a broke girl in amsterdam

I’ll start off by leaving you completely gobsmacked. I did not ride a single bike in Amsterdam… EVER.

It feels good to get that off my chest. Although, there really would have been no better place than Amsterdam to actually learn how to ride a bike… hashtag hindsight.

I’ll give you a couple of minutes to let this sink in…

Safraan

We caught a flight from London to Amsterdam (for less than $100 AUD) and then the train from the Airport to Amsterdam Central. As soon as we stepped out of the station (quite hungover I might add, eating our leftover plane food), we were pretty overwhelmed with how beautiful it was.

Canals

We jumped on a tram, missed our spot, then luckily somehow ended up finding the place we were staying. It was in an amazing location on Kannalstraat, Amsterstam, Noord-Holland and less than $50 AUD a night each (#brokegal).

That day we discovered what was to become our favourite locay. The FoodHallen.

You can’t visit Amsterdam without visiting this glorious place. It was about a 10 minute walk from our humble abode, walking over the beautiful canal bridges… trying not to be knocked over by bikes.

The FoodHallen is an incredible hall full of, you guessed it, FOOD! They have dedicated wine bars, beer bars, cocktails, and every type of street market-style food you could ever dream of.

After stuffing your face here, just outside the FoodHallen is a stretch of markets that will 100% put a lil dent in your piggy bank. In saying that, it’s full of unique products you won’t find really anywhere else, which definitely makes it worth more in my books. There was really great jewellery and some amazing clothing stalls. I left with a sailor-style hat and some Ray Ban lookalikes for a total of about $50 AUD.

Our next stop was Vondelpark, which is apparently where the entire population of Amsterdam is chillin. It’s the perfect place for a picnic. You’ll see hundreds of people drinking, eating, running around, lots of PDA, and birthday parties you’ll really want to crash. There’s a cute bar in the middle of the park you can grab a wine and some bread and hummus for cheap.

Canals

I had lunch at a place called Saffraan. Can’t recommend it more. It had incredible pasta and even the coffee was good. It’s a super cute corner café. Perfect for people watching.

Safraan

Of course, you have to visit the IAMSTERDAM sign. If you don’t, did you really go to Amsterdam? It’s absolutely flocking with tourists, so try and go early morning to get a good snap.

IAMSTERDAM

Another tourist-driven area is of course the Red Light District. I got to say, it’s incredibly confronting. Before visiting the area I was actually quite happy to go and even see a show there and experience the nightlife. I was curious. However, once we reached the district I did a complete 180. I think you need to at least see it to make up your own mind about it. I definitely see why the locals completely avoid the spot. I personally donot want to be part of funding that industry. It’s quite unbelievable really, and quite a contrast compared to the entirety of Amsterdam itself.

Amsterdam

Quick tips:

Try and go during tulip season so you can see the beautiful tulip fields, we missed it just by a couple of days which was disappointing.

We tried the Bloemenmarkt flower market, although found this was something you could probably give a miss. It was focused more on growing your own flowers etc. which was not quite something we would be doing in the two days we were there.

EVERYONE speaks English. Everyone is incredibly friendly, will more than likely mock your accent for a harmless LOL and are absolutely more than happy to help you out.

Check out the main shopping strip, Kalverstraat. You’ll find lots of international brands. I, of course, found a couple of keepers in H&M for $30 AUD. The collections are different in Europe, so it’s definitely worth having a look!

Eat ALL OF THE CHEESE. That is all. It won’t be hard to find.

Top 3 eats:

Rene’s Croissants: Get churros, and basically any sweet you can dream of

Saffraan: Try the vegetarian lasagne!

Coffee & Coconuts: It’s an old theatre transformed into a cool 4 level oasis. Sit on a beanbag and enjoy a hearty breakfast and one or ten cups of delicious coffee.

Churros

Written for Student Flights.

July 21st, 2016|TRAVEL|

jeans $70, top $40, boots $70

Samsung x Boost

Samsung x Boost

Samsung x Boost

Samsung x Boos

Samsung x Boost

Jacket: Lioness

Jeans: Liquor N Poker

Boots: Spurr

Top: Mink Pink

Phone: Samsung Galaxy J2

Sunglasses: Miss Runway Boutique

July 18th, 2016|LOOKS|

a broke girl in london

Hello, terrifying exchange rate. I mean… Hello, London!

I’ll start by saying, try not to do what I did, which was double the cost of every single thing before I bought it. It will drive you absolutely nuts. It will give you a good indication of what the Australian conversion rate is, but it will mean you end up buying absolutely nothing at all and spend your days rocking back and forth in a dark corner of your room. You’re in London… TREAT YO’SELF (a little).

You must eat…

Shake Shack: I am a burger fiend. You just can’t go wrong with a classic Shake Shack cheesy and some loaded fries #hallelujah

a broke girl in london

Dark Sugars: Oh. My. God. You have to get a hot chocolate from here. YOU MUST. There is no choice in the matter. Dark Sugars will blow your mind. Go there and eat everything. I went to the one on Brick Lane in Shoreditch, which is also a really cool street for affordable vintage shopping.

a broke girl in london

The Shard: Prepare to spend some cash money, but it’s one amazing view and although the drink you buy may in fact be the most expensive drink you ever consume in your human life, IT IS DELICIOUS. If you’re a broke girl like me, head to the top for just one drink… and then run as fast you can out of there. Just joking (about the running part).

a broke girl in london

Borough Markets: These have got to be my favourite markets. I would be getting my groceries from here if I was a London gal! Think doughnuts, wine, cheese, fresh bread, fruit, and an amazing assortment of ready-to-eat food. I spent half a day here and ate everything. There’s also a coffee shop just across the road called “Monmouth”, it’s the best coffee I had in my time in London.

london

Forest on the Roof: I didn’t actually eat here, but I went up for a look and it’s beautiful! They theme the restaurant depending on the season. It was a full of peonies and green vines. Defs Insta worthy.

The Big Easy: They do a crazy happy hour, where all food and drink is like 2 cents. Not really, but pretty close! AMAZING sliders and cocktails for cheap. That’s what we like to hear.

Camden Lock Markets: Food trucks. That is all. Head through the market stalls, down the stairs and you’ll find heaven.

Harrods: Make sure you go to the Harrods Food Hall. I know what you’re thinking, I can’t afford that sh*t. Long and behold, YOU CAN afford something at Harrods, and it’s a Doussant. A croissant mixed with a cinnamon doughnut. It’s seriously the most messed up thing I’ve ever eaten, it is amazing. We’ve been doing it all wrong. Good riddance “croughnuts”.

Being my first time in London, I had to cross off every tourist activity I could manage. So with that said, be a full-blown tourist at…

Buckingham Palace

Royal Gardens

Trafalgar Square

Piccadilly Circus

Big Ben

Tower Bridge

The London Eye

Notting Hill

Portobello Markets

Hyde Park

Borough Markets

Camden Markets

Camden Lock Markets

Oxford Street

Chelsea

Westfield London

Shoreditch, Brick Lane

london

portobello

Piccadilly

notting hill

My number one tip, picnic… EVERYWHERE!

My absolute most favourite thing about London was that it was bright until 10pm. It is definitely the thing I miss most. All of the cheese and the wine (and blankets) at 9pm absolutely anywhere you want – Bishop Park, Hyde Park, under Tower Bridge. You’ll save a tonne of money choosing a good spot of grass, a delicious spread and wine, rather than dining out. Plus, it’s so much fun and there are people around everywhere and ducks… heaps of ducks!

Written for Student Flights.

July 4th, 2016|TRAVEL|

boots under $100, dress under $60

ABGB

ABGB

ABGB

ABGB

Dress: Melrose Ave 

Jacket: Cameo, David Jones SALE! 

Boots: Style Tread

Hair: Togninis

Tan: Brazilian Beauty 

June 28th, 2016|LOOKS|

a broke girl in paris

Catch ya Brissy and g’day Paris… I mean bonjour!

This trip was booked spontaneously. I know that probably seems a little farfetched considering this is a broke girl we’re talking about, but take a seat and hear me out…

How I found myself in Paris…

I was looking up flights to Europe for no other reason then for a little bit of a “LOL yeah right” and cry myself to sleep. There is absolutely no way ‘broke girl’ would be on a flight into Paris unless I snuck into someone’s check-in luggage… That is, until I came across flights that were $1,300 return. Yes, RETURN!

Lo and behold, two weeks later I was onboard a Thai Airways flight to Paris, with just one stopover in Bangkok for a mere 3 hours. I’m not too fond of flying (okay, I hate flying), but Thai Airways was honestly amazing. Despite the fact that absolutely no one was booked in my row (FOR EVERY FLIGHT!) and I had 3 seats to myself to sleep (#winning), the food was delicious, the attendants were absolutely lovely and I watched bulk movies the whole way there.

In true broke girl form, I figured two days in transit meant two days of spending little-to-nothing, free food and an endless stream of movies… now that’s livin’ Barry.

Planning Paris

Finding a place to stay…

After making my way to the Latin Quarter and being lost for a solid hour (as well as being low on cash, I’m also directionally challenged). I eventually found Hotel Saint Andres Des Arts, my quaint, rickety and incredibly French hotel – by ‘found’, I actually mean stumbled upon it by accident. It was incredibly well-priced and is also known-well as a very affordable Parisian hotel.

I had booked a little single room, but was lucky to be given a spare double room at no extra cost. Breakfast was provided every morning which included black coffee (seriously, you won’t really find any better coffee than this, DRINK IT!) and the most amazing baguettes.

I couldn’t close my shower door or shut my window properly, but I seriously would not have booked anywhere else. I highly recommend this hotel. Not only was it full of character but it was in such a great location. I walked everywhere from here. Literally, everywhere. FYI, pack sneakers. You’re kidding yourself wearing anything else.

Hotel Saint Andres Des Arts

Top 10: to-do

1. Notre dame

This was one of my favourite places to visit. You’ll see lots of people enjoying lunch outside the Cathedral. Go for a walk through the Notre Dame and then grab a bite to eat and make like the locals and sit outside and enjoy the view .

2. Eiffel Tower (well, duh)

It’s an obvious one, but you’ve got to do it! Enjoy a crepe under the tower… or three.

Eiffel Tower

3. Palace of Versailles

Give yourself a day for this and make sure you pack lunch; it’s expensive for food and even water, but an amazing day out.

Versailles

4. Galleries Lafayette

It was daunting with the overwhelming number of designer brands that I definitely could not afford to even look at, BUT go up to women’s fashion and you will find a broke girl’s heaven including the best of Topshop, Zara, Urban Outfitters and more.

Galleries

5. Night Tour (with the Paris Tourism Agency)

See the Eiffel Tower and other sites with their neon lights on, it’s a very cheap tour and definitely worth the ride.

6. Sacré Coeur

Make sure you go on the weekend when the markets are on, enjoy the view of Paris, and also explore the area of Montmartre.

7. Champs-Elysees

Wander the street, window shop the designer brands AND actually shop the Zara’s and H&M’s. Make sure you check out the Arc De Triomphe.

8. Point Neuf

Grab yourself a feast of pastries and enjoy a picnic on the tip of Point Neuf.

9. The Louvre

It’s a must-do, especially if you limit yourself to just one museum on your visit. When you get to the Mona Lisa, make sure you get a photo of everyone else taking a photo her #lol

The Louvre

10. Love Lock Bridge

Put a lock on it! Prue + Coffee 4eva…

Lock Lock Bridge

Top 10: to eat

1. Pastries, pastries , and more pastries

Doesn’t matter where you are. Eat. Every. Croissant.

2. The Market

A tiny little supermarket with everything you need. I purchased a packet of 5 croissants and a bottle of wine for less than $10 AUD, seriously. These were my 90c croissants and $2.20 bottle of wine… AUSTRALIAN! Get your picnic bits and pieces from here – don’t forget plastic cutlery and glassware!

The Market

3. L’éclair De Genie

Just do it. I ate two in one sitting.

Eclairs

4. Boulangerie Carton

An amazing bakery that’s also incredibly affordable. Make sure you learn – un croissant s’il vous plait!

5. Laduree

Also known as, ‘day light robbery’ but the best macaroon you’ll have – not broke girl, but must-do (just get ONE!).

Laduree

6. Amorino

The most delicious gelato shaped like a rose – make sure you try the coconut and of course get a pic!

Amorino

7. Pizza Rustica

Giant (and delicious) pizza for less than $10 AUD.

8. Café Kitsune

The best coffee in Paris. There is no other.

9. Paul

You’ll see Paul everywhere, it’s affordable and delicious. You can trust Paul.

10. Markets at Sacré Coeur

Try the snails! Such a cool atmosphere here too.

Quick tips

1. Pack sneakers and walk everywhere

I discovered so much more by wandering the streets… and actually getting lost.

2. Download the CityMapper app.

Two words. LIFE CHANGING. You can map out all of your journeys with the free Wi-Fi at your hotel and then off you go! Save your journey for offline use and it will track where you are and where you need to go without internet. Seriously amazing.

3. Learn your basic French

“Hello”,” Goodbye”, “Sorry I don’t speak French, do you speak English?”, “Can I please have 10 million croissants?”, and you’ll get by.

4. Read up about those dam scammers before you visit

Men, women and even children will come up to asking if you speak English, ask you to sign a petition, and then demand money from you. Be careful and avoid any strangers that come up to you in the street!!! I had people in less touristy areas also do it. Look like you know where you’re going and just walk straight passed them.

5. Keep your bags close, especially on public transport

Bring a bag that has secure closure. I wore my bag under my jacket to be safe. Broke girls gotta hold on to that shit, we can’t afford replacements.

6. ENJOY!

I fell in love with Paris. I was so taken back by how beautiful it is, and pleasantly surprised with how little I ended up spending each day.

Written for Student Flights.

June 23rd, 2016|TRAVEL|