THE BREDA CITY GUIDE 2020

Breda is a vibrant place in the southern part of the Netherlands. The city exudes cosiness and is a perfect destination to enjoy food, drinks and shopping. Hotspots such as trendy restaurants, cafés and concept stores pop-up one after another.

In other words: Breda is HOT! Therefore, it’s time to discover the pearl of the Southern Netherlands and the pride of Brabant (more on Brabant here).

How to get there?

Amsterdam and Breda are not very far apart from each other so you can easily take the train or go by car. I would recommend taking the train because it is a more sustainable way of traveling and it takes the same amount of time (1 hour) as going by car. In addition, it is only a 5-minute walk from Breda central station to the city centre. A return train ticket from Amsterdam to Breda will costs you around 45 euro.

Breda City Guide Puick
Puick

Where to eat?

Puick
This place can be best described as a living room where you can enjoy a healthy fair-trade meal between hanging plants, peaking cactuses, old Chesterfields and vintage 70’s lamps. So if you want to go for a healthy lunch with creative green dishes, this is your place to go!

Hemels 
For a delicious lunch or dinner I would recommend going to Hemels. The restaurant is very atmospheric, the service is always attentive and they have a cozy, green courtyard garden for long warm evenings.

Bobbi’s bar
Probably one of the biggest hotspots in Breda right now. The ambiance in this restaurant is great and it is beautifully decorated to the last detail (especially the bar which looks like it’s straight out some movie). So if you want to dine in an Instagram-proof restaurant with velvet chairs, neon lighting, and golden detailed interior; head your way to Bobbi’s! The restaurant is often full, so a reservation is a must.

Breda Drinks
Bobbi’s Bar 

Chocolat
Planning a special date night or just feeling like having an elegant dinner? The culinary restaurant Chocolat serves special and creative dishes made of seasonal products. Be prepared for an explosion of flavours while sitting in a fancy chocolate brown interior.

FoodHall
This big industrial-styled open space has a big bar in the middle and is surrounded by food stalls where you can find 14 different kitchens with a wide variety of dishes and drinks from all over the world. This is the place to be if you want to eat, drink and socialize with friends, family or colleagues in an easy-going, relaxed atmosphere. The FoodHall also regularly has live music performances during the weekend and they hold game / quiz nights. Check the program here.

’t Hart van Breda
Are you strolling around the city and want to have a little break while enjoying a drink and a little snack? ‘t Hart is a cozy, easy-going café located in the middle of the city centre with a large outside terrace. They are famous for their delicious nachos.

Tiger Club
The best Asian street food restaurant in town! All their dishes are the size of an intermediate dish and are intended – according to Eastern family traditions – to share with the whole dining company. Service, interior and the quality of food: everything is right. Personally my favourite place to eat in Breda!

Breda City Guide Tiger Bar
Tiger Club


Where to drink coffee

Koffie bij Teun
Whether you order espresso or cappuccino, it is certainly a taste sensation. The owner (Teun) and his employees all have a real passion for coffee, and it will surprise you what these people get out of beans!

Yirga
They call themselves an urban espresso bar with a natural kitchen and that actually describes them in a nutshell as they serve great coffee and tea, and cook with as many organic products as possible. Everything is home-made; from cake to ketchup!

Koffiebar Sowieso
A nice, relaxed coffee bar just outside of the city’s bustle, where only delicious home-roasted coffee is served. Tip: this place is a must for vegetarians and vegans because they have many vegan cake & lunch options.

Breda City Guide Coffee
Koffiebar Sowieso


Where to go for drinks

Dok 19
A great place for a drink in the sun along the harbour of Breda. They have a cupboard filled with board games, an extensive specialty beer menu, and nice music. You won’t get bored here!

De Bommel
Café de Bommel has been a household name in Breda for more than fourty years. You can go there for a casual drink or go out during the weekend. The nice thing about this cafe is that people from all age-classes hang out here.

Beers and Barrels
An industrial looking restaurant located in the old beer brewery of Breda. Their huge range of beers (internationally and locally) make it difficult to choose! A must-go if you are a beer-lover and want to do a little beer tasting.

Breda City Guide BB
Beers & Barrels

Suikerkist
From gin & tonics to fresh smoothies or a delicious specialty beer: you name it and they’ve got it. Their large outside terrace catches the sun all day and has a nice view of the big church.

De Botanist
This spot is known for its inviting terrace along the water. The prices are affordable, and they have tasty cocktails.


Where to Shop?

Ginnekenweg & Wilhelminastraat
These two streets are connected to each other and are full of historic buildings and contain an extensive range of different independent boutiques and restaurants. From clothing stores to book stores and from interior stores to places where you can find the most beautiful bouquet, it’s all here. The concept boutique PALMA is definitely worth a visit, here you can find cool lifestyle products, trendy and extraordinary clothing and beautiful jewellery. Exclusive fashion / beauty chains such as Skins cosmetics, IKKS and Pauw are also located in this street.

Palma Breda
Palma

Veemarktstraat
This is a broad restaurant and shopping street in the centre of Breda. The stores consist mainly of specialised boutiques in clothing and lifestyle areas. Halfway the street is a little square (Veemarktplein) where an organic market is held every Tuesday morning.

Ginnekenstraat & Eindstraat
These two combined are the main shopping streets in the centre of Breda. The big retail chains such as Zara, Scotch & Soda, Mango, Bershka and Levi’s are settled here.


What to visit?

Valkenberg park
When walking from the train station to the city centre you pass through Valkenberg Park. This park was until 1812 the garden of the Breda castle which still stands next to the park. Valkenberg has also been voted in 2019 as the most beautiful park in the Netherlands. It is a wonderful place to relax among the green trees.

Club solo
This artist initiative club offers Dutch and Belgian mid-career artists the opportunity to create and show their work in solo presentations. Club Solo is also a platform for discussions, lectures and music. A ticket is only a few euro’s. It is an inspiring place to walk around! Check out what exhibition is on now here.

STEK & PIER 15 Skatepark
STEK is a breeding ground for creative and artistic entrepreneurs who are committed to sustainability. There are studios, office units, workshops, flexible workplaces, shops and various types of little restaurants and bars. Next to STEK lies the PIER 15 Skatepark. On Saturday (during summer) an event called “Haveneiland” is organised there and you can expect great soul, jazz, disco and funk tunes. Get ready to dance!

Markdal
Just on the outskirts of Breda is a beautiful piece of nature: Markdal. This area is rich in nature and cultural history and is popular by walkers, hikers and cyclists.

Markdal Breda
Markdal Breda

Whether you want to shop, go out for lunch / dinner or do something cultural; Breda has it. They don’t call Breda “the pearl of the south” for nothing! Planning your next trip yet? 🙂

Curious about our favourite LUNCH SPOTS IN AMSTERDAM? Or check out all our CITY GUIDES!

Love,

Iris

*Iris is one of our guest editors from The Netherlands. She’s got a big interest in photography, fashion, spirituality and traveling. She was 3 months old when she was on the plane for the first time and has been to every continent in the meantime. You can follow iris on Instagram.

 

 

 

Discover Vilnius, the underrated gem of Europe!

Vilnius is a place with lots of amazing architecture and delicious local cuisine. This guide will tell you about the best hotspots and foods that Vilnius has to offer!

Truth be told, I didn’t know anything about Vilnius or Lithuania in general. It is quite an unknown city in Europe, but it turned out to be a great place for a city trip with a variety of hotspots, historical buildings, culture, history and especially loads of foods. 

How to get there

Lithuania is situated in the north of Europe and is part of the Baltic states. There are several flights to Vilnius from Amsterdam, however only with Air Baltic you can fly directly from Amsterdam to Vilnius in 2 hours and 15 minutes. Other airlines like Lufthansa and LOT offer flights with one transfer. The airport of Vilnius is very close to the city centre and you can easily reach the centre by bus or train for less than €2.

Lithuania – a place just a 2-hours flight away from Amsterdam– is still fairly unknown as a tourist destination.

Where to stay

Vilnius is not that big so the city’s highlights are relatively close. There are many hostels for the budget traveller and hotels are available for as little as 30 euros per night for two persons. We stayed at the Amberton hotel which had the perfect location on Cathedral Square right in the middle of the city centre. If you want to have a really luxurious stay, I would recommend design hotel Pacai, which is modern and unique with authentic details like frescoes.

Pink Building Vilnius

What to see in the city centre

Not surprisingly, Vilnius Old Town is full of historical buildings with impressive architectural styles. I was amazed by all the architecture; around every corner you will find a building that takes your breath away. The streets of Vilnius are not very crowded and you can enjoy the beauty of the city without being disturbed by many tourists. Furthermore, everything is walkable! Here are some of the top spots of the city.

  • Cathedral Square
    This square is the heart of the city. You can spot the Cathedral Bell Tower, where you can climb to the top to have a perfect panoramic view of the city. You can also visit the Vilnius Cathedral and right next to it you’ll find the Grand Dukes Palace. In December there’s a Christmas market with a beautifully decorated Christmas tree in the middle.
  • The Uzupis area
    Uzupis is the oldest suburb of Vilnius and has been declared as the Republic of Uzupis by Lithuanian artists. Just walk around and take a look at the street art and beautiful buildings. Make sure you go to Paupio Street where you can find special plaques with 41 rules of the Republic in various languages. Close to Uzupis you can visit the Gothic St. Anne and St. Bernardine churches from the 15th century which are very impressive and statuesque. The beautiful St. Michael the Archangel Church is also nearby.
  • The Church of St. Casimir
    This building was one of my faves, mainly because of the beautiful pink exterior with baroque architecture. Since many of the houses surrounding the churches and historical buildings are quite small, you can spot the church from many different places in town. It’s easily recognizable with a golden crown on top of one of the towers.
  • Turgus Hales
    Many locals come to this market hall to do their shopping and you’ll occasionally spot a tourist. Roots is a particularly interesting little store, because it has the largest selection of Lithuanian handcrafted cheese in the country. The lovely ladies there are happy to let you try some of the cheeses.

Street Lithuania

Vilnius Church

Things do in and around Vilnius

  • Go by bike or step or make a trip with a hot air balloon
    You can easily get bikes in the city or rent an electric step to discover the Old Town. During spring and summer, you can even take a balloon ride over the historical city centre. Breath-taking views guaranteed!
  • Visit a museum
    Vilnius has various museums. The National Museum portrays the history and culture of Lithuania, but if you are particularly interested in the Soviet period of the country, you should visit the Museum of Genocide (KGB museum). The exhibition tells more about the terror of the Soviet Union in Lithuania and you can visit the prison complex.
  • Visit historical town Trakai
    Trakai is a small town with a rich and interesting history. It’s only a half-hour drive away from Vilnius. The Trakai castle is based on an island in the middle of the lake. You can visit the museum and find out more about the medieval history of Trakai and its inhabitants. If the weather is good you can also take a boat ride across the lake to see the castle from various viewpoints.

Trakai Castle
Trakai Castle

The city of great food

If you are a food lover, Vilnius will not disappoint. The locals really value their local produce and everywhere in the city you can find shops that sell unique local products. Cheese, fruit wine, rye bread, kvass (a soft-drink) and tree cake are popular amongst locals. Going on a food tour is a must-do if you’re a foodie! Vilnius has various restaurants with local cuisine, the ones below are definitely worth a visit!

  • Queensberry
    A special product of Lithuania is wine made of fruits like rhubarb, raspberry, and cherry. Queensberry is a good place to go if you want to try the different types of wines in combination with modern Lithuanian food. Do try the fried rye bread with cheese dip, it is so yummy!
  • Ertlio Namas
    Ertlio Namas is a very special restaurant where authentic Lithuanian cuisine is mixed with modern cuisine. You can choose a 4-course or 6-course tasting menu and the enthusiastic waiters will tell you a historical background story with each course.
  • Augustas ir Barbora
    If you want to visit a cafe which is Instagram worthy, then you should go here. The interior is filled with pink chairs and flowers on the ceiling. Grab a coffee here, have breakfast or enjoy various pies and tasty pastries.

Terrace Vilnius

Vilnius is the hidden gem of Northern Europe, so go there in 2020 (find out which destinations we recommend for this year) before everyone else knows about it!

Love,

Merel

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE AMMAN GUIDE 2020 | JORDAN

“Welcome to Jordan”, is a phrase you will hear time and time again in this majestic land from the locals who are delighted to have visitors in their country.

From the moment you step off your flight and arrive in Jordan’s capital Amman, you’ll be impressed with the best of the Middle East this 2020.

Where to stay in Amman

There’s only one place to head to as soon as you arrive in frantic Amman and that’s the city’s 4th tallest building, otherwise known as the W Hotel. At a striking 150m high, it is a towering spectacle within Amman’s skyline. When you enter you are immediately blown away at the interior. It features a canyon – designed in homage to the country’s most famous archaeological site, Petra. The W Hotel is somewhere you want to wake up again and again. The 240 rooms are contemporary in look and feel, yet bring local characteristics through colours and textures.

W Hotel Entrance, Amman
Entrance of W Hotel Amman

Hotel bedroom Amman

Take time to explore the hotel in full: you’ll have a luxury spa to visit (we recommend the reflexology and full body massages). Aswell as a gym and not to mention the picturesque roof top poor which delivers quite a luxe experience. The rest of the hotel offers a Living Room area for guests to chill and read many of their impressive coffee table books while enjoying a cocktail. After dark the area becomes one of the best bars in the city with a who’s who of Amman flocking to be seen alongside an international array of guests. Book your stay here.

W Hotel Rooftop Pool

Jordan is one of the most progressive and modern countries in the Middle East and it’s also one of the safest. Woman have equal rights to men and the royal family have a huge influence on their people by championing education.

What to do in Amman

If you can tear yourself away from the W Hotel to marvel at the sights of Amman there’s plenty to do! (Though don’t get us wrong – the best of Jordan lies outside of the capital). Amman was built on seven hills so be sure to wear your most comfortable walking shoes as they’ll be putting in the hard work. The hustle and bustle of the capital city is sure to inspire and delight..

City of Amman, Jordan

Plan a morning exploring the Citadel which sits on the highest mountain in the city so provides the best point for getting your bearings. Built during the Bronze Age, the site was destroyed by an earthquake in 749AD and never rebuilt yet it’ll leave you with a sense of a time gone by. The scale of the columns still standing provide insight into how magnificent the site once was. From here you’ll be able to see the Roman Theatre which provides a 7,000 seater stadium. You can buy tickets to music and theatre performances.

Amman Citadel
The city’s Citadel

Theatre Amman, Jordan

Rainbow Street acts as a central hub of restaurants, bars and coffee shops which cater for tourists and locals alike. If you want to eat like a king you’re best to set off for Hashems which has hosted royalty here since it opened in 1953. This legendary eatery is famed for its falafel and hummus! You can order a classic lunch meal for around 3JD and be sure to sip their mint tea too. 

Amman City, Jordan

Culture

After you’ve refuelled with falafel, the Jordan Museum is not to be missed. Built in 2014, this is a modern building in the centre of the city. Its home to some of the most incredible ancient treasure in the land. The experience here is entertaining, informative and like no other. You’ll first be guided around the Jordan exhibition which tells the rich history of this nation. Illustrating the countries impact and evolution within the surrounding Middle East. The space also holds the oldest-known human statues. But it’s what lies at the very end which is why this stop is firmly on our must-do list: the Dead Sea Scrolls are housed here. These biblical manuscripts are one of the most important discoveries of the 20th century! When in 1946 a Shepard stubbed across them in a cave near to the Dead Sea. They give great historical, religious significance from the era when they were written from around 300BC.

Roman Theatre, Amman

The last cultural stop on your Amman to-see list should be the vast King Abdullah Mosque. This blue-domed landmark is open to worshipers as well as non-Muslin visitors. (But only during certain hours and if you’re a female you’ll be asked to wear a abayas. Standing as a some-what timeless looking building, over 7,000 people come on a daily basis to pay their respects. It’s a peaceful and reflective experience – while the outside is covered in decorative mosaic tiles.

King Abdullah Mosque, Amman

Where to Eat in Amman:

  • Wild Jordan Cafe (good for a a healthy lunch)
  • Shams el Balad (an outdoor hipster hangout with the most delicious beetroot hummus)
  • Levant (great for dinner – order everything on the menu, nothing will disappoint)
  • Primal (for anyone following a Paleo diet)
  • Sufra (a Rainbow Street must-visit)

Good to know ahead of visiting Jordan:

  • Buy the Jordan Pass for £75. This includes your tourist visa as well as entry fees for the likes of the Citadel in Amman as well as Petra and the Dead Sea.
  • There are 9 million people who live in the country, while only 8 years ago there were 6 million. The sudden rise of inhabitants is due to the influx of refugees coming in from their neighbouring countries. 4.5 million people live in the capital city Amman.
  • Weekends in Jordan fall on a Friday and Saturday, so it’s likely that shops, some attractions and restaurants may be shut on a Saturday.
  • Smoking is allowed indoors, so don’t be surprised when people light up in hotels, restaurants and shops.
  • All hotels have their own airport-like security in the entrance meaning that your suitcase and day bag will need to go through the x-ray scanners every time you enter the building.
  • Uber is currently available in Jordan, however they can’t pick up from the airport. If you’ve not arranged airport transfers via your hotel, you’re best to use a licensed cab when you land and be sure to tip the porter.

In short, before you head into the rest of Jordan, Amman is a worthy stop for a few days!

Love,

Stephanie

A WINTER CITY TRIP TO ZURICH

Do you know a heavenly feeling? I had that sensation when I got the sympathetic invitation from airline SWISS to discover Zurich.

OK to be honest, I’ve seen a lot of our beautiful world, but I ‘used’ Switzerland only as a handy transit country. Why did I never go there for a holiday? Maybe because of my prejudices: ‘Oh boy, it’s far too expensive, too quiet for me and perhaps more fun for the elderly.’ I grabbed the opportunity to uncover if those ideas were real and flew to Switzerland for a city trip to Zurich (and if the chocolate is that yummy!)

Zurich in a nutshell

Where Amsterdam is full of hipsters, clumsy tourists on bikes and busy city sounds, Zurich is a bit of the opposite. It’s as big as our intimate Utrecht. When I arrived in the afternoon I was surprised by the calmness in the picturesque downtown streets. But when it became dusky and when the festive Christmas lights went on, Zurich seemed to awaken. One moment I thought I stepped into a scene, loved it! Not even to mention the cute Christmas stalls with the mulled wine and raclette smells throughout the city. Add the majestic buildings to that and you’ll get a very nice winter holiday feeling.

The town of Zurich
The cutest streets

Where to sleep?

After an active day full of impressions there’s nothing as good as ‘coming home’ in a nice boutique hotel room. My amazing, stylish room in the Marktgasse hotel did it for a 100 procent. I don’t know what it is, but I’m in love with boutique hotels and this great, tad upscale place from the 15th century has captured my heart. Nice to know: try the handsome cocktail bar on the ground floor. Tell the cocktail shaker what you prefer and he’ll blow you away with a custom made mix, just do it! www.marktgassehotel.ch/en

eten-drinken-en-slapen-in-zurich-6

What to do

So just so you know, I had less then 24 hours discovery time, but I can tell you that Zurich is very suitable for short city trips. Recommended is to do the traditional culinary Gourmet Tour or learn more about the interesting stories of the old city with the Old Town Tour, like I did. For sure they also have a lot of cool shops, like grocery shop Schwarzenback or taste the best sausages of Zurich at Sternen Grill.

Where to eat

I know it’s not my best kept secret that I’m a food lover, sweet tooth and gourmet to the max. Not so surprisingly I was so excited to discover if the Swiss had a good flavor…no doubt they have! I had my lunch break at Baltho Restaurant & Bar – it’s part of the Marktgasse hotel. My gosh, it was a food walhalla to share that opened in front of me: falafel with homemade baba ganoush, juicy Boeuf Bourguinon, bang-bang chicken and so on. You name it, we had it. Mouth watering, right?

Food at the Marktgasse Hotel
Typical Swiss food at the Marktgasse Hotel

Another food tip:

HILTL. According to the Guinness Book of World Records they are the first registered vegetarian restaurant in the world and nowadays they’re even the supplier of the vegetarian meals on SWISS flights, how cool. HILTL started more than one century ago with this very trendy and successful concept. In addition to their à la carte, they also have a buffet. Although ‘buffets’ often haven’t the best associations for Dutchies, I gave it a try. Wow, I’ve never seen something like that before – fresh, veggie food all over. Funny fact: they let you weight your food on a large scale as you know it from the supermarket. You pay a certain amount per 100 grams, as they want to avoid food waste. Good thinking!

Breakfast tip

Delish is the other restaurant of Marktgasse Hotel. The crew is so enormously hospitable – Amsterdam can learn a lot of this welcoming, pure people – plus my poached eggs with avocado where very tasty. Give it definitely a spot on your food bucket list!

delish-salad-selection_print
Salads at Delish

My Verdict

So this was exploring a city trip to Zurich through the eyes of a 26-year-old ‘wanderlust’ enthusiast. It’s a city that I would visit once in about five years again. For this it’s perfect. Big pluses were the fresh food and the hospitality in every shop, restaurant and bar. But one side note for your wallet: please be aware of the enormously high prices. I paid almost 11 euros for a healthy, takeaway shake at Juicery21 << hotspot alert >> So my prejudice about it’s far too expensive became a harsh reality, but the yummy Swiss chocolate made me forget it for a sec.

Juicery 21 Zurich
Juicery 21

wander-lust-friends-in-zurich
The blogger crew in Zurich (Sharmaine 3rd from left)

Love,

Sharmaine

*Sharmaine is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands with a sweet tooth. The sweeter, the better! She’s no kitchen princess but always in search for the best hotspots in Amsterdam! You can expect an article from her once a month! Check her out on @sharriefromsandmountains!

Sharmaine flew to Zurich in style! Check her review here:
Swiss in the sky

MOROCCO OFF THE BEATEN TRACK | TAROUDANT

If you really want to go off beaten path in Morocco, then you should go the authentic town of Taroudant. It will surprise you the minute you arrive.

Expect yourself a warm welcome from the locals here whilst enjoying one of the best riads the region of Taroudant has to offer, Dar al Hossoun.

Taroudant, Morocco Pinterest

Where to Stay

Along the dirt track roads that leads to Taroudant you find your way to this great hidden little gem called Dar la Hossoun. It takes 3.5 hours to get there from Essaouria. The moment you enter this amazing riad you feel an oasis of peace. With more than 900 different species of plants collected from all over the world you can say that these gardens are unique and breathtaking. The owner tells with pride about the beautiful creations that are done by the famous French architects Arnaud Maurières and Eric Ossart.

The narrow swimming pool draws attention together with the amazing rooftop.

Sustainability at Dar la Hossoun

Not only the gardens are stunning, but also the rooms. Each suite or room is individually designed and decorated with local authentic rugs, cushions, tapestries and terracotta earthenware. The breakfast room with natural stone flooring is one of my favorites. Sustainability is key today and they are well aware here. In addition, they produce hot water with solar panels, the water from the sinks and showers is recycled to water all of their gardens. After a spa moment, enjoying the pool and reading a book in their amazing rooms, you will leave feeling refreshed and uplifted! Book your stay here.

Breakfast room Dar la Hossoun, Taroudant


Taroudant

Grab a bicycle at the hotel and find yourself in Taroudant within 15 minutes. A small authentic town which you should definitely visit if you want to experience the real Morocco. Taroudant is one of the oldest and most important cities in Morocco, with a great architectural, cultural and historical heritage. Without hordes of Western visiting tourists the souks here are a great place to explore. Much less hassle here and negotiations on some pricing! On Sundays, there’s also a weekend market just outside the city walls.

Off the beaten track
Morocco off the beaten track, on the way to Taroudant

The souk in Taroudant Morocco

There’s no way to get a glass of wine or beer somewhere on a terrace, locals here drink traditional Moroccan mint tea only. They drink it sweeter than us, but I must say it’s delicious.


Taroudant, Morocco
Sweet tea time in Taroudant

Claudio Bravo Palace

There’s one place you can’t miss when you visit Taroudant, Claudio Bravo Palace. This unique place is a park/museum in the middle of fields and plantations, located 10 km north of Taroudant. Book your tickets for the museum online or call them prior, and take a walk in the endless orange groves. I hadn’t heard of Claudio Bravo before, but after seeing this immense palace filled with arts from all over the world which this artist collected throughout the years I have to say I was impressed. He was a celebrated Chilean painter, noted for his hyperrealist still life and figurative paintings. As a world traveler Claudio collected all kinds of art objects which are exposed in this humongous museum. We recommend you to take a personal tour to learn all about this famous painter. 

Claudio Bravo Palace

View museum Taroundant

How to get to Taroudant

Subsequently, it’s easy to get from Agadir, while it’s further down south from Marrakech. You can take a bus or a private transfer. If you combine Taroudant with a visit in Essaouira, it’s cheaper to get a rental car so you can explore the region. All distances take between 2 to 3 hours.


To sum up Taroudant is pretty straight forward. It’s much less crowded, we didn’t see any other western tourists, and you’ll really experience the local culture. This was a completely different vibe as in Marrakech, where you can sometimes feel the gap between the tourist and a local. Places like Taroudant, will broaden your horizon.

Love,

Sarah

 

 

ESSAOUIRA MOROCCO | The Alternative to Marrakech

Get away from the hustle and bustle of Marrakech and find yourself in the most magnificent hotel in the argan-tree hills of Essaouira.

It’s maybe a 3 hours’ drive away but with only 60-80 kilometers allowed and flat landscapes, the road to Essaouira takes quite long. But wait when you get there! Located on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, we want to tell you about this special region and a magnificat hotel Jardin des Douars. 

Essaouira Pinterest

Jardin des Douars

We stayed in the most amazing hotel secluded from the city. An otherworldly escape with brilliant terra-cotta buildings with rough lush greenery, with more than 100 various types of plants and trees. There are two amazing infinitely pools with pool bars where you can order drinks and finger food during the day. Even more, you can have dinner on the amazing terrace outside where they serve Moroccan dishes with French influences. At winter time when it gets cold in the evening you can have dinner inside right at the fireplace in their very cozy spaces.

Each morning a beautiful peacock welcomes you around the property


The stunning Jardin des Douars terrace, in Essaouira

Total relaxation

Very special for this region is the argan oil. The Berber women use argan oil for culinary and cosmetic purposes. At Jardin des Douars they use it in the treatments in their spa. Likewise, the rooms in the hotel are just perfect! With the most comfortable king-size beds, white soft linen, and a private outside terrace with a stunning pool view.  All rooms have private sun beds, a bathroom with separate shower and bath with a mini hammam kit. Nothing makes a room feel cozier than a fireplace. Our room had two! Don’t forget to treat yourself to discover the night skies which are some of the clearest in the world up here. Would you like to explore this amazing hotel yourself, book here.

Essaouira

Only 15 min away from the hotel you reach Essaouira, a great alternative to Marrakech. The pearl of the Atlantic Ocean is very famous for its windsurfing, surfing and Kitesurfing thanks to the strong winds. It is a Mediterranean style fishing port.

Women in Essaouira
Women walking in Essaouira

There was a time when Essaouira was a popular destination for Orson Welles, Jimi Hendrix and Cat Stevens. Locals tell you with proud that Jimi has spent part of his time at a beachside hotel next to Essaouira’s old medina. Take a stroll in the city and visit the bustling medina where you can buy lots of local treasures, like colourful blankets and rugs. Would you like to have some fun in the sand dunes and small desert, ride a camel, quad bike or horse. 


Horse riding in Essaouira


Squad ride in Essaouira

Essaouira is easy accessible from Marrakech, Casablanca and Agadir

Eat & Drink in Essaouira

First of all, Medina isn’t as difficult to navigate as Marrakech for example. It’s less busy, less streets, so it’s easier to find your way around. Similarly, is the amazing cuisine you’ll find here. Maybe some places are less “trendy” than you’ll find in Marrakech, but you will find some amazing local spots. Places like Tara CafeTaros and Triskala Cafe, Ocean Vagebond, La Table de Madada are favourites.

Taros Cafe Essaouira
Lively cafe & bar Taros


Delicious fish platter at La Table de Madada

How to get from Marrakech to Essaouira

Although it takes a little longer, it’s quite easy to get around by bus that departs to and from Marrakech. It takes around 3 hours including a 20 minute stop. Check the bus times and fares. Additionally, you can also rent a car and drive around the region yourself. This gives you the freedom to explore and enjoy the magical landscapes and stop wherever you want. It’s also a bit faster, plus you can listen to the Moroccan radio, which adds to the experience of a road trip.

In short, there’s just something so special about visiting Morocco. It’s unlike so many places you can visit which offer so much diversity. If you are in the neighbourhood, go visit Essaouira and explore it yourself.

Love,

Sarah

3 magical cities to visit during your Christmas holiday

Are you also looking forward to the upcoming holidays, like Christmas and New Year’s Eve?

If you want something different this year, we can recommend the following cities as the perfect get-away during the Christmas period.

1. Paris

The city of love; even more with all the Christmas decorations. Paris is the perfect city if you’re looking for a romantic weekend. Highlights are of course the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum (free admission for people under 25), the Arc de Triomphe, the Champs-Élysées, Place de la Concorde, Centre Pompidou, Panthéon and Sainte-Chapelle. The most romantic part of town is the Montmartre district, with its cozy, little, cobbled streets with lots of art studios and its beautiful Sacré-Coeur. If you have enough time to go outside the city center, the Palace of Versailles is definitely worth a visit. You can spend all day wandering around the palace of Louis XIV, the house of Marie-Antoinette and the amazing gardens. And, if you want to get back to your childhood, you should go visit Disneyland! A Paris Visite Travel Card for 1 day is € 12,85 for the city center or € 26,95 to include destinations like Versailles and Disneyland.

montmartre-in-christmas-ambiance
Montmartre in Christmas ambience

2. London

Looking for a good place to do all your Christmas shopping? London (check our 3-day city guide) is the place to be! By plane you can get there in 1 hour, but there are also a lot of bus companies that offer a 1-day trip. For an easy tour around town, you can catch a hop-on hop-off bus and see all the highlights like Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Piccadilly Circus, Tower Bridge, London Eye, Trafalgar Square and Westminster Abbey. If you want to explore the city by yourself, you can best take the Tube (Metro). You can buy a Day Travelcard (£12,10 for travelling in the city center) or a so-called Oyster card; this card costs £3 and you can put as much credit on it as you want/need. Don’t forget to pass by Harrods which is amazing during the Christmas period.

harrods London
Harrods London (source)

3. Berlin

Berlin is a city with a lot of history and is therefore a city you should definitely see. Basically, you can go there all-year-round, but in the winter it has an even more special vibe because of all the Christmas markets. You can find most of them around Alexanderplatz. Definitely go for a Glühwein or Currywurst here. If you’re interested in the history of this city, there are some places to visit next to the well-known highlights like The Wall and CheckPoint Charlie. Quite interesting are for example the museum The Story of Berlin, the Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial, and the ‘Berliner Unterwelten. Needless to say, that the best way to travel around town is by S-bahn and U-bahn (a one-day ticket for the city center costs €7,-).

brandenburger-tor-in-christmas-ambiance
Brandenburger Tor during Christmas 

There you have it, 3 magical cities to visit during your Christmas holiday. Where will you go this year?

Love,

Dionne

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!