Your Alternative Osaka Travel Guide

If you’re looking for an alternative Osaka travel guide, you’ve just landed on the right page. Japan expert, La Carmina, shares her best tips and advice for exploring the more underground side of Osaka.

Only three hours from Tokyo by bullet train, Osaka is a turbo-charged setting for a long weekend getaway. Although it’s worth seeing historic landmarks such as Osaka Castle, travelers shouldn’t miss out on exploring the underground culture for an alternative perspective of the city. For instance, Osaka is home to a gritty and raucous music scene that’s matched only by its drinking holes — where the staff has feathered and dyed hair, the speakers blast Def Leppard, and the walls are decorated with grinning skulls.

I’ve been writing about Japan and visiting Osaka for well over a decade on my La Carmina travel blog. Here are some of my favorite subculture hangouts in the city, which I hope you’ll get to check out on your next trip.

See also: A day in Osaka, Japan

Japan travel expert - La Carmina
La Carmina, Japan travel and fashion blogger of LaCarmina.com

Osaka shopping guide

Let’s start off this alternative Osaka travel guide with a few vintage, indie and unique shopping spots in Osaka.

Shinsaibashi

Shinsaibashi’s Shopping Arcade is a bustling treasure hunt: look for indie and vintage boutiques, such as Dangerous Nude, amidst the mass retailers. Nearby Amerikamura is the cultural equivalent of Tokyo’s Harajuku, with Goths, punks and rockers hanging out in Triangle Park (here’s a map of the best stores). Poke your head through the beaded curtains for cyber fashion, tarot cards and 1980s toys.

Osaka travel guide recommending a Satanic-themed 666 clothing shop in the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka.
A Satanic-themed 666 clothing shop in the Shinsaibashi district of Osaka. Image by La Carmina Blog.

EST Center

A stone’s throw from Umeda Station, EST is a young women’s “shopping town with dream and excitement.” The boutiques lure you in with frantic J-pop music and the chic outfits seen in Cutie and ViVi magazines. If the hundred-plus indie and alternative shops aren’t enough, across the street is Hep Five, a shopping and entertainment megalopolis with a red Ferris wheel.

Osaka travel guide recommending Pokemon Center, Osaka. Photo by La Carmina
Pokemon Center, Osaka. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Sightseeing in Osaka

Here are a few more unique sights to visit in Osaka.

Pokemon Center

Believe it or not, the Pokemon Center is one of the top tourist attractions in all of Japan. The gargantuan Umeda, Osaka store is stocked with every character imaginable. Children in Pikachu hats will remind you that the brand’s motto is “gotta catch em all,” so bring your wallet.

Kaiyukan Aquarium

Kaiyukan is one of the largest aquariums in the world and a family favorite. Young Osaka resident Takumi Tanaka reminisces on his childhood visits. “It’s always fun to see the penguins and dolphins playing, but my favorite thing to do is visit the Floating Jellyfish tanks. It’s so relaxing to watch the intertwining tendrils,” he says. “Also I love to watch the staff feed the sea otters, who play like children.”

Osaka Castle

Tanaka also encourages first-timers to visit the historic Osaka Castle, especially during the cherry blossom season. “There are always festivals and gatherings in the beautiful park, and little stalls that sell traditional foods like takoyaki. It’s fun to just sit on the benches and watch people go by,” says Tanaka.

Related tour: Guided Walking Tour around Osaka Castle

Alternative Osaka travel guide
Fu-Ki pours a devilish drink at hard rock Bar Midian, Osaka. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Bars and Nightlife in Osaka

What’s an Osaka travel guide without a list of the best bars and nightlife?

Related tour: Osaka: Nightlife Experience

Bar Midian

Fans of Visual Kei/J-rockers Blood were heartbroken when the group disbanded. But like a Goth Elvis, vocalist Fu-ki is alive and ominously wielding an ice pick behind the counter of his Bar Midian.

The Umeda dive is near-impossible to find, so I suggest studying these detailed directions on my La Carmina Blog. Midian’s decor is a heavy metal wet-dream: a dripping candle sits in a Dracula wine bottle; an axe rests in the umbrella stand. That night, we sat with tattooed rockers who headbanged to Black Sabbath videos and scandalized us with their boy-on-boy antics.

Drinks are 500 yen and have names such as Black Rose and Satan. Fu-ki mixes a strong cocktail and will gladly make you a special one, or pour you a Belgian Satan Beer. He’s also known to pick up the tab for newcomers, especially if you bond over music — so don’t forget to ask him about his Motley Crue cover band.

Bar Moonwalk

When metal and rock bands tour Osaka, they frequently stop by Moonwalk, a bar that pumps Marilyn Manson and Japanese glam metal to a young, heavily-pierced crowd.

My travel comrade and I had an instant crush on our eyeliner-smeared server Kouta, who plays bass in a new Visual Kei band. The fantasy faded a little when he went into the kitchen to cook our orders: tasty 315 yen plates of Korean fried rice and lotus pork cakes. There’s a 400 yen cover charge, but the drink menu — which has over 300 offerings for 200 yen each – more than makes up for it. Got a sweet tooth? Try the raspberry yogurt cocktail. More of a hardcore type? Go for the brandy ginger mixer. And don’t be surprised if the charming bartender brings over free shots.

Bar Rock Rock

Alice Cooper. Bad Religion. Motley Crue. Metallica. They are among the hundreds of famed faces who have raised hell at Rock Rock since the bar opened in 1995, leaving behind autographed photos and tales of destruction.

The atmosphere reminds me of a really chill jazz club, only with screamo vocals. The bar plays anything from punk to metal and has events throughout the year that bring in throngs of rock fans. These include special DJ nights such as Hell’s Bells (AC/DC), Emotion is Dead (emo) and the self-explanatory Loud & Heavy.

The menu is a typical selection of pizzas, pastas and salads (600-800 yen). The drinks are standards, plus a selection of fruity cocktails (500-800 yen). A little pricy, but worth it when they’re poured by celebrity bartender “Noxl Rose.”

Alternative bars in Osaka, Japan
Cute octopus balls, or takoyaki: an Osakan favorite food. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Food in Osaka

Take your tastebuds on an adventure.

See also: Japanese Pork Chop in Downtown Osaka

Okonomiyaki

Non-Japanese speakers, memorize the word “okonomiyaki.” It’s a tragedy if you leave without tasting the grilled savory pancake (usually with seafood, and topped with bonito flakes and brown sauce) that is Kansai’s soul food. Look for family restaurants such as Tengu, where recipes are passed down from several generations.

Takoyaki

Takoyaki — grilled octopus balls made from pouring batter into molds — are another Osaka specialty. Every major street has a stand where you can buy a dozen for 500 yen. Twists on the original include egg or melted cheese toppings, and takoyaki stuffed in a crepe. But nothing beats mom-and-pop shops, such as Tako House at Umeda station, where a shy grandma oversees the cooking.

Yuzu (citrus fruit)

Yuzu is a divine mating between a lemon and a tangerine. In Osaka, you’ll find the flavor in seemingly every type of dish: sorbet, sake, shochu. The fruit is rarely found fresh outside of Japan, so don’t hesitate to gorge on it at every meal.

Related tour: Eat Like a Local Street Food Tour

Alternative Osaka travel guide
A pentagram coaster from Gothic, fetish and occult themed Bar Idea in Kobe, Japan. Image by La Carmina Blog.

Day Trips from Osaka

If you want to escape from Osaka for a day, check out a few of these nearby places.

Kobe

Take a jaunt to Kobe to explore its outstanding parks, zoo, and harbor. For a walk on the dark side, visit Gothic / fetish / occult / Satanic Bar Idea. The friendly ladies behind the nail-spiked bar will chat with you and perform dark rituals, including shibari or rope bondage demonstrations.

Nara

Get away from the grit with a day trip to Nara, only an hour away by subway. The cultural capital dazzles with six Buddhist temples, a Shinto shrine and the Imperial Place. But the biggest thrill, for tourists of all ages, is petting the sacred deer that roam in Nara Park.

Related tour: From Kyoto or Osaka: Private Walking Tour through Nara

Kyoto

Kyoto is located north of Osaka, and home to thousands of well-preserved places of worship such as Kinkaku-ji (Temple of the Golden Pavilion). First built in the 14th century, the three-story gilded structure holds the Buddha’s ashes and is set in an exquisite garden with a mirror pond.

Related tour: From Osaka: Kyoto Top Highlights Day Trip

Japan travel expert, La Carmina
See more Japan travel tips on La Carmina’s social media @lacarmina and her award-winning travel blog.


A Guide to the Different Tickets for the Colosseum

So, you’ve decided to visit Rome on your next holiday to Italy. We don’t blame you!

The Colosseum is a symbol of the Eternal City, with around 8 million visitors every year. You’re probably also considering going on a Colosseum tour, which is no shock, as it’s one of the largest and most famous landmarks in Italy.

But even though millions of people visit the Colosseum every year, getting tickets for Colosseum can be pretty challenging if you don’t know where to start.

Don’t worry – we’ll tell you everything you need to know about visiting the Colosseum in Rome, including recent changes that ticket holders need to know.

See also: Visiting Rome: Sights to Book in Advance

A guide to visiting the Colosseum in Rome, Italy
A guide to visiting the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Why should I visit the Colosseum?

The Colosseum is the most significant ancient amphitheatre globally – and in human history in general. Construction for this massive monument began in 72 AD under the Roman emperor Vespasian. The builders only completed it in 80 AD under the reign of Titus, Vespasian’s heir and successor. 

It’s made chiefly of travertine limestone, volcanic rock and brick-faced concrete. In the early days, the Romans most famously used it to host gladiators and their contests and other public spectacles such as animal hunting, executions, battle reenactments, and Roman dramas.

As the years went by, its function transformed into housing, quarters, a fortress, a quarry and eventually, a Christian religious shrine.

Currently, grand restoration plans are in place to bring the Colosseum back to its former glory. The first restoration began in 2013 and became the first complete cleaning and repair in the history of the Colosseum. 

Since 2017, enough progress has been made that the top two levels have reopened for guided visits. However, you’ll need special tickets for Colosseum if you want to visit the top levels. 

See also: Things to Do in Rome: Our Rome Activity Guide

A guide to getting tickets for colosseum
Visiting inside the Colosseum, Rome – depositphotos.com

What will I find when I visit the Colosseum?

Before you arrive, you’ll find impressive construction at the monument outside. One of the best places to see the enormous exterior of the Colosseum is through Via Dei Fori Imperiali. This street provides one of the best views of the most well-preserved facade of the entire Colosseum. 

The Colosseum had 80 entrances and, at its peak, could fit 50,000 visitors in just 15 minutes. Today, visitors can visit from the Southside, and it now takes a bit longer to enter due to the long queues. The architects designed each of the five different levels in a unique style. 

Today, its designs for corridors and stairs are still being used as references for modern sports stadiums. At present, the essential ticket Colosseum visit begins on the 2nd floor. 

See also: First Time in Rome Itinerary

Different types of tickets for Colosseum

Before you enter, you should know that there are a few different kinds of tickets for Colosseum that you can choose. 

The basic tickets for Colosseum include access to the main floor and second-tier only, which will take around an hour to visit. You will also gain entry to the Roman Forum and Palatine Hill on the same day.

However, suppose you’re after a Colosseum underground tour, including the arena, underground section, and third tier. In that case, you will need to purchase a Full Experience Arena ticket. This type of ticket is also valid for two days instead of one and often offers better insights into some of the best-preserved sections of the site. 

You can also find tickets for a group Colosseum tour or even a special night tour of the Colosseum.

Please note that you will need to print your ticket, or you can show your ticket receipt on your mobile device. 

The official website does not mention changing reservations or offering refunds, so be sure that you’re buying for the correct date when you’re ready to visit.

Buying Colosseum tickets online

One of the simplest and cheapest ways to get to the Colosseum is to buy Colosseum tickets online. We recommend buying tickets from either GetYourGuide or Tiqets.

One thing to note is that there are different Colosseum ticket price ranges for various visitors.

When looking at the Colosseum ticket price, Adults aged 25+ can expect to pay €18, youth between ages 18-25 pay €4 and children under age 18 can enter for free. 

If you want to purchase an Audio guide for your colosseum tour, it will set you back €5.50.

Additionally, if you don’t enjoy waiting in queues and are booking last-minute, get the last-minute priority pass.

The unique tickets for Colosseum

You can also find a few different kinds of tickets for Colosseum that offer far more than a typical touring experience.

Some excellent tickets for Colosseum you can find are:

The different types of Colosseum tours in Rome
The different types of Colosseum tours in Rome

Summary

When buying tickets for the Colosseum tour, remember that you need to be specific and cannot rely on a basic ticket to grant you access to every section.

If you want to spend less time waiting, get a skip the line Colosseum ticket to gain priority entrance to this marvellous landmark. There are also unique Colosseum underground tour options available if you’d like to delve deep into the historical significance of the world’s largest amphitheatre.

Another great tip to remember is the colosseum ticket price can vary. Whether you want a basic package or a combination tour that lets you access every level, you can expect prices to adjust accordingly. 

Perhaps you are looking for a more extensive Colosseum tour coupled with visiting another famous Roman landmark on the same day. You can find Colosseum tickets online for all of the above and many other unique tours of the Colosseum that are updated every year.

We hope we’ve made it easier for you to buy tickets for Colosseum when it is time for you to visit!


A Guide to Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona

On your next trip to Spain, there are lots of things you might want to do. Something that you don’t want to miss is a visit to Sagrada Familia basilica. 

Whether you’re religious or not, it’s an architectural masterpiece and famous landmark in the heart of Barcelona that is visited by around 5 million tourists every year. 

But don’t let the prospect of large queues keep you from visiting! If you weren’t convinced before, here’s how why you need to visit Sagrada Familia on your next holiday to Spain.

See also: The Best Tourist Attractions in Barcelona

Sagrada Família, Barcelona Spain
Sagrada Família

The History of Sagrada Familia

While Gaudi is the most famous name behind the Sagrada Familia towers, nine architects have taken on the project since his death, and it’s still incomplete today. 

In case you didn’t know, Gaudi was a dedicated Catholic, and he was notably obsessed with both nature and religion. His plans for the Sagrada Familia towers involved representing the entirety of Catholic history. This project was to become his grandest legacy. 

Despite changing hands, every architect involved has remained true to Gaudi’s original plans from 1883. The original completion date was set for 2026. However, this has been delayed due to the Coronavirus pandemic of 2020 – with no new end date in sight.

Currently, all ticket sales are funding the completion of the project – churches or the government do not back it. So, when you visit Sagrada Familia, you’ll be financing the completion of Gaudi’s famous landmark. 

Private donations are also accepted to build the Sagrada Familia towers further. Whenever it is eventually completed, it will become the tallest church globally.  

Another of the fantastic Sagrada Familia tips is that Gaudi was buried there in 1926, located within the El Carmen Virgin chapel. Despite being incomplete, it’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site – another amazing fact to tick off your bucket list!

Is visiting the Sagrada Familia towers worth it?

If you’re asking if visiting the Sagrada Familia towers is worth it during your next trip, the answer is a resounding yes!

That’s because the Basilica of the Sagrada Familia was built in 1882. It is a monumental church with ties to the Holy Family and was consecrated by Pope Benedict XVI in 2010.

What’s even more amazing about the Sagrada Familia is that it features breathtaking architecture by Antoni Gaudi, one of the world’s most famous architects. He pioneered a new era of architecture called Catalan modernism, which features free-flowing curves and organic forms. 

You can find nine completed spires, of 18 in the original design, with plans for further completion in the coming years.

See also: Things to Do in Barcelona: Our Barcelona Activity Guide

Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain
Visiting Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain

Tips for visiting the Sagrada Familia

As this monument is one of the most popular in Spain, and because it’s in the middle of the city of Barcelona, you can expect queues to be extremely long. The best time to visit Sagrada Familia is as early as possible in the morning. 

The Sagrada Familia opens at 9 am when queues are at their shortest. The period between 9 to 11 am is generally less crowded.

However, you may want to get inside the monument for the best photographic opportunities later in the day. For amazing pictures, the best time to visit Sagrada Familia is between 5-6 pm, when the sun sets. 

The sunlight shines through the colourful stained glass at this hour, producing dream-like sights and images. It’s also possible to attend evening Mass at 6 pm, which comes at no charge. Here, visitors must dress and act appropriately.

Some other things to consider include:

  • Length of visit. Most tourists want to know how long to visit Sagrada Familia towers to make the most of their trip. The recommended time is around 2 hours, but you can stay as long as intended. 
  • The price. Sagrada Familia ticket cost is between €33 and up to €99 for an 8-hour guided tour that includes Montserrat.
  • The best time to visit Sagrada Familia. The Sagrada Familia hours of operation are from 9 am till 6 pm every day. Sagrada Familia’s hours of operation for Mass is 6 pm. 
  • Different kinds of tickets. You will need a special ticket to visit the Sagrada Familia towers that include tower access; this is not granted with a basic ticket. 
  • Ticket availability. Make sure to get your tickets in advance, as tickets can sometimes sell out by 5 pm. It’s also an option to buy online tickets to streamline the process. Look for availability and book your tickets below:
  • Extra packages. You may find a higher Sagrada Familia ticket cost for inclusive packages, such as a Sagrada Familia and Park Güell combination tour
  • Guided tours for foreign visitors. There are several guided group tours available in different languages. When you visit Sagrada Familia, the currently available options include English, German, Italian, French, and, of course, Spanish. 
  • Can I get a Sagrada Familia audio guide free? You can find free audio guides online, but these cannot compete with guided tours. 
  • Planning your arrival. You can find public transport links that will take you to visit Sagrada Familia – the L2 or L5 via the metro or one of many dedicated buses, including the 19, 33 and 34. 
  • What to wear. Remember that when you visit Sagrada Familia, it is a holy place of worship. Visitors need to dress appropriately, meaning that tops should cover their shoulders, and shorts/skirts should come mid-thigh. Hats are not allowed at the Sagrada Familia.
  • Navigating the Sagrada Familia. You should download the official app to manage tickets, find audiobooks and more. The app costs €26 from the official website. However, it is possible to visit without downloading the app, too.
Visiting inside Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
Interior of Sagrada Familia cathedral in Barcelona, Spain – depositphotos.com

Summary

We hope we’ve answered the question ‘is visiting the Sagrada Familia towers worth it?’ The answer is yes – it’s great to visit year-round!

You should add Sagrada Familia to your itinerary next time you go to Barcelona. 

Don’t miss out on your chance to visit Sagrada Familia and its massive cultural and historical significance. Whether planning how long to visit Sagrada Familia or finding the Sagrada Familia ticket cost price, we hope our Sagrada Familia tips have made planning much easier for you!

Looking for more things to do in Barcelona? Check out the below posts:


A Guide to Visiting Paris in the Spring

Paris is a beautiful city, and it’s also the capital city of France. While it’s a great place to visit year-round, visiting Paris in the spring is a fantastic sight. Spring time in Paris is truly remarkable; you’ll find it full of flowers, trees, lively crowds and an overall fantastic atmosphere.

The weather starts to clear up after the cold winter months, leaving you with the wonderful scents as the spring flowers start to bloom. What could be better than witnessing the changing of seasons from frost to flower? 

Spring is truly a magical time in Paris. Here’s everything you need to know about travelling to Paris in the spring time.

See also: Paris for Beginners: Where and What to Eat, See or Do

Paris in the spring
Spring blossoms in Paris, France

Paris weather in spring

Spring in Paris is one of the most popular times of year to visit, and the season lasts from March to May. You can expect Paris weather in spring to start out chilly, with highs of 54°F/12°C in March, 61°F / 16°C in April and 68°F / 20°C in May. 

The average lows for March are 41°F/5°C, you can expect 45°F/7°C lows in April and 52°F/11°C lows in May. As you can see, the weather warms up in May but remains cool throughout the season, especially at night. Don’t forget to pack warm clothes for your Paris weather in spring, especially if you visit in March. We highly recommend traveling with Merino wool clothes as they work well for all weather types.

Tips for visiting the “city of love” in the spring 

Having a Paris spring is nothing short of amazing. Still, there are some things you should know before visiting to make your holiday and planning process more enjoyable.

  1. Paris is always busy, no matter what time of year you decide to visit. This is especially true when you book tickets for a significant landmarks or museums. You’ll likely need to book for famous sights like the Eiffel Tower or Catacombs weeks in advance. Social distancing measures have also limited the number of visitors allowed per day, and some ticket booths are even closed. So make sure to book your tickets ahead of time!
  1. Book a central hotel. Paris is a beautiful city for walking around at any time of day. Spring is even better, as it offers cherry blossoms, sunshine and a fantastic atmosphere. There are many great forms of accommodation, from hotels to guest houses and apartments. 
  1. There are a lot of public holidays during spring time in Paris. The high season really kicks off in April, and Easter is the first major holiday of the year for the French. You can expect Paris to be especially crowded during the Easter holidays, as well as holidays like Labour Day and Victory Day in early May. 
  1. Be prepared for flexibility on short notice. Spring time brings unpredictable weather with it. While it’s rare that you’d lose a whole day to rain, it could definitely ruin your plans to walk in Monet’s Gardens or other outdoor activities in Paris. 
  1. Pack enough to keep warm. While Paris in the spring is not the coldest time of year, it sometimes shows off its four seasons in a day. Packing a lightweight jacket, like a puffer or down jacket, should be enough to keep you out of the cold that you’ll find in a Paris spring. There is an extensive range of temperatures in a Paris Spring, so bear this in mind when you start packing. Check out our stylish city packing guide.
  • Get the Paris city card. Save money and get access to two of the most iconic locations in and around Paris: the Louvre Museum and the Eiffel Tower along with enjoying a cruise along the Seine. Buy the Paris City Card.
Get the Paris City Card
What you get with the Paris City Card

Related read: The Paris Pass and Why it’s Worth it

Top things to do during spring time in Paris

Paris has rightfully earned its popularity as one of the most famous cities in the world. Naturally, the number of things to do in Paris is nearly endless. While you don’t need to specifically wait to visit Paris in the spring, some places and activities are much nicer when visiting in the spring time.

  • If you are an art lover, you need to visit the Atelier des Lumières and the Louvre. The Palais Royal is an elegant and historical building offering covered galleries worth a visit. 
  • Since Paris has pleasant spring weather, you might enjoy a sightseeing bike tour. If you don’t feel confident on your own, you can book a guided bike tour of Paris to give you the best overview of the city.

Related tour: Paris: Charming Nooks and Crannies Bike Tour

  • You could book a relaxing cruise on the Seine. This is one of the most budget-friendly activities to enjoy when visiting Paris. 

Related tour: Seine River Sightseeing Cruise with 3-Course Dinner

  • Spring time in Paris is not complete without visiting one of many parks. Paris has over 400 parks, so there is definitely no shortage of variety to choose from! It’s also a great time to take a day trip to Versailles.
  • Go for drinks and dinner at a restaurant. Enjoy an apéro, which is a drink and small nibble before dinner. Check out our guide to the nightlife in Paris.
  • Paris has 5 hills. If you’d like to stroll through Paris on a less-crowded route, walking on the slopes can offer fantastic panoramic views of the city without the extensive foot you might find on the streets.

Related read: A Guide to the Arrondissements of Paris

  • If you are a fan of architecture, visit the Butte aux Cailles neighbourhood. It offers beautiful art deco buildings with unique colours. Rue Montorgueil is another great neighbourhood that offers a mix of rural villages and urban sights.
Famous Eiffel Tower with spring tree in Paris, France - depositphotos.com
Famous Eiffel Tower with spring tree in Paris, France – depositphotos.com

Blossoms, fresh air & a new lease on life

It’s a great idea to visit Paris in the spring time. From the relatively mild Paris weather in spring to the fresh blooming scent of new plant life, much of the liveliness of Paris returns in spring.

Spring also offers excellent opportunities for visiting the many parks that Paris offers, visiting famous museums, taking a bike tour of the city, or even visiting a food market.  

Regardless of your interests, we’re sure you will find something to do that is unique to Paris – whether you’re an art lover, urban explorer, foodie or photographer! 

Visiting in winter? Check out our guide to winter in Paris!


Where to Stay in Bali: Our Bali Accommodation Guide

If you are fortunate enough to visit Bali, also fondly known as the Island of the Gods, then you are about to embark on one of the most enthralling adventures of your life. This picturesque island holds so many unique experiences, tantalising food scenes and offers you the most luxurious options when it comes to discovering where to stay in Bali.

And so, if you have been considering scouring the internet in hopes of finding your dream accommodation in Bali, then you can close all of those tabs now. We’ve vetted our top choices for where to stay in Bali and we know you are going to love them!  

Search for accommodation in Bali 

Discovering Bali

Did you know that Bali is one of 17,500 islands in the Indonesian archipelago?

It’s a popular tourist destination due to its incredible beauty, high diversity of marine species, coral reefs, culture, active volcanoes, wild jungles, and growing infrastructure. The island is well accustomed to travelers, with many available places to stay in Bali.

Accommodation in Bali varies from private villas and five-star resorts to bungalows in the rice fields and homestays. The options are diverse. Our Bali accommodation guide covers everything that you need to know about where to stay in Bali, including the best family resorts in Bali, boutique hotels in Bali, Bali honeymoon villas, as well as a few unique places to stay in Bali.

Where to stay in Bali: Best areas in Bali

For most people, Bali is seen as a tropical island mostly made up of beautiful beaches. However, from the moment you arrive you will instantly realise that the island is actually characterized by spectacular diversity. Yes, there are many beautiful sandy beaches, but there are also vast agricultural landscapes (the famous rice paddies), mountains, quiet villages, and a few raucous party towns too. Essentially, his popular island has perfected the art of appeasing all tastes!

To get the most out of your vacation in Bali, you need to understand the different areas and pick one best suited to what you want out of your trip to the island. We’ve highlighted some of the best areas in Bali and where to stay in each. They are all in the southern half of the island as this region is the most popular amongst tourists.

When searching for where to stay in Bali, you need to know that the Kuta and Legion areas are the most touristy places in Bali. Both Kuta and Legion are packed with local shops, fresh produce markets, thriving restaurants, bars and nightclubs. If you’re keen for a good old party, then these areas are definitely for you. It’s also easy to find cheap accommodation in Kuta and Legion if you’re on a budget. You’ll also find great beaches and surfing spots too.

Ubud is incredibly popular amongst digital nomads and travelers looking to experience the interior area of the island. It’s also considered ‘yoga central’, with loads of yoga studios throughout the area. It’s great to stay in the village to be close to the shops, restaurants and local markets. But if you’d prefer to spend more time relaxing and taking in the natural beauty of this area, then rather look for accommodation on the outskirts. A taxi into the village is easy enough to get, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Seminyak is quite a trendy area of Bali, with boutique shops, sophisticated bars with live jazz, soul and R&B, and a wide range of restaurants for you to try. Do keep in mind that it’s quite far from being an authentic Bali neighborhood as it appeals more to the high-end, luxury traveler. 

If you want to be close to Seminyak but prefer to be a bit more remote, then head to Canggu. It’s about a 20-minute drive from Seminyak.

Nusa Dua is a closed-off area reserved for luxury hotel chains and resorts – almost like a hotel bubble. Its security checkpoints make it the safest place in Bali, which appeals to wealthy tourists and families. You won’t experience the real Bali here though.

Located on the eastern side of Bali’s southern isthmus, Sanur has a laidback beach vibe. It was originally a fishing village and they have managed to keep its original charm. This is a great area for families visiting Bali and tourists looking for a more mature, European atmosphere.


Where to stay in Bali: Our Bali Accommodation Guide

We’ve broken our Bali accommodation guide into the main tourist regions of the island. You’ll find the top places to stay in each neighborhood, including a range of different accommodation options. If you’re not too concerned about which neighborhood to stay in, but rather after a specific feature (like a family-friendly resort) then check out our other options towards the bottom.

Where to stay in Kuta and Legion

Some of the top places to stay in Kuta and Legion include:

Alam Kulkul Boutique Resort

Located a five-minute walk from Kuta Beach and steps away from Legian Beach, this hotel offers two outdoor pools, traditional spa treatments and an Asian restaurant. The hotel is modelled after a traditional Indonesian village and is surrounded by tropical gardens.

  • Rates start from $72 for a double room
  • Where to book: Booking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Pantai Kuta, 80030 Kuta, Indonesia
Alam Kulkul Boutique Resort
Alam Kulkul Boutique Resort

Grand Istana Rama Hotel

Grand Istana Rama Hotel has an idea location just a minute walks from Kuta Beach, and within walking distance from Kuta Square and the buzzing nightlife of Jalan Legian. The hotel has its own swimming pool with a sunken bar and the all day restaurant serves local, Italian and seafood dishes – along with stunning Kuta Beach views. The Tequila Bar features a DJ and live band entertainment. To top if off, the hotel offers weekly cultural activities like cooking classes and Bahasa Indonesia language classes.

  • Rates start from $50 for standard double room
  • Where to book: Booking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Pantai Kuta, 80361 Kuta, Indonesia
Grand Istana Rama Hotel
Grand Istana Rama Hotel

Kuta Lagoon Resort and Pool Villas

Kuta Lagoon Resort offers luxury retreats in private villas, each with their own balcony and swimming pool. The resort is an eight-minute walk from the beach and there is also a free shuttle service to Kuta Beach. Each villa is decked out with air-conditioning, flat-screen TVs, minibars and beautiful décor. There is also a spa and four dining options.

  • Rates start from $50 for standard double room and $110 for a pool villa
  • Where to book: Booking.com | Expedia | Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Raya Legian No. 363, 80361 Legian, Indonesia
Kuta Lagoon Resort and Pool Villas
Kuta Lagoon Resort and Pool Villas

Where to stay in Ubud

Some of the top places to stay in Ubud include:

Viceroy Bali

This five-star hotel offers luxurious villas with private pools overlooking the Petangu River. The main infinity pool overlooks the jungle, offering the most breathtaking atmosphere. It’s just a five-minute drive from central Ubud, and offers a free shuttle to guests. The rooms are lush as is the entire hotel, including the Lembah Spa, which offers a variety of body treatments.

  • Rates from $1,000 (includes breakfast)
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia | Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Lanyahan, Br. Nagi, 80571  Ubud, Indonesia
Viceroy Bali
Viceroy Bali

Alaya Resort Ubud

Surrounded by rice fields in the heart of Ubud, Alaya Resort Ubud offers affordable luxury. Rates include breakfast and afternoon tea, and the on-site restaurant serves delicious local dishes along with some fusion and international meals. Alaya Resort Ubud is 200 metres’ away from the Monkey Forest and 700 metres’ away from Ubud Market. Features include an outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and spa.

  • Rates from $114 for a standard double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | ExpediaAgoda
  • Location: Jl. Hanoman, Ubud, 80361 Ubud, Indonesia
Alaya Resort Ubud
Alaya Resort Ubud

Chapung SeBali

Chapung SeBali offers eight villas perched on a hill overlooking the river, each with their own private pool. It’s tucked away about a 10-minute drive from the center of Ubud, making it quiet, peaceful and secluded. The design is modern, hip and Nordic – making it a hipsters paradise.

  • Rates from $282 for a Deluxe Suite
  • Where to book: Booking.com Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Raya Sebali No.5 Keliki, Tegalalang, 80561 Ubud, Indonesia
Chapung SeBali
Chapung SeBali

Kampung Ubud Ibunda Bungalow

Kampung Ubud Ibunda Bungalow offers Balinese-style accommodation set in lush gardens. Each room is decorated with a typical Balinese style, featuring a private terrace/balcony, free Wi-Fi and air-conditioning. Hotel features include an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, spa, and other basic conveniences. The hotel is located a 10-minute walk from Monkey Forest and Ubud Art Market.

  • Rates from $30 for a one-bedroom bungalow
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia | Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Monkey Forest , 80571 Ubud, Indonesia
Kampung Ubud Ibunda Bungalow
Kampung Ubud Ibunda Bungalow

Where to stay in Seminyak

Some of the top places to stay in Seminyak include:

W Bali – Seminyak

Located on the Seminyak Beach, though a seven-minute walk from the beach. The hotel features a large outdoor pool and full-service spa. The five-star accommodation includes balconies with garden or sea views. There are two restaurants, one offering BBQ while the other offers Pan-Asian dishes. Sunset drinks, and a bit of a party, are offered at the hotel bar. 

  • Rates from $535 for a double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Petitenget, 80361 Seminyak, Indonesia
W Bali – Seminyak
W Bali – Seminyak

eqUILIBRIA Seminyak

Named after “peace and tranquility” in Indonesia, this property lives up to its name. It’s a bit more hidden away in downtown Seminyak, being a 17-minute walk away from the beach. Each of the eco-friendly villas feature private pools (not all units), a full butler service, iPhone concierge app, and luxurious beds with 300-thread count pure bamboo sheets. Relaxing massage and beauty treatments can be enjoyed at Equalize Spa. Guests can also take the free transfer to Finns Recreation Club and Finns Beach Club – A 25 m outdoor pool, tennis courts, gym and yoga rooms are available there.

  • Rates from $250 for a one-bedroom villa with private pool
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Wirasaba No.5, off Jalan Kayu Aya, 80361 Seminyak, Indonesia
eqUILIBRIA Seminyak
eqUILIBRIA Seminyak

Kosta Hostel

Kosta Hostel offers basic, budget-friendly accommodation in Seminyak. The hostel is located 1.7 km from The Seminyak Square Shopping Mall. Dorm rooms are classic and modern, with a simple and fresh approach. There is a small outdoor pool available, with a few surrounding chill spots amongst the greenery. Guests can also enjoy the on-site restaurant which serves up delicious local and international meals.

Kosta Hostel
Kosta Hostel

M Boutique Hostel

M Boutique Hostel offers modern and Instagram-worthy accommodation in Seminyak. It’s a five-minute drive to the famous Potato Head Beach Club and a seven-minute drive from Batu Belig Beach. The dorms are comfortable and modern with air-conditioning and ample personal space with each guest getting an assigned locker, universal electric socket and reading lamp. The property features an outdoor swimming pool along with a shared kitchen and lounge. 

M Boutique Hostel in Bali
M Boutique Hostel

Where to stay in Canggu

Some of the top places to stay in Canggu include:

Komea Villa – by Karaniya Experience

For a boutique offering, Komea Villa is an ideal option. Located within the rice fields of Batubelig, this property is a five-minute walk from Kayu Putih beach and Canggu Club. The Seminyak area is a 5-minute drive away. Accommodation options include one and two-bedroom villas with free Wi-Fi and a private pool (decked out with spa jets). Each villa also includes a dining area and kitchenette.

  • Rates from $230 for a one-bedroom villa (breakfast included)
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Subak Sari No. 7, Br. Tegal Gundul, Ds. Tibu Beneng, Kuta Utara, Bali, 80361 Canggu, Indonesia
Komea Villa – by Karaniya Experience
Komea Villa – by Karaniya Experience

KTS Day Spa & Retreat by Ngeluwungan Group

For a more secluded getaway, KTS Day Spa & Retreat is a great option. Situated in the pastoral area of Canggu, the property is a 10-minute drive from the property to the famed surfing spot at Echo Beach, and around a 15-minute drive to the iconic Tanah Lot Temple. Each room offers air-conditioning, a TV, balcony and dining area with a fridge and electric kettle. The property features an outdoor swimming pool along with a shared lounge to relax in.

  • Rates from $61 for a Queen room
  • Where to book: Booking.com | HotelsCombined Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Beringin Gang Untung No 71 Br. Pegending, Dalung, 80361 Canggu, Indonesia

Canggu Beach Hostel

Located just a three-minute walk from the beach (both the Pererenan Beach and Echo Beach) and a 10-minute drive to restaurants and shops in Canggu. The property has two outdoor pools with beach bar along with a terrace and garden, as well as being surrounded by beautiful rice paddies. Canggu Beach Hostel offers a fun and lively vibe.

  • Rates from $3 for a dorm room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Raya Pantai Pererenan No. 156, 11111 Canggu, Indonesia

The Apartments Canggu

Located a 15-minute walk from the closest beach, and five-minute drive from Echo Beach. The Apartments Canggu offer one-bedroom and studio apartments with a living and kitchen area. Some apartments have views of the rice fields, pool, or the garden. The property features an outdoor swimming pool and garden as well as offering free use of bicycles, surfboards and Yoga mats.

  • Rates from $37 for a studio and $57 for a one-bedroom apartment
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Padang Linjong No. 85, 80361 Canggu, Indonesia
The Apartments Canggu
The Apartments Canggu

Where to stay in Nusa Dua

Some of the top places to stay in Nusa Dua include:

Grand Hyatt Bali

Grand Hyatt Bali is one of the top picks among the elite resorts in Nusa Dua. It’s a massive luxury beachfront resort with five outdoor pools, a large spa, and eight dining options. The rooms are ultra-luxurious, stocked with batik robes, slippers and free amenities. A variety of water sports, a tennis court and a fitness center are available.

  • Rates from $500 for a standard double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Kawasan Wisata Nusa Dua BTDC, Bali, 80363 Nusa Dua, Indonesia

Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali

This property is a six-minute walk from the beach. Set in lush tropical gardens, the 5-star Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali features three outdoor pools and a private beach. Rooms are decorated with Balinese furnishings and feature a balcony/terrace with views of the tropical gardens or beach. Facilities include a spa, fitness center, and tennis and squash courts. Guests can go on a Balinese fishing tour or try canoeing, rafting and snorkelling. It also has a children’s playground and game room.

  • Rates from $166 for a double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Kawasan Pariwisata Nusa Dua, Lot North 4, 80363 Nusa Dua, Indonesia
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali
Nusa Dua Beach Hotel & Spa, Bali

Rantun’s Place

For those on a budget, Rantun’s Place is a good option. Situated in the Sawangan district in Nusa Dua, the property is a nine-minute walk from Geger Beach. Rooms are basic with flat-screen TVs and breakfast is included. An outdoor swimming pool, spa, restaurant, free Wi-Fi and free on-site parking is available. 

  • Rates from $13 for a double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Nusa Dua Selatan, Br. Sawangan, 80361 Nusa Dua, Indonesia

COOEE Bali Reef Resort

COOEE Bali Reef Resort is located steps away from Tanjong Benoa Beach. The resort offers bungalow-style accommodation with traditional Balinese architecture and décor, along with private balconies and garden views. There is an outdoor swimming pool, restaurant, bar, and all-day massages by the beach. 

  • Rates from $95 for a double bungalow
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Pratama, 80363 Nusa Dua, Indonesia

Where to stay in Sanur

Some of the top places to stay in Sanur include:

Segara Village Hotel

Segara Village Hotels offers typical Bali villas set within a tropical garden. It’s a three-minute walk to the beach and offers three outdoor pools. In-house The Beach Restaurant overlooks the ocean and serves Asian and international dishes. There’s also another cocktail bar overlooking the beach. Rooms have private balconies overlooking the gardens and are fitted with all standard amenities. Other features include a spa and free yoga sessions.

  • Rates from $165 for a double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Expedia Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Segara Ayu, 80030 Sanur, Indonesia

Little Pond Homestay

Little Pond Homestay is a great option for travels on a budget. The excellent location is about one minute from Jalan Danau Tamblingan, Sanur’s main drag; five minutes’ from the beach (via a shortcut) and less to Pasar Sindu night market. The rooms are basic, though are kept clean and offer good value for money. There is an outdoor swimming pool and all of the rooms have a small terrace looking over the pool.

  • Rates from $8 for a standard double room
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Danau Tamblingan No. 19, Sanur – Bali, 80228 Sanur, Indonesia

Artotel

Artotel is a funky four-star hotel that will appeal to contemporary art and architecture lovers. Designed by Jakarta architectural firm Studio TonTon, the hotel is a canvas for notable Bali-based contemporary artists and a visual feast for guests. The hotel is situated a two-minute walk from Sanur Beach and guests can find an array of shopping and dining options within a short stroll to the Sanur main street. The rooms are comfortable, each featuring unique graffiti artwork on the walls along with modern amenities.

  • Rates from $80 for a double studio
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Kusuma Sari No.1, 80277 Sanur, Indonesia
Artotel in Bali
Artotel

Kamuela Villas and Suite Sanur

Kamuela Villas and Suite Sanur is a five-minute walk away from the beach, with ample shops and eateries within close walking distance. The suites are bright and airy, with spacious interiors including living and dining spaces. They come decked with modern amenities and include a private butler service. Villas have private gardens and pools, along with fully-equipped kitchenettes. A full restaurant and spa are available, and guests can join in on cooking classes.

  • Rates from $100 for a one-bedroom suite
  • Where to book: Booking.com Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Cemara No. 33 Sanur, 80228 Sanur, Indonesia

More options for where to stay in Bali

Bali honeymoon villas

Berry Amour Romantic Villas

Located just outside of the high-end beach town of Seminyak, Berry Amour Romantic Villas offers 20 private luxury villas. This spot is ideal for a honeymoon in Bali as it’s an adult-only resort. The villas each feature their own design: Temptation, Mystique, and Desire. The classic and elegant décor oozes romance with candles, luxury sofas, and cove lighting. Each also come with their own swimming pool, sun deck, jacuzzi, and fully-equipped kitchen – there’s no need to leave!

  • Rates from $335 for a one-bedroom villa
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Batu Belig, 80361 Seminyak, Indonesia

Bali villa with cooking lessons

Kubu Kusuma Guest House

This private house is set amongst the forest in North Bali, offering complete privacy for guests. The guest house features two spacious bedrooms with a large bathroom. There’s a beautiful infinity pool, garden room and private massage area. Guests can enjoy a freshly cooked breakfast each morning. The hosts offer guests Indonesian cooking lessons, which is always enjoyed.

  • Rates from $41
  • Where to book: Airbnb
  • Location: Buleleng, Bali, Indonesia

Best family resorts Bali

Padma Resort Legian

Located a three-minute walk from the Legian Beach and a 10-minute walk from Seminyak’s shops, restaurants and entertainment. The resort includes two beautifully landscaped pools with sunken bars. A kids pool with slide as well as another with volleyball net is available. There are seven dining options – with enough kid-friendly options. Rooms are spacious and include private terraces. Additional resort features include a spa, departure lounge, tennis court, and live entertainment.

  • Rates from $240 for a double room and $400 for a family room
  • Where to bookBooking.com Agoda
  • Location: Jln. Padma no.1 PO BOX 1107 TBB, 80361 Legian, Indonesia
Padma Resort Legian
Padma Resort Legian

Adult-only hotel in Bali

The Bale

The Bale is an adult-only luxury resort in Nusa Dua. The property is a six-minute walk from the beach, 10-minute drive from Bumbu Bali Restaurant and a 15-minute drive from Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. The exclusive villas include private pools, a 24-hour butler service, and a free daily minibar. It provides free shuttle services by private cars to its exclusive beach clubs at Geger Beach and Nusa Dua areas. The resort includes a spa, fitness center, yoga rooms, and four restaurant/bar facilities.

  • Rates from $450 for a one-bedroom villa
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Raya Nusa Dua Selatan, 80363 Nusa Dua, Indonesia

Boutique hotel in Bali

Katamama

Katamama not only offers spectacular five-star service and amenities, but they source locally and help support the local community. All the décor is bespoke and has been handmade by local artisans and craftsmen – from the bricks to the bathrobes and ceramic cocktail beakers. The 57 rooms are spacious with large windows letting in plenty of natural lighting.

  • Rates from $305 for an Island Suite
  • Where to bookBooking.com Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Petitenget 51B, 80361 Seminyak, Indonesia

Unique places to stay in Bali

Amankila

The 34 free-standing Suites at Amankila are set atop stilts amid the treetops, creating a Balinese treehouse vibe. Each of the suites have a private outdoor terrace. Besides from the treetop suites, the resort features wellness spa and a restaurant, where all food is locally sourced and grown. 

  • Rates from $589 for a garden suite (breakfast included)
  • Where to book: Kayak
  • Location: Bali-Manggis Indonesia, Manggis, Indonesia
Amankila
Amankila

Romantic wellness retreat in Bali

Spa Village Resort Tembok, North

Hidden away in the least developed part of Bali, Spa Village Resort Tembok is a spa village before it is a resort. Guests are welcomed with a massage at check-in – ensuring complete relaxation from the start. Located in the north of Bali, the area is more rustic and un-spoilt. Guests can explore the nearby heritage villages, climb waterfalls, stroll around lakes and go dolphin spotting. The spa is phenomenal, and the resort has also launched Solo Female wellness retreats.

  • Rates from $250 for a standard double room
  • Where to book: Booking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jl. Singaraja – Amlapura No.100 Desa Tembok – Kec. Tejakula, Buleleng, Singaraja, Bali, Indonesia

Health Retreat in Bali

Ubud Sari Health Resort

Ubud Sari Health Resort is all about yoga, healthy eating and being surrounded by relaxing jungle vibes. The outdoor swimming pool looks out onto the adjacent rice paddies and the various ponds around the property aid in creating a relaxing atmosphere. There’s a restaurant at the property that serves healthy organic meals and raw food. Some rooms have a terrace with pool views, others feature a balcony with views of the green surroundings. The resort offers various detox and cleansing workshops (read more on their website).

  • Rates from $44 for a double room
  • Where to book: Booking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Kajeng, No 35, 80571 Ubud, Indonesia
Ubud Sari Health Resort
Ubud Sari Health Resort

Bali hotels with private pool

Hanging Gardens of Bali

There are some absolutely breathtaking pools in Bali, but the infinity pool at Hanging Gardens is possibly one of the best. The pool is perched on the side of a hill and looks out into the surrounding jungle and Ayung River. It’s truly breathtaking. The only thing is that this is one of the most photographed pools in Bali, so to get your Instagram-worthy shot you need to line up early in the morning.

  • Rates from $629 for a villa
  • Where to bookBooking.com
  • Location: Desa Buahan, Payangan, 80571 Payangan, Indonesia

Bali Eco Resort

Alila Uluwatu

Alibla Uluwatu is an eco-friendly resort in Bali, in Uluwatu. The resort is built on a limestone cliff, surrounded by scenic beauty. Its minimalist and understated design fits in perfectly with its surroundings. Along with keeping eco-friendly, the resort offers five-star service and facilities including personal butler service, sleek design, infinity swimming pool, and a fitness center with yoga and pilates studio. The modern Balinese-style villas feature an elevated outdoor pavilion that overlooks the ocean. Each villa has an outdoor dining area and oversized bathroom.

  • Rates from $868 for a villa
  • Where to bookBooking.com | Agoda
  • Location: Jalan Belimbing Sari, Br. Tambiyak, Desa Pecatu, Uluwatu, Bali, Indonesia agoda
Alila Uluwatu
Alila Uluwatu

Still didn’t find what you were looking for?

Browse all accommodation in Bali
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We hope that you now know where to stay in Bali, and have an amazing trip to this breathtakingly beautiful spot.

P.S – check out our guide on staying at a hostel to make sure you have an epic experience!


A Guide to the Ski Resorts in Lake Tahoe

With 300 to 500 inches of snow covering the mountains each year, you won’t be surprised to find many great ski resorts in Lake Tahoe.

Tucked into the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range, Lake Tahoe is a year-round adventure vacation destination, however, it’s probably best known as an iconic ski region. It’s home to a Winter Olympics site along with the largest cross-country ski area in America.

You’ll find many ski resorts at Lake Tahoe, with the most popular being in North Lake Tahoe, West Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe.

In partnership with Hotels.com, we’ll take you through the various ski resorts in each region, and what they’re best for.

Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe
Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe

Ski resorts in South Lake Tahoe

Here are a few of the top ski resorts in South Lake Tahoe.

Heavenly Mountain Resort

Heavenly Mountain Resort is the largest ski resort in Lake Tahoe, with over 4,800 acres of ski terrain, including 97 different trails accessed by 28 ski lifts.

Unsurprisingly, the resort gets its name from the incredible views to be found here. Skiers have been known to stop midway through a run, simply to marvel at the views of Lake Tahoe, the mountains and the forest.

The resort is popular for both skiing and snowboarding and offers slopes for all levels. About 5% of the slopes are ideal for beginners, while 43% are intermediate, 26% advanced and 23% being expert runs.

One of the best reasons to stay near Heavenly Mountain Resort is the wide choices of nearby hotels and cabins.

Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe - Heavenly Mountain Resort
Heavenly Mountain Resort in Lake Tahoe

Kirkwood Mountain Resort

After Heavenly Mountain, Kirkwood Mountain Resort is the next most popular south Lake Tahoe ski resort.

The resort offers an impressive variety of terrain, including long, wide runs and open bowls. The resort has 2,300 acres of terrain and 86 trails for skiers and snowboarders accessed by 15 lifts. The longest trail stretches for 2.5 miles (4 km).

With the highest summit being a staggering 9,800 feet, it’s a challenging terrain to ski. Only about 12% of the slopes are for beginners, while 30% are intermediate, 38% are advanced and 20% are expert.

Apart from skiing, the resort also has areas for tubing, snowshoeing, snowboarding and cross-country skiing.

Sierra-at-Tahoe

A favourite among locals, not only because of its slopes, snowfall and access to Huckleberry Canyon, but because of its vibe. The activities here are all centred around playing around and having fun on the slopes.

You simply cannot leave without racing down the tubing hill in a huge doughnut! This is a great family-friendly resort, with its Blizzard Mountain dedicated to snow play, including tubing and sledding lanes.

The resort has 2,000 acres and 2,212 vertical feet of skiable terrain. The 46 runs are split up into 25% beginner, 50% intermediate and 25% advanced.

Ski resorts in North Lake Tahoe

Here are a few of the top ski resorts in North Lake Tahoe:

Squaw Valley

Squaw Valley was home to the 1960 Winter Olympics and has maintained its vibrant ski culture ever since. The valley attracts eager skiers, offering slopes for beginners (about 25% of the slopes) through to seasoned professionals.

The resort has 3,600 acres of skiable terrain, 29 ski lifts, and more than 170 trails—with the longest run extending for 3.2 miles (5km).

A (non-skiing related) highlight of the resort is the hot tub, pool and cabana bar sitting at 8,200 feet.

Ski resorts in Lake Tahoe
Squaw Valley Ski Resort in Lake Tahoe

Northstar California

Northstar California is all about creating an entire experience around skiing. Including champagne toasts on the mountain, a virtual mountain assistant and a family-friendly ski village.

The resort has 3,170 acres of skiable terrain, with 100 trails. From challenging trails for the experts to more leisurely intermediate trails and beginner routes.

For snowboarders, the resort is known for its Snowboarding Terrain Parks, including The Straits for a variety of jumps and Pinball for boarders who like jibs.

Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe

The first ski resort to typically open in the area due to having the highest base elevation (and extensive snowmaking capabilities). Mt. Rose Ski Tahoe is a Reno Tahoe ski resort, located just 25 minutes from Reno-Tahoe Airport.

It’s also the only ski resort that offers a 360-degree view into Nevada’s Truckee Meadows and Lake Tahoe.

The resort has 1,200 acres of skiing on 1,800 vertical feet. It’s a great stopover resort on your way to or from other ski resorts in South Lake Tahoe. Also, a popular resort for advanced skiers, with many black-diamond runs.

Diamond Peak Ski Resort

Diamond Peak Ski Resort is known as one of Tahoe’s friendliest mountains, with uncrowded conditions and breath-taking views of the lake. The area is also great for tree skiing!

The resort has 655 skiable acres, with almost 500 acres of gladed tree runs, 6 chairlifts and 31 runs. Its summit elevation is 8,540 feet above sea level, yielding a vertical drop of 1,840 feet, sixth among the ski areas surrounding Lake Tahoe.

Ski resorts in West Lake Tahoe

Here are the ski resorts at Lake Tahoe’s western shores.

Homewood Mountain Resort

Located just a few miles north of the iconic Emerald Bay, Homewood Mountain Resort is one of the last resorts offering a truly classic Lake Tahoe skiing experience. It’s perfect for skiers who enjoy peak-to-shore skiing in a relaxed atmosphere, for good value.

Covering 1,260 acres of terrain, Homewood has 67 trails accessed by eight lifts.

While there are beginner terrain options (15%) and advanced terrain (35%), skiers and snowboarders often come to enjoy an abundance of intermediate terrain (50% of the mountain).

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort

Alpine Meadows Ski Resort is known for the longest snow season of any Lake Tahoe ski resort and powder that lingers for days.

The resort has 2,400 skiable acres, with more than 100 trails – from mountain adventures through to groomed runs.

It’s known for being a down-to-earth resort, with approachable hospitality.

Ski resorts further out in Lake Tahoe

There are several more ski resorts located a bit further from the actual lake, these are often much more accessible from the nearby areas of San Francisco and Sacramento.

A few of the most popular ones include:

  • Sugar Bowl Ski Resort
  • Royal Gorge Cross-Country Ski Resort
  • Boreal Mountain Resort
  • Donner Ski Ranch
  • Soda Springs Mountain Resort

There’s definitely no shortage of ski resorts in Lake Tahoe, take your pick from the above and make sure to get there quickly before the season is finished!


A Guide to Visiting Banff National Park in Winter

If you are looking for the ultimate outdoor adventure, the quintessential winter wonderland and the most memorable snow-topped landscapes around, then you need to visit the Banff National Park in winter.

Not only is this time of year the best time to visit the Canadian Rockies but there are so many sparkling, snow-dusted adventures to be had.

So, get comfortable and bookmark this blog as we offer you the ultimate guide to visiting Banff National Park in Winter.

Taking a deeper look at Banff National Park

For those unfamiliar with this picturesque location, the Banff National part is actually Canada’s first national park. It is made up of emerald lakes and rivers, snow white glaciers and pristine wilderness that surrounds the Rocky Mountains in the province of Alberta, Canada.

This incredible getaway is not adored for its winter themed experiences but the mere fact that this little escape is known for only having 4% of its natural terrains accessible by road. This means that wherever you are able to drive, you know that you will be surrounded by untouched, unspoiled nature in all of its wintery glory!

Banff National Park in winter
Scenic winter mountain landscape in Canadian Rockies – depositphotos.com

When is it winter in Banff National Park?

The region’s winters fall between the months of January and March with the air being noticeably cold and dry. That being said, it is significantly warmer than similar mountainous areas in Alberta with the area only receiving a moderate amount of snow – unless you are on high ski hills. Despite the cold, there’s plenty of sunshine and not a lot of wind.

It is important to keep in mind that January is by far the coldest month in Banff National Park, with an average low of about -15°C (5°F). While January may be the coldest time of the year it is the best time to visit this location. Not only will you experience the full snow-draped experience, but it is also less busy at the end of January as many people are returning home from their trips.

How to get to Banff National Park

If you are preparing for your Banff winter trip you will most likely be flying into Calgary International Airport. Once you’ve landed you will then embark on an incredibly scenic 1.5 hour drive down the TransCanada Highway that will take you through the heart of the park. You will then continue west until you reach the mountains of Banff.

How to travel around Banff National Park in Winter

When it comes to any vacation, it is natural to want to rent a car. If you are looking to have a little more freedom to go and do whatever you want at a time of your choosing, renting a car is a great idea. Keep in mind that there are heavy snowfalls, so you will want to have some experience driving during or right after a snowstorm.

There are also a number of car rental providers in the town including Hertz, Avis, and Enterprise – all of which have offices in the area. You can search across all car rental providers here.

Alternatively, you could skip the renting of a car all together and opt for local transportation options. Even during the winter, they are fully operational and incredibly affordable too. There are a number of shuttle options available that can take you from the airport to your accommodation and take you around the entire area. There are also notable eco-friendly bus options that can easily take you to your next activity.

What to wear when visiting the Banff National Park in Winter

Naturally, you will be packing all of your regular essentials from your toiletries to your electronics and chargers, passports and all. However, given the fact that you will be experiencing some pretty cold bouts of weather it is essential that the following items are in your suitcase.

  1. Layers. You will without a doubt be layering for most of your trip as a way to insulate yourself. Try to get as many long-sleeved cotton shirts and leggings as possible. Read more about why Merino Wool clothes are perfect for layering!
  2. Winter boots. Nevermind aesthetics, you will need functional, warm boots that can handle the snow, water and mud. If they have some grip, even better!
  3. Woollen socks. It is common for tourists to get frostbite in their toes due to a lack of proper, adequate socks. Keep those toes warm and as dry as possible with THICK Merino Wool socks.
  4. A hat. This may seem strange given that it is winter but keep in mind that the sun is very much still present and oh so harsh, so make sure to bring a hat that not only protects you from the sun but can keep your head nice and warm.
  5. Ice cleats. On the topic of being able to trudge your way through the snow, purchasing/ renting high quality ice cleats is an absolute must.
  6. Mitten. Here comes the frostbite again. It is so easy to lose feeling in your fingers given the cold. Keep your hands protected with the help of insulating mittens that can keep you warm even in the harshest of winter weather. Don’t forget your scarves and beanies too!

If you’re going hiking in Banff National Park (in winter or summer) – check out these hiking sunglasses.

Winter in Banff National Park
Magnificent Winter View of Bow River Valley in Banff National Park on a Snowy Day.

Where to stay when visiting the Banff National Park in Winter

Fairmont Banff Springs

If you are looking to experience a world class winter escape then look no further than the Fairmont Banff Springs. This gorgeous resort has a 32 m lap pool and a 20 m heated outdoor pool. Better yet, after a long day taking in all of the activities on offer, you can make use of the resort’s Willow Stream Spa that has 27 treatment areas and offers a variety of relaxing massages and beauty treatments. Other on-site activities for guests include bowling, tennis, horseback riding, and golfing.

Rimrock Resort Hotel

If you are looking to live in a lap of luxury then the Rimrock Resort Hotel is your ideal accommodation spot. Not only does it offer all guests access to the exclusive indoor pool and a hot tub, but Rimrock Resort Hotel is located 6-minute drive from Banff centre and near the Upper Hot Springs. There is also a renowned on-site restaurant that has a number of decadent dishes and local cuisines on offer.

Moose Hotel and Suites

If you are looking for a warm ambient experience that delicately balances outstanding architecture with spectacular views of the surrounding landscapes, then the Moose Hotel Suites are perfect for you. The design of the Moose is a combination of modern elegance with warm, rich, natural materials that replicate its surroundings. It is also located a 1-minute walk from the heart of downtown Banff, meaning you are nearby all of the hustle and bustle!

What to keep in mind when visiting Banff National Park in winter

Since Banff National Park is a popular place for tourists to visit, you will notice that the most common language spoken in this town is English. That said many locals do speak French, so expect to encounter a lot of strong, heavy French accents along the way. You will also notice that many of the signs around the area are written in both English and French.

If you are visiting Banff in the middle of winter you’re very fortunate that unlike many other mountainous areas, you have a significant amount of daytime. In fact, you can expect sunshine and daylight for about 10 hours of the day which is quite a win in comparison.

Remember to also exchange your current money for Canadian Dollars as that is the currency used throughout the town. Very rarely will any of the locals except any other currency, so make sure to exchange your money prior to jetting off on your vacation.

Winter activities in Banff National Park

Upper Hot Springs

Take a dip in the gorgeously geothermally heated and bubbling mineral water of the Upper Hot Springs. This incredibly rejuvenating water flows from the Earth’s crust through the Sulphur Mountain Thrust Fault. Whilst you enjoy its warmth you can take in all of the panoramic views of the Rocky Mountains as the blue waters soothe your body. Once you are done, you can grab a quick bite to eat at the café at Upper Hot Springs.

Winter Wilderness & Wildlife Hiking

Get some dirt under those shoes and explore the incredible terrains of the Banff National park by joining in on their Winter Wilderness & Wildlife Hiking experience. When it comes to figuring out what to do Banff in the winter, you cannot begin your adventure without adding a hike onto your list – especially at this location. A number of professional guides will take you through the various seasonal trains where you will have a number of memorable wildlife sightings.

Go snowshoeing in Tunnel Mountain

Pump some adrenaline and get your heart racing at Tunnel Mountain. This is a particularly great snowshoeing spot as it’s right in the heart of Banff. It is also beloved by locals given its accessibility and proximity to other activities in the area. It is also really great for all skill levels too and offers amazing views too.

See also Ways to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint on a Winter Sports Trip

Try the Fairview Loop Banff Cross Country skiing trail

Are you ready to glide your way through the spectacular landscapes of Banff National Park in winter? Then you need to make sure that you take part in some good old Banff cross country skiing at the Fairview Loop. Not only is this a much-loved sport in the country, but it is a great way to explore the surrounding areas. Just keep in mind that the general cross country season runs between mid-November and March.

Go Skating at Lake Louise

Canada is known for its scenic and charming lakes, but one that continues to reign supreme is the one and only Lake Louise. It is easily one of the most popular destinations for great skating in Banff moment. It has so much winter charm and there are a number of fun ice sculptures, horse-drawn carriages and a little ‘ice bar’ that serves a number of decadent drinks too!

You can also do a day trip to Lake Louise.

Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada
Lake Louise in Banff National Park, Canada – depositphotos.com

Take the Gondola Up Sulphur Mountain

Yes, indeed Canada has gondolas, and they are fantastic, especially when taking it up Sulphur Mountain. Gondolas in Banff are common and offer you the most goosebump-inducing experiences as you nestle your way through the forestry. Once you get to the very top, they serve an incredible lunch buffet for you to indulge in.

Just keep in mind that it is best if you book your tickets in advance. Not only is it cheaper than purchasing it at the ticket stand but it will also mean that you get to skip the line and head on straight to the gondola from the moment it arrives.

General tips for when you visit Banff National Park in winter

Definitely get a park pass.

It is crucial that you understand that the only way to get into Banff National Park is via a paid permit system, which supports the preservation of the park. You can opt for a day pass of the Discovery Pass which allows you to go to any park in Canada. Passes are available at the park gates, online and at visitor centres.

Leave open spaces in your schedule

It is easy to get overly excited about your trip and figuring out things to do in Banff that you overwhelm yourself. Give yourself time to wander through this vibrant town and see what’s on offer. You don’t have to plan everything until the last second.

Practice your French

Whether you are French speaking or a beginner, Banff is the perfect place to begin learning a new language. Not only are the locals friendly but they appreciate the efforts too. It is a sweet gesture that goes a long way, so try to download language learning apps or make use of free YouTube videos online.

The reality is that visiting Banff National Park in winter is an experience that you will never forget. Embarking on this winter wonderland escape will definitely be a story you share for years to come!


A Guide to Teaching English Abroad

Wouldn’t it be nice to travel the world and get paid for it?

It may sound like a pipe dream, but this is the reality of a TEFL teacher’s life. Basically, you get paid for teaching English abroad.

With English being a global language, there is a demand for it in virtually every part of the world. And where there is demand, there are jobs.

English is a tool that will open doors for so many people, providing them with opportunities that they didn’t have access to before, and, as the English teacher, you’re the person facilitating and supporting that process.

Being a TEFL teacher is an exchange: the door to the world is open for you to set off and explore it, and in return you do the same for others by removing the barrier of the English language.

So, how do you get started? Keep on reading to find out!

Here are our tips on teaching English abroad

1.     Figure out a location

First and foremost, you have to narrow down your options. Having the whole world at your disposal can be overwhelming.

The sooner you can pinpoint a general part of the world you’d prefer to get started in, the sooner you can start figuring out what the process is to get set up as an English teacher.

For Europe-based teachers wanting to visit the rest of the continent, this is usually a far simpler process. You can put feelers out for English language assistant programs across Europe, such as with Meddeas, to get started, and then choose whichever you feel is the best fit for you.

Home will always be a short flight away, as will other European countries, giving you the perfect balance of travel and family time during the holidays. 

For those that have their hearts set on travelling further afield, platforms such as Teachaway are a lifeline for TEFL teachers, providing current listings of job openings, requirements, and application deadlines in various schools across the globe.

The process for arranging your work visa and organizing flights is usually done with the support of the schools, and many also offer travel stipends to cover the costs of their teacher’s flights. 

All that’s left for you to do is brush up on the culture to avoid making any cultural faux pas upon arrival.

2.     Do your research about what it takes to teach English abroad

Many schools require TEFL teachers to have a university degree, and teaching English abroad is often appealing to university graduates as an exciting opportunity to gain some life experience.

For that reason, your professors will no doubt know a couple of students either currently working in this field, or who worked in it for a period. Utilize this and ask them to get in touch with those people to see if they’d be willing to answer any of your nagging questions about what to expect.

In the case that you don’t know any TEFL teachers or have no connections to anyone that knows someone you could ask, LinkedIn is a fantastic platform to connect with people in the industry. In the click of a button, you can reach out to various teachers to request their input on your questions or concerns.

For those that aren’t feeling as extroverted, blogs like the ones you can find written by The TEFL Org should cover nearly every query you may have.

3.     Learn the local language of where you’re going to teach

The best way to really delve into another culture is to start learning the local language.

Often TEFL teachers can find themselves in an English-speaking bubble in the work environment. For those that want to broaden their social circles and really feel like a local when travelling, getting to grips with a basic level of the native language can lead to new friendships, as well as make everyday life run a little smoother.

There’s nothing like being able to order something in a restaurant in another language to give you that sense of independence and belonging, simultaneously. 

Not only will learning the language help you feel settled, but it will also give you a new insight into what your students experience and feel when learning English as a foreign language.

You’ll be able to empathize more with the anxiety they may feel when pronouncing, but also better understand the common mistakes your students make due to translating their language into yours when trying to speak. Understanding these errors means you’ll be able to draw comparisons between how certain things in English are expressed differently to their language, ultimately making you more knowledgeable as a TEFL teacher.

4.     Share your experiences of teaching English abroad

Once you’ve become a seasoned teacher, the best way to move on to new adventures in different parts of the world is to talk to other TEFL teachers about where they’ve been and taught.

Straight from the horse’s mouth is where you’ll get the most honest and useful information on the places you should absolutely check out, and more importantly, where not to go.

Your fellow TEFL teachers have no ulterior motives. They’re floating around on their own travels, and you’re helping them as much as they’re helping you to continue doing so in the best and most informed way possible. 

Thinking back to the beginning of your journey where you researched and read other teachers’ blogs, once you’ve gained some of your own experience, there’s no reason not to share your own tips and advice to inspire and help others by starting your own. The industry is constantly evolving, new resources are always being developed, but TEFL teaching has always remained a community of people willing to share ideas and help one another.

You can also share some articles about how to get an experience like volunteering. Go that one step further to keep the cycle of content TEFL teachers scattered across the globe in motion.

You all share the same passion: travelling. 

With the knowledge of these four main steps now under your belt, the last part of the process is to get qualified. Obtaining your TEFL Certification is your ticket to the first of many adventures you’ll have as a TEFL teacher.

The TEFL companies will support you with all the information and resources you need to join the industry, and then the rest is up to you.

Be that a 2-hour flight, or 16 hours, the beauty of teaching English abroad is that you get to decide where in the world it takes you.


ETIAS Guide to Visa-Free Travel in Europe

We’ve all dreamed of glorious European vacations, right? Whether it’s spending a week in Barcelona, visiting Sardinia in Italy or eating our way through Paris – there are many European travel dreams.

Citizens of roughly 60 countries, including the US, who can travel visa-free in Europe will soon need to make an ETIAS application electronically before entering any Schengen country.

It’s not as complicated as it sounds though and merely involves a few extra steps to add to your travel planning routine. We’ve covered everything that you need to know about applying for ETIAS for your upcoming trip to Europe below.

ETIAS application
ETIAS application process for visa-free travel in Europe

What is ETIAS?

ETIAS stands for the European Travel Information and Authorization System and requires non-European Union citizens seeking visa-free travel to any of 26 nations in the Schengen area to register online and gain approval before being allowed to board planes to the region. It is an entirely electronic system that allows entry and keeps track of visitors from countries who do not need a visa to enter the Schengen Zone.

It’s similar to ESTA (United States’ Electronic System for Travel Authorization), which many travelers need to complete to enter the US. ETIAS aims to lower crime and terrorism risks in Europe and to ease border procedures for visitors.

When will ETIAS take effect?

ETIAS was initially scheduled to take effect from January 2021 but is now expected to become operational by the end of 2022, with transitional measures planned for a smooth introduction.

A list of the ETIAS countries

Countries that require an ETIAS to enter include all countries within the Schengen zone.

The Schengen zone encompasses Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

Who will need ETIAS?

ETIAS targets citizens of countries who can enter the EU zone visa-free. This includes 62 countries, including the US, Canada, Australia, Brazil, Argentina, Hong Kong, etc. You can check if you require an ETIAS here.

How does the ETIAS system work?

The ETIAS system will be efficient and straightforward to use, ultimately saving time for applicants and processing.

The ETIAS application can be made in three steps:

  1. Complete the online ETIAS application: It takes about 10 minutes to complete and includes biometric information, citizenship, address, contact details, EU country you’re visiting and background and eligibility questions.
  2. Pay the ETIAS fees and submit the form: When you complete the application, you will have to pay the fee and submit it. The system will process your information and approve your application.
  3. Receive the visa waiver by email: In addition to being sent via email, the approved ETIAS visa waiver is linked electronically to the applicant’s passport.

During your application, the system will automatically process your identity, travel documents and answers to background questions against databases (SIS, VIS, EUROPOL DATA, SLTD & TDAWN (Interpol), EURODAC, etc.) and its screening rules and watchlist.

ETIAS are valid for three years or until the end of validity of the passport registered during the application, whichever comes first.

An example: Venezuelans traveling to France

Since Venezuela is part of the European Visa-Exempt Program, travelers must complete an ETIAS application before traveling to Europe.

Once ETIAS becomes mandatory, Venezuelan passport holders will apply for an ETIAS for France (which is within the Schengen zone) before departure. With an approved ETIAS visa waiver, Venezuelan passport holders will be able to spend up to 90 days in France.

Here’s an example of getting an ETIAS for Venezuelans to travel to France:

  • In the online ETIAS for Venezuela to travel to France application, Venezuelans require the following documents:
    • Venezuela passport: this must be valid for at least three months from the date of entry
    • Debit or credit card: this is required to pay the ETIAS for France fees
    • Current email address: the approved visa waiver will be sent to the email inbox
  • While completing the ETIAS online form, you’ll need the below information on hand:
    • Full name as it appears on the passport
    • Contact details including current residential address and email address
    • Passport information such as the number and expiry date
ETIAS application process for visa-free travel in Europe
ETIAS application process for visa-free travel in Europe

How much does ETIAS cost?

It is planned for ETIAS to only cost €7 for each application for adults over 18 years. Travelers under 18 will not have to pay any fees.

Enjoy visa-free travel to Europe

For members of the 60+ countries that don’t require a visa to enter Europe, don’t let the ETIAS application process scare you away. It’s simply a 10-minute online application that is super simple and efficient!


A Guide to Porto Street Art

Porto is Portugal’s second biggest city and has a growing reputation for being a cool place to be which means the Porto street art scene is always worth checking out.

Of course, what can be seen changes regularly but it’s always worth exploring the city streets to see what’s out there.

Some of the street art in Porto is more on the side of ‘big bubble letters’ and tagging with artists just wanting to get their name more well-known but some shows real artistic skill. Stencil art, the style from artists such as Banksy, can be seen usually in black and often with an underlying message.

Porto is a college town but is a historic area too so the mix of young life and old architecture brings plenty of artistic inspiration.

Porto street art, Portugal
Porto street art, Portugal

Where to find Porto street art

In Vila Nova de Gaia, the neighbourhood known for fortified wine, there are great views by the Douro River to inspire further. It’s for sure a spot where you should try to find an apartment for your stay in Porto. That way you would experience the local life and vibe best.

Porto’s stucco facades may be crumbling but street artists are having a lot of fun with the streets as their canvas as graffiti tolerance is very high here and there seems to be little restriction although graffiti is still illegal. Some artists have complained that it’s hard to get a permit to decorate a large wall in the city centre but the fact most buildings have brick walls around them there are plenty of side streets for artists to use.

Bring your camera and just walk the streets as there’s too much Porto street art to just name one area although Lapa Metro Station is a good location to see the latest street art as is Rúa Miguel Bombarda where there are many art galleries too with street art between them all.

As you walk you may start to recognise some of the more popular local Porto street artists’ work such as Hazul who does large-scale two colour (usually black and white) pieces consisting of lots of teardrop and geometrical shapes with more intricate ‘fretwork’ patterns filling the spaces.

While Hazul’s artwork has soft edges and feels rather freeform, another local artist, Mr Dheo, has a much sharper style. He likes colour and crisp lines and often incorporates a face with real character into his spray paint designs. He uses photorealism to challenge himself to be better every time.

Porto graffiti in Portugal
Porto graffiti in Portugal

Porto street art tour

You’ll find a few great Porto street art tours in the city. We love this private urban tour from Get Your Guide with a local guide. This two-hour tour takes your past the historic and modern architecture while exploring the traditional tiles and new urban street art.

The tour includes walking through Rua da Madeira, a hub for street art with incredible murals along with exploring graffiti gems in the side streets of Rua das Flores. You’ll start the tour at the Municipal Library and end it off strolling through the historic and charming area of Ribeira.

Book the tour now.

Porto street art tour
Porto street art tour with Get Your Guide

Photography tips for street art

Whether you bring a professional camera equipment or a just a camera phone the streets of Porto offer lots of opportunities for memorable shots. The juxtaposition of the crumbling walls and the vibrant street art make this a perfect place to practice new styles of photography.

Instead of standing try laying on the ground or climbing up high to get a new angle. And be patient so try waiting long enough so you blend into the scene and see who walks by.

Change to a slower shutter speed to blur movement of someone running or riding a bike in front a brightly painted wall. And try and get different shots so don’t aim to capture the whole of wall but move in close to photograph small sections in more detail.

Check out our guide to street photography for more tips.