There is so much to see and experience in Copenhagen that it can be a challenge to choose from all the options available. That is where we come in! Our tour guides have all the local secrets but if you don't get the chance to get them directly on our tours, we'll give you a little sneakpeek here!
Our favorite secret spot in the city is the Royal Library Garden, hidden between the Royal Library, the Tøjhus Museum, ChristianIV's Supply Depot and Christiansborg Palace. The garden has been known for being one of the most tranquil spots around the city center. So, if you want some peace and quiet, away from the noise and the busy city life, this is the place to go.
Freetown Christiania, also known as Christiania, is a community of about 850 to 1,000 residents. Christiania is a mix of homemade houses, workshops, art galleries, music venues, cheap and organic eateries, and beautiful nature. However, it is still a society within a society but the area is open to the public.
Manfreds is a favorite among locals as it emphasises on 'farm-to-table'. Which means that every day they offer harvest fresh vegetables from the farm and they are served on the same day. As fresh as it can be!
Smørrebrød is a traditional open-faced sandwich that usually consists of a piece of buttered rye bread topped with commercial or homemade cold cuts, pieces of meat or fish, cheese or spreads, and garnishes.
The Copenhagen Harbour Baths are a system of recreational bathing facilities along the waterfront. The first and best-known is located at Islands Brygge but we also recommend Havnebadet Fisketorvet. Jump in for a cold swim!
If you want to get the best possible view of the city and the best photo you should head to Tårnet, the tower of Christiansborg Palace, as you will be able to see Copenhagen from a completely new angle. This is Copenhagen’s highest tower and a visit is free of charge and it is open every day (except Mondays).
If you are visiting Copenhagen and get a chance to try any of these recommendations, please let us know how it went. We love to hear what people think of our recommendations and even suggest other stuff. One man's secret is another man's treasure, right?!?
Helsinki is a remarkable city for sacred architecture. A significant majority of Finnish people identify as Christian, and the national religions are the Evangelical Lutheran Church, to which about 70% of the population belong, and the Finnish Orthodox Church which represents just over 1% of Finns. Christianity came to Finland in the 11th century, prior to which paganism was the local religion of choice.
Within Helsinki there is a huge number of places of worship and in these spaces one can meditate, pray or enjoy these architectural splendours for their aesthetic appeal. Visiting Helsinki will naturally include seeing some of these beautiful buildings and spaces in the background, but they should also be visited in their own right as wonderful additions to any sight-seeing around the city.
Somewhere really special and very unique to Helsinki is Temppeliaukio Church, also known as the Rock Church. Located in the Töölö district, this Lutheran church was completed in 1969. What makes it particularly distinctive is that it is actually hewn out from the local rock, and therefore has a cave-like feel to it (although with a very modern architectural feel as well). Natural light pours in and illuminates this sacred space through almost two hundred glass skylights, in the centre of which is set a huge copper dome. The rough carved walls of the Rock Church give it fantastic acoustics and so it’s commonly used as a concert venue also. If you get there early in the morning, before the crowds (this is one of Helsinki’s biggest tourist attractions), you should be able to find a peaceful spot to sit and enjoy the sunshine streaming in through the skylights.
Designed by a Swedish architect in the Gothic Revival style, St. John’s Church, or Johannes’ Church, has a distinctly Swedish feel to it, and its two towering steeples would not look out of place in Sweden’s cities. Incredibly bright and airy inside (at first surprising given its dark neo-Gothic exterior), this church is also a popular concert venue owing to its excellent acoustics. Also of theLutherandenomination, Johannes’ Church is one of the largest churches in Finland, and you will be sure to find a quite place for reflection upon one of its 2,600 seats.
The white wooden Old Church, built in the neoclassical style, was completed in 1826, and is the oldest church in Helsinki today. It stands proudly in a park which houses an old cemetery and several memorials and sculptures. The park is also known locally as the Plague Park, because it is where bodies of victims of the plague in 1710 were buried. Both the church and its park are the perfect place for quiet reflection amid the hubbub of the bustling city.
A place to sit and enjoy both solitude and peace is the Kamppi Chapel. Also called the Chapel of Silence, this sacred space was completed in 2012, and makes it one of Helsinki’s most modern churches. Its bare wood architecture makes it a truly stunning building, and anyone with even the vaguest interest in architecture will be left breathless by both the simplicity and depth. It is made entirely from alder and spruce wood, and natural sunlight lends a fresh and warm glow to the chapel. The only regular service at the chapel are Friday evening prayers, and they are well worth attending.
Perched proudly atop a hill overlooking the city, the Uspenskin Cathedral is a magnificent sight. It is Eastern Orthodox and its architecture reflects this, a beautiful ornate and eye-catching building that would not be out of place in St Petersburg. Indeed, this cathedral was designed by a Russian architect and completed in 1868, and is the largest Orthodox Church in Western Europe. The Cathedral is home to a magnificent collection of icons, complete with beautiful and striking interior. These, in combination with a breathtaking view out over the city, make Uspenskin fantastic place to visit on your travels to Helsinki.
On one of the biggest of the five islands that comprise the fortress of Suomenlinna stands the Suomenlinna Church. Built for the Russian garrison stationed at the fortress, this originally Eastern Orthodox church was completed in 1854, but is now of the Evangelical Lutheran tradition. Designed by the same Russian architect responsible for the Grand Kremlin Palace in Moscow the Suomenlinna Church, although different to how it would have looked when first erected, still retains its majestic feel. Today the church is also used as a lighthouse (its signal is morse code for the letter ‘H’ for Helsinki!), and its beautiful island location makes this sacred space a truly wonderful experience.
One of the most striking churches in Helsinki is the Kallio Church. Designed in the National Romantic style with elements of Art Nouveau in the interior, this imposing granite church inspires a sense of awe and wonderment in both visitors just passing by or those who actually step inside its doors. Completed in 1912, Kallio Church is also of the Lutheran faith and this striking church is well worth a visit.
There are so many churches that Helsinki offers its visitors that there is too many to describe here. If you are interested in sacred architecture, and still have time, you should also make sure to visit the Catherdral of St. Henry, the German (Saksakainen) Church, the Holy Trinity Church, and the ultra-modern Viikki Church. Helsinki is a rich and vibrant city for scared architecture and the beauty and majesty of these great buildings will delight and inspire awe in everyone, regardless of religious affiliation. Helsinki is truly a city where one can quietly meditate and reflect, making it a true getaway and a wonderful adventure.
Helsinki, the capital of Finland, is a great city to explore on foot. You have easy access to a wonderful culture and shopping and even to large park areas, forests, lakes, and the beautiful coastline which is filled with islands. Helsinki has it all but where to go and what to do when there is so much to see and do? Our local guides have provided us with the best tips.... Enjoy!
We recommend taking a good stroll in the park around the Töölö Bay which begins in the heart of Helsinki. You should check out the wooden villas along the shores which are a reminder of Helsinki's history. The park is now a hub for culture and city events so please look if there is anything going on there whilst you are visiting the city.
Suomenlinna is on UNESCO's World Heritage list and the islands (total of 6) have only 800 residents. On the Suomenlinna you will find a fortress and its museums, restaurants and there are often held events for visitors of all ages. The islands are a popular visitor attraction, for more information on the islands and the ferry schedule, check out Suomenlinna's official site.
Do as the locals and take a dip in the beautiful Allas Sea Pool, located in the heart of Helsinki by the ocean, next to the Market Square. There is a large pool area and magnificent saunas to enjoy. This is the perfect place for wellness and if you want a few hours of relaxation, this is the place to go. The pool is open all year around but for further information on opening hours and more, check out their homepage.
If your not on a tight budget, you should eat at one of the best restaurants in Helsinki, Restaurant Aino. They are known for using Finnish seasonal ingredients and advocating traditional Finnish food, a great success with foreigners and Finns as well.
Salmon soup is a popular traditional dish in Finland, locally known as Lohikeitto. The soup is easy to make and a favorite for many. This is a must-try whilst visiting Finland.
Hotel Torni opened its doors to guests in 1931 and was, at that time, the tallest building in Helsinki. We recommend that you have a drink at Ateljee Bar, on the top floor, and when you make your way to the bathroom where you will get a wonderful view of the city.
Stockholm is located across 14 islands and, as you can probably imagine, nature is all pervasive throughout Stockholm. That is why you don’t even have to go outside the city to spend time in nature; hiking, swimming, enjoying beautiful views or physical activities - everything can be found right there in the city!
But to make the most of it, you have to know the right spots. Here are some of the nicest and most popular places to enjoy nature within or close to the city.
Nature spots within the city
Hagaparken is a beautiful, leafy park that’s only a stone’s throw away from the city centre, it takes 15 minutes to get there by public transport. This haven has everything you need to relax - parks, gardens, beaches and swimming spots at lake Brunnsviken, woods, hiking and bicycle trails. Haga Palace, the residence of Crown Princess Victoria and her family, is also located inside this park, alongside with other pavilions and temples, an Aquarium and a Butterfly house.
The park is great for picnics or just relaxing on the beach in the warmer months of the year, but since the park is so big, renting a segway is a great idea. You can rent segways in the Haga Ocean Aquarium. Visit the aquarium to see large and small sharks swimming together with various exotic fish, as well as colourful butterflies freely flying around!
To get to Hagaparken take public transport to HagaNorra or HagaSodra stations, there are several ways to get there, souse the SL trip planner to find the way that suits you best.
Rålambshovsparken is a park located on the island of Kungsholmen, in the western part of central Stockholm. Rålis, as the locals call it, is very close to the city centre and it is popular for enjoying various types of outdoor activities. There are running trails, a skatepark, bouldering walls and a big, well equipped playground for children, andeveryone is welcome to use all of this free of charge. Visit Rålis on Saturdays in the summer when they have yoga sessions that everyone is welcome to join. In August Rålambshovsparken offers an outdoor cinema, also free of charge. This place is not only popular for outdoor activities, but also for picnics and swimming in the Smedsuddsbadet beach, and the park gives you an amazing view of Gamla Stan and the City Hall. How to get to Rålambshovsparken? Take the blue or green subway line to Fridhemsplan and walk 5 minutes from there. We also recommend walking there from the City Hall alongRiddarfjärden bay. The walk takes about 20 minutes and is accompanied all the way by a beautiful view of Lake Malaren and Södermalm.
Djurgården is an island in Östermalm, the eastern part of central Stockholm. The western part of the island is mostly known for housing lots of museums, historical buildings and posh residential areas. But this time we’re more interested in the other part of the island that is rich with many forests, meadows and a lot of parks including Skansen, which is an open-air museum, zoo and a nature park. It is a great idea to rent a bike and cycle through the forests and parks to the Isbladskärret lake on the eastern side of the island for bird-watching, since this place is home to many different bird species. And definitely stop by Skansen to see the wild animals that live in the Nordics.
How to get to Djurgården? There are several ways to get there, the nicest of which is walking or biking from the Royal Dramatic Theatre down Strandvägen along the water. Other ways include taking SL public transportation - either a ferry from Slussen or the City Tram Line 7.
Another park, Tanolunden, is located in Södermalm, the southern part of central Stockholm. This park offers various activities for everyone. There's a playground, beach volleyball court, miniature golf course, an open-air theatre and an outdoor gym. Tantolunden is located right next to ÅrstavikenLake, and has a beach called TantoStrandbad. Along the ÅrstavikenLake there’s a jogging and bicycle trail that connects Skanstull and Tantolunden. It begins as the street HammarbySlussväg and later on becomes a beautiful trail along the water and through the forest. There are several beaches and boat moorings on the way, and a breathtaking view of Årstadal andLiljeholmen districts across the water. We suggest renting a bike and taking the trail from Skanstull to Tantolunden and enjoying the beach and all the activities the park has to offer.
Nature spots just outside Stockholm
Söderbysjön is a lake that is a part of Nacka Nature reserve, located a little outside of Stockholm centre, but is still reachable by the subway in about 30 minutes. Söderbysjön lake has a few sandy beaches, but mostly there are rocks and boulders all around the lake that can be used for jumping into the water (with due caution!) There are also several hiking and biking trails through the woods around the lake. On the eastern part of the lake, where the sandy beaches are, there is a park with a sprawling green lawn that is perfect for picnics. In the park you can find BBQ grills, tables and seating that everyone is welcome to use free of charge. Put on your hiking shoes, pack your food basket and enjoy the beautiful nature in Stockholm city! How to get to Söderbysjön? Use the SL public transportation.
There’s plenty of nice places inside and around Stockholm to get your well deserved rest and fresh air. Be sure to visit at least one of these oases when you’re in Stockholm!
If someone finds themselves in Gothenburg, they are likely to also find themselves sampling the seafood!As Sweden’s biggest port, with direct access to the North Sea, Gothenburg has fresh seafood coming in daily. It’s unsurprising then that many of Sweden’s most well-known delicacies come directly from the sea.
Fish and seafood has always been soldin the heart of Gothenburg. From the time of the city’s founding, LillaTorget square, along with a bustling flotilla of boats in the adjoining StoraHamn Canal,served as the fish market for the people of Gothenburg. In the mid-1800s the market was moved to Rosenlund Canal. Later on at this new location a new generation of Gothenburgers were able to buy their fish from the Feskekôrka (“Fish Church”). Purpose-built in 1874 to house the popular fish market, the Feskekôrka was never actually a church. The architect for the city, Victor von Gegerfelt, designed it with Norwegian Stave and Gothic churches in mind (although you might hear the urban legend that a poor woman was selling fish outside this ‘church’ and the kind priests inside invited her in from the cold and from then on let fish be sold inside the building, making it into the marketplace that it is today – a nice story, but an entirely fictional one!).
Today this magnificent building is still the best place to buy seafood in Gothenburg and is popular among locals and visitors alike. If something comes from the sea, you can get it in here. Of course, visitors to the city are unlikely to buy the fresh fish that has come in straight off the boat that morning and cook it themselves, but that doesnot mean that the Feskekôrka is not worth a visit. In fact, it is one of the best places to get lunchor a snack ($) in Gothenburg. You can get wonderfully fresh baguettes overflowing with crayfish and shrimp, and it’s the best place to try a Swedish classic, a räksmörgås/räkmacka, which is a shrimp, egg and salad open sandwich and it probably sweden’s most popular sandwich (in fact, it’s such a culinary favourite that it has found it’s way into daily colloquialisms and you might hear somebody say “glida in påen räkmacka” (glide in on a prawn sandwich), which roughly meansto ride on somebody’s tailcoats).You can get lots of seafood salads too, topped with delicious dressing, usually involving caviar. Seafood pasta salads are also perfect for those looking for a quick take-away lunch. If you are just wanting a snack, it’s almost impossible to go past the trays and trays of hot smoked salmon; you can buy these bite-sized chucks in little tubs, and they come in a whole range of flavours such as chilli, champagne and rose.
For those wanting a hot, sit-down lunch the Feskekôrka also has some great choices. There is a great little café that offers visitors a taste of Sweden’s delicious fish soup, and where you can also get fresh oysters. The loft of the Feskekôrka is home to the popular Gabriel’s Seafood Restaurant ($$$$).Here one can get a fine-dining lunch experience, with a host of mouth-watering Swedish seafood dishes and buffet on offer. The daily fish comes straight off the boat, and you even get to watch the chefs hard at work preparing your food. For those wanting a more lengthy dinner experience Gothenburg has many excellent seafood restaurants. Koka, one of Gothenburg’s six Michelin Star restaurants, has fish and seafood prominently on their menu, and offer wonderful tasting experiences ($$$$$). Sjömagasinet is a renown seafood restaurant who serve lunch and dinner ($$$$$), and even offer a cooking course so you know how to prepare your own seafood when you leave Gothenburg. Sjöbaren has two locations within the city ($$$), so you’ll never be too far from the latest catch that’s just come in from the harbour!
If you want to experience the excitement of buying the daily catch directly from the fishermen themselves, you should head down to the early morning fish auction, which starts at 6:30am on weekdays. Sadly one can only purchase as a wholesaler, but as a visitor you can watch as restaurateurs, chefs and fishmongers buy the morning’s catch and get a glimpse at what it would have been like to buy fish direct from the fisherman in days past.
Fish and seafood have always been integral to life in Gothenburg, butone small fish in particular helped shape the city and surrounding landscape as we know it today: herring. In 1747 herring began to appear in truly enormous quantities, sparking a prosperous industry that shaped the west coast of Sweden around Gothenburg for centuries to come. It was because of the herring that Gothenburg became Sweden’s largest port and fishing harbour.The years between 1747 and 1809 were known as the Great Herring period, and many factories, producing salted herring and fish oilopened along the coast and in the Gothenburg Archipelago.
This prosperous industry was not without difficulties, and both environmental and social concerns arose. The small fishing communities grew rapidly. On the island of Marstrand for example (a wonderful place to visit, and where ABBA’s The Winner Takes It Allmusic video was filmed), thousands of people would come to work in the region during the annual herring seasons and complaints were made about dubious morality and general lawlessness of these new communities. When herring boom ended, many people were left jobless, creating severe poverty. The manufacture of herring products also required significant quantities of firewood, and the nature landscape of the archipelago provided the perfect supply. This meant that the majority of the leafy islands were all but destroyed, and became the bare-but-beautiful landscape characteristic of the west coast islands today. The Archipelago is a wonderful day trip from Gothenburg, and in the summer many people choose to cycle, canoe or kayak around the islands. It’s well worth the effort as it is a beautiful part of Sweden.
In the mid 1800s large factories began to produce herring on a mass scale and pickled herring rapidly found its way onto tables across the world, becoming entrenched as the Swedish culinary stereotype. One historic fishery remains today on Klädesholmen Island and it still produces almost half of all pickled herring in Sweden! At the Feskekôrka you can buy some of the best pickled herring in Gothenburg to sample for yourself! If your feeling particularly adventurous, and it’s the right time of year, do try a bit of surströmming, fermented and soured herring (not for the faint-hearted and certainly not to be opened indoors!), which is considered a Swedish delicacy.Gothenburg’s first food truck, Strömmingsluckan pays homage to herring and is marvellous for a quick and fun lunch on the run ($)!
Another traditional taste direct from the sea is lutfisk, a dried and/or salted whitefish prepared in lye and typically consumed at Christmas. Another Swedish culinary tradition, also regularly consumed at Christmas is JanssonsFrestelse, a delicious warm dish similar to a potato dauphinoise but delicately flavoured with sprats. If you are in Gothenburg in August, you will notice an abundance of crayfish. August is the season for crayfish parties (kräftskiva) in Sweden, and if you are lucky enough to get an invite to one you will be pilled high with crayfish, snaps (a strong spirit) and party hats.
Oslo, the capital of Norway, is known for its world-class architecture, museums, restaurants, and shopping. The city is located close to well-preserved nature and the capital was even named the European Green Capital 2019 for its dedication to conserving natural areas and for reducing pollution. Oslo is so great, and of course, our guides think so too. We picked their brains to find the best things to do in Oslo.
Bare Jazz Oslo is a great place for coffee or beer, and to check out their amazing record selection. On the top floor, live music can be heard in the café on a regular basis. This is a must for music lovers.
You have to go and see the Holmenkollbakken ski jump, located at Holmenkollen in Oslo and it is the oldest of its kind in the world. The jump has been rebuilt 19 times but the hill has always been used as a ski hill ever since the road to Holmenkollen opened up in 1887.
Norwegians love the outdoors and they will participate in all kinds of activities whether they take place during the summer or winter time. Since Oslo is so close to nature, you should grab the metro to an end station and go on a hike!
If you want to indulge yourself in Norwegian cuisine, you should head to Fiskeriet. The restaurant specializes in fish, something that you have to try. We recommend the fish and chips or the shrimp meals, they are to die for.
If you want to try a more traditional dish, you'll have to taste Klippfisk, which is a dried and salted cod. We have to admit, it is an acquired taste but worth the try :) Norway is known for its tasty salmon, so don't leave without trying a dish that includes salmon.
On top of the Oslo Opera House, you will get an extraordinary view of Oslo. The architects wanted to create a roof that was meant to be walked on and it will unveil surprisingly different angles of the city. This is a must-do!
Gothenburg’s oldest suburb, Haga, is one of the most famous districts in the city. Known for its charming setted streets and old wooden houses, the Haga district was established by Queen Kristina in the mid-17th Century. It was originally built outside the Gothenburg city walls in a neighbouring field, and in fact the name Haga comes from the old Swedish word hage, which means ‘field’.
Haga is famous for its unique architectural style – beautiful, often ornately-worked wooden houses known as landshövdingehus, or Governor Houses. The houses are generally three stories high, with the first level built of stone. This was because of building restrictions that were imposed because of the numerous fires that had decimated Haga (and Gothenburg) throughout its history. The regulations decreed that wooden buildings could only be two stories high. By having a third, lower story built of stone, the inhabitants of Haga cleverly got around this technicality! In the mid 1800s, when Gothenburg was establishing itself as an industrial centre, Haga became a workers’ district in response to housing demand from the growing number of workers moving to Gothenburg for work. In 1879 Hagabadet spa was opened, and today you can enjoy a little bit of luxury and still bath in the same pools as when it first opened.
By the 1920s, Haga was primarily a residential zone, but one that had developed something of a bad reputation. In the 1960s the city decided that the district was to be demolished and redeveloped. The Gothenburgers were having none of it however, and a society, the Haga Group, was established in 1970 to ensure the preservation of this historically and architecturally important district. Although some buildings were still torn down, restoration of many houses was undertaken, and some replicas were also built to replace older buildings, keeping the historical feel of the district. By the late 1990s the Haga district became highly gentrified and its population declined from around 15,000 in the 1800s to around 4,000. The district is in fact a parish in its own right, and it is the smallest parish in Sweden in terms of its land area (Hagakyrkan, the parish church, stands at the entrance to Haga).
Today, the area is a flurry of activity, filled with boutiques shops and cafes, especially on the main through-road,Haga Nygatan. If you are after modern Swedish design try Tell me More concept store Market 29. If you are in the mood for some fantastic kitsch check out Unicorn and Sons, who have a fantastic range of Rice products and a whole bunch of things you never knew you needed. If shopping for a treat for little ones have a look at Kawaii and Millefiori (which also sells wonderful jewellery making accessories). In HagaTrätoffelfabrik you can buy traditional Swedish wooden clogs, and Haga Interior is home to a wonderful selection of unique gift ideas, and in Tvåla&Tvaga you can buy handmade soaps from Gothenburg, one of which is even named after Haga itself! If you love antiques, Haga has several wonderful antique shops, such as FåfänganAntik and Bebop Antik, where you are sure to find something special and absolutely unique. If you are after sustainable fashion, Thrive is the place for you. This store sells clothes made from recycled and sustainable materials, from coats made from recycled plastic bottles (you’d never know!) and stockings made of recycled nylon.
In Haga it is always fika (coffee and cake) time, and HagaNygatan in particular plays host to some great places to break up the shopping adventures. Le Petit Café has the most amazing homemade cakes and baguettes, and Husaren is home to the biggest cinnamon bun in Gothenburg, the Hagabulla. En Deli is an amazing place to stop for some of the best salads in Gothenburg, and offers free food refills. At the eastern end of Haga near Järntorget, you will find the two of the Långatorna streets, AndraLångatan and TredjeLångatan, which are home to a plethora of wonderful restaurants and bars (AndraLångatan tends to be a little cheaper ($-$$) than TredjeLångatan ($$$-$$$$)). If you want to take home a little bit of the taste of Gothenburg, stop in at Bräutigams on Haga Nygatan for some of Gothenburg’s very own marzipan.
It’s not just the shops and cafes that make Haga a fun place to visit. The district has a truly unique atmosphere that makes it a great place to spend some time. At Christmas and Easter time you can wander along and browse the outside market stalls that line the streets, and the lampposts and street signs are always festively decorated. On some sunny days if you look closely you might even spot some welcoming boutiques for the local mice! Standing sentinel and proud over the roofs of Haga is the SkansenKronan , a fortress built in the late 1600s to protect the city from Danish invasion. So are you wondering what to do when you visit Gothenburg? Take a walk up the stairs to the top and you will be treated to one of the best views of the city!
Swedish traditional food
Swedish traditional food, known in Sweden as husmanskost, literally translates to “house owner’s food”. It used to be the middle-class worker’s food. Swedish traditional cuisine mostly consists of potatoes, root vegetables, meat from wild and farm animals, fish from the Baltic and North seas such as herring and salmon.Lingonberry sauce is also a Swedish favourite! Only in the early 1900s did this type of food become more popular, finding its way into taverns and restaurants.Nowadays perhaps, the most iconic Swedish dish is meatballs with lingonberry sauce and mashed potatoes.
There are plenty of restaurants in Stockholm that offer traditional Swedish dishes, and some of those restaurants focus solely on Swedish cuisine. If you want to try real Swedish food, there are some brilliant places to visit in Stockholm.
Restaurant Tradition ($$) is located in the Old Town of Stockholm by the Royal Palace. They say that they serve Swedish cuisine exactly as it was originally intended. The restaurant has a very modern and sophisticated design, as well as reasonable prices.
Another traditional Swedish restaurant is Pelikan ($$$). This is a restaurant with a rich history and the authentic interior makes you feel like you’re back in early 1900’s.
Prinsen ($$$) is an authentic restaurant, founded in 1897, that serves traditional food with a contemporary twist.
BlaDorren ($$) is a cosy restaurant that offers a mix of Swedish traditional and modern dishes. They also serve beer from their own brewery.
Food for every taste
Stockholm is a place where everyone is welcome, and everyone who comes here can find the perfect dining place for their taste and budget. Stockholm offers everything from Michelin Guide three star restaurants to low budget (but high quality!) hot dog stands.
Lunch menus (Dagensmeny) are a very big thing in Stockholm, and most restaurants offer special lunch prices on weekdays. The prices in the same restaurant during the evenings or on the weekend are sometimes twice as high, making the lunch menu excellent value.
Some of the restaurants that are worth visiting on your trip to Stockholm include Frantzen ($$$$$) which is the only restaurant is Stockholm that has been awarded with three Michelin stars. This restaurant focuses on exquisite taste experiences and unexpected ingredients and flavours. They only offer a tasting menu and bookings have to be made in advance on their website.
Another great restaurant is OaxenKrog ($$$$$). Located in a rebuilt boat shed, this two star Michelin restaurant brings a traditional yet sophisticated dining experience. The chefs focus on sustainability and on using organic ingredients from nearby farms. OaxenKrog offers a tasting menu with bookings made in advance, but the same building also houses a bistro called Oaxen Slip which offers lunch, brunch and dinner for very reasonable prices, and drop-ins are welcome anytime.
Aubergine ($$$) is a cosy restaurant that offers a seasonal menu and uses only top quality ingredients. Once a year in November, Aubergine hosts “Truffle week” and their menu becomes filled with dishes made with truffles. Aubergine also hosts exhibitions of different artists from around the world. In the same neighbourhood there is a restaurant called NyKo ($$). It is a vibrant place where locals go to get fine quality food and enjoy the typically Scandinavian interior. NyKo offers breakfast, lunch, brunch and dinner menus.
Lilla Capri ($$) is a cosy restaurant that serves Italian and European cuisine for reasonable prices. Beside the main menu they also offer a different lunch menu every day. Similarly, at Mom’s Kitchen ($) they serve traditional European food using only organic and fresh ingredients, and they offer a different lunch menu every day.
The hot dog stand OstermalmsKorvspecialist ($) has been on Nybrogatan 57 since 1992 and it is the most popular hot dog spot in Stockholm. They offer a wide variety of sausages with special sauces and other interesting ingredients that make the hot dogs truly extraordinary.
Stockholm also has many great burger joints, and one of the best in the city is Flippin Burgers ($$). This charming restaurant offers a variety of burgers and milkshakes. Their burger recipes are said to be carefully created to maintain the perfect bread-to-meat ratio. The bread they use is organic and freshly baked every day.
Another great burger place is Bun Meat Bun ($). The burgers served in Bun Meat Bun are considered by many to be the bestin Stockholm. The restaurant is located inside a shopping mall in Medborgarplatsen and is rather difficult to find, but it is worth it once you get there!
If you can’t choose which of the amazing restaurants in Stockholm to visit, there’s a great option for you! Hotorgshallen ($-$$$) is an indoor market and food hall in the heart of Stockholm that houses over 40 different cafes, restaurants and stores from every corner of the world. Here you can find something for every taste.
Vegan and vegetarian food
Lately more and more people in Stockholm are going vegetarian and vegan, hence the vegan food industry is growing fast. There are a lot of restaurants that offer vegetarian, vegan and raw food all over the city. Taku - Taku ($) is a lovely all-vegan restaurant that is located in an old tram depot from 1905. Their dishes have been inspired by different foods from all over the world. Another delicious vegan restaurant is called Matapoteket ($). It is a very cosy restaurant and its name translates as “Food pharmacy”. They only use fresh vegan ingredients.
Holy Greens ($) offers both traditional and vegan meals. They serve mostly flavoursome salads made of organic and local ingredients. Their menu changes four times a year to be in line with the seasons.
The food trucks in Stockholm serve different cuisines and mostly focus on organic, fresh ingredients and healthier fast food experiences. There are a lot of food trucks in Stockholm that serve high quality food. The problem is that most of them are not in the same spot, instead they drive around and park in different places in the city. The Food Truck movement is growing very quickly in Stockholm, so the food truck owners have built a community and have made a platform called Stockholm Food Trucks where you can find a list of all the food trucks, their menus, descriptions, contact information, location schedules and any other information and updates that the food truck owners want to share with the public.
Every weekend from April to September there is a pop-up flea market in Hornstull, and that is a popular meeting point for a lot of food trucks.
Fika in Stockholm
Fika is an everyday tradition in Sweden that means meeting up for a coffee and pastry or cake. Fika is more of a social concept than a simple meal, and the whole cafe industry in Stockholm is built around that concept. The most popular pastries at fika time are cinnamon buns, cardamom buns and at a certain time of the year,semla buns. You can find coffee shops and bakeries almost on every corner of the city and you will always see people having fika there. Here are some of the cafes that you might want to visit while in Stockholm.
Vetekatten ($$) is the most traditional Swedish fika place that can be found in Stockholm. It has been there since 1928 and has always served exceptionally good cakes and pastries. Vetekatten is the most popular place for getting the traditional Swedish pastry,Semla. Although not so traditional, Mr cake ($$) has perfectly combined American style cakes and the Swedish cafe culture. It is a great place for enjoying Swedish fika with a bit more variety than just cinnamon and cardamom buns.
In Cafe Pascal ($$) everyone is welcome to enjoy premium quality coffee and traditional Swedish buns and cakes. The cafe is located in the heart of the city and has won a local award,“the Golden Dragon”,for best cafe.
Cafe String ($) is a colourful and cosy cafe on a quiet street in Sodermalm. They offer a variety of cakes, pastries and beverages for low prices, and they serve tea in extremely big cups. In addition to the food and drinks, you can also buy all the paintings and furniture that you see in the cafe.
As you can see, food scene in Stockholm is very wide-ranging and everyone can find something that they like - whether it’s meatballs with lingonberry sauce or a sushi tasting menu at a Michelin starred restaurant - Stockholm has it all!
Gothenburg, Sweden's second biggest city, is a vibrant city with many wonderful things to see, expeirence and try. The city is a fabulous fusion of old-world charm and modern flair, with an incredibly friendly, industrial vibe. It’s less hectic than the capital, so you can relax while exploring the road-less-travelled. Here we have gathered tips from our local guides who know Gothenburg like the back of their hand.
The beautiful and often wild-landscaped islands of the Gothenburg Archipelago are a delight to explore in the warmer months and a personal favourite of our local guides is Marstrand, whose waterlily ponds, beautiful wooden houses, and winding costal paths never fail to enchant them.
One of our local guide's favorite is definitely the Stadsmuseum (Museum of Gothenburg). It tells the story of Gothenburg through objects and it has a Viking ship on display. The fabulous gift shop that sells beautiful replicas of traditional Swedish objects and gifts that will delight family and friends back home.
Liseberg theme park is not to be missed and in addition to offering plenty of fun for thrill seekers, it does a series of concerts in the warm summer evenings, a fabulous array of haunted houses (and a staggering quantity of pumpkins) at Halloween, and a truly magical Christmas market.
For a delicious and more sustainable dining experience, we highly recommend Folk. Folk is situated in the foyer of Folkteatern and offers mainly vegetarian and seafood choices with flavour combinations that are out of this world, paired with a fabulous selection of wine.
Fika is the practice of taking a break with a beverage and is widely accepted as central to Swedish life. Fika means 'coffee break' and a pastry will usually make the perfect Fika combo. We recommend trying a favorite in Sweden; kardemumma bulle (cardamom bun)!
The district of Haga is just magical with beautiful streets, incredible wooden architecture or the Skansen Kronan that stands sentinel over it (make the trek up to it to get the best view of Gothenburg).
We hope you get to try some of the things we have recommended here, please let us know what you think!! If you want to get bett knowledge of Gothenburg's history and buildings, join our 3-hpur walking tour here.
Brussels is a wonderful city that offers so many things at once. Although the town might be small, especially in comparison to other European cities, it still has a more easy-going vibe about it and a more workaday feeling. Because the city is the capital of the European Union and NATO, it has become an international hub, and there are numerous international events and festival hosted in the city. During our walking tour, we will embark upon some of the city’s best attractions and let‘s have a further look at those attractions here.
Nova Fairy Tales 10 guaranteed sites:
1. Grand Place
Grand Place is the central square of Brussels. This place can‘t be missed as it is the most touristic part of the city. The square is vibrant, and there is always something going on like street performance, flowers being sold and much more. The buildings around are in Gothic and Baroque-style, and the square has even been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1998.
Brussels Town Hall is located on Grand Place square, and it‘s the only medieval building that still stands and is considered a masterpiece. Construction on the town hall started in 1402 and was completed by 1420. However, there were numerous restorations made on and within the building during the 19th century, but today it is a historical monument and a part of the Grand Place UNESCO World Heritage Site.
3. Museum of the City of Brussels
During our tour, we will not be entering the museum, but the building is extraordinary to look at, and just like the town hall, it is located on the Grand Place and thus, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The building is in the Gothic Revival style, and the museum is dedicated to the history and folklore of Brussels with paintings, photos, engravings, sculptures and more.
4. St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral
Constructions on the Gothic style, St. Michael and St. Gudula Cathedral on top of the Treurenberg Hill started in the 13th century and took almost 300 years to complete. The Belgian royals use the cathedral for weddings, funerals, and coronations.
5. Les Galeries Royals Saint-Hubert
This 19th-century gallery was designed by Jean-Pierre Cluysenaer in an Italianate Cinquecentro style, and it’s one of Europe’s first covered shopping arcades. The design was an inspiration to other famous shopping arcades in Europe. The gallery is split into two significant halls; Kings Gallery and Queen's gallery, and the smaller side section is called Gallery of the Princes. The Gallery attracted people of fashion with its luxury outdoor cafés and retailers. Today, the Gallery is on UNESCO’s “Tentative List”.
6. Manneken pis
Tthe quirky peeing little boy statue is probably the most famous attraction in Brussels, and the people of Brussels like to dress him up and he has been the recipient of about 800 different costumes. Many of those customs are on display at the Museum of the City of Brussels (mentioned above). Most of the people of Brussels see Manneken Pis as a representation of their sense of humor and their independent minds. They also refer to him as “the oldest citizen of Brussels”.
7. Palais Royal (the Royal Palace)
The Royal Palace is the official palace of the Belgian royal family, but the family resides in the Royal Palace of Laeken. The Neoclassical style palace is a very photogenic place, and we recommend being there at 2:30pm as a ceremonial “Changing of the Guards” takes place. Today, the Palace is used to host royal weddings, and the suites are at the disposal of visiting heads of states and ambassadors. New Year’s receptions are held for Ambassadors of the EU, politicians, and NATO.
8. Parc de Bruxelles
Parc de Bruxelles is the largest public park in central Brussels, and it was designed in a Neoclassical style by Gilles-Barnabé Guimard and Joachim Zinner. In the south of the park, you will find the Royal Palace, but the main entrance is in the north.
9. Notre Dame du Sablon
The church of Notre Dame du Sablon is a late Brabantine Gothic style church built in the 15th century. Although the church might be beautiful on the outside, just wait until you get a glimpse of the interior inside. The interior is marvelous stained glass, and the best-known part about the church is its two Baroque chapels, which were built on both sides of the choir.
10. Mont des Arts
Mont des arts or Mountain of Arts was a populated neighborhood in Brussels between the 15th and 18th century. However, King Leopold II had a dream of seeing constant sophisticated cultural settings happening outside of the window of his Royal Palace. Because of the lack of finance this didn’t go as planned, but his designers managed to create a garden on the hill which became a well-appreciated green area. With time, new buildings and structures were built, and the garden on the main square got redesigned into a new geometric garden.
Other must-see attractions in Brussels
The Atomium is probably one of Brussels’s best-known landmarks and even though you have to take the tram to get there, but it is worth the while. The 102-meter-high steel and aluminum structure was built for the 1958 Brussels World Exhibition, or World Fair, and designed by André Waterkeyn. The landmark hosts many different exhibitions dedicated to various aspects of Belgian culture, from science to art.
Do you wish to back-pack through all of Europe and see some of its magnificent monuments? There is no need to travel all those distances because next to the Atomium is Mini-Europe. However, the monuments have been shrunken down to 1/25th of their size. Both Mini-Europe and Atomium are great to visit with children.
If you truly love music, then the Musical Instrument Museum should be on top of your to-do list in Brussels. Inside you will find 1,200 mechanical and electrical instruments from around the world, and you will even get a chance to hear what these instruments sounded like. The concert hall in the museum also hosts many events throughout the year so please make sure you look at their calendar before you go here.
Another great museum to visit is MIMA, Millennium Iconoclast Museum of Art and inside you will find showcases from graffiti to digital and subculture arts. The Belgian Comic Strip Center is another excellent place to visit. It is devoted to the history of cartoons and hosts exhibitions of 200 original comic drawings from Belgian and French artists. As many of you might know, Belgian is the country that introduced the world to The Smurfs and Tintin.
On our blog you will find travel tips and inspiration across our destinations. You'll find anything from food and drink recommendations to must-see attractions, hidden gems and seasonal events.