Five Reasons

Five reasons to visit Soho, London (from a fashion PR Guru)

Founder of L52 PR & upcoming Menswear label SMR Days, Adam Shapiro, gives us five great reasons to visit London’s Soho when the city reopens its doors after Covid-19. Read on for his favorite spots to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. Travel sparks creativity, and fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this ethos –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? While we all stay put, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you inspiration from our global community of travel lovers. Our Insiders have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Adam Shapiro. Adam launched his own PR and marketing agency, L52, in 2016 following 15 years in the fashion industry on both sides of the Atlantic. L52 now runs PR for huge luxury brands like Loro Piana, Bally, Etro, The Row, Khaite and also… for us at Safara! This native New-Orleans insider with epic taste (in everything) began his career in New York, then moved to London for Burberry before setting up the UK office for fashion powerhouse agency KCD, and then finally L52.

In October 2020, during Paris Mens Fashion Week, Adam will launch a menswear resort / travel brand – SMR Days – with his partners Dan May (of Mr. Porter fame) and Gautam Rajani.

Like Adam, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Adam to the best spots in Soho, London…

NameAdam Shapiro

Where you live: Soho, London

Where you’re from: Originally, New Orleans

What you do: Co-Founder of soon-to-be-launched menswear brand SMR Days

Follow Adam on Instagram here.

Five reasons to visit Soho, London

The Food:
Palomar – for the BEST Middle Eastern / Israeli food in town
Hoppers – Incredibly spicy and fabulous Sri Lankan / S Indian food
Kiln – Thai food that’s worth the wait (and the wait is real)
Bodega Negra – when you need margaritas and tacos, STAT

The hotel:
Dean Street Townhouse – small, charming, with a fantastic British restaurant on the ground floor

The store:
So many to list in Soho – Liberty (of course), Dover St Market, Angels (Fancy Dress shop)…

The thing to do:
Again, so, so many but… St James’s Park (just on the edge, but it’s been our saviour during lockdown, so we’re counting it), Golden Square and its galleries and lovely park, The National Gallery, I’d be remiss not to mention the spa at the Café Royal, and while we’re on that subject, of course, my favourite and top secret reflexology joint in Chinatown

Spa Cafe Royal

The culture:
As above, but also: The West End. We are so lucky to live a stone’s throw from so many fantastic theaters… sorely miss them and can’t wait for them to reopen.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Donate just $25 to the WHO with us here, and we’ll give you a FREE Safara Travel membership (worth $195!).

Five reasons to visit the Lower East Side, NYC (by a journalist and director)

Journalist and video director Sophia Li gives us five great reasons to visit NYC’s Lower East Side when the city reopens its doors after Covid-19. Read on for her favorite spots to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. Travel sparks creativity, and fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this ethos –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? While we all stay put, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of travel lovers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP, wherever you are.

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Sophia Li. This formidable Chinese-American calls herself a ‘citizen of the earth’, growing up between two countries and four states, but now calls the Lower East Side home. The names on her resume are v impressive: she’s former Entertainment Media Editor at Vogue.com and has directed conscious campaign videos for brands such as Adidas, Maybelline, and Theory. She’s also a long-time Safara Insider (read more about her here).

Like Sophia, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Julie to the best spots in Park Slope, NYC…

NameSophia Li

Where you live: Formally East Village, Now Brooklyn.

Where you’re from: I’m a citizen of the earth!

What you do: Tell stories, interview people, direct documentaries, live for the ultimate survival of Mother Nature.

Follow Sophia on Instagram here.

Five reasons to visit the Lower East Side

The Food: Is a city a city without its corner, independently-owned neighborhood restaurants? Nah. If you also cried over Gabrielle Hamilton’s first-person NYTimes narrative on her restaurant Prune during the age of Covid and whether or not it will survive, then you are a true east villager. Then, head down the block for the most authentic Indian takeaway at Punjabi Deli. Go around the block again for vegan Divya’s Kitchen and vegan pizza at Double Zero.

There’s a reason we all wait outside for brunch at Cafe Mogador on the weekends followed by dinner and noodles at Madame Vo or Hanoi House. Oh and date nights at Wildair and Davelle during the sweaty summer months… love this hood. I might get sad at times but the belly stays happy here.

The hotel: Sister City NYC and the Ludlow Hotel. Dirty French is the bar attached to the Ludlow – great for fries and wine during a brisk evening, as is the fireplace in their lobby.

The store: Kallmeyer for your hot pink power dressing suit moments and Chop Suey Club for the most unique and creative designers hailing from China. ‘Made in China’ will never mean the same to you again.

The thing to do: Hot yoga hip hop flow at Y7 Studio followed by a sunset kundalini meditation at Ra Ma Institute to let out all the stagnant energy.

The New Museum

The culture: Because, now more than ever, we need to be supporting the Asian community amidst Covid-19, visit the Museum of Chinese in America. Also, The New Museum for a ponder, the International Center of Photography for nostalgia and wanderlust.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Donate just $25 to the WHO with us here, and we’ll give you a FREE Safara Travel membership (worth $195!).

Five reasons to visit Park Slope, New York City (from a hotel marketing guru)

Vice President of Marketing at Ian Schrager Company Julie Wells gives us five great reasons to visit her neighborhood of Park Slope, Brooklyn after Covid-19. Read on for her favorite spots to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. Travel sparks creativity, and fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this ethos –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? While we all stay put, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of travel lovers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP, wherever you are.

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Julie Wells. She’s an Aussie, but now calls Park Slope, Brooklyn home. She runs marketing and brand experience for Ian Schrager Company, which includes the likes of the indomitable PUBLIC Hotel. Prior to working at ISC, Julie ran marketing for hospitality brands like Soho House, Spring Place, NeueHouse, and more. We always trust her tips, girl’s got taste in spades!

Like Julie, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Julie to the best spots in Park Slope, NYC…

NameJulie Wells

Where you live: Park Slope, New York City

Where you’re from: Melbourne, Australia 

What you do: Marketing & Brand Experience at Ian Schrager Company 

Follow Julie on Instagram here.

Five reasons to visit Park Slope

The Food: Mariella – this place has so much heart and soul. Every pasta dish is sensational. My go-to is the Bolognese with gluten-free pasta, a glass of red wine, and the tiramisu. Far from regular, Café Regular is the greatest morning experience – you’ll feel like you’re in France with a cup of tea (or coffee) and a croissant. 

The bar: The Monro is a low-key British bar. I go there for the sausage roll when I’m feeling homesick. It’s also where I can find my husband when he’s not home.

The store: A beloved Park Slope bodega owner renamed his store The Bad Wife – but he insists that his spouse is anything but! Everything you need can be found here –  shop local! Sounds has a neighborly atmosphere and meticulously curated goods. The in-house cafe and backyard is a great place for sunshine and conversation. 

Brooklyn Botanical Garden

The thing to do: I’d recommend Prospect Park  farmer’s market and Brooklyn Botanical Garden.

The culture: Go to Public Records for music, Littlefield for comedy shows, the Greenwood Cemetery for the Sophie Calle Installation and concerts in the catacombs, and the Brooklyn Museum.

Wait, what about a hotel? There are no hotels I’d recommend in Prospect Park itself, so check in to The New York EDITION, The Times Square EDITION, or PUBLIC of course!

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Oud-West, Amsterdam (from a content creator and entrepreneur)

Content creator and entrepreneur Rachel Laurey gives us five great reasons to visit Oud-West, Amsterdam after Covid-19. Read on for her favorite spots to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? While we all stay put, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of tastemakers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP post-lockdown, too. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Rebecca Laurey. Based between New York City and Amsterdam, she shares beautiful snippets of her life, style, and new motherhood with her 185k+ followers on Instagram. She’s an awesome content creator in her own right, but has also collaborated with brands such as Hermes and Armani as a social media and brand consultant, digital influencer, guest designer, and ambassador. It’s fair to say she stays busy!

Like Rebecca, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Rebecca to the best spots in Oud-West, Amsterdam…

NameRebecca Laurey

Where you live: Oud-West, Amsterdam

Where you’re from: Leiden, it’s like a miniature Amsterdam, 30 minutes away.

What you do: I am a content creator and entrepreneur working on an exciting start-up (more to share soon!)

Follow Rachel on Instagram here and learn more about her here.

Five reasons to visit Oud-West, Amsterdam

The Food: Levain et le Vin has the best cinnamon buns in town. Fijnkost is on my street, it’s so underrated–  it’s the cutest neighborhood restaurant with the yummiest food.

The hotel: The Pillows Hotel is so cozy and chic!

The store: I love the Gekaapt concept store, I usually pop in once a week or so to see what’s new. Their kid’s store is pretty fun too!

The thing to do: The Vondelpark has an entrance at the end of my street. It’s the greatest luxury – especially when you don’t have an outside area of your own. It feels like my really big backyard… that I happen to share with other people! I go there every day and plan to do a lot of picnics there when this is all over.

The culture: The Kahmann Gallery is not actually in my neighborhood, but so good. Also, visit the Stedelijk Museum –  my favorite museum in Amsterdam.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Hackney, East London (from a fashion talent director)

Jo Gilmour gives us five great reasons to add Hackney in East London to travel wishlists after Covid-19. Read on for her favorite spots to eat, drink, stay, and shop.

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of tastemakers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP post-lockdown, too. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Jo Gilmour. She lives in Dalston, an achingly hip part of Hackney in East London. Jo is from Lancashire in Northern England, but she loves this part of London, and when she’s not at work as a fashion talent director – basically getting people their dream jobs – she’s hitting up her neighborhood’s coolest cafes and stores.

Like Jo, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Jo to the best spots in Hackney…

NameJo Gilmour

Where you live: Hackney, London

Where you’re from: Lancashire, Up North

What you do: Talent Director, placing the world’s best talent from fashion, lifestyle, and DTC into dreamy jobs!

Follow Jo on Instagram here and learn more about Talent Atelier here.

Five reasons to visit Hackney

The Food: First, Casa Fofō, it’s right on my street and has an awesome and very accessible tasting menu with a killer wine list. I also spend a lot of time in Del74 who do the best tacos in town along with amazing pitchers of margaritas. Also, Pophams Bakery –  their marmite, cheese, and spring onion pastry is one of the most delicious things I’ve ever eaten, they also flip into a pasta restaurant at night time.

The hotel: The Ace Hotel, I take clients for breakfast at Hoi Polloi and can take my dog 🙂 They also have an amazing flower shop and a club in the basement if you want to dance.

Blue Mountain School, London

The store: Blue Mountain School, it’s beyond a store, it’s an exhibition space, you can buy mind-blowing fragrances, get bespoke furniture and buy one-off pieces.

The thing to do: Barbers Gym, it’s the ultimate combination of specialist and accessible. If you want to learn how to lift weights, here’s your gym.

Victoria Miro Gallery

The culture: Victoria Miro Gallery – it’s in a former furniture factory!

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Singapore (from a comms director)

Communications director and Safara Insider Andrea Seifert gives us five reasons to visit Singapore after Covid-19, from hotels to stores to places to eat and drink.

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of tastemakers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP post-lockdown, too. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Andrea Seifert. Despite being from Sweden, she’s never lived there and instead was brought up between South America, Asia, and Europe by her nomadic parents. She’s a communications director at a travel and lifestyle agency and now calls Singapore home.

Like Andrea, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Andrea to the best spots in Singapore…

Name: Andrea Seifert

Where you live: Sunny Singapore! I live in an area between Little India and Orchard Road, and work in Chinatown.

Where you’re from: Sweden, although I’ve never lived there, I was born to nomadic parents and grew up in South America, Asia, and Europe.

What you do: Associate Director for Singapore at The Mango Agency a boutique luxury travel and lifestyle communications agency and Singapore Resident Editor for The LUXE City Guides.

Follow Andrea on Instagram here and here.

Five reasons to visit Singapore

The Food: Chinatown is just packed with amazing places to eat, drink and be merry. Nouri is the place for special evenings diving into Chef Ivan’s creative fare using produce from his farm in Malaysia, whilst Maggie Joans is my go-to for indulgent, languorous lunches with the girls. The entrance is tucked away in a back alley and I love bringing newbies there –  it feels like a cozy Parisian or London bistro.

The hotel: Six Senses Singapore. With two petite locations in heritage buildings around the corner from one another, the brand’s first foray into urban settings (they’re usually in far-flung destinations) has been a welcome addition to the neighborhood. The brand stands for wellness and sustainability, and they definitely walk the walk.

Upon arrival, step into the oversized Tibetan singing bowl at the entrance to get some healing vibes before your consultation with the resident Traditional Chinese Physician to ensure your chi is flowing nicely. You’ll find the sustainability manager tending to the little ‘bee hotel’ on the rooftop garden next to the pool, pruning plants and herbs, or teaching guests how to make DIY hydrosol sprays from citrus remnants upcycled from the bar.

At the Duxton location, the Yellow Pot restaurant is where I take visitors for elevated yet healthy Chinese food (no MSG!). Rooms here employ a distinctly moody, dark Chinoiserie look, pulled together by the inimitable Anouska Hempel. Over at Six Senses Maxwell, designed by Jacques Garcia, the aesthetic is equally opulent with rich jewel-toned palettes and velvet upholstery. Indulge in a tipple or two at the champagne bar.

The store: The Social Space is on Kreta Ayer and is a gorgeous little cafe-come-social enterprise, featuring local and ethical brands to shop and lovely teas to sip and savor. Hidden in the back is The Nail Social, a peaceful mani-pedi spot using eco-friendly polish and providing training and employment to marginalized women. A divine respite on a quiet side street for some me-time or to catch up with a friend over a warm cuppa.

The things to do: Barre Lab is my go-to workout on Duxton Road to plie away my sins. The little studio has small classes and great instructors who correct your form and keep you motivated – while reducing your thighs to a quivering mess! I also love the Nithya Priyan School of Yoga for its structured curriculum of learning yoga asana, and alignment-based teachings by skilled yogis.

Thian Hock Keng Temple, Singapore

The culture: Telok Ayer Street is one of my absolute favorite streets in Singapore. A vibrant stretch of old-meets-new, you’ll find hipster coffee shops, packed bars, Michelin star restaurants, antique hole-in-the-wall shopfronts as well as places of worship and cultural heritage sites. The Thian Hock Keng Temple is the oldest Chinese temple in Singapore, constructed in 1839. Sometimes you’ll see the priest in his robes wandering along the road, which always feels a bit special.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Berlin (from a founder and producer)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of tastemakers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP post-lockdown, too. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Scott Amenta, a bit of a Renaissance man. He’s a New Yorker, but is based in the Prenzlauer Berg neighborhood of Berlin. He’s working in partnerships at tech company Think-it, and is soon to start a new role at travel guide startup Get Your Guide. He’s also a producer and the founder of a Chief of Staff network. Busy guy.

Like Scott, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Scott to the best spots in funky Berlin…

NameScott Amenta

Where you live: Prenzlauer Berg, Berlin

Where you’re from: New York, NY

What you do: I work in partnerships at Think-it, and am about to start a new role at Get Your Guide.

Follow Scott on Instagram

Five reasons to visit Berlin

The Food: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner can all be had at Brammibal’s Donuts. These vegan donuts will blow you away, and their coffee is great too. I still favor the classic cinnamon sugar donut, but the salted caramel hazelnut one is not to be missed. For a real lunch or dinner head over to Kanaan Berlin. The two founders – one from Israel and the other from Palestine – have an amazing mission, to join forces to show the unification of ideologies while creating world-class vegan and vegetarian middle eastern dishes.

The hotel: Linnen is a hip and modern hotel with a unique mix of apartment-style and classic rooms in the heart of P-Berg. I often recommend friends stay here as the rooms are spacious, it comes at a great price point, and has all the best bars and restaurants a few steps away.

The store: Berlin has world-class second-hand and vintage shops all around. I love checking out one of the smaller hidden gems, DEAR. They have a great rotating selection of vintage goods for men and women from well-known luxury and niche up-and-coming designers.

The things to do: If you’re a singer (which I am certainly not), Karaoke Im Mauerpark is the chance of a lifetime to have five minutes of fame in Berlin in front of a massive audience. For the non-singers, it’s a great time to enjoy a Sunday afternoon, good tunes, and an outdoor party.

KulturBrauerei 

The culture: There’s always something new going on at KulturBrauerei – concerts, beer gardens, food festivals, independent films, and more. It’s worth stopping by for a visit to see the program of events and explore the museum inside this old brewery.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Florence, Italy (from a brand guru)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make travel easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a little compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be your window to the world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of tastemakers. Our Insiders, who are also stuck at home and pining for their usual local haunts, have been thrilled to share reasons to add their neighborhood to your post-Covid travel plans. We’re going for the gold re: global coverage, and hope that you’ll find some new locals to try ASAP post-lockdown, too. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Emilie Hawtin, a writer, editor, and brand strategist. She’s a New Yorker, but travels for work a lot (pre-Covid, that is) and Italy is like her second home – she can’t wait to go to Florence when this all ends.

Like Emilie, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Emilie to the best spots in the beautiful Florence…

NameEmilie Hawtin

Where you live: West Village, Manhattan

Where you’re from: New Jersey

What you do: Brand strategy, writing, and editing in the style world between New York and Italy

Follow Emilie on Instagram

Five reasons to visit Florence

The bar: Natural wine at Il Santino, a tiny bar that serves ‘cicchetti’ with every glass. Everything is delicious, the staff is young, cool, and dedicated. It’s no easy feat to find good bread in Florence – they have some of the best and very fresh ingredients. I’ll have their delicious small plates as a meal if I miss the strict Florentine lunch hours or feel like a light dinner. It’s a special feeling there. Everyone spills out onto the street to drink wine and talk, free of cars or crowds. It’s a feeling I’ve never had anywhere else.

The food: Lunch and dinner at Trattoria Cammillo. It’s family-run and elegant yet easeful, light, and airy. Each generation is there working, the staff is spirited and kind. It’s a stylish classic for the classics––pasta and meat––but I love unexpected things like their risotto with curried shrimp, something I’d never expect in Florence but is an al dente specialty of theirs – or the truffled eggs with mushrooms in the fall. Florence would never be the same without Cammillo. I go alone a lot or with anyone I care about, you remember every meal.

The cafe: Rivoire is one of my favorite places in the world. It’s popular but I love to go early in the morning, walk across Piazza della Signoria and have cornetti at the counter. The cane chairs, wooden bar, silver capped bottles and formally dressed staff are beautiful to wake up to. Sometimes I actually sit down here, which feels indulgent, and the indifferent cashier is endearingly reassuring.

The things to do: The Boboli Garden has an understated grandeur that feels natural and calm. I love the faded colors on the buildings, woven throughout greenery and hidden in this sweet way. Faded mints and pinks that strike the right notes. I visit the porcelain museum often, at the top of the hill, the garden and fountain in front of it paired with the stunning view remain in my mind all of the time. 

Boboli Garden

The stores: I’m excited to visit Bottega di Corte, a very tasteful and sprawling shop for everything from old porcelain to tassels, maps, silver, vintage clothes –– Italian chic interior design that’s worn in perfectly. Dexter is another favorite to get men’s shirts and lightweight pants I end up wearing all of the time –  the owner, Marco, has a true elegance in style and demeanor. And, maybe most importantly, paper shops like Il Papiro, the Santo Spirito flea market, and the food markets. 

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Greenwich Village, NYC (from a Vogue Director)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Negar Mohammadi, former Vogue director and now a freelance creative strategist. She hails from Chicago, but has called Downtown Manhattan home for years and is our go-to guide for all things Greenwich Village. She’s also an awesome surfer, spending as much time as she can by the sea. She says: ” I’m heading straight to the waves –  most likely Nosara, Costa Rica – when this is over”.

Like Negar, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Negar to the best spots in the Village..

NameNegar Mohammadi

Where you live: Greenwich Village, NY

Where you’re from: Chicago

What you do: Former Director at Vogue, now freelance creative brand strategist

Follow Negar on Instagram

Five reasons to visit Greenwich Village

The coffee: An early morning espresso at il Buco Alimentari & Vineria is the best!

The food: Any of the vegan ice creams at Van Leeuwen (cookie crumble strawberry jam is my favorite), and Morandi for its lemon pasta, Vermentino, and outdoor seating.

The hotel: The Marlton Hotel  –  I love the cocktail bar and cozy fireplace. Their drink, the ‘Address Unknown’, is made with mezcal, Ancho Reyes chile liqueur, coconut, and pineapple – it’s amazing.

The culture: I went to NYU for business school and love the Grey Art Gallery.  They have an incredible collection of Persian art including some of my favorites from artist and architect, Siah Armajani.

The thing to do: Modo Yoga is my favorite yoga studio in NYC – Karine and Lawrence are the absolute best. I also love visiting the Washington Square Dog Park with my friend’s adorable pomski.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

Five reasons to visit Hamburg, Germany (from an international model)

We started Safara because we love to travel. We love that it opens our minds to new people, cultures, and ideas. It builds human connection. It sparks creativity and it fuels the global economy. We live and breathe this –  we’re a global, remote team with a unified goal: to make it easier, more efficient, and barrier-free. 

During this crazy time, that human connection we mentioned is a bit compromised, right? In the meantime, we want to be the window to your world, bringing you stories and inspiration from our global community of insiders and tastemakers. 

Next up in our ‘Five Reasons’ series is Dayami Candebat, who hails from Hamburg, but roams in between there and London. She considers herself having the ‘dream job’, as an international model and mental health & body positivity advocate – where she meets incredible people while traveling the world doing what she loves (though not as much at the moment..)

Like Dayami, we’re armchair traveling a lot these days, and planning for the future. We’re taking this time to build out our bucket lists, not just because it’s fun, but because it helps the industry we all love. By following and engaging with unique and local hotels, small businesses, and restaurants, we can collectively give them much-needed hope and encouragement during this strange and abnormally difficult time. 

Read on to travel (virtually) with Dayami to the best spots in beautiful Hamburg..

NameDayami Candebat

Where you live: Eimsbüttel, Hamburg

Where you’re from: Hamburg

What you do: Digital project lead turned international model and mental health & body positivity advocate

Follow Dayami on Instagram

Five reasons to visit Hamburg

The food and drink: One of my favorite places to eat breakfast is Marie. They have the best pancakes and also serve a lovely lunch with seasonal and local products. If you go for the pancakes try the crunchy banana or blueberry pancakes. And don’t underestimate the portions.

Trattoria Calabria is a hidden gem and small Italian restaurant run by Matteo and Leo who use the freshest produce for their dishes. I love the homemade scampi pasta! If you want to support an amazing small business and try some delicious pasta, you should definitely add them to your list.

The Chug Club is located in the Red Light district of Hamburg and as the name says, they serve ‘chugs’ – tequila-based mini cocktails. The atmosphere is speakeasy vibes and I would definitely go for the 6-course mini cocktail tasting as you will discover unique recipes.

The hotel: The boutique Hotel Das Kleine Grindel is one of Hamburg’s smallest hotels and located in the vibrant Grindel district. Housed in a restored workshop dating from the first half of the 19th century, the two individually furnished rooms offer all possible comforts. If you’re looking for a cozy spot with all the attractions and amenities close by, this is the perfect stay.

The store: Vau Hamburg is located in Eppendorf and carries an exciting variety of Hamburg-designed products but also internationally renowned brands like Acne and Samsoe&Samsoe. The Eppendorfer Baum (street) is always worth a stroll.

The thing to do: BOOM BÄNG NAMASTE is a newly founded Yoga Studio where the music is just as powerful as yoga – you could flow from hip hop to techno. This makes BBN unique in Hamburg and its always nice to chat with Laura, the owner, who travels all over the world to broaden the experiences at her yoga studio with classes like sound baths.

The culture: Located in the heart of the red-light district the Affenfaust Galerie is a forum for contemporary art curating young and established artists. If you stroll around town you will also find different kinds of artwork on walls from their collaborations.

Read more from our Five Reasons series here.

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