These 13 dream destinations made our hearts skip a beat!
I get the question what my favourite destination is almost every week. But did you know it’s such a hard question for me to answer? There are SO MANY beautiful destinations. It depends a lot on my mood and what suits me best at the moment. I’m a real city girl. Large cities and delicious food make me intensely happy. But the last couple of years I’m noticing that I also love to do absolutely nothing on a beautiful island like Bali or Ibiza. This summer Your Little Black Book turns 5 (OMG, it’s been 5 years already!!) and in this blog I’ve lined up 13 of the destinations that stuck by me the most and where I keep going back to.
would you like to go on a journey to a dream destination this summer?
Coca-Cola also caught the wanderlust virus this summer and is giving away dream holidays to destinations from Ibiza to Seoul and from Bali to Los Angeles, every week! How you can win this? Score a bottle of a can of Coca-Cola with the speciale label with dream destinations on it. Under the label, the cap or the lip of your Coca-Cola you’ll find an action code, which you can fill in on the action site www.cocacola.nl/summer. In total there are 74 destinations on the Coca-Cola packages, among which our favourite 13.
13 x destinations where we would love to go back to
Tulum: “The first time I was in Tulum is, I would say, around 13 years ago. Back then it was mainly a town where you went to go see the Maya ruins, but nowadays it is the place to be along the coast. The best Chefs from around the world are opening pop-up restaurants there and Mexican fusion has never been this hot before. Several beautiful boutique hotels have been opened the last couple of years.”
Seoul: “Last year I’ve visited Seoul for the first time for a couple of days. This destination has been on my bucketlist for a very long time, because I love Korean food. Especially the Korean BBQ (a kind of variant on gourmets) is the best thing there is. Seoul is not a beautiful city, but it is definitely buzzing! Koreans love good coffee and you can find one hip coffeeplace after another, like Anthracite Coffee Roasters and Queen Mama Market. I’m already looking forward to return to Seoul this year and wander around the districts Hapejong, Sinsa Dong and Gangnam endlessly.”
Santorini: “If there’s one ultimate place in Europe for a romantic weekend away with your lover, it’s got to be Santorini if you ask me. Fun for a week, but also for a long weekend. I stayed in the picturesque town Oïa. Imagine this: waking up with a view of the famous Caldera and the beautiful white little houses and blue pavillions that Santorini is known for. Rent a car and go cruising on the island. There are several vineyards that you can visit, lovely bays to relax and from Fira you have a beautiful view of the sunset. Also nice: in the afternoon, take a walk via the donkey path in Oïa, all the way down and go have some fish at the bay of Hammoudi.”
Barcelona: “For years I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Barcelona. So many tourists! But meanwhile I’m loving Barcelona as a city and prefer to visit it every year at least once. Especially the neighbourhoods Raval, El Born, Sant Antoni and Poble Sec are always nice in my opinion. For me, the fun thing about Barcelona is that you can visit the beach if the weather’s good. On my last trip I had dinner at restaurant Tickets and if you’re into tasty food you’d want to reserve a table there for sure.”
Los Angeles: “The first time I visited Los Angeles I was thirteen. Downtown was a NO GO area back then where you definitely wouldn’t want to wind up. Exactly twenty years later, I visited Los Angeles again last year during the festival Coachella, and the city has conquered my heart again. The thought of the palmtrees with the hills in the background and the lovely sunset instantly make me happy again. The upcoming district Silverlake is definitely one not to miss out on for nice hotspots and for the most beautiful street art you’d have to go to the Art District in Downtown. My favourite street in LA is Abbot Kinney Boulevard! You can find lots of cute stores and restaurants here and it’s in walking distance of Venice Beach. Rent a bike and you can cycle down the entire boulevard all the way to Santa Monica and take a ride in the ferris wheel on the pier. Cheesy, but fun nonetheless!”
Zanzibar: “If I had to name two destinations with the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen, those two would have to be the Philippines and Zanzibar. I was lucky enough to have visited Zanzibar more than once and the sand there is so beautifully white. Personally, I loved the town Nungwi the best to reside. A visit to the capital Stone Town is recommended. Very colourful and you have several cute little cafés to have a drink and a bite. If you’re into snorkeling and diving, you came to the right place in Zanzibar. I spotted whales there once on a mere couple of metres away from our boat. Very special!”
Tokyo: “There is not a single destination that I could compare to Tokyo. WOW, this is such a special city. Immensely big, but at the same time it doesn’t feel that way because everything there is very peacefully and quite at the same time. Even at the Shibuya crossing, the busiest intersection in the world! I had the best sushi and yakitori ever in Tokyo. Get up in the middle of the night and visit the auction at the world famous Tsukiji fish market. Impressive! Another thing I really like about Tokyo are the many different districts and the many vintage shops. If you want to score a nice kimono, make sure to stop by one of the establishments of the vintage store Flamingo. My favourite neighbourhoods in Tokyo are Shinjuku, Daikanyama and Shimo-Kitazawa. I can wander around here for ages and discover something new in every street. Something that’s inseperable from the culture of Tokyo are the animal cafés where the Japenese go to if they want to cuddle with the pet they aren’t able to have at home because of the lack of space. I visited Harry’s last year, the very first hedgehog café in the world. A little bit weird perhaps, but oh so fun!”
Bali: “I’ve been in love with Bali ever since the first time I’ve visited this island. Ok, to be honest, it’s definitely not as authentic and picturesque as it once was, but for me that doesn’t make it any less of a lovely destination. Almost every year I return to this paradise to visit my best friend, who moved here almost five years ago already. My favourite place on this island is Canggu, where the one hotspot opens after the other. For breakfast I love to go to Crate Café and for the most beautiful sunset I go to Finn’s Beach Club. Rent a scooter to explore the island and hop from hotspot to hotspot. Make sure to stay in Ubud for a couple of days for total relaxtion among the rice fields, or to join a yoga retreat for instance. I like to conclude my trip to Bali on the small island Nusa Lembongan near the coast of Sanur. It’s not yet as touristic there and the beaches are beautiful!”
Ibiza: “One of the destinations in Europe that I keep on going back to is Ibiza. Before and after the high season are especially my favourite times to enjoy the lovely nature and the delicious food. I prefer to stay in the north of the island where it’s still a lot more quiet. As soon as I booked my ticket to Ibiza I immediately e-mail my favourite restaurant La Paloma to reserve a table in their beautiful garden. Make sure to rent a car if you’re going to Ibiza. During the day I love to go touring across the island and visit Playa da Cala d’Horte for example, where you have an amazing view of the island Es Vedrà. During the weekends you can find me at the markets! Strolling around the trunk market Hipodrome on Saturday and go look for a nice secondhand find, and visit the hippie market of Las Dalias or visit the smaller market in San Joan de Labritja on Sunday. I always make sure to have some spare room in my suitcase so I can bring everything home! Check out our blogpost of our 17 favourite addresses in Ibiza here.”
Bangkok: “This city is a typical case of ‘you either love it or hate it’. Bangkok is immensely big and that’s why it’s convenient if you have an idea of where to go to in order to have a good start of your round trip through Thailand. My favourite district is the neighbourhood Ekkamai where several hip restaurants are located and you can have some delicious streetfood at, say, the foodtruck Summer Street. A visit to Chinatown certainly can’t be missed whenever you’re in Bangkok. It can be pretty hectic there, but if you look closely you can find some nice items. Just like at the Chatuchak Market! Want to do something more active? My personal recommendation are the bike tours by Co van Kessel. Not totally undiscovered anymore, but still very nice to see a lot of Bangkok and its surroundings.”
Hong Kong: “I love Asian cities. They’re big and dirty, but there’s so much happening there. Hong Kong is one of those cities that I keep on coming back to. I just love the contrast between old and new in this city. Next to a modern hotspot with a trendy Chef you can find a small noodle place that perhaps has been there for over thirty years and hasn’t changed a thing since then. Hong Kong is a big tiny city as I lovingly like to describe it. Lots of people live there but the centre is actually pretty small because of all the skyscrapes and you can easily explore it by foot. My favourite neighbourhood is Soho! Close to the hipster shopping mall PMQ you can find lots of nice restaurants and trendy bars. And you certainly can’t leave Hong Kong without having some Dim Sum! If you want to have chique Dim Sum go to Duddells or perhaps go local and cheap and visit the lowspot Dim Dim Sum in the streetfood district Kowloon.”
Valencia: “Of course you can just go back to the lovely Barcelona again and again for a city trip, but if there’s one city in Spain that I can recommend it has to be Valencia. At the moment that’s where it’s happening and it’s a fun destination to combine city and the beach. I call this an urban beach holiday: having lunch at the boulevard during the day, or lay by the beach and go into the city in the evening for some dinner and shopping. My favourite neighbourhood in Valencia is Russafa. This is the place to go for the best hotspots of the city where you can have some drinks and dinner till late in the evening. Since recently there’s also a rooftop bar in Valencia, so if you want to have a drink at the end of the afternoon, stop by Petit Bistro. Whenever I go to Valencia I always rent a bike to make my way around cycling. From the centre of the city it’s a mere fifteen minutes to the beach!”
Lissabon: “Whoever loves good food and drinks came to the right place in Lisbon. I also loved this as a destination for a city trip before and after the highseason. Until around 10PM the city is quiet and the restaurants are not busy at all, but later in the evening the small streets of Bairro Alto are buzzing. The doors that are closed during the day appear to have all kinds of nice cafés and restaurants. Plan something fun during the day, chill out on your hotel room or on a rooftop bar and make your way down town late in the evening to have some drinks till early in the morning!”
Enjoy planning your next trip!
In collaboration with Coca-Cola
Anne de Buck