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

 

 

 

 

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!

The Paris City Guide

With Paris so easy to reach via train and car, it is no surprise that the French metropole is one of the most visited cities in Europe. 

We created a brand new guide that you can use for your next trip to Paris, France.

WHERE TO EAT

First thing to remember is that you may come back from Paris with a few pounds extra. But who cares! When you are in the city of love, you will have many amazing places to choose from. These are by far our favourites!

  • Terrasse de l’Alcazar

    This is by far one of the best locations in Paris. Tucked away in a side street of the 6th arrondissement, is this trendy restaurant has an indoor garden and international cuisine. They do Sunday brunch and cocktails.

Terrasse de l'Alcazar Paris
The amazing Terrasse de l’Alcazar

  • CoCo Paris

    Undoubtedly, CoCo is one of the most impressive spots located in Paris. Relatively new, they opened in the summer of 2019, next to the Opera. Inside you’ll find palmtrees and a luxurious setting. 

  • Daroco

    Located in Jean Paul Gaultier’s former flagship store, right next to Galerie Vivienne, a beautiful arcade built in 1923. The decor is aaa-mazing, and they serve traditional Italian food.

Restaurant Daroco Paris
Daroco

restaurant CoCo Paris
CoCo

  • Dalmata

    On the other hand, if you like to keep it low key and casual, check out this pink pizza heaven. These Italians are doing it right.Their concept? 202 pizzas maximum are served daily (101 at lunchtime and 101 at dinnertime) to enjoy on the spot or to take away. To get an idea of how many pizzas are left, a counter has been put at the entrance of the restaurant. Brilljant and we are loving the no waste policy!

Dalmata Paris
Dalmata

  • Maison Sauvage

    Regardless if you like hotspots or not, this place looks damn cute. With two floors and an outside terrace, this restaurant makes it work in busy Saint-Germain-des-Prés. They serve healthy comfort food, juices and coffee.

  • Peonies

    Unquestionably, Peonies is our happy place and belongs in this Paris City Guide. They are a café and florist combined and serve a killer Matcha Pink latte including beautifully made pastry, whilst surrounded by fresh flowers. 

Maison Sauvage Paris
Maison Sauvage

  • Café Berry

    Besides being a café, this self-entitled wellness café, has an in-store beauty and nail bar. Needless to say that they are located in the trendy neighbourhood of Le Marais.

Colourful lattes Cafe Berry
Source: Café Berry

  • LouLou

    This Australian lunch spot is always buzzing and serves delish bowls, salads and sandwiches. Furthermore, the service was good and friendly while I was there.

  • Le Pavillon au Canaux

    When you enter the spacious terrace, it is hard not to fall in love with this place. Calmly situated next to the canal, the restaurant has a unique design. If you like, you can dine in a bathtub not to mention the bedroom next door where you can drink your coffee. 

Cafe Paris
Le Pavillon au Canaux

  • Kozy Paris

    If you like pretty food to pimp up your Instagram account, the 3 locations of Kozy Berry will do it for you. 

  • Le Potager de Charlotte

    Vegan or not vegan, you will appreciate this amazing dishes at Le Pontager de Charlotte. Our guest editor Chantelle reviewed them and other vegan restaurants in Paris when they recently opened their second location. Therefore we highly recommend this place to anyone that loves belly friendly foods.

Vegan food in Paris


WHERE TO DRINK

Paris is full of amazing cocktail bars and places where you can drink wine alongside a delicious French cheese platter. These are the best places to do it!

  • Candelaria, 52 rue de Saintonge
    On first sight, you think this is just a tiny taco bar with nothing more than a few tables and a bar. But behind the white door is a secret cocktail bar that takes you down into a Mexican allure with candle lights and an amazing vibe.
  • Comptoir Général, 80, quai de Jemmapes
    This bar has been features in almost all best-bars lists, that being said, it totally deserves to be in those lists. It can be busy during the weekends!

Secret cocktail bar
Just a taco bar?


WHERE TO STAY

Because Paris isn’t the most affordable city, we decided to stay just outside the centre to see what it was like. Surprisingly, the centre of Paris was only a 20 minute metro ride, plus I got to see a more local side of Paris.

  • ibis Styles
    Located at Mairie de Montreuil, the place where the art of cinema started in the early twenties. At first, you may feel that  you are miles away from the heart of Paris, but as shown above, the metro that is located almost next to the hotel, takes you to the city pretty fast. Hotel ibis Styles is the more playful & creative sister of the Ibis you may know. In particular, this hotel has recently been renovated and like all other ibis styles hotels, it took on the theme of the neighbourhood, in this case cinema.

ibis Styles Marie de Montreuil

Given that ibis styles is for every budget, don’t expect anything too fancy. However, the beds are really comfortable and the shutters in the rooms make you sleep like a baby. All rooms are equipped with a flatscreen and designed to match the film theme of the hotel. The breakfast buffet is filled with French pastries, fresh orange juice, cheeses and baguettes. If you want, there is also a fresh authentic bakery across from the metro station that is wonderful. 

Bedroom ibis styles Montreuil

Around the area

The area has a few shops, florists, bakeries and an amazing organic supermarket with options to go plastic-free. You can refill almost anything from oils, coffee, tea, nuts, seeds and even washing detergents! There is also a nice sushi restaurant on the corner from the hotel. Rooms at ibis Styles Paris Marie de Montreuil are available from 120 euro per night.


WHERE TO HANG OUT

As you may know, Paris is huge! That being said, there are a few places we have lined up where you can relax and chill after walking around the city of love all day.

  • The parks in Paris
    There are many parks in Paris but check this overview that we made for you last spring to find the most pretty ones!
  • Anywhere along the Seine! 
    There are many benches around the seine for you to enjoy passing boats, or seeing oil painters creating art in front of you. Crab a baguette and enjoy Paris.
  • Le Marais
    In our opinion, one of the best area’s in Paris. In either case, you will find many café’s, shops and restaurants where you can hang.

Parks in Paris

Paris in a nutshell

In summary, Paris can never be summed up into one city guide as it constantly evolves. However, these places in the French Metropole makes us happy, and we hope they do the same for you.

Bisou,

Elke

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. After spending a year in Paris, she has now moved back to England to embark on a new journey working as a Legal Consultant. She is an expert at traveling light and on a budget, but she still enjoys the occasional indulgence in a luxurious holiday. You can follow her on Instagram.

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!

THE BEST CITIES IN NEPAL

When you think of a new holiday destination, you probably don’t think of Nepal. Which is a shame, because Nepal is a beautiful country with a lot of culture, nature and lovely locals. We have made a guide for you about the most fascinating cities in this landlocked Asian country.

Kathmandu

The capital of Nepal might feel a bit intense at first. It might take some time to get adjusted to the fumes, dirty roads, many motorbikes and crowded streets. But it is one of the cities that has a lot to offer. My suggestion would be to hire a local guide who can show you the highlights of the city with a taxi driver. Local guides can have loads of stories to tell about the history of the stupas and the people and they have knowledge about the Buddhist and Hinduist faith, which makes visiting the temples really fascinating.

Nepal city

Make sure you visit the Swayambunath temple (also known as the monkey temple) and the Boudhanath temple, which are both very impressive. Surrounding the temples, you’ll find both Buddhists and Hindus in beautiful robes walking around saying prayers. Be aware of monkeys walking around!

Kathmandu Nepal

Boudhanath temple Nepal
Boudhanath temple Nepal

The Pashaputinath temple is a holy place for Hindus next to the Bagmati river. At this place, multiple dead people are being cremated and you can see friends and families praying. It can feel difficult to watch, but at the same time it’s fascinating to see the religious locals practicing their faith.
Also take a look at the Durbar square of Kathmandu, which is filled with religious buildings and lots people. You can also do a riksja ride around the city or go walking. The city is filled with shops, so make sure you buy some souvenirs or other bits and bops.

Pokhara

The city of Pokhara is a real backpackers paradise in Nepal and you can see some Western influences here. People from all over the world come to this city, mostly because it is the starting point for many treks, like the popular trek to Annapurna base camp and Poonhill. As a result, Pokhara is filled with clothing shops, bookstores and shops full of accessories, like shawls and bags. Tip: Everything needed for trekking is available here, be sure to try to bargain or ask if you can rent stuff like poles and sleeping bags. You can save a lot of money!

peace pagoda, Pokhara, Nepal
Peace pagoda, Pokhara, Nepal

What to see/do

The main part of the town is fairly busy and if you want to get away from all the tourists, you should go to the old town. You can visit some markets, walk around the crowded streets and take it all in.  There’s also a big lake, the Phewa lake, which is great for a relaxing boat ride. If you decide to take a boat to the other side to the lake so you can visit the World Peace Pagoda. You have to climb quite a few stairs but the temple and the view over the city are worth it. If the Nepal weather is on your side, you can also see the white Himalaya mountain tops in the distance.

Phewa Lake
Phewa Lake, Pokhara, Nepal

Food

Next to that, Pokhara is full of restaurants and you should make sure to try some of the local dishes (some food in Nepal is similar to Indian food). Dal Bhat is a typical Nepalese dish and contains rice with lentil soup and curry. Food tip: Do try some momo’s which are dumplings with meat or veggies. Or order Thukpa, a vegetarian or meat noodle soup. If you find the food spicy you can sooth your mouth with a local milkshake called lassi.

Bhaktapur

Close to Kathmandu there’s the historical city Bhaktapur, which is a lot less crowded than Nepal’s capital. You’ll have to pay a fee to enter the city, but it is definitely worth the money. The city has had a hard time during the 2015 earthquake and the locals are working hard to renovate the temples and buildings that suffered from the quake. You will find many small streets, cute little temples, monuments and squares. You can describe the architecture of the city as marvellous, and the Durbar square of this city might be prettier than the one in Kathmandu. Also, take a look at Potter’s square, where you can find people making all sorts of beautiful pots. There are various small shops everywhere in town that sell clothes, food, souvenirs and typical  stationary.

cities Nepal


Durbar Square, Nepal

Smaller cities: Patan, Bandipur and Lumbini

If you have time left, make sure you visit one or more of these smaller cities. South of Kathmandu lies Patan, which also has an impressive Durbar square and an interesting museum. Bandipur is a small town on the way to Pokhara and it’s the perfect place to just relax. There are few tourists there and you can do some small hikes in the area. Furthermore, if you want to see more temples and religious sites, you should go to Lumbini. Lumbini is the birth place of Buddha and many people from all over the world come to see the temples in this place.

If you want more information about adventure and activities in Nepal, make sure to keep an eye on the website for more future content!

Love,

Merel

* Merel is one of our guest editors in Rotterdam. She describes herself as a daydreaming student who loves to travel. She just came back from a 5-month backpacking trip trough Asia and can’t wait to see more of the world. Check her out on Instagram: @merel_d94.

5 reasons why you should visit Milan

Historic Rome and romantic Venice. Both beautiful Italian cities right? But they have a big contender to cope with; Milan. 

Milan is best known as the Italian fashion capital thanks to its historic fashion houses, and the four yearly fashion weeks. But, it has so much more to offer; quaint little streets, great shopping and more hidden gems.

Milan
Exploring Milan, yes, this was a parked Vespa.

1. Discover the artistic side of Milan

I visited the Fondazione Prada, an exhibition space dedicated to contemporary art and culture and designed by Rem Koolhaas – the famous Dutch architect. Located in Largo Isarco, in the south of Milan. Take a few hours to time to visit all 7 buildings.  Admission is 10 euro per person.

Prada
Largo Isarco, 2, 20135 Milano

Milan building

2. Visit the beautiful and more quit district Brera

A bohemian atmosphere where you will find many restaurants, bars, antique and art shops.
» Take a coffee and delicious cupcake at Di Viole Di Liquirizia – Via Madonnina 10
» Visit the impressive and beautiful Accademia di Brera; a fine Arts Academy, school with 3,000 local and international students – Via Brera, 28
» Visit the historic church with several impressive artworks Santa Maria del Carmine – Piazza del Carmine 2
» Explore the elegance streets of Brera, full of cultural and historical gems

Brera

3. Eat the best ice cream you’ve ever had

One of the main reasons to visit Italy is to enjoy their culinary culture. One of Milan specialties is gelato, ice cream! We tried a few ice creams in Milan, and Cioccolat Italiani was for sure our number one favorite. Why? High quality ingredients, fresh gelato prepared daily and a heart of melted chocolate inside an artisanal cone. Wanna know where to eat? Check my favorite food spots of Milan.

Milan is a must visit city in Europe.

Cioccolati Italiani
Via Edmondo de Amicis, 25, 20123 Milano

4. Explore Navigli
Discover the charming canals of Milano designed and engineered by Leonardo Da Vinci. Stroll along the canals where you will find every last Sunday of the month from 9 am until 6 pm, starting in September, an antique market.

Navigli
Along the Alzaia Naviglio Grande

5. Shop till you drop (don’t forget to check out the beautiful buildings and cute little side streets)
Milan is one of shopping capitals of Europe and therefore it’s perfect for shopping! From designer stores and boutiques to outlets and from expensive to affordable, you will find it in Milan! 
» Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, the world’s oldest shopping mall, & Other stories is around the corner
» You will find the best boutiques in Brera
» Go to Corso Como where you will find the best outlets with affordable prices for design clothes
» Via Montenapoleone is the high fashion area of Milan where you will find shops like Sandro

milan explore

How to get around?

By bike: The BikeMi –  public bike system (make a reservation via internet)
By metro: Milan’s metro – from 6AM-12.30AM; a day ticket costs €4.50.
By taxi: Milan works with Uber, download the app
By Scooter: Moto Roads offers verpa’s from 60 euro per day

Enjoy!

Ciao,

Sarah

Coal Drops Yard | London’s newest place to be

Kings Cross has a few claims to fame – it’s known for platform 9 3/4 (Harry Potter) and for being the gateway to the continent as the home of the Eurostar Tunnel. Having recently had a £100 million investment, the area has been reimagined. Particularly the Coal Drops Yard and Granary Square area.

Set amongst Victorian-era buildings (two long former coal sheds and one granary building), the area is steeped in history. With humble beginnings set firmly during the industrial revolution the area originally served as a coal dispensary. Fast forward a century, the Coal Drops Yard has been used for film sets and hosted some of the biggest rave parties in London before it was repurposed into a multi-experience destination. 

Coal Drops Yard

Complete your culinary journey with a cocktail on the terrace bar at Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard

Your every day spot

Billed as a modern-day public gathering spot, dining options are a plenty! Whether you’re after a grab-and-go coffee, a mid-afternoon aperitif or a casual dinner with friends. Barrafina is worth a look in especially if you’re on the lookout for a perfect lunchtime tapas menu. Daily specials serve up fresh produce but it’s the pureed beetroot gazpacho with quail’s eggs that are one of the highlights. Another hot spot is Coal Office – a food and design playground offered up by chef Assaf Granit and British Designer Tom Dixon. You best book ahead at Parrillan as this is one of the most popular hotspots which won’t disappoint due to its stunning views of Regent’s Canal.

Parrillan London
Source: Parrillan

Coal Drops Yard | Wander-Lust

Combining shopping, culture and culinary options that now stands triumphantly in North London.

Artisanal, independent and luxury shops aim to appeal to all consumers who come by. Brands such as APC, Aesop and Bonds. But it’s concept store Wolf and Badger which takes the gold medal with carefully selected home-wear, need-it-now fashion and accessories. The store also boasts a florist, cafe and raw juice press. The top floor also offers up Michelin starred Hicce – a meat-lovers paradise with food cooked over holm oak charcoal. Sit inside for an atmospheric meal or outside if you’d like to watch the world pass by.

Florist Coal Drops Yard

Nearby Coal Drops Yard

In addition, stumble out of Coal Drops Yard and you’ll meet the impressive Granary Square which has also undergone somewhat of a makeover in recent years. Home to Central St Martins art college, the area is frequented by the well-dressed youth of London. During warm weather, the paved area becomes a play area with jets of water rising from the ground keeping everyone cool. Nearby, you can grab an ice-cream and sit on the steps for some people watching. And if the weather permits a morning yoga class is also sometimes on offer here too. Furthermore, if you’ve room to eat, Caravan serves up an impressive dining menu as does Granary Square Brewery. But it’s The Ligherman which offers up a perfect al fresco experiencing with panoramic views from all three floors.

Coal Drops Yard London

Coming soon..

But also, Kings Cross is set for even more change in the coming years, so it’s worth keeping an eye on. Modern, luxury housing programs are popping up offering state-of-the-art living solutions. Not to mention, the Standard Hotel is opening up its first European outpost in the area too later in July. Google HQ will open here next year, and Universal Music recently moved in too making it fast-fast-becoming one of the most creative areas in London. Find out more about Coal Drops Yard here!

Love from London,

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

12 x Tips for a Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht

Last midweek we traveled to Maastricht and its surroundings. Let see what the city that almost hosted the 2020 Eurovision is all about.

We Dutchies are globe-trotters with a capital ‘G’ and an exclamation mark. Our travel-around-the-world-craving seems to become bigger and bigger, year after year. But besides all the international magic, did you know our own country has just as much to offer as the most distant destinations? A nice side note: you save yourself a pricey ticket and killer jetlag (here’s how to avoid one). Hello Maastricht!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht in a nutshell

Would you like to experience life like the Maastricht citizens do? Drop by on a Sunday afternoon till Thursday and you’ll get that slow living, enjoyable feeling! No hustle and bustle, just everything at ease. The authentic atmosphere of Maastricht made me feel like I was on a laid back mini vacation abroad – and that wasn’t just because of the lovely spring sunshine, cold beer with Italian nibbles and a hospitable community. There is so much to explore, let’s zoom in on a few highlights and to do’s I’ve tried & tested.

Where to Stay

In my opinion the best district to stay is without doubt the hip and lively district ‘Wyck’. Extra plus: it’s near the train station, which is super convenient. Let me give you three really cool hotel tips for your citytrip in Maastricht:

» The Student Hotel: The Student Hotel has become a household name in this city. Besides housing students with a home away from home, the building also provides guests with a playful decor and spacious rooms. The monumental building is the perfect match for that TSH vibe, which stands for playful, creative and community. Next door you can find The Commons, a nice restaurant that guest and outsiders can use for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Keep an eye out for more Student Hotel locations, they plan to have 41 properties in European cities by 2021! Book your stay here.

TSH Maastricht
The Student Hotel

» The Dutch: The colourful, trendy design with international allure would certainly not be missed in Amsterdam, London or Barcelona. I’m in love with their breakfast bag, which they hang on your door in the early morning, so cute. Food allergy, vegan or other wishes? No problem for the genuinely friendly staff! www.hotelthedutch.com

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht The Dutch
The Dutch, one of my stays during my midweekend citytrip in Maastricht

» Kaboom Hotel, are you smart, worldly-wise and a tad of a rebel? Did you hear yourself saying three times ‘yes’ than you definitely have to stay here. Rewarded as the best hotel concept in 2015 according to Entree Magazine, good job! Oh and they’re nice for your wallet: budget-friendly without feeling cheap. Book your stay here.
» Townhouse Hotel. They want to give you the feelin’ like home-away-from-home experience: rent a goldfish for one night – how funny is that! – and enjoy their homemade soup or a little alcoholic drink in one of the comfortable, retro sofas. If you prefer a pure and ‘down to earth’ hotel, this is your match! Book here!

Townhouse Hotel
The Townhouse Hotel

Where to Eat

Oh Yes, we have arrived (figuratively  speaking) at my favorite chapter: Food! During my citytrip in Maastricht I spotted many pretty new hotspots.
» Mr. Smith, Say hi to this new kid in town. A stylish cocktailbar of two hipsters. This cocktailicious hotspot is one you need to know, otherwise you will spontaneously go along. Press the bell and a small-scale, hidden cocktail heaven will open in front of you. Go for their fresh GT’s or ask the staff for a tasty advice. In advance #sorrynotsorry for your hangover. mrsmithmaastricht
» De Poshoorn, on Sunday evening I went to the well-known De Poshoorn. In the past a brown, tiny unobtrusive pub, nowadays a vibrant beer café with a fresh, contemporary atmosphere. Sixteen beers on tap and hundred on bottle. Go local and try the ‘Mestreechs Zoervleis’, a local food specialty. In spite of the fact the Maastrichtians see this dish as something unique, for this girl from above the rivers it’s a look-alike of the meaty hachee, so delicious! www.poshoorn.nl
» De Tapijn, is a very cool 4-year catering project in a former barrack. Relaxed location near the park, welcoming staff, a huge terrace and yummy food. I love the fact they know the origin of the fresh, local ingredients. This alone makes the food even better. Lunch, dinner or a Friday drink with friends, this hotspot in Maastricht has it all! www.tapijn.nl

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Jack White’s, one of the hotspots I’ve tried during my citytrip in Maastricht

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Never mind the beer! 😉

What To Do

Boy o boy where to start, there’s so much to do during a (mid)weekend Maastricht and other parts of South Limburg! Here are my favorite highlights:
Let’s start with the city walk through the urban part of Maastricht. Honestly, the excitement of the guide is essential for making or failing it, but luckily I had an amazing time with Lianne Schuuring, credits for her. She showed all the interesting ins and outs of Maastricht from the history till today. Bucketlist proof!

Midweekend Citytrip to Maastricht
Sightseeing Maastricht, a must do during your citytrip!

Midweekend citytrip to Maastricht

Get Active

If you’d rather ride a bike than walk, rent a mountainbike and work on your condition in this hilly area. There’re so many bike routes. I cycled to the newly opened ENCI-quarry, a wonderful spot for a swim in summertime. Just a guess, I think you’ve never thought about a kickbike tour in the caves of Zonnebergust. In the Maastricht underground nothing is too crazy. Although I do not have much with visiting caves, the whole new experience ánd power chick Niké Hermans made it really enjoyable. See the Southern part of South Limburg from a fascinating, different angle. Are you claustrophobic? Let shake hands…but I can tell you this wasn’t too claustrophobic for me, so don’t worry.

dsc_0918
Entering the cave

Herbal walk?

A herbal walk in Maastricht or other parts in South Limburg, have you ever done it? Come one, once has to be the very first time. Definitely book it via the enthusiastic master herborist Anne van der Linden. She’s is a running encyclopedia, she really knows everything about herbs and their special function: tea of nettle for blood purification, the juice from the dandelion for drying out annoying pimples and so on, and so on. If you’re very interested in the history of historical buildings go to Abdij Rolduc in Kerkrade and book a tour. To be honest, it wasn’t my favorite, but I can imagine you don’t want to miss it during your midweekend in Maastricht and surroundings. Afterwards you can have some food in the Brasserie or have a quick look in the microbrewery, a hidden gem!

dsc_0939

Maastricht

An information overload summarised in a city guide for you, you’re welcome 😉 I’ll definitely go back to the south if I need a mini-break!

Love,

Sharmaine

Read more of Sharmaine’s foodie tips here!