What to visit in London with a student budget?

Helloooooooo

As you may or may not know we went to London. A wonderful city with many things to do.
But London is also very expensieve. Especially when you’re a student.

In this post we’re telling you what we visited.

The first day we went to a tourist information centre. That’s the cheapest and easiest way to get tickets. It’s cheaper to buy for example 3 tickets than just one at the entrance. And you don’t have to stand in line for a ticket.  Important note: bring your student card!

http://www.visitlondon.com/tag/tourist-information-centre

We chose 3 activities for £63 ( €72):

  1. The london Eye  (Adult price)
    A must see if you are in London.  It was our first time we went in such a giant wheel.If you are afraid of heights (like Nami)  we can garanty it’s not as bad as it looks.  You don’t feel it moving a lot. And once you are up its hard not to enjoy the beautiful lights of London. Especially with Christmas. It has that extra wow factor. You almost forget that you’re that high up… almost. The scariest part is when you almost reach the highest point. You can see the other cabins and then you realize how high this bloody thing is. But we survived and we enjoyed it !  With your ticket there’s also a 4D experience included. You can do this after or before the ride. 

     

     

    https://www.londoneye.com/

2. The london dungeon (student price)

This was the most real, exciting history tour i have ever seen. The dungeon takes you back to different legends and stories of different times. You go trough London in times of hunger, darkness and diseases. The actors are great at their jobs. It’s just like you are there when history was made. We will not spoil this experience for you, just go and visit! It’s really worth your time and money.

It’s a two-hour show where you walk through different scenes and different stories. There are special effects and two attractions. One is a boat (kind of a splash, you get a little wet) and it’s not for those who are light hearted or easily scared. The second one is at the end, it’s a miniversion of the tower of terror (Disney). In every scene the public is involved. It’s not a boring listen don’t speak kind of museum but a very interactive one.

Apart from the high fun factor there’s also an informational part. We learned some of the darkest history of London ( the fire, plague,  crazy kings and torture methods, jack the ripper, Sweeney todd, …)

One of the most horrible stories that we lived through was the black plague.
How horrible it must have been….

Go back in time and discover London!

https://www.thedungeons.com/london/en/

3. The london zoo (student price)

For each country or city we visit a zoo. This summer we went to Rome and we visited a zoo. Now in London we did the same. We only go to ‘good’ zoos. With good we mean zoos that really take care of their animals. The London zoo is definitely in this category. They are really caring for nature ( reduce plastic as much as possible) and their animals. It is managed under the aegis of the Zoological Society of London. This is a  a charity devoted to the worldwide conservation for animals and their habitats.

It’s not a very huge zoo but still big enough to wander around. They have a lot of animals i didn’t see before. Like Gorillas and african hounds (these are really pretty). Although we don’t like bugs and spiders, the bug house is quite amazing. And Harry Potter fans beware, London Zoo was one of the filmlocations in the first Harry Potter movie (The reptile house).

Check their website. They often do special events and they offer special experiences like meeting animals, be keeper for a day or sleep a night near the lions.

https://www.zsl.org/zsl-london-zoo

NOTE: Apart from these 3 activities we visited museums and buildings too. Those where mostly for free. The British museum (free) and Natural history museum (free). Another great activitiy that we will discuss in another post is: Winter Wonderland!

Giolotti – delicious gelato

Giolitti – Delicious gelato @ Rome

http://www.giolitti.it/

Via Uffici del Vicario, 40
00186 Roma

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Giolliti is one of the oldest ice-cream parlours in Rome.
It was founded in 1890 by Giuseppe and Bernardina Giolitti and it’s still owned by the same family.
They offer dozens of different flavours and the ice -cream parlour (AND café) is popular with both tourists and locals.
You can’t come to Rome and skip this! After our guided tour we went straight for the gelato.

Going inside the café it’s like stepping into a post card. The interior is old fashioned but cosy.
When entering , we were blown away by the crowd. We weren’t the only ones who heard of the famous Giolitti. Before picking your flavours you’ll have to pay.  After getting the ticket you can go get your ice cream. This is a genius concept. After paying you can really focus on the important things. Choosing the best flavours for example.

Giolitti secures high quality gelato at suitable prices. You pay between 2.5 – 4.5 euros. The fun part is that you pay for a  size (small, medium, large) and not per flavour of ice cream. For example in a small cone you can put two balls of ice cream or sometimes three (depends on shop) and you pay for the small cone (2,5 euro).

The gelato was so freaking good we went two times in a row.
Nami ordered strawberry and banana. Lomi vanilla and black berry. The second time we shared a cup (vanilla, melon and strawberry). The texture of the gelato was perfect and very  intense.

If you have enough time don’t hesitate to get inside and order something on their menu. You won’t regret it!

Have you ever visited Giolitti? Let us know!

Review Sheraton Roma & Conference Center

Sheraton Roma Hotel & Conference Center (4-sterren)

Viale del Pattinaggio 100, EUR, 00144 Rome, Italië

After Crete we wanted to do a city trip. we decided to plan a trip to Rome. Before we booked our flights, we looked for a hotel. What did we want? First of all we wanted a place located near Rome but not directly in the center ( a lot of noise and more expensive). An other requirement was that the hotel came with breakfast (included). And if it was possible we preferred a hotel with a pool (hot hot hot in Rome!).

After a little search we found The sheraton Roma Hotel. Sheraton is a chain of hotels and resorts all over the world. Loti: ‘ I’ve all ready been a few times to different Sheraton hotels, it was a great experience every time. I’m also an SPG member.’ You can read more on their website of facebook page: http://www.starwoodhotels.com/sheraton/index.html

https://www.facebook.com/sheratonrome/?fref=ts

But how did we experienced the hotel in Rome?

Location: 4/5

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The hotel conveniently located between the historical city center and Fiumicino/Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport (in the businnes center) .That was exactly what we looked for. Not too much noise, but easy to reach.

The hotel offers a shuttle several times a day to the center of Rome. Because of the price we didn’t used this service. But no worries we used the subway. The nearest metro station was EUR Magliana, max. 10 minutes walk from the hotel. In combination with the special tourist passes (Roma Pass,…) we didn’t had to spend a lot of money on transportation.

Reception: 4.5/5

The look of the hall is ‘chic’. There are not too much details and the design is functional. The place has a pleasant temperature because of the airconditioning.

The staff welcomed us with open arms, they gave us information about the hotel, region,room,…
Their English was good and they were friendly and helpful.

Rooms: 5/5

We booked a room for two persons on the preferred floors. When entering the room we were instantly happy. There was a lot of place, two big beds, a large closet, a nice bathroom and everything was clean. And just one word for the matrasses: WOW! We slept like babies ;).

We had a full minibar but we didn’t use that because of the prices. Still the hotel offered us two free bottles of water everyday and in the room there were tea- and coffee facilities (free). Also the free Wifi had a good quality!

Breakfast: 4/5

The hotel offers a varied breakfast buffet. You had a lot of choice between fresh fruits, fruit salads, (fruit-)yoghurts, cornflakes, bread, sandwiches, meat, cheese, fresh juices,…  You can sit out- or inside, and there is an additional room in case there are a lot of people. We recommend to go around 8 o’clock. At that moment it isn’t too crowded.

We liked the food. The bread isn’t like home, but better than average. We didn’t like the round sandwiches, but the cake was delicious even the croissants had good quality. Particularly for sandwich fillings there were different types of fresh meat (turkey,ham,salami,..) and smoked fish. There was also a wide range of sweet spreads. For the people who like warm food the breakfast had a corner with omelets, sausages,… We liked the fresh fruit, juices and yoghurts.

Our only comment is that the kiwi’s were still hard.

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Pool 3/5

The hotel had a big swimming pool. One of the reasons we booked this hotel was because of the pool. After a long day in the hot city center we wanted to cool off. The first evening we swam in the pool and it was amazing. The water was refreshing. The day after we visited the city center. It was a warm day and the pool was calling us. To get chairs around the pool you had to pay. So we choose to sit just on the ground (no problem for us, but it’s a little remark) But when we arrived at the hotel we learned that the pool was closed…. The only sign for this was a board at the pool saying that It’s closed due to maintenance. No further information. We asked the staff but they only said the same. And they promised it would be open august second.

As compensation the hotel offered free shuttle service to their other hotel with pool. This was indeed a great idea if there were enough shuttles. The bus only went two times a day (at 9.30 AM and 15.30 PM) and two times back (15.00 PM and 19.30 PM). We found these hours impractical. Usually we visited the centrum (museums, churches,…) in the morning and swam around 16.00-17.00 PM. You can understand that we had to rush to get the shuttle. Fortunately we could speak with the manager. She offered us a taxi once a day to the other hotel (or the way back). And a free meal. We were very happy with this arrangement. The pool at the other hotel was very nice. Not too big and not too crowded. The water was cold, but nice and refreshing. Our only advice for this pool: more sunbeds. We could sit on the grass but there were a lot of salamanders crawling around.

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The morning of the 2nd  august we looked to the pool and saw… an empty pool. We were disappointed and asked when it would open. Again they said ‘tomorrow or the day after’. The reason why it was closed: due to maintenance works. We spoke to the manager and she arranged again once a day a taxi. Thursday evening we go a letter that the pool would be open Friday at 11 AM. We were so happy, so we planned to swim in the morning and to visit the city in the afternoon. We woke up early but when arriving at the pool it was still closed. The very friendly poolboy told us the pool wasn’t at the right waterlevel to be safe. So we couldn’t swim…

Saturday the pool was finally open but because of the fresh water it was very cold. We couldn’t swim only sit in the pool with our legs. We regret the unexpected events, but we can’t complain. We got nice compensations and the other pool was very nice. Only the communication to the guests was a bit poor.

Food 4,5/5

There was a good choice of dishes in the restaurant. You could order them in your room or at a table. We tasted the chiken, beef, pastas and pizzas. They were all very tasty! We enjoyed the dinner so much. We didn’t gave a 5 because it was a bit too expensive. Especially drinks. It was 6 euros for a soda… We always took a bottle of water to share. The staff was very friendly and faster than in the city center. Roomservice was also good (same food). When we ordered the food the people on the other side of the telephone didn’t speak English very well. We had to repeat ourselves a lot. Luckily the order was always correct and the service was fast. One time we didn’t get a table so we had to eat in weird positions ( try to cut beef on a soft bed). And one time we didn’t get the vegetables we asked for. They immediately got back to the kitchen to prepare the portion of vegetables.. A weird misconception was that if we asked vegetables we got weird ones (no tomatoes or green cold vegetables) but warm steamed vegetables where you couldn’t see what it was exactly. But it was not that bad. The staff at the restaurant was very nice and that’s why we score food high. Also the food itself was amazing. The only thing we weren’t happy about were the prices.

General: 3.5/5

Because of the problems with the pool we give the hotel a 3.5/5 instead of 4.

 

If you have further questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Review Yog-inn; Greek frozen yoghurt & sweet treats

(English version below)
Op onze uitstap naar Rethymnon botsten we op dit kleine maar fijne frozen yoghurt shopje (We hadden dit stiekem opgezocht). Een klein detail, wij zijn froyo verslaafd!

We hebben de froyo leren kennen in België (overgewaaid van Amerika) en waren dus benieuwd naar de Griekse variant.
In België heb je ondertussen al heel wat Frozen yoghurt winkels. De een wat beter dan de ander. Onze favoriet is Moochie (zie andere review).
We hadden eerst een leuke froyo shop gezien in Heraklion. Maar die bleek helaas te duur te zijn voor ons studentjes. We hadden de hoop op froyo bijna opgegeven… Maaaar toen we rethymnon bezochten en na wat research stapten we de yog-inn binnen.

We werden vriendelijk begroet door een echte Britse dame. Zij gaf meteen info over de soorten yoghurt, de toppings, mogelijke combinaties enzovoort. Wij waren gewonnen voor het idee.
Eerst en vooral waren de kleuren van het winkeltje heel aantrekkelijk. Het nodigde uit om binnen te stappen. Klein maar fijn. Het is gesitueerd net naast de remondifontein.
De prijzen zijn echt democratisch. Voor een ‘klein’ potje (wat dus al redelijk groot was) betaal je €2,20 en als je  €0,80 bijlegt, mag je zoveel toppings nemen als je wilt. Dit hebben wij dus ook gedaan 🙂 Ook de grotere potten zijn betaalbaar.
Voor de gene onder jullie die niet zo een fan zijn van froyo, zijn er ook andere keuzes. Zo kan je er ook verse fruitsalade krijgen, softijs (ook lactose vrij), milkshakes, drankjes,…
Loti nam een kleintje natuur met als toppings: fruit! ( vers! fruit). Nami nam aardbei met als toppings verschillende soorten chocolade en fruit.

We waren aangenaam verrast door het smakenpallet. De yoghurt was licht, lekker fris en ideaal als tussendoortje of lunch. Je kon buiten op een kleiner terrasje zitten. Het was dus zeker de ontdekking van de dag!
Positieve punten:

-smaak van de yoghurt

-klantvriendelijkheid

-aankleding zaak

-prijzen

-lekker en vers fruit
Negatieve punten:

-beperkte keuze aan smaken van yoghurt

-beperkte keuze aan toppings

-weinig zitplaatsen
Besluit: We geven deze zaak 8.5/10 We raden jullie aan om hier eens binnen te springen, wanneer jullie Rethymnon bezoeken 😀

Bezoek ook eens hun facebook pagina: https://www.facebook.com/Rimondi.Yoginn/?fref=ts
(English)

On our trip to Rethymno our eyes fell on a little froyo shop (actually we looked it up :p). A small detail, we are addicted to frozen yoghurt. We got to know the product in Belgium (originally from America ?) en we were very curious what the Greek version tasted like. In our country we allready have al lot of shops. We prefer Moochie, you can see the review on our blog.

When we visited Iraklion we saw another shop (chill box) but it was to expensive for us students. We were desperate and thought we wouldn’t find froyo in Crete. BUT after a bit of research we found the Yog-Inn when visiting Rethymno.

A very nice British lady welcomed us. She gave us a lot of information about the product, the toppings, …

The shop is very nice decorated. Its small but cute, there are a lot of bright colors, its located near the Remoni Fountain. Yog-inn offers great prices. For a small cup (it is huge !) you pay € 2.20 and for € 0.80 extra you can choose as many toppings you like! (And yes we took one 😉 ) But even the bigger cups are not expensive.

There are also other possibilities for those who don’t like froyo. Yog-inn offers also fresh fruitsalads, soft ice (even without lactose), milkshakes, drinks,…

Loti took a small froyo cup nature with fresh fruits as toppings. Nami took strawberry with chocolate and kiwi.

We were amazed by the matching flavours. The yoghurt was light, tasty, fresh and ideal as a snack or lunch. You could sit outside (in the shade, luckily.

It was the suprise of the day.

Positive aspects:

–        The taste of the yoghurt

–        Nice service

–        Nice shop

–        Good prices

–        Good and fresh fruits

Workpoints:

–        Limited taste choises (but the yoghurt you could have is very good)

–        Limited options of toppings

–        Limited seat options

Conclusion: an 8,5 on 10. We recommend it to jump inside the shop and take a frozen yoghurt.

Also, visit their Facebook page!  https://www.facebook.com/Rimondi.Yoginn/?fref=ts