Our Guide to Bordeaux: what to do and visit in 48h

Dear fellow travelers,

We recently had the occasion to spend a weekend in Bordeaux, a city in the South-West of France which is mainly famous for its wine! It was a fun trip even if we were not very lucky with the weather. Here are our tips to make the most of Bordeaux!

Cité du Vin. Recently built and inaugurated in May 2016, few days before the start of the Euro 2016 tournament in France, La Cité du Vin is a museum and an exhibition site, but also contains a restaurant and an immense and fascinating wine cave. The building is architecturally very interesting, spiraling up from the river, alternating reflecting silver and golden lights. We expected the exhibition to be more about the Bordeaux wine region and the process of wine-making. Instead, it is about wine in general, different places in the world where wine is made, literary references, and digital technologies play a big part in the exhibition’s animations. The good news is that you get to taste one glass of wine at the end!

Darwin. This is a skate park built in an industrial area a bit far from the city center, but it can be reached with a 20 minutes walk from the Cité du Vin. A true hipster paradise, with amazing graffiti, Darwin is a very convivial place where you can spend the afternoon eating on the wooden tables or shopping at the local concept store. You may want to check out a place called Magasin General, which looks great for brunch. But we advise you to book a table one week in advance. Unfortunately we discovered it too late so we didn’t manage to.

Marché des Capucins. A covered food market, not far from St Michel Cathedral and its well known flea market, Le Marché de Capucins is the ideal place to either buy food or have lunch. We suggest you a Tapas Place called La Maison du Pata Negra. Here you can choose from a number of different delicious tapas and obviously drink a glass of wine. While you are touring the market, do not hesitate to try Canelés – the typical Bordeaux treat.

La Zone du Dehors bookshop.We have a sweet spot for bookshops, and La Zone du Dehors, a bookshop and café situated around the Saint Michel area, really caught our attention thanks to its cozy atmosphere and the richness of their book selection. Must-visit for book lovers.

Le Miroir d’Eau. If you have seen some recent pictures of Bordeaux, you probably came through images of a huge water mirror that reflects the buildings of Place de la Bourse and its Corinthian column-fountain (something stunning like this). This is definitely a sight you should not miss, take the occasion to walk by this square during the day or at night to capture the different shades of the reflection. Not being able to see Le Miroir d’Eau is probably the biggest regret of our visit to the city, as we were there on the last weekend of March and a semi-marathon had been organized for that weekend. Therefore, the area was partially covered with the runners’ village and the semi-marathon start line, and the fountains that normally generate the “water mirror” were turned off. Definitely a shame.

Rue Sainte-Catherine. This is the main shopping street of Bordeaux, all wordwide famous shopping and apparel brands place their Bordeaux shop here. Nearby, you will find many restaurants, so if you go there in the afternoon, it can also be an occasion to start and check the restaurants and see which one inspires you more, to come back and have dinner in the evening.

Grosse Cloche de Bordeaux. The “big bell” of Bordeaux is a 18th century 7.75-tonne bell above a former dungeon for juveniles, and it is still rung on special occasions. Classified as an historical monument, this is one of the favorite landmark of the “Bordelais”. Rue Saint James, a pedestrian street between La Grosse Cloche and Place Fernand Lafargue, is the ideal place to find interesting concept stores.

Apollo Bar. Situated in Place Fernand Lafargue, L’Apollo is an historical landmark of the city’s nightlife. At least once a month, the bar hosts live exhibitions of soul or funk musicians. Even if you just step in for a quick beer in the late afternoon, just make sure you don’t miss it!

Cathedrale Saint-André. The biggest cathedral in Bordeaux, situated on Pey-Berland square, Saint-André cathedral stands out for its majestic façade and for its gothic style.

Try “les dunes blanches”.  Dunes blanches are another typical treat from the South-West region and are like choquettes (sugar puffs) filled with chantilly cream. We suggest you to try them at Chez Pascal, a well-known bakery that originally opened on the coast and now has a Bordeaux address. They are inspired by the white sand dunes along the coast not far from the city.

Last but not least: if you want, you can get a car and drive to La Dune de Pylat, we were told it’s beautiful but we could not go during that weekend (also it was not worth as the weather wasn’t great when we were there). Dune de Pylat is a landmark of South-West France so we will make sure we’ll check it out the next time we are in the area.

Hope you enjoyed our suggestions!

Go and… eat the road! 😉

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Our Best Addresses in Venice

Dear fellow travelers,

While in Venice we enjoyed local food, Spritz and found some nice spots we would like to share with you. Here is our list of must-visit:

  • Cantina Do Spade, one of the oldest osterie in Venice, is near the Rialto Market; here you can ask for a selection of ciccheti or make your own choice. Really nice and cheap! The Italian tapas obviously need to be accompanied by a Spritz! You can ask for different versions of the famous cocktail: Aperol Spritz, Select Spritz or Campari Spritz 🙂 We recommend you to come early since there not many tables and it can get crowded, especially at weekends.

  • Osteria Al Squero is another great place to enjoy local food and cicchetti in Dorsoduro. Here you can get your selection of small toasts for a very fair price! The place is very small and frequented by locals, so it’s quite difficult to find a place, but you can still enjoy your meal sitting along the canal, just in front of the well-known Squero di San Trovaso; a Venetian squero is a shipyard where gondolas are made following the traditional artisanal rules.

  • Suso Gelatoteca : when we visited Venice it was sunny and warm, the perfect time for an Italian gelato. Suso is the most famous artisanal gelateria in Venice and we warmly recommend you to visit it! There are many original flavors and it was quite hard to decide 🙂 It’s in a small street but you’ll easily recognize it by the long queue outside.

  • Libreria Acqua Alta is surely the most surprising bookshop we ever visited. There are books piled up everywhere, in gondolas, small boats and even tubs! There is a nice view on the canal from the backyard you if step up some more books 🙂 Definitively worth a visit, especially if you are a book lover.
Libreria Acqua Alta
Libreria Acqua Alta

 

  • Trattoria alla Rivetta: in Venice you’ll find many expensive restaurants, the typical tourist traps, not very authentic and super crowded. We found this very nice trattoria, hidden by a bridge, not far from San Marco. We really enjoyed our meal, which was quite generous and not expensive at all! You’ll find all the typical Venetian dishes as well as some Italian classic.

Enjoy and go eat the road!

Our Guide to Venice: what to do and visit in 48h

Dear fellow travelers,

As we told you in our previous post, we stayed in Venice just a couple of days since we were already in the region. Even though we did not have a lot of time, we tried to enjoy the city as best as we could, doing many things but relaxing as well.

So here are our suggestions if you are staying for a weekend or a few days in one of the most beautiful cities in the world:

Get lost! There is no better way to discover the city and its canals than wander aimlessly along the calle (small streets) to discover beautiful glimpses of little bridges, old palaces and pretty gondolas sailing around. Sometimes you’ll end up discovering beautiful spots away from the most crowded and touristy places in town.

Take a vaporetto and sail on the Canal Grande. As we said in our previous post, the vaporetto is the main mean of transport in Venice. It is useful to get around and can replace an expensive private boat tour. Take the ferry from the train station and sail along the main canal till San Marco to enjoy the amazing view: from there you can see the beautiful building of Ca’ Foscari university, the Rialto Bridge and its market, several museums and galleries (Ca’ Pesaro, Palazzo Grassi, Galleria dell’Accademia, Peggy Guggenheim…) and many wonderful palaces.

Canal Grande

Have a Spritz and cicchetti like a local. Venice region is famous for its wines and cocktails, like prosecco, Spritz and Bellini. Venetians have the habit of gathering in typical little bars, called bàcaro, to eat cicchetti, a sort of Italian tapas, along with ombre, little glasses of local wine, or with a Spritz (you can choose the Aperol, Campari or Select option). Most of the cicchetti are made with local fish or seafood but you’ll also find some with cheese and meat.

Visit the strangest bookshop ever. Not far from the San Marco square, you’ll find Libreria Acqua Alta (literally “high water”), a remarkable little bookshop where tons of books are piled up in a real gondola or in little boats and even in bathtubs! 😁 if you are a booklover (as we are!) you’ll definitively love this place and you will surely spend your afternoon taking pictures and finding your next favorite book.

Libreria Acqua Alta

Escape from the crowd for a morning walk in Dorsoduro. It is the neighborhood beyond the Ponte dell’Accademia, a lot less touristy, even though there are several interesting museums like the Gallerie dell’Accademia, Peggy Guggenheim collection and Punta della Dogana. We enjoyed an early morning walk along the quiet canals: it was lovely to have the empty streets of Venice for us… just for a few moments! 😄

Tick the big classics off your bucket list. Even though you’ll have to face crowds of tourists, it is still worth to visit the main historical landmarks of Venice: Piazza San Marco, Palazzo Ducale and Ponte Dei Sospiri (Bridge of Sighs), Rialto Bridge. They contribute to make this city so iconic and unique in the whole world.

Admire the Venetian architecture. While wandering through its narrow streets, you’ll end up discovering many beautiful palaces, whose architecture is typical from this region. One of the best examples is Palazzo Contarini del Bovolo: its back stairs are a true work of art! Don’t miss it!

Scala Contarini del Bovolo

Get to know the contemporary art scene. Venice has always been very popular for its thriving art scene: many museums and galleries offer unusual and inspiring expositions. Remember to check the programs of Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana gallery as well as Peggy Guggenheim, La Biennale and Ca’ Pesaro for modern and contemporary art events.

This is just some tips of the several things you can do in Venice: we hope to go back and have the opportunity to stay longer!

Our post about the best addresses in Venice is coming soon, so stay tuned and go Eat the Road! 😉

 

 

Our Trip to Venice, Italy

Dear fellow travelers,

We were recently invited to a couple of friends’ wedding in Mogliano Veneto and we decided to take advantage of the long weekend to spend a couple of days in Venice, really close to the wedding venue.

Here is a bit of information of how to get there, where to stay and how to move around.

The city and lagoon are served by the international airport Marco Polo. We flew with EasyJet and Vueling and had a very bad experience with the latter on our way back, but we’ll write more abut it soon. To get to the city center from the airport you have different options:

  • take the bus n°5 from the arrivals terminal to Piazzale Roma, near the train station (this is the last access point for cars since the whole city is pedestrian). From there you can walk or take a vaporetto (the urban ferry) to your destination. You can buy a combo ticket bus+ferry from machines at the airport for 14€
  • take the Alilaguna ferry from the airport port to get directly to the heart of the city without changing transportation. The ferry serves the main vaporetto stops like Rialto, San Marco and Santa Lucia train station. It takes 1h to get to San Marco and you’ll get the opportunity to have a view of the laguna and its islands (Lido, Murano, Giudecca…). One-way ticket is 15€.

We took both options and we would recommend you the second one since it’s easier, more comfortable, you don’t have to face any traffic along the way. The bus, in fact, goes along the only road that reaches the laguna that is always congested. We would not recommend you to rent a car at the airport and try to reach Venice by car, as in that case the closest to the city you can get is Piazzale Roma and parking costs 25/30 € per day!

Mercato di Rialto from the vaporetto
Venice is quite small and you can visit almost everything by foot, even though you have sometimes to plan your itinerary in order to be near a bridge when you want to get on the other side of the Canal Grande: there aren’t many bridges crossing this big canal and it can be easier sometimes to take a vaporetto to get to destination. The price for a single fare is 7.50€, but if you are staying for a few days more it can be worth getting the Venezia Unica Card to have better prices: you will find further details here. We took the ferry just once to get to our accommodation and it was really a nice experience: comfortable, easy and with a great view! 😍  Do not take boat taxi: they are extremely expensive and never really necessary!

Canal Grande from Rialto Bridge
We stayed in an apartment in San Samuele neighborhood, near Palazzo Grassi and just 10 minutes walk from Piazza San Marco. We booked the apartment on Booking and, even though the host was nice and communication was easy, we were not very satisfied by it: the apartment was a bit old and, even though we knew from the description that the check out was at 10am, we were surprised by the fact that there was no possibility of leaving our luggage to the host for the rest of the check-out day, an option that is normally offered by any apartment host to allow guests to enjoy their last day in town without carrying around their luggage. After a few minutes of panic – since our flight back was at 10 pm! 😝 – we immediately found a solution on the internet: Venice Luggage Deposit was what we needed! A deposit for the day in the city center, just a few minutes walk from our apartment, at at a very fair price: just 11€ for the day for both our cabin trolleys!

Another important tip: always have cash with you! In Italy they tend to refuse payment by card for small amounts, so if you are paying a coffee or a small souvenir, you’d better have some Euros in your pockets 😉

Stay tuned if you want to know more about Venice because our guide to the city is coming soon!

Eat The Road! 😉

Our 5 Best Addresses in Nice

Cover pic from dipiu.fr

Dear fellow travelers,

There is so much that you can do in Nice, but if you want to take full advantage of your time in the city, you have to experience local food and try different places for dinner. From modern and trendy restaurants to traditional “street-food”-like places, here are our best addresses!

  • Di Più: This Italian restaurant is well situated where the Promenade des Anglais meets the Vieux Nice, a real sweetspot that will take you directly from the seaside to the narrow streets of the old town. Here you will have a chance to try Italian and Mediterranean cooking in a superb and modern environment. Get there at the opening time or be ready to queue as the place is very popular and they don’t take reservations!

📌 Di Più, 85 Quai des États-Unis, Open everyday from 12pm to 2.30pm and from 7pm to 11pm.

  • Café de Turin: This place is more than a restaurant; it is an institution, an oysters market (from their own farming!), an “old-style” café. If you like seafood and oysters in particular, you should definitely try it, and it gets bonus points as it is situated near the charming Place Garibaldi and the animated Rue Bonaparte.
Pic from cafedeturin.fr

📌 Café de Turin, 5 Place Garibaldi, Open everyday from 8am to 10pm.

  • Le Plongeoir: This absolutely stunning place is a restaurant and lounge bar that was recently opened on some diving boats next to the harbor. You can relax and taste their Mediterranean cuisine or simply have a drink at the bar, while experiencing the charm of an iconic location. Particularly suggested if you are in Nice with your significant other!
Pic from 20minutes.fr

📌  Le Plongeoir, 60 boulevard Franck Pilatte, Open From Monday to Sunday (closed on Tuesdays) – Lunch service from 12 until 2pm, Bar from 10am to 5pm.

  • Lou Pilha Leva: this is the right place to taste some local specialties in a cozy “fast-food” environment: don’t expect anything luxurious, just outdoor tables and no-frills service. Sit down on the wood benches and try socca (the traditional chickpea-flour pancake), zucchini-flower fritters, sugar-beet pie, or a bowl of soupe au pistou (soup of vegetables, noodles, beans, basil and garlic). Order a beer or another fresh drink and you are all set for the evening!
Pic from nice.city-life.fr

📌  Lou Pilha Leva, 10 rue de Collet, open everyday except Sunday, from 11am to midnight.

  • Le Bar des Oiseaux: Another place you need to discover in the Vieux Nice, and mentioned in 2017 Le Fooding guide, this restaurant proposes quality food at reasonable prices. Calamari, pulled pork, white fish, suckling pig are all on the menu, but don’t forget to check the “plat du jour”, it changes every day! Enjoy the shabby chic decor and the bistro-like atmosphere.
Pic from tripadvisor

📌 Le Bar des Oiseaux, 5 rue Saint-Vincent. Tuesday to Saturday, 12.00-13.45 and 19.00-21.45.

Do you know other places in Nice? Comment below!

And… go Eat the Road!

Our Guide to Nice: what to do, visit and taste

Dear fellow travelers,

Summer is approaching, and many of you are surely already thinking about a good destination for the upcoming holidays. We would like to dedicate some articles to Nice & the Cote d’Azur, as this this area could be the perfect place for you to spend some time during the summer, either for a long holiday (there are many things you can do in Nice and its surroundings, if you have the chance to stay for one week or more), or for a weekend city break.

Nice is with no doubt the “capital” of the Cote d’Azur; with a population of 345.000, it is the 5th biggest city in France. Part of the Counts of Savoy since 1388, Nice was ceded to France in 1860, as a reward for French assistance in the II Italian War of Independence against Austria. Still now, Italian influence is evident in many aspects of the life of the city; from architecture, to culture, to the local dialect (nissart), to food. It’s difficult to get bored here: beach, amazing restaurants, clubs, museums and animated squares will keep you busy, and it’s impossible to resist to the azure color of the water of the baie des Anges.

Here are the things we suggest you to do in Nice!

Promenade des anglais. The iconic walkway extends from the airport on the west to the Quai des États-Unis on the east, for approximately 7km. «La Prom» is with no doubt the most famous place in Nice, and it’s always full of families, runners, bicyclists and skaters. Here you can have a long stroll, take few steps down and approach the beach, have lunch at the famous Negresco hotel or sit on the typical blue chairs (or cabanas) to contemplate the azure water of the sea.

Place Garibaldi. Maybe you don’t know that Garibaldi, the Italian general and politician, considered one of Italy’s “fathers of the fatherland” was born in Nice. The city dedicated him a square, situated north of the Old Town and not far from the harbor. This semi-pedestrian square, entirely renovated between 2008 and 2012, is the oldest big square in Nice, and one of the landmarks of the city. Rue Bonaparte, one of the centers of the nightlife, with its trendy bars and restaurants, it’s just few steps away.

View from the Castle. The Château de Nice, situated on the eastern end of the Promenade and overlooking the harbor, was a citadel used for military purposes. Today, it’s a park, one of the most famous in Nice and, from here, everyday, you will hear a cannon exploding at midday. It’s just a firework, manually setoff to keep a tradition started in 1861 by a British gentlemen that used to set off a cannon to… call back his wife, who was wandering around on the Promenade des Anglais or in the Old Town! On a bright day, tourists climb the steps up on the hill and enjoy a fantastic panorama.

Vieux Nice. This is an absolute must-visit! Get lost in the narrow streets of the Old Town; here you will find plenty of inspiring shops and restaurants, and you will be able to taste a bit of everything, from local nougat de provencesocca and pissaladière, to seafood or pizza. Every time of the day is a good time to visit Le Vieux Nice, which is one of the most colorful and animated areas of the city.

Place Massena & Miroir d’Eau. Designed by Joseph Vernier in 1843-1844 and surrounded by red buildings, this is the most famous square in Nice. It was recently rebuilt and it’s now fully pedestrian, exception made for the tramway rails. As part of the square’s renovation, the Promenade du Paillon, that cuts the square into two, was also rebuilt as a green belt. Le Miroir d’Eau, ensemble of spectacular fountains right in the middle of the green belt, is now a great attractions for children and tourists. Rue de France and Avenue Médecin, both starting from this square, are two of the main shopping streets in Nice.

Pic from info-provence.com

Apéro at the Hotel Le Méridien. If you fancy a view from the top, you should head on to the terrace of Hotel Le Méridien right before dusk. Have a seat outside at La Terrasse Restaurant: you will then have the opportunity to enjoy a fantastic view on the baie des anges alongside with your drink! A webcam permanent view is available on their site, it will give you an idea of what you shall not miss!

MAMAC. If you are interested in modern art, you should spend an half day at the MAMAC, Musée d’art moderne et d’art contemporain. Open everyday (with few exceptions on public holidays) until 17.45, MAMAC displays more than 1300 pieces from over 300 artists, with particular attention to the work of two prominent figures of 20th century’s art: Yves Klein and Niki de Saint Phalle.

Beach Life. Obviously, you don’t want to miss the occasion to get tanned and take a bath in the azure water of the baie des Anges. Nice offer over 7km of beach, public and private. The beach is composed of smooth pebbles, called galets. A mat and plastic “jelly” shoes will make you more comfortable. The water is normally clean and has the typical azure color. The best time of the day to take a bath is in the morning, when few people are around and the color is more intense. The water may be colder, but you’ll find it difficult to resist!

Musée Chagall. This museum, also known as musée national message biblique Marc-Chagall , displays the work of the painter Marc Chagall and, in particular, his work inspired by religion. The museum is located in Cimiez; a neighborhood where you could also find the Musée Matisse and the ruins of Cemenelum, capital of the Ancient Roman province Alpes Maritimae on the Ligurian coast.

Cathedrale Russe. A short walk behind Nice main station and you’ll find yourself in Russia. How is that possible? Well, the Russian aristocracy that started visiting Nice regularly in the mid-19th decided to establish an Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in the French Riviera, and this is now the largest Eastern Orthodox Cathedral in Western Europe. Opened in 1912 thanks to the generosity of Tsar Nicholas II, the cathedral is now property of the Russian state, after a long dispute about its ownership.

Pic from Mullerdirpa.com

So many things to visit in Nice, but we are not done yet! Stay tuned to check out our best addresses and the day-trips that we suggest you to take outside the city.

… Eat The Road! 😉

Dubai in 25 Photos

Dear fellow travellers,

Discover my trip to Dubai through my pictures! Enjoy the gallery 🙂

Dubai Marina Walk
Marina Towers
Dubai Marina

Skyscrapers and a mosque
Marina Towers
Old Dubai

Gold Souk
Spice Souk
Love Alley at the Miracle Garden
Miracle Garden
Camels in the desert
Madinat Jumeirah and the Burj al Arab
Desert near Dubai
Dubai by night
Dubai Marina by night
Burj Khalifa
Sunset in the desert
In the middle of the desert
Beautiful sunset
Dinner at the camp
View from the rooftop
Dinner near the pool
Dubai Marina by night

 

Our Guide to Abu Dhabi

Dear fellow travelers,

As I told you in a previous post, I’ve spent a day in Abu Dhabi: I took a day trip from Dubai. We booked this tour with Viator and were quite happy with that, even though part of the program was touristy and less interesting, like the visit to the Ferrari World theme park (I am absolutely not interested in that…even though I’m Italian! 😄). However it was the easier solution, instead of renting a car and driving in the chaotic big highways of Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

So here is a list of must do in Abu Dhabi:

Visit the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. This is without a doubt the most important attraction of the city. The mosque, completed in 2007, is the biggest of the Emirates and among the most iconic in the world. It is really worth a visit and will surely leave you speechless. Visiting hours are available here: be careful and consider the Ramadan and Friday changes. It is important that you respect the mosque dress code, or you won’t be allowed to enter the site. Guys, you just have to avoid shorts and tank tops, but you can wear jeans and a tshirt. Girls, for us it’s a bit more complicated: no shorts, no short skirts, no tshirts and no skinny jeans. I suggest you to wear a long loose dress with a light cotton shirt (to be comfortable and not too hot) and a scarf.

Sheikh Zayed Grand mosque

This iconic attraction is dedicated to Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan, the man who mainly contributed to the foundation of the United Arab Emirates and has been the ruler of Abu Dhabi and President of the UAE till 2004. The mosque is a tribute to this visionary leader who believed that nothing was impossible. The idea behind the project was to express cultural diversity and union: materials and artisans from all over the world took part in the construction of the mosque. And the result is of pure beauty and harmony!

Take a walk along the Corniche. It is the promenade that runs from the Emirates Palace Hotel to the fish market. From there you can enjoy Abu Dhabi skyline as well as the beach. From the Corniche, you can also admire the stunning building of the Fairmont Marina Residences, a complex of luxury apartments, that is the city’s answer to the Atlantis hotel in Dubai. From the promenade, you can also have access to the Marina Mall, the main shopping center in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi skyline from the Heritage Village

Visit the Heritage Village. Along the Corniche, you can also find the Heritage Village, a reconstruction of an ancient oasis village of the Emirates, that allows visitors to understand the way of life in the desert, with campfires and tents. There are several small museums that present and explain the history of the region thanks to old pictures and objects. You can also find workshops where craftsmen show the manufacture of typical products, such as pottery, textile and metal objects.

Enjoy the modern skyline. Like Dubai, Abu Dhabi offers a modern and fascinating architecture. Among the most famous, there are the Ethiad Towers, a complex of 5 tall skyscrapers, the Aldar building, the Capital Gate and the Emirates Palace.

I think that in a day trip you can visit the main attractions of the city. If you have visited it, do you have any other suggestions? Comment below!

And go Eat the Road!

Our 5 Best Addresses in Dubai

Dear fellow travelers,

Dubai is a city that has a lot to offer: bar, restaurants, shops and different kinds of entertainment. I would like to share with you some of my favorite addresses:

  • Shades: the restaurant/bar of the Address Hotel in Dubai Marina. With its rooftop and beautiful swimming pool, it is the perfect place to enjoy Dubai nightlife, sipping a cocktail and watching the city lights.
Shades Rooftop

📌 ShadesSheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed RdDubai. Open everyday from 9am to 1am.

  • The Observatory: the restaurant of the Marriott Harbour Dubai Hotel is located on the 52nd floor and offers a beautiful view on Dubai Marina and the harbor. The meals are really good and the staff very nice. If you are going for dinner, I would suggest you to book in advance.
Lunch at The Observatory

📌 The Observatory, 52nd floor, Marriott Harbor Dubai Marina, King Salman Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Street, Dubai Marina. Lunch: Saturday to Thursday, 12pm – 3pm. Dinner: Daily, 6pm – 11.30pm. Bar: 12noon – 1am. Happy Hour: Weekdays from 5pm – 8pm. Friday Brunch: 12.30pm – 4pm.

  • Comptoir 102, opened in 2012 by the talented Emma Sawko, this concept store is the best in town. It offers a chic selection of furniture, home deco, fashion and jewelry, that all reflect the Parisian origin of the founder. The shop has also a cozy café where you can enjoy healthy food.
The café of Comptoir 102

📌 Comptoir 102, 102 Beach Rd Jumeirah 1, Dubai, Cafe :7:30am to 9pm | Store : 8:30am to 9pm.

  • Arabian Tea House, this café near the Old Souk is an oasis of quiet and calm for both tourists and residents of Dubai, that relax in the shades of this patio to escape the heat of the day, but also as a meeting place to talk, relax and unwind. I recommend to taste the delicious mint tea! Rich Breakfast Tray are served in the morning.
Delicious Arabian lunch

📌 Arabian Tea House, Al Fahidi Street, Bur Dubai, Open from 7.30am to 10pm.

  • Reem al Bawadi, it’s a typical Middle Eastern restaurant where you can find a large choice of local specialities, like the meat skewers with yogurt sauce and the mezza plates. From the restaurant you also have a nice view on the Dubai Marina walk.
Dinner at Reem Al Bawadi

📌 Reem al Bawadi, Opposite Spinney’s, Marina Walk. Open everyday from 6am to 3am.

Do you know other nice places in Dubai? Comment below!

… and go Eat The Road 😃

Our Guide to Dubai: what to do, visit and taste

Dear fellow travelers,

Are you planning to visit Dubai? Then read my post and you’ll know what you shouldn’t miss!

I’ve spent 4 days there and I think it’s enough to enjoy the city, visit the different neighborhoods and take the time to relax as well. You can move around by tram, metro and bus, but sometimes it’s easier to take a cab, that you’ll find easily everywhere and that will bring you directly to destination at a reasonable price.

So here are my suggestions for your stay.

Take a stroll at Dubai Marina and enjoy an evening on a rooftop. Dubai Marina is an artificial canal city, famous for its modern shiny skyscrapers and its nice pedestrian walk with restaurants, bars and hotels with rooftops. It is quite lively at night and you’ll find a great choice of restaurants with a beautiful view on the canal and the skyline. We had dinner at Reem al Bawadi where you can taste delicious Middle Eastern dishes, like mezza, the meat skewers and sweet Umm Ali (a pudding with almonds, pistachios and dried raisins 😋). In order to have a good view of the Marina from the top, I particularly recommend you the Observatory, a restaurant located on the 52nd floor of the Marriott Dubai Harbour Hotel, where you can enjoy the panorama and have a delicious meal. We went there for lunch, but if you prefer to have a romantic dinner, then you should book in advance. Another good rooftop is Shades, the restaurant/bar of The Address Hotel: it’s really nice and glamorous with a sparkling swimming pool, the perfect place to drink a cocktail or have a dinner with a view.

Dubai Marina by night

Take the ferry to enjoy the skyline. I would strongly recommend you to take the ferry to enjoy the view of the incredible architecture of Dubai from the sea. I took the ferry from Dubai Marina to Al Ghubaiba ferry station. You can buy the tickets directly there: it’s 50 Dirhams for the Silver Ticket and 75 Dirhams for the Gold ticket (a premium access with more comfortable seats, definitely not worth it – we took the silver tickets and were very happy with that!). There is also a circular tour for tourists, you can find all the infos here.

Explore the Gold and Spice Souk. As most of the Arabian cities, Dubai has its own souk, with spices, textile and… gold! The Emirates are known for really cheap gold, so if you’d like to invest in sparkling jewels, then head to the Dubai Gold Souk where you can find shop windows literally covered with gold! 😮 The Spice Souk is also interesting, with several shops displaying all kind of colorful spices. It is quite small though and does not offer much choice as the souks in Marrakesh or Istanbul.

The Dubai Fountain Show

Enjoy the Dubai Fountain Show at sunset. Next to the Dubai Mall and the Burj Khalifa, the tallest skyscraper in the world (more than 800 meters high!), there’s a huge artificial lake where each night a fountain show takes place. The first show is at 6pm and it’s then repeated every 30 minutes till 11pm. We went to the show at sunset (and quite in advance since there are lots of tourists) to watch the dancing fountains with typical Arabian music.

Get lost in the Dubai Mall. If you want to understand Dubai and live like a local, then you should visit the Dubai Mall, the biggest mall in the world. With its 1200 shops, 250-room luxury hotel, 22 cinema screens and 120 restaurants and cafes, it is the perfect microcosm of luxury and entertainment where wealthy locals can spend their days when it’s too hot to walk in the sun. Inside the Mall you can find an incredible vertical  fountain, a huge aquarium and an ice rink!

Discover the desert near Dubai. As I told you in my previous post, we discovered the desert near Dubai during a day tour with Viator. It’s a very touristy experience, but I enjoyed it all the same. It was the first time in a desert for me and, even though it’s not the Sahara, it was really fascinating! We visited the desert on a 4×4 car in the late afternoon and waited for the sun to set. The tour also included an Arab dinner at the camp in the desert with bellydance show and henna tattoos. The moment of the evening that I enjoyed the most was when all the lights went off and we could watch the stars shining right above us.

Dubai desert

Shop at Madinat Jumeirah. It is a recreation of an ancient Arabia village, with shops, restaurants and luxury hotels. You can find typical products and souvenir shops. From there you have a good view of the Burj Al Arab, a luxury hotel in the shape of a sail of a ship, that stands on an artificial island near Jumeirah Beach.

Take selfies with flowers at the Dubai Miracle Garden. The Miracle Garden has been created as an oasis in the desert in 2013 and it represents the biggest natural flower garden in the world. In the garden there’s a fairytale atmosphere with small houses and alleys made of flowers. Since the garden is a bit far from the city center, we took a cab from Dubai Marina and it took 20 minutes togged there. The ticket price is 40 AED and you can find all the info here.

Relax at the beach. Once you are in the Emirates, you can take advantage of the hot weather to relax at the beach. I visited Jumeirah Beach, that we reached by foot from Dubai Marina. It was full of people, tourists and locals, but it was clean and the water quite warm. You can take a walk along the shore to enjoy the view of the skyscrapers just behind the beach.

Dubai was a surprise indeed! I’ve heard lots of things about it, some of them not really positive, but I was happy to visit it because it has a lot to offer and it’s really a different universe!

New post on Abu Dhabi coming soon!

Go Eat the Road 😊