Stockholm Weather – When Is Best Time To Visit Stockholm?

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Stockholm Weather – Stockholm is unarguably one of Europe’s most beautiful cities, and everyone I’ve met who has been there has had a great time.

There is however, nearly always one complaint – the weather.

“The people are friendly, the city is beautiful, the girls are stunning – but the weather is horrible!” – is usually how it goes.

Stockholm has a really harsh climate, but when the weather is nice, it’s absolutely amazing!

If you get there at the right time, you’ll get the best of everything, but if you’re there at the wrong time of the year – you won’t want to step out of the door..!

Stockholm Weather – When Is The Best Time To Visit Stockholm?

Stockholm Weather
Stockholm Weather

So When To Go?

June to August is typically the best months to visit Stockholm.

This is during the summer, and the summer season in Sweden really is unlike most other countries in the world: the sun never sets!

In Stockholm it’s only gone for about an hour before it comes back again.

The dark months are long and cold in Sweden, so when the summer comes people want to do nothing else but being outside enjoying the weather.

The summers are packed with locals (and tourists) in Stockholm, and you can enjoy the best of Stockholm at this time of the year.

The fact that you can go swimming in the middle of the city is pretty special, but there are also hundreds of islands to take a trip to.

At this time of the year there are tons of things to do; island hopping, outside concerts, canoeing etc.

July is the hottest month in Stockholm, averaging between 24 – 26 degrees.

Visiting Stockholm in The Off Season?

Although the summer season may be hotter and sunnier, I would like to give a shout out to the off seasons as well.

Spring and early autumn can be nothing less than stunning. Stockholm is a very green city, and seeing the city come to flourish in spring time is amazing.

This is a beautiful time to walk around in parks, and in the city.

It’s not packed with tourists, but you can still enjoy a hot chocolate on an outside seating at a cafe.

The early autumn is just as beautiful, with the color changes in the nature.

Often the weather is really nice at this time of the year, chilly but clear skies.

Some people actually like the spring and autumn more than the summers.

The best month to enjoy the springtime is in May, while the early autumn in September is amazing.

The winter season is cold and dark, and the sun is only up for a couple of hours a day.

Usually the temperatures average on -3 degrees.

Visiting Stockholm in The Off Season?
Visiting Stockholm in The Off Season?

Snow is common in Stockholm, and the old town looks really cozy at this time of the year.

If you go there before Christmas it’s especially nice since they have put up Christmas decorations everywhere and you can take a visit to the Christmas market.

The Swedish Christmas food is very special, and in Stockholm there are many places to go to get the best experience and tastes of the Swedish Christmas.

Another nice place to visit on a clear day is Skansen, which is open all year round.

They also have a Christmas market, as do Gröna Lund (the theme park).

Stockholm Sweden Video – Europe Trip
Stockholm Sweden is The Best Of Both Worlds
How To Travel On A Budget In Sweden
Gothenburg / Göteborg Sweden City Guide

Stockholm Sweden Video – Europe Trip

There are few places in the world like Stockholm, combining the best of both worlds – literally.

The city is a vibrant cosmopolitan place with great shopping, fashionable people, lots of bars and clubs and great little boutiques.

At the same time you’re always surrounded by water, as it’s situated on 14 islands, and the nature is just around the corner.

The water is perhaps the best example of combining the best of both; it’s salty AND sweet at the same time!

To read more about our time in Stockholm, make sure you check out: Stockholm, Sweden – The Best Of Both Worlds

Blue and yellow are the colors of Sweden.

Here is a golden crown as a decoration on a bridge overlooking the blue waters of Stockholm, the capital city where the Royal family lives.

golden crown bridge Stockholm
golden crown bridge Stockholm

The three-edged Swedish flag has been raised here since the 1660’s and perhaps even longer..!

This is where passing boats were greeted with the flag and a cannon salute.

Blue is the color of the royalty and gold a symbol of wealth, and Sweden’s colors are blue and yellow – so what better colors to use for the Royal Park Gate than these?

Planning A Scandinavian Road Trip

Kastellet at Kastellholmen Stockholm
Kastellet at Kastellholmen Stockholm

A road trip through the far north of Europe is the perfect way to explore one of the most beautiful regions on the planet.

This is especially true during the short but intense summer period, when the locals tend to make the most out of the long hours of sunshine.

Outside cafés and restaurants are generally filled until late and the large cities feel particularly lively during this time of the year.

A road trip between the Scandinavian capitals provides a great opportunity to get to know unique cities like Stockholm, Copenhagen and Oslo, while giving you the chance to pass some truly majestic scenery along the way…

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Gothenburg / Göteborg Sweden City Guide
Stockholm Weather – When Is Best Time To Visit Stockholm?
Stockholm Sweden is The Best Of Both Worlds

Experiencing Stockholm

Experiencing Stockholm
Experiencing Stockholm

A perfect place to start your road trip through the Nordic capitals is in Stockholm.

Built on 14 islands, the Swedish capital offers a unique beauty, combining nature with stunning architecture, great shopping opportunities and a vibrant night life.

You should definitely give yourself at least a couple of days to experience Stockholm and visit some of the city’s best sights, such as the Gamla Stan medieval city center, the Royal Palace and the Vasa Ship Museum.

Once you’ve spent enough time Stockholm, you can then take a car rental from Sixt to start on your Scandinavian adventure.

The Stockholm to Copenhagen drive

Stockholm to Copenhagen drive
Stockholm to Copenhagen drive

From Stockholm you can venture south driving along the beautiful Southern Swedish coast line.

Some of the highlights along the way include a visit to the medieval castle of Kalmar and the glass works produced in the region of Småland.

From there you can continue to the charming town of Ystad before reaching Malmö, the third largest city in Sweden, and finally crossing the famous Øresund Bridge to reach the Danish capital of Copenhagen.

As with the Swedish capital, you should allow yourself a couple of days in the city, enjoying its lively summer atmosphere and visiting the main attractions such as the Little Mermaid Statue, Tivoli Gardens and Chistiansborg Palace.

Also make sure to stroll along the beautiful harbor Nyhavn, it’s one of the most picturesque areas in the city!

Getting from Copenhagen to Oslo

Getting from Copenhagen to Oslo
Getting from Copenhagen to Oslo

If you’re ready to take a break from driving, you can always drop off your car rental in Copenhagen and take the ferry from Copenhagen to Oslo.

If you would prefer to drive, you can head across the Øresund Bridge once again, heading north from there to visit Sweden’s second largest city, Göteborg and heading further north to Oslo from there.

On your way up you should definitely stop over in Göteborg for a day, exploring the old Haga, Slottsskogen and the many cafés lined along Linnégatan.

It’s a great city full of life and atmosphere!

When arriving in Oslo, attractions such as the Viking ship museum, the National Opera and the Holmenkollen Ski Museum are waiting.

It is definitely worth noting however, that if you are on a tight budget, you may want to keep your visit to Oslo rather short as Oslo is infamous for not exactly being cheap.

One of the best free things to do in Oslo is checking out Vigeland Park, the world’s largest sculpture park and one of the most popular attractions in the city.

From Oslo, you can either drive back to Stockholm to complete your Scandinavian round trip, getting to explore inland Sweden along the way, or you can finish your trip there.

The great thing about hiring a car is that you don’t not necessarily need to return the vehicle in the same city which allows for numerous options.

For those on a tight schedule, just driving from Stockholm to either Copenhagen or Oslo may already be a great opportunity to explore Europe’s majestic North.

Stockholm – London – Hong Kong – Kerikeri, and the best 360SEK I’ve ever spent!

The Blue Gate To The Royal Garden Stockholm
The Blue Gate To The Royal Garden Stockholm

This entry is (probably) going to be brief (and undoubtedly littered with typos!) as I’m at the mid-way point in my journey from Stockholm, Sweden to Kerikeri, New Zealand.

Sitting in Hong Kong airport at the travelers lounge, I’m enjoying possibly the best 360SEK (400HK$) I’ve ever spent.

A 20 minute hot shower after having been awake for about 28 hours so far, with 2 flights, a lot of airport security, a talkative travel buddy (now boarded his next flight – more about him later), air-sick kid in the row in front (poor guy!),

Feeling a bit worse for wear – yes, the 20 minute hot shower was definitely needed! 

Coming up is a 15 minute neck/shoulder massage – which is also seriously needed (although I’d trade it in a flash for the opportunity to sleep for half a day before boarding the next flight…which ironically enough, has a flight time of about half a day!)

Of course, the full experience of long-haul travel is hard to put to paper or screen, as the millions of new impressions, new information etc etc that is being processed in the brain is sometimes more than enough just to cope with, let alone distribute (am I rambling now? hmm….)

My Chinese is pretty much what it used to be (which isn’t necessarily a good thing, as it used to be more or less non-existent).

Which is why it’s great that the level of English in this ex-British colony is superb.

Probably better than mine actually, given that my mind has been focused on Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, and German for the last 6 ½ year!

Right, time to relax again, then that massage…then it’s another couple of hours wait, before a 2nd ½ day flight, 3 more hours waiting, 40 minutes in a mosquito, and then a short ride from the airport.

(I purchased my ticket from Auckland to Kerikeri about an hour ago, so I hope my Dad checks his email when he wakes up! – he had planned on driving to Auckland Airport to pick me up!! )

Stockholm Sweden is The Best Of Both Worlds

The most famous song about Stockholm is one that every Swedish person knows, it’s called “Stockholm in my heart”, and is a song about the love locals have for their capital city.

And even as a girl born and raised in Gothenburg, its “little brother” who wants to think it’s the better city, I have to say that it’s hard not to love Stockholm.

Best Of Both Worlds

There are few places in the world like this, combining the best of both worlds – literally.

The city is a vibrant cosmopolitan place with great shopping, fashionable people, lots of bars and clubs and great little boutiques.

At the same time you’re always surrounded by water, as it’s situated on 14 islands, and the nature is just around the corner.

The water is perhaps the best example of combining the best of both; it’s salty AND sweet at the same time!

I love how a capital city can be so involved with nature, how you can just walk across a bridge and enter a huge park, or just hop on a ferry and escape the city within minutes to explore the ”country side culture” of Sweden.

I’ve never been to another capital city where people go fishing in the middle of the city next to the Parliament – here, it’s part of many peoples’ every day life.

The Old Lazy Town

Stockholm Sweden old town
Stockholm Sweden old town

The Old Town is so quaint, with houses in different shades of yellow and streets leading to everywhere or nowhere it reminds you of the villages you see in pictures in children’s books.

But walking around in The Old Town I realized for the first time how ”lazy” we are in Sweden – nothing here was open until 11 am, and most boutiques closed around 4 pm or earlier.

In most of Europe you’ll find shops being open from early morning to late evening.

In Stockholm, some places I wanted to visit, like the Knight’s House, was only open for two hours a day…

As Swedish As It Gets

Stockholm Sweden is The Best Of Both Worlds
Stockholm Sweden is The Best Of Both Worlds

The changing of the guard at the Royal Palace was perhaps the best example of Sweden in general.

While in other countries it’s something rather serious, in Sweden it was … different.

After all the serious drumming and marching through town, some man cleared his throat in the speakers and said with many ”uh’s and eeh’s” that the orchestra would be playing a few songs …And they played… ABBA…!

It can’t get more Swedish than a man fumbling for words at the Royal Palace (our king is known for just that), and the tunes of ABBA during the changing of the guard.

The Most Beautiful Scenery In Stockholm

Beautiful Scenery In Stockholm
Beautiful Scenery In Stockholm

Leaving on the overnight ferry to Finland, we slowly criss-crossed for 4 hours through the archipelago with islands dotted everywhere around us.

Swedish red and white wooden houses and flag poles with the Swedish flag proudly blowing in the wind this was the perfect way to leave Sweden.

It’s a beautiful last photo I took of Sweden, a good memory – until we visit there again next time.

Exploring The Best Of Stockholm

Being the capital of Sweden, Stockholm is a fascinating city comprised of 14 islands connected by numerous bridges.

Scandinavian architecture is a characteristic feature of this lively city, and together with the magnificent Gamla Stan (Old Town) the city attracts millions of visitors every year.

If you’ve planned to visit this beautiful city, here are three things not to miss!

Best of Stockholm

Exploring Gamla Stan

Gamla Stan is one of the main attractions of Stockholm, it is the largest and one of the most well preserved medieval city centers in Europe.

Its winding streets represent the unique spirit of the old city which looks like taken straight out out of a fairy tale.

Gamla Stan is full of museums, cafes, bars and restaurants.

The Nobel Museum and Stockholm Cathedral are both situated here, but the most significant attraction here however is the Royal Palace, which is one of the largest palaces in the world.

There is also a museum inside the palace exhibiting Royal costumes and armory, but the best part is to watch the changing of the guards outside the palace.

Going to the top of the Globen

After its completion in 1989, the SkyView became one of the city’s major landmarks.

Stockholm Globe Arena is huge and shaped like a ball, situated in the southern part of the city and used for a large number sports and entertainment events.

It took 70 tonnes of steel to build this attraction, and all the materials were lifted by helicopters and attached by mountaineers.

The SkyView will take you along the outside of 130 meter high Globen in a glass capsule attached to the rails on the building.

It fits 16 people and the ride takes about 20 minutes to reach the top.

The view from the top is breathtaking: you see the whole city, even the glittering archipelago surrounding it.

There are also guided tours showing you the inside of the building, and there is a good restaurant inside to grab some lunch afterward.

Taking a boat tour

A visit to Stockholm will not be complete without seeing the city from the water, so a boat tour is a must!

There is a large number of different tours to choose from: Royal Canal Tour, Historical Canal Tour, Stockholm Grand Tour and Under the Bridges of Stockholm.

You can also purchase a Hop On Hop Off ticket.

Which is great for unlimited trips and it is also combined with a bus.

For those who want to see the archipelago – an Archipelago Race is a great way to do so.

After exploring the city’s major attractions it’s time to drop by one of the cafes for coffee and cake in a Swedish tradition, but be aware that Swedish coffee is pretty strong, but the cakes are absolutely delicious!

In general dining in Stockholm is quite expensive and will cost you around 175-250SEK for a meal, so if you’re on a tight budget self-catering will be the best way to save money.

Also look out for some lunch deals, there are often plenty to choose from and prices are often half of the normal dinner prices.

Enjoy your stay in Stockholm!

Explore Sweden Like A Local
Explore Sweden Like A Local

Explore Sweden Like A Local

If you want to visit a place that has both beautiful nature, exciting cities and is off the beaten track, Sweden is a perfect choice.

As it’s not normally on the itinerary for Europe travelers, it has the benefit of being everything but “touristy”, and you can easily experience the country like a local – that is, if you know how to.

Summer is the best time of the year to visit Sweden, the country becomes alive and thriving, people go the the coasts to party and sunbathe and enjoy the warm weather.

Here are the top things to do in Sweden during summer, to explore it like a local:

Rent A Summer Cottage

You have probably seen the idyllic pictures of red and white cottages surrounded by green forest by a lake, or perched on a rocky island in the middle of the sea.

Many people go for short day cruises around the islands in Gothenburg or Stockholm to marvel at the picture perfect surroundings – but why not take it one step further and experience what it’s really like to live there?

Renting a summer cottage by the lake or close to the beach will give you what is perhaps the most Swedish experience you could ever get.

There are plenty of lakes in the country and many of the holiday cottages are secluded and have their very own pier and boats you can use to go fishing, water skiing or just exploring the hidden corners and bays of the lake.

Party By The Coast

You will find that while the pace slows down in the cities and the crowds thin out, the livelier it gets at the popular summer spots along the coast lines.

Different places are popular at different times of the year. During Midsummer, in late June, Bohuslän is a popular place, especially Smögen.

Other fun places where there is a lot of great partying going on is Båstad, Visby and Tylösand.

In July there is an extremely popular Tennis week event in Båstad where people party all day long.

Sample The Swedish Cuisine

There is no better way to get a “taste” for Swedish culture and history, and a glimpse into the people than to try their traditional food.

One very typical Swedish dishes is Swedish meatballs with mashed potatoes, brown sauce, green peas and Lingon berrry jam.

Another typical dish is the pea soup and pancake, which traditionally is to be eaten on Thursdays.

The most traditional version includes bits of meat, but vegetarian versions are also common.

The pea soup includes a number of different spices, but Swedish people like to add a bit of extra mustard to it as well.

Taste Of Stockholm
Taste Of Stockholm

The pancake is eaten after the pea soup, but the traditional way is to serve them both together.

Taste Of Stockholm – Must Try Food!

Stockholm is a city scattered on fourteen main islands connected by bridges – thanks to numerous waterways the city earned the name of “the Venice of the North”.

The city is very organized, stylish and funky, and the restaurants in Stockholm are absolutely superb.

With a great variety of restaurants, bars and cafes, you will never be short of places to eat, and trying Swedish cuisine in Stockholm is one of the things that you really shouldn’t miss.

Even though modern Swedish cuisine is highly internationalized, there are still some typically Swedish dishes that everyone should try.

Swedish cuisine doesn’t use any fancy spices or herbs, but instead prefers salt, white and black pepper – the dishes mainly consist of some sort of meat, fish, potatoes, salad and cream sauce.

Some Popular Must-Try Swedish Dishes:

Pickled Herrings – Pickled herring is one of the most famous traditional Swedish dishes, and can be prepared in a variety of styles.

Some love it, most hate it – but try it for the experience!

Janssons frestelse (Jansson’s temptation) – this is a traditional Swedish dish that has a special place at every Christmas table.

It is made of potatoes, onions, herring, pickled sprats and cream.

Pyttipanna (Leftovers in a pan) – if you have potatoes, onions and ham in your fridge then you have all necessary ingredients for Pyttipanna.

All the above mentioned ingredients are chopped and then pan fried and seasoned with salt and black pepper.

It is usually served with some beets, fried eggs, capers and pickled gherkin on the side.

Ärtsoppa (Pea soup) – it consists of yellow peas, pieces of onion and pork and is very often served with a little mustard.

Traditionally served on Thursdays along with pancake and whipped cream (for some unknown reason).

Makaroner och Falukorv (Macaroni and Sausage) – macaroni are simply cooked with milk and have a nice creamy taste.

It is served with a special type of fried sausages and ketchup and is one of the kids’ favorite dishes.

Swedish Fast Food – Pizza, hot dog, kebab and falafel are the main fast food dishes in Stockholm.

There are a lot of hot dog stands all over the city and you should also try a famous Swedish specialty “tunnbrödrulle” – a hot dog in a tortilla with mashed potatoes and shrimp salad.

Sweets – there are tons of pastry shops and bakeries scattered around Stockholm – drop by one of them to try homemade ice cream, princess cake or cinnamon buns.

If you are a fan of coffee, Stockholm is one of the best places to enjoy this aromatic drink.

Swedish consumption of coffee is known to be among the highest in the world.

For Swedish people it is more like a social ritual when you can enjoy the cup of coffee and discuss the latest gossips and news.

Cycling Vacation Amsterdam

Have you ever spent months planning a really great trip?

Most people do, especially if they are going somewhere that they’ve been dreaming about for years.

However, many of us sometimes feel like there’s something missing, but we can’t put our finger on it.

We hit all of the major tourist attractions, try the restaurants recommended by the guide books and choose one of the highest rated hotels. Still, we end up feeling like we’ve just scratched the surface of Amsterdam.

The reason that you might feel like you missed out on something on your vacation is because you were visiting the city like a tourist, when it would have been better to discover it like a local.

That’s the beauty of services that makes it possible for visitors to see the sights like locals do.

It gets you off the beaten path and takes you to hidden places.

What’s more, you get a chance to meet some interesting people who can give you an inside look at their home city.

Quick Guide To Amsterdam visitors never Run Out of Things

Cycling Vacation Amsterdam

Cycling Vacation Amsterdam

Planning a cycling adventure with a local, offers the possibility of a bike tour in lots of places from Rome to Kuala Lumpur, but by far one of the most popular places to tour by cycling is Amsterdam.

That’s because Amsterdam was built for cycling.

In fact, experts estimate that there are 800,000 bikes in the city, which means that there are fewer people than there are bikes within the city limits. Top 5 Places To Cycle In Amsterdam

An Amsterdam cycling vacation is the ideal choice because cycling is a way of life here.

It’s how most people get from point A to point B, and it really is the easiest way to make the most of your time there.

You’ll have plenty of opportunities to see all the sights in a leisurely fashion without worrying too much about traffic.

Just about all of Amsterdam’s streets are designed with bike lanes, so you can get absolutely anywhere.

Plus, the city is built on a flat plane, so there’s no need to worry about burning through all your energy on hills.

You can see how easy it is to cycle through the city by The Most Exciting Bike Routes In Amsterdam.

Cycling Tours of Amsterdam

A cycling tour of Amsterdam can take you to all of the must-see sights.

By far one of the most popular of these is the neighborhood of Jordan.

This neighborhood has transformed from mainly providing homes for Amsterdam’s working class to being a center of art and culture.

Here, you’ll find an endless supply of unique restaurants, shops and galleries.

Wander through Jordan’s winding streets on your bicycle, and you’re certain to encounter an uncommon eatery or an unusual souvenir that you’ll never find anywhere else.

What to See and Do Amsterdam

If you venture into Jordaan, you won’t want to miss an opportunity to visit the Anne Frank House.

Anne and her family lived in the home for two years while hiding from the Nazis.

Thousands of people now visit the museum every year to learn more about this extraordinary young woman and the historical events that tragically took her life and the lives of millions of other Jews.

Jordaan also is the right place for visiting some of Amsterdam’s incredible markets.

With Lindengracht and Noordermarkt, there’s something for everyone whether you’re looking for fresh, local produce or one-of-a-kind handcrafts.

Another can’t-miss spot in Amsterdam is Museumplein.

Here, you’ll find not only the works of well-known masters at places like the Van Gogh Museum, but also some of the most unusual exhibits in the world.

How would you like to tour a museum about cats or see one of the most impressive collections of handbags in the world?

If that’s not to your taste, you can always settle for the grand Rijksmuseum where you’ll discover one of the most comprehensive and impressive collections of Dutch artwork that has ever been displayed.

Don’t forget to spend some time in the museum’s gorgeous gardens.

Speaking of gardens and the outdoors, you’ll want to set aside time to enjoy a few of Amsterdam’s 30-plus parks.

In fact, wasting a few hours in a beautiful park is one of the best ways to live like a local.

Bring along a bag of food from a nearby eatery and a bottle of wine, and you have everything you need for an impromptu picnic.

The people watching is second to none.

Plus, there are beautiful fountains, memorials, gardens and special events to attend throughout the year in Amsterdam’s parks.

Don’t be shy. Friendly locals are happy to introduce you to some of their favorite spots in the city.

If you have enough time, it is well worth your while to take your bike on an adventure outside of the city.

You’ll find 17th century architecture, ancient market towns and windmills all within a comfortable ride.

In Beemster, you’ll see farmhouses that have stood for more than 300 years.

Middenbeemster will treat you to several windmills that have been classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Perhaps you’ll also explore historical Edam, which has flourished since the 16th century thanks to its fabulous cheeses and brisk trade in fish.

From here, you can cycle to the 12th century village of Hoorn, seeing ancient houses, picturesque gardens and unique art galleries.

Back in the city, you might make some time to sample the local brews.

One of the best places to do this is at the IJ Brewery.

This small operation is housed in a former bathhouse, and its neighbor is the De Gooyer windmill.

You’ll be able to enjoy a unique brew while sitting outdoors in the shadow of a classic windmill.

Is that possible anywhere else in the world?

Amsterdam is a unique city that combines ancient history with modern innovation and sensibilities.

The absolute best way to see it is from a bicycle, especially when you have locals to guide you to all of the best spots.

Whether you want to tour all of the world-class museums or spend hours just kicking back in a park, Amsterdam is the place to be.

(photo credit: 1 – 1 – 1mcaven – bnsd – mrlins)

Copenhagen Denmark Traveling Hacks

Updated:

Copenhagen Denmark is a great city to spend a long weekend.

To be honest Denmark as a whole is actually a really nice country, which was why a few weeks ago I wrote a post about things to do in Denmark without having to visit Copenhagen – but no matter how beautiful Denmark is, Copenhagen is still a place you can’t miss!

Things To Do In Copenhagen Denmark
Things To Do In Copenhagen Denmark

Things To Do In Copenhagen Denmark

Get Your Adrenaline Rush At Copenhagen Tivoi (Theme Park)

The Copenhagen Tivoli opened in 1843 and is the second oldest amusement park in the world.

It’s a nice place to visit, even if you’re not interested in any of the rides.

It’s a very typical Tivoli with a strong smell of pop corn, cotton candy, traditional rides and cozy lights everywhere.

The romantic atmosphere makes it a great place to spend an evening.

Visit Christiania

Christiania is a pretty special commune in Copenhagen – most famous for its relaxed approach and views on cannabis.

Dealing cannabis was accepted by the authorities until just a few years ago (2004) and since then they’ve been trying to regulate it.

Christiania is an interesting place to see, especially for its history and strange circumstances (a self declared independent state with their own flag and laws), but also because the area looks very different from the rest of Copenhagen.

They welcome you to go there and visit, but remember to be careful when taking pictures!

What/Where To Eat in Copenhagen:

Chili-mili

This is Nathan’s TOP-PICK for fresh and healthy food while in Copenhagen.

The portions are big, the food is healthy and definitely fills you up, I especially recommend their salads and wraps.

Where to find it: H. C. Andersens Boulevard 12, 1553 Vesterbro

Royal Café

Royal Café describes itself as being “Funky Baroque – design confusion, humorous and chic”, which is a pretty accurate description.

It’s just as confusing as their description, with their own modernized versions of Danish classic foods (like the “Smushi”), Danish modern design and a factory outlet.

A cool lunch hang out place or a coffee.

Where to find it: Amagertorv 6, Inner City.

Copenhagen – The Nightlife:

A-Bar

A fun place with relaxed atmosphere is the A – Bar/The Australian Bar, which later in the evening turns into a crowded nightclub. Good music, good people, cheap drinks.

Open hours: The club is open thu – sat 11 pm- 5 am, and the bar is open from 6 pm to 2 am on Sun – Wed, and 6 pm to 5 am on Thu – Sat.
Where to find it: Vestergade 10, Copenhagen.

Discotek In

What’s pretty cool about this place is that after the entry fee (between 100-150 DKK depending on when you go) you get free drinks all night!!

Beer, wine, champagne – all free.

Apart from shots which cost, although they are very cheap, 20 DKK for 2cl.

The club has 3 dance floors playing different music; on the first floor you can dance to music from the 90’s and pop, second floor dance and trance, third floor you can shake it to House and Electro.

Open hours: 11 pm – 8 am on Friday’s, and on Saturday’s it’s open from 11 pm until late.
Where to find it: Nørregade 1, Copenhagen

Walking Around City:

Just like Amsterdam, the cyclists rule the streets in Copenhagen.

To escape the busy street, and to have a picnic in peace, go to the botanic garden.

Here you can walk around and enjoy the flowers and quiet atmosphere, before heading back into the crowds.

Strøget

A car-free shopping area with heaps of boutiques and cafes.

It’s in the middle of Copenhagen and a really nice place to go shopping.

Just the smell of the waffles sold on the street is good enough reason to visit.

Explore The Side-Streets

The best streets of Copenhagen are in my eyes just off the center.

Copenhagen is full of funny and odd boutiques as well as cozy little cafes.

The locals enjoy these streets as well, so much so that they actually have a street festival every year.

The festival “Distortion”, is a 5 day long street festival, where every day the festival takes place on a new street.

People meet up to party, dance and have a great time.

Even in the downtown area (area around Ströget), there are heaps of fun side streets to get lost in.

Gråbrødretorv, for example, is a nice little quarter with cobble stoned streets, quaint houses and squares (also known as the latin quarters).

Nyhavn

There is no better place for a beer than at one of the pubs along the quay in Nyhavn, you will find a beautiful place to sit down and rest after a long day of exploring.

Have you visited Copenhagen?

5 Things To Do Without Visiting Copenhagen

There are so many little gems in Denmark, so many cool things to do and see – and NOT just in Copenhagen – here are 5 things to do in Denmark which I highly recommend:

Try the Danish Pastries

The Danish pastries (Wienerbrod) are absolutely delicious!

The danish pastry is  somewhat similar to a croissant, but with a lot more flavor and variety.

They come in so many different shapes, sizes and flavors, and is by far the best way to fuel your sweet cravings.

The Danish pastries can be found all over the world, but they really don’t taste as good as the original in Denmark.

Explore Møns Klint

If you want to see some beautiful nature you will love the island of Møn.

The nature is quite special thanks to the many chalk cliffs which can be found there.

Seeing these steep white cliffs are probably the most beautiful sight on the island.

They have a drop of up to 140 meters, and the turquoise milky water makes such a great contrast.

The view really makes you want to go down to the stone beach, but remember that the 580 steps you use to run down to the beach, are the same steps you will have to climb to get back up again…!

Møn is a beautiful island for outdoorsy person and nature photographers!

Capture The Skaw – Land of Light

Skagen is a village sitting on Denmark’s most northern point.

It has many nice beaches and the village with it’s low, yellow houses with red tile roofs is very picturesque.

Skagen used to be a hub for artists to hang out back in the 19th century, the reason to this is the special light that lies in the sky.

They tried to capture the special light in their paintings, and today you can also try to catch it with your camera.

Another cool thing to see is “Grenen”, a sandy, shifting headland at the very tip of Denmark.

Where the Baltic Sea meets the North Sea you can see a  long stripe of waves clashing together from the two oceans.

The food here also has its own touch, try the Skagen röra, it’s really tasty!

Visit The Roskilde Festival

A huge live music festival attracting the big music stars and visitors (around 110,000 people attended in 2009) from all over the world, and is one of the five biggest music festivals in Europe.

People go there just as much for hanging out, partying, drinking and meeting people as they do for the music.

Go Skinny Dipping

Nude beaches are very popular in Denmark, and there are really only two beaches in Denmark where nudity is forbidden.

So strip off your clothes and enjoy the freedom in your birthday suit – if you dare 😉

Denmark The Happiest People In The World

As we stepped off the train in Copenhagen, the station was packed with young 20-something people in muddy gumboots lying on the ground, passed out or still drunk hammering away on guitar strings – it was the day after the Roskilde festival – known as one of the biggest festivals in Europe.

Denmark Jazz Festival
Denmark Jazz Festival

But “the party isn’t over until the fat lady sings”, and there were many people still singing while playing their guitars at the station, and although Roskilde festival was over, another huge world famous festival had just begun in Copenhagen – the Jazz festival.

Copenhagen, Denmark Travel VIDEO

During the summer Copenhagen really feels like a melting pot of activity – there is always something happening, always something to do, and it has the same atmosphere as in Amsterdam – chilled & unpretentious.

As we step off the train in Copenhagen, the station is packed with young 20-something people in muddy gumboots lying around, passed out or still drunk hammering on guitar strings – it’s the day after Roskilde festival – known as one of the biggest festivals in Europe.

To read more about our time in Copenhagen, make sure you check out:

Yes, Denmark has been praised by other countries several times to be the happiest country in the world, and I was curious to hear the Danish peoples’ thoughts on that – which turned out to be quite interesting.

According to themselves, people here complain a lot and don’t really smile much on the streets – in other words, they don’t look too happy.

The guy we talked to thought it had more to do with the low expectations they had and the acceptance rather than happiness.

Copenhagen is the first foreign place I remember visiting as a child.

The first impressions were so strong that I still associate them with the city;

The smell of freshly made waffles on Ströget, the night lights on the Tivoli theme park and the excitement of something different.

And there is something that makes Denmark different from the rest of Scandinavia, something that makes it seem more relaxed.

Perhaps it’s the fact that they have a small part of Copenhagen which has its own laws, flags and rules – Christiania.

Or maybe it was because of the many festivals they have there – while we were there the Copenhagen Jazz Festival was on.

Old and young mixed together sat on the stone-cobbled streets and stairs in front of stages tapping their feet and swinging to the sides to the funky Jazz rhythms and brass tunes.

During the summer Copenhagen really feels like a melting pot of activity – there is always something happening, always something to do, and it has the same atmosphere as in Amsterdam – chilled & unpretentious.

For some reason it seems as though Jazz just brings out the best in people – what other music is enjoyed by so many people from such a wide age-group as jazz?

In Scandinavia it’s not very common that people mix over the age groups.

75 year olds don’t usually go to the same places as 20 year olds, but the Jazz festival really brought people in all ages together, all sitting down on the cobble stoned ground or stone stairs, tapping their feet and swinging from side to side with the rhythm.

Denmark "happiest people" in the world
Denmark “happiest people” in the world

We felt like people in general were quite upbeat and relaxed, which is funny because Denmark has been voted over and over again for having the “happiest people” in the world.

They smoke more than any other Scandinavians, they exercise less and they don’t eat very healthy – yet they’re still happiest of us all, and during our stay there it actually seemed that way.

Was that really true?

Were we just “lucky” because of the festival vibe, or are the people there actually happier?

We decided to simply ask the Danes themselves, and the answer was quite interesting.

One guy made an interesting point: “I think a better word would be ‘content’.

We accept our situation and our outlook on things is often ‘it’s not as bad as it could be’.

We’re not happier, we just don’t have very high expectations”.

Denmark
Denmark

But there is something different about Copenhagen, it reminds me a little of Amsterdam.

In Copenhagen they have an area called Christiania, a place with their own rules, own laws and own flag, also it’s a place where they smoke and sell weed in public, and where we weren’t allowed to bring our cameras…

It’s a bit wacky and crazy in some places, and just absolutely stunning in others.

Nyhavn is the most beautiful harbor I have ever seen – with its colorful 18th century houses, and the nostalgic smell of waffles the whole way along Ströget is just irresistible.

Copenhagen has many sides, and just like in Amsterdam it’s up to you how you choose to enjoy your time there.

Møn – Denmark
Møn – Denmark

Møn – Denmark

Perhaps a bit unexpected, but a beautiful island doesn’t always need to have palm trees or tropical weather.

Møn island is a beautiful island with steep white chalk cliffs, cold ice blue water, stone beaches and lush green forest – it’s one of the most beautiful places in Denmark.

Things To Do In Copenhagen Denmark

Copenhagen Denmark, the capital of Denmark, is among the most popular tourist destinations in Europe.

With a highly developed transportation network, you can easily reach different destinations in Copenhagen and see a lot in a short period of time.

Copenhagen Denmark

Here are the top things to do in Copenhagen…

Tivoli Gardens

Tivoli is an amusement park full of fun and entertaining activities.

This park is situated at the center of Copenhagen and close to the Central Railway station. Part of the park was built during 1843.

The park is illuminated and has daily fireworks during the night.

Daily music concerts and symphony enhances the excitement already in the air.

The park is full of restaurants and rides (yes it has a roller coaster!). In fact it has so much to offer, the list just would not end, with over 400,000 different types of flowers, crafts and artworks, it is indeed a must see spot.

Bakken

Also known as Dyrehavsbakken, the Bakken is one of the finest attractions in Copenhagen.

I is one of the most popular recreation centers, and is the oldest entertainment and amusement park in the world, dating back to 1583.

Bakken displays more than 100 varieties of attractions such as roller-coasters, gambling, anything and everything that is fun and entertaining.

The charm of the Bakken will remain etched in the memories of its visitors for a very long time.

The Little Mermaid

Known as Den Lille Havfrue, The Little Mermaid is a bronze statue with sad features sculptured by Edvard Erichsen in 1913 based on a folk theme.

Thousands of visitors throng to see the beauty of the sculpture as well as to experience the nostalgia of the folklore theme.

The beautiful art form is placed on a rock sadly gazing over the sea emoting eternal memory of love.

Visitors will definitely get motivated by the theme and the perfection of the artwork.

Amalienborg Palace

The palace is a cluster of four magnificent Rococo structures situated within in a lush green courtyard.

The palace is very famous for its change of guard ceremony. The botanical garden in the proximity adds to the charm.

Glyptoteket

An incredibly enchanting museum full of ancient architectural marvels, Glyptoteket will leave you in awe.

Most of the antiques are sourced from Egypt, France and other European countries.

It is indeed a pleasure to view all these rarest of the rare painting and sculptures under one roof.

There is an excellent auditorium to amplify its glory where classical items are performed as part of education and entertainment.

Go down memory lane, feel history and be amazed!

With wonderful infrastructure in place, one can have hassle free travel to the city and enjoy the warmth offered by its friendly people.

(photo credit: 1)

Exploring Alicante Spain Popular Places

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Exploring Alicante Spain is an extremely popular place to spend a few weeks during summer on vacation.

It is a great place where you can relax by the many beaches, spend the night partying and enjoying a sunny lifestyle.

Many northern Europeans (Germans, Swede’s etc.) love Alicante so much that they move down and live in Alicante all year round, and even my grandparents bought an apartment for our family to use – anytime of the year.

When my grandparents bought the apartment many years ago, there were only a few houses there.

Today the area is huge, and Alicante as a destination is growing every year.

So why does this place seem to attract so many tourists to come back again?

The main reason seems to be the lovely beaches and the amazing summer weather.

It’s nearly always sunny, and the beaches are just amazing. Another reason why so many Scandinavians visit each year is because they can find so many cheap flights to Alicante.

This combined with crazy partying and a relaxed atmosphere with a ”mañana mañana” mind set is what I think people are so attracted to.

You will find many people with the mindset of “What ever happens in Alicante, stays there”.

Exploring Alicante Spain Popular Places

Mount Benacantil

There are some really beautiful cultural and historic sites to visit.

Mount Benacantil is an important landmark of Alicante, which you can find right in the middle of Alicante and on the top you get to explore the Castle Of Santa Barbara, one of the biggest medieval fortresses in Spain.

From here you get an awesome view over the city and ocean, as well as walking among buildings and remains that date back as far as 11th century.

Another cool way to see the mountain is from the beach “El Postiguet”, right next to the mountain.

From there you can see how the mountain forms the shape of a face, known as “The Moor’s Face”, a characteristic image found in Alicante.

Exploring Alicante Spain Beaches

Costa Blanca are famous for their beaches, and in Alicante there are many to choose from.

For an open long beach try La Playa de San Juan, a 7 kilometer golden beach.

If you want it more secluded try La Albuferta, and if you want a beach close to the city El Postiguet is perfect, since it’s basically “in” the city.

Explanada de España

“To be in Alicante is to be on the Explanada” wrote Juan Gil-Albert.

And I agree that if you’re here, this promenade is something you wouldn’t want to miss.

It’s one of the most beautiful seafront promenades in Spain, made out of 6.6 million colorful marble tiles.

There are also heaps of nice places to eat and clubs to party at along the street.

I hope you enjoy your time in Alicante, and maybe you will find my and my extended family along the beach sometime this summer, enjoying the sun and water!

Costa Blanca Road Trip: What You Need To Know

Costa Blanca, translated to “the white coast”, is nicknamed after its 200 km long coast line with countless, never-ending white sandy beaches, and is one of the most heavily visited areas in the whole of Europe.

Exploring Alicante Spain Costa Blanca Road Trip
Exploring Alicante Spain Costa Blanca Road Trip

While it’s not something for “off-the-beaten-path” kind of people, it’s definitely popular for a reason.

If you’re into sunbathing and love a good Paella, this is a good place to start.

Costa Blanca has as many as 320 sunny days per year, so you’re pretty much guaranteed a few sunny days at the white beaches.

My grandparents are among the many Europeans who came to Costa Blanca once and completely fell in love with it, bought an apartment and have been going there several times a year ever since.

So of course I’ve taken advantage of a free stay and gone there quite a few times, exploring the area by car.

The best way to explore Costa Blanca, is to either base yourself in one of the Costa Blanca hotels somewhere along the coast, and make day trips to different cities, or to simply make a road trip down the coast and stay over for a few days in each town.

There is one thing you need to know if you’ve decided to road trip down Costa Blanca: they’re really bad drivers there!

They drive really fast, and don’t hesitate to blow the horn for no reason.

Here are three interesting places to visit when you’re in Valencia:

Sun, Sand and Sex On The Beach = Benidorm

Benidorm
Benidorm

This is a love it or hate it kind of place.

Those looking for crazy partying, flirting at the beach or spending your days trying different water sports, choose Benidorm as their destination and enjoy a week at one of the Benidorm hotels with a good pool and bar sipping sex on the beach cocktails from morning to – well – the next morning…

You can see the city a mile away when you are driving in – the high rise buildings stick up out of nowhere, all tucked closely together.

This is not a place for everyone, but it’s definitely an experience to have seen it, so I’d recommend at least a quick stop over if you’re driving by, just to see the craze.

All In One Pot = Alicante

You have the beaches, the shopping and some interesting history with for example Castle Santa Barbara, one of the largest medieval castles in Spain.

It’s a good place if you don’t want to completely get away from the big city feeling, soak up some culture and still enjoy the beaches.

Get Down And Dirty – Mud Baths = Lo Pagan

Lo Pagan
Lo Pagan

Not only do you get the chance to awake that inner-child within you by covering your whole body in mud, it’s actually very beneficial!

The mud is said to be very good for skin complaints like acne, ulcers, inflammation abscesses and even arthritis and rheumatism.

At least it won’t hurt to take a plunge into the slime, and best of all – it’s free!

Perhaps the ultimate thing about road tripping or taking day trips around this region is that you will find some awesome beaches just by driving along the way and stop wherever you like, at whatever beach you choose  after all, there are hundreds of them!

Las Ramblas Barcelona – Things To Do

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Las Ramblas Barcelona also known as La Rambla, is one of the most famous streets in Barcelona, Spain.

Las Rambla Barcelona attracts millions of tourists every year.

Las Ramblas is a big landmark in Barcelona, and sooner or later everyone exploring Barcelona will end up walking along and enjoying this 60 feet wide walkway.

See our Barcelona Spain Travel Video and read our Barcelona, Spain City Guide

Here are some of my favorite ‘things to do’ in Las Ramblas Barcelona:

Visit one of the many cafes, bars & restaurants

There are countless of places to eat along Las Ramblas, so you can pick and choose as you like.

The prices along the actual streets of Las Ramblas are higher, so if you’re looking for cheaper options you just have to walk slightly off the main street on one of the many side streets to find cheaper but still great places to eat.

Cafe Del Opera is a nice café with history dating back to the 18th century, and a favorite among the locals.

It is a nice cafe in dark wooden interior, and also has an outside seating on the streets of Las Ramblas.

For a drink in a funky designed bar, visit Bosque De los Fades, a pub designed like forest from the fairy tales.

It’s part of the Wax Museum (which could also be worth a visit), and inside you will find big sleepy hollow trees, caves, waterfalls and fairy figures.

It’s a special place with a great atmosphere!

If you just want to sit down and enjoy the ice cream while watching the world go by on the Las Ramblas in Barcelona, sit down in Patagonia.

They’re famous for their delicious ice cream!

Explore the St Josep Market, La Boqueria Mercat

This is one of the best markets in Europe, a market where people go not just to buy food, but to enjoy the atmosphere and simply wander around.

La Boqueria market has a history dating back to 1701.

Come here to look, sit down for a drink or buy some lunch for a picnic later in the day.

Watch the street performers

There are street performers the whole way along the streets of Las Ramblas.

Most of them are human statues in the weird creative forms and some of the coolest costumes, but you can also find dancers, musicians, magicians and marionettes.

Every one of them wants to be the best and since the competition is so tough they have to be creative to get any attention at all.

As a whole this is a really cool experience, to be completely surrounded – it really blows “life” into the street.

Shopping in Barcelona

Carrer del Carme and carrer del Hospital are two side streets of Las Ramblas in Barcelona where the shopping is more like a melting pot of all types of shops, everything from Halal butchers to wineries and scissor shops.

These streets are not as commercial as others, and could be a nice detour for those not looking to buy anything but just do some window shopping.

There are shops from the most northern tip of Las Ramblas to the most southern tip, and all in between.

On Plaza De Catalunya square, where Las Ramblas begins, you’ll find El Corte Inglés, a huge 9 floor department store with clothes in most price ranges.

Another fun shopping mall is Maremagnum, a shopping mall by the harbor in the end of Las Ramblas, which is also a really popular place to go clubbing at night.

Placa Reial Square

Get away from the busy street in Barcelona’s prettiest square Place Reial.

A beautiful 19th century square to escape to when the sun is high and the crowds are thick along Las Ramblas.

Sit back in the shade by an outside seating cafe and let your feet have a rest.

The square is even more fun to visit in the evening as the restaurants are busy and the clubs open their doors.

The clubs here are among the most popular in Barcelona – Karma, Sidecar and Jamboree.

Barri Gotic

Barri Gotic is a fantastic area of Barcelona, just off Las Ramblas main area.

It’s the center of the old city of Barcelona.

The area is like a labyrinth, full of small, narrow streets and squares.

Even though they have built new buildings in the area there are still many of them that date back to Medieval times, which makes it an interesting mixture.

The old houses can stand right next to the new ones, and you can easily spend a long time just wandering around looking around.

The Flamenco show

Spend an evening at Tablao Cordobes eating good food and watch a flamenco show.

The Spanish and Calatan food is included in the price of the show, just make sure you can book a table online to confirm a spot – as it’s very popular.

Placa de Sant Josep Oriol

This square, right next to the beautiful gothic church Santa maria del pi, is full of artists selling their artwork, and in the weekend there is an artist market held here.

Bohemians, travelers and musicians crowd the area.

On the square you’ll also find one of the most popular bars in Barri Gotic, Bar Del Pi.

The Art Lover’s Guide To Barcelona

Barcelona is one of the most amazing artistic and architectural cities in the world.

From the famous fairytale architecture of Antonio Gaudi to the masterpieces of world-known artists such as Salvador Dali and Pablo Picasso, Barcelona has earned its place as a trophy-city of cultural achievement.

Here are some of our favorite places in Barcelona for anyone who has a weakness for beauty and art…The Unfinished Church

Sagrada Familia or Church of the Sacred Family Unfinished Church
Sagrada Familia or Church of the Sacred Family

When visiting Barcelona you can’t go wrong by first stopping in to see the Sagrada Familia or Church of the Sacred Family.

Inspired by the glorious Vatican complex, the Sagrada Familia is an amazing Roman Catholic church with unique Gothic style architecture unlike any other in the world, and it comes with an interesting history.

With construction estimated to be finished in 2026, this work in progress has already claimed its status as a monument of the city and a World Heritage Sight.

Note: Keep in mind that lines can stretch hundreds of meters already by 9.30am (we learned this from experience), so get there early!

Free Art

Guell Park
Guell Park

For brilliant views of Barcelona, take a stroll through the gardens in Guell Park, and enjoy the peace and architectural additions of Gaudi – or spot the local parrot species that live within the park.

Another really cool experience is to visit the Magic Fountain of Monjuic that features a spectacular display of lights, jets of water and music.

And yes, it’s free!

Beautiful Atmosphere

Las Ramblas Barcelona
Las Ramblas, Barcelona

For a step back into the past days of Roman and Medieval architecture, visit the Gothic Quarter in the city center of old Barcelona.

It’s a beautiful quarter and perfect for getting lost in.

In fact, we recommend you forget about the map for a while and just wander the narrowest streets you can find, window shopping in the odd boutiques and taking in the beauty of flower pots and laundry hanging from the balconies.

While you’re in the area, also make sure to check out amazing concert hall Liceu.

Considered one of the finest opera houses in Europe, the Liceu has been elegantly decorated with plush red carpets, ornate carvings, and distinguished gold leafing.

Even if you’re not going to buy a ticket, it’s worth having a look inside.

Another great concert hall, Palau de la Musica Catalana is known for its modernista architecture and design.

The Paula de la Musica Catalina is a must see, lit up by a magnificent stained-glass skylight and decorated in thousands of ceramic roses.

Favorite Museum

There are plenty of interesting museums, but the one that we feel just can’t be left out is the Picasso Museum.

Each piece in this gallery is arranged by Picasso’s age, so that it is an interesting look into the progression of art-style and life of this magnificent painter.

Walk in Picasso’s Footsteps

life of Picasso
life of Picasso

To take a deeper look into the life of Picasso, I recommend visiting some of the old places he once frequented while living in Barcelona, that would come to influence his artwork over time.

In Picasso’s early art career, he frequently visited Els Quatre Gats or The Four Cats.

This colloquial Catalan expression for “only a few people”opened in 1897 and is now a pub and restaurant.

Pass by the Escola de Belles Arts de Llotja an art school where Picasso was once enrolled that is situated in the same neighborhood where this artists once lived.

Day Trip To Figueres

Take a day trip from Barcelona to Figueres the hometown of famous artist Salvador Dali.

Here you will find the Salvador Dalí Theater-Museum, a wonderous and eye-catching look into Dali’s genius.

You won’t want to miss this unique look into Dali’s perception of the world with extraordinary art exhibitions and displays.

When you have seen all there is to see, you will be happy that you reserved Parking at Gatwick after the long journey!

(photo: 13)

Top 10 Things To Do Next Time You Visit Switzerland

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Visit Switzerland – To be honest with you, I never had much interest in visiting Switzerland.

I never really thought I would ever visit the country, sure I’d stop by if we happened to pass by, but not more than that really.

Well, life is full of surprises because last year we ended up moving there for a few months to work during the ski season, and Switzerland also turned out to be full of surprises.

You Visit Switzerland It’s a fascinating country with a lot of history, culture and natural beauty.

I’ll be honest and say that there were many things we didn’t do and places we never went to, but here are our top 10 favorite things to do in Switzerland:
Top 10 Things To Do Next Time You Visit Switzerland

Top 10 Things To Do Next Time You Visit Switzerland

When You Visit Switzerland Go Hiking / Tramping

Switzerland has more than 48 300 km marked trails, and the nature is mind blowing.

The air is fresh, and you often find yourself alone with nature.

Hiking in Switzerland is easy, there are often restaurants and hotels along the way, so you can choose between camping in a hut, or staying over in a hotel.

And even if you’re not the hiking type of person, there are so many different day hikes you can do.

Just going for walks in Switzerland is a beautiful experience, at all times of the year.

Even in winter time there are beautiful walks you can take up at the ski fields.

Enjoying the nature in Switzerland is the number one thing to do, one way or another. Europe’s Most Scenic Views on A Train Journey

Adventure Time in Interlaken

Interlaken is like a big outdoor adventure park.

There is a lot to do for the adrenaline seeker: Sky diving over the Swiss glacier, water-ski etc.

It’s a beautiful area, and is also really close to the highest train station in Europe which you can find at over 3,400 metres high.

A Day In Bern – The Capital

A beautiful city with a lot of history and old buildings.

It’s nice to walk around and let the old city take you back a few hundred years.

All shops blend in so well in the old buildings, and some shops have been there for decades.

Another nice city for a day visit is Basel, with its stunning Town hall, bridge and cathedral.

Try The Local Delicacies

Switzerland might be a small country in size, but every region has kept their own specialties and cultural traditions close to their hearts.

Try out the local food specialties, they’re different everywhere.

One thing the regions have in common when it comes to food is that the food is almost always covered by cheese.

Cheese equals Switzerland. But it’s cheese of the best quality you can get.

A favorite is to just melt it all down in a pot (fondue) and dip bread in some bread – perfect!

Another specialty you can find all over Switzerland is their nut cakes.

There are special nut cakes for different areas of Switzerland.

Swiss Chocolate

No other chocolate in the world can compare to the one made here, it’s amazing!

Maybe because of the great milk they produce here?

Anyways you will need to by and eat lots of this while You Visit ;Switzerland!

Go Watch Shopping

I’m not sure why watches are such a big and important thing in Switzerland, but everything and everyone is so punctual it’s ridiculous.

Nothing or nobody arrive a minute later than planned, nor earlier.

Every second shop is a watch shop, and watches seems to have become part of the Swiss lifestyle.

The best Swiss watch brands don’t even like to call themselves a watch business anymore, but a luxury business.

Visit The Old Villages

If you take the time to visit the Graubunden area you’ll be amazed.

There are villages with houses dating back to the 13th century that people still live in!

They also speak an ancient language called Romanch, which has died out everywhere else but here, and they try their hardest to keep their old traditions as well.

Take a Beautiful Train Route

Traveling by train can look expensive at a first sight, but there are so many deals and offers you can get that you may end up with an amazing route cheaper than a one way ticket.

One example is their day passes where you can travel as much as you like, anywhere you want for a whole day.

Just ask the staff, read one of their many pamphlets or check out their website for deals!

There is the world famous Glacier Express route, but also countless of other beautiful routes.

Traveling by train is more than just a transport from point A to point B here, it’s a destination in itself.
You Visit Switzerland Go Alpine Skiing

You Visit Switzerland Go Alpine Skiing

Yeah I know it’s summertime at the moment, but I just have to mention two of the best things to do in Switzerland.

There aren’t many places in the world where you can travel to at any season and have a great time.

In Switzerland, winter is just as much of a high season as summer is, and that for a good reason.

Few places in Europe has as good skiing as in Switzerland.

Many of the ski-fields are huge and often blend in with each other, meaning you can ski over to another ski resort.

Many people who go skiing in Switzerland don’t actually go there for the skiing, but for the experience.

Sitting in the sun 2000 meters high up on the mountain overlooking the mountain tops with a nice hot chocolate is just as nice as skiing by itself. In spring time it gets so warm you can ski in bikini!

Go Sledging

This is a crazy sport.

Yes, sport.

They actually compete internationally with sledging.

Not bob sleding, but the wooden one!

In Bergün you can sledge down a 6 km long sledge run- – – watch that video – or a shorter but steeper run for the fear less one.

Sledge runs are everywhere around the ski areas, and a lot of fun.

Hope this inspires you to put Switzerland on your next trip, it’s also not as expensive as you think!
>Must Visit Switzerland

Why Budget Travelers Must Visit Switzerland

We have traveled quite a bit in Switzerland, and even lived down there for a couple of months.

When “As We Travel” was founded back in 2010, we were living far up in the Swiss Alps in a tiny cute village called Scuol.

It’s one of the most beautiful places I have ever been to …set right in a valley surrounded by high snowy mountains, the villages there were so secluded from the rest of the world that cars actually have to go on a train to reach the valley!

They speak their own language (Romansh), have their own culture, their own traditional cuisine, and – most importantly, nearly everyone we got to know there lived for the moment and enjoyed the simple things in life.

We thought that because it was so secluded and tricky to get to, that was the reason to why it was still so beautiful and such a relaxing place.
As We Travel
After the stress and fun we had in Barcelona – it was time for us to sit back and chill for a few days.

Vevey in Switzerland was perfect for this – amazing nature, clear blue water, wine, chocolate and best of all it was QUIET .

Every time we visit Switzerland, we fall more and more in love with the place – the lifestyle, the nature … for us everything is perfect in Switzerland.

We hope you enjoy our Vevey video, and stay tuned for at least 1 new video every week – Next stop Italy!

But once we left to see the rest of Switzerland, we realized that no matter where you went – the country was breathtakingly beautiful.

Vevey, where we decided to go this time around, was no exception.

Arriving at the train station, I instantly felt my body relaxing.

Since Paris, every train station had felt bigger and more chaotic than the previous one – boarding the trains had been like boarding a flight with bag scanners and everything.

But Vevey’s station was small, quiet and simple – and the town was the same.

Everything here happened slower than normal, it almost felt as though it happened in slow motion:
Vevey The vineyards
The cars cruised rather than raced, the boats drove in circles rather than towards somewhere – even the many people working out seemed to do it in harmony, and it was so quiet that I for a moment thought that my ears were blocked.

Vevey is famous for three things: The vineyards surrounding the area, the invention of milk chocolate and being the place Charlie Chaplin called “home”.

The vineyards, which date back to medieval times, are world famous for its great wine, and incredible views.
Charlie Chaplin Statue
Perched on top of steep mountains, the view is priceless – and the wine, expensive…

It’s easy to understand why people like Charlie Chaplin and Hemingway chose to live here, and easy to see why the milk chocolate was invented here, in a place full of inspiration and all about indulgence.

Many backpackers choose not to visit Switzerland because they think it will cost way too much to visit – big mistake!

Yeah it might cost more than some other places in Europe BUT trust me, it’s worth it, if only just for a few days…If the nature alone is not enough reason to visit, than the variety of culture is.

What other country can you experience 4 languages (Italian, Swiss German, French and Romansh), making for such a great variety of local food and culture?
visit Switzerland

Things To Do In Geneva Switzerland

Things to do in Geneva Switzerland – Geneva is without a doubt one of Europe’s finest cities – it’s incredibly picturesque and it’s one of the most important in terms of its place in the world.

Unfortunately Geneva is also one of Europe’s priciest cities – which can often put people off from scheduling a short city break there.

However, Switzerland’s third largest city, which sits around the sparkling shores of Europe’s largest Alpine lake, has plenty to offer and you will find many great things to do in Geneva.

Below we’ve listed the best things to do in Geneva, the Swiss city of light:

Things To Do In Geneva Switzerland
United Nations HQ

United Nations HQ

Any trip to Geneva would not be complete without a visit to the United Nations headquarters.

Constructed between 1929 and 1936, the Palais des Nations became the United Nations headquarters in 1946.

The grounds contain a vast wooded park that overlooks the lake and can be regularly seen to be patrolled by peacocks that live on the grounds around Pregny gate.

Geneva is not only home to the UN, it often seems as if the whole of the world is situated here – the International Red Cross, International Labour Organization, World Health Organization.

You name it, they’re all here!
Geneva’s lakefront

The Lake Geneva

Geneva’s lakefront has beautiful views of Mount Blanc on a clear day, making it one of the city’s greatest assets.

The impressive fountain Jet d’eau reaches up to 450 feet in the air and is surrounded by beautiful floral displays and boats, and walking along the shore path by the lake on a beautiful day is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Geneva.
Old Town or Vielle Ville

The Old Town

The picture-postcard Old Town, or Vielle Ville, contains some of the city’s most notable attractions, including the Barbier-Mueller Museum, the Cathédrale St-Pierre and the Maison Tavel.

This area is also the main shopping area which is a pleasant district to explore with its terra cotta coloured cobblestones and stunning cathedral architecture.
Things To Do In Geneva Switzerland

Salève Cable Car

The Salève cable car is situated in the Haute Savoie, just over the French Border – this high alpine ridge has a stunning view of Mt. Blanc and the Lake Geneva area, as well as miles of walking trails.

Prices depend on the age of travelers and whether you want a single / return trip – but generally cost less than 10€.

Medical care is incredibly expensive in Switzerland, so whenever you travel to Geneva (or anywhere in Switzerland), make sure you are covered adequately with the right travel insurance policy by visiting Insure & Away, who have a wide range of single trip, annual multi trip & world travel insurance policies to suit any overseas trip.

Have you been? if so what did you think of the city?

Do you have any other tips of things to do in Geneva?

Our 5-Days In Switzerland

It is now official – we will be leaving Switzerland in three weeks.

The tickets are booked and some sort of travel plan has been made.

After I’ve finished cleaning a holiday apartment (a 3-hour-job that pays for both mine and Nathan’s flight tickets

Gotta love the Swiss money!) we’re off to Basel.

After that the plan is pretty loose, but that’s the way we like it.

While making our way down to Milan we will go through some random towns and villages in Switzerland.

I think we’ll just jump off wherever we feel like it, just follow our gut feelings and stop wherever looks nice – with the GOAL to see as much of Switzerland as we can in 5 days.

Does anyone have any ideas for quick train stop overs between Basel, Bern and Milan?

Our flight leaves in the morning from Milan.

Well, it’s not actually Milan but a city about an hour away – AND that’s the way Ryan Air does it – every… single… fu*kin… time!

When flying with Ryan Air, don’t ever go by the name of the city they claim the airport is located, it’s never right.

For example the airport in Stockholm is in a town over two hours away, and their Vienna Airport isn’t in Vienna at all, it’s not even in the right country…

If you’ve ever flown with Ryan Air you know it’s barely worth it.

Paying almost nothing is tempting, but once you’ve done it, once you’ve been there and experienced a Ryan Air flight, you’re hesitant if you’d ever want to do it again.

We have decided to take that risk.

We’re aware that 80% of the people flying with Ryan Air can’t handle the stress and the lack of oxygen among sweaty armpits all around you, and that they usually take their anger out on others.

But this time we payed extra for priority seating.

Oh yeah, we’re doing it the luxurious way, so long 200-meter queue!

But to be sure that we get to this airport in time, we will have to stay the night in Milan.

I’ve heard nothing good about this place.

Apparently it was included on a list of the worst cities in Europe… but what the heck, a place is what you make it, right?

Taking the Glacier Express in Switzerland

We’re starting to confuse the names of the places we’re in now, talking about Lisbon but calling it Paris and so on – at least I still know what my name is..!Sofia von Porat - As We Travel

Countries This Week: Portugal, Spain, Switzerland

We started the week by catching up on some rest in Lisbon, Portugal – and it was well needed.

Being able to give yourself a day to work and do “nothing” was perfect.

I really loved what I saw in Portugal; the views, the people, the cafes, the pastries, the tiled buildings…I will definitely be back for more, but this time around we had to leave for an overnight train to Barcelona.

Sofia von Porat - As We Travel - Nathan SchachererBarcelona is a city I have visited many times, and it’s always fun to come back to a place a few years later and see it again with new eyes.

It has so much life and there is so much to do there that you really could stay here for weeks without being bored.

It’s one of those cities that every day shows a new side of itself: chaotic, chic, dodgy, crazy party, beautiful and ugly – it’s sort of everything at the same time, and one can choose how to look at it.

Two days later we left on another long day train to Geneva in Switzerland.

The next morning we carried on to Vevey, which was our main stop in Switzerland.

As soon as we arrived, I instantly felt my body relaxing. As We Travel - Nathan Schacherer

Unlike many other cities, the train station was tiny and almost empty, the air was fresh and the pace in the town was so slow I almost felt as though everything was happening in slow motion.

The view over the lake and the rising hills and snowy mountains surrounding us was almost too much to take it – we were in true awe over this little place.

There is something special about small Swiss towns.

We’ve spent over 6 months (off and on) in Switzerland, and the more places we visit here the more we love the country. As We Travel - Nathan Schacherer

Even the landscape changes drastically when you get close to the Swiss border.

It’s too bad that travelers tend to avoid going here because of the prices, because it really is one of Europe’s absolute most beautiful countries.

I noticed quite early in the Europe Train Challenge how I started living life at a faster pace because we were traveling at a faster pace.

I’m starting to deal with it better, but at times we have been grateful for making sure we updated our current travel insurance for this trip even though we are only traveling in Europe – you never know what could happen to your health.

So International Health Insurance is also something to consider.

I realize more now how important it is to give yourself time to just lay down and do nothing and think of nothing.

After two nice days in Vevey, we had gathered some energy to face the next amazing destination – one that I’ve longed to visit for so long … Venice.

Taking the Glacier Express in Switzerland

What better way to enjoy fantastic views of the Swiss Alps than by taking the Glacier Express?

This colorful train takes you through several small villages, across more than 200 bridges, through peaceful valleys and mountainous terrain on the way from Southern Switzerland through the Swiss Alps to the world famous resort, St. Moritz.
Taking the Glacier Express in Switzerland
Described by The New York Times as “A slow ride, with reason” this is one trip you need to add to your travel bucket list.

Imagine this – vast sweeping snow fields, breathtaking views and spectacular white-capped mountains.

Board the Glacier Express in one of several villages- Zermatt, Visp, Brig or another village along the way.

You can enjoy the journey and return the same way later in the day, or, as many passengers do, spend the night in St. Moritz on Mount Matterhorn.
St. Mortiz
St. Mortiz, a lovely world renown resort, offers comfortable lodgings with panoramic views of the mountains just outside your window.

Be sure to book reservations for your train ride and reserve lunch for you and your family.

You can reserve a 3-course lunch or a luncheon special that is served by Glacier Express’s experienced waiters.

They serve their guests with a special “ritual pour” that is incredibly fun and enjoyed by all.

Snacks and beverages are special amenities included in the price of your ticket too.
Landmassar Viaduct
With tall windows on either side of the train, enjoy photographing the fantastic Swiss Alp mountain passes, the sheer snow covered walls that drop down to ravines, gorges and rivers below.

You will pass over 250 bridges, go through 90 tunnels, cross the beautiful Landmassar Viaduct and continue on up the mountain to St. Moritz.

Round trip, it takes 7 hours.

Tired of riding?

Get off and spend the night in one of the villages you see along the way.

Many visitors prefer to do this.

Zermatt, Visp and Brig are only a few villages that offer overnight accommodations to passengers.
Glacier Express
You can board the Glacier Express in one of several pick up points, whatever fits your schedule best.

Reservations can be made online.

You’ll return by 6 PM in plenty of time for dinner.

Guests are excited to see the wonderful views along the journey from Southern Switzerland through the Swiss Alps, through the Chedivide that crosses the source of the Rhine and Rhone Rivers.

Audio speakers keep passengers informed about each point of the journey.

VIDEO – Sledding In Switzerland

Hey everyone, hope you all had a great week!

This week is our last week in Scuol, so we have been very busy making the most of the winter sports which they offer around this part of Switzerland.

Yesterday we went skiing in St. Moritz, and a few days ago we went sledding down a 6km long sled run – about 2hrs train from here in a cute town called Bergün.

I uploaded a preview video a few days ago, but today you can watch the FULL 3.5min video of us zooming down the hill as fast as we can!

WOW it was so much fun, if your ever in Switzerland in Winter make sure you go to Bergün!

Watch The Video Below:

you might notice the serious look on my face – it was due to the fact that I was holding the video camera in one hand and trying to control the sled with the other while bumping up and down the ice track @ 50km/hr :p Also that is Sofia chasing me behind… and make sure you watch right to the end to find out what happens to my sledding :S)

Fun eh?

Tomorrow we are leaving for a 6 day train adventure around Switzerland, France and Italy before flying to Sweden – so look forward to reading and seeing heaps of great pics and info from those places.

Why Budget Travelers Must Visit Switzerland
Taking the Glacier Express in Switzerland
Basel Switzerland City Guide
Top 10 Things To Do Next Time You Visit Switzerland
What To Eat In Switzerland: 5 Foods Beyond Fondue
Hotel Tips Travel Pros Recommend and use all of the time.

RECAP – Scuol, Switzerland – Where We Have Been Living For The Last 5 Months

The last 5 months we have been hiding in a tiny village called Scuol in the middle of the Swiss alps, surrounded by forest and high mountains.

We made our decision to come here, just like we normally do – by a photo we saw online.

You know one of those photos where you go ”WOW, let’s pack our bags NOW”.

And guess what, the photo wasn’t photo shopped, it really looks like this:

When we arrived in Scuol, we didn’t know how long we would manage to survive here.

With no job waiting for us, no knowledge of the language (German) whatsoever, and only 800 euro in our pockets, it might have looked like a really stupid idea to come and live in one of the most expensive countries in the world.

Well, I guess now that I think about it afterwords, it probably was… :p

But we figured that since everything always works out for the better, that what ever happens was meant to happen, and the fact that we’re still here 5 months later says it all.

It’s funny, the places we’ve enjoyed the most in our travels are the ones we barely even knew anything about before we arrived there.

A year ago we had never heard about this place, and a few months later we ended up living there.

It’s an amazing place, one of those places where you can easily get stuck and not realize it until 10 years later, that you forgot to leave.

In fact, that’s what has happened to many people here.

Many of them are born and raised here and have barely ever been outside the country, but everyone else (which is many) moved here – years ago.

The people we have gotten to know were SO surprised when we told them we were leaving.

It was like the only reason you’d possibly leave was because you for some reason HAD to, not because you wanted to.

And they all thought ‘leaving’, meant coming back next winter or in summer.

During our time here Nathan worked as a ski instructor.

I, who had barely ever skied before, have become a pretty damn good skier if you’ll allow me to brag a little 😉

We’ve skied probably as many miles as we would normally have walked in Gothenburg altogether in 3 months, and we’ve walked as many miles as we would probably have driven in a year (not that I’m much of a driver, but you get the deal).

I guess we make up for all the Swiss chocolate we’ve been munching on every day..!
skiing in Switzerland
It’s the only area left in the whole world where people still speak the pretty much extinct language ‘Romanch’ – the strangest language I’ve ever heard.

I’m going to miss it, and I’m going to miss all the people I’ve gotten to know.

I’m so glad I’ve had the chance to see this place from a close angle.

It is so much more than I ever thought Switzerland could be, it has a charm, a personality, that is very special and the people are so generous and helpful, without their help it would have been much harder finding work and for a lot harder for us to have been able to experience such an amazing time.

Swiss Punctuality Hacks and Swiss Watches From Switzerland

Swiss Punctuality Hacks- Does It Make Life Easier?

I used to always be the kind of girl who was late for everything.

The closer I was to the place, the later I got there, since I often left when I was supposed to be there.

I was a hopeless time optimist.

But do you know what the funny thing was?

It happened to always work out great.

How come?

Because everything and everyone else seemed to also always be late as well…I never really had to run for the bus, because I would assume that it was running five minutes late.

In fact, now as I think about it, I often expected the bus or tram to be a few minutes late, so I consciously left later.

All that however, belongs to the past.

When we moved to Switzerland, I soon realized that I needed to change this habit of thinking in order to make sure I GOT anywhere.
Must Visit Switzerland
Everything here in Switzerland is precisely on time – every single time. I don’t know why, but Swiss people definitely have a special connection with time.

You never have to wonder what the time is, since there are clocks at almost every corner and watch shops the whole way along the street.

If the bus is supposed to leave at 09.31 it doesn’t wait a second longer, and it’s not just the transport system which is like that, the people are too!

If you set a date at a certain time with someone he/she somehow gets it just right, and arrives not a minute late – or early.

At first it’s a little frustrating for someone like me who is basically counting on delays, but since the buses only go once every hour I had to step my game up.

And now I find it incredibly nice.

I mean think of all time you’ve spent waiting for something to come or leave?

All those delays that just turned out to be longer and longer and longer.

Here, you know that when catching a train somewhere, everything is connected, and you never have to wait longer than 10 minutes for the next train.

Everything is calculated to the exact detail and creates such a flow in your travels.

If a bus is full you usually don’t have to wait for long until they send in an extra bus.

A friend of mine is currently living in Rwanda, and she says that nobody there cares about the time.

The bus doesn’t leave at any specific time, it simply leaves when it’s full.

This means that you could wait from five minutes to an hour.

If you invite friends over at a certain time, they can either be two hours late or two hours early, and bring some friends along without warning.

If that would ever happen here, the Swiss people would probably have a mental freak-out!

However, she said that in the beginning it was a bit frustrating, but that she’s now used to it and actually likes it – even prefers it.

On the other hand I think exactly the same but opposite, I prefer the Swiss way now.

So what does that mean?

Are we just different in our liking, or does it all in the end come down to us getting used to something?

Getting used to routines?

(photo credits: 1234)

Barcelona Spain City Guide What to Explore

Barcelona Spain City Guide

Updated:

Barcelona Spain City Guide – Barcelona is one of the most iconic and lovely cities in Spain, and there are plenty of things to do that are off the beaten path.

If you’re wondering what to explore in Barcelona Spain, this list is a great jumping off point.

Barcelona, a city where culture and partying go hand in hand, where football is on everybody’s mind, and the Catalan pride flows through everything.

Barcelona Spain City Guide Why You Must Visit VIDEO

Barcelona is for most people THE PLACE to visit – shopping, sun, partying – Barcelona really has everything.

We both have been there before, and it was great to come back and see everything from a different perspective a few years later.

If you are traveling to Barcelona Spain see our video and Barcelona Spain City Guide.

Spending 24 hours in this city is intense, but you really get the best of all worlds.

In many Barcelona Spain city guide books list toppPicks for a day out Barcelona, Exploring Barcelona by Car – Barcelona Day Trips or to spend a fun weekend.

Barcelona Spain City Guide

Barcelona Spain
Barcelona Spain City Guide

Start The Day With Barcelona’s “Favorite”

A good start of the day is visiting the masterpiece of Gaudí, La Sagrada Família.

The catholic church has been under construction since 1882, and is currently scheduled to finish in 2026.

What’s interesting about the church is the variety of design.

So many different architects with completely different thoughts.

The present design is based on reconstructed versions of the lost plans as well as on modern adaptations.

Seeing this is something you wouldn’t want to miss, and the best time to see it is in the morning around 8.30, when you will find the morning light giving you the opportunity for the best photos! 😉

architecture along Passeig de Grácia

Gaze at Gucci and Gaudí

Admire the amazing architecture along Passeig de Grácia.

This is also the major shopping street, so if you can afford some shopping you’ll find some awesome shops.

But as a backpacker, you do best in just doing some window shopping 😛 – it’s actually quite nice as the shops are designed really cool with modern designs, ponds and aquariums inside.

On this street you can also see Casa Batlló by Antonio Gaudí, which is my favorite house.

Being built over a century ago (1877) it’s still modern and “before” today designers.

Another building by him is Casa Milá, one of the few buildings open for the public!

Barcelona Spain City Guide

Barcelona Coffee and News Papers

Have a cake and “cafe con leche” at Café d El´Opera, a café with history dating back to the 18th century.

You get that old musky feeling sitting at this café which is a favorite by locals, but lately talked about more in Barcelona Spain city guide books as well.

Find it in the middle of La Rambla.

Wander Through Las Ramblas

Las Ramblas is one of the most popular districts in Barcelona.

Wander through the winding roads and enjoy some of the best people watching in all of Spain.

Have a ball, but remember to watch out for pickpockets.

Rumble down La Rambla

Stroll down La Rambla and watch the human statues and amateur artists.

Drop by the mercato La Boqueria on the way and buy some fruits and stuff for a picnic by the harbor later in the day.

Here you can find the freshest food, and melt in with the locals who come here to shop their groceries, or enjoy a coffee.

Go The Fundacio Joan Miro

If you love to climb, you can’t miss the Fundacio Joan Miro.

This hill is right near the middle of the city and is chock full of amazing art.

You can easily spend the entire day marveling at the art that you will find here.

See An Iconic Architectural Monument

The Santa Maria del Mar is one of the most beautiful structures in all of Barcelona.

It’s an architectural miracle full of impressive design and plenty of stained glass.

Visit this wonder and you get a glimpse of some very masterful stone craftsmanship and some incredible glass work.

Check Out Some Amazing Art

You will not run into any shortage of art in Barcelona, but one place that you don’t want to miss is the Museu Nacional D’Art de Catalunya, which is known for its galleries of Romanesque art and some of the rarest masterpieces in the world.

It is truly not to be missed on your trip to Barcelona.

Pickup a Barcelona Spain city guide book so you don’t miss anything.

Peek on Picasso Paintings

Visit the Picasso museum, the most popular museum in Barcelona, and for a good reason.

It is the most extensive collection of Pablo Picasso, and the museum is beautifully put in 5 medieval palaces.

You find over 3, 500 works, and it includes all from old school books his “blue period”.

Visit Barcelona’s Beaches

Barcelona has some of the most amazing beaches in the world because they are full of life and fun.

Enjoy the sun and surf, and then head to the local beach side restaurants for some amazing Spanish cuisine.

Barcelona Beach

Siesta in the Sun

This will not be in many Barcelona Spain city guide books.

Walk along the harbor with a gelato, sit down by one of the benches or at the beach and have the lunch you bought from the market.

If you have brought your swim wear along then you can go for a quick dip – but don’t put your head under the water, you can get bad eye infections from it… trust me I know 🙁

Wander around the Old Barrio

Check out Barri Gótic, the old part of town, and do some shopping in the boutiques.

Many of the building date back from medieval times and all the way to Roman settlement.

Wander along these winding streets and soak up the feeling of old Barcelona.

If you haven’t had enough of churches you can have a look into the Cathedral of Santa Eualia.

Bow Tie Bartenders and Cocktail Expertise

Have a cocktail at Barcelona’s oldest bar “Boadas” (since 1933), a hang out place for famous people like Hemingway and Juan Miró.

The bar is just off la rambla (Carrer del Tallers 1), but could be quite tricky to find since it’s very discreet with its red little door, showing no sign of being a place where the bartenders wear bow ties…

They don’t have a menu, and don’t expect a website any time soon under this century…

Tapas Time

tapas at La esquinica
Time for some dinner.

Have some tapas at La esquinica, a favorite by the locals with good quality for a good price.

Be there before 9pm if you want to avoid standing in a long line waiting for a table.

It’s quite a bit away from La Ramblas, but you can get there with metro, get off at Vilapicina or Virrei Amat.

The restaurant is in the middle of Fabra I Puig street.

Price range between 10 – 20 Euro.

Get lost in Wonderland

Sip on a sangría when wandering through the rooms in “El Bosc de les Fades”, a pub design from fairy tale.

It’s part of the Wax Museum, and inside there are big sleepy hollow trees, caves, waterfalls and fairy figures.

I really liked the place since it was pretty special, and the atmosphere is great.

You find it in the south end of La rambla, Passatge de la Banca, 5, next to the Wax Museum.

Bar hop in Barri Gotic and El Born

Time to check out some more bars.

There are so many bars to choose between in Barcelona, and you will probably end up in a completely different bar than planned, but hanging around in Barri Gotic and El Born areas are probably the best.

It Ain’t Over Till The Fat Lady Sings

The bars are lined up one next to the other down by the harbor and beach., and you can party all night long until the morning.
Maremagnum
In the shopping center Maremagnum there are quite a few bars and dancing, it doesn’t give you a very authentic feeling but is a lot of fun.

Maremagnum is half a shopping center and half a nightclub center, and there is everything form Techno to Salsa dancing in the clubs and pubs lined up next to each other in the mall – other fun clubs are Catwalk and Baja beach club.

Catwalk has two floors, R&B upstairs and techno downstairs.

The vibes are totally different between the two stories, and so are the people on the floors.

Downstairs they have robotic go go dancers and the place looks more hip, while you can find that Latin vibe on the second floor.

Baja beach club is a fun club for backpackers and single people.

The location is awesome, right on the beach, and it’s not very sophisticated with topless bartenders and relaxed dress codes.

If you like dancing to the good old hits that everyone sings along with the lyrics, this is the place for you.

Another bar where travelers and backpackers meet up is Travel Bar.

This is the meeting point for those who have arranged barhopping, which is a pretty hectic drunken party group wobbling from pub to pub during the night.

If you have a spare day in Barcelona

In case you have a spare day, make sure to check out one of the two hills surrounding the city – Tibidabo and Montjuic.

Tibidabo

A hill with the best view over Barcelona, with restaurants and a quite special theme park.

The fun park is the oldest in Barcelona, and is a lot of fun since many of the attractions go over the steep hill.

Like when sitting in those spinning chair, it goes over the edge!

The theme park retains most of the original rides, some of which date to the early 1900’s.

Montjuic

Check out the view when swimming in the Olympic pool.

Remember to bring some food and towels along!

After a dip in the pool visit the fortress or a café and enjoy some more of the view.

However, the most fun is probably the ride up there in the cable car.

Barcelona vs. Madrid – Which Do You Prefer?

Barcelona Spain City Guide INFOGRAPHIC

Barcelona Spain is a fabulous destination for tourist’s European Trip seeking a cosmopolitan experience.

Its long history united with the many diverse cultures that shaped its growth make it a fascinating place to explore.

Wandering through its ancient, winding streets, it’s easy to speculate that perhaps mythical Hercules really did found the city.

Kudos to him if he did.

Barcelona sits on a particularly lovely piece of real estate overlooking the Mediterranean.
Infographic 10 Things About Barcelona Spain
In every niche, Barcelona Spain skillfully balances the traditional with the cutting edge.

You’ll still find the 13 white geese in a cloister at the Barcelona Cathedral, but you can also dance the night away at the Antilla BCN Latin Club.

If your salsa and merengue aren’t up to snuff, be sure to hit the Antilla on a night when they’re giving dance lessons.

Barcelona Spain boasts a fabulous Metro underground train system, but it’s a wonderful city for walking too.

Perhaps the best walking experiences happen along Las Ramblas. Start at one end at the Plaça Portal de la Pau, which features a monument to Columbus, and make your way to the Plaça de Catalunya, which is widely considered to be the city’s heart.

As you ramble, take in the portrait painters, the flower sellers and the fabulous cafes with mouthwatering menus.

Eat and drink to your heart’s content.

Recommendations from Barcelona Spain city guide books

You’ll need the strength to give the shopping in nearby Portal de l’Àngel the attention it deserves.

As you stroll, you’ll see incredible examples of gothic architecture mixed with stunning examples of the modernism movement.

Choose between masterworks by three of Barcelona’s most celebrated architects who were locked in bitter rivalry for years.

Piled up one after the other, you’ll view all three in the Manzana de la Discordia before casting your vote for which facade is the most impressive.

One of the architects, Antoni Gaudi, is usually thought to have won this particular fight.

The battle between innovative architects was not the first nor the last war Barcelona has witnessed.

Modern tourists may experience some of the area’s dark history by visiting Refugi 307.

In the late 1930s, Franco’s army began a series of air raids against the city.

The terrified public rallied to protect themselves, building extensive shelters underground.

Refugi 307 is one of these.

It’s part of the larger Museu d’Història de Barcelona, a particularly impressive museum that seeks to encapsulate the city’s more than 2,000 year history.

It’s easy to spend hours wandering among the archaeological finds and royal palaces on the site.

Perhaps no other attraction in the city so beautifully captures Barcelona’s complex past.

Of course, Barcelona Spain is also a wonderful place for relaxation.

While historians have said that the city existed for many centuries “with its back to the sea,” that perspective has definitely changed today.

A visit to the glorious Harbor front is a highlight for many visitors.

Wander the boardwalks and take a dip in the Mediterranean under a faultlessly blue sky.

It’s the perfect way to cap off a day in Barcelona.

Check out companies such as Apartments in Barcelona which offer rentals all over the city, not only near the main sights.

Barcelona vs. Madrid – Which Do You Prefer?

Top 4 Places to Satisfy your Sweet Tooth In Barcelona

The winter weather certainly leaves you seeking shelter in cafés and craving something warm and toasty!

Barcelona’s winter months can be chilly but there’s something you can do about it and Satisfy your Sweet Tooth

Find the narrow and curving street Carrer de Petritxol in the Barrio Gótico and let the fun begin.

Here you’ll find many signs that read, “Xurros amb Xocolata” which at first is quite difficult to read.

In Catalan “X” is pronounced like “Ch”, so you can read chocolate and churros and your day just got better.

What are Chocolate & Churros?

Churros are simply fried dough sprinkled with a heavy hand of white sugar.

The hot chocolate is provided for dunking these tasty sweets.
Satisfy your Sweet Tooth In Barcelona
The hot chocolate is served in a mug, but it is not easily drinkable.

It’s not a liquid consistency beverage like you may be used to.

Rather it’s a thick chocolate as if they simply melted bars of chocolate into a mug with a splash of milk.

The traditional location of enjoying this afternoon snack is on Carrer de Petritxol in the barrio Gothic.

The first 3 recommendations are all located on this small street.

Dulcinea: Carrer de Petritxol 2

Dulcinea has been making hot and sugary churros with chocolate since 1941.

Dulcinea is named after the Don Quixote’s lover in Miguel de Cervantes’ novel.

Here the dunking chocolate could be described as a dark chocolate.

It is not overly sweet and closer to a liquid consistency similar to Hershey’s syrup.

Granja la Pallaresa: Carrer de Petritxol, 11

Similarly Granja la Pallaresa has been serving customers since 1947.

The churros are bend in the shape of raindrops and are drenched in sugar.

This dipping chocolate is rather dark as well, but a bit sweeter.
Granja la Pallaresa

Petrixtol-Xocoa: Calle Petritxol, 11

The final chocolate and churro choice on Carrer de Petritxol is called Petritxol.

It is new and skillfully creates a modern twist on this timeless classic.

Founded in 2010, it’s a cute and cozy shop that bakes cakes and pies as well as the required classics.

Other than the cute décor, the chocolate makes this place irresistible.

When the mug of dipping chocolate is delivered to your table you will quickly notice a difference in color and consistency.

Here the chocolate is thicker and milkier.

This makes it much easier to scoop the chocolate with your churro, it makes less of a mess with dripping as well.
chocolate and churro choice

Sampaka: Consell de Cent 292

Up in the Example neighborhood there’s a world famous chocolatier called Cacao Sampaka who makes a whole new sort of chocolate and churros.

This classy establishment is located just off of Rambla de Catalunya and is often quite crowded.

The chocolate they offer is called Aztec chocolate.

This is a spicy & runny version of dark dipping chocolate.

It has quite a kick, but if you’re willing to be adventurous, try this chili powder specialty.

Barcelona – 6 Tips for a Non-Guidebook Experience as a Local

Las Ramblas, the Nou Camp, the Sagrada Familia… absolute classics in Barcelona, of course, but how many times can you really do them?

There comes a time when you just can’t face being hurled and jostled among crowds of tourists anymore and when you seek something different, something fresh, something that other camera-clad-Joes don’t know about.

For the curious traveler, the undiscovered side of a city is an exotic lure oozing with possibilities, and Barcelona is certainly a place where these curiosities can be fulfilled.

The true essence of Barcelona is far from sangria under the sun.

It has a real Catalan core, an undeniable artistic flair and local cuisine that’s simply to die for.

So, say so-long to Gaudí, knock the Boqueria on the head, and get to know a Barcelona far from what you may have seen before!
Las Ramblas Barcelona

A couple of blocks of goodness in Barcelona

First time visitors to Barcelona will more often than not head straight for Las Ramblas and when hunger strikes, to restaurants on said street or on those leading just off it.

Those in the know however, wouldn’t dream of it, and instead of heading down from Plaça Catalunya will head directly up from it, into the swanky neighborhood of Eixample.

Here you can find a stretch of blocks lined with fabulous cafés and restaurants where locals while away a few hours over a glass of wine, some top notch tapas or a slap up meal!

Carrer d’Enriq Granados is one street in particular that’s not to be missed for some great local dishes.

Live like a local in Barcelona

If you’re really looking to immerse yourself in Barcelona’s rich culture then you need to get in among its people.

And for those who want to live like a local during your stay in Barcelona, then there’s really only one choice for your accommodation: renting an apartment.

Hostels are all well and good, but getting a real feel for Barcelona doesn’t have to include sharing a bathroom with 10 other people.

Choose to stay in your own, comfortable, home-from-home and soak up the real-life atmosphere of neighborhoods like Barceloneta, Gràcia and Horta-Guinardó.

You can even stay in a 19th century building or simply enjoy the perks of stepping out onto the street and buying ingredients from the local market or taking a wander through reams of Catalan boutiques and quaint bars.
Raval Barcelona

For a night of bohemian beverages

When the stars come up, those in search of a night out full of artistic fancy, bo-ho ambiance and a crowd of cool cats head to Carrer de Joaquin Costa in the riotous neighborhood of Raval.

Love it or hate it, the once red light district of the city has made of lot of effort to spruce itself up lately and is now home to some fantastic bars.

Quirky, colorful, unique, and perfect for those who’d rather gossip than boogie, this is the ideal place for a bit of nitty gritty Barcelona.

City cycling to the ins and outs

There are endless tours available around Barcelona these days, cycling tours being particularly popular at the moment.

But how about breaking free from the others and discovering the city by yourself.

There are some great companies such as Green Bikes, which offer rentals on an hourly, daily or even weekly basis for very reasonable prices.

You can hire yourself a pair of wheels and enjoy a leisurely tour of the Catalan capital’s beautiful neighborhoods, pausing where and when you like and discovering Barcelona off the beaten track.

Cycle straight past the others and head into the unknown world of the wonderful, real Catalan capital.
Cycle Barcelona
If you’d rather have a guide to explain the sights, but are still looking for something a little bit different, companies such as Steel Donkey Bike Tours offer some really good trips around the lesser-known attractions of Barcelona.

They can tailor a tour to you, and often stop for snacks at some local hangouts, too.

This one’s great for a true taste of the real Barcelona.

Chill out with a coffee in hipster-ville

Gràcia is perhaps Barcelona’s ‘coolest’ area, with an endless supply of vintage and curiosity shops, quirky cafés and snazzy eateries.

Think smoothies, think carrot cake, think cute squares surrounded by unique bars and shops selling anything from yoga mats to trinkets and you have Gràcia sussed.

Full of young people, this pretty neighborhood has a lively atmosphere and a truly arty, cosmopolitan vibe.

Despite its proximity to the city center however, Gràcia is generally undiscovered by tourists and has a village-like, local feel to it, ideal for a wander and a wonder!
Gracia Barcelona

Barcelona A view to impress

Tibidabo and Montjuïc mountains are popular attractions with visitors to the Catalan capital thanks to their fantastic views over the city.

Few tourists, however, are savvy to the existence El Carmel bunker.

This secret remnant of the Spanish Civil War sits on top of one of the highest hills of the city and offers arguably the best (and calmest) views of Barcelona.

Forget hoards of tourists queuing for the best photo spot, and think locals with cheese, bread and plastic cups of red wine, watching the sun go down over their beloved home town.

So next time you hit Barcelona, why not walk in the opposite direction to every other visitor?

You’ll sure be in for a whole new take on the vibrant capital of Catalonia!

Top things to do in Barcelona

Barcelona is a city that is close to my heart, I really adore it, have been there so many times, and think it has so much to offer during the summer and never gets boring.

Shopping In Barcelona

Shopping in Barcelona

There are so many different types of shops and areas, all from the big shopping complex El Corte Inglés and fancy luxury shops to little boutiques in the street corners.

Shopping is great along the Passeig de Grácia, but I have to say that I enjoy the streets in Barri Gotic more:

Plaça de Sant Josep Oriol, Carrer de la Portaferrissa and Carrer de Ferran are my favorites, and should definitely be in the top list of things to do in Barcelona.

Things To Do In Barcelona

Wandering The Streets in Barcelona

Getting lost in the maze of alleyways is one of my favorite things to do in Barcelona, because you’ll be guaranteed to stumble upon something special.

Barcelona is like candy for the eyes, it’s a beautiful city with so many old amazing buildings and streets, just wandering these narrow little streets, admiring the architecture as well as visiting some churches is something you can spend a whole day doing.

The style is pretty but still rough and ‘worn’, and I really like that.

You’ll also find that Barcelona has some of the most impressive architecture in Europe, with Casa Milá, Casa Battló and the world famous church Sagrada de familia, by the praised artist Antoni Gaudí.

Also make sure you visit Park Güell, a very special garden complex with architectural elements by the same artist.

Things To Do In Barcelona In Summer – Take a Day trip

Maybe this doesn’t have much to do with things to do in Barcelona itself, but enjoying a day away from the hustle and bustle is always nice, and there are some really nice places just outside Barcelona, like Sant Pol for example, which is only about half an hour away from the city.
Magic Fountain In Barcelona
The train ride along the coast is also a beautiful trip.

Another day trip would be to spend a whole day at Mount Juic.

As visiting this place is one of the local’s favorite things to do in Barcelona, it tends to get very busy in the weekends.

You can swim in the Olympic pool, have a picnic in the park and enjoy the view over the city.

If you stay until the evening the fountain Font Mágica puts up a light show.

Try Barcelona’s Local Cuisine

One of the best things to do in Barcelona is try the local cuisine and sit by a cafe to do some people watching.

There are many restaurants offering what Barcelona is famous for Paella.

There are a lot of tourist traps, so the best way to avoid them are to steer away from the touristy streets.

5 good places that serve Paella:

Lombardo, on Rambla Catalunya 49

Pitarra, in the Barrio Gotic, on Calle Avinyo 56

Can Majo, in Barceloneta, on L’Almirall Aixada 23

Sete Portes, on Passeig Isabel II 1

Can Ros, also in Barceloneta, on L’Almirall Aixada 7

There are also a lot of cosy little cafes to visit, and during the sleepy siesta hours I love to spend a few hours relaxing at a small cafe with a coffee and good company.
Barcelona is famous for Paella
I like the cafes in the old town especially, there are some very nice cafes in the old town square.

Party in Barcelona!

Barcelona is one of the best party cities I’ve ever been to, and the nightlife is something not to be left out on any list of things to do in Barcelona.

There are bars and clubs everywhere, and people are in party mood every day of the week.

Here are a few highlights for a wonderful weekend in Barcelona

A weekend in Barcelona will guarantee anyone to have a great time.

Barcelona has something for pretty much everyone, from incredible architecture; golden beaches; tasty tapas; world-famous night life; historic cobbled streets; top museums; and Spain’s most successful football club – it really is a MUST-SEE place for everyone to visit.
Weekend In Barcelona
Wrap all of this up in some warm Mediterranean rays and a good-time atmosphere and you start to get a picture of what Barcelona is all about.

Also the many low cost flights and cheap Barcelona hotels have really brought down the costs for a weekend in Barcelona, away in the Catalan capital, allowing more and more travelers to enjoy Spain’s most exciting port city.

Explore the Old City of Barcelona

Barcelona’s Ciutat Vella (“old city” in Catalan) incorporates all of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, including the labyrinth of streets that make up beautiful Barri Gòtic, the Gothic Quarter.

This atmospheric neighbourhood boasts some of the most impressive Gothic architecture in Europe, with narrow lanes leading to fountains, pavement cafés and quaint squares.

Stroll down Las Ramblas

Stroll down Las Ramblas
Barcelona’s most famous thoroughfare is, of course, Las Ramblas.

It’s the place most tourists gravitate towards first, and return to throughout their stay to get their bearings.

With the buzzing El Raval’s nightclubs and cabarets on one side, and historic Barri Gòtic on the other, Las Ramblas is lined with tourist-oriented restaurants and offers a great, if expensive, spot for people-watching.

Laze on the beach

Barceloneta ('Little Barcelona')
At the end of Las Ramblas, the Barceloneta (‘Little Barcelona’) neighborhood has been ;transformed over the past decade from its poor fisherman’s roots into a huge entertainment area and yachting harbor.

It’s home to Europe’s second biggest aquarium; Olympic Port’s famous ;nightclubs; and Parc de la Ciutadella, a city park with its own zoo and museums.

Nearby, you can catch some rays on the 1100-meter-long stretch of beach, or stroll along the boardwalk to find seafood restaurants and cool cafés.

A perfect place to spend a few hours on your weekend in Barcelona.

Admire Gaudi’s striking architecture

Barcelona is famous for its impressive architecture old and new, but particularly for its collection of buildings by Antoni Gaudí (1852–1926), one of Spain’s most famous architects.

The famously incomplete Sagrada Família is one of them: a huge Roman Catholic church which most people either love or loathe, but either way it leaves an impression.

The building’s immense spires provide the city’s most iconic landmark, and are best seen illuminated at night.

Another stop on the Gaudí trail is Palau Güell, a palace full of interesting architectural features right up to its impressive roof terrace topped with strange chimneys.

On Passieg De Gracia you can spot two Gaudí buildings: Casa Milà, with its bold, wavy facade; and Casa Batlló, with its distinctive skull-like balconies.

At Park Güell in Gràcia, the tell-tale bright sculptures, architectural features and colorful mosaics dotted about the park quickly give away the fact that it was designed by Gaudi; meander along the paths uphill and you’ll also be rewarded with a panoramic view of the city.

Visit Barcelona’s famous stadiums

weekend in Barcelona
Barcelona is a sporty city, having hosted the 1992 Summer Olympics and some of the 1982 FIFA World Cup, but it’s best known for its football team: FC Barcelona.

Fans can’t miss a visit to the club’s home, Camp Nou, which is the largest stadium in Europe – remember often games are later in the evening so you can enjoy dinner beforehand!

And if you’re more interested in seeing where the Olympics took place, head to the city’s other big stadium: Estadi Olímpic Lluís Company’s, perched on a hill overlooking Barcelona’s harbor.

Hope you have an amazing weekend in Barcelona!

Barcelona Spain City Guide

We’re in Barcelona now, and we’re going to check into and explore Barcelona.

Ok we’re up nice and early in Barcelona, and we’re standing outside the Sagrada Familia.

It looks really cool.

Apparently this cathedral has no straight lines, just corners and Nothing is quite straight.

It’s designed by Gaudí, and apparently he hated straight lines, so even the towers are sort of leaning.

You can see that in his other buildings as well.

He’s got two or three other places around town which were built before the cathedral, and they’re all curvy and wobbly.

Yeah, soft I think.

We’re standing outside the cathedral, and we were thinking of going inside, but the line is just too long.

There’s a line right around the whole road, the whole block here.

They say if you come to Barcelona, if there’s one thing that you should see, it is this, but we’ve only got one day here so we can’t spend that whole day waiting in line.

Plus he actually designed the cathedral to attract the people to come in so the most beautiful part of the cathedral apparently is the outside.

It is pretty cool.

I love these sculptures and these designs out front. But like we said, we haven’t got time to wait in line all day long, and if it’s this long line now It’s just going to get worse.

So we’re going to head off now to La Rambla is next.

Now we’re on La Rambla, the main walking avenue in Barcelona.

There’s a lot of things going on, I don’t think Ok, it’s pretty chaotic down here.

This is the main walking avenue in Barcelona, and they’ve got buskers, musicians, and guys trying to sell you squeaky stuff.

Let’s walk down and see what other adventurous crazy things are going on the street.

We’re outside La Boqueria Market.

They’ve got some great Spanish food here so we’re going to go inside and try to find some lunch.

Ok, and it’s potato with?

Garlic oil, cheese and ketchup.

So we’re going to try these patatas bravas, a typical Spanish entrée.

You can eat it as part of a tapas, you have this, you have a little bit of other stuff as well, you make into a meal.

It’s potatoes with garlic oil and cheese and then ketchup.

I don’t know how you’re going to eat these things.

It’s really good, real cheesy.

It’s a slice of potato, cheese sauce, cheese on top, tomato sauce.

Oily too.

Perfect.

Really good.
Barcelona Spain Why You Must Visit VIDEO

Why You Must Visit Barcelona Spain More Than Once

First, get a Barcelona Spain city guide books.

After Lisbon, we headed to Barcelona, one of the proudest cities in Europe – I say proud because its people ADORE it.

Many of them are very strict on separating themselves from the rest of Spain.

My uncle, who is born in Barcelona and has lived in Catalonia for all of his life – is one of them.

He, along with many many other Catalan people, want Catalonia to become independent from Spain.

I can understand why Barcelona’s people love their city:

Set between two mountains where you can overlook the city, right by the ocean with its own beaches, it’s a pretty unique place to live.

I have been there quite a few times before, so I was looking forward to going there again.

When we went there during our Europe Train Challenge, there was so much that I wanted to show you readers in our video.

But we only had 1 day, and while we were filming, the realization came stronger and stronger: it’s hard to show Barcelona, because you really have to simply experience it!
Barcelona Spain Gothic Quarter
Being in the Gothic quarter, walking along the Passeig de Grácia – there is something so beautiful here that really doesn’t show in photos or video.

In the videos, the walls look dark and ugly, full of Graffiti – but when you’re there you see the small balconies with flowerpots, laundry and how narrow the streets really are.

So I just had to face it – Barcelona is a place you simply have to visit to understand, and I find that to really experience it, you will just have to let Barcelona embrace you.

The best way to really get to know Barcelona would be to rent one of the many City Base Apartments and stay there for a bit longer, maybe we’ll do that next time. 😉

While people line up for hours to go inside Sagrada Familia, the true Barcelona experience is around the corner in a small bar.
You Must Visit Barcelona More Than Once
In the past, both me and Nathan have some crazy memories from this place, quite different from each other’s.

A few years back Nathan arrived with a broken ATM card, no money and slept in a park which he later found out had many “horror stories” of what went on there during the night.

I didn’t get much sleep either, because last time I was there I partied all night for two weeks straight.

Coming back I had a whole different experience of the city, one more sober and perhaps not so “amazed” by everything.
Barcelona Magic Fountain
This time I appreciated different things than last time.

Last time I was there, the “friend of a friend” we stayed with really wanted to show us the magic fountain, but we never got around to see it, and were too busy shopping.

This time we went out of our way to see it, and it was just amazing.

The whole area around the Magic fountain was beautiful, and you could spend a long time enjoying the views from there.

This time I felt like my eyes and ears were wide open, taking it all in, learning and seeing Barcelona from a fresh perspective.

What I learned from our time there is that it’s always worth returning to the places you visit to see how your impressions have changed since last time.

Trip To Barcelona Spain, need a Barcelona Spain city guide book

When planning a trip to Barcelona, the planning strategy is as important as the plans themselves – if you don’t go about it the right way, for example when it comes to booking hotels in Barcelona, you risk turning your holiday into a nightmare.

Barcelona Spain City Guide to What To Do in Barcelona

Here are a few guidelines to help you plan your trip to Barcelona.

This is both the easiest and most difficult part of planning a trip to Barcelona – it is easy because there are simply so many things to see and do, but it is that very reason that also makes it so hard.

Many people tend to be over optimistic about their planning and squeeze too many attractions into a short time period, making their plans either exhausting to follow through with or downright impossible.

Barcelona is a huge city, and while the subway makes it easy to get around, you will want to spend more time above ground than stuck in the subway stations so a great option is to rent a car for the duration of your trip – just make sure your travel insurance covers it otherwise if you want dependable European breakdown cover.

Give yourself some space between the attractions to simply wander and explore the streets that aren’t in the guide books, check out boutique shops and have a rest and order a drink in one of the many small bars.

What To Eat in Barcelona

In a city popular with tourists, it is easy to fall into tourist traps and eating over priced food in bad restaurants.

The number one rule to avoid this is to avoid the most touristic areas – you don’t need to go very far from the tourist streets to find better value and good food, and it’s so worth the extra effort.

Barcelona offers some really exciting food for food lovers, and a nice quick snack when you are out and about on your sightseeing is the patata omelette sandwich which is available pretty much anywhere.

The baguette is filled with a cold potato omelette which both fills you up, and gives you a taste of the Catalan cuisine.

Where To Stay in Barcelona

We’ve posted a fair amount of articles about Barcelona, and for a good reason – it is one of the most popular destinations in Europe, and it’s also one of our personal favorites.

But what many people find difficult when planning their trip is to find any good accommodation, which is something we haven’t focused on much in our previous articles.

Barcelona can be a tricky place when it comes to accommodation, and many who don’t do any research and just pick the first best at the cheapest price available, risk ending up in a terrible hotel and ruin their holiday completely.

To avoid getting disappointed with your accommodation, choose something safe.

One of the most popular and reliable hotel chains is HCC Hotels, a hotel chain which offers high-quality accommodation in excellent locations in the city center.

By choosing a well known hotel and reading other peoples’ reviews online from their experiences, you are more likely to find something you actually enjoy.

Hope you enjoy your trip to Barcelona!

Things To Do In Barcelona Attractions – Barcelona Spain City Guide

Among the cities that you must visit in Europe, Barcelona should be in the top five – situated in the northeast of Spain, in the region of Catalonia (Catalunya in the Catalan language), it is one of the most enchanting cities in Europe.

With a population of 1.6 million people, Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain, after Madrid.

It is the political, economical and cultural center of the region of Catalonia.

Depending on your starting point you can reach Barcelona by sea, air or land, but most tourists travel by plane, which is usually the best choice since there is an abundance of cheap international flights available to Barcelona from all over Europe.

For most people who visit Barcelona, the strongest impression is the beautiful architecture, designed by Antonio Gaudi (a famous architect), numerous museums, Catalan pride, and, last but not least, sport.

Visiting Sagrada Familia Church (Church of the Holy Family) is a must, when in Barcelona – it’s one of the most beautiful churches in the country, a masterpiece which is still yet to be finished.

If the works by Gaudi fascinate you, make sure you also visit the nearby town of Figueres – a beautiful ancient town where the Salvador Dali Museum is located, 140 km to the northeast of Barcelona.

While there are some beaches in Barcelona, its neighboring beach towns (like Lloret del Mar, Cadaqués, Blanes and many others) on the Mediterranean coast of Costa Brava, are definitely worth a visit for beach bums, as the beaches there are much nicer.

Before leaving on any day trips however, make sure you walk down the most famous street in Barcelona, La Rambla.

It leads from Plaza de Catalunya (The Square of Catalonia) to the huge city beach and there are many attractions along the way – it’s always fun to stop and watch the skilled street performers performing their act in front of big crowds along La Rambla.

If you get hungry, a good place to stop for a snack is Mercat de la Boqueria, a colorful and bustling market with a long and important history.

Barcelona is one of the most loved holiday destinations in Europe, and every year millions of visitors walk the streets of the city, visit the attractions and embrace the culture.

Barcelona is one of my favorite cities to visit, because it offers such a huge variety of things to see and do.

Here are some of my top things to do in Barcelona.

Go Shopping in Barcelona

Shopping in Barcelona is fun, because there is something for every taste there.
You have the huge compartment stores like El Corte Inglés and La Maquinista, to small boutiques, high-end shopping to markets, and different types of shopping in different areas.

My favorite for picturesque shopping area is the Gothic Quarter, with its narrow winding streets, small side streets with odd shops, and squares with street markets and painters selling their art.

On the other side of La Rambla you’ll find El Raval, another wonderful shopping area with one-off boutiques I highly recommend.

Then for those wanting some more well known high-end shopping, you have Avinguda Diagonal, with Calvin Clein, Verecace, Gucci and Georgio Armani are located.

Architecture listed in Barcelona Spain City Guide Book

Barcelona has some of the most characteristic buildings in the world, the most famous being those designed by Antoni Gaudí.

His work can be recognized in different parts all across town, and they are all worth making the extra effort to visit.

Casa Batlló and Casa Mila are some very unique and interesting buildings that you will pass along Passeig De Gracia, the main avenue in Barcelona which you’re likely to walk up and down quite a few times.

Some other places you must check out are La Sagrada Familia and Park Güell.

La Sagrada Familia is the famous “unfinished church” which has a truly unique and inspiring design.

This Unesco Heritage Site is as beautiful on the outside as it is on the inside, but prepare to que up for a few hours to get in..!

Barcelona Spain City Guide to Cuisine

The cuisine in Barcelona is very unique and specific to the region of Catalonia, and Paella is among the most popular traditional foods to try when you’re in the city.

Other foods to sample are Arrós Negre (Squid or cuttlefish cooked in its own black ink) and Crema Catalana, a really tasty sweet dessert.
Top Barcelona Attractions

Barcelona is a fun, vibrant city full of life and culture.

There are enough Barcelona attractions to keep anyone busy for weeks, but if you only have a few days chances are you just have time to see the most popular and very best Barcelona attractions.

Here is a guide to the top 5 Barcelona attractions you must check out when visiting Barcelona…

La Sagrada Familia

The number one of all Barcelona attractions on peoples’ lists and in many Barcelona Spain city guide books when visiting Spain is La Sagrada Familia, the unfinished masterpiece by Antoni Gaudi.

The construction of this world-famous church started over a hundred years ago, and slowly but surely a new part is completed year by year. In 2012 the splendid interior was completed and opened to the public.

They hope to finish the exterior in 2026 for the 100th anniversary of Gaudi’s death in 1926.

Prepare for a long line waiting to get inside, but it’s worth the wait.

La Rambla

Perhaps one of the most famous avenues in Europe, Barcelona wouldn’t be the same without La Rambla.

Although it’s just a street, it has still become part of the Barcelona attractions that people must visit when they’re in Barcelona.

A long boulevard lined with trees, flower shops, cafes and street buskers, it’s a busy street with lots going on.

During the summers this street can be very crowded, so hold on to your bags and watch out for pickpockets.

Staying close to La Rambla is very popular, but avoid staying right on it as it can be very noisy.

Barcelona has some great deals on accommodation in the city center that’s worth checking out.

Magic Fountain

A free and fun event that goes on every evening of the week, the magic fountain at montjuic is a lovely way to finish a day in Barcelona and one of many popular Barcelona attractions for people of all ages.

Accompanied to classical music, the fountain puts on a show with lights and water moving in beautiful shapes to the music.

Picasso Museum – Barcelona Spain city guide

While there are many great museums in Barcelona, the Picasso museum is by far the most popular of the Barcelona attractions related to Picasso. Home to many of his sketches and early works, it is a place where you will find the more unknown of Picasso’s paintings.

Park Güell

Finally, another beautiful artistic place to relax and rewind, Park Güell is a favorite among both locals and tourists.

Designed by Gaudi, this park which is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, was actually planned to be a private and exclusive residential garden city with 60 houses on the grounds.

The plan failed due to lack of interest, and in 1923 it was donated to the council and became the public park we can now enjoy.

If you’re looking for a Barcelona holiday rental there are many cozy ones to choose from in the area around Park Güell.

It’s a popular area as the park is a nice breathing spot where you can go for your morning run or relax after a full day of sightseeing.

Barcelona Spain city guide

(photo credit: 1 1 11oscar alexanderAndrey BelenkoPablassollamnudds, Harshil.Shah 1 2 3 4)

Bergamo Italy – Things To Do in Northern Italy

Updated:

City Guide – Bergamo Italy – Bergamo Italy is a city in northern Italy, about an hour away from Milan.

It’s known as the city of art, and it certainly is beautiful in a rare and unique way. 

Unfortunately it’s often overlooked by the nearby Milan, but Bergamo itself is really a world class destination.

It is a great stop over for those heading to or from Milan or Venice to stay for a day or two.

We have spent some time there and are excited to be able to share this guide with you and help you explore the best areas of Bergamo Italy.

Bergamo Italy
Bergamo Italy

Bergamo Italy – The City

Bergamo Italy is divided into two parts – an old part, Cítta Alta (upper town), and a new more modern part, Cittá Bassa lower town.

The old part of town is really something extra and should be your main destination.

When you step out of the little ‘funicular’ that takes you up the hill from the newer part of town, it straight-away feels like you’ve traveled back in time.

Bergamo Italy has a long history that dates back about 2000 years.

It used to belong to the Venetians, so the architecture is very similar to what you can find in Venice.

We were immediately enchanted by the medieval character of this city.

The best way to enjoy Bergamo Italy is to simply walk along the street.

The old town is pretty small, so you will probably see everything by just walking around.

It looks old but very well preserved.

It’s a cozy feeling strolling around on the winding, narrow cobbled stoned streets, looking into little chocolate and cheese boutiques, wineries and cafés selling their own specialties.

All shops and restaurants blend in well with the houses.

They really look like they have been there since forever, and many of them almost have.

In restaurants they have old photos showing the same restaurant in the 40’s and older.

The city is set on a hill with a great view over the newer part of Bergamo (Citta Bassa), and (on a clear day, which we never had) a view of the alps.

Bergamo Food

The food prices are pretty much the same in all restaurants.

Margheritas are about 4 euro, and pizzas with more stuff on it about 8.

But it is so worth it. I never thought I would ever think a pizza tasted fresh, let alone healthy..!

What wasn’t a huge success to me were the cakes…

In every café window you see these yellow little Polenta cakes in all sizes.

They look delicious, but as most cakes and chocolates in Italy it looks better than it tastes.

Talking about that, one thing here that does look better on the inside than outside are their cathedrals.

I’ve never seen so many incredible churches all squeezed into such a small place.

Usually a city tends to have one nice church and a bunch of boring looking ones.

In Bergamo, every church we went into was an overabundance and extravagance of gold, beautiful really old paintings and architecture that would make anyone become religious.

If you are to visit only one cathedral, let it be Il Dumo and colleoni’s chapel at the Old Square in the old town.

This is an urban church and inside you will find the architectural marks of the different periods that came one after the other since the time of the construction.

They started already in 600 BC building a small one, and from then they built more and more and the church grew larger and larger.

Piazza Vecchia

This is the old square, in the heart of Citta Alta (the old town).

Here you’ll find the 400 year old library Biblioteca Civica, the 12th-century Venetian Gothic Palazzo della Ragione (Court of Justice) and the 12th-century Torre Civica (Civic Tower).

If you walk up the 230 steps to the top of the 54m tower you’ll get a 360-degree view of Bergamo.

The 15th-century bell rings 180 times at 10pm each night to commemorate the town’s medieval curfew.

Getting Around Bergamo

It’s quite pleasant getting around by foot, walking from the train station to the funicular takes about 15-20 minutes.

Otherwise bus number 1 goes from the train station to the funicular that takes you up to Cítta Alta (the old town).

The funicular connects Citta Bassa with Cítta Alta.

For 2,5 Euro you can get a day pass where you can travel with all buses and the funicular as much as you like for a whole day (24h from the time you purchase it).

The price isn’t much more than a one way ticket, so it’s most likely the best deal.

You can also buy a range of other tickets, such as 3-day passes or 1 day passes including airport bus.

You can buy these tickets at the air port ticket office, the bus station and from ticket machines for Bergamo Italy.