I blooming love travelling. Ever since I lived abroad, I’ve well and truly caught the travel bug. I even have a tattoo dedicated to my love of travel. As it’s summer, everyone’s favourite time to get away, I thought I’d give y’all some recommendations. Some of these places are maybe a little more off the beaten track and severely underrated.
1. Hastings, UK – An Alternative British Seaside Experience
Oh how I do like to be beside the seaside! When most think of seaside holidays, they think Blackpool or possibly Brighton. I think Hastings. I’m a little bias to this place since my Dad actually lives here but this town’s charm has really won me over. British seaside towns tend to have a tacky set up of amusements and overpriced rides, which don’t get me wrong I like to partake in occasionally. I love me some crazy golf. But sometimes you need something a little less gaudy and that’s what Hastings, especially the old town, has to offer. The streets are filled with really individual shops, cosy bars and welcoming pubs ready to take you in. There are festivals on all year round, so if fancy dress is your thing you’re sorted. If you’re a creative person looking for a change of scenery to inspire, Hastings is the perfect spot. I always feel refreshed and ready to write after a visit (like right now for example, I only got back a few days ago). While it may be a pebble beach, it won’t stop you from lounging about to top up your tan or going for a swim. Hastings offers the idyllic seaside experience for all.
Especially Check Out;
The Hastings Arms – For great food, go to The Hastings Arms for tapas night on Thursday. Great price for some beautiful food, perfect to share when you’re going with a big group of people.
S. Forrest – Again I’m a little a bias as I know the owner of the shop but I’ve never seen a shop like this before. They sell dried flowers, herbs, spices, teas, baskets and so much more. It’s wonderfully quaint and a good shout for when looking for a gift or possibly just a treat for yourself.
2. Warsaw, Poland – Lots of Culture on a Budget
First off, this was the cheapest holiday I’ve ever been on. Every time I paid for something I would check the equivalent in pounds and I was pretty stunned every time. If you love taking in lots of culture but don’t have a huge budget, Warsaw is the place for you. Poland as a holiday destination is definitely starting to become more popular, with lots visiting Krakow. Warsaw happened to be an easier option to travel to and I’m so glad I went. The history of the city is absolutely fascinating, if you’re a history buff you’ll love it. Just walking around you see living history in the architecture and how it differs area to area. It’s a good place for a long weekend too, if you’re into partying then you’ll love the cheap cocktails. I swear the drinks are a lot stronger though, so be cautious! There was so much to see in Warsaw, pack in as much as you can but I can guarantee you’ll want to visit again. And remember to pick up a bottle of vodka in duty free, my cherry bottle is the yummiest vodka I’ve ever had.
Especially Check Out;
Aioli – This trendy bar is so good we went twice. The food is fantastic (especially the desserts) and the cocktails are delicious. You may have to wait for a table but I promise you it’s worth it.
Łazienki Park – This beautiful park goes on for acres and is perfect on a sunny day. There are lots of different gardens to explore, you’d probably need a week to get round it all. The Palace on the Isle is a real highlight.
3. Koblenz, Germany – For When You Don’t Want to be a Tourist
Koblenz has a little place in my heart. I lived there in 2013 over the summer for my semester abroad. Koblenz is perfect if you want somewhere a little off the beaten track, it’s not packed with tourists. It’s famous for being where the Moselle and Rhine rivers meet and they meet at the Deutsches Eck (photographed above) which happens to be a rather nice spot to chill out on a warm summer’s day with a beer and some good company. Koblenz is a great blend of old and new, the streets are rustic but there’s also a great mall if you fancy doing a bit of shopping. If you’re looking for a good night out, Koblenz has a great offering of bars and clubs with reasonable prices. I’ve had many a fun night out, from what I can vaguely remember! If you’re in Frankfurt or Cologne, Koblenz is only a train ride away. It’s worth a day trip.
Especially Check Out;
Gekco Lounge – Now I’ve been to a fair few cocktail bars in my time but this is my favourite. The interior is like a cave so you have no idea of time going by, it’s super cosy. The menu is massive and they have a happy hour too. I’d recommend a Zombie, this bar makes the best one I’ve had.
eGeLoSIa – Best. Ice. Cream. Ever. It’s kind of sad how much I miss this place. This ice cream parlour has some of the best flavours, plus they do sorbet as well. If you get the chance to visit, get multiple scoops and different flavours. And go for seconds. Can you tell I really like this place?
4. Amsterdam, The Netherlands – The All-Rounder
If you’ve been anywhere on this list already, it’s Amsterdam. And there’s reason for that, the city appeals to pretty much everyone. I’ve been on three different visits, on my own, with family and with friends and in different seasons and every time I go I want to go back instantly. It’s one of those cities I could easily see myself living in, it has such a relaxed atmosphere. If you’re there for a weekend of partying there’s plenty bars and clubs ready and waiting. If you’re more of a culture vulture, the city offers plenty of historic sights and museums. Anne Frank’s House is a must for anyone, it gives you a real sense of what happened back then and really respects the history. If you’re looking for nature, check out Vondelpark. It produces wonderful colours all year round, even in winter it looks beautiful. Amsterdam is great for a few days or a month, it works for solo travel or a family of four. I guarantee one visit however, will not be enough
Especially Check Out;
House of Bols – Whilst most know about the Heineken Experience, not a lot know about House of Bols. Most have heard of Blue Bols, it’s used in cocktails. It doesn’t just come in the blue flavour however, there are over 40 flavours! This experience tells you the history and what goes into making it. You will also have the most bizarre tasting experience of your life, I can’t even describe it. Your ticket includes a cocktail at the gorgeous mirror bar too.
Moco Museum – If you’re into modern art, you should check Moco out just now. They have a huge Banksy exhibition which is so much fun to look around. Plus there’s a Warhol exhibition on, if you’re into pop art it’s not to be missed.
5. Copenhagen, Denmark – For the Travel Photographer
If you’re a fan of Amsterdam, you’ll enjoy Copenhagen. It has a similar relaxed vibe whilst also being sleek and refined. For those of you who love travel photography Copenhagen is an Instagram dream. As you can see above, Nyhavn is a must see, even in the rain the colours look gorgeous. If you’re willing to take a train out of the city centre, it’s worth stopping off at Kronborg Castle to do your best Hamlet impression. On the way back, if you’re a modern art fan, you need to check out the Louisiana Museum. They have a massive collection and the building and grounds themselves are lovely to wander around. Feeling peckish? The Street Food at PapirØen (Paper Island) is ideal for the foodie. It is a hall filled to the brim with every kind of food you can think of from butter chicken to crème brûlée donuts. On our visit there was also a second hand clothes sale going on – perfect if you’re into food and fashion like me – check out the website to see what other events are coming up. Copenhagen is classy but has a warmth that pulls you in. It’s a refreshing city which is perfect for all you holiday snappers.
Especially Check Out;
The Yellow House – This was our first Airbnb experience and we got very lucky. Nathalie, her daughter Caroline and their cats Lucky and Luna made us feel extremely welcome. Their home is of the typical Danish style which we all dream of having in our own homes. Nathalie was very helpful answering any questions we had and was a fab host. The cats are incredibly friendly, they make you feel very at home. When we inevitably visit Copenhagen again, we will definitely be staying at the Yellow House and so should you.
Design Museum – This is one of the best museums I’ve ever been in. The exhibitions essentially give you a history of design; this includes furniture, clothes, posters, advertising and so on. There’s even a whole section where you can interact with the exhibits, that’s right, you’re allowed to touch things! If you’re a visual person, you’ll love it, all the colours and textures are stimulating.
Getting it down to five places was difficult so I will definitely being writing another recommendation post in the future. In the mean time, happy travels!