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A panoramic view of Lisbon at sunset

How to spend £5 around the world

What can you buy with £5?

Published on 12 Sep 2018


When you’re 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 next cruise. From one of the best cocktails in the world to incredible cable car journeys and more, you’ll be shocked at just what you can do for only £5. 

Juneau, Alaska

For a unique souvenir, buy a can of fresh Alaskan salmon

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 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. 

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Spend your morning touring the Recoleta Cemetery and once you’re done, you’ll have enough left for 2 ice creams

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, 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. 

Matt from Travelling with a View has visited Recoleta Cemetery, he told us: “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.”

Matt continued, “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. 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 mausoleas are definitely true works of art in terms of their craftsmanship and creativity. 

“Lastly, it’s 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.”  

Hobart, Australia

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, which has now been open for over 200 years, serves not only great local drinks but oysters and a traditional bar menu, too. The interior, still relatively unchanged, is a historic gem and is a lovely place to relax after walking around the city. 

Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

After a 30-minute hike to the first hill, 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

Montreal, Canada

Get a bowl of poutine at La Banquise, a 24-hour restaurant that’s been serving food 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.

Becky from Global Grasshopper told us about her experience at La Banquise, “Poutine is the most famous dish to try in the Canadian province of Quebéc. It usually consists of French fries and cheese curds topped with 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 cafés in both Quebéc 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.” 

Santiago, Chile

Buy a ticket for the Chilean National Zoo to see lots of different animals

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 Chile, as well as see 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 of the city below. 

Havana, Cuba

Sample the best daiquiri in the world at El Floridita (according to Ernest Hemingway)

If you’re a lover of cocktails and literature, then Havana is the cruise destination for you. Not only is it famous for its rum production, but 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 Wandering Carol. “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.” 

Naples, Italy

Enjoy a classic Margherita pizza 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.

Mindi from 2foodtrippers shared her thoughts on Pizzeria de Michele, “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 Mount 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’ll all serve better pizza than anywhere else in the world. That being said, some are better than others. We recommend Pizzeria de Michele for straight-up excellent Margherita pizzas that cost under £5.” 

Tokyo, Japan

Visit Japan’s most famous Shinto shrine, dedicated to the souls of Emperor Meiji

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 ground is free, but with your £5 you can afford to also enter the tranquil inner garden.

Laura from The Creative Adventurer 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 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 everyone should visit 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.” 

Aqaba, Jordan

Visit Aqaba castle, the Archaeological Museum, the House of Sharif Hussein bin Ali, ride a camel and enjoy a coffee

The coastal city of Aqaba is a beautiful place that has been thriving in recent years as a port city. However, Aqaba has been an inhabited settlement since 400 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 on your packed day with a local coffee. 

Cozumel, Mexico

Enjoy delicious pork or fish tacos 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.

Marina from Travel Eat Blog told us about her search for tacos in Cozumel, “Tacos outside of Mexico usually have very distinct spices that are associated with it. I was experiencing 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. 

“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.” 

Marrakech, Morocco

Visit Bahia Palace, the Saadian Tombs and the ruins of El Badi Palace and enjoy a mint tea

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 is one of Marrakech’s most striking buildings and its vibrant tiles and beautiful architecture are a delight to experience. 

Wellington, New Zealand

Take a return trip on the Wellington Cable Car for a fantastic view of the city

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 onboard 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,” JetSetting Fools told us. “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 and the Botanic Gardens, are two more sights that round out the experience.” 

Bergen, Norway

Enjoy a ride to the top of Mount Fløyen on the Fløibanen Funicular

The ride to the top of Mount Fløyen on 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. 

Dhara from It’s Not About the Miles told us, “Fløibanen seemed very much like something I would want to put on my list of things to do 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. 

“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. 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.”

Vanessa from Expert World Travel added, “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!

“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 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!” 

Lisbon, Portugal

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 to 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

Michelle from The Munching Traveller 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 from the top of the viewing deck. 

“It’s 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€ 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.” 

Singapore, Republic of Singapore

Walk the Skyway at the futuristic Gardens by the Bay

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.

Alex from Swedish Nomad visited Gardens by the Bay and walked the Skyway, “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. 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 the bridge.”

Cape Town, South Africa

Visit an African penguin colony at Boulders Beach

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. 

Phuket, Thailand

Eat like a king

The bustling streets of Phuket are filled with incredibly affordable experiences for all, but one of the biggest draws of Thailand 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.  

Dubai, United Arab Emirates

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 for a while!

To get some top tips for visiting the Dubai Fountain Boardwalk during your Dubai cruise, we spoke to Ed from Dubai Travel Blog: “The boardwalk offers a different view of the Dubai Fountains and you can get really close to the water. 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.”

Ed shared some tips, “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 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 on the floor.” 

New York, United States of America

Enjoy two classic 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 soda only $1. Layer it up with ketchup and mustard for the full experience. 

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