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

Citytrip Almere | What to see and do

When you first think of a citytrip Almere you might think of modern and innovative architectonic buildings, a shopping area without much ambiance, and always a breeze at hand. In all honesty, we didn’t know Almere as well as we thought. But the youngest city of the Netherlands has more to offer than meets the eye.

How Almere captures your heart

Recently, I received a secret invite for a ‘Destination Unknown Experience.’ Obviously, it triggered my interest. Little did I know that together with some other nosey parkers we got on a speedboat – a rapid Rib with 100 km/h on the meter – and after an adrenaline rush for 30 minutes, we arrived in the middle of nowhere surrounded by nature. ‘Welcome to Almere ladies!’ This wasn’t in line with the City I met years ago. I had to give this municipality a second chance.

Almere citytrip
What a way to enter the city!

One of the things I was mostly surprised by, was the immense natural character

A 24h citytrip in Almere

If you are planning a city trip to Almere you have many options, but I will give you a glimpse of my one-day citytrip. The city is surrounded by five natural areas: Oostvaardersplassen, Lepelaarplassen, Pampushout, the Vroege Vogelbos and Almeerderhout. Consequently, nature-lovers will dig this. And did you know that Almere has twice as many bridges as Venice? After floating through the canals, we arrived at Boathouse Almere. A beautiful place where you can dock your boat. I can tell you, you’ll stay here a little longer than initially planned. Expect a menu with something for everybody. From a club sandwich to fish & chips or bao with pulled jackfruit. After an appetizing lunch break we continued our journey by…Segway! Thanks to Segs in the City (see what they did there?), we drove around Almere’s many cycle paths, which is a great way to explore the city.

The boathouse Almere
Boathouse Almere

Segway Tour Almere

Did you know that Almere Centrum won the title Beste Binnenstad 2017 – 2020?

High Tea & Bubbles

Being a segway driver makes you hungry, so our next stop was at a culinary gem: The Black Cockatoo. It’s the first 100% vega(n) hotspot in town where you can indulge yourself with lots of treats. Mostly locally produced and – as far as possible – organic ingredients. The black Cockatoo will always be marked as the place where I had my very first ever vegan hot chocolate milk with whipped cream. And they also had me at ‘vegan brownie.’ Heavenly soft inside, literally and figuratively finger lickin’ good. 

Champagne Almere
Cheers to Almere!

The Black Cockatoo, Almere

High Tea Almere
Happy tummy, happy sweet tooth at The Black Cockatoo 

Lifestyle Salon and Spa knows how to pamper you!

Take a break and Relax

Almere has a lot of shopping opportunities (there are more than 400 stores!) and after all that walking around the city center, your body may need a little pampering. Go to Lifestyle Salon and Spa. Firstly, you can get your hair and make-up done or get a fresh haircut. Secondly, the ladies at the salon offer head and full body massages. Pedicures? You name it, they have it. And all with the idea that beauty is a combination of inner and outer well-being. The crew is very professional, honest and has a ‘what you see is what you get’ mentality. You will love the laidback vibe here, as it is the perfect spot to recharge yourself.

Beauty salon Almere
The ladies at Lifestyle Salon & Spa know how to treat a lady

CULTURAL: visit Vis à Vis open air theater

In the evening we went to Vis à Vis, a theatre company which plays open air shows at a permanent location at Almeerderstrand. Light-hearted comedy, astonishing spectacle and ingenious storylines lead the audience with a wink to the abyss of serious dilemmas. Even though I’m always in for some theatrical violence, I’ve never seen something like this before. Never. In 1,5 hours you’ll be amazed again and again. Step into a world full of extraordinary humor and surprises. Even the air is part of the decor and this is not comparable with a traditional indoor show. In case you’d love to have a complete night out, you can reserve a spot in De Rode Haring with simple (buffet) dishes and long Biergarten tables, a much-vaunted food formula.

Vis a Vis Almere
A must see in Almere!

Where to stay

After a very long, but overwhelming day, we were dropped off at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim. This is exactly what you need after a full day Almere. A luxury lodge with all comforts including a huge bubble bath with a fantastic view over the countryside. When I woke up I didn’t had the idea I stayed in in a city. Nature everywhere, and this was suppose to be a city trip? Well, I’m sold.

Accommodation Almere

Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim Almere
Heart shaped bubble bath at Lodgerie Het Groene Geheim

Maybe it won’t be love at first sight if you stroll through city centre, but a citytrip to Almere is absolutely worth a try. Nature, city beaches, wellness, shopping, culinary spots makes me wanna say; see you soon?

Special thanks to Visit Almere for this wonderful trip!

Love,

Sharmaine

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

Learn more about the Netherlands here!

 

 

 

8x tips for a weekend citytrip to The Hague

I love springtime! For me it’s the best time for a citytrip. Last weekend I played the tourist in the royal, majestic The Hague. Let’s zoom in on some great trendy and even some vintage hotspots I figured out for you. Here’s the wanderlust citytrip to The Hague. 

Where To Eat

Food, food, food. I can think about it the whole day long if you give me the chance. Because I really see the daily ‘food moments’ as something important, I don’t take pleasure with every standard looking food spot just around the corner. It’s a discovery tour to find the gems! Below you’ll find a couple of (coffee) spots which caught my attention. pistachecafe.nl

Pistache Café

Located behind the royal palace ‘Noordeinde’, this healthy oriented hotspot is definitely one for your food bucket list. Why? The Pistachers only work with fresh ingredients and are figuratively allergic for E-numbers and other chemical stuff. Most of the foodies tried the bread with avocado, looked finger lickin’ good! I ordered the sweet potato pancakes – what a surprise – which were also yummy, but a bit too little if you’re hungry after a city walk 😉

KADE

Drop by and enjoy a good cup of coffee, fresh juice, breakfast, lunch or dinner. I’ve tried the Eggs Florentine which was really delicious. Tip: order the hollandaise sauce on the side. Especially, I would like to point out the genuine hospitality of the staff, thumps up for them. 

Little V

This Vietnamese hotspot is tha bomb! They’re famous for their homemade ice teas, worth to try. If you’ve ever been to Vietnam you definitely will taste the real Vietnamese buns, pho’s and spring rolls in the beating city heart of The Hague. Also the laid back ambiance is great. And for the dessert lovers? The chocolate mousse with a Vietnamese touch is the one you definitely have to order! 

vietnamese-food-lovers-this-is-your-spot-to-drop-by-in-the-hague
Vietnamese food lovers, this is your spot to drop by in The Hague

The Hague Bookstore

Located in the city center, this is the vintage spot for your shot of caffeine, cakes – the cake of dates is heavenly – and books. They have a kind of a garden where you can escape the hustle and bustle of The Hague. Sit back and relax! Website.

the-hague-bookstore-the-place-during-your-citytrip-in-the-hague-for-a-relaxation-moment
The Hague Bookstore, the place during your citytrip in The Hague for a relaxation moment

Lola

A bike and coffee shop in one, love the concept! It’s a heaven on earth for cycling enthusiasts, no doubt about that. Expect an easy-going atmosphere – even in the weekend -, superb coffee and cakes ánd friendly staff who like to make a chitchat. lolabikesandcoffee.nl

LISTed

You definitely will fall in love with this fashion meets coffee concept store. They have in my opinion the coolest Scandinavian clothing brands, original accessories and…coffee! Girls, take your time, the boyfriend will enjoy their coffee with a book in the chill chesterfield. Win – win! Facebook

Where To Stay

The best way to explore The Hague is to stay a night in one of the mostly classical designed hotels or Airbnb’s. I tried the budget proof The Student Hotel, located nearby the train station The Hague HS. It’s a place where students can live for a couple of months and design-savvy travelers can stay for a few nights. My opinion? It’s a modern, simple and very clean hotel (room) with all the facilities you need. No foolishness, only functional design. I really loved the helpfulness of the receptionists, credits for them. Besides I prefer the smaller boutique hotels instead of the – with all the respect – more ‘room factories’ like The Student Hotel, I absolutely recommend The Student Hotel when your budget isn’t sky high. You can book your room here. Book your stay here.

the-student-hotel-my-stay-during-my-citytrip-in-the-hague-3
The Student Hotel, my stay during my citytrip to The Hague

Oh and by the way: In 10-15 minutes you’re in Scheveningen by tram, the place to be when it’s a blue sky, sunny day. There are a lot of beach resto’s where you can have a pit stop for nibbles, drinks and more. Locals told me the less touristic spots are located around the ‘Zwarte Pad’ (Black Path).

Keep the above tips in mind and go for your The Hague citytrip as soon as possible. The welcoming inhabitants are waiting for you!

Love,

Sharmaine

Check Sharmaine’s midweek citytrip to Maastricht and get all the tips! Follow Sharmaine on Instagram.

Oostende | The sunniest town in Belgium

When you think of Belgium, you may think of Brussels, Antwerp, Ghent or Bruges. But there is a town near the coast we want you to hear about. It’s the place where Marvin Gaye wrote his hit Sexual Healing and people don’t just call it the sunniest town in Belgium for nothing. We’re talking about Oostende.

Oostende is located on the west-coast of Belgium. It may be tiny, but it has more to it than meets the eye. Yearly more than 100.000 people visit the street art festival The Crystal Ship, where international street artists use Oostende as their canvas. And yes, the marvellous Marvin Gaye wrote one of the most iconic love songs of the world while he lived in Oostende many years ago. Oostende must have something special..

Oostende Belgium
Oostende beach

How to get there

The train station in Oostende is easy to reach from Antwerpen central, so no need to travel by car. There are many hotels, restaurants and shops, but the jewel of the city has to be the beach. During summer this results in a vibrant place to sunbathe and relax at one of the beach bars alongside the promenade. 

Where to Stay

There are many hotels to choose from but the most hip hotel in Oostende is by far the Upstairs Hotel. Funky rooms with brick walls, vintage punch bags and a slide in the lobby (yes, really). The location is perfect because it’s in walking distance from everywhere in Oostende. Rooms are available from 57 euro and includes a breakfast buffet.

Upstairs hotel Oostende
Upstairs Hotel

For a stunning view over the beach, check out fancy hotel C-Hotels Andromeda. Prices are a bit higher but it’s perfect for a romantic getaway. If you are on a budget, there is a fancy youth hostel called De Ploate Hostel which offers dorms but also private rooms with ensuite for a smaller price.

Street Art Festival

If you visit Oostende in April, you must check out this street art festival named The Crystal Ship. The festival was founded back in 2011 but kept changing locations until they made a deal with the city of Oostende. Since then Oostende has become a more colourful city because of the many murals. In total there are 59 large murals and 200+ smaller art pieces throughout the city. The cool thing is that most murals stay here permanently and every year new street art is added to the city.

Street art Oostende
Street Art in Oostende

Where to Eat & Drink

Oostende has a lot of little streets where you’ll find several eateries and bars that will fill up your tummy. Also try a bag of shrimps from one of the local seafoodmarket alongside the beach, or their famous prawn croquette.

  • For a fancy dinner head to Marina. Getting there is also fun because you can take the free ferry across the water and walk for about 7 minutes through an industrial area, where housing developments are well on their way. This part is going to become the new & hip Oostende, mark our words.
  • If you are looking for something a bit more relaxed but trendy, have drinks and bites at Mommy’s Bastards. This place used to be infamous for its mussels but they decided to turn things around which resulted in a funky bar/restaurant with delicious comfort food like burgers, salads and yes, they still serve those killer mussels. Also, try the pink mocktail or G&T’s.
  • Check out Lafayette for casual drinks. They play all sorts of music and young and old take the dancefloor. It’s nothing fancy, but very “gezellig”.
  • If you fancy a traditional Oostende lunch, you can choose between Histoires d’O, where they serve the famous shrimp croquette or Passe-Vite, a trendy hotspot where you can also come for breakfast. Is vegan food your thing? Try Sassy’s for instance. You’ll like the retro look here.


Mommy’s Bastards

Boat Oostende

Where to Shop

There is one main shopping street in Oostende where you will find the bigger brands and stores, but there are also quaint little streets where you can also find some cute concept stores. Our favourites are by far; LILY (for women only, but ooh so good), Lolotte (concept store for all ages!), Joyridestreet (for sneakers and skatewear), Ferm (for goodies, clothes, gifts and jewellery).

shopping Oostende
Lily Oostende

So next time you’re heading to Belgium and you think that Antwerp or Ghent are the only places to visit, think again. Oostende should be added to the list. Find out more about Belgiums sunniest city!

Love,

Elke

 

Why visiting Istanbul during wintertime is a good idea

I have visited a lot of cities in my life but there was always one on top of my city-bucket-list; Istanbul. Why? It’s the perfect mix between Asia and Europe and has so much to offer, even in winter!

Yes, Istanbul is in fact separated by the Bosporus into European and Asian portions. One of my best friends even told me it’s his favorite city in Europe. Time to check it out. Instead of visiting Istanbul during spring or summer, I booked my ticket for the end of February, hoping the weather would be good so far out on the east side of Europe. But one day before I was about to fly, the news reported that Istanbul was coping with the worst snowstorms in 15 years! Bad luck, but ey, that’s traveling and I got to see snow in Istanbul! (That’s me trying to stay positive) Lucky enough it stopped snowing on the day of my departure so I could fly.

Istanbul birds

Getting Around & Good To Know
Arriving in Istanbul it was a little confusing because I wasn’t aware that you need a tourist visa so… that’s my first tip! A tourist visa will cost you 25 euro’s and you can buy this online
here. Always check with your local whether is safe enough to travel due to political issues in the country. Traveling to Istanbul is declared save again since of July 2018. You can also buy the visa on arrival like I did, but then you need to wait in line and it can take a long time getting through customs so my advice is to buy it beforehand. 

During the winter period, it’s less crowded, cheaper but still beautiful

Getting to my hotel was pretty easy. There are big comfy busses going into town and cost 14 Lira, which is about 5 euro’s. They leave every half hour and take you into the city centre in about 1 hour. For more info, check hereThe nearest busstop from my hotel was Taksim Square. This is a famous square which collides with the endless Istiklal street where you can go shopping or visit a nice Starbucks. You can take the Tünel, this is a cute small tram which runs straight through the shopping street.

Tram Istanbul
The Tünel in Istiklal Street

Where to Stay
I booked my hotel via Booking.com and because of the low season, I got a very good rate: 120 euro’s for 3 nights! 
The rate included breakfast and the manager was very friendly and even gave his own Travel Card for me to use. (this is a card you can use for public transport) My only warning, if you are staying near a Mosque (and chances are you will), you will hear the people sing though the loudspeakers, also known as ezan, around 5 times a day. If you are not a morning person, double check your location.

Luxury: Raffles Istanbul (nice view, spa, swimming pool, great service)
Mid Range: Bankerhan Hotel or Sub Karakoy (trendy area!)
Budget: Empress Zoe Hotel (Lush garden, great breakfast. Rooms go from €40,-)

I stayed near the Galata tower and picked this area because it’s authentic and you can really taste the Turkish culture here. The tower itself is worth a visit if you want to check out the nice view and take some good pictures. It will cost you 20 lire to get in and there is a restaurant on the top.

Tip: Go in the morning if you want to skip the queues. From the hotel I could walk right across the street to catch the tram which takes you over the bridge and into the westside of Istanbul. Taking the tram over the Bosporus is only a short ride which takes no longer than 10 min from the Galata area.

istanbul

paint Istanbul
Istanbul is full of spices and colors

On this side there are a few big tourist attractions that are just too good to skip:

» The blue Mosque (make sure you bring a scarf to cover your hair. Same thing applies for the Hagia Sofia)
» Hagia Sofia
» The Grand Bazaar (Great for Turkish shopping like handbags, Scarf, Lamps
» The Spice Market (Get ready for some crazy scents and flavors!)

Istanbul
Inside the blue Mosque

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I loved the Spice Market the most because of all the colours and different tea’s.

Walking through the grand Bazaar Istanbul

Where to Eat & Drink
After a day of walking around, you should definitely take a coffee break or try traditional Salep. My new Turkish addiction. This is a hot milky drink topped off with cinnamon. You can pretty much get it in every Turkish Café. For the best Meze you should try Ciya and At night Istanbul really comes to live. Restaurants stay open late, and it’s rooftop galore with many restaurants and bars that you wouldn’t expect to be hidden away all the way up there.

Here a few of my rooftop favorites:

» 5Kat is a traditional restaurant/bar that has been there forever. You can eat in or outside on the roof terrace. The entrance looks a bit shabby but once you go up, you are rewarded with a wonderful view of the Bosporus. www.5kat.com

» 360 is a great place. For food, drinks and even dancing. Killing view. Reservations are required and leave your sneakers at home. http://www.360istanbul.com/

» Vogue is upscale and also serves sushi for those that are in for a lavish night out. The music isn’t for dancing but for catching up and drinking cocktails. www.voguerestaurant.com

Vogue Istanbul
Vogue Istanbul

» LTERA is a rooftoop restaurant which opens up in the summer. Looking over the river, it has a beautiful view and the food is tasty! http://www.literarestaurant.com/

» Mikla is posh but well worth it if you love to get dressed up one evening and go for that amazing wine & dine experience. It was once voted in the top 50 best restaurants in the world. This a-claimed restaurant also has a rooftop but during the winter it may be closed. www.miklarestaurant.com

Also check out Limonlu Bahçe Beyoglu, this hipster garden is great for amazing coffee, drinks and western style dishes.

drinks Istanbul
Source  Drinks at Limonlu

A little further along side the Bosporus river you have amazing chique clubs like the Supperclub and Reina. I didn’t manage to go there because of the chilly nights but I will be back to try those out!

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Fishermen trying to get their catch of the day

The Asian District
Most tourists only visit the European part of the city but you should definitely take the time for the Asian part! 
There is the lively Kadikoy where you have markets on different days of the week. Small shops and nice lunch spots make this a super fun day trip. To get there, you take the boat across the bosporus which takes about 30 min. When you are departing Istanbul from Sabiha Cökçen airport, you can also take the bus from there which makes it a shorter ride and you can combine this with a visit to this vibrant part of the city.

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Fresh fish at Kadiköy, the Asian part of Istanbul

Be sure to visit Istanbul when it’s a little warmer but even so, it was magical and my friend was right. It’s great!

Love,

Elke

Summer in the city, why we love Amsterdam

It’s no secret that we are crazy in love with Amsterdam. Even though we travel around the world and have seen so many amazing places, it’s such a good feeling to fly back to Amsterdam, the city we call our home. Like most cities, Amsterdam is at it’s best during summer. There are ton’s of events, places to sit outside and summer festivals. We have lined up a few reasons why Amsterdam is our favorite city in..well, the world!

Those Canals..
Yep, that’s Amsterdam’s little Venice. There’s nothing like it and during summer you can’t miss out on the many boats floating around the canals of our city. It’s very common for a group of friends to hire a boat where everybody brings wine, snacks and music to enjoy the day until the sun goes down. At night you can enjoy the canals as most of them are lit up by romantic lights.

It’s Foodie Heaven
New York, Bangkok, Los Angeles, Berlin, Paris, London you name it, we’ve all been there but Amsterdam seriously has some of the best food divided over different area’s. Because it’s so multicultural, you can literally find all sorts of cuisines here. From Asian, Moroccan, Italian, French to Tapas or Vegan. It’s here. If there is a new food hype, you can probably find it here in Amsterdam. Some of our favorite restaurants are BAK, Cottoncake, A-Fusion and Bo Nam.

bo-nam
On Friday nights you can find us at Bo Nam!

Green, Greener, Greenest
Because Amsterdam is so wide and open, we have a lot of space for green. Meaning, we have a park in almost every part of the city. If you live in West you have Westerpark, If you live in East, you have Oosterpark, if you live in South, you have Amstelpark and the center has the famous Vondelpark of course. We haven’t even mentioned the large Amsterdamse Bos which is more of a forest! Check out our green urban route in Amsterdam.

Urban adventure with Wander-Lust
In the forest of Amsterdam

Some tourists think Amsterdam is a city of sin, but in truth it’s a city of freedom. And in freedom, most people find sin. ― John Green

Terraces Everywhere!
Unlike a city like New York, we have a lot of space in between the buildings and houses. Therefore many restaurant and bar owners have a licence to serve drinks and food outside. This is what makes Amsterdam extra special. If the sun shines, everyone is outside. Check out the best terraces in Amsterdam West and Amsterdam East or look a little higher and find out where the best rooftop terraces are.

Restaurant Bureau rooftop
One of the reasons we love Amsterdam: Terraces!

It’s Close to the Beach
Another BIG reason to love Amsterdam. If it’s more than 25 degrees outside and you’re in need of a sea breeze to cool you off, you can drive to the beach within 25 minutes. You have many options to choose from but we love Wijk aan Zee, Zandvoort and if you want to stay really close, you can visit Blijburg beach which is actually IN Amsterdam!

timboektoe-beachclub
At Timboektoe Beachclub, Wijk aan Zee

We have some of the best Museums in the world
This is actually a fact. The Van Gogh Museum is one of the most visited museums in the world with more than 2.000.000 visits. Besides that we have the Rijksmuseum, Stedelijk for modern art, FOAM for photography and of course the famous Anne Frank house. Nemo is a science museum for kids and Amsterdam hosts many exhibitions throughout the year at various locations.

Summer Festivals
If you like summer festivals, Amsterdam is perfect for you! Our city hosts a stagering 300(!) festivals per year so you can only imagine how many there are during the summer. From dance festivals to foodtrucks, kids or festivals for the LGBT community, it’s all here!

why-we-love-amsterdam
Amsterdam has so many festivals to choose from

Amsterdam is very diverse, also when it comes to it’s people. Most people who live here, weren’t born or raised here but pretty much consider themselves as an Amsterdam citizen. Why? Because they are proud to live in Amsterdam. And yes, we are guilty as charged, because we are “imported” as well. Almost 10 years ago! We can’t imagine leaving this beautiful city just yet..

Want to find out more about Amsterdam and what’s new? Check our Amsterdam Guide!

 

City trip to Dublin

When you think of a new city trip destination, Dublin may not come to your mind. Which is a shame, because the city is amazing and very cosy. The capital of Ireland has an interesting and grim history, but the Irish people are very welcoming and lovely. The city is not that big, but there are lots of nice things to do in and around the city.

Walk and cycle through the city
First of all, since the city is not that big, everywhere you go is walkable. But if you want to cycle like Dutch people do best, then take a Dublin city bike to cross around the city. A ticket for three days is only 5 euros, so it’s very affordable. But mind you, the Irish drive on the left side of the road just like in Great-Britain!

the-river-liffey, Dublin
The river Liffey, Dublin

Look everywhere for nice places to eat
Dublin is an ideal place if you want have a bite or drink. At every corner you can find a nice place to sit and eat nice food for affordable prices. Brasserie Sisty6 is a really nice place if you want to taste one of the best truffle pasta’s in town for only 10 euros. I would also recommend the 100{8b669be72a7f340f9ef2d6d852585cd40ddf0e79ccf763f3ea93c1234c3d888b} Irish burger there. But you can find literally anything to eat in the city, just walk around and go to a place that speaks to you.

Food in Dublin

Visit a (free) museum
A really nice thing about Dublin is that many of their museums are for free. The Museum of Decorative Arts and History, the National Gallery and the National Museum of Modern Art are freely accessible and very interesting. When the weather is not that great you should definitely visit one of these three museum for some culture. Also check out the library of the Trinity college, stunning!

Library, Dublin
The library of the Trinity college

Even if you don’t like beer, this place is worth visiting!

Visit the Guinness Storehouse
The Guinness Storehouse is a very touristic place but definitely a must-visit in the city. You might not be familiar with the dark brown beer, but it is quite famous in Ireland and abroad. If you want to know how the process of making Guinness beer goes, this is the place where you can learn everything about it. The history behind the beer is also explained in various ways and the whole tour in the Storehouse is interactive with a cinema, iPads, television screens and more. You can join a tasting where you can drink a tiny beer and at the end of the tour you can drink a big pint of Guinness with a panorama view over the entire city. Even if you don’t like beer, this place is worth visiting!

Take a bus tour through the Irish nature
Ireland has a beautiful landscape that is worth discovering. Escape the busy city and go on a bus tour to either County Wicklow or the Cliffs of Moher. I’ve experienced the tour to County Wicklow and I loved it. You’ll go on a tour through the beautiful nature and you’ll visit the Guinness lake in the Wicklow Mountains National park. This lake is just as black as the Guinness beer, hence the name. You will also go to the graveyard in Glencree and you can take many Instagram worthy pictures and the famous PS I Love You bridge.

guinness-lake, Dublin
Guiness Lake, Dublin

The Cliffs of Moher tour is really cool because you will visit the cliffs at the Atlantic Ocean. It’s a breath-taking view. You will also visit the Medieval city Galway where Ed Sheeran filmed his whole videoclip for the song “Galway Girl.” There are many other tours to choose from, but these two are really amazing. The weather might not be great every day in Ireland, so make sure you pick the right day with (semi)-good weather.

Enough reason to visit Dublin and it’s surroundings!

Love,

Merel

*Merel is one of our guest editors from Utrecht who describes herself as a daydreaming student who has wanderlust ever since she travelled to Jamaica for three months. She can’t wait to travel the whole wide world after she finishes her bachelor. Check her out on Instagram

The Valencia Guide 2019!

With no time for preparations and any planning we flew over to the Spanish coastal city. May/June is the perfect period to visit Valencia because the temperatures are close to perfection. Valencia is not a overcrowded city and you will enjoy the peaceful alleys around town. It’s perfect for friends or couples and families. It’s all about eating out, shopping, chatting on the lively town squares or getting your tan on. When you arrive at the airport, it’s fairly easy to get to the city center and we advice you to take the metro. Taxi’s from the airport are always pricier and the Metro will only cost you €4.90,- plus it get’s you right into town within 30 min.

Roads of Valencia

Things to do in Valencia
Check the Centre Cultural La Nau for several expositions. At the moment you can see the very impressive photo exposition about the refugees called Refugiados which is on until June 5th. Check here for all the expositions.
Hire yourself a bicycle for 1-2 days. This is our tip for every city you’ll go. You will see the city in a different perspective and you get there in your own time. We hired our bicycles at solution bikes for 10-15 euro’s per 24h.
Walk around and check out the Street Art in Valencia. We were amazed about the talent you will find around every corner, especially in old town. 


Cool street art

The Beach of Valencia
When a city has a beach, we’re happy campers because this gives you the ultimate holiday feeling. As soon as we arrived in our hotel, we took the local bus to the beach and ate some tapas. Like Barcelona, this beach has a strip with beach restaurants. In and around the beach there are a few places we thought you should know about:
» Fabrica de heilo, for a nice beer, wine or combinados (mix drink) you should visit the old ice factory on Calle de Pavia 37. It’s right across the beach but if you don’t know it, you might miss it. It’s a place where the locals meet up and where they play music a few times a week. It’s a relaxed atmosphere with cool vintage  furniture. www.facebook.com/lafabricadehielovalencia
» La Mas Bonita, Yes, it’s a popular place and even though we like to discover new places, we couldn’t help ourselves and booked a lunch table. Enjoy healthy salads, sandwiches, fruit smoothies and the most delicious cakes. You need to make a reservation. You can do it on spot and wait at the beach where you can relax at their bar. Super nice bohemian garden with beautiful flowers. Tip » Try the cold chai tea with a shot of baileys and the Aubergine and tomato millefeville with goat cheese and pesto! www.lamasbonita.es/en

Costes in Valencia
Sarah wearing Costes Maxi Print Dress. Buy it here

Sarah in Valencia, Spain
Sarah in the Costes Bikini

Hotspot Valencia
Locals only at Fabrica de heilo

Tapas at the beach
Our first meal at the beach: Tapas!

Where to Eat
Besides Tapas and Pinchos* there are so many other food options in Valencia. You will find that this city offers a wide variety of cuisines. These are our faves:
» Dulce de Leche for breakfast or lunch. Great coffee, sandwhiches and a-ma-zing cakes! www.pasteleriadulcedeleche.com
» Mercado Colón, a big food court in the middle traffic that doesn’t feel too crowded. 10 restaurants and a few cafe’s make this a cool place to sit.
» Tintofino, Great Spanish and Italian dishes, wines and cheese, Make a reservation! Calle Corregeria, 38
» Copenhagen, this amazing veggie and vegan restaurant is so good that meat lovers choose this over burgers. www.grupocopenhagen.com
» Sagardi, one of the most popular Pincho places in Valencia! €1,95 per Pincho. www.sagardi.com
» Naturalia for the best fresh fruit cocktails! www.zumerianaturalia.orgfree.com
» Zumm Salads, fresh soup, soy latte’s and a salad bar. The interior design looks like something that belongs in Amsterdam. Facebook
*Popular, tasty and cheap. You will find these in various restaurants. Self service – count your toothpicks (as we call them) at the end and that’s what you will pay

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The best place for breakfast!

Food in Valencia
Clockwise: Zumma Salads, Pincho’s, La Mas Bonita, Mercado Colón

Where to Shop
» Simple, cool Concept Store where you could shop forever. Facebook
» Hippocampus, another great concept store which offers fashion and waffels. Instagram
» Grabador Optica
, for the most unique sun glasses. Calle Grabador Esteve, 26

» Triggo, Home interoir stuff. We wished to take it all home with us. Facebook
» Grondwana surf shop, trendy surf clothes for him and her. www.gondwanasurf.com
» E Complements, cool sneakers store. Plaza Rodrigo Botet, 3
» Bimba & lola – super nice boutique where you will find the best and exclusive summer outfit. www.bimbaylola.com

Where to sleep
» SH Ingles, this is the hotel we stayed. Rooms are simple but clean and the hotel has a bar, restaurant plus outside terras right across the old palace. From here, we could walk straight into town or take the bus to the beach. Book here
» Caro boutique hotel. This rather chique looking boutique hotel caught our eye when we walked around town. It’s in the perfect location and the rooms are even equipped with a free mini bar! Perfect for a romantic getaway. Book here.

SH Ingles Hotel Valencia
In front of the SH Ingles Hotel with our suitsuit suitcases. Buy them here

Valencia Pro’s
» Transport, food and drinks are cheap
» City & beach in one (major pro)
» crazy delicious food
» Vegan and veggies options
» Great for shopping

Valencia Cons
» Can be busy and hot during summer (from June- Aug)
» If you don’t speak a bit of Spanish you might have some difficulties asking for directions. Most people in Valencia speak poor English. We advise you to learn a few sentences.

Exploring Valencia
Exploring the colorful streets of Valencia. Elke wears the Kimono top from Costes

Remember that you can still apply for the Wanderlust & Costes competition! Win 2 suitcases from SuitSuit, Costes clothing worthy of €250,- plus a city trip for 2 with srprs.me! (best price ever!) Go here to apply!
*The competition runs until the 1st of June and is only valid for women living in the Netherlands

Love,

Wander-Lust

*All pictures were shot with the Olympus PEN & OMD E-10

The best of Belgium » Ghent and Bruges

Combine two cities that are both worth your visit when visiting Belgium. Ghent and Bruges.

Where I stayed

It was dark when we arrived so I couldn’t really see where I ended up at but I loved it already. This village was nothing special other than it is perfect for what we were planning: Visit Ghent on the one day and visit Bruges on the next day. From Eeklo both cities were about a 25 min drive. We stayed in a place called Salus, a wellness bed & breakfast owned by a family. We enjoyed a large bedroom with a private bathroom that included a rain shower, sauna, steam room and an outside jacuzzi! The room price includes a breakfast but if you want to use the sauna and steam room, you need to pay 35 euro’s extra. I personally don’t really like sauna’s so I didn’t bother with this option. I love staying in B&B’s because it feels more personal instead of a large hotel. The next morning we jumped in our car and drove to our first destination of the weekend.

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Waking up with this breakfast at Salus

Jacuzzi in Eeklo
Private Jacuzzi time in B&B Salus in Eeklo

Ghent

I heard good stories about this city and Sarah has been there a few times so I was exited to see what the buzz is all about. Ghent is full of beautiful of old buildings that make it a picture perfect place. Not strange because during the Middle Ages it was a prominent city-state. Now it’s a vibrant university town with lot’s of places to indulge your taste buds. It’s a small town which makes it cozy but it certainly isn’t boring! Every year you can enjoy the “Gentse feesten” which takes place in July and there are various activities throughout the city like music, dance, food and more. I only had one day but I enjoyed shopping, coffee bars, lunch spots and walking around. 

Ghent and Bruges. Streets of Ghent

Ghent, Belgium

Elke in Ghent.
Walking the streets of Ghent

My favorite hotspots in Ghent are:

» Barista Coffee & Cake, The’ve been around for at least 6 years and they still attract the hip crowd of Ghent. www.mybarista.be
» Pomme et Terre, opened in March, this is a healthy lunch option right in the centre of Ghent. Sweet potato with healthy toppings. Try the vegetarian ChileconCarne! They even sell brownies made with sweet potatoes, coconut and raw cacao powder. Facebook
» Walpoortstraat for cute stores including a few concept stores. You will also find the cool OR coffee roasters in this street. www.orcoffee.be
» Proof, a new alcohol tasting room and they’ve just opened! Taste all kind of beers, wines and other alcoholic beverages. Proof is a combination between a store and a bar and it’s situated alongside the water on Jan Breydelstraat. 
» Koperhuis Lifestyle Boutique for cool furniture, home accessories, jewelry and gift ideas. www.koperhuis.be

Hotspots in Ghent
Drinks at Proof and healthy lunch at Pomme et Terre


Bruges

The next day we checked out and drove up to Bruges. This town has been on my wishlist for a while after seeing the movie “In Bruges” so I was really exited. Let me tell you, Bruges didn’t disappoint! As soon as you enter this town it feels like you have entered the medieval times. The shops in Bruges are (in my opinion) a lot better than in Ghent. 

Wander-Lust in Bruges
Am I in the medieval times?

Ghent and Bruges. Elke in Bruges
How cute is this place! Bruges is full of it!

Ghent and Bruges
Boat tours are very popular in Bruges

My favorite hotspots in Bruges:

» Jüttu is by far the best concept store in town. Cool brands in fashion and furniture or just things to love. Most brands are sustainable or fairtrade. www.juttu.be
» 2B /The Beerwall is a famous wall made out of beer bottles and leads to a beer bar with a nice terras looking over the water. Facebook
» Fishmarket in the morning for all the fresh fish. Later they sell art and local brands in stalls that date back from 1821.
» Simon Stevin Square
is great for drinks in the sunshine. Try to avoid the tourist trap at the main square (where you shoot the perfect picture like below)

» El Greco for the best Greek food at night. Make a reservation to avoid a full house. www.el-greco.be

Wander-Lust in Bruges
Picture perfect Bruges


Hotspots in Bruges
Concept satore Jüttu, Food at El Greco and the famous beerwall

Ghent and Bruges are both amazing vities in their own right and you should definitely visit them both if you get the chance!

Love,

Elke