As the leaves start to fall from the trees, it reminds us that Autumn is really here and it’s time to trade those skirts and short trousers for warm coats. During this time, a lot of travelers seek some sunshine. Here are 5 Autumn Destinations that you want to book now.
Lake Placid, New York As voted by Booking.com and it’s travelers, this region is stunning during the Autumn season. Apart from the beautiful lake, there is a forest with colorful leaves and wild animals. Enjoy the view whilst sipping on a cup of hot chocolate from one of the cabins that you can rent during this time. Check out the Mirror Lake Inn Resort to get the luxurious break from it all.
Stunning views over the lake at the mirror lake inn resort
Montreal, Canada A friend of mine recently sent me some photo’s of his trip to Montreal and I couldn’t believe the amount of colors in just one picture. Just wow. Besides the colors, this city gives you the feeling that you’re in Europe. The architecture, street art and food choices make it feel like New York, Berlin and Buenos Aires are added into a blender and poured in your glass. Drink up and enjoy! Flights from Amsterdam are available from around €600.
Budapest, Hungary This city is beautiful during the Fall but there’s also lot’s to do! There are several Autumn festivals going on like the Cafe Budapest Contemporary Art Festivalwhich runs between 7th and 23rd of October. The summer crowds have disappeared so Budapest is a lot comfortable to explore during this time as it can be very busy during high season. Outdoor temperatures remain mild but if you want to heat up, you should try one of the many bathhouses the city has to offer. When it comes to food, you can totally find your taste as they offer something for the carnivores but also have lot’s of veggie and vegan options available. Flights to Budapest go from as little as 200 euro if you book for this month.
Black Forest, Germany Now, I have been here many times because my sister lives here and I can’t get enough of it. During summer, all you see is green and during Autumn is like a field of colors with snowy mountains in the background. My favorite city near the black forest has to be Freiburg. This is a cute student city near the border of Switzerland and France is packed with lot’s of cute German restaurants, shops and market squares. It was actually voted one of the best cities to live in Germany because of the fresh air, lack of danger and good schools. My boyfriend took his motorbike this summer and crossed through part of the forest so you can only imagine how it looks when the colors are there. You can fly to Baden-Baden or Basel with Easyjet for around €100 euro from Europe.
The black forest during summer
Prague, Czech Republic This destination is great if you only have a little to spend but still want to get away. Sarah and I were there during spring time and we also noticed the nature that surrounded this city. Many visitors never set a foot out of old town and although that completely understandable, it’s a shame because just outside the city walls you will find something quiet beautiful. You can do a lot of hiking and enjoy stunning views. 60km outside Prague you will find the Kokořínsko Nature Reserve for example. If you still want to opt for the city itself, you won’t be disappointing. Food is super tasty and so cheap to other European standards! To read our Prague city guide, check here.
Prague from above
Are you going to book any of these last minute Autumn destinations?
Damn, 2016 is coming to an end and wow, did it go by fast! Many new memories have been made and adventures shared. Time to look back at some of our favorite wanderlust moments of 2016!
Elke’s trip to the Philippines December – January It was on our bucketlist forever and Elke finally crossed it off her list last Dec-Jan. She traveled to Cebu, Bohol and Palawan where she saw the most amazing islands. “It’s like Thailand 20 years ago and even more beautiful” To read all her tips about The Philippines, have a look here: wander-lust.nl/the-philippines/
In El Nido, Palawan
Sarah’s trip to Malaysia – November For 3 weeks Sarah traveled through Malaysia visiting Kuala Lumpur, Penang, Langkawi and Borneo. She was pleasantly surprised to discover that the Malaysian people are extremely creative and you will see street art, local handmade goods and delicious food everywhere. If you’re planning to go, you must read her articles about Malaysia: wander-lust.nl/malaysia/
Our city trip to Prague – April It was our first trip together funny enough and we had so much fun! The life is cheap in Prague so we enjoyed it to the max trying out all the best food spots and checking out the nightlife. From cycling tours to getting lost, finding a hipster Vietnamese bar and drinking a lot of beer. We also discovered that we are perfect travel partners! Read our city guide to Prague here: wander-lust.nl/falling-in-love-with-prague/
Perfect travel partners
Switzerland during Springtime – May If there is something you should do when you live in Europe, is to grab your car and drive up to Switzerland during springtime. The incredible nature, mountains and lakes are stunning! Elke drove up to Lutcerne, Vitznau and hiked up the Rigi Mountain. It’s not the cheapest place to visit but the views are more than worth it! Must do for 1017! wander-lust.nl/why-you-should-visit-switzerland-this-summer/
Stunning views from the Rigi mountain
Our secret trip to Valencia – June We didn’t know where we were going and found out at the airport when we scrashed our SRPRS.me card. Valencia it was! The weather was great, the food was great and the whole city break was great. Although it was Sarah’s 2nd time, we managed to discover so many new spots! wander-lust.nl/our-secret-trip-to-valencia/
Eating watermelons in Valencia
Glamping in Portugal – June This was a very special trip because we didn’t really know what to expect. We got invited by Into The Wild Algarve, a couple that left their hectic lives in Amsterdam to move to Portugal and start a Eco-Glamping Resort. We were their first official guests and they made us feel so at home. The care that they treated us with, really touched us. We enjoyed outside Yoga, Supping, Vegan Cooking and discovered the beaches of the Algarve. Check our report here: into-the-wild-algarve/
Our bohemian glamping tent
Swedish Lapland – June After our visit to the travel bloggers conference (TBEX) in Stockholm, Sarah checked out the Swedish Lapland for a few days. She discovered the untouched nature, fishing, ice sculpture, spa’s and sleeping in the light. (it doesn’t get dark there in June!) wander-lust.nl/relaxing-activities-in-kukkolaforsen-swedish-lapland/
Smoking freshly caught fish in Sweden
Elke’s trip to Norway – August “Cried when they landed, in the bus and cried when I saw the first mountain.” All because it was so beautiful. What a stunning place! Together with Visit Norway Elke and a bunch of journalists visited the Fjords where she learned how to kayak. wander-lust.nl/my-amazing-trip-through-north-west-norway/
So there you have it, new memories were made, hidden gems were discovered and many new hotspots were found. These were our favorite wanderlust moments of 2016. We hope we’ve inspired you this past year! It was great to see that some of you actually did the trips or took the route we wrote about! Get ready for 2017 as we have more exiting things planned!
For more impressions about all our trips, check our YOUTUBE Channel where we add all our travel memories! We need more subscribers so hopefully you guys can help us out!
Whether you’re ready or not, December is here and with that the holiday season. One of the things that I love are Christmas Markets. So where can you stroll for hours and drink the best gluhwein?
Here are our top 5 Christmas Markets within Europe.
1. Dresden Christmas Market, Germany When?24th November – 24th December 2016 Leading the pack is this German Christmas market that has been around since 1434(!) Named after a sweet Christmas cake, this market has it all. The highlight is without doubt the largest wooden pyramid with carved wooden figures that stands tall at 40 meters. It has a a romantic feel about it and this is how a Christmas market should be. Watch craftsmen at work or buy pottery, gingerbread, candle holders or other Christmas decorations. Check a video impression here. www.germany-christmas-market.co.uk
Source: Tim A. Bruening via flickr
2. Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, Copenhagen When?19th of November – 31st of December 2016 With 60 stalls, this is a market full of lights. For children and adults, you shouldn’t miss this one if you’re visiting Copenhagen in Nov-Dec. There are concerts, decorations, lights and sweets to feast your eyes on. Adults need to pay about 13 euro’s admission, children are free. www.tivoli.dk
The entrance of the Tivoli Christmas (source: Tivoli DK)
“Christmas Markets originated in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol in Northern Italy and the eastern French regions.”
Gingerbread sweets at the Kaiser WM Church Christmas Market Berlin (source: Mtrip)
4. Old Town Christmas Market, Prague When? 26th of November – 6th of January 10am-22pm 2016/2017 Find a variety of foods at this market like barbecued pork, Czech muffins, conkers, beer, mull, mead and other typical gastronomical specialties from Old Czech cuisine. If you don’t feel the Christmas spirit, then you will get it when you go here. Christmas carols are sung throughout the day by different performers. Another market worth checking is Wenceslas Square, which is about a 5 min walking distance from old town square.
5. Bruges Christmas Market, Belgium When? 25th of November – 1st of January 11am-10pm 2016/2017 Bruges already looks amazing because of the historic buildings, cobbled streets and medieval sights. But when it’s Christmas, this town really blooms. The magical shopping streets are lit up with colorful lights and there’s a ice skating ring on the “Grote Markt”. For a fairy-tail Christmas feeling you’re at the right address. Shop unique findings, eat waffles and drink delicious hot chocolate to top the day.
Ice skating in Bruges, Belgium (source: short-breaks.com)
So which of the above Christmas Markets will you be visiting this year?
When KLM and De Jong Intra Vakanties sent us on a blind city trip last week, we didn’t know where we were going but we kind of hoped it would be a city of culture, food, sunshine.. and that’s exactly what we got! Last week we gave you guys a few clues about the city we were going to visit. Our guess was as big as yours until we heard the news when we arrived at Schiphol airport and a KLM flight attendant gave us a small present with a guidebook of.. Prague! Did you guess it right? Then keep an eye on this page here during the end of May to see if you are the lucky winner of a Blind City Trip for 2!
Bye Bye Amsterdam
We had no idea what to expect of Prague. All we knew was that the local currency is Czech Koruna, it’s very affordable and beer is the national drink. Time to explore! Our hotel was only a short walk from the center so we walked almost everywhere. Sometimes we even walked for 2 hours straight! Although we were given a guidebook of Prague, we didn’t even open it. We are all for getting lost and discovering the best places by talking to the locals. So that’s exactly what we did. The city is divided by the Vltava River. You can get across the other sides by using one of the many bridges. The most famous one is the Charles Bridge which dates back from 1402 and features 30 statues of saints. One side of Prague features the vibrant “old town”where it all happens at night and the other side is has many cute restaurants is great for hikes, castles the the famous “Eiffel Tower“.
Looking at the famous Charles Bridge
MUST DO’s: » The John Lennon Wall, created by rebels to express their feelings against communism. Find messages of love and peace are written down with musicians singing John Lennon songs. Awesome.
» Parziska is the high end shopping street where you can go crazy on window shopping and enjoy expensive cars driving around.
» Go on a bicycle tour, this is the best way to see the city, hands down. We recommend “mijn praag tours” with Dennis. (Dutch and English speaking.) » Michalská is a quiet street in the center of Prague where you will find a few cute restaurants and shops. » Zlute Lazne, is city beach which opens up during the summer months. Bring your flipflops! www.zlutelazne.cz/en » Narodni Divadlo (The National Theater), a gold-roofed neo-classical building, Statni Divadlo, (The State Opera), a sumptuous nineteenth-century opera house.
» Naplavka farmers market, Every Saturday visitors can purchase goodies made from high-quality ingredients situated by the river underneath the Vysehrad fortress, some 15 minutes by walk from the National Theater. » U Prince Hotel for a fresh Ice-tea on the rooftop overlooking the old town square. They also have a nice cocktail bar called the Black Angels Bar. Info TIP » Eat a Trdelník! You will find this sweet pastry on almost every corner of a busy street and they all cost about 1,50 euro’s.
Wander-Lust at the John Lennon Wall
Amazing views from Hotel U Prince where we enjoyed some fresh iced-tea
Prague features many views like these
“Prague totally surprised us and made us fall in love instantly”
WHERE TO EAT: On the first night we really lost our way back to the hotel and walked past a cool Vietnamese restaurant called U Fughio. Cool hiphop tunes blasting through the speakers and we think that all the hip crowd of Prague must have been sitting here. After dinner we discovered that there was a downstairs club/bar where you can smoke shisha and drink cocktails. The owner (28) who’s also a hiphop dancer, build everything himself. Prague is full of places where you can eat. Yes, the Asian cuisine is on a high but you can also find lot’s of Italian, local, vegetarian, vegan and other international restaurants here.
Acai bowls at Herbivore
» Eska, they’re the new kids on the block but probably the best lunch and dinner place in Prague. It’s fine dining combined with a downstairs bakery. Enjoy forgotten vegetables and see the passion which the chefs cook with. We enjoyed a tasty lunch for only 20 euro’s! www.eska.ambi.cz » Herbivore, amazing breakfast, lunch and juices. Try the Acai bowl or their vegan buffet! Facebook » Etn Svêt, go here for an all vegetarian buffet for only 6 euro’s per person! www.etnosvet.cz/en » NOI, the best Thai food in Prague! Cool house tunes and a nice bar. Perfect to start the weekend! www.noirestaurant.cz » U Fughio, Go for the cool vibes and try Vietnamese dishes (they also serve Thai food but we preferred the Vietnamese food) Facebook » Kolkovna for the bestlocal Czhech food! Make a reservation during the weekends! www.kolkovna.cz » Naplavka farmersmarket, mentioned before, this is where you won’t find any tourist. Simply because they don’t know how good this is. You will find homemade soup, crepes, vegetables, juices and flowers. Bring cash! Extra tip » Visit the Starbucks Coffee in the castle! This is probably the best Starbucks location ever, overlooking the city.
Fine dining at the newest hotspot Eska
Dinner at U Fughio, Cakes at Eska and fresh soup at the farmersmarket
WHERE TO DRINK & DANCE: One things we’ve learned about Prague is that there are plenty of places where you can have a great night out. Friday is when all the locals go out so plan your evening well. As you may expect, women get into every club or bar without any problem and many times you don’t even have to pay an entrance fee. We drank amazing cocktails at Tretter’s and Bugsy’s (a huge price difference between these two!) and we danced at Chapau Rouge goes on until the early hours. » Tretter’s, great cocktails for a small price! Men in tuxedo’s shake it up for you. » Bugsy’s, a high class cocktail bar. Expect to pay European prices. » Chapau Rouge reminded us of a club in Berlin. 3 area’s including a dark basement with techno and drum & base tunes » Roxy, check out their flyers to find out what’s on as some of the biggest DJ’s play here » James Dean, ladies be warned, your bum will be squeezed a few times. This place if for dancing to rock & roll music and drinking lot’s of beer. » Cafe Cafe, a gay friendly bar with lot’s of hot men plus great coffee and cakes!
From left to right: Trendy Cafe Cafe, Cocktail at Tretter’s and Bugsy’s interior
WHERE TO SLEEP: » Emblem Hotel, they’ve opened 2 years ago so this hotel it very fresh and in the middle of Prague’s epic center. As a guest you can use the spa, rooftop jacuzzi, gym, enjoy evening snacks with Prosecco (which we tried of course!) and enjoy a great breakfast buffet. The staff is extremely helpful and one of the owners gave us some great dinner tips! Website
» Aria, if you want to feel like a king or queen, you should stay here. This music themed hotel has Dali’s and Picasso’s hanging on the walls and has a beautiful rooftop terras and garden where you can find some time to relax. Website » Travellers hostel,if you’re on a budget, this hostel is pretty cool and clean plus it’s right in the center of Prague! Website
Relaxing at the rooftop of The Emblem Hotel
The beautiful garden at Aria hotel
Our verdict is simple: Prague is an amazing historical city with lot’s of modern hotspots where you wander for days! We can really recommend you to visit Prague this year so you can fall in love too..
* all pictures where taken with the Olympus PEN or OMD E-10