A bustling street in Indianapolis
Photo: Courtesy of Airberlin

The vibrant, glamorous and yet still gritty capital city has been on our minds since late March, when Airberlin began offering the first nonstop flights to Berlin from Chicago via O’Hare. The airline, which recently revamped its economy-class cabins, just launched a summer sale through June 4 for travel from August 16 to December 31, and—get this—we found nonstop fares as low as $885 in August and $720 in September.

Once you decide to go, you’ll have to pick from a slew of hotels, many of which are topping travel hot lists. For example, you can choose between the 80-room Das Stue, housed in a former Danish Embassy with a new wing overlooking the zoo and the Waldorf Astoria Berlin in historic City West, both named in Travel+Leisure’s 61-hotel “It List: The Best New Hotels of 2013.” For something daring, try Plus Berlin or One80° Berlin, among the recent craze of high-end hostels; Plus Berlin even made Travel+Leisure’s June 2013 review of the world’s “Coolest New Hostels.”

Forget Tacky Souvenirs and Frame One of These Artsy Maps Instead

Remember your summer in Paris? Capture it in a custom map from Cartografika, which transforms the orderly grids of digital city maps into mesmerising, geographically inspired images. Founders Adam Jentleson and José Alarcon, who met in the urban planning program at UIC, are game to further customize designs with personalized color schemes and highlighted features, such a road, river, or building—starting at $100 a print. Read more at Daily Candy.

Squash Flight Jitters with a Scientific Playlist

Spotify, the Internet music-streaming service, may have a balm for nervous flyers: listening to slow jams with a purpose. According to a new study from Spotify, led by London-based anxiety psychologist Becky Spellman, breathing in sync with music at a slow and steady tempo—around 60 beats per minute—can help. See a playlist that will get you from takeoff to landing at Conde Nast’s The Daily Traveler.

In Montreal, Ride a Bike to Hit the Pavement Like a Local

“This is a rare city beyond Europe where bicycling is not just a form of daring recreation or reluctant transportation but an essential, accepted part of everyday life,” says Eric Moskowitz in “A Bike Tour of Montreal”. From the parks to the streets, Moskowitz writes that his journey in one of the world’s most bike-friendly cities brought him closer to real heart and soul of French-speaking Montreal. When you go, dive into the city’s dining scene with our top culinary picks in “Five Great Food Vacations for Chicago Travelers With an Appetite.”

One of America’s Best Hotels for Food Lovers is Here in Chicago

Ranked No. 10 in Bon Appétit’s “The Best Food Lover’s Hotels in America”, Longman & Eagle is still better known to Chicagoans as a relaxed corner tavern with surprisingly great food and an impressive rack of brown spirits. The next time friends visit, suggest they stay the night in one of L&E’s six wood-and-brick rooms curated with thought-provoking art and mixed tapes (from $85).