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City Guide

Skane rapeseed fields

If you’re anything like me, you’ve already been dreaming about the places you’re going to visit in 2020 for months now. Or maybe more you’re more of the last minute planner. I’m personally a bit of a mix of both. I’ve got my “big trips” planned (Vietnam, Italy, and Russia/The Baltics), but I like to be a bit more spontaneous with weekend getaways. Even still, everything always seems tentative until the flight is booked. And I’m constantly turning to other bloggers and travel writers for inspiration. 

The world is a BIG place. And our modern travel culture is making it bigger and more accessible than ever before. If your bucket list if forever growing like mine, I’m hoping this list can help you narrow it down or inspire you to visit somewhere you hadn’t considered before.

With that being said, I can’t stress enough that this 10 places to visit in 2020 list is not designed to be a literal checklist, and likewise, travel should not be about simply just crossing off locations. I’m personally not a fan of the concept of country-counting. This list is designed to inspire you to think long and hard about which destinations resonate with you. Which fill your travel aspirations. Or inspire you. And choose to really VISIT them. To immerse yourself in the culture. And travel as slowly as your schedule allows. Because this… this is when you’ll experience the magic of these spots.

10 places To Visit in 2020

Detroit, Michigan

I know what you’re thinking… Really, Detroit? You choose ONE American city to add to this list and it’s DETROIT?!

Yes, Detroit. If it isn’t on your radar, it should be. The city has been reborn and in the coolest way possible. It’s a city fill of innovators, thinkers, and doers. Of people who are obsessed with their home and are eager to welcome travellers. The city has endless things to do – sports, music, cultural events, and a killer, world-class restaurant and bar scene. And a unique vibe that pulsates through the city that you can only truly understand by visiting. If you are adding one new American city to your travel list 2020, Detroit should be it.

I’ve written all about Detroit here. Give it a read.

Belt, Detroit

Porto, Portugal

Portugal has become a hot travel destination in recent years… and I’m not just talking about temperatures. While I see others more commonly flocking to the south – to Lisbon and the Algarve – northern Portugal seems to be missing from many agendas. 

Well, in my opinion, this is a mistake. Sure, Porto is a bit more “rustic” than its bigger sister Lisbon. But it is full of beautiful views, culture, and things to do. Here, you’ll spend your days sipping port wine along the waterfront, searching for tile-clad facades around the city, and eating LOTS of good food. To me, Porto seems more local. And in ways, more authentic, then Lisbon (although I realize this is a potentially controversial statement). Plus, it is the gateway to the Douro Valley – Portugal’s wine country.

You can read more about Porto here. 

Bavaria, Germany

What do you think of when you think of quintessential Germany? For me, it’s dirndls, lederhosen, and drinking the biggest steins of beer in massive beer halls. Sure, Berlin is super cool and trendy. But have you spent time in Munich and southern Germany? This is where German culture comes alive (and you don’t have to visit during Oktoberfest to experience it).

Roaming around southern Germany in 2015 still remains one of my favourite trips ever. From the small towns of Bamberg and Rothenburg ob der Tauber, to the busy streets of Munich, the history of Nuremberg, and the beautiful landscapes of the Bavarian alps – southern Germany has it all and I frequently talk about returning there one day.

Milos, Greece

What’s your favourite Greek island? When you ask this question to most people, you’re bound to hear Santorini or Mykonos. For me, the answer is easy: Milos. 

Milos was one of the best kept secrets of the Cyclades until Vogue named it one of the top five destinations to visit in 2017. Since then, I’ve seen it pop up everywhere. I even recently read a Travel & Leisure article that suggested it was the best island in all of Europe. So, I guess the secrets out?

Even still, you MUST go. Because I too think this has to be the best island in Europe (or at least in the top three). It has diverse landscapes, beautiful beaches, and some of the best food I’ve ever eaten. You’ll truly think you were transported to paradise.

Read more about Milos here.

Toronto, Canada

What do you picture when you think of Canada? Mountains? Lakes? Nature?

Well, Toronto doesn’t have much of that… but it still has SO much to offer. A booming culinary scene. Museums. Art. Culture. Sports. If you’re looking for a city escape in 2020, Toronto is a great choice. From the hip Queen Street West neighbourhood, to the bustling Entertainment District, Toronto is almost like a mini-NYC (although not that mini… it is home to almost 3 million people and rapidly growing).

And, bonus! The Canadian dollar is weak right now, which means it’s a fairly cheap getaway for all my American and EU readers. 

The Bay of Kotor, Montenegro

Looking for the perfect summer getaway? A spot that looks just like Croatia but without the crowds? Well, Montenegro is your spot.

Easily one of the most beautiful places I have ever been, the Bay of Kotor in Montenegro has all the ingredients for a perfect summer getaway. Turquoise waters, mountains, historic cities – and very few crowds, even in the summer months. Montenegro is pretty new to the tourism game, but I can’t imagine it will stay this way for long. Which is why 2020 is the perfect time to pay a visit to this stunning coastal country.

Thinking of visiting Montenegro? You can read more about it here.

Perast Montenegro

Copenhagen, Denmark

I love Copenhagen. But, if you’ve been following me for awhile, that shouldn’t be a secret. To me, Copenhagen isn’t like most other European cities. It emulates this special coziness that is so classicly Danish. The city makes you feel at ease, and at home within seconds. It’s not too big, yet big enough to offer lots of things to do. And let’s not forget the food scene. If you’re looking for a capital city that is unique to many others in Europe, Copenhagen is your perfect match.

Just a word of caution: You might leave wishing you were Danish (because I know I do every single time).

You can find more on Copenhagen here.

Kraków, Poland

Kraków is a city that truly surprised me in 2019. I knew the city had a lot of history, but I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. With endless WWII history tours and exhibits, an innovative culinary scene (I’m a huge advocate of the pierogi-only diet while visiting Poland), and beautiful sights, you could spend several days in Kraków and have endless things to do.

As a bonus, it is by far the cheapest destination I went to this year. So if you’re looking for a money-saving destination, this is your spot.

Read all about Kraków here.

Ghent, Belgium

Talk to most travellers and Belgium isn’t typically on their list. Or, if it is, there’s a good chance they are headed to the fairytale town of Bruges. And while Bruges is truly beautiful (and I loved it there) – Ghent is also beautiful. And cool. And wildly underrated.

A largely university town, Ghent is as quaint as they come. With historic buildings lining the old town, dozens of shops to pop in-and-out of, and a fun nightlife, Ghent embodies Belgian charm. If you’re looking for a smaller town to explore in 2020, this is the perfect destination to add to your list.

Read about Ghent here.

Cuberdon in Ghent
How to spend 24 hours in Ghent

Skåne County, Sweden

You didn’t think you’d get through this list without listing my new hometown in southern Sweden, did you? While some may say I am a bit biased, I have truly been blown away by southern Sweden. While most people flock up to Stockholm, I am making it my personal mission to encourage people to visit Skåne (the county that Malmö resides in).

It is full of small historic towns (read about those here), the beautiful university town of Lund, Malmö (Sweden’s third-largest harbor city), and the most beautiful beaches. If you’re looking to do something a little bit different in 2020, you should absolutely visit southern Sweden.

All kinds of Sweden content can be found here.

Pretty streets in Gamla staden, Malmö
Simrishamn Beach in October

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I’d also love to hear your list of 10 places to visit in 2020. Add it in the comments below!

10 Places to Visit in 2020
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it isn’t a secret that Stockholm is traditionally considered a summer city. With long sun-filled days, colourful facades, and mild temperatures that are suitable for roaming the city streets well into the bright evenings. In contrast winter is cold, it’s dark. So why would anyone want to visit Stockholm in the winter? 

Well, I happen to think that Stockholm is a great winter city – and I am going to tell you exactly why. The chilly temperatures provide the perfect atmosphere to get cozy. It is significantly less busy compared to summer months, which means you likely won’t be dodging other tourists. And there are plenty of indoor activities to keep you busy in the event that weather isn’t cooperating. 

Bundle up & strap on your most comfortable boots. here's a complete city guide to visiting Stockholm in the winter.

Things to do in stockholm in the winter

(Or in any season, really!)
Visit Stockholm's old town: Gamla Stan

Let’s start with the most obvious spot first: Gamla Stan. Aka, the city’s old town.

Gamla Stan is a beautiful district right in the heart of Stockholm where you can get lost in the maze of streets. Venture away from the main streets and you’ll find the coziest narrow alleyways and beautiful warm-toned facades. 

Tucked away in the middle of Gamla Stan you’ll find Mårten Trotzigs Gränd, which is a very narrow staircase alleyway filled with graffiti, and it is worth checking out.

Lastly, don’t forget to check out Stortorget, or “Big Square,” which is the old town’s main square. It is lined with beautiful buildings (and patios in the summer months). 

And  if you happen to be there around the holidays (like me), Stortorget is home to a charming Christmas market. It is definitely one of the smaller markets I’ve been to, but worth checking out and grabbing a cup of glögg (mulled wine). It is absolutely beautiful see, backed by the colourful buildings around the square.

Explore my favourite neighbourhood: Södermalm

Södermalm, also commonly (and affectionately) known as the “hipster” area of Stockholm, is just plain cool. Think of it as the Brooklyn of Stockholm, hosting all the best restaurants, bars, trendy stores, and coffee shops.

I’d recommend getting off at Medborgarplasen Station, with Götgatan as your starting point, and explore from there. Along Götgatan, you’ll find all kinds of cool shops to browse, which also serve as the perfect escape from the cold if it happens to be chilly outside.

After that, venture through the pretty streets of Katarina-Sofia, where you’ll find some of the best restaurants in the city (more on that below). Another cool stop is Soda Nation, a boutique soda shop with all kinds of unique sodas from all over the world (where I indulged in a “Jul” or “Christmas” soda).

Museum Hop

Okay, so you’ve spent plenty of time roaming around outside and it’s starting to get a bit chilly. Why not take it indoors to one of Stockholm’s many museums.

My personal favourite museum was Fotografiska, a museum that features various photograph exhibits throughout the year. The work we saw was so unique and creative, and this was easily a highlight of my time in Stockholm. It costs 135 SEK (roughly 13 EUR or 14 USD) per person, and is worth every penny. I highly suggest visiting at nighttime (the museum is opened until 11PM on weekdays and 1AM on weekends) and take some time to visit the on-site bar for a drink. They often also host live music and other events – you can find out more details on their event calendar.

Stockholm is filled with many other museums, such as Moderna Museet, the popular Vasa Museet, and the ABBA The Museum for all the Abba lovers out there. We didn’t have time to visit any of these this time, but I guess that just means we’ll need to go back and visit again soon.

step back in time at Skansen

Skansen is the worlds largest open-air museum, home to homesteads, animals, and shops that are supposed to represent the whole of Sweden. Here, you’ll be transported back in time as you walk the grounds of this museum. My personal favourite part: Watching the wolves play! They wrestled around with each other and looked just like the most adorable little pups, and I was just left wishing I could hop in the pen and play with them (even though that is obviously a VERY bad idea).

We visited Skansen during December for their annual Christmas market, which was easily the best Christmas market in Stockholm. There was live Swedish music, glögg, and tons of stalls to browse. They even had a stall where they were brewing beer over an open fire next the the stall – and the beer was delicious (you can see a picture of them stirring the malt below).

Visit Stadsbiblioteket

Stadsbiblioteket, or the Stockholm city library, is a stunning library. In the centre, you’ll find a large round room with a dome-shaped roof and floor-to-ceiling books. It is seriously breathtaking, and I felt like I was living out my childhood dream pretending I am Belle from Beauty and the Beast.

Explore the famous Stockholm Tunnelbana (metro) art

The Stockholm Tunnelbana – the city’s metro system – has gained notoriety all over the world for it’s famed art installations. Since 1957, artists have been commissioned to revitalize many of Stockholm’s oldest metro stations. The results are SO COOL and have become a tourist attraction themselves.

We visited five different stations during our time in Stockholm and my only regret is we didn’t have time to see more. Here’s the five we visited:

T-Centralen

Arguably my favourite, I loved the design of the artwork at T-Centralen (the central station). The station is full of trains and metro lines, and is quite overwhelming. But, just keep your eyes peeled for the Blue Line and make your way toward that to find this masterpiece. 

T-Centralen art Stockholm
Stadion

Stadion is also on the Blue Line and features a huge rainbow over the metro station, and lots of bright colours. I found this was the most difficult spot to photograph because it happened to be the most busy with other tourists. But can you blame them? Look at it! 

Solna Centrum

Solna Centrum was another easy Blue Line favourite for me, with bright red walls and green tree drawings scattered throughout the metro station.

Kungsträdgården

Kungsträdgården was the most unique station we visited. The main colour of this station is green, but it also has really unique checkered/pixelated patterns throughout. Similar to the others, this can also be found  on the Blue Line.

Rådhuset

Rådhuset was our final Blue Line stop and it dominates with a bright orange cave-like interior. 

You’ll notice all of our stops were along the Blue Line, which makes it easy to hope from one to another. If you were to venture off on other lines, it would take a bit more time. So, if you’re in a time crunch like me, you could hit up these five stations in a short amount of time.

Additional Tips for Exploring The Tunnelbana

When should you visit the Tunnelbana to get the best pictures? Honestly, when I saw everyone posting empty pictures of these spots online, I assumed they were visiting during the early hours of the morning. However, we were taking the metro at all times of the day (morning, evening, mid-afternoon) and there were always breaks in traffic and opportunities to take photos. Just have a little bit of patience, and the opportunity will arise (although I never had to be patient for more than a couple minutes to snag the shot).

Is it difficult to shoot in the dark metro stations? YES. You’ll notice many of my photos are quite grainy. I’ve done my best to edit to remove the grain, but in some cases it was super difficult.

If you’re looking for even more stations to discover, Visit Stockholm highlights fourteen of the most beautiful stations in this article.

Where to Eat in Stockholm

There is not shortage of amazing restaurants in Stockholm. When researching where to eat, and polling friends, the result was a massive list of recommendations, ranging from cheap eats, to traditional Swedish cuisine, to international eats, and everything in between. Below you’ll find where I’ve ate so far. But stay tuned, because this list is bound to keep growing.

Best Affordable Eats in Stockholm: Lådan

Lådan is a quirky little beer and small plates joint close to Stadsbiblioteket. It features really unique craft beers (I had a Cola-flavoured one) and affordable small plate food options that range from sliders to tacos to mac ‘n cheese. It’s the perfect spot to grab a quick bite for lunch.

Best Meatballs in Stockholm: Meatballs for the People

If your looking for a spot to try Sweden’s arguably most famous dish, Meatballs for the People is a great spot to do it. They offer all kinds of meatball dishes, ranging from classic with lingonberries and cucumber (which I opted for), to more trendy dishes like “The Hipster” moose meatballs (that Sebastian ordered).

Best Italian in Stockholm: Café Nizza

A cozy Italian joint in Södermalm, Café Nizza offers tasty dishes and a really nice atmosphere. I particularly loved their homemade pastas and mussel appetizer.

Best Unique Dinner in Stockholm: Schmaltz Bar & Delicatessen

If you’re looking for a unique spot to have a mid-range dinner in Stockholm, this is the place. Schmaltz Bar & Delicatessen is the tiniest (and I mean TINY with only five tables), coziest little restaurant with a menu inspired by New York Jewish delis. If you want to eat here, make a reservation because it’s popular.

Best Fika in Stockholm: Kaffe

I know what you’re thinking – a coffeeshop called “Kaffe” (which translates to “coffee” in English)… how original. BUT, hear me out. Kaffe is a coffeeshop in Södermalm that offers exceptional coffee and treats. The atmosphere is welcoming and offers the perfect atmosphere to grab a window spot, people watch, and enjoy fika. I loved this spot and I am confident that if I lived in Stockholm, I would be a regular here.

Best Cocktail Bar in Stockholm: Tjoget

Tjoget was named to the “2019 Best Bars in the World” list – and I can understand why. I indulged in their award-winning cocktail, affectionately referred to by the bartender as a “Nordic pina colada” with beetroot, ginger, and coconut flavours. It was DELICIOUS.

Best Hotel in Stockholm

Hotel Tegnérlunden

I had the absolute pleasure of staying at this perfect Stockholm city centre hotel and I could not recommend it more. You can find my full Hotel Tegnérlunden review in my blog post here.

Getting Around Stockholm

Typically I prefer to walk everywhere on vacation. I am a firm believer that this is how you see and experience the city in the best way. I’ve walked all over Stockholm (in fact, on my most recent trip I walked over 40,000 steps in two days). And I came across so many hidden gems. 

However, if the weather isn’t cooperating during the winter months, Stockholm and extremely well connected by Tunnelbana – Stockholm’s metro system. Despite walking all over the city, we used the metro a lot while visiting in December because it gave us an opportunity to see more in a short 48 hour window (plus, escaping the cold temperatures was an added bonus!). A 24-hour metro pass sets you back 130 SEK per person (roughly 27 USD or 25 EUR). This may seen a bit pricey, but in my experience, it is worth every penny (especially because it gives you the opportunity to see the Tunnelbana art installations that I mentioned above).

If you’re coming into Stockholm via Arlanda airport, you can reach the city centre by Arlanda Express in a quick 20 minutes. The price point is a bit alarming at 579 SEK round-trip per person (that’s roughly 60 USD or 55 EUR), but it is easily the most efficient way to get to/from the city. Plus it uses green energy, which makes it eco-friendly. This is Sweden, after all – which means nothing is cheap. 

It's time channel your inner Swede and embrace Stockholm in the Winter

Pack your thermals, and you’ll be all set! There really is a never-ending amount of things to do in Stockholm in the winter,  and I very much recommend visiting this time of year (especially in December when the city is lit up with Christmas lights!).

If you’re travelling around Scandinavia, check out my Denmark and Sweden content. And read about all the best things about Sweden while you’re at it to help you get excited for your Scandinavian adventure.

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The Best Things to do in Stockholm in the Winter.
Things to Do in Stockholm
The Best Christmas Markets in Stockholm
The Best Subway Stations in Stockholm
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It’s no secret that I love Copenhagen. It’s truly the definition of a world-class city. And there is a seemingly never-ending list of unique things to do in Copenhagen. Despite having spent so much time in the city, my “things I want to do in Copenhagen” list just keeps on getting longer and longer… and longer. 

I first visited Copenhagen in December 2017, well before I made the cross-globe move to Scandinavia. Within minutes of being there, it was love at first sight and I knew I had found one of my favourite cities.

There’s something extra special about Copenhagen – I come alive every time I visit. I’m not sure if it’s the contagious spirit of the locals. The canals that fill the city. Or the fact that the city is quite literally littered with bike lanes that draws me in.

Maybe it’s the food culture, which is some of the best in the world (more on that here, where I talk about all my favourite Copenhagen restaurants). Or the fact that even in the coldest months, you’ll find locals sitting outside under cosy blankets having drinks with friends – you know, that Danish “hygge” concept that everyone raves about (it’s a real thing, btw).

I guess it’s all of those things. And more. I could visit the city one hundred times – I could even live there – and I am confident that it would never, ever get old, and I would never stop finding things to do.

Having been to this city countless time, I’ve been wanting to write this guide for a while. But, I’ve kept putting it off. There’s so much to say about this city, and I’ve felt like I didn’t even know where to begin.

But here it is – in all it’s very comprehensive glory. The goal of my Copenhagen guide is to stretch far beyond the typical touristy suggestions and dive a bit deeper into some of my favourite local gems (although it will include some of the touristy things too, because they surely can’t be missed).

my favourite unique things to do in copenhagen

(and a few touristy ones, too)

VISIT NYHAVN

Okay, I know I said this was going to be a non-touristy guide, and this is the most touristy suggestion ever – but hear me out. Nyhavn is the most iconic spot in Copenhagen. When tourists and locals alike picture Copenhagen, they picture the colourful buildings lining the canal. And that’s why this spot cannot be missed on any itinerary.

With that being said, yes, Nyhavn is touristy. And expensive. But it’s also super beautiful. I rarely visit Copenhagen without at least stopping by and I am blown away every time. 

Here’s my suggestion for Nyhavn: visit, take a few photos, and leave. I wouldn’t recommend eating or grabbing a drink at the restaurants that line the canals. They are overpriced, and the quality pales in comparison to many of the other culinary gems that scatter the city (more about some of those gems here).

Okay, so now that we’ve gotten that touristy suggestion out of the way, we can move on…

Nyhavn, Copenhagen
Actually, not quite yet because i have one more nyhavn suggestion.

And that is if you only have a short time in Copenhagen, take a boat cruise from the Nyhavn harbour. They will take you all over Copenhagen, and you’ll get to take in the city from a unique perspective: on the water. It’ll also take you by the famed Little Mermaid Statue (which is not worth going out of your way otherwise because it is, quite frankly, overhyped). So… consider it two birds, one stone. 

roam around the best neighbourhoods in copenhagen

Dare to stray far away from the city centre and you’ll find the true, unmistakable charm of Copenhagen. Some of these neighbourhoods may seem “a bit out of the way,” but I promise you can’t miss them. So, put on some comfortable shoes and start exploring (or take local transit – but some of the best hidden gems are bound to be discovered en route). Here’s my favourites:

VESTERBRO

I love this neighbourhood of Copenhagen. Like, seriously, I could live here. Located southwest of the Central Station and Tivoli, it’s home to the most beautiful winding streets, shops, and some of the most fabulous restaurants in Copenhagen. I could wander here for hours. 

The Meatpacking District

Located next to Vesterbro, Copenhagen’s Meatpacking District is a warehouse area has been converted into an industrial foodie’s paradise. It features rows of side-by-side restaurants – some of the best in the city- with patios and live music in the warmer months. It is the perfect spot to grab lunch or a beer in the Danish sun, or just people watch because the area is bound to be bustling.

See Also: My complete foodie’s guide to Copenhagen.

Christianshavn

The beautiful canals of Christianshavn are some of my favourite streets to roam in Copenhagen. Lining the canals there are tons of charming colourful apartment buildings, coffee shops, and stores to pop into and browse. 

Nørrebro

Home to one of the most Instagrammable spots in Copenhagen, Superkilen Park, and easily some of the best restaurants in the city. This is the spot to go for the best vintage shops, trendy international eats, and other scandi-design stores.

See Also: My list of the most Instagrammable places in Copenhagen.

wander out to REFFEN

Easily one of my favourite spots to visit during the warmer months, Reffen is the Nordic’s largest street food market and is home to shops, food trucks, craft beer, and lots of live music.

I wrote more about Reffen here in my post about all the best places to eat and drink in Copenhagen.

unleash your inner child at tivoli gardens

Okay, I know. This is also “touristy.” But you cannot visit Copenhagen and not visit Tivoli – one of the world’s oldest theme parks. Even if rides aren’t your thing, buy a park pass and wander around. I promise it is worth seeing.

Tivoli is beautiful any time of the year, but Christmas at Tivoli is extra special. If your schedule allows it, pay a visit during their Christmas market. Drink some mulled wine, enjoy the epic Christmas decorations, and be transported back in time.

VISIT A HIPPY COMMUNE: FREETOWN CHRISTIANIA

I’ve spoke with many tourists who have said they were afraid to visit Christiania. And I was like whaaaat? Because if you’re letting fear dictate your decision to visit Christiania, you’re seriously missing out.

This “Hippy Commune” is home to roughly 1,000 residents and it operates as a freetown (in fact, they have a sign at the exit that says “You Are Now Entering the EU” because they operate independent of the EU). Here, you’ll find stall of locals selling homemade goods, others busking in the streets, and many others selling marijuana along the “main street.” It is such a unique cultural experience that everyone should see when they are visiting Copenhagen. 

Tip: Leave your camera in your bag in the “shopping” area, or else the locals will ask you to put it away and delete the photos.

Christiania, Copenhagen

TAKE IN SOME OF COPENHAGEN’S COOLEST LANDMARKS

There are so many cool spots in Copenhagen to walk past, take some photos of, or just simply admire. Here’s a few of my favourites.

Magaestrade

This winding narrow road is beautiful. The colourful buildings, the way the light shines around the bend of the street. This is my favourite street in Copenhagen, without a doubt. Now, I’m just left trying to figure out how I can purchase an apartment there so I can wake up with this view out my window everyday.

Rosenborgs slott

This castle looks like it is straight out of a fairytale and is surrounded by lavish green gardens. Also nearby is the Botanical Gardens, which is another great spot to check out if you’re in the area.

Superkilen

This super unique urban space and skateboard park is full of street art, and is a really cool spot to roam around and take pictures (it’s so good, I featured it in my most Instagrammable places in Copenhagen guide).

Church of our saviour

This beautiful church with a spiral tower sits atop Christianshavn and is truly a sight that can’t be missed. Admire it from the exterior, or, if your’re feeling brave, head inside and climb to the top of the spiral tower for some of the most beautiful views in Copenhagen-

The Round Tower

If you’re looking for another spot to view Copenhagen from atop, The Round Tower offers the perfect opportunity to see the rooftops of Copenhagen. The walk up to the top of the tower is also very unique, with a steep winding ramp replacing steps.

eat your way through the city

Copenhagen is one of THE BEST food cities in the world. So, if you’re anything like me, your itinerary with include LOTS of great restaurant stops. I wrote all about all my favourite restaurants and bars in Copenhagen here. Check it out if the inner foodie in you needs some inspiration.

take a day trip from copenhagen

One of the best things about Denmark is how small the country is. This means that there are tons of day trip from Copenhagen options. Here’s a few of my favourites.

kronborg castle

Surely you’re familiar with the story of Hamlet. Well, did you know that the real life Elsinore is only an hour away from Copenhagen by train? Kronborg Castle is located in the Danish town of Helsingör (Elsinore in English) and is home to cute cafes, beautiful waterfront views, and this gorgeous castle. It is absolutely worth a visit if you have time to spare in Copenhagen.

Louisiana museum

The world-class Louisiana Museum is located in Humlebaek, Denmark, which is able 35 minutes away from Copenhagen Central. This is one of my favourite museums I have ever been to, because I found the exhibits very unique. If you’re into modern art, you can’t miss this place.

Yayoi Kusama Louisiana Museum
take the train across to Sweden

Malmö, Sweden, where I live, is about 40 minutes by train from Copenhagen Central. There is so much to do in Malmö, you could easily spend 2-3 days there. But, if you’ve only got one day to spare, it is a perfect day trip from Copenhagen. The city centre isn’t very big, so you can see so much of the city in one day (and you can check Sweden off your bucketlist too!).

I’ve wrote a lot about Malmö and southern Sweden on the blog. You can check out everything here to help you plan your day trip.

Where to stay in Copenhagen

Copenhagen is full of amazing hotels. Because I live so close, I have only stayed overnight in the city once. However, I have had visitors who have stayed in the city as well, and here are my top two hotel recommendations. Both hotels are close to the central station, so they are easy to get to with luggage, and are within walking distance from many of the must-sees on my list.

Axel Guldsmeden

We stayed at Axel Guldsmeden during my first visit to Copenhagen and the property was beautiful. The whole hotel is Bali-inspired, and is very eco-conscious (they even gave us our own recycled bamboo toothbrushes!).

Axel Guldsmeden Hotel
Scandic palace hotel

My parents stayed at the Scandic Palace Hotel when they came to visit – and wow. This place was so old and historical, and beautifully maintained with gorgeous crown mouldings and winding staircases. If possible, ask for a room with a balcony facing the square and you will be welcomed with the most incredible views of the city.

I wasn't kidding when i said there was a lot to do in and around copenhagen.

This city is one of my favourite cities in the world for so many reasons. And I know if you visit, it will be one of yours too!

If I missed anything in this guide, add it to the comments below. And if you’re visiting the city, don’t forget to check out all my food and drink recommendations at the best restaurants in Copenhagen.

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A Guide to Non-Touristy Copenhagen
A Copenhagen City Guide
Things to Do in Copenhagen
The Best Hotel in Copenhagen
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Warsaw Old Town

Warsaw was never a city that was on my radar. Despite Warsaw being the capital, whenever someone mentioned Poland, I always imagined visiting Kraków or Gdansk. In my mind, Warsaw a big city. A city that had been rebuilt after WWII. And, therefore, it was a city that lacked character or charm.

Well, I couldn’t have been more wrong.

After spending one day in Warsaw, I was hooked. And knew I needed to come back because one day was not enough (I am also thankful for the super cheap flights that guided us there, because they are the reason that this city is now my radar). I can’t wait to go back again some day – let me tell you why.

So, you only have one day in Warsaw like I did? Here’s my guide on spending one day in Poland’s Capital.

See Also: A Complete City Guide Detailing Why You Need to Visit Kraków.


GETTING TO WARSAW

Warsaw Chopin Airport: The most convenient location to fly into is Warsaw Chopin Airport, located just 20-30 minutes from Warsaw’s city centre by car. From there, you can easily reach the city centre by shuttle, cab, or Uber.

By Train: Coming from another European city? Warsaw is very centrally located in Eastern Europe and is easily accessible by train from many major European cities. We travelled by high speed train from Kraków to Warsaw in only 2.5 hours.


WHERE TO STAY IN WARSAW

If you’re looking for the best hotel in Warsaw, PURO Hotel Warszawa Centrum is your spot.

I am obsessed with this hotel. It’s centrally located, very trendy, and has spacious rooms. The details were immaculate and I still swear I had one of the best sleeps of my life in this hotel room (shoutout to the super comfy bed and some top-notch blackout blinds!).


THINGS TO DO IN WARSAW

Warsaw Old Town

To be totally honest, I was hesitant to visit the Old Town in Warsaw, because I was it was going to feel artificially pretty and lack character. The original Old Town was bombed during WWII and completely destroyed. After the war, it was completely restored to resemble the town prior to the bombings.

When you visit the Old Town, it is hard to ignore how perfect it is – much more perfect than any other city I’ve visited. However, the newness does not take away how insanely beautiful it is. The way the architects were able to recreate what was completely destroyed in itself is impressive, and you can’t help feel a sense of happiness walking through the town. It is a definitive comeback story.

Climb to the Top of the Bell Tower at St. Anna’s Church

For the most spectacular views of the Warsaw Old Town, and Warsaw in general, climb up the winding staircase to the top of St Anna’s Church. I mean, just check out these views.

Łazienki Park

Łazienki Park is a huge park located right in the city centre of Warsaw. It is the perfect place to roam, especially in summer months when you can enjoy the patios and greenery.

In the park, you’ll find historical buildings, including my favourite: Palace on the Isle. This gorgeous bath house was built in the 17th century and was fortunate enough to survive the Warsaw bombings during WWII. It is a time capsule of what once was, in a city that was so brutally destroyed.

Stroll Down Nowy Swiat

Also known as “The Royal Route,” walk from the intersection at Aleje Jerozolimskie (Jerusalem Avenue) to the Old Town. You’ll pass many monuments and historical buildings along the way, as well as tons of shops and restaurants.

Nowy Swiat
Visit the Praga Neighbourhood

Located across the river from the Old Town, we fell in love with the Praga neighbourhood. Described as an “edgier” neighbourhood in Warsaw, this area used to be mostly off-limits to tourists, some would say even dangerous. But, in recent years, it has cleaned up it’s act and has rose in popularity.

The streets of Praga are lined with graffiti murals. If you love street art, make sure to check out 11 Listopada 22.

After venturing around the neighbourhood, along 11 Listopada, we stumbled upon a “parking lot” filled with tables and chairs, bars, live music, and surrounded by street art. Needless to say, this place was cool. We stop in, and ended up staying there for hours in the sun, drinking beers and listening to music. If you’re looking for this spot, type in one of the restaurants “Chmury” into Google Maps, and it’ll lead you there.


WHERE TO EAT & DRINK IN WARSAW

Best Brunch in Warsaw: Aioli

The food here was incredible, and affordable. And they have the most perfect outdoor patio seating, so you can enjoy brunch in the sun during the warmer months.

Aioli Warsaw
Best Pizza in Warsaw: Ave Pizza

If you’re looking for affordable and delicious pizza with all kinds of unique toppings in Warsaw, Ave Pizza has you covered.

Best Pierogi in Warsaw: Zapiecek

Zapiecek is a popular pierogi chain in Warsaw – and let me just say, it is popular for a reason. With options of several fillings, both boiled and fried, this places knows how to make a top-notch pierogi (and this is coming from a girl who has eaten more than her fair share of pierogi in her lifetime).

Zapiecek Warsaw Pierogi
Best Bars in Warsaw: Pawilony Nowy Świat

This is an area filled with over 20 small bars, outdoor seating, and other random vendors. It is a popular spot to grab a cheap drink in central Warsaw and offers a really cool atmosphere.


SO NOW YOU’RE READY TO VISIT WARSAW

You can find all my favourite spots in One Day in Warsaw on the map below.

Simply put: Warsaw should not be dismissed as “just another big city” when planning a trip to Poland. It deserves a lot more love then it gets. And I hope that you can find it in your itinerary to spend more than just one day in Warsaw.

And while you’re at it, don’t forget to check out my Kraków City Guide.


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Kronovalls slott in October

Autumn in Skåne is beautiful.

The cool, crisp temperatures. The changing colours. The prettiest little towns that look like they are straight out of an Astrid Lindgren fairytale (in case you’re like WHO? … she’s the famous Swedish author of Pippi Longstocking).

Over the past few weeks, I have spent my weekends exploring the Skåne region, which is the southernmost Swedish county that Malmö resides in. And it’s safe to say I’ve seen some of the prettiest landscapes since I moved to Sweden.


Here are some of my favourite autumn in Skåne photos.


ARILD

If I didn’t know better, I’d think I was walking around a movie set in Arild. It is so charming, that Travel & Leisure named this quaint fishing village it one of their “Top 25 Secret European Villages.” And for good reason – just look at how perfect it is.

Can’t Miss: If you’re in Arild, make sure to make a pitstop at Flickorna Lundgren. This spot is located in the countryside outside of Arild and was named Sweden’s best fika by Vogue. Here, you’ll be served their famous sweets and coffee while you sit in the most perfect garden setting. However, keep in mind that this spot typically closes for the season at the end of September, so make sure you check out their opening hours on their website.

After fika, don’t forget to head into the town of Arild to roam around the narrow cobblestone streets and admire the cutest little houses.


MÖLLE

Another picturesque fishing village, Mölle is a popular summer destination for both locals and Europeans, but it quiets down in the autumn months. This makes it the perfect time to visit, when you can enjoy the crisp fall weather without any crowds.


HÖGANÄS

Höganäs is home to Sweden’s famous BBQ spot: Holy Smoke. Situated again in middle-of-nowhere Swedish countryside, this BBQ spot is very popular amongst locals. They serve authentic southern BBQ that will surely make you feel like you’ve been transported to the American south, in the cosiest outdoor setting. At the end of the meal, you can even sit campfire-side and roast marshmallows.

Similar to many other places in this region, Holy Smoke isn’t open all autumn. Take a look at their website for their seasonal hours.

See Also: My guide to where to eat and drink in Malmö.


ÖSTERLEN

Österlen is a region in southwest corner of Skåne, comprised of all kinds of charming country villages. One Saturday during autumn in Skåne, we took a little trip around Österlen. We didn’t really have an itinerary, and we stumbled across some of the coolest sights.

First, was this Österlenchocklad, a little chocolate factory located in the middle of one of Österlen’s small towns. As we were driving by, we noticed the sign and made a split second decision to pull into the parking lot. And let’s just say, I am so happy we did because in this little award-winning chocolate shop, I had the best hot chocolate of my life (and lots of tasty chocolate, too!).

Österlenchocklad: The best chocolate store in Skane

Another stumble-upon location we made a quick decision to pull into was Kronovall Castle. This spot was tucked into the woods, seemingly in the middle of nowhere. It featured the most beautiful castle, including acres of grounds with hiking trails and historic buildings, like a blacksmiths shop! And with the leaves being the perfect shade of orange, this place was purely magical.


KIVIK

Kivik, the famous apple region of Skåne, is home to acres and acres of apple orchards. The most famous spple orchard is Kiviksmusteri. Kiviksmusteri produces all kinds of different apple juice and cider, and other apple goods. We loved roaming around the groups, visiting the apple trees, and taking home lots of apple goodies.


SIMRISHAMN

Simrishamn is another community in Österlen. It is located on the water and home to the most beautiful beach (with sand that a really unique shade of orange). The town itself is charming and quaint, with zig-zagging cobblestone alleyways lined with beautiful historical homes.

My only regret is that we didn’t come here in the summer to take a dip at the beautiful beach.


MALMÖ

If you haven’t caught on yet, I love living in Malmö. And Malmö during the autumn season is no exception. As the colours of the seasons continue to change, I find myself non-stop snapping pictures. And can you blame me?

See Also: My full guide to Malmö Sweden.


I told you that autumn in Skåne is beautiful. I’m feeling pretty darn thankful to be living in this picturesque county, where these quaint towns and incredible views are only a short drive away.

Travelling the world is wonderful. But with all these special spots in my very own backyard, I’m feeling really content with staying home for a while. And with so much more to discover, stay tuned for more Swedish road trips coming at ya soon!


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And if you’re living in, or visiting, Skåne, make sure you check out my Malmö Sweden City Guide.

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Fall in Amsterdam

At the beginning of November 2018, I went back to one of my very favourite cities for week – Amsterdam! I first fell in love with this city in the summer of 2015, while at the tail end of a backpacking trip across Europe. I spent three days in the city, and left feeling like I could live there. So when the opportunity presented itself to return for a week, I jumped at the chance.

Given that most people will likely not have a week to spend here, I’ve condensed all my favourite things to do in Amsterdam into a ‘4 Days in Amsterdam’ city guide that highlights all my favourite things to do [and eat!]. The goal of this guide is to provide you with less touristy, more off-the-beaten-path Amsterdam suggestions so you can fall for the city from a more local perspective.


WHERE TO STAY IN AMSTERDAM

I have stayed in three different places in Amsterdam, catering to three different budgets.

Budget: Flying Pig Uptown Hostel

I feel like every young budget backpacker has stayed at one of the Flying Pig Hostel locations in Amsterdam. I stayed here in 2015 and had a great experience. The staff provides a great atmosphere for individuals looking to meet other travellers, and there are a variety of sleeping arrangements available.

Affordable: AirBnb in Amsterdam-Oost

If you’re a fan of AirBnb’s, you’ll love Ilana’s place. Located in Amsterdam-Oost, this location a little bit outside the city centre, but I fell in love with the neighbourhood. It had an amazing food culture and opened my eyes to an entirely new area of Amsterdam that I had yet to explore. The AirBnb is around the corner from the train station for a quick 10 minute train ride to the city centre. Or, if you’re like me and prefer to travel like a local, you can easily rent a bike and ride to almost anywhere you want to go.

Mid-Range: SWEETS hotel

Have you ever dreamed of having your own private bridge house all to yourself? Well, you’re in luck! SWEETS hotel is converting bridge houses all over Amsterdam into private hotel rooms and it is beyond cool. We stay at the Beltbrug location, which was conveniently located around the corner from the trendy Jordaan neighbourhood. If you happen to be travelling to Amsterdam, this is a unique, once-in-a-lifetime experience that I would not pass up. We can’t wait to go back and stay in another location!

SWEETS hotel Beltbrug

GETTING AROUND AMSTERDAM

The best way to see the city is the way the locals do – by bike! On both my trips to Amsterdam, I have rented bikes from various Black Bike locations and would highly recommend this rental company for great service and affordable prices. If the thought of biking is intimidating to you, I assure you there is nothing to be afraid of. After all, Amsterdam is the most bikeable city in the world!

Biking around Amsterdam

Still feeling a bit too scared to go on a two-wheeled adventure? Amsterdam offers an awesome tram and train system, with daily and weekly passes available for purchase.

Finally – you can walk! The city city is accessible enough that you can walk around and see many of the most famed sights. Just put on a pair of comfy shoes and fall in love with the canals by foot.


DAY 1 IN AMSTERDAM: THE MUSEUM CIRCUIT

Amsterdam is packed with some of the world’s most famous museums. I would pick a couple that interest you and spend your first day immersing yourself in the museum culture. My top personal favourite museums also happen to be the most popular in the city – I guess they are touristy for a reason:

  • Anne Frank Museum. You cannot visit Amsterdam and not go here. Make sure to book your tickets well ahead of time, as it is always sold out.
  • Rijksmuseum. Housing some of the world’s most famous paintings, this world-renowned museum should not be missed.
  • Van Gogh Museum. Everyone loves Van Gogh. What could be better than seeing all his most famous pieces of work in one location?

FUN TIP: If you happen to be in Amsterdam during the beginning of November, Museumnacht is an annual event that gives you after hours access to some of Amsterdam’s most famous musuems. During this event, we saw the Hortus Botanicus lit up at night, visited an Alice in Wonderland-themed party at the Museum of Bags & Purses, and danced the night away at a silent disco at the Rijksmuseum. This is one of the most popular events of the year in Amsterdam, so if you plan on visiting, make sure you buy tickets ahead of time.


DAY 2: SHOPPING & MARKETS

Anyone who knows me knows that I am always on the hunt for the best shopping districts in a new city, and there is no shortage of shopping in Amsterdam. So, on day 2 of your 4 days in Amsterdam, make sure you make some time for shopping. Here’s some of my favourite places to wander during your shopping day in Amsterdam:

  • De 9 Straatjes: In my opinion, the best area to shop in Amsterdam. Features unique vintage finds and trendy boutiques along some of the most picturesque streets in the canal belt.
  • Floating Flower Market: This market features tons of booths selling the most recognizable flower in the Netherlands: tulips.
  • Sunday Market Westergasfabriek: Located in the west part of the city, Westerpark is home to an outdoor market on the first Sunday of each month. This is the perfect place to find locally-made and vintage finds. If you don’t happen to be visiting during the first Sunday of the month, I would still recommend checking out the Westerpark neighbourhood.
  • Pieter Cornelisz (P.C.) Hooftstraat: Whether you’re interested in doing some window shopping, or splurging on the designer handbag of your dreams, this street is often referred to as Amsterdam’s Fifth Avenue, and is your spot for high-end finds.
  • Jordaan: One of my favourite neighbourhoods in Amsterdam, Jordaan features some of the most beautiful canals in Amsterdam, as well as many bohemian-inspired shops and studios/galleries. I could easily get lost for hours roaming around these streets.

DAY 3: FOOD TOUR

Full Disclosure: I am normally not a fan of organized walking tours. However, the Hungry Birds tour was quick to challenge this opinion.

I knew the food culture in Amsterdam was unique, and as a self-proclaimed foodie I was determined to make sure I visited all the very best spots. So after reading amazing reviews about the Hungry Birds food tour, I decided to take the plunge and join them. After spending nearly six hours walking around the city with a small group of fellow foodies, enjoying eats that included Surinamese cuisine, hot food from a vending machine, dutch beer, fries with peanut sauce & mayo, and Amsterdam’s most famous cookies, I knew I had made the best decision in joining this tour.

I’ll highlight some of my favourite spots from the tour in the ‘Food & Drinks’ section below.

If you love food as much as I do, this is a tour that you need to take in Amsterdam. 


DAY 4: EXPLORE DE PIJP

For your last day of your 4 days in Amsterdam, you need to explore my favourite neighbourhood in the city: De Pijp.

Why do I love this neighbourhood so much? Where do I begin!

  • Albert Cuyp Market: This is hands down the best market in the city. Open seven days a week, this market has been in operation for over 100 years, with many vendors owning market real estate for several decades. Here, you’ll find the best stroopwafels in Amsterdam, fresh herring, an assortment of Dutch cheeses, produce, clothing, flowers, and so much more.
  • Fashion: De Pijp is trendy and offers some of my favourite boutiques to shop in the city. If you love fashion, you’ll love exploring De Pijp.
  • Restaurants: There is no shortage of amazing restaurants in De Pijp. Check out the ‘Food & Drinks’ section of this city guide for more details.
  • Coworking Spaces: Need to get some work done on the road? De Pijp features one of my favourite cafes/coworking spaces I have ever visited: Coffee & Coconuts

All in all, De Pijp is just plain cool. If I were to move to Amsterdam, I would want to live in De Pijp. Spend a day taking in everything this neighbourhood has to offer and I bet you’ll feel the same way!


WHERE TO EAT IN AMSTERDAM

This is easily my favourite section of this city guide because Amsterdam has an incredible food culture! We didn’t even get to scrape the surface of what this city has to offer, but here are some of the best spots I visited on my most recent trip.

  • Coffee: Craving a warm cup of joe before you start exploring? You’ll find the best coffee in Amsterdam at Scandinavian Embassy. The owners have truly perfected the craft of coffee-making and the coffee is worth the lineup [even if it is out the door].
  • Famous Cookies: Have you heard of Van Stapele? This bakery is a tourist hotspot and for good reason – the cookies are just so damn good. This small bakery only makes one type of cookie and often has a line out the door. I would recommend going early in the day, because they have been known to close early once they have met a daily ‘cookie quota.’
  • Stroopwafels: I have tried a lot of Amsterdam stroopwafels and the best can be found at Original Stroopwafels in Albert Cuyp Market. I loved them so much I recently had my boyfriend bring 12 packages home from his work trip to share with friends and family [that’s 120 stroopwafels!].
  • Brunch: Bakers & Roasters offers two locations, and is described as a New Zealand-style cafe. If you’re like me and brunch is you’re thing, this is the place to go.
  • Lunch: Do you love avocado? If so, The Avocado Show is a must-visit! Every single item on the menu includes avocado. Not to mention, everything about this place is very insta-worthy.
  • Mid-Range Dinner: If you’re looking for a mid-range dinner, with high-quality, fresh food, Wilde Zwijnen is your place!
  • Asian Fusion: Vijfnulvijf Asian Kitchen Cafe was so good, we went there twice! It was right around the corner from our AirBnb, offered a large selection of small plates, and had several allergy-friendly options [for my boyfriend who often struggles at Asian restaurants due to his nut/seed allergy].
  • Vending Machine Eats: FEBO is a Netherlands staple, and a totally unique experience. If you want to visit the original location, it can be found in De Pijp. Here, you can often still spot the inventor/owner of this fast-food chain deep frying their famous croquettes.
  • Fries: For the best fries in Amsterdam, you may need to stand in line at Vlaams Friteshuis Vleminckx. But I promise, it will be so worth the wait. If you’re feeling daring, try this Amsterdam staple: fries topped with mayo, peanut sauce, and onions, as known as ‘War Fries.’ They are surprisingly delicious!

NOVEMBER WEATHER IN AMSTERDAM

Many people warned me that visiting Amsterdam in November was a gamble, with typical temperatures hovering around zero degrees Celsius, and high risk of rain and wind. However, after spending time in the city during the busy and hot summer months, visiting during the much quieter month of November was a welcome change. I arrived with an umbrella and waterproof gear and was ready to face whatever weather came my way.

I ended up getting very lucky. With mild temperatures and sunny days, the perfect fall weather was an absolute dream. However, this is not guaranteed and if you plan to visit Amsterdam in November, the unpredictable weather is something to be wary of.


I hope you enjoyed my guide to one of Europe’s best cities! The vibe of this city is truly special, and I can’t wait to spend 4 days in Amsterdam again (hopefully very, very soon!).


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And if you’re travelling around Europe this fall (or any season really), check out my guide to Malmo, Sweden – another super beautiful fall destination!

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