6 Things To Do In Mombasa, Kenya

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.” – Oliver Wendell Holmes.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Twitter you’ll know I recently went to Kenya to visit my family. Whilst I was there, I went to Mombasa to…

“A mind that is stretched by a new experience can never go back to its old dimensions.”

Oliver Wendell Holmes


If you’ve been following me on Instagram and Twitter you’ll know I recently went to Kenya to visit my family. Whilst I was there, I went to Mombasa to see a friend who moved there after getting married last year. K and I went to her wedding  so this wasn’t my first time in Mombasa, however I did experience a lot of firsts. First time travelling alone, which I shared in my last post. First time taking a train in Kenya, or any other African country for that matter. First time going to a spa in any country, and so much more.

It was a memorable trip for me and I wanted to share the things I did whilst I was there.

SGR Train

Usually I’d take a 1-hour flight from Nairobi to Mombasa but this time I took the new SGR train which was introduced last year. I’d never been on a train in Kenya before so I thought why not experience it whilst I’m here. With my suitcases and lunch in hand I took an Uber from my uncles home to catch my 9:00am train at Nairobi Terminus.

For the first 2 hours of my journey I caught up on some much needed sleep and spent the other 3 gazing out of the window. The SGR runs through the Tsavo National Park before reaching its final destination, Mombasa so I had the pleasure of seeing animals, villages and agriculture go by from the comfort of my seat. From monkeys and zebras to farms and Masai villages, the view was amazing. Not bad for £6 (700ksh)!


Once I landed in Mombasa Terminus my friends’ driver was waiting for me at the entrance. You bet I was feeling bad and boujee as he took my bags and walked me to the car. But I probably looked more bad than boujee after a 5-hour train ride. We arrived at my friends house 30 minutes later and the screams of joy began as we were finally reunited! She gave me a tour of her fabulous home whilst her lovely maid took my stuff to the guest room. First a driver, now a maid? My girl was living lavishly in Mombasa. I could go on and on about how amazing her new life is but I’m trying to watch my word count. But to sum it up she has a driver, a maid, a cook, a beautiful home, a lovely husband and on top of that she wakes up to this view ever morning.


It’s still sinking in.

The Beach & Yuls Restaurant

Whilst her cook prepared dinner, we made our way to a hotel on the beach to meet her friends and go for a little walk. Honestly I’ve never felt softer sand in my life! As we strolled along the beach, the light breeze kept us cool in the hot temperatures and the view of the sun setting over the beach was amazing. Ah take me back! We even saw a lady having her maternity shoot on the beach! It was truly a beautiful place to be.


Along the beach there’s a restaurant called Yules which although I didn’t go to this time, it will always be in my places to go list. The venue offers water sports, food, ice cream and nightlife right on the beach. K and I had dinner here on our final night in Mombasa last year where we had a fillet Mignon for the first time. I now understand the hype; it was so good! And did I mention the beach view? I can’t wait to go back!

Nguuni Animal Sanctuary

The next day we went to Nguuni Nature sanctuary which is home to giraffes, ostriches and a variety of birds. Seeing them however proved to be a little difficult for us. We arrived just in time for the sunset but unfortunately the giraffes had already gone away from the feeding area and the ostriches were hiding somewhere. Lucky for my friend’s persistence (and a little bribing), the gate keeper managed to bring the giraffes to us but we weren’t able to feed them as the food had already finished. We took some cute pictures though and the sunset was so worth the hassle! We’ll feed the giraffes next time and hopefully see the ostriches too.


Maisha Spa

We decided to pamper ourselves by getting a spa treatment the next day at the Maisha Spa in Serena Beach Hotel. Now, I’d never been to a spa before, not even in London, so I was excited for the experience. We booked a full body massage which lasted about 1 hour and to be honest it was a bit of a painful 1 hour for me. The masseuse was really working every knot and though I let out a few (silent) moans of pain, my moans of pain may have been interpreted differently by the masseuse. It wasn’t all bad though. Once the massage was over I did feel lighter and wasn’t in any pain at all surprisingly. The head massage was glorious, best part of the massage! The girls thoroughly enjoyed their session so guess it was just me. I now know to request a lighter handed massage next time.


The spa it’s self is really beautiful and tranquil and the staff are friendly too so I have no idea why I was scared to say go easy on me. They gave us a complementary soft drink as part of our treatment whilst we took some Instagram worthy pictures. Do it for the gram!

Boko Boko Porini Restaurant


After an intense but relaxing massage, we headed to the Boko Boko Porini Restaurant. The Porini Restaurant is known for its mix of traditional coastal food and Seychellois spices. From ugali and chapatti to their beef stew and famous Porini Chicken with tamarind juice, everything there was finger licking good. I’m salivating as we speak! We had to order an hour before we arrived as they usually take a long time to prepare the food but it was worth the wait. believe me, the picture does not do it justice. To top it off, the restaurant is amidst a tropical garden and home to two giant Aldabra tortoises. Unfortunately, they were hiding under some trees when we arrived due to the rain so guess I’ll have to wait till next time to see them properly.

Misono restaurant


On my final day in Mombasa my friend took us to Misono for some authentic Japanese food. The only Japanese restaurant I’d been to before was Benihana in London and to be honest Misono was miles better. From the atmosphere and the food, to the cute chef that prepared our food in front of us in the open plan seating area. Everything was perfect! The variety in the set menu was so tasty and filling we all struggled to finish the last dish. If you follow me on Snapchat, you’d know the struggle. Misano set the bar high for Japanese restaurants.

And that was it! My trip to Mombasa was short but very sweet. It was wonderful seeing my friend and spending some quality time with her discovering Mombasa. I can’t wait to go back to Kenya and see what else it has to offer.

I hope this post has given you some ideas on places to go in Mombasa and encouraged you to discover your own land beyond the touristy things.

If you’ve been to any of these places or know of some more places to visit in Mombasa please feel free to leave them in comment section below.

Stay tuned for the next post.

Lydia x

7 Things To Do in Venice

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous. If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Instagram then you’ll know I spent a few days in Venice last month. K and I decided to celebrate 2 years together by going on a little baecation. Here is what we got up to.

“We travel not to escape life, but for life not to escape us.” – Anonymous.


If you’ve been following me on Twitter or Instagram then you’ll know I spent a few days in Venice last month. K and I decided to celebrate 2 years together by going on a little baecation. Do people still say that?

Even thought I’m a month late on writing this post I wanted to share it because we had such an amazing time. It’s wonderful what a few days away from your normal world with the right person can do. K and I have been to Italy before, but not together. K went to Turin with his family years ago and I went to Genoa with a friend I used to work with years ago. However, neither of us had been to Venice so we thought why not.

Venice is the city of love, right? A beautiful place with lots of things to enjoy in a short amount of time. Can you say cheap and cheerful? You can read more on how we planned our trip in my previous travel post – 12 Tips to Planning Your First Holiday Together. So if you’re looking for things to do in Venice, here are a few ideas you could do.


We flew in from Gatwick Airport to Marco Polo Airport and landed at 11:00am. The humidity had played havoc with my hair and I was too tired to play Dora the explorer on the public transport so we took a taxi to the hotel. Am I the only one who struggles to look (or feel) cute after an early flight? After taking a taxi for 20 minutes we arrived at the NH Laguna Palace Hotel in Mestre, Venice. Our home for the next 4 days and 3 nights.



We had high hopes for this hotel after doing what felt like days of research on tripadvisor.com. It was 10 minutes from the Mestre train station and just a 15-minute drive from the city’s historical centre. As we walked in, the hotel was lovely, cool and boasting gorgeous views overlooking a marina. One of the main selling point for us.


K and I had stayed at the NH Hotel in Amsterdam last year for my sister’s birthday and loved it so much so we hoped the rooms would be just as nice if not better in Venice.  We entered our room and the first thing we noticed was the huge bed; much like the one in Amsterdam. Sadly, that’s where the similarities between the two hotels ended.

There was dust on the furniture and rust marks on the floor. Most of the sockets were hanging off the wall and the room didn’t look as modern as the one in Amsterdam. I was not a happy bunny. K didn’t mind but do guys ever care about the room? Nonetheless, I wasn’t going to let a little dust and some rust ruin our stay. Although, they did make us wait 4 hours in a nearby McDonald because our room wasn’t ready when we arrived. Should I have made a complaint about the room?


Anywho, once we settled in, our plan was to get dressed and stroll around in the city centre for a while before coming back for dinner. Unfortunately, the lack of sleep and the huge comfy bed staring at us made it very easy for us to slip into a 5 hour nap. We woke up just in time for dinner but the hotel menu was expensive and not very appetising so we walked to the nearby restaurants. We stopped by a restaurant called Unico Ristorante just 5 minutes from our hotel. The food and service was amazing! Probably the best food I’ve had in Italy so far. It cost around €60 for a starter, 2 meals and 2 drinks but it was worth it. Wish I could go back just for their Mozzarella in carrozza!


A day had already gone on food, flying and sleeping so we decided to make the most of the 3 days remaining. K got a lot of information from europeforvisitors.com which helped us plan where to go and what to do during our time in Venice. We bought a travel ticket for €20 each from a local shop which gave us access to buses and water taxi (aka vaporetto) for 24 hours.




Lido di Venezia

First stop was Venice Lido; an 11-kilometre long sandbar. We got on a bus 5 minutes from our hotel to Santa Lucia Railway station where we took a vaporetto to Lido. It was hot so of course we had to grab a gelato before chilling by the sea. We wanted to discover Lido a bit more but unfortunately, it was getting late and we still had some more site-seeing to do elsewhere. In summer, Venice’s Lido is a popular Adriatic beach resort and a convenient (and inexpensive) place to stay at any time of year. Perhaps we’ll stay here next time we visit Venice.



Piazza San Marco

In New York, there is Times Square. In London, there’s Trafalgar Square. And in Venice there is St. Mark’s Square (or Piazza San Marco if you’re fancy). After leaving Lido we took a vaporetto towards San Marco – the historical city centre. We spent most of our time doing touristy things here. I won’t bore you with the history of this place (not that I know much of it myself). Let me let the pictures do the talking…



Palazzo Ducale

The Palazzo Ducale aka the Doge’s Palace is also in St Mark’s Square. We paid €20 each to access this museum which also included entry to the Museo Correr, Museo Archeologico Nazionale and Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana. I’ll be honest with you, I have no idea of the history behind the Doge’s Palace either (or most of the landmarks we visited for that matter). I was more interested in the art and the beauty of this historic place rather than the history behind it. And taking cute pictures. Is that bad?





Basilica di San Marco

If it’s your first time in Venice, you must visit the Basilica di San Marco. For us, it was the main attraction in St Mark’s Square. It is the cathedral church of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Venice and is one of the best known examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture. From the spectacular gold mosaics to its opulent design, the St Mark’s Basilica is enough to excite anyone interested in the Christian Crusades. It certainly thrilled us! Would love to take my mum here one day.



The queue looked quite long but moved fast once we were in it. Upon entering I was asked to cover my arms and knees as a sign of respect. Lucky for me I had something in my bag but they do provide you with something to cover up if needed. Unfortunately, we weren’t allowed to take any pictures or videos inside the building and though it’s free to enter, you do have to pay to go to certain parts of the building. The construction was honestly breath taking, I wish we were able to capture it.

Campanile di San Marco


Just opposite the Basilica di San Marco, is the bell tower aka Campanile di San Marco. It is one of the most recognizable symbols of the city and gives you a 360 view of the beauty that is Venice. You can see the whole of Venice and the islands that make up this amazing city from 323 ft up. It’s quite windy up there and can get a bit cold so we didn’t stay for too long. A few postcard worthy pictures and we were out. Tickets cost €8 each and the line is a bit long but it’s definitely worth it.

The Rialto Bridge

On the third day we decided to visit the Rialto Bridge, one of the four bridges spanning the Grand Canal in Venice. It is the oldest bridge across the canal and is said to be the true heart of Venice. It has an amazing view of the Grand Canal especially at night where there are less people. Unfortunately, we went during the day like all the other love birds so it was very crowded and raining but it was still nice.


Walking through the streets

On our last day, we walked from Santa Lucia Railway station to San Marco, stopping at random shops, museums and stalls. The walk took about 1 hour both ways but it was worth it. Not only did it save us money but we were able to discover random museums and beautiful architecture hidden away in the Venice streets and alleys. I would have done a full photo shoot if we had time!

There are signs around to show you how to go from one place to another which helped. However K told me that the locals sometimes put up fake signs to mess around with the tourist. Italian sense of humour. It’s kinda funny right? Lucky for us we didn’t find any of those. The walk was definitely worth it and helped me work off the heavy pasta dish I ate at one of the restaurants on our walk back to the station. The waiter who served us was so lovely!








Where to next?

We met a lovely Australian couple at the restaurant on our last day. They came to Venice to board a 10 day cruise and told us they would be staying in Malta for 5 days after the cruise before heading back home. The husband was very excited about Malta. He spent a good 15 minutes telling us about the history and how it’s such an amazing place to visit (and cheap too!). Might make it our next holiday destination. Like I said, cheap and cheerful is my thing!

We’ve heard that Venice is sinking so we might take another trip before it’s gone! We’ll see.

Oh and this is the lovely waiter that served us!


Your Turn…

Where was your first holiday together alone? How did you feel about it?

Share your experiences, questions and tips with everybody in the comments below.

Stay tuned for the next post!


Lydia x