The city guide with everything you need to know about Amsterdam

Amsterdam City Guide | In Whirl of Inspiration

Now that I'm really starting to get this city, to learn its ins and outs and to confidently call it mine(cause it. is. mine), I thought that it would be nice to collect all my favorite places for eating, drinking (coffee & drinks), shopping and entertaining.  This guide will be found at the sidebar, so that you would find it quickly in case of searching something. And it will be renewed often, really often (aka after going out). 

If you live in Amsterdam or are willing to visit, feel free to take a look or two. So...

For lunch and coffee:

  • Cannibale Royale (Center, near Spui Square): Heavy wooden tables, atmosphere that gives you the chills (starting from the saws and the creepy portraits that hang from the wall) and greeeeat food. Serves until late (3am), but if you want to go in the rush hour  you should reserve a table.
  • Cafe de Jaren (Center, near Spui Square): Exquisitely bright thanks to its huge windows. It has tables outside by the river, for the good days too. A high ceiling, open and chic space for coffee, snacks and lunch.
  • CREA cafe (Center, East): The student cultural center's cafe is like it popped out of the "Murder in Orient Express", so perfectly cozy and buzzing and alive.
  • Coffee & Coconuts (De Pijp): An incredibly stylish shop by wood and ropes, 3 floors that contact with another, nice people, unbearably light and welcoming atmosphere. Such a favorite.
  • Ivy & Bros (Center, Red Lights): The Red District is full of  wonderful places for everything and this shop is no exception. Admire the huge (fake) shark jaws that hang from the wall and the granny's0house atmosphere and order a latte with your salmon and avocado sandwich.
  • Oba's coffee (Center, Central Station): East of the central station is the public Amsterdam's library. On the top floor, they have a loft bar-restaurant (buffet style). Portions big enough and value for money (don't forget that you live in the expensive Amsterdam). Let aside the perfect view.
  • Schinkelhaven Cafe (West, at the exit of Vondelpark): Having colored lights it can't go unnoticed. Even better when it gets dark for a drink, but also for food. Really cozy. Plus the cute waiters. :)
  • Sumo (center, Leidseplein): If you like Japanese cuisine, go there. The price for eating is fixed and you eat as much as you can. The best sushi I have ever eaten.

To drink:

  • Waterkant (Center, near Leidseplein): the perfect bar with picnic tables to drink our beer next to an Amstel's (never remember their names) tributary.
  • Bloemen bar (Center, near Spui Square): What a nice bar. Let me tell it again, what a nice bar. Reminiscent of the flower children and the hippie Woodstock. PLUS the have a huge disco balls and the organize the best parties.
  • De Biertuin (Center, East): Which the beer garden. So go to this beer garden, made by old bricks on the walls and a golden palm tree and drink your beer. (say beer one more time)
  • Casablanca Cafe (Center, Central Station): Come here for karaoke nights and go crazy. It is a really small bar, so it gets packed very quick. So, come early if you want to show this perfect(!) voice of yours.
  • Roest (East of the Central Station, in the world's end): It is a bit off center, but its great industrial style of this cafe will reward you. So effortlessly cool.
  • Tree Sisters Pub (Center, Rembrandtplein): Among all the touristy & kitchy places in Rembrandtplein there is this little gem. Seats to be lost in them (sooooo comfortable) and heavy wooden decoration. Order the "De Konnick" beer, it smells like caramel.
  • Club NYX (Center, Rembrandtplein): The most colorful gay bar (straight friendly too) with different music in every room (even in the toilets floor they have a DJ). See the best dressed guys and dance carefree as no Dutch casanovas will approach you every 10'. Unless you are a gay which changes a lot of course. 

For sweets:

  • Urban Cacao (Center, Rozengracht): The largest selection of chocolate bars from around the world, packed with the most impressive wrappers. And macarons and truffles and mind. blown. I sold my soul to the sugar god in there.
  • Petit Gateau (Center, Haarlemmerstraat): A petit space with petit sweet treats and petit confectionery workshops. Toooso sweet!

For shopping:

  • Klevering (Center, 2 stores): Whatever this store touches is turned in gold. Office supplies, books, kitchen equipment, selected furniture, jewelry and gadget, all bathed in the light of inspired designers.
  • Waterstones (Center, Spui Square): The bookstore that "stinks" UK. Go in there and stay there. No guilt. Plus I think I like the covers of the British publications more than the American ones. Just me being shallow and giving so much attention to the book covers. :) 
  • American Book Center (Center, Spui Square): Or the Amazon. Seriously this bookshop has everything written in English from the beginning of time. Everything.

TBA shops for DIY supplies, other places to have fun (apart from bars of course) and artsy fartsy situations. If you live in Amsterdam or you visited lately aand you have place to suggest I will be more than happy to hear (write them in the comments below). Have fun in Amsterdam, love that city and you will love it too.

Credits | Text & Image: Debbie Kortes

Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Moving in Amsterdam - first thoughts & places for a drink or food

amsterdam by fall.jpg

Those who follow me on Instagram (thank you for this!) may noticed that I moved in Amsterdam. I was organizing this trip since August and 3 weeks ago it really happened. I still can't conceive the fact that I trully live here for 3 whole weeks and I will continue doing so for at least some months. It doesn't fit properly in my brain. Thing is that the past 3 weeks have passed very quickly and they can be describedperiphrastically as a mishmash of severe cultural shock, wonderful walks, rainy days and thick fog, frenetic house search, Dutch bureaucracy and paperwork and infinite  bike rides.

What could I say about this city?

  • Firstly; the bicycles.  They are everywhere and they are make me anxious. The are like Greek car drivers, paying no attention to traffic lights or signs (cause in Dutch they know how to bike better than how to walk). But the bike paths? Oh maybe the most organized network that I have ever seen.
  • On the other hand, cars and trams are the total opposite. They freeze when they detect your foot touching the pavement from half a mile away, even if you aren't on a pedestrian crossing
  • The city; it's city center is so small that you can walk/bike (that's better) through it and still it's so rich in events, fabulous bars, great places to eat, parks to walk through and a bit of craziness.
  • The fact that it gets dark really early has its pros and cons. It's kinda of depressing leaving from work and feeling it's midnight. However, when you feel like it's 9pm, but it is still 5pm, you can do so many more things during a 24hr day. Magic in winning time.
  • I forgot how it is to be the minority in a group of people. Being almost the only one speaking only English and not Dutch, can be tricky sometimes.
  • Guys! I live in a city that organizes Museumnachts (aka museum nights) (giggles). This means that you can go (almost) for free in whichever museum or gallery you want during that night. And let me remind you, that in Amsterdam that places touch the humble number of 50+ (!). Why don;t we have this perfect thing in Greece too? Who is gonna organize it? I want volunteers, come on. 
  • As for the food, I miss the good feta cheese in the supermarkets, even though you can find in them things that you only dream about. Also, I laugh at the crazy individually packaged vegetables. It's crazy and of course totally essential to recycle. After every time you visit the supermarket, you produce your body weight in trash. Very clever people.

As for my new discoveries:

  • Waterkant: a perfect bar with tables outside to drink your drink next to Amstel river.
  • Bloemen bar: What a nice bar in the Spui square. With reminiscent of the flower children and the hippie atmosphere of Woodstock.
  • Ivy & Bros: The Red Distric has so many wonderful places and this shop is one of my first discoveries. Admire the shark jaws hanging from the wall and the overall at-grandma's-house decor and ordered a sandwich with salmon & avocado.
  • Roest: a little bit out of the city center. However the industrial decoration will win you. I love that place. So cool.

I will keep you updated on my new life, don't worry. Also, if you want some snippets of the beautiful Amsterdam in you feed, don't hesitate to follow me over Instagram and Fb

4 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Travelogue of Seville, vol. 1

Seville Travelogue and City Guide

From Seville began our tour. A voyage that I dreamed of for months and I still reminisce a lot.

It was a special trip mainly for 3 reasons: a) in all the cities that we stayed (except Lisbon) we had free accommodation, cause 3 of our friends were in the Iberian Peninsula for their Erasmus studies we were playing safe in Seville, Barcelona and Porto, b) the fact that we were staying with friends meant that we would mingle with their Spanish friends too, which minimized the touristic sightseeing and opened us a window to the life of the people there. Which in my opinion is the only real way to feel a city's vibe, c) we visited the coolest cities, so the tour's perfection was obvious from the beginning.

From now on, try to organize voyages that tick all the a-b-c above and you won't be disappointed.

But, let's start our travelogue of Seville now. Did we forget anything? Hmm no, Here we go then.

Seville city guide 2.jpg

Part 1: Introduction

We'll start with some monuments- musts to see, we will continue with some great ares for walking and bicycling around the city and we will end with some (great) places to eat. However, all these won't be enough to convey to you the Seville's feeling. The kindness of its inhabitants (there is no correlation to the ungracious people from Barcelona), the strong influence from the North African and Muslim art and the revelation that the thermometer in the summer conveniently reaches the 45°C and forgets to drop are stuck in my mind for this city.

Part 2: Places to see

We said that this trip was the less touristy one that I have ever done abroad, so I will suggest you the key attractions to see if you want a basic and full idea of he city. You won't even think of getting tired, believe me.

- Alcázar Palace of Seville: The ticket is 2 euros if you're under 25 and EU citizen, so that's a good deal. Let aside that this is an amazing palace too. The truth is that generally I get tired of vast palaces, there isn't anything more boring than walking around beautiful, empty rooms. Anything people. But this palace had something exotic with the influences from the Muslim art, the arabesques on domes and on every arch and with such variety of different tiles on the walls of each room. Moreover, the tapestries on the walls of the rooms were really unique.

- Seville's Cathedral: It's the largest Gothic cathedral and the third largest in Europe in general. This giant building doesn't just house a gigantic church. Since the beginning of the 15th century (when its construction started) until the 19th century the building went through numerous disasters and renovations and today we see the different wings that were built in each centuries depending on the Seville's administration in that period of time. The city passed from the Muslims to the Catholics and they all left their mark.

We were lucky enough to have a art conservator as our guide (you have to deal with your friends' friends in such trips, I told you), who revealed us all the dirty history's secrets in the most entertaining way. Certainly without her the possibility of acknowledging the building's value would be a zero one. Something that was really interesting was that each temple had the stamp of the era in which it was constructed, which gave as visual representation of the artistic currents of Seville from the 15th century until today. Plus, you'll see the biggest organ that has ever existed. Too bad we didn't have the opportunity to hear it too, it would be riveting.

Also, you'll see a statue of four men carrying (or not) the Columbus's bones. Well, that's what they say to the tourists, but the truth is that because of a disastrous flood somewhere in the 19th century the bones from all the graves in the cathedral were tangled. The monks of that era, places in the "Columbus's grave" bones of (around) 100 people as the latest DNA analysis showed. Ohh intrigue. Don't forget to look for the great Goya's piece of art with the 2 saints "Justa and Rufina" and for the huge "container" for storing wafers made entirely from the bloodstained silver from the South America.

- Giralda Tower: It is the tower of the Cathedral and I will definitely recommend you to go to the top of it. There are only 33 floors of twirled runway that separate you from a wildly spectacular 360 degree view of the city. Why there aren't stairs, but a twisting twirled runway you may ask, right? Because the king wanted to go on the tower's top and stare at his magnificent city on his own horse's saddle, that's way. Why walk when you are the king? The royal families are completely and entirely nuts. But somehow this weirdness turn out to be people with disabilities-friendly. So, let's say that everyone was, is and will be content.

The views from the tower, however, is magnificent. In front of the Cathedral Square starts the Alcázar palace and behind it extend the place's gardens (and what gardens, gosh, I will dedicate them a whole part 3) and on the horizon you can distinguish the two towers that flank my all-time-favorite Plaza de España  .

- Plaza de España: Have ever happened to you to love a landmark, wanting to take its pictures from every possible angle and visiting just to see it when you are around? Well, this square had this exact effect on us.

We visited it 3 times in 3 days and in the 2 of them we where cycling (Seville is super bike-friendly, we will talk about this in part 3 as well) as fastest as possible around the big fountain (in its center) with smiles up to our ears.

A semicircular square surrounded by an artificial stream (they rented boats to tourists, who were struggling to paddle in a 3x3 space, hilarious to watch), with the huge fountain dominating its center and two tower guards on its edges.

The perfect square.

- Metropol Parasol: The huge wooden structure resembles a giant mushroom, or "Las setas" in Spanish. I realized half of the people love it and half of them hate it. However, I found it just so harmonious with the area, as it was always there. Also, it's so photogenic from every angle and in the night it's so well illuminated that its designed emerges even more.

Metropol Parasol - City Guide of Seville
Metropol Parasol - City Guide of Seville

So that's it. Expect in the next days the parts 3 & 4 with my tips about perfect regions for walking/ cycling around the city, Seville's bestest parks and places for a drink or (very, very good) food. If you have visited Seville and have anything to suggest please do in the comments below, as I will definitely return this city soon ;)

Comment

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

The Best Coffee Shops & Bistro in Lyon

overview of Lyon - France

So my friend Jul was in Lyon last semester for her Erasmus exchange program. After six months of living the city, I knew that I had to drop THE question; "Which are the best coffee shops and bistros in Lyon?"

Enjoy her extensive list.


Old buildings, paved roads, bicycles, polite and pleasant people and lots of artistic activity in the city that gave birth to the 7th Art .
 

  • Le little (6 Rue Bellecordière, 69002)

Only 5 minutes from Perrache, this "petit" gives you the opportunity to enjoy a bunch of cupcakes and a quick coffee before you take the bus, metro or tram right from the largest station in Lyon. Come here for framboise, spéculoos and carrot cupcakes or order a custom cake for the Saturday's birthday party .
 

  • Le Sucre (50 Quai Rambaud)

Next to the La Sucrière art gallery, from where you can go to the city's center by boat too, the "hype" term coincides with a place and this is Sucre. If you are a fan of that term and want to see the treasures that people can dig up out of the (many) secondhand shops or see live the most important releases of the electronic music scene, come here. You can drink a beer on the benches on its roof and if you happen to be here in spring check its flea market too. There you will be able to buy many handmade shirts and shave your mustache in vintage barber chair reminiscent. Oh! Don't forget to see Todd Terje, who plays on April 12th !

Inside L'epicérie

Inside L'epicérie

  • L'epicérie (2 Rue de la Monnaie, 69002)

If France is famous for something, that is its tarts.Do not leave Lyon without tasting the tarts of this sweet, taken from a movie, but not at all touristy bistrot. Accompany your coffee with its, always, fresh Speculoos cheesecake or with a praline tart, which is the area's specialité. However, if you've come for lunch try the chicken and vegetables tart or the salmon one that will surely reward you. Sit preferably in the large wooden table if you want to feel your company's vibe.

  • Boulangerie du Palais (8 Rue du Palais de Justice)

The less touristy brioche of your life in the most touristy are of the city. Here your patience after waiting in its endless rush hour queues will be rewarded. Just taste its traditional praline brioche, made by the genre's masters. If you happen to be in winter here, drink the corresponding pink drink and be convinced that French know about gastronomy.

Inside La poule au pot

Inside La poule au pot

  • La poule au pot (5 Rue de l'Arbre Sec)

Great cocktails and barmen plucked from another era, dressed in plaid shirts and suspenders. In this small, but special café/bar you never get enough of complimenting the incredible decor or its patrons' eccentric style or the, always there, film projection. If you want to see "Reservoir Dogs", eat appetizers made by the most high quality materials, dance non-stop at parties and to get ideas of how a tree can be beautifully decorate a wall, you are in the ideal place.

 

  • Le terrier du lapin blanc (37 Rue Imbert Colomes)

Delicious mulled wine, melted candles into bottles and delicious appetizers with stunning soundtrack on the background. Dark atmosphere and aesthetic, while the WC upstairs is a notes museum, from the customers that leave little notes here and there. Sit for hours here  and gaze confessions and dedications .

Inside   La Bicycletterie

Inside La Bicycletterie

  • La Bicycletterie (16 Rue Romarin, 69001)

If you have a bike ( a between us, if you are in Lyon you definitely have a bike) and you have just finished seeing the Musée des Beaux Arts come and check the place that defines itself as a cafe -boutique-atelier for bikes. The staff will fix your brakes and saddle, while you enjoy a coffee and think that life here in Lyon passes on bicycle wheels for sure. Like those hung from its walls. When leaving, make a stop right next to La Bicycletterie for an authentic , freshly baked American donut, in Hello Brooklyn.

Inside Crock 'n roll

Inside Crock 'n roll

Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Crock 'n roll
  • Crock 'n roll (1 Rue Désirée)

Only two minutes away from Lyon's Opera House, you can taste the most delicious Crock Monsieur/Madame in all its variations, both savory and sweet, accompanied by salads and cool milkshakes. The shop organizes photography exhibitions and live music concerts and
painting almost permanently so it is, and it is considered as one of the most meticulous places of the city.

Inside Cafe Cousu

Inside Cafe Cousu

Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Cafe Cousu
  • Cafe Cousu (Passage Thiaffait)

If you want to drink your coffee with distinctive tiles in the background and special tables, you're in the right place. Here you can read your book for hours and be certain that within two days the staff will know your preference in coffee, but also taste delicious brunches every Sunday. Go for your cigarette while holding your drink outside with a bunch of people, who will probably discuss the unique artworks on the walls and decide with them in which bar to go next. Vintage aesthetic in, perhaps, the most beautiful part of Lyon, in the Croix Rousse, just 5 minutes from Place des Terreaux.
 

  • Antiq' y thé (20 Rue Longue, 69001)

For the fans of tea and chocolate, the solution is this Salon de Thé. Two floors, the lower allows you the annotation of the passersby and the upper one offers you more privacy and quiet to enjoy beverages found only here. Find here the cutest teddies chocolate marshmallows, which are never enough. Maybe this place will be a favorite one of yours, consider it next time being here.

Inside Pola Cafe

Inside Pola Cafe

  • Pola Café (19 Rue René Leynaud)

Just opposite of the Cafe Cousu, for the fans of photography revives the beloved fιlm camera, which films compose the shop's price list with the extremely cheap coffee and the tables on the walkway. Too often interesting events are held here by the fully-informed owner, who is  always available to answer questions supply you with the impossible film, sold as many other accessories on the huge rainbow wall.

Inside Mokxa cafe

Inside Mokxa cafe

  • Mokxa café (3 Rue de l'Abbé Rozie)

Paved roads and a bunch of ateliers prepare your enter in the Croix Rousse. If you want to drink a delicious latte, served in special glass cups, to read, to do your assignment on your laptop and to eat the best carrot cake in town, come here. The huge glass windows allow you to look outside and when the weather allows it, there tables on the paved road outside as a good excuse for coffee in the sun. Do not forget that here you will find a table for many once in a blue moon, as this place is mainly for mainly for confiding secrets .

 

  • Bec de jazz (19 Rue Burdeau)

The stairs leading to rue Burdeau and the piano door, don't not prepare you not a million for the magical space indoors. The smokehouse that due to the absence of  loud music allows long conversations, accompanied by gallons of beer and the its stairs make it on the best places in the city. Every detail is meticulously edited and the music is always different keeping jazz, rock 'n roll rolling. At your first time there, it will be hard to resist not looking around all the time with the fear of losing a key detail, or stay motionless when everyone around you dances like there is no tomorrow. Sure, sooner or later someone unknown will pull and drag you with his dance moves. Often the owner goes to the piano and closed the evening with live tracks .

 

  • Absinthe (22 Rue de Flesselles)

Especially near the Bec de Jazz, and sometimes even stylistically, the Absinthe is a place that never stops to amaze you. See live concerts on weekdays and enjoy dj sets on weekends by people who play music with sunglasses, cowboy hats, wigs and theatricality confirming that here you can feel like home. Almost permanently, a football table is on site, making it easier to meet people, in a place that you will find yourself singing and hugging with people that you will never see in your life.

Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Sonic
Best coffee shops and bistro in Lyon - Sonic
  • Sonic (4 Quai des Étroits)

Last but not least, Sonic. The floating paradise of live concerts, outward trans parties and especially extrovert people. With the dark 80s parties every Saturday to be a reason for a huge queue outside the bar.
Sonic will prove to you that every patron that respects himself and wants to have fun will dance like crazy in a boat that it's amazing how it does sink by the crazy dancing regulars on it, dressed in red by the melodies of New Order, Trisomie 21, Das Kabinette and KVB, will go up on stage and will make friends one night (or a life) and wait like crazy the Banana Split which almost always the soundtrack of the evening. And when the party is over, with open shirt and no shoes he will go up on deck to wonder how this place can ensure him that will give him the most special evening of his life.


So that's it guys! I hope you liked our list, If you are from Lyon or have been there before don't forget to share your favorite places too :)

If you want more voyage-dust, check here!

3 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Buda and Pest and Vice Versa

Buda's view, Budapest - Θέα της Βούδας, Βουδαπέστη

I promised to show you a quick photo diary of my trip in Budapest, so here it is . Many times I caught myself feeling that I was in a small Vienna’s version , but only a lot more sweet and romantic. Role that Budapest, actually, played during the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Also, I noted that each time you cross the Danube it feels like you change city. The Buda (on the west bank) and the Pest (on  the east) maintain their distinct character even today. In Buda you will see the are medieval palaces and castles and beyond them there are only woodsy hills. On the other side of the coin, in Pest is the new center of the city with the Parliament , the art nouveau buildings and most of the restaurants and cafes . And it's green green city. She is adorable with her little green dresses in the spring  and really stunning with her yellow-reddish ones in autumn too. Only her winter isn’t worth it, as she is swallowed by the Danube’s mists.

The city despite its beauty and grace brought on a little sadness off me. A ride on the not-so-touristy streets will reveal to you the wonderful, perfectly preserved Victorian-style houses’ facades that hide the empty , abandoned homes of the wartime . Something this felt like walking through huge, empty dollhouses, spooky.

 

But I'm not complaining, these 2 days in Budapest were a great piece of unforgettable ones.

 

St. Stephen's Basilica - Szent István Bazilika (Lipotvaros Region, Pest )

St. Stephen's Basilica - Szent István Bazilika (Lipotvaros Region, Pest )

Museum of Applied Arts // Iparmuveszeti Muzeum 

Museum of Applied Arts // Iparmuveszeti Muzeum 

Walking by Danube, Pest side

Walking by Danube, Pest side

Finding your way in Budapest - Βρίσκοντας τον δρόμο σου στην Βουδαπέστη
Buda palaces // Budavari Palota

Buda palaces // Budavari Palota

Buda palaces // Budavari Palota

Buda palaces // Budavari Palota

Pest's view from Buda's side

Pest's view from Buda's side

At Buda's Palace Gardens

At Buda's Palace Gardens

At Buda's Palace Gardens, Budapest - Στους κήπους των παλατιών της Βοθδας, Budapest
Buda's Palace Teleferik
Trevi's Well  (Buda Castles)

Trevi's Well (Buda Castles)

Fisherman's Bastion // Halaszbastya (Buda Castles)

Fisherman's Bastion // Halaszbastya (Buda Castles)

At Buda's Palace Gardens

At Buda's Palace Gardens

Budapest Parliament // Orszaghaz (Lipotvaros  Region, Pest)

Budapest Parliament // Orszaghaz (Lipotvaros  Region, Pest)

Going through Margaret Island // Margit-sziget in our lil' automobile

Going through Margaret Island // Margit-sziget in our lil' automobile

In Fatal restaurant enjoying quite-a-lot pea soup

In Fatal restaurant enjoying quite-a-lot pea soup

In Great Market Hall // Nagycsarnok  (Belvaros Region)

In Great Market Hall // Nagycsarnok  (Belvaros Region)

In the Baromfi Hentesaru (butcher shop with delicious cooked sausages take-away)

In the Baromfi Hentesaru (butcher shop with delicious cooked sausages take-away)

Nice kitchy tourist stuff at Great Market Hall // Nagycsarnok  (Belvaros Region)

Nice kitchy tourist stuff at Great Market Hall // Nagycsarnok  (Belvaros Region)

House of Terror Museum

House of Terror Museum

Darth Vader's everywhere!

Darth Vader's everywhere!

Labirinthus Castle Caves Museum (my friend is only 3m away and the visual contact is ...ehm... limited)

Labirinthus Castle Caves Museum (my friend is only 3m away and the visual contact is ...ehm... limited)

To Stay:

Wombats Hostel: THE hostel to stay at Budapest, to reminds nothing like some filthy, rat-holed hostels that I have seen, the beds are like sleeping in heaven - best sleep of my life, the breakfast great, the prices unbelievably low for what is offering; clean, friendly and cheap.

 

To Eat:

Fatal Restaurant (in an alley of Vaci utca): basement restaurant with hearty traditional food, exceptional dishes (beware: the have one little shop on the Vatci Utca for tourists and only, ask for a table in their basement reastaurant)

Gerbeaud cafe: most famous luxury café in city, make sure to try its specialty; Esterhazy

Cserpes Tejivo: the cutest little cafes, our everyday stop for brunch and coffee

Baromfi Hentesaru (right outside the Klinikak metro station, the metro station for the natural history museum): a butcher's shop that cooks right there for you its de-li-cious sausages, accompany them with bread, pickles and more  

 

To See & Do:

House of Terror Museum -Terror hasa: great museum dedicated to the victims of Nazism. the house used to be the headquarters of the Nazists and Communists the different periods of their stay in Budapest. the preserved suffocating dungeons and the torture cells are truly shocking, unfortunately photos are not allowed

Hungarian Natural History Museum - Magyar Termeszettudomanyi Muzeum (Belvaros Region)for the 2 tons whale skeleton and for a stunning coral reef of120sqm under the glass floor with 200 species of corals

Opera House - Magyar Allami Operahaz (Lipotvaros Region): not excessive prices, if you are a lover of classical music it is a good chance, if you are not, take a minute to check the inside of the opera house. majestic decoration

Margaret Island -Margit sziget: rent a bicycle-car (or a real golf car) to make a nice, athletic walk around it, in the summer the Sziget music festival is here too

Kiraly Baths - the oldest baths in city, affordable and relaxing at the same time (going to Budapest and not going to a bath its like committing a crime)

Labirintus Castle Caves Museum: network of caves used during the period communism as military hideouts, now hosts wax figures of important Hungarian historical events, a liiitle creepy

Nagycsarnok - The Great Market Hall (Belvaros Region): the great hall for everything from vegetables, meat, sweets, delicatessen, clothes and more

Vaci utca (Belvaros Region) - the-touristy-big-walk of your day

Andrassy ut.: charming avenue in patterns of Chaps-Elysees in Paris

Check also: Budapest General Info || All about transportations || City Festival Guide

So? Would you go to Budapest? :)

9 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!

Chania for a Day (or Eternity)

Old Port Chania -Παλιό Λιμάνι Χανιά.jpg

It said to be the most beautiful city of Crete and in the top5 of Greece in general. I agree and I can only note that  from the moment you land your foot in Chania, you somehow feel more peaceful. A feeling that somehow lasts for all the time you stay in its magical field. As if the problems bothering you could silent or even stop existing. Life in Chania rolls calmer, quieter and more humane.

Where to go :
Blue Pizzas : a special pizzeria / bar,  the pear, prosciutto, blue cheese pizza may not be your cup of tea at first sight, but in the end you will admit her deliciousness

Bazaki mini bar : Bazaki (which means “little jar” in Greek) it’s really a mini bar. It may fit maximum 12 people, but its warm and friendly atmosphere will justify you. In the summer you can seat outside too.

Bororo: in the old harbor drink one piece of cool and dapper cocktail, in the coolest glasses, while listening to the coolest of cool melodies

Koukouvagia : (meaning owl) it’s out and above Chania, offering you one of the most marvelous sights of Chania. You will discover there owl figures in the most unrespectable café’s places. In the summer drink your coffee along with its famous lemon pies and in the winter try an igloo ( pannacotta with caramel , chocolate and cookies , see below)

Old Port Chania -Παλιό Λιμάνι Χανιά, Φάρος.jpg
Old Port Chania -Παλιό Λιμάνι Χανιά
Old city, Chania - Παλιά Πόλη, Χανιά.jpg
Old city, Chania - Παλιά Πόλη, Χανιά.jpg
Κουκουβάγια Χανιά - Koukouvagia, Chania.jpg
Χανιά - Chania at night.jpg
4 Comments

Déspina Kortesidou

Déspina Kortesidou was born with the April flowers sometime in the '90s in the sunny peninsula of Greece. She is a graduating master student of neuroscience & metabolism, and a born adventurer.

(3rd person statements sound so official, love it)

She founded In Whirl of Inspiration, back in 2011 when she was (just) a biology student, in the island of Crete. In Whirl of Inspiration started as a creative and writing outlet for when studying molecules, became too monotonous. Recently, she started writing a children book and a not-so-children's book about the civil war in Greece. She has a soft spot for cheese, elder people, and (her own) jokes, but can't tell any as she ruins them by laughing too early. She enjoys sharing advice for eating healthier, or inspiring people to cover themshelves with plants, color and confetti.

Feel free to email her at hello@inwhirlofinspiration.com, or find her on Instagram and Twitter. (breaking the 3rd person narration to thank you properly)

Thank you so much for reading!