Local guide: Milan, Italy

Local guide: Milan, Italy

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Milan, Italy by A4A guest writer, Cinzia Ferri.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Planning a trip to Italy? Check out the local guides to Cinque Terre, Rome, and Udine.

Overview of Milan

Milan is the second biggest city in Italy, after Rome, and one of the most underrated places in the country. If you ask Italians about Milan, they most likely will tell you that it’s an ugly industrial town, full of traffic and noise, absolutely not worth visiting. Well, that might have been true for Milan twenty years ago, nowadays – thanks to the Expo 2015 as well – it has become one of the most interesting, modern, vibrant, international Italian towns. Milan’s beauty is not as obvious as that of Rome, Florence, or Venice, but the city really has a lot to offer.

milano_galleria vittorio emanuele

Top 5 places to visit

5. Porta Nuova

This area has been completely redesigned and amazing buildings have been built in the past five years or so. The heart of the area is Piazza Gae Aulenti, a modern square titled to the famous female architect. From there, you can see all the works of architecture which have been created, most of which have also received important architectural prizes. The most important buildings are il Bosco Verticale (vertical forest), a complex of two buildings designed by Stefano Boeri, which host approximately 900 trees, the amazing Unicredit Tower by Cesar Pelli and the Palazzo della Regione Lombardia (Lombardy Region Headquarters).

4. I Navigli

The Navigli are the center of Milan’s nightlife, but they are absolutely worth visiting during the day as well. They are a network of canals, partly designed by Leonardo Da Vinci. In the past, they stretched all around the city, what remains now are just two canals: the Naviglio Grande and the Naviglio Pavese. The area around the canals is quite busy at night, while during the day is a quiet escape from the hustle and bustle of the city center. Walking there, you’ll feel like being in a small town with cozy restaurants, small shops, and art galleries.

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3. Pinacoteca di Brera

The Pinacoteca di Brera is an outstanding museum of art which contains one of the most important art collections in Italy. There you can see paintings and works of Raffaello, Piero della Francesca, Caravaggio, Tintoretto, the famous Kiss by Francesco Hayez, and many other paintings by incredible masters. When you are done with art, you could visit the adjoining Orto Botanico (Botanical Garden), which is really old and fascinating. Tickets for the museum are 10 euros, but the entrance is free on the first Sunday of the month. Entrance to the Botanical Garden is free.

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2. Cenacolo Vinciano

The real jewel of Milan is in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie and its Leonardo Da Vinci’s Last Supper. This incredible mural painting is one of the most famous in the world and you definitely cannot miss it. Unfortunately, it has been damaged over the years, due to humidity, bad restoration attempts, and even some bombings during World War II, but it somehow managed to survive and it has now been properly restored. The entrance to the Cenacolo is strictly limited and must be booked in advance. Tickets are 12 euros.

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1. Il Duomo

The Duomo, Milan’s Cathedral, is the symbol of the city and the most loved place in town. Locals have a particular fondness for this place and for the Madonnina, the golden statue of Virgin Mary which protects the city from high above the roof of the church. The Cathedral is totally worth visiting (entrance is 2 euros), but a visit to the roof is not to be missed as well (entrance is 9 euros if you are willing to go up the stairs) as the view is great. Close to the Cathedral is the Museo del Novecento, an amazing collection of 20th-century art (entrance is 10 euros, but it is only 6 euros every Tuesday after 2 pm and two hours before closing).

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Eating and drinking

Milan is incredibly full of dining and drinking options. As in every big European city, you can find more or less everything you want. Prices are not exactly cheap, though. If you are on a budget, you can solve the problem of eating something buying a slice of pizza or a sandwich in a bakery and then eating it in a public park. A true Milanese tradition is to get a panzerotto, some kind of fried turnover, at Luini: a filling and cheap option right in the city center, a few steps away from the Duomo.

Another very popular place is Spontini, which serve pizza by the slice in various city locations. If you are looking for some trendier solutions, you can try the Navigli or the Isola neighborhood, they are packed with restaurants and hipster cafès, offering all kinds of drinks and food.

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Transport

Getting around the city is very easy. There is quite an extensive public transport system: there are many metro, bus and tram lines, which take you more or less everywhere. A single ride ticket is 1,50 euros (it is valid for 90 minutes since validation, with one metro ride only), a daily ticket is 4,50 euros and it is valid for 24 hours since validation. Tickets can be bought at the automated vending machines in every metro station, at kiosks and newsagents’ around town, but not on board. Tickets must be validated before boarding.

Milan has a bike-sharing system too. You’ll find many bike stations to pick up and drop off bikes in the city center. To use the bikes you have to register on the BikeMi website. Daily subscription is 2.30 Euros, while the weekly one is 6 Euros. You’ll find all information you need regarding both public transport and bike-sharing on the ATM Milan website.

Accommodation

Milan is undoubtedly one of the most expensive Italian towns when it comes to accommodation. Finding a cheap hotel in the city can be really difficult, then. The best solution for sleeping in the city would be renting an apartment via AirBnb, which gives you the opportunity of finding accommodation in the city center without being ripped off. There are thousands of good flat and apartments around town and you can find affordable ones even in the very center.

If you are more of a hotel type, instead, it would be better to look for solution outside the city center, like for example the area of San Siro Stadium or other less central neighborhoods, from which you can easily get into the city with the metro.


Cinzia Ferri_bioA4A guest writer – Cinzia Ferri

Hi, Cinzia here! I live in Italy, I adore travelling and I am my own boss at Instantly Italy, where I help people enjoy Italy at its best. I teach Italian and create custom travel guides for independent travelers who want to see Italy with the help of a local.

Follow Cinzia at http://instantlyitaly.com/, on Facebook and Instagram.

All photos in this article are courtesy of Turismo Milano Website and flickr.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Milan, Italy. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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Local guide: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Local guide: Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Mallorca, Balearic Islands, Spain. This guide has been written by a visitor to the island with contribution from the beautiful expats and locals of Palma. Thank you to Felicity Edwards for all her knowledge and help.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Planning a trip to Spain? Check out my 2 day itinerary for Barcelona.

Overview of Mallorca

Mallorca is located in the Balearic Islands, off the eastern coast of Spain. It is a destination that attracts tourists from all over the world for its breathtaking beaches, coastal biking paths, and mountain hiking trails. The island swells with visitors during the warmer seasons and provides a great getaway in the cooler months due to its mild temperatures.

Neighboring Ibiza may be more well-known as a party destination, however, Mallorca’s capital holds its own in nightlife and doesn’t shut down in the off-season. The island is buzzing with an international crowd and it’s almost impossible not to make new friends.

It is not unusual for visitors to Mallorca to end up extending their trip (like I did!) or even move there. As a firm new favorite of mine, I would recommend taking the time to make the most of Mallorca in all its splendor.

View-of-Palma-Mallorca-Spain

Top 5 places to visit

5. Palma

Palma is the capital of Mallorca and the location of the main airport. This charming city makes a great base for your time in Mallorca and is worth spending a few days exploring on its own. There are winding alleys, cafe-lined streets, striking plazas, a collection of galleries and museums, and a picturesque harbor.

Near the marina is La Seu Cathedral, an imposing and majestic site to behold. After snapping your photos and walking further along the sea, head inland into the old town. You will want to get lost in these compact streets while popping into stores and discovering the best places to have a coffee.

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4. Torrent de Pareis

The journey to Torrent de Pareis is almost as spectacular as the final destination. Windy roads lead through mountains with unique rock formations caused by water erosion. There are dozens of scenic viewpoints and you will be stopping the car countless times to take photos or just gaze in awe. Keep an eye out for the “Knotted Tie”, a looping road that looks like a bow-tie.

Once reaching the bay of Sa Calobra, it’s an easy paved walked to Torrent de Pareis. A cove where the stream meets the sea. A dramatic landscape of jutting rock faces, crashing waves, and turquoise streams.

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3. Formentor

In every destination, there is always one spot that tops people’s must-visit list. For Mallorca, this is Formentor. A rugged coastline with spectacular sea views in the most northern part of the island, it’s the place most visitors want to see. There is also a lighthouse further along the twisting road.

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2. Coll Baix

There can’t be many better combinations than a hike and a stunning beach. Coll Baix is a hidden treasure that requires a little work to get to but is well worth the effort. First, it’s about a forty-minute drive from Palma to the town Alcudia, then more country roads. Look out for the signs for “Coll Baix” as they can be hard to spot. Once reaching the road, it gets a bit rocky and most people will park then walk the rest of the way in.

From the trailhead, it’s around thirty minutes to the beach. Parts of the trail can be a little slippery and steep, so take care with your footing. At the time of my visit, the tide was high, however during low-tide and warmer seasons be sure to take a picnic and enjoy the beach to its fullest.

Coll-Baix-Mallorca-Spain

1. Caló des Moro

The most memorable location in Mallorca for me was Calo de Moro. During the Summer it can get quite crowded so make sure you get here early in the day. Otherwise, during the off-peak season, you might find you have this incredible view to yourself and don’t even mind that it’s too cold to swim.

Caló-des-Moro-Mallorca-Spain

Eating and drinking

Palma Hippodrome

While on the island you’ll want to try some typical Mallorcan food. As a visitor, it can be hard to know where to go or what dishes to order. That’s why I was thrilled to hear of an all-you-can-eat Mallorcan-style buffet lunch for 11 Euros! Located at the Hipodrom (horse-racing track) in Son Pardo, just outside of Palma Centre.

Ca’n Joan de S’aigo

This place is well-known and loved by locals for its hot chocolates. It’s usually packed and there may be a line, but it is worth the wait! Try an ensaimada (Mallorcan pastry) while you are there. The strawberry ice cream is supposed to be delicious as well.

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100 Montaditos 

We all have our guilty pleasures and while in Palma, this was mine! 100 Montaditos is a chain restaurant but I don’t even care because they have a menu of 100 different sandwiches from 1 Euro each. There are even sweet sandwiches! I tried one with a chocolate-chip cookie bread and white chocolate as the filler. A great place to stop for a cheap bite and coffee or beer while exploring the city.

Lemon Tree

If you find yourself in Palma on a Friday night and feel like socializing over a drink – head to Lemon Tree. The Connect Lingus community hosts an international meeting there every Friday from 9:30 pm until 2 am (most people arrive after 10 pm). There is even a bingo game with a chance to win free drinks! I won on my first Friday and was a very happy lady. Connect Lingus also hosts other free events such as Zumba, Yoga, Circuit Training, day excursions, and fun nights out. I attended a few events while here and made some great friendships.

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Transport

The easiest and most convenient way to explore the island is by car. If you have the funds, I would highly recommend hiring a rental for your time there. Alternatively, there is a public transport system (TIB for the island of Mallorca and EMT for Palma and its neighboring municipalities) that will take you to some of the spots that I have mentioned above.

Accommodation

Couchsurfing

Mallorca has an active Couchsurfing community for both hosting and events. For the first six nights of my stay, I was lucky enough to be hosted by a local who had time to show me around the island by car. Meeting locals is a great way to find out all the best things to see and do in Mallorca. If staying with “strangers” (soon to be friends!) is a little out of your comfort zone, then try going to a CS event first.

For more information about Couchsurfing, read my tips on finding travel accommodation on a budget.

Fleming Hostel

Fleming Hostel is located next to Plaza del Cardenal Reig and just a few minutes walk to Plaza España and Plaza Mayor. I stayed here for my last three nights in Palma and enjoyed the central location. The hostel is very modern with lots of space, light, and beautiful terraces. They have rooms with 2,4 and 6 beds which can booked privately or shared.

Location: Carrer Arxiduc Lluís Salvador 46, 07004 · Palma de Mallorca

Website: http://fleminghostel.com/

fleming-hostel-photo-credit-fleming-hostel

Photo credit: Fleming Hostel

I was a complimentary guest of Fleming Hostel, however, my opinion is my own and will always remain unbiased in order to provide the best recommendations to my readers.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Mallorca. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

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Local guide: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Local guide: Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A.

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Nashville, Tennessee, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Katie Lopez.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Nashville

Nashville is the second largest city in Tennessee and the fifth largest in the southeastern United States.

Nashville is nicknamed “Music City U.S.A.” but it has much more going on than just the music scene. Nashville offers a variety of attractions, restaurants, public parks, and of course music that makes its culture diverse. Anyone can find something to enjoy when visiting Nashville.

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Planning a trip to the states? Check out other posts about destinations in the U.S.A.

Top 5 places to visit

5. 12South Neighborhood

The 12South Neighborhood is just a few miles from downtown Nashville and has a great restaurant scene that includes barbecue, burgers, Mexican food, Italian, ice cream, popsicles, specialty doughnuts, and more! The neighborhood also includes Sevier Park and locally owned boutiques for great shopping.

4. Radnor Lake

The park surrounding Radnor Lake has a variety of trails that anyone can walk with great views at every step. A 3-mile loop surrounds the lake and includes both paved and dirt paths. This path is mostly flat and is an easy hike. For the more active, there are also steep trails throughout the park.

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3. Arrington Vineyards

From April to November, Arrington Vineyards puts on “Music in the Vines” where guests can listen to bluegrass music while sipping their wine on the lawn. This place is great for wine connoisseurs and family’s alike. They offer lawn space to enjoy a picnic and relax! Food can be brought in at no charge. Also, they offer a “picnic tasting” which includes four small pours of whatever wines you choose.

2. Cheekwood Botanical Garden

Cheekwood is a great place to walk around and enjoy nature. In addition to flowers, the garden also features various sculptural exhibits throughout the year. The flora change with the season and there is always something new to see.

Cheekwood Botanical Garden. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Katie Lopez

Photo credit: A4A guest writer – Katie Lopez

1. Broadway Avenue

This iconic Nashville street is bustling with music and people. You will find live music in just about every bar you walk into. Several bars have open rooftops which offer a great view of the city and the Cumberland River. There are also some great attractions off of Broadway Street, including Ryman Auditorium, Country Music Hall of Fame, and the Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

Eating and drinking

Aside from the 12South neighborhood, there are also great places to eat and drink in The Gulch, Hillsboro Village, Midtown, and East Nashville neighborhoods.

Hot (spicy) chicken is a Nashville specialty and Hattie B’s offers a variety of heat levels for any taste. Edley’s Barbeque is one of the best barbecue joints and has locations in the 12South and East Nashville neighborhoods.

Patterson House in Midtown is a former speakeasy and has an impressive drink menu that it always changing and always unique. Mas Tacos in East Nashville is one of the best (and cheap!) places to get Mexican food in town.

Transport

The easiest way for visitors to get around in Nashville is through ride-share apps like Lyft or Uber. The city is not very walkable from neighborhood to neighborhood, but ride-share prices are reasonable, especially when split with multiple people. Downtown parking can get expensive, but most other neighborhoods offer street parking or free parking for the first hour. There are public buses, but they tend to be focused more on commuters than out of town visitors.

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Accommodation

There are a LOT of hotels in Nashville, especially downtown and on West End Ave. These are very convenient locations to get to anywhere else in the city. If staying with a large group, AirBnB is a great option. Many bustling areas of Nashville are also residential, so you are likely to find convenient locations with AirBnb.

Although there are a lot of hotels near the airport, it is better to stay closer than downtown than the airport. The airport is only 20 minutes from downtown, but it is not centrally located and Ubers and Lyfts more frequently traffic the downtown area.


Katie Lopez. Photo credit: A4A guest writer - Katie LopezA4A guest writer – Katie Lopez

Katie Lopez is a 20-something who strives to live a balanced life in terms of travel, exercise, healthy eating, and fun while navigating the adult world and responsibilities that come with it.

Follow Katie at http://adultingdaily.com/, on Instagram and Twitter.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the property of A4A guest writer Katie Lopez or have been sourced from Pixabay Public Domain and are for free commercial use.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Nashville. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Nashville or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

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Local guide: RVing the National Parks in the United States of America

Local guide: RVing the National Parks in the United States of America

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for RVing the National Parks in the United States of America by A4A guest writer, Gaby Cuda.

Local guide posts provide recommended destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

America the Beautiful: A Guide to RVing the National Parks

RVing across the United States can make for an amazing vacation. Whether you stay in luxury campgrounds or boondock in national parks, you’ll get to see the country (and what it’s like to live in an RV). If you’re the more adventurous sort, you’re probably more drawn to the idea of camping overnight in a national park. There are hundreds of beautiful places where you can camp overnight, from the pine forests of Maine to the Badlands of South Dakota. We’ve put together a guide to some of the most notable parks, along with some tips on getting ready for national park camping.

5 National Parks You Can’t Miss

Acadia National Park, Maine

They don’t call Maine vacationland for nothing; with towering pine forests and thousands of miles of rivers, lakes, and streams, Maine is the perfect for exploring the wilderness. Acadia National Park is a three-hour drive from Portland, located along the coastline of beautiful Bar Harbor. There are several places to park your RV overnight, some of which have hookups. If you want electricity and water, head to Schoodic Woods Campground, where overnight sites for RVs are $40 with hookups. If you’re into roughing it, Seawall Campground has $30 sites with no water, electricity, or showers. Either way, you’ll want to make a reservation ahead of time since the spots fill up quickly.

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Redwood National Park, California

Taking our trip to the other side of the country, Redwood National Park in California is truly a sight to behold. Camp among the tallest trees on earth in one of the Park’s four developed campgrounds. We’ll give you fair warning – there are no hookups at any of them, so prepare to dry camp. The parks accept RVs between 24 and 36 feet in length, depending on available sites. Jedidiah Smith Campground will take RVs up to 36-feet, and has showers, a dumping facility, and fire pits. The standard camping fee for all four parks is $36 per night.

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Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming

You can’t make a list of National Parks without including Yellowstone. Home to the infamous Old Faithful, Yellowstone was the first National Park in America. There are 12 campgrounds throughout the park, seven of which are operated by the National Park Service. Mammoth is the only campground that’s open all year, and they enforce a 30-foot limit on RVs during the winter. Fishing Bridge RV Campground is the only one with hookups, and the overnight fee is $47.50. Other campgrounds range from $15 to $29 for overnight stays.

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Badlands National Park, South Dakota

Staying overnight in the Badlands of South Dakota is like taking a trip back in time. Once home to saber-toothed cats and other prehistoric mammals, the Badlands are quite literally packed with natural history. In fact, the Badlands have one of the richest fossil beds on the planet! There are two options for camping: overnighting with electrical hookups at Cedar Pass Campground ($37) or going primitive at Sage Creek Campground for free. If you’re camping in the winter, you’ll find a select few spots at Cedar Pass, which stays open throughout the year.

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Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky

Probably one of the most intriguing National Parks in the U.S., Mammoth Cave Park in Kentucky is home to the longest known cave system in the world. Channel your inner explorer as you meander through the cave’s winding tunnels and expansive chambers. There’s only one campground in the park, which is just a few minutes’ walk to the visitor’s center, where your descent into the cave begins. Keep in mind, you won’t have hookups here, but you’ll have access to clean drinking water, bathrooms, and a dump station. Overnight fees range from $20 to $25, depending on the season.

National Park Camping – What to Know Before You Go

Camping in an RV is convenient and comfortable, but it requires a bit of planning. Whether you own an RV or are renting one from a peer-to-peer site like RVshare, you’ll need to get your ducks in a row before you head out on your adventure. The following tips will make sure your trip goes as smoothly as possible:

  • As with any RV trip, always plan your route ahead of time. This isn’t just for your wallet’s sake; it’s for safety’s sake, too. Many of the country’s national parks are in areas you can only reach by steep, winding, or unpaved roads. There are several options for RV-specific GPS devices, which help you avoid tight turns and other tricky driving conditions.
  • Call the campground ahead of time when making a reservation. Each campground has their own limitations and restrictions. For example, many campgrounds don’t accept RV’s over 30 feet. Some of them aren’t accessible to RVs that are too high or too wide. Take measurements of your RV and call the campground for advice.
  • Since most national park campgrounds are primitive, meaning they don’t have hookups for electric and water, you’ll need to know how to dry camp. Camping without hookups is cheap, but it can be tricky. You’ll need to watch every drop of water you use and every minute you run your generator. In fact, you should avoid using your generator as much as possible. This blog has a great list of boondocking tips.
  • Lastly, do your research on the particular park in which you’ll be staying. You may need to make additional preparations for some parks. For example, Yellowstone is known to have a lot of bears, so they suggest you purchase a can of bear spray and keep it on you at all times. Make sure you research any safety hazards and other pertinent information before you arrive.

The Wrap Up

America has some of the most diverse landscapes in the world. From ancient trees to labyrinthian cave systems, there’s no end to the places you can explore in the U.S. National Parks offer RVers a way to experience the natural beauty of the country for a fraction of the price of staying in hotels. No matter what park you decide to call your temporary home, you’re sure to have an adventure you’ll never forget.


A4A guest writer – Gaby Cuda

Gaby is a Full-time RVer that has been traveling the U.S. with her husband and her Maltipoo. She has been to over 20 states and plans on tackling the east coast next year. During her down time, she enjoys hiking, making music with her husband, and sipping on flat whites.

Follow Gaby on Facebook and Instagram.

If you would like to work with Adoration 4 Adventure, contact A4A.

All photos in this article are the were sourced from Pixabay and are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. This is a guest post written by Gaby Cuda for which I received a small payment to go towards the costs of running this website.


Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for RVing the National Parks in the United States of America by A4A guest writer, Gaby Cuda.

Have you gone RVing in the U.S.A. or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.

Local guide: London Airports, England

Local guide: London Airports, England

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to London Airports by A4A guest writer, Edward Alvaro.

Local guide posts provide recommended destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

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Overview of the Capital

Together with Paris, Madrid, and Rome, London is one of the first European cities to come up on a traveller’s bucket list. It presents a rich, dynamic culture fit for every type of wanderer. You have posh commercial areas highlighted by Michelin-starred restaurants, specialty cafés, and shopping districts, as well as affluent residential communities such as those in Kensington, Chelsea, and Notting Hill.

On the flipside, there are also a bunch of free activities and less expensive neighbourhoods perfect for the budget explorer. Nomadic Matt even had a 10-day trip in the city for just $700 (£573). In short, London ideally combines the best of both worlds to come up with a legitimate tourist destination in Europe. However, with the constant wave of travellers going in and out of the city, congestion problems arise in the blink of an eye.

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How London Offsets These Difficulties

When talking about London, it’s inevitable to think about the notorious congestion not just on the roads, but also in its aviation hubs and parking spaces. Luckily, the capital belongs on Jalopnik’s list of the cities with the best public transit systems in the world.

City Metric even reinforces the notion, owing it to London’s underground network and light railways, as well as its buses and cable cars – relatively cheap especially if you have an Oyster Card. But despite these timely transportation solutions, the city’s airports and its car bays still present a different challenge.

Since London has two of the world’s busiest landing fields in Heathrow and Gatwick, airport authorities have made it a point to provide convenience and service inside and even outside its premises. These aviation hubs also have fantastic restaurants, but if you’re on a budget, there are Pret A Manger, Café Nero, and Costa branches – just to name a few – in both airports. Although don’t expect them to be as cheap as you might think.

When it comes to car bays, as a way of offsetting the ever-growing number of vehicles, Heathrow and Gatwick put a premium on on-site and off-site parking options offered by online companies. Parking4Less even highlights an efficient airport hotel with parking, ideal for travellers who have an early morning or a late night flight. All of these are aimed to lessen your worries and make travelling to London a breeze. In a way, considering all the variables, these solutions also help you save much-needed travel funds. However, in terms of the overall navigation inside these labyrinth-like establishments, the airport hacks below offer distinct kinds of time-saving advantages.

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Since London has two of the world’s busiest landing fields in Heathrow and Gatwick, airport authorities have made it a point to provide convenience and service inside and even outside its premises. These aviation hubs also have fantastic restaurants, but if you’re on a budget, there are Pret A Manger, Café Nero, and Costa branches – just to name a few – in both airports. Although don’t expect them to be as cheap as you might think.

When it comes to car bays, as a way of offsetting the ever-growing number of vehicles, Heathrow and Gatwick put a premium on- and off-site parking options offered by online companies.

London Airport Hacks

Heathrow and Gatwick are more or less the same in such a way that both are brimming with thousands of airline passengers daily and have almost similar facilities. Say you’ve already sorted out your parking space, whether in a hotel, or at an on-site, or off-airport car bay, it’s highly recommended to snap a photo of your spot so you won’t get lost in all the craziness after your trip.

Inside, the left queue is generally fastest, as – in theory – most airline passengers naturally veer towards their right. It also speeds things up at the security line if you avoid wearing belts and jewellery. Lastly, it makes all the difference in the world if you sign up to an airport membership program. Heathrow and Gatwick both have their respective loyalty schemes that give you access to dining, shopping, and parking discounts. You can even get fast-track security features and departure lounge access.


A4A guest writer – Edward Alvaro

Aside from raising his 7- and 10-year-old daughters Carmela and Natalya, Edward Alvaro is a passionate world traveller and writer. He frequents Asia for its beaches, as well as Europe to feast on its best signature cuisines. During his downtimes, Eddie practices his skills in the kitchen, as he hopes to put up his own Asian-European fusion restaurant someday.

All photos in this article are the were sourced from Pixabay and Wikimedia and are free of copyrights under Creative Commons CC0. This is a guest post written by Edward Alvaro for which I received a small payment to go towards the costs of running this website.


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Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to London Airports including hacks for eating on a budget, parking and getting through security quickly.

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Local guide: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Local guide: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A.

Adoration 4 Adventure’s local guide for visitors to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, U.S.A. by A4A guest writer, Jojo.

Local guide posts provide recommendations for destinations from locals who are currently living or have lived in that particular place. Including information on the top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around with an emphasis on saving money.

Overview of Philadelphia

Philadelphia is known for its history as well as Philly Cheesesteaks. But besides that, it is also a friendly city that is easy to get around by walking. There is a verity of food options, shops, arts, and actives for all ages. It is a nice balance with lots of touristy things to see as well as local things to experience.

Top 5 places to visit

5. Fishtown

This section of Philadelphia is also known as the hipster part of Philadelphia. There are many fusion eateries as well as boutique shops. The best thing to do around this area is taking a walk and bring a camera. Fishtown has a lot of fun physical and wall arts all around, as well as interesting house designs.

The Fishtown section of Philadelphia, located immediately northeast of Center City, was named for its former role as the center of the shad fishing industry on the Delaware River. While historically it has been a working-class neighborhood, in recent years it has experienced a regentrification, with housing redevelopment and the opening of upscale art, entertainment and dining establishments. The SEPTA #15 trolley, which hearkens back to the older days, still runs through Fishtown.

Credit: Photo by M. Kennedy for Visit Philadelphia.

4. Pennslanding /Delaware Waterfront

There is no best time to visit this location because there is always something going on. With weekly (almost daily) events in the summer at the Great Plaza like cultural festivals, free concerts and movie screenings at night. Most events are free and very kid-friendly.

In the summer there is also Spruce Street Harbor Park. The area is lit up by changing colored lights hanging from the trees. Every night, the park is filled with people hanging out in the hammocks, playing games, visiting food vendors and getting drinks. There is no admission fee so you only pay for what you buy to eat or drink.

While you are down Pennslanding, don’t forget Race Street Pier. A great view from under the Ben Franklin Bridge, right on the river. In the summer, you can enjoy free outdoor yoga classes or lay in the grass and enjoy the weather. You cannot fish here but there are many other piers along the Delaware River you can fish at.

3. Ben Franklin Bridge

Did you know you can walk from Philadelphia to Camden on the Ben Franklin Bridge? It is a bit of a workout if you are jogging or biking but it is great for a leisurely walk. You can enjoy the view of the Philadelphia skyline as well as the Delaware Waterfront and Camden’s Waterfront.

Named after Philadelphia’s arguably favorite Founding Father, the Benjamin Franklin Bridge has become an iconic landmark. The 9,573-foot span connects Philadelphia and New Jersey and hosts 100,000 cars per day, plus the elevated PATCO train and walkers and runners, who traverse the Delaware River via pedestrian walkways.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for VISIT PHILADELPHIA®

2. Surrounding Art Museum area

The Art Museum is nice inside but if art is not your thing, you should still visit the surrounding area. From the front of the museum steps, you have a stunning view down the Ben Franklin Parkway with City Hall at the end and some of the Philadelphia skyline to your right.

Behind the art museum, you can go either way to Kelly Drive or the Schuylkill River Trail and still be by the water. Enjoy a nice jog, bike ride or walk along the river.

The art of horticulture is on display in the gardens framing the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Hundreds of plant species bloom throughout the year to create stunning visual displays that welcome visitors to the iconic museum.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

1. River Rink

For something to do in summer or winter, visit the River Rink. In the summer, you can rent roller-skates and enjoy the summer breeze. In the winter, rent ice skates and enjoy some hot chocolate by the bonfires. There is an admission fee for skate rentals but none to just stop by and enjoy the scenery.

At the open-air Blue Cross RiverRink on PennÕs Landing, skaters take in a spectacular view of the city while gliding alongside the Delaware River. Outside the rink, a pop-up holiday winter garden and village called Waterfront Winterfest features craft vendors, music, food and drinks, and a holiday-themed light show dazzles every hour from 5:00 to 11:00 p.m. Plus, under a massive 400-person warming tent created from recycled shipping containers, folks enjoy comfort food, holiday cocktails and local beers.

Credit: Photo by M. Edlow for Visit Philadelphia

Eating and drinking

For a good Philadelphia Cheesesteak skip Pat’s and Geno’s and head to a corner store. The Oregon Cheesesteaks is also a good choice. For the best cheese fries, stop by Ishkabibbles on South Street.

Philadelphia also has plenty of food trucks around school campuses. Temple University, Penn and Community College of Philadelphia are a couple campuses to check out.

For good Mexican food, try a couple of places in South Philadelphia near the Italian market. Many of the places seem to be family owned and all providing great service and delicious food.

There are two plazas on Washington Ave providing good Vietnamese options: 6th & Washington and 11th & Washington.

Old City would be the best places for drinks. However, Philadelphia has been running a lot of outdoor happy hours throughout the city called Sips. There are many locations with different vibes and crowds.

The skyline of Philadelphia’s Old City neighborhood, with only a few tall buildings, stands in sharp contrast to the skyscraper-heavy Center City. At 17 stories and 287 feet, the U.S. Custom House (1934) at 2nd and Chestnut Streets dwarfs many of the surrounding historic buildings in the area. The building’s base is clad in limestone with decorative aluminum details, and the art deco tower is made of red brick and limestone and culminates in an octagonal lantern. The Society Hill Towers, built in 1963 as part of a Society Hill restoration effort, include three 32-story high-rises on five acres of landscaped grounds at 2nd and Locust Streets.

Credit: Photo by J. Fusco for Visit Philadelphia

Transport

Philadelphia is a pretty easy city to get around by foot and public transportation. There are two subway lines that run along Broad Street and Market Street. You can purchase a daily pass which will allow you to take the subway, trolley or bus.

A new bike share program called Indigo has recently been implemented. Available near all major attractions and near most other areas, you can rent a bike and return it to any other Indigo locations throughout the city. You can also download the Indigo app to help you find these locations.

After getting to a major location like Center City or the Art Museum, it is easy to get around by foot. You would actually save a lot more time and stress by avoiding traffic and taking a walk.

With the launch of Indego, PhiladelphiaÕs bike share program, riders can hop on one of 600 bright blue bicycles stationed at 70 kiosks and easily pedal around the city. The bikes, which are equipped with two baskets for carrying small items, are offered for rent by the trip with monthly and annual memberships available.

Credit: Photo by M. Fischetti for Visit Philadelphia

Accommodation

For accommodations, there are big hotels on Pennslanding and a couple around Center City. However, they are pretty pricey since you will be paying for the view and location. I would recommend using Airbnb or another host rental website to find cheaper accommodation. I even once saw a little boat for rent on Airbnb.


A4A guest writer – Jojo

Hello! I am a local from Philadelphia and has been all my life. Although Philadelphia is my home, I am actively working towards seeing other cities and experience new places every year. I love the water and my life goal right now is to try to do one pull-up.

Follow Jojo at http://www.expeditionjojo.com/, on Facebook and Instagram.

All photos in this article are the were provided by Visit Philadelphia and the photo credit has been included.


Pin it for the next adventure!

Adoration 4 adventure's local guide for visitor's to Philadelphia. Including top places to eat, drink, stay and how to get around on a budget.

Have you visited Philadelphia or planning to anytime soon? Tell us about it below!

And if you liked the post – share it with your friends on social media.