Amazing Germany: 4 surprising cities

When planning a city break in Germany it's easy enough not to look any further than the lively metropoles that are Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. But it's just as much fun to venture into the German hinterland and discover some beautiful lesser known cities, often filled with charm and historic splendor, surrounded by breathtaking nature. Don't miss these 4 cities during your next trip to Germany.

Amazing Germany: 4 surprising cities, Trier, Freiburg, Koblenz and Osnabrück | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Getting lost in Fez

Fez, and especially the Medina, stimulates all your senses. The maze of narrow lanes and souks are bursting at the seams with leather shops, bakeries, piles and piles of herbs and spices, vendors pulling carts or riding donkeys and (overall) friendly people who want to have a chat and sell you their goods. The best way to explore Fez is to just dive in head first and not worry where you are going to end up.

Getting lost in Fez

The thing that I did most and best when I took my city trip to Fez was get lost. Yes, I was warned beforehand by the friendly host in the Riad where I was staying. He drew me a map, marking the 'big road' and told me that whenever I didn't know where I was, I should just find my way to this road and all would be okay. Well, that was a nice theory. Nevertheless, I found myself wondering a dozen times a day where the hell I was! And it wasn't until I let go and accepted that I shouldn't even try and find my way, that I was able to really enjoy this magical emperial Moroccan city.

The hidden gems of Istanbul

Don't worry. I won't tell you to skip the Blue Mosque, Haia Sophia or Topkapi Palace during your city break in Istanbul. Because really, these are some amazing sights. However, it is easy enough to get completely absorbed by the magic of palaces and bazaars while Istanbul actually has so much more to offer. If you want to get a little under Istanbuls' skin, I can definitely recommend these 7 hidden gems.

The hidden gems of Istanbul

City hopping in South Africa

When you think of South Africa wildlife, wine and fascinating landscapes and people immediately spring to mind. I was challenged however, by Mijn Zuid-Afrika (My South Africa) to discover the best South Africa has to offer whilst being based in the three big cities: Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town. It turned out to be a trip of a life time. I never fell so hard for a country as I did for South Africa.

City Hopping in South Africa: discover Johannesburg, Durban and Cape Town

South Africa had been on my to-go list since I was little. From the moment I watched Mr. Mandela being set free, when I was 8 years old, I became completely obsessed with everything South Africa. I read everything I could get my hands on and even studied African colonial and post-colonial history when I was working on my journalism bachelor degree. But I never got to go to South Africa. Life always got in the way of me taking this step, until I was given the opportunity to jump on that plane and go city hopping between Johannesburg, Durban an Cape Town.

A craft beer guide to Cape Town

Cape Town, The Mother City of South Africa and home to beautiful gardens, splendid vineyards, cool beaches, hipster neighbourhoods, excellent restaurants and craft beer. Over the last couple of years microbreweries have been popping up all over Cape Town and craft beer is widely available in pubs and restaurants. A craft beer guide to Cape Town is therefore in order.

A craft beer guide to Cape Town, what to taste and where to taste it | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Utrecht, a real Dutch city

It’s very easy to write about Utrecht and tell you how great the city is, a little too easy. Because, I am so biased. Utrecht is my hometown and I love living here. But since Utrecht will be the décor of the start of this year’s Tour de France, you may get curious about this beautiful Dutch city and all it has to offer. So, hop on the back of my bike as I will take you along my favorite parts of town.

Utrecht CityGuide, Le Grand Départ - Tour de France | Mooistestedentrips.nl

To say that Utrecht is as old as the hills may be a bit of an exaggeration, but Utrecht history does date back to Roman times. The longest road in the city was already there over 2000 years ago and used as a supply route for the Roman garrisons stationed in Utrecht. The remains of Roman life were actually found in the heart of town, underneath the central square of town: Domplein. Today you can explore the remains of the long history of Utrecht, just grab a couple of flash lights and go DOMunder.

Spend a perfect day in Porto

Porto is the second largest city of Portugal and still in the shadow of big sister Lisbon. But while the masses discover the Portuguese capital, Porto is still a little overlooked. It really shouldn’t be, as the city is beautifully located on the river Douro, has cutting edge architecture (old and new) to discover and lots of delicious treats to devour.

Spend a perfect day in Porto, 24 hours in Porto | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Even though Porto’s popularity is increasing over the last few years, mass tourism is still blissfully absent. The hilly city centre is a maze of cobbled streets, lined with colourfully tiled buildings and street cafés, and relatively compact. Easy to explore in a day. Within 24 hours you can easily soak up historical Porto and its cool, trendy side.

Go to Rome: 7 travel hacks

If I could pick only one city to see when visiting Europe, I would have to choose Rome (after a lot of arm twisting). Rome is one of those cities where ancient ruins, Renaissance buildings, art, architecture and village-like neighbourhoods come together in just one afternoon stroll. However, Rome is becoming busier and busier by the day and this leads to long queues, restaurants offering just mediocre tourist menus and sky-rocketing hotel prices. With these 7 travel hacks, a relaxed trip to Rome with lots of history, good food and unknown must-sees, is guaranteed.

Go to Rome, 7 travel hacks | Mooistestedentrips.nl

A perfect weekend in Prague

Some say Prague is prettier than Paris. And yes, the rolling hills full of vineyards, dozens of viewpoints watching over spiralling towers and ancient castles, sprawling neighbourhoods filled with Jugendstil architecture and quirky cafés, where great writers and scientists once drank their coffees, make you day dream about old world Europe. No wonder Prague is one of Europe's most popular weekend getaways. Fancy taking a trip?

48 hours in Prague: a perfect weekend in Prague | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Though the history of Prague, capital of the Czech Republic, goes back more than a thousand years, recent history is also quite visible on the streets and in the neighbourhoods. Communism left its mark in the city but it hasn't made it any less romantic. It doesn't really matter when you visit Prague. Wintertime turns the city into a fairytale of snow covered cobbled streets and castles (oh, and there's the Christmas market in the town's square of course) and in summer the grand old colourful buildings stand glistening in the sun. Whenever you decide to visit Prague, this is a great itinerary for a weekend away.

Dublin for free: 9 creative budget tips

Looking for a budget friendly destination in Europe? Then Dublin won’t be in your Top 10. The capital of the Emirald Isle is not exactly known for being a cheap destination. But please don’t skip Dublin, even if you’re traveling on a budget. It’s perfectly possible to enjoy ancient churches, the best art and great museums without breaking the bank.  

9x Dublin for free | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Discover Madrid: fun neighborhoods

To be fair, Madrid hasn’t got the immediate ‘wow’ effect that for example Rome, Paris or Barcelona have. Madrid doesn’t have an Eiffel Tower, dazzling Gaudí buildings or Colosseum or Vatican. Despite that, Madrid is my favourite city in Spain. Because what Madrid lacks in eye-catching sights, it makes up for in spirit. Spain’s capital offers a warm welcome with mind-blowing art, lively neighbourhoods, the best tapas and all the fun you’re looking for after dark.

Discover Madrid: fun neighborhoods | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Street art in 5 undiscovered cities of Portugal

From the rolling waves of the Atlantic to the high mountains of Serra da Estrela, the centre of Portugal has something for everyone: from swimmers and surfers to hikers and birdwatchers and from art lovers to foodies. For me discovering the de centre of Portugal, meant strolling through some historical undiscovered cities whilst being blown away by the cutting edge street art.

Street art in 5 undiscovered cities of Portugal | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Street art in Portugal, hidden gems | Mooistestedentrips.nl

I am incredibly biased when it comes to Portugal. Biased as in: being absolutely smitten with the place. I’ve visited capital Lisbon twice, strolled the steep streets of Porto, tasted the best Port wine in the Douro valley, chilled on a beach in secluded Sesimbra, became enchanted by the Sintra palaces, contemplated moving to a quinta in the Alentejo and spelunked my way through the Algarve shores. But having high hopes can be quite dangerous, especially when visiting a yet undiscovered part of Portugal. I mean, after so many good experiences, something disappointing is bound to follow, right? Right? But I got lucky, once again.

Visit Belgium: 4 unknown cities

Growing up only a 10-minute bike ride to the Belgium border, I got acquainted with Antwerp, Bruges and Brussels early in life. I love these cities but have also learned there is much, much more to Belgium than just these famous cities. That’s why I’d like to take you on a small Belgium adventure and let you discover 4 unknown Belgian cities: Liège, Mechelen, Oostende and Namur.

Visit Belgium. 4 uknown cities: Liège, Mechelen, Oostende and Namur | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Budapest: the best cafés and restaurants

Going to Budapest on a gourmet trip. Yes, you heard it. I am talking about Hungarian cuisine. When you think about booking a city break to Budapest, a food fest will not be the first thing that springs to mind. So you're in for a lovely surprise as the influence of Ottomans, Austrians and many other influences left Hungary with a rich cuisine that seems to exist from comfort food only. Did you know that in fact, the croissant was invented in Hungary? During my last trip to Budapest, I was so utterly surprised by all the lovely and lush food and the fabulous restaurants, that I couldn't help but write you an eating and drinking guide. Jó étvágyat kívánunk!

Budapest: the best cafés and restaurants | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Explore Bruges like a local

When dreaming of a picturesque place, Bruges quickly springs to mind. There’s a special charm to this small, old town. Bruges has become quite the destination for day trippers who crowd the city centre, but there’s still lots to discover in quieter places in town. Check out these 7 ways to explore Bruges like a local and have the best time away from the masses.

7 ways to explore Bruges, Belgium, like a local | Mooistestedentrips.nl

Get your vintage fix in Brussels

Brussels has become one of the top destinations for vintage shopping, especially on a Sunday. Head to The Marolles and discover some of the best vintage shops Belgium has to offer, get lost at the biggest flea market in Europe, go antiquing and treat yourself to a well deserved Belgian beer afterwards. 

Vintage shopping in Brussels | Mooistestedentrips.nl

The Marolles district is situated a little north of the city centre, in the shadow of the grand law court. The area was named after the religious order of the sisters maricolles (apostolines) which was present in the district in the 17th century. Throughout the centuries The Marolles was always the neighbourhood of the poor and it was the place where people would go to pawn their belongings or buy second-hand goods. And while the neighbourhood definitely cleaned up over the last few decades, The Marolles is still where you'll find the best vintage and antiques in Brussels.

Discover the best of Ghent in 7 steps

At first glance, Belgiums Ghent is a charming old city with antique houses, a winding network of canals, beautiful medieval churches, cobblestoned squares and fortresses. But those who take their time to get under the skin of the city, soon discover cutting-edge street art, funky cafés and modern art underneath the surface. 

Discover the best of Ghent in 7 steps | Mooistestedentrips.nl