Thursday, 25 February 2010

Travel Marrakech, Morocco

WHY MARRAKECH
Marrakech is the best option on the budget schedules for a real feeling of escape. Don’t come to relax, though. The skinny medina streets teem with hawkers, where £1 gets you 12.88 dihrams.

EXPLORE MARRAKECH
Start with mint tea (about 50p) at the Cafรจ de Paris, which overlooks the main square, the Djemaa el Fna. Catch it at dusk and you’ll see it come to life as food stalls, jugglers, storytellers and musicians set up their stalls. Grilled sausages or fish with heaps of salad is yours for a fiver anywhere in the square. To escape the hectic city streets head to the Majorelle Gardens, restored in the Eighties by Yves Saint Laurent (entrance £3).

SHOPPING IN MARRAKECH
There are few better places in the world to shop than Marrakech. Buy wrought-iron lamps, cedar-wood boxed, leather slippers and hand-painted ceramics, and expect to pay about 40 per cent of the asking price. If you hate bartering, head to Twizra on Bag Agnaou, where there are three floors with set prices.

STAY IN MARRAKECH
One of the best-value riads in the medina is Jnane Mogador, doubles from £35. Click here for latest offer on Hotels in Marrakech.

GETTING THERE
easyJet flies from Gatwick to Marrakech from £59.98 rtn.

Travel Marrakech, Morocco

Friday, 5 February 2010

Visit Zagreb, Croatia

WHY ZAGREB
The Croatian capital may not have the polish of cities such as Vienna and Budapest, but neither does it have the coach loads of tourists. It has an authentic feel, with trams rumbling across the cobbled streets. £1 gets you 8.42 kunas.

EXPLORE ZAGREB
Hop on the funicular up to the Lotrscak Tower, a 13th-century look-out that offers fabulous views (entrance £1.5). For a taste of local life try the goulash (£5) at Gostionica Tip-Top
(Gunduliceva 18), a much-loved restaurant that was once the haunt of Croatia’s most famous poet, Tin Ujevic.

SHOPPING IN ZAGREB
There’s no better place to shop in Zagreb than in the markets. The flower market on Preradovicev trg is stunning, while the main produce market, Dolac, bustles with locals buying fruit, vegetables and cheese. Hop on the bus to Hreljic, the city’s flea market, which pulls in the crowds every Sunday.

STAY IN ZAGREB
Arcotel Allegra is sleek and affordable with doubles from £75.

GETTING THERE
Wizzair flies from Luton to Zagreb from £70 rtn.

Zagreb, in Croatia.