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Budapest

Published in Destinations

 
Overview

Budapest, the bright capital of Hungary, bisected by the Danube river giving this one city two personalities. Buda built on a series of hills and known for its old town where as Pest is flat and busy with an assortment of bars, cafés and gourmet restaurants.
Best Time to Visit

Budapest is a year-round destination, though it fills with tourists in July and August. The most pleasant time of year to visit is May to June and September when temperatures remain warm but visitor numbers and hotel prices are significantly reduced. Although flights prices may be a little more expensive, the winter months can offer that magical dusting of snow upon the grandiose buildings, which can make this magnificent city even more magical.

Budapest
 Transportation
Budapest’s extensive transportation system is run by BKK (Link), Which offer a metro, tram, bus and rail service. All the lines connect together to make your transportation experience as simple as possible.
Budapest Weather
Hungary has a mild continental climate. There are four distinct seasons, with a very warm summer from June to August where temperatures can rise to as high as 35°C (95°F). Spring and autumn are mild, while winters are very cold, as low as -10°C (14°F), although expert some snow during your winter city break.

Know Before Visiting
Although Budapest is the capital of Hungary there can be quite a language barrier, as English isn’t as widely spoken as other European countries like Amsterdam. We would therefore advice to learn some basic Hungarian Phrases before you arrive to get the most out of Budapest. 

Language
Hungarian

Electric
C, E and F type plugs generally fit on Hungarian electricity sockets. 
Currency
Hungarian forint (HUF) 
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Belfast

Published in Destinations

 
Overview

Belfast, the historic capital of Northern Ireland, home to the RMS Titanic, Game of Thrones and the Ulster Fry, this rejuvenated city has a story to tell. Explore the many museums, murals, restaurants and true Irish bars for the ultimate city break.
Best Time to Visit

Belfast is brilliant year round with many festivals such as Culture Night in September, Feile an Phobail in August, St Patrick's day in March and the wintery Christmas market. Although the weather can get quite rainy and cold year round so pack an umbrella.
Belfast
Transportation
The Translink transport service offers Belfast an easy to navigate bus, train and coach service. Grab a Metro day ticket that will take you in and around the city for £3.90 (£3.40 after 9:30 am). Belfast is quite compact though so wear a comfortable pair of shoes and you could walk the famous streets.
Belfast Weather
December to February are the coldest months, with an average low of 45°F (7°C) and July is the hottest month, with an average high of 66 °F (19 °C).

Know Before Visiting
Belfast is a relatively new European city that offers some brilliant attractions but due to rules and regulations, a lot of bars, nightclubs, and shops close quite early so be sure to check closing times and Sunday opening hours.

Language
English

Electric
Type G (three-prong plug)

Currency
British Pound (£)
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Things to do
Titanic Belfast
Possibly the greatest museum in the whole of Ireland, the six-storey Titanic Belfast sits near the docks where the ‘unsinkable’ ship was built. The same height as its namesake – and designed suspiciously like an iceberg – this informative, interactive and entertaining museum takes visitors from conception and launch through to the eventual sinking and discovery of Belfast’s most infamous ship.
Opening Times: Daily 1000-1700 (Jan-Mar), daily 0900-1800 (Apr-May), daily 0900-1900 (Jun-Aug), 0900-1800 (Sep), daily 1000-1700 (Oct-Dec)
Admission Fees: Yes
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: 1 Olympic Way, Queens Road, Titanic Quarter, Belfast BT3 9EP
Website: Click Here

Belfast Castle
More Victorian mansion than traditional fortress, Belfast Castle combines Scottish baronial style with baroque features, and owes much of its popularity to its superb location on the lower slopes of Cave Hill. Offering the best possible panorama of the city. Try afternoon tea in its Cellar Restaurant.
Opening Times: Sun-Mon 0900-1800, Tues-Sat 0900-2230
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: No
Address: Antrim Rd, Belfast BT15 5GR
Website: Click Here

Crumlin Road Gaol
Popular with ex-inmates (so we’re told), the Crumlin Road Goal is a large Victorian prison that carries the cold chill of a condemned man. Hour-long tours revive its stories of semtex bombs, executions, unmarked graves and escapees, whilst allowing visitors to peek into cells and gawp at the gallows.
Opening Times: Daily 1000-1745
Admission Fees: Yes
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: 53-55 Crumlin Rd, Belfast BT14 6ST
Website: Click Here


Botanic Gardens
These lovely gardens, provide a wonderful respite from the University Quarter. Now a public park, its beautiful cast-iron and curvilinear glass Palm House remains the centrepiece – though it could do with a lick of paint. The Tropical Ravine looks derelict but is being renovated, while its rose garden, bowling green and walking routes leave plenty to peruse.
Opening Hours: Daily from 0730. Closing times vary throughout the year (see website).
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: College Park E, Belfast BT7 1LP
Website: Click Here

Ulster Museum
Expect to lose half a day at Northern Ireland’s national museum and art gallery. A veritable jackdaw’s nest of British, Irish and European paintings, local crafts and Irish history, its ground floor exhibition has a good overview of the Troubles.
Opening Hours: Tues-Sun 1000-1700
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: Botanic Gardens, Belfast BT9 5AB
Website: Click Here

 

Peace Walls
Rising to 7.6m (25ft) in height, the Peace Walls are a prison-like fence of concrete, corrugated steel and wire that separate nationalist and loyalist neighbourhoods. A psychical reminder of the division caused by The Troubles, tours take in the Falls and Shankill Roads and cover clash points as well as the murals that depict those lost in three decades of fighting. For historical context, visit on a black cab tour or with a guide, most of whom have experienced the Troubles first-hand.
Opening Hours: 0900-1800 (Peace Wall gates)
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: 15 Cupar Way, Belfast BT13


St George’s Market

Originally peddling poultry, butter and eggs in the late 1800s, a refit and reshuffle has turned this Victorian arcade into Belfast’s trendiest shopping destination. Now selling everything from fish to flamenco music, there are nearly 300 stalls to check out, with a variety market on Fridays, food and crafts being sold on Saturdays and antique stands on Sundays.
Opening Hours: Fri 0600-1400, Sat 0900-1500, Sun 1000-1600.
Admission Fees: No
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: 12-20 East Bridge Street, Belfast BT1 3NQ
Website: Click Here

SS Nomadic
SS Nomadic is the last remaining ship built by the White Star Line. This plucky tender, which took passengers to RMS Titanic from Cherbourg, has been fully restored and now relives its glory days in a dry dock.
Opening Hours: Tue-Sun 1000-1700 (Oct-Mar); Mon-Sun 1000-1700 (Apr-Sep)
Admission Fees: yes
Wheelchair Friendly: no
Address: Hamilton Dock, Queens Rd, Belfast BT3 9DT
Website: Click Here

W5
Ireland’s Award Winning Science & Discovery Centre perfect for kids and With over 250 amazing interactive exhibits in four incredible exhibition areas, W5 provides a unique experience for visitors. In addition to permanent exhibits, W5 also presents a changing programme of large and small scale temporary exhibitions and events.
Opening Hours: mon-fri 1000-1700; sat 1000-1800 sun 1200-1800
Admission Fees: yes
Wheelchair Friendly: Yes
Address: The Odyssey, 2 Queens Quay, Belfast BT3 9QQ
Website: Click Here

Public transport
Transport in Belfast is efficient. The city has a good bus service (rather confusingly called The Metro) operated by Translink . The service runs approximately every 10 minutes throughout the day, and there is a less frequent night service.

You can buy single tickets or day passes directly from the driver. Alternatively, you can save money by loading trips onto a Smartlink Multi-Journey Card or by buying a dayLink card, which offers unlimited travel for one, five or 10 days. Weekly and monthly smartcards are also available. Smartcards are sold at Translink sales outlets throughout the city.
The Belfast Visitor Pass allows unlimited bus and rail travel for one, two or three consecutive days, as well as discounts on visitor attractions. You can buy it at the Belfast Welcome Centre. There are five bus stations scattered throughout the city; the main one is the Europa Bus Centre located at Glengall Street, off Great Victoria Street.

Taxis
In Belfast taxis operate from taxi ranks. One of the main taxi ranks in Belfast city centre is in front of City Hall, Adelaide Street. There are two types of Belfast Taxis: the London-style black cabs, and standard saloon cars which bear the name of the taxi company on the car roof. All taxis display a yellow disc on the car windscreen and are required to display coloured licence plates (black taxis display yellow plates and private taxis green plates). Never take a taxi without coloured plates. It is common practice to normally round up the fare.
*Uber is also available in and around Belfast and is a great alternative than Taxies. Click here for your first journey free.
Driving
Belfast is a relatively straightforward city to drive in, although the city is so compact and well served by public transport that most visitors will have no need of a car. If you do decide to drive, there are plenty of car parks in the city centre (charges apply). To pay for off-street car parks or on-street metered parking, you can either pay with coins or register with Parkmobile (www.parkmobile.co.uk) and pay using your mobile phone or online. Parking on Sundays is usually free.
Bicycle hire
Belfast is becoming a cycle-friendly city as the city now has its own bicycle-sharing scheme called Belfast Bikes. There are 300 bicycles spread out across the city in 30 docking stations and are available to hire daily between 6 am and midnight. Before hiring a bike, you must register either online or at a docking station. The first 30 minutes are free.

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Top Tips For First Time Flyers

Published in Essentials

Top Tips for First Time Flyers

So you’ve booked your first flight, your wondering what know? whats my next step? If you’re like most people, exploring something new—like the cabin of an airplane, it can be daunting. While not every first-time flier will mistake the emergency exit for the bathroom, there are some tips that will help not only new travellers but frequent travellers alike.
Check in for your flight online and print/mobile your boarding pass

In this day and age where everything is done digitally, you can check in for your flight up to two weeks before your flight depending on your airline. Checking in online not only saves hassle at the desk but if you’re only carrying hand luggage you don’t even have to go and wait at the airline desk. Also on many airlines they will let you pick your own seat free of charge when your checking in online or one will be allocated for you.
Don’t pack too much

Our general rule when you pack for a trip is that you don’t need as much as you think you need, Realistically if you think ‘you may wear or need this’ you probably don’t. Off course, everybody wants to look their best for those holidays photos but you don’t need 14 outfits for a 5-day trip, just be realistic and think about space. (check out our how to pack like a pro guide here)
Check Your Carry-on Is the Right Size

Each Domestic and international Airline each have a different set of rules when it comes to carry-on bag sizes. Before you head to the airport with your luggage, make sure your tote qualifies as a carry-on handbag and check your airline’s size restrictions before you leave home as some airlines won’t allow items such as a handbag as well as a hand luggage suitcase. (check out our best-rated suitcases under £50 here)

Don’t pack any liquids or forbidden items

If you’re not checking a bag, remember that carry-on liquids, gels, and aerosols have to be 100ml/3.4 fl. oz or less and fit in a clear, quart-size bag. We normally use kitchen Ziploc Bags when travelling and have our liquid bag already packed before arriving at the airport.

Check your passport Validation

There is nothing quite like the panic that comes from booking a spontaneous vacation and realising your passport is expired—or expiring. Adding to the challenge is that some countries won’t allow you to visit within six months of your passport’s expiration date in case you take an extra-long vacation and they want to make sure you have a valid passport to travel back. In short, it never hurts to check your passport’s expiration date and, if necessary, renew it before your next big trip. (Find out how long your passport needs to be valid for here)
Double-check Your Itinerary

Traveling between time zones or around the world can be confusing. That’s why it always pays to make a list and check it twice. Go through your itinerary, confirm your airport (Did you book Heathrow or Gatwick? JFK or Newark?), your connection times (How long does it take to get to the train station? Which time zone is that?), and your plane tickets, including whether or not your name is spelled correctly on your documents.
While you’re working your way through the list, confirm your reservations for everything from hotels, flights, trains, buses, and activities.
Download that M-app

Getting lost when travelling is part of the fun and not taking that wrong turn may have never lead you to that beach, restaurant or neighbourhood, but when it comes to travel sometimes you can’t rely on that french you learned in school to ask for directions. We always carry a piece of card with the hotel/hostel/apartment’s address on it, so no matter what you have the address to at least make it back to base. We also use offline maps through either Google maps or a free third-party app from the App Store just in case we don’t have Wifi or Data. Speaking of phones…
Check Your Phone Plan

Before you head out of the country, hop online or call your service provider to get a data roaming or international calling plan. If you do not want to use your phone while traveling abroad, shut off the data roaming on your phone or risk a hefty phone bill.
Plan your currency options

It’s a good idea to have some of the local currency on hand when you land, but don’t overdo it. We recommend carrying some local currency and using a non-sterling transaction fee card when abroad to not only save money but save the disaster of having your cash lost or stolen. (explore the best travel money options here)
Alert your bank before you travel

There are few things more frustrating than having your credit card frozen when you’re on vacation because your bank thinks your card has been cloned or stolen. Before you go, notify your card company’s fraud department that you’re leaving the country. This can normally be done through the online app or a quick call to the number on the back of your card.
Pack comfortable shoes

We understand you're not climbing Mount Everest but the best way to really see a city is by foot and there is nothing more unrelaxing than sore feet. So pack your favourite trainers or shoes that go with most outfits and leave the heels at home.
Have a rough restaurant list

With sites such as TripAdvisor getting bigger and bigger its quite easy to find out where is hot and where is not. There is nothing more disappointing than spending your hard earned money on a terrible expensive meal. Make a small list either on your phone or a piece of paper with good cheap-eats, dessert bars, cafes, and nightclubs on it, We like to do this a couple of days before going to get excited about your adventure.
Don’t over schedule

Yes there are hundreds of amazing things to do in most cities but the sad truth is your not going to have time to see every nook and cranny in your short vacation. Plan what your must-sees are and don’t build yourself up for disappointment.
Don’t stress and enjoy your trip

Sit back, relax and enjoy it. More than likely something will go wrong its just the way things are, just laugh it off and take it as a memory, some of our greatest vacation memories are from things going wrong and looking back and laughing at them.

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Anker Astro E1 - 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger

Published in travel accessories

Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger External Power Bank with PowerIQ Technology for iPhone, iPad, Samsung, Nexus, HTC etc.

Have you ever been on holiday, in university or out and about and had your phone die? I think we all have and this is where the Anker 5200mAh Ultra Compact Charger comes into play. Weighing only 119g and around the size of a small Candy bar, it's the perfect accessory to have in your purse, pocket or hand luggage to keep your phone charged not once but twice on the move.

Inside the neatly compact box, you will find the Anker portable charger, a micro-USB charging cable to charge it, instructions, an amazing 18-month warranty and a small soft pouch to keep the Anker portable charger safe and undamaged.

Anker is known for quality and this product is no different with a very good build quality, premium battery cells that last and a strong outer casing. In fact, we've had this product on beaches, bikes, aeroplanes, in the rain and in nightclubs around the world and it's as good as the day we first got it.

Built into this Charger is Anker’s PowerIQ technology which dynamically detects and adapts to your device’s unique charging protocol enabling it to charge at full speed.

We also use the Anker Astro E1’s big brother the Anker PowerCore 20100mAh which can charge your phone up to 7 times but is a bit bulkier than the Astro E1, so we prefer the size and durability of the Astro E1 and everyone in the team can’t leave anywhere without one.


Alongside the Anker Astro E1 5200mAh we also use the Anker PowerLine+ Lightning Cable & Anker PowerLine+ Micro USB which are as attractive as they are durable and will last you for years.

Verdict
The Anker Astro E1 5200mAh Ultra Compact Portable Charger is an essential accessory for anyone. With its simple to use plug and play option that even my mum could use, it's a one size fits all accessory. At such cheap price of £11.99, we would recommend nearly everyone to get one even just to have as an emergency or as a charger for when your little one's tablet dies. 
Rating: 
Where to buy
Buy now for £11.99 and free delivery from Amazon

Understanding our rating class.
We rate our Travel Accessories ranging from, First class being the best and Last class being the worst.

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