Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

And so it’s here!

The last post that I’ll be writing about Slovenia.

But what a most important post!

It goes without saying that my stay in Slovenia was lovely.

Myself in the mountains of Kamnik on a day trip in Slovenia!

If you had asked me about Slovenia a few years ago, I couldn’t even have shown you where it was in the map, and now I can’t stop writing about it!

Really, I’m becoming quite the (baby) expert!

From the moment we got off the bus and fell exhausted into our hotel in Ljubljana, to the time that we fell bone-tired, into the arms of a loving husband and father one week later.

Slovenia has been nothing but smashing!

And the Slovenian locals have been fantastically welcoming, friendly, and enormously helpful.

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

It was my second time to go to the Balkans, but it certainly, won’t be the last. If you’re just tuning in, and why is that?! Here’s what you missed:

WHY SLOVENIA?

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

Because I’m weird and I like going to interesting exotic places!

Seriously though, the reason why I wanted to go to Slovenia is because I’d heard such a lot of wonderful things from practically everyone! And remember, just two years ago, I hadn’t heard of any of the Baltic or Balkan States. In fact, I couldn’t even pronounce them!

Myself in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

But the other reason that I wanted to visit was because of Ljubljana. I was hearing mixed messages and that some “experts” were saying that Ljubljana wasn’t worth more than a few hours!

When I hear things like this, it makes my blood boil!

The ignorance of people constantly astounds, and annoys me.

However, I am a strong supporter of Europe, and I have a weakness for tiny countries in the middle of beyond! Besides, I had such a wonderful time in Croatia, why wouldn’t I want to go to it’s “sister country” – Slovenia – too!

Book your hotel here!

How to use the train in Europe: 10 tips to help you.

One of the amazing things about travelling to a country that is extremely small, is that you can do soooo many things.

A shepherd girl on the Velika Planina plateau in Kamnik – Slovenia
©Chiara Marchi

We spent a jam-packed week in Slovenia, and not once did we get anywhere near bored!

We didn’t have time to do everything, but if you’re determined, YOU certainly can!

‘Remember how I told you about 51 things to do in Ljubljana? Well, one of those things to do was to eat. Actually, if I’m really honest, about eleven (11) of those points, were connected to food, and here’s why!

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SLOVENIA OR SLOVAKIA!

Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

Honestly speaking, most people have never previously heard of Slovenia.

In fact, most people mix it up with Slovakia! 

Hmm!

A historical castle in Slovakia!

Isn’t Slovenia somewhere in Eastern Europe?

Yes.

And No!

It can’t be both, surely?

Being a British European means being widely travelled.

Well, geographically, it’s one of the previous communist states.

Eek!

Don’t worry.

Breathe!

However, in recent years, Croatia has managed to re-invent itself, so that even though it is actually in Eastern Europe, it’s marketed as a country in Central Europe, Eastern Europe, and South-East Europe too!

One of the best types of sausages in Austria – A most wonderful hotdog. In Vienna!

In truth, it has the vibe of the Mediterranean, and you’d be hard pressed not to think that in certain parts of Slovenia, you could actually be in Italy, or dare I say it. Austria!

And this is reflected in it’s food!

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So let’s get started:

WHAT IS SLOVENIAN FOOD?

Trnič is a pear-shaped hard cheese from Velika Planina – which resembles a female bosom!
©Klemen Brumec

Slovenian food is defined by the diversity of Slovenia’s landscape, climate, history and neighbouring traditions, as well as it’s religions, towns and villages. And each region has its own distinct culinary tradition rooting back to ancient times!

In fact, present-day Slovenia is heavily influenced by food from Germany, Austria, Italy, and Hungary!

The best way to experience how a nation really lives, is to go to the market place and sample street food. Or even better, indulge yourself on a guided food tour so that you can get inside knowledge from local experts!

We were invited to join the Taste Ljubljana culinary tour as well as lunch, during our daytrip in Kamnik!

I even took part in a tiny TV slot for the Taste Ljubljana Culinary tour, as part of a video about tourism in Ljubljana for Slovenian commercial TV! I’m only in for about 5 seconds. See if you can find me!

And why?

Because food. Yum!

Slovenian sausages & wine, as part of our “Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.”

I adore street food as it’s ultimately the best way to get to the culture of a nation. I’ve been to many countries, and sampled many a nations’ cuisine, and Slovenia was no exception!

The major characteristic they have in common is that they are made from locally produced ingredients.

Most ingredients used in Slovenian food would be:

  • cheese
  • potatoes
  • mushrooms
  • sausages
  • pork
  • fish
  • vegetables
  • beans
  • grapes
  • oils
  • honey

Take a look below:

SLOVENIA – A BASIC GUIDE TO FOOD!

At Ljubljana Castle – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

I could write pages and pages of what Slovenian food consists of and how they make it, but instead, I’ll let the pictures do the talking and if you have further insight, let me know in the comment section below!

We stayed at the aptly named Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green. In Slovenia!

In order to encourage sustainability and environmental consciousness, we stayed at a very nice hotel aptly named hotel – Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green – located in the heart of the Old Town of Ljubljana, situated in the middle of a leafy park, and mere minutes away from Metelkova City – an abandoned army base and one of the largest, and most successful, urban squats in Europe!

We were in one of the en-suite superior twin rooms at Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green. In Slovenia!

We were in one of the en-suite superior twin rooms, and it was enormously comfortable.

We were on the 12th floor and had a fantastic view of Ljubljana from the window, along with a wide desk, a huge wardrobe, an en-suite bathroom, sustainable bathroom shower gel, plenty of fluffy towels, and of course, most importantly, free fast Wi-Fi!

Drinking a very important cup of tea!
© Pascale Scerbo Sarro

They even had a fridge but sadly, no kettle so that I could make myself a cup of tea!

The service was warm and friendly.

The variety of nationalities visiting the hotel were wonderful, ranging from a tour group of elderly ladies from France, a busload of young Americans travelling with Contiki, and a Bollywood film crew from India!

Prices are from €70.00 per night, including breakfast. For two people, easily €35.00 a pop!

Awesome!

I couldn’t make myself a cup of tea, but the views were fantastic at Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green. In Slovenia!

Book Hotel Park Ljubljana / Hotel Park – Urban & Green here or here!

But OMG!

Our breakfast was awful!

Eek!

BREAKFAST:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

After the wonderful delights in both Sweden and Croatia, we were so disappointed.

We were looking forward to:

Slovenian home-made bread, butter & milk
Sadly, we got this bland piece of toast!
Although the jam was quite nice!

Sadly, what we got was a bland continental breakfast, that could have been from anywhere.  But if you’re desperate for a cup of tea….

If not, skip it!

Skip breakfast and have lunch instead!

As soon as we told the various Slovenian locals about our breakfast experience, they made it their duty to ensure that from then on, everything we ate, was some of the best, that Slovenia had to offer!

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SNACKS:

If you’re looking for traditional ingredients, you can get everything you need at a local street market!
  • For ultimate excitement, try horse burgers! Yes, horse!

Apparently, horseburgers are very popular in Slovenia!

The very famous horse burger in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

The Tall Young Gentleman was eager to try it so went to the doner and falafel restaurant that specialized in horse burgers, about 5 minutes from our hotel!

It was “quite OK,” and then he had another one! Bought at Šeherezada in Ljubljana. Cost: €4.00

A few slices of cold cuts and bits of cheese in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We had a few slices of cold cuts and bits of cheese, with olives (yuk!) to start! Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €3.00

You can also have:

  • Polenta with cheese
  • Ajvar with Slovenian bread
  • Bacon bread
  • Buckwheat bread or Ajdov kruh
  • Crackling bread or ocvirkovka
  • Pumpkin bread with cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, and whipped cream
  • Sweet rye bread or razeni kruh
  • Serbian baked beans

Book your hotel here!

LUNCH:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

We had a mass of delightful lunches, while we were in Slovenia, and the highlight in my opinion was the gourmet lunch on the Archers’ Tower of the Ljubljana Castle wall!

There weren’t any prices on the board, but it’s Eastern-Central Europe, how bad could it be? The food was fantastic and the service attentive, so we decided to spend the rest of our money!

A delicate crispy white, cracker, a slice of pickled meat, with herbs, a blob of cream, and petals, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
A foamy cream sauce, with herbs in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We both had a delicate starter of a sort of crispy white, cracker, a foamy cream sauce, and a slice of pickled meat, with herbs, a blob of cream, and petals. It was made especially for us ‘cos of my nut allergy, so isn’t on the menu! It was delicious and light. Bought at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana. Cost: €6.00
Venison with buck wheat dumplings, goose liver, red beet compote, rowan berry & spruce buds in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • I had the venison with buck wheat dumplings, goose liver, red beet compote, rowan berry and spruce buds! It was most delightful! Bought at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana. Cost: €28.00
Boar, mushrooms, and grapefruit in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
A platter of exquisite Slovenian cheese in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We shared a platter of exquisite Slovenian cheese! Bought at the Strelec Restaurant in Ljubljana. Cost: €10.00
I absolutely adore anything to do with water!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!

A few days later we went on a daytrip to Lake Bled!

All around us were people noshing on the Original Bled Cream Cake, but we were starving, so we had a proper lunch instead!

A platter of dry meat delicacy with cheese at Lake Bled – Slovenia!
  • I had the platter of dry meat delicacy with cheese and olives. Without the olives! It was very nice and the view over Lake Bled and the Julian Alps was stunning. But the service was slow! Bought at the Hotel Park restaurant at Lake Bled. Cost: €13.90
Pasta with chicken and young spinach at Lake Bled – Slovenia!

One of the great things about being a respectable travel lifestyle expat blogger is that you get invited to many things! As a result, we were guests of Taste Ljubljana culinary tour.

Some of the things we had were:

You can’t go wrong with sausages, mustard, horse-radish, and a bun in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Klobasa sausage – You really can’t go wrong with a traditional Slovenian sausage, mustard, horse-radish, and a bun. Yum! We were invited to a complimentary lunch via Klobasarna. Retail price: €3.50. Food tour all-inclusive. With wine!
Deer medallions with mustard, horse-radish cream, and pears in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Deer medallions with mustard, horse-radish cream, and pears via Vodnikov Hram. Retail price €19.50. Food tour all-inclusive
Mashed potatoes, rucola and Slovenian beer in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Mashed potatoes, rucola and Slovenian beer. They had to make something different for me ‘cos of my nut allergy, so I can’t remember what everybody else had. Sorry! It was a very nice place though, via Druga Violina. Retail price competitive! Food tour all-inclusive. With beer!
Fried chicken with garnish and remoulade sauce in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Fried chicken with garnish. Notice the remoulade sauce! It was a fancy restaurant via Restavracija Romansa 1971. Retail price: No idea! I couldn’t find the menu in English! Food tour all-inclusive. With wine!

You can also try:

  • Burek
  • Boiled beef tongue
  • Ljubljana cottage cheese pancakes with tarragon
  • Klobasa sausage and Kisod Zelje sauerkraut
  • Dandelion Salad
  • Sour turnip soup or jota

Book your hotel here!

DINNER:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

For dinner, we always strive to patronise interesting traditional-inspired restaurants. For this, we don’t scrimp, but use the opportunity to sample all that is good in Slovenian cuisine.

I have to tell you. Pretty much every evening meal that we had, was a win!

On our very first evening, we strolled around, and less than 10 minutes, we found a long narrow street with table after table outdoors. We managed to nab a table for two and opted for a lovely restaurant a few minutes away from Dragon Bridge!

I was a bit nervous, as the menu seemed to be centred on beef, and although I’m not a vegetarian or vegan for that matter, I’m not fond of beef at restaurants!

I wasn’t to worry as the meat used is free-range and grass-fed, the staff were great, and attentive, and made sure that our platters were delicate, and not in the least chewy!

And you know what?

I was astounded and most impressed!

Just look at this lovely meat platter in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
And this lovely meat platter in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
And this succulent piece of meat, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • We shared the meat platter. Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €12.50
A platter of pork chops in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • And then we shared a platter of pork chops with squares of creamy butter, paprika, and shallots. Yum! Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €15.00
We had the Štrukli with trnič cheese & berries. It was amaaaaaazing!

A highlight of traditional Slovenian food were the meals that we had in Kamnik!

After our hiking adventure at the Velika Planina and in the valley of the Kamniska Bistrica, we had quite a large appetite for a traditional meal, and boy were we given the red carpet.

We were taken to the family-run inn & restaurant Gostilna Pri planinskem orlu, where home-cooked meals are made the traditional way, and had a chat with the owner and chef – Janez Uršič – who was delighted to have us as his guest!

The food was absolutely fantastic!

Slovenian cold cuts, pate, cheese, vegetables, herbs & spices in Kamnik – Slovenia!
Soup with a dumpling in it, garnished with petals, in Kamnik – Slovenia!
Slovenian dumplings with asparagus, and probably veal in Kamnik – Slovenia!
  • Slovenian cold cuts, pate, cheese, vegetables, herbs and spices, soup with some sort of dumpling in it, garnished with vegetables and petals, and Slovenian dumplings with asparagus, bacon, probably veal (but I can’t remember), broccoli, and a creamy sauce!

We were invited to a complimentary early dinner! Bought at Gostilna Pri planinskem orlu, in Kamnik. Cost: €0.00!

You can also have:

Eating frogs – Slovenia – a basic guide to food!
  • Frog legs
  • Palacinke – thin pancakes filled with nuts or jam and topped with chocolate
  • Potato dumplings  or njoki
  • Jota  – a meat and vegetable stew
  • Black or blood pudding
  • Klobasa sausages
Slovenia – a basic guide to food!
  • Seasoned venison with smoked bacon and huckleberries
  • Sweet and sour boar, with prunes, chocolate and red wine
  • Zavitek or strudels
  • Goulash or golaz
  • Buckwheat porridge
  • Slovenian sour pork kidney served with vinegar, sour cream and bacon
  • Ox tail
  • Tripe served with mint, cheese and bacon
Baked potatoes with cheese, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • Baked potatoes with cheese. Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €1.00

Oh yeah!

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SEAFOOD:

Our seafood meal in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

I absolutely adore anything to do with water. I live in water cities, I spend time visiting places just because they have a river, and I’m weirdly drawn to river-states having lived in them all my life, in one place or the other, to lakes, rivers, mountains, valleys and seas!

And since we spent a huge amount of time on Lake Bled and Ljubljana, it seemed only prudent that we try out the seafood.

We chose our seafood meals at a restaurant on the river-side. We practically found it by accident, but once you poke in and out of the various bridges in the Old Town, you’ll find it directly below the Triple Bridge, facing the Central Market!

Fried fish, anchovy fillet, crab chips, tuna, capers, toast & a side salad in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
  • I ordered the Seaman Plate which consisted of fried fish, anchovy fillet, crab chips, tuna, capers, toast, and a side salad. I was really looking forward to some seafood, but I didn’t really like it! Bought at the Okrepčevalnica Ribca or Fish Restaurant Ribca in Ljubljana. Cost: €6.60
Bass fillet, bacon, baked potatoes & rucola in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
We chose our seafood meals on the river-side, but neither of us really liked our meal! We probably should have ordered frog legs instead!

You can also have:

  • Seafood pasta salad
  • Crabmeat and broccoli

Book your hotel here!

DESSERT:

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Dessert in Slovenia was pretty wonderful. I had to watch out here and there, ‘cos of the nut factor, but I was able to have about 75%!

If you’re on a diet, forget it, and indulge!

Štrukli wth cream, raspberries & raspberry compote in Kamnik – Slovenia!
  • Štrukli (I think!) with cream, raspberries & raspberry compote. OMG. So delish! We were invited to a complimentary early dinner! Bought at Gostilna Pri planinskem orlu, in Kamnik. Cost: €0.00!
We had the Štrukli with trnič cheese & berries. It was amaaaaazing!
  • Štrukli with trnič cheese and berries. We were invited to a complimentary lunch in Kamnik. Cost: €0.00!
Lake Bled cream cake in Slovenia!
© 2017 Rear View Mirror
Walnut and raisin potica cake with a digestif liquor! I couldn’t eat it of course, as it had almonds in it!
  • Walnut and raisin potica cake – One of the other famous cakes in Slovenia. Of course, I couldn’t eat it, as it had almonds in it! We were introduced to ours as part of the food tour which I’ve already discussed above, via Kavarna Nebotičnik (Skyscraper) building. It was a really cool place and great for a nightcap! Retail price: €2.00 – €4.00. Food tour all-inclusive. With a digestif liquor!

You can also try:

  • Gibanica – a layer cake with cottage cheese, walnuts, poppy seeds, and apples
  • Jabolcni zavitek  – a type of apple pastry
  • Siroy zavitek  – a type of cheese and raisin pastry
  • Upside down pie
  • Blue lagoon cake or torta plava laguna filled with hazelnuts, almonds and breadcrumbs
  • Waffles
The Tall Young Gentleman & his almond-covered ice-cream in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
Having a most scrumptious ice-cream at the Triple Bridge!
51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!
51 things to do in Ljubljana. That’s right!
The first thing we opted for at Lake Bled – Slovenia, was an ice-cream, and then we had another on the way back!
Lake Bled – 10 reasons to visit!
  • Who doesn’t like ice cream?!!

I’m always having to be careful ‘cos of the liberal sprinkling of nuts that I seem to see everywhere these days, and the combination of chocolate! The former ‘cos I have a nut allergy, and the latter ‘cos I don’t like chocolate!

The huge portions above were bought at this really lovely place on the riverside, opposite the Central Market in Ljubljana. They were so huge that I  couldn’t finish mine, so they packed it for me in a box! Bought at – Kavarna Cacao. Cost €6.40 and €7.60 respectively.

The others were bought at little ice-cream shops in Ljubljana and at Lake Bled. Cost: About €2.00, depending on toppings! Yum!

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DRINKS & REFRESHMENTS:

Ice cream in Ljubljana – A 5 minute introduction to Slovenia!

The food culture in Slovenia, as in many other Mediterranean States is that of outdoor, al fresco dining. The weather generally tends to be warm and summery, and the lifestyle in the country tends to be more relaxed.

You can, and should, take little breaks, have a snack, or a drink. The cost is relatively peanuts, and the quality is great.

So why shouldn’t you indulge?

A glass of wine taken in the Old Town, in Ljubljana – Slovenia!
A delicious mug of cold craft beer in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

Here’s a most delicious mug of cold craft beer! Bought at Čompa in Ljubljana. Cost: €2.50

My gin cocktail in Ljubljana – Slovenia!

p.s. Don’t forget to hang out with the locals! We had such a great time with our guides, that we went out for drinks one night, and met other locals! Thanks Urban. Good times!

Note: Taste Ljubljana Culinary Tour includes tour guidance, the tasting of five traditional dishes, the tasting of five different drinks, and a digestif. Each participant also receives a brochure containing recipes for typical Ljubljana dishes, and a small gift.

Cost: €38.00 for adults, €28.00 for children up to 12. €0.00 for children under 2!

Wow!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

I could go on and on, but I ought to leave something for you to discover, don’t you think?

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

Book your hotel!

SLOVENIA – A BASIC GUIDE TO FOOD!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism, absolutely all opinions, and the marvellous food that we noshed on, are my very own!

I’ve got plans for Autumn.

Find out next week!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

Slovenia – a basic guide to food!

Have you ever had Slovenian food? Would you try a horse burger or boiled beef tongue? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

Yoo-Hoo!

I’m back from Sweden!

And what an adventure.

It was Wow!

This summer is going to be so awesome!

If you’re just joining us, I have plans for the summer. Fantastic plans!

Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

I’ll be travelling to Sweden & Slovenia. By bus. OMG!

I have a million things to tell you so I’ll be breaking the posts down. This week is about the absolute best things to do in Stockholm, and next week will be where we stayed and what we ate and drank. Oh goodness me!

After that, I’ll be giving you some details about my up-coming trip to Slovenia.

E-X-C-I-T-I-N-G!

Look beneath your feet! It’s the beauty that is Slovenia!

But first, Sweden.

Today, I’m going to tell you why the winner takes it all, in Stockholm!

HELLO SWEDEN!

Sweden, really needs no introduction!

Sweden, otherwise known as the Kingdom of Sweden, really needs no introduction, and is a small Scandinavian country in Northern Europe.

It borders Norway to the west and Finland to the east, and is connected to Denmark in the southwest, by a bridge-tunnel across the Öresund.

Sweden is the third-largest country in the European Union with a whopping mass area of 450,295 square kilometres or 173,860 square miles, and a population of just 10 million people!

The capital city is Stockholm.

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO STOCKHOLM!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!
The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

Stockholm is the capital of Sweden and the most populous city in the Nordic countries. It is also the capital of Stockholm County.

Stockholm has been a settlement area since the Stone Ages around roughly 6 B.C. and was founded as a city in 1252!

It is spread across 17 islands on the coast at the mouth of Lake Mälaren, by the Stockholm archipelago, and to the Baltic Sea!

Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government & the official residencies of the Swedish monarch & the Prime Minister!

Stockholm is the seat of the Swedish government and the official residencies of the Swedish monarch and the Prime Minister. The Stockholm Palace is the official residence and workplace of the Swedish monarch, while the Drottningholm Palace, is the Royal Family’s private residence.

Stockholm is the cultural, media, political, and economic centre of Sweden. It is among the top 10 regions in Europe by GDP per capita, is a very important global city, and the main centre for corporate headquarters in the Nordic region!

The Nordic region is defined as Denmark, Iceland, Finland, Norway and Sweden, including their associated territories (Greenland, the Faroe Islands, and the Åland Islands)!

The Nordic Nations are quite trendy and all the range right now!

I had never been to Sweden before as the prices used to frighten me, but right now, the Nordic Nations are trendy, fashionable, and pretty much all the range, and I absolutely adooooore ABBA!

In fact, I was actually supposed to go to Sweden for the TBEX conference last year, but opted to go to the Philippines instead!

And I annoyingly regret it now!

Book your hotel here!

Me in the Philippines, but could this be a James Bond moment!
©Scott Herder – BoboandChiChi.com

I so wish I had been able to do both TBEX Europe & TBEX Asia Pacific, but it just isn’t possible as I have a family, and a respectable job!

Ah well! This year, I’ve chosen TBEX Europe. In Killarney, Ireland!

Exciting stuff. Back to Stockholm.

THE TOP 10 BEST INTERESTING THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM. BECAUSE THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL!

Stockholm is a most fascinating city, that is why EVERYONE is here!

Stockholm is a most fascinating city of trendy music, design, fashion and technology. It also has a rich history comprising exciting architecture, museums, a medieval urban core, and is home to the Nobel Prize!

  1.  ABBA – THE MUSEUM:
There is a reason why millions of people around the world go mad for ABBA. it. And we were no exception. We loved it!

OMG! We absolutely loved it! I brought along The Tall Young Gentleman who at 15 years old, is sceptical about everything, and he loved it too!

At first, he whinged and whined, because as a toddler, he loved the music of ABBA, until he saw the film MAMMA MIA! And then he was totally turned off!

However, what he liked most was not ABBA itself, but the Good Evening Europe new official exhibition dedicated to 60 years of the Eurovision Song Contest!

In the first section of the ABBA Museum is an interactive exhibition that celebrates the story of the world’s longest running annual television competition first held in 1956. Yep! The Eurovision Song Contest! There is a reason why millions of people around the world go mad for it. And my teenage son was no exception. He loved it!

The 2017 Eurovision Song Contest – Kyiv2017

And why?

Because of the songs, the singers, the live performances, the fact that you get to see Celine Dion with a hideous mullet but winning the Eurovision in 1998 for Switzerland, and taking off in her career, Ms. Conchita Wurst the winner of 2013 for Austria, the Irish Jedward twins in 2011, with the largest shoulder pads that TV has ever seen! Michael Flatley’s Riverdance for the very first time in 1994, and the fact that Ireland holds the world record for the highest number of wins, having won the contest seven times! Sweden six times, the UK along with France and Luxembourg, five times, and Germany, along with Austria, Italy, Spain, Ukraine and Switzerland, only twice!

Where would we be without ABBA who won the Eurovision in 1974, with Waterloo!

And of course, where would we be without ABBA who won the Eurovision in 1974, with Waterloo, wearing those fabulous glam sparkly clothes and huge platform shoes, thus changing the Song Contest forever. Previously before that, everyone wore tuxedos and bow ties!

The Museum also includes a new exhibition with more than 250 swedish and international artists, otherwise known as the Pop House, and the Gröna Lund Backstage – Photo Exhibition.

Note: The Swedish Music Hall of Fame is no longer located at ABBA – The Museum!

Yes. I danced with the holograms. It’s ABBA. What can I say!

You also get to walk, dance and sing as many ABBA songs as you like, which you can save and record. And for once, my teenage son wasn’t embarrassed by my singing, he actually thought my voice and ahem! my dance moves were pretty alright.

Yes. I danced with the holograms. It’s ABBA. What can I say!

Because ABBA!
©APA – dpa

ABBA – The Museum is modern, interactive, and a non-stop musical experience. A Must Do!

Cost: Adults 250 SEK or €26.00. Children between 7-15 years – 95 SEK or €10.00. Family tickets – Up to 2 adults and 4 children between 7 – 15 – 595 SEK or €61.50. Children under 7 – free of charge.

NOTE: NO cash accepted. Cards only.

2.  THE VASA MUSEUM:

We loved the VASA Museum in Stockholm – Sweden!

Another fantastic win. Again, we loved it! The VASA Museum is a unique museum that was built around the 17th century royal warship that sank on it’s maiden voyage in 1628!

I know!

What a disaster!

I mean, people were still waving goodbye with their handkerchiefs when it sank! Honestly speaking, I was expecting heads to roll for that, but you’ll need to find out what happens yourself!

The VASA was submerged at the bottom of the Stockholm harbour, pretty much outside the museum, for 333 years! It was finally found by an amateur archaeologist – Anders Franzén – in 1956 and rescued from the seabed in 1961!

VASA is the only preserved 17th century ship in the world & is on record as having the shortest maiden voyage in history, ever!

VASA is the most visited non-art museum in Scandinavia. It’s also the only preserved 17th century ship in the world, and is on record as having the shortest maiden voyage in history. Ever!

I had planned to spend only an hour, as we wanted to go to the SKANSEN Open-Air Museum too. Ha! Ha! That was a mistake, as in fact, we spent over three (3) hours at the VASA Museum instead!

The VASA is presented in all it’s glory, and there’s loads of things to do!

The VASA MUSEUM is presented in all it’s glory. There’s loads to do, with film screens, guided tours, interactive exhibitions, pictures, and of course, the enormous beautiful ship – the VASA – herself. A must do!

Cost: Adults 130 SEK or €13.50. Students – 110 SEK or €11.50. Children under 18 – Absolutely free of charge!

3.  THE SKANSEN OPEN-AIR MUSEUM:

Skansen – Easter witches in Stockholm – Sweden!
©Marie Andersson

This was supposed to have been one of the highlights of our trip, but we never did it!

We got to the front of the gate, and then turned around, as I wanted to go on the boat, one more time, AND visit the Old Town!

We were going to spend a few hours here because I am obsessed with open-air museums! 

I am disappointed that we didn’t make it, but I’m absolutely sure that we’ll be back to Stockholm, and when we do, it’ll be on the top of my list!

The Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world & so I weep, as I write!
©Christina Westberg

The Skansen is the oldest open-air museum in the world. I weep as I write!

This museum was founded in 1891 and tells the story of five (5) centuries of Swedish history. It comes complete with historical buildings, Nordic animals, a zoo, an aquarium, costumed characters clothed in period dress, and doing the work their ancestors probably would have done.

It would have been a crime to rush through it, so perhaps on reflection I was right to leave the open-air museum, to another day. Sob!

The best way to get to Skansen is by the ferry, as it’s on the Island of Djurgården!

You’ll probably need a minimum of two (2) hours, perhaps even three (3). And the best way to get there is actually to take the ferry, as it’s on the Island of Djurgården! Do it!

Cost: There are a variety of prices depending on what you want to see but generally, adults 180 SEK or €18.50. Students – 160 SEK or €16.50. Children between 4-15 years – 60 SEK or €6.00. Children under 4 – free of charge!

4.  THE ICEBAR:

Having a great time in Stockholm – Sweden
©Icebar by IceHotel

OMG! This. Was. Awesome!

I didn’t know what to expect, but we were invited by the Sales Manager of the Hotel C Stockholm!

We had been in communication whilst I was at the ITB Berlin, but we weren’t actually able to meet, as I was fully booked up! However, we stayed in contact, and once she realised that I was going to be in Stockholm, and even though I had already had my hotel organised, she invited us to an evening of cocktails at the ICEBAR by Ice Hotel!

ICEBAR by Ice Hotel in Stockholm is the world’s first permanent ice bar. Created 100% out of ice from the Torne River in Northern Sweden, it’s the Stockholm branch of the original ICEHOTEL created in Jukkasjärvi, back in 1994!

Book Hotel C Stockholm here or here!

Once you step into the ICEBAR by IceHotel in Stockholm, you’re bundled up in a warm coat with a furry hood, and gloves!

Once you step in, you’re bundled up in a warm coat with a furry hood, and gloves. You then step into the beautifully sculptured interior where the blocks of ice are crystal clear, and carved into fish!

There’s a seat of ice, covered with furs that made me feel like the Ice Queen in Narnia. The air was crisp, the floor was slightly slippery, and a sense of awe, comes over you.

We were served cocktails and non-alcoholic champagne, presented in a glass made entirely of ice, at the ICEBAR by ICEHOTEL in Stockholm – Sweden!

With our complimentary VIP cards, we were served cocktails and non-alcoholic champagne, presented in a glass made entirely of ice!

We were duly impressed!

Absolutely recommended. A Must Do!

Cost: It’s cheaper to pre-book or if you’re a hotel guest. Adults 199 SEK or €20.50. Non-alcoholic drinks – 170 SEK or €17.50. Children between 3-17 years – 99 SEK or €10.00.

Book Hotel C Stockholm here or here!

5.  THE ARCHIPELAGO:

The Stockholm Archipelago, otherwise known as skärgård, is the largest archipelago in Sweden!

The Stockholm Archipelago, otherwise known as skärgård, is the largest archipelago in Sweden, and the second-largest archipelago in the Baltic Sea (the largest being across the Baltic in Finland)!

The Stockholm Archipelago comprises about 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks that are accessible from Stockholm itself! We didn’t have enough time to do this as first time visitors, but if you’re in Stockholm for more than 3 days, or you’ve been to Stockholm before, this  is an excellent activity to do. There are 40 reserves with small settlements. Many of the islands have unique nature and beautiful cultural landscapes. You can even dine or spend the night, as well as enjoy seal safaris, visit historic settings, see art, hike, cycle, paddle, and eat locally sourced dishes and archipelago delicacies!

Enjoy 30,000 islands, islets, and rocks, at the Stockholm Archipelago – Sweden.

Make it a day trip to remember.

Cost: Variable depending on which ship company you go with. This is where the Stockholm Pass comes in handy. We had VIP passes for 72 hours, and could have gone on an Archipelago Guided Tour, for free!

6.  OLD TOWN / GAMLA STAN:

Gamla Stan – the Old Town in Stockholm – Sweden, is a medieval urban core & also one of the world’s best-preserved medieval city centres!

The Old Town, otherwise  known as Gamla Stan in Stockholm, is a medieval urban core, and also one of the world’s best-preserved medieval city centres with it’s meandering alleys lined with crooked buildings next to crooked art shops and galleries!

Gamla Stan is a traffic-free living museum stuffed with sights, restaurants, cafes, bars and places to go shopping! The narrow, winding cobblestones streets with buildings in fantastic bright colours, are a sight for sore eyes, and like Schnoor, the medieval centre of the city of Bremen, gives the Old Town a unique character.

The narrow, winding cobblestones streets with buildings in fantastic bright colours, are a sight for sore eyes in Stockholm – Sweden! Me too!!!!

We went on a free walking tour which was packed with young visitors from all over the world, but really gave us an insight into what Stockholm is all about. There are many free tour companies in Stockholm, but we chose this one ‘cos the timings of 10:00 & 16:00 were much better than 13:30! They even mentioned the Roof-Top bar of our Hobo Hotel, which was pretty dandy!

More about that next week! A Must Do!

Cost: Nothing at all, except a tip at your own discretion!

Book Hobo here or here!

7.  BOAT SIGHTSEEING:

Our Swedish boat sight-seeing guide in Stockholm – Sweden!

Stockholm lies on 14 islands, connected by 56 bridges! As a result, you can travel from place to place on a sightseeing boat. The sights are beautiful and the journey is unique. You can do a hop-on-hop-off boat tour, you can also take boat tours to Birka – the Viking City – Sigtuna and Skokloster, Drottingholm, Gustavsberg, Artipelag, Fjäderholmarna, Vaxholm, Rosersberg, as well as Royal Canal Tours, Under the Bridges of Stockholm Tours, and Historical Canal Tours.

Boats depart from various places and if using a Stockholm Pass, are included in the price!

NOTE: Depending on which pass you purchase, you can only validate the museum or attraction once. However, if you had a 48 hour pass, and wanted to do the same thing twice on separate days, I don’t think it would be an issue, but do check for confirmation before you travel!

8.  GO TO ANY OF THE PALACES:

Stockholm view with balloons
©Jeppe Wikström – mediabank.visitstockholm.com

The two most important palaces that you absolutely must go to, are the Royal Palace and the Drottningham Palace.

A guard outside the Royal Palace in Stockholm – Sweden!

The Royal Palace, with 600 rooms, is one of the largest inhabited palaces in the world! Not as many as Buckingham Palace though, which has 775 rooms. Just saying!

The palace is built in baroque style and formed as a Roman palace. The palace contains many interesting things to see such as the Royal Apartments, three (3) museums steeped in regal history, and the Royal Armory. I managed to watch the Changing of the Guards, but I only had the chance to spend snatched minutes basking in it’s elegance beneath the river, before it was time to move on! I would very much have enjoyed sitting on the steps, or just laying on the grass in the sunshine, and taking it all in!

The Drottningham Palace in Stockholm – Sweden.

The Drottningham Palace is Sweden’s best preserved royal palace from the 17th century. It serves as the Swedish Royal Family’s permanent private residence, and is one of Stockholm’s three (3) UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

The Palalce can be reached by water and features magnificent pieces from the 17th, 18th, and 19th centuries, as well as a beautiful park, a unique palace theatre, and a Chinese Pavilion.

The Royal Palace – Cost: Adults 160 SEK or €16.50. Children between 7-17 years – 80 SEK or €8.00. Children under 7 – free of charge!

The Drottningham Palace – Cost: Adults 130 SEK or €13.50. Students – 65 SEK or €7.00. Children between 7-17 years – 65 SEK or €7.00. Children under 6 – free of charge!

9.  GO ON A GHOST WALK:

The Stockholm Ghost Walk. Ooooo!

There’s a reason that I love Game of Thrones, and it’s because of the blood and gore. I’m also very much into witches, ghosts, vampires, and wolves!

It should be of no surprise therefore, when I discovered that Stockholm has a Ghost Walk!

Now, I ran out of time, and was far too tired, as I had cocktails to drink…but I’ve been told that you can explore dark alleyways of Gamla Stan on an exciting mystical tour through history, about tales of murder, disease, fires, legends, and a houseful of ghosts! Rattle!

Tales of murder, disease, fires, legends, and a houseful of ghosts in Stockholm-Sweden. Rattle!

RATTLE!

A Must Try!

Cost: Adults 200 SEK or €20.50. Children between 7-14 years – 100 SEK or €10.20. Children under 7 – Not recommended.

  1. ART IN THE SUBWAY STATION:
The Stockholm Subway station – at 110 kms – is the longest art gallery in the world!

The Stockholm subway station opened in 1950, and is – at 110 kms – known as the longest art gallery in the world!

Over 90 of the 100 subway stations have a unique style with exciting art and embellishments covered with sculptures, mosaics, paintings, installations, engravings and reliefs, by over 150 artists!

You can either explore the art independently or take a free guided art tour in the Stockholm Subway station – Sweden!

You can either explore the art independently or take a free guided art tour to learn about the architecture and artwork, and meet some of the artists.

I so wanted to do this as I like alternative street art, but I was so engrossed with things on land and on water, that I completely forgot!

Still, a Must Try!

Cost: Absolutely free of charge, as long as you have a valid train ticket. Don’t forget now!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Sadly, the Nobel Museum in Stoxkholm – Sweden, isn’t free!

 NOTE: The Museums and Attractions in Stockholm below are completely, and utterly free of charge!

  • The Army Museum
  • The Museum of Ethnography
  • The Hallwyl Collection
  • The Swedish History Museum
  • The Royal Coin Cabinet
  • The Royal Armoury
  • The Museum of Mediterranean and Near Eastern Antiquities
  • Moderna Museet
  • The National Museum
  • The Swedish Museum of Natural History and Cosmonova
  • The National Maritime Museum
  • The Museum of Far Eastern Antiquties
  • Skokloster Castle (unguided)
  • The Medieval Museum
  • ArkDes – national center for architecture and design
  • The Bonniers Konsthall art gallery
  • The National Sports Museum of Sweden – Riksidrottsmuseet
  • Dansmuseet – A museum dedicated to dance, theatre, art and photo
  • The Stockholm City Museum – closed for renovation until 2018! Guided tours available

Book your hotel here!

THE TOP 10 BEST INTERESTING THINGS TO DO IN STOCKHOLM. BECAUSE THE WINNER TAKES IT ALL!

A Swedish hotdog in Stockholm – Sweden!

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with Visit Stockholm, and the above organisations, absolutely all opinions, and the fantastic time that I had, are my very own!

Thanks so much!

In June, I’ll be writing more about Sweden, and visiting Slovenia! Follow me on Twitter & Facebook to find out what I’m up to!

I’ll be there. Will you?

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

That’s it for now.

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

The top 10 best interesting things to do in Stockholm. Because the winner takes it all!

Have you ever been to Stockholm? What do you think of ABBA? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

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21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

It’s proper Springtime!

A few weeks ago, I told you about how we had such a lovely time in Croatia, and all the unique things that we did!

However, we did more than just go to Croatia.

Yep!

We also went to..

Wait for it.

Dubrovnik!

And what a magnificent city. I really can’t hold it in any longer so this week, I’m going to tell you why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit, and that if you haven’t been, you ought to go now!

21 REASONS WHY DUBROVNIK IS ONE OF THE TOP EUROPEAN CITIES TO VISIT. IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN. GO NOW!

21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European citities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!
21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

If you’re just joining, this is what you missed:

Croatia is the first time that I’ve ever been to the Balkan States, my 62nd country, and the first (1st) new country for 2017!

It was better than I ever hoped.

Whoopa!

LET’S GET A LITTLE HISTORY!

How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!
How to visit the Balkans: Introducing Croatia – the dream of Game of Thrones!

Dubrovnik , otherwise known as Ragusa, is a Croatian city on the Adriatic Sea, in Dalmatia!

The name Dubrovnik is first recorded in the Charter of Ban Kulin in 1189 and was mostly explained as a Slavic name, meaning an oak grove or oak forest. However, both names Dubrovnik and Ragusa co-existed for several centuries.

Ragusa, recorded – since the 10th century – considered to stem from the Greek word Lausa – remained the official name of the Republic of Dubrovnik until 1808, while Dubrovnik – first recorded in the late 12th century – was in widespread use by the 16th or early 17th century!

The prosperity of the city was historically based on maritime trade, and during the 15th and 16th centuries, became famous not only for it’s wealth, but also for it’s skilled international diplomacy!

Dubrovnik is one of the most prominent tourist destinations in the Mediterranean Sea, a seaport, and the centre of Dubrovnik-Neretva County. It’s population is about 42,461, and is one of the UNESCO World Heritage Sites!

WHY GO TO DUBROVNIK?

21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

Courtesy of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board who issued me with a press pass, and very kindly invited us to a Croatian traditional lunch, and organised a private customised walking tour, we were in fact, able to do quite a lot.

Thanks so much!

What now?

I thought you would never ask…

Welcome to the Old City in Dubrovnik, otherwise known as Grad!

1.  The Dubrovnik Old City & City Wall: Dubrovnik is a museum city crammed with hidden treasures. If you don’t do anything at all, make sure you climb the City Wall! Top tip! You can use the ticket of the City Wall to get into the Lovrijenac Fort – for free – and there is no need to buy another ticket!

2.  It’s a waterfront port city: You know how much I enjoy water destinations. Dubrovnik ticked each, and every box!

3.  History: Dubrovnik is an old city alive full of history and stories, and Dubrovnik like the city of Split, is a flagship heritage attraction, utterly protected by UNESCO, since 1979!

A large part of Kings’ Landing and the Red Keep was filmed in Lovrijenac – the fortress outside the City Wall in Dubrovnik – and just a few minutes away!

4.  Walking Tours: The Dubrovnik Tourist Board very kindly organised a private customised walking tour which was peppered with the history of the old Republic of Dubrovnik, tips about famous Croatians, and the secrets of where Game of Thrones was filmed. A large part of King’s Landing and the Red Keep was filmed in Lovrijenac – the fortress outside Dubrovnik’s City Wall and just a few minutes away! In fact, I’m watching the bestselling cult series again right now, and I’m ecstatic. I must have seen the complete 1 – 6 series American Amazon here, British Amazon here, German Amazon here, at least four (4) times, and I’m watching it all over again!

5.  The port of Dubrovnik is romantic: You can enjoy a very pleasant walk along the river-side or towards the castle and fortress. Or you can simply have a meal or a glass of something bubbly, while basking in the early evening sun!

Take me to the island of Lokrum in Croatia, which is a mere 15 minutes away and a special UNESCO forest vegetation reserve!

6.  You can visit an island: You can take a daytrip to the Elaphiti Islands or to the island of Lokrum, a mere 15 minutes away and a special UNESCO forest vegetation reserve! We really tried hard to get there, but either it was raining and no boats were going out, or we spent a hell of a lot of time on the City Wall!

7.  You can stroll through the very small Old City with nothing to fear but the selfie stick of other tourists!

Me in Dubrovnik – Croatia!

8.  It’s a city of history through the ages: You only have to walk through the City Gates and history is right before your very eyes. Turn here, and you’ll see ancient sailing vessels, turn there, and you’ll hear the whisper of centuries of wealth, power and fame!

9.  Dubrovnik is known as a city on the palm of the hand: The city is so named due to it’s history, it’s beauty, and it’s openness to the world!

In a living city, there are strings of washing strewn across the window or terrace. In some places, with the horror of a pair of damp dangling knickers fluttering, in front of one’s face!

10.  Dubrovnik is an authentic living city: I always felt as if I was in somebody’s backyard, as on practically every corner and side-street, there were stairways and steps, and strings of washing seen strewn across the window or terrace. In some places, with the horror of a pair of damp dangling knickers fluttering, in front of one’s face!

11.  Dubrovnik is international: We saw plenty of American, Korean, Italian and Croatian tourists, dominated by Brits and the Irish! A quick look around and a bit of a natter with other tourists would reveal a bevy of young wealthy Indians. Many of whom actually lived in Germany!

21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

12.  Dubrovnik is small: I don’t know how they do it, but Dubrovnik is tinier than Split! And with a population of just 42,461 inhabitants, is perfectly walkable. In fact, no vehicles are allowed into the Old City except for those trolley-like carts!

13.  The nightlife: Dubrovnik has a great nightlife. In pretty much every corner, there’s a bar or a few tables, and in the summer, live music. As this was a family holiday, the party would have to wait however, almost every evening we found a nice little place where we could enjoy a glass of wine or champagne, while the sun set!

We found a natural cave complete with stalagmites and stalactites. It’s known by the locals, but not so much by travellers. It’s the Cave Bar More in Dubrovnik – Croatia!

14.  Secret bars: We found two bars that were not well-known, but were absolute fantastic. We stumbled upon both of them! One was whilst we decided to go cliff walking around Dubrovnik instead. We found a restaurant, but deeper inside it was a natural cave complete with stalagmites and stalactites! It’s known by the locals, but not so much by travellers. It’s called the Cave Bar More where you could have wine and cocktails. Which we did!

The other place we saw whilst we were on the Castle Walls itself. It’s difficult to find as it’s part of the cliff and sort of tucked behind a side street, that leads to the City Wall. There’s no signage, but if you’re determined, you’ll find it! On talking to one of the waiters, he told me that their customers tend to be locals or those “in the know.” It can get a little chilly, and there are no barriers or fencing, so you’ll need to keep a hold of young kids, but it was awesome.

A marvellous place to have a beer and watch the sun go down in front of the Lokrum island. It’s called Zto Bard. Go find it!

Night life in Dubrovnik – Croatia!

15.  Museums & Galleries: I love places that teach you something and give you an impression of the lives of those living there, and Dubrovnik had them in spades. We were only able to make it to the Maritime Museum, which really gave me some insight into the maritime history of Dubrovnik and how important the sea is, but I so desperately wanted to visit the Ethnographic Museum. We managed a quick peek into the Franciscan Monastery which I recognised from Game of Thrones, and a peek into the Cathedral, but we weren’t able to do it properly, and simply had no time at all, for the Dominican Monastery!

The cable car is a unique way to see the height and sights of the city of Dubrovnik!

16.  Dubrovnik Cable Car: What a unique way to see the height and sights of the city of Dubrovnik! In fact, once you’ve taken the cable car, and you’re at the top of the Srđ Hill, there’s a viewing platform where you can see enchanting views of the Old City, the Lapad Bay, and the other nearby islands!

17.  It’s off the beaten path: Croatia, not to talk of Dubrovnik, is still relatively unknown! Perhaps, it was the fact that we had arrived in the low season, but in Zagreb we saw very few tourists except for Americans and local Croatians. In Split, mainly German and Italian.

Most of the Asian and British tourists seemed to be in Dubrovnik!

There was some sort of voluntary cat home under the steps of the Dubrovnik City Wall!

18.  Cats: We saw cats everywhere. They weren’t as feral or as wild as the cats that we saw in Portugal – but quite cute. In fact, there was some sort of voluntary cat home under the steps of the City Wall! You can make a donation or leave tins of cat food, and even play with the cats. If the cats let you!

19.  A budget destination: In comparison to Italy and Austria nearby, prices are lower and the quality just as good!

OMG! The seafood in Croatia is so impressive!

20.  Croatian food: OMG! The seafood was impressive. More about that next week!

21.  Because Game of Thrones!

TAKE ME THERE?

Take me to Dubrovnik right away!

As you all pretty much know by now, I’m a great believer in train travel. However, Croatia is quite far from Germany, so we flew!

Note: There aren’t a lot of inter-city trains. In fact, there’s no train station in Dubrovnik at all!

There actually aren’t a lot of trains in Croatia at all!

If you’re on a tight budget then many bus-coach companies such as MeinFernbus / FlixBus also go to Croatia. But do be aware that the fastest routes are usually only sold in Croatia itself.

We decided to use the coach-bus between Split-Dubrovnik.

Split – Dubrovnik proved problematic, as the coach-bus actually went backwards in the direction of Zagreb, then dropped us in the backwater town of Benkovac, at the Benkovac Busbahnhof!

I didn’t like Benkovac in Croatia, at all!

Benkovac was yucky!

As soon as I saw the “bus station,” I wanted to get the hell out of there!

It was practically deserted and every “room” was boarded up.

We had a 1 hour stop-over at 10:30, and the next decent place was a bar. So we ran to it and ordered a few (non-alcoholic) drinks there!

It’s 10:30 in the morning remember.

An early morning shot of vodka in many East European countries, is believed to be quite healthy!

Not that it stopped any of the local punters. Ho! Ho!….!

Our journey took 8 hours and 30 minutes, but the bus was 45 minutes late, so make that 9 hours and 15 minutes instead!

We probably should have rented a car, and be done with it!

Cost: Split – Benkovac €12.00. Benkovac – Metkovic €7.35. Benkovac – Dubrovnik €5.65 per person.

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Dubrovnik has the potential to be most popular!

Not in April.

But it has the potential to be, as Dubrovnik is most popular!

In fact, most of the tourists were on the City Wall, and many tourist attractions  were still very much empty as it wasn’t yet “the season.” Many a restaurant were looking for punters and luring customers in with 10% discounts, or more!

But in the summer, prepare to gird your loins, and fight your way through!

Plan well.

Book your hotel here!

WHAT IS DUBROVNIK LIKE?

21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

Marvellous!

We were only there for 4 days, but we could have stayed for a week, as we had so many things to see, and the weather put a hamper on some of the activities that we wanted to do.

It’s rich in history, is of architectural interest and has a wonderful harbour. There are castles and fortresses galore, the seafood and wine is not to be missed, and the islands nearby are attractive.

If it’s good enough to reflect the main filming location in Game of Thrones as King’s Landing, the capital city of the Seven Kingdoms, it’s good enough for you!

I DON’T SPEAK CROATIAN!

I’m guessing that the parrots don’t speak much Croatian either, although I couldn’t quite understand what they were doing there!

No worries!

It’s amazing how many languages a typical European speaks.

Most speak a minimum of three (3)!

If you speak English, German, Italian or Korean, you’re good to go.

Besides, everyone pretty much speaks English too!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You really can’t live on the Dubrovnik City Wall. Even if you want to!

Not at all.

Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

This glass of beer was quaffed on our Dubrovnik apartment terrace, and was a gift from our Croatian landlord!

We’ve all been there.

Dubrovnik isn’t cheap-cheap, but if you’re from the UK or the US, it’s as cheap as chips.

If you’re from Germany, prices are the same as in Berlin, and you can eat at gourmet restaurants, at budget prices!

And the seafood is delightful!

We pretty much spent a large amount of time drinking lots of wine, whilst people watching. And a few more!

And on this trip, we decided to book apartments instead of hotels or hostels.

Book your apartment here!

This was our sunny terrace at our Dubrovnik apartment. We were very comfortable!

We had great difficulty with personal space in Madrid last year, as The Tall Young Gentleman has recently turned 15 (OMG!), and is very tall. We decided to either book two (2) hotel rooms, or a large apartment instead.

Prices are low, and the quality and standard of apartments available, is exceedingly high.

Book ahead to get good prices.

Book your apartment or hotel here!

I’M LOOKING FOR SOMETHING A BIT DIFFERENT. ANY IDEAS?

I have plenty of ideas. Just ask me!

Always.

Go ahead and ask me!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Lots of people, walk or take the bus. But you can just as well canoe your way around!

All of Croatia is pretty small, so every city we visited was quite walkable.

Cars are not allowed into the Old City! For the day-to-day, the locals used some sort of cart!

Dubrovnik is pretty small so everywhere is walkable. You can travel around the city by bicycle, boat, cable car, the local bus, or simply walk.

We were lucky to get a private customised city tour courtesy of the Dubrovnik Tourist Board who paired us with the expertise of the PR Department Coordinator!

ANYTHING ELSE?

You need proper shoes in order to navigate Croatia!
You need proper shoes in order to navigate Croatia!

Ditch the heels and expensive leather brogues, and take comfortable walking shoes.

There be steep and cobbled stones!

Oh, and get the Dubrovnik Card. It includes the cost of the City Walls, which more than makes up for itself!

MY VERDICT:

Dubrovnik is a dream!

Dubrovnik is an undisputed dream.

It’s medieval.

It’s appealing.

It’s got history, art and culture, and looks utterly charming.

If you’re looking for one of the top European cities to visit in 2017, that is safe, lively, and ready to be discovered. It’s right there!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Because the White Walkers from Game of Thrones, scare me!

Utterly!

Because, Game of Thrones!

Go visit Dubrovnik. Now!

Where we stayed: Green Park Apartments – Just €60.00 per night for the whole apartment. Marvellous!

Book your hotel here!

21 REASONS WHY DUBROVNIK IS ONE OF THE TOP EUROPEAN CITIES TO VISIT. IF YOU HAVEN’T BEEN. GO NOW!

21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

This article is not sponsored and even though I received a press pass, and a complimentary city tour courtesy of the Split – Dalmatia County Tourist Board, all opinions and the delightful Castle Wall that we sprawled over, are my very own!

In May & June, I’ll be visiting Sweden and Slovenia!

From May 17th – May 20th, I’ll be at the Berlin Music Video Awards.

From June 8th – June 9th, I’ll be at the Berlin Fashion Film Festival.

From July 4th – July 7th, I’ll be at Berlin Fashion Week. It’s going to be so much fun!

I’ll be there. Will you?

If you’re not in Berlin in May, you’re quite mad!

Save the Date!

May & June are going to be pleasing!

Croatian food is most delicious!

Watch this space!

Note! I never travel without insurance as you never know what might happen.

I learnt my lesson in Spain. And obviously, in countries like Qatar, where technically the risk is higher, I can’t imagine going that far beyond, WITHOUT INSURANCE. No siree! You can get yours here, at World Nomads!

Please note that there are now affiliate links (for the very first time) connected to this post. Please consider using the links, because every time some sort of accommodation or travel insurance is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at no extra cost to yourself!

A win-win for all!

Thanks a million!

21 reasons why Dubrovnik is one of the top European cities to visit. If you haven’t been. Go now!

Have you ever been to Dubrovnic? Any ideas why parrots are in the Old City? Let me know in the comments below!

See you in Berlin.

If you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, look for me on Google+ or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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