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I was about 12 years old when I saw the movie Schindler’s List for the first time.

Unforgettable. Horrifying but equally magnificent.

One of the most impressive cinematographic shots I’ve ever seen was the little girl in the red coat turning up in Oskar Schindler’s (Liam Neeson) viewpoint when he was overlooking the Jewish quarter of Krakow as it was being swept clean by the Nazis – while he was having a leisurely trip by horse for fun. The girl with the red coat walking around in a part of Krakow in full turmoil. The red coat together with the flame of a candle being the only colours in an otherwise totally black-and-white movie.

Krakow walking tour: Kazimierz and the Jewish Ghetto
Not many things beat such a strong image, wonderfully portrayed by Steven Spielberg. Yet there are some instants that surpass even the most memorable and magnificent movie moments. That sort of moment that sends that tingly feeling down your spine. That sort of moment that can emotionally completely overpower you.

That sort of moment completely overwhelmed me when recently visiting that very same Jewish quarter on a Krakow walking tour. While strolling around the streets of the Jewish quarter, that very same moment from Shindler’s List flashed through my memories. For an instant I felt like I got struck by lightning. The whole area already exhumes raw emotions and when your brain takes you for a trip down on memory lane towards that very same moment you watched Schindler’s List as a 12-year old, it only reinforces your entire experience.

I turned more silent than I already was that day. I felt melancholic and even a bit sad. At the same time I felt privileged of being able to walk around in such a historically rich environment. Not having to worry for my safety, not for a single minute. So much changed in the world since World War II. But we should never take our current world for granted.

Never.

Our free walking tour of Krakow, Poland
Krakow’s Kazimierz district, is one of the most culturally and historically rich parts of the city, and is home to the ancient Jewish quarter. Jewish inhabitants flourished in this part of Krakow for centuries until they were forcibly relocated in 1941 by the German occupying forces into the Krakow ghetto, located across the river in Podgórze.

This self-guided Krakow walking tour explores these both districts, offering a fascinating insight into the history of Poland and its Jewish community.

Where to stay in Kazimierz
Krakow has many amazing places to stay to be honest but we preferred to stay outside of the more frequently visited Old Town and instead opted for a stay in Kazimierz. Hotel Puro Kazimierz was excellently located as a starting point for this Krakow walking tour through Kazimierz and the former Jewish ghetto.
Kazimierz: The Jewish District
Between June 1942 and March 1943, a part of lively Krakow died: so many innocent people got killed or families got separated.

Yet, Jewish culture has never never flourished more Krakow than it does today. In fact, no other place in Europe has preserved a sense of pre-war Jewish culture better than Kazimierz in Krakow.

As a result, many Jews are returning to Krakow, claiming and embracing their heritage and filling Kazimierz with life again. The return of contemporary Jewish culture in the area has begun!

Standing outside the Old synagogue in Krakow’s Kazimierz district, I can hear the thumping rhythm of drums and guitars drifting from the different bars and restaurants in the neighbourhood.

Kazimierz, the district that was systematically destroyed during World War II, is alive once more.

This part of our Krakow walking tour – north of the Vistula river – takes you through the historic Jewish District where Krakow Jews lived before the atrocities of World War II took place. Some of the most remarkable sight are the New Jewish Cemetery, a place where prominent Jews were buried in the 19th and 20th centuries and the Old Synagogue, the oldest remaining example of Jewish architecture in Poland.

Kazimierz is the perfect place to stroll around and take it all in. While it doesn’t boast any famous attractions, Kazimierz offers a peak into pre-war Jewish life. Traditional façades with Jewish symbols can be found throughout the streets of Kazimierz and go hand in hand with the current modern arts colourfully displayed on concrete.

The Jewish district also houses some incredible bars and restaurants. Our favorites while exploring Krakow were:

  • Barka – We were so sad to have missed dinner at Barka, it was highly recommended by locals! The laidback atmosphere, ambient decorations and great menu were to guarantee a great evening out.

  • Hamsa – While in the Jewish Quarter, why not enjoy the multi-flavored Middle Eastern kitchen? The menu brings together typical Israeli dishes like shish kebab, Moroccan lamb with couscous, baked eggplant with bulgur, and the Palestinian dessert Knafeh.

  • Alchemia od Kuchni – we stumbled upon this lunch spot while strolling around in the Jewish Quarter. The menu is quite short but definitely worth it, it even includes some vegan options! Go there for delicious burgers, quinoa bowls or hummus dips.

Kazimierz: The Krakow Jewish Ghetto
South of the Vistula river is where you’ll enter the previous Jewish Ghetto. In April 1940 Kraków’s Jews were ordered to leave Kazimierz, in keeping the his desire for Krakow to be a Jew-free city, and settle across the river.

As a result of the resettlement in late 1940, Kraków’s Jewish population was reduced from 65.000 Jews to only 16.000 Jews that were deemed necessary to maintain the economy at the time, with the 50.000-ish others forcibly deported to labour camps like Auschwitz-Birkenau. Their property and possessions confiscated with the exception of what they could carry into the ghetto.

Ghetto Heroes Square, the 1st stop on the walking tour in the former Jewish Ghetto
A 3 metre high wall was erected around the confines of the ghetto, crowned with arches conscientiously designed to resemble Jewish tombstones. The remnants of the Ghetto Wall is one of the first sights you’ll encounter in this part of Krakow. Four guarded entrance gates accessed the ghetto – the main gate to the ghetto once standing where the present entrance to the Ghetto Heroes square is, coming up from the Vistula river.

The Ghetto Heroes Square – with its 33 memorial chairs of iron and bronze – symbolizes the tragedy of the Polish Jews.



Many Jews also worked outside the ghetto, particularly in the Zabłocie industrial district, which included Oskar Schindler’s factory at ul. Lipowa 4. Do not skip a visit to Oskar Schindler’s Museum! It’s conveniently located on this walking route and will provide you with

The rest of the walking tour will take you along some of the most tragic places in Krakow like the entrance to the sewers Jews used to escape Krakow and the ghetto. It’s hard to comprehend what the people living here had to go through but the voice of guide can put some much needed context to é seemingly innocent sewer lid. If you like to explore the Jewish Ghetto with a guide, you can check out this tour and
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The Negev Desert, located just a mere few hours drive from Tel Aviv, Israel, is the kind of raw and dusty paradise we were looking for when booking our tickets. If you’ve been following along here for any stretch of time, it’s no secret we love desert landscapes. Kristof and I have spent countless days exploring the Atacama Desert back on our Andes road trip in Chile, and it was exciting to finally experience the Negev Desert linked to so many religious and historic tales in Israel!

Have you ever fallen head over heels in love with a place? That’s the epitome of travel isn’t it? And boy, we fell for Israel HARD.

We rented a car from Tel Aviv and even after half an hour we could already see the rocky Israeli desert catching up on us. After some research we selected a boutique self catering cottage in Zuqim for the next few days. Midbara Cabins was the perfect glamping hideout in the middle of the Negev Desert and centrally located amidst all the surrounding attractions and promising beautiful views!

It felt like home right after the first day on the road. Back to our most beloved landscape: the desert!

Top left: boutique Midbara Cabins; Top Right: badlands landscapes of the Negev Desert; Bottom left: sunrise at Masada; Bottom right: hiking the snake path to Masada
Are you ready to discover more of Israel’s Negev Desert? Take a look at what took our interest on our two night, three days stay in this stunning part of the world.

Hey, thinking about planning a trip to Israel? Here are some posts that might be useful for your trip:

Negev Desert: the ultimate Israeli desert road trip
Sweet teas and falafel are not to be missed in Israel, but pleasant surprises like raw unspoiled landscapes and epic romantic sunsets every evening just dazzled us. The days felt anchored by the incredible sights that set apart this region. It is home to landscapes that are completely unique to this part of the world!

Take a look at our road trip guide to the Negev Desert and see just why you’ll want to visit this part of Israel too!

The view over the desert badlands from Masada
How to get to the Negev Desert from Tel Aviv
To get from Tel Aviv to the Negev Desert, or from Jerusalem for that matter, there are a few options. It all depends on what part of the Negev Desert you want to explore, it covers half of Israel after all.

By plane:
The newly opened Ramon International Airport Eilat has an hourly service from Tel Aviv and handles all flights coming to Eilat, the southernmost part of Israel near the Red Sea.

By bus:
From Tel Aviv or Jerusalem you can easily catch a bus to Be’er Sheva or Eilat. Towns and villages throughout the Negev are connected by bus to Be’er Sheva, but service could be infrequent. Try to book your bus ticket in advance in order to avoid having to stand the entire way there.

By car:
What some folks don’t realize is that there’s more to the Negev Desert than just Masada and the Dead Sea! It isn’t just a remote box of sand, there are roads. So, you can easily take a rental car from Tel Aviv directly to your destination in the Negev Desert and explore surrounding attractions from there, which is what we did.

Two highways for private vehicles cross the Negev from north to south:
– Route 90: The eastern Jordan Valley route from Jerusalem past the Dead Sea to Eilat.
– Route 40: The central route, through Be’er Sheva and Mitzpe Ramon (Israel’s Grand Canyon), which will merge with the eastern route.


We suggest make a true Israeli desert road trip out of it and driving south on Highway 40 towards Eilat from Tel Aviv. The landscape becomes strikingly beautiful shortly south of S’de Boker (home and gravesite of David Ben-Gurion). This road actually runs right through the Makhtesh Ramon – Israel’s ‘Grand Canyon’. We took Route 90 on our way back to take in the sights near de Dead Sea. The infrastructure and roads are in excellent condition and even better than back home in Belgium.

Why limit yourself to just a day trip to the Dead Sea and Masada? We recommend staying overnight in the Negev Desert instead! Which is exactly what we did. We loved staying in the stylish boutique cabins and private pool with views over the surrounding desert landscape. Highly recommend.
Dead Sea and Masada day tour vs. overnight stay in the Negev Desert?
If you’re short on time or just looking to spend the day floating in the Dead Sea, you might want to head to the southern part of the Dead Sea near Ein Bokek. A day tour to the Dead Sea and Masada, like this one, might be right up your alley!

Not venturing deeper into the Negev Desert might be a mistake though. To truly experience the remoteness and beauty, go glamping under the stars like we did at Midbara Cabins. Hook up a rental car in Tel Aviv for 3 days and explore the desert on your own!

Why wouldn’t we recommend one of the most popular day trips from Tel Aviv or Jerusalem? Well, because it is kinda rushed and touristy. We preferred to float into the Dead Sea on our own schedule and loved hiking the Snake Path up to Masada on our own pace.

So, bottom line? The best way to visit the Negev Desert is to stay overnight! By choosing to stay overnight in the Negev Desert, you can still support the local economy and you can can do it at your own leisure. That’s a win/win guys!

Best thing to do at Midbara Cabins is to enjoy an epic sunset, painting the desert into a golden glow, right from your backyard.
Where to stay in the Negev Desert
Tucked away in the peaceful village of Zuqim, south of the Dead Sea, is Midbara Cabins. The beautiful boutique resort is located, together with 3 other resorts, right next to the Nachal Ashosh (River Ashosh) reserve and guarantees spectacular views!

We were seeking peace and quiet, a hammock, a private pool and vistas that would blow our socks off. Midbara Cabins was exactly what we needed!

This small family-run property has 13 handmade mud huts peppered throughout the desert landscape. Each mud hut is individually unique. Equipped with all modern amenities you need to enjoy your stay, most cabins also have a dumpling pool to cool off, a hot tub or chilly desert evenings, a barbecue and deck chairs to enjoy the most spectacular scenery and sunsets you’ll ever experience.

Bonus: a traditional Israeli breakfast spread is delivered straight to your room for 60NIS per person.

You can bring your own food, a fridge is provided in every cabin, but there’s also the honesty pantry. A pantry stocked with all amenities you need from wine and soft drinks to olive oil, pastas and sauces and snacks. Fancy a glass of wine and Israeli cheese platter while watching the sun drip behind the horizon? Check!

We highly recommend a stay at Midbara Cabins if you’re visiting the Negev Desert!

Things to do in the Negev Desert
There’s more to the Negev Desert than just a quick dip in the salty waters of the Dead Sea. Yes, it is a once in a lifetime experience but there are other hidden gems ready to be discovered. Here are the top 5 things to do when you’re visiting the Negev Desert.

1. Walk on the moon in Mitzpe Ramon/Ramon Crater
Nicknamed Israel’s Grand Canyon, the Ramon Crater is anything but unimpressive. The sheer size alone will have you at awe, never mind the view. Mitzpe Ramon, which means Ramon viewpoint, offers the best..
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The Tel Aviv skyline as seen from Jaffa
Heading to Israel and looking for the perfect things to do in Tel Aviv? We just returned and have rounded up the best the city has to offer in this Tel Aviv travel guide!

Since long we have dreamt of visiting Israel. It’s the contrasts that make it so unique. Where else can you see both devout worshippers and LGTB party seekers coincide together? Israel also boasts mazing nature, countless historic and religious sites and the coolest city in the Mediterranean. Now that’s a lot to pack for such a small country!

Consider us a fan and we bet you’ll fall in love with Tel Aviv too. So if you are looking for the best Tel Aviv travel guide – here are the best things you absolutely cannot miss in Tel Aviv!
Things to do in Tel Aviv: a travel guide to the coolest city in the Mediterranean
Cool off at the amazing beaches
Israel’s most solid and constant border might be Tel Aviv’s most beautiful attraction: the Mediterranean Sea. The shores of Tel Aviv are both stunning and easily accessible: double win!

With fresh seafood to eat and countless beaches from which to get a tan or to enjoy the sunset, Tel Aviv’s beaches are one of its most inviting features.

Spot street art in Florentin
We’ve always been suckers for street art so this is one thing we always check out first: is there some interesting spray paint on the Tel Aviv walls? Fortunately for us TONS!

Murals can be found in bits and pieces around Tel Aviv but the highest concentration are on the walls of the Florentin neighborhood. Check out Florentin St, Khatserim St, HaNagarim St, Tsrifin St and HaMasor St for the best collections.

If you are up for a real treat, join a Tel Aviv Street Art tour !
Have a vegan brunch
Claimed to be the world’s plant-based capital, Tel Aviv is the ultimate vegan foodie heaven. And what better way to experience these organic food sensations than with a sumptuous brunch?! Having a vegan brunch should be one of your key things to do while in Tel Aviv.

Tel Aviv isn’t joking when it lays claim to the title. Almost every restaurant in the heart of the city will cater some innovative, delicious and vegan dishes. But our deliciousness award goes to Meshek Barzilay where we had an incredibly good Israeli vegan brunch for two!

Other amazing vegan brunches can be had at Anastasia and Cafe XoHo (I highly recommend the turmeric smoothie with almond butter –which is super thick and creamy).
Get your hipster vibes up at Neve Tzedek
The first Jewish neighborhood outside of Jaffa’s walls and considered as one of Tel Aviv’s prettiest districts, it is art and artistry that has made Neve Tzedek the attraction for visitors today. Neve Tzedek is a peaceful haven and retreat in bustling Tel Aviv.

Many locals, as well as tourists, happily spend time wandering the attractive narrow streets, admiring the architecture, the village-like atmosphere and enjoying a bite or two in the cute Neve Tzedek restaurants and cafes. Definitely stop at Anita’s for the best scoop of ice cream in Tel Aviv!

Shabazi Street is Neve Tzedek’s main thoroughfare with art galleries and boutique shops. Make sure you wander down the side streets though, you’ll uncover some surprising little shops and buildings (oh and loads of pretty flowers too :-)).
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Located in the northwest of Argentina, the dusty city of Cafayate feels a million miles from the verdant green vineyards of Europe, which I used to associate with wine production. Yet, behind the imposing red rock formations of Cafayate’s Quebrada lies Argentina’s hidden other wine region: the birthplace of Argentina’s Torrontes and home to more than a handful of excellent bodegas.

This post is a complete guide to help you plan your visit to the mecca of Torrontes, including the best wineries in Cafayate and how to tour them.

From wine tasting and exploring the Quebrada de las Conchas to tasting the best empanadas in Argentina, you may just find that you fall a little bit in love with this beautiful part of Argentina.


The best Cafayate wineries: a guide to wine tasting in Cafayate
Best time to visit Cafayate
Although it is pleasant to visit year-round, the best time of year to visit Cafayate is generally from October until April. Spring (September-November) will be warm but pleasant, summer (January and February) will be hot.

Harvesting takes place in March and is considered to be the best time to visit the vineyards when they’re all lush and ripe with grapes.

We were there just after most wineries had done their pruning in September, so we didn’t see much green but it was still beautiful! The high altitude vineyards in Cafayate lie between 1,700 and 2,000 meters which means even in September the power of the sun must be taken into account and protection from UV rays is always a sensible idea at least with a cap or hat.


Why go wine tasting in Cafayate?
Whilst Cafayate isn’t as famous as the Mendoza wine territory further south, we were delighted to pass through Argentina’s other wine country, a region famous for its Torrontes – a dry but fruity white wine unique to Argentina.

Dotted throughout Cafayate’s beautiful region are tens of wineries and thousands of acres of vineyards and just like in Mendoza they are stunning! Best of all? They are very affordable to visit and almost never require any reservations beforehand.

For the wine lovers amongst you, a trip to Cafayate probably means hours spent sipping reds, whites and rosés – just how many depends on your budget and how you intend to get around.



Best Cafayate wineries
Whilst the grapes are harvested outside of the town, for those on two feet or with little time to explore the area, there are a number of fabulous bodegas offering tastings within walking distance of the town centre. Here’s the lowdown on visiting the best Cafayate wineries.

– Bodega Nanni –
Address: Silverio Chavarría 151, A4427ALC Cafayate, Salta, Argentina

Opening hours: Open every day, from 10:00 to 13:00 and from 15:00 to 18:00

Wine tastings: Wine tours are free. Tastings of four wines available from 40 pesos to 70 pesos, depending on the vintage.

Eco factor: Bodega Nanni offers a variety of wines like Malbec, Bonarda, Tannat, Torrontes and their premium blend, Arcanas. All wines are biologically produced.

Why we love it: The Bodega offers a ‘hidden’ restaurant in the courtyard with a variety of regional dishes.




– Bodega El Transito –
Address: 102, A4472 Cafayate, Salta, Argentina

Opening hours: Monday to Sundays from 9 am to 12:30 pm & from 3 pm to 6:30 pm

Wine tastings: 20 pesos per person for 3 wines. No wine tours available.

Wine styles: Malbec, Torrontés, Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah

Why we love it: the NBS attitude of this bodega. Its chique but minimalist interior makes this a very stylish tasting scene.



– Bodega El Esteco –
Address: Ruta 40 y Ruta 68, A4427 Cafayate, Salta, Argentina

Opening hours: Monday to Friday, with wine tours at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 2:30 pm, 3:30 pm, 4:30 pm, 5:30 pm, 6:30 pm. Saturday, Sunday and Holidays: wine tours at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm.

Wine tastings: All wine tours include a simple two-wine tasting (125 pesos per person)- one white and one red.

Wine styles: Torrontes, Malbec, Merlot, Tannat, Syrah, Bonarda Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Chardonnay.

Why we love it: This is a winery you can actually stay at! The old converted estancia house with luxurious accommodations and a lovely old world ambiance is called the Patios de Cafayate Hotel. We had the most wonderful lunch (most dishes are vegetarian) on the back patio with a glass of the Bodega Esteco Ciclos Blend.





– Bodega Piattelli –
Address: Ruta Provincial 2, Cafayate, Salta, Argentina

Opening hours: Open every day, from 09:00 to 19:00 (lunch service only). Wine tours available 7 days a week with tours at 10 am, 11 am, 12 pm, 1 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm, 5 pm and 6 pm.

Wine tastings: 100 to 150 pesos depending on the level of the wine. 5 course menu with accompanied wine starting at 500 pesos.

Wine styles: Bodega Piattelli offers a variety of wines like Malbec, Tannat, Torrontes, Cabernet Franc and Carbernet Sauvignon.

Why we love it: The location amongst the acres of vineyards is sublime! What a sight this must be when they’re all lush and green. On our opinion the bodega with the prettiest location and best views over the vineyards with a mountain backdrop!


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We stayed in Kasteelhoeve De Kerckhem near the blossoming orchards. It was perfectly located near picturesque biking trails and we loved the luxury countryside vibe!
Psssst, this post contains affiliate links. If you click one of them, we may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

The perfect weekend blossom spotting in Haspengouw, Belgium

When you ask anyone that’s been to Belgium, the fruity region of Haspengouw -tucked away in the Limburg province– will hardly make it as a conversation starter. While popular among us Belgians, it’s been a well-kept secret for anyone outside our little kingdom. So maybe it’s time to let you in on the fun?
– How we spend a weekend chasing blossoms –

Brussels, fries, diamonds, chocolate, beer: for such a small country, Belgium sure does pack a punch. But blossoms? Not something Belgium is internationally acclaimed for. Yet Haspengouw, Belgium is considered the largest fruit region of Western Europe, exporting over 300.000 tons of pears each year. Meaning lots of fruit trees and blossoms!

Haspengouw beckoned us, its promise of fragrant walks among those blossoming fruit trees inviting us to discover its beauty. Our curiosity was majorly piqued!


Belgium travel tips
First and foremost, let’s talk about traveling in Belgium. Belgium has the densest trail network in the world. So thank you Belgium for making it easy to travel around by local transport.

Haspengouw is easily reached through gateway cities like Sint-Truiden or Tongeren. But to appreciate Haspengouw at its best, you best get yourself a rental car and some bikes to explore the countryside and its quaint villages at your leisure. The entire Limburg province isn’t just gobsmacking gorgeous, it also has an exquisite cycling network connected by numeric knots that allows you to customize your own cycling route!

Travel Tip: for those who like an active weekend trip, Haspengouw and by extension Limburg is a true paradise on earth. Bonus: electric bikes are easily rentable which makes cycling a breeze! E-bikes are available as from 25€ per day per bike.


Cycling in blooming Haspengouw
This trip reminded us of why we love getting an early start of the day. After checking into our our lovely hosts of the weekend-, we were only getting more excited about being here. How amazing is it to just unpack a picnic while sheltering from the sun under a canopy of white and pink flowers, in the rural Belgian countryside?! The scent of the blossoms and all the freshly made yummie goods made my tastebuds dance of excitement!

After we’ve dived into our metaphorical pool of chocolate covered strawberries and champaign, we dusted off our crumbs and continued our route. Flower paradise is waiting!


Travel Tip: Pssssst… Want to arrange your own picnic? While staying at Kasteelhoeve De Kerckhem you can ask the lady of the house to prepare a packed lunch and tuck it into your picnic basket or ask (we fell in love with this one!) the Borgloon Tourism Office to prepare you one. You can contact them on toerisme@borgloon.be. You need to make reservations 3 days beforehand and it costs 9,00€ per person.

Learning about the local produce at a local fruit grower
There’s no better way to recover after an opulent picnic than with a little sightseeing. We bumped into plenty of local fruit growers along our cycling route –we were in te largest fruit growing region in Western Europe after all– and chose to visit one of the biofarmers: Jacobs Fruit.

Jacobs Fruit open their doors for the general public two times a day in April. We definitely enjoyed learning how those blossoms will turn into juicy fruit. At the end of the tour, you get to taste all the regional products they produce! Entry tickets are 4,00€ per person (to pay by cash on site).

Spotting art and castles
Hidden between the thick blanket of fragrant petals, Haspengouw offers numerous castles and art installations peppered across the rolling landscape. At this point we didn’t have much much energy left for a thorough visit and decided to dedicate a few hours of sight-seeing and hiking for our second day.

Majestic castles like Castle Klee and Castle Bommershoven are open for visitors and art installations like Reading Between The Lines (a peekaboo church) and Untitled #158 (a round construction with beautiful 360° views) are just a short walk along the cycling route, ideal to stretch your legs!

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This past September, we took off for a mid-week escape to the driest place on earth – the Atacama Desert, as part of a larger trip throughout the South-American Andes. Located in the north of Chile, only a two hour flight from the capital Santiago, we found ourselves completely immersed in nature. There is something to be said for breaking away from all the hustle and bustle and totally unplug!

About the Terrantai Lodge
It is no secret around here that we love staying in nice hotels. We also happen to be a big fan of accommodations that support the local community, so when the opportunity to stay at the Terrantai Lodge in San Pedro de Atama presented itself, it was a match made in heaven! The Terrantai Lodge is actually a transformed historic house, located in the center of historic San Pedro de Atacama, and owned by a member of a local Chilean tribe.

There was no denying that we didn’t want to leave — four nights had us craving for more time. The Atacama Desert has long become an area we wanted to retreat to. It just has that edge of adventures outdoors, exploration and a touch of luxury to it.

What we loved about our time at the Terrantai Lodge was how serene it was. Tucked away behind its natural stone walls (found locally!), it formed a perfect oasis in the middle of San Pedro town. It was a perfect hideout!

Accommodation at the Terrantai Lodge
The Terrantai Lodge has 21 individually decorated guest rooms and superior rooms. Superior rooms include access to a small garden and patio. The lodge features an outdoor pool (not heated) along with free self parking (in a separate location about 2 min from the lodge).

Food & Drinks
Terrantai Lodge offers a buffet breakfast and many of you will be glad to hear that coca tea is available throughout the day to help you fight altitude sickness or to take with you on any of your day trips. There is no restaurant on site but we received the best recommendations for an evening out – local restaurants, locally produced ice creams… all is focussed on thriving the local economy.

Every evening we scheduled enough time to enjoy the complementary wine and cheese tasting before dinner, reveling in the fading light and beautifully appointed surroundings. We loved the lodge’s pale pink terra-cotta walls, hues pulled from the surrounding desert landscape, which transformed our evenings into romantic alcohol filled tête-à-têtes.

6 day trips into the Atacama Desert from the Terrantai Lodge
We’ve been longing to explore the Atacama Desert for years and we embraced and etched every single moment into our deepest memories. It was idyllic, otherworldly, simply magnificent in the sense that we seemed to be worlds away.

While there are loads of tour operators in San Pedro de Atacama that can take you anywhere your hart desires, we opted for a self-drive getaway and did all of the following trips on our own:

1. Explore the alien landscape of the Valle de la Luna: we opted to experience the sunset at the Valle de la Luna while the last sunbeams turned the moon-like landscape into the most beautiful pink and terracotta hues.

2. Spot flamingos and salt flats at the National Flamingo Reserve: The flamingo reserve lies in the middle of a massive formation of salt flats that stretches for miles. The flamingos were shy, and thankfully we were the only guests for about 30 minutes, quietly admiring their pink feathers from our vantage point on the shore. Atacama is at the center of three species’ territories and we learned how to differentiate Chilean, James’s, and Andean flamingos by the color of their legs and wingtips.

3. Float in Laguna Cejar: boasting a 28% salinity level, Laguna Cejar is the second most salty lake on earth, only slightly less salty than the famed Dead Sea (33%). Though a perfectly sunny and hot day, the water in Laguna Cejar was terribly cold. It was so much fun to hop into the ice cold water and instantly bob to the surface. Floating with a spectacular view of the snow capped Andes in the distance.

4. Walk among plumes of steam at the El Tatio..
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Krakow is becoming an increasingly popular destination for many Europeans. Filled with rich history and some of the most photogenic streets I’ve ever walked along, it isn’t hard to see why. Just a short 2 hour flight from Brussels makes it the perfect city trip location to spend a long weekend. Though there’s more to Krakow than just it’s Old Town, when you’re only in the city for a weekend, you could easily spend all your time here without ever having to leave. Somewhere between the pastel facades and churches, Krakow just might convince you to start planning your next city break.


Fabulous things to do on a city break in Krakow, Poland
A brief history of Krakow
Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Archaeological evidence proves that there were settlements in and around Krakow dating way back to 50,000BC. Legend attributes the city’s founding to Krakus, the mythical ruler who vanquished the Wawel Dragon, Krakow’s mascot which you’ll probably encounter numerous times during your trip.

Krakow grew more and more prosperous and became the capital of Poland in the 11th century, with Wawel Royal Castle becoming the residence of Polish kings. Krakow particularly flourished under the rule of Kazimierz the Great (1333-1370), who expanded Wawel Castle and established two new cities – Kleparz and Kazimierz – which were closely connected with and would later be incorporated into Krakow.

The city knew many ups and downs and the Polish capital was moved to Warsaw. When the Second World War broke out, Nazi German forces entered Krakow, setting up command of their ‘General Government’ (the Nazi term for the occupied Polish lands slated to be purified and incorporated into the Rhineland) in Wawel Castle. The Jewish population was ejected from Kazimierz into a ghetto. The Jewish ghetto (with more than 15.000 inhabitants) was liquidated in 1943 with its occupants shot where they stood, sent to work in Płaszów Camp or sent to their deaths in nearby Auschwitz.

Though a brutal part in Krakow’s history, the Nazi occupancy of the city guaranteed a good preservation of Krakow’s monuments.

Where to eat in Krakow
  • Pierożki u Vincenta – head here for a traditional Polish pierogi (think savoury or sweet dumplings). They come with different types of fillings and are usually served with caramelized onions on top and some sour cream.

  • Stara Paczkarnia – the best Paczki (Polish doughnut) in Krakow can be found here. They’re very filling so come hungry! We loved the ones with Rose and Apple-Cinnamon flavour. YUM!
  • Barka – We were so sad to have missed dinner at Barka, it was highly recommended by locals! The laidback atmosphere, ambient decorations and great menu were to guarantee a great evening out.

  • Hamsa – While in the Jewish Quarter, why not enjoy the multi-flavored Middle Eastern kitchen? The menu brings together typical Israeli dishes like shish kebab, Moroccan lamb with couscous, baked eggplant with bulgur, and the Palestinian dessert Knafeh.

  • Alchemia od Kuchni – we stumbled upon this lunch spot while strolling around in the Jewish Quarter. The menu is quite short but definitely worth it, it even includes some vegan options! Go there for delicious burgers, quinoa bowls or hummus dips.

  • Kolanko N°6 – it was supposed to only be a stop on my photography tour around Kazimierz but we simply fell in love with this bistro! They had the best savory crepes that you can order with different fillings. If you enjoy tea, they have a great fruity selection too!

  • Pod Aniolami – if you’re looking for a great dining experience with a touch of medieval atmosphere, history and charm, do not miss out on Pod Aniolami! This hidden gem is located in the gothic cellars of a 13th-century building. The menu offers mouth-watering delicacies of Polish cuisine such as homemade lard, Polish and Russian dumplings in a variety of flavours, succulent goose breast carpaccio and mountain rivers’ trout a’la shepherd. Carnivores only I’m afraid.

  • Veganic – if you’re looking for a vegan friendly lunch spot, Veganic is your haven. While it is no doubt one of the best vegan restaurants in town (90% of the menu is vegan), its it beautifully presented dishes, gorgeous patio seating, and tasty combinations that attract the crowds. We devoured the mushroom ravioli!

What to do in Krakow Old Town
Visit Wawel Castle and Cathedral – Don’t miss out on the majestic Wawel castle, perched on a picturesque hill overlooking Krakow. One of the best places in the city to learn about Polish history!
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Krakow is becoming an increasingly popular destination for many Europeans. Filled with rich history and some of the most photogenic streets I’ve ever walked along, it isn’t hard to see why. Just a short 2 hour flight from Brussels makes it the perfect city trip location to spend a long weekend. Though there’s more to Krakow than just it’s Old Town, when you’re only in the city for a weekend, you could easily spend all your time here without ever having to leave. Somewhere between the pastel facades and churches, Krakow just might convince you to start planning your next weekend getaway.


A complete weekend guide to Krakow, Poland
A brief history of Krakow
Krakow is one of the oldest cities in Poland. Archaeological evidence proves that there were settlements in and around Krakow dating way back to 50,000BC. Legend attributes the city’s founding to Krakus, the mythical ruler who vanquished the Wawel Dragon, Krakow’s mascot which you’ll probably encounter numerous times during your trip.

Krakow grew more and more prosperous and became the capital of Poland in the 11th century, with Wawel Royal Castle becoming the residence of Polish kings. Krakow particularly flourished under the rule of Kazimierz the Great (1333-1370), who expanded Wawel Castle and established two new cities – Kleparz and Kazimierz – which were closely connected with and would later be incorporated into Krakow.

The city knew many ups and downs and the Polish capital was moved to Warsaw. When the Second World War broke out, Nazi German forces entered Krakow, setting up command of their ‘General Government’ (the Nazi term for the occupied Polish lands slated to be purified and incorporated into the Rhineland) in Wawel Castle. The Jewish population was ejected from Kazimierz into a ghetto. The Jewish ghetto (with more than 15.000 inhabitants) was liquidated in 1943 with its occupants shot where they stood, sent to work in Płaszów Camp or sent to their deaths in nearby Auschwitz.

Though a brutal part in Krakow’s history, the Nazi occupancy of the city guaranteed a good preservation of Krakow’s monuments.

Where to eat in Krakow
  • Pierożki u Vincenta – head here for a traditional Polish pierogi (think savoury or sweet dumplings). They come with different types of fillings and are usually served with caramelized onions on top and some sour cream.

  • Stara Paczkarnia – the best Paczki (Polish doughnut) in Krakow can be found here. They’re very filling so come hungry! We loved the ones with Rose and Apple-Cinnamon flavour. YUM!
  • Barka – We were so sad to have missed dinner at Barka, it was highly recommended by locals! The laidback atmosphere, ambient decorations and great menu were to guarantee a great evening out.

  • Hamsa – While in the Jewish Quarter, why not enjoy the multi-flavored Middle Eastern kitchen? The menu brings together typical Israeli dishes like shish kebab, Moroccan lamb with couscous, baked eggplant with bulgur, and the Palestinian dessert Knafeh.

  • Alchemia od Kuchni – we stumbled upon this lunch spot while strolling around in the Jewish Quarter. The menu is quite short but definitely worth it, it even includes some vegan options! Go there for delicious burgers, quinoa bowls or hummus dips.

  • Kolanko N°6 – it was supposed to only be a stop on my photography tour around Kazimierz but we simply fell in love with this bistro! They had the best savory crepes that you can order with different fillings. If you enjoy tea, they have a great fruity selection too!

  • Pod Aniolami – if you’re looking for a great dining experience with a touch of medieval atmosphere, history and charm, do not miss out on Pod Aniolami! This hidden gem is located in the gothic cellars of a 13th-century building. The menu offers mouth-watering delicacies of Polish cuisine such as homemade lard, Polish and Russian dumplings in a variety of flavours, succulent goose breast carpaccio and mountain rivers’ trout a’la shepherd. Carnivores only I’m afraid.

  • Veganic – if you’re looking for a vegan friendly lunch spot, Veganic is your haven. While it is no doubt one of the best vegan restaurants in town (90% of the menu is vegan), its it beautifully presented dishes, gorgeous patio seating, and tasty combinations that attract the crowds. We devoured the mushroom ravioli!

What to do in Krakow Old Town
Visit Wawel Castle and Cathedral – Don’t miss out on the majestic Wawel castle, perched on a picturesque hill overlooking Krakow. One of the best places in the city to learn about Polish history!
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Beyond the parties and beer of Barrio Bellavista lies a haven for food and design lovers alike. That haven is called Barrio Italia. Settled by Italian immigrant craftsmen in the 19th century, Barrio Italia is Santiago’s new rising star – filled to the brim with Instagram-worthy restaurants, cozy café’s and delightful local shops.

Yep, welcome to Santiago’s hipster-approved hang-outs!

Don’t worry, although tattoo-sleeves, a perfectly bushy beard and vintage fashion might help you fit into Santiago’s coolest corners, they’re definitely not essential.
Barrio Italia: Santiago’s secret hipster haven on the rise
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Cerro Santa Lucia, Barrio Bellavista’s streetart, Cerro San Cristóbal, Sky Costanera… – those are the attractions usually visited by people wandering the streets of Santiago. But to visit only Santiago’s stereotypical landmarks would be a big mistake. Plus, you’d miss the opportunity to spot a rare breed —the Chilean hipster— in its natural habitat.

Craft beer? Check

Avocado toast on most menus? Check

Perfect Instagram decors? Check

Barrio Italia rolls a perfect strike in most (all?) hipster categories. Endowing a new reputation for itself, the stylish neighbourhood of Barrio Italia has flourished into a hub for design-lovers and antique hunters looking for furniture and crafts. #shoplocal. The abundance of boutique restaurants and courtyard cafés makes it the quintessential location to experience Santiago at a slower pace.

Getting to Barrio Italia
So close and yet so undiscovered by Santiago tourists. It’s a rarity these days but Barrio Italia is such an exceptional gem. To get to Barrio Italia one just hops into the nearest Metro Station and hops off at Metro Station Santa Isabel. BOOM, you’re in Barrio Italia. In just a couple of minutes, you’ll find yourself in the midst of 7 blocks of hipster heaven.

What to see in Barrio Italia
Barrio Italia is one big open-air gallery, lined with postcard-perfect shops. You best enjoy it by simply strolling around and getting a little lost (or as lost as you can be in a 7-block radius). Undoubtedly you will step through an unassuming door into a full arcade of designer boutiques. Barrio Italia is full of surprises!

What struck us the most were the people though: trendy AF, tattoo-laden and super chill. I honestly wished I looked half as cool. A sheer contrast with the rest of Santiago’s citizens, who seem to be stuck in a time bubble. It’s like we got transported to New York’s Williamburgh, but minus the charcoal ice creams, man-buns and unicorn lattees (okay so maybe a few man-buns). There are enough unique bistros and design studios based here to guarantee some epic people-watching.

Soak up some local art in Galeria de arte Trece. They support modern Chilean art and organize a different exhibition each month. You can’t miss it, the gallery is easily spotted by the colourful mural outside.

Where to shop in Barrio Italia
In a neighborhood known for its craft furniture, any design-lover will eat their heart out. As will any self-respecting hipster: there’s craft furniture, craft jewelry, craft ice cream, craft EVERYTHING.

The antiques shops are Barrio Italia’s treasure troves though. Sprung up in the 1990s, when this neighbourhood was mainly settled by Italian immigrant craftsmen, these furniture workshops have been filled to the brim with everything from art deco tables and wobbly 1950s stools to antique desks, books and lights.

Here are some of our favourite shops:

Amoblé brings design up to date with their contemporary pieces. If you’re on a furniture hunting mission, Amoblé offers custom made pieces in the most vibrant colours for that South-American vibe.

Area Design might just be the most stylish furniture store in Barrio Italia. It’s a fantastic place to explore. Though, my heart sank when I realized there was no way I could bring home one of their statement chairs. No suitcase 101 could help me out.

Byrt & Co might be a more luggage-friendly shopping option. Once your eyes adjust to the psychedelic wallpaper, you’ll find loads of pretty things like their beautiful glassware.

Arte Cultivos boasts an exciting collection of plants lovingly displayed in brightly colourful pots. I never considered myself a plant-lover (they’re at much higher risk of slowly dying of dehydration), but who knew a souvenir cactus could be so appealing?

Where to eat in Barrio Italia
Barrio Italia is where you get your Santiago shopping done – with plenty of opportunities to refuel with a coffee, snack or pisco sour.

Though you might not find charcoal ice cream or drink your latte out of an avocado around here (yet), you’ll definitely feel the hipster spirit in Barrio Italia’s many instagram-worthy restaurants and bars. Food lovers will be spoilt for choice, especially around the Avenida Italia. So come hungry for all of the epic food you’ll gorge on!

Our absolutely favourite place for lunch is Silvestre Bistro. Their ceviche was the best I ever had and their seafood ravioli is to die for. Top it off with a pisco-sour and you’ll have a droolworthy lunch in one of the most beautiful restaurants in the area.

We chilled, we talked, and we enjoyed the neat vibe for an afternoon (or two)…

And then we were craving desert! Perfect for cooling down during summer or warming up during winter, Xoco Por Ti has it all. This vegetarian Chilean & French owned bar focuses solely in the preparation of cacao related beverages and ice creams (they use non-dairy milk!): hot chocolate, frappe chocolate and ice cream based on different types of cacao bean from all over the world.

Hipsters take their coffee and their brunch very seriously, and you’ll find the best of both at only 2 minutes apart. Xoco Por Ti offers to the best coffee and Cafe De La Candelaria offers the best brunch! Take a seat in this Victorian-themed café that is set upon a black-and-white checkered-tiled courtyard (Alice in Wonderland anyone?). Order a plate of avocado toast and a feast of tropical fruit. We rest our case.

Perfect for a light lunch or diner al fresco on a sultry Santiago summer night. The delicious tapas and cocktail menu of Ruca Bard is guaranteed to swoon you over.

Where to stay in Barrio Italia
Santiago is no stranger to gorgeous hotels or apartments and neither is Barrio Italia. In fact, we even wrote a separate article about the 8 unique and affordable accommodations in Santiago. And if you simply want to roll out of bed and pick up a cup of single-origin coffee around the corner or grab an avocado toast for breakfast down the street? Then why not choose to stay in Barrio Italia!

Our top pick when staying in Barrio Italia is CasaSur Charming Hotel, a stylish boutique hotel breathing that hipster vibe. Barrio Italia’s atmosphere is present in the hotel’s furniture, as if you’re walking around in one of the Barrio’s furniture shops.

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Heading to Santiago, Chile and looking for a place to stay?

From French-inspired neoclassical luxury to über contemporary lofts; when it comes to super beautiful accommodation, Santiago has it all! We’ve rounded up the 8 most stunning places to stay in Santiago in our list below.
Where to stay in Santiago, Chile can be daunting as the city is huge and distances can be large. Santiago accommodation also comes in all shapes and sizes: boutique hotels, luxury accommodation and stunning Airbnb options for those looking to feel more like a local.

When researching the best places to stay in Santiago, Chile for a recent road trip through the Andes, we were blown away by insanely beautiful (and hipster) options that popped up. We now have an incredible wishlist of dazzling Santiago accommodations waiting for us to lay your head to rest.

Looking for more Santiago inspiration? Click here for the perfect Free Walking Tour through Santiago, Chile!
8 Most Stunning Places To Stay In Santiago Chile
1. Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel
Image courtesy of Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel

Location | Coronel Santiago Bueras 188, Barrio Lastarria
Why we like it | We love small boutique hotels and with only fourteen rooms, set within a 1920s converted townhouse, the hotel offers an intimate setting and a truly personalized service.
Features | Outdoor swimming pool, spa service, small gym, on-site restaurant and on-site parking
Visit For | Personal service, Chilean wine tasting sessions, lush outdoor pool
Nightly Rate | $220+/€200+

Set in a renovated 1927 mansion, the Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel is right in the heart Santiago, close to main attractions such as Cerro Santa Lucía and the quirky Barrio Bellavista. the ideal location to start our Santiago walking tour. Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel boasts a 5-star like decor with its marble staircase and elegant outdoor pool.

Click here to book Casa Bueras Boutique Hotel
2. Ladera Boutique Hotel

Image courtesy of Ladera Boutique Hotel
Location | Los Araucanos 2021, Barrio Providencia
Why we like it | The pool, OMG, the pool and the incredible view!!!
Features | Rooftop pool and free use of bicycles
Nightly Rate | $140+/€130+

If you’re looking for a hotel with a more contemporary touch; the rooms at Ladera Boutique Hotel boast comfort and design rooms. Head up to the rooftop to watch the sun go down from the rooftop pool. The views are incredible and Sky Costanera is just 800 meters away. Did we mention there are free snacks f-after 7pm?!

Click here to book Ladera Boutique Hotel
3. Spacious Loft in Barrio Bellavista
Image courtesy of Airbnb owner
Location | Barrio Bellavista
Why we like it |footsteps away from the major attractions
Features | awesome swimming pool on the rooftop
Nightly Rate | $60+/€50+

Stunning Airbnb Plus with an ethnical/industrial vibe. Local in the smack centre of bohemian Barrio Bellavista, the loft is just a quick walk to great restaurants, the funicular and teleferico up to Cerro San Cristobal and street art. It is definitely a ‘party’ spot with a lot of clubs nearby, so light sleepers might have to pack some earplugs.

Click here to book the AirBnb Plus Spacious Loft in Barrio Bellavista
4. Hotel Magnolia
Image courtesy of Magnolia Hotel
Location | Paseo Huerfanos 539, Barrio Lastarria
Why we like it | The elegant vintage decor and personal service
Features | Terrace, library and shuttle service
Nightly Rate | $140+/€130+

Centrally located, the hotel is just one block away from Santa Lucía hill, where guests can appreciate a panoramic view of Santiago. The interior is elegantly decorated with vintage touches everywhere and makes it the perfect place for a romantic stay in Santiago, Chile.

Click here to book Hotel Magnolia
5. The Singular Santiago
Image courtesy of The Singular Santiago
Location | Merced 294, Barrio Lastarria
Why we like it | The dazzling views of Parque Forestal and refreshing cocktails at the rooftop bar!
Features | Outdoor pool, rooftop bar, an indulgent spa and fitness centre.
Nightly Rate | $280+/€250+

The Singular Santiago takes you back to colonial times. It combines 20th century design with neoclassical French architectural influences and the result is absolutely dazzling. The elegant interior, luscious wellness centre and impressive views all add to an extraordinary experience at The Singular Santiago.
Click here to book The Singular Santiago
6. Luminous Loft in Providencia
Image courtesy of Airbnb owner
Location |Providencia
Why we like it | Fantastic apartment, great location and an easy walk to Barrio Bellavista
Nightly Rate | $30+/€25+

Stylish and very well located Airbnb Plus apartment suited for 2 people. The luminous living room has a modern look with its concrete walls and the second floor boasts a sumptuous bed. First time to try Airbnb? Click here to get €25/$30 discount on your first booking!
Click here to book the AirBnb Plus Luminous Loft in Provedencia
7. CasaSur Charming Hotel
Image courtesy of CasaSur Charming Hotel
Location | Eduardo Hyatt 527, Barrio Italia
Why we like it | The hipster feel and proximity to artistic Barrio Italia
Features | Ticket service, a tour desk, outside patio, garden and free parking
Nightly Rate | $130+/€120+

CasaSur offer 6 rooms, giving this boutique hotel an intimate feel and put personal service to the top of their list. Moreover, CasaSur is located in the stylish hipster district of Barrio Italia, a short 2-minute walk from Santa Isabel Metro Station. Barrio Italia is cool neighborhood, known for its art and antiques. Just a 3-minute walk from CasaSur, you’ll find Italia Street where there are restaurants galore.
Click here to book CasaSur Charming Hotel
8. Dream Lastarria Penthouse

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