Istanbul Top Pick: The Basilica Cistern

Of the many, many places to see in Istanbul, The Basilica Cistern (or Yerebatan Sarnıcı in Turkish) is my favourite.  It’s the largest of the several hundred ancient sub-terranean cisterns in Istanbul, and I absolutely love how it’s so different from all other top attractions in Istanbul. Unlike the grand mosques with minarets that soar …

Video: Grand Place Christmas Lights Show

It’s true that when it comes to Christmas markets, most travellers head to Germany and visit its legendary Weihnachtsmarkt. But I recently found a hidden gem in the heart of Belgium’s capital that in my opinion rivals, if not completely trumps, some of Germany’s most popular Christmas markets. There are 2 big reasons why Brussels …

Inside Frankfurt’s Roomers Design Hotel

Sensual.  That’s a word I never thought I’d use to describe a hotel. But no other word more perfectly describes Frankfurt’s Roomers Design Hotel better than that—sensual. We stayed at Roomers for our weekend trip to Frankfurt to visit the Christmas markets. The primary reason I selected Roomers is its amazing location—being a short walk …

Postcards from Predjama Castle

“Another castle?” my husband asked with an exasperated look on his face.  Having visited over 30 countries in the past three years, it’s true that I have dragged my husband through many a castle—perhaps 40? 50?  I’ve honestly lost count.  At one point—please tell me if it’s a guy thing—the castles have started to look …

Berlin: 20 best spots (Part 2)

Continuing the list of 20 things that made me adore Berlin, you’ll see a good mix of magnificent monuments, poignant reminders of Germany’s dark past, a bit of comedy, plus lots and lots of chocolate. Just like Part 1 (numbers 1 to 10), every single Berlin spot in this list was measured against my five-point …

Berlin: 20 best spots (Part 1)

After a weekend in Berlin, I can easily recommend 20 of the best spots to visit for someone who’s visiting for the first time. Here’s the first of a two-part series: I did not care to see Berlin. GASP! I can almost hear the world wide web convulsively catching its breath in shock after that …

Four Seasons Gresham Palace

After fully appreciating the hotel, one might wonder if the Four Seasons’ doors open to the magnificent Chain Bridge, or does the Chain Bridge lead to the spectacular Four Seasons? In most cities around the world, it is next to impossible to find a beautiful hotel that’s right across the landmark that the city is known for.  A …

Beautiful Budapest: Part 1

Part 1 of a two-part series on our weekend trip to Budapest, featuring our discovery of Budapest’s resilient charm and exploration of Buda. Our trip to Budapest is our first foray to Eastern Europe.  If we were to base our expectations solely on stereotypes, we would have anticipated to see scars of war and post-communist …

Barcelona: Modern or Modernista

Modernista & Modern are two different things.  The city of Barcelona eloquently explains the difference using its many beautiful buildings. Being in the heart of Catalonia—the birthplace/home of the Modernisme movement, it’s no wonder that the city hosts the best Modernista pieces in the world.  Gauid’s La Sagrada Familia, Casa Batlló and La Pedrera are probably …

Barcelona’s best in a day

See Barcelona in one day complete with merienda and a Spanish guitar performance?  It’s very possible!  A weekend (or 2 days) in Barcelona is more than enough time which is good news for us time to those of us who don’t have a lot of vacation days to spare.  Here’s Part 1 of the series:  …