What you can buy with £5 across the world | ROL Cruise
12 Sep 2018
When you are travelling, a little can go a long way. Although you may think a simple £5 won’t get you much more than a few postcards from a gift shop, you’d be surprised just what you can get with that little blue note.
After saving some money by shopping our amazing cruise deals, you’ll have more than expected in your pocket to spend on your vacation. From one of the best cocktails in the world (according to Ernest Hemingway), incredible cable car journeys and more, you’ll be shocked at just what you can do for only £5.
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New York, USA
Enjoy two classic New York hot dogs and a can of soda from a street cart
The New York hot dog is an icon of the city, with street carts on every corner churning them out to feed hungry locals and tourists alike. Indulging in a hot dog is a must when you are in the city (just like trying a slice of New York pizza and some cheesecake)! Although prices vary, a standard dog should cost you around $2 and a soda only $1! Layer it up with ketchup and mustard for the full experience.
Walk the Skyway at the futuristic Gardens by the Bay. Entry to the gardens is free, but for only $8 you can walk amongst the treetops
Although it appears to be something from a sci-fi movie, the Gardens by the Bay is one of Singapore’s most recognisable features. The towering blooms light up Singapore at night and offer visitors one of the most incredible experiences in the city. The OCBC Skyway weaves between the towers at a height of 22 metres and gives incredible panoramic views of not only the gardens but also the island.
We spoke to the team at Gardens by the Bay to find out what makes it such a unique attraction: “Gardens by the Bay is a horticultural-themed attraction that combines architecture, technology and horticulture to present the wonders of the plant world in refreshing new ways.
“Our cooled conservatories, Flower Dome and Cloud Forest, reverse the concept of the typical greenhouse by providing a cool environment for plants. Our Supertrees, a novel way of presenting vertical greenery in an urban landscape, have become an iconic part of the Singapore skyline. They are a source of fascination for visitors, especially when they come to life at night in free music and light shows. Almost six years since we opened in 2012, there is still no equivalent to Gardens by the Bay in the region.
“The OCBC Skyway is an aerial walkway 22 metres above ground, forming a path between two of the towering Supertrees. It offers a panoramic view of Singapore’s Marina Bay district and a different perspective of Gardens by the Bay for visitors.”
Image: Gardens by the Bay
Alex of travel blog Swedish Nomad visited Gardens by the Bay and walked the Skyway. We asked him what he thought of the futuristic attraction: “I think when they built these ‘trees’ they introduced the idea that cities can also be green. It looks like something from a movie, but it’s real and very beautiful. I think the fact that you can also walk up in the ‘trees’ and get amazing views adds to the experience as well.
“But also the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome are great attractions in the Gardens by the Bay, and the daily light show, which is free. And they also have a great message that we all need to take care of our planet and make it a greener place again.
“There are many viewpoints in the world. Most of them are behind glass, but the Skyway is open and still high above the ground. From the Skyway you get a fantastic view over the other Supertrees, the dome and of course, Marina Bay Sands. In addition to that, you get an adventure where you walk among the ‘treetops’ on a bridge.”
Wellington, New Zealand
Take a return trip on the Wellington Cable Car for a fantastic view of the city, and whilst at the summit visit the Wellington Botanic Garden for free.
Wellington is a beautiful city surrounded by green and blue as far as the eye can see. For a fresh perspective of the city, hop on board the Wellington Cable Car. The funicular runs between Lambton Quay and is a big part of Wellington’s history, as it’s been carrying passengers for over 100 years. Once you reach the summit, however, the fun doesn’t stop as you’ll be at the fantastic lookout perched high above the city and get some spectacular views. The summit also gives you access to the beautiful Botanic Gardens and Cable Car Museum, so you’ll have more to enjoy than just the beautiful sights!
“Riding the classic red Wellington Cable Car is an entertaining (and effortless!) way to get to ascend the hilltop in the heart of the city,” said travelling duo Sarah and Kris of JetSetting Fools. “The highlight of the Wellington Cable Car is the top of the hill! Just a few steps from the upper cable car station, there are multiple lookout points that provide stunning views over the city. Also near the Cable Car Museum (free!) and the Botanic Gardens (also free!) are two more sights that round out the experience.”
Get a classic bowl of poutine at La Banquise, a 24-hour restaurant that’s been serving the stuff since 1968
Canada’s most popular comfort food is poutine. Made with crunchy fries, layered in cheese curds and gravy, you can see why so many people love it. La Banquise has been making poutine since 1968 and now has a whole range of exciting styles to try. We suggest, however, sticking with the classic and letting it warm you up from the cold!
We spoke to Becky, from the Global Grasshopper, who has previously been to La Banquise, she told us a bit more: “Poutine is the most famous dish to try in the Canadian province of Quebec. It usually consists of French fries and cheese curds topped with a brown gravy and although it’s not the best-presented dish in the world it sure is a fun and hearty meal to sample. The dish originated from needing all those extra calories during the long and harsh Canadian winters and it’s served up in many, many restaurants and cafes in both Quebec and Montreal. I’d personally recommend trying poutine in La Banquise which is a locally famous all-night diner in Montreal. It has some of the best poutine options so whether you’re into a variety of meat-based versions or require a plant-based vegan poutine dish then this place has something for everyone!
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Spend your morning touring the Recoleta Cemetery (be sure to buy a map!) and once you’re done you’ll have enough left for 2 ice creams from La Biela
Although exploring a cemetery may not be the first thing you think of when planning what to do on your holiday, Recoleta Cemetery is a must see when visiting Buenos Aires. The winding paths lead you through rows of ornate tombs, many complete with powerful religious statues and inscriptions. Be sure to buy a map before you enter, as many find they miss a lot of the cemetery plot when exploring on their own, and you’ll be able to take yourself to the most popular tomb here, that of Eva Perón. There are also presidents of Argentina, Nobel Prize-winners, the founder of the Argentine Navy, the granddaughter of Napoleon and many more. It is often regarded as one of the most beautiful cemeteries in the world.
After that, make your way to La Biela, a traditional café just outside the cemetery. The café’s history spans hundreds of years, and you’ll have enough money left over from buying a cemetery map for two ice creams to cool you down.
We spoke to Matt, who has recently visited Recoleta Cemetery for the first time and wrote about it on his blog Travelling With A View: “I had heard about Recoleta Cemetery long before I visited Argentina. Based on what I saw from the pictures online, I was amazed by the architecture and really wanted to see it for myself and explore the place in more detail since the pictures I often saw featured some of the best known and famous parts.
“For me, I was interested in checking out not only the really famous monuments but also the not so well-known ones. Also, I was aware that Recoleta is the resting place of many prominent and notable Argentines ranging from presidents to actors/actresses, so I was definitely curious to check it out during my time in Buenos Aires.”
“Many of the mausolea are definitely true works of art in terms of their craftsmanship and creativity”
We asked Matt why he would recommend someone visit to Recoleta when they visit Buenos Aires: “I recommend visiting Recoleta Cemetery while in Buenos Aires for three main reasons:
“It holds a huge amount of history. Many people who played a major role in Argentina's history are buried here. Numerous presidents are buried here, and in my opinion, the most famous person buried in Recoleta is Eva Peron. Anyone who is interested in history will enjoy walking around and identifying the resting places of the many famous Argentines whose remains rest here. Thankfully, there is a map at the entrance which identifies the location of the graves, but a visitor can certainly explore on their own.
“It has a beautiful mix of art and architecture. There is not just one style of architecture amongst the hundreds of mausolea that are in the area. It is common to see modern and neo-gothic styles next to each other, and there are marvellous sculptures and statues that adorn many of the mausolea. In my opinion, many of the mausolea are definitely true works of art in terms of their craftsmanship and creativity.”
“I personally found my visit to Recoleta Cemetery to be one of my favourite sights in Buenos Aires”
“It is a unique destination. Recoleta Cemetery is not like modern cemeteries. The mausolea are packed closely together, and they are laid out in a grid pattern that resembles city streets, so it is a veritable necropolis, a city of the dead. In addition, there is a mix of mausolea that are well-maintained and others that are in various states of disrepair and neglect, so it creates a definite contrast between the older and newer grave sites. Finally, unlike other cemeteries today where it would be uncommon to see the caskets out in the open, a lot of the mausolea have windows or have metal gates where it is extremely easy to see caskets placed on shelves or directly on top of each other. I had never seen anything like this before, and I personally found my visit to Recoleta Cemetery to be one of my favourite sights in Buenos Aires.”
We also spoke to Erin Mushaway from Sol Salute, who was kind enough to speak to us about her time at Recoleta. She told us what inspired her to visit: “Recoleta's history and architecture are what drew me to this popular Buenos Aires neighbourhood. Despite being referred to as the Paris of South America, Buenos Aires no longer bears much resemblance to the European cultural capital. New construction and economic hardships have slowly withered away at the European charms that made Buenos Aires famous in the early 20th century. However, Recoleta is home to buildings that would feel at home in any European city.
“Along with the historic cemetery, beautiful mansions line the streets, sidewalk cafes are plentiful and there are more than a few museums that make Recoleta a must visit on any Buenos Aires vacation. In the Recoleta cemetery, you'll find the mausoleums of nearly every important character in Argentina's political history. If you're able to visit on a weekend, there's a weekly market in the square in front of the cemetery that is perfect for souvenir shopping. It's an iconic destination in Buenos Aires and no visit here is complete without a visit to Recoleta.”
Gorge yourself on 6 delicious pork or fish tacos (and two drinks) from one of Cozumel’s favourite taquerias!
Everyone loves tacos, and no one does them better than those who invented them. When in Cozumel, it would be a shame not to try authentic Mexican tacos and the best place to do it is El Sitio. This traditional taqueria is no frills and no fuss, but their extremely well-priced menu and incredible food will make you want to come back for seconds (and thirds!) For only £5 you can get 6 traditional pork or fish tacos, and two drinks, who can argue with prices like that? Especially when El Sitio is frequently praised as the best taqueria in Cozumel.
We spoke to Marina, blogger at Travel Eat Blog, who has previously been to Cozumel in search of tacos. She told us about her experience: “Tacos outside of Mexico usually have very distinct spices that are associated with it. I was expecting tacos in Cozumel to be very similar to the ones I tried before. But, the tacos I tried in Cozumel didn't taste like that at all! They were fresh and flavourful, you could tell that they were cooked right there. Tacos are a lot bigger and there was no sour cream, lettuce or cheese on them!
We asked Marina what kind of taco she would recommend: “I really enjoyed the fish tacos in Mexico. I think they are the most different from anywhere else. You can tell that the fish was recently caught and it is fresh and delicious!”
Get a unique view of the iconic Dubai Fountains on a floating boardwalk
A lot of people think of Dubai as an expensive city, but there are many things you can do on a budget. One of our favourites is taking a walk on the floating boardwalk. Buying a ticket for AED 20 gets you closer to the beautiful fountains and gives you a great view of the city and marina. It’s a great experience and one you won’t forget in a while!
To get some top tips for visiting Dubai Fountain Boardwalk during your cruise holiday, we spoke to Ed of Dubai Travel Blog. We first asked him what makes the boardwalk such a special attraction in the city: “This offers a different view of the Dubai Fountains and you can get really close to the water,” said Ed. “The Dubai Fountain Boardwalk has a fee to enter which means it’s much less crowded. Instead of standing elbow-to-elbow with other spectators in other areas of the lake, you have more space and you can actually sit while watching the fountain show.”
We asked Ed if he had any tips for those planning on visiting the boardwalk: “Be careful not to sit too close to the fountain, as you might get soaked, especially when the water reach is high. This is what happened to other people who were not able to move in time!
“Also, just wear some comfortable shoes (avoid heels), because you will be walking on a floating platform and the floor is not steady, so it’s easier if you wear shoes that have a firm grip to the floor.”
Sample the best daiquiri in the world according to Ernest Hemingway at El Floridita
If you are a lover of cocktails and literature, then Havana is the cruise destination for you. Not only is it famous for its rum production, it is also the old stomping ground of Ernest Hemingway. Hemingway was a revered American author and a man known to enjoy a drink. His drink of choice was the daiquiri (which is now named after him) at El Floridita. You can even have a drink with the man himself, as a statue of him can be found permanently perched at the bar.
“El Floridita was high on my list of places to visit in Havana because it was a favourite bar of Ernest Hemingway, who lived in Cuba for 20 years,” said Carol of award-winning travel blog Wandering Carol. “’My mojito in La Bodeguita, my daiquiri in El Floridita’ goes the quote attributed to the notable writer and adventurer. Whether he truly said it or not, I don’t know, but El Floridita is a fun experience either way.
“What you’ll find are a lot of tourists drinking in Hemingway’s footsteps, jazz music, a bronze statue of Hemingway, excellent service and – of course – daiquiris, that wonderful mixture of rum, lime and ice. While you probably won’t find the same atmosphere as during the wild years between the 20s and 50s when gangsters and stars flocked to Havana in droves, a visit to El Floridita is still an iconic experience you won’t want to miss.”
Buy yourself a ticket to the Chilean National Zoo, where you can see elephants, lions, tigers, pandas and many native species
When in Santiago your £5 could buy you a ticket to the Chilean National Zoo. Filled with exotic and beautiful animals, it’s a lovely place to spend the day and learn more about the wildlife that is native to the country, as well as seeing some other incredible creatures. The zoo includes animals like white tigers, pandas, elephants, tigers, pumas and many, many, more. It also affords you a gorgeous view over the city below.
Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
After a short 30-minute hike to the first hill, you can complete your journey to the summit of Sugarloaf Mountain in a cable car.
The mountains surrounding Rio De Janeiro are just as famous as the city itself. If you are looking to explore Sugarloaf Mountain, then the recommended way to do so is to hike the first section and continue to the top by cable car. Your £5 will buy you a ticket to the top, and to some of the best views in Brazil.
For a unique souvenir, buy a can of fresh, Alaska Salmon from Taku, right next to the cruise port.
Seafood is one of Alaska’s most prized possessions, and the salmon is some of the best in the world. If you want to take a souvenir of your time in Juneau home, one of the best and most popular is bringing a little bit of that salmon home with you. Taku is a seafood shop right next to the cruise port that is stocked full of various items including salmon jerky, caviar, oils and more. One of the best things to buy is the cans of fresh salmon, perfect for taking home and enjoying once your trip is over, or eating it on the cruise ship because you just can’t resist!
Grab a drink at the oldest pub in Australia, and for an extra $10 treat yourself to a meal from their bar menu!
Having a drink in Australia’s oldest pub is a fantastic way to cap off the day in Hobart. This port city has so much to offer, and the Hope & Anchor Tavern is at its hub. The pub, that has now been open over 200 years, still serves not only great local drinks but oysters and a traditional bar menu. The interior, still relatively unchanged, is a historic gem and is a lovely place to relax after walking around the city.
Visit Aqaba castle, the Archaeological Museum, the House of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, ride a camel and enjoy a local coffee
The coastal city of Aqaba is a beautiful place that is thriving in recent years as a port city. However, Aqaba has been an inhabited settlement since 4000 BC and once had a thriving copper production. This long history means a lot of the city is filled with beautiful architecture, archaeological sites, and museums. When in Aqaba, your £5 will go a long way and allow you to see many of the most popular of these sites, as well as ride a camel and then reflect over your packed day with a local coffee.
One classic pizza Margherita will set you back 5 euros or less at Pizzeria de Michele, where Eat Pray Love was filmed.
Just like hot dogs in New York, and poutine in Canada, pizza is at its best in Italy. In Naples, you’ll be able to find incredible pizzas made from fresh, Mediterranean ingredients for very low prices. The crusts are perfectly caught in the oven, giving small spots of flavourful crunch, the traditional tomato sauce is fresh and loaded with fragrant herbs, and the pizza is finished with authentic mozzarella, arguably some of the best in the world. It’s more masterpiece than a meal and for £5 you’ll be able to have one of the best in the country. Pizzeria De Michele, which was famously featured in Eat, Pray, Love, was founded in 1870 and is still run by the same family.
We spoke to Mindi Hirsch, co-founder of 2foodtrippers, a blog all about travel and food. She dined at Pizzeria de Michelle and we asked her what crossed her mind when she tried her first bite: “We loved the quality and singularity of the ingredients along with the skilful execution by the pizzaiola. There's something unique about tasting a pizza with tomatoes grown on or near volcanic Mt. Vesuvius. The mouthfeel is a beautiful, heavenly thing. That first bite was a life-changing experience!
“Naples has dozens, if not hundreds, of pizza shops and they all serve better pizza than anywhere else in the world. That being said, some are better than others. We recommend L'Antica Pizzeria da Michele for straight-up, excellent Margherita pies that cost under £5. For a more elevated Naples pizza experience, we recommend both 50 Kalo and Pizzaria La Notizia.”
Enjoy a spectacular ride to the top of Mount Fløyen on the Fløibanen funicular. While you could pay extra to journey down, it’s highly recommended that you walk the beautiful path down to Bergen.
The ride to the top of Mount Fløyen one the Fløibanen funicular is one of beauty. The Norwegian coastline is often regarded as one of the most beautiful cruising destinations thanks to its towering fjords, beautiful seasons and traditional architecture. If you are up for a hike, taking the funicular to the summit and walking down is the best way to do it, and will give you the best views over this incredible Scandinavian city. Be sure to bring your camera because there will be plenty of photo opportunities!
“It will be one of your best memories of Bergen!”
We spoke to Dhara, a blogger at Not About The Miles who has been to Bergen and taken the Fløibanen funicular, they spoke to us about what inspired them to take the ride: “I like to research options for sightseeing before we visit a place, and the Fløibanen seemed very much like something I would want to put on my list of top things to experience in Bergen. Bergen is, after all, a city surrounded by mountains, and going to the top of at least one of them sounded very exciting. And when we arrived, and I saw that cute station opposite the Fish Market, I was hooked!
They also told us about the views they experienced at the top of the mountain: “The views at the top were just spectacular. There is a large viewing platform and you can walk around and see different parts of the city spread out below. From up there, you get a feel for how large Bergen really is. I am an amateur photographer and I took a million photos from the top. And you can see beyond the city into the fjords and the mountains. Just stunning! I was thrilled we had great weather the day we rode the Fløibanen but I am convinced that the views would be great even on a less clear day. So take the Fløibanen to the top of Mt. Fløyen, it will be one of your best memories of Bergen!
We also got in touch with Vanessa Brune, blogger at Snow in Tromso, who told us what inspired her to take the The ride to the top of Mount Fløyen one the Fløibanen funicular is one of beauty. The Norwegian coastline is often regarded as one of the most beautiful cruising destinations thanks to its towering fjords, beautiful seasons and traditional architecture. If you are up for a hike, taking the funicular to the summit and walking down is the best way to do it, and will give you the best views over this incredible Scandinavian city. Be sure to bring your camera because there will be plenty of photo opportunities!
“It will be one of your best memories of Bergen!”
“I think it's one of the ‘must dos’ when visiting Bergen (and is also advertised as such), but it was furthermore recommended to me by a local - meaning that it's by no means a tourist trap. The views from the top of the mountain are just stunning and there are so many great hiking trails up there!”
We then asked Vanessa if she got the chance to hike back down the mountain: “Unfortunately, I didn't as I visited in February when there was quite a bit of snow around. Hiking down the mountain in conditions like these would have just been a little too dangerous, so after going for a short hike in the woods at the summit, I took the funicular back down. However, if I ever visit Bergen again in the summer months, I might skip the funicular completely and hike all the way up and down - locals were telling me that it makes for a gorgeous (and relatively easy) hike!
Finally, Vanessa told us about the views at the summit: “You can pretty much see all of Bergen from the summit, so the views are absolutely splendid! It's so funny to see how small the buildings of the city centre look like from above and if it hadn't been as cold and windy as it was that day, I could have spent an hour just taking in the view!”
Visit Japan’s most famous Shinto shrine, dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Admission to the shrine grounds is free, but it costs 500 yen to enter the inner garden.
Tokyo is a fantastic city which achieves a perfect fusion between its history and the future. Although often regarded as a sci-fi lover’s dream thanks to its glowing neon lights, ingenuitive tech and love for all things futuristic, you may be surprised at the vast amount of beautiful historic places you’ll see around the city. Some of the most beautiful examples of Tokyo’s history are its shrines, which can be found all around the country. The most famous Shinto shrine in Japan is the Meiji Shrine. Dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji and his wife, Empress Shoken. Entering the grounds is free, but with your £5 you can afford to also enter the tranquil inner garden.
“It’s a wonderful place to reflect on Japan’s past”
We spoke to Laura, known online as The Creative Adventurer, who told us what inspired her to visit the Meiji Shrine: “One of the reasons which inspired me to visit the Meiji Shrine is the fact that in a metropolis like Tokyo it is a green oasis in the middle-high rises and bustling sidewalks. The Meiji Shrine is dedicated to the deified spirits of Emperor Meiji and the Empress Shoken. Compared to other shrines throughout the city, this one is rather new, being built in 1920, after the death of the emperor and empress. It is a wonderful place to go to reflect on Japan's past while also seeing more of its more current sacred architecture.”
“During the spring and summer, the temple gardens are a sought-after destination and require a separate entrance fee of 500 yen (£3.50). The inner garden is home to a beautiful set of blooming iris flowers which draw people from all over Japan to see during the summer. Stepping into the garden you feel like you are stepping back in time and into the heart of the Japanese countryside. There is a small tea house which you can view from the exterior where the new Emperor and Empress would host small but intimate gatherings.”
Finally, Laura told us why she would recommend it to everyone visiting Tokyo: “If you have the chance to visit while exploring Tokyo you won't be disappointed. There is nothing like stepping away from the crowded streets and loud shopping centres into a lush green sanctuary where you can have a moment of quiet reflection. Go early in the morning to avoid the crowds and you're sure to have an incredible experience.”
Eat like a king. One of Thailand’s biggest draws is its cuisine and beautiful street food markets. For £5, two people could try several dishes and enjoy a local beer.
The bustling streets of Phuket are filled with incredibly affordable experiences for all, but one of the biggest draws of the country is its diverse and exciting cuisine. For only £5 you can eat like royalty and enjoy a great range of different dishes from egg noodle soup, pad Thai, roti and even more unusual things like crickets and silkworms.
Cape Town, South Africa
Visit an African penguin colony at Boulders Beach, near Simons Town. The entrance fee goes directly to the conservation project protecting the colony.
Although you may not think of penguins when journeying to Africa, Cape Town has an abundance of them. Just like you, these penguins were searching out the warm sand and made Boulders Beach their home. Now you pay a small entrance fee to the beach, which all goes into the conservation project protecting the colony, and you can spend your day relaxing with the penguins.
Ride the historic Santa Justa Lift in the heart of Lisbon for spectacular views over the city.
The beautiful streets of Lisbon are best seen from above. With clay rooftops and the sun bouncing off the cobblestones, experiencing the city from a different angle is a must for anyone visiting. One of the best ways to do that is to ride the historic Santa Justa lift in the heart of the city. As Lisbon is so hilly, the lift was installed as a way to make walking to the higher parts of the city easier, but it also gives one of the best views of the city. For £5 you’ll be able to buy a ticket a ride to the top, where you’ll then walk up a spiral staircase to the viewing platform and experience one of the best views in Portugal.
We spoke to Michelle, known online as The Munching Traveller, she told us what interested her about the Santa Justa Lift: “The Santa Justa Lift was a must-go for me as I was extremely intrigued by the structure in the middle of the city. To me, the architecture was a perfect example of the fusion of the old and the new. The iron struts and supports of the lift are fashioned into a seemingly gothic style with modern touches of the technology of the elevator cabins. Even though it isn't the tallest structure, it provides an unparalleled view of the city on the top of the viewing deck.”
Michelle then told us why it’s such a great thing to do when in Lisbon: “It is definitely a great attraction for tourists as the ride up the lift was included in your 24-hour transport ticket. Otherwise, the admission costs only 1.50 euros which is quite a no-brainer for an excellent view of Lisbon. What's more, the Santa Justa Lift actually solves a real problem that Lisbon citizens faced, to get up to the Largo do Como, especially in the hottest period of summer. You wouldn't want to be ascending steep hills and panting tirelessly every day!”
Visit Bahia Palace, one of Marrakech’s most striking buildings, the Saadian Tombs and the beautiful ruins of El Badi Palace and enjoy a mint tea or local coffee.
Beautiful Marrakech is filled with stunning architecture and buildings, and with your £5 you’ll be able to visit a whole host of some of the city’s most revered and still have enough money left over to enjoy a mint tea or try some local coffee. Bahai Palace (pictured above) is one of Marrakech’s most striking buildings, and its vibrant tiles and beautiful architecture are a delight to experience.
Other great ways you can spend £5 around the world
Send a letter from Antarctica
Send a letter home from the most remote post office in the world
A journey to Antarctica is the trip of a lifetime for any avid explorer. One of the most unexplored pieces of land on this earth, and yet, there sits a lowly post office ready to send some of the coolest postcards in the world. Run by the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, this little brown and red building is one of the most sought-after post offices around. As well as postcards, Bransfield House at Port Lockroy also stocks a small shop filled with fantastic souvenirs and gifts (many of which can also be bought from their online shop.)
We were lucky enough to speak to the team at the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust, who gave us a brief history of Port Lockroy: “For more than a century Port Lockroy has been a home for explorers, whalers, scientists, and sailors who have made vital contributions to Antarctic history and the harbour has become the most popular visitor destination in Antarctica today. Port Lockroy is a sheltered harbour off the coast of Wiencke Island at the meeting point of three seaways which offer some of the most dramatic mountain and glacier scenery on the west side of the Antarctic Peninsula.
“In 2006 the responsibility of managing Port Lockroy was passed to the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust. Since then, we have been opening it each summer season as a living museum welcoming visitors from around the world. Using the proceeds from the gift shop and post office we are able to continue the operation of Port Lockroy as well as safeguarding other British historic sites on the continent.
We asked the team what someone can expect to see when arriving: “Once on Port Lockroy visitors can take in the museum, gift shop and post office, from where they can post postcards around the world and buy souvenirs of their trip to Antarctica. In addition, there is the Gentoo penguin colony which shares the island with the UKAHT team. The colony is protected and the UKAHT team monitor the population to chart breeding progress each season.” If you want to find out more about the penguin colony and visiting, there is plenty of information on the UK Antarctic Heritage Trust site.
The team told us how much it would cost you to send a postcard home from Port Lockroy: “To send a postcard from Port Lockroy costs $2 (this includes the postcard and the stamp and surprisingly it doesn’t matter where you are posting your card back to, the cost is still $2! Each card posted at Port Lockroy will be cancelled (postmarked) ‘Port Lockroy, Antarctica’ and include the date.
“People can also request to have a card sent to someone from Port Lockroy, even if they are not able to visit. This service is available for a donation to UKAHT and the recommended donation is £5. For this, the team at Port Lockroy will hand write the card, postmark it and put it into the mail system for delivery.
You can also get your passport stamped when visiting, the team told us a bit more about that: “UKAHT have a couple of cache stamps (decorative ones) which people can use to stamp their own passports. UKAHT don’t charge for this but it’s worth remembering, however, that some countries will frown on unsolicited stamps in passports!
Buy smørrebørd in Copenhagen
Enjoy a traditional Danish smørrebrød at Torvehallerne Market
As Copenhagen’s most popular market, Torvehallerne is full of fantastic foods and products made using local produce. Scandinavia is well known for its strong identity and admirable culture and the food here is something really special. One of the key dishes in the Danes’ repertoire is smørrebrød, an open-faced sandwich traditionally made with rye bread. With your £5 you’ll be able to pick one up from Torvehallerne (although we are sure you’ll want to go back for seconds!)
Grab a pint of Guinness in one of Dublin’s favourite pubs
When in Dublin you have to try a pint of Guinness, it’s a must, the main question is where will you try it? We suggest Mulligans, the pub that’s been open since 1782 and has hosted famous faces like Judy Garland, Seamus Heaney, Con Houlihan, James Joyce and John F. Kennedy. The pub encapsulates everything a traditional Irish pub should be, including great craic!