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Belgium Vacation Ideas Visit Terhills Hotel in Maasmechelen

Belgium Vacation Ideas: Visit Terhills Hotel in Maasmechelen

Terhills Hotel, Belgium
Terhills Hotel, Belgium

If you are planning your vacation in Belgium then I would definitely recommend to visit Maasmechelen for a weekend. This is one of the hidden places in Belgium that not everyone knows about. Nevertheless it has a lot to offer for a romantic and lovely getaway for couples, friends and families. You can easily reach Maasmechelen village by public transport but it’s even more comfortable and faster by car. Less than an hour drive away from Brussels, Antwerp or Düsseldorf, Maasmechelen Village is located on the Meuse river in the Belgian province of Limburg. There are plenty of opportunities to park your car for example at Terhills Hotel in case you decide to spend the night there.

Where to Stay in Maasmechelen

Terhills Hotel

If you decide to stay in Maasmechelen then you should experience your stay at the historic building of Terhills Hotel. It’s a beautiful 4-star hotel with a modern interior which used to be a the main building of the Eisden mine. Already the arrival at this place will leave you speechless: An amazing green garden that reminds a little like Versailles and an imposing historic building at the end of it. This location is very popular for wedding photography.

Wellcome Drink at Terhills Hotel
Welcome Drink at Terhills Hotel

Terhills Hotel is not only unique but it’s also an architectural icon. Everywhere you can see hidden elements of the mining pre-history of the building well combined with a modern makeover: There is a half a meter difference in level between both sides of the building and the front stairs seem to look crooked. The building was built in 1932 but it had remained empty for around 25 years.The cooperation with Dôme Deco from Limburg turned the hotel into an impressive ambiance with elegant and stylish interior design.

Rooms at Terhills Hotel

I loved every moment of my stay at this hotel. From the very beginning you feel very comfortable: Welcome drinks and beautiful decorative elements, all these create the perfect atmosphere. After a fast and easy check-in the ultra-modern lift brought us to the second level with spacious corridors where our room could be found. Terhills Hotel offers 5 different types of rooms. We were staying in the Superior Room with Garden View.

Rooms at Terhills Hotel
Rooms at Terhills Hotel

Our room was outstanding: comfortable king-sized bed, flat-screen TV and an awesome big freestanding shower with bath robes and free toiletries. A sweet message from the hotel manager accompanied by Neuhaus pralines, tea, coffee and bottle of bubbles made us feel like home immediately. The beautiful view from the room and cozy vibes let you feel so good, you don’t want to leave this little oasis.

Breakfast at Terhills Hotel

Breakfast at Terhills Hotel, Maasmechelen
Breakfast at Terhills Hotel, Maasmechelen

I am very critical regarding breakfast because I’ve noticed nowadays it’s really hard to find a place that offers a delicious variety of food at the beginning of the day. Most of the time it’s just simple boring eggs and croissants. But at Terhills Hotel I was positively surprised and definitely satisfied with the quality and diversity of the dishes. They serve everything that can please your breakfast wishes: From scrambled eggs, proper bacon, American pancakes to fresh yoghurt with fruits, granola, chia and nuts. Different juices and hot drinks like coffee and tea accompany the sumptuous breakfast.

What to do in Maasmechelen Village

Designer Outlet Shopping – Shopping in Belgium

Almost everyone who lives in Belgium has at least once visited the famous designer outlet shops at Maasmechelen Village to stroll through luxury fashion and homeware stores and enjoy great discounts of up to 60%. Many famous brands present their products at significant reduced prices that you rarely can find in the cities.

Designer Outlet Shopping - Shopping in Belgium
Designer Outlet Shopping – Shopping in Belgium

The Designer Outlet is located just behind Terhills Hotel and it looks very modern and clean. There are various interesting sculptures worth of taking a picture for Instagram and comfortable benches to relax on the way from one shop to another. Families with kids will be happy to discover a big playground where they can let their toddlers have fun so the grown-ups can be focused on spending money.

Shopping at Maasmechelen Village
Shopping at Maasmechelen Village

You can easily combine smart shopping with nice dining. There are some lovely options to get food on the way or enjoy your meal in one of the three main restaurants. All in one Maasmechelen Village doubtlessly provides a relaxed and pleasant shopping experience. The best way to enjoy your shopping to maximum is to stay at Terhills Hotel and get an additional 10% discount on every purchase like I did. Sounds awesome, right?

Hiking in Belgium: Visit Connecterra

Limburg has a lot of stunning nature and picturesque views. One of them is the popular panoramic getaway in the National Park Hoge Kempen. It’s located just next to Terhills Hotel and is definitely a must visit. This place used to be used for coal mining until it was closed in 1987. You can still view the impressive shafts of the former Eisden mine which mainly have a decorative value nowadays.

Hiking in Belgium: Visit Connecterra
Hiking in Belgium: Visit Connecterra

For 3€ you can explore the park on foot. There are three well marked out hiking trails that will lead you to the best spots of Connecterra. You can also decide if you would prefer to have a short 45-minute walk or more extended 2 or 3-hour hikes, which goes around a lake and through the woods. I would suggest to go for the longer hiking trail as we did. Either way you will be rewarded with a beautiful panoramic view over the Belgian forest and lake. Some spots can be a bit steep but all in one it’s a very easy hike that everyone from young until old can enjoy.

There is visitors lounge with a little café and a great playground at the main entrance of Connecterra. So by the end or beginning of your walk you can enjoy your drink surrounded by nature. Families can let their little rebels climb around and have some fun at the modern playground.

Malta things to do and see

How to Spend Great Family Holidays in Malta

Malta is the best destination for a family holiday with kids. It’s an island country located in the central Mediterranean Sea, it’s small but with a rich and turbulent history. The country is an archipelago with the three largest islands being Malta, Gozo and Comino. Malta played a crucial role in the struggle of power between the ancient cultures of Europe, the Middle East and Africa. But why are over 2M tourists so curious to travel to Malta every year? First of all the capital of Malta, Valletta is one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites plus it has been crowned as the European Capital of Culture for 2018. There are various beautiful architectural masterpieces as well as the oldest Megalithic Temples in the world, which were also included on the UNESCO World Heritage List.

The weather & the best time to visit Malta

Moreover summer is almost all year round, winters are very short just 2 months long. I would suggest to visit Malta in September or beginning of October to avoid the heat of the hot and dry summers. Malta in September is warm, sunny and dry. The temperature is around 26°C to 29°C. Nevertheless take enough sunscreen and a hat to protect your skin from the vicious sun.

Streets of Malta's Capital, Valletta

Streets of Malta’s Capital, Valletta

Maltese people & Maltese culture

The medieval Malta is a small island with the population of 460,297 citizens. It’s full of lovely villages, reminiscent of when the Knights of Saint John settled the island. Maltese’ hospitality is renowned for it’s warmth and kindness. Additionally they adore babies and children, so if you travel with your little one and he gets fussy, don’t worry, people in Malta will smile and wave at him to help you out. The official languages are Maltese and English, making it easy to travel on the island. The Maltese language by the way is a fusion of Arabic and the Sicilian dialect of Italian. Because of being under British rule from 1800 until 1964 there are various English influences like driving on the left side of the road. Nowadays Malta is a part of the EU so the local currency is the Euro. Everyone who visits Malta can find something to fall in love with. No wonder that movies like Troy, Game of Thrones, Gladiator and Assassin’s Creed were filmed on this ancient island.

Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta

Getting around in Malta

There are various ways to explore and get around Malta. The public transport mainly bus rotates daily and frequents between all the towns including the coastal road. A one way ticket costs 2€ but you can also get a 1 week pass for 14€ to save some money. Because of high numbers of tourists and locals buses driving between St. Julian and Valletta are often crowded. Most families own cars but because the number of vehicles per household is one of the highest in Europe there is a lot of traffic going on on the roads of Malta.

MCabs Personal Driver Service in Malta

MCabs Personal Driver Service in Malta

A great and efficient way to travel in Malta is by private driver. Because we were visiting the island with our baby we decided to arrange personal transport from and to the airport with MCabs. We arrived pretty late and our driver was already expecting us directly at the arrivals gate with my name on a sign. It’s an amazing feeling to know that everything has been taken care of in advance. We arrived at our destination safely and without any hustle.

You can also find ferry services between Malta and Gozo, and even Malta and Sicily.

Where to stay in Malta

 St. Julian's (Maltese: San Giljan)

St. Julian’s (Maltese: San Giljan) in Malta

On our family holiday to Malta we decided to book a hotel which was based on the seaside town  St. Julian’s (Maltese: San Giljan). It’s situated next to Sliema, a former fishing village that turned into shopping and eating area and it’s north of the Malta’s capital, Valletta. St. Julian’s is known as a tourism-orientated area full of hotels, restaurants and nightclubs. Honestly I was surprised that so many 5 stars hotel were located in this town, it’s not a very charming place, the atmosphere wasn’t very appealing to us and there is not much to experience as a family. Nevertheless we were lucky to watch the beautiful fireworks from our balcony dedicated to the Independence Day of Malta on the 21st of September.

Where to go in Malta with kids

As I already mentioned Malta is indeed an open air museum with numerous scenic towns. The main attractions of it are spread all over the island that’s why we decided to experience MCabs’ Full Day Tour to save some time and patience while we were also traveling with our baby. It was the best decision to see everything in one day on our family vacation in Malta.

Valletta, Malta

Valletta, Malta

Visit capital of Malta, Valletta

We were picked up from our hotel at 9:30 am and headed straight to beautiful Valletta. It’s a must visit and wander through the charming narrow streets of Malta’s tiny capital Valletta, built by the Knights of St. John on the peninsula. It’s founder decreed that it should be “a city built by gentlemen for gentlemen”, and it retains it’s 16th-century golden-stone fortresses. Don’t be fooled by it’s size because Valletta is “one of the most concentrated historic areas in the world”.

View from the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta

View from the Upper Barrakka Gardens in Valletta

James, our guide was showing us the most significant areas and buildings of Valletta. He told us a lot about Malta’s history like the meaning of Order of St. John. Besides on another day you can also visit the famous St. John’s Co-Cathedral if you don’t mind standing in the long queue, or the Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th century palace repleted with impressive paintings and antique collections. Enjoy the picturesque view of the Three Cities and Grand Harbour from the Upper Barrakka Gardens. If you make it there at 12am you can witness a midday gun salute, firing the cannons. Surely but right Valletta spoils it’s guests with numerous cafés and restaurants where you can enjoy a glass of local wine or beer Cisk on the terrace.

Exciting Corsairs of Malta Tours

Exciting Corsairs of Malta Tours

Fun things to do in Malta: Pirate Tour

There is another great guided walking tour that introduces you to Malta’s shady mysterious past and I  would definitely recommend it to everyone. Corsairs of Malta Tours are full of provocative and captivating information, on the other hand if you are traveling with little ones it can also be organized to be innocent children’s ears friendly. I didn’t expect that there are so many dark secrets about the corsairs, the Order of St. John and Malta’s cruel history. All these intriguing facts have just recently been exposed and the tour guides are continuing to research this shocking topic. That means more and more of these violent but colourful facts will be added to every tour.

The Most Famous Fishing Village in Malta, Marsaxlokk

The Most Famous Fishing Village in Malta, Marsaxlokk

Things to do in Marsaxlokk, Malta

After spending 2 hours in the capital of Malta we’ve been driven to one of the most famous fishing villages in Malta, Marsaxlokk. The brightly colored fishing boats, morning markets and restaurants serving freshly caught fish among the harbour are the main attractions of this peaceful place. Interesting fact though every boat has an eye painted on the bow, the symbol of health and protection. It ensures that the fishermen are being kept safe while they are out to sea.

The "Silent City", Mdina

The “Silent City”, Mdina

Things to do in Mdina

We tasted the local seasonal fish lampuka at one of the restaurants in Marsaxlokk. My tip let your tour guide know what your budget is for the lunch so you won’t be surprised with the bill. Afterwards we made our way to an ancient capital of Malta: Mdina. Located at a high point in the heart of the island, medieval Mdina has been dubbed as the “Silent City”, which perfectly describes this place. Approximately 300 residents mainly aristocrats and nobility live in the fortified city that traces back to 800 BC. There are limited cars and all this contributes to the peaceful and timeless atmosphere.

The View from the Top of Mdina, Malta

The View from the Top of Mdina, Malta

We were exploring magical Mdina, walking through it’s walled, narrow laneways and visiting some churches. We could also enjoy the 180º view of the island from the top of Mdina. Afterwards we were invited for a drink in one of the gorgeous cafés with unique views over the countryside, Fontanella Tea Garden. Regrettably I didn’t try their homemade cake but this place is famous for it!

Rotunda of Mosta, Malta

Rotunda of Mosta, Malta

Rotunda of Mosta, Malta

Rotunda of Mosta, Malta

Why you should visit Rotunda of Mosta

Our final destination after the exciting day of getting to know the best of Malta was the Rotunda of Mosta. Mosta is at 66m high the third largest unsupported Dome in Europe after the St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome and St. Paul’s Cathedral in London. Golden limestone from the outside and amazingly colorful and quiet inside, this gorgeous building is indeed impressive. There is a tragic and fortunate story behind it: During WW2, a half tonne bomb was dropped on the building, going through the roof, it didn’t explode or injury anyone, this was regarded as a miracle. There is a small room in the church which shows a replica of the bomb.

Replica of the Bomb

Replica of the Bomb

Around 6pm we were brought back to our hotel bursting with memorable impressions of Malta. My partner and I were truly amazed on our first day what this tiny island has to offer and our baby seemed to enjoy his first trip as well. It was doubtlessly worth to plan a tour with MCabs, our guide James showed us the best of Malta and introduced us to the authentic Maltese culture. Loved it!

Visit Malta’s the Three Cities of Cottonera

The Three Cities of Cottonera, Malta

The Three Cities of Cottonera, Malta

One of my favorite parts of our family trip to Malta was to be transported back in time and explore three fortifies cities of Cottonera: Vittoriosa, Senglea and Cospicua. The most common and easy way to get there is to use the 58m high Upper Barrakka lift in Valletta that you can take downstairs for free. This lift will bring you down in 25 seconds from where you can enjoy the  beautiful view of the harbour. It is also possible to combine the ferry ticket to the Three Cities for the lift as the quickest alternative to get back into the city from the Valletta waterfront.

The streets of Senglea, Malta

The streets of Senglea, Malta

The three cities are mine kind of area: tranquil streets, picturesque views and colorful details of the architecture. This is where the Knights of St. John first settled in the 16th century and many of the buildings and forts are older than in Valletta.

Pinterest Top Things To do in MaltaVittorioso also known as Birgu existed since the Middle Ages well before the arrival of the Knights. It’s also the most popular and impressive one. Vittoriosa’s waterfront is truly impressive with various sizes yachts and a fortress on a peninsula. Senglea Cospicua suffered great damage in WW2 and needed to be rebuilt. Today they are full of golden limestone houses blended with historical buildings, charming narrow streets and  appealing restaurants. The Three cities are indeed an open air museum where you can get lost for the whole day.

Food in Malta

Maltese Traditional Snack, Pastizzi

Maltese Traditional Snack, Pastizzi

While you are in Malta it’s crucial to taste the traditional cuisine which offers you an influence of cultures like Sicily, Arab and Malta’s own. The prices in Malta are a bit high for the EU standards: 10-15€ for pizza or pasta and 20-25€ for mains. A typical and very popular Maltese snack is pastizzi: Deep fried pastry filled with ricotta or any other delicious mix of vegetables and meat. It’s extremely tasty but you need to be careful not to exaggerate with it’s consumption because one pastizzi which costs around 30-40 cents contains about 500 calories. Yes, I know calories don’t count on vacation but there should be a limit.

Traditional Maltese Pizza, Ftira

Traditional Maltese Pizza, Ftira

The best place to dine in Malta

To experience high quality and traditional delicious food I would suggest to visit Nenu the Artisan Baker in Valletta. This place is not only serving local authentic cuisine but also lets you immerse into the history of Malta. Relics of the old bakery can be seen in the restaurant and their traditional delicious Maltese pizza, ftira is made in an oven that is between 80-100 years old. Ftira has a thick but fluffy base and often topped with different local specialities like cheese, fish, meat, olives and even potatoes. We’ve tried one with the seasonal local fish Lampuka. In addition to it we ordered the local favorite beer Cisk and Malta’s very own soft drink, Kinnie, which is made with bittersweet oranges and aromatic herbs. Kinnie reminded me somehow of coca cola with a zesty orange aftertaste.

Octopus Stew with Potatoes

Octopus Stew with Potatoes

We also ordered a traditional octopus stew with potatoes, which was my flavorful highlight of the night. Before our mains were served we were being treated with fresh-made Maltese bread and delicious dips. Important to mention that Maltese hospitality is a top class in service: The staff is quick, helpful and friendly. Nenu’s menu offers great choice of Maltese food with decent portions. This place is also very beloved by locals so I suggest that one makes a reservation.

Amarino Ice Cream in a shape of Flower

Amarino Ice Cream in a shape of Flower

For a tasty cooling dessert on a the hot day I would highly recommend to visit the small but wow ice cream café Amorino. This place is not only serving delicious Italian ice cream with natural ingredients and amazing flavors but also shapes your ice cream into a flower, a true masterpiece. You can also ask to taste some flavors before you make your final decision and add as many as you want to your floral creation.

If you are searching for some other interesting holiday destinations in Europe, you can find some inspiration here!

Liège, Belgium

Belgium Day Tours: Main things to do if you visit Liège

Historical side of Liège, Belgium

Historical side of Liège, Belgium

If you are wondering what cities are worth of day tours in Belgium then definitely visit Liège. Liege offers various tourist attractions and it’s the third largest city in Belgium after Brussels and Antwerp. This charming place is also the largest city in the French-Speaking region of Wallonia. In just one hour from Brussels by train you will reach the medieval and historical treasure of Liège.
Not everyone knows but Liège is one of Belgium’s most important industrial centers. The city was one of the first places in Europe to start mining coal and has a long tradition in manufacturing. Due to the industrial heritage I didn’t expect to discover such beautiful architecture and variety of interesting museums and churches.

Delicious patisserie in Belgium

Delicious patisserie in Belgium

Where to stay in Liège, Belgium?

We stayed at Appart-Hotel Léopold Liège Centre in the historic heart of Liège surrounded by lovely bars. It’s next to the Liège’s old City Hall which you can admire from your window at night when it’s gloriously lit up by red spotlights. Our room was tidy, with clean bedding, towels and a comfortable double-bed. It also contains a kitchen with basic kitchen utensils, nice bathroom with a great shower, towels, soaps and shampoo. There is free Wi-Fi and a flat screen TV but unfortunately with mainly French channels. Although we could still enjoy the nature documentary on BBC.

Marvel at the Liege-Guillemins Station

Liege-Guillemins Station, Belgium

Liege-Guillemins Station, Belgium

First things to see in Liège is futuristic and iconic central station. The breath-taking building was designed by the Spanish architect Santiago Calatrava and is made of steel. The modern building completed in 2009 might remind you of a sci-fi movie and it’s an ideal spot for photography.

Best of Liège: Learn About Art at the beautiful Grand Curtius

Grand Curtius Liège, Belgium

Grand Curtius Liège, Belgium

The Grand Curtius Museum is an archeology and art museum from the 17th century. The impressive red building belonged to a wealthy entrepreneur from the city and it was his personal idea to bring together four different museum collections in order to form the large collection.

Places to visit in Liège: Montagne de Bueren

374 steps of the Montagne de Bueren, Liège, Belgium

374 steps of the Montagne de Bueren, Liège, Belgium

With a steep 30 degree slope and a good amount of 374 steps Montagne de Bueren has been nominated as the most extreme stairway in the world. Climb the stairs, take amazing pictures and enjoy the panoramic view of the city.

Visit the Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew

Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew Liège, Belgium

Collegiate Church of St. Bartholomew Liège, Belgium

Founded in the 11th century, this gorgeous church was built in the Mosan style. Mosan describes a medieval style of architecture and metalwork centered mainly around Liège and is characterized by a mix of styles popular in neighboring countries: France and the Netherlands.

Popular drink of Liège, peket

The alcoholic drink peket is made from juniper berries so it’s basically gin. It can be drunk straight as a shot but is typically mixed with fruit flavors, usually lemon. There are various flavors and you can taste them in the La Maison du Peket.

Where to eat in Liège?

Burger place in Belgium The Huggy's Bar

Burger place in Liege, The Huggy’s Bar

Yes, of course you can try the traditional Belgian food à la my grandmother can cook it at home. I would suggest to taste burgers from a new and hip place The Huggy’s Bar. The great fact about this place is that all ingredients are produced in Belgium, the majority in Liège. The philosophy of the company is to keep close attention to a positive environmental attitude.

What to eat in Liège, Belgium: Burger from The Huggy's Bar

What to eat in Liège, Belgium: Burger from The Huggy’s Bar

First place where you can pair Huggy's self-brewed beer with burgers

First place where you can pair Huggy’s self-brewed beer with burgers

The Huggy’s Bar offers a casual and laid-back atmosphere with a friendly service. There are 40 various burger combinations paired together with Huggy’s 8 self-brewed beers. We ordered the Avocado Burger with beef and bacon, cheddar, guacamole, tomato & red onions and Huggy’s secret sauce and the Chimay Burger with double bacon, beef, red onions, rucola and chummy cheese of course. Our order came with an unlimited amount of coleslaw and tasty Belgian fries. The burgers were very juicy and sumptuous with fresh products. If I have to give one point to criticism it would be only that the buns were too soft and fell apart. A grilled version of them could make it the best burger. Nevertheless we enjoyed it. Definitely try the Trinity beer if you prefer a bit more character in your glass. My personal highlight was a Galler Chocolate Milkshake which left me speechless for a moment.

Loved it!

If you are planning to visit some other cities in Belgium you can find more tips here.

The List of the Best Places to Visit in Vienna in 2 days

Vienna is a historical gem of Europe, spoiling it’s locals and tourists alike with an infinite amount of must-visit spots. Everyone can find his or her perfect piece of the Austrian capital no matter what kind of affinities or preferences you have. It’s rich culture, stunning historical and modern architecture, delightful food and incredible coffeehouses will satisfy all categories of people, from easy-going students to snobbish bankers.

How many days needed in Vienna?

If you are asking yourself for how long you should pIan your visit to Vienna, I would say you should stay for at least 2 days. If you have an opportunity to stay up to 5 days, that would be even better. Nevertheless the city is constantly growing creating a harmonious composition of ancient and modern times. And I would probably be the main competitor of Tolstoy’s “War and Peace” trilogy if I would try to mention all beautiful sights and places in Vienna. Anyway here is my list of the best places to visit in Vienna in 2 days, that I once called home for over three years.

What to do in Vienna in 2 days: Day 1

Visit Historic City center of Vienna

The city centre of Vienna is stunning and full of attractions. It is pedestrian friendly, easy to overview because of it’s compact size and also full with historical treasures. The main monument of the Old Town is St. Stephan’s Cathedral, in which Mozart was married in 1782. The oldest parts of that impressive building dates back to the 13th century. It presents an ensemble of different eras like Gothic, Renaissance and Baroque. Take your time and definitely visit the iconic St. Stephan’s Cathedral.

St. Stepehens Cathedral

St. Stephan’s Cathedral of Vienna

Other than admiring historical gems of the city while strolling through the beautiful streets you can also discover amazing boutiques. Shopping is a pleasure in Vienna: From well-known until exclusive brands, in local shops you will find everything what your shopaholic heart could only wish for and your wallet would be afraid of!

Shopping streets of Vienna

Best of Vienna: Sacher Torte 

After walking through the Kärntner Strasse, the time has come to taste the legendary Sacher Torte, traditional chocolate cake with apricot jam. The most famous place to try this sweet desire is in the Sacher Hotel. It will undoubtedly be a memorable experience, pleasant for the eyes and delightful for all your other senses.

Sacher Hotel where you can find the delicious Sacher Torte

Must See in Vienna: Opera Hous

As you may know, Vienna is the world’s music capital. Numerous famous composers have lived in and been inspired by Austria’s capital. That’s why it’s a must to observe the Vienna State Opera from outside and inside. If you have an opportunity to see one of the performances, don’t hesitate and cultivate yourself! Constructed in 1869 till present time, it has survived through great European political changes and remains as a proud symbol of Vienna’s impressive history.

Vienna State Opera

Art gallerie in Vienna: Albertina Museum 

Vienna is very proud of Albertina Museum because of it’s halls with impressive exhibitions and beautiful master peaces of famous artists like Picasso and Monet. You can take self-guided tour around Albertina and observe over 65,000 various artwork. For information on prices check it here.   

Where to eat in Vienna: Naschmarkt!

All curious foodies should visit Naschmarkt in Vienna. It’s A crucial hot spot since the 16th century, and stroll through the fresh fruits and vegetables from around the world, meat, seafood, exotic herbs, cheese and baked goods. If you walk through the market, which is stone’s throw away from the center of the city, once you won’t be hungry anymore, because from every side you will be seduced by little tasters. The amazing fact about Naschmarkt is it’s very multi-cultural and you can savour any kind of ethnic meal that your foodie soul could wish for! Enter one of the Naschmarkt restaurants to enjoy fresh meals or even oysters with champagne. 

2 Day itinerary in Vienna: Day 2

What Vienna is famous for: Schönbrunn Palace

Schönbrunn Garden, Vienna

Vienna is famous for the Sisi’s summer house: Schönbrunn Palace. You can visit the museum, found more about the Schonbrunn Plaace ticket price here.

Here are some interesting Schonbrunn palace facts: It has been built in the 1740s  and remodeled throughout the times, it is one of the main attractions in Vienna. The Baroque palace is famous for it’s magnitude, impressive interior and stunning garden. It used to be the summer residence of the eccentric Queen Elisabeth also known as Sisi and her husband Franz Joseph. The majority of the world admired the wild Bavarian girl Sissi but not many know that she was an egoistical person, who loved beautiful women and lead her son to commit suicide. She had passion for traveling which she proved in her anchor shaped tattoo on her shoulder. Additionally she had often asked her attendants to tie her to a fixed chair on the main deck of the ship during heavy storms. She was also obsessed with her appearance and suffered of anorexia, but she was proud of her 50cm waist. A unique person this Queen!

The view of the Schönbrunn palace and garden

Schönbrunn palace gardens are definitely an ideal getaway from the busy city. Take your time and explore the surroundings and the lookout on the opposite side of the main palace. Have a sit on one of the benches and enjoy the spectacular view of the palace and garden.

Vienna’s famous coffee houses

Vienna’s culture is also famous for its coffeehouses and wineries. A Typical Viennese coffeehouse is “where time and space is consumed, but only coffee is found on the bill.” You will easily find people sitting for hours alone with a cup of coffee or a glass of delicious wine reading a book, writing or chatting with friends. There are plenty of charming coffee places in Vienna but here are some of my favourites. Wienerin, the rustic and chic ambiance in the heart of the city seduces it’s guests with traditional Viennese culinary served in an exclusive way with savory wines.

http://www.vienna.at , Café Liebling in Vienna

Hipsters love Cafe Liebling, famous for it’s minimalistic furniture design and sumptuous breakfasts. Located close to the U-Bahn Station Neubaugasse it’s easy to miss this place if you’ve never heard about it’s existence. That makes it even more interesting, doesn’t it?

Another simple coffee house but with a great attitude is Cafe Europa, hiding on the streets of Zollergasse. It’s a cozy place with cool lounge music, which is also an ideal hideaway on rainy days, when you can curl up in one of the window seats and watch the rain drops racing on the window glass. The food is a great treat and prices are more than acceptable. A great spot to try a Viennese coffee melange!

 

Must do in Vienna: Visit Museumsquartier

Empty at the moment but full during the warm seasons MuseumsQuartier of Vienna

The abbreviation MQ stays for MuseumsQuartier, a lively and creative urban courtyard surrounded by historic building from the 18th century and contemporary museums like Leopold Museum, MUMOK and Kunsthalle Wien. This great outdoor area offers restaurants, cafes and little shops. This place never sleeps, the cultural activities and events, performances entertain it’s visitors throughout the year. From young to old, everyone loves to hang out in this area and enjoy the relaxing, artistic vibes. My advice; have an opulent breakfast at Leopold cafe, you will be impressed!

How to get to Hundertwasser museum in Vienna?

Architecture of Hundertwasser in Vienna

Hundertwasser is an iconic Austrian artist and architect of 20th century, known for his affection for intense, radiant colours. If you want to see something surrealistic and breathtaking then you doubtlessly need to visit Hundertwasser Village and explore the surroundings. You will be surprised by how different it is from the rest of Vienna: the playful and rich colours and the shapeless forms protesting against rationalism in architecture. You can admire Hundertwasser’s rebellious art at the metro station Spittelau, where he designed the waste incinerator and power station. My advice is to visit Kunst Haus Wien, which is further from the city center, however the architectonic highlight of the European gem.

Best bars and restaurants in Vienna

Vienna is an incredible city to experience world class culinary and gourmet restaurants. It’s famous for it’s traditional Austrian kitchen and sophisticated international fusion. Both are food contrasts to be treasured in the capital of Austria. A classic of Viennese fancy kitchen and highlight for visiting Vienna is Plachutta Wollzeile. It offers a friendly service, phenomenal dishes and undoubtedly a memorable experience.

graben30.at , Vienna

graben30.at , Vienna

Another best bar of Vienna is the gorgeous Graben30 in the heart of the city. The mesmerizing interior design of a modern and old-fashioned artistic style with a touch of industrial-urban is the place to be. It’s a fantastic place to have breakfast, dinner or experience a fancy way of clubbing. Furthermore Instagram-Junkies will be spoiled with opportunities to take outstanding pictures.

One more hidden jewel with a panoramic view of the magnificent Stephansdom is Onyx Bar, located on the 6th floor of the Haas House.  This small but chic bar offers an exquisite cocktail menu and delicious cakes. Politicians, celebrities and just beautiful smartly dressed people are the main guests of this charming place. Don’t miss it!

When to visit Vienna

Vienna is a city that you can visit any time and fall in love with. I would suggest to enjoy the city to it’s fullest during the warm months starting in May and ending in September. Must visit Vienna in December when the magical Christmas spirit is around the whole city. There are various Christmas markets and the City Hall Square turns into a shining fairytale land.

If you would like to visit other cities in the Central Europe like Prague and Budapest then read more interesting itineraries here!

Best Fun Things to Do in Hamburg germany

Weekend in Hamburg: The Awesome Itinerary for 2 Days in Hamburg

Moin to everyone who is planning to spend weekend in Hamburg! This is how you greet people in Hamburg, Germany’s second largest city and biggest port. It’s famous for not being shy, but rough and tough. No wonder the whole city is covered with an industrial and sailor spirit. This  itinerary for 2 days in Hamburg will introduce you to the strict, minimalistic architectural design, the smelly fish market and a never-ending nightlife on the streets of the red-light district, the Reeperbahn. The city offers plenty of vibrant and diverse neighborhoods, huge green parks and windy, cold weather. Oh, yes, the weather, you could complain about this constantly in the Northern Pearl!

Discover best of Hamburg, Germany: Alster

Discover best of Hamburg, Germany: Alster

How to Spend Perfect 2 Days in Hamburg

For people who have a passion for harbors, fresh air and the sound of screaming seagulls, Hamburg is an ideal destination. The metropolis is surrounded on all sides  by a vast amount of water. In the city you will discover numerous canals, streams and bridges. A little known fact is that Hamburg has more bridges inside the city than Amsterdam and Venice combined! Another fact is that everyone loves Hamburg, I’ve lived there for ages and I’ve never met someone who wouldn’t like this harsh and cool metropolis of Germany. I think the reason how they overhyped the city is the excellent marketing: on every corner you will see “Hamburg“, “typical Hamburg” inducing a sense of patriotism amongst the locals.

Innenalster,City center of Hamburg, Germany

Innenalster, City center of Hamburg, Germany

Let me show you how you can spend 48 hours in Hamburg  and introduce you to the top things to do in Hamburg. But first of all I will warn you, the public transport an taxis are insanely expensive in Hamburg, my advice take a wild ride on a city bike! Good for your health and even better for your pocket. Also good to get group or weekend ticket for the public transport.

Day 1

Start Your Day with Visiting Hamburg’s City Centre, Rathaus

Hamburg City Hall, Germany

Hamburg City Hall, Germany

Your weekend in Hamburg should start with the main tourist attraction visiting the main square in the city center, the beautiful historic Rathausmarkt. You will be overwhelmed by the magnitude of the Neo-Renaissance town hall, located in the heart of the city next to the Inner Alster lake. The inner city is by the way divided into two lakes, Inner and Outer Alster. It’s also a perfect place for shopping: From luxury shops on Neuer Wall and in Alsterhaus until well-known brands, you will find almost everything that your fashionable heart desires. In between you can have some food from the buffet in Alsterhaus or a coffee in Alex. Both places are pretty busy and may seem very touristic, but they have an ideal central location with an amazing spot overlooking the Inner Alster.

Must taste while in Hamburg: Delicious Franzbrötchen

Must taste while in Hamburg: Delicious Franzbrötchen

Tip: You want to know how Hamburg tastes? Try a classic of the city, Franzbrötchen. This cinnamon bun will make your day!

Walk Around the Inner & Aussen Alster

Other places to visit in Hamburg are Inner and Outer Alster. Alster is the pride of Hamburg hence, it is a must to have a tranquil walk around the artificial lake. During the winter, it is possible to make a walk across the lake to the other bank and even enjoy ice skating without getting wet. In the sunny days you can rent a paddle boat or canoe to go out on an Alster journey. It’s an amazing opportunity to admire the landscape and magnificent architecture from the water.

Must visit in Hamburg Café Prüsse

Must visit in Hamburg Café Prüsse

To escape the chaotic city and immerse into a romantic and maritime atmosphere, you can have a walk along the Aussen (Outer) Alster. On the way you will observe magnificent buildings, which only rich people can afford. You will also discover a couple of beach cafès hiding in the endless greenery, where you can sip on a fancy glass with wine. My beloved one is Cafè Prüsse, which offers an amazing view of the sailboats and has a delicious menu with great prices. Finish your pleasant walk in the Alsterpark. It’s an excellent  location to open a bottle of wine and watch the colorful sunset.

Hamburg’s Famous Park: Planten un Blomen

Park "Planten un Blomen" in Hamburg, Germany

Park “Planten un Blomen” in Hamburg, Germany

Hamburg, a green waterside metropolis is not only known for it’s highest standard of living, but also for it’s green-friendly attitude. It is impressively full with forests, parks and other green urban areas in comparison to most cities of similar size. One of the cherished places in the center of the city that you need to see in Hamburg is the huge park with fountains, lawns and floral displays, Planten un Blomen. Anyone who wants to have a romantic walk,  a moment of relaxation or just to catch up with friends should visit this gorgeous green recreation in Dammtor.

Planten un Blomen Fountain Show

Planten un Blomen also offers a beautiful fountain show with music and lights. You can admire the dancing colored fountains for half an hour every night at 10 p.m. from May to September for free.

Best Thing To Do in Hamburg: Visit Sternschanze

Sternschanze bars & restaurants, Hamburg

Sternschanze bars & restaurants, Hamburg

Hamburgs hip and trendy Sternschanze exudes unique charming vibes. It’s casualness and coolness is an extreme contrast to the conservative rich areas. Hamburg is the healthiest city in Germany, full with rich people. That’s why this district seems to be like from a different planet with it’s unusual streets.

Delicious Curry Soup in Kostbar, Hamburg

Bars of Hamburg Schanzenviertel

In the 80s Schanze, the short version of Sternschanze, was dilapidated a problematic area with old buildings, where workers and foreigners could get cheap apartments. Nowadays it’s a cultivated vivid place, where you can stroll through hipster shops, cafès, restaurants with an alternative international kitchen or you can just observe interesting cool people. One of the cute cafés with delicious food is Kostbar. It’s an ideal place to start your day with an energizing tasty breakfast or just to have a lunch with one of the international cousin dishes. Another hotspot is Altes Mädchen, which translates to “Old Girl”. It’s a very popular eatery centered on Germany’s emerging craft beer industry.

Tattoo Shop “Wild Cat”, Hamburg

Tip: Every sailor should have a tattoo, the traditionally favored anchor or personal ink statement on the skin. If you are spontaneous and rebellious, then visit the tattoo salon Wild Cat. They will help you to decor your skin!

The creative atmosphere changes in the evening, when all kinds of people from young to old, from fancy to alternative gather in the bars and streets of Sternschanze. It transforms into an outgoing, laughing and chatty little world, where you can escape from all troubles and end up with a good party night.

If you are in a chilling mood, then Sofa Bar would be glad to have you as a guest. It’s a Schanze’s classic hangout bar furnished with huge vintage sofas. For tourists the location may seem shabby and drinks too simple, but it’s all about the buzzing atmosphere and easy-going visitors.

Tip: Try Hamburg’s original beer, Astra, with a unique and flavorful character!  

Legendary Katze on the Sternuschanze, Hamburg, Germany

Legendary Katze on the Sternuschanze, Hamburg, Germany

Katze, which means “Cat” in German, is another cool and vibrant bar in the heart of the Sternschanze. It’s old, dirty but with an amazing easy-going atmosphere. You can enjoy your beer or wine inside. I would suggest to go outside, especially during the summer evenings. There you can get to know new people and have an amusing chat with locals.

If a couple of drinks were not enough for you and you feel like you need to present your dancing skills to the audience, then visit the cool underground club “Kleiner Donner“. Be careful to show up on time, because after 12p.m. it’s so full, so you won’t be able to get inside anymore.

What is Hamburg famous for: Red lights & Party of Reeperbahn

The iconic party and red light district, which has the rhythm of an owl: sleeping during the day and hunting during the night. You will be positively surprised by the magnitude of the area and the vivid, loud atmosphere. Reeperbahn is a place where since the 1960s polite behavior doesn’t exist and sins have a strong attitude. It used to be the sailor’s red-light district but nowadays it turned into a party neighborhood with bars, clubs, theaters and high-class restaurants.

Grosse Freiheit, Reeperbahn

Reeperbahn Guide

The most famous side street of Reeperbahn is “Große Freiheit”, which translates as “Great Freedom”. It’s a very touristic spot filled with bars, clubs and sexy dancing girls (ok, how sexy they are, is a question of perspective). Many clubs, like “Kaiserkelle, were embossed from Rock’n’Roll. Famous bands like “The Beatles” who started their musical path of success here. I would love to tell you, where you could dance the night away, but first of all plenty of clubs changed their owners, names and music style.

The legendary “99 cents” bar, Grosse Freiheit

Tip: Try the typical Kiez-Drink “Mexikaner”. It’s a mix of cheap Vodka, Tabasco, Sangria and tomato juice in one shot. This popular one you will find in “Villa Kunterbunt” for a delicious 50 cents. 

While walking through the neon streets surrounded by drunk people, trashy drag queens, flirty prostitutes and numerous clubs and sex shops, you may reach “Hamburger Berg”. It’s an area filled with bars, pubs and especially beloved by students, because clubs don’t require you to pay for the entrance.

Streets of Reeperbahn

Reeperbahn Tips

Another famous and very touristic place is “Hans-Albers-Platz”, which is again full with numerous bars and pubs. It’s named after the actor, whose statue you can find in the middle of the square. The bars are also full with people, so you can’t move but still it’s possible to enjoy your cheap drink and rock, heavy metal or just chart music. And if you are in a hunting mood, be careful what kind of girl you are talking to, the street is occupied by prostitutes.

Rooftop Bars in Hamburg

If you think you should be treated in an exclusive way and you would like to cherish the picturesque view of the city from the top of a skyscraper, then you should doubtlessly visit “Skyline Bar 20up” or “Clouds“. To be sure to enjoy excellent quality and service, book a table in advance.

After a big night out, it’s time to visit Hamburg’s Fishmarket on the Große Elbstraße. Just a little walk away, on Sunday morning you will meet the sunrise with other half sleepy, fully drunk visitors, screaming hawkers and stalls filled with fresh food. Buy some coffee, bread with fish and experience the special atmosphere of the iconic market.

Day 2

What to Visit in Hamburg: HafenCity

HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany

HafenCity, Hamburg, Germany

Another pride and sight in Hamburg’s city center is Hafencity. It’s a district located on the Elbe river with old port warehouses replaced with extremely expensive new residential areas. The area is presenting a full spectrum of modern and futuristic urban architecture with perfectly implemented cafés and restaurants. During the summer you can enjoy the sounds on the terrace and watch container ships passing by.

Hafencity, Hamburg

Elbphilharmonie

Hafencity is the largest development project in Europe and it’s still not very favored by the locals nor by tourists. It’s an ideal place for companies’ office. A little walk through the urban jungle and you will reach Elbe Philharmonic Hall.

Philharmonic in Hamburg, Germany

Philharmonic in Hamburg, Germany

Every metropolis has this building, it costs a huge amount of money but is never finished. Hamburg has that one too, Elbe Philharmonic Hall. The building that stirs up different feelings, some say it’s magnificent others think it’s grotesque. So again it depends on your personal perspective.

The Speicherstadt

Finish your walk with exploring the streets of “Speicherstadt”, the old version of the harbour with it’s neo-Gothic architecture and Hamburg’s beloved red bricks. Absorb Hamburg’s maritime spirit and visit Hamburg’s museum “Miniature Wunderland“, which will present you with a mini version of the world!

Hidden Gems in Hamburg

If you are searching for the best bars in Hamburg you should visit legendary Zwick Bar in Pöseldorf. It’s an authentic Rock’n Roll pub, where two worlds are clashing with each other to create a perfect match. The pub is in a fancy area with magnificent architecture, that’s why you will meat plenty of rich prigs. But don’t judge the place immediately, Hamburg is full of rich supercilious oafs anyway. Nevertheless in Zwick you will also see Harley Davidson people or other suspicious creatures. Sounds bizarre but believe me you will be infatuated with the shady atmosphere, great rock music, chatty people and of course simple pub drinks!

If you would like to go to the club then visit the small and cozy Club Du Nord, just a stone’s throw away of the Milchstraße.

Best Bars in Hamburg

Hidden or secret classic bar Le Lion’s Bar de Paris, one of the stand out cocktail bars in Germany. You can’t see it from the outside, you need to ring the bell and wait until you will be allowed to enter the chamber. The sophisticated ambience, tiny room and dimmed lights will make you feel like a part of the special secret group.

My last advice would be to visit The Boilerman Bar in the fancy Eppendorf district. It’s  a very small cozy whisky bar, where you can try various amazing cocktails, have a chat with the barman and for a change smoke IN the bar! Prost, Hamburch!

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