15 Best Things To Do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Milwaukee is the largest city in the state of Wisconsin by population, and it’s also the fifth-largest city in the midwest. As you can imagine, there are endless things to see and do in Milwaukee to keep you busy. 

Located near Lake Michigan, there are several fun water activities you can take part in. Plus, Milwaukee has countless breweries, making it the perfect place to visit with friends!

But, there’s more on offer than just nature and beer, the city is filled with many cultural and historical sites as well. Whether you visit with your kids or colleagues, there are fun things to do in Milwaukee for everyone.

I’ve lived in Milwaukee since I was two years old. Having attended elementary school all the way through college in the city, I’m familiar with the area — it’s a great place with a lot to offer.

Whether you’re just spending a couple of days or two weeks, you won’t run out of things to do in this big city. 

Here is a complete list of the 15 best things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

1. Visit the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory

Situated on the Southside of Milwaukee, the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory is the perfect place to go with your friends and family.

It’s one of the most unique things to do in Milwaukee, as this type of architecture isn’t found anywhere else. 

Constructed in 1959, the conservatory houses a variety of botanical life — it’s filled with beautiful and eccentric flowers, trees, and shrubs.

The first dome accommodates an arid ecosystem from America and Africa, whereas the second contains vibrant tropical plants and orchids.

The last dome contains a wide and admirable garden railway, themed exhibits, and holds many cultural events throughout the year.

Whether you’re looking for a fun activity to do during the winter or summer, this is a great place to visit, especially if you love nature and are looking for something relaxing to do. 

Whether you go with your spouse, friends, or children, everyone will definitely fall in love with the conservatory. If you go on certain days, you might be able to get in for free too.

2. Spend A Day At Discovery World

The perfect way to spend the day with family is by visiting one of the most famous Milwaukee attractions —Discovery World.

The place is located on the shoreline of Lake Michigan and offers a number of interactive exhibits to keep you interested as you roam around the building.

It has all sorts of unique features. There is a “Dream Machine” that lets you explore the automation all around the building. You can meet robots and even make foam toys!

The clean Air Trek exhibit shows you how battery technology works in automobiles. The Distant Mirror exhibit allows you to discover how a mummy looks on the inside. These are just a few of the many activities and exhibits you can do in this place. 

3. Visit The Harley-Davidson Museum

If you walk or drive around Milwaukee long enough, you’ll eventually come across the grand Harley-Davidson Museum. Located on 20-acres of land, the building complex has more than 400 original Harley-Davidson Motorcycles in its vast collection.

The building also holds various artifacts that take you on a long journey of the history and evolution of the brand, culture, and engines. 

You not only get to witness traditional American culture but also the rebellious side of it as you walk through its stunning exhibitions.

In a nutshell, it’s a great place worth visiting whether you like motorcycles or not. They also always have some sort of event going on, and if you’re into motorcycles — Harley Davidson or other, you’ll find it enjoyable. Click here to get your admission ticket ahead of time.

4. Try Some Delicious Milwaukee Restaurants

Milwaukee is home to many different restaurants and cuisines for different tastes.

best things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

If you want to try some delicious Mexican food, visit El Señorial, located on the South Side of Milwaukee. If you want to try the best burgers in town, AJ Bombers is the place.

For an original chili recipe not found anywhere else, Real Chilli is a top choice. If you’re looking for something a bit fancier or fine dining options, Mo’s A Place for Steaks is one of Milwaukee’s very own. 

5. Visit The Milwaukee Art Museum

For art fans, the Milwaukee Art Museum should be on your list of top places to visit.

Not only is the place famous for the artifacts and art pieces that it possesses, but also for its building structure. Found in downtown Milwaukee, the art museum has interesting modern architecture.

Besides the main building, you can see a stunning suspension bridge and a future-looking and exquisite pavilion that adorns retractable wings. The wings open up and extend up to a wingspan of 217 feet when the museum opens in the morning. 

Apart from the spectacular architecture, the interior is phenomenal as well.

There are over 25000 paintings, prints, and photos on display. If you enjoy art from artists like Pablo Picasso, Georgia O’Keeffe, and Claude Money, this place is perfect for satisfying your inner artistic geek.

6. Go for a Brewery Tour at Lakefront Brewery

Located on Commerce Street, Lakefront Brewery is one of the best places to visit in Milwaukee if you love beer. This is the number one go-to place for people if you want to try ales, lagers, stouts, and other high-quality beverages.

things to do in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Since 1987, the business has been producing beers and offering tours that show how the drinks are brewed and bottled. You can also taste the many samples in the making!

Apart from sampling brews, you can stop and have something to eat along the way. Their fish tacos are one of their most popular dishes. The live music that plays in the background uplifts the entire mood of the area.

7. Walk Through the Grandeur of Pabst Mansion

If the Victorian era fascinates you, you need to visit the Pabst Mansion. Constructed in 1892, the mansion is a part of a historic house museum and contains some of the most exquisite artifacts from the Flemish Renaissance.

Historians mention that the Pabst family had lived luxuriously till the early 20th century, which is very well depicted in the rooms of their house.

The place includes a pavilion, carriage house, greenhouse, and the residence, which possesses 37 rooms, 14 fireplaces, and many hidden compartments. 

The museum offers tours which usually start with you exploring all the well-preserved rooms and halls of the mansion. Moreover, you also learn about the Pabst family history, how they acquired this grandeur, and their renowned brewery, Pabst Brewing Company. 

8. Visit the Basilica of St. Josaphat

Situated on the corner of the Lincoln Avenue and sixth street, the Basilica of St. Josaphat is a designated Milwaukee Landmark which is known for having one of the largest copper domes in the world.

visit the Basilica of St. Josaphat

The structure was erected in the year 1901. It has stunning stone columns on the outside, and the interior is filled with fascinating murals and stained glass windows. 

Overall, the place exhibits the most exemplary Renaissance architecture that you can find. The structure closely resembles the Polish Cathedral churches.

Visiting the basilica is definitely worthwhile, just don’t make too much noise and be mindful with pictures since it is, after all, a church. It’s one of the many free things to do in Milwaukee.

9. Sample Cocktails at Great Lakes Distillery

Owning the title of being Wisconsin’s first distillery after prohibition, the Great Lakes Distillery is a must-visit when you come to Milwaukee. It’s located south of Downtown Milwaukee. 

The distillery was established in 2004 and produces every type of spirit you could think of, like absinthes, gins, whiskies, and vodkas.

The place also offers tours and tasting sessions that show you the building and how the drinks are fermented and produced.

On tours, you also have a chance to sample some amazing cocktails in their tasting room — plus liqueurs and rums as well. 

Before visiting Great Lakes Distillery, make sure to hop onto their official website and check the timings. The tasting room, as well as the kitchen hours, vary throughout the week.

10. Go To A Game At The American Family Field

Previously known as Miller Park, the American Family Field is just five minutes away from the west of downtown. The field is home to the Milwaukee Brewers, who are a well-known team in the MLB.

The stadium has the capacity to hold almost 41,900 spectators, so the atmosphere is electrifying and provides a wholesome and invigorating experience. 

The field is also famous for its movable roof. Out of the seven panels that make up the roof, five of them are movable.

It’s worth purchasing some baseball souvenirs to take back home if you’re visiting for the day. Tailgating before the games is also quite the experience, and it’s a great way to meet new people.

Be sure to arrive a couple of hours early before the game, so you have enough time to enjoy it.

11. Learn About The History of North Point Lighthouse

Cocooned in the beautiful Lake Park is the bright North Point Lighthouse. Constructed in the year 1888, the lighthouse was built to mark the entry point of the Milwaukee River.

The History of North Point Lighthouse

It holds a lot of interesting exhibits and unique artifacts. Plus, there are stories that cover information on the people that helped maintain it.

The North Point Lighthouse is only ten minutes away from Discovery World, so be sure to stop by before or after your visit. The history of the place is rich and will keep you on your toes the entire trip. 

12. Take a Walk on the Milwaukee RiverWalk

Milwaukee RiverWalk is a great addition to the beautiful and lively cityscape. Present on either side of the Milwaukee River, the pedestrian walkway is ideal for a quiet romantic date.

It’s pretty peaceful and allows you to appreciate the city from afar. It takes you past the public art displays, historical sights, and many cafes and brewpubs. 

The RiverWalk spans over 3.1 miles and connects to three riverside neighborhoods — Historic Third Ward, Beerline B, and Downtown.

If you’re in the nearby areas and want a break from the hustle and bustle, come here and allow your mind to relax for a bit. 

13. Get Some Frozen Custard At Leons

Leon’s has been serving Milwaukeeans frozen custard since 1942. Today, it’s one of the most famous family-owned custard places in Milwaukee and the state.

Despite its immense popularity, the prices are quite reasonable and perfect for any budget. Apart from frozen custard, they also sell milkshakes.

Just be warned that if you go on a hot summer day, don’t be surprised if you see long lines. It’s open every day from 11 am to 11 pm, so it’s the perfect dessert after dinner or lunch. Find it on the map here.

14. Kayak The Menomonee River

Menomonee River is one of the three primary rivers in the city. It is 33.0 miles in length and passes through different counties in Wisconsin apart from Milwaukee, like Waukesha and Washington county. Kayaking in the river is one of the most exciting Milwaukee activities.

If you’re lucky, some of the common fish you might be able to see are brown trout, steelhead, and salmon.

Apart from kayaking, you can also go boating and canoeing. So, if you love watersports, this is the place to go. It’s fun, and the river takes you along the cityscape of the city. Click here to book an affordable kayak rental online.

15. Bar Hop At Brady Street

If you’re trying to figure out what to do in Milwaukee during the night, you can’t go wrong with Brady Street. No trip is complete without going onto the busiest street of the city.

bar hop at Brady Street

Brady street is home to numerous bars and restaurants and at night, it’s one of the liveliest parts of Milwaukee. 

While Water Street features a younger atmosphere with clubs and dancing bars, Brady Street is perfect for adults of any age.

There are always different events going on throughout the year, like pet parades and social events, so be on the lookout for any fun things that occur in the area while you visit.

Now You Know What to Do in Milwaukee

Overall, Milwaukee is a great city to visit no matter what kind of group you’re visiting it with. There are all types of fun activities you can do that everyone can enjoy.

There is a mix of various cultures from all around the world, offering unique things to do and a great way to experience new things.

Plus, it’s centered in a strategic location that offers multiple day trip opportunities to places away from the city. If you want a memorable and enjoyable vacation, Milwaukee is one of the best cities to check out in the United States.

Disclaimer:Goats On The Road is an Amazon Associate and also an affiliate for some other retailers. This means we earn commissions if you click links on our blog and purchase from those retailers.

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10 Best Hotels On Bourbon Street, New Orleans

Famous for its festivals, live music, cuisine, and raucous nightlife, New Orleans just might be the most fun city in the United States.

If you’re planning a trip to the Big Easy and want to stay right in the thick of all the action, you’re probably looking for the best hotels on Bourbon Street.

Even if you haven’t been to New Orleans yet, you’ve probably heard of Bourbon Street. After all, there are few places on earth that party as hard as this infamous street in New Orleans.

It’s true, there’s always a huge party going on here, but there are quite a few hotels on Bourbon Street where you can escape the madness.

For those interested in being near the action but not necessarily right in the middle of it all, there are also plenty of excellent French Quarter hotels nearby.

In this guide, we’ll take a look at 10 of the best hotels on Bourbon Street (and nearby) to help you plan that dream trip to New Orleans. 

Ready to get right into it? Click here to jump down the page to the best Bourbon Street hotels. Or, read on to learn more about the area.

An Introduction to Bourbon Street

There’s no doubt that Bourbon Street is the most iconic street in New Orleans. Located in the city’s historic French Quarter, Bourbon Street stretches for 13 city blocks from Canal Street to Esplanade Avenue.

In a city famous for its rowdy nightlife, epic Mardi Gras celebrations, and other awesome festivals, Bourbon Street is definitely party central.

Bourbon Street is home to countless bars and clubs.

No matter what night of the week it is, you’ll find hordes of tourists here enjoying “to go” cups as they stroll along the famous street. That’s right — this is one of few cities in the US where you can legally drink alcohol in public!

Popular choices include New Orleans cocktails with names like the Hurricane and Hand Grenade or the ubiquitous “huge ass beers.”  Bars stay open late here (some of them don’t even close), so the party rages all night long on Bourbon Street. 

On this hard-drinking and hard-partying street, you might assume that it got its name from the liquor. Actually, there’s an interesting history lesson behind the name…

History and Layout of Bourbon Street

New Orleans was founded back in 1718, and French engineer Adrien de Pauger had the task of laying out the city’s streets a few years later.

He named one of the streets Rue Bourbon in honor of the French royal family that was ruling at the time. As a matter of fact, some people believe that the famous liquor actually got its name from the street.

Upper Bourbon Street is where you’ll find an abundance of bars, souvenir shops, and restaurants that are geared towards party animal tourists.

You definitely won’t find many locals hanging out here, but it’s still a fun place to check out if you’re visiting New Orleans. 

Moving downstream towards the Mighty Mississippi, you’ll eventually cross what’s known as the “Lavender Line” on St. Ann Street. This area, known as Lower Bourbon Street, caters to the thriving LGBTQ community.

This is the center of the Southern Decadence festival that happens over Labor Day weekend, which many refer to as NOLA’s “gay Mardi Gras.”

mardi gras festival in new orleans

It’s not all just a wild party on Bourbon Street, though.

Here you’ll also find the Musical Legends Park, which has statues of famous jazz musicians and free outdoor concerts. In a city that’s known as the Birthplace of Jazz, there are several venues on Bourbon Street to catch some live music.

Should I Stay On or Near Bourbon Street?

Whether you stay directly on it or opt for one of the hotels near Bourbon Street is entirely up to you. It depends largely on your tolerance for noise, as the hotels on Bourbon Street are right on top of the action.

If you’re not a fan of loud music or you’re a light sleeper, it might be better to look for a hotel that’s a few blocks away.

That being said, most of the hotels on Bourbon Street offer rooms that face away from the street and look out onto a courtyard. Many also provide earplugs in the room, as they’re well aware of the racket that’s going on down on the street! 

During Mardi Gras, rooms with a balcony overlooking Bourbon Street are in very, very high demand. These book up many months in advance and cost a pretty penny.

Even on regular weekends in the city, it can be difficult and expensive to get one of these sought-after rooms. Thankfully there are several options for cheap hotels near Bourbon Street.

Now that you know a bit more about the street and what’s going on there, let’s take a look at where to stay on Bourbon Street.  

mardi gras on bourbon street new orleans

Best Hotels on Bourbon Street

Here are some of the top hotels on or near Bourbon Street. To find the price, I searched for a 3-night stay in New Orleans over a normal weekend a few months away.

Prices are usually lower during the week, and they can be much higher during holiday weekends or big events like Mardi Gras or Jazz Fest.

If you plan to visit New Orleans when one of those is going on, you’d better book your accommodation well in advance.

1. Royal Sonesta

When it comes to the best hotels on Bourbon Street, it’s hard to top Royal Sonesta.

It’s located right in the heart of all the action on the Big Easy’s most legendary party street. This historic New Orleans hotel recently celebrated its 50th anniversary! 

The Royal Sonesta has almost 500 rooms, ranging from their standard guest rooms up to their fancy balcony entertainment suites. All rooms are very well-appointed, each featuring a flat-screen TV, Keurig coffee maker, refrigerator, and much more. 

Every room boasts a view of the French Quarter.

Many of them have wrought-iron balconies, some facing straight onto Bourbon Street that make for great people watching. Others face their tranquil outdoor pool and courtyard, for those who prefer a bit more peace & quiet. 

This is more like a resort than a hotel, with several different bars and restaurants to choose from. There’s even a jazz bar here with nightly live music.

In addition to the pool, there’s also a 24/7 fitness center. With so much to offer, the Royal Sonesta is definitely one of the top French Quarter hotels. Click here to see the latest price from

royal sonesta new orleans hotels

2. Four Points by Sheraton

Location, location, location! The Four Points by Sheraton is right in the center of Bourbon Street, meaning you’re just a short walk away from landmarks such as Jackson Square and Preservation Hall. 

This is certainly one of the nicer-looking hotels on Bourbon Street, as it used to be a French opera house. It’s a classy oasis in the middle of a wild party, and the perfect place to retreat to after a big night out on the town.

Rooms here have a view out to their courtyard or the French Quarter. Many of them feature a balcony looking right out onto Bourbon Street. If you’re worried about the noise, don’t be — they provide earplugs so you can still get a good night’s sleep.

There are two different restaurants on-site here: Cafe Opera and the Puccini Bar.

They also have a nice outdoor pool and a well-equipped fitness center for when you need to work off that tasty New Orleans food and daiquiris! Click here to see the latest price from

where to stay in new orleans four points by sheraton

3. Lafitte’s Guest House

This boutique hotel is set in a restored home that dates all the way back to 1849. It feels more like staying in someone’s home than a hotel here, as there are only 14 rooms in total.

Lafitte’s Guest House is located on Bourbon and St. Phillip Street, which is a great location for exploring all that the French Quarter has to offer.

The hotel features several shared balconies and some rooms have private ones as well. Each room has a private bath along with a flat-screen TV and a mini-fridge. 

This is definitely one of the best hotels on Bourbon Street if you’re looking to have a wedding, reunion, or just a fun get-together in the Big Easy.

They can help you plan an event for anywhere from 10-100 people, as they can offer additional accommodation at their sister property the Royal Frenchmen Hotel.

One of the best things about staying here is that it’s located right next door to Lafitte’s Blacksmith Bar & Shop. This is the oldest bar in town and one of the coolest places on Bourbon Street to visit.

Enjoying a drink in this historic watering hole while you listen to some live piano is a must-do when in New Orleans. Click here to see the latest price from

lafittes blacksmith shop

4. Hyatt Centric French Quarter

While this hotel isn’t technically on Bourbon, it’s close enough. It’s right around the corner and offers some rooms with balconies overlooking Bourbon Street. After a late-night out on the town, you’re just stumbling distance from your room!

As it’s located near Upper Bourbon Street, this is a great option for those who are attending an event at the Superdome or Smoothie King Center. Both are just 15-20 minutes away on foot or by public transportation. 

The Hyatt Centric has a wide variety of rooms to choose from, including some pretty swanky suites. All guests can enjoy the outdoor pool and gym. If you need to get some work done while you’re here, there’s also a business center on the premises.

With a few different restaurants and bars on-site, you don’t have to go far to get some tasty food or cocktail.

There’s even a poolside bar that’s open from April to September. This is definitely one of the best hotels close to Bourbon Street! Click here to see the latest price from

hyatt centric bourbon street hotels

5. Astor Crowne Plaza

  • Location: 739 Canal Street
  • Rating on 8.1/10
  • Price: See the latest price here 

While their address is listed as being on Canal Street, the Astor Crowne Plaza is still located right on Bourbon Street.

The building itself dates back to the 1850s, but the hotel was recently renovated. It’s a 4-star hotel in the heart of NoLa and it comes at a very reasonable price.

The Astor Crowne Plaza is an excellent choice for travelers who still need to get a bit of work done in between all the sightseeing and partying on Bourbon Street.

Rooms here have complimentary WiFi and executive work desks. There’s also a business center in the hotel.

This is one of those French Quarter hotels that really exemplifies southern hospitality. They’ve got an attentive concierge service, as well as laundry, valet, limo, and room service available.

You can get late-night munchies to your room anytime as room service operates 24/7!

With nearly 700 rooms and 32,000 square feet of event space, this is a great choice for large gatherings like weddings or conventions. There’s also a really nice outdoor pool and a fully stacked fitness center here. Click here to see the latest price from

Best Hotels Near Bourbon Street

Near to all of the action, but just a little farther away.

1. Bourbon Orleans Hotel

For those looking to be near Bourbon Street but not right on it, this is a great choice. Bourbon Orleans Hotel is located just around the corner from the action but it feels worlds apart once you’re inside.

This hotel has a lot of history, as it was once a high-society ballroom and then later a convent. Some actually say it’s a haunted hotel!

A common ghost story is that of a little girl rolling her ball up and down the hall. You can read more about the spooky history of the Bourbon Orleans Hotel on their website.

For wining and dining options, you’ve got their signature Creole restaurant Roux on Orleans and their Bourbon “O” bar for some of the best New Orleans cocktails and live jazz.

With a great location, comfortable rooms, friendly staff, and some great food & beverage options, this is one of the best French Quarter hotels around. Click here to see the latest price from

bourbon street hotels

2. Hotel Le Marais

Hotel Le Marais must be doing something right, as they have a 9/10 score on with over 600 reviews. That’s pretty impressive!

It’s located on Conti Street, right around the corner from Bourbon. This puts you close to all the bars but far away enough to be able to sleep.

I don’t think I can describe this hotel to you better than they do on their website. Their description says, “the elegance of a luxury hotel fuses with the intimacy of a boutique hotel.” Sounds great, doesn’t it?

They have a few different types of rooms here. Their deluxe rooms have limited views, while the superior rooms feature courtyard or French Quarter views.

If you want to splurge, go for the premium room with its own private balcony. All rooms have a nice desk, ergonomic chair, fast WiFi, and coffee maker if you need to get some work done.

This is one of few hotels close to Bourbon Street that actually has breakfast included. You can also work up a sweat in the gym, cool off in the pool, and start your night off with a cocktail at their on-site bar, Vive! Click here to see the latest price from

3. Omni Royal

Omni Royal is one of the most historic French Quarter hotels, dating back to 1838 when it was called the City Exchange. It was constructed as a “European grand” hotel and was the first of its kind in New Orleans.

Over the years, the hotel crumbled and burned down several times, but it was always rebuilt.

It was here that one of the most quintessential New Orleans dishes (gumbo) was invented. The phrase “there’s no such thing as a free lunch” also comes from this hotel, which once offered free food to daytime drinkers to entice them to keep ordering rounds.

Getting to and from this hotel is a breeze, as they have a partnership with the official shared shuttle service at the airport.

A quick walk brings you right to the center of Bourbon Street. With a heated rooftop pool and a fully-equipped fitness center, you’ve got a nice place to retreat to after sightseeing.

While staying at the Omni Royal, be sure to sit down for a drink and a meal in their award-winning Rib Room. If you’re in town over a weekend, don’t miss out on their Sunday champagne jazz brunch. Click here to see the latest price from

where to stay in the french quarter

4. Hotel Mazarin

This is definitely one of the classiest hotels near Bourbon Street.

Rooms here feature crystal chandeliers and black porcelain, and they’re accented with gold leaf. Talk about fancy! If you really want to splash out, you can book their amazing Fleur de Lis Suite.

Hotel Mazarin is just a quick walk from Bourbon Street. It’s a great location for those who want to take advantage of the nightlife here but still be able to get some decent sleep.

In the morning, you can enjoy a complimentary breakfast in their lovely courtyard and get a quick workout in before exploring New Orleans.

One of the best things about staying here is the 21st Amendment bar. Inspired by the Prohibition era (the 21st Amendment officially repealed Prohibition and made alcohol legal again), this speakeasy is definitely one of the best bars in New Orleans. 

Click here to see the latest price from

5. Best Western Plus French Quarter Courtyard Hotel

Last but certainly not least on our list of the best hotels near Bourbon Street is Best Western Plus French Quarter Courtyard Hotel. The location is excellent!

This hotel is located near Bourbon Street, just 2 blocks from the action. The non-smoking hotel has beautiful French Quarter decor, an outdoor courtyard, cocktail bar, fitness center, and swimming pool — perfect for those hot Louisiana days.

Guests here love the beautifully decorated rooms and the fact that breakfast is included in the rate. There’s also a tea/coffee maker and refrigerator in the rooms. Click here to see the latest price from

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Enjoy Your Stay On Bourbon Street!

Hopefully, this post has helped you find the perfect place to rest your head in the Big Easy.

Whether you go with one of the hotels on Bourbon Street or opt for one that’s nearby, you’re sure to have a blast in New Orleans. After all, the city’s motto is “Let the good times roll!”

New Orleans is probably my favorite city to visit in the US. The food is incredible, the bars are tons of fun, and the city hosts festivals and big sporting events all throughout the year. Plus, there are numerous day trips you can do from here, including a swamp tour.

Have you been to New Orleans? Do you have a good recommendation for a hotel that’s on or near Bourbon Street? If so, drop a comment below and let us know about it!

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Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico: Complete Travel Guide

Wine, gastronomy, boutique accommodations and a low-key vibe. Valle de Guadalupe offers this and much more making it an ideal travel destination for foodies and wine aficionados.

Located in Baja California, Mexico, this underrated area of the country is a great place for a fun weekend with friends, a romantic getaway, or for those who are simply wanting to eat good food and drink excellent wine.

The accommodations and restaurants blend almost seamlessly into the desert landscape, and you’ll almost always have dogs, cats and livestock nearby.

While it has quite a rustic, farm feel to it, visitors here seem to dress to impress.

You’ll spot tourists, photographers and “Instagrammers” dressed for the destination — wearing a desert-inspired colour palette that suits the scene.

We recently ate and drank our way through the Valle de Guadalupe (Guadalupe Valley) on a week-long trip and are already missing the region!

el cielo winery baja california
Cheers to the Valle de Guadalupe!

In this post, I’ll list the best things to do in Valle de Guadalupe, the top wineries, where to eat, where to stay, and my top tips for a great trip to Baja California.

About Valle de Guadalupe

Most travellers to Mexico have heard about Cabo San Lucas, Cancun, Mexico City, and Oaxaca, but surprisingly, Valle de Guadalupe remains somewhat hidden. For oenophiles, this is one of the best places to visit in Mexico.

Of the 14 wine regions in the country, this is Mexico’s best. The quality of wine in the Valle completely surprised us!

If you’re into big, bold, juicy, oaked reds, you will not be disappointed. But don’t worry if you’re not, there are some excellent white and rose wines as well.

The Valle de Guadalupe (Valle) has been producing wine for around 200 years, with this region contributing to 90% of the wine produced in the country. And while wine consumption may not be as popular in Mexico as beer and tequila, it’s getting there.

visiting the valle de guadalupe mexico
Vines and more vines

The area is also known for its stylish accommodations, sophisticated atmosphere, and awarded gastronomy — most of which are reached by driving down dusty, dirt roads.

With the Pacific Ocean nearby, the area creates a microclimate of its own, which is similar to the Mediterranean. Grapes and other fruits and vegetables are easily grown here, while the seafood is pulled fresh from the ocean just 30 minutes away.

5 Best Wineries in the Valley

Unlike other places in the world where we’ve travelled for wine, all of the wineries in the Valle de Guadalupe charge for tastings — anywhere from $10 – $50, usually for 4 small glasses.

It’s recommended to make a reservation for tastings, not only to ensure you get a spot, but to make sure they are open. Weekends are busy, as are the summer months and holidays.

There are numerous wineries to explore and wines to sample, here’s a quick list of our favourites.

1. Baron Balch’e

If you’re into aged red wines, Baron Balch’e is your place. This well-known winery offers 18 different labels — 14 reds, 3 whites and 1 Clarette.

baron balche winery
Wine tasting at Baron Balch’e was great

Included in the tasting is a tour of the cellar, which is a nice addition. There’s also a restaurant on-site. Baron Balch’e offers 5 different packages at different prices and levels of wine quality: A – E.

If you’re a red wine drinker, I recommend the premium tour “D” for 600 pesos ($30), or at the very least, tasting “C” for 330 pesos ($16.50). We lucked out and were given the tour by Norman who is an expert Sommelier. Ask for him if you can!

Reservations aren’t necessary, as you will just join the tour to the cellar as one becomes available in your language (Spanish & English). Click here to find Baron Balch’e on the map, or call them here: +526466881032

2. Retorno

This super small, unassuming place is where to go for a chilled-out setting (ie: non-Instagram), but with a cool winemaker and fantastic reds. This is a great family-owned place.

retorno winery baja california
Drinking wine straight out of the barrel at Retorno!

The winemaker gave us barrel tastings, we sampled some newer wine out of the metal vat and enjoyed the conversation. Plus, Carlota the labrador dog was so sweet!

Tastings here are affordable at 140 pesos ($7) for the basic or $200 ($12) for the complete. For whites, the Teo is oaky on the nose and slightly fruity to taste.

For reds, don’t miss sampling the Palabra, Retorno, and the Década (which celebrated the winery’s tenth anniversary) — all are oaked, dry, bold, and complex.

Reservations are necessary, call them here: +526461519247 or send an email to Find Retorno on the map, here.

3. Relieve

Relieve is completely different from the two wineries above. This stylish, modern winery and vineyard is surrounded by rows of vines and has a nice patio available for a drink.

relieve winery in valle de guadalupe
The very chic Relieve winery

We had been enjoying wines by Relieve while living in Playa del Carmen, so it was nice to be at the source!

The tastings here are 650 pesos and again, I recommend doing the premium tasting. The Tempranillo and Merlot are fantastic with lots of oak, deep red fruits, and a long finish. The Nebbiolo isn’t on the tasting menu but is a great bottle as well.

Reservations are recommended. Call Relieve here: +526462475285 and find them on the map here.

4. Don Tomás

The setting here is stunning. You can drink wine and have lunch at the tables that are completely surrounded by vines, or on one of the other decks.

don tomas vineyard
The setting and the premium red wines were all great at Don Tomas

We weren’t impressed with the lack of information provided with the tastings here, but the quality of wine made up for that. Also, a small cheese and bread board is included with the tastings — which is the only place in the Valley we found that.

The premium tasting is 400 pesos ($20) and included all red wines, while the basic is 250 pesos ($12.50).

5. Vena Cava

The hillside here was dug out to create a natural cooling system for the barrels. The tastings are held here as well.

A really cool feature of Vena Cava is the fishing boat which has been flipped upside down and acts as the roof. Vena Cava is all about recycling and reusing.

vena cava winery
Vena Cava’s upside down boat for a roof was pretty awesome

Sadly, when we visited they weren’t offering the premium tasting. We did enjoy the regular tasting and learned a lot about the winery from the guide.

After you’re done with the tastings, make sure to eat at the onsite food truck, Troika. Order the oysters, cabbage, and mushroom risotto — you can thank me later.

The basic tasting is $18, two natural wines and two regular wines is $20, four natural wines is $35. If you want to do a premium tasting, you have to reserve in advance.

Call them here to reserve: +52 (646) 156 8053 or make a reservation through their website here. Find Vena Cava on the map here.

Other Must-Visit Wineries:

  1. Montefiori (Vinos Paolini) – Mexican wines with an Italian heart is the slogan here. Italian winemaker who has been in Mexico since 1985. This is a classy setting with a nice view. 450 pesos ($22) for a premium tasting. Find it on the map, here.
  2. Emevé – Modern winery, nice vineyard views. The explanation of the wines was informative and the wines are good as well. 250 pesos ($12) for 3 tastings, or 400 pesos ($19) for 4 tastings with a souvenir glass. Click here to see it on the map.
  3. Cava Maciel – A small, more off-track winery that is definitely worth the visit. The explanation of the wines here is top-notch. The winemakers here are passionate, fun, and informative. We really enjoyed the wines. It’s 350 pesos ($17) for a basic tasting and 500 pesos ($24) for a premium one. Find it here.
  4. Viña de Frannes – One of the most gorgeous lunch and tasting settings! Viña de Frannes is one of the only places doing a Cabernet Franc with 12 months in French oak — it was fantastic. Try the rib eye pizza and ceviche, all was so good. Find it here.
  5. Casta – Another place that includes a cellar tour in the tasting. In fact, we actually did the tasting down in the cellar! Pretty cool. The staff here were great and many details and information were given about the wines we were sampling. The wines here were quite nice as well. Tastings are between 200 – 400 pesos ($10 – $20). Find it on the map here.
  6. Magoni – Lovely area under a huge oak tree. The Nebbiolos are good and they also offer a balsamic vinegar tasting. Regular four tasting costs 220 pesos ($11), six tastings cost 280 ($14) and the reserva tasting with 4 wines and snacks costs 650 ($33).
  7. Vinos Dubacano – our driver and his family actually own this tasting room, which is surrounded by vines. Inside has sort of a bar feel to it, and while we sat at the counter, our driver explained their wine and we sampled many! They offer 5 different types of tastings, with the premium tasting coming in at 350 pesos ($17.50) – for 5 glasses. Find them here.
  8. Vinicola Kruger – this is a funky place with a few tables and chairs and an elevated, converted shipping container for a rooftop sitting area. This place was part of the tour we booked with our driver. We didn’t have a chance to sample the premium wines, but the basics were good. There are four gorgeous dogs here too! Find it on the map.
  9. Xecué – This is a relaxed place with an amazing view across the valley. When we visited, they were really busy and didn’t really give us much explanation on the wines, and the pours were pretty tiny. Tastings are 300 pesos ($15), premium tastings are 400 pesos ($20) and are offered Friday – Sunday. Find it here.
emeve winery valle de guadalupe
Emevé winery at the Valle de Guadalupe

We didn’t visit the more commercial wineries: El Cielo, Monte X’anic and LA Cetto, although they are popular.

One winery we did visit and don’t recommend is Lechuza. Each tasting glass was the same price as a full-sized, regular glass of wine. Their reasoning for that was that we paid more due to the information that we received during the tasting.

No information was given about the wines that we couldn’t have found on the back of the bottle, and we were ignored most of the time. Plus, the setting here is just off the highway. Personally, it wasn’t our favourite place.

Where to Eat in Valle de Guadalupe

Foodies rejoice! This destination offers tasty menus and incredible dining settings.

Whether you want to do a tasting menu with wine pairing, dine on cuisine cooked by a Michelin-starred chef, or eat more traditional Mexican food, you’ll find it in the Valle de Guadalupe.

Many of the restaurants are available for reservations on the OpenTable app. If not, you’ll need to call them directly. Something to note is that dinner times aren’t late in the Valle with many restaurants closing around 8:30pm.

There are numerous restaurants to eat at, but these are my recommended spots.

1. Deckman’s

Michelin-starred chef Drew Deckman heads the open-air kitchen here. If you only eat at one restaurant, make it this one, and make sure you are there to enjoy the sunset!

deckmans where to eat in valle de guadalupe
The food and setting at Deckman’s were incredible

The concept here is locally sourced, farm-to-table, slow food. It’s casual, yet elegant.

We watched the sunset over the vineyard and mountains in the distance while sitting under a towering pine tree. As the sun went down, fairy lights twinkled above the diners and the kitchen — creating a magical scene.

I recommend the sea bass, and short rib for mains, and the beets for a starter. The food and location are top-notch.

We saved Deckman’s for our last meal in the Valle and it didn’t disappoint. Learn more here and find the restaurant on the map here.

2. Finca Altozano

Another popular spot for lunch or dinner. The setting here is incredible and it’s a great place to take photos and enjoy the sunset over the valley.

finca altozano restaurant
The gorgeous property Finca Altozano restaurant

We only had a light meal here of risotto and burrata salad to share, but the food was good, the restaurant was really busy and the open-air kitchen was great.

Call +52 646 156 8045 for reservations and find Finca Altozano on the map here.

3. Fauna

This is part of Bruma which offers a very unique dining setting. Choose between out front under umbrellas, inside, or in the back under a “roof” of intertwined sticks.

fauna restaurant valle de guadalupe
The beautiful Fauna restaurant – just don’t sit out here when it’s hot and sunny! haha

Warning, don’t choose to sit at the back when the sun is out as it doesn’t provide enough shade! The food here is fantastic and David Castro Hussong’s menu is constantly changing.

One thing that annoyed us is we found the menu to be unnecessarily pretentious, with the food available listed as: “cabbage”, “oysters”, “lettuce”, “scallops”… I mean, where’s the description of the dish?!

If available, try the grilled cabbage, oysters and chicken sopes (sometimes they do duck sopes). All of these were incredibly flavourful. Call to reserve: +52 646 103 6403 or use Open Table to book and find it here on the map.

4. Troika

This is a food truck that’s on the Vena Cava winery property. We did a tasting at the winery followed by lunch here. For a food truck, the cuisine is superb!

food in the valle de guadalupe
This cabbage dish at Troika was incredibly tasty!

Dine at picnic tables next to a small pond with ducks and geese paddling by. Don’t miss the mushroom risotto, oysters and grilled cabbage — they were perfectly seasoned, well-balanced, and delicious. Phone: +52 646 246 4123 and find Troika on the map here.

5. La Cocina de Doña Esthela

This family-run place has almost 6,000 reviews on Google Maps!

It started as just a simple stand serving the local community breakfast. It has since expanded, but the quality and authenticity have remained the same (we talked to numerous locals who confirmed this).

The typical meals here are borrega which is lamb that has been roasted in a clay oven for 48 hours and elote (corn) pancakes.

Expect huge lineups, but it’s worth the wait. We went mid-week around noon and it was packed, but weekends are even busier. Gordon Ramsay was actually here in February 2021! Find it on the map here.

food in the valley de guadalupe mexico
The roasted lamb and corn pancakes were amazing!

Other Food Options:

  1. Doce: this restaurant is at the Bubbles by Campera. We stayed here so decided to eat at the onsite restaurant as well. The artichoke ravioli was delicate and delicious and the roasted lamb was great.
  2. Animalon: a very popular place with a tasting menu. Dining under a beautiful, old oak tree. We didn’t have a chance to eat here, but it’s supposed to be great.
  3. Once Pueblos: the view from here is stunning! Make sure to come for a drink at least. We stayed for dinner and the amuse-bouche and starter were great, but our mains were lacking. One was too salty and one was underseasoned.
  4. Casa Frida: a very cool place to come for lunch, a photoshoot and a glass of wine.
  5. Decantos Vinicola: we didn’t have a chance to eat or drink here, but it comes highly recommended and looks like a great spot.
  6. Lunario and TrasLomita: on the same property and with the same chef, these two restaurants come highly recommended.
food in the valley de guadalupe
Rib eye pizza at Viña de Frannes

Things To Do in Valle de Guadalupe

As you can probably tell by now, the top things to do in Valle de Guadalupe are eating and drinking!

I listed the best restaurants and wineries above, but, here’s a quick rundown of a few other top things to do in and around the Valle (including Ensenada).

1. Visit a Museum

Learn about the history of wine in the region at the Museo del Vino. You’ll also find an art gallery, amphitheater and garden here. Russian Molokans settled in the Valle in the early 1900s and the Museo Ruso showcases a typical adobe house and you can also learn more about the history of these immigrants.

2. Watch Sunset

Grab a drink at Bura Cuatro Cuatros and watch the sun touch the ocean. Two other great spots are Deckman’s restaurant and Latitud 32 where the sun dips behind the mountains with the vineyards in the forefront.

3. Take a Helicopter Ride

Feel like splurging? Join a helicopter tour of the vineyards! Some of the trips even include flying over the ocean. Have a look at this tour or this one.

4. Yoga and Day Spa

One of the top activities in the Valle de Guadalupe is to join a yoga class, or simply relax at the spa. Luna de Sol is just the place to combine both.

5. Go Hiking

You can either do some walking around the dirt roads in the valley or if you’re up for a bit of a trek, head to El Salto Waterfall Trail, which is about a 30-minute drive from the Valle. The fairly easy trail is 3.5 kilometers in and out.

6. Get a Massage

There’s actually a mobile massage service that will come to your accommodation in the Valle! The therapists bring everything needed and can set up wherever you would like them to. Learn more here.

How To Get to Valle de Guadalupe

Getting to the Valley is relatively easy.

By Land From The United States

Many Americans simply cross the Californian border at San Ysidro or Otay Mesa and head south to reach the Valle de Guadalupe.

From San Diego to the Valle it’s just a two-and-a-half-hour drive. Check the live wait times at the border crossings here.

By Air

The closest airport to the Valle is Tijuana International Airport.

We flew into Tijuana Airport and rented a car to drive to the Valle. From the Tijuana airport to the Valle, it’s around a 2-hour drive. Give yourself extra time for traffic, or any issues on the highway.

By Rental Car

After you’ve arrived at the airport, I recommend renting a car to drive to Valle. You’ll want to have your own wheels as there’s no Uber or buses and while there are taxis, they are pricey and need to be arranged in advance.

renting a car in the valle de guadalupe
Our rental car for the Valle de Guadalupe

Which Rental Company?

In Mexico, when you look online at websites like Expedia, the cost of renting a car is incredibly cheap. But in Mexico, the price is too good to be true!

There is mandatory insurance coverage that you must have in the country, which tacks on a LOT to the rental price that you see on booking engines.

We rented our car with Enterprise directly and paid $30 per day including full insurance coverage.

There’s an Enterprise booth at arrivals at the airport where you go to tell them you’ve arrived. Then, a van will pick you up and take you to the rental car, which is just a 2-minute drive away.

Mark the pick-up spot on your map…we didn’t and couldn’t find it when it came time to drop the car off! The customer service at Enterprise was amazing and I recommend them.

Unless you’re visiting during the wet/muddy season, don’t listen to people when they say you need an SUV for this part of Mexico. We had a 4-door, compact car and it was fine.

Which Route from Tijuana Airport to the Valle?

There are a few routes to take out of Tijuana, with highway 1D being the newer scenic route (with tolls). Highway 1 is the older highway, which is a bit slow going when you leave Tijuana due to the streetlights before getting out onto the highway.

Highway 1D is a tolled (cuota) road. It’s 4 lanes wide and winds its way along the coastline, which is why it’s called the scenic highway.

If you choose to drive 1D from Tijuana to the Valle, you will hit 3 toll booths which charge 40 pesos ($2) each.

This was our route driving to and from the Valle (we hit a lot of traffic on Highway 1 when returning back to the airport): Highway 1 to 1D, and up Highway 3 to the Valle.

how to get from tijuana airport to valle
We drove a mix of highway 1 and 1D from Tijuana Airport to the Valle (1D would have been faster during high traffic times)

Notes on driving from Tijuana to the Valle de Guadalupe:

We had no intention of driving at night.

But, our plane was delayed and we arrived at 8:30 pm at Tijuana airport. After speaking with our hotel in the Valle and the rental car company, both said that many of their guests and clients drive this route at night with no issues.

We didn’t have any problems, but it can be intimidating driving in a foreign country while trying to navigate a new destination in the dark.

The 1D highway is strange in that there are no lights along it. So, if you were to turn off your headlights, it would be pitch black. We had our high beams on the whole time just to be able to see!

Be mindful at night due to animals on the road, broken-down cars without lights, and potholes when you’re off the highway.

During the mornings, there might be fog as well due to the proximity to the ocean.

Top Tips For Visiting Valle de Guadalupe

Here are a few things to note during your trip.

  1. US Dollars and Pesos are used interchangeably. If coming from the USA, you could just use dollars if you wanted.
  2. You need reservations for restaurants and hotels, especially on weekends when SO many Americans come across the border from California!
  3. You can make reservations for most restaurants on Open Table which makes things really easy as many places don’t answer their phones or emails.
  4. You also need reservations for tastings – just a day before or even the same day is ok, but you have to call and book.
  5. It’s best to hire a designated driver when you plan to do a full day of tasting. Drivers go for around $25/hour, or you can book a tasting tour. We booked this tour with Ivan and enjoyed it. We also hired him again a couple of days later as our driver. This is another option for a wine tour.
  6. Plan your wine tasting and food route. You don’t want to visit a winery at the north of the Valle, followed by one in the south. Plan accordingly and do a few that are next to each other. This saves time and backtracking.
  7. The main roads are Ruta 3 and Calle Principal. Outside of those, it’s pretty much just dirt!
  8. People eat early and restaurants close early in the Valle. Sunset is around 7:00 and since it’s a desert, it’s cold at night (at least in May it was).
  9. Wear closed shoes — for dust and dirt, for comfort, and for when it’s cold.

Where to Stay in the Valley

There are numerous options for accommodation — small Airbnbs, luxury hotels, and boutique villas. We stayed at 4 different properties (due to not booking ahead on Memorial Day weekend…) and based ourselves around different parts of the Valley.

It ended up working out really well! Here’s where we stayed:

Contemplacion Boutique

The villas here are amazing. Each individual villa offers floor-to-ceiling windows, a huge bathroom, air-conditioning, coffee machine and a small fridge.

where to stay in the valle de guadalupe
Contemplacion villa is a great place to stay in the Valle de Guadalupe

Not only are the accommodations comfortable, but the property is gorgeous and the staff are friendly as well.

We booked the “Superior Cabin with panoramic mountain view” and were very happy with our booking, which also included a good breakfast. The only downside is that because it’s floor-to-ceiling windows, it doesn’t offer a lot of privacy.

We really enjoyed our stay at Contemplacion and would return in a heartbeat. The location was great as well. Find the location on the map here and read reviews and see the latest price on

Campera Hotel Burbuja

Have you stayed in a bubble before? This glamping experience can be had here in the Valley!

campera bubble stay valle de guadalupe
Campera Bubble in the Valle

There’s no frame in these bubbles and air is continuously pumped into the bubble to keep it inflated. There’s a private bathroom inside and the clear front and top of the bubble allow for views of the vineyard and stars at night.

It’s an adults-only property and you’re not allowed to walk in front of the bubbles, which is great for privacy. The onsite restaurant, Doce, serves up tasty food and the staff are very friendly.

We stayed 1 night in the bubble and in my opinion, that is enough time. It’s a novelty stay and a unique experience, but there’s not a lot of space and it’s not practical for a longer stay. Find it on the map here and learn more here.

Rancho Los Retoños

We loved it here! These villas are in an excellent location on the western bank of the Valley, surrounded by vineyards and with easy access to wineries nearby. Ours was Villa Napoli and we enjoyed our stay.

rancho los retonos places to stay in the valley de guadalupe
The villa at Rancho los Retonos

Each villa has a little walk-out deck with a seating area and a firepit that the staff will light for you on request.

There are walking trails around the property, the sweetest dog named Chavo, the staff are so friendly and the beds are really comfortable as well. Plus, a huge breakfast is included in the price.

All in all, this was probably our favourite place to stay in the Valle de Guadalupe. Note that there isn’t an onsite restaurant, but there is a small bar for buying drinks. You can learn more on their Facebook page, or on Airbnb. Find it on the map, here.

Challet Tur

This place offers a one-off bungalow. This is how Airbnb stays used to be — a helpful, friendly host who lives on the property and gives you all sorts of information and advice.

things to do in the valle de guadalupe
Enjoying a fire and some wine at Challet Tur

The bungalow we booked had 2 bedrooms, a small kitchen (no stove), a bathroom and living area. There was a fire pit outside and chairs and a table. We did some great morning walks here and even spotted a coyote one morning!

The property was in a great location near many vineyards and restaurants. We enjoyed our stay here. Find it on Airbnb here and on Google Maps.

Frequently Asked Questions

You probably still have questions, I know we did when figuring out how to visit the Valle de Guadalupe.

When is the best time to visit the Valle de Guadalupe?

April – May, and October – November are the best times to visit the Valle de Guadalupe.

The desert heat isn’t as intense as the summer months and the light breeze is nice. Plus, it’s not as cold as it would be in the winter. August has the Harvest Festival, which means high crowds but lots of parties and festivals (plus grape-filled vines).

Is Valle de Guadalupe safe?

Yes, it’s safe for tourists to visit the Valle de Guadalupe. As with many places in Mexico, most crime is related to drug cartel activity, and won’t affect tourists. Stay away from all things related to drugs and stick to the wine!

There are police patrolling the Valle de Guadalupe but we were told there are little to no check stops. Either way, it’s always best to join a wine tour with a guide, or hire a local driver if you plan on drinking wine.

What should I wear to the Valle de Guadalupe?

In my opinion, you should wear comfortable shoes and clothing. There are full articles for “inspirational Valle de Guadalupe” outfits online, which are basically for those who want to do Instagram shoots. So, it depends on what you’re looking for!

once pueblos travel valle de guadalupe
The stunning view at Once Pueblos restaurant. My typical outfit: jeans, sneakers, shirt and black cardigan

I chose to wear jeans and a nice top, and I always had a black cardigan with me for when it was windy or chilly at night. In the evenings in May, it was actually quite cold so Nick and I both had our down jackets.

Nick wore shorts some days, or jeans. A short-sleeved collared shirt at nice dinners and a t-shirt otherwise.

For shoes, you’ll want sneakers or if you’re looking to be more stylish, then flat boots are a good idea. Regardless, you’ll see all sorts of attire, so just wear what you feel comfortable in. Due to the sun (and for style) a hat is another smart option.

Is the Valle de Guadalupe Expensive?

Short answer, yes. Especially when compared to other rural destinations in Mexico.

However, if you’re coming from the United States, you’ll find this wine region much more affordable than Napa and actually, it’s on par with expensive Mexican destinations like Tulum, Playa del Carmen, and Puerto Vallarta.

Accommodation can range from $60 – $250+ per night depending on what you book. Tastings are around $10 – $50 for four small glasses. Meals range depending on where you eat, but for two people at a nice restaurant with wine, expect to spend around $100.

Have Fun in the Valle!

Mexico has so much to offer travellers, and now with wine tourism on the rise, it’s just one more reason to visit this incredible country. I hope you found this guide useful, if so, please share it on social media. Happy winery touring!


The post Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico: Complete Travel Guide appeared first on Goats On The Road.

Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico: Complete Travel Guide

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Teach English Online Without A Degree: 10 Companies That Pay


Teaching online is a great way to earn money remotely from home or on the road. But if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree, you probably think your chances of teaching English online without a degree are slim to none.

So, can you teach English online without a degree? I’m happy to say that these days it is possible to teach without a degree and without having any experience! 

The online teaching world has exploded over the past few years with more and more people wanting to teach and learn virtually. I taught English while living in China for a year, but these days, teaching can be done remotely — giving you more freedom.

10 Online English Teaching Jobs No Degree

  • PrePly: No degree or TEFL required. You set your own pay rates and schedule. 
  • Lingoda: No degree required. TEFL a must. 3 years of teaching experience. Flexible schedule. Pay is $8-$13/hour.
  • PalFish: No degree required. TEFL a must. You set your own pay rates and schedule or $22/hour. 
  • SkimaTalk: No degree or TEFL required. Must be a native English speaker. You set your own pay rates and schedule.
  • Cambly: No degree or TEFL required. Near-native or native English speaker. $0.17 per minute or $10.20 per hour.
  • Open English: No degree. Must have TEFL and 1-year teaching experience. Flexible schedule. $15/hour. 
  • Cafe Talk: No degree or TEFL required. Must be a native English speaker. You set your own pay rates and schedule.
  • Italki: No degree or TEFL required. Must be a native English speaker. You set your own pay rates and schedule.
  • Tutlo: No degree required. TEFL a must. Must be a native English speaker. $5 – $11/hour. You set the schedule.
  • Amazing Talker: No degree or TEFL required. Must be a native English speaker. $15-$28 per 50-minute class. You set the schedule.
  • Bonus! Magic Ears: Must be enrolled in University. TEFL a must. Must be from Canada or USA. $8-$11 per class.

Read on to learn how it’s possible to get a job teaching English online without a degree, and which schools and companies are the best to work for.

Can I Teach English Online Without a Degree?

The short answer: Yes! You can find an online English teaching job without a degree.

The schools on this list don’t require a Bachelor’s Degree, but many of them require you to have a TEFL certificate. In reality, this is a good thing to have as it will better your odds of getting hired, and help get you prepared for a classroom setting. 

If you do have a degree, you’ll qualify to teach at schools that potentially pay more, and don’t take a commission from your salary. But, don’t worry, there are still 10 great companies that will let you teach English without a degree on this list.

What Are The Qualifications to Teach English Online With No Degree?

In order to get hired by most of the teaching companies on this list, make sure you meet the following requirements:

No Degree, But You Hold a TEFL Certificate

First of all, if you want to get a job teaching English online without a degree, you’ll want to make sure you have a TEFL certification. 

While it’s not imperative that you have one, five out of the ten companies on this list require you to have a TEFL. So, if you get certified, you’ll be able to apply for 100% of the jobs, rather than just 50% of them. 

Many people want to work from home (or abroad) while having the opportunity to set their own working hours. Because of this, competition is higher than ever.

Give yourself a leg up on your fellow teachers and get your TEFL to better your odds of getting hired. Click here for a list of the top 7 affordable and recognized companies.

Apart from being able to speak the English language, and (in some cases) having a TEFL certificate, the other requirements are quite simple. 

Create a Great Introductory Video and Teacher Profile

With so many other teachers and tutors vying for jobs, you’ll want to make yourself really stand out. 

When it comes to creating your introductory video it’s important to put your best foot forward. This is what your potential students will see, so you want to make a good impression.

Be enthusiastic and ensure proper pronunciation and enunciation when speaking. Wear nice clothes and make sure you’ve had a shower! Ladies, do your hair and make-up, and guys, make sure your hair and beard are trimmed nicely or clean shaved. 

You’ll want to make sure that the sound and lighting are good for your video as well. 

Have a look at your background. Ideally, it’s not your kitchen or bedroom, but a plain white wall, or a wall with a map of the world or other props nearby. 

Apart from giving a good first impression, make sure all of the questions are answered and the required sections are filled in on your profile. 

Basically, just do everything to better your odds of getting hired.  

Equipment For Teaching Online

For many of the companies on this list, a laptop isn’t required, but a tablet or a smartphone will work. Make sure you have headphones, a good microphone, and fast internet as well. 

10 Companies to Teach English Online Without a Degree

This is a list of the top 10 companies that will hire you if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree.

1. PrePly – teach English online with no degree

With PrePly, not only can you teach English online without a degree or a TEFL, but there are numerous other languages on offer as well.

So, if you’re fluent in Spanish, German, Dutch, Arabic, etc. then you can become a tutor in those languages also! 

You can teach from anywhere in the world using the online platform supplied by PrePly. You simply post your profile and it will show up in the search results for students to see. 

The better your profile is, the more qualifications you have, and the more hours and classes you have completed, the greater your chances are of being hired (and seen in the search results).

PrePly has been around since 2012 and has grown substantially since then. They offer lots of customer support and a worry-free payment system.

It’s a good option if you don’t have a Bachelor’s degree or a TEFL course under your belt. To learn more, read our article on how to become a PrePly teacher.  

teach english online without a degree with preply

Requirements to Teach With PrePly

This company is really relaxed when it comes to requirements!

  1. You don’t need to have a university degree to teach.
  2. You don’t need a TEFL certificate.
  3. You don’t need to be a native English speaker.
  4. Can teach from anywhere in the world.
  5. Must have a solid internet connection, microphone, and webcam.

Having said all of that, there are a lot of teachers and tutors on this platform and in order to make yourself stand out, you’ll want to make sure to fill in all of the requirements on your profile (photos, a video, description, etc.)

And, since many teachers have previous experience and certifications, it’s definitely recommended to have at minimum a TEFL certificate. Click here to learn about the best (and affordable) ones on offer. 

Salary and Hours With PrePly

  • You set your hours, and you set your pay.
  • If you have a lot of availability, you’ll be able to teach more and earn more.
  • The highest paying tutors earn $550/week on PrePly.
  • You’ll be paid through PayPal or Payoneer. 

click here to learn more and apply to teach with preply

2. Lingoda

Another company on this list where you can teach more than just the English language. With Lingoda, Spanish, French, and German are on offer as well. 

You’ll be teaching adult students from all around the world, meaning you can find class times available 24/7. This is great, as it gives you the opportunity for you to make more money, and not have to worry about time zone issues. 

The company was founded in 2013 in Berlin and since then, it has grown to be one of the top companies that allow teaching English online without a degree. 

Lingoda is a good option if you want to teach adults, and you have a TEFL and some teaching experience.

teach english without a degree lingoda

Requirements to Teach with Lingoda

  1. You must hold a TEFL Certificate.
  2. Have three years of teaching experience (online or otherwise).
  3. Have a high-speed internet connection (classes are taught on Zoom).
  4. You’re expected to work a minimum of 5 hours per week.
  5. You must be a native speaker of the language you are teaching.

Salary and Hours With Lingoda

  • You choose your own schedule.
  • Classes can be booked months, or hours in advance which gives you lots of flexibility.
  • The pay is between $8-$13/hour to start based on your qualifications. 

click here to learn more and apply to teach with lingoda

3. PalFish

PalFish is different from the rest of the platforms on this list because they offer two different types of teaching programs — Official Course Instructor and Freetalk Teacher.

As an Official Course Instructor, you will need to be able to work more than 10 hours per week, the rates are set by PalFish, the curriculum is provided for you, and you will be teaching kids aged 3-9 years old. 

As a Freetalk Teacher, you set your own rates, there’s no set time commitment, and you’ll mostly be teaching adult students.

This school was founded in 2015 and is a good option if you have your TEFL course, are able to work around Beijing time, and are interested in teaching one-on-one, or large groups. 

PalFish is an app-based program, meaning you can easily teach from your smartphone or tablet. Find out more about PalFish in our review article here. 

teaching without a degree palfish

Requirements to Teach with PalFish

  1. You must have a teaching certificate (such as a TEFL).
  2. Be a native English speaker, fluent in the English language (for the Official Course Instructor and Freetalk Teacher).
  3. You must be from the USA, Canada, the UK, New Zealand, Ireland or Australia (only for the Official Course Instructor).
  4. You should be creative and energetic.
  5. Have a smartphone or a tablet that you can teach from.
  6. Have a Payoneer account so you can get paid.

Salary and Hours With PalFish

  • The salaries differ depending on which type of teacher you are.
  • Freetalk Teacher: you set your own rate per class. But, you won’t want to price yourself out of the market. The going rate seems to be $10 – $18/hour, but some teachers charge upwards of $30/hour.
  • Official Course Instructor: the salary is set for you at $22/hour plus bonuses. You must be able to work 10 hours per week.

Click here to learn more and apply to teach with PalFish

4. SkimaTalk

SkimaTalk is a great option for those who are native English speakers, with a neutral American, British, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and/or Irish English accent.

Founded in 2012, SkimaTalk is geared towards adult students from around the world. This is great as it means you can interact with different cultures on a daily basis. 

You’ll need to create an introductory video for your profile. This is what your potential students will see before deciding to book with you, so as I mentioned above, you’ll want to make it a good one!

When students book with you, they choose the class they want — pre-set SkimaTalk lesson or a free talk lesson.

With SkimaTalk lessons, topics include business English, exam preparation, English news, etc. Lessons are taught via Skype.

Something to consider with SkimaTalk is that you need to do 3 classes for free to ensure that you are a good fit for the platform.

Regardless, SkimaTalk is a good option if you’re a native English speaker but don’t have a university degree or a TEFL certification. See our guide to teaching with SkimaTalk, here. 

become a skimatalk teacher

Requirements to Teach With SkimaTalk

  1. You must be a native English speaker.
  2. You must have a neutral accent.
  3. Must be 18 years of age or older.
  4. You’ll need to have a computer with a webcam and headset.
  5. Have a reliable internet connection.
  6. You must be professional, committed, and passionate about teaching.

Salary and Hours With SkimaTalk

  • You choose which hours you want to work, and you “open” time slots on your calendar.
  • Classes are 25 minutes each, and you must submit feedback for your student within 24 hours of the class.
  • Students are booked on a class-by-class basis, so you will probably have new students each day.
  • You set your own pay rate. New tutors charge between $7 – $10 per class, while more experienced tutors (and ones who have a TEFL course or other qualifications) charge around $10 – $15 per class.
  • Teachers are paid monthly via PayPal. 

click here to learn more and apply to teach with skimatalk

5. Cambly

Cambly is quite a bit different from the rest of the companies on this list. It’s also the easiest to get a job with but has one of the lower pay rates.

Basically, this is more of a free-flowing, conversational platform, without a rigid class schedule.

Students and teachers connect via the Cambly platform and simply have a conversation about whatever they want — sports, hobbies, food, movies, weather, etc. 

The goal is to have your students practice their listening and speaking abilities and to be more comfortable in a real-life social situation. It’s a great way to meet people from all over the world and learn about their lives in a more casual setting.

The downside of Cambly is that students leave reviews for the teacher, and the reviews aren’t moderated well enough.

So, if your student didn’t like you for no other reason than your haircut, they can give you a poor rating — which means a less desirable teacher profile, and therefore, fewer students wanting to connect.

Having said this, Cambly is a great option for those who want to teach English online without a degree, and without a TESOL/TEFL certification.

It’s also good for teachers who are looking for more flexibility and a more casual teaching setting. Find out more about Cambly in our informative article, here.

teach english online without a degree cambly

Requirements to Teach With Cambly

  1. You need to be a native (or near-native) English speaker.
  2. Have a proper webcam, microphone, and lighting.
  3. Have a fast internet connection.

Salary and Hours With Cambly

  • Tutors are paid $0.17 USD per minute or $10.20 USD per hour with Cambly.
  • The program tracks how long you are on your call.
  • You choose your own hours.
  • Payment is made via PayPal.

click here to learn more and apply to teach with cambly 

6. Open English

This company has been around since 2007. Founded in Venezuela, it’s the top choice for online language learning in Latin America.

You’ll need to be a native, North American English speaker. But, no Bachelor’s degree is required and you can be living abroad. 

If you’re interested in teaching Spanish or Portuguese speaking students (high school and adult), this could be a good option for you.

And actually, preference is given to teachers who can also speak those two languages. 

The teaching and curriculum materials are provided for you, but you’re encouraged to bring your own flair to the class as well — based on your abilities and experience with teaching ESL.  

Classes run 24/7 giving you numerous time options.

This is great for people who work throughout the day and want to pick up evening teaching shifts, and for those who want to work early mornings or weekends.

teaching online with no experience open english

Requirements to Teach With Open English

  1. You must be a native North American English speaker.
  2. You must hold a TEFL Certificate.
  3. You’ll have to submit a resume.
  4. You must have one year of teaching experience (if you don’t have a university degree).
  5. Have a Microphone, webcam and high-speed internet.
  6. Preference is given to teachers who can also speak Spanish and/or Portuguese.

Salary and Hours with Open English

  • The pay is upwards of $15 per hour.
  • Hours vary, but you are expected to fulfill 10 hours minimum each week, with a maximum of 26 – 36 hours per week.
  • Teachers are paid via PayPal

click here to learn more and apply to teach with open english

7. Cafe Talk

The name of this company pretty much says it all — it’s like having a conversation with a friend over a coffee at a cafe. The vibe is meant to be relaxed and focused on a conversation about different topics. 

One of the things that sets Cafe Talk apart from the other companies on this list is that it’s not just a language learning platform.

As a tutor with Cafe Talk, you could teach music, art, hair & makeup, health & fitness, and much more. But, since this post is about teaching English online without having a degree, I’ll stick to that.

Create your own lessons, set your own rates and start teaching! CafeTalk is one of the top companies to teach English online to Japanese students.

Classes are available 24 hours a day, and the students you teach will most likely be adults from Japan who need to learn English for business purposes.  

Cafe Talk is an especially good option for tutors who don’t have a TEFL or a university degree, but can speak Japanese.

Note: currently as of May, 2020, these are the top lessons that Cafe Talk is interested in:

  • English lessons for children (Japanese as a 2nd language highly preferred)
  • Academic Tutoring for Japanese schoolchildren (must speak Japanese)
  • English, Korean & Chinese lessons by native tutors who speak Japanese as a 2nd language

cafe talk tutor jobs

Requirements to Teach With Cafe Talk

  1. You must be a Native English speaker (or native speaker of the language you’re teaching).
  2. Teachers who can also speak Japanese, Korean or Chinese are given preference.
  3. University degree and TEFL are not required (but, would look good on your profile).
  4. You must be 20 years of age or older.
  5. You must have a desktop computer or a tablet (no smartphones).
  6. You’ll need a Skype account.

Salary and Hours With Cafe Talk

  • You set your own rates, but many tutors charge between $14 USD and $36 USD per hour.
  • You set your own hours for each lesson (15 minutes, 30 minutes, etc.).
  • You will be paid by Payoneer or PayPal.

click here to learn more and apply to teach with cafe talk

8. iTalki

Italki has over 5 million students and 10,000 high-quality teachers teaching more than 130 languages!

Again, we’ll stick to teaching ESL with no degree in this post, but if you were fluent in French, Spanish, Russian, Mandarin, etc. then you could earn double (or triple!) depending on your language abilities.

Italki was founded in 2007 and has grown substantially since then. 

As with PalFish (above), there are 2 different types of profiles you could have on italki: Professional Teaching profile or Community Tutor profile. 

If you have prior teaching experience, training, certificates, and qualifications, then you can apply to be a Professional Teacher and teach a structured lesson plan — you must have a degree or a TEFL for this.

If you don’t have a TEFL, then you would be considered a Community Tutor and would have more casual conversations. But, you must be a native speaker.

Those who qualify as a Professional Teacher are given priority. 

Classes are taught through Skype, Google Hangouts or Facetime. 

teaching english online without a university degree italki

Requirements to Teach With italki

As I said above, there are two types of profiles/teachers on Italki, and the requirements vary for each. 

  1. You must have a TEFL or a university degree (for Professional Teacher profile).
  2. You must be a native speaker of the language you are going to teach (or be at the C2 level).
  3. Have fast and reliable internet.
  4. Have a microphone and webcam.
  5. You must be at least 18 years old.

Salary and Hours With italki

  • You set your own pay rate.
  • Most tutors start around $8 – $12 per class to attract students, but you can up the price later.
  • Classes are 30, 45, 60 or 90 minutes long.
  • You make your own teaching schedule.
  • Teachers are paid by PayPal or Payoneer.

click here to learn more and apply to teach with italki

9. Tutlo

This tutoring company is based in Poland, and while Tutlo is open to students from all over the world, the majority of your students will be Polish. 

The easy-to-follow lessons are set for you, which could be a good thing, or not, depending on your teaching style.

Tutors choose between teaching English courses for adults, children and teenagers, or business English. Lessons are taught 1-on-1 with your student.

Tutlo isn’t one of the higher paying companies out there, but since the lessons are pretty rigid, it makes the teaching job easier for you. And, you don’t need a teaching diploma or a university degree. 

tutlo teach english online no degree

Requirements to Teach With Tutlo

  1. Must be a native English speaker from the USA, the UK, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Canada, or South Africa.
  2. Must have a teaching certificate, such as a TEFL or otherwise.
  3. Have 6 months of teaching experience — online, offline, private tutoring, volunteering, etc.
  4. Have at least 5 Mbps download/upload internet speed.
  5. You must be 18 years of age or older.

Salary and Hours With Tutlo

  • Earn $5 – $11 per hour.
  • Lessons are 20 minutes long.
  • Lessons aren’t pre-booked, so you can just log-in and teach on-demand.
  • The busiest times are between 10:00 am – 3:00 pm EST.
  • You will be paid via PayPal.

click here to learn more and apply to teach with tutlo

10. Amazing Talker

Amazing Talker is hiring tutors for more than 58 languages, but again, we’ll stick to English in this article!

If you’re a native English speaker, an expat in a native English speaking country, or have an English associated degree, then you can apply to teach.

Founded in Taiwan, this one-on-one teaching platform connects students with teachers based on the student’s learning goals. 

Using the messaging app provided by Amazing Talker, teachers connect with the potential students ahead of time to see what their goals for the class are, and to prepare the necessary materials. Then, the actual lesson is taught on Zoom. 

You can set your own rates, and create your own hours with Amazing Talker. 

teaching esl with no degree with amazing talker

Requirements to Teach With Amazing Talker

  1. You must be a native English speaker, have an English degree, or be an expat in a native English speaking country.
  2. No TEFL required (but recommended). 
  3. If you have some English teaching or tutoring experience, that will help with your odds of getting hired.
  4. You should have a solid internet connection, microphone, and camera (classes are taught on Zoom). 

Salary and Hours With Amazing Talker

  • You set your own rates as a tutor.
  • You set your own hours and teaching schedule — work as much, or as little as you like. 
  • Most teachers charge between $15 – $28 for a private, 50-minute lesson. 
  • Most teachers charge between $6 – $10 for a trial, 25-minute lesson. 
  • You will be paid monthly via PayPal, Transferwise or Payoneer. 

click here to learn more and apply to teach with amazing talker

Bonus! 11. Magic Ears

While you don’t need a university degree to apply and teach with Magic Ears, you must be in the process of obtaining your degree.

So, it sort of counts as a school you can teach online without a degree!

This is one of the higher paid schools on this list, which is why you’re required to have your degree, or be enrolled in university. 

You’ll teach four Chinese students per class, aged 4 – 12 and you must be from the USA or Canada — teaching on Beijing time can be a bit of a challenge.

Teaching children can be a bit exhausting (you’ll need to be very enthusiastic to keep their attention), but it can also be a lot of fun.

The curriculum is provided for you and you’ll teach on the Magic Ears platform, but you’ll need to have some props on hand. 

teaching english online without a degree with magic ears

Requirements to Teach With Magic Ears

  1. Must have completed a Bachelor’s degree, or are currently enrolled in university.
  2. You’ll need to have a TEFL certificate.
  3. Must be a native English speaker.
  4. You must be from the USA or Canada.
  5. Teachers should have a high energy teaching style.

Salary and Hours With Magic Ears

  • $8 – $11 per 25 minute class.
  • Bonuses for peak time classes and participation.
  • No minimum teaching time, but 10 slots (25 mins each) per week is recommended.
  • Teachers are paid via PayPal.

click here to learn more and apply to teach with magic ears

No Degree? No Problem!

As you can see, there are many reputable, high-paying companies that you can work for without having a teaching certification!

But, as I mentioned at the beginning of this article, these companies do charge a commission so take that into account when setting your class rates.  

What’s interesting is that many of these platforms aren’t based out of China (a lot of the online teaching platforms are), meaning you won’t have to deal with time zone issues if you’re from North America, and you’ll have the option of meeting people from a variety of countries around the world.

I hope this list of companies and schools gave you the inspiration and information you needed to get started teaching today. 

Already have a university degree and are looking for higher-paying teaching options? Check out our post: 10 Best Online English Teaching Websites. And, if you want to get TEFL certified, have a look at our in-depth post: 7 Best Online TEFL Courses For English Teachers.

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Trip Announcement! Exploring Portugal by Campervan

I cannot believe I’m really writing a submit about an impending journey! Lately, our updates have been all about quarantine and lockdown, but a whole lot can come about in just a few of months. 

We’ve been in Portugal considering that February 22nd and although we have been capable to travel all-around Lisbon and see and do a ton in the starting, that slowly modified. 

Listed here we are much more than 3 months later on and we have but to see anyplace else in Portugal! Not even even further than a few blocks from our apartment.

We’ve felt so welcomed, risk-free and blessed to be listed here in Lisbon during this pandemic, and we’re very joyful with our decision to have stayed place all through all of the chaos. 

Just after extra than 2 months of remaining in a Point out of Crisis, we’re now in a Condition of Calamity which sounds negative, but it’s basically a action in a positive way.

It appears to be like there is ultimately some mild at the close of the tunnel.

Places to eat have opened up, so we went to this a single with a view

While measurements are continue to in location (modifications in business enterprise several hours, mandatory use of masks, lower capacity in dining places, and hand sanitizer use), things are improving below in the place.

We’ve been going through a gradual opening of places to eat, gyms, cinemas, malls, seashores, shops….and CAMPSITES!

Even though we’ve been taking edge of the opening of dining establishments and facilities in Lisbon (beverages with a rooftop view and steakhouse visits!), considering the fact that staying in our apartment and in a city for so extensive, we’re definitely craving nature, which Portugal has in spades.  

Look at Out Our Announcement Video clip out?v=s1ergJLsgRA

The Serendipitous E mail

Nick and I have never ever travelled by campervan. We have moved all over the environment by airplane, coach, bus, boat, scooter, car, horse, camel, and foot but have never ever explored by campervan.

The amusing detail is, around the yrs we’ve talked various instances about 1 working day owning a van and perhaps dwelling “Van Life”.

Mates of ours have carried out it, or are at present doing it, and we know of a lot of people today who rent campervans to travel all-around the nations around the world they check out. 

But for some reason, we just haven’t expert this way of travel. However.

During the lockdown, we ended up exploring and binge-watching YouTube video clips about van daily life (we had a large amount of time on our arms), and had thought that would be a wonderful way to get around when things open up up.

On Could 5th we received an electronic mail from Indie Campers, which is a Portuguese organization with campervans around Europe (Spain, France, Italy, Iceland, Germany…to identify a handful of).  

indie campervans
The Active product with Indie Campers

They had observed our web site and observed that we have been digital nomads presently in Portugal and have been fascinated in collaborating with us. 

This electronic mail pretty much came just days soon after we have been searching the internet for means to travel that did not include things like boarding an airplane. And in simple fact, we experienced been on the Indie Campers website as nicely. 

It was unbelievably serendipitous, and following a bit of back again and forth, it was agreed that when Portugal opened up for domestic vacation, we’d strike the road in a single of the Indie Campers’ campervans! 

The Campervans

There are a extensive wide range and variations of campervans to pick out from on Indie Campers site, but following examining out a handful of and figuring out which types were readily available below in Lisbon, we have decided on the Active product. 

This is not a van that we prepare on residing in without end, it’s a getaway vehicle, so we desired anything compact that would permit for straightforward driving, maneuvering by means of slender roadways, and parking.

Additionally, we (I) really wanted to make confident the van experienced a toilet. 

Among the other functions, The Energetic has a shower, rest room, electrical cooler, curtains for privateness, a cleaning kit, a bedding kit, kitchen area package, a fuel stove, and a big bed. Additionally, roadside aid is bundled, which is a reward.

indie campervan active

Because it’s intended for 4 folks, there are essentially two beds in this van usually (form of like bunk bed design and style). But the 1 we’re leasing will be transformed so we’ll just have the a person mattress — which is wonderful as it’ll make the van feel much more open up, shiny and roomy.

We’re also getting a pair of insert-ons. A very little BBQ and an out of doors desk with chairs which will be fantastic for having and performing at, as well as a wifi router to assist us carry on jogging the businesses(es) while on the highway.

When we decide up the campervan, we’ll get a full rundown on how to fill the drinking water tanks (thoroughly clean and grey), vacant the bathroom and manage the auxiliary battery use. 

The Itinerary 

Bordered by absolutely nothing much more than the Atlantic Ocean and the nation of Spain, the little, compact state of Portugal has a ton to offer you. 

Although there are 7 areas in the state, Portugal is almost certainly most well known for the Algarve which is property to some breathtaking rocky cliffs and the turquoise Atlantic Ocean. This is a holiday hotspot for Portuguese men and women and many other European nations as very well.

For wine-lovers, some fo the finest wine to at any time touch our lips has been from listed here in Portugal!

wine in portugal
99 bottle of wine on the wall, 99 bottles of wine…

From the Douro Valley and Alentejo to Lisboa and Beira, there are wineries and exceptional grape varietals found in distinctive wine districts all all-around the nation. 

Then, there are the mountains and Nationwide Parks — which is what we approach to target on through our 10-working day street vacation.

Central Portugal is a area of contrasts. Torre, the country’s maximum mountain in the Serra da Estrela vary (1,993 meters / 6,539 toes), sits together with amazing coastal towns.

The location is home to forests, shorelines, wine routes, and Portugal’s famous sheep cheese —  queijo da serra.

Eventually, we system to pay a visit to the Northern reaches of the place to enjoy the normal beauty of the Peneda-Gerês National Park. Even though Portugal is household to many Normal Parks and Reserves, this is the only Nationwide Park in the country.

In addition, the north is regarded for its small conventional villages and gastronomic delights.

regions of portugal

Considering that we’ve lived on a magnificent Caribbean island for several decades, we never system to verify out the shorelines of Portugal (still), but as a substitute, we’re wanting forward to staying in campsites and making the most of the rivers, lakes, and forest.

Our climbing equipment and Nick’s fishing rod are packed and ready to go!

Is It Safe to Vacation Appropriate Now?

We’re not advertising or recommending vacation at this time. Always abide by the rules and measurements set in place by the place, city, or municipality you are living in. 

Obtaining reported that, considering the fact that items have opened up here and the authorities has announced that it is harmless and permitted to travel close to Portugal, we are pretty snug minimally touring around domestically by campervan. 

What superior way to observe social distancing than by travelling with our have motor vehicle — which also functions as our restaurant and lodging?!

Ordinarily, on a 10-working day road journey, we would in all probability make about 5 stops, but due to the fact we want to get the job done though we’re travelling close to, and due to the fact it is critical to restrict our interaction with individuals, we really don’t want to move all around way too a lot. 

We’ll possibly only devote time in 3 different campsites (and discovering the surrounding locations!) right before returning to Lisbon.

fishing gear
Nick’s fishing gear is all set and waiting!

There are however cleanliness measurements in position and we have masks that we’ll have on when coming into into any stores, or when we will need to discuss with other individuals. 

When it will come to travelling, I believe relocating about by campervan is the most secure and most handy way proper now.

We’re All set For The Highway!

With all the limitations in put around the globe right now, and with people today worried about getting unwell, or not currently being equipped to attain travel insurance coverage protection, I consider domestic travel by land will be the new norm for a whilst. 

Renting a campervan is the exceptional way to vacation securely, although being self-enough when it will come to feeding on, drinking, sleeping, and shifting around.

We’re seriously searching ahead to enduring this design and style of vacation and sharing it with you. Keep tuned for tips and assistance for travelling by campervan, the do’s and don’ts, what rentals consist of, the over-all price tag, execs & drawbacks, and itinerary details from Portugal as properly.

Do not overlook to indication up for our e-newsletter, and comply with our YouTube channel, Facebook and Instagram for photographs, movies, and content articles. 

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10 Tips For Choosing A TEFL Course That’s Right For You

If you’re interested in teaching English abroad or online, there’s a good chance you’ve heard about getting TEFL certified.

For most in-person or online English teaching jobs, a TEFL certification is one of the basic requirements. But with dozens of companies out there to choose from, it can be difficult to know which one to sign up for. 

Having the training and skills that come with a high-quality TEFL certification can help you feel confident and prepared when you start your English teaching job. 

Ask yourself these questions and choose a TEFL course that’s right for you!

Is The Course Accredited?

One of the first things to consider when signing up for a TEFL course is accreditation. Legitimate courses should have information about their accreditation listed clearly on their websites.

Often, only certificates issued from accredited TEFL companies will be accepted by employers.

It’s important to make sure you’re choosing a verified program. Be wary of extremely discounted TEFL certifications on coupon sites as these sometimes lack accreditation. 

What Are The Course Hours?

When signing up for a TEFL course, you’ll likely get to choose how many “Hours” you want to take. The number of hours refers to the expected amount of time needed to complete all the coursework. 

TEFL certifications come in different increments.

For example, with one company you might be able to choose a 60-hour certification, an 80-hour certification, a 120-hour certification, or a 160-hour certification. The higher you go, the more in-depth information you’ll receive.

In general, your best bet is to go with a 120-hour certification or higher.

120-hours is the minimum you’ll need to qualify for teaching jobs in many countries, so stick to 120-hours or more to ensure you have as many job opportunities as possible. 

You might also see something called a Level 5 TEFL Course.

Level 5 courses are designed to match the rigor and intensity of a CELTA and are impressive to future employers. Level 5 courses are regulated by Ofqual, a body from the United Kingdom that handles educational accreditation.

If you want to have as many job opportunities as possible and are willing to invest more energy into an advanced certification, a Level 5 course might be a great fit for you. The TEFL Academy offers an affordable Level 5 course, click here to learn more about that course.

Do You Want to Learn Online or In-Person?

With most companies, you’ll get to choose the format of the course you take. Depending on your schedule and personal preference, you can choose from: 

Online Courses

These are the most flexible option if you have a busy schedule.

Online TEFL Courses can be done independently when it’s most convenient for you. You’ll usually receive several modules of instruction with quizzes or assignments to submit along the way.

Often, there is a final exam or project at the end of the course where you can show what you’ve learned. 

Because there isn’t an in-person component, online courses are often less expensive than their onsite counterparts. 

taking an online course

In-Person Courses in Your Home Country

Some companies offer in-person TEFL training in your home country.

For example, if you’re from the USA, you can take the International TEFL Academy course onsite in Chicago or the Bridge TEFL course onsite in Denver.

If you’re from England, you can get certified by ITTT in London. 

These programs last for several weeks and you’ll go to a training location to take the course. You’ll receive face-to-face instruction and guidance from an experienced instructor and as a result, you’ll usually finish the program in a matter of weeks.

The benefits of this option are that you can get practice teaching in front of groups of people and get feedback on lesson plans and instructional techniques. 

In-Person Courses Abroad

Perhaps the most enticing option for those with the travel bug is an in-person course abroad.

Just like the local in-person courses, you’ll report for class every day for several weeks in a physical location. You’ll receive your instruction in person and often get the chance to practice teaching with real English learners. 

The downside to this option is that it’s more expensive than the others listed and you might be responsible for other costs like flights, accommodation, and excursions.

That being said, this option will give you the best taste for what it’s really like to teach in a foreign country and could allow you to lay some connections with future employers!

Some companies even advertise that they can arrange interviews for you and assist with your job hunt in-person.

If you know where you want to teach abroad and can find a TEFL course in that location, signing up could put you ahead of the game when it’s time to get hired. 

Combination Courses

Finally, you might find that some companies offer “combination” courses that have an online component and an in-person component. Typically, you’ll start by doing the online portion of the course at home on your own schedule.

Then you’ll book an onsite training day or weekend in a city near you. During the onsite training day, you’ll get hands-on teaching practice and plenty of feedback.

These courses offer the best of both worlds because you still get to do the bulk of the course virtually, but you also get in-person experience.

This can also work out to be more cost-effective since you aren’t having to pay for accommodation and living expenses for an extended period of time.

What Is The Time Commitment?

Another thing to consider when choosing a TEFL company is how much time the course will take you.

Online courses are typically designed to be completed while you’re working or studying, so they can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks depending on your schedule. 

You should check to see if there is a timeline for your online course. Some courses only allow students to have access to the materials for a set amount of time.

If you know you’re going to be very busy and might not finish within their required timeline, choose a different company or wait until you have more availability. 

Other times, the course might be run on a rolling basis with set deadlines.

Courses like this will often have modules that need to be completed each week and sometimes even live lectures. This option is great for those who prefer more structure. Just make sure you’ll be able to meet all the deadlines before enrolling. 

In-person TEFL courses can be completed faster since you’ll be in the classroom several hours per day. In the evenings, you’ll either work on homework or do student teaching practice.

With an in-person TEFL course, you’ll learn a lot of material in a shorter amount of time. It’s more intense, but you’ll be able to start teaching sooner. 

Does The Course Include Hands-On Teaching Components?

Some TEFL classes include a hands-on teaching component and others don’t.

What you choose will depend on your schedule and the amount of training you desire. If you’re the type of person who wants more practice before diving into something new, pick a program with built-in teaching practice. 

This can be done in a few ways:

  • Arrange your own student teaching opportunities and have your supervisor sign off on the time you observed or practice taught. 
  • Participate in a 1-2 day intensive training with the TEFL program 
  • Participate in many shorter teaching sessions over several weeks with an onsite TEFL program
  • Volunteer as a tutor or as an intern through your TEFL program

Are There Volunteer Or Internship Programs Available

If you’re brand new to teaching, you might want to get some experience in the field before applying to your first job abroad. Some companies offer volunteer opportunities or internship programs to help you make this happen. 

Take a look at the internships and volunteer placements offered by different companies.

See if any take place in a region where you would like to teach. This experience onsite can help your application stand out and could result in valuable connections for later on. 

What Are The Requirements to Enroll?

For the most part, there aren’t strict requirements to enroll in a TEFL course.

You don’t need a degree or teaching experience to sign up, though having these might make it easier to get a job when the time comes.

Usually, you must be eighteen years of age or older to sign up. You also should be a native or near-native English speaker. Most companies have their required English proficiency level listed on their website. 

How Much Does a TEFL Cost?

The cost of TEFL courses varies greatly. You can get highly rated TEFL certifications for around $200 all the way up to $2000+.

Lower priced courses can still be high quality but they often don’t come with as much hands-on support.

Higher priced courses often come with features like job assistance, resume editing, interview preparation, and active alumni communities. 

Think about what’s most important for you when deciding which course to choose.

cost of ITTT tefl courses online
Some of the online courses on offer with ITTT TEFL. Use this link for 15% off.

It helps to remember that in all cases, your TEFL certification is a one-time purchase that will allow you to make money long into the future. 

What Kind of Teaching Job Are You Looking For?

Think about what kind of teaching job you’re looking for and see if the company has specific information to help you get there.

Many companies offer upsell courses about specific topics like business English, English for younger learners, or teaching online. 

If you know you want to teach business English students, consider signing up for a TEFL program that has an add-on for business English.

If you plan to teach English online, look for a company that has additional training in online teaching. 

You can also use the company’s testimonials and social media presence to determine if their students get the kinds of jobs you’re interested in.

For example, if you dream of teaching in China, look at the company’s social media accounts. See if they talk about previous students getting hired in China. 

teaching students in china

If you want to work at an international school in Latin America, read through reviews and alumni stories to see if anyone else has gone down that path.

This shows that the company adequately prepared someone else for the job you want. They can probably do it for you too!

Does The Program Include Job Placement Assistance?

Job placement assistance is a common feature of popular TEFL companies. This means that after you finish the course, someone from the company will assist you in finding your teaching job.

While it’s not always guaranteed that you’ll find a job, having someone who is knowledgable about the industry to guide you can improve your chances. 

When I was deciding which TEFL course to sign up for, I looked for reviews that mentioned a supportive staff and alumni job assistance.

I wanted to make sure that once I finished my online course, I had people I could turn to for advice. Having that safety net made me feel more secure as I ventured into uncharted territory. 

Having a robust alumni community can be an appealing feature.

For me, this was one of the deciding factors. I wanted to get certified with a company that had lots of happy graduates who were teaching and traveling.

Being able to connect with other teachers and make friends around the world was important to me so I picked International TEFL Academy, a company that had a strong alumni community.

Through the connections I made during my TEFL training and in alumni networking groups, I was able to meet friends around the world. 

international TEFL academy
The International TEFL Academy has a great alumni community

Choosing The Right TEFL Course For You

In order to choose the right TEFL course for you, think about your specific teaching goals as well as the structure that works best for your learning style.

Your best bet is to pick a company that offers at least 120-hour TEFL certifications and is fully accredited.

If you anticipate needing help with finding a job, choose a company with job placement assistance. If a sense of community is a priority for you, choose a company with a large alumni presence on social media.

Maybe, you just need to get certified quickly and inexpensively. If so, a no-frills online course might be perfect!

At the end of the day, you’re taking an important step toward becoming a TEFL teacher and making a positive investment in your future.

With a TEFL certification that qualifies you for teaching jobs abroad, there’s no limit to where you might go. To learn more, read our in-depth post: 7 Best Online TEFL Courses For English Teachers

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Puerto Vallarta, Mexico: The Complete Travel Guide

Published by Sasha Savinov

Sasha is standard contributor to Goats On The Road. He’s also an English instructor, language university student, blogger, and video producer. He and his spouse operate Grateful Gypsies, in which they write about everyday living overseas, lengthy phrase journey, and are living tunes. Adhere to Sasha on his site, social media accounts under and on YouTube.

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Cost of Living in Beijing: An Insider’s Guide

Blending ancient history with sophisticated urban life, Beijing is one of the fastest-growing cities in Asia. Although the cost of visiting and living in Beijing has recently become more expensive, it’s still affordable compared to other western and Asian cities around the world.

Your cost of living in Beijing depends entirely on how you choose to spend your money. It’s possible to spend a hefty amount on clothes, goods, and food in Beijing (have you ever heard of the thousand-dollar bird’s nest soup?). On the other hand, you can spend a mere $4 on a meal, or $15 on a night out.

The truth is, Beijing doesn’t have to be that expensive at all, especially if you know what things should cost on average.

I’m here to discuss the actual cost of living in Beijing. I’ll explain how much you should spend on rent and food, and what you can expect from living in China’s vibrant and historic capital. In this article, you’ll get the information and tools to decide if living in Beijing is right for you.

Why Choose Beijing?

When people find out that I lived in China, they’re usually curious about a few things.

First, they wonder how an American with zero Mandarin language skills was able to survive in Beijing for a year. That thought is then followed up by questions about cultural differences between Western and Asian cultures. Finally, they want to know about the cost of living, and if Asia is really as cheap as they imagine.

The truth is, there are plenty of reasons to live in Beijing. This bustling city blends ancient, traditional culture with modern, urban life. You could easily spend the day in a peaceful, lotus-filled park, or lighting incense in a colorful Buddhist temple. Or if you prefer, you could hit the town for bargain shopping, gourmet dining, and dancing under the stars. There are endless things to do in Beijing to keep you busy.

China’s vibrant capital is ultimately a city that you can make your own. No matter what sparks your interest, you can find it in Beijing! Besides the fun things to do, and the chance to learn about an ancient culture and history, here are a few more reasons to live in Beijing.

Work Opportunities

Take a look in the classifieds section, and you’ll see thousands of job opportunities for expats and English speakers. As one of the biggest cities in China, you’ll find that many international companies are eager to set up satellite offices and branches in Beijing. For this reason, there are multitudes of job opportunities for foreigners and English speakers.

It doesn’t matter if you’re working in tech, finance, or hospitality. If the company is based outside of China, then the primary language of the business is probably in English.

There are also plenty of service-industry opportunities available in Beijing. With the booming growth of tourism, many hotels and shops are looking to hire English speakers.

Teaching English is another popular career, not only in Beijing but all over Asia. In order to study abroad or to increase their hiring potential, Chinese students and residents are eager to learn English from native speakers. You can teach privately, for a school, or even live as an au pair for a family!

Beijing is also an excellent destination for digital nomads. There are plenty of co-working spaces and creative outlets for you to expand your freelancing business.

But don’t get me wrong; while English is widely spoken, it’s still beneficial to learn Mandarin while living in Beijing. Not only will you gain a deeper appreciation for the culture, but you’ll also expand your job prospects with Chinese companies.

Unique Culture

Despite what many people think, Beijing is a diverse and multicultural city. Ever since it hosted the Summer Olympics in 2008, Beijing has seen tremendous growth in tourism and foreign expats.

While it’s common to see westerners and other foreigners, Beijing is also an ideal destination for immersing yourself in Asian and Chinese culture. China has done a fantastic job of preserving its traditional heritage.

There are seven different UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Great Wall of China, the Forbidden City, and the Summer Palace. If you want a taste of authentic Beijing, then I recommend visiting one of these impressive attractions.

Intertwined with the traditional sites is one of the biggest defining characteristics of Beijing — urbanization. That means you’ll see towering skyscrapers and modern highrises dotted in between the centuries-old temples, parks, and pagodas in Beijing. This gives the city an eclectic flair, unlike any other place in the world. 

☞ SEE ALSO: The Villages of Dacangzhen: Southwest China’s Best Kept Secret

State-of-the-Art Public Transportation

In a city known for its technological advancements, it should come as no surprise that Beijing has an incredible public transportation system. Your options for getting around the city (and getting around China in general) are virtually endless. There are subways, rail trains, buses, taxis, bicycles, electric scooters, and even rickshaws.

Best of all, all these options are relatively affordable. We’ll discuss the cost of transportation a little later in this article, but take my word for it; transportation costs in Beijing should be the least of your worries.

On the other hand, there is one significant downside to public transportation in Beijing. With over 21 million residents living in Beijing, transport can be crowded and overwhelming to some. Renting a car or taking a scooter can be dangerous, especially considering how congested and populated the roads are.

Although you might be rubbing shoulders during rush hour or dodging bicyclists during your drive to work, you can still easily get from one place to another.

cost of living in beijing transportation

Crime is at an All-Time Low

Beijing is incredibly safe for foreigners, solo travelers, and women. As a young female in my early 20s living in Beijing, I never once felt unsafe walking alone or at night. Serious crime and violence against locals and foreigners are infrequent.

On the other hand, petty theft can be an issue, especially in big cities and touristy areas. However, if you take the right precautions, you can avoid being pickpocketed or robbed during your stay in Beijing.

When you go out, make sure to leave any valuables such as passports, jewelry, and large amounts of cash at home. You should also keep your wallet in your front pocket, or your purse zipped up and in plain sight at all times. By being aware of your surroundings, you can avoid thieves and pickpockets.

Amazing Food and Snacks

Beijing is known to serve some of the most mouth-watering dishes on the planet. From gourmet dining experiences to sizzling street foods, you’ll have no problem finding something delicious to eat in China. The only problem you’ll have is deciding exactly where to eat!

Food in China is entirely different than the mediocre Chinese food that’s probably served in your home country. In Beijing, you won’t find Orange Chicken, Beef and Broccoli, or Fortune Cookies on the menu. Instead, you’ll have the options of steamed pork buns, spicy noodles, and succulent duck to indulge in.

Besides the plethora of dine-in restaurants, you’ll also have access to freshly cooked street food in Beijing. All you have to do is find one of the street carts that whip up meat skewers, savory crepes, and sweet pastries, and you have yourself a cheap and filling meal!

The food here is so amazing that it remains one of my favorite aspects of living in Beijing. 

Cost of Living in Beijing

Although many people believe that China is the cheapest country in the world, this reputation has changed slightly over the last few decades. While it is possible to find great deals in Beijing, your cost of living will depend entirely on how you choose to spend your time.

Let’s break the expenses and see if life in Beijing is within your budget.

Cost of Accommodation in Beijing

Your biggest expense when living in Beijing will likely be the cost of the rent. There are several different accommodation types to choose from, including private studios, shared flats, and even single-family houses.

Unlike most things in Beijing, the cost of rent is actually very high. To many local residents, renting a flat or house is actually out of the question, since the price is much higher than the average income. However, if you’re living on a western salary, you can live quite comfortably in many places in Beijing.

If you’re looking to cut down on costs, you can consider sharing an apartment or housing with one or more roommates. You might also look for an apartment outside the busy city center districts.

When it comes to finding a place to live in Beijing, there are several websites to check out. The Beijinger is an English website with dozens of furnished and unfurnished apartments added each day. Besides housing, you can also use the Beijinger to find events, employment opportunity, and other items for sale. 
The downside to using an English site is that most listings are targeted towards expats, which means prices tend to be much higher. If you know Mandarin (or know someone that can read Mandarin), I recommend using or Soufun.
If you move to Beijing for work, your employer might help you find accommodation in the city. More often than not, these places are already rented by the company, which means you might have little choice about the neighborhood or facilities in your flat.
Here are some estimates of what you’ll spend on accommodation when living in Beijing:
  • Private 1-bedroom in an expensive area: 7500RMB (~$1000 USD)
  • Room in shared flat in an expensive area: 5000RMB (~$700 USD)
  • Private 1-bedroom outside the city center: 4500RMB (~$630 USD)
  • Room in shared flat outside the city center: 3000RMB (~$420 USD)

Cost of Food and Drink in Beijing

The cost of food will depend on where you choose to eat. You can eat like a King in a hotel or high-end restaurant and pay the same as if you were dining in a western or European restaurant. However, if you know where to look, you can fill up on meals for just a few dollars a day.

If you’re looking to save big on food, then eat in one of the smaller, local, family-run establishments dotted around the city. Remember, it’s a good sign if you see lots of locals eating there! Just make sure to bring a dictionary or translator, because most local restaurants only have Mandarin menus (if they have a menu at all).

  • Meal for one in a mid-range restaurant: 30RMB (~$4 USD)
  • Street food snacks: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • Meal for one in an inexpensive restaurant: 20RMB (~$2.50 USD)
  • 3-course meal in an expensive restaurant: 100RMB (~$15 USD)
  • Bottle of beer: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • Glass of wine: 30RMB (~$4 USD)
  • Bottle of water: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)

living in beijing eating chinese food

Spending a night out in Beijing can also be fairly affordable. Although you’ll find plenty of western cocktail lounges and bars (most of which charge western prices), you can still drink and party in Beijing withing spending too much.

  • One cocktail in an expensive club: 60RMB (~$8 USD)
  • One cocktail in an inexpensive bar: 30RMB (~$4 USD)
  • One beer from kiosk: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • One beer in a pub: 30RMB (~$4 USD)

As a general rule of thumb, you can save even more money by cooking at home. When shopping for groceries, Beijing has several western stores and markets, including Carrefour, Walmart, and METRO. You can also shop at a local produce market, or in a Chinese store for even more significant savings.

  • Loaf of bread: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • 1kg of apples: 15RMB (~$2 USD)
  • 1kg of chicken breast: 20RMB (~$2.50 USD)
  • 12 eggs: 10RMB (~$1.50 USD)
  • Bottle of beer: 5RMB (~$.75 USD)
  • Bottle of wine: 30RMB (~$4 USD)

Utility and Household Costs in Beijing

Compared to other western countries, utilities are much cheaper in Beijing. The biggest utility cost will be electricity, which is usually prepaid before moving into an apartment. You can expect to pay around 200-300RMB ($30-40 USD) per month for electricity.

Gas and water may or may not be included in your rent. If not, then you will need to pay 70-80RMB (~$10 USD) for each, which is a minor cost, in my opinion.

If your flat requires that you prepay your utilities, then this can be done at the bank or local management office.

Transportation Costs in Beijing

Navigating through Beijing can be confusing at first. But once you get the hang of where you’re going, you’ll be traveling around the city just like a local. And it’s okay if you get lost every once in a while, because the cost of using the public transportation system is very affordable.

  • One-way ticket: 3RMB (~$.40 USD)
  • 10-minute taxi ride: 30RMB (~$4 USD)
  • Taxi from airport to city center: 100RMB (~$15 USD)
  • Cost of a new bicycle: 350RMB (~$50 USD)
  • Cost of 10-minute rickshaw ride: 50RMB (~$7 USD)

On average, you should aim for spending around $30 USD a week on transportation. If you live near the subway station, then taking the train is an efficient option for getting around Beijing. However, I ended up taking a taxi to most places, especially if I was grocery shopping. The price of a taxi ride is fairly low, especially compared to other countries in the world.

Cost of Entertainment in Beijing

When living in Beijing, you’ll inevitably want to spend some of your hard-earned cash to let loose and enjoy the fun and exciting aspects of the city. After all, seeing the sights and immersing yourself in Chinese culture is one of the best ways to get a feel for Beijing. Most importantly, entertainment in Beijing is actually reasonably inexpensive!

  • One movie ticket for the cinema: 50RMB (~$7 USD)
  • 1-month gym membership: 400RMB (~$50 USD)
  • Standard haircut: 70RMB (~$10 USD)
  • One ticket entry to Summer Palace: 30RMB (~$4.20 USD)
  • One ticket entry to Temple of Heaven: 35RMB (~$5 USD)
  • One ticket entry to Forbidden City: 60RMB (~$8 USD)
  • Full-day private tour of Beijing: 640RMB (~$90 USD)

Remember, it’s relatively easy to spend most of your money on entertainment and activities in Beijing. All those cocktails, excursions, and ticket prices can add up quickly. I recommend sticking to a monthly budget, so you don’t run out of money while living in Beijing.

What to Expect When Living in Beijing

Moving to Beijing can be an exhilarating experience. After all, you’re in one of the most buzzing capital cities in the Far East. To help make your transition to a new country a smooth one, I’ve put together a list of essential things to expect when living in Beijing.

It’s Okay if People Stare

Not being of Asian descent in a predominantly Asian country will inevitably attract stares and glances from locals. While most people that live in the big cities are familiar with Westerners, this might not be the case if you travel to small villages or towns.

Therefore, it’s quite common for Chinese locals to stare. To outsiders, this may come off rude, invasive, or strange. But in reality, it’s just a curiosity that makes them interested in learning more about a different culture other than their own.

As long as you’re friendly and smile at them, you’ll have no problem traveling around China.

☞ SEE ALSO: A Travel Guide to Experiencing the Tibetan Monlam Festival

Carry Your Own Toilet Paper 

Public bathrooms in China leave something to be desired. It’s not uncommon to find bathrooms without toilet paper, toilet seats, or even barriers or walls between stalls. Not to mention, you’ll have to get used to Chinese squatter toilets, which are more like holes in the grounds rather than seats.

For this reason, it’s essential to always carry around your own toilet paper. High-end hotels and malls might provide toilet paper, or at least make it available for purchase before entering the bathroom. But on the flip side, most public restrooms will not offer such a luxury.

In addition, you should also carry around hand sanitizer. Many public bathrooms are full of grime and dust, and soap is rarely provided. If you bring your own toilet paper and sanitizer, you’ll be prepared for even the dirtiest of public bathrooms.

Prepare for the Great Firewall

Censorship throughout China can be a major issue, especially when it comes to journalism, television, literature, and even the internet. The Chinese government limits access to many foreign websites, including Facebook and Wikipedia, Google, and Twitter. Plus, you won’t be able to access websites like Netflix or Spotify.

For this reason, you also won’t see any information online regarding China’s tumultuous events in history. Information about food safety scandals, political corruption, Tibet and Taiwan independence, and the 1989 protests at Tiananmen square are strictly banned in China.

If you’re looking to use these sites during your stay in Beijing, you should consider purchasing a VPN — virtual private network. This would allow you to tap into another IP address so you can freely surf the web at your leisure.

Using a VPN to watch tv shows when living in beijing

Learn a Few Chinese Words

Although English is spoken in many tourist sites and hotels, Mandarin Chinese is the primary language in Beijing. Taxi drivers, street food owners, and retail associates probably won’t speak any English. Knowing a few words in Mandarin, like hello, thank you, no thank you, can go a long way with Chinese locals.

To put it simply, learning Mandarin is not for the faint of heart. Not only do you have to learn different tones and vocabulary, but you’ll also have to master an entirely new form of writing. Unless you’re adept at learning new languages, it’s unreasonable that you’ll learn Mandarin in just a few months. However, you can still pick up a few survival phrases to help make your time abroad easier.

Be Prepared to Bargain

In Beijing markets, it’s perfectly normal to bargain for a lower price. Whether you’re shopping for counterfeit shoes and watches or fresh vegetables and fruit, the price you see on the tag may not be what you end up paying.

Generally speaking, you can save up to 50% by bargaining. If the shop owner is unwilling to go lower, then you can always use the “walk away” tactic!

Of course, you shouldn’t bargain in grocery stores or shopping malls, as these prices are set and regulated. However, if you go to a farmers market or knock-off market, you can haggle your way to better deals. It’s even believed that some shop owners will be offended if you pay the full price.

Final Thoughts on Living in Beijing

As you can see, it’s definitely possible to live in Beijing without burning through your salary and savings. However, the cost of living will be different for everyone that decides to move here. Like I mentioned before, it’s up to you if you want to spend $5 or $500 on meals and clothes!

Beijing can be affordable if you have a decent income, some savings, and most importantly, an open mind. And don’t forget to put your bargaining skills to the test if you’re looking to score even better deals.

But costs aside, living in Beijing is one of the coolest experiences you will ever get to have.

Personally speaking, I loved my time living in Beijing, and I still go back every year just to eat at my favorite, cheap dumpling shop and see how the city has grown over the years.

For the rest of my life, the Chinese capital will always have a special place in my heart. And if you decide to take the leap and move to Beijing, then you’ll see exactly what I mean.

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Cost of Living in Beijing: An Insider’s Guide

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Beautiful Chakra Meditations for Each of Your 7 Chakras

I was not incredibly non secular when I very first started out touring many years in the past. I realized what I thought was diverse than the culture I was lifted in, but I under no circumstances recognized that it was reflected in other cultures. Luckily, Asia was the 1st part of the environment that I explored, and it designed all the change.

The very first time I picked up a guide to study about Buddhism, I at last felt comprehended. The things that my previous finance coworkers identified as me a hippie for — my disconnect with extravagant factors, perception that everyone is basically equivalent, and energetic connection with nature — had been not New Age beliefs, but fairly older than Christianity. It all stems from Buddhism’s Four Noble Truths and prior to that, Hinduism.

More than the earlier couple of several years I have supercharged my spiritual curiosity, discovering more about meditation, Tantra, and dipping into quantum physics as well, at the very least, as considerably of it as I could recognize. What I’ve realized about the a long time is that we are absolutely in management of our reality, our energy, and our everyday living experience.

One of the finest ways I’ve uncovered to recover is to harmony my chakras.

Chakras are facilities of power in just the system operating from the foundation of our spine up to earlier mentioned the crown of our head. The ancient Sanskrit term for chakra translates to ‘wheel’, suggesting that the energy facilities in our physique are wheels that go our electricity upwards. They have been very first referenced in the Vedas textual content from the second millennium BCE.

All organisms give off a frequency, but what takes place when our electricity will get caught? Are we equipped to obtain all of our likely in a condition in which we feel unsafe, unable to categorical ourselves, or aren’t thoroughly open up to love?

To me that implies therapeutic and loving ourselves 1st, mainly because when we work on self-really like, we generate the capacity for all of the other types of adore to come to us. The adhering to are some valuable chakra meditations to rebalance your vitality facilities, and support you truly feel harmless, assured, and open up:

Root Chakra: Masculine, Earth, Lotus

San Juan siquijor
Red like the lotus

The root chakra is located at the base of your backbone and symbolized by a lotus with 4 petals and a downward-pointing triangle at its centre. The triangle symbolizes connection to the earth and the lotus is one of the most sacred symbols in Hinduism, Buddhism, and historical Egyptian beliefs. A functioning concept across all of individuals is rebirth and non secular awakening.

Our root chakra is our heart of security, strength, and dedication. When our root chakra is balanced we are grounded, like a warrior.

If you do not truly feel basically risk-free, how can you be open to really like, a great deal less talk your fact? Which is why nurturing our root chakra is so crucial. With no a balanced root chakra, we can’t harmony the relaxation of the chakras, both.

To carry into harmony, get started by acquiring a relaxed, silent spot where by you come to feel risk-free to dive deep. For me, which is ordinarily in my office environment the place it certainly feels like my house, and is adorned in these kinds of a way that helps make my feminine vitality come alive (far more on Tantra, and my causes for nurturing female strength right here). 

Root Chakra Meditations*:

*Be aware: all of the meditations advised in this article are accessible through Insight Timer. They are thoroughly free of charge and I only advocate them since I personally like them. You’ll need to obtain the app to get the full edition.

Sacral Chakra: Female, H2o, Flower + Moon

The moon, which is connected with female cycles

The sacral chakra is symbolized by a crescent moon at the center of a flower with 6 petals. Its colour is orange and its component is h2o. Can make perception, given that tides rely on the moon, and like feelings, each are ever-switching.

Depending on the custom, the sacral chakra is situated at the centre of your reduce tummy, or in the genital location. The latter is the place I was taught it’s found. Exact place doesn’t actually matter. What matters is that we maintain it in balance to continuous our thoughts, our expression of sexuality, associations, and creativeness.

Sacral Chakra Meditations:

Solar Plexus Chakra: Masculine, Fireplace, 10-Petaled Flower

chakra meditation
Fields of gold

The solar plexus is the home of our soul. It is positioned in the upper element of the stomach, where by your diaphragm rests. It has a relationship to the sunshine, heat, and most importantly, electric power. 

Balancing the photo voltaic plexus chakra does not signify bringing about the ability to lord energy about other individuals, but somewhat using charge of our have own electric power, creating decisions, and developing self-confidence.

When in equilibrium we are linked to our higher intent, stay in integrity, and retain our claims to ourselves. It also corresponds to the gut, which has the second best concentration of neurons immediately after the mind.

Photo voltaic Plexus Chakra Meditations:

If you can balance this chakra, I think you are currently significantly ahead of most men and women in the world by increasing your consciousness and inquiring you what is real for you, and keeping powerful in your beliefs. Most people today hardly ever really get past the root chakra, a experience of security, which allows us to open up to the rest. But if you’re in this article, that suggests you’re all set to open up to 1 of the most beautiful, the heart chakra.

Coronary heart Chakra: Female, Air, 6-Pointed Star with 12 Petals

Beautiful Chakra Meditations for Each of Your 7 Chakras
Dazzling environmentally friendly of the coronary heart

The coronary heart chakra is located in the centre of our chest – a lot more in the direction of the middle than our true heart. The intersecting triangles symbolize the union of opposing forces, building harmony. 

When our coronary heart is open up, we come to feel the connectedness with many others. We are in a location wherever we sense compassion and empathy, and can effortlessly forgive and take. We notice that people are a lot extra alike than they are distinctive, and essentially we all experience the exact matters. Went out of balance we can really feel shut off, fearful of other people, jealous, and not able to forgive.

The coronary heart chakra is associated with air, signifying lightness of becoming. 1 of the finest strategies to convey this into balance is via breath get the job done.

Coronary heart Chakra Meditations:

Throat Chakra: Masculine, Sound, Sixteen-Petaled Flower

Blue of the throat

Is it any shock that as we go upwards, the total of petals, and growth, raises? The throat chakra is gentle blue in shade and is located at, shock, the throat. Individually, each time I do chakra operate, this is my most activated. 

Our fifth chakra is where we offer with our expression, specifically talking our fact. It also has to do with our inner reality, and our creativity. This is in which we build and specific devoid of needing acceptance, but rather for the sake of real truth alone. 

When out of harmony, we’re unable to preserve our term, not able to listen to many others, and worry talking. We also may deficiency of connection with our reason in lifetime. This is why opening the throat chakra is so vital.

Throat Chakra Meditations:

3rd Eye Chakra: Female, Light, Upside Down Triangle and Lotus Flower

koh yao noi
Open up the lotus flower

The third eye chakra is characterised by a dark blue shade, or indigo, and is situated in the centre of our forehead. The triangular symbol signifies channeling facts to the seed from which wisdom blossoms. This is our gateway to higher consciousness. 

When in balance, we’re in a position to think critically, make our very own actuality, and manifest what we opt for. Essentially, whichever we pick to see is what we will experience. The mantra of the 3rd eye chakra is “om”, the most sacred mantra in Buddhism and Hinduism, and an ode to our maximum guidance.

When out of equilibrium, we’re disconnected from our intuition, and our brain is filled with unnecessary info. This is why stillness and meditation are so critical. With so quite a few alarming headlines and rage-based mostly political crafting, believe about what information and facts will come into your thoughts every single working day. What will you opt for to fill it with, and are the views that occupy your mind really your individual?

3rd Eye Chakra Meditations:

Crown Chakra: Masculine, Considered, Circle with One particular Thousand Petals

lavender provence
Greater knowledge

The seventh chakra, located over the crown of our head and symbolized by the coloration purple, is our connection to spirit, common consciousness, enlightenment, and knowledge. Only when the rest of our chakras are in harmony can we tap into this incredible loving energy.

Are you open to looking at signs and obtaining this means in seemingly random items? This is where by we can faucet into our link with the cosmos. Individually, in addition to meditation, I come across investigate into quantum physics and our interconnection with all issues assists me recognize this 1 superior. 

Crown Chakra Meditations:

Have you tried meditating based on each of your 7 chakras? Here are my favorite chakra meditations for each of the 7 chakras that are easy to follow, accessible anywhere, and absolutely free. They have helped me stay in tuned, focused, and calm during my travels, and I am sure they will be just as helpful to you. #Chakras #Meditation

In my travels all-around the planet, I’ve searched for different therapeutic modalities from several cultures. It’s so intriguing to me that so numerous beliefs fundamentally overlap and the majority of spirituality comes again to like. 

Although I recognize this is a slight deviation from my mainly travel-connected writings, I feel it’s an significant factor of the interior journey of traveling the entire world, and my feeling that traveling is nothing at all without having spirituality.

Also, the Earth has chakra centers wherever the ability of every chakra can be felt with even much more potency, bringing it all entire-circle. If you have experienced the natural beauty of traveling and understanding the spirituality of various cultures, I’m positive you know what I mean.

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The Best Time to Visit Tahiti

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Tahiti in the South Pacific is an island with a name for remarkable waterfalls, gorgeous seashores, mouth watering seafood, and all those famous overwater bungalows. It is a quick length away from Moorea, popular for stingrays and shark sightings, and of training course Bora Bora, the honeymoon spot of dreams.

Tahiti does not have normal seasons that most of us are applied to. With temperatures hovering all over 80 levels Fahrenheit all year very long, “seasons” in Tahiti should be produced categorically dependent on humidity and rainfall. Here’s every little thing you have to have to know about Tahiti’s climate, crowds, and selling prices so that you can plan the greatest vacation:


The Best Time to Visit Tahiti

Weather conditions & Precipitation: The months of November, December, and January make up the rainiest component of the year, averaging at about 10.5 inches of rain for every month. For the reason that of all this rainfall, these months are significantly extra humid than the relaxation of the calendar year, with December remaining the most humid time of 12 months.

Pricing: Simply because of the wet climate, these months are the minimum crowded with vacationers. If you are inclined to tolerate the rain and humidity, the price ranges this time of yr will be worthy of it, as flights can be as small as fifty percent of the peak period price ranges. Numerous hotels, far too, are significantly less expensive for every evening during the wet year.

Booking Ease: Reserving a journey for these months is considerably a lot easier than for other times of calendar year. Accommodations are almost never bought out, even at the previous minute, whereas lodging for peak time can offer out even a calendar year ahead of time.

When composing this post, I did a mock booking lookup to evaluate costs, and I identified that it is both equally more cost-effective and less difficult to book a January excursion to Tahiti — even however that’s only three months from now — than it is to e-book a July or even Oct trip there, 9 to twelve months from now. A nice lodge in Tahiti in January would’ve expense me about $150 per night time, but for future October, the identical resort was entirely marketed out.

Key Points of interest & Availability: Mainly because the temperatures are nevertheless heat, no functions or sights will be unachievable. You surely won’t be holed up inside below blankets and sweaters! However, the repeated rain may make it far more hard to partake in specified actions like surfing or climbing. Just be sure to, initial, preserve an eye on the forecast and, 2nd, system an itinerary which is flexible so that it can be rearranged at the very last moment thanks to temperature adjustments.


The Best Time to Visit Tahiti

Temperature & Precipitation: Even though nonetheless a part of the wet year, these months acquire about thirty per cent significantly less precipitation, averaging about 7.5 inches of rain for every thirty day period. Minimal by minimal, the humidity also decreases this time of yr. Nonetheless system for rain, but know that it will not be at its worst.

Pricing: Charges will start off to climb as you get nearer to peak time, but even in April, flights are nonetheless various hundred bucks more affordable than they will be at the heart of the dry year. Hotels and lodging, also, will maximize in price tag, but only by about twenty-five percent among January and April.

Booking Relieve: Reserving flights and lodging is quite effortless in these months, as nothing at all will be offered out fairly however. Nevertheless do the job in excess time, however, as you get closer and closer to the get started of Could.

Important Attractions & Availability: Drier climate indicates out of doors pursuits like hiking and water activities are far more feasible and extra fulfilling. Rain is usually a possibility, nevertheless, so be geared up to regulate your itinerary appropriately if showers suddenly seem, as they likely will. A great celebration on the islands this time of yr is the Pacific International Documentary Movie Competition, also acknowledged as FIFO (a French acronym which stands for Competition Global du Movie documentaire Océanien) which takes spot in February.

May possibly-June-July

tahiti budget
Image by Mayumi Ishikawa used less than inventive commons

Climate & Precipitation: May well marks the begin of Tahiti’s dry year, and the months of Might, June, and July all see an average of all over 3 inches of rain for each month. The humidity continues to reduce, making way for extra and additional distinct, dry times.

Pricing: Attractive climate indicates that selling prices increase. By the middle of July, costs will be at their maximum. Even if you reserve significantly in progress, costs for hotel rooms, flights, and additional will immediately be higher than at other situations of 12 months. If you must go to the islands at this time of yr, just keep an eye out for flash gross sales and try to e-book your journey for when charges are at their cheapest, regardless of whether that be in the middle of the 7 days, the conclude of the month, or nearer to the shoulder months.

Scheduling Ease: Not only does peak time warranty major prices, it also assures significant crowds. Tahiti sees some of its greatest figures of visitors on the islands all through these months, specifically simply because it is formal summer season holiday time for substantially of the entire world. Lodging will fill up quickly as the year ways, so ebook very well in advance. You truly can not be far too secure in terms of organizing ahead.

Significant Points of interest & Availability: Since Could, June, and July have this kind of amazing temperature, any and all actions must be good video game! Once more, while, hold the crowds in head, and if you’re setting up on scheduling any sort of guided excursions or excursions all-around the islands, do your investigate and system ahead. Also take note that the Heiva, a month-extended Polynesian cultural and classic celebration on the islands, will take location every single July. The competition is designed up of audio, dance displays, sports activities competitions, and other festivities, which would be superb to experience but could also direct to more crowds. On top of that, hundreds of marine animals, like sharks and rays, arrive to the islands to feed in July!


The Best Time to Visit Tahiti

Temperature & Precipitation: The months of August, September, and Oct obtain even less rain than the 3 months preceding them, averaging at about 2.5 inches of rainfall for each thirty day period. They make up the tail stop of the islands’ dry time. Obviously, as the year cycles as a result of on its way again to the rainy year, the rain starts rising as the months go by, but even at the finish of Oct, neither rain nor humidity need to be as well a great deal of an problem.

Pricing: Pricing will continue to be extremely large in the course of these months, as they are technically aspect of Tahiti’s peak time. The for a longer time in the time you wait to take a look at, the decrease prices will possible be. Most likely mid-September and later, soon after much of the earth has absent back to university and do the job, will convey manageable price ranges, but the only way to know for absolutely sure is to retain tabs on flights and lodges so that you’ll know when the costs fall.

Reserving Ease: It goes without the need of expressing that the more into October and November you go, the a lot easier booking will be, nonetheless it still retains accurate that reserving is not effortless, even towards the stop of the dry time. Although it mostly is dependent on what and where you’re reserving, October can even now be totally blacked out for dates at specified accommodations, and flight rates could possibly not be dropping as rapidly as you’d like them to. Check out airlines and accommodations to be the very first to know if price ranges fall or availability opens up.

Key Points of interest & Availability: Because these months are continue to encompassed in the dry period, the islands’ points of interest stay easily accessible thanks to the pleasant temperature. Acquire benefit of the very clear skies while you can and soak up all of the beautiful island sunshine! Also maintain in thoughts that the International Graffiti Artwork Festival usually takes location in Tahiti this time of yr, which could possibly be worthy of checking out! In the meantime, the massive inhabitants of humpback whales stays near the islands as a result of October, so this season provides tons of prospects to expertise them!

When should you visit Tahiti? While Tahiti doesn't have the typical seasons like most countries, the humidity and rainfall level may affect your travel experience. Click to learn everything you need to know, including when is the best time of the year to visit Tahiti, and tips on costs and crowds! #Tahiti
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Irrespective of when you choose to stop by Tahiti, know that the delicious food, tradition, and elegance of the islands is there year-round. Additional impressive waterfalls and more compact crowds could suggest lower time is the most effective time for you, though if you choose milder climate and really do not mind crowds, June – September could be the ideal time. The excellent news is, you cannot actually go improper!

*Notice: All rainfall details from U.S. Information Travel.

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