Last updated on December 27th, 2020
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1. HEADING TO REYKJAVIK, ICELAND AND WANT TO KNOW WHERE THE LOCALS EAT? — writes Lea in Reykjavik, Iceland — I know that if you are just passing through my city it’s hard to get a handle on where the locals hang out. My suggestion for a good basic meal is Kryddlegin Hjörtu (English translation is Seasoned Hearts). I personally love this vegetarian restaurant! It has a buffet with soups, salads, and incredible homemade bread with homemade hummus. Although meant to be veggie focused, they still have some meat on the menu like their incredible lasagna or a chicken soup. Address is: Hverfisgata 33. For more information, visit their website at: www.kryddleginhjortu.is/english
2. WONDERFUL BED AND BREAKFAST IN PRAGUE — writes Sandra in Vancouver, Canada — I’d like to recommend a wonderful B & B we stayed in in Prague last June. The Lida Guest House is run by two brothers and their wives. Their full breakfast kept us going for the day. Still, there were snacks and drinks available anytime. Our room itself was lovely including a french door onto a big grassy area at the rear of the building. Two of us shared the room and it never felt too small. Lida Guest House is a short walk to the subway and two stops to the centre of town. We were there for a few days before our scheduled tour started and it allowed us to get over jet lag and see some parts of town we wouldn’t have seen otherwise. Our hosts arranged for a pick up from the airport and later drove us to the hotel when our tour started. Website: Lida Guest House
3. HOSTEL WITH A DIFFERENCE IN NEW YORK CITY — writes Patricia in Vancouver, Canada — I love visiting New York City and go as often as I can afford it. This time, November 2016, I tried something I’d never done before, stayed in a women’s dormitory at the Blue Moon Boutique 100 Orchard St. on the Lower East Side – 5 or six women to a room with it’s own bathroom with tub and shower. They also have regular hotel rooms. I recommend it. The room rate was $US76.60 per night including taxes. P.S. I read that these “hostel” type accommodations are now being opened in many cities. Look for them. If any are like this one the value is excellent.
4. AN EXCELLENT DOCTOR IN SAN MIGUEL, MEXICO — writes Marilyn in San Miguel, Mexico — San Miguel is one of my favorite places to spend the winter months. At times I have had to seek medical help and discovered that the care is excellent. The doctor I have seen over the years is wonderful. Dr Ricardo Gordillo Morath speaks English and German. If necessary he even makes house calls. His clinic is located at Hidalgo #28 and the telephone number is 415-154-9976.
5. A GUEST HOUSE RUN BY NUNS IN ROME — writes Carina in New York City, USA — I have been reading your Journeywoman Newsletter for a few months now. I recently came back from my first trip to Rome, and want to recommend Casa Santa Sofia, a guest house run by Catholic nuns. For less than $US50 a night, I had a simple, but clean room with a single bed and private bathroom. A simple breakfast (coffee/hot chocolate/tea, juice, bread/rolls, pastries, spreadable cheese/butter/jam) and free wifi (slow, but it did work) were also included. The location can’t be beat, only 500m from the Colosseum — you can see it down the street! A tip, the convent is located on the main square of the Monti district, the main gathering place of the neighborhood at night. Nice atmosphere, but very noisy at night. If you are a light sleeper, definitely ask for a room at the back of the building. I loved the neighborhood which had some great restaurants, gelatarias, and boutiques/vintage stores nearby. Also, if you travel during the spring/summer — there’s no air conditioning, although they do provide a fan. Traveling in the fall, I didn’t have a problem with the temperature. There are definitely some cons, but for the price and location, it can’t be beat! P.S. The free walking tour by New Rome Free Tour was wonderful, a great way to be introduced to the historical center of Rome. My tour guide, Flaminia, was super informative and interesting, and also pointed out good value restaurants to eat at in the normally pricey and touristy area. Highly recommend!
6. ENJOY BREAKFAST IN A POPULAR COFFEE HOUSE IN PRAGUE — writes Richard in Toronto, Canada — I recommend Café Savoy. This glorious coffee house dates from 1893 and has all the art nouveau flourishes you would expect. It’s in perfect condition because its stained glass windows were plastered over from 1939 through 1989. Now it’s a place to sit and enjoy one of their prodigious breakfasts, each named after a different country. The French Breakfast contains homemade bread, fried toast with maple syrup, grilled pork sausage with French fries, Prague ham, hard-boiled egg, blue French cheese, farm butter, croissant, seasonal fruit, freshly squeezed orange juice, café. Rest afterwards is required.
7. A RESTAURANT RECOMMENDATION IN MADRID — writes Sylvana in São Paulo, Brazil — While I don’t live in Madrid I have family living there so I visit almost every year. Each visit I go back to a restaurant called, ‘Cornucopia’ which is located at calle Navas de Tolosa, 9, within walking distance from Puerta del Sol (in the city centre). Best way for me to describe it? I would call it, ‘affordable creative contemporary Spanish cuisine.’ Their website lists their menu and hours. Give it a try!
8. LISTEN TO FADO MUSIC IN COIMBRA, PORTUGAL — writes Julie in Coimbra, Portugal — Coimbra has its very own version of the traditional fado music that Portugal is renowned for. Accompanied by the unique Portuguese guitar, odes to student life, the city and, of course, love are sung by men cloaked in black student capes. Fado ao Centro is a cultural center in the historical heart of Coimbra. It’s no tourist trap; everyone involved is deeply passionate about promoting and preserving their beloved Coimbra fado. Daily performances include a short presentation and a series of instrumental and vocal numbers in an intimate setting. The walls are lined with photos of the founders as well as other local fado singers and guitarists and visitors have the opportunity to chat to the musicians after the show over a glass of port wine. A moving and memorable experience.
9. A GREAT GUIDE IN PETRA, JORDAN — writes Debra in Washington, DC, USA — I’d like to share contact details of a great guide my friend and I recently had in Petra, Jordan. Sami Moammar shared his knowledge and passion of Petra with us for 1.5 days and we couldn’t have asked for a better guide. Despite being a tour guide for many years he made us feel like he wasn’t just reciting facts and figures. He suggested various options for our full day in Petra and with our input, he developed a perfect itinerary for our day. Sami respected our pace and was very interesting to spend time with. In addition to being a great guide, he took time to pick up garbage left behind by other visitors and casually corrected another guide who was taking his clients down the wrong trail. Sami made our experience in Petra extra special and we hope to return. Sami’s contact details are +962 79 55 94 062 (including WhatsApp) and email@example.com. I hope other Journeywomen can enjoy Sami’s knowledge when they visit Petra.
10. A LOVELY HOTEL IN PHNOM PENH, CAMBODIA — writes Floris in Brisbane Australia — I’ve stayed at The Pavilion Hotel, an oasis of cool and calm within walking distance of the Royal Palace. Caring staff, beautiful rooms and a lovely restaurant. Very economical tariff with breakfast included. Also I recommend using tuk tuks for transport. We had an excellent driver who was proud to show us his city and take us anywhere we wanted to go. The drivers outside the hotel are all trustworthy although we picked up drivers anywhere and found them all responsible men. From the tuk tuk you can get a closeup view of everyday Cambodians going about their lives.
BONUS – WHERE TO EAT IN EDINBURGH, SCOTLAND — writes Liz in London, England — I’ve just returned from Scotland and would like to share this tip with everyone. The World’s End Pub on the Royal Mile is a landmark in Edinburgh. With a rich long history and amazing food at a reasonable price you will be shoulder to shoulder with travelers and locals alike. Try the mac and cheese, and the dessert and the beer! Get there early because it can get very busy and it isn’t a big establishment. P.S. Television in this pub is minimal, allowing the pub’s capacity of around 140 to drink in peace!
EDITOR’S NOTE: Way, way back. Just for fun I’ve included one of the top tips of 2000. Enjoy, Everybody!
Something for every woman in Brussels — writes Alison Li from Toronto, Canada — A recent visit to Brussels revealed that it is full of charming, sometimes quirky, little museums. They cover what seems like every conceivable subject, from chocolate to beer to the history of Freemasonry. There’s even a museum on the Belgian endive! A stop at one of these little museums can reveal some lovely little surprises and won’t be overwhelming like a visit to a huge museum can sometimes be. Of course, don’t forget to be ready to sample the subject matter, especially in the chocolate museum! See Brussels Museum of Cocoa and Chocolate. choco-story-brussels.be