5 coffee shops you need to visit in Paris

5 coffee shops you need to visit in ParisWe’re back from Paris! It’s truly one of the prettiest European cities in my opinion. We walked around, we ate Falafel, we took pictures and of course: We tried as many coffee shops as possible. As in every big city, there are cute little cafés and coffee shops all over Paris. We visited the five below, but I still have a list of pretty places we didn’t get to check out (they are in the map below though). As everything in Paris, going to coffee shops is quite expensive (4 to 5 Euro for a cappuccino), but these are great spots if you’ve been sightseeing all day and need a little break. I’ve also included the sights we saw when we visited the shops, so you don’t have to go there just for the coffee ;)

Passager Café

55 great coffee shops in ParisThis was definitely one of my favourite coffee shops in Paris. The coffee (and the cake!) was great, the staff really friendly and the atmosphere chill and relaxed. I could easily imagine spending the afternoon here and work while eating cake. Lots of people did that actually! It isn’t close to any ‘tourist spots’ but you should still walk by here and rest your feed in this pretty place.

What else to do around here
Passager Café is about 15 min from the Bastille. From here, you can walk over to the Marais and visit the Place des Vosges or eat some Falafel, or head down to the Seine for an afternoon stroll. As I said, Passager isn’t actually close to anything that you typically visit as a tourist, but there’s some nice places only a walk away.

Address + opening times
107 avenue Ledru Rollin, 75011 Paris
Tuesday-Saturday: 08:30 – 18:30

Cuillier

5 great coffee shops in ParisWe went for lunch to Cuillier and really enjoyed our time here as well. The coffee was great and the quiche one of the best I ever had (maybe because I never ate quiche in France before? Anyway). It’s in a quiet street off Boulevard St. Germain, so the chance to get a table if you walk in is quite high. Highly recommended as a lunch spot.

What else to do around here
Cuillier is situated in the 7th arrondissement. We went to the Musée d’Orsay afterwards and spend a few hours there (highly recommended – it’s huge and possibly not as crowded as the Louvre). The Musée Rodin is quite close as well or you could just wander the streets around here.

Address + opening times
68 Rue de Grenelle, 75007 Paris
Tuesday-Friday: 8:00 – 18:00
Saturday/Sunday: 9:00 – 18:00 (more…)

Travel Diary: Back to Scotland!

Back to Scotland!This September, it was time to visit one of my favourite countries again: Scotland! Since spending my semester abroad in Scotland two years ago, the Scots have a special place in my heart. I went with my friend Theresa, one of my best travel buddies. She has also lived in Scotland for a few months and missed it just as much as me. Oh, it was a glorious trip! From the moment we touched down in Edinburgh, it felt like home again: The colours, the people, even the smell! Can I go back already?

Part 1: Edinburgh

The first part of our trip was spent in Edinburgh. We stayed at the Baxter Hostel, a lovely (and tiny!) hostel near Waverley station. It was my first stay in a room with 9 girls, but gladly everyone was really friendly and quiet. On top of that, we had a yummy home-cooked breakfast of eggs and toast in the morning which was included in the price.

Our first day in Edinburgh, we just walked around town smiling because we were back in Scotland. People might have thought that we’re pretty weird! We had an amazing scone at Wellington Coffee, took a walk to Calton Hill and went to the uni library bar for a lime & soda. After dinner at Mosque Kitchen (not the greatest atmosphere, but really tasty dhal for only a couple of pounds), we went to the pub quiz at Newsroom. A happy day!

On our second day we only had a couple of hours, so we did some more strolling (around the touristy streets as well) and went charity shopping. Then it was time for our second destination! (more…)

How to enjoy summer wherever you are

How to enjoy summer at home | Hanna's PlacesSummer time is here – and with it, of course, the time to travel!  You probably know that I love to travel more than anything and would gladly go abroad when I get the chance. This year I’ve moved and started a new job though, so both my travel funds and the time to go and travel I really limited. I’m still really excited about summer, so here’s my ideas how to enjoy summer without actually traveling far or spending tons of money.

Enjoying summer without traveling far

Take off a day or two | So many times, we tend to only take time off if we’re actually going on holiday. Something like ‘work till Friday, go on holiday on Saturday, stay away till Saturday or even Sunday’ and head back to work on Monday. This is definitely fun and a good way to relax, but why don’t you just take a few days off, maybe one a month, that you just have for yourself, in your hometown. Sleep in, have a nice breakfast, do something outside without the weekend crowds – I feel relaxed already.

Take a camera with you | And record the lovely memories of ice cream dates, barbecue days and your summer in general that you tend to forget taking if you’re ‘just’ at home.

Go to touristy places | And explore your own city! I bet there’s a ton of places that you still haven’t gotten around to visiting ever since you moved to your city. Maybe even buy a travel guide for your city!

Start a new routine | Your very own summer routine if you want. This can change from person to person, but do something that makes you feel in a summer mood and generally good about yourself instantly. It might be Pilates in the morning, a daily walk, an hour of book reading in the evening, a fresh beer with your dinner, fresh flowers around your home every week – feel free to get creative.

Treat yo’self | Since you’re naturally saving money stay at home, treat yourself to the things you only allow yourself on holiday: Have some ice cream on a regular basis (and always keep a tub of ice cream in the freezer, of course), buy the fancy groceries you like at the store you wouldn’t normally get, go to the sauna/swimming pool/wellness place you normally save money on, turn off your computer at night (sleep in on Saturdays at least) – again, there’s a million ideas for every budget.

These are my ideas for a great summer at home – what about you?

Travel Diary: A long weekend in London

A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places

London baby! I have just arrived back home from a long weekend in my favourite city and it was such a great time. After two hard months of too many things on my to do list, winter blues and generally feeling uninspired, this city and it’s liveliness was just the right medicine to get some energy and excitement about life back. Here’s what we’ve been up to, in case you’re planning a London trip in the near future as well:

Eat & Drink (mostly coffee shops)

A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places

DF Mexico | This was a lunch break favourite back when I was living in London and it’s still one of my favourite places to get Mexican food. It’s a beautiful location (lots of instagram opportunities ;), the waiters are friendly, the food is great and the prices are okay. If you’re near Spitalfields, check it out!

Kahaila | This is probably one of my three favourite cafés in London, so I can’t come to the city and not visit Kahaila. The cakes taste as great as they look, the atmosphere is great, there’s free wifi – and did I mention that everything goes to charity and supports women in need? Perfect all around.

Soho Grind | I know everyone loves the Grind locations all over London and the London bridge location is quite nice, I’ll have to admit that I wasn’t too impressed by this one though. It was slightly dirty, the barista forgot about my order twice…with so many great coffee shops all over London, I probably wouldn’t visit a second time.

The Natural Kitchen | I wandered in the location on Marylebone Street by chance and really loved it here. I think it’s a deli/coffee shop/restaurant/shop and quite big, but the atmosphere is still really nice. I had a great coffee and falafel wrap, the people working there were super friendly – I loved it.

Bill’s | I know this is a chain restaurant (though I’m not sure if they just have a few restaurants all over London or all of the UK?), but either way it’s really cosy and a great place to have a nice dinner with friends without spending tons of money. The vegetarian options are quite limited, but the desser menu is great and their cocktails too!

Boulangerie Bon Matin | This is a great café near Finsbury Park. We had massive Eggs Florentine there and it had a really great neighbourhood feel.

The Orangery | We wanted to go for a nice fancy Afternoon Tea on Saturday and since the Orangery at Kensington Palace keeps popping up on every list we decided to give it a go. I was slightly disappointed to be honest – it felt really rushed and touristy (yes, it is a total tourist spot but still), and for the price didn’t taste especially fresh. It is a beautiful location though, so maybe you just need to go during the week?

Tart | This is the cutest café in Clapham and a super nice place all in all, the cakes looked great too though I didn’t try them.

Monmouth Coffee | Let’s just say, this is a cult favourite for a reason. I bought some espresso beans to prepare at home and I’m really happy about that. There’s no free wifi though (at least at the Borough Market branch).

Timberyard | I visited for the first time and loved it too, a very cool space and great atmosphere to get some work done (if you don’t need to concentrate too much). It’s quite expensive though, even for London.

Pattern Coffee | This one is close to Kings Cross and another new favourite. Great atmosphere, great coffee, what else would you want?

Shops

A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places

Books | Foyles on Charing Cross Road (so many books! And a great selection of coffee table books), Daunt Books on Marylebone High Street (beautiful and old), Waterstone’s on Picadilly (yeah it’s Waterstone’s, but it’s still one of my favourite book stores), Brick Lane Bookstore (small, but great selection).

Design | The Conran Shop on Marylebone High Street (big love), Aram Store (near Covent Garden, I wandered in by chance and loved it).

Beautiful tid bits | Luna & Curious (and all other stores around Redchurch Street), AIDA on Shoreditch High Street, Anthropologie (again, I know it’s an American chain store, but I just really like it!) – and probably hundreds of other small stores I just walked by.

Things to do

A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places

Undressed at the V&A | An exhibition about underwear that just started at the V&A and that is totally worth a visit. We stayed for almost three hours! It’s both beautiful and interesting and even makes you a little sad because the female body image seems to have been messed up for hundreds of years.

Kew Gardens | We had a little fashion photo shoot (hehe) at the greenhouse and it is such a beautiful location for that, we had tons of fun. I think the rest of the garden is more interesting in late spring/summer though.

National Portrait Gallery | One of my favourite London museums, so I always stop by for a little visit. We went to see 100 years of Vogue, which was inspiring and interesting as well (yes, trends really do always come back).

Walk along the South Bank | If you want to see the London sights but not be in the middle of all the action, take a walk along South Bank. I always start walking in Vauxhall/Albert Embankment and you get a really nice view of Westminster from there. It gets unpleasant for a short moment walking past the London Eye, but just keep walking and you’ll see Somerset House, Tate Modern (worth a visit too), St. Pauls, Shakespeare’s Globe and finally Borough Market (where you can treat yourself with a little something after a walk like that).

Things to remember for my next trip

A long weekend in London: My favourite places to eat, drink and hang out | Hanna's Places

  • It’s expensive here – don’t worry too much about money and just enjoy your time
  • Rain jacket always (how could I forget?)
  • Only bring comfortable shoes, there’s too much walking for anything else,
  • People don’t care what you do, take the tourist pictures if you want to
  • Plasters!
  • And more cardigans
  • Bring accessories and your favourite outfits. You’re surrounded by fashionable people, so it’s worth it

That’s it! I seriously had such an amazing trip (and so much coffee) and can’t wait to be back asap.

Uganda Travel Diary: 3 Trips to take

Uganda Travel Diary: 3 Trips to take in East Africa | Hanna's Places

Time for the last edition of my Uganda travel diaries! If you ask me, and if you are thinking about visiting Africa, Uganda is the place to go: It’s beautiful, you get to experience the traditional “Africa” experience and it still feels safe. Here’s a little round-up of the trips I would recommend taking if you decide to go:

Uganda Travel Diary: 3 Trips to take in East Africa | Hanna's Places

A National Park | Yes, of course you need to visit a National Park while you are in Uganda (duh!). We went to the Queen Elizabeth National Park in the South-Western part of the country and it was beautiful. One day is enough in my opinion (if you’re not an animal freak) as it can get quite pricey and it’s still only animals. We saw elephants, antelopes, hippos, so many birds, buffalos and even some lions far far away! Go as early in the morning as possible, we went at 6.30 am with a guide (in our own car, so cool!), had breakfast while watching the lions – it was so much fun. The best part of the day for me was a little boat tour we did in the afternoon because we saw the animals even closer. Highly recommended! The next day we took a little hike around the villages which was also really beautiful (pictured above) and we even saw some salt lakes – I loved that too, you can imagine.

Uganda Travel Diary: 3 Trips to take in East Africa | Hanna's PlacesUganda Travel Diary: 3 Trips to take in East Africa | Hanna's Places

Your local village | Don’t just stay at your hotel but visit your local village, go to the shop, maybe to church, visit the market place – it’s so interesting and doesn’t cost any money at all. If you take somebody local with you, you might even be able to take a look around the ‘most important spots’ – we got to visit a hospital and talk to some doctors, two different schools, the health centre etc. It was really interesting to see those places and learn more about them since everyone was so friendly and welcoming!

Kampala | Kampala is loud and busy and not very pretty, so if you don’t have time to come here, don’t worry. If you do go, I’d recommend going to the Arts & Crafts Market, it’s huge and you can get lots of pretty souvenirs (like salad bowls, jewelery, little bits and pieces) for very little money (especially if you go with locals). We also went to the Ndere dance show, where they show you a “round-up” of the traditional local dances – it’s a stunning show and your entrance fee goes to the education of the dancers. Little tip: The hotel at Ndere is really good and surprisingly cheap if you decide to stay the night!

Uganda Travel Diary: 3 Trips to take in East Africa | Hanna's Places

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