Month: August 2018

Sarah Murrell, Founder of BY SARAH LONDON

Our latest /Insider, Sarah Murrell, founded the all-natural and organic, plant-based skincare brand BY SARAH LONDON with her sister, Lauren. Sarah passionately believes in empowering our wellness choices (BY SARAH even details a full ingredient list on the front labels of their vegan and cruelty-free products!). Sarah’s inspiration and motivation to help us all make natural, organic skin care choices began with her sister, Lauren’s recovery from leukemia in 2012 (when she couldn’t find any products that had clear and natural ingredients, so she started mixing her own!). Prior to launching her own company, Sarah spent 10 years in branding and communications for the world’s leading beauty brands- so she knows her stuff…read on for her travel tips and tricks.

Follow Sarah Murrell on Instagram @bysarahlondon

What beauty items can you not travel without?

Our organic skincare minis! For long-haul flights, I apply 2-3 drops of our Organic Facial Oil so that my skin remains hydrated and deeply-nourished, and top up just before landing for healthy, radiant skin on arrival.

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

I love a roll top bath! – does that count? There’s an amazing one at Gleneagles– an incredible luxury hotel in Scotland that made me feel fully rested and rejuvenated after celebrating a special birthday.

Where would you go to digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?

I recently took a trip to Zermatt, Switzerland and cannot recommend it enough for the nature, breathtaking scenery and sense of calm. We stayed at the Hotel Christiania, which is family-run and has the most charming & welcoming atmosphere, and an equally as spectacular setting- nestled at the foot of the Swiss Alps, with views of the Matterhorn.

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

I’m never without our Organic Lip Balm (a wonderful multi-tasker), S’well water bottle and podcast series (currently listening to How I Built This).

Have you or would you travel alone?

Yes! Traveling alone is an amazing sense of achievement and adventure!

If you’re going to a new place, and your friends have not been there, what do you consult for advice?

I look for the latest plant-based restaurants and yoga studios to give me the lay of the land. In NYC, I love by CHLOE New York (for plant-based “fast food,” any time) and the restaurant The Butcher’s Daughter – but I always recommend getting there early, as the queue is often out the door!

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

Water, water, water!

Travel can be about the little luxuries…like a super amazing cup of coffee. Where was the best one you’ve had?

I’m a lover of tea, and the most aromatic brew was in Copenhagen at Royal Smushi Cafe – scent, flavour and even the tea cup itself were divine!

Beach or City or Mountain? Beach in the winter / (Swiss) Mountains in the summer!

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? No!

Early check-in/ late check-out? Late check-out

Amsterdam

Inclusivity is in this city’s nature and soul, and the many nationalities that make up the people who live here are a huge part of why it feels so vibrant. Even though it’s the capital city of the Netherlands, Amsterdam is a small city, and even the locals act like it’s one borough. Which may be why there are such strong ‘community’ vibes here, and many collectives within music, fashion, and art.

Don’t be thrown off by the local language, which has a bit of a harsh sound to it. Even though the dutch are very confident and can come across as very strong and loud, they are the most friendly and easy-going people you will meet (except when you get in the way of someone on their bicycle- then it can get pretty ugly).

Also, there’s legal weed everywhere. Just in case you hadn’t heard that;)

Where to stay

Hoxton Hotel

Out of the several Hoxton Hotels across the world, this is one of the finest. This place is constantly busy with people coming to grab a bite in the restaurant, sitting in the lounge on their laptops, or standing in the bar after work. This will not disturb your beauty sleep though (as rooms are quiet, and most of the hustle occurs in the day time), and therefore is the perfect place to stay at. Gotta love a hotel that locals love, too – makes you feel less foreign (even when you are).

Volkshotel

There’s a similar vibe at Volkshotel, but this place is younger and more festive, being located close to the Pijp (the nexus of hipsterdom, and sort of like Amsterdam’s Shoreditch). A lot of locals come here for drinks at the rooftop bar.

Pulitzer Hotel

If you prefer something more luxurious and sophisticated, the Pulitzer Hotel is the ideal place for your stay. This grand-damme 5-star hotel is made up of 25 canal houses that are all inter-connected, and has the most soothing inner courtyard for you to have your breakfast or sit with your computer.

Zoku Amsterdam

This place has plenty of people staying long term (every room has a kitchen),  so the community vibe is strong; there’s even an app to interact with like-minded people in the building. If you’re not staying here, come and sit in their lounge located on the top floor and work. You’ll be sure to meet a new friend or “co-worker.” 

Where to eat & drink

Lion Noir and Cafe Panache both are a great indication of what’s non-touristy and super local, but also still somehow home-y & familiar.

If you didn’t go on a boat yet, there’s no better reason to go to Gs brunch boat on a Sunday. Go to Restaurant Rijsel in Amsterdam East for good and ‘affordable’ food. Mana Mana is our favorite hidden gem in the Pijp, which has the most amazing Middle Eastern food. Go for drinks afterwards at the Cafe de Pijp or Kingfischer (as you probably can tell by the name, they will serve your G&T in a fishbowl glass…and yes, it’s fun!).

Where to get a coffee

Café de Pels

What you see here is what you get. This place is simply great because it’s not a hotspot or very busy. They also have newspapers from all over the world to go with your coffee.

Café George

This place serves you coffee in a fancy setting on marble tables, perfect for anyone who likes to be pampered after a day full of first impressions. 

Where to shop

Second-hand shopping in Amsterdam is a must. Try Episode or Laura Dols. The basement at Van Ravenstein does not sell any second hand stuff, but instead designer brands from previous seasons that are heavily discounted- and who doesn’t like that? Only on Saturdays though! Amsterdam is not a very dressed up city, so there’s no surprise that the coolest store in town is a small hole-in-the-wall sneaker shop called Patta, located on Zeedijk, across from this is SMIB (the brand store of a local music collective). Other local brands to visit include Daily Paper, The New Originals and Zoe Karssen.

Where to see some hits of culture

Museum quarter – The main attraction in this area is the Rijksmuseum, but another hot tip is the Van Gogh museum.  For something a bit less expected and bite-sized (it took us only about 30 mins to see all of it), try the Moco Museum just across the park, which has on a super cool Dalí & Banksy exhibition (on through Jan 2019). 

Foam

Nearby, in De 9 Straatjes (“the Nine Streets” neighborhood, which is now a trendy shopping ‘hood in the Old Town), this photography museum is definitely worth a look.

Where to work out

Go running in Vondelpark, and finish at the Vondelgym with some strength exercises and a shower. For a small city, the number of niche gyms is surprisingly many- one of our favorites is Rocycle (ie the Soul-Cycle of Amsterdam).

Where to party

De School

Dutch people take their partying seriously, and to really get a sense of how the locals do it, go to De School. This club has a 24-hour license (seriously!), and when you’re done dancing in the morning, you can even have breakfast in their restaurant. Which you’ll probably need, after all that dancing till daylight.

What to do

If you want the best music experience Amsterdam has to offer, be sure to come here during the Amsterdam Dance Event (usually in late October). Even if you don’t, make sure you still check out Resident Advisor before coming to see if there are any DJs or festivals that you shouldn’t miss out on. This country is basically the birthplace of Gabber music (or ‘hardcore techno’ to most of us), so you can’t leave without listening/dancing to some…

Best place for IG stories

What captures the feeling of Amsterdam better then anything is the canals, so make sure to capture them on one of the many crossing bridges. #content

Where to get some R&R

Akasha Holistic Wellbeing Centre

The safest bet is this spa at the Conversatorium Hotel. With its 5-star rating and 1000 Sq m wellness centre, you can’t go wrong.

Koan Float

A more irregular & fun choice would be to go and float in saltwater at Koan Float,  Amsterdam’s first “floating spa” that made a strong impression on the locals.

Where to work- ie your remote “office”

The Hoxton, Pulitzer, and Zoku make up for great remote offices. If you’re not in ‘full working’ mode but just need to take care of some emails in the afternoon, go to Conservatorium Hotel and enjoy a glass wine while at it. You’ll feel like a million dollars in this place, and that OT will SO be worth it.

Best bar for a secret rendezvous

Brasserie Bar Occo

You can’t find a more perfect setting for a late night cocktail than in the Nine Streets area. Occo is part of the 5-star hotel The Dylan, and lets you sit outdoors in their inner courtyard when it’s a nice evening, or indoors in the very thoughtfully decorated bar when it’s not.

Best place to buy gifts

Anna+Nina is the perfect place for gifts (for them, or for you). Quirky interior decorations, local handicrafts, and stunning jewelry will put a smile on anyone’s face.

Best spot for your new Bumble profile photo

There are two rooftop pools you should have your picture taken next to, either the one at the W Hotel the one at the newly opened Soho House. Not only are the views great, but it also proves you know what strings to pull;)

Copenhagen

Ever since “Hygge” became a saying known around the world, people have been fascinated by the Danes and their lifestyle… and they are just as cool and laid back as you’ve imagined. Their effortless confidence is very honest and refreshing- there’s no fussiness, and hanging with some Danes will definitely leave you feeling “fun and cozy” (it’s impossible to literally translate “Hygge” into English!), and inspired. Pleasure is a right here, and the idea of not indulging in what you want (including copious amounts of pastries) from time to time is simply shocking to a Dane. They also have more bikes than people in Copenhagen, which helps balance that out. Sounds good, right?

Denmark is a relatively tiny country with an inversely strong impact on global culture, with leadership within the design, fashion, art and foodie worlds (hello: Noma & Ganni!). Copenhagen is its dreamy capital. (Sidebar: ask most Swedes where to go in their country besides Stockholm, and they will say “Copenhagen!”… so there are definitely some cultural parallels between these two cities/countries of tall, fit, and happy people).

Denmark also has the happiest workforce in the world…and perhaps that has something to do with Hygge. As the author of The Little Book of Hygge, Meik Wiking, explains it: ‘Danes are aware of the decoupling between wealth and wellbeing. After our basic needs are met, more money doesn’t lead to more happiness and, instead, Danes are good at focusing on what brings them a better quality of life.’ Zen AF.

Where to stay

Hotel SP34

A boutique hotel perfectly located in the heart of Copenhagen, walkable or bikeable to tons of stuff you want to see/ingest/buy/do.

Nobis Hotel

The newly opened Nobis Hotel has got it all- they even have toiletries from Byredo that you can steal with you- and that shit is normally really expensive! (But worth it- we prefer Byredo to the now omnipresent Le Labo…).

D’Angleterre

This classic 5-star hotel offers the best breakfast view from their very cute rooftop terrace.

Where to eat & drink

Manfreds

Since Noma itself (voted the best restaurant in the world for four years) is now closed, we are lucky that it fostered plenty of great chefs throughout the years who have now opened their own restaurants in Copenhagen. One of these is Manfreds – a Michelin star restaurant with a tasting menu for 270DKK (270 euro). This place is perfect for vegetarians – so rare for high-end tasting menus, usually!

There are of course just as great restaurants without Michelin stars in this city. Three of them just happens to be Italian: go to Mangia for the incredible pasta and the dope atmosphere, Baest for the best pizzas in town and a loud and young vibe, and Spaghetteria for the local feels- this place really embodies the Copenhagen attitude of being very casual, and both warm and cool.

If you’d rather go low on the carbs, Fishmarket and Osteria 16 are two seafood restaurants with the perfect options for a great dining experience without the focus being on pasta and bread.

Where to get a coffee

Café Atelier September

It’s not only because of the very hip owner, Fredrik Bille Brahe (brother of Sophie Bille Brahe, famous jewellery designer, and newly married to top model Caroline Brasch) that this place is a local hotspot, but also because of the curated menu of healthy and very tasty bites, and of course the great coffee. But don’t even think about asking for oat or almond milk here- they only do regular.

If you prefer your coffee with a danish pastry, head over to Juno the Bakery instead, which is less trendy but you won’t regret a visit because the wienerbrød is that good. If you’re really into exceptional coffee and don’t care about the rest, then The Coffee Collective is the place for you.

Where to shop

Storm

This is your first stop, for sure: an impressive concept store that will leave no one empty-handed. Around the corner is Beau Marché which you also must check out, if not for the design decoration then to grab a coffee in their cozy backyard café that has the perfect local buzz. Local brands like Ganni, Soulland, and Wood Wood all need to be explored as well in their own stores (especially for New Yorker style stars, who are already decked out head to toe in these brands!). Go to Time’s Up for some second-hand shopping – it might be worth mentioning this is a favorite of Virgil Abloh’s (#offwhite #louisvuitton).

Where to see some hints of culture

Louisiana

This modern art museum is located outside of Copenhagen, so it doesn’t technically qualify for this list, but it is THAT good. With the train from the central station, it’s only 30 min away- cheap and easy.

Glyptotek

If you prefer to stay in the city center, make your way to Glyptoteket. The main hall where the restaurant is located is very inspiring and soothing. Go here for lunch when you’re hungover and need some new energy, and when you’re back to normal, make sure to see the exhibitions as well.

Where to party

Apollo Bar

Put on your sneakers and go to Apollo Bar (also owned by Fredrik Bille Brahe). This is the place to be with the cool crowd from creative industries, who come here on a regular basis, especially during Fashion Week.

Bakken

If you feel like that’s not enough, make your way to Kodbyn ( the “meatpacking district”), and go to places like Bakken for the after party.

Where to work/freelance

Skt. Petri Hotel

Has a great lounge that is the perfect place to sit down with your computer without being disturbed. In the summers, you can even sit on their terrace and enjoy some sun while you’re working.

What to do

Christiania

Rent a bike or hop on a bicycle taxi (or just take a normal taxi), and go to this “free town” that is a community market where people pretty much make a living out of selling art and handicrafts to tourists. A strange place you’ll want to see before leaving.

Where to work out

If you go in the summer, go for a swim- firstly, it’s a super clean harbor in the middle of a big city – which basically never happens. Secondly, there are wooden docks all over the place that encourage a dive, or five.

Also (obviously, sorry) – Copenhagen is the perfect city to cycle in. Its surface is flat and there’s 350km of cycle path in the city (so it’s super safe). Rent a bicycle and cycle anywhere you need to go- this will definitely keep you in shape during your stay here, and allow you to stuff your face with pastries daily, as the Danes do.

Best Bar for a Secret Rendezvous

Ruby

This is where you can get the best cocktails in town in a room that will feel like your friend’s living room, complete with dark lighting to set the mood, and small corners to “hide” in;)

Hotel Sanders rooftop

If you want something better suited for that day time Hinge date, then the roof terrace of the new luxury Hotel Sanders is a perfect hideaway in thoughtful surroundings.

Best place to buy gifts

Hay (a brand, and a store)

Bring some Danish design from Hay with you to someone you love.

Best spot for your new Bumble profile photo

The waterfront in Nyhavn, in front of the postcard-colorful buildings: regardless of if that photo’s going on your bumble profile or not, this place needs its mandatory stroll and photo sesh. Don’t stay for lunch though, as every place in this ‘hood is a tourist trap.

 

Stockholm

Stockholm is built on water so you will be close to nature whenever you go. Here’s a fun fact: 90% of Stockholmers live within 300 meters of some greenery. Did you know the city is also second to San Francisco when it comes to unicorn startups per capita? With the number of expats constantly growing, the city feels more international than ever. It helps that Swedes speak perfect English too.

In this time of climate crisis and single use plastic warfare, to enter a culture where nature is respected and revered so highly is refreshing. The concept of ‘allemansrätten’ is something that is familiar to every Swede, and loosely translates to “The Right to Roam.” From parks to lakes to waterways, access to the wilderness here is a public right – and a right that people don’t take for granted. Be sure to take a moment to have a ‘Fika’ (the daily 3pm coffee and sweet treat ritual) outside to soak it all in. If you have more time, get out of the city to the Archipelago for a picnic or walk (ferries from the city center take between 30 mins to 1.5 hours).

Where to stay

Story Hotel

Very affordable and right in the center of Stockholm, designed with a great sense of style. The rooms are quite small but you’ll be too busy exploring to notice.

Hotel Diplomat

The safest bet with an amazing traditional breakfast and rooms overlooking Nybroviken: the central bay. If you’re not staying, it’s still worth coming for a drink on the outdoor patio to lap up some luxury for less.

Where to eat & drink

Punk Royale

Södermalm is the main area for all things F&B and one of our favorites is this experimental restaurant. They only do a set menu, but for a very reasonable price. If you can’t get a table here, don’t worry, try Bleck, Bananas or Café Nizza instead for the proper local Södermalm experience.

Go to Ugglan Bar before (or after) to play some ping-pong and pool with the young hipster crowd.

Riche

If you’re looking for something more central, Riche is a classic that never goes out of style. Try Tako or Bardot, which are both new additions to the restaurant scene and offer the best vibe for a weekend dinner. A stop before at Lydmar Hotel means enjoying a great view of the castle across the water with a drink in your hand, without having to pay the (super pricey) rate for the night.

Where to get a coffee

Johan & Nyström

Swedes love their coffee and there are cafes everywhere in Stockholm. The coffee brand and small chain ‘Johan & Nyström’ is a favorite for locals. If you’re obsessed with coffee, this is your place.

Mellqvist

If you’re more interested in the full Swedish ‘Fika’ experience, go to Mellqvist, where they care as much about the coffee as they do about baking. Don’t miss the fluffiest cinnamon and cardamom buns (‘kanelbulle’ and ‘kardemummabulle’).

Where to shop

The Swedes are known for their minimalistic design, so you can count on the local brands’ own stores (this isn’t a city to shop at Zara). Go to Norrmalmstorg and start with Acne Studios, Rodebjer and Filippa K, then go down Biblioteksgatan and explore the crossing streets where you’ll find brands such as Eytys, Byredo and many others.

Where to get a hit of culture

Moderna Museet

This place is packed with great collections of contemporary and modern art. Located on Skeppsholmen, you’re also guaranteed a great lunch.

The Vasa Museum

This sunken ship isn’t a place where you’ll find locals but it’s a sight to behold. There’s a reason it’s one of the top sights in Stockholm.

Where to work out

Barry’s Bootcamp

Yes, this well known brand is popular here too. For anyone that likes being yelled at in a dark room with treadmills and dumbbells, that is.

For a more calming experience or to stretch out post long-haul economy flight, BeCore is where you can go for a reformer pilates class, or take a yoga class at YogaYama.

Where to party

Trädgården

In the summer, this is the place to be. This outdoor club is open from morning till late at night on the weekends, and there’s no place like it in Stockholm. Make sure to check if there’s a daytime session happening while you’re in town, you don’t wanna miss that.

Trädgården turns into Under Bron (indoors) in the darker months of the year, and is still worth a visit. Try Spybar or Mono too as they’re centrally located and guarantee fun.

What to do

If the weather allows, take advantage of the nature around the city and fill those lungs with some fresh air. The best long walks are done in Haga Parken where you can stop by Carl Eldh Studio Museum or around Djurgården. The best route here is to start at KMK (Kungliga Motorbåtsklubben) and grab a coffee to go. By the time you’ve finished your coffee, it’s time to stop for lunch at Rosendals Trädgårdar.

Want more? Hop on one of the many boats that take you further out onto the Archipelago – bring a picnic, and sit on a cliff!

Best place to buy gifts

Svenskt Tenn is a famous interior design store with plenty of small pieces that make great gifts.

Best bar for a secret rendezvous

Tyge & Sessil

A newly opened wine bar (next to Stureplan) located on the very quiet Brahegatan. A great place for a date.

Where to get some R&R

Sturebadet

Where else to do a Swedish massage than in Sweden? Go to Sturebadet (or Grand Hotel if you want to pay a little extra) and enjoy a well-deserved break from the city. Both places offer gym and pool access, so why not make it a full wellness day while you’re at it?

Where to work/freelance

Nobis Hotel

A spacious inner courtyard with groups of sofas spread out where you can sit quietly and plug-in. They serve coffee and drinks but no food (which is probably why it never gets too crowded).

Best spot for your new Bumble profile photo

Ivar Los Park at the top of Södermalm. This spot is overlooks Stockholm and the city hall.

 

Cyrena Lee, Head of Content at Getaway

Our first /Insider, Cyrena Lee, is the Head of Content for Getaway – an ‘experience designed to bring us back to our elements, immerse us in the magic of the woods, and challenge us to rediscover the pleasure of boredom, solitude and unstructured time.’ Sounds relaxing & magical, right? For whatever reason, “boredom” sounds like a real luxury to us…

Before landing at Getaway, Cyrena spent time at Oglivy Beijing and Virgin Sport, and has written for publications including DailyCandy, GourmetLive, and the travel site Fathom. An avid rock climber, she also built up much of the branding, content, and creative storytelling for Brooklyn Boulders.

Cyrena moved to NYC at 17 from Princeton, NJ, and has also spent time abroad in Beijing, Shanghai, & Paris. She likes holograms, lucid dreaming, meditating, hot pot, languages, and airports.

Follow Cyrena Lee on Instagram @cyrenaly

What hotel room design element can you not live without?

Remote controlled curtains — encountered this at CitizenM in Shoreditch, London. Going from day to night without getting up is a pretty nice touch, and now it seems like an absurd necessity.

Where would you go to digital detox or just generally to get off the grid?

Any Getaway cabin to detox, or the south of France to just hang out and eat fresh tomatoes and cheese all day.

What do you always bring with you in your carry-on?

My rock climbing shoes, because, you never know.

Have you or would you travel alone?

Travelling alone is one of my favorite things to do. I even wrote a piece on it called “When You Travel Alone, You Belong to Everyone” for Fathom a few years back. People emailed me saying they were inspired to do so after. It’s absolute freedom!

Best Travel advice you’ve ever received, and from whom?

I used to plan in advance more, but my French boyfriend has a very lax approach to travelling. He never books hotels in advance because, as he puts it, he never knows if he’ll want to stay longer or go somewhere else last-minute. I’ve found that this mode of non-planning opens up for a lot more unexpected adventures.

Do you have any tips or tricks for beating the dreaded jet lag?

Start eating according to the time zone you’ll be travelling to 12 hours before your flight. Or just convince yourself it doesn’t exist. A combination of the two works every time for me, even for flights to Asia.

What’s your go-to outfit for getting through security quickly, and still looking good?

Love my ADAY Don’t Stop Top and Brakes On Leggings for comfort and looking chic all at once. I pair it with a massive Lauren Manoogian sweater to keep warm.

In flight wifi- good idea: yes or no? Yes, working flights = less stolen vacation time.

Lost luggage, or lost phone? Lost phone. Airplane mode, please.

Favourite subscription service you’ll never delete? Patreon

Medellín

Colombia has it all and Medellín is considered the emerald in the rough. Tucked away in the Aburrá Valley, a central part of the Andes Mountains, it has been dubbed as the ‘City of Eternal Spring’ by locals for its mild weather. You can walk around and see cool stuff without profusely sweating, year round. After years of being the center of Pablo Escobar’s drug operation, today Medellín is a friendly and safe place (seriously) to explore amazing architecture, botanical gardens, fantastic food, contemporary art galleries, and, of course, a rowdy South American party scene.

Where to stay?

Hotel Charlee, in the heart of El Poblado

El Poblado is where you want to be- walkable to many things, a $5 UBER to others, and full of bustling eateries, shops, and places to go out, as well as lush parks to chill in. The hotel itself is design-forward and well appointed – each room has a private little atrium with sofas, and a well-stocked ‘Mega Bar’ (beware the full-sized tequila). Breakfast is included, and served on an incredible rooftop with sprawling views of the city and mountains. The building is one of the highest in the area, which is great for rooftop cocktails, pool dips, and even work time – wifi is free!

Where to eat & drink?

Medellín’s avocados are reason alone to get excited for some quality noshing – they’re absolutely massive (the size of your face). There’s something for everyone here – from carnivores to vegetarians (the latter usually have slim pickings on this side of the world). From low to high cost, here are our 3 top picks:

Restaurante Mondongos El Poblado

A traditional local cafeteria. The food and beer is really cheap ($3) but substantial and tasty. The local tripe soup is well-known as one of the best delicacies. For the more faint of heart, the arepas and various meat and fish platters are easier to take down on a hangover.

OCI.mde

Go here for contemporary or fusion dishes. Chef Laura trained for 8 years abroad in Europe, Australia, and Asia – and it shows. They specialize in slow (meaning 14 hour) cooking times, so items like the short ribs are prime. The falafel platter and salads are good alternatives for the more health-conscious.

El Cielo

This is the gold standard for the fancy foodie – book ahead, and go early. This is where you go for a 2-3 hour tasting menu that will change your life (and deplete your savings account). Chef Juanma is only 34 but is killing it – El Cielo now has outposts in Bogota and Miami, as well.

Alambique 

This restaurant and bar is tucked away above a storefront in El Poblado. If you don’t know where you’re going, you are sure to miss it. The open air space is decorated with mismatched lamps and charming farm tables. Make sure to order at least two cocktails and don’t shy away from the albondigas. 

Where to get a coffee?

Pergamino

One of the best coffee places in the world. Selling beans directly from their own farm, which is mere miles away, coffee has never tasted so damn fresh. They also have a beautiful, large space where the local hipster freelancers seem to flock (and a yummy red velvet cake). You can buy beans to take home (which is also a great ‘lazy gift’ idea).

Where to see some hits of culture?

MAMM

For us, the building itself was actually the most interesting part of the experience. It’s an incredible copper lattice-worked beast with many nooks and crannies, living walls, and sculptures throughout. Definitely check out the gift shop.

Crematorio Campos de Paz

Other guides will definitely tell you to go to Pablo Escobar’s final resting place, Cemetario Jardins Montesacro, Itagüí. But for a more “off the beaten path” place with incredible architecture and views of all of Medellin, go to Crematorio Campos de Paz at dusk. It reminded us of Richard Serra’s large copper sculptures at Dia Beacon, in the best way.

Plaza Botero

Come here to see artist Fernando Botero’s finest bulbous sculptures, 23 of them. Huge and fleshy, you might recognise them from 49th St. in NYC, by the Rockefeller Center.

Where to work out?

The gym at Hotel Charlee

Like a mini EQUINOX in the heart of the city, you’ll work out next to locals and foreigners alike. Two stories high, it has all the equipment you might need (even a cycle room) and you can cool down with a drink at the rooftop pool after.

Where to hang out?

Joaquín Antonio Uribe Botanical Garden

If you come to Medellin for just 24 hours, this place is a must. Colombia is a hugely diverse country and second only to Brazil when it comes to plant life. The amazing restaurant on a pond is surrounded by bamboo forests and a small vintage train car that serves drinks. It’s straight out of a Wes Anderson film.

 

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