A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

OMG!

I’m enormously excited!

And why?

The ITB travel trade fair is going to be in town.

Yeeeeeeeees!

In Kurdistan at the ITB 2015.

Gosh!

Just last week, I told you about the glamour of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale?

Now this!

Before I became the awesome travel blogger that I am today, I used to attend the ITB as an ordinary member of the public.

It was one of the highlights of my year!

And let me tell you, it still is!

I mean, thousands of international travel organisations and travel destinations are going to be in the city, looking to present the best parts of their country, or industry.

And yours truly will be among them.

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Accor Hotels – #myjourneybegins. It most certainly does!

Last year, was one of the most successful ITB travel trade conferences that I have ever attended!

In fact, I had so many appointments which had me going from floor to floor, that even though I used the press shuttle bus, my feet swelled up ‘cos I was wearing ankle boots, and I tend to walk like a man!

My Blogger Speed Dating appointment sheet was filled to the brim with Destinations & Marketing people wanting to meet me face-to-face, and I was invited to so many After-Hours parties, it became quite over-whelming…

Not only that, but a book author reached out to me and asked for one of my old Scotland photographs to be added to their book for a film tour, so perhaps the next time you go to the Scottish Highlands, you could be looking at one of my photographs!

Don’t risk collapse at the ITB Berlin. Fill your belly!

But most endearing of all, as I was browsing through the Poland section, looking for destination information, one of the girls started staring.

I gave her my business card to give to her boss, and she just started screaming!

Jesus in Warsaw.

She recognised my name and was thrilled and excited to finally meet and see the writer of THAT post! She told her neighbours and they all began rushing to take photographs & giggling!

I mean, that post now has over one hundred and twenty-three thousand (123,000) views!

Apparently. In Poland, I’m a bit of a notorious star!

And the title of said piece: Going to Poland: 10 reasons not to go!

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The secret of eating & drinking in Warsaw – How to make pierorgi and eat it!

This year, I’m once again, all ready and organised.

Now that I’m a professional blogger don’t you know, I get to have internal access to all that the travel industry has to offer.

If you’re reading about the ITB for the first time, here’s what I previously wrote:

But it doesn’t hurt to reiterate the facts:

WHAT IS THE ITB?

ITB Berlin Convention 2018
ITB Berlin Convention 2018

The ITB Berlin stands for the Internationale Tourismus-Börse or in English, the international tourism trade fair.

The ITB represents B2B, hotels, tourists boards, tour operators and providers, airlines, transport operators, responsible travel organisers, information technology experts, social media bloggers, and anybody else interested in travel and tourism.

It’s also the world’s leading travel industry think tank, in which the convention trade fair establishes itself as the industry’s main knowledge platform, with top-notch presentations on global trends, travel innovations and path-breaking events for the entire tourism industry!

Phew!

WHAT’S IT ALL ABOUT THEN?

Happy bloggers at ITB Berlin – ©Natalie Deduck – Loveandroad.com

Well, the ITB Berlin is the foremost business platform for the global tourism business. We’re talking:

  • 5 continents
  • 180 Countries
  • 200 trendsetting events
  • 400 speakers
  • 1,000 Qualified Top Buyers
  • 10,000 Exhibitors
  • 28,000 Convention Visitors and Participants attending lectures, discussions, and workshops
  • 60,000 Private Visitors
  • 109,000 Trade Visitors
  • 160,000 Square meters
  • Bloggers from 25 countries all over the world
  • Over 5 days within 7th March – 11th March, 2018
  • Bringing in a €7 billion turnover to Germany!

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A zebra in Zambia

Omigosh!

If you’re at the ITB, you’re in good company.

The ITB Berlin is a huge deal. The convention & culture partner country for 2018 is Zambia with the motto: – Let’s explore.
Official Partner Region ITB 2018 Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – © 2018 Messe Berlin

And the official Partner Region for ITB 2018 is Mecklenburg-Vorpommern – Best of Northern Germany.

Exciting!

ITB BERLIN IS 52 YEARS OLD!

The beautiful French Quarter - Gendarmenmarkt - in Berlin
The beautiful French Quarter – Gendarmenmarkt – in Berlin

The name ITB Berlin stands for a unique success story and things that are made in Berlin.

What began in 1966, as a small overseas import trade show, has developed into a true global success.

What originally, was only an event of five (5) participating countries and regions, has grown to over 180 with an exhibition space expanding from 580 m² to 160,000 m² today!

In more than five (5) decades, so many societal and political changes have taken place. As far as the tourism industry is concerned, Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important economic factors!

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So is it worth going to ITB Berlin? Yes! It most certainly is!

Today, the ITB Berlin is the leading trade show of the travel industry and, at the same time, the biggest travel show for the German public!

However, it’s a huge venue and there have been incidents of people wandering around and not actually getting to where they wanted to go!

Not naming names or anything, so here’s a few tips on how to navigate your way around!

WHEN CAN YOU VISIT?

Visitors are welcome at the ITB Berlin!
Visitors are welcome at the ITB Berlin!

OPENING HOURS.

Trade visitors: 7th – 11th March, 2018. 09:30 – 18:00
The general public: 10th – 11th March, 2018. 10:00 – 18:00
Journalists and bloggers: 6th – 11th March, 2018. 08:00 – 18:00

ADMISSION.

ITB BERLIN – The world in one place!
ITB BERLIN – The world in one place!

You can buy tickets at the Exhibition Grounds – or save time and money and buy them in advance at the Online Ticket Shop. Entrance for Trade Visitors / Press to the ITB Berlin Convention is included in the price of your trade fair ticket.

Trade Fair Visitors:

  • One Day Ticket: Online in advance – €42.00. On the day – €62.00
  • A Five Day Permanent Trade Visitor Pass Ticket: Online in advance – €60.00. On the day – €90.00
  • Accredited press / bloggers: Free of charge, in advance. If not accredited, as above
I would just like to thank some very important people – YOU!

The General Public.

  • One Day ticket: Online in advance – €12.00. On the day – €15.00
  • Reduced priced tickets – students / retired /unemployed etc. On the day – €8.00
  • Last Minute tickets (only valid on March 12th, from 14:00) – On the day – €8.00
  • All children under the age of fourteen (14) if accompanied by an adult, are totally free of charge!

p.s. You should also be able to buy a €12.00 ticket from any BVG/SBahn ticket machine. And if you live in Berlin, watch out for the free voucher that sometimes comes, via free delivery of the weekend edition of the Berliner Morgenpost newspaper!

Book your hotel here!

HOW DO I GET TO THE ITB?

Use the ITB shuttle service to get around. It's free!
Use the ITB shuttle service to get around. It’s free!

If you’re a trade visitor or a member of the press, then there is a free ITB shuttle service that will take you from the airport, from selected hotels and from various stops around the city to the ITB Exhibition Ground. If you’re using the city shuttle line service, please note that the stops are not marked as ITB Berlin stops, but are selected buses at the regular bus stops of the Berlin Public Transport System, otherwise known as the BVG!

Using Berlin's public transport is perfectly safe & very cheap!
Using Berlin’s public transport is perfectly safe & very cheap!

You can find bus stops at:

Line A

  • Bus-Stop 1: Unter den Linden / Friedrichstraße
  • Bus-Stop 2: Train Station Potsdamer Platz (on Leipziger Platz)

Line B

  • Bus-Stop 1: Underground Station U Wittenbergplatz
  • Bus-Stop 2: Underground Station U Kurfürstendamm (Kranzlereck)
  • Bus-Stop 3: Olivaer Platz (Kurfürstendamm 61)
  • Bus-Stop 4: Underground Station U Adenauerplatz
  • Bus-Stop 5: Sbahn Train Station S Halensee

HOW TO NAVIGATE YOUR WAY AROUND THE ITB VENUE.

Navigate your way around the ITB Berlin - ©2017 Messe Berlin
Navigate your way around the ITB Berlin – ©2017 Messe Berlin

There are seven (7) entrances, but to give you a better insight you can download a map of the exhibition ground:

  • Entrance South (Jafféstrasse): Halls 1 – 6 Marshall Haus
  • CityCube Berlin: Halls 7a – 7c
  • Entrance Hall 9 (Messedamm): Halls 8 – 10
  • Entrance East (Hall 14.1, opposite the ICC Berlin): Halls 12 – 17
  • Entrance North (Hall 19, Hammarskjöldplatz) am Funkturm: Halls 18 – 24 – Palais
  • Entrance Hall 26: Halls 25 – 26

The ITB venue is pretty huge so within the exhibition ground itself, you can use the free ITB fairground shuttles that will transport you from Hall to Hall!

Take the Ring Train S41 or S42 to the ITB Berlin!
Take the Ring Train S41 or S42 to the ITB Berlin!

If you’re not using any of the above, or you’re a member of the general public, then you need to get yourself to the following public transport stations. Don’t forget to get a ticket!

There’s no need to panic though, as the city of Berlin provides an extensive public transport network, but make sure you read this post as to how to buy a daily ticket, as Berlin doesn’t have any barriers, and you don’t want to get caught out without a ticket now, do you?

The stations that you need to get to are:

  • Messe Süd – Sbahn Train S5
  • Messe Nord /ICC  – Ring Train S41 or S42
  • Kaiserdamm – Underground Station U2
  • Westkreuz  – Sbahn Train S75, S7, S5, Ring Train S41 or S42. You ought to change to Messe Süd (one stop), or go for a little stroll instead, but it’s a bit of a walk!

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A FIRST TIME BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO THE ITB BERLIN: 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE. BAM!

A first time beginners guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!
  1.  BOOK: Are you flying, taking the train, hustling in the coach-bus or car-sharing? If so, book your Berlin hotel here!
  2.  FOCUS: Define what you want to accomplish and whom you want to contact
  3.  PLAN: Set up meetings and appointments
  4.  DO RESEARCH: Get information about the industry’s latest trends and use the Virtual Market Place® catalogue to find out who’s there!
  5.  LEARN: Go to presentations, workshops, conferences and talks. I learnt all about Twitter for the first time at ITB and then the next day, I went live and never looked back!
  6.  SAVE: Buy your Visitor Ticket in advance at the Online Ticket Shop
  7.  NAVIGATE: Use the Map of the Exhibition Grounds for your personal orientation
  8.  DOWNLOAD: The  ITB App with maps, lists, and services for free. Available for iOS and Android systems too
  9.  NETWORK: The ITB Berlin offers networking events of a special kind – ITB Blogger Speed Dating and the ITB Speed Networking event. However, it doesn’t matter if you’ve not made an appointment previously, although it helps if you do. Nevertheless, you’re at the largest travel trade fair in the world, so go and explore!
  10.  ENJOY: You’re in one of the finest cities in the world. Have fun!

DON’T FORGET!

Hair & Make Up – Check! Exude confidence – Check!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner
  • Business Cards – Check!
  • Business Card Folder or File, so that you don’t lose the ones that you’ve collected – Check!
  • Map – Check!
  • ITB Berlin App Guide – Check!
  • Mobile or Cell Phone, plus charger – Check!
  • Bottle of Water – Check!
  • Smart clothing – Check!
  • Exude confidence – Check!
  • Smile – Check!

See you at the ITB!

Book your hotel here!

A FIRST TIME BEGINNERS’ GUIDE TO THE ITB BERLIN: 10 TIPS TO HELP YOU PREPARE. BAM!

Keep Calm and go to ITB Berlin! ©2017 Messe Berlin

This article isn’t sponsored, and the remarkable time that I’m sure to have at the ITB Berlin, is my very own!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Everyone who is anyone in the travel industry, will be here. Come and join us!

In April, I’ll be on the road again to my 65th country and a new destination.

Can you guess which one it’ll be?

I’ll be there. Will you?If you’re not in Berlin in March, I can’t even!See you next week!

A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

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 beyondWITHOUT 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!

A first time beginners’ guide to the ITB Berlin: 10 tips to help you prepare. Bam!

Have you ever been to the ITB Berlin? Would you consider going to a travel trade fair? Were the tips useful? Let me know below!

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!

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Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Moin! Moin!

So I went to Hamburg a couple of weeks ago!

And I was very kindly invited by Hamburg Marketing, to join them on a press trip.

But OMG!

I so need to go again!

Grandfather and “The Tall Young Gentleman” sailing in Mardorf.

To be clear, Berlin will always be my first (1st) love so nothing is going to take that away.

Not anywhere in Germany.

But it’s nice to see the competition!

Now the thing is, I’ve been to Hamburg many times, but I’ve never been to Hamburg as a tourist!

Not Ever!

Why is that, you might ask?

To be honest, I simply don’t know!

There’s usually no time to dilly-dally in Hamburg. But this time, there was!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

It could be that Hamburg is so close by, that one always thinks, “I’ll go there later!”

It could be that Hamburg is an inter-city hub, so I’m always changing trains, and passing through Hamburg!

It could be that most of the time, I’m on a business trip. And short of having a quick drink, one doesn’t really have time to dally, as time is money people!

I wanted to change this.

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The Hamburg stand at ITBBerlin was very busy & here’s why – An artificially intelligent tourism robot!

If you recall, almost a year ago, I went to the International Trade Fair in Berlin, otherwise known as ITB Berlin, and met up with some of the marketing people of Hamburg.

You could say, that we actually met on Twitter, ‘cos a British blogger – Eat Shoot Sleep Travel asked me about the traditional Fish Market in Hamburg, and I didn’t know!

Cringe!

The fellows at Hamburg.com saw this, reached out and said,”Hey! Come to Hamburg. See for yourself!”

She wanted to know about the Fish Market in Hamburg. Ha! Ha! I still don’t know!

Now the funny thing is.

I don’t like to travel in December.

It’s my birthday month, and my “rest” time.

It’s also the festive season.

And when I say festive. I mean the German Christmas Market daaarling!

The Christmas Market is not to be missed in Hamburg. Or anywhere else in Germany!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

However, I had a tiny wndow where I could travel so I reached out to my Hamburg contact, thinking I’ll probably be there in about 6 weeks, and she told me that they could add me in at very short notice.

Very short notice indeed.

I was escstatic.

Thanks so much Hamburg Marketing!

My first official press card ‘back in 2014. Yeah!

However, once I confirmed it, a very important client also contacted me, so I ended up arriving one day earlier than the other participants, and leaving earlier too.

It would have been ideal, but my hotel had lost the press package that should have been waiting for me, and by the time I had contacted everyone to find out where it was, all the tourist sights had closed!

I never did find my press package, but that’s a story for another day!

Book your hotel here!

Right! We’re in Hamburg. Where to start?!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Right!

Where to start?

WHY GO TO HAMBURG?

HafenCity – Hamburg – Summer in Germany – Simply the Best!

Hamburg really isn’t that big, so follow my footsteps and don’t just talk the talk, but walk the walk too!

A BRIEF PIECE OF HISTORY:

Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg!

Hamburg, otherwise known as the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, is the second-largest city in Germany, and has a population of about 1.8 million people!

Just so you know, Berlin, with a population of just 3.55 million people, is the federal capital, and the largest city in Germany!

And let me tell you, it doesn’t even feel like a city…!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Hamburg lies in a very strategic position with Continental Europe to the South and the Nordic States to the North. The North Sea is to the West and the Baltic Sea is to the North-East.

Hamburg stretches out on the River Elbe, has many small islands and lakes, and borders the states of Schleswig-Holstein with lovely places like Lübeck and Lower Saxony.

Hamburg is the type of city that I respect because like Berlin, Manchester and London, it’s a City State and has existed since the time of the Holy Roman Empire!

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History & Glory days at the Internationales Maritimes Museum Hamburg, Germany!

Hamburg is also a member of the medieval Hanseatic League, a World Heritage UNESCO site, with signs of wealth and glory all over the region. Of course, during the Great Fire of Hamburg, and during the Second World War, the importance of the harbour made it an important target, such that many parts of the city, was destroyed.

During the 13th – 16th century, Hamburg was considered second only to the port and city of Lübeck, as a central trading hub for sea-borne trade.

With the discovery of the Americas and the emerging transatlantic trade, Hamburg exceeded all other German ports, and became the main Central European hub for freight travel, transatlantic passengers and from 1871, the principal port of trade in Germany!

Wow!

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The Hamburgers in Hamburg. Rich, wealthy, and confident – Prof. Peter Tamm.
© Christian O. Bruch

Hamburg, like Liverpool leads to the sea, and it’s waterside – the river Elbe – is so placed that Hamburg has the second largest port in Europe, the oldest Stock Exchange in Germany, and is the seat of Berenberg Bank – Germany’s oldest private bank, and the second oldest bank in the world!

It’s famous for being one of Europe’s most well-known entertainment districts, otherwise known as the St. Pauli Reeperbahn Quarter, and is also proud of the fact that Hamburg introduced The Beatles to the world!

In fact, Hamburg boasts the city with the wealthiest Germans, and the most millionaires in the country!

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FACTS AND FIGURES

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity!

The Hamburg Harbour is so important that the district is actually called HafenCity.

Hafen means harbour.

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

DID YOU KNOW THAT THE PORT OF HAMBURG IS…

  • The largest seaport in Germany
  • The second-busiest port in Europe. After Rotterdam!
  • A hub for the entire Baltic State region!
  • The third (3rd) largest sector in the German economy
  • As old as the hills, having been founded by the Holy Roman Emperor – Frederick I,  in 1189!
  • Home to 8,700 ships per year
  • Home to 7,300 logistics companies
  • Home to 280 berths
  • Home to four (4) state-of-the-art container terminals
  • Home to three (3) cruise terminals
  • A hub for more than 2,300 freight train services
  • Able to handle cargo weighing 138.2 million tons!
  • Able to handle 50 speacialised facilities handling freight of all types and sizes
  • Able to handle 43 kilometers of quay, for seagoing vessels and ships
  • The top 18 largest container port in the world!
  • The Leading hub for the Baltic trade route
  • Responsible for more than 1,300 freight trains per week
  • A leading employer of over 3 million people, not only in Hamburg, but Schleswig-Holstein, Lower Saxony, and even Berlin, as corporate professionals have been to take the 90 minute-non-stop-intercity express train to commute to Hamburg, ‘cos the money is fabulous, and it’s really not that far away!
  • Making a turnover of €258 billion+

I don’t know about you, but I find this type of stuff enormously impressive!

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TAKE ME THERE?

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

You know how much I love trains.

They’re just so comfortable and full of ease. And if you’re on the European Continent, it’s the easiest and sometimes, cheapest way to travel.

If you’re coming from North Europe, South Europe, Britain or anywhere over the water, I recommend flying!

Get a train ticket and travel through Europe!

I went to Hamburg from Berlin. And since this was a press trip, a train was booked on my behalf.

If you’re anywhere in Germany, it’s quite easy to use the Deutsche Bahn – German Trains by either booking from 6 months ahead on the long-distance train Sparpreis Aktion Saver Fare ticket from €19.90. Or by using the ICE – InterCity Express trains Sparpreis Saver Fare ticket across Germany, costing as little as €29.90!

And the wonderful part?

Children under 15 travelling inter-city or inter-country, with their relatives, usually travel on the European train, for free!

Children and grandchildren aged 15 and under, travel for free, as long as you include them when booking your ticket.

Yep!

For free!

“The Tall Young Gentleman” didn’t look too happy that for Switzerland, we took the Sparpreis Europa city night line train!

But don’t forget, if you’re in Germany already, or planning to travel to Eastern Europe by train, DO NOT buy the Eurail train pass. There is simply no need, as the tickets are far cheaper if you book them on the Deutsche Bahn website. And as for Eastern Europe, tickets go for peanuts, if you book them on their own train websites too!

If you need any help with booking trains, contact me for a European travel consultancy, and I’ll book them for you. Do that here!

You really couldn’t get any better than that!

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IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

All are welcome in Hamburg. And depending on when you visit, not crowded at all!

I didn’t think so.

I suppose, it depends when you go!

Hamburg is a really nice city, but I don’t see it as an OMG-we-have-just-got-to-go-visit-Hamburg type of place!

Not yet anyway.

It’s too far North for a start!

WHAT IS HAMBURG REALLY LIKE?

Nikolaus Storzenbecher / Klaus Störtebeker in Hamburg – Germany’s most famous piratate!

I was in Hamburg for 2.5 days and it’s definitely a city that I would like to visit again.

I found Hamburg to be very pleasant.

Some people think that they can compare it to Berlin.

I don’t think so!

It’s very different.

Certainly, the Altona-Altstadt or Old Town is most beautiful, and the Schanzenviertel Quarter has “edge,” but Hamburg is a place that you can take your parents to, and they won’t be shocked.

Shock your parents by taking them to the Reeperbahn in St. Pauli. – Hamburg’s Red Light District!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Unless they go to the Reeperbahn.

Ahem!

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I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN!

We won’t put you in the Schirmerturm Tower if you can’t speak German!

Not.

A.

Problem.

You’ll find that a lot of of young people speak English.

‘Better than yourself sometimes!

And French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic. Most of the major languages really.

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You’re not going to live in this abandoned hut, so don’t worry!

Hardly.

It’s Germany!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Don’t be frightened. It’s Germany. The standard of hostels will always be high!

There are plenty of hostels to be had.

And since it’s Germany, the standard will always be high, and you’ll have a good time.

Since I was on a press trip, I didn’t need to worry about this.

Book the best hostels in Hamburg here!

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

Sometimes, it’s alright to admit that hotels are better than hostels!

Delightfully so!

As I told you previously, I arrived earlier than the other press hacks.

And let me tell you, even though this wouldn’t be my first (1st) press trip, but effectively, my fourth (4th), I always feel a little nervous about the sleeping arrangements.

WOULD I GET MY OWN ROOM ON A PRESS TRIP?

Don’t laugh! Would I get my own room on a press trip?

Don’t laugh.

I always do of course, but still, I constantly worry, and it brings me out in a sweat since nobody actually tells you!

And because I arrived one day (1) day before the others, I was placed in a grown-up more corporate-like hotel called the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, while the others were in a young-ish boutique hotel called the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel.

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My bedroom at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel!

At first, I was a little disappointed not to be placed in the same hotel as everyone else, but when I saw my room at the Scandic Hamburg Emporio, I soon forgot all about it!

The wonderful thing about this hotel was not only the location being right next door to the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – the home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg, a five (5) minute walk from the famous Gänsemarkt Square, but also the view from my huge wall-to-wall window, was pretty fantastic.

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Don’t you think the Laeiszhalle Concert Hall – Home of the Symphoniker Hamburg and the Philharmoniker Hamburg – is pretty fantastic?
©Thies Raetzke

It suited me just fine.

More details next week!

Book Scandic Hamburg Emporio, the Fritz im Pyjama Hotel, or your own Hamburg Hotel here!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Using the train in Hamburg
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Hamburg has plenty of variety in trains, trams, buses, and bikes.

I used the overground and underground trains, as well as the tram. Hamburg isn’t as big as Berlin, so public transport was very easy to use.

I was given the Hamburg Card which made unlimited travel on public transport around the city so much easier, included discounts at more than 150 tourist attractions, which proved very useful in my spare time! You can get your Hamburg Card here.

As well as the Hamburg Official Digital travel guide App. Free of charge!

You won’t get lost…!

Book your hotel here!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Victoria’s Hamburger Labskaus. Try it!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

Try a Hamburger Labskaus!

What’s a labskaus? I’ll tell you next week!

Yay!

MY VERDICT:

On the river Elbe in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

I like Hamburg.

It’s a wealthy waterside city.

Sold!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Totally!

Book your hotel here!

HAMBURG: AN INTRODUCTION TO A PORT CITY!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

This article is part-sponsored, and even though I was invited on this trip as a guest of Hamburg Marketing, Visit Hamburg, Deutsche Bahn and the Scandic Hamburg Emporio Hotel, all opinions and the good times that I had in Hamburg, are my very own!

I went on a press trip to Hamburg. Watch out for more details next week!

I’ll be continuing my last visit to the UK and telling you all about my visit to Belgium later in the season!

I’ll be at the Press Conference of the exhibition: Eduardo Paolozzi. Lots of Pictures – Lots of Fun, organized by the Whitechapel Gallery, London, in collaboration with one of my favourite art galleries – the Berlinische Galerie, otherwise known as the Museum of Modern Art! Taking place in Berlin, on the 8th of February, 2018.  Admission is free of charge to the public from 18:00 on the day!

I’ll be at the Medientournee of Atout France – the France Tourism Development Agency, taking place on the 8th of February, 2018. I’m going to be quite busy that day!

I’ll be at the UK Germany 2018 Launch Party on Valentine’s Day – on the 14th of February, 2018. Tickets are free of charge, so if you’re in Berlin, join the party!

I’ll be at Berlin’s most famous film festival – The 68th showing of the Berlin International Film Festival, otherwise known as the Berlinale, taking place between 15th – 25th February, 2018.  Everyone’s most excited! Tickets are on sale from 12.02.18.

I’ll be at the ITB Berlin or the Internationale Tourismus-Börse Berlin – the world’s leading travel trade show, taking place between 7th – 11th March, 2018. You can buy tickets here.

Save the Date!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in February, then where the hell are you?

February is going to be great!

See you next week!

Ships and boats are everything in Hamburg!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Hamburg – Dec 2017

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!

Hamburg: An Introduction to a Port City!

Have you ever been to Hamburg? Do you like ports and harbours?  Let me know in the comments below!

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!

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

On a clear day you can even see as far out into Slovenia!

Well, this summer has been something!

I mean, I met Prince William & Kate Middleton!

Wait. What?

Where have you been?

If you’re just joining, here’s really what you missed:

Prince William & Kate Middleton
©Getty Images

And a few weeks before that, I wrote this: Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

I had a most fantastic time in both countries, and even though I wrote all about Sweden, I hadn’t actually got around to writing about Slovenia!

Until now!

A 5 MINUTE INTRODUCTION TO SLOVENIA!

Lake Bled – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

We visited Slovenia in June and it was utterly new, making the countries that I’ve visited (not that I’m counting you understand!) to be 37 countries in Europe, 12 countries in Asia, 6 countries in Africa, 2 countries in North America, 1 country in South America, 1 country in the Middle East, and 5 dependent islands! 3 countries (so far), have been new in 2017.

That makes a grand total of 64 countries and 5 continents!

Myself & “The Tall Young Gentleman” on top of the Velika Planina in Kamnik – Slovenia!

From the moment we got off the bus and fell exhausted into our hotel in Ljubljana, to the time that we fell exhausted into the arms of a loving husband and father one week later, Slovenia has been nothing but an utter pleasure!

And the locals have been fantastically welcoming, friendly, and enormously helpful.

Right!

Where to start?

Predjama Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Slovenia, otherwise known as Slovenija or the Republic of Slovenia, is another tiny nation-state located on the northern Balkans, and described as being a country in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and South-East Europe!

It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest.

It has a mass of 20,273 square kilometers or 7,827 square miles and has a population of just 2.06 million people!

A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY…

One of the sculptures in Ljubljana. Does anyone know it’s name?

Not a lot of people know much about Slovenia. In fact, most people mix it up with Slovakia! 

Hmm!

Now since this is a five (5) minute introduction as opposed to thirty (30), it’s only right and proper that I give you the low down:

The Slovenian people are a mixture of Slavic, Germanic, Romance, and Hungarian, with most being Slovene.

Slovene or Slovenian is the official language, and Hungarian and Italian, are recognised as co-official languages too. In fact, most people are also quite able to understand Croatian and Serbian, as previously spoken languages from the former Yugoslavia!

Slovenia is a tiny, but historically old country, stemming right back from the Roman Empire, followed by the Habsburg Monarchy in Austria! In 1918, the Kingdom of Serbia was merged into the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, later becoming the Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1929!

Remnants of Yugoslavia and the Communist State at the flea market in Ljubljana, Slovenia!

During World War II, Slovenia was occupied and annexed by Germany, Italy, and Hungary, with a tiny area transferred to the Independent State of Croatia.

Slovenia became a founding member of the Federal People’s Republic of Yugoslavia or the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, and was the only communist country in the Eastern Bloc which never became a member of the Warsaw Pact!

In 1991, Slovenia split from Yugoslavia and became an independent country. In 2004, Slovenia became a member of the EU and in 2007, became the first ex-communist country to have the Euro!

Book your hotel here! 

Slovenia has the one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe! In a tiny country that is rather a lot!

DID YOU KNOW THAT?

  • The tallest chimney in the world is the chimney of Trbovlje Power Station at 360 metres high!
  • The oldest wooden wheel in the world was found in the Ljubljana marshes, is about 5,200 years old, and I think I saw it!
  • The oldest grapevine in the world is in Maribor, and is about 440 years old!
  • The oldest musical instrument in the world is the Divje Babe flute, otherwise known as the Neandethal flute, is made out of a cave bear bone, was found above the Idrijca river, and is believed to be about 55,000 years old!
  • The first man to ski down the summit of Mount Everest was a Slovenian called Davo Karničar. And it was only in 2000!
  • Not only that, but the first married couple to conquer Mount Everest together were also Slovenian – Marija and Anfrej Štremfelj. They did this in 1990, and make me feel ashamed that I couldn’t even conquer hiking up a live volcano, not to talk of Mount Everest!
  • Slovenia has the one of the largest brown bear populations in Europe and is estimated to be between 500 – 700 bears! In a tiny country like Slovenia, that is rather a lot!
  • The oldest written document in the Slovenian language is a Freising manuscript dated between 970 and 1039 A.D!
  • The white horses known throughout the world as Lipizzaners, actually originate from a place called Lipica. In Slovenia!
  • Postojna Cave – which sadly, we didn’t quite make to visit ‘cos there was a rain storm, is the most visited cave in Europe!
  • Not only that, but there are more than 10,000 caves in Slovenia! 10,000!
  • And. The oldest cave show – the Vilenica cave near Lokev – has had people visiting since 1633!
  • The first printed book in the Slovenian language was published in 1550 by a Lutheran priest called Primož Truber.
  • Slovenia is the only country in Europe that combines four (4) diverse geographical regions namely: the Alps, the Mediterranean, the Karst (spanning Italy and Slovenia), and the Pannonian Plains (covering Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Slovakia, the Ukraine, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, Austria, and Slovenia)!

Isn’t that cool?

Myself in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

I mean, is it any wonder that I was intrigued to be visiting Slovenia.

Oh, and just so you know, the capital city is Ljubljana!

What?

Ljubljana!

Huh?!

You heard me. Lju-bl-jaaaaaaaaaana!

WHY LJUBLIJANA?

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek! Ljubljana – Slovenia
©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism

Because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!

Seriously though, the reason why I wanted to go to Slovenia is because I’d heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States. In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!

But the other reason that I wanted to visit was because of Ljubljana. I was hearing mixed messages and that some “experts” were saying that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours!

When I hear things like this, it makes my blood boil!

The ignorance of people constantly astounds, and annoys me.

However, I am a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond! Besides, I had such a wonderful time in Croatia, why wouldn’t I want to go to it’s “sister country” – Slovenia – too!

Me in Dubrovnik – Croatia!

We spent a jam-packed week in Slovenia, and not once did we get anywhere near bored!

  • I wanted to spend some quality time with The Tall Young Gentleman, and I think Slovenia was the perfect place to do it.
  • Slovenia is a very green country and like Croatia, amazingly beautiful. I mean, just look at the photography, so we spent quite a lot of time outdoors.
Ice-cream in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
  • Of course, we wanted to spend quite some time in Ljubljana itself as I like to get inside the soul of a city. I also wanted to prove people who say that Ljubljana only deserves a few hours, wrong!
  • We wanted to go on a guided tour so that we could get inside knowledge from local experts.
Cake as part of our “Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.” Of course, I couldn’t eat it, as it had almonds in it!
  • We wanted to go on a most delicious food tour. Because food. Yum!
  • We wanted to go to the Slovenian countryside and spend a day among the shepherds on Velika Planina!
I’m hoping our river cruise in Slovenia, is not going to look like this. Gulp!
But rather like this!
Boat cruise – Ljubljana – Slovenia ©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism
  • We wanted to go on a river cruise.
  • We wanted to explore Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland area at the Tivoli Park.
We explored Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland at the Tivoli Park – Slovenia
  • We wanted to spend some time rambling through the cobbled streets and running from one museum or local attraction to another, using the Ljubljana Card.
Lake Bled – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!
  • And to top it off, we wanted to spend a day at the stunning Lake Bled, not only surrounding ourselves with mountains, forests, and fresh air, but also the medieval Bled Castle.
FlixBus – Germany to Slovenia – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Oh, and we did all this by travelling from Germany to Slovenia by FlixBus – the bus-coach company! 

Again!

Yep!

You might have noticed that there’s an image of a FlixBus on the side of the panel. I’m so convinced that it’s one of the best ways to travel through Europe on the cheap, that I’ve joined their affiliate programme so that you can share in the fun too!

As usual, if you book your journey via my link, there is no extra cost to you, and I get a little percentage for my trouble.

Book your hotel here!

Gulp!

Find out more next week!

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Just because Slovenia is a small nation, doesn’t mean that it’s “small!”

And I aim to prove it.

Book your hotel here!

A 5 MINUTE INTRODUCTION TO SLOVENIA!

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism absolutely all opinions, and the fantastic time that we had, are my very own!

I’ll be spending the summer in Germany!

Will you?

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

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!

A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

Have you ever been to Slovenia? Do you think Ljubljana is worth more than a few hours? Let me know in the comments below!

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!