Where to go in 2018? – Marco Polo Staff Picks

Choosing your travel destination can be difficult, as there is the whole wide world to choose from. Many of us are planning our 2018 travels at the moment, so we thought we would ask around our office for some ideas, and some Insider Tips. Here are Marco Polo’s Staff Picks for your 2018 travels:

Lake Garda Marco Polo Guide

Photo credit: Ian MacDonald

LAKE GARDA

“Lake Garda is my favourite holiday destination, it has everything – the weather, the views,
the food, the wine… did I mention the food and wine?

My tip for Lake Garda: Have your first espresso immediately after getting off the autostrada
(motorway). Stop at the car park after the first hairpin bend coming from Nago heading for
Torbole and enjoy your first cup of coffee, your first aperol or your first ice cream (at the bar
on the other side of the road). The view to the south is breath-taking.”

– Ian MacDonald, Managing Director

Dresden Marco Polo Guide

DRESDEN

“Dresden city exudes a magical aura. When the morning sun glistens on the Elbe River and
highlights the silhouette of the Altstadt, even the residents of Dresden catch their breath.

As one of the most popular travel destinations in Germany (the city welcomes around
ten million visitors every year, and this figure is on the rise) it impresses its visitors
with monuments, art and culture. Yet, it is the Elbe River that defines the city’s
mood. It winds its way through the town in broad curves, passing vineyards, stately
castles and homely beer gardens, and lined by the broad Elbwiesen meadows, which
are unlike anything to be found in other large European towns these days. People meet
here to sit around camp fires, eat picnics, go for a walk, ride their bikes
or relax in the sand and watch the clouds go by… why not join them?”

– Andrew, Sales Representative for London and the South Coast

SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

“This is hardly a hidden gem, but after travelling around Asia for two and a half months,
this place is the one I still dream of. Angkor Wat is simply the most stunning thing I have
ever witnessed in my life. It’s no exaggeration to say it took my breath away. Make sure
you allow plenty of time to explore the temples. The best way is by tuk-tuk; hire a driver
for the day. Or if you’ve brave enough you can rent a moped or bike – but prepare to sweat!!

Whilst in Siem Reap be sure to check out Pub Street and the Night Market. Restaurant wise
– I’d recommend New Leaf Eatery and Genevieve’s, both of which are non-profit organisations,
so you can enjoy your meal knowing you’re supporting a great cause!”

– Hayley, Digital Marketing Manager

Photo credit: Alison Floutier

CALIFORNIA ROAD TRIP & SAN DIEGO

“If you’re on Highway 5 heading south from LA to San Diego, add an extra hour to your journey time to allow a stop in San Clemente. It describes itself as the ‘Spanish Village by the Sea’ and would be so easy to dismiss in your charge south to the San Diego. But an hour here, taking in the ocean views and gorgeous Spanish architecture is well worth your time. Insider Tip – you’ll see the big Starbucks sign from the 5. Use this for navigation but stop at the Zebra House Coffee Shop. The best coffee you’ll experience in California and if you strike lucky, the walls can be laden with beautiful artwork from local artists.

Coronado, the spit of land that juts out from San Diego, is Paradise with a capital P. Everyone knows it for ‘The Del’, the grand Victorian Hotel Del Coronado graced by US Presidents and Marco Polo staff alike! It’s a beautiful beach to while away a few hours and then take your sandy-self to the Babcock and Story bar on the ocean front to sip a perfectly ice cold beer and imagine Marilyn Monroe filming Some Like it Hot on the beach just in front. If you can tear yourself away, a drive round to Point Loma is well worth the view looking back across the Navy base, the principal home port of the US Pacific Fleet, and see the hotel and the whole of this gorgeous peninsula.

Insider Tip – the finest Mexican food and eye-wateringly wonderful margaritas can be found just across the road and a world away from the tourist hub of The Del. Hidden behind a row of shops, is the fantastic Miguel’s Cucina. You need to find time to linger here.”

– Diane, Sales & Marketing Coordinator

Marco Polo Guides Lisbon Largo Trindade Coelho

Photo credit: Tim Kelly

LISBON

“Ah, where do you start with Lisbon? I think I’ll have to start with food – freshly caught seafood including prawns the size of your fist and Bacalhau, a local speciality! You can’t leave without trying a Pastel de nata – a Portuguese egg tart. The most popular place to try them is Pasteis de Belem, but they’re sold all over the city. Not forgetting the wine – Portugal produces some excellent wines! Including the famous Port and Madeira, of course… but they’re found all over the country. In Lisbon, the local delicacy is a sickly sweet but surprisingly delicious liqueur called Ginjinha. It’s made from cherries and if you’re lucky, you’ll get a whole cherry in the bottom of your cup! The best places to try it are A Ginjinha near the famous Rossio Square or Ginjinha Sem Rival.

Alfama is my favourite area in Lisbon, I could wander around there for hours. And you must visit Castelo de São Jorge, Rossio Square and the beautiful Cathedral: Se! My other tip is Belem… which is a little out of the city, but worth a visit… and if you have time, take an excursion to Sintra. You won’t regret it!”

– Petra, Sales & Marketing Manager

BOSTON

Boston is ideal as a stand alone city break or as a good starting point for trips further afield in the New England area. Hotels can be ridiculously expensive so we tend to go for the better priced boutique B&Bs. Seafood is plentiful and just about everywhere from cafes, pubs to restaurants offer lobster and their famous Clam Chowder on their menus and at such good value.

For sports fans you have everything covered, The Boston Red Sox Baseball stadium where you can take a guided tour, the TD Gardens for Ice Hockey and Baseball and Patriots Place for the current Superbowl Champions, the New England Patriots for American Football and The New England Revolutions for Soccer. This is further afield and requires a train journey but great to get to see small town America as you travel by.

Boston and the New England coastline is brilliant for spotting whales and from the harbour you can easily book day trips on the many tours they offer. Duck Tours are great to get your bearings and get the low-down on the city from a local driver and they all end up on the river which is one of the best places to view Boston. Their Aquarium is right on the harbour front and worth a visit.”

– Julie, Office Manager

UTRECHT, THE NETHERLANDS

“Amsterdam is one of those destinations that everyone has to see at least once in their life, but my tip for anyone visiting Amsterdam for more than a day or two is to leave the city. It may seem counter-intuitive, but there is a lot more to see in the Netherlands than just Amsterdam. One such place is Utrecht, one of the oldest cities in the country. It’s only 20 minutes away by train, but Utrecht is still a bit of a hidden gem for most tourists.

There are canals, just like in Amsterdam and many other Dutch cities, but the canals in Utrecht have a unique feature: the canal side docks. Once used for loading trade goods, today there are countless restaurants that host their terraces on the docks.

The Dom tower is the main landmark of the city, an old church tower from the 15th century, which you will be able to see in the horizon almost everywhere in the city. The cathedral is also worth a visit, as is the old courtyard with its flowers and a maze. Entrance is free, though a small donation at the door is always appreciated.

If you are hungry or thirsty, there is plenty that Utrecht can offer. My personal favourite for a quick, inexpensive snack is the Vietnamese streetfood restaurant Kimmade, on Mariastraat. It’s a tiny little place, with seats for around 10 people, but the food is excellent. For drinks Neude is the place to be, especially if it is sunny. The square will be packed with tables and chairs and this is where the locals will be. Order a beer and a portion of fries – or bitterballen if you are really feeling the local vibe, and enjoy.”

– Senja, Social Media Assistant

What is your pick for 2018?

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Marco Polo’s 24 Holiday traditions from around the world – Day 8: Germany, Christmas markets

It’s Day 8 of our Advent Calendar, only 16 more days to go until Christmas! Today we are headed to Germany, to check out a holiday tradition that may be quite familiar to many. After all, who has not heard about the German Weihnachtsmarkt? Did you miss yesterday’s post? Check it out here!

 

GERMANY: CHRISTMAS MARKETS

Christmas markets are everywhere. From small villages to sprawling metropolises, if there are people who celebrate Christmas, there will be a Christmas market, though most cannot boast to be as lavish as the German ones.  In Germany Weihnachtsmärkte have been held since the Late Middle Ages. Traditionally the markets open in late November and are open until right after Christmas. Stalls feature Christmas decorations, nativity scenes, local products, and of course, traditional German Christmas foods. Candied and roasted almonds, Lebkuchen, Bratwurst, and one cannot skip the Glühwein.

Many German cities boast having the largest, oldest and most traditional Christmas markets of all. Cologne and Dortmund are typical destinations for tourists who wish to experience the tradition, but Berlin also has well over 70 Christmas markets to sample. Wherever you go, you are certain to get in the holiday mood!

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Only in Munich

On and around Marienplatz, in the heart of Munich, busy shoppers are elbowing their
way through the department stores up and down the pedestrian precinct. On Viktualienmarkt, on the other hand, just 200m away, the stands are closing. It’s 6pm. A couple are seated at a wooden table in the beer garden in the shade of the chestnut trees. They both take a gulp of draught beer, squint into the evening sun, listen to the fountain splashing away and the natter of others at the nearby tables, watch the market tenders clear things away, take a contented breath of air filled with the smell of barbecued sausage and unpack the radishes and pretzels they have brought with them. So this is it: la dolce vita – the relaxed calm to be found in Munich that is otherwise attributed to southern Europe.

Discover Munich with Marco Polo and find out what unique experiences you can enjoy in this wonderful city:

Munich Marco Polo Guide

VIEW OF THE OKTOBERFEST

New York has its Statue of Liberty, Munich its Bavaria statue – personifying her homeland. She watches over the Theresienwiese and the raucous Oktoberfest. Climb up into her head and enjoy the view 18.52m (60ft) above ground level.

BAVARIAN BREAKFAST

A ‘real’ Bavarian breakfast is part and parcel of a visit to the state capital.
Many locals go to the Großmarkthalle pub for their Weißwurst and pretzel, homemade sweet mustard and wheat beer.

LA DOLCE VITA

The people of Munich live up to their reputation as the inhabitants of ‘Italy’s northern-most city’ on warm summer evenings and gather on the city’s squares, go for a stroll, or chat and relax in the open. This southern flair can be seen in particular on and around Gärtnerplatz.

BEER GARDEN TRADITION

When the weather permits, the locals like to spend their lunch breaks in a shady beer garden too. The Chinesischer Turm (Chinese Tower) is especially well-known and popular.

CULT SITES

Both the Olympiastadion and the Allianz Arena are architectural masterpieces in which football history has been written which is brought alive on guided tours of the stadiums.

TRADITIONAL BAVARIAN COSTUMES

If you’re after a genuine Bavarian costume or at least an accessory as a souvenir, it’s worth seeking out the experts who can give you sound advice in a specialist shop, e.g. Ludwig Beck or Halfs.

THE SUN GOD

There’s hardly any other city where the art of sunbathing is so cultivated as in the Bavarian capital. Regardless of the time of year, even the very first rays of sun bring people out to the street cafés, e.g. to eternally trendy Tambosi.

 

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Only in Dresden

Dresden exudes a magical aura. When the morning sun glistens on the Elbe River and highlights the silhouette of the Altstadt, even the residents of Dresden catch their breath. And that is especially true now that the imposing dome of the Frauenkirche once again graces the city skyline. At its foot reigns Babylonian babble: English, Japanese, Bavarian – the historic centre is firmly in the hands of the tourists. Dresden welcomes around ten million visitors every year, and this figure is on the rise. The majority are looking for a myth, for the Baroque city of Canaletto, for the ‘German Florence’, as Johann Gottfried Herder once called it. Dresden is one of the most popular travel destinations in Germany, impressing visitors with its monuments, art and culture.

Let Marco Polo show you some unique experiences to be had in this magical German city:

Dresden Marco Polo Guide

‘THE BALCONY OF EUROPE’

The Brühlsche Terrasse is 500 m long and 10 m (32.8 ft) above the Elbe, thus resembling a balcony against the backdrop of the Altstadt. Here, you can wander past the Albertinum and art academy and enjoy the view of the river, the Neustadt quayside and – inland – the Münzgasse with the towering Frauenkirche in the background.

SHIP AHOY!

A trip on one of the traditional paddle steamboats of the Sächsische Dampfschifffahrt can be one of the most memorable experiences of a visit to Dresden. On the way upstream, you will see plenty of sights.

THE ROOT OF HAPPINESS

The Elbwiesen stretching almost 30 km (18.6 miles) along the river banks make a significant contribution to Dresden’s quality of life. People meet here to sit around camp fires, eat picnics, go for a walk, ride their bikes or relax in the sand and watch the clouds go by.

VINEYARD WITH CITY VIEW

It is only 3 km (1.8 miles) as the crow flies from the Frauenkirche to the vineyard below Albrechtsberg Castle. Vintner, Lutz Müller, decants his wines from the Elbe slopes here. They are served with ‘Flammkuchen’ (tarte flambée) and a priceless view of the town.

INTO THE MORNING HOURS

The late 19th-century district to the north of the Bautzner Straße attained fame far beyond its boundaries long ago. The number of cafés, pubs and restaurants, bars and clubs is legendary. The city’s younger generation tend to meet here at the weekends, although in the meantime an increasing number of guests from other parts of the world come to party with them.

DRESDEN’S COOLEST PARTY

The street festival, Elbhangfest, takes places on the 7 km (4 miles) between Loschwitz und Pillnitz. The people of Dresden celebrate their dolce vita on the last weekend of June with theatre performances, readings, concerts, exhibitions, ‘wine villages’ and flea markets, as well as a large procession.

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Only in Berlin

Berlin attracts creative people from all over the world as if by magic. No other city in
Europe has as much art and culture to offer! It is also famous worldwide for its feverish nightlife with more than 200 clubs, innumerable bars, cafés and pubs. There are no set closing times and most places stay open until the early hours of the morning – if they close at all!

Whatever your personal tastes and preferences, Berlin has something for everyone! Let Marco Polo show you some unique experiences to be had in Germany’s capital…

Berlin Marco Polo Guide

Quadriga with twelve legs

The Brandenburg Gate (photo) is an absolute must. Not only the street artists let their hair down here, there are also many hobby photographers. Who can take the most beautiful picture of this city landmark?

‘TV-asparagus’

This is the name the people of Berlin have affectionately given the Fernsehturm on Alexanderplatz. You will really miss out on something if you don’t visit the viewing platform 203 m (666 ft) above street level – it’s the best view in Berlin.

Wall taxi

A taxi will take you to all remnants of the Berlin Wall in the city. The driver will point out the most important places and garnish his stories with his personal experiences in the former divided city.

Curry 36

Cheap but tasty – that’s all a Berlin currywurst needs to be, with some chips or a bread roll to go along with it. The Berliners queue up at Curry 36 in Kreuzberg for a grilled sausage with curry powder.

Sophisticated shopping

Time and time again, the Ku’damm has been pronounced dead, but the many customers in the fashionable boutiques on the elegant boulevard cannot all be wrong. This is where Berlin is at its most glamorous in a setting of magnificent old buildings: typical of Berlin – but sometimes beautiful can be expensive.

Don’t forget your swimsuit…

You will feel like you are at the seaside: deck chairs and sand as far as the eye can see. The wide expanse of water at Wannsee is an inviting place to sunbathe or take a swim, and a snack bar is never far away.

Jazz in a beer garden

Real Kreuzbergers don’t give a hoot about the yuppies in Mitte or Friedrichshain when they sit back with a pint in their hands in one of ‘their’ beer gardens – listening to live jazz in Yorckschlösschen, for example.

 

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Berlin Marco Polo Guide

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Eat Like a Local – Munich

Bavarian cooking isn’t just Leberkäs (meat loaf) and Weißwurst (white sausage), Schweinsbraten (roast pork) and Knödel (dumplings), as delicious as these may be. It is much more varied, sophisticated – and even more individual – than most people think.

Munich Marco Polo Guide

Local specialties

Aufgschmalzene Brotsuppe – originally considered a poor man’s meal, now to be found on up-market regional menus. Pieces of bread soaked in stock are fried and served with the soup.

Ausgezogene – a deep-fried sweet ‘pastry’ varying in circumference from 4½ to 8 inches. Traditionally made at harvest thanksgiving and for major church holidays. Nowadays, the ‘Kirchweih nudel’ is made by every baker.

Böfflamott – like many things in Bavaria, this comes from the French (originally boeuf à la mode). Ox meat is braised with two calves’ hooves for four hours.

Knödel – few Bavarian dishes do without the good old dumpling. Whether Brezen, Semmel, Kartoffel, Leber or Zwetschgenknödel (pretzel, bread(roll), potato,
liver or prune dumplings), the homemade ones are the best, served for example with chanterelles in a cream sauce.

Leberkäs – meatloaf in a bread roll is one of the survival tactics of those in a hurry. It doesn’t contain either liver or cheese (as the name would suggest) but a secret concoction of beef, pork and lots more, too.

Obatzda – ‘batz’ means a clod or lump of earth. Obatzda however is mature Camembert mixed into a thick paste with butter, onions, spices and a drop of beer.

Saures Lüngerl – a lung ragout cooked in a sour stock and served with a cream sauce and bread dumplings.

Schlachtschüssel – boiled meat, black pudding and liver sausage, pork belly and sauerkraut: once a firm favourite that was only served the day the animals were slaughtered. Nowadays it has rather sunk into oblivion.

Schweinsbraten – roast pork seasoned with salt, pepper and ground caraway seeds and with
diamond-shaped crackling. Roasted with quartered onions and basted with a dark wheat beer. Usually served with dumplings. Beware of restaurants offering ‘Schweinebraten’ – the true Bavarian dish is spelled ‘Schweinsbraten’.

 

Restaurants serving traditional Bavarian cuisine:

SPATENHAUS AN DER OPER

Traditional but sophisticated Bavarian cooking. From both rooms on the first floor and from the terrace there is an excellent view to be had of the Opera House and Max-Joseph-Platz. Daily | Residenzstr. 12 | tel. 089 2 90 70 60 | www.kuffler.de | tram 19 Nationaltheater, U/S-Bahn Marienplatz | Moderate

FRAUNHOFER

Munich’s trendy eatery is popular with both old and young, the ‘in’ crowd and families. On Sundays you get a free lesson in Bavarian culture as the traditional morning pint is always accompanied by music. If you’re not very hungry, try the lard and onion spread on bread or meatloaf with home-made potato salad. The theatre of the same name and studio cinema are both part of the set-up. Daily | Fraunhoferstr. 9 | tel. 089 26 64 60 | www.fraunhoferwirtshaus.de | U1/2 Fraunhoferstraße | Budget

GASTSTÄTTE GROSSMARKTHALLE

For lovers of true Bavarian cooking. This is where those working in the wholesale market normally eat – and that’s why it’s open already at 7am and closes at 5pm (Sat at 2pm). This is where you’ll find the very best Weißwurst there is. And the roast pork isn’t too bad either. Closed Sun | Kochelseestraße 13 | tel. 089 76 45 31 | www.gaststätte-grossmarkthalle.de | U3/6
Impler straße, bus 131 Gotzinger Platz | Budget

WEISSES BRÄUHAUS

A good old Bavarian hostelry with blunt, grumpy but surprisingly efficient waitresses who serve the most divine bread dumplings on earth. Despite all things traditional, they also keep up with the times here and have a Bräuhaus app for iPhones. Daily | Tal 7 | tel. 089 2 90 13 80 | www.weisses-brauhaus.de | U/S-Bahn Marienplatz | Budget

 

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Only in Cologne

Unique experiences in Cologne!

Cologne Marco Polo Guide

Underground time machine
Go underground in Cologne and take a journey into the city’s past in the Rathaus (town hall) quarter, follow the trail of its Roman and medieval citizens. The excavations have recently been incorporated into an underground museum.

A funny bird
Order a Halve Hahn (half a chicken) in a Brauhaus but don’t be surprised when you are served rye bread and cheese. This authentic dish with the confusing name is served at the Früh am Dom.

Puppet plays
Even if you don’t understand a word: the Puppenspiele der Stadt Köln – the official name of the Hänneschen Theatre – presents satirical plays in Kölsch the local dialect.

Three days of fun
‘Three days of fun, no regrets, that is carnival’ is the local saying about the Straßenkarneval – a street carnival and masquerade festival.

Meet the waiters
The Köbes are an institution in Rhine gastronomy and belong to the folklore of Cologne’s brewery pubs. To see just how witty and gruff (and rude!) they can be visit the Brauhaus Päffgen.

Speaking and drinking Kölsch
Kölsch is the only language that one can drink. This hoppy, bitter beer is great for a quick drink and is served in small 0.2 L (7 fl oz.) glasses. See how fluent you can be at the Schreckenskammer, a 500 year old brewery serving its own Kölsch.

Have a laugh in the Volkstheater
The burlesque farces presented at the Volkstheater Millowitsch have kept the locals entertained for over 160 years and are as popular as ever.

 

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Top 10 Things To Do In Berlin

Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed in Berlin! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Berlin’s most important sights.

Berlin Marco Polo Guide

Photo Credit: The Migrant Expats

1. PARISER PLATZ
This square comes top of our list with its captivating mix of the Brandenburg Gate, a classy hotel, embassies and the Academy of Arts.

2. MUSEUMSINSEL
Five different museums boasting one of the most valuable collections of art and historical artefacts in the world! The Pergamon altar in the Pergamonmuseum and the Neues Museum’s bust of Nefertiti are particularly worth a visit.

3. ALEXANDERPLATZ
Visit the Fernsehturm (TV Tower) for great views of the square, the World Clock, the Neptune
Fountain, the Rotes Rathaus, the Alexa Shopping Centre and many department stores.

4. REICHSTAG
The view from the glass dome of the Reichstag lets you keep an eye on the city’s government district while admiring the plenary chamber, the Brandenburg Gate and the old centre of Berlin.

5. SONY CENTER
Fantastic light effects make Potsdamer Platz particularly entrancing at night. The Film and TV Museum is a must.

6. GENDARMENMARKT
Found near Friedrichstraße, Berlin’s most beautiful square is home to the historic glory of the Konzerthaus and the German and French cathedrals.

7. SCHLOSS CHARLOTTENBURG
Berlin’s largest palace with private royal apartments, a valuable art collection and a French baroque garden. Queen Luise is entombed in the Mausoleum.

8. JÜDISCHES MUSEUM
Two thousand years of Jewish history are documented within Daniel Libeskind’s breathtaking architectural design.

9. KAISER-WILHELM-GEDÄCHTNISKIRCHE
The ruined old tower rises up high into the sky like an admonitory finger while the New Church’s 30,000 blocks of glass gleam next door.

10. HACKESCHE HÖFE
An ensemble of courtyards off the Hackescher Markt with shops, theatres and a cinema.

 

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Berlin Marco Polo Guide

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Top 10 Things To Do In Dresden

Marco Polo’s list of the top 10 things not to be missed in Dresden! Our best recommendations – from the top down – help you to plan your tour of Dresden’s most important sights. 

Dresden Marco Polo Guide

1. FRAUENKIRCHE
This church is Dresden’s historic landmark. It disappeared from the cityscape for many years after being destroyed in World War II. Since 2005, the massive dome has once again dominated the silhouette of the city’s Altstadt.

2. ZWINGER & GEMÄLDEGALERIE ALTE MEISTER
A masterwork of Saxon Baroque: three of the most important museums in Dresden are housed in the pavilions and adjacent Semperbau.

3. RESIDENZSCHLOSS
Prince electors and kings resided here for over four centuries. Today, their treasures can be admired in the Grünes Gewölbe and in the Armoury. The panoramic view from the Hausmannsturm is a must.

4. SEMPEROPER & THEATERPLATZ
This square’s unique architectural ensemble creates the ceremonious setting for one of the world’s most famous opera houses.

5. BRÜHLSCHE TERRASSE
Locals and tourists alike admire the view from the “Balcony of Europe” down to the steamers on the Elbe and Dresden’s Neustadt quarter.

6. SCHLOSS & PARK PILLNITZ
The summer residence of the Dresden royal court is one of the most unusual castle complexes in Saxony and a perfect symbiosis of architecture and nature.

7. ELBE CASTLES
Three 19th century castles on the banks of the Elbe – between vineyards and parks – seem to be straight out of a fairy tale when seen in the morning mist.

8. KÖRNERPLATZ
Relax and unwind with a stroll around the square. There are half-timbered houses, handicraft shops, two funicular railways, cosy cafés and a view of the so-called “Blue Wonder” bridge.

9. GROSSER GARTEN
The most beautiful of the city’s parks has avenues of trees, ponds, open-air stages, a botanical garden, a park railway and a car factory.

10. ÄUSSERE NEUSTADT
There are countless pubs, bars, galleries and hip shops in the liveliest quarter in Dresden and this is also where you will find the Kunsthofpassage, a series of quirky, artistic courtyards.

 

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Dresden Marco Polo Guide

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Low Budget Berlin

Berlin is a city best known for its dynamic galleries and architecture. You can visit these remarkable landmarks and much more on a budget by following our top tips:

Migrant expats Berlin

Photo credit: themigrantexpats.com

Food & drink

The pizza slices (1.90 euros each) with their wonderful toppings sold by the Focacceria will fill you up in next to no time. Daily from 11am | Mitte | Fehrbelliner Str. 24 | Tel. 030 44 03 27 71 | U 8 Rosenthaler Platz

Curry 36 is probably the most popular snack bar in Kreuzberg and not only serves currywurst (German sausage with curry powder) at around 1.50 euros with chips but also pea soup at 2.50 euros. You eat standing up and it is open until the early hours of the morning. Kreuzberg | Mehringdamm 36 | U 6, 7 Mehringdamm

Baba Angora serves first-rate Turkish cuisine with quality lamb dishes, grilled vegetables and delicious desserts. It has a homey atmosphere and has reasonably priced set meals at lunchtime. Open daily from noon | Charlottenburg | Schlüterstrasse 29 | Tel. 030 3 23 70 96 | S Savignyplatz

Gasthaus Lentz is a classic German eatery where Kölsch beer is served. There is no music to disturb your conversation and they offer a variety of lunchtime specials. Meatballs and Landjäger sausages are always available. Daily from 9am | Charlottenburg | Stuttgarter Platz 20 | Tel. 030 3 24 16 19 | www.gasthaus-lentz-berlin.de | S 3, 5, 7, 75 Charlottenburg

 

Accommodation

The WBM housing association has ten charming, low-priced guest flats in Mitte and Friedrichshain to rent. Scharnweber Strasse 23–27 | Tel. 030 24 71 53 29 | U 5 Samariterstrasse

Eastern Comfort: Guests in the two small hotel boats near the Oberbaumbrücke can spend their nights on the Spree with hardly any swell – a view of the water through the porthole is included in the price. 45 cabins | Friedrichshain | Mühlenstr. 73–77 | Tel. 030 66 76 38 06 | www.eastern-comfort.com | U/S Warschauer Strasse

In the Pension 11. Himmel, in a prefabricated-concrete building in Marzahn, you can either sleep in a hammock or a prince’s bed. A one night stay with breakfast is 22 euros. 5 rooms | Wittenberger Str. 85 | www.pension-11himmel.de | S7 Ahrensfelde

Gasteiner Hof is a small hotel in the west of the city offering good value for money. There are reasonably-priced double rooms available with a shower and WC. 22 rooms | Wilmersdorf | Gasteiner Str. 8 | Tel. 030 862 01 70 | www.gasteiner-hof.de/indexen.html | U 7 Blissestr

 

Shopping

Turkish Bazaar – Even though you will probably not need vegetables by the crate load, the ‘Turkish Market’ called the Markt Am Maybachufer is a real experience. The dealers haggle and bargain over their goods as if they were in a bazaar in Istanbul. Here you can also try delicious and reasonably-priced specialities. Tuesday, Friday noon until 6.30pm | Neukölln | Maybachufer | U 8 Schönleinstrasse

For retro fans – Arm & Sexy in Neukölln has everything from radios to eggcups from the 1930s to 1970s. Wednesday–Friday 2–7pm, Saturday noon–5 pm | Reuterstr. 62 | U7 Hermannplatz

The Marc O’Polo Outlet – This shop will make bargain hunters’ eyes light up with glee. Monday–Friday 10am–8pm, Saturday 10am–6pm | Kaiserdamm 7 | U2 Sophie-Charlotte-Platz

 

Sightseeing

Lunchtime concerts – From September to June, you will be able to enjoy a free lunchtime concert at 1pm every Tuesday in the Philharmonie. The performing ensembles are first-rate and include the Berlin Philharmonic and scholarship holders from the orchestra’s academy. Advance sales Monday–Friday 3 until 6pm, Saturday, Sunday 11am until 2pm | Tiergarten | Matthäikirch strasse 1 | Tel. 030 25 48 89 99 | www.en.gasteig.de | U/S Potsdamer Platz

The Eastside Gallery – The Eastide Gallery is the longest open-air gallery in the world – stretching from the Ostbahnhof to the Oberbaum bridge. Take a look at what artists have left for future generations on a 1416m (4646 ft) long piece of the former Berlin Wall. The gallery is located to the south of the Ostbahnhof railway station. Friedrichshain | Mühlenstrasse | www.eastsidegallery.com | U/S Ostbahnhof

Picnic at Tiergarten – In summer, the Berliners pack their picnic baskets and make a pilgrimage to the English Garden in Tiergarten to relax and listen to free concerts of jazz and Klezmer music. From the dome of the Reichstag you can get the best panoramic view of the city and the area is also a shopping paradise, which makes the district of Tiergarten very hard to compete with.

 

Entertainment

Ticket prices for the Cinestar Centres are reduced to around 6 euros on Tuesdays.

The Sageclub grants free admittance to ‘Rock at Sage’ on Thursdays (7–10pm). Köpenicker Str. 76 | Tel. 030 278 98 30 | U Heinrich-Heine-Strasse

Entrance to the frannz-club is only 4 euros on Thursdays – Indie pop-rock day. Schönhauser Allee 36 | Tel. 030 7 26 19 33 | U 2 Eberswalder Str.

 

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