On our last night in Cesky Krumlov, we came back from hiking around the Blansky Forest to an empty old town. Having hiked more than 20 kilometers, we were in need of some food but found most of the establishments were already closed and few people were out walking along the lamppost-lit cobblestone streets.
We checked the time – barely 8 PM. What was wrong with people? Granted, it was a Sunday, but still, this was Cesky Krumlov! How can they be sleeping?
Continue reading “What’s Your Travel Superpower?”
My most vivid travel memories always involve food.
I first visited the Czech Republic in 2014. I went around the old town and the castle complex, took a hundred photos along Charles Bridge, and waited for the astronomical clock’s hourly Apostles’ march. But of all these wonderful and historic things in Prague, there’s one thing I remember the most: the smell of cinnamon.
I remember watching the rows of trdelnik grilling in a little stall to the side of the old town square, the crystals of sugar caramelizing further with each turn of the rolled dough, letting out that irresistible smell of burnt sugar. I remember getting my hands on one that was indulgently topped with vanilla ice cream despite the cool weather. I remember biting into the doughy exterior, the cinnamon flavor and caramel mixing perfectly with the soft ice cream.
Continue reading “Cooking Czech cuisine at home”
Tokyo is an expensive city –it’s reliably always in the top 10 most expensive cities of any survey, both for locals and travelers. And while a lot of travelers shy away from visiting Tokyo because of this intimidating fact, there are affordable alternatives in the city that you can check out.
Here are 10 hotels in Tokyo that don’t cost an arm and a leg. It’s not all hostels and capsule hotels here! You can still stay in Tokyo in style even with a small budget.
Continue reading “Affordable alternatives: 10 hotels in Tokyo that won’t break the bank!”
Here’s how the typical Central European travel itinerary goes: you spend a few days in Prague with several early morning attempts to take pictures at the Charles Bridge, board a train to Vienna where you blitz through the many historical churches and museums, maybe even spend an evening at the opera and have a slice of sachertorte, then take another train to Budapest, where you fill your camera with more crowded pictures of the Fisherman’s Bastion. By the end of this trip, you hardly remember anything and you just want to collapse in bed and take another vacation.
I get it. For most of us non-European travelers, Europe is this shiny, star-studded continent filled with some of the world’s best, most romantic, most historical – most superlative – cities in the world that we just want to cram our itineraries and see ALL. OF. THEM. The lack of borders and ease of movement is also mind-blowing for most of us that we get a little bit (or a lot) trigger-happy when planning our trips.
But here’s a radical suggestion: take it slow. Instead of rushing from one country to the next, take some time to really explore a place. While capital cities like Prague and Vienna are, of course, must-visits for first-time travelers, you can make your trip a lot more interesting with stop-overs to the little towns in between. You’ll establish a deeper connection with the places you visit, gain a better understanding of the culture, and have a more fulfilling holiday experience.
Continue reading “Driving from Prague to Vienna, slowly through Czech Republic’s scenic south”
When you’re on holiday, you get to have the most indulgent dilemmas of all.
Like: “Should we wake up early tomorrow to catch the sunrise and take gorgeous morning pictures of the lakeside? Or sleep in and cuddle on our impossibly snug and cozy queen bed?”
If you’re in the Czech Republic or planning to visit soon, you’re probably agonizing: “Where should I go after Prague?”
While the popular answer may be the medieval town of Cesky Krumlov or the spa town of Karlovy Vary, let me invite you to a cool alternative city break: Brno, the capital of South Moravia.
Continue reading “Brno city break – essential sights and where to eat, drink, and stay”
I see you’re looking for the best place to stay in Seoul, huh? Chances are, you have about 5 tabs open on your browser right now and probably pulling your hair out with all of the choices and information out there. Believe me – I’ve been there. There is no shortage of guides and blogs on Seoul and you have the city itself to blame.
If you think online information on Seoul is overwhelming, you should go to, well… Seoul! From the moment you land on Incheon and venture into the heart of the city, you’ll be bombarded by all sorts of curiosities and novelties and choices, choices, choices!
If you’re on a diet, forget about it. You’ll be eating your way around the city in no time. Not really planning to shop? Friendly (albeit unfashionable) tip: wear blinders. Thinking of taking it slow and having a relaxing trip? Wear your most comfortable shoes anyway, as you’ll be drawn from one street to the next and before you know it, you’re in the middle of an art village on top of a hill and you just want to keep on going.
Seoul’s vibrancy and life is just so infectious and there’s just so much you can do that the trip-planning stage can be so overwhelming. So here’s my part in helping you plan your little holiday and making it less of an information overload: I made a fun and quick quiz (5 minutes tops!) that will help you decide where to stay in Seoul! Then just click through to my top hotel recommendations and – voila! – Book accommodations in Seoul – DONE. ✔
If you’re craving for more of Amsterdam’s Dutch charm and magic but a little less of the crowds and buzz, take a road trip through Flevoland. It’s a region just an hour’s drive northeast of Amsterdam that will take you through the beautiful countryside and to charming canal towns. And yes, Giethoorn – which is every photographer/Instagrammer’s dream – is one of those gorgeous little towns.
While a day trip is doable, I’m pretty sure you’ll want to stay for the night. Check out this road trip itinerary for the best of Flevoland.
Continue reading “Driving from Amsterdam to Giethoorn – a road trip through Flevoland”
South Korea is mostly known for being modern – even futuristic. And when you’re in the major cities like Seoul and Busan, this is highly evident in the towering buildings, ultra-bright city lights, and high-speed Internet. Even their tourism organizations highlight the country’s dynamism and rapid progress.
Despite this, however, there remain pockets of cultural destinations where visitors can catch a glimpse of Korea’s splendid past. One such destination is Gyeongju – the capital of the ancient Kingdom of Silla, home of some of the best Buddhist art in the Far East.
If you’re into ancient cultures and traditions – or just want a break from the fast cars and bright lights of South Korea’s cities – take a day trip to Gyeongju, South Korea’s ancient capital.
Continue reading “Gyeongju – a day trip to South Korea’s ancient capital”
If you’ve spent at least several hours on Instagram or Pinterest looking for travel inspiration for a trip to Europe, chances are you’ve come across Hallstatt – a stunningly photogenic town in the middle of the Salzkammergut region of Austria.
Imagine: a calm blue lake mirroring the sky, mountain ranges setting a picture-perfect background, and pastel lakeside houses decked with flowerboxes lending the historic town a storybook vibe. It’s easy to superimpose a vision of yourself enjoying a little holiday in this charming town.
If you’re in for a visual tour or ready to start planning your trip, this Hallstatt travel guide will surely leave you in love with this town. Continue reading “Hallstatt travel guide – visiting Austria’s most photogenic town”
Fancy a holiday where you’ll be able to hop from one gorgeous beach to the next, visit all kinds of quirky museums, and see stunning natural landscapes? South Korea’s so-called “island of the gods” – Jeju Island – is the perfect destination for you.
Jeju definitely has a lot to offer. But what most first-time visitors are surprised to find out is that Jeju is huge. Even with a rental car, you can’t go around the whole island in one day. The island’s many attractions are far apart, and this is why you need to make sure you know exactly where to stay in Jeju, depending on what you’re in the mood to see and do. Continue reading “Where to stay in Jeju – a guide to South Korea’s holiday island”