Day Trip to Hallstatt, Austria

Day Trip to Hallstatt, Austria

Deemed one of the most “Instagrammable Places in the World”. This small town in Austria is a beautiful picturesque place that you should add to the top of your bucket list. Here are some tips on how to spend your Day Trip to Hallstatt, Austria.

Day trip to Hallstatt Austria

This charming town is oversaturated with day-time tourists. However, don’t let that deter you from visiting. Hallstatt is a must-see!

To avoid crowds, consider following these tips:

-Visit during off season. Avoid summer months May through August.

-Get there early in the morning.

-Consider spending the night to experience the town without day-time tours.

-Book train tickets in advance if you are visiting during peak season.

Hallstatt What to know
Day trip to Hallstatt Austria

To my surprise, Hallstatt actually gave me an eerie vibe (which I loved!) Whether it was the time of year or the skeleton caves that made me feel this way, I enjoyed the unsettling beauty the island offered.

Day trip to Hallstatt Austria

The Skulls of Hallstatt.

Long ago, old burial grounds were discovered. They were dug up, cleaned out, and replaced with new remains. Unfortunately, Hallstatt is so small, there just isn’t enough room to bury everyone. A thousand remains are on display in this cave and decoratively painted with dates and names. Although creepy and even questionable depending on your own culture, I loved the thought of remains decorated as a tribute to one’s life.

Day trip to Hallstatt

Hallstatt Day Trip or Overnight?

Hallstatt can be done as a day trip. There isn’t much to do except to walk around and take in the beauty. If you are looking for an attraction during your stay, take a cable car up to explore the salt mines. They look stunning and I wish I would have had time to do this! As I mentioned previously, staying overnight has the advantage to avoid tourists. To book a longer trip in Halstatt, click here

Day trip to Hallstatt

The fairy tale land of Hallstatt, Austria is definitely worth seeing if you are able to. Although I’ve already traveled to Hallstatt, I’d love to visit during different seasons of the year. The crystal clear lake, foggy mountains, and pastel-colored houses will have you coming back for more!

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The Best 1 Week Itinerary for Morocco

The Best 1 Week Itinerary for Morocco

The city, beach, and desert all in 7 days make for the BEST 1-week Itinerary for Morocco. If you are wanting to have the time of your life in Morocco and stay within a budget, this guide is perfect for you.

7 days in Morocco
Just saying “Morocco”, I can nearly smell the mint tea and hear the snake charming music erupt from Marrakesh’s main square, Jemaa el-Fnaa. Morocco is one of the most magical places I have explored.

Planning your trip.

Perhaps I seem dramatic, but it was absolutely a trip of a lifetime. However, to make this trip memorable, it did take quite a bit of research. If you could take any bit of information from this post, it is these 3 words right here:

MOROCCO IS BIG.

Now read that one more time, and register it. The most common mistake I hear is people get stuck riding in between destinations nearly their entire trip because they didn’t study the distance between them. Even if you really narrow your trip down, you will likely be riding in a car for quite a while. This trimmed-down itinerary will have you in the car for about 23 hours total throughout your week trip.

Morocco is safe to travel.

I hope hearing this can put your mind at ease. My best friend and I traveled to Morocco together, without a man, and we were both twenty-one. I have felt more unsafe in hostels in London than in the streets of Morocco.

Tips on safe travel in Morocco:

Here are some extra precautions I take while not just traveling in Morocco, but really anywhere.

  • Carry your bag in front of you, and/or secure locks on your bags. Little children are the ones you have to especially look out for in Morocco. They are smart, quick, and incredibly adorable!
  • Men WILL come up and catcall you. Most of the time they are harmless, just annoying.
  • Set yourself a curfew. We actually didn’t do this, some of our Riad’s enforced an 11pm curfew.
  • Stay where people can see you. This is my #1 rule when traveling. There are lots of private tours offered in Morocco for cheap prices but perhaps opt for the group tours where you will be surrounded by a few other travelers.
  • Taxi travel. Establish a set price BEFORE you get into the taxi. All of our taxies were pre-booked before our trip. Meaning our Airbnb Riad’s had their own taxi arrangements set up for us, with a reasonable fare we agreed upon beforehand. Additionally, avoid putting your luggage in the trunk as you may not ever get it back.

Now let’s get to the fun part, building the best 1-week Itinerary for Morocco!

Day 1 – Arrive in Marrakesh

Marrakech - 7 days in Morocco
Jemaa el-Fnaa Square

Where to stay in Marrakesh – Airbnb Riad’s

Marrakesh is filled with some of the most beautiful accommodation options. A Riad is a traditional Moroccan home or palace with an interior courtyard/garden and most likely what you’ll be staying at during your trip. Many Riad’s are very nice, affordable, include a delicious breakfast, and offer transportation. A fantastic Riad I stayed at is available on Airbnb here if you are needing a recommendation for one. When searching for accommodations, I recommend you to find one near Jemaa el-Fnaa Square (the main square) and read reviews very thoroughly to be sure you are getting the best value.

Riad in Morocco 7 days in Morocco
the lobby of my Riad in Marrakesh.

Contact your Riad before your arrival, and ask if they can arrange pick up from the airport.

This is probably the best value in terms of convenience. Most Riad’s will offer this service to you before arrival. It is up to you to communicate with them in terms of time and airline tickets (they track the arrival). In my opinion, it was totally worth paying $25 in advance to have a taxi waiting for us. We knew we weren’t getting scammed and that the driver knew exactly where our Riad was.

After you get settled, take time to explore Marrakesh!

Be sure to pin your accommodation on your phone/map, or make sure it comes up on Google Maps. You WILL get lost in the Medina, and you’ll have to find your way back.

Day 2 – Marrakesh

Marrakesh is just one of those places you have to see. It is both chaotic and beautiful. While I loved my time in Marrakesh, it isn’t somewhere I would want to spend more than a day or two. The main things to do are shop at the markets, get lost in the Medina, and eat some awesome food. Which can all be achieved in 24-48 hours.

Marrakesh 7 days in Morocco
I am actually cringing in this pic because the man literally threw the monkey on me!
Marrakesh 7 days in Morocco
Marrakesh, Morocco

I am always starving after a full day of exploring! Our favorite restaurant in Marrakesh was Nomad. We went during the offseason, so I would recommend making reservations on their website if you can, it was very popular.

Where to eat in Marrakesh – Nomad Restaurant

Nomad was amazing. The atmosphere was relaxing, especially in comparison to the loud streets of Marrakesh. For dinner, I had the Vegetarian plate, which consisted of chickpea salad, tzatziki, avocado and barley with celery and sesame seeds. For dessert, I had the Ultra-rich chocolate cake. That chocolate cake was definitely one of the tastiest I’ve ever had, and I’m a girl who knows her chocolate!

Day 3 – Depart on your Sahara Desert Tour

This was the moment we had been waiting for … to ride camels and camp in the Sahara! Talk about a check-mark off the bucket list! We were so excited for this tour, we definitely looked like goons among our sophisticated European group members (who were so lovely). We were the annoying American girls who could not stop squealing every time we saw a dog or something cool, but boy did we embrace it! This tour alone packs in A LOT and deserves its own blog post. If you are considering taking a Sahara tour on your trip, click below to read an extensive breakdown of the tour.

The Ultimate Sahara Desert Tour (3 Days)

The first day of your Desert tour will be a lot of driving, mixed in with stops along the way at the Atlas Mountains, Kasbah Ait Ben Hadou, and Dades Valley.

Atlas Mountains 7 days in Morocco
Atlas Mountains
Aït Benhaddou 7 days in Morocco
Aït Benhaddou

Day 4 – Sahara Desert Tour

This will be the second day of your Sahara Desert tour, which will mainly include Dades Valley, Tinghr, and camping in the Sahara. Spending the night in the Sahara Desert was one of the most magical experiences. Dancing to the beat of the drums, stargazing with my best friend, and sledding down the dunes at midnight were just a few of the highlights.

Berber Home - Sahara Desert Tour
Berber Home – Sahara Desert Tour
Sahara Desert Tour 7 days in Morocco
Sahara Desert Tour
Natalie & Camel

Day 5 – Back on the road to Marrakesh

Sadly, this is the last day of the Sahara Desert Tour. You will be completely exhausted and get back into Marrakesh around 7 pm. At this point, you could get a taxi from Marrakesh and head to the next destination on this itinerary, Essaouira. Alternatively, you could spend one more night in Marrakesh. Neither option is right or wrong, however, if traffic is bad or something happens to where you don’t make your scheduled taxi to Essaouira that evening, you may be in a bind. If you could get a taxi for 9 or 10 pm to allow a bit of wiggle room, that may be ideal. We chose to spend one more night in Marrakesh just to be safe, however, we were so exhausted we ordered pizza and stayed in!

Day 6 – Essaouira

This beautiful beach town of Essaouira was something we nearly overlooked, as we read from many other travelers that it was best as a day trip, or not really worth seeing. We found this to not be true, we LOVED Essaouira. It’s a charming little fishing town, that was exactly what we needed to relax after the hustle of Marrakesh and the exhaustion of trekking through the desert. The trip to Essaouira is only 2 hours from Marrakesh, and absolutely worth the journey.

Essaouira
Essaouira

How to get from Marrakesh to Essaouira: Med Taxi Essaouira

The Med Taxi transport service was a complete weight lifted off our shoulders. Their prices are reasonable and they are fabulous at communicating. We communicated before or trip through WhatsApp, informing them of our dates and the transportation we needed. They took us to Essaouira and back to Marrakesh airport on our last day. Realistically, there are probably cheaper transport options you could find last minute, but they had great reviews, and we were really covering our bases to not get scammed. They were easy breezy and put our minds at ease having it booked beforehand.

Med Taxi price is 50 euros each way, total.

If you choose to not go with Med Taxi and use a different transport service, as always, be sure to confirm the price before getting into the taxi. Also, clarify that it is total and not per person.

Day 7 – Essaouira

Finish your trip relaxing on the beach or exploring Essaouira’s historic port. Don’t forget to snap a pic of the beautiful blue boats!

Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira is such a lovely town that requires it’s own in-depth guides. If you are lucky enough to fit this gem into your Morocco itinerary, you can peek my Essaouira Travel Guide and/or my Essaouira Pocket Guide. WiFi is spotty so I really do recommend downloading the free Pocket Guide to keep on your phone!

That concludes the Best 1-Week Itinerary for Morocco! If you are having any doubts about making the leap to this incredible country, I must urge you to go! Enter the country with an open-mind, respectfulness, and prepare to be totally amazed.

-Essaouira Travel Guide

-The Ultimate Sahara Desert Tour

-15 Photos that will Inspire you to go to Morocco

-Essaouira Pocket Guide

Essaouira Travel Guide

Essaouira Travel Guide

Essaouira, Morocco

Essaouira is a fishing town located in the Western region of Morocco. A stop we nearly overlooked during our time in Morocco, came to be one of our favorite parts of our trip. We recommend spending two days in this charming little port town.

How to get to Essaouira – MED Taxi

There are a few different transport options. Essaouira does have an airport. Alternatively, you can find transport services from major cities such as Marrakesh. MED Taxi, which was 50 euros each way, is my preferred taxi service.

Med Taxi even lets you stop along the road when you see something totally insane, like this…

goats in a tree
goats in a tree

Where to stay – Dar Skala BNB

We stayed in “Dar Skala Essaouira” Airbnb, which was fantastic. It was one of the best Airbnb experiences I’ve had. Jorge greeted us warmly upon arrival and gave us a map along with tips for the best experience during our time here. You can expect to wake up to a delicious breakfast, and enjoy it on Jorge’s rooftop while watching the waves of the sea crash against the beach.

Dar Skala BNB, Essaouira
Dar Skala BNB, Essaouira

Where to Eat – Gusto Italia & Triskala

Gusto Italia is not traditional Moroccan food, but offers some delicious Italian, which you may be craving after eating traditional Moroccan dishes all week! Triskala was so beautifully decorated and is where you’ll find your traditional Moroccan food.

What to do in Essouira

We visited during December, and the town was nearly empty. I assume during peak tourism, it’s quite busy during the day with all the day trip tours from Marrakech. This is why I recommend spending 2 days here, so you get to explore it when it’s more quiet in the evenings. Overall, it should be MUCH more low key than Marrakech.

1. Explore the Port.

Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, Morocco

Exploring the port is one of the main things you’ll want to during your time in Essaouira. I would even suggest visiting during twice, both during the morning and late evening so you can get a glimpse of the morning craziness and the quiet nighttime.

2. Shop in the Medina.

Essaouira Medina

The Medina of Essaouira is much more manageable than Marrakesh’s gigantic maze. It has a lot of similar things that you’ll find in the Marrakesh markets, only they will be cheaper! Shopkeepers were much more tame in the Essaouira markets. They greeted you warmly and left you alone as you did your shopping. It was a breath of fresh air in comparison to the Marrakesh medina, where people would be badgering you to buy left and right! The historical Essaouira Medina is listed as a UNESCO site.

Shopping tip – buy a Moroccan scarf! They are a cheap souvenir that you can pack easily in your luggage.

3. Watch the sunset on the beach.

Morocco wins hands down for the prettiest sunsets I’ve seen. Laying on the beach watching the sun go down was certainly a nice way to end our trip. One of my greatest appeals to Morocco is that you get the beach, city, and desert all within a reasonable driving distance. It adds so much variety to your trip!

Essaouira Beach

4. Get a traditional Hammam & Massage at Azur Spa

As we were approaching the end of our trip, we were totally exhausted. We decided to take advantage of the cheap prices and booked ourselves a massage and traditional hammam. We had no clue what a Moroccan Hammam was and didn’t have the internet to really do the research. So, we said yes (it was only $12), and oh man were we in for a treat. We were told to strip down and get completely naked. Next, buckets of water were poured on our heads while we were bathed. It was all so comical as we had absolutely no idea what we had gotten ourselves into. We couldn’t stop laughing, I’m sure the nice spa ladies thought we were totally nuts.

All jokes aside, I’m glad I got to experience a classic cleansing technique of Middle Eastern culture. Azur Spa was so beautiful! We were greeted with delicious mint tea while we gazed around at the rose petals and fountains decorated throughout. It was such a peaceful place to enjoy a massage after an exhausting trip.

That concludes a perfect trip to the beautiful port town of Essaouira!

Essaouira was a stop that was nearly looked over when planning our itinerary. It’s really quite a gem of a town that is entirely different than the rest of Morocco. If you are looking for an experience that is both cultural and relaxing, this is the place for you.

Essaouira, Morocco
Essaouira, Morocco

Click here for the Essaouira Pocket Guide. This is the perfect guide to screenshot, save, or pin for your travels.

Essaouira Pocket Guide

The Ultimate Sahara Desert Tour

15 Photos that will Inspire you to Book a Trip to Morocco

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How to Spend 72 Hours in Dublin

How to Spend 72 Hours in Dublin

Dublin is full of beautiful sights, incredible food, and beer… lots and lots of beer! Here is my recommendation on How to spend 72 hours in Dublin.

72 Hours in Dublin
72 Hours in Dublin!

How To Spend 72 Hours in Dublin

Before we dive into how to successfully spend 72 hours in Dublin, I’ll quickly brief you on the geography of Dublin and where you’ll want to stay.

Dublin is divided by a bridge, presenting you with the North and South sides. The North is generally more underprivileged and the South has more money. The difference is pretty obvious as you cross the bridge.

Although lower economic class may transfer as “danger” in your mind, that’s not really the case, Dublin is very safe all around. Personally, the Northside was way more my style and I felt like it was true Dublin.

The south side is significantly more touristy and expensive. The entirety of Dublin is very walkable, so do not worry about transportation. You can cross one end of the city to another in less than 45 minutes.

Accommodation

I’ve stayed at Jacobs Inn and Isaacs Hostels during my trips to Dublin. They are both wonderful options and honestly some of the nicest hostels i’ve ever stayed at. Both are located on the North-side, but very close to the bridge.

Book directly on their websites to get the cheapest rates. Book in advance, these hostels are well known and book up fast! If hostels aren’t your thing, I recommend booking an Airbnb. Just make sure it’s located in the city of either the North or the South, and not somewhere where you’ll be stuck in the suburbs.

Food

There are so many good food options in Dublin. When in doubt, check out TripAdvisor to find something that will suit you, or just walk the streets until you find a pub with food.

One issue I did encounter was the pubs stop serving food really early! By 7 pm you may find yourself struggling to find a pub that offers food. If you find this problem, a restaurant you can always count on is Counter. This is NOT authentic Irish food, and it’s actually an American style restaurant, haha! But the food is incredible, and they serve until late. Counter is located on the Southside.

Nightlife

If you are staying at Jacob’s or Isaacs Hostels, I highly recommend participating in their hostel led pub crawl! No worries if you chose a different accommodation, there are loads of independent led pub crawls in Dublin, just google one to participate in!

If pub crawls aren’t your style, one of my favorite bars/clubs in Dublin was one a local actually brought me too, and it’s called Sin é. This place is AWESOME! The music and vibe are fantastic, and they have a grunge basement that attracts all the hipsters in Dublin. This is most definitely a place where the local’s hangout, and a great alternative if your not into tourist pub crawls. Sin é is located on the Northside.

Day 1 – Free Walking Tour & Trinity College

Free Walking tour:

Start your day off with a free walking tour. I’m a big fan of free walking tours and try to do them in every city I can. They are a cheap educational experience and it’s a great way to meet other travelers, especially when your solo! Although it says “free,” do not forget to tip your guide.

Tour guides are very well educated on their tour topic and have had loads of training to ensure you have a great experience. I recommend tipping 10 euros per person. Although it tends to vary on the value of the euro in each country, 10 is pretty standard.

While you have someone who has extensive knowledge of the city, be sure to take advantage of that and get restaurant and entertainment recommendations – they will know best!

Book of Kells at Trinity College:

After your free walking tour, visit Trinity College Book Of Kells Exhibition. This is something you do not want to skip over while visiting Dublin. It doesn’t take much of your time, and the sight is absolutely stunning. This is a very saturated tourist sight, and I highly recommend buying your ticket in advance online.

If you are there purely for photography of the “long room” you MUST book a slot for the earliest time slot, which changes on the time of year. Mine was very early at peak tourist season, and I was there by 8 am.

I had actually gone twice to the Book of Kells, once the day before to actually read through the history and take my time in the museum. The second time was the next day and I was able to use my ticket for re-entry, and I rushed past the museum to the long room to grab my photo. By 8:01 am the entire place will be flooded with tourists, so you have to be quick!

After a full day of tours and sightseeing, I recommend just taking your time to walk around Dublin and enjoy the many pubs and live music.

Long Room Library – Book of Kells, Trinity College Dublin

Day 2 – Cliffs of Moher or Giant’s Causeway Tour

Unfortunately with only 3 days in a popular city, you just can’t do it all! Both the Cliffs of Moher and Giant’s Causeway are fantastic tours that depart from Dublin and you will have to choose which one will best suit you.

I have done both tours and found that I enjoyed the Cliffs of Moher more. However, fog can heavily ruin your experience if it is blocking the cliffs, so it is a bit of risk. I booked both tours through Paddy Wagon and highly recommend them.

I enjoyed these tours because the driving distance is several hours to both destinations, and they do a great job by breaking it up with fun sights and stops along the way!

Dublin Cliffs of Moher
Cliffs of Moher
The Dark Hedges in Ireland. A Game of Thrones filming location!

Day 3 – The National Gallery of Ireland and/ or Guinness Tour

The National Gallery of Ireland is located and Dublin and it is one of the most unexpected gems in the city. I’ve visited art galleries all around Europe, and this is one of my favorites. The architecture and layout of the rooms are worth seeing itself. The best part of the gallery is, it’s free! Expect to spend about 3-4 hours at the gallery if you are a lover of art.

After the gallery, I recommend spending your last day in Dublin finishing up anything that you wanted to do. Shopping, exploring, catching a movie, whatever you please! You could also do a very popular Guinness tour. I opted to not do this, because I don’t really enjoy Guinness and it was just a bit overpriced for me.

Pro tip – If you depart Dublin on the evening of day 3 and don’t want to carry your luggage, hostels will often keep them for you. Even if you aren’t staying at a hostel, it may be worth to ask if you could pay a few euros to leave your luggage there, the reception is very nice and laid back.

The National Gallery of Ireland
The National Gallery of Ireland

That concludes a full 72 hours or 3 days of Dublin!

This itinerary was based on highlights of my own experiences in Dublin and can be switched around to accommodate your interests and time.

Although 72 hours isn’t nearly enough time to explore this historic city, I think it’s the perfect amount of time to get a taste of what it has to offer. Enjoy your time in a wonderful city!