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Goto Lake view point, Bonaire

12 spots you don’t want to miss on Bonaire

Bonaire is an unusual, tropical part of the Netherlands it's famous for its superb diving, wind sports and breathtaking views. There is so much to see and explore and yet the island is small enough to see the highlights in just a few days. The best way to do so is by car since public transport is practically non-existent. For more adventurous people there is also a possibility of renting a scooter and for pure masochists– bikes. Choose wisely, Bonaire is one of those places where it’s always hot and sunny…

And off we go 🙂

  1. The heart of the island- Kralendijk

A place where everyone’s journey starts. It’s where so many of the restaurants, cafes and night life is located. The city center is very small and concentrated around the waterfront. It’s worth looking at the local, colorful architecture and stop by for an ice-cream at Luciano (truly divine). Except for that I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time there, why let the nature wait, right?


  1. Salt Pans

The most (in) famous sight of the island. Driving by, it’s impossible to miss the pink basins or the white mountains of salt. Don’t forget to look around, you might spot flamingos!

Looking at this beauty makes it easy to forget that it used to be a place where the slaves used to work. Back in the day, it was a very labor intense job done in a scorching heat….

  1. Slave’s huts

Driving further south, you will come across white and then orange huts. They seem like the most charming, tiny houses with the best view on the sea…. In reality those were built for the slaves, so that they could rest after many hours of hard work. Incredibly those were constructed almost at the end of the slavery period around 1850. I don’t even dare to think in what conditions the workers slept before those appeared on the horizon.

  1. The wild southern end

I always enjoy looking at the roughness of the sea, splashing waves and the power of nature. Here is one of the best spots to just do that. Such a short drive from Kralendijk one might feel like the southern end couldn’t be further from the inhabited world. There are many bizarre-looking sculptures at the shore made from whatever the locals could find here. And you can find quite some treasures in here, drift wood beautifully shaped by the sea, shells, stones… We felt a bit sad we couldn’t take anything with us. Bonaire is a protected area so all of its natural bits and pieces have to stay on the island. Gossip has it, that they just finished building a local prison so we definitely didn’t want to risk exploring it.

  1. Lac Cai

This magical bay is a paradise with something for everyone. Those who love wind-sports will find perfect conditions to practice next to Sorobon resort. Those who travel with kids will enjoy shallow waters without waves perfect for swimming even for little ones on the other side of the bay. Those are surrounded by stunning mangrove trees and one of few sandy beaches on the island. On Sundays around noon this place comes to life with live music, fresh caught fish and a bit of beer 🙂

  1. Mangrove center

Mangroves are extremely important for the island’s ecosystem and most of the area is off limit. The small part open for tourists can only be visited with a certified guide. Thankfully mangrove center has quite a few of those and they have plenty of interesting stories about animals and plants living in this environment. They organize nice tours with quite small groups. We would especially recommend the 2-hour kayaking tour which not only takes you through spooky natural mangrove tunnels but also allows you to admire the underwater world in the snorkeling part. Have you ever seen an upside down jelly fish or colorful sponges and coral on the roots of mangrove trees? Those views are worth absolutely every dollar of the 46 we paid for the excursion (per person).

  1. The soul of the island- Rincon

Rincon has a local vibe, it’s where the Antillean part of the population lives. Part of it looks very run down and poor. Lately the worst looking houses got a bit of a make-over with lovely floral paintings. For those only it’s worth a drive (really!) and there is still a distillery to explore too. They are famous for their local cadushy liquor made from cacti. After driving for a while on the island you will realize, they will never run out of resources to make it…

They also had a brilliant idea of creating flavored liquors representing traditions of other Dutch islands. So there are plenty of interesting flavors to choose from.

If you’re more into heavier spirits they also produce delicious rum and not so delicious whisky, tequila and vodka i.m.o 🙂

TIP! Check the opening times before heading to the distillery. It only opens on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.

  1. Posada para Mira

Just like the name states it’s an oasis to watch the local landscape. Located on a mountain it offers a splendid 360 degree view. It’s also the best spot to try some of the local specialties like iguana or goat stew. It closes at 6pm so it’s not really a dinner type of place. Such a shame, sunset here would be truly magical.

  1. Goto Lake view point

We would highly recommend visiting it at sunrise to experience the beauty of this place in all its glory. You will see mountains coming to life, hear all the birds and see more and more pink dots emerging on the lake. Those are the little symbols of the island, flamingos. Being there at sunrise gives you a greater chance of spotting “pinkies” from close while driving down from the view point. The busier it gets the further on the lake they go.

  1. Washington Slagbaai National Park

This place is worth a day trip on its own. It has two car routes to choose from. Short one takes an estimated 1.5 hour and the longer one 2.5 hour. But if you want to snorkel, dive, enjoy the beaches or simply really spend time exploring, it easily becomes a day trip. The park offers the most beautiful beaches, view points of the ocean and a chance to spot a fair amount of iguanas, lizards, crabs, fish and obviously flamingos. The population of the last one is especially dense around the pond near the old port building (indicated on the map below). We were very happy to see that recently they also built open huts in some of the most spectacular spots. Those are idyllic and perfect for a picnic.

  1. Little Bonaire

No journey to Bonaire would be complete without visiting Little Bonaire. It’s a tiny, uninhibited island just off the coast facing Kralendijk. There are two water taxis which go there a few times a day. One leaves from a little port just downtown and the other one from nearby Eden resort.

The first thing we saw when reaching the island is a long, idyllic, sandy beach. It’s very peaceful and perfect to just relax and read a book. It’s a great place for snorkeling, diving and spotting turtles…. And that’s it… There is not really anything to see or do on the island. So if you don’t like the beach or underwater exploration, scrap it off your list 🙂 Remember to take all the food and necessities with you. There is literally no bar or toilet there.

  1. 1000 steps

Somehow this diving spot became very famous and started attracting tourists…. Maybe everyone wants to see those 1000 steps? I hate disappointing but I have to honestly say that the number refers more to a certain feeling than the exact number. If you are a diver and you get out of the water with your gear looking up to see the stairs (that you have to climb), they will seem endless…. As a tourist you will realize they are not nearly as many. Sorry I forgot to count them. Anyway it’s still a lovely spot to see:)

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The south of Antwerp, Belgium

A weekend away in Antwerp

Antwerp is not exactly one of the European “bucket list” cities. It’s rather an astonishing miracle that so far it managed to stay off the beaten track. Considering it’s so close to Amsterdam (1hr by an international train) and has an interesting blend of cultures. Influences from Holland and France are visible on every corner. People speak Dutch, enjoy French cuisine and stroll through art deco streets that could very easily go for some Parisian alleys. Except the crowds are missing. We visited the city on a weekend with a magical weather. Naturally we expected massive waves of tourists rolling from one bar to another tasting their way around Antwerp numerous beer hot spots. That did not happen. The city surprised us with many inviting tables outside charming cafes, restaurants and bars. All had seats still available but were not unpleasingly empty either. After all who wants to sit in a deserted bar, right? 🙂 Good ones are never empty and Antwerp has quite many really good ones.

Antwerp is not as overwhelming with activities as Paris or Amsterdam which makes it a perfect getaway for a weekend. There is enough to see and experience to feel active and satisfied. At the same time it’s not as big as not to find time to enjoy some of the local specialties in many exquisite restaurants, bars and cafes.

Central station

Like most of the people coming to the city we arrived by train at the Central Station. There is only one word that could explain how this rail station is and it’s GRAND. Couple of floors of trails, iron and glass hall both very long and very tall left us speechless. After all Antwerp is not a massive city that would need such an extravaganza. But we never complain about something being too pretty or too big, right?

The station opened in 1905 and it has been through some hard times. It was damaged during World War II and it even got to a point of almost being demolished mid-century. Happily it came back to life in 1986 with a restoration of the roof and facades. Nowadays it’s a pretty important hub in international trains and it’s very easily accessible from Paris, Amsterdam and Brussels.

The Little Island

One of the two of our favorite areas in the city. It’s a bit of a detour from the city center but it’s well worth it. The name could suggest that you need a boat to get there but it’s not an actual island. Maybe that’s why it’s called Little Island?

Nevertheless the oldest port area of Antwerp is surrounded by water, warehouses, hangers, cobblestones and of course… boats. This very hip area is just emerging. Stunning restaurants, cafes and bars peak out from the ground like mushrooms after rain. That’s where all the creativity is and where we spent most of our time.

To understand the present, it’s good to look at the past. That’s exactly what the Red Star Line Museum does in a very interesting, vibrant way. For many that’s where their journey to the better future started. The journey to the US. Between 1873 and 1935 more than two million people passed through here. The museum is not a typical, boring, spitting-out- facts- in- micro- letters type of experience. Instead it’s full of personal stories of individuals that decided to leave Europe. Why did they do it? And most importantly how, what was their journey like? We were utterly impressed by how strenuous, pricey and difficult it was to get to the Promised Land. Not only did the people have to be in perfect health, have a good skill and a bit of money. They had to be prepared to go through a lot and leave everything and everyone behind. But that should be a completely separate post. Long story short, we definitely recommend a visit to the Red Star Line Museum.

Going deeper into the Little Island we discovered a peculiar building that literally blends the old and the new together. At the bottom there is the old fire station that creates a base for a hyper-modern diamond-like structure at the top. We were not able to explore the building from the inside or see the view it offers from its terrace but we heard it is actually possible. Although it’s not really a museum but a Port Authority base, there is an option to visit it on a guided tour.

There might be many viewing spots on the Little Island but one stands above them all, literally… It’s the viewing terrace of the MAS museum. The best spot to admire the panorama of the city at sunset is actually free. We didn’t have enough time to visit the museum itself as it’s massive and would take several hours to get a vague idea of all the collections spread on 10 floors…. Instead we just admired the views from the top floor as well as from all the other floors. Curved glass walls make the scenery that much more interesting.

As beer lovers we would be sinners coming to Antwerp and leaving without trying what some of the brewers made here. After all Belgium is famous for so many of the worlds best, most loved beers. And so we gave few of the local jewels a try in some of the bars in the center. That’s how we came across Seef. This very local, tiny brewery was born few years ago from a recipe found in an old shoe box. It brings the old, traditional flavors of Antwerp beer back to life. The very heart of the operation is obviously in the hippest part of the city, The Little Island…. We couldn’t miss it. Well I probably could but Jandirk wouldn't be too happy. The bar/brewery is situated in a hangar and has this start up, hipster vibe. Old photo booth, tables and all that surrounded by beer tanks makes the atmosphere truly special. Here you can taste not only the traditional Antwerp Seef but also lager, dubbel, dark beer and seasonal brews. After tasting few of those we are pretty sure Seef is going to be the next thing in the very near future 🙂

Wondering around the Little Island we came around the Felix Warehouse which used to be a storage place for cheese, grains, coffee and other goodies. Now it’s an architectural pearl where hopefully in the near future there will be... something 🙂 for now it remains a gorgeous place to see and photograph.

P.S. While enjoying our time on the Little Island we also discovered quite few nice places to feed our tummies. We would definitely recommend Story Urban which had the best sandwiches, coffee and amazing interior. Very cosy! For a stop on a sunny day we would recommend restaurant Roest which serves not bad food, accompanied by a selection of beers and an amazing view on the MAS museum.

The southern part of the city

Walking away from the old town on Nationalestraat and then into Volkstraat it’s another world. On every corner there is a mouth-watering restaurant inviting you in with terraces, smells and tempting looks. We loved Fiskebar for their scrumptious fish and Wijnbistro Patine for their romantic place to sip away wine... or beer. We admired every piece of brick in that part of the city. I especially enjoyed the amazing architecture, all the houses were different yet stylishly combined together. I could picture myself spending a weekend or half of a lifetime sipping wine on one of those balconies with a book and Jandirk by my side.

When exploring the southern alleys we came across a bizarre building contrasting with the rest of a rather traditional surrounding. By locals it’s called “butterfly palace”. What it really is, is a bit more down to earth. This futuristic Palace of Justice was created by the same man that designed the Centre Pompidou in Paris and is as adventurous. Six massive, glass wings tower above the roof ending sharply high in the sky. We couldn’t hide our disappointment when we found out we couldn’t see it from the inside.

The other side of the river

Some wise man once said that the journey is more important than the destination. It couldn’t be more accurate referring to the other side of Scheldt river. It does offer a lovely spot for a picnic or just a calm afternoon with spectacular views on the city but… we were stunned by our trip to get there. We passed the river underneath it in a tunnel (Sint Annatunnel) from the 30’. These 572 meters are covered with white tiles and end on both sides with wooden escalators that look literally out of this century. This one of a kind experience happens to also be free.

The old town

By now you might be wondering why I haven’t mentioned the old town of Antwerp. As much as it’s a beautiful part of the city, full of restaurants, music and life, there is nothing unique about it. It could very well be a neighborhood in Paris or Brussels. Nevertheless it’s the most prominent, famous part that is hard to miss simply because… it’s in the middle of it all.

In a short stroll through the old town we would recommend going to Grote Markt square where with a bit of luck there will be a beautiful market. Otherwise with lovely weather the surrounding bars’ terraces are more than inviting.

Going to Belgium it’s hard to escape the love that the locals have for beer. Some of them are considered the best in the world and the definitely deserve it. Selection of brews for every occasion, season and taste can be found in Paters Vaetje It’s a tiny, traditional bar with quite a view on the cathedral.

For a bit of culture we would recommend Rubens’ house. After all he was one of the very few painters that were recognized, even cherished already during their life. He reached success that many could not even dream about. At the peak of his fame he was getting so many orders that he didn’t even paint the whole masterpiece himself… rather putting the final touches. Seed of a modern day production. The mansion in Antwerp was his home for many years, something that he loved and perfected and it shows.

p.s. for best Belgium waffle head to Desire de Lille. Make sure to go there with an empty stomach, they won’t let you go hungry. And you can’t possible visit Belgium without eating a Belgium waffle!!!

How to get to Antwerp?

The easiest way to get here from Holland is just by train. It takes a bit more than an hour from Amsterdam and tickets are not really expensive, especially when booked in advance. Timetables and prices here.

How to visit the city?

Antwerp is not a big city so many of the sights can be easily seen on foot. If you plan to see everything with not much time or you don’t want to walk that much a bike would be great. There are city bikes available literally everywhere so it’s very easy to get a bike go to a certain place, leave it, enjoy the spot and pick another one to head to the next destination.

Setting up an account for the bike is really easy. You just install the Velo Antwerp App and proceed with the instructions at any of the bike stations. We paid 4 Euros for 24 hrs each. If you use the bikes longer than 30 minutes you have to pay 0.50 euro per half an hour. From 90 minutes it's 5 euro's. Make sure to leave it at one of the stations on time. You can even immediately pick another bike at the same station. In the app you can easily see where and how many bicycles are available.

Where to stay?

There is a great selection of great hotels, Airbnb's and hostels in Antwerp. We chose for Hotel Indigo simply because we love their style. They always try to make the hotel really hip, stunning and local. I absolutely loved the design of the rooms and common areas and if that wasn’t enough we got a great view on the Central Station…. Which is maybe a 2 min walk away.


A walk in Delft

On paper Delft should be the Dutch number two tourist destination. It’s where Vermeer created some of his most famous paintings and it’s where the famous white and blue pottery is made.

Mentally prepared for crowds we arrive at Delft central station on Sunday morning….

  1. The Central Station

Even though we came to Delft by bus we rushed to see the train station first. It’s really the best way to start the walk. Although nowadays it’s divided into an old and new part, it’s the new part that took our breath away. On the ceiling we immediately spotted panels with a massive map of Delft. It shows how the city looked in 1877. To accompany this masterpiece the columns and walls of the station contain pieces of broken Delft Blue.

  1. Museum Prinsenhof Delft

From the station we headed straight to the Prinsenhof Museum which provided us with a lot of insight into the history of Holland and quite some curious facts about the Delftware. Who would have thought it all started just as a cheaper, more accessibly replicas of Chinese porcelain?!

The building was a witness of one of the most important moments in Dutch history. It’s where King Willem of Orange was assassinated. You can still see the bullet holes in the wall. There is no way you will miss it as the whole scene is being projected on the walls…

  1. Oude Delft

Going out from the Prinsenhof Museum we came out on Oude Delft, the oldest canal in Delft. It was created in 1100 when the city itself didn’t even exist yet. Nowadays that’s where the most monumental houses are situated. Every single one of them is unique and has its own story. We walked along that canal various times and on both ways. We loved it from every perspective. Don’t forget to walk till the very end of it. Not only are there plenty of charming, little bridges to cross on it but also on each end there is quite something to see. On one side it ends next to the Royal Dutch Army Museum and on the other side with the Old Church. Both of which are spectacular.

  1. Lunch at Kek

An absolute must! Kek is the only busy spot that we saw in Delft, there was even a long queue to get a table. The waiting time went flying in this amazing interior and it was well worth it. Already in the door we realized we were in for something special. The interior is very green, full of plants, food and coziness. Everywhere we looked there was a little designed detail we loved. Some of those pieces you can buy directly in the café, others have info next to them to make sure you find the shop that sells them.

Not only our eyes got fed but also our bellies. Kek serves dishes from all over the world accompanied by homemade smoothies or great coffee. There is something for everyone and all of it is delicious!

  1. Stroll through the center

After a great meal it’s time to burn it walking through the center. Voldersgracht is possibly the most touristic part of the old town but it’s well worth a stroll. For Vermeer lovers- that’s where the Vermeer center is located. We have to admit we were not convinced enough by its content to visit.

Just around the corner there is the heart of the city, the main square with the City Hall. For those who would like a beer or more coffee… there is plenty of lively cafes, restaurants and bars over there.

If you come during the summer and it’s not raining we would recommend stopping at the Beestenmarkt Square. It’s where all the restaurants put tables outside under some trees.

  1. The Eastern Gate

It’s the only city gate still standing in Delft. It dates back to 1400. Not only is there a beautiful street leading towards it but also the Towers themselves are magnificent. I got a bit jealous that someone can call it home since it’s partially a residence, partially an art gallery.

TIP! For the best views on the Gate head to the other side of the river, where there are some benches to enjoy the sights in peace. The exact location is indicated on the map below

How to get to Delft?

Delft is just an hour away on a train from Amsterdam. You can easily check the timetables on google.

We decided to go to Delft from The Hague which was just a 15-20 min tram ride.

Where to sleep?

We really wanted to stay somewhere special and still be able to afford a living at the end of the month. We really couldn’t find a place like that in Delft so we decided to go for a hotel in The Hague. It was one of the most incredible stays we have ever had. Hotel Indigo is a brand new pearl, situated in plain center of the city. The hotel itself is worth a visit as such. It used to be an old bank and the designers embraced the idea. It’s a very modern but cosy interior with elements of an old bank. The bar in each room is in a safe, the pub in the basement is in an old vault and it features massive doors that once guarded gold and money. The past is warmly recalled on the pictures hanging on the walls. Highly recommendable stay!

Castle Muiderslot- a bike ride away from Amsterdam

Amsterdam is one of the greatest cities in the world which makes it one of the busiest as well, especially in the hotspots. I don’t know about you guys but crowds are not always my thing so I always search for a nice way to escape them from time to time. Muiderslot castle really does the trick.

The Castle

The castles is situated in the small town of Muiden. It dates back to the XIII century and although it’s not very big, it’s beautifully restored in a 17th century style. Which is a miracle considering it served as a prison in 18th century, probably not in its full glory already. And later on it got abandoned and finally put up for sale to be demolished. Thankfully that raised controversy and after 70 years even the money to restore it.

Nowadays it’s a perfect spot for a whole family. It offers a wide range of activities for kids as well as stunning gardens and perfect grass to start a little picnic on. Those who love water will be excited to know that Muiderslot is not only surrounded by a rather typical moat but also by something that used to be a sea…. Before the Dutchies put a dike on it. Looking at it you won’t notice the difference, I promise! It looks endless:)

What to do once there?

The Castle is divided in three routes: Tower, Knight and Golden Age. The first two you can visit on your own and the 3rd one is only available with a guide. Thankfully that is included in the price of the ticket (15.50 euro). Although the guide didn’t seem as enthusiastic in English as she was in Dutch it’s still worth attending since you get to see how people lived in the 17th century and what their habits were. I always find it interesting. For busy bees, who want to see the whole Netherlands in a day, it only takes 30 minutes so don’t stress.

The other two routes are really interesting and interactive with lots of videos. I have to admit that the information along the way seems to be more adjusted to the young part of the visitors.

Except for the inside, the castle offers beautiful gardens, a great walk around the building and even a few tables for those who would like to rest after a bike ride.

On our map below we also indicated a great view point to admire the castle from afar.

How to get there?

It’s very possible to bike all the way from Amsterdam which would take around an hour. For a little bit more of a lazy tourist, it’s also an option to get to Weesp by train (around 15 minutes from the Central Station) and then rent a bike there at the station (OV bike). That would shorten up the ride by a great deal. From Weesp it’s literally just a 15 min easy cycle. The advantage of this choice is that you could combine a great (but short) trip with a walk through the very charming town of Weesp which offers plenty of charming cafes, restaurants and stunning canals. Everything that a tourist in need would want. Surprisingly you won’t even have to share that joy with many others. That little gem stays far from the madding crowd.

There is also a possibility to take a bus from Weesp or Amsterdam Amstel and then from those… to walk.

For lucky people coming in the season there is even a possibility to take a boat from Amsterdam IJ burg (from 1st of April till 29th of October).

All of those options are well explained on the Castle’s webpage. Don’t forget to check the opening times! For a massive part of the year the castle is only open on weekends.

Zaragoza- A day trip from Barcelona

On the map it looks like Zaragoza is far away from Barcelona.. too far for a day trip. But it’s not true. Nowadays it’s just a 1.5 -2 h train ride separating the two. Ticket prices are not even that bad, especially when you book them early.

So what is there to see in Zaragoza?


It’s the first one on our list simply because we would recommend to go there first as early as possible. It’s the only place in the city where we faced a bit of a crowd. Quite unusual considering that we went there before they even opened.

To be fair this 11th century Islamic palace is really worth the crowds and the detour walk from the center. Normally for that type of architecture you would have to go to Cordoba or Granada. From outside it looks like a fortress but inside there is a fine courtyard surrounded by delicate arches geometrically spread through the building. Further there is a praying room with Arabic inscriptions from the Quran and contrasting with it there is a Throne Room with a very European-looking, wooden ceiling. Some interesting facts, plans of the site, prices and opening times are available here.

Basilica of our Lady of Pillar

It’s one of the biggest churches I have ever seen, it looks impressive with its many towers, ornaments and colorful tiles on its roof. Unfortunately I have to admit that I was not impressed with the inside of the cathedral. Maybe it’s because I have seen soooo many churches already that they all look the same to me. But I would definitely recommend seeing the building itself from the main square and from two other points that I mention below.

Pillar Elevator (Ascensor del Pillar)

One of the towers of the Basilica has an elevator that brings you right up there, to a viewing point 80 m above the ground. From there we were able to see the kaleidoscopic tiles on numerous roofs of the cathedral as well as the urban landscape of the whole city spreading on both sides of the Ebro River. From the elevator there is just a short way to the very top of the tower with a modern, impressive staircase that should be seen anyway. Up there on a sunny day you get a free sauna as you experience how plants feel in greenhouses… but the views are worth every drop of sweat.

TIP! Make sure you go there in the morning or in the afternoon since there is siesta break from 13.30-16.00.

The other side of the river

Crossing the Stone Bridge (Puente de Piedra) we got to the other side of the city where we could chill out and have some lunch in the shadows of trees in a pretty spread park. But we didn’t only go there for that. From there we could admire the Basilica in its full glory, with all its towers and copulas. Accompanied by the Stone Bridge it looks almost medieval… if you overlook the cars passing on the bridge.

Getting lost in the old center

Zaragoza is one of those cities where you just have to walk around and enjoy little streets that you discover, little cafes hidden somewhere in the back alley and little patches of shade that you can find to rest a bit. When in doubt you can always go back to the main square which is truly spectacular with its fountains and numerous cafes.

Grab some lunch at the Mercado Central

Designed and built in the XIX century this Market brought us back in time. Steel, glass and stone work in perfect harmony and create (in my opinion) the most beautiful building in the city.

And there is nothing more Spanish than to squeeze in between screaming people to get your cherries, olives and some bread. If you speak Spanish you can definitely join into the conversation and tell the story of your life to any of the sellers.

How to get to Zaragoza?

There are frequent trains going between Zaragoza and Barcelona and depending on which one you pick it takes between 1.5 to 2 hours. It's best to book the tickets in advance, the more upfront you buy them, the cheaper they get. The cheapest one way ticket I saw was 15 euros. You can check the times and prices here on the renfe site. Once bought, the ticket can be downloaded in their mobile phone application which is very handy if you don't have anywhere to print it.

How much does it cost to travel in Malaysia? Our budget and tips

Malaysia is quite a cheap country. For our 69 euros a day for the two of us (34,5 euro p.p) we spent a beautiful 15 days in Malaysia treating ourselves with very nice accommodations and even quite some visits to local cafes. We could have stayed in Malaysia on a significantly lower budget but for those few extra euros we got quite a lot more.


Where did we travel?

We didn’t travel very extensively. Malaysia was really like a long stopover for us and we mainly focused on recharging in there. We stayed in Georgetown, Kuala Lumpur and Cameron Highlands.

How did we travel?

We mostly used public transport so buses and in KL the metro. A bus from Georgetown to Cameron Highlands cost us 80 MYR for both of us (around 17 euro).

Sometimes we spent few riggits on uber. Usually it was never more than 9 MYR (2 euro) but in Cameron Highlands where there was no other way to travel around than taxi or a tour we had to pay even 25 ringgit (around 5 euro) for quite a short ride. Generally there the taxi drivers charge per hour and in high season when you don’t want to rent them for several hours or a whole day, they won’t take you at all. Fortunately we were there in a bit of a dead season so the driver gave us the honor.

In total we spent 46 euros on transportation.

Where did we stay?

In all of the three locations we stayed in very nice places. First in Georgetown we stayed in a very nice, huge room in one of those stunning, Peranakan houses. We rented it for 36 euros per night on Airbnb and although we knew we could get a more or less decent room for half of it… we never regretted it.

In Kuala Lumpur we stayed in an Airbnb studio with access to a spectacular view on the city with an infinity pool. More about that here.

Only in Cameron Highlands we couldn’t find anything interesting on Airbnb so we decided to stay in a little, charming guesthouse. There we paid 158 MYR per night (31 euro). More about this one and tea region in general here.

Overal we spent 489 euros on accommodation.

What did we eat?

Only in Kuala Lumpur we had our own kitchen so we cooked a bit there. In other places we were forced to eat out. At first we thought it would be rewarding but very soon we realized that the Malaysian cuisine we knew from Holland had nothing to do with the one in the country. It was fatty, bloody and we were far from being impressed. So to be honest few times we chose for a meal from a supermarket rather than for a restaurant.

In total we spent 162 euros on eating out and that includes 110 MYR (around 23 euros) we paid for high tea for the two of us in Cameron Highlands and various lunches in quite nice cafes. In a normal, local restaurant we would pay around 20-30 ringgit (4-6 euros) for a meal for both of us. That without even choosing the cheapest of the cheapest.

In 206 euros under “food” we included our supermarket groceries, ice creams we bought in convenient stores and many, many, fresh, cold coconuts bravely opened by teenage boys all over Malaysia.

How expensive are museums, tours etc?

In 39 euros under “tourism” we only included our whole day tour with a jeep in Cameron Highlands. For the rest, what we saw was free.

Where did the rest of our money go?

Postcards, laundry, small souvenirs and my dream rattan bag turned out to be 88 euros.  

Money- saving tips and tricks

Malaysia is a pretty cheap country. Transportation, food and even handcrafts are very affordable but…

    1. Bargain! It’s one of those countries where people get those few extra euros off you if you don’t know how much something should cost. Ask for a price up front, bargain or just search for places where the prices are already written.
    2. Choose your accommodation wisely. Decide if you want to go for the cheapest of the cheapest or a bit more luxurious. If the first one it’s best to walk around once you get here and ask around for the best deal. We met people who were literally staying for 2 euros per night, per bed in hostels that were not even mentioned online. If you want to go somewhere clean and really nice, we would recommend Airbnb. It’s definitely cheaper than hotels and often the service and conditions you get are way better.
    3. Eat locally! Food at local food courts and restaurants is really affordable, not to mention the coffee. You get a bag (yep a plastic bag) that would wake up a cow for 50 euro cents. It's surprisingly good, just make sure you take a very basic one without any sugar, butter or the typical Malaysian one that tastes like it was poured from nescafe powder.
    4. Try to volunteer! Always a great idea to save money on food and accommodation and get to know local culture and customs.
    5. Enjoy the free attractions. Street art, nature, animals. You can see all that for free.

     Exchange rate used: 1 Euro = 4.98 MYR

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