Things to do if you can’t travel

Hi guys,

summer is almost over and everyone is booking their vacation or still posting pictures of beaches and hikes and cocktails in the sunset on instagram. Well almost everyone. Me for example. I’m pretty broke, so no travelling for me this year. As I’m basically the definition of the internationally most popular german word fernweh ( a desire to travel and see places) you can imagine how frustrating that is for me. If you’re currently in the same situation and are forced to stay at home due to money issues or because you just have too much to do, here’s the stuff I thought about to substitute a holiday in another country.

  1. Go to the lake with your friends

Yes, the beaches of the world are calling out to all of us, but it’s just not happening this year. So why not go to a nice lake intead? Pack up your beach towels, your sunscreen and your friends and drive to the nearest lake (or swimming pool if you want) and enjoy the last couple of warm days. You can also take a picknick and just talk to your friends and relax or you read a book in quiet. Who needs a beach now ?

2. Learn to cook meals from another country

We all were already looking forward to the italian pizza, spanish paella, french macarons or original thai currys, but it’s just not gonna happen. Or maybe it is?  You can make all these delicious things at home just as well. Get a country specific cook book or find a YouTube tutorial, go to another supermarket than Aldi for a change and raid the international section and get started. It might take you a few tries but with a bit of practice everyone is able to master the art of foreign cuisine. In many cities there are also culinary schools offering cooking lessons, like making sushi or chinese cooking. You can learn something new AND eat great food, there’s nothing better.  And if it still doesn’t taste nice ? Wash it down with a glas (or a bottle depends on how bad you screwed up) of real french wine and you’ll feel just like you’re at the côte d’azur.

3. Learn another language, find a tandem partner

What I always find one of the most fascinating things about goig to another country is hearing the language. Even if it’s just looking up funny words on road signs or in restaurants menues. If you’re missing out on this this year just prepare for your next journey and start learning a new language. There are often courses who aren’t too expensive, but if you don’t want to spend any money you can find some free language learning apps in the App Store /PlayStore. Another possibility is paying a private person, like a foreign student to give you lessons, or find a tandem partner in your city or on the internet. A tandem partner teaches you their language or helps you improve your skills in exchange for you teaching them yours. That’s not only a great way to learn a language but you also get to know their culture and have a friend from another country. So, los geht’s, c’est parti, arriba !!

4. Explore your region

This might sound lame but often people have been to the most exotic places but have never seen their backyard. I’ve lived in the city where I study for 3 years now and I still haven’t seen a lot of the region, even though there are great things to explore. So this year my friends and I decided to take more day trips and it was so worth it. We had some really fun hikes and saw some really cool things and beautiful little cities. Also my parents visited me a couple of days ago and we took some guided tours and visited some museums and it was really interesting. So many things had been directly in front of me that I had never really paid attention to. I can only recommend getting a travel guide of your area and then go and explore! it won’t be to expensive and you might be surprised what you can find!

5. Take some time to pamper yourself

If you can’t go on that spa trip with your besties bring the spa to your home! you can learn how to make cool cocktails or healthier smoothies, buy some face masks, body lotion and scented candles and then invite your friends. Do each others nails while gossipping and then have some moscato and chocolate covered strawberries. Watch a girls movie in your dressing gowns (I can only recommend to all the boys I loved before). Then have a bath with a cool bubble bath and just pamper yourself. Nothing can beat Spa days with your friends in terms of relaxation. It’s also the best therapy and you can already start planning your travels next year when you have money again.


Yes not traveling is still sad, but there are so many other (cheaper) things you can do to get away from your daily routine, take your head off things and just havea really chill holiday at home!

I hope that helps a bit if you’re suffering from the staying at home blues ! If you want to share what you do to have the best ever stay- at-homeliday just head to our twitter @castaway_minds    or our instagram @castawayminds and tell us ! (please we need help).

Lots of love,


Alli xx


My favourite places in Australia

Hi guys 🙂

In case you haven’t heard: I’ve spent half a year in Australia and as I can’t stop talking about this beautiful country here’s another blogpost yeeeyy. If you are planning to visit Australia (and you should,no excuses !!) here are the places I would definitely recommend visiting. I feel like I should say that I only travelled the east coast, so there won’t be any places of West Australia and Central Australia as I will only talk abot places I’ve seen myself. That doen’t mean that they’re not worth the visit as I heard from my friends that they’re absolutely amazing. Buuut let’s get started!

  1. Sydney

Probably the place my heart hangs on the most as I actuylly lived there for the most time. I love everything about Sydney from the lively inner city with lots of places to go shopping, to all the beautiful beaches you can hang out at on sunny days and the botanical garden with all the exotic plants and the wonderful view on the opera house. Not to metntion the landmarks, the harbour bridge and opera house which are completely stunning. I was blown away every time I saw them and took  a ridiculous amount of pictures (which look all the same to be honest).One of my favourite places is darling harbour with my favourite clubs and restaurants. Sydney has like lots of Australian cities a great surf culture,so you can see surf competitions at the beaches and everyone is very laid-back and friendly. A big part is also all the cultures, that come together in Sydney, you can get food from all different countries and if you’re looking to make friends from all different nations, Sydney is the place for you. I love all the different quarters of Sydney, when you drive from the centre to the suburbs you get the feeling you’re driving through a lot of different towns as each one has their own atmosphere. I think if I had to choose where in Australia to live it would be Sydney !

2. Noosa Heads

Noosa itself is only a tiny town but the National park is absolutely unique. You can choose between different walks threw the park, that lead you threw the rainforest or along the coast. The coastal walk I did is one of the most popular walks in the country and I can totally see why. You have amazing views on the see and the beaches and it looks like tropical paradise with the green plants, the turquoise see and the yellow beaches. You walk up a hill from where you can spot whales and dolfins if it’s the right season and see lovely bays. Noosa is also a good place for surfing and stand up paddling.

3. Great barrier reef

You can go scuba diving/snorkeling at different places of the great barrier reef and they are all different. The marine landscape is just incredible, you can see colourful plants and beautiful fish. If  you’re lucky you will even see sharks and turtles. I was absolutely speechless by the beauty and the atmosphere under water! I really hope the endangered reef can be saved with the new funds the government gave to research, as huge parts of it are already dead and won’t be there for the next generations to see.

4. Magnetic Island

Magnetic island is known for it’s wildlife. You can spot wild koalas on the fort walk, that leads you up the hills to the old WW2 (or was it WW1?) forts. There will be arrows on the floor of people who’ve spotted the koalas and if you’re lucky and keep your eyes in the trees you will see the little grey furballs yourself. From the forts you have an amazing view over the island. There are woods everywhere you can see and beautiful bays. The nature and wildlife is truly incredible. At sunset you can feed rock wallabies at the arcadia, which are like cute little kangaroos and will eat out your hand. Also coolest hostel with the best view I’ve ever been to. If you’re planning to go definitely stay at Base!

5. Whitsunday Island/ Whitehaven beach

THIS PLACE IS LITERALLY PARADISE YOU HAVE TO GO ! Okay trying to calm down but it was in all honesty one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been to. You get there by ship (there are 1 day to 4 day trips and you can either go by sailing boat or speed boat)  and when you drive around the cornerof the island you see the most beautiful beach with the whitest sand. And it’s not only me saying this it actually was voted the worlds most beautiful beach before and even some pirates of the carribean scenes where shot there. You should go there in the afternoon and walk up the hill so you have the perfect view over the whole beach  and the white sand lines in the crystal clear sea. The white sand is also good for your skin and hair so definitely worth a scrub. You can also find the most fotographed tree in the world on the beach. It fell over during a cyclone and as it looks super aesthetic it turned into the most fotographed tree over night. Check out the pictures and tell me this is not paradise ! (There’s also a very instagramable swing 😉 )


6. Great Ocean Road

Finally something on the southern side of the continent ! The great ocean road gives you everything there is beautiful nature, the stunning see, incredible wildlife (for example koalas, parrots, etc.) and the surf culture. You’re driving next to the sea on one side and interesting plants on the other side. On the hill there are amazing houses you will definitely want but never be able to afford. You will also come through lovely, small towns along the coast, which all have there own charm. There’s also a rainforest walk, where you can see the most interesting plants and trees. Aaaaaand of course the highlights: The 12 apostels and lochards gorge. They are both incredibly beautiful and have a powerful atmosphere in every weather and definitely worth visiting. (Also I stole my friend’s picture cause he had better weather hahah)

7. Fraser Island

The worlds biggest sand island ! You can drive along the coast for hours, it’s just one endless beach (which is basically the dream for me). We even saw some dolphins in the water ! You have to drive in 4 wheel drives and it still can be hard to drive and really bumpy,it’s definitely a cool and unique driving experience. There are little towns and lots of little roads leading through the rainforest. You can also do rainforest walks along beautiful little creeks. It’s a really cool island and as I heard really cool to stay overnight and camp. Just lock your food away and beware of the dingos! My personal favourite was Lake Mackenzie a sweetwater lake and the most beautiful one I’ve ever seen. Apparently the water is healing and the sand is the same pure sand as in Whitehaven beach, so it’s good for your skin as well. I just felt a calm and relaxing atmosphere there which I’ve never experienced anywhere before!

So I know these are probably basic but they’re basic for a reason, because everyone has to see them as they’re amazing. I’d love if you shared your favourite places with me on our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds

Have a wonderful rest of the week !


Alli xx

Things I learned to be true during my semester abroad

  1. Wherever you go you always take yourself with you. 

You might think you can leave everything behind and start over completely new with new people in a new setting, but the truth is: you can’t leave yourself behind. You will still be the same person with your quirks and insecurities and thoughts that make you you.

I for example even though I was in a different surrounding still was overthinking everyone and was insecure about myself and people not liking me. You can’t run away from yourself and you won’t magically get over yourself just because you go to another place.snapchat-1857988584.jpg

So if you wanna change something and leave your problems behind it doesn’t work to just run away and hide in an other place. The problems will find you. You have to face them and constantly work on yourself to actually improve something, no matter where you are

2. Money can’t buy you happiness, but it can buy you flight tickets and that’s pretty much the same.

First of all I think the people saying that money can’t buy you happiness definitely haven’t had to worry about money in their lives. While of course money alone doesn’t make you happy, having enough of it surely makes a lot of things easier. Especially because then you’re able to afford your flight tickets. And not only that: train rides to the mountains, boat tours, dives, rental cars for roadtrips, courses to learn something new and so much more.

Seeing so many amazingly beautiful places like

20171119_135235Whitehaven beach and the Great barrier reef ( to name my favourites) and being able to have new experiences, which sometimes require getting out of your comfort zone, filled my heart with so much awe and my soul with so much joy like I could never have imagined. It was just such an amazing feeling to see some of the beauty of our eart and I’m so grateful I got the opportunity. I spend so much money and still had the feeling to have come back a lot richer than before.




3. Challenges help you grow stronger

Yes, they actually do and we all kind of know that. Still it was amazing experiencing it on yourself. It might only be little everyday challenges but if you conquer them you feel so much more confident about yourself.  Even though you will still see something you’ve done a lot of times challenging, doing them again and again will make it easier for you every time.

For me that would have been befriending strangers, calling people on the phone or taking the lift (I’m claustrophobic and used to panic in them). The more often I did those things the easier I found them and the better I felt about myself, because I knew I could face my fears and do it anyway.

4. A home doesn’t have to be a house…

It can be a shitty, untidy flat without windows and with furniture from the seventies, that still gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling when you enter it after a hard day of studying and facing people you can’t handle.It can be an old car, which still gives you a strong feeling of security, because there are always boxes of food in there and it carried you safely to so many wonderful places (and you had some pretty nice naps in it). It can be an air bnb flat with the ugliest wallpaper that has ever been printed, because after and exciting day that’s where you go back to cook your go to cheap meal with your friends and fall asleep after discussing every single funny aspect of the day. In the end home is not a place, it’s a feeling and you can find that feeling anywhere with the right people by your side.

5. …and a family doesn’t have to be related.

I found the eight people that became my family in my first week in Sydney. We spent every day together and they were the faces I saw when I came home after a day at Uni. we cooked together and shared our stories, we talked about our problems, we comforted each other, we joked around, celebrated birthdays and christmas and the end of exams. We travelled together and share all our memories. We disagreed we argued and made up. This is family for me. Supporting each other, fighting for each other, sticking together and being there for one another.

6. You never I come back the same you left.

This is kind of obvious as well. You see and do so many things that make you grow as a person and make a permanent impression on you. These experiences become part of who you are and you’re a different person coming back to a place with parts of you still stuck at the place you were.


That was it from me for today, I will chill the rest of the day crying over my fotos and unnercessarily mentioning to everyone (if they wanna hear it or not) that I’ve been to Australia. If you have any questions or just wanna have a chat hit me up on our twitter @castaway_minds or our instagram @castawayminds.





My travel experience around the Republic of Ireland

Hello lovely people reading this,

last August I finished my year as an Au-Pair and afterwards I decided to fly straight to Ireland with my best friend and see a bit of this lovely country as well. And let me tell you, I totally fell in love with the country, so I reckoned it would be only right if I write about my experience.


I met up with my friend, her name is Krissi, at Dublin Airport and from there we straight went to our Airbnb. If you don’t know what Airbnb is, it’s basically a community where you can rent rooms, flats or apartments for less money than a hotel, obviously. It was the first time I stayed at Airbnb’s and I have to say that I can only recommend it but I definitely would read the comments from other guests before I book.


So there we were, fresh from our flights, trying to find our Airbnb, well let me say we had our struggles at first. But once we finally found it, we basically just threw our stuff in our room and wanted to explore the city. That’s what we did then. On our first day we just walked along the Liffey (the river) and we walked around a bit at the town centre, I mean shopping is important right? On our second day we walked down to St. Stephens Park, enjoyed the sunny weather a bit and stopped at signs during our walk.


On our third day we travelled by bus down to Cork. When we planned the trip we intended to rent a car and drive around so we can see Ireland at it’s fullest beauty, but unfortunately you can very hardly book cars when you’re under 21. At this time I was still 20 so we had to come up with an alternative. Then we planned on driving around by train but since the prices of trains are quite expensive we soon came up with driving by bus because Krissi and I had done this before in Germany and I had done so in the UK as well. We both don’t regret this decision because this way we could see a bit of Ireland even though. Once in Cork we instantly were impressed by it’s beauty.


We were really lucky to stay at somebody’s who firstly was super nice and sweet and gave us tips what we definitely should see, secondly we stayed not directly in the centre but still very near by. Once again we threw our thing in our room, grabbed our handbags and off we went. We just wandered around and had a look. One our second day in Cork we had a deeper look around, walked around the river, passed the University, went to see some Churches and paid a visit at the Cathedral and I think on this day we also went to the English market.



Let me tell you as two foodies as we are, we loved it there! I actually would even say that it was my favourite place in Cork, although Cork is just in general a beautiful city so it’s very hard to pick. In the evening we decided to go out and see how the nigh life of Cork is, well it was more that we wanted to do a bit of Pub crawling because that’s more our cup of tea plus I always think that it is really cool sitting at a Pub having a good time and even talk to some locals. And I have to say that we went to a very cool Pub which played live authentic Irish music (well I don’t know if it really was authentic but it really sounded like it).



On the next day at around midday it was already time to head off to Limerick. On our way there we once again were very impressed with the countryside of Ireland and I don’t know about Krissi, but I’m definitely want to go back and travel around in a car in the future. Anyway, when we arrived in Limerick the first thing we saw was basically the river. Once again we were amazed how beautiful it was. I guess I really get boring with saying how stunning the cities were right? But sorry, if you have been in Ireland you know exactly what I mean, everything is just stunning, beautiful and breathtaking. Ireland you definitely do it not half hearted!

Anyhow, this time our Airbnb wasn’t that near the centre so we had to walk a bit to get to the town centre but we stayed at a lovely house with very friendly hosts. And again, we dropped off our suitcases, than immediately run into the town. This time we walked around the town centre and soon realized that staying 1 ½ day was a bit too estimated. Don’t misunderstand me, Limerick is a nice and lovely town but for us it wasn’t as impressive and as much to see as in the other cities. Although we made the best of it, had a bit of a more chilled time (well, we never stressed ourselves during the trip but we had even more time with walking around and stuff then we had with the other things) and on our second day in Limerick we walked alongside the river, went to see the castle and even walked to see the football stadium (I think it was a football stadium, if not, to see some old stadium). It was nice to have the freedom to go to bed a bit earlier then we have during the whole trip.


On the 7th day of our trip we drove to Galway relatively early. Once we arrived there I knew one thing: this city is my new favourite city! And yes I’m extremely jealous of Lili, who’s studying there from September on, I never though I say this, but I hate you Lili! 😛 Not really, I love you! <3. So when we arrived at the bus station we firstly walked into the completely wrong direction so we basically ended at the wrong end of Galway so we had to walk back everything and finally we found our Airbnb. This time we stayed basically right at the seaside.


Let me tell you, this was awesome. So as usual, I dragged Krissi to get outside as soon as possible because I wanted to see as much as possible of the city. We wandered around, sat a bit at the seaside and enjoyed as much as possible. On our second day we planned to drive to the Cliffs of Moher. But since we had too much luck with the weather the whole time the weather decided to go really crappy, so we cancelled this. Instead we strolled around the city and walked along the seaside. It still was lovely day. At the evening we once again went out and experienced the night life of Galway by going to a Pub. We ended up at ‘The Kings Head’ which is apparently one of the best Pubs in Galway so I think we did everything right there.

The next day we spent it with shopping for a bit and then at midday we drove back to Dublin. And believe me it definitely wasn’t easy for me to leave this place.

Once back in Dublin we decided to make our own plan where we want to go to, so we made our own sightseeing route and walked around for the last 1 ½ days and tried to see as much as possible of Dublin (which to be fair isn’t that much because Dublin is such a big and historic city). We also wanted to drive to Howth but once again the weather thought to be absolutely miserable on this day so we decided to skip this as well because walking around there when the weather isn’t good or at least okay doesn’t make fun either.


On our 11th day we sadly had to leave again, but all in all I can only advise EVERYBODY to go to the Republic of Ireland and travel around! Krissi and I freaking loved it and I really wish we would have had more time and better possibilities to travel around! Ireland is definitely a place I will go back in the future and I know that this trip will always be a special one for me!

I really hope you like this little run through and you want to travel as bad as me to Ireland now! 😀

Lots of love,



P.S.: All pictures taken by myself with my iPhone and hardly edited, so you can see how beautiful Ireland is! 🙂

Planning a weekend away with your friends

If you have stayed uptodate with out Twitter and Instagram, you might already know that Alli, Lili and myself have been to Berlin over the weekend. The prior reason was obviously that we visited a 5 Seconds of Summer concert but that’ not what I want to write about (but if you want to know more about our preparation before a concert stay tuned ;)). Today’s blog post is going to be about our trip to Berlin and how we made sure we have the best time.

Planning your trip: Here are 3 steps I always do when I plan a trip:

1. Set a date and where to stay

That might be something obvious but I always find this one the hardest part. As I’m a person who loves planing my calendar is pretty full and combining my calendar with 2 (in our case even 3, but you will find out why 3 very shortly) other ones is quite a hard task to do. When do all of you have time, for how long, does it clash with any important Uni dates, and many more points you need to think of. I can tell you this take a lot of discussion and back and forth between all of you but you’ll manage to find a date eventually. Once your date is set, you have to find a place where you can sleep. As all of us are students we don’t have much money to spent on luxurious hotels, so we needed to find something which is in our budget, but also not totally outside of Berlin and still is not the worst hotel/hostel. Luckily Alli and Lili both got a friend/family in Berlin so we asked Alli’s best friend if we could maybe stay at hers. Luckily she said yes and also had time at the dates where we planned on going to Berlin.

I always would advise you to try and ask people you or your friends know because this way it’s cheaper (and you always can spent the spare money somewhere else right? I heart Berlin is great for shopping ;P) and I think it’s more fun as well.

But if you don’t know anybody in the city, don’t worry. Try and find various hostels/hotels you can have a look at online and see if you can find something that isn’t too expensive and also seems to float your boat. A tip from my road-trip around the Republic of Ireland is that I also can advise you Airbnb. I had great experience with it and I know quite a few friends who did the same (on this note, always check the comments and reviews though! Better be safe then sorry!)

2. Be excited and make plans

Most of the time when I decided to go somewhere I always booked everything in advance (hence me planing always in advance because it’s easier schedule wise, getting an accommodation, cheaper deals and in general me being an organization nerd). Although it also has something good if you plan in advance: you can really plan your trip, read guides and facts about the city, find places you really need to see and also the hidden treasures of the city that usual tourists aren’t getting to see. I don’t know about you but when I go to a city, I of course want to see all the touristy things but also the little things that are normal tourist wouldn’t see. And you only can find this places, either by accident or when you really inform yourself about the city and search on the internet about these things. Usually these places are my favourite places of the city because these are not as crowded as the other places and also because you really can see and feel the spirit of the city.

Beside of the sightseeing spots you also can find out where’s the best restaurant to go to are, the best pub or the best club to have a night out. When I was in Ireland I also had very nice hosts who also gave me tips where I could or should go to. This way I could really explore the cities and enjoy the city as a person normal resident.

But most importantly whilst planing this trip don’t forget the fun you have with your friends whilst planing it and how excited you are and you can always annoy your friends with writing about it how exciting you are. Also don’t plan every second you will be there because you also need fun times to just go shopping, spontaneously do something or just lay around.

3. Book you travel to get there

Most of the time, if I’m not flying somewhere, I book my travel very short notice in comparison how long I’m actually planing my trip. When I’m travelling around Germany I’ve got quite a few options with which I can travel. Firstly of course by train, I guess that’s the most common one. But from my experience in Germany and the UK also the most expensive one. I also always have a look at the Buses, if I can find a Bus to the city from my local town. Sometimes this isn’t working but still a cheaper version that trains. In Germany and I think also in the UK there is a car sharing service which is called ‘Blablacar’. Usually when I drive home I always use that. If you’re not familiar, it’s a website where you can book a car journey with someone who would drive to the same town or same direction anyways. Most of my fellow students use this as well, either as a driver or a passenger. I’ve used it quite a few times as well and it’s a great service because it’s faster then bus or train and also super cheap. But once again definitely check the comments on the drivers and also always write down the number plate before you start your drive and sent it to your mum or a friend. Safety goes always first, because at the end of the day you don’t know the person you’re drive with. The only bad thing is that you can only book it like around 5-3 days before hand because the drivers usually aren’t inserting a journey before that.

These are steps you need to do before you go somewhere, but what about when you’re finally at the city?

I think it’s always important to have plans, but to be honest everything comes differently then you planned. Like for example we planned so many things where we could go or where we should eat and at the end we did something completely different. But that’s not bad because we changed our plans because we wanted to spent more time getting in the spirit of the concert and fangirl about the fact that we’re together and we’re seeing our favourite band.

Like for example we planned on going to the east side gallery in Berlin because Alina has never been there. At the end we just walk past it whilst going to the arena, but that’s fine because it was fine by Alina. Also we planned on going out on Saturday evening seeing how the Berlin night life is like. We did go out, but to a completely different club that we intended to go to and instead of going home at a reasonable time as normal people would do, we drove to the Brandenburger Tor and looked at it at night and had a walk around the city centre.

What I wanted to make clear with this blog post is that planing your trip and thinking about it is important but also time for spontaneous things and changing plans. I guess that’s always hard because you pictured it how your trip could or should look like. But when you’re open for different ideas and plans you will see that it will most definitely change to the better. Like I never would have thought that going to the Brandenburger Tor at 4am could be quite fun or meeting other fans in front of a hotel we thought 5SOS could stay in and we wanted to have just a quick look could be cool and you could even really like these people.

When planning a trip always stay open for everything and even when you’re at the city don’t be afraid to change your plans, you’ll see it’s fun!

Lots of love,

Jenny xxx

Lilis Travel Diary: Amsterdam

Disclaimer: All the pics are taken by me and I would appreciate it, if you could say so if you ever use one of the pictures!

A beautiful, sunny Sunday Funday to all of you magic beans,

as May has 5 sundays (yo May, what’s good?!) I have an extra special Sunday Funday for you.
If you follow me on Instagram and twitter you may know that 2 weeks ago I’ve been to the lovely city of Amsterdam for a weekend trip and let me tell you, it was beautiful!
I instantly fell in love with the city and the dutch people. After having a little look at all the pictures I took I though I could talk you through what to do on a weekend in Amsterdam, hence what I did. You can also check out my Youtube Video about my trip to Amsterdam here 

Day of Arrival: Wednesday

I’ll spare you the boring „we flew from Hanover in Germany to Amsterdam“ shit but I will say that getting to the central station in Amsterdam from the airport is super easy breezy. Make sure to order your train ticket online (they’re around 4,20€) so you don’t get confused by buying them over one of the ticket machines as those are only in dutch.
The ride to Amsterdam takes around 30 minutes. We arrived on the day of some national bank holiday so there were celebrations going on in the center of the city, therefore we couldn’t walk the way that google maps had told us, but luckily you can ask anyone to show you the way and the Dutch are just the loveliest and give you directions to any place you want to go to.
We, which is my mum, my brother and I stayed at the „Iron Horse Hotel“, which is a tiny bit away from the city centre and right around the corner of the beautiful „Vondelpark“, the „Rijksmuseum“ is also not far away.IMG_3741
The first day though we checked in and then went out to get some dinner, as we couln’t decide we ended up at Hard Rock Cafe…I mean it’s the same in every city so I really don’t have to go into detail. The only thing I got out of it was that there are a whole lot of smokers and they’re all allowed to smoke in the seating area outside, so be prepared if you don’t want to end up sitting in cigarette smoke for an hour or two. I will say though that the waiter was super lovely and we had wonderful weather so we took the path along some “Gracht” back to the hotel. The “Grachten” in general are just super beautiful and pretty and I can highly recommend going on a “Grachtentour”.

Second Day: Thursday

On Thursday we woke up quite early as we had booked tickets for the Anne Frank house near the Jordaan district and next to the „Westerkerk“, a beautiful church right next to the house.


You can see the Westerkerk 🙂

If you plan on going there you should book tickets in advance as well and arrive as early as possible, it can get quite full. Visiting the house itself was incredibly emotional for me and I actually had to cry. I’m just an emotional person in general, so just be prepared that some visitors might be as sensitive as me and just start crying. After all it’s just horrible what happened and there’s nothing wrong with crying because of it.
After that we took a walk around the Jordaan district that I instantly fell in love with. There are millions of cute restaurants and cafés and quirky independent stores just like some second hand shops. It’s definitely worth a visit!


It says No 1 in Holland on the sign just so you know

Since we were quite near the spot where they sell the supposedly best fries in Holland we of course went to check them out. There’s always a queue in front of the „Vleminckx“ food stall and to be honest
I still don’t get what makes them the best fries. Yes, they were good but I wouldn’t call them the best fries I ever had.
However, my brother really did enjoy them but afterwards he also had the brilliant idea of renting a pedal boat for an hour. During the afternoon. A time when literally everyone is on some kind of boat tour and with a pedal boat doing one of these “Grachtentours” is the scariest thing ever. It’s probably much safer in the morning or if you just go on one of the bigger boats. I was terrified the whole time, my brother and I got into a fight and my mum just sat there like “wow, so that’s supposed to be my holiday”. Lovely right? I mean my brother is 16, I’m 19…the tension and the fights can get quite out of hand („You should try and add a word called ‚respect‘ to your vocabulary“, „Maybe you should realize that the world doesn’t revolve around you, Lili“) and you basically stop listening to your parents, so my mum just sat there and was probably even entertained by my brother and me calling each other names. Quick disclaimer: My brother is like my best friend, we tell each other a whole, whole lot but we also have the occasional banter and well get into arguments kind of a lot as well, we’re just both really stubborn.
As you can imagine my brother was in quite the bad mood afterwards so my idea of going shopping didn’t really excite him at all, until we found a super awesome store called „Popcult“. Now I don’t know in which countries you can find this store but I’ve never seen it before. Inside, I was in video game-nerd-comic heaven. They have magnificent merch from „Adventure Time“, „TMNT“, „Sponegbob“ and loads of other stuff. Most importantly they have lots of Pokémon merch, I am a sucker for Pokémon merch. I grew up watching and playing it and collecting cards and I was super excited about a Pikachu beanie. Unfortunately it was kinda expensive so my brother and I got a snapback that we’re gonna share (Lets see how that will work) with charizard on it.

Bildschirmfoto 2016-05-22 um 17.47.18

So much Popcorn!!

With my brother being happy again I got to get some Popcorn at this Popcorn shop called „Fol“ that sells gourmet popcorn. It was heaven! I was allowed to try all the flavours, from chocolate coconut and caramel to bacon and salted caramel.In the end I decided on white chocolate, caramel and Pretzel ones that I ate within 2 days, they were just too good.
I just realized that we did too many things on thursday already, no wonder that I was wondering the whole time when I was in Amsterdam why I’m this tired.
For dinner we walked all the way to the Jordaan district again IMG_3772and got some kind of luxurious sandwiches at a restaurant called „La Oliva“.
It was wonderful, the staff was super friendly and the food was amazing. Afterwards I treated myself to some white chocolate and apple pie (!) ice cream at an ice cream parlor called something along the lines of „ijscuypje“, that ice cream was the best ice cream I ever had and you should definitely check it out!


Third Day: Friday

On Friday we decided to go to the Rijksmuseum quite early so we could take a picture with the „I Am Amsterdam“ sign without too many tourists around. From our hotel we walked around 10 to 15 minutes. I’m gonna admit we didn’t go into the museum for the reason that we didn’t want to mingle with all the tourists and wanted to see some other tourist attractions before everyone else did.

look at me being all touristy

Therefore, we only took our pictures and around for a bit, then walked through the „Spiegelkwartier“ district to get to the „Begijnhof“. The „Spiegelkwartier“ district is your go-to district if you want to visit art galleries and look at vintage furniture and art in general. It has quite the vintage vibe if I may say so myself.
The „Begijnhof“ we went to features one of the oldest buildings in Amsterdam, dating back to 1300 something, which is actually quite impressing. But the prettiest thing about it is the courtyard where it’s build, other people are living in the houses around it and their gardens are just super pretty.

Well here you have the Royal Palace and me…in front of a some random persons’ garden 😀

From the „Begijnhof“ you can reach all the shopping areas and the royal palace, which was our next stop. I have to admit I thought that the Royal Palace was the central station…shame on me…:D but I just confused the two. The Royal Palace is actually quite nice but it’s enough to look at it, take a picture and leave again.
We decided to go shopping after our little sightseeing tour, which I liked a whole lot.
The rest of the day we just enjoyed the sunshine, while walking around Amsterdam. For Dinner we went to a restaurant called „Pancake Corner“. The waiter was a bit unfriendly but I think he just couldn’t speak English nor German very well so he probably just concentrated on what we were saying to him. I got a pancake pizza with salmon on it and it wasn’t too bad, a little too salty but not bad. Katie went there as well but for breakfast and according to her the breakfast pancakes are lit so maybe I just ordered the wrong one.

Last Day: Saturday

Saturday we already had to leave but as our plane was departing in the afternoon, we still had some time left. So we checked out, left our luggage with the receptionist and went to visit the café next door called Friday Next. Surprisingly, it was a café and a store in one. Meaning you could actually buy the chairs you were sitting on and the lamps hanging from the ceiling, they had bags from local designers on display and also some stationary, giving the cafe its very own charming atmosphere.
The food was super healthy and delicious, they had several vegan offers and I was delighted. Every day they offer a smoothie of the day, which they create on their own. For my sandwich they used the bestest whole grain bread ever and the most delicious cheese (I just had to try the cheese, the Netherlands are famous for it after all).
I was just really happy that I could talk my brother and my mum into checking it out, making my stay in Amsterdam even better.
After I fell into food coma because of this wonderful breakfast  we were ready to leave Amsterdam and drove to the airport.


Me and my favorite backpack had a good time!

I have to admit I already miss Amsterdam and I cannot wait to go back some time again. It really is worth a trip and a weekend actually is enough to see the most important sights and get an idea of the city. You can walk everywhere and the food is the best!!
I hope this travel report kind of post wasn’t too much to read and you enjoyed it. If you have any further questions on Amsterdam don’t hesitate to message me on any kind of social media.
Have a lovely Sunday,
loads and loads of love,
Lili xxx

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