Best places to visit in Lyon, France for a long week-end 

Wondering about making a long week-end city break in Lyon, France? Excellent idea! Let me show you the best places to visit to feel the vibe of the city. Third largest city in France is often called French kitchen mekka not without a reason. Traditional ‘bouchons’ serving the dishes eaten by silk manufacturers will not dissapoint your taste! But is Lyon only about food? Not at all!

I’ve visited Lyon, France for a 3 days long week-end and here you can find some definite must-see’s while visiting this city.

Croix Rousse – a hill that works

Lyon’s interesting history will bring you to Croix Rousse district – often called a hill that works. It was the center of Lyon’s trade in the 19th century and a district of Canuts – Lyon’s silk workers. If you’re into history, don’t miss La maison des Canuts – a museum dedicated to silk workers. Daily life in the 19th century is also shown on Lyon’s buildings as a fresque ‘Le Mur des Canuts’. While being in Croix Rousse – find a secret place called ‘Traboule’ – hidden spot used by the silk workers to transport their goods and protect them from the rain. 

Fourvière – a hill that prays and Ancient Roman Theater 

Second hill in Lyon, la Fourvière is the hill that prays. You can go there on foot or take a funicular. On the top of it you will find beautiful Basilica of Notre-Dame de Fourvière – the symbol of Lyon. Besides, from the hill you can admire panoramic view on the city. 10 minutes walk from the Basilica, going thorugh a small park and roses garden, you can visit the Ancient Roman Theater.


Lyon is situated at the confluence of two rivers: Rhône and Saône. Presqu’île (En. ‘almost an island’) is the part of Lyon located exactly between them. These are 1st and 2nd Lyon’s districts – with plenty of beautiful squares, cafés and a lot of boutiques for shopping fans! Once you visit Presqu’île don’t miss the Terraux square, the Jacobins square, Hotel Dieu in Bellecour and Muséum of Confluence.

Vieux Lyon 

5th district of Lyon is all about old-town! The city’s oldest district it is one of Europe’s most extensive Renaissance neighborhoods. With its paved old streets and colourful façades the Vieux-Lyon was a key element in getting the city listed as a World Heritage Site by Unesco. The historical area has remained almost intact for centuries thanks to French government policy in the 1960s. 

Parc de la Tête d’Or 

Finally, if you want to change the scenery and enjoy a greenery in a big city then you cannot miss the 6th Lyon’s district and it’s biggest park – Parc de la Tête d’Or. Don’t miss impressive ‘Porte des Enfants’ to enter to the park. It’s the largest urban park in France and contains numerous attractions for all the family including a zoo, boating lake, botanical gardens, miniature railway, pony rides for children and more.

Where to eat?

You need to definitely visit one of the bouchons famous for its traditional Lyon-kitchen. One of the most popular ones are Daniel & Denise. My own big recommendations is a traditional Brasserie Georges situated on the Presqu’île.

If you’re into visiting Italy or Spain, check out these cities: Milan – the heart of italian Lombardy, Barcelona, Spain – the heart of Catalonia or if you’re heading more into the South of France, here you go: French Riviera – Azure Coast – Nice, Monaco, Menton.

More inspirations to be always found on my Instagram.

See you next time! Monika

Les Avants – hike with perfect view on Swiss riviera

If you’re looking for a nice, easy hike with perfect view on Swiss riviera – check out this 5.3-km loop trail near Les Avants. Easy to find and navigate – this hike is considered as moderately challenging. There are enough up and downs to do some sport but you can surely do it with children. 

What is the best time to go for a hike in Les Avants with a gorgeous view on Swiss riviera?

I mostly recommend to do this hike in early May because you will have a lot of chances to see plenty of narcissus in full bloom. Once you arrive in Les Avants, you’ll be already surrounded by beautiful Swiss mountains. During the hike the landscape will vary – you will go through the forest and meadows where you’ll surely meet our lovely Swiss cows. 

While exploring the forest you will find an amazing view point. A very nice view on Geneva lake from the top. I am living here already 2 years but I can admit that it is one of the most incredible views across all of the Swiss riviera. And if you’re lucky – plenty of narcissus in full bloom on the way! 🙂

How to get there? 

The loop starts in Les Avants, Vaud, Switzerland and is accessible by car or the panoramic train from Montreux.

If you’re looking for other amazing places in Switzerland, check out these mountain lakes: Mountain lakes – Lac Bleu – Valais, Switzerland, Mountain lakes – Lac de Géronde – Valais, Switzerland

For more inspiration – visit my Instagram.

See you next time 😉


Azores part 2 – São Miguel green island

São Miguel – one of the volcanic islands in the archipelago of Azores is called also a green island. It becomes quite obvious once you come there – its landscape and greenery is just breathtaking. 

It’s one of the places where you have an impression to be in a different world. What are the most beautiful places to visit on São Miguel? If you missed the first part of best places to visit on São Miguel here you find it: Azores part 1 – São Miguel green island

Cha Gorreana tea plantation

Gorreana is the oldest, and nowadays one of the only two tea plantations in Europe (both are on São Miguel island). In the 19th century, there were 14 tea factories. By 1966 the number had dropped to 5, and only two still survive today. Using a rental car, we took a day trip to the north of the island and visited the Gorreana plantation. You can take a walk along the plantation and visit the factory to learn more about production process. What is important, tea growing on São Miguel is completely organic. There are no fungi or pests that attack the plants on the island, so there is no need for pesticides. No preservatives or colorings are added to the tea either. After the visit treat yourself with a free cup of tea. 

Best sunset view on the beach in Mosteiros 

Mosteiros is a small village located on the amazing northeastern coast of Sao Miguel. The picturesque fishing harbor, and the natural pools known as Poço da Pedra (“stone well”) are the main attractions of this place. Here you will find pleasant dark sand beaches and the most beautiful sunsets we have witnessed on the island. A short distance from the beach there are rocks, one of which resembles a monastery, which gave the place its name.

Piscinas Naturais “Caneiros”

Just outside the village of Mosteiros there is a viewpoint, a beach and natural pools. The pools are located on the edge of the island and the attractiveness of this place depends mainly on the weather. During a warm day, when the water is calm, this place serves as a relaxation zone. Natural pools can also be found in the southeastern part of the island.

Miradouro de Santa Iria

This place is characteristic by its sizeable cliffs where you can admire the waves crashing against the rocks. Definitely worth to visit.

A landscape almost like in Jurassic Park

The eastern part of the island gives us quite a view – as if we suddenly found ourselves in Jurassic Park. If you are thinking about a cool activity for everyone – I recommend mountain biking with Fun Activities – an activity for everyone, as you can rent an e-bike that will help you overcome any hill. And the views are really worth it – you can see the highest point of the island: Pico da Vara (1103m).

Don’t miss the first part of Azores trip here: Azores part 1 – São Miguel green island

For more inspiration visit my Instagram 😉

See you soon, Monika

Azores part 1 – São Miguel green island

São Miguel – one of the volcanic islands in the archipelago of Azores is called also a green island. It becomes quite obvious once you come there as its landscape and greenery is just breathtaking. 

It’s one of the places where you have an impression to be in a different world. What are the most beautiful places to visit on São Miguel? Don’t forget to check out also Azores part 2 – São Miguel green island

Small paradise islet next to Vila Franca do Campo

1km from the coast of the town Vila Franca do Campo you will find an amazing islet which is in fact a result of the crater of an ancient submerged volcano. This small islet has almost perfectly circular natural lake inside, connected with the sea by a small channel. It is classigied as a Nature Reserve but still between June and September you can take a boat from Tagarete pier and land on this little paradise. Lovely beach inside of the islet is a perfect place to be.

PROTIP: Once you visit Vila Franca do Campo, make sure you won’t miss a lovely, small chapel “Ermida de Nossa Senhora da Paz” with a magnificent view on the town and the islet.

Sete Cidades hikes

Sete Cidades is the name of a village located at the bottom of a huge volcano crater on São Miguel Island. The name is also commonly used among tourists and locals to refer to the entire crater with the famous lakes.

Lagos das Sete Cidades is the Portuguese name for the two crater lakes, Lagoa Verde and Lagoa Azul. What is their uniqueness? Only a narrow isthmus separates them and yet they have different colors – one is green and the other blue. Nearby, there is another – equally unusual – green lake Lagoa de Santiago.

One of the most picturesque trails in the Azores that you don’t want to miss during your stay. starts in a magnificent view point – Miraduro da Vista do Rei where you can see both lakes and very interesting but also scary ruins of an abandonded, luxury hotel of Monte Palace. The trail continues to the Sete Cidades town along the rim of the volcano.

Whale and dolphins watching 

The Azores archipelago is one of the best places (if not the best!) in the world for whale watching. The ocean waters surrounding the islands are home to many cetaceans, and although the best time to see these animals in the wild is between early April and late May, any time of year is good for an amazing marine adventure. Most of the times you will also be able to see dolphins. There are many different options for individuals or groups, half of full day trips on Tripadvisor.

We went with Sea Colors Azores and I can truly recommend it.

Hidden waterfall Ribeira Quente

I don’t even know how many people drive around this double waterfall without even realizing it – a truly hidden beautiful place to visit. Tucked between two tunnels (you can park near the second tunnel) and walk a little closer to the waterfall.

Don’t forget to check out the second part of best places to visit in São Miguel! Azores part 2 – São Miguel green island

For more inspiration you can always visit my Instagram

See you next time, Monika

Milan – the heart of italian Lombardy

Milan – Italian capital of fashion – is it really worth to visit?

Milan – the heart of Italian Lombardy, city of fashion and art, situated in the north of Italy has a lot to offer. You probably won’t feel the traditional, rustic vibe of the South but it doesn’t change the fact that northern Italy is also worth to visit. 

If you hesitate to visit Milan – the heart of italian Lombardy, let me try to convince you!

Duomo di Milano and Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

Duomo square is a definite number one to visit while traveling to Milan. Gothic cathedral being the icon of Milan is the place you cannot skip during your trip. If you’re like me and you don’t like a lot of crowd – you can go there just before the sunrise. Not a lot of people and amazing light of the sun will make the best out of this moment. 

It’s the perfect time to see also Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II situated just next to the cathedral – to admire its amazing architecture and see the first sunlight through the huge rooftop. The best time to visit the Galleria depends strictly on your goal – if you’re there for some shopping – it’s better to come a bit later in the day, however you will always see a lot of people. 

Duomo di Milano
Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

A piece of nature in Milan – Parco Sempione, Arco Della Pace, Sforza Castle, Bosco Verticale

Still in the centre of the city – but so different compared to the urban vibe of Milan – it is worth to discover some nature in the Parco Sempione. You can slow down for a while, make a picnic at the lawn, visit the Sforza Castle and take a walk up to the Arco Della Pace.

Don’t miss Bosco Verticale as well!

Lombard architecture – Basilica di Sant’ Ambrogio, Santa Maria delle Grazie

Lombard Romanesque architecture presented through one of the most important churches in the world – Basilica di Sant’ Ambriogio. St. Ambrose, bishop of the city from 374 to 397, was one of the most important personalities of the 4th century Church.

The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, situated in the heart of Milan, is an outstanding work of architecture, and an emblem within the Catholic tradition. It is famous for its connection to Leonardo Da Vinci’s fresco of “The Last Supper,” preserved inside its dining hall. Santa Maria delle Grazie became a part of UNESCO World Heritage List in 1980.

Santa Maria delle Grazie

Get lost amongst Milan’s streets – Brera district, Piazza Mercanti, Casa Campanini, Casa Berri Meregalli

Discover Milan and its architecture by walk – get comfortable shoes and explore every corner. If you get tired a bit, there are a lot of metro stations to move around the city as well.

Como, Italy

If you visit Milan and you have at least half a day free – you need to take a train to Como. 40 mins by train from Milan central station, Como beautifully situated next to the lake with the same name – Como lake is a definite must go and see. Como lake surrounded by the mountains, has been a popular retreat for aristocrats and wealthy people since Roman times, and a very popular tourist attraction with many artistic and cultural gems.

Funicular Como-Brunate will allow you to admire the city and lake from above. 

Where to eat?

My personal recommendation to eat an amazing italian pizza: Cocciuto, Via Melzo 16, 20129 Milan

Aperol Spritz with a magnificent view on the Milan’s cathedral? Terrazza Aperol, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, 20121 Milan

PROTIP: Avoid the weekends / evenings if you don’t like to wait hours to get a table. On Monday lunch time I did not have to wait at all 😉

If you’re looking for some inspiration while visiting Spain or France, don’t miss these posts: Barcelona, Spain – the heart of Catalonia, French Riviera – Azure Coast – Nice, Monaco, Menton

For more inspirations follow me on Instagram

Ciao, Monika 🙂

Lavaux – Swiss Vineyard Terraces, Switzerland

Discover Lavaux Region – Swiss Vineyard Terraces

Lavaux – Swiss Vineyard Terraces

Between Lausanne and Montreux – in french-speaking part of Switzerland you will find one of the most picturesque wine region in the world. Mountains and Geneva lake surround hectares of Lavaux vineyard terraces – which makes the landscape magnificent. Southwestern part of Switzerland and specifically Lavaux vineyards are a part of UNESCO World Heritage. This region definitely deserves a visit and local wine degustation.

Swiss Lavaux region offers approx. 800 hectares of vineyard terraces beautifully situated amongst Central Alps and Geneva lake. It has a deep-rooted history when it comes to wine making. Small villages are inhabited by many families who have been making vine for generations. You can visit one of them, get to know their history and taste their local products. During the season, maybe you can take part in the wine production process? I’m sure you’d love it!

Lavaux – Swiss Vineyard Terraces

Lavaux Vineyard Terraces are not yet well known by tourists who come to visit Switzerland so you will not see big crowds here. But when you think about Switzerland – first ideas are cheese and chocolate, right? Indeed, not many people know that Switzerland excels in producing wine. You would probably ask why? Most probably due to the fact that Switzerland is exporting only 2% of Swiss wine abroad. So it makes it even more exciting to visit Lavaux region and taste Swiss local wine exactly where it is produced.

Best time to visit Lavaux Switzerland

Best time to visit Lavaux region in Switzerland is between May and October.

Pro Tip: Take a glass of local wine in Le Deck – Lounge Bar with a magnificent view

Le Deck Lounge Bar – Address: Rte de la Corniche 4, 1071 Chexbres

You need to always check opening hours before coming, especially outside spring/summer season but it’s totally worth it!

How to get to Lavaux Vineyard Terraces

You can take a car, a boat or a train to get to multiple villages in Swiss Lavaux region. Or to make some sport and hike or take a bike!

If you would like to get to Lavaux region by train: you can take a train to Chexbres-village for instance and walk down through the vineyards.

Lavaux – Swiss Vineyard Terraces

To explore more of beautiful Swiss nature in the area I recommend Mountain lake – Lac de Géronde – Valais, Switzerland and Mountain lakes – Lac Bleu – Valais, Switzerland

For more inspirations follow me on Instagram

A+, Monika

French Riviera – Azure Coast – Nice, Monaco, Menton

8 things you shouldn’t miss while exploring French Riviera

French Riviera (Azure Coast) – known for its blue waters of Mediterranean sea and amazing French kitchen is a perfect choice to make a city break during a week-end but also to enjoy your longer holidays.

Here are the 8 things that you shouldn’t miss while exploring French Riviera

Get lost in Nice Old Town

Starting your journey from Massena Square you can take a tour around the Old Town of Nice. You will love its colours and atmosphere. Take any street and enjoy this labirynth of colours, art and amazing food.

Take a walk through Promenade des Anglais 

Enjoy the waves of Mediterranean see watching landing airplanes at the same time – Promenade des Anglais is the place you cannot miss. Relax on one of the public beaches or grab a drink in one of the bars with a sea view.

Go to Nice Flower Market

Colourful flower market where you can buy literally everything. Characteristic striped tents and plenty of places to eat and drink. A definate must-walk in Nice.

Take part in the Nice yearly winter carnival

Once a year in February – Nice is turning into heart of one of the world’s major carnival events. Each year, a special theme is chosen – in 2022 it was ‘The King of the Animals’.

Try amazing French kitchen

Recommendations coming from the bottom of my heart:

La Femme de Boulanger – 3 Rue du Commandant Raffalli, 06000 Nice, France

Chez Moi – 2 Rue Paganini, 06000 Nice, France

Climb a bit to Castle Hill and have a look on the port

The Castle of Nice was a military citadel and nowadays it is a park – the most famous public garden in Nice. Offers amazing panoramas and is being called ‘the cradle of the sun’. You can go there by foot or take a lift.

Visit Monaco

Only 30 mins by train from Nice – you can go to Monaco, one of the densest countries in the world where thousands of millionaires live in less than one square mile. Take a look on the Monte Carlo Casino, take a walk in the port, explore the country as you prefer 😉

See the Lemon festival in Menton

Once a year in Menton – charming city just next to the Italian border is organizing Lemon festival – you can admire big colourful constructions made from real lemons and oranges, buy a lot of local products made from their fruits and enjoy the special lemon menus in almost all restaurants. 

Even without a festival Menton is a definite must see – if you like Italian influence in architecture you will find this small city stunning!

If you have seen yet what to do in Barcelona, here some tips: Barcelona, Spain – the heart of Catalonia

For more inspirations follow me in Instagram

Barcelona, Spain – the heart of Catalonia

Best things to do in Barcelona

Best things to see and visit in Barcelona – the heart of Catalonia – where you can eat delicious spanish tapas, drink sangria, relax on the beach, admire architecture of Antoni Gaudí and enjoy night life in Gothic quarter! Here are some must-see’s and do’s while visiting Barcelona.

See the famous Sagrada Familia

Never finished beautiful basicilica in the heart of Barcelona. Being build as of 1882 it is definately worth visiting as it is probably impossible to find a church building anything like it in the entire history of art. To avoid the crowd of tourists I recommend to go there just before the opening – in the winter it will be close to the sunrise – another advantage to take nice photos with the sunlight. There are many various tickets, with or without guide – with audioguide, for groups etc. The best what you can do is to download the Sagrada Familia Official app and purchase ticket online. 

Go for a walk in the Park Güell

By going a bit up to the hills of Barcelona you will find one of the biggest green space with more than 17 hectars of the park. Located on Carmel hill – Park Güell allows to admire the east of the city from above. As of 1984 declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage under “Works of Antoni Gaudí” – an architect who designed the park and whose style can be recognized in the whole world.

Get lost in gothic quarter and have a glass of sangria on the top of Colon hotel

Barri Gòtic – pretty empty during the day and so crowdy during the night! One of the coolest quarters filled with bars, clubs and catalan restaurants. Here you can feel the life of Barcelona. Protip: go for a sunset to the rooftop of Colon Hotel – an amazing view on the Cathedral – to make sure that you’ll have a table you need to be there at least 1h before the sunset. Totally worth it though 😉

Go to the beach 

Barcelona has its own small beach – Barceloneta. It is small and can be really crowded however still it has its charm. If you don’t like a lot of crowd, take a bus to Casteldefells – much less crowded and much bigger beach 😉

Eat tapas and drink sangria

You cannot miss spanish tapas as they are so delicious! Patatas bravas, Gambas al Ajillo, Pulpo Gallego, Mushrooms at many many others. I can truly recommend both places I visited – the food is amazing:

  1. Tapas Bona Sort
  2. Ciudad Condal

I heard a lot of good things about El Nacional – just got there a bit too late Friday evening and it was impossible to have a table.

Try something delicious in the Boqueria Market

One of the most colorful street markets I saw – you can by literally everything 😉

Have a look on Barcelona’s architecture

Take time to look around and see the beauty of the city – Arc de Triomph (main access gate to Barcelona in 1888), Palau de la Música, Sant Pau Recinto Modernista, Casa Batlò, Casa Mila, Montjuïc.

I hope you will find it useful and let me know about places you love in Barcelona!

For more inspiration, follow my Instagram

See you next time, Monika


Coucou Montreux, Vaud, Switzerland

Through the new series Eat&Drink I would like to share with you my favourite places to grab a drink and/or eat something local and delicious. When you are visiting Montreux – don’t skip the opportunity to go to Caux and try traditional planchette with cheese and meat or fondue moitié-moitié with a magnificent view on the Geneva lake and Swiss alps on the other side. Don’t forget to take a glass of Swiss wine – remember that only small % is exported so it is a perfect opportunity to taste it!

How to get there?

You can go there by car (a small parking is just next to Le Coucou) or by train to the station Haut de Caux – 3 mins walk to le Coucou.


Rte des Monts 31, 1824 Caux, VD, Switzerland

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Mountain lakes – Lac de Géronde – Valais, Switzerland

Lac de Géronde, Sierre

Lac de Géronde, Sierre, Valais, Switzerland

Lac de Géronde – mountain lake situated in Sierre (German: Siders) in the canton Valais, Switzerland is one of the favourites places to meet and relax for habitants and guests of the town.

There are two lakes in Sierre – a small, intimate one and the large one – Lac de Géronde – an ideal place for a relaxing walk or family/friends activities on the big lawn. Lake is easily accessible – it takes only 15 minutes walk from Sierre train station. It is situated between hills and vineyards – a truly beautiful landscape and breathtaking views during the tour around the lake are guaranteed.

While making a tour around the lake you will notice an ‘island of ducks’ – not surprising as there are many ducks living in the lake. Among mountains and vineyards – scenery changing colours each season but keeping its beauty all year long.

Swimming in the lake is forbidden, however in the season between June and September (always check official opening months) you can spend a day in baths of Géronde situated just next to the lake.

How you can get there?

You can take a train to Sierre in canton Valais. Lake is situated only 15 minutes walk from the train station – no hiking equipment required.

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