Untitled by M.Koan (Sokratous 6, Monastiraki near Omonoia Square)
Untitled by M.Koan (Sokratous 6, Monastiraki near Omonoia Square)
Complex by Gera (Mezonos 24, Plateia Vathis near Omonoia Square)
Complex by Gera (Mezonos 24, Plateia Vathis near Omonoia Square)
 He is Praying For Us or Praying Hands by Pavlos Tsakonas, Manolis Anastasakos and Kretsis Crew (Peiraios 20, Omonoia Square) & Wake Up by INO (Koletti 13, Exarcheia)
He is Praying For Us or Praying Hands by Pavlos Tsakonas, Manolis Anastasakos and Kretsis Crew (Peiraios 20, Omonoia Square) & Wake Up by INO (Koletti 13, Exarcheia)
No Land For The Poor by WD (Wild Drawing) (Emmanouil Benaki 84-86, Exarcheia)
No Land For The Poor by WD (Wild Drawing) (Emmanouil Benaki 84-86, Exarcheia)

Pollution or art?

Many individuals view street art as a type of pollution that disrespects the city’s citizens. This may be the case in certain instances, but on the other hand, it is also a manifestation of art in its most pure form, which the government and the citizens must accept and incorporate into the artistic, cultural, and social life of the city. But at the same time the citizens, their homes, and their daily lives should all be respected by the artists. Nothing is more stunning than a painting on the wall or the colourless side of an apartment complex.

Surfing in Fuerteventura, Spain – Travel Dudes

Where the wind and swell may take you surfing in Fuerteventura, is still unknown. Martian-like dreamscapes of blue barrels and jagged volcanic wilderness is a killer set for an epic surf odyssey, yet to be had.      

Check out our guide to the Canary Islands in Spain.

Surfing in Fuerteventura can be: unique, fun, scary and disappointing; depending how you go about it. The waves can be small or gigantic, always with a few volcanic rocks about somewhere, so maybe bring reef boots, helmet and plasters.

Here are a few more tips on how to prepare and execute a surf trip to Fuerteventura. 

Check out these top surf camps in Fuerteventura!

“And if you’re going up against a heavy weight, you would want to do the training and preparations for that.”

Tom Perry, Fuerteventura surf coach and islander of 23 years.

What to expect when going surfing in Fuerteventura

Tom goes on to say, “surfing seems to be the one sport where people don’t do any training for it…if you want to surf here you have to be a good swimmer”.

Understanding the ocean, its rips and tidal forces are key here. At the start of a lesson Tom runs through surf safety and etiquette with his students, on shore, before heading out.

“Its also a good idea to watch what the surf is doing for 10-15mins; look at what the locals are doing”.

The knowledge of how to get in and out of reef break surf, and where you are at all times, according to where the waves are breaking is crucial to staying safe. Tom recalls recently of having to rescue a student from another surf school after they were dragged away unaware, in a rip.   

Related read: Best Destinations for Surfing Holidays Around the World

The swell that hits the island, forms on the reef and can cause some of the most powerful, dangerous and fun waves mother nature has to offer. It’s not uncommon to see excellent long barrels forming here. That being said, surfing the world over it is a limited resource, and one that is perhaps being abused for profit like gains by corporate ideology. 

Tom runs a small surf school here on the island and has decided to keep it real and provide excellent safe and attentive surf coaching, whilst respecting the surfing culture, locals and families that also surf here. “Under the radar” that’s how I operate, says Tom.   

How to get to the best surf spots in Fuerteventura

The sense of adventure is still very much alive here if one wants it. Volcanos, dirt tracks, nudists and crashing blue waves form a picture one wants to get immersed in. 

Hire cars can be cheaply rented at the airport but be prepared for limited availability and long waits at the airport for a car. It’s advisable if taking surf boards that soft roof racks are used as the police have introduced heavy fines for people carrying equipment inside the cabin of vehicles. Many of the surf breaks are at the ends of dirt roads, so the more rugged of vehicle, the better.     

Where to stay in Fuerteventura

Accommodations vary on the island a standard 1 bed apartment costs on average £50 per night. Tom runs a 9-bed group/family house that is connected to his surf school which is ideal for an inclusive surfing holiday.

Other options include:

Rocky Point and Lobos across the channel
Rocky Point and Lobos across the channel.

When to go surfing in Fuerteventura

The surf season runs from October through to March for ideal conditions. Summer wet suits are generally worn all year round as the wind can cut through the heat. Rash guards and board shorts can be worn though in hotter months. Wet suits can be more protection from the reef beneath though. Wearing sunscreen and zinc on the face is a good idea too (or a hat).  

When you arrive here it can be a dilemma of where to surf depending on conditions (wind and swell direction). This is an art that can take years to practice and is cut short by drawing on a guide’s knowledge of where to surf on which days. They will share knowledge of well-known spots only and here are a few of these and a link to local surf cams and maps.

Where to go surfing in Fuerteventura

Here’s where to go for the best surf spots in Fuerteventura.

See also: Windsurfing & Kitesurfing in Tarifa, Spain

Rocky Point

This break situated in Corralejo, northeast of the island, has a long paddle out to a perfect right barrel, when working in north directed swell. Surfing here is joined in with amazing views of Lobos, the neighbouring island and ferries that pass by you in the channel. There are different sections of this break with the outer back being the biggest.

You will know when you have paddled out enough by being able to see around the harbour wall at the distant headland. Duck diving these monsters is difficult so using the channel to manoeuvre is key. Seeing these walls of water moving towards you in the shipping lanes is an experience that causes the tingles still to rumble down the vertebrae. 

Find the location here.


Here you could stay in one of the small basic fisherman houses that are situated on the shore for around £50/night. Waking up early to catch the surf whilst is quiet is sometimes crucial. Off to the right on big days bombs can be seen going off and hell-bent surf crews with jet skis, making the most out of “Acid Drop”.

A little way back on the headland amongst the volcanic debris pilgrims park up or sometimes camp in vans waiting for the conditions to be right. Then walking over the rocks to a small key of water will lead you out to the breaks which work at all tides but better and forming more at med to high. 

You can find the location here.

German Right

German right works best at low tide that is a little past Majanicho heading west on the north coast. Parking can be tricky and again it does get busy. The long paddle out through a groove in the rocks and sling shot around will lead you to a great right that works great in the right conditions.

Watching from the shore can be fun too. Here you can capture good photos of people shooting off big waves again and again as the blue tubes crash into the black volcanic claws that are forever traying to grasp you. Defying its clutches and finding your way back in is a wild ride.

You can find the location here.

Flag Beach

Flag Beach is a beginners beach and you will find the local surf schools making good use of it most days. There are still rocks to be mindful of. There are lifeguards that work this beach also. The swell is more gentle here than other beaches so if your surfing for the first time here is a good place to start that journey.

You can find the location here.

There are obviously many more breaks around all four corners of the island, and it really is about own personal discovery and unique experience. Who you meet and get surfing with is all part of your narrative. North, south, east, west; it’s all out there like a giant playground which you can dune buggy around like mad max on holiday, if you want.

Surf breaks to be mindful of

Hierro right and lobos can be known for there “territorial nature” and it is advisable for extra mindfulness to be taken when surfing here. 

Things to do when the sun goes down or the waves go flat

  • Dune buggy around the the islands dunes.
  • Trek up one of the many volcanos on the island at dawn or dusk for spectacular view, or to check where the waves are. 
  • The island has many great restaurants to discover that are local and authentic. 
  • Check out the surf shops and local businesses of Lajares in La Olivia. 
  • If wind surfing is more your thing, then this island is well known for its windsurfing and specialist schools. 

What to Pack for Israel

Wondering what to pack for Israel?

Israel is an amazing country with a rich history and culture. There’s so much to see and do, you’ll need to plan your trip carefully to make sure you don’t miss anything.

We want to help make your trip as enjoyable as possible, so we put together this list of what to pack for Israel. With our helpful tips, you can relax and enjoy your time in this beautiful country.

Let’s jump in!

See also: How to Pack Lightly with Precision

What is the weather like in Israel?

When deciding what to pack for Israel, it’s helpful to understand what the weather is like in each of the seasons.

Summer in Israel

Israel is a sunny country, with hot, dry summers and rainy winters. During the summer months, from April to October, temperatures can reach over 30-35C (86-95F). The summer is accompanied by clear skies and plenty of sunshine. In the north of Israel, however, temperatures are lower than in the south due to higher altitudes. 

Winter in Israel

During wintertime (from November to March), temperatures drop significantly and occasional rain showers bring much-needed water to the region. The average winter temperatures in most of the country are 10-15C (50-60F).

The coastal areas tend to be milder and wetter than inland regions. Snowfall is rare in most parts of Israel but can occur at higher elevations in certain areas.

Rainfall is also common during wintertime but usually does not last for too long – it tends to come in short storms which pass quickly. Winter days are generally cold and cloudy, although some sunny days can still be expected. 

Spring in Israel

Springtime in Israel brings a mix of warm and cold weather with pleasant weather conditions that make this season ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking and sightseeing. The average temperatures during the spring are 60-70F (15-25C) degrees.

During springtime, temperatures start rising slowly but steadily and by May they are generally comfortable during daytime hours while nights remain cooler. Rainfall starts decreasing while humidity levels increase everywhere around the country except along the coastal plain regions where humidity remains consistently high throughout the year. 

Autumn in Israel

Autumn is a transitional season between warm summer months and colder winter ones in Israel. Daytime temperatures gradually decrease while nights become cooler until December when winter officially begins in most parts of Israel. Like in the spring, the average temperature during the fall months is 60-70F (15-25C) degrees.

Rainfall also increases compared to springtime but remains far less than what is seen during winter months. Generally speaking, autumn days provide perfect conditions for outdoor activities such as camping or picnicking before winter comes again.

See also: Visiting the Dead Sea: Israel vs. Jordan

What to wear in Israel?

When packing for a vacation to Israel, it is important to remember that weather can be unpredictable and fluctuate depending on the region and time of year, so it’s important to check the weather before your trip.

Layering is still suggested regardless of the season, as temperatures can change rapidly from day to night.

The best way to dress for all seasons in Israel is by wearing clothing made from lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, or silk that offers some degree of breathability and comfort.

During the summer months, cool, comfortable outfits such as shorts or skirts with loose tops are ideal.

For colder days you should pack a good selection of light sweaters and jackets for layering when necessary. Scarves are also handy accessories to keep warm during cool evenings or early mornings, especially in mountainous regions. Merino wool clothing is always perfect for this type of weather!

In general, most places in Israel are very casual when it comes to dress code so visitors need not worry about looking too dressed up or overdressed. However, you should avoid wearing clothes that are considered overly revealing or provocative when visiting religious sites.

In religious sites such as churches and temples (as well as some public areas) modest clothing should be worn; long sleeves and bottoms that cover the knees should be sufficient for both men and women. Shorts may be allowed in some cases but they should not be too short or tight-fitting. 

Also, don’t forget to pack comfortable walking shoes. Shoes with good traction and support are essential when exploring the country’s many landscapes.

No matter what season you plan on visiting Israel make sure you bring comfortable shoes since there is plenty of walking involved while exploring its many attractions – this applies both to city life as well as nature activities like hiking along trails full of beautiful landscapes!

See also: Your Stylish City Break Packing List

What to pack for Israel

When traveling to Israel, it is important to pack more than just clothing items. It can be useful to bring a range of items that will make your trip more enjoyable and comfortable.

One of the most essential items when going on a trip to Israel is sunscreen. The intense Mediterranean sun can be dangerous if you don’t take precautions, so make sure you have enough sunscreen with you even if the weather isn’t particularly hot.

You may also want to bring a hat, sunglasses, and some comfortable shoes for long walks and hikes. 

An umbrella or raincoat is also very useful during winter months as sudden showers could occur without warning. 

Other items you should consider bringing are insect repellent and medication for motion sickness, headaches, and allergies (and anything else you may need).

Depending on where you are traveling from, it can help to purchase some electrical adapters in case your electronic devices are not compatible with Israeli plugs. I like to pack all my electronics in a separate zip lock bag or packing cube – a packing hack I recently discovered. It helps me stay so much more organized!

If possible, try to bring enough cash for your trip as credit cards may not be accepted everywhere – especially in rural areas – but make sure to always carry your passport with you as identification whenever necessary!

Finally, don’t forget your camera – there are many stunning sights throughout the country that are worth capturing!

In sum, here is a quick list you can use when packing your nonclothing items:

  • Sunscreen
  • Hat
  • Sunglasses
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Flip flops
  • Umbrella/raincoat
  • Insect repellent
  • Medications (Motion sickness medication, allergy medication, etc.)
  • Electrical adapters for electronic devices
  • Cash for purchases where credit cards are not accepted
  • Passport (for identification)
  • Driver’s license
  • Camera with extra memory
  • Chargers for electronic devices
  • Travel bag (backpack or purse) to carry with you during the day
  • Waterbottle
  • Protein snacks to keep your energy up

Following the above advice will help you stay comfortable and enjoy a safe and enjoyable trip to Israel!

Related read: The Best Sustainable Luggage Combination for Digital Nomads

Money and documents you’ll need in Israel


When it comes to money, it is recommended that you bring both cash and cards for spending. The New Israeli Shekel is the official currency of Israel.

While many places accept cards for payment, some establishments do not accept them so it’s important to have a backup form of payment in case. In addition, most ATMs will accept foreign cards, allowing you to withdraw cash as needed. 


Regarding documents, you may need to obtain a visa to enter Israel, depending on your nationality. Make sure to check the relevant requirements beforehand.

Those who plan on staying longer than 90 days may need additional documentation such as residence permits and/or work visas if applicable. 

You should always have a valid passport with you when traveling, as you may need to present it in certain situations. If you don’t want to carry a passport with you, make a copy you can easily stick in your pocket or bag.

Additionally, make copies or printouts of other important documents like tickets, hotel reservations, etc.

Regarding driver’s licenses, visitors who enter Israel can usually drive with a foreign license for up to a year without any issue.

When is the best time to visit Israel?

The best time to visit Israel is either late spring or early fall. This is because the climate of this Mediterranean country can become very hot and humid during the summer months. During late spring or early fall, temperatures are more moderate, ranging between 18-26 Celsius (64-78 Fahrenheit). 

Late spring (April to June) brings gorgeous blooms of colorful flowers throughout Israel’s parks and open spaces. Fields of wildflowers line highways from the Sea of Galilee to Tel Aviv. Shavuot, a Jewish holiday, marks the beginning of the harvest season in May which includes fragrant orange blossom groves in Jerusalem. 

Early fall (September to November) is another great time for visiting Israel’s many attractions as well as a popular time for visitors from abroad. During this season, temperatures start to cool off from their summer peak but are still comfortable enough for sightseeing and exploring outdoors without feeling too cold or hot.

The Jewish New Year starts at the end of September and goes through October when you can experience vibrant celebrations throughout the country with special music, street festivals, and great food.

No matter what time you decide to visit Israel you can expect sunny days in abundance along with its beautiful beaches, historic sites, stunning landscapes, and amazing food! Although it can be quite crowded during peak tourist times such as Passover and Sukkot holidays, any time is a great time to explore all that this incredible country has to offer!

Wrapping up

No matter when you visit, Israel is sure to amaze you with its beauty and culture. With so much to see and do, it’s important to be prepared before embarking on your trip.

The advice provided in this article will help make your time in Israel as enjoyable and stress-free as possible.

I hope that you have the opportunity to visit this amazing country soon!

A Bosporus Tour: An Unforgettable Experience

The Bosporus is one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks and a must-see for every visitor.

We tell you everything you need to know about this natural wonder and why you should do a Bosporus tour.

Here is our Bosporus tour summary:

The Bosporus Experience

The ship’s horn blares, and the last few people hurry to catch the ferry. Good for those who made it on board in time to get a good seat: on the lower deck, where there’s a white bench along the outer wall. You sit here just a meter above the waves, leaning back against the wall, feet up on the railing, basking in the sun and wind.

The best way to enjoy the summer in Istanbul is by taking a ferry ride across the Bosporus. For the crossing to Asia, most people choose to sit on the right side of the ferry (starboard) for the better view. And for the crossing to Europe, they prefer to sit on the left side (port). The ship’s horn will sound three times when it’s time to depart. Then, a dockworker will unhook the lines, and you’ll be on your way.

As the ship leaves the ferry port of Eminönü, seagulls glide alongside it, snatching up crumbs that passengers toss to them. Dolphins also sometimes appear here and swim right up to the Galata Bridge.

The ferry companies in the city offer some of the most beautiful routes, one of which goes to Kadiköy on the Asian shore. Millions of passengers use these ferries to cross between the 50 piers every year. On this route, the ship first passes through the Golden Horn – an elongated waterway that divides the European part of Istanbul – then crosses over the Bosporus – one of the two straits between the Mediterranean and Black Seas – before finally touching down in the Sea of Marmara on its way to dock on Asia’s shores.

The captain up on the bridge must stay concentrated at all times. Transverse to the direction of travel, freighters and tankers from different parts of the world cross the straits – they are often accompanied by tugs and have unconditional right of way on the international waterway, as do warships and occasional submarines.

Ferries go back and forth between continents – in addition to city passenger ferries, there are also car ferries and private lines. In between sail fishing boats, excursion ships, private yachts, garbage clearing ships and occasional sailors.

When the ferry arrives, the passengers disembark the ship to explore Kadiköy. This district has many pubs, stages, and a renowned food court – it has become Istanbul’s party district in recent years. Alternatively, you can just board the next ship back and relax… again on the right side.

The Bosporus – what is it, and where is it located?

The Bosporus is a strait located in northwestern Turkey. It forms part of the boundary between Europe and Asia, and separates the Black Sea from the Sea of Marmara. The word “Bosporus” comes from Ancient Greek and means “ox-ford”.

The Bosporus is approximately 31 kilometers (19 miles) long, with a width varying from 700 meters (2,300 feet) to 3.5 kilometers (2.2 miles).

The beauty of the Bosporus is truly an unforgettable experience. Standing on the shores of the strait, you can see the city of Istanbul stretched out before you. The skyline is dotted with minarets and the air is filled with the sound of prayer calls. The Bosporus is also a place of great natural beauty. The water is calm and crystal clear, and the shores are lined with trees.

In the springtime, the shores of the Bosporus are filled with colorful flowers.

Related read: Sights in Istanbul: A City of History and Culture

Why is the Bosporus so special?

The Bosporus is one of the most special places in the world. It’s not just a waterway separating Europe and Asia – it’s also a place where East meets West, and where you can find some of the most stunning scenery imaginable.

There are few things as breathtaking as watching the sun set over the Bosporus, or taking a leisurely boat ride along its length, admiring the opulent Ottoman villas that line its shores. Even simply strolling along the water’s edge and taking in the fresh sea air is an unforgettable experience.

If you’re looking for a place that truly has it all, then look no further than the Bosporus. Whether you want to relax and take in nature’s beauty, or explore a fascinating culture, this is the place for you.

Here are just a few of the reasons why the Bosporus is so special:

  • The scenery is absolutely breathtaking. With its turquoise waters and lush green hillsides, the Bosporus is a feast for the eyes.
  • You can really feel the history here. The Bosporus has been a vital waterway for centuries, and you can sense that history when you’re on it.
  • It’s a great place to relax. Whether you’re on a leisurely boat ride or just sitting on the banks of the strait, the Bosporus has a calming effect.
  • There’s always something to see. From the remarkable sunsets to the hustle and bustle of Istanbul, there’s never a dull moment on the Bosporus.

How to get the most out of your Bosporus tour

Get there early

The Bosporus is busiest in the late afternoon and evening, so get there early to avoid the crowds. On the other hand, watching the sun set over the Bosporus is a great experience as well.

Take a boat ride

A boat ride is the best way to see the Bosporus. You can find many different boats to take you on a tour, from small private boats to larger group tours. Or you could take a public ferry, which is a cheap option. If you like it more exclusive, then hire a private boat.

We did a cruise on a luxury yacht, and it was outstanding! Instead of being crammed onto a cruise ship with dozens of other people, we got to enjoy the luxury of a private yacht for the night. There were around 20-25 people total, and they served Turkish specialties and also wine and non-alcoholic drinks.

Some of the highlights from our trip were seeing the Topkapi Palace, Hagia Sophia, the Galata Tower, Dolmabahce Palace, Rumeli Castle, Beylerbeyi Palace, and seeing the waterfront mansions lining both sides of the Bosphorus. Another highlight was driving under all the different bridges and seeing the city at sunset and at night. The tour lasted around 2 hours.

It was an incredible experience and one that we’ll never forget.

Is the Bosporus a river or a sea?

The Bosporus is a sea that runs through Turkey and separates the country’s European and Asian sides. Depending on the time of day and the tide, the Bosporus can look like a river flowing through the city. It also has a forceful current. As it’s a very narrow passage, lots of fish swim through it as well. With a bit of luck, you can even spot dolphins. We’ve seen a few on our ferry ride to the Eastern side.

Which Bosporus cruise to take?

There are a few different Bosporus cruises to choose from, and they all offer something unique. If you want to get the most out of your cruise, I recommend choosing one that includes stops at both the European and Asian sides of the city. That way, you can get a taste of both cultures and see some of the most beautiful sights in Istanbul. Whichever cruise you choose, you’re sure to have a memorable experience.

Here is a 90-minute tour for only €10 per person, which includes an Audio Guide, a Bosporus map, water or tea.

How to book a Bosporus cruise?

Bosporus cruises are a great way to see Istanbul from the water. You can book a cruise through a number of different companies, both online and in person. Some cruises are shorter, lasting only an hour or so, while others can be all day affairs.

It really depends on what you’re looking for and how much time you have. You can also book cruises on private chartered yachts, if you’re looking for a more intimate experience.

When to take a Bosporus cruise?

There is no bad time to take a Bosporus cruise, but the best times are definitely spring and autumn. The weather is milder then and the views of Istanbul are simply stunning.

Can I use the Bosporus ferry with the public transport card?

Yes, you can use the Bosporus ferry with the public transport card. The ferry is a great way to get around Istanbul and it’s very convenient.

The ferry ride across the Bosporus in Istanbul is a great value at only one euro. You get to experience the culture, history, and natural beauty of the city in just half an hour for around €1 per person.

I recommend to get the Istanbul Welcome Card, as it includes public transportation, but also fast track entry and skip the lines to the top sights. And a Bosporus cruise and tours are included as well.

Why is the Bosporus important?

The Bosporus is one of the busiest waterways in the world. It’s important because it’s a major shipping route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea. The Bosporus is also a popular tourist destination because it’s so scenic.

How to pronounce Bosporus?

The Bosporus is pronounced “bO-sfuh-ruhs.”

Who controls the Bosporus strait?

The Bosporus strait is controlled by Turkey.

What is the Golden Horn in Istanbul?

The Golden Horn is a major waterway that forms the harbor of Istanbul, Turkey. Its name comes from the fact that it is shaped like a horn. It is also sometimes called the Halic River.

More information and tips of places to visit around the Bosporus

Visit the mosques

The Bosporus is home to some of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. Be sure to visit at least one during your visit.

Here is a good tip on how to buy Hagia Sophia ticket and what to expect.

Shop at the markets

The markets along the Bosporus are a great place to find souvenirs and local goods.

The Grand Bazaar is a world-famous market that sells everything from spices to jewelry. With hundreds of shops, it’s one of the biggest and oldest covered markets in the world.

Read our travel tip: Grand Bazaar in Istanbul: A Shopper’s Paradise

Enjoy the Turkish food

The Bosporus is home to some of the best Turkish cuisine. Be sure to try some of the local specialties during your visit.

We had lunch at Ali Ocakbaşı. They have a great view onto the Golden Horn. They aim to offer a new generation of Ocakbaşı and kebab enjoyment in one of Istanbul’s most beautiful locations.

The entrance is a bit hidden in an alley, and you have to take the elevator up to get to their restaurant. Knowing the importance of local ingredients and seasonality, they prepare the flavors of the regions with original recipes and modern presentations, made in wood stoves.
They also focus on sustainability and cooperates with family farms. The chaos, confusion and all the difficulties of this city disappear with a view over the Bosporus. Make sure also to go all the way up, onto the roof terrace to snap some photos and to enjoy the view and atmosphere.

Address: Grifin Han, Tersane Caddesi, Kardeşim Sk. D:No:45, 34420 Beyoğlu/İstanbul

Visit the Bosporus Bridge

The Bosporus Bridge is one of the most iconic landmarks in Istanbul. It’s worth taking some time to walk across it and take in the incredible views.

Go for a swim

If you’re visiting in the summer, don’t miss out on the chance to go for a swim in the Bosporus. There are many beaches and swimming spots to choose from, so you’re sure to find one that’s perfect for you.

Relax in a Turkish Hammam

Here you will find a list and more info with some of the best hammams that you can visit during your stay in Istanbul: Where to Experience a Traditional Hammam in Istanbul.

For the men reading this, you can also visit a Turkish Barber Shop.

Visit the top sights in Istanbul

There are many sights to see in Istanbul, and you’ll definitely find something that interests you. However, there are a few sights that you shouldn’t miss.

The first is the Blue Mosque. The mosque was built in the early 1600s and is one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture. It’s named for the blue tiles that adorn its exterior, and it’s well worth a visit.

The second sight to see is Topkapi Palace. The palace was once the home of the sultans who ruled over Istanbul, and it’s now a museum full of incredible art and artifacts from that time period. It’s definitely worth a visit if you’re interested in history or culture.

The Basilica Cistern – The Sunken Palace is one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions, and it’s easy to see why. The Cistern is an enormous underground water storage system, which you can visit and which was built in the 6th century.

Finally, no trip to Istanbul would be complete without seeing Hagia Sophia. The building started out as a Christian cathedral but was converted into a mosque after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Then it served as a museum where you could see both Christian and Islamic art side by side. Now it’s a mosque again, though it’s still more a touristic attraction.

You won’t regret it!

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience, then you won’t regret taking a trip on the Bosporus. The beauty of the waterway is truly something to behold, and you’ll be able to enjoy it from a unique vantage point as you cruise down the middle of the sea.

After your ferry ride, be sure to explore the ancient city of Istanbul. There’s plenty to see and do here, from visiting historic monuments and museums to exploring winding alleyways and finding local restaurants and shops.

No matter what you’re interested in, Istanbul has something for everyone.

If you’re looking for a breathtakingly beautiful place to visit, put Istanbul at the top of your list. The Bosporus is an unforgettable experience, and you won’t be disappointed with the city’s rich history and culture.

Your Ultimate Byron Bay Travel Guide

Byron Bay is considered a hotspot for travelers – and not for nothing! Here you will find a colorful mix of different people, which will immerse you in a truly unique atmosphere.

The city’s motto says it all: cheer up, slow down, chill out.

Byron Bay is one of the most popular stops along the eastern coast and THE surf hotspot in all of Australia. Almost every surfer you’ll meet during your trip to Australia has been here!

But is it worth visiting Byron Bay even if you’re not a surfer? Definitely!

Even if you’re not into watersports, you’ll enjoy this little coastal paradise to the fullest. Keep reading for the best sights, beaches and excursions in the area for all travelers to enjoy. We also share our top tips for restaurants, campsites, accommodations and much more.

Here is our Byron Bay summary:

Sights in Byron Bay

There are many natural highlights to see in and around Byron Bay. Therefore, most of the “sights” are actually beautiful places in nature.

The “Cape Byron” and hiking trail

Cape Byron is a stunning peninsula that juts out into the middle of the sea and is definitely a highlight on any trip. The eponymous “Cape Byron Walking Track” leads around the peninsula, past breathtaking viewpoints, beautiful beaches and a snow-white lighthouse – we’ll tell you more about all three shortly!

The trail itself is approximately four kilometers long, and depending on how many photos you want to take, plan on two to two-and-a-half hours. The difficulty level is easy. There are some ups and downs, but nothing too strenuous – the entire path is paved and in good condition. If you’re lucky, you might even spot dolphins or turtles in the water during your hike. There’s also a relatively high chance of seeing humpback whales off the coast between May and November.

Cape Byron Light

The “Cape Byron Light” is the white lighthouse that was just mentioned, and it’s a real celebrity. There are two reasons for this:

It is the oldest mainland Australia lighthouse (1901). It also stands at the easternmost point of the country. Even today, it’s in excellent condition-regularly renovated and always repainted. There is also a small, free lighthouse museum inside the landmark.

Something else that’s great: since it was built on top of a 90-meter-high hill, you have a wonderful view of both the sea and coast from there. It’s supposed to be especially beautiful during sunset and sunrise.

Opening hours: Daily: 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

No visit to Byron is complete without completing the Byron lighthouse walk. About a 2 hour roundtrip from the center of town, start along the beach up to the Pass, then take in some incredible views along the coastal path via Wategos before finishing off at the famous Cape Byron Lighthouse. Bonus points if you’re at the lighthouse for sunrise or sunset – well worth it.

Numerous viewpoints

There are always gigantic viewpoints along the Cape Byron Peninsula – among the most beautiful you might find during your whole Australia trip. We would like to list a few of them briefly:

  • Captain Cook Lookout: is well suited as a start of the hike and is actually gorgeous.
  • Fisherman’s Lookout: is a small viewing platform on a rock in the middle of the water. Mega view of the big Clarkes Beach, numerous surfers and the cliffs!
  • Cape Byron Lookout: located at the northern end of the peninsula, also with great views of cliffs and rough seas.
  • One more: Maybe it’s the most impressive lookout, and there is no name for it. But it is relatively easy to find: Follow the road from the lighthouse about 200 meters south until you come to a hairpin bend. In the middle of the bend you will see a small green area and binoculars. You can expect an astonishing view of Tallow Beach.

Byron Bay City Center

Once you’ve circumnavigated the peninsula, it’s definitely worth taking a quick trip to Byron Bay center – the vibrant, hip center full of young people. Here, one store follows the next and the streets are lined with restaurants, cafés, boutiques and more.

However, there is always a lot going on here – especially on weekends and during peak tourist season between December and February. If you don’t feel like it, though, no big deal! You can easily skip the center.

Beaches in Byron Bay

Now we come to the beaches. There are quite a few of them around Byron Bay, and we will show you the most beautiful ones now. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best beaches that Byron has to offer.

Related read: Best Destinations for Surfing Holidays Around the World

Clarkes Beach

Byron Bay’s main beach is Clarkes Beach, which offers a direct connection to the city center and runs in a crescent shape along the peninsula. The sand here is incredibly fine, really bright and clean, while the water is clear and turquoise – it’s truly a paradise beach. In the morning you’ll also see plenty of surfers: from little kids to older folks who ride waves better than anyone could have thought possible.

It’s evident that surfing in Australia is like playing football in the UK, Italy or Germany – it’s a sport that has influenced whole generations. Awesome!

Wategos Beach

The next beach along the peninsula is Wategos Beach. Compared to Clarkes Beach, it is much smaller, quieter, but no less beautiful. At the picnic areas you will find free BBQ grills. That’s something you find quite often and which is super cool. On the beach are also some pretty nice homes and accommodations with great views of the sea. You could definitely become envious.

Little Wategos Beach

Little Wategos Beach is the perfect place to go if you want a more untouched and quiet experience. There are no houses around, and only a small path leads down to the beach. Depending on the tide, though, swimming might not be ideal since the shore can be rocky with large boulders in the water. But it’s still beautiful nonetheless!

Tallow Beach

Let’s talk about the stunning Tallow Beach. It is part of the small Arakwal National Park, and at 3.2 kilometers, also the longest beach around Byron Bay. You can get an incredible view of the beach from that lookout, described above, without a name. You can also drive to the “Tallow Beach Car Park” and walk directly to the sea. Parking there is free, but there are only a few spots available. The beach itself is breathtaking.

The Best Activities in Byron Bay

Surf, surf and surf. Or you could relax on the beach or walk around the cape, but also take up a few other activities.

Kayaking in Byron Bay

If surfing is not for you, there is also the possibility to jump into a kayak and with a little luck discover dolphins and turtles on the open sea!

An epic way to see the stunning coastline around Byron Bay, as well as a unique perspective of the iconic Cape Byron lighthouse. The morning tour is the best option for sighting some of the resident dolphins who usually pop up to say hello!

Such kayak tours usually start in a smaller group, last about 2-3 hours, and you even have a guide with you who knows exactly where to look.

Related tour: Sea Kayak Tour with Dolphins and Turtles

Go scuba diving in Byron Bay

Julian Rocks is one of the top dive sites in Australia and is packed full of incredible marine life. Depending on when you visit, you can see manta rays, grey nurse sharks, huge rays, and even curious leopard sharks. And of course, there are always plenty of turtles!

Related tour: Sea Turtle Snorkel Tour in Julian Rocks Reserve

Whale watching in Byron Bay

If you’re lucky enough to be in Byron Bay between May and November, make sure you add whale watching to your itinerary. As the most Easterly Point of Australia, the entire migration passes by the Cape so you’ll get some incredible interactions.

The best way is a dedicated whale watching boat…although you can get some fun sightings from the beaches and lighthouse too.

Playing the drums at Wreck Beach

The Wreck is the perfect place to watch the sunset and enjoy some awesome drumming. Every evening, a group of hippies gather to play bongos, percussion and trumpets as the sun goes down. It’s the perfect opportunity to let loose and have some fun!

Skydive in Byron Bay

Looking for an adrenaline rush during your Byron stay? Why not jump out of a perfectly good plane at 15,000 feet? Skydiving should definitely be on your bucket list and Byron is easily a fantastic jump zone – the views are epic.

Book here!

Hang Gliding

Not quite the adrenaline buzz of skydiving but another awesome way to see the bay from a different perspective – if you can time it with the right conditions, a hang glide over Tallows Beach is pretty incredible.

Take a Scenic Flight

So, not everyone is into jumping out of planes or swinging from a hang glider to get aerial views. But that’s okay! There are plenty of other options to choose from, like scenic flights. There are a number of different options available, all of which take you on a tour around the Cape and provide views of the lighthouse.

Surfing in Byron Bay

The most classic and popular is surfing. Numerous schools offer courses for beginners as well as advanced surfers and want to introduce you to surfing in Byron Bay in a relaxed way. To accomplish this, visit one of the many local surf schools, check the ratings on the Internet and simply ask for the price. Alternatively, you can also book a surf course online.

Join this small group surf lesson.

Wildlife in Byron Bay

Who wouldn’t want to see tropical animals in the wild? In Byron Bay, this dream can come true with a little luck and attention.

You might already spot a kangaroo on Tallows Beach. Just like the many colorful parrots that fly around Australia like street pigeons in Venice. OK, maybe not that many. Whether blue, green, white or pink: The flutterers make tremendous noise at dusk which is only topped by the enormous bats.

The thing that makes Byron Bay special is the active marine life. Since 2006, the coastal area between Brunswick Heads and Lennox Heads – with Byron in the middle – has been protected as a marine park.

Surfing with dolphins, seals and turtles is therefore the order of the day in Byron Bay! And you’ll never forget surf sessions with dolphins. Usually, whole herds of mother animals show up, teaching their young everything important in the water. Namely, bouncing, surfing and scaring surfers by suddenly surfacing.

Byron Bay restaurant tips

The Hideout

If you’re ever in Byron Bay, be sure to check out “The Hideout”! It’s a bit hidden away but definitely worth seeking out. They’ve got great options for both vegetarians and meat-eaters, plus you can order some vegan dishes if that’s what you’re after.

Give it a go and try the vegetarian burgers. Definitely some of the best you’ll get in Australia. If you’re looking for a delicious meal at a reasonable price, this is the place for you.

Cost: Two vegetarian burgers with roasted vegetables & fries about $17
Address: 6/13 Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia
Opening times: Daily 7:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

No Bones

Their goal is to become 100% carbon neutral and use as much Australian made/grown produce and products as possible, in order to reduce their environmental impact.

This results in some really delicious vegan food – definitely worth a visit when you’re in town.

The artfully crafted imitation meat dishes are not only indistinguishable from the real thing, but actually taste even better.

Address: 11 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Three Blue Ducks Byron Bay

The focus at Three Blue Ducks is on organic, sustainable and locally sourced produce. Many of the ingredients come directly from the restaurant’s own farm.

It’s a great choice for lunch and they have an excellent café and a produce store. Alongside dishes such as miso-glazed eggplant with whipped tofu, szechuan, ginger, coriander, peanuts and pickled chili, there is a rotating selection of Australian craft beers, wines and ciders on tap.

They also offer picnic hampers packed full of local goodies to enjoy in their stunning 80-acre grounds which boast views over the hinterland and Byron Bay’s famous lighthouse.

They have a playground for your little ones and live music on Friday-Sunday evenings!

Address: 11 Ewingsdale Rd, Ewingsdale NSW 2481, Australia


This is a charming Greek paradise in Byron’s Arts & Industry Estate. Here, it’s all about community and home-style feasts.

The taverna-style restaurant offers a $60 three-course banquet, with loads of veggie options. The traditional Greek dishes change seasonally, but you can expect classics like calamari skewers and Greek salad to be on high rotation.

The space is laidback, exuding Greek island vibes, and the leafy courtyard is an ideal spot for balmy nights.

Come here, if you’re looking for authentic, home-style food and warm hospitality. And check out their pop-up events. You’ll be treated to traditional music and dance, along with mouth-watering dishes!

And it’s where you’ll bring your own drinks (BYO).

Address: 1/1 Acacia St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Light Years

While they have a whole new menu with Asian-style dishes, shareable items such as prawn toast donuts served with yuzukoshu dipping sauce, salt and pepper tofu, hot and tingly BBQ lamb ribs, and honey king prawns with typhoon shelter crumbs are still the focus.

The space is full of earthy peach and terracotta shades, a glam bar area and vibrant dining area where you can enjoy striped banquet seating.

The soundtrack is fun, the lights are dim, and the vibes are always positive–this rounds out the full experience!

Address: 139 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Raes Dining Room

Raes Dining Room, located at the ultra-chic Raes on Wategoes hotel, is across from Wategos Beach – one of the best swimming spots in the region.

If you need more than just relaxing beach surroundings and effortlessly luxe interiors, maybe the dishes will do it for you. Dishes like a Davidson plum glazed free-range pork scotch fillet or spanner crab and sweet corn agnolotti are sure to please.

Address: 6/8 Marine Parade, Byron Bay NSW 2481, Australia

Byron Bay Markets

The Byron Bay markets are a great place to grab some tasty local produce or souvenirs.

The Community Market is held on the first Sunday of every month.

The Community Market has been a staple of the town since 1987. It’s an eclectic mix of market stalls that showcase Byron’s unique culture and personality. The market supports local businesses and talent, making it a great place to shop and eat.

You can find everything from delicious food to handmade arts and crafts, all while enjoying live music from local musicians. It’s a great representation of what makes Byron such a special place to live.

Address: Main Beach Foreshore Dening Park, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Farmers Market

The Farmers Market is held on Thursdays from 8-11am.

The Byron Farmers Market is one of the longest running farmers’ markets in Australia, having started back in 2002. A handful of local famers saw the potential to sell their produce directly to the public, reducing food miles and ensuring their small farms remained viable.

Over two decades later and the market has grown significantly, with over 70 stalls offering fresh locally grown produce every Thursday morning at Butler Street Reserve. Shoppers can find everything from seasonal fruit and vegetables, pasture-raised meat and eggs, artisan cheese and bread, seafood, pasta, rice, nuts, honey, flowers and more.

Supermarkets may be convenient, but farmers’ markets offer a unique opportunity to buy fresh food directly from the people who grew it. You can also connect with your community at these markets.

Address: Butler Street Reserve, Butler St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Twilight Market

The Twilight Market is held every Saturday, 2 October 2021 – 30 April 2022, 4 – 9pm at the Railway Park.

The Byron Bay Twilight Market is the perfect place to find one-of-a-kind arts and crafts made by talented local artisans.

With markets taking place during an extended summer season, downtown Byron Bay turns into a creative hub where visitors can browse unique boutique stalls offering handcrafted jewelry, leather goods, clothing and more. Various food vendors are also on site. And you can listen to great music while enjoying incredible eats.

This family-friendly atmosphere provides a fantastic opportunity for artists, designers, healers, producers and musicians to showcase their talents as well as handmade high-quality designs.

Address: 58 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Beachside Market

The Beachside Market is also held four times a year in Jan, Easter, mid July and late Sept (keep an eye out for posters around town).

The Beachside Market is a place where you can find handmade goods, delicious food and great entertainment. Held four times a year, this market is the perfect opportunity to support local artisans while enjoying one of Australia’s most famous beaches.

With a diverse range of products on offer, from clothing and homewares to health and wellbeing services, there’s something for everyone at the Beachside Market. So come along and enjoy all that this unique event has to offer!

The market’s number one priority is incorporating features of authenticity, community and sustainability. It’s the perfect place for local creators and artists to showcase their skills to everyone who attends. With more than 200 stalls taking up space on half a kilometer of beachfront at Byron Bay’s Main Beach, you’re guaranteed to find some amazing products and services that are unique to the Byron Shire area.

Address: Main Beach Foreshore Dening Park, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Hipster stores & cool events

Visitors from all over the world come here to enjoy the sea as well as the trendy restaurants and cafes. You can find smoothie bowls, bliss balls and really good coffee at these eateries–all of which are becoming increasingly popular in Bali (another favourite vacation spot among Australians).

A great tip if you’re trying to save some money while eating out: have an indulgent breakfast or lunch instead of dinner since dining out in the evening tends to be quite expensive. For instance, you could treat yourself to Coconut Coldbrew Coffee with Dukkah Poached Eggs at Bay Leaf or Acai Bowls at Top Shop or Cafe Combi.

Bay Leaf

They’ve been serving up great food, coffee, and tunes in the heart of Byron Bay for a while now, and they do their best to make you feel at home while you’re with them.

It’s all part of their plan: to give you an experience that you’ll want to tell your friends about, and hopefully bring you back for more. Their menu is seasonal and full of fresh, local ingredients. Their coffee, roasted by the legends at Blackboard, is a tried and tested blend of ethically sourced beans that they know you’ll love.

Address: 2A Marvell St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

The Top Shop is an old 1950s milk bar located at the corner of Massinger and Carlyle Street, just up from Clarkes Beach in Byron Bay.

The Top Shop

With a vision for something fresh and different, the Top Shop team set to work transforming the little shop on the hill into a place focused on providing the highest quality food and coffee in a fun and welcoming atmosphere.

Address: 65 Carlyle St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Cafe Combi

This family-run café has been a local & tourist favorite in Byron since 2008. Their philosophy is all about using organic produce from local farmers.

What’s really cool about Combi is the wooden chalkboard by the counter that lists where all of their produce comes from. Most of their ingredients are sourced from small artisan suppliers in Byron and the surrounding towns in New South Wales, which as well top and the way to go.

Address: 5b/21, 25 Fletcher St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Cool festivals in Byron Bay

Byron Bay Surf Festival

Don’t miss the legendary Byron Bay Surf Festival – a multi-day frenzy of surf music, surf movies, surf art and outdoor surf market with cool in-labels. That’s when the whole town is on its feet.

Because from the little nipper to the spry senior citizen, everyone can surf here and have a garage full of boards. Don’t be surprised if, with your surfboard under your arm, you immediately get involved in conversations with wave-crazy locals who love to talk shop and swarm in front of their quiver!

The Byron Bay Surf Festival is all about celebrating surf culture. They bring together local and international surfers to share their passion for the sport, art and lifestyle. The festival reflects the values of the Byron Bay community, with a focus on sustainability.

The multi-day festival activates a variety of events, including surfing, art, music, film, special guests and environmental aspects with an awareness and focus on sustainability, education and innovation.

Camping in Byron Bay

Looking for a place to camp around Byron Bay can be tricky. Although there are some paid campsites, they can be quite expensive, especially during peak season. However, free camping is practically nonexistent in the area. If you’re considering wild camping as an option, think again—you’ll likely get caught by police patrols who issue hefty fines.

Byron Bay Discovery Parks

You’ll probably have to choose a paid campground. Compared to the other options, this one is one of the cheapest during the high season, and it has pretty good ratings. You should be satisfied with that choice. The toilets and showers are clean and modern, there’s a nice pool on-site, Wi-Fi, and a large camping kitchen that you can use.

If it suits you, there are also large (but expensive) camping cabins with real beds and private showers available. That kind of “luxury” can be nice to have, especially when you’re traveling long-term through Australia.

Note: Be sure to book in advance during the busy season between mid-December and late January!

Unpowered Site: ~$35 per night
Powered Site: ~$50 per night
Camping Cabins: ~$150 per night

Address: 399 Ewingsdale Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Hotels and other accommodations in Byron Bay

If you’re not traveling with a camper or tent, don’t worry – there are plenty of hotels in Byron Bay to choose from. There are options for every budget, from relatively cheap hostels to luxurious accommodations with a sea view.

Low Price Range:

Glen Villa Resort

Glen Villa is the perfect place to get away from it all and relax in style. With its own private tropical gardens, lush saltwater pool and relaxed sunny atmosphere, you’ll feel a million miles away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. But with all the comforts of home just a short walk away, you’ll never want to leave!

Address: 80-86 Butler St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Byron Bay YHA

The YHA Byron Bay is a centrally located traveller property that’s just a few hundred metres from the beach. It’s right in the heart of Byron, with lush private ensuite rooms, a tropical pool oasis and phenomenal murals. You can expect resort vibes, hostel budget, and nothing but good times.

Address: 7 Carlyle St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

The Arts Factory

Byron Bay’s original hostel, super fun hippie vibes and alternative style accommodation. The Arts Factory Lodge, a budget-friendly accommodation in Byron Bay, was originally created in the 1970s by hippies and local and international artists. In the 1980s, it became an internationally recognized rock and roll venue. Some say that it’s The ‘Birthplace’ of much of the fame and spirit of Byron Bay.

The Arts Factory Lodge still maintains that original spirit today. Guests can relax by the pool, swing in the hammocks, and soak up the friendly atmosphere for which they are universally famous.

Address: 1 Skinners Shoot Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Medium price range:

Wake Up! Byron Bay

This bohemian-inspired resort-style accommodation is the perfect place to escape the ordinary. Located just steps from the beach, you can relax and enjoy a series of innovative spaces, including a restaurant, beach-style bar, outdoor courtyard, bright and open communal spaces, and modern facilities.

Address: 25 Childe St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Surf House Byron Bay

The Surf House offers a unique, premium accommodation experience in the heart of Byron Bay. A relaxed ‘surf inspired’ space that fuses quality facilities with bespoke design and style. Just 50 metres from the beach, guests enjoy convenience and comfort with bright, modern private and shared rooms, rooftop bar and complimentary surfboard hire.

Address: 23 Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Cape Byron Retreat

Cape Byron Retreat is a place where you can find balance. It’s a sanctuary in the hinterland that feels like it’s worlds away, even though it’s only four minutes from the heart of Byron Bay.

Every room is designed to celebrate the beauty of the natural surroundings, so you can feel serene and relaxed inside. There are plenty of opportunities to focus on wellness during your stay, from the pool and outdoor spas with views of the hinterland to the massage and yoga pavilion. You’ll find wellness around every corner at Cape Byron Retreat.

Address: 310 Skinners Shoot Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Upper price range:

28 Degrees Byron Bay – Adults Only

As you step into 28 Degrees, you’ll instantly feel as though you’ve been transported to a chic and stylish friend’s home. This private sanctuary is just footsteps away from Byron’s famous beaches, offering conscious travelers the perfect respite from the hustle and bustle of the outside world.

Whether it’s lazy mornings lounging in plush linen sheets, afternoons spent relaxing by your private plunge pool or evenings enjoying crisp champagne under the palms, 28 Degrees provides the perfect setting for your slow living reset.

Address: 12 Marvell St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Cape Beach House

Cape Beach House is a locally owned, stylish boutique guesthouse that captures all the cool, relaxed vibes of Byron Bay.

It’s perfectly located within walking distance of the beachfront, cafes, and restaurants, so you can easily stroll around and soak up all the sights and sounds that Byron Bay has to offer. The guesthouse includes a lap pool for a refreshing dip, or you can unwind with a drink or a book in one of our cosy corners in our beautiful communal lounge area.

Address: 94 Lawson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

The Lord Byron

Located in the heart of Byron Bay within a tropical setting, The Lord Byron has everything you need to escape from it all.

The pub has a large garden with a kids play area. The bed & breakfast rooms have their own annex, which matches the style of the original building.

Address: Shop 1/120 Jonson St, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Satara Byron Bay

Satara has all the chic, coastal vibes that Byron Bay is famous for. Surrounded by stunning rainforest, it’s the perfect unassuming hideaway to relax and recharge.

This beautiful property offers flexible accommodation options, making it ideal for a couples getaway or family holiday. It’s situated only minutes from downtown Byron Bay, so you can enjoy all the city has to offer without being too far from nature.

Address: Unit 53/59 Broken Head Rd, Byron Bay NSW 2481

Daytrips from Byron Bay

If you’re looking to spend a few days in Byron Bay, then checking out some of the area’s attractions is definitely worth your while. Here some great options for things to do.

Nightcap National Park

Nightcap National Park is absolutely massive – to be specific, it spans an area of 8,081 hectares. So there is plenty to see and do there.

For instance, the gargantuan Minyon Falls: a waterfall that plummets over 100 meters into the depths and at the top of which a stunning jungle panorama awaits you. Those are best when it rained enough. Otherwise the waterfall is somewhat dry. Nevertheless, it is still an incredible sight! See beneath for more info.

Hike the “Historic Nightcap Track”. At least the first five of 19 kilometers. Since it’s a point-to-point hike and you will have no way to get back to the start at the end, you will have no choice but to turn back.

The first five kilometers are also different than you might expect: Instead of great viewpoints, you will walk through dense jungle for the entire time. Instead of panorama views, you will hear rustling leaves from birds, lizzards and snakes.

If you’re looking for an adventure in the Non-Cap National Park, be prepared to encounter some wild animals. Australia is home to plenty of hiking trails, so you won’t be short on options when it comes to exploring the great outdoors.

Hike to the Minyon Falls

If you’re looking to get off the beaten path, this is the perfect spot. The cell phone service isn’t great here, so be sure to print out a map or ask for directions before setting out.

The road leading up to this parking lot is gravel, but it’s an official road – don’t worry about getting your car dirty. Attention, rental cars are often not allowed to drive on these roads. But here there is no way around it.

This is a great spot for hiking and taking in some fresh air.

As you hike off into the rainforest, keep in mind that it can quickly get hot–up to 30 degrees. Make sure to bring enough water with you to stay hydrated. The further you hike into the rainforest, the more shade you’ll find from the trees.

In the beginning, the trail is easy to follow. But after about 45 minutes, it starts to get narrower and narrower. Eventually, the only way to know you’re still on the right path are the small orange arrows painted on the trees. Oftentimes, you’ll find yourself practically alone on the trail, undisturbed by crowds of tourists. The cicadas can be incredibly loud at times, making it hard to concentrate on something else.

If you get lost, don’t worry — you’re not the first person to have trouble interpreting the signposts. Just keep calm and backtrack until you find your way again.

After a good two hours of hiking, you should start to hear the sound of the waterfall. The last leg of the journey includes climbing over large boulders to reach it.

The hike to Minyon Falls is a great way to experience the rainforest up close. The waterfall itself may not be the most impressive, but the journey there is definitely worth it. What makes this hike special is that you are relatively isolated from other people. There is no guide or large groups. It’s just you and the rainforest.


Nimbin is a small, hippie village located about 60 kilometers from Byron Bay. And when we say hippie, we mean it.

The houses in the center of the village are all brightly painted, and you’ll see plenty of Rastafarians and other hippies roaming around town.

This is a place where you can find some truly unique stores. They offer an amazing variety of items, including books on the healing power of hemp. The store decorations are also very whimsical and colorful. You’re sure to find something interesting here that you won’t be able to find anywhere else, including hemp products.

Is there really cannabis in Nimbin?

In Nimbin, you won’t be able to just walk into a store and buy marijuana over-the-counter. There is probably cannabis cultivation happening in the town itself (which is apparently tolerated by the state, even though it’s illegal in Australia). You’ll see signs everywhere in the stores that say cannabis is not sold there. In the end, you probably just have to go through the back door and then get offered something…

You can also expect people to strike up conversations with you regularly while you’re walking down the street.

If you’re looking to get your hands on some marijuana, just be aware that possession of the drug is illegal in Australia. The police also regularly patrol the entrances and exits to Nimbin.

Extra tip: At sunset, the Nimbin Showgrounds come alive with the sound of tens of thousands of bats flying overhead. For about 20 minutes, you can watch these magical creatures fly by in a truly unique experience. This alone makes it worthwhile to come to Nimbin for one night.

Getting to Byron Bay

Here’s a quick overview of the best ways to get to Byron Bay.

Driving to Byron Bay

The best way to travel to Byron Bay is definitely by car or camper. Not only will you have a lot of fun on an Australian road trip, but you’ll also be the most flexible and able to make changes on the fly if need be.

From Sydney, it’s about 770 kilometers to Byron Bay, but the route isn’t very complicated. In the end, you just have to follow the Motorway M1 northwards until it automatically becomes the Pacific Highway A1 and shortly before Byron Bay turns into the M1 again. So you stay on pretty much on the same road for almost your entire journey.

Only shortly before reaching your destination do you need to exit onto Ewingdale Road and then follow signs that will lead you right into Byron Bay!

Parking in Byron Bay

Unfortunately, free parking in Byron Bay is scarce: you can find parking machines that charge $4 per hour or $12 for the whole day almost everywhere. But here are a few free parking possibilities for you.

  • Parking spot: On Lighthouse Road on the right side of the road, directly across from the paid parking at Captain Cook Lookout.
  • Parking spot: Lee Lane – a small alley that branches off Lighthouse Road. Here, all parking is free.

Both parking lots are also a perfect starting point for the Cape Byron Walking Track.

The only important thing is to come as early as possible! The free areas are quickly filled up. We recommend 8 o’clock in the morning. At that time you should be able to get one of the few free spots. Otherwise, make sure that you get an accommodation with free parking.

Long distance bus to Byron Bay

If you don’t wanna drive yourself, you can also use a long-distance bus to Byron Bay.

We recommend the provider Greyhound Australia. It is very well known, has a large route network and the prices are not too expensive. You can either book one-way tickets for a certain route or the much more extensive Whimit Pass. The pass allows you to travel as often as you want on a Greyhound bus without paying extra. The only important thing is that you choose how long you want the pass to be valid for when booking it!

If you wanna travel by bus for an extended period of time and at the same time stay extremely flexible, then getting yourself a Whimit Pass is definitely worth it!

Getting to Byron Bay by train

You can also arrive by train. There is no direct line to Byron Bay, as the city hasn’t their own station, but there is one in Casino. From there, you can take one of the two bus lines – C 161 or C 173 – for the 80 kilometers to Byron Bay.

To get to Casino by train, you can use the T31, T32 & T33 lines, which cover large parts of the East Coast. This means you can start in Sydney, Brisbane or any other stop where one of the three trains stops.

You can book tickets on the official transport website of New South Wales.

Good to know: Learn some Aussie English

Of course, standard English is sufficient in Australia. But chatting with the locals is even more fun if you can sprinkle in a little Australian slang.

Friends are suddenly “mates” and instead of having a barbecue you meet for a “barbie“. Australians love to use shorthand when they speak, so it’s no surprise that there’s plenty of Aussie slang words.

Ace – Very good
Arvo – Afternoon
Exy – Expensive
Lollies – Sweets
Maccas – MacDonalds
Roo – Kangaroo
Young kangaroos – Joey
Stoked – Super Excited
Straya – Australia

A Guide to Surfing in Byron Bay, Australia

Surfers worldwide know Byron Bay as a surfing hotspot. If you’re interested in surfing in Byron Bay, you’ve found the perfect guide.

From the best surf beaches in Byron Bay to the biggest cliches around surfing in the area – here’s your guide to surfing in Byron Bay in Australia.

See also: Your Ultimate Byron Bay Travel Guide

Best surf beaches in Byron Bay

The beaches Belongil Beach, Main Beach and Clark Beach are perfect for beginners.

The most famous is The Pass, but it is not recommended for your first surf session.

If you are already experienced and looking for a challenge, but you don’t want to miss the colorful magic of the place, we can recommend Tallow Beach. Due to its very strong current, the beach can be dangerous for beginners, but a welcome adrenaline rush for professionals! You might even catch a glimpse of some dolphins!


The furthest north beach of Byron Bay, Belongil might become your favourite. It’s usually much less crowded than other beaches. A short 10 minute walk up from Main Beach.

Fun beach break with numerous peaks. Usually a solid right-hand bank which often barrels.

The Wreck

One of the most popular areas in Byron is due to a ship wreck poking out of the water. It’s also great for snorkelling!

Super recognizable by the rudder sticking out of the water. On the right swell, you’ll see a super hollow left off the rudder, or a punchy right hander off the submerged boilers.

Main Beach

The beautiful Main Beach of Byron Bay is the perfect place to take a refreshing dip! With its lifeguard patrol, it’s definitely the safest spot for swimming and surfing.

This section of beach has loads of peaks, which are perfect for all levels on a smaller swell. However, when the swell gets bigger, these peaks can become really hollow and challenging, especially during cyclone swells.


Wategos is a sand-bottomed surf spot loved by loggers for its fun right-handers that are great for all levels. When a bigger swell rolls in, the outer banks start to break as well.

The Pass

The most popular section of the beach in Byron is due to the right hand point break. The lookout rock is also a great spot to watch the waves and whale migration too.

The most celebrated surf spot is definitely the one that offers a lengthy, curling right-hand point break over a sandy bottom. When swells are smaller, it’s great for all levels of surfers – even beginners. But when conditions are more treacherous, be on the lookout for dangerous rip currents. Also be prepared for large crowds, as this spot gets super busy!

Broken Head

Broken Head is another delightful beach within ten minutes driving distance from town. It’s well worth a visit when heading up to Byron or down the coast.


If you’re looking for a more low-key beach experience, Tallows is the perfect spot. With less people around, you can enjoy the peace and quiet or even head to the nudist section down to the right!

On the other side of the Cape, Tallows Beach is a much wilder beach and absolutely amazing. Not suitable for beginners, beware of rips, heavy hold downs and the men in grey suits!

Surf conditions in Byron Bay

The general surfing conditions during the seasons are:

The hottest sea temperatures in Byron Bay peak around February 5 and lowest around August 16, in the range of 18 to 21 ° C (64 to 70 ° F).

Throughout the year, warm sea temperatures in Byron Bay climb to their highest at the beginning of February. Even then, a rash vest and boardshorts should be good for surfing at any time of the year.

The lowest water temperatures in mid-August require something like a 3/2 mm long wetsuit.

Byron Bay has a mild temperate climate with warm summers and mild winters. Winters are not cold with daily maximums usually reaching a comfortable 19.4° C and a minimum of 11° C.

Summer can be hot, with a daily average of 27 ºC. Summer evenings can be wet, cooling the day so for a comfortable night temperature.

Clichés about surfing in Byron Bay and what is true

About surfing in Byron Bay, you may have heard some discouraging clichés like “it’s supposed to be full with sharks, with brutal locals and extremely crowded lineups.”

But what’s the real deal? Can you still have a relaxed time?

Cliché number 1: There are many shark attacks in Byron Bay

Not true! Although Australia is the habitat of many shark species, statistics show that most attacks occur in the state of New South Wales – with only 122 being recorded between 1990 and 2016.

What’s more, Byron Bay accounts for 12 of these incidents over 26 years, making the risk very low. Much more likely are car accidents or being struck by lightning.

Locals don’t worry about sharks at all, but criticize shark repellent measures installed at busy surf spots such as drumlines and nets – as they endanger many marine life forms.

Instead it’s all about the “Blue Bottles” – relatively harmless small jellyfish that can sting quite a bit.

Cliché number 2: The surf spots in Byron Bay are overcrowded

The Pass is definitely one of the most popular surf spots on the East Coast of Australia because the waves are fantastic and it’s easily accessible. There’s always a lot going on there and on weekends the crowds can get pretty big.

But usually this is the only spot in Byron Bay that’s really crowded. If you venture away from the pass, you’ll find that the lineups get a lot quieter! Check out some of the other spots on the list above and ask locals (for example, in surf shops) for tips.

Cliché number 3: The locals in Byron Bay are brutal

Unfortunately, this is partly true! Aggressive locals can sometimes be found at the pass who do not shy away from “full contact”!

Even locals warn to avoid this spot themselves. The sobering realization, “Surf Rage” really exists.

“Rage surfers” also exist at the Wreck. Be careful on the Outside and aware that you are taking a risk despite knowing surf etiquette. At all other Byron Bay spots the vibe is much friendlier.