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Monica Suma (@monicasuma) — ✍🏻 travel writer
^ architecture that tells a story,
local food and drink & artisan design ^
words in @lonelyplanet , @bbc_travel , @natgeotravel  & more
What do you look for when visiting a new city? For me it’s unique architecture,
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What do you look for when visiting a new city? For me it’s unique architecture, authentic experiences typical to the place and the best spots for food. Design stuff and quirky museums is also way up there. But if I’m honest, any city that has a generous doze of green and water quickly becomes a favorite. As harbor city, Hamburg certainly has plenty of the latter. But what I really enjoyed, and found to be a quintessential Hamburg experience was paddling on Alster’s canals, surrounded by 🌿 all around. Such peace and tranquility and endless possibilities to roam free, right in the city center 🛶🌾 #Hamburg#meinhamburg#Alster#Germany
13.09.2019 08:07:33
No visit to Northern Germany and Hamburg is complete without a day trip to Lübec
No visit to Northern Germany and Hamburg is complete without a day trip to Lübeck ... most known today as the land of delicious marzipan from the likes of 212-year-old Café Niederegger (swipe left for my fourth photo), but that rose to fame as the medieval capital of the Hanseatic League. With its symbol Holstentor (my first picture), the brick Gothic architecture is a delight to see all around the Old Town, but not only. There are also pastel-colored buildings with quirky pretzels on top and endless hidden idyllic courtyards as you can see in my photos. Lübeck makes for a perfect day trip, with all the right ingredients for those willing to wander some, and indulge in their sweet tooth after 😋. #Lubeck#Holstentor#visitluebeck#Germany#hanseatic#marzipan#UNESCO
04.09.2019 15:32:21
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As I mentioned in my last post, the biggest development since my last visit in H
As I mentioned in my last post, the biggest development since my last visit in Hamburg is for sure the @elbphilharmonie, Hamburg’s new star attraction since 2017 and one of the most acoustically advanced concert halls in the world. A genius combination of old and new, a stunning wave-like glass facade tailor-made to capture the color of the sky, erected on top of the historic Kaispeicher warehouse building in HafenCity. . But to be clear, this groundbreaking concert hall came at a cost, and a BIG one that is; several years of delay at a quadruple price than originally estimated. Controversial to say the least for the city of Hamburg, the Elphilharmonie is nevertheless eye-candy for anyone visiting and the biggest treat for concertgoers. . Designed by famed architecture firm @herzogdemeuron, the structure includes two concert venues, the Westin Hamburg Hotel and The Plaza viewing platform, with free access to whoever wants to visit. The complex also hosts several restaurants, bars, several luxury apartments and more. . Concert tickets are not easy to come by, however visiting The Plaza on the 8th floor is accessible by picking a free ticket at the booth downstairs. Or you can reserve a spot to the Störtebeker Restaurant, which sometimes also comes with live music as I experienced, for a lovely meal and adjacent harbor panorama views. . Make your way up through “The Tube” (swipe left for the videos and extra photos), a brilliant 82-meter-long curved escalator, and enjoy the experience. . #Hamburg#Elbphilharmonie#Hafencity#Germany#meinhamburg
29.08.2019 17:25:35
Last time I visited Speicherstadt in Hamburg, it was frigidly cold, gray and win
Last time I visited Speicherstadt in Hamburg, it was frigidly cold, gray and windy. Three and a half years later, the historic warehouse district never looked and felt better than on a sunny and breezy August summer day ✨ There have been some major developments (hint: openings) since my last visit in the Hafencity quarter (to be continued in my next posts), but this remains the ground zero of Hamburg’s port and a must stroll through if you make it to Hamburg. It’s no wonder it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. #Hamburg#Hafencity#Germany#Speicherstadt#meinhamburg
25.08.2019 16:32:46
Here’s some more Art Nouveau eye candy for those in need of a fix 😜 The most bea
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Here’s some more Art Nouveau eye candy for those in need of a fix 😜 The most beautiful spiral staircase in the whole of Riga, inside the Art Nouveau Museum, former household of Konstantīns Pēkšēns (one of the most prominent Latvian architects). While in the area, you’re in the best location to explore the most prolific examples of Art Nouveau heritage on Alberta Iela, as well as in Riga’s Old Town. Any favorites? . #Riga#Latvia#ArtNouveau#lookingup#theworldneedsmorespiralstaircases#enjoylatvia#visit_latvia
23.08.2019 08:53:41
And then there was Riga ... I’ve had Riga on my bucket list since several years
And then there was Riga ... I’ve had Riga on my bucket list since several years as well, due to its unparalleled Art Nouveau heritage. Roughly making up for one third of all the buildings in Riga’s city center, Latvia’s capital has the highest concentration of Art Nouveau architecture in the world. Mostly erected during the early 20th century, during a period of economic and urban growth, this apartment building on Alberta Iela (“Iela” translates as street in Latvian) with two adorning Sphinx sculptures is one of its most beautiful. And such a treat for an architecture lover as myself 😊 #Riga#Latvia#ArtNouveau#atklaj#enjoylatvia#visit_latvia
04.08.2019 20:08:42
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One of the best things one can do, and what I loved most in Gdansk, was climbing
One of the best things one can do, and what I loved most in Gdansk, was climbing up the City Hall (Ratusz in Polish) Tower, for some 360 degrees views of the entire city center. There are endless steps to get there, some 300 or so, so be prepared to be huffing and puffing by the time you get up, but trust me ... the views are so worth it. Plan on going in the late afternoon or sunset for that glowing light ✨ and if you’re lucky, especially if you go exactly on the hour (say 17:00), you can even hear the church bells ringing, making the experience even more magical. Right in front here is St. Mary’s Church, the largest brick cathedral in the world, and an absolute must to visit inside. #Gdansk#ilovegdn#Poland#Gdansk_official
03.08.2019 10:49:20
Greetings from the Baltics! I’ve wanted to visit Gdansk for several years now, a
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Greetings from the Baltics! I’ve wanted to visit Gdansk for several years now, a gorgeous Hanseatic city with a gripping history, picturesque side streets and panoramas that sometimes remind me of Stockholm, other times of Amsterdam or Copenhagen. But after a few days here, it was clear the harbor city exudes a strong identity of its own. Gdansk was essential in triggering the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1989 (including communism in Romania) with its solidarity movement, “Solidarność,” while being a haven for amber jewlery, hearty pierogi and imposing brick cathedrals with must-visit towers. Have you ever considered visiting Gdansk? #Gdansk#ilovegdn#Poland#Gdansk_official
01.08.2019 09:44:02
NEW YORK friends, TONIGHT on NYC Media at 10:30pm, I’m showing my dear friend -
NEW YORK friends, TONIGHT on NYC Media at 10:30pm, I’m showing my dear friend - the inspiring 4x Emmy Award-winning host Mickela Mallozzi of @travelbarefeet - why I moved back to Bucharest. . When I left New York after almost a decade and decided to move back to Bucharest, I never thought I’d be showing my city on a show airing in NYC, my former adopted city. But life has a way of coming full circle sometimes and connecting the dots. . It feels like a “marriage” of sorts of my two worlds, my two identities, merged into one. It’s been so gratifying to greet one of my dearest NYC friends at home, and witness her shine with sheer joy and exuberance throughout her trip in Romania. As she traced part of her DNA, she traveled all around the country embracing our dances and traditions. . Those outside of New York, fear not, for this episode will air on your local @pbs station all across the Unites States starting this fall. #BareFeetDNA#Bucharest#Romania#ExperienceRomania#BareFeetSeries
14.07.2019 20:17:43
Going on top of Bucharest’s Arch of Triumph is like going up the Empire State Bu
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Going on top of Bucharest’s Arch of Triumph is like going up the Empire State Building for the first time. You never forget that feeling or that all encompassing breathtaking view. The difference being that the Empire State Building is always open; our Arch of Triumph isn’t. And being I always missed the very few days when it is open for the public, last night I climbed up the 146 steps up our very own Arch resembling the Parisian one, for an @experience_bucharest soirée with travel folk from all around the world. I was surprised at how spacious it feels inside while going up, the artsy installations and finally the feeling once above, watching the world ride by from the city’s most beautiful roundabout. I’ve seen many amazing skylines around the world and dozens of rooftops, and somehow, last night I was positively overwhelmed for a good 20 minutes, not sure exactly what to do. Take more photos or admire the view from every corner, while mingling with a fascinating group of travel peers. Kiseleff Boulevard is one of my favorite in Romania’s capital, for its wide, airy sidewalks and incredible landmarks, but the forest like views over King Michael I Park was the cherry of the cake 🌳 Cheers! 🍷 #Bucharest#Romania#ArculdeTriumf#ExperienceBucharest#sunset
06.07.2019 14:26:36
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You know it’s a great week when it starts on a splendid wine estate 🍷

This Whit
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You know it’s a great week when it starts on a splendid wine estate 🍷 This Whit Monday, I had the pleasure of visiting @avinciswinery in Romania’s Drăgăşani vineyard for their annual picnic celebration. It was a sunny afternoon in the company of good friends, live music and the traditional Căluşarii’s dance, a healing and protective ritual against mythical creatures, around the time of Whit Sunday. . Located on the family-owned Dobrușa Estate, the winery is a true embodiment of its motto “tradition and modernity,” with lush grounds and gardens decked in fruit trees and roses, sprawling vines and panoramic views over the wine region. A wine lover’s dream 🍇 . See more of the estate and the yearly Avincis Picnic in my Stories. . Photos by @alinaiancu.ro from @revino.ro 🙏🏻 #CramaAvincis#AvincisMaInspira#Dragasani#VilaDobrusa#DomeniulVilaDobrusa#AvincisWinery#Oltenia#Romania
19.06.2019 09:24:15
Birthdays have a way of reminding us of what one should be grateful for and this
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Birthdays have a way of reminding us of what one should be grateful for and this year’s celebration was nothing short of extraordinary 🎂 - discovering an off the beaten place through culture & traditions and most importantly, through gastronomy passed down through generations. . The brainchild of @mysecretromania, in collaboration with @mytransylvania, this weekend I attended a brunch in the historic region of #Oltenia (South of the Carpathians, between the Danube and the Olt River) known for its rolling hills, the wine country of Drăgășani and the genius of Constantin Brâncuși who originates from here. . With the goal of promoting responsible tourism in which 70% of the proceeds go back to the community, this Oltenia Brunch – and those to follow - are special not just for the attendees, but a celebration of local customs for the young generations growing up. There were dozens of local dishes unknown to me even as a Romanian – sorrel soup, a dense polenta dish ‘balmoş’ made just as in a sheepfold (with a perilous amount of cheese, yoghurt and sour cream mixed in), lots of cheese and pork specialties, the best chicken broth with homemade noodles I’ve ever had, 4-5 types of dessert made by locals and the sweetest fruits I’ve had in a while. . All this was complemented by craft demonstrations and a folk dance ensemble that made everyone want to dance and sing along. . Held at the Daciana Ungureanu Ethnographic Collection in #Novaci, we had the unique chance to witness our host’s dowry box full of Gorjian century-old traditional Romanian blouses (known as “ie”) inherited from her grandmother and hear stories about the tradition of Oltenian carpets, fabrics, embroidery and more. . Swipe left for a glimpse of this perfect brunch, and weekend, in Oltenia ✨🌱 #Romania#OlteniaBrunch#Gorj
10.06.2019 18:39:23
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