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Where to eat and drink in Zagreb

Zagreb has undergone a fast rediscovery over the last couple of years. A steady investment in art, cultural incentives and gastronomy has made it more widely recognised, attracting visitors who may have traditionally favoured other popular Croatian areas such as Dubrovnik and Split. Come 2015, it’s a go-to city break destination. Whether it’s exploring the area’s mix of Austro-Hungarian architecture, learning how the medieval part of the city protected itself from witches or enjoying the local outdoor flower and meat markets, there’s something for everyone.

Yet one thing few visitors can resist is a place’s gastronomy. Zagreb is a year-round outdoor city, and with that comes a strong food and drink scene. Whilst your stomach may not be big enough to take them all in, I’ve rounded up a few key strongholds that represent the best of what the capital has to offer.

Exploring Savamala in Belgrade

“You have to go before it disappears. Who knows how much longer it will be there…”

The local’s remark was pessimistic and ever so foreboding, but that is what Belgrade’s residents have come to expect when talking about Savamala.  Lorries, dust and layers of street art hide an area that is desperate to get noticed under the incoming shadow of a €3bn riverside development that could end its culture.

A guide to Skadarlija

Only 300 metres away from Republic Square, Skadarlija in Belgrade is a world apart from the city’s busy centre.

We first came across it when our tour guide turned around a corner and started offering our group homemade rakija (a type of fruit brandy) to accompany her story about the painters and philosophers who previously inhabited the so called Bohemian quarter.

Whilst listening to her and choking on a drink that was 50% alcohol, I also noticed how much the cobbled streets and colourful flower pots contrasted with the concrete buildings and retail pedestrian areas I’d quickly associated with the rest of Belgrade.

Paris in 48 hours

About a year ago, my travel buddy/boy-person Lee and myself were just landing in Paris. He had the same green hoodie, I had messy bangs and the whole trip would become one of our best-shared memories.

As a child, my father always avoided capital cities: too much traffic, noise and hardly enough space for the 3-berth foldable caravan we always took on holiday. I watched on sadly as we missed every major city in Europe: Rome, Amsterdam, Berlin…and Paris. That last one probably hurt the most.

24 things bilingual people do abroad

Being bilingual is a mixed bag. Whilst understanding a higher percentage of the world’s population is pretty sweet, there’s an ever present stigma that, in turn, attracts a higher percentage of annoyances. You won’t lose it if a drunken friend wants to practice their high school vocabulary, but beware of when your keyboard switches to another language for the fifteenth time in one day…

How to combine full-time work with travel

Today I announced I was going interailing at work and, like clockwork , got the same responses I always do:

“But you just got back from a holiday!” and “How many do you even go on?!”. Or, my personal favourite: “You’re hardly ever in the office!”.

Excuse me, Miss Mug-stealer (yes, I know it’s you), I have just as much time off as you do. You see, my job isn’t a travel-centred one. If anything, according to mid-level management, our work-related world could probably fit in one building. If you’re lucky enough to work in an environment that lets you combine work trips with annual leave, please go ahead and do it (you’re living the dream). But for those trapped within the confinements of 25 day leave, here’s how to combine the two without completely giving up the comfort of office air conditioning.

How to pack your hand luggage

If you’re still booking hold luggage for your city break, think again. From extra costs to overpacking, there are other things I’m sure you’d rather worry about than the weight of your suitcase.

Although they offer much needed space, larger suitcases can go from friend to foe in a matter of hours. Nothing ruins the illusion of glamorous travel like pushing an elephant-sized case across busy foreign streets : drivers blast their horns, commuters yell and the app you need to get around the city needs an update. On the plus side, you’ll probably learn a few foreign swear words in the first five minutes of being there.