In the past decade, Hong Kong has risen in the ranks as one of the most expensive cities in the world, no doubt deterring budget travelers from making a trip to the city. In a place where a cup of coffee costs upwards of $7 USD and a one-day ticket to Hong Kong Disneyland is priced at $75 USD, it is easy to assume that all of Hong Kong is expensive. The truth, however, is that visiting Hong Kong is affordable – as we proved on our recent trip to the city. To help other travelers experience Hong Kong without breaking the bank, we’ve designed a 3-Day Hong Kong Itinerary on a Budget – including actual costs and cost-saving tips.
Before we even set foot in the city, I was dreaming about the delicious things to eat in Hong Kong. I fantasized about platters of steamed dumplings and bowls of steaming noodles. My thoughts ran wild over the onslaught of wontons I was certain to consume. Our 3-day Hong Kong itinerary was packed with iconic sightseeing and dazzling viewpoints, but I would be lying if I didn’t admit that I was most excited about the food in Hong Kong.
During our time in the city, we feasted – no doubt ingesting heaps more calories than daily recommended. Although laden with carbohydrates and sodium (and probably a good dose of MSG, too), the Hong Kong dishes we consumed delivered on deliciousness. From street food stalls to Michelin-rated restaurants, we sampled as much of the Hong Kong cuisine as possible – and never paid more than $7 USD for a dish. With a desire to get a good taste of Hong Kong, we often relied on staff’s suggestions and ordered two to four different menu items at each restaurant. Truly, nothing disappointed – and a few Hong Kong eats exceeded our expectations.
The very first time we stepped foot in Croatia, it was in the city of Split. Even bleary-eyed and cranky after a long red-eye flight, we were smitten by the harbor city and its long waterfront lined with cafes. As Kris sipped a beer and watched the steady stream of ships come and go, I slipped through a narrow passage to explore the remains of Diocletian’s Palace. We only had a few hours in Split – as we were catching a ferry to island-hop down the coast to Dubrovnik – but our stop was long enough to whet our appetite for the city. As we sailed away, we already knew we’d be back for a future trip.
Makarska has long appealed to holidaying tourists eager to soak up the sun and party late into night – which just happen to be two of the best things to do in Makarska. The pebbly beaches, stretching or 1.5 miles, sit under the gaze of Biokovo Mountain and are sandwiched between the cool waters of the Adriatic Sea and shaded gardens of evergreens. At the center of Makarska is the historic Old Town boasting dozens of restaurants and a pleasant harbor filled with gently rocking boats. The nightlife options are slim, but that fact is overcome by a unique and iconic club in a seaside cave.
The historic city of Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina is both charming and complicated; idyllic and evocative. The first sight of the centerpiece bridge makes visitors swoon – but seeking out lesser-visited corners of the city can result in an everlasting love. When we visit Mostar, we like to dig into the history, venture into nature and connect with locals. Since we’ve spent more time in Mostar than most tourists, we’ve devised a list of 21 things to do in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina to help other travelers experience the city.
Warsaw, Poland surprised us. When we decided to take a long layover in the city, we anticipated spending time working. However, we quickly became enamored by Warsaw and pushed our work aside to make the most of our stay in the city. The resilient history – from royal to uprising to rebuilding – provided an engaging storyline for our visit. By the end of our trip, we were completely dazzled by the city and already devising a plan for a return trip. To help other travelers enjoy the city like we did, we created a 3-Day Warsaw Itinerary that includes the highlights of the city – as well as few hidden gems.
Tbilisi, Georgia isn’t just a city you visit, it’s a city you experience. That means over-indulging in carb-loaded cuisine, accepting shots of homemade chacha (and trying not to wince as the potent liquor hits your stomach), tripping over broken sidewalks in the Old Town while wondering in amazement at the barely-standing buildings…and making a visit to the Tbilisi sulphur baths.
The ancient Abanotubani District sits below the imposing fortress; the brick, domed rooftops of the baths bubbling up like the water itself. The district is the most historic part of the city, as according to legend, it was the sulphur springs that enticed King Vakhtang Georgasali to settle the land and declare it the new capital city in the 5th century AD. At the height of popularity, there were more than 60 bathhouses in Tbilisi where people could get squeaky clean or stay for a soak, letting the curing Sulphur water ease their ailments. Fast-forward to today: there are five surviving bathhouses in the Abanotubani District where locals and travelers can experience a sulphur bath.
At first glance, Tbilisi can be overwhelming. The contrasting architectural styles, the congested and chaotic city streets and an alphabet that is more beautiful than decipherable can all boggle the mind. It is a complex city with an ancient history and a recently regained independence. The Georgian capital city dates to the 5th century AD, although there had been settlements on the land as early as the 4th century BC. Tbilisi is where Europe meets Asia and was on the historic route of the Silk Road. It has long been an important cultural and political center of the Caucasus. Our Tbilisi Self-Guided Walking Tour is an introduction to the sights of the city – old and new. (Map and tips below.)
Once upon a time in the land of Bohemia, there was a beautiful town nestled on the banks of a curving river. On top of a craggy hill was a mighty castle where the royal family lived. Through the centuries, the town retained its medieval appearance; it escaped destruction by war or natural disaster. Today, that pristinely preserved town – Cesky Krumlov, Czech Republic – invites visitors to step back in time onto cobblestone streets and walk the same paths of those from long ago.
Prague’s Old Town is awash with an array of colorful and intricately-detailed buildings, many of which are centuries old. We strolled the streets wide-eyed; we were in awe at every turn. However, as stunningly beautiful as Prague is up close, leaving the curving cobblestone lanes of the Old Town to seek out vantage points offered breathtaking landscapes. The rust orange rooftops, towering church spires and grand castle are spectacular from afar – perhaps even more so than up close. We found several scenic viewpoints in Prague – some natural, some manmade, some elvated, some at ground level – that provided sweeping vistas of the ornate city.