Up Close: Edinburgh Farmers Market

cover-edinburgh-up-closeEdinburgh Farmers’ market, located at Castle Terrace, offers fresh food from local farmers. As one out of ten best British markets it is worth a visit – not only because of the tasty samples at every of the thirty stalls, but especially because of its high quality organic food.
The smell of handmade sausages and bacon will make you feel hungry right at the beginning. Additionally you have several types of cheese, fresh ish, lobster and dairy products, such as cheese- cake -cream. You can also buy Scottish tablet for 2£, tartes illed with haggis, or fresh made bread from a German bakery. Also hot drinks and soups are available as well as healthy smoothies, or sweets from “the Chocolate Tree” and self-made pastries. You can always have a break, sit down and enjoy the stunning view on Edinburgh castle or inform yourself about the local farmers at the information stall. If the weather is good you may be lucky to savour some musicians too. Opening at 9am, Farmers market is a great opportunity to have an unforgettable, fresh, organic and especially local breakfast, surrounded by habitants shopping. As a tip: Saturdays you will also ind about twenty stalls at Grassmarket until 5pm.
A Traveller’s Guidebook through the Lanes of Old Reekie

Team CTR Edinburgh
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Off the Beaten

cover Berlin City Guide Off The Beaten StrasseBerlin is home to some of the most profound and insightful museums and galleries in the world. Ranging in exhibits from ancient Egyptian artifacts to the tragic history of persecuted Jews to the surreal paintings of Dali, this city is a cultural hub. No matter your interests you are sure to find an exhibition that will challenge your opinions and expand your mind.
MUSEUMS & GALLERIES

Berlin’s history stretches back 775 eventful years, with various generations and dynasties leaving behind their mark in the form of landmarks and monuments. On either side of the Unter den Linden, the central boulevard of Berlin, lays a multitude of historic and awe-inspiring sights. A short walk around Mitte, the central district of Berlin, will take you past a litany of striking landmarks, from the Prussian era grandness of the Berliner Dom to the Cold War era remains of the Berlin wall, to the modern majesty of the TV tower. Truly, Berlin is truly a godsend for tourists looking for great sights, both famous and obscure.
SIGHTS

Berlin: the big grey city. A landscape entirely covered in drab high rises and industrial-looking buildings; or at least that’s what most tourists might think when coming here. With its best known aspects being its post-war ruins and eclectic art culture, travellers may not expect much in terms of outdoor getaways. But the city is abundant in large open parks, like Mauerpark, Tiergarten and the nearby Sanssouci Park just to name a few. Berlin proves to have something to offer everyone’s varying interests. With bikes on hire on nearly every corner, bathing lakes just a tram ride away and a visibly strong focus on fitness, this concrete jungle actually turns out to be a surprisingly green space.
OUTSIDE

What’s in a name? When it comes to Berlin, a lot. From Karl Marx Allee to the Kurfürstendamm, this city’s streets and tours provide a window into the past. So set out to a tourist hotspot or wander off the beaten strasse and immerse yourself in a city rich in history.
STREETS & TOURS

Known as the city that is “poor but sexy”, this German capital has high-design low-cost youth hostels all over the city. Travellers on a budget have the chance to rest their head comfortably and there is a plethora of options ranging from the ever popular chain Generator Hostels to the cozy boutique Wallyard Concept Hostel. All located within distance of major tourist attractions and close to public transportation links, visitors can take their pick to which neighbourhood they would like to eat, sleep and play in, giving them a glimpse into life as a Berliner.
ACCOMMODATION

Home to the famous Currywurst there is an impressive variety of local street food available all over Berlin. From cafés specialising in pretzels or patisseries to German food markets serving the popular kebabs, you will be spoilt for choice in this city bursting with flavours. Try out the craft beer gardens or sip on a cup of Berlin’s quality coffee, you will definitely find something to tickle your taste buds.
FOOD & DRINK

Berlin is known for its eccentric nightlife and clubbing scene. Most clubs play Techno music but you don’t have to look hard to find venues that specialise in Rock, Hip Hop and Jazz. Many clubbing spaces occupy previously abandoned warehouses, power and heating plants. These industrial settings generally create an intense and sweaty environment. Door policies vary from club to club and your best bet is to go out in small groups and dress casually.
NIGHTLIFE

Bursting with the best places for art and music events,performance venues, sports stadiums and festivals, all reviewed by us cool folk at CTR, you are bound to find some form of entertainment to your required taste. With a heap of music gigs, sporting events and art shows to choose from, Berlin is definitely the place for a dose of good ‘ole’ culture.
ENTERTAINMENT

Visitors to Berlin may not be expecting much outside its well-known history and vibrantly unorthodox party scene, but once here it would be hard to leave without adding a few new numbers to your wardrobe. Whether it’s a way to kill time after your walking tour, or an unexpected pop-up market which has caught your eye, you’ll quickly learn Berlin plays host to an exciting shopping scene. So get your wallet ready and prepare yourself to shop ‘til you drop at some of these awesome destinations.
SHOPPING

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No Wall Left: 100/200

ctr-cover-no-wall-leftThese public bus routes traverse the city offering a fairly comprehensive tour for a cheaper price than a tourist bus. Bus 200 departs from outside the main entrance of Zoologischer Garten station. In the opposite direction it leaves from Michelangelostraße in the Prenzlauer Berg area, taking around 40 minutes to complete the route. You will cruise past Berlin Philharmonie and Potsdamer Platz, before heading along the historic boulevard Unter den Linden, which is full of cultural attractions like the State Opera House, the Neue Wache memorial, Deutsches Historiches Museum and Museum Island. You will have the opportunity to admire Lustgarten, The Dom and the TV Tower at Alexanderplatz before the bus reaches its terminus.

Alternatively choose Bus 100, the first bus service to connect East and West Berlin after the city’s unification. It travels between Zoologischer Garten station and Alexanderplatz. Like the 200 it travels down Unter den Linden: get off at this stop if you wish to view the popular Brandenburg Gate, and from there it is only a short walk to the Reichstag. You will then be taken down the central road through Tiergarten where you can behold the glorious Siegessäule (Victory Column) before going south onto Kurfürstenstraße.

Bus 100 is the better option if you want a shorter journey time of around 30 minutes (without getting off) and if you want to see more of the famous sights in the city, although it is generally busier than the 200. Both offer a cheap hop-on hop-off alternative to the standard tour bus for the price of a standard day ticket. If you are young at heart, then the best seat is naturally at the very front of the top deck, where you can ‘drive’ the bus on your own personal tour of Berlin.

Team CTR Berlin
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Be in Berlin: The Ampelmann

ctr-cover-be-in-berlinWalking through Berlin, the traffic light symbols dress in their Sunday best to kindly tell you when to stop and go.

Created by traffic psychologist Karl Peglau in 1961, the iconic Ampelmann silhouettes were inspired by a photo of the general secretary of the Socialist Unity Party Erich Honecker in a straw hat, and were soon stationed at every street crossing in East Berlin. Since the fall of the wall, the Ampelmann has become cult item and a positive symbol of the identity of the East Berlin citizens, and can now be seen splashed on merchandise at the many Ampelmann stores dotted around the city.

Walking into the store, it’s hard not to smile at the brightly coloured towels, key chains and t-shirts; the endearing stop-and-go symbols are plastered over every inch of the walls, floor and ceiling. Peruse through the racks of Ampelmann towels, rubber ducks and hilarious postcards, seeing why the Ampelmann is loved by so many.

After you’ve taken the obligatory photo inside the larger-than-life Ampelmann statue, sit back in the café and enjoy a coffee as you watch traffic lights from around the globe blink their green and red counterparts. After you’ve spent the remainder of your Euros on Ampel-merchandise, tip your hat to the ol’ crossing friend as you leave the store and wait for the green ampelmann to greet you at the side of the road.

Team CTR Berlin
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Picture This: Barcelona

cover-ctr-picture-this-barcelonaYou’ve done the museums, the art galleries, the churches and the picturesque lunch spots; you’ve relaxed and soaked up the sun at the beach, the outdoor pool and the park, and you’ve clocked up what must surely edge close to a marathon on your pedometer. Are you heading home to bed? No chance, you’ve got an entirely new city to explore, transformed by the sunset from a cultural haven into a maze of restaurants, bars and clubs to stumble into and dance the night away.

We have done our best to offer you a comprehensive starting point, reviewing the clubs and bars which we poured into on instinct, and staggered out of hours later having had a great night. But really, the best way to create your own unforgettable story of ‘this one night in Barcelona…’ is to wander around and see what takes your fancy. As we all know, the best nights are always the spontaneous ones.
Feel the Night Vibes

Team CTR Barcelona
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What’s Barcelona?

cover-ctr-whats-barcelonaIf you’re lucky enough to be in Barcelona in August, the week long free festival in Gràcia is not to be missed. Although the date changes every year, around the 15th August from Friday to Friday,, the bohemian streets of this quiet Catalan residential neighbourhood are transformed into a colourful street party.

Each street competes for the title of the best-decorated street, with the residents of each street going to considerable effort as they bring their theme to life with spectacular street decorations from umbrella lights to sea life. The festival is completely free with no need to book the wide array of events including music, cinema and talks – to see what’s on, check out the festival’s website.

Come along in the day to enjoy the decorations, buy some food from the street stalls and enjoy the cultural events. Then, refuel with some wine or beer from the neighbourhood shops and supermarkets, which are open as usual and stay until late dancing to the live Spanish music. Festa Major de Gràcia is a street party like no other – as authentically Spanish as it gets, expect to leave with appreciation for the Catalan party spirit.
¿ What‘s … UP ?
¡ Festival of Gràcia !

Team CTR Barcelona
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The Bear Necessities

ctr-the-bear-necessities-cover-211x300Made up of multiple boroughs, Berlin is a city of many characters and faces. Not as compact as London or New York, Berlin is a place where you can travel 20 minutes and feel as if you are in a completely different city. Every borough combines to make Berlin a cosmopolitan, diverse and vibrant city. Albeit a relatively new city, Berlin still has a substantial amount of history.

Berlin is such a vibrant and inclusive city, that you never want to leave after visiting. From our personal experience, Berlin is a truly great city. We have used our time to experience and collect as many fun memories, moments and great attractions as possible. Hopefully you can use our guide as a basis for your own trip to Berlin, and we hope our guide will help you realise what this wonderful city has to offer.
“Ich bin ein Berliner!”

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