The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge are making an official visit to Germany and Poland from July 17 to July 21. The summer tour marks Kate’s first official trip the European countries, with no word yet on if Prince George and Princess Charlotte will be joining their parents. The trip also takes place thirty years after Prince Charles and Princess Diana enjoyed a two-week tour of Germany in 1987.
Even though Kate’s schedule won’t leave much time for sight seeing, Hello! Canada has drafted a dream list of what the Duchess should do, see, eat and enjoy while exploring Germany and Poland, all fit for a royal.
The thermal baths of Germany are world-renowned which is why the royal should decompress in Baden Baden, a spa town just south of Heidelberg. Friedrichsbad, a 140-year old spa, boasts 17 bathing stations and is the relaxation destination of choice for celebrities and royalty.
A taste of Germany’s finest chocolate will satisfy Duchess Kate's royal sweet tooth. Studentenkuss is the city’s best-known chocolatier (Michelle Obama and Bill Clinton are fans) or stop at the 120-year old artisanal bakery Gundel for local delicacies including the Heidelberger Kurfürstenkugel, a handmade ball of nougat cream, marzipan and gooey chocolate.
If George and Charlotte are in tow, a visit to one of Berlin’s kindercafes is a must. The Duke and Duchess can refuel with a latte while the young royals keep busy in the dedicated play areas packed with toys, games, even mini jungle gyms.
The capital city is also the country’s fashion hub. Stylish German supermodels Claudia Schiffer and Heidi Klum flock to Lala Berlin , an eye-catching brand by German-Iranian designer Leyla Piedayesh.
A trip to Berlin wouldn’t be complete without a short history lesson. What remains of the Berlin Wall is best seen at the East Side Gallery . Or the royal can get lost in Berlin’s Hackesche Höfe, a vibrant maze of eight interconnecting courtyards dating back to the 18 th century. Today the site is bustling with vibrant cafes, galleries and boutiques.
When Princess Diana visited Hamburg in 1987, she made a stop at the luxury department store, Alsterhaus. Kate can follow in her late mother-in-law’s footsteps with a browse around the 105 year-old shopping institution. Souvenir plush toys by iconic German brand Steiff for George and Charlotte are a must buy.
Two lakes, the Außenalster and Binnenalster, can be found in central Hamburg which means the sporty royal can show off her athletic prowess with stand-up paddle boarding (a skill her sister Pippa Middleton reportedly picked up on her honeymoon) or challenge William to another sailing race.
And finally, as the birthplace of classical composers Mendelssohn and Brahms, Hamburg’s new architectural wonder the Elbphilharmonie is the best place to end the trip. The new glass-paneled concert hall may feel like home to the royal art fan – it was designed by the same architects as London’s Tate Modern.
While in the capital of Poland, Kate may want to drop by The Fryderyk Chopin Museum to explore the life and works of the iconic composer. After a restoration project in 2010, the museum is now one of the country's most modern, boasting floors of multimedia exhibitions.
Fun fact: Chopin performed for Queen Victoria and Prince Albert in 1848. Reflecting on the performance, he reportedly wrote in a letter, "The Queen talked with me twice. Prince Albert, an enthusiastic amateur musician and composer, came up to the piano. Everyone told me that both these things are rare."
One of Poland's most beautiful cities, the mother of two could get lost its cobbled streets overflowing with cafes, bespoke jewelry shops and breathtaking architecture. Along the way, she may want to stop at Neptune’s Fountain, built between 1606 and 1613, the bronze statue is considered to be the oldest secular monument in Poland.