Friday, February 28, 2014

8th top thing to do in Paris - Dinner and show at the Moulin Rouge

Montmartre Hill

In this tour you will cross the northern areas of Paris to reach the foot of the Montmartre Hill. Close to the Pigalle district, you will enjoy the Moulin Rouge "Féerie" show which offers a variety of scenes into the history of the cabaret. You will admire: the beautiful Doriss Girls with their costumes of feathers, the great colored settings created by Italian artists, the giant Aquarium, and original musical played by 80 musicians and 60 chorus singers.

Menu Mistinguett

Terrine of Duck Foie Gras “Montmartre”, Fruit Chutney
or  “Mistinguett” King Prawns with Smoked Spices, Vegetable Tartar, Vinaigrette with Herbs


“Frou Frou” Sauteed Corn-Fed Chicken Supreme, Morel Cream and Fresh Pasta
 or  “Cabaret” Baked Salmon Fillet, French White Butter, Boiled Potatoes and Grape Tomatoes on the Vine


“Tendresse” of Red Berries, Fruity Marshmallows and Raspberry Sauce
or Gourmandise of Three Chocolates “Echiquier” Pastry, Crispy Chocolate Pearls

Moulin Rouge


* Transportation in luxury air conditioned coach.
* Dinner at the Moulin Rouge revue with "Mistinguett" Menu including a 1/2 bottle of rosé, red or white wine per person
* The services of a multilingual hostess/interpreter

Information :

* Formal dress required
* Cloakroom compulsory at Moulin Rouge (not included)
* Attention: wine instead of champagne served during the dinner (1/2 bottle)
* Possible to dance before the show


Every night except December 24 and 31, February 14 and special events
Departure time: 6.45 pm


2 rue des Pyramides 75001 Paris (Pyramides Agency)

Vicinity to your accomodation's location in Paris

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Top 15 Exotic Retreats For Design Lovers

After combing the planet for the most exotic retreats, we put together a collective of our favorite 15 spots that all have a lovely mixture of adventure, relaxation, danger, and beauty. Many of these out-of-this-world destinations might take more than a typical flight to get to, but whether you are riding on a camel’s back to a far out tented retreat or swinging from a rope onto a tree house balcony, these extraordinary spots will make you want to pack light, and enjoy the ride!
Top Exotic Retreats Adventure Travel Vacations

9th best thing to do in Paris - Orsay Museum

 A national museum, situated on the left bank of the Seine in the former Orsay railway station, built in 1898 by Victor Laloux for the World Fair. It was converted into a museum and inaugurated in 1986. The collections present Western painting and sculpture from 1848 to 1942, as well as decorative arts, photography and architecture. 

The Musée d’Orsay conserves and shows the largest collection of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist paintings in the world as well as outstanding Symbolist, Realist and Academic paintings. More than 5,000 paintings and drawings make up this collection including masterpieces like Le Déjeuner sur l'herbe and Olympia by Édouard Manet, the Danseuse âgée de quatorze ans by Degas, L'Origine du monde, Un enterrement à Ornans, L'Atelier du peintre by Gustave Courbet or five paintings from the Série des Cathédrales de Rouen by Claude Monet or Le bal du moulin de la Galette by Renoir. 

Buy your tickets online and skip the enormous waiting line!
€3,- Online Reservation Fee Included. Tickets are non-refundable. 

Under-18s do not need to buy a free ticket if they are accompanied by their parents, who have an entry ticket to the museum (or monument). They walk through with their parents, and will only need to show their ID.

Openning Times:
Everyday: 9.30am-6pm
Late opening on Thursday until 9.45pm.
Last admission 30 minutes before the closing of the monument.

Departure Point

You can pick up your skip the line tickets at our Information Centre: 25, rue des Pyramides (close to Orsay Museum)

To quickly book and reserve your tickets then click here.
To take a look at some holiday Apartments in Paris click here.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

10th best thing to do in Paris - Electric Bicycle tour

Want to effortlessly discover the magic of the French capital?

Now you can thanks to Paris Charms & Secrets' silent, electric, and non-polluting bicycles, which enable you to easily cover the 20 km journey! 

In this unique and unusual tour, hidden gems in Paris will be revealed to you: discover of one of the most beautiful houses of Paris accessible only by a secret code, an old monastery that survived the Revolution, a majestic bank of the Second Empire, and much more...Paris is a surprising and marvelous city!

Don't forget the famous monuments, don't they have secrets too? The Eiffel tower, wasn't it a part of the biggest fraud in the history of France? Notre-Dame, wasn't it a witness to the Great Curse of the French Kingdom? Illustrated with mysterious and amazing anecdotes, Paris Charms & Secrets offers the fruit of many years of research. By the end of the tour you will know Paris much better than Parisians!

*** The meeting point will be sent to you by mail in the booking confirmation with a map and a hotline phone number if you need to contact the guide.

Departure Times:
Departure everyday at: 9:30 am, 2:30 pm and 7.30 pm and Sunday at 08.30 am

Departure everyday at: 9:30 am, 2:30 pm and 08.00 pm and Sunday at 08.30 am

Departure & Return:

Place Vendôme, Paris

Get the most out of this trip, skip the lines and have a discount HERE.
Book Barcelona apartments HERE.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Sagrada Familia - What the final stages of construction will look

 The foundation responsible for the construction of the  famous Sagrada Família church in Barcelona recently  released a video depicting what the final stages of  construction will look like as nearly 150 years of  building (and delays) finally wraps up in 2026. The  breathtaking clip combines footage shot from a  helicopter with computer-animated renderings to show  what the basilica, designed by Antoni Gaudí, will look  like. The structure is said to be “the most  extraordinary  personal interpretation of Gothic  architecture since the Middle Ages.”
 Combine the Hop on Hop off Bus with a visit to La  Sagrada Familia and save time and money!
 Hop on the Barcelona Bus and discover all the  highlights that make this Mediterranean city so  special. From the Modernist Buildings and the great cuisine, right through to the Olympic city and the Mediterranean sea: it's all Barcelona! The Open-top double decker bus will take you there. With the Audio guide in 10 languages and individual headphones, all you have to do is hop on, listen and enjoy! Hop on and off as many times as you want between the three tour routes at 44 different locations. It can be very busy at the ticket offices, so buy your ticket online now and hop on at the location of your choice! Your ticket for the Hop on Hop off Bus is valid for one day.

Schedule details:

• Enjoy it every day of the year
• First departures: between 09:00 and 09:30 from any stop
• Last departures: 19:00 in winter - 20:00 in summer. See timetables posted at the stops
• Frequency: between 5 and 25 minutes, depending on the season.

This ticket offers you the possibility to Skip the Line at La Sagrada Familia. This famous large Roman church is designed by architect Antoni Gaudí from Catalonia. The construction of the church began in 1882 but it was only 1883 when Gaudí became involved and combined the Gothic and Curvilinear Art Nouveau forms. Nowadays the Sagrada Familia is an UNESCO World Heritage site, and in November 2010 it was consecrated and proclaimed a minor bascilica by the Pope.

C/ Mallorca, 401
08013 Barcelona

Opening Hours:
October to March, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
April to September, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
25 and 26 December – 1 & 6 January, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

For La Sagrada Familia you can select morning or afternoon tickets, an exact timeslot will be given after your reservation. Tickets will be sent within 24 hours. Please make sure you are on time!

Get the most out of this trip, skip the lines and have a discount HERE.
Book Barcelona apartments HERE.

The 2nd best thing to do in Barcelona - Casa Mila

Come along to one of the most remarkable works of Antoni Gaudí!

City Centre Retreat recommend Casa Mila or La Pedrera (stone quarry in Catalan) was built between 1905 and 1910 and was declared an UNESCO World Heritage landmark in 1984. Casa Mila is definitely one of the most remarkable works of Antoni Gaudí. The eccentric design is taken from his own designs, as well as from nature. Along the outside the irregular balconies give the impression of a series of waves. The upper floor, the attic and the extraordinary rooftop are open to visitors. Drawings, models, photographs and videos are used to portray the life of the great Gaudí, his historical and cultural context, and the artistic values and technical innovation in his work.

Opening Hours Casa Mila:
5 November to 28 February. Monday to Sunday:
from 9am to 6.30pm (last admission: 6pm)
Closed: 25 December, and 7 to January 13, 2013.
1 January: special opening hours from 11am to 6.30pm.
1 March to 4 November. Monday to Sunday:
from 9am to 8pm (last admission: 7.30pm).

Passeig de Gràcia, 92
08008 Barcelona
Metro to Diagonal or Passeig de Gracia

Because of the enormous waiting lines we advise you to buy your tickets online at Ticketbar!

Make your reservation now  here and Skip the Long Waiting Line!

View Barcelona holiday holiday apartments here.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wows and throws of a city traveler - Part 2

Click here for part 1

My limited experience of beautiful European Pavements.

Nee fancy words in this blog, going to keep the Northern Englishmens mentality. Short and Grimm, as few syllables as possible. Representing 50 days of constant rainfall in Gods country.

Love the lal dogs they do, but nee enough to pick up the food witch they fed them the neet before. So be very aware of every step. Besides the occasional dropping of Baquette or Croissant you shall find a not too appetizing Dog au Chocolate. Viva le Francais.
'Hands up' quote from questioned Frenchy.

San Sebastian,

They've won me owa, these East Northern Spaniards. Would like to credit the North Eastern Englishmen being similar, but trying to keep this real ey hew. But when it comes to pavements these la an lads have got it going on. Any dog droppings be picked up on the spot or in a few cases dropped straight t'bag. That be how train dog.
Quote be . . . made up by me. 'Pavement Dog drop she be, cut out she said'


Without sounding like a complete Racist . . . because I'm friends with multi Nationals. To prove this I've put them in a list. In order of preference;
Dutch ha
Them Southern Hemo Europeans i.e. Ozzy's / the beloved Queens favourite 'Kiwi's'
and the Japanese, cos fuck everyone loves sushi.
Note there nee be any Moroccans in this limited list, even though some of my closest friends be born and bred in that amazing country. However they do love to spit. Which brings me back to the reason why I'm sat here. 'Pavements in Amsterdam'
Littered with spit, seems to be some kind of tradition.

Berlin Baby,

Short an Sweet be what the lad said . . . Dog shite free . . . Jordy free . . . North African spit free.
Covered in litter, but of a promotion of an amorous culture of small businesses trying to make their way in the world which belongs in Berlin.
'Slash' littered with Gods first creation selling 'oregano' on Berlins pavements to the every always trusting city traveler.
Apologies' for the horrific, immature writing to any potential reader, but felt like one had to be intoxicated to write on this major universal subject.
'You need to get out, your brains thankfully are still alive, but your wows and your throws are splattered all owa pavement hew'.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

The 3rd best thing to do in Barcelona - Open Air Museum

Wonderful Spain in a nutshell! Not to be missed!

The Poble Espanyol constructed in 1929, for the Barcelona International Exhibition is an outdoor open-air architectural museum, located on the mountain of Montjuic. It is one of the few monuments that belonged to an International Exhibition that can still be visited. From the beginning, it was conceived as a real "village" in the middle of a city, with a surface area of 49,000 m2. The aim was to give an idea of what might be an "ideal model" of a Spanish village containing the main characteristics of all towns and villages in the peninsula. For this reason, 117 buildings, streets and squares were reproduced to scale. Pieces were selected taking into account criteria of aesthetic fit that could help create a harmonious overall composition in accordance with the "village" design that had been conceived. Poble Espanyol is a 'living' village of winding narrow streets, shady corner coutyards and visual surprises showcasing the different regional architectural styles of Spain.

Tip: try to get there early in the day when it's less crowded!

10% discount at Ticketbar!

Opening Hours
Monday: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
From Tuesday to Thursday: 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.
Friday: 9 a.m. to 3 a.m.
Saturday: 9 a.m. to 4 a.m.
Sunday: 9 a.m. to 12 a.m.

Christmas time
24th December: 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.
25th December: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
1st january: 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Francesc Ferrer i Guàrdia, 13
08038 Barcelona
Metro to Pl. Espanya

Ticket is valid all year! Buy your ticket online and skip the line here.
To take a look at some Barcelona apartment click here.

Friday, February 21, 2014

The 4th Best this to do in Barcelona - Tapas Tour by Bike

This culinary bike tour takes you through some of Barcelona’s most characteristic tapas bars and restaurants.  After a few stops at these great spots you will have experienced how the Catalans enjoy their tapas. As you pass through El Raval, La Ribera, El Borne and La Barceloneta, your guide will explain the delicious culinary culture of Spain. Tapas not included in the price. Duration 3,5 hours.

BudgetBikes - Shop Jaume
plaça de la LLana 3
08003 Barcelona
Time of Departure:

Minimum: 4 participants (Or book the private tour if you want to make a reservation for your own group with your own guide at a time you wish to depart, minimum of 4 persons required. Each person needs a voucher which can be booked by selecting Private Tour)

Available languages: English, Dutch, French and German

To book tickets and skip the queue then click here.
To take a look at some Barcelona apartment click here.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The 5th Best this to do in Barcelona - Flamenco show and Dinner

No trip to Spain is complete without enjoying Flamenco!

Founded in 1970, the Tablao Cordobés of Barcelona is widely admired by the most exacting artistic minorities and has garnered great international prestige. One of the main characteristics of this genuine flamenco club, or tablao, has been its staging of different programmes by the major talents of every era.

The Tablao Cordobés is a historic, welcoming venue, located in Barcelona's centre and run by a family of flamenco artists.
The flamenco club stage has hosted, and continues to host, performances by today’'s leading Catalan artists: Miquel Poveda, Montse Cortés, los Toleo, Maite Martín, J.M. Cañizares, etc., and the major figures of flamenco such as Farruco, Camarón, Lole and Manuel, Manuela Carrasco and Mila de Vargas.

The flamenco show, lasting 1 hour 20 minutes, is renewed from time to time, with the guaranteed presence of performers from Spain's leading flamenco troupes.

The dinner includes a complete buffet, featuring Mediterranean specialities, with drinks included.

Buffet dinner and flamenco show: 1st and 2nd performance, 77 €. | 3rd performance, 69 €.
Flamenco show and drink: 1st, 2nd and 3rd performance, 42 €.

1st session: Dinner at 6.45pm and flamenco show at 8.15pm.
2nd session: Dinner at 8.30pm and flamenco show at 10pm.
3rd session: Dinner at 10pm and flamenco show at 11.30pm.

To book tickets and skip the queue then click here.
To take a look at some Barcelona apartment click here.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

1). Best place to eat in Amsterdam - Zaza

Zaza's is definitely one of a kind and such an absolute gem. The restaurant is located in the Oud Zuid area of Amsterdam and serve very very delicious food in a nice atmosphere with good service and music.. 

If you are going to Amsterdam for a few days go eat there the first night. You will probably want to go back. Every single dish they put in front of you is of a very high quality.

When looking at the menu you will see that there is no main for less than 17,50, of which the cheapest is the vegetarian option of Ravioli which we strongly recommend trying whether your a vegetarian or not. Another option is the venison, truffle mash, caramelized red onion and a cream tart which is 23 euros. This dish is amazing and worth every single penny!!!! The desserts were fantastic, try the baileys cheesecake or perhaps the bread and butter pudding. For the full menu click here

Its very very important that you book and reserve well in advance. You can do this online here and you won't be disappointed!

Absolutely outstanding food presentation, fresh and tasty ingredients and most of all fantastic eye for detail. If it comes to celebrating something special or just having a romantic eve with one special then this is our number 1 place to be!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

5). Casa Batlló guided tour - Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona

Located on the prestigious Passeig de Gracia, you will find the masterpiece of Antoni Gaudi, Casa Batlló. Curvy lines dominate the façade which is decorated with a mosaic made of broken ceramic tiles. Even though the size of Casa Batlló cannot be compared with Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia or Parc Güell, it is definitely a work of tremendous imagination! The Casa Batlló was awarded the 2004 Europa Nostra Award for the Conservation of Cultural Heritage and was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2005. Definitely a must visit!

Our Casa Batlló Guided Tour is offered several times a day in different languages. Groups consist of a maximum of 9 people, keeping the experience more personal, friendly and fun for both group and guide!

Let our experienced and specialized guide take you into Gaudi’s world and guide you along the exterior and the inside of the colorful Casa Batlló. During the Tour, our guide will tell you more about the fascinating life and career of Antoni Gaudi.


English & Spanish (7 days a week, afternoon & early evening) 
French (7 days a week, afternoon & early evening)
German (7 days a week, early evening)

Daily (7 days a week), starting from our meeting point in front of Hotel Olivia Plaza at Plaza Catalunya. Please make sure that you arrive on time and to bring your voucher!


2 hours (Approx.)

The entrance ticket for Casa Batlló is included in the price.

To book tickets and skip the queue then click here.
And book amazing cheap Barcelona apartments then click here.

Monday, February 17, 2014

2). De Kas - Top 10 places to eat in Amsterdam.

This is a top restaurant and City Centre Retreat think the staff are all SO genuinely kind! Not stuffy at all, which is quite refreshing. Some of the staff that recognizes me just come to the table to say hi. They really make you feel special.

As for the food: it is a fixed menu. One can choose from vegetarian, fish or meat. The nibbles and bread are delicious! The starter is for sharing: 3 little plates of absolutely the most vibrant colors and delightful tastes! One forgets how a real tomato tastes like…
The main course is from the same range: beautiful, tasty and so fresh.

Desserts are sometimes so beautifully presented it's almost a shame to put your spoon in it…

They also have a small, but perfect wine list. Uncommon wines as well as the usual suspects.

Herbal teas are as you would expect, of an excellent quality.

As for the check: no need to take a mortgage on your house: it is very reasonably priced for the quality they serve.

Overall, it's not only one of the best restaurants on my list, but definitely my favorite: excellent food and drinks, amazing staff combined in a unique place!

Thank you all at The Kas for making each experience unique and memorable!

Friday, February 14, 2014

6). Barcelona Articket - Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona

Definitely recommended for the real culture and art lover who is visiting Barcelona!

Barcelona has so many beautiful museums! The Articket Barcelona offers the possibility to visit 6 of the most important museums in the city at a very reasonable price. And best of all - you don't have to wait in the long waiting lines! The following museums are participating and all can be visited once in a 6 month period from the date of purchase in any order you wish:

• Museu Nacional d'Art de Catalunya (MNAC)
• Museu d'Art Contemporani de Barcelona (MACBA)
• Fundacio Miró Museum
• Fundació Antoni Tàpies
• Centre de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (CCCB)
• Picasso Museum

Departure PointThe Articket can be collected from both terminals at the Barcelona Airport or at several locations in the city center. More information can be found on your ticket.


Ticket is valid for 6 months after purchase! Buy your ticket online and skip the line here!

And Book your Barcelona apartment here!

3). Greenwoods Restaurant - Top 10 places to eat in Amsterdam.

Highly recommend this cute little restaurant for breakfast or brunch.

If everywhere in Amsterdam considers a 'crumble' of cheese to be a massive slab on top of a burger then everyone will get on well here! Lovely food and cozy cozy cozy! 

On first glance at Greenwoods restaurant you will think are we going to squeeze in because everything is slightly cramped, however, once your in and sitting down you realize its actually cozy, not cramped. 

The breakfast is amazing and the presentation impeccable. Not one of us at City Centre Retreat have any faults with our meals or the service that we have received at this place.

The best way to describe the breakfast? Well it was posh and generous, not your greasy spoon breakfast that;s for sure. Who ever said salmon is not right? There are 2 Greenwoods in Amsterdam : near Flowers' Market and close to Jordaan.

This is by far one of the finest places to eat breakfast or lunch anywhere on the planet! The food is absolutely spot on. From the fresh home made bread to the freshly brewed mint tea and everything in between Greenwoods is a must try for any Foodie or lover of great food! Especially the bread! Allow me to pontificate about how great her homemade bread is! The bread made here is truly the finest bread in the world!

If consistency is the key to running a successful restaurant then Greenwoods on Singel is going to be tremendously successful. Kudos to the owner for running a great place! Good service and a perfect meal make this restaurant a must try when one is in Amsterdam.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

7). Figueres, Dali & Girona - Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona

Figueres, Dali & Girona

A one-day trip to two enchanting cities!

Figueres, Dali & GironaA fully equipped coach will take you from Barcelona to two great towns in the North of Catalonia, Girona and Figueres. Girona, home to one of Europe's best-preserved Jewish quarters, has all the charm of a large city but without the crowds. In Figueres, the birthplace of famous artist Salvador Dalí, you can enjoy the special Art in Teatre-Museu Dalí and "Dalí Joies". A Guide will travel on board during this trip.
In details:
A one-day trip from Barcelona, stopping first in Girona. A city that invites you to lose yourself in its streets and walk through the old town in one of the country’s finest historic ensembles: medieval walls, Romanesque and Gothic landmarks, baroque buildings and one of the best-preserved Jewish quarters in Europe. The second stop is Figueres, city of Dalí. A very attractive town with mansions, shops and pavement cafés… and with the Teatre Museu Dalí as its main highlight. The museum allows you to explore the surrealist world of Salvador Dalí.

Itinerary:  Barcelona - Girona - Figueres - Barcelona.

The ticket includes:
• Guided tour of Girona.
• Orientation tour to the Dali Museum.
• Complete informative guide with detailed information about Dañí. Figueres, Girona and the places to visit.
• Arrival back in Barcelona at 7.30pm (Plaça Catalunya).
• Free admission to the Teatre-Museu Dalí and "Dalí Joies" in Figueres.
• Discounts at museums, places of interest, shops and restaurants.
• Languages: Catalan, Spanish and English.
• Audioguide system in 10 languages for sale on board: Catalan, Spanish, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Chinese, Portuguese and Russian. The same audioguide system is valid for all three routes and has an extra charge of 5€.
Departure time: 
Wednesday and Saturday
 at 08:30h. Make sure you are on time! (20 minutes prior departure)

Departure point:
This tour is leaving from Plaça Catalunya, Barcelona (in front of El Corte Inglés).

Buy your ticket with City Centre Retreats for a guided walking Tour and skip the line! BOOK HERE

4). Restaurant Red - Top 10 places to eat in Amsterdam.


Restaurant Red
City Centre Retreat staff visit this place often and you can see from the reviews on TripAdvisor that it is not a unpopular place so reservations even as much as a month prior to booking is sometimes needed. 

It's an unusual but straightforward concept - they only serve steak (one size of fillet only) or lobster for the main course - you can have a half lobster and steak combination and they do also serve caviar - but essentially that's it - no starters (other than bread and olive oil). You can chose garlic butter or bernaise sauce for the steak. Both come with chips (or fries for our American readers). All the food is excellent in our experience, meat is cooked to perfection and everything else is a delight to eat including the outstanding chips!

This is followed by a small selection (4 or 5 items including cheese) of desserts which were also excellent. There is a respectable wine list. 

The restaurant is located on a corner on the Keizersgracht (number 594) but it takes some finding as it has no signs outside at all - if you weren't specifically searching for it you would never find it, however I think this "stealth marketing" adds to the special atmosphere. 

If you don't reserve it not likely you will get a table although we have done once but we had to go at 18.00 when they opened. Even when we arrived bang on 6 and were the first to arrive - within half an hour the place was packed and they were turning people away at the door so booking is absolutely essential. The restaurant is small and very atmospheric being decorated in black and dark green (looks much better than it sounds). our waitress was very friendly, helpful and efficient and we all had a great time. 

We would definitely recommend trying this place out on your trip.

Food - Dinning - Amsterdam


Restaurant Red is with its unique concept, lobster and beef fillet, one of Amsterdam’s favorite dining spots. Overlooking the city’s most picturesque canal, the ‘Keizersgracht’, Restaurant Red is ideally located in a canal house in the middle of the old city center of Amsterdam.
Red is famous for her hospitable service, informal and warm ambiance, friendly prices and lasting quality. Red has been a ‘must’ for five years now for everyone who is looking for an exquisite culinary experience. Whether you are touring the nearby museums and attractions or visiting Amsterdam for business, Red is the ideal place for your evening.
We hope to have the pleasure of welcoming you at Red in the nearby future!
Our kitchen is open 7 days per week from 18:00 until 24:00 (sunday from 17:00 until 23:00) o’clock which makes it perfectly suitable for a late dinner.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona - 8). FC Barcelona Stadium Tour

Visit the Camp Nou Experience – The fantastic home of one of the most successful football clubs in the world, FC Barcelona!

Buy your ticket for a guided walking Tour and skip the line! BOOK HERE

Certainly a must-do if you are staying in the city even if you are not such a big football fan. Learn more about the amazing story of a football team who has represented their city, region, and the Catalan language & identity with honour and pride. The ticket includes entrance to the imposing museum, to the impressive Camp Nou Football Stadium and to the Multimedia Zone, where you can relive Barça’s finest moments.

The audio guide system makes it possible to discover Camp Nou and the museum at your own pace, thus making you sure you don’t miss a single detail, while hearing some amusing anecdotes (Catalan, Spanish, English, French, Italian, German and Dutch Audioguide).
Opening Hours
Monday to Saturday, (from 4th April to 9th October)  from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. - Camp Nou Tour until one hour before the Museum closes. The rest of the year the Museum opening hours are from 10 a.m. to 6.30  p.m.
Sundays and public holidays, from 10 a.m. to 2.30 p.m. - Camp Nou Tour until one hour before the Museum closes.
On days of League and Champions matches in the stadium, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Camp Nou Tour not available.
Avenida de Joan XXIII
08028 Barcelona
Metro to Maria Cristina or Collblanc

Buy your ticket for a guided walking Tour and skip the line! BOOK HERE
Book you Barcelona holiday apartment here.

5). Best places to eat in Amsterdam - Moods Coffee Corner


Moods Coffer Corner - Amsterdam
Simply the best cafe in Amsterdam (and believe us, after 8 years of living in Amsterdam, we have visited pretty much all of them!) The best quality coffee (we recommend their specialty - Moods - latte with marshmallows!), amazing organic tea and delicious sandwiches. Their hot chocolate is with no doubts the best one in Amsterdam - instead of the usual warmed-up Chocomel. 

Moods serves real melted chocolate pellets (dark, white and anything in between) :) And don't forget about their hot chocolate mousse in... 32 different tastes! 

This cafe is based on the outer edge of the Jordaan area so its a nice 20 minute walk from the centre.

If that wasn't enough, the service is amazing. They are all very friendly, always smiling and helpful. I'm sure that if you try Moods once, you will come back again! City Centre Retreat's are there every week... :)


At Moods Coffee Corner, guests can choose from a large array of fresh, natural and particularly healthy products, from natural teas with different flavors, to fresh handmade fruit smoothies. Alongside, we offer cold and warm sandwiches, as well as pastry, delicious chocolate souffles, traditional Dutch apple pie and cheese cake.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona - 9). Private Guided Tours

9). Private Guided Tours - Introduction

We took a number of private guided tours in Spain and Portugal, and this one was outstanding. We spent a delightful half day touring modernist architectural sites with Begonia. It is extremely knowledgeable and very charming and considerate. 

They pick you up at you hotel or City Centre Retreat, and take you to four architectural sites, and, after your tour was finished, drop you at a nice restaurant near the water where we had a good lunch. You can also get some good recommendations on restaurants, other museums and night life, which all turned out to be great advise. While these tours may look expensive, this one was actually a great value because of the ease of getting around in an unfamiliar city, there extensive knowledge of history and architecture, and the chance to see things that a tourist might otherwise miss. 

I would definitely use these Tours again if I have the good fortune to return to Barcelona some day.

Buy your ticket for a guided walking Tour, save 4 euros and skip the line! BOOK HERE

6). Best places to eat in Amsterdam : Broodje Bert

Its a gem of a recommendation this!!!

The place to go for a quick health tasty well prices brunch! This central little sandwich shop it a favorite with to locals so if your lucky enough there you will be one to direct you to it. Its a gem of a recommendation this!!! This is a very small shop with outdoor seating; great for passing time and watching the passers-by. 

3 of City Centre Retreats favorite orders are the BLT special the Old cheese and roast beef special and the tuna melt special all with lots and lots of vegetables. Its not really possible to fit all the goodies into the bread to be picked up so its most definitely a knife and fork affair! 

The amount of tuna you get it amazing, all fresh and flaky with accompanying fresh lettuce/veggies and a light delicious dressing. The roast beef and cheese was a similar affair, both served on very good bread. You'r certainly be full after getting through these and its all great value. 3 sandwiches and waters will came to about 20 euros..find better food and at a better price in Amsterdam?; I think not! 

Great Sandwiches on fresh bread. This place is perfect to grab a some food and sit out on a bench for a quick picnic. It can get busy so get there before or after lunch hours. It's cheap and high quality. This might be the best sandwich spot in Amsterdam in the classic dutch style. They have something for everyone. The place is a family run business and they are always very nice, pleasant and kind. This is a terrific, casual sandwich stop so do yourself a favor and stop into Broodje Bert.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Top 10 Places to visit in Barcelona - 10). Picasso Museum

10). Picasso Museum - Introduction

The Picasso Museum in Barcelona is a key reference for understanding the formative years of Pablo Ruiz Picasso. The genius of the young artist is revealed through the 4,249 works that make up the permanent collection. Furthermore, the Museu Picasso, opened in 1963, also reveals his deep relationship with Barcelona: an intimate, solid relationship that was shaped in his adolescence. 

Buy your ticket for the Picasso Guided Walking Tour, save 4 euros and skip the line! BOOK HERE

City Centre Retreat develops a new appreciation for Picasso

We went to the museum in order to find an appreciation for Picasso, one that we didn't have. What we found was that as well as a lot about our lack of knowledge concerning his life and his work. We was ultimately blown away. We stood in line for 45 minutes to an hour as we didn't get tickets on line in advance. We got tickets for the museum and the temporary exhibit. What we saw was Picasso's work from the early years and his later work, with some in between. (The new management, as of the first of this year 2013, is adding more of his mid life work to the museum this year). We had no idea, and we are ashamed to admit it, that his work was so diverse. That was a surprise and a delight. There were many pieces we would love to have. A great part of the exhibit was learning more about Picasso and his life, his loves, his dedication to his gift, through the photographs donated to the museum by one of his best friends, David Douglas Duncan. They are stunning, moving, real and beautiful. They have taken his work and did some infrared technology and more to see what is beneath it...the results are really cool. This was probably my favorite museum and collection during our time in Barcelona and France.

Buy your ticket for the Picasso Guided Walking Tour, save 4 euros and skip the line! BOOK HERE

7). Ciel Bleu - French restaurant in Amsterdam

Ciel Bleu
City Centre Retreats is ranking the French restaurant Ciel Bleu its number 7 best place to eat in Amsterdam out of the top 10. Ok, this is isn't a place you go if your watching the pennies but if your looking for  some great style, ambiance, impeccable service and some amazing food. 

The only two-starred Michelin restaurant in Amsterdam, Ciel Bleu mixes stunning views with delicious dishes to create one of Amsterdam’s finest eateries.

Located on the 23rd floor of the delightful Hotel Okura, the restaurant offers sumptuous fare among elegant surroundings. Chefs Onno Kokmeijer and Arjan Speelman use fresh, locally produced ingredients to create gastronomic masterpieces. Combined with impeccable service, the food on offer is likely to be one of the highlights of your holiday, but remember to book ahead; the restaurant’s popularity means that reservations need to be made well in advance.

What the team at City Centre Retreat had to say about Ciel Bleu
What City Centre Retreat ordered.

'Like no other restaurant experience. What initially caught our attention to dine there was the Michelin Star rating and the spectacular city views high above the 23rd floor of the Hotel Okura in Amsterdam. Once we arrived, we were greeted by the Restaurant Manager at the elevator door and escorted to the hostess stand and then seated. At the onset we immediately knew we were in for a Fine Dining experience at its best. From the attention to detail and impeccable service to the very knowledgeable staff.. who at every course were waiting to describe every ingredient, their origins and their preparation methods. It was a feast for the senses. Visually stunning presentations of each course and distinct flavors in each bite that melted like a symphony on your tastebuds. After each course we awaited for the next with anticipation to see what would be presented. It felt like there were actually more than the 4 courses if we counted Les Trou Normandes served between courses to cleanse our palates. I have been talking about this dinner ever since we were there..'