Surprisingly Vegan Friendly Cities/Towns In Europe + Restaurant Recommendations

Travel, Vegan

I know for me, when deciding where to travel to, I always take into consideration how vegan friendly the city is and how other vegans have rated it. However, after going to the notoriously vegan friendly cities – London, Amsterdam, Budapest (which are all amazing and definitely recommended by me), I found myself wanting to go to countries and cities that weren’t so famous on the vegan radar. This didn’t stop me going of course, and although in some cities – I’m looking at you Split, Croatia – I lived off tomato pasta, I still had a lovely time. On the other hand, I was pleasantly surprised by so many countries with how vegan friendly they were and I’m much more likely to recommend these countries to friends and family.

I hope this list shines some light on to other countries in Europe worth making the trip to try their vegan food and you add a few of these countries to your bucket list because they’re worth it!

I’ve also included some restaurant suggestions that you shouldn’t miss when visiting each location!

Belgrade, Serbia

When I first decided to go to Serbia, I really wasn’t thinking about the vegan restaurants or how easy it would be. I am interested in the history of Yugoslavia and when I heard they have a Museum of Yugoslavia, I started making plans to visit. But wow, I was so impressed by the amount of vegan restaurants and supermarket goodies they had. I remember the supermarket we went into had a whole free from section which was filled with vegan/dairy free foods. When we got off the night bus from Montenegro, we were starving and stumbled upon a bakery in the Zeleni Venac neighbourhood, where we went in and explained that we were vegan, and they had so many vegan choices including a mushroom pastry and a vegan cheese pastry. Unfortunately this place has closed down now, however, I still think it shows that even in small bakeries, there are still vegan options.

I have also heard a lot about the Serbian Orthodox Fasting Period and how it is perfect for vegans. This is an eight week fast starting 40 days before Easter Sunday. During this time, Serbian Orthodox avoid meat, animal products including dairy and eggs, as well as fish with a backbone, they do still however eat honey. This will make it even easier to travel vegan in Serbia if you visit during this time!

When visiting Belgrade, I would recommend checking out Radost Fina Kuhinjica which is a secret veggie and vegan restaurant. It can be quite difficult to find as it’s located in a house, but once you follow Google maps to the location, you will see people eating in a restaurant through the window. This does feel a bit rude, maybe because I’m British, but you just need to knock on the window and someone will come out and get you. It’s worth it because the food is delicious, even my non vegan friend said this food was some of the best so take your meat eating friends here.

Vilnius, Lithuania

If you read my best vegan desserts in Europe blog post, you’ll already know how much I loved Vilnius and how amazing their vegan food was. Not just for desserts, but for lunches and dinners too. They even have a veggie and vegan shop called Veggo Shop to pick up your milks, cheeses, meats, that kind of thing. Perfect for trying new products and cooking something for yourself. In my other blog post, I recommended a place called Holy Donut which is perfect if you have a sweet tooth, they serve a selection of donuts as well as a banana and chocolate freak shake which is to die for! I think when a dessert shop like Holy Donut has more than one vegan option, it shows just how vegan friendly the city is.

Whilst in Vilnuis, you should definitely visit GYVAS Baras which is a 100% vegan restaurant. This started out as a veggie restaurant but after only a few months, they became Lithuania’s first fully vegan restaurant. GYVAS Baras opened in 2015 so they definitely know what they’re doing when it comes to vegan food. They also have outdoor seating which is lovely if you visit in the summer, like I did, and the staff are all really sweet. One of the waitresses gave me some tips about where to visit whilst in Vilnius which I thought was so kind.

Manchester, England

I completely understand why London is at the top of the list when talking about vegan cities in the UK, and it does have some amazing vegan restaurants, however, I think Manchester is truly overlooked. Vegans make up about 2% of the UK so of course so many major cities are catering to them and Manchester is no exception, and because it’s not the capital city, it’s no where near as busy with tourists compared to London. I used to study at University near Manchester so I’ve eaten out here more times than I can count and every time I’ve been so happy with the food. I actually used to make my way into Manchester just to eat at these two restaurants because they were so good. If you’re visiting London, it’s worth it to take a trip up to Manchester.

I will leave two recommendations for Manchester since I know the area a lot more compared to the other locations. Firstly is Lotus Vegetarian Kitchen, this did close down for a while but it has opened back up. This is a fully vegetarian Chinese restaurant, however most of it is vegan. They have so many vegan versions of classic Chinese dishes such as duck pancakes, prawn toast and egg fried rice. It’s amazing what they do and everything is delicious. My second must-visit in Manchester is Little Aladdin which is a fully vegan restaurant offering curries as well as American style food such as burgers and chicken nuggets. The stars of the show really are their curries; they’re all made from scratch by the family and are made with love. You can try three curries with rice for only £5 which I think is an amazing price!

Skopje, North Macedonia

Are the Balkans just great for vegans or what? Not only does Skopje have a variety of vegan restaurants, they also have so many vegan and accidently vegan snacks available in supermarkets, and my personal favourite the BBQ Lays that are vegan friendly and unfortunately we don’t have in the UK but taste incredible. I even found that many restaurants and takeaways serving mainly meat had vegan options. When I was visiting, I went to La Puetra which is a burrito place that had four vegan choices, which I was surprised about. Skopje is also really inexpensive, and two burritos only cost us £2.80. The perfect destination for a vegan on a budget, proving that you don’t need to spend a lot of money when travelling as a vegan!

For really good vegan food when in Skopje, you have to visit Vegan 365 Kitchen, it’s only a short walk away from the Bazaar. There is a wall dedicated to vegan and veggie posters, all with really sweet messages on them about loving all living beings and reasons to go vegan. The staff are so so lovely, we were trying to order a cab to take us to the bus station but we were having trouble with language barriers and pricing so one of the ladies who worked there called the cab company for us and sorted it all out, which was really sweet. The food was incredible, I had a cheeseburger and the sauce that came with it was amazing. Also, heads up if you love gherkins, this is the perfect place as they filled my burger up with gherkins, I love them but I understand not everyone shares this same opinion.

Freetown Christiania, Denmark

Okay so this isn’t actually a city but rather a commune located in Copenhagen but since it is its own little town and I haven’t seen many people talk about the vegan scene in Christiania I decided to add it to this list. When I first heard about Christiania, it was actually my main reason for going to Copenhagen, I was fascinated by a community that has its own rules independent from the rest of Denmark and where cannabis is being sold in the street from market like stalls. If you don’t know much about Christiania, it’s worth searching up for yourself and I’ve never visited anywhere quite like it. It has beautiful landscape views, gorgeous nature and amazing art dotted around the whole town, and free toilets which is very rare in Denmark! It is also completely car free which is one of the reasons I think it’s kept so nice so make sure you walk or take public transport to the gates.

When visiting Freetown Christiania or Copenhagen in general, you must visit Morgenstedet which is a fully veggie café though from what I remember everything was vegan when I stopped by. They change dishes constantly so you can go a few times and try new foods. They have a selection of different salads and hot dishes and you decide on a few to try out. I always think this type of café is a great idea because I’m so indecisive when there’s more than one vegan option and I want to try everything. The food here tastes amazing, everything tastes homecooked which I love and you can tell that the chefs put a lot of effort into the food and making sure it tastes incredible. If the weather is nice, they have a cute outdoor seating area with wooden tables which I think is perfect for the atmosphere.

This is the end of my surprisingly vegan friendly hotspots in Europe. I really hope you enjoyed reading this and were able to add a few more countries to your list of must-visits. You definitely won’t be lost for food in these cities. Let me know what country surprised you with how vegan friendly it was!

I hope you’re having a lovely day or night wherever you are!

How To Survive The Night Bus

Travel

For me, taking the night bus is always a great idea. Not only are the tickets cheaper, which is perfect when you’re on a budget but it’s also the most eco-friendly mode of transport if you’re trying to cover long distance. I love arriving at my destination at the start of the day, usually take a quick nap before heading out and I still have the full day to explore.

Sometimes if you’re staying in a hostel, they might let you check in early if the bed is free. I usually make my way to the hostel and ask them when the earliest I can check in is, if not, I can at least leave my bag there and grab a fresh juice or some light breakfast. If I’m staying in an Airbnb, I also message the host, let them know my situation and ask them when the earliest I can check in is. Sometimes, again if the room is free, you can check in pretty early.

But before you can get to checking in, you have to ride the dreaded night bus. I cannot sleep sitting up so for me this is a big issue but I feel like I’ve taken enough night buses and have an understanding of the best things to do. These tips can also be used when riding the night train however night buses are usually more uncomfortable and with less space. So, here they are, my tips for surviving the night bus.

Arrive early at the bus station

Arriving early at the bus station means that you get a higher chance of picking the seat that you want, whether this be window or aisle. This also means that before someone has sat next to you, if they do, you can sort yourself out, get out everything you need and not have to try to do things whilst knocking the person next to you. I try to arrive about 30 minutes before my bus is meant to depart, this also leaves me extra time in case any issues come up. For example, when I got to the bus station in Belgrade, Serbia, we had to pay a fee to enter, and because this was our last day, we didn’t have any spare money. Luckily because we arrived early, we had enough time to get money out using the cash machine and still make it to the bus on time. If you’re travelling with a friend, getting on the bus early also means you have a higher chance of being able to sit together. I know how horrible it is having to talk to your friends through strangers and not having each other to lean on when trying to sleep.

Wear comfortable clothing

Although I usually wear comfortable clothing throughout my whole trip (never any jeans!), there are still some important tips for what type of clothes I would recommend, including that they need to be comfortable. If you don’t think you’d be able to sleep in it at home, imagine how it would be trying to sleep in them sitting up on a moving bus. I would also recommend no shorts; if the seats are a leather type material, you’re likely going to stick to them and if not, they’re probably going to be itchy and cause awful irritation. Best to stick to covering your legs. I also wouldn’t recommend wearing a skirt or a dress. If you’re moving around a lot or putting your legs over the other seat, it’s a lot more comforting knowing that there isn’t a chance your underwear is going to be on show. For me, I always wear loose trousers and a comfy t-shirt, this has worked wonders and I always feel comfortable, well as comfortable as I can be.

Decide on your perfect seating arrangement

I know some people prefer the aisle seat so they can stretch their legs and get up whenever they need without causing any disturbances but personally, I much prefer the window seat. Even though you can’t see anything because it’s so dark, I can rest my head on the window if the roads aren’t too bumpy or I can lean my arm on the window and prop my head on. This is all personal preference but I’d give it a think before boarding the bus so the journey can be as pleasant as possible. Another seating arrangement to think about is which part of the bus you’re going to sit in. The back of the bus usually feels the bumps in the roads the most whilst the front of the bus can give the clearest view of the road and you’re more likely to know when it’s your stop. I mostly try and sit in the middle of the bus, it’s not as bumpy and I haven’t had any issues yet with missing my stop as the driver will usually turn the lights on and make an announcement. If you’re lucky, the driver might even wake you up which is what happened to me when I arrived in Kosovo – very personal service.

Take off your shoes

As soon as I get on the bus, or any transport for that matter, I take my shoes off. I feel so much more comfortable without shoes on and if I’m doing a long journey, I want to feel relaxed. I still keep my socks on, of course. This also means if I put my feet on the chairs, I’m not making them dirty with my shoes. If taking your shoes off and having your socks on the bus floor feels disgusting to you, which I can understand, I would suggest bringing a thick pair of socks with you, just to put on whilst on the bus. When you put your shoes back on at the end, take these socks off and put them back in your bag. This way you’re not wearing the same socks that have touched the bus floor for any longer than you need to. This will most likely make it easier to sleep since we don’t sleep with shoes on normally.

Bag security

I know it’s a big worry for a lot of people that their belongings will get taken if they fall asleep, especially when you’re carrying so many important items such as passport and money. I also have this worry, there’s a few things I do in this situation, depending on how safe the area I’m travelling in is as well as how safe I feel on the bus. Firstly, if you feel really unsafe, I would suggest padlocking your bag; any potential thief wouldn’t be able to undo your bag easily and would have to take it from you to get into it. With the padlock, you could wrap it around your leg, this means it’s hidden more since it’s under the seat and if anyone was to try to take it, you would feel it moving on your foot. I do this a lot even when travelling around my home city of London since it makes me feel a lot more at ease. For more security, if you’re sleeping, you could hug your bag or use it as a pillow. If you’re hugging it, I would put it on backwards and then hug it, this means it’s less likely to fall on the floor if you let go of it. If you’re using it as a pillow, push all the belongings to one side and lay on the empty part. It won’t raise you up unfortunately but you’ll feel it if anyone was to try and get inside.

Bring a jacket

For me, a jacket has so many purposes when travelling on public transport. The most obvious one, of course is wearing it, even if the weather is warm outside during the day, it can get cold at night or the bus may have really strong air conditioning that makes it colder than expected. I have been on a bus before where they gave us blankets but this has only happened once to me and you can’t guarantee how clean they will be. I mainly use my jacket as a pillow though, you can fold it or screw it up and rest your head on it, either against the window or laying down on the seat. This is a real life saver and helps me sleep a lot better. I have heard of some people taking neck pillows or even regular pillows, but I want to pack as light as possible and I would always take a jacket with me anyway.

Must haves

There are a few things I always make sure I have in my bag with me when boarding the bus. It’s likely you will have to put your large bag under the bus so make sure all this stuff is inside your smaller day bag which you will have on the bus with you. To help me sleep, I always have earphones and an eye mask, if you don’t want to listen to music or don’t think they drown out the sound enough, earplugs will be a better purchase. I usually play some relaxing music, rain sounds or guided meditation to help me fall asleep, make sure your devices are charged and bring your charger on the bus with you as most buses have charging ports. I also always carry water with me, most buses do have a toilet in addiction to stopping at service stations for toilet breaks, however, if you’re worried about using the toilets, I would buy drinks with electrolytes to keep you hydrated. I always get hungry when travelling on buses, or even just boredom eating at times, so I usually pack snacks such as crisps, nuts, cereal bars, and fruit, things that are easy to eat and don’t make too much mess. Finally, I also bring hand sanitizer, after using the bathroom and washing my hands, I like to put on hand sanitizer just to make sure my hands are extra clean. Also before eating, I like to put on hand sanitizer as I have no idea what type of germs are on the bus.

Don’t force sleep

Sometimes, sleep just isn’t going to happen. It’s horrible, and you end up getting to your location extremely tired but instead of getting frustrated, just try to enjoy the journey and relax. If you are stressed out and thinking too much about sleep, it’s going to be even harder to fall asleep. In this situation, I would usually put on a podcast and focus on that, I don’t worry about getting to sleep as I know a nap at the hostel with refresh me and once I’m up and out, with either the sun in my face or the freezing wind, I’ll be wide awake and won’t be thinking about how tired I am. I also can go to bed a little bit earlier on the first night if I’m feeling really tired. Usually If I’m focusing on a podcast, I find that I’ve fallen asleep without even realising.

Bring things to do

Most night buses come with a light above your head so you can see what you’re doing without waking the rest of the bus up. I know I’m not going to be able to sleep the whole time I’m on the bus so I need something to pass the rest of my time. I will always bring a book with me, also a great activity to make you sleep. I also always have my phone; listening to music, podcasts or watching videos is a great way to fill your time. A notebook and pen is always in my bag too, this is to make any notes about what I want to do whilst I’m in my new destination. I know for me, when travelling from one country to another, It’s hard to remember everything in each country so I use this time to plan out what I want to do on each day, see when things are open as it’s common for things to be closed on certain days depending on the country. Finally, I also bring some sort of puzzle book, this helps me to stay awake towards the end of the journey too and doesn’t take up too much space.

My favourite sleep position

Lastly, I wanted to share with you my favourite sleeping position when travelling on the night bus. This only works if you have two seats to yourself or if the person you’re travelling with doesn’t mind you laying on their lap. I sit on the seat near the window and lay my body down over the other seat or over my travel buddy, with my feet still on the floor and usually with my jacket as a pillow. This does give me pins and needles after a while but I can usually get quick sleep in to feel refreshed, I usually just shake my leg until they’re gone and then make my way back to this position. I find if you have your head near the window, you will knock your head on the wall as the bus twists and turns. Make sure your head isn’t hanging off the chair!

Those are my tips for surviving the night bus, the first one night feel like a nightmare but the more you do them, the easier they’ll become. I hope you enjoy taking the night bus and are able to get a few broken sleeps in here and there and thanks so much for reading. Let me know if you have any more tips, I’ll definitely be taking the night bus again soon!

How I Was Able To Save Up To Travel In My Late Teens And Early Twenties

Travel

I feel like this is a great post to write and read at the moment, with no one being able to travel, this might be the perfect time for you to start saving for your next big adventure. Of course, being able to travel is a luxury and I understand some may not be able to be in the position to travel in the near future due to their funds.

Throughout my late teens, I wanted to travel. A friend and I went to Paris together at 16 to celebrate finishing our GCSEs and it was so exciting. I spent many years after that trying to find and convince someone to go travelling with me, yet I had no luck. So when I was 18 years old, I decided I wasn’t going to spend my life waiting for anyone else, I was going to go alone. This meant saving money, alone. I’m not rich, neither is my family, which is a common assumption that is made about me when I tell people I’ve been to 25 countries at the age of 22. It took a lot of time and effort to save this money and plan the trip but it was definitely worth it in the end and I’m so happy I did it.

I have compiled this list to help you reach your travel dreams, or even just save some extra pennies!

Prioritise travel

I think this is a pretty common tip that I saw for myself when searching up how to save money for travelling but I think it’s so important to talk about. It’s prioritising travel. If it’s a hobby that you’re really interested in and really want to start doing, you have to put this ahead of other hobbies or luxuries you already have. This can be difficult because you love all your other hobbies and activities, that’s why you’re doing them, but really sit down and think about which one you’re spending the most money on? Which one do you not really enjoy so much? Can I live without the newest gadget or the monthly spa trip? I’m not saying stop all your other hobbies completely, just be reasonable with what you need and don’t need. One hobby of mine is sewing, I already had my sewing machine and thread, so I made sure to only buy fabric when I really needed it or when I couldn’t use the scraps. This meant that when my pay check came in, the extra could go towards my travels.

Record expenses

If you’re not really sure why you don’t have money left over at the end of the week or month, I would suggest keeping a record on everything you buy. You can either do this with paper and pen, using an app or an Excel spreadsheet, there are many different ways to do this. Just note down what you buy, how much it was and even what type of purchase it was; eating out, food shopping, clothes, that sort of thing. At the end of the week or month, read over this report and see which areas most of your money is going to. If it’s things such as clothes, shoes or meals out, this will show you that it might be a good idea to cut back on those expenses. Continue to keep a track for the next few months to see if there’s any reoccurring habits or if any change has been made.

Set limits when going out

For me, this is one of the best tips that helped me to save money and it’s to set yourself a limit when you go out. If you’re going for dinner or drinks, don’t allow yourself to spend as much money as your heart desires. If you don’t trust yourself to be able to keep to the limit, only bring the cash out with you, leave your card at home. Tell your friends who you’re out with your limit as well so they won’t be tempted to buy you something on your behalf once you’ve run out of money. Setting limits might take a bit of getting used to as well as knowing how much to take out with you but after trial and error, you will realise you can have a great day or night with minimal money. Also, don’t set your limit too high, it’s tempting at first and probably the second time if you decided on a £5 limit the first time but it’s not worth it in the long run to set your limit to £100 every time you go out.

Put a certain percentage of money into savings

When my pay check came in every month, I usually put at least 25% into another savings account. Sometimes this was more if I could afford to, but at least 25%. You can make this any amount you can afford, even just 5% will help you to save up some money for a short trip. I never touched this money in savings, unless it was an emergency, and this part is very very important. I am always hearing my friends say “oh, I’ll just take money out of my savings for this drink or for this dress.” This is what you don’t want to do, this money stays in the savings account and the savings account only. I would also suggest that if you do need to take money out, try to replace it with your next pay if you’re able to, even if it means not giving yourself that extra lil treat this month. This really did help me and allowed me to see just how much money I was able to spend each month and still go travelling.

Free or cheaper activities with friends

If your friends suggest grabbing dinner or going to a bar, I would suggest to them staying home. You could cook for them, or each bring something to eat to share with each other. This is not something that needs to happen every time you meet with friends because it’s definitely nice to get out the house and eat out, but if you find you and your friends are going out a lot, this is something to think about. I think everyone is trying to save money too so I’m sure they’ll be happy about the chance to do so. Make this a fun night in, get some board games or card games, I’ve seen a lot of people doing those niche power point nights which looks hilarious and is free! If the weather is nice, a picnic or just a walk or hike can be a really inexpensive way to catch up with your friends and have a great day out. It’s usually about who you’re with that makes the day, not what you’re doing.

Working nights

I know being young, it’s hard to get a high paying job with no experience and you also most likely don’t want to start a career at this age if you’re planning to leave to travel. What I mean by this tip is searching for low level jobs where you can earn more for different reasons. For example, in the UK, if you work between the hours of 10pm and 6am, you will earn more for unsociable hours. Definitely have a search if this is the same where you are living. When I was 19, I worked in a warehouse doing night shift, I earned an extra £1.50 an hour just for working between those hours. This might not seem like much but it can add up if you’re working throughout the whole 8 hours from 10pm to 6am. It does suck at times, yes, but you can get used to it and it’s worth it to earn the extra money. I also did waitress for a while, this is because you can earn a lot of tips if you work at a good establishment, smile and are super nice to people, can feel fake but it’s worth it. I personally much preferred the warehouse work as you just put your headphones in and get to work. I worked for a supermarket, which is what I would recommend, the interview process was very easy and I believe they hire most people.

Sell your items

I’m not sure about you but I’ve accumulated a lot of things on my short time on this Earth. I have no idea how, I think I just hate to get rid of something in case I need it and it seems wasteful so I just keep it. I guess in a way this worked out for me as it meant I had a few things that I could sell. The easiest thing to sell seems to be clothes, especially with people shopping more second hand. I have sold a lot of my old clothes using Ebay, Depop and Vinted, I think it depends on what your style is but I would say just put them on multiple sites, that’s what I do. Not only does it feel good knowing your clothes are going to a new home, and not to landfill, you also get some extra cash. I really think these second hand selling sites are a great idea and worth looking into to sell your unwanted things.

Reduce unnecessary spending

There are so many small purchases throughout your week that might not seem like much at the time but they really add up. I know at the moment, when I go to work, occasionally I will buy myself some lunch from a local vegan place as a little treat. I think this is mainly due to Covid and not being able to eat out at the moment, and although I don’t spend much when I do this, I know it all adds up and I would have saved a lot of money bringing my own food everyday. If you’re struggling to save money, its important to look at these small purchases such as lunch or coffee and decide whether they are more important than saving money for your travels. Every time you want to buy lunch or a coffee, you could put this money into a jar or into your savings account to really see how much money you’re saving by leaving these out. I’m not saying never treat yourself, it’s really important to buy things that you want here and there, just be cautious of how often you’re doing it and how much money you’re spending.

Those are my favourite money saving tips that have helped me the most in my travels, and I really hope they helped you too. It can be difficult at the start to make changes and new habits so make sure you’re not too hard on yourself if you slip up or spend extra one month, it’s a learning process!

If you have any questions or any extra tips for me, please let me know, I always want to learn something new.

The Best Vegan Desserts In Europe

Vegan

Whenever I eat out, whether this be in London or elsewhere, I love to get dessert. Being a vegan, there is a common misconception that the only dessert available to us is fruit, which of course has been the only option before, however, I’ve been lucky enough to try some of the most amazing desserts and you wouldn’t even know they were vegan!

I usually find my vegan food hotspots using HappyCow, a great website and app filled with vegan and veggie restaurants, food trucks, and everything in between, including fully vegan supermarkets.

I really hope this blog post helps you when searching for that sweet treat on your next adventure, and you enjoy all the amazing food that comes with being a vegan.

Holy Donut in Vilnius, Lithuania

Holy Donut is a cute little café selling, of course, donuts. They have six vegan donuts which are clearly labelled as vegan so there is no confusion. When I was there, I got plain chocolate and chocolate with pistachio. I believe the signs for the donuts were only written in Lithuanian which is something to be expected, so I picked two that I thought looked the best.

Although the donuts were tasty, for me, the star of this place was the freak shake. Just look at it! They do only have one vegan freak shake which is banana and chocolate, I’m sorry if you don’t like banana! Luckily for me, I love the banana and chocolate combo, definitely one of my favourites. This milkshake was vanilla ice cream, soya milk, whipped cream, bananas, chocolate and black chocolate crumbs around the edge of the glass with a chocolate covered banana sticking out the top. I loved this milkshake so much I went to this place twice during my trip to Vilnius, pretty common for me to do this since I won’t have the chance to taste this again, for a while at least.

N’ice cream factory in Warsaw, Poland

To me, the concept of this place is really fun and I would recommend them for vegans and non-vegans. You start with a base, this is either soy based or sorbet for vegans, I went with the soy one and then you can pick other ingredients or treats to mix together, using liquid nitrogen to create an ice cream flavour. This includes things like biscuits/cookies, chocolate, nuts, berries and fruit. I’d never had this type of ice-cream before and was really interested in how it works and what it would taste like.

You could definitely play it safe if you go here and mix flavours together that you know work well together, therefore you won’t waste your money if it doesn’t taste good. My method for some reason was to just pick flavours I liked and hope for the best. I went for Oreo and Halva, which I really enjoyed and would recommend it to everyone reading.

Txarloska in Bilbao, Spain

This place I actually found accidently whilst in Bilbao, we had just left our Airbnb and were making our way to the main tourist spots when I spotted this fully vegan bakery, which made me really excited. I decided on the carrot cake and it was delicious. The cake was fluffy and light with a creamy cream cheese frosting on the top. They have a huge selection of cakes, muffins and cookies, some of which are gluten and sugar free that I’m sure will also be decadent and full of flavour. I love how this place takes vegan treats and caters it to other allergies and requests.

I love to support and eat at fully vegan places, so I was really happy to find this place. They also sell other vegan treats such as chocolate bars so I also picked up one of those. If I didn’t find this on my last day in Bilbao, I definitely would have gone back there to try the other cakes they had.

MakaMaka in Split, Croatia

I’m not sure everyone will count this as a dessert or even something worth mentioning as it’s already vegan without any adjustments but sometimes, when travelling, you need something sweet that’s also light and refreshing, especially in a hot country like Croatia. This is where MakaMaka comes in, with their açaí bowls. I ordered this from a food stall by the coast although it seems they have a restaurant, also in Split.

This açaí bowl was much needed when exploring the streets of Croatia in August; it kept me hydrated, gave me energy and was so tasty. This was very easy to eat whilst I continued to explore the city. They had a few different choices for toppings at the stall and they have more at the restaurant itself so both are a great choice. This is topped with banana, granola, hemp seeds, almonds and peach. This was called the Rio Açaí Bowl. If you’re from the UK, or any colder climate place, and you haven’t eaten peaches in a hot climate country, please do, it will change your life.

Arthur Ice Cream in Bratislava, Slovakia

Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of my ice-cream from here (was obviously too excited to eat it) but it’s the only place I’m going to get my ice-cream from in the future when in Bratislava. They have a selection of ice creams and sorbets, which I think is perfect. I’m not sure about other vegans but I know I’m sick of going to ice-cream shops and the only choice is sorbet.

Some of their ice-cream flavours include coffee, lavender, chocolate and pistachio. whilst their sorbet flavours include strawberry, pineapple, passionfruit and mango. All the flavours are clearly marked vegan so there is no confusion or hassle with having to ask. I went for the pistachio, which was incredibly creamy and the quality of the ice cream was amazing. These flavours don’t seem to be too common for vegans so it was great to be able to try these flavours again and they still taste just as good as I remember.

Those are my top vegan desserts I have come across whilst travelling Europe, I’m sure I have many more treats to try and I can’t wait to see what amazing creations people will come up with in the future for vegans! Whether this has helped you with picking your next holiday destination or just made you hungry, I am so thankful you took your time to read this and I hope it helped you.

If you’ve tried any of these or have any other recommendations for your favourite vegan dessert spots, please let me know. I would love to try the best vegan desserts throughout the whole world and maybe one day I will achieve this.

My Top Ten Tips To Help You Travel Like A Pro

Travel

When I left London for my first solo travel adventure, although I had researched into tips and tricks to ensure I did everything correctly, I made many mistakes. On the other hand, I also believe I did a few things correctly and now I couldn’t imagine not doing them, before and during my travels. They are even recommendations I have given to my friends who are interested in travel.

Travelling, like everything, is something that you get better at with time and experience, so don’t be disheartened if you make mistakes in the beginning or wish you did things differently.

If you have previously looked into travel tips, or know a few yourself, the obvious still applies such as be flexible with your travel dates and pack light but I’m really happy to share with you my top ten travel tips, and I really hope they help you out on your journey. 

Tip 1 – Check the location of your accommodation

This may sound like a really silly tip, as if you would rent accommodation miles from the city you are visiting, but what I mean by this is check what is nearby. If there are certain attractions you want to see, try and stay closer to them. I know when I first travelled, I was so cautious with spending too much money that I found the cheapest accommodation which stated it was in the city I was visiting and just booked it. Sometimes this worked out okay if the city itself was cheap however in more expensive cities, I sometimes ended up being a long walk away from what I actually wanted to see and where I wanted to explore. I’m not saying you need to splash out a ton of cash to find a great place to stay, just make sure you check the location and how far it is from everything. This will also save you money as you won’t be tempted to spend on public transport or a cab if you’re close to what you’re interested in. Airbnb is unable to give you addresses before booking so find the street name or the area which you can easily put into Google maps to get a general idea of where the accommodation is located.

Tip 2 – Always carry a padlock

Many hostels will provide you with a locker for your personal belongings, however you usually have to pay to use one of their padlocks. I was unaware of this before I started travelling, I was just very lucky that I carried a padlock with me on my bag, as I was checking it in/putting it under the bus and felt a lot safer with a padlock on. This meant that I was able to use this same padlock to lock my personal belongings away. If you are staying in a shared room, and feel worried about your luggage and personal belongings being taken, I would suggest two padlocks. Personally, I wasn‘t too worried about my luggage but I did have my deodorant stolen in Hungary so take from that what you will.   

Tip 3 – Find restaurants having deals 

For me, this tip was especially helpful when travelling in countries that I found to be expensive like Norway and Denmark and it is to google restaurants in the local area to see if they have any deals, such as a certain day of the week where they have discounts. Luckily in Norway, we found a pizza shop that offered 50% off all vegan and vegetarian pizzas on Mondays. We knew where we were going for dinner that night! This helped us to save a lot of money and doesn’t take too much time. You could do this before leaving your own country, or even whilst you are relaxing at your accommodation. I usually just Google something along the lines of ‘(city) food deals’ or ‘cheap food (city)’ of course, I usually add the word vegan to mine also. By the way, if you ever find yourself in Norway, the pizza restaurant is called Peppes Pizza. I would generally recommend eating local food but nothing wrong with eating here too.

Tip 4 – International bank card

When I first went travelling, I decided to use my UK bank card, and just called them to inform them that I was leaving the country (which I did at the ferry stop in Dover). When I looked back at my bank statements from that time, there were a lot of international transactions, and although it’s only a few pence here and there, it definitely adds up, and I probably spent over £100 just on those. So, I picked up an international card, the one I use is Monzo, it’s really easy to use; no transaction fees and I’ve never had an issue with it. I also recommend you use this card when booking bus or train tickets from a country that is not your home country as this will also incur a transaction fee.  

Tip 5 – Secret compartment

This is something I hadn’t thought of until I was shopping for items I might need on my travels and I found this sunscreen bottle that was actually empty for your belongings. I knew I had to purchase this straight away. I always made sure all my important documents such as passport, insurance information and bank notes for every country apart from the one I was in were kept in here. This meant that at quick glance, if anyone was to try and steal from me, they would be unlikely to take the sunscreen bottle. This definitely made me feel a lot safer and I would recommend everyone get one of these as they’re cheap too.

Tip 6 – Find unique activities

My favourite attractions are those that are different and unordinary, of course I love the classic tourist destinations but if you’re like me and have an interest in the weird and wonderful, I would recommend finding attractions from locals that not many people know about. For this, I usually use Atlasobscura.com, it’s a great website filled with one-of-a-kind experiences and a lot of these are cheaper than the popular tourist places, or sometimes free! Be aware though, some of these are very hard to find, although sometimes people leave comments with tips to help find them, or they may not be available anymore. Me and a friend once drove for miles to see an abandoned airport in Cyprus but when we got there, it had been turned into a military base and we were turned away. I will soon be making a blog post about the best, strange attractions I have been to.   

Tip 7 – Meet locals/don’t wear earphones too often

This is almost two tips in one, the first one I have seen before on many travelling tip posts and it’s to meet the locals. They will be able to help you with the language as well as show you exceptional locations that tourists are unaware of, and although there are many sites to help you meet new people, it is also very easy to meet people in public places. This is where the second half comes in, when I am in London, if I’m alone, I will spend most of my time with my headphones in, it’s become normal for me to do this. When I went travelling, I didn’t wear earphones when walking down the street however, I did wear them when on buses/trains/planes and sometimes when eating alone. In the beginning this made me feel more confident and less nervous, but I believe it stopped me meeting as many new people as I could have. On my last trip, I decided to not wear headphones at all unless I really didn’t think I was going to talk to anyone, such as in bed or if the bus was empty. I ended up talking to so many more people and making so many new friends. Other travellers and locals spoke to me more on public transport as well as whilst I was eating or having a hot drink.

Tip 8 – Smaller bag inside your larger bag

This tip is mainly only for if you’re travelling for a long period of time and have a larger bag, and it’s to carry a smaller bag inside. For me, this was the bag I used on a daily basis. When I was moving from one country to another, I filled this bag with everything I wanted to have with me on the bus/train from one country or city to another. This included snacks, drinks, chargers, book, and anything else you think you might need. This meant that when you had to put your larger bag under the bus, it was easy to pull this smaller bag out to have everything you need. If you’re short on space inside the larger bag, even just using a carrier bag will work and won’t take up any more space. I found this is be so convenient and so quick since you often want to get on the bus/train quick to get a good seat if it’s busy.

Tip 9 – Portable charger

Even when I’m around London, I carry my portable charger and I thought this was a common occurrence for everyone, especially when travelling, however, I quickly found that when I travelled with others, they didn’t carry a portable charger and always wanted to borrow mine. Using your phone so much for google maps and photos can really drain your battery, and it’s awful having to go all the way back to your accommodation to charge your phone, particularly if you’re alone, you really don’t want to be out without a charged phone. This is why I always carry a portable charger and it’s definitely an essential for me.

 Tip 10 – Eat some meals at your accommodation  

One of the easiest and cheapest meals for me to eat at my accommodation was breakfast, I hardly ever had breakfast included in my stay meaning I would have to find somewhere else to eat. There was usually a supermarket close by where cereal and milk were pretty cheap, this meant that not only had I saved money, I didn’t need to worry about where I was going to get breakfast. I could just get ready, eat breakfast and start my day of sightseeing. I also sometimes made something to take out for lunch such as a sandwich or pasta dish. Some accommodations, and mostly always in Airbnb’s, they had containers which you could borrow for the day to put your food in, if not, either buy one or bring one from home if you have space in your bag and know this is something you want to do. On one occasion, when travelling all day on a bus, I actually packed a lunch from home in a container which I was able to continuously use for lunches and snacks throughout my trip. I have also cooked dinner in my accommodation, this is a lot of fun if you’re with someone as you can cook together, or with new friends and I know when travelling for a long time, I miss home cooked and comfort meals that I know and love.

So, those are my top ten tips for travelling, I really hope they help you out a lot and you are able to put these into practice. If you have any more tips or any questions for me, please feel free to message me!