Vegan

VEGAN ADVENT CALENDAR GUIDE 2019

Just a few years ago, I wouldn’t have believed you if you’d told me we’d be overwhelmed by the choice of vegan advent calendars; but here we are in 2019 here and I’ve gotta say it’s a pretty great dilemma to be in. To make your choice a little easier, I’ve rounded up a huge selection of vegan advent calendars to suit all budgets, from traditional chocolate, to sweets, to beauty. Have a little scroll through & see which advent calendar appeals to you.

Holland & Barrett (£2.49)

holland and barrett vegan advent calendar

The Holland & Barrett advent calendar is super affordable so is perfect if you’d like vegan treats on a budget this Christmas season. It’s available to purchase at Holland & Barrett online and in store.

 

Asda Free From (£2.50)

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Asda also offers a very affordable vegan advent calendar in their free from range. It’s available to purchase at Asda online and in store.

 

Moo Free (£4.99)

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The Moo Free advent calendar can be purchased for around £4.99 from Waitrose, Sainsbury’s & Ocado and it is also available alongside the moo free selection box on Amazon* for £9.99.

 

Nomo (£9.99)

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This Nomo Advent Calendar is gluten and nut free as well as vegan. It is available exclusively at Holland & Barrett online and in store.

 

Candy Kittens (£10)

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If you’re more into sweets than chocolate, then the Candy Kitten advent calendar is for you. It’s available to purchase at Amazon*, Waitrose, Boots online and in store.

 

Hotel Chocolat (£12.50)

hotel chocolat vegan advent calendar

This luxury calendar is the perfect seasonal splurge for all of the dark chocolate lovers out there. It is available to purchase at Amazon* and Hotel Chocolat .

Superdrug Studio (£20)

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If you’re more into Beauty Advent Calendars than chocolate or sweets, Superdrug has one of the most reasonably priced vegan advent calendars. The Superdrug Studio calendar is currently on sale and is available at Superdrug online and in store. For a more comprehensive list of vegan beauty advent calendars, check out Vegan Beauty Girl’s post.

I hope you found this list helpful and if there are any calendars I’ve missed that you think should be included, be sure to let me know so I can add them in :).

*Links with a asterisk are affiliate which means I earn a small commission for recommending this product which enables me to continue to produce free content

BRUSSELS VEGAN GUIDE

Matt and I took a day trip on the eurostar to explore the city of Brussels. Although our trip was brief, we still managed to find some delicious vegan food and experience some of the cool activities the city has to offer.

WHAT TO EAT

GREEN WAY ►►►

Green Way, one of the highest rated vegan restaurants in Brussels, is actually located at the train station, which made for the perfect arrival meal – who said 10am is too early for burgers & fries?

They offer a selection of plant-based burgers, wraps, salads & desserts. We ordered one of the kebab wraps & the meat lovers burger with sweet potato fries on the side and it was all delicious – the perfect way to start a busy day of exploring.

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EXKI ►►►

Exki is another eatery we found at the train station which had some well-labelled vegan options, including the tofu sandwiches pictured below. We didn’t get a chance to try any of the Exki’s vegan options as we were full from our 10am Green Way burgers, but it’s great to know there are so many vegan options available.

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THE SISTER BRUSSELS CAFE ►►►

After a day walking around exploring the city, we were craving some waffles, so headed to The Sister Brussels Cafe which had this mouth watering vegan waffle and ice cream feast.

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WHAT TO DO

ATOMIUM ►►►

Our first stop was the iconic Atomium, a super cool piece of architecture built for the World Expo in the 1950s. Not only does it offer an amazing view over the city, there is also a variety of art and history exhibitions inside the spheres.

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MINI EUROPE ►►►

Located a short walk from Atomium is Mini Europe, an attraction featuring miniature figures of European landmarks. It was a great way to learn about the history of various European cities; and if you’re like me, take the opportunity to absolutely nail the leaning tower of pisa photo.

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As our visit was short, there’s so much of the city left to explore and so much vegan food left to eat, so I’m sure we’ll be back soon and will be able to update this guide. In the meantime, please do leave any of your recommendations in the comments below.

The Vegan Filter - Vegans Tool

VENICE VEGAN GUIDE

Matt and I spent two days exploring Venice and during that short time we ate as much vegan food as we possibly could, whilst also hitting the tourist hot-spots and discovering some hidden gems. We ate at various vegan & vegan friendly restaurants which I am excited to share with you; and throughout this post I’ll also share some of my top tips for how you can enjoy delicious vegan food at non-vegan eateries.

RIALTO BRIDGE VENICE

WHAT TO EAT

LA TECIA VEGANA ►►►

La Tecia Vegana is the only fully vegan restaurant on Venice’s main island, so of course we had to check it out. Everything on the menu looked amazing so it was really hard to choose, but eventually we ordered: the lasagne, lentil veggie burger, seitan roast and then for dessert, of course I ordered the tiramisu.

All of the food was delicious, but the lasagne was a clear favourite for both of us, closely followed by the tiramisu.

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BELLA & BRAVA VENEZIA ►►►

Bella & Brava is a pizzeria that was located a short walk from where we were staying. Their entire menu is pescatarian with several vegetarian and vegan options and all of the pizzas are pre-made so you can’t go off menu. We ordered both of the vegan pizzas to share: marinara (no cheese) & vegetariana (vegan cheese & veggies) and added garlic oil to both. We loved both of the pizzas, and had we stayed for longer I definitely would have gone back.

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HOW TO EAT VEGAN TIP: IF YOU VISIT A NON-VEGAN PIZZERIA, OFTEN THE MARINARA WILL BE VEGAN, JUST CHECK THERE’S NO MILK / EGG IN THE BASE, AND TO MAKE IT A BIT MORE EXCITING, YOU CAN ALWAYS ASK TO ADD GRILLED VEGETABLES.

 

AMORINO GELATO ►►►

We were super lucky to stumble upon Amorino, a cute little gelateria which had an abundance of clearly labelled vegan options, including chocolate – my favourite.

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HOW TO EAT VEGAN TIP: THE DARK CHOCOLATE AND FRUIT FLAVOURED GELATOS IN MOST SHOPS ARE VEGAN, SO EVEN IF IT’S NOT LABELLED, BE SURE TO ASK!

 

PIZZA L’ANGELO ►►►

Pizza L’Angelo is a vegan-friendly take out pizzeria which serves small pizzas, family size pizzas (of course this is what we went for), paninis and falafel. Despite their abundance of varied vegan options; being the boring bettys we are, we decided to order a family size vegan margherita which ended up being one of Matt’s favourite meals of the trip!

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FIUMEFREDDO BIO ►►►

On our way back from our boat trip to Murano & Burano (two beautiful little islands a short boat trip from Venice), we stumbled across a cute little cafe in a courtyard with a sign saying vegetarian and vegan. We decided to take a look inside and the lovely waitress chatted us through the menu, most of which was vegan. We decided to go for a selection of their smaller dishes and they were all delicious; the tofu & potato triangles were especially great.

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WE LOVE ITALY ►►►

Even though we’d already eaten that evening, Matt really wanted to try some of Venice’s famous take-out spaghetti, so we headed to We love Italy which offers take out pasta and has vegan options. Matt ordered the spaghetti pomodoro and loved it! In fact, he wolfed it down so quickly that I didn’t even get a chance to take a photo!

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VENICE AIRPORT ►►►

Despite Venice Marco Polo being a relatively small airport, on our very long stay at the airport (2 hour flight delay!!), we managed to find lots of vegan options at the various eateries located on the upper level.

As soon as you come up the escalator, you’ll find a coffee shop which has soy milk for hot drinks, some clearly labelled vegan pastries and most excitingly, vegan magnums! At the burger place at the far end, you can veganise the veggie burger by ordering without the bun, tartar sauce & mayo. Finally, in the main shop, alongside all of the regular vegan-friendly airport snacks (pringles, oreos etc), we found two viva la mama vegan sandwiches – a mexican one and a tofu one.

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WHERE TO STAY

Matt and I stayed in a beautiful little bnb which I found on airbnb but is also available on hotel booking websites.

As the bnb is located in Cannaregio which isn’t in the centre of all of the tourist spots (but still only a short walk away), it is super reasonably priced compared to other accommodation; especially considering it had an amazing canal view and the vegan friendly breakfast and bottled water was included in the room rate. The staff were also super friendly and helpful, so I would definitely stay there if I visited Venice again.

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WHAT TO DO

PRIVATE SPEED BOAT TRANSFER FROM THE AIRPORT ►►►

This is definitely a luxury and not a necessity but as our trip to Venice was my birthday gift to Matt, my mum treated us to a private speedboat transfer from the airport to our hotel. It was such an amazing experience and a great way to get to see Venice by boat.

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You can purchase my Kula vegan rucksack, which was the perfect travel bag for a short trip, by clicking on my affiliate link here.

EXPLORE BY FOOT TO DISCOVER HIDDEN GEMS ►►►

There is a super reasonably priced water taxi service which stops all around the island; however, if you feel up to it, Venice is a relatively small island so it is easy to explore all of the tourist hot spots such as Rialto Bridge & St Mark’s Square by foot. This is also a great way to get lost down side streets and discover some of the more beautiful areas that aren’t overrun by tourists.

One of the most iconic Venetian tourist activities is of course the gondola ride. As this is pretty pricey & we’d already been on our speedboat trip, we got our gondola experience by gondola watching from a beautiful little bridge in a side street.

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VISIT THE ISLANDS OF MURANO & BURANO ►►►

Murano is famous for its creation of Murano glass so the island is full of glass making workshops and galleries; whilst Burano is known for its beautiful brightly coloured buildings. Both islands are very picturesque, so are definitely worth the short boat ride from Venice. You can purchase tickets at various water taxi stops around the island.

MURANO AND BURANO

I hope you’ve found my Venice Vegan Guide useful, and as always, if you have any recommendations for places to visit / eat / stay, be sure to comment them below.

Marston’s New Vegan Menu

Have you guys seen that Marston’s Pubs have introduced an exciting new no meat menu featuring super inventive menu items such as jackfruit wedges, the Moving Mountains B12 Burger and a raspberry jam donut pudding?! I’m not ashamed to admit that Matt and I headed to our local Marston’s on the first day the menu launched as Matt was extremely excited to try the ‘bleeding’ B12 burger!

Starters ▹▸▹

To start, we ordered the jackfruit wedges and the buffalo cauliflower wings to share as they both sounded delicious! The jackfruit wedges were super chunky and were topped with black beans & jackfruit in a delicious chilli style sauce. The cauliflower wings were super crunchy, a little bit spicy and completely delicious!

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Mains ▹▸▹

For main, Matt of course ordered the B12 burger and I went for the mushroom pie. We usually share dishes so that we get to try more of a menu, but as a pretty much life long veggie, the realisticness of the burger kinda freaked me out so I couldn’t bring myself to try it! Matt on the other hand was a huge fan! He said it was very realistic and had a great flavour and texture; so for anyone who likes the taste of traditional burgers but also loves animals, then this is the burger for you!

Desserts ▹▸▹

Although we were full after our delicious starters and mains, we knew we had to make room for dessert as the menu had such original, exciting options! Matt ordered the raspberry jam donut pudding and I went for the rhubarb and ginger pudding which was absolutely heavenly. The sponge was so light and fluffy and the rhubarb and ginger flavour combination was delicious.

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There’s still lots of menu items we’re excited to try, like the Tikka Masala and the Buffalo Cauliflower Tacos, so I’m sure we’ll be back very soon and I’ll be sure to update this post with the details. And of course, if any of you guys have been to a Marston’s to try their new vegan menu – I’d love to hear what you tried and what you thought!

Rome Vegan Guide

Rome is a beautiful city filled with historic landmarks to visit and so much incredible vegan food. Not only are there lots of restaurants and cafes with clearly marked vegan items on their menu, but pretty much every restaurant we visited was able to easily veganise their dishes by simply removing the cheese. This made it super easy to eat vegan with little to no planning! However, I’ve compiled this city guide of all of the food, attraction & accommodation highlights of our trip so that you can come to Rome feeling prepared, without having to do any of the planning! I hope you have an awesome time in Rome!

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WHERE TO EAT ▹▸▹

As we visited Rome with non-vegan friends, the majority of our meals were not at vegan restaurants, so before I get into the delicious meals we ate at restaurants with vegan items on their menu, I thought it’d be helpful to share how we veganised meals at most restaurants. For starter, we would typically order bruschetta which was nearly always naturally vegan without any modifications required. Then for main, we would order spaghetti pomodoro or arabiata (and be sure to check there was no egg in the pasta) or a marinara pizza (which naturally has no cheese) with added veggies (and be sure to check there was no milk or eggs in the base). For desert, we would head to a gelateria , lots of which had clearly labelled vegan options.

Rifugio Romano

Rifugio Romano was by far the food highlight of our trip. I loved it so much that I wrote the restaurant its own full review here, but I’ll sum up the key details in this guide too.  The restaurant is located close to Termini station and has a small seating area both outside and inside. Both times we visited it was super busy – a testament to how amazing the food is – so be prepared to wait a little while if you’re in a bigger group. The restaurant has an extensive vegan menu as well as a non-vegan menu, making it the perfect place to visit with non-vegan family and friends.

We were spoilt for choice so decided to order lots of dishes to share – falafel, arancino, crocchetta, carbonara, lasagne, tiramisu & a creamy caramel biscuit desert that I can’t remember the name of – they were all absolulety delicious.

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Vivi Bistrot

Vivi Bistrot is located in Piazza Navona and has both vegan and non-vegan items on their menu. After days of eating exclusively pizza and pasta, we all ordered burgers, and let me tell you, this burger is one of the best I’ve ever eaten!

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Ristorante Porta Castello

This cute little vegan-friendly restaurant is located close to the Vatican and serves delicious pizzas that are so big, they are bursting off the plate, so be sure to bring your appetite.

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Di Quà

Di Qua is a beautifully decorated restaurant near the Spanish Steps which had a few dishes that could easily be veganised. I had a mixed bruschetta and Matt had a spaghetti arrabbiata which he absolutely loved!

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Arena Del Gelato

This little gelateria located close to Vatican City has a huge range of vegan gelato including this delicious dark chocolate flavour.

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WHAT TO DO ▹▸▹

The Vatican & Sisteen Chapel

A tour of the vatican is a must do whilst you’re in Rome as the architcture and art is breathtaking! Be sure to book your tickets in advance, as the queue to get tickets on the day can be hours long! We purchased entry tickets with an audio guide so that we could explore at our own leisure.

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The Colosseum

Not only is the Colosseum a stunning piece of architecture, it also has a fascinating and extremely gory history so I would definitely recommend purchasing an audioguide on your visit. Once again, we booked our tickets in advance, to avoid hours of queuing on the day.

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The Trevi Fountain

The Trevi Fountain is another must visit whilst you’re in Rome. As it is an historic piece of architecture and is in a public place and therefore free to visit, it is always packed with tourists in peak season. Despite the crowds, it is still a beautiful place to chill out with some gelato (we found an awesome vegan-friendly gelateria close by – Antica Gelateria Trevi).

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WHERE TO STAY ▹▸▹

We stayed in a beautiful hotel which was walking distance (assuming you don’t mind 40 minute walks) from all of the major attractions. The best part of our hotel was definitely the rooftop terrace which was a cool place to chill out in the evening with a few cocktails with a view overlooking St Peter’s Basilica.

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I hope you found this guide helpful and if you have any awesome vegan-friendly restaurants to recommend, be sure to comment them below.

RIFUGIO ROMANO – VEGAN RESTAURANT IN ROME

The food highlight of our trip to Rome was definitely visiting Rifugio Romano – a cute little restaurant with an extensive vegan menu, as well as a non-vegan menu – making it the perfect place to visit with non-vegan family and friends. The restaurant is located close to Termini station and has a small seating area both outside and inside. Both times we visited it was super busy – a testament to how amazing the food is – so be prepared to wait a little while if you’re in a bigger group, it’ll definitely be worth it!

The menu is full of traditional Italian dishes that have been veganised and everything looked so delicious that Matt and I really struggled to decide what to order. So we decided to order a few extra dishes and share it all.

For starter, we ordered the falafel, arancino and crocchetta. All 3 were delicious, but the falafel with vegan mayonnaise were my favourite – the mayonnaise was definitely one of the best mayonnaises I’ve ever had!

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For main we ordered the carbonara – which is one of Matt’s favourite foods – and the lasagne. Being a pretty much life-long veggie, I’ve never tried carbonara before but I absolutely loved it, and I’m pretty sure Matt was an even bigger fan!

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We also both loved the lasagne, which was creamy, tomatoey and full of flavour.

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Although it is super easy to veganise italian main courses, aside from gelato, most of the vegan dessert options on non-vegan menus were sorbet or fruit. So, I was super excited to indulge in a decadent vegan dessert at Rifugio Romano and decided to go with the tiramisu.

Facetune_24-07-2018-18-33-15Matt went for this creamy caramel biscuit dish (the name of which escapes me) which he loved!

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If you find yourself in Rome, Rifiguio Romano is a must visit. We absolutely loved every dish we tried and there is so much choice that we could have eaten there every day and enjoyed something new!

BUDAPEST VEGAN GUIDE

Budapest is an awesome city to visit, as not only does it have an abundance of delicious, reasonably priced vegan food; it also has lots of unique things to do. I’ve compiled this city guide of all of the food, attraction & accommodation highlights of our trip to save you guys time when planning your visit. I hope you have an awesome time in Budapest!

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WHAT TO EAT ▹▸▹

GREAT BISTRO BUDAPEST

Great Bistro Budapest came with very high recommendations from my lovely instagram audience, so we were very excited to discover that it was located just a short walk away from our hotel. It’s a fully vegan restaurant with cute decor and delicious food which definitely lived up to and even exceeded our high expectations (evidenced by the fact that we visited three times during our trip)!

The chickpea omelette with tofu bacon was both of our favourite dish. In addition to the perfectly crisped tofu bacon, the flavourful omelette was brimming with salad, vegan cheese and a delicious creamy sauce.

Great Bistro Budapest

Accross our various visits, we also ate a tofu bacon sandwich, pancakes, tomato pasta and risotto, all of which were delicious. But what really stole the show for me was the traditional hungarian dessert (I ate it twice in one day!!) I’m not sure exactly what the ingredients are, but it tasted like chocolate and traditional custard and had the most delicious pieces of sponge cake in the bottom.

Great Bistro Budapest

HUMMUS BAR

Hummus Bar was another of our favourite eateries that we also happened to visit 3 times during our stay, twice to eat in and once to take away as it was so close to our hotel.

They serve delicious falafel, hummus and tahini in very generous portion sizes. Unfortunately the vegan options aren’t labelled on the menu, so I’ve contacted Hummus Bar on Facebook to ask for a full list of vegan options and will hopefully be able to share that with you all here soon. In the meantime, be sure to ask the staff which dishes are suitable for vegans on your visit.

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VEGA CITY

Vega City is a great 100% vegan, buffet style restaurant. They offer a huge selection of food and the warm meal menu changes week by week, keeping things fresh and exciting.

As the food is so reasonably priced and everything looked delicious, Matt and I ordered quite a few dishes between us to try. Matt’s favourite was the carrot kofta, whilst mine was the cashew cheese in breadcrumbs. We both also loved the battered seitan so much that we didn’t want to share, so had to order some extra!

Vega City Budapest

GOVINDAS

Govindas is a pure vegetarian restaurant serving authentic indian cuisine, with lots of vegan options. The staff were really helpful and pointed out which dishes were vegan-friendly. The creamy pasta dish was both of our favourite and we also loved the mini battered veggies.

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WHAT TO DO ▹▸▹

SZECHENYI THERMAL BATHS

One of the coolest things about Budapest is that that it sits on thermal springs meaning there are lots of outdoor thermal baths you can visit. From all of the research we (and when I say we, I mean Matt) did before our trip, Szechenyi Baths seemed to be the most popular. There are 18 pools, both inside and outside, of varying temperatures from ice cold to hot. Our favourite was definitely the beautiful outdoor hot pool, with the water temperature at 28 degrees, whilst the air temperature was only 10 degrees!

Szechenyi Baths Budapest

Szechenyi Baths also has the biggest sauna I’ve ever been in, as well as massage facilities if you feel like treating yourself to the ultimate pamper day.

Top tip: bring flip flops, as when you get out of the baths your feet will feel super cold walking on the paving!

CLIMB TO THE TOP OF GELLÉRT HILL

We climbed to the top of Gellért Hill which gives an amazing view of the city. Depending on your fitness levels, it is a little bit of a tricky climb but it is definitely worth it for the panoramic city view you get at the top.

Gellert Hill

RUIN BARS

Ruin Bars are a super cool concept found in the old Jewish Quarter in Budapest. They are built in the ruins of abandoned buildings and are filled with weird and wonderful eclectic furniture and decorations. Szimpla Kert is the original ruin bar and has two levels with various drink stations and lots of different rooms and unique features to explore.

Szimpla Kert Ruin Bar

Szimpla Kert is located just around the corner from Karaván, a street food court which includes vegan burger van Las Vegan’s. Unfortunately Karaván was closed on our visit but it has very high reviews, so I’m sure grabbing a vegan burger would make the perfect end to an evening at Szimpla Kert.

WHERE TO STAY ▹▸▹

We stayed at Prestige Hotel Budapest which was absolutely stunning. The lobby sits in the place of the former courtyard with the beautiful balconies of the inside rooms surrounding it creating an extremely breathtaking aesthetic.

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It was also ideally located amongst lots of vegan and vegan-friendly eateries, with Govindas opposite and both Hummus Bar and Great Bistro Budapest just a short walk away.

The hotel has an underground spa which is the perfect setting to relax in after a busy day of exploring the city. Located next to the gym, the spa has a chill out area, a sauna and the coolest hot tub I’ve ever been in (we’re talking 4 different jet controls, changeable flashing lights and a mini water fountain)!

I hope you all found this guide helpful and if you have any questions / recommendations of your own, please feel free to leave them down below.