A Quick Guide to Austin Texas

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Arriving in Austin in the late afternoon on a hot summer day, I was beyond excited to get off the bus from San Antonio and start exploring. However I soon realised that Uber no longer exists here, so I found myself dragging my suitcase along the sidewalk (ugh!) until I was met with a local guy holding and shaking a sign on the corner of the street. After asking him where I might hail a cab I was promptly offered his phone to call one, cementing what everyone had told me about locals in Austin: everyone is super, super, super friendly and welcoming.

Four Seasons Austin

Guide to Austin: Checking In

A short 5 minute cab ride later and I found myself at the Four Seasons Austin. With the enviable lakeside position whilst still being positioned Downtown, this hotel was a standout. As with all Four Seasons Hotels I found the check-in process very friendly and welcoming – even snagging a few local recommendations for where to eat and play in the immediate area!

If you’re considering to stay here or anywhere else Downtown, I would highly recommend the area as it is centrally located and leaves everything within walking distance!

Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust

Things to See & Do

Live Music

Austin has more than 250 different music venues and with the city being most known for its’ live music culture, it really is hard to choose just one or two places to visit. No matter what time of year it is you will be able to find a range of genres on offer with national and international acts coming to town. For starters you could check out some of the most popular choices: Continental Club, Stubbs and ACL Live.

Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust

Paramount Theatre

If music isn’t enough to float your boat, you’ll find a range of entertainment options on offer at the iconic Paramount Theatre. Throughout the year the theatre hosts a range of plays, performances, comedy acts, and concerts.

Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust

Alamo Drafthouse

While I wouldn’t usually promote going to the movies when you’re travelling, the Alamo Drafthouse is one exception I’m happy to make. The theatre is as old school as it gets on the inside and offers table service throughout the film — yup! If you’re looking for a unique date night whilst in Austin, this would be my first choice.

Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust

Texas State Capitol

Another great choice downtown is The State Capitol. Here you can learn the history of Texan politics or just enjoy the serene grounds surrounding it and typical stately architecture seen throughout the United States. Best of all – its free!

Austin Farmers Market

If you chance a visit to Austin on the weekend, be sure to rise early and make your way to the Austin Farmers Market from 9 AM on Saturdays. You’ll find some great, fresh local produce and its the perfect excuse to shop around for a picnic to enjoy later at lunch.

Austin_where_to_eat

Eats & Feasts

Mexican:

Torchy’s Tacos

Cheap…indulgent…delicious. Yep, you can’t go wrong at Torchy’s. They even have an extensive breakfast taco menu!!!

Taco deli

Casual, delicious and absolutely FULL of flavour… you can’t have a bad time at Taco Deli. There’s a great range of tacos on offer and plenty of choices for vegetarians.

La Condesa

Although more expensive than the first two options, La Condesa is still a really popular choice as it offers great Mexican food within a more upscale (though still pretty low key) atmosphere.

Guide to Austin

Vegetarian:

Koriente

For less than $10 for a main meal you can get a delicious, filling vegetarian/vegan Asian dish at Koriente. This is probably the best value-for-dollar vegetarian restaurant in all of Austin!

Bouldin Creek Cafe
We all know hipster cafes do food as well as they do interiors… so there’s no way you won’t enjoy BCC. The vegetarian food here is delicious and creative, set amidst a really casual atmosphere.

Blenders & Bowls

This is my first choice for delicious acai bowls and smoothie blends. The entire menu is centred around acai with a handful of variations, but in my opinion you can’t beat the classic – The O.G.!

Jos_Coffee_austin

Under $10:

Jo’s Coffee

For probably the best coffee in town (in my opinion it is!!!), do as the locals do and head to this casual hole-in-the-wall first thing in the morning. There are multiple locations – I visited the downtown shop for breakfast + coffee and it seems to be a pretty popular choice!

Home Slice Pizza

If you’re missing that NYC pizza or are dying to try one, Home Slice Pizza will give you just that… for just a few bucks!

Juiceland

As the name suggests – a juice and smoothie specialist.

Guide to Austin

Swanky Dinners:

Josephine House

Probably the swankiest restaurant in town within a low-key environment is Josephine House – my top pick for a perfect (and perfectly unforgettable) date night!

Hillside Farmacy

If you’re looking for more of a hipster-cafe kinda vibe then look no further than Hillside Farmacy. Really cool interior and varied menu offerings, open for both lunch and dinners.

Elizabeth Street Cafe

For a mix between French and Vietnamese cooking, check out this unique eatery with creative dishes and some of the best service you’ll find in town.

Get Out: Day Trips from Austin

Barton Springs Pool

Barton Springs is a manmade pool located on Barton Creek. A series of dams create a unique swimming locale with depths of up to 18 feet. If swimming isn’t your thing, you can still spend your time sunbathing on the grassy areas around the pool area. The pool is an interesting blend of the outdoors and a luxurious swimming pool. Bring a good mix of music, a few snacks, and your best friends for a day of fun and relaxation.

Hamilton Pool

Hamilton Pool was created thousands of years ago and feels like an otherworldly destination. 50-foot waterfalls, limestone walls, and stalactites make you feel like you are leaps away from modern day Austin. The waters there are a jade green hue, and during the summertime swimmers and sunbathers flock to the area. If you’re planning to head over on the weekend, be sure to get there early to beat the crowds.

Lockhart

About a half hour drive out of town is what has been dubbed “the Barbecue Capital of Texas”. Yep, you read correctly. If you’re a meat eater and you’ve come to Texas to eat like a local, this is a great day trip from Austin for an authentic meal out.

Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust Guide to Austin | World of Wanderlust

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

WOW Book Club: Eight

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Hey book clubbers!

First of all, I suck at deadlines. I should have had this post up on the first of August, but instead I’ve been dancing around the streets of Italy consuming too much gelato to know what day it is, let alone what date.

But the good news is I have a STELLAR book choice for you this month. In fact, I’d go so far as to say it is my favourite book I have read this year.

The Opposite of Loneliness

I’ll be honest from the get go (so you know what you’re getting in to): this book is bitter sweet. Marina Keegan was a young promising author (understatement) who tragically passed away at 22 years of age before seeing her work come to the pages of publishing. She had won many awards (unsurprising), had just graduated from Yale University, and had so much raw talent that it would be an injustice to her work not to pick up this book and give it a read.

Prior to picking up the book myself, I had seen the book cover on many book stands throughout the USA over the past year or so and still hadn’t taken the time to pick it up. Why? I couldn’t tell you. Perhaps the universe was saving it for when the time was right.

On this trip through Italy, I have been slowly working my way through the back (I would have read the book page to page in one sitting if the window views weren’t so incredible that I kept getting distracted!)

Although this book isn’t about travel as such, it is just so good that I knew it had to be this month’s book club pick.

I can’t wait to finish reading (probably on the way home from Italy) and see what you guys think of the August pick!

xo Brooke

Los Angeles Neighbourhood Guides: A Guide to Beverly Hills

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Since I’m passing through Los Angeles more and more often nowadays, I figured what better time than now to share with you my favourite places to eat, play and stay in my favourite neighbourhoods!? My most recent stay was in Beverly Hills neighbourhood and this is still one of my favourite areas to settle in Los Angeles for a short stay, given its central location and amazing range of restaurants and hotels. So – my guide to Beverly Hills, everything to do and see, where to play and stay!

Four Seasons Beverly Hills | World of Wanderlust

Check In: Four Seasons

With an enviable location in the centre of everything, the Four Seasons Beverly Hills is one of the most popular hotels in the neighbourhood. In a short 10-20 minute stroll you can reach popular Melrose Avenue for shopping, West Hollywood for amazing eats (at a reasonable price) and its just a short drive down to Santa Monica Beach for a little chill time.

The hotel is really popular for film screenings, so more often than not you’ll recognise a face or two in the lobby or breakfast area! The higher the floor the better your view will be, so be sure to request a view in advance (each room has a balcony so you might as well make the most of it!)

See rates & make a booking here.

The_Bazaar_Los_Angeles The Bazaar at SLS Beverly Hills | World of Wanderlust

Eat: Bazaar by José Andrés

When it first opened years ago, The Bazaar restaurant inside SLS Beverly Hills hotel was one of the most popular places to eat and one of the hardest tables to book. Nowadays the crowds have settled and you won’t have a worry getting a table on weeknights, though I would still recommend booking in advance if trying to diner here on Thursdays, Fridays or Saturdays.

The menu consists of traditional and modern tapas with a gastronomical flare, so prepare yourself for the unexpected! Every single dish I tried (I’d recommend you choose 4 per person) was beyond delicious and very inspirational. The best way to enjoy this restaurant is to order plenty of options and share with your table guests.

Check out the menu or make a booking here.

Four Seasons Beverly Hills | World of Wanderlust

Eat: Culina Breakfast

Even if you don’t stay at the Four Seasons Beverly Hills, you should try to check out the breakfast at Culina inside the hotel. Acai bowls, a make-it-yourself juice menu and healthy egg dishes are anything but typical for a hotel breakfast, but here in Los Angeles it is the perfect chance to eat good + feel good!

See the menu or make a booking here.

Eat: Da Pasquale Italian

My Italian hairdresser in Beverly Hills suggested only three places to eat Italian food in Los Angeles and Da Pasquale was the cream of the crop. If you like authentic homestyle Italian cooking in a casual but nice setting, this is your first stop shop. Don’t miss the eggplant parmigiana – my all time favourite Campanian dish!

See the menu or make a booking here.

Eat: Il Cielo Fine Dining

Another great place for Italian food in Beverly Hills with a much more fine dining approach is Il Cielo, popular among celebs and those who are happy to spend an entire pay check on a meal (maybe a slight overstatement, but you get the drift).

See the menu or make a booking here.

Beverly Hills Sign | World of Wanderlust

Things to Do in Beverly Hills

Although Beverly Hills is much more residential than other pockets of Los Angeles, there are still a few things to do for that well-rounded Beverly Hills experience. Check out these hot spots:

The Beverly Hills Sign – As classic (and cliche) as a visit to Beverly Hills gets.

Rodeo Drive – One of the world’s most famous shopping streets.

Saban Theatre – A gorgeous old theatre with a stunning interior.

Greystone Mansion – A stunning old tudor mansion open to visitors.

Virginia Robinson Gardens – A beautiful botanical garden open to visitors.

Beverly Hills Hotel – The famed “pink palace” is a great place for brunch on Sundays.

Four Seasons Beverly Hills | World of Wanderlust Checking in to the Beverly Hills Hotel Review | World of Wanderlust Beverly_Hills_Hotel_Pool The Bazaar at SLS Beverly Hills | World of Wanderlust

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

New York Neighbourhood Guides: SoHo

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Nestled away in downtown Manhattan is one of my all time favourite neighbourhoods in New York City to eat, drink and shop my way around. While I love the tourist traps of midtown (I’m a sucker for a cliché), I always try to split my time in New York by taking a few days to myself to live like a local in a new downtown neighbourhood on each visit. This visit, I had my first stay in SoHo and got to explore the hood a little further, spending more time eating and drinking my way around the neighbourhood and immediate surrounds than any other activity! So if you find yourself in SoHo, here is my complete guide on where to stay, play, shop and of course… EAT!

Guide_To_Soho_Hotel_Hugo

Check In: Hotel Hugo

Arriving straight off the plane from Austin, Texas, I had previously decided to book my flight to arrive in Newark, which for those of you who don’t know NYC too well, is located in New Jersey – not even in the state of New York! However this was the closest airport to my side of town (west), so only took a 30 minute drive rather than an hour cab drive from JFK as I have previously experienced.

I checked myself in to Hotel Hugo, a relatively well kept secret that has been held with a tight grip by locals who love this hotel’s rooftop bar any day of the week and especially on weekends. The hotel is four stars so is a nice, comfortable, no-frills stay in the city, but the best part about staying here for me is without a doubt the location on Greenwich Street- just a short stroll through SoHo to NoLIta, or heading North to another all-time favourite of mine; The West Village.

Guide_To_Soho Guide to Soho

Where to Eat

The more you venture beyond midtown (and all of its tourist sights + attractions), the more great food you will find at reasonable prices. I could list many great eateries beyond these selections, but to save you time and research, here are my favourites:

Coffee & Sweet Treats

Dominique Ansel Bakery

Heard of the cronut? Of course you have! Dominique Ansel came directly from Paris to bring quirky, unique creations to New York City. The pastries here are world class, but to get a cronut you’ll need to be willing to wait in line from 7.30am (the store opens at 8am) or come within the first couple hours of opening and wait a little longer. If you don’t have your heart set on the cronut, there’s a great selection of other pastries + savoury selections.

Laduree

Another famous pastry house direct from Paris is Laduree, who specialise in the sweet biscuity treats known as macarons. Although it isn’t very unique to New York, I had to include it because who doesn’t love a macaron!?!?

Georgetown Cupcake

If you’re looking for a good cupcake this side of town, check out Georgetown cupcakes. The mini cakes are just as cute as the store and in my opinion, they’re some of the best on offer in NYC.

Restaurants

Balthazar

The best thing (for me) about New York City is that you can get a taste of the world on every corner. Better yet, it is almost always as good as the real thing as competition is rife to stay on top of the game! One such “top of the game” contender is Balthazar French Brasserie. Trust me when I say it does not disappoint.

Charlie Bird

A mix between true Italian with strong American flare, Charlie Bird is a fun place to go in the evening with friends if you like music and food all at once. The restaurant is semi-upscale with beautifully warm interiors.

Jack’s Wife Freda

Somewhat legendary as one of the best brunch spots in town, Jack’s Wife Freda has become really popular with locals and visitors alike. The shakshuka is some of the best baked eggs in town!

Bars

Hotel Hugo Rooftop

If the cover image isn’t enough to sell it to you, let me tell you from personal experience this is one of the most magical rooftop bars in downtown (which in my opinion are better than those further up town as the views are incredible). The large fairy lights make this place so magical at sunset and well in to the evening. Be sure to arrive around 4-5pm if you don’t want to queue – its a hit with the locals!

Pegu Club

Another great find in SoHo is Pegu Club for creative, colourful and often quirky cocktails.

Soho Guide

Shopping Guide

American Two Shot

This shop describes itself as Industrial-chic and I couldn’t have said it better myself! This is a great place to find local designers and also has a coffee shop inside – win win!

Housing Works Bookstore Cafe

As the name suggests, this bookstore is a blend between a curated book selection and a cafe with great coffee and sweet treats.

COS

As a lover of all things French (if you’ve been following my blog for a while now you will know that is not an overstatement), I just can’t pass up the opportunity to walk in to a COS and luckily for the both of us, there’s one in SoHo.

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Air New Zealand Business Class Review

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As I boarded my 13.5 hour flight from Auckland to Houston I was convinced I was in for a long night of movies, snacks in place of plane food, and hopefully an hour or two of rest before landing in Texas. While that doesn’t sound too bad, I was about to find out that it could be much, much better. As I approached the line to check in for Premium Economy, I soon found my ticket rejected and – much to my disbelief – I was upgraded to Business Class. Winning!

Here is a full review of my Air New Zealand Business Class experience and I’ve gotta say, this is one of my all time airlines and business class products on the market!

Air New Zealand Business Class Review | World of Wanderlust

Air New Zealand Business Class

As I had only found out the minute I went to board the flight that I had been upgraded, I had spent the hours leading up to my flight trying to decipher a plan as to how I’d keep myself busy on board. As someone who needs a good night sleep to rest, I was reluctant to board the flight that had me landing in Texas 13.5 hours later and in the middle of the day. As someone who has battled jet lag and finally knows how to overcome it, I knew that switching my body clock sooner rather than later would be the only way I would survive once on the ground.

But alas, Air New Zealand had other plans. Other plans in the form of an upgrade to Business Class, complete with fully lie flat beds, a mattress, a cozy duvet and only the cutest eye mask + sock combo you have ever seen!

The airline staff were immediately warm and welcoming, though this hardly came as a surprise after flying with Air New Zealand for the past four flights throughout the country. The country as a whole is an incredibly friendly place, but this experience always starts on board your Air New Zealand flight into the country where each passenger is treated like a friend rather than a customer.

Shortly after I was being offered a glass of bubbles, juice or water. As someone who never drinks alcohol on flights I opted straight for the water as I settled in to my cozy seat and began perusing the on board entertainment selection.

Air_New_Zealand_Food

Food & Entertainment

Not long into the flight I was offered another beverage and nuts but neither were too appealing, so I opted to wait for dinner. On this 13.5 hour flight the menu included a three-course dinner and a la carte breakfast, with snacks on offer in between.

Food

For dinner I chose the vegetarian soup as a main and rhubarb the tart for dessert. While the soup was delicious and didn’t make me feel sluggish after eating it, the healthier options were slim as most dishes contained pasta or starch – something I always avoid, especially on planes! The dessert was pretty dismal but luckily the cabin crew saw that I had barely taken a bite and offered to replace it with the ice cream selection which was a MUCH better option (in hindsight I should have gone for that selection in the first place!)

The snacks in between meals consisted mainly of chocolates, crisps and muesli bars. I gladly helped myself to a few too many chocolate bars throughout the first half of the journey, before switching off my light and settling in for a full 6 hours sleep.

Roughly two hours before landing the breakfast service began. Being pretty skeptical of scrambled eggs on board any flight (yes, even in business class they look a little questionable!) I opted for the muesli and yogurt with fresh fruits. This was served fresh by the cabin crew at your seat so I could opt for more yogurt and an abundance of strawberries. Delicious!

Entertainment

Entertainment on board was quite good with a strong selection of new movies, classics, and a good range of comedies and chick flicks. The television selection would be the one area I think they could have improved on as each show only had a few episodes, whereas on most other airlines you can watch entire series.

All in all I really (really, really, really) enjoyed this flight and without the five star service on board Air New Zealand flights, the 13.5 hour flight would have been much less enjoyable. I’ll certainly choose to fly ANZ any time in the future, especially when I head back to New Zealand which already couldn’t come quick enough!

Air New Zealand Business Class Review | World of Wanderlust

Thanks to Air New Zealand for welcoming me to experience New Zealand for the first time! I couldn’t be more grateful to explore this beautiful country. My airfare was originally in Premium Economy but I lucked out on an upgrade at boarding which enabled me to write this review. Talk about a win!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

Checking In: Hotel Emma San Antonio

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Checking in to Hotel Emma San Antonio is a once-in-a-lifetime kinda deal. A few weeks prior to my trip to Texas I had learned about the hotel from a friend who grabbed my arm and said sternly “if you go, you gotta stay here”. Prior to that I hadn’t heard about the hotel but I soon learned that this place has an incredible history + story and is considered somewhat legendary in the city. Here’s more about my stay (with oodles of snaps to showcase this incredible hotel!)

Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust

Hotel Emma San Antonio

I had just two nights at Hotel Emma, leaving me with 2.5 days to explore San Antonio. As this was my first visit to Texas I wanted to tick off some of the hot spots, whilst also seeking to find some hidden gems around town. As it turns out the hotel is ideally located in the most happening neighbourhood in town: The Pearl.

The hotel is situated inside an old brewery and believe me when I say it has been transformed with even the finest details in mind. The lobby and public areas are distinctly industrial to maintain the hotel’s long history, whilst featuring luxurious furnishings to turn things up a notch (after all, this is by far considered to be the best hotel in town).

Around the hotel you will find all the usual amenities: an outdoor pool, gym, a number of restaurants and in-room dining. But it is the not so usual touches that really caught my eye: macarons at turn-down service, quirky in-room dining menus and a complimentary margarita upon arrival in the hotel’s gorgeous library.

Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust Hotel_Emma_San_Antonio

The Rooms

The delicate details are all on show when you step inside your hotel room or suite. For my stay I checked in to a king size room on the 5th floor, with a view of the hotel pool and San Antonio’s downtown in the distance. The room itself was spacious but so well designed that every space had a purpose and was furnished to feel warm & homely.

Hands down my favourite element of the room was the crystal white bathroom with gold finishes, complete with a clawed bath tub. Someone pinch me now! Everything in the room was available for purchase (but sadly out of my budget both financially and in terms of suitcase space!!!)

Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust

Around the Hotel

With so many great public spaces to explore both throughout the hotel and surrounding area at The Pearl, it was difficult to know where to begin! For sure my favourite room was the library, a two-storey industrial space filled with books from years if not decades ago.

Elsewhere the pool was always popular in the afternoons, but it was The Pearl that drew hotel guests away throughout the day. On the weekends there was a farmer’s market through the mornings and plenty of shops and eateries to enjoy well into the evening.

Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust Hotel Emma San Antonio | World of Wanderlust

World of Wanderlust was welcomed to Hotel Emma as a guest however all opinions and oodles of photos are my own!

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

8 Places you Must Visit in Portugal

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I would be kidding if I said Portugal isn’t one of my favourite destinations in Europe. Great food, great people, incredible coast lines… there really isn’t anything I don’t love about this country! After a few visits to Portugal over the past few years, I’ve found some standout favourites to encourage you to get there on your next Euro adventure… so here they are! The 8 places you must visit in Portugal!

Lisbon Portugal

1. Lisbon

Starting in Lisbon is not only the most convenient way to get going with your visit to Portugal, but also a great insight into what this country and its people are all about. My favourite neighbourhood is hands down Alfama, my favourite restaurant is Mini Bar and my favourite food is the traditional Portuguese tart. Try all three and I promise you, you won’t have a bad time!

Read more: A Quick Guide to Lisbon

sintra_cascais_day_trip

2. Sintra

Just a short drive from Portugal’s capital is the gorgeous, charming little town known as Sintra. The buildings are playfully colourful and the small cafe-lined streets are a great excuse to people-watch. I could have spent an entire day here meandering the sloped alleyways!

Read more: Visiting Sintra & Cascais as a day trip from Lisbon

the_algarve_portugal_coastline

3. Lagos

If you ask me Lagos is where you will find the most impressive beaches in Portugal. The colourful red rock cliff faces, the secluded beaches and the never-ending year round sunshine make this one of my all time destinations in the Mediterranean! If you’re looking for somewhere to stay, I checked in for a girls weekend at the Villa Vita Parc and it was one of my favourite holidays of all time!

Read more: A Guide to the Algarve: Portugal’s most loved holiday destination

Portuguese_Tarts_Recipe

4. Pastéis de Belém

One of the most popular places just outside of Lisbon and an absolute must visit (let me make sure I don’t overstate this —- MAKE SURE YOU GO!) is Pastéis de Belém – home to the famous Portuguese Tarts. The tarts have a warm eggy centre due to the constant output and never ending line of tourists and locals waiting to get their hands on a bagful.

Make your own at home! Pastel de Nata Recipe

Douro_Valley_Portugal

5. Douro

If you hire a car for your time in Portugal and want a beautiful region to discover, check out the Douro Valley in the North of Portugal. The landscape are absolutely stunning but as always in Portugal, the food and wine are just as mesmerising!

(Image via Marco Varisco)

Pena_Palace_Portugal

6. Pena Palace

If you make your way to Sintra (which I highly suggest you do), you absolutely cannot miss Pena Palace, located high on the hill overlooking the surrounding region. The colourful castle is one of Europe’s most beautiful – the photo is proof!

Shutterstock

Porto_Portugal

7. Porto

Outside of Lisbon, Porto is one of the most popular cities to visit in Portugal. With a medieval past and incredibly authentic riverside, this is without a doubt one of the most gorgeous cities in Western Europe to discover.

(Image via) 

Aveiro_Portugal

8. Aveiro

Located on the West Coast of Portugal is this gorgeous, quintessential coastal town that surprisingly is little-known. Expect canals filled with colourful boats, intricate architecture and extremely welcoming locals. If you’re looking for a hidden gem to discover, this is it.

(Image via Gabriel Gonzalez)

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!

A Quick Guide to Auckland New Zealand

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With nearly 1.5 million people calling Auckland home, this is by far the biggest city in New Zealand and thus has plenty to offer visitors on a city stopover or taking a few days in Auckland to adjust to the time change! The city has some similarities to Melbourne in terms of food and coffee culture, so if you’re a conscious foodie or like to try new flavours with gastronomic flair, you’ve come to the right place!

Guide to Auckland | WOW

Auckland, New Zealand

Getting to the city couldn’t be any easier and takes only 20 minutes or so, depending on traffic. The most efficient way to reach the city is by taking the AirBus for $16 one way, stopping in Downtown Auckland.

The city itself is large to explore, however is well connected with good bus routes and a public ferry system.

Things to see & do in 24 Hours

Waitemata Harbour – By far the best viewing point for sunset!

Sky Tower – For a view over the city you can’t beat the skytower.

Ponsonby Neighbourhood – This is where you will find most of the best restaurants & boutiques in town.

Waiheke Island – If you have more time be sure to catch a ferry to Waiheke Island – you won’t regret it!

Aucklane_city_Guide

Eats & Drinks

It is no overstatement that Auckland is absolutely full of culinary delights so be sure to take every opportunity you get to eat out!

Kokako Cafe

Don’t let the vegetarian menu put you off, this cafe is by far one of the best cafes in all of Auckland. The peanut butter and chocolate smoothie is to die for!

The French Cafe

If you’re looking for something casual, chic and gorgeously French, try out this hot spot for lunch or brunch.

Atomic Coffee Roasters

Arguably the best coffee in town.

Bluebell’s Cakery

This place is an absolute dream for sweets enthusiasts – make sure you try the banana salted caramel cupcake!

Hobbiton

Image by Tom Hall

Day Trips from Auckland

Waitomo Caves – One of the most popular day trips from Auckland that takes you underground into mysterious caves.

Hobbiton – For fans of Lord of the Rings, you will be delighted to learn that it is entirely possible to visit Hobbiton on a day trip from Auckland – just be prepared for a reasonably long travel day!

Bay of Islands – Another long day trip (3-4 hours) from Auckland but incredibly worth while is the picturesque Bay of Islands – as soon as you see a photo you’ll put it straight on your travel list I promise!

Air New Zealand fly to Auckland direct from Sydney and many destinations worldwide. See here for bookings.

Cover image: Francisco Anzola

Brooke Saward

Brooke founded World of Wanderlust as a place to share inspiration from her travels and to inspire others to see our world. She now divides her time between adventures abroad and adventures in the kitchen!