Weekend Wanderings: The Quick Travel Guide To San Francisco

Weekends are there to be discovered. Making the most of your time off each week is the perfect way to travel further, expand your horizons and see a little more of the country. While jetting off to an exotic location might not be exactly in your remit, there are tons of places in the local vicinity just waiting to be discovered.

When it comes to wonder spots, there are few places as well kitted out as San Francisco. Offering up its fair share of city hangouts, seaside spots and hiking zones, the city has a little bit of something for everyone. Culturally vibrant and packed to the rafters with foodie spots, San Francisco is just begging to be explored over the course of a weekend. All you need to do is pack your bags, note down your favorite travel spots and get exploring!

Hotels come in many shapes and sizes in San Francisco and there is something to meet any kind of budget. In terms of budget spots, you might be hard pressed to find anything quite as luxe as the Mayflower Hotel. A family owned establishment, the hotel dates back to the Victorian times, boasting a more than impressive history. Inside, rooms are vintage and plush in style, kitted out with all of the essentials for an overnight stay.

If, however, you’re choosing to go a little more upmarket with your sleep spot, San Francisco is a real melting pot of different spots. The Parker Guest Hotel is a fantastic mid-range budget spot, offering up airy rooms with an impressive amount of space. The hotel is within a five minute walk of the Mission Dolores Park, giving you a great excuse to get out early and explore the local area. Hotels on the higher end of the spectrum don’t disappoint, either, and if you’re going to spend a little more on your stay, you should do so in the vicinity of The Fairmont. Within walking distance of all the essential districts, the hotel makes getting around a real breeze. If you don’t want to spend a night in the hotel, you can still get the Fairmont experience by popping in for an afternoon tea experience.

Hotel sorted, it’s time to cast your net a little further and get acquainted with what the city has to offer in terms of entertainment. Riding a cable car is a great activity to undertake just after having arrived in the city. The transport is cheap, spans most of the city’s essential districts and is quintessentially San Franciscan. If you’re heading to the bay, you have to stop in to take a look at Pier 39. While it might be one of the more touristy places in the city, the area serves up all the best parts of bay living, helping you kick back like a real local.

Culture is high on the cards in San Francisco and there are plenty of spots worth checking out. If you have a little more time on your hands, a trip to Alcatraz Island should be high up on your list. Make sure you plan your trip ahead to get the best out of your experience and take a good pair of walking shoes with you. You can also try taking your wanderings a little off the map with a trip to Chinatown. The largest of its kind outside Asia, San Francisco’s Chinatown is buzzing with life at any point in the day, serving up a whole other sort of local culture.

Rural spots abound in the city and if you’re looking to kick back, there are plenty of picturesque walks to be had. While you might want to head to the Muir woods for a stroll amongst the trees, you would do just as well to take a peek at the Sutro Baths. A local favorite, the baths are located at the end of a picturesque coastal walk, letting you take in all the marine beauty that the city has to offer.

Eating is just as a big deal in the city, so make sure you have all of your foodie facts before heading out into San Francisco. If you’re on the lookout for a few sweet treats, heading to the Tartine Bakery should be high up on your list. Kitted out with a fantastic selection of pastries, breads and baked goods, the spot is the perfect place in which to sip on a morning coffee. If on to go food is more your thing, try turning your attention to The Mission area of the city. Delicious street food abounds in the area, so make sure you have plenty of cash to take with you. You also can’t leave the city without taking a visit to Hog Island Oyster Co. A classic San Franciscan seafood experience, the restaurant is bursting with local goodies and always worth a try.

San Francisco is a city waiting to be discovered and whether you have just one day or a long weekend, you can really lose yourself in the coastal Californian spot.

The Girl’s Guide To Berlin

When it comes to European cities, you can’t find a much cooler place than Berlin. Home to some of the most creative individuals this side of anywhere, the city is bursting with inspiration and one of a kind finds and if you venture there, you might just end up not coming back. While it is great to visit the city at any time of the year, it really comes alive during the summer months, the locals spilling into the many parks and public places after weeks of bitter cold. Thanks to longer days and warmer nights, there are also a ton of summer events taking place in the city when the sun comes out, giving you even more reasons to prolong your stay in Berlin. With outdoor spaces galore, independent galleries, food markets and music events, the city might just be the best European all-rounder out there.

First things first, you’re going to want to take a serious look at Berlin’s coffee scene. The number of independent, ethically sourced cafes that have sprung up in recent years is simply staggering and now, the locals are as up to date on their brews as some of the best baristas in the world. Starting your day at Kaffebar is always a safe bet and is sure to keep you going for a long day of activities. While the cafe is normally packed with freelancers and creatives, if you get there early enough you’re guaranteed a spot inside. The coffee is a must but if you really know what’s good for you, then you will will stock up with a full breakfast. Serving a variety of cakes, fruit plates and cooked breakfasts, the cafe serves some of the best food in the area and is a favorite amongst locals.

If you want to experience a lesser known side of city life, then you can try making a beeline for the Turkish market. Located in Kreuzberg, the market takes place every Tuesday and Friday and pulls in many of the local Turkish population. Taking place alongside the city’s canal, the market is a great place to take a stroll on a sunny day, offering a wide range of fruit, vegetables and items for the home. You’re bound to find a real treasure amongst the stands.

Those on the hunt for something a little more filling, however, should look to Markthall IX for inspiration. A covered market, the place sells a range of homegrown products put forth by a variety of local vendors; if you’re looking an authentic picture of Berlin’s creative scene, then this is it. If you’re in the area on a Thursday evening, you will find yourself in the midst of one of the biggest foodie events in the city, as a group of food vendors take over the stands. The produce on sale is from all across the world, letting you taste whatever you have in mind.

Of course, there is plenty of history and culture to be experienced in the city and taking a trip to Boros Bunker will show you a side of Berlin life you might not have ever seen. Once acting as a bunker for the city’s inhabitants following the Second World War, the building was later taken over by the Red Army, serving as as a working prison. Since the fall of the Berlin wall, the bunker was the site of a number of techno parties, giving way to the city’s famous party scene. Now, the place is home to one of the most varied contemporary art collections in the world, all presented in one of the most unique locations in the city.

If you’re lucky enough to enjoy Berlin during the summer months, then you can enjoy a late afternoon drink by Görlitzer Park, one of the most popular in the city. Drawing in crowds of people from across Berlin, it is one of the most thriving areas during the summer months and offers a great deal of space within which to relax and enjoy the sun. Many people flock to the area after work with a picnic in tow so don’t be afraid to make like a local and kick back.

Berlin truly is a city that offers something to everyone and in every corner of the place, there is something new to be discovered. A place as laid back as they come, it is up to you to decide how you enjoy your time in the city. You might just fit in like a local.The