‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

As you know, a few weeks ago, I went to Austria.

And of course, I didn’t just go to Austria, but I decided to visit Vienna!

Visiting Vienna is exciting!

Having a hotdog and beer, on a rainy day in Vienna, is more exciting than you think!

If you’re just joining, and obviously, you’re not, ‘cos you would be following my blog so that you can get weekly updates of what The British Berliner is up to, wouldn’t you?

Wouldn’t you!

However, let’s not quibble, just look to the side of the page and you’ll see a few ways which you can follow this wonderful blog. You can either click on You are following this blog or if you’re a WordPress nerd, just clink on the WordPress symbol followed by Following the British Berliner.

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

Meanwhile, here’s what you missed:

Phew!

Make sure that you get travel insurance before you actually travel!

Now, to be frank, I hate being out of the loop, and I generally prefer to be in the centre of things, and that usually includes staying in the Old Town, or the trendier part of town!

And Vienna didn’t disappoint.

We stayed at a brilliant place called the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, which I found with the help of the Vienna Tourist Board.

We stayed at a brilliant place in Vienna – the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.
Photograph ©Frank Böster

Thanks so much everyone!

Book your hotel here!

Vienna is an imperial beauty. You’re welcome!

I’ve already written about the history of Vienna, but it really does bear to be repeated.

Vienna is an imperial beauty!

It’s the capital of Austria and the cultural. economic, and political centre of Austria.

With a population of just 1.8 million, Vienna is the second (2nd) largest German-speaking city in the world, after Berlin!

Vienna is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Hungary. In fact, Prague, Bratislava, and Budapest, are but a few cheap hours away!

TAKE ME THERE?

Myself looking glum at the airport. Leaving Vienna!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

As you know, I’m a great believer in train travel, but Vienna is rather far from Berlin, so we flew!

Our non-stop journey from Berlin Schoenefeld (SXF) to Vienna (VIE) took just 1 hour and 25 minutes via EasyJet, but of course, you can easily fly into Vienna International Airport, otherwise known as the Flughafen Wien, a destination flown by many major airlines, from many parts of the world!

If you’re flying from Europe, it usually takes between 1 to 2 hours, and is pretty much an easy ride!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

I didn’t find it crowded in Vienna. And neither did they!

It depends!

I didn’t find it to be necessarily so, as we went in March.

It’s been some time since I had last been to Vienna, so we booked a walking tour. But the tour guide didn’t show up!

We were all sort of hanging around, and (ahem), I’m quite bossy and so at one point, everyone thought that I was the tour guide.

If only!

Mind you, if we were in Berlin and that happened, I would happily take the tourists with me, and do the tour myself!

Me in front of a piece of the Berlin Wall & Street Art!

However, Vienna is a place that everyone would like to go to at least once, as it’s rather nice and serene!

Who wouldn’t want to visit?

‘Best to book early!

WHAT IS VIENNA LIKE?

Mozart & Vienna are adorable!

It’s adorable!

I’ve been there a few times over the years!

Having said that, the last time that I was in Vienna, “The Tall Young Gentleman” had just been born twelve (12) months prior!

My mother-in-law had decided to give me a weekend break, so I was in Vienna and literally, still breast-feeding!!!

A Viennese speciality of a glass of beer mixed with fanta orange, was not a very good idea!

I had tried a Viennese speciality of a glass of beer mixed with fanta orange. A sort of shandy.

It was a mistake.

We went to the Prater.

The Prater is one of Vienna’s most popular amusement park, and it’s star is the Giant Ferris Wheel!

The Prater is one of Vienna’s most popular leisure areas with a world-famous amusement park opened in 1766!

One of the highlights of the Prater is the Giant Ferris Wheel – a masterpiece of 19th century technology – and one of the largest wheels in the world!

Did we go on the Giant Ferris Wheel back in 2003?

Nope!

We went on the wheel called the Blumenrad, otherwise known as the Flower Wheel!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

We went on the wheel called the Blumenrad, otherwise known as the Flower Wheel!

The seats are shaped like huge teacups which were twirled around.

And around.

And around.

I turned a ghastly shade of green!

I turned a ghastly shade of green.

Let’s just say that it took a huge amount of effort for me to keep things together.

We got off the Blumenrad, and I vomited the wheat beer and fanta orange concoction.

Everywhere!

We went on the Blumenrad / Flower Wheel, but we really should have gone on the Giant Ferris Wheel instead!
Photograph ©Frank Böster

I’ve never had a mixed beer since!

I DON’T SPEAK AUSTRIAN GERMAN or GERMAN AT ALL.

Singing will do just as well!
©WienTourismus Lukas Beck: Vienna Boys’ Choir

Not. A. Problem.

Lots of people speak English. Or High German, otherwise known as Hochdeutsche!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

Living in a hut, is not at all the done thing. In Vienna!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

If you’re on a budget in Vienna. Let them eat cake!

I’ll be honest with you. Vienna isn’t known as a cheap destination.

Quite the opposite in fact!

I can’t give you any details but for the more budget conscious traveller, there are plenty of hostels and other moderately priced accommodation to be had. Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your hotel here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

I got into contact with a quirky boutique hotel group called 25 Hours Hotels!

Certainly!

You know how much I like boutique  or art design hotels.

Well, on doing some research, I got into contact with a quirky boutique hotel group called 25hours Hotels.

The 25hours Hotels is a young hotel concept which seeks contemporary answers to the requirements of an urban, cosmopolitan clientele, boasting an unconventional mix of contemporary services, coupled with dynamism, surprise and a touch of adventure!

The 25hours brand is currently focused on Germany, Austria and Switzerland.

We went to the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.

The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, is an art design circus-themed boutique hotel!

Just like the hotel in Amsterdam Zaandam, the 25hours Hotels’ quirkiness is plain to see.

Practically every single room had some sort of association with the circus!

And with one of the hotel motto’s being – We Are All Mad Here – is it any wonder that it was pretty much my type of place!

And surely, there wouldn’t be any looking at the ceiling in boredom, here!

We Are All Mad Here!
The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

As we were in Vienna to celebrate my husband – The Music Producers’ – birthday, we were upgraded to one of the xl rooms, with a colourful circus theme on the wall!

The room was huge!

It also had a flat screen TV, a free-standing closet place to hang up clothes with long shelves, an imac workstation writing table, a cool vintage sound system bluetooth speaker, an iPod docking station, some leather pouffles, a private terrace with a wooden garden table and chairs, and lots of plug outlets.

My husband was very pleased!

We were upgraded to one of the xl rooms, with a colourful circus theme on the wall!

There was a small fridge, and an extra toilet, so that I could do my make up in peace. Yay!

The bathroom was a sort of internal interior space with a huge sink, a really nice rainshower compartment that had a glass panel, which also had a curtain that could be drawn.

If you so wished!

I very much liked the orange and lemon infused sustainable organic bath gels, shampoo, conditioner and body moisturiser, which all had hilarious save-the-environment instructions on the bottles! And at the end of a long day were awfully welcoming, as well as plenty of fluffy towels, and free hi-speed WiFi!

I did miss my fluffy dressing gowns and fluffy slippers though!

‘Notice the save-the-environment inscription on the bottle at the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier!
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

The 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier also had a “mermaid’s cave” which consisted of a sauna, a spa centre, and fitness equipment, free of charge to guests.

You could also have access to a free mini car and bike rental, as well as free bottled water and towels, if you wanted to go jogging!

The view on the rooftop bar of the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier, is pretty amazing!
©Stephan Lemke for 25hours Hotels

The lobby was very nice with comfy leather sofas, crisp daily newspapers and glossy magazines. There was also a hotel food truck in the garden.

Being that the hotel is actually located in the Museum Quartier part of the city, the view on the rooftop bar, was pretty amazing!

Breakfast in Vienna was quite marvellous!

For breakfast, we had marvellous cold cuts, bacon, sausages, eggs, and baked beans, a variety of sea-food, vegetables, sauces, and cream. As well as a wide stock of cereal, fruit, cake, pastries, pots of tea, coffee local champagne, and juices.

They also had a wonderful array of crunchy Germanic and French home-made bread, and a variety of jams and pickles! Yum!

It was very nice indeed!

The Music Producer helping himself to morning refreshment, at the 25hours Hotel Vienna at MuseumsQuartier.

The 25hours Hotel at MuseumsQuartier (depending on the room), can be booked from €97.00 per night, which for two (2) people would be €48.50 a pop, and an absolute Vienna bargain!

The buffet breakfast is €21.00 per person. Children up to 6 years old are free of charge. Children from 7 to 11 years old get a 50% discount. Guests can also buy a Grab & Go breakfast from the lobby for €7.00 per person.

Book your hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Take the tram in Vienna!

Transport in Vienna is excellent.

The trams and horses are romantic, and the trains are easy to use, and very efficient.

You can also walk around quite easily, as Vienna is pretty small!

Once again, don’t forget to buy a public transport Vienna card. However, for ease of transport and discounts to attractions, museums, and restaurants, we used the Vienna City Card for 72 hours. Tickets can be bought everywhere that tourists go to, tourist information  points, and on-line!

However, just like in Berlin, and in many European cities, there are no barriers, and we all want to keep it that way, so please buy your ticket!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Apple strudel is a very important part of Viennese coffee culture!

Apple strudel is king!

MY VERDICT:

Vienna Tourist Board. Now. Forever.

I absolutely adore Vienna.

It’s classy.

It’s European.

It’s got art and culture and has a vibrant history.

And even though Vienna is considered to be expensive. It’s not as expensive as you think!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

You bet!

Vienna is charming.

I really can’t wait to visit again.

Let’s do it!

JUST BECAUSE I DON’T DRINK COFFEE. ‘DOESN’T MEAN I CAN’T HAVE COFFEE CULTURE WITH HOT CHOCOLATE, IN VIENNA!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

This article is part – sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board and I received a press discount from the 25 Hours Hotels but all opinions and the wonderful hot chocolate and delightful Austrian food I happily consumed, are my very own! Thanks so much!

It’s almost Easter!

In April & May, I’ll be visiting Croatia, Sweden & Finland!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you won’t get any Easter eggs!

'Just because I don't drink coffee. 'Doesn't mean I can't have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!
‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

‘Just because I don’t drink coffee. ‘Doesn’t mean I can’t have coffee culture with hot chocolate, in Vienna!

Are you a coffee drinker? Or are you like me, a person who can’t bear the sight of it! Spill the beans!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

OMG!

What a great reception we had about my previous post on Zaandam! Such a surprise and discovery for many!

For those of you just joining, and if so, where have you been all my life?

Here they are:

Dutch children in traditional costume.
Dutch children in traditional costume.

As promised, I’m going to write about Dutch food.

Now last week, was a bit of a long post..and after a week of skiing in the Czech Republic, I’m rather worn out, so I’ll just give you the barest of literature, and let the pictures speak for themselves!

WHAT IS DUTCH FOOD?

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

Dutch food, otherwise known as Nederlandse keuken, consists of the food traditions and practices, from the Netherlands!

Now it’s really confusing trying to explain what the difference between Holland and the Netherlands is, so I’ll let this hilarious video explain it for you!

Sadly, Holland, like Germany, is not really known for it’s excellent variety of food.

Traditionally, Dutch food is considered to be somewhat of the simple and straightforward variety with lots of vegetables, and very little meat. In short, quite rustic!

However, due to the influence of colonialism in the Dutch East Indies, and a contemporary international mix, Dutch food has become more interesting, more diverse, and far healthier, with sprinkles of stodge during the cold winter months!

Take a look below:

DUTCH FOOD AND WAFFLES: WHAT TO EAT IN HOLLAND!

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

BREAKFAST:

A Continental Breakfast of crosissant, colds cuts, cheese, cherry tomatoes, and boiled eggs at the NL-Hotel Museumplein, Amsterdam.
A Continental Breakfast of croissant, colds cuts, cheese, cherry tomatoes, and boiled eggs in Amsterdam.

A Dutch breakfast is typically Continental in style and usually consists of a wide variety of cold cuts, cheeses and sweet toppings; such as chocolate spread, treacle, otherwise known as stroop, peanut butter and apple butter!

Dutch cake for breakfast!
Dutch cake for breakfast!

There is also a wide variety of whole grain bread as well as Dutch bread, with sunflower or pumpkin seeds, rye bread, a Frisian version of white bread known as suikerbrood, or otherwise known as white bread with lumps of sugar mixed in. Eeek!

Kerststol – a traditional Dutch Christmas bread made out of dough, sugar, dried fruits, almond paste and currants, and Ontbijtkoek or peperkoek – a Dutch spiced gingerbread type of cake often served at breakfast, with a thick layer of butter on top!

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

In fact, a breakfast of everything that you could ever desire!

Cost: €4.99 – €22.00

SNACKS:

Dutch home-made chips with tomato ketchup and a dollop of mayo!
Dutch home-made chips with tomato ketchup and a dollop of mayo!

You can find a wide variety of snacks all over Holland.

Dutch fish and chips with a variety of Dutch seafood sauces. In Zaandam!
Dutch fish and chips with a variety of Dutch seafood sauces. In Zaandam!

They tend to range from french fries to mini pancakes. The deep-fried battered codfish, whiting or cod cheeks from the North Sea above is known as Kibbeling, and often served with a mayonnaise-based garlic, remoulade, or tartar sauce, as well as a variety of different seafood sauces!

We bought ours from a seafood stand in Zaandam, where all manner of herring and seafood is sold.

And very nice they were too!

Dutch chips and Mayo. Umm. They're alright. I coped!
Dutch chips and Mayo. Umm. They’re alright. I coped!

Most of the snacks are quite greasy, but nice and cheap.

Dutch mini-burgers from a vending machine!
Dutch mini-burgers from a vending machine!

Ranging from mini burgers to croquettes!

Dutch mini-croquettes from a vending machine!
Dutch mini-croquettes from a vending machine!

And when in Rome, do as the Dutch do and use a vending machine!

"The Tall Young Gentleman" was desperate to try something Dutch from the vending machine. And as you can see, it was perfectly fine!
“The Tall Young Gentleman” was desperate to try something Dutch from the vending machine. And as you can see, it was perfectly fine!

However, make sure that you use a “restaurant-bar” rather than at the train station, as you can be sure that the replacements are always fresh. There were queues of respectable people using these very same “restaurant-bars,” so no need to fear if they’re alright. They’re alright!

And make sure that you have the correct change, ‘cos you won’t get your money back if you don’t!

Cost: €1.50 – €7:00

CHEESE:

The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden!
The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden!

If you were to ask most people which food items remind them of Holland, as in Switzerland, most people would say cheese!

The Dutch have been making cheese since 800 B.C. and some say, that Holland is the largest cheese exporter in the world!

The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden!
The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden!

With an average of 21 kilograms per year per person, we can say the Dutch love their own cheese.

Dutch people eat cheese with everything!
Dutch people eat cheese with everything!

In fact, Dutch people eat cheese for breakfast, cheese on sandwiches, cheese for lunch, cheese as a snack, and cheese for supper served with mustard, and a lovely glass of Dutch beer!

The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden!
The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden!

The Dutch are very famous for their cheeses ranging from semi-hard or hard cheeses such as Gouda, Edam, and Leyden, and as such, the five (5) most traditional cheese markets in Holland can be found in Alkmaar, Edam, Hoorn, Gouda and Woerden.

In fact, you can still see how cheese merchants do business, much as they have done, for more than 600 years! And of course, “Old Amsterdam” cheese which you can get all over Amsterdam!

Cheese Connoissuers in Holland.
Cheese connoisseurs in Holland.

A typical Dutch way of making cheese is to blend in herbs or spices during the first stage of the production process, such as in cheeses with cloves (Friesian Clove), cumin (Leyden cheese), Dutch Farmhouse Cheese with Italian Black Truffle, and even cheese with nettles!

Cheese-tasting is very popular, in Holland!
Cheese-tasting is very popular. In Holland!

Cheese in Holland is exciting!

Cost: €1.50 – €..whatever!

DINNER:

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

Traditionally a Dutch dinner would have potatoes with a large portion of vegetables and a small portion of meat with gravy, or a potato and vegetable stew.

Beetroot and red cabbage are important Dutch side-dishes, and can be meals in themselves!
Beetroot and red cabbage are important Dutch side-dishes, and can be meals in themselves!

Vegetable stews are often served with side dishes such as rodekool met appeltjes, otherwise known as red cabbage with apples, or rode bieten, otherwise known as beetroot!

Yum!

Dutch food is also served with a variety of pickles!
Dutch food is also served with a variety of pickles!

They are also served with pickles, including augurken, otherwise known as gherkins, or zilveruitjes, otherwise known as cocktail onions!

A huge meatball with stamppot, otherwise known as a Dutch traditional meal of mashed potatoes and several vegetables, or fruit!
A huge meatball with stamppot, otherwise known as a Dutch traditional meal of mashed potatoes and several vegetables, or fruit!

One of the most popular traditional Dutch foods would be stamppot, otherwise known as mashed potatoes with a variety of mashed vegetables!

A Dutch appetizer of marinated seafood and asparagus!
A Dutch appetizer of marinated seafood and asparagus!

But, you know, you don’t have to contend with traditional food, and stodge, you can have “nice food” too. The like of which we had at our quirky Inntel Hotels Amsterdam Zaandam,  in the very nice and interesting windmill-filled town of Zaandam!

A Dutch dinner of guinea fowl, baked fluffy potoatoes, fried mushrooms, and asparagus!
A Dutch dinner of guinea fowl, baked fluffy potatoes, fried mushrooms, and asparagus!

Just look at this succulent guinea fowl!

A Dutch dinner of venison steak stuffed with lightly seared vegetables sprinkled with chocolate oil!
A Dutch dinner of venison steak stuffed with lightly seared vegetables sprinkled with chocolate oil!

Or how about this rather wonderful meal of venison steak?

Delightful!

Cost: €12.00 – €20.00

DESSERT:

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

The most popular Dutch dessert is that of the stroopwafel, otherwise known as a waffle!

The most popular Dutch dessert is that of the stroopwafel, otherwise known as a waffle!
The most popular Dutch dessert is that of the stroopwafel, otherwise known as a waffle!

It’s not any old waffle of course, as the stroopwafel originated from the town of Gouda, and was first made during the late 18th or early 19th century!

It was said that a baker invented the Dutch waffle by using leftovers from the bakery, such as breadcrumbs, and sweetening it with syrup.

The most popular Dutch dessert is that of the stroopwafel, otherwise known as a waffle!
The most popular Dutch dessert is that of the stroopwafel, otherwise known as a waffle!

Dutch waffles – the stroopwafel – is made from baked batter and sliced horizontally. Two thin layers of the waffle are filled with special sweet and sticky syrup, otherwise known as the stroop, and put in between.

Occasionally, crushed hazelnuts are mixed with the stroop, and the dough is also spiced with cinnamon.

We also had a Dutch speciality known as vla or vlaai!
We also had a Dutch speciality known as vla or vlaai!

We also had a Dutch speciality known as vla or vlaai!

The word vla was first documented in the 13th century and originally referred to any custard-like substance covering a cake, or any other baked good. The word vlaai is related and has since come to refer to a type of pie filled with either fruit, custard, rhubarb or rice pudding!

The vlaai we had was a sort of mini custard pie, served with whipped cream, and tasty ice-cream!
The vlaai we had was a sort of mini custard pie, served with whipped cream, and tasty ice-cream!

The vlaai we had was a sort of mini custard pie, served with whipped cream, and tasty ice-cream!

Cost: €3.00 – €6.50

ANYTHING ELSE?

Oh yes.

Try Dutch beer!

Cost: €3.50 – €5.00

Don't forget some Dutch beer!
Don’t forget some Dutch beer!

That’s it for now.

Book your hotel here!

See you next week!

DUTCH FOOD AND WAFFLES: WHAT TO EAT IN HOLLAND!

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the marvellous Dutch food that we tasted and happily consumed, are my very own!

It’s February!

I’ll be at the Bistro France Mediatournee 2017 on 07.02.17.

If you’re a blogger or just like travelling, and you’re in town, then come and meet us at the Berlin Travel Massive February MeetUp on February 9th.

The 67th Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, will take place from 09.02.17 – 19.02.17

Strictly Stand Up – The English Comedy Night will take place at the Quatsch comedy Club on 15.02.17. Save the Date!

If you’re not in Berlin in February, you’re missing all the excitement!

February is going to be remarkable!

Watch this space!

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!
Dutch food & waffles: what to eat in Holland!

What do you think of Dutch food? Do you have a favourite? Have your say!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience - Part II
Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

So last week, I introduced you to a little bit of why I went to visit Taiwan.

And this is why I did so:

Taiwan is all in the news at the moment, so visit sooner rather than later, before it gets all complicated! 

ANY IDEAS OF WHAT I SHOULD DO WHEN I GET TO TAIWAN?

Being in Taiwan was a slow cultural solo trip!
Being in Taiwan was a slow cultural solo trip!

I only went for five (5) days and based myself in Taipei, so this was a sloooooow cultural solo trip.

Taipei is home to various world-famous architectural or cultural landmarks which include:

Taipei 101 Observatory - The world's tallest building in 2004!
Taipei 101 Observatory – The world’s tallest building in 2004!
The 228 Peace Memorial Park ©Ryan G
The 228 Peace Memorial Park ©Ryan G
Making new friends under the glowing lanterns of the Mengjia Longshan Temple, in Taipei!
Making new friends under the glowing lanterns of the Mengjia Longshan Temple, in Taipei!
Tea culture in Taiwan!
Tea culture in Taiwan!
Yangmingshan National Park ©taiwan.net.tw
Yangmingshan National Park ©taiwan.net.tw
Paintbrushes, stencils, and ink, ready for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience, in Taiwan!
Paintbrushes, stencils, and ink, ready for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience, in Taiwan!
  • Pingxi

There really is plenty to do, and I wrote 16 brilliant reasons all about it! 

Schoolgirls in Taiwan for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience!
Schoolgirls in Taiwan for the Pingxi Sky Lantern experience!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Taipei is easy to navigate using public transport.
Taipei is easy to navigate using public transport.

Taipei is easy to navigate.

Taxis are cheap and so is public transport.

The trains were easy to navigate and use, and were cheap, costing just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey!

Single journeys in Taipei cost just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey. Plenty of room to take your cello with you!
Single journeys in Taipei cost just NT$20 (Taiwanese dollars) or €0.60 cents per short hop journey. Plenty of room to take your cello with you!

The trains weren’t crammed or packed, and the floors were clean. I used my finger, and checked lol! There were plants and mobile-phone chargers everywhere, and even boxes for you to take a free umbrella!

If that isn’t service, I really don’t know what is!

There are underground trains, mainline trains, high-speed rail, and bus lines connect Taipei with other parts of the Taiwanese island!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites)!
Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites)!

One of the biggest pulls to Taiwan is the food that you can find there at Taiwan’s famous xiao chi (small bites), at the many department stores, kerbside restaurants, hawker carts, bubble tea stalls, and the famous daytime and night markets, so here we go.

Enjoy!

THE TAIPEI HUAXI STREET NIGHT MARKET

The Taipei Huaxi Street Night Market in Taipei.
The Taipei Huaxi Street Night Market in Taipei.

Located near the Longshan Temple, the Huaxi Street Night Market is the most well-known international tourist night markets in Taipei, and has been in business for more than 60 years! Traders sell Chinese herbal food, crafts, commodities, gourmet snacks, Chinese herbal cuisine cooked with snake and other exotic meat, foot massage shops, spas, and seafood!

Fish head soup!
Fish head soup!
Squid on a stick!
Squid on a stick!
Deep-fried squid!
Deep-fried squid!

Specialities include such delights as fish head soup, and deep-fried squid, with a variety of sauces such as spicy pepper and mind-blowing wasabi!

  • Cost of fried squid: NT$10 or €0.30!
Me drinking bubble tea in Taiwan!
Me drinking bubble tea in Taiwan!

And now for something completely different…chewy balls of tapioca bubble tea at the street market. A boon for me as bubble tea is actually banned in Germany!

  • Cost: NT$10 or €0.30!

Nearest station: Longshan Temple

Opening Times : 16:00-24:00

RAOHE STREET NIGHT MARKET

Roast pig! ©House of Hao's
Roast pig! ©House of Hao’s

The Raohe Street Night Market is one of the oldest night markets in Taipei, and just across the street from my amba Taipei Songshan hotel! It’s also quite traditional, packed with snacks, quaint shops and stalls, and carnival games with prizes, and is considered to be the largest garment wholesale market place in Taiwan!

Getting lost in the Wufenpu Fashion Area of Taipei!
Getting lost in the Wufenpu Fashion Area of Taipei!

In order to get there, I found myself getting lost among the maze and alleys full of racks of clothing, and discounted fashion shops at the Wufenpu Fashion Area!

Book your hotel here!

Snails in sauce!
Snails in sauce!
Noodle soup. I did have dumplings too, but I have no idea where I put them!
Noodle soup. I did have dumplings too, but I have no idea where I put them!
  • Cost of noodles: NT$8 or €0.25 per piece
  • Cost of soup: NT$15 or €0.45 per bowl

Nearest station: Songshan

Opening Times : 17:00-24:00

SHILIN NIGHT MARKET

A local tradesman at the Shilin Night Market, in Taipei!
A local tradesman at the Shilin Night Market, in Taipei!

The Shilin Night Market is one of the largest and most popular night markets in Taiwan! It was built in 1899 and is famous for great food!

Taiwanese students and young people, outside the Cicheng Temple, having a good time!
Taiwanese students and young people, outside the Cicheng Temple, having a good time!
Fishing for live shrimps at the night market, in Taiwan!
Fishing for live shrimps at the night market, in Taiwan!
Having a meal at a kerbside restaurants, with mates in Taiwan!
Having a meal at a kerbside restaurants, with mates in Taiwan!
The Shilin Night Market is popular with Taiwanese students because of it's cheap, attractive prices!
The Shilin Night Market is popular with Taiwanese students because of it’s cheap, attractive prices!

The Shilin Night Market is famous for local Taiwanese cuisine, and spills out into several bustling streets with more than 500 stores and vendors! The night market is divided into two parts. One part is in the Shilin Market building with a food court on the underground floor. The second part centers on the Yangming Cinema and the Cicheng Temple, and consists of a cluster of shops and stores popular with Taiwanese students and young people.

Exotic vegetables for the hotpot inTaiwan!
Exotic vegetables for the hotpot inTaiwan!
Exotic Taiwanese meatballs at the night market in Taipei!
Exotic Taiwanese meatballs at the night market in Taipei!
A hotpot for me, and a hotpot for you, at the Shillin Night Market in Taiwan!
A hotpot for me, and a hotpot for you, at the Shillin Night Market in Taiwan!
Shanghai Buns at the Shilin Night Market in Taipei!
Shanghai Buns at the Shilin Night Market in Taipei!

Not to be outdone – Taiwanese Afters and desserts!

Some sort of shaved ice!
Some sort of shaved ice!
I've no idea what it is exactly, but it looked pretty! Any ideas?
I’ve no idea what it is exactly, but it looked pretty! Any ideas?
I had this really nice fresh cherry drink, but due to brain freeze, I had to throw it away!
I had this really nice fresh cherry drink, but due to brain freeze, I had to throw it away!

Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu!!

Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu in Taiwan!!
Ha! Ha! Stinky tofu in Taiwan!!

No thanks!

Nearest station: Shilin, but get out at Jiantan train station instead!

Opening Times : 17:00-24:00

LOCAL FOOD AT TAIWANESE RESTAURANTS

Vegetables and mountains of tofu in Taiwan!
Vegetables and mountains of tofu in Taiwan
A selection of sauces, condiments, and spices. In Taiwan!
A selection of sauces, condiments, and spices. In Taiwan!
Rice and noodles with the steaming hot pot in the background!
Rice and noodles with the steaming hot pot in the background!

I went to a local restaurant late one night and had a hotpot of noodles, beef, and tofu. I went with two Americans and we didn’t really know what to do with all the stuff, so I asked two visitors from Malaysia!

You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!
You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!

You put all the stuff in the steaming hotpot, and eat with rice, noodles, or both!

Wash it all down with cider or beer!
Wash it all down with cider or beer!
Ice cold German imported beer!
Ice cold German imported beer!

German imported Blue Girl beer!

‘Nuff said!

ORGANIC TAIWANESE FOOD & DRINK

Enhanced fresh juice
Enhanced fresh juice
Sweet potato fries with spicy chipotle mayo dipping
Sweet potato fries with spicy chipotle mayo dipping
House caesar salad
House caesar salad

I wasn’t feeling at all well when I arrived in Taiwan, so I started my day at the amba Taipei Ximending with fresh organic food, a salad, and some chips, to make me feel at home! All the nore to get that boutique feeling which you can do, if you book your hotel here!

  • Cost of fruit juice: NT$170 or €5.70!
  • Cost of potato fries: NT$160 or €4.80!
  • Cost of salad: NT$220 or €6.50!

MY VERDICT:

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience - Part II
Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

I really liked Taipei.

It’s lovely. It’s old. It’s got history, art and culture, and looks really modern. It’s not as cheap as South East Asian (SEA) countries, but is certainly reasonably priced.

If you’re looking for the next best East Asian city that’s safe, quiet, and away from the tourist throngs, you’ve found it.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Utterly!

Because Taiwan has the feel of being Chinese, but itsn’t!

Let’s do it!

Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending 16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!
Me being a tourist in trendy Ximending
16 brilliant reasons why you should visit Taiwan!

This article is not sponsored and all opinions and the steaming hotpots that I plunged into, are my very own!

Next week I’ll be writing about Christmas, and then returning to the Philippines later!

I’ll be joining the office of the President of the Federal Republic of Germany, to celebrate Christmas on December 12th! I know! I’ve totally made it!!

In January, I’ll be going to Holland.

The British Shorts Film Festival will take place from 12th – 18th January, 2017

Berlin Fashion Week will take place from 17th –  20th January, 2017.

At the end of January, I’ll be skiing in the Czech Republic.

Save the Date!

December is going to be sharp!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience - Part II
Taiwan: Food to eat and a place to lay your head: A first-time experience – Part II

Have you ever been to a night market? What do you think of bubble tea? Let me know!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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