Best cafes in Mumbai

When you live and work in Mumbai, getting a proper start to the day is practically mandatory for survival. As such, there is a thriving coffee culture in this bustling metropolis of 18.5 million people.

Want to experience its best cafes? As tough a task as this can be given this city’s scale, we have listed several favourites we are sure you will like.

1) Prithvi Cafe

No long after checking into the sahara star hotel, head over to the Prithvi Cafe. With plenty of caffeinated concoctions, they’ll have just what you need to shake your jet lag. From chai to Irish coffee, you’ll be as right as rain in no time.

This place is also well known for its food as well. With plenty of regionally famous people dropping in, other Mumbai residents often turn out here to do so celebrity spotting while they dine on excellent dishes like house-made sandwiches or a selection of pizzas. This creates an electric atmosphere, making a prime spot to enjoy a coffee while in Mumbai.

2) Momo Cafe

Another joint that comes highly recommended by locals, Momo Cafe gives you a chance to enjoy Indian food in a hygienic and casual setting. In addition to the excellent coffee and pastries found here, you’ll also love the dosas and sev puri, which are but a few of the dishes on their menu.

Located in the Courtyard Marriott in Mumbai, this cafe is headed up by Chef Ravi, who will ensure you receive the sort of personalized service that will have you talking up this place to friends and family back home.

3) Cafe Mondegar

Looking for a place more on the lively side? Cafe Mondegar is a place you should check out later in the day during your time in Mumbai. While it does coffee well enough, this joint is a flexible one, doubling as a casual beer bar, especially as the afternoon lapses into the evening hours.

With jukeboxes that play rock music, plenty of chilled beer on hand, and a location just across from the Regal Cinema, it is a great place to go if you are looking to meet up with local friends. Catch up with each other, have some burgers with a Kingfisher, and head on over to the theater to see a Bollywood flick – sounds good to us!

4) Bombay to Barcelona Library Cafe

Want to feel as if the money you spend during your Mumbai holiday is going to help those who need it? If this is a cause near and dear to your heart, then stopping by for a chai at the Bombay to Barcelona Library Cafe will turn your coffee break into an opportunity to help the community.

Founded by Amin, a former Mumbai street kid, he gives street people looking for work a chance to build a career for themselves, and he regularly provides drinks and pastries for street kids.

With the situation as bad as it is in New Delhi, it is heartwarming to see initiatives like this in action, so be sure to check this place out.

5 ways to save money for an extended trip to Europe

Rome is a common stop on an extended trip to Europe ... Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC-BY-SA 3.0

Dream of going to Europe someday? Some of the world’s best history, culture, beaches and party destinations can be found here, so we totally get you. Unfortunately, travel here can bankrupt you in no time flat if you don’t have a rock-solid financial plan in place.

Below, we’ll share five ways you can save the cash needed to enjoy an extended trip to Europe.

1) Pick up extra shifts

If you hold down a job in a workplace where you are paid by the hour, you have an advantage over those on salary. Stay longer for overtime pay, or pick up shifts from co-workers looking for time off. The end result: you’ll end up with a bigger paycheque for every pay period going forward.

Take the extra money you make and move it into a travel savings account. This will give you the capital you’ll need to have fun on holiday without spending the cash into your emergency fund.

2) Play online games

By this, we don’t mean Words With Friends or Farmville. There are games on the web which give you the opportunity to make money for your travels. All Jackpots casino online is an example of a website where you can earn a windfall by being dealt a royal flush in poker, nailing a big spin in your favourite slots game, or hitting your number in roulette.

You might not win every time you play, but you never know when you’ll hit pay dirt. Not only that, but you’ll get in plenty of practice prior to dropping in on places like the Monte Carlo Casino – unlike the other tourists, you’ll know exactly what you are doing.

3) Rein in your spending

For all the complaining people do about not earning enough money, they often have cash leaks they fail to notice. A cable package with 100+ channels they barely use, daily lunches, and leaky faucets are just a few examples how the average person wastes their discretionary income.

By tracking your spending habits, you’ll quickly learn where you are wasting your capital. Don’t watch cable as much as you used to? Cancel and replace it with Netflix. Eat out too much? Do meal prep on Sundays, and you’ll have a lunch ready to go every day. Got an inflated water bill? Have a plumber fix the leaks in your home.

4) Prioritize attractions and destinations

The problem with Europe is that there are so many places to go, it can be hard to know which ones to include in your itinerary. What’s more, many attractions in these cities charge sizable admission fees.

Know what interests you the most, then use this knowledge to make travel planning decisions. Love mountains and beaches? Move destinations like Paris down the list and choose spots like Barcelona instead. Prefer food over churches? Don’t waste 20 Euros to get into a cathedral you know won’t captivate you.

5) Earn money while you travel

There’s no getting around it: Europe is one of the priciest places in the world for travellers to visit. Don’t want to deprive yourself of experiences in a bid to preserve your declining bank balance? Pick up an internet side hustle before leaving home.

Spend several hours per week working on freelance projects for clients, and you’ll create a consistent income stream that will allow you go out for that fancy 5-course French meal while your hostel mates eat spaghetti.

5 Things to See and Do in Birmingham

You know about London, but there’s another city you should consider visiting on your next trip to the UK. Birmingham is the second largest city in England, and one of the cities that helped shape the modern world. As one of the leaders in the Industrial Revolution, it has a long history in technological advances along with contributions to music and the arts. There’s so much to do that you might be wondering where to start. So let’s take a look at five things to see and do in Birmingham.

Of course, the best way to go about getting to and from Birmingham airport is by using Blacklane. Blacklane offers a professional driver service that makes it extremely easy to get where you’re going. It’s convenient and affordable. Simply schedule your pickup time and enjoy your ride. It’s that easy.

Symphony Hall: Symphony Hall is easily the greatest concert hall in the UK and one of the greatest in the world. It offers a wide variety of acts, from rock, jazz, classical, dance, and even stand up comedy. It hosts over 270 events a year, so there’s always some kind of entertainment happening. On top of all this, it’s also the home of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which frequently plays to audiences of over 200,000. Make sure to check their schedule before you visit to see what will be happening while you’re there.

Shakespeare Express: This is a beautiful way to explore the English countryside while also taking in some of its old-time charm. The Shakespeare Express is an old-fashioned steam train that looks like it came from another time. Once you board, you’ll be taken on a ride from Birmingham to Stratford Upon Avon. It’s a gorgeous ride that’s steeped in both history and natural beauty. Depending on when you take the trip, you’ll also be served a delicious meal to eat as you enjoy the scenery.

Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery: This is a must-see for art lovers. The Birmingham Museum and Art Gallery contains art that spans centuries of European culture. It features many different kinds of art, such as fine art, ceramics, archaeology, and industrial history. Some of it highlights include the Staffordshire Hoard, the largest collection of Anglo-Saxon gold ever discovered, and a gallery of Ancient Egyptian artifacts.

Sheldon Country Park: If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors during your stay in Birmingham, then Sheldon Country Park is the place to go. This park consists of 300 acres of open grassland, giving you a perfect chance to enjoy some of England’s natural beauty. Sheldon Country Park is also a great place to take the whole family as it features a playground and a farm that houses an assortment of animals.

Great Western Arcade: You’re going to want to do some shopping while you’re in Birmingham, and this is the best place to do it. Not only does Great Western Arcade house a vast selection of retail shops, it also offers plenty of English charm. It was originally built in Victorian times, and still retains much of its old-world appeal. It’s both a perfect place to find what you’re looking for and a fascinating experience in its own right.