We flew into Chisinau not really knowing what to expect, and we were pleasantly surprised! The city doesn’t have many highlights, but there are some great restaurants and bars around.
For dinner we went to Gastrobar, a great place serving modern Middle Eastern cuisine, with plenty of veggie options. Make sure to reserve a table in advance. Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 1,000MDL.
We also visited Propaganda, a popular restaurant with quirky decor serving yummy food. A light dinner for two including drinks and top for 400MDL.
Wine: Moldovan wine is amazing and very cheap! Most restaurants and bars have a great wine list and you can find a good selection in supermarkets too.
Stay: We stayed in one of these apartments. It was spotless and ideally located.
I had a free day in Nairobi during a work trip, so I joined a tour to see some of the local highlights.
Nairobi National Park: the most popular attraction of Nairobi, this huge park is located just outside the city, but you can spot lions, giraffes, rhinos, buffaloes and much more. It’s a great place to visit if you don’t have time to go on a safari (tickets for $43).
David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust: An orphanage for rhinos and elephants, where you can see them being fed (tickets for 500Ksh).
Giraffe Park: A small but fun place where you can feed giraffes and see them up close (tickets for 1,000Ksh).
Bonas of Kenya: A cultural centre with a show of local dance and music (tickets for 1,000Ksh).
I booked a group tour with this company. It was a good way of seeing most of the main sights in one day. The National Park is the definite highlight!
For dinner I went to Nyama Mama, a cool and popular restaurant serving modern Kenyan food. There are plenty of veggie options and the food is very delicious. Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 3,000Ksh.
One of the few places remaining for us to visit in Europe was Liechtenstein, so we flew into Zurich for the weekend to check it out.
We were really impressed by the food in Zurich. There are plenty of vegan and veggie options clearly labelled in most places. In supermarkets, vegan items are clearly labelled and options are plentiful.
Hiltl Haus: The oldest vegetarian restaurant in Europe is a popular place with a buffet and a la carte options. The food is varied a really delicious. Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 79CHF.
Hiltl Sihlpost: Another Hiltl restaurant with a buffet full of yummy vegan and veggie options, in a cool space. Dinner for two including dessert for 40CHF
Stay: We stayed at Swiss Star Apartments, a good self-catering option located just 10 minutes from the Central Station.
Vaduz is a small town surrounded by picturesque snow-capped mountains. The main attraction is the walk from the centre up to Vaduz Castle. The castle itself is not open to tourists but the walk gives you the most amazing views.
Kunstmuseum: This modern art museum has a small but good selection of works in a nice space. Tickets for 15CHF.
Go: From Zurich to Vaduz in Liechtenstein the best option is to take a train to Sargans where you can get bus n. 11 to Vaduz. You can buy tickets online here (choose option Vaduz, Post, which includes the bus transfers), about one month in advance.
We were going to visit San Marino, so we decided to spend a couple of days in nearby Rimini.
Rimini is a riviera with sandy beaches overlooked by cool modernist hotels.
The Old Town is beautiful and includes a good collection of Roman and Medieval landmarks. It is also the birthplace of Italian filmmaker Federico Fellini.
For lunch we visited Bar Lento, a cool cafe serving delicious vegan snacks and drinks (lunch for two including tip for 18.50€).
Rimini is definitely a good place to visit and relax for a couple of days!
San Marino was one of the few European countries we hadn’t visited yet, so we decided to check in out in January.
It is located high up in the mountains, giving it amazing views over the region. Unfortunately when we visited the place was right in the middle of the clouds, and we couldn’t even see further than a few metres ahead.
We spent a few hours exploring the narrow roads and visiting the main towers, even without being able to see much.
For lunch, we stopped at Laminona, which serves piadinas and offered a few vegan options.
San Marino is picturesque and I’m sure we would have enjoyed it more on a sunny day!
Go: We flew to Bologna, where you can get semi-frequent buses from the airport to Rimini. You can reach San Marino from Rimini taking a regular bus which departs just outside the train station (return for 10€ per person). The trip takes 50 minutes each way.
I decided to go to Rome for Christmas to eat yummy food and enjoy some of the sites. Rome is an easy place to visit, as you can pretty much just walk anywhere and stumble upon ancient Roman monuments and great gelato spots.
Trevi Fountain: I wanted to visit the Trevi Fountain which recently reopened after a huge restoration. I knew it was going to be busy, so I arrived early and beat the selfie crowds – definitely worth it.
Colosseum: I’d been to the Colosseum before, but not for many years, so decided to visit again. As expected the place gets packed, so the best option is to buy tickets at the nearby Roman forum and arrive early (tickets for €12). The place is huge and impressive as you’d expect.
Maxxi: this modern art museum is a great place to spend a few hours, as it’s full of interesting displays. It is a bit far from the city centre (but only a few stops on the tram) which means that not many tourists are around (tickets for €12).
Testaccio: I heard about this neighbourhood in this Instagram account. It’s away from the centre, so you can join the locals at the pretty piazza Testaccio to enjoy the winter sun, where kids in scooters play around. There is also a cool local market. Stop for potato pizza at Forno Assoluto (a generous slice for €3.65) and try the yummy desserts at Pasticceria Barberini (two small desserts and a cappuccino for €3.60). It’s a great area to get a few for local Rome.
Christmas Day: when I was deciding where to go for my Christmas trip, I did plenty of research and was reassured that in Rome most places are only shut on Christmas day itself. In fact, in the most popular areas there are plenty of restaurants and shops open, as there are always plenty of tourists around. A good plan is to stick to the beaten path.
Stay: I stayed at Exe in Monti. The area is super convenient, located within walking distance of most sites. Monti itself is a nice area, with plenty of nice restaurants and cafes in each of the little backstreets.