What can be better than a spontaneous escape for a weekend from your life full of routine? First you need to go through your ultimate weekend packing list for a perfect getaway. Just fetch your bag and head up to the path of the short city adventure!
For some people packing is a pre-play for a great vacation for others it’s torture, because you would like to bring enough things matching to all kinds of scenarios. I believe there is nothing impossible and the key to success is tactical packing.
Essentials for Your Weekend Travel Packing List
Packing list for vacation, essentials
Toiletries for the Weekend Travel Packing List
Trip essentials for your packing list
Make up + make up remover
Shampoo & Shower gel are not always necessary, especially if you are visiting your friends or staying at a hotel
Clothes cleaning roller, if you would like to look neat
Clothes for the Weekend Travel Packing List
This is the hardest part for girls, because we would like to take everything that we have in our wardrobes. Unfortunately it’s impossible, so try to choose out of the following items:
1 Skirt or dress
1 pair of pants
Cardigan or Jacket
Boys, again, lucky you, you won’t have any complications with that:
1 pair of pants
Jacket ( depending on the weather of course )
There are two options for girls:
2 pairs of comfortable shoes
1 pair of comfortable shoes + high heels
And only one option for guys, lucky you!
1 pair of your favorite sneakers
The important aspect that I would like to emphasize, is that you don’t need much for a weekend trip. And even if you will forget something, you can still get it at your destination, by the end it will be a souvenir. Just be careful with essentials, they should be definitely in your bag. Bon voyage!
CBD, which means Central Business District, is the sophisticated heart of the city Melbourne with it’s chic eateries and fancy rooftop bars. Important to mention is that the tram looping around the city is free for everyone, so you don’t need to be worried if you don’t have enough credit on your myki card. Furthermore it’s a great destination for shopping opportunities for fashionistas. But before you plan to visit Down Under check the essential packing list for Australia so you will be prepared for everything!
Flinders Street Station
Flinders Station, Melbourne
Flinders Street Station is a breathtaking building and an iconic meeting spot in Melbourne. It’s Australia’s first central metropolitan train terminus, which was built in 1910. The station is the city’s known landmark and an ideal place for beautiful pictures. Next to it you can discover Sandridge Bridge from where you can enjoy magnificent Yarra River views.
Time for a coffee at Center Place
Center Place, Melbourne
Close to Flinders Street Station you will find Collins Street, which is a well known cafe strip with exceptional coffee, delightful food and a brilliant atmosphere. The narrow street filled with small cafes and terrific design resembles Parisian street style.
Graffiti Street, Melbourne CBD
Melbs is a very artistic city and the city provides it’s creative citizens with public spaces, where they can express themselves. One of the city’s greatest attraction is Hoisin Lane in the CBD, which is full with magnificent graffitis from various street artists. The whole street is like a self-moderated colorful exhibition with a vibrant urban environment. Just look for the favorite graffiti and voila, you will have a new cool Instagram picture to show off.
Melbourne’s CBD is full with outdoor bars with rooftops and it’s spectacular views. Melbourne might have not the best weather, but when the temperature rises the ideal way of enjoying the great life with the drink in your hand is doubtlessly on one of the rooftops. Here are some of my favorites:
Father’s Office is a bar and restaurant just next to the State Library of Victoria with an unexpectedly spacious magnitude. It has a great view on the center of the city and a wonderful easy-going atmosphere. During the day you can enjoy delicious meals. The 1920s-30s decoration and furniture gives the bar a cozy and classy feeling. In the evening you can catch up with your friends and have cocktails and drinks for a good price.
The Carlton, Melbourne
If you prefer something extravagant and atypical then you are going to admire The Carlton. The unusual design with the huge puppet animals like a giraffe and ostrich reminds of a little hidden jungle in the heart of the city draped in velvet. The rooftop is a perfect place to escape the loud metropolis and to immerse yourself into the green oasis with big palms and delicious drinks. So cheerz!
The rooftop at Siglo bar is an ideal urban hideaway to enjoy a cocktail in an elegant and sophisticated way. The bar is located in the beautiful Imperial Hotel, high above Bourke and Spring Street in Melbourne. You will definitely fall in love with stunning views from the rooftop terrace, where you can see the magnificent Parliament house and a chic but still relaxed atmosphere.
Visit iconic Queen Victoria Market
Oysters from Victoria Market, Melbourne
Melbourne’s iconic Queen Victoria Market is the largest open air market in Australia full with it’s multicultural diversity. It’s a perfect place to start your day with a tasty brekky. You can order Melb’s famous coffee or even have fancy fresh oysters for a low price. Afterwards it’s time to browse around all the stalls and see what wares the vendors are peddling. The food junkies will discover a whole array of produce from exotic fruits to smelly cheese and all that once lived. When your stomach feels satisfied and you suddenly realize that your wardrobe hasn’t been updated in a while, then pass by the section where different styles from vintage until modern are plentiful. Queen Victoria Market is always keen to entertain it’s visitors and organizes different events like Night Markets or Food Fusion.
Time to get some knowledge in Melbourne’s Museums
Melbourne is a great city to visit various inspiring exhibitions and get to know about history and culture. There are plenty of various huge museums like National Gallery of Victoria, Scienceworks and Melbourne Museum. Insider tip: In ACMI you can visit the permanent exhibition of digital culture and television for free. If you are child of the 90s then everything will be familiar to you, but you will immerse into your nostalgic childhood. For the newer generation it will be interesting to explore the biography of games, the internet and television.
Meet Fortuna in Crown Casino
Crown Casino, Melbourne
Melbourne is very proud of it’s Crown Casino & Entertainment Complex, one of the largest Casino complexes in the world. It’s not only a place for gambling 24/7 but also a tremendous venue with a cinema, hotel, spas, bars, restaurants and nightclubs. If Fortuna was sitting next to you while you were trying your luck at one of the casino tables, then afterwards you can enjoy a fancy drink on the terrace of the imposing complex. The facilities stretch along the waterfront of Yarra River, which is the perfect location to enjoy summer days in Melbs. If you start to feel cold on the terrace, then be prepared for warming up: from Monday till Friday starting from 9 PM the spectacular fireshow begins! Massive fireballs get released from eight ten meter high towers, which will definitely make you feel hot!
Green Wonderland of the Royal Botanic Garden
Royal Botanical Garden, CBD, Melbourne
Royal Botanic Garden, Melbourne
Another magnificent part of Melbourne’s CBD is the tremendous Royal Botanic Garden, which provides you with an ideal escape from the city jungle into the magnitude of beautiful nature. Since 1846 it empresses with picturesque views of a diverse collection of over 50.000 native and exotic plants extended on over 36 hectares. There is definitely enough space for everybody to explore the garden’s wildlife filled with black swans, cockatoos and other colorful species, discover a little oasis with the lakes and enjoy the tranquil settings. In the summer you can even experience an outdoor cinema, numerous events and various performances. You should doubtlessly find time for the green wonderland of the Royal Botanic Garden!
Food that makes you fly
Korean Food Sam Sam, Melbourne
After a long day of walking and exploring the magnitude of the CBD’s treasures it is time to relax and to taste the great kitchen of Melbourne. There are plenty of places to spoil yourself, Melbourne offers only great food. But I will reveal my secret and tell about my precious location, Sam Sam. It’s a Korean restaurant in the heart of Swanston St. with an amazing vibe and the best Korean Fried Chicken ever. Sam Sam doesn’t offer much area to sit, but if you are lucky and get a table, then you feel cozy in the modern venue. The portions are pretty big, that’s why it’s better to go with the group of 3-4 people, so you can order and taste different dishes, still you will probably roll out of the restaurant by the time you finish dining. The best meal of the restaurant, which will make you not only satisfied but literally high: the crispy fried chicken with hot&spicy sweet soy sauce. Believe me, after you’ve tried them you will be obsessed!
With 10 days in Bali you can be sure that you will have enough time to visit the best attractions in Bali. The island is unbelievably beautiful and has mysterious diverse culture and amazing atmosphere. It’s the perfect spot for backpackers who prefer to explore Bali on a budget. But luxury lovers will be also spoiled with fancy resorts and big swimming pools. Indonesia has indeed many choices.
Many people compare Indonesia to Thailand or have a feeling that these two countries are similar. I need to clarify that point of view: it’s definitely not true. Both of these countries are contrastive regarding all aspects: food, culture, mentality, architecture and even nature. The only condition that we could compare is the weather: very humid and hot. There is no need to take too many clothes with you to Bali and these tips how to pack light will be very useful for you! Furthermore Thailand has been attracting more and more people from Europe and Russia, Indonesia though is a very popular touristic place for Australians.
Things to Know about Bali, Indonesia
Indonesia consists of different islands and the most famous and visited are Bali, Lombok, Gili Islands and Sumatra. The islands are incomparable to each other, because Indonesia has numerous cultural influences from various religions during it’s history. As a result each province has it’s own traditions, religion and even language. Although it has the largest Muslim population in the world. Despite the ethnic differences citizens of Indonesia have a strong group feeling, so they are very helpful and friendly towards everyone. Tourism makes up to 80% of Bali’s economy.
Day 1: Visit Seminyak
Seminyak was our first destination in Indonesia. We decided to skip Kuta and everything what’s below, because we knew it will be full of drunk Australians. You can compare that part of Indonesia to Mallorca in Europe or Phuket in Thailand. So that’s why Seminyak was a great place to get away from the the whole hectic. It’s Bali’s sophisticated spa-resorts and shopping capital. Prepare your wallet because the area is full with trendy restaurants and long rows of designer shops. The prices are pretty high for an Asian touristic place, but it offers plenty of entertaining possibilities.
Where to stay in Seminyak
Best place to stay in Bali in Seminyak is Villa Chandra. We really liked that place. Small, quiet resort with very welcoming and sympathetic staff. Our room had a lot of space and a big comfortable bed. The resort is not in the middle of the town, but everything is tiny in Indonesia, so it’s possible to reach the streets with main happenings in just a 10 minute walk. Furthermore it’s more interesting to walk around and explore the area.
Where to eat in Seminyak
Just in front of Villa Chandra is a tiny café with local food and delicious coffee. The prices are very low and the taste of the food is delightful. You should undeniably try traditional Indonesian Gado-Gado dish there, but only if you are not allergic to peanuts, because it contains a lot of them! It’s a huge and tasty salad with an incredible peanut dressing served with crunchy prawn crackers.
The easiest Way to travel around Bali
There are various possibilities to travel from A to B in Indonesia. One of them is very popular because of it’s flexibility and low prices: the scooter. Driving habits and rules of the locals are pretty atrocious though, it means there are no rules. Pedestrians cross the road whenever they want, road markings and traffic lights are ignored. Something is always happening on the roads, so it’s your own responsibility if you want to have an adventurous ride.
Another option is to take a taxi. You can ask the same driver to transport you around your entire trip in Indonesia, so you can get a decent price. Although the best decision is to order a taxi via Uber. The prices are triple cheaper than normal taxis and via the App you can always see if there is an Uber-Taxi close to you.
Day 2: Best thing to see in Bali: Tanah Lot Temple
Tanah Lot Temple is one of the Bali’s important landmarks, popular for it’s offshore setting and beautiful temples. The temple is located in the Beraban village on the top of the rock. The best way to visit this iconic place and one of the Bali’s main attractions is on the way from Seminyak to Ubud.
Day 3: Best place to visit in Bali is Ubud
Best attraction in Bali is Ubud. This mysterious place can give you everything your free spirit craves: yoga, great food, wide culture, knowledge and friendly people. In the beginning of the 20th century many of european artists came to Ubud for inspiration and to learn traditional surrealistic wayang style. Ubud offers plenty of museums with a great selection of famous artists, like Walter Spies and Walter Bonnet. The combination of mystical myths, precise details and different techniques astonishes you again and again how magnificent art can be.
Ubud travel tips
Here are some great museums in Ubud that you definitely need to visit:
ARMA museum offers a huge amount of Indonesian artistic treasures. If you want to learn about Bali’s cultural heritage, you should doubtlessly see exhibitions at ARMA.
Museum Puri Lukisan doesn’t offer only a gorgeous view inside of the building with the secret gardens and stunning exotic plants but also modern paintings, among them you will also find paintings of the two Walters, Spies and Bonnet.
Neka Art Museum is an ideal place for art lovers. The exhibition provides with the endless richness of Balinese art, history and culture. It’s a quite long walk from the town, but it’s worth it!
Where to stay in Ubud
When we arrived in Ubud we were fascinated by the peaceful hippie atmosphere all over the town and in all resorts. We’ve changed a couple of sleeping places until we could find the perfect little utopia: Tungeh Inn, in the heart of Ubud. Very romantic, comfortable, perfect service,low prices for accommodation, so in one word: paradise!
The backpackers can enjoy their staying in the cozy hostel In Da Lodge. Very clean and enjoyable place to sleep and also get to know friendly travelers.
Day 4: Things to see in Ubud: Elephant Cave
Ubud is surrounded by a trove of cultural landmarks and panoramas of beautiful rice fields. One of the most impressive archaeological sites is Goa Gajah, where you can discover temples and one of them is the magnificent 11th century Elephant Cave. The cave’s entrance shows a giant face with it’s wide opened mouth as an entrance. Important to mention is that you need to wear a sarong, so don’t forget to take your own, though you will need to buy one for a high price.
Day 5: Ubud Guide: Monkey Forest
The best known place to visit in Ubud is the Monkey Forest full with cheeky grey macaque inhabitants. It is placed in the main centre of Ubud. You can enjoy the view of the rainforest and the majestic temples, walk through the stunning pathways, watch playful monkeys. It’s very tempting to touch the cute monkeys, I advise you not to do it though. They are wild animals, some of them have big teeth, so it’d be better for your own safety to avoid a conflict with them.
Tagalong Rice Terraces in Ubud
Several minutes drive away from Ubud lays a famous traditional region Tegallang Rice Terraces. It’s an ideal place to witness the beauty of the nature and to take a picturesque photo.
Day 6: Luwak Coffee Farm
Another thing to do in Bali is to visit a coffee plantation near Ubud, where you can try different teas and coffees and one of them is the most expensive all over the world, Luwak coffee. Luwak is an Indonesian tree cat that likes to eat coffee beans. These coffee beans are pretty hard to digest, so it excreted in the cat’s poop. The poop gets collected, washed, roasted and is ready to serve. The reason why Luwak needs to eat the beans is that the bitterness of the coffee becomes smooth after digesting. All in one you can experience the local way of roasting coffee and in the end even purchase Luwak coffee. Perfect souvenir for you or your family members.
Bali Travel Tips: Tirta Empul Temple
My Bali travel tip is to visit mesmerizing place Tirta Empul Temple, which is famous for it’s holy spring water. There you can face pools filled with holy water with healing powers. You should dive your head under each water stream and say prayers or your wishes. I’m still waiting for my wish to come true!
Tour to Volcano Batur
The majestic mountain Batur located next to the Batur Lake. It’s still an active volcano smoking all the time, which erupted the last time in 1974. The crater is surrounded by many restaurants, so you can enjoy your meal and a mesmerizing view. Don’t expect too much from the food though. It’s typical touristic place, so the highlight in that case will be the volcanic masterpiece of nature.
Day 7: East Bali Temple Tour
Not far from Ubud you can find the most famous and amazing temples of Bali. One of them is the largest temple of Bali, Puma Besakih. Take your Sarong to be able to walk around and admire the architecture.
Tirta Gangga Temple is a water temple that used to be a royal palace. Here you will be able to see beautiful gardens, fountains and pools.
Pura Luhur is another important temple that considered to be the most sacred temple in Bali. Unfortunately you need to hike around 1-2 hours to reach the shrines. Nevertheless if you get to the top you will be rewarded with the breathtaking view – a gate that frames Mount Agung.
Typical Indonesian food
Food and drinks in Ubud are one of the best pleasures. First of all it’s important to mention that coffee in Bali is indescribably good and tastes differently then anywhere else in the world. The Balinese traditional way of serving a coffee is mixing hot water and fine grinder coffee directly in the cup.
In the heart of Ubud you will find a street Monkey Forest Road, which is full with restaurants, an energetic nightlife and easy going, spiritual visitors. It’s an area where you can enjoy appetizing food, great music and interesting company. There are plenty of Balinese performances, festivals and rituals during the day and night. In that area you can find a good place try Indonesian dishes: Laughing Buddha Bar. Definitely try Gado Gado, Cap Cay or chicken sate.
Day 8-9 : Where to stay in Bali for couples: Candidasa
If you are searching for a perfect stay in Bali for couples and you want to escape reality, to enjoy a moment of tranquility, then I have good news for you. There is Crystal Beach Resort located in Candidasa in the rainforest, so you will be surrounded by exotic trees and singing birds. If a swimming pool is not enough for you and you need vitamin “sea”, then you can follow the little stairs to the water. The modern rooms are amazing and the beds are like clouds. There are also beach beds everywhere, which gives the environment a very relaxed and peaceful atmosphere. If you need to get rid of tense muscles then it’s possible to ask for a massage on the reception. So you will get a 1h massage on the beach for 4€.
Day 10: Back to the Airport
We’ve spent two weeks in Indonesia, which is absolutely not enough. There are too many gorgeous sights, natural treasures and cultural wealth to see. If you’ve been somewhere else, please share your experiences with the cyber world and just write a comment! Because I’m doubtlessly going to visit that country again! So if you are planning your trip to Bali now here you will find all necessary info!
Antwerp is a compact and cozy city and it means in one weekend you will see most of it. It’s also one of the most commonly visited cities in Belgium and the second largest city in the Kingdom of waffles. The city has plenty of things to be proud of and in this weekend in Antwerp itinerary I will introduce you to the most significant ones.
If you are planning to visit Antwerp check out my tips and tricks how to travel light!
2 Days in Antwerp: What to See on the 1st Day
This itinerary is also ideal for a one day trip to Antwerp. Anyway it’s better to come to Antwerp by train and not only because of the costs but also because you will arrive in one of the most beautiful train stations worldwide. I promise you, you will be magnified by the extraordinary architecture of the 19th century.
It’s also beneficial to get an Antwerp City Card if you stay for the whole weekend in Antwerp. You will be able to enjoy public transport and various museums for free. You can also get some great discounts with this City Card.
Place to visit: Grote Markt Antwerp, Belgium
Romantic Things to Do in Antwerp: Visit the Diamond District
One of the main things to do in Antwerp is to visit the legendary Diamond district. Antwerp is “The World’s Capital of Diamonds”. It has a decent district with diamond dealers, merchants and brokers, who are by the way mostly Jewish. Since a long time diamond trading is ruled by jewish people. After all if you found the love of your life and you feel that your relationship is going to another level, don’t hesitate to go to the city of diamonds. Undoubtedly you will find the perfect ring and she won’t even think to say “no” to you! We all know, diamonds are a girl’s best friends! My advice before you walk around, go to Diamond Land and get closer information about the gems there, but be aware, the prices outside of that store are lower, much lower.
Ice Caramel Latte at Pelican Rouge, Antwerp
You were probably asking yourself why Antwerp is the city of diamonds? What is so special about it is that almost 80% of all diamonds all over the world are shipped to Belgium? So, here is the answer: Antwerp just got lucky! It has second biggest harbor in Europe and furthermore the position of the port is ideal: it’s in the heart of Europe. Since 15th century all trading including the diamond trading were happening here.
Antwerp Tourists Attractions: Ruben’s House
If you travel to Antwerp you should know the city is famous for it’s artists. Great artists like Rubens, who is famous for his affinity for voluptuous nudes, and other renowned painters include Weyden and Van Eyck were born in this inspiring city. A typical touristic place is Rubens House, built in 17th century architectural style containing a modest collection of his work. Worth to see it. My advice, if you don’t want to waste all your money on museums, then visit Antwerp in the last week of the month. On the last Wednesday all museum are gratis, so you will have more money to enjoy Belgian beer.
Antwerp Sightseeing: Cathedral of Our Lady
One more important monument of Antwerp: the seven-aisled gothic Cathedral of our Lady. The background story of that cathedral is very dramatic: it took over two centuries to build the magnificent monument and some tragic accidents happened during the constructions. It was damaged a couple of times through fire and different wars, so a high amount of artistic treasures were destroyed. Only by the end of the 19th century the church was finally completely restored. Nowadays the cathedral possesses some meaningful masterpieces of Rubens.
Places to Visit in Antwerp: Grote Markt
Antwerp means “throw the hand” and it’s name comes from an interesting Belgian myth. Once upon a time a giant Antigoon was terrifying the city. A young brave man Brabo defeated the villain by cutting his hand off and throwing it into the river. The imposing statue which captures the moment of glory is standing proudly in front of the Town Hall at the Grote Markt square. At the Grote Markt you will notice that the medieval city impresses with it’s beautiful architecture and splendid art.
Another attractive and currently hipster area of Antwerp is the South, Zuid. In that young and vivid district you will be always entertained: numerous markets, exhibitions and delightful cafés and restaurants. Great place to visit and to enjoy good weather and fascinating view of the stone monument with the God of the sea, Neptune on top of it, is Marnix Square. Go there to bar Neptune, it’s very cozy pub with a friendly and sociable young service. In the evening the square is crowded with sympathetic and chatty people, occasionally you can even meet Belgian celebrities. Last but not least it’s an amazing spot to get to know new people and have nice conversations.
Perfect Weekend in Antwerp: Day 2
Antwerp Guide: Harbour & MAS Museum
Start your day at Antwerp’s harbor. Here you will find various cafés, restaurants and even a museum. Get some great coffee from Pelican Rouge. After the caffeine energy boost it’s time to visit the MAS museum: a tremendous modern architecture of red brick decorated with little hands. Honestly I’m not fascinated by that building, my personal opinion is it doesn’t fit to the lovely historic harbor of Antwerp. Although inside of the museum you can discover different exhibitions on 9 levels. On the top of the MAS you can experience the panoramic view of the city, which is breathtaking.
Visit Shopping Street Meir & Fashion Museum MoMu
Modest Antwerp is additionally famous for being an international fashion capital. The fashion department at The Royal Academy of Fine Arts laid down the foundation for many talented and creative designers. Belgium is very quiet about communicating the achievements of it’s artists though. At the shopping street Meir you can find numerous amounts of stores and whatever your personal taste or style is, in this city you can always shop till you drop. If you are not interesting in spending money on the designer clothes, you can learn something about fashion: visit MoMu, the museum of fashion.
Check out Graffiti Street & Drink Belgian Beers with locals
After gathering historical knowledge it’s time to get to know the Belgian beer culture. Moreover the best way to consume some delicious gold drink is at the places where you can find only locals. One of them is charming Zeezicht: it’s located a bit further from the city center in the Zurenborg area on the square surrounded by splendid old buildings. Pay attention to the names of the streets, they are definitely amusing. Close to the cafe you can also discover a long serpentine of colorful graffitis. It’s the perfect location for a new profile picture!
Beer at Zeezicht, Antwerp, Belgium
These are three beers of Antwerp, that you definitely need to try:
De Koninck 5,2%, it’s Antwerp in the bottle! It has been launched in 1913 and has quite bitter taste with complex and delicious aroma of toffee, chestnut and caramel.
Duvel 6,8%, special golden blond beer. It’s smooth and refreshing transparent beer with citrus notes.
Kriek 4-6%, cherry cooling beer, perfect for girls.
Don’t miss other beautiful towns in Belgium like Brussels and Ghent!