PIZZA AND PASTA IN ROME: Eating around Testaccio, Ostiense and more

I went to Rome for work, but had plenty of time to eat all the best food!

Testaccio and Ostiense:

Testaccio is my favourite neighbourhood in Rome, so I spent a good amount of time eating locally:

  • Casa Manco: A popular pizza stall in Testaccio Market, serving delicious and unusual combinations of pizza by the slice. Three generous portions for 10€.
  • La Fraschetta di Mastro Giorgio: A beautiful local restaurant in Testaccio serving a great selection of cheeses and delicious pasta dishes. Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 45€.
  • Pasticceria Andreotti: A local cafe and bakery in Ostiense serving an immense variety of pastries – I had the sfogliatella which was perfect. Coffee and pastry for 2€.
  • Da Remo: a lively local pizzeria in Testaccio, great for people-watching. The pizza dough is perfect. Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 26€.
  • Gelateria la Romana: we joined the large queue of this gelato place in Ostiense and were not disappointed! Great gelato and a good variety of flavours. A medium cup for 3.50€.

Around central Rome:

We also spend a good amount of time exploring other areas. Here’s where we ate:

  • Machiavelli Club: This hidden gem was a lucky find and a highlight of the trip. The seasonal menu includes plenty of veggie options, and the food was amazing. Dinner for two including drinks, desert and tip for 55€.
  • Osteria dei Cappellari: A Roman restaurant that was just the escape from the rain that we needed. The cacio e pepe was delicious, and the pistachio semifreddo was even better. Dinner for two including drinks and tip for 50€.
  • Luciano: a modern Italian restaurant without many tourists. The menu is short but the food is delicious. A light dinner for two for 40€ including drinks and tip.
  • Il Focolare: a local restaurant in a quiet area of Trastevere where local families enjoy the weekend lunch. Lunch for two including a great pinsa (a type of Roman pizza) for 28€ including drinks and tip.

Villa Doria Pamphili:

To enjoy the sunny day, we visited this huge park with a beautiful villa and plenty of greenery. A good option to enjoy a sunny day off the beaten track!

BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE AND CHEAP FOOD: Chasing gnomes in Wroclaw

Wroclaw is a small but beautiful city in Poland. The old town centre is picturesque, and you can spend a few hours wandering around and spotting the hundreds of bronze gnome statues scattered all over the town.

There are plenty of things to do, including many cool restaurants and bars, so it’s a good option for a long weekend.

To the north of the old town there are a few islands in the river Oder where you can visit local churches and museums or walk by the scenic promenade.

  • Szczytnicki Park is a large park with some famous local attractions. It is a bit far from the city centre but the walk there is interesting.
  • Central Market: a large market with a good selection of fruit and veg and other local produce.
  • Transport: it is easy to walk everywhere on foot, but the city is covered by a good network of trams which are very convenient. You can buy tickets on board with a debit or credit card. Tickets for 3.40zl.

As ever, we also checked out many vegan places:

  • Vega: a vegan restaurant at the heart of Market Square serving a great selection of Polish dishes. The pierogi were great! Lunch for two including drinks for 47zl.
  • Mihiderka: a place with several locations across Poland serving delicious burgers and many other vegan dishes. Lunch for two including drinks and tip for 68zl.
  • Krowarzywa: a cool vegan burger place serving lots of delicious combos. Lunch for two including drinks for 70zl.
  • Ahimsa: a Middle Eastern and Asian vegan restaurant with a good varied selection. Dinner for two for 68zl.
  • 4Hops: a bike-themed craft beer bar with a large selection of beers on tap. A pint for 12-17zl.

CROSSING THE ORESUND BRIDGE: Day trip to Malmö

We were visiting Copenhagen and decided to take a little trip to Malmö as the two cities are very close to each other. To get there, you cross the Oresund Bridge from The Bridge fame.

We walked around the old town centre and visited Malmö Castle. We then stopped at the Modern Art Museum (free entry), which had some nice displays on, before heading back to Copenhagen.

Malmö is a beautiful city and a good place for a day trip.

  • Getting there: trains leave Copenhagen Central Station every 20 minutes. The trip takes about 40 minutes and tickets cost 90Kr. each way. The passport check is done on the train halfway through the journey.

CHERRY BLOSSOMS AND VEGAN CUISINE: Tasting all the food in Copenhagen

The first time we visited Copenhagen was in the winter and we didn’t have a chance to enjoy the city properly. This time we came back on spring and had a very different experience!

We were lucky with the weather so we spent a lot of the time walking around the many gardens and parks and visiting the main sights like Kastellet and the garden at Rosenborg Castle.

We spent time wandering around the city and taking in the beautiful architecture. There were plenty of good options for vegan restaurants so we checked out quite a few!

  • Simple Raw: a cool place by a main square serving a wide selection of yummy vegan food. We tried the smorrebrod. Lunch for two including drinks for 370Kr.
  • Plads’n: a vegan pizzeria in a laid-back area. Delicious food and cocktails. Dinner for two including drinks for 318Kr.
  • Souls: a cool place serving generous portions and great vegan food. Brunch for two for 324Kr.
  • Plant Power Food: a vegan restaurant in Norrebro serving delicious smorrebrod and green salads. Dinner for two for 260Kr.
  • Veggie Heroes: an Indian buffet serving a wide selection of delicious curries. Dinner for two for 298Kr.
  • DOP: a traditional hotdog stand offering vegan options. Hotdogs for 44Kr.
  • Tivoli Food Hall: this place is right next to Tivoli Gardens, so you can get a good view of the famous theme park without having to pay the entrance fee. There are plenty of options for food and drink, including vegan and veggie alternatives.
  • Norrebro Bryghus is a microbrewery in a cool building serving a great selection of beers on tap. A float of beers for 100Kr.

BEAUTIFUL ARCHITECTURE AND A SUNSET BY THE BAY: An evening in Beirut

The thing about work trips is that there isn’t much time to explore the amazing places that I visit. In my recent trip to Lebanon I only had a few free hours, so I made the most of them.

Downtown Beirut is beautiful: there is a nice contrast between old and new architecture, with plenty of impressive buildings.

Zaitunay bay is a popular area with the locals, and great to explore: you can spend a few hours walking by the yachts, and stop for dinner or coffee at one of the many places around.

We went to Leila for dinner, which was a great choice. You can try the amazing local meze with a great view of the bay. A delicious dinner for two including tip for $80.

DELICIOUS FOOD AND LOCAL WINE: A weekend in Moldova

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.

HANGING OUT WITH GIRAFFES AND BUFFALOES: One day in Nairobi

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.