Active Istanbul Mom… And Baby :)

Dear Moms.

As I’ve said recently, today I’m gonna write how you and your baby can be active in Istanbul. Did you do any sport during pregnancy or after the postpartum period? Great! Do you involve your little ones in exercises? Even better! So why give up on your holiday? If you go to Istanbul and you want to continue the physical activity with your babies, you’re in the right place 😉 Below you can see the places, where you can release endorphins in your “free time” with your babies 😉

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This photo has been taken when I had squash with my husband. Just to make you know I don’t only give lectures 😉

 

However, many webpages are in Turkish, so I recommend you to read the little dictonary before:

Age of Toddler:

……ay – …… months old

…….yaş / yaşında – ……. years old

 

Days of the week:

hafta – week

pazartesi – Monday

salı Tuesday

çarşamba – Wednesday

perşembe  – Thursday

cuma – Friday

cumartesi – Saturday

pazar – Sunday

 

Other useful words:

dersler – classes

bireysel ders – individual lesson

tanıtım dersi – introductory lesson

grup dersleri – group classes

iletişim – contact

oyun – game

çocuk – child

anne – mom

şubeler – departments

(Kişibaşı) fiyat – price (per person)

doğum günü – Birthday

havuz – swimming pool

emzirme – breastfeeding

yüzme okulu – swimming school

a) My Gymfitness club for little children with classes from the second month of life till the age of 13. It offers learning and playing in one. Trainings led there are directed to children alone or babies with mums. Furthermore, the club organizes birthday parties for little members 🙂 “My Gym” is situated in many locations in Istanbul and out of Istanbul. You can check the schedule in chosen location clicking on the tab “şubeler” (in English: departments) and typing the closest district. The class names are written in English. Some departments even lead several classes in this language.

Zdjęcie użytkownika My Gym Türkiye.

My Gym Oyun Grubu
Source: My Gym official website

b) Doum Mom & Baby Yoga – DOUM school has been established for yoga fans, who are expecting baby and for those who have recently given a birth to baby. There are three kinds of yoga classes: yoga for pregnant women, yoga for women after childbirth and also yoga for moms with babies. Moreover, you can find many different exercises there: pilates,  breathing and meditation in pregnancy, massaging the babyThere is also a birth school and a lactation center. You can find out more about the program and fees on the English version of the official website. DOUM is located on the European side in the Sarıyer district on Emirgan Sokak (street) 16/1.

 

 

Doum
Source: The official website of        Do-um

 

c) Swimming – there are plenty of swimming schools organizing classes for babies with their parents.

The most popular one is Aqua Tots. This school is situated in two districts: First one is the Etiler neighbourhood in European district called Beşiktaş (address: Seher Yıldızı Sokak 23). The other one is Göktürk in, also European, Eyüp district (address: Kayın Sokak 2). Babies can start learning to swim already in the sixth month of life. The school offers eight levels of teaching depending on the child’s age. Aqua Tots has the English version of the webpage. You can order a free trial lesson there.

Aqua Tots

Source: Official webpage of Aqua Tots

Below I’m giving you information about other swimming schools (leading their websites only in Turkish).

First one is Sensory SwimmersIt’s part of a school for parents and toddlers “Baby Sensory”. Classes are divided on three age groups: 1) from newborn till the age of one, 2) from 13th month till the age of two, 3) from 24 to 36 months. Classes take place in Asian district called Ataşehir (Barbaros Mahallesi) on Evren Cad. 56/A. “Baby Sensory” not only leads a swimming school, but also many educational programms for Toddlers and practical seminars for parents preparing for the best care for a baby, eg: sensory classes for infants and small children, preparation for potty training, seminar of effective baby sleep and even learning the infant “sign language”. Participants have the opportunity to take part in various events arranged by “Baby Sensory”, eg. holly days or Birthdays. Furthermore, you can also go to the lactation center there or order a professional photo session for your Star 🙂

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Źródło: Oficjalna strona Baby Sensory

Second swimming school is Aqua Babies, which is situated not only in Turkish cities, but also in the UK, Northern Cyprus, Thailand, Australia and in several European and Asian countries. Classes are directed for kids from the second month of life till the age of 5. They take place in the European district Bayrampaşa on 50. Yıl Cad. (street) 111. Third school is called Swimlabs. It organizes classes for toddlers with parents in two age levels: 1) 6-18 months old, 2) 18 months – 3 years old. Groups are up to three people. Three-year-olds can already start lessons for beginners just with teachers, without parents. Classes are taking place in the European side, in Beşiktaş district (Akatlar neighborhood) on Uğur Mumcu Cad. 8. It’s the building of Mustafa Kemal Culture Center Mall (tr. Mustafa Kemal Kültür Merkezi). And the last swimming complex organizing exercises for small children is called Dolphin Babies and it’s located in Asian district Üsküdar (address: Cumhuriyet Mah, Nurol Sokak 31). Classes for the first group of babies (0-15 months) take place on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays. Second group (15 months – 2,5 years) can attend on Saturdays and Sundays. Third group “Toddlers” (3 – 4 years) has an opportunity to participate in swim classes on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. You can see the details of schedule HERE.

 

 

Sometimes in the Internet you can find in older articles the mention of school „Swim Baby Türkiye”, which led classes for babies (also newborns) in two Istanbul locations. I just wanted to say here, that unfortunately, since 2017 this facility works only in Bodrum (info from the official website).

 

4) Dance – I don’t know what about you, but my Bibi is very musical🙂 She likes to dance and even create the songs from her babbling 😉 Most schools, however, organize dance classes for children from the age of four. If you’re currently in Istanbul and you want to dance, you can use two possibilities, even, if your child isn’t one year old yet. Both website have their English versions.

First option is Joimove. It’s the international dance school founded by Selen Yılmaz. Classes are designed for mothers with babies in slings or baby carriages. You can learn different types of dance: salsa, bachata, belly dance, ballet, rock and others… Before class starts, moms take a part in a short seminar on the safe babywearing (the school has the reserve baby carriages if you don’t have yours). Moreover, Joimove provides water and snacks for participants and organizes various integration events. The minimum age of baby is 8 weeks (maximum is around 18 months). Before signing up for classes, they recommend a routine appointment with a gynecologist (most of the newly-minted mothers do this in the sixth week after delivery). Answers to the most bothering questions you can find on the official website. Beside Istanbul, Joimove is situated in Izmir, Bursa and Antalya as well. Joimove works also in the United Kingdom, USA, Mexico and in many European and Asian countries. If you want to know more about the program and location, you can find the country and the city that interests you in the tab Find a class, and then click on the name of the selected instructor. You will find there an e-mail address or links to social media through which you can contact directly. If the names of trainers in your country don’t have a link to the contact details, you can use the contact form.

Zdjęcie użytkownika Joimove Türkiye.

Zdjęcie użytkownika Joimove Türkiye.
Source: Joimove’s fanpage on Facebook

 

The other option is Salon Sanat Music TogetherThis school is more focused on all musical activities than strictly dance (singing, dancing, playing instruments, movement activities). Classes are conducted in different age groups from newborns to age of five. Salon Sanat is located in two Istanbul districts. First one is Caddebostan on Asian side (address: Mustafa Reşit Belgesay sok. Aydınlık apt., No: 40/1). Second location is Beyoğlu on European side (address: Cihangir, Susam sok. 11/1). „Music Together” works also in Ankara (İncek district).

Zdjęcie użytkownika Salon Sanat Music Together.

photo
Source: Official webpage of Salon Sanat

This article is dedicated not only to Moms who stopped with their children in the former Constantinople on holiday. I also highly recommend it to foreign wifes/girlfriends of Turks, who live with them and their children in Istanbul or decided to give a birth there… And there’re plenty of them. I spent most of my maternity leave in Turkey. I didn’t have so many friends there (almost all of them were singles), so I often felt lonely. Taking up some activities with your baby, you have this positive feeling, that you do something more than „only” babysitting – that you do something for yourself. Moreover, you meet some new people, with whom you have a lot of common topics to talk about 🙂

 

Next entry will be a bit unsual, because I will write about the children’s hairdressers in Istanbul 🙂 We already have experience with one hairdressing salon, so I’m going to review his services, so that you can read the article for the familiarization purposes afterwards 😉 I’ll also inform you about other available hairdressers for children in the city.

 

Polski

 

 

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Going for a walk in Istanbul

Dear Parents!

In the previous entry we talked about moving around Istanbul. We already got to know about the organizational issues, so now we should consider, where we can go with our Toddler 🙂 The season of visits  to the former Constantinople has begun and I hear more and more questions on various discussion groups about places suitable for little children. Below we can see the destinations, that first came to my mind. Let’s start! 😉

1) MiniatürkThere is a place in Istanbul where you can see the whole of Turkey on just six hectares of land. Where you can visit all heritage of Turkish culture in a few hours. It’s „Miniatürk”. This miniature park isn’t only the “Must see” for every tourist, but also the great place for walks with babies. Exhibitions and simulations are properly secured. It’s full of greenery and there’s lots of space to run. And the most important thing – this park provides a lot of attractions for children, such as playground, labyrinth, tree telling fairy tales, or riding a choo-choo train 🙂

If you want to learn more about exposed monuments, you can use the audio system which provides information in many languages: Turkish, English, French, German, Russian, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese and Persian (Farsi).

 

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2) Aquariums:

As I’ve mentioned in the Maltese entry, Bibi is the biggest fan of aquariums and oceanariums 🙂 There are four aquariums in Istanbul: Sea Life (TurkuaZoo before), Istanbul Aquarium, ViaSea and the newest one – Emaar. The first two are on the European side. Last two – on Asian side. The cost of admission for adults starts from 40 TL (10 euro around). For an extra charge you can take a special photo (in every aquarium) or go to souvenir shop. My favorite one is definitely Istanbul Aquarium in Florya. It’s big and thematic – each room presents a completely different theme. I also liked the fact that you could dump digital photos onto a CD and you did not have to print them. I can also recommend Emaar – tour guides really engage in guiding guests and telling them interesting facts about underwater creatures 🙂

 

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3) Istanbul parks:

Although Turks complain that Istanbul isn’t too green, the big plus is the large number of parks with playgrounds for children. I present my favorite ones – although those on the Asian side will be mentioned more because of my place of residence.

My number 1 on Asian side is definitely Göztepe 60. Yıl Parkı (which means „Göztepe 60th Year Park”). Its characteristic feature is the huge amount of flowers, especially roses, in every corner. That’s why offering walk to my Husband’s relatives I’m telling them to go to „Gül Parkı” (tr. gül – róża) 🙂 Furthermore, there’s a lot of space to run and play, aquarium in the middle and fountain show several times a day. Newies spend there around 1,5 h. From Göztepe Park there’s a short way to the Toy Museum (tr. İstanbul Oyuncak Müzesi).

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I also like Özgürlük Park and Fenerbahçe Park. First one is situated in Göztepe too. It’s well organized. We can not only count on beautiful views and lots of greenery, but we also have a basketball court, small gym or restaurant near the pond (I recommend going there for breakfast!). There’re also shops nearby. Fenerbahçe Park in turn is located by the seaside, that’s why you don’t have only the view of the sea provided, but you can also take a walk along the promenade. This place looks very romantic – there’s even a cafe called „Romantika” 🙂 A very nice seaside park is also Maltepe Sahil. Thanks to the large number of parking places places you can easily go there by car and not worry about a stopover. Beside playgrounds and benches, there are also several sport facilities, many coffee houses, restaurants and even Migros market nearby 😉

I can also recommend the botanic garden Nezahat Gökyiğit situated between Ataşehir and Ümraniye. This is a peaceful place, full of different species of plants. What’s different than other European botanic gardens is that you can enter Nezahat Gökyiğit for free.

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t have much experience with European side but I would like to introduce you parks I enjoyed. First one is Gülhane Park. It’s not called as the historical park without reason. This place is situated just beside Topkapı Palace. There’re plenty of museums around, and furthermore, it’s very close to the two most important monuments in the city – Aya Sofia and Blue Mosque Sultanahmet. The park itself is absolutely charmingit’s full of tulips and other flowers, alleys, sculptures, streams with fountains, benches… Just for the short relax in the heart of Istanbul. We shouldn’t be surprised, that was recognized as the most beautiful park in the former Constantinople. Another place I liked is the Sporcular Parkı in Levent. There’s lots of greenery, space to run and even a small cafe. There are several sports facilities around.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania park Gulhane
Gülhane Park. Source: Google

It’s worth noting, that in most of the parks and seaside promenades there’re  regularly kept clean toilets. The fee is 1 Turkish lira (=0,25 euro) – you can use the coin or Istanbulkart mentioned in the previous blogpost 🙂 Each of them provides changing tables for inflants. And here I’m going to say the very imporant info – they are both on the women’s and men’s side! So Gentlemen – if it is your turn to change diapers, you can’t avoid it anymore 😉 Photos have been taken in Göztepe 60. Yıl Park.

 

4) Legoland I have good news for Lego fans – in Istanbul near the SeaLife Aquarium, there’s a huge recreational complex Legoland where, for example, you can see the city in the block version 🙂 It seems, this is a place rather for bigger children, but Legoland is also friendly to the youngest travelers. There’re also many facilities for strollers and family restrooms where you can change diapers. Furthermore, already year-old children can practice their manual skills by playing (however, you should choose places with larger blocks).

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania legoland istanbul
Legoland in Istanbul. Source: Istanbul Tour Studio Blog

5) And out of city?

There are four Princess Islands in the Anatolian part of Istanbul available for tourists: Büyükada, Heybeliada, Burgazada i Kınalıada. I’ve visited two first islands and I think, that they are lovely places for a walk or a picnic. Most of Turks will tell you, the best way of sightseeing would be taking bike (in case of trip with toddler a bicycle seat is necessary, but I’m not sure, if renting companies provide them). The biggest advantage of islands is the opportunity to relax from the hustle and bustle of the city and enjoy the natureon the Princess Islands car traffic is highly limited, so on the roads you can see mostly bicycles and horse-drawn carriages. To get there from the city you need to use ferry, so-called vapur. It departs from Bostancı, Eminönü and Kadıköy.

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Heybeliada Island

You can also go to the nearby city of Darıca in the Izmit province. There’s a ZOO („Faruk Yalçın Hayvanat Bahçesi„). Children under the age of three enter for free. Discount tickets are 30 TL, adults pay 40 TL.

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6) How about going shopping with baby?…

Generally, I don’t recommend going to shopping malls with an infant – especially to Turkish centres.  At the entrance you’re exposed to radiation, because you go through the gates and your bags are x-rayed like at the airport. Shopping malls are big and noisy. But we all know… We often don’t have a choice. However, in the Asian district Ataşehir there’s a shopping centre, you can go with toddler in a peace – especially in nice weather. It’s Watergarden. The name of this complex is absolutely not accidental. The building is surrounded by a large network of fountains, where the show takes place every hour. You can watch it actually from every side, because most of shops has an exit to outside (you can see the movie from the performace HERE). Restaurants and cafes are located on the lowest level and have an outdoor area next to the water. There is a small playground on the roof. There’re a lot of shops there and an internal cafe directed to parents with children (however I miss a store like Joker or eBebek). At the lowest level near the parking area there’s the Migros market, where we have a wide range of products. Nursery rooms are clean and convenient. Near the mall we can visit a bazaar with organic products as well. And the very important thing – there’re no gates and screening machines at the entrance.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania water garden istanbul logo

Watergarden

If you went to Istanbul with your bigger child, there’s Kidzania in Akasya shopping mall. It’s a place where children from the age of 4 can develop their hobbies and gain some practical skills 🙂 (unfortunately, Turkish website doesn’t have English version) The ticket for child costs 75 TL. If the parent accompanies them, the additional fee is 35 TL.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania kidzania istanbul logo

 

Moreover, all the Istanbul aquariums are located beside shopping malls, so if you need, you can go for quick shopping.

 

Istanbul is a dynamically developing city and new places are being established here all the time. If we visit another destination from Bibi, we’ll surely let you know on our blog 😉 In the next article I’ll write about the physical activities for moms and babies in Turkey.

 

Polski

Let’s go to Istanbul! Part 2 :)

Hello again!

In today’s entry I’ll talk about moving around Istanbul – I mean especially the way from the airport. Because we got to Istanbul and what’s then? We need to handle with it somehow 😀

Before I get to the main point, I want to remind you about buying e-visa for you and your toddlers before journey. The official website describes the whole process step by step and it’s available in many languages. Buying visa online is much better option than stucking in additional queues to get your visa at the airport.

 

Taxi

There are many different transport companies in Istanbul, however I will mention here the one I used while traveling with Bibi. I highly recommend Bitransfer as an transportation from/to the airport. You can book a cab through the Internet according to the planned arrival time, choose the car and pay online in the end. For example (like in the attached picture) the way from the Atatürk Airport (Europe) to Göztepe (Asia) by Mercedes Vito is here 143 TRY per car (around 30 euro). I admit, it’s not the cheapest mean of transport, but I think, it’s worthy to use it traveling with baby.

Vito

Each car contains a baby-seat (which is hard to get in other taxis) – you can order additional one as well. This cab is perfect for a family of six. The rear windows are tinted, there’s air condition, and, in case of thirst, various drinks are available. The seats are really convenient! I confirm also the rest of described facilities 🙂 Although it’s written, you should get to your destination in around an hour, we got to Kadıköy after 20 minutes! It’s because of Avrasya Tunnel, through which cars quickly get to the other continent 🙂

I obviously realize, ordering Bitransfer everyday could make you a bancrupt. Standard taxis in Turkey are inexpensive and you don’t have to order them in advance. You can just stand beside the street and stop any available yellow car (mostly Fiat or Hyundai) 🙂 Unfortunately, they don’t guarantee baby-seats – baby below the age of one can simply use their own portable car seat, but with elder child it can be problem. Turks usually don’t care so much about it, because this case isn’t specifically sanctioned and kids often  sit on parent’s lap. However, for foreign tourists it can be a discomfort. Another case we must pay attention on is, that taking a taxi to home/hotel… it’s better to know the way and show it to driver, preferably in Turkish (that’s why you must remember: “sağ – right”, “sol – left” and “düz – straight”) 😉

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Source: aturquia.com

Public transportation

To move around Istanbul by public transportation you must obtain the Istanbulkart. You can buy it in specific points. I paid for it around 10 TL (2,50 euro). It’s the magnetic card, you firstly recharge with chosen amount in the Biletmatik machine or in specific newsstands. Then, while entering the vehicle, you validate it in the special reader. HERE you can see the prices for the passage. In case of anonymous card (the one you can give later to someone else) the month ticket is 200 TL (50 euro), so it makes a sense, when you stay in Turkey more than two weeks. A bit cheaper (180 TL – 45 euro) is month ticket with MaviKart – but you need to give a little bit effort to make it and you must attach your photo as well, so it’s rather the option for regular visitors 😉 Btw. With Istanbulkart you can pay not only for transportation, but eg. for public toilet or parking area.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania istanbulkart anonim

But firstly, how to get to the other continent? (Istanbul is situated in Europe and Asia)
Marmarayit’s the kind of subway going through the tunnel under the Bosporus strait. It departs approximately every 10 minutes.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania marmaray schedule

Marmaray

Metrobusa special fast bus going on the separate lane to the other continent,  usually avoiding traffic jams (unless you cross the Boğazici Bridge at the Bosporus strait – there everyone goes slower). During day metrobus comes approximately every 3 minutes. During night – every half an hour/ one hour (and it’s usually crowded). Btw. In case you go by Metrobus up to three stations, you can be given back a part of the fee putting your Istanbulkart onto the reader at the exit.

metrobus
Source: iett.istanbul

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Vapurthe ferry departing every 20 minutes. On the Asian side you can enter vapur at the harbors in Kadıköy, Üsküdar and Bostancı. On the European side you can catch the ferry in Beşiktaş, Eminönü and Karaköy. The average length of journey is 20-30 minutes. For me it’s the most pleasant mean of transport in Istanbul 🙂

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Atatürk Airport (Europe)

The place you can buy Istanbulkart is situated at the “Atatürk Airport” (tr. Atatürk Havalimani) metro station. If your place of residence is at the Asian side, the most reasonable solution would be exiting the terminal station called “Yenikapı” and change to Marmaray. Then you exit in the closest station to your house/hotel or where you have a direct connection.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania haciosman yenikapi metro
Metro line Atatürk Airport (Havalimani) – Yenikapı. The Yenikapı station has an access to Marmaray.
Metro-Marmaray
The map of specific metro lines in Istanbul with transfer from subway to Marmaray 🙂 Source: metro.istanbul

Sabiha Gökçen Airport (Asia)

You can buy Istanbulkart in the newsstand by exit at the departures zone. This airport doesn’t have an access to subway (however, I heard, it should change soon), but there are plenty of buses going to many destinations. There are standard buses (with numbers on the front or “SG” letters) and also fast, but more expensive ones (with letter E in the beginning). To go directly to the European side you can take the express bus E-3 (terminal station – 4. Levent Metro), standard 122H bus ( 4. Levent Metro as well)  or SG-2 (going even further, to Taksim, but the mentioned station Levent is on the way). All the written terminal stations have the access to subway. Another option is taking bus number 16S going to the station called Metrobus Uzunçayır (still in Asia) and then entering the mentioned metrobus. However, I don’t recommend this mean of transport at rush hours (between 7:00-9:00AM and around 3:00PM), because they’re very crowded then.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania haciosman yenikapi metro
Metro line Yenika-Hacıosman with transfer opportunities. As I’ve said before, the first station has an access to Marmaray as well.

The full maps of subway, Marmaray, trams and Metrobus together you can find HERE

Application to download: Moovit

You can also check schedules through the official website of IETT, but I’ve noticed, it hasn’t been updated for a while. Google Maps handles with this issue quite well 🙂

 

In the next entry I’m going to talk about the places in Istanbul you can go for a walk with baby 🙂

 

Polski

Let’s go to Istanbul! Part 1 :)

My Darlings!

Today I am going to start the Turkish plot, or actually Istanbul. I will write at least a few blogposts about Turkey, because Bibi has her second family there, that’s why we go there quite often. In this case I can say a little bit more about this country 🙂

I will start from the very important topic – e-visa. Citizens of many states don’t have to go to embassy – they can quickly buy e-visa online. You just need to enter  https://www.evisa.gov.tr/en/ , fill the form, pay 20 USD per person (children, infants included, need to have their own e-visa according to personal data in their passport) and then print the visa or download it to smartphone or tablet. The webpage is available in many language versions. You can obviously buy a visa at the airport, but you will pay more and stay longer in the queues. Atatürk Airport is enough crowded, so why should we provide more stress to our Toddlers?

evisa

How to get to Istanbul with a baby? When I was a student and I didn’t want my Parents to pay for my flight ticket, I was often wondering with my friends going abroad (Erasmus, AIESEC projects, visiting boyfriend or close friends) how to get there in the cheapest way: trains and buses with changes, flights from Ukraine… and the brave ones were taking hitch-hike. In case of voyages to Turkey with baby only airplane actually can be considered (unless you live in the neighboring country). Because how can we imagine going with toddler by bus more than 24 hours? Or multiple train changes? Or waving your thumb with baby carrier along the road? Well, not really 🙂 But no worries, you can go to Istanbul with baby without going bankrupt 🙂

Below I have written the airlines I used with Bibi departing from Warsaw. In the end I’ll show you another options, though podium is the most recommended by me 🙂

1) Turkish Airlinesit was always my airline number one, but I wasn’t always able to buy tickets for them. If you plan your journey earlier, you’ll be possibly able to book a flight for 200 euro/round ticket. Prices, however, most often range between 300 and 450 euro. Turkish airlines have plenty of advantages. Firstly, the flight is direct, so the journey is much faster. Secondly, the price of ticket involves a hot meal, which is quite important for breastfeeding women. Thirdly, many facilities are provided here (convenient seats, tablet for watching movies and listening to music, more restrooms with changing tables). Furthermore, last times cabin crew was giving baby jars with fruits or vegetables, which obviously can be useful 🙂 Sometimes we could also get children’s newsletters.

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Baby jars with fruit and vegetables Bibi has gotten on Turkish Airlines board 🙂
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And this is my meal 😀

2) LOTanother airline with flights to Turkey and actually almost everywhere 🙂 Our national air carrier maybe isn’t the cheapest, but it offers various discounts (last time you could buy a round ticket from Warsaw to Istanbul for 150 euro). Usually the prices are starting from 250 euro, so it’s a bit cheaper than „Turkish Airlines”. Short time ago they didn’t provide any gadgets for babies, but during the last flight Bibi received coloring pages with pencils 🙂 Tea, coffee and water are for free, but food isn’t. Fortunately, the price for a hot meal (chicken breast in cheese sauce with gnocchi and green bean) is quite inexpensive – I paid 3 euro, which is less than for sandwich 😛 Fruit tubes for kids cost 1,5 euro.

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3) AEGEANGreek airline I used while flying the first time with Bibi to Istanbul. I had a transfer in Athens waiting two hours between flights  (this airport is so big, it’s easy to get lost). The advantages are: affordable prices (usually less than 250 euro for round ticket), hot meals included, kind and helpful stewardesses and also a little package of baby wipes and a car sticker 😀

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aegean baby
Source: Official webpage of AEGEAN. However Bibi has gotten exactly the same wipes and sticker 🙂

4) Ukrainian International Airlinesquite popular and inexpensive option is also UIA. However this topic is so wide I’ve written the separate entry about it. You can read it HERE.

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What else can you fly with?
In search engines you can also find Lufthansa with transfer in Germany. However, I haven’t used this air carrier yet. When I fly with this ariline, I will write a separate post about it 🙂

You can also use the Turkish low-cost PEGASUS. The price of a standard ticket involves a registered luggage up to 20 kg and you can get to Istanbul directly from Germany, France, Ukraine or Prague (not from Poland unfortunately 😉 ). But don’t expect the facilities like in the first three mentioned airlines. Like in UIA, you can consider this option when you need to concern on your budget.

 

From 2014 till 2016 quite nice airline called Air Serbia used to fly to Istanbul.  The flight was inexpensive, waiting time during transfer in Belgrad wasn’t long and on board sandwiches, cookies and chosen drinks were provided. Cabin crew was always nice and willing to help with babies.  Unfortunately, they don’t fly to Turkey anymore 😦 I hope, these connections will be returned one day.

 

Next entry will be about moving around Istanbul, which is definitely book-size topic 😉 Stay with us!

 

Polski

What did you hear before your first journey with Toddler?

Nowadays baby in the airplane or train is nothing strange. We can often see even newborns on their first voyages. In our times it was a bit different. I spent my first holiday at the Baltic Sea at the age of four. My the first time abroad took place when I was fifteen. Classmates had such a trip earlier or later – but I didn’t hear that anyone was taken abroad as an infant.

Bibi had her first flight, when she was four months old. If it wasn’t for family matters, this journey would probably take place later. You know, the Parent who is fully responsible for the child is worried about whether their Toddler will bear the flight well. Fortunately, most of babies don’t have any problems with travels – they sleep the bigger part of journey, they play or you manage to calm them down quickly when they cry. However, the anxieties of the parents are often fueled (even if the expedition is necessary) by elder members of family, friends or other people, who don’t have such an experience and they don’t hesitate before sharing their doubts.

So, I decided to write an article about what parents often hear before their first trip with their several-month-old child. The sources were collected on facebook groups, during conversations in airplanes or from personal experience. We’ll figure out when the mentioned advisers may be right and where myths should be overthrown.

1) Isn’t he/she too small? – hard to say. I saw tourists in airplanes with less than a month old babies. I also met parents who were waiting for the first birthday of their child to go on a first trip. Some of them don’t travel at all, they don’t need it and probably their child will go out of town during a school trip. Airlines do not allow boarding with a newborn baby who is less than 10 days old. Besides, getting a passport usually takes some time (waiting time in Poland is approximately 2 weeks). Although doctors aren’t against flying with babies after their first month,  the most recommended time for the first journey is when your baby is three months old and I totally agree with it. From my own experience I know that the younger your toddlers are, the fewer problems they cause – they sleep more, less bother other passengers and we dont’ have to run after a few months old child. I wouldn’t take a newborn to Asia or any long journey, but I think, there’s nothing against taking a few-months old baby for holiday in Europe. Just listen to yourself and your child.

2) What if your baby will start crying? – infants cry and it’s completely normal. They don’t speak, so they show their needs in this way. You’ve probably heard about this many times. Bibi cried many times during walks. Does it mean, I should have stayed at home with her, when the weather is nice? Should I also avoid doctors, because my baby gets crazy seeing stethoscope? No. That means, you must listen to your child, try to figure out, what he/she wants to “say” and try to solve the problem. The same principle works in airplanes. Make sure, if the reason of cries are clogged ears, tireness or typical boreness. And then try to solve it and don’t hesitate to ask the cabin crew or other passengers for help. Don’t be afraid of the toddler’s crying – closing yourself at home with a baby isn’t healthy neither for you, nor for infant.

3) Don’t go with baby to ********* (name of the country or continent), otherwise he/she will get ill and, God knows, what else – it really depends, where you exactly go. You can go to Africa or Asia and in one country the standard vaccinations taken in Europe are quite enough, in another one you have to get a series of injections and in different one, it’s better to give it up.  In the first place, you need to look at the pages of embassies in a specific country and also visit a CDC webpage to check, if there’s no epidemiological warnings. The countries where the plague or war is taking place must be absolutely removed from the travel list! If your destination isn’t marked with any warning, but you are going to another continent or to a place where there is a different climate, re-enter the mentioned site to find out about additional vaccinations you should take. Proper insurance is more than necessary to buy. I’ve described all of this in the article “Preparations for Holiday – formal part”. Another case is the current weather. Of course, you shouldn’t take your baby to places with extreme temperatures. Going to warmer countries it’s better to choose the date before or end of season. In this case you need to prepare proper cotton clothes, cosmetics and obviously first aid kit (never be sure about the avability and prices abroad). And if someone is afraid, during a three-hour flight to a similar climatic zone, Toddler will get cold or worse illness… It can happen during walk in the park or on shopping, especially when we stay longer at home. Overprotection usually does more harm than good.

4) Don’t go with your babies to ********, because that family can kidnap them! – one of my “favorite” sentences. They are most often heard by people who have spouses from the Middle East. As a wife of Turk, I’ve heard the similar advice during classes at the birth school. Unfortunately, because of some reasons, countries inhabited mostly by Muslims are quite infamous in European and North American mass-medias. This is often harmful to ordinary citizens of those states. When my pregnancy hormones decreased, I realized, most of those warnings use to be told by people who’ve never been in any Middle Easten country and their knowledge comes from other people or from medias. They do this usually because they care about others and they think they do well saying those advices.  Note, that information channels are usually intended to trigger sensationalism, and nothing takes more attention of the environment than human dramas. Obviously, I don’t deny parental kidnappings here. They, unfortunately take place, we must pay attention on this and react. But it’s not the domain of ANY nation. It happens in Poland, Turkey, in Switzerland, Egypt, USA, Japan… Everywhere! The only only thing I can advise is to listen to yourself. Beside parents, no one knows your partner better than YOU – neither your friend, nor auntie and even more so the neighbor. Every relationship should be based primarily on trust. Grandparents have the right to see their grandchild. But if you really have doubts about your partner’s intentions, not only extend the journey but think well, if this relationship makes sense.

5) You throw your money! – if you can afford it, your money shouldn’t be the object of interest of third parties. But to the point! If you’ve planned your desired vacation some time ago, you are the parents of a happy baby and you’re going to take him/her with you, it won’t make any difference on your budget. Children up to the age of two have 90% discount for flight tickets. So, if your ticket was 200 euro per person, you have to pay 20 euro for baby.

6) They won’t even remember anything! – maybe not. But does it mean, that after the months of hard work, parents have to avoid holidays for a few years? Of course, not! Why? Firstly, travel agencies often present various cost-effective offers for families with attractions for kids and the care of a qualified animator. Getting rid of routine time to time isn’t only beneficial for parents, but also for children. Secondly, people who travel from the early childhood often have more knowledge about the world because they are more interested in it. They’re more empathetic and open-minded. They’re more critical towards stereotypes and have more developed linguistic skills. Thirdly, maybe paradoxically it will be this “unforgettable” journey, your the toddler will be mentioning to the grandchildren in the future? I make a photo book with my Husband every year. You surely can imagine, what a wonderful souvenir are the photos taken from various places in the world? 🙂 Furthermore, we keep in touch with some parents met on holidays – maybe regular contacts between toddlers will turn into long-term international friendships? 😉

 

Dear Parents. Don’t get angry when you hear those suggestions, especially from elder people. They mostly do this caring about you. Our parents and grandparents didn’t travel as much as we do – most of them wasn’t even abroad (and obviously, didn’t take their children). Not only due to economic matters, but also we didn’t have so-called “open borders”. And the lack of experience always causes some worries. Now tourism is much more developed. Thanks to various discounts for flights, inexpensive hotels (or friend’s hospitality) and obviously proper preparation of Toddler, we can arrange really nice, low-budget holidays 🙂

I know, many of the things your beloved ones say, have expired at least ten years ago. But sometimes, they can be right stopping your enthusiasm, eg. in case of going to not the safiest places.

Finishing my elaborate, I’d like to add, sentences above aren’t the only ones you can hear from your friends or family. Before the first flight to Turkey I also heard: “Nice – your Baby will visit grandparents”, “I respect your bravery”, “Bibi will be more open-minded in the future”, “Changes won’t be later a problem for her”, “Super! You will have better weather”, or “Finally, you will rest a bit” 🙂

 

Polski

Maltese shopping with Bibi

Hello!

Today’s post will be directed to moms, daddies, aunts, uncles, grandmoms, grandpas who will soon take their Toddlers to Malta for holidays 🙂 It’s obvious, we want to pack everything needed for our Child, because we don’t know if we would find currently needed things in the shops abroad. However, our luggages don’t have an infinite bottom, so we must limit our packing to the standard 20 kg. This entry is written to help you with this task. I took the “Trolees” market in Bugibba under the workshop.

Znalezione obrazy dla zapytania trolees market bugibba

Baby jars and other meals

It doesn’t matter, if you feed your baby with ready meals or you try to cook and blend every dish, having previously purchased all the ingredients in special eco shops. Sometimes you need to heat the baby jar – it happens. In Malta the situation is similar to most of European countries. The most popular brands are Nestle and… Heinz 😉 There are smaller and bigger jars, adapted to age (below the age of one – eg. in Poland we can buy meals for babies after their first birthday as well). There are typical vegetarian lunches, there are various kinds of meat (even lamb, but this one I had to dilute with water, because it was very hard and dry), fish and also deserts, egg custards, fruits… Singly or in two-packs. The ingredients are rather simple.

Jars – Savoury
Source: nestle.com.mt

 

 

The only thing surprising me in the Maltese shop was, that the jars were 90 g (around 1), or 250 g (2 euro). The wasn’t any middle one weighing 200g – optimal for my Daughter that time. In this case, I had to give her two little meals or wondering, what to do with the rest of bigger lunch.

 

 

Oh, wait! There was something else… Desserts in packages! There weren’t only fruits there. They were also vegetables and even fruits mixed with veggies! Just look 🙂

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The most common brand of baby porridges in Maltese markets is Nestle Cerelac in metal packages. They cost around 8 euro. They’re milky, so you just need a water to prepare. The taste is very pleasant and have a soft consistency. We’ve chosen the taste of tropical fruits 🙂

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The number one in Malta was definitely the spring water with the taste of peach and apple by Heinz 🙂 The price is 2 euro. Firstly, I bought it for myself to try. It’s tasty, but not sweet, so you aren’t that thirsty anymore – Bibi liked it a lot!

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Hygienic articles:

Generally, it’s the same situation like in every European country. You can easily find diapers from the most popular brands such as Pampers or Huggies. 40 pieces package number 4  costs from 10 to 13 euro – depending on the type. You can also buy orange Pampers Sleep and Play for 8 – but the capacity is smaller, than Active Baby. There’s a possibility to buy swimming diapers as well – Huggies 12 pieces cost between 5 and 6 euro (don’t use it as daily diapers – they don’t keep any pee at all). Baby wipes are around 1,50-2. I took a baby olive and rush cream from Poland, so I don’t remember, how much they were 😉 I recommend you to take changing pads with you – it’s difficult to find them in Malta.

Beside this, you can buy in Trolees: Chicco teats in double packs, pacifier pendants and anti-colic bottles.

What should you pack?

Changing pads – it was impossible to buy them in the market. We also didn’t find any hospital pads as an alternative. Shop assistant recommended us to go to pharmacy, but there aren’t as many pharmaceutical points as in Poland 😉

Clothes for EACH weather – I packed not only T-shirts with short sleeves, summer  dresses and shorts, but also warmer pajamas. Although afternoons outside were pretty hot, evenings were a bit cold for us. Why? Because the material the blocks are built from and also the floors covered with tiles make it quite chilly in the apartments. “Heating season” lasts maybe a few days, so from time to time, the house is warmed up by air conditioning. Don’t forget a cap as well!

Baby carrier – it’s useful during trips to islands. Areas are mountainous and here and there, so maybe you will want to leave a stroller in the apartment. Infant carrier can be very helpful.

Sun lotion 50+ – must have in Malta. Toddlers have much more sensitive and prone to burn skin than older children or adults.

Baby float – useful during water games. With proper supervision, your Baby can have as much fun in the water as adults. We’ve bought for Bibi a pontoon with a visor and ringing balls – like in the picture below 🙂

float

Today the currency of 1 EURO is:
4.15 PLN,
1.23 USD,
0.87 GBP,
1.17 CHF,
4.63 TRY,
35,85 UAH.

This is the last article from the Maltese cycle. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment. After a short break I’m planning to start a Turkish plot. You can start following blog or like my fanpage on Facebook – then you won’t miss any article 😉

Polski

 

Extreme and Sea Adventure from the mom’s point of view

Hi!

I’ve promised you a few times to compare ships swimming around Maltese islands, so I won’t be surprised if you already lost your patience 😉 That’s why I’ve finally done this today!

Going to Malta you’re problably planning to visit Gozo and Comino. Maltese entrepreneurs know this very well, hence we can see the rain of travel agencies offering boat trips to the mentiones islands. There are boats of two companies departing from Bugibba: Extreme (belonging to the Captain Morgan corporation) and Sea Adventure. We decided to check both – with Extreme we went just to Comino, and Sea Adventure we used during the combined trip with Gozo. Both trips were nice, but which boat is better for traveling with a small child? Let’s see!

 

EXTREME

Extreme

For the beginning we decided just to visit Comino to enjoy the landspace of Blue Lagoon longer. Extreme seemed to be a good option for us, because it was cheaper than other cruises (around 20 euro/person – infants enter for free), free drinks and meal were provided (which was tempting for us – always hungry people 😉 ).  How was it in the reality?

Extreme ship came one hour late (according to the offer it starts at 10:00 AM – it arrived at 11:00) and it was quite small. Boat departed not only from Bugibba, but also from Valetta and other ports. Perhaps organizers didn’t predict such interest, because it was very crowded in the ship. We barely sailed from the shore, I had an emergency situation with my Bibi, so I had to change her diaper. There wasn’t any changing table, so we had to do this on the standard table – which was quite inconvenient for us. As organizers promised, people could drink in their bar for free, which was very nice itself. However, breastfeeding women and people leading healthy lifestyle could take only water. There wasn’t any juice or tea. Bar offers mainly carbonated and alcoholic beverages.

The messages from the megaphone were broadcast in Maltese, English and German. Unfortunately, due to considerable distortions, we hardly heard anything. Because of this we almost missed the second fulfilled promise of Extreme – lunch 😛 It turned out that the food was served not on the island (where the stalls with food are), but on the boat – just a bit later. My Husband realized it after some time – we got a pasta, ham, tomatoes and salad 😀 Well, our fault – we could have asked.

After four hours of relax, we were coming back to Bugibba – the return took place without any adventures. The only thing I could complain about it’s the time of arrival to Bugibba. We came one hour later, than it was written in the plan (that means, two hours in total were taken away from us).

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Is Comino the place to visit with baby? Of course! However, you need to think about how to take your baby when you go up (you’ll need to climb a bit, because the terrain is slightly hilly). 3in1 stroller we had, caused some inconveniencies. Here you can think about three options: 1) Take a child seat, and leave the rack possibly on the ship (is you take 3in1 stroller with car seat). 2) Take a sunshade stroller with you (in this case there must be another person with you to help bring the vehicle up). 3) Take a baby carrier with you (possible connection with the second option). These inconveniences will be gone quickly, when you get to the place, see the beautiful landscapes and swim with your baby in crystal water (I recommend you to buy baby float) 🙂

This trip is perfect for people, who are tired of intensive sightseeing and just want to have a splash in a clear water or relax in the different kind of beach. The seaside is a bit small, so I rather recomment to go there out of season, eg. in June or September. You can meet various small beach companionslizards, fish, crabsChildren can get to know them in the company of adults 🙂

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Sea Adventure

Sea Adventure

Planning a trip to Gozo, we chose the Sea Adventure company this time. Expedition combined with Comino and Crystal Lagoon costed us about 25 euro per person (same policy towards infants like in Extreme 🙂 ).

This time there weren’t any delays and we came back on time as well (not earlier, not later). The boat was bigger and definitely more adapted for families with small children. Lunch and free drink weren’t provided here (you could buy burgers and something cold or hot to drink in their bar). However there’s guaranteed changing table and a small playground for toddlers. Furthemore, you can go down the stairs and watch the Maltese underwater world 🙂

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Firstly we came back to the Blue Lagoon and we spent there a little over an hour. Then we went to Gozo. There was a waiting bus, which took us to the capital city of the island  – Victoria (other name: Ir-Rabat Għawdex). We had less than an hour to explore, but our time was even shorter due to the Bibi’s lunchtime. Heating the baby jar in any bar and feeding our Daughter took about 20 minutes. Afterwards a quick passage through the bazaar (with more time you can make your wallet much slimmer –  keeping in mind the convincing skills of Maltese sellers 😉 ) straight to Cittadella. A lift is available at this tourist attraction, making the visit of families with infants and wheelchair users easier. This, you can say, a city in the city is a big treat for archaeologists thanks to the the monuments hidden there. Moreover, the Citadel peak guarantees us views of the city. If we had more time, I’d would surely write something more 😉

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We came to bus with hanging out tongues. From the parking area in Victoria we went to the small, but cute Xlendi Bay. It’s not the most comfortable place to swim, because the entrance to the water is stony. However,  it’s worth visiting. There aren’t many beaches in Europe with azure water, where you can admire architecture on one side, rocky hills and caves on the other side, and behind your back you have a restaurant at your disposal. As for water games – we managed with Bibi 😉

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Warning! In March 2017, the famous Azure window collapsed. I’ve written about it in the previous post, but I’m going to remind it here as well, not to plan a trip there while staying on Gozo island. Travel offices don’t always mention it, which led many tourists to disappointment.

After two hours of rest, the driver drove us back to the port. But it wasn’t the end of the journey! On the halfway to Bugibba, the ferry stopped for a moment at the Crystal Lagoon. Fans of diving had half an hour to show their skills. For obvious reasons, babies and small children can’t take an active part, but Bibi could watch Dad’s performance from the window at the bottom of the ship 😉

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If Parents aren’t sure about their swimming abilities, they shouldn’t allow their bigger children to jump from the ship. One of boys started drowning during this stop and his parents couldn’t help him. My Husband pulled him out of the water – I’m very proud of him!

A trip to Gozo island can be a nice option for babies as well. Especially, when they’re more than half a year old and like walks – if it’s not too hot obviously 🙂 Tourist attractions of Victoria have an elevator, and the city itself has quite wide sidewalks. Furthermore, on Maltese excursions we spent more than half the time in water. With proper protection and toys, baby can have as much fun in water games as parents 🙂

 

To sum up:

If you travel with a little child, I definitely recommend Sea Adventure. The ships of this company are much better adapted for the youngest tourists thanks to changing tables, small playgrounds, underwater windows (an alternative to make baby busy) and friendly animators 🙂 Extreme is better option for students and childless adults, who wouldn’t enjoy the company of shouting toddlers at the Sea Adventure 😉 You can buy the tickets in special offices at the port or in the Internet. I’m attaching the links both to Captain Morgan and Sea Adventure.

In the next entry you’ll get to know about shopping stricte for babies, whether you’ll find everything you used to buy in your country and what you’d better buy before holiday 😉

Polski

Malta – sightseeing with Baby

Hey hey!

In the last entry I wrote how to get to Malta and how to move around 🙂 Today I’ll show you a few suggestions of places to visit in Malta exploring with a small traveler.

1) Popeye’s Village – do you remember the cartoon about the sailor Popeye? 🙂 Do you know, that the movie based on it was filmed in Malta? It’s worthy to go there especially, when you travel with a small child. You can meet the characters from the serial occasionally getting a chance to take a part in making a short film with you in the lead role 😀 In Popeye’s Village you have a possibility to organize Birthday party for your Celebrity. On the official webpage you can choose a package. Each option provides food and drinks, film set and fun on the special playground. Furthermore, Parents can enjoy the beautiful views 🙂 HERE you can check, how to get to village.

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2) Malta National AquariumI don’t know what about your kids, but my Bibi loves aquariums 😀 She likes coming to glass and talking (or rather babbling) with fish. That’s why we took her there on Birthday morning. Oceanarium is located in Bugibba, so the way from appartment took us 10 minutes by walk. On the official website it’s written, how to get there from different cities. Entrance ticket for adults costs around 14€/person, for children up to 12 years old is 7€, infants and children till the age of 4 enter for free. Toddlers surely will enjoy the variety of fish. Look at the photo of Bibi!

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I also recommend the recently opened Water Park situated nearby aquarium. It’s opened in season (June-September) between 10:00 AM and 7:00 PM. You can find there attractions for babies too 🙂

3) Ferry trip to Gozo and Cominoit was our one of the most exciting excursions. Travel offices offer options: just Comino or Comino with Gozo (in this case you relax shorter on Blue Lagoon, but you explore two islands in one time). We tried both offers, but I will write about it in the next post. Boats are well prepared for the youngest travelers. Blue Lagoon offers clear water, great natural landscapes and sometimes company of small sea animals 😉 Gozo in turn contains beautiful monuments, shopping on old bazars and relax on the beach with a view of architecture and rocks. Warning: Last march the Azure Window collapsed, so don’t believe travel offices still using this tourist attraction in their adverts.

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4) Valetta and Mdina – these two cities I can recommend for walking with a baby stroller. Malta is a place full of beaches and hills, so you won’t see much greenery there. In Valetta we have two (or even three) options for walks. The first one is near the port with a beautiful view of the city (the main photo of this entry is from there). Travelling by bus you must exit around three-four stops before the terminal station. Second one is the park in the heart of Valetta, where there’s not only a lot of greenery and beautiful views (eg. on port), but here and there we can see nice monuments 🙂 And if you’re hungry or just want to take a bit of city life, you can use the third option – Main Square. During our sightseeing it wasn’t so crowded there. Last two options are situated close to the bus terminal station.

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Mdina in turn is a very charming castle town full of quiet and romantic streets (but in South-European version, not Prague). I haven’t met any person, who didn’t like this place yet! Furthermore, there’s a park and playground close to the bus terminal station. HERE you can find playgrounds near your place of stay.

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5) Mellieha and Golden Bay – Malta is the country full of beaches. Tourists have a huge selection of places, they can swim and sunbathe. However, many of them are stony, so walks and relaxation may be limited for babies, because they have a sensitive skin. Golden and Mellieha beaches are wide and sandy. There is also no big difference in temperature between water and air. Just don’t bring your child’s electronic toys there. Sand is so powdery, it even got into our closed bag. It took us three days to extract the sand from our Bibi’s phone toy to unlock the sprinkled buttons 😉

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We enjoyed Malta a lot and we’ll come back there for sure! At the next visit we’re planning to see, among others, Marsaxlokk and dolphinarium. If you recommend some other places to see with baby in Malta, feel free to leave a comment 😉

 

How to communicate in Malta? There are two official languages in Malta – Maltese and English. You can communicate in English actually with everyone 🙂

Polski

 

Malta – what and how?

Happy New Year! I hope, everyone is in a good mood 🙂

As I’ve promised before, today I’m going to write about Malta. Bibi spent her first Birthday there, that’s why I have a huge sentiment to this place 🙂 However, to find any nice place to explore with your Family, you must firstly get there, right? That’s why today’s entry will be about how to get to Malta and how to move around the island 😀

1) How to get there?

We went there by WizzAir airline from Warsaw. We departed with Bibi on Saturday at 6:20PM and arrived three hours later. I’ve chosen this option, because it was a direct flight, inexpensive (a little over 140 euro with checked luggage), and furthermore the time of departure suited me. Unfortunately, Polish Airlines LOT and Air Malta didn’t have any direct connections between Poland and Malta. However, Air Malta offers flights from and to many European destinations and three Middle-Eastern countries (such as Italy, Germany, Turkey or Tunisia). I could have chosen RyanAir as well – however, the distance from the airport, departure time (eg. RyanAir departed very early in the morning) and also price decided on the final choice. You can also check the offers from the national airlines of your country – they sometimes organize some discounts.

wizz

WizzAir is a typical lowcost, that’s why I didn’t have many expectations towards this air carrier. Don’t expect free sandwiches, tea or any gadgets for infant. For a checked luggage up to 20kg you have to pay around 35euro/flight. However, it wasn’t a bad journey. The plus of this airline was, I could check-in even four weeks before journey. I could choose any place during reservation and (by a nice coincidence) we had a whole row of three seats for ourselves 🙂 On the boarding card the entire preparation process is nicely described. (Do you remember the post about packing baby bag? I reminded you to print a boarding pass. WizzAir is one of those airlines, where you need to have printed card not to pay extra.) Moreover, cabin crew was very helpful, passengers too and it wasn’t too tight between the rows 😉 Buying ticket you can also order special minibus for around 6€ taking you to your place of residence (but we took a taxi, because I was going the same direction with my Husband and our friends who arrived a bit earlier).

2) Traveling around Malta:

Maltese and tourists move around the island mainly by buses. I recommend you to buy a Tallinja Explore electronic card you validate at the entrance (the price for adults is 21 euro, for children up to the age of ten – 15, infants travel for free). You can buy it in special kiosks, mostly situated on terminal stations. Warning: these cards sometimes get demagnetized (my Husband already experienced it), so it’s good to keep a bill, because it can be useful when you want to exchange it. Planning trip around Malta I recommend you to use Malta Bus Journey Planner 🙂

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Honestly, in Malta we experienced the first Bibi’s journey by bus 🙂 Previously I had prejudices for this mean of transport. There was no way to travel by bus, when my Daughter was still using gondola stroller 😉 Fortunately, traveling by Maltese bus lines isn’t so stressful. Maybe, because parents with babies in public transportation is almost a sanctity and passengers take the principle of privileged seats seriously. A place for strollers will be always free for you there, so that you can safely attach your baby vehicle to the belts. If not, the driver will do all of his best to make it 😀

3) Trips around islands:

Staying in this little country, you should go to the other two islands – Gozo and Comino. You can use various cruise offers and go by boat. We had an opportunity to use two ships – Extreme and Sea Adventure. They’re both good, but which one is better for parents with babies? I’ll compare then in the separate post, otherwise this entry would be definitely too long 🙂

extreme vs sea adventure
Sources: Facebook and Travel Grip

4) Taxi from and to the airport:

I don’t have much experience with Maltese cabs, but my Brother-in-law ordered a private taxi for us. The way from the Luca Airport to Bugibba was 24 euro. What’s  interesting, on the way back to airport we were accompanied by exactly the same driver 😀 Unfortunately, we lost his number already, but the most popular corporation is Malta Transfer.

 

When to go to Malta with a little child? I think, the best time for a trip to Malta is May-beginning of June. The weather is already warm, but you don’t feel this hot temperature yet. Later, you can start your holiday plans in September. Why? Because in the middle of season the temperature is almost unable to survive for the average North-European person and traveling in such a heat wouldn’t be a pleasure for you. Furthermore, in July you can often find jellyfish. Because of them, swimming in Blue Lagoon was forbidden this summer for some time.

Polski

Wishing You a Happy Christmas…

My Dears.

Today many people in the world start celebrating Christmas. Although I’m just making the first steps in blogging, so I don’t have thousands of followers yet, I’d like to wish all the best to Everyone, who is reading this…

It doesn’t matter, if you spend this time at home or somewhere on holiday, may these days will be full of joy, peace, delicious meals and especially – people closest to your heart. I’m wishing you to feel satisfaction from your chosen life paths. And this First Star, which will shine in the sky soon, may blaze your trails. If you’re currently somewhere on the way – I wish you to have as fast and convenient vehicle, as the Santa’s sleigh 😀

This Christmas we will spend at home and finally with the whole Family. Althouth Bibi is celebrating already the second time, it is going to be the first X-Mas Eve, she will try some traditional meals (unfortunately, we need to wait a bit for dumplings with mushrooms – but the red borsch, why not? 😉 ). It will be also the first time, when my Daughter breaks the rustling packaging with a small gift. Finally, my Turkish Husband will have an opportunity to see, how Polish X-Mas looks like. I’m looking forward to all of this! It’s just a pity, there won’t be any snow in Poland, but it doesn’t have to be perfect to be magical, right? 🙂

And after Christmas I’m inviting you to see the entry about Malta – the place, where Bibi spent her first Birthday 😉

Polski