I don't have to tell you that Amsterdam belongs to one of those cosmopolitan cities where "off the beaten track" doesn't really work any longer. But even though Amsterdam is international and you hear more English than Dutch at every corner there is still a lot of local flair going on - you just need to know where to find it.
Cologne is my dear friend. When I moved to Germany in 2007 I have spent a lot of time there. Living and studying in Bonn - Cologne neighbour - Cologne was the next biggest city to visit. I have brought all my visitors there and climbed the famous Cologne Cathedrale what felt like a hundred times.
Apart from my warm feelings Cologne is also a perfect weekend trip destination with enough points of interest to get you through but not too many that leave you undecided on where to start. Everyone would find something special here - let it be crazy Carnival party, marvelous Cologne Cathedrale or vibrant student life - Germany's largest university is in Cologne.
So let me tell you about my favorites in case you decided to spend a weekend in this cozy city along the Rhine river.
As every modern city filled with international vibes Cologne has gone far developing it’s way in coffee scene. The city has some good coffee roasteries and cafés serving delicious cuppa. I picked my 10 favorites coffeehouses that to my opinion serve the best coffee. Some are old some are new, but all are great. For the detailed guide on what to see and do in Cologne check out the 48 hours in Cologne - things to see and try in Germany liveliest carnival city post.
Amsterdam could get quite busy. Especially during good weather summer months. Finding a spot to sit beside a canal can get challenging and you will have to wait in lines to grab a seat at a cafe. If this doesn't sound right, but you still want to be surrounded by pretty ginger bread houses and Dutch "gezelligheid" why not go to Haarlem?!...
Palermo is a great weekend trip destination especially during the off season months of May and September. It is full of sunshine, sea breeze and history. As the whole island the city has changed religions and countries within the centuries and this is depicted in it's architecture and taste.
Street food, mafia, trash problems and 'God Father' filming - Palermo has seen it all.
Our flight back home was leaving from Palermo, so we decided to stay longer and spent 48 hours in the Sicily's capital.
Our car enters Casteluzzo at dusk. 1.5 hours drive from Palermo through curvy highway filled with construction signs gladly ignored by locals and we spot the sign of the village we are aiming for. High hills with olive trees on their slopes, golden light and sea breeze greet us as we consult the navigation system for our street.