A few of weeks ago my study partner Vilde and I realized that we had some extra time before we had to hand in our Master’s Thesis. We therefore decided to book a spontaneous trip to somewhere in Europe. We started looking for relaxing beach holidays, but suddenly we were planning an adventurous backpacking trip in The Balkans! As usual, I like to travel around and not spend a lot of time each place – so this time I managed to visit Macedonia, Bulgaria, Serbia and Kosovo.
Sintra is a charming town 40 minutes from Lisbon and is a popular destination for day-trippers from the capital. The town is famous for its many castles and romantic architecture, and used to be the home of Portugal’s monarchs. Today, Sintra is on the UNESCO World Heritage list and is favored by tourists. Sintra is located in the mountains, so the nature is also a reason why people go here.
During Easter, I went to Lisbon, the capital of Portugal. Going to Lisbon was a rather random choice; we wanted to visit a European city with nice weather in April, and I had never been to Lisbon. I did not have the highest expectations, but Lisbon really impressed me and fell totally in love with the city! Here are my 12 top things to do when visiting Lisbon.
Still have not decided where to go for your summer vacation? No worries, it is still time! Here are my top seven destinations for summer 2017. In this post, I will focus on European destinations – even though I love to travel as far away as possible, nothing beats Europe in the summer!
I have been to London nearly ten times, so when I went to visit a friend in February we decided that it was time to explore some other areas than the usual tourist sites. Luckily I had a local to guide me, and I got to see several new neighborhoods in the city!
Schiphol is a major flight hub in Europe as KLM has its base here. After spending hundreds of hours at airports around the world, I honestly have to say that considering how big Schiphol is, it is a very boring airport. Food is expensive and crappy, the airport is old and dirty and there is not much to do. On my way home from Israel I had 5,5 hours at Schiphol, so I decided to go into the center of Amsterdam instead of waiting at the airport. I highly recommend doing this, so here are a few practical advises and some suggestions for what you can do!
Trondheim, my hometown, is the third biggest city in Norway, located in the middle of the country. I grew up in Trondheim, and I am currently living here as a student, as it is the major student city in Norway. Lately a few friends from other countries have been visiting me, and I have gotten to explore my own city as a tourist. Here is how I would spend two days as a tourist in Trondheim!
Since I visited London for the first time when I was 13, I went back several times and I will never get tired of the city. London was the most visited city in the world in 2015 with more than 18 million travelers – that is quite a number! London has a lot to offer, and here are some suggestions for how to spend a few days in the city…
Another year has passed, and I cannot believe how fast time flies. 2015 has been a good travel year. I visited eight countries and I did several small trips in Norway. Anyhow, it does not feels like that I have been travelling much this year. Probably because I have worked or studied in another part of the world for some months every year lately – but not this year. I am still happy with 2015. In addition to travelling, I bought my first apartment, I finished my bachelor’s degree and started my master’s degree.
Here is a summary of my travel year. Where did you travel in 2015?
Long time no see! In August I started my master’s degree in economics and finance, and this fall has been full of studies, work and internships… Sadly that means no travelling (and no blogging). But, I still have one trip from September I haven’t told you about!
You know that I love to travel and explore the world. Because of this, I consider myself as quite lucky living in Norway – the most beautiful country in the world! Norway has the most amazing nature I have ever seen – and there is still so much left I haven’t seen in Norway. In September I took a break from my studies and went on a small road trip in Norway. We went to Skjåk, a small village where my grandmother grew up and where we have a cabin today. There is not much to see and do in Skjåk, but around the village there are several famous sights and beautiful nature.
In the end of August, I went to Cyprus with my boyfriend. We went to Protaras/Fig Tree Bay, and the purpose of the trip was to relax on the beach. Honestly, that was also the only thing to do in the area, as it is built for tourism and there is nothing else to see or do. The main streets are full of overpriced restaurants and souvenir shops, but it was a nice place to relax for a week. But, as the travel geek I am, I wanted to see a bit more of the island. We had planned to rent a car and drive around the country – but as I got sick after the first day, we decided to take it easy. Instead of renting a car, we rented a “buggy car” and drove along the east coast of Cyprus for one day.
After our two days in Rome we went to the town Taormina in Sicily, to visit my mum’s aunt who has lived there for decades. We were lucky to borrow her apartment, which is located in the middle of the main street in Taormina, Corso Umberto. Taormina used to be an exclusive and sophisticated holiday destination where celebrities and jetsetters went for holiday. Today, it is a very popular holiday destination for all kind of people. The town is full of tourists during the summer – you can barely walk in the main street in the evening because of the crowds. During daytime, you can see tourist groups with a guide in front of every church. Every second shop is a souvenir shop, and you find restaurants everywhere.
But – despite the hoards tourists, the town has its charm and it is full of history (it was founded in around 400 BC!). Taormina is located on a mountain terrace, and you can see Mount Etna from the town. There are many beaches in the area, which can be reached by taking the bus or the cable car.
In early August, I went to Sicily with my family to visit my mum’s aunt, who has lived in the town Taormina for decades. On our way to Sicily we decided to stay a couple of days in Rome, as none of us had been there before. Would we be able to see most of Rome’s famous attractions in only two days? It seemed impossible, but with some planning we managed to see everything we wanted to see – and more!
Our two days in Rome were very busy. We walked around 30.000 steps a day – we didn’t take any public transport or taxi during our stay (most sights are in the same area). We didn’t spend much time at each place, so we will still have plenty to see and do if we go back to Rome. As I am not the biggest fan of museums, and they are quite time consuming, we chose not to go to most of the museums in Rome. In between the sightseeing, we enjoyed Rome’s famous gelato, pizza and pasta. I will publish a post with a few restaurant recommendations in Rome later.
Ljubljana, the capital of Slovenia, is such a lovely city! I didn’t have any expectations to the city, but its beauty overwhelmed me. The old town is adorable, with dozens of cafés, bars and restaurants. There are no famous attractions in Ljubljana – but there are a few you should check out. One of them is The Dragon Bridge – an old bridge with dragon statues, which was built more than 100 years ago. Another attraction is Ljubljana Castle, which offers a great view of the city.
The last stops on our road trip in Slovenia were the coastal towns Piran and Portoroz. We went to this area of Slovenia because we wanted to relax by the sea. Slovenia only has a tiny coastline, so Piran and Portoroz are close to the neighbor countries Croatia and Italy. The Italian culture has especially influenced the area, as it earlier was a part of Italy.