6 X INDOOR PLAYGROUNDS IN AMSTERDAM

Keeping your kids entertained when the weather fails you, can be a day job to say the least! Luckily, there are a lot of indoor playgrounds around to make the day less gloomy nowadays.

As a parent, you know you need to be a little inventive when it pours outside. We’ve lined up 7 indoor playgrounds in and around Amsterdam, so your kids won’t be bored on a rainy day.

Monkey Town, Zuidermolenweg 32

If you live in Amsterdam New West, this is the perfect location for you. What we love about Monkey Town is the big lounge chairs where parents can sit in, and the staff is really helpful. Because Monkey Town isn’t located in the centre of Amsterdam, it’s never too busy. If you come before 11am on a weekday, you only pay €4,95! 

Indoor playground Amsterdam
We love the lounge chairs at Monkey Town!

Candy Castle, Erik de Roodestraat

Because of the huge size of this indoor playground, your kids can run free and will never get bored here. On the other hand this also means that you need to climb, slide and help your little one if they are below the age of 4 years old. Located in an old Church, there are trampolines, countless slides, ball pits and a separate play area for the little ones. Of course you can book a birthday party here in one of the themed rooms downstairs. There is even a kart track downstairs! www.candycastle.nl

Indoor Playgrounds Amsterdam
The Massive Candy Castle

TunFun

In general, this is probably the largest indoor playground in Amsterdam. The location is perfect, right next to Waterloopplein and tucked underneath the street. Once in there, you may need some earplugs because it can be extremely busy, especially in weekends. That said, your kids will love it because there is so much to play with!

Amsterdam indoor playground
The largest indoor playground of them all, TunFun.

Ballorig, ArenA Boulevard 240 & Valburgdreef 1001

This indoor playground can be compared to the others above, and it was one of the first places to offer such indoor fun for kids up to 12 years old. There are 2 locations in Amsterdam, so plenty of choice!

Indoor Playground Amsterdam

Speelparadijs Raceplanet, Herwijk 10

This indoor kart-track has a special area that has been designed for kids. Children from all ages get the opportunity to race and ride cars, but also run, climb and play. Additionally, you can also book laser games, bowling and kart racing for older kids. Currently, there are construction works going on to upgrade the playground, follow their Instagram account to stay updated.

The Little Gym, Henkenshage 4

Equally popular are the many upcoming gyms for kids in Amsterdam. In fact, we’ve seen a lot of new businesses that have opened in the last couple of years. Children and babies get the opportunity to practise their movement skills and balance, which is great for development. The Little Gym is probably the most well known gym of all, but if you google, you’ll find the nearest kiddies gym near you. www.amsterdam.thelittlegym.eu

As shown above, there are plenty of indoor options for a rainy day!

Wander-Lust

Check out our Travelling With Kids section!

The Perfect Guide for Island Hopping in Hong Kong

At the mention of Hong Kong, most people will immediately think of the skyscrapers, densely filling up the tiny space of the city and the busybodies, hurrying from one building to another. The hectic lifestyle can be overwhelming but thankfully, this is only one aspect of the city.

Since Hong Kong is essentially made up of many little islands, 263 in fact! There are many places where you can slow down, relax, and even experience the culture, which sometimes may seem to have been diluted by the westernised city centre. So instead of spending all your time in shopping malls, why not take a ferry to one or some of the many beautiful islands around you?

Tai O

Hop on the ferry from Central Pier to get to the authentic fishing village of Tai O in just an hour. Or if like me, you get seasick easily, get the bus from Tung Chung bus station, although the drive is slightly long and windy up the hills. It is one of the very few islands where you’ll still find stilt houses built above the water. Looks pretty unsteady but there are villagers still living there. Make it a day trip: see the historical sites, stroll through the market, try some of the many local delicacies, like gigantic fish balls, glutinous balls, etc. Even take a boat down the river and maybe see some pink dolphins or two?

Tai O, Hong Kong Islands
Tai O Island

Cheung Chau

Whilst the island is free to visit throughout the year, I’d highly recommend you to go there around April or May, just when the annual Cheng Chau Bun Festival happens. This unique weeklong event is a traditional celebration of Buddha’s birthday. Generally speaking, you can expect lots of music, lion dances and an insane amount of buns. To explain, the buns are piled up into a mountain for competitors climb to the top and snatch as many buns as they can. This results in one of the most spectacular sights you’ll see!

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong
Cheung Chau

Cheung Chau, Hong Kong Island

Mui Wo

Although Mui Wo is an island, it is home to some of the most well-known Chinese landmarks. Such as Man Mo Temple, which is the oldest temple in Hong Kong! Unless you don’t want to get sweaty, Mui Wo is great for hiking, as it is full of hiking trails. If you fancy a swim, you can take a dip in Silvermine Bay Beach. In essence, this is a much cleaner alternative to the overly populated Repulse Bay or Stanley Beach on Hong Kong Island. From Silvermine Bay Beach, you can walk up to Silvermine Cave and Waterfall, which only takes about 16 minutes and worth a visit.

Ma Wan

Given that it was once known as the Abandoned Village, but now, Ma Wan is a thriving residential island, called Park Island. So why go all the way to visit it? Well, you can see the contrasting lives of modern and old-fashion lives. For amongst the many skyscrapers, you will still find some stilt houses (another one!) Make it a day trip – go see Noah’s Ark – yes, they actually re-built Noah’s Ark from the Bible. Furthermore, you can spend a day at the beach and hike around the island. You can get a good view (especially at night) of the biggest bridge in the city, Tsing Ma Bridge. From the pier, however, I’d recommend walking around the island for even prettier views along the way.

Ma Wan, Hong Kong island
Ma Wan Island

Peng Chau

This secluded island is only a 35-minute ferry ride from Central Pier. As soon as you arrive, rent a bike and cycle around the city! Comparatively to Ma Wan, you’ll find a number of temples on Peng Chau, including the most famous Lung Mo Temple. Each temple has a different “speciality” shall we say. For example, if fertility is something that you wish to pray for, visit Seven Sisters Temple. Head to the Golden Flower Shrine and ask for a long line of descendants and your wish might come true. Also, spice up your Instagram feed with street arts of Peng Chau. For a scenic view of Kowloon, take an easy hike up the Finger Hill. Afterwards, take a stroll down the hill to Tung Wan Beach for a relaxing swim. Additionally, you might even see some Chinese white dolphins!

As can be seen, Hong Kong has a lot more to offer! Of the five little islands mentioned above, which would you visit first?

Love,

Chantelle

*Chantelle is one of our guest editor from Hong Kong. She has lived in three different countries and have travelled across many continents. Having been in England for the past nine years and graduated with a Law degree, she is now taking a break in Paris for the year as she figures out her next step in life. She is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, although she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

Amsterdam’s Best Apple Pie

There is one place in Amsterdam, where the Apple Pie is so famous, people line up for it. 

Where can you find Amsterdam’s best Apple Pie?

Well, it’s in central Amsterdam and right across from where the Noordermarket is based. The always busy cafe is called Winkel 43 alongside the Westerstraat. Be warned; you won’t be the only one trying to taste this amazing apple pie. Don’t worry though, there is always some pie left as they continue to bake them all day long! Besides their pie, they also serve lunch and dinner. Combine your visit with the Noordermarkt on Saturday and sit outside when the sun comes out.

Winkel 43 Amsterdam
Source: Winkel 43 Facebook

Secret Recipe

Their famous Apple Pie has been voted the best of all by several magazine and online platforms. The secret? Well, it’s crunchy on the outside and soft and warm on the inside with some delicious whipped cream on top. When you take that first bite, it takes you back to your monthly visits at your granny’s house on a Sunday afternoon. 🙂

The only way to find out if it’s indeed Amsterdam’s best Apple Pie, is to try it for yourself! Be sure to visit Winkel 43 on your next visit to Amsterdam!

Winkel 43
Noordermarkt 43, Amsterdam
www.winkel43.nl

Love,

Elke

The Wander-Lust of..| DJ Joey Daniel

With the Amsterdam Dance Event around the corner, DJ’s from all over the world come to Amsterdam. We are proud of our Dutch talents and because of ADE we have a special interview lined up this month. This is the Wanderlust of.. Techno DJ Joey Daniel.

Joey Daniel was born in Rotterdam but currently lives in Amsterdam. When he’s not home he flies around the world playing at different gigs alongside the best DJ’s in the world. He has also become a resident of the Music On Family, run by techno legend Marco Carola. Time to find out where Joey likes to hang around when he’s home! Joey will be playing at Dockyard Festival during the Amsterdam Dance Event on the 19th of October.

Interview DJ Joey Daniel
DJ Joey Daniel (he’s not that angry in real life ;-))

Next to Amsterdam, what is your favourite destination in the world and why?

In general, my favourite place in the world has to be Asia. When i’m there, I can escape from the western culture and all the stress that comes along with it. It’s a completely different world. Not to mention the amazing food and interesting culture. I’ve been to many Asian countries but I’m currently planning a backpack trip through China with my dad! So far, I’ve only seen Beijing and can’t wait to discover more of the real China.

Nice! As you hit the road a lot, what is your favourite hotel in Amsterdam you would like to tip?

There is this really nice boutique hotel in Amsterdam called The Toren, they have in the back the garden with some really cool special rooms.

Interview | DJ Joey Daniel
Hotel The Toren

In your opinion, what are currently the best new parties during the Amsterdam Dance Event?

Too many to name, because every year there are new parties popping up. But if I have to name one; Kaluki is definitely one of those best new ones. It will take place on Thursday night at the A’dam Tower, not only the party is amazing but as well the venue as its at the 19th floor with views all over Amsterdam.

It’s not easy, but DJ’s get used to it

So how do you balance conference and parties?

You asking this to a DJ? Haha, it’s not that easy to be honest, but we are used to less sleep and living at night.

What is your favourite breakfast spot in Amsterdam?

I love Benji’s, for brunch. They serve healthy açaí bowls and really nice buns combined with fresh juices. My tip: Try the “The Jack 10”, an Indonesian style flavoured bun with jackfruit and its 100% vegan. I love it!

Beji's Toko | Asian Newcomers
Benji’s Amsterdam

And your favourite place for late night dinner?

In general, I think Izakaya is the best place for a late night dinner, because where normally the kitchen close around 10pm in Amsterdam, you can easily order food until 11:30pm at Izakaya. This Japanese fusion restaurant serve amazing cocktails as well, plus they play nice music.

Where do you go to get away from the madness?

From my place, it’s only a 15 minute drive to the Amsterdamse Bos, a beautiful forest on the edge of the city.  I go their every day for a long walk with my dog, even thought its so close to the city centre its absolutely the place to reset my mind and completely get zen. By the same token, there is also this big spa centre with sauna’s, massages a big gym and a pool where I like to go.

Spa Zuiver

Besides your own gigs, which parties do you advise us to check out during ADE this year?

Definitely check out Moog presents: Composing Live Techno Analog Synthesizers. Even if you don’t like this genre of electronic music its more then worth to check this one out.

Thanks Joey and good luck getting through the Amsterdam Dance Event this month!

Elke

Find out why you should visit ADE Green this year. The event that brings music and sustainability together.

ADE Green 2019

WesterVilla Amsterdam | Boutique Hotel & restaurant

Tucked away in a hidden, yet beautiful part of Amsterdam, you can find the newly opened WesterVilla. A luxurious building that will feature as a hotel, restaurant and bar.

The villa, that dates back to 1896, is located next to the Vredenbrug cemetery and has been completely refurbished. Westervilla is now ready to receive  its first guests.

A PLACE FOR EVERYONE TO UNWIND, WHERE COMFORT IS KEY, AS IS HOSPITALITY.

The Restaurant

For the purpose of all day guests, WesterVilla has build the restaurant area in the glass veranda. This results in a wonderful view and the perfect place for breakfast and lunch if we may say so. In total there will be space for about 70 guests, a large terrace, plus there will be a private area big enough for 50 people that will also be used for the cemetery. The menu will mainly consists of international dishes with Italian influences, which is good news for food and wine lovers! (who doesn’t love Italian food, right?) On the breakfast menu you’ll find avocado on toast but also vegan pancakes or granola. For lunch you can feast on burrata, antipasti, sandwiches and much more.

Lunch WesterVilla
Not the best presentation, but it was tasty!

WesterVilla Restaurant

The Hotel

In total, the hotel has 7 beautiful rooms, all designed with classical features. The interior has been designed by House Your Brands in collaboration with stylist Sanne Uivel. Rooms are not available to book yet, but we will keep you posted on that one.

Bedsheets Westervilla

In essence, WesterVilla is now open for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

WesterVilla
Haarlemmerweg 369, Amsterdam
Open from 8AM- 10PM

Website / Instagram

Wander-Lust

More Amsterdam?

PECKHAM | South London’s hippest hangout

In the last 3 years, Peckham has made a serious name for itself as one of the hippest postcodes in London. From its many destination rooftop bars to vast array of go-to restaurants, Peckham is a vital weekend hangout.

It’s seen a huge level of gentrification which paves way to a rough-and-ready meets not-to-be-missed appeal, aided by narrowly missing out on the top ten coolest neighbourhoods on the planet as voted by Time Out. There’s been a lot of investment, in fact, Peckham library won British architecture’s highest accolade the Stirling Prize. Many of its old buildings and car parks have been turned into trendy spots, which brings the community together through creativity and urban realness.

Peckham London

For anyone not familiar, Peckham is for the strong-willed.

The majority of bars here are outdoors so layers are needed; there’s a lot (a lot, a lot) of food markets on the high street meaning that the smell of fresh fish can linger; and plenty of graffiti – this is South London, after all, mate. But don’t let this put you off – there’s plenty to see and do…

Libary Peckham, London

Peckham Levels

For the ultimate Peckham experience, visit Franks Cafe. Sadly it’s a seasonal destination only – open between May and September. Located on the top floor of Peckham Levels, it’s an open-air bar at the top of the converted car park. The pilgrimage up the six flights of stairs (all painted in shocking pink and glowing blues) gears up visitors for an enchanting experience. With views of all of London which means you’re best to wile your afternoons away there in anticipation of one of the best sunsets in town. On the contrary, in winter months the rest of the floors in Peckham Levels (the six stories underneath Franks Cafe) are well worth a visit.

   

From Near and Far, a tropical themed drinking den guarantees a great time on a Saturday night. If you’re hungry between cocktails you can grab a bit to eat at one of the indoor street food stalls. There’s live music, ping pong tables a yoga studio, hair salon, art installations and night club with Modern Love Stories.

Bussey Building & Copeland Park

Further down the road is the Bussey Building. Complete with a rooftop cinema, the Bussey Building is a multi-use former cricket bat factory converted into a venue. As well as the cinema, there is also a rooftop bar. This one is a fun and quirky place to enjoy a well-rounded menu of drinks. The rest of the building allows you to pass by for a ceramic class in Kiln rooms. There are co-working spaces, a basement club in a record store in. You can visit artists and their galleries to marvel at locally produced art.

Peckham London

Copeland Park is home to K-ink the tattoo studio, Forza Win – a delightful Italian restaurant and a cross fit gym. Quite the mix of activities to keep you occupied. Copeland Social is probably the most popular bar here. It has something of a cult following amongst the local hipsters. With this in mind, bag yourself a picnic bench outside if you’ve brought enough layers and soak up the vibes. You’re also likely to find a pop up vintage shop or travel fair in the area as well in the industrial warehouse adjacent to the Social.

Peckham Rye Train Station

The main way in and out of Peckham is through it’s Victorian-era train station (though there are plenty of bus routes as well). The surrounding area to the station building is home to many of the neighbourhoods most frequented spots. Cole Rooms is located within the former station ticket office, and so is part of the Grand II listed building and is an outstanding dining experience. Refined yet relaxed, their menu is imaginative with dishes cooked in a charcoal grill and oven. Around the corner is Levan – with a spot-on menu of seasonal and inventive food in a relaxed setting. Bag yourself a seat at the window to watch the world go by. with a natural wine (their wine list is also spot on).

Coal Rooms Peckham | London

The outstanding Forza Win has opened a second location atop of the new Workplace on Peckham High Street. Named Forza Wine – it’s a wine bar built for stunning views from its 5th floor location on top of Market. Likewise, a new cowering space with studios and hot-hot-dusking families as well as a ramen bar and basement music venue – it’s just a hop, skip and a jump from Peckham Rye Station.

Still in need of inspiration?

  • Bar Story 

Happy hour cocktails and beer as well as sought-after thin crust pizza. What’s not to love about this place located within a railway arch. The industrial vibe is only added to with the sound of overground trains above you every 5-7 minutes.

  • Peckham Springs Bar 

A covered outdoor bar just behind the railway lines. Notably, this multifaceted space is for the cool: a winter garden for anyone that loves an al-fresco drink over cool weekend nights with a well-priced cocktail bar. Additionally, performance spaces and an art gallery keeps regulars and visitors coming back for more.

  • Peckhamplex

The most successful independent cinema in London, every movie is £5 so is quite the hit with the local population.

  • Pedler

Haring places, gin cocktails, seats at the bar: quite a riot of fun.

  • John the Unicorn

Whimsical and inviting, this is a craft beer haven for those walking along the high street. With a late night licence on weekends, it’s a hip-hipster hangout.

Good to know: Peckham Rye station has great links to Clapham Junction, London Bridge and Shoreditch High Street on the Overground.

See you in Peckham soon?

Stephanie

*Stephanie is our guest editor from London. She works for a large fashion brand and loves to explore new eateries. Follow her on Instagram

Read more of London’s hotspots here!

Calabria | The last Undiscovered piece of Italy

Italy remains an ideal holiday destination. Places like Rome, Toscana, Milano and Positano are visited by millions of tourists every year. The southern province Calabria however, has been untouched by mass tourism but is just as beautiful as other Italian region.

If you want to avoid the usual tourist routes but you still want all the goods Italy has to offer, keep on reading! In this guide you will find the perfect stopovers for a wonderful off the beaten track trip through Calabria. I was invited by Enotria Travel, which is especially designed for those that want to discover the less traveled and authentic places in Italy. Its owner, Tina Altieri was born in Calabria and has been living in the Netherlands for over 25 years now. Needless to say that she knows the region inside out! I would therefore definitely recommend consulting this organization if you prefer not to arrange a trip to Calabria yourself.

Renting a car is the most convenient option because many of the finest spots are remote.

How to get there?

Calabria is located in the toe of the Italian boot, the far south of Italy. Lamezia Terme Airport is centrally located in Calabria, so from here you can reach various cities in the region easily and quickly. Tip: Always check how to compensate your CO2 emissions! At the same time, it is also possible to travel by car or train, although it will take you around 22-25 hours from Amsterdam.

Rotonda

To begin with, our first stopover is in Rotonda which is less than a 2-hour drive away from the airport in Calabria. It is an atmospheric town where you hardly meet any other tourists. The village is an excellent base to discover the Parco Nazionale dell Pollino. Consequently, this park is the largest protected nature reserve in Italy and covers around 200.000 hectares. You can go rafting, tubing, mountain biking, river walking, trekking, yoga and much more. If you are interested in such an activity, River Tribe organizes the best excursions and outdoor activities for this part of Calabria.

Rotonda, Calabria Italy
Rotonda, Calabria

Rafting on the Lao river is absolutely recommended, because the trail is exceptionally beautiful. When traversing the canyon, you witness the prowess of 300 meters high rock walls, with rays of sunlight shining through, leaves whirling around and drops of water falling down. Thereupon, you’ll truly feel like you are in some sort of fairy tale!

Rafting Calabria
Stunning nature in Calabria

From Rotonda it is also worthwhile to visit the village Altomonte, which lies on a mountain top (approx. 490 meters above sea level). Walk to the charming 14th-century church Santa Maria della Consolazione on top of the mountiain and enjoy the view over the surrounding landscape.

Altomonde, Calabria

Accomodation tip:

Il Borgo Ospitale is an albergo diffuso with 13 rooms and a restaurant, right in the historic center of Rotonda. Basically, an albergo diffuso is a “scattered hotel” meaning that the accommodation is located in different houses and apartments in the same village. The fun thing about this concept is that your neighbours are probably locals. Particularly, this is a perfect solution for anyone who wants something else than your typical hotel experience.

Scilla

Scilla is called “the little Venice of the Tyrrhenian Sea” for a reason. This little atmospheric village is astonishing beautiful. Small houses that are built on the water give a romantic feeling throughout the place. It is by walking through the narrow streets where you come across old fountains, little chapels and hidden pathways to the sea. The village is famous for their pesce spade (swordfish) plus the harbour is studded with blue and green coloured traditional fishing boats that don’t seem to have changed much through centuries. Scilla is a special place you won’t easily forget!

Scilla also has a cozy beach with a view of a big rock formation with a castle on top of it. You can go snorkelling and diving around this rock. Due to the sea currents, special anemones grow there and many different fish species can be seen.

Gerace

Gerace is an exceptionally picturesque village with a whole load of history. You can wander around for a couple of hours in the small alleys where you constantly come across special historical buildings. One of the oldest churches dates from the year 900 and one of the highlights is the majestic Cathedral of Gerace. For me, it really felt like I was back in the middle ages when I strolled through the streets of this village.

Calabria streets
Scilla, Calabria

Fun fact: Gerace has 250 inhabitants and 40 remaining churches. This means that every family could have their own church.

Calabria, Italy

From Gerace you can also do some nice trips. The Aspromonte National Park (which is also called “Valley of the Great stones”) is about half an hour away and offers the possibility to hike. The park has mountains up to 2000 meters, a large number of waterfalls, rivers, archaeological sites as well as many species of animals.

Accommodation tip:

If you wish for a truly authentic stay in this southern region of Calabria, I would recommend staying at an Agriturismo, which is a farm that is primarily used for agriculture but serves as a hosting place for tourists as well. People who live on the farm, produce everything themselves: oil, wine, meat, vegetables etc. In their restaurant they only serve their own products! As soon as you step on the farm grounds you’ll experience the tranquillity. The Azienda Macri is outside of the village, so if you would like to stay right in the old centre of Gerace we would recommend B&B Palazzo Candida.

Agriturismo Calabria
Agriturismo, Calabria

The food culture is even stronger in Calabria than in other regions of Italy because agriculture is the most important sector. Be prepared for abundant meals, something the Calabres are known for.

Tropea

Tropea lies on the coastline between Pizzo Calabro and Nicotera Marina. This coastline is called the Costa degli Dei (which means the “Coast of the Gods”) since the landscape is marvellous. The azure blue sea is reminiscent of the tropical beaches in South East Asia. The village of Tropea is also referred to as the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea and is located on a cliff at about 60 meters above sea level. Tropea itself is quite small but undoubtedly one of the most beautiful places in Calabria. In fact, Tropea was one of my favourite places because it has that great combination of beach, sea and Mediterranean town life.

Tropea Calabria

A must-see is the Isola di Tropea. This is a rock in the clear blue sea with the Santa Marina dell’Isola monastery on top of it. From here you have a good view on Tropea and the sunbathing people down on the beach. Another recommendation is to do a boat trip with the company Shark Bay. Start with some snorkelling and then enjoy the panorama of Tropea from the water (with a glass of wine).

Tropea beach, Calabria

Tropea is a popular place in July and August by many tourists, but also by Italians who are enjoying their holiday. In these two months the town will be fairly busy but the rest of the year it will be calm. It’s the perfect place to spend a couple of days and enjoy the beauty of the town and the beaches.

Calabria, Italy

Capo Vaticano

Located about 10km south of tropea lies Capo Vaticano. Here you can find the most beautiful shores of South Italy. Stunning little beaches are hidden behind the high cliffs and are accessible via large stairs or by boat.

Capo Vaticana Calabri

Accomodation tip:

Le Case di Berto. This a very peaceful site, build by a famous Italian writer. There are 7 houses built on the property, usually for 2 people with a view of the Stromboli volcano and sea. A staircase with 440 steps will bring you to Spiaggette; a private beach that belongs to the writer’s site. Book it here.

Capo Vaticana Calabri

My Verdict

Generally speaking, Calabria has something for everyone. Those who love nature and adventure can explore the Calabrian outback and discover unpolluted landscapes with lots of greenery. At the same time, if you prefer walking along the beach and enjoy the blue sea, you can choose between the many areas along the long Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts. The options are endless. Picturesque villages, stunning national parks, ancient towns and white sandy beaches along crystal clear water, but without hordes of people.

The fact that there are rarely any tourists in this region really amazed me, so go before the rest of the world finds out about it! Find out more about this region on Enotria Travel!

Ciao,

Iris

Iris was invited to Calabria by Enotria Travel. However, we always pick our collaborations carefully, so we can give you the best tips.

12 MUST SEES IN GEORGIA IF YOU ONLY HAVE 4 DAYS

Georgia has been featured in many must-visit-lists over the last couple of years. As a result, many people have added the East European country onto their bucketlist.

To start off with, Georgia is a very affordable country to travel around in. Second to that, the food is amazing. But most of all, the nature, surrounded by medieval monasteries, green hills and rocky mountains, is stunning. When I flew to Georgia, I only had 4 days to see as much as I could. Some of the following must sees are mainstream, yet others are more Off the Beaten Track. Enjoy!

Tbilisi

Georgia’s capital is the biggest surprise of Eastern Europe, undoubtedly. The city is filled with amazing restaurants, wine bars and trendy hotspots. If you visit, make sure you’ll stay at least 2 nights to enjoy the full experience. If you’re looking for a nice place to stay, I can recommend the Iota Hotel, which is located in the city center, yet, in a quiet street. 

Tbilisi, georgia
Photo by @saltinourhair

Tabatskuri Lake

A little less known but a highly recommended lake because you’ll really get the local experience around this area, driving off road through several villages. When we arrived, there was no other person in sight. The lake is located between Borjomi and Akhalkalaki in the Samtskhe-Javakheti region.

Tabatskuri Lake Georgia
Tabatskuri Lake

Rabath Castle

In time, the ancient castle has been totally renovated, but you can still see the old stones and towers. Currently, Rabath (or Rabati) Castle houses a museum, mosque, church, restaurants and café’s where you can have lunch. You’ll find it in the Javakheti Region.

Rabath Castle Georgia
Rabath Castle

Train Bridge

If you like abandoned spooky places, you’ll love this train wreck that was turned into a bridge that hangs over a river. Entering is at your own risk because the bottom of the train is old and rusty, so there is a risk you can fall into the river. However, I think definitely belongs on one of the must sees places in Georgia, especially because it’s Off the Beaten Track. You can find the train bridge on the road to Akhalkalaki.

Train bridge Georgia

Vardzia

First thing to remember is that this city carved out of a rock, was build in the 12th century so it is old, very old. For this reason alone, you need to see it to believe it. From Tbilisi, it’s about 2,5 hours drive to get there. There is a small entrance fee and you can take a small bus to take you up, or you can walk. Tip: Vardzia remains a popular attraction so visit the old monastery around 5pm to avoid the larger crowds.

Vardzia, Georgia
Vardzia

Vardzia Caves

Tip: Traveling by car through Georgia is the best option because there are so many places to stop along the way.

Jinvali Reservoir

While driving to the mountains, stop for a photo opportunity at the Jinvali lake, which is used as a water reservoir. When the sun shines, the water shows an amazing colour blue.

Jinvali reservoir, Georgia

The Russia – Georgia Friendship Monument

Firstly, you’ll pass the most popular stop; the Russia – Georgia Friendship Monument where you can take some great pictures of the view over the mountains. This spot is especially popular amongst paragliders and base jumpers and is part of a ski resort.

The Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument
The Russia–Georgia Friendship Monument

Mountains Georgia

Stephansminda

In the center of the Stephansminda region, you’ll find Gergeti Church. But we have to warn you, this famous Church is swamped by tourists, so it’s much better so look at Gergeti from a distance. Instead, go a little off road and visit the small Church of Prophet Ilia. From here, you can see the mountains of  very well, equally as the Gergeti chruch.

Gergeti Church, Georgia
Gergeti Church on the top right

Stephansminda, Georgia
The stunning region of Stephansminda

Church Georgia
A better view, plus more Off the Beaten Track

September is the perfect time to visit Georgia. Less busy, good temperatures and stunning colours!

Kazbegi

This region is a Walhalla for every hiker because there are many scenic walks through the valleys and points of interests. Therefore, I have lined up the best parts of Kazbegi below:

  • Dariali Road

Consequently, you’ll end up at the Russian border when you drive along the Dariali Road. Just before the border, there is a large and beautiful Church. The road isn’t in the best quality, so we advise you to drive carefully if you aren’t such an experienced driver. However, the road is beautiful and surrounded by rocky mountains.

  • Gveleti Waterfall

The only way to get to this waterfall is by going off road with a 4 x 4 car that can handle the rocky road. After arrival, you need to hike upwards for about 400 meters (which seems a lot further if your fitness levels are below average!). The walk is totally worth it though, what a beauty!

Waterfall Georgia

  • Truso Valley

Personally, I thought this was the icing on the cake when we visited the Truso Valley in Kazbegi on the last day. Surprisingly, this area is a volcanic region and you’ll smell the sulfate in the air. In the end you need to park your car (yes, the only way to get here is by car), and walk up besides a little restaurant. Eventually, the path will bring you to the “bubbly lake” caused by the gas. Consequently, the small lake looks amazing when the sunlight hits the water.

Truso Valley Georgia

georgia Valley

Truso Valley, Georgia
The bubbling lake

So are you ready to book you ticket to the country that has it all?

Elke

Why you should visit ADE Green this year

ADE 2019 (Amsterdam Dance Event) is around the corner and with that comes the important conference that is ADE Green. Subjects like sustainability, innovation and social change are discussed and shared in a one day conference on the 18th of October.

The ADE Green conference 2019 is kicking off the Amsterdam Dance Event and includes inspirational speakers, ideas and practical workshops. Time to let you know why you should go this year and what not to miss.

ade_green_img_4031
ADE Green

Innofest: Seven Innovations That Will Change The Industry

When & where? 11:00 – 12:00, De La Mar Theater
If you’re after new ways to make your event, festival or business more sustainable, then be sure not to skip this part of ADE Green. More and more event organizers talk about sustainability, about “smarter” and about “cleaner”. But who are the real innovators and what are their solutions? Innofest gives green entrepreneurs and inventors the chance to test their innovation at real, working festival sites. Innofest is inviting seven of the most promising startups to present their ideas for much-needed change at ADE Green. Things like circular water solutions, mobile sun power stations and gamification to improve waste separation: ready to go innovations, now with a test record to prove it. So, walk-in, meet the startups and start making an impact at your event

ADE Green is bringing innovating heads together to create something great for our future

Plastic Promise: The Next Steps towards Responsible Plastic Use

When & where? 12:15 – 13.00, De La Mar Theater
Exactly one year ago the Plastic Promise – an initiative started by the Dutch event industry – was launched at ADE Green. Now, the promises made have been tested in the wild: on festival grounds. The Plastic Promise focus for this year focuses on points where plastic cups are unavoidable. Festivals, cup-suppliers, beer, and soda brands have collaborated across the entire supply chain to create a circular cup system at festivals.

Frequent flyers: Does DJ Culture Have To Rely On Airmiles?

When & where? 13.15 – 14:15, DeLaMar Theater
We can make responsible choices all we like: using reusable bottles, recycle our materials, becoming vegan –all good. But when it comes to dance music, there’s one thing nobody likes to mention too much: our appetite for flying around the world. OK, offsetting your carbon impact eases the pain, we all hope for future innovations in transportation –but what can we change NOW? How can you keep your environmental impact low when you pursue an international DJ career? What responsibilities do event-organizers, bookers, managers, and artists have in changing the need for flights? Might reducing traveling even be beneficial for artists and the culture? Join us to talk about an issue that has been on everyone’s minds, yet not many seem to be discussing: air travel. It’s the flying elephant in the room at ADE Green.

Flying | ADE Green 2019

If You Don’t Like The System, Don’t Depend On It

When & where? 14:30 – 15:10 DeLaMar Theater
Andy Cato is a well-respected artist and part of the renowned duo Groove Armada. One day he stumbled upon an article about sustainable farming which resonated deeply. “If you don’t like the system,” it said, “don’t depend on it.” After further research, he began to envision himself having an organic farm, with healthy soil and nutritious harvests. With no experience of farming, it was a huge leap in the dark, but Andy sold his publishing rights and took out an extra mortgage to invest in a piece of land in southern France, where he started his dream farm. He achieved a nature-inclusive way of farming which balances giving and taking from the earth and will talk about this at the ADE Green Conference.

Groove Armada ADE Green Amsterdam
Groove Armada’s Andy Cato will speak at ADE Green this year

International Festivals Join Forces On Circularity

Where & When? 15:30 – 16:30, De La Mar Theater
Festivals all around the world have experimented with solutions on the ground to reduce their negative impacts on the environment. Now it’s time for the pioneers among us to collectively step up the game: to address barriers to innovation, identify solutions, and identify the potential opportunities to accelerate and clear the way for the majority to follow. The Netherlands aims to be fully circular in 2050, to spearhead a movement towards a more circular economy, and to become a “living lab” that provides the rest of the world with examples to learn from. And they are not the only one.. ADE Green opens up the conversation!

 festival Netherlands

Closing Keynote: A new Narrative of Sustainability

When & Where? 15:30 – 16:30, De La Mar Theater, D7 Panel Room
It’s hard to think of a better way of closing a day at ADE Green than a keynote speech from Mac Macartney – someone whose genius is to create new narratives of sustainability. Mac is an international speaker, writer, and change-maker. Mentored by indigenous people over many years, he has acquired profound and original insights into questions preoccupying many contemporary leaders. Mac seeks to encourage the emergence of the leader in each of us: the leader who will take courageous action for a better world. We are sure Mac’s understanding and expression will make you feel that the time is right to put all of your competence and brilliance towards the pursuit of what you truly love: that better future.

Tickets

Plenty of food for thought and innovation. See you on the 18th of October?
Tickets cost €49,- and are available here. To find out more about ADE Green and the rest of the program, visit the ADE website.

Go Green,

Elke

Hurryhurrygogo opens beneath the Supperclub!

Newsflash! Hurryhurrygogo opens its doors in the center of Amsterdam by the end of October. You’ll find this hysterical and fun sister restaurant of Happyhappyjoyjoy, underneath the infamous Supperclub.

This new snack & bar style restaurant will also offer space for its own events, cocktails evenings and high-quality Asian snacks in the middle of the nightlife scene in Amsterdam.

Quick and Easy

Where the concept of Happyhappyjoyjoy is already known for the chaos that can be found in many Asian big cities, this is even more apparent at Hurryhurrygogo. The new concept takes the word “snack bar” to a completely different level; it will be a bar where you can also enjoy an Asian snack. Furthermore, the ordering process at Hurryhurrygogo is also completely different. For example, you can order drinks and food at the bar, and then pick up the food yourself at the kitchen counter. Easy peasy!

Hurryhurrygogo burger

Hurryhurrygogo’s Interior

Again, Concrete is responsible for the realization of this project in collaboration with JPS ArchitectenOf course, you will be able to find the elements of Asia and we’ll also think you can expect the traditional Asian details like you see at Happyhappyjoyjoy, thus they say it will not be a copy.

interior Hurryhurrygogo

Hurryhurrygogo will be open 6 days a week until the late hours which is great for those with late night cravings!

Hurryhurrygogo
Singel 460, Amsterdam
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