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? From 14th December to 23rd December, 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

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 top 8 Third-Wave Coffee places in Berlin

Last month I visited a friend in Berlin who told me a lot about her growing affinity for high-quality coffees in the city. They call it the ‘third-wave coffee’, which is a movement to produce high quality coffee and consider coffee as an artisanal foodstuff rather than a commodity. This movement involves the improvement of all the stages of the production of a coffee bean. As I do like coffee myself, I was curious about the specialty of this kind of coffee. So here are 8 of the best third-wave coffee places in Berlin.

1. The Barn, Kurfürstendamm
First up, is The Barn. While they are settled in four locations in Berlin, I like the one at Kurfürstendamm the most. This location is on top of a building and already exists for over 200 years. Not as the Barn as we know it now, but it has always been a lunch-room/coffee bar. Every Barn has its own retail concept, because they want to showcase the fact that they are specialists in coffee in different contexts. They have an extensive coffee menu and each brew is made with the best beans possible. Besides coffee you will find tasty pies and pastries and during summer you can enjoy your coffee on the terras, which is set up in a circle around the coffee bar. Find it here!


Source

2. Five Elephant, Neukölln
The Five Elephant is a micro roastery, bakery and cafe in Neukölln, Berlin. This is the perfect place for a special coffee because they are passionate about quality. They search for green coffee beans and bring these to their roastery where they prepare them. It has the nicest employees and I would definitely recommend the pies, pastries and cookies. In summer you can sit outside on the terras but also inside you feel a great environment. The Scandinavian-style is simple but gives you a good feeling. With every cup of coffee you order you will receive a Wifi code, which makes the roastery a perfect place to work. Besides from business, you can also pay a visit for a relaxing afternoon with your friends. Find it here!

They call it the ‘third-wave coffee’

3. The visit coffee roastery, Kreuzberg
If you want to reinvent the bean you should go to The Visit. Creating a whole new coffee beverage is what they do best. They serve the highest quality beans, perfectly roasted. The people working over there are experts and are really passionate about coffee. They have four locations in Berlin but the one at Adalbertstraße is special because of their new way of seating their guests. In this particular bar you may find yourself sitting on the stairs next to a small table, where you can sit and relax and feel like home! This roastery may be a little hard to find but when you are inside, you will never want to leave again. Find it here!

4. Bonanza roastery, Kreuzberg 
If you are a coffee and plants lover you should definitely go to Bonanza. They are settled in two different locations in Berlin and Adalbertstraße is close to The Visit. The location is very unique, the interior is industrial chic and I would really recommend their filter coffee. What makes Bonanza special is their way of roasting the beans. Different than others, is their strategy to roast the beans as little as possible. This special coffee is a little more expensive but the experience is worth a try. There is also an outdoor seating here. Find it here!

5. Nothaft Seidel cafe, prenzlauer Berg
If you want to drink third wave coffee in a place that is in true Berlin style, you should go to Nothaf. The walls are not finished and the interior is made of old chairs, couches and used school tables. The decor is also pink and youthful. The baristas are there to impress you with some excellent grinds and brew that is locally roasted and served with flair. You will see people working at their laptops but you can also just grab your coffee and find yourself a nice place to chill. The baked goods are delicious and they even have vegan croissants. You can also enjoy their freshly blended juices outside in the sunshine. Anyone who is looking for Nothaft will recognize it immediately for its pink umbrellas outside which give you a little Hawaiian feeling. Check it out! 


Nothaft + Seigel Cafe

6. Populus Cafe, Kreuzberg
Populus Cafe coffee is formed by the people who are growing, processing, sourcing, roasting, brewing and enjoying it. It is a Finnish owned place which you might recognize in its interior. This scandinavian style with lovely plants and delicious coffee is a good place to dream away. Seeing the water outside makes it even more special in a city like Berlin. Their motto is sharing the same passion for coffee with people all over the world. Their coffee is fair trade and high-quality. Populus would love to let you discover all flavours of coffee they serve. The beans they serve are chock-full of sweetness and flavours of ripe berries, tropical fruits, chocolate, floral notes, nuttiness and pleasant acidity depending on variety, origin and processing. Find it!

7. Happy Baristas, Friedrichshain
As you can see in the name, ‘happy baristas’ are the only people serving you at this bar. The world of coffee doesn’t have to be black and bitter. It’s exciting; full of colour and bursting with flavour. Happy Baristas has one table where you can sit with your laptop, at the others you are not allowed. The best time to go here is during breakfast. They serve the most delicious pancakes. All the drinks are made in house. You won’t find any bottled drinks in the shop. The Happy Baristas will be at your service in every mood. They’ll have the classic drinks and some more adventurous varieties like milkshakes or espresso mixed with cola syrup, cherry juice or horchata, they go to considerable length to make the customer happy. Find it here!


The Happy Baristas serve honey processed Costa Rica coffee, omg yeah! Source

8. Orange Coffee, prenzlauer berg
Last but not least, Orange Coffee. A small not touristy coffee bar with only true berliners visiting here, makes this coffee bar a ‘must see’ at your to do list. Great coffee, delicious pastries and really good breakfast. Orange coffee has only one barista and six tables so you’d better not enter with a large group. Very intimate and cozy will describe this place the best. Check it out!

Enjoy discovering these third-wave coffees!

Love,

Michelle

*Michelle is one of our guest editors who lives in Amsterdam. She is a senior student on her way of becoming a media specialist. She’s got a big interest for design, writing and traveling. After exploring Amsterdam she wanted to discover more of the world. She’s not your typical typical tourist though, which is why she is always searching for the best local bars and restaurants! You can follow her on @michelle.debruin

You like City Trips? Check them all out!

 

 

Olympus OM-D launch Event in Berlin

Last week I was invited to Berlin by Olympus together with 30 different European Photographers, Influencers and Instagrammers to put the new Olympus OM-D camera to the test. I was the only press representing the Netherlands so I was exited and couldn’t wait to see what the new camera had in store.

 
Visit Berlin like an insider
After a bumpy plane ride, I was driven to the Catalonia Hotel in Mitte, a vibrant area in Berlin. The hotel almost looked like an old school building and has an industrial look will graffiti on some of the walls. Olympus clearly wanted us to experience something different. I’ve been to Berlin a few times and somehow you always seem to visit the same places and do the same things. Not on this trip. It started from the moment we got on the boat towards a place only the insiders know called Jackie O. It’s a hidden spot directly at Rummels-burger Bucht and it’s everything Berlin stands for. Thanks to the clever yet “secret”marketing, Jackie O remains to be an insider tip far from any touristic  or mainstream location. It has it’s own pier where boats can dock and the hammocks will be waiting for you underneath a ceiling of white balloons hanging from the trees. When we arrived there was a DJ playing, and lunch was being prepared. Oh, and let’s not forget about the colorful food truck with the coffee I so needed that day. The area is used for private events, parties or just to relax. We got a good chance to test our new camera’s with all the cool objects that were around.

Berlin
Berlin Calling

Jackie O, Berlin
Relaxing at Jackie O

Jackie O, Berlin
The secret oasis of Jackie O

After an inspiring afternoon at Jackie O, it was time to fresh up and go for dinner at yet another special place. Dinner at Freischwimmer. It’s a restaurant located next to the Spree river. The ambiance here is great and the food is tasty and fresh. They play minimal house/techno music (me like!) and you can sit in or outside. There is one thing though..if you hate spiders you’re not going to like it here. They are everywhere! On the ceiling, next to the windows and I even saw a few crawling over the tables. One positive thing; no mosquito bites! (still made me stand in the middle of the restaurant like a cry baby)

The Olympus Perspective Playground
After dinner we made our way to the highlight of the evening. The Olympus Perspective Playground. If you love photography and art, this is the place to visit if you’re in Berlin this month. It’s basically an innovative playground where you are handed over an Olympus camera to play with. Large and innovating art pieces that move or shift are ready to be captured. It’s not the first time Olympus has organized a photography playground. Back in 2013, the first Playground was also held in Berlin and was very successful. This year they host a new concept with new fascinating artist, such as Thilo Frank, Xaver Hirsch and many more. The location this year is at the Kraftwerk in Berlin Mitte and has 3 floors full of artwork. The Perspective Playground is open until the 24th of September. Get your free tickets here!

olympus-perspective-playground
The Olympus Perspective Playground

To end the weekend we visited the Tempelhofer Feld that used to be an airport that closed in 2008. A little history lesson; this airport was once the largest airport in the world and was also used by the Nazi’s until the 2nd world war ended. Underneath the airport the Nazi’s build massive tunnels where they secretly build bomber planes that were then pushed onto the runway. After the war, Berlin was divided into separate areas where West Berlin was cut of the rest and people literally lived on an island. At one point all the roads were blocked and no food supplies could come in. The only way people got their food was by planes dropping food at Tempelhofer Airport. Every 30 seconds a place landed or took off during this time. This is also when the “Candy Bomber” became famous for dropping candy out of his plane for the children that would stand by the fences of the airport. There is so much history at this place, it’s almost unreal. The government wanted to build new apartments after the airport closed, but the people of Berlin held a referendum and voted against it which means the park will stay as it is, at least until 2025. People go here for a picknick, BBQ, skating, walking their dogs or work in the community urban garden. A must visit in Berlin!

Tempelhofer Feld, Berlin
I always wanted to walk down an airport runway

Movement at the Tempelhofer Feld, Berlin
Capturing movement with the new ART setting (Dramatic Tone 1)

Picknick at Tempelhofer Feld, Berlin
Picnic at the Tempelhofer Feld

After that it was time to head home but wow, what a cool experience. I know you are all curious about the new camera but I will post a total review next month! The Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark 3 is available to buy in about 1 weeks time and will cost €649,-.

Love,

Elke

All the images in this article were shot with the new Olympus OM-D

Want to know how to take travel photo’s like a boss? Check our tips!

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, I can recommend the following cities as the perfect get-away.

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 off course the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre Museum (free admission for people under 25), the Arc de Triomphe, the Notre Dame, 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 (free admission for people under 26). And, if you want to get back to your childhood, you should go visit Disneyland to meet all your favorite Disney characters. 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 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. Check this blog for the best Christmas shopping hotspots: http://www.visitlondon.com/things-to-do/shopping/christmas-shopping-hotspots. 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 (a former detainment and transit camp and later on Stasi prison), and the ‘Berliner Unterwelten’, in which you can do multiple tours to discover the history of Berlin’s underground (and see for example escape tunnels built during the Cold War). 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

*Dionne is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands, currently living in Den Bosch. In everyday life she works as a marketing-communications professional. She loves to travel to distant destinations, but she also enjoys a city trip closer to home.

Berlin City Guide 2016

When I visited Berlin for the first time in 2005 for the closing parties of the old Tresor club. I immediately fell in love with the vibe of this  amazing city. The never-ending parties at vibrant locations swept me off my feet. Though I am a bit older now and 24-hour party marathons will cost me weeks to recover ;-), Berlin still manages to make me fall in love again every time we meet. The traces of the Berlin wall, its city parks and the alternative and relaxed people. The big old brick buildings, the historical feeling in general and the thriving club scene. It’s museums, shops and great restaurants. And last but not least: how everything is still quite affordable and cheap. This combined makes Berlin an interesting place for everyone. Enjoy this Berlin city guide 2016!

Sleep in Ostkreuz Area (Because it has the best East-Berlin Feeling)
When you ask people where to stay in Berlin, the answer often will be Kreuzberg. And yes, this is a great area, but personally I like to stay a bit more in the North-East in the area between Friedrichshain and Lichtenberg, closer to Ostkreuz station. While this area might be a bit rougher, it is less touristy and embodies that typical East-Berlin feeling that I love so deeply. If you like clubbing, this area is by far the best to stay. Berghain/Panoramabar is only a 10 minute bike ride (or 5 minutes by S-train) and Kosmonaut, Salon zur wilden Renate, Chalet, Club der Visionaere, Watergate and Sisyphos are all just around the corner.

Berghain Berlin
The infamous Berghain Club (source: www.rbb-online.de)

Where to Eat?
In this area its easy to find good places to eat. Have breakfast, lunch or just a coffee at Milja & Schäfa , Zebrano, or Silo . If you like Asian food Berlin is The Place To Be. For dinner I would recommend Transit , it has delicious Asian tapas you can share with your friends. I had an amazing red duck curry at Glory Duck. Other must visits are Haubentaucher, Else (only open during summer), restaurant FAME  and Holzmarkt. The last two are from the owners of the famous Bar25 and Katerholzig. You can find them next to each other and the atmosphere is fantastic. Have a few drinks or a pizza at Holzmarkt and enjoy the view over the river Spree. If you want to have dinner at restaurant Fame its best to make a reservation.

fame Berlin
Lunch at Fame

silo Berlin
Enjoy a lovely breakfast at Silo. Guten Appetit! Source: Silo Coffee’s Facebook

Cycle around! 
Bikes have become more popular over the last couple of years in Berlin. And let’s be real- there is no better way to explore a city! It gives you freedom to go wherever whenever and it makes you feel a resident of the city. On my last visit, luckily my Airbnb came with its own bikes, but you can easily rent them at a bike shop – just ask your host. A rental bike will cost you around 10 euros a day. For me the number one thing to do in Berlin is cycling at Tempelhof Park. This park used to be an airport that closed in 2008. Nowadays it’s a 386-hectare park that almost feels surreal.

Tempelhof Map Berlin
Tempelhof Park

We have all been in airports but when you cycle over the airstrip, the massiveness overwhelms you. There are a few bars and in the summer you can BBQ. But mostly it is a park where people run, kite, skate, cycle, watch the sunset, picknick and take pictures. It is so much fun! This year I cycled my own little tour from Ostkreuz area to Tempelhof and managed to include two city parks – always a win! My route was: Oberbaumbrücke – Skalitzetstrasse – Görlitzer Park – Pannierstrasse – Volkspark and than Tempelhof. After my visit to Tempelhof I cycled north, up to Kreuzberg and enjoyed a great Asian lunch at restaurant Umami at the famous Bergmannstrasse. It’s easy to discover the city by yourself with a little help from Google Maps but you can also book a bike tour with a guide. Visit Berlin on A Bike for three different tours: one with the highlights of Berlin (Berlins Best), a Berlin Wall Tour or choose for the Alternative one. They all seem interesting and fun!

tempelhof Berlin
Enjoy your bike ride at Tempelhof. Photo by Floksor (Flickr)

Shop! (Eat, Drink and Shop again..!)
My favorite shop in Berlin is Overkill. This sneaker shop has a men and a women store next to each other. Welcome to Sneaker Heaven! I always end up buying a new pair every time I visit. Very nearby you can find a cool boathouse on the river where you can enjoy a coffee, lunch or dinner before you hop on your bike again to continue your shopping spree. A good area to shop is the Rosa-Luxemburg Platz/Weinmeisterstrasse area. It’s not overcrowded like Alexanderplatz and not that big. There are some small boutiques with Berlin fashion labels and vintage shops (Pick ‘n Weight and Made in Berlin) but you can also find the bigger brands like American Apparel, Urban Outfitters, Mango and H&M. For lunch I would recommend YamYam, this Korean restaurant is always full but it’s definitely worth the wait. I heard shopping in Kreuzberg is fun as well. You can find a huge vintage shop at the Bergmannstrasse called Colours. It is a bit hidden but when you find it you will be lost there for a few hours.

YamYam Berlin
Enjoy a Korean Bibimbap at Yam Yam

overkill Berlin
An overkill on sneakers!

Feel like going to Berlin yet? I definitely do! Enjoy und viel Spass!

Love,

Kim

*Kim Bosman is one of our guest bloggers from the Netherlands. This gymrat works as a digital creative and loves to travel. Other things she likes: eating, writing and photography. You can expect an article from her once a month. Go check out her Instagram

More city Trips?

7 beautiful wall paintings around the world

Sarah and I have been in a lot of cities and places around the world and one of the things we love to photograph are wall paintings.
Here are some of the best wall paintings we have come across:

Penang, Malaysia
These wall paintings took Sarah’s breath away when she visited Penang this winter. You can expect a blogpost about this amazing town in March!

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The most beautiful wall paintings in Penang, Malaysia

Amsterdam, The Netherlands
We live in Amsterdam and our town has a lot of street art. I went on a street art tour and discovered the stories and meaning about these wall paintings.

Amazing wall paintings Amsterdamamazing wall paintings Amsterdam
Left: From street artist at Icy & Soy. Right: A beautiful painting of travels at sea

Rome, Italy
When I visited Rome I walked around one of the most local neighborhoods called Trastevere and I found this beautiful wall painting.

wall paintings Rome

Barcelona, Spain
When I visited Barcelona last summer, I stayed in a secluded area where the locals live. It was near the end of the beach and I found a wall full of street art. I loved this particular one of the famous Biggie “ready to die”album cover.

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London, England
Because I lived in London for 7 years, I had the privilege to live amongst the real Banksy wall paintings in the Camden Town Area. One of his most famous works was just around the corner of where I lived!

Brussels, Belgium
When Sarah goes to Brussels for her work, she never has time to wander around but last month she consciously took some time off and walked around the streets before heading to bed. She found this cool wall painting and we featured it on our Instagram.

Schermopname (30)
Brussels is full of surprises..

Berlin, Germany
We love ourselfs a little provocative art and Berlin is just the place for that. Sarah came across this piece in East Berlin.

wall paintings Berlin

Where in the world is your favorite wall art piece?

Love,

Elke

*All pictures are courtesy of Wander-Lust except the Banksy Photographs

Amsterdam Event Calendar Oct/Nov 2015

October is in full throttle and November is well on her way. It’s getting colder but there’s a lot to do and see!
So grab your pen and add these dates into your diary!
Read more