Top 5 Christmas Markets to visit in Germany

It’s Christmas Market season in Germany right now which means that famous city centres all around the country are lit up and decorated  for about 1-4 weeks of Pre-Christmas Celebrations.

I have been living in Germany since my birth and I have spent almost every winter at my hometown, often going to Christmas markets around the place.

I haven’t been at every Christmas market, so this list is a mixture of the ones I have been to and the ones I would like to visit one day.

The order has no significance whatsoever:

1. Stuttgarter Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market Stuttgart):

Source: stuttgarter-weihnachtsmarkt.de

The first part of the Christmas market in Stuttgart starts in the middle of the shopping street Königstraße, and it goes on into the market square which is actually quite big and very beautiful.

Source: stuttgart-tourist.de

Dates: 23.11.-23-12.2016

Opening Hours: 
Monday – Thursday: 10am – 9pm
Friday – Saturday:     10am – 10pm
Sunday:                        11am –  9pm
Opening Day (November23rd): 5pm – 9pm
Shopping Night (December 17th): 10am – 10.30pm

Location: Marktpl., 70174 Stuttgart

2. Esslinger Mittelalter – und Weihnachtsmarkt (Middle age and Christmas Market Esslingen):

Source: bahn.de

This one is a very special Christmas Market. It is sprawled through the old city of Esslingen and one part consists of a middle age market with torches that light up the streets, dishes and snacks from that time, antique clothing pieces and activities like archery.

Source: simskultur.de
Source: sippel-reisen.de

Dates: 22.11. – 22.12.2016

Opening Hours: 
Opening Day (November 22nd): 5pm – 8.30pm
Daily: 11am – 8.30pm
Closing Day (December 22nd): 11am – 6pm

Location:  Rathauspl., 73728 Esslingen am Neckar

3. Dresdner Striezelmarkt (Christmas Market Dresden):

Source: prinz.de

Dresden is actually a city I have never been to, but would like to visit. The perfect combination for a city trip would thus be in December I guess.
In general, you can never do anything wrong with visiting Germany during December, because it is one of the most beautiful months to meet this country.

Dates: 24.11. – 24-12.2016

Opening hours: 
Daily: 10am – 9pm
Opening Day (November 24th) 4am – 9pm
Sternstunden (December 9th) 10am – 11pm
Closing Day (December 24th) 10am – 2pm

Location: Altmarkt, 01067 Dresden

4. Nürnberger Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market Nürnber):

Source: stadtarchive-metropolregion-nuremberg.de

Nürnberg might as well be called the hometown of Christmas markets and Ginger bread. As a huge ginger bread fanatic, this Christmas Market is on my to-be-visited list, and should be on yours as well if you wanna come to Germany during Christmas-market season.

Source: bayern.by

Dates: 25.11. – 24.12.2016

Opening Hours: 
Monday – Sunday: 10 am – 9pm
Christmas Eve 24.12.:10 am – 2 pm

Location:  Hauptmarkt, 90022 Nürnberg

5. Frankfurter Weihnachtsmarkt (Christmas Market Frankfurt):

Source: 

I have been to Frankfurt so many times, but I was never lucky enough to be there during the Christmas Market. Although Frankfurt is a very metropolitan city with skycrapers, it didn’t lose its historical side either.

Dates: 23.11.-22.12.2016

Opening Hours: 
Monday-Saturday: 10 am – 9pm
Sunday                       11 am  – 9pm

Location: Römerberg, Paulsplatz, Mainkai, Hauptwache, Friedrich-Stoltze-Platz

I hope you enjoyed this little blog post about the Top 5 Christmas Markets in Germany where you can sip on some Glühwein (mulled wine) and eat some german delicacies.

Have you ever been to a Christmas Market in Germany or somewhere else? Did you like it? What was your highlight?

Thanks for reading,

And Travel Well!

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Last view on Paris

Our last day in Paris has started, sad but true.

After having our last breakfast, we got packed and left the room. We asked if we could leave our suitcases until before our train departure and it was okay. We still had almost the whole day until 4pm. Then we should slowly get back to the hostel to collect our things and head to the train station.

But before that, we first wanted to go to Montmartre to see the Sacre Coeur and the Place du Tertre where artists are presenting their work and where you can get a portrait of yourself.

Walking to the hill where Sacre Coeur was reminded me a little bit when we walked up the Parc Güell in Barcelona. The street was aligned with shops left and right. We found a cookie store and bought some, but had to find out that they all tasted very strongly of soap :’D So if you come pass that store, don’t get in!

When we finally arrived at Sacre Coeur we were a bit out of breath, and I personally was a bit annoyed by the several street vendors, trying to trick you into buying some stupid stuff. Usually, I am really tolerant when it comes to things like these. In the end, they also have to earn their money. But there is a limit when someone violently grabs your arm and hinders you to continue walking. I screamed at him, wriggled my arm out his grip and quickened my pace. That was really rude and creepy. Anyway, take care of that when you walk up the church. Other than that, the view was beautiful, the sun was shining again, even on our last day and we sat down on a bench in front of the church, ate some cookies and took some selfies:

Before entering the church, we walked by a musician, playing the harp and people surrounding him and enjoying his music in such a beautiful weather, in one of the most beautiful cities.

We saw that the queue was not that long and were relieved. Inside, there was church service with a full choir and everything. I have never seen such a splendid church with such a glorious musical performance. I don’t really go to church since we are not christian, but I have been to the church a few times when at school, and once for our friend’s mum’s funeral. And I have also been to all the big famous churches around the world you can visit as a tourist. The Dome in Cologne is probably similar in its greatness to the Sacre Coeur.

We didn’t stay too long, so we left pretty soon. It was also not really allowed to film or take photos because of the service.
From there on, we continued walking on the left side behind the church that should lead us to the Place du Tertre. On our way there, we saw something quite bizarre: A woman walking her pet ferret. It made me go sick. People really have no other hobbies nowadays…

We soon found ourselves in the middle of the small but cute Place. I literally felt like in a french movie once again. It was like a dream:

The portrait artists were mostly busy, and my sister and me just casually looked around until we saw how a woman was drawing the portrait of a cute little girl in colour and we loved her style. We then decided to let our portrait be drawn as well, together in one picture. It took around an hour in total, but the result was amazing! We were left in awe:

After having our portrait drawn, we continued to walk into the tiny alleys of Montmartre to find a place to eat. I actually wanted to go to a certain restaurant, but we found another one on the way there which served typical french food, including Escargots which I wanted to try. We went inside and had a seat. I asked if I could only try one Escargot to decide whether to take the whole dish, because I never had it before. She said it was possible and she brought us two little nsails and I tried. My sister was disgusted, so she just filmed me eating it. It wasn’t bad actually. The consistency was okay, not too chewy. The taste was very garlicky and the colour was green due to some herbs it was cooked with. It really wasn’t bad, but I wasn’t used to the strong garlic taste which also makes me feel sick sometimes, so I opted for beef bouignon, the same as my sister.

It took quite a while until our dishes came. The mashed potatoes were good, but the beef was a bit fatty for our taste. We couldn’t eat all of it. Not really our best food experience in Paris. After that I would have preferred the snails :’D

 

Slowly, we headed back to the metro station. It was already early in the afternoon, and we still wanted to go up the Arc de Triomfe. We heard the view to be amazing from there as well, not as high up as on the Tour Montparnasse. It didn’t take long and we found ourselves on the Champs Elysees once again, this time in the middle of a sunny day.

We had to go through the underground passage to arrive on the island of the arc. The entrance to the top was free for us again, so another thing to be happy about. What didn’t make us so happy was the steep ascent to the top. We had to walk up the tiny winding stairs, and it made me both very dizzy and breathless.

But finally, we arrived at the top and the view was beautiful. When I see the pictures now I feel a sting in my stomach and a tiny burn in my eyes. It is just so beautiful. Paris, you are more beautiful than I could have  ever dreamed <3

Unfortunately, we had to slowly descend and leave for the metro. We found ourselves too soon back at the hostel again. We shopped some snack from the supermarket next to our hotel and headed to the station. I felt really sad to be going back to grey Stuttgart. I’ll be coming back for you Paris, I promise :*

I hope you guys enjoyed my trip to Paris. If you haven’t been to this city, I can only recommend you to put that city on top of your travel list. It comes from someone who had prejudices against this city but turned out to fall in love with this place.

The following posts will be travel advices for China and the experiences I had there. I still have to catch up a lot.

Thanks for walking along with me.

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 3/5

Food: 3/5
Shopping: 3/5
Nightlife: –
Transportation: 4/5

Criss-Cross through Paris

After our exhausting but glorious second day that we spent in Versailles, we started our third day, Halloween day with another light breakfast.

Our first stop should be the Louvre. We didn’t know if we should go inside because I heard that you might need the whole day there. Plus we didn’t really want to spend another full day inside a building. Nevertheless, we took the metro to the Louvre, and after walking from the station to the famous glass pyramid, we could glance inside the museum a little bit:

There was a long line for sure, but it was nothing compared to the one at Versailles :’D Still, after seeing the immense size of the museum building from outside, we decided not to go inside. We shot some photos in front of the pyramid and then left to go to Notre Dame.

This way, we could see more of another sunny day in Paris. We didn’t regret our decision. The stroll across the Pont des Arts over to Ile de la Cite was wonderful. The weather was warm, the sun was reflecting diamonds on the Seine, and all the people just looked so happy. It felt like the beginning of spring.

On the way there, we walked past a Louis Vuitton building which was not a store though. We didn’t know what it was, so we just walked back to the bridge. Maybe if someone of you knows, you could tell us what it is, because it looked quite serious :’D


Before we arrived at Notre Dame, we saw a typical french cafe and since we were quite hungry, we sat down and had lunch. I ate a quiche and my sister had a croissant. It tasted good, and the prices weren’t as high as you’d expect either.

As soon as we were filled with food and drinks, we continued walking and found ourselves in front of Notre Dame after like 5 minutes. There was another long queue, but it went really fast since it was free for everyone and people usually didn’t stay inside for too long. We snapped some photos while waiting outside:

When we were inside, I was quite impressed by the stained windows and took loads of pictures again:

I didn’t expect us to stay inside that long. It was quite an interestend cathedral. But as we left I was content with the feeling to have seen every single corner of the cathedral. Another Disney setting crossed out of the list :’D

We now walked through the streets, looking at shops and buildings. I bought a key chain and 3 bookmarks. Then, on the way back to the bridge, we walked past a bakery called Huré that sold many tasty-looking pastry, cakes, sandwiches and quiches. There were also many people standing in front. We had a look inside and spent approximately 10-15 minutes, not being able to decide what to take. In the end, I took a croissant-like pastry that was square and filled with chocolate. My sister got a Brioche and a vegetable Quiche. We then headed to the bridge and found a bench to sit on and munch on our snacks. Mine was so delicious! I devoured it instantly <3 The atmosphere was excellent. There was a sweet little boy playing some typical french music on the accordeon. I felt like in a french movie and loved every second of it <3

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After our little break (yet another one), we wanted to look for a place to go shopping. My sister wanted to go to this mall (I forgot the name), and on our way there, we found a Stradivarius, a shop that we know from Turkey but unfortunately don’t have in shopping-poor Germany. I saw many things that I liked, but only bought a satin top and a cat-beanie. We found the mall and it was a big confusing to get around. We went to a couple of stores but didn’t find anything. Soon after leaving the mall, we headed to the nearest Laduree shop. We quickly found it and found ourselves in a small shop with quite a long queue. But that was fine for us, because this way we had plenty of time to decide which box to get and which taste of macarons to choose. We took the 8-piece-box and chose pistachio, vanilla, chocolate, caramel, lemon, coconut, noisette, and black currant. I liked all of them except for vanilla. That tasted like shampoo :’D

After leaving the shop, we quickly hurried to the next metro station. We wanted to go to the observation tower in Montparnasse and we wanted to watch the sunset from up there. It was not hard to find the tower from the metro station. It is a huge but actually beautiful, shiny building. We passed another La Fayette. I guess it is a smaller and less-touristy one, with maybe lower prices.

There was a queue and a strict security check before going up the elevator. Make sure not to have any suspicious things in your bags. My sister had a pepper spray and had to go out to throw it away. She had to stand in line again and I had to wait for her.
Anyway, we made it to the tower on time and the view was beautiful. There were glasses, hindering people from leaning over, so it was possible to get many beautiful shots at the cityscape.

We stayed there after sunset and when it started getting cold, we decided to leave finally. It was already around 7pm and we were slowly getting hungry. We looked for some restaurants nearby, and found a Libanese restaurant nearby. It wasn’t open yet, but the woman inside just let us inside so we didn’t have to wait in the cold. She told us we could order something to drink as long as they warmed up the stove. She also helped us choose our food, because it was the first time for us trying lebanese cuisine.
We chose a mixed platter of hot and cold meze-like dishes (the meze plates included a variety of pastries filled with cheese, meat and spinach. We had humus, yogurt with garlic, a strong bean dish, taboulet which is the green salad, baba ghanoush, and a kind of wheat salad that we call kisir in turkey).Plus, we chose a seperate hot dish that we shared as well. It was bulgur rice with chicken kebap.

It was amazing, I have to say. It is similar to turkish food, though. The restaurant was a family business and the son came and helped us more with introducing the food. He was really nice and fun and he said he has even been to Stuttgart, the city we are from and he loved it so much there. After our meal, he offered us Baklava on the house because we also told him that we were turkish. The baklava was without the sticky syrup and to be honest, it was more digestive than the original turkish one :’D

Another kind frenchie we met during our trip. It is wonderful to see so many nice people in a city like Paris that is negatively renowned for some of its rude citizens. I just don’t understand why people would say anything like that about such a wonderful city like Paris with so many beautiful people inhabiting it.

After being filled with too much amazing food, we headed back to our hotel. We could barely walk because of our food babies growing in our bellies :’D

We were so tired, we just passed out on our beds.

This was our last full day in Paris. It is sad to say that. We had such a wonderful time there. It was probably one of my most favourite trips, as you might see on the pictures as well. I was seriously thinking about Paris as a city to live in.

I hope you enjoyed travelling criss – cross through Paris with us.

What about you guys? Have you ever been to the Louvre? Would you recommend it? Why?

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 5/5

Food: 5/5
Shopping: 4/5
Nightlife: 3/5
Transportation: 4/5

Sun daze on Sundays in Paris

We woke up to our second day in Paris with a little breakfast at our hotel.

We quickly dressed up and prepared for our trip. We planned to spend most of the day in Versailles. We expected some queues, but to be honest, I was not prepared to see SUCH a long line.

Anyway, we had to buy an extra ticket to drive to Versailles. The Youth Ticket that you can use at the weekends doesn’t count to Versailles, because it is on the outer line. We bought our two-way tickets at the information desk and headed to Invalides. From there we could take the yellow RER line to Versailles. The ride took quite long, so as we arrived at Versailles, it was almost noon. It was just a little walk from the train station to the castle. When we entered, we were shocked. The whole place was crowded with people standing in line. It was insane. We didn’t know if it was the line for the ticket booth or the entrance to the castle if you already had a ticket. So my sister already stood in line while I went and looked out for the ticket booth. I found out it was in a seperate building and the line for that wasn’t that long.

Our question was another, though. I read on the website that EU-citizens under 26 have free access to the castle. But I didn’t know if we could just show our passports at the entrance to the castle, or if we had to get our tickets first.

Here is what we did:

So I just took my sister’s passport and mine and stood in line at the ticket booth. It only took around 30 minutes or less. The man at the booth told me that we didn’t need any tickets and could just show our passport at the entrance to the castle. So I headed back and looked for my sister. After that, it took us another 2 HOURS until we could finally enter the castle. I just couldn’t believe the amount of people standing in line. And there was yet another huge line after we got in. Luckily we had nice, sunny weather.

After some first photos, we realized how hungry we were and went to look for Angelina Paris, a very famous café you can find throughout Paris. We had to wait 5 minutes before we were seated inside. It was just like you’d imagine having a cup of tea with Marie Antoinette.

After we were full with cakes and hot chocolate, we started our visit through the castle. It was already past 3 pm and the castle would close at 6pm.

We tried to navigate our way through the castle. It was huge and we got lost a few times. We had to ask some officials, especially about where the Hall of Mirrors was. That was the place I was dying to see. After walking past several rooms of Queens, and finally the one of King Louis XIV, we found ourselves in the Hall of Mirrors.

Unfortunately, the place was crowded as hell. It was hard to walk and catch a glimpse at any room. Taking photos at the Hall of Mirrors was a struggle as well, with so many people accidentally photobombing behind you.

After we were finished with the castle itself, we were curious about the gardens. We had to pay an extra entrance fee, though.

It was close to sunset and we heard something about a fountain show, but we couldn’t find it. We later guessed that it probably doesn’t take place at the weekend. Anyway, the gardens have another kind of beauty and splendor about them. It felt like a dream, strolling though the gardens, enjoying the sunlit views and taking the most beautiful photos.

We stayed quite long. The park was really big though. And when we got hungry, we sat down at a restaurant and had dinner. My sister had a burger and I drank a french onion soup and chose a platter of cheese.

It was past 8pm when we finished and wanted to go back. The main entrance has already closed, so we had to use the back exit. It was a dark path leading outside from behind the restaurant. It was quite creepy, since me and my sister seemed to be the only ones around. We then saw a young couple with a child walking ahead of us so we asked them if we were right. They helped us and then, they even offered us to take us by car, because it was a bit far from there to the train station, unlike the main entrance that we came with. We were flattered and felt blessed for meeting such kind people. After they dropped us off at the train station we also offered them a little amount of money, but they refused to take it. Such kind people. I really liked the local french people. They were very nice and I just love the way they talk english <3 That accent is too cute!

Okay, enough fangirling already. That was the first part of our day. We also had some evening plans at the Mandarin Oriental Bar 8. It is quite a fancy place, with cocktails starting from 27€ and wine and beer for 10-15€. But it was a nice location and we got some delicious snacks served with our drinks.

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I had a Pina Colada and my sister just took a normal glass of white wine, sweet. Actually, my cocktail would have been enough for 2 people as well :’D I could barely finish it. 

We had a royal day with a little bit of adventure :’D

I hope you enjoyed the post.

Have you ever been to Versailles? What were your impressions?

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 5/5

Food: 4/5
Shopping: 3/5
Nightlife: 3/5
Transportation: 4/5

One day, we’re gonna live in Paris

Finally I am writing this blog post about one of the most beautiful cities I have been to.

I have heard many different things about Paris already. Most people told me how dirty and ugly Paris is, and I just can’t understand these people. How would someone not like Paris? It would be beautiful even without the Eiffel Tower which was astonishing as well. It is a moment for itself when you see that tower for the first time. I never understood what it meant until I stood there myself.

Anyway, I think there is a time in a girl’s life when she is obsessively dreaming about visiting Paris. I had that time in my life but it faded rather quickly and I became a bit uninterested in the french capitol city. Until my sister suggested to take a short trip to Paris over Halloween. The days before and after Halloween are usually holidays in Germany, and I also didn’t have to work, so I was able to go.

We took the TGV from Stuttgart to Paris and it only took us around 4 hours. That’s pretty fast in my opinion. So, we arrived in Paris before noon, checked in at our hotel which was close to the Galeries Lafayette. Our room had a okay size, but I was a bit bothered by the lack of light we got in the room. Our window didn’t seem to be on the sunny side. Anyway, after checking in, we walked to the Galeries Lafayette. On our way there, we stopped at a Pizza place to have lunch since we were pretty hungry.

The pizza was really good and the price was quite low for Paris I guess.

We headed back on our way to the mall. We were almost there, but my sister’s GPS directed us through a small alleyway full with chinese shops and restaurants. We were a bit confused but it must be right: Where there is chinese, there is shopping :’D And we were right. When the alley ended, we found ourselves in front of the back entrance of La Fayette, and I though for a minute I was back in Shanghai. The place was crowded with chinese people, yelling, talking and spitting :’D One woman was handing out some chinese newspaper, so I grabbed one for fun and the woman was pretty confused when she saw me :’D I think we were the only white people there.

But after we entered the mall and walked around a bit, we managed to see one or two non-asians :’D It was insane. I knew chinese people love shopping, but I didn’t expect it to be so extreme. The Galeries La Fayette has practically turned into the hottest tourist spot for chinese people :’D More than the Eiffel Tower. Anyway, after pasing shops like Gucci, Chanel and Louis Vuitton (which had a long queue, only Asians), we came into the centre of the mall and the view was breathtakingly beautiful. I have never seen such a beautiful mall like the one in Paris. It looked more like a palace, or an opera house than a mall.

 

After taking enough photos, we wanted to go upstairs to the rooftop to have a view over Paris. It was a bit confusing using the elevator and then the stairs, but we made it. The view was beautiful, and we could even have a glimpse on a tiny Eiffel Tower.

 

We went back downstairs and wanted to browse through the shops a bit, although we didn’t plan to buy anything. I really wanted to see Kenzo and Alexander Wang, and my sister wanted to have a look in Zara and Topshop.

 

We left without spening any money, but there was another Lafayette mall right in front of the one we just had left, and that was just for food. Can you imagine? A mall just for food! Expensive of course, so we only remained at the ground level which had some finger food and gourmet fast food from all around the world.

We only bought some macarons, since we already ate pizza. But I regretted it a litte bit, because when I saw the Dim Sum, I wished we didn’t have had pizza for lunch.

After that we wanted to go see the Eiffel Tower, so we took the metro nearby and got off at Champs de Mars. From there, it was only a few minutes of walking until we could see the Eiffel Tower. Although there were so many people in front of, next and behind us, we had a lot of fun taking pictures. We walked all the way down to the Trocadero, with the fountains and baths, and then to the carousels that are right in front of the Tower. Of course I took a ride in one of the carousels and we had some delicious crêpes. It was just the perfect afternoon.

 

After finishing our crêpes, we wanted to take some pictures underneath the Eiffel Tower, so headed that way. I didn’t know how strict the security measurements were. You possibly couldn’t just walk by underneath the tower without going through security. At first we thought it was for going up the tower, but there was another line underneath the Eiffel tower. Anyway, it didn’t take too long. 5 minutes max. We stayed there for quite some time, until the tower was lit up in golden lights. That was just so beautiful.

Soon, we left the area and walked through the Jardin des Tuilleries back to a metro station. The Eiffel Tower was lighting up in silver lights, a huge monument sparkling like diamonds.

We had an amazing start to our first day in Paris, very typical, and more typical when we were approached by two french guys, telling us we were the most beautiful girls he has ever seen :’D Something like this would never happen to you in Germany, I can promise that.

We decided to stop by at the Champs Elysées before going back to our hostel. We thought maybe we could find a nice place to eat or drink. We didn’t because we weren’t that hungry, but it was a nice stroll down one of the most famous shopping streets in the world.

Anway, when we arrived back in our hostel, we were content about our first day in Paris, and we couldn’t wait to wake up the next morning.

I hope you guys enjoyed wandering with me through Paris.

Have you guys ever been to Paris? What were your feelings and thoughts when you first saw the Eiffel Tower?

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 4/5

Food: 4/5
Shopping: 5/5
Nightlife: –
Transportation: 4/5

 

 

Amsterdamazing: Day 3

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Amsterdam seen from the Canal Ride

Unfortunately, our last day in Amsterdam started with an early morning. We woke up to the masculine smell of 4 guys we were sharing our dorm with. Usually, I can be a bit slow in the mornings, but we didn’t enjoy the smell at all so we hurried up a little bit and left the dorm which we were somewhat happy about. We were not so happy about leaving this city of course, but still we got some hours left until we had to head to the airport.

Since we checked out at around 10 am, and our flight was around 4 pm, we still wanted to do some things until 2pm.

Here is a mini guide on how to spend you last 4 hours in Amsterdam:

1. Canal Ride:

That day, we were lucky with the weather, since the day before the weather was a bit rainy and therefore we didn’t go on a canal ride. Because this was on top of my to-do list in Amsterdam, I was obviously quite excited to finally do it. Unfortunately, we only did a normal tour on a small boat which went through the smaller canals, but I enjoyed that a lot. We initially wanted to book one of the tours including drinks and food, but our budget wasn’t enough for those anymore :/ Next time I go, I will definitely do one of those :)

The ride took around 1 hour and I just couldn’t stop staring at those wonderful houses and buildings we passed. Best way to describe them is by showing the photos:

 

 

2. Eat raw herring:

Since my friend and me are big foodies, we were keen to try out the famous raw herring in Amsterdam. The last few days we had difficulties finding any stands or restaurants selling local food. So I looked up online and found out that there were some herring stands close to the train station. Since our canal tour ended right at the train station, we decided to walk to that herring stand described online and we were successfull:

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I really enjoyed this sandwich. Some people describe it as slimy and fishy, but it was really delicious. Maybe the first bite might be a bit different from what I was used to, but I quickly came to like the taste and wished to have a second one.

3. Visit souvenir shops:

My friend still wanted to buy some souvenirs for her mother, so we had a look at a bigger souvenir shop close to the train station as well. They had some interesting stuff and another cheese trying section where we spent a lot of time at :’D Free food d’uh!

Soon, we had to slowly get going. We shortly went back to our hostel to pick up our suitcases and said goodbye to Amazing Amsterdam.

It is a city you can visit a couple of times and won’t get enough of.

Today’s rating:

Sightseeing: 4/5
Food:  4/5
Shopping: 4/5
Nightlife: 5/5

Transportation: 4/5

Amsterdamazing: Day 2

This was our only full 24-hours day in Amsterdam and it was packed. I will just present you a way to spend the 24 hours in this wonderful city.

1. Have breakfast: 

Amsterdam has many cafes and restaurants to offer for all the hungry stomaches, either waking up from a night full of sex and drugs or just for simple foodies like us who needed something sweet/savoury to start the day. I am more of a sweet person while my friend always needs meat and something savoury :’D

I first went to a bakery to have some waffles swimming chocolate sauce :’D My friend felt sick just from watching me eat that :’D

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I have to admit, I was a little bit sick after I finished this :’D

After that my friend had a Wantan soup at a chinese restaurants. You can find a lot of bakeries and chinese restaurants all over Amsterdam. Don’t worry about looking anything up on the internet, you will stumble upon one sooner or later.

2. Visit the Bloemenmarkt:

What better way is there than to wake up to the fresh smell of flowers! Of course, we didn’t have the luxury to order someone with flowers to our dorm, but we had the choice to walk to the flower market after having a fulfilling breakfast, and so we did. On our way there we saw Amsterdam from his many beautiful sides.

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Flowers and a canal

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Arriving at the flower market, we were surprised that it was next to a canal and a tiny pathway next to shops, cafes and cheese cellars :D

Of course, Weed and Tulips, two natural symbols of Holland. But did you know that Tulips were a gift from the Ottoman Empire to the Dutch Kingdom hundreds of years ago. Tulips only grew in the country which is now Turkey, but Holland loved these flowers so much that they kept on cultivating it so that it became their national symbol :D That is so interesting and another reason to love the dutch who give so much importance to something as simple as a flower.

3. Visit the Heineken Experience, or any other museum:

Because we aren’t huge museum and art fans, we weren’t interested in all those art museums you can find in Amsterdam. I really wanted to see the Anne Frank Huis, though, but all the tickets were sold out online and there was an estimated waiting hour of at least 2 hourse outside of the museum :/ But since museum has such an abundance of great museums to visit, we thought we should give at least one of the

m a try. One which is not so expensive and a little bit interactive. So we decided to go to the Heineken museum which was a great decision as you can see on the pictures below.

 

4. Take a photo at the I amsterdam letters:

One of the newly famous sights, especially on social network platforms like Instagram are these letters.

Unfortunately, when we got there, it was already late in the afternoon so the place was full of people, everyone climbing on the letters, crawling through the a-holes (sounds so wrong :’D) and just posing in front of the m’s and t’s. That’s also what we did.

5. Eat Poffertjes:

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What more is there to say?

6. Have dinner – only if you are decisive enough to choose the restaraunt:

We had difficulties, but because the chinese restaraunt seemed a bit expensive, and we only had limited cash, we opted for the Ramen restaraunt close to the red light district. It is called Ramenya and a good choice for quick, but good food.

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7. Have a drink above the city at the Sky Lounge:

In the evening, we met a friend who lives there and went to the Sky Lounge which we only found by accident while looking for Bitterballen online and where to eat it. Of course, we completely forgot about that dutch snack because we were too busy being awed by the view and couldn’t stop taking pictures.

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Of course the view is not as spectacular as the ones we are used from Asia, but it was still very beautiful, especially the location which was on top of the Hilton Double Tree Hotel. So if you ever go to Amsterdam and wanna have a nice night out without going to the Red Light District, this is another choice (and probably not even that much more expensive than in the RLD).

So once again, another night ended in this wonderful city. Our dorm was now filled with 4 more smelly guys, but it was the only night we had to endure them :’D

The next post will be about our last day, or rather, our last final hours in Amsterdam. We saved the most beautiful sight for that day, though, so don’t miss it!

Amsterdamazing: Day 1

Arrival, July 24th:

From the 24th to the 26th of July, my friend and me went to Amsterdam, a city I have always wanted to visit.

Our flight was on Sunday, the 24th in the afternoon. It only took around 50 minutes, luckily. We got our tickets from the self-service machines and slowly headed to the gate. We still had time, so we strolled through the duty free shops.

When we finally entered the plane, we wondered why our seats suddenly were in the Best deal of the airline, which is in the first 3 rows and includes drinks and snacks. We were confused, because we booked the Basic deal where you don’t get snacks nor drinks. Suddenly, we were sitting in the front and when the snacks were served the air host adressed us with our names :D That was a fun experience.

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When we landed in Amsterdam, we first took a train ticket to the city center. The weather was great! Sunny and warm with blue skies.

We didn’t take a long time to find out hostel. It was really close to the train station, but we had to ask locals and stop and look around the street numbers :D

Our hostel was small but cozy. Unfortunately, it didn’t have a lift so we had to carry our suitcases up the stairs to the second floor :D Luckily, we didn’t have huge bags, just carry-ons.

For the first night, we were alone in the room which was supposed to be for 6 people in total. My friend and me  were a bit tired and sweaty, so we got dressed and charged our phones before going out to explore the city in the late afternoon hours.

How to spend a night in Amsterdam:

1) Dam Square:

At first, we just wanted to stroll through the streets, look at some shops and maybe find a place to eat. In this area, you will find a lot of restaurants, especially Argentinian food seems to be really popular here. But there were also a lot of Italian and Asian restaurants.

When we were there, though, there was a gaypride concert at the Dam Square. The place was packed with people – and pidgeons, relaxing on the stairs and listening to the music.

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People listening to the music

We didn’t stay too long to listen to the music. We danced a little when the singer started to sing I can’t feel my face from The Weeknd, but after that, we continued to stroll through the streets and came across some interesting places.

Whatever you do when you go to Amsterdam, or Holland in general, don’t miss to try the cheese there. It is heavenly <3

Of course, another thing that is impossible to miss out on is a typical picture in front of the canals:

Maybe you won’t believe me when I say that I have always wanted to take such a picture on a tiny bridge. That’s why I loved Hamburg and Suzhou so much.

In the end, we were pretty hungry and a bit exhausted from walking. The weather was still nice, so we decided to try to find a restaurant next to the canals so we could observe the boats passing us on the water. We found a Burger place which had outdoor seats as well. The Burgers didn’t taste that special, but it wasn’t expensive and we had a nice view.

2) Red Light District:

Since our hostel was right behind the Red Light District, there was no way around it. So on our first evening, we saw everything from strip bars, live sex shows, prostitutes behind colorful windows, sex museums and shops. We visited one of these live sex shows since it was pretty touristy and huge groups of bachelorette party goers were standing in line, we thought to have a look as well. It is not what you imagine. It is very sketchy and weird, with music playing in the background. I enjoyed the strip and dance shows in-between more, they were quite fun and entertaining. So, even if you are not interested in this kind of stuff, it is still nice to experience that relaxed atmosphere the locals of amsterdam show towards this area. There were several people just casually walking their dogs, or going for a hike through this street, even grannies :’D

3) Coffeshops:

Amsterdam is filled with these. Since my friend and me don’t really smoke (alright, we tried it but we didn’t get addicted to it), and can’t roll a joint, we weren’t so much into spending all of our free time in coffeeshops. Still, we wanted to have a look inside one and maybe buy a space cake.

We walked into the first coffeeshop (don’t ask me their names, I can’t remember, but I guess they were both called the bulldogg) and there was a bouncer at the entrance who wanted to see our IDs. After we showed him he was embarrassed and told us that we were actually older than him :’DDD That was so hilarious! We couldn’t stop laughing and ensured him that he wasn’t the first one to estimate us younger :D

Anyway, we walked out there because we didn’t find anything on the menu for us and went the other coffeeshop which was named the same I think but had space cakes. We bought one to eat together and two iced coffees (since they don’t sell alcohol in coffeeshops there). We then walked back to the red light district, sat on a bench and munched on our cake which actually had a weedy taste to it (while my friend only tasted chocolate. But she has sensitive taste buds when it comes to sweets).

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Again, snapchat edit, but I enjoyed the filters

Anyway, if you like to take substances like these, then Amsterdam is a paradise for you (not a cheap one though). Plus, there are quite some museums about cannabis and hemp.

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Hemp Museum Gallery

So this was our first day, and we were lucky that we got so many different impressions on our first day there.

If you are interested to see what we did on our second day, which was also our only full day in Amsterdam, stay tuned.

Thanks for reading!

Travel Plans: Amsterdam

I’m sorry that I was away for longer than I planned, but things were kind of stressfull the last couple of weeks with my birthday, bayram, and all the horrifying events happening all over europe (France, Turkey, Germany). It breaks my heart to hear all of that, and it makes me wary travelling recently. My sister also flew to turkey las week saturday, one day after the coup attempt and we were worried if it was safe to go. Luckily, she is in the west of the country which was not affected so much by that.

Anyway, another thing I was busy with the past week was planning my short trip to Amsterdam. My friend’s birthday is on the 27th and she asked me if I wanted to travel somewhere with her. Since I have to work that day, I could only go somehwere before the 27th and only for 2 or 3 days. So we agreed on a short trip to Amsterdam, from sunday, 24th of July to Tuesday, 26th of July.

Amsterdam has always been a city somewhere on the top of my travel bucket list, and now I am so happy to finally tick it off.

The Netherlands, in my opinion, are one of the most successful countries in the world. I have only met a few dutch people, but I never had any negative experiences with them. They are always friendly, fun and extremely attractive – male or female. And since I had developped a severe fandom for the dutch football national team in the past, I am even more excited to explore the capitol of this wonderful country.

For that, I have created a Plan with all the things I would love to see. Here are they, sorted after priority:

1. Canal Ride

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Source: canal.nl

This is the top one must-do activity on the list when going to Amsterdam, I think. Of course, there are all these museums this city is famous for, but since the canal belt is a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, it is the most important activity in order to get to know the city in the best way.

We plan to do a canal tour in the evening, combining it with a cocktail canal tour deal. You can find all the deals here.

2. Flower Market (Bloemenmarkt) and Singel Canal:

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Source: promptguides.com

Tulips are one of the most famous symbols of The Netherlands, therefore, it is a must to visit the flower market in this city, although I heard it to be very small and unspectacular. I found out that the tulips were actually a present from the Ottoman Empire, since they were originally grown there. Another interesting fact I would like to learn more about.

3. Heineken Experience:

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Source: Google.com

Well, it is one of the museums you can find in Amsterdam, maybe not the classiest one, but still quite interesting and a fun thing for young people. Apparently, you pay the entrance which is around 16.50 € for adults and there are two beers included which you can enjoy at the end of the tour on the rooftop terrace. If there is not a long queue I would really wanna see this place.

4. Van Gogh Museum / Anne Frank Huis:

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Source: iqimila.com
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Source: thisisamsterdam.info

I actually really wanna see the Anna Frank House, but I read not amusing things online, about how long the queue always is (over 2 hours). Thus, I checked the online tickets, but unfortunately, I had to discover that they were sold out until November or so :'( I don’t have big hopes for these museums on our trip. Maybe next time I visit Amsterdam.

5. Streetfood:

I have heard so many amazing food stories happening in Amsterdam. I have already made list of all the foods I wanna try:

Bitterballen

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Source: dutchstore.ch

Stoopwafel

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Source: iamsterdam.com

Dutch fries

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Source: confusedjulia.com

Raw Herring

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Source: intelligenttravel.nationalgeographic.com

Poffertjes

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Source: ohmydish.com

Panekoeken

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Source: Google.com

Cheese

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Source: Google.com

Snack vending machines

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Source: jonesaroundtheworld.com

If you guys have any more food recommendations, please let me know in the comments :)

6. Red Light District:

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Source: travelandleisure.com

Well, since our hostel is in the Red Light District, it is unevitable to stroll through these streets. To be honest, I don’t think it is as hazy as a red light district usually is. I heard that people are quite chill about these topics in the Netherlands. I have also been to Hamburg and saw all the prostitutes on the streets and wasn’t afraid. It is just another kind of entertainment.

7. Gay Pride:

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Source: richardtulloch.files.wordpress.com

I found out about this event on tripadvisor and it starts on the 23rd, so one day before we arrive. We really hope we can make it to the concert on the 24th which is supposed to be on the Dam Square close to the Red Light District actually. Unfortunately, we won’t be able to see this boat parade which takes place on August 7th, but I think it is an amazing event and once again shows how open-minded and fun the Netherlands are.

8. Visit a coffeeshop:

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Source: sueddeutsche.com

Even if we don’t try anything here (we might though, I mean come on, when in amsterdam, right?), I think it might be quite interesting to even only have a look inside and learn more about the dutch culture. I am really excited to see how relaxed this nation deals with drugs and doesnt make a big deal out of it (pun not intended :’D)

9. See the I amsterdam letters in front of the Rijksmuseum:

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Source: thisgirlabroad.com

These letters are famous now, and everyone who goes to this city and doesnt take a photo in front of these letters, can’t prove they were there ;D

We probably won’t visit the museum itself, because we are not really interested in art that much, and we are on a strict money and time budget so we decided to let go of most of the museums.

10. Vondelpark:

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Source: tripadvisor.com

This park looks so beautiful, but I am afraid we won’t have time to go there. I hope we can manage to squeeze a little chill-out session here, though.

These were about the Top 10 things to do on my travel list for Amsterdam. I can’t wait until Sunday now, and I already dread how fast time will past as soon as we arrive there.

I will keep you updated.

Thanks for reading!