SILENT DISCO ICE-SKATING AT MUSEUMPLEIN AMSTERDAM

This winter the first silent disco ice skating club will open on the Museumplein in Amsterdam.

At ICE ICE CLUB, founded by TV presenter Sol Wortelboer and his wife, you can go to silent disco ice-skating this winter. Besides that, Bootcamp on Ice and ice hockey lessons will be held at the famous museumplein in the centre of Amsterdam.

Burning Calories

It is said that you burn around 550 kilocalories per hour with skates and around 353 kcal per hour with dancing. “We combine the best of both worlds with Silent Disco Ice-Skating”, Says founder Sol Wortelboer. You can enjoy the silent disco ice-skating from early mornings till late. It is advised you come before 3pm, because after that, it will be quite busy on the ice-skating ring in Amsterdam.In the morning – before regular ice rink opening times – you can also visit Bootcamp on Ice and ice hockey.

Woman ice-skating at night Amsterdam

This brings the old-skool 80’s disco vibe to life!

ICE ICE CLUB

Last summer Sol Wortelboer opened the successful SUP SUP CLUB in Amsterdam and the Betuwe. With the winter version, he wants to make just as many people happy with the same elements in different conditions. And thanks to a great collaboration with Ice* Amsterdam, this dream is now coming true.

ice ring

Nice to know: ICE ICE CLUB is for everyone and accessible with Onefit and Classpass.

ICE ICE CLUB can be found from November 21 on the iconic ice rink of Ice * Amsterdam. For all info you can visit www.iceiceclub.com and www.iceamsterdam.nl.

Find out when and what Christmas Markets are on in Amsterdam this month!

Wander-Lust

 

WILLEM DE BRUIN OPENT RESTAURANT ANNA DU PIRE

Gevierd solo artiest en de andere helft van de populaire hiphop groep De Opposites, slaat even helemaal een andere weg in en opent deze maand zijn allereerste bar/restaurant.

Willem de Bruin, bekend van zijn geprezen solo album Man in Nood staat voor uitverkochte zalen, speelde al eerder de sterren van de hemel in de film Catacombe, maar laat zich nu van een andere kant zien; als ondernemer. Hij opent namelijk een gloednieuwe bar/restaurant Anna du Pire, in het hart van de Pijp in Amsterdam.

Willem de Bruin

Bar Anna du Pire
Photo: Willem de Bruin

Wie is Anna du Pire?

De naam komt van de eerste vrouw van Bartholomeus van der Helst en leidde een leven vol kunst en rijkdom. Anna was een graag geziene gast in de kunst schilders wereld en was bevriend met vrouwelijk kunstschilders van die tijd. Vandaag omschrijft Willem haar als een zelfstandige vrouw. Een echte bohemian. Ze reist de wereld rond en haar ervaringen en de verhalen die ze opdoet tijdens haar leven vertalen zich in het menu en interieur. Hij heeft er voor gekozen om deze keer niet op de voorgrond te staan, maar het concept van Anna du Pire te laten spreken. Zo wordt er dus ook niet over de “eigenaren” gesproken, maar verwijst men naar Anna.

Bar
Binnen Anna du Pire is het smal en cozy. Foto Willem de Bruin

Omdat Anna du Pire als persoon ongrijpbaar is speelt ze met de rijke fantasie van haar gasten. De suggestie van haar aanwezigheid laat ruimte over voor interpretatie. – Willem

Food and Wine

Het brede spectrum van Anna’s wereld vind je terug in het menu.

Het Menu

De menukaart bij Anna du Pire zal velen invloeden kennen. Anna houdt van reizen en raakt geïnspireerd door verschillende culturen. Je vindt er dus niet één cuisine. Op dit moment kun je tot 7 december de eerste try-out kaart komen proeven en zal er daarna gewerkt worden aan vaste kaart. Een ding wat zeker is; er zal goede wijn en eten worden geserveerd. Daarnaast zullen er wine tastings plaatsvinden, gezellige Sunday Brunches en natuurlijk mogen de muziekanten en DJ’s ook niet ontbreken. En dat is dan toch het linkje met Willem.

Anna du Pire
Eerste van der Helststraat 72, Amsterdam
Website / Instagram

x Elke

Voor meer restaurantjes check:

 

 

FACTORY GIRL AMSTERDAM

What would you think of a stylish Berlin breakfast and lunch spot that spreads her wings to the Netherlands? Nine years after founder Sofia Sözen started her culinary journey in the capital of cool, she proudly popped up a second ‘+Factory Girl.’ This time in another trendy district: De Pijp, Amsterdam. A youngster with a lot of potential!

Treats for belly and eyes

Let’s be honest, breakfast is the best meal of the day, right? So, it won’t be a surprise Factory Girl’s all-day breakfast concept immediately grabbed me. A spot with lots of vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free delights. The idea of this boutique brand was born and raised in Berlin. I know what you’re thinking. Why ’Factory Girl’ and a ‘+’? Sofia’s first store had an architectural factory texture. The place where she created the magic. And the plus sign? It’s a creative outburst to show the simple extensibility of the concept. A concept that can be seen as a small package which you can unpack everywhere. In every country, every city. Because Sofia admires the open-minded and vibrant lifestyle of Amsterdam – feels like home -, she had to listen to her gut feeling. And so her second shiny food spot was a fact.

Food for thought at Factory Girl Amsterdam

+Factory Girl is situated nearby the slightly touristic Ferdinand Bolstraat. You must have heard about this lady otherwise there might be a change to miss this cool tasty hotspot. And hidden gem it is. A modern venue designed to ode to the ever-growing healthy eating culture and to revitalise the ‘all-day breakfast concept.’ A very welcoming, friendly environment jam-packed with comfort and bliss. The atmosphere bursts with warmth, charm and friendliness. Upon entry you’ll be surprised by the spatial and urban, industrial vibe. Without too much fuss, but with an eye for details.

Lunch at +Factory Girl Amsterdam

+Factory Girl: 0% bullshit, 100% goodness

+Factory Girl is the perfect place to pamper yourself. The place where you can begin or break your (work)day in style, or only to drop by for a kaffeeklatsch. But treating yourself doesn’t mean lots of needless E numbers, unnatural ingredients and very few nutrients. Their raison d’être? The +Factory Girls believe in a healthy lifestyle with a planet-friendly attitude. That’s why the concept provides daily fresh, healthy vegan and vegetarian food with an infinite amount of ingredients, spices and herbs. Distinctive recipes but still conventional tastes. And above all, running business with a BIG smile!

Pancakes for breakfast
Factory Girl’s pancakes, yumminess to die for!100% goodness captured in this ‘egglicious’ shot

How lovely if you can mix the tasty with the healthy? +Factory Girl is here to impress you with an abundance of goodness. Goodness without bullshit. Mix and mingle whatever you prefer. Start daydreamin’ about some of their pieces of happiness: fit & sexy mueslinola, not benedict like benedict, three brothers no sisters, the Dutch senator sandwich and Sofia’s salad. Not to mention their…pancakes with chocolate drizzle and some little dark chocolate chuncks inside. Genius! A delicious fresh ginger tea on the side, and they had me. Even the most fussy eaters will fall in love with this super tasty concept. An everyone’s friend. Still thinking of skipping a wakey breaky? Think twice! This venue knows how to rumble, aficionados.

Factory Girl’s signature dish, a must-try!

Meet your new addiction: Coco Anjéla

Coco Anjéla, remember that name. Even if you only can make a very short pitstop, please promise that you’ll try the Coco Anjéla. Coco whut? It’s +Factory Girls’ signature dish. I can tell you, my first rendez-vous with this finger lickin’ good treat tasted like more. A healthy, addictive delicacy created by Sofia herself. Pure vanilla, a pinch of gluten-free flour, a little coconut sugar, vegan cream and cookies. Mouthwatering! It’s kind of an Italian panna cotta in different flavours. Let’s say the healthy, vegan little sister. Did I mention you have to try this pretty girl?

In short, +Factory Girl really is a culinary escapade for the non-vegetarians and non-vegans. But I can tell you, a world is opening up for you! Discover meatless treats, and whole new taste variations which will saturate all your morning and lunch craves. Absolutely worth the try both for the light ánd more dark green eaters!

Love,

Sharmaine

+Factory Girl
Saenredamstraat 32, Amsterdam
Opening hours: every day from 9:00 am till 5:00 pm
Website

6 x NEW HOTEL OPENINGS IN AMSTERDAM

Amsterdam currently has more than 466 hotels and even though there was a stop being regulated for the city centre, hotels are still being build like there is no tomorrow. Increasing tourism is the reason so we better embrace it. 

Recently, some pretty nice newcomers have opened in up Amsterdam. Here are 6 new hotel openings in Amsterdam we think you need to know about.

Boat & Co

Honestly, we have been waiting for this new hotel for ages and we’re happy that they have finally opened. A few years back, we published an article about the most sustainable hotels in Amsterdam and Boat & Co certainly lived up to these expectations. While building the hotel, they’ve used sustainable building materials according the Cradle-to-Cradle principles, that produce zero waste. They offer 4 different choices of luxury apartments, all equipped with a kitchen and workspace. Perfect for those on the go. Book

Apartment room in Boat & Co

Yotel

Another hotel that recently opened is the playful Yotel. Located in Amsterdam North, just a few minutes walk from the Adam Tower. With an all-day dining concept, a beautiful waterfront terrace and an outdoor cinema, the 202-room hotel offers its guests a unique experience by combining smart use of technology with a sustainable design and all at a competitive price to offer. Next to that, they are flying with drones to serve your drinks in the restaurant. Pretty cool. Book

New hotel Yotel Amsterdam

Park Plaza Vondelpark

After some major construction works, Park Plaza Hotel re-opened their doors with a lavish party. This hotel is located in the heart of the busy tourist district, right next to the Vondelpark and the museum district. Travellers from all over the world come to this hotel, but it doesn’t feel boutique style so it’s perfect for those that want to sleep and explore. That being said, everything looks great and the facilities are good. Book

The Niu Fender Hotel

This new hotel focusses on millenials and is located directly on the harbor of Amsterdam on Cruquiuseiland. The niu Fender offers you from here with its three towers a unique view of the water and lets you experience in the hotel the maritime vibe of the water city. Additionally, it offers a cool industrial design with urban details. Freelancers can chill here or you can enjoy afterwork drinks in the bar with harbour view, breakfast in the bistro or meet your friends by the fireplace. Book

Hotel room the niu hotel

Opening soon..

nhow Amsterdam RAI

If you drive your car on the A10 highway, you have surely seen this massive building. The outside is completely finished, now they are adding the final touches on the inside. Anticipated to open in the new year of 2020, the new hotel is being described as the place where contemporary art, design, gastronomy and cultural expressions come together. nhow Amsterdam RAI becomes “The Culture’s Hub” for tourists, business travellers and Amsterdammers and also acts as a headquarter hotel for RAI Amsterdam conferences. Pre-book

New Hotel nhow Amsterdam Rai

Pink room nhow hotel

Hard Rock Hotel Amsterdam American

To be fair, we felt a little sad when we heard about the new plans for the iconic Hotel American. Being one of Amsterdam’s first hotels, located at the famous Leidsesquare, they decided to turn it into a Hard Rock hotel. We are very curious if they will keep the classical retro style or if they change it into a modern rock hotel. Opening in April 2020

Café Americain
Hotel American during Christmas

Love,

Wander-Lust

For all hotels in Amsterdam check the map!

Booking.com

SEE LONDON IN THREE DAYS

London is a city that’s ever changing when it comes to restaurants, clubs and other hotspots. Time for an updated city guide!

Because most people visit London for a long weekend, we’ve created a guide that you can use if you only have three days to see London. Don’t worry, the options are endless!

How to get there

Thankfully, you can now easily travel to London by train. As we would have normally flown over, we decided to give the train a go, which is better for the environment and more comfortable. From Amsterdam it only takes 4,5 hours. The best thing is that you arrive in the middle of the city centre! Tip: Buy yourself an Oyster Card at the train station, this way your can easily check in and out, plus you travel with a discount.

London Tube


Where To Stay

ibis Styles Southwark London

During our most recent stay in London we stayed at ibis Styles Southwark. ibis Styles is actually the hip and creative sister hotel of the well known ibus hotels and rooms are available to book for as little as £199,-. Yes, it’s London people, you’re not going to get anything for a better price at a top location like this one. The reception setup is spacious and welcoming with lounge chairs and a bar. 

Reception ibis styles

The whole hotel has a broadway theme which makes it fun and colourful! It was the first time we stayed in Southwark and we can highly recommend it! Around the corner you’ll find many nice eateries and bars like the Iron Flat Square, a hub of food stalls and bars that is open every day of the week. Next to that you have the London Borough Market around the corner which is a must visit! From the hotel, you can also easily walk to the Thames River and see the Tower Bridge. Book your stay here. Curious about our ibis Styles stay in Paris? You can read it in our Paris Guide!

Collage ibis Styles Southwark
Our spacious bedroom, the breakfast room and Flat Iron Square around the corner


Where to Eat in London

Honestly, where do we start! London is full of hotspots, but there are only a few I will mention. We all know Sketch by now, so you won’t find that one on this list. These are our favourites!

» Circolo Popolare
They’ve been open for a few months and it’s almost impossible to make a reservation. Luckily, we managed to get a spot but make sure you reserve on time. Once inside you won’t believe your eyes, what a place! It looks like something out of an Italian fairytale with flowers hanging from the ceiling and the walls covered in drinks. We would have expected hyped places to lack in taste and service but Circolo Popolare completely swept us of our feet. The service for one was amazing and the food..don’t even get us started. We ordered a salad which was big enough for two and a freshly oven baked pizza. Tip: Definitely order one of their inventive cocktails and the tiramisu was the best we have ever tasted.

Circolo Popolare London

» Seabird
Like ibis Styles, Seabird is also located in Southwark. This wonderful rooftop restaurant has an amazing outside terrace overlooking the city of London. They serve a wonderful selection of seafoods with Spanish and Portuguese influences, including 15 different oysters! The inside looks like a decor created in Tulum, which includes a bar where they create amazing cocktails served in tropical animal glasses. seabirdlondon.com

Seabird terrace London
The amazing terrace of Seabird

» GBR London
If you wanna go posh, plus British, you need to visit GBR. Situated in The Dukes hotel, it’s British food at it’s best. The interior is classical British with a James Bond vibe. Furthermore, the staff is lovely and are happy to accommodate you with special requirements. They also offer all day dining and a killer high tea, so if you’re up for some great British flavours, you should check it out. www.gbrrestaurantslondon.com

» Ping Pong
It was there 10 years ago, and it’s still good. Ping Pong is an Asian Fusion restaurant with incredible dimsum dishes. It’s great for lunch and even better for dinner. Don’t forget to order the Jasmine flower tea, because it’s an actual flower opening up in the clear tea glass. 

» Saint Aymes
This place is good for pink latté’s and your instagram account. The outside is such a treat with the pretty (fake) flowers. 

» Elancafe
Again, a wonderful place for your insta feed. The walls are covered in roses and the interior features marble tables where you can perfectly pose against the rose wall. Oh, this place is also famous for it’s cakes and great looking coffees. (almost forgot about that part!) 

» Camden Lock
I used to work in Camden Town and this area is a food Walhalla. There are many international food stands with delicious, homemade foods and vegans can go crazy here. Rumer has it, that you can find the best vegan burgers here.. www.camdenmarket.com

Camden lock, London City Guide
Vegan food at Camden Lock

» Pachamama Bar & Kitchen
They serve a killer Peruvian lunch, brunch, dinner and create wonderful cocktails. 

» Farm Girl Café
They are a holistic Australian farm café with delicious (and healthy!) foods. They are based in Chelsea, Soho and Nothing Hill. Make a reservation to avoid a fully booked café. 

» Boxpark Shoreditch
It’s been around for a few years now, but if you like to try quality streetfood, you should eat at Boxpark. There are options enough to fill your tummy and you can go shopping after that (then again, maybe before is better, otherwise you might not fit those new pants) Check here for the latest food stands.

» Duddell’s London
Located in the historic St. Thomas Church in the heart of London Bridge, minutes from Borough Market, Duddell’s London is offering an authentic and delicious Cantonese cuisine. Just look at the interior, wow! The dim-sum here is hand-crafted and the cocktails are Asian-inspired. 


Duddell’s London


Where to Shop
Shopping in London is something that you can’t get around. Depending what your taste is or how much you want to spend, there are options for everything. We’ve highlighted our personal favourite shopping districts and added a few that you just have to see for yourself.


Shopping in London’s high street

» Oxford Street
It’s the largest and longest shopping street in London. You will find all the commercial brands here like ZARA, Mango, Nike, H&M etc. Also check out the shopping mall Selfridges. It’s amazing!

» Knightsbridge
This is for the Chanel lovers among us. Big brands show off their impressive shopping windows and you can find Harrods here, the topnotch shopping warehouse that is worth checking out, especially the food hall and the toy kingdom.

» Camden Town
One of my favorite shopping area’s in London! It used to be a horse stable market so you will find many alleys and secret corners here. It’s great for bargain shopping and you can find local goods, weird stuff, plus there is even a crazy techno/house store which you need to check out, it’s like walking into a club!

» Carnaby Street
This street is full of amazing shops! Some are boutique, others are more mainstream like Adidas or Superga. Sneaker lovers should check Carnaby Street!

» Boxpark Shoreditch
There we have the boxpark again! Yep, this place is well worth checking out for speciality clothes and unique items. I bought some glitter socks there, I mean, what a catch! Read our full Shorditch Guide!


What To See & Do

Like New York, London is a city where you can’t get bored. There is lot’s to see and do, but to narrow it down, these are my personal tips.

» Visit Some of London’s Parks
London is greener than you might think. There are several parks to choose from besides the famous Hyde Park. Primrose Hill, Regents Park and lesser known Hampstead Heath are my favourites. They are more local and offer stunning views and nature. If you are in Primrose Hill, make sure you walk into the neighbourhood and check out the coloured houses.

Primrose Hill London

» Sky Garden
I didn’t manage to go because I forgot to make a reservation but if you do have the time, visit the Sky Garden. Stunning views over the city with an indoor tropical garden. Entrance is free but you need to book a time slot. They do accept walk-ins after 6pm during the week. skygarden.london

Bonus » If you like gardens, check out Kew Gardens. It’s about 30 minutes travel from Central London and their Victorian glasshouse just opened. See over 10,000 plants in the world’s biggest glasshouse. www.kew.org

» Coal Drops Yard
Currently, it is the place to be. Hip and happening with restaurants, cafés and business all tucked into one. Find out what’s it like.

Coal Drops Yard

» Covent Garden
What’s not to love about this area. Street theater, live opera singers, musicians, local goods, shops, restaurants and a market. Covent Garden is the place I never skip when I’m in London.

» Museum in London are free!
Oh yes, they should do this anywhere in the world don’t you think? We love the Natural History Museum, Tate Modern and The Victoria & Albert museum.

Neill's Yard London
Neill’s Yard, near Covent Garden

Whale skeleton Natural History Museum

We hope you are able enjoy London in three days! After all, it was Elke’s “home town” for many years. Let me know if you’ve used our tips, we’d love to hear it!

Love,

Wander-Lust

THE BEST OF DOHA, QATAR

Doha is considered the pearl of the middle east that set itself on the map after being elected for the 2022 World Cup. Time to find out why it’s good to travel to Doha now, before it’s becoming the next Dubai.

The city of Doha has many amazing sky scrapers, entertainment, shopping, glitch and glamour, yet it still offers an authentic culture and history. We were invited by Qatar Airways to see the best of Doha.

HOW TO GET THERE

Given that Qatar Airways is officially the best airline in the world, I was happy to fly with them for the first time. Luckily, I was upgraded into their QSuite (O Em Gee), which has been voted as the best business class by the Yearly World Airlines Awards, the oscars of aviation. For someone with a fear of flying, this was the most relaxing flight I had ever experienced. A direct flight to Doha takes about 6 hours, so that’s pretty reasonable. Qatar Airways for that matter, is offering Doha as a stopover, which you can add to your booking. As a matter of fact, if you fly with QR, you can get a discount on hotel prices. 4-star hotels are available for as little as 23USD! Nice to know: Qatar Airways offers all passengers 1 hour free wifi!


Business Class Qatar Airways
Enjoying the QSuite

THE STORY ABOUT QATAR & DOHA

First thing to remember is that Qatar is a reasonably small country which makes it fairly easy to travel around if you want to. You can actually drive from North to South Qatar in approximately 3 hours. As you may have heard, Qatar is one of the richest countries in the world due to their gas & oil, but it wasn’t always like this. For centuries, pearl harvesting used to be the main source of income for Qatari people. But due to the great depression and competition, pearls lost their value and the country needed to find other ways to earn a living. The pearl however, remains an important symbol of Qatar until this day.

Baskets at Souq Waqif

Doha on the other hand, is only 40 years old, which explains the modern vibe and ongoing construction. People often compare it to Dubai, but the people who live here, find Doha to be very different. For one, Dubai is all about entertainment, luxury and shopping. While Doha is certainly up there when it comes to luxury hotels, restaurants and bars, but also offers culture, sports and traditions.

GOOD TO KNOW

The best time to visit Doha is from October until the end of April. It must be remembered that the weather is undoubtedly less hot during those months with temperatures between 25 and 35 degrees. While this still seems quite warm, during summer period it can get up to 50ºC! It also has to be considered that Qatar is a muslim country, so dress accordingly. This means long dresses or trousers and try to cover your upper arms. On the contrary, you can wear pretty much whatever you want in most hotels. Alcohol is not served in public spaces, but only inside some restaurants and bars. That being said, I never heard a police siren while I was there, something I haven’t experienced in a city before.

Skyline

WHERE TO STAY

In general, there is enough choice when it comes to accommodation in Doha. For the most part, there are many big hotels, but the city also offers boutique style hotels and homestays. The best place to stay in Doha is in the West Bay area. Here you are near the airport, museums, and Souq Waqif. During my three-day trip I stayed in the following hotels.

  • Mandarin Oriental

    Brand new in Doha so modern and stylish. The rooms are truly exquisite and spacious. The hotel has an outdoor pool, 3 restaurants and a spa. Their latest gastronomic addition is Mosaic, an international kitchen with an Arabic twist. The location of the hotel is recently build, so taxi drivers may not find it that easily. On the positive side, Mandarin Oriental is located at walking distance of Souq Waqif!

Hotel pool

  • Marsa Malaz Kempinski

    In contrast to the Mandarin Oriental, Kempinski is more classical and larger. The entrance is quite impressive and the hotel offers a large pool area and a beach. They have a very cool must visit rooftop bar named Secret Garden and club that is only accessible via the parking lot. Bare in mind that the dresscode is smart/casual and visitors must bring their passports. Ask the reception for all the details.

Hotel bed

Kempinski Hotel Doha

The above mentioned hotels are both amazing but understandably not for every budget, so you are best to compare the best rated hotels online.

WHERE TO EAT

Luckily, Doha offers a wide range of cuisines and flavours. Even vegetarians have plenty of options! Here is a list of some must try restaurants.

  • Al Mourjan Restaurant offers some of the best Lebanese food in Doha. From the outside terrace you have an amazing view. Try the lemon/mint juice, amazing!
  • Nobu Doha is famous for sushi, but the same goes for their good service. The Japanese chefs welcome every new customer with a traditional greeting while working their magic behind the counter. Upstairs you can enjoy a drink at the bar, which overlooks part of Doha’s skyline. Nobu is part of the Four Seasons Hotel, due to open in early 2020.

Mezza in Doha

  • Apparently, Spicemarket is the best rated Asian restaurant in Doha. The restaurant which is located in the W-hotel, takes you on a journey across South East Asia and brings the authentic flavours to the table.
  • If you are a brunch person, go to Arc Brunch Eatery! Apparently they serve a killer coconut latte.
  • As previously mentioned, Mosaic is the newest restaurant in the Mandarin Oriental hotel. They offer a variety of Arabic food with a twist!
  • Spots like Soul Bowl and Evergreen Organics are made for those that crave something healthy and vegan. Plus both locations look cute!

Mosiac

Nice to know: Little did I know, but coffee is a thing in Doha! You’ll find many trendy coffee bars around the city and our favourites café’s are Flat White, Cue Café, Fleurs at Café, 20 Grams Coffee Bar, MIA Café and Tea Garden.

Coffee bar Doha
Cue café, in the Pearl (source)

CULTURE & TRADITIONS

You may not expect it, but Doha is full of culture and traditions. For example, the falcon, Qatars symbol and bird, is still as important as centuries ago. Some falcons even travel first class with their owners! At Souq Waqif you can find a falcon market where the birds are sold and traded. There is even a falcon hospital to keep them in good shape. The traditional Souq itself is also worth a visit. During the evening it gets more crowded but if you come between 7:30 – 12:00, you can take photo’s without hardly any people. They sell everything from handmade baskets, colourful carpets, spices, sweets and tools. The souq is also the best place for traditionally Arabic food, but you can also find Indian, Lebanese and Iranian food here.

Souq Waqif
Souq Waqif during the day

Doha Falcon

Museums

I never expected to find the best museum I have ever visited in Doha, but I did. The National Museum of Qatar is truly impressive. The design – inspired by a desert rose, is incredible. But once inside, NMOQ is curated beautifully. It takes you through the ancient times, including the amazing displays of  different species that live in Qatar. How pearls came and went, war and traditions. Not to mention that kids will love the interactive and playful set ups, while adults enjoy the beautiful indoor architecture and information.

NMOQ in Doha
The stunning National Museum of Qatar

But this is not the only museum Doha has on offer. MIA (Museum of Islamic Art) is also one of the city’s pride and joy. The building portraits a Qatari woman wearing a bourqa. From here you have a stunning view of Doha’s skyline. If you like modern art, check out Mathaf, Arab Museum of Modern Art. With new exhibitions each month, Doha also has many galleries. Find out more here.

MIA Museum in Doha
MIA Museum

THINGS TO DO IN DOHA

Equally important are the activities Doha has on offer. A unique selling point has to be the desert with one of the world’s natural wonders; the inland sea. Next to Namibia, Qatar is the only place on earth where the sea reaches the desert. You can book several tours that will take you dune bashing. If you come in the beginning or end of the month, the sea will reach the sand dunes completely, otherwise the sight of it may be a bit disappointing.

Desert Qatar
Me, in the desert. Photo by Roel van der Krabben

Desert and sea
Camels standing at the inland sea

Visit Banana Island

Besides the thrilling desert of Qatar, you can also spend an afternoon at the luxurious Banana Island Resort. From Doha City you can take a ferry in just 35 minutes that will take you to the man-build island. There are a few restaurants, pools and beach area for visitors to enjoy the day. If you want to stay the night, you need to bring your credit card, because it ain’t cheap! Even so, it’s perfect for honeymooners or to escape the city.

Banana Island entrace
The entrance of Banana Island Resort

Katara Cultural Village

What’s more, a whole village was build to bring different cultures together through art and creativity. There are shops, restaurants, theatre, exhibition area’s and festive events. Doha is full of expats and they love to come here to listen to familiar sounds and meet friends. There is also a stunning mosque which was designed by a woman, which is quite special.

Mosque
The Mosque at Cultural Village

MY VERDICT

Having experienced Doha for a few days, and can say that it’s the perfect city for a stopover before heading home or continuing your trip. With this intention you can truly enjoy the best of Doha. In short, the capital of Qatar can be quite expensive indeed, but if you if you want, you can go all out here and treat yourself to great food, sunshine, glitch and glamour. Hop from hotel bar to beautiful restaurants or experience rich culture the sand dunes and meet some of the nicest people as a bonus, both expats and locals.

And remember that Dubai once started out as Doha. Quietly and full ambition. I think it’s time to visit this relatively unknown destination and enjoy it before it becomes a place where you’ll become just another tourist.

Love,

Elke

 

 

 

 

11 x Christmas Markets in Amsterdam 2019

One of the things that really gets us in the Christmas Spirit are the markets in the month December. You don’t have to look far to find some of the best Christmas Markets in Amsterdam.

Here are 11 amazing Christmas Markets located in Amsterdam that you should definitely visit this winter! (plus a few bonuses!)

Kerst op de Westergas

When? from the 6th of December, Westergas terrein
Gluhwein, food, gifts and all the things you are looking for on a Christmas Market in Amsterdam. However, this event adds a little rock & roll with karaoke, naughty Christmas songs and creatives. Not to mention the ice-skating ring! In any case, the whole month December will be filled with Christmas and winter fun on the Westergas at various locations. You can see all the events here.

Vogue Christmas Market

When? 8th of December, Zuiveringshal Westergas 
It’s the 2nd Vogue Christmas market in Amsterdam, so you can’t miss this one! There will be beautifully decorated Christmas stalls with amazing brands and gifting. Drink glühwein at the Vogue café, go crazy in the photo booth and score Vogue goodies! Kids are welcome! 

Vogue presents

Winterpark Christmas Market

When? 8th of December, Noordermarkt
Come to the Noorderpark on Sunday 8 December for the most fun Christmas market! You can enjoy up to 60 neighbourhood stalls and delicacies, games, music, an ice rink, photo album, baking cookies and a real Christmas clothing exchange boutique. Winterpark Christmas Market has a social approach, all stalls are filled with homemade or collected items.

Sissy-Boy’s Maison de Noël
 
When? 7th & 8th of December, West Indisch Huis
This is one of the winter markets we are looking forward to the most! Besides the usual Sissy-Boy fashion, interior and accessories, you can also enjoy glühwein, live music, nice food and of course many different stands with all your winter wannahaves! This year they are back and at a brand new location! To find out which brands you can find at this years market, check the Facebook event.

Museum Market Christmas Edition

When? 9th of December, 12pm – 6pm at Museumsquare
Every third Sunday of the Month, the Museumplein will be filled with stylish stands full of design. In between the main museums around the pond you can meet the (Dutch) designers yourself, shop for their products and enjoy the great food and atmosphere. Info

Christmas Maker Market

When? 14th & 15th of December, De Hallen
The Christmas specials of the market where it all began for Sisters James and us. If you’re stuck for Christmas gifts for friends and family, look no further. This market is jam-packed full of beautifully crafted local Amsterdam products. 

Funky X-Mas Market (Sunday Market)

When? 15th of December 12- 6pm, Westergasterrein
THE place for your funky Xmas presents! For the 10th year running you will find lots of beautiful stands full of original creations. Of course there is great food & drink (mulled wine), live music and more!

Pure Wintermarket at Frankendael Park

When?  22nd of December
Go here for your organic and fairtrade Christmas products. Local produce and goods make this one of the nicest Christmas Markets in Amsterdam and one of a kind. It’s the last Pure Market before heading into 2020 so grab your winter coat and check this one out.

Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt

When? 20th – 23rd of December, Westergas
You may have heard of this one before. They are back in 2019 but at a new location, the Westergas. This indoor and outdoor event will be filled with music, a market, food stalls and things for the kids! Find out more.

Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt 2019

Christmas Market at DOK

When? 21st – 22nd December until 10pm, DOK
This market is characterised by the special products that are offered. Not just typical stalls with traditional Christmas balls or lights. No, this is more funky. The atmosphere is very cozy, there is live music and of course you can also get a hot chocolate or mulled wine. The Christmas market offers a wide range of sustainable, handmade, original and inspiring (regional) products, usually offered by the maker himself. Children are free, adults pay €5.

Het Amsterdamse Winterparadijs

When? 21st – 5th of January, RAI Amsterdam
Like last year, this massive winter wonderland will be open during December at the RAI in Amsterdam. This year it will be even bigger! There will be an ice-skating ring in and outside, music performances from Lil Kleine, Maan, Xander & friends, food, tube sliding, kids activities and everything to get you into the Christmas spirit. Tickets cost €5 euro, or €17,50 when you include activities. www.hetamsterdamsewinterparadijs.nl


Also worth visiting:

Sky High Winter Terrace at Floor 17

When? 11 of November – 31st of Jan 
Get into the winter spirit and get to Floor 17 this winter. Since the success of curling, ice-skating with a view of the whole city, they are bringing traditional sjoelen to the rooftop. Games can be played in combination with hot drinks.

Floor 17 ice skating

Ice Village, Museumsquare

When?  13th of December until the 26nd of December
From December 17th – 30th, Amsterdam hosts the magical and tasty Ice Village Amsterdam at the Museumplein. A true adventure of warm winter chalets who offer you a variety of lifestyle, fashion, Christmas gifts, live entertainment and delicious food. As usual, there will also be an ice-skating ring from the 11th of November!

Haarlem Christmas Market

When? 7th & 8th of December in Haarlem
Not in Amsterdam, but only 15 minutes away and so worth visiting! The main square and streets are filled with more than 300 Christmas stalls, food, wine, lights and music. Bring the whole family and go shopping. 

Which Christmas Markets in Amsterdam are you visiting?

Love,

Elke

 

 

 

 

 

The Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt is back at a new location!

With the weather turning colder and the Nexflix evenings started, it’s also time to start preparing for the festive season and Amsterdam has a new Christmas Market coming up!

Previously held at the Kromhouthal in Amsterdam North, the Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt lands on the iconic Westergas near Westerpark for the first time. A new and free Christmas fair transformed into a winter wonderland, with (live) music, food and drink, market, children’s activities, a cool cultural program and a big party every night!

Christmas comes early this year

Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt 2019

What’s New?

The Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt is going to be a place where you can pre-celebrate the holidays with friends, family and colleagues. But it’s also the place for traditional Christmas shopping for those gifts under the Christmas tree. In addition, you can check out various music performances, DJs, food trucks, children’s activities and ice-skate. Furthermore, there is an extensive cultural offer,  with Cineville and the Ketelhuis that offer a movie program, and Jägermeister organizes a Christmas karaoke. Love it!

Fireplace at Amsterdam Christmas market
The Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt at the Kromhouthal last year

All together

In total, the Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt will last for four-days and has been created for and by Amsterdam; co-creation is key. Together with creative entrepreneurs, non-profit, art and culture makers. But also high-profile brands, local parties and food pioneers, the organisation is building a Christmas party where everyone feels at home.

Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt Kromhouthal

Founder Brent Roozendaal says: “With the Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt we are organising a new type of Christmas market; one with a full program. A free event including a beautiful city festival. Both for visitors and a cultural message for entrepreneurs, creatives and the city. 

We can’t wait for this Christmas Festival!

Amsterdamsche Kerstmarkt
20th – 23rd December, Westergas
Website

Love,

Wander-Lust

TOP 5 COUNTRIES TO LIVE IN (if you ever think about moving)

If you’re planning to leave your hometown and find your luck somewhere else then you should check this list. 

What countries are best to live in if you want to live abroad? Based on a recent survey of 20.000 global people, these are the results.

1. Canada

This country has it all. Adventure, rough but stunning nature, pretty clean air, friendly people and the list goes on. The second largest country in the world particularly scored high on Quality of Life, Citizenship and the opportunities for entrepreneurship. Did you know that Canada is one of the best and safest places for solo travelCheck here for more tips and stories about Canada.

Lake, Canada

2. Sweden

Another Scandinavian country. This time it’s Sweden.  They just introduced a 6 hour working day so if that doesn’t already makes a person happy, you should read on. They give you 16 months of to spent that time with your newborn baby, so it is the best place for women where they get safety and they can see their child grown up. Besides this, you can breath fresh air and visit amazing beautiful places.

photo-1444656107164-8363d0d6f070

More people living in other countries than ever, says UN study

3. Denmark

Crazy but it has zero crime rates, murder, no corruption, and stability in economic growth, quality life, etc. All these things made it as one of the best, happiest and safest countries to live in the world. Nearly 18 weeks of paid leave is given to mothers and 79 percent of women are working which is comparatively higher than other countries. People in this country are more concerned about their environment and they follow excellent health care system. Let’s move to Denmark!

Snow in Denmark

4. Norway

When I arrived in Norway for the first time, I actually cried because I thought the sight of it was so beautiful. Mountains, Fjörds, valleys, waterfalls and clean air to breath. Norway is one of those place you need to visit before you die, so why not live there for a while! 

Girl standing in Norway
Elke in Norway

5. Switzerland

In short, we loooove Switzerland. The nature is just incredible and if you think Canada is too far, just come over to the Swiss side because it resembles a lot with the scenery.  Secondly, wages are pretty good if you live there as it is one of the wealthiest countries on the planet. 

The Giant Swing Adelboden

Did you know that The Netherlands made it place eight? Lucky us!

Check the full list here.

Love,

Elke

Europe’s Best Christmas Markets 2019

Whether you’re ready or not, December is in sight and with that the holiday season has arrived. One of the things that we love are the traditional Christmas Markets. 

So where can you stroll for hours and drink the best glühwein in Europe? We’ve selected the best Christmas Markets in Europe where you can do it all in 2019 and 2020.

1. Dresden Christmas Market, Germany

When? 27th November – 24th December 2019
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. Additionally, you can watch craftsmen at work or buy pottery, gingerbread, and other Christmas decorations. 

2. Tivoli Gardens Christmas Market, Copenhagen

When? 16th of November – 5th of January 2020
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 but kids are free. www.tivoli.dk

Christmas market Europe

Christmas Markets originated in Germany, Austria, South Tyrol in Northern Italy and the eastern French regions.

3.  Berlin Christmas Markets

When? Check here for the different opening dates and times
Not one but 60 markets in one city! Berlin is the capital of the German Christmas markets. Big and smaller, you won’t be bored in and around Berlin if you visit the German capital during the winter months. The most famous ones are; the Potsdamer Platz Christmas Market for ice-skating, smell the sweet scent of the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church Christmas Market and spent hours at the large Spandau Christmas Market.

4. Christmas Market at Rathausplatz, Austria

When? 15h of November – 26th of December 2019
This fairytale Christmas Market is located right in front of the city hall and makes the backdrop a one of a kind. The market is also very suitable for kids as they have a dedicated kids area, where they can create Christmas cookies and candles. Check all the info here.

Vienna Christmas MArket

5. Old Town Christmas Market, Prague

When? 1st of December – 6th of January 10am-10pm 2019/2020
At this Christmas Market you can find a variety of foods at this market like barbecued meat, 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.

6. Bruges Christmas Market, Belgium

When? 23rd of November – 1st of January 11am-10pm 2019
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 colourful lights and there’s an 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. More info here.

7. Christmas in Paris, France

When? up until the 6th of January 2020
La Défence is a ginormous Christmas village at the end of Metro Line 1. As soon as you walk out of the station, you’ll see hundreds of Christmas stalls lining up side by side, offering delicious mulled wine and hot chocolate for only €3! Grab yourself a raclette sandwich or a tartiflette, you’ll need the energy to power through all that Christmas shopping! In the city centre, you’ll find a smaller version of the English Winder Wonderland at Jardin des Tuileries, outside of the Louvre. You will also find Christmas markets along the street of Place Saint-Germain des Près from now until the New Year. Fancy some more iconic Parisian locations? You can surround yourself in a festive atmosphere outside the Christmas markets at Notre Dame Cathedral or the one outside Hotêl de Ville until 6th January 2020. More info here.

Christmas market in Paris

8. Advent in Altenmarkt-Zauchensee, Salzburgerland

When? 27th of dec & 28th December
One of the most romantic Christmas Markets in the region and the perfect place to end the holiday season with! From the wood stands, scents of regional delicacies rise in the nose. Handicraft and many other traditional things are available for purchase. Admission is free!

Salzburg Christmas Market
Salzburg Residenzplatz

So which of the above Christmas Markets will you be visiting this year?

Love,

Wander-Lust

P.S: If you’re looking for the Christmas Spirit in Amsterdam, you should check out these 10 Christmas markets in Amsterdam this month!