A 24 HRS guide to Paris

Paris, by many known as the city of love. And well frankly, there is no wonder why. These cozy inner streets in combination with the allure of the French, breathe romance. With many intriguing districts- in Paris referred to as arrondissements- to discover, here is how to make the most of 24 hrs.

Macarons at Ladurée

Colorful hand crafted goodness, a.k.a. macarons. These small heavenly bites are available in every colour of the rainbow. And, originating from France, it are the French that make them best. Specifically at Ladurée. What started out as a single store in 1842 has grown in to a worldwide brand selling over 15.000 macarons a day. Because yes, they’re that good. Ladurée has eight locations in the centre of Paris, each store maintaining their own historical features.

A small box of 6 macarons at Ladurée will cost you $21.6 (€17.10).

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Click here to find a shop near you.

Lunch with a view of the Eiffel Tower

A lunch with a view of the Eiffel Tower is incredibly romantic. However, it is also incredibly expensive. Grab yourself some freshly baked baguettes, creamy paturain and a good bottle of Merlot at any of the nearby supermarkets. Find a good spot to nestle in -believe us, there are tons- and enjoy your city picnic complimented with views that are hard to beat.

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A visit the actual Eiffel Tower

So glazing from a distance is one thing. Seeing the actual Eiffel Tower up close is another. Once you’ve finished your lunch. You can crab a subway from basically anywhere that will take you directly to the popular landmark. Paris however is lovely when the sun  is out, so going by foot is recommended. And, bonus, you’ll be more likely to encounter unexpected beautiful French architecture along the way.

If you do decide to take public transportion, the prices start from $2.40 (€1.90) for a one-way ticket.IMG_4215

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The Louvre Museum

A castle that turned in to a palace, that later transitioned in to one of the best visited museums in the world; the Louvre Museum. Or, better said, Musée du Louvre. Home to the Mona Lisa. With the monumental size and historical features of the building, it is hard to say whether it is the art work or the building that is most impressive. When short on time, choose one of the three main wings to explore on forehand. Its easy to wonder off, for hours, in whichever direction in this incredibly large museum.

A ticket at the door will cost you $18.50 (€15), but best thing to do is to pre-order the tickets online. It avoids the line and guarantees you entree within 30 minutes. Visitors under the age of 18 can go in free of charge, as well as residents of the EU under the age of 25.

The museum is open every day except Tuesday and offers several other exceptions that are granted free entree. Click here to learn more about them.

Galeries Lafayette

Located in the 9th arrondissement, Galeries Lafeyette counts ten floors and has become one of Paris’ most distinguished shopping centre’s since its first opened its doors in 1893. Loved for their extravagant window displays, especially in December, and thousands of luxury brands on offer. But, first and foremost, for the massive stained glass dome that graces the main hall. Build in 1912, it is still floating above dozens of beautifully decorated balconies today, leaving unexpecting shoppers in awe. Don’t forget to make it up to the top floor. The warehouse allows free entrance to their rooftop terrace where visitors get to see the city from a different perspective. After all, you can never get too much good views of Paris.

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For opening hours of Galeries Lafayette click here

Wine and dine – Pamela Popo

Dine as the Parisians do. At Pamela Popo located in the Le Marais district, one of the oldest neighborhoods of Paris. Where the charming narrow streets are filled with boutiques, art galleries, bars and restaurants. Each restaurant has their own small front-faced terrace to wine and dine whilst gazing down the streets. Don’t let the French menu scare you, as the waiters are more than willing to help and, no matter what you pick, the food is sublime.

Total costs of our dinner came down to $185 (€150), which included a three-course meal, tip, a bottle of wine and water.

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For more information on Pamela Popo click here

*All prices in US dollar as of 24 March’18, converted on xe.com 

 

HOTEL TIP – Brussels

Hygge Hotel

Hygge –  pronounced “Hoo-ga” – is a concept originating from Denmark and refers to the feeling of coziness and fulfillment by enjoying the simple things in life. Which is exactly what the recently opened Hygge Hotel embodies. Decorated with Scandinavian design throughout, the hotel intertwines modern, minimalistic architecture with a warm touch.

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The hotel is conveniently located in the Louise area, right within the city centre of Brussels. The area is a very popular district where shopping, business, dining and bars meet another.

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The rooms of the hotel are styled in cool blues and whites, with hints of wood scattered throughout. The bathrooms are decorated in Delft Blue tiles and most encompasses a spacious bath. All of the above contributes to the creation of a relaxed atmosphere to either get some work done (on the in-room desk) or enjoy a good nights sleep.

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©HYGGE Hotel

The breakfast, which will cost you roughly 15 euros if you purchase it on the spot, is varied and satisfactory. With the offering ranging from freshly baked baguettes,  Scandinavian yogurts to pressed juices. It is served on the ground floor and the carved details in the ceiling allows you to let your eyes wander, whilst enjoying your meal.

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So what will a stay at the cozy and centrally located Hygge Hotel cost you? For a 1 night stay, on a week day, we paid a total of €78/$95.

Hit this link to find out what a stay at Hygge Hotel is going to cost you on your desired date and time.

* All prices as of 1 March’18, converted on xe.com 

Hygge Hotel in Brussels: Scandinavian vibes in the city center

Hygge Hotel in Brussels

Hygge –  pronounced “Hoo-ga” – is a concept originating from Denmark and refers to the feeling of coziness and fulfillment by enjoying the simple things in life. Which is exactly what the recently opened Hygge Hotel embodies. Decorated with Scandinavian design throughout, the hotel intertwines modern, minimalistic architecture with a warm touch.

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Location

The hotel is conveniently located in the Louise area, right within the city center of Brussels. The area is a very popular district where shopping, business, dining, and bars meet another.

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Room lay-out

The rooms of the hotel are styled in cool blues and whites, with hints of wood scattered throughout. The bathrooms are decorated in Delft Blue tiles and most encompasses a spacious bath. All of the above contributes to the creation of a relaxed atmosphere to either get some work done (on the in-room desk) or enjoy a good nights sleep.

Capture
©HYGGE Hotel

Breakfast

The breakfast, which will cost you roughly 15 euros if you purchase it on the spot, is varied and satisfactory. The food on offer ranges from freshly baked baguettes,  Scandinavian yogurts to pressed juices. It is served on the ground floor and the carved details in the ceiling allow you to let your eyes wander, whilst enjoying your meal.

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What is a night in Hygge Hotel, in the midst of Brussels city center, going to cost you?

So what will a stay at the cozy and centrally located Hygge Hotel cost you? For a 1 night stay, on a weekday, we paid a total of €78/$95.

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Rooms starting from €69 ($78)

More information

 

Hit the button above to find out what a stay at Hygge Hotel is going to cost you on your desired date and time.

* All prices as of 1 March’18, converted on xe.com 

4x Bountiful Breakfast in Amsterdam

In order to explore the many tourist attractions in Amsterdam, you’ll need to have your body fueled up. So its better not to skip the, alleged, most important meal of the day. And, if you’re doing it anyway, you better do it right. At one of the following breakfast spots in Amsterdam.

1. Corner Bakery

More is more – must be the mantra that Corner Bakery operates under. This bakery, located on the corner of the Johannes Vermeerstraat, achieved quite the Instagram fame with their extravagant menu. Becoming highly populair amongst tourists, as well as the locals. So popular even that they’ve recently opened a second location to serve their yummy goodness. If you’re keen on a visit in the original location, best to do so during office hours as it tends to get crowded on the weekends.

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Bali Bowl €9.95 – French Toast €9.95
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© Cornerbakeryamsterdam

For lunch at Corner Bakery we paid a total price of €41.45 / $51.5. Which included Eggs on toast, French toast, Bali Bowl and four cappuccinos. 11.60

2. MOOK

Pancakes, pancakes and more pancakes. YES, please. Whether it’s sweet, savory or sweet AND savory, they know how to whip up some tasty combinations at MOOK. These richly decorated pancakes, combined with one of their many freshly pressed juices, will have you, and your tummy, walk out the door fully satisfied.

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The Blue Magic Deluxe – €11.50 / $14.3
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The Soul Flower – €11 / $13.7

For lunch at MOOK we paid a total price of €36.50 / $ 45.6. Which included our pancakes, two coffees and two fresh juices.

For more information on other menu items and prices visit www.mookpancakes.nl

3. The Breakfast Club

What better place to have breakfast than at the Breakfast Club. Whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast burger -yes, apparently that’s a thing- or some eggs benedict. This place is such a success they have opened several locations across Amsterdam; east, south and west. So  wherever you’re located or planning to spend your day, a tasty breakfast is right around the corner.

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For lunch at The Breakfast Club we paid a total price of €37.2 / $46.1 Which included the Breakfast Burger, Eggs Seaside, a juice and four cappuccinos.

4. Koala Republic

Playfully basic – is what comes to mind when describing Koala Republic. This naturally decorated lunch cafe is located ten minutes from the, at times hectic, inner city centre, and therefore a great spot to bring your laptop and get some work done. Their menu is a feast for every day of the week and has a strong focus on serving guests good-food-that-is-good-for-you.

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Dragon Bowl 8 – Coconut pancakes 7.50
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YES, you can actually sit here. Unless your clumsy, like me.

For our lunch at Koala Republic we paid a total price of €36.50 / $45.4 Which included Coconut Pancakes, Dragon Bowl, Coconut water, Juice and two cappuccinos.

*All prices as of 27 January 2018, converted on xe.com 

BREAKFAST HEAVEN: 5 restaurants in Amsterdam you don’t want to miss out on

Where to find the best breakfast spots in Amsterdam

In order to explore the many tourist attractions in Amsterdam, you’ll need to have your body fueled up. So it is better not to skip the alleged, most important meal of the day. And, if you’re doing it anyway, you better do it right. At one of the following breakfast spots in Amsterdam:

1. Corner Bakery

More is more – must be the mantra that Corner Bakery operates under. This bakery, located on the corner of the Johannes Vermeerstraat, achieved quite the Instagram fame with their extravagant menu. Becoming highly popular amongst tourists, as well as the locals. So popular even that they’ve recently opened a second location to serve their yummy goodness. If you’re keen on a visit to the original location, best to do so during office hours as it tends to get crowded on the weekends.

Corner Bakery Amsterdam
Bali Bowl €9.95 – French Toast €9.95
Donut shakes Corner Bakery Amsterdam
© Cornerbakeryamsterdam

For lunch, at Corner Bakery we paid a total price of €41.45 / $51.5. Which included Eggs on toast, French toast, Bali Bowl and four cappuccinos. 11.60

2. MOOK

Pancakes, pancakes, and more pancakes. YES, please. Whether it’s sweet, savory or sweet AND savory, they know how to whip up some tasty combinations at MOOK. These richly decorated pancakes, combined with one of their many freshly pressed juices, will have you, and your tummy, walk out the door fully satisfied.

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Pancakes at Mook Pancakes
The Blue Magic Deluxe – €11.50 / $14.3
Pancakes Amsterdam
The Soul Flower – €11 / $13.7

For lunch, at MOOK we paid a total price of €36.50 / $ 45.6. Which included our pancakes, two coffees, and two fresh juices.

For more information on other menu items and prices visit www.mookpancakes.nl

3. The Breakfast Club

What better place to have breakfast than at the Breakfast Club. Whether you’re in the mood for a breakfast burger -yes, apparently that’s a thing- or some eggs benedict. This place is such a success they have opened several locations across Amsterdam; east, south, and west. So wherever you’re located or planning to spend your day, a tasty breakfast is right around the corner.

Coffee The Breakfast Club AmsterdamThe Breakfast Club Amsterdam

For lunch, at The Breakfast Club, we paid a total price of €37.2 / $46.1 Which included the Breakfast Burger, Eggs Seaside, a juice and four cappuccinos.

4. Koala Republic

Playfully basic – is what comes to mind when describing Koala Republic. This naturally decorated lunch cafe is located ten minutes from the, at times hectic, inner city center, and therefore a great spot to bring your laptop and get some work done. Their menu is a feast for every day of the week and has a strong focus on serving guests good-food-that-is-good-for-you.

Koala Republic Amsterdam
Dragon Bowl 8 – Coconut pancakes 7.50
Koala Republic Amsterdam
YES, you can actually sit here. Unless you’re clumsy, like me.

For our lunch, at Koala Republic we paid a total price of €36.50 / $45.4 Which included Coconut Pancakes, Dragon Bowl, Coconut water, Juice, and two cappuccinos.

*All prices as of 27 January 2018, converted on xe.com 

BURGERS, TACOS & TAPAS – Barcelona

Spending your days filled with tapas and paella is what comes to mind when visiting the capital of Catalonia. But well, let’s be honest. As delicious as those tiny bites might be, after a few days you might want to go for something else. Luckily, as diverse as the city of Barcelona is, as diverse is the food on offer. For a golden mix, check out our selection of burgers, tacos and -of course- tapas.

BURGERS: Makamaka

Hard to believe, but there used to be a time in which I wasn’t much of a burger fan. Well at least, that was until I visited Makamaka for the first time a few years back. An instant game changer. From hungry man patties to hot mama’s, these burgers will satisfy all. Perfervid burger fan ever since. Their beach orientated location and large terrace make this the perfect spot for afternoon hangouts  or hangover brunches.

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Two burgers+ garlic fries+ white sangria : €34.60 – $42.43

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For more information visit www.makamaka.es

TACOS: Café Carabela

Because Mexican food is always a good idea. From fajitas to enchiladas and tacos, Cafe Carabella serves it all. Complemented with a good pitcher of Sangria, surely. For those in the mood for something else than sangria -which I find hard to believe, but – there is also an extensive cocktail list on offer. Located a 100 m from the seafront harbour, this is a superb pit stop from beach in to town.  

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Small nachos €5-$6.1 + White sangria €16 – $19.16

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Burritos €6 – $7.35

TAPAS: Casa Lolea

Casa Lolea, world renowned for its dotted bottled sangria. Which is first and foremost reason enough to visit this tiny restaurant hidden in the streets of Eixample. That, and the cosy atmosphere, playful interior and -undoubtedly- the top notch food. Their selection of yummy tapas is something I can go on and on about. But most importantly, make sure to try the legendary truffle risotto, something we’re still craving for… 

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Extensive tapas dinner + Bottle of sangria €58 – $71

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THE truffle risotto €8.50 – $10.42

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Side note – due to the size and popularity a reservation for Casa Lolea is key. 

For more information visit www.casalolea.com

* All prices converted on xe.com, as of 17 January 2018

HOTEL TIP – BRUSSELS

Le Jardin Secret

Right within the Centre of Brussels, capital of Belgium, lies Le Jardin secret. A, literally, secretive hotel hidden within the walls of another hotel, named Le Berger. The entire hotel is garden themed and can only be accessed via an extraordinary plant shop. After you’ve located the plant shop in one of Brussels many alleys, you will find the cloaked reception and are ready for check-in. After which, entrance to hotel will be granted via the back door and you can make your way to to your room via the inner garden.

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Before our visit we never actually realized how uncommon it is to have lots of plants in your room. Total shame because it is absolutely lovely and has a very relaxed and homely vibe to it. Also contributing to those vibes are a view of, yes, the large inner “secret” garden. All of which you can admire from your, very comfortable, window seat.

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As Brussels tends to get quite busy – with either tourism, business conferences or European affairs- prices for hotels can be relatively high at times.  However, for this unique hotel we only paid EUR 68/$82.81, way below the usual Brussels average. To have the diverse continental breakfast they offer included, price will go up with EUR 14/$16.81 p.p.p.n.

Find out what it is going to cost you on your desired dates here

For more information on the hotel visit www.jardinsecrethotel.be

SECRET HOTEL: Le Jardin Secret

Le Jardin Secret

Right within the Centre of Brussels, capital of Belgium lies Le Jardin secret. A, literally, secretive hotel hidden within the walls of another hotel, named Le Berger. The entire hotel is garden themed and can only be accessed via a plant shop. After you’ve located the plant shop in one of Brussels many alleys, you will find the cloaked reception and are ready for check-in. After which, entrance to the hotel will be granted via the back door and you can make your way to your room via the inner garden.

Hotel Le Jardin Secret
Reception

Hotel Le Jardin Secret room

Room layout

Before our visit, we never actually realized how uncommon it is to have lots of plants in your room. Total shame because it is absolutely lovely and has a very relaxed and homely vibe to it. Also contributing to those vibes are a view of, yes, the large inner “secret” garden. All of which you can admire from your, very comfortable, window seat.

Hotel Le Jardin Secret Brussels

Hotel Le Jardin Secret Brussels bathroom

Garden Hotel Le Jardin Secret Brussels

As Brussels tends to get quite busy – with either tourism, business conferences or European affairs- prices for hotels can be relatively high at times.  However, for this unique hotel, we only paid EUR 68/$82.81, way below the usual Brussels average. To have the diverse continental breakfast they offer included, the price will go up with EUR 14/$16.81 p.p.p.n.

Find out what it is going to cost you on your desired dates here

For more information on the hotel visit www.jardinsecrethotel.be

Brunch & Cake – Barcelona Hotspot

Carved pineapples used as bowls and fluffy green pancakes sounds luscious, right? The restaurant Brunch and Cake, which on its own obtained quite the Instagram fame, offers a brunch one cannot pass on.

Have a look on their Instagram feed here and you’ll get why. Apart from the fact that every plate deserves to have their photo taken at least three times, the food on its own is evenly delicious. The restaurant is open everyday from 09:00 until 22:00 with the same menu throughout the day.

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Matcha pancakes $8.90 – Blue Acai Bowl $10.45

They operate with the same mantra as we go through life with: in grandma’s kitchen we trust, and more importantly- it is never to early, or late for that matter, for pancakes.  Keep in mind that this place does get really busy and does not do reservations.

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Avo toast $9.35  – Signature pancakes $9.40

We got lucky two times and were seated immediately (yes, we went twice, did we mention we love pancakes) but we saw a lot of queuing up outside. If the suns out, grab a seat outside in their window frame, definitely as chill as it looks.

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Juices/Smoothies around $6.65

Brunch & Cake, located at C/Enric Granados, 19 (Barcelona), is part of Cup & Cake and has multiple venues throughout Barcelona.

For more information visit their website here 

All prices are in US dollars as of 03’Oct-2017, converted on xe.com 

Barcelona lunchtime: Brunch & Cake

Carved pineapples used as bowls and fluffy green pancakes sounds luscious, right? The restaurant Brunch and Cake, which on its own obtained quite the Instagram fame, offers a brunch one cannot pass on.

Have a look on their Instagram feed here and you’ll get why. Apart from the fact that every plate deserves to have their photo taken at least three times, the food on its own is evenly delicious. The restaurant is open every day from 09:00 until 22:00 with the same menu throughout the day.

Brunch & Cake Barcelona

They operate with the same mantra as we go through life with: in grandma’s kitchen we trust, and more importantly- it is never too early, or late for that matter, for pancakes.  Keep in mind that this place does get really busy and does not do reservations.

Brunch & Cake Barcelona

We got lucky two times and were seated immediately (yes, we went twice, did we mention we love pancakes) but we saw a lot of queuing up outside. If the suns out, grab a seat outside in their window frame, definitely as chill as it looks.

Terrace Brunch & Cake Barcelona
Juices/Smoothies around $6.65

More information

Brunch & Cake, located at C/Enric Granados, 19 (Barcelona), is part of Cup & Cake and has multiple venues throughout Barcelona.

For more information visit their website here 

All prices are in US dollars as of 03’Oct-2017, converted on xe.com 

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