Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

You guys!

Wow!

What a wonderful summer I’m going to have!

Now you might have seen me make hints as to where I’m going, and there’s more where that came from! Golly yes!

The suburban rivers of ye olde Manchester.

Update: The day I published this post, was the day that a bombing took place in my original home-town of Manchester. I am saddened and outraged as this act of terrorism was not only cowardly, but taken out in an area where teenagers and young children were watching (by all accounts) a fabulous concert of Ariana Grande. Everyone is most upset. And so am I.

My fellow Mancunians have rallied round to give each other comfort and support. They are brave, and so must we all be. This has not been the first time that Manchester has been bombed by terrorists in the last 20 years, and sadly, it won’t be the last.

It was only a few months ago that Berlin was targeted by a mad man at the German Christmas Market, then London was terrorised just last March, Stockholm in April, and now Manchester.

And this time it came very close to home, as the office of my brother – The Writer – is opposite the Manchester Arena! I rang home in the middle of the night with a shaking hand!

Manchester – And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

But what should we do`?

We must cry, and we should.

And then we have to get up, brush down, wipe away the tears, keep calm, and Carry On with things!

Manchester people (of which I am one) are known for plain speaking, and being strong of mind.

We’re stoic, and have a stiff upper lip! #DontLookBackInAnger.

Whatever you think of Britain, the UK is open for business, and always will be.

My original home-town of Manchester!

Let’s make a re-cap on where I’ve been in 2017 so far:

How to visit Amsterdam: Introducing Zaandam – a Dutch traditional town with windmills!

HOLLAND:

THE CZECH REPUBLIC:

I went skiing but I didn’t actually write about it this year. Oops! Here’s what I wrote previously…

At the Vienna Opera Ball.
@ WienTourismus / Peter Rigaud/Couture Vivienne Westwood

AUSTRIA:

CROATIA:

Now that’s out of the way, let’s move forward.

OMG!

FANTASTIC NEWS! I’M TRAVELLING TO SWEDEN & SLOVENIA BY BUS. NOW ISN’T THAT AWESOME. EEK!

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

I am ecstatic as Sweden & Slovenia are going to be completely and utterly new, making the countries that I’ve visited (not that I’m counting you understand!), to be 37 countries in Europe, 12 countries in Asia, 6 countries in Africa, 2 countries in North America, 1 country in South America, 1 country in the Middle East, and 5 dependent islands! 3 countries (so far), have been new in 2017.

That makes a grand total of 64 countries and 5 continents!

I’ll be travelling to Sweden & Slovenia. By bus. And here’s why!

SWEDEN

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek! – Sweden

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.

WHERE WILL VICTORIA BE GOING TO EXACTLY?

Stockholm – Sweden.

Stockholm!

WHY STOCKHOLM?

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

Because I’ve never been to Sweden as the prices used to frighten me, but right now, the Nordic Nations are all the range right now, 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!

WHAT ELSE WILL I BE DOING?

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

Ha!

I’m excited to tell you that I’ll be doing a hell of a lot of stuff and thinking about it as I write, I don’t even think I have the time to do even half the things I’ve planned, as in actually fact, we only have three (3) days to work with!

Stockholm is a very tourist-friendly city so some of the things I’m planning would be:

Because ABBA!
©Agnethannifrid.blogspot.de
  • Going to ABBA The Museum: OMG! I don’t even know where to start. I mean, ABBA was, and is, one of the world’s most popular and successful pop groups in THE world! And let me tell you, if you’re just starting out in the music profession and want a guaranteed hit, make sure it’s an ABBA re-mix, and you’ll be in clover!
  • Rambling: We’re absolutely going to do a Guided Old Town Walkabout, and then use the rest of the time to ramble and stroll through the city, and various nooks and crannies, ourselves.
We’ll probably doing some water-based activities in Stockholm – Sweden.
©Yanan Li – Stockholm Media Bank
  • We’ll probably be taking a variety of boat tours as I like water and river destinations, and perhaps, use the Hop-on-Hop-off bus to get our natural bearings.
  • I’m going to spend a few hours at Skansen – the world’s first open-air museum! You all know how much I like open-air museums. It just keeps getting better and better! Anyhoo, the Skansen was founded in 1891 and tells the story of five (5) centuries of Swedish history!
Guards at the Royal Palace. Don’t they look fancy in Stockholm – Sweden?
©Jeppe Wikström – mediabank.visitstockholm.com
  • I’ll be going to a few important places of interest such as the Vasa Museum and the Royal Palace. I was looking forward to squeezing in the Vikingaliv Museum which just opened last month, but sadly, we won’t have enough time to dedicate to it on this trip! Note: Many of the Stockholm museums are actually free of charge! Yipee!!
  • Money-saving: One of the most important things that I’ve noticed to do in cities, especially the more expensive ones, is to actually get a Stockholm City Pass. We used one in Croatia and Vienna, and they both proved enormously useful, not only making things more convenient so that you don’t have to fiddle with a million tickets at a time, but in many cases actually saved money! And if you’re in places like London & Paris, they’re a life-saver!
Having a great time in Stockholm – Sweden
©Icebar by IceHotel – http://www.icehotel.com
  • I’ll be topping the evening with cocktails at the ICEBAR by Ice Hotel. I mean, the ICEBAR – at the Stockholm branch of the original ICEHOTEL created in Jukkasjärvi, back in 1994!

We’re not going to Lapland at this time, but we will be having drinks at the world’s first permanent bar, made 100% out of ice. In Stockholm!

I’ll have yours!

Book your hotel here!

As for Swedish food. I don't dare think of the prices with a growing lad in tow. Here come the street markets in Stockholm - Sweden!©Mikael Sjoberg - mediabank.visitstockholm.com
As for Swedish food. I don’t dare think of the prices with a growing lad in tow! ©Mikael Sjoberg – mediabank.visitstockholm.com

As for food. I don’t dare think of the prices so we’ll be having sandwiches for lunch and a proper meal at dinner-time. Oh, and did I tell you that the ever-growling stomach of The Tall Gentleman is coming along too. Gulp!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Hobo is an original art design hotel & a creative outlet for urban farming and innovative tech installation in Stockholm - Sweden! ©Hobo Hotel
Hobo is an original art design hotel & a creative outlet for urban farming & innovative tech! ©Hobo

I met a few of the lovely Stockholm Visitors Board team while I was at the ITB Berlin, and they were very helpful when I told them that I was planning to Visit Stockholm. They not only offered me a complimentary Stockholm Pass, but also put me in contact with the Hobo award-winning design hotel that was just launched in March!

This original art design hotel is a creative outlet for urban farming and innovative tech installation and really is called Hobo!

Fancy meeting you at the Hobo Bar in Stockholm – Sweden!
©Hobo

Hobo is not a hostel, or a home for the homeless, but like the art design hipster-style boutique hotel that I went to in Taiwan, is an artistic hotel aimed at forming a holistic experience for the urban traveller, with a touch of hippy trend!

Book Hobo here or here!

SLOVENIA

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

Slovenia, otherwise known as Slovenija or the Republic of Slovenia, is another tiny nation-state in Eastern – Central Europe!

It is bordered by Italy to the west, Austria to the north, Hungary to the northeast, Croatia to the south and southeast, and the Adriatic Sea to the southwest. It has a mass of 20,273 square kilometers or 7,827 square miles and has a population of just 2.06 million people!

The capital and largest city, is Ljubljana.

WHERE WILL VICTORIA BE GOING TO EXACTLY?

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek! Ljubljana – Slovenia
©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism

Ljubljana!

You heard me. Lju-bl-jaaaaaaaaaana!

WHY LJUBLIJANA?

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

Seriously though, the reason why I want to go to Slovenia is because I’ve 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!

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!

WHAT ELSE WILL I BE DOING?

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

We are going to be doing a lot of stuff as we’re going to be in Slovenia for a week!

  • I wanted to spend some quality time with The Tall Young Gentleman, and I think Slovenia is the perfect place to do it. We’ve got activities jam-packed!
  • Slovenia is a very green country and like Croatia, amazingly beautiful. I mean, just look at the photography, so we’re going to be spending quite a lot of time outdoors.
We’re going to be spending quite some time in Ljubljana as I like to get inside the soul of a city!
Robba fountain & Cathedral ©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism
  • Of course, we’re going to be spending quite some time in Ljubljana itself as I like to get inside the soul of a city. I also want to prove people who say that Ljubljana only deserves a few hours, wrong!
  • We’re going to go on a guided tour so that we can get inside knowledge from local experts.
Prekmurska Gibanica – A Slovenian layered pastry with poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, raisins and a cream filling!
  • We’re going to go on a most delicious food tour. Because food. Yum!
  • We’re going to go to the Slovenian countryside and spend a day among the shepherds on Velika Planina!
I’m hoping our river cruise in Slovenia, is not going to look like this. Gulp!
But rather like this!
Boat cruise – Ljubljana – Slovenia ©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism
  • We’re going to go on a river cruise which is going to be awesome!
  • We’ll be exploring Ljubljana’s largest and most beautiful parkland area at the Tivoli Park.
Ramble on cobbled streets in Slovenia!
Town Square – ©D.wedam – Ljubljana Tourism
  • We’ll be spending some time rambling through the cobbled streets and running from one museum or local attraction to another, using the Ljubljana Card.
Isn’t Lake Bled in Slovenia, just bloody marvellous!
  • And to top it off we’ll spend a day at the stunning Lake Bled, not only surrounding ourselves with mountains, forests, and fresh air, but also the medieval Bled Castle.

I’m salivating with architectural delight!

ANYTHING ELSE?

We’re going to be staying at the aptly named Hotel Park Ljubljana. In Slovenia!

I’m going to be working in partnership with Ljubljana Tourism in order to experience all that is best in Ljubljana, and the surrounding area!

In order to keep to the theme of sustainability and environmental consciousness, we’re going to be staying at the aptly named Hotel Park Ljubljana, located in the heart of the Old Town of Ljubljana, and situated in a leafy park.

We’re going to have a great time!

Book your hotel here!

HOW AM I TRAVELLING?

Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

Well, I’m guessing the title says it all, but just in case you’re not convinced, we’re going to be travelling Berlin – Stockholm – Berlin and Berlin – Ljubljana – Berlin, entirely by coach-bus!

I’m sorry.

What did you say now?

You heard me.

By bus!

Gulp!

I know you’re crazy Victoria, ‘cos the last time you took a 26 hour bus from Estonia – Berlin, you said that you wouldn’t do that again, and yet, here you are!

Doing it again!!!

Yep!

Travel by FlixBus through the European Alps!

Now I’m not entirely crazy as I’m going to be working in partnership with a German company called FlixBus!

FlixBus, previously known as MeinFernbus is a young mobility provider that has been changing the way millions of people travel in Europe over the past 3 years. It’s a combination of a tech-startup, an e-commerce-platform and a transportation company, making FlixBus one of Europe’s largest intercity bus networks!

FlixBus from as little as €5.00!

One of the reasons that I’ve put all my trust in FlixBus is because we’ve travelled with them from time to time over the years, and just recently, we used their services while we were in Croatia from Zagreb to Split to Dubrovnik!

You might have noticed that there’s an image of a Flixbus on the side of the panel. I’m so convinced that it’s all going to work out, that I’ve joined their affiliate programme so that you can join in the fun too. As usual, if you book your journey via my link, there is no extra cost to you, and I get a little percentage for my trouble.

It’s definitely going to be an adventure!

Book your hotel here!

FANTASTIC NEWS! I’M TRAVELLING TO SWEDEN & SLOVENIA BY BUS. NOW ISN’T THAT AWESOME. EEK!

Are you with me through Sweden & Slovenia?

This article is part – sponsored, and even though I’m working in partnership with the above organisations, absolutely all opinions, and the thrilling time that I’m certain to have, are my very own!

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

I’ll be there. Will you?

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

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!

Fantastic news! I’m travelling to Sweden & Slovenia by bus. Now isn’t that just awesome. Eek!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Have you ever been to Slovenia? Do you have any advice? 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

If you like this post, please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

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How I went to Tallinn in Estonia, a Medieval Old Town surrounded by Danish Castles. How utterly charming!

Tallinn Medieval Days. Kristina Õllek @Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau
Tallinn Medieval Days.
Kristina Õllek @Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau

Wow!

2015 has been something else and pretty extraordinary.

It’s May and I’ve already been to seven (7) countries.

Seven!

Whoop! Whoop!

And some of them are already turning out to be my favourites.

And others not so much!

So where did I go?

In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!
In Prague reading something and looking all serious, but not completely serious!

I went to the city of sin also known as Amsterdam. I also went skiing in the Czech Republic and told you how I fell off the ski lift, but this time I was ill and ended up spending most of my time eating fried cheese and soup! For our family holiday, we went to the relatively unknown Baltic Region and went on an exhausting 26 hour bus journey to Lithuania and spent an interesting time eating pig’s ear in Vilnius! After that, we went to Latvia and the very gorgeous Riga.

Due to other engagements, my husband – The Music Producer – only travelled with us for a week and flew back to Berlin whilst “The Tall Young Gentleman” and I continued the rest of our Baltic cultural adventure together. Once we returned home to Berlin, I prepared myself to go to the TBEX conference and even though I had a great time there, I got abandoned at the airport not only on the outward flight journey but on the return flight too! Thankfully, Barcelona more than made up for it.

Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.
Me on the beach at Lloret de Mar, Spain.

I also went to Estonia and Finland but I haven’t written the details yet so I’ll be writing about them in the following weeks.

ESTONY WHAT?

Estoooo-nia.

Sigh!

But alright. OK. Most Europeans don’t know much about it either so cue…

Victoria aka The British Berliner to tell you all about it.

Let’s get back to where I was just a few weeks ago. In the Baltic Region.

ESTONIA

Happy Estonian people!
Happy Estonian people!

Estonia, officially called the Republic of Estonia, is a country surrounded by Finland, Latvia, and Russia. It is considered one (1) of the smallest countries in the European Union, as it only has a country-wide population of 1.3 million people!

An advanced, highly economic country, its history with Finland is tightly connected, coming from an ancient type of Finnish people! The Estonian language stems from Finno-Ugric which is closely related to Finnish and Sami, with a distant link to Hungarian.

Estonia is so far North that it’s on the same latitude as parts of Alaska and Siberia!

Estonia’s modern development has risen so quickly and achieved so much success that Estonia is often described as one of the most wired countries in Europe and has the nickname of “e-Estonia!”

Wow!

Denmarks' flag in 1219.
Denmarks’ flag in 1219.

Here’s a little history:

Eston has just 1.3 million people but has been in the region for over 10,000 years! With Finno-Ugric roots that run thousands of years deep, they are closer to their Nordic cousins in culture and language than to their Baltic neighbours and were ruled by the Danes, Poles, Swedes, Germans and Russians. They became independent in 1918, lost it to half a century of occupation and only regained their independence in 1991 following the Singing Revolution based on the national pride of a society rich in music, creativity and entwined in folk song.

Estonia became a member of the EU and NATO in 2004, uses the Euro as its main currency and is part of a small group of countries known as the Baltic States.

These dolls were a little bit creepy & everywhere in Tallinn, Estonia!
These dolls were a little bit creepy & everywhere in Tallinn, Estonia!

The Baltic States might be small in landmass but the countries are considered to be old European in look, rich culture, enchanting history, and long-established tradition. In fact, quite charming!

Estonia is also a country not well-known and even within the E.U. itself, many Europeans have a hard time remembering what the capital city is or where it is.

It’s Tallinn by the way!

Get ready for the other country in-don’t-be-ridiculous-it’s-a-Nordic-or-perhaps-possibly-in-Eastern-Europe….

TALLINN

Street in the Old Town - Tõnu Tunnel - Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau.
Street in the Old Town
Tõnu Tunnel – Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau.

Tallinn, the capital of Estonia, is known around the world for its Hanseatic architecture and used to be known as a town call Reval. The preserved cobblestone streets of the city and it’s houses dates back as far as the 11th century in the Medieval age where brave Estonian knights rode through medieval architecture and made pacts with Baltic German nobility!

WHY GO TO TALLINN?

 

Outside the 15th century Epping Tower in Tallinn, Estonia.
Outside the 15th century Epping Tower in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Old Town in Tallinn is a medieval one and just bursting with culture. It is also preserved as part of the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage and so we went to Tallinn not only once, but twice!

Amid the Gothic houses of merchants and Guild houses, churches and warehouses, Tallinn’s Old Town offers such a medieval flair and authenticity, that no other city in the Baltic region can offer 15th and 16th century towers and walls, as well as the oldest Gothic Town Hall in all of Northern Europe!

The Tallinn Card for visitors & tourists.
The Tallinn Card for visitors & tourists.

With the help of the Tallinn Card 72 hours which was kindly offered to us by the Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau, we were able to explore Tallinn and travel through the city.

Thank you so much.

Did you know that:

  • Only 431,184 people officially live in Tallinn with a considerable number of locals actually living elsewhere!
  • Registered Tallinn citizens can travel the whole city using public transport, completely and utterly for free!
  • You can travel to St. Petersburg from Tallinn by cruise, visa free for 72 hours!
  • Tallinn is the 3rd most popular destination for cruise ships in the Baltic Sea Region.
  • Most people in Tallinn speak Estonian, Russian and English with many also speaking Finnish, German and French too!
Medieval Days in Tallinn - Kristina Õllek - Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau
Medieval Days in Tallinn – Kristina Õllek – Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau.
  • Estonia is considered to be the country with the highest percentage of start-ups per capita in the world. Much more even, than in my lovely Berlin and is one of the leading countries in the world in the development and promotion of e-business and the use of digital information!
  • There are 40 art galleries and exhibit halls.
  • 42 places of worship.
  • 58 museums.
  • 178 cultural societies and associations.
  • And 610 folk culture groups!

TAKE ME THERE?

Pick your poison on the Lux Express!
Pick your poison on the Lux Express!

As you know, we were so lucky to be on a part-sponsorship of the largest international express route coach-bus operator in the Baltic region. An Estonian company called Lux Express, taking us through the Baltic Region by road from Germany, all the way through to Estonia, and back again!

In travelling from Berlin to Lithuania, we were on the cheaper arm of the coach-bus company called Simple Express but once we got to Latvia, we were switched to the more aptly named Lux Express. We also went from Latvia to Estonia by the very same means.

I’ve already given you my verdict about Lux Express which you can find right here and here!

Travelling with Lux Express across the Baltic Region is certainly different from any other coach-bus company that I have either travelled with. And I’ve travelled with a lot LOL!

Relaxing on the Lux Express.
Relaxing on the Lux Express.

And was it worth travelling by coach bus from Latvia to Estonia?

Absolutely!

The seats were wider and bigger, there was a toilet on board and because there were fewer people, was fairly clean! You could recline back quite well, and there were individual screens on the seat with which you could watch films, comedy or TV series, listen to music, play games or go on-line. And there was WiFi that worked fantastically with headphones which were complimentary.

Included in the amazing price was also as much complimentary tea, coffee and hot chocolate as you liked. You just helped yourself as there was a huge drinks machine in the middle of the vehicle. And we did.

Lovely!

The journey from Riga to Tallinn was only 4 hours and 25 minutes.

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Literally one man and his horse, at the Estonian Open Air Museum!
Literally one man and his horse, at the Estonian Open Air Museum!

Nope!

Less than half a million people live in Estonia’s capital city and it was low season. We went to a few of the more famous sights and we were pretty much the only tourists there.

WHAT IS TALLINN LIKE?

Estonian Young Folk.
Estonian Young Folk.

We were only there for three (3) days but I had heard so many good things about Tallinn that when we returned from Finland, we spent another 1.5 days there too!

Whereas in Lithuania you definitely had the impression that you were in Eastern Europe, Estonia like Latvia, is a completely different kettle of fish. Although I found Riga utterly gorgeous because of it’s history with Art Nouveau, Tallinn was different.

Tallinn has something else.

It too is an Old Europe type of city that recognises it’s traditional roots and looks old-fashioned in character with it’s medieval history and dark, mysterious, romantic stories.

But it’s different.

Fighting with gallant knights.  Raise your sword sir!
Fighting with gallant knights.
Raise your sword sir!

It’s quite historical in look but extremely modern in thought and philosophy.

It’s a city that is very eager to welcome tourists and visitors as right from the taxi-driver to the shop-keeper, everyone was absolutely tip-top. The technology for such a small country was astonishing and everything worked beautifully.

I DON’T SPEAK ESTONIAN.

Not. A. Problem!

Honestly speaking, I have been awfully impressed by how in every Baltic State, English is widely spoken however, if you speak Russian, you won’t be out-of-place either!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

A rural hut at the Estonian Open Air Museum.
A rural hut at the Estonian Open Air Museum.

Not at all. It might be a country from “the other” Eastern Europe but you’re definitely going to be living in civilisation!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

There are plenty of hostels to be had.

I can’t give you any details but catering to the more budget conscious traveller is available as I saw quite a few hostels in very nice historical buildings!

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

The exquisite lobby at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.
The exquisite lobby at the Hotel St. Petersbourg in Tallinn, Estonia.

Oh yes indeed!

We stayed at the luxury 5-star boutique hotel – The Hotel St. Petersbourg.

The history of the building dates back to the 14th century and was mentioned for the first time in 1373. In 1850, the hotel was redesigned and it became the oldest operating hotel in Estonia! This elegant hotel was located right in the heart of Tallinn’s Old Town, was built in the style of Russian traders, luxury, elegance and Russian cuisine and only has 27 rooms!

We were in one of the twin superior rooms and I can’t under estimate how location and history is absolutely key.

Now, Estonia isn’t the cheapest of places, so when we took a taxi from the bus station to the hotel we braced ourselves…

Happily, our taxi fare was just €10.00 and the taxi driver who was Russian-Estonian was very chatty!

I love a budget as well as anyone but when you’re in “the other” Eastern Europe or in that part of Europe, you can afford to splash out, as it won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

One of the public areas at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.
One of the public areas at the Hotel St. Petersbourg in Tallinn, Estonia.

The Hotel St. Petersbourg is 165 years old and has been opened unfailingly, since 1850! Rumour has it that during the old USSR period, the presidents of the Soviet Union used to stay there! The hotel is now a member of the well acclaimed and reputable set of Schlösse Hotels and is the first 5-star hotel in the whole country!

Faaaaancy!

My grilled beef fillet mignon lunch at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.
My grilled beef fillet mignon lunch at the Hotel St. Petersbourg in Tallinn, Estonia.

We were so impressed that we even had lunch with the Director of Sales & Marketing – Mr. Alver Pupart – the very next day. He was a young 35 year old man who was really nice, helpful and friendly, and so we chatted about family and lifestyle, and I think he had such a great time that he gave us an Estonian Recipe Book.

So nice!

Whenever we go on a family holiday, I like to mix things up a little in order to experience a wide variety of accommodation possibilities, to meet the locals, and to stretch our budget in a more comfortable way.

A little luxury at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.
A little luxury at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.

I’ve been in hostels and small family B&B’s but I also like comfort, and I’m not averse to a little luxury.

Our stay at The Hotel St. Petersbourg was an indulgence.

When you book a room on-line, you can never be entirely sure what you’re going to get and can only hold your breath and cross your fingers.

I didn’t know what to expect in Estonia and was surprised at what we received.

Our Twin Superior Room at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.
Our Twin Superior Room at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.

Our twin superior room really lived up to it’s name. Our room was huge and had a very soft, plunging sofa, two (2) other rather nice fancy armchairs, a huge glass table and a few more other small lamp tables dotted around, a writing-table, a very large wardrobe, a mini-bar, coffee and tea making facilities, and an AC unit.

We shared our room of course, but for a young teenager, the traditional board games, the snooker and billiards table available on the second (2nd) floor, the large screen TV, the free WiFi, and a mini iPad for use in the room, was a godsend. “The Tall Young Gentleman” was in his element, and loved everything about The Hotel St. Petersbourg. So much so, that every hotel thereafter, for him, was a disappointment LOL!

A welcome pot of tea at the Hotel St. Petersbourg.
A welcome pot of tea at the Hotel St. Petersbourg in Tallinn, Estonia.

We had and a very nice en-suite bathroom that was fitted out with Gilchrist & Soames beauty products and plenty of fluffy towels and slippers, as well as daily complimentary bottles of water and Tallinn rum-flavoured wafer candy. A generous buffet and a’la carte breakfast of both Baltic and Nordic origin.

Oh yes, the excellent facilities of the hotel also included a free morning sauna between 07:00 – 11:00.

I’m British.

European saunas and fear of the unknown always brings me out in a sweat!

Gulp!

I certaintly won't be going to the sauna European style. Don't forget, I'm British!
I certaintly won’t be going to the sauna European style. Don’t forget, I’m British!

Thankfully, we were able to book out an hourly session and be in the sauna completely alone.

The spa and sauna were on the third (3rd) floor with a very large space, lots of complimentary bottles of water, dressing gowns, slippers, moisturisers, oils and gels, lounge and deck chairs, lockers, a hot cabin, showers to cool down, and absolute privacy.

We wore our swimming things and took in the view.

Very nice!

An Estonian breakfast of cold cuts, Estonian sausages, pate and vegetables at the Hotel St. Petersbourg!
An Estonian breakfast of cold cuts, Estonian sausages, pate and vegetables at the Hotel St. Petersbourg!

For breakfast, we had marvellous cold cuts, pate, a variety of sea-food, vegetables, sauces, pickles and cream. As well as a wide variety of cereal, fruit, bread, cake, pastries, pots of tea, coffee and juices. You could also choose from the a’la carte menu which had freshly made porridge and pancakes too!

All this from €170.00 per night in the Superior Twin Room which for two (2) people including a very generous breakfast and a private sauna would be €85.00 a pop!

This hotel was just so amazing.

We both loved it!

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO TALLINN?

At the Tallinn City Museum.
At the Tallinn City Museum.

We only went for four (4) days so this was a sloooooow cultural family trip.

There is plenty to do in Tallinn and we also had the Tallinn Card 72 hours package which was waiting for us at our hotel. With this card you can:

  • Jump on a hop on, hop off Tallinn city tour (usually €19.00 – €23.00).
  • Go to the Epping Tower (usually €4.00).
  • Learn stuff about the Estonian people at the Estonian History Museum – Great Guild Hall (usually €5.00).
  • Get interactive at the Estonian Museum of Natural History (usually €4.00).
  • Spend the day and run wild at the Estonian Open Air Museum (usually €5.00 – €7.00).
  • Indulge your sweet-tooth at the Kalev Marzipan Museum Room (usually free of charge but you get some home-made marzipan too!)
  • Get inspired at the Kumu Art Museum (usually €6.00).
  • Get some information at the Museum of Occupations (usually €5.00).
Door knocker in Old Town -  Merlen Aringo - Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau
Door knocker in Old Town – Merlen Aringo – Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau
  • Get some history and art at the House of Peter I (usually €2.00).
  • Be fascinated at the Town Prison – Museum of Photography (usually €2.00. The basement is not for children as it has a more erotic element!)
  • Go to the Tallinn City Museum. We loved it (usually €3.20).
  • Merely ramble along the cobbled historical streets.
  • Explore and stroll freely through the backstreets and hidden alleys of history gone.
  • Climb up the steep hills.
  • Hang out in the parks, forests or beach.
  • Make use of the city-wide free WiFi.
  • Be accosted by knights and medieval wenches.
  • Pay your respects in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Check out the various cafes, bars and restaurants for a quick bite and a few rounds of Estonian beer and Russian vodka!
  • Go shopping.
  • Go to the sauna, or get a massage, and relax!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Tallinn is so tiny that everywhere is walkable.

Taxis are very reasonable and local trains, buses and trams are easily available, clean and very safe.

ANYTHING ELSE?

Just look at this spread at the Hotel St. Petersbourg!
Just look at this spread at the Hotel St. Petersbourg!

Estonian food is fantastic with lots of Russian and Finnish influences. You couldn’t do a thing wrong.

I’ll tell you all about it next week!

MY VERDICT:

On the cobbled streets of Tallinn, Estonia.
On the cobbled streets of Tallinn, Estonia.

I like Tallinn.

It’s medieval, It’s got fairy-time gothic spires, cobbled streets and a long history. It’s not a cheap destination by any means, but it’s technologically advance and utterly charming.

If you’re looking for that extra somewhere with a bit more of an edge, a bit more class and luxury, a bit more crisp yet dynamic, and engaged with the modern world, then Tallinn is the place to be.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Try and stop me!

I intend to do just that and can’t wait to visit again.

Carry on my good man!

On the walls of the Danish King's Castle!
On the walls of the Danish King’s Castle!

For more information about coach-bus travel to Vilnius, please contact: Lux Express.

For more information about a luxury 5-star boutique hotel, please contact: The Hotel St. Petersbourg.

For more information about the Tallinn Card package, please contact: Visit Tallinn.

This article is part-sponsored by Lux Express and the Tallinn City Tourist Office & Convention Bureau. We received a 72 hour complimentary Tallinn Card  and we got a little discount on the hotels, but all opinions and the sauna experience that we had, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Next week, I’ll be writing about the fabulous Estonian food and drink. Super!

After that, what the view was like on the ferry crossing from Estonia to Finland with TALLINK SLJA LINE and what we thought about Helsinki in Finland!

If you’re a blogger, just interested in travel or want to hang out, then we’re having a Berlin Travel Massive Chapter Meeting on 28.05.15.

The Berlin Music Video Awards will be taking place from May 27.05.15 – 30.05.15 and I will be attending as “press.” It’s going to be exciting.

The Berlin Fashion Film Festival will be taking place on 05.06.15.

 I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin where the hell are you?!

May & June are going to be absolutely packed!

Watch this space!

Church Clock in the Old Town.
Church Clock in the Old Town.

Have you ever been to Estonia? Do you think Villnius is gorgeous or just medieval? Is Estonia in Eastern Europe or Nordic?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or 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

Please Share it! Tweet it! Or like it!

I survived a 26 hour coach-bus adventure and I didn’t die!

©2012-2015 onelung
©2012-2015 onelung

So I’m back from the Baltic Region and I’m totally and utterly knackered because I arrived back in Berlin just today!

It was a 26 hour coach-bus adventure journey.

We didn’t die!

Craaaazy!

This independent trip was fifteen (15) days in total:

  • Three (3) days in Vilnius (Lithuania).
  • Three (3) days in Riga (Latvia).
  • Three (3) days in Tallinn (Estonia).
  • Two (2) days in (Helsinki) Finland.
  • One (1) more day in Tallinn (Estonia) again.

That makes 12 days for the holiday itself and 3 days for travelling! Whoop! Whoop!

I had lots of fun but I’m exhausted.

I’m also very pleased that I’ve just been to a completely new region of the world, and I’ve knocked four (4) new countries in one (1) go!

For those of you who don’t know, I’ve just returned from Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

So why the hell did I do this?

God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!
God Save the Queen in Cool Britannia!

Well first of all, I’m a little eccentric. I mean, remember that time when I climbed up a live volcano in Bali or when I fell off a ski lift in the Czech Republic? And what about the sex show that I went to in Amsterdam?

Exactly!

I like pushing buttons.

But why go to the Baltics?

As of now, the region above has not really been discovered by tourists and travellers. To be candid but have you ever heard of Latvia? What about Lithuania? And to be honest, we all know of Finland, but how many of us have actually been there?

‘Told you so!

A map of the Baltic Sea.
A map of the Baltic Sea.

These countries are based in Europe and their capital cities have stories of richness, history and grandeur, unspoilt by the full-board package set and the larger louts of stag and hen nights. They are sparsely populated, and not your typical cheap and friendly destination. As a matter of fact, prices in Finland border on the insane and Estonia has prices that would make your hair stand up, although still considered to be a “budget” destination.

I want to experience these countries for myself.

That’s why!

LITHUANIA

Vilnius.

I went to the capital city of Vilnius.

I’ve already discussed basic background, and although I know that the “other Eastern Europe” ought to be cheaper than Western Europe, it isn’t always the case. In fact, I would consider Prague more expensive than Berlin!

I love Prague.

I even used to live there and back in the day, everything cost hardly anything at all.

Prague is still a very wonderfully budget place to go to but it’s got competition.

In Lithuania.

I really couldn’t believe how wonderfully low the prices actually were.

Amazing!l

So now let’s get down to the nitty-gritty:

WHY GO TO LITHUANIA?

The European Flag.
The European Flag.

Living in Berlin means that Continental Europe is right on your doorstep. Basically, if you’re an expat living in Europe and you don’t use the opportunities to check out the neighbouring countries, then you’re a fool!

There. I said it.

A fool!

Bread & Butter - Berlin Fashion Week.We are lucky that our continent is a wonder of different countries, cultures, languages and customs. Merely an hour away from Berlin is the border of Poland. A completely different country in every way. Surrounding Germany is also France, Holland, Belgium, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Denmark. Every one of them beautiful, interesting countries.

And I have been to them all.

Many times.

Lithuania of course, is a different kettle of fish having recently established re-independence  from the ex-USSR in 1991 – a mere 24 years ago. As a result, Lithuania is still fairly “new, ” unspoilt, uncrowded, welcoming to visitors and desperate to stand out from its Baltic brothers.

And if you’re that way inclined, you can be sure nobody knows where it is. A true adventure!

VILNIUS

VilniusHome18

HOW DO I GET THERE?

You can of course fly.  There is an international airport in Vilnius with major Eastern airlines being the main market but for most of you reading this blog, the following airlines might apply: Aeroflot, airBaltic, Finnair, Estonian Air, LOT (Polish Airlines), and Ryanair.

You generally can’t take the train if you’re coming from Western Europe as Western train companies don’t come this far “North”. They go up to Poland, Slovakia & Slovenia yes, and then East to Hungary and Romania! Trains in the Baltics tend to come from Russia or ex-USSR States and no-one really recommends them as they’re far too old, far too slow and far too unreliable.

Pretty much everyone we met was travelling either by car or by bus, and so were we!

The Lux Express Bus.

We were on a part-sponsorship with – Lux Express, and it really wasn’t that bad at all.

From Berlin to Vilnius in Lithuania, we travelled with the Simple Express part of the company. My husband – The Music Producer – was sceptical, but trusted my judgement.

Thankfully, everything went smoothly.

I had communicated with the company on-line as per details and requirements, and they were wonderfully professional and timely, with information and tickets.

The coach-bus was clean and all the luggage was individually checked and handled by one of the drivers. Passports and I.D. cards were also individually processed and tickets double-checked. Seating was allocated and unlike typical coach-bus journeys, was outfitted with individual flat screens and WiFi, albeit not always working, but you can’t have everything LOL!

Bring your own blanket!
Bring your own blanket!

I tend not to sleep on coach-buses, trains or planes, and this trip was no exception. Happily, the individual lights were all working.

We had brought along our own blankets and cushions (although you can also buy them on board for €4.00 and €3.00 respectively), and I read my kindle and even watched a couple of films such as the “X-Men: Days of Future Past” and “Bad Neighbours.”

I started to watch “Foot Loose”, but I lost interest!

Pick your poison on the Lux Express!
Pick your poison on the Lux Express!

The coach-bus was fully booked from Berlin but once we got to Warsaw, there was a huge shift in seating after midnight, and then free seats were available. So we were able to take double seats and stretch out. They even had seatbelts, floor lights, power supply outlets per double seats, headphone slots (which you can also buy for €1.50) and a toilet that was somewhat clean.

Until the end of the journey.

Phew!

We were on a part-sponsorship, but Lux Express has discount prices if you book early.

You can usually get a one-way single ticket from Berlin to Vilnius with the Simple Express from €36.00 – a journey of 7.15 hours and through 3 countries! From Vilnius to Riga with Lux Express from €15.00, and from Riga to Tallinn from €16.00. You can also go to Russia with the company if you so wish. From Tallinn to St. Petersburg from €25.00!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

Skipping in the rain!
Skipping in the rain!

OMG. You have got to be joking. Perhaps because it was at the end of March but there was hardly anyone there! You could literally count all the tourists and many were quite young. Lots of tourists from Brazil, Argentina, Spain, Germany, America, Canada, Australia, and the UK. In fact, we bumped into the same French man that we met in Lithuania, in Latvia!

They say that in the summer Vilnius gets crowded, but I hardly doubt it, as there are only 3 million people in the whole country!

WHAT IS VILNIUS LIKE?

Pre-Communist Lithuania.
Pre-Communist Lithuania.

At first glance coming into Lithuania, I found the country to be very Eastern-European-like with lots of abandoned buildings with busted out glass windows, clapped out blocks of flats, commmunist-sized boxes, abandoned industrial chimney factories and looking awfully grey.

OMG!

Once we checked-in, looked around, and fairly soon after went on our free walking tour organised by Vilnius With Locals, we pretty much knew were everything was.

Our Vilnius tour guide.
Our Vilnius tour guide.

Vilnius is the capital of Lithuania, one of the largest old cities in Europe, and is covered by countless churches. In fact, 65! It might have a population of only just half a million people, but all that history makes up for it!

Although our young guide didn’t talk too much about the Jewish history of Vilnius, it is also known as “the Jerusalem of Lithuania” because of its strong Jewish past, “Little Rome” and “North Athens.” Vilnius is a treasure-trove of Baroque craftsmanship and a valuable and historical site of not only Baroque, but also Gothic, Renaissance, and other architectural styles.

The Independent Republic of Užupis in Vilnius.
The Independent Republic of Užupis in Vilnius.

We experienced panoramic views, we walked around the town, we had lunch at the Independent Republic of Užupis – a bohemian community of artists – and located on “the other side of the river” separated by a bridge, a UNESCO World Heritage site in itself, and similar to the Freetown Christiania community in Copenhagen!

I’ve been to the independent community in Denmark. It’s very laissez-faire, but pretty cool.

We went to many cultural sites of interest in Vilnius and although it was freezing and wet, we had a fairly good time.

My group looking sorry for themselves!
My group looking sorry for themselves!

I really like walking tours and this tour really gave us an insight into the capital city. It was snowing and freezing cold and it dampened many an enthusiasm as half the group abandoned ship and took off! I was stupidly determined to hang on until the end, when in reality, all I really wanted was a hot toddy!

It paid off though as our tour guide introduced us to a local place for lunch, where we had our very first original, authentic Lithuanian food.

We clapped our hands and tucked in!

I DONT SPEAK LITHUANIAN.

Lithuanian children are the future!
Lithuanian children are the future!

Not a problem.

I was surprised to discover that English is widely spoken.

Everywhere!

A good tester of this were the children. I approached two young boys and they spoke beautifully. I also met a small group of children in the National Art Gallery who stared a little at my fabulousness but again, they spoke fantastic English and allowed me to take a few photos of them dressed up in historical costume!

If you can speak English, German or Russian. You’re in!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

VilniusHome16

Whenever we go on a family holiday, I like to mix things up a little in order to experience a wide variety of accommodation possibilities, to meet the locals, and to stretch our budget in a more comfortable way.

In that wise, I decided to book a small family Bed & Breakfast consisting of just seven (7) rooms, and located between the Old Town and a park. This B&B was called Vilnius Home Bed and Breakfast and we were in the Family Room.

The owner – Aleksandra Kiseliovienė – was lovely. She’s a smiley, fun, jolly woman who looked 26 but wasn’t! She also appreciated and understood the importance of social media and had a really easy-to-use website, and is all over Facebook! As we chatted about the Fall of the Berlin Wall and international travel, she told me that she had recently taken a similar bus trip herself in travelling from Vilnius to Prague.

Aleksandra very kindly invited us to join them for breakfast even though breakfast for us, would normally have started the next day.

We accepted!

For more about the lovely Lithuanian food, hang on until next week!

Our stay at Vilnius Home Bed and Breakfast was a delight.

When you book a room on-line, you can never be entirely sure what you’re going to get and can only hold your breath and cross your fingers.

I didn’t know what to expect in Lithuania and was surprised at what we received.

In the Family Room.
In the Family Room.

The Family Room consisted of six (6) bunk beds, each with a set of drawers that you could lock and individual light and power supply outlet, a table, two (2) chairs and a huge bean bag. There was also a private balcony which had a garden table and two (2) garden chairs, perfect for summer hanging out and chilling!

There were only seven (7) rooms in the whole house so there was a bathroom on each floor which was shared. It was clean and fitted out with shampoo/conditioner, shower gel and other toiletries which you could use free of charge, if you so desired. Each guest also had two (2) sets of towels.

One of the double rooms.
One of the double rooms.

The beauty of a B&B is that if you’re nervous about visiting a country, it’s a lovely way to blend the virtues of a hotel and a hostel. You have the safety and security of a family home with the option of meeting people in an open kitchen. Very similar to a lovely place that we went to on our hiking trip in the mountains of Wales a few years old ago, that place was called The Old School Hostel and Bed & Breakfast.

Ah Wales. Love it!

But I digress.

With just seven (7) rooms, you’re able to meet as many people as you want and at the time that we were there we met a young pilot from Italy doing his advanced flight training in Lithuania (it’s cheaper!), a young couple from Poland, an old couple from Spain, and ourselves!

On our last day, we also met three beautiful young girls from Minsk (Belarus) who had just returned from Belgium. Once they knew that I was a corporate trainer, although shy, wanted to practice as much English as they could.

Gifts from Belarus.
Gifts from Belarus.

They were so sweet that before they left, they gifted me with a magnet of Belarus, some Belarus chocolate, and a traditional Belarus tea-towel! If you’re in any of the ex-Russian States and looking for cheap flights to the West, then Vilnius is the place to be!

You can also cook in the kitchen (as food & drink are not allowed in the bedrooms), and crockery and cutlery and other cooking utensils were readily available. A sofa and soft cushions were also scattered around so that if you didn’t want to stay in your room, you could take your laptop into the kitchen. The kitchen also had a flat screen TV that was on a loop of music from VH1.

For the first time, I actually saw the video of some of my favourite contemporary songs as I don’t watch TV! I do however watch films, DVD or Netflix series, and BBC Science & Travel programmes which I pre-record.

I just don’t watch regular TV!

A B&B always has a touch of home.
A B&B always has a touch of home.

Most importantly, Vilnius Home Bed and Breakfast had free WiFi, space to dump all our stuff after our long weary journey, free tea and coffee 24 hours a day and a free breakfast. Everything a couple, a group of friends, or a family with a young teenager, needs!

All this for €60.00 per night in the Family Room which for six (6) people would be €10.00 per night, and in double rooms, from €29.00 per night.

Per room!

Pancakes from Lithuania!
Pancakes from Lithuania!

For breakfast, we had delicious home-made pancakes with home-made blueberry, strawberry, and apple jam with cream, yogurt and slices of fruit, And you could have as much as you wanted along with helping yourself to free tea and coffee.

Lovely!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Well, if you're on a smaller budget...!
Well, if you’re on a smaller budget…!

No Problem. Pretty much any Eastern European country is quite cheap and is never going to break the bank. If you’re on a budget, you could do worse. Beer is about €2.00 or $2.12. Meals including a starter, beer snacks, and lots of drinks came to about €20.00 or $21.20 and that was for the three of us. Including drinks!

If you’re making your own meals there are a few local supermarkets around and they are very helpful.

I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY, IS THERE SOMETHING FOR ME?

A view through the Gate of Dawn - iStockphoto.
A view through the Gate of Dawn – iStockphoto.

Sure there is.

Plenty in the Old Town.

I can’t tell you about the luxury of Lithuania but in a few weeks, I will be telling you about the luxury of Latvia, the artistic design element of Finland and the five-star glory of Estonia!

WHAT SHOULD I DO WHEN I GET TO LITHUANIA?

In Vilnius, Lithuania.

We only went for three (3) days so this was a sloooooow cultural family trip.

There is plenty to do in Vilnius. You can:

  • Go on a free walking tour, of which there are plenty.
  • Check out some of the lovely churches and places of worship which are just bursting to be visited.
  • Go to the National Museum of Lithuania.
  • Visit the Vilnius Picture Gallery.
  • Pay your respects in the Jewish Quarter.
  • Go up Gediminas’ Tower and admire the Old Town.
  • Climb up the various hills and fortifications hill and take as many panoramic pictures as you want.
  • Merely ramble along the cobbled historical streets.
  • Check out the various cafes, bars and restaurants for a quick bite and a few rounds of Lithuanian beer and vodka!
  • Go shopping.

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Vilnius is so small that everywhere is walkable.

Taxis are cheap. A taxi from our B&B to the international coach-bus station cost a fabulous €3.60!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Don't forget your hat!
Don’t forget your hat!

Yes, the weather.

We arrived at the end of March and it began to snow. Very briefly, but still! Winter had been minimal in the UK and Germany this year, and it came as a bit of a shock. In fact, most of Northern Europe experienced snow this year.

At Easter!

As a result, it was snowy, rainy and freezing cold, which we weren’t really dressed for. On the first day.

We adjusted soon after LOL!

On talking to our host, this type of weather is pretty typical in Lithuania so hoods up, hats on, think gloves and welcome to the windy cold.

Laurel & Hardy. Shhhhhh!
Laurel & Hardy. Shhhhhh!

MY VERDICT:

I found Vilnius to be quiet and clean and the people enormously friendly and welcoming. It’s a really small town and very easy to navigate. English is widely spoken, the Old Town is lovely and if you’re going to the Baltic Region then Vilnius is a must. In fact, we met people from Australia, France, Belarus, Poland, Italy and Spain. Pretty much everyone we met was doing the Baltic Run.

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Never say never!

A rather disturbing-looking doll!
A rather disturbing-looking doll!

For more information about coach-bus travel to Vilnius, please contact: Lux Express.

For more information about a family-based B&B, please contact: Vilnius Home Bed and Breakfast.

For more information about an independent free walking tour, please contact: Vilnius With Locals.

This article is part-sponsored by Lux Express and Vilnius Home Bed and Breakfast.

We received a part-complimentary-part-discounted stay on our B&B but all opinions and the fantastic Lithuanian dishes that I thoroughly enjoyed, are my very own!

I have so much to share with you.

Stay tuned!

Next week, I’ll be writing about the wonderful Lithuanian food and drink. Oh my!

After that, there will be posts on what we did in Riga, Latvia and our experience in Tallinn in Estonia with the help of the Tallinn Card, what the view was like on the ferry crossing from Estonia to Finland with TALLINK SLJA LINE and what we thought about Helsinki in Finland!

International Games Week Berlin 2015 is a leading cross-industry communication and networking platform for games businesss, development and culture, and will be taking place between April 21-26, 2015.

I’ll be going to TBEX Europe (Travel Bloggers Exchange) an International Networking Conference, for the first time! It’ll be taking place in Costa Brava, Catalunya, Spain from 30.04.15 – 02.05.15.

Strictly Stand Up English Comedy Night will be taking place at the Quatsch Comedy Club on 29.04.15.

Eddie Izzard will be back in Germany and will be front-lining a killer international night of comedy at the Admirals Palast on 08.05.15.

The Berlin Music Video Awards will be taking place from May 27.05.15 – 30.05.15. Anybody can apply!

The Berlin Fashion Film Festival will be taking place on 05.06.15.

I’ll be there. Will you?

As usual, you can also follow me via daily tweets and pictures on Twitter & FB!

If you’re not in Berlin in April, you’re going to miss all the good stuff!

April is going to be invigorating.

Watch this space!

Lithuanian vodka!
Lithuanian vodka!

Have you ever been to Vilnius? Have you ever taken a long distance coach-bus trip around Europe? Pancakes or bacon and sausages?

See you in Berlin.

If you like this post or if you have any questions send me a tweet, talk to me on Facebook, find me on Linkedin, make a comment below, or send me an Email: victoria@thebritishberliner.com

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