The Best in Travel List 2020 by Lonely Planet

Yearly, the Lonely Planet publish their highly anticipated Best In Travel List. Destinations across the globe hope to be included, as it usually results in a gain of tourism.

With so many people traveling nowadays, it’s almost impossible to choose between the many destinations on offer. How do you decide where to go next? The Lonely Planet has just published the Best in Travel List 2020, that may just help you decide on where to travel to this year. 

Top 10 Countries:

  1. Bhutan
  2. England
  3. North Macedonia
  4. Aruba
  5. eSwatini
  6. Costa Rica
  7. Netherlands
  8. Liberia
  9. Morocco
  10. Uruguay

Tulip field Netherlands
The Netherlands made the top 10! Maybe it has to do with our beautiful Tulips?

This Best in Travel List 2020 can take you all over the world

Bhutan is topping the best in travel list this year because they operate on a strict high value, low impact tourism policy. ‘It is already the world’s only carbon-negative country, and the kingdom is set to become the first fully organic nation by 2020, so it’s only going to get more beautiful.’ Says the Lonely Planet. It may come as a surprise, but England got the 2nd position despite the Brexit. Consequently, it has to do with England’s beautiful coastline with more sections opening up to the public. And let’s not forget about the Netherlands, as Dutch citizens we are proud to be included!

Bhutan best in travel 2020

Top 10 Cities:

  1. Salzburg, Austria
  2. Washington DC, USA
  3. Cairo, Egypt
  4. Galway, Ireland
  5. Bonn, Germany
  6. La Paz, Bolivia
  7. Kochi, India
  8. Vancouver, Canada
  9. Dubai
  10. Denver, USA

Plenty of cities to choose from in 2020, but which one is your favourite?

Salzburgerland
Beautiful Salzburg

Best Value Destinations:

  1. East Nusa, Indonesia
  2. Budapest, Hungary
  3. Madhya Pradesh, India
  4. Buffalo NY, USA
  5. Azerbaijan
  6. Serbia
  7. Tunisia
  8. Cape Winelands, South Africa
  9. Athens, Greece
  10. Zanzibar, Tanzania

If you’re looking for a first class destination, without the first class ticket price, these 10 destinations are tipped to be the best in value. Even the Cape Winelands in South Africa, that are portrayed as fancy, has more accommodations to suit every budget. We are not talking Asian prices, but the change is there, and that’s a great thing!

Nusa, best in travel

For the whole list check Lonely Planet. So where will you go in 2020?

Love,

Elke

 

 

Germany has Islands! | We visited Norderney

Did you know that Germany has beaches? In fact, they have more than 10 islands located on the North shore that you probably haven’t heard of. We took the boat to one of the larger islands; Norderney.

Norderney is quite a popular island amongst Germans that are looking for that seaside breeze. But for many Europeans, this island still remains pretty lowkey. Although I had never heard of the German islands before, I was pleased to receive an invitation to discover Norderney.

How to get there

From Amsterdam, you drive up to Norddeich which takes around 3,5 hours. You can park your car at one of three parking-lots that will cost you 5 euro per day. From here you take the ferry. Tickets are available online and for a return ticket you pay €22,-. You can also bring your car, but you won’t really need it on Norderney. The journey only takes 50 minutes, and there is plenty of space to sit or buy something at the ferry café.

Ferry to Norderney

Norderney will surprise you

In all fairness, once you set foot on the island, you will notice that 80% of Norderney visitors are above the age of 50 plus. Although this may be true (and there is nothing wrong with that). Therefore I expected the island to be a bit dull and outdated. Boy, I was wrong. To beging with, the architecture looks amazing. For example, you’ll notice the many white stylish buildings and houses. Not to mention the chique hotels and café’s and the many amazing restaurants for you to try out.

Norderney Beach chairs

Where to stay

In general, there are plenty of guesthouses and hotels to choose from, but I stayed at one of the coolest boutique hotels on the island. In fact, Hotel Inselloft is more like a modern style apartment complex that includes a restaurant (Esszimmer), bakery/café, shop and spa. Even the reception area isn’t what you would normally see. The vibe here is lowkey, even though everything looks neat and stylish thanks to high-quality materials, cool brands and fine fabrics. I was lucky enough to stay in one of their lofts, a room with an equipped kitchen, large bathroom, outside terrace and 2 bedrooms, one of which was located up the stairs.

Hotel Inselloft Norderney
Loft room at Inselloft Norderney

Inselloft Norderney

Food & Drink

If you stay here, you must try to have dinner at Esszimmer, the hotel’s restaurant. Chef Felix Wessler, that cooks everything from the open style kitchen, changes the menu per season. Most of the ingredients are local, which you can definitely taste. In the morning, the restaurants operates as the breakfast room where cooking is done at the stove in the evening, guests can help themselves to a rich buffet in the morning. The bakery next door is great for a barista-style coffee and people from the whole island literally stand in line for their freshly baked bread.

Inselloft

Breakfast Inselloft, Norderney
Breakfast

Esszimmer, Norderney
Restaurant Esszimmer

Things to do

During the summer months, Norderney has plenty of events, including a music festival. But there are a few things the island is famous for which we listed down here.

Enjoy the 14 km stretch beaches

The best way to discover Norderney’s beaches is by bicycle. Cycle past the Northern beach and continue through the beautiful dunes. In between, stop at several beach houses and café’s for a drink or delicious lunch. If you like skinny dipping, you can do this at the Oase beach, which is also one of the nicer beaches. If you feel more comfortable with your clothes on, you should try Weisse Duene (hence the name) or the far East beach on Norderney. The only way to get there is by foot and is quite a nice walk for 7km that ends at a shipwreck.

Norderney beach
Nordstrand

Norderney beach
Oase Beach

Relax at the Badehaus

There is no place like it. This infamous pool & spa is known for its diversity in bath temperatures and the natural salt water. From sauna’s and dark salt baths, to ice-cold rain showers and jacuzzi’s. I enjoyed a signature schlick body wrap, which is basically mud from the sea that smells like a fish market but is great for your skin! Next to that, there is also a family swimming pool with a laser light waterslide that I couldn’t get enough of. Check www.norderney.de/badehaus-norderney to book an appointment.

Watch the sunset at Milchbar

If the weather is nice, Milchbar is packed with people that sip on cocktails and watch the sun set in the North sea. We don’t blame them because it really is the best spot on the island to do so. Milchbar also offers cakes, salads and more.

Sunset
Sunset at the Milchbar

Have lunch at one of the many beach bars

Funny enough, Norderney has many café and restaurants that are stylish and trendy. Some of my favourites are the lowkey Surfcafé,and Weisse Düne, upscale Strandpieper and of course the chill Milchbar for the best Aperol Spritze.

Beach chairs Weisse Duene
Weisse Düne

Surfcafe Norderney
Lunch at Surfcafé

Shopping

Although Norderney isn’t comparable to a city, there are surprisingly plenty of cobblestone streets with boutiques stores plus small eateries. Must try: Matjes fish on a bread roll.

cycling Norderney
Explore the island! Bicycles are available for rent at Hotel Inselloft

My verdict:

All things considered, Norderney is probably one of the biggest surprises of 2019 for me. The Frisian island is for suitable for families, pensioners but also couples will love this island if you are looking for an easy going vibe, long stretch beaches and great food options. I’m curious to see the rest of Germany’s islands!

Exclusive Offer!

If you book a stay of at least two nights at Hotel Inselloft and enter the code WANDERLUST when making your reservation, you will receive a 30 EUR voucher for Restaurant Marienhöhe directly opposite the hotel on arrival. Valid for reservations between 1. October 2019 and 31. March 2020. Please Note: Restaurant Marienhöhe is closed between 1. and 26. December and a voucher for this period is excluded.

Happy travels.

Elke

Konstanz City Guide

Berlin, Hamburg or München. All cities that you have heard of. But today we want to introduce you a lesser known German city that deserves a mention; Konstanz.

Located next to Lake Constance (Bodensee) and near the border of Switzerland, Konstanz is a great option if you want to combine more destinations in a short period. It has the charm of a German city, yet it feels more like a southern holiday destination, especially during summer. The easiest way to get here is by train or car because it doesn’t have an airport. That saying, it depends on the destination you’re traveling from of course.

City Guide Konstanz

Konstanz can be described as a peaceful city where people enjoy the outdoors and enjoy long summer evenings with friends.

Where to stay

Hotel prices can be quite expensive in Konstanz so it’s great to have an option that is reasonably affordable plus comfortable. We stayed at ibis Styles, which is playful, stylish and low key. You’ll find all sorts of travellers here. Families, couples, old & young and even business travellers. Every ibis Styles hotel is unique and has its own style and theme. Because Konstanz is located next to the water, it was no surprise that the hotel played into that.

ibis styles Konstanz
The bar at ibis Styles Konstanz

Our Room

We stayed in a family room on the top floor which was perfect because it had 2 separate parts but could also be transformed into one large area. This meant our little boy could sleep peacefully while we watched our favourite series. It includes a small kitchen with a fridge and a bar.

Ibis Styles Konstanz
ibis Styles Konstanz

Breakfast was actually surprisingly good! Croissants, crunchy bread rolls, fruit and healthy oats could be found at the morning buffet. Nice to know: they are currently refurbishing their garden that will feature a Jeu de Boules area and plenty of space for outdoor seating.

WIN WIN WIN

Because we are this years ibis Styles ambassadors, we can make ONE lucky person happy with a free night for 2 people at an ibis Styles Hotel of choice, located in the Benelux! Your free stay will include free wifi and a good breakfast of course. All you need to do is, comment below or below our Facebook post about Konstanz and tag the person you want to take with you! *Please note, that travel cost are not included.

Konstanz City Guide
Yes, that’s me swimming in the river of Konstanz

What to do

  • Schänzle
    Locals enjoy the sunset here and socialise with friends. Locals come here to relax, eat and drink.
  • Bodensee Therme Pool
    If you have kids, you should visit this fun and beautiful outdoor swimming pool. Next door is a therma bath which you need to pay extra for if you want to use it, but you can also swim in the lake. Plenty of slides and a kiddies pool fo the little ones.
  • Strandbad Horn
    Right next to the pool, there is a free sunbathing spot that is lovely. You can swim in Lake Constance and there is a sandy area, plus enough space.
  • Mainau flower island
    Just offshore from Lake Constance you’ll find this very special island with greenhouses, rose gardens, and acres of other beautiful flowers. Because of Konstanz semitropical climate, some of the most stunning flowers grow here.

Swimmingpool Konstanz

Konstanz, Germany
Shopping at Das Voglhaus

Where to Eat

The most important thing about a travel guide is the food right? Konstanz has plenty of choice, but there are some that stand out from the bunch.

  • Holly’s
    Such a nice place by the water with friendly staff and plenty of food choices! The interior is funky stylish, plus they have a huge outside terrace. Oh, and they also have an ice-cream bar that is just too good to skip. hollys.de
  • Wohnzimmer
    Translated to living room and that is exactly what the vibe is. Comfy chairs and sofa’s make it feel like you are stepping into your mothers living room. They mainly serve meat but also veggie burgers. Facebook
  • Das Voglhaus
    This all vegetarian and mostly vegan spot has been around for over 20 years! You can get healthy juices, good coffee, homemade cake and lunch here. Sustainability and animal wellbeing is key here, but they mannaged to combine that with a modern style which turned Das Voglhaus the hotspot of Konstanz. If you walk to the downstairs toilet, you end up in their next door gift shop which is also worth a visit! www.das-voglhaus.de
  • Hafenhalle
    Next to the harbour of Konstanz, you’ll find this traditional Biergarten, bar and restaurant. The food is local and mostly homemade. Come here and stay until the stars appear. www.hafenhalle.com

Hollys Konstanz
Holly’s Konstanz

food and drink at Kon
Veggie hotspot Das Voglhaus

Das Voglhaus Konstanz
Vitamins at Das Voglhaus

In short, Konstanz is a great alternative for a city trip if you are planning to travel through Germany or Switzerland!

Love,

Elke

*This article was written in collaboration with ibis Styles

 

Glamping 3.0 » Sleeping in a Wine Barrel!

I’m always open to new things when it comes to travel so when I heard about this camping in Germany where you could sleep in a wine barrel, I got pretty exited. It all started when I planned a visit to my sister, who lives in the south of Germany. It takes about 7 hours to drive there as she lives near the black forest, close to Switzerland. So why not make a stopover? Germany is a beautiful country full of hills, cute towns and nature parks. But when I stay somewhere, I want it to be something special, something I haven’t done before. This is when Camping Rissbach caught my eye.

The Camping
You love it or you hate it. Campings. I use to camp with my parents since the age of 3 but we did it in Greece which is nothing compare to a Dutch camping where everything is well organized. No, we did it back to basic style so I don’t have a lot to compare with. My boyfriend loves camping so I thought it would be nice to surprise him with something special. The camping I choose was perfectly situated between Amsterdam and my sisters house in Germany. After a 4 hours drive we arrived at Camping Rissbach, situated perfectly next to the Moselle river which flows through France, Luxembourg, and Germany. The camping exist 10 years and is run by a Dutch family. The atmosphere is relax and laid back. Like all campings, you can bring your own caravan, tent or camper. But this camping is extra special because of their luxe glamping options. Sleeping in a Wine Barrel.

Sleeping in a Wine Barrel
I booked a XXL Wine Barrel to sleep in and it was so cool! The Wine Barrel has everything you need. A fully functional toilet, washing sink, table, refrigerator, a 2 persons bed and the possibility to make 2 extra beds. I felt like a total gypsy sleeping in here! There are 4 XXL Wine Barrels available and 6 normal size. The normal size barrels don’t have a toilet and only one entrance instead of 2. The Wine Barrels are all stationed alongside the river which is a great way to wake up! You can get freshly baked bread at the campings bakery and have breakfast in front of your accommodation. 

Sleeping in a Wine Barrel
There are 4 XXL accommodations available to rent and 6 normal size

Inside of the Wine Barrel
Sleep tight..how romantic!

The Area
Traben-Trabach is a great area for cycling and walking. I really don’t think hiking is just for “older” people. Raised in a country without hills or mountains, I love hiking! Moselsteig is the area’s most lover hiking trail. At 365 km, it’s voted as the most beautiful long distance route in Germany. I only managed to walk a very short part of it due to lake of time but I did walk up to the old fortress (which was a pretty steep climb!) From here you have a beautiful view of the Moselle river and area. You can book a walking tour via camping Rissbach. Pauze for a coffee and enjoy the view of the many wineries. Yes, Traben-Tribach is full of them! This place is renowned for the steepest wineries in the whole of Europe. There are many wine cellars and wine tastings all year round and I was so lucky to witness such an event during my stay. All the wine farmers around the area showcasing their best wines and I got to taste it? Sleeping in a wine barrel fits quite well don’t you think? If you want something traditional you should eat at Zunft Shüne restaurant. It’s like walking into a museum with hundreds of attributes and different rooms. Walk towards the village past the Moselle river to get there in 15-20 minutes.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
Restaurant Zunft Shune

Sleeping in a wine barrel in Traben-Trabach
Tasting wine, dinner at Zunft Shune and the view of the Moselle river

Sleeping in a wine barrel at Camping Rissbach
Stop at the fortress for a coffee

View over the Moselle River
After a steep walk you are rewarded with this view (with the wineries on the right)

Curious to see what this part of Germany has to offer? Book your stay in a Wine Barrel here!

Love,

Elke

Alternative Christmas markets in Niedersachsen, Germany

We all know the common Christmas markets like Düsseldorf, Keulen, Bremen and Essen in Germany. So we decided to check out some picturesque and alternative Christmas markets. We visited ‘Niedersachsen’, a federal state in north-western Germany.

Local Christmas vibes in Stade
We arrived in Stade at the perfect moment. On the third weekend of the Advent Calendar, the locals welcome you to their city with some special Christmas magic. A medieval market lures visitors around the town hall. The locals are dressed as if they live in the medieval times, and the street is lit by candles. Different local delicacies can be enjoyed here, like ‘Baumkuchen’. This is a real treat! It’s a layered cake, looking like the inside of a tree (baum means tree). But also a lot of delicious liquors, wines, marzipan and more.

Stade Niedersachsen
The cute houses in Stade

Stade Germany

In this weekend the locals will also introduce you to the traditional ‘Winterfackelschwimmen am Fischmarkt’. Brave men defy the cold water in the beautiful Hansehafen with torches in their hands to sing some traditional Christmas songs. Lots of respect for them, I wasjust standing there on the land, in a warm coat was freezing cold! Stader Weihnachtsmarkt is open till 23 December 2018 (at the Fischmarkt till 30 December). Monday to Saturday from 10.30 untill 20.00 and Sundays from 12.00 untill 20.00. For more info about Niedersachsen, check the website.


Winterfackelschwimmen

Larissa warming up
Warming up

Christmas Market Stade

What to do in Stade (anytime)
Visiting Stade can be jolly during each month of the year. Getting here was easy, from Amsterdam to Stade takes about six hours by car. The Hansehafen is very photogenic, which you can also admire from the top of the church St. Cosmae. It’s a steep walk up the stairs, but you will be rewarded with a beautiful view. A public tour in the tower will cost you 3 euro per person. You can book tickets here.

Stade Germany
The view from the tower

Topographical fact: Don’t be afraid to get lost in Stade, the town center is only 400 by 800 meters.

Where to stay
Trust me, you want to stay the night. Christmas markets are at their best when it’s dark, and this way everybody can enjoy some nice hot ‘Glühwein’. Don’t forget to try out the ‘Schmalzkuchen’. This sweet indulgence will make you want more. It’s kind of like a doughnut, but not as sloppy fat and more tasteful. You just have to try it for yourself!  For the night, we stayed at Parkhotel Staderhof. The perfect place to stay during a trip to Stade. Parking is free, the beds are heavenly and the breakfast is even better. The German people really know how to pamper you.

Breakfast in Stade
Breakfast at Parkhotel Staderhof 


Alternative Christmas vibes in Kliemannsland
The Germans will know his name: Fynn Kliemann, a German web designer, entrepreneur, musician, writer, actor, YouTuber and winner of “1 Live Krone 2018” (a German music award) in the category “Best Newcomer”. He is best known for his various YouTube Channels “Fynn Kliemann” (The Heimwerkerking), “Kliemannsland” and “Fynn Kliemann Musik”. Because of Fynn’s all-round talents, it was only a matter of time before he needed more space. And so Kliemannsland was born, a place where anyone who wants to create is welcome to do so. Because it will always be a work in progress, visitors are asked to bring some nice decorations, write on the walls and bring in any ideas they have for the place. 

Kliemansland

Tip: Everybody is welcome to bring along some Christmas decorations for in the tree!

Rudolf in Kliemansland
Even Rudolf was there!

In the winter, Kliemannsland introduces ‘WuWiZaKliLa’, meaning: ‘WunderWinterZauberKliemannsland’. You can expect a lot of food stands with more than just the usual crepes and bratwurst (think about sweet potato boxes and pasta’s), nice drinks (try not to be the designated driver) and a stage with live music! For everybody who’s done with traditional Christmas markets, this is the place to be. It’s hip, new and takes sustainability serious. For example; the toilets are all natural. Your number 2 won’t be flushed away by water, but covered with sawdust. Naturally biodegradable! Have a look at their Instagram account to find out what’s on. The next Christmas Market at Kliemannsland will be mid-December 2019.

How to get there
The best way to get to Kliemannsland is by their shuttle service from Zeven. You can park the car at a large parking lot, Gerhard-Liesegang-Str. in Zeven, and get transferred to Kliemannsland. What a service!

So for all of you who are looking for something fresh and alternative Chistmas Markets, Niedersachsen is worthy of a visit. There is so much more to explore around the Holidays than the big and well-known city’s. I’m curious where we’ll end up next year, in 2019. With that said, I want to wish you a lot of new experiences and travels in next year and cozy times with family and friends during Christmas. Happy Holidays!

Love,

Larissa

11 Stunning Castles in Europe You Must Visit!

Castles. They are impressive, and have a historical story to tell. The castle popularity has risen over the years, since the start of social media, which is mainly because of their photogenic look. Time to check them out right? We’ve lined up 11 amazing castles in Europe that are worth your visit.

Neuschwanstein Castle
Probably the most famous castle in Europe, perhaps in the world. It looks like something out of a fairy-tail, and when you look at it, you might think that sleeping beauty is sleeping in one of it’s towers. It’s located near Füssen in southwest Bavaria in Germany, and it’s one of the most photographed castles around. It dates back from the 19th century, so it’s a wonderful historical building that looks amazing during all seasons.

Castle germany
Neuschwanstein Castle

They say living in a castle is objectively romantic, and we’re totally fine with that!

Pena Palace, Portugal
One of the most colourful castles in Europe! Therefore, it’s extremely popular with tourist, so difficult to snap a picture without people on it. @BARNADRIFT was one of the lucky ones who managed. Would love to know his secret! The palace is located on a hill and rises above a Portuguese town named Sintra. On a clear day, you might even spot it from Lisbon.

Pena Palace, Portugal

Craigievar Castle, Scotland
A pink castle, hello! We think this is the cutest castle we have seen so far. And who knew, it’s located in Scotland! It’s at least 400 years old, and the Forbes family generation lived here for 350 years until it was given to the National Trust for Scotland by William Forbes-Sempill. Fellow travel girl @ANANEWYORK made this incredible picture that was shared around the world.

Craigievar Castle, Scotland
Pretty pink Cragievar

Schloss Drachenburg, Germany
Yes, another castle located in Germany. Officially, this is not a real castle, but a private villa that has been build in a palace/castle kind of architecture. But who cares, it looks awesome!

Schloss
Reminds us of Disneyland!

A man’s home is his wife’s castle

Corvin Castle, Romania
This spooky looking castle is located in Hunedoara, Romania. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and figures in a list of the seven wonders of Romania, so they are very proud of it!

Corvin Castle, Romania
The princess and her castle.. by @varwarock

Peles Castle, Romania
Another castle in the land of Romania, but this one has a completely different look & feel. Situated in the green mountains of the Prahova County, this castle was built between 1873 and 1914. It’s now being used for events and tours. If you ever get the chance, have a look inside, because it looks incredible!

Peles Castle Romania

Gripsholm Castle, Sweden
Yes we love pink, so we had to add Gripsholm Castle on the list. Again, this castle looks very different that what you perhaps would expect. It’s surrounded by water, and located about 60km from Stockholm.

Castle
Gripsholm Castle by @mrbaging

Chateau de Chambord
France has many beautiful castles, but this one is by far the most impressive we think.

Chateau de Chambord
Photo courtesy of @rita1889

Mont Saint-Michel, France
It’s an Instagram favourite, the Mont Saint-Michel in France! It’s so popular, because you can photograph this castle in various conditions. When the water around Mont Saint-Michel rises, it looks completely different. Back in prehistoric days, the castle wasn’t covered by water, so overtime erosion reshaped the coastal landscape.

Mont Saint-Michel, France
Photo by @Jack_Anstey

Predjama Castle, Slovenia
This castle reminds us of a scene out of Lord of the Rings. The Predjama Castle is build in between a cave mouth, and has something mysterious about it. It’s in fact the largest cave castle in the world! It’s said to be more than 800 years old, and has a network of secret tunnels. You can also visit the cave itself, which is home to a lot of bats!

Predjama Castle in Slovenia
Lord of the rings?

De Haar Castle, Holland
And because we are Dutch, we felt we needed to highlight one of Holland’s prettiest castles, De Haar, in Maarsen. It’s pretty huge and a very popular wedding location! If you have a drone, you can see the total beauty, as it’s so widely spread over the premises.

Castle De Haar, Holland
Photo courtesy of @Arden_nl.

There you have it, 11 amazing castles you should definitely add on your bucketlist.

Love,

Elke

*Header Photo courtesy of @ANANEWYORK

7 x Amazing Accommodations in The Black Forest!

The black forest is a huge forest located in the South of Germany, which is well known by many outdoor fanatics. I’ve been coming here for years, because my sister lives in the area. After all these years, it was about time that I wrote something about it. Planning to visit? These are 8 unusual but must visit accommodations in or near the Black Forest.

Black Forest Accommodations
The Black Forest is stunning and yet not known by everyone

black forest
Waterfalls and green at the Black Forest

Bubble Tent at Furtwangen

Sleep underneath the stars and wake up my the morning skies. The bubble tent is equipped with a bed, a small table, 2 chairs and a fridge with free drinks and a separate bathroom with free towels. Mind you, when it’s hot, it can be quite steamy inside the bubble during the day. However, this stay would definitely be a memorable one with a view like this! www.bubble-tent.de

accommodations in the black forest
Source

Hotel Liberty at Offenburg

If you love pretty boutique hotels, this is a must visit. This former prison that dates back from the 1800’s turned into a beautiful design hotel with 38 rooms. They’ve kept some of the original prison doors and steel windows to add some details. The rooms are incredible! The beds are huge and there is a separate bathtub standing in the room, which makes it such a treat to jump in straight away. Guests can use the swimming pool & spa down the road (5 minute walk) for free. www.hotel-liberty.de

Black forest accommodations
The old prison doors

Bedroom shot
Waking up in a prison, has never felt so good

Schwarzwald Camp

This campsite is located about 45 minutes from Freiburg. Sleep in a Tipi Tent, normal tent, in a tree or in a gondola! The outdoor options are endless here and it’s certainly special! www.schwarzwaldcamp.com

Schwarzwaldcamp Black Forest
Source

Black Forest Lodge at Feldberg

Recently opened back in December, this huge wooden lodge, offers guest apartments throughout the seasons. During the winter you can ski down the Feldberg and during the sunny season, you can stay here while exploring the beautiful surroundings of the Black Forest. All apartments are equipped with a kitchen, bedroom, a very modern and spacious bathroom, and living area. All guests can use the sauna and relaxing area, and there are many villages nearby for supermarkets or restaurants. The best thing? Your own porch with a view of the Feldberg. www.black-forest-lodge.com

Black Forest Germany
My view from the Black Forest Lodge

Sleep in a Wine Barrel at Titisee

I haven’t stayed at this particular one, but I have stayed in a wine barrel before! It’s a must do if you love to snuggle up to your loved one, because it’s very romantic and cozy. My advise is to book between June and September as it can get quite chilly otherwise.

Wine barrel

Zeitraum at Elzach-Yach

If you’re into sustainability like me, you’re going to love this hotel. This holiday home in the middle of nature with ecological structureBuild from wood and other natural materials, gently support the Feng Shui of the house. The outside jacuzzi and spa, complete your visit. It’s located 30 minutes away from Freiburg city. www.imzeitraum.de

NaturTräume in Schiltach

This is for brave and free from giddiness people! Sleep in a tent that hangs from a zipeline, over the trees of the Black Forest. Would you dare?  www.de/uebernachtung.com

naturtraume black forest

So, where would you stay?

Love,

Elke

 

 

Europa-Park » Fun for the young and old

If you have kids and you’re looking for an awesome day out, we have a weekend tip your child(ren) will love! Oh, and we think you are going to like it too! We sent Elke’s sister Miriba and her family to Germany’s Europa-Park in Germany.

Europa-Park

Europa-Park is located next to the amazing Black Forest in Germany near the border of Switzerland and France. The first thing you see when you enter the parking-lot of Europe Park is the Silver Star rollercoaster. You can hear people scream and see hands up in the sky as they feel the 4G that pushes their bodies into their seats even more…. This will give you a thrilling feeling from the first moment you entered the park and it’s a feeling that won’t leave you for the rest of the day. The Europa-Park is, as the name suggest, divided into the different countries of Europe. Lots of people walk through the park country by country but we got a good inside tip; visit your most wanted attraction first. In the morning the waiting times are not that long as in the afternoon. It also helps to download the Europa-Park app, you can see exactly what the waiting times at the various attractions are and how long it will take you to get there.

Wander-Lust in Europa-Park
Miriba and her children walk though Europa-Park

It took 9 months to build this ride and more than a thousand people worked on the project.

The Rides

At Europa-Park there are enough rides to keep you going for a whole weekend but the first ride me and my family tried was the new “Voletarium“. It’s located near the entrance and is officially the biggest flying theater in Europe. If you can’t make it first thing in the morning, it is possible to get a so called “time-ticket“ which gives you a time slot to which you can come back have almost no waiting time. The Voletarium is the most expensive attraction in the park and we already got a taste of that while waiting. The hallways were magnificently decorated and as we arrived at the starting point, we didn’t have the feeling to have waited very long. When you take your seat in front of the 425 m² screen, you see a short film shot from a bird’s-eye perspective and because the seats are moving and the screen is so close you really have the feeling you’re flying! The shots are all filmed by drones or helicopters and all in high definition quality.

Volitarium Europa-Park

Europa-Park for younger kids

After that we tried “Arthur“, a ride which is not only great for kids but also for their parents. The waiting area is not as nice as at the Voletarium but they have a great locker system so you don’t have to worry about your belongings while enjoying the fun. You fly over the Minimoys world that is related to the movie “Arthur and the Minimoys“.


Arthur at Europa-Park
In the Arthur ride

 

Frau Holle. Europa-Park

Water fun

A lot of rides have water involved and are great fun if it’s hot, such a the Tiroler Wildwasserbahn, Fjort Rafting or the Altantica Supersplash. All three rides are worth waiting but you can get really wet. Therefore it is always useful to bring some towels (or even a rain jacket believe it or not). Not everything in the park is fast and bumpy, there are also a lot of spots that are magical and calm such as the fairytail forest. There are even some countries that have attractions especially designed for smaller kids such as the bumper cars in Holland or almost every ride in Ireland that includes a nice playground with big slides.

wildwasserbahn Europa-Park

Unlike many other attraction parks it’s also allowed to bring your own food & drinks

Food & Drink

For lunch you can stop at one of the various eating spots the park has on offer. A lot of  the countries offer country specific food such as poffertjes in Holland or a crusty pizza in Italy. Unlike many other attraction parks it’s also allowed to bring your own food & drinks so there are a lot of picknick spots around the park to enjoy your lunch. If you want to give your feet some rest, you can opt for one of the various theater shows they offer in the park. We went to the dark night, a theatrical show with horses, acrobatics and even some magic. There are many more shows on offer but if you only have one day to spent, there is no chance to see them all.

Top 5 tips for a fun day at Europa-park:

  1. Go to your favorite attraction or ride as soon as you enter
  2. Download the Europa-Park App and prepare for your visit
  3. Pay your parking ticket right at the beginning (there are machines in the entrance area) so you don’t have to queue when you leave.
  4. If you can, visit the park for 2 days total. If you only have one day, you will miss out on the nice little playgrounds, smaller attractions and wonderful shows. You can stay in the park hotel
  5. During summer, bring some towels and dry clothes for the kids. There are also some lovely water playgrounds around the park.

We had an amazing day and it won’t be the last time that we visited Europa-Park!

Love,

Miriba

Europa-Park
Europa-Park-Straße 2, Germany

Open daily from 9am till 6pm
Website

Top 5 » Wanderlust Hotels

Ooh how we always try to find something that special, convenient and of course not too expensive place to stay whilst traveling.
The perfect accommodation. Thanks to companies like Airbnb and Nightswapping, we can sleep in some of the most fantastic places and areas in the world. There are countless hotels, hostels, bed & breakfast to rest your head, but sometimes you come across that very special one. To give you some inspiration for your next adventure, we’ve listed our top 5 wanderlust hotels:

1. The Wanderlust hotel in Singapore
Just check out their website and you’ll start to understand where they’re coming from. 
Every room has a different theme and has been designed by several creative award winning agencies. A bit crazy but definitely adventurous enough for a true wanderlust addict! 
2 Dickson Rd, Singapore 209494

http://wanderlusthotel.com/

gallery_01
PicMonkey Collage

2. 727 Fuselage Home in Costa Rica
Imagine waking up in a luxurious plane without the fear of crashing! (that’s my daydream) A refurbished vintage 1965 Boeing 727 which in its prior life shuttled globetrotters on South Africa Air and Avianca Airlines. It has been build into this amazing treehouse. This accommodation is quite famous nowadays so expect to pay about 400 dollars per night.
Hotel Costa Verde
KM 6 a Parque Nacional Manuel Antonio, Costa Rica
http://www.costaverde.com/

PicMonkey Collage
Source: southamericaadventures.com

3. Free Spirit Spheres, Canada
These are treehouses for adults. Which is great because no matter how old we are, we always want to sleep in a treehouse! Tucked away in the rainforest of Vancouver Island in Canada, here you will find yourself one with nature. Write it down, it’s for your bucketlist!
420 Horne Lake Rd, Quallicum Beach, BC V9K 1Z7, Canada
http://www.freespiritspheres.com/


PicMonkey Collage

4. Das Park Hotel in Germany
Maximum comfort in minimum space. Yes, it can be done! 
Here you sleep in “use to be” rain pipes. Guests can request a key code online and pay whatever they can afford, which gives that extra friendly touch to it.
Ebelstraße 25 a, 46242 Bottrop, Germany

http://www.dasparkhotel.net/

Das-Park-Hotel
PicMonkey Collage
Source: psfk.com

5. Poseidon Undersea Resort in Fiji
This one is for the honeymooners. Or the the extreme traveller. Or the rich kid. Well, it’s just a very cool underwater hotel and it should be for anyone! Poseidon Mystery Island comprises approximately 225 acres and is about a mile long. Surrounded by a 5,000-acre (Holy moly!) lagoon, sea life will surround you. It’s still not ready and it’s not clear yet when it will open but an estimated 150,000 potential guests have registered to stay there.
http://poseidonresorts.com/

underwater-hotel-room-at-conrad-maldives-rangali-island-hotel-underwater-hotel-the-greatest-place-for-honeymoon
PicMonkey Collage

Which one is your favourite??

Love,

Elke

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

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