marrakech, morocco

day 1: london – marrakech
arrived at our riad / had lunch at mechoui, recommended by our airbnb host, where we had amazing lamb tagine / got lost in the souks while exploring the whole medina / chilled at cafe guerrab with sombreros and a good view of the city / visited the jewish quarter of the city, mellah / bought some tea leaves from the berber souks (one vendor even threw in some free traditional moroccan lipstick, made from aker fassi) / attempted to visit bahia palace but be warned that the last entry into most attractions is at 4pm… / visited the towering koutoubia mosque / strolled around jamaa el fna / had dinner at oscar progrés where we had some couscous and more tagine

day 2: marrakech – agafay desert & atlas mountains
we booked a day trip to the agafay desert from morning till evening / we visited the agafay desert, high atlas, kik plateau, berber villages, imlil waterfall, argan women’s cooperative and the kik valley / my favourite parts of the day were riding on camels and having lunch at an obscure but authentic restaurant in the middle of the valley / had dinner at kabana

day 3: marrakech
woke up early to go to the jardin majorelleyves saint laurent mansion and the ysl museum / had lunch at bacha coffee as a show of solidarity… waited for 1 hour but it was quite worth it / attempted to visit ben youssef madrasa BUT WE RAN OUT OF CASH / visited bahia palace (successfully) this time / had some coffee at cafe des epices, another rooftop bar, where we watched the sunset (highly recommend this) / had our last dinner at kui-zin! pigged out on a buffet spread of moroccan dishes such as meat stews, salads and desserts

places i wanted to visit but didn’t and you should totally visit on my behalf if you’re going to morocco: saadien’s tombs, badi palace, ben youssef madrasa

important info: bring cash to exchange for moroccan dirhams at the marrakech airport, visit the attractions before 4pm because that’s their last entry time despite closing at 6pm officially and only eat from stall no.1 at jamaa el fna

budapest & vienna

our first foray into multi-city reading week trips, which i am now inspired to replicate for all my future travels! we spent two days in budapest, hungary, and one in vienna, austria. our itinerary is at the bottom of the post!

day 1: london – budapest
visited dohány street synagogue on the way to our airbnb / had lunch at vakvarjú restaurant / coffee break at the blue bird cafe, an independent roastery / visited st. stephen’s basilica, the largest church in the capital / snacked on a chimney cake (kürtőskalács) from a roadside stall / took a cruise along the danube river, on which we spotted the hungarian parliament building among other attractions / had dinner at menza étterem és kávéház, where we got to try the traditional hungarian dishes such as fried bread (lángos) with garlic cream soup, savoury meat pancakes (hortobágyi palacsinta), pork medallions (szűzérme) and tyrolean apple strudel (which is native to austria).

day 2: budapest
woke up early to get a panoramic view of the city from fisherman’s bastion, where we also hung around the buda castle, st. stephen’s statue, havas boldogasszony church and matthias church / got coffee from coffee stand kazinczy specialty coffeeshop, of which there are a few scattered across budapest. such good coffee for a little more than a pound! / walked a disproportionately long distance to see the chief warm mini statue by kolodko along the banks of the danube / had brunch at central market hall, where we tried many traditional hungarian dishes such as chicken paprikash (csirke paprikás), dumplings (nokedli) and stuffed cabbage leaves (töltött káposzta) / walked across the liberty bridge / window-shopped at vörösmarty tér / afternoon tea at the grand new york café / spotted the shoes on the danube bank / dinner at mazel tov, a gorgeous garden-themed restaurant serving israeli or mediterranean fare / dessert at karavan food market.

day 3: budapest – vienna
took a three-hour long train ride to austria because we’re insane / visited the belvedere palace / walked to karlskirche / got some snacks at naschmarkt, an outdoor market. we got bratwurst with sauerkraut from george am / had lunch at the famous griechenbeisl, where we tried several traditional austrian dishes such as viennese boiled beef (wiener tafelspitz) and roast pig leg (stelze vom jungschwein) / coffee break at fenster cafe, one of the top 50 cafes in the world and a unique coffee-in-a-cone offering (fensterccino) / travelled to schönbrunn palace / went back to the city centre where we walked past attractions such as the kunsthistorisches museum, rathaus, volksgarten and the hofburg / travelled to st. stephen’s cathedral / visited kleines café, where before sunrise was filmed / travelled back to hungary and had dinner at the michelin-featured stand 25 bistro.

day 4: budapest
had breakfast at à table and did some souvenir shopping.