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Hotel MANI Berlin – A Perfect Stay For Young Trendsetters

Planning a short trip to Berlin but have no idea where to stay? Hotel MANI Berlin by Amano Group is an ideal choice for young trendsetters, couples and business travelers…

Planning a short trip to Berlin but have no idea where to stay? Hotel MANI Berlin by Amano Group is an ideal choice for young trendsetters, couples and business travelers looking to get the most of their stay in Berlin.

Hotel and location

Mani has a wonderful location on popular Torstrasse street in Mitte district which is dotted with cool bars, restaurants, art galleries and fashion boutiques and it’s very close to Alexanderplatz, Brandenburger Tor, the Museum Island and other popular attractions. The U-Bahn is out the front door and it’s a great way to get around. As you walk inside the attention is drawn to interesting decor of the hotel lobby and an eclectic bookcase, which makes the first impression of the hotel highly positive. If you’re looking for some great bars in the vicinity, check this post too “Seven Bars in Berlin worth checking out“.

MANI hotel exterior

hotel mani lobby

Restaurant & Bar

Undoubtedly, the best thing about MANI is its design. During winter months, the ground-floor restaurant with its marble fireplace is so inviting and it’s an ideal setting for lunch or dinner. No wonder why it’s often recommended by the German travel magazines! The restaurant is mostly specialized in French cuisine with an oriental influence. If you’re only looking for a refreshment Amano Bar is a place to go for cocktail lovers.

mani restaurant

mani hotel restaurant berlin


Whilst small, the rooms are cozy which is typical for the European hotels but the beds are so comfortable! They are designed in a dark modern minimalist way, making the atmosphere in the room somewhat sexy which is ideal for couples.  All rooms offer bathroom with shower (probably the best thing about this hotel), high-quality cosmetic products, climate control, flat-screen TV and mini bar. My room was at the front of the hotel, but they are  soundproofed so no need to worry about traffic noise. The wi-fi is available throughout the hotel and is of excellent quality. If you’re bored there’s a possibility to rent laptop, iPad, Xbox and DVDs and even bicycle if you prefer to explore the city in this way.

MANI hotel room

MANI hotel room 2

It’s impossible not to love Hotel MANI. With an ideal location, stylish decor and friendly staff you’ll want to come back here again.

You can find out more at the hotel website. Photos belong to Amani group.

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Is Berlin WelcomeCard Worth Buying?

There are many advises you will get before going to Berlin and one of them is to get the Berlin WelcomeCard. Depending on which pass you choose, you can get…

There are many advises you will get before going to Berlin and one of them is to get the Berlin WelcomeCard. Depending on which pass you choose, you can get unlimited rides on the public transportation during 48h, 72h or five days or you can also buy a Berlin-Potsdam combination pass.

Besides the free transportation, the pass also includes some great insider tips and reductions for up to 50% off many sightseeing tours and attractions.

In this post I’ll review the 72h pass that I’ve used during my recent trip to Berlin but before that here’s the full offer;

Berlin WelcomeCard Tickets Berlin Berlin + Potsdam
48 h 19,50 EUR 21,50 EUR
72 h 26,70 EUR 28,70 EUR
72 h + Museum Island 40,50 EUR 42,50 EUR
5 days 34,50 EUR 39,50 EUR

How to use the BerlinWelcome Card?

To be able to use it for the free public transportation you need to validate the pass by stamping it at the yellow or red boxes on the platforms, in buses or trams  or simply show the guide before buying admission tickets.

You’ll also get the guide which includes several suggested itineraries and that’s particularly helpful for the first time visitors.

Is Berlin WelcomeCard worth buying?

A day ticket for the public transportation costs 6.90 euros which means you’d spend 20.7 EUR for 72h and the price of the card is 26,7 EUR. However, if you are a first time visitor to Berlin, you will surely visit some of the attractions that are listed in the guide which in overall will save you money. The card is also useful when shopping for souvenirs as it also offers significant discounts. Of course not everyone will be interested in majority of available deals but the pass may save you a little money or a great deal of it, especially if you are interested in culture and you plan to visit museums or theaters. The only exception are tourists who prefer to discover the city by bike. If that’s the case and you plan to visit many museums better alternative is Berlin Museum Pass.


As previously mentioned the card offers many discounts for sightseeing tours, theaters, restaurants and more. Here I’ll list the most interesting ones. If you want to see the full list head to the official website.

Sightseeing tours

25% off each

  • Berlin City Circle Sightseeing

  • Comedy Tour Berlin

  • TrabiWorld mit Trabi-Safari

  • Video Bustour

Guided tours

25% off each tour

To mention some:

  • Insider Tour Berlin

  • art:berlin

  • Mike’s SightRunning Berlin

Bicycle tours

25% off each tour

  • Berlin on bike

  • Fat Tire Bike Tours

Boat tours

  • Reederei Bruno Winkler – 25% off

  • Stern und Kreisschiffahrt – 25%


  • Berlin Dungeon – 30%

  • Legoland – 30%

  • Olympiastadion Berlin – 28%

  • The Berlin TV Tower – 25%


  • DDR Museum – 25%

  • Berlinische Galerie – 37,5%

  • Deutsches Currywurst Museum Berlin – 25%

  • Anne Frank Zentrum – 25%

  • Schwules Museum – 34%

Have any other tips to share? Feel free to comment below.


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Top 4 Cultural Attractions in Novi Sad, Serbia

Novi Sad, a city known for its world famous Exit Festival has so much to offer besides partying. It is home to some of the most important cultural and academic…

Novi Sad, a city known for its world famous Exit Festival has so much to offer besides partying. It is home to some of the most important cultural and academic institutions in the country, and it has an interesting offer for those who love cultural tourism. Unlike Belgrade, Novi Sad has a multi-ethnic feel which makes it different from the capital. There are plenty of galleries and museums with exhibitions that often change, so if you are a culture freak a visit to Serbia would not be complete without experiencing Novi Sad’s cultural offer.

And here are a few cultural attractions in Novi Sad that deserve to be checked out;

Novi Sad City Museum

The museum has a fantastic location on the Petrovaradin fortress and is best known for its underground military tunnels. This underground system was one of the largest among European fortifications as it consisted of 16 km long tunnels. A lot of money was poured here by the Habsburg Empire as the fortress had an important role of protecting the boundaries of the Empire. “Novi Sad from the 18th to the 20th century” is another great exhibition that provides insight into the lifestyle and culture of living in the city. The collection consists of fine arts, old photographs, personal items of its citizens, books, furniture, music material etc. There’s also a memorial collection of Jovan Jovanovic Zmaj – one of the most important Serbian writers. Outside of the museum there’s a cozy cafe with the amazing view of Danube river and Novi Sad.

Novi Sad City Museum

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

Founded in 1826 in today’s Budapest, Matica Srpska represents one of the most important cultural and scientific institutions of Serbian people. The museum was moved to Novi Sad in 1864 and its collection has grown steadily ever since. The gallery mostly showcases the works of art dating from the 16th to 20th century. The works of some of the most famous Serbian painters are showcased here such as: Teodor Iljic Cesljar, Konstantin Danil, Pavel Djurkovic, Katarina Ivanovic, Djura Jaksic and others. The exhibits include post-byzantine icons, baroque paintings and modern Serbian art so don’t miss this once in Novi Sad. The Gallery of Matica Srpska is located at the Gallery Square where another two institutions are also based – the Pavle Beljanski Memorial Collection and the Rajko Mamuzic Gift Collection.

The Gallery of Matica Srpska

Serbian National Theatre

This theatre is the center of the cultural life in Novi Sad. The repertoire is large – from classical opera and ballet to modern Serbian drama. Dramas are mainly in Serbian language and the theatre also hosts various festivals and events such as the famous Novi Sad Jazz Festival.

Serbia-0296 - Serbian National Theatre

Photo: Serbian National Theatre (CC BY-SA 2.0) by Dennis Jarvis 

The Museum of Contemporary Art of Vojvodina

The museum has a great combination of exhibits and programs that are well worth the visit. The fund includes paintings, sculptures, conceptual art, film, video and photography from the late 20th and early 21st century in Vojvodina but also the work of foreign artists. The entrance is free.


Where to stay

Novi Sad has many budget stay options and the one I really recommend is Hotel Vigor. Breakfast is included in the price and it has many healthy snacks while the staff is very kind and always ready to help. Rooms are clean and the wi-fi connection is great. All in all, the hotel exceeded my expectations and it’s much better than the number of its stars. However, the location is bit out of the city center, but the neighborhood is so quiet making this hotel a great choice for families. There’s a bus station 2 minutes from the hotel and taxi can take you to the city center for just 2 euros.

How To Get to Novi Sad

Novi Sad has no airport but it has excellent train and bus connections with other cities in the region. Trains from Belgrade run almost every two hours so you can depart at any time of the day. The exact timetable can be seen here. And for buses here.

What other cultural activities would you recommend in Novi Sad? Feel free to comment below.

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Best Bars in Berlin Worth Checking Out

Berlin is a great place for drinking as it offers numerous options for everyone’s mood. From pubs, beer gardens, DJ bars, hotel lounges etc. you won’t have a problem choosing…

Berlin is a great place for drinking as it offers numerous options for everyone’s mood. From pubs, beer gardens, DJ bars, hotel lounges etc. you won’t have a problem choosing a place where to go.

There are way more underground and alternative venues in the East and here I’ll list seven bars in Berlin worth checking out. Beer is of course the most popular drink and there are many varieties from draught beer (fassbier), wheat beer (weizenbier), black beer (schwarzbier) and seasonal beer (bock). Other popular drinks are sekt (German sparkling wine), cocktails and wine. Germans love to drink weinschorle (wine with fizzy water). There’s also saftschorle (fizzy water and juice only) as an alternative.

Here are seven best bars in Berlin worth checking out;

1. Eschenbräu – Wedding area

Eschenbräu bar Berlin

Berlin is a city famous for its beer gardens and Eschenbräu located in the Wedding area is a great place to visit if you want to taste different kinds of German beer. Their own brewery produces 21 types of seasonal beer so you can try Rauchbier (smoked beer) or Black Mamba for instance. If you don’t really like experimenting you can always opt for classics such as Eschenbräu PILS, DARK or WHEAT beer. On a nice day you can sit in the garden which has 200 seats but the interior is also very interesting and is filled with the paintings depicting the entire process of brewing beer. The atmosphere is friendly and lively and it is worth going to Wedding for this place.

Rauchbier (smoked beer) - Eschenbrau bar Berlin

2. Vagabund bar – Wedding

Vagabund bar Berlin

In 2011 three American friends decided to create their own brewery so Vagabund was born. The bar is small but artsy and interior is filled with wooden chairs and tables and beer related posters on white walls. “In wine there is wisdom. In beer there is freedom. In water there is bacteria. – Benjamin Franklin” says one.  There’s a great selection of craft beers, the staff is really nice and helpful and the atmosphere certainly makes you feel that you’re in Berlin. An interesting fact is that this place is Europe’s first crowd-funded brewery. Oh and it’s known for its pumpkin spice ale in the fall!

3.Weinerei – Mitte

Weinerei bar Berlin

If you love wine go to Weinerei. During the day people usually meet here to talk and the atmosphere is pretty much relaxed. There are several types of wine on offer but also coffees, teas and a vegetarian lunch menu.  The place has an interesting concept at night. Basically you pay 2 euros to borrow a glass and then you try whatever food or wine you like. It works on  ‘pay as you want” model. The place can get crowded at night so making a reservation is a good idea. Weinerei also has a  great vintage interior, but the only downside in my opinion is that the staff seemed bit unfriendly. But all in all it’s an interesting place to visit!

4. Madame Claude – Kreuzberg

Madame Claude bar Berlin

This former brothel in Kreuzberg can literally turn your world upside down! Madame Claude is an upside down bar that hosts concerts and events starting from 7pm each day. It’s one of the hipster-ish places in Berlin and a great place to visit before going to the clubs. The interior is really cool and there are pieces of furniture stuck upside down to the ceiling. The concert hall is tiny but Madame Claude is a perfect place to chill, listen to the music and have fun. Come here for the real Berlin feel!

5. Mein Haus Am See – Mitte

mein haus am see

Source: Mein Haus Am See

Mein Haus Am See has a second-hand couches scattered all over the place and interesting wall decor. It’s very popular among hipsters and freelancers who come here to listen to the good music and to socialize. At night the place can get crowded so it might be difficult to get a couch but you can grab a cushion, sit on the stairs and do some people watching which seems like a favorite activity here. There’s an interesting selection of drinks and live music almost every night. Perfectly fits the Berlin mood.

THE UNKNOWN at Mein Haus am See (Every Tuesday) from THE UNKNOWN on Vimeo.

6. Gorki Park – Mitte

Gorki park bar Berlin

Gorki Park is a Russian-run cafe/bar in Mitte. It’s very friendly and cosy with the decor that reminds of the Soviet era. You’ll find lamps, funky wallpapers, furniture pieces and more. The food menu is rich and there’s a great selection of Russian beers. This place is particularly famous for its breakfast menu. So if you are looking for something unusual and different in Berlin go to Gorki Park.

Russian tea Gorki park Berlin

Russian tea

7. Barcomi’s Deli – Mitte

Photo: silverman68 on Flickr under CC

Photo: silverman68 on Flickr under CC

Barcomi is actually more of a cafe than a bar with two venues in Berlin. It’s a great place to relax with a cup of coffee and it also has a rich choice of sandwiches and cakes. The place can get really busy but it has that local feel so it’s worth squeezing yourself in.

I especially recommend these places if you are a first time visitor to Berlin. What are your favorite bars in the city? If you have any recommendations feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

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8 Little-Known Ways To Spend Time in Belgrade, Serbia

Although Belgrade is famous for its nightlife and attractions such as Kalemegdan park, Nikola Tesla museum and St. Sava Temple, it still provides many interesting experiences that are almost unknown…

Although Belgrade is famous for its nightlife and attractions such as Kalemegdan park, Nikola Tesla museum and St. Sava Temple, it still provides many interesting experiences that are almost unknown to tourists.

Here are some great and unusual ways to spend time in Belgrade;

1. Explore the markets

Zeleni Venac Market

This is not unusual for the locals who find visiting markets as a necessity, but if you happen to be in the Serbian capital you should visit at least one of them. Serbs favor naturally grown vegetables and fruits. You’ll be able to test your bargaining skills and buy some traditional Serbian products from various parts of the country, like kajmak, honey, ajvar and of course rakija (brandy). If you have no idea what I’m talking about, here’s a short introduction to Serbian cuisine. Markets should be visited in the morning to feel the real buzz of the place. Some of the most famous ones are: Kalenic, Zeleni Venac market and Bajloni.

2. Ride a bike from Dorcol to Ada

Most na Adi

For less than five euros, you can rent a bicycle for the day and explore the city. The recommended route is from Dorcol where you can rent a bicycle in sports center “Milan Gale Muskatirovic” and then head to Ada Ciganlija. You will see several bridges on the Sava river and explore the city from a new angle. In addition to this route, there’s also a circular path around the lake of Ada and New Belgrade cycling path.

3. Go on a kayak tour

kayak tour Belgrade - spend time in belgrade

 Another quite unusual thing to do in Belgrade is to go on a kayak tour organized by the Belgrade Adventure tour guides. The best way to describe this tour is: less talk-more action. You’ll be paddling for three hours around the Great War Island which is a nature protected area of the city. Besides paddling, you’ll also be involved in bird watching as this protected area is inhabited by 196 bird species and swimming at Lido which is a famous Belgrade beach. The tour costs 15 euros but it’s absolutely worth it.

4. Have a picnic at Kosutnjak park

Kosutnjak park Belgrade

Kosutnjak is a park-forest and one of Belgrade’s most popular recreational spots. In addition to its sports centre, Kosutnjak is also home to many restaurants, trails which are ideal for walking and running, film town with many studios and buildings etc. Park has an important historical role because a Prince of Serbia Mihailo Obrenovic III was assassinated here and it also used to be a hunting ground for Serbian royal family.

5. Sightseeing by tram

Belgrade tram sightseeing tour

Source: Tourist Organization of Belgrade

This is an organized tour by the Tourist Organization of Belgrade, and a great thing is that it’s free of charge. The tour lasts 60 minutes and it will take you through some of the most interesting points in the city including the Zoo, Kalemegdan park, Railway station and Nemanjina street (where it’s possible to see destroyed buildings left from the NATO bombing in 1999). For this tour you need to apply at some of the Tourist Information Points with your ID or passport because the spots are limited. The tour is available every Friday from 20-21h and Saturday from 18-19h in English language.

6. Get familiar with African art

Museum of African art Belgrade

Source: Museum of African Art

Museum of African art is the only museum in the region which is dedicated entirely to the arts and cultures of the African continent. The museum examines cultural areas of Ethiopia, Maghreb, Central and Eastern Africa and another important area of the work includes publishing. It’s one of the rare museums in Belgrade that has its own magazine called “Africa: Studies in art and culture”. African festival is another product of the museum and plays a major role in strengthening cultural ties and promoting the principles of multiculturalism and cultural diversity. Some of the things that are displayed include masks, ceramics, figures made of soft stone, musical instruments etc.

7. Visit the Etnographic museum

etnografski muzej

Source: Etnographic Museum

This museum houses a large number of items which are dedicated to Serbian culture and other ethnic groups from the Balkan region. It will take you through the traditional material culture, social relationships and family life, customs, beliefs and folklore of the country. The library has approximately 60,000 publications, including 33,000 books and 27,000 journals in the fields of ethnology, anthropology and related sciences, making it one of the best equipped library in the Balkans. 

8. Go Karting


If you have never done karting you should! It’s so much fun and fun is good- especially for adrenaline lovers! 😉 It’s also a refreshment from typical activities that Belgrade offers. AutoKomerc sells individual and group rides of 10 minutes so you can compete against yourself or your friends. This is the only professional karting track in Serbia and it meets all requirements in terms of security. AutoKomerc’s karting track is easily accessible from Nikola Tesla Airport (just 3 km away) and it’s worth making a stop here. If you are an expat who lives in Belgrade you may even be interested in School of Carting.

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Top 5 Things To Do In Krakow, Poland

This is a guest post by Nic and Paul of The Roaming Renegades. The blog chronicles their escape from the 9-5, reports on their experiences, gives advice and offers destination…

This is a guest post by Nic and Paul of The Roaming Renegades. The blog chronicles their escape from the 9-5, reports on their experiences, gives advice and offers destination guides. Be sure to follow them on Facebook and Twitter too!

We visited Krakow late last year and were blown away by its beauty, history and culture. We had heard great things about this city but the depth of our admiration for it took us by surprise. By the time we had roamed its cobbled streets and weaved our way through its maze of bohemian districts we had fallen head over heels in love with it! It offers up so much for so less, it is full of exquisite architecture and rich culture but yet financially, it is one of the cheapest places we have ever visited!

Here are our top 5 things to do in Krakow!

1. Pay your respects at Auschwitz

A haunting and truly memorable place to visit, Auschwitz is somewhere which is difficult to stomach and will forever stay with you. But in that sense it is even more important to make the trip out from Krakow to this place of horror and suffering. To see the worst that humanity is capable of is an overwhelming torrent of emotion which is almost too much to take in. Walking on the grounds of the most infamous symbol of the Nazi regime, the death place of over 1.1 million people really brings into focus the need for the people of the world to overcome our differences and work together for peace.

How to visit

You can either book a tour from many stalls dotted around the city or even your hotel which will include a guide and transport. This usually costs around Zl: 100.

Or you can take the bus from the main station headed to Oswiecim (Zl 12 each way, buy singles as there are a few different bus companies on the route) and tour the site on your own.

Entrance to the camps is FREE and a shuttle bus runs between Auschwitz 1 and Birkenau.

Auschwitz camp near Krakow

2. Visit the ancient churches

Krakow really is the city of churches, each one spectacularly detailed and decorated and they represent an entrance to a world of color, artistry and devotion. No matter what you might think of religion or how strongly you feel, these churches are one of the most notable features of this grand old city. Many have survived generations of instability and war to stand as testament to the spirit of Krakow and its people. A visit would not be complete without silently taking in these awe inspiring architectural wonders and also observing the local passion for their religion.

Some of the most notable churches to visit are:

St. Mary’s Basilica:

Located in the centre of Old Town, this twin towered cathedral is the focal point for the city and one of Poland’s most important buildings.

St Mary's basillica Krakow

Wawel Cathedral:

At over 900 years old this church has seen plenty of history and monumental changes in Poland. It sits as part of the castle complex and contains the famous Royal Sigismund Bell.

Church of St. Peter and St. Paul:

This is one of the most beautiful and certainly one of our favorite churches! It was the first baroque building to be built in Krakow and it’s famous for its impressive white domed interior.

St Peter and Paul's church Krakow

3. Climb the Town Hall Tower and take in the view

You cannot fail to notice the Town Hall tower whilst strolling through the Rynek. The massive gothic tower stands at 70 metres tall as it’s the last remaining section of the Old Town Hall. The walk up the narrow stairwell is a tough 100 steps but it is worth the effort for the amazing panoramic views of the city the tower affords! The tower also leans to one side by 55cm due to storms in 1703!

Town Hall Tower - Krakow

4. Explore the Wieliczka Salt Mines

Located 10 kilometers outside of the city itself, this UNESCO listed site is the pride of Poland and stands testament to generations of miners and their work ethic. It is one of the oldest salt mines in existence anywhere in the world, having produced salt from the 13th century right the way up until 2007. The mines themselves stretch for over 178 miles and most visits, which take around 3 hours, only cover 2% of that! The mines not only served as the work place for thousands of miners but they also made this place their own. One of the most spectacular features is the exquisite Chapel of the Blessed Kinga, a cathedral standing over 200ft below the surface and carved entirely out of salt. This really is a must see!

To visit the mines you must take a guide and as such the best way is to book a tour from either a stall in town or your hotel which will include transport as well!

Wieliczka salt mines in Krakow

5. Roam the Old Jewish district (Kazimierz) and Ghetto (Podgorze)

Old Town may be the main attraction for most visiting Krakow but make sure to visit the other fascinating districts this city has to offer, each with their own features and history. Kazimierz was once the bustling heart of the Jewish community in Krakow, which was infamously ripped apart by the occupying Germans. Although the Jewish community still hasn’t recovered to its pre-war numbers, many families have returned and their culture is celebrated on these streets. The area is also home to many of the alternative and artistic communities and has a distinct feel from the rest of the city. Much of this area hasn’t changed since the war and it is one of the reasons why Schindler’s list was filmed here. Make sure to explore its authentic and winding streets and also head over to the Old Synagogue to delve more into the history of the Polish Jews.

The Jewish Ghetto of Podgorze sits just over the river and was the place many of the events depicted in the Schindler’s list actually took place and as such a visit over here would not be complete without visiting Schindler’s factory itself. Now converted into a massive museum, telling the story of not just Schindler himself, but of the occupation of Krakow from the Nazi’s to the Soviets and paints a both fascinating and horrific picture of what the people of this city endured.

Jewish ghetto Krakow - top 5 things to do in krakow

Liked what Nic and Paul recommended? Have something to add? Feel free to comment below and if you are heading to Poland soon, don’t forget to check out my “Top 5 Things to do in Warsaw, Poland” too.

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