How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day.

So Dresden.

A Baroque Old Town.

A garden suburb.

A cultural metropolis.

What a beautiful city!

As I told you last week, Dresden has a long rich history as the capital and royal residence of the Electors and Kings of Saxony, who furnished the city with cultural and artistic splendor, and was once known as the Jewel Box of Germany, because of it’s Old Town city centre which is crammed with baroque and rococo architecture.

Sadly, when the international community think of Dresden, they make no mention of German splendour and historical treasures, but rather the horror of the Second World War!

War is a terrible thing, and Dresden paid the price.

Towards the end of World War II, Dresden was pretty much flattened and destroyed, and became unrecognisable.

After the war, restoration work helped to reconstruct parts of the historic inner city, including the Dresden Cathedral, the Zwinger Museum Complex and the very famous Semper Oper.

Victoria at the River Elbe in Dresden – Germany
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

Outside of the Old Town, Dresden has a trendy New Town – Neustadt – a nearby Saxon Switzerland National Park, the Ore Mountains which borders both Germany and the Czech Republic, the Moritzburg Castle, impressive countryside around the Elbe Valley, etc.

And.

It’s.

A.

Waterside City with the River Elbe running right through it.

Yeah!

Germans are enormously open-minded so nude beaches as Freikörperkultur, or FKK movement – Free Body Culture, was set up
©Bundesarchiv, Bild 183-1984-0828-411A / Settnik, Bernd / CC-BY-SA 3.0

I hadn’t visited Dresden in more than twenty (20) years, and when I first visited, my German boyfriend at the time tried to persuade me to join him, at one of the family-friendly nudist Free Body Culture (FKK) beaches.

With his friends!

As if!

I did however, agree to join him alone.

And only him.

I was very conscious of the fact that people would stare at my body.

They did!

I was the only person wearing items of “clothing.”

With chocolate-brown skin.

Wearing a bikini.

That was bright yellow!

You could see Victoria – in her bright yellow bikini – from the moon!

You could see me from the moon!

Cue 2018.

Like Hamburg, I had of course, breezed through, on my way to Prague, but I hadn’t stopped there for a very long time.

Dresden was better than I ever hoped.

Exciting Times in Dresden – Forgive the casual look. I was previously wearing heels!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – March 2018

Last week, I told you what to do if you’re a tourist. But what if you wanted to stay a little longer?

A couple of days. A week. Perhaps, even for a few weeks!

Make no mistake, I’d still highly recommend Berlin as your go-to-city, but if you insist, Dresden will do just fine!

The Tall Young Gentleman had a fine time in Dresden. You will too!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

Being that my new job as the Referent Interne Trainings or the Internal Training Manager, is in Dresden, I’ve been doing a lot of research which has not only been exhausting, but pretty expensive too! 

Having said that, my experience has allowed me to stay in a wide variety of accommodation providers spanning from a collection of hotels, apartments, and even a hostel!

Yep!

I do these things, so that you don’t have to!

I know!

Let’s get started, shall we?

WHY VISIT DRESDEN?

Martin Luther in Dresden

Why not?!

Well, I wrote quite a bit about it last week.

And anyway, Dresden is in Germany!

So what?

You really can’t go wrong there.

Why not?

Well, it’s Germany!

TAKE ME THERE?

I’ve used FlixBus for both local & international travel. Great prices!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

As you all pretty much know by now, I’m a great believer in train travel. However, depending on where you’re coming from, taking the bus / coach might actually be cheaper. And far more efficient!

I’ve been taking FlixBus, and their prices have been marvellous.

At one point, I actually took a bus for €4.99!

The average price is usually between €6.00 – €10.00, depending on how flexible you can travel.

I’ve used FlixBus for both local (within Germany), and international travel, and if you’re on a budget, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything cheaper!

I was having a fine time flying all over Europe, thank you very much!

Of course, if you’re coming from abroad, flying might prove more economical.

Dresden is quite a small city, so you might actually find yourself either flying to Dresden Airport (DRS), Leipzig-Halle Airport (LEJ), Berlin Tegel Airport (TXL) or perhaps, even Berlin-Schönefeld Airport (SXF)!

If you’re not sure which airport in Berlin, you’re supposed to be flying to or out of, here’s a link to the website of Flughafen / Airport Berlin Brandenburg GmbH which has comprehensive information on both airports BerlinTegel (TXL) and Berlin-Schönefeld (SXF) as they’re at opposite ends of the city, and you don’t want to find yourself in the wrong one!

IS IT GOING TO BE CROWDED?

There are tourists in Dresden. But I wouldn’t call it crowded!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

I didn’t think so!

In fact, as it wasn’t yet “the season,” some places and operations were still closed or had reduced hours.

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

Plan well.

WHAT IS DRESDEN LIKE?

Frederick Augustus II of Saxony or Augustus II the Strong – the Golden Rider!

I was pleasantly surprised.

It’s a small city of historical and architectural interest, the food and beer is impressive.

And it’s very, very pretty!

I DON’T SPEAK GERMAN.

How to be a German – 10 ways to do it!

Not. A. Problem.

No really.

No worries.

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

Most speak a minimum of three (3)!

If you speak English, German, Russian, or Chinese, you’re good to go.

And get this.

I couldn’t believe it!

Most things were written in German.

And.

English!

Hurrah!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

You’re not going to live in this abandoned hut, so don’t worry!

Ha! Ha! Not unless you want to!

I’M ON A BUDGET. WHAT SHOULD I DO?

At the tip of the River Elbe and the Elberadweg cycle path, in Altpieschen – Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

Ha! Let me help you here.

Dresden isn’t as cheap as I was expecting.

If you’re from the UK or the US, it’s as cheap as chips, obviously.

If you’re from Germany, food prices are the same as in Berlin, but accommodation was far cheaper!

I mean, I was able to get a studio apartment with two (2) bedrooms, a small kitchen / dining room, and an en-suite bathroom for just €30.00 a night.

Thirty Euros (€30.00) a night!

And it wasn’t via Airbnb, but booking.com

But before we go any further, let me reiterate:

I am an affiliate partner of booking.com. In fact, if you use any of my hotel / apartment links, you’ll see the verified partner symbol of the British Berliner logo, along with each affiliated link. 

This means that every time some sort of accommodation is booked via my links I get a little percentage, but at absolutely no extra cost to yourself!

None of the hotels / hostels / apartments that I used were comped, or sponsored. All were paid for, absolutely by myself! As a result, you’ll also see my honest and verified view of what I thought when I stayed there, as a legitimate customer too.

Thanks a million!

Here’s all the variety of places where I stayed:

HOSTELS:

The Königssuite – Kings Suite at LaLeLu Hostel in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

It’s a boutique “mini-hostel” with just seven (7) rooms, which was why I booked it!

It’s in the trendy hip Äußere Neustadt, otherwise known as Antonstadt and just a 20 minute walk from the AltStadt! In fact, when I got there, I immediately felt quite at home!

I was in the Königssuite or the Kings Suite which was a romantic suite covered with gold and lots of red!

The bathroom and lovely kitchen is shared, but there’s a fee for bed sheets and towels.

Excellent WiFi!

I paid €39.00 per night for a private double room suite. If there’s two of you, that’s €19.50 a pop!

BED & BREAKFAST / GUEST HOUSES / PENSIONS:

The Hotel Pension zu Dresden Altpieschen in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

I was there for a week and really wished I could have stayed longer!

It’s a 1901-ish charming Guest House that is in the lovely district of Pieschen, about a 10 minute walk from the AltStadt, a 10 minute tram-ride to the NeuStadt, and a mere 250 metres from the river Elbe!

My room was in the loft, was absolutely huge, and had 20th century wooden beams features everywhere. I also had my own landing, my own staircase, and my own entrance door that could be securely locked!

I had a huge bathroom that was so big I couldn’t reach the mirror, so they had to had to get me a small one, for my tiny height!

A fridge was included, complete with a bottle of water!

Everything was delightful, except for the WiFi.

Quite adequate for your average tourist, but utterly useless for someone like me!

I paid €42.00 per night for a spacious loft. If there’s two of you, that’s €22.00 a pop!

Highly recommended!

The Pension Dresdener Berge in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

I couldn’t believe how cheap, but safe, the Pension / Bed and Breakfast would be!

This was my first hotel in Dresden, and if I had known then what I know now, I would have blocked-booked it, as I never got that fantastic price ever again!

In fact, I wasn’t even able to get the studio apartment either, as someone had booked it!

I highly recommend it as a budget option for 1 person, a couple, or a couple with a child!

I had a 2-bedroom studio apartment for just €30.00 a night!

It had a large bedroom, a small bedroom for a child, a small kitchen / dining room, and an en-suite bathroom.

Excellent WiFi!

I paid €30.00 per night for a 2-bedroom studio apartment. If there’s two of you, that’s €15.00 a pop, and your child is totally free of charge!

Book ahead!

APARTMENTS:

The work of a lifestyle, expat, travel blogger is never done. There’s just so much to dooo!

I stayed at two (2) different hotel – apartments. And one of them, I even stayed at twice!

The Hotel & Apartment Altstadtperle in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

With houses dated from the last century and older, genteel street lamps, and 300 year old churches scattered everywhere, it was no wonder that I found the quiet neighbourhood appealing.

I stayed in two different apartments at this hotel, and they were always quite large with a huge bathroom, and a small kitchen. And the cleaner came in every day!

I loved the hotel itself, the location was fantastic, and my apartment was great.

But the staff were lazy, and the WiFi pretty much non-existent. They also wouldn’t waive the City Tax even though they were supposed to!

I stayed here twice spanning almost two (2 weeks), as I really thought that the issues were a one-off.

They weren’t!

If you’re on holiday, it’s a really lovely apartment-hotel and I’d recommend it, but if you’re on a business trip, book somewhere else!

I paid €40.50 initially, and the following week I paid €46.08 per night. For two people, €20.25 and €23.04 a pop!

Stirl Apartments in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018

My husband – The Music Producer and our son came to visit me in Dresden, so I booked a larger apartment in a residential area.

It had a fully equipped kitchen and dining room, a bedroom, a third bed, a sofabed, and a very nice bathroom!

The third bed was in our bedroom, but “The Tall Young Gentleman” was horrified when he saw it, so we used the sofabed in the “living room area” instead!

WiFi was excellent!

It was a little further away from the action than we would have wanted, but the neighbourhood was very quiet and peaceful.

We paid €85.00 per night which for three people would be €28.50 a pop!

SMALL HOTELS:

The Hotel Windsor in Dresden
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018
  • I stayed at the Hotel Windsor which is a very nice small hotel, which had the look of grandeur, but at surprisingly, “small budget” prices!

I had an en-suite bathroom, a double bed, a tiny writing-table and my own balcony.

Excellent WiFi!

I paid just €37.52 which is even less than I paid for the hostel above!

TRENDY FANCY HOTELS:

Aparthotel Am Schloss in Dresden.
©booking.com

It’s a hotel which is famous for it’s architecture, location, service and facilities.

It’s right in the center of the AltStadt, about 350 meters away from the Zwinger Palace in Dresden, and a few minutes from the Frauenkirche with the castle very, very close by!

We unfortunately couldn’t stay here as I had accidentally pre-booked Stirl Apartment as a last cheaper resort, just in case we couldn’t get the Aparthotel Am Schloss, and then I forgot!

I only remembered when I got a message stating that my reservation was now booked. Oops!

While we were in the AltStadt, I had a quick peek inside the Aparthotel Am Schloss.

It was exactly as I would have wished, and we really would have loved staying there!

Even though it was far more expensive than the hotels that I had previously been to, I would have preferred it, for the mere fact that it was exactly where we wanted to be.

In the Old Town!

It would have been €117 per night, but very much worth it!

Book ahead to get good prices.

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

Just because you have a fixed job, doesn’t mean that you can’t look for an adventure!

Sure!

The AltStadt is the historical part of town, but the The NeuStadt is a grungy hipster sort of place. It’s for the young and trendy, but you don’t have to be young or trendy to visit, and it’s not Copenhagen or Amsterdam, so you can definitely take your children!

There’s a lot of free stuff happening in the city. Most of the available info is in German, but if you check the website of Visit Dresden on a regular basis, keep your eyes open, or just ask a local where you can meet other locals, you’ll find them!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Like any other typical German town, public transport in Dresden, is pretty efficient!

Dresden isn’t as large as Berlin, and as such public transport is like any other typical German town – trams, buses, ferries, and overland trains.

And like any other typical German town, public transport is pretty efficient.

When using public transport, there are many possibilities to buy a ticket. You can buy:

A variety of Dresden public transport tickets!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – April 2018
  • A short-trip ticket – €1.70
  • A single ticket – €2.30
  • A day ticket – €6.00
  • A four (4) journey ticket – €8.20
  • A family day ticket – €9.00
  • A small group ticket – €15.00
  • A weekly pass – €21.50
  • A monthly pass – €60.50
  • A season ticket (per month) – €50.90

I have bought them all, and since I’m a regular in Dresden, I decided to buy a season ticket to cut down on cost and for flexibility!

There are ticket machines pretty much everywhere, so you can buy your ticket whenever and wherever you want!

The ticket machine accepts cash, EC cards, and pretty much, most “recognised” credit cards!

As in Berlin, you buy your ticket and either validate it by clicking the ticket on a blue-standing object, which you’ll find on the train platform BEFORE you actually get on the train, or if using trams and buses, look for a sort of orange-standing object which is not far from the doorway, as soon as you get on.

Don’t forget, as in Berlin, there are no barriers to using public transport. However, there are random inspector checks, and if you are found NOT to have a valid ticket, the penalty is €60.00. Or more!

Dresden VVO – DVB public transport info & season ticket!
©Victoria Ade-Genschow – The British Berliner – Dresden – May 2018

So in order to keep German public transport a non-barrier one, please buy your ticket!

The marvellous thing about using the trams and buses in Dresden is that they actually have information on the monitor display INSIDE the tram or bus stating the name of the next stop, the details of the next available buses, trams, and train numbers at the stop, as well as how long the waiting time would be!

The frequency isn’t every 3-5 minutes as in Berlin, but the monitor display tells you all the information that you need to know, so that you can make choices as to which transport provider to use.

Great stuff!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Lovely hotels, but why are there no Reception Desks?!

Surprisingly, most places in Dresden don’t actually have a Reception Desk!

And if they do, it isn’t manned or even open!

You generally have to let them know when you’re going to arrive so that they’ll be there to meet you, but if you arrive after-hours there’s a telephone number to call or instructions as to how to get the key, which is usually in some sort of secure coded box near by.

Oh, and just so you know, the City of Dresden also puts a Tourism Tax of €1.30 per person. Per night!

However, if you’re in Dresden for business reasons (and can prove it), the tax is waived.

MY VERDICT:

The Music Producer & Victoria at the Zwinger Palace in Dresden – Saxony!
©Frank Böster – Behind The Couch Studios – Dresden – April 2018

We quite like Dresden!

Dresden has culture, and a vibrant history.

For many international visitors, Dresden isn’t a destination that immediately comes to mind, unless it’s Christmas.

Because Dresden Stollen!

But if you’re in Saxony region, make it a point of duty to spend a few weeks days, in Dresden or as many as the surrounding area, as you can manage.

If you’re looking for a new destination in East Germany, and you’ve “done” Berlin (As if!), say hello – DRESDEN!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Obviously!

My office is in Dresden, so I sort of have to!

Let’s do it!

HOW TO LIVE IN DRESDEN. FOR LONGER THAN A DAY!

Tea for everyone!
How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

This article is not sponsored, and all opinions and all the beds that I bounced up and down on, are my very own!

Next week, the last post on Dresden!

And in a few weeks, I’ll be revealing my next summer trip!

Stay tuned.

Yay!

That’s it for now.

See you next week!

The Lighthouse of Moritzburg – Saxony.
How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

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!

How to live in Dresden. For longer than a day!

Have you ever lived in Dresden? Do you prefer hostels, pensions, guest houses, B&B’s, apartments, or hotels`? Would you know how to navigate yourself around trams, trains, buses & horses?! 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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Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Sweden, really needs no introduction!

OMG! What a week!

Last week was crazy with terrorism acts in London, yet again. But you know what, we’re not going to panic or let ordinary people scare us, we’re going to keep calm, and get on with things.

If you’ve been following me on Twitter and Facebook, you would have seen the brilliant photography and quips that I put up about both Sweden and Slovenia!

And if you’re just joining in, I’ll repeat the good news that I had.

I’m sure you don’t mind!

The Centre for British Studies – Humboldt Universität zu Berlin – Goodbye UK

I’m going to be one of a five (5) member academic discussion panel on Brexit, at the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin!

I’m awfully excited and very proud to be asked.

It’s going to take place on 24.06.17 as part of the Lange Nacht der Wissenschaften, or the Long Night of Sciences at the Centre for British Studies, My discussion panel will be at 20:00 and the topic will be Brits in Berlin after Brexit, so if you’re in Berlin at this time, come and watch me, and hear me speak!

I was also featured as a guest blogger on the University of Chester Alumni website, and I’m going to be on the University of Chester’s official Case Study posters for postgraduate recruitment too!

Now isn’t that cool!

Book your hotel here!

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

If you’re just joining here’s what you missed:

Our Swedish boat sight-seeing guide in Stockholm – 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.

Book your hotel here! 

WHY GO TO STOCKHOLM?

Stockholm – Sweden.

I wanted to Visit Stockholm because I had never been to Sweden before, as the prices used to scare me to death. But really, it was rather wonderful, and if you’re careful and budget it just right, you’ll be fine.

Besides, there’s an ABBA Museum where you can sing and dance to your hearts delight. And who can say no to ABBA. I adore them so much that I actually cried!

I know.

Pathetic!

And I’m not the only one. There were scores of straight men, all singing and jiggling away.

What can I say?

It’s ABBA!

TAKE ME THERE?

Getting from anywhere in the world to Sweden, is easy-peasy!

Getting from anywhere in the world to Sweden, is easy-peasy.

You can fly, sail, drive, take the train in Europe, or if you’re looking for an adventure, or you’re on a tighter budget, you can use the bus-coach right here!

Obviously, you know me long enough to fear that I would never take the straight and easy path. It always has to be complicated, slightly weird and kooky to match!

Ha! Ha! Ha!

Yes, we did it.

We travelled from Berlin – Stockholm – Berlin entirely by coach-bus!

Victoria, you’re bonkers! Didn’t you say that you wouldn’t do this again!

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, didn’t you say that you would never do that again, and yet, here you are!

Doing it again!!!

Yep!

I was supposed to have flown to Sweden and cruised across the Baltic Sea!

Now I was originally supposed to be working with an entirely different company which would have meant flying to Sweden and cruising across the Baltic Sea. It would have included Finland too! However, the confirmation of our partnership was taking far longer than I expected, and so I decided to make my own arrangements while I still had a window open!

And when I saw the price of flights and trains, I almost had a heart-attack because the prices had inflated to the verge of €600 – €700 for two people. Remember, smart travel means that I do a lot of travelling either during public holidays, through the summer or at the weekends.

And that didn’t include the price of hotels.

In Sweden.

Gulp!

Book your hotel here!

The Stockholm Pass in Sweden!

I’m a clever girl so I put on my thinking cap. And voila! I was able to work something out with the lovely Stockholm Visitors Board team while I was at the ITB Berlin. They totally saved my bacon 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!

I’ll tell you a bit more about this further down below.

If you don’t feel up to being with the rabble, not a problem, use your fingers and go online to buy tickets instead!

Organising partnerships, marketing campaigns and the like takes time. Sometimes I’m enormously lucky, like the time when I contacted the wonderful Visit Amsterdam team who didn’t mind the fact that I was begging them for help on their private mobile phones on Boxing Day! And sometimes, I put my money where my mouth is, and get the damn tickets myself, before it’s too late!

And that’s exactly what I did!

Book FlixBus here!

WHAT IS FLIXBUS?

Travel through Europe via FlixBus!

FlixBus, previously known as MeinFernbus is a young German 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!

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!

WAS IT WORTH TRAVELLING WITH FLIXBUS?

Travelling with FlixBus to Sweden

Travelling with FlixBus across Germany, Sweden and Denmark, is certainly different from any other bus-coach company that I have either travelled with. And I’ve travelled with a lot LOL!

And was it worth travelling by bus-coach from Germany to Sweden?

Yes!

The bus-coach was comfortable and had free WiFi which sometimes worked, and sometimes didn’t. It also had a toilet on board and because there were fewer people, was fairly clean!

The seats were fairly wide and you could recline back quite well. Most importantly, each seat had its’ own individual socket, and you could eat your own snacks and refreshments, and buy tea, coffee and beer (as long as you’re over 16 of course)!

The journey from Berlin to Stockholm was 20 hours.

The onward travel to Sweden was quite awful!

Having said that, on the way to Sweden was quite awful.

Our FlixBus was a double-decker inter-city bus and was 40 minutes late.

It didn’t start well.

Now I’m used to travelling in a variety of ways, but the calibre of people that I saw left a lot to be desired and I began to get a little anxious that perhaps, I was too posh for this type of travel after all!

I almost regretted booking a ticket, and then I remembered that I also have another one. For Slovenia. Eek!

The gentleman in front of me began to have a telephone conference that absolutely everyone in the top-deck of the bus could hear!

It wasn’t particularly crowded so we could in fact, take double seats!

I was travelling with The Tall Young Gentleman, and even though he’s a tall mature-looking teenager, I usually like to stay close. Just in case!

And then the middle-aged gentleman in front of me began to have a telephone conference, that absolutely everyone in the top-deck of the bus could hear. He had headphones on and probably couldn’t distinguish it, but we thought it was endearing.

Until it wasn’t!

And then I saw a complete stranger put both his feet, on the TABLE of my son’s seat. While my son was sleeping!

It continued for quite some time, bearing in mind it was now after midnight…

Then it got all weird ‘cos I woke up with a jolt and saw this very same gentleman put both his feet on the table of my son’s seat. While my son was sleeping!

Ewwwwwww!

I politely requested that he remove his smelly feet away from my sprog.

Which he did, and then when he thought I wasn’t looking, put them back on again!

I told the security officer straight away as I cold see this getting ugly quite quickly!

He was eventually carted off by the Swedish authorities at the border!

Phew!

It was a 20 hour journey on the FlixBus & we were quite exhausted by the end of it!

On the way back to Berlin, the FlixBus journey was rather nice, smooth and very comfortable, but we were quite exhausted by the end of it.

Cost via FlixBus: Berlin – Stockholm – Berlin. Including the ferry cruise crossing Germany – Denmark – Germany – just €49.00 on a one-way single journey!

I don’t know about you. But I find that pretty amazing!

€49.00!!

After that, I asked if they would be interested in a working partnership.

They were!

Would I recommend it? Yes, but perhaps for a few hours less. It probably would have been more prudent, and far nicer to have gotten off at Copenhagen, and then to continue to Sweden a few days later! However, if you’re young, absolutely go ahead and do it!

IS SWEDEN GOING TO BE CROWDED?

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

Nope!

With only 10 million people, it’s the largest country in the Nordic region, but only 932,917 people live in the capital city of Stockholm!

Moreover, with scandinavian prices being so high, you can be sure that it’s bot going to be the first destination that people think of when they travel!

WHAT IS SWEDEN LIKE?

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

We were only there for three (3) days but Sweden was awesome.

It’s enormously clean, tidy, and orderly, and the people were friendly, relaxed, helpful, and full of smiles.

It’s a fascinating country packed with wonderful countryside, a most beautiful collection of thousands of islands, islets, and rocks that make up the archipelago in the Baltic Sea, a country of music, design, fashion art, and technology, with a rich history comprising of exciting architecture, museums, a medieval background, and is home to ABBA and the Nobel Prize!

It made an enviable impression on me.

I DON’T SPEAK SWEDISH!

Babies in Sweden, can speak English too!

No need to worry.

Everybody in each and every scandinavian country, speaks English.

They also speak German, Finnish, Danish, and possibly a million other languages too.

Having said that, there’s nothing wrong with learning a few basic words of Swedish, as a measure of respect!

AM I GOING TO LIVE IN A HUT?

A hut in Sweden, can be quite romantic!

Not at all.

Unless you mean romantic huts in the woods with fireplaces, dark nights, jumps in the lakes, and joint morning saunas.

I’m British, I won’t be doing any of that!

Gulp!

I’M ON A BUDGET, BUT I’M LOOKING FOR A BIT MORE LUXURY AS I DON’T WANT TO ROUGH IT! WHAT SHOULD I DO?

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Ha! Ha!

You should forget about your budget right now!

Sweden is expensive.

Terribly expensive and sadly, there’s no getting around it!

However, have no fear, there are hostels that cater to the more budget conscious traveller, but I can’t tell you much about them as we weren’t in one of them!

Book your hostel or budget hotel here! 

The Hobo Hotel is a holistic experience for the urban traveller, with a touch of hippy trend!

Knowing that Swedish prices would turn my hair grey, I was delighted to be able to work in partnership 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!

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!

Welcome to the Hobo Hotel & Stockholm – Sweden Victoria!

Hobo, is about a ten (10) minute walk from many historic and tourist attractions. It’s also right next door to TAK – a rooftop bar, and a few minutes from other bars, restaurants, and shops in one direction, and about a seven (7) minute walk to the sea!

Which ever way you go, you’re not far from the delights of a thriving nightlife!

We were in partnership with Visit Stockholm, and a result, they very kindly arranged a complimentary stay.

Thank you so much!

Wow!

As you enter the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden, a warm smile awaits you, and a floral comfy technologically inspired clean, colourful, artistic space!

Hobo is set in a building from the 1970’s which has been renovated and made green-efficient. As you enter, a warm welcome smile awaits you, and a floral comfy technologically inspired clean, colourful, artistic space!

It has 201 rooms on seven (7) floors, in four (4) categories, a restaurant, bar, pop-up areas, and a chill-out area that also doubles as the restaurant, on two (2) other floors!

The bedrooms have a sort of minimalist German design, a modern décor, parquet floors, nice comfy beds, wide windows, speakers, technical toys, and a large flat-screen TV!

In bed with the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden!

We were in one of the Hobo Superior Rooms which had a king-size bed (resulting in our son falling out at least once, as he forgot that I was also there with him!), a wide desk and a courtyard view. The room also contains a peg-filled wall, covered by gadgets you can borrow.

Our en-suite bathroom was very clean and had organic bathroom products which I loved, a hairdryer, a huge mirror, and plenty of fluffy towels. The bathroom wall was made of glass which had The Tall Young Gentleman in a panic, as the wall shutters didn’t close properly and we could see each other.

I spent a lot of time facing the window….!

And of course, most importantly, free fast Wi-Fi!

I could have done with a cup of tea, but the room didn’t have a fridge or a kettle!

Book Hobo here or here!

Breakfast at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm-Sweden, was great!

Hobo also has a very nice breakfast which is not included in the price of the room.

There’s a variety of fresh-home-made organic Nordic food, so you grab yourself a tray, and pick any four (4) of your choice.

Breakfast at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm-Sweden, was great!
Breakfast at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm-Sweden, was great!

The breakfast was great!

There were rye sandwiches with caviar (yummy!), a variety of chia seeds, nuts, coconut milk, yoghurt, fruit, juices, and smoothies. Of course, I couldn’t actually eat most of the items on offer ‘cos of my nut allergy, but the staff were able to make me some nut-free yoghurt! Tea and coffee is complimentary, and you can have as much as you want!

OMG! All the sandwiches at the Hobo Hotel in Stockholm – Sweden were just so yummy!

Breakfast is 120 SEK or €12.30.

All this from €140.00 per night in the Hobo superior room, from €132.00 in the Hobo room, and from €115.00 in the Hobo Sleeper Rooms, not including breakfast. For two people, easily €70.00 a pop!

Awesome!

WHAT ABOUT TRANSPORT POSSIBILITIES?

Go by water in Sweden!

Sweden is pretty small and the transport possibilities are endless.

My recommendation. Use the water!

ANYTHING ELSE?

Don’t worry about the prices. Enjoy the moment!

MY VERDICT:

Even though my T-shirt says Croatia, I really was in Sweden!

I’ve got to go back!

WOULD I COME AGAIN?

Utterly!

Go visit Sweden!

See you next week!

Book your hotel here!

HAVE YOU EVER BEEN TO SWEDEN? HEJ!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!
©Henrik Trygg

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

Thanks so much!

I’ll be there. Will you?

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

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!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Hej!

Have you ever been to Sweden? Would you like to? 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!

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!