Everplaces rebrands to focus on app-making-platform for travel brands and DMOs
For the last year, Everplaces has been powering two products simultaneously, the well-known travel tool app simply called “Everplaces” and a B2B tool for companies to make travel apps in a faster and better way.
From 1 January 2015 this will change, as we make changes in our business to split the products, and move focus to the app making platform.
Everplaces the app, which is used and loved all over the world, will continue running to support the community of travellers to find the very best insider tips for places to eat, sleep and play. It will retain the name and brand “Everplaces” and will be run by our wonderful designer cofounder Angelica Vargas, who will also find the time to work with other startups and brands to develop amazing designs, especially on mobile.
This strategic move enables us to focus our efforts inside the company on one product, rather than two. This is good news for all of our clients, such as German National Tourism Board, Urban Adventures, Epoque Hotels, etc., whose amazing travel apps are built on the platform. It will enable us to create travel related apps with even more advanced features, faster, easier and cheaper than ever before.
Till now, the app-making-platform has lived a life somewhat in the shadow of its larger sibling, Everplaces, a position it has now outgrown. The product will now get its own name, brand and resources. In this process, cofounder Christoffer Kaalund is stepping up as CEO. Christoffer is the technical mind behind the app-making-platform and knows it better than anyone else. Current CEO Tine Thygesen has decided to move on, and will only be involved in a non-operational capacity going forward.
Sometimes when you have two good things you have to make the hard choice to separate them, so each can grow and develop in its respective way. This is what this split allows us to do, and we are thoroughly convinced that it is the best way to serve our investors, clients and community. In fact, we are very excited about the new stage.
Don’t hesitate to be in touch if you have further questions.
Tine Thygesen, Christoffer Kaalund and Angelica Vargas Cofounders, Everplaces
Wind in sails, then? Yes, and no. When surveyed, travellers agree that mobile is still their least favorite way of booking, mostly because it takes them longer than anything else (19 minutes on average!). Small screens and less established technology contribute to a poor user experience.
So - What should hotel marketers do?
First of all, treat all screens (desktop, phone, tablet) as separate marketing channels and provide the best user experience on each device. By now, having a dedicated booking app should be a no-brainer for anyone in the travel industry.
We expect that better apps and ease of use will make these numbers grow even more.
One year ago, our ambassador Elmar drove all the way from Germany to North Cape with his old VW van so he could catch a last glimpse of midnight sun. We caught up with him to see what he’s been up to lately. As it turns out, his mobile home is still going strong!
Eat, sleep and wake up everyday to the view of your choice. All photos: Elmar Reckmann
From DIY ice-cream (with liquid nitrogen!) to the finest street food in town, get ready for another weekend of food, drinks and everything in between! We have shortlisted the best events at Copenhagen Cooking. For the full program, you can download the free app.
Asian Street Food Festival
If you think that Copenhagen is lacking in the street-food department, it’s time visit the Street Food Festival at Vesterbro Torv where the best kitchens in town will serve some of their their street-food hits.
Where & When: Vesterbrogade 39. Aug 29-31 Price: free. Event details here.
The biggest food festival in Northern Europe, Copenhagen Cooking is ready to go, with ten days of food, wine and everything in between. We have done some legwork for you and went through the program (clicking in at more than 100 events!) and shortlisted ten of the most mouth-watering experiences.
Most of the advice applies to both Apple and Google stores, but on the Play Store you will see more of the Google legacy, with searchable descriptions, integrated YouTube videos and more focus on inbound links.
Search optimization cheat sheet
Title: Get the title right and your position will improve dramatically! Have your primary keyword here, ideally within the app name. You can then include one or two extra keywords to get better optimize for the most relevant searches: for example, a travel app might perform better after adding city or guide to the name.
Have you been to Montenegro yet? No? Your guide to the last wilderness in Europe
Dense forest of beech, maple and fir, towering mountains, deep deep gorges and wild mountain rivers. Where is that? We’re on our way to Montenegro, the last corner of true wilderness on the Mediterranean. Our Project Manager and insatiable explorer Ani is a local expert, so we got a few tips out of her!
It’s pretty hot in Copenhagen today! The Everplaces team likes to cools it down at Bryggen, a beach a few minutes’ walk from our office. For all fellow summer city dwellers around the world, we’ve rounded up a list of the best urban oases for swimming, sunbathing and getting sand in your toes without leaving town. See you in the water!
Welcome to the little Miami of Scandinavia! From June to September this otherwise bleak neighborhood becomes a parade of tattoos, tanned bodies, hip-hop music, basketball players, barbecues and occasional show-offs doing Olympic flips in the water. Even if you’re not into canal swimming, this is a prime people-watching spot.
Initially conceived as an art project to enliven a neglected neighborhood, this 90-foot-long ‘bathing ship’ was created in 2004 out of a converted barge and is now found floating in the Spree river, complete with beach chairs and happy beach-goers. Like everything in Berlin it’s open late at night, more often than not with DJs and live music, so try an evening swim!
The beach at the Arganzuela is part of a major project by the City of Madrid to create 10-km long recreational area on the banks of the Manzanares. The park includes rowing lanes on the river, kiosks, cafés and restaurants, bike paths, walks, terraces and children’s playgrounds.
Welcome to the original urban beach, the one that started the trend. Since 2002, every summer the banks of the Seine are covered in sand and dotted with beach chairs and palm trees, to offer a little taste of the French Riviera in the city. This year, the Louvre is taking part with an open-air gallery of Roman marbles, bathing beauties and other beach-inspired artwork that is on sight at the Tunnel of the Tuileries until August 17th.
The beach at Strand West is open year round for a bite and a drink, but it really comes to life in the summer months, when it hosts evening campfires and live bands. Here the crowds are more relaxed than at other urban beaches, like Strand Zuid, and the location is quite, too, with very little noise and traffic. Best of all, it’s only a ten minutes bike from Centraal Station!
You’ll find students, eurocrats, sandcastle builders, Tai-chi masters, ball game players and everyone in between on the cobblestone banks of the Brussels canal. Straw huts and Caribbean food contribute to the tropical feel (but local Trappist beers is pretty much the refreshment of choice). During the day there are several activities for kids, while at night the beach comes alive with live music.
For a complete guide of the best city beaches in Europe, head over to our Everplaces collection. Do you have more tips for summering in the city like a real pro? Let us know in the comments!
Mobile travel: Hilton launch "select your own room"
84% of business travelers indicated they would welcome the ability to select their own room. And given the popularity of selecting your own seat at the movies, airplane and concerts it’s hardly a surprise that added control is in high demand. That’s why HIlton has decided to make this the focus of their new service innovation, trying to stay ahead of the competition.
Mobile App is perfect for service innovation
The mobile app is the perfect tool for such product innovation in the service industry, and this is also what Hilton is using to roll out the new service.
Guests who are a part of the frequent guest programme can use the HHonors app to select their room on the day of their arrival.
Apps are good for loyalty
Where mobile web is a good tool for awareness, mobil apps, with their increased speed, memory and personalization, are perfect for doing more for your existing customers.
Whether you want to - Up-sell minibar, restaurant and services to guests; - Service better during the stay (to increase return visits); - Spread the word about your company (generate trusted awareness through social sharing)
A mobile app can help you do that through useful features for frequent guests and select visitors. This app is another good example of this.
Want to build an app to make more business from your existing clientele? We can help, email [email protected]
Share the most memorable place you've stayed at and be in to win a free hotel stay
Have you ever stayed in a cool or unique hotel or do you know of any in your city? A beautiful design hotel, a romantic escape, a place with extraordinary service, a room with great views, you name it.Sharethe most memorable place you have stayed at and enter our competition to win a EUR160 voucher for a free stay, in any city where Hotel Tonight is present.
All you need to do is add the hotel to Everplaces and share it with us. All entries should include images and notes explaining why they were a special/unique place to stay, and you can submit as many places as you know :)
We’ll be putting together a collection with unique places to stay around the world based on the best entries of the competition.
Deadline is: Friday, June 27th.
To enter the competition, you can post the link to your hotel on our Facebook page or send the link to Ani, our Community Manager, at [email protected]before June 27th.
The winner will be announced by June 30th.
Looking forward to seeing all those beautiful places!
Crisis management: How mobile can help travel companies help customers stuck in an emergency
The recent coup in Thailand has brought a question to many travel companies minds; how to we prepare for crisis management when an emergency effects a country we’ve got customers currently in.
Whether you’re a hotel group, DMO or travel agency, you’ve got a duty to help people who happen to be in countries hit by natural disaster or political instability. But how do you do that? Mobile can help.
Speed of communication is of essence
Mobile is an important tool in crisis management. When you’re trying to help customers left in a unsafe environment where they may feel stressed or even scared the speed of communication is important, that makes mobile communication the superior choice, because they will have their phones on them, whereas they may not access the internet, or check for messages at the front desk.
Direct notifications is most reliable form of communication
The best way in a crisis is to use direct notifications directly to each traveler, this should be delivered via SMS, so you’re not reliant on wifi.
You should set up a SMS gateway system in advance, so you’ve got a system ready to use in case of emergency. These systems are easy to set up, and typically charge by SMS sent, so it will be a limited expense to set it up, think if it as insurance.
Make them feel safe and supported
Here you can give a quick message to let them know that they are not alone, you’re there to help, and link them directly to a page where they can find detailed information about how to get out of the place, the policies and all important phone numbers and addresses.
Link to a fast-loading, preferable offline info page
The emergency & policy info should ideally be put into your dedicated app, as it can then work offline once they’ve opened it the first time. If the situation develops into a real emergency its important that they always have the information at hand.
Alternatively the SMS can link to a mobile optimized webpage, but this means they wont be able to access it without internet, so if they are on the move it will be hard to access.
Either way it is key that you build a page which loads as easily as technically possible, so no images, videos etc. This is important because the phone network is likely to be overburdened at the destination if everyone is trying to find out what to do.
Make sure you have a CMS where you can make fast changes
Whether you choose to out the information in an app or mobile web page is it important that you have instant access to enter and publish the information. So choose an app/m.web set up which has a CMS system so you can add and update content it in fast and easily.
For apps there are CMS systems (like Everplaces’) that allow updates to go directly to the users, by passing Apple and Google, so you don’t have to wait for an app update. As an app update can take up to 2 weeks to be approved, it goes without saying that this is of key importance.
What ever you do, make sure you direct people to the exact page they need in case of an emergency, as they are likely to be stressed and impatient.
Steps to prepare
1 - Systematically collect phone numbers for customers
2 - Set up an SMS gateway
3 - Keep accurate track of the location of customers (by looking at the hotel for example), and the date on which they travel. This means we at any time can pull a list of effected customers and concentrate our communication only on them.
4 - Make sure you have either an app or m.web with a mobile web CMS where you can add and change info quickly
5 - Sit back and feel good knowing that you’re ready for the worst case scenario.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if we can help with your mobile requirements, whether they are for emergencies or good times.
In the recent Google Maps update a hard-to-spot new feature was included, which is in fact a huge step for the location-based vertical - commerce has come to maps!
The new version allows users to “Book Uber” (this is a taxi from the american taxi corp. of same name), from inside the navigations menu. This little button is a huge milestone, because it marks another shift in location-based technology.
Why does it matter?
The last 5 years has seen a silent shift in the way we find information: from traditional information to map-based information.
It all started with “nearby”, the fact that the map opens in your current location, which your guide book (if traveling) or Yellow Pages (if at home) did not. This made it easier for consumers to find nearby services, restaurants and companies if they opened Google or Apple maps, than if they used the guide books, brochures and listing services previously favored. This started getting people to search directly inside the Map apps, rather than in the mobile browsers, because they would get better results as it would take location into consideration too.
Since then, Google Maps in particular has continued to include a million small bits of information to each place, which totals to a gigantic improvement in usefulness. They’ve added opening hours, contact info, reviews, photos and descriptions of the places. Combined with the new trend that people travel less prepared this was a killer advantage compared to static form info.
And today, we’re seeing the next step for maps to step out of their supporting role, and into a lead role, because this is the first clear opportunity to start buying directly from the map interface.
We’ve been talking about this in our talks at conference about travel and mobile, and you can see more of our predictions in our knowledge center.
Context and relevance is the new frontier in marketing, as you’ve probably already heard. And mobile has an amazing advantage when it comes to contextual search, because we automatically know more about the consumer than we do when they search on web, as an example
- your exact location - time of day - weather where you are
This enables us to offer more contextual and relevant offers (rather than generic spammy offers). With commerce in maps, you can easily imagine that we start linking our current needs to commerce; such as sunblock for beach goers, lunch offers at mid day, m-tickets if near an attraction. Anything which you can add the words “required right now” in front of, is a perfect option for contextual, map based commerce.
Tell us the best places to eat in your city to win a free stay for your next trip
We’ve all tried them. Places, where the food is not just food, but a pure pleasure. Take us through a gastronomic journey of your own city and enter our competition to win a EUR160 voucher for a free stay, in any city where Hotel Tonight is present.
All you need to do is create a collection in Everplaces with the theme “Best places to eat in my city” and share it with us. Your collection should include at least 10-12 food related places and all of them need to have images and notes explaining why they made it to your collection.
Deadline is: Thursday, June 12th.
To enter the competition, you can post the link to your awesome Everplaces collection on our Facebook page or send the link to Ani, our Community Manager, at [email protected]before June 12th.
Share your tips and win a free one-night hotel stay
Think of one of your favorite cities. Then think of all the cool places you love there… and here comes the exciting part:
Create a mini guide for your favorite city and get a chance to win a EUR160 voucher for a free stay, in any city where Hotel Tonightis present.
All you need to do is create a collection in Everplaces with the theme “A short getaway to… [ your favorite city ]” and share it with us. Your collection should include at least 10-12 places related to food, drink, hotels, culture, or anything that would make someone else fall in love with your favorite city. All the places need to have images and notes explaining why they made it to your collection.
Deadline is: Thursday, May 8th.
To enter the competition, you can post the link to your awesome Everplaces collection on our Facebook page or send the link to Ani, our Community Manager, at [email protected]before May 8th.
Apps still beating mobile web, by 6 to 1 minute spent!
Six years into the race for your attention on mobile, apps are winning. A recent report by Flurry, who sits on the world’s most detailed mobile analytics, show that Americans are spending 6 minutes in apps, for every 1 they spend on mobile web.
Apps were considered a fad by some, but statistics clearly show the opposite trend
It has been widely speculated that consumers were getting tired of apps, and that mobile web was the future, however the stats show the opposite.
It looks like consumers actually consider the mobile browser to be “just another app”.
Travel apps are popular
The new statistics are in line with the general trends in the travel industry, where recent reports show that almost half of people have travel apps on their phones, and 26% have several.
Branded travel apps and destination apps should probably aim to conquer the “download, use, retire” app segment, where consumer downloads an app to use specifically during their holiday and they retire it to the back of their phone afterwards, similarly to how they would use a travel guidebook. This is a time where travelers are actively looking for help, and where brands and DMOs can play a positive role.
Alternatively (or concurrently), travel brands could ensure their content is well placed in the apps that are battling for the “preferred global travel app” market, such as Foursquare, TripAdvisor and our own Everplaces app.
The time to invest in apps in now
Given consumers are likely to download only a certain number of apps, the investment in getting into the market is only going to increase. Therefore, now is a good time to start investing in your app presence, as pointed out by Lee McCabe, Facebook’s Head of Travel at IBT recently.
Facebook themselves have been amongst the most aggressive investors in mobile, and are seeing that investment paying off. Between the Facebook app, Instagram and WhatsApp they sit on a large percentage of the usage now, especially compared to Google’s meager 5% spent in their mobile web browser.
Time on mobile has grown, again.
4 precious minutes more, that’s what the average American spends more per day on his mobile compared to last year, that’s 2.5% increase.
The total time spent on mobile is now a whopping 2 hours and 19 minutes per day!
Native apps, not web apps
The report is major vindication for native apps (developed in iOS, Android, etc, the software the actual phones run on).
86% of time on mobile (US consumers) is spent in native apps. So, despite web apps (also called HTML5 apps) getting a lot of attention, because they in their one-size-fits-all nature, are cheaper and faster to develop. But the performance is simply not keeping up with native apps, which has also made big companies like Facebook and LinkedIn shift to native apps. For the record, the 70 apps developed by Everplaces are also all native apps.
“It is still too early to predict the trajectory apps will take in 2014,” Flurry said. “But one thing is clear — apps have won and the mobile browser is taking a back seat. Now every company in the world, including Google, is adjusting to that reality.”
Android vs iPhone, why you should start on one platform
Every marketeer would like to reach as many people as possible. So why is it a good idea to start building your app only on one platform?
The team at Everplaces has built 70 apps, both for Android and iOS. Based on our experience with that, here’s why we suggest starting simple, it could end up saving you a lot of time and money.
1) It’s not the build, it’s the maintenance
Most people calculate a budget for building their apps. They agree on a feature set with the developer who starts building and everyone is happy. But what about the maintenance costs? What surprises most people about development is that the product isn’t just built and then it works, it has to be constantly improved, tweaked and bug fixed.
For one, the platform providers keep coming out with new updates you have to be compatible with. For example, when Apple released the iPhone 5 we suddenly had to make all our apps fit the new taller design of all the pages (iPhone5 is taller).
Then Apple came out with iOS7, the new operating system which has “flat design”. This meant that to keep looking good, we had to redesign the icons, reconsider several pages, and had to decide what to run with in the changeover period, where we have users on both systems.
And this is just the platform provider, we also connect with Facebook, Twitter and a number of other services which constantly update the integration. Recently we spent a month building a deep Facebook integration, which was offered to us because we have a special partnership with Facebook. Four days after we released it with big hurrah, Facebook changed something at their end and a lot had to be rebuilt.
For every platform you’re on, integrations and functionality have to be rebuilt all the time. Do you really have resources to do that, or will you become bogged down in maintenance so you can’t develop new features or grow your business? So set aside 20% of your building budget for updates during the next 12 months. Or choose a provider who includes updates in their prices (hint hint).
2) The audiences behave differently
Users on iPhone are more valuable than on Android. That’s an objective fact. They download more apps, they use more of them and they spend more money via their phone.
To a wide extent, you can predict behavior based on which phones people have bought. In the case of Everplaces the app, we have an app targeted urbanites and food lovers. These people tend to be on iPhones because they appreciate that the user experience is usually better on iOS devices. (This is both because of the superior design on the hardware, but also because of the strict guideline Apple impose on all software distributed through the App Store.)
So when choosing the right platform to start with, you could consider what’s important to you in terms of in-app purchase, upfront app purchasing, business vs personal usage, average income of users, etc.?
Because of the above, we recommend starting with iPhone or iPad apps.
3) Designing for Android is filled with compromises
It is correct that the Android user base is growing the fastest. Currently their market share is 70.4% in Europe and 52% in the US (vs Apple’s 17.8% Europe and 41% US).
While most of this growth comes from a lower-income demographic, who probably isn’t your target audience, it still feels natural to ask whether it wouldn’t be best to start with Android. The below image is why the answer is no.
The image shows all the different formats you have to consider when designing for Android. There are simply so many screen sizes and resolutions that you have no fighting chance to deliver a good user experience for all of them. No matter what you do, you’re compromising. Compromise isn’t great user experience.
4) Delivering a consistent brand experience
We have to admit it, we once fell for the temptation to build on a second platform ourselves, since we had so many user requests for Android. But as soon as we started testing it the truth was obvious. It was simply a worse experience than the iPhone app, it looked less pretty, it was slower and clunkier. Most of this was because of the compromises we’d have to make to fit so many screen sizes.
For a company with strong design DNA, and a product that’s renowned for its UX, we couldn’t live with the poor user experience. So we had two choices; shift the majority of our efforts from iOS to Android, or live with a worse experience. We chose a third, and pulled the app back, despite the many requests. We lost hundreds of hours working on it, which we could have spent optimizing our core experience.
5) Reiterate, Perfect and then Expand. It worked for Instagram
Most companies have limited resources and have to use them wisely. You’re probably up against competitors who have more people and budget than you. Therefore it may be a better strategy to be world-best at something. Kick ass at one smaller field, rather than be average at a whole range of things. If you start with one platform, you can test, fine tune, get the metrics right, observe how people use it, adjust the features and tweak the design.
When it’s perfect, absolutely perfect, then you build it for the second platform.
Staying on one platform during the exploration phase halves your development costs in that period.
Instagram famously stayed on iOS until they had 30mil users. Only then was it perfect enough that they were convinced it should be replicated to Android. They did, and the user base sky rocketed.
6) The hidden platforms
Most brands don’t only connect via mobile, but also on web. As an example, in the case of Everplaces the app, even though we’re focused on mobile, we’ve got to consider 7 platforms.
We’ve got a web interface, so we are actually always building and testing on iPhone, iPad, iPod, Safari, Chrome, Firefox and Internet Explorer, plus some smaller browsers and mobile versions of some of them. All of these come in many different versions, so some of them count as four or five. So that’s like 30 experiences to consider. That’s a lot for as a small team who want to develop fast.
7) What about Windows?
If you are building apps for the general consumer you don’t have to worry about Windows phones, Blackberry or other of the smaller platforms to begin with.
While Windows are gaining a bit of market share, it just doesn’t pay off. There’s two reasons. The first is that there is limited consumers on that platform, but it’s just as hard and expensive to build for. And secondly, because the users of those phones are used to not being able to get the apps they want, since most apps are missing from that app store.
So unless you’re in a very particular segment (like certain American B2B segments, where Blackberry still leads) you can stick to the two major ones. At least until your apps are hugely popular or you have done everything else you want on the main platforms and have budget to spare.
Different platforms will be good for different companies, we are not arguing that Android is inferior to iOS. What we are arguing, however, is that you can make a better mobile app, for less money, if you start with one platform, and then watch and learn. Once you’re convinced your app is perfect, then you have it built for the next platform.
Good luck selecting the best for your company. Let us know if we can help.
Everplaces wins top Innovation Prize, plus shortlisting for 6 awards
Last night was a good night for team Everplaces. We took home two major prizes and a host of short listings in the prestigious Danish App Awards.
- Winner: Category of transport and navigation - Shortlisted: Category of Events and Tourism
After the winners in each category were given, the time came to prizes for the best app overall in each of the important app disciplines. As we live and die for making quality apps, we see this as particularly. Therefore it was an enormous honor to find the jury had shortlisted us for every single one of these awards!
- Winner: Innovation Award - Shortlisted: Best Design - Shortlisted, Best Usability - Shortlisted, Best functionality - Shortlisted, App of the Year
The short listing for Events and Tourism was particularly important to us, as the nomination was not for the app “Everplaces”, but for Copenhagen Cooking Festival, which we have made together with our partners at Wonderful Copenhagen.
Top level competition
The competition for the awards, and for even making it to the final, has been incredible tough. Denmark is on the forefront of mobile usage and development so the standard of innovation and programming is high.
This is not surprising, as the country has one of the highest smart phone penetration rates in the world, and 200 hundred years of tradition for engineering and design.
Here’s a full list of the winners
App of the Year: Mobile Pay - Danske Bank, Trifork & In2Media
Best design: Classic Winnie-the-Pooh - Egmont & Shape
Best functionality: Mobile Pay - Danske Bank, Trifork & In2Media
Best usability: Nabby - Nabby og Trifork
Aller Innovation Award: Everplaces – Everplaces
Games: Pack a Puzzle (Guld) - Set Snail & Hello Monday
Sport & health: Min Hovedpine (Bronze) - De Allierede, Frankly Web & Pfizer Danmark
Lifestyle: Minibar (Guld) - Shape
Tools: Haze (Sølv) - Robocat & Taptanium
Finance: Mobile Pay (Guld) - Danske Bank, Trifork & In2Media
Education & Kids: Nabby (Guld) - Nabby og Trifork
Shopping: (Sølv) - Lauritz.com, Hello Group & Spoiled Milk
2013 has been a big year for Everplaces, a year where we’ve changed our focus, built a new core technology and established the perfect team. We’d like to thank all our customers, users, investors, community and contacts and wish you a fantastic new year. You’ve been a big part of making our year great.
New Focus In the beginning of the year we decided to shift our focus from the Everplaces the travel tip community, our most well-known product, to the app-making engine we’d started building in late 2012. The travel community around Everplaces is thriving, and people all over the world use it daily to save travel tips and locations they love. But we decided it would jeopardize the trust that’s essential in the product if we monetized directly, therefore we built-out our technology to become an app-making engine. Today we make our money outside Everplaces travel site.
The world’s best engine for location-based apps During 2013 our brilliant engineers have built the world’s easiest way to make top quality location-based apps. What our engine essentially does it allow any marketing manager to turn location content, often for travel or tourism, into beautiful branded native iOS apps.
We’re now able to reduce both cost and time to make an app by two thirds!
Working with wonderful companies We now power 65 apps, we specialize in location-based and work a lot with the travel and tourism sector. We are proud to be working with some of the most innovative companies in that field on cool projects such as:
Copenhagen Cooking by Wonderful Copenhagen We partnered with one of the world’s most innovative DMOs to create a sleek and smart app for the big Copenhagen Cooking Festival. Delicious!
UNESCO World Heritage Sites by German National Tourist Board The smart people at the German tourism board have a tough time choosing what to promote in their beautiful country, this year they choose the 38 world heritage sites and promoted it with an app. Magical locations!
Global travel guide series by Urban Adventures Australian tour company looked all the way to Denmark when they had to choose their mobile partner for their new travel guide series. Their ambition is the publish a guide for all 82 cities where they work, they’ve already published 12 mobile guides!
Some of the things we’re particularly proud of from 2013
Build world-class app generator for location-based apps
Now power 65 apps, 27 released in 2013
Increased turnover by x17
Partnered with Deutsche Telekom, Facebook, DigitalTourismThinkTank & TellUs
Thought leader in mobile marketing, app building and working with UGC - spoke at 28 events all over the world
Everplaces the app featured in Apple’s lists every single week of 2013 and is now used in 95 countries.
We had 15 separate apps featured by Apple and several apps nominated for awards.
We hope you have had just as good a year as we have. And look forward to seeing you in 2014.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!
Karlo, Simon, Mark, Ani, Jane, Stefan, Chris, Angie, Tine
Any plans for New Year’s Eve? If you are in London here are some awesome places to check out.
John Maynard Keynes once said: “My only regret in life is that I did not drink more champagne.” The famous British economist may be surprised to know that London’s champagne establishments today offer much more than chandeliers and caviar.
Check out this collection of unique champagne bars in London from 33rd level views to gourmet hot dogs.
Great news for you who have a blog and would like to share your recommendations with your readers.
We have just released a Wordpress plugin that will help you embed any of your Everplaces collections directly in your blog, either as a map or as pictures.
Say you’ve created a collection with the best places you discovered in your last trip to Italy and would like to share it on your blog, now you can easily do it by embedding your collection in a blog post or on theside bar of your blog.
It’s super easy to use and the perfect way to help your readers save and share your tips.
Apps with in-destination information are an opportunity for DMOs, says eMarketer
“As smartphones become ubiquitous among travelers, DMOs and SMBs can attract and retain customers by offering mobile features that guide travelers through their destination, not just totheir destination”
This was the verdict of eMarketer, based on a new analysis of the usage of mobile to do local searches for restaurants and things to do while traveling.
Almost half have travel apps now
Almost half (43%) of US travelers with smart phones have installed travel apps, and 30% has several of them.
That’s in line with the general trend, as most travelers today get their mobile out during their trip. MMGY Global, a travel marketing agency, and Harrison Group have discovered that among US leisure travelers, 62% used their smartphones and 43% used tablets.
Travelers who search are open for suggestions
Travelers use their phones to search for places to sleep, eat and things to do, says a comScore report, which found that two-thirds of local business searches for hotel and travel information in December 2012 were nonspecific, suggesting that people looking for travel information on the local level are seeking suggestions, rather than planning pre-decided activities. This means they are open for new restaurants, hotels and experiences to woo them. This is great news for businesses that have made sure to optimize for mobile search with mobile optimized pages.
Travel info missing in most hotel apps
Despite the demand for travel-related information most organizations in travel, in particular hotels, have so far failed to provide their guests with this service, this provides an opportunity for DMOs and hotels to engage travelers with this kind of information.
Guests appreciate curated recommendations
One hotel which is leading the charge on this is Hotel Alexandra, a boutique hotel in Copenhagen. The hotel has a distinct Design-focused identity with classic furniture and art all over the hotel. As such, they attract many design-interested travelers.
Hotel Alexandra recently decided to service their design-loving target audience with a custom city guide focusing on design. It includes places to eat and visit that provide a great design experience. All the locations in the guide are personally selected by staff and management at the hotel, who’ve also taken into account what guests ask for at the front desk most often.
New study: Branded apps increase purchasing intent
A report about branded app usage helps digital marketing managers understand how consumers use branded apps. The report is full of good news for marketeers.
Most people use branded apps
More than half of smart phone users say they regularly use a store, brand or product app, says a February 2013 study conducted by Ipsos OTX and Ipsos Global Advisor, this demonstrates that it can be worthwhile producing apps for engagement.
Most popular for More info, then Deals
The good news for marketeers is that most people use the apps because they want to engage with the brand. In earlier years, many brands made games and gimmicky apps to create contact, but now utility apps are becoming more popular.
Apps are best for engagement
The general trend we’re seeing at Everplaces is that organizations are starting to use apps more to engage, than to build awareness. For example, in tourism we see a lot of focus on “in destination” information, the purpose of which is to improve the stay of the tourist, who then in turn is more likely to spread their good experience and talk about the destination on social media. Or brands that use apps to extend the experience for visitors to their website, offering an app that showcases products and shows the nearest store. This is in order to capitalize on the traffic and extend the conversation.
Apps increase purchasing intent
Perhaps the best news from the report is that consumers seeking more information via an app typically become more interested in purchasing in the process, as such 52% are more interested in buying after using the branded app.
What’s also clear from the report is that mobile apps often act as the gateway to the organization, so the consumer can find their way to web pages, social media pages, competitions or tools. As such, the consumer uses the branded app almost as a bookmark so they get to the information they need in the fastest possible way.
A Guide to Cool Copenhagen: From Vesterbro to Amager
Everplaces ambassador and guest blogger, Nana Hagel, continues her tour in lovely Copenhagen. Join her as she shares her discoveries in this wonderful Copenhagen collection.
After having spent a day in Nørrebro, let’s move on to some of the city’s other neighbourhoods. We’ll start the day in my second favourite neighbourhood: Vesterbro. Copenhageners often say that while Nørrebro is for the young, poor and rebellious at heart, Vesterbro has been occupied by the more settled families with 9 to 5 jobs. This may be partially true, but Vesterbro is as diverse as any other neighbourhood and there’s something for everyone here.
If you’re into fashion, Vesterbro has a pretty large variety of shops that will make your banker lose his mind. One of these is DANSK on Istedgade. Here you’ll find locally designed clothes that are colourful, comfortable and very pretty. A block south of Istedgade is Sønder Boulevard – a popular place to hangout during the summer. Buy a refreshing drink at the popular café Dyrehaven and watch the Copenhagen life pass by.
One of the best things about Copenhagen is the amount of water and open space that characterize the city. Harbour baths are everywhere, and it’s perfectly safe to just jump into the water and cool off. Being able to swim in the middle of a city is like balm for a busy soul, but the popular spots can be a bit crowded in the summer. Nokken is a quick bike ride from Vesterbro, and this little gem is rather unknown to most people, so around here you’ll have the water all to yourself!
From Nokken you have easy access to the island of Amager, home to some of the most interesting architecture in the city. Start off with a visit to the Tietgen Student Hall, a fascinating round dorm just next to the University of Copenhagen. Ride your bike south down Ørestad Boulevard and stop by the VM-Bjerget, another cool piece of architecture designed by the Danish darling Bjarke Ingels and his team at BIG.
If your stomach has started to rumble, it’s time to ride your bike or jump on the new metro straight into the city centre. Though crowded and touristy in the high-season, Torvehallerne is definitely worth a visit. These two covered food markets are like heaven for anyone with a culinary interest, and there is a lot to both eat and see. Take your time and be sure to visit both the section with commodities and prepared food.
All that biking around calls for an ice cream break, doesn’t it? For that, there’s only one place to go: Hviids Is on Østerbro. You have to do another quick bike ride from the city center, but once you taste their homemade Italian popsicles, you won’t be sorry you came here. Actually, you’ll probably be screaming for more! So have as many as your conscience allows you to and be sure to enjoy them here on Olufsvej – a beautiful cobblestoned street with house facades in all colours of the rainbow.
When it’s time for dinner, get back on your bike. Destination: the Meatpacking District of Vesterbro. Still home to the city’s meat production, this industrial area has actually become a hipster hangout. A few years back, the Copenhagen Municipality decided to rebrand the area and they have been successful in doing so – the place is filled with popular restaurants and bars. Have a tasty sourdough pizza at Mother and end the day with a drink and dance under the stars in one of the neighbouring bars.
You can check out and save Nana’s Copenhagen collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Nana is a freelance travel journalist and a big food lover. She loves taking photos and uses the city as an inspiration.
From Dawn to Dusk in Copenhagen - A Guide to Cool Nørrebro
Everplaces ambassador and guest blogger, Nana Hagel, takes you on a tour in her favourite Nørrebro and shares her discoveries in this wonderful Copenhagen collection.
When people ask me what to do in Copenhagen, I often answer that the best way to experience the city is to just stroll around. Get a cup of coffee, do some people watching from a cosy cafe, enjoy some good and cheap food and ride your rented bike through the cobblestoned streets of the city.
If it is your first visit to the Danish capital, there are of course some touristy must-sees. However, I trust that you have already heard about these sights – so I am going to guide you through the more hidden gems of my favourite Copenhagen neighbourhoods. The city’s foreseeable size makes it possible to see a whole lot in a little time, so why stay put in the centre when there are so many charming places around town? We’ll spend most of the time in my absolute favourite area: Nørrebro. Being the cheapest in town, this neighbourhood is home to all kinds of people, which makes this the city’s most vibrant and colourful area with a hipster factor that’s pretty high (but then again – that pretty much goes for the whole city!).
The best way to start the day is with a rustic breakfast at Nordisk Brødhus. We care a lot about bread here in Denmark, and this place definitely serves some of the best in town! Have a bowl of yoghurt and homemade granola with your bun that is fresh out of the wood-fired stone oven and you’re guaranteed a good beginning of the day.
Very close by you’ll find Assistens Kirkegård, the most beautiful green space in the neighbourhood. Among many other great thinkers, this old cemetery has Hans Christian Andersen and Søren Kierkegaard buried here. Don’t be weirded out by the fact that the place still functions as a cemetery – whenever the weather allows it, people picnic on the grass and enjoy the quietness and the beautiful old trees.
If you’re ready for a cup of coffee, the close-by Jægersborggade is home to the best beans in town. Coffee Collective is a popular place that has expanded their coffee not only to all of Copenhagen, but also Paris. If you want a traditional Danish pastry with that, visit Meyer’s Bakery just across the street. Their kanelsnurrer (cinnamon rolls) are to die for and I promise you, one visit throughout your stay won’t be enough!
If you feel like taking a stroll, you should pass by Søerne, the lakes of Copenhagen. These three lakes once served as the fortifications of the city and today Copenhageners love to catch up here with a cup of coffee to go, go for a run or a small sail in the water. Do as the Copenhageners do and stroll around the docks and gather an appetite; it’s dinner time soon!
Just a few minutes walk from Søerne you’ll find Blågårdsgade. This is where all the cool kids of Nørrebro hang out and the street is packed with restaurants, cafes and bars. Prices are student friendly and the street is always lively and buzzing, especially during the darker hours of the weekend. Bust serves a great dish of the day that’s well prepared and down to earth – and always made from fresh and local ingredients. Make sure to get a seat outside!
If you feel like ending your day with a beer, Mikkeller & Friends located on the hip and up-and-coming Stefansgade serve more than 40 different beers on tap – all of them from microbreweries around the country. This place is packed on a Friday night, and people love the beers so much that the entrepreneurial guys behind the business have opened a branch in San Francisco.
You can check out and save Nana’s Copenhagen collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Nana is a freelance travel journalist and a big food lover. She loves taking photos and uses the city as an inspiration.
Are you a hopeless romantic? Then witnessing the midnight sun in stunning Norway could just be the trip for you. Our ambassador from Germany, Elmar Reckmann has just realized his dream of touring Europe all the way up to North Cape in a VW minivan. Still on the road in Norway, Elmar is sharing with us his impressions and tips in this collection.
It took me two years to realize my dream. After some search I finally found my VW minivan and started the long planned trip to the North Cape. It was only one week left to see the midnight sun that ends on the 29th of July, so I really had to hurry up to reach the North Cape.
The trip was really amazing and I passed so many different landscapes on the 3,500 km journey. After two days I was already behind my daily goal, but the last day trip was better than expected, and I arrived at the North Cape on time.
Beautiful sunny weather was waiting for me and I got one of the best parking lots in the first row. The midnight sun was just awesome as I had the clearest view on the horizon. Feels a bit cosy when the sun will not go down, and I was able to get used to the daylight during the nights since I passed the Arctic circle.
The first step was taken and from now on my vacation can really start. I have four weeks time to drive back home through the amazing nature of Norway with all the beautiful fjords, the huge mountains, wonderful people and all the experiences I collected so far. This trip will definitely stay forever in my memories…
You can check out and save Elmar's collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Switzerland is always enticing for travellers with its pristine nature and pretty cities. Everplaces ambassador and guest blogger, Mela Mörtenbäck, is just back from Zürich and shares her discoveries in this wonderful Zürich collection.
Zurich – the city at the river Limmat is one of the most livable cities in the world. With considerable culture and shopping offers, the close-by Lake Zurich and the mountains, the 400.000 inhabitants-counting city has every kind of possibilities. If you’re spending a weekend in Zurich, be sure to not miss the upcoming neighborhood Zurich West besides all those classic sights.
Historic places, picturesque streets and districts, churches and art objects: that’s all visitors appreciate in Zurich. With all its small stores, cafés and restaurants, a stroll through the Niederdörfli is a must when visiting the Swiss capital. Continue your walk on the other side of the Limmat, through the Augustinergasse up to Lindenhof and enjoy a stunning view over the city up there. The popular district Schipfe is worth a stroll as well, as you’ll reach the numerous bridges across the Limmat to get a glimpse of the historic buildings from the water. Climb up the 187 steps at the Karlsturm to enjoy a 360-degree view over the city.
Apart from the historic city center there is happening much in other districts as well; particularly the developing district Zurich West is worth a visit. The recently opened 25hours Hotel Zurich West is the perfect starting point – both a design hotel in the middle of a trendy area and calm anchor. The former industrial district Zurich West is developing like no other district in Zurich and thanks to dedicated projects it’s becoming an attractive area.
A characteristic location is – without a doubt – the flagship store of the iconic label Freitag. Located right at the train station Hardbrücke, 26 cargo containers rise up to the sky and are both home for the world’s biggest selection of Freitag bags, as well as an observation deck. And this observation deck reveals the view over Frau Gerolds Garten – my personal highlight during a stay in Zurich. In summer 2012 Frau Gerolds Garten opened its doors and since then it became a popular city garden with a kitchen garden, a restaurant and bar, small shops and a place for artists and culture. Here fresh herbs, salads, vegetables and fruits are grown and directly processed in the own kitchen, which is offering daily changing menus. And at Gerolds Markt, young creatives sell fashion and accessories in small shops and in an American trailer.
Continuing the stroll through Zurich West, be sure to check out both Bogen33 and Walter Vintage Möbel and Accessories. You’ll find a great selection of second hand and vintage interior objects there. Also a must see in this corner are the Viaduktbögen. Underneath the railway viaduct you’ll find a bustling urban life: places to stroll around, to shop, to stay and to enjoy something to eat and to drink. 36 arches became a small shopping-paradise with a mixture of fashion labels, interior design, delicatessen shops and ateliers. And at the end of the viaduct, twenty farmers are selling regional products at the Markthalle.
Don’t miss the various locations at the water during a weekend in Zurich. Be it at one of the numerous “Bädli” at the river Limmat in the middle of the city or in one of the lake resorts at the Lake Zurich: everyone will find what’s right for him/her. The original art nouveau resort Frauenbadi in the heart of Zurich is a highlight for itself. During the day a resort only for women, it opens its doors for everyone in the evening and becomes a Barfussbar. And yes, you have to take it literally, shoes must be left at the entrance. To go for a swim, I personally prefer the lake like many locals do. Along the waterfront, you’ll find many official lake resorts or meadows to lie in the sun, take a nap or cool down in the sea. Some minutes out-of-town, Fischer’s Fritz is an unconventional location to hang out at the sea.
It is fair to say that Zurich is one of the most expensive cities of the world. Nevertheless it’s an appropriate alternative to other european million-metropolis in summer. Not too big but with every comfort you’d wish from a trendy city.
You can check out and save Mela’s Zürich collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Mela is a passionate traveller and hobby photographer from Tyrol, Austria. She loves to combine travelling and photography by exploring new cities. You can follow her adventures on Everplaces here.
Is the bustling German city, Hamburg, on your travel agenda? Follow Everplaces ambassador and guest blogger, Mela Mörtenbäck, as she shares her discoveries in this wonderful Hamburg collection.
I don’t really know why it’s said that it’s always raining in Hamburg. During my second stay in the Northern German city sunshine and summer temperatures welcomed me.
For a cozy and comfortable stay in a good location, I’d highly recommend The George Hotel in the St. Georg district. It’s close to the main station and is within a walking distance to the Alster.
Take the chance for a paddleboat tour at the Alster, as it’s a real fun way to enjoy the sunny weather. My personal highlight: a stop at the so-called “Feenteich”, where you’ll find an idyll in the middle of Hamburg.
To explore Hamburg ashore, take a (guided) bike tour. It’s so much fun and an easy way to cover all the important sights and districts within short time. Make sure to not miss St. Georg, Speicherstadt, HafenCity, Neustadt, Karolinenviertel, Schanzenviertel and Gängeviertel as those districts are very popular for individual stores, cozy cafés, delicious restaurants, flea markets and more. I’d especially recommend the Susannenstraße and Schanzenstraße as well as the Schulterblatt to discover an “alternative” Hamburg.
Also pretty interesting is the HafenCity, Europe’s currently biggest city development project. It’s kind of a new city in the city and offers an interesting mix of office rooms, shops, restaurants and bars. My personal tip: every Saturday there’s a small designer market called “Der.Die.Sein.Markt” at the Unilever-building. From fashion and jewelry to photography and interior design you’ll find everything there.
The harbour of Hamburg is both very famous and impressive. Take a tour by boat to get a glimpse of the harbour business and enjoy a ride through the Speicherstadt during night on Friday and Saturday evenings.
And what to do on hot summer days? Make sure not to miss an afternoon at the Elbstrand, a tiny little beach and popular attraction for locals as well.
You can check out and save Mela’s Hamburg collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Mela is a passionate traveller and hobby photographer from Tyrol, Austria. She loves to combine travelling and photography by exploring new cities. You can follow her adventures on Everplaces here.
Our Community Manager, Ani, has just returned from her trip to Montenegro and judging from the photos it looks simply gorgeous.
Stunning is the only word that comes close to describing Montenegro. A country that despite its small size, houses so many pretty landscapes, from rugged, towering mountains to clear waters. Add to this its amazing and kind people, and the good and hearty food, and it is all you need for a perfect trip. It was love at first sight for me.
In spite of its breathtaking beauty and affordable prices, Montenegro has managed to escape the touristic radar of many, except the local Balkan visitors of course. To a large extent, I was very grateful for the lack of booming tourism. I would recommend traveling there in late May / June or the early autumn, when you are sure to escape the “crowded” summer months.
Here are my top picks when traveling in Montenegro:
Kotor Bay - breathtaking to say the least. The small villages dotting the bay coastline, the yachts flowing in and out, the beautiful mountains - it just has to be experienced! Pretty Budva, with its nice beaches, old town and famous nightlife, is the definite and the most popular, hence crowded, star of the Adriatic coast. However if you are in for a more idyllic time I would recommend staying in one of the small towns of the Kotor Bay, especially Perast or Kotor.
Kotor has a very charming old town that has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. This is a good place to base yourself for exploring the coastal area. Rent a car, it’s quite cheap and make sure to drive around. There are some amazing drives waiting for you, such as a 30-hairpin ride to Lovcen National Park or a very idyllic ride among olive groves and beautiful views of the bay to Luštica Peninsula.
Ostrog Monastery - during my travels I have visited many monasteries carved in the rock, I come from Armenia, a land famous for such monasteries, and I must admit Ostrog was quite impressive. A snow-white structure perched 900 m high up an almost vertical rock, you got to give credit. It is a very important religious site for the Orthodox Christians around the world. The drive up to the monastery is amazing in itself, with beautiful views of the mountains and the valley down making sure your adrenalin level is kept at high. Besides the religious value of the monastery, the view opening from its upper terrace was unbeatable.
Njeguš - During your gastronomic adventures in the country, you will often come across a famous item on the menu, called Njeguški prsut, which means Njeguški ham. It tastes similar, in my opinion better, to prosciutto. It is delicious, and comes from this little village. On your way to Ostrog make sure to stop at Njeguš village to taste the prsut.
Durmitor National Park - the second part of our trip was spent hiking in the beautiful mountain range of Montenegro, Durmitor, another UNESCO World Heritage site. Žabljak town makes for a great base for exploring this area. The hiking trails are well marked and color-dotted based on the level of difficulty. There are a few pretty lakes in the area and camping sites.
Tara Canyon - this natural wonder with its turquoise water is just mesmerizing. It is the second deepest canyon in the world after the Grand Canyon. It is famous among the lovers of rafting, so let your adventurous spirit loose and enjoy the experience!
Montenegro now has a very special place in my heart. Travel there before it becomes the next Croatia.
You can check out and save Ani's Montenegro collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Planning a summer getaway to Barcelona? Look no further. Everplaces guest blogger and Barcelona native Emma Vila takes us on an exciting tour in her neighborhood Gràcia with this wonderful dawn to dusk Gràcia collection.
Gràcia is the neighbourhood in Barcelona where I’ve lived my entire and still short (hey, I’m still young, ok?) life. To me, it is the best neighbourhood in Barcelona (you could argue I’m a little biased), as it still has that sense of antiquity, that village atmosphere as though it wasn’t part of the busy, modern city that lies just a few minutes away.
If you are planning on spending a few days in Barcelona, Gràcia is, without doubt, one of the must-sees. I’ve prepared for you a one day trip in Gràcia, and all I can say is: I wish all my days were like this!
You could start the day having breakfast at La Nena, a chocolaterie where you’ll be able to taste one of the best hot chocolates in town (with a French croissant, just to make sure you take in all the calories possible). After refuelling, you can head over to the Park Güell, a magnificent park designed by architect Antoni Gaudí and the best expression of Catalan Modernism. There, you can soak up the art and enjoy a fantastic view of the city.
When you’ve taken all the possible photos you can imagine, you can start descending to the heart of Gràcia and maybe have an aperitif in one of the many little squares. My personal recommendation is to take a seat on one of the terraces in Plaça Virreina, one of my favourites due to its calm, lovely atmosphere. You can just imagine how life was 50 years ago while sitting in that terrace.
Now the time comes for what you’ve been waiting for all morning: lunch! Where should you have lunch? Well, Gràcia is full (and by full, I mean, literally!) of little restaurants from all over the world. I would feel bad just recommending one, so my advice for you would be to walk around Verdi Street (and its surroundings) and take a look at what you prefer: Egyptian? Syrian? Italian? Palestinian? You name it, you can find it. However, if you want to taste Catalan cuisine, I would suggest a visit to Cal Boter.
After eating properly, it wouldn’t be advisable to start wandering the streets again (especially if you’re doing this day trip in the summer!), so why not go to the cinema? Verdi cinema is my favourite theatre in the whole city. Wonder why? Well, first of all, all movies are shown in their original version, with subtitles – unusual in Spain as all movies are dubbed (I am a translator and I just hate dubbed movies!). Secondly, Verdi usually shows independent movies (as well as the occasional commercial one), so it gives you the chance to watch things that are a bit different.
Like to shop? Gràcia gives you that opportunity too. After the cinema, I suggest taking a walk in Astúries Street, full of little shops where you can buy jewellery (don’t get me wrong: Gràcia is kind of bohemian, so you won’t find the famous brands here –if you want that, go downtown!), clothes, shoes, natural food products, etc. I recommend taking a look at a shop called Olokuti. Apart from having sustainable products of all kinds, at the end of the shop there’s a little, lovely, calm garden where you can relax and have a drink.
If you fancy a drink before dinner, I suggest you go to La Cervesera Artesana, the best place to taste beers from all over the world - they are the experts! Although if you are not a fan of this drink, you could go to Canigó, one of the oldest bars in Gràcia (since 1922) - and always full of people. Please also consider having a drink just a few meters away, in Teatreneu. A theatre/bar that is absolutely charming. After that, you’ll be right in the heart of Gràcia again, so you can choose among many restaurants to go to, and, to finish the day, check out Heliogàbalfor a little music. Chill out… and enjoy.
(Only if you’re travelling in August: please don’t miss out the so-called “Festes de Gràcia”, when all streets are beautifully decorated!).
You can check out and save Emma’s Gràcia collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Emma is a blogger and content editor at Only-apartments.com, a global apartment rentals specialist based in Barcelona.
As the song goes, many return from San Francisco with a true understanding of “I left my heart in San Francisco” and it’s not hard to see why. Though I’m a true New Yorker (meaning I still think New York wins), San Francisco possesses a special charm.
A foodie paradise, there are some restaurants that anyone traveling in San Francisco must see. First off and most importantly, there’s the In-N-Out Burger. You will never be able to have a serious conversation about burgers without being able to compare to an In-N-Out Burger, so be sure to find the only In-N-Out in San Francisco and order your burger “animal style”.
Afterwards work off the calories with a walk along the water to Pier 39 to see the sea lions (it’s not hard to find, as you’ll hear the lions from down the street).
Fast food aside, my favorite restaurant during the trip was State Bird Provisions. While it’s fairly hard to get reservations, they do reserve a certain number of seats for walk-ins and the trick is to wait in line before they open to get on the evenings waiting list.
This casual restaurant serves their food dim-sum style, making it feel as if you’re dining at a close friend’s house where they keep bringing delicious things for you to try. You will not be rushed and the server lingers with each table to help the diners choose their dishes; however I’d advise you to just say yes, and try everything!
Frances was another restaurant that I wanted to visit, and it did not disappoint. It’s a small elegant restaurant, that even though it’s fairly well known feels like a hidden neighborhood gem. The dishes are an unusual mixture of ingredients, resulting in creations like bacon beignets and chickpea fritters.
While San Francisco is glorious in its own right, part of its wonder comes from being so close to natural treasures like Big Sur and Monterey. A day trip is definitely recommended, and provides a glimpse of why people love San Francisco so much. They have an amazing city, private beaches, trees taller than time and endless curving roads.
Take time to visit the many state parks in Big Sur, but be sure to book a hotel outside Big Sur for a much cheaper price. Montery is close by and while extremely crowded in the summer it is quiet during the winter months. I imagine that it’s beautiful throughout the year, as the town lies on the ocean’s edge.
Nicole Murakami is a digital strategist & Everplaces guest blogger living in New York. She loves social media, discovering new places and grilled cheese.
Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family. Got a collection that you’d like to share with us? Send a mail to tom[at]everplaces.com.
& the next big destination for adventurers is ... says Lonely Planet founder
Last night we had the pleasure of meeting Tony Wheeler, the founder of Lonely Planet. Tony is currently promoting his new book, Tony Wheeler’s Dark Lands, an account of traveling in the world’s least hospitable places, and if you’re lucky enough you might be able to meet him too.
On behalf of all the adventurous souls using Everplaces, we wanted to pick Tony’s brains and hear his thoughts on the next big off-the-beaten-track destination. A professional traveller for over 40 years and with over 150 countries under his belt, Tony has the finger on the pulse of the wild and unusual. And so, here it is:
Congo and Gorillas!
The border between Congo and Rwanda is one of the last places on the planet that you can see gorillas in their natural habitat, and deep inside the wild rainforests of Odzala-Kokoua National Park you can observe them in the splendor they call home.
“It is while walking and kayaking through the untouched Congo Basin, with parrots squawking, chimpanzees screeching, orchids lighting up the muggy greenery with vibrant pink hues, that you’re reminded of the real treat: of the privilege, in our crowded planet, of exploring such a beautiful, ancient virgin space” said The Telegraph’s Lisa Grainger after visiting.
Congo has a rough reputation so receives hardly any visitors, and you’ll encounter few foreigners, if any. Come to think of it, you probably won’t meet many locals either, since the country is sparsely populated and few chose to live in the humid tropical jungle area.
Sleep on the rim of an active volcano
While you’re in Congo, how about a hike up Mount Nyamulagira, in the Virunga National Park? This active volcano has recently been opened for treks and over night stays.
On the northern side of the volcano, you can watch lava spew out of the Earth directly from your camping group. It’s only 1.5 kilometers away from the action, but has been deemed safe by a volcanologist. Might want to sleep with your fingers crossed!
Image credits, in order of apperance: Michael Nichols of National Geographic, skyscrapercity.com, gocongo.com, enjoycongo.info
My perfect day would be during spring or summer because the city feels alive and everyone is enjoying the sun on one of the many terraces, city beaches, in the parks or on their boats. If you can rent a bike for the duration of your stay, you really should as it’s the best way to explore the city. And if you really want to feel like a local you can rent a ‘sloep’ boat.
If you are in Amsterdam on a Monday go (in the early morning) to the Noordermarkt Fleamarket, a small but very cool and hip flea market, where you can feel the real ‘Jordaan’ atmosphere. Next to the market there is a place called Winkel 43, where they serve some of the best Dutch apple pies.
If you’re in to markets, the famous IJhallen flea market is also recommended. Located on the cool NDSM werf, you need to take a ferry to get there but it’s worth the trip. The market is held on the first or second weekend of every month and is a great place for treasure-hunting. After strolling around, sit down and relax at cafe Noorderlicht or Pllek.
Westerpark is one of my favorites places to visit. This used to be the site of Amsterdam gasworks and there is always something special going on here and with markets, summer concerts, congresses and festivals, it’s a great place for young and old. There are a few restaurants, cafes, bars and a cinema too. In the summer everyone is having a picnic or having a bbq in the park. Definitely don’t miss this place when you’re in Amsterdam!
Climb the Westertoren for a great view of the city. If you’re not into climbing (& who is?) but you want a good view of Amsterdam, go to Canvas at the 7th. Here you can relax and enjoy the view in the former canteen of Dutch Newspaper, Volkskrant.
The best places to go shopping is off the main streets in The Nine Streets area. Here you’ll find lots of small boutiques in between the canals & spread over nine little streets. There is a great mix of art galleries, book stores, designer shops, furniture shops, antiques shops, vintages clothes, and a lot of cool and creative clothing stores.
Amsterdam has a lot of interesting museums, and my personal favourite is photography museum Foam. A beautiful museum with eclectic exhibitions. It’s not too big and not too crowded, perfect in my opinion.
To get the best coffee in town you have to go to Coffee Bru, a warm neighborhood cafe in Amsterdam Oost. They serve the best coffee and they have good breakfast, lunch and delicious cakes. And if you want to eat some really really good chocolate (who doesn’t?) go to Puccini Bomboni.
End the night at one of these cool spots or go to both of them. Start at Hannekes Boom, a bar with a beach feeling and a lot of cool hangout spots outside - and for extra style points arrive by boat! If you don’t want to go home yet, try it’s sister-bar Bloemenbar. This bar is more centrally located and also has a fun crowd.
This post is part of the initiative “100 cities to home swap in before you die” from Knok.com.You can check out and save Sophie’s Amsterdam collection on Everplaces. Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family.
Originally from the Netherlands, Sophie Mulder is a photographer & Everplaces guest blogger living in Copenhagen. She loves hunting for treasures, discovering new places and a good cup of coffee.
Hot new destination: Slovenia. The top 5 places to see in Ljubljana
Surrounded by beautiful nature, Ljubljana is popular for skiing in the winter & walking, climbing and cycling in the summer. It was not without good reason that they shot scenes for the film The Chronicles of Narnia here.
Ljubljana, the capital city of Slovenia (with just 280,000 citizens) is one of the smallest capitals in Europe, but weight for weight is filled with things to see and do that will satisfy students, hipsters, art & culture lovers alike - not to mention it’s really easy to get around.
Uroš Čringoj is a local. He has created a great Everplaces collection of things to see in his wonderful city. Here are some highlights:
STUCK IN A PAPER WORLD: Travel companies are missing out on mobile marketing opportunities
By Tine Thygesen, CEO Everplaces. This post was also published as a popular guest post on travel tech site news site Tnooz.
In the recent month Everplaces went to a two traditional consumer travel shows, Herning Travel Show and ITB in Berlin, to see how travel companies promote their destinations. The shows were massive and included all the major destinations, airlines and travel companies in Northern Europe.
Many had used small fortunes on their stands, which did look impressive. But when it came to thinking creatively about marketing, we were disappointed, there was practically no digital touch to any of the marketing materials.
The goal for having a stand is to meet people, look them in the eyes, build a connection and get them to select you when they finally book their next travel in some months time. A highly competitive situation, so it I was surprised everyone opted for same traditional paper brochures, since they are notoriously ineffective for long term effect.
That fact is that 34% of people now book travel from their mobile, and 40% use their mobiles to find information*. This is a major opportunity for marketeers. * IBT World Travel Monitor
All exhibitors had a wealth of physical brochures, all beautiful colorful materials which would be a great marketing if it wasn’t because most people throw them away before they ever read them.
A big advantage to digital marketing over physical marketing is longevity.
Once a potential costumer has downloaded information about you and your offerings onto their phone they can find you again. This small detail is crucial because:
With such similar offerings, it’s hard for the costumer to remember who offered what. This is both after a big trade show and after browsing the web
Most people will book months after they’ve met you. By then they’ve forgotten who had the deal or the destination, maybe even your company name
People loose brochures, or throw them away, but
Up to 80% of people never delete an app once its on their phone
Digital marketing trumps when it comes to flexibility and cost savings.
Instead of producing expensive brochures that become outdated, or fail to hit the sweet spot, an app is flexible. (ok, perhaps not all apps, but an app made with Everplaces is). The app can be updated with new content to keep it up to date, or have the contents replaced if the existing content isn’t effective. This allows the marketing manager to test different material and different segments. Long term it offers serious financial savings for printing, because an app can be distributed over and over again.
As an alternative to big catalogues (which people are loath to carry around) I’d suggest a tiny little brochure in the shape of an app which encourages people to download the app in their own time. You’re much more likely they will take this tiny brochure than a big catalogue, yet it allows you to present as much information.
Once you have an app on people’s phone, you have the first foot in the door to start building a connection. That’s a whole other story which we’ll cover in another blog post.
Looking at the piles of paper brochures at the trade show I couldn’t help think how much rainforest we could have saved, and how much better results the travel companies would have got if they’d promoted downloads of branded apps with information and offers instead. After all our apps only cost $7500. You don’t get many brochures for that!
Urban Adventures launch their own city guide series in partnership with Everplaces
Everplaces are super stoked to announce the launch of a new series of city guides in partnership with global tour company Urban Adventures.
The city guides feature the favourite local spots and insider know-how from the Urban Adventures team, who are located in the cities covered. The guides are built on Everplaces self-publishing app technology.
City guides to Amsterdam, Toronto, Berlin & Melbourne are already available to download in the App Store & more will follow soon. The series is planned to include at least 15 destinations.
Using branded apps to connect with customers
Urban Adventures is a global day tour company with a liking for digital technology. When they wanted to create something special to give to their customers, traditional printed material just didn’t cut it.
Using the Everplaces platform, Urban Adventures started creating city guides so their customers could have local advice with them throughout their trip, also after the official tour was over.
“Most of our customers stay on in their chosen city for an extra 2-4 days so we wanted to find an interesting & innovative way to help guide them through the rest of their stay. Everplaces helped us to create a series of stunning travel apps that our customers love.”
The app also makes for a memento of the trip afterwards, and makes it easy to connect with Urban Adventures again when you visit one of their other 82 destinations.
Urban Adventures chose to curate their own content, having local staff in all the cities. With Everplaces’ platform the content can be easily updated and adjusted going forward.
To download the free guides search “Urban Everplaces” in iTunes.
Urban Adventures is a global day tour company offering small group day tours in over 80 locations in six continents. It’s a part of Intrepid Travel.
Everplaces for Business is a new app building service for hotels and companies in travel. It allows brands to build beautiful mobile brochures and city guides in a matter of hours. For further information visit Everplaces Business new mini-site or get in touch.
24 hours in NYC is almost an oxymoron. It’s impossible to see all of Manhattan, let alone New York City in limited time. There are tons of guides that point out the major landmarks. However, it’s the numerous shops, restaurants, great spaces and people that make New York City the incredible city that it is.
To make the most of your 24 hours, wake up early, grab a cup of coffee and head down to the South Street Seaport to walk along the cobblestone streets and catch the best view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Brooklyn. I recommend grabbing breakfast at my Sunday morning favorite, Made Fresh Daily. The intimate eatery provides magazines and books to read in your leisure, as you eat or sip on an endless cup of coffee.
Next, you can cab or walk over easily to Chinatown, one of the most culturally distinct neighborhoods in NYC. While tourists typically visit this area to purchase faux designer goods, the true experience lies in the side streets. If you want to blend in, order a Bubble Tea or grab a cone from Chinatown Ice Cream Factory.
If you’re traveling with any female friends/family, it’s necessary to do a bit of shopping in Soho. Spend a couple hours exploring Soho, ensuring to explore the little boutiques. One of my favorite stores is called Kiosk that curates unique items from around the world. It’s one of those stores that you won’t find anywhere else. For lunch, I recommend Balthazar, a NYC classic. Felix is another great option (that will be kinder to your wallet), and a popular spot to people watch.
After refueling, it’s time to do a bit more walking around, so head over to the Highline. The park is fairly new (open to the public in 2009) and therefore, often disregarded in most guides. The Highline preserves New York history through old railroad track structures from decades past. Sit among the green plants above the rushing streams of traffic and enjoy the peaceful, yet ironic experience.
If you’re like most visitors, you’ll want to walk through Central Park. Head uptown and explore the different trails, and paths. At some point, you’ll begin to wonder what’s for dinner. (Don’t all trips revolve around when and where to eat?) Stop at the Museum of Modern Art to dine at The Modern. The NYT recently gave the restaurant 3 stars (as of March 2013). Plus, if you have time to walk through the museum before dinner, experience some of the best modern art collections. There are millions of other great restaurants, so feel free to browse through my other Everplaces collections, if you’re looking for something else.
Boys and girls, 24 hours in NYC hasn’t ended yet. I meant the full 24 hours because nightlife is a vibrant part of this city. For drinks and nightlife, it really depends on what you’re looking for. For the best bespoke cocktail, I recommend going to Little Italy and checking out the Mulberry Project. Or you can snag a cannoli and sit at a café. If you’re looking for a lively night, head to the meatpacking area to the Standard Biergarten for a beer. Once you’re in this area, there are plenty of clubs nearby. Or if you’re looking for something a bit more low-key, cab down to the Lower East Side, abundant with bars. Either way, it will be very easy to extend your 24 hours into the early morning.
Nicole Murakami is a digital strategist & Everplaces guest blogger living in New York. She loves social media, discovering new places and grilled cheese.
Collections are a great way to share your favourite places on Everplaces, or create mini-guides for visiting friends & family. Got a collection that you’d like to share with us? Send a mail to tom[at]everplaces.com.
Michael Palin, English comedian, actor & author has famously written his way around the globe. His travels have taken him to Eastern Europe, the Himalayas, the Sahara Dessert, both the North & South Poles, and most recently Brazil.
Everplaces were lucky enough to talk to Michael about his travel experiences, and his new novel The Truth; a tale of a luckless writer who travels to India in search of environmental corruption, his principles and the truth.
In Around the World in 80 Days you travelled through some 20 (I think) countries over land and sea; whereas your most recent series, Brazil, looks deeper into just one country.
Some people like to race around collecting stamps on their passports, while others prefer to get a deeper feel of a culture. Where do you sit? Has this changed with experience?
I’ve never been interested in tick-box travelling. For me the essential value of travel is to make a personal connection with the place you are in and the people you meet. This requires more than just an overnight visit and I’ve been very lucky with my BBC travels to have time to get to know people and experience the country a little more deeply. But never enough time!
In The Truth, the protagonist travels to some rich, far-flung locations (& some mundane ones too). How did you research the locations, are they drawn from personal experience, and how much is fiction?
In The Truth, I needed to find out about potential environmental hot spots. I had read an Amnesty International report on what was happening with the aluminium plant in the Nyamgiri Hills in India and I spent a week out there researching this particular story. It had all the elements that I really wanted to incorporate in the book, but as ever with a work of fiction, not everything happened as it does in the book.
Your novel touches on the effects of globalisation and progress, where tribesmen use laptops and westerners pen & paper. When you travel are you a pen & paper man, or what technology could you not do without?
I’m very much a pen-and-paper man when I travel. I always take a notebook – made by a company in Glasgow – with me, and make all my notes by hand. I add to these notes with some entries on a personal voice recorder.
I admire those societies who can make a lot out of very little and don’t like being dependent on electricity or digital communication. But things like Satnavs and smartphones have become tools which you can’t really ignore.
Technology has undeniably made travel easier and the world smaller, and smartphones have put a map and phrasebook in everyone’s pocket. Is this a good thing, and does this make stumbling upon that rare tourist-free secret harder?
I think the most important thing about travelling is to have some unique personal experience. Some of the most unforgettable moments in my travels have not been programmed or set-up, or found on a website, they are the accidental encounters, the surprises, the unplanned moments, strange foods, unusual landscapes, unfamiliar music. Yes, stumbling into experiences you’d never expected is very important to me.
You’re a man of many talents. What plans do you have for the future?
In the spirit of spontaneity I never plan too far ahead. I want to keep working, exploring, discovering new places and new things. There is no App that does this for me, I just have to keep a sense of wonder and curiosity about the world and try and do something fresh each time.
In this sweet week of Valentine everyone is looking for the perfect romantic gesture. If you have the time and budget, then travel is perfect! Exploring somewhere new together is one of the most special and romantic experiences around.
Here are the most romantic destinations in the world.
1. Lisbon, Portugal
Why visit: Lisbon has an arty, romantic old soul. You can feel it clearly as you explore the old cobbled streets, dilapidated colonial palaces and wander by the river from which the conquistadores sailed out to discover the new world. The narrow streets have a distinct latin touch with tiny music venues, inexpensive cocktails bars and Mediterranean restaurants.
Why visit: The city of tango, roses and wine offers a modern and romantic South American experience. Visit the tomb of Evita at Cementerio de la Recoleta, learn to tango or sit and talk until sunrise in little bars while enjoying world-class Argentinian red wine.
Why visit: Cape Town’s location near Stellenbosch, the wine district, is one of the big reasons it has made it to the top of the list. The area is filled with independent vineyards, many of which with beautiful gardens and sumptuous restaurants. The Cape Town vicinity is particularly charming if you visit the small villages dotted along the coastline, in general the landscape is perfect for romantic road trips with its mountainous roads along bays, small towns and perfect blue sea.
Why visit: The much loved Mediterranean island of Mallorca has seen a revival in and is once again among the hippest locations in Europe. Palma is the capital and oozes of European sophistication with design hotels, medieval old squares where you sip cold wine and fine dining opportunities for the evening. Because of the limited size of Mallorca you’re never far from a quiet corner, whether you prefer old fincas or secluded bays.
Why visit: Morocco is a classic when it comes to romantic spots, and Marrakesh is more spectacular than Casablanca where Bogart famously loved Bergman. Treat yourself to stay in an old Riad, a classic Moroccan villa with inside gardens, many are turned into the most beautiful hotels. Their calm interior is a good contrast to the vibrant, noisy world outside the gates. The medina is a must-visit and a world heritage site, come prepared to haggle!
Why visit: New Zealand’s capital is beautifully situated on the steep ridges of the harbor, with quaint wooden houses dotted in the lush green bush. The charming old houses, often painted in bright colors, house many great cafes as the locals are crazy about coffee. A visit to the Cook Straight where you can feel the antarctic winds and to a Maori site is a great way to get appetite for a dinner of New Zealand roast lamb accompanied by some of the world’s best Sauvignon Blanc, produced just across the straight.
Why visit: Cross the Golden Gate Bridge and you immediately leave the hustle and bustle of San Francisco behind you. Instead, you’re surrounded by green hills and lush marinas filled with the white yachts of the dotcom jet set. The ambiance here is calm and restful and there are many cafes and restaurants perfect for romantic dinners. The views in the area fantastic so alternatively pack a picnic basket and go for a road trip up and down the green hills.
Why visit: Ancient Dubrovnik is built around the harbor and the combination of water and old buildings is a part of its special magic. Lord Byron called it “the pearl of the Adriatic”, perhaps because of the town’s finely carved stone facades and sunny squares, or maybe because of the blue waters and fine beaches nearby.
Proud moment; Everplaces is shortlisted for prestigious The Europas awards.
Of all the awards in Europe that celebrate innovation, startups or technology The Europas is the most prestigious. Therefore we’re very honored to be shortlisted.
Everplaces is shortlisted in the category ‘Social, Mobile or App’. Given the nature of digital products and consumer web, this category is perhaps both the largest and toughest - so we’re keeping our fingers crossed. The shortlist, which was announced today, is made from an initial pool of thousands of the best startups in Europe and the UK.
Shortlisted for Best Social, Mobile or Apps Startup:
Wow! This year has been a very eventful year for Everplaces. We have 73 wonderful ambassadors around the world and active users in more than 90 countries.
Due to this amazing development Everplaces has evolved a lot. We exchanged our beta with the brand new and improved Everplaces 2.0. It embraces so many new features. We hope you have taken as much pleasure in using it as we have.
With so much user love and great ambassadors around the world, we feel very grateful. It’s the most wonderfully holy time of the year and we want to thank all of our users for supporting us and sharing your love and wonderful feedback with us.
Are you travelling somewhere for the holiday season or just want to save that cosy café in your hometown? We have made it very easy to save places to your Everplaces account.
Here is how:
SAVE PLACES ON THE FLY
Have you checked out the new Everplaces iOS app yet? It has become much faster and easier to add a new place.
Are you stumbling upon cool places on the go that you would like to remember but are in a hurry to stop? Easy, simply click on the big orange button in the lower middle of the screen and snap a photo.
We will magically know your location, so you will get a list of nearby places to select from. Tap save and you’re all set! Your new place has been saved. Now you get both image and location in one go.
Later you can edit the place to add more details, such as description. Surely you had something on your mind when you discovered it. Perhaps it was the breathtaking view, the delicious food or the coolest _______? Transfer your impressions to the app, for you to remember and for your friends to be inspired by.
In addition to the description you can assign a category, add tags, contact info and add the place to a collection. All done!
ADD PLACES FROM CAMERA ROLL
Have you just returned from a memorable trip to Berlin loaded with tons of photos and places to remember? You can easily turn your photos from your phone into places. When adding a place click the small button to the left of the orange shutter button. It will direct you to your camera roll where you can select the image you want. We’ll know the location where the photo was taken, so all you need to do is spice it up with a category and put words on what you felt when you discovered the place.
Enjoy the new experience.
Have a wonderful Christmas and see you in 2013! Team Everplaces