When things don’t go as planned while traveling you typically make a plan B, sometimes that plan can go totally wrong or it can end up unexpectedly amazing. But usually, you have no expectations from that last minute plan B. This is what happened to me with my Lubeck trip.

I originally had planned to visit Hamburg Germany, but a series of unfortunate events after the G20 summit happened in the city that made me want to stay completely away from the city. A few days before my arrival date my Airbnb host canceled my trip and told me not to come. Riots broke out throughout Hamburg and I was advised to stay away. So I needed to make a plan B.



I was stuck between going to Kiel or Lubeck, both of which are in close proximity to Hamburg. After some google photo searching, I decided on Lubeck. I knew nothing about the city but now I needed to find last minute accommodations, things to do and places to see.

I stumbled across this amazing mom and pop company called Phoenicia. Anni and Dany base their company on the idea of living life like a local. Offering you a place to stay, showing you around the city, and even offering you the best dining experience you can imagine. This is my experience with them in their beautiful city of Lubeckphoenicia-entrance

Their home

Anni and Dany are quite crafty people, and it shows just by their home. From the second you walk into this beautiful apartment you feel warm, welcomed, and like you’re in your very own home.

They handmade many of the decors throughout their house and it is all well crafted and beautifully designed. The couple collects items from antique shops and fairs and makes them up with a touch of their own taste. Everything was extremely eclectic and tasteful at the same time. I joked with them that when I settle down I’ll have them decorate my house one day. Seriously, look how beautiful this space is.

kitchen-in-lubeck living-room-in-lubeck

Cooking with Phoenicia

Anni and Dany are an absolutely beautiful couple. She is German and he is Lebanese, they are warm, welcoming, and an absolute blast to be around. You can spend hours just chatting with them about absolutely anything. But what better way to get to know someone, their culture, and be welcomed to their home than enjoy a home made meal. Both of them are amazing cooks but Dany took the reins of the impromptu in-home cooking class.

chopping-onions-in-lubeck cooking-in-lubeck

I’ve always been a fan of Lebanese food but never imagined taking a Lebanese cooking class in Germany, in someone’s home nevertheless. From chopping to dining, to enjoying the delicious food the entire dining experience was amazing. Dany was very patient with me as I cried my way through chopping the onions, but it's safe to say I can make my own Tabbouleh now. The Tabbouleh was paired with fresh hummus, veggies, and other assorted Lebanese sides that made the combination to die for. The perfect one-of-a-kind introduction to Lebanese food in Germany, who would have thought? Check out this delicious recipe on their blog here.

Seeing the city

Because Phoenicia focuses on seeing the city like a local, Dani and Anni were kind enough to show me their beautiful city. The weather wasn’t cooperating with us the time I was there, but they had no problem finding fun things for us to do where we could keep dry.


Entrance to the city

One of the unique things about Lubeck is their city entrance. The city is placed on a small island with an extravagant entrance on both sides. On of West side of the island is the Holsten Gate, which is also a museum now. The gate itself is quite beautiful and is situated between greenery. It’s a nice way to enter the city.


Live music

Lubeck is one of those cities that focuses on performing arts and culture. They have many different live events throughout the summer that make the city alive. Unfortunately, I was there during a weekday so I didn’t get to experience them. Anni and Dany still managed to find a beautiful intimate venue that played live music. We saw a lovely band named Hannah and Falco with extremely beautiful voices. It was a perfect way to relax with a glass of wine and my new friends.


Alternative Movie Theater

I love the concept of an alternative movie theater. We have a couple similar concepts back in Chicago but they’re not that popular. The theater plays two B-rated movies a night (in their original language and subtitles). The schedule of the films is posted online and you can see what the movie will be about as well. The actual venue is small and intimate, roughly 60 seats all together. It was a great way to spend an evening away from the rain and the hecticness of playing tourist.


My trip to Lubeck wouldn’t have been as special as it was if I haven’t had met Anni and Dany. I am very grateful for them and what they are doing. I hope you can make it out to Lubeck sometime and share a similar experience as I did.

Anni and Dany are also on Couchsurfing, Trip Advisor, Airbnb, and can be followed on Facebook, Instagram. Follow them along for some amazing photos, Lubeck tips, and German/Lebanese recipes.


Anni and Dany Phoenicia: live like a local and be out guest.

Xoxo Ania Travels 💜

If you like this post, pin it here:

rerouting to lubeck pintrest1 rerouting to lubeck pintrest2

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored. All opinions are my own. This post contains some affiliate links which will earn me a few cents to contribute to the running of this site if you make a qualifying purchase at no extra cost to you.

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  • Ann-Kristin Hauberg

    It was great to have you as a guest at our home! Hope to see you again in lübeck!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks so much Anni for welcoming me to your home, I had such a lovely time. I hope to see you again!

  • Victoria Hawkins

    Air BnB ftw! That was a beautiful accommodation in an equally beautiful city!

    • Ania Ewelina


  • Anna WouldBTraveller

    Who needs Hamburg? 😉 Looks like you had a wonderful time in Lübeck – I hadn’t heard of it before I read your post but now I definitely want to go! The gates are just beautiful, aren’t they!

    • Ania Ewelina

      RIGHT!!!! I had such a lovely time there.

  • caroline

    I love that concept of living like a local because that’s what I would want to do too! Looks like a beautiful home and it looks like you got to see some cool things around the city!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Me too, it’s the best way to travel.

  • Alex

    What a serendipitous happenstance that you ended up here – I love it when things turn out like that! And I’ve got to say – your photo‘s are absolutely amazing! I love Lebanese food too, I think I’d go so far as to say it’s one of my favourite so I can totally understand how great your meal must’ve been. Lubeck is now on my radar thanks to you 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      Me too and thank you. It was really a one-of-a-kind experience.

  • Adrianna Vogel

    Sorry to hear you couldnt make it to Hamburg but seems like you had a lovely time in Lubeck! Looks like a pretty, colorful city! I love German towns! They have something magical !

    • Ania Ewelina

      I really did, the city is lovely.

  • Kris M.

    I’m glad you were able to have such a great experience after having to cancel your original plans. Somethings unexpected plans are the best. Their living like a local concept is great, and exactly the kind of thing I look for when I travel.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks Kris, it was truly an amazing experience. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome to this trip.

  • What a cute city! Your host’s home looks so cozy and my mouth is watering over that Lebanese cuisine!

    • Ania Ewelina

      The food was SOOOO delicious, and Dany rocks at teaching too.

  • Sona Sethi

    Such a beautiful place and you truly experienced it like a local. 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      I did, thank you.

  • Claire Lee

    I really love the way you took the photos. It’s super colorful and I can tell you had fun. The photo you have captured makes me want to visit there! Food makes me hungry too..

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you Claire, I did have a blast.

  • Sydney Santiago Ebunuche Jnr

    I love those pics. especially the interior decors.

  • Madhurima Chakraborty

    Beautiful blog. Pictures, description, commuting everything is crisp and to the point. Now I am inspired to visit the place as well!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you, I hope you make it out here.

  • Chandresh Jain

    Very cool .. That’s what make traveler different from tourist .. We don’t go as per plans or even don’t care for the plan and that’s how we get the most amazing experience .

    • Ania Ewelina

      Totally agree, I’m definitly a traveler vs a tourist.

  • Jhilmil Bhansali

    this looks a pretty Island.. The gates were stunning , I thought this was the entrance of some “Harry Potter” type town. Great that you got such lovely hosts in your trip

    • Ania Ewelina

      Haha! It rained a bit that day so it did look very Harry Potter like.

  • arra carrasco-odeza

    Lubeck seems peaceful and a nice place to visit. Good people, beautiful places and food. I love the interior of the house where you stayed in. Looks clean and furniture looks amazing too.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It was, everything about this trip was wonderful.

  • Louise Oliver

    I have to confess, I had never heard of Lubeck! But it sounds like a great city to visit and I love the way you went about it – your hosts sound brilliant and their home looks exactly how you describe – extremely welcoming and comfortable! I only live in the UK so would be fairly easy for me to get there. Thanks for opening my eyes to a new place!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you, I never heard of it either until I had to make a last minute plan lol. I hope you can make it out there sometime.

  • I’m so glad you had a great time despite your plans being spoilt by politics! The Phoenicia experience with Anni and Dani sounds very appealing – I will look it up! There are so many pretty places to explore in Germany.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks so much Natasha, they were really great. I hope you can visit them sometime too.

  • Khaan Sameer

    Looks like a busy city bur pretty beautiful. And I must say that the home you stayed in has been so beautifully decorated.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Yes they have awesome sense of style. Their home was beyond beautiful.

  • Laura Dove

    Oh what a gorgeous trip! The home is just beautiful, I love the front door! I’ve never visited that part of the world but it sounds like you enjoyed it!

    • Ania Ewelina

      I really did and I hope you get to visit there sometime too.

  • Alice ford

    I think this might be the best thing that happened to you. It looks much more interesting than Hamburg. And that city gate! Wow.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really was.

  • Oh wow, what an amazing city. Anni and Dany have a beautiful home. It’s so wonderful that you met them. You just never know who you will connect with when you travel.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I agree, I had an amazing time with them in their beautiful home.

  • Lauren R

    I’m crazy jealous of your travels! Such a beautiful area with such amazing history!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks Lauren. It really was an amazing beautiful place.

  • kathryn Maher

    Wow! How lucky were you to find this couple. I bet you will always remember your trip to Lubeck. I love the idea of living like a local so much better experience than being a tourist and only experiencing everything on the fringe.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I really was, they were beyond amazing and showed me the best way to see lubeck.

  • OMG! A) Very lucky to find that couple and B) What a beautiful place to visit. Hope you had a ton of fun! ~

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks so much, it really was a special trip.

  • Acup Ofassamtea

    Lucky you :). There is nothing like exploring a city with locals, only then you get the true essence of the city. Lovely read and beautiful pictures.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It’s my favorite way to travel.

  • Elizabeth Colette

    What beautiful pictures! This looks like such a pretty place to visit!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you

  • Sierra Schomburg

    I feel like plan B adventures lead to even better stories. The spontaneity and lack of expectations can lead you to anywhere and anything. It sounds like you had a great plan B!

    • Ania Ewelina

      They really do. Spontaneity rocks!

  • Roby H.

    Love the blog 🙂 My recipe for travel success is to have one or maybe two “planned events” when I travel with a big cushion of free time both before and after those events. This way you know for sure you’re gonna get something out of the trip, but you don’t suffocate or stifle spontaneity with anything too strict.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you Roby. I agree with you, I usually have a general idea of what I want to do then wing the rest.

  • There’s nothing better than when something goes “wrong”, but ends up being amazing anyways. Often even better than the original plan. I’m glad that this was one of those instances for you and that you got to meet some wonderful people. 🙂

    Christie’s Take on Life. xx

    • Ania Ewelina

      Best feeling ever, sometimes those unexpected things are the best.

  • David Elliott

    That city entrance looks incredible. I would love to visit it. And I am glad you were still able to make a trip out of things. Life is a journey and the unexpected things are those things I enjoy the most.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I hope you make it out sometime, it really is an incredible palce

  • Sondra Barker

    Plan B sounds like an A+ adventure to me. Its sad about the events that were going on, but it seems like you were completely distracted. Their home was just beautiful and they created such a peaceful place.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really was. I am so excited got a chance to meet they, they are incredible people.

  • janita onihana

    Good that things turned out well despite the plans changing. For me most of the great things in travels have happened for the very same reason 😀 I love the idea behind Phoenicia, I always find myself enjoying places the best when there’s a local showing me around!

  • Good to see you that you’re having a great time. Did you clicked all those pics Ania ? I really loved those pics 🙂 . Will definitely visit this place one day !!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thanks so much Andy, I am having a blast. I took most of them myself, the ones inside their apartment I stole from them 😉
      *Thanks Dany!

  • Sabrina Barbante

    as a DIY and interior lover, i fìhave to tell I’m already a fan of these 2! 🙂
    you plan B looks more than good! Hope to visit the place soon and I’ll choose the Phoenicia experience as you suggest.

    • Ania Ewelina

      I’m so glad! You will love your experience with them, let me know when you make it out, I’d love to hear about it.

  • What a beautiful place! The city entrance and the movie theatre are definitely my faves. Glad you’re having a good time!

    • Ania Ewelina

      The city entrance was stunning

  • Aw that is lovely that they let you live like a local because that is honestly one of the best ways to experience the true nature of a country/ city ect. I am glad that you are now able to make some Lebanese food! x

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really is. I love everything about that concept.

  • Simply Apostolia

    This is such a lovely city! I would love to have this appartment for my own! They did a great job decorating! And the whole city is like from a fairytale! I’m totally puting this on my bucket list!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Right it was so cozy and warm. I hope you can make it there sometime.

  • Margarette Puno

    Great place. That pic of entrance to the city looks like you are going to a kingdom.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Right, it felt like I was in harry potter or an olden castle!

  • Anna Katina

    The city looks wonderful, full of life!
    The apartment is so cozy I imagine.. And your photography is so joyful 😀 <3

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you so much 🙂

  • Jasmin Tian

    Good that things turned out great despite all the hassle with Hamburg! I think that some of the best things that have happened to me on my travels have happened because the plans have changed. I also love the idea of Phoenicia, the whole experience of travelling is so diffferent when you got someone local to show you around and really immerse you with the culture!

    • Me too. It is the most spontaneous trips that create the best memories rather than routine planned vacations!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Totally agree, sometimes the unexpected things in life are the best things in life.

  • Sophie Beland

    Things turned out really well though they got off to a rough start. Hadn’t heard of the city before!

    • Ania Ewelina

      They really did, I had a lovely time.

  • Angela Milnes

    Wow what an amazing place. Lubeck City looks really awesome especially the entrance. The photos are also colourful and bright I would love to go to this place and try the food.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you so much, I had a lovely time.

  • Kristine Nicole Alessandra VA

    Beautiful is not enough to describe this place. I love the entrance to the city. You already have a feeling you’re in for something really wonderful.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Right, the city is so beautiful right from the beginning.

  • Anosa Malanga VA

    I love their house interiors! I wish I had those skills setting up a good place! And your photos are amazing! So many beautiful places to go on and wonder.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Right, mad skills right there, they were awesome!

  • Mohammed Raiyyan Shaik

    Wow! Great travel blog!! And exquisite places. I wish I could be there.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Hope you make it out there sometime.

  • 1AdventureTraveler

    You found a wonderful couple Anni and Dani Phoenicia to learn the culture and see some amazing sights. Oh my gosh the food looks yummy! Terrible about your first plan but your alternate plan looks like a better place to visit. I pinned this for later. Great photos…thanks for sharing 🙂 #feetdotravel

    • Ania Ewelina

      It was so incredible. I hope you make it out to Lubeck and Phoenicia sometime 🙂

  • All looks so homey in The Phoenicia Ania and I dig they want it to feel like a local experience. This is why we travel, right? To live more like a local, to appreciate different cultures and to enjoy all a city has to offer. Great post and fabulous photos, as always.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Totally agree, I love feeling like a local not a tourist.

  • What a wonderful blessing in disguise! Too bad you couldn’t go to the G20 summit but kinda glad to hear hotels would tell you not to come if it’s not safe! I think it would be fun to stay with a local like this! #feetdotravel

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really was a blessing in disguise, I’m alright with not attending G20.

  • philandgarth

    Must admit not heard of Lubeck before, looks gorgeous and sounds like you had a great experience staying with locals, what a nice couple! (Love your photos too)

    • Ania Ewelina

      Thank you, I hope you can go visit sometime too.

  • ⓖene ⓡose

    Last minute, unplanned travel always has its lure. So far, for me, its pretty awesome also discovered hidden gems. And looks like you too. Phoenicia is definitely a great find!

    • Ania Ewelina

      Totally agree, I had a lovely time 🙂

  • greyworldnomads

    Sometimes you find much better places, when you don’t go to touristy places. You had a good one with Lübeck. It looks colorful and laid-back. Very nice.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Totally agree, the entire city felt like it wasn’t touristy.

  • After seeing this apartment I feel like I need to redecorate my home…lol 😀 I´ve been to Lubeck a couple of years ago and I absolutely loved it, Hamburg is also a great city though! But I guess you´ve made a great plan B, I wouldn’t mind visiting Lubeck again… Great pics!

    • Ania Ewelina

      haha right!!! I tootally felt like that the entire time. Mad DIY skills!

  • Becca Talbot

    You know what, your plan might have been to visit Hamburg, but actually going to Lubeck looks and sounds like it was a much better experience for you! Your Airbnb hosts look lovely and friendly, and how cute is their apartment! Have pinned this for future inspo 😉 x

    • Ania Ewelina

      It really was, Airbnb for the win!.

  • David Johnston

    It looks like getting redirected to Lubeck was a turn of luck. The city seems to have some interesting sights and cool quirks. Phoenicia sounds like a cool concept too.

    • Ania Ewelina

      It was such a lovely time. Thank you.

  • Shona Grant

    Plan B often turns out to be better than the original. Hamburg will still be there but you’ve had this additional surprise experience too. 🙂

    • Ania Ewelina

      This is very true. This time around it was 100% better.

  • I have used couchsurfing before and love it when it turns out like this. My favorite part of traveling is meeting the people from those places. I love when they can show me their city because I end up in places off the beaten path. It’s so cool.

    • Ania Ewelina

      Seriously, it’s the best way to travel. Everyone can google “things to do” but it’s the local things that make it feel special.

  • Alexei Gaynanov

    Looks like a great stay and experience – I love German cities – they are full of wonderful architecture, great food and plenty to do. Shame you didn’t get to Hamburg but you’ve made a right decision in the circumstances!

    • Ania Ewelina

      It’s alright, made for a great plan B though 🙂

  • That’s a shame that you didn’t get to Hamburg, but it’s nice to have a back up and Lubeck sounds lovely x

  • Jajwalya R Karajgikar

    The apartments look so pretty! But wow, the best part must have been the cooking classes! There’s no better way to person’s heart than through the stomach!