travel

The Paul & Paula crew loves to travel.

Near & far. And we love to share our trips – our favourite stops, eats and things to do with the kids. Nothing teaches you more than traveling the world.

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18.07.19

Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

End of December 2018 we sat on the plane, direction Tel Aviv. A city that has been on my travel list for a very long time and that I was so excited to discover. Finally!

And boy, this place did not disappoint. On the contrary, Tel Aviv is one of the most interesting, lively and energetic cities I have visited so far. (and that list is fairly long!)
With top-notch food, epic stretches of golden beach, The New York Times who crowned it the ‘capital of cool, and this young, upbeat vibe. We fell in love!

The White City never sleeps and if we would still be in the ‘party, nightclub and dancing all night long place of our lives’, this is the place that covers all your wishes in that area too. However, we came as a family and were looking forward to some calm, slow days and open plans after all the events in 2018.

On average we had about 18C (in December) and the good thing is the temperature stays stable throughout the day. Imagine a December day at 18C for a whole of 24h. Some days it was even around 20C. However, I would like to say that the same goes for the summer months where temperatures go up to 40C. Which means 24h of extreme heat…

 

Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

Note: You should know that Tel Aviv is a fairly expensive destination. I think it usually ranks at the 10th spot worldwide for most expensive cities.

But you get so much in return! Tel Aviv has at least 300 days of sun per year, National Geographic lists Tel Aviv as one of the top 10 beach cities in the world, and it is a paradise for vegans.
The culinary scene is considered one of the most creative in the world. What other cities may have in sights, Tel Aviv tops it with its amazing food places. (and even so the prices are high, the quality is superior!)

Let’s start with my version of Tel Aviv with kids:

Since we stayed for two weeks, we were in no rush whatsoever to run through the city and see everything mentioned in books and blogs instantly. On the first day, we went down to the beach, had a long lunch just by the water and enjoyed ourselves. After that, we started to venture and walk down to places that I had noted down beforehand. We usually walked, with some stops here and there, and discovered the city this way. There are many playgrounds, of various sizes, all over the city and they made for great pit stops. Especially because you can find cute little kiosks on more or less every corner, so a cafe or a fresh juice was never far away as well.
Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

Areas to visit in Tel Aviv with kids:

To the south, the ancient port of Jaffa is home to many historic buildings and a vast alfresco restaurant-bar scene. In the centre, Carmel Market is the lively heart of the city. The bustling Rothschild Boulevard is near the market, the heart of the city, and earned this area World Heritage status with Bauhaus architecture wherever you look. We loved to discover these areas:

Jaffa

Jaffa is the most ancient city centre and port within the Tel Aviv region. Tel Aviv was only founded in 1908, in the sand dunes north of Jaffa. Today, Jaffa is a southern suburb of Tel Aviv. And, no surprise, the oldest part of the city that is often referred to by its double name Tel Aviv – Jaffa.
The famous Jaffa flea market is a well-known attraction of the area, and vendors are selling a diverse range of interesting and unique products. The ancient Jaffa Port is still an active fishing port. Stroll or bike around and discover its unique mix of old and new.

The Jaffa Park is on the hilltop where the ancient city of Jaffa in Israel was located. Beautiful views above the city guaranteed! For an even better view, you can climb up the Jaffa Watchtower
And the most fun is discovering what is hidden in these beautiful winding streets and alleyways. Galleries, jewelry shops, juice bars, and more…

Tel Aviv Beach Front & Tayelet

The coastal strip is 14 kilometers long and home to 13 official beaches, stretching from Herzliya to Bat Yam. During summer, every beach is equipped with changing rooms and bathrooms, a lifeguard, a rescue station and everything else you could need. There are lots of restaurants and cafes as well as play areas and outdoor gyms.

During winter the lifeguard stations are minimised and you need to check where you can go in. Do not go in the water at an unsupervised beach, it is forbidden, and people get called out very quickly!
By the way, “Tayelet” means boardwalk or promenade in Hebrew. And it runs along the Mediterranean seashore in Tel Aviv, Israel.
Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv Port

Namal Tel Aviv, or the Tel Aviv Port, has recently been restored and is now one of the hottest places in town with lots of cafés and bars. You can find a little bit of everything here: the sea, markets, cool shops and restaurants, play areas, and a lively night scene.
And you can find Hayarkon Park, Israel’s largest urban park, here. And the park is home to a very nice and big playground as well as an outdoor gym. Inside the park, you can find 6 different gardens!

Neve Tzedek

Just walk down Shabazi Street and you can explore lots of galleries, shops, and hip restaurants. Neve Tzedek, once one of the city’s most rundown areas, is now the centre of its arts community. We went back here several times, especially because there is an excellent ice cream parlor (more about food later) as well as a good playground. Furthermore, it is one of those areas that has something for everyone…

Florentin

East of Neve Tzedek, you can find Florentin, also called the ‘Brooklyn of Tel Aviv’. The hipster place! A bit grungy, lots of chill bars and boho cafes, graffiti everywhere and close to Levinsky market which is full spices in every aroma and colour you could think of. Street art, small shops, galleries, and a very nice community vibe.
Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

Sights in Tel Aviv:

Street art. You will find beautiful murals, graffiti art and other creative decorations all over the city. It is so inspiring, colourful and interesting!

Carmel Market, Shuk Hacarmel, is the largest market, or shuk, in Tel Aviv. A vibrant place where you can find anything ranging from fruits to electronics. A fascinating and busy experience.

Tel Aviv Museum of Art – Israel’s largest art museum. The architecture is stunning, the permanent collection contains some great modern & contemporary works, and is a place you should have on your list. The temporary exhibitions are excellent as well, please check what is on when you are around.

Another great museum is the Eretz Museum. We went here because they showed the World Press Photo exhibition and I absolutely wanted to see it.

Jaffa Market, an eclectic flea market in the Jaffa Area and a must-do!

HaTachana – The Old Train Station, is a very smart public space. It was originally built in 1892 as the terminus for the Jaffa-Jerusalem railway. And is sitting at the end of Neve Tzedek and on your way to the Jaffa neighbourhood. And it is a great spot for families because there is a bit for everyone. History, art galleries, boutiques, and specialty stores, restaurants, and activities for kids. It is open from 10 am – 10 pm every day and hosts lots of events. You can find great souvenirs that are made and designed in Tel Aviv right here too!

Levinsky Market. Big spice market that is colourful and begs you to shop as much as you can fit in your suitcase. Cooking with the right ingredients is just so much more fun…

 

Let’s talk about Shabbat!

Before we talk about food, we need to talk about Shabbat. According to Jewish tradition, the week begins on Sunday and Shabbat falls on Saturday. Days are considered to last from sundown to sundown. Therefore, Shabbat begins on Friday evening and continues until Saturday evening. The Sabbath is a holy day, and shops, markets, and public transport are all closed. Restaurants and bars start to re-open on Saturday afternoon. Which means you need to do a bit planning for these two days to get the most out of the city.

So yes, Tel Aviv is a very lively city, but some things do stop on the Jewish day of rest.

However, there are exceptions: Not all restaurants are closed (but you need to check which ones are open and which are closed) because the majority of restaurants in Tel Aviv are not Kosher and therefore opened on Shabbat. And they are all packed! Book in advance or plan to queue. It is their weekend, people love to go out and the open places are just full.
So prepare to decide where you would like to go and try and book a table. Book a taxi if you need to get to the airport for example. Or calculate the waiting time. Also, the beach will never be closed. Organise a picnic (before shops close) and enjoy your day here.

 

Restaurants and cafes in Tel Aviv:

This could easily be an article on its own and every person I know who visited Tel Aviv raves about the food. So one more time, this city is heaven for everyone who loves food! Our family loves the more casual places that are easy, fun and cool with the kids.

Vegan:  Tel Aviv is among the top five vegan destinations in the world. And you can find vegetarian as well as vegan options on the menu in almost every café. And it is not just salads…

Meshek Barzilay
Delicious organic vegan restaurant in Neve Tzedek. The farm-to-table concept with very friendly staff, a little garden, and a very colourful menu!

Benedict
Do you love breakfast? You will love this place! There are a few outlets in the city and they serve their mouthwatering breakfasts all day long. We went more than once…

Ha’ Achim
Classic Israeli cuisine the modern way. Very busy, with a DJ and you can order lots of little side dishes to share which we did.

Puaa
Right in the heart of Jaffa and serving Mediterranean dishes. Pumpkin dumplings, moussaka or a colourful plater of mezze. A very colourful and fun place!

Anastasia
A fantastic vegan restaurant where we had brunch one Saturday noon (after we had to wait for a while because of Shabbat). My favourite was the vegan cheese plate that changed my opinion about vegan cheese and I am still busy figuring out how to make some myself. The desserts were delicious too!

Abu Hassan
Abu Hassan does one thing, and that is hummus. The service is more ‘fast food’ as is the decore but the food is fantastic. And the rest does not matter much. The place opens in the morning and closes when the hummus runs out.

Bucke
Bucke has two cafés in Tel Aviv and is a vegetarian place. Their vegan Shak-Shuka was awesome and we also ordered some mixed breakfast plates for the children and they loved all the different things like hummus, eggs, warm bread, jam, and cheese.

Port Said
Serves terrific food on butcher paper right behind the Great Synagogue. We loved the eggplant with tahini and watching people from here…

Miznon
Streetfood! Pita with meat (if you want), falafel, veggies… order, wait, eat! Busy but so good! They also serve baked cauliflower – a delight. Oh, and whilst you are waiting, they hand out warm bread which we happily took and handed over to the hungry kids…

The Streets
We had our first as well as last diner here because it was just around the corner from our apartment. Quite the hipster place, super friendly service and a great mix of food from Falafel to Pasta to Schnitzel.

Hakosem
Famous for the best falafel in Tel Aviv and, lucky us, just across the street from our apartment. So we went here a couple of times and even picked up some falafel to take home on one or two evenings.

Brasserie
An institution in Tel Aviv that serves all the classics in a very elegant environment.

 

Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv with kids

Tel Aviv Cafes:

CafeLix
Slow-roast coffee!

Arcafe
They do have delicious pastries!

Boulangerie 96
You need to buy a loaf of chocolate cake for your afternoon treat or breakfast here.

Dallal
Take away or enjoy some pastries in the small bougainvillea-covered patio.

Anita Ice Cream
Just yum!

Delicatessen
We got some goodies for a picnic from here and everything was lovely.

Tony & Esther
Cute cafe with scrumptious brunches.

 

Tel Aviv Shopping:

For clothes, you will discover a lot of dark colours, wide and interesting shapes as well as high-quality fabrics.

Levinsky Market as mentioned before.

Carmel Market as mentioned before.

Anny Jacobson in Jaffa sells lovely clothes that are all made and designed in Tel Aviv. I bought a dress that already got me many compliments.

Concept 13. Cool concept store in Neve Tzedek with designers such as Vanessa Bruno, Forte Forte as well as a lovely kids selection that includes Bonton, Bellerose and more.

Ginger, in Neve Tzedek as well, sells colourful home goods and accessories. Great for souvenirs!

Comme il faut is a Tel Aviv brand with a big store in the Port area. Great basics!

Papier is a shop where you can get lost easily. Discover lovely notebooks, paper, and pens.

Yooletta is another paper haven. And Israel’s first paper boutique, with a huge selection of stationery, greetings cards, wrapping paper, notebooks, calendars and lots more!

Shtaim is for the cool kids. A children’s shop with that edgy Tel Aviv vibe.

Sarona Market. A trendy hub of gourmet food stores, restaurants (incl. Benedict and Anita) and shops like G-star, Diesel, etc…

 

I hope you enjoyed this tour to Tel Aviv and got a good idea of the atmosphere. It is such a special place…

You love to travel with your children? How about Lyon with kids or Iceland? A place we still remember fondly too…

 

All images: Paul & Paula
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09.05.19

Sky Garden London with children (and Jo’s new Spring shoes)

Sky Garden London with children

The Sky Garden London at the top of the iconic Walkie Talkie building was our destination for a Sunday morning. 38-storey’s up in the air and great views of London. For free!

Afterward, we walked over to Tate Modern with children with some little stops to watch the London Marathon that day too. I did not notice when I booked the tickets that it was the same day as the marathon but all went very well and the city was super organised. I booked tickets and yet it is for free? Yes! You do not pay an entrance fee, however, you do need to book in advance and online.

The building is 160m tall, making it the sixth-tallest premises in the City of London. And on the 36th floor of the skyscraper, you are greeted with a magnificent garden and breathtaking views of famous landmarks. A true urban jungle and London’s highest public garden!

The perfect moment to put on her new Spring shoes Josephine decided.

Sky Garden London with children

Sky Garden London with children

Sky Garden London with children

Sky Garden London with children

Josephine is wearing her new Falcotto sneakers that she selected all by herself. The brand has lots of vibrant colours and cool details in its latest collection.

Super-comfortable sneakers for a truly spunky summer! And they are ergonomic, practical, comfortable, and super-stylish too. Aren’t these star sneakers adorable? Definitely for trendy little girls who can wear them with anything, from jeans to chic dresses.

By the way, Josephine’s t-shirt is from Naturino. The brand famous for its shoes launched an apparel collection to complete your look!

 

Sky Garden London with children

Sky Garden London with children

Sky Garden London with children
We enjoyed the 360-degree view of London, spotted the Tower Bridge, St Paul’s, the Shard, the Gherkin, the ‘Cheesegrater’, and, of course, the River Thames.
We wandered around the foliage-filled atrium, and the kids loved the open air terrace. (which is totally safe by the way)  And with the floor-to-ceiling glass windows, you get fantastic views of the famous rooftops of London from almost everywhere.

The kids really enjoyed it, and Josephine could try out her new shoes by running around and doing some little ‘gymnastic’ moves on the top floor of the garden too. Personally, I love to see cities from above. It is quite fascinating and shows you how big it is but also all the things it has to offer.

In collaboration with Naturino.
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02.05.19

A visit to Tate Modern with the children (and new Spring shoes)

tate modern with children

Last Sunday we packed a bag of snacks and made our way to Tate Modern with the children. Housed in the former Bankside Power Station it is one of the world’s largest Modern Art museums.

The museum was just named as the most-visited tourist attraction in the UK, but don’t let that stop you from going. Even with the kids in tow. Because one of the most appealing things about it is the relaxed and welcoming attitude towards children inside the galleries. (because many galleries or museums are such ‘grownup places’ with lots of rules and guidelines that can be intimidating)

And then the vast, industrial space that is an impressive sight in itself. The turbine hall is a huge space, exciting slope, and often has exhibits where you can actually get inside and not just look at. Find the balconies overlooking the turbine hall, with lots of sofas and transparent fronts. Our kids loved to sit there and just watch.

What else makes the Tate Modern so fun for kids?

Head to the seating areas overlooking the Thames, because there is lots to look at when getting a rest or having a snack. (there are lots of cafes around the whole museum in case you did not bring enough snacks)

Many areas have space to run around in (and it is fine).

Explore outside and get a 360C view over London from the Viewing Level on the top floor of the Switch House.

The Millenium Bridge to walk over the Thames, which we did as you can see on the photos.

There are always exhibits that are quite unusual and often involve sounds or moving images which children love.

The vast majority of the Tate is made up of free galleries. And the special exhibitions are free for children up to 12 years as well.

Awesome museum shops. I love museum shops and often find something fun and you will not be disappointed here, especially if you love children’s books.

There is a digital drawing bar!

The museums host lots of family events and workshops. There will surely be something happening during your visit too.

For our visit, the children put on their new Spring shoes from Naturino.

Both decided for some cool sneakers because they are comfortable, easy to put on and the designs so stylish that you can literally wear them with everything! (personally, I love to mix sneakers with something a little elegant)

 

tate modern with children

tate modern with children

tate modern with children

tate modern with children

About Naturino: All shoes feature exclusive systems and sincere attention to detail and style. Slip-out insoles, Natex membranes, and the Sand effect guarantee the safety and high comfort of all products.

Leonor wears: Low metallic sneakers with a pink and fuchsia heart painted with brush strokes on the side. Romantic meets casual!

Antoine wears: His sneakers are inspired by the passion children have for colours. Decorated with colourful brush strokes of children, while word patterns and stars decorate the soles. Fun!

What is the Sand Effect: The Sand Effect system ensures the right support to feet on rough and irregular ground, since it moulds easily under the weight of the body. Soft uppers and light flexible bottoms, create perfect and natural conditions in any situation.

 

tate modern with children

tate modern with children

tate modern with children

tate modern with children

When we arrived we grabbed a map (there are special ‘Family map’), handed those to the children, and let them guide our journey through the Tate Modern.

I think it is a must-visit destination for all art lovers and you never start young enough. And you know, it is very interesting to look at modern sculptures or paintings with children. And to hear what they see or feel about something.

We are lucky that we are able to visit whenever we want to and, of course, when a special exhibition or work shop is taking place. It is a busy museum but even a short stop is well worth it! So during your next trip to London, make sure to have it on your list.

Before we went to the Tate Modern, we visited the Sky Garden London with kids.
In collaboration with Naturino.
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12.10.18

15 happy things for your October!

Paul & Paula 15 things for October
Oh hello! At the moment I am not so sure how I feel about Fridays. On the one hand, I am happy for the weekend to start. On the other hand, I feel like time is literally rushing through. Another week has gone by… waaaaahhh…

I cannot wait to slow down again and breathe. We do have a really great holiday coming up for the Winter break (Dec/Jan) and I just love the pre-excitement before going away. This time even more, because we all really need a break. To relax, to spend time together (slow and quality) and do not follow any wake-up calls, appointments, and other commitments.

How about you?

I do love autumn very much and this year we are lucky to see some sun shining through the pretty leaves as well. But I can also see that this is always a rather hard period for the children. Between the middle of August when they went to school and the very end of October – it is a long period of school weeks. On top the days are getting shorter, the mornings are dark and a little chilly. Everyone is tired. Do you feel the same?

Nevertheless, I have gathered quite a few cool finds as well as reads for you. I hope that you will enjoy them:

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mum and daughter dress minime look
Oh, the perfect mini&me look. Black dresses! (here are more twinning outfits that are really cool)

Loving this DARLING cushion!

 

tiny door for sylvanian in kids room
OMG! You see what I see? This tiny door? Isn’t adorable?

Super cool collab!

 

wooden play fishes
I love the play kitchens from Macarena Bilbao. She added lots of cool play food and other bits to her shop like these wooden fishes!

You like to eat like a local while traveling? Here are some great tips on how to actually do that…

 

boheme-shelf
Beautiful boho inspired shelf.

You want to eat more healthy? This is a really good article with a good dose of humour and tons of facts!

 

turtle-organic-cotton-cushion
Adorable big turtle cushion!

From Berlin! Ultra cool backpacks for mini and maxi!

 

family home in malmo
Love seeing ‘real’ family homes. And here, the dad is really creative and makes lots of cool stuff for the kids. Fun fact – the family lives in Malmo. Ha!

Very detailed article about fake Instagram followers, comments and likes. If you are interested!

 

children's room with bunk bed
Very different to this ultra modern and clean version of a kids room. But I like the functionality and use of space.

Wow! Just wow! Very intense and personal story

 

the hey gang
The Hey Gang! Really cool and relaxed styles for children. Mostly unisex!
 

Happy week end! xoxo
 

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28.08.18

Iceland with kids – part two

Iceland with kids

And here we are for the other half of the trip of Iceland with kids!

I hope that you enjoyed the first part and started checking on how to get to Iceland. Are you ready for part two? Because today I will show you another side of the surprising Icelandic nature…

 
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Day six

Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Direction: Vik
Camping: Mýrdal
Early start and a first stop: Farm Holmur

Big stop: Jökulsárlón Glacier Lagoon & Diamond Beach
Jökulsárlón is a glacial lagoon and its still, blue waters are dotted with icebergs from the surrounding Breiðamerkurjökull Glacier, part of the larger Vatnajökull Glacier. The Glacier Lagoon flows through a short waterway into the Atlantic Ocean, leaving chunks of ice on a black sand beach.

Again, I know I repeat myself, that glacier was so impressive. And a little funny to see these masses of ice and snow when you were just driving through a green landscape. In fact it is pure and beautiful and a little unreal! You can just stand there and keep on watching…

The photos look like we are standing in front of a wallpaper, so unreal I feel. Even so I know we were there and it was me who took them…

Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
Iceland with kids
And that black beach! The kids were so fascinated and so was I!

In the evening we went to the supermarket opposite the campsite to re-stock some fresh stuff. And then we had another visit to the local pool that was close by! (yes, we did visit a lot of pools!)

Day seven

Iceland with kids
Direction: Golden Circle
Camping: Brautarholt

Stops: many – Golden Circle time!
iceland with kids
Seljalandsfoss waterfall – 65m tall. You can walk behind it was well…

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids

Typical road sign! Please try to pronounce the cities… :)

Secret Lagoon natural hot springs. Yes, we had to visit another geothermal bath because this is just soooo Iceland and so nice and relaxing. Here you even have a spouting geyser and when you are done there is a cute kiosk outside on the parking. Make sure to get a portion of their fish & chips! Yum!

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Gullfoss Waterfall
Impressive waterfall that really shows you how strong nature can be. The water cascades down for around 32m and the raw power is amazing. And very loud! It is the most famous waterfall on the island and part of the Golden Circle so it is all a bit more touristy here (huge gift shop, a cafe and so on). But hey, nonetheless, so spectacular….

iceland with kids
Haukadalur Valley Geysers
A geothermal field of geysers, fumaroles, mud pots and hot springs. One geyser, Strokkur, is active and erupts every 2 or 3 minutes!

iceland with kids
Kerid Crater
Kerid is a volcanic crater lake on the Golden Circle route. Filled with blue-green water. You can walk around it and feel really tiny…

Day eight

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
Direction: Reykjavik
Camping: SANDGERÐI

Oh beautiful Reykjavik. To round up our trip we left the visit to the capital for the last day and we were so lucky. It was sunny and nearly 20C. Which meant that the city was busy and happy and smiling. Everyone was out. On top there was a marathon and a music festival going on. In the beginning we were slightly overwhelmed because the last week was so quiet, peaceful and ‘silent’. So this was a lovely change and we also enjoyed to see the city so full of live.

First stop: Harpa – the concert hall. Such an interesting building and since there was a music festival we could attend some little concerts and work shops. So fun!

iceland with kids
Hallgrimskirkja
Incredible and even more fascinating when standing right in front!

iceland with kids
Coffee: Reykjaviuk Roasters – Karastigur
Street food: Fish and chips. Yes, another round but so good and fresh!

In the whole we just walked around the city, let us guide by the street concerts and people. Checked a few shops, had a nice little break with coffee and pastries sitting outside in the sun. Bought a souvenir and enjoyed our time, the moments…

iceland with kids
iceland with kids
iceland with kids
All in all – Reykjavik is cute and inspiring with some pops of colour and very friendly locals.

And we also had our last night in the camper! Whom we dropped off on Sunday morning to catch our flight at 1pm. All glowing and impressed!
In fact, a little note about Iceland Air. Great airline with lovely attention for children and a very funny plane security video. Which reminds me that I found the Icelanders to have a very good dose of humour! I like.
On the whole, all of us went home with so much energy and inspiration!

Iceland with Kids Part O N E

All images: Paul & Paula

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