5 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Lisbon

5 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Lisbon

Before I give you the lowdown on the best spots to visit in the charming Portuguese capital, I thought I would first share five helpful Lisbon travel tips I wish I knew before my trip. First things first...

WEAR COMFORTABLE SHOES
Ladies, leave your heels at home, and bring a pair of trainers instead. Lisbon isn't only some kind of a European version of San Francisco, with steep hills everywhere you look, but it's also covered with uneven cobblestone, which can make walking a slightly precarious situation if you're a clutz like me. Especially when it starts raining and the streets turn into slippery slides. 
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Preden z vami delim seznam znamenitosti in restavracij, ki jih morate v portugalski prestolnici nujno obiskati, vam bom najprej povedala nekaj uporabnih informacij, ki vam bodo med raziskovanjem Lizbone zagotovo  prihranile kakšno neprijetno presenečenje. No, pa začnimo...

PRIMERNA OBUTEV
Vem, da zvenim kot vaša mama, ampak resno, udobna obutev vam bo rešila življenje - mogoče tudi dobesedno. Lizbona ni samo nekakšna evropska verzija San Fransica, s strmimi ulicami na vsakem vogalu, ampak je poleg tega tudi pokrita s tlakovci, ki znajo biti precej neprijetni za hojo,  sploh v dežju, ko se pločniki spremenijo v vodne tobogane. Če ste tako nerodne kot jaz, petke pustite doma in s seboj raje zapakirajte superge. 
5 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Lisbon

DON'T EAT THE APPETISERS
Unless you want to pay. In most countries, appetisers brought to your table without you ordering them first are 'on the house', but not in Portugal. I made a mistake of taking them as a friendly gesture, only to be surprised with a hefty bill at the end! If you aren't willing to pay for them, just turn them down as soon as they're being served. 

BE AWARE OF OPENING HOURS
Unlike in Spain, siesta isn't observed in Portugal, however, many restaurants close between 3 and 6 pm or so. In addition, plenty of them seem to be open in the evenings only, so it's best to always check the opening hours online first and avoid the disappointment of being greeted by closed doors. 
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PLAČLJIVE PREDJEDI
V večini držav so predjedi, ki ti jih hočeš nočeš prinesejo na mizo, brezplačne oziroma 'na hišo', Portugalska pa je na žalost izjema. Mene je že v prvi restavraciji presenetil račun, ki je imel zaradi dveh mini prigrizkov kar dvojno ceno od pričakovane. Jaz pa sem mislila, kako so prijazni... haha! No, če si teh predjedi ne želite pojesti (in plačati), jih lahko brez problema kar takoj zavrnete.

ODPIRALNI ČAS RESTAVRACIJ
Čeprav na Portugalskem nimajo sieste, tako kot Španci, imajo njihove restavracije velikokrat deljeni delovni čas, in so nekje med tretjo in šesto uro popoldan zaprte. Nekatere so celo odprte samo zvečer, tako da je vredno na internetu vedno vnaprej preveriti odpiralni čas, preden se znajdete pred zaprtimi vrati. 
5 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Lisbon

HAVE ENOUGH CASH
Surprisingly, not a lot of places in Lisbon take credit or debit cards, unless you're a 'lucky' owner of a Portuguese debit card. In most restaurants, tourists can only pay with cash, same goes for a number of tourist attractions. The only time I was able to use mine was on transport ticket machines and for an entrance to Castelo de Sao Jorge. 

GET THE VIVA VIAGEM CARD
The first thing on your list upon touchdown should be getting the Viva Viagem card you can use on all public transport including the metro, buses, trams, ferries and trains. If you're familiar with London's Oyster card, it's basically the same thing. You can buy the card at a ticket machine for €0.50 and then top it up as you go. 
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PLAČEVANJE Z GOTOVINO
Ko sem bila na Švedskem, plačevanje z gotovino v nekaterih kafičih sploh ni bilo možno, v Lizboni pa sem imela ravno obraten problem - skoraj nikjer namreč ne jemljejo plačilnih kartic, razen debetnih domačih. V celem tednu sem lahko kartico uporabila samo dvakrat in sicer pri nakupu vozovnice za javni promet in vstopnine na grad. 

VOZOVNICA ZA JAVNI PROMET
Prva stvar, ki jo je pametno storiti takoj po pristanku, je nakup vozovnice za javni promet - Viva Viagem kartica. Uporabljaš jo namreč lahko na vseh oblikah prevoza, od avtobusov in metroja do tramvajev in ladjic. Deluje na enakem principu kot londonska Oyster kartica - za €0.50 jo kupiš na avtomatu in potem po potrebi nanjo nalagaš denar. 
5 Things You Need to Know Before Visiting Lisbon

London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops

London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Orient London

My love for Asian food goes way back, but moving to London and having Chinatown with authentic Asian cuisine right on my doorstep has made my heart grow even fonder. Dumplings, sticky rice, buns... I could eat them every day! Unfortunately, I haven't managed to sample all Chinatown offerings just yet (although I'm trying), but I've been around frequently enough to already have some favourites.

Azijska hrana mi je bila že od nekdaj všeč, odkar živim v Londonu, kjer imam avtentično azijsko kulinariko v londonski kitajski četrti takorekoč za vogalom, pa jo naravnost obožujem. Kitajski 'žlikrofi', polnjen lotosov list z rižem in mesnim nadevom, topli kruhki, rezanci... samo pišem pa se mi že cedijo sline! Na žalost mi vseh restavracij in trgovinic še ni uspelo obiskati (delam na tem), vendar sem jih preizkusila dovolj, da imam že nekaj svojih najljubših kotičkov. 
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Dumplings Legend



London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops
Dumplings' Legend is where my love for dumplings was first born, so I might be a bit biased, but that doesn't mean their food isn't tasty - I've been to the restaurant countless of times and have never had a bad meal. Their menu is extensive, including meat, seafood, rice and noodle dishes, but the stars of the show are definitely their soup dumplings (xiao long bau), which are prepared from scratch in-house - you can even watch them being made. The feel of the restaurant is quite touristy I have to say,  with tables almost too close together and a rather rushed service, but if you're looking for a good all-rounder food-wise, it's a good place to go for a quick lunch. Dumplings, of course, are a must-try!

V Dumplings' Legend sem se prvič zaljubila v kitajske žlikrofe, zato sem mogoče malo pristranska, to pa niti slučajno ne pomeni, da njihova hrana ni okusna. Restavracijo sem obiskala res že neštetokrat in niti enkrat nisem odšla razočarana. Na jedilnem listu se najde vse možno, od mesnih, morskih in riževih jedi do klasičnih rezancev, izstopajo pa njihovi sveže pripravljeni jušni žlikrofi (soup dumplings/xiao long bau). Res so božanski, pa še opazuješ lahko, kako jih delajo - v živo. Restavracija sama je precej turistično naravana, z mizami skoraj pretesno skupaj in na trenutke malce 'sunkovito' postrežbo (na splošno je postrežba v tukajšnjih kitajskih restavracijah bolj na horuk), vendar dobra izbira za hitro kosilo z vidika raznovrstne ponudbe.
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops

London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Orient London

Orient London is my latest discovery, but one I'll definitely be visiting regularly. The modern decor and a classier vibe make it the perfect place to go for what you'd call a nicer meal, and their dim sum is on another level. In-cre-di-ble. Some of my favourite dishes from the menu include baked mini roast pork buns, caviar shanghai dumplings, thai style squid cakes and glutinous rice in lotus leaves. Their dim sum is unfortunately only available during lunch time, but if you're stopping by for dinner, fear not, they have plenty of other things on the menu that didn't look half bad either. Yes, guilty as charged - I was totally checking out other people's plates.

Orient London je moje najnovejše odkritje, ampak imam občutek, da bo restavracija kmalu postala moja stalnica. Prepričali so me modernejši dizajn, bolj sproščeno vzdušje in njihov dim sum - najboljši kar sem jih jedla. Moje najljubše poslastice z menija so pečene štručke s svinjinskim nadevom (baked mini roast pork buns), šanghajski žlikrofi s kaviarjem (caviar shanghai dumplings), ocvrte tajske lignjeve tortice (thai style squid cakes) in lepljiv riž v lotosovem listu (glutinous rice in lotus leaves). Njihov dim sum je na žalost na voljo samo za kosilo, ampak mislim, da vas tudi pestra večerna ponudba ne bi smela razočarati. Ko sem vrgla uč na ostale krožnike, je vse zgledalo zelo vabljivo. 
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Orient London

London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Orient London
Next are bakeries, where I go for my proper carb fix. Asian savoury buns and sweet treats are, believe it or not, a lot more similar to the Slovenian soft, buttery pastry and moist cakes than the British counterparts, which I often find too dry and covered in yucky icing sugar rather than delicious cream. I normally stop at either Chinatown Bakery or Bake - they're both oozing with mouth-watering goodies! One thing that sets Bake apart, though, is the Japanese Taiyaki ice-cream - that vanilla or green tea flavoured swirl in the cutest fish cone you can see all over Instagram. Tried and tested, I have to say it isn't just a pretty face, but a taste bud pleaser too; however, a note of caution - it melts like no other. Make sure you have a pack of wet tissues in your bag!

Obiska vredne so tudi njihove valilnice pregrešnih ogljikovih hidratov - pekarne. Raj (pa tudi pekel, če pomislim na kalorije) za kruhovce kot sem jaz! Azijsko slano pecivo in slaščice so, verjamete ali ne, veliko bolj podobne našim slovenskim kot pa njihove angleške verzije, ki so meni ponavadi presuhe in preveč obložene s sladkorno glazuro. Jaz še vedno prisegam na 'žonftne' tortice s sladko smetano. No, nima veze. Pekarni, v katerih se ponavadi ustavim, sta Chinatown Bakery in Bake. Obe se ponašata z bombetkami, ki se kar topijo v tvojih ustih, medtem ko ima Bake na voljo še en dodaten slasten prigrizek - sladoled z okusom vanilije ali zelenega čaja v japonskem Taiyaki kornetu v obliki ribe. Brez skrbi, okusa po ribi na srečo nima. Sladoled in kornet nista samo fotogenična ampak tudi zelo okusna, edino paket vlažilnih robčkov moraš imeti nujno s sabo, ker se topi s svetlobno hitrostjo. 
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Chinatown Bakery

London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Bake
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops Bake Taiyaki Ice-cream
Entering an Asian supermarket in Chinatown is like entering another world - it always makes me feel like I've teleported myself to Southeast Asia. Frozen dumplings and cute-looking desserts is what I personally normally stock up on, but they sell everything from tropical fruits, veggies I've never even heard of, a hundred types of noodles, Asian sauces, frozen everything... the sky is the limit! I have to admit I'm not an expert on Asian supermarkets, but my flatmate says SeeWoo is the best on the block.

Vedno ko vstopim v azijski supermarket, se mi zdi, kot da sem se znašla v nekem drugem svetu, sredi tržnice na jugovzhodu Azije. Zmrznjeni kitajski oziroma korejski žlikrofi in lušne slaščice v obliki medvedkov in ne vem še česa vse se največkrat znajdejo v moji nakupovalni košarici, prodajajo pa drugače vse od tropskega sadja in meni neznane zelenjave do milijon vrst rezancev, azijskih omak... kar hočeš, res. Moram priznati, da nisem nek hud ekspert kar se tiče azijskih proizvodov, ker si azijsko hrano redko pripravljam sama doma, moja cimra, ki se na te zadeve res spozna, pa najbolj priporoča supermarket SeeWoo
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops

London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops
I also have to mention the touristy 'all you can eat' buffet restaurants. Sure, most people frown upon them, but sometimes you just want to stuff your belly with cheap, greasy Chinese, am I right? Especially if you're visiting London on a budget. The one I always end up in (because it seems to have the biggest selection of dishes for £10.95) is MW Buffet on Shaftesbury Avenue, but there's also a cheaper, £7.95 option on Wardour Street.

Čeprav se veliko ljudi nad njimi zmrduje, moram omeniti tudi samopostrežne 'all you can eat' azisjke restavracije. Včasih si pač zaželiš mastne hrane na kubik, pa še dokaj poceni prideš skozi, če obiskuješ London z bolj praznimi žepi. Sama grem vedno v MW Buffet na Shaftesbury Avenue, ker se mi zdi, da imajo za £10.95 največjo ponudbo, obstaja pa tudi cenejša opcija za £7.95 na Wardour Street.

To finish of the list, here's some honorary mentions of places I personally haven't tested out (yet), but come highly recommended by my friends. For fans of matcha latte, Tsujiri Matcha House apparently makes the best one; Chatime make great bubble tea; the shop called P2bus is the place to be for lovers of Korean and Japanese cosmetics; and Bubblewrap Waffle is where you can find the instagrammable bubble waffles.

Za zaključek bi omenila še nekaj kotičkov, ki jih sicer sama še nisem preizkusila, vendar so mi jih priporočili lokalni prijatelji. Za ljubitelje matcha latte je Tsujiri Matcha House baje najboljša izbira; Chatime pripravljajo okusen bubble tea (čaj s tapioka kroglicami); trgovina P2bus je raj za ljubitelje japonske in korejske kozmetike (ki jo, mimogrede, dobiš tudi v tule v Sloveniji); Bubblewrap Waffle pa je najnovejša vroča točka, saj tam prodajajo bubble vaflje, ki so preplavili Instagram.
London Chinatown: Best Restaurants & Shops



Hemptouch Review: Testing Slovenian Hemp Skincare


While I LOVE trying out new makeup releases and get excited every time I get my hands on a new lippie or the latest must-have palette, when it comes to skincare, I’m a bit of a one trick pony - sticking to the same old favourites year after year. However, when a Slovenian brand Hemptouch reached out to me, I just knew I have to give their products a go and put my test bunny hat on. Not only only do I have a soft spot for amazing business from my homeland, but they also bring something new to the table. Their products, most of which are vegan, are completely natural and locally produced from an extremely versatile and healing industrial hemp, also known as cannabis sativa. If you’re not familiar with the science behind the CBD oil and its benefits, I suggest you to check out this page. They explain it far better than I ever would. 

Medtem ko sem pri preizkušanju najnovejših šmink in paletk vedno v nizkem štartu, pri negi kože zadnje čase redkokdaj eksperimentiram. Vsake toliko pa tudi mene premami kakšen nov produkt oziroma meni še neznana znamka, kot je naša slovenska Hemptouch (očitno sem živela pod skalo). V testnega zajčka sem se bila pripravljena preleviti takoj, ko sem izvedela, da so njihovi izdelki poplnoma naravni, v večini veganski in narejeni iz lokalno pridelane industrijske konoplje. Če slučajno še niste seznanjeni z delovanjem in pozitivnimi konoljine smole CBD, hitro odklikajte semle


As my skin is quite sensitive and dry, I’ve tried out three of their products targeted towards irritated skin. Let’s start with the Oinment for Irritated Skin, the consistency of which was a complete surprise to me - it’s rock solid, much like coconut oil in its solid state, but melts upon touch, so you can easily apply it with your fingers. It doesn’t sink in completely, though, as it’s quite thick and oily, so wearing it under makeup or throughout the day in general is a no-go for me. Instead, I’ve been using it before bed, mostly focusing on my cheek area to nourish my skin and keep my dry patches at bay. It can also be used on the rest of the body, and after two months, I’ve barely even made a dent in it, so 50 ml goes a long way.

Izdelki, ki sem jih preizkušala, so namenjeni predvsem suhi in občutljivi koži, kakršna je tudi moja. Konopljino mazilo za razdraženo kožo me je presenetilo s strukturo, ki ni kot navadna krema ampak bolj kot kokosovo olje v trdnem stanju, vendar se ob dotiku stopi in lepo razmaže. Uporabljam ga pred spanjem, saj je precej gost, se ne vpije popolnoma in pusti malce lepljiv finiš, ki ni idealen kot podlaga za makeup, je pa super za suhe predele na obrazu oziroma telesu. 50 ml produkta je v obeh primerih več kot dovolj, saj sama izdelek nanašam na obraz že dva meseca, pa se komaj vidi, da je kaj uporabljen.

Hemptouch Nurturing Face Cream is also suitable for dry, sensitive skin, but unlike the oinment, it’s very much like your ‘regular’ face cream with a creamy consistency that sinks in straight away but still keeps your skin nourished. For my dry patches, I prefer the oinment, but I’ve been using the nurturing face cream as a day cream when my skin isn’t in need of extra special TLC. Before I forget (because I got so used to it), your nose will probably need some time to adjust to the scent of these hemp oil products, especially if you haven’t dabbled into the world of all natural skincare yet, but it isn’t intolerable or unpleasant at all. 

Negovalna krema za obraz je prav tako primernejša za suho kožo, vendar je za razliko od mazila ‘običajno’ kremasta, ter se hitro vpije. Za targetiranje ekstremno luskastih suhih predelov obraza bi prej priporočala mazilo, kremo pa za vsakodnevni, jutranji nanos - jaz jo uporaljam kot dnevno kremo. Preden pozabim, moram izpostaviti tudi konopljin vonj produktov, ki ni smrdljiv ali neznosen, ampak traja nekaj časa, da se ga navadiš. Na začetku me je po pravici povedano malce odbijal, zdaj pa me niti ne gane.

The Intensive Lip Care lip balm is my absolute favourite of the bunch, and one that never leaves my side anymore. It’s by far the best lip balm I’ve ever tried - beyond buttery, and has even passed the ultimate test of keeping my lips soft in extreme weather conditions. A week of hitting the slopes at an altitude where the sun is scorching, the wind is strong enough to move you up the hill, and the icy snow being thrown in your face is not such a rare occurrence normally leaves my lips in havoc, but this year, there wasn’t a single crack in sight. Thanks Hemptouch! 

Izdelek v katerega sem se naravnost zaljubila je njihov balzam za ustnice - vsepovsod gre z menoj! Zame je res najboljši balzam, kar sem jih kdaj imela, pa sem jih res preizkusila že nešteto. Všeč mi je, da je tako ‘putrast’ pa tudi učinkovit. Da ga res stestiram, sem ga zanalašč s seboj vzela na mojo tradicionalno prvomajsko smuko, saj so moje ustnice po enem tednu močnih vetrov, babje jeze in žgočega sonca na visoki nadmorski višini vedno v popolnem razsulu, letos pa sem jih odnesla brez ene same razpoke. Hemptouch, najlepša hvala!

In Slovenia, you can find their products over here on Zeleni dotik, but fear not, they’re also available in the UK on this website and even at Planet Organic! I already have an Intensive Lip Care backup in my shopping cart, and as an anxiety sufferer, I’m also intrigued by their new CBD sprays.

V Sloveniji so izdelki Hemptouch na voljo v spletni trgovini Zeleni dotik, v Veliki Britaniji pa na tejle spletni strani in v trgovinah Planet Organic. Rezerven balzam za ustnice je že v moji nakupovalni košarici, mikajo pa me tudi nova CBD pršila, saj naj bi pomagala pri anksioznosti, s katero se borim že leta. Poročam! 

Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza


For some reason, Lisbon has never been on my 'top places to visit' list, but when it was time to choose my first solo travel destination, it got recommended to me right, left and centre, and so the decision has been made - Sandra is going to Lisbon! Why I hadn't thought about paying it a visit sooner is beyond me, because it's honestly one of the best (and most affordable) European weekend getaways, combining old Mediterranean charm and what I describe as San Francisco vibes. Long story short, I loved it! You can expect lots of tips and guides coming your way in the following few months, but today let me introduce you to the hotel I stayed at on my last night in the city.

Lizbona nikoli ni bilo eno izmed mest, ki sem si jih pod nujno želela obiskati. Pravzaprav niti ne vem zakaj... Mogoče, ker se o Portugalski prestolnici ne govori toliko kot na primer o oblegani sosedi Barceloni, ki jo ima že vsak na svojem 'to-see' seznamu? No, kakorkoli. Vesela sem, da sem na koncu prav Lizbono izbrala za moje prvo uradno solo potovanje - navdušila me je z nizki cenami, pridihom starega Mediterana in podobnostjo s San Franciscom, ampak več o tem v prihajajočih objavah. Danes je na sporedu ocena hotela, v katerem sem prespala zadnjo noč. 
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review

Hotel Lisboa Plaza, a charming boutique hotel run by the same family since the 1950's, had me at hello with its location, before I even set foot inside. It's an ideal starting point to explore the city, right around the corner from the nearest metro station, just off the famous designer shopping avenue Avenida da Liberdade, and a stone throw away from all major sights. Having everything on the doorstep was such a nice change after my 20-minute uphill battles to get from the nearest metro station to the hotel I previously stayed at, haha! But it's not just the central location that impressed me. The double room in a traditional style with modern touches was incredibly spacious, had the comfiest bed, a proper sofa and a beautiful tiled study desk I fell head over heels with the moment I spotted it - I love unique little details like this!

Hotel Lisboa Plaza je malo večji družinski hotel, ki me je v prvi vrsti prepričal z lokacijo v samem centru mesta. Nahaja se ob znani nakupovalni aveniji Avenida da Liberdade, blizu vseh glavnih znamenitosti in metro postajo dobesedno za ovinkom - pravi balzam za noge po štirih dneh 20-minutnih nočnih maratonov navhrib od najbližje postaje mojega prejšnjega hotela. Navdušila me je tudi prostornost sob (v moji sem imela celo kavč), ter preplet tradicionalne in moderne notranje opreme. Pisalna miza s keramičnim pultom me je osvojila v prvi sekundi! 
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review

Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review

Another thing I need to mention are the communal areas. I'm not the one to rave about reception lobbies, but the lounge area at Hotel Lisboa Plaza is on another level. I wouldn't mind waiting there all day for my check-in. There's a TV, a library section, refreshments (tea and coffee), and even an internet point with computers and a printer for guests to use when they please. Not what you normally see in a four-star hotel! Speaking of the internet, you'll be happy to hear the wi-fi is free of charge, fast, and available throughout the hotel.

Recepciji oziroma skupnim prostorom hotela se res nikoli ne posvečam, ampak vse je enkrat prvič. Tale 'javna dnevna soba' si zasluži omembo. V njej se lahko zlekneš na kavč, gledaš televizijo, prebereš kakšno knjigo iz hotelske mini knjižnice, ter se vmes še osvežiš z brezplačno kavo ali čajem. Aja, pa tudi hotelska pisarna z računalnikom in tiskalnikom ti je na voljo 24/7, brez dodatnega plačila. Popolnoma nepričakovano v hotelu s štimiri zvezdicami, ampak zelo dobrodošlo, še posebej če se nimaš kam dati, medtem ko čakaš na check-in. Mimogrede, brezplačen wifi je na voljo po vsem hotelu, pa še hiter je! Zame vedno zelo pomembna informacija... 
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review

Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review

The roof terrace with loungers and a bar section is a nice addition as well! It was a bit too chilly for me back in March to take advantage of it, but in the summertime I bet it's an amazing spot to rest your feet and enjoy a drink after a long day of sightseeing. I did a quick tour of it here in my vlog, where you can also see how my room looked like in detail.

Terasa z ležalniki in mini barom v petem nadstropju hotela je prav tako prijeten dodatek. Za sončenje je bilo marca na žalost še malce premrzlo, si pa kar mislim kakšo luštno vzdušje mora biti tam poleti - za noge v luft in koktelj v roke po napornem dnevu pohajkovanja. Za lažjo predstavo, en hiter ogled terase (in svoje sobe) sem ovekovečila tudi tule v mojem zadnjem vlogu iz Lizbone
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review


Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review


Last but not least, let's have a word about the hotel breakfast. I'm not too picky when it comes to it - a slice of bread with some cheese and tomatoes or a jam croissant normally does it for me - but I was seriously impressed with the extensive buffet selection. There was everything from pastries, jams, eggs and yoghurts to fruits, cheese, salami and even desserts for those with a morning sweet tooth - chocolate fountain included. Yes, really, there was an actual chocolate fountain. Good thing you also get access to the gym!

Jaz pa seveda ne bi bila jaz, če se za konec ne bi dotaknila še hrane - v mojo nočitev je bil namreč vključen tudi samopostrežni zajtrk. Sama sem po pravici povedano zadovoljna že s kosom kruha in sirom ali pa kakšnim rogljičkom in od hotelskega zajtrka že v štartu nikoli veliko ne pričakujem, ampak tokrat sem bila prijetno presenečena. Izbor hrane je res ogromen, za vsakega se nekaj najde. Od peciv, marmelad, jajc in jogurta do svežega sadja, narezkov in celo konkretnih sladic, takšnih za po kosilu. In ja, tudi čokoladna fontana se je znašla med njimi (na sliki spodaj). Še dobro, da v kompletu z nočitvijo pride tudi dostop do fitnesa! 
Where to Stay in Lisbon: Hotel Lisboa Plaza Review

Overall, I couldn't have asked for a better night's stay, and if I visit Lisbon again (or should I say when, because I'm definitely coming back for more sightseeing and octopus), Hotel Lisboa Plaza or another one of the charming Lisbon Heritage Hotels will be my number one choice for my home away from home.

Po vsem prebranem že lahko sklepate, da sem bila nad hotelom več kot očitno navdušena. Če se vrnem v Lizbono (oziroma ko se vrnem, saj sem si za naslednjič pustila še nekaj dnevnih izletov pa tudi hobotnica me vabi), se zagotovo vrnem na isto lokacijo ali pa preverim še kakšen drug Lisbon Heritage hotel - po prvotnem vtisu pričakujem le najboljše.

My stay at Hotel Lisboa Plaza was complimentary in exchange for my honest review. 
As always, all opinions are my own. 

The Best of It Cosmetics

The Best of It Cosmetics Review

2017 has been a year of old beauty favourites for me but a few months ago a bundle of It Cosmetics goodies entered my life and turned my makeup routine upside down. I don't remember the last time a new (to me) brand impressed me so much. Every single item from them I've tried so far has made it onto my all-time favourites list and gotten a permanent place in my makeup bag. 

Leto 2017 je bilo zame leto starih favoritov. V moji kozmetični torbici se ni znašlo prav veliko novih izdelkov, ki bi me posebno navdušili, vsaj dokler ni pred kratkim v moje življenje vstopila znamka It Cosmetics in obrnila mojo vsakodnevno rutino na glavo. Res ne vem, če se mi je že kdaj prej zgodilo, da me je očaral prav vsak produkt iz ponudbe ene same znamke. Seveda nisem preizkusila celotne kolekcije (ko bi jo le lahko), ampak kar mi je prišlo pod roke, je v trenutku pristalo na mojem seznamu najbolj priljubljenih ličil vseh časov in dobilo dosmrtno mesto v moji kozmetični torbici. 
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream and Superhero Mascara Review

Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream with SPF 50+ captured my heart with seamless application, higher than expected coverage and non-drying formula. It's the only foundation I've tried so far that can apply with an actual brush without having it cling to dry patches - I normally have to use a wet makeup sponge to avoid the problem. My current favourite is this Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection Brush, which allows me to blend it in streak-free and in a matter of seconds, which saves me A LOT of time. One layer gives me almost medium coverage, higher than my Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum I've been using since forever, but looks flawlessly natural and feels non-existing on my skin. All boxes checked! I have the shade called Medium (there's seven in total, ranging from fair to deep), but I'm going with Light next time, as I do find Medium slightly too dark for my currently tan-less skin. 

Your Skin But Better CC+ krema z SPF 50+ me je osvojila z brezhibnim nanosom, visoko prekrivnostjo in neizsušujočo formulo. Običajno moram za nanos podlage uporabiti navlaženo gobico, da se izognem čezmernemu oprijemanju podlage na suhih predelih obraza, pri tej pa lahko brez problema uporabim čopič. Trenutno je moj najljubši Heavenly Luxe Complexion Perfection, prav tako od It Cosmetics, s katerim CC kremo nanesem hitro in enakomerno. En sloj mi da skoraj srednjo prekrivnost, višjo kot podlaga Bourjois Healthy Mix Serum, ki jo uporabljam že leta, finiš je popolnoma naravnega izgleda, pa še na koži se skoraj ne čuti. Sama imam odtenek Medium, ki bi mi mogoče ustrezal po poletnih počitnicah, trenutno pa mi je malce pretemen, tako da se bom naslednjič odločila za odtenek Light. 
It Cosmetics Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Review Before and After
Left: No makeup; Right: CC+ cream, concealer & eyebrow pencil applied (levo: brez ličil; desno: nanos CC+ kreme, korektorja in svinčnika za obrvi)

The Best of It Cosmetics Review
The Superhero Mascara is pretty good at ticking all those boxes too. Lengthening? Check! Volumising? Check! Lifting? Check! My favourite thing about it is that it holds the curl all day long, as my lashes normally droop quite quickly after applying mascara, but not with this one. I also haven't noticed any smudging or clumping, so it's now sharing the number one spot with Jordana's Best Lash Extreme

Superhero maskara je prav tako super. Trepalnice precej podaljša, doda jim volumen in jih lepo tudi privzdigne. Najbolj mi je všeč, da drži trepalnice zavihane prav ves dan, saj moje ponavadi hitro padejo dol, pa tudi z razmazovanjem in lepljenjem nisem nikoli imela težav, tako da si zdaj deli prvo mesto z Jordana Best Lash Extreme, edino drugo maskaro, ki me je sto odstotno prepričala. 
It Cosmetics Review

I feel like I've been battling with my prominent under eye circles since the day I was born, and they've only been getting worse thanks to my lovely insomnia. Even though I've found a couple of pretty good concealers over the past few years, none have been 'strong' enough to be used on their own. I always have to combine them with a salmon-toned corrector, but the Bye Bye Under Eye provides such full coverage it manages to conceal the darkest of them all on its own. The texture is quite thick so you do have to blend it out properly, but once it's set with powder, it doesn't crease and lasts very long. I don't use it just under my eyes, though. It works for other imperfections too. I apply it in the corners of my nose to cover my broken capillaries and of course on the spots too. The shade I have is Medium and it's actually perfect for me. I wouldn't go for a lighter one. 

Podočnjaki so moji najhujši sovražniki. Z njimi se borim že odkar pomnim, zadnja leta pa se je zaradi moje nespečnosti situacija še poslabšala. Čeprav sem odkrila že kar nekaj dobrih tekočih korektorjev, noben izmed njih ni dovolj prekriven sam po sebi, tako da jih vedno uporabljam v kombinaciji s kremnim korektorjem v lososovi barvi, Bye Bye Under Eye korektor pa zadevo reši sam. Je namreč neverjetno prekriven in zakamuflira tudi najbolj modre podočnjake, je pa tekstura precej gosta, tako da ga je treba zabrisati z dobrim čopičem in zacementirati s transparentnim pudrom, da zdrži cel dan na mestu in se ne useda v gubice. Ni pa uporaben samo za podočnjake. Sama ga uporabljam tudi za prekrivanje mozoljev in razpokanih kapilar okrog nosu. Odtenek Medium mi je za mojo polt ravno pravšnji in za razliko od CC kreme, ne bi posegla po svetlejšem.
It Cosmetics Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer and Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil Review

The Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil stands out to me because it's just so easy to use. The retractable oval tip can be used from two different angles, giving you the option of thin or wide strokes, and apparently this particular taupe shade works for every single hair colour. I haven't tested that claim out myself, so I can't confirm it, but I do know it matches my brows perfectly. Plus I also love that there's a spooley brush on the other side so you can brush through your eyebrows in case you go in too heavy-handed.

Brow Power univerzalen svinčnik za obrvi me je prepričal predvsem s priročnostjo. Ni ga treba šiliti, konica je ovalna, z ostro in ploščato stranjo, tako da lahko vlečeš tanke ali širše črte, na drugem koncu pa je še krtačka, s katero lahko obrvi prečešeš, če slučajno naneseš preveč produkta. Svinčnik pride samo v enem, taupe odtenku, ki se baje prilagodi vsem barvam las. Tega sama nisem uspela preveriti, tako da izjave ne morem potrditi, vem pa to, da popolnoma ustreza moji lastni barvi obrvi.
It Cosmetics Review

It Cosmetics Swatch Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream Bye Bye Under Eye Concealer Brow Power Universal Eyebrow Pencil Review
L-R: CC+ Cream, Brow Pencil, Concealer (od leve proti desni: CC+ krema, svinčnik za obrvi, korektor)
I don't know about you, but I'm completely sold on It Cosmetics and itching to try more. I would love to hear your recommendations if you've tried any products yourself! I'm almost out of Your Skin But Better CC+ Cream, so I'll need to do some shopping soon... 

Mislim, da je več kot očitno, da me je znamka It Cosmetics povsem očarala. Glede na to, da mi Your Skin But Better CC+ krema počasi že gre h koncu, bom morala kmalu spet v nabavo, zato bi bila vesela tvojih predlogov, če si se slučajno tudi sama že navdušila nad kakšnim It Cosmetics izdelkom.

24 Hours in Amsterdam Noord: Top 5 Things to See & Do

24 Hours in Amsterdam Noord: Top 5 Things to See & Do

I don't often return to places I've already visited, no matter how much I love them and wish to go back. I want to see as much of our beautiful planet and experience as many cultures as possible, so revisiting the same spots over and over again is something I generally try to avoid. But every now and again, I stumble upon a place that sweeps me off my feet and a great love affair is unavoidable. Before I moved here, London used to be that place for me - Australia would be up there too if the distance wasn't such a hurdle - but now Amsterdam has taken the number one spot. My favourite thing about it is how small but diverse it is. There's far more to it than just the famous canals and the notorious Red Light District. One of the lesser-known areas worth checking out is definitely Amsterdam-Noord, a hip uptown district on the other side of the river. What used to be an industrial part of the city is now a super cool creative hub, so if you have a day to spare, hop on a free 5-minute ferry from the central station and get exploring!

Ponavadi se redko odločim za ponoven obisk mest, ki sem jih že obiskala, tudi če so mi neizmerno všeč. Veliko raje raziskujem meni še nepoznane kotičke sveta, vsake toliko časa pa vendarle naletim na kraj, ki me kar kliče, da ga spet obiščem. Preden sem se sem preselila, je bil to London (mimogrede, tudi Avstralija bi bila na seznamu, če ne bi bila tako daleč), pred kratkim pa se je na prvo mesto zavihtel Amsterdam. To razmeroma majhno ampak raznoliko mesto je popolnoma osvojilo moje srce. Letos sem se tja odpravila že dvakrat, nazadnje pred mesecem dni, in že načrtujem ponoven pobeg. Amsterdam namreč ponuja veliko več kot le slikovite ulice ob kanalih in pestro nočno življenje z razvpito rdečo četrtjo. Eden izmed manj poznanih predelov na drugi strani reke je Amsterdam-Noord, ki je bil v preteklosti prežet z industrijo, danes pa predstavlja super kul središče kreative in trajnostnih  projektov. Do tja se lahko zastonj zapelješ s pet minutnim trajektkom izpred centralne postaje in si ga s pomočjo mojih nasvetov spodaj do potankoma ogledaš v enem dnevu. 
adam tower

First head over to the A'DAM Tower for an amazing 360 view of the city. A ticket to the A'DAM Lookout will cost you €12,50 and give you access to the two-level observation deck - the bottom floor is an indoor restaurant and the upper a super cool open sky deck with bean bags you can chill out on as well as a 'death swing' that lets you swing over the edge of the building for extra €5. Oh, and the elevator ride to the top is quite an experience too. In a good way! Click here to see what I'm taking about.

Začni z obiskom A'DAM Tower, ene izmed višjih stavb, ki ponuja čudovit razgled nad mestom. Vstopnica za €12,50 ti ponuja vstop na panoramsko ploščad v dveh nivojih - v spodnjem zastekljenem nadstropju lahko tudi nekaj poješ in popiješ, v zgornjem odprtem delu pa lahko uživaš v razgledu medtem ko počivaš na vreči za sedenje, ali pa se za dodatnih €5 podaš na 'gugalnico smrti', ki te ponese čez rob stavbe. Mogoče ne najboljša izbira za akrofobike, ampak prisežem, da ni tako grozno, kot se sliši. Zanimiva (ampak čisto nič strašna) pa je tudi sama vožna z dvigalom do vrha. O čem govorim, si lahko ogledaš tule
adam lookout swing

Then, once you're full of adrenaline rush, it's time to relax. A boat tour of the canals with Pure Boats, a sustainable boutique tour company, is the perfect way to unwind - I couldn't recommend them enough. Joining James and Geertje for a tailored 90-minute ride to get to know Amsterdam from another perspective was by far my favourite part of my day in Amsterdam Noord. It was so different from the usual tourist offerings where they sit you on a big boat and tell you historical facts you can read in every guidebook over the speaker. It was more like having your local friends show you around while having a good old chat, and we all know that's the best way to explore a new place. Not to mention the boat is super nice and you can even try out some beverages and snacks from local suppliers on board too! I may or may not have had gin at 10 o'clock in the morning... To rent a whole boat (captain included), which sits 12 people, it will cost you €250, but you can obviously go with friends or pair up with other explorers, in which case it works out €20 for each. Not bad, not bad at all!

Po adrenalinski izkušnji pa prija malo sprostitve... Na primer ogled mesta in njegovih kanalov z ladjico! Namesto tipično turističnega ogleda, kjer se ti iz zvočnikov predvaja vnaprej posneta kaseta (no, verjetno kakšna mp3 datoteka v današnjih časih) z zgodovinskimi dejstvi, ki si jih lahko prebereš v vsakem potovalnem vodiču, preveri ponudbo Pure Boats, butičnega podjetja s trajnostno vizijo in persionaliziranim pristopom za katerim stojita simpatična James in Geertje. Sama sem bila z njima na njuni 90 minutni vožnji in uživala na polno. Počutila sem se, kot da se družim z lokalnima prijateljema in s prve roke izvedela veliko zanimivosti o življenju v Amsterdamu, kar je meni osebno najboljši način spoznavanja kultur in odkrivanja novih mest. Električni čoln, ki sta ga zasnovala sama, je izredno lep in udoben, da se počutiš še bolj dobrodošlo pa poskrbita s ponudbo lokalnih prigrizkov in pijače. Kako zelo sem se sprostila ti lahko pove informacija, da sem prvič (in verjetno tudi zadnjič) v življenju pila gin - ob desetih zjutraj, haha. Najem celotne ladjice s kapitanom vred stane €250 oziroma €20 na glavo, če se ti priduži še 11 sopotnikov (ladjica sprejme 12 ljudi).
pure boats amsterdam

v2c dutch dry gin

amsterdam noord boat tour
amsterdam noord boat tour
amsterdam noord boat tour
amsterdam noord boat tour
amsterdam noord boat tour

Next you can stretch your legs and hop on a bike to continue exploring Amsterdam like a proper local! You can rent one at TIP Noord - I of course picked up a mint one - and have a ride around the area, admiring the cute little houses, checking out De Krijtmolen d'Admiraal windmill, and stopping at De Ceuvel Cafe for a delicious, organic vegan lunch. De Ceuvel is actually more than just a place to stop for lunch. It's an urban development built on a former shipyard with spaces for creative entrepreneurs to work at, organise workshops and help build a more sustainable community, which is a movement I definitely stand behind.

Da si po vožnji z ladjico pretegneš noge, si lahko pri TIP Noord sposodiš kolo - jaz sem si ga izbrala v mint barvi, kaj pa drugega - in se odpraviš na 'kopenski' ogled mesta v stilu lokalcev. Ogledaš si lahko soseske s prisrčno nizozemsko arhitekturo, zapelješ do mlina De Krijtmolen d'Admiraal in se ustaviš na kosilu v De Ceuvel Cafe s pestro in zelo okusno izbiro organskih veganskih prigrizkov. De Ceuvel drugače ni samo restavracija, ampak urbani prostor na območju bivše ladjedelnice, kjer kreativni podjetniki organizirajo različne dogodke za spodbujanje trajnostnega razvoja skupnosti. Super zadeva!
De Krijtmolen d'Admiraal windmill amsterdam


de ceuvel cafe amsterdam vegan

de ceuvel cafe amsterdam vegan
While in Amsterdam Noord, you also have to swing by a former ship wharf called NDSM, which is now a hipster, creative hub with Berlin kind of vibes. There's empty warehouses, amazing street art every way you look, a crane that was transformed an exclusive hotel and another sustainable cafe to check out - Pllek. It's a really cool spot I already visited on my first trip to Amsterdam, with its own beach on the waterfront and amazing views of the city.

NDSM, bivše pristanišče, je še en predel, ki ga je vredno obiskati. Mene z ulično umetnostjo na vsakem vogalu zelo spominja na Berlin, tam pa najdeš tudi ogromna prazna skladišča; žerjav, ki so ga preuredili v ekskluziven hotel; ter še eno super restavracijo - Pllek, ki sem jo obiskala že med svojim prvim obiskom Amsterdama. Prav tako je trajnostno usmerjena z odlično ponudbo vegetarijasnkih jedi, poleg tega pa ima še čisto pravo peščeno plažo s pogledom na mesto. 
amsterdam noord street art graffiti
amsterdam noord ndsm


amsterdam noord ndsm crane hotel

To finish off the day, you can dance the night away in one of the many nightclubs, but since I'm a bit of a granny myself and tend to avoid them, I made another trip to the A'DAM Tower for the amazing night views (just look at that moon) and then spent the rest of the night at Clink NOORD, the best place to stay on this side of the river. They have their own bar with music as well as fun activities planned every night of the week, so you won't be missing out on any fun! To find out more about the hostel, check out my full review over here.

Zaključek dneva si lahko popestriš z obiskom enega izmed nočnih lokalov, ker pa sem sama bolj nežurerske sorte, sem se namesto žuranja odločila za ponoven obisk A'DAM Tower in naredila še nekaj nočnih posnetkov, preden sem se odpravila nazaj v Clink NOORD, najboljši hostel v Amsterdamu, kjer mi ni bilo prav nič dolgčas. Imajo namreč svoj bar z (živo) glasbo, poleg tega pa vsak večer organizirajo tudi zabavne aktivnosti, od karaok in filmskih večerov do kvizev in beer ponga. Več o samem hostlu na tej povezavi, kjer te čaka moja celostna ocena.
amsterdam night view adam lookout
amsterdam night view adam lookout
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