Exploring Glasgow for free, Scotland

Glasgow is Scotland’s largest city, and a great place to start a trip to Scotland. Despite overshadowed by the famous Edinburgh, this city is at least equally amazing. I need to say that in the end of my visit I was totally in love with this city, that once was a former industrial powerhouse, but now is a cultural hub, with lots of interesting things do do and see.

Glasgow is today a cosmopolitan city, with a rich history,  and a national cultural hub, home to many great museums (most of them free). The museums and art galleries have superb collections, that will surprise you as much as surprised me.

We landed at¬†Glasgow’s airport and got the connection to the¬†city center, using the¬†bus 500, that takes 30 minutes to be¬†on the Queen Street, close to¬†George Square, in this short trip it’s already visible the¬†historic sandstone buildings and modern architecture.

For my surprise Glasgow serves very weird food from deep-fried piza or even fried Mars, but the vegan options just kept surprising me. I need to say that the claims that Glasgow is the mecca in Scotland for vegan food lovers may be very true!

We visit the city by walking around, without taking any public transports (what was probably a mistake, at least is what my legs and feet were saying).

We started our trip, walking around the city centre without a plan towards George Square, that is the heart of the city, and has impressive Victorian buildings and statues paying homage to the Scottish greats. From there we went to the Gallery of Modern Art,  where is the famous statue of the Duke of Wellington wearing a traffic cone as a hat.

While walking around, we just did a stop at Glasgow Central Station, not to take a train but to have a look at the arquitecture and its glass roof. Here you can also join a tour that supposedly¬†¬†reveals some of the station‚Äôs hidden secrets ūüôā I can’t say that’s true, because I haven’t done¬†it.

From the train station it’s only a¬†couple of minutes‚Äô to¬†the Lighthouse,¬†on Buchanan St. This place¬†can be a bit difficult to find but deserves the effort. The¬†building was designed by the Scottish architect Charles Mackintosh back in the 19th century, and is an exemple¬†of Art Nouveau.¬†Today¬†is the centre for Design and Architecture, and has many¬†different exhibits and galleries. ¬†Including a¬†free exhibition on Mackintosh‚Äôs work.¬†From the lighthouse, you have an incredible skyline view of Glasgow.

We kept walking till we got to the river side that has a path along the River Clyde great for a walk or even cycle, from where you can see modern buildings like the Clyde Auditorium (known as the Armadillo) and the titanium-clad Glasgow Science Centre.

Then was time to visit one of the city’s most famous museums, the Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum. This museum is definitely a must see. But not before a lovely man invited us to take a coffee and some biscuits at a local church, the Sandyford Henderson memorial church.

The¬†Kelvingrove is¬†an¬†immense place with a great a collection, that you will enjoy even if your are not an art person, because part is a¬†art gallery and part history museum. Essentially, it’s an art, life science, and cultural museum rolled into one, with¬†plenty to see,¬†housed in a beautiful historic building.

From here across the park is the  University of Glasgow, an imposing gothic-style buildings that reminds vaguely Harry Potter.

The Glasgow Botanic Gardens are located in the heart of city’s West End by the River Kelvin, and are a short walk from the university, and a must go if you are a nature lover like me. The gardens are lovely and the glasshouses looked like they were straight out of the Victorian Era revealing exotic ferns and tropical plants as you go.

The Riverside Museum,with its Zaha Hadid-designed sinuous curves, is another must. The museum is dedicated to transport and travel. the exhibition is very interactive and even has a recreated street taking you back to 1890s Glasgow, where you can pop in into different shops. From here you can take a tour of the Glenlee, a restored tall ship, If you fancy something like that.

Once in the city center we went to visit the the 15th century house, Provand’s Lordship, the oldest in Glasgow and the magnificent Cathedral.

The¬†¬†Necropolis, it’s right behind the Cathedral, and it’s a cemetery with distinctive, decorative tombstones which are works of art in themselves designed by major architects and sculptors of the time. The necropolis is located on top of a hill and¬†has great views to the¬†city and the Cathedral.

The¬†People‚Äôs Palace¬†and the Winter Gardens¬†are a great¬†museum to have an insight about Glasgow‚Äôs history, and¬†t’s¬†located in southeast Glasgow.

Glasgow’s street art is visible¬†over the city, Smug One is an Australian born street artist based in Glasgow that has painted¬†enormous murals.

If you are planning your trip bare in mind that the weather can be very unpredictable so just pack clothes for each of the 4 seasons ūüôā I suggest at least 3 days if you want to visit Glasgow properly but I recommend 4, for the sake of you legs and feet ūüôā

If you have the time, away from the city there are plenty of remote places to explore.. be happy and have fun..

photography ‚Ästall rights reserved ‚Äď Ana Rocha

Vegan-Friendly Places to Eat in Cambridge

2013-05-14 00.24.53.jpegAs a vegan or vegetarian you know it can sometimes be difficult to find somewhere to eat, but you don’t need to worry, Cambridge has plenty of options. As a vegan living in Cambridge for almost 3 years I will give you an insight of the best places to eat while you are visiting this extraordinary city.

Stem + Glory,¬†Chesterton Road – ¬†it’s a strict¬†vegan place more suitable for breakfast, lunch or brunch.

Stir, Chesteron Road –¬†Delicious coffees and cakes plus veggie brunches and lunches.

Rainbow Vegetarian Caf√©, King’s Parade – this is a well known¬†multi-award winning veggie cafe and restaurant specializing in vegan and gluten free food.

Arjuna Wholefoods, Mill Roadit’s a¬†worker‚Äôs cooperative, and great to grab a snack or a¬†vegan lunch.

Fudge Kitchen,¬†Kings Parade –¬†they make¬†artisan fudge and¬†offer¬†dairy-free fudge made with soy cream.

Curry King, Jordans Yard Bridge Street –¬†it’s a¬†Indian restaurant and ¬†almost all their menu can be served with vegetables instead of meat.

Espresso Library, East Road –¬†This cafe has plenty of vegan options for¬†breakfast and¬†lunch.

Market Hill,¬†Market Square (10am-4pm) – this is the local market, not all vendors show up every day, so you never know exactly what you’ll find, but for sure you have a couple of options to choose from, like¬†falafel, smoothies, breads, cakes,¬†churros, noodles,cookies, muffins,¬†flapjacks and dumplings.

Giraffe, Christs LaneРhas good vegan options for lunch or dinner. They have a special discount  of 50% off all vegetarian main courses during National Vegetarian Week.

Always check if there is a vegan market or the¬†¬†Cambridge Vegan Fair happening while you are visiting the city. it’s a¬†immense sea of ¬†stalls, serving a bit of literary everything.

If you are with friends that are not vegan, all restaurants (one better than others) will have options for you, even the pubs. If you don’t want to wast time and money, you can always grab a packed meal at one of the many¬†small street shops.

photography ‚Ästall rights reserved ‚Äď Ana Rocha

ūüöƬ†¬†Tips of what¬†to visit in Cambridge¬†ūüöĆ


Vegan Portugal, where to eat (guide)

Being a vegetarian/vegan in Portugal is not easy, specially if you are traveling relying mostly on restaurants and cafes.

The restaurants, have usually 4 main options in their menu (not very vegan friendly) : appetisers, fish, meat, and desserts. however in most places you will find a friendly Portuguese that will try to help you, and will create something with the things they have in the kitchen, you just need to explain correctly what you eat and don’t eat , otherwise you will almost for sure be served an omelet or a lettuce salad ūüôā

Veganism and vegetarianism has been growing in the country since the last decade, and lots of new restaurants and cafes are popping in from north to south. To make your life easier I will leave a list of great places that you should try if visiting Portugal:

(V) includes: vegan + vegetarian + ovo-lacto-vegetarian options

ūüíö NORTH


  • Black mamba burgers and records – Rua dos M√°rtires da Liberdade 130, 4000 Porto (Vegan)
  • Lupin¬†Rua Arquitecto Marques da Silva 74 R/C, 4150Porto (Vegan)
  • Casa da Horta –¬†R. de S√£o Francisco 12, 4050-548 Porto (V)
  • Cultura dos Sabores –¬†R. de Ceuta 80, Porto¬†(V)
  • Suribachi –¬†Rua do Bonfim, 134 Porto,¬†(V +¬†macrobiotic)
  • Oriente¬†–¬†Rua de Sao Miguel , 19 Porto,(V)
  • Da Terra¬†–¬†Rua Mouzinho da Silveira, 249¬†Porto /or/¬†Mercado Bom Sucesso
    Praça Bom Sucesso (V)
  • Em carne viva¬†–¬†Av. da Boavista 868, 4100-112 Porto¬†(with¬†V¬†options)
  • Arvore do mundo¬†–¬†¬†R. do Duque de Loul√© 228, 4000-098 Porto¬†(Vegan)


  • Nutriverde –¬†¬†R. 21 219, 4500 Espinho (V)
  • Terra Viva – ¬†R. 27 715,¬†4500 Espinho¬†(V)


  • Da Terra¬†-Rua Afonso Cordeiro, 71¬†Matosinhos¬†(V)
  • P√© de arroz¬†–¬†Rua do Godinho, 866 ¬†4450-029 Matosinhos¬†(V)


  • Musgo –¬†Rua Tenente Rezende, galerias do Rossio B,¬†3800 Aveiro¬†(V)
  • Ki Macrobiotico- ¬†R. Cap. Sousa Pizarro 15, 3810-164 Aveiro¬†(V+¬†macrobiotic)


  • Cor de Tangerina¬†–¬†Largo Martins Sarmento 89, 4800-432 Guimar√£es¬†(V)

Castelo Branco 

  • Namaste¬†–¬†Rua de S. Jorge, 21-23¬†Castelo Branco¬†(V)


  • Hibiscus –¬†Largo de S√£o Francisco, 32¬†Braga¬†(V)
  • Anjo Verde –¬†Largo da Pra√ßa Velha 21, 4700 Braga¬†(V)



  • Os Tibetanos-¬†Rua do Salitre 117, 1250-198 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • ¬†PSI –¬†Alameda Santo Ant√≥nio dos Capuchos, 1150 Lisboa¬†¬†(V¬†)
  • Jardim doSentidos¬†–¬†R. da M√£e de √Āgua 3, 1250-154 Lisboa (V)
  • 26 –¬†Rua V√≠tor Cordon, 26,¬†Chiado, Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Vegana Burgers¬†–¬†¬†Saldanha Residence, Av. Fontes Pereira de Melo 42, 1050-010 Lisboa¬†(Vegan)
  • FOODPRINTZ – R. Rodrigo da Fonseca 82B, 1250-038 Lisboa¬†(Vegan)
  • Terra¬†Rua da Palmeira, 15,¬†Pr√≠ncipe Real, Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Jardim das cerejas –¬†Cal√ßada Sacramento 36, 1200 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Oasis –¬†R. Marqu√™s S√° da Bandeira 76, 1050-099 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Tao –¬†1100 026, R. dos Douradores 10, Lisboa¬†(V)
  • ¬†Miss Saigon –¬†Rua Cais das Naus, Lt. 4.01.01, Parque das Na√ß√Ķes, Loja i, 1990-305 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • ¬†Bio –¬†R. Francisco Sanches 39, 1170-140 Lisboa,¬†(V)
  • Espa√ßo da Rosa¬†–¬†R. Ac√°cio de Paiva 11A, 1700-503 Lisboa (V)
  • Espiral –¬†Pra√ßa Ilha do Faial 14 A, 1000-168 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • The Food temple –¬†Beco do Jasmim 18, Mouraria, Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Princesa do Castelo¬†–¬†Rua do Salvador 64 A, lisboa¬†(V)
  • Pachamama¬†– Boqueir√£o Douro n.46,¬†1200-163 Lisboa¬†(with¬†V¬†options)
  • √Āgua no bico –¬†R. Gaivotas 8, 1200-066 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Veganeats–¬†¬†Rua Cavaleiro de Oliveira, n¬ļ42 Lisboa (Vegan)
  • Paladar Zen –¬†Av. Barbosa du Bocage, 107 C¬†1050-031 Lisboa¬†(V)
  • Tamarind¬†–¬†Rua da Gl√≥ria 43, 1250-115 Lisboa¬†(with¬†V¬†options –¬†indian)
  • Cantina do templo Hindu –¬†Alameda Mahatma Gandhi¬†1600-500¬†Pa√ßo do Lumiar, Lisboa¬†(V)


  • Espa√ßo Edla –¬†¬†R. Dr. Alfredo da Costa 52, 2710-523 Sintra¬†(with¬†V¬†options)
  • Tinkly –¬†Estr. do Rod√≠zio 2, 2705-335 Colares¬†(V)


  • Aloha Caf√©¬†–¬†Rua Gil Vicente n¬ļ 30B, Cotovia,¬†Sesimbra¬†¬†(with¬†V¬†options)
  • XL da Carlota – ¬†Rua Basilio Teles, n¬ļ 196, R/C – Quinta do Conde Sesimbra¬†(V)


  • Cozinha consciente –¬†Rua de Oliven√ßa, Galerias Top√°zio n¬ļ 9, 2¬ļ andar loja 35, 3000-306 Coimbra¬†(V)
  • GreenSide – Celas, R. Parreiras 31, 3030 Coimbra¬†(V)
  • CAF√Č SHANTY –¬†venida S√° da Bandeira 33/35 2¬ļ andar loja 230 Galerias Avenida, 3004-544 Coimbra¬†(with¬†V¬†options)


  • House of Wonders – ¬†R. da Miseric√≥rdia 53, 2750 Cascais¬†(V)
  • Dona Flor¬† –¬†Rua do Poco Novo 180,¬†Cascais¬†2750-465¬†(V)


  • Convicts – ¬†¬†Rua Desembargador Faria, n.¬ļ 31¬†Oeiras¬†(V)


  • Veg-e-tal¬†– Av. D. Afonso Henriques 8A 2800-009 Almada¬†(V)



  • Jardin do ch√°¬†–¬†Largo Mario Chico, 17, 7000 √Čvora.(with¬†V¬†options)
  • Salsa verde –¬†Rua do Raimundo, 93 – A – √Čvora¬†(V)
  • art cafe ¬†–¬†R. de Serpa Pinto 6, 7000-505 √Čvora¬†(with¬†V¬†options)


  • Sabores do campo –¬†508, R. Prof. Bento de Jesus Caraca 4, 7800 Beja¬†(V)




  • Azul Algarve¬†–¬†Rua do Rossio Grande Lt E/F Loja C Alvor, Faro, Portugal¬†(V)


  • Vegetarianus¬†–¬†R. da Quinta do Bpo. 17, 8500 Portim√£o¬†(V)
  • Armaz√©m integral – Rua das comunica√ß√Ķes lj B, Ed. Casas do Rio (V) shop+caffe ¬†¬†
  • Mercearia Bio – Rua das Comunica√ß√Ķes,¬†Edif√≠cio Casa do Rio Loja C¬†8500-657 Portim√£o (V)¬†shop+caffe ¬†¬†



  • Bioforma restaurant –¬†Rua da Queimada de Cima, 31, Funchal¬†(with¬†V¬†options)


  • Casa do Jardim – Rua do Marques, 110, Angra do Hero√≠smo, azores¬†(V)


*Most Portuguese soups are vegan and you can find them everywhere for about 1.50‚ā¨¬†–¬†3.00‚ā¨.¬†They‚Äôre really delicious and always cooked freshly from scratch.

*The bread is great, make sure you try a good Broa de milho (Corn bread), or Pão Alentejano (a bread originally from the region of Alentejo)

* If you are visiting Portugal during fall or winter time you’ll find street vendors  selling castanhas assadas (baked Chestnuts)

*While in the country, try a good olive oil, and olives.

*Don’t miss the opportunity to drink some Porto Wine,¬†red and white wine, medronho (kind of fruit brandy, distilled from wild strawberry¬†),¬†Ginja (sour cherry liqueur)

*seasonal fresh fruit and vegetables are great, find them in the open markets. All Portuguese towns have markets offering a daily show of fresh locally farmed fruit and vegetables.

*drink a Café (coffee)

Have fun, enjoy the country and the food!

ūüĆĪLet me know if is there any other place that you recommend ūüėÄ

ūüíõūüĆŅGet inspired by the photos

photography ‚Ästall rights reserved ‚Äď Ana Rocha