How to spend a week in Madeira: a 7-day itinerary without a car

Things to do in Funchal, Madeira, Portugal | PACK THE SUITCASES

If you’re spending a week in Madeira, there are so many things you can do on the island that it can be a nightmare picking which ones to add to your plan and in what order. I’ve put together this one-week Madeira itinerary based on what I’ve done on past trips (there have been a lot of them and I secretly like to think of myself as some sort of Madeira expert) to help you decide.

Madeira is totally doable without a car, so if like me you don’t drive, you’re going to be pleased with how decent the bus system is for seeing plenty of the island. For the bits that are harder to achieve by bus, there are plenty of minibus private tours, but more on that later..

Anyway, here are my tips for how to use your days to explore Funchal and further afield, where to eat and drink and various stuff to do on each day if you’re spending a whole week in Madeira…

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What to pack for a winter city break

What to pack for a winter city break | PACK THE SUITCASES

Here’s a few tips for what to pack for a winter city break. Winter is a tricky one to pack for because big thick clothing takes up SO much room in your suitcase. You can’t afford to make any mistakes with your packing list or you’ll end up going over the old baggage allowance. Winter outfit choices are also a pain because you don’t want your holiday ruined by feeling cold all the time when you’re out and about in the day. I find I end up wrapping up much more than I do when I’m at home because usually I’m just going from the house to the train to the office, not wandering round loads outside so not feeling the cold as much. On holiday, especially a city break, you’re outside pretty much all day.

Anyway, like I’ve said in my other seasonal packing guides, if this helps even one other woman staring at her ‘floordrobe’ and wanting to burn it all the night before going away, I’ll feel I’ve done some kind of heroic good deed.

Anyway, settle down with a hot chocolate or other winter-themed drink of choice, because here are my winter packing tips…

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32 cheap European city breaks for an affordable getaway

Cheap European city breaks for an affordable holiday | PACK THE SUITCASES

I wanted to put together a post about cheap European city breaks because it’s January as I’m typing this and I don’t know about you, but I’m broke as a joke. Affordable, cheap trips are sounding very appealing RN.

This post is going to be a tad different from my usual waffle. As well as sharing some cheap European city breaks that I’ve enjoyed doing myself, I thought I’d get some inspiration from others. So I asked around a group of fellow travel bloggers and they obliged me with loads of affordable holiday ideas that I’ve never done myself. I added another few of my own and voila – here you have this huge list of 32 cheap European city breaks to give you some food for thought for your next trip on a budget.

Get comfy with a cup of tea. It might take you a while to read this one…

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A Copenhagen to Hamburg train ferry adventure: yes, it’s a train that goes onto a ferry!

A Copenhagen to Hamburg train ferry adventure | PACK THE SUITCASES

This winter, I did what I have decided to call a Copenhagen to Hamburg train ferry adventure. Basically, it involved 3 days in Copenhagen and 3 days in Hamburg, with the two halves being connected via a TRAIN THAT GOES ONTO A FERRY. I kid you not. If a train driving INSIDE a ferry and being transported across the Baltic sea to emerge the other side on land isn’t the most exciting prospect you’ve ever heard of, then you’re on the wrong blog.

There are not many places in the world where trains go onto ferries, so this is a proper unique experience and costs less than 30 euro per person. Also, the cities it goes between are both good places to go to, so it’s not like it’s JUST a novelty. It makes for a really good double city break. I’d recommend spending slightly more time in Copenhagen than Hamburg. I enjoyed both cities, but Copenhagen is my all-time favourite. 

Incidentally, this unique train ferry experience may not last forever. There is a horrifying tunnel proposed, called the Fehmarn Belt Fixed Link, which will be replacing the wondrous train ferry at some point. So you need to get on the train ferry while you still can.

Anyway. Here’s my suggested itinerary for seeing both Copenhagen and Hamburg and how to do the AMAZING train ferry journey between them…

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Pack The Suitcases’ 2018 travel roundup

Happy new year!

This is becoming a bit of a tradition. Every new year since I started Pack The Suitcases, I’ve dished out the ‘best of’ and ‘worst of’ for all that year’s travel.

Precisely no one reads it because who cares? I know you all just want lists of places to eat for whatever city break you’re going to do. But when did no one listening/reading my stuff ever stop me…?! So I’m doing it again for 2018.

To be fair, this might give you some ideas about where to go (and where to avoid?) for 2019…

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A perfect 2 days in Copenhagen, Denmark

2 days in Copenhagen | PACK THE SUITCASES

I’d say that 2 days in Copenhagen isn’t enough and that 3 or 4 is more like it if you want to get a proper feel for the Danish capital, but if you’re pushed for time or you’ve been a few times then you can cram a fair bit into 2.

This was my fourth visit so I feel like I know Copenhagen quite well. It’s my all-time favourite city and one of the few cities I can see us living in. Everything about it is high quality, stylish and beautiful. This particular visit was in winter, so had a slightly different feel to it than previous trips I’ve done in autumn and spring. It was freezing, but Copenhagen is built for cold weather so we survived pretty well and as ever, I LOVED my time there and didn’t want to leave.

I’ve written up everything we did, but do bear in mind that this isn’t a full itinerary for a first-time visit. I’d already done most of the big must-do things in previous trips, so this is basically me going over my favourite things to do in Copenhagen. It was actually a really hard post to write, because how do I do my favourite city justice without writing War & Peace?!

Anyway, I’ll give you the lowdown on what to do in 2 days in Copenhagen but first I’ll give you a bit of a preamble and general city guide full of things you should know before you go…

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