EuroTribe

your guide to Europe off the beaten path

Author: Natalija

8 Less-Known and Alternative Things To Do in Amsterdam

Amsterdam is an alternative city compared to many other European capitals. But what if you want to see the more alternative side of an already alternative city? If you’ve checked…

Amsterdam is an alternative city compared to many other European capitals. But what if you want to see the more alternative side of an already alternative city? If you’ve checked off all of your travel guide’s recommendations and are at a loss what-to-do-next, follow this list for more less-known and alternative things to do in Amsterdam.

Amsterdam Magic Show

The Amsterdam Magic Show is the only theater act performed in English that showcases magic and comedy. It’s set in a 20’s styled cabaret theater (think wood paneling and lush, red velvet curtains). The show is unique and stays current as the act changes every month. Every month world-class mentalists, illusionists and magicians from all over the world come together to awaken our childhood beliefs.

It takes place on the first or second Tuesday each month. There are only two shows a night (the early and late show), so make sure to book in advance as tickets sell out quickly!

Small Museums

Cat Cabinet

Katten Kabinet

Internet was founded so it’d connect the global community over a shared adoration for felines. Well not really. But, we can say for sure that some of the most viewed content on the web is in fact, of our furry masters. Anyone who has a cat knows that you do not own one, but it owns you. 🙂

Kattenkabinet is set in a fully restored, beautiful house from the 17th century. Besides being a historical landmark on its own, it hosts an incredible collection dedicated solely to cats in art, culture and history. Even if you’re not an avid cat enthusiast, it’s a welcomed break from the norm.

Electric Ladyland

Phosphorescent sculpture

Commonly known as ‘The world’s first museum of fluorescent art’, the Electric Ladyland is a museum set in a basement. The museum displays a collection of fluorescent minerals, “thermal expansion” paintings (a painting technique discovered by the owner) and mineral artwork. You too, are an active part of the art, in the segment called “participatory art”.

The only thing that overshadows the museum is its owner, Nick Padallino. His vast knowledge on the subject and charismatic personality makes you want to listen to him for hours. If you want to bypass the magic truffles but still experience an Amsterdam trip – this museum is a perfect pick.

Other unusual museums are the Pipe museum, Vrolik Museum, Venustempel Sex Museum, Museum of Bags and Purses, Ripley’s Believe it or Not! and Red Lights Secrets – Prostitution museum.

Amsterdam Light Festival

Amsterdam Light Festival  2

Another attraction that puts Amsterdam on the map as the capital of magical entertainment. There aren’t any illusionists/magicians involved into organizing this festival as international architects, artists and (light) designers bring the real magic. Festival is held every winter, and it brings together new talent with a unified goal, to make Amsterdam vibrate warmth and pulsate with color during the coldest, darkest nights.

There are a lot of interesting tours on offer. Bike tours or culinary boat tours, just to name a few. Enjoying dutch delicacies and craft beer is a perfect addition to a light spectacle that’s displayed right in front of your eyes.

Neighborhood: NDSM

ndsm-amsterdam-noord-21

Probably one of the coolest neighborhoods in Europe, NDSM is a former shipyard now transformed into a creative hub. Kunststad (Art City) is located in the NDSM hangar where artists are continuously keeping busy creating. Alongside the riverbank there are a lot of restaurants, pubs and clubs. Visit IJ-kantine,Greenhouse Café Noorderlicht or try bungee jumping from a crane.

Restaurants

Restaurant de Kas

De Kas interior

Majority of the time we completely desensitize from the food on our plate. How much effort and time it takes for that one potato to be on our plate. Restaurant de Kas puts you in a setting where you’re surrounded by the produce that’s going to end up on your plate. They differ from other restaurants, as their menu is created daily and only consists of things in season and harvested from their garden.

The restaurant is inside of a greenhouse that used to belong to Amsterdam’s Municipal Nursery. They describe their cooking style similar to the cuisines of the rural Mediterranean. The vegetable dishes are served in combination with meat or fish from local suppliers, but there are vegetarian options available.

Ctaste

ctaste

The “dark dining” concept originated in Switzerland in 1999., with Blinde Kuh. Since then it has spread all over the world, from New York to Beijing.

The question you might be posing to yourself is, why would anyone desire to not see what they’re eating? Well, eliminating sense of sight, your other senses of taste and smell are heightened. At the Ctaste, the visually impaired staff will lead you to your table in a dark room. Before you enter you’ll choose a prefixed menu from a selection of cuisines, but the dishes they’ll be serving you are a surprise.

The Butcher

A burger joint located near Albert Cuypstraat in de Pijp. If the name of the restaurant is not self explanatory enough there’s a cow hanging upside down in the window display. So yes, beef burgers all around. What separates the Butcher from other burger joints is the secret bar located in the back. The same concept that made the cocktail bar Please Don’t Tell in New York City thrive among its competition. In order to be granted an entrance to the secret bar – you need to know the daily changed password.

Markets

Thanks to globalization, whatever country you’re in, you’ll find an H&M or a Forever21 anywhere. So why buy something at H&M in Amsterdam, when that same collection is probably displayed back at your home country? If you enjoy the hunt of something unique and want to purchase something characteristic of the country you’re visiting – you can never go wrong with street markets.

Antique market Amsterdam

Flea Market - Antiques

Serious collectors fly to Amsterdam just to navigate through its 1750 square feet of lost artifacts. Don’t bring too much money as you won’t be able to resist.

Noordermarkt

Noordermarkt

Here you can get anything from jewelry, clothes to books or art pieces. If you’re in need of some organic ingredients for your dinner – you’re in luck as here you can find a vast array of different organic foods.

Albert Cuypmarkt

If street markets are your scene then you’ve probably heard of the Albert Cuypmarkt, Amsterdam’s busiest market. Whatever you’re in need of, the chances are you’ll find it here. I’d say that to make the most out of it spend at least half a day exploring. If you get hungry there are snack vendors, eateries and cafes all over the surrounding area. Haggling in Netherlands’ largest antique market is an experience of its own.

Other markets worth a visit include Waterlooplein Flea Market and of course Bloemenmarkt.

De Hallen

Amsterdam DE Hallen

De Hallen is an early 20th century industrial building, now a center of the arts, fashion and most importantly, food. In this complex you can find a cinema (largest independent cinema), a boutique hotel, stores and Food Hallen – indoor food market with around 20 street vendors and a bar.

Alternative Housing

As mentioned, Amsterdam and its forward thinking inhabitants are great at putting old, unused spaces to new purposes. These are some of the noteworthy mentions that you should check out or even better stay at, for a different experience.

Faralda Crane Hotel is set in a 50 metres high harbour crane in NDSM shipyard.

Amstel Botel is a floating hotel in NDSM shipyard.

Amstel Botel

Hotel de Windketel is a private tower and once part of the municipal waterworks.

‘Hotel de Windketel’ Watertorenplein Amsterdam

The Lloyd, world’s first 1-5 star Hotel. Its role throughout the years has been changed often, serving first as a refugee center, detention center, juvenile detention center and artist studios.

Lloyd Hotel

Amsterdam is on the pricier side and unfortunately not all of us can afford to stay at Hotel de Windketel. However there’s always a demand for cheap short stay Amsterdam accommodation, so you’ll surely find something suitable for your budget.

Photo Credits: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15

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Bitemojo Food Tour – Step Into Prenzlauer Berg Neighbourhood

There are many approaches to experiencing a city – and no wrong ones! Places are like people, they have many layers to them. The surface of the city doesn’t paint…

There are many approaches to experiencing a city – and no wrong ones!

Places are like people, they have many layers to them. The surface of the city doesn’t paint an accurate portrait of its persona. There are cities that I thought I’d enjoy immensely for their architecture or interesting history. However seeing them in person, they fell flat. Likewise there are also cities that are deemed ugly or boring but once you get to know the culture, the secret spots, the people, suddenly you’re in tune with the city’s newfound vibrancy.

One of the cities that keeps calling to me is definitively Berlin. Our affair started a year ago. I first visited Berlin in October, 2016. Like all first comers I ticked off all major touristy sights. I visited some of the finest museums Berlin had to offer (and they have a lot to offer – over 10 museums)! I got to hang out with Berliners in Kreuzberg, do beer yoga (it’s fun as it sounds), try tasty German brews and dance the night away in Berghain. Like most cities it was only scratching the surface.

The second time I visited was exactly a year later, October 2017. Through my conversations with the locals (their English is impeccable by the way) I found out what I was missing out on! Food!

Yes, I tried everything that street carts have to offer! Donner, currywurst and to be fair, ten other types of wurst. Much as I enjoy street food, I decided that I need to expand my menu.

One of the things that makes Berlin such a great city is that it’s so culturally diverse. So I wanted to experience that diversity through my favourite medium, food.

I’ve been told that Prenzlauer Berg has a serious food scene.

PB neighbourhood, I was told that it’s like Kreuzberg but for young families (also former residents of Kreuzberg). Due to being a much gentrified district and as such, a perfect scene for a cafés & eateries. It’s a big mix of scenery. From colourful boutiques, green oases, interesting shops, a JR mural (and other great examples of street art) to a wide range of eateries.

Hence I booked a food tour through an app called Bitemojo. I never did a tour through an app so I was curious how the whole process would look like.

The only thing you need for this tour is an empty stomach and a smartphone! The tour costs 25 euros, and for that price you get 6 delicious bites & 6 hidden gems of Prenzlauer Berg.

How Does Bitemojo Food Tour Work:

  1. Download the Bitemojo app
  2. Choose a Tour to Your Fitting
  3. See at what time the tour is available
  4. Get to the starting point and enjoy!

Prenzlauer delivered. The tour took me to six different restaurants all specializing in different types of cuisine.

Ataya

bitemojo food tour

First one was a small restaurant offering some of the best vegetarian/vegan cuisine in Berlin. The owners are a lovely couple from different cultural background. She is from Cagliari, Italy and he is from Dakar, Senegal. As a result, the food they create is a harmonious fusion of influences from both continents.

My first bite was ravioli! A perfect example of the African-Italian fusion. The recipe was inspired by the cuisine of Sardinia (as their tomato sauce), but the couscous is Senegalese. From dough to the sauce – everything is homemade!

Pasticceria Mangiarte

bitemojo food tour

Next stop was my favorite, Pasticceria Mangiarte. The owner Ivan hails from Taranto, Italy. He’s a baker and a painter – and I certainly agree, that his pastries are masterpieces. I had a bigne with Chantilly cream and an espresso to accompany it with. The Chantilly cream melted in my mouth.

bitemojo food tour

I had to order some other delicacies and I tried some type of delectable pastry with passion fruit. It was divine, a truly religious experience. The prices are really reasonable (a piece was 1 euro!) and everything, and I mean everything is homemade. Every batter, filling, glaze and cream!

The Panini Shop

the Panini Shop

Another business owned by a married couple! A panini shop, the only store in Berlin that specializes in paninis only! Next to classic Italian paninis they offer their own recipes too.

I had their Sweet Chicken on sesame bread and some orange juice. The bread was evenly toasted, the salad was crunchy and not soggy from the sauce (which I hate when happens with paninis) and chicken was perfect. It was delicious. My friend had the Burger panini which was even better. Their menu offers a really nice selection, and for dessert you can get some cookies too.

Neue Liebe

Neue Liebe cafe

I finished the tour at a cosy café. It offers freshly baked vegan cakes.

I had a slice of lemon bread with a great cappuccino. It was served with pomegranate. It was a great place to end the tour. The atmosphere is very chill and intimate. Perfect place to wind down.

Sightseeing in Prenzlauer Berg

When you’re navigating your way between these amazing eateries, you’re discovering the neighbourhood around you. The map that takes you to your next bite also informs you about the sights that you’re passing by. From Zeiss Planetarium, specialized Swedish candy shop ‘Herr Nilsson Godis’, Helmholtz Square and many other interesting gems off the beaten path.

Prenzlauer Berg

The tour offers all in all 6 bites, but alas I didn’t have luck because two of the places that were on my map were closed that day. But Bitemojo food tour is very fair and offers you Bitecoin (very clever name) to exchange for a bite at another restaurant of your choosing in Berlin. They have a large list of venues where you can go for a bite! Bitemojo keeps your unused bites valid for 6 whole months!

Blumen

Oh well, I guess I’ll have to drop by Berlin again in next 6 months! 🙂

There are a lot of advantages to doing a tour like this. You get to start at what time you want, you can take as much time you wish at a restaurant without feeling like you’re holding up the group.

Neue Liebe

On the other hand, I wouldn’t recommend it if you’re a solo traveller. When I travel alone, I like doing group tours because it usually leads to meeting interesting people that later on you can hang out with for a few hours or go for drinks!

If you’re wondering what to do next in Berlin, check out our guide here.

 

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10 Alternative Places in London And What They Offer

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums? Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do…

Why visit alternative places in London when you can be strolling through some of London’s best museums?

Don’t get me wrong, when I visit a new place  I always do all the touristy things. But to really get a feel for the place, you need to find places where the locals love to frequent. Sometimes we all need a bit of quietness and don’t want to be surrounded by big crowds with selfie sticks.

When you start frequenting the more alternative places in London (or in any other city that you visit) is when the real fun begins. This is the reason why I compiled my list of the more alternative places in London!

Freud’s Museum

Freud Museum

Photo: Freud Museum by Matt Brown on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

You can tell a lot about a person by their apartment. When you step into the Freud Museum,  you step into his home. Therefore you get a chance to peek into the private space of world’s most famous psychoanalyst.

After fleeing from the Nazis, Sigmund Freud and his family made Hempstead their new home. In this house, he has produced some of the most noteworthy works in the field of psychology. Everything in his Hempstead home remained the way he left it. The interior was decorated due to the help of Anna Freud, Sigmund Freud’s daughter.

You can see the waiting room, his study, and the famous couch! The museum offers an all-around insight into his cultural environment much as the trajectory of the development of psychoanalysis.

2. Barbican Conservatory

Photo: Barbican Conservatory by Sascha Pohflepp on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Barbican Conservatory is the second biggest conservatory in London. The building is also one of the finest examples of brutalist architecture, therefore, an interesting choice for a conservatory. One of the things that makes it special, is that this little green oasis is hidden in the midst of London. It houses over 2,000 species of tropical plants, trees and various exotic fish. If you want to be surrounded by tranquillity and escape the crowds of London – this is the perfect hideout.

It has amazing exhibitions and workshops throughout the year, so keep an eye out for interesting events.  The only downside of this place is that it’s only open on Sundays!

3. the Indian YMCA

Lamb curry

Photo: Lamb curry by pelican on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

By all accounts, the Indian YMCA is an institution. They’ve existed around 60 years and during all those years they’ve created an impeccable reputation and they uphold it to present day.  So what do you get at the Indian YMCA? The best and most affordable Indian food in all of London.

Notoriously known for their curries (they offer vegetarian and non-vegetarian options). Everything is cooked home-style and spiced accordingly. A number of different dishes, all with rich aromas and low prices. Consequently, you will definitely find yourself coming back during your stay in London.

4. Trinity Buoy Wharf

Trinity Buoy Wharf

Photo: Trinity Buoy Wharf by k_tjaaa on Flickr (under CC)

First of all, Trinity Buoy Wharf was just another engineering establishment (iron buoys). Since the late ’90s, it transformed into another center for the arts and creative hubs. What makes Trinity Buoy Wharf a fascinating place?

It is the origin of Container city and home to London’s only lighthouse!

Container City is a new model of eco-friendly building design! Recycled shipping containers are used as living and working quarters. The Container City now counts over 70 containers. In addition to being good for the environment seems like it’s even more beneficial for your wallet!

London’s only lighthouse is interesting due to its unusual purpose. Jem Finer developed a musical composition that has been played since the 31st of December 1999. The composition will continue with no repeat until the year of 2999. You might think that listening to a 20 minute and 20 seconds piece would get tiring (and you’d be right!) but this piece is using an algorithm. The algorithm gives a large number of variations therefore making the composition to go in improvised directions.

If you want to find out more about the Trinity Buoy Wharf click here.

5. Jack The Ripper Tour

East end alley

Photo: East end alley by Jennifer Woodard Maderazo on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

This tour is not for the faint-hearted. It is taking you on the route of the notorious Jack the Ripper, a murderer that terrorized the streets of East End London. The 125-year-old murder mystery to this day baffles world-class crime investigators and historians. This tour transports you onto the streets of 19th century East End.

Explore the gruesome details of East End’s dark cobbled streets and dimly lit passageways. The whole route is constructed as an investigation, as a result, making you feel as if you fell into a Victorian detective novel.

6. Speakeasy Bars

Aviation

Photo: Aviation by Adrian Scottow on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

I am obsessed with speakeasy bars. The better hidden, the better. If they have a password which is hard to come by I am particularly amused. The charm of speakeasy bars stems from a multitude of reasons. First of all, all that playing around with hidden locations, entrances cleverly disguised as phone booths brings out our inner child. Secondly, it feels as if you’re a part of some secret club as if you’re in on a secret. It makes every night out that much special.

When coming to a new city – I always try to find out what’s their take on a speakeasy bar. London doesn’t disappoint!

The Mayor of Scaredy Cat Town is hidden under the Breakfast Club on Artillery Lane. The Breakfast Club looks like a typical New York breakfast place. If you’re in for more than a breakfast ask the waitress to see the Mayor. You will be led to the entrance. The entrance is hidden in a fridge! The underground bar serves brunch and delicious cocktails.

Other very popular speakeasies are Evans & Peel Detective Agency, the Experimental Cocktail Club & the Nightjar.

7. Magic Circle Museum at the Centre for Magic Arts

17/365: i could be your magician

Photo by Jin on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

A secretive group of illusionists who made London a centre of magic (yes, way before the-Boy-Who-Lived) swore to keep their magic a secret. While we aren’t privy to their illusion tricks we are allowed to take a peek. As a result, the Magic Circle Museum is opened! The impressive collection has a number of interesting illusionist’s tools. Some of them are the same guns used in bullet illusions or pieces from Houdini’s act. Make sure to see some of their magic acts!

8. Chislehurst Caves

A church service in Chislehurst Caves during World War 2, recreated with wax figures

Photo: A church service in Chislehurst Caves by Ben Sutherland on Flickr (under CC 2.0)

Chislehurst Caves are chalk caves that were mined by hand for over 8000 years. They were mined for flint and lime, and later on served as an ammunition depot during First World War. The 8000 years old history is divided into Druid, Roman and Saxon times. But nowadays they opened up new passageways which guide you through time to present day! It is especially interesting to visit during Halloween due to their special events!

If you want to find out more about Chislehurst Caves click here.

9. British Library’s Treasures Gallery

DIG13762-027

The Sir John Ritblat Treasures aka the British Library’s Treasures Gallery is one of the most popular museums among the Londoners. It covers 2000 years of history! What makes it so interesting is the rather eclectic collection. You can find anything from Da Vinci’s or Jane Austen’s notebooks, Magna Carta to the Beatles’ lyrics.

Time Out magazine described the British Library’s Treasures Gallery as “The Holy grail for history buffs.”

10.  The Wellcome Collection

Wellcome Collection

And I saved best for last! The permanent exhibition of Henry Wellcome’s amazing objects features the history of science and medicine in a rather interesting and fun way. In addition to the permanent collection, there are a lot of great temporary exhibitions as well. They cover a vast array of universal topics, such as sex, sleep and death.

The Wellcome’s collection of weird objects won’t let your excitement fade away. Therefore you will find random objects such as Napoleon’s toothbrush, a DNA sequencing robot, an ancient mummy, Darwin’s walking stick and much more.

If you want to find out more info about the Wellcome Collection click here.

Now that you know where to go and mingle with the locals, book your ticket with British Airways for your next adventure! Also, don’t forget to check out these 5 places to visit in UK besides London.

What is your favourite quirky spot in London? Share in the comments!

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7 Fantastic Day Trips From Rome

Why would anyone want to take day trips from Rome? Rome is a beautiful city with many hidden layers. But no matter how exciting Rome is, one can’t deny that…

Why would anyone want to take day trips from Rome? Rome is a beautiful city with many hidden layers.

But no matter how exciting Rome is, one can’t deny that its charming chaos, can also get very tiring.

Italy is more than Rome, and in order not to miss out, I compiled a list of day trips from Rome.

Here are 7 day trips from Rome;

1. Naples

Naples stands for phenomenal food, architectural gems and is home to some of the most stunning art!

The city boasts of having one of the best archaeological museums in the world. The majority of the sculptures, mosaics and frescoes from the ancient Pompeii and Herculaneum are safely regarded at this museum. The city itself is an archaeological find – or what lies underneath that is.

Naples is built on a soft, volcanic stone. From the ancient times, residents have dug chambers and passages beneath the city. You can find remnants of every era, from the aqueducts of the ancient Greeks to pagan burial chambers.

Before you leave your one day trip adventure, stop by the Capodimonte museum. I am a big fan of Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Botticelli and Titian.

Feeling hungry? Remember you’re in Naples, opting out for anything other than pizza to eat is equal to blasphemy. Pizza was invented in Napoli.

2. Pompeii

Pompeii

Photo: Pompeii (CC 2.0) by Paul Kelley

So you decided to continue your route from Naples instead of heading back to Rome? Finally an adventurer! Pompeii is only half an hour away from Naples!

Pompeii was a lively city that was destroyed by an eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in the AD 79. As a result of the tragic incident, the whole city was kept within a natural capsule made out of ash and sediment. While many other Roman cities fell into ruin – Pompeii to this day is the most preserved and one of world’s greatest records of ancient Roman history.

Pompeii has a lot to offer and I wouldn’t suggest just breezing through the city. If you’re short on time and want to do Naples and another city in one day – then instead of focusing on Pompeii – I’d suggest you focus on Herculaneum.

3. Pisa

When you get to Pisa, like everyone else you’re going to visit the La Torre Pendente, the tower of Pisa. They laid the foundation of the leaning tower as early as the 12th century. It is one of the most photographed buildings in the world.

Nice thing about Pisa is that you can see the main tourist sites within an hour. Which leaves you to enjoy the beautiful town, breathe in the Tuscan air and do some light shopping.

Also don’t forget to check out the Cathedral and the Baptistery.

4. Tivoli

Doors in Tivoli, Italy

Photo: Doors in Tivoli by Klaus Berdiin Jensen

The town of Tivoli is located 30 kilometers from Rome. The nobles during the Roman era preferred Tivoli as their favorite resort.

Hadrian’s Villa at Tivoli is one of the Italian UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Emperor Hadrian wanted to reproduce some of the places and buildings he had seen on some his many travels. The influence of Greece and Egypt is especially strong. He was a big admirer of Greek sculptures. Thankfully for us, he accomplished in having them reproduced, as many of the Greek originals have disappeared over time.

UNESCO described the Hadrian’s Villa as combining “the best elements of the architectural heritage of Egypt, Greece, and Rome in the form of an ‘ideal city’.”

Landscape architects turn to Villa d’Este for guidance. The Italianate gardens of Villa d’Estate have been a source of inspiration for gardens round the world. As I mentioned, the estate is quite sizeable and it will take a while to go through. If you enjoy nature like I do, then you’ll enjoy your time there. There is so much to see, the water play, grottos, terraces with fantastic panoramas and beautiful series of gardens.

5. Ostia Antica

Ostia Antica is the closest location to Rome, only half an hour away. It’s a beautiful, ancient town with forum, charming bars and restaurants.

6. Florence

Florence, Italy

Photo: Florence (CC 2.o) by Alejandro

You’re in the epicenter of art. Many artists from all over the world flock to Florence, to gaze upon the works of their idols in Galleria degli Uffizi. One of the richest and most famous art galleries is housed in what was originally built as the Medici Whitehall. They have an impressive collection (and rumor has it even more impressive works stay hidden in their vaults) but some of my favorites are Botticelli’s Primavera and Birth of Venus.

Also make sure to visit Duomo and Battistero. The cathedral is known for the amazing frescoes inside and also, it’s the biggest masonry dome in the world.

7. Sorrento

You can’t miss out on Sorrento! Even though it does not have the most famous attractions, the city itself is well worth the visit. The beaches, sea breeze and a slow pace of living – will be everything you need to rest from the bustle of Rome.

When you look at the architecture of the town you may notice discontinuity and a mixture of various influences. The variety is largely owed to the fact that during its arduous history Sorrento has been ruled by many. There were Greeks, Romans, French, Spanish, Byzantines and Turks!

Italy is one of those countries where even the tiniest villages are packed with history and beauty. If you’re lucky enough to be already well acquainted with Rome – then take as many day trips from Rome  and go explore! Italy awaits you!

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10 Interesting Dublin’s Attractions

Dublin, the capital of Ireland is a small city with an energy rivaling one of a titan. It’s a perfect getaway for literary buffs and beer devotees. Dublin has a…

Dublin, the capital of Ireland is a small city with an energy rivaling one of a titan. It’s a perfect getaway for literary buffs and beer devotees. Dublin has a lot to offer from medieval history, endless serene landscapes to one-of-a kind pub scene.

If it’s your first time in Dublin and you don’t have a lot of time to explore, it’s difficult to know what to dedicate your time to. As UNESCO’s city of literature you get a first hand glimpse at the lives of some of the greatest writers that ever lived, James Joyce and Oscar Wilde just to name a few.

Literature adventures aside, Dublin’s pub culture with live music, dare-to-try oyster stouts and mutton stew, make a compelling argument that Dublin is indeed a hedonist’s heaven.

This list is a quick rundown of 10 interesting Dublin’s attractions.

Dublin Castle

DUBLIN CASTLE AUGUST 2014 Ref-4011

It was built on a site previously settled by the Vikings, under the first Lord of Ireland, King John (1204). The castle carried out multiple functions over the centuries, a military fortress, a prison, treasury and more. It upheld its historical significance to this day, as now it’s used for State receptions and Presidential Inaugurations. It’s a perfect beginning of your Dublin adventure as it foretells the origin of the city.

Chester Beatty Library

The library is on the grounds of the Dublin castle and it was founded by the “King of Copper”, Sir Alfred Chester Beatty, the mining magnate. The library hosts an extraordinary collection of some of the rarest Islamic and Far Eastern artifacts. It is so highly regarded that it even won the European Museum of the Year award.

Kilmainham Gaol

gaol

This was the final resting place for some of the most noted figures in Irish history, Charles Stewart Parnell, Robert Emmet and leaders of the rebellions. It’s a somber reminder of the dreadful conditions convicts were subjected to during their incarceration. Access is available by guided tour only.

National Leprechaun Museum

What a Surprise - There Is Actually a National Leprechaun Museum

As the name is pretty much self explanatory, the museum in question is devoted to cherishing the myth of a leprechaun. The museum is a fun experience with its tunnel full of optical illusions and rooms carefully designed to deliver a story. If you’re having trouble finding the museum just follow the end of the rainbow.

National Botanic Gardens

Botanic Gardens - Glasnevin

Dublin’s national botanic gardens grew to hold more than 20,000 plants and over a million of dry specimens. Take a day to spend relaxing in the sun, reading and having a picnic. There is no entry fee but the downside is that it’s a little bit outside of the city – but I promise that it’s worth the trip. It’s a Dubliner’s favorite escape from the everyday bustle.

Guinness Storehouse

Guinness Storehouse

Opened since 2000 and already attracted over four million visitors. Seven floors devoted to exploring the story of Guinness. What more can you ask expect than a Gravity Bar offering you a stunning view of Dublin and of course a pint of the Guinness.

Temple Bar

Temple Bar at Night

This is Dublin’s neighborhood famous for its artistic vibe. It’s the home to many cultural institutions, such as the The Gallery of Photography. The Gallery of Photography is located in Meeting House Square. It’s a beautiful place for a walk, as wherever you take a step you’ll be followed by lively music protruding from pubs and nightclubs.

Dublin Writers Museum

In 1991, the long awaited Dublin Writers Museum was opened to celebrate the heritage of their brightest minds. The Museum has an impressive collection. It hosts first editions of Bram Stoker’s “Dracula”, also his friend Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest” and Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot” among other famous works.

James Joyce Center

Many people travel to Dublin just to experience in person the spirit of the city that shaped their favorite author. The most famous Dubliner in many opinions is, James Joyce. The most famous exhibit is the door of No.7 Eccles Street, the fictional address of Joyce’s Ulysses protagonist Leopold Bloom. For the Joyce’s stans, you’re also able to follow the steps of Leopold Bloom through Dublin with walking tours on offer.

Tivoli Car Park

DUBLIN STREET ART - Tivoli Car Park

Every year there is an event organized by All City Jam, gathering graffiti artists from all over the world to use their walls as they please. It’s sort of a “graffiti mandala”, as the art remains intact for only a year. The Tivoli Theatre is on Francis Street, just off Thomas Street.

If this is your first trip to Dublin you’ll be surprised how intimate the city will already feel to you. Its cobbled streets and its unique character will have you enamored and as a witness to that, you’ll find yourself subconsciously already planning your return.

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Freeletics App Review – Fitness On the Go

January is officially over and as every year, I find that most of my friends (myself included) are pretty much already falling behind on their New Year’s resolutions. The statistics…

January is officially over and as every year, I find that most of my friends (myself included) are pretty much already falling behind on their New Year’s resolutions.

The statistics say that year after year number one ranked NY’s resolution is to lose weight and/or introduce healthier eating. But only 9.2 % feels successful in achieving their resolution.

What are the most common reasons to neglect a healthy diet and exercise, something that is of key importance for our overall health?

Well if you’re used to eating food high in sugar/fats it would be harder opting daily for a salad with simple protein. If you’re accustomed to a sedentary lifestyle and want to start exercising, there a lot of things that factor in that are hard to overcome.

freeletics nutrition

This is a list I compiled of most frequent reasons why people forego their exercise/diet regime:

  • Getting started with a new diet. When I say diet, I’m referring to adopting healthy lifelong habits (I’m strictly against fad diets). At the beginning people tend to be overly enthusiastic and put big restrictions on themselves. Following a healthy lifestyle is about modifications not restrictions. It’s about balance. Best way not to fail is to make a plan.

  • Where to start? The internet has millions of recipes uploaded daily and it can get hectic trying to pick which recipes are best for your goal. Your goals might vary, from losing body fat, building muscle or just staying fit. So before making any modifications – research thoroughly.

  • You don’t have time to work out. You might be a busy student, have a demanding job, or a frequent traveler. It is difficult to encompass a fitness routine into your already busy schedule.

  • No support system. It’s easy to have beginner’s motivation but to stick with your routine it takes serious effort and endurance.

  • Newbie in the gym. If you’re just starting to work out for the first time and don’t have the necessary funds to hire a personal trainer, it might feel daunting to walk into a gym that offers various exercising machines. Which exercises should you focus on? How many sets/reps should you do? Are you doing the exercises correctly?

This is not supposed to be a list of excuses. So how to overcome them?

Make a list, what are your priorities and what are you willing to sacrifice.

freeletics app review running

As many of you would agree, one of the biggest difficulties as a frequent traveler is being consistent with maintaining our key life habits. When you’re on a holiday or a business trip we tend to forget all about exercising. It’s either because the hotel doesn’t have a gym, you don’t want to spend an hour or two exercising when you could be sightseeing or not knowing the area and how safe it is to go for a run. Keeping in mind the challenges and how it’s not always an option to get outside and train, you need the possibility to train anywhere. At home, in a hotel, on the go.

Fortunately I’ve come across Freeletics  app (Freeletics.com), while I was researching how to find the best solution for myself. I’ve been using it for something over two months and for me it turned out to be a great investment.

If it’s raining and you can’t do your bodyweight exercises (that often encompass light jogging) outside, you can switch to the 2×2 workouts. The 2×2 workouts as explained on their website is, “Same workouts. More flexible. Just as tough. 2×2 means you can train with only 2 by 2 meters of space. Workouts with exercises where you usually need distance are replaced with ones you can do on the spot. And runs replaced with exercises suited to you and your fitness level.

freeletics app review wear

Freeletics offers four apps: bodyweight freeletics, running freeletics, gym freeletics and a nutrition guide.

They do have free workouts but you have to pay to unlock the Coach version. They offer a subscription that lasts 3 months/34.99€; 6 months/59.99€ ; 12 months/79.99€ – and for that price you get three apps (bodyweight, gym and running), but for the nutrition guide you have to pay extra.

Even though I have all three apps, I’ve been solely using the bodyweight and running app. I relied on those apps because I don’t enjoy going to the gym and because it’s more time efficient for me to work out at home (no time lost in commuting). It’s based on high intensity workouts which proved to be very effective and what’s an important benefit for me, also very short. I spent half an hour to an hour working out five times a week.

How does the app work?

When you unlock your Coach version of Bodyweight Freeletics, first you put in some basic information about yourself (weight/height, date of birth). Next step asks you to rank your top three goals (gain strength, lose weight, improve endurance, general fitness, relieve stress), how many days per week are you willing to train with the Coach (you can adapt it weekly according to your schedule). And last thing is to grade at what fitness level do you think you are.

freeletics bodyweight app

 

Coach generates a fitness test based on the info you’ve provided. After that brief work out (for which you need only a 2×2 space) – it provides you with your first week with workouts that are explained in great detail (video presentations).

Every 15 weeks you can redo the fitness test and get a new tailored plan for your next level.

One other thing that really stands out with Freeletics, is their community. They were able to build a community (they refer to themselves as ‘Free Athletes’) that is centered on a healthy lifestyle and encouragement – people organize groups within their local communities and do their freeletics workouts together.

People love this new workout regime and have shared hundreds if not thousands of  their testimonies on Youtube and other social media channels.

Final conclusion

Pros are:

  • App is beautifully designed

  • Exercises are explained in great detail (accompanied by videos)

  • It’s time efficient, duration of a work out can be from 15 min to an hour

  • It’s effective, I was surprised how quickly your body adapts and how fast I was able to see results

  • Online community is exceptionally welcoming and motivating

  • Their website is full of very well researched articles that provide you with input on how to improve your overall health

  • Budget friendly (with bodyweight and running no need for a gym membership)

Cons are:

  • It’s very intense so you need a strong will to succeed – but as soon as you see results (which will be soon) you won’t feel like throwing in the towel

  • Depending on where you live, Freeletics community might not be as big (my friend in Berlin has regular meet ups with her new freeletics pals) whilst I in Belgrade, rely on the online community for motivation

 

So after doing Freeletics for almost three months now, I can say that it definitely is worth the money and would highly recommend it. Its benefits are even more apparent to frequent travelers. The best thing is that you can buy the Coach version and if you’re not pleased with the app you can ask for a refund within 14-days of purchase!

© All photos belong to Freeletics
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