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.

Amsterdam event calendar for December

There’s so much happening in Amsterdam all year round. Find out what’s up in Amsterdam in the month December.
Check out the Amsterdam event calendar and enjoy!

Amsterdam Light Festival
When?
Nov 28th – Jan 17th / All Day
What? 
The heart of Amsterdam will light up with beautiful light installations.
Kicking off this Saturday, our previous Queen Beatrix will open the 4th edition of the Amsterdam Light Festival. This years theme is friendship.

So take your best friend and enjoy classical music from accompanist Merlijn Twaalfhoven and more. The opening takes place in front of the National Opera & Ballet entrance.
www.amsterdamlightfestival.com

681e7970-52b2-4498-b84e-284eef094e06
Cool installations will light up Amsterdam. (source: iamsterdam.com)

Badplaats Winter sessions at Volkshotel
When? 6th of December and onwards / 1pm – 5pm
What? Rooftop hot tubs with live music and drinks. Awesome.
Hidden at Volkshotel’s rooftop, there’s a very special place called Badplaats. This mini spa, including three hot tubs and a sauna, is usually only open to hotel guests. But this winter it’s open to anyone! Every first Sunday of the month, it’s time for an extra special Badplaats Winter Sessions including storytelling or live music. There will be blankets and Jameson Irish Whiskey will provide drinks to keep you warm. All you’ll have to do is bring your swim wear. Entrance is free!
For more info check here.

12240114_1318495344833056_1846025221482824096_n
(Source: Ramond van Mil)

Christmas Tree Market at Hutspot Rozengracht
When? Dec 12th (all day but the X-mas Tree Market is open till 4pm)
What? Not only can you buy all your gifts at Hutspot, but also your Christmas tree! 
Hutspot has teamed up with Kerstbomen Amsterdam and Penelope’s to complete the Christmas feeling by making some delicious Hot Chocolate with Marshmallow, Glühwein, and some nice bites like gingerbread and chocolate. There will be a live jazz band too!
Check here for all the info

The Detox Tour at Hortus Botanicus
When? Dec 13th from 1pm
What? Enjoy an afternoon of natural energy and nutrition with a tasting workshop and a healthy lifestyle.
The Hortus Botanicus in Amsterdam is more than just a place to chill with the plants. See, learn, smell and taste during a tour about edible products from nature. You can then sit down at 14.30 at the workshop of food bloggers! They provide tips and tricks for a healthier lifestyle and you have the opportunity to ask questions. 

Be quick if you want to join in because full is full! Check the Facebook page for more info

Schermopname (1)
More than plants at the Hortus Botanicus this Month!

Xmas Market À Là x House of Sakk
When? Dec 13th / 11am – 7pm
What? The 2 brands join hands and organize their first ever Christmas Market at Pistache in Amsterdam
Enjoy delicious snacks and drinks with the best fashion, interior, art, jewelry and accessory brands. Just in time for Christmas!

Check the Facebook Event for more info

Local Goods Market Christmas Edition
When? Dec 19th & 20th 12pm – 17.30
What? Local brands and products in Amsterdam
Fashion brands, amazing food, furniture and more. Expect the usual suspects and new faces at this Christmas edition.

I love the fact that only local brands participate. You’ll be surprised on how many cool and new idea’s there are!
www.localgoodsmarket.nl

3.Recyle-940x705
Get your local goods at the Hallen in Amsterdam. (source: De Hallen)

Not in Amsterdam, but too good to ignore:

Allerhande Christmasfestival in Utrecht
When? Dec 11th – 13th 10am – 10pm
What? The most popular supermarket in the Netherlands is hosting a Christmas Festival
For three days long there will be a feast of inspiration about food & drink at the railway museum in Utrecht. From starter to dessert, from drinks to breakfast. There are cooking workshops and live music, an inviting ice skating ring with winter delights, and there are all sorts of fun activities for children.
Tickets cost 10 euro’s for adults
www.allerhandekerstfestival.nl

12322740_904236906356529_7760144295591382071_o
Source Allerhande

We will update this calendar whenever needed so keep an eye out!

Happy Holidays!

Wander-Lust