I’ve already spoken about how I spent my first day in Copenhagen recently, but I wanted to do a blog post specifically about the charming Tivoli Gardens.

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I was in two minds about visiting here. One was the fact that it’s ever so romantic – especially at Christmas – so I was kind of tempted to hold off so I can visit when I’m in a relationship (like I did with Winter Wonderland) but hey, I thought life’s too short to wait around.

So I stepped into the magical themepark which is odd because it is right in the centre of Copenhagen but you really can’t tell once you’re inside. They’ve done a great job of making you feel like you’re in a whole other world. It’s very charming and classic – it’s said Walt Disney took inspiration from it – which is nice because although it has a few rollercoasters, it’s not modern at all which I love.

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I went on a good few rides – including The Demon which was by far the scariest – but mostly spent the time walking around and gazing in awe. It really is the most beautiful place and I can’t wait to go back and visit one day at Christmas AND Halloween.

It’s the kind of place for all the family too. It has a good mixture of rides – there’s a handful of thrilling rollercoasters (The Demon was the scariest but I also enjoyed The Odin Express and ‘The Rollercoaster’). There’s also rides based around Hans Christian Anderen’s fairytales too.

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Overall it’s a really beautiful place all year round – as you can see from the photos above – but I’ll definitely be returning one day for Christmas and Halloween. It really is the most charming and beautiful little gem that you simply cannot miss in Copenhagen.

Would you ever visit Tivoli Gardens? Let me know!

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Although it can be argued that travelling is the perfect excuse to switch off and really be at one with your surroundings, I still rely on my phone a lot during travelling from taking photos to using it for directions! As well as the obvious reasons, there are also a few must-have travel apps that I simply cannot live without when travelling anywhere.

Here are my favourite must have travel apps.

BACKPACKR
I downloaded this during my time in Berlin as a way of meeting other travellers. So far, I haven’t had much luck with it other than men messaging me for hook ups! But I still hold out hope and I think Backpackr is great if you’re not staying in a hostel or may be a little shy. Plus, every place you go gives you a stamp on your virtual passport which I think is great because nowhere ever stamps your actual passport anymore and it’s a sweet visual representation of where you’ve travelled to. You can also find in app offers like discount codes for Airbnb or travel insurance.

GEOSURE
Geosure is a new app I’ve come across lately which is an app created to make sure you feel as safe as possible when travelling somewhere. Each place you go (with over 30,000 neighbourhoods currently on the app) gives you a score on how safe a place is, taking into account access to hospitals and medical care, friendly citizens and political stability. It also has an entire section dedicated to solo female travellers – which is an entire win in my eyes – and have recently added an LGBTQ safety category too. This app really covers everything! Not only is GeoSure perfect for keeping an eye on your safety when travelling, it also gives others ease of mind too. So many of my friends and family were worried about me when I travelled to Mexico and I know being able to direct them to this app or show them screen shots of the safety scores of where I visited would have stop them worrying so much.

MAPSTR
I find so many hidden gems when travelling and I like to keep a comprehensive list all in one place for future reference. Mapstr is great for that as you can pinpoint your finds on a map and add suitable tags such as good for dates, pricey or vegan. The best part is that it’s so quick and easy to use – rather than filling in an entire address, you just check in whilst you’re there. There a few different apps that do this, but this is my favourite so far. My username is louise.joy if you want to follow/check out my map which, so far, includes hidden gems from Mexico and Romania – but I’m always adding to it.

CITYMAPPER
There’s a number of different transport apps on the market but this is my favourite because it covers pretty much everything – even guides on how to get from A to B with uber or cycling! It’s the most comprehensive app I’ve found to date with real time updates and it even tells you what platform to be on to catch your train. Adding this app to your travel apps folder is a no brainer really.

LONELY PLANET GUIDES
Because no matter how much research you do in advance…it’s always helpful to have a mini pocket guide to hand for inspiration. Lonely Planet is one of the most recognised travel publications in the world, so you know the recommendations found on this app are legit.

These are simply just five of many favourite travel apps and I’m always coming across more that catch my eye. What are your favourite travel apps? Let me know!

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Back in the summer, I managed to bag myself return flights to Copenhagen in the Ryanair sale. It was a spontanious decision, but with flights that cheap I couldn’t say no, so I decided to buy them and figure the rest out later.

Luckily, I did a lot of research and budgeting to make the long weekend possible and so last Thursday I got up at a ridiculous early hour of the morning to get to the airport and catch my flight to Denmark. Here’s what I got up to during my first day there…

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After arriving and checking into my hostel, I headed straight back out again to make use of my free canal tour of the city with my Copenhagen Card. The sweet boat tour took us around the candals of Copenhagen, allowing us to spot famous buildings and attractions such as Copenhagen Opera House, Christianshavn and, er, the back of The Little Mermaid.

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The relaxing tour was a great alternative way to see the city and help me map out what areas I wanted to visit later on. Christianshavn was particulaly pretty, and I enjoyed seeing all the tourists posing around The Little Mermaid and trying to not fall into the water!

Next I jumped onto the Hop-On-Hop-Off bus tour because even though it wasn’t covered by my Copenhagen card, it’s tradition for me to do this in every new place. This was similar to the canal tour, but saw us visiting other places such as City Hall Square and Nyhavn.

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I also jumped off this tour to visit The Little Mermaid in person and get a quick snap because, well, I couldn’t go to Copenhagen and not get a photo of famous statue, could I?!

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After grabbing a quick bite to eat, I walked around for a bit and debated going back to the hostel, but I then got drawn in by the gorgeous Tivoli Gardens. However, these are so stunning that they deserve a block post of their own…so keep your eyes peeled for this upcoming post! Walking around before then was just yet another lovely way to explore the city and it’s pretty buildings.

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Isn’t it beautiful? After then spending the evening at Tivoli Gardens I somehow stupidly did something to my hip – DON’T ASK ME WHAT BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW. My left hip just ended up super painful and felt like I had constant cramp in it. I think it’s probably because I walked way too much and overdid it on that first day – I mean I did 23,750 steps on that day alone which seems like a lot but I did more at Boomtown Festival. And it was only my left hip, not my right. Who knows. So I got back to the hostel, hobbled to a local takeaway for some food and got an early night since I’d been up since 4:30am and there wasn’t really anything on in the hostel.

Obverall though, my first impressions of Copenhagen was that it’s so damn pretty! It was also super warm and sunny for the first day and I immediately felt like it was a really welcoming place. I found that the area that I stayed in – Nørrebro – was really laid back and edgy too.

The following day was just as busy – but that deserves another blog post of it’s own. In the meantime, have you ever been to Copenhagen? What did you think of my first day there? Let me know!

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Following on from my mini long weekend in Copenhagen, I decided to share my budget mini guide/glance of the charming capital of Denmark.

Everyone told me Copenhagen can be expensive and they weren’t wrong – with so much to do there and so many seafood restauraunts alongside the river in Nyhavn, it can be tricky to choose cheaper options! However, I found that my researching ahead with blogs – and buying myself a Copenhagen Card – I managed to spend my three days in Copenhagen on the cheap.

Here’s my mini guide.

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WHERE TO STAY | SLEEP IN HEAVEN
After my crippling lonliness when travelling alone in Berlin, I decided to make the obvious choice of booking into a hostel this time around. It didn’t take me long to choose a hostel – most of them are friendly and laid back – and I settled on Sleep In Heaven due to rave reviews on Hostel World. Situated in the hipster neighbourhood of Nørrebro (which kind of reminded me of Brooklyn, even though I’ve never been!), this cute and charming hostel was an ideal homebase for my time during Copenhagen. They had a lovely hangout room, friendly staff and hosted free walking tours – and was only a short walk away from either the subway or bus stops. My only downsides were that the beds and floors were super squeaky (but this isn’t a huge issue as it’s not exactly a five star hotel!) and that I personally didn’t find it easy to approach other travellers there. I know this isn’t an issue for some and they did hand out board games one night but in the evenings it might have been nice to host a couple of in hostel activities (like I experienced at Mezcal Hotel in Mexico, bingo and quiz nights etc). However, I can’t deny that staying at this hostel made me feel like a proper traveller who had finally got used to flitting from place to place and I’d recommend this hostel as somewhere to stay!

Also, I know it’s not a budget option (I find that if you’re travelling or slummin’ it a lot, spending more for somewhere that offers a bit more luxury for one night is always a nice idea), but I have to mention Manon les Suites. It was way out of my limited budget, but had I wanted to splash out for somewhere more plush, this would have been my option: I mean it has a pool, a rooftop terrance and uber trendy rooms.

WHAT TO DO | GET A COPENHAGEN CARD
For travel – and more attractions I could shake my stick at – a Copenhagen Card had all the answers. I ordered mine online in advance and easily picked it up at the airport upon arrival (once I found where to pick it up from anyway as I kept getting lost in the airport!). The lady scanned it there and then and it was ready to use instantly. The card covered both subway/train and bus travel and all I had to do was show it to the drivers when getting on. To use it at attractions, it just got scanned upon arrival = that’s it! I did so much with my card – it honestly covered pretty much every single thing I wanted to do – and what I loved was that the website actually listed all attrations beforehand and you could favourite the ones you wanted to visit to refer back to! This seems so obvious but so many travel cards don’t actually have something like this – recommendations of where to go or a comprehensive list of what’s included. I loved it and the app – complete with maps to each attration – was my absolute savour whilst I was in Copenhagen. It works out so cheap and is a must do. My favourite attractions included a boat tour, Ripley’s Believe It Or Not! and entry into the charming Tivoli gardens.

WHERE TO EAT | LOCAL
I didn’t actually spend a lot of time researching places to eat, although I called out on Facebook for for a few vegan recommendations. I was told eating out was one of the most expensive parts of visiting Copenhagen, but luckily in Nørrebro, there were tons of cheap eateries and convinience shops. So, in all honesty, I stuck to grabbing snacks or pastas from convinence shops most days. I’m not the biggest fan of eating out alone and didn’t carry my book around with me, so this seemed like the obvious choice. I did, however, try the vegan burger at Cocks & Cows one day, as I got discount there with my Copenhagen Card.

These are just the three essentials however – a decent place to lay your head at night, where to eat and a couple of ideas of things to do. I did pack in quite a lot for my three days there however and I will be doing a more comprehensive blog post all about this soon.

In the meantime, have you ever visited Copenhagen? Would you stay at Sleep In Heaven or get yourself a Copenhagen card? Let me know!

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This weekend just gone, I had the opportunity to head into London and spend the day exploring Greenwich. Armed with a budget of £75, my aim was to shed a light on the neighbourhood of Greenwich and hopefully shed a light on some hidden gems in the area.

I love London through and through so having the chance to put together a blog post/guide on a particular area of London was right up my street and, even better, I had never really had the chance to explore Greenwich beforehand so it was nice to wander around somewhere new. Although I only spent the day there, I really wished I’d looked into hotels near o2 and Greenwich however as by the end of the day I was exhausted and would have loved to had somewhere to have a nap before heading out to explore the nightlife too!

There’s always next time though! Here’s what I got up to during my day in Greenwich.

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

EMRITES AIRLINE CABLE CAR
Whenever I head to somewhere new, I always try and start my excursion by heading up high – whether that’s on an open top bus tour (in York, for example) or somewhere higher like Blackpool Tower! Despite the rain on Sunday, London was no exception and I started my sightseeing by taking a ride on the Emrites Airline Cable Car. It was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, so it made sense to use this unique form of public transport to head across the river. The views at 300 feet were stunning, even in the rain. I managed to get an amazing view of the o2 and the Royal Docks, the latter of which I heard more about during the trip. Because it wasn’t too busy, I had an entire cable car to myself which was nice, but when I felt it shake a little when the car reached its highest peak, I did get a little scared! Normally things like that don’t scare me but being alone, I imagined if cable snapped and I plunged down into the Thames below, I wouldn’t have much chance of survival alone..still, it was well worth the adrenaline rush. I took a round trip as I mixed up my bearings and thought the single trip would take me across the river to where I wanted to go next..but it turns out I was already on the right side of the river, do’h!
A single ticket (or Boarding Pass, as they’re known as!) on the Emrites Airline Cable Car costs £4.50. A round trip is simply two singles.
Budget left: £66.00

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

THE GREAT BRITISH SEASIDE EXHIBITION @ THE NATIONAL MARITIME MUSEUM
Eager to get out of the rain, I ducked into the National Maritime Museum and quickly wondered why I hadn’t considered visiting this sweet museum before. The National Maritime Museum is the world’s largest maritime museum and boasts ten free galleries. I didn’t spend too long exploring this museum, but I particularly enjoyed one of the galleries which offered an insight into what everyday life was like for a sailor. For example, I never knew that sailors at sea actually ate really well and often in some cases they ate better than those on land! They had plenty of stocky food such as meat and vegetables and definitely did not live on rationed foods or old tins of food which I previously believed.

The main reason I visited the National Maritime Museum however was because I wanted to visit The Great British Seaside Exhibition – a collection of photographs between the 1960s until today – all based around the classic British seaside. I have so much love for seaside holidays – I mean Blackpool is my favourite place ever and I don’t think any summer is complete without a day spent at Southend or Brighton. So I enjoyed wandering around these galleries and viewing the beautiful and sometimes funny photography of families and couples visiting the seaside.
Entry to the National Maritime Museum is free but an adult ticket to special exhibitions is £11.50. 
Budget left: £54.50

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

STAND ON THE PRIME MERIDIAN LINE AT THE ROYAL OBSERVATORY
Head outside the back of the National Maritime Museum and walk through the beautiful deer park for around ten minutes or so to be greeted with the Royal Observatory. Here, you can learn all about time in this small museum by viewing artefacts and wandering around the home of Astronomer Royals. The main selling point however is being able to stand on the Prime Meridian Line which divides the eastern and western hemispheres of the earth. Once I snapped the all important Instagram shot, I grabbed my free audio tour and continued my exploration of the site. Oh, and the view from here is amazing too..!
An adult ticket to The Royal Observatory is £15.00.
Budget left: £39.50.

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

LEARN ABOUT THE HUNT FOR DARK MATTER AT THE PETER HARRISON PLANETARIUM
Just a stone’s throw away from the Royal Observatory (and technically part of it) is the Peter Harrison Planetarium. Here there is a cafe and three small galleries all about the exploration of space and how our universe came to be – it’s certainly eye opening. When it was time, I headed down to the planetarium to wait for my show but here I also found another small exhibition – the Insight Astronomy Photographer of the Year 2017. The photographs of stars and galaxies were absolutely gorgeous.

But it wasn’t long before I headed into the planetarium, got comfortable and laid my head back to learn all about dark matter. I’ll let you visit for yourself to learn more (I couldn’t possibly relay all the information correctly) but the visuals are stunning. A visit to the planetarium is simply a must do on any given day.
Entry into the Peter Harrison Planetarium is covered under a ticket to The Royal Observatory, but an adult ticket to a planetarium show is £8.00.
Budget left: £31.50.

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

Formidable Joy | London | Travel | 5 things to experience in Greenwich, London | Greenwich | Emrites Airline Cable Car | National Maritime Museum | The Great British Seaside Exhibition | Prime Meridian Line | The Royal Observatory | Peter Harrison Planetarium | Dinosaurs In The Wild

GET UP CLOSE AND PERSONAL WITH DINOSAURS AT DINOSAURS IN THE WILD
Look, I know technically it’s for kids, but I kind of really love dinosaurs so now that the rain was getting heavier, a visit to Dinosaurs In The Wild was a no brainer! I may have been the only adult on my tour without kids (apart from the hot dino expert who led our tour and looked like Brendan Urie of Panic! At The Disco) but it didn’t take long for me to become too involved to care. Upon arrival, I was given special protective glasses to wear and was led onto/into a time machine – and the first thing we saw when we landed back in the past was the stunning creatures. Next, we got to visit TimeBase67…and the rest you’ll have to see for yourself. Families, children and adults alike will love this unique experience and the attention to detail throughout is absolutely amazing – the whole thing felt so realistic and immersive and was definitely one of the highlights of my entire day.
An adult ticket to Dinosaurs In The Wild costs £29.50, but I booked online for a discounted ticket of £18.00.
Budget left: £13.50.

With a budget of just under £15.00 left, my stomach was rumbling and I had late plans to meet a friend for dinner.

I had planned to grab some lunch from one of the museum cafes and eat it in the deer park earlier in the day, but sadly the weather did not allow.

So I spent the remainder of my budget doing what I do best in any new place – I grabbed some light snacks and took a final trip on the Emrites Airline Cable Car across the river to meet my friend just as the sun was beginning to set. After the time exploring and walking all over Greenwich, there really was no fitting way to end the day with some beautiful views as I kind of flew away from the neighborhood I now knew a lot better.

Beforehand, my favourite London spots were definitely the cheap and cheerful Shoreditch and Camden. However, given a budget to explore somewhere a bit more upper class but full of hidden gems has given me a soft spot for the Greenwich area of our capital. It’s rich in history and cultural things to do – there really is something for everyone.

My advice to you would be to definitely take a trip to Greenwich sometime soon as it’s so enjoyable even in the rain. And in future? Next time you want an adventure just set yourself a budget and choose a new area of London to explore. You’ll be surprised at how fun it is discovering new things especially if you have a set budget.

Have you ever taken the time to explore Greenwich? Let me know!

Please note, the spending money was gifted by Hotels.com, but all views are my own.

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